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Van Gaal: Roy Hodgson ‘cannot judge’ Luke Shaw’s fitness

Aug 29, 2014, 5:43 PM EDT

louis van gaal Getty Images

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal arrived at the storied Premier League club, and so far, he’s faced early season struggles–a loss to Swansea City and a Capital One Cup drubbing at the hands of MK Dons. A 1-1 tie to Sunderland can also count against the Dutchman.

Tomorrow, Van Gaal and the Reds will hope to turn their fortune around, taking on Burnley, and one of the questions of the match will revolve around the availability of 19-year-old Luke Shaw, who left Southampton in July to further his status as a footballer at United.

England national team manager Roy Hodgson has said that he cautioned Shaw to pay attention to his fitness during the World Cup, but Van Gaal believes Hodgson is off the mark. According to the Netherlands head man, Shaw sustained a injury in August, after England was eliminated from Brazil.

“About Shaw I want to say something. I have read nasty articles about him. In the United States I said to him ‘you came not fit’,”   Van Gaal said. “But I changed his program and he did everything that he was to do to be fit and now he is an example in the dressing room.”

“He is not fit now because he is injured but Roy Hodgson cannot judge at this moment. Roy Hodgson cannot judge him because I have never seen him here at a training session. I think that he refers to the World Cup but I don’t know. But now he (Shaw) is doing a great job.”

In fact, Shaw’s been great in practice, and Van Gaal let reporters know that he will honestly discuss the young defender.

“He is training fantastic, so when you want to write something then maybe you can ask me ‘is he doing his work or not?’ I am open. I answer the questions when you put a question to me.”

  1. Ian's Rushtache - Aug 29, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Hodgson clearly stated that his comments were at the WC. He also clearly stated that the physio made comments at the WC.

    I get the impression Van Gaal likes to hear himself talk.

    • geejon - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      You’re right, but then I see nothing wrong with Van Gaal publily defending him as he did. He’s quoted as saying “I’ve read nasty articles about him (Shaw)” and perhaps this latest article coming after the one a few weeks ago that made an issue of Shaw going out to dinner after a loss motivated Van Gaal to let people know the kid was been working great and to back off. The lights burn much brighter playing for United as opposed to Southampton and Van Gaal running interference for a young kid he’s going to need is a smart move imo.

      • Ian's Rushtache - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        I completely agree. And I have no doubt that there are some journos in the English media who have been and will be nasty.

        I just took exception to his take on Woy.

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