Van Gaal Wanted To Introduce Virtual Reality Headsets To United Training

Robin van Persie of the Netherlands (front) celebrates his goal against Spain with coach Louis van Gaal during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP) TOPCUP - RTR3TOYN

REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Louis van Gaal was considering introducing Virtual Reality headsets to Manchester United’s training.

Van Gaal had been holding regular meetings with United’s squad, in which he would play video highlights of crucial points in matches to point out players’ mistakes and where they must improve.

It is believed that several players did not take to this approach, and were upset at facing constant criticism in front of the rest of the squad.

Max Reckers, who was van Gaal’s performance analyst at United, and was heavily criticised for focusing on the team’s negatives rather than the positives, admitted that Virtual Reality headsets were set to be introduced at the Old Trafford club, and the plan would have gone ahead had the Dutchman not been sacked at the end of the season.

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The headsets are said to offer tactical and game play analysis, where players can relive certain moments of a game shot through their own eyes. The players have the option to pause the clips as they wish and have a 360 degree view of what was around them at that very point of time.

Van Gaal had previously used the technology a few weeks before the 2014 World Cup while he was in charge of the Netherlands’ National side, and Reckers believes the 65-year-old is very open to development and adapting to changes.

“Louis is very open to new technology. He’s a very forward-thinking manager,” Reckers said at the Soccerex Global Convention.

“The task for the club and coach is to facilitate that to an optimum level. My generation is the last generation with video.

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“Everyone younger knows iPads, virtual reality, FIFA… so we have to accept they don’t watch TV the way we did. I watched a game for 90 minutes; there’s not a single player who does that anymore. We have to adapt.

“The ones who are good FIFA players have a small advantage with the virtual reality. It’s not so much about them being old or young, but the type of personality I think. Some really like to observe themselves, others don’t.

“I didn’t want to be the guy who puts in new technology without the right purpose. You have to change to the situation and your players. United have everything, specialists everywhere.”


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