How Memphis Depay looked to Ryan Giggs to save his Manchester United career
Ducth international Memphis Depay sought help from Man Utd legend Ryan Giggs to save his Old Trafford career under Louis van Gaal.
Memphis Depay has revealed how he sought help from Ryan Giggs to save his Manchester United career.
The Dutch international struggled for consistency at United and was unable to find the same type of form which led to him receiving so much interest while at PSV Eindhoven.
Memphis failed to ever really secure a regular spot in the first-team squad under Louis van Gaal and was often moved out of position in order to rediscover his form.
The 25-year-old moved to Old Trafford as a left winger but after failing to live up to the heights he sought advice from then assistant manager Giggs on how to be a better winger.
However, Van Gaal disagreed with the need for tutoring and instead recommended the Dutch international sought help from a 'mental coach' to solve his playing problems.
"After I lost my spot in the starting line-up, I asked assistant coach Ryan Giggs to do extra training with me," Memphis said in his new book Heart of a Lion.
"To work on my crosses with my left foot, to become a better winger. After a while Van Gaal asked me to come to his office. He said that there was nothing wrong with my left foot and that the extra training with Giggs was nonsense. It’s all in your head, he also told me. That struck me. I mean, what could be wrong with trying to become a better player, with the help of a former top-winger like Ryan Giggs? More and more I got the feeling I could do nothing good according to Van Gaal.
"Later Van Gaal came to me and told me I had to talk with a mental coach he personally knew. My answer was that I wanted to think about that. I was still confident that I would succeed at United, as soon as I was adapted to the higher level of football and to my new life in England. Later on Van Gaal kept on saying that I needed to talk to that mental coach. It would benefit my focus and concentration level, he said. But I didn’t feel like talking to a stranger, also because I had my own mental coach since I was twelve already.
"Deep inside I felt that it would cause a problem if I didn’t do what Van Gaal told me. But I didn’t want to be an actor and pretend that I thought it was a good thing to do. Just to please the manager. After my third refusal to talk to that mental coach, Van Gaal didn’t speak to me for a long time. I think he’s finished with you when you don’t follow his advices. He kept putting me on the bench and at the end of the season he spoke to me again: to say that next year would be even more difficult to me, because United was going to buy new strikers. Before the last game of the season, the FA Cup-final against Crystal Palace, he even put me on the stands. Like a teacher does at school with a naughty child."