Search for your sports books:


Read Review
<back to archive

O, Louis: In Search of Louis van Gaal By Hugo Borst

Release date: 01st December, 2014
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press

List Price: 9.99
Our Price: 7.99
You Save: 2 (20%)
Buy Now

The statement made by Louis van Gaal, which appears on this book’s front cover, could be interpreted as a deliberately provocative piece of marketing. “This book will sell well,” says the Manchester United manager. “Everything with my face on it sells well.”

It’s the type of arrogant, conceited, or perhaps realistic comment we would expect the man to make, for even after just a few months at Old Trafford, the Dutchman is clearly someone who doesn’t under-rate his ability, either as a manager or, it would appear, as a commentator on the economics of the publishing industry.

Yet at the risk of contradicting one of football’s most talented managers, I wonder whether this book will sell well.

It’s sub-title, In Search of Louis van Gaal suggests that the author eventually completes his voyage and discovers the real character behind the rather brusque, no-nonsense persona we’ve grown used to seeing in post-match interviews, but if Hugo Borst discovered anything new during his quest, he’s not sharing much with his readers.

Admittedly, there are tantalising snippets which throw some light on the man who could become a long-term fixture in English football.

For example, his humanity and strong sense of duty is evident in a tale Borst recounts from 2006 when van Gaal heard that a well-known Dutch referee was in hospital, seriously ill with cancer. The same night as he received the news, van Gaal and his beloved wife Truus drove to the hospital to visit the former referee where they chatted about incidents in different matches. The nursing staff didn’t bother enforcing any visiting hour rules, so the van Gaal’s stayed until 10.30pm. Three days later, the ref died.

Other anecdotes focus on van Gaal’s loyalty to friends, while we’re told that he lost “six million” in Bernie Madoff’s fraudulent ‘Ponzi’ scheme and a series of short essays concentrate on his role as national team manager at last summer’s World Cup.

These short snippets help readers form an idea of who the real LVG is, but after reading this book, the search for a comprehensive analysis of his character remains frustratingly incomplete.

<back to archive


SBOTM Current Top 10

Get It On: How the ?70s Rocked Football By Jon Spurling
Read Review Buy Now
Time on Rock By Anna Fleming
Read Review Buy Now
41-Love: A Memoir By Scarlett Thomas
Read Review Buy Now
Anatomy of a Football Scout by Jon Cotterill
Camara Brasileira
Read Review Buy Now
Sweat: A History of Physical Exercise By Bill Hayes
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
52 Ways to Walk By Annabel Streets
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
Fit And Proper People By Martin Calladine & James Cave
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
God is Dead The Rise & Fall of Frank Vandenbrouke By Andy McGrath
Bantam Books
Read Review Buy Now
Butler to the World How Britain Became the Servant of Oligarchs, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals By Oliver Bullough
Profile Books
Read Review Buy Now
A Delicate Game Brain Injury, Sport and Sacrifice By Hana Walker-Brown
Read Review Buy Now

© 2004-2022 Sharks Media Limited.