Created on 11-07-2009 at 00:00 AM
It was his first match in charge of Bayern, but Louis van Gaal was serenity personified. Not blinking once as flashbulbs popped around him, he calmly took his place in the dug out at the Red Bull Arena. After swiftly jotting down his opponents’ formation in his notebook, he occasionally consulted his assistants Andries Jonker and Hermann Gerland. Van Gaal only once shouted tactical instructions in the direction of the pitch, and that was already midway through the second half. Even for that, he did not leave his seat. He only rose from the dug-out twice, first to applaud Niko Kovac as the Croat took a lap of honour 15 minutes into the game, and second to escape a torrential downpour on the half-hour. The new Bayern boss followed the rest of the match without any great show of emotion.
And why not? Van Gaal professed himself “not dissatisfied” with a goalless draw against Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg on the Arena’s artificial turf. It was the first friendly after just nine days of pre-season training, whereas the Bulls face their first competitive test this coming Wednesday. “Given we’ve only trained for a week, there were recognisable signs of what we’ve been working on. We were very disciplined when not in possession,” the Dutch supremo analysed