The former Red Devils boss has lifted the lid on his time at Old Trafford and queried why an inexperienced coach has stepped into shoes he once filled
Louis van Gaal has questioned the spending power and appeal of Manchester United, while also criticising their decision to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a permanent basis.The Dutchman spent two seasons at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016, in what proved to be his last coaching role before heading into retirement.An FA Cup triumph was secured with the Red Devils, but he was unceremoniously dumped on the back of that success to make way for Jose Mourinho.
Van Gaal admits he found the going tough in Manchester, with nothing at the so-called Theatre of Dreams quite what it seemed or what he expected when agreeing to take the reins.
“The problem begins with, of course, that Manchester United was never refreshed,” the 67-year-old told The Guardian.
“I think when you are a manager you have to refresh every year to keep the team-building process going.”
Van Gaal added on his transfer frustrations: “I didn’t always get the players that I want. That’s the problem.
“There is [Ed] Woodward and his right hand is [head of corporate development] Matt Judge. Judge I met once in a while but not too much. And there was the head of scouting. That was the structure but you are always dependent on Woodward and Judge.
“I thought always Manchester United can buy every player because they have a lot of power. Seemingly a few players were not reachable for Manchester United. I cannot understand but it was like that.”
Despite being disappointed at how his time with United came to an end, Van Gaal insists he has no regrets.
He went on to say: “No. The way they sacked me was terrible. But I like my time in England, because of the culture, because of the people. A lot of humour and always supporting the manager. I have respect for everybody I worked with.”
Mourinho lasted two-and-a-half years as Van Gaal’s successor before also being ushered through the exits.
The baton has since been taken up by Solskjaer, with a 1999 Treble winner handed a three-year deal after impressing in an initial interim role.
Van Gaal is not convinced that United have made the right call in entrusting a relative novice with the task of rebuilding a fallen giant.
“I was very surprised he got it [the job] in spite of the winning run at the start,” said the former Ajax and Barcelona boss.
“Because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world that needs a manager with experience and not a manager who has trained at one or two teams and on a lower level.”