Louis van Gaal: Why the Netherlands manager can get more out of Robin van Persie at Manchester United than David Moyes could

The Dutchman, who will be available after this summer's World Cup, is the leading candidate to replace David Moyes at Old Trafford
  • @simonrice

Following the dismissal of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal has quickly emerged as the leading candidate to replace him at Manchester United.

David Moyes sacked by Manchester United

Should the Old Trafford hierarchy make the Dutchman the new chosen one, one particular Manchester United player will be pleased with the appointment - Robin van Persie.

The Manchester United striker has endured a quiet season by his own standards, netting 11 goals in the Premier League. The current campaign is in stark contrast to his first one at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson in which he scored 26 goals in the league.

His lack of form and the return of the injury problems that blighted his time at Arsenal led to questions over his relationship with Moyes. There were suggestions that Moyes' training methods were incompatible with van Persie, while the Dutchman also publicly criticised his team-mates after a Champions League defeat to Olympiakos.


Van Gaal, van Persie's manager with the Netherlands, also questioned the striker's role at Manchester United since the arrival of Moyes.

"The football from Man United now is, for him, maybe difficult but then he wishes to show his technique. Technique [levels] in the Dutch team [are] higher," said Van Gaal.

Robin van Persie with David Moyes


With talk of unrest behind the scenes, van Persie was moved to clarify his position, claiming he wanted to finish his career at Old Trafford. Despite those claims, questions over their relationship have remained.

Former Nottingham Forest player and Dutch international Pierre van Hooijdonk was recently asked about the impact van Gaal could have on the future of van Persie if they were paired at Old Trafford.

“Let me tell you one thing: if Van Gaal becomes manager of Manchester United, Van Persie will stay," said Hooijdonk.

“Louis will bring in a number of top players and he will create a whole new team for United – which, we can see, is necessary.”


Van Gaal certainly appears to know how to get the best out of van Persie on the international stage. This season the Manchester United striker scored six goals in four World Cup qualifiers. While van Persie has been quiet at Old Trafford this season, he is still expected to shine in Brazil.

"I think he should be great in the tournament because he loves to play in the Dutch squad," van Gaal said.

If van Gaal succeeds Moyes, van Persie might just begin to love playing for Manchester United again too.