Former Netherlands international Bryan Roy has backed his compatriot Louis van Gaal to take the vacant Manchester United manager’s seat once his commitments with the national team have ceased, claiming he would be a “revelation” for the club as they look to recover from sacking David Moyes.
The club announced on Tuesday morning that Moyes has been dismissed, with the decision to relieve him of his duties made back in February following the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Olympiakos. Van Gaal, who won the European Cup in 1995 with Ajax, has been installed as favourite for the job, which Ryan Giggs is currently tending to on a temporary basis.
Roy played under Van Gaal’s guidance during his time with Ajax, and the former Nottingham Forest striker feels he will jump at the chance to manage United because he “loves the job too much”.
“He has definitely still got the hunger,” Roy was quoted in the Daily Mirror, “I think he will die on the pitch, because he will never retire. He loves the job too much.
The next Manchester United manager: Those linked with the Old Trafford hot seat
The next Manchester United manager: Those linked with the Old Trafford hot seat
1/10 Jurgen Klopp
Currently the manager of Borussia Dortmund, Klopp coached his team to the Champions League final in 2013. He also delivered back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12, despite Dortmund being in the financial shadow of Bayern Munich. All of that was achieved while playing a distinctive attractive style of football. After six years at the club, it could be time for the 46-year-old German to move on, however he has already said he is happy to stay.
2/10 Fabio Capello
The former England manager has coached the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus and Roma. He now resides over the Russian national team who topped their group in qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to ensure they are at the biggest tournament of them all for the first time since 2002.
3/10 Louis van Gaal
Dutchman Van Gaal will be leading his national side at this year's World Cup in Brazil. He has taken charge of both Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the past and won the Champions League in 1995 with Ajax. In total, he has won over 60 per cent of his 780 games in management and he's made it very clear he covets a position in the Premier League. Heavily linked with Tottenham prior to David Moyes' sacking.
4/10 Sir Alex Ferguson
Considering he's at every game anyway, a switch from the stands back to the dug-out doesn't seem inconceivable for Sir Alex Ferguson. It'd certainly be a popular choice among fans having achieved so much success in his long time in charge. The winner of 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles, if there's anyone who can succeed Ferguson, it's Ferguson.
5/10 Frank De Boer
Although his managerial experience is relatively small in comparison to other potentials, he has already shown he can win domestically. Since taking over at Ajax in 2010, in his first job as manager, De Boer has won the Eredivisie in three consecutive attempts, with his team currently well clear at the top of the league this season. Has been regularly linked with the biggest vacancies in Europe.
6/10 Antonio Conte
Winner of the Serie A manager of the year in 2011-12 and 2012-13 after leading Juventus to the title in those seasons, as well as a Champions League winners medal to his name as a player, Conte has pedigree. Since taking charge in Turin three years ago, the Italian has returned Juventus to the dominant force in Italy, with the club destined to win their third title in a row this term. That kind of dominance is exactly what United crave.
7/10 Diego Simeone
Simeone has been enjoying much success since taking over at Atletico Madrid. His excellent win rate has seen the club win the Europa League and Super Cup, and against all odds challenge Real Madrid and Barcelona for La Liga title this season. He'd have to hope his history with David Beckham didn't count against him if Manchester United came calling.
8/10 Michael Laudrup
Despite a rather sudden and messy divorce from Swansea City earlier this year, Laudrup did show he was capable of managing at the highest level. He won the League Cup with the Welsh club, the first major trophy in the club's history, and he did it with a brand of football that won many plaudits. A legend as a player, the Dane has the gravitas for such a huge position as Manchester United manager.
9/10 Harry Redknapp
Currently manager of QPR, Redknapp has often been a fan favourite across English football, winning manager of the year in 2009/10 as well as the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008. At one stage he looked a certainty to be the next England manager, only to lose out to Roy Hodgson.
10/10 Ex-United players
If Manchester United were to choose from one of their own, they would have plenty of ex-players to pick from. Ryan Giggs is the most obvious choice after being installed on a temporary basis after Moyes' departure. Others in management who served as a player under Sir Alex Ferguson include Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, both Neville brothers and Steve Bruce. Mark Hughes played for United along with Gordon Strachan and Laurent Blanc. While none of them have particularly overachieved in any of their positions, a former player tends to be popular with fans, and can be rewarded with success.
“He will never turn down Manchester United, believe me. I think it's the job he really wants. And he will be a revelation at Manchester United.
“He is, without question, the best manager I have ever played for. For me, he has proved himself to be one of the best managers and coaches in the world.”
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Van Gaal has made his name in winning league titles in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany as well as a Champions League and Uefa Cup, and he would love to end his time on the international stage with a World Cup success when he leads his country to Brazil this summer. He has developed a reputation as a strict disciplinarian, for which he is known for almost as much as his ‘Total Football’ attacking philosophy, as Roy recognised.
“He is very disciplined, very strict and is very attacking in his philosophy. I know English football well, and his style is suited to that,” Roy continued.
“He believes in wingers, he is very strong and very tactical. The best word I can think of is demanding.
“On the pitch, every player will be told their job, they will know exactly what is expected of them, their position and role in the team.
“The way he prepares his teams is outstanding. In terms of organisation and tactics - the way he sets teams up will suit English football - is superb.
Roy did concede that he may have a weakness in terms of developing the individual fitness of the current United squad, namely because of the pace and physical challenge that the Premier League poses.
“I don't know so much about fitness anymore and that's the only thing he may lack, simply because you have to be so fit to play in England. That's such a big part of the game in England,” admitted Roy.
“But if you look at the teams he has managed, they have always played attractive and exciting football. He will bring that to Manchester United. If he goes there, he will be a huge success.”
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Roy is currently back at Ajax, coaching their reserve side as they look to return the club to their former glory days under the guidance of Frank de Boer, and he feels that helping to develop the talented youth system that United have in place will be another reason why Van Gaal would be a success at United, should he take the job.
“I look at Manchester United and they have a lot of young players,” he said.
“They will respond to him as well as the older ones who will have respect for him.”
Any appointment would also see Van Gaal and the current Netherlands captain Robin van Persie link up, and with Moyes struggling to get the best out of the striker given his dip in form and recent injury troubles, Roy believes the partnership would be a positive for United.
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“I know Robin van Persie will work well with him. He can handle the big clubs because of where he's been before and the big players,” continued Roy.
“He can be difficult and he is strong and strict. I can't deny that I had some problems with him but I was a young player and you learn. We go back to the word demanding and he always demands his players to know their job, to work hard and do their best.
“You must do that because of the way he sets up his teams. Everyone must give 100 per cent to make his style work. If you give him everything then he is a very good manager for the players and they will learn and be successful under him.”
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