Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal reveals he was a Tottenham fan and came 'very close' to joining Spurs
Louis van Gaal said he was a big fan of Tottenham and Jimmy Greaves when growing up
Tuesday 03 June 2014
Louis van Gaal, the Manchester United manager in waiting, revealed yesterday that he rejected the chance of taking charge at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Netherlands coach will replace David Moyes and join United following this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. But Van Gaal, preparing for the friendly against Wales at the Amsterdam Arena tomorrow, admitted just how close he was to taking the Spurs job when Andre Villas-Boas was dismissed in December.
Van Gaal, speaking at the Dutch base on the outskirts of Amsterdam, said: “I came very close. Very close. As a little boy I was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur with the team of Jimmy Greaves when he was the champion.
“Jimmy Greaves was my idol. So I was very close. I was a fan of Spurs during my childhood. Those fantastic white shirts and Jimmy Greaves.”
The Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, visited Van Gaal in December, but he turned down the initial approach and then chose United over the north Londoners when Moyes was dismissed in April.
Van Gaal refused to talk about his new employment at Old Trafford as his focus lies with the Netherlands. Yet the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach did offer an insight into his management style. Van Gaal has a reputation of being a disciplinarian, but claimed he just wants to be loved by his players.
“I’m bothered about whether the players like me,” Van Gaal said. “It’s very important. I am a coach who wants a good relationship with my players. And I do everything to reach that level but sometimes it is not reachable as the players are not open-minded and don’t adapt to the norms that I put in the team.
“Most of the players [I have managed] are saying lovely things about me. There are also players who are very angry with me. Franck Ribéry, Luca Toni, Hristo Stoichkov and Rivaldo.”
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
West Brom vs Manchester United: Latest score and Twitter updates, with Stephane Sessegnon, Marouane Fellaini, Saido Berahino and Daley Blind on target
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage