Brendan Rodgers, Wayne Rooney, Adnan Januzaj React to Louis van Gaal Appointment

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2014

Louis van Gaal, coach of the Dutch national soccer team walks towards the mixed zone after a team training in Hoenderloo, eastern Netherlands, Thursday, May 15, 2014. The 62-year-old coach, who is widely expected to be the manager of Manchester United next season, has been experimenting in recent days with a new formation which he says may sound more defensive, but will be executed according to the
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Brendan Rodgers is "really looking forward" to facing new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who he believes is a "great" of the modern game.

The Liverpool manager hailed Van Gaal during a chat with Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy of talkSPORT:

He has had great success and he has a way and a vision of how he wants the game to be played. He works with young players. Certainly his profile fits a club of Manchester United’s history. As a young manager, I'm really looking forward to working against another great coach in the world game.

Although Rodgers believes it "was really sad that David Moyes didn't get the opportunity" to continue managing United, the 40-year-old admits he has "studied and looked at" Van Gaal's style "for many years."

Jon Super/Associated Press

The Anfield leader, who recently thrust Liverpool to within touching distance of their first Premier League title, was among the many to praise Van Gaal's appointment at Old Trafford.

Plenty of reaction stemmed from the club's players, led by Wayne Rooney, who will be looking to impress the notoriously stern Dutchman:

Van Gaal, who is often praised for his development of young players, also received the backing of Adnan Januzaj. The Belgian starlet burst onto the scene under Moyes—perhaps the Scotsman's only United success alongside signing Juan Mata—and is looking forward to a prosperous tenure under the newly installed manager.

"He is an excellent coach, who has won a lot of prizes. I think United is facing a bright future," Januzaj told Belgian newspaper HLN, reported via Richard Jolly of ESPN FC.

Rio Ferdinand, confirmed to be leaving United before Van Gaal takes over, wished the new manager well alongside Ryan Giggs, his No. 2:

Van Gaal, who has won titles with Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich also confirmed he spoke to Jose Mourinho upon arrival.

"Mourinho congratulated me," he revealed, per ESPN FC. "He was the first one I texted and he was the first one to text me back. He said he was jealous of my list of clubs. I didn't call Manchester United, I didn't call Bayern Munich, they've always called me. And I'm proud of that."

Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Van Gaal now faces the difficult task of returning United to former glories. Although his haul of trophies and forthright attitude draws comparisons with Sir Alex Ferguson, there's a sense the manager will implement his own plans without interruption.

Moyes' failure has perhaps deflected the shadow of United's legendary boss, giving Van Gaal greater opportunity to stamp his influence on the club.

The approaching summer, after Van Gaal's World Cup duties with the Netherlands have concluded, is the first chance for him to begin the revolution. Like Moyes, Van Gaal will be judged on his initial batch of signings, and indeed, ability to install an entertaining, attack-minded style over United's play.