World Football

Louis Van Gaal Says Tottenham Job Would Have Been Easier Than Manchester United

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26:  Manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United looks dejected with assistant Ryan Giggs (L) after the Capital One Cup second round match between MK Dons and Manchester United at Stadium mk on August 26, 2014 in Milton Keynes, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Stuart NewmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2014

Louis van Gaal is an outstanding manager but one thing he isn’t is a miracle worker—and so it’s proved during his time in the Old Trafford hot seat so far.

The Dutchman inherited a Manchester United squad low on morale, belief and—let’s face it—class, but £150 million later, it’s looking a different story.

United spent wildly in the summer transfer window, bringing in the kind of quality that fans have become accustomed to seeing don the famous red shirt, and it seems that’s finally put the optimistic cap on Van Gaal.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16:  Manchester United Manager Louis van Gaal waves to the crowd prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on August 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The United boss said he’d have been in for a cushy life had he accepted the manager’s position at Tottenham, but he was quick to insist he’s happy with his decision to become a Red Devil, per David Anderson of the Daily Mirror:

No, I don’t regret taking this job. Yes, it is a massive job I have taken on at Manchester United. I realise that. And the situation is not worse than I thought—I knew what I would find on my plate. I could have opted for an easier job. If I had gone to Tottenham, the job would not have been as enormous as here at United.

Spurs and Manchester United have started the 2014-15 Premier League campaign in contrasting fashion. While Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino have looked irresistible at times, United have looked anything but.

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26:  Assistant manager Ryan Giggs looks dejected with manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United during the Capital One Cup Second Round match between MK Dons and Manchester United at Stadium mk on August 26, 2014 in Milto
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Two points from a possible nine is enough for some to rule United out of the title race this season, but Van Gaal has managed to break a club record during his time at the helm—a rather unwanted one, though, as Gary Lineker revealed:

While David Moyes came into his miserable time as United manager as “The Chosen One,” Van Gaal has simply been deemed the right one but a weak squad hasn’t helped him on his quest to bring the club back to the top of the English game.

That’s something that the Daily Telegraph’s James Corrigan commented upon, saying United’s problem is pretty easy to identify:

However, now that the likes of Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao are on the United payroll—putting a sizeable dent in it, too—the solution is just around the corner.

Even Van Gaal himself was surprised to have lured so many world-class stars to Old Trafford over the last few months, saying to De Telegraaf that other clubs may not have allowed him to spend so much, reported via Dutch journalist Elko Born:

Would Tottenham be able to attract such high-calibre signings? Unlikely, and as Van Gaal says, there’s a big difference in the stature of the two clubs, per Anderson:

I could have easily gone to Spurs. But I chose the biggest challenge of all the jobs in football. And I really wanted to join the number one club in the country, not Tottenham. Financially, Tottenham was kind of as attractive as Man United. But, in my eyes, Man United is still the number one club in England, Tottenham really is not.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal poses for a photograph next to new signing Angel Di Maria at Old Trafford on August 28, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Two very different clubs, indeed, but with one shared ambition this season—get back into the Champions League.

Based on early-season form and personnel, you’d have to lean toward Spurs getting the job done over United but summer spending has finally made it an exciting time to be a United fan and, more importantly, an exciting time to be the United manager.

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