Louis Van Gaal Talks Manchester United Tenure, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Appointment

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

MUNCHEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 2: Louis van Gaal during the    match between Bayern Munchen U19 v Ajax U19 at the FC Bayern Campus on October 2, 2018 in Munchen Germany (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Louis van Gaal has criticised the way Manchester United is run and expressed his surprise at the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager.

Van Gaal, 67, was sacked as United manager just over three years ago, only days after he led the Red Devils to victory in the FA Cup final.

That was the high point of his two-year tenure, in which United finished fourth and then fifth in the Premier League.

Per Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, Van Gaal has now said he was surprised by how the club was run and recommended how things could change in order to prompt improvement:

"I think you have to change the structure in the organisation of Manchester United because now I think the balance between the football department and commercial department is not right and even slopes over to the commercial.

"What I have experienced is that I must go to the USA before the season and we have to play a lot of matches in a short time. That is a good commercial preparation but not the best for me as a football manager. Everybody was happy except me, because in the USA we won everything, but the first match in the league was a loss: Swansea. That is because every player was exhausted. When you have to start like that, that’s not good.

"In scouting players, Manchester United don’t have the organisation to deliver the best players in my opinion. Then with the education of players, you cannot say that the education of Manchester United is very good. How many players are coming through?"

The Dutchman also added that, when he joined the Manchester club, he "thought always Manchester United can buy every player because they have a lot of power," but that turned out not to be the case.

Van Gaal made some high-profile signings during his time at Old Trafford, but the majority did not live up to expectations.

Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind, Angel Di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay all left Old Trafford after largely disappointing spells.

Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo, meanwhile, could well be on their way out this summer, along with Ander Herrera, one of Van Gaal's better signings who looks set to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Luke Shaw, Sergio Romero and Anthony Martial complete the list of signings under Van Gaal, with all three having intermittently impressed at the club.

Since the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss left his post at United, his successor Jose Mourinho has also been shown the exit door at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese brought in more silverware than his predecessor, winning the League Cup and UEFA Europa League in 2016-17, and he also led them to second place in the Premier League in 2017-18.

However, Mourinho left the club in December last year after overseeing United's worst start to a Premier League season:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

26 - Manchester United have picked up 26 points after their first 17 Premier League games; their worst points haul in the top-flight at this stage since 1990-91 (also 26 points). Dip. https://t.co/FI2avHKq1D

Solskjaer was appointed as his replacement on an interim basis and oversaw a remarkable run of 14 victories in 17 matches.

He was subsequently given the position permanently on a three-year deal, at which point United's form collapsed. They closed the season with just two wins in 12 to finish sixth in the Premier League:

Premier League @premierleague

The Premier League, 2018/19: DONE ✅ #PL https://t.co/kDAuUVs9Ko

Per Jackson, Van Gaal was surprised the Norwegian, a club legend after 11 years as a player at Old Trafford, was given the job full time:

"I was very surprised he got it in spite of the winning run at the start. Because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world that needs a manager with experience and not a manager who has trained at one or two teams and on a lower level."