Tuesday 19 September 2017

Van Gaal's former assistant makes extraordinary claims over his role at Manchester United

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Louis van Gaal’s former assistant at Manchester United has made extraordinary claims about the power he was given at Old Trafford last season, after claiming he gave both pre and post match briefings to the first team last season.

Van Gaal was sacked by United after guiding the side to FA Cup glory at Wembley last May, with the veteran Dutch tactician noted for being something of a control freak who wanted to be involved in all areas of the club.

Yet the comments from former United assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg suggests that reputation is not justified, as he suggests Van Gaal had something of peripheral involvement in the United set-up as he edged towards the end of his acclaimed coaching career.

Stuivenberg, who has since taken over as head coach of Belgian side Genk, with these comments offering something of an alternative perspective on who was pulling the strings during the Van Gaal era at United.

“The role Louis gave me at Old Trafford was unique,” Stuivenberg stated, in quotes appearing in the Daily Mirror. “It was extraordinary that he gave me so much responsibility. He gave me his complete trust.

“At United, I was doing the training sessions for the selected first team before games. I was fully in charge.

“I was doing all the pre-match team talks, and I did the post-match talk with the team and individual players. Louis gave me the opportunity to develop myself at the top level and lead in so many ways.”

Many will be surprised by Stuivenberg’s claims, as he offered a final glowing tribute to his mentor by offering up a suggestion why the Dutch tactician developed a trust in his abilities during their time together working in the Dutch FA set-up.

“Why do I rate Van Gaal? Because he’s a man who can judge if you have quality or not,” he added.

“We had a great rapport when we worked together for the Dutch FA when Louis was national coach and I was coach of the Under-21 side.

“From there, Louis decided to take me to United. I consider that a major compliment, because Van Gaal was someone who had made his mark in the world of international football.”

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