Davids believes Van Gaal is still the man

No one better to give youth a fling at Old Trafford than LVG

In attendance at the announcement of the International Champions Cup match were Celtic captain Scott Brown and former Barcelona star Edgar Davids at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin Photo: Sportsfile

Paul Hyland

Edgar Davids believes that Louis van Gaal will leave Manchester United a stronger club when he walks out of Old Trafford.

The much-decorated Dutchman has been a van Gaal fan since they met at Ajax and credits him with moulding the successful player he eventually became.

In Dublin with Scott Brown and promoter Charlie Stilitano to launch the Irish leg of the International Champions Cup at the Aviva on July 30 when Celtic meet Barcelona, Davids revealed that his experience with van Gaal was very rewarding.

"Fantastic. He is very clear. He gives you guidelines. There is room to excel and to grow. I had a terrific time with him," said Davids who credits van Gaal for his career success.

"He moulded me, that's for sure. Van Gaal taught me the fundamentals of football and definitely made me the player I was until I stopped playing. That's what van Gaal can do.

"If you look at Ajax, at Bayern Munich, before van Gaal, I had never heard of Mueller and now he is one of their best players. And so so and so on."

"He's doing the same at Old Trafford with now. Last season, did you hear about Marcus Rashford? No."

Davids reckons that his old mentor has been getting a bad deal in the English media.


"I don't follow the media that well, But I can understand that its annoying if people are writing that you are sacked or are going to be sacked and it's not the truth. That's not nice to write.

"But if you are a manager or a player for a top side, this is going to happen. If things are not going so well, before you know it they want to sign the janitor. If he's available," he said with a grin.

"That comes with the territory. If you are at a top side and you are not performing, this is the result."

Davids shrugged off José Mourinho's role as the other man in van Gaal's relationship with Old Trafford.

"Even when Mourinho was a coach and he was not doing well there was speculation about other coaches. It always is this way. When he leaves, he will leave a strong platform for the next coach at Man Utd.

"He did that with all the teams he's been. So in that sense, it's a blessing for Man Utd that they have a coach such as van Gaal," said Davids.

Scott Brown has own preoccupation with managers coming and going but he kept a very straight bat when quizzed about Roy Keane's suitability for the forthcoming vacancy at Parkhead.

"At the end of the day, it's whatever the Board decide. It's not for me to say that Roy, or even myself if I can chuck my name in there. The U-20s have not been bad this year!" he laughed.

"No, whoever comes in, we'll work very, very closely with. He'll be given a lot of faith by Peter as well like Ronny did, like Neil did and Tony and Gordon as well."

Both men left Charlie Stillatano to do the talking about the International Champions Cup and his main job was to row back from previous comments about Leicester City and whether they are worthy participants in the Champions League because of their tiny contribution to the global "moneypot".


"What I think the biggest challenge is, is the disparity in money between the clubs."

"I would say you have to keep teams like Leicester in, and Atletico Madrid, they are two great examples of teams that absolutely should be in any type of Champions League.

"They deserve to be in it, is my belief. And they make the competition exciting," he said.

"I would not want is to see a closed league where it's just the rich teams and no one else can get in. I'm 100% in favour of the Celtics, the Leicesters, teams like this should be a part of it, absolutely."