Sport Soccer

Sunday 21 April 2019

Van Gaal thinks Mourinho created foundations for Manchester United’s current success

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has led the club to 10 wins from 13 Premier League games.

Louis van Gaal believes Jose Mourinho deserves credit for Manchester United’s success (Mike Egerton/PA)
Louis van Gaal believes Jose Mourinho deserves credit for Manchester United’s success (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Press Association Sport Staff

Former Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal believes the success that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is enjoying at the club is off the back of the work done by Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer has turned the club around since replacing Mourinho in December and has led the club to 10 wins from 13 Premier League games, losing just once to guide the club to fifth place in the table, just two points adrift of the final Champions League qualifying place.

He has also guided United into the Champions League quarter-finals after a remarkable 3-1 win at Paris St Germain in the second leg set up a last-eight meeting with Barcelona.

ipanews_dbe90662-52a7-4521-bcce-67f635a80a8c_embedded240280675
Van Gaal feels Jose Mourinho laid the foundations of success at Old Trafford (Andrew Matthews/PA)

But Van Gaal, who was brought into the club as successor to David Moyes and led the club a fourth-placed finish in his first season in charge before winning the FA Cup in his second, says all the hard work was done by Mourinho.

The 67-year-old also questioned whether the brand of football produced by Solskjaer is more exciting than during his time at the helm.

He told the BBC: “The way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played.

ipanews_dbe90662-52a7-4521-bcce-67f635a80a8c_embedded241702434
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a three-year deal with Manchester United

“It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth.

“Solskjaer has just lost twice and he has to manage that. It is very important that Manchester United qualifies for the Champions League, as it was when I was manager.

“But they can also win the Champions League because they play a defensive system and it is very difficult to beat them, which, whether you like it or not, is the result of Mourinho’s work.”

ipanews_dbe90662-52a7-4521-bcce-67f635a80a8c_embedded226401400
Louis van Gaal says winning the FA Cup was his proudest achievement in football (Nick Potts/PA)

Van Gaal was sacked at the end of his second season immediately after winning the FA Cup and replaced in the Old Trafford hotseat by Jose Mourinho.

And the Dutchman is still unhappy that the club made contact with Mourinho while he was still at the club.

Van Gaal said: “What I don’t like is (Ed) Woodward contacting my successor, knowing in his mind he will replace me and he keeps his mouth shut for six months.

ipanews_dbe90662-52a7-4521-bcce-67f635a80a8c_embedded226401368
Louis van Gaal has recently called time on his managerial career (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Every Friday I had to go into press conferences and be asked what I thought about the rumours. What does that do to the authority of the coach?

“To win the FA Cup when, for six months, the media has a noose round my neck, is my biggest achievement.

“I spoke to Woodward the day after that game. His argument was that I was only going to be there for one more year and Mourinho would be there for three, four or five. I appreciate he hired a private plane to get me back to Portugal but his arguments were not good enough.”

Coming Soon: Independent.ie's new GAA newsletter. Sign up here

Press Association

The Left Wing: The James Lowe dilemma, Munster's tough task and Croke Park classic revisited

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport