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“For me Louis Van Gaal is the complete coach. We talk in Holland about the big five and they are Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat and Louis Van Gaal. They are the best we have ever produced. If United were to appoint Van Gaal, I am convinced they would be very, very pleased with their decision. Every player who has ever worked with him talks about him with great respect. He defends his players in public and that is one of the many areas Sir Alex Ferguson was so good at. I see a lot of Sir Alex in Van Gaal. He is strong in his decision making, has lots of experience and knows exactly what he wants. His attacking style of football is just what United want. He is very clear in the way he wants to play. He is very ‘team’ minded. Of course he likes individual players but they have to fit into a team structure. And he is not just interested in the senior players. He was always very hands on at Ajax with the youth academy. He wants to know about everything that is going on from the young kids upwards. He is always looking to promote young home produced players.”


“Wherever Van Gaal has been he has had a strong Dutch contingent with him and will also bring in a lot of Dutch players as well. He will want his trusted coaches in there to join him. But I also think he will see it as very important that he has some English influence there who know the club. As I said, he is the boss and is a strong personality but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t listen to people. He has his own opinions, has a strong mind but he is open to other ideas. Ryan Giggs would be a great help for Van Gaal. It would be the ideal scenario for him and I don’t think he would be against that at all. Giggs knows everything there is to know about Manchester United. He is a key person in the Old Trafford organisation. He knows exactly what the fans and the directors want and I am sure Van Gaal wouldn’t want to discard that. I also think it would be great for Giggs to learn from him. It would be a two-way thing that would benefit United. I think Van Gaal could be stepping into the role at just the right time. It was very difficult for David Moyes to have to step into Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes. To follow in someone’s footsteps like that is virtually impossible because of the comparisons. I felt sorry for David because even if he’d been successful then people would have put it down to Fergie’s side. But now the next manager hasn’t got that immediate comparison. If it is Van Gaal then he is following a manager who didn’t do well and it is like starting from scratch. Ferguson’s shadow and achievements will not be weighing down on him the same. Mind you his personality is strong enough to deal with it but he’ll get time now to build a new team. He is fit, very keen and it has always been his dream to manage in the Premier League. United is right for him and he’s right for United.”