Premier League - What the football world thinks of Van Gaal

A selection of quotes about new Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal, giving an insight into his character.

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Premier League - What the football world thinks of Van Gaal
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The Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal reacts during a news conference (Reuters)

Ex-Manchester United star Peter Schmeichel: "Van Gaal, everywhere he's been, has always had a clear direction. Some of the places he's been it's led to outright war. I don't think that's going to happen here. "I think we have a certain way we want to be, Van Gaal has a certain way of playing and I think it's not far from each other," Schmeichel added. It's very important that we have someone who's extremely experienced with the best players in the world. If it's him and it looks like it, it's a good fit.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "He is a great man. He is a great football manager and I am happy he joins me in the Premier League. More important than that, he is a great man and I wish him good.”

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guaridola: "My jaw dropped when I saw Van Gaal's Ajax play. They did everything a football team should do perfectly in my eyes."

Eurosport blogger and ex-Liverpool star Jan Molby: "Van Gaal isn’t a six-year contract man. He won’t stay at Old Trafford for that period or anything longer, perhaps not even for four or five years. But he could be the man who allows United to find their long term successor to Fergie and ease that guy into the job the way they failed to do with Moyes. Bad media handling hurts the dressing room, both directly and indirectly. This is the first place Van Gaal will address. He would bring with him instant respect and have the full attention of the squad. He also knows how to keep it. I’d dare say he would also provide the charm and ability to close a deal that Moyes and Ed Woodward’s miserable two transfer windows together lacked. And it’s already been discussed at length online just what he could do for Robin van Persie, a marvellous player who’s not exactly known for sticking at it through the tough times."

Ex-Bayern star Mehmet Scholl to the Guardian: "His thing is really working on the pitch – that's brilliant. And that's how the players learn. You know by yourself that if you learn from somebody you are curious, you want to learn more. "Some of the players, I can tell you, like Rooney, I don't think he has to learn anything more. So that will be difficult for him if the coach says: 'You have to do it in a completely different way. Whatever you did until now, change it.'

Former Netherlands assistant manager Raymond Verheijen: "If, as a player, you don’t appreciate a manager like Louis van Gaal then it is time for you to look in the mirror. If there’s one person who can help you stretch your own boundaries, then it is him. What he says is so clear, they know exactly what he wants. It transmits confidence.”

New Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs: "He has a brilliant reputation. He is a successful manager in different countries. Obviously he has taken Holland to the World Cup. He has a fantastic pedigree."

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole: "He has not managed in England but experience is massive, especially at a football club of this magnitude. He has European experience, knows how to deal with big-name players and has a history of bringing through kids as well. To have managed at those clubs he has managed at, you need something special.

Rio Ferdinand, who is leaving Manchester United this summer: "From what I've seen and heard from various people, I think he’s very strong, direct and knowledgeable about what he wants to do, very certain about what he wants to do and he doesn’t really deviate from that. And so, to be at a club like Manchester United, you need to be like that; you need to have strong values and opinions and the will to follow them through. He seems like he falls into that category. Every club he’s been to, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and now with Holland, he seems to have gotten things done his own way.  So if he does comes to Manchester United then I envision him doing the same type of thing and time will tell if it works or not."

Former Ajax star Zlatan Ibrahimovic: "One day he told me I should think more about the team while [Marco] Van Basten advised me to do the exact opposite. I asked him: ‘Should I listen to Van Gaal or a legend?’ I don’t think he liked that.”

Current Dutch international Jean-Paul Boetius: "Mr Van Gaal doesn’t just work with players on the training pitch. He believes it is important to invite players to speak to him about their lives away from the game. I had my big meeting with Mr Van Gaal before the international game against France. I was pleasantly surprised. The meetings with him are quite relaxing. I am told he has always done this at club and international level. He will ask you questions about your life and about your personality. He wants to know all about your family, your upbringing and what you do in your private life.”

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague to Sky Sports News: "If you want to understand what's happened with Barcelona the last decade or so, you have to go back to the job he put in there. If you want to understand what Bayern Munich are now, you have to understand what he did at Bayern Munich. He put the whole structure of [Barcelona] in place, started working on the positional game, he put the likes of Xavi and Puyol in the team and certainly was a guy whose dream was to have 11 players from the lower ranks of Barcelona win the European Cup."

Former Man Utd assistant manager Mike Phelan: "I've met [Van Gaal] a couple of times and he's got a very strong personality about him. But at a club like Manchester United, that's what is required. You have to hit the ground running and I'm sure he will do. There's been a lot of talk about Van Gaal and his methods but he does the job a manager has to do and he's a very good coach."

Manchester City's chief executive Ferran Soriano, who worked with Van Gaal at Barcelona: "If you treat your people badly, they remember. One day you make an error and they kill you. I've seen this in many clubs. Louis van Gaal has been a very good coach in many clubs but his style is very difficult. The same thing happened to him in Barcelona as in Bayern Munich." "He is very tough, people don't like him, but he wins. And one day you don't win — and when you don't win, everybody that is angry with you will come back to you and try to kill you. In the movies this works, in real life it doesn't."

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