Louis Van Gaal is not a man who forgets those who have wronged him.
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The legendary Dutch coach, 66, has spoken out about his firing from Manchester United in the summer of 2016, hours after he led the Red Devils to FA Cup success.
LVG, who led United to fourth and fifth place finishes in his two seasons in charge at Old Trafford, was fired a year early after he signed a three-year contract in 2014 to lead United back to glory.
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That didn’t happen with a bland playing style lambasted by a large majority of United’s fans and now van Gaal, speaking to the Daily Mirror, has finally lifted the lid on how he felt about his firing.
“United put my head in a noose and I was publicly placed on the gallows. The pressure was enormous with my head in the noose and they went right behind my back. I think it was all orchestrated like a film and it was done very much behind my back right from January,” van Gaal said. “My wife, Truus, told me that the attitude of the board had changed. Women have this intuition. They smell it. I denied it, even to my wife, because between me as a manager and the chief executive Ed Woodward, everything was running as normal.”
Van Gaal then revealed that he would have been fine with Jose Mourinho taking over from him at the end of the 2015-16 season but that United never consulted him about the decision and therefore he demanded he was paid the final year of his salary. He also slammed former players for “yapping in the media” about United’s “boring” style of play.
“They told me only after it was leaked out and it was the biggest disappointment of my life,” van Gaal added. “United did not discuss this with me. If they had come to me with the Mourinho plan then I could have said ‘okay, let’s give it everything for the last six months, complete commitment to each other and the team and then Jose Mourinho can take over.’ They could have saved the last year of my salary by doing that but after what happened I made them pay every penny.”
Mourinho was appointed LVG’s successor and although he had previously been complimentary of the man who worked with at Barcelona in the past, the Portuguese coach had this to say to the Sunday Times when asked about van Gaal’s regime and that of David Moyes before him at United.
“There was an evolution in the other clubs; there was no evolution in this club. In all the areas that make a team successful, I think we stopped in time,” Mourinho said. “That was quite an empty period in the club with no evolution in areas that are important. It was the weight of the past on the shoulders of the players, managers, even boards, even probably owners, because when you are used to ‘win and win and win’, and suddenly you stop, it’s like a heavy burden.”