MANCHESTER: Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has told Sport Bild he no longer holds a grudge against his successor Jose Mourinho, but criticised CEO Ed Woodward for not giving him more time in England.
Mourinho took over from Van Gaal in the summer of 2016 after the former Bayern Munich boss was dismissed despite winning the FA Cup in what proved his final match in charge.
“I’m not disappointed in Jose Mourinho,” Van Gaal told Sport Bild. “Every coach wants to manage Manchester United. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Jose wanted that too and was given the opportunity to do so although he was sacked when he was 13th with a fantastic side like Chelsea. I am not accusing him of any wrongdoing but, on the other hand, my team had just come fourth.”
Van Gaal, however, was more critical of United’s CEO Ed Woodward, who fired him a few days after the FA Cup success at Wembley.
“I don’t think it’s correct when a CEO says we are totally happy with you and the media doesn’t believe him. Then you win the FA Cup and you are sacked anyway,” Van Gaal said.
Despite attempting to make his peace with Mourinho, Van Gaal singled out Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for special praise.
“Pep Guardiola is currently the Premier League’s best coach,” he said.
“Pep has made [Manchester] City a machine. He is playing the type of football that I wanted at Manchester United. However, he has better players for that. I needed more time for this process, which I unfortunately didn’t get.”