Louis van Gaal promises to ‘make history’ as Manchester United manager with Ryan Giggs his No 2

Dutchman is confirmed as new man at Old Trafford after weeks of speculation.
Louis van Gaal will guide the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup and then take over as Manchester United manager. Michael Kooren / Reuters
Louis van Gaal will guide the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup and then take over as Manchester United manager. Michael Kooren / Reuters

Manchester United appointed Louis van Gaal as their new manager on Monday.

The Dutch coach, 62, who will began work in July once his commitments managing the Dutch national team in the World Cup finals are over, will be tasked with repairing the damage from David Moyes’ disappointing 10 months in charge and reviving the fortunes of one of the world’s biggest clubs.

His first United game will be in Los Angeles on July 23rd in a pre-season friendly against LA Galaxy.

Van Gaal, who has signed a three-year contract, becoming the first United manager from outside Britain and Ireland said: “It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud.”

Van Gaal, who has won titles in Spain, Germany and Holland, added: “I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”

Van Gaal the right choice as United rip up long-term plan, says Richard Jolly

Ryan Giggs, 40, will be Van Gaal’s assistant manager. United’s record appearance holder met Van Gaal in the Netherlands last week and the meeting went well. Giggs said: “I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager. Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters.”

“Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I’m delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role.”

Giggs, who will also retire as a footballer after a record 23 years and 963 appearances in United’s first team, began as a coach under David Moyes last season when United finished 7th, their lowest league finish since 1990. Giggs will be part of a coaching team also including the goalkeeping coach, Frans Hoek, and Marcel Bout, who joins as assistant coach. Hoek worked with Edvin van der Sar and Victor Valdes, while Bout has worked with Bayern Munich, AZ and Feyenoord.

The club has been in a state of flux since the retirement of Alex Ferguson last May after nearly 27 years in charge. Moyes, Ferguson’s successor, was dismissed last month before the side went on to finish seventh – their lowest placing since the Premier League’s inception in 1992. United also failed to qualify for European football for the first time in 24 years.

Van Gaal is likely to be handed considerable funds to strengthen the squad to get United back in the Champions League. A return to Europe’s top competition will likely be the priority, followed by a desire to play the kind of attacking, dynamic brand of football expected at United but unable to be delivered by Moyes.

Read Ian Hawkey’s profile of Van Gaal – the anti-Moyes

Ed Woodward, the United vice-chairman, said in a club statement: “In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today. He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story.

“Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club’s history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us. People know him as a larger than life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence. I’m looking forward to working with him.

“I’m delighted that Louis has chosen Ryan as his assistant. Ryan’s association with the club spans over two decades and his knowledge and stature will be of great use to Louis. In addition, this is a fantastic opportunity for Ryan to learn his trade alongside a world-class manager whose attacking instincts and belief in youth are tailor-made for Manchester United.”


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Published: May 19, 2014 04:00 AM


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