Louis van Gaal has pedigree for Manchester United, says Rene Meulensteen
but must respect history of the club, says Rene Meulensteen
Last Updated: 08/05/14 4:01pm
Meulensteen , who spent more than 10 years as a coach at United, told Chris Kamara and Ben Shepherd that fellow Dutchman Van Gaal has the right football philosophy to get the 2013 Premier League champions back to their best after a disappointing season under ousted manager David Moyes.
"I can see why a club like United are looking at someone like Louis van Gaal because he's got an outstanding pedigree," said Meulensteen.
"He's been in the game a long time and he's a very experienced manager. He's got a strong philosophy about how he wants to play; he showed that at Ajax, he showed that at Barcelona and he showed that with Bayern Munich.
"There's no reason why it wouldn't work but the most important thing is that they need to get it right and make sure that the man who is going to come in respects the history and culture of the club.
"As well they must make sure he builds the best possible platform to build United back to where they belong as quickly as they can."
Meulensteen, who spent three months in charge of Fulham this season, revealed that he thinks Moyes 'underestimated' the challenge ahead of him at United, despite warnings from himself and other members of the coaching staff.
"I think he has a little bit underestimated and ignored some of the advice that people were giving there, not only from myself, but Eric Steele and Mike Phelan, we were trying to help him and say: 'Listen, we can make your life really, really easy'.
"That's why I came out with a quote before saying: 'You're going from a yacht to a cruise ship,' because it's different.
"It is not just working the players on the pitch and trying to get three points; there as so many things around you and happening.
"At the end of the day it comes down to the three big things: the media, it's picking your team and your strategies of how you're going to play - that's what your staff are for, and ultimately what you are doing on the training pitch.
"What you do on the training pitch will always manifest itself on the game. These pros turn up every day and they want to be worked in the right way and that will transfer itself in the game."
The Dutchman added that his departure from United last summer was not forced by David Moyes and he would return to the club if a new manager ask him.
"It became clear to me that Dave wanted to sort of sail a different sort of road with his people," he said.
"To be fairly honest I looked at it from my way and thought, 'hold on a minute, I could be more of an obstruction than a help', and these are the things we openly discussed, and I said, 'The last thing I want is to create a situation where you're not given the best possible chance.'
"That was an open and honest discussion. I hold David in high regards; he's a man with very high integrity and that it hasn't worked out is very unfortunate for him.
"If that opportunity [chance to work with Louis van Gaal at United] would come my way, I'll say right now I would not deny it, absolutely not.
"I never left United because I fell out with Manchester United, not at all. Like I said, I felt it was a sort of Catch-22 situation where it would have be difficult for me to carry on as I was in the situation and I wanted to help David Moyes in the best possible way in the club that I could.
"This is a different kettle of fish and if Louis van Gaal would be thinking, 'I do think Rene would be an asset', I'd listen to that."