Ex-United defender unconvinced by new manager Van Gaal

Former Manchester United defender Gordon McQueen has voiced his reservations over newly appointed manager Louis van Gaal.

The 61-year-old who played for Manchester United from 1978 – 1985 has expressed his uncertainty over the appointment of Louis van Gaal as the man to take charge from the failed David Moyes era at Old Trafford.

"Van Gaal comes with a terrific CV but I'm not sure he is suited to managing Manchester United," he said.

"A lot will depend on his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex has taken a step back but he is still an important person at the club.”

"We knew that David Moyes was 'the Chosen One' but Van Gaal is very much his own man with strong opinions and, if he isn't happy with something, he will take the matter into his own hands,” he added.

The Scottish-born defender ex-Leeds defender makes his statement with regard to Van Gaal’s suitability as a personality, rather than as a practitioner of the game – there are few who could doubt the Dutch coach’s credentials as a world-class coach, formerly of Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich working with and bringing through some of the finest talent in the world.

The former Red Devils’ player perhaps has a fair point with regard to the 64-year-old Netherlands boss’ character – he has described himself as ‘arrogant’ and, in effect, unequivocal about his own authority at clubs and has, subsequently, fallen out with a number of personnel in the past.

The last manager at Old Trafford to command that kind of role as an authority figure was, of course, Sir Alex Ferguson who remains a key figure at the club in terms of the direction and future and, as Gordon McQueen suggests, his relationship with the manager who held the reigns for 26 years is going to be pivotal to the team’s success.

Van Gaal is not, by all accounts including his own, a man to argue or disagree with under any circumstances as the players will likely be the first ones to be made aware of that but there is, as we have seen in the past with the likes of former captain Roy Keane, a line to be drawn when it comes to Ferguson’s authority – if it comes to it, who would come out on top, I wonder?

Ultimately, the manager has the job and therefore its his jurisdiction to run the club day to day without interference from above him but, when it comes to a club like Manchester United and a man like Sir Alex Ferguson, there may be very little room for manoeuvre in terms of the ethos: Van Gaal may find it’s the ‘United way’ or the highway.

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