The new Manchester United manager says it is rare that someone who he has known for a short a period of time as Albert Stuivenberg could have made such an impression on him.
Louis van Gaal has called his relationship with Manchester United assistant coach, Albert Stuivenberg, peculiar.
The new United boss brought a number of his own backroom staff with him after taking over at United and Stuivenberg was one of them, despite only working with him for a year.
Stuivenberg and teamed up with Van Gaal whilst he was in charge of the Dutch national side – first working for him at under 21 level and then becoming a scout for the senior side during the World Cup – and the 62-year-old says that he has been so impressed by the up and coming coach he had to reward him with a place in his team at Old Trafford.
“I have worked with Albert now for only one year and that is peculiar for me,” he wrote on United’s official site. “Normally with my coaches I always have a longstanding relationship with them, but he has so much talent this boy.
“I picked him up in the [Netherlands] Federation, he was my coach for the Under-21s and worked as my scout in the World Cup.
“He did a remarkable job and that's why I want to reward him to be my assistant here as a coach. He has made a fantastic impression on me but also on the players, that's much more important I think.”
Stuivenberg is regarded as one of the finest young coaches in the game. He has already guided the Holland U17’s to two successive World Championships in 2011 and 2012, before Van Gaal promoted him to move up to U21’s boss and he will be looking to win more silverware at United.
The coaching staff have a tough job to return to the Red Devils to their former glories and get them competing for titles once again, but the initial signs are promising.
United remain unbeaten during their pre-season tour of the USA and they have played some fine football along the way.
One of the most noticeable features of their pre-season campaign so far has been the implementation of a 3-4-1-2 formation and it is likely that most of Stuivenberg’s time on the training ground is currently teaching the players how to adapt to this system.
He appears to be doing a good job, too, as United have played with a purpose and vigour that was missing on far too many occasions.