Football News

Gary Neville hits back at ex-Man Utd boss Van Gaal: “worst I’ve ever seen”

By Harry Edwards

Published: 11:44, 30 March 2019

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has criticised ex-manager Louis van Gaal for coaching the “worst” style of football he has ever seen his former club play.

Van Gaal spent two seasons at Manchester United between 2014 and 2016, during which time he won the FA Cup, and has recently spoken out about his time at the club.

What’s Neville’s problem with Van Gaal? Five key things to know…

  1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December.
  2. The Norwegian, Neville’s former teammate, has taken United to within two points of top-four spot…
  3. …and despite many injury problems staged a dramatic comeback against PSG in the Champions League.
  4. But Van Gaal recently accused Solskjaer of using ‘park the bus’ tactics.
  5. Neville previously said Van Gaal “poor” signings at United have hamstrung his successors.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Van Gaal criticised the two managers to succeed him in Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Dutchman accused the pair of “parking the bus”, but Neville has hit back at Van Gaal – dubbing his football the worst he has seen.

“I saw Louis van Gaal the other day say that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s football is like Jose Mourinho’s but winning,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Van Gaal’s football at Man United was the worst I’ve ever seen and Mourinho’s was far better, even though it wasn’t acceptable in terms of what the fans want to see.

“We’ve had a lot of change at the club in the last four or five years with different managers coming in, world-class managers and it hasn’t worked.

“Ole has brought a level of happiness and excitement back to the fans, which is at least something because it has been difficult to watch over the last three or four years.”

Solskjaer took over from Mourinho in December, initially in a ‘caretaker’ capacity until the end of the season. But his influence in turning United’s season around has seen Solskjaer recently given the permanent job on a three-year deal.

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What did Van Gaal say about Mourinho and Solskjaer?

Seeking to defend his ill-fated spell at Old Trafford which saw him sacked just days after winning the FA Cup, Van Gaal called out Mourinho and Solskjaer for their style of play.

He said: “People think we have only had fake news since Donald Trump became president. In football, we have had it for 50 years.

“The coach after me [Mourinho] changed to park-the-bus tactics and played on the counter. Now there is another coach who parks the bus and plays on the counter. The main difference between Mourinho and Solskjaer is that Solskjaer is winning.

“I am not there but there does look to be a change and the atmosphere seems to be better. It is also true that Solskjaer has changed Paul Pogba’s position and put him into an area where he is much more important.

“But the way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played. It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth.”