Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he may have made the “wrong choice” in taking charge of the Red Devils in 2014.
Then-manager of the Dutch national team, Van Gaal had been linked with taking charge of both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – who had recently sacked managers in David Moyes and Tim Sherwood respectively.
Should Van Gaal have chosen Tottenham? Five key things to know…
- In 2014, then-Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal was being linked with a move to the Premier League.
- Both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur had expressed interest, having sacked David Moyes and Tim Sherwood respectively.
- Van Gaal would choose United, with Tottenham going for Mauricio Pochettino, who has transformed the club.
- At the time, Van Gaal expressed no regrets due to United being the “bigger club”.
- But the Dutchman has since revealed he may have made a mistake in choosing United over Spurs.
Van Gaal would eventually pick United and lead them to fourth in his debut season, securing a return to the Champions League.
But the following season would see the Red Devils drop to fifth despite winning the FA Cup, bringing Van Gaal’s time at the club to an end.
And looking back on his decision in 2014, Van Gaal has admitted Tottenham may have been the better choice.
“Tottenham were a better selection because Manchester United were an old team and I knew I would have to transform them,” Van Gaal told the BBC.
“Was it the wrong choice? Maybe, but I follow my heart.
“I worked at the number one team in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and now also in England.
“They had seven players over 30. We spoke about that at the job interview. In my first year we qualified for the Champions League. In my second we won the FA Cup.”
Van Gaal’s snub of Tottenham saw the north London club move for Mauricio Pochettino, who has transformed them into genuine top four contenders and overseen a return to the Champions League quarter-finals.
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Van Gaal: Manchester United bigger than Tottenham
Despite Van Gaal’s recent admission of minor regret choosing Man United over Tottenham, the Dutchman was clear in his choice in 2016.
Sitting in fifth at the time, United were 12 points behind second-placed Tottenham who were looking to put pressure on Premier League leaders Leicester.
And, despite the points difference, Van Gaal was clear on the reason for his Spurs snub.
“The challenge was bigger for me at Manchester United and shall always be bigger,” he said at the time.
“I’m sorry for Tottenham but Manchester United is a bigger club.”