Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has finally put words to his feelings about getting sacked at the end of 2015-2016 campaign.
The Dutchman parted ways with the English club after spending two years at Old Trafford, during which he was heavily criticized for his ‘boring’ style of play. The news of his sacking was broken to Van Gaal less than 24 hours after the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final in May.
However, the ex-manager has accused the club of plotting his dismissal months before he was actually shown the exit door. Van Gaal stated that the decision to replace him with current boss, Jose Mourinho, had been taken as early as January 2016.
As per Mirror, the 66-year-old has compared his removal to ‘a humiliating public execution,’ as Van Gaal believes chief executive Ed Woodward betrayed him by going behind his back to bring in Mourinho.
Van Gaal said: “United put my head in a noose and I was publicly placed on the gallows. The pressure was enormous with my head in the noose and they went right behind my back. I think it was all orchestrated like a film and it was done very much behind my back right from January.
“My wife, Truus, told me that the attitude of the board had changed. Women have this intuition. They smell it. I denied it, even to my wife, because between me as a manager and the chief executive Ed Woodward, everything was running as normal.”
It was also claimed by the British national daily tabloid that the veteran manager was publicly condemned by United legends, including Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.
Adding to his emotional outrage, the Dutchman stated: “Suddenly, former players started to yap in the media that we were playing boring football and Mourinho’s sacking made it very attractive for everyone to keep bashing me.”
However, LVG suggested that he felt safe in his early days at Old Trafford, when Woodward had handed him a three-year contract instead of two, which was initially requested by the Dutch tactician. But once the draws began to pile up and the Stretford End boos became too loud to go unnoticed, the inevitable sacking became just a matter of time.
Along with it, Mourinho’s termination from Stamford Bridge fueled United’s charge to bag the Portuguese and give the 66-year-old his marching orders. The news that was eventually leaked less than an hour after the FA Cup final win was described by Van Gaal as ‘the biggest disappointment of his life’.
“I do understand that choice of United to get Mourinho,” he confessed. “I never wanted more than two years anyway. Man United wanted three years. Suddenly, Mourinho was out after one-and-a-half years of my contract and I knew United wanted him one day.
“They told me only after it was leaked out and it was the biggest disappointment of my life. United did not discuss this with me. If they had come to me with the Mourinho plan then I could have said ‘okay, let’s give it everything for the last six months, complete commitment to each other and the team and then Jose Mourinho can take over.
“They could have saved the last year of my salary by doing that, but after what happened, I made them pay every penny.”
Written by Sidharth Jindal
Sports fanatic with a passion for writing (predominantly football) and “Wants to live life to its fullest.” Writes about the Premier League on his personal blog.