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One Former Man United Legend Calls For Patience With Louis Van Gaal

One Former Man United Legend Calls For Patience With Louis Van Gaal
By Conor O'Leary

Things mightn't have gone to well for Manchester United and Louis van Gaal in their trip to Goodison Park this afternoon, but one former van Gaal student and Manchester United stalwart is convinced that United will only get better under the Dutchman. Edwin van der Sar spent six years at United, playing in three Champions League finals, winning one, while also adding four Premier League titles, and was part of the legendary Champions League winning team for Ajax in 1995 coached under van Gaal

In fact, van der Sar thinks that United aren't too far away from a serious title challenge next season. The former United goalkeeper visited his old training ground last week and was enthused by the training sessions he saw from his former boss at Ajax.

The keeper remembers how good a technical coach van Gaal was for the young Ajax team in '95 that featured the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Frank de Boer, and Marc Overmars. Not only that, but the reason why van der Sar is so excited for United's fortunes for next year is because he's teaching the exact same drill to United's expensively acquired squad:

I was really pleased to see an exercise we used in 1993 was part of United’s training. It’s a great drill, a passing drill, and those things are legendary among all of us, how much time and effort went into our development.

He really hammered in that you pass with the right pace on the ball and to the correct foot of the other player. That you use your left foot if you have to and aren’t walking around the ball. He spent hours teaching me to kick the ‘right’ way and he’s still doing things like that.

Manchester United had a typically slow start to life under van Gaal, but that's not anything that van Gaal hasn't experienced before. He's had similarly poor starts as Bayern Munich manager before winning the Bundesliga, and van der Sar remembers that's how things were in 1991 for that Ajax team:

I was reserve goalkeeper in 1991 when he started and in the league we were playing really badly and getting criticism. But we won the Uefa Cup in 1992 and that had the players believing. His eye for the technical side, technical skills — what you needed to do on the pitch — was fantastic and he gives a lot of faith to the players. It’s great for the Premier League he is here and for United to have a manager of his stature and quality.

The message from van der Sar is patience, the future could look a lot better for Man United after this season.

[The Sunday Times (€)]

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