The Telegraph
Monday , July 21 , 2014
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Van Gaal will succeed at United: Woodward

Manchester: Ed Woodward has claimed that the ability of Louis van Gaal to take “difficult decisions” was a key factor in his appointment as Manchester United manager.

Van Gaal, who led Holland to the World Cup semi-finals in Brazil this month, takes charge of United for the first time when the club begin their tour of the US with a friendly against LA Galaxy in Pasadena on Wednesday.

The Dutchman is faced with the task of reviving a United team, which trailed in seventh last season during David Moyes’s disastrous campaign in charge at Old Trafford.

With senior figures such as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand leaving the club and Patrice Evra due to seal a move to Juventus, Van Gaal must resurrect the club with an experience vacuum at the heart of the defence.

Woodward, the United executive vice-chairman, insisted that Van Gaal had the credentials to make last season a distant memory.

“We’ve got someone who has confidence in himself about making difficult decisions and, when you boil down what makes a great manager, one of the key characteristics is making difficult decisions and we’ve clearly got a manager who can do that,” Woodward said.

“I’ve personally found him very warm. He’s a very clear communicator and very direct. I like that in people; I’m a very direct person myself. He’s a stickler for planning and that’s something we as a club do very well. We plan everything in a lot of detail and that’s going to be a good fit.

“I’m hearing a lot of good feedback from a lot of people about him and there is a huge amount of goodwill towards him and the coaching staff. Every interaction he’s having with people is leaving an imprint, which is superb.”

Van Gaal is expected to add to his squad in the coming weeks, with further new signings expected to join newcomers Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera at Old Trafford.

However, Woodward believes that the most important criterion Van Gaal will bring to United is his attacking style of football.

“He’s got incredible energy and very importantly he likes attacking football,” Woodward said.

“If you remember the Barcelona team [he managed] in the late Nineties, who played incredible, attacking football, and those games we had against them in ’98-99, that’s the kind of football Manchester United fans love. It’s part of our DNA.

“The second part of what he likes is giving youth a chance. He’s got a track record littered with giving young players a break in the first team, who have gone on to be stars.”