United announced on Monday that the vastly experienced ex-Barcelona and Bayer coach will take charge at Old Trafford when his commitments as the Netherlands boss end following this summer's World Cup.
Van Gaal said that his close friend Jose Mourinho was the first person who got in touch with him after he finally landed the job at Old Trafford.
"Mourinho congratulated me. He was the first one I texted and he was the first one to text me back. He said he was jealous of my list of clubs…especially the great AZ," Van Gaal told Dutch television chat show RTL Late Night.
The quotes from the chat show, in which Van Gaal rather bizarrely appeared alongside Mexican-American dog whisperer Cesar Milan, were translated by
Born: Van Gaal likes to refer to himself in the third person and he likes to mention his wife Truus. Just so you know.
Van Gaal also told the Dutch chat show that United were impressed with his work with young players in the past and that he would talk to Ferguson about the job.
"The aim is to bring them (United) back to the No 1 position as soon as possible because that is where they were under Sir Alex Ferguson.
"I’ll undoubtedly have a drink with Ferguson. We’ve done that before and we like each other.
"We didn’t talk about money. We talked about the players I want. We’ll have to see if we can get them. We also talked about who can go"
Bring it on. As members of the media that is all we can say about this Van Gaal appointment. While David Moyes meekly seemed to try and appease everybody (and ended up pleasing nobody) while at Old Trafford, Van Gaal will waltz into Old Trafford with a completely different attitude. He will say what he thinks, unapologetically, and it will be up to everybody else to deal with him, not the other way round. Finally we have an ego in the Premier League to match Mourinho's and their rivalry should be fascinating to watch. Whether their friendship remains in-tact is another thing. Add these two egos to the serene Manuel Pellegrini, the soundbite machine Brendan Rodgers, the professor Arsene Wenger, the all-round nice guy Roberto Martinez and whomever Tottenham bring-in and you have a fascinating cast of characters ready to roll at the top of the Premier League next season. We can't wait.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
According to newspaper reports, Van Gaal has been given a war chest of £150m-£200m to rebuild the Manchester United squad. He has clearly already given a list of names to Ed Woodward to go out and sign and the chief executive will be busy trying to strike deals while Van Gaal takes charge of the Netherlands at the World Cup. Amongst the players linked in Tuesday's papers include: Toni Kroos, Mats Hummels, Arjen Robben, Cesc Fabregas, Mario Mandzukic, Holger Badstuber and Luke Shaw. Eurobot is certainly going to be busy when he gets rebooted after the World Cup.
WHAT THE MEDIA ARE SAYING
Daniel McDonnell (The Daily Mirror): A club like Manchester United demands a serial winner at the helm, an uber coach of stature who commands respect for his reputation and achievements, something Moyes lacked, despite his laudable efforts in helping Everton punch above their weight for a decade. Van Gaal, however, fits the bill perfectly, an elder statesman of European football whose CV is, like the man himself, bullish and pretty much a blueprint for success, given the roll-call of honours he has amassed in whichever country he has managed. Humility may not be a trait with which van Gaal is familiar, his supreme self-confidence often perceived as arrogance, but United need such a figure to guide them back to the top after a season of humiliating indignity, one that stripped them of their swagger and left them exposed and vulnerable without Ferguson tearing into them on the training pitch, on the touchline and in the dressing-room.
Barney Ronay (The Guardian): There is a cartoonish element to the details of the Van Gaal myth – here he comes, this wild-eyed Don Quixote, gripped by the unreconciled obsessions of extreme discipline and creative attacking football – then this is also a deadly serious business for the world's most indebted football club, fatigued by the prospect of a season outside the elite and in real need of a post-Ferguson sense of direction. United have never had a foreign manager, the Irishman Frank O'Farrell aside. They have never appointed a manager anywhere near Van Gaal's 62 years of age. So why this one? The obvious answer is that Van Gaal represents, in outline, the complete opposite of his predecessor. Indeed, from a distance it is tempting to conclude United have been swayed a little by the managerial rotation inflicted on the England team: foreign doesn't work, go English; nice doesn't work, go nasty. Moyes offered trophyless continuity with the promise of a long stay. And received opinion seems to be that Van Gaal represents the anti-David Moyes, not so much continuity or longevity, but a gold-standard track record and a sense of playing once again with the big boys.
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