Louis van Gaal has criticised the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and the prospective arrival of Rio Ferdinand as technical director – in a withering assessment of how Manchester United is run.
The 67-year-old has not coached since his two-year spell at Old Trafford came to a premature end in 2016 and has never hid his frustration at being replaced by Jose Mourinho.
United are now rebuilding under the Portuguese manager’s successor, Solskjaer, and want to overhaul their approach to recruitment, but Van Gaal believes links with former players such as Ferdinand is a worrying sign.
‘As a good player, you’re not a good manager or you’re not a good technical director,’ Van Gaal told The Guardian when asked about United’s interest in bringing Ferdinand back to the club as technical director.
‘It’s more or less what is happening now with Solskjaer, ex-players, old boys’ network. It’s not always a good choice. It can be but it’s not always a good choice.’
Asked what is required from the technical director role, Van Gaal continued: ‘First of all you need knowledge of the game, methods of training, preparation experience, youth education, scouting and you have to think in structures.
‘So you need a lot of experience in the football world. When you are in your profession as a technical director, you have developed a name, then you have a big network and you can always make use of that network.’
On the decision to appoint Solskjaer permanently, he added: ‘I was very surprised he got it in spite of the winning run at the start.
‘Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world that needs a manager with experience and not a manager who has trained at one or two teams and on a lower level.’