Louis van Gaal can revive Manchester United, say former Dutch stars
Former pupils Edgar Davids and Aaron Winter speak admiringly of Old Trafford appointee
Two former pupils of Louis van Gaal, Edgar Davids and Aron Winter, are in no doubt that the Dutch master will help revive the fortunes of Manchester United and help return them back to the top of the English Premier League next season.
"He [Van Gaal] is a proven winner and a very good coach and I'm a 100 per cent certain he will do well with Manchester United," Winter said. "He is a great manager and will take them back to where they were before last season."
The 62-year-old Dutchman signed a three-year contract and will take over at Old Trafford after the World Cup in Brazil, becoming the first United manager from outside Britain and Ireland
The dreadlocked Davids said: "I played under him in 1995 and 1996 and I know he will bring a lot to Man United and help build them back to the top."
Former Dutch internationals Davids and Winter were in Hong Kong this week as ambassadors of 2014 Football Dream, a mainland reality TV show which will identify two Hong Kong teenagers, between the ages of 14 and 16, who will join 22 other boys from China for the chance to train at Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
"Louis was my coach in the early 90s at Ajax and we won with him many European international tournaments. He is very good technically and his football intelligence is huge," Winter said. "He will change the organisation at Man U and will bring back attractive football to the club and give them back their identity. One of his best attributes is that he is inspirational and this will spur them to success."
Netherlands manager Van Gaal has been tasked with repairing the damage from David Moyes' disappointing 10 months in charge.
Davids, who was given the nickname "the Pitbull" by Van Gaal when he played for Ajax, said the Dutch manager would also boost the chances of the "Oranje" at the World Cup.
"I can't look into the future but with Van Gaal at the helm I believe we can do well. It's always a lottery at the World Cup. Lots of times the team you think will do well and win will not do so. But I'm quietly confident the Dutch can reach the final," said Davids, who played for his country at the 1998 World Cup.
Fellow Suriname-born Winter, who played at the World Cup in 1990, 1994 and 1998, was also confident of Dutch chances but said he hoped they would not meet the hosts Brazil until the latter stages of the competition.
"We have got a good team but at the same time we are in a tough group alongside Spain, Australia and Chile," Winter said. "I'm convinced we will finish in the top two in our group and qualify for the last 16 but I hope we don't meet Brazil."
Four years ago, the Netherlands reached the final but lost to Spain. The teams have been drawn in the same preliminary round group this year.