Louis van Gaal insists Jose Mourinho was a poor fit for Manchester United because he ‘never gives youngsters a chance’.
Mourinho spent two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, surviving slightly longer than the two years Van Gaal managed from 2014 to 2016.
The Dutchman’s brand of football was roundly criticised by supporters but he did blood youngsters like Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Andreas Pereira. Mourinho, by contrast, improved the style of football but largely neglected United’s academy.
And, after Mourinho claimed that injuries ‘forced’ Van Gaal into using the likes of Rashford, the Dutchman hit back at the Special One’s claims.
‘I read something from Mourinho saying I only did that out of necessity. Not true. I created the necessity,’ Van Gaal told the BBC. ‘Manchester United had over 30 players. I brought them back to 23.
Then I had an open selection for the youth academy. I did that at every club. That is why a lot of young players have made their debuts with me.
‘A lot of trainers, like Mourinho, never give youngsters a chance. Yes, five minutes. Solskjaer, 10 minutes. That is not a chance. A chance is a game. ‘Too much experience is not good.
Then you have an automatic pilot. You always need imagination and you cannot forget how inspiring young players can be. ‘If you are not willing to trust young players, you are not suitable to be a manager of a club with a youth education.’
Van Gaal spent over £250m at Old Trafford but his outgoings caused as much dismay as his incomings.
The Dutchman’s arrival was supposed to boost Robin van Persie’s United career after it dipped under David Moyes but Van Gaal says the forward was not fit enough to play in his system.
‘Wayne Rooney should have been the number 10 but Robin van Persie was not fit enough for the Premier League, which meant Rooney was the best striker we had,’ said Van Gaal.? ‘But Manchester United needs the best striker in the world’.