Exclusive: Interview with Louis van Gaal
The BBC's Hugo Montgomery got the chance to talk with Louis van Gaal
Hugo Montgomery: Welcome back listeners to BBC Radio 5. We're now joined in the studio by none other than former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to talk about his past, his present and his future. Louis, welcome and thankyou for joining us.
Louis Van Gaal: Pleasure to be here.
HM: First of all, how's your sabbatical been, assuming its over now? Has it been good to step back from management for a while?
LVG: Yeah it has been, definitely. I spent most of my time away at my holiday house in Portugal, with my wife, and we enjoyed our time away. I'm on retirement age now, so it was good to at least have a little bit of a break before throwing my name back into the game.
HM: Looking back now, did you enjoy the Manchester United job and do you have any regrets?
LVG: I wouldn't say so. I'm still a bit sad that the board didn't allow me more time to imprint my style on the club, I think our third season would have brought results, but in the end its up to them and they thought Jose was a better option. Who am I to say otherwise?
Louis van Gaal has no regrets about his Manchester venture
HM: If I may ask, what was the procedure like when you were sacked as manager?
LVG: I don't want to reveal too much, but I will say, to be removed two days after winning a trophy surprised me.
HM: We'll move on, then, to what you're doing at the moment. You've been linked with a few jobs in the last few weeks. West Ham, for one, who decided to appoint Juande Ramos, and Ajax, who are yet to make a decision on Peter Bosz's position at the club. Are you still waiting for the perfect opportunity?
LVG: Definitely, I've had the opportunity to jump into management before now but I'm waiting for the best option. I attended an interview with the West Ham board but they disagreed on the amount of money I wanted to use in the transfer market; they gave the job to Juande. Ajax have said they are interested, but have to put their confidence behind Peter. I've rejected offers from Serie A and the Eredivisie, just because I want to wait for the best opportunity.
Juande Ramos was confirmed as West Ham manager last week
HM: You've managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich, the Netherlands. You've won the pinnacle of club football in the Champions League and you just recently managed the biggest club in England. Will you be willing, at all, to take a step backwards so to say, with your next destination?
LVG: I don't think I'm going to look at it like stepping forwards or backwards. I'll evaluate the offers and decide whether or not its a suitable challenge for me. I might manage a club much smaller than United or Barcelona if the club interests me.
HM: At this stage in the season, most clubs will come knocking for a manager to save them from a disappointing finish. Is that something you'll be content with, or do you think you'll wait until the end of the season to pick up a role?
LVG: I'm quite happy to step into a job now, there's still a few months left in the season and it gives me a chance to have a bit of a run-up to the next season. I think I'd rather take a job in the next few weeks than wait until the end of the season.
HM: Do you think your age will be an issue, and how long do you think you'd manage before announcing your retirement?
LVG: I understand that my age might be something that puts clubs off, but I still think I have at least 5 years of management in me. My ideas can continue to adapt and change and I can definitely bring success to any club.
HM: It's now been around 3 weeks since you announced your return to management, and we're yet to see you take up a role. Are you content to remain patient?
LVG: Definitely, and I know eventually, a suitable role will come up. That's the nature of football these days. You really do have to work hard to secure your job.
That was our interview with Louis Van Gaal