Soccer

Robin van Persie snubs Arsene Wenger in naming his best manager

Dutch legend Robin van Persie has used a book about Louis van Gaal to hail Sir Alex Ferguson as the best boss he ever worked with.

Van Persie, who played under Van Gaal, Ferguson and Arsene Wenger during a glittering career in which he became Holland's record goalscorer, described Sir Alex as a “super manager' in 'LVG – The Manager and the Total Person'.

The striker, who helped United win the title after arriving from the Gunners in 2012, was devastated when Ferguson announced his retirement after the Premier League had been reclaimed.

But he still rates the Scot as No 1. Van Persie said: “Ferguson really was a super manager.

“It was so brilliant how he always kept the entire squad happy and focussed.

“Wenger was a combination of Ferguson and Van Gaal.

“Arsene always emphasized all the positive things and he looked at what would work for the long term.

“Tactically he (Van Gaal) is a genius. You can’t deny that. I have had managers who had their own strengths.

“But Ferguson really was a super manager.”

Last week, Sunday Mirror Sport revealed how Wayne Rooney rated Van Gaal as the best manager he worked under – and that United were wrong to sack him after two years.

The axe fell less than 24 hours after the Reds had won the FA Cup.

But they had finished fifth in the Premier League – and Van Persie says the end was inevitable.

He said: “ Manchester United really is a beast of a club. It is tough for everyone there.

“I have played for Arsenal. Their fans love it if we played beautiful football and won plenty of games.

“At United you HAD to win. You had to play good football, you had to attack with wingers, but foremost you had to win.

“If things go well, it is the most beautiful place in the world where you can be.

“But if things don’t go well? Tough. I have experienced that myself.

“My first year was good. The second year was less good – and then you are on your own. It's tough and lonely at times. It is very hard.”

David Moyes, Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have all been sacked in the seven years since Ferguson shocked Van Persie by retiring in the summer of 2013.

The Dutchman feels the men who followed Fergie had an impossible job because time was of the essence.

Van Persie said: “Louis arrived very soon after Ferguson at Man United, only Moyes was briefly manager between those two.

“So Louis had to carry on with players Moyes had bought and players who were from the Ferguson era.

“But Louis also wanted to make his own mark in Manchester.

“So another four, five players arrived. Di Maria, Falcao, Schweinsteiger.

“At the same time he wanted to drill his own philosophy into the team.

“That required time – and time is something you don’t get at Man United.

“At Arsenal he would have. At Tottenham he would have, But at Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United? You never get time.”

He added: “Louis reckons it was the best trophy he won in his career, when he won the FA Cup with Man United.

“Knowing they were discussing his sacking well before that, I can understand his words a bit.

“But on the other hand, I don’t get it at all. It certainly was not the best trophy in my opinion.

“He has won the Champions League, the Club World Cup, and he won the league in Spain and Germany. I refuse to believe he finds the FA Cup the best trophy.

“Did this adventure at Manchester United come too quickly for him after the World Cup?

“I have asked myself that. The least you can say is that things didn't go so smooth as they did with Holland.

“Louis and the team were both heavily criticised. I don’t think we had a bad bunch of players and we did have some good performances. But we did not get many great results.”

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