Schmeichel: No bigger name than Van Gaal

The former Manchester United goalkeeper believes the incoming Dutchman is one of the best managers in the game and hopes the club can move on from their disappointing season

“Name me someone bigger and who has done more in football,” said Peter Schmeichel when asked about Manchester United’s new manager, Louis Van Gaal.

“The big clubs will always talk about the same names such as Ancelotti, Mourinho, and Wenger. Louis Van Gaal is always in there as well.”

The Great Dane was back in Singapore over the weekend and more than 200 lucky fans and guests were able to catch their idol at the Sony Soccer Clinic held at the Suntec Convention Centre on Sunday.

And Schmeichel had no doubt that the Dutchman is the best person to whip the Red Devils back into form after a disappointing season, where they finished seventh in the league and ended trophy-less.

“He has his own style and is a very determined man,” he pointed out. “He knows exactly what he wants. He’s got direction, the ability and experience at big clubs such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He’s also with the Dutch team now, a team that could possibly win the World Cup.

“So for me, you can’t go bigger than that. This is one of the very few on the top shelf.”

The Denmark skipper is also confident that Van Gaal and United will continue to attract top-notch players, despite missing out on Champions League football next season.

“He’s a big enough name and I know the list that he’s given Ed Woodward (club executive vice-chairman),” assured Schmeichel. “All of them are in talks and are willing to join Manchester United. So you can argue that United still has the brand, the players still want to come here.

“Is it going to work? I don’t know.  We’ll have to wait and see. It’s a long summer.”

Also joining the new Old Trafford management team is fellow United legend, Ryan Giggs, who has taken up the position as Van Gaal’s right-hand man.

“Ryan Giggs has been at Manchester United for a very long time, even before I arrived,” Schmeichel said of his former team-mate. “I’ve watched him in a few games in the last season. This guy is eternally young!”

“He might not be able to play all the games but he can definitely come on and start certain games and still gives the team something. So to have him stay and become the assistant manager is a fantastic thing for everyone.

“Van Gaal has picked the right guy to assist him because he needs to understands what Manchester United is. He’s in a hurry to understand that, and the sooner the better.”

But while the Dane is confident about United’s future under the leadership of Van Gaal and Giggs, he remained tight-lipped about naming any potential world-class prospects that should come in this summer, including Andres Iniesta who was mentioned by David de Gea as an ideal signing.

“Manchester United would like to have world class players,” stated the club’s official ambassador. “But I say it would be nice to have Iniesta, I don’t know how many recorders you have here and you’re going to read that Schmeichel says we have to buy Iniesta and I’m not saying that.

“With the situation United is in at the moment, I think we need some peace and quiet and let the management work to get the players Van Gaal has asked for.”

Schmeichel also insists United have to forget their abysmal season and look forward to a fresh start under a new management.

“I don’t want to talk too much about that because we all know that it wasn’t good,” he admitted. “We’ve made a lot of changes and we are going to make more changes for sure. We’ve gotten ourselves a new manager and he’s given a list of players he needs to sign, so that’s going to happen over the summer.”

“So we’ll see changes for sure. Hopefully, we’ll have a much better season.”

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