“Biggest surprise of my life”-Former Man United boss opens up on his Old Trafford exit

Louis van Gaal opens up on Manchester United sacking

According to the Mirror, legendary Dutch manager Louis van Gaal has opened up on his acrimonious exit from Manchester United in 2016.

The 68-year-old was dismissed in the summer of 2016 after leading United to the FA Cup. An otherwise forgettable season, United finished fifth in the Premier League and were knocked out of Europe by arch-rivals Liverpool.

Van Gaal has admitted that he was completely unaware of his impending exit. He went on to compare the humiliation to having his head on a noose.

“The hardest thing was trying to survive as Manchester United’s manager when I had my head in a noose for six months.”

Louis van Gaal led Manchester United to their first trophy post Sir Alex Ferguson
Louis van Gaal led Manchester United to their first trophy post-Sir Alex Ferguson

The Dutchman still harbours resentment to the way his exit was handled. He revealed that his wife had warned him that the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was plotting his downfall.

Van Gaal was so sure of seeing out his contract that his axe came as a complete shock to him.

“It was the biggest surprise of my life when Woodward sacked me.”

The Dutchman discovered his fate at Wembley Stadium via the media soon after guiding the Red Devils to their first trophy since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Looking back with pride

In spite of the resentment, Van Gaal believes his achievements at the club rank highest across his lengthy career. Big words considering he has managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the Dutch national team in his career.

Manchester United CEO Ed Woodward
Van Gaal has blamed Ed Woodward for his downfall

“Bigger than any other trophy or what I did with Holland in the World Cup in Brazil. And, for more than one reason, I see my work at United as bigger than anything else.”

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Van Gaal’s successor, Jose Mourinho too would suffer a similar fate just over two years later. Ironically, the Portuguese would also go on to describe his success at United among the best in his career.