Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has dropped a relative bombshell on football fans after admitting that the Old Trafford hot-seat will be his last in management.
The 63-year-old arrived to fill the void left after the dismal campaign of David Moyes and so far he’s been a registered success. Yet having been a professional coach since 1991, and having been in charge of such teams as Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Van Gaal has insisted that the time is drawing near for him to hang up his jacket for good and focus on other things.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph in an exclusive interview, Van Gaal revealed feelings felt and reasons behind decisions he has made over the course of his life in football, but the biggest statement he made was when he was asked about his future in the game.
“I am also old. This is my last job. For sure," he said.
"I have to pay attention to my kids, my grandchildren but also to my wife. They deserve it. Now I cannot pay that attention. I was not at the birthday of my grandson for example. I don’t like it.”
The United job
It doesn’t necessarily change things from a United point of view, as there could be many fruitful years for Van Gaal with the Red Devils yet. After all the former Holland boss didn’t say this season was his last, only that United would be his last job. That could mean he’s retiring at the end of this year or in ten.
It does however add another element of significance to his reign at Old Trafford, with comparisons sure to be made between he and Sir Alex Ferguson, who of course surrendered control in 2013 having deemed himself too old to continue.
His successor, Moyes, failed to steer the club along the same road they had trekked for a quarter of a century, but now under Van Gaal United are looking back where they belong.
The Dutchman, oozing control and bringing a different style to The Theatre of Dreams, has already overhauled his squad and it’s said there are plans in the works to do the same again this summer with a large budget.
The foreseeable future
Though at times this season his team have faltered, and they’ve not necessarily always played eye-catching football, a Champions League spot for next year is almost assured, and as Michael Carrick and Chris Smalling pleaded earlier this week the target is now to secure a runners-up spot.
If Van Gaal can do that he’ll certainly have earned himself another year in the job, though naturally expectations will go up during his second campaign in charge. Sooner or later he will be tasked with winning the Premier League for the Red Devils once more, and unless he can make considerable progress next term - possibly even take the trophy home - critics will always be calling for him to be replaced.
United fans, how long do you think Van Gaal should be in charge for? Should he be replaced before too long? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...