• Premier League

Meulensteen rejected for United role

ESPN staff
June 6, 2014
Rene Meulensteen spent 12 years at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson © Getty Images

Rene Meulensteen has revealed he approached Louis van Gaal about a return to the Manchester United coaching staff and was told there is no role for him in the new regime at Old Trafford.

Meulensteen spent 12 years - spread over two spells - on Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom staff and was the club's first-team coach from 2008 to 2013.

Dutch fitness coach criticises Van Gaal

  • Dutch fitness coach Raymond Verheijen has criticised Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal after Robin van Persie suffered a groin injury in the Netherlands' friendly victory over Wales.
  • Van Persie was taken off at half-time as fears grow over his fitness ahead of the World Cup. Both the striker and Van Gaal have insisted the substitution was just for precautionary reasons and nothing else.
  • But Verheijen believes the injury comes as no surprise due to the team taking part in two training sessions under Van Gaal.
  • "Holland looked tired & slow vs Wales. As expected, muscle injuries start to accumulate after weeks of intensive & double sessions.
  • "Fit but tired players who have to train intensively twice a day will accumulate even more fatigue. Injury risk will increase dramatically. Why are these NT (national team) coaches pushing their players so hard after a long season?"
  • Verheijen hit out at sacked United manager David Moyes by accusing him of over-training Van Persie during the last pre-season.

He left United last summer and had brief and unsuccessful spells managing Anzhi Makhachkala, where he only lasted 16 days, and Fulham, where he was in charge for three months.

And the Dutchman said at the release of the LMA Annual Castrol European Managers and Coaches Survey: "I would have been keen to go back.

"I spent 12 years at what is a fantastic club and never left Man United because I fell out with anyone there. But they've chosen to appoint Louis van Gaal and he has decided to bring in his own people so that is not an option.

"Have I spoken to Van Gaal? Yes, I know that is the case - it has been confirmed to me."

Meulensteen believes he could have brought some continuity to a new-look coaching team, which will feature Ryan Giggs as Van Gaal's assistant.

"It is disappointing," he added. "When you spend 12 years at a club the size of Manchester United, working in every department - not least for five years with the first team which were the most successful in the history of the club - of course you are disappointed.

"There aren't many coaches who have spent so much time with one club as I have. You would think it would make sense to have some continuity. But the people who have made the decision think their decision makes sense as well so we'll see what the future brings."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close