• Premier League

Van Gaal is the man to fill Ferguson's boots - Evra

ESPN staff
June 19, 2014
Patrice Evra is currently on World Cup duty with France © Getty Images

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra believes the Old Trafford hierarchy have made the right choice in appointing Louis van Gaal as the club's new manager because he is of the same managerial ilk as Sir Alex Ferguson.

After a disastrous season under David Moyes which saw United relinquish their Premier League crown and fail to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years, little time was wasted in appointing Dutchman Van Gaal as Moyes' successor on a three-year deal.

The 62-year-old, who has won titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax, will take the reigns at Old Trafford with the reputation of a strict disciplinarian and an adept tactician.

He is expected to begin his new role once his involvement in the World Cup with the Netherlands is complete, but Evra already believes United have chosen the right man for the job.

"Van Gaal is a great coach," Evra said. "And he enjoyed a good start in this World Cup."

Netherlands have made a good start to their World Cup campaign, winning two from two, and having spoken to his team mate Robin van Persie about his new manager, Evra insists van Gaal can help United return to the glories they enjoyed under Ferguson.

"Robin [van Persie] told me he's a coach who likes discipline. That's good because I love discipline - don't forget I played under Sir Alex Ferguson! He's a good choice for Manchester United."

Evra ended speculation that he would follow Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand out of Old Trafford by signing a new 12-month contract with the club after Van Gaal's appointment.

The left-back was signed by Ferguson from Monaco in 2006 and after taking time to adapt to the Premier League, has established himself as one of United's most reliable performers, thriving under the Scotsman.

Evra is not alone in believing Van Gaal will be a success at United. Former Netherlands midfielder Ronald de Boer has no doubts that his former manager will be thrive in the Premier League.

De Boer played under van Gaal extensively at both club and international level and insists he has the pedigree to turn United's fortunes around.

"I think you are getting one of the best managers in the world so the chance of success is high," de Boer told MUTV. "I believe that, especially when you have patience, he will get success because he's so determined to do well but also he has a great vision."

Although enjoying success in several of Europe's top leagues, Van Gaal has yet to work in England. But De Boer believes his compatriot can add more honours to his long list of achievements during his time at Old Trafford.

"On his tactics, he will know the weak points of the opponents, and what the team needs, so he can really make a very strong team and a team that believes in each other," De Boer said.

"Sometimes it takes time to get that belief from the players, some will not accept that and will drop off, but when you have everybody together, believe me, you will have great success.

"I've seen so many coaches and he stands out so far ahead."

It has been a chastening 12 months for United but the incoming manager will have all the tactical nous and experience to reignite the Old Trafford spark, according to De Boer.

With Van Gaal currently coaching the Netherlands in Brazil, he will have little time to work with chief executive Ed Woodward in trying to strengthen his squad. United have been heavily linked with a number of potential targets but nothing has been completed.

However, the high esteem in which the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach is held could help attract players to Old Trafford, according to Wesley Sneijider. The midfielder, who was a long-time target of Ferguson, admitted he would consider a move to the club now that van Gaal is in charge.

One player who is likely to be on his way out of Old Trafford, however, is Alexander Buttner. The left-back launched a scathing attack on the incoming manager after he has continually overlooked him for the Dutch national side and has stated his intentions to leave England this summer.

Van Gaal's first taste of Premier League action will be at home to Swansea City on the opening day of the season, the same side against whom Moyes' began his ill-fated tenure.

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