ESPN football correspondent Mark Ogden has hit back at comments from former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, who claims he was unfairly sacked by Ed Woodward.
He was asked about the matter on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement show, saying: “Louis has always been very bitter about the way it ended at Manchester United.
“But let’s be honest, for the final six months it was inevitable he was going to be sacked because the results weren’t good enough.
“Towards the end players were telling us they couldn’t bear playing for him anymore because he was so overbearing on the training ground, he was impossible to ply for and he has taken all the freedom away.
“It’s easy to blame Ed Woodward but the only thing he did that he deserves blame for is giving Van Gaal the money to sign the likes of Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria, the list goes on.”
There’s not a lot there that I can disagree with, but Van Gaal’s biggest issue is that Woodward allowed him and his staff to plan for the upcoming season while striking a deal with his successor at Old Trafford, José Mourinho.
One would think, ‘what’s with all these hacks defending Woodward at the moment?’ A conspiracy theorist would say Neil Ashton, former chief football writer for The Sun and now Woody’s PR stuntman, has something to do with that.
And they’d probably be right.
Ogden (@MarkOgden_) is a good journalist. I read a lot of his stuff in the Telegraph and their website — now behind a paywall — definitely misses his insight on Manchester United.
He is right that Van Gaal should have seen his sacking coming, but the Dutchman has every right to be bitter about his exit.
Van Gaal did win us an FA Cup after all.