HARRY RED­KNAPP ON VAN GAAL’S FU­TURE

Do not be­lieve hype about young play­ers com­ing through at United

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - FRONT PAGE - HARRY RED­KNAPP

There has been a lot of talk that Louis van Gaal will find him­self out of a job if Manch­ester United do not win the FA Cup this sea­son. The idea seems to be that if they do not make the top four then Van Gaal needs to win a tro­phy to have any chance of be­ing in charge come Au­gust.

Well, I am sorry, but that is an ab­so­lute load of rub­bish. The Manch­ester United board need to know that Van Gaal is the man to take them for­ward, and one game against Crys­tal Palace should not de­cide his fate.

In my mind, he has done a steady job at Old Traf­ford. I am not com­pletely sure he is the right man for Manch­ester United, but you have to re­mem­ber how dif­fi­cult that job was when he first came in.

Sir Alex Fer­gu­son is one of the great­est man­agers in his­tory, up there with the likes of Brian Clough and Bill Shankly, but the side that won the ti­tle in his fi­nal sea­son was not a great team.

We have seen what has hap­pened to them since un­der David Moyes and now Van Gaal, and they look like what they are – a top-six team, rather than a top team.

That is partly in­evitable when the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Sc­holes, Rio Fer­di­nand and Ryan Giggs move on, and we knew who­ever suc­ceeded Fer­gu­son was go­ing to have a mas­sive re­build­ing job on their hands.

Af­ter suc­ceed­ing Moyes, Van Gaal has been do­ing that, and he has cho­sen to do so by bring­ing through a whole load of young ta­lent.

Now, that is great, but I re­ally do not see an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic group of young­sters com­ing through there, no mat­ter what some will have you be­lieve.

Mar­cus Rash­ford is clearly an ex­cep­tional ta­lent, and I re­ally hope he goes on to ful­fil his po­ten­tial. An­thony Mar­tial is a good young player too, but he is en­ti­tled to be half-de­cent con­sid­er­ing how much United spent on him.

But then what have you got be­hind that? Jesse Lin­gard? Again, a good player, but we’re not talk­ing about a David Beck­ham or Ryan Giggs are we? Come on. There is no way he would have got into the United team a few years back.

There are oth­ers com­ing through, but I think ev­ery­one is get­ting car­ried away – we are not talk­ing about any­one as good as Harry Kane or Dele Alli here.

I cer­tainly do not think this is a gen­er­a­tion that is go­ing to come through and win you league ti­tles, that is for sure. And I look around that United team and won­der who would have got into Fergie’s great sides. David de Gea is fan­tas­tic and would have a chance, but I do not know if you would pick him ahead of Peter Sch­me­ichel or maybe even Ed­win van der Sar.

Wayne Rooney is an­other who would be in with a shout, while Michael Car­rick has been in great teams but is not get­ting any younger. Apart from that, I do not see any­one who would come close, and that un­der­lines the prob­lems United will face next sea­son – no mat­ter who is in charge.

I think they need at least two or three top-drawer play­ers this sum­mer, and it will be dif­fi­cult to find them. Also, if they do de­cide to get rid of Van Gaal, then what op­tions do they have? Jose Mour­inho is the ob­vi­ous one, but I am not sure I see many be­hind that. That be­ing said, I do ex­pect United to go on to win the FA Cup – although I do not mind ad­mit­ting I would like to see Crys­tal Palace do it.

Hav­ing won the Cup my­self with Portsmouth I know how much it means to sides who do not of­ten get this chance. For a long time, it was the same four teams win­ning it ev­ery year, and they can get blasé about it. Palace will cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate it, hav­ing not been in an FA Cup fi­nal since 1990 – and I like them as a club.

Fi­nally, the fact this is a re­peat of the 1990 FA Cup fi­nal re­minds me of my old mate Les Sealey. He was the goal­keeper brought in by Fergie as they won the re­play, and he worked for me at West Ham.

Sadly, Les died of a heart-at­tack aged just 43. You could not wish to meet a nicer man, and I will be think­ing of him a lot over the next few weeks.

Rash­ford is a real ta­lent but are you telling me Jesse Lin­gard is the next Ryan Giggs?

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