English Premiership

Man United legend Butt has sympathy for Van Gaal and Mourinho

2020-04-28 15:29
Nicky Butt
Nicky Butt (Getty Images)

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt has slammed the idea that former club managers Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho disregarded the club's traditions.

Neither Van Gaal nor Mourinho are remembered fondly for their fleeting times in charge at Old Trafford, the former attracting opprobrium from club legend Paul Scholes for his playing style, and the latter being his usual abrasive self.

Head of first-team development Butt, who worked under both as a coach, has expressed sympathy for them and their efforts to help the club in their post-Sir Alex Ferguson tradition.

The former midfielder even said criticism of David Moyes was "harsh…to a point", but also admitted he "prefers" working with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"I think it's harsh on Van Gaal and Mourinho, and David Moyes to a point, because they didn't come into Man United and go, 'this is it, move it all to one side, disrespect Man United and we'll do it this way," said Butt in the latest MUTV Group Chat.

"They didn't. They never did – it's a myth that they did.

"Mourinho was brilliant with me. He spoke to me every single day at breakfast and asked about the kids. He did a few meetings with the kids when they were going to Portugal (in the UEFA Youth League) and telling them what to expect and so on.

"If me and you and Ben (Thornley) and Maysie (David May) said 'Let's go and work at Real Madrid', you're not going to know anybody. There’s that many people that stab you in the back in football as you all know.

"If you're going into an environment you don't know, you're not going to open the door to every Tom, Dick and Harry, because you don't know who these people are, you don’t know where they're going. So, you can understand both sides of the story.

"Obviously, I prefer the way it is now, I preferred the way it was when we were there (as players), but that's because we knew everybody.

"You trusted the canteen staff, you trusted the cleaning staff, because you knew them when you were 16, so we can look at it in a bubble and go 'all these managers come in here and it's shocking' but I don’t think it is, because you've got to put yourself in their position, and if you went out to a club you didn’t know, it'll be totally different."

- TEAMtalk media


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