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As the first Dutchman to play for Manchester United and a former team-mate of Louis van Gaal, Arnold Muhren is perfectly placed to assess the new regime. In this exclusive interview with United Review, the ex-Red speaks of a brighter future at Old Trafford…

What was the reaction in Holland when Louis van Gaal joined United?



There were lots of rumours and we were not surprised because we know he is a very good manager. He proved that with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and in Holland with Ajax and AZ Alkmaar. He is one of the best coaches around. I spoke to him just before he signed for United at the Dutch cup final between Ajax and Rotterdam. I was having a word with him and he said Spurs were interested in him. But I told him, 'If you have a chance, you must go to United because it is the biggest and best club in the world'. He hasn’t worked in England, so I know he is looking forward to the challenge.

What is the Dutch view of him now that the World Cup is over?


We rate him as one of the best coaches ever from Holland. We’ve had a lot of coaches in the past, like Rinus Michels, Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat and Bert van Marwijk, who did very well at the 2010 World Cup. The media did not expect very much from van Gaal and the Dutch team this time but he surprised a lot of people, not only with the style of play but also the third-place finish.

You were both at Ajax at the same time. What are your early recollections of van Gaal as a young player?


When I joined Ajax, I was 19 years of age and Louis was in the Reserves. He was disappointed that he could never play in the first team but Ajax were one of the best teams in the world and won three European Cups in a row. He had the likes of Johan Cruyff ahead of him and a squad had just 14 players and two goalkeepers. Louis had a very technical mind with regards to playing football, but he was a little bit slow. His mind was ahead of his legs, shall we say. He was very good on the ball, he had a good technique, good vision and was good in the air. It was just a shame that there wasn’t an opportunity at Ajax, but he did well at Sparta Rotterdam and Royal Antwerp.

As a manager, he is clearly not afraid of making big decisions. Will that quality help him at United?



It makes no difference to him whether you are Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young or Jonny Evans. If he thinks it is best for the team, he will take you off the pitch. We saw that with Robin van Persie at the World Cup, when he wasn’t quite the van Persie he wanted, so he brought on Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who scored the winning goal. You can’t play top-class football for 50 games a season, so you have to use your squad. He is not afraid to do that.

How easy or difficult is it for a Dutchman to settle in England?



If you act normally, you can go around the world and have success. If you are big-headed and think you will show what Dutch people can do, then you will not. If you work hard and prove you are an asset to the team, giving 100 per cent at all times, then you can settle anywhere. But you sometimes need time. When I joined Ipswich in 1978, it was a completely different style of play to what I was used to. I remember Bobby Robson asking me if I enjoyed one of my first matches and I said no, because I only touched the ball four times. Thankfully, Mr Robson listened and changed the tactics to more of a continental style, which he deserved a lot of credit for. From then on, Ipswich became a successful team and we had a team full of internationals. Van Gaal is doing the same at United.

Finally, what kind of season do you predict for van Gaal and United?



It will be very interesting to see what van Gaal can do with this team and the style of play. I am very confident we can be successful, but we have to give the manager time. Louis told a Dutch newspaper he has been surprised by how quickly the players have adapted to his methods, so if he can strengthen the squad with one or two new players, then we are in with a shout of achieving success.
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Malky Mackay has apologised for sending two one-line text messages he admits were "disrespectful of other cultures".
The former Cardiff boss and his ex-Bluebirds colleague Iain Moody are alleged to have shared racist, sexist and homophobic texts.
But Mackay, 42, says his texts were part of "friendly text message banter".
"If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would wish to sincerely apologise," read a League Managers' Association statement.



Former Football League player and manager Leroy Rosenior, a leading voice for Show Racism the Red Card and a trustee of anti-discrimination body Kick it Out, said he is disappointed with the LMA describing Mackay's text messages as "banter".
Rosenior, who is also a member of the LMA, said: "If the LMA are going back into the dark ages to support people then I might have to withdraw my support.
"In over 70,000 text messages I've sent I've never used inappropriate language and I'm sure neither has the vast majority of people.
"If Malky did use a couple of texts, as he admits to in the statement, then I'm disappointed and I think it needs to be dealt with not as something swept over or as a bit of banter.
"I know they (LMA) are trying to protect their member but in doing so I feel they are almost abusing another member, like myself."
Here are some of the text messages alleged to have been shared by Moody and Mackay:
  • "He's a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted." Referring to an official at another club.
  • "Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering." Referring to a list of potential signings.
  • "Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers." On football agent Phil Smith.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28890833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hothead009 View Post
Here are some of the text messages alleged to have been shared by Moody and Mackay:
  • "He's a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted." Referring to an official at another club.
  • "Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering." Referring to a list of potential signings.
  • "Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers." On football agent Phil Smith.

What the hell.
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What the hell.
Its just banter he says and is sorry for two of them it says on BBC. Lolie.

Trying to work out out if he's a fan of Suarez.
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