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May 20, 2014

Former Man Utd players back Van Gaal

The FC panel assess the job ahead of new Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal to rebuild the squad.

Former Manchester United players David Beckham, Edwin Van der Sar and Owen Hargreaves have backed Louis van Gaal to be a huge success as manager of their former club and welcomed the appointment of his former teammate Ryan Giggs as his new assistant.

Edwin van der Sar spent many years working under Louis van Gaal.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar, left, speaks with new United boss Louis van Gaal when Van Gaal was at Bayern Munich.

Beckham admitted 'he was emotional' at the sight of Giggs striding out at Old Trafford as interim Manchester United manager last month. But he told Sky Sports that the vastly more experienced Van Gaal is the right choice to take the club forward in the long term.

"He has got a history of working with young players, bringing players through academy systems at places like Ajax," said Beckham of Van Gaal. "That can only be great for Manchester United.

"As a Manchester United fan and for Manchester United as a club, to have someone like this with his pedigree is great. He has worked with some of the biggest and best players in the world.

Brewin: Van Gaal's five-point plan
Mitten: Giggs moves from pitch to bench

"I'm delighted Ryan [Giggs] is still involved as well. When you've got someone like Giggsy, who all the players respect and all the fans love, it makes a huge difference.

"His role now has totally changed and I'm sure he will find it an easy transition because he takes things in his stride, he's not affected by anything. He knows the club better than most people who are at Manchester United now."

Beckham -- who was part of the United "Class of '92" along with Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville -- called on Van Gaal to retain some of his former teammates services at United as well.

Meanwhile, 33-year-old Hargreaves, whose four years at United from 2007-11 were ravaged by injury, told BT Sport: "If they can get the players necessary I don't doubt that Van Gaal could even lead them to the title. But they need to have a great summer.

"I doubt anything less than minimum Champions League (qualification) and even potentially competing for the title would be sufficient for him. I can't imagine him coming there to finish fourth. He has been so successful everywhere he's been, so I don't think they could have had a better option at this point."

Former United goalkeeper Van der Sar joined the chorus of praise for Van Gaal's appointment, as he believes his former coach at Ajax has the stature to succeed at Old Trafford.

"Van Gaal will spend the right money on the right player to ensure that they are right for United," stated Van der Sar, in quotes appearing in the Daily Mirror. "He will know if they have the United DNA of the club inside of them. If not he will let them go and let them go to other clubs. You have to play and you have to fight for Manchester United. Not only come for the money. What's more important? Money or the priviledge of playing for a coach like Van Gaal?"

"It's a massive club and if you are able to participate in that and to contribute to winning a title then you are settled for life because you have the adoration of the club," added Van der Sar. "Van Gaal is going to be very clear about what he wants and what he demands from his players and while it's going to be a tricky period for him with the World Cup deciding on what transfers he will need, if anyone can cope with a situation like this it is Van Gaal.

"His credentials in Spain, in Germany, in Holland with the national team speak for themselves. He has won the title in every country. He has a history of winning trophies, of bringing young players through, of working with big players.

"He is a very hard-working coach and he is a guy who makes players better. He also sends out the right signals about the kind of football he wants to play to the players."

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