Much was said about Sir Alex’s presence at United games during David Moyes’ short tenure as manager and cited as something negative by many who felt it was a hindrance to Moyes.
It may well have been given that Moyes was a deer in the headlights from day one but there’s no chance Van Gaal will let Sir Alex’s presence work against him and speaking to the press today for the first time as United manager, the Dutchman talked about his relationship with Fergie.
“He [Ferguson] called me to congratulate me and we have spoken about a cup of coffee to drink or to eat with each other.
“We were always invited to the elite forum of UEFA and we always did the light out with a glass of wine, so we know each other very well and I shall drink coffee and drink wine with him, maybe the better wine I can imagine.”
When questioned about the public persona of his autocratic management style, Van Gaal said he believed he couldn’t have been so successful if he didn’t have a democratic side and pointed towards Fergie for comparison.
He added: “No, I’m always the same person. From 39, when I was half coach of Ajax, until now, my personality has not been changed. It’s the same personality but being autocratic and having a strong personality is not the same thing and a lot of people are thinking it is.
“I have a strong philosophy and every year I have trained, it is confirming that philosophy. Sir Alex also had a strong philosophy and it was always successful because he won a lot of titles with Manchester United, so I think he had a very good philosophy. I hope I can do that.”