Ferdinand backs Van Gaal to succeed

The former England international, who announced his decision to leave Manchester United recently, believes the Dutchman has what it takes to take charge of the Red Devils
Rio Ferdinand has backed Louis van Gaal to succeed at Manchester United, with the Dutch manager heavily tipped to take over at Old Trafford following the sacking of David Moyes.

Ferdinand, who is in Singapore for an event with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, gave his thoughts on the current Netherlands boss at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

There have been reservations in some quarters over Van Gaal's management style despite the trophies he has won - seven league titles in three countries and a Champions League crown - but Ferdinand believes the 62-year-old has what it takes to be in the hot seat.

"From what I've seen and heard from various people, I think he’s very strong, direct and knowledgeable about what he wants to do, very certain about what he wants to do and he doesn’t really deviate from that," he stated.

"And so, to be at a club like Manchester United, you need to be like that; you need to have strong values and opinions and the will to follow them through. He seems like he falls into that category. Every club he’s been to, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and now with Holland, he seems to have gotten things done his own way.

"So if he does comes to Manchester United then I envision him doing the same type of thing and time will tell if it works or not."

Ferdinand, who confirmed on Tuesday that he will leave the Red Devils after 12 years with the team, also admitted it was "not very enjoyable" to watch dreaded rivals Manchester City win the Premier League, but gave credit to them.

"It’s a big rivalry, they’ve been challenging more, so the rivalry goes up and up," he said. "It was always more Liverpool, but as I've said, you’ve got to be respectful [to City]; we’ve had a good time over the last 15, 20 years of winning the league and stuff. And when anyone else wins it, we know how hard it is to win, so we’ve have to say respect to them for winning this year."

United endured a miserable campaign in contract to their rivals' triumphant one, with their seventh-placed finish also meaning they will not be playing in Europe next season. But the 35-year-old former England international agreed with Juan Mata's recent suggestion that the absence from continental competition could aid the club in challenging for the title next season.

"No disrespect to Liverpool but if they had been in the Champions League this season, I don’t think they would have been where they were," Ferdinand pointed out. 

"You need a bigger squad, it’s a lot tougher on your season [and you have to play] many more games, obviously. So next season, speaking from an outside point of view, I think people will back a team to put up a good challenge and I think it will be us because of the volume of games.

"Around March, April we’d kind of normally be patching up our players to get on the pitch to make sure we try to kind of sustain a run in the league or the cup so without that, I think we have a fantastic chance next season."