Ed Woodward was at fault for sanctioning Louis van Gaal’s signing at Manchester United, not sacking the Dutchman, Mark Ogden told the Sunday Supplement.
Van Gaal has launched a fresh attack on United’s executive vice-chairman, labelling Woodward an “evil genius” who “had his head in a noose for six months” before sacking him.
Van Gaal was relieved of his duties and replaced by Jose Mourinho within days of guiding United to victory in the 2016 FA Cup final, a decision Ogden believes was inevitable in light of the Dutchman’s record.
“Louis has always been very bitter about the way it ended at Manchester United,” ESPN‘s Senior Football Writer told Sky Sports.
“But let’s be honest, for the final six months it was inevitable he was going to be sacked because the results weren’t good enough.
“Towards the end players were telling us they couldn’t bare playing for him anymore because he was so overbearing on the training ground, he was impossible to play for and he has taken all the freedom away.
“It’s easy to blame Ed Woodward but the only thing he did that he deserves blame for is giving Van Gaal the money to sign the likes of Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, the list goes on.
“Van Gaal’s signing were terrible, his football was awful, and the results were bad, so I don’t think he has anyone but himself to blame for being sacked.”
Contrary to Van Gaal’s accusations, Ogden argues that it was Woodward’s prerogative as a chairman to plan for the future and ultimately wield the axe.
He added: “Ed Woodward wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t plan ahead for the next manager when the current guy was obviously failing.”
The least successful post-Fergie appointment?
Paul Hayward, Chief Sports Writer at the Daily Telegraph, claimed the legacy of Van Gaal’s ill-fated spell at Old Trafford is still being felt to this day and he ranks as the worst managerial appointment Manchester United have made in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
“It’s an open secret that Manchester United thought they had lost control of their transfer budget, their money and personnel when Van Gaal was there,” Hayward said.