Van Gaal says Woodwards’ Manchester United exit could “make a difference” to Ten Hag’s success

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Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says Ed Woodward’s departure from Old Trafford could “make a difference” for new boss Erik ten Hag, who succeeds with the Red Devils.

Van Gaal led United from 2014 to 2016 and won the FA Cup in 2016, before being sacked two days later with Woodward at the helm as the club’s vice-president at the time.

The 70-year-old Dutchman has previously been critical of United for being too commercially focused rather than being a football club.

Woodward had been at the helm of Old Trafford from 2012 to February this year, with Richard Arnold replacing him in the run-up to Ten Hag’s appointment as the club’s new manager in April.

Ten Hag, who joined United from Dutch champions Ajax, faces a serious challenge reviving the club, which has not won silverware since 2017, but Van Gaal believes changes at the top could help his cause.

“There is now a new leadership,” Van Gaal told reporters ahead of the Netherlands Nations League clash with Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday.

“It was Woodward, now it’s Richard Arnold, and that can make the difference, so we’ll have to wait and see.

“[Ten Hag] have a lot of confidence, so who am I to say anything about it? ”

Following his appointment as United manager, Ten Hag had rejected Van Gaal’s claims that the club was too interested in commercial matters.

“I draw my own line and I’m convinced that’s not the case,” Ten Hag said.

“I talked to the instructors about it, and football is one, two, three these days.”

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