Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

A boss with an 'aura': Nicky Butt claims Van Gaal brings charisma Man Utd have missed since losing Sir Alex

A boss with an 'aura': Nicky Butt claims Van Gaal brings charisma Man Utd have missed since losing Sir Alex

| By Rhys Stevens

Former Manchester United hard man Nicky Butt claims Louis van Gaal brings with him an ‘aura’ that has been lacking since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Dutchman has overseen a perfect pre-season record in the aftermath of last year's disastrous campaign under David Moyes that saw the club finish a lowly seventh in the league.

While Moyes appeared out of his depth, Van Gaal comes with a proven record of success and has overseen victories in all five of United’s pre-season friendlies this summer.

He said: “He has an aura about him – when he walks into the building, you know who the boss is, and I think that’s very important.

“We had it with Sir Alex for all those years and I think we have it now with Van Gaal. He walks into the building and commands respect.

“All the players look up to him as the leader and that is how it should be.

“From afar, when I've looked at him it looks like he takes no messing about and if anyone doesn't toe the line, I'm sure they will be out of the team."

David Moyes’ appointment, under the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson, proved to be a costly mistake, after the side failed to qualify for the Champions League.

However, it seems the board have put that debacle behind them with appointment of the seasoned and proven Van Gaal, who has guided a string of prestigious clubs like Barcelona, Ajax and Bayern Munich to major honours.

Butt, now interim first team coach under Van Gaal, added the Dutchman has made it clear that players who do not up their game will be making a sharp exit.

“[Under Sir Alex Ferguson] we were told in no uncertain terms that you had to step up to the plate, otherwise you were not going to be at the club much longer," Butt said.

“I’m sure the new man in charge will say the same thing to the players. Hopefully the players will react and I’m sure they will.”

Butt, who made 387 appearances in 12 years at United, was speaking at the AJ Bell Stadium, as he joined former teammates Giggs, Paul Scholes and brothers Gary and Phil Neville in a ‘Class of ‘92 and Friends XI’ friendly against Salford City, the club they now own.

They – and David Beckham – graduated from United’s youth team to propel the club to unprecedented success, culminating in the 1999 treble.

Butt, known for his no-nonsense approach on the pitch, believes such an achievement is unlikely to be replicated, as many club owners demand instant success rather than giving youth a chance.



“We had a manager in charge and a club who believe in youth, but it is harder now with the immediacy of it all to follow that,” he said.

“Everyone wants things instantly. Owners who come in often don’t necessarily know about football, just business.”

The 39-year-old, who coached United’s youth team last season, added: “To prepare lads to come through takes time and patience, as well as for somebody to say ‘we’ll give you time and stand by you’.

“Unfortunately that doesn’t happen now”

The former midfielder is optimistic United can continue their fine form and send out a strong message to their league rivals.

Butt added: “The new manager is in charge now, we are on an unbeaten run and now we are looking to make a good start to the season with the first five games we have [Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley, QPR and Leicester].

“Everyone expects Manchester United to contend for the title.

“We finished as low as we have done last season, but when the season starts again, everyone will expect. I am a fan and I expect us to challenge again.”

Main image courtesy of SportWeb TV Bern, via YouTube, with thanks.