United have won all five of their pre-season games since van Gaal's arrival and van der Gouw, who played 37 times for United between 1996 and 2002, expects the former Netherlands coach to reignite the club's fortunes.
Van der Gouw told Sky Sports News: "I think Louis van Gaal is proud to be the manager of Manchester United. I know him a little bit and I think he is at the right place and will do a very good job.
"The World Cup was very important for him and he showed the whole world he was a great manager and that is something you need at the top.
"If you look at Alex Ferguson, he was never afraid to make an unpopular decision and van Gaal knows what he wants.
"He has his own vision and can project it on the players and get the best out of them and that's what you need if you want to work at the top.
"He does have a lot of experience in Europe with Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Ajax and also the Dutch national team, so what else can you want other than a manager who has this kind of experience? I expect he will do a really good job at United.
"There are so many good teams in the Premier League. It is so competitive but I do believe van Gaal wil bring United back to the top."