Former Man Utd midfielder Ander Herrera has labelled Jose Mourinho “a sh*thouse coach” and has nothing but praise for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Louis van Gaal.
The Spaniard was a Red Devils player between 2014 and 2019 with Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer the three managers he worked under during his time at the club.
Herrera is now at Paris Saint-Germain, who he left Man Utd for in 2019, and he’s been reflecting on his time at Old Trafford with the 33-year-old explaining what it was like working under his three managers.
Herrera told the UTD podcast: “Very different managers. Van Gaal I can say, positional game coach, like a teacher sometimes for young players.
“Mourinho, a sh*thouse coach. It doesn’t matter what you have to do to win, I just want to win, and we won. And Ole, a legend of the club.
“He believed so much in Sir Alex Ferguson’s philosophy and he wanted to bring that philosophy back to the club, but it was not easy. The players were different, the moment was different, football was different.”
On Mourinho, Herrera added: “He is one of the greatest managers of all time. One of the most successful managers of all time. He discovered a new position for me, he made me a more defensive midfielder.
“In the first season we won three trophies: the Community Shield, the Europa League and League Cup. And we qualified for the Champions League so it was a very successful season.”
Van Gaal received 25 radiation treatments for an aggressive form of prostate cancer and revealed before the World Cup that his treatment “had done its job”.
On the Netherlands boss, Herrera continued: “I am happy for him because he looks great. He was ill, and he looks great.
“I think he is a great person. Even though he sometimes looks like a little bit… he wants to have that… how do you call the turtles, what they have? The shell [laughs]! Like a strong guy but after that there is a heart. So, the first time you see him, he is a strong guy and very serious.
“But after, he gets emotional very easily, he is a really good person and I am happy for him because he looks great, he looks happy and he is enjoying life. When I heard the news that he was ill, I expected something serious. He looks great, he is recovering and I am happy for him. I want to see him for a long time training and that will mean he is okay.”
On Van Gaal, Herrera added: “Of course I learned a lot from him. I came from Marcelo Bielsa before joining United. I was with Bielsa and I was with Ernesto Valverde as well.
“Bielsa, overall, as a coach was very offensive and you all know from his time at Leeds. He wants the team to all the time be attacking and all of the players moving around. He doesn’t want one player stopped.
“I went to van Gaal and that was offensive football, he wants to attack, but he wanted to play a positional game and more every player in his position. It was the ball that had to move from player to player and that was, at the beginning, difficult for me.
“He told me a few times, ‘why do you move all the time?’ and I was used to it. I had come from a couple of managers where it was the player who moves. But after a couple of months, I got used to it.
“We won the FA Cup, we qualified for the Champions League and I improved. I learned a lot from him. It was a couple of years with van Gaal and for me it was a good time.”
On Solskjaer, Herrera said: “He is one of the best people I have met in football. He was a legend but he was so humble to have a relationship with the players. He was always ready to listen to what you had to say to help the team.
“For his work at the club, he didn’t have the credit he deserves, honestly, or he didn’t have the success that he deserved, because he was doing a great job at the club.
“When I left, I thought that he was going to be the man because of what I was feeling, what I was smelling in the club. He tried to keep me at the club but the discussions were not with him, they were with the board at the time, but as I say before he is one of the best people I have met in football. After that I have kept in contact.
“When Cavani went to Manchester, I was with him in Paris [beforehand] and when I spoke with Ole I said ‘you have to sign this guy, he is a player who is going to give everything for you, for the club, he is a Manchester United player’.
“And also Cavani, he had some options and I told him that there is no better option than United. It is true that the pandemic killed the Cavani moment because he was doing great before the pandemic. But I think he did good for the club and, yes, Ole, all the memories that I have with him, they are great.”
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