MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, June 1- Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is not surprised by Louis van Gaal’s departure from Old Trafford as such things are expected in football.
Herrera admits it was difficult for the team to keep their focus amid ongoing speculation surrounding the Dutchman’s future in the last few months, but they soldiered on.
“It wasn’t a comfortable time, but we are professionals, and so we didn’t allow it to distract us,” he told Marca. “I must say that the coach remained strong throughout.
“He never showed signs of surrender and, in the end, we won the FA Cup. Van Gaal is an honest guy and has always put Manchester United above all else.”
The former Netherlands coach was eventually shown the door, despite United’s FA Cup final triumph over Crystal Palace at Wembley last week, and Herrera insists few were surprised.
“Nothing surprises you in football today,” the 26-year-old continued. “United have to fight for every title and, when they lose that fight, this is one of the outcomes.
“In many ways I think he has done a good job. I’m grateful to him because he signed me and so gave me the opportunity to play more than 70 games, in two years, at arguably the world’s largest club.”
Speaking about the incoming Jose Mourinho, Herrera is relishing the opportunity to work with one of the most successful managers in the game.
“I’ve had great coaches: Marcelino, with whom I made my debut; [Javier] Aguirre, [Marcelo] Bielsa [and Ernesto] Valverde; who taught me how to handle the locker room and is a fantastic guy,” the Spaniard said.
“Then came Van Gaal and ‘Mou’ now, who is the most successful coach, alongside Pep Guardiola. He has won the league in four countries, the Champions League with Inter and Porto and led Chelsea to become champions twice. So for me this is a unique opportunity that will push me the maximum.”