Man United News and Notes: Ten Hag, Van Gaal, Rooney

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It’s the final FIFA international window of the season, so we still have plenty of down time until we get to the next round of actual games, but that doesn’t mean it’s a slow news day! Not by any means. Let’s dive right into the first of today’s double order of Manchester United news and notes. For the second edition, which focuses on transfer talk, go here.

Netherlands Manager Louis van Gaal was asked whether or not he believes Ajax coach Erik ten Hag should consider taking the open managerial job at Old Trafford. Van Gaal, who led the club from 2014 to 2016, and was asked the day after he won the FA Cup, says his 52-year-old countryman should not take the gig. Or at least think twice about it.

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“I think Ten Hag is a great coach; I said that multiple times,” Van Gaal said at a Dutch national team press conference today.

“A great coach is good for Man United. But Man United is a commercial club. Those are difficult choices for a coach. As a coach, you should prefer a football club.”

Ten Hag, who interviewed for the position last week, is considered the front-runner at this point. Also, ICYMI, Van Gaal, often referred to as The Iron Tulip, said what we’re all thinking right now about the World Cup being hosted this time around in Qatar.

“We will be playing in a country where FIFA say we are going to help develop football. That is bullshit,” he told his press conference before friendlies against Denmark and Germany this international break.

“We have to prepare the season and when you have commercial activities and dreadful distances — having to fly a lot and the jet lag — it is not positive for a good preparation.”

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The climate is so extreme in Qatar that football/soccer can’t comfortably be played there. Certainly not in summer, when the World Cup is always played. Thus it’ll be staged this time around from late November to mid-December.

Finally, going from one old friend to another, let’s check in with the latest on Wayne Rooney, the club and country’s all-time leading scorer. Rooney played under Van Gaal at United, and once his time was up at Old Trafford he went back to his boyhood club, Everton. Then came a stop across the pond in MLS, where he was individually dominant, but his team was terrible.

Then he went to Derby County where he’s current managing, after having spent a season as a player-coach. Rooney is receiving high marks for his work at Derby, despite the very precarious position the Rams are currently in.

It is definitely not the fault of Rooney though, who said he turned down the chance to interview for the Everton job (which went to another man with Derby connections, Frank Lampard). Rooney hopes to be the United gaffer someday.

“The whole reason in me going into management is Manchester United. I got offered the job interview for the Everton job,” he said.

“I want to be Manchester United manager. I know I am not ready now but I have to plan everything I do to make sure one day it will happen.”

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Maybe Rooney could become the next United manager AFTER whomever the next one will be.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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