23 Feb Beckham defends Van Gaal
Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham has backed under-fire manager Louis van Gaal.
The ex-England captain says critics of the Dutchman should listen to the views of those who know him best.
United coasted into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win at Sky Bet League One side Shrewsbury on Monday night.
The Red Devils, though, face a battle to continue their Europa League campaign, needing to overturn a 2-1 first-leg loss when they tackle FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
After that comes Sunday’s visit of Premier League title challengers Arsenal.
It is a lack of consistency this season – United are only in fifth place following seven league defeats – which has seen pressure increase on 64-year-old Van Gaal. Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly being considered as a successor.
Beckham, who was an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering squad, sees no reason to wield the axe at United, even though he would love to see Mourinho back involved in the English game.
Beckham told TalkSPORT: “He (Van Gaal) is an experienced manager with a great reputation in the game. Sometimes it takes time. It is not easy being manager of Man United.
“We have to look at results, we have to look at the way we play, we have to listen to fans – the people that really matter at the club – and I only hear great things about him as a person, as a manager, as a coach.
“I have met him once before and he treated me unbelievably well.
“He is manager of Manchester United so there is always going to be criticism, but at the end of the season let’s see what happens.”
Beckham left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2003, before spells with Los Angeles Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris St Germain ahead of retiring in 2013.
He sees no reason why Mourinho should not make an impact again in the Premier League, wherever he works next.
“Jose leaving Chelsea, who would have expected that after the season they had last year? It doesn’t make him a bad manager,” said Beckham.
“He is still one of the best managers and I hope he comes back to the Premier League as soon as possible.
“The Premier League is the Premier League for the great players we bring in, the great teams, the money, the fans and the great characters that we have as managers. You want to see managers like that in the game.”