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25th Feb 2016

Former Man United youngster reveals the major difference between life under Alex Ferguson and Louis van Gaal

Ryan McConnell on his time at Manchester United


It’s hard for anybody to deny that Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United has a very different feel to the club that prospered under Alex Ferguson.

Most current players wouldn’t dream of lifting the lid on the changes around Carrington in the years since Ferguson has retired but players who have since left the club are under no obligation to keep quiet.

One such player is the club’s former U21 captain Ryan McConnell, the 20-year-old from Ireland who was released by United last summer after he struggled to break into the senior set-up.


McConnell has since joined forces with the recently promoted Finn Harps and, ahead of the new SSE Airtricity League season, he has opened up on how different life was under Van Gaal.

McConnell told The Herald: “In my last year there, under Van Gaal, it was all very separate and you didn’t get to see the senior players, it didn’t feel like a family club any more.

“When Fergie was there it was great, everyone was in together, everyone spoke to everyone and no one was bigger than anyone else.

“Jonny Evans was great to me as we were both injured at the same time so we might be in getting treatment.

“The senior players would have spoken to you in the gym, ask how you were getting on, but towards the end, I felt they were being propelled to being like gods at the club. To me, you’re the same person if you’re in the Man United first team or not.”