Reports emanating from Holland are that Manchester United have agreed a deal in principle for Louis van Gaal to become their next permanent manager. Whilst it has been denied by Manchester United, it is likely that the agreement will be announced next week to the NYSE of the forthcoming appointment of the current Netherlands manager.
This partnership could spell bad news for Arsenal, as their recently appointed, and yet to actually work for the club, Andries Jonker, has a long history with Louis van Gaal. Throughout his career, Jonker has worked very closely with van Gaal.
From, 1990 to 1997, Jonker was employed by the Dutch FA as a regional youth coach. His remit at the time was to implement KNVB youth coaching reforms in the Harleem and Amsterdam area. At the same time, Louis van Gaal was manager of Ajax Amsterdam, using his time to bring through the youth players from the successful youth set up which he oversaw as assistant manager.
During this time, with both men based in Amsterdam, one in charge of the future of Holland’s young footballs, the other in charge of Holland’s biggest club, that a bond would be built that would see Jonker follow van Gaal over land and see.
The bond was momentarily broken when van Gaal went to manager Barcelona, whilst Jonker tried it on his own to become a manager – leading Veolndam after two years as an assistant manager their.
Whilst van Gaal was a success at Barcelona, winning 2 La Liga titles and the Copa Del Rey, Jonker had a win percentage of just 25%. The two would link up officialy for the first time when van Gaal was made Netherlands manager in 2000, and bought in Jonker to become the u21 manager.
van Gaal returned to Barcelona in 2002, for a less successful spell. He too with him as his assistant Andries Jonker. After an unsuccessful year, van Gaal returned once more to Holland, to become manager of AZ, with Jonker taking up the managers job’s at Maastricht and Willem II.
Both men re-united once more when van Gaal was announced as manager of Bayern Munich in 2009. As with his second spell at Barcelona, he bought with him Andries Jonker as assistant, who remained by his side throughout and beyond, taking over the Bayern side in 2011 for 5 games after van Gaal’s sacking.
Whilst van Gaal returned as Netherlands manager, Jonker remained in Germany, firstly as manager of Bayern’s 2nd team, then as assistant manager of Wolfsburg.
January this year, Arsenal announced that Andries Jonker will replace Liam Brady as Academy Director. But with Louis van Gaal set to take over at Manchester United next season, it is likely that he will look to poach his long term friend and alley, who he has had a 20 years working relationship with.
Could Andries Jonker leave Arsenal before he has even joined, and become Manchester United assistant manager? The odds are likely.