Brendan Rodgers has given a bit of advice to new manager United manager, Louis van Gaal, about what he is up against in the Premier League.
“I think the competition will probably take him by surprise, and that’s from foreign managers I have spoken to over the years,” Rodgers said. “I’ve worked closely with foreign players who have come in, and that real physical competitive nature will be different to anywhere else he’s worked before. I think what he’ll find is the competition in this league will be different to any other league that he’s worked in.
“In a lot of the other leagues, there are one or two teams and those are the teams that are expected to win. But this is a league where the top team plays the bottom team and on any given day you can lose. You don’t get that a lot in the other leagues.”
Rodgers hasn’t won a top tier league title or any trophy in his career, whilst Louis van Gaal has won the league with every club he’s managed. He’s won the European Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, as well as a whole host of domestic trophies in Spain, Germany and Holland. He lead the Netherlands to a third place finish in the World Cup after beating the hosts Brazil.
You could therefore conclude that he probably doesn’t need to be patronised by a man who’s managed clubs in the championship and whose greatest achievement in his entire career is finishing 2nd in the league once.
Still, if we are going to look at what Van Gaal knows about competitiveness, in leagues where only two teams win the league, we should look at his time with the Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar. Before Van Gaal they had won just one league title and three cups in their entire history. Yet with Van Gaal they won the league, finishing 12 points clear of Ajax and 15 of PSV.
But I’m sure Van Gaal appreciates Rodgers’ wisdom all the same.