6 Aug 2014

Brendan Rodgers fires warning to Louis van Gaal

Brendan Rodgers has warned new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal that he will be surprised by the level of competition in the Premier league and could struggle to win the title in his first season in charge.

Van Gaal has won league titles in three countries with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich and he has set his sights on making it four with United.

The Dutchman has been tasked with rebuilding the club following a disappointing season under David Moyes, which ended with United missing out on European football, and he has made a positive start to life at Old Trafford with his side unbeaten in pre-season.

Having defeated Liverpool to claim the International Champions Cup, Van Gaal’s focus immediately turned to the Premier League opener against Swansea on August 16, but Rodgers has warned his counterpart that he could find life difficult in England.
“What he’ll find is the competition in this league will be different from any other league that he’s worked in,” Rodgers explained.

“In a lot of the other leagues, there are one or two teams and those are the teams that are expected to win. 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.

“The competition will probably take him by surprise and that’s from foreign managers I have spoken to over the years.

“I’ve worked closely with foreign players who have come in and that real physical competitive nature will be different from anywhere else he’s worked before.”
Moyes paid the price for the club’s failings when he was sacked less than ten months into a six-month contract and Rodgers knows the players will be determined to put things right and return to the top as soon as possible.
“For them it will be a totally different mindset. Domestically for the last 20 years they’ve been champions 13 times,” the Liverpool boss said.

“When I came to Liverpool we were eighth at the time and the club was nearly going out of business, so it’s totally different.

“The players there will want to do better for themselves. They will be disappointed with where they finished last year, of course. With the quality they have, they will want to push on.”

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