Former Holland legend Johan Cruyff has said he wonders how Louis van Gaal will manage "all of the egos at Manchester United".
In an interview with the Guardian, the Dutch master said that although he has a “bad chemistry” with Van Gaal, he would like to see him succeed in the Old Trafford hot-seat.
“They are all famous," he said. "They earn a lot of money both on and off the field. How can you create a team and bring all these egos together? The main goal for Manchester United is for them to play well – and not have a player saying, ‘I play well, I scored two goals’. Because if I score two goals but three goals go into our net then we lose. They provide [Van Gaal] with a lot of good players but he has to turn them into a team. And you can’t arrange the chemistry of the team in two weeks. It needs time.”
The two managers have never seen eye to eye and fell out spectacularly in 2011 when Cruyff, who was on the Ajax board, went to the Dutch courts in an attempt to block the re-appointment of Van Gaal as club manager. The pair were both players at Ajax in the early 1970s, with Van Gaal acting as Cruyff’s understudy. At the time, Cruyff was arguably the greatest player in the world – leading Ajax to the European Cup three times in a row.
Despite this, Cruyff still hopes that Van Gaal succeeds at United.
“It would be good for Dutch football and other Dutch managers. But how it will go? You never know. It will take time.”
Van Gaal followed Cruyff into coaching – with both men coaching Ajax and Barcelona.
Although United have spent big in the transfer market this summer transfer window, Cruyff doesn’t see big spending as a generator of success.
“I don’t know because they almost bought and created a new team,” he said. “So now you have to fix it together – the team itself. It’s not a question anymore about the quality of the players, or are they good enough. But to make a mixture of good players is very difficult.”