Rodgers: EPL Will Shock Van Gaal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will be taken by surprise by the competitiveness and physicality of the English Premier League.

The Dutchman, who has won league titles in his native Holland, Spain and Germany, got of to a laudable start in his new position, leading United to the international Champions Cup pre-season tournament triumph over Liverpool– the team they defeated in early Tuesday morning’s Miami final.

As well as lifting the European Champions League trophy with Ajax in 1995, the 62-year-old led the Netherlands to a third-place finish at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Louis van Gaal was Named David Moyes' Successor in May But Resumed Official Duty After Leading the Netherlands to a Third-Place Finish at the 2014 World Cup. Image: Getty Image.
Louis van Gaal was Named David Moyes’ Successor in May But Resumed Official Duty After Leading the Netherlands to a Third-Place Finish at the 2014 World Cup. Image: Getty Image.

A pragmatic leader, Van Gaal has already showcased his awareness of the nature of the job at the 20-time champions by ringing many changes at his new home; such as ordering the squad to spend much time together and converse only in English with one another at training, as well as fixing cameras at the club’s Aon training facility.

However, Rodgers, whose maiden season at the Merseyside club opened up a new chapter in his managerial experience, believes Van Gaal had better discard every though of an easy ride in the English top tier.

“I think what he’ll find is the competition in this league will be different to any other league that he’s worked in,” Rodgers said. “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. I think the competition will probably take him by (surprise), and that’s from foreign managers I have spoken to over the years.”

The Liverpool boss, who guided the ‘Reds’ to their best ever league finish in 24 years in May, however, admits he is a huge admirer of the United boss.

“I’m obviously an admirer of his work and his career,” the Northern Irishman added. “He’s a very experienced manager and a very good manager who has worked at some big Clubs.

“When you come through as a coach, you look at the guys who have a vision and a philosophy, and he was obviously one of those guys.”

United start their 2014/15 Premier League season at home to Swansea on August 16.

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