Johan Cruyff tells Louis van Gaal to stop complaining

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Louis van Gaal should stop complaining if he wants to succeed in the Premier League, according to Johan Cruyff.

The Manchester United manager has been critical of the Premier League fixture list over the Christmas period. United have played four games in the past 11 days, including two in the space of three days.

Van Gaal publicly complained about the situation in his press conference, stating that it's his professional opinion that players cannot recover adequately to perform at the highest level.

But Cruyff urged Van Gaal to just concentrate on his job as one of 20 managers in the English top flight.

Writing in his column in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Cruyff said: "If you choose [a job in] England, then you choose for their successful system, which is based on the proposition that the stadiums open as soon as the fans are available to watch, which is the holiday period.

It has been working since time immemorial and in 100 years it will still be so - Johan Cruyff

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"Playing football between Christmas and New Year is a war of attrition and thus in favour of physically stronger teams."

Van Gaal followed Cruyff in managing both Ajax and Barcelona, but Cruyff never managed in England. Still, his experience of the football authorities in the Premier League leads him to believe that van Gaal will find it almost impossible to get them to change their festive schedule.

"It has been working since time immemorial and in 100 years it will still be so," Cruyff said. "Complaining makes no sense if everyone else around you is happy. Moreover, everybody is well paid for working over the holiday period."

No time to recover

Van Gaal's point regarding the Christmas period was that players cannot perform to their best, and therefore the fans are being ripped off because they are paying the same price for an inferior performance.

Apart from that concern, the Dutchman feels also that it's unhealthy to expect athletes to play so often in a short space of time.

"Everybody knows that a body cannot recover within 48 hours," Van Gaal said.

"Therefore, there is a rule at Uefa and Fifa that you cannot play games [in that time]. That's scientifically proven. Everybody knows that and, in spite of that, we have to play. It's the culture of England.

"I don't mind but it is not good for the health of the players and it is not good for the game because I think the FA, and also the fans, want attractive games."

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