Louis van Gaal needs to be given time to settle in and will eventually lead Manchester United to a Premier League title challenge, that is according to one of his direct rivals for any trophy, Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea's manager lavished his counterpart at Old Trafford with glowing praise during an astonishing appearance on Sky Sports Premier League review show 'Goals on Sunday', though most attention was paid to his rant about refereeing decisions.
The format of the show has the guest helping the regular presenters review the goals from the Premier League fixtures on a Saturday and Mourinho used reviewing the Red Devils' defeat to Swansea City to talk up his opposite number.
"He is a fantastic coach and it’s easy for me to say as I know him so well and he is a fantastic person. But he has been in so many years of his career before he came to England," said the former Real Madrid boss.
"In the same way a player needs time to adapt to understand things to perform at the highest level it is the same for Louis. He will have time to make Manchester United win titles again.
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"This season they still have a chance to do that with the FA Cup and they also have the opportunity to finish in the top four and go back to the Champions League, which is the minimum for a team like them. When you see the titles he has won and his experience, I don’t see any reason why they can’t be pushing for titles."
Van Gaal will likely welcome the comments from a person who is his rival for glory in the Premier League, as things are not exactly going to plan for Manchester United at the moment.
A run of 19 games with only one defeat have been overshadowed by intense criticism over the some far from convincing performances against teams they should really be beating without too many problems.
As for Mourinho's suggestion that he needs time to settle in to things before he can really get the best out of the players at Old Trafford - that just doesn't wash
Defeat in Wales saw them drop to fourth, one point below a resurgent Arsenal side, and this has got many fans questioning whether they will finish inside the top four. The current malaise of the likes of Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata will have Van Gaal very worried.
Mourinho is Wrong
As for Mourinho's suggestion that he needs time to settle in to things before he can really get the best out of the players at Old Trafford - that just doesn't wash. He is not like a player and should not be taking this long to get results.
Van Gaal was Netherlands coach before taking up his current role, so had plenty of time on his hands to watch some football. The Premier League is the most watched league in the world, so he should be fairly familiar with it.
Added to this, he had a number of Premier League-based players in his squad for World Cup 2014 in Brazil, so should have been watching it quite a lot. Van Gaal is a professional and should have arrived prepared, bedding in time is not something managers should require - did Mourinho need it?
That fact is the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has been unable to get the best out of a talented squad that was bolstered by over £150million worth of spending in the summer. Performances have not been good enough, on and off the pitch.
Is Jose Mourinho right about Louis van Gaal, should he be given time like a player? Or is LVG just a plain old flop? Let us know by joining the debate below!