Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was reluctant to shed any light on the reason behind his frosty relationship with Southampton boss Ronald Koeman during his press conference on Friday, as the two Dutch foes prepare to meet for the first time in the Premier League on Monday.
The Red Devils travel to St Mary's to take on Koeman's high-flying Saints, and whilst there is everything to play for on the field - with the winner set to move up to third place in the table - there will also be plenty of eyes on the touchline in anticipation of the two coaches exchanging further barbs this evening.
Any ill-feeling between Van Gaal and Koeman is believed to stem from their fallout at Ajax in 2004, where the Manchester United chief resigned as technical director after an "internal conflict" - allegedly with the Saints man, who had taken over as head coach following a successful stint at Vitesse Arnhem.
However, a new picture has emerged of the pair in confrontation with each other during an Eredivisie match between FC Groningen and Sparta Rotterdam way back in 1982, when a young looking Koeman is seen cowering on the floor as Van Gaal ominously stands over him screaming.
It's unclear what exactly caused the hostile conflict, but it looks as though the Manchester United boss is yelling at the Southampton manager to get up, perhaps after going to ground too easily. Either way, it suggests that neither man liked each other even in their early days as players.
The pair did actually work together without problem during a brief stint at Barcelona when Van Gaal appointed Koeman as his assistant at Camp Nou in 1998 before the ambitious understudy left to take his first job in management two years later.
Still, the latest image is sure to stoke the flames even further ahead of tonight's crunch Premier League clash on the south coast, as the visitors look to make it five wins on the spin while the hosts attempt to end a run of back-to-back defeats.
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