The Van Gaal, Mourinho Re-Union

By on October 24, 2014

Louis van Gaal will be facing his first fire-test since his resumption at Manchester United when he leads his side to face the current league leaders. Any clash between any of the top four or perhaps the first six is normally explosive but this particular match is on a different level. The peculiarity of the game should not be analysed with the current state of form, after all, form is temporal and class is permanent. For the first time in a long while the attention will sway from the players to the managers. Yes, it major highlight will focus on Louis van Gaal and his protégé José Mourinho.

Following the sack of Bryan Robson in 1998, the top echelons at Barcelona began to finalize plans to relieve Mourinho of his job as a translator (although he also helps with planning training sessions and tactical instructions). The Portuguese lashed at Josep Lluis Nunez who was president of the Catalan club as at then, citing his contributions towards the club’s triumphs in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and European Cup as reasons why he shouldn’t be let go.

Louis van Gaal recalled that ‘Mourinho was very angry; He was very irritated and shouted’. Jose’s rants obviously did not convince Nunez, but he did win the heart of someone that mattered, Louis van Gaal. The Dutch boss decided to keep him on to analyse games and conduct individual training sessions.

Since the duo’s departure of Barcelona, they have both plied their trade at the highest left of European football. Jose Mourinho after winning the Champions League with Portuguese Outfit, Porto F.C, moved to Chelsea, F.C Internationale, Real Madrid and now Chelsea again while his boss has also handled Bayern Munich and the Dutch national team and has now resumed at Manchester United.

More so, Louis van Gaal has faced Jose Mourinho twice before, firstly in the 2010 Champions League final when Mourinho’s Inter Milan got the better of van Gaal’s Bayern Munich. The other meeting was in a non-competitive game, Franz Beckenbauer’s farewell match where Mourinho’s Real Madrid again won on penalties.

Now, Jose Mourinho’s side appears to have the upper hand as they are currently enjoying a good run of form while Manchester United are quite ephemeral with their performances. However, both managers have a lot to prove and let’s hope that their wonderful relationship helps to avoid ‘the manager’s brawl’ that Jose Mourinho is now known for.

By Tomilayo Alapinni

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