Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho take friendship and rivalry into battle | Football | The Guardian
On Sunday the managers of Manchester United and Chelsea will be 15 yards On Sunday Van Gaal meets Mourinho in the early stages of a. Jose Mourinho has written Manchester United a six-page letter As pressure mounts on Van Gaal, sacked Chelsea manager makes . wants the job and how he would be willing to adapt his style to meet United's principles. The Chelsea boss, who worked under Van Gaal at Barcelona, often The pair meet at Old Trafford on Sunday when United face Chelsea.
Louis van Gaal: Jose Mourinho became special by himself
Mourinho was young and still dependent, but he was not afraid to contradict the man in charge. He was also different to Van Gaal. He was very attentive. He took it all in, always looking and learning — about human relationships as well as tactics.
He is the typical guy who watches everything — changing room, bus, hotel.
Everything is under control. I learnt a lot of things with him. He likes everything, step by step, [to be] on top of everything.
I could see that back then. He began to take training sessions himself and one day Van Gaal told him to take charge of the team in a Copa Catalunya game: I let him coach because I could see that he had talent. Perhaps that was inevitable. Van Gaal arrived at Barcelona because the club saw in him the latest incarnation of the Dutch school, a man who had won the European Cup with Ajax and was committed to a footballing philosophy they wanted to share.
Mourinho already saw things differently and said so. He talked about the need to entertain, to attack, to play in a particular way.
Louis van Gaal lays into Jose Mourinho for 'boring football'
I like him a lot and I know he likes me a lot too. He could see something special in Mourinho and he did not want him to sell himself short, as if he ever would.
Lineups and Stats Chelsea have the second-best defensive record in the division, United have the third, and Chelsea are the second-highest scorers, United the fourth.
Of course, within this broad statistical overview, there are several compelling individual contests. One of the stars of that draw at Old Trafford in October was Marouane Fellaini, in a game that, in retrospect, marked the true beginning of his renaissance in a United shirt. Alongside Daley Blind, he coped more than ably with the much-vaunted midfield pairing of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, before producing a powerful header from a corner that led to Robin van Persie's injury-time equaliser.
Van Gaal and Mourinho meet once again, this time with little to play for
Fellaini will again be a key figure in this fixture, but will be deployed more as he has been in recent matches, coming higher up the pitch to win knock-downs against Matic and Gary Cahill. His physicality, combined with United's vastly improved movement and tempo of late, should see his team enjoy the bulk of possession.
Mourinho, though, will not be bothered by Chelsea seeing too little of the ball. This is a man, after all, whose Inter team once completed passes to Barcelona's in their Champions League semifinal and still achieved the result they needed. Mourinho knows that, being seven points clear of Arsenal with a game in hand, this is not a game his team needs to win -- they merely need to avoid defeat. We can probably expect, then, a selection that will take the sting from this match.