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Van Gaal v Mourinho: Master v Apprentice (feat. Feliks)

Started on 16 December 2015 by Maximus
Latest Reply on 24 January 2016 by Feliks
Maximus's avatar Group Maximus
8 yearsEdited

A Clash of “Philosophies”

How times change. The former apprentice is now centre stage, but can his tutor teach him a lesson or two the hard way?

Two weeks ago Louis van Gaal congratulated his “colleague” José Mourinho and Chelsea on winning the Premiership during his press conference ahead of United’s match against Crystal Palace: today, at his press conference ahead of relegation threatened Hull City, van Gaal assures his former assistant that the shoe will be on the other foot come next May.

When asked about his prediction for next season, the Dutchman allowed himself a wry smile, before saying, with trademark self-confidence:

“This is still not a Louis van Gaal team. We are closer than we were at the start of season, but we are not there yet. We will build in the summer and prepare before the season begins. Chelsea have been a special team this year, with a special trainer. Many say their style is not attractive. But statistically, they deserve to have won the league. They will be back prepared, and hungry to win again. But next May, it will be my colleague, José Mourinho who will be congratulating Manchester United on winning the Premiership.”

Van Gaal, a picture of self-confidence, believes with several changes to his squad, United will win the Premier League next season.

What a difference a fortnight can make. From humble to imposing. A public throwing down of the gauntlet between two of the most successful and confident (don’t call them arrogant!) tacticians in world football. And what’s better? We are the privileged ones, the English football fans. They have chosen to test themselves against one another in our backyard, the Premier League. Not in Spain, or Germany, or Italy which (arguably) would be a simpler task, they have chosen our league, the same one many regard as the most competitive in world football. Two of the best, two former colleagues, and two friends positioned to go neck and neck with squads filled with world class players…and bags of cash. There is no doubt the rivalry was evident this season when the two met in the technical area, or were relayed messages through the media, but it seems as van Gaal establishes himself in the league, the rivalry will develop into a spectacle, a small, but significant subplot of the much larger Premier League picture.

What makes the spectacle more intriguing is their difference in approach, or “philosophy” as one prefers to call it. If one believes the sky is blue, then the other certainly believes it’s anything but. Mourinho will set up as he has always has, extremely solid defensively with players able to devastate on the break. Not van Gaal. We have seen glimpses of van Gaal’s trademark 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 play intricate possession football in their opponents half this season, but United have been far from consistent. Something he, more than anyone else, realises needs work if United are to hit the ground running come August.

The Catalan brains trust. Van Gaal and Mourinho share thoughts during their time together at Barcelona.

Van Gaal’s knack for developing top flight managers is well known, a trainer’s trainer if you will. Many, (and maybe even he) believes that he is truly the master. Given Mourinho has won three more league titles, five more domestic cups, and one more Champions League than van Gaal, Mourinho must be regarded as a brilliant pupil, but a pupil nonetheless. We tend to steer clear of sensationalistic language at this newspaper, but, given the personality of the two, I feel the coming metaphor is apt: like the tagline of a Hollywood blockbuster, this is truly a battle of the master against the apprentice.

Authors Note

So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our FM16 story. I will be playing as van Gaal, and my good friend Feliks will be playing Mourinho. Strap yourselves in.
Feliks's avatar Group Feliks
8 yearsEdited

Mourinho: The Road Ahead

Victorious Chelsea manager, José Mourinho has very kindly invited BT Sport’s Jake Thompson into his home to speak about the season just gone, and his future just hours after Chelsea were crowned 2014/15 Premier League champions.

Thompson: José, you’ve just regained the Premier League title, what are you going to do now?

Mourinho: A trip to the Bahamas? In all seriousness, the only thing in my mind is to keep the trophy. I have no doubts that the team can achieve this, and with the correct deals in the transfer window and preseason training, I believe that my club can win again.

Thompson: How does this title compare to your previous wins as Chelsea manager?

Mourinho: It compares in a good way. In so many ways they were similar but in the last season it was special because of the organisation and planning that my club made towards winning the title; we lost a lot of the big boys, Ashley Cole, Essien, Lampard, who were so, so crucial in the team. A lot of the player didn’t have Premier League titles so to win is a real, erm, testament to their abilities as players.
Two of Chelsea's stalwarts departed under Mourinho and it makes the title that much sweeter, says Jose.

Thompson: Your former boss, Louis van Gaal, has recently stated that he expects Manchester United will win the 2015-16 Premier League title, what do you make of these comments?

Mourinho: I think it is good sentiment, of course, because Manchester United have not been so good in the last few years since they lost Fergie, so to come out and say that is bold from Louis. Will it happen? I don’t know.

Thompson: Will Chelsea be their main challenger?

Mourinho: If they aren’t, I’m not doing my job right. Of course we will be, United and Louis are good adversaries and it will be nice to be pushed this season. I am confident we will come on top again, however.

Mourinho was reluctant to discuss the claims made by van Gaal earlier in the week.

Thompson: Where do you feel your team needs strengthening?

Mourinho: I feel like these players have proved their worth to me; they were unproven before this season and now they can say they are the best in the league. There isn’t much I’d like to change. Perhaps some more English players; it is hard to say at this point.

Thompson: Will the Champions League become more of a priority now that you’ve won the league?

Mourinho: That is a good question, and the answer right now is - I’m not sure. There are a lot of, erm, factors to consider, and what the fans want is always important to me and the club. I guess by the time the Champions League comes around I will know.

Thompson: And just a final one for our viewers - Didier Drogba. Epic player for the club hanging up his boots. You’ve had a long history with him. Do you have any final words for him?
Drogba was at Chelsea for all 3 of Mourinho's titles at the club.

Mourinho: Of course, of course. He’s been a legend of the club and he’s always welcome back - not as a player of course! He’s had his run but we all know his time has come. It was a great time though. A fantastic player.

Thompson: Well thankyou for your time Jose, and congratulations on your title success. We wish you all the best for the year ahead.

Mourinho: Thankyou Jake.
Maximus's avatar Group Maximus
8 yearsEdited

6 Players That Need To Leave United

Captain-not-so-fantastic: Robin van Persie has not found his form this season.

Dishonourable mention to Robin van Persie

Not to say that he should go, but if he does, it would not come as a surprize. The Dutchman has looked half the player he was last season which was reflected in his playing time. van Persie was only given one start between February at the final game of the season, with van Gaal placing his faith in Wayne Rooney rather than his compatriot. The United manager has remained tight-lipped on van Persie’s future, but insists the rumours of a big money move to Qatar that surfaced yesterday were completely unfounded.

Expected destination: FC Bayern, Juventus, Dortmund.

6. James Wilson (loan)

The 19 year old striker has been given his chance this season with his far more reputable colleagues failing to find the net regularly, appearing in 16 matches. Similar to what many young strikers at top clubs face, the last at United being Danny Welbeck, Wilson has not proven he can be relied upon to score a goal off the bench regularly. And like Welbeck’s loan to Sunderland, Wilson needs a loan promising first team football to prove just that. Then, maybe, he could be an important squad player for van Gaal as be begins to blossom under a manager that is known for developing young talent.

Expected destination: Swansea, Sunderland.

5. Adnan Januzaj (loan)

Unexpectedly, Adnan Januzaj has had very limited first team football under van Gaal this season. Januzaj was the one of, or only, silver lining of David Moyes’ disastrous reign at Old Trafford. But this season, he has played half the minutes he did last season. For the 20 year old Belgian to fulfil the potential that looked possible in 14/15, van Gaal needs to let Januzaj leave on loan to grow, not doing so would be in contrast to the Dutchman’s philosophy.

Expected destination: Everton, Southampton, Dortmund.

4. Marouane Fellaini

Fellaini has not had a poor season. He scored 6 goals from midfield. At times, everything went through him, or, at his head (ask Sam Allardyce). Instead, controversially, Fellaini should go because he is a liability. A player never far away from a needless booking, mindless red card, or an infuriating ban, Fellaini does more damage than good. A player that likes raising an elbow, dropping the knee, or a scratch to the face, if physicality is Fellaini’s greatest asset, there are better options that provide that, within the laws of the game.

Expected destination: PSG, Atlético Madrid, Everton.

Evans needs to leave United to continue his development.

3. Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans looked conformable, composed, and commanding when partnered with Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidić, but when he is the senior figure in the centre-back partnership, those qualities have faded, dramatically. Unable to secure a consistent first team spot in a centre-back partnership that has been shuffled a record number of times his season, Evans looks set to spend more time on the bench next season as a big name centre-back is virtually certain to join, and at 27, surely Evans will want a move to go ahead.

Expected destination: Everton, Tottenham.

2. Rafael

Plagued with injuries and second choice when fit, it seems Rafael’s days at United are numbered. The Brazilian is a polarising figure, some suggest he has been unlucky with injuries and still has a lot to learn, some believe he is a liability defensively. Regardless, Rafael fits the mould many teams look for in a fullback, quick, brave, and able to influence the attack. Surely these qualities will see him move to another elite team, and fingers crossed for him, an injury free season elsewhere.

Expected destination: PSG, Valencia CF, Benfica.

A fallen star: Falcao has looked half the striker he was in seasons past.

1. Falcao

Sadly, following his knee injury at AS Monaco, Falcao has never looked the menacing, clinical, and mercurial complete forward he was at Atlético and FC Porto. It seems the only silver lining from the Falcao loan was just that, a loan.

Expected destination: AS Monaco, Juventus, Chelsea.
Two teams I hate, I hope you both get relegated (which lets be honest, in the case of Chelsea it just might happen)

Good luck with it lads!
I agree with Griffo . You will both get relegated, surely THE CHAMPS CHELSEA B)
Not a fan of either manager or club, but best of luck to both lads!

And of course I had to say it...


Finally! Only been waiting 6 months for this! :P

Good luck guys, will be following closely.
I club I I love....will be looking forward to this. Nice updates.
Maximus's avatar Group Maximus
8 yearsEdited
@Griffo: Griff plz. Fingers crossed Feliks can do a better job than the real Mourinho. Hope you enjoy!

@SooruSooru: We haven't planned on what we'll do if we get relegated. But it'll be an amazing twist if we do!

@Iconic: You'll be a United fan within a week ;)

@Lippo: We feel the same! So much planning and it's finally begun. Glad to have you along for the ride!

@Kingpin_blue: Cheers mate, that's what we want though. We don't want too many fence sitters!

6 Players United Need To Sign

Should De Gea leave, Lloris looks like the next in line to wear the prestigious #1 at Old Trafford.

Honourable mention to Hugo Lloris

If Manchester United lose their battle to keep David De Gea with Real Madrid continuing to track the future Spanish #1, the French shot-stopper looks the best alternative to fill the void between the sticks at Old Trafford.

Expected price: £25-30m.

6. Edinson Cavani

With many expecting Manchester United to sell Javier Hernández to the highest bidder, to let misfiring Falcao return to Monaco without triggering the reported £43m option to buy clause, and with the continued speculation regarding the future of Robin van Persie at United, Manchester United will certainly be looking for a leading number 9 to partner Wayne Rooney. Since his move to Paris in 2013/14, Cavani has looked every bit worth his £53m transfer from Napoli.

Expected price: £50-60m.

5. Nathaniel Clyne

With Rafael unable to break back into the first team after injury under van Gaal, and question marks over winger turned wingback, Antonio Valencia’s defensive abilities, United are almost certain to sign a right fullback that could be thrown into the first team immediately. Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne has been thrust into the limelight in the last 24 months, even beginning to establish himself as Roy Hodgson’s first choice. His home-grown status, and potential to grow are two quality rarely overlooked by both United and van Gaal.

Expected price: £18-23m.

After years of speculation, will Gündoğan finally join United?

4. İlkay Gündoğan

It seems the German playmaker already has one hand on a Manchester United strip. Reports suggest he was on the verge of signing last season before one party pulled the plug, but it appears it is just a matter of when, not if now. United are spoilt for choice in the centre of midfield, so where will he fit in? A probable replacement for the aging Michael Carrick, or a straight swap for Ander Herrera? Either way, United are getting themselves a midfielder specialising in influencing the play from deep, while being capable of winning the ball back.

Expected price: £25-30m.

3. Arturo Vidal

Speaking of winning the ball back…is there anyone better at doing just that in world football than Arturo Vidal? The sheer sight of him must surely make slight attacking playmakers shake in their boots. And he’s exactly what United fans have been demanding for several seasons, an aggressive midfielders that will win back the ball more times than not, a centre-backs dream. But, prizing a star player from Champions League finalists Juventus has proven a very tough ask in the last few seasons, (talk to every top club about the price of Paul Pogba).

Expected price: £35-40m.

2. Gareth Bale

The scapegoat. The target. The victim. Whatever you want to call him, Gareth Bale has been treated unfairly by the Spanish media and Real fans alike. The Welshman, who moved to Real for a world record £85m after a stellar season at Tottenham now seems certain to look for an exit route, with United, Manchester City and Chelsea believed to be the only clubs that could afford the massive fee without breaching FFP regulations. The left back, turned left winger, turned right sided inside forward, would give United serious firepower on the right wing and with the confirmed signing of Dutch livewire Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven earlier this month, United look deadly on both flanks.

Expected price: £75-85m.

Is this the last goodbye for the BVB fans?

1. Mats Hummels

Why is the most expensive player (and potentially about to break his own record to leave his Madrid nightmare) not our #1 player United need to sign? Because this is a list of the players United most need to sign, and it should come as no surprize that United need a world class centre-back more than anything else, and Mats Hummels appears the only the only one, potentially, on the market. Widely regarded as one of the most commanding centre-backs in world football, Hummels would certainly add some serious solidity to a United backline that has been far too inconsistent this season.

Expected price: £30-35m.
that's great two germans there. :D
I hate Chelsea slightly less than I do Man United *made even worse by the fact my mum's a United fan lol* so I guess I want them to do 'better' in this *tho I want them to be relegated irl lmao*
Nathaniel Clyne would be a fantastic signing for Man United! :P
Even club legends are being forced out of the title defence

For the players who featured, 2014/15 was a brilliant season at Chelsea Football Club. John Terry wound back the years, Thibaut Courtois became a household name and Eden Hazard tore the league to shreds. These players and many more clicked, becoming an unstoppable force and Chelsea easily won the league for the 3rd time under Jose Mourinho. But does anyone remember the exploits of Oriol Romeu? Mohamed Salah? And what about the club legend Petr Cech? In this article, we’ll have a look at 6 players who need to leave Chelsea for their own good - sometimes the best club isn’t the best fit.
The January flop?

Dishonourable Mention - Juan Cuadrado

The Colombian livewire was Mourinho’s big January signing, costing the club £23.3m, and even the manager himself admitted that he was struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League. He didn’t make much of an impact over 13 games and the big price tag seems to have taken its toll. It would be unlikely for him to leave permanently after being at the club for just 6 months but a loan could be imminent for Cuadrado.

6. John Obi Mikel

A player that could have been an honourable mention, Mikel still has a part to play at Chelsea but it seems to be getting smaller and smaller each year. After starting 100% of the games he played in 2010/11, he dropped to 65% in 2013/14 and just 60% last season as Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas begin to control the central midfield. Of course, he did play 30 games, which is definitely solid. But with Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek coming up, and Ramires possessing far more versatility, the Chelsea stalwart may find himself on the outer.

Expected Destination - Besiktas, AC Milan, Valencia

5. Mohamed Salah

The next 4 players on this list are all players who weren’t at the club last season, and instead were on loan at a variety of clubs in Europe. The first is Mohamed Salah, who could just as well stay as go. He played just 3 games last year before leaving on loan, yet received a winner’s medal on the insistence of Jose Mourinho. This could be an indication of the ‘Special One’’s endearment towards the Egyptian player, but with Cuadrado, Willian, Oscar and Hazard at the club it would be hard for him to get in the side. Serie A is a likely destination for this skilled dribbler.

Expected Destination - Fiorentina, Roma, Udinese
Looks destined to join Bojan as a high profile La Masia flop

4. Oriol Romeu

Unlike Cesc Fabregas, Romeu’s transition from La Masia to the Premier League hasn’t gone to plan after a failed stint at Chelsea and 2 fairly anonymous loan spells at Valencia and Stuttgart. He hasn’t managed to stamp himself at the club and with Mourinho’s patience waning, the once highly touted midfielder will probably leave Chelsea on a permanent basis.

Expected Destination - Stuttgart, Southampton, West Ham

3. Marko Marin

At 25 years of age, and having played just 6 games for the club over the past 3 years, Marko Marin is a prime candidate to leave the club after flopping since his move from Werder Bremen. Marin failed to make a mark on loan at Sevilla, Fiorentina and Anderlecht and is at a point in his career where he needs to leave the club before he descends into obscurity. Could be very damaging for a smaller club.

Expected Destination - Borussia Monchengladbach, Everton, Anderlecht
Wait, Chelsea still own that guy?

2. Victor Moses

Yes, Victor Moses remains on the Chelsea payroll for reasons we are unsure of, after unconvincing loan spells at Liverpool and Stoke. There is no space for him in the first team squad this season, so a loan or a transfer is his only option. At 25, you’d think he’d outgrown loans, and could finally be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fans can only hope.

Expected Destination - Stoke, West Ham, West Brom
The changing of the guards

1. Petr Cech

The Chelsea legend was almost forgotten last season, playing just 7 games as Thibaut Courtois emerged as an elite goalkeeper. After over 300 games for the Blues, the 33 year old will want to put the 2014/15 season behind him and start anew this year, away from Chelsea. He’s simply too good to sit on a bench and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cech at a Premier League rival sooner rather than later.

Expected Destination - Arsenal, Liverpool, Valencia
@SooruSooru: 2 Germans that would be great signings for United!

@FormIsntAll: If either one of us get relegated we need to retire from FM for life!

@Glenn T: Shhhh Glenn! :P

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