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Ronald de Boer compares Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal

It is only a matter of time before Jose Mourinho is announced as the successor of Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. As the Portuguese manager takes the reigns from the Dutchman, Ronald de Boer has said that the two managers are alike. Mourinho coached at Chelsea last season as he helped earn the Blues the Premier League title, but after a slow start to the 2015-16 season, he was sacked. Mourinho has managed at Inter Milan and Real Madrid, having success at both clubs. Before Louis van Gaal took over at United, the 64-year-old had been successful at multiple high-profile clubs. De Boer highlighted some similarities between the two managers.

“He is similar. Most of the time from what I know – and it’s the same with Mourinho – you hate him or you love him. People run away with the impression of Mourinho and it’s the same with Van Gaal.

“There will always be players who are not playing who will dislike him. Always – but generally most of the players will for sure like Van Gaal, the way that he treated them and took his managing role in the team.

“[Mourinho] is very good. He can shape a team and go straight for results. He is like Van Gaal, a workaholic and prepares perfectly on how to win. Sometimes it is not pretty but he knows how to grind out wins. That is what you get.”

One aspect of Mourinho that differs from Van Gaal is the trust in youth players. Van Gaal gave chances to many youth players during his career and during his time in charge at Old Trafford. Mourinho prefers to play those who have experience on the big stage, but this is something that might not go down well at United, which has a prolific youth academy system. Mourinho’s lack of trust in youth players will have to change at United as players such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard play consistent minutes for the Red Devils. Van Gaal also gave debuts to Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Donald Love and more during this season. De Boer expressed his concerns over the application of academy players in a Mourinho coached side.

“I worry about Manchester United’s academy, can it have an effect on the players on the pitch? If you get a foreign legion again – results, prizes for winning, people forget that – but people love to see their own youth coming up and being the local hero – and that is the risk when you take Mourinho.

“Mourinho is a manager in my eyes who goes straight for ‘arrived’ players, experienced players, who can directly fulfil that job. Some young players: not so good.

“Maybe [Rashford] will be picked with the national team. He will get a chance for sure. But maybe Mourinho will think: ‘OK, Rashford, nice, but I need an experienced one also with him’. And then the experienced one will play and Rashford won’t play. That will be critical, of course, for his career and he must make it so difficult [not to drop him].”

The style of play between the managers is similar because Mourinho coached under Van Gaal. Van Gaal’s style is slower than Mourinho, which could be due to the age and traditional play of Van Gaal compared to that of Mourinho. By coming to United, Mourinho can adjust his philosophy by playing more youth players while still inserting his entertaining style of play. Mourinho has the potential to become an even better manager at United, but fans have to remember his history. Those who were calling for the sacking of Van Gaal will be unpleasantly surprised if Mourinho implements a similar strategy to his former boss.

Written by Shawn Medow

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