Louis van Gaal could make his first mistake as Manchester United manager as soon as he walks through the door at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman is undoubtedly a good signing for the Old Trafford side but his robust and aggressive style of coaching could cause instant divisions within the playing squad ahead of a very important season.
The Daily Mail has claimed that certain players will be ‘looked after’ if they dance to LvG’s tune, which suggests that those who confront and conflict him could be cast to the Siberia otherwise known as the substitutes bench.
“Van Gaal's arrival at Old Trafford is certain to ruffle some feathers. He is renowned for an uncompromising nature,” reports the Mail.
“That means dependable players, see Van Persie, are looked after well. It could be that the striker is made United skipper when the season begins in August, and he is certainly making the right noises.”
The problem with divisions within a squad is that it makes it very difficult for everyone to pull in the right direction.
A good example can be seen from how Andre Villas-Boas handled his time at Chelsea before he was sacked, trying to make big changes to the way the Blues played and challenging several of the senior players.
It can’t be a coincidence that Rio Ferdinand has joined Nemanja Vidic out of the exit door, with Ryan Giggs urged to retire, removing two experienced and influential members of the dressing room along with the Serbian’s decision to walk away before LvG’s appointment.
However, the report also offers incentive to players who are prepared to work hard and suggests that certain individuals could revitalise their careers under the experienced coach.
Van Gaal could be impressed by the intense work rate of players like Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa who show a lot of energy and determination each time they step out on the training pitch or on a match day.
If LvG decides to prioritise taking care of certain players ahead of others then divisions will form but he should have enough experience to work the situation to his advantage and keep key players on side.