New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he found it easier when he first managed Barcelona following the Sir Bobby Robson era.
Van Gaal has been handed a great challenge at arguably the biggest club in the world and he’s off to a great start, with a perfect record from United’s pre-season friendly games so far.
However, he considers the job more difficult than when he followed Robson, with Barca fresh off of three La Liga titles back-to-back.
“I had to follow Bobby Robson at Barcelona. He had won three titles. That was easier for me than now I think. The same with the Dutch squad. It was very difficult to succeed Bert van Marwijk,” said LvG in an interview with the Mail.
Van Gaal has a point in a few respects and the challenge he faces now would have been different had he been the man who replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.
Van Gaal more than likely considers his job at Barcelona easier because much of the hard work had already been done by his predecessor.
It was a case of moving in and make subtle tweaks to a side that had already won the league.
David Moyes was in the same position when he moved to United but LvG has now been left to pick up the pieces and move the side back up the league table from a seventh placed finish.
He’s been put under huge pressure to get the side playing a more attractive brand of football and also to make key signings to several areas of the squad ahead of the new Premier League season.
The start of the campaign is now little over two weeks away and it’s still fair to suggest that United haven’t replace the outgoing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand and need to get another body in front of the back four.
United is arguably a more challenging prospect for LvG than when he went to Barcelona in 1997 but the pressure is certainly just as intense.