Van Gaal and Conte: International quality shown but differing club results to come?

Italy's coach Antonio Conte.

Louis van Gaal impressed with the Netherlands before taking over at Manchester United. Antonio Conte has got Italy off to a good start and could have a similarly impressive international tournament. But can he do what van Gaal didn't when he takes over at Chelsea?

Italy head coach Antonio Conte celebrates at the end of the match

Cast your mind back to the World Cup two years ago in Brazil when a lot of attention was on Louis van Gaal's Netherlands side as it became apparent that he would be taking over as Manchester United manager following the tournament. 

It was much anticipated, people were wondering what van Gaal was all about in the modern game having seen his CV from the past which featured decent pedigree in Spain, Holland and Germany, featuring some success in Europe as part of it all.

People were impressed. They were impressed at the way the Netherlands swept aside Spain with ease; coming from behind to beat the World Cup holders 5-1. On their way to a third-place finish, observers were suitably impressed by some of his substitutions, including Memphis Depay making an impact from the bench and bringing on Tim Krul purely for the penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica.

Robin van Persie celebrates with coach Louis van Gaal (R) and team mates after scoring the first goal for Holland

It was a similar feeling last night. Antonio Conte takes over at Chelsea in the summer following the conclusion of Italy's Euro 2016 campaign. A massive rebuilding job will await him, like it did with van Gaal at Old Trafford.

Conte's Italy against Belgium were wonderful, leading many to dust off the phrase of 'never write off the Italians'. 

He thwarted the Belgians, trusted players he knew from his time at Juventus and got the very best out of players at his disposal. His tactical acumen was there for all to see. The foundations are there for Italy to go far in the tournament, and many of the favourites will be looking at the Azzurri as a side they do not want to particularly meet. Given the dynamic of Euro 2016, it is difficult to envisage a knock-out stage without Conte's side there.

Italy players celebrate after the game

There is a lot of expectation on Conte to deliver and it will only rise rapidly if Italy get to the latter stages of the competition. The situation he will face at Chelsea is a different one, and his club success is a lot more recent given the recent era of dominance that started under Conte's reign. 

Van Gaal's reign at Manchester United will not be well remembered, even if it did end with silverware in the FA Cup. He did not take the pragmatism that allowed him to do well in charge of an international side into his club management - one lesson that Conte can learn. 

Manchester United's manager Louis van Gaal celebrates  winning the FA Cup with the trophy

If he can take the pragmatism and get the side to play for his tactical strengths during his rebuilding job, he stands a good chance of succeeding where van Gaal failed. But the Dutchman himself was proof that a good international tournament does not necessarily translate into hitting the ground running at the club.

Although at different stages of their respective careers, Conte can use van Gaal's time at Manchester United to learn how to adapt to Premier League life when he gets hold of things at Chelsea. 

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