Manchester United’s number one problem going into the new season is not losing a preseason friendly to PSG, although losing something much more valuable is at the core of it. However, It is simply this - Louis van Gaal is messy. He is just as messy as the best manager in the English premier league at the moment, his friend, José Mourinho.
Mourinho, however, is messy in a whole different sort of way. In a, speak-incredibly-inappropriately-about-the-spouse-of-a-fellow-professional (see Benitez), poke-the-eye- of-a-terminally-sick-coach (see Vilanova), continually-taunt-and-deride-a-peer (see Benitez, Guardiola, and Wegner) -in-the-press kind of way. Yes, very messy.
The Chelsea boss can be very naughty, and yet is celebrated by the press because of his on pitch achievements.
Not that any half-decent human being with a basic modicum of civility and politeness could ever excuse the Chelsea manager’s tantrums exercised in the public sphere, as the Portuguese chief attention whore does not seem like slowing down anytime soon, even if at one point Mourinho did seem to head fake majority of the press last season into believing he had matured considerably over the years and that his trademark hot headedness had been consigned to the past.
With that being said, Mourinho never lets his messiness spill into his team, save the torrid Casillas affair and the Eto’o gaffe. In fact most, if not part, of it is really his siege mentality strategy he typically adapts to light a fire under his team to invigorate them.
LVG is quite the opposite. His brashness, one of the reasons he is often refered to as the Iron Tulip, combined with his awkwardness at man management will prove to be the achilles heel for the red devils. One can always see the light heartiness in erroneously misidentifying your best, arguably, center back Chris Smalling… as ‘Mike’. That can be explained away, we can relegate that to the slap-Giggsy-around hilarity basket.
For all his technical variability and astuteness, Van Gaal is the equivalent of the stereotypical brilliant nerd with a debilitating social savvy. And make no mistake, his general lack of guile as it pertains to man management is debilitating, especially at this crucial juncture in the club's history. The Dutch coach must learn to be both Iron and Tu