Ahead of Sunday’s enormous clash between Premier League leaders Manchester City and fierce rivals Manchester United, who sit just two points back in third, ex-Red Devil Paul Parker compares the key elements of both clubs and tries to come up with a winner...
I must admit my view has changed a bit on Louis Van Gaal, just with the way Manchester United have played. He is very old school. It’s all about following his guidelines, there is no variation, and he seems to be trying to do the right things at the moment. He does keep using the word philosophy, which irks me and to me doesn’t really relate to the world of football. To me that is more appropriate at a school or university.
I was a fan of Manuel Pellegrini when he was at Malaga. I also liked how he managed at Villarreal, where he had a really, really good team. If I look at what he’s had to endure at Man City, his job basically seems to be under threat every time he loses a game, but he just gets on with it. He hasn’t griped, he hasn’t moaned, he’s just accepted it and done his job.
Van Gaal tends to operate more in a dictatorship, in my opinion. So if you look at the two managers, one of them allows his players to express themselves and the other wants to control everything his players are doing. When what he is demanding doesn’t materialise, he’s quick to let everyone know.
There is certainly a different kind of management between the two. At this point, I’d have to go with someone like Pellegrini, just because of the football he likes to play and the manner in which he conducts himself.