Manchester United and Barcelona have to control player egos, claims Cruyff

The Dutch legend believes Louis van Gaal will find it tough to fit his side’s new signings into a coherent team – something he expects Luis Enrique to struggle with, too

Former Netherlands star Johan Cruyff believes Manchester United and Barcelona face similar issues if they are to succeed under new managers.

While Luis Enrique has taken over the helm at Camp Nou and added Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Thomas Vermaelen and others to the squad, Louis van Gaal has overseen an overhaul at United, with six new faces arriving at Old Trafford before the end of the transfer window.

The signings of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria have led some to question how Van Gaal will go about selecting a side from a squad that already includes Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and club captain Wayne Rooney.

And Cruyff believes his fellow countryman will find it difficult to manage the various egos in his squad as he looks to improve on a start to the campaign that has seen the Red Devils fail to win any of their four competitive fixtures.

“There should be a logic always but the big problem is to manage all these players,” he told The Guardian. “It’s the same thing with Barcelona. They now have Suarez, [Lionel] Messi, Neymar – how do you play them together?

“If you see them individually then, of course, they are great players. It’s the same at Manchester United. Individually they are great but they have to play like a team.

“So then you get another problem. They are all famous. They earn a lot of money both on and off the field. How can you create a team and bring all these egos together?

“The main goal for Manchester United is for them to play well – and not have a player saying ‘I play well, I scored two goals’. Because if I score two goals but three goals go into our net then we lose.

“They provide [Van Gaal] with a lot of good players but he has to turn them into a team. And you can’t arrange the chemistry of the team in two weeks. It needs time.”

Van Gaal has previously stated that he could require up to three months to mould the 20-time English champions into a side that is able to play at the required level to challenge for silverware as they look to adapt to a new 3-5-2 formation.

And Cruyff is in agreement that the former Bayern Munich coach will need time to impose himself on the team, though he does not feel that it will take a whole season to improve the side sufficiently.

“No, no [it will not take a season]. That’s too long. But it doesn’t mean they will win the league.

“You can see a better performance every week and you can aim for a better fit as a team in the details. And [Van Gaal] is a person of details. So it could be possible that things work.

“But, once again, can these people develop their own game for the sake of the team? It’s not easy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *