Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers went straight to the point in delivering the first tactic to the rivalry between his club and Manchester United when he commented that it would be extremely unlikely for new Red Devils mentor to win the title in his maiden season.
This comes after Van Gaal's wards drew initial blood in the rivalry with United's win behind Michael Rooney's inspired second half comeback 3-1 victory to capture the Guinness International Champions Cup on Monday evening. Rodgers insist that Van Gaal will see first-hand the level of competition in the English Premier League and will be hard pressed to replicate the success he achieved with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
"I think what he'll find is the competition in this league will be different from any other league that he's worked in," said Rodgers per the Guardian.com, "In a lot of the other leagues there are one or two teams and those are the teams that are expected to win. "This is a league where the top team plays the bottom team and on any given day you can lose. You don't get that a lot in the other leagues. I think the competition will probably take him by surprise and that's from foreign managers I have spoken to over the years."
History is beside Van Gaal as he was able to capture trophies during his initial year in Spain and Germany but the recent transfer transactions of Arsenal, defending champions Manchester City and Chelsea as well as the established Liverpool, the level of competition is tough and varied. Rodgers believe that there are five to six heavily favored squads who will tussle it out for the cup and that Van Gaal will be immediately put to the fire to deliver.
Rodgers is also wary of the mindset of Manchester United owners to deliver immediate success instead of building the team from the ground up. The manager contends that the Glazer family reneged on their promise to erstwhile coach David Moyes to establish long term stability instead of instant championships.
Nevertheless, just five games into his lead as manager, Van Gaal has upped the confidence of his players after inheriting a team that lacked the bravado under the Moyes regime. The Dutchman's track record is gaining the respect of his players and his personality of tenacity and championship caliber is rubbing off the performance of the roster.