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LVG wrong to complain about fixtures pile-up

Aston-Villa-v-Manchester-United-Premier-LeagueHolland legend and former Barcelona manager Johann Cruyff has said Louis Van Gaal has made a mistake by choosing to criticise the hectic festive season programme in English football, given he’s the one who chose to manage an English club.

Van Gaal said that the number of games teams were forced to play during the Christmas period had a negative impact not only on players’ fitness and teams’ results but also on the supporters.

“Everybody knows the body cannot recover within 48 hours,” he said last month.

“Therefore there is a rule within UEFA and FIFA that you cannot play the games within two days. The scientists have proven it, everybody knows it and, in spite of that, we have to play.

“It is the culture of England. I don’t mind, but it’s not good for the players, for the health of the players, and it’s not good for the game.”

Former Ajax legend Cruyff, however, didn’t share his compatriot’s point of view.

“If you choose for (a job in) England, then you choose for their successful system, which is based on the proposition that the stadiums open as soon as the fans are available to watch, which is the holiday period,” Cruyff said in his column on popular Dutch newspaper De Telegraf.

“Playing football between Christmas and New Year is a war of attrition and thus in favour of physically stronger teams.”

It’s not the first time that Cruyff, who has had a strained relationship with the United manager, has criticised Van Gaal’s decision-making at United since the former Holland manager took over in July.

“It has been working (well) since time immemorial and in 100 years it will still be so,” Cruyff said.

“Complaining makes no sense if everyone else around you is happy. Moreover, everybody is well paid for working over the holiday period.”