Former Netherlands great Johan Cruyff has told Louis van Gaal he has no right to complain about the hectic holiday season programme in the Premier League when he chose to go and work there.
Writing in his weekly column in the daily De Telegraaf, Cruyff said the Manchester United manager had to accept the English way of running their league without a winter break.
“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.
“Playing football between Christmas and New Year is a war of attrition and thus in favour of physically stronger teams.”
Any attempt by Van Gaal to try to change the system would be doomed to failure, added Cruyff, who has had a strained relationship with his compatriot and has criticised Van Gaal’s organisation of the United team since taking 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.”
Van Gaal said the over-crowded festive fixture schedule neglected player welfare and short-changed millions of 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,” said Van Gaal.