LONDON - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned his new Manchester United counterpart Louis van Gaal that the competitiveness of the English Premier League will be like nothing he has experienced before.
Van Gaal has won titles in Holland, Spain and Germany and has made an impressive start to his United career, leading them to victory over Liverpool in the final of the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament.
But for all the 62-year-old's achievements, which include Champions League success with Ajax in 1995, Rodgers thinks he will be in for a shock when the Premier League kicks off on August 16.
"I think what he'll find is the competition in this league will be different to any other league that he's worked in," Rodgers said, as reported by several British newspapers yesterday.
"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."
Rodgers also spoke of his admiration for the Dutchman, who steered the Netherlands to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil.
"I'm obviously an admirer of his work and his career," the Northern Irishman added. "He's a very experienced manager and a very good manager who has worked at some big clubs.
"When you come through as a coach, you look at the guys who have a vision and a philosophy, and he was obviously one of those guys."