Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has suggested that Louis van Gaal is underperforming as Manchester United manager by claiming that a side of their size and financial power should be competing for the Premier League title.
The two have a fractious relationship since falling out while at Barcelona and are set to meet this weekend as their two sides face off in a potentially vital tie in the hunt for top four football.
While Koeman has had to do his work on a relatively modest budget on the South Coast, LVG has been able to splash the cash at Old Trafford, with Angel di Maria – who cost £60m – the marquee man of a £150m summer spending spree – the largest ever sum spent by a club in a single transfer window.
But despite the lavish nature of Van Gaal’s summer, United are nine points off joint league leaders Manchester City and Chelsea and have already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup.
And Koeman suggested that not competing for the biggest prizes would render his enemy’s reign at the Theatre of Dreams a failure:
“They have great players so it’s normal that they will fight for titles,” He is quoted by the Daily Mail. “They have to. How you can spend that money, how can you sign that kind of players, and not be fighting to win titles?
“Everything is up to Manchester United. They have a very successful coach, they have great players, they have money, they have great fans, a great stadium. It’s normal that you win titles.
“We had some problems in the past. We shake hands and I hope he will do well with United. It would be special to beat him, but I lost the last time and we try to put it right this time.”