Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes Manchester United counterpart Louis van Gaal has a management style which strikes “fear” into his players.
The 51-year-old was Van Gaal’s assistant at Barcelona between 1998 and 2000 but their relationship has since soured.
Koeman also revealed the Netherlands had to employ a “softer” manager in Guus Hiddink to succeed van Gaal following last year’s World Cup.
Speaking about van Gaal, Koeman said: “When you have Van Gaal in charge, it is a fact that there is fear in his team and that is not always good.
“I was his assistant at Barcelona after the World Cup in 1998 and I learned a lot of things from him, but there is a big difference between him and me as managers.
“The way he handles his players is totally different. I don’t put as much pressure on the shoulders of my players.
“After Van Gaal coached the Dutch national team at the World Cup, the Dutch federation had to bring in a manager who would bring in a softer touch. The players needed an arm around their shoulder, someone calmer.”
Southampton missed the opportunity to leapfrog United in the Premier League table after losing 2-0 against Liverpool on Sunday.
Despite the loss, Southampton have impressed this season and have played with vibrancy and freedom. Van Gaal, on the other hand, has favoured a more pragmatic approach with creative players such as Juan Mata and Ander Herrera often finding themselves on the bench or left out altogether.