Phil Neville believes the intense nature of the Premier League and its schedule surprised Louis van Gaal this season but backed him to be much better next year.
Van Gaal finished a relatively successful World Cup campaign with his native Holland and flew directly to the United States to join his new team prior to the 2014 season.
It was noted at the time as to how little time Van Gaal took to recover from the exceptionally hottemperatures in Brazil during the competition.
Phil Neville, who played for 18 years in the league, believes Van Gaal was caught off guard by the intensity of English top flight football.
He said: “I think the league surprised Louis van Gaal. I think he got caught out, I think he was surprised with the intensity and playing over that Christmas period. I think it took a lot out of him.
“He’ll be better for it next year [though].
“He’s struggled with his system early on, trying to fit players into the systems. I think he’ll be better off next year, history says he wins trophies and that’s what United fans are hoping for.”
The Premier League’s Christmas schedule is notorious for how gruelling it can be on players, coaches and their families and an overhaul has been called for for the sake of the quality of the games.
Injuries tend to pile up at this time of the year and it has also been pointed at as a reason for the Premier League’s lack of success in the latter stages of the Champions league, which is held from February until March.