They might spar on the touchline, but managers have a tight bond.
That was on display after Thursday’s news that Chelsea and Jose Mourinho had parted ways, with Premier League bosses expressing surprise that “The Special One” was gone from Stamford Bridge.
“He is a fantastic manager with a record that nobody has in this football world, but it is still possible.
“The main thing is, first, the results, and secondly the chemistry between the players, the manager and his staff. I cannot say what was happening in Chelsea, but I was very surprised.”
And Van Gaal knows that if he fails to pick up more points from Manchester United, he’ll soon know Mourinho’s fate.
“We have to win because when you lose too much it’s the end of the world for me also.”
Results-based business, no? Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich thinks Chelsea’s table plight is unbearable ignominy in addition to the off-field issues of his manager, but clearly Mourinho’s peers have empathy for the Portuguese manager.