FA Cup final: How Manchester United's Louis van Gaal and Crystal Palace's Alan Pardew compare

Louis van Gaal and Alan Pardew go head to head when Manchester United take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final 2016 on May 21.

Here, we compare the opposing managers at Wembley.


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
(Adam Davy/PA)

Van Gaal arrived in England with a reputation as an old-school authoritarian, a manager who strikes fear into his players rather than putting an arm around them.

While his methods have brought him undoubted success in the past, he has been accused of being outdated amid today's younger generation of players. Yet he is not averse to lightening the mood, as evidenced by his comedy fall on the touchline against Arsenal.

Alan Pardew
(Daniel Hambury/PA)

Pardew comes across as a laid-back character but the mask occasionally slips on the touchline. Just ask Arsene Wenger, Manuel Pellegrini and even Hull player David Meyler, who Pardew once headbutted during a heated exchange on the sidelines.

Like Van Gaal, some former players have also criticised his man-management, yet his most successful sides have thrived on team spirit rather than star names.


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
(Nick Potts/PA)

Van Gaal is not shy to remind people he has won titles at every club he has managed. Three Eredivisie triumphs and a Champions League win with Ajax, and further league successes with Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich is an impressive CV.

United are still a long way from challenging for the Premier League but the FA Cup would provide some long overdue silverware at Old Trafford.

Crystal Palace's manager Alan Pardew
(Frank Augstein/AP/PA)

Pardew's success has come on a less illustrious stage, with promotions at Reading and West Ham and a Johnstone's Paint Trophy win while at then League One side Southampton.

He also endured tough spells at Charlton, with whom he was relegated, and Newcastle, having never managed to win over the club's fans. He was an FA Cup runner-up with West Ham 10 years ago.


Louis van Gaal
(Martin Rickett/PA)

Van Gaal can never be accused of being a gung-ho coach. His sides rely on two holding midfielders and maintaining possession but their inability - or unwillingness - to turn that possession into goalscoring chances has often infuriated United fans.

There is also a notable lack of pace - Anthony Martial aside - in Van Gaal's preferred starting line-up.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew
(Steve Paston/PA)

Pardew, by contrast, loves pace in his teams and has a fondness for wingers, so will have been licking his lips at the prospect of managing Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie when he took over at Selhurst Park.

Yohan Cabaye pulls the strings in midfield but finding a regular goalscorer has been Palace's Achilles heel this season.


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
(Alastair Grant/AP/PA)

Van Gaal's position has been under almost constant scrutiny since he took over at Old Trafford from David Moyes two years ago.

Whether an FA Cup win will end the speculation that Jose Mourinho is ready and waiting to replace him remains to be seen.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew
(Richard Sellers/PA)

Pardew's future has not been questioned even during an alarming 14-game winless run in the Premier League which at one stage threatened to drag Palace into the relegation battle.

He will feel the cup owes him one after final defeats both as a player - for Palace against United - and manager.

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