The former Barcelona coach says he is not surprised by the positive start the 44-year-old has made to life on the Camp Nou hotseat, but he says his biggest tests are yet to come.
Barring a Supercopa defeat to Real Madrid, the former assistant has made an unbeaten start to his career in charge of the club since his promotion following Pep Guardiola's departure. While the Catalans' former boss is encouraged by the manner in which Vilanova has adapted to life at the helm, he believes talk of his managerial credentials is premature.
"Everything is going great for him now, just as we all expected," Cruyff told The Daily Mail. "He knew the players, he knows the club very well, he helped Guardiola and was a part of a successful management team. But now is not the time to judge him as a coach. The time to judge him is when something goes wrong; when things don’t work out, when there is a crisis. That’s when you know if the coach is capable."
Cruyff then discussed the impact Lionel Messi has made on both Barca and Argentina, and admitted that although the forward remains "on a different planet," without the help of his supporting cast at Camp Nou he is not as effective.
"Messi is the star, of course. But he only plays so well, because he has [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi or [Cesc] Fabregas to help him," Cruyff said. "Look at the difference when he plays with Argentina, when the supporting quality is not there. But Messi is in a different league, on a different planet."
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