Manchester United sit six points away from fourth position in the Premier League. They are due to face Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup and they have a second leg Europa League tie in which they need to turn around a one goal deficit, but have the advantage of an away goal.
If another manager was in charge this situation would probably be considered reasonable. Clawing back six points with only twelve games left is difficult but not impossible. Having a decent run in the FA Cup where the ultimate aim should be to win it is also not beyond the realms of possibility and, finally, going through to the next round of the Europa League should be a formality against a Danish team who are not very good.
The problem is that another manager isn’t in charge. It may also be reasonable to assume that if he were, then United may still be contesting the Champion’s League and the Premier League.
Replacing van Gaal at the beginning of the season wasn’t really a viable option. He had just finished fourth and qualified United for Champion’s League football. It was only after this small measure of success that he decided to reshape United so that everything resembled a pear.
Using old tactics, old training methods and some old players, he set about dismantling the little bit of success he had built the previous season. The alarm bells should have sounded to Ed Woodward when United were knocked out of the Capital One Cup, at Old Trafford, by lower league opposition. This is when, to me, the first sign of the writing being on the wall was visible.
This defeat was followed by FA Cup “success” in beating a first division team by a 94th minute penalty. The league form was erratic and United flirted with the top four for a short while before dropping out.
Still, as the writing on the wall went from being a sentence to a paragraph, nothing was done, no move was made to replace van Gaal. He had the “full backing” of the board, or so he said.
He was becoming more and more arrogant in his press conferences which he used to come up with a different excuse for each defeat. All the time United were going from bad to worse and the natives were getting very restless.
Now it is difficult to know whether United should stick or twist. They have left him in charge for far too long already. The problem now is will another manager want to come in with twelve games left? He wouldn’t be blamed for not winning anything, that is all down to van Gaal, but he may not want what may be a negative start to his United career.
On the other hand, maybe the lift that a change would give to the club would be welcome. It is entirely possible that they could finish in the top four, win the Europa League and FA Cup. It is unlikely, but possible.
So, to recap, if United stick with van Gaal which, up to now and against the advice of virtually everybody, they have done, they will not win anything and the season will go down as one of the worst ever in their Premier League history.
If they change manager they still may not win anything but a more positive atmosphere would immediately fill Old Trafford.
I am fed up pleading with them to sack van Gaal. They obviously couldn’t care less what the fans think or want and it’s only by hitting them in the pocket that this will ever change. Boycott the games at Old Trafford. Don’t buy a ticket then moan about the price, that was pathetic! Stay away until van Gaal is gone, I guarantee that will happen very soon if the gate receipts are down.