Having just watched Manchester United beat a league one team by 1-0, at Old Trafford, thanks to a penalty in the 93rd minute scored by their third choice penalty taker I was not really interested in what van Gaal had to say, but I listened anyway.

As expected he said that the important thing was to win the game, which they did. He did say that United were poor in the first half but were slightly better in the second, which I just about noticed. Saying that they were slightly better should in no way imply that they were actually good.

Certainly they looked better when Memphis Depay came on and he did show a little urgency when he was on the ball, winning the penalty for Rooney to score right at the end.

The problem is that, after reasonable displays against Swansea and Chelsea, United seem to have gone backwards again.

Van Gaal pointed to the fact that Sheffield United defended with ten men behind the ball but what did he expect? They would have been very happy with a replay at Bramhall Lane and the income generated by it so, to play on the break, as they did meant that there were two possible results they would have been happy with. Unfortunately for Nigel Adkins they got the one result that they wouldn’t be happy with.

Inside Old Trafford there are definitely signs that the natives are getting restless. One shot from Depay was followed by ironic applause as it was the first shot United had taken virtually all game. At the end there were a lot of thumbs down signs towards van Gaal as he left the pitch.

How much longer can he last? It looks as though he has come through the worst as no move has been made to appoint a successor or to remove him. So I don’t expect any fresh news on the managerial front now, not until the end of the season when I do expect him to leave. I think this would be the solution which would suit both him and Ed Woodward the best.

Woodward’s problem with removing van Gaal at the moment is the embarrassment it would cause him as the one who fought for the appointment in the first place. When we reach the end of the season, however, van Gaal can be released from his contract to fly off into the sunset, with Woodward’s thanks ringing in his ears and the United fan’s relief flowing round Old Trafford.

As to his successor, it would seem that the players think it is likely to be Diego Simeone, currently in charge at Atletico Madrid who are second in La Liga. Whether Simeone is aware of this or not is unknown. Indeed, whether it is even a job that holds any interest for him is also unknown.

He would certainly be a popular choice with the supporters but, in fairness, anybody who isn’t Louis van Gaal would be a popular choice with the supporters at present.

So we will have to wait and see. One thing seems pretty certain now and that is that Jose Mourinho will not be the next Manchester United manager. He is, apparently, turning jobs down in the vague hope that United will call him but it seems less and less likely. If it was to be Mourinho I get the impression that the deal would have been done by now, particularly as van Gaal has already reached his nadir and may very well be on the up in the second half of the season. This is not necessarily anything for United fans to get too excited about as even when United win they are hardly the most scintillating team in the Premier League.

So, let’s hope for a couple of signings in this transfer window and a decent run in the FA Cup, (the final would be what I consider a decent run). Then we can wave goodbye to van Gaal and get on with the future.

  1. gaharis says:

    I couldn’t agree more! To watch this game I had to get out of bed at 6.30am on a windy and wet Sunday morning. In some ways I wish I hadn’t bothered, but this is the first Man Utd game I have watched right through for some time, and I wanted to form my own opinion on what is going on.

    It was depressing. The football was terrible, and you are probably right to suggest nothing much is going to change in either the management or players available for the balance of this season. So this is it until August.

    I hope you are right and Van Gaal and the Club part ways at the end of the season because he has to be at least partly responsible for this mess. I don’t want to see Giggs as manager, not yet anyway. Giggs cannot escape without some responsibility for the past 18 months and in my opinion he would be a big risk at this stage. Mauricio Pochettino strikes me as one of the more sensible alternatives being mentioned who might be gettable depending on how the rest of the season pans out.

    I think the management is only part of the problem and while that needs to be sorted first, there are too many players who are not up to the standard of a club which wants to compete and succeed in Europe.

    De Gea should be retained if possible. Smalling is of the required standard and so is Luke Shaw. Rojo and Darmian are okay as a back up, nothing more. Blind is a squad player also backing up at the back and in the midfield.

    Schneiderlin is of the required standard but Schweinsteiger and Carrick are now only squad players in my opinion. I am thinking now maybe Herrera and Mata have been either overrated or are they completely stuffed by the “philosophy” and being played out of position, I am not sure which.

    Martial looks to be of the required standard and probably so is Memphis once he gets his head around his new status as a smaller fish in a bigger pond.

    I have no idea about Rooney. It is strange Fellaini always seemed to be so good playing for Everton against Man Utd, but in my opinion he is not the sort of player Man Utd needs because he is so limited in what he does well.

    Most of the young ones need more time. Of the rest they should be thought of as squad players only.

    It’s my thinking from afar then Man Utd needs new management and a different playing style. But it also needs some additions to the five or six obvious current first team players needed to compete at home and in Europe.

    2016/17 just has to be different or the decline into mediocrity will continue.


  2. RedMe says:

    Because of the “philosophy” it is difficult at this point to say who fits and who doesn’t, everybody except for the goalkeeper is played out of position. Personally I believe that we won’t be able to hold on to David De Gea at the end of the season. 100% agreed about Fellaini, he is not a Manchester United Player. Schneiderlin, Depay and Martial, I believe, have had the creativity kicked out of them and Morgan maybe doesn’t want to, or can’t, accept that he only plays when van Gaal has no other option because for the manager to say that he needs a rest after playing two games is ridiculous. Rooney, I for one, would be very happy to see the back of him. 20 years ago we where happy to walk 10 miles to go and watch our team play, now if it’s not on TV we wouldn’t even get out the house.

    Liked by 1 person

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