I’ll come right out and say it – Louis van Gaal HAS to go.
I’m not a Manchester United fan, but even I have become embarrassed by the appalling performances phoned in by the Dutchman’s side. If they are to preserve even a modicum of dignity for what has been a pathetic season by their standards so far, van Gaal must be shown the door immediately.
Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Stoke was, quite frankly, the final nail in the coffin. Shorn of the misfiring Rooney (lest we forget, this is the man that Louis van Gaal made captain and pinned all the team’s hopes on), United were worse than they have been all season.
Dull, uninspiring and a million miles away from looking like they were playing to any sort of plan, let alone “philosophy”.
Make no mistake, if that was a performance under David Moyes, the Scot would have been derided, and although the British press are now suggesting that United should pull the trigger and say goodbye to van Gaal, it seems to me like the United hierarchy are dragging their heels in bizarre fashion.
Four straight defeats. Down in sixth. Three points away from the top four. Nine points away from top spot.
These are not the statistics of a side that is gradually improving under the stewardship of an experienced and talented manager.
These are the statistics of a side that is rudderless, lacking in spark, inspiration and creativity, and crucially, a team utterly bereft of confidence.
No one is expecting miracles. Sir Alex Ferguson was a one-off, and although he deserved to go, Moyes probably took more flak than he deserved for United’s drastic change in fortunes when he took over. United are no longer the superpower they once were.
But they shouldn’t be THIS bad. Less than three years ago, they cantered to the title and although personnel has changed, there are still a number of Premier League winners in this side.
Most damning for van Gaal, they are considerably worse than they were last season. The 2014/2015 campaign was all about getting results and getting United back in the top four.
This year was about kicking on. But they’re not. They’re moving hopelessly backward, and van Gaal clearly has no way of halting the slide.
He needs to go. Not just for United or their fans. For English football. Because a strong United makes for a strong brand and an increased profile for the Premier League.
Regardless of the Chelsea job, United need to take action. I honestly believe they’ll regret it if they don’t.