Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. That’s Louis van Gaal’s life right now.
If the English press are to be believed, today could be Van Gaal’s last day in the Man United hot seat if the Red Devils are beaten at home against Chelsea.
That statement should probably be taken with a pinch of salt however, as only recently the English press barked that Van Gaal would be a goner if they lost to Stoke on Boxing Day.
That happened, but Van Gaal has stayed on, and the Times are now reporting how Ed Woodward has tried to convince the Dutch boss to tough out this terrible spell at the Theatre of Dreams.
Alan Shearer has now stuck his boot into the Iron Tulip in his weekly column in the Sun. The Match of the Day pundit has voiced his belief that Van Gaal should have left Old Trafford already. He said:
Louis van Gaal might as well have walked out of his job at the final whistle at the Britannia. He has no chance with this team.
This is the worst Manchester United team for many a year… They lack fight, leadership, character, effort, everything. But a lot of the blame must be laid at the manager’s door. On Saturday he had square pegs in round holes everywhere.
Was that the performance of a team trying to save their manager? No, it wasn’t.
Shearer also criticised Van Gaal for benching Wayne Rooney at Stoke, saying “on a day when you needed to stand up and be counted, he also had Wayne Rooney on the bench.”
But, playing devil’s advocate, surely whoever is in charge of Man United needs to have the cojones to bench a player like Rooney. Those are the big decisions which ballsy managers need to make. Van Gaal definitely had good reason not to start Rooney at the Potters.
Looking forward, rather than suggesting that Ryan Giggs should take over from Van Gaal, Shearer has plumped for Jose Mourinho. He said:
So who comes in, if that happens? Well, for me, they have to get Jose Mourinho straight in. He is available and he wants it.
United need to get back to the top and need to do it now. In Mourinho, there is a proven winner, someone who will have an impact, who will turn things around.