Manchester United Would Be Foolish To Keep Louis Van Gaal

Old Trafford

We have seen a few articles popping up in the last week that suggest that Manchester United are willing to give manager Louis van Gaal another year in charge of the club.

Now I know the Dutchman has a year left on his deal but for the life of me I just can’t see why United would decide to keep him at Old Trafford when improvements have been minimal.

Van Gaal has spent a huge amount of money since he took over the ‘Red Devils’ back in 2014. With that in mind he hasn’t won a trophy, they disappointed in the Champions League and with four games to go they aren’t currently in the Premier League’s coveted top four positions, although that may change between now and the fifteenth of May.

But even if they manage to secure a place in the top four, it will be down to other teams negligence rather than down to United’s superiority.

Going back to the transfer strategy, it’s been a mix bag to say the least.

Yes we have seen some big successes especially in young French striker Anthony Martial who looks like he’ll be a world beater within the next few seasons.

Question marks still surround £25m man Memphis Depay. The Dutch forward has shone on occasions but those occasions have been fewer rather than the norm. A lot of people have questioned his attitude and with Van Gaal working with him before he should have known his positive and negative traits.

I still don’t think Van Gaal knows the best way to utilise Ander Herrera or maybe he simply doesn’t trust the Spaniard which baffles many as Ander looks to be a player that should be running the United midfield.

Talking of midfielders, Bastian Schweinsteiger looks to be an iffy buy and that’s me being kind. You cannot argue with his pedigree but it looks like best years are behind him and he won’t play enough to make the desired impact throughout a full season.

Others like Marcos Rojo, Morgan Schneiderlin, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian have enhanced the squad without setting the heather alight.

The biggest blunder for me was the sale of Angel di Maria.

The Argentine arrived after a strong showing in the 2014 World Cup and after helping Real Madrid win the Champions League. He was on cloud nine and one of the world’s most exciting attacking players. United paid a record £59.7m for the player.

Yet at Old Trafford Van Gaal would use him in various positions and hardly ever on the wing. The Dutchman wanted Di Maria to track back and that would stifle his creative talents. Even with that the Argentine international still managed to create ten assists, more than any other Man Utd player.

But instead of getting more out of Di Maria by playing him in his preferred position Van Gaal sanctioned his sale to PSG last summer and making a £15.7m loss on the player. Di Maria has went on to shine for the Paris club scoring ten domestic goals and creating twelve assists for the Ligue 1 champions, while playing predominantly on the right wing.

The Di Maria situation is simple, Van Gaal mismanaged him and failed to get the best out of him. That says a lot about the sixty-four year olds failure to adapt his philosophy to help improve the team.

After he left, Di Maria said he wasn’t overly fond of the United boss and that was key in his move to France:

“I didn’t get on very well with the coach, so I think the decision to join Paris was the best solution”

The treatment of well respected and liked goalkeeper Victor Valdes also looked odd.

Quite a lot of United’s faithful were also left unimpressed with how Van Gaal dumped players like Rafael, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez. 

These are players who were loyal to United and would give everything for the ‘Reds’.

Man United have scored a paltry forty-two goals this term, that’s twenty less than Man City and Spurs have managed twenty-two more strikes.

Javier Hernandez has scored sixteen times for his new side Bayer Leverkusen, that’s more than any Man Utd striker has scored during this campaign.

So why did Van Gaal sell both Welbeck and Hernandez without bringing in better replacements?

Van Gaal’s biggest positives has been his willingness to give youngsters a run out for the first team.

That has seen the emergence of talent like Paddy McNair, Jesse Lingaard (not quite as young) and the exciting Marcus Rashford.

But every manager is judged on results and by Man United’s standards Van Gaal’s results have been pretty mediocre.

This season United have lost nine times in the league alone. Both Tottenham and Arsenal have convincingly beaten them 3-0. While in December they were defeated three games in a row against Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke. They lost to Championship side Middlesbrough in the League Cup.

They were pretty limp in the Champions League and failed to get out of a group that had CSKA Moscow, PSV and Wolfsburg in it.

Then there was the Europa League debacle. It was seen as the ideal competition that would see the ‘Red Devils’ qualify for next seasons Champions League. But after struggling against Danish side FC Midtjylland, they were soundly beaten by bitter rivals Liverpool. In that tie they lacked spirit and fight, that type of display only angers the home support.

Talking of the fans, they have been been openly critical of Van Gaal’s tactics. They bellow out ‘Attack! Attack! Attack!’ when the team are failing to live up to their high expectations. They want to see more free flowing football, while Louis has his teams playing with the breaks on.

The shadow of Jose Mourinho is looming large over Old Trafford and lacklustre powerbroker Ed Woodward needs to grow a pair and give Van Gaal the bullet.

If he hesitates much longer then Manchester United may face up to next season without Champions League football and with Chelsea managed by Antonio Conte, Liverpool managed by Jurgen Klopp and Man City boss by Pep Guardiola.

I don’t think Louis van Gaal has it in him to make the improvements needed to get Man Utd challenging for top honours again. His ego always seems to get in the way.

So it’s probably the best time to get someone else in!

4 Responses to “Manchester United Would Be Foolish To Keep Louis Van Gaal”

  1. Another impoverished piece of writing, without any thought for presenting a balanced article. As you rightly point out, it is just your opinion, but why bother publishing such tripe?

  2. LVG’s doing a great job, our players are not as good as those at Arsenal City or Spurs!
    Stones Coleman Barkley lukaku and delofeu would all get into our team, and Everton are below mid table ffs!
    Woody needs to start getting the right players signed up in the Windows, instead of wasting time on failed ventures.
    Stop being media led sheep, get off the boss’s back and support the lads.
    Sick of hearing about LVG this LVG that, he’s forgot more than most people will ever know about the game so wind your necks in!
    Bar de gea and Smalling who LVG has promoted to No1 cb, pretty much a whole new squad/team has had to be built from when Fergie left, doesn’t happen in 2-3 years when there’s such a major overhaul needed.
    Get real

  3. So because it is an article you don’t agree with it’s unbalanced?
    I gave him credit with the young players and the buys that have worked.

    But look at what he’s spent in last two summer transfer windows surely that should mean he produces better results.

  4. oh and di Maria was a little f# that couldn’t handle the prem, what sort of world class player wants to go and play their best years in France……one that wants an easy life, sell was the only option imo
    Get Bale a top notch CB and maybe a decent winger like mahrez or another experienced cf like ibra and we will challenge for the title no doubt.
    The youthful squad has been built now, just need the icing on the cake, that’s down to Woody this summer, LVG has stated publicly what we are lacking plenty of times, not that he needed to, it’s plainly obvious… some!

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