Sunday 20 December 2015

Uncertainty takes hold as 2016 approaches

Even David Moyes never sank this low.

Three wins in thirteen games.

Six without a win, three consecutive defeats and playing the worst football I've seen from a United side in my 18 years as a supporter.

In the last two games- Bournemouth and Wolfsburg- LVG has pointed to a crippling injury list as a contributory factor in the defeats and to be fair he probably had a point with nine first team players missing. 

But against Norwich we were virtually full strength and yet save for a late 20 minute rally, the performance was arguably the worst of all.

Ryan Giggs basically appeared to be doing Van Gaal's job for him during yesterday's match.

With United pressing-ultimately in vain- for an equaliser, Giggsy could be seen urging the players on and shouting orders- whilst the Dutchman remained in his seat scribbling on his clipboard.
While an assistant manager overseeing proceedings on the touchline is nothing new, it said a lot about LVG's preferred style of in-game management.
Giggsy deserves credit for at least trying to do something to address a dreadful situation. 

So where do we go from here? 

United's slump in form could not have come at a worse time for Van Gaal, with a plethora of world class coaches suddenly in the shop window.
United's board have lavished praise on LVG but with Jose Mourinho out of a job and Pep Guardiola planning a change of scenery, Old Trafford suits will have surely noticed a persistent twitch in their collective trigger fingers.

The Reds mundane football is grudgingly accepted while results remain acceptable but the ignominious exit from the Champions League, coupled with humiliation against newly promoted duo Bournemouth and Norwich, has turned opinion against the Dutchman.

Even with a wealth of options at his disposal, the Dutchman's choice of formation and baffling substitutions have continued to provoke unrest.
Deploying two holding midfielders against less decorated opposition with limited ambition to attack is simultaneously mystifying and typical of LVG's strange tenure.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick are all excellent footballers, but there is no need for two thirds of this trio to start together at home against lesser sides. 

Van Gaal has to realise that his philosophy- I've still no idea what it is- clearly isn't working and seems to have less meaning with every passing week.
His ethos is centred on ball retention and defensive solidity but ignores the crucial element of action in the final third. 

This cannot go on...

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