Friday 19 February 2016

Deep rooted issues and a seemingly irreversible backward slide

Manchester United's owners the Glazers and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward cannot allow this slow, lingering death to drag on any longer.

Louis van Gaal's credibility as United manager is in tatters.

An admirable personal past CV is in ruins and United's own reputation is crumbling frighteningly before the Old Trafford hierarchy's eyes.

The humbling embarrasment on Thursday was the latest reverse on the Van Gaal performance graph.
He and his side are careering backwards at a rate of knots and both the beleaguered manager, and his players, seem powerless to prevent it.

We could still overturn the deficit at Old Trafford in Thursday's second leg but would anyone safely back us to do so?
We're fifth in the Premier League, six points off a Champions League place, and although we could still claw this back who, again, could really make a claim for us doing so? 

Last season the Dutchman bought solid stability with a sprinkling of stardust that seemed to light a path back to the "Manchester United way".

The 3-0 thumping of Spurs was swiftly followed by a thrilling victory at Anfield and the demolition derby against City, but since then there has been virtually no hope and no reason to believe that Van Gaal is the right man for the job.

But yet, despite the gathering noise that things have reached breaking point, Van Gaal remains and will still be charge for Monday's FA Cup tie at Shrewsbury. 

The 64-year-old was reportedly on the brink of the sack after the Boxing Day defeat at Stoke and again when Southampton won at Old Trafford on 23rd January.
As it is now 19 February, these inquests are coming once a month so if Van Gaal survives again - and it looks like he will - the next one will be some time in March.

The so-called "Iron Tulip" is on course to somehow manage the unmanageable: to rescue the David Moyes campaign (his squad reached the Champions League quarter-finals) from the ignominy of being the lowest point in the club's recent history.  

The pattern is a promising step forward followed by three lurches back. 
Ed Woodward- United's main hirer and firer- has ordered that club policy on Van Gaal's future is to stay silent- but this does not stop the questions that we need answers to.

Since Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December, there has been a ready-made, hungry and passionate candidate ready and waiting to take United back to where we feel we should be.

Why, then, has he not been appointed already?

Woodward is thought to have his own reservations regarding the pontificating Portuguese.
Sir Alex is thought to favour Ryan Giggs, and is particularly wary of Mourinho, it seems there is a power struggle going on in the board room.

Paul McGuinness left his post as Academy coach with the system in upheaval and disarray- the club may have wanted a "root and branch" review of the youth setup but it's taken 12 months and seems a procrastinating process. 

It all points to a deeper and more damaging drift.

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