Sunday 24 April 2016

FA Cup semi-final is one to savour but will it be enough for LVG?

United manager Louis van Gaal has been surrounded by constant speculation about his Old Trafford future - but the dramatic conclusion at Wembley means he still retains hope of winning a trophy at every club he has been at.

The 64-year-old said he was not willing to discuss his future beyond the end of the current campaign, although he did hint there were talks planned with his board.

With Jose Mourinho still waiting in the wings, Van Gaal said:

"I'm not looking beyond this competition- you cannot look too far ahead as we live in the present.

"For the future, I discuss that with my board and it is not for me to judge, it is for the board of Manchester United and it is fantastic to be in a final."

"It was very good, we have won, in the first half we were the better team.
"We have scored and created many chances, we could have finished more.
"In the second half the referee changed the match then De Gea stopped a penalty.
"I have to say I think the penalty was correct, I don't argue but the 50/50 calls were going in favour of Everton and that has a big influence on the game"

This was a two-faced United performance.

Excellent in the first half and ragged for much of the second but yet, as we have done throughout much of this FA Cup campaign, Van Gaal's side got the job done and are through to a first final since 2007.

Whether he survives as United manager or not, he will have the chance to make sure the Reds have silverware to remember him by.

He will lead United out as favourites for the final on 21 May.

Should United go on to secure Champions League football and finish the season with a trophy, it's difficult to see the board dispensing with him- but a failure to make the top four must surely be premise enough for a change in the summer, FA Cup success or not. 

With England manager Roy Hodgson looking on, his international captain Wayne Rooney showed his class - and perhaps his future - in a deep-lying midfield role behind United's attack.

In the opening half especially, afford time and space by a timid Everton, Rooney not only showed his full range of passes to create chances and dictate the game, he even showed his energy to sprint the length of the field and clear Lukaku's early effort off the line.

Rooney's place in England's attack has come under increasing scrutiny with the emergency of Tottenham's Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy as potential rivals, but this was the sort of performance that might just give Hodgson food for thought as he makes his plans for the Euros.

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