Sunday 15 May 2016

What now for Louis after top four failure

Can success in the FA Cup final at Wembley save United manager Louis van Gaal's job at Old Trafford?

Despite the seriousness of Sunday's bomb scare and subsequent evacuation, the gallows humour was that fans were leaving in their droves after the announcement of Van Gaal's third and final year as United boss.

On a surreal final day of a traumatic campaign, the black humour continued suggesting that the Reds haven't turned up for most of the season so it was 'fitting' that they shouldn't get to go through with the final 90 minutes of the season when everyone else was. 

When the stadium was completely clear of supporters, it was suggested that the Dutchman was going to come out to deliver the traditional final day speech and it couldn't be done in the presence of the club's fans.

Meanwhile, over in South Wales Van Gaal's future was being put on the line as City drew at Swansea to effectively seal a top four spot, barring a 19-goal mathematical miracle.

Van Gaal's shot shy side have taken since last September until now to score 18 league goals at home and the fact alone that it has taken the Reds eight months to amass such a paltry goals for column in the league is damning in itself. 

The serious football fact is that the target set by vice-chairman Ed Woodward and United's owners the Glazers-  to achieve Champions League football again-  has not been reached.

Whether we had beaten Bournemouth or not, straw poll amongst United fans suggested they've had enough.

Winning the FA Cup against Crystal Palace next Saturday would be something to celebrate given the barren run since 2013 and a trophy is not to be sniffed at even if ambitions stretch far beyond the famous silverware. 

Wembley will be a great day out and give the season a silver lining if Wayne Rooney is holding the tin pot aloft this time next weekend.

In years to come it will look good on Louis van Gaal's CV if the angst and poor fare dished up this season become a distant memory. 

The Dutchman has suggested he wants to stay on no matter what and there is a gut feeling that success at Wembley might be the lever that forces him to go out on a high.

Given the progress of the team in the last two years, can you seriously envisage a cup final success being bettered by winning the league next May.

There is no hard evidence to suggest such a turnaround- and don't quote Leicester at me!

Failure at Wembley, coupled with having condemned United to Thursday nights in the Europa League, would surely be a hard combination to argue he deserves another year. 

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