Manchester United fans have enjoyed a roller coaster ride of emotions since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club as boss in 2013.
David Moyes’ short stint as United boss is best left in the past, but when the Red Devils appointed experienced Dutch boss Louis van Gaal it seemed like a good fit.
He was regarded as the sort of experienced boss that could resurrect United’s ailing fortunes and bring back the glory days to the Red Devils.
To an extent he has helped the Red Devils, but only back into the race for fourth spot, which they are even struggling to achieve this season.
United travels to League One strugglers Shrewsbury on Monday night in the fifth round of the FA Cup in a potential banana skin for United and their under-pressure boss.
Would have been sacked at another big club
Manchester United had Sir Alex Ferguson in charge of the club for a long time and obviously developed a reputation for not sacking bosses. The Red Devils dispensed with the services of David Moyes after less than a year.
Maybe that is the reason why the Red Devils hierarchy are holding fire on sacking Van Gaal. The experienced Dutchman has spent an awful lot of money on assembling a squad that has taken United one step forward and two steps back this season.
Most other elite clubs would have sacked Van Gaal for the amount of money spent, the clubs lack of challenging for the Premier League title and general poor performance in the top-flight.
While clubs that have been managed properly in the likes of Leicester and Tottenham have flourished this season, big spending United have struggled to even stay in the top four this season and currently find themselves fifth in the table, six points behind Manchester City who surprising are fourth in the table.
How far have United really come under Van Gaal?
To judge it on sheer position in the Premier League table, United have not moved forward that much considering the man at the helm and the resources available to him. United finished seventh the season after Sir Alex left and they are just two places better off this season.
The standard of football cannot exactly be described as progressive either. In fact the style of football for much of the season could best be described as ‘cautious’ and that is being nice about it.
The recent 2-1 defeat at Danish side Midtjylland in the Europa League is not the worst result that United have experienced in recent years, but the mood around the club seems to be on par with when Moyes was in charge.
The United squad of players is more valuable than it was when Sir Alex Ferguson left. However the team is not performing much better than under Moyes, so United have not moved that far forward.
A matter of when and not if for Van Gaal’s exit
Dutch boss Louis van Gaal’s exit in the near future now looks likely. Whether his exit comes before the end of the campaign or the summer seems to be the only question. The current favourite for the United job is former-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at odds of 1/5.
It seems that the Portuguese boss is the inevitable choice for the Old Trafford hot seat. It’s strange though he does not seem to be a universally popular appointment with the clubs fans, because of Chelsea’s poor displays this season and his often controversial managerial style.
Louis van Gaal’s coaching style has not always produced a dull style of football in the past, so it seems strange that all of a sudden his football philosophy is so cautious. Van Gaal is not a poor manager. He has proven in the past that he is a good manager, but he just does not seem to fit in at United.
How the experienced Dutchman has stayed in his position this long seems to be a mystery though and United cannot continue in a similar vein for much longer.
The Red Devils game at the New Meadow on Monday night has been made slightly more difficult by an injury crisis. However, the Premier League side should still have enough quality to defeat Micky Mellon’s side.
If the lower league side claim a win then it would more than likely spell the end of Louis van Gaal’s spell in Manchester and some would say it will be a few months to late.
Should Man Utd sack Louis van Gaal before the end of the season?