It’s not all Louis Van Gaal’s fault. He’s been set up to fail in some ways.
But ‘untenable’ doesn’t even come close to describing the Dutchman’s current situation at the club.
Sure, there are extenuating circumstances. Or excuses, if you prefer. Injuries chief among them.
But after the money spent and the decision to run with such a thin and toothless squad the buck must stop on the manager’s desk.
A few weeks ago, we could still point to Chris Smalling as a player who had improved under Van Gaal’s tutelage, but now he’s not even looking that good.
Simply put, this man has coached every last drop of passion and attacking flair out of a squad that was short on both to begin with. And following the manager’s performance at his last pre-match presser, you suspect he’s run out of cards to play.
I joked earlier today that we were only 10-11 points away from guaranteeing against relegation, but on current form I truly fail to see where the next points will come from. We can’t score – which has been a common theme this season – but now we can’t seem to defend either. We’re lucky to win the coin toss of late. And there isn’t a team anywhere that fears this side, not even the likes of Norwich City and Bournemouth.
What’s sad is that a good football man [albeit one who has never really seemed to grasp Premier League football] is going to go out this way – not on top, but betrayed by his pampered and gutless players and an ownership group that seems to worry more about sponsorships than championships.
There’s plenty of blame to go around, from top to bottom. But like it or not, changing the manager is the only significant step we can take right now.
And that’s a problem, too. Because should we sign Jose Mourinho, this would rule us out of the Pep Guardiola race. So sacking Van Gaal now is a straight choice between the toxic ways of the Special One and short-term success or Ryan Giggs and the unknown.
The clock must now be ticking as well for Ed Woodward though in his case it may only result in him getting nowhere near football decisions going forward. The Glazers love money and he is a cash machine when it comes to the commercial side of the business.
Sure we might improve the squad during the January window, but how many players are going to want to come to the club right now under these circumstances? Certainly not the type who could have an impact.
So someone please call a taxi for the manager. He’s done all he can do.
Main photo courtesy football365.com