Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal is walking a tightrope… Although a bold prediction of a 2:30pm sacking this afternoon from the Sun’s Dream Team proved to be wide of the mark, there is no doubt that the Dutchman’s presence in the Old Trafford dugout is under question, especially as the spectre of a now unemployed Jose Mourinho lingers large in the background.
Once heralded as the ideal manager to revive the team that David Moyes pretty much destroyed when he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson, an initial solid season in which the Red Devils limped into the top four has been followed by a drab, boring and lifeless start to 2015/16. Although United remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification, and perhaps even the title, the brand of football being played under the Dutchman is pleasing few, while Champions League elimination from a routine group has done little to ease concerns.
And now, according to Metro, his win percentage, following the home loss to newly-promoted Norwich on Saturday, in charge at the Theatre of Dreams stands at just 50.7% after 71 games… down on Moyes, who ‘boasted’ a record of 52.9% in 20 fewer games. Wow.
The Scot’s reign was abruptly cut short after 10 months – it remains the shortest of any manager in United’s history – and with Van Gaal having been granted in excess of £250m to spend on new players in just shy of 18 months – close to 10x the figure his predecessor spent – trigger fingers must be getting itchier by the second.