Manchester United endured a dismal season after missing out on Champions League, ending the season level on points with 4th placed Manchester City but 16 goals shy, so the pressure on Louis van Gaal is increased.
It was evident during the last home game against Bournemouth, where Old Trafford was astonishingly only 2/3rd filled – a rare sighting – that the mood has turned.
The players and manager were greeted with boos, which is surely an alarming sign the board must act upon.
Here are FIVE reasons Why Louis van Gaal MUST be sacked?
First of all, congratulations to Leicester for pulling off a true miracle. The team that started with odds to win the Premier League of 5000-1 – surely one of the biggest underdogs story in the history of world sports – claimed the big prize, inspiring many along the way. Although, one can make the argument that Leicester’s hard work and consistency was key, thanks should also be given to the teams that faltered, namely Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, too. A dreadful start to their title defence by Chelsea, inconsistency of both the Manchester clubs and the perennial loss of momentum by Arsenal were all key.
But why does Leicester winning the league matter for Louis Van Gaal?
With teams faltering, should Man United have taken advantage? Manchester United had sufficient means to win the League this year – title winning players, an experienced manager and their explosive transfer expenditure – after all. According to transfermarkt.com, Leicester City have spent a meagre of €72m over two years, but shockingly Manchester United have spent almost €340m under LVG over a span of two years, which is almost five times what Leicester City spent.
The first reason talked about the possibility of being champions and the second is failure to qualify for the prestigious Champions League.
It is the most obvious reason to sack LVG. Having spent such vast levels of cash, surely being among the top four is the minimum expectation? Lack of Champions League is surely a deterrent to lot players, so it’ll be more difficult to attract world class signings. Strengthening the squad now becomes more difficult.
Manchester United are traditionally known for their fast, counter-attacking football. Old Trafford was a hub for goals, but this season saw more than 10 games ending 0-0 at half time. This was (and maybe still is) a hard transition for the players as well as the fans of the club. Manchester United were decent in their defensive showings, with David De Gea pulling out some stunning saves to keep United in certain games.
But what worried the fans most was their gloomy attacking displays. Fans were spotted encouraging the players to “attack, attack, attack” through their chants, illustrating the problems. According to footcharts.co.uk, the Red Devils could muster only 143 shots on target, averaging 3.76 shots on target per game. United’s goal tally for the campaign was just 49, nine fewer than the 58 they scored in 2004/05. In addition, their goals have come at a rate of just 1.29 a game, the lowest in the club’s Premier League history.
Winning the FA Cup shouldn’t be much of a worry now for Manchester United. FA Cup winning teams get a spot in Europa League, which United have secured courtesy of finishing 5th in the Premier League. And now this being the final match of United’s dismal campaign, there is no such pressure to perform.
Winning this Cup is comes with a motive to salvage some pride now for the squad as well as the manager. Winning the replay against West Ham and scoring the winning goal in the dying minutes of the semi-finals, they have dragged themselves by some means to the finals of the FA Cup.
Being crowned as the FA Cup Champions might help Louis Van Gaal to keep his job, but this silverware is not as soothing as the coveted Champions League spot. Yet losing at this stage would definitely increase his chances of getting axed.
Liverpool’s amazing comeback win over Borussia Dortmund was a reminiscent of similar feats achieved by Manchester United in their glory years and is surely one sign that their rate of progress at Anfield is rapid. But why should Liverpool bother Man United?
Liverpool sacked Brendan Rodgers after a dismal start to the season and he was soon replaced by Jurgen Klopp, who steadied a sinking ship. Klopp quickly instilled his ‘philosophy’ in his new squad and the results were visible quickly. Whereas LVG is still talking ‘philosophy’ and it’s almost two years into his reign.
Interestingly, Klopp inherited a team which was not even assembled by him, but still he managed to reach two finals in seven months.
Liverpool losing to Sevilla 3-1 was surely met with a sigh of relief from LVG and Manchester United, as they could have clinched a place for Champions League by winning the Europa League.