Louis van Gaal is looking increasingly likely to be on his way out of Old Trafford as reports emerge that he has ‘lost the dressing room’ with players finally turning on him.
It is becoming apparent that we are now witnessing the death-throes of Louis van Gaal’s tenure as Manchester United manager.
It could be fair to say that the constant reports that ex-Chelsea manager José Mourinho is patiently waiting in the shadows have been accepted as gospel and that he will take over in the summer.
Up until now there has been no official word from Manchester United or Mourinho – and the only thing van Gaal is saying is that he is currently the manager and is focused on that.
Following last weekend’s 3-0 thumping by title chasing Tottenham Hotspur, it appears that there has been a real shift in the atmosphere in and around Old Trafford. It was a ninth league defeat of the season for Man United and a dismal display that only saw a first strike on target just after the hour mark.
Following the game it now appears that the players have finally turned on the manager. According the Manchester Evening News, players were incensed with van Gaal following the defeat and labelled their boss as ‘clueless’.
According to the Sun, van Gaal singled out Marcus Rashford in the dressing following the game, accusing him of ‘spending too much time hunting the ball in wide areas’. Players took exception to the manager’s tirade on the 18 year old and it now appears he has lost the dressing room.
Van Gaal was heavily criticised for the half time substitution of Rashford for Ashley Young, and then leaving striker Anthony Martial on the wing for the second half. Against the rock solid defence of Tottenham, it is felt that leaving his striker out of position was a serious lack of judgement.
Following the game van Gaal blamed ‘miscommunication’ for the collapse against the London side, saying:
“The miscommunication in our centre defence turned the match, I think”
The players have apparently become increasingly frustrated with the blame for poor results being levelled at them by the manager. While they must share a portion of the blame, the manager is also culpable – particularly with his decision to leave Martial on the wing at the weekend.
With the players now rounding on the manager and with Champions League football becoming increasingly unlikely, it now appears certain that the axe will fall on van Gaal.
The Dutchman apparently has a clause in his contract that prevents United from sacking him without incurring huge compensation if the club qualifies for the Champions League. It would certainly look like Ed Woodward is biding his time then, waiting for the final nail in the Champions League coffin to be hammered in before sending van Gaal packing.
It now looks like we are into the final scene in this managerial soap opera – and while it’s been entertaining, it’s about time for Manchester United to get back to winning ways.