Louis van Gaal must go, that much is clear. He’s driving Manchester United towards depths of mediocrity unseen in the Theatre of Dreams for decades.
Whether it is in the coming weeks or at the end of the season, it is now surely inevitable he will leave United prematurely.
When he does, the club face their most important decision since November 1986, when a certain Scot took the reigns in Manchester. United are in danger of becoming an average side or worse still, Liverpool.
If they pick a third failed manager in a row, the days of assuming United will win with dazzling football will be gone forever. There’ll come a time when Ryan Giggs will be the right man for the job. Gary Neville will be right there with him when it comes. But it is not now.
To pick Giggs now would kill off their chances of a true successor to Ferguson. A man who could lead for years rather than months. He is without doubt the best option long-term, but he would be destined for failure if he took over now.
If the Welshman is as intelligent off the pitch as he was on it, he’ll go find himself a job. He has to rid himself of Van Gaal. He can’t be seen as the common thread between David Moyes and the Dutchman and he can also go earn that valuable experience he is so undeniably lacking.
Now though is a time for proven experience, for winners. And before you say how attacking football should be of paramount importance now of all times. Yes, it should be. How Van Gaal ever arrived on that wretched, dour football he calls his philosophy, I’ll never know.
The only way for consistent success in the modern game is passing football; Diego Simeone being the only notable exception. His ability to motivate a group of players towards a common goal has never and will never be seen again in our sport. Carlo Ancelotti would bring attacking football, Pep Guardiola would most certainly bring it, even if it is not exactly a million miles from that bloody “philoshophy”.
A Premier League title in the next 18 months would change Manchester United history forever. Without it, what will feel like a lifetime will be spent going through two managers a season and challenging for fourth spot, only to preach that “next year’s our year”. A lifetime of no longer being Manchester United. That’s just not acceptable.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena