We always look to The BBC for substantial information relating to comings and goings in football. Why? Because they not only prize the truth but they are extremely careful with their diction and they won’t publish a piece if they don’t have proper evidence or inside knowledge of a certain story.
So it has to be significant that they reported in the latest news cycle that:
Van Gaal, 64, is expected to leave his position at the end of the season – one year before his contract expires.
“I said I wanted a title and I am happy but it is not important for me, it is important for the club, the players and the team,” said the Dutchman.
Some view Manchester United’s treatment of Van Gaal as a show of loyalty in a game increasingly driven by knee-jerk reactions and short-termism.
And it’s also clear that Manchester United have some really talented youngsters who the Dutchman has been brave enough to blood in the first team, particularly this term.
But let’s not allow a decent cup win to mask the big performance and consistency problems at a club whose fans would, until recently, deem the season something of a disappointment if Manchester United only won The Premier League.
They are currently adrift in the league, out of both European competitions and arguably going backwards.
And worse still, the players don’t look as if they are on board with the philosophy of the manager. Watching the final throes of Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona in The Chammpions League on Wednesday evening the Madrid players looked like zombies. The fast type. They were like men possessed as they protected their advantage. We used to see that at United but arguably no longer.
Manchester United need Jose Mourinho. They should have signed him in the winter but it is symptomatic of the top brass at Old Trafford that a decision hasn’t been made in timely fashion.
Louis van Gaal will never be reviled at the club. He is a big personality who has worn his heart on his sleeve and bought in some good players.
But, until Ed Woodward et al make a change, Manchester United will continue to slip into the abyss of mediocrity.
That they have such a wonderful solution, ready and waiting, in Jose Mourinho should be seen as an absolute blessing for Woodward. But how long will he continue to stare this gift horse in the mouth?