You would of course expect Louis van Gaal to defend himself after yet another defeat. He happily concurred with the BBC reporter when asked if Manchester United had coped well until the first goal against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday:
‘Until the first goal we played a very good away match’
But TFF thinks that The Guardian’s David Hytner summed it all up perfectly when he said:
Van Gaal seems to think that it is acceptable merely to stay in a game – with the chance to nick a result – and, if not, take the draw. It remains a tough sell…
Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said after the game:
‘I’ve said it several times, they’re relying on [Marcus] Rashford at 18, [Anthony] Martial at 20, [Jesse] Lingard at 23 to get you goals but this is Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world and every time we’re here to talk about them, that’s what we end up talking about.
‘You’re asking boys to do men’s jobs. This is Manchester United. The other teams in the world at their level – Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid look at their strike forces.’
And Jamie Redknapp wrote:
Manchester United were outclassed in every department by Tottenham… too many of their stars look scared to play
In reality Manchester United were meek. They set out to contain Tottenham like a relegation threatened club might. They had one shot on target all afternoon and the likes of Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard continued to expend a lot of energy with almost zero attacking output. This must be United’s weakest front four in Premier League history and even beyond.
These are sorry days for Manchester United and it all smacks of mismanagement from top to bottom which has left them miles off the pace. But there is an obvious solution:
FIRE: ED WOODWARD
He hired Moyes and oversaw the joke transfer window which included Fellaini and the Herrera debacle.
He then hired the wrong guy for a second time. But his worst decision – the one which is completely unacceptable – was to keep LvG on in 2016. Everyone in and around the club could see that it wasn’t working and even the manager himself looked crestfallen and ready to go. But Woodward kept him on.
Why? Who knows what his plan was?
Had he been decisive and brought in Jose Mourinho – a move which TFF and many others thought was achingly obvious and straightforward – we strongly believe that Old Trafford would already be guaranteed Champions League football next season.
As it turns out the decision has been proven to either represent terrible judgement or the sort of pigheaded pride which isn’t conducive to success in such a job in elite level football. Woodward has to go.
FIRE: LOUIS VAN GAAL
He used to be a very good manager but, in resorting to defending performances like the one we saw at Tottenham, it’s plain to see that Van Gaal has lost any sense of realism about the status quo. Knowing his style as we do, had he been doing the hiring and firing, he would have sacked the manager ages ago based on performance.
HIRE: JOSE MOURINHO
This is the easiest decision any club anywhere could make. Manchester United simply don’t have the luxury of worrying about the peripheral details of the Mourinho personality. What they need is to get back to consistent winning ways and there is no better solution, available or unavailable, than Mourinho for this task.
At this point Mourinho may even decide that he’s too big for this Manchester United incarnation. He may well be offered the Real Madrid job again and that would give him a bigger chequebook and Champions League football.
Luckily for United fans Mourinho seems to have a soft spot for England and the NW giant. Unfortunately Ed Woodward is in charge and may continue to resist the idea. If he does and Mourinho goes elsewhere, Manchester United are in serious trouble of long term demise. Because, as we have seen over the last three years, money alone isn’t the solution. Without good management it’s like throwing mud at a waterfall and expecting it to stick.
Manchester United are botching things up on a grand scale due to awful management from top to bottom. Only a Mourinho/Gill partnership would bring speedy results at this point.