Louis van Gaal is facing a critical game at Stoke today with many predicting that another defeat will see an end to his reign at Old Trafford.
Andy Gray and Richard Keys, who front beIN Sports’ Premier League coverage, discuss his situation and his rant during his now infamous press conference.
Andy Gray: Van Gaal’s performance during his short press conference on Wednesday showed all the signs of a manager under intense pressure.
Someone as sure and cocky as Van Gaal, and we know he is all of those things, doesn’t react like that unless he is feeling some serious heat. He is finding out that the Premier League is different from any other league in the world. The scrutiny you are under is intense and on a daily basis, and with things not going well it’s getting on top of him.
To suggest the media should apologise to him was a joke. He is manager of one of the biggest teams in world football who are not playing well and so reporters have every right to ask questions and speculate what might happen next. He has to be big enough to accept that if the team are struggling and his recruitment isn’t working he is going to be under the microscope from the media and United fans.
If United lose to Stoke on Saturday then I would get rid because it would then give a new man coming in whether its Ryan Giggs, Jose Mourinho or someone else, a transfer window to do a bit of business and weave a bit of magic.
If United don’t take that opportunity then we can probably expect him to stay until the end of the season and then go. I think United’s executive-vice chairman Ed Woodward has to accept that the club has made a huge mistake, again, and that might be the reason Van Gaal stays, because he does not want to admit he got it wrong.
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) December 24, 2015
If Van Gaal does go I would still probably give the job to Jose Mourinho. I know some people think he is too abrasive, but, come on, what about Sir Alex Ferguson? He spent 26 years falling out with people.
It is worth them talking to Pep Guardiola’s agent just to see if he would consider moving to United rather than City but if they can’t get him and Mourinho is seen as a wrong fit, then maybe they should give the job to Giggs full time. That depends on whether they think he has matured and now has enough experience for one of the top jobs in football but I wouldn’t rule it out.
As for Saturday, I can’t see any respite for Van Gaal. United look short of confidence and the behaviour of the manager is not going to make things any better. 1-2.
Richard Keys: I remember Van Gaal arrogantly announcing early in his reign: “I don’t care what the press say”. Plainly, he does, but there is no way the press should apologise for reporting the facts, as he laughingly suggested. He is the one who should be apologising to both the media for his tantrum on Wednesday and to Manchester United fans for the dirge he has served up this year.
They are nine points off Leicester, they are outside the top four, the players don’t want him there, and he has bought average players, with Anthony Martial the only one with any potential. And all this in a season when Crystal Palace, Watford, Bournemouth and Leicester have been winning football matches.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) December 24, 2015
Man United should be streets ahead of those teams but they are not and to be frank I don’t see a way out for him. He is a dead man walking. I don’t agree with Andy on Mourinho as his replacement. It’s a consideration but it’s not nailed on and they are wasting their time trying to get Guardiola, because I am sure he has given his word to Man City.
I’d give it to Giggs until the end of the season and possibly full time. He now has more coaching experience and is older than Guardiola was when he was handed Barcelona, Yes, it was a better team than Manchester United have got at present but if you put Giggs in you will immediately be reintroducing Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been sidelined since the Dutchman turned up, to the club.
You could also put Rene Meulensteen in alongside him as he knows the club inside out and all of a sudden you have got a return to traditions Manchester United know well and that’s the way I would go, not Mourinho.
I think Stoke will beat them and that should be that for Van Gaal. 1-2.
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