Booted out of the Capital One Cup at home to Middlesbrough in October, unable to get out of their Champions League group despite a fairly kind draw and now six points behind Leicester City after 16 rounds of Premier League fixtures.
It certainly doesn’t look great for Louis van Gaal on paper. The Dutchman’s position is even worse according to a report in one of the UK’s major national newspapers.
The Sun published an article online late last night with the title “Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal under fire after losing the dressing room”.
In the article, it is claimed that players have become so frustrated with Van Gaal’s tactics that they have begun openly questioning them.
Two senior players made their feelings known in the dressing room after November’s 1-1 draw at Leicester City, The Sun ‘understands’, while Britain’s best-selling tabloid says that another “big name” questioned the team’s tactics following this month’s stalemate at home to West Ham, which was the Red Devils’ fifth 0-0 draw in nine games.
United’s recent 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg also caused frustration centred on LVG’s tactics, as well as his substitutions, so say The Sun. Eighteen-year-old Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and inexperienced midfielder Nick Powell were brought on in Germany, while 30-time England international Ashley Young was left sitting on the bench.
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After Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth, The Sun describe Van Gaal’s position as “close to breaking point”.
It is not just his match tactics which have seen Van Gaal criticised. The above-referenced article says questions are being asked about his “boring” and “repetitive” training sessions, while it is hinted that his methods could be partly to blame for United’s poor injury record this season.
If what The Sun say about Van Gaal losing the dressing room is true, do not be surprised to see him resign before he is sacked.
At the start of December, he seemingly suggested that he would walk if he lost the support of his players and backroom staff.
Van Gaal was quoted by Sky Sports News as saying: “The most important thing for me as a trainer, coach and manager is the chemistry between me and my players and my board. It should be good and otherwise I would be gone.”
United play Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday. A point will guarantee that they end 2015 in the Premier League’s top four.
However, they could be leapfrogged by Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace if they lose to the Canaries.