Arsenal great Thierry Henry has insisted that Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal is not yet safe despite ending the Red Devils’ losing streak against Chelsea on Monday, and must keep on winning games to save his job.
United have been miserable so far this season, and van Gaal is overseeing a truly dismal spell; the club were dumped out of the Champions League group stage following a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg, while they recently lost three matches on the bounce in the Premier League—to Bournemouth, Norwich City and Stoke City.
The miserable run prompted speculation about LVG’s future, with the looming spectre of Jose Mourinho—recently dismissed by Chelsea—a tempting alternative for the United board [Express].
While United’s improved performance against the Blues ended their losing streak, and eased the pressure on van Gaal, Henry doesn’t believe the Dutchman is out of the woods just yet.
“It’s another game without winning, that’s eight now, and another 0-0 draw at Old Trafford,” Henry told Sky Sports [as per the Mirror].
“I don’t think I would have ever said that in my lifetime. But there was something about them on Monday that maybe sparked something, a new beginning maybe.
“But how much was that down to Chelsea not playing well? They allowed United to be on the ball, there wasn’t much pressure, they didn’t have a striker, with [Eden] Hazard playing as a false No 9.
“Van Gaal said that he has the board with him.
“I think they better start to win football games because he will have to deal with a tricky situation, and at one time the board may find themselves dealing with the same situation the Chelsea board had not that long ago.”
United will likely end 2015 in sixth place in the Premier League table, having slipped out of the top four during the Christmas period.
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They are five points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth, six behind local rivals Manchester City in third and a whopping nine points behind leaders Arsenal and Leicester City.
While Henry’s advice to van Gaal—to start winning games—could well save the Dutch manager’s job, failure to do so could also see then cut off from the league leaders.