Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has been accused of “wiping the smile” from the club during his tenure at Old Trafford thus far.
The Dutchman has come under intense pressure this season, with the club struggling to secure Champions League qualification after making an exit in both European competitions.
Coupled with their style of play and lack of goals, having scored just 37 in 29 league games so far this season, the former Barcelona and Ajax has been heavily criticised for changing the mentality and culture at the club.
It is a view shared by Neil Custis of The Sun, who discussed the situation at Old Trafford on The Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports.
“[Van Gaal] has quite frankly wiped the smile off the face of Manchester United,” he said. “He has taken everything good about them away from the club and the height of how deluded he is is incredible because he doesn’t see what he’s done.
“He’s ‘Van Gaaled’ so many players they might never be the same again. Players like [Marcus] Rashford, first two games he was brilliant, then Van Gaal had about three weeks with him and he’s hardly touched the ball since!
“These players who have natural ability like Angel Di Maria, Van Gaal gets a hold of him and suddenly, where’s this player gone? It’s going to take about six months for these players to remember what it was like to be a natural, free-flowing footballer, because he’s taken that away from them.”
Custis went on to slam Van Gaal’s record this season and believes that the Red Devils risk falling into a mid-table scrap in the coming weeks and becoming also-rans like Liverpool.
His sentiments were shared by The Daily Mirror’s John Cross who also appeared on The Sunday Supplement, as he also cited the lack of progress that Van Gaal has made in his second season in charge after a relatively impressive opening campaign at the helm.
To his credit, Van Gaal has brought through several younger players that will hope to be a part of United’s long-term future. However, such is the negativity surrounding performances, results and everything around the club currently, it is difficult to argue that he has been a success in Manchester.
Whether or not he is able to salvage something from this season remains to be seen, but his job will certainly be at stake as if he continues to fall short of expectations, then it will make it an easy decision for the United hierarchy to replace him this summer.