Manchester United players reportedly labelled Louis van Gaal ‘clueless’ following their 3-0 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.
According to The Sun, a source told them: “They blamed it all on the manager. You could hear everything. They don’t seem to have much time for him.”
It is suggested that the mood was sparked by Van Gaal’s criticism of Marcus Rashford at half-time, with the youngster replaced after a poor opening 45 minutes.
Furthermore, his baffling tactics throughout the encounter led to further confusion and frustration within the squad, with the Dutch tactician going on to point the finger of blame at certain players in his post-match press conference.
If the reports are indeed true, it will do little to aid Van Gaal’s bid to remain in his position beyond the summer, with speculation that Jose Mourinho is still confident that he will land the job, as reported by ESPN FC.
While the mood within the United dressing room doesn’t sound particularly positive, it is their league positioning that is likely to be the ultimate assessment for Van Gaal at the end of the season.
Having slipped four points adrift of rivals Manchester City who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot with six games remaining, it is unclear as to whether or not the Red Devils will feature in Europe’s premier competition next season.
A failure to do so is likely to see the end of Van Gaal’s tenure, but his rocky relationship with the players could have a bigger impact in the coming weeks.
While all the individuals at the club are professionals and will be expected to give everything for the cause in the next six games, they will be under scrutiny following these latest reports to determine whether or not they are still playing for their manager.
Any sign of a lack of desire or commitment will be perceived as a loss of faith in the coach, who will be desperate to get a reaction from his team following their capitulation at White Hart Lane.