The Dutch coach is overseeing a miserable Premier League campaign, and the loss to the Potters was the side’s third-straight league defeat.
Similarly, United were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stage, and have slipped out of the top four in the EPL.
While van Gaal has largely attempted to maintain his dignity and keep his cool in light of increasing scrutiny and mounting pressure, he finally appeared to crack in a press conference before the Stoke match, and followed that fixture up with a scathing attack on his team.
“My thoughts are that we didn’t dare to play our football in the first half and then we gave a really bad goal away. At that time it was too much,” the manager said after the bout, as per the Mirror.
“We didn’t play our football because of the pressure and we would not cope with the circumstances either as a group or individual players.
“I said at half-time we had nothing to lose and we coped better after that,” he continued.
“You can say I failed in my job because they could not cope but in the end the players must do that for themselves. You can say I failed but I don’t think it is like that.”
It remains to be seen where van Gaal goes from here.
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Defeat leaves United in sixth, three points behind Tottenham Hotspur and the top four. Indeed, the Red Devils are now a whopping nine points off league leaders Leicester City, and speculation has begun to mount that the coach is coming to the end of the road at United.
Former United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich is just one pundit to insist that van Gaal leaves the club, and has recommended that axed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is brought in to replace the beleaguered Dutch coach [talkSPORT via the Express].