26 Dec New man at United
There will be a new manager at Manchester United shortly.
The only uncertainty is which name the board is able to get, the preferred one or the available one.
One thing is certain, the talk now in the corridors of Old Trafford is not about when Louis van Gaal is going, it is all about when can the new man come in.
Clubs the size of Manchester United don’t lose 4 games on the bounce, seven without a win, and put up with it.
The alarm bells have been ringing for weeks in the background, the results have only compounded and accelerated the process of negotiating with the new manager.
Just as sure as the long knives were prepared for David Moyes, to secure van Gaal’s arrival, the Dutchman’s fate has already been decided. What goes around, comes around in football.
I’m not sure it would even be wise to keep van Gaal for the Chelsea game, such is the disarray and disenchantment with the dullest United side in years.
There’s a social media competition in the offing to name a team as poor as this one for the fans.
Right now, we have to put up with the dignity of allowing van Gaal time and respect to bring his United tenure as boss to an end.
The man’s CV alone should allow him the opportunity to say his goodbyes without any hate filled vitriol that can sometimes gather pace for someone who over stays their welcome.
The post-match press conference after the 2-0 defeat to Stoke on Saturday should be the last words van Gaal utters with the United jacket on.
‘I have said already, that it is not always the club has to fire or sack me, sometimes I do it by myself.’
‘I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and with my members of staff and with my players and not with you, I don’t think that is the sequence.”
LVG is not a bad manager, he is just the wrong choice made yet again by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and the board.
The Dutchman’s style was rigid and allowed no room for self expression on the park from individuals, as Di Maria would undoubtedly testify.
The United fans want attacking football with skill, flair and no shortage of individual brilliance at any given moment on either flank or in the penalty box. What they got was slow, methodical shapes played by a team that seemed to be tied together by heavy ropes.
Woodward will have to make the next choice a good one because, sooner or later, the fans stop blaming the manager for the failures and start to look elsewhere.
This latest selection has cost over £250m in recruitment and a few quid more in settlements. In business, those sums are not sustainable, even with a new bumper Premier League deal on the way.
There were more than a few memorable press conferences from LVG, what a pity that wasn’t matched by his team on the park.
The king is dead, long live the king.