Louis van Gaal, Manchester United

‘THE NEXT ONE’

The next decision Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward makes could be his last one, as the red army’s grumblings grow louder and louder against manager Louis van Gaal.

The United family is split and there are disagreements

The Dutchman is the one taking the flak, but Ed is next in the firing line if he continue to back the ‘lame one’.

The evidence of poor decision making is stacking up against United’s figurehead on the board.

Woodward is, for me, guilty of underfunding and inactivity in the David Moyes era, which left the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, weak, exposed and unable to turn things around in a fraction of the time accorded to the current incumbent of the manager’s chair.

The contrast in the backing of two United managers is vast. van Gaal has, in my view, been over-funded, but the inactivity remains, as Woodward scurries around in the background saying, do we? Should we? Can we?

Mr van Gaal is going, but when? The next question after that? Who will be the third replacement for Ferguson? Whoever it is will be a costly one.

This feels like a case of history repeating itself, as the Old Trafford board struggled to find the right successor to Sir Matt Busby all those years ago. They stumbled from an in-house successor in Wilf McGuinness, back to Sir Matt, Frank O’Farrell, Tommy Docherty, then onto Dave Sexton, big Ron, until eventually, some 26 years after a title win, the real chosen one arrived.

Relegation isn’t on the cards in the post Fergie years, the way it was with Sir Matt, but the costs and the despair, feel just as heavy for United’s faithful.

No Champions League next season will only be softened by the increased wealth of the Barclays Premier League payouts from the new broadcast deals.

I believe the United fans want Pep Guardiola, but the timing may well result in them getting Mourinho. Not a bad second choice in my book, providing he remembers how to attack!

There is no way it should be Ryan Giggs. My apologies to class of ’92 lovers, but you don’t let a novice drive a formula 1 car without experiences elsewhere.

Back to the big decision, as each week passes, the fans think, surely this is the point where the board sack the manager, but no. This is taking ‘stand by your man’ to a whole new level.

Even Tammy Wynette would have left Louis by this time. You can only fire so many blanks in a relationship before it eventually falters!

This marriage has so many irreconcilable differences, it defies belief.

I can’t say, I’d be amazed if he is still in charge for the FA cup tie against Derby. The only justification for that decision has to be finite details in the new manager’s contract discussions, surely!

The next one, has to be ‘THE RIGHT ONE’ or there will be more than a few heads rolling.

Until that call, it remains Louis van Gaal.

Over to you Ed.

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