Louis van Gaal is a man under pressure. Manchester United's humiliating 2-0 defeat to Stoke on Boxing Day was the club's fourth consecutive loss in all competitions, though their goalless draw with Chelsea on Monday at least ended such a run.
The Red Devils' loss at the Britannia and failure to beat the Blues means Van Gaal's side are now without a win in eight across all competitions - a poor run even by their standards.
Couple this with the Red Devils' lacklustre season as a whole and you're left with the inescapable reality that the Dutchman could soon face a mutiny at Old Trafford.
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And with pressure mounting on the United board and vice executive chairman Ed Woodward to cut short the Dutchman's tenure at the illustrious club, United have been left with a difficult decision.
Do they pander to the demands of fans and start the search for a new manager? Or do the board stand by a man they have so frequently offered their support to over the past 18 months?
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Were it not for the man Van Gaal replaced, this decision might be far more straightforward. Former Everton manager David Moyes took the reigns at United in July 2013 with heavy expectation on his shoulders.
Nicknamed the 'Chosen One' as a result of former manager and club legend Sir Alex Ferguson's involvement in his hiring, the club's confidence in Moyes was plain for all to see and reflected in the huge six year deal given to the Scot.
However, the fairytale scenario was not to be and so began one of the darkest periods in United's history. Records of the wrong type tumbled as United quickly transformed from an exciting, title-winning side to one that laboured to a disastrous seventh-placed finish.
With fans crying out for change, the United board acted decisively and terminated Moyes' contract less than a year into his tenure. Whilst many praised the decision and subsequent hiring of the more successful and experienced Van Gaal, 18 months on similar demons appear to be resurfacing.
United's recent form is as bad as it ever was during the 'dark days' of Moyes' reign, and with Van Gaal's pragmatic and patient style of play winning very little plaudits, progress has been hard to come by.
The only difference between the two managers is the amount of money spent by each. Whilst the only major signing made by Moyes was former player and Belgium international Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million, Van Gaal has signed a multitude of players in his short tenure and spent in excess of £250 million.
With United's style of play at its worst in decades, many are now wondering whether the club would have been better off retaining the services of Moyes and allowing him time to adjust.
Moyes' fate also raises another question: if 18 months on from his dismissal stint fans are considering whether he was fired to soon, will they be thinking the same of Van Gaal? Should he be given more time?
With the glory days of Ferguson's reign quickly fading into history, does his success suggest longevity and continuity is what the board should be searching for rather than a new manager? Perhaps so.
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