Ed Woodward.

Ed Woodward spoke to Manchester United players after Southampton loss

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Louis van Gaal was nowhere to be seen at Manchester United's training ground the day after their dismal 1-0 defeat to Southampton, but, much to the dismay of many fans, he remains in charge.

The Dutchman had planned to return to his native Holland regardless of the result on Saturday and he is not due back until Tuesday.

While no firm decision has been taken on his future, Ed Woodward appeared to take advantage of Van Gaal's absence, turning up to talk to senior players about what they believe the issue to be.


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Manchester United's defeat against the Saints undid all the hard work that was done against Liverpool the week before. It left them trailing fourth-placed Tottenham by five points and few inside Old Trafford can see them bridging that gap on current form.

But it is not the league table most inside the club are worried about, but the manner in which the team is playing. Van Gaal's philosophy appears to have drained any flair that remained from the Alex Ferguson era and, more importantly, is leaving the players disillusioned.

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According to the Daily Mail and Sky Sports, that is exactly what was said during Woodward's meeting with senior players. Many of the current team are fed up with his stifling tactics and rigorous training regimes and wouldn't mind his tenure coming to an end.

Woodward has done his best to stick by Van Gaal, but, as Jose Mourinho found out at Chelsea, once the dressing room is lost, there is little chance of turning back. Now, Woodward is facing a big decision.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

Champions League contention

What Woodward will be most concerned about is the prospect of dropping out of top-four contention, which is what Saturday's defeat brought to mind. Another defeat could eliminate them from contention altogether. Another season without Champions League football would have huge ramifications for the commercial and financial sides of the club.

There are few good times to change manager, least of all when the business end of the season approaches, but the consequences of not doing so appear to be increasing with every game.


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Louis van Gaal
Premier League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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