Unless you’re a Manchester United fan, chances are you’re enjoying the Red Devils’ struggles in this post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
United appeared to be invincible under the legendary Scottish coach but the empire has come crumbling down since he walked away from Old Trafford in the summer of 2013.
Football fans are revelling in United’s misfortune, but it’s not just the average man on the street who’s enjoying the Red Devils’ downfall. Gary Lineker, the Match of the Day host, couldn’t resist having a cheap dig at the Premier League giants during the FA Cup draw on Sunday.
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Going through the draw for the sixth round - with the clip available to watch HERE, thanks to the Manchester Evening News - Lineker said that either Shrewsbury or “possibly” United could progress from the fifth round if Louis van Gaal’s men cause an “upset” at the New Meadow on Monday night.
Van Gaal’s side are favourites to beat the team from League One, but there is a real feeling that Manchester United could be left embarrassed by their lower-league opponents following last Thursday’s shock 2-1 defeat to Midtjylland in the Europa League.
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Shrewsbury can upset Man Utd in FA Cup
Midtjylland were only formed in 1999 and have no household names in their squad but they made United look less than ordinary at the MCH Arena last week.
Shrewsbury, with their home supporters behind them, might fancy their chances of pilling further misery onto Van Gaal’s heavily weighted-down shoulders.
And should that happen, it’s hard to see United sticking by the beleaguered Dutch coach.
One reason why they might opt against sacking Van Gaal, though - at least until its mathematically impossible for the club to qualify for next season’s Champions League campaign - is the fact they’d need to pay him £10 million in compensation.
Van Gaal's position could become untenable this week
But if Van Gaal loses to Midtjylland and Shrewsbury in the space of four days, it’s safe to assume that all those Manchester United fans who haven’t yet turned on the 64-year-old soon will.
And his position could become untenable if United then fail to beat Midtjylland in the return leg at Old Trafford - and are subsequently knocked out of the Europa League - later this week.
Van Gaal admits Man Utd have lost fear factor
Van Gaal has admitted - per Sky Sports - that teams no longer fear Manchester United. That’s not just their competitors in the Premier League, but also those in the lower leagues and elsewhere in Europe.
"When you see the last two games, it is maybe like that,” Van Gaal replied when asked if United have lost their fear factor. “But then we have to make them fear again.
"It is a question of winning matches in a row.”
He added: "You cannot continue with losing and the question is how we are lifting ourselves for this game because Shrewsbury shall also fight [like Midtjylland] for the second balls and play direct and that kind of thing, and you have to cope with that.
"You have to keep the ball better and not give unnecessary losses away."
Will Manchester United sack Louis van Gaal this week? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below.
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