Nobody could quite tell what was running through Louis van Gaal's mind yesterday. Manchester United's season is not quite over yet as they are still in the running for a Champions League spot as well as the FA Cup, but many fans have all but given up all hopes this season.
United had it all this season. Van Gaal was seen as a saviour and an anti-hero. He was highly regarded by fans to be someone who has the "balls" to finally do something about reviving the squad.
Miraculously, the team sat pretty at the top of the Champions League group as well as the English Premier League by November. The "boring football" tactics were working and all was well. Then came December.
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Failure to win even a single game in that month cost United the spot in the next round of the Champions League, as well as falling out of the title race. To top things off, on pitch performances were bad, and there was really nothing worth remembering in that dreadful month.
In January, Wayne Rooney's burst in form helped ease the pressure off Van Gaal. His injury then further led to the discovery of Marcus Rashford. By then, Van Gaal admitted that the Europa League is the only way left to get into the Champions League next season. However, United eventually got knocked out by Liverpool. Despite that, two crucial victories against rivals Arsenal and Manchester City suddenly rekindled everyone's hopes.
United then backed up the two impressive wins by beating Everton at Old Trafford, before falling to a 3-0 loss to Spurs. Despite the hammering at White Hart Lane, United are still clinging onto the hopes of getting into the top four come the end of the season.
While the season is still not over, Van Gaal's tactics last night caused an outrage within the United camp. While playing players out of their natural position has always been Van Gaal's forte, his tactics last night in replacing Marcus Rashford with Ashley Young and playing Jesse Lingard at the somewhat number 9/10 position, caused fans to be disgruntled. Even Anthony Martial's superb burst attempt right before Tottenham's goal couldn't save the Red Devils from getting slaughtered on social media.
Right now, fans have lost their patience and faith in Van Gaal. Having spent the money he did, excuses were placed on "Murphy's Law". There was no clear reasoning to everything that has happened to the club this season, and unless Van Gaal can turn things round by winning the FA Cup and getting into the final Champions League spot, everyone expects him to be sacked.
The worst part for Van Gaal however, is that even if he did manage to win the FA Cup and somehow finish in the top four, he will still face the sack for the poor football the team is playing. His football philosophy is now going down the drain and is being ridiculed by everyone as "boring football". Unless performances on pitch suddenly
Unless performances on pitch suddenly improve significantly, Van Gaal can all but kiss his United job goodbye.
Possession doesn't win you football. Goals do.
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