In December 2014, Manchester United legend and television pundit Gary Neville said that United are a ‘pub team’, and although it seemed a little harsh at the time there was an element of truth in it.
Unfortunately, for Louis van Gaal, if anything, the team has become worse since these comments made by the former defender.
Van Gaal was hired because of his previous experience of managing big clubs, but a London taxi driver has more ‘knowledge’ than the Dutchman these days, and with the club likely to finish outside the top four, a result which saw former manager David Moyes lose his job, questions have been raised over the boss.
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Despite their woes in the league, all was forgiven in a week that saw the Red Devils sweep aside a West Ham United team, who had set their hearts on FA Cup glory.
United travelled to Upton Park for the FA Cup replay and goals from Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini booked their place in the semi-final at Wembley, where they will face Roberto Martinez's Everton.
United was the final team to book their semi-final spot, along with Everton, Watford and Crystal Palace.
Despite beating West Ham and making the final four of the FA Cup, that did not stop another ex-United right-back in Phil Bardsley reiterating Nevile’s ‘pub team’ criticism, as he highlighted the lack of urgency, desire, and even talent in the current United team.
Fortunately for Van Gaal a ‘pub team’ has won FA Cup before – Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’ in 1988 – so it could happen again, and if it does, United’s season could yet turn into a Cinderella story.
A lone strike from Lawrie Sanchez in the 37th minute gave Wimbledon the shock win over Liverpool in the '88 final, and Van Gaal will be hoping his 'pub team' can achieve the same.
United take on Everton this weekend in the semi-final.
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