Louis van Gaal’s hopes of staying at Manchester United have been boosted with the Red Devils having reached next month’s FA Cup final.
And, if the Dutchman can steer them to glory, he will see it as evidence that he deserves to keep his job amid persistent speculation that Jose Mourinho will succeed him at the helm.
United have underwhelmed this season but, with an exciting attacking nucleus consisting of Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, the future looks bright.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
But should Van Gaal be the man to oversee it? Here are the three reasons why the former Barcelona and Ajax manager deserves to be given the chance to win the Premier League title before he retires next summer.
LVG needs time
Van Gaal has been afforded nearly double the amount of time that David Moyes was, and it is starting to look like the club’s patience is beginning to pay off.
Make no mistake United have underachieved this campaign, betraying the attacking and entertaining traditions of old, but the chance to finally win silverware is not to be sniffed at.
Despite losing Angel di Maria in the summer, and enduring a nightmare record with injuries, progress has been made even if Champions League football looks to be beyond them.
He needs to land a few marquee names in the summer to have any chance of winning the title, but the steady - if unspectacular - progress made since the Moyes era suggests LVG deserves one more shot at the crown.
What a waste of money. Few will ever forget the negative reaction to Martial’s signing but the Frenchman is now the club’s talisman ahead of Rooney and represents their best hopes for the future.
And Van Gaal deserves credit for that. Allowing Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie to go means Martial and Rashford have now established themselves as a hungrier, more prolific duo.
Rashford was promoted from the club’s academy after Rooney’s injury, while Tim Fosu-Mensah was also impressive as United reached the FA Cup final.
Other young talents like Donald Love, Nick Powell and Will Keane have also flirted with the first-teams this season, so Van Gaal could have laid down the foundations for success in the future.
A huge summer
Though it would be bold, sticking with Van Gaal when all the other big clubs are changing managers could actually help United in the long run.
Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte will need time to gel at Manchester City and Chelsea, but United could get off to a blistering start by sticking with their current manager.
Talk has been rife of Jose Mourinho coming to Old Trafford, but the Portuguese represents a gamble, given the way his behaviour signalled an end to his second spell at Chelsea.
United can steal a march on their rivals by getting their business done early this year and capitalising on the uncertainty around other clubs.
Should Manchester United sack LVG? Have your say in the comments.