Football

Van Gaal could be fired even if United win the FA Cup and finish fourth .

Ed Woodward hints at van Gaal sacking by omitting his name from meeting

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Who needs enemies when you've got friends like Ed Woodward? 

Louis van Gaal could do with a bit of support right now after Manchester United's 3-2 defeat to West Ham left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread. 

Manchester City are set to trump United to fourth place, and even if the Red Devils win the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, it is widely expected that LVG's time in the north-west is up. 

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No mention of van Gaal 

And chief executive Woodward has fuelled those rumours by omitting van Gaal's name when speaking to investors - despite discussing the club for 25 minutes. 

After all, it was not just financial matters up for debate, as he did mention the rise of some of their young players, singling out Marcus Rashford for praise. 

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"Marcus Rashford made an immediate impact, scoring goals on his debut in Europe and then two more on his Premier League debut against Arsenal", he said. 

Investors concerned 

In the same statement last year, Woodward went out of his way to credit "the team’s performance in Louis van Gaal’s first season", but the Dutchman's name was nowhere to be heard this time around. 

United's investors are said to be concerned by van Gaal's struggles because United's failure to qualify for the Champions League - and possibly even the Europa League if results go against them on the final day - will have a huge economic impact on the 20-times champions. 

Woodward's slip could be the most damning indication yet that van Gaal is no longer a part of the club's plans. Numerous reports have suggested that Jose Mourinho has verbally agreed a deal to take over, but until pen is put to paper on that deal, the current incumbent of the hot seat might have been hoping he still had the board's backing. 

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

However, Woodward himself has also come in for criticism, as United have spent over £200million under his guidance but failed to produce the results to match. 

Under fire

Few would be surprised if van Gaal was finally sacked after the final game of the season at home to Bournemouth, with the United hierarchy receptive to fans' fury at the pedestrian football the Reds have played this season. 

His tendency to pick players out of position has also led to some embarrassing defeats this season, including a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Spurs, as well as a loss to lowly Bournemouth and Danish minnows FC Midtjylland in the Europa League. 

Last season, they were even thrashed 4-0 by League One MK Dons, but van Gaal was given time to turn things around. 

At long last, it seems Woodward's patience has run out. 

Should United replace van Gaal with Jose Mourinho? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Football
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United
Europa League

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