Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United in 2013, the Red Devils have failed to win a single trophy as a way of kick-starting the new era at Old Trafford.
This fact has come into sharper focus during the first half of the new season, in which time the club's latest incumbent, Louis van Gaal, has come under fire for muddled tactics, negative approach play and a poor run of results.
The relative failure of Van Gaal is difficult to reconcile, particularly given the Dutchman’s pedigree and record of success with teams such as Ajax, Barcelona (at least in his first spell) and Bayern Munich.
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Whilst this infographic comparing Ferguson and successor David Moyes highlights exactly how a lack of experience and title-winning pedigree prevented the latter from succeeding at Old Trafford, it is hard to understand why Van Gaal is still struggling after 18 months.
Not only has the Dutchman been afforded the time and financial resources that Moyes so desperately craved, but he also has an aura and confidence that commands respect from even senior players.
He also had the opportunity to instill his much talked about philosophy on United’s players, which appeared to be paying dividends following wins over Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City towards the end of last season.
It hasn't gotten much better for United, though, with the club having since crashed out of the Champions League group stages and endured a seven game winless run, ended last weekend with a 2-1 win over struggling Swansea.
With the club’s attacking players seemingly stricken by a fear of taking risks and a front line bereft of goals, not even Van Gaal’s unwavering confidence and renowned defensive discipline has been able to redress the balance.
While it's easy to see why the persistently rigid Van Gaal can be a polarizing figure and one that has faced the wrath of fans this season, calls for his head are premature in the extreme.
After all, United struggled during the formative months of last season, and while the fans would have hoped for improvement, the Dutchman inspired a recovery and successfully chased down a place in the top four.
With more money to spend and the undoubted confidence of his players, Van Gaal is the ideal candidate to achieve honours at Old Trafford and secure a Champions League return.
He is certainly more qualified than any of the available alternatives, especially when you consider front-runner and fans favorite Ryan Giggs is even less experienced than Moyes.
With this in mind, Van Gaal must be allowed to continue for the remainder of this season at least.
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