The title itself suggests the preface of what’s to come. To many who prefer numbers over speculations and emotions, Manchester United might necessarily not be in a bad position as some have perceived it to be in – only 9 points adrift from league leaders Leicester City.
However, to many others, there is a larger concern brewing. The concern around the atmosphere within the club, the slashed sentiments and assertiveness of the players, the unknown surrounding the beast of a club – all awakened by back-to-back losses along lower tiered teams apart from the shocking or not-so-shocking exit from Europe’s elite competition.
See – the initial problem, as I see it, why the devils are not producing the results that they are expected to mainly has to do with the safe play mentality they have consistently deployed rather than the creative one. And why is that?
The players are scared of ‘him’, harsh to say that but yes, these grown men are scared of their manager. Referring to Van Gaal’s attitude during press conferences’ and quotes from the players, it seems like the players were never encouraged to fight for the ball after losing possession – a mistake that could cost you your job at many other clubs.
Moreover, it’s hard to imagine succeeding when our assistant gaffer stands in the technical area for the majority of the time instead of LVG who appears to be glued to his seat when his team needs that enforcing factor on the sidelines – No offence Ryan Giggs.
Yes, last year he had revealed the reason as to why he has rarely enters the technical area.
“I am always on the bench because my philosophy is that we have to prepare our players to play the match and when you are shouting on the sideline, there is nobody you can contact during the game – especially when we are home at Old Trafford,” he said, referring to noise levels inside the ground.
Not once, in his short time at the club, has he displayed the love, enthusiasm, passion, and the will to win for our club. Did he ever run out of his dugout area to celebrate with the players? Recent news of a “depressed captain” has widely been captured and it’s been ages, since I have seen the players, enjoying, laughing, and having a good time on the pitch. And to be honest, LVG has lost at least half of his dressing room.
To qualify for a job at a club like Manchester United, one should have the aura hovering consistently over the club to somehow dig out results from nowhere in situations that call for it. Alex Ferguson and his subsequent mentality was notorious for that. Perhaps, he has that reputation of Sir Alex in the dressing room, that special bond, that frankness in the dressing room. And what if he is axed soon?
There is a growing list of potential replacements for the Dutchman. Guardiola? Off to city most likely – Ancelotti? Probably Pep’s replacement at Barcelona – Jose? He seems like a younger- but a passionate version of Van Gaal, but at the least he understands the love for a club, and he also realizes that managers are allowed to get up from their seats during matches… However, what concerns me the most is, will he be the same with United? And will the players co-operate with him and his mentality? Or pick up beefs like some did in his previous clubs.
Ryan Giggs? Not so sure about him either. Agreed that he has the Devils blood running through his veins, he is the one who always feels the need to shout out instructions to the players, that sadly. But with no experience whatsoever in the coaching game, however with the belief of some of last decade’s best footballing minds behind him, the Neville’s, Scholes, Butt, and of course… Sir Alex Ferguson, the prospect does look enticing. The guy has spent over a decade with the best manager in the world, and it would only make sense if he had learnt a thing or two! Another perk of Giggsy as manager is that the players will at least look forward to going back into the dressing room, rather than avoiding it – which is currently the situation.
But let’s not be too harsh at LVG, the guy does deserve till the end of the season to prove me and many others wrong, by mending his mentality of the club. After all, as mentioned earlier, they are only 9 points apart from Leicester.