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Is van Gaal’s time at Manchester United up?

Photo Courtesy: The Guardian
Photo Courtesy: The Guardian

Despite all the negative limelight being currently focused on Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho due to his side’s abysmal display in the EPL this season, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has also come under fire, following his side’s below par performances of late.

Up until Sir Alex Ferguson was the manager of Manchester United, everything thing was running smoothly at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils winning silverware almost every season. However, after the Scotsman decided to call it quits on his managerial career in 2013, the whole system at United imploded.

Ferguson handpicked fellow countryman David Moyes, who had found stability at Everton, to be his successor, but this turned out to be a grave mistake as United’s form plummeted under the Scotsman, with the Red Devils making a 7th place finish in the Premier League that season.

United soon got rid of Moyes (before the end of the 2013/14 season) and replaced him with the experienced van Gaal. The Dutchman despite not being able to make an immediate impact at Old Trafford in his first season, managed to help United return to the Champions League (following a fourth place finish in the EPL in 2014/15).

After spending a considerable amount of money on the transfers of many players – including Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Anthony Martial – this summer, United were expected to shine this season.

However, the Red Devils, after a decent start to the new campaign, have failed to live up to expectations this season.

While the Red Devils have dropped to the fourth place in the EPL, after managing to pick up only  two points from their last three fixtures, the Red Devils have also been knocked out of the Capital One Cup, following their defeat to  Championship side Middleborough (on penalties) in the fourth round of the competition.

While dropping a few points in the Premier League and their elimination from the League cup did not matter much, United came under fire after they failed to qualify beyond the group stages of the Champions League.

Despite being drawn in a pretty easy group, alongside Wolfsburg, PSV Eindhoven and CSKA Moscow, United were demoted to the Europa League, after finishing in third place, behind the German and Dutch side.

Van Gaal particularly faced a lot of criticism after United’s disappointing display in the Champions League as even Moyes, despite doing very poor domestically, had managed to guide the Red Devils until the quarter-finals of the European competition in 2013/14.

The Dutch, who has been very successful in Netherlands, Germany and Spain, still has time to turn things around at Old Trafford considering only half of the 2015/16 season has passed. United can still win the Premier League title, FA Cup and the Europa League and transform their campaign into a successful one.

However, if United fail to lift any trophies for a second consecutive season under van Gaal, especially after spending a ton of money on transfers, then the Dutchman may go down the same path as Moyes did in 2014.

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