'He’s making it easy for the Manchester United hierarchy to sack him' - John Giles on Van Gaal's press conference exit
John Giles believes Van Gaal’s abrupt exit from a press conference today was not befitting a coach of his experience and that perhaps the time is now for Man Utd to call on Jose Mourinho.
It’s almost certain that all of the media that gathered today for the Dutchman’s pre-game conference ahead of the clash with Stoke on Saturday were expecting nothing out of the ordinary.
However, in less than five minutes, the former Barcelona boss had wished all in attendance a season’s greeting and made for the door.
The speculation surrounding his job and the identity of a possible successor, namely Jose Mourinho, was deemed a step too far by the 64-year-old and he was no longer willing to fulfil his press obligations.
While he was as defiant as always and resolutely pointing to the facts, United’s recent record speaks for itself.
Van Gaal’s turgid, possession-based style was just about tolerable for fans when United appeared to be launching a genuine title challenge but now, they are without a win in six games, out of the Champions League and, indeed, the top four of the Premier League, albeit on goal difference.
John Giles reckons Van Gaal has made his life more difficult with today’s antics and, given United’s performances of late, the questions being asked of him were completely justified.
“He’s a strange guy," he told Ger Gilroy on Newstalk’s Off the Ball. “He’s been around the game long enough to know that when you’ve had the results he’s had in recent times, you’re going to get the speculation and the questions. It’s part of the game, he would know that.”
“Most of the managers who come out after being under pressure try and answer the questions, because they are legitimate questions.
“I think he’s bringing more pressure upon himself by saying Happy Christmas and eat your mince pie; that’s total nonsense. He should be answering the questions in a sensible way. Doing what he did today with the press was definitely not the right move."
Furthermore, the Leeds United legend contended that the Manchester United top brass will be far from impressed by Van Gaal’s outburst and that his dismissal may now be expedited.
“If you look at the Chelsea situation, I think it was as much Mourinho’s conduct as results, but obviously the results didn’t help. If Van Gaal keeps going the way he’s going, it will be his conduct as well as the results that will force him out.
“He’s making it easy for the Manchester United hierarchy to sack him, behaving the way he did at that press conference.”
As to who will potentially replace the former Dutch national coach, the conversation inevitably veered towards the recently sacked Chelsea boss.
Of course, Mourinho was considered to replace Alex Ferguson in 2013 but the United board, most notably Bobby Charlton, deemed the Portuguese to be too unpredictable for the role, though the hapless David Moyes proved a far from prudent appointment.
Giles believes that, in these heightened times and with their status as a footballing powerhouse all but eradicated, United could be best served acquiring his services.
“I think there’s more likelihood of Mourinho going to Manchester United than there was two or three weeks ago. They’re in a desperate situation and it’s not like Manchester United to be in the position they’re in.”