Manchester United should get rid of Louis van Gaal now - here's why
Waiting could reduce chances of getting Jose Mourinho, Van Gaal is clearly a lame duck, and Man Utd must learn lessons of the David Moyes debacle .
1. They’d reduce risk of losing one of their top targets
If, as assumed, Manchester United want to make the Faustian pact of replacing Louis van Gaal with Jose Mourinho, then there’s no good reason for them to wait until the summer. Mourinho is out of work and seemingly desperate to take over at Old Trafford, but by the summer it’s possible he might have changed his mind or been poached by someone else.
United have been burned in the transfer market by dilly-dallying over prospective targets; they can’t afford to do the same with their next manager.
2. A new manager can start planning for next season
Bringing in a replacement now would allow whoever it is to begin to lay the foundations for next season. The next three months could act as the bedding in period and allow the new manager to look at his players before the 2016-17 campaign.
By waiting until the summer, United risk having yet another ‘transitional’ year with a manager inevitably spending his first season getting to know the team and vice versa.
3. Van Gaal is a lame duck
The United manager can deny his team are affected by the constant Mourinho rumours, but there’s no way the uncertainty doesn’t transmit to the players. With each passing week, Van Gaal’s position looks less secure, and it’s clear the board don’t truly back him. That much was obvious as soon as the transfer window closed without United having made a single signing.
The Dutchman said his squad was one “without full-backs” after losing to Sunderland on Saturday, but after failing in the transfer market so far at United, Van Gaal was not trusted with spending more of the club’s money last month. If the club are unwilling to give the manager what would have been a genuine vote of confidence, there seems little point in keeping him on.
4. Results are terrible
The most compelling reason to get rid of Van Gaal is that the team are playing awfully and the results have been terrible. United have fewer points at this stage of the season than they did under David Moyes, and are six points off the top four.
Can anyone really say United have shown anything this season, or indeed last, to suggest they will make up that deficit and qualify for the Champions League?
5. Top four is not out of reach…if a new manager is brought in
Failure to make the Champions League will lead to another summer like the one two years ago when United were forced to pay over the odds for players to compensate for the lack of European football. For the long-term benefit of the club, the United hierarchy must roll the dice and change things to give themselves a chance of making the top four.
A change of manager is no guarantee of succes but as the Telegraph’s Chief Football Writer Sam Wallace said on Sunday Supplement last week, “my feeling for United is that any of the options open to them are better than Van Gaal at the moment.”
6. Moyes era showed folly of waiting too long
United were in a very similar position to the one they are now two years ago, but on that occasion waited until Champions League qualification was out of reach before sacking Moyes.
That example should serve as a warning to Ed Woodward of the danger of delaying for too long.
7. If top targets are unavailable, Giggs is an option
In the unlikely event that United sack Van Gaal now and are unable to appoint Mourinho, they have the option of promoting assistant manager Giggs on a short-term basis. Giggs has performed the caretaker role before, and it would give the board a useful insight into his suitability for the role on a permanent basis were he to take charge for the next three months.
Moreover, with it being suggested that Sir Alex Ferguson could work in an advisory role, Giggs would have the perfect mentor to help him with the transition into management.