Now that Jose Mourinho has exited from his post as Chelsea manager, the Premier League hatchet committee has turned its focus toward Manchester United and Louis van Gaal. The Dutch manager seemed like just what the football club needed last season when he came in and took over the organization in the wake of a disastrous 2013/14 campaign under the management of David Moyes. But the Red Devils still only managed a fourth place finish in 2014/15, and while they made it to the Champions League via the qualifying rounds, they were ultimately ousted after the group stage.
Louis van Gaal: Bound for Departure?
That early UCL elimination was more or less representative of how the season has been going for Manchester United lately. The soccer club had a promising start, even sitting at the top of the Premier League standings table for a week in late September. But the Red Devils haven't won a match since November 21st-leaving behind a streak of six non-wins in the Premier League and eight across all competitions. Losses to clubs that Man United should have been able to beat-AFC Bournemouth, Norwich City, and Stoke City-as well as a scoreless draw with the adrift Chelsea squad, have left football pundits and club fans alike wondering how long Van Gaal will stick around at Old Trafford.
On paper, it certainly looks as if keeping Van Gaal as manager is no longer working for Manchester United. Expensive transfers like Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay (not to mention last season's Angel di Maria disaster) have not paid off, while the decision to bench captain Wayne Rooney for the Stoke City match didn't work out, either. Every decision that Van Gaal makes seems to backfire, and his soccer club just can't seem to catch any kind of break.
Add the fact that fans are openly speculating that Jose Mourinho could take over at Old Trafford-even going as far as to sell scarves emblazoned with the Portuguese manager's face and name outside of the stadium prior to the Chelsea match-and it makes sense that every article about Manchester United lately has mentioned the possibility of a Louis van Gaal departure.
Van Gaal: "No reason to resign."
For his part, Van Gaal knows that he could face the sack any day now. "When it happens to Jose Mourinho, then it can happen with me," he said on the matter. However, while the Dutch manager is hoping to avoid getting fired before he can turn things around, one thing seems to be sure: he won't resign.
"When the players give such a performance with a lot of pressure, there's no reason to resign," Van Gaal said, following the Chelsea draw. The game against the Blues, which saw the Red Devils playing at home, arguably should have been a win for United, with the home team winning the possession game, creating better scoring chances, and hitting the post twice. As Wayne Rooney noted, reinstated in the Chelsea match after coming off the bench and reinvigorating the United side in the Stoke match, his team "put up a great fight."
Still, without a win, even Van Gaal's pledge not to resign can only count for so much. Draws are better than losses, but the Red Devils need a victory if the football club is going to avoid a management shakeup heading into the New Year.
The draw with Chelsea leaves United sixth on the Premier League table, with 30 points from the first 19 matches of the season. They'll look to break their win drought on January 2nd, in a home match against Swansea City. Swansea are currently sitting near the bottom of the table, at 17th place.
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