After months of speculation over whether Louis Van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United would last long after this season, the club has finally revealed that they have decided to part ways with the veteran Dutchman.
Of course, Van Gaal will feel hard-done-by as just two days ago he delivered the club their record-equalling 12th FA Cup trophy courtesy of a late Jesse Lingard volley. However, that was not enough for the upper echelons of the club to feel happy with his reign, especially after missing out on Champions League football by goal difference to bitter local rivals, Manchester City.
The significant lack of goals scored under the Dutchman’s regime is arguably the biggest reason why he lost his job. In a season that saw the remarkable rise of Leicester City, Manchester United only managed to score 49 goals… 6 goals less than Blackpool in 2011, the season they were relegated. Last summer, Van Gaal decided to let go of Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen) and Robin Van Persie (Fenerbahçe) as well as not renewing Radamel Falcao’s loan deal due to him being overwhelmingly poor in the Premier League.
Despite losing three strikers and a multitude of other attacking talent including Angel di Maria and Nani, Van Gaal only managed to bring in one striker, 19-year-old Anthony Martial, and one winger in 21-year-old Memphis Depay… and the Old Trafford faithful truly paid for the lack of goals up front. It must be said that Van Gaal bringing through Marcus Rashford was a stroke of genius, with the 18-year-old helping to carry the team through in the latter months of the season, however, this was more due to injury problems than tactical guile.
It is now expected than Manchester United will announce the signing of ex-Chelsea manager and Louis Van Gaal’s old apprentice, Jose Mourinho as their new manager later this week. It must be remembered however, that Mourinho parted ways with Chelsea after leading them on their worst start to a Premier League season ever, creating much unrest among the fans due to the Portuguese manager’s ‘anti-football’ tactics.
The Premier League will definitely miss LVG and his eccentric ways, but for Manchester United fans, the time had definitely come for them to say goodbye to the Iron Tulip.