Manchester United have come under a lot of criticism in recent weeks after failing to win in five straight games in all competitions, and club legend Rio Ferdinand has expressed his concern that the club is going backwards


Louis van Gaal has come under fire from fans and pundits alike after Manchester United followed their defeat to VfL Wolfsburg in the UEFA Champions League (which saw them exit the competition in the group stages) with a loss to Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Dutchman’s stubbornness has been questioned by the Old Trafford faithful, while the team’s ‘boring’ style of play has also been criticised heavily by supporters and pundits, amongst whom are ex-United players such as Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand.

The former Red Devils’ centre-back spoke to The Sun recently and expressed his concern that the inflexibility of Van Gaal’s tactics has curbed the expression and creativity of United’s players. Ferdinand also suggested that the club are going backwards again under the former FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager, claiming that he did not see the situation changing any time soon.

“Players are playing it safe because they are afraid of the consequences if they try to take chances,” said Ferdinand. “Manchester United are going backwards again and I dona t see that changing because the manager will not change. They have to be allowed to express themselves.

“Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti will be available this summer and the question is will they be able to do a better job than Van Gaal. The board and owners might want to be loyal to Van Gaal after investing so much in him but they also have to do what is best for United.

a And if United finish outside the top four, that will be catastrophic. It might rule out the chance of getting either Guardiola or Ancelotti. It will be more difficult to attract the best players, too. The next six months are absolutely crucial.”

Van Gaal faces crucial six months at Old Trafford

Having already been knocked out of the F.A. Cup and the UEFA Champions League, Louis van Gaal’s focus has to be on launching a serious title assault over the course of the next few months.

Anything other than a serious title challenge will not satisfy the fans, and is unlikely to satisfy the powers that be at Old Trafford, who could well consider a change if the likes of Pep Guardiola or Carlo Ancelotti show interest in the job.

Although Van Gaal’s contract runs out in 2017, he may be forced to leave the club sooner than expected if results do not change drastically. There is, however, more than enough time for the Dutchman to turn this season around and make it a successful one for the Red Devils.