According to reports in the British press, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal offered to walk away from his position after the Red Devils’ loss to Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United’s latest league defeat leaves them five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, and confirmed what many already suspected — the win over Liverpool FC was just papering over the cracks, and would not be a turning point for the Red Devils’ season.
Damning statistics have emerged about United’s football this season, and Louis van Gaal does not appear to have solutions to fix what looks like a fractured team. According to The Guardian, the Dutchman himself offered to resign after he defeat to Southampton on Saturday, but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward turned him down and asked him to discuss the decision with his family.
The report suggests that Louis van Gaal will meet with Woodward on Tuesday after returning from the Netherlands (where he attended his daughter’s birthday) to discuss the best way forward for Manchester United. The Red Devils are hesitant to make a managerial change in the middle of the season, with Woodward reportedly preferring to make that decision in the summer if necessary.
In news that might disturb the Old Trafford faithful, the Guardian’s report also suggests that Ed Woodward is solely responsible for Van Gaal’s fate, as also his successor for the long term.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) January 25, 2016
Manchester United in serious danger of missing out on the top four
United have performed poorly under Louis van Gaal for some time now, but a combination of their defence and the inconsistency of other teams has ensured that they have remained near the top of the league. Now, however, there is a real danger of the Red Devils falling away given the consistency of Tottenham Hotspur and the continued excellence of Leicester City.
Sacking Louis van Gaal is not a decision that can be taken lightly, but it is extremely surprising that it has not been made given the 64-year-old himself seems unsure of being able to meet the season’s objectives, as his resignation offer would suggest. Particularly given José Mourinho is available and ready to restart his managerial career, it’ll be interesting to see if Woodward pulls the trigger at some point this season if United do not show signs of a recovery.