Louis van Gaal joined Manchester United in 2014 on a three year contract with big expectations. But after a decent first season, his second campaign in charge has been less fruitful, with the Red Devils having been knocked out of the Champions League and practically out of the Premier League race.
Their most recent defeat came at the hands of their bitter rivals Liverpool. Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino lead the Reds to a 2-0 victory at Anfield. Manchester United now face an uphill task in the second leg at Old Trafford. They could face the ignominy of being knocked out of European competition for the second time this season, after crashing out of the UEFA Champions League in the group stage itself.
The Red Devils have sunk to a new low after the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. However, under fire manager Louis van Gaal still argues that his three-year plan to bring Manchester United back to the top is in full effect.
“I think it is working, though the circumstances are sometimes difficult and we are not always getting the best results,” Van Gaal said when asked about his three-year strategy, according to the Guardian.
“We are in three different competitions, and at this stage of the season a lot of other teams and managers cannot say that,” he added. “We still have the chance to win something.”
Another season without a trophy and it could be time to say goodbye
Louis van Gaal’s reputation has managed to keep him in the hot seat at Old Trafford for far longer than predecessor David Moyes. The Scotsman was sacked before the end of the 2013-14 season, as Manchester United finished seventh in the Premier League. Van Gaal managed to steady the ship last season, leading them to a top four finish and public sentiment surrounding the Dutchman was generally positive at the time.
However, Manchester United seem to have taken a step back this season, even though the manager maintains that they still have three competitions to fight for. One of those competitions must bear fruit in the form of a trophy though, if Louis van Gaal wants to stay on at Old Trafford next season.