Following their latest defeat in what is proving a disappointing season, Louis van Gaal admits he is failing Manchester United and their supporters.
Loud boos greeted the Dutch coach as he trudged off the pitch after the 1-0 defeat to Southampton, who secured the points when substitute and debutant Charlie Austin scored on 87 minutes. This was United’s sixth loss of the campaign, and it leaves them in fifth place, five points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur in fourth with 15 matches remaining to fulfil.
The Reds, who were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League at the group stage, have scored just 28 times in the Premier League this season, and have failed to score on eight occasions. It is no exaggeration to suggest the majority of the Old Trafford crowd have now turned against van Gaal, who admits he is not living up to the standards of the club.
“I’m very disappointed that I cannot reach the expectations of the fans,” he said. “They have – or they had – great expectations of me, and I cannot fulfil them, so I am very frustrated because of that. They have also knowledge of football, of entertaining football, and you have to play football to entertain the fans. I don’t think we have entertained the fans, so they can be very angry.”
The Independent claimed at the weekend that Jose Mourinho had written a six-page letter to the club, outlining the reasons why he feels he would be a good solution if and when van Gaal leaves. This is said to have included his opinion on the current squad, ideas he has for the future, and also the promise that he would produce an entertaining brand of football.
However, the agent of the Portuguese coach wasted no time in denying such a letter was sent by flatly discrediting the article on Sunday morning. Whilst the former Chelsea boss would be a frontrunner to succeed the Dutchman, Pep Guardiola could be an option when he leaves Bayern Munich in the summer, and Ryan Giggs may yet be given an opportunity.