Cleat Geeks

LVG’s Dream Could Be Manchester United’s Nightmare

“Me, personally, I would rather win the FA Cup”  ‘Louis Van Gaal’

In the remote and faraway land of Denmark, home of the worlds most famous fairy tales Louis Van Gaal had one of his own. In the pre-match press conference before the first leg of the Europa Cup match against FC Midtjylland he announced his preference was to win the FA Cup rather than the Europa Cup. Van Gaal’s reasoning he admitted was personal,”I have won the Europa Cup already” Van Gaal said. “I want to win the FA Cup to make United champions.”FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-PRESSER

In Van Gaal’s short and concise choice of words were the possible seeds of his philosophy. It seemed, for a moment, that it was more important for his ego to be stroked than for the club to succeed in reaching their goal this year. As if with an afterthought Van Gaal added that “of course it is more important for United to win the Europa Cup and qualify for next seasons Champions League”.

The Holy Grail for any club at the moment is the Champions League and the need to be in it is paramount especially for a club like United with a world wide following. That is why these words seem so strange and misplaced in the context of a very, very poor season.

Manchester United are 6 points behind 4th placed Manchester City with 12 premier league matches left. The gap would be more no doubt had City not done a ‘faux pas’ in publicly stating that Pep Guardiola would be taking over from Manuel Pellegrini in the summer.

Ever since City have looked like a team waiting for their new commander while the incumbent waits for his P45. They have been dispirited and offered little to suggest they want to send Pellegrini on his way with a trophy or two. City’s latest exit from anything meaningful was a 5-1 defeat in the FA Cup at Chelsea. Pellegrini rested his senior players for the Champion League match in mid-week showing what he thinks about the importance of the FA Cup.

After the debacle in Denmark Van Gaal still has a dream of winning his favored cup with United playing at Shrewsbury tonight. No doubt by the time Monday night gives way to Tuesday morning the result will be known and Van Gaal will be a step near his prize or a step nearer his demise. Should United beat Shrewsbury they will be at home to West Ham in the quarter finals of the competition with a realistic chance of reaching Wembley at least in the semi final stage.WemblyStadium

However it is the following Thursday evening to which the owners and investors in Manchester United will be looking as United try to reverse the score against FC Midtjylland. There is no doubt which is the priority for them as revenue streams are threatened by the possible calamitous exit from the Europa League and almost all chance lost of reaching next seasons Champions League. FA Cup win or no FA Cup win it would be a nightmare scenario which the Glazer family, even in their limited understanding of the game, and all the corporated hoardes pigtailing on the name of Manchester United would have foreseen.

In the end Van Gaal might get his wish of winning the English FA Cup to add to his CV, but it will almost certainly be followed by his exit to retirement. Whoever follows in the wake of Van Gaal, (and the favourite at the moment is Jose Mourinho) will need to start to rebuilt the squad once again. The Van Gaal experiment will have failed in less than two years and Ed Woodward’s culpability in the matter should not be excused.

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