Despite the international break, there was still plenty of news circulating around Manchester United. Such as United considering Pochettino and Mourinho agreeing a deal with Valencia should he not be employed by United.
The pick of the bunch for me though, was news relating to comments made by former United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, regarding Louis van Gaal.
On March 31st, The Manchester Evening News had put out an article claiming that Sir Alex had defended van Gaal and called for ‘patience’.
This post went out on Twitter and caused quite a stir among the United faithful. See some responses the news other sources below:
— Martyn Green (@matbe7) March 31, 2016
— edwin farrugia (@edwinfarrugia) March 31, 2016
Others considered Sir Alex’s words before posting their tweet:
— Mykola Sobko (@sobkoNick) April 1, 2016
I opened up Twitter that day while at work and all I saw on my timeline were United fans slating Fergie. Some being quite nasty. At first I thought “what the hell is going on?” I didn’t think for one second that he would come out and publicly defend Louis van Gaal. Not in so many words, at least. So I opened the article by MEN and read it for myself. Here is what they quote Ferguson as saying:
“It is dead easy to be critical,
“You have to be realistic about some things – the number of injuries he has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, (Antonio) Valencia, (Luke) Shaw, these are big losses.
“The other aspect which is always easy to forget there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in (Anthony) Martial and Memphis (Depay) and their promise is good.
“You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby’s time, in my time.
“For 150 years of history it is worth having a couple of years on the quiet side of success because they will always come back and come back strong.”
Now when I read the article all I took from it is that he has stated a few facts. Yes there are injuries to players who are important. Ashley Young being one of them. He has been excellent over the last couple of seasons. And yes there are new players who are young and settling in. He also, and rightly so says that patience is needed from time to time, like himself and Sir Matt Busby were afforded.
What he didn’t say is that Louis van Gaal should be afforded MORE time than he has already been given. He also didn’t say that he is ‘defending’ Louis van Gaal.
I am confident that in his head he is thinking that we should be in a much better position than we are given the time and money Louis van Gaal has had. I’m not claiming to know what Fergie is thinking, I just seriously believe he also thinks we should be in a much better position that we are. We see Ferguson many times in the stands shaking his head, looking discontented and at times yawning! So you can’t tell me that he is backing or defending LVG.
In the interview, he is being recorded and he is representing the club. He simply cannot come out and criticise van Gaal and say that he thinks the club need to change manager. Imagine the frenzy that would create within the club and how embarrassing it would be for the club.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe people have read far too much into this and the reason for that is the headline that was used by various media outlets – “Sir Alex Ferguson defends Manchester United manager Van Gaal”. I’m willing to bet that the majority of people didn’t even read the article and instead reacted to the headline alone. Imagine the headline had read something like, “Sir Alex Ferguson says it’s not uncommon for United to have a quiet spell”; if it did, you can bet your bottom dollar we would not have seen the same reaction, or abuse aimed at Fergie.
Moving on from the Sir Alex comments, another big topic of discussion was the news from the Daily Mail that Louis van Gaal has a huge part in planning the pre-season China tour in the summer. This also sparked a reaction on Twitter with many people worried that it would mean Van Gaal is set to see out his contract. See a couple of responses to the news below:
lvg not happy with china tour thought jose was coming haha this cunt is staying thats the truth
— LVGOUT (@mancdave72) April 4, 2016
— SoccerLimey (@SoccerLimey) April 3, 2016
I think it’s a little naive to think that Louis van Gaal will be staying because he is involved in preparations for the China tour. You could argue that it was the headline and word “lifeline” being used that got people worried.
As far as I am aware, it’s normal for the manager to be involved in pre-season tour preparation, so it does not surprise me to hear that he is involved. No one knows what his situation at the club is. No one knows if he will be in charge next season. It’s most likely going to depend on how he finishes the season with the main aim being Champions League qualification. For all we know, the decision may already be made.
One we can be sure of though is that if we finish the season poorly and don’t make the top four, the fact he was involved in tour preparations will not be enough to save his job. To think it is enough would be ludicrous. Let’s just hope that Ed Woodward doesn’t think like that!