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Manchester United Sack Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho Ready To Take Charge At Old Trafford

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Louis Van Gaal has been shown the exit and sacked as Man Utd coach just two days after the 64-year Old Dutchman led Manchester United to FA Cup title triumph, beating Crystal Palace 2-1 in the final.

Reports confirm that that Van Gaal’s Dutch coaching team – which includes goalkeeper coach  Frans Hoek and assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg have also met a similar fate.

When asked in a post-match press conference about the rumours of Mourinho taking his place at United, Van Gaal stood strong to nullify all such speculations. However talking to a reporter outside the team hotel on Sunday, he said, ‘it’s over’.

Post Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, this has been the only piece of silverware that the Red devils managed to secure.

However the FA Cup crown was not enough to tone down all the criticism. Champions League exit, use of conservative tactics and failing to qualify for the next season’s Champions league campaign are thought to be the main reasons behind his untimely sacking.

Waiting 3 years for silverware, winning it but engulfed by an atmosphere of chaos and confusion, such was the situation at Manchester United after their recent FA Cup triumph. No sooner did the celebrations began, reports of Jose Mourinho replacing Van Gaal at Old Trafford spread like wildfire.

According to sources, Mourinho’s appointment as the new Manchester United manager will be confirmed over the next 2 days after the former Chelsea boss attends a meeting with senior Manchester United club officials on Tuesday.

Recently in an official statement in the club’s website Van Gaal said, ” It has been an honour to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United FC, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long-held ambition.”

”I am immensely proud to have helped United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the club’s history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career.”

”I am very disappointed to be unable to complete our intended three-year plan. I believe that the foundations are firmly in place to enable the club to move forward and achieve even greater success.”

”I hope that winning the FA Cup will give the club a platform to build upon next season to restore the success that this passionate set of fans desire.”

”I thank my players and wish them well for next season. It has been a pleasure to work with them and it has been particularly rewarding to see so many young players take their chance to break into the first team and excel.”

”Thank you to the owners and board of Manchester United for giving me the opportunity to manage this great club.”

”I would also like to express my gratitude to the amazing United supporters. They are truly the best fans in the world, he added.”

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Louis Van Gaal vs Jose Mourinho (Trophy Cabinet)

Van Gaal Trophy Cabinet

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Jose Mourinho Trophy Cabinet

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Some Key Moments Of LVG’s Journey With Manchester United

Louis Van Gaal; Pic Courtesy: Twitter - @ManUtd
Louis Van Gaal; Pic Courtesy: Twitter – @ManUtd

May 19, 2014 – After guiding Netherlands to a third place finish in the World Cup, Van Gaal was appointed as the new Man Utd Coach to replace David Moyes.

June 2014 – Impresses the club and fans with big summer signings. Van Gaal had the clubs backing and he splurged a whooping amount to sign Ander Herrera, for £29m from Athletic Bilbao, Luke Shaw from Southampton for £27m and the big gun  Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.7m.

August 26, 2014 – Embarrassing League Cup campaign – A 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in the first round.

November 22, 2014 – Manchester United clinches the first away win under Van Gall. 85th minute blinder from Rooney secures a 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates.

January 23, 2015 – FA Cup Frustration – Man Utd held to a 0-0 draw with Cambridge United that led to a rematch. However United the rematch 3-0.

February 10, 2015 – Long Ball Controversy – Van Gall engaged in a verbal feud with West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, when the latter criticized his long ball tactics. Van Gaal disclosed the tactical sheets in front of the media to prove Sam Allardyce wrong.

March 9, 2015 – Former Man Utd player Danny Welbeck too hot to handle – Van Gaal was the main reason behind Welbeck’s exit from Old Trafford as he believed that the English forward did not match the standard of his squad. Welbeck scored the winner in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Man Utd in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

March 12, 2015 – Derby triumph, Fans Happy!! – Riding high on confidence after defeating Liverpool 2-1, Man Utd also emerged victorious against fierce rivals Manchester City 4-2.

Sep 1, 2015 – Van Gaal reaffirmed his belief in the youth and signed 19-year-old Anthony Martial from AS Monaco in a world shocking £36m transfer. He spent £100m in total and the other players to follow the squad were Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Memphis Depay. Angel di Maria, Robin van Persie, Rafael, Jonny Evans and Javier Hernandez were shown the exit.

May 2, 2015 – Promises not Kept – Great things were promised by Van Gaal when he took charge but he failed to live up to them. Man Utd were out of the Premier league title race and three back to back defeats – 1-0 to Chelsea, a 3-0 humiliation against Everton and 1-0 defeat against  West Brom at Old Trafford were enough for the fans to lose faith on their manager.

September 29, 2015 – Good start to the second season? – Manchester secured 5 wins in 7 matches and after outplaying Sunderland 3-0, reached the top of the table.

October 4, 2015 – Shocking Humiliation at the Emirates – Two exceptional goals from Alexis Sanchez and one from Mesut Ozil led to Man Utd’s embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the emirates. Van Gaal’s decision to play Bastian Schweinsteiger in a much advanced role up front was highly criticized.

October 28, 2015 – Second Division Middlesbrough humiliates Man Utd – Van Gaal was under the scanner after another League cup humiliation and this time against second division club Middlesbrough, losing 3-1 on penalties.

December 8, 2015 – Flop Champions League Campaign – United are eliminated from the Champions League after a disastrous group stage. Needed a win against Wolfsburg to advance further fro the group stage. However Wolfsburg outplayed the Red Devils 3-2 to put an end to their dreams and United finished third in the group, below Wolfsburg and PSV.

December 12, 2015 – Embarrassing defeat to Bournemouth – Former United player Josh King scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Manchester United. Van Gaal’s tactics were under huge criticism when he substituted Fellaini.

December 19, 2015 – Things got worse when Manchester United lost 2-1 to Norwich at home ground. It was Norwich’s first ever victory at Old Trafford in 26 years.

December 23, 2015 – Pressure Building Up – When asked about his job security at Old Trafford, Van Gaal storms out of a press conference.

January 23, 2016 – Fans Angry – The United manager was booed off at home after a humiliating 1-0 defeat to Southampton, leaving Man Utd in their lowest position ever on the league table.

February 18, 2016 – Hitting a new low in Europa League after losing to Danish club FC Midtjylland 2-1. Fans were heard singing obscene songs about Louis Van Gaal.

March 17, 2016 – Europa League Elimination – After suffering a 2-0 first leg defeat at Anfield, Manchester United desperately needed a big win against their fierce rivals in the 2nd leg at Old Trafford. Manchester United were shown the exit from Europa League after a 1-1 draw in the second leg.

May 10, 2016 – Losing Out On Champions League Qualification – Battling edge to edge with Man City for the 4th spot in the league and for a place in next season’s Champions league, Man Utd desperately needed a win against West Ham. Van Gaal’s strategy backfired and United lost 3-2.

May 15 2016 – United’s last match against Bournemouth was postponed due to a bomb scare at Old Trafford. Manchester defeated Bournemouth 3-1 in the rearranged fixture to finish fifth on the points table.

May 21 2016 – Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 to lift the trophy in a thrilling FA Cup final. However the win was not enough to convince the board to change their  minds.

May 23 2016 – Van Gaal Sacked!!

Van Gaal’s Record At Manchester United ( Statistics)

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Louis Van Gaal vs David Moyes


After a glorious era under Sir Alex Fergusson, David Moyes was ‘The Chosen One’ to maintain the domination in England. However after a disastrous campaign, Van Gaal was brought in as a replacement to make things better at United. Backed by the club, Van Gaal splurged huge cash in the transfer window which was not the case when Moyes was in charge. Van Gall had more time and many more allowances but if we look at the records, he scripted an almost similar story at the ‘theater of dreams.’

  • Van Gall spent £261.7m in comparison to David Moyes who lacked the backing and managed to spend only £64.6m.
  • Under David Moyes Manchester United scored 1.65 goals per league game. Things got worse under Van Gaal as United managed to score 1,63 goals in the first season which went down to 1.29 in the second season ( 2015-16).
  • David Moyes was more successful in Europe and managed to lead Man Utd to the quarter-finals in the UEFA champions league 2011(first time since 2011) before being outplayed by Bayern Munich. Under Van Gaal, the club failed to advance from the group stage in Champions league this season and was knocked out in the last 16 at the Europa league.

 Worst Criticisms

“Manchester United are going backwards again and I don’t see that changing because the manager will not change his tactics,” said Rio Ferdinand.

“It seems he doesn’t want players to beat men and score goals,” said Paul Scholes.

“It’s not a team I would have enjoyed playing in. “There’s no spirit, there’s nobody having a go at each other, there’s no smiling, there’s no entertainment,” he concluded.

Steve Coppel, who was a big name in the club during the 1970s and 1980s said that Van Gaal’s philosophy is not clear enough and it is tough for the players at times to decipher what the manager wants actually.

Anirban Das
Anirban Das's journey to Delhi via Kolkata involves football, music, curiosity (which one day can kill the cat) and food. Following global football opens up an infinite space within him in both the conscious and subconscious self, away from the din and bustle of the madding crowd. Supports Manchester United & Barcelona

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