Michael Owen believes that Louis van Gaal is under “severe pressure” after Manchester United’s early Champions League exit.
Van Gaal has been criticised for a dull style of football at Old Trafford this season and the pressure has intensified after they were knocked out of Europe’s elite competition following a 3-2 defeat against Wolfsburg this week.
Man United are three points behind Premier League leaders Leicester City but Owen claims that the failure to qualify for the later stages of the Champions League will bring van Gaal’s role into question.
Speaking after the Wolfsburg defeat, Owen said: ”I don’t look at it and just think of tonight, I don’t look at it and just think this season, I look at the 18 months that Louis van Gaal has been in charge. Over £250m he’s spent.
“They weren’t in Europe last season so they had all the focus on the league and cups. They got stuffed by MK Dons 4-0, they got knocked out the FA Cup by Arsenal, they scrambled into fourth.
“This season they’ve been knocked out by Middlesbrough in the League Cup, they’ve been knocked out of an easy group in the Champions League and they’re playing poorly week in week out.
“It’s 18 months of below par with all that money and I think he’s under severe pressure now.”
The general feeling towards van Gaal amongst United fans has changed in the past few weeks and there are some who feel that he is not the right man to lead the club forward. It is easy to see why, as United have largely been turgid this season. If van Gaal continues to produce dire football in the next few months, United may have a difficult decision to make in the summer.