Following Manchester United’s disappointing 3-2 defeat against Wolfsburg on Tuesday night, which meant the club exited the Champions League at the group stage, Peter Schmeichel defended Louis van Gaal and urged fans to be patient with the Dutchman.
The Man United icon believes that it will take time for van Gaal’s methods to be fully realised at Old Trafford and that criticism of him is unjustified.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s mammoth stint as manager of United created somewhat of a mentality among fans of the club where they should always be behind the manager, no matter what.
After all, what if the Scot was sacked during his difficult early years at United? Would the club have achieved everything they did under Ferguson? Would Schmeichel have signed? Perhaps not, but that was a different time and circumstances could not be more different than what they are now. Let’s make one thing clear; it is absolutely okay to criticise van Gaal.
Every week, supporters of United watch football to be entertained. And every week this term, they have been let down by van Gaal’s turgid style of football. The game is supposed to be fun. Under van Gaal, it simply isn’t.
Another note is that, with the amount of money van Gaal has spent since taking charge, results have not been good enough. A meek loss against Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup, an early Champions League exit in what should have been a straightforward group, an FA Cup defeat against Arsenal last season, and no signs of progress in the Premier League this time around. All awful results that should have been better when taking into account the millions the club has spent in recent years.
Blind optimism will get United nowhere. Conflicting ideas about where van Gaal should be taking United creates a discussion which can only stimulate positive change. Whether van Gaal is the right man for the club remains to be seen, but subscribing to a ideology that a manager is infallible is detrimental to a club’s success. Criticism should be welcomed, taken onboard and used when deciding how to improve United’s fortunes.