Former Manchester United youth player and current BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage feels Louis van Gaal should be sacked if he can’t deliver the league title this season.
The manager is coming under immense pressure, more so after Man United’s 2-1 loss away to Bournemouth on Saturday. It marked five games in a row that the Reds have failed to win, the first time that has happened in one season since December 1998.
United crashed out of the Champions League in midweek following a 3-2 loss to Wolfsburg and must drastically improve to have any chance of winning the Premier League.
That loss meant United finished third in their European group, sending them into the Europa League for the remainder of the season.
It is certainly a second-rate competition but Savage feels the side are not even good enough to win that. The former Leicester City midfielder made it very clear what he thinks van Gaal must achieve this campaign in order to keep his job.
“After Manchester United’s embarrassment in the Champions League, let’s spell out the only road to redemption for Louis van Gaal – if he does not win the title this season, he might as well pack his bags,” Savage wrote.
“Winning the FA Cup will not be enough. Not now, not after the way United failed to qualify from a Champions League group they should have been able to negotiate in blindfolds. And forget about the Europa League – there are too many decent sides left in the competition. United are not good enough to win it.”
Van Gaal’s brand of football and the emphasis he places on possession has frustrated many fans over the past two seasons. The Dutchman achieved the bare minimum of finishing in the top four last season but anything other than silverware could see him end his contract early.
Savage added: “For me, the equation for Van Gaal is simple: It is the title or bust. I am not in favour of sacking managers – not in mid-season, at any rate – but I know that a lot of United fans have had enough. The jokes are on one of the biggest clubs in the world – and that cannot be right.”
There is no doubt that there is something wrong at United with van Gaal at the helm. The manager has created a stable base for the squad to build on, with the work he has done on the defence, but supporters are desperate for a more expressive side.
Van Gaal will know that nothing but a win against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday will be acceptable and the pressure will certainly be on. There is still a long time to go this season for United to get their season back on track and they will hope a win against the Canaries is the start of a comeback.