Sky Sports pundit Niall Quinn firmly believes Manchester United have lost their ‘fear factor’ under Louis van Gaal this season.
Man United developed a fearsome reputation under Sir Alex Ferguson in years gone by and they famously often won games from losing positions.
But United have looked meek in comparison during a disappointing campaign under van Gaal in which the club have missed out on Champions League qualification. Speaking about United, Quinn insists van Gaal is not the right man to lead United forward.
“He will go into the FA Cup final knowing it’s an absolute ‘must’ game for him if he’s to have any hope at all of carrying on,” Quinn said.
“His fate is in other people’s hands now and I’m surprised it’s come to that. When he got this job I though he was the type of strong character that Manchester United needed. He has shown determination and grit to at least bring the next trophy in to Old Trafford, but whether he’ll get time with the fans I’m not so sure.
“What’s gone out of Manchester United is the fear. Other clubs always feared them when you played them home and away and over the last three years it’s been unbelievable. I didn’t think in all my time in football that I would come to Old Trafford knowing that the away team probably fancied their chances.
“Is he the person to suddenly change it around? I would have to say, hand on heart, no. It’s too much of an ask now.”
The absence of a ‘fear factor’ at Old Trafford is one of the primary reasons why supporters have called for Jose Mourinho to replace van Gaal at United.
Mourinho has often cultivated a siege mentality at clubs he has managed and he has developed an ‘arrogant’ reputation which has seen him irk opponents. Combined with the rumoured arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United would suddenly be a force to be reckoned with once again.
Quinn is right in saying that van Gaal has failed at United and a change in management is necessary. It might not be pretty, but United need to get back to the top any way they can.