Could FA Cup success save Van Gaal from the sack at United?

Date published: Tuesday 5th April 2016 9:08

Louis van Gaal: Feels it's easier for Leicester to sign stars

Louis van Gaal: Feels it's easier for Leicester to sign stars

We mull over the lost ‘magic of the FA Cup’ – but Derek Bilton uses his weekly column to ponder whether success in the competition could prove Louis van Gaal’s saving grace at Manchester United.

So much has been made in recent times of the FA Cup and how the world’s oldest knockout competition is losing its allure.

With every passing year the famous old trophy is becoming more of an unwelcome distraction for most top flight clubs.

Third round day in early January – traditionally one of the most anticipated events in the sporting calendar – has now lost a lot of its magic as Premier League managers send out weakened teams due to a mentality that survival is the be all and end all in the richest league in the world. The days of proper giant killings – of Ronnie Radford and his Parka-clad admirers – have seemingly been lost forever. The jury is out on who is to blame for this and traditionalists will hope that it’s just a passing malaise.

That said, the FA Cup could be the competition that keeps Louis van Gaal in a job this season.

Results have picked up for his Manchester United side in recent weeks and they now look set for a fascinating tussle with bitter rivals Manchester City for that fourth spot and a coveted Champions League place. There’s just a point between the two sides now and 21 points still to play for so there will be some twists and turns in the battle for fourth between now and May 15.

And rest assured United fans would love nothing more than to pip their rivals for fourth spot and condemn incoming Citizens manager Pep Guardiola to a season of Thursday night Europa League tomfoolery.

But the FA Cup – a trophy United have won 11 times – could conceivably offer the under fire Dutchman some much needed respite.

Success at Wembley can paper over the cracks and for proof of this look no further than Roberto Martinez. He was in charge of a wretched campaign with Wigan in 2013 that ultimately saw them relegated.

Yet this became almost a footnote in history when his Latics side stunned Man City to win the final amid joyous scenes at the spiritual home of football.

Arsene Wenger too is on record saying Arsenal’s FA Cup win in 2014 may have saved his job.

Fans want success you see and live for those few and far between magic moments of watching their side hold some silverware aloft. I doubt any supporter in the country would turn their noses up at the offer of a day out at Wembley for an FA Cup final. Players too. It’s one of those strange quirks of fate that Wayne Rooney has never won the FA Cup. Champions League? Check. Premier League title? He’s got five of those. He’s even won a FIFA World Club Cup.

But ‘Wazza’ has never been afforded the opportunity of putting the top bit of the Cup on his head and doing a silly jig with his socks rolled down on the lush Wembley turf.

It could come this season of course. If the Red Devils can negate a path past West Ham (which is by no means a certainty given how well the Hammers are going this season) they will be in the semi-finals.

Rooney is rumoured to be close to a return too so what better way to prove his Euro 2016 worth to Roy Hodgson than by blasting United to their first FA Cup win in a decade, while also collecting the one big domestic honour to elude him?

But would a Cup win be enough to save Van Gaal? On its own I’m not 100% sure it actually would. It may redeem him in the eyes of the supporters but for the suits upstairs at Old Trafford a trophy without Champions League qualification and the riches that competition brings with it would still be seen as a failure and mean he will almost certainly be clearing his desk a year earlier than planned.

Derek Bilton

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Home Forums Could FA Cup success save Van Gaal from the sack at Man United?

This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Mikus 8 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 21 total)
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  • #948224
    James Marshment
    James Marshment
    Keymaster

    The FA Cup might have lost its magic – but we ponder if success in the competition could prove Louis van Gaal’s saving grace at Man United.

    [See the full post at: Could FA Cup success save Van Gaal from the sack at Man United?]

    #948380

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Let’s hope so!😃

    #948437
    steveosnakeeye
    steveosnakeeye
    Moderator

    Worked for Wenger (twice!)

    #948503
    killyboye
    killyboye
    Participant

    Not on its own, if it doesn’t come with CL qualification then it doesn’t matter

    #948509
    steveosnakeeye
    steveosnakeeye
    Moderator

    ah yeh i forgot Mr Wenger also had his fourth choice trophy so double season for us! hence his saftey

    #948605
    evratime
    evratime
    Participant

    It shouldn’t. Rightly or wrongly, the FA cup’s reputation has diminished. The club needs to be competing in the Champions League, for various reasons, financial and contractual. Top 4 might save his job, but the FA Cup shouldn’t.

    Not qualifying for the Champions League will have an effect on players contracts. I predict some will have clauses allowing them to leave for a certain fee if they aren’t playing in Europe. If we miss out on CL football two seasons in a row, the Adidas deal takes a dip. It will be harder to entice top players if we are not in Europe. It’s not as memorable as winning a trophy, but for the greater good, top 4 is currently the be all and end all.

    For me, no matter what happens to United this season, LvG should be replaced. He has spent an eyewatering amount of money and shipped out an incredible amount of players so he can build HIS team, and almost two full seasons down the line, we have no fluidity to our play. The team still looks like 11 strangers who have no idea how to play together or what to do. That all falls on the manager. Every game, two of our subs are wasted on replacing both full backs, every game without fail. It’s just a Van Gaal-ism. It’s a certainty. We can never make impact subs because we have to make two defensive subs, always. Despite our terrible win percentage when Fellaini starts and our very good win percentage when Schneiderlin starts, LvG still opts for the opposite. Fellaini starting, Schneiderlin a squad player. Rooney will start and play a full 90 minutes every game when fit, despite often being one of our worst performers. And that’s without mentioning the players out of position, which is probably it’s own thread, because there’s just so damn many.

    I think his time is up, and will be replaced in the summer no matter what happens this season.

    #948728

    Johnny Utah
    Participant

    I think he will stay even if the finish 5th and are knocked out by West Ham. Money is all that’s important to the owners and they are still making it. Just to top off the lack of ambition, Carrick will probably get another year as well. Man Utd’s decision makers are not football men. They are a rich version of Aston Villa.

    #949076
    hatters
    hatters
    Participant

    @Johnny. As a City fan you have failed to divorce what you want from reality in that post mate.

    A rich version of Villa?? Hahahahaha – what a blatant aggrandizement!! Perhaps this is the Guardiola effect already kicking in.

    #949112

    Johnny Utah
    Participant

    Hatters, I support Leeds mate. They might not be completely Villa’d but they aint far away

    #949220

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    United seem to currently lack any direction from the top and seemingly don’t know whether to stick or twist in respect of LVG or whether to appoint Mourinho or give the job to Giggs and all of this uncertsinty won’t help them attract new players. And if it is none of the above then who is there to turn too?

    They may well be waiting to see how things work out this season and maybe if LVG secures CL football that will be enough to keep him in the job for another season but is that helpful given what keeping Pellegrini in limbo for one more season did for City and it doesn’t help in recruiting new players in the summer knowing that LVG will only be around for a season and then who and will whoever comes in next fancy them as a player.

    Allegedly the Glazers won’t sign off on Mourinho, the board are split on Mourinho, Mourinho himself is getting edgy and wants a letter of intent from United now? The fans want LVG out no matter what and the majority don’t think Giggs is up to the job. Realistically United have been all over the place since losing Gill as CEO and SAF retiring.

    It is of course all temporary because in the end United will sort themselves out as financially they are far to strong not to come back with a bang but at the moment confusion seems to reign.

    #949226
    hatters
    hatters
    Participant

    @Johnny. My mistake mate. Sorry about Leeds – there’s no love lost there anyways! Hehehe

    #949229

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Johnny, Leeds sadly make Villa seem almost sensible. Shame to see two such once great clubs in such a terrible mess. But then we are all capable of a wrong turn or two!

    #949235
    hatters
    hatters
    Participant

    @nine nine nine. You are spot on. United have a crisis of direction at the minute but are in no way, shape, or form anything close to the type of maladministration at Villa or Newcastle. The money doesn’t hurt either.

    The Italian “journalist” by the name of Gianluca Di Marzio made the call on Conte being appointed at Chelsea as early as last year. This same guy has been consistently saying that Mourinho to United is a done deal, even saying that United fans should remain calm because he is “working on transfers”. I really hope this fella is correct on this account as he was with Conte to Chelsea.

    #949364

    Johnny Utah
    Participant

    The mismanagement has been huge though, managers appointments and signings have been very poor. In fact, were would Man Utd be if they had to cope with Brad Guzan or Rob Elliott in nets? Was De Gea the last truly successful signing?

    #949373
    steveosnakeeye
    steveosnakeeye
    Moderator

    good shout johnny people said Cech would earn Arsenal a minimum of 15 points ( i beleive he has which shows how bad we have really been) and de Gea has done even more for United especially in the first half of the season. Without him I think them and chelsea would have been level for most of the season except United would have struggled to get going more than chelsea

    #949541

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    hatters, United should appoint Mourinho imo he is the most suitable candidate out there for United amongst a very small pool of candidates.

    Di Marzio is a good source and he may well have called it right again but worryingly reports abound that LVG is to stay with another one originating from Holland today.

    I think the big problem though is that there will almost certainly be problems in any Mourinho tenure and if he goes into United with the owners originally reluctant to appoint him and half the Board opposing the appointment I’m not sure whether he would even achieve his so far optimum stay of 3 years.

    #949598

    Paxman
    Participant

    According to the Sunday Supplement he may well be staying, he has been with the board setting out demands for next seasons pre season tour, which they were saying a lot of managers don’t have a say in their teams pre season tour, so if he was going then they would have shut him out.

    #949784
    Hightown hope
    Hightown hope
    Participant

    Please let him stay!

    #949940

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Let’s face it none of us on here, nor the United fan base, nor any of the media have a Scooby doo as to what’s happening with the managerial situation at United.

    I’m not even sure the hierarchy at United fully know what’s going to happen at United next season yet.

    #950411

    Paxman
    Participant

    999 – It seems from the outside with absolutely no concrete information to go on 🙂 that there maybe two factions within the board at Utd, one pro Mourinho, and one pro Van Gaal, so it maybe that power struggle that wins out, I wonder what side Fergie and Charlton are on, because Woodward would definitely be in the Van Gaal camp.

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