Sack Race: When did LvG’s United last play well?

Date published: Tuesday 22nd December 2015 1:49

Louis van Gaal: Praised ability to shut out L1 Blades

Louis van Gaal looks like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders at Old Trafford, all in the latest sack race.

1. Louis van Gaal (↑5)

There is no disputing the current favourite in the sack race with Manchester United boss Van Gaal currently in pole position and as short as 1/6 to go next.

At the start of November Van Gaal was 16th in the ladder, despite their inability in front goal, but since then Tim Sherwood, Jose Mourinho and Garry Monk have all gone leaving the Dutchman as the only real contender. He was a 66/1 shot back then and looked a touch of value, even though the incompetence of Sherwood at Villa would have ruined your return.

But now he looks destined to go next after United were rolled over by struggling Norwich at Old Trafford – the Canaries’ first win there since 1989.

It’s fair to say the last time United played well, shot-at striker Wayne Rooney had a full head of natural hair, but while Van Gaal’s men were picking up points earlier in the season he was papering over the cracks.

But now, with the Champions League gone and a team that has no identity and little confidence those cracks are now appearing left, right and centre.

Wayne Rooney: With hair in 2005

Wayne Rooney: With hair in 2005

The one noticeable thing that Van Gaal has developed is a possession-based game with no end product. United again dominated possession against Norwich with 69% but only managed two shots on target and that has been the story of Van Gaal’s tenure.

United top the charts for average possession (58%), but that is the only chart they are top of with Van Gaal’s men heavily criticised for being too slow and predictable in possession. And now there is a growing feeling from the United fans that Van Gaal is not the right man for the job and with Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola available it’s hard to disagree.

2. Steve McClaren (↑1)

3. Remi Garde (↑1)

4. Alex Neil (NM)

= Ronald Koeman (↑7)

6. No Manager to Leave (↑3)

7. Sam Allardyce (NM)

8. Tony Pulis (↑3)

9. Manuel Pellegrini (↓3)

10. Mark Hughes (↑1)

= Alan Pardew (↑1)

= Eddie Howe (↓5)

= Quique Flores (↓1)

= Roberto Martinez (↑7)

= Slaven Bilic (↑1)

16. Arsene Wenger (↑2)

= Mauricio Pochettino (↓5)

18. Claudio Ranieri (↑2)

19. Jurgen Klopp (↑1)

Matthew Briggs

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