The wonderful Juan Mata strike that beat a very unlucky Watford, not only extended United’s winning streak to 4 games but in the end poses a larger question. Are we sure we want to replace Van Gaal with Mourinho people? Really, really sure?
What will happen to Marcus Rashford, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, not to mention a bunch of other promising kids . Axel Tuanzenebe, Ro-Shaun Williams, Callum Gribbin, Devonte Williams and Angel Gomes are all waiting in the wings. Admittedly they are young, raw, and may never make it, but with Mourinho in charge we won’t find out. With Van Gaal we will. Look at the track records. Mourinho will team with Mendes and spend a fortune. The kids will wither on the vine. Van Gaal’s approach is always to give youth its chance.
So the question is given the exuberance and promise of the past 10 days do we stick or twist? If Van Gaal is to keep his job and send Jose looking for another one, he has to realize at least 5 of these 6 targets .
- Qualify for Europe – either via the Europa League or finishing in the top 4
- Win a Cup, doesn’t matter which one FA or Europa
- Beat City at The Etihad
- Finish higher than City in the league
- Win every home game
- Beat Liverpool in the Europa Cup
Wednesday once again simultaneously put the Premiership in both the washing machine and the spin dryer. With Arsenal, City and Tottenham’s losing, United are definitely back in with a chance of the top 4. There is a daunting fixture list in all competitions. Liverpool in the Europa, West Ham in the FA Cup, and realistically United have the toughest schedule of all the top 6 in the remaining league fixtures. However players are coming back, and youth is being given its chance. The glass is half full. The dressing room is reported to be happy.
This week I had to defend Van Gaal against a friend who argued he has done a terrible job. He pointed at the amount of money spent; the boring football; the failure in the Champions League; and the terrible December against the likes of Bournemouth and Stoke. All valid points.
However given the injuries and the necessary rebuilding I think it’s simple. Van Gaal has done a good job.