Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is under fire yet again for his team’s lack lustre performances.
Booed off the pitch for playing boring football, van Gaal is left to defend his team’s inadequacies every week in front of the press.
A changing of the guard in the English Premier League has left Manchester United looking like also rans instead of contenders.
Sitting at fifth in the league with their lowest points tally at this stage in the season for many years and 10 points off the pace set by Arsenal and lowly Leicester City, the critics are baying for van Gaal’s blood.
The thick-skinned Dutchman brushes off calls to resign from the press.
New generation of elite clubs
The truth is Manchester United and Chelsea are due a much-needed player overhaul if they want to compete at the top table of soccer.
New teams are breaking through into the elite – such as Leicester, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham. Next season, they are likely to improve even more because big television rights money will bolster their transfer funds.
West Ham are also taking over London’s Olympic Stadium, almost doubling the capacity of the consistently sold out Upton Park and bringing in millions more in match day receipts over the season.
Many suspect ex-boss Sir Alex Ferguson would have done no better with the current Manchester United squad. They lake pace, vision and the confidence of a winning team.
Champagne and steak
Some draw comparisons with Ferguson’s first years in charge at Old Trafford.
In three years, he won little and his team was teetering on the verge of relegation -then they beat a championship club in the FA Cup and went on to become one of the most successful sides ever in English football.
History could repeat itself as Manchester United face Derby in the FA Cup at the weekend.
More likely is the Manchester fans are too used to a champagne and steak diet as champions and expect too much from their players, so it’s back to pie and chips washed down with a beer like the fans of most other premier league sides have to put up with.
Van Gaal believes defeat in the cup will get him sacked, but the rising disappointment after a season of woeful games will probably seal his fate.