On 23rd Decemeber, just one day before the scheduled press-conference, the footballing media burst out with the news of Louis van Gaal being sacked. Few hours after the speculated news surfaced, it was known that he was still the manager of the Manchester club and that all is well with the club and the manager. The news was believed to be a hoax. The sudden emergence and the strength of the supposed “rumour”, however, shed an altogether different light to the matters and activities happening inside the Theatre of Dreams.
On the eve of Christmas (the very next day), Louis van Gaal presided over a usually jam-packed pre-match conference. The Boxing Day matches have been dominated by Manchester United for over a decade and the Red Devils were yet to lose a Boxing Day clash since the 2002 reverse to Middlesbrough. The routine conference would have illuminated the media with the team news and injury updates as well as the manager’s thoughts for the upcoming match. The last few weeks, however, have plummeted the reputation of Louis van Gaal in the English media and shouts for the manager’s head are slowly becoming audible in the footballing sphere, testified by the sudden outcry for the manager’s sacking by his fans and a highly strong rumour regarding the eventual.
The manager, obviously, was unimpressed. Demanding an apology from the media, he concluded the 4 minutes and 57 seconds long press conference, sarcastically wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
But as the saying goes ”There’s no smoke without fire”. Is Louis van Gaal’s iron-fist the reason why Manchester United is going though such a slump and is his imminent departure from the club the only viable option to turn things around at Manchester United?
The aforementioned incident and the subsequent reaction from the manager can only be described as the exact antithesis of Louis van Gaal’s philosophical Manchester United. Only if Manchester United had shown such aggression and vigour on the football field as their manager displayed during the press-conference, things might have been a little bit more “Christmassy” at Manchester United. United had been cautious, watchful, unimaginative and uninspired during play, to the point that they have to be wary of teams like Middlesborough and Watford and Louis van Gaal’s departure can be the only viable option to turn things around at Manchester United.