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The performance against West Ham United encompassed what has quite rightly been a distasteful season for Manchester United. With the lack of defensive impetuous and leadership highly evident, the Red devils ignominiously gave away the lead to lose the match 3-2.
For many however, that did not come as a surprise as it has been the story of the season; instead of pointing the barrel at the enemy, Manchester United played Russian roulette and ended up shooting themselves on the foot.
How Louis van Gaal has managed to stay on the job for this long is beyond everyone save for Ed Woodward and the board. Jose Mourinho was handed his P45 when fortunes didn’t seem to change for the Portuguese at Stamford Bridge while Manchester City pounced on Pep Guardiola the moment they saw an opening.
So how is it any different for Louis van Gaal? Any club with a history like Manchester United should be ambitious enough to have parted ways already.
Here are three possible reasons why the Dutchman is still on the job.
He could win the FA Cup
For all his flaws and shortcomings this season, the one competition that van Gaal has excelled at is the FA Cup. A Danny Welbeck winner on his first return to Old Trafford may have sealed United’s fate in the quarter-final last season, but Louis van Gaal’s charges look odds on to win the FA Cup this time round.
Although they have not entirely dominated the competition, the Red Devils have managed to grind out results that have seen them through to the final in Wembley.
The individual brilliance of Anthony Martial proved pivotal as his injury time winner ensured United reached the final for the first time since 2007.
Although 11-time winners- second only to the Gunners who have won it twelve times- the oldest cup competition in England has greatly eluded the Old Trafford outfit as they last won it in 2004.
Should they emerge victorious against Crystal Palace on 21st May, Louis van Gaal’s streak of winning a major trophy in every team he has coached will have lived on.
Champions League still possible
As ludicrous and far-fetched as this may sound, it is still mathematically possible for Manchester United to qualify for the Champions League; by registering a fourth place finish ahead of Manchester City who are currently fourth on the log with a two point advantage.
Although highly unlikely, United need to win against Bournemouth on Matchday 38 with the hope that their noisy neighbors lose against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium (they drew).
Since all is not yet lost, this could be part of the reason why van Gaal is still on the job.
Admission of guilt by Woodward
It’s often said that whenever a team wins the players get the props while whenever they lose, it’s the manager that gets all the stick; well for Manchester United, Vice-chairman Ed Woodward is just as culpable when everything goes haywire.
Since van Gaal’s appointment in 2014, United have reportedly spent close to £250M on signings yet results state otherwise.
Dismissing the Dutchman would be tantamount to an admission of guilt by Woodward, something the United executive has evaded like a plague as it will compromise his own position at the club.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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