Just when it seemed that Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United had finally turned the page on their relatively dismal season, Sunderland brought every fan’s hopes back down to earth. What started as a promising year for Manchester United following a respectable fourth place finish last season has since turned into a debacle. The promise of building upon their progress from the previous season with the replacement of David Moyes with the well-reputed Louis Van Gaal has since turned into an embarrassment for the club. Once Sir Alex had announced his retirement, the search began at Old Trafford for a new manager to take over the 2012-2013 title-winning squad. This led to the first step in a series of events so unfortunate that would despair even Lemony Snicket. The hiring of the former manager of Everton, David Moyes, marked the beginning of mediocrity for the Red Devils.
I will admit that under Moyes, Everton was a very talented, productive and achieving club in the Premier League. His reputation of success combined with the Scottish connection to Ferguson was what I believe convinced Sir Alex to recommend Moyes as his replacement. If there had not been any number of top tier managers available for hire, then this would have proved a prudent decision until United could hire a manager of Ferguson’s prestige. Moyes should have been a temporary manager. But the Glazers instead ignored the availability of one of the best managers in the world, Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese manager had publicly admitted earlier that year that he coveted the managerial role at Manchester United, and was a great admirer of Sir Alex Ferguson. Following his exit from Real Madrid, he was in prime position to be offered the United job. However, he was never contacted. The job offer was given to Moyes. Rumors spread that Mourinho was never even considered. The failure to adequately provide opportunities for Ryan Giggs to grow into a managerial role was also a consequence of the appointment of Moyes. As soon as Moyes was appointed, Giggs should have been sent to manage a lower-tier team elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Instead, Giggs has withered away as the assistant to both Moyes and now Van Gaal, wasting precious time that could have been devoted to his development as a manager.
In as short as the following year after his appointment, Moyes seemed to do his best to destroy the legacy that Ferguson had left behind. Despite a decent performance in the Champions League, United finished seventh in the Premier League and crashed out of the FA Cup to sum up a fairly dismal season, relative to United’s previous success of course. All the while throughout the season, United played with a style of soccer so ugly that Mick Jagger would be proud. Signifying a complete lack in inspiration among the United attack, the rest of the season followed an equally bleak course. Moyes was fired at the end of the season, but the damage had already been done.
Come the summer of 2014, Van Gaal was hired and in the following season somewhat rectified United by leading the club to a fourth place finish in the 2014-2015 season. This season can be characterized as a “one step forward, two steps backwards.” Though Van Gaal has somehow managed to keep a hold on David De Gea and signed the extraordinary talent of Anthony Martial, most the United squad has been fairly mediocre.
Manchester United now looks on track to once again finish outside the top four of the Premier League, meaning that they will again miss out on precious Champions League soccer in the 2016-2017 season. With this achievement, United has also managed to provide some of the most boring soccer known to humanity.According to a variety of sources ranging in reliability, Van Gaal will now be leaving United at the end of the season, with Mourinho finally coming in as his replacement. However, it will take a monumental effort to revert the damage that has been done over the past three years. Mourinho will inherit a complacent squad that relies on two to three players to carry the team to success.