Manchester United sack Louis van Gaal
23 May 2016 Sports
Louis van Gaal has been sacked as manager of Manchester United, with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho set to be named as his replacement.
Van Gaal, 64, leaves after two years of a three-year contract and is currently discussing severance terms.
The former Netherlands boss is believed to earn around £6.4m a year.
Mourinho’s appointment is expected to be confirmed after the 53-year-old Portuguese meets with senior United officials on Tuesday.
It is not yet certain what future Ryan Giggs, Van Gaal’s assistant, has at Old Trafford or what will happen to the rest of the coaching team.
LvG took control of United after leading the Netherlands to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Old Trafford club finished fourth in the Premier League in his first season in charge to qualify for the Champions League.
But they finished fifth this term and will play in the Europa League next season.
They only scored 49 league goals, too, their lowest total since 1989-90.
Saturday’s FA Cup success at Wembley gave United a first trophy since Sir Alex Ferguson delivered the Premier League title in 2013 in his last season before retirement, but it was not enough to stop Van Gaal from losing his job.
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea last December, just seven months after leading the London club to the Premier League title.
What did his Manchester United critics say?
A number of significant former United players have taken issue with the style of play under Van Gaal, claiming his tactics are negative and players are afraid to express themselves.
“Manchester United are going backwards again and I don’t see that changing because the manager will not change [his tactics],” said Rio Ferdinand, the England defender signed for a then British record £30m in 2002.
Steve Coppell, who starred for United in the 1970s and 80s, said it was hard to understand Van Gaal’s philosophy, claiming “players sometimes do not really understand what he’s trying to get through to them”.
Former midfielder Paul Scholes – a member of the club’s legendary ‘Class of ’92’ – was one of the Dutchman’s harshest critics.
“It seems he doesn’t want players to beat men and score goals,” he said. “It’s not a team I would have enjoyed playing in. “There’s no spirit, there’s nobody having a go at each other, there’s no smiling, there’s no entertainment.”