herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Red issues 'deeper' than just sacking Van Gaal

'Chants are a reflection of how far club has fallen' as fans' focus turns to Glazers

United boss Louis van Gaal. Photo: Reuters
United boss Louis van Gaal. Photo: Reuters
United executive director Ed Woodward
The Glazer brothers (l-r) Bryan, Avram and Joel

Manchester United have plumbed new depths with their dismal Europa League defeat at FC Midtjylland, according to a prominent supporters organisation.

United's uninspiring campaign took another turn for the worse as they slumped to a sorry 2-1 loss at the hands of the Danish minnows in Europe's second-tier competition on Thursday.

Not for the first time this term, United were abused by their own supporters with some chants of, "we're f*****g s**t" coming from the away section in Herning.

With a banana-skin FA Cup fifth round tie at Shrewsbury on Monday night, Van Gaal's side could be subjected to more of the same if they fail to register anything other than a win.

Disappointing

Sean Bones, vice-chairman of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust, said: "I have never heard our supporters sing songs like that, in all the games I have been to.

"I have been in the 70s when we got relegated, but even though we got relegated you felt the players were giving 100 per cent. To hear those songs is very disappointing but it is a reflection of how far we have fallen.

"It was a new low in terms of performances. I think the players need to take a lot of responsibility for the performance and show some pride when they wear the United shirt."

The loss has considerably turned up the heat on under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal.

A number of fans, already disillusioned with United's slow style of play before results took a downturn with four successive defeats in December, have been calling for his departure for some time.

Those sentiments are now being reflected in media with local newspaper the Manchester Evening News bearing the headline "LVG Must Go" above a strongly-worded comment piece on the back page of yesterday's edition.

But while Bones can understand the clamour for change, he feels the problems go far deeper than the manager and go all the way up to the club's owners, the Glazer family.

He said: "I think a lot of supporters feel the problems at United are permeating down from the Glazer family at the very top of the club. Really the Glazer family need to address the situation and correct it.

"We are lacking consistency. The quality of the squad isn't fit for purpose and it is something the Glazer family need to address immediately before the situation deteriorates any further."

United's loss in Denmark bore echoes of a defeat away at Olympiacos two years ago which ultimately proved decisive in the the departure of Alex Ferguson's short-lived successor, David Moyes.

Bones said: "If you compare the situation to the Moyes situation, it is far worse. I am not someone who would call for a manager to lose their job - but many supporters feel something needs to be done now."

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