Following Manchester United’s draw against Burnley, Sunday Mirror columnist Andy Dunn took to his column to criticize manager Louis van Gaal and claim that “the clock was ticking” on the Dutch boss’ time at Old Trafford.
Dunn chose to to start his column off by saying: “A stellar reputation takes a long time to build…and a short time to dismantle.”
The sportswriter went on to blame United’s early season failures on Van Gaal’s tactics, his ability to organize and galvanize a team that finished in seventh place last season; and the Dutch manager’s constant reminders that he needs time for his philosophy to take hold at the club.
The Sunday Mirror columnist echoed the thoughts of a section of United supporters when he wrote: “When the signings are done, the fat trimmed and the international break is over, Van Gaal will step back into a harsher spotlight.”
“He wants three months, six months, a year, before he is judged. There will be no chance of that.”
“Not if he continues to persuade increasingly dreadful performances from his teams.”
But this kind of thinking only shows the journalist’s naivety, as well as those fans who agree with his impressions.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But that also means they are eligible to be called out when they are wrong.
The majority of United supporters understand the rebuilding process that needs to be undertaken at Old Trafford. It has been coming for years.
Last season, the club’s failure to invest in the transfer market during previous windows, as well as David Moyes failed tenure, came back to kick United HARD in the backside.
United’s aging team and its overpriced, underachieving talent were exposed week-in and week-out by Premier League clubs. Some of the results had to do with the manager’s tactics. But the underlying problem was that the club needed new blood.
Van Gaal’s arrival had many believing United would automatically spring back into the top four, with some going as far to say they were now title contenders. And the club’s preseason results only fueled those expectations, as Van Gaal led the squad to victory after victory (with little preparation time) heading into the start of the league fixtures.
All the while, the new United boss reminded journalist and fans that it would “take time” for his philosophy and tactics to take hold.
Then a rash of injuries, to a squad that already lacked depth, took its toll during United’s opening league fixtures. What has followed is two points after three matches.