Manchester Uniteds under fire manager Louis van Gaal is digging his heels in and refusing to step aside from the Old Trafford hot seat, despite the vast majority of fans turning on the Dutchman.
Van Gaal had been rumoured to have tendered his resignation to the Old Trafford bosses following the latest disappointing defeat at the weekend at the hands of Southampton, where they managed just ONE shot on target – a fourty yard hit by centre back, Daley Blind.
However, according to the Manchester Evening News, Van Gaal will not voluntarily step aside for anyone, not even his good friend Jose Mourinho.
The Dutchmans biographer, Maarten Meijer, insist that Van Gaal will keep on fighting.
The British media have suggested one alternative after another as a replacement. Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola are just some of the names that have been mentioned.
The most surprising suggestion has been Jose Mourinho. This is the man who was fired mid-season after taking Chelsea to the threshold of the relegation zone.
Van Gaal and Mourinho are friends, but he is not going to step aside voluntarily for his Portuguese colleague, or for anyone else.
Van Gaal was said to have offered his resignation twice around Christmas, and again after Saturday’s defeat, but Meijer believes it’s not in his nature.
In some ways, his experience at Manchester United is nothing new. At Barcelona and at Bayern he was variously criticised as a dogmatist, out of step with the club culture, or a lunatic, out of touch with his players.
Given time, he proves his mettle and pulls his teams through the doldrums to title wins.
His time at AZ Alkmaar was maybe the most striking illustration of the transformation a Van Gaal-coached team can go through.
At the end of the 2007/08, the team was languishing in 11th place and Van Gaal had to be convinced by his players not to walk out on his job.
In the 2008/09 season, AZ won the title, 11 points clear – breaking the nearly three decade title monopoly of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV.
Some suggest Van Gaal is not equal to the task and is overwhelmed by the pressures he encounters at Manchester United. Is the pressure at Old Trafford that much greater than at Camp Nou or at the Allianz Arena? Hardly!
Manchester United face Derby County in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night and the fans will demand a much improved performance as well as a victory for them to allow the pressure on the Dutchman to relent.