An open letter to Louis Van Gaal

Subject: An open letter to Louis Van Gaal
From: A hurt supporter
Date: 24 May 2016

Dear Louis Van Gaal

I hate to admit that deep down inside I knew it was going to happen, especially since we finished outside the top four. And very honestly, if somebody would have asked me before the season started even I would have said if we are not playing the Champions League next season due to one reason or the other, we should get a new manager. People may call me a hypocrite, but I don’t think it was the right time to let go of you. I was shattered the day it ended goalless vs Eindhoven at home but then I hoped we would beat Wolfsburg and get to the next stage. The day came, we lost, and what was the reason? Our best player of the season till then, Mike Smalling seemed in shambles throughout the game. I remember you had to give debut to Varela in that all important game away at Wolfsburg, Rooney wasn’t available either. The one most important thing I remember from that game was our cluelessness while defending set pieces. And the same got repeated in the GW 37 match at the Boleyn. A delayed start to the match, clueless defending of the set pieces and another 2-3 away from home. These two in particular have been the most painful moments in this past one year. But that is something for which I don’t blame you for. At the beginning of the season we had CBs including Smalling, Jones, Rojo, a promising McNair, and a flexible Blind. We had Shaw, you gave a chance to the Cameron Borthwick Jackson on the left. While on the right we had Darmian and Valencia so everything seemed all right. Honestly speaking, this defence seemed to me as one of the most stable ever since Rio and Vidic left, and any further additions to this would have been a waste of money. Moreover, we had an amazing backup in the form of Romero for De Gea in the goal- all because of you. We seemed all set for the season. I still remember beginning of the season with that goalless draw vs Newcastle at home GW 4 and the Gomis firepower in the following week (the first sign of our inability to cope up with physical pressure). Then all the injuries came along and you decided to give youth the chance rather than splashing the cash in January. People complain about yawning and the boring football that you made the lads play throughout the year. Nobody talks about the formidable defence we have seen over this period of one year. They fail to understand that it is one step at a time. It is not easy for any manager to come to the biggest possible club Manchester United in the most competitive league in the world and deliver within two years. To those who talk about the style of play, well, that also takes time. How can you expect us to play the 2011-12ish season fast paced football with our fledglings within 2 years of a Dutch manager coming into England for the first time? People still criticise when you said 'fans expect too much'.They fail to see the real reason why you were here- the real objective was not instant success- it was providing the right roots, the right foundation to the next decade of football that will be played at the theatre of dreams. I would have said these things even if we had not won the FA Cup but we did, so that just adds to my argument- even the success did come. Sir Alex couldn’t do it for the 9 years he was in charge. Moyes couldn’t do it either, but you did that too within 2 years of being here. I couldn’t watch that second leg of the 5th round vs West Ham at Boleyn as I was travelling but when I saw Fellaini starting the game, I went bonkers. Later, when I observed closely I could see you didn’t start Mata and then realised that physicality and added advantage on the set pieces is the utmost requirement against this opponent. We won, thanks to Fellaini and Rashford. Well, Rashford, what a player you have given us. The lad runs faster than probably any other Striker in today’s game and the fact that he is 3 years younger to me still bewilders me. You gave starts to Fosu Mensah, CBJ and plenty others in this tough season where you had to experiment with the lineup almost every other game. Even I criticised your move to play Ashley Young as CF, only to realise later that you need someone with legs playing in that position and we had no option. Playing Martial anywhere except the LW position would have been against the principles of common sense. I am really sorry to let you go sir. The myopic vision of the fans, some ex-players and the pundits has led to this rather unfortunate decision. I unlike most of the others am ready to see yet another year of so called boring football, for I am assured that that will fruit us results in the years to come. If there was anyone who could have brought us anywhere close to Sir Alex’s Class of ’92- it was you and your Class of ’17. I call myself a supporter of MUFC and I trusted Sir Alex when he said during his farewell speech that ‘Your job is to stand by your new manager’. I feel ashamed to belong to a class of fans and supporters whose level of patience is so low that they expect us to play beautiful football within 3 years of Sir Alex retiring. I don’t think the board was right in sacking Moyes, I don’t think the board is right in sacking you. Have read your statement umpteen number of times since it was published and still wish there was some way we could undo this. You don’t deserve this sir. We are really sorry. Thanks for keeping De Gea. Thanks for signing Blind. Thanks for transforming an otherwise dismal looking Smalling into Smaldini. Thanks for playing Rooney in the midfield. Thanks for signing Martial, Bastian and Schneiderlin. Thanks for giving chances to Lingard and Rashford. Thanks for those away wins at Etihad and Anfield. Thanks for the FA Cup. Thank you for everything.

A hurt supporter