Time may be running out for LVG. He’s undoubtedly a big-time manager with a proven track record. Nobody can deny or take that away from him. However, in this age where managers get the sack EVEN if they’re successful, it would appear that he may get his dream of moving to paradise with his wife Truus sooner rather than later.
Jupp Heynckes was appointed manager of Real Madrid in 1997. At the end of the 97/98 season, he led the team to the Champions League. The last time Real were crowned kings of Europe was 32 years earlier, too long for a club of their stature. It wasn’t good enough and he was let go. Unimaginable, you’d think, but it did happen. He’s not the only one either.
Kenny Dalglish’s return to Liverpool saw him lead the club to its first trophy in six years (League Cup). He also managed to steer them into the F.A. Cup Final. It’s true that things weren’t rosy everywhere else, but he’s a proven commodity and perhaps the owners should have kept faith, but instead, he too was let go. He was never afforded the time to turn things around. That’s the way of the football world.
Even more frightening is what happened to Vicente del Bosque. Here’s a man who led Real Madrid to 2 La Ligas and 2 Champions Leagues. It’s enough to make you a legend. People would kiss the ground you walked on. You can do no wrong, right? Wrong! Goodbye Vicente, take care and have a good life. What? How could that happen? But it did.
LVG still hasn’t done anything of significance. It’s true that you do need time and perhaps Manchester United may be more patient, but that could change as pressure keeps building. It’s not just that the supporters have been spoilt under Sir Alex. It’s more than that. United have always played good, attacking football, even when times were not that great. They might not have had much success between Sir Matt Busby’s departure and Sir Alex’s reign, but in between, particularly under Tommy Docherty and Ron Atkinson and perhaps to a lesser degree under Dave Sexton, they still managed to play football that was entertaining, fast and attack-oriented.
Under LVG, the one thing he seems to have succeeded at is making them concede less goals. How he’s managed to do that, only he knows, but let’s give credit where it’s due. However, they also seem to play sideways or backwards too much for the liking of the Old Trafford faithful. He’s spent so much money, so there should be no excuses. They may be dominating some games, but when you only take your first shot at goal after eighty minutes or whatever, that’s pathetic. If you don’t shoot, you don’t score.
United badly need someone who will take matters into their own hands. A genius who doesn’t always listen or does what you tell him to, but to let his natural instinct surface and take over. Cristiano Ronaldo is one such player. Decades earlier, they had another fellow by the name of George Best who was a match winner on his own. Other examples are players like Arjen Robben, Thierry Henry, the Brazilian Ronaldo; basically anyone (doesn’t even have to be a big name) who is confident in taking players on and running at players through the centre or on the flanks. No defender likes to play against direct players like these. Take a chance, have a shot, do something unexpected; this is what makes a difference.
LVG better come up with the goods or change his “philosophy”. Thousands of people chanting “attack attack attack” can’t be wrong. If United don’t win the title or at least the F.A. Cup, his time at Old Trafford will likely come to an end. Perhaps Carlo Ancelotti is set to take over and bring Ronaldo home? If that happens, you can bet there’ll be no more chants of “attack”.