Manchester United on Monday announced the departure of manager Louis van Gaal, two days after the Dutch led United to an FA Cup triumph after 12 years. Van Gaal had taken charge of United in July 2014, but has been relieved of his duties with 1 year left on his contract.
His staff, including Albert Stuivenberg and Frans Hoek, followed him out of the door. Van Gaal wrote a heart-warming farewell letter in the wake of his departure.
The club will now seek a replacement with the arrival of Jose Mourinho looking likely as per rumours. The Portuguese has as impressive a CV as any in the game, and has been out of management for only 5 months. Mourinho won the English Premier League in 2015, but after what was one of the worst title defences in English football history, he was sacked by Chelsea Football Club. Having worked with van Gaal before at Barcelona, this could be seen as a watershed moment for the two gentlemen.
Manchester United have had a transitional period ever since Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day in 2013. Three difficult seasons under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal have seen the club finishing out of the top 4 in two of the last three seasons. Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 on Saturday night, thanks to a goal from Jesse Lingard to give them their 12th FA Cup, and the only trophy during van Gaal’s reign, but that wasn’t enough clearly, with no top-4 to show for.