Louis van Gaal is preparing for a defining week in his career as the manager of Manchester United. The team continues on their downward spiral following the 2-1 loss to FC Midtylland in Europa League play on Thursday. They are now preparing to play Shrewsbury in the fifth round of the FA cup before getting a rematch against FC Midtylland. Those two games will define Van Gaal's job's security as Manchester United look for his next successor.
Van Gaal is aware his job is on the line. If his club does not get a win this week, United's roster could see shake ups while the manager himself is let go. Van Gaal is hopeful for a turnaround as he tries to save the team and his job.
"You cannot continue with losing games," Van Gaal said via the Daily Mail. "You have to see every match as a match you have to win. On Monday we have to win. If we win, we are in the next round and we are capable of winning the FA Cup. The question is how we lift ourselves for this game because Shrewsbury will fight for the second balls and play direct and those kind of things, and you have to cope."
According to Mark Ogden of the Independent, players are frustrated with Van Gaal, calling him a micro-manager who "tells them not to shoot on the first time." Ogden reports that many of the players believe it is the tactics of the manager that has the team on the brink of humiliation this season. While Van Gaal is safe for the week, everything is up for grabs if the team loses.
According to Alan Smith of The Guardian, former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will succeed Van Gaal for Manchester United. While The Guardian is reporting that a deal is done, ESPNFC.com is reporting that is not the case. Mourinho has also been seen visiting Inter Milan while telling the media that his coaching future is still up in the air and he has not made any decisions regarding where he will be next year.
"My next club? I really don't know," Mourinho said, via ESPNFC.com. "One thing is certain; I love football and I will return on the fields with the same passion and ambition as always. Right now I have respect for every coach and every club. I'm not looking for a club; it is the clubs who seek me."
Manchester United is a club on the brink. This next week will determine what their future holds. Another loss could see big changes on the horizon.