This month sees an all-important FA Cup quarter-final for West Ham. They travel to Old Trafford on March 12, which sees their planned match-up in April postponed, as it will be FA Cup semi-final weekend. Louis Van Gaal is under pressure, there’s no doubt about that. Can West Ham prove to be the nail in the coffin of the Dutchman’s Manchester career? Here are six reasons why the Hammers can force an end to Van Gaal’s short reign at Old Trafford..
1) He REALLY wants to win the FA Cup
This year, the FA Cup is bringing something special for the Hammers. However, LVG has voiced his love for the trophy and said that it his ‘wish’ to win that over the Europa League. Reports were rife that he would lose his job should United have lost to Shrewsbury, so we’re well aware of how highly the club is rating the importance of an FA Cup final this season. West Ham have a chance to end his hopes (or two if we can’t get the job finished first time!), something that would be more than disappointing for the manager personally and the club, in a season that is unlikely to bring an awful lot more.
2) We initiated the downward spiral
West Ham went to old Trafford back in December and held out for a 0-0 draw, with a performance that saw the Reds booed off at the final whistle. It’s fair to say it was uninspiring football and certainly not the ‘Man United way’. That game was the first in a long line of bad performances and results, the side lost their next four games in all competitions against Wolfsburg, Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke. Van Gaal won’t be thanked for this desperate period in the season and it goes a long way to explaining what will be a disappointing league position for his team.
3) His worse record Vs West Ham than David Moyes’
David Moyes won two out of two games against West Ham in his short reign. Whatever way you look at it, that’s a 100% record – bare with me here. At the time of writing, LVG has won one out of three. By the end of the season, that could be just one out of six. The stats don’t lie.
4) Life on the road ends at Upton Park
The football gods have been conspiring a bit here – FA Cup and Europa league results mean that it looks more likely that the Hammers’ last ever home game at the Boleyn could be against Manchester United in a rearranged mid-week fixture. This could well be the final chance for the United manager to taste life on the road in England. Surely, if a loss is what greets him in East London, in what could prove to be a crucial game for their final league position, the board will assess the season as one to forget, with the Hammers maybe proving to be the last straw.
5) Losing the race for 5th position
Whilst for most of the season, the northerners have been ahead of West Ham in the Premier League table, recent times have seen a little bit of a leapfrog battle between the two. At this stage of the season, it looks as though both clubs are realistically looking at fifth position, something that will suit us far more than Man United. As much as it pains me to say, history has United finishing higher than West Ham every season since the Premier League’s invention. They’ve been dominant and have won the league 13 times in that period. Finishing below the Hammers would be a major decline in form.
6) He’s lost the plot anyway
Can the next two West Ham fixtures force LVG into doing something even weirder than he already has done? We’ve heard ‘horny’ comments and Murphy’s Law claims, he’s stolen a not-offside-but-is-offside move from a Danish side. To top it all off, he dived on the sidelines, in what was probably one of the most surreal (and utterly hilarious) moments of the Premier League. Surely we can come up with something at Old Trafford and then at Upton Park that will send further alarm bells ringing with the powers that be at Manchester United.