Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is doing his best Nero impersonation as the United season threatens to go up in smoke.
Media reports suggest that United’s under-fire manager Louis van Gaal has tried to resign at least twice but has been spoken out of it by Woodward. The theory being that Woodward does not want to hand the reigns of power to Giggs and the Class of 92, which has the backing of former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Back-room politics at its worst.
While this has been a miserable season for United fans as we head into late January, United still have the potential to make this season a success, if Woodward has the courage to act.
In the league United are five points behind Spurs for the final Champions League place with 15 matches to go. They are chasing a Tottenham side that has collapsed under pressure time and time again in the run-up to the end of the season. Like back in March 2013 when Tottenham went seven points clear of Arsenal with ten games left in the race for fourth and still came in fifth. The race for fourth is still very much within United’s reach but the longer Woodward waits to act, the more difficult it will be for the new manager to close the gap.
After a dreadful Champions League campaign United have been relegated to the Europa League where they will meet Danish minnows FC Midtjylland in the last 32 next month.
While the Europa League does not have the cache of the Champions League it is still a European trophy and one where the winners automatically qualify for the Champions League next season where they will be seeded in Pot 1. More importantly it is a winnable competition with Napoli and Dortmund maybe the two best teams in the competition. Avoid them and there is no reason why United cannot be playing in the Europa League final in Basel.
On Friday United play Derby County at home in the FA Cup fourth round, a trophy that the club has unbelievably not won since 2004. With a win, United will be five games from lifting the FA Cup at Wembley, something that is long overdue.
Despite the gloom and doom surrounding United at the moment, they still have the chance to turn this into a memorable season with two cup finals. But in order for that to happen Woodward needs to act fast. Doesn’t matter whether it is Ryan Giggs or Jose Mourinho that takes over. It is time for a change.
Do you think Ed Woodward has the courage to replace van Gaal with Giggs or Mourinho before the end of the month?