Former Manchester United CEO labels club's current season an 'underachievement'
David Gill, former Manchester United Chief Executive has admitted that the club’s current season under Dutch manager Loius van Gaal has been one of underachievement. He also opined that given the huge amount of money that has been spent to improve the squad, the results have been unsatisfactory.
Gill had served as the club’s Cheif Executive for a period of ten years between 2003 to 2013, a period which saw the Red Devils dominate English football. The 58-year-old who is still a Director at the club has also served as the vice-chairman of England’s Football Association.
Old Trafford has not been the liveliest of places this season as 20-time Premier League champions have struggled for form and consistency. The side and its Dutch tactician Van Gaal have been under unrelenting pressure for their style of play and lack of attacking threat. Chants of ‘attack, attack’ and jeers have reached a fever pitch inside the Theatre of Dreams with the manager's job being under serious threat.
Gill, without speculating on Van Gaal's future at the club, revealed his anguish at the plight of the Manchester side.
“Clearly we all hope the results will be better – everyone’s disappointed, I feel as much as a non-executive director as a fan,” Gill told the BBC. “[This is] undoubtedly a season of underachievement. I think everyone would agree with that given the investment that was made. Everyone there is working extremely hard to turn that round. It’s not easy.”
“I don’t want to talk about quality [of football] – but I’m not going to sit here and say it’s that attractive. For me, what we did in the past was great – you’ve got to have the players to do that. The Ryan Giggs running down the wing, [David] Beckham etc, [Paul] Scholes.”
“Manchester United going back to the 50s with Matt Busby, when I started supporting them, with George Best, they played in a certain way. I’m sure we want to do that. We want attacking football I’m sure that will be a key part going forward.”
United’s style of play has been branded as ‘boring’
Manchester United have been in the midst of an indifferent campaign so far. The Red Devils after their latest home debacle against Southampton on Saturday sit at fifth position in the Premier League. Having lost their sixth game of the season so far last night, United are now five points adrift of Tottenham, seven points behind derby rivals Manchester City and ten behind leaders Leicester City.
Having spent over £250m on rebuilding an ageing squad left behind by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, the Old Trafford outfit have already been knocked out of the Champions League.
Van Gaal has been a target of a lot of criticism for the style of football the former Netherlands manager has imbibed at the club. Though the side has been hogging possession of the ball in almost all their games, they have struggled to create meaningful attacking moves. Goals have dried up both home and away for the side and United’s style of play had been repeatedly branded ‘boring’ by their own fans.
The side’s troubles has only heaped pressure on the Dutch manager and the Old Trafford faithful have steadily become disenchanted with the Dutchman’s football philosophy.