Look out, current Premier League title chasers, for the big, bad wolf of the PL, Manchester United, is coming for you — if you take stock in anything that comes out of Louis Van Gaal‘s mouth, that is.
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Van Gaal, who’s reportedly offered to resign from his post as Man United manager on more than one occasion this season and been regularly booed off the field at Old Trafford, thinks his side can get back into the title race this season, if only they can knock off Chelsea, that pesky, little, 13th-place side, on Sunday (Watch live, at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) — quotes from the Guardian:
“I have the feeling [that we are back in the title race] if we can beat Chelsea. That is not simple, though, that is very difficult. They haven’t lost since Guus Hiddink took over but if we beat Chelsea then I think our league is starting again, so that is very important. Michael Carrick said that to me and I had the same feeling. The competition is not yet finished, not for Manchester United or the other teams.
“We have the feeling, and that’s because we are winning twice in a row, with sparkling football, with goals, clean sheets, against opponents who were in great form – Stoke City played Liverpool off the pitch in the Capital One Cup but they lost on penalties.”
Of course United would still be alive in the title race should they win on Sunday, but when you consider they’re currently 10 points back of leaders Leicester City, seven back of the “noisy neighbors” Manchester City, and five back of each Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal — all of whom are good teams and will continue to win points three at a time as the season winds down — are they really “in the race?”
Also, it’s mighty reactionary of Van Gaal to pat his own back for the “sparkling football” and the goals — oh, the goals — in two games, when we’ve got more than a season and a half of… well, not sparkling football, and not so many goals, to tell us scoring three goals per game — which they did against a Championship side and a PL side that had played an extra 120 minutes the week leading up to — might not be sustainable for this particular United side, under Van Gaal.
From the brink of resignation and/or termination, to Premier League title challengers in the span of 180 minutes — only 90 of which were played in the PL — Man United truly are the great underdog story of their time.