There was a time when the thought of Manchester United losing three games on the spin to supposed lesser lights wasn’t even possible to concoct.
That there’s a very real chance of that happening when the side play Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Monday night is a clear indication of where Louis van Gaal has taken this club.
If David Moyes was portrayed as an abject failure on the Old Trafford touchline, what level of malfunction can be attributed to his Dutch successor, who is on the verge of a second successive season without silverware?
The FA Cup is Van Gaal’s best hope of salvaging something from the wreckage that is his Red Devils tenure, especially after the harrowing defeat suffered in Denmark at the hands of Midtylland in the Europa League.
League One strugglers Shrewsbury don’t appear too much of a threat to United’s cup status, but then again neither did MK Dons in Van Gaal’s debut Capital One Cup match last season.
Whether he wins or loses, the former Holland boss is surely a matter of months away from becoming a free agent.
Jose Mourinho is lobbying harder than a Donald Trump aide to succeed his great friend and as the fog descends further on Old Trafford, it is becoming increasingly difficult not to see the Portuguese getting his wish.
It’s 9/2 that the Shrews qualify for the sixth round draw, which given the malaise surrounding the Premier League club at present, represents a terrific piece of value.
For Van Gaal this is a no-win situation. Lose and he’ll almost certainly be sacked within the week, but pull off the victory and it’ll only serve to delay the inevitable.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.