Louis van Gaal is suddenly a man facing increasing scrutiny after Manchester United’s latest away-day woes saw his team conspire to draw 0-0 at League Two Cambridge in the FA Cup fourth round.
An extra game being added to United’s sparsely-filled schedule is not the end of the world, but the obvious lack of chemistry against a team 76 places below them, must be of grave concern to the Dutchman and fans alike.
If this result was a one-off, then things would be different. However, it followed on from League Cup humiliation at MK Dons early in Van Gaal’s reign, turgid displays at League One Yeovil in the last round of the FA Cup and QPR in the Premier League, plus a home defeat to Southampton, who leapfrogged them into third.
The Red Devils are still priced as well-fancied 4/11 shots to end the season back in the top four, but on recent evidence the other clubs involved in the scrap for those hallowed Champions League places will be rubbing their hands at such performances.
Arsenal tails couldn’t be any higher after defeating champions Manchester City in their own back yard last time out, in what felt like a season-defining victory.
Only a point behind Van Gaal’s men now, and afforded the same odds to continue their seventeen-season occupancy in the top four, it’s the Gunners who now look far better set.
Southampton’s stunning Old Trafford victory and refusal to budge in the higher echelons of the Premier League also makes Ronald Koeman’s side a more attractive wager at 5/4 in lieu of United’s troubles as well.
Unless Van Gaal can quickly find the answers to redirect Man Utd back onto a winning path, this looks a market blown wide open heading into late January.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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