Last week, some reliable reports from the Netherlands suggested that what seemed inevitable regarding Manchester United might not happen this summer.
It has been presumed Louis van Gaal would exit the club after what has been a lacklustre season under his guidance.
However, De Telegraaf - a paper for which Van Gaal was once a columnist - reported that the 64-year-old would see out the final year of his contract. This was much to the chagrin of many supporters.
One saving grace for Van Gaal this season has been his willingness to blood some of Man Utd's younger players. In particular, Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have been given chances. Rashford, especially, has been a bright spark for the club. The 18-year-old has five goals this season, including two on his debut in the Europa League and two on his Premier League debut against Arsenal.
Rashford started up front for Utd in their 3-0 loss to Spurs on Sunday. He was then substituted at half-time.
According to Neil Ashton in today's Sun, Van Gaal berated Rashford at half-time; believing the striker to have made no impression on the game. He was particularly critical of Rashford's lack of runs in behind the Spurs central defence and his time spent in wide areas chasing down the ball.
That such a young player was not given a chance to remedy matters annoyed the dressing room. Rashford was replaced at half-time by Ashley Young, who Van Gaal initially played as a striker. The decision to play Young out position baffled his Man Utd teammates.
A source of Ashton's claimed that players, because of the Dutchman's strange tactical moves, called him 'clueless'.
The source also said:
They blamed it all on the manager.
You could hear everything. They don’t seem to have much time for him.
If, as the paper says, player respect for Van Gaal has been lost and they have begun openly criticising the manager, it is difficult to see how he can remain in charge at Old Trafford beyond this season.