Manchester United lost to Stoke City today, and Louis van Gaal's postmatch interview (transcript in the MEN) was almost as bleak as the performance. United, according to their manager, "didn't dare to play our football", though he's not necessarily convinced that's entirely his fault:
Of course I do my utmost best to find solutions to cope with the pressure but at the end the players have to do that by themselves. I help them and then you say okay, you have failed. You can say that but I don't think it is like that.
Most interesting, though, was his answer when asked if he was considering his position:
That is also something what I don't have to say but I have said already in former press conferences that it is not always like that the club has to fire or sack me. Sometimes I do it by myself. But I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and with the members of staff and with my players. And not with you, I don't think that is the sequence.
He could just be talking in general terms, of course — resignations on television aren't really the done thing — but he certainly looked and sounded like a man coming to terms with an unpalatable truth.