Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to a Mutiny Special!
Following the implosion against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon, the chances were good that stories of intra-club warfare wouldn't be long in following. And so it came to pass: today's newspapers are all splashing around various tales of strife and woe.
Let's start local. According to the Manchester Evening News, a source has exclusively told them:
Players haven't got a clue what the fuck his substitutions are all about.
They starred out the terrible profanity there, but we're restoring it because come on, really. We're all adults here, or at least children pretending to be adults. Anyway, it's refreshing to know that the players are just as baffled as the rest of us. The MEN go onto list a number of Van Gaal's more curious player swaps, which makes for moderately amusing/depressing reading.
On to the Mirror, who have been reading the Sun (which we're not going to link to because come on, really). Their source brings word of a post-game fallout between manager and players:
They blamed it all on the manager. You could hear everything. They don't seem to have much time for him.
Finally the Times (£), who have their own exclusive:
A number of Manchester United's senior players are growing increasingly frustrated with Louis van Gaal's tendency to blame them for the club's poor results and performances, rather than acknowledging any shortcomings in his tactics or style of play.
At this point we pause to recall Van Gaal's own words after the defeat to Tottenham:
The miscommunication in our centre defence turned the match, I think. And the second goal was also a goal in a set-play. Alderweireld scored and we knew in advance he is a dangerous header, so everything was well organised but he had a wonderful header, and within five minutes they scored the third goal and the game's over.
Come on. Really.
Feels like we're very much into the end game here. If these stories are even partly true, then Van Gaal's position — which should already be untenable — will have almost entirely crumbled away. And the Busby Babe, for one, welcomes our new Portuguese overlord. Well, not "welcomes" as such. "Miserably resigns itself to"? That'll work.