Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Louis van Gaal's tenure at Manchester United has not been as bad as is being reflected by the media. The Dutchman has failed to reap the rewards of his investment in the club but has blooded youngsters who have fulfilled their potential and added balance to the squad in the closing few games of the campaign.
The Red Devils have progressed into the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they will play Everton at Wembley and are still in with a shot to finish in the top four. United are currently on 53 points, four points adrift of fourth placed Manchester City, who have an important Champions League game against Real Madrid on the horizon. However, his future is on the line with Jose Mourinho being heavily tipped to take over at Old Trafford in the summer.
Murphy believes United have massively under achieved in Europe, where they dropped out of the group stages of the Champions League and failed to get past Liverpool in the round of 16 tie of the Europa League. However, his admission of failure to bring the best out of his summer signings was laudable as he dropped both Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian to make way for academy graduates, thus allowing them a chance to prove themselves in the big stage.
"There are some obvious deficiencies in that United squad, and they have under-performed across the board, especially in Europe. That's not good enough for the expenditure of the club, so I get what United fans are frustrated about," Murphy told talkSPORT.
"But what I would say is that, this is a man under enormous pressure, managing one of the biggest clubs in the world, and he's still had the courage to play and blood the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
"On top of that he's also admitted his own mistakes in a way, by binning Memphis Depay — whose attitude and performances have not been good enough — and Matteo Darmian. You've got to look at the bigger picture. Van Gaal is confident enough to say, 'this team has been lacking some pace and urgency for a while and I've got some young players here who are unproven, but I'm going to give it a go and it might just work'."