While the worm may be turning, albeit slowly, for Van Gaal, the same cannot be said of Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who is living through the blackest days of his Goodison Park tenure.
A run of seven games without victory in the league has definitively ended Everton’s European ambitions and Wednesday’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool left the Spaniard looking exposed.
Martinez has tasted FA Cup glory once before, memorably leading Wigan Athletic to a shock 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the 2013 final, and he has called on his players to re-focus as quickly as possible.
“We need to re-group and make sure we have that opportunity to give the fans what they deserve – a chance to get in the final,” he said.
“It is such a huge footballing occasion at the weekend that the only way we have got is to face adversity in an exemplary way and get ready to perform well in the semifinal.”
Everton’s task has been complicated by the fact that centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori will be suspended after being sent off at Anfield for an ugly ankle-high challenge on Divock Origi.
With captain Phil Jagielka and John Stones both doubtful, due to a hamstring injury and illness respectively, it could leave Martinez with a crisis in central defence.
Right-back Seamus Coleman is nursing a hamstring problem and midfielder Gareth Barry is also a doubt after sustaining a groin injury against Liverpool.
But should Everton need inspiration, they need not look far back, having overcome United in a penalty shootout when the teams last met in an FA Cup semifinal at Wembley in 2009.