The Dutchman has regularly been praised in the past for a strict no-nonsense style of coaching. But now, as he continues to search for tactical balance, seemingly in vain, that particular aspect of his personality could be what comes back to haunt him.
As a long-standing Spurs sympathiser, it's faintly disappointing to see them slide their way back out of the top six, but it's hard to seriously argue that it's not deserved.
Will Manchester United secure the future of David de Gea? How many new defenders will it take for them to look competent at the back? Who will be Manchester United's new creative genius in midfield? All pertinent questions. All of which need to be answered, preferably by the start of next season.
Every manager on the globe would've sacrificed their left arm to have a striking trio containing Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao at their disposal, right? For Louis van Gaal, the trio seem to give him more of a headache than anything else.
Compare former Manchester United midfielder Anderson with Cesc Fabregas in 2015 and people will rightfully question your sanity. But back when he first moved to England, however, it was actually a reasonable comparison...
Much has been, and will continue to be, made of the fact that on Friday night, United - even after spending £150m last summer - couldn't even manage to score against League Two outfit Cambridge United.
The 3-5-2 is a notoriously hard formation to get right. It requires very specific types of players who know their role inside out, but if done correctly it is arguably the best there is and with minor additions and alterations United would actually be incredibly well suited to it.
Manchester United have been far easier on the eyes this season, but they currently sit on 37 points after 21 games, exactly the same as this time last season when David Moyes was in charge. Just let that sink in for a moment.
As a Premier League fan, the prospect of a massive, three-way battle for the title between City, United and Chelsea - with Arsenal sticking their noses in every now and again - is mouth-wateringly exciting. The top tier without a strong United feels weird.
As much as it's always claimed that anybody can beat anybody in the Premier League, that's never true over the course of a full season. It's part of what makes league competitions so much better in many ways than cups - it's entertainingly open from week to week, while still ensuring that the winning team at the end of the season is almost always the best one.
An away win at high flying Swansea, an emphatic cup quarter final victory over Newcastle and, finally, the defeat of a lowly premier league team at home after the debacles against Stoke, West Brom and Palace have meant that Christmas has arrived slightly ahead of schedule for Tottenham fans.
Chelsea and City are currently out in front by a large distance and are understandably favourites to take the crown, though contrary to popular belief, this year's Premier League is not yet just a duel between the two teams in blue.
This is written just in the wake of United's extremely satisfying smash-and-grab victory against Southampton. With all due respect, who knew a game against them, not even half-way through the season, could be that important, and pleasant to win?
Carrick is one of his generation's most decorated individuals. Since joining United from Tottenham in 2006, he has won five Premier League titles, two League Cups and has been a Champions League and Club World Cup winner, as well as playing in two further Champions League finals. He has the kind of top level experience that is matched by very few others...
While he perhaps does not receive the acclaim some feel he deserves, Blind is one of United's most important players at present and with the hectic festive period looming, the midfielder's absence is likely to seriously dent their chances of returning to Europe's elite competition.
Out of contract in the summer and therefore likely to be available on cut-price deals in January, here's a look at six short term options for van Gaal and United - any of which could be valuable assets over the next couple of years.