If he can keep Villa up, which it looks like he will, then we'll finally get a full season to judge him next term. But everything he's achieved so far seems to point to him being equipped to make a relative success of things next term.
It took some time for van Gaal to figure things out and to imprint his own style on the squad, but it's now starting to pay off and further improvement will continue to follow. What would have happened in the unlikely event that the club hierarchy had listened to the ridiculous calls to swing the axe?
Arsenal are like that talented kid at school - the one who who has so much to offer, but is a little scared of the spotlight. He prefers to just fade into the background and while he might be a little proud of what he's done, he doesn't like the attention on him. Nor the pressure.
Whichever three sides go down, they are bound to lose a number of players who want top flight action, but a certain few will remain loyal. Here are six individuals who would, or at least should stick around if their club goes down.
Nevertheless, late into March and with a run-in that includes five fixtures with teams in the bottom half of the table, it seems that the Saints will defy all of the odds and finish on a par with the likes of Spurs and last season's runners-up, Liverpool. Cast your mind back to the beginning of the season and this would have seemed almost impossible.
Like the spectacular solar eclipse that many were fortunate to witness the previous day, last Saturday's extraordinary day of rugby was an event made more memorable by its rarity...
In an attempt to have big government control the future of futebol president Dilma Rousseff is submitting legislation to "modernize" the national pastime to a fractious Federal Congress for review and approval.
The root of the problem is attitude. Steven Gerrard told the Guardian that Chelsea's reaction was merely "normal". He said: "It's normal at that level. Players want to win so much, managers want to win so much, and they'll try every trick in the book." Is that not the most worrying aspect of all?
Some fans may not even consider this a good thing, but on the basis of his performance at Old Trafford, Harry Kane is in desperate need of a breather and with Roberto Soldado currently injured, Adebayor's opportunity to redeem himself is now.
It seems to be that English sides are suffering from a lack of identity. The Premier League does not create, it imports. Until English sides start producing talent instead of hoovering it up, the poor European results will continue.
They certainly haven't lost the fight they showed in the first three months of the campaign, except for two of what can only be described as humiliating results against West Brom in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace. So, what's gone wrong?
Sometimes individuals vastly underachieve, but others will clear the bar that has been set for them, occasionally surprisingly so. Here's a look at six Premier League signings in 2014/15 that have far exceeded what was expected of them in their debut season with a new club.
Smartphones are taking over our lives - don't let them take football too. Whether you're a horny teenager Snapchatting pics of your barely-pubescent bits, or a 40-something mother playing Candy Crush underneath the dinner table, the way we use these technological wonderments is growing ever more inappropriate.
In just a few months Pochettino has managed to assert his authority in a way that none of his recent predecessors have. The football has been entertaining, the results have been good, but it is the manner in which they have been achieved that has been the clearest and most welcome manifestation of his influence.
Racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism have returned to the streets of Europe with a vengeance. Tolerance is in short supply. In times like this, we look for havens that provide shelter from the hate and intolerance, havens that provide opportunity. Football, as the great sporting and social leveler, should be that safe haven.
19-year-old Bellerin is another youngster who was thrust into first-team action due to injuries this season. In this case, it was Mathieu Debuchy who made way for the pacey full-back, who is widely regarded to be one of the quickest players in the Premier League.