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Manchester United Balls: Release The Van Gaal Journobots

by | 22nd, May 2014

Ajax Manager Louis Van Gaal talks to the press  Champions League. Spartak Moscow v Blackburn Rovers%0D%0AGraeme Le Saux is %0D%0Atackled by teammate %0D%0ADavid Batty Date: 01/11/1995

DUTCH newspaper NRC have called on their many years’ experience of treading on eggshells around the notoriously volatile Louis van Gaal in press conferences to provide their British colleagues with ten golden rules to follow when interviewing the new Manchester United manager to avoid having their danglies torn off…

The rules are as follows…

Congratulations on obtaining Louis van Gaal. From this moment on, you will be patronised, looked at with disdain, and haunted by a constant doubt if Mr. Van Gaal is flat out making fun of you or being deadly serious.

1. Be prepared for any possible mood.  Contrary to many other managers, whether the match is won, drawn or lost is no indication whatsoever of Van Gaal’s mood. Even if he has won and seems to be quite happy, one wrong question can and will put him off.

2. Start neutral.  Begin with a question about the match just played. “How did your team do?” or “What did you think?” will suffice. “You must be very disappointed” will not. That is because the match you saw and the match he saw can be very different ones. Mr. Van Gaal is perfectly comfortable declaring that a 0-3 loss at home to Sunderland was his team’s best game all season, just because his players were doing what he told them to do. It’s not always about what ends up on the scoreboard. Don’t enter the interview thinking it is.

3. Don’t introduce yourself.  Or else he’ll know your name, remember it and use it against you. You will not be some anonymous guy with a microphone and a cameraman on his side; you will be Gary, or Clive, or Tony, with whom he will or will not have a feud from the get-go. (He will.)

4. Stay on topic . If the interview’s about the game, you talk about the game. Not about the next game, transfer rumours or whatever happened on the training pitch. Every question about anything else than the game just played will derail the conversation.

5. It’s his language now, not yours.  Mr. Van Gaal will come up with new additions to the Oxford Dictionary. In Germany, he inadvertently (or was it?) introduced the phrase  “Der Tod oder die Gladiolen” , a Dutch saying meaning literally “death or the gladioli”: all or nothing. This is because if Mr. Van Gaal speaks your language, it is no longer your language, it’s his. It is not Mr. Van Gaal who has trouble speaking English, it is you, for not going along with his obviously much better

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Posted: 22nd, May 2014 | In: manchester united, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink