Manchester United Balls: You’ll Never Guess Who Van Gaal’s ‘Sworn Enemy’ Is
MANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal is trading on former glories. His tenure at United has been one of big-spending confusion. The buzzword is ‘transition’, but Southampton are proving that to be a load of balls.
A new book on the Manchester United boss, O, Louis: In Search of Louis van Gaal, contains a few gems. Author Hugo Bors, describes it as a “journey into the sinister recesses”.
(Incidentally, we are told that Van Gaal’s “sworn enemy” is Ronald Koeman.)
On Truus, life with Mrs Van Gaal:
‘The way he treats Truus in company is ungentlemanly and sometimes downright disgraceful. In the company of friends and acquaintances, Louis has made comments that in nine out of 10 marriages would have been grounds for divorce.
‘Of course he also has sweet things to say about his wife. “I have a lovely wife,” he said on German TV, “and the sex is good too.”
Since his stint at Barcelona, he has developed a nose for wine and he likes to have this confirmed. “Louis always chooses wonderful wines,” says Truus. “That’s very true,” says Van Gaal. “That other one is really lovely too,” Truus adds. “What do you mean that other one?” Van Gaal shoots back. “That’s no good to anyone, Truus. When are you going to learn? You’ve got to name names. There are wines by the thousand. Was it white or red?” “Never mind,” she says and raises her glass. “Am I right or not? Well, Truus?” “I’ve forgotten what it was called,” she sighs. “Just leave it, will you?”
At last I have the chance to ask Khalid Sinouh how he felt when Louis van Gaal demonstratively refused to shake his hand, with the cameras looking on. The incident took place on November 29, 2006, when AZ Alkmaar drew 2-2 with Slovan Liberec to qualify for the last 32 of the Uefa Cup tournament. Sinouh, a goalkeeper who had to come off after 30 minutes, went over to congratulate Van Gaal after the match. Van Gaal ignored Sinouh’s extended hand and snarled at him. “What did he say to you?” I ask all these years later. “That we didn’t win.” “Yes, so?” “That’s something he never does,” explains Sinouh. “He only shakes your hand if we’ve won. It’s an odd reaction, don’t you think?” “Well, with Van Gaal you kind of expect that, don’t you?” says Sinouh. “But he’s the best coach I’ve ever had. Never a dull moment. But that yelling the whole time?” I protest. “Oh, but you could just as easily talk about his warmer side,” says Sinouh. “He’s just a split personality…
More at the Times.