Manchester United Balls: ‘ranting’ Louis Van loses his dentures and starts a double-act
Just six months into his time as Manchester United manager, and Louis van Gaal is “under fire”. Reacting to claims that his United are an unattractive long ball team he produced evidence to the contrary. How well did it go down in the Press? In a word: very. They’ve lapped it up. All newspapers lead with LVG’s stats class.
The Times leads it sports coverage with:
Van Gaal looked like a cross between Neville Chamberlain and David Brent as he waved pieces of paper to disprove [Sam] Allardyce’s claims at United’s press conference yesterday. They were lies, damned lies — and Van Gaal had the statistics.
It was a “rant”.
The Sun calls LVG A ‘LAUGHING STOCK”.
The Daily Star calls it “LVG’S LONG BAWL”. It was a “bizarre rant”.
The Mirror leads with news of “LVG’s LONG SHOT”. He “angrily produced a dossier” of “four pages of statistics”.
The Daily Mail is far more circumspect, saying Van Gaal created “an intersting 20 minutes” with his Prozone stats.
And in the Express there are concerns for LVG’s mental wellbeing:
“Louis Van Gaal sparked concerns he is cracking udner the strain of managing Manchester United…”
Van Gaal has been an outstanding coaches for years. But the Times‘ Oliver Kay wonders:
What nags, though, is the feeling that, once you look beyond the Van Gaal aura, there has been remarkably little to admire in his first six months at Old Trafford. As a journalist, you find yourself wanting Van Gaal to live up to a certain reputation — a reputation for tactical brilliance, exciting football and even, a strange admission this, antagonistic behaviour in press conferences. So far, we have seen more of the third than the first two and even that, in truth, has been fairly low-grade.
Well, that’s one thing Van Gaal can do: make an entertaining press conference. And it may yet get better.
Hugo Borst says we can expect more:
“There’s this one time that always cracks me up. He wasn’t happy with us, thought we weren’t training properly. He set up this exercise where I had to be non-responsive as keeper . . . but the crosses were so dodgy I had no choice but to save them, and that was a definite no-go. He had already bollocked me for it once but the second time he comes over and starts screaming at me something fierce and his dentures go flying. Best of it was, he caught them in a single movement, stuffed them back in his mouth and carried right on screaming. And there’s me standing opposite him trying to keep a straight face”.
The football might be dull, but Van Gaal the man is happy to entertain…
And every great entertainer needs a sidekick. Presenting Van Gaal and the Manchester United Press officer, in the style of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom: