At a press conference to preview Wednesday’s fixture against Burnley, Louis van Gaal launched into a bizarre rant about his tactics at Manchester United following criticism from Sam Allardyce.
The West Ham boss accused the Dutchman’s team of playing too many long balls in Sunday’s 1-1 draw, a move which caused Van Gaal to evoke memories or Rafael Benitez by producing a series of stats which argued that Allardyce was wrong.
The didn't go down well with the United press officer, who after years of shielding her ears from Alex Ferguson's frequently mouth-frothing fury and then having to dry David Moyes' tears for about 10 months, now has to put up with this.
It isn’t the first time the abrasive United boss has hit out, though, as these examples show.
“You’re Very, Very Bad!”
Arguments with the press were a constant feature of Van Gaal’s time at Barcelona, particularly when the Dutchman decided to drop the apple of Catalonia’s eye Rivaldo from his team.
After being questioned about the decision to omit the Brazilian World Cup winner, Ballon d’Or lifter and all-around genius, Van Gaal exploded thusly:
“You’re very bad! Saying I broke my pact with Rivaldo? I never broke my pact. You’re very bad. Very very bad. No, no, no, you’re very bad. Very bad! Always negative. Never positive. Always negative.”
Whilst waiting to be interviewed back when he was AZ Alkmaar boss, Van Gaal objected to the fact that the camera was already trained on him before the interview was ready to take place.
His response? Well, slap the camera obviously.
The Karate Old Man
The greatest honour of Van Gaal’s career remains the Champions League he won with Ajax 20 years ago, but even during that final victory over AC Milan he still found time to be crazy.
When protesting a decision on the touchline, Van Gaal decided to leap up in a bizarre karate-kicking motion as if to emphasise his point, a bit like Basil Fawlty would do when Manuel had overdone the pasta..
When at Ajax, Van Gaal objected to the constant questioning he was getting about players’ new contracts and potential agreements on transfers, so much so that his exasperation with journalists had to come to a head at some point.
When he did, he asked one of the assembled press pack: “Am I the smart one or are you the stupid one?”
You get the feeling he thought both were true.
Thankfully, No Video Evidence Exists For This One…
When at Bayern Munich, Van Gaal’s desire to prove himself switched to his players, with one exchange in particular proving just how far he was willing to go.
After he’d left the club in 2009, forward Luca Toni revealed just how the Dutchman proved that he was the boss.
“The coach wanted to make clear to us that he can drop any player, it was all the same to him because, as he said, he had the balls. He demonstrated this literally by dropping his trousers. I have never experienced anything like it, it was totally crazy. Luckily, I didn’t see a lot, because I wasn’t in the front row.”