Louis van Gaal and The Art of Delusion
Louis van Gaal insisted today that Manchester United is the “best team in the history of football” following their 11-1 defeat at Sunderland on Saturday.
The result follows the Red Devils’ 2-1 loss at Swansea the previous weekend.
“I was amazed we didn’t run away with the game with the way we dominated possession,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports in the post match press conference.
“It is always frustrating to lose when you have been the dominating team, and our disappointment is much bigger because of that. In the first half it was an equal game. In the second half there was a big difference. Sunderland had a chance in the first minute and after that we dominated the game apart from when they scored their seven goals,” said the Dutchman. “Ask Ryan Giggs….he completely agrees with me.”
In an intriguing experiment, the cerebral coach started Radamel Falcao as center back alongside an injured Robin Van Persie, who played for most of the first half on crutches.
“I thought Falcao did a wonderful job apart from the three own goals. That was just a striker’s instinct. He couldn’t help himself. But once he gets the hang of defending he could be key for us and worth every penny of the $60 million option we will be picking up from Monaco. Just ask Ryan Giggs. He loves me.
“If Falcao does as well as I’m expecting, we will be able to sell David De Gea to Real Madrid for a major fortune because our defense will be so strong and I will be able to buy more Dutch people for the team.”
In a statement to begin the press conference at Old Trafford, Van Gaal said he has initiated a futuristic new training program that gives his players a considerable electric shock if they hold onto the ball longer than 3 seconds. The only way to avoid the pain is to release the ball immediately with a hoof up the field to Marouane Fellaini.
But he took great umbrage when a Manchester Evening News reporter suggested that might be considered a long ball game. “We are not a long ball team. That’s ridiculous,” he said. “We are a passing team. They just happen to be long passes in the air. That’s very different. It’s simple logic. What’s the point in Angel Di Maria expending all that energy running the length of the field with the ball when you can get the same result with one big kick?
“It just makes sense. That’s why we play Rooney in midfield – so the ball bypasses him. It’s an exercise in energy conservation. Ryan is a big fan of my initiative.”
Asked why a team like Sunderland that’s so close to the relegation zone was able to score so freely, Van Gaal blamed the wind.
“I have been working around the clock to get the food changed to a good staple of rookworst and stamppot but other than Van Persie and Rooney, who can eat anything, the players stomach’s are having trouble with the transformation from pasta and meat pies, thus the wind problem.
“It is all just a matter of time before we start turning our dominant, brilliant play into wins. Our plan next week is to slow the play down so much that our opponents nod off to sleep and then we nip in and score.”
“Do you think it’s appropriate to say you have the best team in the entire universe when you have lost your last two games to Swansea and Sunderland and your team generally has no flair, no cohesion and little quality?” said the man from the BBC.
After that, only MUTV staff was allowed to ask questions at the press conference. Beat writers were handed strips of cloth and told that the only way the Man United coach would stay to answer any questions would be if they were gagged.
“Do you expect to get more money in the next transfer window to improve your already fantastic football team?” asked the Dutch camera operator.
“I’m glad you asked that,” said Van Gaal, relaxing. “We’ve only had about $200 million up to now and everybody knows that’s not enough.
“I plan to buy Nigel DeJong as soon as possible and then I intend to gradually replace all the existing squad with Dutch players. By doing that we will do away with the gas problems in one go and all our ‘Total Football” trained Dutch players will be interchangeable.
“We’ll be unbeatable and if we are beaten it’ll only be by the odd one or two. Just ask Ryan about this; he totally agrees with me.
“I also plan to buy four or five more top quality goalkeepers so I can sub them in when a penalty is given and throw the opposition taker’s head into chaos.”
“How do you plan to beat Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea,” asked the MUTV reporter.
“I’ve already asked Burnley about selling me Ashley Barnes. I hear he had an uncle from The Hague,” Van Gaal said, rushing out.
“Ryan will answer any more questions you may have about us missing the Champions League for the second year running while we rebuild into the Dutch national side.”