A journalists' guide to handling Van Gaal

Buda Mendes

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen of the press. This man is not your friend.

When it comes to handling the press, it's fair to say that Louis van Gaal, newly appointed supreme overlord of Old Trafford, comes with a reputation. A reputation for being a trifle ... difficult, let's say, when it comes to our dear friends of the fourth estate.

To help these poor, put-upon newshounds, a man by the name of Peter Zantingh has written a ten-point guide on how to deal with the Iron Tulip. We recommend you read the whole thing, for it is excellent, but our favourite three points are below.

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.)

Should any journalists be extra-worried, we suggest a disguise. One of those Anonymous masks, maybe, or the classic nose-moustache-glasses combo

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.

That's what needs to be on the banner that replaces that Chosen One embarrassment. DEATH OR THE GLADIOLI. With a picture of Van Gaal wearing Morrissey-style NHS specs and shouting at somebody.

9. Distinguish fact from opinion This is hard, as only Mr. Van Gaal can determine which are facts and which are opinions. Which team was disadvantaged by the ref, or which team should have won based on the number of chances? He, and only he, will have the answer. These are the facts. Your facts are opinions.

Oh, this is going to be fun.

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