It may seem like only yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s for 2015, but believe it not, we’re now just three sleeps away from merry old St. Nick’s annual visit on December 25th.
Indeed, the small space of time in which parents up and down the country let an old, chubby, bearded man break into their private property and leave gifts for their naive, impressionable and vulnerable young children – which my lawyers assure me is by no means as dodgy as it sounds – is just around the corner.
As you can probably tell, we at Football FanCast are all very excited, barring a few token humbug merchants, having spent the day writing our wish lists to Santa Claus.
But it’s a little-known fact Premier League managers partake in the annual tradition as well. And hoping we can give his a quick proof-read, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has given us a sneak peek of his.
Ranging from a new winger to the latest trends in technology, here are the FIVE things that topped his list.
To many, the beautiful game is already beautiful enough. But not to Louis van Gaal.
Indeed, in his possession-obsessed mind, scoring goals only besmirches a sport that could truly take the world by storm one day – perhaps even having its own international tournament every four years – if fans finally got over their bizarre lust for seeing an onion bag being rippled by an inflated big skin
“How primitive!” the Dutchman must scream to himself whilst watching Ryan Giggs conduct unscheduled and unsanctioned shooting practice in training. “If only there were no goals at all… then Manchester United would be the best team in the world!”
Santa Claus is a very understanding man, but he’s probably not going to cheese off the FA, the Premier League, Manchester United fans and well, supporters pretty much everywhere, by removing Old Trafford’s goal posts.
I have heard and read Louis van Gaal profess his desire for a “speedy, creative” winger so many times over the last few months that the words are scarred on both my retinas and my eardrums.
When I close my eyes at night, all I can see are the words SPEEDY AND CREATIVE, and all I can hear is the sound of LVG moaning about his current wide options. It has been a restless 2015/16 campaign for me, to say the least.
Indeed, the Dutchman sees a creative speedster as the missing element in Manchester United’s attack, so I’m sure there’s nothing he’d enjoy more this Christmas than finding one under his tree on December 25th.
There are countless to choose from, not least including Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, Southampton’s Sadio Mane, Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus and Lazio’s Felipe Anderson.
But something tells me LVG will spend his Christmas money on someone else, before moaning about how they don’t fit his philosophy and eventually selling them to PSG at a £15million loss before next Christmas comes around.
Ever wondered how Louis van Gaal keeps his hair so immaculately groomed in the style of a 1950s Teddy Boy who went on a drug-fuelled bender in Amsterdam and never came back?
Well, there is no great secret to it. Alongside bi-monthly appointments with Nicky Clarke, the Manchester United gaffer applies a healthy spate of Shockwaves hair gel every morning and again at lunchtime.
He’s not actually bought any since the summer and has been pinching some from Wayne Rooney’s locker on a daily basis.
It’s essentially a victimless crime considering the England skipper is going bald for the second time in five years. But with Wazza Roo starting to ask questions, the Red Devils boss would love his own supply for Christmas.
If you believe the tabloids, then Manchester United’s scouting system contains two main practices.
Louis van Gaal calling up everybody who played under him at Bayern Munich and asking if they want to move to Old Trafford, or alternatively, Louis van Gaal calling up every Dutch footballer under the age of 40 and asking them the exact same thing.
Indeed, Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery, Wesley Sneijder, Bruno Martins Indi, Tim Krul, Jasper Cillessen, Gregory Van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong – to name but a few – have all been mooted as United targets during LVG’s Old Trafford reign.
But the pièce de résistance in that regard is undoubtedly veteran winger Arjen Robben, who is not only Louis van Gaal’s favourite Dutchman (after himself of course) and favourite Bayern Munich player, but also the answer to United’s apparent need for a ‘speedy, creative’ winger. Seriously, I can’t get away from those words at the moment.
Will Santa deliver the 30-year-old, who possesses a world-class knack for plummeting to the floor like a sack of Christmas elves thrown from the tallest building in all of the north pole? With just 18 months remaining on Robben’s Allianz Arena contract, perhaps.
Why the hell not? All of the players are getting a set from their mums this Christmas and although Louis van Gaal is 64 years of age, he’s still as cool as ever daddio. Just check out his aforementioned, uber-rad hair-do.
And the media will surely give LVG the respect he deserves if he enters every press conference gliding across the ground like some sort of footballing dalek screaming ‘LOUIS VAN GAAL’S RED ARMY’ at the top of his voice. Surely.