UNDER-FIRE Louis Van Gaal appears to be cracking under the strain of turning round Manchester United’s fortunes.
Van Gaal delivered an angry and emotional monologue before storming out of a press conference that lasted less than five minutes.
After a week when his job has come under intense scrutiny from fans and the media and Jose Mourinho touted as a replacement, Van Gaal hit back – and bizarrely started by asking for apologies from reporters who he accused of ignoring the facts.
Asked for a response to Arsene Wenger’s claim that the Dutchman’s treatment has been disrespectful, Van Gaal said: “Has anybody in this room not a feeling to apologise to me? That’s what I’m wondering.
“I think I was already sacked, I read. I have been sacked. My colleague (Mourinho) was here already. What do you think happens with my wife or my kids? Or with my grandchildren? Or with the fans of Manchester United? Or my friends? What do you think?
“They have called me a lot of times and also Arsene Wenger is saying something about that. So you think that I want to talk with the media now.
“I am here only because of the Premier League rules. I have to talk with you. But I can only see when I say something that you use my words in your context.
“And I want to say only I have tried to lift the confidence of my players. I have done everything this week.
“I held evaluation meetings with the players with my members of staff, I held a Christmas lunch, I made a speech and I feel the warmth and support of everybody in Carrington, this AON training complex.
“But I didn’t feel that in the media and of course I can imagine that you can write about that subject.
“We are not in a good position but four weeks ago we were first in the Premier League and in four weeks’ time we can be back in that position again.”
When it was pointed out to him that the speculation over his future was inevitable given United’s poor run, he refused to agree. And he revealed he had received telephone calls of support from Sir Alex Ferguson, former chief executive David Gill and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
He added: “No, I don’t think that you can do that [speculate] because you have to stick by the facts and when I get calls off Alex Ferguson and David Gill and Ed Woodward because you are creating something that is not good, what is not based on the facts, now I have to answer questions and I don’t think I want to do it.
“I only say now I am focussed on Stoke City, I help my players. I wish you a Merry Christmas and also maybe a Happy New Year when I see you.”
United had laid on wine and mince pies for the media and as he walked out of the press conference, Van Gaal said: “Enjoy the wine and a mince pie.”