LONDON — Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was at his bizarre best again after his team’s 1-1 Premier league draw with Leicester City as he complained that a hair-pulling incident during the match was only acceptable in “sex masochism”.
The United manager’s future at Old Trafford may be the subject of intense speculation but his position as the Premier League’s entertainer par excellence was enhanced with a comical post-match interview in which he also tugged a reporter’s hair.
The highlight of the Dutchman’s eccentricity this season had been the way he threw himself theatrically to the turf, clipboard in hand, to insinuate a supposed dive by Alexis Sanchez in United’s match against Arsenal in February.
Yet it may not have topped Van Gaal’s straight-faced but faintly surreal response to an incident in which United’s Marouane Fellaini appeared to elbow Leicester’s Robert Huth after having his luxuriant head of hair pulled by the German defender.
Asked about the episode that could have resulted in a penalty for United, Van Gaal told his questioner from Sky Sports: “When you see what Huth is doing to Fellaini, that’s a penalty. Shall I grab you by your hair?”
Before waiting for an answer to this invitation, Van Gaal did just that.
“What is your reaction when I grab your hair? Your hair is shorter than Fellaini but, when I do that, what are you doing then? It’s a reaction.
“Every human being who is grabbed by the hair, only with sex masochism, then it is allowed but not in other situations. They did it. They did it several times I think.”
What was not so amusing for United fans was their side’s failure to pick up the three points they needed to maintain their increasingly slim hopes of grabbing a top-four sport to guarantee Champions League football next season.
After watching Wes Morgan level for Leicester following Anthony Martial’s early goal for United, Van Gaal conceded that even if they win their remaining three games, it would be hard to finish fourth.
“I have said to my players that I have seen one of the best matches of the season of my line-up, but it was not enough,” he said. “I have said you have to win every game that we have to play so now already we are not closing the gap. You can do it but it shall be very difficult.” — Reuters.