Van Gaal hands out bizarre long-ball pamphlet

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal took the unusual step of handing out a a four-page pamphlet of long-ball statistics to journalists at his press conference today following comments by Sam Allardyce.

West Ham boss Allardyce mocked The Red Devils’ playing style following the 1-1 draw between the two sides, saying the Hammers “couldn’t cope with long ball United.”

Van Gaal presented a pamphlet to journalists in response and told them to give it to the West Ham manager saying United’s figures were skewed by long sideways passes. Included in the pamphlet are statistics such as the percentage of all passes long and long passes directed forward:

It is a bizarre course of action for van Gaal to take and clearly shows he was riled up by Allardyce’s comments. The episode will give United fans painful flashbacks to last year, when David Moyes was pictured with an embarrassing ‘set pieces’ publication.

On the other side of the coin, van Gaal may be attempting to take some pressure off his players after they were heavily criticised following the game at Upton Park.

The peculiar incident will certainly fill some column inches as United prepare to face Burnley on Wednesday night. 

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