Swansea City director John van Zweden has branded Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal as an ‘arrogant b*****d’ for boasting prior to Saturday’s fixture that his side were the best in the Premier League after one defeat in 19 games.
Van Zweden, a Dutch wallpaper tycoon, was far from impressed by Van Gaal’s pre-match boast, responding: “Yes, and I find him an arrogant b*****d,” according to the Mirror.
And it was the Swansea City director who had the last laugh, with the Welsh outfit condemning Van Gaal’s side to their fifth Premier League defeat of the season at the Liberty Stadium.
Van Zweden has the final word
Ander Herrera put United into the lead with a smart finish midway through the first half, but goals from Sung-Yong Ki and Bafetimbi Gomis earned all three points for the Swans.
Keen to have the final word, the Mirror quote Van Zweden after the match as tweeting: “Dear Louis. Sleep Well mate 6 points and The double.@SwansOfficial @ManUtd 2-1 again !!! #easy”
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It seems this tweet, however, has since been deleted.
Van Gaal divides opinion
Van Gaal has a tendency to divide opinion wherever he manages in his career - and, even though he guided the Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals last summer, not everyone in Holland is an admirer of the 63-year-old.
Arguably the best ever player and coach to emerge from the Netherlands, Johan Cruyff, famously doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Van Gaal, while earlier this season it was revealed that Southampton manager Ronald Koeman also has a low impression of the current Manchester United manager following past clashes.
Koeman: Van Gaal rules by fear
In fact, Koeman has spoken out again about his fellow coach this week, claiming Van Gaal rules by fear.
"When you bring Van Gaal in the house, you bring in quality, but you also bring in someone who thinks he knows everything and that will cause clashes," Koeman is quoted in the Daily Mirror.
"There is a big difference between him and me as managers. I was his assistant at Barcelona after the World Cup in 1998. I learned a lot of things from him, but the way he handles his players is totally different from the way I work. I don't put as much pressure on the shoulder of players.
"When you have Van Gaal in charge, it is a fact that there is fear in his team. The players have a fear for mister Van Gaal. That is not always good."
Van Gaal must secure top-four finish - no excuses
Manchester United will have a decision to make if Van Gaal fails to secure a top-four finish at the end of the season - the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach’s primary objective on signing for the club last summer.
The Red Devils find themselves in a perilous position with 12 matches of the season remaining. Although they occupy fourth spot at the moment, Van Gaal’s side face a daunting run of fixtures in March and April.
Furthermore, the likes of Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham are all breathing ominously down the Premier League giants’ neck.
A second season out of the Champions League would be a disaster from a financial and playing perspective - and after spending £150 million on new signings last summer, anything but a top-four finish would be a huge failure on Van Gaal’s behalf.
A failure which, if you consider the reasons why David Moyes was sacked last April, should arguably result in Van Gaal’s dismissal at the end of the season.
Should Louis van Gaal be sacked if Manchester United fail to secure a top-four finish? Who could United replace him with? Have your say in the comments below!