If there is one thing Louis van Gaal does not shy away from, it's awkwardness. The Manchester United manager has left people around him, including his own press officer, cringing with some weird and wonderful comments since arriving at Old Trafford in 2014.
Today, he provided journalists with another reason to squirm in their seats, responding to criticism from Paul Scholes with a rendition of a phrase frequently heard in school playgrounds across the country.
Van Gaal had been asked by one journalist to respond to the controversial comments from Scholes. The former Red Devils midfielder, who played over 700 games for the club and won 11 Premier League titles, claimed he would not enjoy playing for Van Gaal's "boring" team.
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It was clear that the Dutchman was not happy with the comments, suggesting Scholes was simply looking after his own interests as a pundit, ignoring those of his former club's in the process.
But he did not launch a Jose Mourinho-style tirade. Instead, he responded to Scholes in the only way he knew how: by being weird.
"You have an expression," he told reporters at a press conference (video below). "I always use Dutch expression, but you have a fantastic expression for that - ‘sticks and stones can break my bones, but names [words] will never hurt me."
And then, a long pause...
“Fantastic, fantastic expression. You do understand the meaning of this?"
“He [Scholes] doesn’t have the responsibility, so he can say everything. Why he is saying something? For the benefit of the club or the benefit of himself?"
He's got a point
Van Gaal may not be happy with Scholes, but there is no denying the BT Sport pundit has a point. Manchester United have failed to score in their last two outings, including a 120-minute stalemate against Championship outfit Middlesbrough.
While they have kept clean sheets in both those games, a lack of goals and creativity up front is starting to cause problems. Indeed, even Van Gaal himself admitted their inability to find the back of the net was a growing concern.
As a result, the Sun newspaper believe Manchester United are preparing a British record transfer bid for Tottenham striker Harry Kane. So maybe – just maybe – Scholes' comments did touch one of Van Gaal's nerves.
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