Louis van Gaal’s two years as Manchester United manager involved some wild press conferences.
One of which in 2016 involved him going on a seriously strange rant about hair pulling, following an incident on Marouane Fellaini against Leicester.
And in the fiery 2-2 stalemate between Chelsea and Tottenham on Sunday, Spurs’ Cristian Romero resorted to the dark arts of hair pulling against Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella.
A heated contest saw spats between each dugout on the touchline during the game, questionable refereeing decisions and heavy challenges flying in, as Tottenham snatched a draw at the death.
Chelsea dominated the first half and led at half-time thanks to Kalidou Koulibaly’s volley, but Spurs levelled the game controversially through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg following a foul on Kai Havertz that wasn’t given.
Reece James restored Chelsea’s lead after 77 minutes, but then came the injury time equaliser and, more importantly, the hair pulling incident between Romero and Cucurella.
With Ivan Perisic standing over a corner at the death, Cristian Romero was caught yanking Cucurella down by his abundance of hair, moments before Harry Kane headed in for 2-2.
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As a result, many believe Tottenham’s equaliser shouldn’t have stood, and instead that Romero should’ve been sent off for violent conduct.
Ask Van Gaal and he’d probably echo the same thoughts. However, both he and Fellaini weren’t so fortunate in 2016, during United’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City, which he made clear with one of the most bizarre post-match interviews we’ll ever see.
The clip of Van Gaal’s odd interview, in which he discusses ‘sex masochisms’ and hair pulling in detail, has gone viral following Romero’s hair pull on Cucurella. And we can understand why – it’s absolutely brilliant.
Check it out below.
WATCH: Van Gaal’s bizarre hair pulling rant
He is absolutely nuts. One of the greatest characters the Premier League will ever see, that’s for sure.
Discussing the incident that saw Robert Huth pull on Fellaini’s hair, Van Gaal explained to the interviewer that he ‘would react also’ if his hair was pulled, and proceeded to reach behind the camera and actually pull on his hair.
But it gets even better. The Dutchman then expands on his theory of how wrong it is to see hair pulling in the game, saying that ‘it’s not in the books’ before a brief pause. He then continues by saying hair pulling is allowed ‘only in sex masochism, then it is allowed’.
Thanks for that, Louis. A completely reasonable and relevant parallel to draw.
The hair pulling actually came about because Fellaini was caught elbowing Huth earlier on in the game, but wasn’t punished for his actions, just as Romero wasn’t punished for the hair pulling.
Van Gaal’s time at United was mixed. His first season saw him take them back into the top four and his second ended with the Red Devils lifting the FA Cup, but he was dismissed in 2016 as they failed to finish in the Champions League positions, and were regularly criticised for their style of play.
In between the periods of seriously dull football, though, the Dutch manager earned a reputation as a character for his personality on the touchline and in the media, giving us a number of hilarious moments during his two year tenure.
Referee Anthony Taylor was criticised for his decision making during Chelsea’s draw with Tottenham, with both him and VAR failing to pick up on key incidents.
Perhaps Romero ought to save the hair pulling for the bedroom next time, to be on the safe side.