Dutch newspaper releases 10 tips on how to interview Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal
Everybody knows that Louis Van Gaal is not one to mince words and has often had fiery exchanges with reporters all over the world but the English press need not worry as their Dutch counterparts have released a list of 10 tips on how to interview the Dutchman.
The list is quite amusing to say the least, but it will hopefully help reporters who are undoubtedly dreading interviewing Van Gaal when he arrives in England to take charge of Manchester United.
The tips conjured by NRC are as follows:
1. Be prepared for any possible mood. Contrary to many other managers, whether the match is won, drawn or lost is no indication whatsoever of Van Gaal’s mood.
2. Start neutral. Begin with a question about the match just played. “How did your team do?” or “What did you think?” will suffice. “You must be very disappointed” will not. That is because the match you saw and the match he saw can be very different ones.
3. Don’t introduce yourself. Or else he’ll know your name, remember it and use it against you.
4. Stay on topic. If the interview’s about the game, you talk about the game. Not about the next game, transfer rumours or whatever happened on the training pitch.
5. It’s his language now, not yours. Mr. Van Gaal will come up with new additions to the Oxford Dictionary. Problems? It is not Mr. Van Gaal who has trouble speaking English, it is you, for not going along with his obviously much better interpretation of it.
6. Try to avoid the meta-interview. An interview with Mr. Van Gaal will almost inevitably wind up being an interview about the interview, or more specifically, him asking questions about your questions. Quickly switch back to the studio, or it will end up on YouTube.
7. Don’t repeat the question. Never mind – you will fail at this. You won’t fool him, even if you think your follow-up question is a cleverly rephrased, well disguised one. He’ll say: “I just told you”. This is inevitable.
8. Keep on your toes. At some point, you will think Mr. Van Gaal is joking. Sure, he does it with a straight face, but he’s joking, he must be. He’s mocking you. Or is he really this angry about this little thing you just said? No – it can’t be.
9. Distinguish fact from opinion. This is hard, as only Mr. Van Gaal can determine which are facts and which are opinions. Which team was disadvantaged by the ref, or which team should have won based on the number of chances? He, and only he, will have the answer. These are the facts. Your facts are opinions.
10. Stay under three minutes. Try to get everything you need within that window. After that, the chances of hitting a conversational speed bump will statistically rise. You’ll start wandering into other realms of conversation (how about this or that rumour, Mr. Van Gaal?), or you will ask a question a second time, or he will say you did. After that, you’re on your own. Good luck, mate.
Well now that the list is out in the open lets hope the English reporters get through their interviews without being insulted by Mr. Van Gaal.