Football

LVG just can't get his player's name right

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal dropped a clanger after his team’s narrow 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow by getting Chris Smalling’s name wrong again.

Van Gaal made the mistake of calling the defender “Mike Smalling” while sat alongside him at a press conference in San Jose during United’s pre-season tour in July.

And it seems the United manager is still to learn the centre back’s proper name.

After a fine stop from David de Gea in the match against CSKA, the former Fulham player saved the Red Devils with a goal-line clearance from Seydou Doumbia’s follow-up.

But Van Gaal credited “Michael Smalling” with the key intervention in his post-match press conference, rather than Chris.

The United manager said: “David de Gea saved us and after that Michael Smalling has saved us.”

Smalling recently spoke about the case of mistaken identity for the first time.

“The players don’t call me Mike, but a lot of the fans do,” Smalling said with a smile after United’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City last month.

“Even if you go to Russia or wherever, it’s ‘Mike! Mike! Mike!’

“It’s going to stick with me forever, that one.”

Sources: PA Sport, Sky Sport

louis van gaalManchester Unitedchris smallingUncategorisedCSKA MoscowChampions League