LVG's sexy talk and unsexy football not United's style, says Neil Humphreys
LVG talks dirty, but his football isn't sexy enough for United
When Louis van Gaal glares at a TV reporter, his blazing eyes promise car-crash viewing.
Through the cracks of our fingers, we anticipate that horrific moment, the point of impact, unable to watch, but unable to turn away.
And when it happens, the shock confuses the eye and scrambles the brain, leaving only dazed questions.
Did he just pull a reporter's hair? Did he just blurt out "sex masochism" to a family audience? Did he really use "sex masochism" to justify another elbow from the insufferable Marouane Fellaini?
Can this man really keep his job as both manager and figurehead at the world's most popular sporting franchise?
For a club previously concerned with Jose Mourinho's uncouth behaviour, Manchester United's dithering directors have granted van Gaal considerable latitude when it comes to making crass, sordid comments.
Van Gaal has always walked a fine line between arrogance and belligerence. He doesn't suffer fools gladly, sharing a leadership trait with the best managers, including Sir Alex Ferguson.
But this was beyond the pale.
At a club dinner last season, van Gaal's drunken tirade actually boosted his popularity among fans and a media grateful to have such a cartoonish character.
But the rants are turning darker and uglier.
The Dutchman started off as the entertaining uncle at a family dinner, toasting the relatives and doing his best Elvis impression, but has since spiralled into the droopy-eyed, slurring drunk-making vulgar sexual references.
Of course, United are not unfamiliar with unapologetic bullies in the dugout.
Ferguson conducted his press conferences at the training ground in his slippers, presenting an image of a paternal man welcoming guests into his cosy home.
But it was a false one. He abused, intimidated and ejected anyone who didn't fall into line.
But he never pulled a reporter's hair. Nor did he introduce "sex masochism" into a discussion about United's leading elbow enthusiast.
Most of all, he won lots of stuff, often by altering a game's complexion, in real time.
That remains van Gaal's biggest failing. In crucial games, he just cannot help himself. He still plays not to lose.
Against Leicester City, United stepped out with a spring in the step, a near-full complement of players, the promise of an FA Cup final date and only one league defeat since March 6. They had won six out of their last seven games.
Leicester were still without Jamie Vardy and finished the game with 10 men as the title jitters stifled their counter-attacking surges. The tension was palpable. The Foxes were there for the talking.
IN FERGIE'S TIME
In similar circumstances, Ferguson was known to throw out four forwards in the final, frenetic stages. Anyone with a United jersey and an eye for goal was unleashed and pushed towards the opposing box.
Against the Foxes, United finished the game as they started, with one striker.
Van Gaal made three changes as Leicester's neat patchwork of defensive stalwarts and midfield terriers frayed around the edges.
But they were like-for-like substitutions. Juan Mata replaced Jesse Lingard. Ander Herrera took over from the afro with elbows and Memphis Depay came on for Marcus Rashford, allowing Anthony Martial to finish the game up front.
Leicester were gently probed rather than pummelled.
Van Gaal's dogma dominated once more. His loose 4-1-4-1 wasn't really altered, suggesting the Dutchman's tactics could not be improved further. It wasn't his system, but the players.
His subsequent interviews hinted at his frustration. His players didn't follow his instructions, didn't quite do as they were told.
But van Gaal's innate caution straitjacketed United.
Despite Leicester flagging in the latter stages, van Gaal didn't take any unnecessary risks.
United's blistering goal hinted at their attacking promise, but their full-backs withdrew. The defence held its line. Van Gaal played for a draw that did little for his Champions League aspirations.
The hair pulling and sex talk do not help his cause, but his inherent conservatism will prove to be his undoing in the end.
Van Gaal deserves credit for ushering in Martial, Rashford and Lingard, while handing debuts to Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela, among others.
But his bold decision to blood youngsters only makes his tactical restraint all the more frustrating.
When a win was required against 10 tiring men, United settled for a point. That's the van Gaal way, but not the United way.
It's an awkward clash of ideologies between coach and club, leaving the Dutchman's position untenable.
He likes to talk a sexy game, but his players are rarely allowed to play one.