Louis van Gaal stands seething in the canteen of the Aon Training Complex.

Rooney is spelling out his name with Alphabetti Spaghetti; Giggsy is applying a handful of Fixodent before tackling a corn on the cob; Mata forks through his misfiring seafood paella.

But it’s Danny Welbeck and Reece James who’re really making van Gaal fume.

They’re plonked in their specially adapted highchairs, cackling wildly as they chuck chicken nuggets at a framed picture of United legends Roy Keane and Dennis Irwin getting Niall Quinn in a headlock.

Without a word, the canny Dutchman strides over, grabs both by the bib and orders them to spend the rest of their lunch hour on the naughty step guarded by Gary Pallister menacingly wielding a catapult.

If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s wind up van Gaal.


Famously, during his time at Bayern Munich, he made his squad eat in the same space every day AND insisted they sit up straight – but poor Luca Toni obviously missed the memo, as van Gaal abruptly removed the big striker from the dining hall for slouching.

Yep, it’s safe to say the Man United gaffer takes this discipline malarkey seriously.

Glimpses of his flammable personality could be seen during the recent pre-season trip to the US, as he whined about the distances his team had to travel. This was no doubt exacerbated by the constant “are we there yet” screams from Welbeck and James at the back of the plane.

However, despite a penchant for blowing up, his pedigree has never been in doubt.

He’s been dubbed the anti-David Moyes, hell-bent on bringing success back to a club still licking its wounds in the wake of its most successful manager – Sir Alex Ferguson – finally spitting out his chewing gum.

Mehmet Scholl has called van Gaal a “genius” and the “best he’s ever seen” on the training ground – and although difficult spells at Bayern and Barca arguably sullied his reputation, it’s clear he’s hungry to build another footballing dynasty in Manchester.

While the current crop of United players will undoubtedly need to adapt, especially in the canteen, van Gaal’s explosive temperament should provide the media with plenty of ammo in his first season in charge of the world’s richest club.

Welcome aboard, Louis, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride …