Manchester United have a perfect record ever since Louis van Gaal told them to get horny.
"We have to keep the ball better and we have to move the ball quicker – that’s always what we have to do. Desire … it is a great word. I often use the word ‘horny’ with my players," he said before United's 5-1 victory against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.
Van Gaal's words seem to have aroused United from its semi-permanent state of impotence. These randy Red Devils just can't stop scoring. On Sunday, United gave Arsenal's title hopes a cold shower, spanking the Gunners by a score of 3-2, despite not having Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial or Chris Smalling in the lineup. With those three (and many others) laid up, United faced a stiff challenge against an Arsenal side that had beaten them worse than Pee Wee Herman at an adult theater. United had to use Michael Carrick at center-half while handing Premier League debuts to barely-out-of-puberty players like Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and James Weir. Rashford really rose to the occasion, bagging a beautiful brace to go along with his two against Midtjylland. Ander Herrera got a little sumthin' sumthin' of his own, scoring the game-winner off of a counterattack.
Maybe van Gaal has finally figured out a way to get through to his players. After all, the average age of the starting XI was a shade under 25 while the average age of the 11 players that finished the match was about 24. There were two 18 year-olds on the team sheet against Arsenal, along with three 20 year-olds, a 21 year-old and two 22 year-olds. No wonder the "let's get horny" approach seems to have gotten through. These kids are probably always horny! Throw in Wayne Rooney, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini and Ryan Giggs, as well as incidents like this and this, and maybe van Gaal knew something about how to properly motivate his players.
Van Gaal also broke his touchline virginity as he got out of his chair and yelled at the fourth official. Van Gaal was steamed about the refs not penalizing Arsenal's diving, so he did his impersonation of Alexis Sanchez and went down like - okay, maybe this column has had a few too many sex euphemisms already. Could it be a turning point for United as it looks to salvage its season? If not, at least we'll be left with this image from the van Gaal era: