Ever wonder what Louis van Gaal”s been scribbling on the sideline? Letters to Donald Trump, of course. Eight by Eight has exclusively obtained the secret correspondence between Trump and the embattled Dutch manager.


Dear The Donald,

I write from what Americans call “the dugout.” Everyone sees me scribbling, no one, not even Giggsy, knows what I write. It is the halfway point, for us both, of this pestilent season. The rain clouds gather over the Stretford End, Rooney is next to me munching on a chocolate chip cookie (from the Dutch, by the way, koekie). I wish to god I was back in Barcelona where the palm trees rocked gently against an opal sky, and the sunburned cupolas of Gaudi’s Basilica rivaled even the Catedral Messi for power and beauty. Help me, Obi-Donald, for you are ahead in all the polls, you’re my only hope.

Dear Van Gaal, (that’s not a Moslem name is it?) Kidding! I love Moslems! I love Manchester. It’s my favorite part of Scotland. I have a golf course there. No Moslems! Kidding! Omar Sharif, rest in peace, played bridge, almost as boring as golf. Here’s what you need to do. You’re online casino gonna build a wall. Big defensive wall. And you know who’s gonna pay for it? Abramovich! Why? Because he’s smarter than us. Not me, but everyone else. He does deals. I do deals. He built that wall in Berlin. I love Berlin! My grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf, came from Germany. Love Germans! Here’s your back four: Shaqiri, Mahrez, Dyer, Lennon. Sound odd? Because they’re all Moslems right? You’re shaking your head? Have you seen the birth certificates? Huge wall! Trust me Abramovich will pay for it. I guarantee you. We’re one-on-one in a room, me Putin, and Abramovich. He’ll pay!

Donaldski, (Putin said that would be fine) Your scheme is wilder than Fellaini’s hair. But you cheer me up! I’ve got Bobby Charlton scowling in the stands, Sir Alex hovering like Hamlet’s ghost and Giggsy slipping whoopee cushions with Ted Cruz’s face on my seat at half time. Hit me with your rhythm stick! Help me return my boys in red to the glories of yesteryear.

Dear Van Gaal,

Look around you. Who are your rivals? Wenger: a loser, low energy. Comes 4th every year. 4th! That’s four below first.  And French. Come on! Give me a break. Remember Reagan? Freedom Fries. But what they did in Paris? Horrible. Won”t happen when I’m President. I love the French. Ranieri? They call him the Tinker Man. I call him the Stinker Man!  Big loser. Almost went down. Now he’s up. Won”t last. Pellegrini? Should have stuck with the sparkling water. Good business. Everyone needs water. I love water! But is he Italian or Chilean? No one knows! I’m just saying. Works for the Sheikhs. Love the Sheikhs. Trump Tower, best tenants.  Pochettino? Speaks Spanish. Can’t understand a word he says. Lots of Belgians on his team. And their crowd! Do you hear what they chant? “Allah Akhbar.” By the way, where are the “Nether” lands? Sounds disgusting. I love women!

Jonathan Wilson has been a professor at Tufts University for thirty years. He is the author of eight books, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, among other magazines and journals.

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