Back in July, Louis van Gaal called Chris Smalling “Mike” during a press conference. With Smalling sitting right next to him. The name stuck for Smalling, who happened to speak about it a few weeks ago.
From the Guardian:
“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.”
Well, Van Gaal has only gone and done it again, this time after Man United’s 1–0 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions. But this time, he’s gone for the more formal “Michael.”
“David De Gea saved us,” Van Gaal said, getting his goalkeeper’s name right. “And after that, Michael Smalling saved us.”
At this point, Smalling should probably just change his name. It’s the only way now.