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Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands, never two without three

Louis van Gaal in training. OLAF KRAAK / AFP

Louis van Gaal is having a successful start to his third term with the Dutch team.

Like my players at the time, my wife also has the right to live with Louis van Gaal“. In 2019, the Dutch technician spoke of him in the 3rd person to formalize his retirement. A short respite since the former coach of FC Barcelona honors his third term at the head of the Netherlands since last August. A typical Dutch specialty to trust their former coaches, evidenced by the multiple passages of Rinus Michels and Dick Advocaat on the bench of the Batavians. For his comeback as coach, Louis van Gaal leaves no one indifferent, whether on or off the field.

Ambitions… and outspokenness à la van Gaal

After a successful stint with the Dutch selection between 2012 and 2014, crowned with a fine third place at the 2014 World Cup, Louis Van Gaal returned by popular demand. Following the poor performance of the Dutch at Euro 2020, eliminated in the round of 16 against the Czech Republic, supporters and influential Dutch media mobilized to convince the Federation to recall him. As soon as he arrived, the former FC Barcelona coach made an impression. “I think that if I had been in the place of the Dutch Federation, I would have asked for it. Who else could have taken this coaching job?»

A fanfare introduction that fits perfectly with the particular character of the Dutch technician. After having openly castigated the players of the selection during the Euro, comparing them to “a bunch of glorified stars who did nothing“Louis van Gaal did Louis van Gaal in a press conference by displaying his ambitions at the head of the Batavians.

My personal goal is to become world champion and I want to pass that on to my players. (…) I’m not doing it for myself but I’m doing it to help Dutch football. I have always done everything to help Dutch football.»

An introduction which has the merit of setting the tone and causing ink to flow within the various sports newsrooms. Praised by the Dutch public for his first successful steps, Louis van Gaal has more difficulties with the media body, especially when it directly concerns his tactical choices. Asked about the use of a system with five defenders, the main interested party did not mince his words to answer questions from a journalist.

I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re just a journalist, and you want to talk about your vision, but in football you have no vision, in my opinion. For the newspaper yes, but not for football. In 5-3-2 or 5-2-3, you can attack in an incredible way and Chelsea prove it systematically with different teams.If van Gaal hosts the press conferences, his team has also been performing on the green rectangle since his induction.

Attacking and spectacular football

A fine tactician, Louis van Gaal has been a major influence for many renowned coaches like Pep Guardiola. Defender of a football turned towards the offensive, the Dutchman did not miss his return with the Dutch selection.

Four successes and a draw to the credit of the former Manchester United coach. In the space of five games, Frenkie De Jong’s teammates have found the net 18 times and conceded only 3 goals. The attacking recital offered against Turkey (6-1) perfectly illustrates the potential of the Dutch selection.

First in Pool G, with the best attack and defense of the group, the Netherlands can validate their ticket for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the event of success against Montenegro this Saturday and a poor performance by the Norwegians against Latvia . It would be a first on the path taken by van Gaal in his quest to triumph at the World Cup. A goal that will be strongly linked to the performance of its major player, Memphis Depay.

The reunion with Memphis Depay

In 2013, during his second stint at the head of the Batavians, Louis van Gaal called on Memphis Depay for the qualifications for the 2014 World Cup. A few months later, the young prodigy of PSV pulled out of the game at the World Cup , being one of the nominees for the title of best young player of the competition, finally awarded to Paul Pogba. In the process, Depay is transferred to Manchester United, the new club of a certain .. Louis van Gaal. A missed experience for the player who rebounds in Lyon. The coach is thanked after two seasons, and announces the end of his career in 2019. Contrasting adventures which allow them to find each other better today. Under the leadership of Louis van Gaal, Memphis Depay is in Olympic form with the Oranje.

Top scorer in European qualifying for the 2022 World Cup with nine goals, the Dutch number 10 is also the top assist provider with six goals. Author of 7 goals since the arrival of the former Barça technician, Depay is the keystone of the Van Gaal system. A 27-year-old player, who has reached maturity, author of high-flying performances that seduce his coach. “Memphis was the best player (against Montenegro) regardless of the distance he covered, which was 11 kilometers I believe. Few attackers do“. This Saturday, the striker who exceeded Johan Cruyff’s goal record (35 against 33) in selection will want to put his team in orbit by guiding his team to a victory against Montenegro.



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