After the Dutch hockey women showed Oranje how it’s done ( congrats with Gold, the men got silver…lost against Germany…) it is almost time for us to forget about the Olympics and focus fully on football again.
Due to those games in London, Louis’ press conference did not get headlines in Holland, although it should have…
The man who made it all “about him” when he was team manager in 2000-2012 and who did not do himself huge favours with stints at Bayern Munich and (almost) Ajax most recently, showed himself from his worst side, yet again.
When Louis was appointed at Ajax as Technical Director, back in the mid 00s, he read out a poem to the press. This time around, he made everyone believe he would do so again. Thinking that the assorted press would be breathless, he then quickly said he did NOT have a poem, as the KNVB “is a tougher employer than Ajax”. A silly comment to make. It’s not a joke, as it is not funny. It’s not a wisecrack, as it has no profound message or ironic depth or whatever. It was embarrassing really. The words of a man who really thinks that everything he says is important. It does not bode well.
When, during the press conference, a reporter asked him about the future “home” of Oranje ( Van Gaal changed it during his first tenure from Noordwijk to Hoenderlo… Advocaat changed it back to Noordwijk in 2002…), he immediately responded with cynicism.
One has to wonder… If that question invites a biting response, we are in for quite a ride…
But…as promised, I will remain positive…
Louis also presented his team to the media. Danny Blind is Louis’ first right hand man (“Danny knows every talent in Holland”) while Patrick Kluivert is picked as the second assistant. Frans Hoek will be Oranje’s keeper’s coach. Van Gaal worked with Hoek at Ajax and Barcelona before. Edward Metgod is added to the group as scout, although Ron Spelbos will remain the head scout. Van Gaal also added physiology coach Jos van Dijk to the team and computer analist Max Reckers. Reckers worked with Van Gaal before at AZ and at Bayern.
Hans Jorritsma remains the team manager and Kees Jansma stays on as press manager.
Van Gaal wanted to add Gio van Bronckhorst to the mix, but the former skipper can’t combine the job with his assistant role at Feyenoord ( Gio is also coach of Feyenoord’s C youth team).
His squad for Belgium does have some surprises. The new Oranje coach did not pick Vernon Anita, Jordy Clasie or Ola John, but instead chose Bas Dost, Martins Indi and Ricardo van Rhijn. Schaars, Vlaar, Boulahrouz and Luuk de Jong are also not present in the squad. Van Gaal picked 24 instead of 23 players. “I did this as not all key players are match fit. Van der Vaart and Van Persie have hardly player for instance. I have invited them as they are key players, normally, but in the future I will not select players lacking match fitness.”
De Vrij and Martins Indi (“He played impressive against Dynamo Kiev”) replace Vlaar and Boulahrouz while Emanuelson is back as well to replace Bouma. Bas Dost replaces Luuk de Jong and Lens seems to be an extra striker in case Van Persie can’t play. Maher is in the squad in place of Van Bommel.
Van Gaal has not yet picked a new skipper. With Van Bommel no longer part of the Oranje squad, a new leader is needed but Van Gaal won’t select a name, just like that. “The skipper needs to have a good chemistry with me in terms of vision and philosophy. This is really important to me.”