Louis van Gaal is ready

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.”

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  1. Let’s stay positive!

    I think the list LvG gave is quite encouraging. It shows that he wants to add new blood to the squad. Sure Clasie didn’t made the cut, however I’m sure he will in a foreseeable future. I’m very excited about Martins Indi and De Vrij. I really hope these guy (and all youngsters) will really profit from this chance and show they are ready for Oranje.

    I’m betting a little coin on Sneijder too for the skipper role.

  2. the problem with Wes for skipper is that he sometimes, is out of the spirit of the game for long periods of time.

    He can have a very intense half and then he could be absent for another half… That does not bode well for skipper.

    If Wes could have 90 consistent minutes the EK2012 tournament wouldn’t turn like that … Not that he is the one at fault but he is clearly the axis for all the offensive and if he is mentally not there…

    LVG might temporarily leave the armband to VdV till he decides who’s the new captain…


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      1. overmars went to bucharest last weekend to see barca and had a meeting with zubizarreta. it seems – at least sport.es and el mundo deportivo say – ajax are interested in several young barca players. first they wanted muniesa (but now he’s out for at least 6 months),now it seems ajax would have for a 1 or 2 year loan 2 of them: fontas,tello,sergi roberto,jonathan dos santos.

  4. I think Van Gaal will select the captain from Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, Van Persie and Heitinga. I wonder if Stek or Strootman can be captain material? I like the captain to be cool, calm, inspirational. My vote is for Sneijder but he needs to be much better.
    If Anita, Ola John, Clasie and Luuk De Jong proves with their performance, I hope they will be called up to replace older players. I don’t understand why LVG needs to have both Lens and Dost in addition to Van Persie and Hunter. Either Lens or Dost, and the other spot should go to one of Anita, Ola John or Clasie.

    1. Strootman is destined to be the future captain and leader of the Oranje. Maybe even as soon as WK2014… I hope… He is one of the biggest talents we ever had. I hope Bommel helps him to develop further.

      Steks is a very good choice too (for now).

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  6. We can only hope for the best and see how LvG sets up the side against Belgium. It’s just a friendly but hopefully we get a (good) taste of things to come.

  7. Well, guys, we will find out what LVG thinks this Wednesday… should be interesting.

    The first thing we already know is that his selection is not very different than BvM (considering that EK2012 has already happened therefore even BvM would have made a couple of changes).

    We are going to find out if 4-2-3-1 with two holdings is still the system (my guess? yes) …

    So I am very anxious …

    1. Not news, just a rumor so far…

      Here is the translation (a la google):
      The player of PSV Eindhoven, who, already in the past months, had come under fire of the Rossoneri, is back in the good graces of the men in via Turati. Adriano Galliani, in particular, have given rise to several surveys with the Dutch team, for which the midfielder is close to eight million. The contract Wijnaldum, who was advised by Clarence Seedorf AC Milan, is due to expire in three years, which means that one can not hope for too low a price.
      Midfielder very useful is still young – he was born on 11 November 1990 in Rotterdam – Georginio is already part of the national team orange, because of its versatility that allows it to be used either as a midfielder, outside right or left wing. Featuring a very powerful shot and excellent speed in one-on-one duels, is notable for being a good head colpitore despite the height is not excessive. Don Balon two years ago on the list of the best players born from 1989 onwards.
      The landing at Milan would allow the team to Massimiliano Allegri to take a significant leap forward, and especially the coach can count on a more massive turnover. Rossoneri, Wijnaldum find itself Urby Emanuelson, his former teammate at the time of the National under 21, and should take the place of his compatriot Mark Van Bommel, for which, however, has characteristics of incontrista less evident, as basa very of his play on the technique, as well as speed.

  8. Anita to Newcztle? Good move for him, not so good for Ajax. They made their push to to the title last year when they stopped seeing him as a lb and moved him to central midfield. He did so many things: dropping back to push the ball out of the defense, recovering the ball in the midfield, supporting the central defenders; making runs out of the midfield. I don’t know that they have a built in replacement.

    Anyone see the AZ match yeaterday? The Ajax sub Tobias Sana looks like he’ll be handful for anyone.

  9. @Ferenc: thanks for your congrats! 🙂 Mexico’s win was well deserved and it shows how the market is crazy! I mean how can Lucas, Neymar, Oscar, etc can cost so much?.

    I am very proud, it is a historic moment for my nation. Mexican players cost half or even less of what the Brazilians do but they won!!!.

  10. Kluivert will be the link between players and coach. He’ll be a motivator, conciliator and will be key for Dutch success.

    He has just said RVP and Huntelaar will have to show their worth all over again and said LVG will take into account match fitness but also their desire to play. (I like that)

  11. Miguel – Mexico wanted it more and just shows a Champion Team will always beat a team of Champions. I told everyone to back Mexico – Good Job !!

    Re: van Gaal – like Jan have to support him now but lets see what he comes up with. He wont take any crap from players and will work out what clicks and what doesnt.
    Looking forward to the next few games but dont think too many changes will come. Hopefully the system changes. 4-3-3 ?

  12. I think LvG will start with 4-3-3, like he did with Ajax in 1995. Look at his assistants, Blind and Kluivert are part of his team. What they need is someone like Jari Litmanen to help attack, and someone like Frank Rijkaard to help defense.

  13. IMO, defense needs the most focus. Our defensive performance and confidence was truly alarming in almost all the games we played in 2012. We need an assistant coach who is a defensive specialist to work out the problems. We also need to quickly transition away from Heitinga and Mathijsen.

  14. All righty, here comes the last 10 match results for NED vs BEL:

    29.05.04 vrnd NED – BEL 0-1
    20.08.03 vrnd BEL – NED 1-1
    29.03.00 vrnd BEL – NED 2-2
    04.09.99 vrnd NED – BEL 5-5
    13.06.98 WK98 NED – BEL 0-0
    06.09.97 WK-kw NED – BEL 3-1
    14.12.96 WK-kw BEL – NED 0-3
    25.06.94 WK94 BEL – NED 1-0
    09.09.87 vrnd NED – BEL 0-0
    20.11.85 WK-kw NED – BEL 2-1


    vrnd: friendly
    WK98: World Cup 1998
    WK-kw: World Cup Qualifier

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