We are going to focus on the Prelim Squad!!
Yesterday evening LVG announced his prelim squad and poor little me in Oz is probably the last one to get it :-). What a breaking news story for the blog. Anyway…
Biggest surprise: no Gregory van der Wiel.
Biggest disappointments for Van Ginkel, Afellay, Vermeer and Pieters.
Van der Wiel is struggling with an injury and Paul Verhaegh takes his place. Van Ginkel and Afellay are in the “haven’t played a single minute” category and Vermeer – who is LVG’s fave goalie – could not be justified on the basis of one good cup semi finals.
So it’s Feyenoord being the so-called Royal Supplier with seven players, for now, incl the young Kongolo. PSV is second with four (Zoet and Wijnaldum are still in it) and champions Ajax brings three players to the mix.
The total prelim squad:
Goalies: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Michel Vorm (Swansea City) en Jeroen Zoet (PSV).
Defenders: Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse), Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (PSV), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Joël Veltman (Ajax), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg) en Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord).
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Leroy Fer (Norwich City), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Tonny Trindade de Vilhena (Feyenoord), Rafael van der Vaart (HSV) en Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV).
Forwards: Jean-Paul Boëtius (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (PSV), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahçe), Jeremain Lens (Dinamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Quincy Promes (FC Twente), Arjen Robben (Bayern München).
His next deadline is June 2. On June 5, the bus to Brazil is leaving….
Only 28 days to go and Louis van Gaal managed to get his mug on a little vine video viral on the next. “Zatsastoepit kwestiun!” he said to the BBC. This was not about Oranje, but about his – potentially – future employer Man United.
And we saw another little clash in the media. LVG had had a heart to heart with his defenders telling them he’d go for another defensive option (5-3-2) during practice. Joel Veltman decided to mention this to the media. And they turned it into a the sinking of the Titanic! No more Dutch Total Football????
Poor Veltman had to face the wrath of Louis in a private conversation and has learned his lesson: do not spill beans in the media!
As if playing 5-3-2 is a big deal…
We still have 30 days to go and it’s heating up nicely.
But, we are now in the zone where Louis van Gaal does his best work. In the run up to a big event. This is where he reigns supreme. This is where he hones his craft. This is where Louis shines. Chest out. Firm look. Ass in. Chin up. Loud booming voice on the grounds and in the press conference. ZIS IS A ZTUPIT KWESTIUN!!!
But, I am going to contradict myself now it seems… I think now is the time to stop ridiculing the man. Now it is time to stop watching him hoping for another stupid excessive burst of arrogance. AD column writer Sjoerd Mossou says it well.
This is the time to celebrate the fact that we have this colourful coach at the reigns before politically correct and somewhat boring and conservative Hiddink comes in.
I have always said I am not a big fan of Louis. Sure, he is a great coach but he also has a self destruct addiction.
But where we are now (30 days to go!!!), we see Louis in his greatness. This is where he starts to mould his young talents. And Louis knows we don’t have a lot of world beaters. We are not Brazil, Germany, Spain or Italy. Louis knows this.
He is a horrific diplomat, but he is a world class coach. A phenomenon, which keeps developing and re-inventing himself every day. I say, let’s enjoy him while he lasts. We have entered the most fascinating period EVER in Louis’ career.
And it only takes a couple of weeks. And it will be over with a bang. So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. It will be on your telly every day now. And he will be annoying, cocky, arrogant, hard to follow and amusing. He will speak to you in his best English (the English tabloids are in on it!) and you will hear him speak about himself in the third person.
In his column, Mossou suggests we celebrate this time. Instead of criticising him. Because whether we will be glorious or whether we crash like a weatherballoon, it will be a ride to enjoy. Unique. And we might miss Louis, once Guus has started….
And I have to say, of all the things Louis does and has done, making a wonderful team from a group of young and gifted players is his forte.
He did this with Ajax. He did lay the foundation for Frank and Pep’s Barca. He was successful with AZ and he laid the foundation for Jupp and Pep in Munich.
So, in this same line of thinking, Guus will win the Euro 2016 and Danny the World Cup 2018 thanks to grumpy ol’ Louis.
Anyway, not a lot of news yet. Or it must be that Turkish champ Dirk Kuyt has joined the camp ( Sneijder still has one important game to play with Gala to secure second spot and direct access to the CL).
Today is the last day for LVG and his 30 man prelim selection. The deadline is approaching. There will be no time for him to explain himself before he announces it as he wants to talk to all players individually first. He was being himself again on the pitch. Yelling, booming, being in Veltman’s ear (“More direct Joel, be more dominant”) and giving Martins Indi a pat on the back. It is expected that 10 out of the 20 players can stay. The rest can go on a summers holiday or joins Young Oranje. The international playing internationals will join the camp in Portugal. There is more and more agreement in the followers’ camp that Sneijder will make the cut as he has been improving a lot in Turkey and he is an ideal player to have in a 5-3-2 system, behind the two strikers. Virgil van Dijk won’t make it as he would have been called up already if Van Gaal would actually consider him.
Memphis Depay is having a lot of fun at the camps. He enjoys working with the detail oriented Van Gaal. “I am a perfectionist and so is Mr Van Gaal. I learn a lot and enjoy it when he has an eye on me. There is a lot to improve, I am sure. It doesn’t bother me as I am pretty strong in the mental department.” Asked if the 5-3-2 change would be detrimental for his chances, the PSV trickster says: “Why? I can be one of the two forwards and I can be a midfielder. I am not worried.”
Another player who is happy under Van Gaal is Darryl Janmaat. The Feyenoord full back’s eyes lit up when the 5-3-2 change was debated. “But not because of the weather,” he laughs while Oranje is again working hard on a wet pitch. “I’m guessing Brazil will be different. But I’m not complaining. I’m with Oranje, and we’re kicking a ball around. How cool…” The popular player will see his family soon for a last extended time before he boards the plane to Portugal and then Brazil. Everyone seems to be convinced of that. “Well, thanks…but I am not yet convinced, hahaha. I need to show it first. I have some stiff competition.” About the 5-3-2 system: “I played it with success under Koeman. I’m the kind of player who revels in that system. I am strong, fit and I love to go up and down the flank and defend and attack. It’s my strength I believe, so bring it on.”