Van Gaal presents… The Van Gaal show!

In typical form, Louis van Gaal was presented at the KNVB centre in Zeist, along with his staff.

As per usual, he couldn’t help but show his bluster. “I am not doing this for me. I am doing this to give back to Dutch football. Because, when I am sitting on my sofa and looking at what is going on, I too would not know which coach to call. Other than myself. So, I decided I am the best man for the job.”

KNVB Technical Director Nico-Jan Hoogma mumbled charisma-less into the mic, telling everyone that due to the very short prep time for the three September matches, they wanted someone who could make something out of this squad in no time. Someone with the experience to do it and with the authority to do it. This profile seemingly was made for Louis van Gaal.

When Louis started to say that usually, his strength lies in the gelling of a team over weeks of preparation, the Telegraaf immediately pounced: “Ah, so you are not the right man for the job! Nico Jan Hoogma said they picked you because there wasn’t a lot of time, and you say you usually need a lot of time. You’re the wrong man for the job?”

Van Gaal has a love-hate relationship with De Telegraaf (the Ajax newspaper) and definitely with Valentijn Driessen, the chief editor sports. Probably more a hate-hate relationship.

Louis went on to say that thanks to Zoom and Teams, he could do his usual introduction talks with the players now, instead of in trainings camp. He had spoken to 6 players already (Van Dijk, Memphis, Wijnaldum, Blind, De Vrij, Frenkie are names mentioned, but not confirmed) and Van Gaal could say that they were all “more than enthusiastic about him” (I am not sure what that means… does that mean Virgil was jumping up and down on the coach, in Tom Cruise style?) and that some players had told him they would like to have more clarity… Somehow Van Gaal thinks he is the man to give this and apparently gives a backstab to Frank de Boer…

When asked about the system, he said that 1-5-3-2 or 1-3-4-3 was the best system to play in, but he also confided that the players prefer the 1-4-3-3 (he always mentions the goalie as well). And he said: I always listen to the players.

“But to play 1-4-3-3 you need a strong goalie and good wingers. We don’t have that now. So when I look at our strength and the strength/weaknesses of our opponents, I might have to make a different choice.”

He lamented the fact that hardly any player has played for the full 90 minutes, with Malen a bad example of a player who played 40 mins in one game and 20 mins in another. He will select the team which has the best fitness, so players who fail to make minutes will not play.

When asked about vaccinations, he said he would respect the law. He will not force people to get vaccinated but from a team perspective, he does believe it’s best if players would. The Qatar question came up and he became the old Louis: “Why are you asking me this? Do you believe I might be ok with that situation? Why do you want my opinion? You asked Koeman, De Boer now me? Why?”

He didn’t think the players should generate any actions or statements. “I don’t believe we should use the players for this. They didn’t pick Qatar. It’s the Federations and the politicians who need to address this. Obviously, I can’t condone what happened there, but my role is to manage the National Team.”

Asked what he would do or say if the players do want to make a statement: “I will always listen to them. And if I think it’s appropriate and if the whole squad is behind it, I will condone it.”

Van Gaal also had to answer questions about his infamous speech to wave out the Dutch women team to the Olympics, where he said that “a bunch of so-called stars weren’t able to impress” putting his emphasis on the team interest, over individual interests. When grilled, he responded surprised: “Oh? Did you believe I meant the Dutch team? Why? I didn’t say that? I was referring to the French and the Portuguese. They have a team full of celebrities, but they didn’t perform. Oranje went out due to details. A chance missed, a bounce too many, a pass not accurate… And that was it. Football is decided on details. But my comment about the stars not performing, that was not about the Dutch. You are making these assumptions.”

Asked about his ambitions: “I want to win the World Cup. It is that simple. But it will be hard. I mean, it’s a gamble for me. And I don’t even wanted this for me. I was retired. But who else can do it? You tell me? But sure, today I am the great coach. I have a lot of fans and people who follow me, but when we lose vs Norway, and we could, than I’m suddenly a loser. That is how it works.”

Wesley Sneijder thinks the 3rd stint for Van Gaal will be a failure. “I don’t think he can do it. He really needs months with a group to get them to play like he wants. He simply doesn’t have the time and I don’t think he can cope with it. Also, he said all players applauded his signing? Yeah right! Of course, none of them will say otherwise. What do you expect? And he had an hour long talk with the players? Well, I can tell you that he has been the one talking for 50 minutes. I really hope it works but I fear that first week of 3 games will be a disaster.”

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  1. Wesly sneijder seems still bitter on LVG….Second time LVG took over,he jsut started with WCQs as today…Not much preparations or planning…He just removed some guys and went with new ones and he got us 100 percent to qualify…if we fail to wcq I THINK THE CLOWN FDB is teh reason,to loose against a turkey team….guys like memphis ,Virgil they all wants to win a will be sad state of affairs if we dont make from this weak group…

  2. Kevin Diks now has three goals in the europa qualification for FC Copenhagen . scored the opener (2-1) vs Sivasspor. I know he wont be lookd playing in Denmark but playing in Europa will definitely increase his stakes in the transfer market plus being scouted as well.

    karsdorp also played full 90 for Roma. 2-1 vs Trabzonspor. why he is not in the NT squad is anyone’s guess. I can also confirm he is the most fittest dfender right now given what van gaal said selecting players who ready and fit. Mourinho is doing a good project at Roma. Tammy Abraham being the last high profile signing with another very underrated striker in serie A Eldor Shomurodov. watch out for this guy in Serie A

      1. he had torrid time containing Nigerian Anthony Nwakaeme though and was caught cold on few occasions. Lucky it went un punished but he played is heart out running back and forward. this is the reason why I say he is in good condition fitness wise..

  3. I think karsdorp case is that LVG prefers Rensch and his silky dribbling and movements at RB…Rensch is deadly on attack…While timebr is robust on right wing..Both has different purpose..Timber allows LVG to play him at DM,and RCB…Timber is such a talent..
    right backs spots are pretty okay with Rensch,karsdorp,Timber,kevin diks and ki jan hoover…We have luxuray there..Not forgetting lustshreal Geetruida..
    We need a qulaity LB,i knopw Tyrell is prettey good ..there is battle for second spot..Sinkgraven Vs blind ,Jetro vs Terence kongolo….kongolo is injured,Jtero needs minutes So its blind and malacia now..Anywaythese upgrades in wing backs will have huge impact on next 3 games..

  4. LVG says we dont have wingers..But how the hell he can omit Sinistera and Danjuma..Both are in red hot form and fit….Gakpo,Sinistera,Memphis,Malen,Danjuma…is a luxuary…..Berghuis is over rated and wasteful…i feel..he had no impact on NT…

    1. Luis Sinisterra is colombian my friend. Dont think neither Rensch or Timber is better than Kardorp going forward and with the quality of crossing. Timber is composed but too stiff for a wing back. Rensch, havent seen him much or what has he done to get a call up. As usually its just assumptions. Only time will tell if this was another mistake by Van gaal

      1. You go back to wijndal when he was playing with idrissi at AZ. Both were devasting on the flanks and became a deadly duo that season . Since the depature of idrissi he kind of quiten down and the same in NT when big things were expected from him. This is why its hard to predict players playing in eredivisie and how well they can transition into NT.

        Even in Rensch’s case, he hasnt even proven anything at JO level and yet they think he can do I always say, when you play for Ajax, the benefit of doubt factor is nothing new. Lets see where does this go.

      2. i heard sinisterra can dutch passport and play for NT..Anyway forget about sinisterra….Rensch and winjdal has qualituy difference..Winjdal has poor cross not as good as dribbler compared to rensch…part number 1.winjdal vision and connncetivity with team mates are really poor..thats part number 2..Rensch combine with any one ,Antony ,neres,timber anyone not just iridissi….Winjdal has given enough chances he is less than mediocre player we should not waste time on him..Geetruida can play LB…The quality difference between winjdal and rensch is day and night….that will play the key part…Quality of Jetro williams is huge compared to winjdal…i am sure LVG wont take him anytime soon…b/W…timber has better ball control and passing range than Dumfries…He can defend better than Dumfries..Timber is assest to team…Top quality player..who can play the ball..

        1. Again you keep saying things which hasn’t eventuated yet. Any games in particular. Transition in NT is not easy unless you are exceptional and proven that at certain level like De ligt and Frenkie. Im not saying Rensch is a bad player but again what has Rensch proven to get the call up. Tell me how many games or which game in particular where he surpassed expectation. Like I said its all assumptions and benefit of doubt.

          1. Rensch plays for best club in Netherlands,He is Regular,He is stunningly good at going forward…you will see that in up coming games.Rensch played at CL,faced top quality players..i think thats enough..
            Winjdal was regular for Az not sure he will be regular at ajax or PSV…though i do like Az alkmaar.
            there is no need to surpass expectation at least meet expectation…winjdal didnt meet expectation..

  5. Injury crisis at Atalanta. After it announced that Hateboer would have to go for operation on his injured foot. Duvan Zapata now is the latest causality after spraining his knee and which will see out for few months. This has defintely halted sam lammers loan move and he might be forced to stay. I really hoping Lammers hits the ground rolling this season. I rate him highly than weghorst.

  6. As I talked about it earlier, its now confirmed Richairo Zivkovic has left chinese club Changchun Yatai and is now a free agent. Feyenoord should grab him as they need a striker badly. At 24 he can still revive his career like Til.

        1. The last I saw him was in JO and he was good. Je did have some disciplinary issues when at Ajax but when he was at KV oostende and came on loan at Sheffield United, he received prasies from the coaches for his work ethics. Not sure what condition he is in now.

  7. Both Bakker and Frimpong are starting for Leverkusen. I hope they will have their breakthrough season because the LB and RB positions really need more options, especially the LB.

    1. Agree, I watched the game as well. I said this before, he needs more game to settle down and he is improving as he plays more and with confidence level building. Last week it was the same story I did mention how he is exploring his abilities with his confidence level growing. Not quiet there yet but good to see him doing things, trying things which he doesnt typical do. For instance, on the first goal, even with space infront of him, his tendency is always to turn and pass backwards but on this occasion out of nowhere he decided to lauch thunderous left foot. The ball hit the post and deflected of the keeper into the goal.

      Crosses also are coming but not to perfection but still made in count on the Diaby’s third goal and on the build up to Amiri’s fourth.

      Its looking good for him now and like we discussed, ( Jeff, Jean Ventte) give this guy till he turns 23 and then project whether to write him off or no. I dont think he will be called up anytime soon and again under Van Gaal and Daddy.
      Projection for 2024 – 2026, defintely.

      Not to mention, he did give away a silly penalty which was saved by BL keeper and 2 times was caught out cold but the Monchengladbach couldnt capitalize on him.

      Frimpong also has become a regular now and has been menace for defenders. Him and Diaby have formed a good bond and were devasting on the right flank. Pocket Rocket as I would like to put given his built and speed, he will be star for NT when he hits his prime. He has very good crossing ability as well. Again if you look at his performance from last week and this week, you can again argue Rensch’s selection in NT especially considering Frimpong is specialists wingback. Never the less, if you get a chance to watch BL games, dont miss it they are playing good football and have a good contingent as well. Big credit to Peter Bosz

      1. I also saw the first half of the Leverkusen-‘gladbach game. I thought Bakker looked decent; first goal was nice. Even though it turned out to be an own goal, it was heck of a shot from distant. The rest of his 1st half play was fine, but didn’t stand out for me. Apparently, he showed up much more in the second half, for good and bad. Sorry, I missed it.

        Agree that Frimpong impressed. First time I’d seen him play. He looked truly dangerous on the right side, not unlike Dest. A number of good options are coming into focus for right back/wingback. (Dumfries, Frimpong, Rensch.)

  8. Also watched Monaco and Lens and must say Boadu will have to dig deep if he wants to survive in Ligue 1. When ever the camera focuses on him, the only thing you read on his face is give me the ball. When the ball comes, the defenders bully him to tuck it away. He needs to understand the defenders in ligue 1 are more ruthless than eredivisie. Came on in the second half around 60′ with Moanco trailing 1-0. At max he must have has 5 touches in that 30 minutes which is reallly disappointing. I mean touches only.

    I also watched Atalanta and Torino, if I compare boadu with Sam Lammers who also came of the bench around 56′ then lammers was much more effective compared to him. Dropped deep to link with midfielders, drew fouls and alway positioned himself in spaces ready to pounce on if the ball came his way. Its a pity Lammers hasnt hit the ground rolling yet but im telling you when he does and I hope with no injuries, he can be Nistelrooy esque striker. Again in my projection for 2024 and 2026. He was all bags packed and ready to go out on loan but injury to Zapata has delayed it and was in match squad.

  9. Watched Barcelona’s games, and they never impressed..the play was disjointed and very predictable..they ain’t going to win anything with this performance.
    And Depay is still the same Depay, wasting freekicks, passes and crosses..don’t think he will endear to LVG. He certainly isn’t Van Persie, Robben, Kluivert and Bergkamp standards. Only Koeman and FDB see something in him.

    1. Depay thinks he is the best freekick taker at NT…His freekicks are hyped and worst at best…it goes in once in a bluemoon,…i dont know why he is allowed to take freekicks..ATM he is not a bad choice as forward for NT…

  10. I really excited about Lammers. with better players around him and with first time balls he will flourish big. he is slick with both foot as well. watching him, you just wanna see him get the ball as much as possible.

    from 2024-2026 projection, things in pipeline are really looking good. the only positions that remains a a concern is to that of CM. (De Roons position). I watched Ajax vs Twente. was switching in and out (Lagging),the Ajax contingent in NT were big question mark. especially in the midfield. The bottom line here his you simply cant take eredivsie players as guaranteed or expect them to have a good transition in NT unless they are highly competent or have proven playing at European level like what de ligt and frenkie did. this is one of the reason why I have second thoughts about Malacia, Timer, Rensch and few others who have been selected in Nt.

    1. Timber is defender,Rensch is defender,Malacia is defender…No one plays midfeild…Timber is better than dumfries,Rensch is better than Dumfries,Malacia is way better than winjdal and co…We do have problem with De roon and klassen i agree..if you talk about Noa lang ,Danjuma i will agree they should be given chances..Promes ,Berghuis and co looked inefficient…

  11. Noa lang waa MOTM in the last for club brugge. Leeds have already agreed personal terms with him in lead up to his transfer but negotiation are on going with Club brugge for his transfer fees.

  12. Question for the Ajax watchers (or anyone else who has seen him enough to have an opinion), what do you think of Kian Fitz-Jim of Jong Ajax? How is he regarded?

  13. I really have to say feyenoord midfield is like world class right now at eredivisie level. Toornstra especially. again a special mention til and his great lungs. he really makes up for his lack of creativity with his offensive and defensive coverage. always lurking in the background.

    1. Every team in Holland from Ajax to PSV to Feyenoord to the National Team have the same problem. No penetration. If teams park the bus against any Dutch team we lack a single player who can hit the pass or dribble past a single defender.

      It’s absolute shambles across the whole system.

      1. Spot on. To put this in perspective, since Robben, there are exactly 2 forwards+wingers that survive top league. They are Weghorst and Depay. Even Depay need to go the long road to become starter at Barca now. There is something very wrong with how wingers and forward are developed in Dutch football. They do not really pose threat to opponents at higher level. They seem to control the ball and pass the ball alright but they lack the cutting edge. This is the same story for Vincent Janssen, Luuk De Jong, Bergwijn and many others. At the end of the day, in order to survive top league, you need to have good G+A numers.

        1. Recorded the game, and just finished watching it. PSV has the same problem they’ve had for several years now; some decent attackers but they get no service or creativity from the midfield. Even against 10 men, it wasn’t until the 57th minute that there was any kind of a forward penetrating pass (from Van Ginkel to Gakpo, and not much after), and not one run from a midfielder the entire game that caused that caused Benfica any worries. Hard to watch.

  14. Even though its disappointing seeing PSV bomb out, you have to acknowledge Jorge Jesus is no tom, dick and harry coach and is a master tactician like Fernando Santos. I went back and checked the Benfica’s Primeria liga game from over the weekend and you could see from the line-up how he planned it out for the PSV clash with player rotation and resting some key players.

    Long story short, PSV players looked burnt out and their body language even after the red card said it all. if you cant score playing with one extra men for 60 minutes, then you dont deserve CL football.

    Benfica simply had more quality depth than PSV. Best of luck to PSV in eredivisie. If they win, they can qualify directly next season.

    1. I think its schmidt’s fault, he has been too soft with Gotze who drifts in and out of the game and yet he hardly gets subbed. His kind of persistent with him even if he is average.

      I did say this on top about how PSV need more quality depth at CL level.

  15. @wilson You are right on Benfica coach Jesus and his Strategy. This is What Benfica Goalie Vlachodimos said after the game: “We trained over recent weeks so that, if it happens – we play with 10 men – everybody knows what he needs to do. It was good that we did that. But we were not expecting to play with 10 so early.” The coach prepared Benfica tean to play with ten men over last the few weeks and it worked for them.

    1. I don’t think Ihattaren have any impact on PSV performance. He performed well two years ago. At that time, PSV does not even qualify for CL qualifier. Is he over hyped? Might be, might be not but there is no evidence that he will be future super star based on one season in Eredivisie. Players fall out of favor with coaches all the time but his reaction on social media show that he is not professional. He could seek a move and reignite his career somewhere else.

  16. Van De Beek really got to move to another club b4 the transfer window shuts. He surely not be getting any play time under Ole. Interesting to see whether LVG will call him for sure he qualifiers.

  17. He should seek a move but the way it is happening, I don’t think he will move. I am not sure what false promise Solskjaer gave him but he seem happy sitting on the bench week after week as if one season is not enough. We can forget about him going into the World Cup.

  18. Boadu is already regelated to the bench and not even sub in for Monaco’s CL qualifier. This is sadly the state of Dutch forwards. Performance in Ereviside does not mean much going to higher level league.

  19. The teams from Pot 4 haven’t been drawn yet, but Ajax’s draw is favorable— joining Sporting and Dortmund—compared to some of the other groups it could have been drawn into: (Man City/PSG; Juventus/Chelsea; Liverpool/Atletico; Real/Inter; Bayern/Barcelona.)

  20. As I predicted even with all defensive mistakes that Celtic made, AZ was unable to go through. The goal that we conceded resulted from a complete disaster of the defense. Later in the game, I saw a lot of enthusiasm and energy in AZ but it could not compensate the lack of attacking power in the team. We will see where it is going to take us but I am not happy with the play. It is too predictable and lacks maturity. I am sure AZ will add on in the course of the season but so far it is very mediocre. Teun was not in his best either. Timo Letschert two mistakes caused AZ two goals (in away and home games). At the end it does not matter whether AZ play in Conference Cup or EL, but we need a reinforcement in attack or at least in midfield. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to compete against Feyenoord and PSV for the place in podium.

    1. Would be a difficult situation for anyone. The biggest week of qualifying, starts in 5 days, and there is little time for them to gather…but he knew circumstances when he took the job. I’m sure he’ll have a plan. Lets hope it translates.

          1. Standby I mean. Nobody is in form at the moment. This will just like WC group stage games.

  21. AZ Alkmaar is pursing Joey Veerman and Mo Ihattaren. It looks like Max Huijberts is ready to cash out big as the deal with Atalanta over Koopmeiners is almost there.

  22. My sources in Alkmaar ruled out a rumor around Mo Ihattaren but confirmed – Veerman as a replacement for Koopmeiners. Heereveen asks 10 MM euros for Veerman.

  23. On another note, Maarten Martens is a head coach of the Jong AZ. Under his leadership AZ won the first three games of the Ereste Divisie and are the current leaders of the tournament. Great job, Maarten!

  24. Another thing to Note. Van Gaal is picking up the team where FDB left off. Im sure he must have watched the euros and like everybody said, he will try to tie the lose ends which existed with FDB and get the team to shift another gear. He us capable of that no doubts. In other words he can not not give the excuse that he did not have enough time with him. Technically he is very famililar with the team since apart from wijndal’s injury the team dates to from koemans era. Every coach from Young to old must be watching NT games when ever they play.Malacia and GK could only be the two new faces in the starting 11. I always find it ridculous listening to the argument that the coaches dont get enough time to prepare during international breaks. The reason being, all other teams go through the same phase, its always expected that way and this is where the selection always plays a very crucial part. When you selection back fires and you you blame it on time line and change over, its just bullshit and trying to hide you have shitted, when its already stinking. The players, fitness level, technical abilities,quality, quality depth in the team will all come into fold in the three games and again it will all come down to what he is selected. Nothing else. Write this down somewhere I said this.

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