van Gaal is back in charge of the Netherlands national team for the third time and has snapped back at claims of “defensive football” by using Chelsea as an example
Louis Van Gaal has used Chelsea as an example to snap back at claims of “defensive football” from the Netherlands.
The former Manchester United manager is back in charge of the Dutch national team for a third time and has picked up one win and one draw from his opening two World Cup qualifying matches.
van Gaal has hit back at a reporter for suggesting the 70-year-old wanted to employ a defensive brand of football with a 5-3-2 formation, like Thomas Tuchel’s system in west London which he used to help guide the blues to the Champions League in June.
The Dutch boss previously had success with the shape at the 2014 World Cup but struggled to implement it in the Premier League.
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In a pre-match press conference as the Netherlands prepare to welcome Turkey to Amsterdam, report Valentijn Driessen was quoted as saying van Gaal wanted to see more emphasis on defensive football.
van Gaal hit back by saying: “Look at the [others teams’] results. Look at Italy, European champions, [they] have now drawn twice.
“It’s not all that easy. Defensive football has made its appearance and there is applause for that afterwards.”
Driessen noted: “But the one applauding is you. You also want to play like Chelsea and Liverpool.”
“Is that defensive football, in your eyes?” was the reply.
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“It’s what Chelsea do,” said Driessen of the European champions.
“Not at all, Valentijn,” van Gaal bellowed. “You have no idea at all. I’m sorry to say it, but you’re just a journalist.
“You want to implement your vision, but you have no vision in football. You have a vision for the newspaper, fantastic. You attract attention, and so on.
He continued: “But with 5-3-2 or 5-2-3 you can attack incredibly well. Chelsea shows it every time, with different formations. And I take my hat off to Mr Tuchel, because he got in halfway through [last season].”
“[In the] Manchester City -Chelsea match, did you enjoy Chelsea more than Manchester City?’ Driessen then asked Van Gaal.
“Yes of course,” was the response. “You should read my book, because you probably won’t.”
Driessen countered by claiming: “But your first vision in your first book is at odds with your current vision.”
“Have you ever heard of evolution? I’m developing too and Memphis [Depay, who was sat alongside him) is developing too,” van Gaal responded. “And me at the age of seventy.”
Following the Netherlands’ round-of-16 defeat to the Czech Republic at Euro 2020, van Gaal replaced Frank de Boer in the Holland hot seat to begin a third stint.
The ex-United boss first managed his nation from 2000 to 2002 before returning in 2012 for another two-year spell despite saying he would retire after being sacked at Old Trafford straight after winning the FA Cup in 2016.