Louis van Gaal spoke at his press conference on Monday about implementing his new system ahead of their friendlies with Denmark and Germany.

Since returning to the Oranje camp, Van Gaal has set up in a 4-3-3 formation, but in the next week he is going to try and implement the 5-3-2 that he used to good effect at the 2014 World Cup.

Van Gaal thinks he has a better chance at the World Cup if he can play in a 5-3-2 and used Chelsea as an example of how fluid it could be, “They also play 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 these days. So you see: trainers also change according to the situation.”

It is not 100% certain that Netherlands will divert from a 4-3-3, “That depends on the implementation. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I can consider it in theory, but the players have to implement it,” said the national coach. “If they do this well, I think we have a good chance of going far in the World Cup. In the Netherlands too, more and more teams are playing against top teams in this system, which makes it very difficult for these teams.”

Van Gaal thinks his players can handle the switch, “I assume I have a squad that can play this system. But in Brazil (during the 2014 World Cup) I sometimes switched to 4-3-3. It’s so easy, because it’s built into everyone’s brain. So that’s not an issue, we can switch during a match. But I think I have the players, and that’s why I do it, who would be better served by a different system. I’ve said that from day one, but I didn’t immediately convert it because I took over, we had three games to play in a week and the players were happy with 4-3-3. Now I have time because we are already qualified, to work on this new system. I can assume that they will do it well, but of course, you just have to wait and see.”

The new system is why players such as Jurrien Timber and Cody Gakpo have been called up despite being injured, “I want almost everyone to experience that implementation to a new system. Then I can see which players can and cannot function in it. It’s also easy that I then have several players who have a sense of how we want to play. That’s why Gakpo and Timber are here because they can watch and listen. I hope they stay with it all week, yes. Every day after the training we have an evaluation to make clear how we want it to be.”




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