Louis van Gaal was presented to the media as the new head coach of the Netherlands on Tuesday afternoon.

Van Gaal stepped into the national team job for the third time after Frank de Boer stepped down following the Euro 2020 campaign.

After announcing his provisional squad on Friday, Van Gaal was presented to the media and was in a confident mood as always, “If I had been in the position of the KNVB, I would also have come to me. The polls indicate that I have a lot of fans.”

Van Gaal thinks it is an honour to get asked by the KNVB, though, “It’s something, isn’t it, that I’m sitting here again? In 2000 and 2012 it was an honour to serve the country, now I consider it even more honourable.”

The 70-year-old is looking forward to the challenge of leading Netherlands to the World Cup, “Also to work with a staff that brings a lot of experience. That’s so important in this job. The people have rallied behind me, which pleases me. I believe in this staff and in this group of players, but it won’t be easy. I think you know that too.”

Van Gaal has already spoken with five players and discussed tactics, “Those were long conversations. I don’t think a national coach has ever spoken to players for more than an hour.

“The players I spoke to have a preference for 1-4-3-3. I always listen to my players, but I also look at the qualities of the opponent and the qualities of my own selection; I fit a system for that. That’s what I’ve been doing as a trainer all my life and it’s also yielded some success over the past thirty years. I’m not yet at the point where I already know whether I’m going to play 1-4-3-3.”

A lack of goalkeepers and wingers is a worry for Van Gaal,  “We are thin in the goalkeepers and in the left and right attackers. These are precisely the building blocks for the Hollande School. If you’re so thin in that, you can’t actually play 1-4-3-3 anymore.”

Van Gaal admits his return is a risk due to the lack of preparation time, “Immediately three matches that are decisive for the qualification. You only have a day and a half for Norway, you have a day and a half for Montenegro and you only have a day and a half for Turkey. It’s a big gamble because actually, I’m a process trainer. If you look at my career, you’ll see that the first three months never go so great. Players have to get used to the Van Gaal regime.”

Why has Van Gaal returned after five years retired? “I don’t do it because I want to, but because I think I have to help Dutch football. I owe a lot to Dutch football, actually everything. My status that I now have, I have thanks to Dutch football. I see the need for this.”

On his main aim, Van Gaal’s said, “My personal goal is to become world champion.”




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