Ronald Koeman gave his first press conference since returning as the Netherlands head coach on Monday.

It has been known for some time that Koeman will replace Louis van Gaal as Oranje boss but Monday was the first time he had faced the press.

He opened by saying, according to Voetbal International, “It feels like coming home in this environment. And that will probably help to tackle this job again. The selection has changed little by little and I am looking forward to this job. It’s an honorary job. I said that before in 2018. I am very happy and proud to be given this opportunity again.”

Koeman discussed the formation and confirmed that he will move away from the 5-3-2 that was used under Van Gaal, “In principle, we are going back to the system we played before. I sometimes change systems, but we will form the basic system with four defenders.”

Koeman also confirmed that he had not had any discussions with Van Gaal since the World Cup, “I did it in the first period, then I spoke to both Van Gaal and Dick Advocaat. I didn’t do that now. I don’t find it necessary either.

“I’m going to do it myself with the staff, I have my own ideas and experience. We’re going to do it a little differently in terms of gameplay. I didn’t think that was necessary this time.”

Discussions have been held with some players, though, “I’ve spoken to a number of players, but not everyone. With the ambassadors of the team. You can fill in those names yourself. But it’s further between me and the players. I also talked about what we’re going to do and how we’re going to play. It has been much more about where I want to go and how they stand on it. Not about what’s behind us.”

On the transfers of Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo, Koeman said, “The transfer to Atlético is very positive for Memphis, he will get playing time there. More than at Barcelona. That is also necessary. Towards the last World Cup he was injured, but always got some playing time. He now needs games to be well-deployable. Gakpo has made a great transfer, it’s just not the Liverpool we know now. But he plays and that makes him better. If an international asks me about a transfer, I say: are you going to play? That’s a requirement.”




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