“He lost his balance for a while, but he could come back in a little while.”

The national coach of the Dutch men’s team, Louis van Gaal.Professional shots photo / Marcel Van Dorst

“Is this Dutch football now?” asked a reporter. international football To Van Gaal, after a poor performance from a football point of view, during the second round of the World Cup. Is this now? Van Gaal replied: “Today, yes.” “When you’re in the Nations League and in the qualifiers, you know things can be done differently.” He just wanted to say: With this, on paper, somewhat defensive playing style, adequate after the playoff series, the Orange can also show good football and even more attack.

However, Van Gaal was also slightly affected by his play and behaviour. The Ecuadorians were fiercer, they were warriors. “If you want to become a world champion, you should be able to do it,” he said on television shortly afterwards. As a national coach he didn’t have to complain about “struggling”. He was always proud of it. And now? Yes, they did their best, Dutch, but Ecuador tried harder, especially in duels.

No attack

But football in particular is missing. Van Gaal changed the system of play after the successful qualifying series, from 1-4-3-3 (he always wants to name the goalkeeper) to 1-5-3-2, although he prefers to call it 1-3-4-3, as a variable striker. But there were no attacks. Whatever the system, football on average was nothing like it. Holland was constantly on the edge, only getting one chance, and a goal right away. The defenders did not take any initiative, attacking with anyone was completely absent from the game.

Van Gaal: We didn’t play well. Yes when the opponent has possession of the ball, but not when we have possession of the ball. And that was also our problem against Senegal. All second balls, all duels were for Ecuador. Then you can’t win. We lost the ball very quickly. Ecuador could have won, although they didn’t have many chances either. Yes, they shot them on the crossbar. We give up on a goal. I am satisfied with the score 1-1, but not with the match.

Van Gaal believes it could still be a good result for the Orange: “If we want to become world champions, this game in possession has to get much better. That’s what we’re working on. We’ll work on it. I can’t guarantee if we’ll We will succeed in this tournament. But I believe so.’

Van Gaal, as always, was protective of his players. Other questions were about the lack of leadership in this area. “When a lot of people play the ball with the wrong color, it’s not easy. The balance gets lost for a while, but it can come back in a short time. The great thing is we still managed to score a point, against what I think is a good team. He protected Memphis Poor positioned Depay: “He couldn’t show his qualities, because there was hardly a ball, and when the ball came, it was in trouble.”

space in the midline

Midfielder Frenkie de Jong named man of the match: We weren’t very good in possession. We are always walking. The space was in the middle of the field. We didn’t play well enough. We showed before the World Cup that we can do it. We will analyze it. I am convinced it will get better.

At the moment, the Orange, with 4 points from two matches, should score one point on Tuesday against the already eliminated host country Qatar. Senegal (3 points) and Ecuador (4) play against each other. Nos. 1 and No. 2 will meet No. 1 and No. 2 of Group B, the group of England, Iran, Wales and the United States, in the Final Eight next weekend.

Meanwhile, Ecuadorian coach Gustavo Alfaro was particularly proud. His team was looking forward to the Netherlands, the traditional superpower, but once out of its shell, the team was full of fighting spirit, even though it failed to win. Our physical qualities are excellent. We had the strength to win duels and fights. We just weren’t lucky. We don’t stop running until Holland is out of the field. I love this situation no matter the outcome. It is about writing a beautiful page in a boy’s book. We did.’

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