Van Gaal: “The training of diplomats has been abandoned”

It was about the goalkeepers and the vacancy for the position of the right wing in the Dutch national team, appeared Tuesday at the press conference of Louis van Gaal in Zeist. But it was mainly about the coaching career and how he found his way into it, with an educational background, where he now sees former top footballers fail.

The reason for Van Gaal’s reflections was Devin Winch. The young Ajax player is still with the Dutch national team due to Jorian Timber’s injury. Wrench is a seat in his club and that doesn’t fit Van Gaal’s ideas, does it? “But the philosophy of Van Gaal is no longer appropriate for this time,” said the national coach (70).

He was referring to his old principle of picking only core players. However, this is no longer possible due to the “contemporary trend” of the major clubs alternating with their busy agendas and wide selections. Matisse de Ligt, Denzel Dumfries, Georginio Wijnaldum, Stephen Bergwijn and Davy Claassen; Almost every week we have to wait and see if they are in the starting line-up for their club.

So he has to compromise as a national coach. In order to be able to correctly estimate the condition of these players, Van Gaal now requests data about them from the clubs. These numbers should show their suitability. “As a coach, I now have to look at these players differently. If someone comes 20 minutes early, you have to judge them differently than the starting player.”

A great transformation moment

Van Gaal knew that a coach who adapts with the times evolves. He said that he often came up with new insights into his career. “I trained in Ajax’s DNA. This is to attack and not look at the qualities of the opponent, because ‘we ourselves are that good’. I learned abroad that this is not always the case. One of the matches was a big turning point for me. With FC Barcelona, ​​he led us Valencia once was 3-0, but it became 3-4.”

In his opinion, coaching is an experimental profession in which educational background is almost necessary. It is believed that this has also become apparent recently. Former top Dutch footballers are having problems succeeding as coaches, especially abroad. Mark van Bommel and Jaap Stam have recently had new failures, and Coco, de Boer and Van Bronckhorst have not had a club for some time. Wesley Schneider withdrew from the coach’s course prematurely.

It’s not all so strange, says Van Gaal. “This is of all times. There are only a few exceptions in the history of Dutch coaching that you can say have succeeded as a coach abroad. They have all had prior training. Rinus Michaels has done the work of ALO (Physical Education Academy, editor), Leo Behnhacker Alsius, and Guus Hiddink have also done Alo These are big names that mean a lot on the outside. If you look at it that way, Dick Advocaat and Bert van Marwijk are the exception. Boys of the current generation may have studied in high school, but that’s not what you need to be a coach and coach. It’s about conveying a vision Or dogma. You learn it at Cios and Alo, and otherwise practical in front of the classroom.”

Part of the culture

So like him. He forgot in his summary – perhaps conspicuously – his past counterparts Johan Cruyff and Frank Rijkaard. They did what he could not do there: win the European Cup 1 / the Champions League with Barcelona.

But according to Van Gaal, the lack of success of many coaches abroad is part of Dutch culture. “You have to adapt to a different culture abroad. It doesn’t look easy for the Dutch.”

Van Gaal says the ex-professionals’ short course, which Van Bommel, Stam and Edgar Davids, among others, took part in, was not a good idea. “I don’t think diplomats are easily abandoned abroad.” He sees the “Schneider case” as promising. “If KNVB had continued the old fashioned way, it would have earned a diploma. His case proves that KNVB has gone in the right direction.”

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