Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Van Gaal arrives on the crest of a wave of expectation

15 July 2014, 17:20

Manchester - Louis van Gaal arrives for his new job at Manchester United on Wednesday on a wave of expectation following the World Cup finals in Brazil where his reputation was greatly enhanced.

The achievement of the 62-year-old coach in taking the Netherlands to third place at the tournament highlighted the meticulous nature of his preparations and a single-minded self-belief.

The close rapport with his players will also excite the legions of Man United followers worldwide who are hoping their club will bounce back after a dismal season under David Moyes.

Van Gaal bucked convention and ran a gauntlet of heavy criticism when he changed tactics and ditched the traditional Dutch attacking style on the eve of the World Cup.

In a country obsessed with playing possession football, the decision to adapt a defensive approach with emphasis on swift counter attacks was tantamount to heresy but Van Gaal was eventually proved right - after getting his senior players to buy into his belief.

"He had everyone believing in the tactical changes and the fact it would work for us," said Wesley Sneijder on the team's return home this week. "Our success in the tournament was a lot about the coach."

There were few detractors by the end of the World Cup as the Dutch battled their way to the semi-finals, eliminated by Argentina only on post-match penalties.

Along the way Van Gaal made several astute changes to influence the outcome of matches, drawing widespread praise for innovative thinking.

The use of forward Dirk Kuyt as an emergency right back was an example of a calculated gamble that the Dutch practised in training first before Van Gaal felt it could work in matches.


He was also not scared to throw young players - like Memphis Depay and Jordy Clasie - into key World Cup games, highlighting his belief in youth.

In Brazil, Van Gaal made few references to his new job - he signed a three year contract with United in May - but looked genuinely enthusiastic when he eventually spoke about his next assignment after Saturday's 3-0 win over Brazil in the third place play-off.

"It is an exciting challenge," he told Dutch television.

It is a return to club football for the first time since Bayern Munich sacked him in 2011.

Van Gaal has shown little of his hand yet with the pre-season signings of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Luke Shaw from Southampton.

At Barcelona more than decade ago he was heavily criticised for creating a colony of Dutch players, but one of them says that is unlikely to happen at Old Trafford.

"There were seven players dominating the changing room, speaking Dutch and not moving out of our own bubble. It was a very unhealthy situation and I think Louis realised that. He won't do it again," Ronald de Boer, now an analyst on NOS television, predicted.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...