Tactical Genius? Luck? Who Cares?

It looked like a gamble to take off Robin van Persie, leave on Wesley Sneijder and introduce Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Whether he's a lucky general or a genius, it's working...

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Comments 1 - 10 of (22)

bojanglez (Liverpool) says...

Let me give you a Dutchman's point of view. We all believe that LVG is one of the best Dutch managers of all time. He can be quite obnoxious and extremely difficult to deal with, but the vast majority of his players adore him. He is a true pro and he should be called a tactical genius. Now, this Dutch squad is playing a different brand of football compared to the teams in the 70s/80s/90s. Our defence is our weakest link, so LVG has opted to start every match in a 5-3-2 manner, switching to (classic Dutch) 4-3-3 if things go wrong. Like they did against Australia and Mexico. Usually, the team shows massive attacking flair in the 4-3-3 formation. It's just that LVG believes that our team isn't good enough to play 4-3-3 for 90 minutes. The man is just trying to FINALLY win the world cup. No idea if we have any chance, probably we don't, but rest assured that LVG will take all the steps necessary to make it happen. Including removing players that don't perform, whoever they are. Man U fans better get ready for LVG's brand of management.

Posted 11:24am 1st July 2014

Synergy says...

@big puma> Labeling Van Gaal a genius has little to do with a couple of WC games, rather his impressive resume. If Bert van Marwijk & Pinto accumulate a resume close to Van Gaal, then yeah, they would be designated as geniuses.

Posted 10:25am 1st July 2014

thefuldutch (Fulham) says...

In addition, United fans needn't worry about LVG's alleged lack of man-management skills. Players who do the work and keep their head down thrive under his guidance. Players who get too big for their boots and throw their toys out of the pram get exiled. It's exactly what made Sir Alex such a sterling success for all those years, along with the fact that the United board always, always backed him if he wanted to get rid of big-time Charlies like Beckham. If they do the same for Louis, they'll be back on that perch in no time.

Posted 10:15am 1st July 2014

thefuldutch (Fulham) says...

2010 World Cup: Holland cruise through a run of easy fixtures on their way to the final, but Robin Van Persie is a passenger, contributing a single goal. On the one occasion that the manager, the friendly and down-to-earth but slightly too soft Bert van Marwijk, subs him after a poor game, RVP throws a hissy fit when coming off. Substitute Huntelaar, less talented but more effective when the chips are down, goes on to score. 2014 World Cup: Holland cruise again, and this time RVP is in hot form throughout the group games. However, the second he starts to resemble the 2010 model Van Persie against Mexico, new manager Louis van Gaal-a loudmouthed, combatitive dictator with a screw loose, does what Van Marwijk never dared and unleashes the Hunter. KJH turns 0-1 into 2-1 in 15 minutes. This is why I love Van Gaal. This is why I feel that we might actually do it this time around.

Posted 10:06am 1st July 2014

carrick4f*ksake (Manchester United) says...

"Some will say that Van Gaal should have shown his tactical genius a litle earlier" - aah, the media is just desperate for him to fail. Despite a career that spans back to the great Ajax side and the birth of the great Barca side giving Xavi his debut at 18...to f365 and other British media hacks, Van Gaal is an unknown quantity because he's plied his trade outside our shores. So you're judging him on his world cup "performance". Had Van Gaal's Holland been spanked 5-1 by Spain instead of winning 5-1 that doesn't change a career, just as Fergie's nightmares against Barca don't nullify 30 years of genius. It's not luck that Van Gaal won domestic titles with four different clubs. Yes, he's a genius, that's a given.

Posted 9:36am 1st July 2014

big puma says...

what is it withe the genius coach obsession? you guys are insane. so is Bert van Marwijk a genius because he took the team to the last game in 2010? is Pinto a genius now or do we wait to see if he wins the next game? There is so much pressure to declare coaches as geniuses that it surely pushes coaches to make curious decisions and wait to be hailed themselves as brilliant. you win some and lose some and right now the dutch are winning. good coaching decisions play a role and having Robben also plays a role.

Posted 2:38am 1st July 2014

Synergy says...

And lastly it was a fair penalty, given Robben was fouled. He dived earlier for which he didn't get a penalty.

Didn't Henry use his hand to deny Ireland a place in the Euros. Doesn't Walcott love to swan dive? Doesn't England captain amazing have a reputation as an olympic level diver? Every team has a Robben like player who will bend the rules to try and get his team the win. Its ridiculous people complaining when he actually got a legitimate penalty, just because he was foolish enough to dive earlier & do the right thing by apologizing for it.

Posted 2:30pm 30th June 2014

Synergy says...

Wow Arsenal fans are up in arms with this article. Guess now that Wenger won a cup and they cant scream "Wenger out" until end of next season, they need someone or something else to vent their frustration on.

Its simple really, this Dutch side is below average. Sneijder looks a shell of his former self & baring RVP & Robben, the rest of the team wouldn't make it to the top teams of the big leagues, yet they crushed Spain, went undefeated in their groups and when push came to shove they managed to get the win against a talented Mexico side. That is on the coach. SAF teams used to do this, Mourinho teams do it, Moyes teams never do it. Its called winning mentality and it stems from the coach.

Time will tell how successful Van Gaal will be at United. However I for one am looking forward to a coach who will play attacking entertaining football, develop youngster & once again inculcate that never say die attitude the players had under SAF, which Moyes negativity destroyed.

Posted 2:24pm 30th June 2014

onceupon says...

What's with all the anger and tribalism? Nice write up by Sarah that captures exactly the mood of most people I was watching the game with yesterday. The dutch were underwhelming and did not look like they had any idea how to get through a solid Mexican side. Everybody shook their head when Van Persie was taken off and whether it was by luck or by design, any change that provides such a turnaround is one the manager deserves to get plaudits for.

I've never been a big fan of Robben and his antics but you have to acknowledge he is the very definition of a big game player. He did dive yesterday, which he actually apologized for (fair play) but anyone who thinks it wasn't a penalty in the first half as well as the one that was correctly given late on are blinded by their dislike of the player. He is the reason the Netherlands are in with a shout in this tournament.

As far as the next premier league season is concern, we can only wait and see what LVG will bring to MU but we need to remember international football is a different affair than club football. For what it's worth, I think he will be a nice addition to the premier league and definitely have a positive impact on United. How big an impact though, who knows? We'll have to wait and see.

Posted 12:50pm 30th June 2014

serge blanco (Arsenal) says...

LVG is a superb tactician but his man management skills have long been questioned and will be a guaranteed issue as he tries to turn Man Utd around. Upsetting the squad is not normally a recipe for success but thankfully for Holland he has avoided doing that with this group. He has done a great job of covering up Hollands lack of quality in midfield ( and defence ?) by adopting a counter attacking game where the primary tactic is 'hit Robben or RVP as quickly as possible and hope they do something special'. Its worked so far and with Costa Rica in the QF and a vulnerable Argentina defence probably waiting in the SF I would not be surprised if Holland reach the final. Winner will come from the Brazil, France and Germany half I am convinced.

Posted 11:55am 30th June 2014

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