Louis van Gaal insists he “decides the tactics” after Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk questioned the Netherlands manager’s tactics.
The national side looked shaky playing a 3-4-1-2 system in their 4-2 in over Denmark on Saturday, leading Van Dijk to declare he prefers a 4-3-3 like he plays in under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
And Van Gaal has bitten back, claiming they’ve aready discussed the Liverpool defender’s reservations, before insisting he makes the decisions.
Van Gaal said: “I know he has that preference, he always said this publicly.
“We already had this debate when I came here. The manager decides the tactics.”
Van Dijk had previously said: “Until today we have been training hard, with lots of tactics and meetings. There are good times but also things to improve. We will analyse this.
“Of course, we are playing in a new system, different things are required of the players. But I think we showed a lot of good things.
“Do I like the system? Well, I’m still in favour of 4-3-3 but I’m not the national coach and the national coach has a very strong opinion about it.”
Van Dijk played in a back three alongside Nathan Ake and Mattijs de Ligt, both of whom also generally play in a back four for Manchester City and Juventus respectively.
Van Gaal has won six and drawn two of his eight games back in charge of the Netherlands, having had two previous spells at the helm, qualifying for the Qatar World Cup in the process.
The manager has hit out at the decision for Qatar to host the tournament, describing FIFA’s decision as “bullsh*t”.
“Now, everybody knows that I find that ridiculous,” Van Gaal said.
“It’s ridiculous that we are going to play in a country – how does FIFA say it? – To develop the football there, to develop it better there. That is b******t.
“And how are you doing that? By organising a tournament in that country. But it doesn’t matter, it’s about money, commercial interests. That’s the main motive of FIFA
“Why do you think that I’m not a member of the commission of FIFA? Because I have always taken my distance against these kinds of organisations. It’s not right, but I can say this directly about Qatar, but this does not help the world get rid of this problem.”