Louis The Builder can set the record straight
COMOX, BC ● The Netherlands have appointed Louis van Gaal as their new head coach.
Well, in fact not that new, as the 60-year old already had a stint with the Dutch twelve years ago, when he became the last coach who failed to qualify with The Netherlands for a major tournament, in this case the World Cup of 2002.
Therefor Louis van Gaal now gets the opportunity to set the record straight.
It is an opportunity Van Gaal, undeniable one of Holland’s most successful coaches, has been eager to accept.
“This is the challenge I have been waiting for”, he said in a short statement after being appointed by the Dutch FA.
Nothing more, nothing less.
The reactions in The Netherlands on the appointment of Van Gaal have been much divided.
If you are a fan of Ajax Amsterdam you probably will be delighted with the return of Van Gaal, as a supporter of Feyenoord and PSV you may have second thoughts and if you are a reporter you probably already dreading the upcoming press conferences.
While Louis van Gaal is a coach who favours the style of Ajax and the way Holland used to marvel the world, he is notorious for his ‘dislike’ of the press.
Resume Louis van Gaal
AZ (assistent 1986-’87)
Ajax (youth coach 1988, intermediate-coach 1988-’89, assistent 1989-’91, head coach(1991-’97)
FC Barcelona (1997-’00)
The Netherlands head coach(2000-30 November 2001)
FC Barcelona (2002-28 Januariy2003)
Ajax (technical director, november 2003-oktober 2004)
Bayern München (2009- april 2011)
The Netherlands head coach as of August 2012.
Ajax: Eredivisie champions 1994, 1995, 1996; Dutch Cup: 1993; Dutch Supercup: 1993, 1994, 1995; Champions League: 1995; world cup for teams: 1995; European Supercup: 1996; UEFA Cup: 1992.
FC Barcelona: La Liga champions 1998, 1999; Spanish Cup: 1998; European Supercup: 1997.
AZ: Eredivisie champions 2009.
Bayern Munich: Bundesliga champions 2010; German Cup: 2010.
His cynical remark ‘Am I so smart, or are you so stupid’ towards a journalist who asked him a question, is famous and still well used by many on the fields and in the streets of Holland.
Also famous are his tirades and lectures on and off the field, which for instance drove Franck Ribery crazy at Bayern Munich.
With his appointment the Dutch FA did not opt for the easy way and we probably can wait for many headlines coming out of the woods of Zeist, the headquarters of the KNVB (Royal Dutch FA).
They did on the other hand choose a manager who probably has the best credentials to get Holland back on the rails after the disaster in Poland and Ukraine.
With a team that is getting a bit long in the tooth, the time is there to start building a whole new Oranje team.
And except for maybe Pep Guardiola, I had my hopes set on him, there is no one better than Van Gaal, The Builder.
Because the KNVB probably never will hire a foreign coach, even though the Guardiola style is based on Dutch ingredients from Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard and even maybe a sprinkle of Louis van Gaal, we all can only hope Van Gaal and his friend Danny Blind during the next two years will create something amazing, which will leave us, every single fan of football, in awe.
And if, or better when, he can lead The Netherlands during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to the only Prize he and the whole Dutch nation so desperately want, Louis van Gaal will never have to say again ‘Friends of the press, I’m leaving you. Congratulations.’
Because then he will be larger than life. Larger than The One from Barcelona, larger than the Special One from Madrid, larger than any manager in the world.
Louis, good luck.