The Netherlands centre-back has publicly questioned the tactics of his national team coach after Christian Eriksen returned to the national team with a dangerous goal win against Denmark
the Liverpool Van Gaal opted for a 3-4-1-2 system against the Danes, deployed in the middle of a back three, but Van Dijk wasn’t always happy at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam. The win secures Van Gaal’s unbeaten start to life as national team boss in his third stint with the former Manchester United Boss overseeing six wins in eight games.
The 70-year-old also managed the Oranje from 2000-01 and again from 2012-14, where he led the Netherlands to third place in the championship World Cup in Brazil and will get another chance to lead his country on the biggest stage in the world later this year in Qatar.
The game against Denmark was also an emotional return to the international stage for Christian Eriksen, who scored within two minutes of his first game against Denmark since suffering cardiac arrest on the pitch during Euro 2020. His strike failed to thwart the efforts of an in-form Dutch side, who saw a brace from Steven Bergwijn on either side of goals from Nathan Ake and Memphis Depay.
Although Van Dijk admitted that the game offered many positive aspects for his side, he acknowledged that improvements could be made and explained his preference for a 4-3-3 formation.
“Up until today we have trained hard, with a lot of tactics and meetings. There are good times, but there are also things we can improve on,” the 30-year-old told NOS, via footmercato. “We’ll analyze it. Of course we’re playing in a new system, different things are being asked of the players. But I think we’ve shown a lot of good things.”
“Do I like the system? Well, I’m still for 4-3-3, but I’m not the national coach and the national coach has a very strong opinion on it.” Van Dijk’s comments did not go unnoticed by his boss, who responded shortly afterwards during his own post-match media work.
“I know he has that preference, he’s always said so publicly. We already had this debate when I came here. The coach decides the tactics,” Van Gaal replied. The tone of the comments suggests that the manager is not very happy with his captain’s remarks.
An endurance test awaits the Netherlands on Tuesday with Hansi Flick’s in-form German team before attention turns to the Nations League in the summer. Van Gaal’s side were drawn into the same group as Belgium, Wales and Poland.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/van-dijk-van-gaal-netherlands-26568422 Louis van Gaal gives blunt answer after Virgil van Dijk questions tactics