Louis Van Gaal’s army are in Qatar - Unified Sports

Louis Van Gaal’s army are in Qatar 

Netherlands, also known as the Oranje, have successfully made it to the 2022 World Cup after shockingly missing out in 2018.The Dutchmen seem to have started flying again after crashing out of the previous European Championship under Frank De Boer. The team has found a new lease of life under Louis Van Gaal and are all set to take on Group A at the World Cup.

In this post, you’ll Read about
A brief history of Netherlands at the World Cup
Manager Profile
Tactical analysis
Strengths
Weaknesses
World Cup path

A brief history of Netherlands at the World Cup

Netherlands have never won a world cup in the past but have always been considered one of the strongest teams in the competition, losing 3 finals in the past. The team can almost be compared to Tottenham Hotspur, owing to having some of the biggest names in football such as Johann Cryuff, Marco Van Basten, Wesley Sneijder, Ruud Gullit and Arjen Robben, yet never amounting to any form of fruition in terms of winning trophies, excluding the 1988 European Championship. Over time, they have come to be known as the bottlers of international football.

Johan Cruyff's all-time XI typically contained a lot of attacking options

Manager Profile

The Dutch are managed by Louis Van Gaal who has been in and out of the team since before the 2014 World Cup. The manager has many accolades to his name in club competitions, the majority coming from the Dutch league. He has turned the squad around in the Nation’s League and the World Cup after they failed to qualify in 2018.

Netherlands manager for World Cup 2022: Everything you need to know about  Louis van Gaal | FourFourTwo

Tactical analysis

The Dutch team hasn’t lost a game in the 2022–2023 Nations League and has lost only 1 out of their 10 world cup qualifiers, making it smooth sailing for them into the world cup. The Netherlands employ a total football approach, which was ironically invented by them in the 1974 World Cup. It enables a free-flowing attack by allowing the forwards to move around freely, improving off-the-ball movement and positioning. Van Gaal uses a 3-5-2 approach to most games, allowing the full backs to move forward to put in crosses for the attack. This 3-5-2 can be switched into a 2-3-5 going forward, with the RCB pushing forward into midfield and the two deep lying centre backs staying behind. This also allows long balls from one of the best ball playing centre backs in the world (Van Dijk) with extra options to play to in front, breaking defensive lines of the oppositions.

Strengths

The strengths of this team could be seen through the goal scoring abilities of multiple players, playing on different positions. Right from one of their most important goal scorers in attack (Depay), who has scored 3 goals in the nations league and was their top scorer in the Euros. Dumfries has proven to be an asset, scoring twice, and assisting once whereas the other wing back, Daley Blind has provided 3 assists as well. Steven Bergwijn is one of the most valuable assets taking 1.45 shots per 90 minutes for the national side. His great form in the Eredivisie with 7 goals and an assist and 2 goals in the UCL will make his form crucial for the team’s success in the world cup. Apart from this, the team has one of the best centre-backs and captains in the world in Virgil Van Dijk, who is their most valuable asset defensively, especially when being hit on the counter. The team plays a very adaptable 5-3-2 formation when they do not have the ball, with the centre-backs dropping back and the two wing-backs playing as full-backs, making them very formidable defensively.  They also have young players to add squad depth and replace players in crucial wingback roles such as Owen Wijndal and Tyrell Malacia.

Weaknesses

One of the most essential aspects of the Dutch attack and defence is the single pivot role played by Frenkie De Jong. His current dip in form could prove to be worrying for the national side as his is key to making successful passes forwards to start attacks and getting out of the press in midfield. Getting caught in the midfield when playing fast high pressing teams could lead to defensive loopholes as the defensive line is high when in possession of the ball. The team also has an issue with their goalkeepers as their shot stopper Tim Krul is said not be unfavoured by LVG for the world cup. The history between the two dates to the 2014 world cup when he won the team a penalty shootout only to not be subbed on for the penalty shootout in the semi-finals against Argentina, which they went on to lose. Sorting out their goalkeeper choice will be one of the most important tasks for the World Cup

 World Cup path

We predict the Dutch team to top their group and advance to the knockouts and get eliminated in the quarter finals by either Argentina or France. They should start off strong against Senegal which will give them the momentum to top their group.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Netherlands beats Senegal Cody Gakpo Memphis  Depay Davy Klassen | TSN

Players to watch out for

Virgil Van Dijk, Louis Van Gaal, Memphis Depay, Denzel Dumfries, Frenkie De Jong, Steven Bergwijn

Young talent to keep an eye on

Ryan Gravenberch, Cody Gakpo and Tyrell Malacia

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