Louis Van Gaal, the manager of the Netherlands, had a heated argument with a journalist lately, in which he was enraged by accusations of playing defensive football.
Valentijn Driessen, a Dutch writer, accused the former Manchester United manager of adopting a 3-5-2 formation because he prefers defensive football like Chelsea.
Van Gaal was enraged by the suggestion that the 3-5-2 was a defensive shape by necessity. He defended defensive football by pointing to Italy and other teams’ performances. Van Gaal remarked at a press conference before the Netherlands‘ match against Turkey, “Look at the (others) results. Look at Italy, (they are) European champions, (they) have now drawn twice. It’s not all that easy. Defensive football has made its appearance and there is applause for that afterwards.
Clearing his argument, the Dutchman continued, “But the one applauding is you. You also want to play like Chelsea and Liverpool.Is that defensive football, in your eyes?”
Driessen swiftly replied, “It’s what Chelsea do!”. The coach was infuriated and replied, “Not at all, Valentijn!” He continued, “You have no idea at all. I’m sorry to say it, but you’re just a journalist; You want to implement your vision, but you have no vision in football. You have a vision for the newspaper, fantastic, you attract attention, and so on.”
Tuchel’s Chelsea appreciated
The Dutch manager defended his formation choice while also praising Chelsea’s manager, saying, “But with 5-3-2 or 5-2-3 you can attack incredibly well. Chelsea shows it every time, with different formations. And I take my hat off to Mr (Thomas) Tuchel because he got in halfway through (last season).”
Though the outcome of one match should not be used to define a football style, Van Gaal’s 6-1 triumph over Turkey in the following match certainly helped to establish his point.