Former Man United boss Louis van Gaal hits back at Virgil van Dijk over Netherlands tactics

Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has hit back at claims made by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk questioning Holland’s tactics.

The Dutch central defender felt the national side were playing the wrong formation during their 4-2 win over Denmark in their recent international friendly. Van Gaal deployed his skipper in a 3-4-1-2 formation, as opposed to the attacking 4-3-3 that the defender plays at club level for Jurgen Klopp.

Van Gaal ended a five-year spell away from management after his sacking from Old Trafford to take charge of Oranje for the third time in 2021. But he and Van Dijk appear to be at crossed wires in the national team right now, as per comments from the Liverpool defender.

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“Do I like the system?” Van Dijk said. “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 Gaal bit back, claiming: “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.”

Holland will put their formation to the test against Hansi Flick’s Germany on Tuesday but they will face the music in the summer when the latest instalment of the UEFA Nations League kicks off ahead of the World Cup in November.

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