On Friday, Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal stated his intention to retire after next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
The ever revolving managers door must have the KNVB’s head spinning as they have to go back to drawing board and search for yet another successor. Van Gaal, 61, has grown tired of international management and the constraints it brings, but states that he misses club football.
This is Van Gaal’s second spell in charge of the Oranje after replacing Bert van Marwijk in May 2012, and he has coached Holland to top of their UEFA European World Cup qualification group ahead of the Brazil 2014 finals.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of his side’s summer trip to Asia: ”I took over as national coach with the ambition of going to a World Cup or a European Championship. It is something I have not achieved before and once I have achieved this I will leave.”.
“I am constantly having to borrow other coach’s players, and this is something I do not enjoy. I miss the opportunity working with players on a daily basis and at the end of the day I would like to return to this.”
Full retirement may well be on his agenda too when asked if a return to club football is in his future he replied: “Not unless a nice Premier League side comes along… If that happens, I will have to discuss it with my wife.”
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has included four newcomers and recalled Everton’s veteran defender John Heitinga, when naming his 21-man squad on Wednesday afternoon. The Oranje travel to Asia for friendly internationals against Indonesia and China.
Van Gaal is without 12 regulars in his squad as they have been called up to the Dutch Under-21 squad to play in the UEFA Under-21 European Championships in June in Israel. Heracles Almelo midfielder Lerin Duarte, Feyenoord left-back Miquel Nelom, Swansea City defender Dwight Tiendalli and Utrecht midfielder Jens Toornstra have been selected as the Netherlands play Indonesia in Jakarta on June 7 before they travel to Beijing to face China four days later.
English Premier League club Swansea (managed by Michael Laudrup) have three players in the 21-man squad with goalkeeper Michel Vorm, midfielder Jonathan De Guzman (on-loan from Villarreal) and uncapped Tiendalli all been included.
Ajax reserve goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, also uncapped is part of the squad as well. However, for Cillessen it was not his first call-up, because he also was part of the Dutch team which played internationals in Brazil and Uruguay in 2011. The Ajax goalie is replacing usual Dutch number one, Tim Krul of Newcastle United who is recovering from a dislocated shoulder. The injury is due to keep the Magpie’s ‘keeper out of action until September after his recent surgery to correct the problem.
The Dutch squad for the Asia trip is not the strongest possible, because the Dutch Football Association (the KNVB) preferred all eligible players to play at the European U21 Championships from June 5 to June 18 in Israel. Luuk de Jong, Jordy Clasie, Kevin Strootman, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi and Adam Maher are all part of the Under 21 set-up.
Van Gaal has called up experienced stars like captain Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt, Rafael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben for the trip to Asia.
Full Netherlands Squad to play Indonesia and China
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City)
Defenders: John Heitinga (Everton), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Miquel Nelom(Feyenoord),Erik Pieters (PSV), Dwight Tiendalli (Swansea City), Ron Vlaar (AstonVilla)
Midfielders: Lerin Duarte (Heracles Almelo), Jonathan de Guzman (S wansea City), Siem de Jong (Ajax), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Jens Toornstra (FC Utrecht), Rafaelvan der Vaart (Hamburg)
Forwards: Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Ruben Schaken (Feyenoord),Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting Lisbon/Norwich City)
Dutch international goalkeeper Tim Krul, 25 today, is set for a late birthday present on Thursday as he prepares to make his Newcastle United return at the Estadio da Luz to face Benfica in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.
Krul has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in the closing stages of the round of 32 win against Metalist Kharkiv in February. He made a string of saves in the Ukraine as the Magpies won 1-0 but his replacement, Englishman Rob Elliot, has more than stepped up to the plate over the last few weeks.
Krul, however, is set to return against in Lisbon and he knows that he could have a crucial role to play against the Portuguese league leaders. “They’ve got great players,” the Den Haag-born shot-stopper said. “We’ve had a video analysis this afternoon so we’ve seen the quality of the players and I’m really impressed with the quality. Their attacking qualities are really good so we need to be a solid team tomorrow. Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet – that would be fantastic. I know the left-winger, Ola John, from the national team – he’s a great player – and as we’ve seen this afternoon, they’ve got a few more good players.”
In light of Elliot’s solid displays, Alan Pardew faced a tough call when deciding who would start in goal against Benfica. At the pre-match press conference held at the magnificent stadium, the Newcastle manager hinted that Krul would get the nod.
“I think it would be terrible of me to say on his birthday that he’s definitely not playing,” Pardew smiled. “He’s sitting up here so I think it’s a good indication that Tim will play tomorrow. He’s trained very, very well. I personally think he’s one of the top goalkeepers in the world and therefore this is a great opportunity for him to come back as the number one for Sunday. I don’t mind putting that pressure on him tomorrow. He accepts at this level that if he wants to play in the Dutch national side, that’s the pressure he’s under and I have no doubt that he’ll respond to that.”