Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Van Persie backs Van Gaal or Van Marwijk to land Netherlands job

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Sep 2020

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Louis van Gaal or Bert van Marwijk should be among the prime candidates to replace Ronald Koeman as the Netherlands coach, according to Robin van Persie.

Koeman oversaw an impressive transformation during a two-and-a-half-year stint in charge of the Netherlands, taking the team to the inaugural Nations League finals, while also aiding the development of youngsters such as Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.

However, Koeman left his role when Barcelona came calling in August, leaving the Netherlands in search of a new coach ahead of next year’s European Championship.

Van Gaal has coached the Netherlands twice, last leading them to a World Cup semi-final in 2014 before taking up a role as Manchester United boss.

Former Oranje star Van Persie – the Netherlands’ record goalscorer – who worked under Van Gaal for both the national team and United, believes the 69-year-old would be an ideal appointment.

“I have never worked with Ronald Koeman myself, so I cannot judge him as a coach,” Van Persie wrote in a column in De Telegraaf.

“What I did learn is that he communicated well, had his affairs well organised in terms of discipline, could stand above the group, [like] Louis. A top coach must have a certain fear factor.

“He can squeeze the best out of a group in a short time. To his advantage, it is not a team with a lot of players over thirty, they are mainly younger players. He prefers to work with that. 

“I saw at the World Cup in 2014 what he is capable of in eight weeks, let alone if he has almost a year for a European Championship. 

“The players just have to realise that it will be super intense with Louis. I speak from experience with him through two seasons with the Netherlands and immediately afterwards a year as a club coach at Manchester United.”

Van Persie also put forward Van Marwijk – who coached the Netherlands between 2008 and 2012 and led them to the 2010 World Cup final – as another top candidate.

“I thought his vision was excellent. He is also a coach who expresses a lot of confidence towards his players,” Van Persie added.

“He did that really well. He gave his front players a lot of freedom and we – I’m talking about Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Arjen Robben and I – handled that in the right way in 2010. 

“He gave us the feeling that we are also going to do it for the coach. That really lived with us. We went on cruise control through qualifying, won an incredible amount and we almost became world champions.”

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