The Netherland’s Philosopher Van Gaal On Stubborn Captains, Schweinsteiger and Guardiola
A fascinating interview with Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was published this week, where he spoke about his philosophy and getting players ‘fully immersed’ in his ideas.
Let’s not forget that The Netherlands will pit themselves against Spain at the World Cup Group Stages next year, so it’s all getting a little bit familiar for the former Bayern boss!
Under Van Gaal’s school of thought, many of today’s stars such as Bastian Schweinsteiger were able to play to their fullest potential, after switching positions from the left wing to a holding midfielder. The Dutch coach was also responsible for picking out Thomas Muller from Bayern Munich’s youth system, where he shone and won the Best Young Player Award and Golden Boot award at South Africa 2010.
“I think it’s my philosophy because it binds players with my training, and in my career, I have had a lot of players who are fascinated by that philosophy. They find it nice to take part in it because it’s attacking, technical and tactical. They can show their qualities more than ever.” – Van Gaal
Meanwhile, the 62-year-old former Barcelona coach also explained how he picked out his captains when he was coaching the Catalan side. And no, he doesn’t go by a player’s hairstyle!
” I choose the captain, not the players. I’m always choosing the captains of my team. I have to live with them and give them more responsibility. I have to admire him also because of his personality, his identity. My captains are very professional, but also very ambitious and honest. You can see these qualities in the captains I have chosen.” – Van Gaal
Interestingly, Pep Guardiola had refused to be his captain when he was asked initially, but after being told that he understood the game in the same manner as Van Gaal, he took the challenge.
“When I moved to Barcelona, Guardiola was 27-years-old. Traditionally in Spain, the captains are the eldest players. I wanted to give him responsibility and transfer my philosophy. I have to click with my captains. I told Pep, ‘You have to be my captain.’ He said, ‘No, no.’ I told him, ‘I choose the captain and you understand the game how I understand the game.’ That’s why I made him my captain. You can see what he is now.