Dutch football media fully expect Louis van Gaal to go to England after the world cup, but they are still divided as to which club he will be managing. VI International, by far the best Dutch ‘voetbal’ magazine, reported that one part of football journalists expect Van Gaal to go to the Mancs, and the other part actually believe he will be managing our very own Arsenal next season.
The latter believe the fact that the club have still not announced a new contract for our current manager, and the imminent arrival of three Dutchmen for coaching roles at Arsenal – most notably Andries Jonker, who has worked closely with Van Gaal a few times – could be strong signs that ‘belligerent Louis’ might end up – not at the theatre of nightmares – but at the very Home of Football.
I am a fan of Van Gaal and believe he would suit our club well, as long as he arrives with the blessing of Wenger. Over a year ago, I wrote a post about how Van Gaal would manage Arsenal; and rather than repeat myself, please see link below:
Now I am not after the sacking of Arsene Wenger; for that, I respect him too much. It is up to Arsene to decide whether he really can take our club to the next level and I trust he will make the right decision this summer. I have incredible respect for him; especially, for sticking with the club during the financially barren years whilst being at the very peak of his career. He could have gone anywhere to win more (easy) silverware, but he stuck with us; and for this we should remain grateful.
However, I am now doubtful whether Arsene can take us to the next level; and although I don’t want him ever to be sacked, if I am totally honest, I am also not particularly looking forward to another season under his management. In the next few weeks, I will write a separate post about why I fear that Arsene will not take us to the next level (if HH does not beat me to it?!). But this post is about Van Gaal’s potential suitability for Arsenal.
If Van Gaal is indeed coming to England AND Arsene is thinking of moving upwards (or onwards), this would be the moment – the one chance – to approach the Dutchman and steel him away from the Mancs. Arsenal would suit him much better than Man United. We have a team full of young talent and experienced, yet mouldable players, and there is a culture and system of football which is close to Van Gaal’s interpretation of Totaal Voetbal. Arsenal resemble Ajax in more ways than one; whereas Man United have always looked more like PSV Eindhoven in terms of style of football. It would take a long time for Van Gaal to put his stamp on MU and for this he has not got the time or the patience, I reckon. His next job will be his last and he never stays long anywhere, so he is likely to prefer Arsenal to Man United, if he had the choice.
Van Gaal would bring a more disciplined approach to our (total) football and less dependency on the quality and form of individual players. He would use the whole squad and drill everyone into one or more positions: there would be less freedom for individuals to express themselves. The focus would be playing football in a systematic, machine-like way. For every position, there will a number of players who can play in it, but the expectations, or specific tasks, for the ‘roles’ will always be the same. Van Gaal will focus strong on tactics, but like Wenger, he will not adjust these for each and every game: it is all about perfecting the system of football that will eventually conquer all. He is a self-proclaimed relationship manager who will work very hard and close with each and every player to get them to play the way he wants them to. He is very stubborn, just like Wenger[ and he will cause upsets within the team and possible within the club hierarchy as well. But he is also a winner and very keen to manage a club in England….
So if Arsene has decided, or is close to deciding to call it a day, now might be the time to act.
But what do you think, fine fellow Gooners: Would Van Gaal suit our club? Would he be able to move us to the next level, if Arsene calls it a day?
Written by: TotalArsenal.