Koeman vows 'completely different' Dutch fashion to Van Gaal

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Ronald Koeman pledged Monday to take the Netherlands again to enjoying enticing, attacking soccer as he started his second stint accountable for the nationwide staff that misplaced within the World Cup quarterfinals to eventual winners Argentina.

Koeman, who had been named as successor to Van Gaal final 12 months already, was formally unveiled on Monday at a information convention and mentioned he would subject a staff with 4 defenders once more, quite than the three centre backs and two wing backs that Van Gaal had most well-liked during the last 18 months.

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The 59-year-old Koeman mentioned he wished a return to the constructive play of his first interval as nationwide coach from 2018-20, when he led a gifted younger staff to qualification for the European Championship and the inaugural remaining of the Nations League.

He seemed again not solely on these achievements, “but the way we did it. We really want to get back to that,” he mentioned.

His feedback got here after some sections of the Dutch sports activities media had been crucial of Koeman’s predecessor, Louis van Gaal, for what they perceived as a defensive fashion of play on the World Cup in November and December.

“I saw moments in matches when I thought, ‘This can be different, this must be different,'” Koeman mentioned of his expertise watching the Netherlands in Qatar.

“In the Netherlands we try to play — and that is often the most difficult path — good, attractive, attacking football,” he mentioned.

Referring to Van Gaal’s spectacular undefeated run as much as the World Cup quarterfinals, Koeman mentioned: “20 internationals without losing — it would be unbeliveable if I also manage that.”

However, he added: “I think it can be done differently and I want to do it differently.”

Requested whether or not he had spoken to Van Gaal, who had at all times been resulting from go away after the World Cup, Koeman mentioned: “No. I haven’t done and I don’t find that interesting either. I have my own ideas and experience. I don’t think it’s necessary.”

However when his dream job — teaching Barcelona — opened up after Quique Setien was fired, Koeman stop and moved again to the membership the place he made his title as an uncompromising defender and the place he nonetheless lives.

Koeman lasted lower than two seasons at Barcelona earlier than being fired because the membership struggled within the Spanish league and Champions League.

Now he says he has one thing to show in his second stint with the Netherlands.

“I have to demonstrate I can be a successful coach who is successful at a major tournament,” he mentioned. “The first step is qualifiers for the European Championship that begins in March.”

Koeman’s first match within the qualification spherical is a tricky one — the Netherlands performs dropping World Cup finalists France on March 24 in Paris. Additionally within the qualification group are Eire, Greece and Gibraltar.

Data from Reuters contributed to this report.

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