Louis van Gaal reveals he was ‘VERY critical’ of the Netherlands in the win over the US at half time
Louis van Gaal reveals he was ‘VERY critical’ of the Netherlands at half-time in victory over the US despite leading 2-0 at the break and says his team were ‘so dispossessed’… but insists they CAN win the World Cup
Louis van Gaal was not entirely happy with the Netherlands’ first-half performance against the USA last weekend, despite scoring two goals at the break, as he felt the team lost the ball too much.
The Netherlands led from the 10th minute after Memphis Depay converted a Denzel Dumfries cross, but there were openings for the USA as Christian Pulisic missed an early chance and Sergino Dest later blocked a shot from close range.
Midfielders Davy Klaassen and Marten de Roon were also taken off at half-time after both struggled on the ball, as they completed only 56.3 and 70.6 per cent of their passes respectively.
Louis van Gaal was not entirely happy with how the Netherlands played in the first half vs. the USA
And while the USMNT’s relentless midfield deserves credit for creating a bit of a mess in the middle of the park, Van Gaal knows his team will have to be neater against Argentina.
“I was very critical at half-time in my analysis that I share with my players,” he said after the 3-1 win. “Even though we were 2-0 up, I think it’s fantastic goals with beauty and team spirit.
“But in the first half we were so expropriated and that was not necessary. That’s just not acceptable at a World Cup. When you play in top countries, you just can’t make those mistakes.
“In the second half, I think they did much better, even though we scored less. Nevertheless, we were all very, very satisfied and it gives us incredible confidence.
Tyler Adams and Frenkie de Jong compete for the ball during the Holland-USA game
While the Netherlands ultimately outclassed the US, the Americans held their own with their opponents – perhaps more than the score suggested.
The Orange was certainly the more clinical of the two sides, but both teams had six shots on target and the USMNT – possibly by Holland’s design – won the possession battle.
Nevertheless, it was Van Gaal’s side that went through after defensive mistakes from the US and they will face Argentina in the quarter-finals on Friday.
And while they’re not quite favorites to win the tournament, Van Gaal is eager to take their chances after his side’s most productive game of the tournament.
“I think we have great opportunities here. We still have three games to go. I’ve been talking about becoming world champions for a year now.’