The shockwaves of Netherlands 5-1 destruction of Spain is still fresh in the minds of many football fans the world over. The question on everyone’s mind is How did Van Gaal do it”? Here is your answer
The secret of Dutch Manager Louis van Gaal’s tactics, in a word: directness. Every man in the Dutch 3-4-1-2, it seemed, had a simple job to either move the ball forward as swiftly as possible or to pass quickly to a man who would do that. And with the Spanish playing a free flowing game that enabled a lot of movement, they were usually caught out of position by the direct play of the Dutch. The central attacking focus of van Gaal’s tactics might have come as a surprise given his formation. Playing wingbacks and three central defenders, the Dutch might have been expected to try to use a free man on the flanks to get crosses in to Robin van Persie. Instead, the wingbacks Daley Blind and Daryl Janmaat played long and direct passes, but relatively few crosses. Also, the 5 man midfield of the Dutch especially the central trio kept choking the life out of Xavi and Iniesta, never givinh them time on the ball and ensuring that David Silva was constantly forced out of position. Diego Costa and Fernando Torres were ineffective because the Dutch snuffed out whatever support they could recieve from the midfield.