Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk questions Louis van Gaal's Netherlands tactics

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Van Gaal had made some tactical tweaks recently
Van Gaal had made some tactical tweaks recently / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Virgil van Dijk has questioned the tactics of Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal, revealing that he is in favour of restoring Oranje's traditional 4-3-3 system.

Since taking over from Frank de Boer last year, former Manchester United boss Van Gaal has guided his side to victory in all but two of their eight games, and has not once tasted defeat.

However, his decision to experiment with a 3-4-2-1 system in their most recent victory against Denmark has caused controversy.

Speaking after that result, Van Dijk admitted that he prefers to play in a 4-3-3 – the formation he is used to from his time at Liverpool.

”Until today we have been training hard, with lots of tactics and meetings. There are good times but also things to improve,” he told NOS.

“We will analyse this. Of course, we are playing in a new system, different things are required of the players. But I think we showed a lot of good things.

“Do I like the system? Well, I’m still in favour of 4-3-3 but I’m not the national coach and the national coach has a very strong opinion about it.”

When asked about Van Dijk's comments, Van Gaal replied: "I know he has that preference, he always said this publicly. We already had this debate when I came here. The manager decides the tactics."

Netherlands have already booked their place at the 2022 World Cup in what is set to be Van Dijk's first ever major tournament. He missed Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup as the Netherlands failed to qualify, while injury ruled him out of Euro 2020 last summer.