Ability to adapt and experiment
Before the World Cup, there were concerns over how Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie would fit into Louis van Gaal’s 4-3-3 formation, a system he’s continually championed throughout spells at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
But Brazil 2014 showed the Manchester United gaffer’s ability to adapt and experiment. Despite favouring the 4-3-3 formation for much of his Netherlands tenure too, before the World Cup he made the surprising switch to 3-5-2, which Oranje went on to stick with for the entire tournament:
It completely gazumped Spain in Holland’s opening fixture – a now famous 5-1 victory – and perhaps most importantly addressed Oranje’s intrinsic weakness of a lack of established quality at centre-back.
Thus, rather than one of Rooney, Mata or RVP getting the boot this summer as rumoured by some…
It’s more likely van Gaal will find a system that accommodates for all three.