Louis van Gaal has revealed that he is unhappy with the view from the dugout at the Estadio Beira-Rio and joked that he will need a “bar stool” to be able to watch Holland’s group game against Australia. The Holland manager was seen remonstrating with a Fifa official during the training session at the stadium in Porto Alegre, on the eve of their second group match, and later said that he expects the issue to be resolved.
Quite what Fifa can do is unclear – the dugout sits below ground level – but van Gaal made it clear that he was far from impressed, so much so that he was pleased the issue was brought up in his pre-match press conference. “I’m glad you asked this question, which means it will be disclosed,” said Van Gaal when asked why he appeared unhappy with one of the officials.
“The key issue is football and the manager is part of football and I have no view. Because in the middle of the pitch [on the touchline] there is a cameraman who deprives me of the view, and with me all the coaches and managers sitting on the ground, because we are dug under rather than dug out. That obliges us to stand up. I’m a sitting-down coach, not a standing-up coach. The person in charge of this should ask, so I’ve done my very best, as he will.”
Asked whether he was confident that Fifa would put things right before the match against Australia, Van Gaal replied: “I am a man of trust.”
After the press conference had finished, Van Gaal clarified why he was so frustrated. “The dug-out is at a lower level than the pitch and from where I sit there is also a camera directly in front, so I will be like this [motions from side to side] to try to watch the game. I will need a bar stool to watch the game properly.”
Van Gaal refused to disclose whether he would retain the 5-3-2 formation that worked so brilliantly against Spain, when Holland won 5-1, but he was quick to fire a few bullets at those that had questioned his tactics. “There will always be criticism,” he said. “If I use 4-3-3 there would be criticism as well. Some things positive and negative. And when I’m involved, it’s generally negative.”