World Cup 2014: Louis van Gaal frustrated by Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey absence ahead of Netherlands v Wales

Van Gaal had made it clear he wanted to face a full strength Wales side but both Bale and Ramsey will be missing on Wednesday

Holland boss Louis van Gaal is frustrated his players cannot test themselves against Gareth Bale this week.

The Dutch take on Wales in Amsterdam on Wednesday in their final friendly before leaving for the World Cup in Brazil.

Van Gaal had hoped Wales would provide a good test with the likes of Real Madrid star Bale and influential Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey in their ranks.

But Bale, who scored in the Champions League final earlier this month, withdrew citing a leg injury while Wales manager Chris Coleman opted to rest Arsenal's FA Cup winner Ramsey.

Wales are also without two other senior players in regular captain Ashley Williams and West Ham defender James Collins. Liverpool's Joe Allen will lead out the team as skipper.


Van Gaal, whose squad fly to Rio on Thursday, said: "I have said to my board that they had to insist on playing against Gareth Bale and Ramsey, but this can happen in football.

"I don't know why, whether it is injury or holidays.

"When it is a holiday I am a little bit disappointed but I can understand it because Bale has a difficult, but also impressive, season under his belt.

"It is better that we have the best team of Wales because we need resistance. I think Wales without these players are weaker.

"But I have seen Wales play, against Iceland and Finland, and I like the way that they play.

"They want to play the ball. I like the left winger and I like the midfielder of Liverpool.

"So it's not a bad team - but with Bale it is always better, with Ramsey also."

It hurt to turn down first love Spurs, says Van Gaal

Van Gaal, the vastly experienced former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, is standing down from his current role at the end of the World Cup to take over as manager of Manchester United.

The 62-year-old was named as David Moyes's successor at Old Trafford last month after weeks of speculation.

Van Gaal had previously been linked with job at Tottenham, both when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked last December and more recently when Tim Sherwood's position began to look uncertain.

Van Gaal concedes the position at White Hart Lane did interest him.

Asked how near he was to taking the job, Van Gaal said: "Very close, very close.

"As a little boy I was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur with the team of Jimmy Greaves when he was the champion.

"Jimmy Greaves was my idol, so I was very close."

Van Gaal was speaking at a press conference at the team's base this week at Santpoort.

He was asked about his upcoming move to Old Trafford but stuck to his recent vow not to discuss United until after the World Cup.

"I don't want to say anything," he said. "You can ask about the Dutch team and Wales. I'm here not for Manchester United."

Van Gaal has a reputation as a tough task master but he insists cultivating good relationships with his players is important.

He feels most players appreciate his methods, although he admits he will take a hard line with any who are not prepared to listen.

He said: "I think it is very important, I am a coach who wants a good relationship with my players.

"I do everything to reach that level but sometimes it is not reachable as the players are not open-minded.

"Okay, (if you) don't adapt to the norms that I put in the team, you are not listening, always out - or I go out."

Van Gaal cited one example when he did quit, after his first stint as Holland boss in 2002.

On the other hand there have been numerous bust-ups with players, including Rivaldo at Barcelona, when he dropped the world player of the year after a row over his best position.

Yet even in that case, Van Gaal believes he was right.

He said: "Most of the players are saying lovely things about me.

"There are also players who are very angry with me - (Franck) Ribery, (Luca) Toni, (Hristo) Stoichkov, Rivaldo.

"Rivaldo was nothing and I bought him and then he was a world player of the year."

Holland will be without Swansea midfielder Jonathan de Guzman against Wales due to a hamstring injury but Van Gaal is hopeful the problem is not serious.

Van Gaal said: "Now we have to wait and see in the coming days whether it is bad or not so bad. Hopefully its a light injury."


Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
An Apple iPhone 6 stands on display at the Apple Store
businessRegulators give iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the green light
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Britain's internet habits have been revealed in a new survey
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style