Louis van Gaal would not make rash changes at Tottenham if he is appointed manager
Van Gaal has given Spurs assurances that he would not require a hefty transfer budget if he replaces Tim Sherwood in the summer
Louis van Gaal is said to be willing to work with the current Tottenham squad should he be appointed as Spurs’ manager in the summer.
The Dutchman is the favourite to replace current manager Tim Sherwood in the summer, with widespread reports claiming that chairman Daniel Levy has already decided to sack the former Spurs midfielder at the end of the season. With Van Gaal set to leave his role as Holland national coach following the World Cup, Spurs have been linked with making an approach for the 62-year-old, who has in turn given assurances that he will not require a big transfer budget to mould the team he wants.
The Evening Standard reports that Van Gaal met Levy back in December when Andre Villas-Boas was dismissed, and while there is interest in his services from Spartak Moscow as well as his own desire to keep an eye on matters at Manchester United, Spurs remain the favourite in terms of his next role.
Clearly, the United job would be more attractive than the one at Spurs because of the greater prestige and potential of the club, as well as the history of domestic and European success. Yet unless matters deteriorate dramatically over the remainder of the campaign, Moyes should still keep his post.
If he does come to Spurs, it is understood that Van Gaal would not seek to effect sweeping changes, as he believes strongly that his coaching methods are sound enough to improve most players, especially young ones.
This standpoint contrasts with that of Sherwood, who would be keen to overhaul the current squad should he retain the faith of Levy beyond the end of the current campaign. Of the seven signings made last summer, at a cost of more than £100million, Sherwood rates only one – Christian Eriksen – highly. He is thought to be willing to ship out the other six, as well as Lewis Holtby, and replace them with players who have more experience of the Premier League.
Van Gaal’s preference would be more to develop the current group, with particular focus on young footballers. Unlike other top-level managers, Van Gaal distrusts expensive, high-profile signings, preferring to work with men who are more receptive to his ideas. Daley Blind, the 24-year-old Ajax defender, is a potential signing if Van Gaal does take over at Spurs.
The Dutchman is proud of his track record of working with less experienced players, having led a youthful Ajax side to the Champions League title in 1995.
He also handed first-team debuts to Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona, and Thomas Muller and Holger Badstuber at Bayern Munich. The first three are now stars of the world game.
He is keen for young players to have inquiring minds, and some of those he developed at Ajax, including Frank de Boer, Clarence Seedorf, Ronald de Boer and Danny Blind, have moved into coaching after retirement.
Van Gaal is also committed to positive, attacking football, placing great emphasis on entertainment, rather than just securing useful results.
When Van Gaal makes his next move, his assistant is likely to be someone with significant experience of that club. It is understood that he will also seek to bring with him some or all of goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, technical expert Andries Jonker and forwards coach Patrick Kluivert, the former Holland striker.
It would be particularly difficult to hire Jonker, though, as he accepted the chance to succeed Liam Brady as Arsenal’s academy director, and he is due to start his new job on July 1.
Meanwhile, Jan Vertonghen could miss Monday’s home game with Sunderland due to the ankle injury sustained against Liverpool, but the problem is not thought to be too serious.
The defender limped off during the first half of the 4-0 defeat at Anfield. He has now had a scan and should recover to play a part in the run-in, as well as Belgium’s World Cup campaign.
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