Full coverage on the conversation on Dutch football talkshow Studio Voetbal about the rumours Louis van Gaal is set to become Tottenham’s new manager.
Studio Voetbal is a weekly talkshow about football on Dutch TV channel Nederland 1. The show is hosted by Jack van Gelder. This week the panel consisted of former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat, the Dutch great Ruud Gullit, former Ajax player Jan Mulder and former PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus.
The conversation unsurprisingly moved on to the topic of Louis van Gaal possibly becoming the next manager at Tottenham Hotspur. The segment also includes some very interesting revelations about the circumstances in which Spurs passed up on then Ajax striker Luis Suárez.
Studio Voetbal is produced by the NOS, the public broadcasting company who brought the scoop about Daniel Levy having a meeting with Louis van Gaal earlier today. They rely on the same sources, hence they were able to bring so much detail about this story.
Total Tottenham has translated the full discussion. You can watch the full video clip below, including English subtitles.
Jack van Gelder: Combining two jobs. Dick, you know what it’s like. Can it work?
Dick Advocaat: First of all it’s a great club with a lot of traditions. A club with a lot of money, but you have to have money in England to compete.
He could combine jobs, but I don’t believe Louis would agree to that if it was ever offered to him. He’s going to the World Cup. When I combined jobs [AZ Alkmaar and Belgium], we were just playing qualifiers. Louis is going to a finals tournament. He won’t have time to combine the two.
Van Gelder: To summarize. The story about Louis van Gaal and Spurs was reported late last night. The media picked up on it again this morning. There’s been talk about De Boer, Hoddle and now also Van Gaal.
Then reports came to us about a private jet which had taken off from London, with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy on board. He arrived around 12 o’clock today at Schiphol East.
We were unable to keep track of things from there, but we then stationed someone outside Louis van Gaal’s house in Noordwijk. We didn’t see Daniel Levy there, but we understand he was there all afternoon. Although, Van Gaal remains elusive about that.
– rolls clip of NOS reporter at Van Gaal’s house –
Louis van Gaal: What’s the purpose of your visit?
NOS reporter: We heard Mr Levy of Tottenham Hotspur was here, watching the game in your company. Is that correct?
Van Gaal: No, it’s not.
NOS: Are you aware of any interest from Tottenham?
Van Gaal: I’m not going to comment on that. I never do. So I don’t know why you are here.
NOS: We heard there was potential interest from Tottenham. We read various reports about this in the British media this morning.
Van Gaal: I’ve also read Frank de Boer and Guus Hiddink were in the picture. All agents work like that. They like to spread these kind of stories. They think it’s interesting. If it’s really the case, we never know.
NOS: So there’s nothing going on? You can’t inform us on any developments?
Van Gaal: That’s not the point. I never comment on offers I receive. I’d like it to stay that way.
NOS: We thought there were developments so we tried to verify if this is in fact true. So now we know there’s nothing going on.
Van Gaal: It’s not that important, is it?
NOS: Well, we find it interesting. If you were to become the new manager at Tottenham, that’s pretty big news in our view.
Van Gaal: Well, I’ve said that I would like to work in the Premier League one day. So there is a real chance.
But even then. There’s a time when this could be announced, and a time when it cannot. There’s also a time when things have to be prepared and sorted out. There’s no place for the media at that point.
Yet, you still want to be present at that time, which I find strange. There’s also such a thing as privacy.
NOS: You are absolutely right. But the winter break is upon us, so we’ll focus on Oranje (the Dutch national team) for the next two weeks. So all the news surrounding the Dutch team is of interest to us.
Van Gaal: Aha, but Oranje has nothing to do with Tottenham.
NOS: But maybe you could combine the two?
Van Gaal: Anyone who knows me, knows that I won’t do that. So that’s definitely not the case.
NOS: Our apologies for interrupting your Sunday evening. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your evening.
Van Gaal: The evening is yet to start I think. Good evening, gentlemen.
– end of clip –
Van Gelder: Our reporter was in Noordwijk for quite a while. In the end he got a pretty candid response from Louis.
Louis confirms your assumption, Dick. He won’t combine two jobs. He didn’t want to confirm he spoke to Daniel Levy. We’ve called him just now and he said: I don’t want to comment on that. But we know it has happened.
Spurs and Van Gaal. It could be a great marriage, after this season, couldn’t it?
Ruud Gullit: But I don’t know if he will get any money to spend. They received 100 million [euro] for Bale and they’ve spent that money. Villas-Boas didn’t spend it well. So if he [Van Gaal] will be able to still spend some money at Spurs, I’m not sure. He’ll probably have to make do with the players they currently have.
Van Gelder: They don’t have a poor squad.
Gullit: No, I don’t think they have a poor squad at the moment. I do think he will have to change the way they play. It could take a while before he has them playing like they should, how he wants them to play.
The Premier League is a very different story. We always want to play our brand of passing football. You’ll get no time to pass there. It’s a very intense league. But if he goes there, I’ll definitely keep an eye on how he’s doing over there.
Van Gelder: But Wenger also has his own distinct style, doesn’t he?
Gullit: True, and I have to say Tottenham have always been the team that tries to play pure football. They’ve drifted towards a somewhat anxious brand of football lately.
To appoint a Dutchman as Spurs manager, I’d really like that.
Jan Mulder: Yes, of course! It would be fantastic.
But Arsenal also appointed Wenger when he was a complete nobody. I believe he arrived from Japan at the time.
Now at Tottenham, you see that familiar reflex: appoint a famous, big name manager. Van Gaal in this case.
They have a man on the bench now, Sherwood. A great player in his days at Blackburn Rovers. He won the Premier League title at the time. A terrific player. I’ve heard him talk a couple of times. I think he’ll be a good manager.
Gullit: Well, can I tell you a story?
Mulder: Of course, tell me Ruud!
Gullit: I want to say something about him actually.
When Redknapp was still manager at Tottenham… Jamie Redknapp is a good friend of mine. So they asked me: How about Van der Vaart? I said: Amazing player, you should definitely take him. It was just before the transfer deadline. They rang me up at half past 11. So eventually they signed him.
Then I also told them: Get Suarez. They came to watch him. I met Sheringham [he means Sherwood] as well then, together with Ferdinand. They asked me all kinds of questions about Suarez. So I just point blank said: You have to snap him up, without any hesitation, in a heartbeat.
“Well, we’re not entirely sure,” they said. Whilst they actually watched him! That’s a huge mistake if you ask me.
Van Gelder: But you’re talking about Sheringham, he’s talking about Sherwood.
Gullit: I meant Sherwood, sorry. We’re talking about the same guy. Cause Sherwood and Ferdinand were Redknapp’s assistants at the time, and also were his scouts.
So afterwards they said to me: “Well, we might have got it wrong.”
I still think it’s great those guys are given a shot, cause in England everyone wants to go back to English managers, because they feel foreigners are having too much influence on their game.
Van Gelder: But Van Gaal can make his mark at any club, don’t you think?
Advocaat: No doubt. He’s an excellent coach.
Van Gelder: I think it would be a great combination.
Mulder: Yes. And it’s much more entertaining for us to see Louis there in stead of Sherwood.
Ronald Waterreus: If it’s true what Ruud says, that they don’t have any additional money to spend, then Louis is exactly the right manager who can work with their current squad and improve those players and mould them into a better team. He’s the best in the business in that regard.
Van Gelder: And he’ll have the time, despite the fact it’s not yet confirmed he’ll get the job, to arrange things in the next six months. So when he arrives there after the World Cup, most things have already been set up for him to crack on. So he knows what to expect, and they know what to expect.
Waterreus: Yeah. You know what I liked about that interview? At the start you think: he’s not going to say anything. But in the end he actually wants to say that the guy [Levy] is actually at his house.
Mulder: It was such a brilliant conversation. These two civilized men. Just brilliant.
Van Gelder: Definitely. I have to say Louis was a good sport too. Definitely to be continued.