The Netherlands started their new era under the manager Louis van Gaal with the defeat at the hands of Belgium a friendly match. Netherlands recently appointed Louis van Gaal as the replacement for Bert van Marwijk, who stepped down from his post as the national team manager following the disappointing Euro 2012. It was expected that the arrival of the former Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal will immediately galvanise the squad ahead of the start of the World Cup qualifiers. However, they have suffered a 4-2 defeat in the opening match of the Louis van Gaal era.
After the match, the former Bayern Munich manager said that he was extremely disappointed with the performance of his players and is looking for improvements in all areas of the pitch when the team take on Turkey in the World Cup qualifiers in September. Netherlands are in the same group containing the likes of Hungary and Romania, which makes it extremely unlikely that they will be the clear favourites to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Arjen Robben was once again at his best, but was unable to prevent the Dutch from losing the match. Belgium contained the likes of Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.
“We lost because of personal mistake. The first half wasn’t good because we played sloppy when we had the ball. At half time, I said to my players that Nigel de Jong should stay away when we had the ball. We started the second half very well, but due to personal mistakes we threw away the match. Especially the second goal, it was a big mistake by De Jong. We can learn from this match. We had a very young squad and Belgium is a good team. They are more experienced than us,” said the manager after the match.