The Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has said that he has had to go back to the ideas and methodology used by the former manager Guus Hiddink in order to get the team back into shape. The Dutch suffered heartbreak at the Euro 2012 in the group stage itself. This has led to the change of the management that has seen the former Bayern Munich manager take charge of the national team. He has made an instant impact on the team, as they are unbeaten in the last five matches. His situation is exactly similar to the one experienced by Guus Hiddink in 1996.
Netherlands suffered a similar fate back in 1996 following their disappointing exit from the Euro 96. Hiddink then employed a number of strategies that made Netherlands once again successful. Van Gaal has said that he is now employing the same strategy used by Guus Hiddink to revive the fortunes of the national team. Van Gaal has admitted that the relationship between most of the players in the national team suffered a strain following the Euro 2012. Hiddink managed to revive the national team following the disappointing Euro 96 by leading them to a successful 1998 World Cup.
“After Euro 2012 everyone could read, see and hear that relations between some players were strained. I used old footage as an introduction for my first meeting with the team. I chose an episode of ‘Andere Tijden Sport’ [a Dutch programme] about what went wrong at Euro 1996 and what Guus Hiddink did to make the World Cup 1998 such a success two years later. New rules and agreements about how to treat each other were very important back then,” said Louis van Gaal. After four consecutive victories in all matches, Netherlands could only manage a 0-0 draw with Germany.