'My team is not 100 percent yet': Van Gaal
Despite a convincing 1-4 victory away against Belgium, the second-highest ranked national team in the world, Dutch men’s football manager Louis van Gaal has claimed that there is more to come from his Netherlands side. "We did not play well for the whole 90 minutes. But we did for a long period: we are getting closer to the 100 percent,” he said after the Nations League match at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
Van Gaal clarified his statement by saying, "After we went 0-2 ahead, we lost our focus for a while. That can't happen."
He also took the time to praise Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn, who were responsible for three of The Netherlands' four goals. "If they keep this up, they will be the equivalent of Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben, who were my attackers at the World Cup of 2014."
The Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez, said the loss was a wake-up call. "This loss might have been what we needed before the World Cup. It is a very bitter pill to swallow, but it is now clear what we have to work on." The World Cup will be held in Qatar in November of this year.
Daley Blind contributed to The Netherlands' win with two of his crosses leading to goals. After the match, Blind had a message for his critics. "Clearly, you don't have to be fast to be dangerous," he said with a wink. Critics of Blind have lamented his lack of pace in the past. Blind played his 91st match for The Netherlands against Belgium.
Blind played as a left-wing-back for Oranje on Saturday evening. "I like this role, but I will play wherever the manager wants me to play." Blind is also known to play center-back at times for his club, Ajax.
The 1-4 victory was The Netherlands' first victory in Belgium in almost 25 years. The victory puts The Netherlands three points ahead of Belgium in their Nations League group. Their next match is on Wednesday evening in Cardiff away to Wales, while Belgium plays host to Poland in the other game in the group simultaneously.