New Caltex Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk is convinced a solid block of training will prove hugely beneficial in implementing his vision for Australia.
Fresh from a flight from Europe, the new boss spoke to the assembled media for the first time at a press conference at FFA HQ in Sydney.
With two friendly matches in late March, in Oslo against Norway and in London with a clash against Colombia, there’s little time for the 65-year-old Dutchman to implement his ideas on the team.
Hence, as he was keen to point out, the importance of a solid block of training before the World Cup.
“Training is very important to me,” Van Marwijk stressed.
“As a coach of a national team, you have not so much time. So for example we have two games in March. We come together on Monday in Oslo March 19.
“The players play on the weekend and have to travel so they can’t train on Monday. And Tuesday you can hardly do anything.
“So you have only two days – Wednesday and Thursday – to prepare and to get to know the players. That’s not so much [time].
“And we travel to London where you have only maybe two other training days.
“I like to train because you can improve the team and also the players,” he said.
The solid block of training was a strategy used in 2006 when Dutch coach Guus Hiddink took the Socceroos for an intense camp in Holland.
It worked beautifully, with a super-fit and well-organised Aussie team making it through the group stage at Germany 2006.
“A lot of countries play a lot of friendly games,” Van Marwijk added.
“When I can make the decision, I would not play a lot of friendly games. I’d train more.”
FFA CEO David Gallop added he’d had preliminary discussions with Van Marwijk about a friendly game in May before the World Cup.
“There are some options for a farewell game in Australia but we are in no way locked into anything. We’ll work through that over the next few weeks,” said Gallop.
Van Marwijk also noted Australia’s training facilities in Russia were very much to his liking.
“For me, it’s very important we have a very good training pitch [in Russia] and they [FFA] assured me we have a good training pitch.
“And the distance from the hotel to training pitch is important. In Kazan we can walk to the training pitch, for me that’s very important.”
Source : Socceroos WEBSITE
New Caltex Socceroos Bert van Marwijk has given an insight on how he wants his Australian side to play, drawing on the tactics of Pep Guardiola’s EPL leading Manchester City.
While van Marwijk concedes “it won’t be easy” to get out of a tricky group – featuring France, Denmark and Peru – at June’s FIFA World Cup, he could have a playing style which could make it happen.
The 65-year-old said one of his biggest challenges will be getting the side playing in a way that gives them a chance to win matches but declared he’ll do whatever it takes to be successful.
Using the example of EPL giants Manchester City, van Marwijk said a “modern” style will be how he’ll set up this Australian team.
“Maybe we don’t have the best players but we can be the best team. When you have good team, the players know what to do, they trust each other and they trust us [coaching staff], and you play in a modern way,” van Marwijk said.
“I’m a coach that likes to have the ball and likes to play combination football. Then you have influence on the game.
“But in modern football you also have to have influence on the game when you don’t have the ball. That’s very important. In modern football it’s only about transition.
“100 years ago the pitch was the same size as now. But the players are bigger, faster and stronger. The food is better, the tactics are better.
“But the pitch is the same size. So it’s all about space.
“For example Manchester city may be the best team in the world this moment. Every game they always have the most ball possession, but they score most of their goals in transition. That’s very interesting.”
Van Marwijk was appointed as the coach to lead Australia to the FIFA World Cu, taking the reins from Ange Postecoglou who quit after qualifying the Caltex Socceroos via the play-offs.
The new boss said there was nothing wrong with the philosophy of his predecessor but is adamant he’ll do things “his way”.
“I have respect for the former coach, (but) I do it in my way,” van Marwijk said.
“I go to the World Cup with only one thing that counts, (and that’s) to survive the first round.
“I think it’s important that we play in a way that fits the players and also the coach. You cannot play in a way the players cannot do, and when they don’t like to play in a way you want to play, then you make a mistake.”
Van Marwijk will begin assessing players immediately and will take in three Hyundai A-League clashes this weekend.
He’ll take charge of his first matches as coach when the Caltex Socceroos play friendlies against Norway and Colombia next month.
Source : Socceroos WEBSITE
Flexibility will be the hallmark of new Caltex Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk as he ramps up his preparations for his first games in charge of Australia next month.
Van Marwijk has just seven weeks before he gets his first test as the Australian coach, with back-to-back friendlies against Norway and Colombia in Europe.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ The A-League Hour on Monday night, the former Netherlands and Saudi Arabia mentor admitted every session will be crucial as the players try to learn the way he wants them to play.
He said while it’s important to have a philosophy you stick to, there must always be a degree of flexibility.
“Players must understand how you want to play and it must also fit to the players. They must be capable of doing what you want,” van Marwijk said on Fox Sports.
“The best situation is that it also fits the coach. I like to be a little bit flexible. I’m not a coach who says we can play four, five, six systems.
“It’s very difficult to let a team play in a certain way that they trust each other and know what to do. But within the way of playing you must be flexible. That’s easy to say but in practice it’s very difficult.
“That costs time. But I realise we don’t have the time. Now, with seven weeks to watch all the players and to play the two games, we can hardly train. So the real preparation starts in May when we can really train.”
Van Marwijk said the Caltex Socceroos’ testing road to qualify for the FIFA World Cup showed there is a strong mentality within Australian players.
As manager of Saudi Arabia – who played Australia twice in qualifying – van Marwijk analysed the Caltex Socceroos squad closely and was impressed by many facets of their game.
“When you see them on the pitch they give you the feeling they like to play football,” the Dutchman said.
“I knew the mentality is very strong and you have a great sports culture. They are physically strong and have the right mentality.
“The other things that are important in football are speed and creativity. I think you [Australia] can play football. The important thing for me is to create a really good team.
“My experience at the World Cup in 2010 and 2002 with Feyenoord, when we won the UEFA Cup, is that we didn’t have the best players, but we had the best team.”
Source : Socceroos WEBSITE