'Only Van Persie and Robben are sure of World Cup spots' - Van Gaal

The coach says no one is certain of a place in the 23-man squad to travel to Brazil apart from the Manchester United and Bayern Munich stars and says there's a lot to be decided
Louis van Gaal says there are only two players who are guaranteed a place in his final Netherlands squad for the World Cup - Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben.

The Oranje coach was expected to name his provisional squad in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon but sat down in front of the media and revealed he will announce the list of players later in the evening.

The 62-year-old said he wanted to deliver the news to his players first before revealing it to the press and insisted there are still a lot of players to assess but did say Manchester United and Bayern Munich stars are certain of a place in the 23.

"Everybody thinks that the process is already finished, but that's not true," he told reporters. "The players in foreign leagues need to show it as well. Only Van Persie and Robben are sure of their spot, but I've said that for a year and a half.

"I will name the preliminary squad tonight, because I want to tell the players myself if they make it. I don't want them to hear it from the media.

"A couple of the young players of the recent stage made a good impression and could make the 23. But if a player doesn't make the preliminary squad, then he won't make the definite team.

"We still need to judge the players from foreign competitions and we will do that in the next training stage and in Portugal [last training stage]."

The coach is expected to set his team out in a 5-3-2 system, as opposed to his favoured 4-3-3 and he revealed that, had it not been for the injury of Kevin Strootman earlier this year, he would have no need to change his formation.

"It's easier to make a list of 30 players in the new system. The fact that Strootman is injured and that we faced troubles with the left back position, are reasons to try a new system. If Strootman wasn't injured, I wouldn't have considered this new system.
"It's not a new system. Our Dutch philosophy about football still stays intact. We still want to play attacking football, only in another system.

"You can watch the friendly against Ecuador [on Saturday] and judge our new system. I'm aware of the fact that it's a risk, but I do want to win. So if I think this is the best way, we will do this.

"When Strootman got injured, I already said that I was considering a new system. We don't have another player like Strootman. France, for instance have [Paul] Pogba and [Blaise] Matuidi, two players that I would like to pick.

"We think that the quality of the players comes out best with this new system. First I spoke about it with my staff and after that with my captains. After that I spoke with several other players.

"Everybody had a lot of enthusiasm because the players will play within their qualities. But it's not sure that we will play this system, so I don't want to talk about it too much."

The former Ajax boss said he has decided part of his line-up for his team but added there is a lot to be decided.

"I have my line-up in my head for more than five players. But that also depends on the change of system and the shape of the players at the moment we're playing against Spain.

"Sometimes during a World Cup, a player with a high number [on his shirt] will make the starting line-up. That shows that the shape of the day is important."

He was then asked about the possibility of taking over as Manchester United coach next season, but refused to comment.

"We're all here because of the Dutch national team. I don't want to say anything about United. Last week I did, because there were some English journalists who came unannounced to the training stage.

"I said a few words and that became a story of 60 pages. We will have to wait and if you want answers, you have to ask Manchester United."