Louis van Gaal: Dutch Courage

Dutch Courage CoverPublished as an ebook and paperback in December 2014, by Endeavour Press/ RedSportswriting.

Find out about the latest news, deals and competitions on the book’s official Facebook page here.

Book Details – ISBN-13: 978-1505336979;  ISBN-10: 150533697X


‘History Fan’, in a 4-star review, wrote: “Kirby’s well researched work documents the conflicts and convergences that Van Gaal has had with players, former clubs, and his national team, getting to the heart of how his footballing mind works. This is essential reading for anyone with an interest in English football, even if you hate Manchester United…”

‘Nigel Craig’, in a 5-star review, shouts: “Excellent insight into this complex character.”

‘Book Fanatic’, in a 4-star review, says: “Great research and insight make this a supreme football biography.”


Louis van Gaal is a paradox from top to toe.

This is the man who, when unveiled as Bayern Munich manager in 2009, described himself like this: “I am what I am; self-confident, arrogant, dominant, honest, industrious, innovative.”

Former players have described him as “scary”, as a “volcano”. The former Barcelona president described him as “the devil himself”. At Bayern, they said he “vaangalised” their team.

And yet at the same time, he is “warm-blooded”. He openly admits: “I cry almost every day. There’s always something that touches me.”

Barcelona’s Xavi says of him: “People see him as arrogant and aloof but he’s really not.”

Dutch Courage is a detailed dissection of the truth behind the myth of Van Gaal, studying his philosophy and his character, as well as some of the excellent football teams he has produced.

This Dutch master has been the head of some of the greatest dynasties in European football – Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United – as well as the boss of the Netherlands national team (twice).

Along the way, he has won a combined seven league championships across Europe. He has also been successful in continental competitions, listing the Champions League, the UEFA Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup amongst his honours.

As head coach of the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup, he led them to within a whisker of the final, beating world champions Spain 5-1 along the way, before his young Dutch charges were finally beaten on penalties by Argentina in the semi-final.

But in 2014 he took on arguably his greatest challenge: restoring Manchester United to their perch after a year in the doldrums.

Christian Nerlinger predicts that Van Gaal’s United reign will be anything but predictable: “one thing is for sure: it will not be boring.”

And this book is anything but boring. It is the exciting tale which supporters of Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and the Netherlands national team will want to read.

Andrew J Kirby is a season-ticket holder at Old Trafford, and writes about United for a number of fanzines and blogs. He is the author of Fergie’s Finest: Sir Alex Ferguson’s Greatest Manchester United x11, and The Pride of all Europe: Manchester United’s Greatest Seasons in the European Cup.



“The author knows his stuff,” Angela Bowman, Manchester United fan

“The perfect gift for the red devil in your life!” Sam Sharp, Manchester United fan

“A good read for United fans young and old,” AJ Hellina, Amazon reader

“A must read for any red,” Scott the Red, Republik of Mancunia on Fergie’s Finest

  1. […] Louis van Gaal: Dutch Courage […]

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