With the preparations for the World Cup in Brazil well and truly underway, the Netherlands faced Ecuador in a pretournament friendly on Saturday.
After Louis van Gaal's announcement of the Netherlands' 30-man preliminary squad, fans and pundits alike were keen to see the first XI the manager would pick—all the more so because of the new 5-3-2 formation he admitted to be experimenting with in training.
How would the likes of Daryl Janmaat and Robin van Persie perform in Van Gaal's newly devised system?
Very different from his usual 4-3-3 formation, the 5-3-2 system relies on wing-backs, who are expected to provide width down the flanks both in attack and defence, and three centre-backs. In short, the implementation of the 5-3-2 marked a radical departure from long-time Dutch tactics.
With some negatives and some positives to pick up from the match, the Netherlands and Ecuador eventually drew 1-1. What, then, were the six most important lessons for the Dutch?