SC Heerenveen shows interest in Robin van Persie

In recent weeks, SC Heerenveen announced that they will not continue with Kees van Wonderen for next season. The Frisian club is looking for a new name to take charge of the team.

The name that gained traction within the club was that of former Dutch national team and Feyenoord center forward, Robin van Persie. Currently working as a coach for Feyenoord’s U17 team, he has been promoted to the U21 team.

Stadionclub intends to keep Robin van Persie as youth coach for the coming seasons, given the excellent results he has been achieving.

Robin van Persie is studying for the highest football coaching license in Europe. Everyone at Feyenoord already understands that Robin van Persie is looking to become coach of a first-team team in the coming years, but with Arne Slot in technical command of the team, this will not yet be possible.

Given this scenario, a move to SC Heerenveen would be the open door for Robin van Persie to begin his career as a head coach.

In addition to Robin van Persie, more experienced names such as Rick Kruys and Maurice Steijn are also at the top of the Heerenveen team’s director of football list.

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  1. Frimpong played as an out an out right-sided attacker in the Dortmund Leverkusen match today. He offers something that no other Dutch player does, needs to be on the field for the NT,

  2. I feel terrible for Frenkie. I fear for his career. Copy of Van Basten tragedy perhaps. Didn’t look good at all. Great to see the applause by the Real Madrid socios.

  3. Frenkie should take rest and should not take part in euros…why to risk his career by helping a coach who decides to take Granpa blind,average old De roon and wijnaldum who can barely run and play in saudi..ohh i forgot saudi league is beter than english championship so that he can ignore our most thretening winger summmerville..
    Frenkie injury need real rest,thats how it heals..he should take a brake till august..
    koeman is delusional idiot who thinks blind still has role in top tire high intensity games..he cannot even barely run..why these clowns always think that with out Blind there is no NT…another Nahul molina is waiting in euros..
    its sad wonderful generation of virgil will go futile by clown coach and grandpas..Virgil,Depay,Frnkie,koopmeiners,De ligt,De vrij,Zirkee they deserve a euro at least…

  4. I have always being critical/ pessimistic about rainy days. in this case, in context to injuries and how the NT always find themselves choking when there is one. recall depay at Qatar world cup and how his outing was after returning from injury in time and making the squad . he barely had any impact through out the tournament and in the end it was weghorst who stole the show coming off the bench.

    similarly you cant expect much from those players who are currently injured and are expected to recover just before euros. this is another reason why koeman is going around begging to take 26 players so that they can accommodate some of this players and through the course of the euros can clock minutes and gain fitness which again is always a risk.

  5. some of koeman mistakes. not calling up zirkzee . calling frimpong to late. not utilizing koopmeiners to his best of capability (atalanta) and then persisting on with the dead woods. (tiju has mentioned this above)

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Fred Grim is fired from FC Emmen

After yet another disappointing result, FC Emmen announced the dismissal of Fred Grim. The coach leaves the club alongside his assistant coach, Erwin van Breugel. The Kannibals are still looking for a place in the Keuken Kampioen Play-Offs to try to gain access to the Eredivisie. The club also informed that Marc Hegeman will lead the team in the next game.

The team’s irregularities throughout this season were a fundamental factor in Fred Grim’s dismissal. The 58-year-old coach had a good start to the season with the Emmenaars shirt, but was unable to maintain stability throughout the competition. FC Emmen went nine games without winning in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie, recording eight defeats and one draw.

Fred Grim leaves FC Emmen in 12th place with 45 points, one less than MVV Maastricht, the first club at the gateway to the qualifying zone for the Keuken Kampioen Play-Offs.

“There was not enough support and trust within the club to achieve the objective. The next games are extremely important for us to achieve this goal and we understand that with this change, we may have a better chance of winning. On Friday we want to enter the qualifying zone for the Keuken Kampioen Play-Offs.

In the coming days it will be determined whether we will continue with Marc Hegeman as our coach or bring in some other name” said FC Emmen director of football Rinse Bleeker.

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The State of Orange (Oranje)

As a national team coach, you want to be able to mould your best team, tactics, approach and squad by now, some 3 months before the tournament.

The two friendlies, against serious opponents, should have told us many things. And it did. But not sure if it was what Koeman wanted.

Not sure what the plan was versus Scotland, with the new 3-5-2 set up (or 3-2-3-2).

Disappointingly for Koeman, we won’t know for sure as the execution was not great. Some players didn’t reach their usual level (Wieffer, Simons, Frimpong) while Memphis is clearly not 100% fit.

Add to that the absence – again – of Frenkie and it’s hard to ascertain where we stand.

Versus Scotland, we played under par for an hour or so but still won 4-0. Against Germany , we played well at stages but lost 1-2.

Two corner kicks: two goals. Fixable, sure, but not something Koeman will be happy with.

Koeman was able to use his subs and shift form shape to shape, so the flexibility of the team and the adaptability of the team seems to be getting better.

I think, when all the players will be fit, we do have a very good squad. But I also think that France, England, Spain and Italy are a bit further than us, in terms of solid game play, patterns and key players.

Sadly, as it happens with every tournament, we won’t have all players available at the Euros.

Some conclusions:

Stop the silly systems debate

As always, people spend hours debating which system Holland should play. This is an irrational discussion. We played 4-3-3 versus Scotland, or so it seemed. But it was actually a 3-5-2. Against Germany, we played 3-2-3-2 but again, in the practice it was. four man defence as one of the midfielders dropped back to start the build up. Daley Blind was hardly ever in defence, but played as an extra midfielder and at times as a number 10 even. Joey Veerman dropped back to assist the defenders in their build up. Ake moves to the left back space.

In the second half, Blind kept the pitch wide, allowing Memphis to explore the half spaces on the left hand side.

Ake as left centre back, Blind playing wide wingback in a 4 men midfield.

What system is this? Never mind. It’s about space and how to use the space. Not about numbers on a playing field, when the ref whistles to start the match.

Creating the free man

Koeman is keen to use his midfielders and front men to create a free man in our team. He put Reijnders one v one on Kroos and instructed Memphis to harass Andrich, the Germany holding mid. This forced Germany to build up via Tah. This way Koeman could stack the centre of the pitch with two holding mids (Veerman, Schouten) and always kept three defenders to deal with the mercurial Germany forwards.

Blind playing central midfielder

This chess face-off meant that Germany was still in control on their own half, but were not able to be a threat against us, in terms of goal scoring opportunities.

Here Blind is playing as second 10

Donyell Malen is like a panther

We have quite a number of top forwards or top potentials in the attacking line, with Lang (now injured), Gakpo, Simons, Brobbey, Zirkzee, Stengs and Bergwijn but Malen offers something the others players don’t have. Malen is explosive, fast and very willing to make runs deep. The other players all want the ball to feet. Lang and Simons do tend to go deep, as does Bergwijn, but not as their first instict. Malen is like a panther, lurking and watching for his change to spring into action.

This makes him a unique player in the squad and should cement his spot in the squad if not the team. In the first half, Malen was instrumental in our first goal, even though he never touched the ball. He had two more breaks and in the second half he presented both Memphis and Reijnders with 2 100% chances. Both players mishit the ball and aimed too high.

Yes, Malen played well but goes to sleep here and allows Musiala some touches in the box

Still, he has his moments of snoozing off (like big cats do) and he was at fault, partly, with the first German goal. He didn’t cut off the pass and was a bit late in reacting to their short corner allowing Musiala to be a threat ( who assisted the ball to the goalscorer).

Jerdy Schouten is a keeper

Schouten played against Germany like he does for PSV, all season long. Very tight on the ball, always in control, always with great care. Van Gaal didn’t think he was good enough after half a game for Holland but Peter Bosz and Ronald Koeman are convinced. On top of that, Schouten plays a lot of forward passes as well, in true Frenkie de Jong style, starting a number of threatening moves. When he got subbed, at the 75th minute, he had most interceptions to his name as well. I don’t want to be over the top here, but he would be a top replacement for Toni Kroos at Real Madrid.

I think Schouten passed his exams and will battle it out with Koopmeiners, Wieffer, Reijnders, De Roon and Veerman for the next-to-Frenkie spot.

Our goalies are fine

We don’t need to worry about our goalies anymore. Flekken and Verbruggen both impressed. Bijlow will return. Nick Olij is a fine shotstopper and Bizot has impressed in France.

So, it seems we might be in good shape this summer.

But if we go through to the last 4, I believe it will be partly due to luck and a favourable draw.

I don’t think Oranje deserves to be seen as a top contender but with the right mix and the key players available and in form, we can surprise.

Koeman called this international break “the final exams”. The jigsaw pieces have not all been in place to show the big picture and the former Barca coach is still playing with them.

Verbruggen impressed

His own conclusion: “I have not been able to find the right combinations, and I fear it’s the result of this injury ridden campaign. And as the calendar keeps getting fuller, I don’t understand why we are now being limited to take 23 players instead of 26. We know already from experience that from the date we have to send in our list of names and the first match, players will drop off. That is always the case.”

Koeman said he already knows who his Euros goalie is, and it seems to be Bart Verbruggen. Only Bijlow is fit and plays a series of impressive matches will he be able to replace Bizot as third goalie.

In defence, it is clear that Virgil, Ake, De Ligt, Dumfries and Geertruida are certain of their spot. Frimpong didn’t impress this time around, but used properly, the speedy right wing back will make the squad, as will multi-functional brainiac Daley Blind.

In midfield, a fit Frenkie is on the bus as well, as will Reijnders be. He didn’t disappoint in his Oranje matches and impresses with his legs, lungs, intelligence and technique.

Wijnaldum seems a shoe in as well. Why select him now otherwise. Koeman has loyalty to Gini and knows the former Feyenoord talent gels well with Memphis. Mats Wieffer has mixed results but Koeman rates the midfielder high and he does have some credit. But he’ll need to show it to the coach in the coming matches.

Schouten is in the same boat as Wieffer. Very promising but a thin foundation as yet. Koeman will be focusing on their performances in the coming months.

Marten de Roon will most likely be in the squad as the only enforcer we have. He never complaints and is one of the leaders off the pitch. Koopmeiners however, who had to leave the camp with an injury, is exceptional in the Serie A, but never really impressed in the orange jersey.

Joey Veerman is not for everyone. Very good on the ball, vulnerable without. He played well in the past Oranje matches but was exposed in several CL matches for PSV. Koeman will throw a dice regarding Veerman and Koopmeiners.

Quinten Timber might nog have been able to show enough in this break and might need to focus on a spot after the Euros, to replace Wijnaldum on the road to 2026.

Xavi Simons is one of the few creative sparks in the team and despite a disappointing series, he will be on the bus as well.

Upfront, it seems Memphis, Gakpo, Malen and Weghorst are certain of their ticket. The question marks will be stalwarts Berghuis and Bergwijn, who both need a super strong finish of the season. Koeman mentioned before that he finds Berghuis to be a unique player and therefore potentially a part of the squad. This gives Koeman another option on the right wing.

Calvin Stengs might have a super end to the campaign and also be in the running for the right wing position. Brobbey and Zirkzee will also be right in Koeman’s radar for the coming games and Brobbey will be part of the squad when fit, it feels.

Micky van der Ven, the left footed centre back of Spurs could also make the squad as his speed and ability to play on any spot in defence makes him an ideal squad player.

Some more question marks: Q Hartman, Stefan de Vrij, Nick Olij, Ian Maatsen and Noa Lang.

And what to do with Summerville… He’s on fire for Leeds and is close to a senior call up, in particular when one or more attacking options (Gakpo, Malen, Simons) fall away with injuries…

Strap yourselfs in, we’re heading to an exciting finish of the season.

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  1. I think they started with 3-4-3 in attack and 5-3-2 in defense.

    Malen- Depay- Reijnders

    Blind – Veerman- Schouten- Dumfries

    Ake- Van dijk – de ligt


    In defense blind and dumfries would drop back

    On few phases as shown in the picture yes they look like in position as analyzed but they are merely covering up for each other. Blind to cover for veerman and veerman for Ake and above all it’s defensive phases with back passing or playing lateral passes at the back. I’m confused here as to how this worked in NT’s favor and especially in the first half where the Germans dominated possession or in the case of NT build up and attack. I actually went back to the video with those times and though the photo is showing the accurate positioning but the phases after that is contrary to what has being mentioned. Blind in the after phases drifts to the flank with NT in possession to provide outlets but doesn’t gets the ball. The Germans cut in out and this is where him and Ake were caught napping few times.

    Agree to disagree.

  2. i’m sure you’re right Wilson. But just be aware that some players can fill in in other spaces, whereas others cannot. Schouten and Frenkie and Wieffer can play CB. Koopmeiners can too. Dumfries cannot play infield. Geertruida can. Ake and Blind have played defensive mid in their career, De Vrij not. Etc.

    The point I made re: systems is confirmed by your comments. It’s fluid and it should be.

    Germany might have had possession but did they create a lot? Two goals conceded from corners. That should be easy to improve on.

    But, the important thing is: this team needs to find a core of 8 players soon and those players need to build rapport and patterns.

    My ideal eleven (assuming Lang won’t make it) against stronger opponents (Germany, England, Spain, Italy)- 3-4-1-2

    De Ligt- Van Dijk – Ake
    Frimpong – Schouten- Frenkie – Hartman
    Malen – Memphis

    Against weaker opponents (Austria, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia): 3-4-3

    Geertruida – Van Dijk – Ake
    Frimpong – Reijnders – Frenkie – Gakpo
    Xavi – Brobbey – Memphis

    1. But it wasn’t effective, was it. I think it was all in the bid to try and get control of possession play to build up attacking phases which were defused often with German pressing them and causing turn overs. I did go and watch the game again and in the first half the Germans like the Scottish were ruthless.

      I also disagree to part that the Germans didn’t create a lot , when they opened the Dutch inside out all over the park. Particularly in the first half as I have said. The finishing let them down and credit to Van dijk as always who was on on hand to close the gate on the right time. Verbruggen as well who came with some good saves. I thought you mentioned this . Either way Gundogan, musiala and havertz in the first half were menace.

      The second half the Dutch did pull it back with dumfries making some good runs and linking up with the forwards but that didn’t last long after his side became under pressure again. And this is another evidence that the Dutch system revolves around him when it comes to attacking build up phases from the flanks and if doesn’t happen, the Dutch are always on back foot. I mean this was case in wC and at euros where with average teams he was standout but couldn’t replicate it with teams that were pressing his flank consistently like vs Argentina , Acuna and Alvarez.

    2. @jan

      Fantastic article.

      I have several questions that I’d love your expertise on.

      Theres been some hesitation with de ligt at RCB. He doesnt look fully comfortable in a back 3. I assume you have him against top teams for his defensive ability and geertruida in games when possession is needed. Is that how you feel?

      Who would you play lwb against better teams without hartman?

      Interesting that you have gakpo at lwb. What’s your logic here as its a new role for him.

      Why frimpong instead of dumfries at RWB against better teams? I feel dumfries offers more defensively. I worry with de ligt at RCB and frimpong RWB we will see de ligt pulled into the side channels more often where he seems to struggle in 1v1 duels more than through the middle…?

  3. Good piece, Jan. Thank you.

    Yes, saw that about Hartman. Play Ake at left wingback. Its not his best position, but he’s such a good player, he can make it work. And if Koeman wants to move to move the players around on the field as he did with Blind sliding inside at times in the Germany match, Ake is well-suited. Van de Ven is ready and waiting as the LCB. As good as Ake has been at MC this year, Van de Ven has been just as good at Tottenham. Otherwise, why not give Frimpong a look on the left—wrong foot, but in a situation where you have injuries and have to make do, why not try to get your best players on the field?

  4. Hi Andrew, good comments. Frimpong can play on the left, but Maatsen is a candidate too.

    I think Van der Ven as LCB is sensational. His speed alone. A nice opponent for MBappe too.

    For this reason, I think we need to get away from “ideal starting eleven”. I think you need to use the right system/line up in relation to what you expect from the opponent. Not necessarily adapting to the strenghths of the opponent. It can also be adapting to expose their weakness.

    I think losing Hartman is a shame but not dramatic.

    As for the Germany-Holland game, yes Germany created opportunities, of course they did. This is one of the strongest football nations on the planet. But we have played games versus France and Italy where we were clueless and played off the pitch.

    I feel like we can definitely handle Germany, if we play at our best. Not so sure about France.

    I hope Koeman will be able to go with 26 players instead of 23.

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AZ Alkmaar signs young Quick Boys striker

This Wednesday, AZ Alkmaar announced the signing of Sem van Duijn. The 19-year-old striker left Quick Boys, an amateur club in the Netherlands. He signs with the Cheeseheads until the end of the 2026/27 season.

Sem van Duijn is very happy about his move to AZ Alkmaar: “AZ Alkmaar is a fantastic club, which is also very busy with my development. I’m a player who likes to keep growing. I’m at Jong Ajax, which is a great start.”

“I think Quick Boys is one of the best amateur clubs. I’m taking a step higher. The Dutch Cup was very important for me. I can show myself and develop further at AZ Alkmaar” said Sem van Duijn.

Without van Duijn he came through the Quick Boys youth ranks. The talented striker scored both goals against De Graafschap this year and with his goal in the round of 16 against AZ Alkmaar managed to take the contest to penalties.

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  1. Anyone watch the Scotland game?

    Quick thoughts: Scotland outplayed them the first 30 minutes, more aggressive and alert; woukld have been up 1-0 but for Flekken. Reijnders was tbe best player. Team looked better when Veerman came on for Wieffer. Frimpong started as rb in 4-3-3, and looked a littler unsure. I have always been a fan of Wijnaldum, but perhaps his time is past. Looked like he was searching for key moments to exploit, whereas in the past his game had always been about work rate and speed. Simons wasn’t very noticeable. Geertuida also unconvincing.

    Based on current form, if everyone is healthy and they play a 4-3-3: Dumfries, De ligt/De Vrij; VVD, Ake; De Jong, Veerman, Reijnders; Malen, DpPay, Gakpo;
    If 5-3-2: Dumfries/Frimpong; De ligt De Vrij; VVD; Ake, Hartman; Dejong, Veerman, Reijnders; Gakpo, Depay.

  2. I watched it. I see issues. Koeman is still searching and testing and it’s hurts my eyes.

    Not sure why Wijnaldum had to be brought back. Time to move forward. Koeman seemed to play 4-3-3 but it wasn’t. We play 3-4-2-1 with Frimpong wide right, Gakpo wide left. Memphis striker with Gini and Xavi behind him.

    Why would you experiment now, with another system. 4-3-3 can work, 3-4-3 can work, but using Frimpong in his debut wide without any patterns/automatisms with other players does my head in.

    I think Reijnders is a shoe in for the role next to Frenkie. I would play with Brobbey as 9, Memphis as 10.

    Just go 3-4-3 Roland: Flekken and then Ake, Virgil, De Ligt or DeVrij (speed might be an issue, so Mickey vd Ven could well be the right guy) in defence.

    Use Hartman, Reijnders, Frenkie, Frimpong/Dumfries as midfielders.

    Then Gakpo, Memphis and Brobbey up front ( with right flank open for Dumfries/Frimpong).

    Both Reijnders and Frenkie will drift to the left.


    Reijnders as 10 and Schouten/Wieffer next to Frenkie so Frenkie can roam. And then Memphis as 9 and Brobbey sub.

    Does Koeman have a grip on the approach? I am starting to doubt.

    1. When did Koeman have a grip on anything? He in my opinion is the most vile yet clueless coach out there. Destroyed Everton with his attitude, crazy signings, and arrogant behavior. The team has yet to recoer from his disastrous tenure. Bailed out on the national team in his previous stint and ran to Barcelona (even had that in his freaking contract). Then destroyed Barcelona. No idea why the KNVB re-hired him after Barcelona kicked his ass out.
      As long as he is the coach, I won’t be able to support the team the way I have done for 40 years. Regardless, that is irrelevant as the team won’t really progress much anyway.

  3. I’m just re writing this again. Let’s face the facts.. you have Dutch players playing in top flight but most of them play one position only and are pretty average if played out of position or make shift. Top example Simons. At Leipzig he has been a revelation, come NT he is dull ,lacks the cutting edge. How you wanna call it. His stronghold is clearly on the left where he is thriving at Leipzig and his ultimate stronghold as well so why play him out of position. Why play him on the right and this really affected Frimpongs game. You Add gakpo, bergwijn and Lang to this dilemma it’s gonna be one big tea party very soon happening on that LW with also with the likes of Summerville, Van bommel coming up.

    I was really disappointed with gakpo regardless of his two assists. He was just waiting for the ball to him at the right time and right place. His time and role at Liverpool now shud be under spotlight and whether Lang or Simons shud be given the nod there. Players with cutting edge.

    The other fact, the balance factor. The team is too much orientated to the left (offset) and again this is due to a lot players having their stronghold there. Frenkie, Reijnders, veerman, koopmeiners,Timber just selected, Gravenberch coming up. This was one of the reason why Frimpong looked cold, because there was no chemistry what so ever between Wieffer, Simons and him. There was one or two plays, link ups but that was all it. You want see those triangles passes, link ups going on but as usual the back and lateral instead was on the display

    I mean you look at how the Scottish were playing fluently and penetrating from all around when they got on to the ball , mcginn, mactominay. I think the momentum shifted in NTs favor when subs came on for the Scottish and in comparison to NT were downgrade

    Reijnders was probably the brightest spark and the best player, and though Im glad to see somebody at last having that capability of taking long range shots, in terms of cutting edge he also fails to dance around with the ball. I mean mcginn was ruthless in this and all over the park. Frenkie probably is good in this but like I always say when he plays the rest has to play in his shadows because of his superiority but I think looking at Reijnders performances as he plays more it’s time to consider rotating Frenkie because Reijnders bring what Frenkie can’t. At Milan he plays both on the left and right but often his decisive when playing on the left. His goal is also a testimony to this. Again if you shift him to the right, it comes down to what I have said on top about how make shift positions offsets the dynamics and orientation of the team .

    You take veerman for example, big shift when he came on but the momentum had already shifted in NTs favor by then. His defensive attributes was also hardly tested or on show otherwise it’s well known he is another one of those whose stronghold is the left and quite average without the ball.

    It’s a pity Scotland didn’t have depth on the bench otherwise the way they played in first half, I would say it was like they were on another level. That’s what my expectation is for the Dutch NT.

  4. Wieffer also doesn’t look like somebody who has a high ceiling and can develop into a top MF going forward. He is robust with his tackles sometimes clumsy and that’s it. At times in the first half particularly the midfield completely were outclassed and looked to be catching crabs. I wonder what will happen to them vs Germany.

  5. I hope Koeman decides to go to a 3 man backline and stick with it. Let them get used to playing it together.

    You’re preaching to the choir about Van de Ven starting on the right of the backline.. He’s not right-footed, but he has been so good in the EPL he needs to be on the field.

    Reijnders has separated himself from the other mf’s to be De Jong’s partner.have to be in the mf. Than its a question of 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. If the latter I’m leaning towards Veerman. He is not good off the ball. But he keeps things turning over, puts the ball in good places for his to run with, and he is the best they in putting free kicks into dangerous positions. Hope to see him start against Germany. Maybe he gets exposed, maybe he opens up the offense, but at least we see.

    If they go with 3 up front, to me its Malen (joining Gakpo, Brobbey/Depay). He’s in form and he can run behind and stretch the defense.

  6. Hi all, some good comments here. I am not concerned about Xavi Simons, Wieffer or Frimpong. The latter is the best forward threat in the Bundesliga. Xavi, we don’t need to even mention him. Wieffer has demonstrated his value in the CL, in big matches for Feyenoord and Oranje. Atletico Madrid went far to sign him last winter.

    It’s too easy to ban them based on one match. I think the team versus Scotland was simply not set up the right way. Scotland found it’s system and playing style, Koeman is still puzzling.

    Not having Frenkie and Brobbey must have put a strike through his plans.

    Being “limp” on the right is not a problem, it’s part of modern football tactics: just look at how Man U and Liverpool (and Feyenoord) overload on the left, only to break open the right flank. Dortmund does it too. It’s by design, Wilson.

  7. You last part, you have to be kidding me to say it’s part of modern day football. Hell no And I really question what you have been watching. Liverpool TAA and Salah.
    Well balanced and on a day if everybody is avaliable and either of Robertson and Diaz, jota or gakpo on the left, it’s a massacre

    At United Man United paid 100 million to bring Antony to balance their right flank as it lacked cutting edge before.he had off field issues and as result United suffered as there was no one else who could replace him. Eth had to switch Rashford with few other new guys. Diallo. They were not unbalanced or like you say limping on the right. They are struggling because of their inconsistency of certain signings and due injuries.

    You look at any top team in epl they have the right and quality balance. That’s why Arsenal have joined the race this season for title after addressing the very issue.

    And then at Dortmund, I cant understand how you reaching to that conclusion when malen has been standout playing from the right. Again sancho’s arrival have given them a good balance and also adeyemi, moukoko, ryerson are slowly making a comeback from injury and also they have climbed to 4th in the table.

    If I recall correctly you have consistently raised this idea of one flank being active and the other not been tatical especially in context to blind and Dumfries and in NT and for how many years it has being a corner point for their fall. Left flank gets compressed more and I’m not saying in every game but in those high tempo and vs big teams. Dont have to go into depth here. Unless you want me too. Standing by.

    I mean if due injuries its understandable but in modern day football and if you want to win there is no way you can go with the tatical aspect you have mentioned. Absolutely no top team in any league are doing so or have the status core of what you are saying.

    1. Look at how inter play. Its extremely tactical. Sometimes both wingbacks push on and a CDM drops between the CB’s. Other times, you have dimarco tucking in and dumfries getting high to turn it into a 4-3-3. Then the play evolves and theres a switch to the left side for the open lwb. It’s 100% by design but can look unbalanced at times as theres so much attacking coming from dumfries at rwb.

      As for the scotland game.

      Both early attacks from scotland came down our left. In the 49th minute we have build up play on the left where depay should score on the turn. weiffer, frimpong and xavi are all involved.

      50th minute scotland gets a good strike attacking our left.

      54th minute. good build up play leading to gakpo almost scoring. Starts on the left, goes through midfield and then a switch to the right.

      80th minute attack down the left, switch to the right and then gakpo fires wide.

      I’m not quite sure what you mean with all this balance talk. Our left flank gave up more chances defensively. Our right flank started many attacks and switched to the right.

      I mean, xavi tucks inside and gakpo stayed wide. Of course theres a difference of styles there and thats by design. ake stayed back more and frimpong attacked the wing that xavi left open for him.

      Then I assume youre also talking about RCM being a problem spot. We have yet to see reijnders and frenkie together. Weiffer, de roon, koop, and schouten are not quite elite level players yet. Of course theres a drop off when u compare frenkie to any of them. However, what exactly is the issue of balance you are referencing? Ball progression? defensive liability?

      You talk about triangles not being on the left but how often did we have ake, gakpo and reijnders passing in triangles compared to weiffer, frimpong and xavi. It wasnt all that different.

  8. @Wilson, watch more football analysis. In Holland, we have Pieter Zwart analysing games with video and interviews with coaches and this is what some coaches do. Sorry mate. But we all live in our own little world of understanding I suppose.

    Most teams want to lure teams to one side, to suddenly burst open on the other flank. Keep on watching Dortmund.

  9. I like Frimpong, I think he’s the best RWB in the world, but I don’t think he’s gonna take Dumfries spot at the Euros.

    Personally, I think the best line-up is:

    Dumfries–de Ligt–VVD–van de Ven–Ake



    I think that Dumfries, VVD, Ake, Frenkie, Reijnders and Simons have cemented their place in the starting 11. I think Zirkzee is the best option up front, Weghorst and Depay off the bench. Frimpong will be good off the bench as well, especially when in search of a goal.

    I really like Koopmeiners too, so if we switch to a 4-3-3, then Koop would get my third spot in midfield, and we’d have to play with a flat 3 with no DM or AM.

  10. @ Anthony

    neither NT plays how inter play and nor they have players like that of inter. at inter it may be 100% design because Inzaghi has depth and players to rotate but NT doesn’t so it’s no use looking at Inter.

    I can agree with you however what you have mentioned about various shifts in how inter plays and also with starting different players which Inzaghi has being doing a lot. But that doesn’t mean they have to resort to limping tatic on one side and having one wing back higher than another. No, Dimarco is as much attacking oriented as dumfries and while you did point this out, this has not being the case in NT until the arrival of Hartman if you compare him to blind. The balance factor Is quiet evident when he plays and again in Hartmans context I can agree what you said about Dimarco and dumfries. At the end of the day they are well attacking oriented and can balance it with defensive play. This is not the limping tatic which Jan highlighted and again going back to blind and dumfries and certainly not a modern day tatic either.

    Secondly the balance off set or left side orientated. It’s so simply but yet you don’t get it or want to see it . Where did all the 4 goals come from. I leave this to you to ponder . Yes there was passages of build up and shots on target from the right but it was neither effective and nor precise as Xavi was often forced to hit with his weaker foot having to turn compared to gakpo who looked dangerous in his stronghold cutting from the left and pulling the trigger.

    Lastly I see you often fail to understand what I’m trying to highlight.
    I wrote this so clearly

    “ The other fact, the balance factor. The team is too much orientated to the left (offset) and again this is due to a lot players having their stronghold there. Frenkie, Reijnders, veerman, koopmeiners,Timber just selected, Gravenberch coming up. This was one of the reason why Frimpong looked cold, because there was no chemistry what so ever between Wieffer, Simons and him. There was one or two plays, link ups but that was all it. You want see those triangles passes, link ups going on but as usual the back and lateral instead was on the display”

    I was talking about the right side here clearly ( Wieffer, Simons and Frimpong ) and you came and start banging on the left.

    “You talk about triangles not being on the left but how often did we have ake, gakpo and reijnders passing in triangles compared to weiffer, frimpong and xavi. It wasnt all that different.”

    I don’t know what to see here

    @ Jan

    Well it hasn’t worked so far but I will accept as fans we are entitled to express what we see.

    “Most teams want to lure teams to one side, to suddenly burst open on the other flank”

    This is so not true. Even a team like PSG who have mbappe often at the center of focus and on that left side, the other players are often waiting on standby should he decide to pass or off rebounds

    I can also agree on this in one or two phases often during counter attack situation where defenders are more focused on defusing the counter attack on one flank that they have no time to see whose racing on top on the side. They just get sucked in

    Not most teams , very few teams and particularly those like PSG. Mbappe is often the center of focus and yes he can lure teams to one side and

    1. INTER:
      Ah… I see. So you can bring up arsenal to defend your opinion but you won’t let me use inter as an example…..

      As for the 4 goals, youre being unfair. 1 is a corner kick (irrelevant to the balance of the team). 2 is a run from malen on the right side. 3 is a shot from distance slightly to the left and the other is a cross from the left. So thats decently balanced. Left, left central, right central, corner.

      All you are saying is that players are left dominant. However, what are you seeing? Is it that they pass to the left? That they can’t dribble to the right? Find space on the right? Looking at the heat maps: Koop, veerman, schouten and de roon are slightly more right side based. Frenkie, reijnders, and timber and gravenberch are more left side. That seems pretty balanced?

      As for my point about the triangles on the left: There isnt alot of triangles on the left or right. Im not sure if you think the right is having ake, gakpo and reijnders having great interplay but xavi, frimpong and weiffer are not? I personally dont see a huge difference between the right and left.

  11. koeman is a Genius ,he thinks he needs to be seen what wijnaldum,Blind and De roon can bring..because he has won 2 euro and world cup with them..Blind was outstanding at LB..goin up and down with eletric pace..we have no future without blind…blind has won so many champions leaguse and still very important player for Real we need him in euros..Maatsen and hartmaan are too bad..
    Wijnaldum is indispensible,there is no dutch team after wijnaldum,He is playing for Real mardid as starter so we must take him to euros..
    De roon is the antidote to Rodri,camvinga,tochoumeni,etc..what a press resistant player,we will never loose a ball from his feet,he is quick,no1 DM who plays for mardid and won several champions leaguses ,Euro etc..He cannot be dropped..
    Also we need cheer leaders ,just for experience,we must understand that saudi league is better than English championship…anyone who disgaree that is a fool…
    when 532 we play ,just play dumfris who siting at bench at inter..when we play 433 play frimpong who is the best LB when play 532..such a genius is koeman…
    koeman is genius ,if anyone disagree i kill that person..

  12. uefa is living in past,why only 23 players/?/its an intense tournament in summer and we need at least 25..or 26,,as injuries ,cards are goin to play a role..Look at qatar WC,yes it was corrupted world cup,they knew the need of 26 man squad..what uefa is doing…We are going to eurpos with 19 men squad…beacuse we will have wijnaldum,De roon,Blind and weghorst..Weghorst i can understand,he is okay copared to others…but other 3?..earier koeman gets fired its better..

  13. My thoughts on the match.

    Despite Netherlands’ early goal, Germany was the much better team the first third of the game. The Dutch were better the next third, and the after the 60th minute, Germany was a little better, mainly because their substitutes gave them more than the Dutch subs. Verbrueggen was sharp to make several save, at the other end, Riejnders and Depay each should have scored. The winning goal was a little flukey, but considering the pressure Germany put on at the end, not entirely undeserved.

    The mf was the problem early; germany went right through them in the opening thirty minutes. Then Schouten grew into the game, the mf stiffened, and the Dutch got on top for awhile. Veerman was what he was. Scored a nice goal early, did okay with his passing when he had time and space (which wasn’t often), and was good on free kicks. But the other 83 minutes or so when he wasn’t on the ball, he didn’t help much.

    The backline stood up well—all 5—and it was a good thing given the mf’s early play.

    The attackers aren’t anything that that scares opponent,s as in years past.

    Verbrueggen was on his game. Wouldn’t be a surprise to seem him start the opener this summer.

  14. As long as as Koeman is still in charge, the NT isn’t going anywhere. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Once again we are going to this next tournament as cheerleaders.

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Jordan Henderson is called up for England

Jordan Henderson makes a good impression on Gareth Southgate. The England coach included the midfielder in his squad for the last friendlies before the Euro Cup. The fact that he played for Ajax made his call-up easier.

“We discussed his move to Saudi Arabia at the time, but it’s good to see him back in a competition where we can evaluate him better. We can see what level he is currently playing at,” said Gareth Southgate.

The first match against Aston Villa in the UEFA Europa Conference League also clearly boosted Jordan Henderson’s chances.

“He played a high level game against Aston Villa. He has had a huge influence at Ajax since arriving. I know they are very happy with it. We know what he can do and the leadership he brings. Jordan Henderson is a player who can balance a team with many attackers and means a lot to our team” commented Gareth Southgate.

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Two Ajax defenders undergo surgery and miss the rest of the season

Ajax have announced that the season is over for Olivier Aertssen and Ethan Butera. The two defenders who frequently play for Jong Ajax have been sidelined for a long time due to a knee injury.

Olivier Aertssen suffered a knee injury during training last month and underwent surgery last Friday. The 19-year-old defender played 23 games for Jong Ajax in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie but must now focus on next season.

This also applies to Ethan Butera. The 17-year-old defender joined from RSC Anderlecht at the start of this season but has yet to play for Ajax’s first team due to a knee injury. The Belgian defender recently underwent new surgery due to the pain that did not stop.

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Ajax should maintain a formation with three defenders against Aston Villa

Ajax will continue to play with three defenders in the next games of the season, especially in the duel against Aston Villa, this Thursday, in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa Conference League. The person who confirmed this information was the club’s coach, John van ‘t Schip.

The coach of the Amsterdam team is confident of a good result, even after the stumble at home to Fortuna Sittard, in the Eredivisie. But he also doesn’t deny that the Godenzonen will have a complicated game ahead, especially with the absence of Steven Berghuis and Steven Bergwijn.

According to the 60-year-old coach, it is important that his team does not get caught up in the excitement of the Aston Villa game.

“We shouldn’t get in their way, because that’s where we give up space. We have to be patient and keep possession of the ball. Whether this will work is another story. They suffered a tough defeat last weekend and will want to give an answer to their fans who are expected to fill the stadium” said John van ‘t Schip.
The manager suggests that Aston Villa will also play with three defenders.

“I have a lot of confidence in this, because we showed against FC Utrecht and in the first match that we can play solidly in this formation. It’s a system that can’t be mastered perfectly overnight, but the players have shown they can play. Furthermore, it will be a fight and we will have to fight a lot with each other” commented John van ‘t Schip.

Jorrel Hato is also confident of a good result against the fourth-placed team in the Premier League.

“If you look at how we did last week, we deserved to win more. We had two great opportunities and gave up little space. So I certainly have a lot of confidence in our team. Maybe it will be a completely different game to what we had last week” said Jorrel Hato.

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Jorrel Hato renews contract with Ajax until 2025

Ajax announced the contract renewal of Jorrel Hato. The 18-year-old defender’s new contract will be valid until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The defender won the starting spot last year under the command of John Heitinga, at the age of 16, and despite the sporting malaise at the club, he decided to stay.

“If you don’t win that often, it might be bad for you, but if you look at it realistically, I know I’m certainly in the right place. I know that staying at Ajax is good for me. This is my first full year in the professional team and as a starter in the Eredivisie. I think I have a lot to learn here. For me, the choice was certainly not difficult to stay at Ajax” said Jorrel Hato.

Difficult negotiations that lasted months have finally come to a good end for Ajax, where retaining top talent after the hectic transfer period was a top priority. Football director Sven Mislintat was fired before negotiations began. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar remained the club’s director, but ended up resigning and hiring Kelvin de Lang to take on this role.

With the contract extension, Ajax keeps Jorrel Hato out of the hands of several other European clubs. In November, Jorrel Hato debuted with the Dutch national team against Gibraltar.
“Of course I also use social media and see things happening. It’s good when big clubs are interested, that’s good, but I don’t really care about that. I hope that happens one day” said the defender.

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One comment

  1. the KNVB shud have tied this guy down. his chances in England national team and chelsea just looks slim.

    I think he was just 1.5 years from completing his 5 years playing in Netherlands.

    who would be the top contender for RW after euros. I was hoping it would be dilrosun but his move to Mexico was disappointing. noslin and tavsan are at Verona but nothing special unless they prove other wise. manhoef to stoke city was also disappointing

    perhaps those of AZ Contingent (addai)or van Bommel if he can switch to the the right. i would rather see van bommel convert into a striker, like van persie did converting from the wings. left footed jevon simons as well currently in jong PSV. departure of bakayoko could open his door in the first team. highly rated and has featured on many wonder kid list.


    sem steijn is another player I want to see get the call up after euros. twente has been a surprise package this season and are in good position to finish third and qualify for European football.

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Gijs Smal comments on his departure from FC Twente at the end of this season

Gijs Smal has not yet confirmed his move to Feyenoord, but it is clear that the 26-year-old left-back will leave FC Twente at the end of this season. After the Eredivisie match against Sparta Rotterdam, he explained why.

Dutch media have already reported that he had reached an agreement with Feyenoord about moving to Rotterdam next season. The defender himself has not yet wanted to confirm an agreement. He also hoped that the news would not leak out.

“There was contact from Feyenoord, but there was also contact from other clubs. Nothing has been signed yet” said Gijs Smal.

Even so, FC Twente fans sang for him on Saturday during the match against Sparta Rotterdam. After all, Gijs Smal’s departure didn’t yield a single cent for the Enschede club. The full-back, who joined from FC Volendam in 2020, could have extended his contract with the Tukkers, but decided to leave the club.

According to Gijs Smal, money is not the reason.

“This does not bother me. After my career I can also earn money. I came here for free, but I didn’t receive any fees either. And I still have a contract here that you can say: it’s not that special. It has never been renewed since I arrived here, but that is not the problem” commented Gijs Smal.

FC Twente waited a long time with an offer and when it arrived at the start of the season, Gijs Smal wanted to wait for the transfer window.

“This was not what it should have been. I only heard something again in December. But we also hear about other clubs that are interested, because as an almost free player, you become interesting” said Gijs Smal.

Gijs Smal held back again.

“If something good comes along, something that I think could be a step forward, then you want to see if you can reach a higher level. Not because of the money, but because I want to look back on my career later and be able to say I made the most of it. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith” concluded Gijs Smal.

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Feyenoord close to announcing the signing of Gijs Smal

Feyenoord is already starting to think about forming its squad for next season and the Rotterdam club is very close to announcing the signing of Gijs Smal. The 26-year-old full-back, who belongs to FC Twente, will not renew his contract with the Tukkers and will be free at the end of this season.

Gijs Smal will arrive to replace Marcos López. The 24-year-old Peruvian will leave Feyenoord at the end of this season, after spending two seasons wearing the Stadionclub shirt.

Gijs Smal, born in De Rijp, left FC Volendam and signed for FC Twente for free at the start of the 2020/21 season. He was an important player at Enschede, especially last season. In 34 Eredivisie appearances, he scored two goals and provided ten assists. This season, he has just one assist in 16 games.

FC Twente wanted to keep Gijs Smal at the club, but were unable to reach an agreement on renewing his contract.

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