And it’s Oranje time again!

Ok, here’s the highlights of the CL finals, Liverpool – Real Madrid:

– Ramos illegally wrestles Salah to the ground and dislocates his shoulder, Salah needs to come of

– Karius fucks up: 0-1.

– The first and only proper corner kick by Liverpool: 1-1

– Bale’s epic bycicle kick: 1-2

– Karius fucks up again: 1-3

End of the game.

So, back to Oranje.

Ronald Koeman is back being National Team Manager of Oranje after a little stint as Feyenoord’s Legends Coach for Dirk Kuyt’s Testimonial.

Three teams playing in De Kuip… Friends of Dirk (Ruud Gullit coaching the likes of Raul Garcia, Steve Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Emre), Feyenoord Legends (coached by Koeman, with Patrick Pauwe, Robin van Persie, Pierre van Hooijdonk) and the NT Legends (coached by Van Gaal, with Nigel de Jong, Rafa van der Vaart, Wes Sneijder, Wilfried Bouma and Van der Sar and more).

A nice little party in De Kuip. But that’s all entertainment.

The real deal is happening in the coming weeks, two Oranje friendlies, against Slovakia (31 May) and Italy (4 June).

Koeman has a fully squad now in camp, bar Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum, who will come in later due to the CL finals. So with Ruud Vormer, a debutant at 30, with Terrence Kongolo and Eljero Elia. The latter played his last international game in 2012. Bergwijn and Luuk de Jong are injured while Kluivert and Til went on the Jong Oranje trip to the US.

Ronald Koeman stated at one of the pressers that he initially needed 4 matches to determine what, where and how with Oranje, but he saw after two games what we all knew… Koeman will stick to the “three-at-the-back” concept. “The defensive shape can and will be different per opponent, of course, but basically, we want to be able to play compact and use the wing backs on the flanks.” Koeman deliberately selected some different lads this time, to get a full picture. “Once we start with the Nations Cup, I need to be free of question marks. I need to know what is what.”

Asked about Van Persie – who recently said he will never say NO to an Oranje call-up –  Ronald Koeman said this. “It’s going to be hard. In principle, we don’t follow him. Due to physical reasons, he hasn’t played a lot but, when he plays he is important for Feyenoord. His class is unmistakably there. But, I will focus on others. But should he become really fit after 6 weeks of pre-season prep, well…who knows. Never say never.”

Kluivert’s current stance re: Ajax has nothing to do with Koeman not selecting him this time. “Of course not. That is not my business. I wanted to give Bergwijn a shot, but sadly he got injured. And now with Elia, we have another player who can play on that wing. I am intrigued with what Justin’s next step will be and whether it’s a smart one. I think young players should focus on playing time. I do discuss this with the lads, also with Weghorst and Mathijs de Ligt.”

Bas Dost got a mention as well. The lanky Sporting Lisbon striker is unhappy with his role in Oranje and decided to give the jersey a miss. “I do regret that he’s no longer with us, I did see a role for him. But he made his decision. He’s a grown up. I won’t go and call him and ask him to stay, or whatever. I respect his choice.”

Davy Propper is one of the players who got his name flashing on the radar. His move from PSV to Brighton made some eyebrows frown, but he proved to the doubters that he made the right choice. The somewhat complacent elegant attacking midfielder turned into a hard working, solid defensive mid, with as high point his game vs Portugal last month. Where Davy Klaassen made a big money move to Everton but never got to play, Propper only missed three games in the Premier League, and that was due to suspension. Brighton played with grit and fighting spirit to remain in the league and Propper demonstrated that intelligence and a smooth touch are really helpful for a defensive mid.  The stats don’t lie. His passing accuracy and his interventions are up there with the best of them. “In my role at Brighton, I need to do what Koeman wants from me as well, be open constantly, and swiftly move the play from left to right, or from back to front… I do this well, but sadly haven’t scored a single goal all season. And scoring is always special.”

Another player highly popular at his club is Jasper Cillesen. The former NEC talent wasn’t used that often in Camp Nou (only in the Copa del Rey where he impressed) but has been told that the club won’t let him leave. “I am not happy with the number of games I played and do hope something will change, but the club was adamant. They will not want to sell me. I did sign for 5 seasons and life is very good in Barcelona, so I’ll see what comes my way.”

Here is my ideal line up, based on today’s squad.

Let me know yours….

Jasper Cillesen

De Vrij – Blind – Van Dijk

Janmaat   Propper   Van de Beek  Van Aanholt

Promes   Wijnaldum    Memphis

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  1. Depay- Promes


    Van annholt- vilhnea- VDBeek- hateboer

    Ake – Van Dijk- De Ligt


    Jan Im supriesed you still are dragging with Blind when he hasnt played at all. This mentality of him being experienced, has played for man united and all needs to even suprised why koeman even selected him and not marco van ginkel.though they play different position but marco would have fit in the better.

    Ake needs to start as much as possible. This guy has a better ceiling than Blind. Maybe not now but he will reach it in another season or two.

    Hateboer- vs England he did a good job and should continue in the absence of karsdorp.

    Vormer- I have always said this, i he has alot to offer and times when wijnaldum and others failed to live up to expectation, he could well excel due to his individual capabilities.

    1. Promes lacks quality..He is nothing compared to Babel….not a surprise you choose low quality players..
      Daley Blind is an intelligent player…if he is released from defensive duty he can be super weapon than Annholt..
      Since blind is not a regular in his team he can be dropped….
      Vilhena—Van debeek–Propper–Wijnaldum–

      is the current best 11 we have ,it is balanced,it has ruthless finishers in propper,van de beek ,memphis and Babel…
      With defensive equalisers in ake and wijnaldum….
      with visioary leaders at back Virgil and Deligt…

      1. you tail will again go between you legs when Vormer proves you wrong.the only thing I agree with you is Babel might be slightly better than promes.

  2. People easily forget that we played a better game without Strootman,Dost, and promes…
    Tete was better than Hateboer
    Vilhena was better than annholt..
    Van de beek was better than promes
    Propper was tooo much better than strootman
    Babel was astonishingly better than Dost..
    Is it called memmory loss???
    or down syndrome????

      1. Exactly, van annholt had a very strong finish to the season and only a fool coach will start a player who hasnt played in while over a player who is in form.

  3. I like your lineup, Jan. My only change thoughts would be: maybe Ake for De Vrij. Gives the back line a little more speed, and he probably plays the ball better out of the back than De Vrij. Maybe de Ligt for Blind. But I’d only want one of either Blind or Ake back here. So, if you are going to play De Vrij, I’d like to see what Blind can do in the back as he would play the ball out of the back better than anyone. Or if you are going to play de Ligt, I’d like to see Ake. A backline of De Vrij, de Ligt and VVD seems limited in their ball skills.

    Only other change I’d consider is Tete for Janmaat. For no other reason than I’ve always felt if you have one very offensive wb/fb, line PVA, I want the other fb to be more defensive-minded.

    MF is good. Propper was excellent against Portugal playing in front of the back 3.

    While I thought Babel had a good game, I do think Promes has more to give up front. In the past I think there have been games where he and Gini linked up well.

    My 2 cents. But will be interesting to see what Koeman does, especially as it sounds like he is still experimenting a little. Really looking forward to the next two games. Always interesting to watch a team get built back up from the ground floor.

    Thank you as always for the article and keeping us in on the build up.

  4. To Wilson:

    the reason I’d play Blind is really simple.

    1. I think he’s one of the best players we have in that age group

    2. he hasn’t played a lot and had an injury and we should help him get back to fitness. These friendlies are ideal for this.

    3. we need one centre back who can play the forward pass, with vision and with the ability – like Danny – to move into midfield.

    4. I simply think we should only play 2 out of the trio De Ligt, De Vrij, Van Dijk, in particular vs Slovenia (not too strong) and Italy (probably playing 1 striker in the Juve set up)

    Any more questions?

    1. Jan I had a feeling you would take the bait.I think we have been down on this road before but I will try something different this time and no questions but something to think about.

      Fair enough you wanna one centre back who can play the forward pass, with vision and with the ability – what on earth were you watching vs portgual.

      Two things here. Who has a better ceiling and around whom should be team be built around going forward.

      You said daley should play to get back to fitness, as he is the best player in the age group which means again close the door for others like under Danny era.this is exactly what has suffocated dutch soccer over the past four years. Look at the fresh breath of life koeman has brought just after few rotations and you are saying go back to the daddys era.

      Looking from who has a better ceiling going forward point of pespective , you dont even need to look far.Daley future at man united pretty much is out numbered. Dont think united can win titles with his calibre of player. If he stays he rots and if shipped out his chapter closes. Ake on the other hand has cemented his spot at bournemouth and is also playing in the formation which koeman is trying to build the team around.So you be the judge here.which one will be in the best intrest of the team.

      In terms of better ceiling, I will say Ake is bit immature from the number of caps he has under his belt but with every game he will keep getting better and better until he reaches his peak. As for daley this was suppose to be his peak time but he is not even playing and again you be the judge here.

      Lastly I will say this, 4 years had lapsed, it time for a change and its happening, im sure daley will gets opportunties but so should others if they performing consistantly. As I always say healthy competition always bring the best out of players.

  5. Hi All, my 2c.

    Kongolo. VVD. De Ligt

    Ake. Propper

    Janmaat. PVA

    Van Beek. Wjnaldum


    Something different in regards to shape I’m a fan of 343.

    @Wilson – to answer your previous question in relation to Argentina, I think they will be very strong any team with the likes of Rojo, Otamendi, Mascherano, Di Maria, Higuain, Aguero, Banega and of course Messi will have something to say at the WC.
    Germany too will be very strong as always, and can Belgium finally do something with all of the talent?

    Really looking forward to the Dutch friendlies, I don’t really care who plays as long as we play well and win, winning is very important for confidence not only of the players but the coach and country also. I don’t like it when they lose a game and say ” it’s only a friendly”, it’s a fucking International match that needs to be taken seriously.

    Unfortunate for Liverpool in CL final but Madrid were better and losing Salah was massive for pool, Gini played his usual style of game, busy without being exceptional. The keeper will never forget that match, poor bastard, it’s not like he would have set out to make those mistakes on purpose!

    Yup Holland!

  6. Blind had his chance and he failed to establish himself. I would keep him in the squad but not as automatic starter.
    My advice to him would be to move from Man Utd. Go to Germany or Italy or Spain and join a decent team that will give him a regular starting spot. My next advice is for him to pick a position and specialize in it. Be the best he can be in that position. Due to his size and height, I don’t really see him as a central defender. He can pass and is quick enough for a left back. To me that’s his most promising position. If he can bulk up a bit and get some strength, maybe he can play defensive midfielder.

    Ake still has to mature more and be consistent. He does have a lot of potential. His time will come if he keeps working hard and improves his weak points.

    I would like to see Van Dijk, De Ligt, and De Vrij get game time together. I believe moving forward, those two of the three are going to be our starters in defense depending on fitness and form.

  7. Blind excellent defense slovakia 1…
    Nice Blind …we trust you over kongolo and Ake…..the problem is that opponent trust you more than us….coz you ensure a leakage at back…keep it up Blind…

    1. Honestly I don’t know why he is playing. He’s one of the most over rated players we have when we could be playing a young talented cb in ake since he will be part of the team in the future. He has a lot of potential and playing him will help him develop as well as help in get used to the team for the future

      1. We need to throw out strootman,Blind,janmaat from NT forever…Janmaat cannt defend neither he has a good cross…
        Strootman is clueless….
        Depay has no chemistry with headlesschiken promes…annholt too lacks intelligence..

          1. yes he did crossed with no accuracy..and many times when others in real good positioned he could do a propper crosses…i think Tete can cross better….having said thsi hateboer also doesnt have good crossess.
            Annholt is okay..But williams racer sharp crossess..

  8. This first half is the worst so far since Koeman took over. He was trying to play the Liverpool style, however the team left so much place open and did not make any effective organized pressing at vital area and key positions,the entire defense and midfield was not linked, and the midfield has been strolling for most of the first half. If we play like this we would be torn apart by Germany and France, easily could be 3:0 down at half time. The team is lack of fighting spirit as well.

    1. ha ha starts with individual quality…koeman might want to see whats teh best of some players…
      as usual we are back danny blind time when we played old players agaain..
      Virgil—Blind came in
      Vilhena–Annholt came in
      Wijnaldum–Strootman came in
      Tete——-Janmaat came in
      Babel—–Promes came in….
      1 weak player can cause you any games …

  9. It seems the team was very happy that they achieved a draw against Slovakia, since when the mentality has changed to this…..second half was better but still not enough urgency and efforts shown to win the game. This game is pretty much a total set back from the Portugal win.

    1. I dont understand why you guys are using the Portugal game comparison to these games when the players, tatic and formation was different(slovakia). the portgual game was purely a tactical win where the 3:2 midfield out favored the Portuguese. it aint was going to happen today. Hasmik and Kucka are experienced midfielders and they, to some extent did control the midfield well.

      I totally, heavenly and lovely liked how Koeman used the rotation. this was what was missing.

      vs Italy

      Deapy- Promes


      Van annholt- Vihnea – Wijnaldum – Hateboer

      Ake – Van Dijk – De Light


    1. Calling Vormer is nice idea….But playing blind as Cb,strootman, janmaat ,is sin….we are back to the loosers region again when these players are back….i dot feel safe with zoet as well

      1. Pliz say again.I didnt hear properly. What happened to the low quality players.oh wait its between your legs.

        Either way,positives to be taken away from this game. No suprises as far as Blind is concerned. I know some critics will again try to bail him out since he hasnt played much @ MAN UNITED but Ake is clearly the man to start vs Italy with Van Dijk.

        I liked both janmaat and Van Annoholt, they were making the runs and did provid some good crosses but since NT were not playing with poucher type striker, it went to no avail. Also van annholt looked bit isolated at times as Depay was not using him on the outside of the flanks and instead kept cutting inside and pulling the trigger.

        The midfield became more lively when vormer came on. He really found those pocket spaces well behind promes and Depay.

        1. I dont mind who plays……yesterday match showed where the problem is …its strootman,Blind etc…..i dont rate vormer better than vanginkel,van de beek or frenkie dejong….but sure he plays better than strootman in mid..

  10. I also think Van Ginkel would have added some aeriality in the box playing as false striker behind promes and Depay. He also is a good poucher.

  11. I jus wanna say this, if vormer starts vs Italy or even comes of the bench, this two outings will defintely sky rocket his stocks in the market and defintely teams will start showing intrest in him. Im jus wondering what if Tjaronn chery and alex Buttner would have received the same kind of oppirtunity.

    1. Strootman ,blind .klassen they all played for last 2 qualifiers and we sucked……i am not blaming them alone there were BMI,stekelenburg,Dost and other wasteful experiments as well..
      The answer is that we cannot win with these players…
      nothing will happend to us if klassen,strootman or Blind retires from international footall…they must model bas dost…Who did a great help for koeman and NT..

  12. Vormer is a nice aggressive hard working player but unfortunately he is 30 yrs old. He miles better than many of our younger “talented” players.

  13. Just looking towards the nations league and france outclassing Italy 3-1 in what was a showcase of depth and talent of the french . You have to realize that Koeman needs to assemble his best starting 11 vs italy and going forward. Must say Mancini has injected alot of life in the Italian team like koeman but the french are on another level.they can expolde from any where on the field. Lot of work consistency needed if the NT wants to qualify from nations league.

    One thing I noticed from the game was the Italians all of sudden now have weakness in Gk department with Buffon retiring. Maybe Depay and promes could exploit this.

    The wingbacks and midfield needs to left their game if NT wants to qualify from the nations league. And a good false striker off course who can add some aeriality in the box.

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