And we're back, eye on Oranje!!

Hello my friends, and my apologies for being so shy, the last weeks.

As you have seen, I was traveling and meeting up with these phenomenal people… And it’s not over. The coming week I’ll be globetrotting some more, but after that I hope to get back to my normal rhythm with fantastic stories and interviews awaiting ( Sneijder, Huntelaar, Douglas, Robben, etc etc….).

For now, let’s look at the two next games for Oranje, against Andorra and Romania.

Rafa van der Vaart, Nigel de Jong and Ibi Afellay are part of the squad again.

Gregory van der Wiel however, is still not part of the Oranje squad.

Ruben Schaken makes his debut in the squad, with Ken Vermeer, the Ajax goalie, and Twente defender Douglas is new as well. PSV full back Jetro Willems had to cancel, as he is struggling with a muscle injury.

Other players LVG is missing are Wes Sneijder, Tim Krul, Leroy Fer, Bas Dost and Stefan de Vrij. Joris Mathijsen and Arjen Robben are not available for Andorra but might both be available for the Romania. Van Gaal: “Mathijsen’s presence against Romania is more likely than Robben’s…”

Louis van Gaal has graciously allowed Adam Maher, Jordy Clasie and Luuk de Jong to play two key games with the under 21, in their quest to for EC qualifications (Slovenia).

Douglas Franco Teixeira didn’t know how to express his wonder when he finally made it into the Dutch team.

“I am soooo happy,” the Brazilian born stuttered. “This is a remarkable day. Very special.”

The 24 year old Twente defender was called at long last on Monday. “I immediately called my mum and drove to Noordwijk. I have waited so long for this. I have spent 3 years focusing on becoming a citizen here. I didn’t know a thing when I first came here and now I feel Dutch.”

As Van Gaal had to miss De Vrij and Mathijsen in defence, he decided to call up the Twente center back.

“I realise I still need to find my spot. But this is a chance. And I will do my best to cease it. I want to aim for the highest possible and playing a World Cup with Holland is exactly that. And it’s extra special with the WC in Brazil! But I need to prove myself now. I spoke to the coach and he said: simply do what you always do and try to improve yourself every day!”.

Using 2 ADO Den Haag players as stand ins for practice, the former Bayern coach is making sure his squad is ready for action. Jeremain Lens, the striker in form for PSV, is loudly applauded when he makes the right decision while Feyenoord winger Ruben Schaken is yelled at when we does something good (“Yes Schaken!! Now you get it!!!”)

As Wes Sneijder ( now absent due to injury) will say in a to-be-posted interview: “The vibe in the Oranje squad has always been good. Even at the disastrous Euros, it was quite good….”…..

Wesley Sneijder visited the Oranje squad to have lunch with the lads and to implore them to win the two games without him. He is on his way to the US where a special treatment is awaiting him for the muscle injury he has. Inter believes Sneijder is out for 4 weeks but the little big man expects to be back earlier…

Robin van Persie said it in one sentence: “We all hope on a San Marino score against Andorra and a win against Romania. I think we make a big step towards Brazil if we manage to do this…”

And so it is. The last time Oranje played San Marino, the Philips Stadium saw 11 goals. The biggest win of Oranje ever!

It seems that this Romania game is now the toughest game in the group, now Oranje has beaten Turkey at home. The away game against Turkey is the last in the series and most likely the cards will have been dealt by then.

It’s quite likely that Van Gaal will use two different line ups for the games. The away game in Romania will be played in front of 50,000 passionate fans and will be quite a different assignment than the Andorra challenge. It’s very likely that Huntelaar will lead the line in search of goals against Andorra, with a fresh and fit Van Persie doing this against Romania.

Quite remarkably, all players in the Oranje squad played as starters in this weekend’s competition games, with Heitinga playing the briefest (45 minutes).

30 year old Ruben Schaken acted like a kid in the toy-store with Oranje. The late blooming Feyenoord winger enjoyed his youth development at Ajax in the 1990s. “I was ball boy in the mid 90s, when Louis van Gaal was enjoying all that success. And assistant coach Pat Kluivert was my all time idol in those days… Hahaha….but don’t tell them!”.

Being team manager is a risky job. Last month, Van Gaal was able to escape the rugby tackle of Martins Indi, this week Jeremain Lens hit a ball straight at LVG’s head. The coach dropped his whistle while blocking his face but didn’t respond or stop practice. He was constantly commenting on the action, loudly. “Yes, Lens… NICE!”…. “Good Lens, you get it…”

The 24 year old former Ajax prospect is in top form. He scored another goal and had 3 assists last weekend but his game against Hungary last month in the orange jersey was even more impressive. Lens: “Yes, I’m doing ok, but the key is to keep on playing at this level.”

Lens can play center striker, winger and even attacking midfielder. “Yes, I don’t mind where I play. But if it’s up to me, I’d like to play centrally. But even on the wing, left or right… I don’t mind.”

He does understand that the central striker position is safely in the feet of RVP and Klaas Jan Huntelaar. “Haha, yes…tough competition…. I need to concentrate on the wings. I hear Arjen isn’t playing against Andorra, so who knows…”

Lens was on the stands a lot under Van Marwijk and wasn’t even first choice at PSV last season. He had wonderful spells and periods of total clumsiness. “I wasn’t consistent. I had lesser phases for sure. But Van Gaal knows me from AZ and he told me clearly what he wants me to focus on. I need to work on my heading and my left foot. The fun thing is that I scored with my head against Hungary, haha…”

The pic below was taken at Ajax-Real Madrid by yours truly… 🙂

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  1. My predictable line up and how things “Stek” up from the second line…..

    Heitinga Vlaar Indi
    de Jong
    Affelay Stroot Vaart
    Narsing Hunter Lens

    Yes only 3 at the back -the midfield line can ALL interchange
    Thats the vGaal in me working.

  2. I think van gaal will go for
    not mine though

  3. With Van gaal nobody can predict the Line up…
    He sees the players closely and Depending on form and fitness he feilds the final eleven…so i have no clue
    But i am sure he will getaway with to wins..

    1. (2.02 pm)
      ‘I think van gaal will go for’

      (33 minutes later)
      ‘With Van gaal nobody can predict the Line up…’

      Do you even realise what you have just written?
      You have single handedly negated your own post/line-up.
      Why did you even bother?

      ‘so i have no clue’
      Well, at least you got that bit correct! Hahaha!
      You seem to get a hard time here, Tiju, which I now understand fully – I was ready to defend you, but no-one can defend crap like this. Perhaps this isn’t the right place to express yourself, huh? I am sure there are other things you could do with your time, buddy. All the best.

      1. If you are now just understanding why Tij gets a hard time here you must be a noob! YOu should have seen the reaction to his anti-Kuyt rants. They were the best.

        Tiju is like that crazy uncle we all have. You know he’s nutz and you wish he’d just shut the fuck up but you love hime ’cause he’s family!

        1. @Orangerules……
          If i was nutz,then at least dutch would have gone to second round in Euro2012…what ever i say will will understand it later…see u buddy

      2. @Dogg…its true that we can meet some fools in this earth,which they think they are superior and whatever they are saying is right.let them live in their fools pradise,But TIME proves whether it is wrong or right…Aristotle tought us earth is plain and Magellen proved it wrong,People killed magellen,People crucified Jesus for doing good things,that how the world is,,i am not surprised by your esteem comment.or i am not goin to get a hard time by your comment by an outsider,but definitly i get bit hurt by people whom i repect and i feel bad when they say anything against me,one thing i am sure Great personalites will not talk like what you have shows your character,keep it up,let us see who doesnt have clue…
        I was just posted a lineup after seeing one of the oldest buddies of this blog,thats it..eventhough i cannt read Vangaal’s mind from this country,i just did it,coz i loved orange,due to some great players in football history..nothing else..
        Second comment was my opinion…

  4. I agree with Tiju on the line-up that likely will get played on Friday. Unlike Tij, I think this is our strongest line-up given the players available.

    I suppose an alternative that could get used is a 4-4-2 Diamond:

    1 Stekelenburg
    2 van Rhijn
    3 Heitinga
    4 Douglas
    5 Martins Indi
    6 de Jong
    7 Narsingh
    8 van Persie
    9 Huntelaar
    10 van der Vaart
    11 Afellay

    1. i get it that u jump at every opportunity to defend tiju …but dont lick his feet….i mean in that last comment…he dint even get it…instead he retorted to ur statement about being nuts…haha what a fail!

  5. Strootman to be the captain against Andorra ! Sounds fantasticactually 🙂 .
    Van gaal is just so unpredictable ! I mean , How many oranje fans on the earth thougt about strootman as a captain !

    Also douglas will make his debut , hunter will be no. 9 .

    My source is Moallim @jouracule on twitter 🙂 .

    1. >How many oranje fans on the earth thougt about strootman as a captain !

      I hope many. Personally I christened him as our future captain from the first game I saw him play. This guys is 2X Van Bommel. Hope he trully leads us to the WK2014 final 🙂

  6. Will someone please tell me what is going on with Ola John? Is he on the Jong Oranje squad for tomorrow’s game? And is he going to move elsewhere in January, you know like somewhere he can play?

  7. This is wnat I read now…but its only a read not a fact.
    Janmaat Heitinga Douglas Indi
    Affelay Strootman(c) Vaart
    Narsingh Hunter Schaken

    I’m cool with that too…. we’re playing Andorra not Romania.

    1. Agreed. Cool with it as well. Although you need the goal difference just to make sure. You never know. He can still change 3 players. So, yes, cool to the max 🙂

  8. Mohamed – They have both played for Holland youth teams – midfielder/defender, but they are there only to make up numbers to play 11 against 11 and because ADO is right next door to the Oranje training area (and close to where I used to live many moons ago).

    If you get a chance to click on the video of vGaal training the boys on short passing you see how intense he is (Respect). I am starting to like him more – but wary of the Jekyll Hyde complex.

  9. Most of us are here for the voetbal and the gezelligheid, folks. Name-calling and trolling for lulz just doesn’t fit in.

    If you can’t say anything nice….

  10. its my request to some brilliant football pundits and excellent blog mates here,Plz there are some decent jentlemen here in this blog and dont spoil there day…So leave my comment for the sake of them….If you are getting irretated by my comment ,that means you are controlled by me,thats shame,truth is i really enjoyed your comments like,Calling douchbag,nutz,twat etc..but i cannot respond like these pundits.

  11. REALLY surprised with Strootman as the captain!

    for me: Stekelenburg; Van Rhijn, Heitinga, Vlaar, Martins Indi; Strootman, Afellay, Van Der Vaart; Narsingh, Huntelaar, Lens

    I think the newcomers will be deployed on the 2nd half. Most interesting thing to see is how Ibi will do in central midfield. It’s sure been a while since he last played there.

  12. A few things to consider:

    -> On Friday Holland will have the easiest game in qualifying. On Tuesday Holland will have the toughest game in qualifying.

    -> 50% of Holland’s new-look back line is now Brazilian-born or Portuguese-born.

    -> Strootman will be the youngest ever captain for Oranje.


    1) Do you think our defense will improve during qualifying or deteriorate?
    2) Do you think our ‘easy’ game game too early in qualifying?
    3) Do you think Strootman’s selection as captain will cause a rift between him and Sneijder?

    curious to hear what you guys think…..

    4) Finally, who would your ideal defensive 4-some be to start our first group match in Brazil 2014…. Be REALISTIC…… (Ex.: VDW, Douglas, Bruno, Pieters)

    Time for a mini debate 🙂

    1. Strooman is the second vice captain (3rd in line) behind Sneijder and Kuyt. When Wes is back, Strootman will have to give the armband back. I think Strootman’s appointment will go a long way to increase his confidence. Strootman hasn’t been able to impose himself and dominate the pitch, even at the club level– which is a shame because he has the tools to do such. He has a bad tendency of ‘playing it safe’ and disappearing in the course of the match. Now that he is on the spotlight, hopefully he will take his game a notch and we’ll see the real talent of him.

    2. Question number one is a stumper for me, since it’s seems we’re stuck between two worlds right now: Our promising young defenders are just that, young and promising, and largely untested beyond the Eredivisie.

      Douglas, Bruno, Ricardo, Jetro… who knows which of them will have the heart to flourish in tougher leagues?

      3) Strootman’s mettle will get bigger tests. (And I really like the way Strootman earns his Heineken.) And Sneijder knows that. Doesn’t feel like there should be rivalry between them: Wesley is mentor on NT.

      4) Haven’t seen enough of everyone yet, but I’m liking Ricardo Van Rhijn… esp. because he’s had the good sense to train under Jaap Stam. 🙂

      Regardless, with such a young defense we’re bound to see some very exciting mistakes! 😉

    3. >4) Finally, who would your ideal defensive 4-some be to start our first group match in Brazil 2014…. Be REALISTIC…… (Ex.: VDW, Douglas, Bruno, Pieters)

      the best defenders will be Strootman and Fer as DMs in front of the defense for the tough games. That is the key, to stop the attack before it gets to the last line.

      Behind them I would put

      Van Rhijn (not sure though), Vlaar/Douglas/Someone-better , Pieters , BMI

      In other words, I am positive that Pieters and BMI can be world class defenders but the right side needs more attention.

    4. 1) seeing from previous series of games, they can only be improving. especially Martins Indi and Van Rhijn. another defender who surprised me is Vlaar. since moving to Aston Villa, he looks better. other players are waiting in line to grab some call-ups. Buttner, vdWiel, Pieters, etc… plenty of choice (and headache for van Gaal 🙂 )

      2) no, this is good. if we match against them on the last of first half portion of the qualification, I’m afraid that our lads will lose their rhythm when entering the 2nd half of the qualif. although actually I don’t really worry that much.

      3) Sneijder won’t be the problem… he will most certainly assume the captaincy again when he returns. but HEITINGA and VAN DER VAART will… they’re vice skipper in past reign. and there are others who are/were captain on their team (Huntelaar). sure they’ll feel they deserve to wear the armband. will it make another team conflict?
      I’m not saying that Kevin don’t deserve the captaincy. but the situation might bring unnecessary wrath. Kevin is the man for future, no doubt. but when there are the old guards and Van Gaal turns his head to the youngsters…

      4) Van Rhijn, Heitinga, Martins Indi, Buttner (assuming that he trained his crosses…)

    5. Most realistic Defensive back line must be (all depending on form)

      Right back Ricardo Van Rhijn

      reasoning why, Janmaat choked
      van der wiel is not getting playing time at paris saint germain and van gaal was not high on him for bayern munich

      Left Back Jetro Willems

      Reasoning, My personal choice would be erik pieters or alexander buttner. But van gaal seems all in on willems. So it’s likely he will be starting.

      Centerbacks Douglas and Vlaar
      Vlaar has to get used to speed in the Epl which makes him ideal, and Douglas has so many uses. A substitute I would put in is Khalid Boulahrouz.

      Summary My back four would be

      Van Rhijn-Douglas-Vlaar-Pieters with replacements being vdw, boulahrouz, martins indi, and buttner

      I think Van Gaal Back four will be

      Van rhijn-Heitinga-douglas-willems

  13. @Bitterballen you have asked some nice and sensible question…
    HERE My cent…
    ans to 1 st question
    Yes,Defence will improve by game,damn sure,dutch is going to have some decent defenders in Van rhijn,Douglas,Indi..with the help of strootman,Dejong and Anita and fer they will grow from strength to strength..
    Ans to question 2..
    the easy game came in a good time,coz guys like Indi,clasie and some important players doesnt have much experince with senior side,so they need time,so let them grow gradually by beating andora kind of teams…they will improve in next year and we dont have to worry about loosing games fact double benefit..
    Answer to 3.Wesly is a proven winner and he is a great player and he knows where he stands and where strootman stands..120 minute fit Wesly will captain the national team as long as LVG stays.Strootman and wesly are extreamly WISE so there is no chance of rift.once wesly is back ,he will captain the team if he is fit..
    Answer to 4
    starting defenders ,Depending on form we will decide in 2014..

  14. Well it’s incredible how just a few months earlier we were complaining about the lack of good defenders.

    Now it seems like there will be a good competition for places with:

    Van Rhijn
    De Vrij

    Now we have no excuse to succeed. Good defenders, good midfielders and good attack…still there’s work to do to gel them together but we must have a good future.

    1. They say that attack is the best defense, so whoever in that list isn’t able to pass the ball forward even when under pressure should get relegated to plan B or C (the BvM plans). From what I’ve seen of the last Euro games that was what was lacking. Actually even at the WC the Oranje games where pretty static without too much of the surprise elements of those magical EC 2008 matches (including the surprise elimination by Russia. lol)

      So the question for me would be: which of these defenders is best in turning a defensive play into an attack?

      1. In answer to your question:
        Martins-Indi (vision, passing)
        Willems (going forward/crossing, dribbling)
        Buttner (going forward/crossing, dribbling)
        Janmaat (attack support in final 3rd)
        Wiel (going forward/crossing)

        Those are our best attacking defenders, in that order. I put BMI on the top because he had those two sweet passes in his debut. I put more value on good vision/passing from the back than overlapping and crossing, because you can keep the team’s organization while creating opportunities.

  15. Any permutation that does not include Martins Indi at the center of the defense can’t be serious…. BMI is arguably the most exciting prospect since Stam. If LVG is truly wants to have a proper build up (“the Dutch way”, as he often says), then he must pick Douglas as BMI’s partner. No other CD’s is comfortable on the ball and can distribute/pass from his own half. Heitinga, Vlaar, and especially Mathijsen are past the due date. Besides, Heitinga and Vlaar are clearly struggling at the moment. Heitinga was humiliated last weekend playing for Everton (directly responsible for both goals conceded, he was sub’d out only after 45 minutes). Vlaar is in free falling with Aston Villa, they have been leaking goals left and right as of late.

  16. Here’s the line up according to the Telegraaf and other sources;
    Janmaat, Heitinga, Vlaar, Martins Indi
    De Jong, Van der Vaart, Strootman;
    Schaken, Huntelaar, Lens.

    1. Is it me or the line-up is a little bit defensive ?
      C’mon louis !! We don’t need a destroyer like de jong in this game !

      If he wants to use de jong then i think 3 defenders in the back are enough .

  17. The best defense in my opinion would be:





    With this line up we have good leaders and motivators on the field which I like. I consider Fer, Douglas, Indi, Buttner, Strootman as very passionate players who will inspire their teammates with their attitude.

  18. Miguel – nice line up…maybe 12 months from now…Buttner had ONE good game for ManU – you call him up because of that ? lets hope he gets more time on the ball.
    Mohamed I think Janmaat was chose because he’s good coming forward and Indi will spend 85% of the time attacking down the flank. de Jong will take turns covering left and right gaps. Looks OK for Andorra 🙂

  19. I’d like to see Emmanuelson, Afellay, Douglas at the beginning of 2nd half. I think Van Gaal want this team to get used to 4-3-3 for position/tactic so he will not change to 3-4-3 or other formation.
    1) Our defense is young so I think they will grow.
    2) So far our ‘easy’ game are early. The first tough game will be in Romania. Playing away in Turkey may not be easy as it sounds. Judging the early games, we should qualify as winner of this group.
    3) No, Strootman’s selection as captain will not cause a rift between him and Sneijder. He is already vice captain and Van Gaal is rooming him to be the captain for either in 2 years or 4 years. Wesley is not young anymore and his fitness perhaps deteriorate. I hope he has gas left in the tank for 2014.
    4) Finally, my defensive 4-some be to start our first group match in Brazil 2014. Realistically I think it will be Van Rhijn, Douglas, Bruno, Willems. It is hard to say if Heitinga can still be in top form in 2 years. He’ll be 30 in 2014 and Vlaar’ll be 29. I would like to see Pieters in the starting lineup but I worry about his injury/fitness, so many so early. Buttner may be Willems’s backup or pushes Willems to the bench.

  20. @Carlos: No I am not choosing Büttner right away, that line up was for the future he still has to prove himself but as you said let’s hope he gets more time on the ball 😉

    Janmaat is a player I haven’t watched play enough so I can’t say much but LVG must have seen something good about him.

  21. Also interested in seeing Urby come good. Is there anyone who thinks Drenthe could ever get his act together? (I know, I know… he’s a mess but seems like he has the ability to be a real gamechanger)

  22. Drenthe has not done enough. Does he have a team now? Faroe Island and Malta both scored today in their games. I hope Oranje does not take Andorra lightly. Portugal lost to Capello’s Russia 0-1.

    POS No Name
    1 Maarten Stekelenburg
    2 Janmaat
    3 John Heitinga
    4 Ron Vlaar
    5 Bruno Martins Indi
    6 Nigel De Jong
    8 Kevin Strootman
    10 Rafael Van der Vaart
    7 Ruben Schaken
    9 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
    11 Jeremain Lens

    POS No Name
    G 22 Michel Vorm
    G 23 Kenneth Vermeer
    D 12 Ricardo Van Rhijn
    D 14 Nick Viergever
    M 15 Urby Emanuelson
    M 20 Ibrahim Afellay
    F 17 Luciano Narsingh
    F 19 Robin Van Persie
    F 21 Dirk Kuyt

    NO DOUGLAS?? Ricardo on the bench? Schacken starting… so weird!

  24. I hope this is teh end of Janmaat. He is really terrible. You would think he would feel good playing with his team mate Shacken but he is totally useless. Our midfield is weak, no enough penetration. Anyway better save the energy for Tuesday.

  25. Agreed. Probably Van Gaal instructed the players not to drain their energy too fast. Just press the opponent, wait until final minutes, then kill the game with final goal.

    Any prediction for the subs on 2nd half?

  26. Terrible game by all means !
    We need both Emanuelson and kuyt on the wings in the 2nd half ! we need to score 4 more goals in the 2nd half .

    Janmaat out for Douglas , put heitinga on the Right back . it will be ok .

    Save persie and Afellay for the next game .

      1. I wanted afellay to replace him, so it would be strootman in the middle, van der vaart on right and afellay to the left. So strootman could pull the strings in the field and we could see what he can do as central defensive midfielder

  27. LVG could have fielded a much better squad. NDJ?!?! Useless. Why go back to him for such easy game! 3-0 after almost 60 mins against Andorra is ridiculous.

  28. i have the germany game on one screen and the holland game on another…. i must say germany looks much sharper against ireland (in ireland) than we do against andorra… 🙁

    not a great team effort today, VDV looks old and finished.

  29. why u guys think we have to beat andora with 6 goals, or we have to dominate the game? look at italy. they beat 3-1 armenia with a goal from penalty. they never talk about 8 goal against armenia, but they know they go all the way. so stop negative comments. we all know as strootman said we are not a strong team in world, but we have to find the way to go all the way.

  30. van gaal not here to make a record against andora, he often don’t think about playing sharp game against Romania. he think how he can manage to we back our power in WC.

    1. i agree… we are stating facts indeed. our team looked utterly discombobulated today, there was no sense of urgency or discipline, useless lateral movement, silly shots, etc. schaken was ok as was lens and hunter. i was not impressed with anyone except for BMI and Strootman. Obviously this was not a true test nor an accurate measure of where we stand against the top of the crop but it was a good indicator of the amount of work we need to put in going forward. van gaal made some lineup mistakes. what was janmaat doing in the squad? where was douglas? rather than preparing for the big game against romania, LVG opted for a passing clinic today. not the smartest thing.

  31. What a terrible game. I felt like I was watching a bunch of midgets defend their castle. I’ve never seen an international team like this. Their legs churn but they go so slow. I don’t know how we couldn’t put up a few more goals on this team.

    I was worried when I saw the offense-killing trio of Nigel, Ron and Heitinga in the middle of the defense. Those guys are a black hole of creativity. Ideas go in and never escape.

    Looks like the field was a mess too, which doesn’t help. Still, we just beat up on a village of 80,000 people and 3-0 is all we have to show for it.

  32. Look at Belgium’s defense. 3 ajax players Alderwerld, Vermaelen and Vertonghen + Kompany. Can you only picture those 3 Ajacied with Holland? We need the Flanders region to join Holland. Belgium beat Serbia 3-0 away. This Belgium is so good.

    1. If our players play to their capabilities, we can beat anyone on any given day! The problem is that this team is still in a transition and developmental mode!

      This current Belgium squad is one of their best in a long time. Unlike other countries, we don’t have to wait a generation or so for top or world class players. We always have a great talent pool. We need to get our act together and win a tournament!!!

  33. I missed the game!

    With all due respect to Andorra, 3-0 is the bare minimum expected from us against a team of their caliber and standing.

    Beating Romania next Tuesday is a must in order to guarantee automatic group qualification. So in essence, it will probably be Van Gaal’s toughest test so far.

  34. Nothing personal but the NT does have a bad record in the Kuip. Don’t ask me why, it just isn’t their environment. 3-0 against Andorra does sound a bit pathetic. Hopefully Van Gaal and assistants have learned something from this and can further finetune the team by leaving out any non-creative defenders or midfielders. Ashenafi’s black hole theory says it all.

  35. They had a lot of bad luck. Header from Vlaar on the post, and some players slipping and sliding, some faulty passes, basically it was a one direction kind of football match but they lacked the finesse to score more. Schaken dissapointed in my opinion, or well.. he’s hardly at the talent level of Lens, Narsingh or Robben so it seems. Lens is definitely in form, Douglas didn’t play, he seems to be getting the tough treatment from V.Gaal, as in having to work twice as hard and prove himself more over the others.

  36. guys dont be panic and dont misunderstand Van gaal,He has coached Barca,Ajax and Bayern which Bert van Marwijk cannt even think…LVG has some visionary ideas about rebuilding a strong team,he is planning for Gold in Brazil,thats for sure,for that he is constructing a strong team.look at Brazil before 2002 WC,Some how they qualified and they came with a strong team and won it in 2002…Its not about the number of goals,its about the quality of the team..Like us Van gaal is also not pleased with quality of game or some lets pray that he gets some quality players..
    Van gaal is so clever and he wants to see the untested players against a weak team,Andora is a weak tema he knew that he would win it at least by 2-0..Once again he won it with a vision,i salute him for testing/ giving Vlaar,Schaken,hunter as a starter and he gave them 90 minutes.He has measured how good Vlaar is,schaken is..and where lenz and others stands…
    So give this man some time and you will see miracles

  37. @Faraz,
    Lenz is not good as Roben,But a decent player and gives crosses more often than roben,He will never be a roben.Good team players too,Needs to improve a lot,clearly doesnt have the intelligence of Roben,Bommel,kuyt,Persie etc…

  38. Next match at Arena Națională in Romania. If the Dutch want to grab an away win next week, they need to play more decently than they did in yesterday because the home team will play counter attack. It is necessary for the wingers to perform some good crosses and passes in the front. And the Dutch side need an experienced destroyer in the midfield so expect Nigel de Jong will be in the starting 11.

    1. de Jong’s skill as a stopper is highly valuable, so my guess is you’re right.

      But the ball wants to work forward through his position in the 4-3-3, and it’s frustrating when it doesn’t. He’s a perpetual shadow when it comes to creativity, and a beam of light when you need a hard man’s tackle.

      Space gets a lot more daunting when build up has to rely so heavily on running the wings.

  39. Not really impressed or entertained by this match. I understand we are a side in transition and LvG is doing a lot of experimenting and trying to find his 11. I commend him for that. On top of that it was Andorra so there wasn’t much fear of losing. But there have been some consistencies in our games…

    First off I don’t get what the hell is going on. We play basically with no midfield. The defenders seem to bring the ball to the half-way line and then there is only one player in site; the holding mid player. The rest are as close to the opposition box as possible. When watching on tv you can’t even see another Oranje player on screen. At that point we turn into an English team and push the ball out to the wingers who then send in a cross. Where’s the link up play? Where is the movement and connection? Other than Hunter being a striker and the defense defending there doesn’t look like there are any defined roles.

    The match looked like 2 relegation bound Eredivisie teams playing. The Eredivisie while entertaining just isn’t realistic against the rest of Europe. It’s still early in LvG’s tenure and we are winning our matches so that is good. Strootman has been phenomenal and having the armband definitely added more confidence to his game.

    1. The problem was magnified yesterday, I think, by NDJ, who statistically is the least likely player on the pitch to pass forward.

      Everyone knows NDJ isn’t going to give and go, or move a one-touch triangle across the line… or… any number of other things.

      You’re right that this is an ongoing problem for us now. I just thinkg having NDJ as the holding mid in a 4-3-3 makes that problem a little more difficult to deal with. Why would VDV and Strootman play small with NDJ when he won’t attack?

      NDJ is, bottom line, indispensable… in a catenaccio. He can help bolt the door.

      In this 4-3-3, however, he doesn’t bring as much attack and vision as we need to open space towards the box.

    2. I don’t think Van Gaal is looking for a specific 11, it’ll be more like who will be able to fit in with the system(s) he has in mind. As for systems there are probably a few that change according to the situation in the game (attacking, defending) and the game in general (begin, mid, end). If a player isn’t able to make the necessary transition(s) he will disrupt the system the team should be playing. These games are dynamic, always were of course, but I think that the smarter team will be able to make the most of any given situation by adjusting their system of play dynamically. Van Gaal will probably have to tone down his overall demands on the players as they only get together about 10 times in 2 years, he will be looking for the smarter players that can understand and execute his ideas.

      But maybe that’s all just stating the bleeding obvious.

  40. Van Gaal took the kids out into the mud for training, and left the old men in the gym.

    He already seems a bit like football’s Captain Ahab, pacing the stormy pitch with a titanium hip.

  41. vGaal has already stated van Rhijn/van Persie and Narsingh will be stepping back into the team. Lens left Narsing right and Elia coming on later sounds cool to me.
    I also think Clasie will play.

  42. I think that people who advocate for the exclusion of NDJ has a point, especially against a team like Andorra. I would place Clasie in his place.

    That’s not to say that NDJ is useless in the squad. Against stronger teams, NDJ will be valuable to contain the tempo of the game.

  43. @Goldstone
    You’re spot on about NDJ. He just doesn’t have any forward motion what so ever. A lot of people still think he’s useful but I really don’t like him. It’s one thing to be aggressive and it’s another to be a mindless lawn mower. If NDJ has to be in the side it should be in 80th minute when we have the game wrapped up and just need to close down any kind of attack the opposition try to put together.

    I never favored Dutch players playing in todays Serie A but NDJ belongs there. He can be a bullish bouncer and actually have a career but he’s a waste of a spot in Oranje. Along with Babel and Braafheid thats 3 players that are just a waste to bring in a 23 man squad.

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