Hi all, with my recent dropping out of publishing I received a kind suggestion to open up the editor role for this blog.
Maybe create a team of 3 or more people that can add posts and keep our beloved blog going. I have played with the idea for a while already and this recent upsurge in non blog-activities of your truly and the downsurge of motivation to post makes it all very current again.
So, here is the official request. Do you want to commit to write a number of posts every month? Do you believe you have the gift of the gab? Do you want to share your valuable opinion on anything Dutch Soccer? Step up.
Send your “application” to email@example.com with subject line “Blog Demi God” and I’ll see what comes up. I will be a bit authoritarian. As I will determine the time/date of posting and I will reserve the right to edit. But other than that: please bring it on!
There is always enough to write about and I can really do with some new bright ideas.
As for Oranje, we have had what could have been another rift in the making. Van Persie not passing to Hunter. Hunter telling Robin off. Robin responding with a condenscending gesture. And when the skipper scored his goal against Kazachstan, he blatantly ignored Klaas Jan’s hi-five attempt and simply walked past him as if he was air.
The media jumped on it and Hiddink basically chose the side of Huntelaar ( “Robin should have passed the ball”). The coach took the two players and sat them down at a table with Arjen Robben – vice skipper – and assistant coach Ruud van Nistelrooy. 15 minutes later, the two strikers were on speaking terms again and Hiddink didn’t want to spend any more time or words on the incident.
Other than that, all seems rosy in the Oranje camp. Daley Blind is enjoying his new status. His twitter account exploded recently to 400,000+ followers. “Exploded? It’s really nothing compared to Rooney and Van Persie hahahaha. But yes, Man United is huge and I can sense that in everything. Ajax is a development club and there is nothing wrong with that. But Man United is definitely a couple of steps up. I am pleased my acclimatisation went well. It helps that we have that Amsterdam bluff a bit in our game. That will have helped. I do what I do at Ajax and I think it’s going alright.” Blind has been praised in England for the seamless way he seems to slot in to the defensive mid role for the Mancunians and his crisp passing has pleased many pundits. “That is always nice to hear. I think it is not hard for someone like me to play here, because the lads I play with are so good. It is almost easier at times. The pace is killing though and the competitiveness in the challenges took me by surprise at times, but I am adjusting well.”
Blind drives around Manchester in a Chevrolet Corvette, like his teammates. He smirks. “I didn’t need that car. I would never buy that myself. But the club gave it to me so I use it from the hotel to the club. Other than that, I prefer to use a bike or simply walk. Manchester is a bit like Amsterdam in that sense. Can do most by bike.”
Stefan de Vrij is also settling in nicely in Italy. “Feyenoord will always be my club but I was ready for a bigger competition and for a defender, Italy is like paradise. I learn every day as the level is high and the intensity immense. I think I was a pretty good defender in Dutch terms, but I lack the ruthlessness of Italian defenders. I am learning that now every day. I didn’t find it hard to accustom myself to the Italian lifestyle. It’s all very European. The language is totally new but it’s not that hard and football language is universal. Life her is very pleasant and I am not a very high profile guy, I can still walk through the city and most people don’t recognize me.”
Arjen Robben missed the first movements of Oranje post World Cup but it is totally back. “It is really weird. I struggled physically when I was 24 to 28 years old. Now I’m 30 and I feel like I’m 25. I am still explosive and my mental desire is huge still. I feel good!” Bert van Marwijk recently gave Robben the biggest compliment, telling the media he felt Robben is better than Messi and C Ronaldo. Van Marwijk: “Messi and C Ronaldo are individually extremely good. But so is Arjen. On top of that, Robben is a team player. He is tactically smart and very important in the team dynamics. Not sure if Messi and C Ronaldo are as instrumental without the ball as Robben is.” Robben looked back at September and his absence. “I think September is always tough, after a big tournament. Your body is not ready yet, as you are prepping for the new season. I think we were allowed that excuse in September. But it’s October now, so no more excuses. We are all in top shape and playing for weeks already. We need to be 100% on our game. Because Iceland will be ready for us too!”
Willem van Hanegem gave his typical straight forward analysis of the Kazachstan game. “Why do we give so much respect to an opponent like Kazachstan? I really don’t get that. We had 4 defenders plus Nigel de Jong! Don’t get me wrong, De Jong is a world class player, but do you need him in this game? I would have started with a 3-3-4 system! Van der Wiel, De Vrij and Martins Indi. Then Sneijder centrally in midfield with Wijnaldum and Afellay on his side. And Robben left, Lens right and Van Persie and Huntelaar centrally. And I would penalise any player who would square the ball. The only way to kill of an opponent like Kazachstan or Iceland is by playing deep.”
Hiddink is not comfortable wit minion opponent Iceland. “Listen, it is easy to say they are a small football nation. They are. But at the same time, they have tremendous character and mentality, which is key in these games. And their midfield is very creative while they have a couple of lethal strikers. They are fresh, highly motivated and….they have six points. We only have 3 points. So for now, we are the minions.”
Lastly, Wes Sneijder is able to catch up with Rafa Van der Vaart if he starts or plays against Iceland. Vaart has 109 caps for Holland and Sneijder will join him on position no. 3. Only Frank de Boer (112) and Edwin van der Sar ( 130) have played more games. Van der Vaart is not part of the squad due to his recent injury.
Latest team news. Tim Krul is out and is replaced by Ken Vermeer. The Feyenoord goalie was part of the Oranje squad under Van Gaal for a spell but missed the World Cup. The Newcastle United ball stopper has an elbow injury. Ginio Wijnaldum is also not longer part of the squad due to a knee injury.