De Boer follows this blog

We’ve seen it before here, with National Team coaches taking advice from us Oranje experts. The call for Weghorst, the confusion around Babel and Strootman, the omissions of Karsdorp, Frank has taken the hints and acted on it.

When De Boer took over from Koeman (actually, from Lodeweges) he didn’t have much time to play around with the squad. He only had half a day to prep for his first game and understandably, he stuck with Koeman’s choices.

It was always clear that he would pick his own squad ahead of the Euros, with time on his hand to analyse the larger list of players (Danjuma, Lang, Gakpo, Stengs, Karsdorp) and to develop a game plan.

The latter, we’l’l have to wait and see. We will slowly see his ideas emerge in the coming weeks. The prelim squad tells us a good story, though.

He dropped Babel and Strootman, while previously singing their praises as “important lads for the dressing room”. It doesn’t feel like a glorious compliment a player wants to hear. “We’re taking Toornstra to the Euros as well, because of the way he carries the practice balls. And we have picked Vilhena due to his amazing musical selections for before the game.”

No, when the sharp ends comes closer, you pick the players who can win you the trophy.

For me, the squad is logical. I don’t see any player that makes me cringe. But I would have liked to have seen Noa Lang and Danjuma in the squad. At the same time, you can “only” bring 26 players so a number of pre-lim players will be dropped.

Add the fact that Jong Oranje also has a serious tournament this summer and Van der Looij will require some of this stars to play for him.

If there is one surprise, it is the absence of Calvin Stengs. The one-time super talent of AZ is not in the prelim squad and the surprise is less to do with his amazing skills and performances of late (there weren’t any) but because he is Frank de Boer’s son-in-law and the coach has risked a family feud by not selecting the AZ winger. His coach, Pascal Jansen: “I can fully understand De Boer’s decision. I’m a Calvin fan, and he is special. But you do need to show that on the pitch, and he hasn’t this season. He needs to make a step up and show the coach he cannot ignore him. For now, Jong Oranje is more his level.”

Virgil van Dijk confirmed what most of us knew and actually hoped for: the Euros are too early for him. The risk for him to play anyway was such, that he could have completely destroyed his career at Liverpool and Oranje and the World Cup next year. We’ll have to do this without him.

Daley Blind, on the other hand, does seem to be on schedule to return. A good thing with Daley: he never had to need games to return to his full form after injury. He’s one of those players that will be able to pick up where he left off.

The introduction of Jurrien Timber was hoped for. The Ajax centre back impresses weekly. He’s strong on the ball, lightning fast, he plays with courage and he head up and defensively focused, not unlike that other young (former) Ajax talent, Mathijs de Ligt. Timber can also Cody Gakpo also makes his entrance. Frank simply couldn’t ignore him, after his return from injury. A big plus for Gakpo: he can play left winger but he can also fill in the 10 role in a different way then Klaassen or Van de Beek.

And then there is the return of Karsdorp – finally – and Anwar El Ghazi. The latter was a super talent in Ajax’ youth – compared to none other than CR7 – and has been playing regular football for Villa, scoring goals (8 this season) and being important. He used to be a tad lazy and complacent but life in the EPL and being coached by John Terry will have had this trait removed…

Rick Karsdorp is Roma’s wingback on the left and starts most games in the Serie A and in the Europa League. He has 6 assists and 1 goal in 32 matches and galops along the right flank like he used to do before his injuries. Yes, Dumfries, Hateboer, Veltman, Tete and St Juste are also part of the prelim squad but if De Boer wants a 4-3-3 line up and a 3-4-3 line up, it pays to include Karsdorp. Tete is not a regular in Fulham and wasn’t able to keep the Cottagers in the EPL, whereas Karsdorp reached the semi finals of the EL. I think Hateboer won’t be match fit after his injury woes and Veltman will probably go to the Euros as utility player (left back, centre back, right back).

Lastly, Weghorst. Of course he will come to the Euros. The additional 3 players De Boer is allowed to bring will mean he simply cannot ignore the Wolfsburg striker.

Arjen Robben is not part of the list. Whoever came up with that joke had a lot of fun. I think Robben mentioned it as a pun after his first game in many months (2 assists) and the media and pundits took it seriously. He would be an amazing assistant coach though, but as a player? Ridiculous!

What is next?

On May 24, De Boer starts his first practice camp, with the full squad. Wednesday May 26, De Boer will announce the final 26 man squad. On Saturday May 29, the squad will fly to Portugal for their prep. On June 2, the first friendly vs Scotland is planned and on June 6 Georgia will be the opponent in the Twente Stadium in Enschede. The Euros will start on Sunday June 13, with the home game vs Ukraine, with Austria on June 17 and North Macedonia on June 21. All games played in the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

I will now re-jig the selection I think Frank will go with (with the know-how of the prelim squad).


Cillesen, Krul, Stekelenburg


Dumfries, Karsdorp, Veltman, De Vrij, De Ligt, Blind, Wijndal, Ake


Frenkie de Jong, Gini Wijnaldum, Davy Klaassen, Donny van de Beek, Marten de Roon, Ryan Gravenberch, Teun Koopmeiners


Malen, Memphis, Luuk de Jong, Wout Weghorst, Berghuis, Bergwijn, Cody Gakpo, Promes

I doubt only the last name. Quincy Promes was part of Oranje for years now and I think that will be the difference between him and El Ghazi. De Boer might decide against Promes should he feel the ex Ajax man is too much of a distraction with his off pitch antics and pending court case.

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  1. No complaints about any of the players. I think it’s a bit different than in past years. Historically Dutch managers have taken untested young players to big tournaments, but that was when we had a good solid team with no question marks. Like when we brought Babel to the 2006 World Cup, but basically knew he would get closet to 0 minutes, and its more for the experience. Now with the team a little more shaky, less experienced, the idea of bringing a young player doesn’t make as much sense.

    We’ve only named 4 players who have ever played in a big National Tournament before, so it would be like the blind leading the blind a bit. Better for the kids to play the junior Euros.

  2. @Jan, agreed with most of your selections. However, would love to see El Ghazi > Promes and Timber > Dumfries.
    Both Promes and Dumfries don’t show enough and don’t think how Ghazi and Timber can be any worse.

    1. No promes has saved us couple time goal vs England,Germany etc…i think Elgahzi has poor accuracy,1000 times lessser accuracy than stengs etc….Danjuma is the key player we are missing at forawrds…especailly when you kick out babale..Danjuma was must….
      Danjuma is 1000 times skillfulllmatch winner than Elghazi…
      promes is hard worker,amazing lungs…if he works tirlessly he can be nuisense for opponnet just look at his goal vs england…insane stamina and enegry…if kuyt kept his spot with work rate why not promes,(promes is not my favorite player though)…
      Timber is footballer ,n\incomparab;e with less than averga ehateboer or Dumbfry…..So Timber its no brainer..

  3. I believe Timber will make the final 26 team. No reason for De Boer to have selected him just to cut him a few days later and prevent the U21 team from having him! The same thing applies for Koopmeiners and Gakpo. I believe they’ll all make the squad.

    Karsdorp and Dumfries are fighting for RB spot as to who will join Timber while Bergwijn, Promes and El Ghazi will battle it out for that last spot.

  4. The player we should have looked was pascal struijk….We needed him,he plays for top club and epl table and he is regular…while Veltman is at bottom….
    Nice to karsdrp back and wish him to be at Euros…

  5. who are the game flow killers at the our final 26???
    De roon
    lessser these players starts higher chance that we beat top teams…
    Dumbfry and hateboer are worst players in provisonal squad..

  6. Blind has cardiac condition and still injured..he should take rest and call pascal struijk,
    Tyrell malacia should be called for Blind
    Cillessen.Stekelenberg,krul(only shoot out)

    karsdorp-Timber at RB
    Deligt-Devrij–starting CB pair.
    Ake–Pascal struijk on Bench CB
    Malacia–Annholt as LB
    koopmeiners,Frenkie,Gravenberch,Wijnaldum,Van debeek,Vilhena,klassen..
    Memphis,Malen,Gakpo,Danjuma(call him back)
    last my man Bazoer(26 the man, can play defender,no 10,holding,playmaker all in one….one of the best players at eredivise..Multipurpose instead veltman..

  7. Watched Atalanta vs Genoa. Sam lammers made a rare start off the bench with atalanta leading 4-1. Clocked about 30′ but didnt had much impact in the game with Geona scoring two more goals clawing their way back in the game but Atalanta held on to win 4-3.

    His movement, positioning and holding up of ball looks very good but if not serviced, he looks like a pedestrian. Atalanta are guaranteed CL next season and with the current super form of both zapata and muriel, its highly likely next season will be any different to this one. He should think of going out on loan to stay in the picture and also stay in contention for WC.

    Looking at the euros and given Ukriane is in the same group as NT, I must say they will have to look out for Ruslan Malinovskyi who also plays Atalanta.a very crafty midfielder who has been in top form for Atanlata and will be the danger man for Ukraine.

  8. El Ghazi scored his 9th goal of the season for Villa but unfortunately they lost 3-2 Crystal palace. for sure he will be a upgrade in NT but looking at his performances at villa,he kind of goes stray if the team starts observing two much pressure and if doesnt get possession he fades out. alot will also depend on the NT midfielders as well and how creative/explsoive in getting the ball upfront to him

    1. Sounds like Brighton are looking at Scherpen, which likely wouldn’t be a good move as I doubt he’d start this year.

      In other news Ajax are apparently close to signing Jay Gorter who was a revelation in the Eerste Divisie.

        1. Gorter might well be backup to Stekelenburg and Pasveer and even for Jong Ajax. both Keepers are still young and need experience to fight for starting spot in Ajax.

  9. Ukraine Euro 2020 squad: provisional 36-man squad
    GK: Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    GK: Andriy Lunin (Real Madrid)
    GK: Heorhiy Bushchan (Dynamo Kiev)
    GK: Anatoliy Trubin (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    DF: Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    DF: Oleksandr Karavayev (Dynamo Kiev)
    DF: Serhiy Kryvtsov (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    DF: Eduard Sobol (Club Brugge)
    DF: Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kiev)
    DF: Illya Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kiev)
    DF: Viktor Korniienko (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    DF: Denys Popov (Dynamo Kiev)
    DF: Oleksandr Tymchyk (Dynamo Kiev)
    DF: Oleksandr Syrota (Dynamo Kiev)
    DF: Bogdan Mykhaylichenko (Anderlecht)
    MF: Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham United)
    MF: Yevhen Konoplyanka (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    MF: Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City)
    MF: Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta)
    MF: Serhiy Sydorchuk (Dynamo Kiev)
    MF: Viktor Kovalenko (Atalanta)
    MF: Marlos (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    MF: Yevhen Makarenko (Kortrijk)
    MF: Mykola Shaparenko (Dynamo Kiev)
    MF: Volodymyr Shepelyev (Dynamo Kiev)
    MF: Viktor Tsygankov (Dynamo Kiev)
    MF: Vitaliy Buyalskiy (Dynamo Kyiv)
    MF: Oleksandr Zubkov (Ferencvaros)
    MF: Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    MF: Heorhii Sudakov (Shakhtar Donetsk)
    MF: Oleksandr Andriyevskiy (Dynamo Kiev)
    MF: Bogdan Lednev (Dynamo Kiev)
    MF: Artem Bondarenko (Mariupol)
    FW: Roman Yaremchuk (Gent)
    FW: Artem Dovbyk (SC Dnipro-1)
    FW: Artem Besedin (Dynamo Kiev)

    really have no idea of the shakhtar contingent in there. the same for goes for Dynamo Kiev who won the title in Ukraine after lapse of 5 years.

  10. Germany 26 member squad

    Manuel Neuer, FC Bayern München
    Kevin Trapp, Eintracht Frankfurt
    Bernd Leno, Arsenal

    Lukas Klostermann, RB Leipzig
    Robin Gosens, Atalanta
    Matthias Ginter, Gladbach
    Mats Hummels, Dortmund
    Niklas Süle, FC Bayern
    Antonio Rüdiger, Chelsea
    Robin Koch, Leeds
    Marcel Halstenberg, RB Leipzig
    Christian Günter, Freiburg

    Emre Can, Dortmund
    Joshua Kimmich, FC Bayern
    Kai Havertz, Chelsea
    Toni Kroos, Real Madrid
    Timo Werner, Chelsea
    Kevin Volland, AS Monaco
    Jonas Hofmann, Gladbach
    Thomas Müller, FC Bayern
    Florian Neuhaus, Gladbach
    Leon Goretzka, FC Bayern
    Leroy Sané, FC Bayern
    Serge Gnabry, FC Bayern
    Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City
    Jamal Musiala, FC Bayern

  11. France 26 man Squad
    Goalkeepers: Lloris, Mandanda, Maignan

    Defenders: Dubois, Pavard, Zouma, Koundé, Varane, Lenglet, Kimpembe, Digne, L.Hernandez

    Midfielders: Kanté, Pogba, Rabiot, Tolisso, Sissoko

    Forwards: Benzema, Giroud, Mbappé, Thuram, Coman, Ben Yedder, Griezmann, Lemar, O.Dembélé

  12. Watched Spurs vs Villa game. I noticed Bergwijn tends to receive the ball with his back to goal. This in in part due to the way the pass is relied to him but also the way he positions himself to receive the ball. This makes him to either pass back or to make a turn to advance. He is most effective when facing the goal and using his pace to run at defenders.
    El Ghazi is static a player. He got good strength but ain’t threatening enough on the ball.
    At this point think it will be Bergwijn > El Ghazi > Promes.
    Too bad Danjuma isn’t in the mix. I feel Danjuma is overlooked as he doesn’t support enough defensively..this is necessary unless you are a certain Robben or Messi or Ronaldo.

    1. @ycsng0822Agree with how you see the selection for that spot; the added benefit is that Bergweijn can also play the right wingback if they switch to three CD’s. (If I’m not mistaken, he did so at Tottenham this year.) Also agree that Danjuma should have at least been given a look in the camp—they need a wide player who can break down and get behind a defense.

        1. I don’t know. I haven’t seen Tottenham play enough, nor do I follow them enough to hear the opinion of others who do, so I don’t have anything to offer.

          You apparently have thought about it. What is your take?

          I will say that he has played competently for the NT in the past, and he offers flexibility to the team.

          1. bergwijn is all about pace and space, however his technical ability is limited in context to epl level. not necessarily the tempo but from the physical perspective.

            In tighter games, he easily gets neutralized if you close him up and dont give him room to move. this is what happened to him vs villa where Targett and El Ghazi constantly closed him up and left him starving for space to move on the the flanks. he was forced to move inside (middle) and thats where he found the space and scored off nakambas bad back pass. apart from that goal, he made some good runs but was often neutralized especial in duals where he just couldn’t hold him self up and kept going down to the ground. this is another area of his weakness.

            Now if you look at El Ghazi he is not anything flashly of a winger either but he uses his techinical abilities which is also limited to a greater effect than Bergwijn. mainly his height and strength and his ability to hold the ball to some extent. he also is dangerous with long range shots especially when cutting inside from the left which is typical of dutch wingers.

            like I said earlier Villa has got a good midfield and they use El Ghazi productively by bringing him into play and this is where he has been very instrumental. if this doesnt happen , you can forget about him making any impact and this is where the NT midfield will have to pull the strings similarly to get the best out of him, should he get the nod.

            also at some point in time everybody has to drop back to defend and to say that Bergwijn defensively is a workhorse and also contributes better to team, just defeats the purpose when as a winger there has to be balance between attacking and defending with more priority on attack. sometimes he exerts so much energy in defending, that he often ends up puffing his lungs out and in the end is left with nothing in the tank.

  13. Portgual squad

    Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Rui Patrício (Wolverhampton), Rui Silva (Granada).

    Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Nelson Semedo (Wolverhampton), Jose Fonte (Lille), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund).

    Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (PSG), Joao Palhinha (Sporting CP), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Moutinho (Wolverhampton), Renato Sanches (Lille), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis).

    Forwards: Pedro Goncalves (Sporting CP), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Rafa Silva (Benfica).

    1. sporting Lisbon won the title in portgual after 11 years and their contingent will be the one to look out in the team especially Nuno Mendes.

  14. Jong oranje final 23 man squad. Ihattaren snubbed again.

    Goalkeepers: Kjell Scherpen (Ajax), Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Maarten Paes (FC Utrecht)
    Defenders: Devyne Rensch (Ajax), Perr Schuurs (Ajax), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord), Deyovaisio Zeefuik (Hertha BSC), Sven Botman ( LOSC Lille), Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain), Jordan Teze (PSV), Danilho Doekhi (Vitesse)
    Midfielders: Jurgen Ekkelenkamp (Ajax), Dani de Wit (AZ), Azor Matusiwa (FC Groningen), Ferdi Kadioglu (Fenerbahce) ), Abdou Harroui (Sparta Rotterdam), Ludovit Reis (VFL Osnabrück).
    Attackers: Brian Brobbey (Ajax), Calvin Stengs (AZ), Myron Boadu (AZ), Noa Lang (Club Brugge), Javairo Dilrosun (Hertha BSC), Justin Kluivert (RB Leipzig).

  15. France u21 squad. Not bad.

    GK: Alban Lafont (Nantes), Illan Meslier (Leeds United), Dimitry Bertaud (Montpellier)DEF: Colin Dagba (PSG), Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Ibrahima Konate (RB Leipzig), Wesley Fofana (Leicester City), Faitout Maouassa (Rennes), Adrien Truffert (Rennes), Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan), Jules Kounde (Sevilla)MID: Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal/Hertha Berlin), Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco), Boubacar Kamara (Marseille), Romain Faivre (Brest), Boubakary Soumaré (Lille), Houssem Aouar (Lyon), Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes)ATT: Odsonne Edouard (Celtic), Randal Kolo Muani (Nantes), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Amine Gouiri (Nice)

  16. This is a bit off topic, but are there any players with guaranteed squad numbers. I know Frenkie always wears 21, but for the rest of the team can we be sure of their numbers. The only reason I ask is because I want to order some of the kits before the Euros start.

    1. So, just for the heck of it, I went and looked at all of their matches in 2020-2021. Looks like Depay always wore 10; Blind always wore 17, and Wijnaldum always wore 8. Was thinking that VVD always wore 4, and he probably does when he plays, but it doesn’t sit idle because of the injury. Veltman wore 4 on at least one occasion after the injury.

      1. Thanks for the comment. I’m honestly not that big of a fan of Depay, or Wijnaldum, so I’m probably going to wait to see who gets the 9 kit.

  17. Good news. Ajax extend Kik Pierie’s extension at FC Twente. He should also be adviced to starting hitting the gym as well if he really wants to stand a chance of making the ajax team. His strength is area of concern.

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