Definitive Squad: Jan's thoughts….

Ok peeps. Here we are. A tremendous milestone. The Definitive 23 are announced!

Zoet, Van Aanholt and the four young Oranje players (Rekik, Promes, Boetius and Vilhena) are exited.

The only surprise maybe van Aanholt, who played a decent second half against Ecuador.

But the Chelsea youngster is known to be difficult to coach and LVG wants players who can think and make decisions. So apparently, Van Gaal thinks Kongolo is further.

Feyenoord is the main supplier with 5 players (just like in the 1974 World Cup) and has a number of ex players in Vlaar, Wijnaldum, De Guzman, Fer, Kuyt and Van Persie.

Now, before we all start screaming and debating, it is a hard job to do and there will always be room for debate. Emanuelson, Promes, Van Dijk, Vlaar, Van Aanholt, Buttner, Pieters, Huntelaar….

pat aanholt

Patrick van Aanholt

Huntelaar Schwuntelaar. Van Gaal had to make the call and he has done so. And he was consistent within his own framework.

You can criticise the man for his personality traits (as I have) but he has done a good job considering the circumstances.

I think I would like to say the following, about

The System

I think I called it months ago already, like some of you here, that 4-3-3 would be suicide. Unless, Maher or Wijnaldum or Van Ginkel or Afellay and Strootman were available. But even then… Our defence is not good enough, both defensively as in build up and I thought Wesley would not have the legs anymore. And it still remains to be seen whether he can work hard enough.

So LVG went for 5-3-2. Instead of 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. I think part of it is just Louis not wanting to go to a system he criticised before. 4-2-3-1 has “Bert van Marwijk” written all over it and 4-4-2 has Satan written on it (from Louis’ perspective). And since ManU, Man City, Feyenoord, Juve and many other teams have worked with 5-3-2, why not try it with Oranje.

It basically means: more bodies at the back and smaller spaces to defend, while offering more space to run into upfront. We have the full backs for it so why not?

With Sneijder being a bit more protected and not having to work as much (he’ll play from the left flank, with RVP up centrally and Robben hovering from the right but in a free role.

The idea is that Kongolo and Janmaat (or whoever plays the flank) will be able to overlap and become forwards. Depending on the set up of the opponent, even BMI could use these attacks to come up front with his heading capabilities as it does seem our midfield will be on the small side, in terms of height. Sneijder will have De Jong next to him for sure and Clasie or Blind or De Guzman. With Fer, the attacking power of the midfield increases.

handen LVG

This system can be turned int0 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 in the blink of an eye, which is what we hope to see. Obviously, fitness will be key. Most players do know how to play this and it is now all up to Louis to get the details right.

The Starting Line up

There are many things to consider.

For our goalkeeper, I believe LVG will start with Cillesen. I would start Krul.

The Five at the Back will most likely be: Janmaat de Vrij Vlaar BMI and Blind.

I haven’t seen the training sessions so I don’t know how Kongolo did, but I think I would pick him. He is tall, is a good header and very good defensively. With Kongolo playing, you have the total Feyenoord backline which could be a plus.

The three in midfield are most likely Blind  De Jong  Sneijder. I hope Fer does well in the sessions as I like to see him in Blind’s place in certain games.

The two upfront: Robben and Van Persie of course, although I can see a change with Depay in the books, where Robben could have the Sneijder role.

The Group Games

I believe we will got through as #1. And I think it’s either Chile or Spain as #2.

I think Spain is a little bit rusty. The players of Spain all had massive seasons and I believe some of them will lack the real desire. Holland will play as if they are replaying the 2010 finals and we will win this, with a masterful Sneijder and Robben.

In the second game, Spain will have to attack Chile, who will have beaten Australia. Chile will absorb the pressure and counter attack to a win. I can see Chile make it as number 2. We will beat Australia and get the full victory over Chile as these lads are already happy to be through and Oranje is on a roll.

Against Spain we play Clasie in midfield, against Australia we play Fer and against Chile it’s Blind.

We will avoid Brazil in the knock out stages. We get Mexico instead and do away with them too.

By then, the world is starting to pay attention. The streets in Holland already are going berserk.

Next up Italy, and it becomes scary. Penalties will bring joy to Holland.

Then it’s Germany, whom we beat severely only to play Brazil in the finals of the tournament.

Who have lost two key players by then as a result of suspensions. We have lost Nigel de Jong and Ron Vlaar. The pressure is on. The whole nation (and world) want to see Brazil play samba football and win it.


Terence Kongolo

But it’s Holland that dominates against a tense and choking Brazil.

We play a 5-3-2:


Lens  De Vrij  Veltman   BMI    Depay


Fer                                    Sneijder

Robben   Van Persie

We have more possession and dominate the game, and score a fine goal (Robben) in the 30st minute.

Brazil needs to start coming and get more and more freedom. Their attacks are slow and predictable. We use the passing of Clasie and Sneijder to reach Lens, Depay, Robben and RVP. The latter scores 2-0 in the second half, Battleworn Fer will be replaced by De Guzman and Sneijder makes way for Kongolo. Robben start to play in Sneijder’s role Depay joins RVP upfront and scores the third goal. A late penalty gets Brazil on the board but Holland has wiped out a dramatic World Cup history with a sensational win in Brazil against the record holding Cup winners….

Van Gaal gets crowned King of the World and is so happy that he loses his voice and can only pursue further coaching at Man United via a megaphone attached to his throat.

Hiddink resigns from team manager as he won’t be able to top Louis and Danny Blind gets the job.

After the win, everyone wants to become part of Dutch Total Football Mark II.

Krul > AC Milan

Vorm> Liverpool

Janmaat> Arsenal

BMI> Man U

De Vrij> Liverpool



Clasie> Man United

Nigel de Jong>Barcelona



Lens>AC Milan

(Danny BLind will coach the team to the European Trophy in 2016 but I will write about that one later….)


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  1. Marvellous read! You had me in stitches at “Van Gaal gets crowned King of the World and is so happy that he loses his voice and can only pursue further coaching at Man United via a megaphone attached to his throat.” Gold!
    But I will be happy if your prediction hits even without this last detail! Getting more and more excited and totally looking forward to winning this cup! 🙂

    1. LOL! What is the value of being “King of the World”, when the foreign press already uses the term “Father of God”.
      That will be a step down for van Gaal.

  2. Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United).
    Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona).
    Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich).
    Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Villa (Atletico Madrid).

    1. in my opinion they’ll miss navas. neither pedro nor mata is not as good in widening spaces than navas and playing against a tired defensive line from the 65thh,70th minute. costa won’t be ready for the oranje game,he will be used like robben 4 years ago.
      oranje’s chances against spain: spanish players will be more tired after an exhaustive season and they start slowly. but their squad is definitely better. and don’t forget,vicente del bosque is a genious (2 champions league, world cup,european championsip,etc.). i think him and luis are at the same level.
      considering all circumstances,i expect a draw. the two cile games will be the key. we don’t know anything about australia,but i guess they are capable of playing the park the bus “tactics.”

      good read,Jan 🙂

  3. Nice read, thanks Jan. Now on to real world, we haven’t won a game in recent memory. Spain easily won yesterday, Chile came back from behind and beat Egypt 3-2 on heroics of Alexis Sanchez. In order to get a boost of confidence we need to beat Ghana today and score a couple goals. Most importantly we should not suffer any injuries.
    I keep scratching my head at a full backline of Feyenoord who is not even the best team in Holland. I am afraid Spain will toy like cat and mouse with these young kids until 70th min when they score a couple.

  4. Scary team!!! At least on the paper!!! All play for elite teams!!! 7 in barca 7 in the two Madrid teams, 2 in each of man utd, chelsea and Napoli, then one in each of man city, bayern and arsenal!!!!

    1. I watched the Chile-Egypt game as well and Chile is very dangerous going forward. Between the Spanish armada and the quickness of Chile, it will really take a miracle for us to advance. But in football one never knows. We can only hope that the stars are aligned.

      1. are chile that good? will vidal be ok for the world cup? how do they play without him?
        actually i hope vidal will be there, really hate the fact when players cannot be at big tournaments due tu injuries. i don’t care if i like the player or not,but it’s always a shame for football when a player is not there. i feel sad for vdv,strootman,van der wiel,victor valdes,navas,thiago alcantara,gundogan,walcott and all the rest who can’t be there. i read cristiano ronaldo might miss it – not a player i do like,but his absence would be a shame for the world cup.

        1. I agree with classy ferenc 100%

          And furthermore, I hope that when we finally taste WC glory that we will do so after defeating all of the ‘top’ sides so that there can be no dispute on who is champion, i dont want to be “lucky” to be in a group like Belgium or Argentina have, or group C – so I actually do feel that this is a year we can surprise opponents – of course realistically we obviously do not have the best chance but as they say, the ball is round!

          I think all depends on the Chile match

        2. Ferenc, I am not sure Chile is that good as you correctly stated but they are very quick and they are a team that penetrates defenses rather easily. I am concerned how we will match them with our slow defense. If we were competing in the EPL I would feel quite secure but against Chile it is rather concerning. We probably have the slowest defense ever assembled.

  5. I agree with LvG’s decisions (I’m sure he’s relieved to hear that 🙂 ) — system, selections (PvA vs Kongolo only question, but just based on Ecuador game, which is a WAY smaller sample vs Louis’ data from training, so I’m happily defer to him), and particularly the way he’s gone about the business of people management. Major props to him on that front — pushing Wes earlier in the year to keep his ego in check and work his a$$ off to be ready for the WK, anointing RvP early as the leader of the squad, giving Robben the star billing and freedom to roam that we need and he richly deserves, making clear that everyone other than the RvP and Robben have to work hard for their spots. The team feels like its head is in the right place, the guys are solidly thinking “team” vs “me, me, me”. Can’t ask for more. Well, other than healthy Strootman and Rafael, but all teams are dealing with some key injuries at this stage of the game and the minor silver lining of the Strootman injury is that it pushed Louis out of 433, which I agree with Jan would likely have been suicide at the WK given he relative weakness of the back line.

    Oranje boooooven, oranje boooooven, we worden kampioen! (misschien)

  6. Jan I wonder how will you keep this blog after the short WC Holland is gonna have.

    Will you write articles about other teams or will you give it up till the transfers rumours mid july ?

  7. Firstly, thanks to Jan and the regular crew for the always informative and entertaining posts!

    Back again and ready after the 23 names are finalized. I’ve been lurking after the disappointment of EU 2012, of course. I don’t have much clue on the newer names in the current squad other than what I’ve read here.

    Jan, I think you were still being serious when you said we’ll top group B, a sentiment that I’ve had. Obviously all of my friends think I’m delusional and biased (which I probably am when it comes to the Oranje) but I agree with your general take that Spain may have started to go downhill. It’s been an awesome achievement for them both at country and club level for the last 6-8 years or so, winning back to back 3 major tourneys in the modern era is unheard of. And this may be their time to start declining.

    I’m hoping the situation is the opposite for the current Oranje squad. There are a lot of relatively unknown players (by that I meant not many leftovers from the almost glorious 2010 and disastrous 2012) which can translate to 2 extreme scenario:
    1) Massive blowout a la 2012 because of inexperienced, this is probably what most watchers and reasonable people expect
    2) Massive outperformance relative to expectations, this is what I expect. I’m hoping this class of players will start the new “Golden Generation” and will improve on the achievements/trophies from the prior 2.

    From the standpoint of the “senior state men” of this squad, I hope Robben’s goal and victory with Bayern in the UEFA CL Finals exorcised all the demons of the missed 1:1 what-could-have-been in 2010 final match.

    I dare not dream as far as Jan but I think we’ll beat Spain in match #1 (already planning to take that day off work that day to prepare for my match-watching ritual). Next goal is top group B, the rest will take care of itself.

    But first, this has been a personal pet peeve of mine toward the Oranje squad, I want to see some fire in the players faces when the National anthem (I don’t need to see everyone shouting like Gigi Buffon) but I do want to see faces that are proud they are representing the country.

    Look forward to reading posts from all of you and a glorious summer for our beloved Oranje!


    1. I dare not dream as far as Jan but…..???

      Soccer is a strange game and you can never be sure what will happen.

      I HAVE a dream (against all the evidence) and hope to read in the papers “Dutch youngsters delight the world”.

      Hmmm! “Van Persie takes the Dutch to the top” will do fine for me as well.
      I can dream, can’t I?

      Yeah! I AM worried, yet hopeful at the same time.

  8. lineup for Ghana

    vd Weil – Rekik – Douglas – Bruma – v Aanholt
    v Ginkel – Klaasen – Vilhena
    Narsingh – Promes

    Stek, v Dijk, v Rhijn, Schaars, Emanuelson, Schaken, Boetius

  9. Thanks Jan. Amusing and informative. Clever and tongue in cheek. Then come the usual suspects ……. Zzzzz. . Just waiting for the one who likes his ducthies to have big balls …..

  10. Only with right strategy can we top the group. If we keep playing slow build up against Chile we will get killed. I think we can manage a tie against Spain and top the group by goal difference. I am 50% towards this direction.
    If Van Gaal messed up and became crazy and tried to do total football stuff which we can do now. We will be beaten by Spain and Chile and not get out of the group. This is my other 50%.
    I do not see us qualifying by getting 2nd in the group.

  11. As for the selection, I think Van Gaal still has 4-3-3 in his mind.
    Even when we play 5-3-2 it is still 4-3-3 because you never see 2 WB coming forward at the same time.
    Now with Blind at LB and playing 5-3-2, he will rarely charge forward and with Indi helping him left side should be ok.
    Robben and Sneijder will move towards the left to fill the LW. And Janmaat will have RW all for himself. De Jong and De Vrij will cover for Janmaat when he is charging forward. So it is still 4-3-3

  12. LvG will regret not picking van Aanholt.

    Blind couldn’t keep up with Valbuena…how is he supposed to contain the likes of Alexis Sanchez and David Silva?

    1. He said afterwards that he’s saving them up.
      Hopefully he can use them against Spain.

      Maybe it’s good that he missed them. It might make him more eager to do well when “the real thing” starts.

      He won’t like reading the papers that mention he missed a sure thing TWICE.

  13. Robben with two decent chances that could have been goals.

    Glad to be up 1-0, but there was some luck involved with that goal, with the Ghana defender slipping.

  14. Blind has done well. Sneijder not doing enough for me. Robben pure class despite the misses. de Jong , Guzman and the defence completely untroubled. Ghana will exit at group stage with a whimper. Holland may surprise (a bit)

  15. I’m concerned about the isolation of RVP, Robben and Sneijder up top in the 532. When they get the ball and work together (occasionally with de Guzman and Blind), that group is looking good. But there’s really no midfield build-up that I’m seeing, and the ball is really just quickly transitioning directly from the backline to the front. Maybe LVG is expecting Spain and Chile to dominate possession and is developing a game plan to deal with that, but I would expect MUCH more possession and attacking play from the team as a whole in this match, even considering the missed opportunities.

  16. i like what i see from Blind and De Jong so far….defensively we had no problems but out three center backs have to improve their passing.

  17. Hi all!
    Been reading Jan’s blog for years but haven’t commented but I think I’ll give it a shot.

    1st half looked good, Robben could’ve scored more but it’s cool for now. I hope those go in when it counts. NDJ looks like the anchor needed in midfield as he’s intercepting and tackling like a boss. Sneijder is showing his class and the defence hasn’t really been tested. I think it’ll be good for Kevin Prince Boateng to come on and provide more of a challenge for the guys. Aside from Australia none of the other teams in their group will be so weak and wasteful in possession as Ghana have so far. Fer/Clasie should get a shot this gsme as I think aside from one of the opening interceptions De Guzman has not really shown much.

  18. Ghana’s defense is really not good, but theyre still far more comfortable on the ball than the five we have at the back. 10 minutes into the second half and I don’t think our keeper or backline has completed a pass.

    And Nigel de Jong should NOT be the primary distributor in the attacking third. Sneijder either needs to play deeper or Blind and De Guzman need to be MUCH more involved

    1. Why waste 5 positions on the field (6 if you count the keeper) on players who cannot pass? Only bright spot for me so far has been the return of Sneijder to the role of catalyst for the team, with some real incisive passing.

  19. This backline and cillessen are starting to piss me off..its very sad that we have to place thick tanks like vlaar and martins indi at the back who have virtually zero creativity and composure..backpasses and the backline and they’ll get exposed..they have no confidence whatsoever in playing the ball forward..same fucking thing..everytime they have the ball..backpass to cillessen who kicks it away like a headless chicken..we need depay or anybody who knows how to get past his marker and make things happen..sneijder,rvp and robben will have to carry this team forward..i am very disappointed

    1. Agree: Jittery back-passing is a sign of weakness and will simply get the Dutch beat. If you don’t have the confidence to move the ball forward, you shouldn’t be playing at WC (World Cup, World Class) level! Last time I saw the Dutch, in a qualifier, there was too much back passing.

  20. Lens comes on with 8 minutes left and is outrun to every ball near him — seriously? ! And Depay came on about 10 minutes earlier and I believe touched the ball for the first time with three minutes left. No possession, no cohesion, no creativity. Not sure whether this is the players or the formation or the game plan. It certainly isn’t the opponent that’s causing this

    1. The problem is absolutely clear..lack of quality and nothing else..we have two world class players..two real talents and nobody else..the rest are just average..these players would not even make our 3rd string squad during the 90s

  21. This team is simply not good. A bunch of back passes. The back line including the defensive midfielders have no ability to carry the ball forward. Why is De Goozman on this team. I don’ see his purpose in the midfield. I don’t see how are we going to make it to the second round.

  22. At least the trumpet in the crowd played with rhythm and consistency.

    Ghana defender injured in injury time 🙁 Hopefully for them he will not have to miss the World Cup as a result

  23. I think we have three truly world-class players upfront, who can rival anyone else’s players in those positions. With the exception of those three (Robben, RVP and Sneijder), however, the rest of the team consists of either young players unproven at the international level, or guys who are in the starting XI only because of their position (our entire back line and keeper).

    If this game is an example of how LVG’s 532 system will work, then I’m very concerned. In using this formation, we just have too little talent / quality on the field, and we will never be able to keep the ball against skilled attacking teams like Spain and Chile.

  24. Holland 1 – 0 Ghana
    Portugal 0 – 0 Greece
    Italy 0 – 0 Ireland
    Croatia 2 – 1 Mali

    Cillessen didn’t have to make a single save.
    Holland could have had 3 or 4.

    what planet are you guys on with ya moaning! Is Vlaar Rudi Krol. Is BMI Wim Suurbier? Is Lens Ruud Gullit? No they aren’t. WE KNOW THIS. On the other hand, I remember not qualifying in 1982, 1986 and 2002. I remember the debacle of 1990. I see our U17, U19 and U21 competing and winning tournaments. Will we win this WC? Probably not. But ffs, enjoy the ride. If it lasts 3 games, so be it.

  25. Watched some of the game.

    RVP goal was class, it was not luck that the Ghana defender slipped, Sneijder’s pass took him out and he couldnt get back. Good build up.

    I havent watched the team as much lately, but i notice several observations.

    1. Janmaat is a solid defender and is a great man marker. He was very quick to the ball and to close down his man. I like what i saw.

    2. The defense is stronger than it was for Euro 2012 and is less of a concern.

    3. The defense cannot string any passes together. Vlaar getting caught with the ball running up the middle was comical.

    4. The midfield is a problem. The reason we got to the finals in 2010 was due to van bommel and de jong sucking up the loose balls and putting pressure on the opposing midfielders. Blind and De Guzman are no van bommel. Strootman would make this team much better.

    5. We have zero creativity. These guys cannot keep possession of the ball. Its strange for a dutch team but not unexpected.

    6. Ghana is a good team. They have good passing and good defending.

    Sum: A boring but informative game between two good teams. I like that a fast team like Ghana did not rip apart our defense, that is a VERY positive to take away. The weak midfield is a problem for which we currently do not have any solutions. With respect to attacking talent, Lens and Depay did nothing. We are not in good shape once Robben and RVP retire in a few years, i am EXTREMELY

  26. Watched some of the game.

    RVP goal was class, it was not luck that the Ghana defender slipped, Sneijder’s pass took him out and he couldnt get back. Good build up.

    I havent watched the team as much lately, but i notice several observations.

    1. Janmaat is a solid defender and is a great man marker. He was very quick to the ball and to close down his man. I like what i saw.

    2. The defense is stronger than it was for Euro 2012 and is less of a concern.

    3. The defense cannot string any passes together. Vlaar getting caught with the ball running up the middle was comical.

    4. The midfield is a problem. The reason we got to the finals in 2010 was due to van bommel and de jong sucking up the loose balls and putting pressure on the opposing midfielders. Blind and De Guzman are no van bommel. Strootman would make this team much better.

    5. We have zero creativity. These guys cannot keep possession of the ball. Its strange for a dutch team but not unexpected.

    6. Ghana is a good team. They have good passing and good defending.

    Sum: A boring but informative game between two good teams. I like that a fast team like Ghana did not rip apart our defense, that is a VERY positive to take away. The weak midfield is a problem for which we currently do not have any solutions. With respect to attacking talent, Lens and Depay did nothing. We are not in good shape once Robben and RVP retire in a few years, i am EXTREMELY concerned about this.

  27. My take-aways from the game:

    * Both wing-backs Janmaat & Blind had a solid performance.

    * Really pleased to Sneijder regain his creative self & De Jong the destroyer playing fearlessly.

    * Rob^2 = Robin x Robben can prove to be a knockout punch for any defence if they get their finishing boots on.

    * Now comes the ugly part: BMI & Vlaar, on this occasion, nerves got the better of them, I hope they can improve as a pair. It’s sad cos Defenders who play in the Dutch League are more often than not great passers. I wouldn’t mind shuffling that pair for 45 mins against Wales with Veltman-Kongolo replacing the two.

    * Cilenssen – should watch a lot of Neuer’s videos at bayern. They too pass the ball back several times & he is always composed.

    good night – 2:30 am in my city

  28. For me the first half was pretty decent.
    I’d say this is seeming like 523 with Wes,Arjen,Robin switching around with eachother and not really 532 since the front 3 aren’t coming too deep and deG and deJ seem to be staying put with the wingbacks attacking – so in possession seemed more like 343 at times, I like it.
    I would rather see any of Clasie/Wijnaldum/Fer to play beside de Jong, sorry de Guzman but that was a good time to test him!
    Nonchalant performance 2nd half, improved a bit when subs come in, maybe I’d like to see more subs but then again fitness and minutes maybe more useful.
    Never really felt threatened by Ghana but with some sharp finishing perhaps we might have won 4-0 just the same.
    I agree that BMI and Vlaar were pretty sloppy in possession and to me could improve to just keep it simple and stay calm. I’d like to see Veltman and Kongolo again v Wales. I wouldn’t mind seeing Verhaugh as well,
    Blind was actually really impressive esp first half.
    Sneijder looked good too!
    It was ok, classic friendly.. nothing much yet to make any sweeping judgements about either too positive or too negative IMO – but playing time is good for form!

    1. The system is new and I think/hope it can work because I agree with Van Gaal’s reasoning that he doesn’t have the right pieces for a 4-3-3. Maybe Fer/Wijnaldum could’ve provided more penetration or Clasie would’ve played the ball forward and more crisply that De Guzman (in my opinion the biggest thing that needs to be fixed- who plays beside De Jong), but who knows what LVG sees in training that we don’t.
      These friendlies show them what works and what doesn’t. Aside from some of the negative aspects of the game which can be addressed we should be happy that no one was injured.

  29. My concern is not so much the talent or this particular performance.

    But this is the first time I’ve gotten to see the new formation live, and I just don’t really think it plays to the team’s strengths. The 532 may be taking Cruyff’s “when you need a goal, add a defender” comment a step too far.

    Or maybe he just meant add a defender who can pass the ball.

    Robben, RVP and Sneijder deserve a better plan of attack than this for their last shot at the World Cup! And we need more of the talent that we do have on the field at the same time to have any chance at it

  30. It seems like most of you can only view a match from one perspective, did you all think that Ghana would lie down and let us score 5 goals or something?
    Van Gaal is testing a new system it will take time to perfect and in a WC you want to build into the tournament and peak late, from what I saw we created enough chances to score 3or4 goals, ok they did not go in but the chances were there.
    The goal we did score was a combo of Snijder, Robben and Robin, isn’t that what we all want?
    Ron Vlaar did some things that really gave me confidence in his ability, I like most thought he was slow, but he proved me wrong with the chase back on Boetang in the 89th min, DeGuzman is a class player, he looks like he has lost a kilo or two so his playing tempo will increase with less weight to carry. DeJong was solid and picked up a lot of ball and gave some nice passes going forward.
    Yes I agree late in the game we were going backwards too much, but sometimes it’s better to keep possession than just bomb the ball up field in hope.
    Ghana is also in the WC, they are a quality side with some very skill full players, players with speed and footwork, yet how many clear cut chances did they have, maybe one or two.
    I watched Spain yesterday and they were as boring as batshit to watch play, we will beat them and get through the group.
    Bring on Wales, easier than Ghana but still a test probably closer to what Australia will be like!
    Hup Holland!

  31. Dutch players can’t keep possession of the ball. WOW! I know Cruyff may be shaking his head right now. What the heck happened to Dutch football?

  32. I couldn’t watch the game properly to analyze it but I see many “bad” reactions toward De Guzman being not good enough.

    I wrote that he has no balls, plays the same passes than Schaars and defends with less grint. I’m disappointed in him, elegant footballer, good technical, but lacks presence, crazyness, takes no risk…Just a banal midfielder with Holland. With Swansea he is better when he plays behind the strikers.

    Clasie is too unsafe, Fer is good as sub but won’t be efficient as starter against the agility of spanish and chile players.

    Van Gaal should have taken another midfielder, we all think about Van Ginkel. He was the perfect player for the spot.

    1. That’s crazy cause Strootman can be replaced by Van Ginkel. That’s a risk of course, ok, Van Ginkel is naturally a more attacking player, he has been injured almost all the season, but talking about profiles, that can work. That would be a more attacking option than Strootman, which isn’t against the dutch philosophy.

      Instead of that, Van Gaal ignored Van Ginkel and changed his system…

      1. Midfield has been an issue for a while…Not sure why he didn’t take van ginkel either–even if he’s had injury issues. Quality is quality.

    2. I have no idea how De Guzman can play exciting games at Swansea but do boring stuff for us. He is a robot, always facing our defender, backpassing, never turned even though there are several times there is no one behind him.

  33. It will take a team with good forwards to test our backline. Ghana were very blunt on attack which gave Robben Sneijder and RVP in the first half but in thr second when they settled down the game was played on a well balanced rythm but the game was alresdy decided by then. Second half was no show for either.

  34. We missed vaart… usually he would have produced something in second half we if would have been there. As expected Lens and Depay came on to complete the formalities but yet no luck. Hunter not used and surprisingly Fer.

  35. How come LVG didn’t try out more players?? Is he waiting for the Spain game to tinker with the team or what??

    Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that we won. Our defense impressed me as they are only now starting to gel. The chemistry is visible, the players are starting to tick.

    Wow, I was scared at the sight of losing BMI, glad he returned with some panache. He wasn’t perfect in the least but he did enough to secure the win.

    I’d like to see Veltman in the next game and figure out why LVG invited Terrence to the squad. Clasie should have been given minutes today and Fer could have provided some aerial strength. Huntelaar needs to warm up too.

    I’d love to see another formation for the next game and 3 starters replaced.

  36. Fer can be great if we play against Brazil in second round. I see him challenging the brazilian midfielders with his power

    But against Iniesta, Pedro etc.I just imagine it like Tom &Jerry’s, he will be obliged to use his arms and make a lot of fouls to stop them. Actually that was the case during EC21 no ?

    Fer needs big spaces to tackle and project forward, he isn’t good at defending and playing passes in little ones.

    That’s why he isn’t a good option for the games against Spain and Chile in my opinion.

  37. Everybody have an opinion on how to deal with the shortcomings the team have and is showing and i respect most of the analysis i read, most of people have one or two points to add. Some are superb, others not so much, but how can LVG get our message and realize which is the one that is going to make the difference ?

    Its very difficult to change a man opinions on a subject specially when this man, had been successful, and a proven winner with his own ideas, tactics and methods and relies on that set of tools to achieve success.

    I am certain that he also looks what wee see and much more than that, did you notice how much he was screaming to the players in the second time, he was furious, he knows that there is much to correct and improve, the real question remains if he will be able to do it and the team will deliver ?

    What should have been if vdv, stroot, mvg, reikik, pva, etc is in the past and we have to deal with what we have and make the best of it.

    So in my humble opinion in case that he is reading this;

    First the good;

    1-Janmat and Blind, excellent. I may add Blind was not tested in defense, and he should be careful in that regard.

    2-NDJ, Sneijder, Robben, RVP did excellent, nothing to complain, just wonder how to work Robben inability to define goals.

    The bad;

    1-Cilisen is taking to much chances with the ball at his feet to close to the goal.

    2-BMI, to many back passes, nobody likes that.

    3-De Vrij, Vlaar, BMI, they have to realized they need to start the buildup and make passes to the middle in a much faster way. We won’t loose possetion for that if they work on precision. No body is expecting them to play like Bekenbauer, but they need urgently to improve that skill.

    4-JDG- He has way much more enfasis in defense and control than in offense. Its like having another NDJ without the pressure of Van Bomel.
    I think we need in this position at least against teams like Ghana, players that can supply more gas and assistances to the attack. In 2 time i would ask him to play with more entasis in offense or change him for Classie.


  38. Overall I agree with your points, Frost. Especially about De Guzman. There seemed to be a missing connection between the central midfielders and Sneijder and the other two attackers. Nigel De Jong is obviously going to do his destroyer job in front of defence (which he did excellently today) so the other CMF should be someone who can provide excellent forward passes like Clasie or someone who can make penetrating runs to join the attack which is something Fer can do.

  39. Cillessen is a time ticking bomb… He hasn’t been tested and I don’t know if he can make that vital save.. So far he had a single one on one situation and that ended in a goal… Which is a positive thing for the defense, but Ghana and Ecuador are not Spain. He keeps the ball on his feet for too long and he launches the ball forward. If we want a goal keeper to keep kicking the ball forward, might as well put Tim Krul. He is a proven shot stopper… Has height and dominates his area… That is my only concern so far.

    Blind and De Jong were excellent by the way

  40. I actually didn’t see enough of de Guzman during the game to really determine whether I thought he played well or not, but maybe that’s telltale in and of itself. I wonder if he just plays better when there’s more rapid ball movement. Swansea keeps possession and moves the ball around very quickly with lots of one-touch passing. Today’s Holland saw very little effort at possession or rapid ball movement except between RVP, Robben and Sneijder.

    Ultimately, LVG has got to figure out whether this formation is going to work, and how best to make use of the talent he has. Personally, I don’t think the 532 maximizes our talents, but maybe our defense is weak enough where we’re going to need five of them back there against Spain. I dont really know, but I also haven’t coached at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich — not yet at least.

  41. just saw some of the game


    no triangles in defensive phase of build up
    vlaar passing too predictable.
    bmi rushing to double team with blind leaving hole de jong filled. can be exploited if clasie or de guzman fall asleep and sneijder doesnt track back


    blind crosses
    de jong defense
    de vrij performance
    offensive devils triangle sneijder rvp robben super dangerous
    no shots on goal for awhile

    1. I saw a good Sneijder-Robben-RVP connection that led to a goal, a defense that can protect the lead, a win to build confidence. I do not think it is a good idea to win 6-0 and show all we can; let’s save it for Spain.

      1. even if your better than brazil, corrupt fifa will make sure brazil goes far due to all the rioting. I think nothing less than a win for the brazilian team is in the cards, which i feel is unfair to the other teams. but brazil isn’t very good but i feel they will cheat, and do all they can to make sure they get a sixth world cup trophy

        1. That’s true. No way Brazil will be eliminated before the final. They can only lose the final I think.
          Protesters will not allow the tournament to be completed. Fifa knows it.

          1. or the semis,but definitely not in the 1/8. it also depends on the opponent. i think against argentina,spain or germany referees would cheat less than against any other team
            but,on the other hand,this brazil team is pretty good,i don’t think they need lots of help at home against inferior teams,and with all respect this oranje side is weaker than brazil. being eliminated in brazil by brazil is not science fiction

      2. I saw a good Sneijder-Robben-RVP connection that led to a goal, a defense that can protect the lead, a win to build confidence. I do not think it is a good idea to win 6-0 and show all we can; let’s save it for Spain.

        Agree. Winners of tourneys don’t have to be the best team all the time (Spain struggled early in last WC or we did not really shine early in 1988) but more about peaking at the right moment.

        Hope Robben will be out of “blanks” when the real tourney that matters start.


  42. I think Wijnaldum for De Guzman can be ideal for this team. This team needs Strootman or Ginkel who are both injured , but I still think Wijnaldum can be good. The team needs someone who is able to run with the ball and pass forward to link the midfield with the “Wes Arjen RvP” trio upfront.
    I kinda have difficulty understanding the moaning about yesterday’s game.
    I remember we played against Ghana and Hungary before the last WC. we had a 4-1 win vs Ghana , 6-1 Win against Hungary , Scored 10 goals in 2 games and conceded twice , and the biggest loss , we had Robben injured.
    After that , in the WC , we played vs Denmark , Japan , Cameroon and Bulgaria , scored 7 goals in 4 games , and coceded two goals , too. It took us 6 games to score our 10th goal. Simply , Frindlies before the WC doesn’t necessarily indicate how good or bad you will be.
    Italy lost Montilivo , Ghana , Mexico and Ecuador also lost a player.
    Let’s hope our players stay away from Injuries , because I think Oranje has already had its fair share of injuries. Willems , VdW , Strootman , Ginkel , Schaars , VdV and I shall add Afellay.

    It wasn’t good game technically , but It was great tactically imo. Which is more important for now.

  43. I am more exited about oranje chances in the WC after reading your script Jan…………..That’s the spirit We must be optimistic whatever the odds are………Hup Hup Oranje!!!!!!!!

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