Does Van Gaal have an ace up his sleeve?

The temperature is rising, for sure. Not just in Rio (or Salvador) but definitely also in Holland and in Australia!!

You can almost touch the ball and smell the grass now..

And the question on everybody’s mind (in the Holland Camp) is: does Louis have a trick up his sleeve?

The tactically astute coach was clear in the press conference. “It takes something special to beat Spain. They have experience and quality on every single position. It is naive to say that we are as good. But we can still beat them. It will take something special but I am brooding on a little surprise for them.” Spain played some friendlies recently without a real number 9 (as Costa was also injured) but with Cesc playing as a false striker. Although it seems Diego Costa will be ready for Holland, Van Gaal seriously considers the fact that Spain might play without a striker. And he is planning accordingly. During training, in the last week, Oranje was seen playing with Clasie and De Guzman in midfield. De Jong and De Guzman played the more forward roles, with Clasie sitting just in front of the defence as the deeplying playmaker.

LVG Rio training

Robin van Persie declared he has not been pain free for 6 years. The groin issue he had was a bit overplayed in the media. Van Persie doesn’t even call it an injury. The Rotterdam born striker wants to be 100% ready for Spain and is looking to play an important role against the reigning champs.

The circumstances in Salvador and the other playing cities for Holland appear to offer Oranje Dutch weather. The last practice was witnessed by ex Oranje players like Van Nistelrooy and Aron Winter, while also Roberto Martinez, Everton coach, was present. They saw Clasie make the play from the mid circle with De Guzman and De Jong pressing up. They saw Blind, Janmaat, Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder finish in the box. Sneijder in particular was very impressive, with most distance strikes finding the net and most free kicks hitting the target.


Sneijder seems ready for Spain. The little general had a special week. For starters, he made it clear to all the doubters that he is back. Then he is about to play his 100st international game for Oranje. And he reached the age of 30. “Wonderful milestones, of course. But if we don’t win against Spain, I still won’t be happy. Those milestones are not that important compared to results. And we might not have a squad like Spain or Brazil, but we have quality and if we play our cards right, play tight and manage the turn around well, we can hurt them.”
Sneijder scored twice against Brazil in 2010 and is a famous face in Rio. The Brazil supporters and locals immediately recognise the “little one” as he is nicknamed here. “They are friendly. They mean well. They sell, cheer and wave to us. That is all fun.” Sneijder has a clear opinion about the 5-3-2. “What do you mean it is un-Dutch? That is ridiculous. We will play with eleven. And Dutch football is more than just playing with wingers. We play high paced circulation, forward pressing, using the flanks to attack… That is more than simply a system. I don’t follow all those debates. What counts for me is winning. And if the coach believes 5-3-2 is the way to go, then that is what we do. Simple.”

Nigel traininb

Asked about his status in Oranje. “I am not longer the captain. But I am still a leader. I think that is something you bring onto the pitch, with or without the band. Arjen has that too, and Nigel has it. We have many great personalities and you don’t have to be loud to be a leader. Someone like Fer commands respect with the way he can play and if you are marked by Martins Indi, trust me, you do check your back regularly. He can be a beast. The team spirit is wonderful. It’s much much better than in 2012 and I will protect it where I can. It’s important at this stage and that is something I know from experience.” Sneijder is starting his sixth big tournament with Oranje. “When I was 21 years old, I thought 30 year old players were old, hahahaha. Some of them retired after turning 30. But I feel so young still. I will play on for at least another 5 years and I intend to be present in 4 years again. You better get used to the idea.”

nigel de jong

Nigel de Jong is ready too. Of course. And he knows his karate kick in the chest of Xabi will be mentioned and shown ad nauseum these coming days. “I really don’t care about my reputation. People will talk about you. My coaches are the ones that need to judge me on my performance and contribution. I have always been appreciated by my mates. That is key. I do not feel the need to defend myself for what I do. Whether you think I’m an asshole or a hero, I don’t give a shit.”

Janmaat (24) and Clasie (22) were both informed in the Feyenoord youth it was better for them to leave. Now, both are most likely starting at their first World Cup. “We are both examples that believing in yourself and never giving up does pay dividends.” The youthful fans with their Panini books can count on the patient signing by Janmaat and Clasie. Not that long ago, both players were also keen in collecting signatures of big name players. Janmaat indeed left Feyenoord, only to return after stints with ADO Den Haag and Heerenveen. Clasie refused to go. “A career can be made or broken by one or two decisions. Bad ones or good ones. It’s important to find the right coach at the right time. Alex Pastoor was key for me at Excelsior when I played there on loan.”

janmaat jordy

It seems that Janmaat is more and more becoming a trump player in Van Gaal’s deck. The right back is playing like a winger and has an impressive number of assists to his name. In particular his partnership with Van Persie works well. A transfer to Man United might be looming for the The Hague born player. Clasie admits to having to pinch himself at times. “I can sit in my hotel room and realising I am actually at a World Cup with Oranje. When I was little I was so busy supporting the Oranje players and now I am one of them.” And it was even four years ago when Oranje reached the finals and Clasie was just out on loan to Excelsior. Daryl Janmaat expected to play a Euro Tournament with Young Oranje but was one of the last players to be exited from the list. “I remember thinking that that might have been my only chance to play a bit tournament, hahaha. Interesting how life works.”

Jasper Cillesen is clearly Oranje’s number 1. Not all the fans are won over yet. Krul seems to have more experience, plays in a bigger league, is taller and seems to be much better with his feet. Van Gaal said about the topic: “Vermeer is the man with the best profile to be Oranje’s goalie, but Cillesen is simply the best in stopping the ball from going in.”

cillesen rio

Cillesen saw Oranje lose the finals in 2010 sitting on the sofa with his parents. “I remember the toe of Casillas. That was luck. He went the other way and Robben hit this toe with the ball and he stopped Robben from scoring. A lucky for Iker. Bad luck for Robben. I know Arjen would have wanted Casillas to have made this tremendous safe. That is easier to digest. Now it is just bad luck. So lets hope we are more lucky this time.” Cillesen is a typical down to earth Dutch bloke. “When we came at the hotel, I saw all these cameras and I was keen to know what was going on… Normally, these scenes only appear when some celebrity is in the hotel or someone has died, hahaha. I asked what was the matter and they said: it’s us. Oranje has arrived. I realised suddenly we were at the World Cup in Brazil!!”. Asked about his role model, Cillesen has an interesting answer: A combination of Kahn and Van der Sar. The latter was the better goalie, but Kahn had that big personality. Very extraverted and loud. I think I am more like Edwin, but I do sense a bit of Kahn in me as well.”

We always had sensations free kick experts in Oranje. Willem van Hanegem, Jan Peters, Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer, Pierre van Hooijdonk and now we have a number of them: De Guzman and Huntelaar can do it. Clasie has a nice kick. Sneijder, Robben and Van Persie are renowned but so is Nigel de Jong, apparently.

Other news: the Oranje players have two rules to abide to re: Social Media. No more tweeting and instagramming after 11.30 pm and no comments about colleagues. These rules are probably a result of the Eljero Elia “crisis” when the speedy winger – not part of Bert van Marwijk’s squad back then – retweeted a sarcastic comment from a fan about Kuyt after the Germany friendly defeat. “Kuyt played as if he still have the box around his shoes”. Elia thought it was hilarious. The KNVB didn’t.

He was also the center of a verbal outburst during the World Cup in South Africa when he was playing some PS3 game in his hotel room unaware that Boulahrouz had the camera on and the whole world (sic!) could enjoy this little bit of expression.


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        1. I was just having some fun based on an earlier suggestion on the blog. Fer’s not going to play striker in any foreseeable permutation of events.
          My best guess is that LvG may be referring to Hunter starting (if RvP is not 100% fit, although it sounds like he is) or DePay coming off the bench to shake things up.
          Although maybe LvG’s experiments have been unsettling to the public, I think it has made it impossible for Spain to guess our actual formation and tactics. So maybe LvG is thinking of starting off with a 4-3-3 to give them what would now be a surprise, and go on the offensive from the first whistle. Whatever happens, it’s in the hands of a higher power now (and by that, I mean our illustrious coach).

  1. ALright guys, exciting times ahead in a few hrs! The official Fifa Fantasy League game is finally up and running. I have made my team and also created a League for this super blog of expert coaches to compete on. The link is given below. Just register with your FB or an email (who doesn’t have FB these days? :P) The link is given below. BEWARE: you have to buy a 23 man squad and the given budget is DANGEROUSLY SMALL!!

      1. This is quite different in that it allows you to buy players with a very limited budget and build a squad of 23. also it is the official FIFA game so will be fun to compete against each other and test ourselves against the check it out mate 🙂

  2. I just listen the interview of Ruud van Nistelrooy, and he shared his impression about Dutch team after seeing their today training. He said that Dutch looked fantastic and fearless. This is the first positive feedback about Dutch team during last two months, which is very inspiring.

    Thank you for keeping us updated regarding our team.

    Greetings from Indianapolis, USA

  3. The ace might be that Holland does NOT play 5-3-2.

    It is likely that Spain will not start with Costa but with Fabregas as false no. 9.

    We will need more midfield. So this could mean 4-1-4-1.

    Janmaat – De Vrij – Vlaar – BMI


    Robben – De Jong – Sneijder – Blind

    Van Persie

      1. The big advantage of BMI & Blind all along has been their versatility.

        “Worst combination ever” is just the sort of exaggeration that makes it hard to take these kinds of comments seriously.

        1. Versatility my ass

          Everytime dutch coachs try to make players being polyvalent it’s a fail. De Boer using Duarte as LB = big fail. Feyenoord was using Landzaat as CB sometimes, for what results ? Losing 3-0 against Nancy lol…

          Do you think that Jordi Alba would play central midfielder with Spain ? No, cause they have Busquets, Xavi, Xavi Martinez etc. they won’t even think about it. Of course there is no problem at using a CB as RB/LB sometimes, a CM as AM etc. but Blind playing LB, DM and LM with NT is just pure crap. The fact is that he is really good nowhere. I don’t remember if De Boer was using Blind as DM before Lahm was used there or the contrary, but Lahm as DM is much better than Blind, definitly more creative passes, I just saw it again against Armenia.

          Van Gaal was talking about using Depay, Promes or Vilhena as LB simply cause he has no very good LB. And also because he is a bit crazy/ wants to impress people with strange choices. That has nothing do to with dutch players being really versatile or whatever, it’s just crap. Even Domenech wouldn’t say such things.

          More concretly, Blind/BMI = No attack at all. We saw it against Wales. If the plan is to defend and counter attack against Spain, BMI/Van Aanholt would have been much better than BMI/Blind. You can’t counter attack when Blind automatically give back passes lol

    1. This same group of players could readily transition from 5-3-2 to 4-1-4-1 depending on who Spain puts out on the field. For instance, Blind could drop to left back and BMI slot over. But in the 4-1-4-1 formation, I think deJong would play the deep DM. Clasie would be higher up, for more offensive impact.

        1. I would expect that Blind will play over Wijnaldum. LvG has favored Blind in most of the earlier games. Blind is a better defender, although he offers less offense, but defense is probably going to have the greater emphasis.

    2. I reckon we’ll start with 5-3-2 but swap to 4-1-4-1 when we have settled in (if we ever settle in) and the kids at the back have calmed down a bit.

      With the group that seems to be starting, in theory, we can do these patterns. Maybe 1 substitution to go to 4-3-3 to come back from a goal behind, if that happens.

      It could even work.

      But it’s not very likely with only 1 month of preparation.

      If VG pulls it off he’s my hero.

    3. id be shocked with a 4231 formation
      blind—bmi—-de vrij—-janmaat

      1. the team doesnt stand with out gladiator Nijel.For me nijel is the Nestelrooy,Ronaldo(brazil) as a holding midfeilder on the planet.i mean simply 100/100 at his position.

  4. Well, We are ALL excited I guess hahaha, now seriously, against Spain we should go for a draw an use 5-3-2, for sure. I now blind-indi mean almost zero attack from left flank BUT we need to take that combo in order to get a draw. Holand winnning that it is almost impossible, so lets go for a good counter attacking football!!
    We have to tools for it, Clasie excelent in conters, Sneijder is a Speciallist and well, Robben is still a very speedy player, in the second half, Lens for RVP and let him run like a horse.
    Altought I am a HUGE Depay fan, I wouldnt put him in that game, Remember Depay against Abate?? Spain defenders wont let him play, better lens and Depay against the aussies and Chile for sure!!
    Cheers, veeery excited!!

    1. I think the KNVB should seriously consider implementing a strategic plan to reap long term benefits of a restructured youth program and work towards winning World cups or European Championships every two/four years…
      The youth development programs are very good but the world is catching up. I’m afraid Spain and Germany have already surpassed us in that department and KNVB should seriously do something in order to mitigate/stall the growing difference.
      With a population of only 16 million, Holland has a relatively small talent pool to choose its players from for every major tournament. I have faith in Cruyff’s velvet revolution.
      A consistent,healthy youth development model capable of churning out players with speed, technical prowess and artistry is the need of the hour!
      Wake up and smell the coffee KNVB..!! We surely don’t want to be left behind in the race to the top! Even Belgium is catching up for God’s sake!!
      We are all waiting to see the changes!

    1. That what most most people here dont realize….. you can have all eleven players defending but spain with posession….at some point in time they will breach that wall. It just like a crack in the dam. When the pressure build up to the maximum level the crack simply bursts open. Blind , De Vrij, are those cracks….its jus a matter of how long they can sustain the pressure.

      I dont see why we cant use 4-2-3-1 over 5-3-2….which is well balanced in ttacking and as well as when defending. I will agree with Tiju as what he has emphasized on the 4-3-3 formation. I think we had the players but van gaal selection was based on his trimetrics and super vision.

      in my opinon he has failed throughout the course of his term .one injury doesnt mean you change the whole formation. Its jus his asumption that we can counter spain with 5-3-2 formation but the reality is ….we dont know.matchday I guess….Bruma, Rekik, Douglas, Van Dijik, Pieters, Anita all had a great season year ending. I will only bracket bruma as he was inconsistent in the dispinarly area.Douglas not been dutch is total disgrace and dropping Rekik is another of his mistake……

      As much as what Brazil is going through in terms being the host , spain are in the same boat as defending champions so you can expect them coming out with all cylinders burning.

      As I have mentioned earlers we dont have depth in the squad and that is the catalyst for teams on the road to WC.

    2. It’s all about good positioning imo. Pause the video at the 9th second in the video.
      Iniesta with no one marking him. Offside is covered by 3 players. Very bad sense of defending. We missed Gio in this goal badly.
      Spain wouldn’t have managed to get this counter attack if we were well positioned.
      I liked how the team was well organized defensively against Ghana. Narrow spaces , good man to man marking. This can work. All we lacked was more creativity in the midfield. De Guzman has to step up or Clasie can be the man.

      1. True Mohemed ,ever since braphied came we lost in defense,He lacked intelligence of Gio..thats what i felt,though we would have burried spain had persie played as left winger and Vandervaart as striker.Instead kuyt played on wing and persie didnt get good pass neither from sneijder or Roben.BVM was so stupid to drop Vaart for kuyt.

        1. van persie was bad during the whole 2010 world cup. you can say anything,you can blame any other player,but this is a fact. if a center forward scores only one goal in 7 games,it says all,the rest is your usual nonsense. but,wait – what about stephane guivarc’h – he did even better than rvp in 2010. he was central forward,lonely striker,became world champion and scored 0 goal 🙂

          1. RVP was not bad at all,it was sneijder who played selfish shots and kuyt who gave back passes constantly and kuyt could nt keep up with talented players.So we created less chances.RVP scored a goal vs denmark (Via own goal)we were sucking at big time till that goal.He scored vs Camroon.
            He was always dragging always 2 defenders with him this made Roben and sneijder ,kuyt free but talents like sneijder and Roben utilized it but kuyt couldnt.The real nonsense is that expecting anything from kuyt,which i dont do it.RVP sacrificed himslef for team,After BVM era he has scored plethora of goals by working with better skilled lenz and unselfish Vaart with a leser defense and inexperienced guys.
            Onething is sure once the opponent team sees the kuyt name on sheet ,they feel relaxed and they are sure there is no threat from that side.So that that wing back can bomb forward(Ask Maicon).While putting lenz,wijnaldum,Roben on wings make them back footed and sure they will get redcards for the opponent,.thats how things.
            For me kuyt scored and opportunistic header excellent corner kick from genius vaart vs France,also gave an opportunistic assit for sneijder vs brazil which is not bad though it was opportunistic assist and goal.
            As a person i lost all faith in kuyt after in match vs Arjetina in 2006.:)

          2. Son Of Lion, you are an idiot.
            Stop making up bullshit to support your whackjob tinfoil hat theory.

            With Dirk Kuyt – reached World Cup Final
            Without Dirk Kuyt – lost all 3 games in the Euros

            See how easy it is to find a huge flaw in your spasticated nonsense??
            Football is far more complicated than the simple idiotic shit that you type every few minutes. It is embarrassing. Grow up, please.
            No wonder everyone here says you are a muppet and a wheelchair clown.

            The WORLD CUP starts today, and you are all hate hate hate hate hate hate.
            Are you a bit slow?

            HUP HOLLAND!!!!!!!

            LET’S FUCKING DO THIS!!!


      2. Don’t forget: it was the 116th minute. Players get tired. We lost a player. And most players were still upset about Webb not giving us a corner and not giving us a free kick re: Elia sandwich. I’m not saying that that is professional or anything. Not saying it’s a good excuse. But it was how it was. This situation would never have happened in the first 30 minutes.

        1. This situation would have never happened with Gio in the back line acyually , especailly that Iniesta was coming from his side ” Dutch left side” . Pity 🙁 .

  5. These are the things thats makes me insane. Veltman for sure was prefered over Van Dijik and Bruma but yet Van Gaal has caged him like a monkey in the Zoo and some goes for Verhaegh and yet again he is using kuyt as fullback in practice run. I thought Rhijn was more attaking minded same as Janmaat and after weil injury he would have the perfect replacement.

    I think after veltman exposed the news of the new formation to the media things are not the same as before.

    1. @Wilson shit things always happens with dutch coahes in national team…they always selects undeserved players for final 23.i consider its like sin in my book.
      sins are
      Devrij–Virjil vandijk
      Verhage–Van rhijn
      De guzman-Davy proper
      Cillesen –krul
      kuyt–Ricardo kishna
      are the real missing i feel in this team. may be deguzman would pull a good performance,Devrij might also pull a good performance vs slow players.
      but in this late moment i wish LVG the best.

      1. You can’t be serious thinking Rekik is better than BMI, and Davy Propper for the Guzman? And Bruma for Veltman? They all have there flaws but Rekik and Bruma have had a terrible second half to the season with way more personal mistakes than Veltman and BMI. They all have potential but you choose the most consistent players for a big tournament. I like Van Rhijn but defence wise he’s been to vulnerable this season. I follow them regularly with Ajax.

        If Van der Wiel was fit he would have been taken instead of Verhaegh, hands down. But he’s injured so that’s out of the question. I would have loved to see Virgil van Dijk with us, but alas i think he will be left for Hiddink. And i would always choose kuyt over kishna, he brings so much experience to the group.

        1. @Mink…its all about individual quality of the fore mentioned players.they are better quality players than the selected ones.if concentration and tactics is there, they can stand against the top class players of other teams.i have seen kishna schooling BMI,Maretens making mockery of Devrij,Veltman man will be eaten alive by diago costa.i felt it like a helplessness rather than a mistake.its happening due to lack of quality.The players i selected are simply better talents compared to the selected ones.A coach like LVG could make a better team with those players.kuyt has abundance of experience in choking in crunch matches of the dutch,after this WC he will have more experience as a looser.
          Evryone makes mistakes…agree that devrij andveltman makes lesser errors,but they cannt compete with top guys like Demaria,messi etc..but Bruma/Reikik and vrijil can for at least 7 games.

          1. My Son, my son….

            ‘The players i selected are simply better talents compared to the selected ones’
            No, they are not.

            ‘kuyt has abundance of experience in choking in crunch matches of the dutch’
            *van persie has abundance of experience in choking in crunch matches of the dutch* – FIXED

            ‘after this WC he will have more experience as a looser.’
            Firstly, before trying to be clever, learn to fucking spell, loser!


            Probably not.

            Go cry to your imaginary Jesus, you gullible prick.

  6. Im guessing Spain will start with 4-1-2-1-2 given the extra man we will be using in defense. So 2 up front for 5 at the back. Spain has good midfield players so they might play with 4 midfielders to 3 of ours. Jus too many option to even think what they might start with.

    1. That’s Van Gaal’s Ace.. pretend Strootman was injured, and switch him for an ‘injured’ player 24 hours before the game.. Favourite coach of all time if this were true haha

  7. Before the WC star, I want to make a point here about all the negativity around our beloved team:

    All we know the reason why our team is not strong as Dutch teams use to be, and frankly, the people who pretend to be a football expert anticipating our failure are not showing any special knowledge for me.

    Yes, we have an inexperienced team. We have a lot of doubts around our defense. We will miss key players such as Strootman, Vaart, Affelay, maybe van Ginkel (and I could include Willems). We must change our 4-3-3, and it will be very difficult to go through the group phase. However, despite that, I want to focus in other things:

    1. We have an extraordinary offensive power. Robben, Sneijder and Robin are player whom every team of the world will envy, including Germany, Brasil or Spain. So, trust in our team.

    2. We have arguably, one of the five top coaches on the world. So, trust him.

    3. Van Gaal wants to redeem himself from 2002 failure. So, trust him.

    4. We have one of the best coaches on the world who works with young talents. And as Cruyff said, our team is young, but with a lot of talent. So trust him.

    5. Van Gaal will handle much information to make his decision than us, therefore, don´t be so harsh with him and trust him.

    6. Not necessary the best team wins the WC. The story is full of examples.

    I not agree with Van Gaal in some matters. For example, I think the team needs more creativity and better build up from defense, and for me Veltam and Clasie should be starters, but I trust that Van Gaal thinks about it, and he will make the best choice.

    I am aware that they are many teams which have “better” players than us. However, that not necessary means that they are better teams, or that if Van Gaal develops the talent of our young players, we can´t be better.

    I Iknow the story (this WC should be winning by an American team) and most facts are against us, but I still trust in our team, and I am sure that we have tools to defeat anyone.

    So, let be more optimistic and trust in Van Gaal and I our young team !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Eduardo!

      I agree, we all know our shortcomings but we have much to be proud and hopeful about.

      TRUST the team, until they give us a reason not to!

      Hup Hup!!

  8. God, how I hate surprises…
    (let’s hope for the best)

    Kind of worried to hear that the mourinhesque mambo jambo from 4 years ago is still very alive in the little captain… The win whatever it takes, at all costs, has cost us big, huge, humongously… And I’m not so sure he’s able to distinguish leadership from plain nuisance… Like I said, let’s hope for the best.

    Hup Holland Hup!

  9. I’m feeling LvG has brought this team together and are united unlike some of the Dutch teams in the past. Everyone’s saying it’s definitely not a strong Dutch team compared to other World Cups but they always say… A champion team will always beat a team of champions.

    Hup Holland Hup !!

  10. To me, Holland’s success against Spain (and in the overall tournament) is going to come down to two things:

    1) Will RVP, Robben and Sneijder be able to combine quickly and effectively and find space to work with on the counter, or will they become increasingly isolated, frustrated and individualistic?

    2) Will assembling a defense based on numbers and youthful energy be an effective plan, or will the lack of experience and ball-playing skill in the back be their undoing?

    If the attackers are on their game and the defense can withstand the onslaught, then I don’t see any reason Holland can’t win all of its group games, but it may take an entirely different plan of attack for each one.

  11. van praag criticizes blatter, platini rumoured to run for fifa presidency, i can just imagine, brazil vs argentina final, european teams gonna drop like flies

  12. Brazil vs Croatia~~The first game of the World Cup 2014 is going to start soon.I just want to observe how the Fifa arrange the referee to handicap the Brazilans.

    Haha,Blatter is a greedy man and he will never step down to give away his Presidency.This old man sucks !!!

  13. I will glad if LVG use this lineup against Spain.

    blind—bmi—-de vrij—-janmaat

    Hup Holland Hup !

  14. I definitely think we can win. As all our front three are better in form compared 4 years ago plus we got clasie who is hungry and the Spanish know very little about
    Spain are over their peak

    What I meant is that the major sources outside thinks holland are the weaker side

  15. I think the game will not depend on formation…

    It will depend on players’ grit and determination… some luck would definitely help a lot… and finishing their chances…

    Oranje WILL have more chances than they had in 2010.. It’s not the same Spain… I don’t care about all their new names… all I care about is that Xavi is not the same guy who played 4 years ago… Puyol is gone…

    I am more optimistic today than I was last week. Friendlies are by no means a true measure of how good Oranje is..

    1. Agreed. And remember that Spain did not score on us in 90 minutes of open play in WC2010.
      Their team has some new blood from Atletico this time around — but that gives them more defense, not more offense. We lost Gio but Janmaat is a significant step up from VdW (we might actually get a good cross from the right side now). Our backline is less experienced but better ball handlers.
      In short, the game could go either way. And Robben always manages to get free at some point. We do have a shot at this, with luck.

  16. Climate will certainly be a factor as well.

    As far as I can tell, for tomorrow’s game in Salvador vs Spain, it looks like it will be about 82 F / 28 C, with sun and some chance of showers or thunderstorms.

    For next Wednesday in Porto Alegre vs Australia, however, the prediction is 57 F / 14 C, also with a chance of rain.

    Finally, for the following Monday in Sao Paolo vs Chile, the prediction is 62 F / 17 C, and mostly sunny.

    Who knows how these conditions will affect things, but at least it appears that for Holland’s group games, the heat is not anticipated to be too oppressive.

  17. Tomorrow match,Holland is wearing the Blue jersey and Spain is in White colour.

    Most of the Spanish player is not happy with it.They perfer Red or Blue colour.But that have to relate to the Fifa rules.They believe wearing White is a bad luck as in the past,they always lose.

    Hup Holland Hup !

    1. i think they’re overreacting a bit.

      Of course Costa wants to play at the WC. If he’s overlooked for a starting position for so long by Scolari, I’m sure he got doubts whether he was ever going to recognize his talent (like we all have doubts now whether Scolari is ever going to recognize or admit that wasn’t a penalty that Fred earned, his only contribution to the WC so far).

      I have more respect for Costa then Fred and Scolari right now and I think the Brazilians should too. Too bad real life doesn’t work that way. By the end of the tournament, Fred’s dive, Neymar’s elbow and Scolari’s reaction that it was a penalty will have been mostly forgotten and these 3 guys might be hailed as heroes as Villa was hailed in 2010 (after getting an opponent sent off by faking an injury Figo style earlier on in the tournament).

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