Dutch football debacles continue: Ajax out of CL!

It has been quite a disappointing week – again – for Dutch football. Not a good way to start a Dutch Football Blog. Our disappointing Euro summer was even compounded with disgraceful antics at the Olympics in Rio. Not so much athletes being drunk, or orgies at the Olympic village or coaches groping young boys… But the Dutch mission chief; first sending gymnastics gold medal candidate Yuri van Gelder home after he decided to spend a night on the town with his girlfriend and missing a training session…as if this athlete (world champion) doesn’t know what he’s doing… And then this moron sent all the “losing” athletes home prior to the closing event, on what he deemed “the loser flight”. Taking away their once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the Olympics Closing Ceremony. People who train four years or more for their big event, who already were disappointed with missing any trophy. To put insult to injury, “our” Chief decided to punish them further by sending them home, like little kids! The Dutch sports fans are irate (as I am) and nothing is done about it of course.


We also saw money grabbing Dick Advocaat leaving the Oranje camp, for some extra euros in Turkey and when the KNVB approached Ruud Gullit to take Dick’s place in the backroom staff, he happily said “he would love to be of support to the Oranje team”. But only a couple of days later, he returned the invite to the KNVB’s technical director Hans van Breukelen, saying he was insulted with the package offered to him.

Gullit wanted to be a full blown staff member and was keen to be able to scout the Dutch players in his preparation for his job. The KNVB felt it wasn’t needed. Gullit was not required at meetings, would not get a travel budget to see games. Might have been a way to simply let him decline the job, for PR reasons (the KNVB is under a lot of pressure) and as Gullit also demanded a clause in his contract allowing him to jump ship when a better deal would come by. Not a strong thing to demand, if Dick Advocaat just used this clause to find the exit. Gullit, allegedly, also demanded to be promoted when either Danny or Marco decided to leave… Another clause Van Breukelen wouldn’t agree to. So, two days after the news got out that the former AC Milan and Oranje legend would join the team, he did not…


All in all, frowns were visible on the foreheads of many analysts in The Netherlands. Danny Blind, team manager, simply does not have a lot of experience as a club coach. He coached Ajax in total for 14 months or so. Marco van Basten had one year at Ajax and some seasons at a lower level, only to conclude that “head coach wasn’t this thing”. As an Oranje team manager, he didn’t do so badly, by the way.

So the KNVB decided to pick a seasoned, experienced coach to support Blind and Bassie. And Advocaat fits that bill. With the Dick leaving again, suddenly Ruud Gullit was seen as the perfect replacement. Say what? The last time Gullit was club coach was 10 years ago, and his work at clubs like Newcastle, Feyenoord and LA Galaxy can not be summarized as “successful”. How on Earth does that KNVB work…. Anyway, Gullit is out and now Blind and co will get their second assistant after the Greek friendly.


Hans Jorritsma, key in all organisational aspects of Oranje

On top of all that, the KNVB has decided that Hans Jorritsma will have to make way. The team manager and former hockey coach (winning gold and world titles) worked for the KNVB for 20 years. He reaches retirement age but was definitely not unwilling to stay on. Danny Blind was keen to have the man on board. “Jorritsma is one of the best organisers I know and with Russia 2018 on the horizon, his experience could be vital. I was not heard in this decision and I am not happy. I will let the federation know.”

Jorritsma has been hailed by former coaches (Van Gaal, Van Marwijk) but was allegedly “used” by the KNVB to help sack Guus Hiddink (technically, his boss), which helped Blind into the job, of course.

More to come I’m sure.


The new technical director, Hans De Breuk Van Breukelen. Lost two assistants in the process already…

In the meantime, Danny Blind has to gel together a team to play the key first qualification game vs Sweden in a week and a bit. Robben still injured, Van Persie not really in great form, De Vrij not match fit, Memphis hardly used, Eljero Elia injured and many other regulars not in great shape (Janmaat, Martins Indi, Veltman). The transfer period is still open and the likes of Bas Dost and Jasper Cillesen are with their heads and hearts involved in relocation plans, finding homes, learning languages and other logistics.

We seem to do alright with goalies of course. Stekelenburg had two great games for the Toffees in the EPL while Jeroen Zoet is doing well after his quality progression last season. CF Barcelona’s new goalie Cillessen had a pretty shitty start this season but it still a good goalie of course. Blind might decide to start with Zoet or Stekelenburg to keep the new Barca keeper out of the wind a bit.

Cillessen barca


Defensively, Van Aanholt impresses again at Sunderland. Daryl Janmaat made his move back to the EPL (Watford) and might play himself into the limelight again. Daley Blind and Van Dijk perform well, as does Ron Vlaar but the Ajax defenders have been disappointing. Willems also hasn’t reached his level of before his injury and might also be trying to make a late transfer deal.

In midfield we see similar issues with the Ajax contingent playing below par. The PSV midfielders have impressed, and so much so that Tonny Vilhena is not part of the current squad. Jorrit Hendrix joins the squad after a good start with PSV, while Propper, Wijnaldum, Sneijder and Strootman seems to be mainstays by now for Oranje. I hope.


PSV prospect Jorrit Hendrix

Up front, Huntelaar and Memphis have been dropped. New Spurs strong man Janssen will lead the line with Luuk de Jong and Bas Dost as pinch hitters and Promes, Berghuis and Narsingh vying for the winger roles.

Blind: “I spoke with Huntelaar and told him Vincent would lead the line and he agreed with me that he is not the ideal pinchhitter. I have Dost and De Jong for this and we decided to not work together at this stage. It was a pleasant conversation. Klaas-Jan was ok with it.”

The team manager also spoke with Van Persie: “He still is not in great shape. He is fit, but not match fit. Now Advocaat is his new coach he might well get more minutes. Last weekend he played 70 minutes as a starter, so who knows. I have not written him off.”


Stefan de Vrij is also not yet part of Blind’s plans: “He was out of contention for a long time. He just made his return at Lazio. I told him I need him to focus on getting rhythm back and once he has established that at Lazio, it’s a new situation.”

Memphis Depay simply hasn’t played enough. “I spoke to Memphis too. He was disappointed of course, but he only played 1 minute, I believe. I think his main concern should be to get into the 18 player squad for Mourinho. Then he will get more minutes and once he is back in regular game time, we will assess him again.”

We are all nicely focused on Oranje of course, but you will all be aware of Ajax’ failure – again! – to reach the CL group stages by beating an opponent in the qualification stages… This time, Rostov seemed to strong. I can’t remember all the other teams that blocked Ajax in reaching the millionaire’s ball, but it was teams like Salzburg or Augsburg or Prague or something like that… Not Juventus, or Chelsea. Rostov… Don’t have words for it, really.

Blind presser

Ajax is not Ajax anymore. They got their asses handed to them and suffered their biggest European defeat since…. 1732?

I think Frank de Boer, heavily criticised for his conservative and boring game plans despite his titles, was aware of the lack of brilliance, class and leadership in his squad. This is why Ajax played un-Ajax football in the last seasons. He covered it well. They won 4 consecutive titles in the 6 seasons he was there. And in the earlier seasons at the helm, he even had Vertonghen, Eriksen and the likes at his disposal.

With Peter Bosz as coach, Ajax wanted to play like Ajax again. Bosz seems the right coach for this job. His teams always played adventurous, ballsy and at times almost suicidal… With Hendrie Kruzen (former 1988 Oranje squad member and Euros winner) as assistant, he made an impression at Heracles, Vitesse and recently at Tel Aviv. The former Feyenoord skipper failed as technical director at Feyenoord but seems to be more at home as coach. But Ajax’ Eredivisie start is horrendous, with Feyenoord already 5 points ahead of their rivals. The CL campaign could have fixed the early pressure but with the dressing down of the Sons of Gods, the pressure is on!

bosz kruzen

Ajax assistant Hendrie Kruzen with head coach Peter Bosz

A quick analysis of Ajax tells you that 1) they lack leadership and build up qualities at the back (Viergever is not Blind, Sanchez is not De Boer, Riedewald is not (yet) Rijkaard, 2) too many similar players in midfield (Bazoer, Gudelj are not playmakers) and Klaassen is the man who needs to play the killer pass and be on the other receiving end of it, 3) forwards lack class (El Ghazi is not Finidi or Van ‘t Schip, Younes is no Overmars or Roy and the center forwards are no Van Basten or Kieft).

Ajax has close to 150 mio euros sitting in the bank account, after Milik’s and Cillessen’s departures (32 Mio + 14 Mio). That money is getting close to 3% interest without a doubt, but Berghuis is now at Feyenoord, Ziyech is still at Twente and Haps is still at AZ…

hakim ajax

Latest news of course, is now that Ajax got done by Rostov, Mark Overmars is frantically renegotiating with FC Twente and Ziyech’s manager to get the winger/playmaker to play for Ajax. A bit late. But very much needed…

We’ll see how things will develop…

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  1. Once again I will say this, looking at the initial selection that was done,Blind or who ever is involved in the selection either has no clue what they ate doing or simply they want look outside of the box.

    If NT let’s say loses vs Sweden,jus a scenario,there is no plan B,this so called continuity theory and we are going in the right direction will all but go down the drain and once again its back to s1 and jus like the euro qualifiers changes,changes and this qualifiers to will slip by.

    1. There is very less chance to loose against Greece and Sweden. with current selection of players..Only players worries me are Narsingh,Promes(both lacks quality but both are hard workers) and Right backs dilemma..
      We have won with out the so called hyped players..Team is better with out old RVP,bodybuilder Depay,Leakge boys BMI and van der weil..Even with out Roben we won..
      if Kevin dijks,kongolo and mensah are there for Narsingh,Promes it would 100 victory for NT…
      Blind is doing right with slection of players.i am not sure about playing sneijder as starter.
      team should have been

  2. Sporting have signed both luc castaignos and Dost. I thought Dost was OK at Wolfsburg.good move castaignos,became surplus at Eintracht Frankfurt after the new transfers.

    So we will have another dutch contingent in CL. Zeegelar,Douglas,castaignos,Dost

    1. Sporting is a good team,the league maybe not same be at the same level as bundasliga but with the squad they pose they can easily reach the quarters in CL from their pool . They beat Porto today.zeegelaar played full 90 today and also Joel Campbell on loan from arsenal also featured of the bench. Their one problem area was defense and that’s where they have brought in Douglas. Midfield is OK with Adrien Silva and Carvalho and Ruiz.Jorge jesus is good tactician,it remains to be seen how he will use dost and Castaignos upfront

  3. Some potential moves for our Dutch player in these last days of transfer window, especially who targeted by PM clubs.

    Willems, Martins Indi, Stefan de Vrij

    1. Martins Indi is very lucky guy that he got transfer to portugal hence he will get more money for his current move arround 10M.thats little huge..
      De vrij is class and he needs to find his form back…
      i am not worried about dutch NT of current situation as i see the new players and really compliments each other strength and weakness..With out Depay,RVP,Hunter,Weil,BMI we have better hardworking team with good capability..team is more balanced now..

  4. Van Oostveen steps down as director of KNVB.. only a year late. Whether or not it is positive news depends on whom replaces him, I suppose.
    But seems good to me!
    I hope someone who shows more passion and ambition steps up.

  5. after Lens move, de Jong also want to join Turkey league, irrespective this is for money or because this league is developing well it’s bad news for our dutch fans why not PM , Bundesliga, Liga. our player quality seems go down.

  6. Yes Bert van OOstveen is out. Best news. Ruud Gullit knew it and sort of spilled the news on Friday already, for the focused listener.

    I’m happy with Blind’s decisions. Quite logical.

  7. Marco van Basten will leave too. This will have to do with the appointment of Van Breukelen I believe.

    Marco will accept a position at FIFA.

    Gullit knew this too and was not informed by Van Breukelen during their interview. Obviously, Gullit felt misled by De Breuk, as Marco had called Ruud to tell him this.

    De Breuk kept this info from Ruud who expected to become second in line when San Marco left.

    I hope they’ll go for someone like Fons Groenendijk or Aron Winter now, plus a more experienced field trainer as third assistant. Someone like Ton Lokhoff ? (now at Wolfsburg)

    1. Winter just started a new job as trainer of Ajax A1 so I don’t think he will be eligible.

      That, and he is exactly the type of person that we don’t need in Oranje. I didn’t like him at Oranje o19 and he was also terrible at Toronto Fc.

      I’ve heard the name Fred Rutten thrown around…he would be ideal I think. But I wonder if he’d want to work under Blind. I guess the first assistant will be someone who can comfortably take over Blind’s position once he inevitably receives the sack of resigns.

  8. Less than 72 hours to face Greece..Can not wait to see the line up of Blind..
    Curious to see
    where Daley Blind will play.??
    How good Narsingh is ??
    How fit Sneijder is?Last time we got better with out him..

    1. Beugelsdijk is a very limited defender who does score every now and then. But he’s a cult hero in The Hague and through the Chinese owner of ADO Den Haag he might land a club in China while Leeds is also interested. Not Oranje material.

  9. Just cannot believe BvOo waits and waits and then steps down just days before the first WC qualifier.
    When what we need most with lesser quality of players than historically is stability and togetherness!
    Poor Blind stuck under all of this bullshit… hopefully he can still manage to inspire our players and shield them from the drama.

    1. The worst part is that he still gets to hold the most lucrative position within the KNVB (secretary-general) after dismantling Dutch football for 6 years and then pulling this stunt as a coup de grace

    1. RW/CM

      Traore- Dolberg

      Sinkgraven- Gudelj- Klasseen-Ziyech

      Dijks -Reidewald- Veltman- Tete

      This is what Bosz should start with. He will get what he wants

  10. It is outrageous what is happening at the KNVB. Advocaat walking out is bad, but that was 100% on Dick. Marco going to FIFA is also unfortunate but can’t blame him. He’s been focusing on this for more than 10 years (while he was national team manager he was already incredibly passionate about upgrading the game).

    But Jorritsma demise and Bert’s exit should have been managed much better, timing wise.

    Bert should have gone this summer. Jorritsma should have been allowed to stay till past WC2018.

    Now Blind has to deal with this BS one week before crucial game.

    Fricking Amateurs!

  11. Re: Marc Overmars and Ziyech: it is quite clear that one of the Ajax midfielders is going to make a move.

    Most likely Bazoer and otherwise even Klaassen.

    This is information shared with Ziyech and apparently the reason why Ajax had an about face.

    1. Who has gone where…

      Vincent Janssen-Tottenham

      Georginio Wijnaldum- Liverpool

      Nathan Ake- Chelsea/ Bournemouth

      Marteen Stekelenberg- Everton

      Jeffery Bruma- Wolfsburg

      Kevin Diks – Fiorentina

      Luc castaignos- sporting Lisbon

      Bas Dost- sporting Lisbon

      Darly Janmaat- watford

      Bruno Martin Indi- Porto/Stoke

      Leroy Fer- Swansea (loan- permanent)

      Mike Van fer Hoorn- Swansea

      Timo Letschert – Sassuolo

      Marteen De Roon- Middlesbrough

      Tim Krul- Newcastle/Ajax

      Siem De Jong- Newcastle/PSV

      Nigel De Jong- Galatasaray

      Riccardo van der weil- Fenerbache

      Jeremain Lens- Fenerbache

      Riccardo van Rhijn- Club brugge

      Ryan Donk- Galatasaray/Real Betis

      Ouasiam Bouy- Juventus/Palermo

      Adam Maher- PSV/Osmanlispor

      Rafael Van der vaart-Midtjylland

      Dorus De Vries- Celtic

      Ola John- benefica/ wolverhampton

      Roy Beerens- Reading

      Danzell Gravenberch- Reading

      Joey van der Berg- Reading

    1. AZ they are playing good.Janssen .sneijder.williems ,stroot,gini etc….With Roben for berghuis really we can expect something..
      Veltman is so poor at headers so we conceded 1 goal…thats it…

  12. 2-1 to Greece…
    I called this slump a few years ago on this site. It is very cyclical and we are in the first 1/3 phase that we saw during the 1980-1986 time frame. After the 1974-1978 surge we had a last gasp to make the Europa ’80. But after that it was a long 6-years. L
    The biggest problem is who will lead us? Then we still had an influential Cruijff. Now? We could be facing an even more brutal prospect of a 1936-1972 absence….

  13. Oh come on, we lost?
    I haven’t seen the game but F##king Greece, spare me.
    Why no Van Dyjk? Best defender in the EPL but can’t start for NT? Is he injured?
    Can someone give a full game analysis?

  14. When Dutch won Poland and Austria, I actually got some hope that Dick Advocaat would be able to bring Oranje to the right level. Now, Dick left and our “genius” (D. Blind) started showing his “magic”…I have no doubt that the quality of the players of Oranje is good, but unfortunately, the coach has no clue whom to put to the right position, the coach completely does not know how to motivate the team. I do not understand why he is still keeping his job. Earlier or later Blind will be out, the question is who is going to replace him. God forbid, Gullit. This guy failed practically all his coaching endeavors. van Gaal will not come. Another option is a foreign coach…

    If we believe in saying that history repeat itself, Oranje will return to the football Olympus with the victory in World Cup 2022 in Qatar…So, gentlemen, let’s be patient…

  15. Wijnaldum got subbed at 72…kalssen came in for him…74 minute they scored is it strange..current Ajax players are really poor and they dont have the grit except Tete and bazoer??

      1. not directly..how did that guy came like that.
        hendrix did a last attempt…thoug bruma missed first..klassen was supposed to play Wijnaldum role..We played really good till 45 minute..Except for veltman who can defend set species..

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