Dutch School? Old school….

Dutch football in crisis. How often have we heard this? A lot. We’ve always been highly critical of our top players. Cruyff was not that revered when he still played. The man has achieved deity status after his career as player and coach. When he was a player, the Dutch public opinion called him a “money wolf” and as a coach Rinus Michels (!) called him a psychopath!

The generation Witschge, Rijkaard, Van Basten was called the “patat generatie” (chips generation). The group Davids-Kluivert-Seedorf-Bogarde-Reiziger was seen as controversial with their complaints about racism. And even our Silver Team in 2010 received heavy criticism for their lack of defensive skills.

We haven’t been winning regular European trophies since the 1970s so this crisis is basically the standard situation for Oranje.

Earlier, Ajax and PSV failed to qualify for the EL. Feyenoord met its match at CL level already at home vs Man City. Internationally, we do not register. And our National Team always had ups and downs. But last week, the crisis increased.


Beenhakker trying to “get” the patat frites situation….

Cup winner Vitesse was ousted from the first round of this season’s cup competition by a lowly amateur team. Ajax draws vs Ajax and loses against the same Vitesse (implying that Swift, the amateurs, would beat Ajax even worse than they did Vitesse).

NAC Breda also got kicked out of the cup by amateurs and they ( in Holland seen as Manchester City’s C-team) were able to beat Feyenoord at home (!) for the first time ever!

At the same time, the PSV that was in crisis some weeks ago, with Cocu under heavy pressure, beat contenders FC Utrecht 1-7 in their own home!

So the finalist of last year’s Europa League, Ajax, is currently in crisis. They dropped eight points in six games. Too much.

PSV was in crisis but seems to be the top dog for now.

Last season’s champions have lost three of their last four games.

Ajax’ problems aren’t to be ignored. They lost key players (Sanchez, Klaassen, Traore) and had to deal with the loss of the biggest talent and highly popular Nouri. They allowed Peter Bosz to leave (who isn’t doing too shabby at the moment) and replaced him with inexperienced Marcel Keizer.

2017-08-02 22:19:11 AMSTERDAM - Coach Marcel Keizer van Ajax. Ajax speelt 2-2 tegen OGC Nice in de derde voorronde van de Champions League en is uitgeschakeld. ANP OLAF KRAAK

The balance sheet shows a capital of 160 million euros but some of that capital should be wearing football boots. But the Technical Heart (Overmars, Bergkamp, vd Sar and the head of development) failed to replace these key players with players of a similar level. They did spend money on new players, but these have merely warmed the bench.

New coach Marcel Keizer has clear “Ajax” ideas of playing but does he have the players? The midfield of Van de Beek, De Jong and Ziyech is attractive but also inexperienced. The wingers are hold-cold and striker Dolberg is lacking form. Huntelaar has had a good spell (and will always deliver) but with the current back four (lacking pace, and leadership) it will be hard to win big games, using the “5 seconds rule”. Ajax played the EL finals and was aware that Klaassen, Sanchez, Onana, Veltman, Kluivert, Youness, Ziyech and Dolberg were on many a radar. Tete and Riedenwald were already given up by Ajax’ management. But despite the interest in half the team, Ajax didn’t act. Sanchez and Klaassen were key in the team and Ajax should consider themselves lucky that Dolberg and Ziyech are still in Amsterdam. The Technical Heart has not managed the issue too well and Marcel Keizer is now lost in different systems, doubtful about the Dolberg-Huntelaar situation and most likely unhappy with the options he has available.

seizoen 2006 / 2007 , amsterdam 12-09-2006 ajax training alfons groenendijk , frank de boer en henk ten cate

ADO Coach Alfons Groenendijk as Ajax assistant coach with Henk ten Cate and Frank de Boer

Gio van Bronckhorst seemed the winner in the summer, with Martin van Geel bringing good young prospects to the team. But while Feyenoord has to play 7 games in 23 days, they have to miss their line leader Nicolai Jorgensen. And immediately, the weakness of the squad comes to the surface. There is no decent second striker in red and white. Poor Michiel Kramer appears clowneske in this Feyenoord team and stumbles and bumbles through games. The fans applaud and cheer any successful square pass he gives. And with Nelom and Diks replacing the talented Kongolo and Karsdorp (Nelom plays for the injured Haps, while rightback Woudenberg was let go so Diks could come in), Feyenoord did not improve. Haps has the potential to become Oranje’s next left back, but Diks is clearly out of his league.

Dirk Kuyt is sorely missed as well of course and when 5 first team players are absent and the rest makes a hash of it (Jones and Kramer the two clowns vs NAC), Feyenoord looks very average.

The new kids at Feyenoord are all getting the benefit of the doubt, but when key players are missing, they come short. For now.

Elsewhere, PSV plays good games and not so good games. Not that consistent, with Marco van Ginkel still having to get used to his leadership/playmaker role and Ramselaar proving to be potentially nothing more than an average utility player. Lozano op front, the new Mexican winger, alongside Locadia might well do PSV a lot of good, but the weak defence might become PSV’s downfall. Rumor has it, that Bert van Marwijk and Mark van Bommel will take the coaching roles next season.

Pep Ten Hag

Mentor Pep with protege Erik ten Hag

FC Utrecht is still a club hitting above their weight. They have the 11th budget or so of the competition but continuously perform at sub top level. Erik ten Hag consistently overachieves and makes players better individually. Utrecht also lost a couple of key lads (Haller, Barazite, Amrabat) but the new kids gelled in nicely and despite some big defeats, they will most likely do well. Same as AZ, the first team plays attractive football and the Academy churns out some great talents. Heerenveen is one of the most attractive teams at the moment. Norwegian Martin Odegaard impresses every week and with a fit Stijn Schaars as the general in midfield, they keep on getting the points with attractive football.

Vitesse is the last of the contenders, Henk Fraser has forged an attractive team, playing free flowing football. Their cup defeat being a big blemish, I’m sure they’ll rebound and give it their all this season.

Apart from them PEC Zwolle (John van ‘t Schip) and VVV Venlo are doing surprisingly well.

But all these domestic battles full fun and games are not so impressive in the perspective of Dutch football internationally.

If we analyse the way they most dominating teams play, we come to a highly concerning conclusion. I’m talking Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund… They do the exact opposite of what Dutch coaches (and coach’ coaches) preach about. In Holland, we say “without possession, keep the field compact, but when in possession, stretch the pitch and make the field big”. This is not what Lazio does, or what Dortmund does…

pep JC

Mentor Cruyff with protege Peo

Their coaches say: “When without possession, keep the pitch small. When in possession, keep the pitch small”.

How does this work? These teams all play in “triangles”. Every thing they do, is done in triangles, meaning that when a player has the ball, anywhere on the pitch, at least two team mates are close for the bounce. The player with the ball needs to play the ball vertically, never square, even if the team mate is marked. A precise ball can be bound back to the third – moving player. And so on. So the team moves across the pitch like an organism. In triangles. Example, the left midfielder has the ball, so the left winger, left back, the striker and the mid midfielder should all be somehow offering themselves as options. If the left winger is the target, the striker will make a move so he becomes the third player receiving the ball. In that case, again the mid midfielder and the left winger (and maybe the right winger) will make themselves available.

This involves total fitness! Lots of movement. And lots and lots of practice. A typical practice is: 11 v 11 on half a pitch and you can only have one touch before releasing the ball.

Napoli's head coach Maurizio Sarri gives instructions during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Napoli at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 4 October 2015. ANSA/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO

This is total football New Style. And it’s not how Oranje plays. It is how Peter Bosz let Ajax play last season, but two key players (Klaassen and Sanchez) are missing from that team.

There are key advantages to play this way. 1) as you’re constantly moving around, it’s hard for the opponent to win the ball back. 2) you have several options always available to you to unleash the killer pass. 3) once you lose the ball, you don’t need to track back 20 to 40 meters to get back in position. You can immediately go for the wolf pack 5-seconds approach, get the ball back and you’re still not far from the position where you were.

These eight principles are the foundation of Napoli’s positioning game.

Coach Sarri doesn’t play ” a system” or formation. He even says: “If people talk about systems, they don’t get football”. His players will adapt their position to what is happening on the pitch. And Sarri uses specific key points to instruct players what to do and how to respond. These key points are the basis, but there is a lot of freedom for creativity as well. “What they have to do is firm, how they do it is up to them.”

  1. Most players in the centre of the pitch
    – The flanks of the pitch are only taken up by the full backs and sometimes Callejon plays a bit more wide. Most players will be found in the ax of the team. See the image on the left, above
  2. Using the passing lines to become free in space – The oppoosing midfielders will try to block the passing lines to the key midfielders of Napoli, Hamsik and Jorginho. These two will gladly “hide” behind their markers until the right moment pops up to move a litle bit wide or away and that timing is drilled into the team, so the pass will come right on time. And it takes them just two or three steps to get the ball between the lines.
  3. Anticipate, not re-act – The Napoli players are constantly moving. Whenever a player is played in, the others move around, finding space or making dummy runs. This is incredibly hard to defend.
  4. Movement in conjunction – Sarri tells his players to constantly watch each other, constantly check the movements of the others and to offer options all the time. The distances between the players will be maintained this way and there are triangles everywhere.
  5. Ignore second man, play in third – In Napoli’s positioning game, the players like to ignore the closest player but play the ball one line further up. This allows the “ignored player” to turn and move towards the goal and receive the ball as the third runner. This player is already positioned right, doesn’t need to turn and can find the next solution.
  6. High paced circulation – Napoli plays a lot of short, fast paced passes from feet to feet. The opponent is forced to think on their feet and constantly confronted with new situations. Napoli tends to be a step ahead all the time.
  7. More players around the ball  – Wherever the ball is, the players are. They create a man more situation all the time and it is harder for the opponent to keep possession. See the situation in the image, below right. It is a 4 v 2 situation. The goal is not necessarily to get the ball then and there, but to push the opponent back.
  8. Tempt the opponent – Once the opponent is organised and behind the ball, Napoli will slow down. The opponent will at some state try and find something and once one or two players “bite” and are out of position, the accelerations starts.

Final third play

Positioning play is nice, but useless if it doesn’t lead to chances. And Napoli has a clear plan. As they really are capable of that dazzling positioning play, the defenders of the opponent are dragged higher up the pitch. The midfielders try to put pressure on Napoli, so the defenders need to push up too. This will make it easer for them, but it also offers Napoli space behind the backline. And that is what Napoli wants. Napoli uses this situation in two different ways.

The first one is by running deep in behind the backline. The three forwards are masters in this. Mertens, Callejon and Insigne scored 60 goals together last season. Most of these goals came from a deep run in behind. They actually first come into the ball, and then turn to sprint in behind. They create their own space, but they also have a head start as a result of this “in the ball, turn, go deep” move.  Which means that they can run at full speed without being off side. And their team mates get a sort of red flag sign: once Mertens comes into the ball, they know he’s going to make the dart towards goal and the midfielders can loop the ball into space for him.

The second way they create chances is by suddenly using the player on the flank, who usually moves up unnoticed (the action is all in the axes of the game, remember?). So if the opponent’s backline has moved up, the space behind can be attacked. By playing in the left back, for instance, he can swing the ball into the space – mostly low if Milik doesn’t play – and the forward runners can score an easy tap in, when the ball is played between goalie and backline in no man’s land. Left back Ghoulam does this all the time and creates easy tap ins. See below.

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      1. Define ” capable players”

        I have said this so many times its time to move on from this total football, cruyff revelotuion velvet etc which has no significance today. NT has become a laughing stock but still they wanna stand tall with the rest, on back of their great icons from the past who wielded something innovaitive in their era and which has became the blue print of modern day soccer.this is where what yoyogi said comes in. The dutch coaches are adamant on contiunung the same legacy and tatics but without players who are “capable” of executing it and end up hands on the head.

        Now coming back to NT,everyone knows one the key strengths for NT right now is wingbacks. Buttner, Van annholt, Karsdorp, Van Rhijn, Van wiel, sinkgraven. They maybe average defenders but offensively they are more balanced, but yet the coaches failed to build the team around them where they should have been able to execuate it better as a team to their best potential. Sam Allydarce ( crystal Palace) vs FDB. Now this is what has been happening. Squeezing robben like water from a wet towel and when he gets injured use the same towel to put on their head . Its so hot in here😰.

        Well the with the situation at hand its time to start from scratch, inject new players, analysis their potential what they can do and cant and build a team with a formation which best suits them aimed at 2020, players like Dumfries, Hateboer, Sinkgraven, Karsdorp, Stengs, Kluivert,Ake,De ligt,kadogolu,bergwijn, Riedewald, De Jong, VDBeek.

  1. I think you miss the point though.

    JC’s vision, velvet revolution, Napoli’s tactics… It’s all based on the same thing and somehow we – as a football nation – haven’t been able to solidify that vision.

    In the past and in other countries, the NT was made up of the core of the strongest team(s). Look at Spain (Barca, Real Madrid). Or Germany (Bayern).

    This used to be the way with Ajax and Feyenoord for Oranje.

    But today our top talents are taken at a young age and put through different schools of thought.

    No coach will ever be able to gel a “Napoli-style” tactical plan into the NT. There simply is no time for this.

    The KNVB should support the clubs and the Academies into developing modern, capable players.

    All these names you mention, are all fine players. Some are better at this, some at that. We do have good potential players, I don’t doubt it. Enough to forge a 22 player squad.

    But as long as we live in a land where Feyenoord can’t compete with their B-team in the Jupiler league or 7 clubs play on artificial pitches, it is clear football isn’t too important for the KNVB. I am not sure what is?

    Peter Bosz was on the right track with Ajax. Lets hope the Ajax management can turn this abyssmal run around. Gio seemed to be working on the right things with Feyenoord, but life at the top isn’t that easy, they find that out now.

    Just like Tiju / Emanuel is finding out that a player like Kevin Diks might look nice in a sub top team like Vitesse but is currently coming up short for Feyenoord (and before that Fiorentina).

    1. Kevin diks and Bazoer lacks the confidence,they are not playing with full vengeance…they lack something psychological….it can be rectified as both are so young..Kevin diks was in eredivise team of the year with consistant performance move to fiorenteina cost his confidence…

      1. Jan, I dont think it was Saris master stroke to convert Merterns to striker. It was Miliks injury which left him with no choice but to use him as a false striker and with Insigne returning from injury it turned out to be a hit. When things start following into places itself you dont need to do much but keep rolling.insigne, merterns, callejon are all in form and the rest are just playing their part.apart from these three there aint any household names in the team.

  2. Good article but such tactics need players who are really quick and talented but i will agree with above gentlemen that get on with what you have got and devise strategy based on that there is good leftback blind and hateboer is also good offfensively. inform players should be playing to improve chances of winning.

  3. It’s a shame how Dutch players are not succeeding enough. I believe they are underrated. Only Blind, Wijnaldum and Robben play in really big clubs almost every week.

    I am worried especially because I don’t see enough potential with center forwards and holding midfielders. Maybe Locadia and Janssen, or Lammers become great but at the moment they are still developing.

    As for the holding midfielder spot we have been suffering as we don’t many good options.

    1. We have Bazoer-Ake as DM both would be excellent and would be 1000 times better thn strootman….i would add Van de beek as well….
      we need to remove wijnaldum from mdifeild as we have better options there..Wijnaldum should play as forward where we have only 2 quality players those are Babel and Roben..

  4. we need to go back to 343
    on reserve
    Frenkie dejong
    Davy propper

  5. Dutch NT :

    Jasper Cillessen, Maarten Stekelenburg, Jeroen Zoet

    Nathan Aké, Daley Blind, Wesley Hoedt, Daryl Janmaat, Matthijs de Ligt, Karim Rekik, Kenny Tete, Joël Veltman

    Donny van de Beek, Marco van Ginkel, Davy Klaassen, Davy Pröpper, Kevin Strootman, Tonny Vilhena, Georginio Wijnaldum

    Ryan Babel, Memphis Depay, Bas Dost, Vincent Janssen, Jürgen Locadia, Arjen Robben

  6. With the selection it looks like our lineup will be


    Van ginkle-vilhena- strootman



    It’s good we finally have delay but our defense looks troubling

    1. For me, our team must look like to this :

      Rekik – Aké – Hoedt
      Tete – Wijnaldum – Strootman – Blind
      Robben – Babel

      or this :

      Rekik – Aké – Hoedt
      Tete – Wijnaldum – Strootman – Blind
      Robben – Babel
      Dost (Janssen)

      3 CB to lock our defense. Foward, we must put in place our scorers “on fire”. Janssen come back in Turkey, but is it enough ? And Depay, after a good start season with Lyon, was put aside. With Dost and the long balls from Tete and Blind, we can score many goals. Or without a ST (replaced by Klaassen in the middlefield front of Strootman-Wijnaldum) and let Robben and Babel the responsability to score.

  7. All joking aside, what’s thoroughly depressing to me is when I look at these latest line-ups that everyone posts, I’m completely uninspired.

    However, when I look back at our most recent low point in quality / results (1982-1986), we still had much greater talent than we do today:

    1981-82 – We still had Krol, Rep, Muhren and Neekens involved to some degree, while van Breukelen, Gullit and Rijkaard were just getting started internationally

    1982-83 – The Koeman brothers arrived, along with Wouters and Vanenberg

    1983-84 – Danny Blind and Marco van Basten emerged

    1984-85 – By this point, Gullit, Koeman, Rijkaard, and van Basten were all regulars

    1985-86 – Blind, Koeman, Rijkaard, van Basten, van Breukelen, Vanenberg and Wouters were all laying the foundation for 1988 Euros

    During this 5-year period, we failed to qualify for the 1982 World Cup, the 1984 Euros and the 1986 World Cup. Yet, it was pretty clear (even at the time) that progress was being made and a new generation was rising up.

    Obviously our hindsight on these players is now 20/20, but I just don’t see this type of quality among the current group.

    1. Back then we had no idea they were going to be good though. You never know when another Johan cryuff is gonna pop up and in a few years we might have one.you cant predict where we are going to be in 5 years because there is alot of developing that can be done in that time span

      1. I get your point, but Gullit was already at Feyenoord and a rising star by 1982 and played with Cruyff and for van Hanegem while he was there.

        Ronald Koeman had moved to Ajax by 1983 and was widely recognized as an all around great player even before he moved to PSV. Cruyff coached him at Ajax too.

        Van Basten became the starting striker at Ajax in 1983 and averaged about a goal a game until he moved to Milan in 1987. Cruyff was his manager for a few years as well.

        Both Gullit and Van Basten ultimately won the Ballon d’Or.

        My point is these guys were very good, and we knew they were very good at a very young age, and despite the national team struggles, they were young up-and-coming players who were getting great training and could bring about a resurgence. I just don’t see anyone at this point in the latest generation who can do anything like this. They seem to be a bunch of Aron Winters and Richard Witschges. Solid players, but not stars you can build around…

        1. We still have depay bazoer, boetius, kishna, van de Beek, de Jong, mink Peeters, van crooij, riedewald, and kluivert. They will all be world class players. I can see in a few years that the team will be solid and top contenders for euro 2020

  8. For me Its very simply. You have to blame everybody here. KNVB, LVG ,Hiddink, Danny Blind and players themselves. After the Wc2014 there was no platform at all for Hiddink to work and as usual he went back to 4-3-3 because without Robben that 3-5-2 would have never worked. You look at most countries during handing over, coaches have the luxury of inheriting good and upcoming players but in Van Gaals case the handover to hiddink was always going to be starting from the scratch. You have to look back before strootman injury, Van Gaal was building the team jus around a few group of players (the big 3 ). It was after strootmans injury that he gave nod to Boetuis, Vilhnea and Van Annholt, Rekik, which was then too late.this is again where he temoorarily fixed it by changing to 3-5-2.you look at most big teams today, during the course of 4 years they keep rotating players to find the right players in the right position or simply find the best rthym going. For van gaal it was if are not good in his ways or eyes then you are a misfit and as usual he concentrated around few players which until strootmans injury was in balance.then if you look at what was going to come aftermath of that WC, it was ever clear that van gaal work was done and dusted after reaching 3rd place playoff.this was starting of the sequence which started building up, with Hiddink appointed by KNVB after the WC. Under Hiddink it was always going back to square 1. Some mixed results and bust up with KNVB he was gone.there were somes cries for koeman to be the next coach but Hiddink had too much under his belt. Under Hiddink,his intension was to buld the team around everybody but inconsistency, individual mistakes creeped in and with the form of key players dropping out of the blue, life became harder for him and he left after the bust up. The sequence kept building up. Then came Danny. The only thing I will say is, he was a mirror image of LVG and he kept believing by using the same core of the players NT will succed,when after that euro qualification disaster he should have realized and started fresh for WC qualifers by rotating other players. As it happened again he failed miserably with NT dropping to the lowest in ranking.

    Finally now it Guilt and Dick but again you cant expect them to come in straight, break this long sequence and start a new chain.its never going to happen. Even if they win the last two games, still what will happen after the WC need to strategized
    So that the transistion is smooth during the handover to who ever the next coach will be.

    Coming back to my main point,spain,italy,Germany,England, during the course of this 3 years or so, they have rotaed so many players and with WC on the horizon they are just polishing up on best options which came out of these course. what NT was doing was rotating players to come and sit on the bench.the reason why they aint much options now is simply because there aint much players that were rotated.if Daley Blind has to get injured, only willems has played more than anyone there but at the same time has being a big flop defensively.again the question arises why nobody else within this 3 years continuing.this is where its not happening for NT and I hope the next coach will look into this and rotate more players from Day1.

      1. Again as I mentioned above about Mertens.nobody would have known that he would become a clincal striker Napoli but he did after being “make shift” rotated up front. If it is not happening then why not make shift. Well in NT case.

        Wingbacks was one of the key strength areas I said for NT.

        This is the second one Versatile players.you look at the DM position. From day 1 this has been the most disputed position and yet with having so many versatile defensive players like Ake, Riedewald,St Juste, no rotation, no makeshift. How will it they know.

        1. FYI—-Wilson
          Hiddink tenure was an example of EPITOME OF STUPIDITY…
          u had 2 direct spots and 1 spot for play off..He could not make it..Dutch Current NT is not that worse…Pool of stupid players selected by Hiddink and Blind cost us this much…Every crucial match BMI played at back for Us under Hiddink and Blind…that means leakage where as LVG had to hide BMI in Wc matches,astonishingd defense by Blind-Kuyt-Wijnaldum saved us in Wc2014..
          Under Blind players doesnt had an idea wat to do..Blind shuffled the team too much…Even in this late time we MUST understand that..
          Sneijder is done with age…
          Roben is on the way to retirement..
          Strootman is Ghost of himself..honestly we have better players than him ATM…
          Wijnaldum is not a visionary midfeilder should not be playing there…
          Depay lacks work rate and hence no connectivity with team mates…
          Promes lacks the finese upfront,we cannt trust him to score from halfchance like RVN,RVP,Vaart or Roben does..Promes lacks quality..
          Dost???Dost for what???this guy is disgusting..Propper is better finisher than Dost thats what propper proved VS bulgaria.We dont need Dost..
          Once we remove all these players forever we will sort out many issues..Only Wijnaldum deserves a second look…
          Then you selecet brilliant players with workrate..they will get the job done..

          1. How could have Hiddink not played BMI when they had jus came out from WC. I have already said this it was useless playing 3-5-2 with Robben. Vlaars form had dropped straight after WC. Robben was not avaliable. Janmaats mistake was nothing to do with hiddink and BMIs red card was nothing to do with hiddink. Kuyt played vs Italy in the first game under hiddink as incharge.hiddink used almost used all the players from the WC squad in the first two games which was well justified.This is why I always say dont just open you hole with knowing.

          2. Vs the czech he started 3-5-2 with depay and Van persie upfront but it was not working. He reverted back to 4-3-3 and it clicked instantly only for Janmaat to give away that last minute goal.

  9. @Stpid Wilson…
    thats what exactly u are doing…farting….hiddink is sacked,Blind is sacked…they are sacked for reasons…Still u defend tupid headstrong hiddinski????THATS CALLED n0 1 farting…i know u dont like Danny Blind so u r not defending him…both were wrong choices…
    LVG had adaptability,he made instant intervetions when he had trouble by loosing inform strootman…..
    FYI LVG was not sacked but ur stupid logic and Hiddinksi were sacked…DO NOT FORGET IT..

  10. Then what we were doing vs cezc on firts game??WHO STOPPED US FROM SCORING 3 OR 4 GOALS TO wait till janmaat make mistake?????it was the stupid slection of players and coaching style cost us goals…who asked Hiddink to slecet BMI?????when LVG took him just after 45 minutes VS arjetina….Go and watch that game…

  11. Ashley Young is taking some of Daley Blind’s playing time at left back against Crystal Palace today. Young has had some decent attacking play and proved a nice cross for their second goal, but defensively he makes Blind look like Paolo Maldini.

    I figure that Blind will remain the starter against stronger opponents.

    Van Aanholt is playing for Palace today but hasn’t really stood out in any way yet…

  12. ————–Cillessen————–




    *Vilhena as holding midfierder. Strootman going forward. Advocaat must tell his midfielders to shoot from distance as much as they can.

        1. Initially i was sceptical about Cillessen,but thats gone now…He faces the most valued players on the planet day to day basis,Messi,ineasta,suarez ex naymar are excellent finishers…Cillessen has shown that confidence in NT recently…Zoet can be great in one day and can be a mistake in other day…ATM..Cillessen is better..

  13. PSV have had their best start to the season since 2004. I think it’s safe to say they have have won the title. Bergwijn van ginkle- ramselaar and locadia will play a big part for the Dutch team in the future

    1. I would say they are looking like contenders now since cocu reshuffled the midfield with pererio.not sure about ramseelar in that CM role. I would put Maher ahead of him. Van ginkel,Pereiro and Hendrix looks like are locked now in midfield.backline especially the CBs are question mark.

  14. Depays first game back in the starting 11 and ends up scoring. If he doesn’t end up playing starting on the national team we will have no chance to score 10 goals. But if he does then I would expect a scoreline of at least 12-0

    1. Also, some bad news… Strootman came off after only 30 mins in his game vs Milan. Looks a doubt for the upcoming games. Gonna be hard to bounce back if we are missing our star midfielder

      1. We have better hope now…we are better without him….van de beek,vilhena,toonstra,ginkel,Frenkie dejong,Ake,juste…we have qulaity in midfeild…So i have no worries about strootman absense …We beat Bulgaria with out strootman and we lost to bulgaria with strootman…

          1. No strootman served the red card for the Bulgaria game. He could’ve played the Belarus game. The midfield should be more attacking, depay, wijnaldum as more of a CAM, locadia

    1. Robben subbed of 59′
      De Vrij 67′
      strootman 30′
      Ruud Vormer is the only player who is making headlines. two assists from the club captain as they sit on top in Belgian league. Rekik and Gouweleeuw and hateboer are other players who have been consistent for their clubs.the rest were pretty much average or below average.

  15. again Riedewald will give Hodgson plenty to think about after coming on late in the game vs Man United. they they lost 4-0, but after his introduction the gaps pretty much started to close. this guy deserves a shot at DM in NT.

  16. Van dijk played full 90 minutes of South Hampton game while hoedt sat on the bench. I think we should use this opportunity to call up van dijk

  17. Didn’t realize Carlos Ancelotti was sacked by Bayern. Apparently the hierarchy were not happy after the PSG loss in which he left the aging big names on the bench. Robben,Ribery,boetang and few others.shame they didn’t realize it would have been fruitful in long run.

  18. Sinkgraven also played 90 for Jong Ajax after returning back from injury. Lasted 60 minutes last week and should be available for Ajax after the international break. I have big hopes for this guy. He will absolutely blend in in 3-4-3 as wingback.

    Another player who is making waves in ereeste divisive is Fortuna Sittard,17 year old captain Perr schuurs.one of the defensive rising talent who can play CB or DM. They look destined to get promoted to eredivisie.I have a feeling PSV might turn to him in Jan.


  19. Hey fellas,
    has been a while since i wrote something, i have been reading up on ur articles though Jan good stuff as usual!! Despite the fact that we are in a real football crisis and perhaps even identity crisis!
    As for the cause of this soory state that we are in, the blame must be found in the heart of the KNVB and their limitless incompetence!! But furthermore i would like to point out that we are still producing great talents especially below 18 we are still giants, but then the sad process starts our best individual players are lured away at very young ages Malen, Redan(Chelsea), Chong(Man U), Castillo(Chelsea), Immanuel Pherai (Dortmund) thoose are just a few of the current ones and many other like Rekik Bruma and others have been there!! The real trouble is that they are leaving that early that they dont have a chance to develop properly and i dont just mean their football skills but more importantly and i would like to emphasize on that they are not able to develop a proper personality and character! And that is exactly the trait that our current dutch generation clearly lacks, from a purly football perspective we have great talents with impressive individual skills but yet they fail to make the step from talent to star level! how is that?, for me its a crystal clear problem of character and winning mentality, our players are complacent in love with themselves and often lazy with interests in other stuff like music career fashion drinking parties etc… just sees in our generation the likes of drenthe, babel, depay all great talents but with their focus on something else then football often!! if we are to become great again, we need players with character and winning mentality like van bommel although i was never a big fan or like a legend like dirk kuyt!!! now leads look into a bright future with lots of hope!!

    1. Ok this conversation has been brought up many times about how young players are leaving to early which to some extent is true but if you look on the other side which player in last five has come out of holland and made it big. Van Dijk maybe but this goes to show there isn’t much happening either in holland. Bazoer,claise,Janssen,Depay,BMI,De Vrij,Blind,klaassen,none have lived up to expectation and most of these players were destined for stardom when coming up the ranks.

      Also you look at La Maisa.after messi they havnt produced any big names but yet it is regarded as one of the best academy’s.

      The one things which the players get derived of when moving abroad is that playing in eredivisie is kind of an upgrade to playing in youth teams for parent top clubs in most leagues but then again after one or two seasons in their future is in limbo looking at the current trend where their development stalls.

      Another example I can think of is that of Ake.where are all is compatriots today from feyenoord who were in the same age group as him or others from Ajax and PSV who were coming up in the same age group.

      As I mentioned early they need to take little steps rather than long strides and build on it like Justin Hoogma,Van Drongelen,Pherai.

  20. De Vrij is not allowed to come. Lazio doesn’t want him to play.

    Mertens has played striker in a 4-4-2 many times before.

    The point being: small, quick players in false striker role (Messi, Aguero, Robben)

    Bayern players complained about Ancelotti last season already. Robben: My son at the D juniors gets better and more intense training sessions than we do.

    1. why is De Vrijs not allowed to leave Lazio to play for his country? I don’t understand. I think unless he is still in the middle of recovery phase from his injury, Lazio must release him.

      Maybe Ake will play as one of the CBS.

  21. hey guys, a small update on how the dutchman abroad did this past weekend!!

    French Ligue 1

    Memphis Depay returned to the Lyon starting line-up for their trip to Angers on Sunday. The winger answered his critics by netting to make it 3-1 in the first half. However, a red card to Marcelo reduced Lyon to ten men and they eventually had to settle for a 3-3 draw. Memphis played the full game while Kenny Tete was an unused substitute.

    Anwar El Ghazi was on the bench for Lille on Saturday as their match at Amiens was postponed early in the first half after a stand collapsed, injuring a number of fans.

    English Premier League

    Ronald Koeman is under huge pressure as Everton boss after a 1-0 defeat at home to Burnley on Sunday. Davy Klaassen and Maarten Stekelenburg were both unused substitutes.

    Daley Blind was an unused substitute as Manchester United hammered Crystal Palace 4-0. Patrick van Aanholt had a poor game for the Eagles while Jairo Riedewald came off the bench with 20 minutes left.

    Nathan Ake kept a clean sheet in the centre of Bournemouth’s defence as they drew 0-0 at home to Leicester City.

    Leroy Fer appeared at half time but he could not prevent Swansea from losing 1-0 at West Ham. Luciano Narsingh and Mike van der Hoorn were unused substitutes.

    Georginio Wijnaldum came close to ending his wait for a first Premier League goal away from home but his shot came back off the inside of the post. Liverpool went on to draw 1-1 at Newcastle United.

    Virgil van Dijk returned to the Southampton starting line-up on Saturday in place of Wesley Hoedt, who remained as an unused substitute. Van Dijk gave away a penalty which was saved in the 2-1 defeat to Stoke City. Erik Pieters played the full game for Stoke while Ibrahim Afellay appeared from the bench on 87 minutes.

    Davy Propper played the full game as Brighton went down 2-0 at Arsenal. Tim Krul was an unused substitute.

    Daryl Janmaat was an unused substitute as Watford drew 2-2 with West Brom.

    Rajiv van la Parra played the full game but struggled to make an impact in Huddersfield’s 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham.

    Italian Serie A

    Stefan de Vrij was left out of the Netherlands squad on Friday due to injury but he was fit enough to start for Lazio in their 6-1 win over Sassuolo on Sunday. The defender played 67 minutes and netted during the win, while Timo Letschert started for Sassuolo but came off injured on 21 minutes.

    Bram Nuytinck kept a clean sheet in the Udinese defence as they hammered Sampdoria 4-0 on Saturday evening.

    Hans Hateboer put in a good performance for Atalanta as they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Juventus. Marten de Roon appeared from the bench with two minutes left.

    Kevin Strootman came off injured after half an hour of Roma’s 2-0 win at AC Milan.

    German Bundesliga

    Peter Bosz’s Borussia Dortmund continued their excellent league form with a 2-1 win at Augsburg. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw played the full ninety minutes in the hosts defence but couldn’t prevent the defeat.

    Despite being reduced to ten men, Eintracht Frankfurt beat Stuttgart 2-1 thanks to a 92nd minute Sebastien Haller goal. Jonathan de Guzman started the game and played 54 minutes, while Jetro Willems came off the bench with twenty minutes to go.

    Paul Verhaegh played the full game and Riechedly Bazoer appeared from the bench with ten minutes to go as Wolfsburg drew 1-1 with Mainz 05.

    Spanish La Liga

    Jasper Cillessen was an unused substitute as Barcelona beat Las Palmas 3-0 in a behind closed door game on Sunday.

    Portuguese Liga NOS

    Bas Dost played the full ninety minutes but couldn’t break the deadlock as Sporting Lisbon drew 0-0 with Porto.

    Turkish Super Lig

    Ryan Babel and Jeremain Lens both played an important role as Besiktas drew 2-2 with Trabzonspor on Sunday evening. Babel provided the assist for the opening goal before Lens made it 2-1 with a nice finish.

    Vincent Janssen had a miserable game on Friday as Fenerbahce went down 1-0 at Akhisar Belediyespor on Friday, The striker barely got involved in the game and was substituted with 17 minutes left.

    Eljero Elia played the full game as Istanbul Basaksehir beat Goztepe 2-1.

    English Championship

    Jaap Stam’s Reading continued their poor form on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich. Joey van ben Berg and Roy Beerens both played the full game for the hosts, while Pelle Clement was an unused substitute. Yanic Wildschut appeared from the bench for Norwich with five minutes left.

    Joost van Aken kept a clean sheet in Sheffield Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday. Jay-Roy Grot was an unused substitute for Leeds.

    Florian Jozefzoon played the full game as Brentford drew 2-2 with Middlesbrough.

    Belgian Jupiler League

    Ruud Vormer and Stefano Denswil played the full ninety minutes as Club Brugge beat Gent 2-1.

    Albert Stuivenberg’s Genk drew 3-3 at AS Eupen.

    Sandy Walsh was an unused substitute as Zulte Waregem lost 3-1 at home to Lokeren.

  22. Bayern is apparently considering LVG as Ancelotti’s replacement.

    Might be a good thing for Dutch player development if he can give opportunities to some young Dutch players there…

          1. It’s the Bayern hierarchy that will run the show this time. AvG also f;;ked up last time in charge.

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