In the international break, there is simply not a lot of football news on the day of the match. So the biggest news was the footage of a 13 year old Shaqueel van Persie, scoring against Ajax with a wonderful bicycle kick. The game ended 8-3 for Feyenoord Under 15. Dad must be proud! His goal is below, at 2.55 it all starts for him.
Oranje needs to get a result tonight vs Bosnia Herzegovina to keep the place in the finals alive. Bosnia kept Italy at bay and will be a tough opponent for the Dutch. After two defeats in a row (Italy, Mexico), it seems Oranje may have lost it’s magic? Frenkie de Jong disagrees.
“The magic isn’t gone. But we are not the top in Europe. We are not the best at the moment, so much is clear. We can’t play dominant against every nation in every game and can win them all. But I see a difference between the defeats against Italy and the one against Mexico. Italy was a tough game, but you’re talking about a top football nation. The Mexico game was a friendly, with lots of changes and some debutants… That is simply different. We want to show the world the magic hasn’t left us when we play Bosnia.”
Memphis will not be playing due to suspension. Frank de Boer didn’t want to say who will replace him but did admit that playing Luuk de Jong was very likely. Bosnia has Edin Dzeko up front. The experienced AS Roma striker was part of the team that got beat by Northern Irland, kicking them out of the qualifications for the Euros.
“That can go two ways,” Frank said. “It could have been a blow they are still dealing with when playing us, or alternatively, it could be a huge motivation to make something out of the Nations League for them. They played well actually, with Dzeko the target man, playing well in terms of hold up play. They got the 1-0 and chances for 2-0 but they couldn’t play the long ball to Dzeko in the second half and their game suffered as a result.”
De Boer didn’t want to say who will be the goal keeper tomorrow, but did say that Cillesen was doing “amazingly well” at training. The coach worked with Cillesen before and considering that the back four will be used to working with the Valencia shot stopper, odds are in favour of Cillesen.
De Boer also said they have been able to train tactics for a spell. “As a coach you are working on all the scenarios in your head. That is a constant thing, I even do it when I’m in bed, about to sleep… We learned from the Mexico game, but even more so, we will have the fixed formation, more or less, so I am quite confident, we can find our flow.”
The question: who takes Memphis’ role is not just a question of “what name do we pick”. The replacement of Memphis points towards something deeper. In the past decades, Oranje used to have a multiple of players who would frighten the opponent. In 1974, we had Swart, Keizer, Cruyff, Rep, Rensenbrink, Theo de Jong, Willy van der Kuylen… In the 1980s, we had Kieft, Bosman, Van Basten, Gullit, Gillhaus, Vanenburg, Houtman… In the 1990s we had Bergkamp, Van Hooijdonk, Makaay, Kluivert, Hasselbaink and more recently Van Persie, Huntelaar, Robben, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Vaart… Goals galore!
Memphis had 11 goals and 11 assists under Koeman. He had twice as many shots on goal (91) as #2 and twice as many (61) created chances than #2, in 2,5 years.
We simply don’t have enough players that generate fear and terror in the opponent. Waking up and realising you’re playing against Robin van Persie or Klaas Jan Huntelaar will have scared any defender. I don’t think Luuk De Jong, Boadu or Malen have that effect.
The options: Luuk de Jong and Donyell Malen. Malen resembles Memphis more. He’s quick, tricked and he is explosive, with runs in behind. Downside: he was injured for a while and has been treated with velvet gloves by PSV. Luuk de Jong is a different type. Static. Good in hold up play, but needing support and options. And service! Berghuis and Stengs both have the skills to offer that service. By the way, at PSV Malen and Luuk did play together as well… Luuk as target man and Malen as a #10 circling him in a 4-4-1-1 set up. 60% of the Dutch people (who voted) voted for Luuk in the 9 position. 35% picked Malen and 5% said “someone else”… (?).
Holland is able to break a bleak record tonight. The last time Holland lost 3 matches in a row without scoring, was in 1950!
Let me know what you think will happen?
I think 1-3 for Oranje. Dzeko will get his goal, but Luuk de Jong, Van de Beek and Dumfries score for the Dutch.