Frugal Oranje does the bizznizz: WC ticket secured!

A combination of factors contributed to the abysmal performance and result away versus Montenegro.

And as a result, we saw the worst and the best of this Oranje, in the course of 4 days ( inspired by Louis van Gaal).

The nation was holding its breath, the pressure was on. And as a result of the drunk man’s policies of the Dutch politicians, in an empty Kuip.

So there were lots of questions. Will Louis change the team wholesale? Which goalie would he pick? What tactics will we see? Daley Blind, Wijnaldum, Klaassen underperformed versus Montenegro… Would Louis use Malacia? Or Ake?

With Bijlow injured, was it now Flekken’s turn? Or fall back on Cillesen, the more experienced one? And will Holland go for the win, and try to overwhelm Norway? Or did Louis expect Norway to come blazing on all cylinders?

Well, the answers were actually quite logical (from the Book of Van Gaal): Always rely on experience in big games. He would never throw Malacia before the wolves. Neither would he Flekken. Cillesen has been in pressure cookers before and knows the drill. He also is a tremendous kicker of the ball, so Cillesen in goal was not a surprise.

Van Gaal leaning on the experienced players was also not a biggie for me. He played the same formation as versus Montenegro, but with Bergwijn instead of Malen.

“Malen didn’t perform well. I told my wingers: stay wide and high as much as possible. Danjuma did well. Malen kept on moving out of position which resulted in a very underwhelming right side of the team. Bergwijn did better. So I played him,” was Van Gaal’s explanation.

And no, Louis didn’t force his players to hunt for goals. Keeping a clean sheet was key.

So in other words: dominant, with a provocative press. A Van Gaalism. Which means: invite the other party to attack. Sit a bit deeper and wait for the moment to press. This is 1) when a sloppy ball is played by the opponent, or 2) when a midfielder has his back to our goal when played in or 3) when the ball is played wide to a full back.

In the first half, we hardly got into trouble. And yes, we didn’t create a lot but we still had 3 or 4 chances. Bergwijn impressed on the right. Danjuma was threatening from the left. Blind played his usual decent game, as did Wijnaldum. The midfield was instructed not to run blindly into the opponent’s box and that reluctance made the chances we did create less effective, but hey… we didn’t concede!

And all that mattered was securing that ticket!

Norway didn’t take the game to us. They waited until the second half. Oranje got a bit more space in the second half, when Norway started to push a bit more, but they only managed two shots, of which none on target.

By then, we had seen some headers by Memphis, a Montenegro type flick by Depay as well, a volley from 25 meters from the Barca forward and some good crosses by Danjuma and Bergwijn. Lots of “almost” chances.

In the second half we got more opportunities when Norway went to play with three at the back. Bergwijn and Danjuma were always going to be the danger men, playing from the wide angles.

Oranje was clearly focused on not conceding, more so than scoring. The lack of confidence as a result of the latest draw was palpable. The lack of Oranje support from the stands could well have been a blessing in disguise, as in previous games the home crowd at times yells the team forward in scenarios where that is actually not preferred by the coaches…

Frenkie worked his arse off and probably ran more than 11 kms in this match. Wijnaldum was way more involved in midfield and Memphis was his usual self. Probing, drifting, threatening, while Blind and Dumfries offered good support for the wide men.

Man of the Match Steven Bergwijn made a strong statement with his creative explosive runs and it was befitting for him to be the guy breaking the deadlock. A wonderful little dribble from left back Blind, with a 1-2 combination with his former Man U mate Memphis and Danjuma was able to provide the assist to Bergwijn who found the top corner emphatically.

Norway had some minutes left to get back into it and added more attackers to the mix, prompting Van Gaal to sub Danjuma who was becoming a wing back for us. Nathan Ake was asked to shore up matters. From a Norway corner, a smart little header by Memphis released Bergwijn who ran half the pitch towards the Norwegian goal, with Oranje’s record breaker and future all time topscorer Memphis Depay in his wake. A simple wide pass to the Barca man and he added another goal to his tally, surpassing the likes of Bergkamp and Huntelaar.

And with that, Louis van Gaal – watching the game as an evil conniving Stavros Blofeld from his vip box -saw it was good.

His team qualified as group leaders and demonstrated some grit and effectiveness after a series of interesting matches. We’ve seen them struggle, we have seen them play Turkey off the pitch, we have seen them put to sleep by Montenegro and now we’ve seen them all business-like and efficient.

Congrats to all! We’re back at World Cup Level. Lets discuss what we learned moving forward in future posts.

In terms of player ratings…

Cillesen – 7

He didn’t have to do a lot of shot stopping but his distribution is excellent and it was good to see him confident and relaxed in the Oranje goal again.

Dumfries – 6

Lots of energy and hard work. At times a bit clumsy but always positive and always “on”.

De Ligt – 6.5

Didn’t do much wrong, but also didn’t do much to make us all sit up. Decent.

Van Dijk – 7

Played like a captain. Was the boss in aerial battles and commanded the troops with his booming bariton.

Blind – 7

Some good touches and passing. Not everything worked, but that is ok. His little forward dribble and 1-2 with Memphis broke open the Norway defence.

Klaassen – 5

A bit invisible. Probably working hard, but a tad off the pace at times. Got subbed due to a nasty stamp on his thigh.

Wijnaldum – 6.5

Played in service of the team. Had some good moments and battled like in his best Liverpool days.

Frenkie – 7.5

Frenkie led by example. Covering a lot of space. Always available and snapping like a pitbull at ankles and balls.

Danjuma – 7

Kept the pitch wide. Was threatening always and direct in his actions. A tad unlucky with his crosses and his goal attempts. Had the assist on the 1-0.

Memphis – 7

Scoring, hassling, leading, threatening. Not his best game but in a mediocre performance he will still find the net, he will work his butt off and that volley deserved better.

Bergwijn – 8

Man of the Match. Constantly threatening on the wing, tracking back when needed. Good crosses, and that superb goal. His last minute run to gift Memphis a tap in was excellent too.

De Roon and Ake didn’t have too much time to excel.

Van Gaal – 8

The winning coach. Bringing us back to World Cup finals level. Usually, I’d give him a 7 but his Blofeld impersonation gets him an extra point. If he would have brought a white cat for on his lap, I’d give him a 9.

For now: come back with your comments and insights below.

Bookmark and Share


  1. I also liked what I saw of frenkie. This was probably the first game where he covered really well laterally drifting deep on the right and them turning and using his left foot to distribute. Hoping to see more of that in future and if he consolidate that playing as 6 something like jorghino or Rodri.

    also looking at Van Gaals facial expression through out the game and with the cameras picking up every single movement and chit chat via phones, said alot. Im hoping that the montenegro game has given him a food for thought on his approach leading up to the qualifers. So march will see the next international break.

  2. I do see some people criticising Danjuma of not performing good enough

    I had been watching both games he played and I would say it’s unfair to say he didn’t play well

    I mean come on how long has he played together with this oranje team ? How many days did he trained with this oranje team ?

    Give him some more time and I’m sure he would have better chemistry with the team . On the other side I am not sure if mAlen should still be in this team to World Cup and he hasn’t been up as expected . Bergwijn nailed it and noa Lang I would definitely include him also

    Gakpo am not sure and for the striker I’d love to see zirkzee but l don’t think Van gaal would consider him till the next euro

    1. If you have followed danjuma at Villarreal than you would know how instrumental he is. He can be out of the game for long periods but just needs one opportunity and he will make it count. Emery also has realized this and he become a key player him.

      Being said this, agree as well danjuma and lang have a long way to go. At least they have showed brilliance in the little they have played.

      1. Yes and I really hope these two would keep improving , not just stay at their current level

        Btw just realise World Cup would be in winter 2022 , really wondering how the team would shape up in 12 months time ! A lot of things can happen in twelve months and really hope Virgil can stay in shape and no injuries , as he had never been to a World Cup or even Euros !

        1. Danjuma is a very good player and if he can get more minutes can become instrumental in our attack. Also less selfish and more of a team player than Depay.

    2. i didnt like Danjuma game at all…We played splendid games VS france,Germany,Turkey,Montngro with Berjwin on left/right wing…He helps his wing back and hence create fluidity…thats completly absent when you play Danhuma…He is overrated…i found his postioning very poor ,availability is poor..a total miss match for memphis and Blind..
      that FDb clown threw out Berjwin for euros..i personally underestimated him as well…Beleive me Berjwin got playing time under Jose moruihno….(Onlt Top dutch player will that chance under Jose)..Jose is killer of young players..that says a lot..
      Malen doenst get justice…He played out his position and got screwed…while Danjuam got his own positioned and underperformed and ESCAPED WITH some shots..Gakpo with Blind is more secure,Malen can come in imPact sub,Malen is impeccable with ball,he is faster than Danhuma..malen bring the threat,,
      i hope berjwin takes left wing spot and berghuis takes right wing…Team plays better with Berghuis and berjwin…i was wrong about berghuis …He brings something Danjuma,lang cannot bring…however i do like to keep both as back up players..
      Gakpo works his bu@#3 off and he has good chemisrty with Blind and he balance the team with work rate..He can score long range gaols which is mandatory for a world cup victory..When the players are tired you bring malen on left,the you see real malen…
      i found danhuma as blockage to our fluid game,thats annoyed me a lot…

      1. @ Emmanuel did you actually watch Danjuma playing ?

        He’s way better than any of the wingers we currently have , I would rate him even above bergwijn .

        The difference between malen and Danjuma is Danjuma scores and malen does not . He had been given too malen chances at his club and so far only so scored two goals ?

        I used to like malen a lot too but I’m Starting to lose faith in him now ( but clubs and national level )

        Given the minutes Danjuma had played for oranje he had performed very very well and he will keep improving .

        1. He’s written like 10 posts in the past 2 days which are just about how much he dislikes Danjuma, has nothing to do with how he played in the game. Danjuma could’ve walked off the pitch with 9 goals and he’d be criticizing him.

          1. Sorry @ Derekvdberg liar,
            i dont know Danhuma as person to dislike or like…so waht lie yourare saying..
            1…We played with out Danhuma and we thrsahed turkey and Montengro,We were better at left wing without danhumma…either with Malen or Gakpo we were good but When berjwin played at left with Blind we destroyed Turkey..GET THAT FACT you little brain…
            all of a sudden Danhuma entered and we started problems at left wing…it wa not functioanl yesterday..this was down to danhuma the overrated guy….
            He distribution is slow,He was pretty poor execpt for his dribbles..He is one footed..While Malen was livewire for NT at left…
            Try Danjuha at right and see he shI@##TS there..

    3. I agree Yan. Danjuma was sharp, always on. Straight line to the goal, good eye for team mates. When you play like this and have an assist, you played a fine game. Not outstanding maybe, but with Bergwijn he is the only player with some flair.

      1. Love Danjuma. He brings something different to the team. I hope we have him and Bergwijn as wingers and they continue to develop the remainder of the year and become amazing.

        1. I have said this about Bergwijn before. He is all about speed and if he gets space, he is always a great threat. Somebody in the earlier post asked how come he is a bench player spurs. There is a reason for it. As much as he can decsive with his speed factor, its is his downfall as well because once his momentum dies, he dies especially in tight games. Also clincally he is very on and off. This is why he is a bench player at spurs and is more used as an impact player. The way he played vs Norway, if he could replicate that day in day out, he would have been a household name by now at spurs like son.

          With Damjuma, he he likes to work dribble in those tight spaces taking on 2-3 defenders and is illusive with speed and clincal as well. ( Villarreal). Like I said he can invisible for long periods but with one opportunity he can can be very decisive. That why you see him scoring late goals at Villarreal.

          It will also be intresting to see what happens when Gakpo comes back though. Some body is gonna lose his spot.

  3. @Jan, Great post, thanks, and scads of extra points for working an old James Bond villain into the narrative.

    Question: Are the tactics and strategy used against Norway the way forward as LVG focuses on what could work at the World Cup? By that I mean, Wijnaldum playing more in his Liverpool role, both freeing Frenkie up and leaving less space in the mf? A more conservative approach—concentration on tightening the defense and picking the opportunities to counter attack, rather than play with the two runners from mf? And if they go in this direction is Klaassen the guy for the offensive role? I know you’ve mentioned in the past that you think Lang would be a possibility for a No. 10, but if Van de Beek gets himself straightened out, would he be on LVG’s radar?

    How serious do you think he is about the 5-3-2?

    I suppose you’ll probably going to cover these in posts going forward. So will wait.

    Anyway, great win. So happy to be qualified, and not have the anxiety of, say, Portugal and Italy this morning.

    1. Thanks Andrew :-). I think we’ll see a 5-3-2 plan being rolled out now Oranje has time to work on tactics as opposed to prepping for a play off series.

      He wants to play at least 3 systems: 4-3-3 with one holding mid (useful in games where there will be space. 4-2-3-1 is a system he wants (and can) play but he prefers 3-4-3 (5-3-2).

      With these 3 world class CBs, it makes sense. Bergwijn can play right wingback as he did for Spurs. Memphis and Danjuma both on top (Danjuma regularly plays in a 2 forwards role at Villareal).

      Daley Blind will probably lose his spot, depending on the development of Malacia, Wijndal or Willems. Or Bakker even.

      Van Gaal will probably end up with one or two players in the squad that are now not yet “on the radar” yet :-). Like with Flekken. Could be Karsdorp, or Zirkzee.

      1. I agree, I hope we switch to 5 at the back. It would allow FDJ to play further up and be more of a distributor, with only 2 behind him sometimes he has to stay back to cover. I don’t think Blind would necessarily need to be dropped, van Gaal played him in a back 5 in 2014.

        To me, out of the 11 spots, only 4 of them are guaranteed in 2022. Blind, Memphis, Frenkie and Virgil. The other spots will be down to form.

    1. Not really. Both are not as dynamic as they used to be. Van Ginkel’s power was box to box but he doesn’t have the legs/lungs anymore. He is a good passer of 10 meters or less. He is not creative enough.

      Clasie could work but he too seems to struggle physically. I like him and his football vision but he seems to small and lithe and probably not enough legs/lungs.


    I have never been a football manager not even a Sunday league coach. My opinions in football and much of life is strictly based on empirical observation and bold faced logic. Common sense, if you will. That is, Einstein cannot be summoned from his resting place, with a trembling voice of the gods and the weary demeanour of a soothsayer, to convey and convince me that a keener look at the math problem, 2+2, will yield 5, not 4. I will never buy it for all his expertise and genius. I will rather err on the side of common sense. My final answer will be 4.

    Cillesen was unceremoniously kicked out of the Euros by FDB after he being a guaranteed starter for some years including a decent world cup showing. Some say the risk of health and the insidious nature of covid is a worthy reason for his banishment and I, logically, won’t argue with that.

    But then enters LVG who proceeded to call up four goalies with none of them being the undisputed number one just a couple of months prior. I raised this issue a few articles back and you have the excuse-mongers telling us about his form, not playing enough and everything else they could summon under the sun. Many call ups after, Cillesen was still out of consideration. And many call ups after I reiterated the slippery and unstable nature of the goalie position and the importance of experience and reliability.

    Fast forward to our biggest game in perhaps the past three years and Dutch management came crawling back at Cillesen albeit fortuitously. And how lucky you may ask. Cillesen was AGAIN not even included in the provisional squad but was a late replacement for a goalie who pulled out injured. But as fate would have it, the preferred number one also, Biljow, pulled out on the eve of the Norway game. Logically, the natural replacement for Biljow would have been one of the two or three goalies who have been in the team for months before Cillesen was called up as an injury replacement. But NO. LVG instead opted for the goalie who is only in the team by chance, because of an injury. Cillesen. How? Why?

    Because like many Dutch coaches and true to form, LVG’s initial decision and a continuation of FDB’s snobbery, was not based on logic nor common sense. It was an egotistical expression rooted in a dictatorial tendency not uncommon in Dutch management. Remember, Cillesen said a few things about he deserving his place which FDB had promised if he could recover on time from covid. And you know the kartel cannot have the slightest talk back. Even at the expense of the team. Even at the expense of not having arguably your best goalie going forward. Not even as a reserve playing second fiddle to Biljow. He had to pay.

    Because that’s how stubborness and vindictiveness works. It can only be checked by desperation. And only for so long before it reverts back to form. And this is how Dutch football have been failing. Cillesen could easily not have been part of this team because of spite and vindictiveness. LVG could have gone with Flekken or Krul. Things might have gone without a hitch. Or not. But the fact is, he went with Cillesen. And for a good reason which was not good enough until he was a sweating with desperation.

    And he was also desperate enough to include an injury replacement in Berjwin in his first eleven. Berjwin had played some good games from the bench but at the slightest sign of smooth sailing was cut out of the team. You know, the untouchable Gakpo cannot be compromised. But with Malen on the bench, Lang in the team, he went with Berjwin. Experience and reliability. But he only did out of desperation like he did Cillesen. His pet projects in Biljow and Gakpo were on full swing before things went haywire.

    But I would not be telling the whole story if I just restrict his course of actions on desperation and ego. There is also the culture of entitlement that LVG have honored in his second stint. Gakpo has to fight for his place. Cillesen shouldn’t have been treated as such and Biljow promoted. And football decisions should never be based on the emotional because they sure enough won’t be logical. The hope is that this WCQ campaign may have taught us something. If only Dutch management is not wired different.

  5. I think Orangutan is saying what many people think. I personally understand his sentiments but don’t agree.

    This is my view on the matter.

    Cillesen’s banishment from the Euros squad was a mistake.

    Frank de Boer had to deal with this Covid situation (Cillesen was testes positive) and probably allowed the medical staff to advice him on the matter. They suggested it wouldn’t be smart to allow Cillesen two weeks (or more) away from the squad, to come back mid Euro tournament while having missed the preparation and the first two games.

    Cillesen is also known to be a bad benchwarmer (like Huntelaar, Van der Vaart) and is known to be a whiner in the group, something that can create agitation. So – using Covid as an excuse – De Boer decided to completely forget about Cillesen.

    I think this was a mistake. Stekelenburg has length and experience, but lacking agility, something Cillesen has.

    Van Gaal said from the get go that IF Cillesen would be playing regularly he would be on the radar, as Van Gaal rates Cillesen high. He was left out of the prelim squad this time around as V Gaal had Bijlow, Drommel and Flekken (Krul had expressed his wish to remain in Norwich).

    When Drommel called in sick, Cillesen was called in. Logical choice.

    When Bijlow had to leave the camp, LVG asked Krul to return and he complied.

    Krul hadn’t trained with the group so he was 3rd goalie. LVG had to decide between two very good goalies: one who would have to make his debut in a do-or-die game and one who had 60 caps to his name, played top flight football with Ajax, Barca and Valencia. Someone who has played with De Ligt, Blind, Frenkie and other Dutchies many times.

    LVG did what a coach need to do: make tough decisions.

    I 100% support the coach’ decision. It was the right thing to do. Also for Flekken. Should he have played and allowed a ball through, resulting in us missing the World Cup, the poor lad would been tainted his whole career.

  6. @Jan

    Sorry Jan but you went through several paragraphs only to say NOTHING. Castigating and labelling players outside of their game is a bad take and uniquely Dutch. If Cillesen was left out of the Euros for being a bad teammate rather than the covid scare, what was LVG’s excuse for keeping him out?

    Saying that he was in his plans and completely leaving him out of the squad for the possibly last meaningful game he could have coached with Oranje is both performative and hypocritical.

    Re: He was left out of the prelim squad this time around as V Gaal had Bijlow, Drommel and Flekken

    It’s only in Dutch management that you would call up 3 or 4 players over another and then spin back and say that your initial choices might not be as ready as the rejected one. And would come up with a straight face and give that as a rationale for your about-face to the applause of bloggers and pundits. Only in Dutch management would a substitute in his club(Ajax) be tapped over one of the best right backs in Serie A and it’s normalized.

    One thing I know. Excuses, more excuses and lying to oneself haven’t gotten anyone anywhere. But I will stop now at the risk of not sounding more conspiratorial.

    1. I’m on Jan’s boat. This feels like criticizing for the sake of criticizing. Cillesen has the experience, go for him. Whether he had brought him in before/after or in the middle of qualifiers, it’s irrelevant. We want Van Gaal to make the best choice he can make at a given point in time and this time he did.

  7. @Ignacio

    Re: This feels like criticizing for the sake of criticizing

    No it does not and it is not.

    Nobody is against the selection of Cillesen. That fact is besides the point. The points are these:

    A) Cillesen was in the team solely because of an injury and got selected by chance. He could easily not have been available due to time restrictions.

    B) Cillesen’s selection over the other goalies proves that Van Gaal rated him more on merit than his initial choices.

    C) Van Gaal flat out rejected a player he rates more highly because of a vendetta/bias/disciplinary action(call it what you want it won’t change the fact) at the detriment of the general good of the team.

    D) We could have ended up with a goalie who could have cost us a world cup because they are not ready but yet are on the team( like Rensch) over Cillesen.

    These are all important observations going forward if only we are dealing with a culture that values learning from past mistakes and nn

  8. Cont.
    These are all important observations going forward if only we are dealing with a culture that values learning from past mistakes and not engaged in preserving fragile egos and doubling down over petty grievances. This is how we ended up getting one good tournament from a super midfielder like Van Bommel(rarity in Dutch football) Van Basten had to show who was boss.

    And it’s ALWAYS the fans who scream the loudest when things are going sideways who are reluctant of enquiry at the slightest glimmer of light.

  9. I’m sorry Orangutan, I am afraid I didn’t make myself clear.

    Cillesen would most likely be called up if he had been playing for Valencia earlier on.

    Or if the qualification games were a month later.

    Dutch coaches tend to be loyal to the squad and will replace their choices only when another player is clearly better (or in better form) for games on end. Not after 3 matches.

    Your A: is a moot point. “Time retrictions”? That is just making irrelevant things up. Could have/should have.

    Your B: LvG steps in as coach and didn’t have Cillesen to select (still benched). So he picks 3 others. Once Cillesen is ready, he becomes an option. When Drommel gets sick, Cillesen is called in. How is that a bad thing? And yes, a coach does pick on merit usually.

    C: LvG didn’t reject him for a vendetta? That is totally not the case. Frank de Boer MAY have left him out of the Euros squad as he could have been seen as a guy who doesn’t play nice when he is dropped (for some reason). This is not confirmed, but the suggestion was made by ex players who know Cillesen.

    D: You use what you have. If every goalie was injured bar Drommel, LvG would have played him.

    and yes, teams miss out because players aren’t available and weaker subs come in. That is how sport works.

    I’m puzzled by your passionate pleas for Cillesen.

    Look at Bergwijn. He has had a touch time at Spurs. He was injured only months back. A player like him will then drop spots in the hierarchy.

    So then Berghuis steps up and performs well. Lang is called up and does well. Malen plays right wing and scores. If Bergwijn also tells LvG he prefers to play from the left, not the right, LvG puts Bergwijn on his shadow list for LW. Behind Gakpo and Danjuma, no doubt.

    So when selection time comes, LvG needs 2 players per position and would have gone with Gakpo/Danjuma for the left flank and Berghuis/Lang for the right. Berghuis can’t come in, so he is replaced by Malen.

    In the game v Montenegro, Bergwijn does well in the 2nd half (enough for LVG to think: I’ll pick him for the Norway game).

    I feel you are cherry picking events to make your point that the Dutch have a very weird way of going about it? Some grander cultural debate you want to start, it feels?

  10. I honestly don’t think is very controversial. When we had 2 games left, there wasn’t much pressure. 1 win over Montenegro or Norway and we’re through. Easy.

    After the Montenegro game, things changed, pressure went up. So we go to a player who’s been in high pressure situations. Van Gaal would be a fool to give Flekken his international debut in such a high pressure match.

    Also, I think it had to do with the game. I think van Gaal assumed Norway would be sitting back, and wanted to use Cillesen’s distribution skills for a fast counter.

    Again, when we entered the scenario, Holland was probably not thinking about scoring quickly on the counter.

  11. People should thank LVG…He is very homest ,open to ideas and gives chances to everyone..
    He gave chances for Gravenberch,Berjwin,Berghuis,Danjuma,Lang,koopmeiners,Malen(though at wrong Position)…Gave chance to cillessen….
    LVG like Cillessen type GKs…i think order will go like
    Cillessen>Bijlow>krul for WC…..Cillessen will be the GK for at WC..

  12. People say Memphis is crap…Memphis delivers the results, Goals the the difference making numbers ..yes he plays like crap at times..but We dont have a better one..Memphis-Frnkie-Virgil-Cillessen is going to be our SPINE at Wc..We need them to beat Top opponents…My worry is about left wing as Danjuma is entered the scene and He is not as good as Malen or Gakpo at seems LVG will stick on Danjuma on some time untill he cost him severely..While Malen is thrown to right with compettion from Berghuis and Lang awaits..Malen ha splayed spenldid games for NT..He has scored goals and scored goals in vital game where he send us to nations league semifinal…WHY HE HAS TO MOVE TO RIGHT FOR A LESSER PLAYER???THATS NOT JUSTICE….Move Danjuma to right and ask him to show at right…(Which he cannot i am sure)..
    We need a solid DM who can play football and tackle..Ake is the one who could do that..i Hope LVG looks Bazoer for that spot instead koopmeiners…What koopmeiners cannot do Bazoer can do..Bazoer is stunning DM..He plays consistant..

  13. In true Dutch form, you all are never happy.

    This team is not a good team. They will not win the world cup. They will not even make the semis. Yet, they qualified and we can enjoy the excitement of a WC which we missed out on in 2018.

    Everyone needs to lower their expectations and realize this team is not a winner. They can compete and fight, but they are not going to win the gold. Give LVG credit that he got this team to the WC, sit back and enjoy. Keep expectations low but hope for the best.

  14. Things can change leading up to the Nation League if there is break through in key departments ( players) and in the course to the upgrade of the team. I will reiterate it again, the midfield holds the key to the sucess of the team if they want to become genuine contenders for the WC.

    VDbeek still remains an option and it will be intresting to see whats happens to him in Jan transfer. Van Gaal also has made it known if he plays he can be the part of the team again. He could well bring more dynamics to the midfield especially given fluctuation in the performances of both Wijnaldum and klaassen.

    I would also say Nathan Ake is worth being experimented at DM if the management decides so. Its a big waste that he is subject to bench when he can bring so much to the team. Arieal threat, hard tackling and provide engine room efficiency with his distribution as well. His good at that mind you. He can be also be a shadow defender in front of the CBs. Worth giving a shot imo. The good news for him though is with eddie howe appointed as Newcastle manager, he is apparently keen with reuniting with Ake and a transfer is being lined up in Jan. This could certainly revamp his career given being a bench player at city.

    This is one the reasons why I think 2024-2026 will be more better because they will be more quality option avaliable in the midfield.

  15. @Jan

    Again, I’m sorry bro but I refuse to be gaslighted when it comes to Dutch management and coaches and their inner machinations. LVG for all his genius has not proved much different and has made some indefensible decisions. I’m not one to wait until we are on the verge to explore what’s going wrong with my team.

    Re: Dutch coaches tend to be loyal to the squad and will replace their choices only when another player is clearly better (or in better form) for games on end. Not after 3 matches

    Please explain to me like a 3yr old how this applies to Rensch. Explain to me how it applied to Cillesen. Explain to me how it applied to Danjuma. Even Lang at some point. “Games on end” just reeks of excuses and maintaining status quo.

    Re: Your A: is a moot point. “Time retrictions”? That is just making irrelevant things up. Could have/should have

    How could that be a moot point when you take rules and regulations into consideration? Cillesen couldn’t possibly have been a ready replacement if Biljow had pulled up in the warm-ups, during the game or even a day before the Norway game. LVG would have had to make do with a goalie who we all now know he doesn’t completely trust in a game like that. And as a result put the whole campaign a little more at risk whilst Cillesen sits at home. How? Why? Cuz they have to prove themselves “for games on end”?

    Re: I’m puzzled by your passionate pleas for Cillesen.

    Don’t be. The Cillesen situation is bigger than Cillesen. It is a microcosm of how Dutch management operates and how they’re not ready to change and how this has not taken us nowhere. It’s a plea for Karsdorp, Danjuma, and Cillesen, most recently, who were able to only get in the team through the back door and are now be relied on. Patterns do not lie bruv.

    Re: I feel you are cherry picking events to make your point that the Dutch have a very weird way of going about it? Some grander cultural debate you want to start, it feels?

    Again, I won’t be gaslighted into backing off on things that are as clear as day. The Cillesen situation was weird, so was Danjuma’s, Karsdops, Rensch etc. And this is just one short tenure. The only cultural debate that needs to be on the forefront is the inquisition of how Dutch management do the things they do. And why repeated, consistent failure hasn’t called for different measures.

  16. @Derek

    Re: I honestly don’t think is very controversial. When we had 2 games left, there wasn’t much pressure. 1 win over Montenegro or Norway and we’re through. Easy

    Here we go again with the “it’s only Gibraltar excuse”. How could that be a cop out for a coach who’s notorious for his preparation? You must have known the possibility exists that you would need a goalie who can distribute, who has been in high pressure situation etc and you have excuses for Cillesen not being in the team? Why do fans contort themselves in support of these egregious decisions when your common sense could only possibly tell you one thing?

  17. @ Orangutan

    I always enjoy reading yours post. You write things that I have had in my head for years but couldnt piece it together but at the same time you have to remember you trying to throw stones at brick house,expecting it to crack. Van Gaal has a long history of player relationship problems and also overwritting them if it doesnt fit his criteria. Dont wanna bring up thr same old stuff for argument sake but its always gonna be like this, they draw the line and it will be different for different players. You look at that typical excuse on Cillessen getting the nod. It was an crunch game and Flekken would have been risky. I even doubt Drommel would have got the nod over cillessen even if he was not sick. Because both Flekken and him are in the same boat and hence you come back to the same conclusion.

    Another example lets say the situations arises for them to choose between Karsdorp and Veltman, I can gurantee you wothout any doubt they will go for veltman and overlook karsdorp even though he is technically better than veltman. the reason why veltman because he more familiar to NT setting and is known better to Danny Blind.

    This is whats in store under this regime and the faster they come and go the better.

      1. The two of you are just hypocrites.

        Van Gaal had his starter, Bijlow, and then two guys he was considering for the future, Flekken and Drommel. Bijlow and Drommel become injured, so he calls up an experienced keeper for a crucial game. Makes perfect sense.

        Let’s look at it this way. You’re always begging van Gaal to bring in some young backup to Memphis, someone for the future who maybe gets a few minutes. Let’s say hypothetically it’s Brobbey and Zirkzee and in order to call them up they take Weghorst’s spot.

        Now, if Depay got injured, would you start Brobbey in the crucial game? Or would you call up Weghorst and start him?

        1. Do you remember in 2010 world cup qualifiers when Stekelenburg and Timmer got injured, van Marwijk called van der Sar out of retirement and started him.

        2. You are another hypocrite to compare A DEBT ATTACKER/fORWARDS WITH A DEBTe dfender/Goalie..Defends has to with stand pressure throwing a debtee in crunch pressure game is close to foolishness..
          But easily we can go for attacker/forward spot in crunch match.. As you know some guys and their optimal our case infact there is no one to replace Depay….zirkee is just useles ,Weghorst is not the guy to start the game….at the moment We need to rely on Boadu or Brobbery for that…or i would go with Malen or berghuis/klassen..Weghorst role is pinch hitter at best..We should not start him…Find a replacement for Depay..earlier the better..if lucas moura didint play against ajax at semi ,ajax would have been in semi..Spurs would never have made it with Harry kane..

  18. Two players facing injustice..karsdorp and Malen…one is dropped another is played off the position…Also we need to look another LB..winjdal is very poor (less than mediocre)…Blind survives with Virgil ..lustshreal geetruida should be given chnaces as LB or Terence kongol(He was injured i dont know current status)..

  19. I have to get away from this blog. We just qualified for the World Cup, our first in 7 years, and instead of excitement and looking forward, we have these two guys arguing every finicky detail to play out their roles as antagonist. They’re not even saying Cillesen shouldn’t have played, they think he should have played but it’s just arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Like you guys need to look in the mirror a bit. If you say you’re a fan of milk, but you don’t like the taste of milk, you argue about what shape the container is, you think there’s corruption in the milk industry, you think the milkman is an imbecile, and your constantly looking for ways to complain or change milk. It’s likely you’re not actually a fan of milk.

    I would just hate to be here after we win the world cup, smashing Brazil 5-0 in the final and Orangutan is the first to post and has some dumb comment about how Cillesen shouldn’t have been sitting on the left side of the bench, he should have been on the right side.

    1. The only players you ever support are the ones that don’t get picked. The only coach you ever want is the next one in line, and the only results you’re ever happy about are when we lose because it proves how correct all your criticisms are.

  20. @Wilson

    Re: …you have to remember you trying to throw stones at brick house,expecting it to crack

    Indeed. Truly exhausting. Like a bad wife that you can’t do without😂😂

    1. @Orangutan I am not trying to gaslight you. I actually reject that accusation, it’s a bit offending :-).

      Do I need gaslighting?

      I do apologise if I made you feel bad, but we are simply not agreeing on things. How is it that I am gaslighting you, but you are not gaslighting me, at the same time? Doesn’t feel fair.

      As for the actual argument:

      I am trying to understand what your point is. I believe your point is “The coach does things that are not logical and he seems to think that he can do what he wants”.

      Correct me if I am wrong.

      But yes, a coach like Van Gaal does what he wants. Like Pep, like Mourinho. And yes, he has a big ego. And yes he is a narcissist. And yes, Memphis was his big hero in 2014 so he took him to Man U but when Memphis made LvG look bad, he completely ignored him.

      I am sure Robben and Sneijder and Van Bommel can tell you way more stuff about LvG.

      But… he is a professional coach and he will go for what he wants to do. And up until now, he managed to reach the goal: qualify!

      Remember how he subbed Cillesen vs Costa Rica in 2014 for the penalty series? Cillesen was livid. It was never discussed with Cillesen. And Louis said: “I decided not to tell Cillesen that I was planning to do this, because it could have affected his game.”

      Coaches are puppetmasters. They use players. Literally. It’s about the results.

      I fully understand Van Gaal’s moves with the goalies and I would have done the same. You do not use a debutant in such a key game. Is my opinion.

      Then the Karsdorp situation.

      Here I disagree with Van Gaal. Karsdorp is our best RB I think.

      But he picked Rensch because he was part of the set up since the Euros. He is familiair with the dynamics. He accepts a role as bench warmer. He is part of the Covid bubble (if that is still a thing). Van Gaal did not want to bring too many “strangers” in, as he called it.

      Rensch is NOT a stranger, and neither is Cillesen. Both were part of the Euros squad (Cillesen a tad brief). This is LvG’s explanation. His prerogative.

      I don’t agree with this.

      What else are we debating again?

      1. @Jan

        Re: @Orangutan I am not trying to gaslight you. I actually reject that accusation, it’s a bit offending :-).

        First of, I want to say I do appreciate and enjoy this platform that you’ve created for like-minded people to express their angst and softer opinions of our beloved Oranje. My opinions might come off as single-minded, passionate and harsh at times, but they are never meant to provoke or rile. That includes when I say “gaslight” It’s a general statement. I have respect for you and have no reason to be taking personal shots at you.

        Re: You do not use a debutant in such a key game. Is my opinion.

        That’s also exactly my opinion. And that’s exactly why LVG’s squad selection is so nonsensical. NOBODY IS AGAINST CILLESEN BEING SELECTED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCE. Problem is, his selection could have been impossible depending on when Biljow or Drommel drops out(remember rules/regulations of replacement). If you know you might need experience and a ball-playing goalie, you keep them at hand not leave things to chance and having to maybe make do with a goalie you don’t fully trust, and in the process jeopardizing our chances of another WC. Lord knows we’ve had enough of that.

        Common sense 101: a great coach gives his team every possible chance to win. Initially leaving Cillesen out was NOT one of those decisions.

        Re: Van Gaal did not want to bring too many “strangers” in, as he called it.

        It would be funny if not a little tragic of the exclusionary culture Dutch management practice against its own. This attitude of Oranje exceptionalism is uncalled for and frankly just egotistical. Players see this. Fans see this. I can only imagine the extra pressure the “strangers” have to play under when they are finally granted asylum.

        No wonder Oranje is the national team known for infighting and division outside of the Netherlands. That’s the go-to line for every pundit analysis outside of Holland. And it’s true. Real because it had always started from the top.

  21. @ Derekvdberg 91

    NT also qualified for Euros under FDB and we all saw what happened to him and how his own decisions came back to bite him. Im not saying van Gaal is same as FDB but Its how things have proceeded in this qualification which is under review and not whether we should be on cloud 9 because NT has qualified. The was just the first hurdle and qualification itself has proved to be a worthy one in terms of where the line should be drawn and how to go about moving forward to the next stage.

    Its whats happening back stage which raises the eyebrow. Thats all.

    1. Wilson, seriously, we were kicked out of the Euros because we didn’t create enough chances and didn’t convert the ones we got. A mistake by De Ligt resulted in a loss.

      This is factual.

      How is FdB to blame for this?

      Yes, you might say “this wouldn’t have happened if he picked Zivkovic and played 4-3-3” but that is just your opinion.

  22. finally managed to watch match replay. The team played smart, keeping play compact and simple which is important given the results needed. Am not looking for champagne football or any skillful play in such circumstances. Overall, I feel all players finally carry out their duties responsibly and intelligently. This will bode well for the WC. LVG will coach the team to a even better unit come next year. I am confident.

    To @Jan, just want to again say my appreciation for your good articles. Can’t imagine you giving up the blog. Looking forward to more articles and insights coming months and years. 😊

  23. Another Great article and very well explained Jan!

    Agree and am sure Van Gaal knows what he’s doing .

    Lots of changers can happen in twelve months time and Van Gaal has already mentioned Kardorp which means he is under his radar

    1. No idea. It depends on how they “are” before the match (at training). IF Frans Hoek would spot uncertainties in the goalie, he’d see it and report it. It’s all about the confidence, the look in the eye. Coaches will observe a warming up and decide who to play. It’s not a checklist/rule book/cookbook approach.

  24. Things we learned from last two games…
    1-Cillessen cannot be ignored and he is our No1 Gk.
    2-Danjuma is not at all better than Malen and Gakpo at left wing.
    3-We need hardtackling DM probably two
    4-We need an LB for Blind..
    5-LVg is honest and wonderful coach.
    6-We need an equal replacemnet for our goal scoring machine Depay..

    these 6 things needs to be ironed out…

    1. You learned them maybe. I didn’t.

      1. Bijlow is our #1. Cillesen the ideal #2.
      2. Danjuma is different all together and definitely as good as these two.
      3. No
      4. Yes.
      5. No
      6. I think we have them

  25. I’m hoping this Watford loss deals Ole’s fate. Donny is constantly impressing even from the bench, so any new coach coming in will definitely start him. Hopefully this is done before January so Donny doesn’t feel he needs to move.

  26. as much as we all think and believe that our attacking group is not world class like it always used to be and that the likes of berghius, bergwijn, malen and danjuma are not close to an attacking group of 1998 where we had kluivert, bergkamp, overmars, makaay and later van nistelrooy joined them all spectacular top top names playing for top teams and performing highly on a weekly basis but with all of that being said I think our attacking group currently is not that bad, with memphis, and this current good danjuma, with lang maybe breaking into a top team soon, with bergwijn and gakpo we should be fine in attack. but for me our major problems are in midfield, this combination of klassen and wijnaldum in front of frenkie is very impotent and lacks any creativity. wijnaldum is fading away more and more I think he is starting his decline curve and in PSG he is always benched now!!! the one missing magic piece that might solve the problem for us in midfield is available and he might be back in January once he moves to another team, talking about Donny, he is what we need, I just watched watford United and saw how he played in the second half, Ole must be ashamed of himself not have given him more chances, he scored a goal and created two clear cut chances for ronaldo who ended up wasting them!!!

    maybe a midfield of frenkie-koopmieners-Donny is what we need? with klassen, gravnberch and wijnaldum on bench?

    1. നഹി.. @alaa… Koopmeiners is open door, we need some one with character and hard tackle, a no nonsense guy like with Frenkie.. Koopmeiners is not that guy.. Some one like Nijel De Jong.. If not getting Nijel then i will go for Ake or Bazoer.. De roon is some what closer but i doubt his passing, footballing ability.. Some thing like
      —klassen/De beek—-
      Frenkie—-Bazoer/Ake/Gini.. I would trust gini s defending ability than koopmeiners..

  27. Can’t believe idiots like Orangutan and others still whining. Clearly not a fan of the team if all he does is complain! With a fan like you who needs enemies!

    Go troll somewhere else.

    I can’t remember a single positive thing you have ever said about this team. It is pathetic

  28. @paul ny

    It’s a BLOG. NOT a mock case of Fascism.

    Now that we have established the obvious, do you have any original thoughts on this, other than throwing tantrums and abusing folks with differing opinions?

  29. No piroe, No party for Swansea.

    Check out Joel Piroe’s 10th goal for Swansea.

    @ Derekvdberg91

    Re : Thijs Dalinga. Yeah he has already come into spotligt.

    There are some other good reviews about him as well. If he can climb up the ranks and continue with what he is showing, no doubt he can make it big.

    You might remember this striker some season back, Tom Boere at FC Oss. He also took eerste divisie by storm scoring 33 goals in his 38 appearance. Was picked up by FC Twente the next season and then his trajectory just went down. He is now at Cambur with low key profile.

  30. VDB surprised me in his 2nd half performance against Watford. He never looked at all tentative or unease despite not playing for long long time. He showed he still has the eye for passes with a number of through passes for Ronaldo..Also constantly looking at pockets of space to run into. Very typical of VDB’s play.
    He will compete with Klaassen and Wijnaldum for a spot in midfield comes next year WC.

  31. i wish Ajax Antony was Dutch…what a skilled player…
    Dony Van de beek was spoiled by a clown coach Ole gunnar…Ole was great player….Van De beek has bulked up,i dont know which stupid told him to bulk up hence loss agility and speed…Lots of oxygen needed for those bulked up muscles..six pack and biceps are trend of modern football…No wonder Modric,Xavi,ineasta out performed these muscle clowns…

  32. Modern day medicine and physios are clowns and copy cats…i pray that players doesnt fall in to their trap..They should go for the natural strenthh than these stupid gym weights..having said that some clubs has got physios with brain…Ajax has physios are great..while EPL teams like Manu,Spurs,chelski and many has clown physios..

  33. Ten Hag continually being linked with United. I don’t think he’ll leaving in January. By the sound of it they’re hiring a caretaker, then an interim manager, then a manager so it will be a while before anything concrete.

    If he does leave in the summer I hope Henk de Jong takes his job at Ajax. Cambuur are playing very exciting football, and he’s been at the helm of this Renaissance in the club.

    1. Henk de Jong will never coach a top club. He’s a passionate coach who adores football but he is so parochial, so naive in his media performances, and if Ten Hag is already considered a bit of an “outsider” in Ajax, De Jong would be like a leper :-).

      I think John van ‘t Schip will be in pole position to replace Ten Hag or alternatively Alfred Schreuder.

  34. Perhaps I’m naive, but I highly doubt that Ten Haag will leave in January. This summer, probably, as he’ll lose players (Antony, Gravenberch, Mazraoui, come to mind, and who knows who else), and he won’t want to go through yet another rebuild. But, for now, he has the opportunity to be on the biggest stage with a team that he has developed over three years, and which he thinks can do damage in the CL. Can’t see him giving that up.

    1. No, I don’t think he will either. In fact, I think he only leaves in the summer if the right club is available. I can’t see him jumping to whichever big club comes calling.

      Utd will be looking for a manager then, so that will be tempting to him.

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.