Greek Tragedy for Oranje…

I like some drama, as you know… But it wasn’t really a tragedy for me. Friendly schmriendly, really. We lost. Big deal. We won vs Poland and England. Big deal again.

We are not at full strength yet, what with Robben not available, and some of our players are most likely not fully match fit (Sneijder). We played some good football from the start, some zippy passing and good movement. And some individual mistakes cost us. Lack of concentration? Lack of communication? Nerves? Who knows.

The Oranje goal demonstrated some good positioning by Berghuis and Wijnaldum and excellent play by Janssen, who basically made the goal.

Janssen greece

We should have created more in that first half, but didn’t. In the second half, Danny Blind changed the midfield and allowed Hendrix his debut. Any team would become weaker as a result. The first Greek goal was a series of mistakes. Veltman’s pass forward (like a lob) was ill advised, the positioning of our defence was all wrong, Daley was swimming, Bruma lost his man and Zoet should have remained in goal…

The second goal they scored was a horrific Bruma howler after an unnecessary square ball by Hendrix. Sadly, Zoet boxed the ball straight into the feet of the Greek attacker who finished it well. Was harder than it looked, to be fair.

zoet griek

I think tactically we did alright. The starting line up was logical. The desire and intensity was there. We just got sloppy in certain areas and that cost us.

But let’s hope that this loss will further strengthen our resolve against Sweden. Losing vs Greece but winning against the Swedes will be way to go. And this friendly becomes a footnote.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Danny Blind. The role Hans van Breukelen played is unclear. Advocaat and Van Basten exits are unrelated I believe. San Marco’s passion is rejuvenating the sports (for many years) and Dick…well…he’s simply a dick.

sneider griek

I do think Van Breukelen is behind Jorritsma’s departure as he wants to install a performance coach or something. He should include the national team manager in his forward thinking though and the KNVB is solely responsible for this mess. And all this plus Bert van Oostveen’s stepping down just one week before the WC qualifier vs Sweden…terrible timing…

daley griek

It’s time the players rise up now and show they support their coach!

Daley: “It was not great and a loss is a major disappointment, but if we win vs Sweden, all will be alright.”

Danny Blind was hopeful: “We only had a couple of days for this game and the changes made it harder to keep control in midfield. Typical practice match, I suppose. The loss was unnecessary and we need to take the lessons from this game. We started well and that is a positive, but we gave it away thanks to some individual errors.”

Asked whether this is the ideal line up for Sweden: “I wanted to say yes, but based on tonight I think we will need to do some further analysis and see what we can improve. This might be in the form of some changes, yes.”

Jeroen Zoet started for Oranje. Blind: “This doesn’t mean Jasper is suddenly second goalie. He has had a couple of distracting weeks of course, but he has been a loyal soldier for Oranje, so let’s see how things develop for him at Barca. But Jeroen had a great season last year and played very well vs Austria, so I was always happy to start with him.”

Blind Danny Griek


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  1. Jan,

    we have lost too many games so far and I do not think D. Blind is learning from his mistakes. We have more than enough quality in the team, but unfortunately, D. Blind lacks leadership and he just can not influence his team. It is all very simple in animal World, if the wolf pack does not believe in its leader (alfa wolf), they challenge him and let him leave or just kill him. In football, when players do not believe in coach, they try to solve problem by themselves. That is what is going on in Oranje. Elimination of D. Blind and finding a new coach with good leadership abilities is a key. Too bad that D. Advocaat left. He brought a lot of leadership to the team, and Oranje had very good series of friendlies. With respect to van Basten, his presence did not matter anyway as he has never been focused in and dedicated to Oranje. His main focus has been himself and his career. Now he got what he wanted…

  2. Orange did played well i mean really well,we should have creatd more chances though…its 2 individual mistakes cost us..1 from veltman(Which i think not a mistake its his inabilty to defend aerial balls).
    Bruma mistakes is very rare mistakes,which happens once in a blue moon in top class level football..

  3. I think the criticism on Danny Blind is silly, really. It has nothing to do with him. The squad picked itself. The line up was fairly logical.

    We played ok for a friendly but made some grave mistakes. We have seen Van Dijk make mistakes before, Janmaat, Martins Indi, basically everyone.

    Ajax is not doing well: Riedewald and Tete play weak for weeks.

    Give it a rest. Blind subbed the whole midfield at some stage, but that is because this game doesn’t mean shit.

    Hendrix made his debut, which is great and he didn’t make the right decision. Bruma took his eye of the ball: 1-2.

    Janssen and Sneijder had some good shots on goal, it could have been 3-1 too.

    Don’t get your panty in a knot please.

    And how did Dick Advocaat bring something to the team? How do you know? He wasn’t even officially part of the coaching staff when we beat England!

    Dick is a money grabber. Good riddance.

    1. Dick has demonstrated very well how he can manage crisis situations by coming and fixing problems in AZ (2009) and Feyenoord (last year). His presence in Oranje this year also influenced positively national team. These are all facts. What facts do you have, Jan, by backing Blind up? What has he done so far for Oranje? To my opinion: NOTHING. It has been almost two years since he is a head coach, but he can not even come up with a stable selection: constant re-shuffling of the team and making sure that there is a place for his son are indicators of a coach who lacks assertiveness and does not know what he wants. And I do not get “my pants in a knot”, I am just expressing my opinion which is based on facts. Blind has been baby-sat for a long time and this has to stop.

      The fact that yesterday, Oranje played seemingly well tells about good quality of current selection. However, the fact that we still managed to lose the game tells that Oranje lacks team spirit and motivation. And guess who did bad job in that area: D. BLIND!

      1. @AZ..Guus hidinski had tored apart LVG team..
        So Blind had no idea where to start..he started with same players for last 4 matches and BLInd S@#33ked in big time…Blind was FORCED TO DO ALL THESE RESHUFFLING AN SHUFFLING…Finally we have some bunch of quality players..Beleive me Blind is almost there…

        1. TIJU,

          All I want is my team to be there where they belong to (top echelon). As of now, I see unprecedented decline….Don’t you think that it has taken too long for Blind to be there….I really doubt that he sees where that “THERE” is….Again this just my opinion and if Oranje wins Sweden, I will be only happy for my team and D. Blind.

  4. Ok, here goes: for starters, Blind is not head coach for two years, ok? He took the job when things looked dicey from Hiddink. You might remember this?

    Secondly, any coach would pick Daley Blind. He had a corker of a season for ManU when things didn’t go well there. Lots of criticism as per usual but the likes of Danny Murphy hail him as an unsung hero. Mourinho didn’t think he’d need him, now Daley is vice captain at Man United. If coaches like De Boer, Van Gaal, Koeman, hiddink and Mourinho rate Blind highly, how can you come here and claim that Danny Blind uses him only coz he is his dad???

    Thirdly, Dick Advocaat is known in Holland as a greedy money focused guy. He even admits it himself. He was born poor and is obsessed with his bank account. Known fact. He let Australia, Belgium and Sunderland down as he has no loyalty. And now Oranje too.

    You horribly overestimate his role at Feyenoord. He came to training once. Otherwise he just had coffee with Gio. Feyenoord did really well first season half and then lost 7 games in a row, with the exact same team. Obviously, they would have turned it around at some stage, with or without Dick.

    Dick said he wanted to “give back to Oranje” and “was ready to take it more easy as he was turning 69 years old”. Blind made a real effort to convince the KNVB to sign him. Only 3 months later, he capitulated for “a great opportunity”. In Bloody Turkey!!! Do you really think he has a long time crush on Fenerbahce? Once, Leo Beenhakker left Ajax prematurely coz Real Madrid wanted him. Fair enough. But Fener? Dick doesn’t need to work ever again, he is loaded. And he abandoned Oranje when they needed him most. I despise him!

    Yes people are cash motivated but people like De Boer, Van Gaal have honour. Van Gaal didn’t accept the fuck off fee at Barca and De Boer could have made a move years ago but didn’t. Advocaat leaves a trail of damaged relationships.

    Blind took over from Hiddink when everything was at an all time low. No Persie, no Vaart, no more De Jong, Sneijder not 100% and Robben getting injured at home vs Iceland. The same game BMI got red-carded.

    Should we really blame Danny for this?

    We won a number for friendlies pre- Euros. England at Wembley. Why is that not then also Blind’s doing?

    I personally have a very high opinion of LVG’s football brain. And he rates Blind very high. I know Danny personally and I know he has a wonderful football mind. If players need a Simeone or Conte to be motivated, they should stop playing football. All these stupid antics of Klopp and co, it’s theatre.

    You have to accept the fact we are not that good anymore. We have some exciting youngsters and some ex-world class players. In the middle of all that, we have Strootman. That’s it.

    But if Wales and Iceland can impress at the Euros and if we could impress at the WC with a mediocre team, why wouldn’t we be able to do it again?

    1. In general, I do not like to argue because it is senseless. People can express their opinion and if two opinions do not coincide it does not mean that one opinion (YOURS) is correct and another (MINE) is wrong. You can quote whomever you want that Blind is a brilliant coach and his son is a brilliant player. However, fact is that Oranje under Blind has not achieved what it was supposed to achieve and his son has never made any difference in the team. He might be good at MU, but in the National team he is nothing special. Either he is not positioned correctly or he lacks motivation to play for Oranje.

      With respect to Dick, I do not care whether he is greedy or not, this is his personal business. I respect his coaching abilities and I think he is great coach and yes, he saved Feyenoord last year.

      God, I have never written so many comments in this website :).

      Good luck to Oranje in the coming game with Sweden. Hopefully, our “genius” (aka D. Blind) will finally justify Jan’s immensely huge trust in him.

      1. I agree that it is fine to have opposing views. But facts are facts. You can’t be of the opinion “Blind coached the NT for two years”. That is just factually wrong :-).

        Advocaat saving Feyenoord is factually wrong.

        Advocaat abandoning Oranje for money is factually correct.

        My opinion (not fact): if players need a guru/yoda coach to be motivated to play for the NT, they should all be dropped.

        So, we should stop criticising Blind. He works with what he has. Which is simply not that much.

        You want Oranje to be top echelon, well…we’re not. Van Gaal lost friendlies pre World Cup 2014 and used the WC preparation to gel a new concept together.

        That and luck got us to the 3rd place.

        But having said that: Leicester won the title in the EPL and Wales and Iceland progressed far at the Euros so you don’t need 11 top class players to do well.

  5. Maybe the U21s can lift our heads a little, playing now v Belarus in the U21 Euros, starting lineup:

    van der Hart
    El Ghazi

    Van Overeem

    1. FT 2-2
      El Ghazi scores to tie it up (assist Kishna), but they went down again.. Luckassen tied it up again with 10 mins to go (assist Hateboer).

      Our U21s are now second in their group, 2 points behind Slovakia who play Cypress on Monday and can put themselves 5 pts up.

  6. Some fun facts re Opta Johan:

    10 – The Netherlands have failed to keep a clean sheet in ten of their last 11 international games. Welcoming.

    5 – The Netherlands have lost five consecutive home games for the first time since 1933. Historic.

    4 – Danny Blind has lost as many Netherlands home games as Van Marwijk, Van Gaal (2nd term) & Hiddink (2nd term) combined. Collapse.

    And the key words put together: Welcoming Historic Collapse 😳

      1. I don’t talk bad on Blind!

        I don’t think it’s fair to put all the blame on him, as he did not appoint himself with the job, after all.. and also, once he with his limited experience has finally found some stability (the last few friendlies) the rug is pulled out on him again (Advocaat bailing, van Basten to be moving on, and the idiot BvOo steps down).

          1. If Danny is not confident enough to be the head coach then he should resign. It stupid to say jus because Advocaat decided to take the job at Fenerbache,Blind has had his work cut out. This is what happens when you have amateurs doing the job. Isn’t this what you meant above ” rugs pulled out” this is utter bullshit.

          2. No, not what I said and not what I meant.
            And you won’t explain or back up your previous brilliant comment? classic, communication with you is pointless.
            Just one reason why I usually ignore you and also Tiju, though he is not quite as bad.

          3. Bailing out – dick advocaat as you said.

            Head coach- Danny Blind back to to square 1 after his assistants depature

            It only happens in NT- havent come across a head coach who doesn’t know what to do in the absence of assistant.

            Why- amateur

            Who the daddy now-dick has gone,Marco will leave soon so who will be his next daddy.

  7. This defeat and the many statistics didnt do justice to the team performance. In fact, I felt the team had played well. Many quick one touch passes and exchanges between the players. They were always looking to pass the ball forward to be threatening.
    Just too bad in the end they were undone by the two goals out of nothing..

    I believed the team will get the win against Sweden, barring any surprises (red cards, slip and fall etc.) 😬

  8. I’m going for a draw. holland 1-1 sweden.with both Zaltan and Robben out there isn’t much between the two sides. It is highly likely Marcus Berg and John Guidetti will start two man upfront in attack and in defense will drop to 4-3-3 like Iceland during euro qualification.

    The one upper hand Sweden will have in game is they have come through the euros with standard team that played with Italy and Belgium and ROI and if not for injury they will again use the same lineup – zaltan to maintain that team cohesiveness and flow going. I feel this is where NT has to be carefully.

    Players to watch out for Berg,Guidetti,Durmaz

  9. I am not going to blame the coach whoever that is any longer. The fact is we are not good anymore. We’re just an Ok team which at times will score a good win but mostly will be mediocre. I am prepared that we’re not going to make it to Russia. We will be the level of Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, Serbia for a long time and I don’t see us competing with France, Germany, Spain anytime soon. 2010 and 2014 will probably be my generation’s best memories.

    1. No Balkan,its all about whom you build the team around with.its beyond doubt that eredivisie players will never reach the tempo for international level . This is something the KNVB and the hierarchy simply don’t wanna admit or they wanna admit.I mean who will openly say we are falling apart. They are trying salavage hard because everything is at stake.Blind had 12 out of 24 eredivisie if you look from performance point of view then there should be no Ajax players in the squad and then what about the rest,how do you justify their selection or performances if you compare them with other players playing outside of eredivisie.

      My stances is clear if you perform you should be selected regardless of where you play.if sneijder from galatasaray can be selected then the door should be open to everyone based on performance.

      You look at what happened after sneijder, strootman and wijnaldum got subbed,propper,Klaassen and Hendrix,tempo cruised down and Greece scored.

        1. Klaassen -Fer/Chery

          Propper- vormer/ clasie

          Blind- CBs there is so many but Van Dijk,Hoedt, Blind,Bruma,De Vrij should do it.

          Hendrix- Ake

          Narsingh- kishna

  10. I agree that it is fine to have opposing views. But facts are facts. You can’t be of the opinion “Blind coached the NT for two years”. That is just factually wrong :-).

    Advocaat saving Feyenoord is factually wrong.

    Advocaat abandoning Oranje for money is factually correct.

    My opinion (not fact): if players need a guru/yoda coach to be motivated to play for the NT, they should all be dropped.

    So, we should stop criticising Blind. He works with what he has. Which is simply not that much.

    You want Oranje to be top echelon, well…we’re not. Van Gaal lost friendlies pre World Cup 2014 and used the WC preparation to gel a new concept together.

    That and luck got us to the 3rd place.

    But having said that: Leicester won the title in the EPL and Wales and Iceland progressed far at the Euros so you don’t need 11 top class players to do well.

  11. Don’t start taunting me with being sensitive AZ.

    Keep it civil please.

    I am not buying the “sack Blind” rhetoric, simply coz:

    1. he got thrown in, in a very bad moment. Confidence was low. Key players were missing.

    2. He didn’t do shabby in the pre Euros friendlies

    3. He has to work with the material at hand

    I remember people being negative about Bert and his two holding mids, people being negative about the lack of quality at the WC2010, people being negative about LVG and his antics.

    It seems that whoever you put in front of an NT, people will become haters.

    But oooh, once we start winning games, suddenly they’re heroes…

    1. Jan what will be your stances if the result vs Sweden is not the favour of NT. Jus for the sake of argument. I mean the world cup is at stake here nd I’m sure if we can qualify they can be massive changes in the team given the transfer of dutch players to other leagues and those who will feature in CL and EL.

      Its all about the what you are building and how you are building and Blind should have built the team around players who have high ceiling. You can’t expect players to perform miracle if something is beyond their jus sucks that all this time has been wasted on some players who first of all have limited abilities and secondly their performances is limited to eredivisie only.two years is long time and in these two years he only managed to bring one positive change which is upfront Janssen. I’m sure if not for injuries this wouldn’t have eventuated either.

  12. I think Dick advocate is disciplinarian with money my Ex CEO…
    Even with coffee on table we could share ideas and that would work well…i do belive with his experience Dick clearly reads the mind so players..anyways its a loss for Blind and NT…
    who asked blind to hire MVB as his subordinate then eventually Dick Advocate too..i think Blind made a mistake over there or its just unfortunate..
    Blind has taken too much time to build a team,finally he almost there..So stand with Blind thats what my opinion is.though i dont like rigorous shuffling ans certain scouting.

  13. I have been watching Oranje since World Cup 1990 in Italia. This current generation or group of available players we have in their prime is a significant drop in quality from the past. Either the rest of the world has gotten better or the talent in the coming out of the Netherlands is lacking.

    One of my main observation is that our defense sucks! We don’t have tough as nails personalities who play with focus and discipline. The second problem is that the coaching or football culture in Holland is obsessed or fixated with playing attacking soccer that defensive formations are always sacrificed.
    As one of the best footballing countries to have never won a world cup, goal #1 should be to win it! End of story. Here we are after missing out a major tournament and we are in serious jeopardy of missing out of not qualifying again.
    Defense wins championships! We can’t leak goals and expect and success. If we fix that, the offense will have confidence and we will score goals. I wouldn’t worry about playing beautifully or pleasing crowds at the moment.

    1. Well there is the rub. You are asking for something that simply is not there. Do not forget that the patron saint of Oranje (Cruijff), always maintained he was happier that the ’74 team lost while playing beautifully. This is the overwhelming thinking that pervades Dutch football.
      And I have been watching since that awesome ’74 team, so I agree with your assessment. We are in the first part of a cycle that we saw starting in 1979 and ran through early 1986. The 2014 run was a last gasp before the doldrums, much like the miracle against East Germany got us into Europa 80.
      The biggest question however is who will rejuvenate us? Cruijff is gone. The subsequent golden players (Bergkamo, De Boer, et al) seem uninterested or incapable of pulling Oranje back. We could, realistically, be looking at an even more depressing period like we suffered after the 1938-1972 time frame.
      God forbid it….

  14. With an idiot as coach (there was a reason if van Gaal played with 5 defenders…)and a loser with no grit (his son) on the field, we are bound to lose every game that counts!

    1. @mago. I don’t care what you say about Danny Blind but to say that Daley Blind is a loser with no grit is stupid. Daley Blind is playing as first choice in defense for Mourinho let alone for LvG at Manu, WC etc. and this speaks volumes. He has shown a lot of heart and passion regardless of some shortcomings.

  15. Lots of emotions running rampant again, hahaha. I think it is unfair to call Danny Blind an idiot and Daley Blind a loser. Not sure if you ever played football at a reasonable level, but if you can hold your own in the EPL, with opponents like Costa, Aguero, Giroud and Lukaku, you’re not a loser… Daley is one of the vice captains at ManU at the moment. If you think Daley is a loser, than surely everyone at ManU is too.

    Danny Blind captained the golden Ajax of the mid 1990s to the CL and World Cup for clubs. He is no idiot.

    There was a reason why LVG could play 5-3-2. The reasons were: 1) he had time to gel the team together (3 weeks!!!) and 2) he had a player upfront called Arjen Robben.

    Danny tried 5-3-2 like Hiddink and it didn’t work too well. One has to say: LVG had to switch to 4-3-3 to rescue games at the WC as well.

    I wish people would try harder to educate themselves…

  16. And my response to the question “What will I say when Oranje loses vs Sweden, about Blind”….

    Well, depends on how we lose. If we play well but lose due to lack of luck, a ref mistake, or something like that: no drama.

    I mean: yes, drama :-), but solvable.

    If we lose coz Blind makes apparent mistakes, I’d criticise Blind.

    But what good will replacing Blind do? Who’ll come in? Van Gaal won’t. Koeman won’t. De Boer won’t…

    So we wanna give Ruud Gullit a shot? He hasn’t coached for 10 years and when he did, he didn’t really succeed.

    1. What about a foreign coach.can’t they learn from Belgium and wilmot.though the scenario is bit different but its all about the tacticians and they credibility.

      “If we lose coz Blind makes apparent mistakes, I’d criticise Blind”

      I long did it take him to drop Depay. All those games and time have gone wasted.

      Veltman at RB,this is not eredivisie, for gods sake the world cup is at stake.

      Why so obsessed with 4-3-3 when clearly they don’t have the players to play it.

      Van Dijk one of the best CB in EPL sitting on the bench. If he doesn’t build the team around these players then what you expect to happen.

      Its simply if you cant win what the use of playing well.Blind has wasted valuable time on some players who can’t contribute much at NT level.

  17. Wait guys….Danny blind is far from perfect,that being said others(Hiddink,Gullit,Sanmarc,bert) will do worse than Blind.Blind knows football and he will build a team..i think blind needs a good visionary scout,a leader in field coaching,a psychological analyst(Not to motivate but to teach better personality and how to enjoy the game by playing constantly)…
    who is better defender as LCB
    Daley blind and Virgil van dijk????Personally i cannot differentiate …i rate them almost equally.may be Blind slightly higher…
    Our problems are in RB…but this will be solved when Kevin diks and tete are selected.Lke Promes play in left for Depay..
    As long as we dont play klassen,Clasie,propper,Blind kind of ligher players in holding mid.our midefeild will be ruined..its very simple…
    a Team of
    Will eat Sweden alive
    on bench
    are a tsrong 23 man squad to recah semifinals of a WC..mark my words..

  18. @Balkan: Daley Blind can’t play left back because he is not fast, can’t play in midfield because he can’t fight, can’t play as center back because he lacks grit and concentration. He’s simply useless or even harmful.
    First choice in defense for Mourinho? Lol, Blind was in the list of players to be sold but no one wanted him. Smalling will take his place very soon.

    @Jan: the ONLY reason LVG played 5-3-2 was that he realized that our defenders are weak! LVG has never played 4-3-3 at the WC and Danny-the-idiot never tried 5-3-2. Yeah, in one thing you are right: people would try harder to educate themselves.

    1. 532 is really boring and unproductive,Daley Blind played every single match in WC.he was really good..its true he is well complimented by fast,ferocious,alert Eric baily at MANU.
      Daley Blind doesnt have that in NT thats true.But i dont think he is lesser player…vrigil van dijk is bigger than Daley Blind.thats the only edge he has over Blind..
      Orange lose was not due to Daley blind…It was individual mistake by veltman and Bruma…i am sure danny is respeonsible for playing Veltman indefense as RB..there we have Kevin diks and Janmaat.Especially diks is top notch…Janmaat has experience and he is lion hearted.

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