Dear friends, I am writing this a full 48 hours after the game. The reason, work had me traveling and I wasn’t able – in amongst my meetings – to sit and write a deserving post. I was happy I was able to watch the full game and read your comments here…

So, with that time in between I was able to give it all some good thought, and reflect on the game.

Which I will summarize as: 89 minutes of cagey play by two 5-3-2 playing teams giving nothing away until Robben in the 90st minute has a chance to score, takes one touch too much and gets thwarted. Extra time. Penalties. Bad luck (bad penalties). Loss.

Robben Arg

This post needs to start with a big thumbs up and a big thank you and shout out for the boys! What they have done this tournament, what they have achieved and brought us is sensational. It’s actually on par for me with 1978. It’s a better performance almost than 2010, if you compare it. Breathtaking, really. What a rollercoaster ride.

And therefor, we also need to congratulate the staff and Louis van Gaal in particular.

He has achieved what no one expected him to do. Apart from us, probably :-). I do know that I have been critical on LVG and his antics, but he did really really well. Who knows, we might start to actually like him, 3 years before he retires, hahahahaha.

He wasn’t perfect though, he made some mistakes. Just like Sneijder, Blind, Van Persie and Cillesen weren’t perfect. But man, did I love this team and what they achieved.

robben kuyt

We will celebrate the performance of the team in the days/weeks to come and I am sure the Dutch fans will give the lads a real heroes welcome once they return home. As number 3 or number 4, who cares…

In the words of Louis: “I wish they cancelled this consolation finals. What a bad idea. Who cares about that. You don’t want to lose twice in a row after having played such an amazing tournament. We should be going home now.”

And I agree: Third or Fourth. Who gives a samba? Poor Brazil was humiliated by Germany. What will they do? How will they cope? Will they be on the top of their game? Or foaming at the mouth of aggression and adrenaline? Or will they be stressed out to the max? Will be beat them too? Then what will happen over there? Will Louis allow the veterans their last WC game? Will he rest the top guns to allow them their much deserved break?

cillesen mourns

All these questions.

However, now…. with the game in less than 24 hours, Van Gaal has changed his tune: “I want to write football history for the Dutch. Never ever before did we finish a World Cup campaign without losing a match. In 1974, 78, 98 and 2010 we lost at least one game. This tournament, I want Oranje to be able to say: we went to the World Cup, played 7 big games and didn’t lose on single game in normal open play.”

I will watch the game and I will cheer for Holland but if Brazil beats us 5-0 I wouldn’t care. It’s a stupid thing. I do hope Louis will allow some of the benchwarmers to play. I think it’s time for Vorm, for Veltman, for Kongolo and Clasie for instance.

I will get back to the Argentina game for a bit here, still.

janmaat kopt

Brilliant defending header by Janmaat

I read Willem van Hanegem’s column before the game. And I was hoping to have time to put it here. Because I fully agreed with Willem. He basically said:

“Now we have reached the semis, we have formally reached our objective. We have also shown the world how good we can be. But we have not yet played our beloved Dutch style football, bar some periods in games where we had to. Lets take this game against Argentina and do it. Forget about 5-3-2. If you play that against Argentina who do the same, it’s almost as if you’re asking for penalties. Lets take the game to them. If we get past them, we’ll have a chance against Germany to put some pressure on them too. If we do not win against Argentina, we will at least leave the tournament with a good last hurrah! Dutch lose playing attacking football! Better than hearing “Dutch sneak into finals with negative play” again…. So play Clasie from the start. Make sure we have quick feet and quick passing. Put three forwards on and put pressure on their back five. Because there is nothing that can take the pride I feel for Oranje away anymore. You guys cannot lose anymore.”

Heartfelt message from De Kromme.

But Louis didn’t believe. For the first time in his life, Louis lost his bravado and wanted to squeeze out a win with another 5-3-2 “all balls on Robben” tactics. This is the drama for me, of this Tournament.

wijn arm

When I talked about Vlaar’s penalty yesterday ( a fluke as I have now seen footage from another angle, Vlaar touched the ball), I was in need of some drama. Losing games is ok, as long as there is drama attached to it.

1974 – The Swimming Pool Incident; Holland having 24 opportunities to score, German Dive got them penalty
1978 – Rensenbrink hits the post in dying seconds
1982 – Van Breukelen – Krol – Platini – nuff said
1984 – Spain – Malta 12-1
1986 – Grun scored in the last 5 minutes to launch Belgium to the Mexico WC
1990 – Beenhakker, Michels, Cruyff, Gullit
1992 – Van Basten misses penalty
1994 – Brazilian offside goals, winner scored from free-kick which was supposed to be an Oranje ball
1996 – Davids/Hiddink
1998 – Van Hooijdonk fouled in the box; no penalty but yellow for Pi-Air
2000 – Holland – Italy semi finals, Holland miss 12 penalties
2002 – Louis van Gaal
2004 – Robben substitution Advocaat
2006 – Battle of Nueremburg
2008 – Personal Tragedy Boulahrouz
2010 – Casillas’ toe
2012 – Zero points, Van Persie missing 34 chances to score
2014 – …….

I was hoping it was “Penalty goal Vlaar overseen by ref” but it most likely should be “Van Gaal sticks to defensive tactics too long”.

mesi blind

But of course, always easy to criticise in hindsight. In Dutch we say, “Hindsight is like looking a cow up her arse”… I do not know who made THAT up (not Cruyff!!) and why he / she made it up…. But if there is one thing I wish LVG hadn’t done, it was playing 5-3-2 against the masters of 5-3-2.

Also…. with what I saw of RVP and heard about him having stomach and bowel issues… I think LVG should have left Van Persie on the bench and only use him as a supersub (for instance, to score a penalty).

The signs were ignored. Van Persie’s body gave clear signs of exhaustion. The misses against Costa Rica. The stomach pain… Clearly an immune system response, saying “I am done”.

In hindsight, we should have gone Kuyt – Vlaar – De Vrij – Janmaat. Midfield: Sneijder – De Jong – Wijnaldum. And up front: Depay – Lens – Robben.

With Depay dropping back and Lens as deep striker.

During the game, we could bring Clasie for De Jong, as LVG did.

And bring Huntelaar AND Van Persie when / if the game needed it.

robben ballet

Btw, I just saw that a rumour has been going around saying that Sneijder, Kuyt and Robben asked Van Gaal to use Huntelaar instead of skipper Van Persie as Robin didn’t look too fresh. Van Gaal and Kuyt at the press conference said that was bullshite. Kuyt: “I have played on 5 major tournaments and never ever have seen so much team spirit and cohesion in the squad a snow. And Robin is our captain. There is no foundation to all of this.”

But….. Easy to say for the steering people standing on the shore. Another Dutch expression for you :-).

All of this is not to say, that I am proud, extremely proud of our team.

vlaar messi

If I already can give you a headsup of my upcoming rating for the Squad, I think Vlaar was sensational, I think De Vrij was great, Wijnaldum played a bland first half but ended the game on a high. Clasie had a good turn as a sub, and Janmaat was at his usual high level. Sneijder was not too shabby either, but Robben and Robin, the special ones, were not special enough for us against Argentina…

What actually is a fun statistic: Wesley Sneijder is the player who ran the most kilometers on this World Cup. Of all players. If you would have said this to Louis van Gaal last year, he would have done this:

Robben is short listed for the title Man of the Tournament and if he does well against Brazil and Muller / Messi do not well in the finals, who knows. Memphis Depay is mentioned as the Talent of the Tournament title. Maybe LVG will get coach of the World Cup, who knows…

Anyway, enough musings. We’ll have some Samba time tomorrow.

Lets finish with some fun. This is how the English viewed Holland-Argentia:

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139 responses to “Holland cheers and Holland mourns…. Oranje out!”

  1. JB says:

    Thanks for the great post Jan. I would have agreed with van Hanegem’s approach as well.

    In fact, my hope now is that Brazil and Holland bith take an NBA all-star game approach to the third place game (all offense, no defense), and we end up with something like a 7-7 tie.

  2. Balkan says:

    Thanks Jan. Was looking forward to your post game analysis. Lvg screwed up big time by playing a sick Rvp. We all know how exhausting gastrointestinal problems can be. It is clear why Rvp at moments seemed like he could faint. I always thought Lvg was a brave psycho but he showed his human side by playing fearfully. A pity as we were so close to getting there. It wasn’t meant to be.
    Respect to all the players who left it all in the field. I would love a win against Brazil. I remember I was so disappointed when we lost to Croatia in 98. Hopefully Brazil won’t take their fury on us. Here’s hoping for a 4-3 win.

  3. AZ-forever says:

    Here is what star say:

    in 1974, the Netherlands won Brazil 2:0. That day Moon was on Capricorn, and it was Full Moon. Guess what, tomorrow, Moon will be in Capricorn too, tomorrow we will have Full Moon too. Dutch played three times when Moon was in Capricorn and never lost. Apart from the above-mentioned game with Brazil, they tied with Soviet Union in 1992 and won Spain 5:1 a couple of weeks ago.We started with Capricorn and will end with that sign this tournament, and hopefully with victory.

    When we lost to Argentina on Wednesday, Moon was on Sagittarius.In 1998 when we lost Brazil on penalty shoot out too, Moon also was on Sagittarius…

    • Laurent says:

      Wtf has astrology to do with cilessen not being able to catch a penalty

      We are not so far from tiju and religion

      You guys dont wanna talk about van gaal mistakes but you go on metaphysic explainations…

      • goldstone says:

        Laurent
        June 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm

        “I swear I’ll stop writing if Holland go to quarter, copy this text and save it on your computer.”

        • Laurent says:

          Why you just dont forgive me and talk about something else goldstone ?

          You forgave van gaal after 2002 no ? You will trust hiddink again despite 98 but you keep hating a young french guy interested in dutch football, shame on you

          • goldstone says:

            Laurent
            June 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm

            “I swear I’ll stop writing if Holland go to quarter, copy this text and save it on your computer.”

          • Jan says:

            I think people here would like you to write a comment here, in which you admit you were wrong. Instead of desperately trying to find things to say to support your vision.

            Simply say: “Guys, I was wrong. I was too negative about this team. I apologise and hope you will forgive me and allow me back in.”

            I am sure everyone will be happy to say “sure”.

          • Harold says:

            Yes Laurent , do apologize. You had to wait for Holland to lose in penalties before trying to vindicate your negative comments

  4. wilson says:

    Karim Rekik has np intention of coming back to PSV form another loan spell. He wants to fight for the starting line up in pellegreni squad. He is current with the first team in scotland undergoing pre season training.

  5. wilson says:

    Hiddink will officially start his campagin with a friendly vs Italy on Sept 4 and follwed by the first Euro 2016 qualification vs the Czech in Prague after 9 days

  6. AZ-forever says:

    sorry I meant Czech

  7. wilson says:

    With Chelsea planing to hijack Arsenal bid for khedria and also Adrien Rabiot of PSG…things are not looking good for Van Ginkle. The part thats sucks is that chelsea will never loan him out to team in CL or top clubs in EL or if it does happens then he wont be able to play if chelsea are playing with the persuit club. It is unforunate that he could take part in the Wc coz these could have exposed his talents to the whole soccer firtinity. If you at look Progba, Grizeman, Depay, Rodriguez, Origi all have attracted intrests from big clubs after their performances at the wc. Van ginkle will again have to fight for a spot in chelsea squad same as last year.

  8. wilson says:

    I will give Mascherano the man of the match in the semi Final if you dont consider Pks. Was absoloutely determental in defense all over park jus like what De Jong usually does on a given day. His crucial tackle on Robben was a showclass of his abilities and it remained me of David tackle on Ronaldo in 98 WC after which the ball narrowly missed the side post by inches.

    • richarde says:

      Robben was fantastic in this tourney–but I contend that he waited too long on that play. He split two defenders, as I recall–and should have immediately whelped the ball toward goal. Instead he took another dribble or two which gave Mascherano just the extra two seconds he needed to get there. I might be wrong, but it looked like his best chance was to kick it right away and he didn’t. Oh, well–the guy played his guts out.

      RE RVP: We don’t really know how he felt in the game. In hindsight, yes, it would have been better to hold him out–but he’s the captain and he also might score in regulation. It would have been nice to get Depay in this game, agreed. By keeping Wijnaldum in the lineup we did not have enough in attack: how do you beat a good team playing conservatively when you have two defensively midfielders plus Sneijder who was game throughout the tourney–hats off–but is not exactly a terror going forward. We needed other guys to take defensive pressure off RVP and Robben and we didn’t have anybody–not kuyt, not BMI, not janmatt (though he played reasonably well and much better than BMI), not de jong and not wijnaldum, who often slowed or stopped any attacking momentum. Hey, we were close, played very well, coached very well. It’s tough because argentina was no better.

  9. vikram says:

    I have to disagree with Jan in his ranking of the 2014 side’s performance with that of the 2010 squad. I know the 2014 side exceeded expectations (mine too) but was extremely dependent on one player (Robben) for all attacks. The 2010 team was more balanced and almost won the World Cup. No 0-0 ties for that team either, no ties in fact, won all games through the final.

    The common issue in both these squads was they both had to sacrifice the offensive capabilities to offset the defensive deficiencies.

    • Jan says:

      My point was more that the 2010 squad was ready for it on all positions with Gio, Van Bommel, Van der Vaart…we had quite a solid team.

      This team consists of older players (some with question marks behind their names, like Kuyt and Sneijder) while the young ones were not that stable (De Vrij, Martins Indi).

      This 2014 for me has done better than the 2010 in comparison.

  10. Yoyogi says:

    Any updates? possible starting lineups? formations?

  11. Jan says:

    Not yet, Van Gaal is unusual late because he wants to play mentally fit lads and is waiting till the last moment with his decisions.

  12. mago says:

    I think Laurent is right when he writes “Sometimes I understand why Holland never win anything, maybe it’s just in the genes of dutch people to be losers”. This post is the proof. Everybody looks happy to have lost in that shitty way. Van Gaal remains the master of tactician despite his several mistakes, despite he cost us the final. It’s question of mentality: who is used to lose will continue to lose.

    • Mohamed says:

      Perhaps this is the reason for not winning the previous tournaments , like WC 98 and EC 2000.
      Thanks to BvM , I think something did change. Dutch mentality is looking close to the German , and I am pretty happy with this.
      I think this team believed they can win the tournament , but they simply couldn’t ” LvG mistakes against Argentina , injuries , out of form RvP and Sneijder , lack of overall quality and top class players in midfeild , lack of experience , bad goalkeeping in PKs” .. Etc.
      98 players didn’t believe they can even reach the semis. I hope Hiddink himself learns from his own mistakes. His task is to win the EC. Anything else will be a big failure.

      • Louis says:

        I think it is pretty clear that you have to be at the top of your game with all factors being right to wind the world cup.

        I think van Persie still doen’t play well with Robben and Sneijder. Since we were also missing an experienced midfield (de Jong, Strootman) it is pretty clear that some factors weren’t in our favour. So it was only an outside chance to progress this far anyway…

        • richarde says:

          Van Persie, like most strikers, excels in games that are more open, when he has some space to operate and has wingers who can get him the ball. I don’t blame him for not doing well in the argentine game–he had no space, it was a totally defensive game and the Dutch wingers/overlapping fullbacks were not at all a threat with the ball and so never drew opponents away from RVP and Robben. Same with the midfield. This is why Holland had, what, one shot on goal? Offensive issues were really apparent in this game.

          While it won’t be easy for Germany, I think they will have more success in attack against argentina because that team has five guys or so that demand attention and they combine better in tight space than Holland. We’ll see. I certainly will be pulling for Germany.

    • YOALB says:

      I’m afraid this is right as well. Although the way he says it is unnecessarily harsh, I think the message is on the right track. You can’t be complacent. You can’t be ok with a loss. All i see is how proud everybody is of this team. Nobody is mad about the fact that this cup was for the taking, because nobody is overly impressive, and we didn’t take it! I don’t care if the expectations weren’t initially there, they should have been there once we got out of the group.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of this team too, but that doesn’t mean that I’m ok with the loss. No matter how much they surpassed expectations, the prevalent talk should be about missed opportunities and about what we can improve in order to win championships for the next decade.

      • Laurent says:

        Maybe I shouldn’t use “dutch genes” but more “dutch mentality” though. Cause I read many negatives comments on dutch forums, coming from dutch people.

        But in general, for being someone who is following dutch football also out of the field, I noticed that the football analysis there never go as far as in France. In France most of football analysers have big mouths, after the loss against Germany they kept talking three days about he mistakes. In Holland except Johan Derksen, I don’t see any big mouth.

        It’s like people watch the game, talk about it 1h with making jokes, and go to take their beer and party.

        They just don’t have the french critical sense, maybe they are scared to do it, maybe they just don’t see the negatives things.

        They just use football as something popular and nice to talk about, but they won’t push it too far.

        When Domenech was saying strange things in front of cameras, all the journalists were saying that he should immediatly leave the federation etc. though it was a coach who brought France to a WC finale. Don’t forget France is the country of rationnality (Descartes).

        When Van Gaal says that Vilhena or Promes can be the dutch LB and go with an unexperienced keeper while he has two good ones on the bench, dutch people find it normal. Though it was a coach who failed to qualify Holland for a world cup. After all, everything is normal in Holland, even de “partij voor Naastenliefde, Vrijheid en Diversiteit”.

        That’s why I say that the dutch NT needs a foreigner coach, who is extern to the dutch mentality and to the irrationnal ideas, and who will bring a simple system in order to finally win a world cup in 2018.

        And of course to those who will say that France is sucking, which is actually true, I would remind that France won a WC and a EC during its golden period. While Holland had 4 golden periods but only won an EC. Dutch had more talented players than french, I’m the first one to say it, and many people in France can agree with that, that’s why they call dutch eternal losers, for having such talented players and always failing.

        • JB says:

          When Holland play the World Cup final on their home soil with the best player in their nation’s history on the field for them and still lose, then maybe I will listen to a Frenchman lecture me on a losing mentality. Until then, I don’t think the French are in any position to speak about mentality. All of the conditions were perfectly in place for your victory in 98.

          Our team this year was not a World Cup winning team, did not have World Cup winning talent and did not play with a World Cup winning style. Had we actually won it this year, it would be akin to Denmark or Greece winning the European championship. A tremendous achievement for the players involved, and something to be happy about, but nothing compared to the impact our football has had on the world

          • richarde says:

            There have been PLENTY of WC-winning teams that didn’t play beautiful football, including Italy more than once, I believe. This is not the most positive Dutch team, for sure, but it is a surprisingly good team. There are some definite offensive weaknesses–I don’t quite get Wijnaldum–but I would have like to have seen a rested Netherlands take on Germany–with Strootman!

            Also, some day it would nice to hear an explanation for the inexpicable decision to have Vlaar take the first penalty.

          • Laurent says:

            “When Holland play the World Cup final on their home soil with the best player in their nation’s history on the field for them and still lose, then maybe I will listen to a Frenchman lecture me on a losing mentality. Until then, I don’t think the French are in any position to speak about mentality. All of the conditions were perfectly in place for your victory in 98.”

            Remind me where France won the Euro 2000, and where was the semi final were Holland showed its 100 % potential loser with missing about 5 PK in the same game, losing to Italy…

          • JB says:

            France won the Euros? Oh that’s right! I must have forgotten. Oh wait, Holland won the Euros too. Must be that loser mentality again…

            I thought we were talking about the World Cup here. You’ve won one of those on your home soil with your best player of all time playing.

            We lost in the final to Germany on their home soil with our best player of all time playing.

            Then we did the same thing against Argentina but without him.

            Then we lost to Spain with the style our best player taught them.

            I think we’ve contributed a great deal to the development of the sport worldwide. What has France contributed, FIFA? Hmm…

            Why are you here? Are you a Dutch fan? A French fan? Someone who likes to criticize other people’s teams?

            Enjoy watching the medal ceremony for a team you’re “interested in” but don’t support!

  13. onzie says:

    no basis in fact just an un-educated guess for the lineup
    ———–kuyt————robben–
    ——————-depay———–
    ————clasie——de guzman—
    kongolo———————-verhaegh
    —-bmi——vlaar—-de vrij——-
    ————————————
    ————-cillessen————–

  14. Mohamed says:

    Winning the game tonight , with both Robben and Depay scoring will be nice.
    Finishing the WC without a loss , in the third place for the first time , with hopefully Robben as the best player and Depay as the best young player.
    This may not be much , but it will make me happy by the end of this tournament.

    Btw guys , do you prefer Germany or Argentina to win the title ?

    • Guillaume vB says:

      Without hesitation: for Germany. Argentina was mcuh too conservative, almost got kicked out by Switzerland. Does not deserve to be champions.

    • Louis says:

      I also without a doubt would prefer Germany winning. Although it will then take longer for us to catch up with the number of WC titles … 🙂

      Argentina is not a deserving finalist. They almost went to the penalty lottery against the mighty Swiss (even though I’m Swiss, but almost drawing with the likes of Higuain, Messi & di Maria ?!). Against Belgium it was a solitary fluke goal and against Holland they only because of combination lack of energy (2 times extra time) and nerves in the shootout.

      Furthermore I do not think that Messi’s play at this World cup where you have seen him once every game deserves a World Cup! You do not deserve a world cup just because you bang in a lot of goals against Elche or Rayo Vallecano…

      So I hope Germany wins, even though they are our “footballing” arch enemy….

    • Mohamed says:

      Well , I read that Robben called his Bayern team mates after the semi-final game , and asked them to win the final at any cost.
      So , if a German win will make Arjen happier I will hope for a German win 😛 .

      Also I Want Robben to be named the best player of the tournament , and it will definitely go to Messi if he wins the WC.

  15. Balkan says:

    I hope our guys come out today and display same determination to win the game. I need to see a win with goals after 240 minutes of not being able to find the net. It seems so long since Hunter buried that pk. If we win we end up undefeated and are 3rd best team in the world and also make Brazil more miserable. If we lose then our tournament loses its shine. If we lose without scoring we probably set a negative record for scoreless games in a row in a WC.
    Many secondary things at stake 🙂

  16. Balkan says:

    I will be strongly supporting for Germany.

  17. Miguel Rosado says:

    I see the names from this Dutch generation and really feel confident. We have great keepers, defenders and midfielders although we still have to find a decent replacement for RVP and Huntelaar, we do have wingers with Depay, Boetius.

    How is Holland’s schedule for the next games? I heard Holland will face Mexico again in a friendly game.

    • Alistair says:

      Wouldn’t worry about attack … lots of promising youngsters. Wingers can be transformed into strikers as well (RVP started as a winger). Also, we can afford to wait for the young stars to develop, as I am sure Robben and RVP will still be leading our attack in EURO 2016.

      For me I see it more of a priority to develop a couple of great offensive midfielders, to replace Sneijder. We have some options but they obviously have to develop a lot: Van Ginkel, Clasie, Maher, Ziyech, Klaasen, Afellay???.

  18. Balkan says:

    I am getting a bit emotional today. Last day of this wc for me , last anthem day. Very sad that we couldn’t reach the final. So close and yet so far. I am already feeling the emptiness. Hopefully we’ll get a 3rd place consolation win.

  19. onzie says:

    only one change nigel de jong out for jordy clasie

    ——–rvp—————–robben——
    ——————–sneijder————
    ———-clasie———wijnaldum——-
    —————————————-
    Blind——————————–kuyt
    ——bmi——–vlaar——–de vrij—–
    —————————————–
    —————cillessen—————–

  20. vanvader says:

    Slightly disappointed with the lineup wanted to see Depay,Veltman and Kongolo start

  21. YOALB says:

    I am not really worried about replacing rvp right now either. We always have attackers. We need to develop defense and midfield, a complete midfield.

    I am confident that rvp and robben will play the euro with no problem, and I think they can be there off the bench for the next wc. They are supreme talents and they can offer a lot of advice and teach the young guys about the mental part of the game.

    • Mohamed says:

      Yeah I think the same as you about our old awesome duo .
      I think both Robben and Persie can play a similar role to Klose with Germany this World Cup.

      Play few minutes each games till the 2nd round , then come fresh as starters at the quarter-finals to play the most important three games.
      I may add Nigel and Vlaar who has been awesome this tournament.
      Persie will be 34 “almost 35”
      Robben 34
      Wesley 34
      Nigel 33
      Vlaar 33

      So why not ? Klose is 36 years old.

  22. Sam says:

    Some transfer news:

    Mangala is going to Man U. Looks like Rekik will have to be loaned out again this season.

    Southampton signs Graziano Pelle.

    Luuk de Jong joins PSV on a 5-year contract.

  23. JB says:

    Honestly, after all the intensity and stress both the Dutch and Brazilian teams have faced over the last few days, I was actually hoping that both teams would approach this as more of a fun exhibition of skills and attacking play and just make it more of a friendly type of environment.

    I don’t think either team really cares about third place but I would love to see some traditional Dutch and Brazilian flair and brilliance rather than a staid 1-0 match.

  24. JB says:

    Sneijder injured in warm-ups and now de Guzman starting!

  25. Balkan says:

    Is it true Sneijder got hurt by Bmi?
    Diminished chance for a 3 place. How does de Guzman replace Sneijder?

  26. Louis says:

    Why is van Gaal not starting Huntelaar? That would have given Klaas-Jan some of the respect and appreciation he so deserves after keeping quiet all tournament long.

  27. vanvader says:

    “The dutch have had 3 standout performers one of them is Blind he has performed well no matter what position he has played”

    -Stewart Robson

    Take that Blind haters 🙂

  28. JB says:

    YES!

    Cue the Brazilian Robben pinatas…

  29. JB says:

    RVP seems to play much better in blue!

  30. JB says:

    BLIND!

    We would be twice as dangerous going forward if either RVP or Robben were willing to go right!

  31. Yoyogi says:

    Wow
    Daley Blind! Showed great poise, control and impeccable finishing!

  32. JB says:

    Vlaar again! Must be on the final WC XI!

  33. JB says:

    BMI’s initials should be changed to WFK – “Walking free kick”

    He just cannot stay far enough away from opponents to avoid fouling them.

  34. HedonistiX says:

    Would like to see more of Janmaat since Kuyt already got his 103rd cap.

    • Mohamed says:

      Man , this the last game for Kuyt in Oranje Jersey.
      I don’t want the game to end.

      • HedonistiX says:

        I think Kuyt’s head was bleeding from the elbow and he went back …. this guy is so awesome. But it’s time for him to leave on high note (could be higher if we had won) and pave the way to younger players.

        Clasie looking pretty good, I started lots of “what-ifs” now.

  35. HedonistiX says:

    I thought I could not care less of this match but when the Oranje are at the pitch, I just have to watch and root for them!

    I almost pity Brazil now, their body language looks so deflated but they have only themselves to blame since everybody looks like they want to score. We still have 8-9 people defending even in a meaningless match like this. Thiago Silva was lucky he did not get a red card and the ref was being a d*ck by giving one to Robben.

  36. JB says:

    Here’s some total football — Vlaar at left wing!

    And that cross is why he plays center back…

  37. richarde says:

    Vlaar goes forward better than Wijnaldum.

  38. Balkan says:

    This Brazilian audience totally deserves the humiliation. How can they jeer when Kuyt has a bloody head?

  39. goldstone says:

    Was that 3 staples or 4?

    Dirk Kuyt always earns his Heineken. 😉

  40. JB says:

    How come whenever a foul is called on us its “cynical”?

    Brazil is fouling just as much, and the announcers completely disregard…

  41. Guillaume vB says:

    Why, oh why did we not play like this?

  42. Alistair says:

    One cannot reach conclusions from a game that does not count anything. All i want is that we win and at least get 3rd place. The lads deserve it.

    And i cannot help not biting my nails even for an insignificant match. Cant help it 🙂

  43. vanvader says:

    Its a 3rd place game both teams are playing very open. Plus Brazil has no discipline.

  44. HedonistiX says:

    I am not a fan of BMI, as some of you have pointed out (walking free kicks/penalties), he doesn’t do smart challenges. de Frij will be guarding our backline for a long time!

  45. JB says:

    Is it just me, or am I now completely comfortable with Vlaar, de Vrij and Cillessen at the back?

  46. JB says:

    Also, could the announcers seriously be any more anti-Dutch?

    Does having an English accent somehow qualify you as a football expert?

  47. Gio says:

    Holland’s defensive unit is one or the best of the tournament. Say what you say guys, but as a unit they have looked solid and I have to point out to vlaar and de vrij for having a fantastic tournament. De vrij deserves his tranfer…
    I like to say that the offense also had a good tournament but with some reservations.
    The worst was that midfield never convinced me, strootman definetly needs to come back

  48. JB says:

    WIJNALDUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. JB says:

    VORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. richarde says:

    Outside of corners, I think that’s the first time I’ve seen Wijnaldum get down close to goal in the tournament. And he’s moved the ball forward–a bit. If only he’d played a bit more offensively in previous games.

    • Laurent says:

      I agree, he showed good dribbles, good penetration, and scored. Though I still think this guy truly lacks brain when it comes to the last pass, how many time he gave it to VP while he was offside, gave it too late to Robben etc. he plays wrong most of the time.

      I think Afellay could have provided a better work than Wijnaldum, Afellay has the same speed and penetration, but better dribbles, better pass quality, and also a better long shot . Wijnaldum is stronger than Afellay when it comes to defending though.

      • Sam says:

        Afellay would have been all over this slow defense.

      • Jeff says:

        Laurent, I leave the blog for a day, watched OUR team win convincingly 3-0 so I get back to the blog and what do I see? You and your negative comments again and again. What is it going to take for you to either leave or apologize?
        Oh and please remind all of us about your credentials, you know, your coaching successes. Please do I would love to go over them. Anything at all? Really anything? You know we would be happy a brief resume so we can review your performance and decide whether we should TERMINATE you…

  51. JB says:

    Great, great ending!

    All 23 players used — Victory over Brazil!

    HUP HOLLAND HUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Balkan says:

    It is over. A joy to watch. Congrats to all. Max respect to players and coaching stuff. I am very proud

  53. Ramy says:

    Where’s Laurent when you want him ?? :P:P

    Great tournament.. It’s such a shame we missed out on the final!
    But they definitely over-achieved.

    There was definitely some mistakes by LVG, especially in the last game but the positives extremely outweigh the negatives.. And all in all, his work has been fantastic!

  54. Yoyogi says:

    Ahhh so sad! Another what if tournament. This should have been the championship game.

    I was so proud of our defensive maturity.

    But at least we ended on a positive note. Great foundation for Euro 2016. Hopefully, RVP and Robben will hang around until then.

    Hup Holland Hup!

  55. AZ-forever says:

    Congratulations everybody!

    Wonderful ending of the wonderful tournament!!!!!

  56. OhYeah says:

    Holland beat three very good South-American teams: Chile, Mexico and Brazil and totally annihilated the world champions: Spain.

    With this absolutely fantastic experience for our young players and Hiddink taking over the team, one can hope that maybe in 2 years we will see the Dutch lift another trophy…

  57. Laurent says:

    Before to think about Euro2016, don’t forget Euro2015 for the U21.

    Holland is not qualified yet, but they should do it and should go for the title, the team seems to be less good than 2013, but still interesting enough.

    If I’m not mistaken, the limit is to be born after 1992.

    Keepers : Warner Hahn

    Defenders : Brenet, Van Beek, Rekik, De Vrij, Kongolo, Veltman, Martins Indi, Willems, Hendrix…

    Midfielders : Ebecilio, Ake, Ayoub, Van Ginkel, Ziyech, Vilhena, Maher, Chris David…

    Forwards : Depay, Boetius, Ola John, Promes, Kishna, Castaignos, Locadia, Zivkovic…

    And I probably forget some. Let’s just to hope that Van der Hoorn won’t make the final selection.

  58. Alistair says:

    Great ending for an amazing tournament. Still disappointed because this was a big chance for us to win it.

    But It was a wonderful ride with all of you guys on this blog. Really enjoyed it. Thanks Jan and keep it up.

  59. HedonistiX says:

    Interesting tournament result for us, also seeing the progress/changes since the first match vs Spain to the last match. I thought our defense started really shaky but they were excellent in the last 2 matches (against deflated Brazil or not). Vlaar and deFrij are really solid. The offense deteriorated from the goal-scoring standpoint. Obviously things could have been totally different had we beat Costa Rica in regulation instead of shoot-out.

    I do not like BMI in defense, and deGuzman and Wijnaldum in midfield. I think deGuzman and Wijnaldum lack offensive skills and creativity, which would be fine if they hold well like de Jong, but they don’t either. When de Jong is 100% and we get Strootman back, we’ll probably need the Depay, Narsingh or Afellay-type of players with speed and skills.

    I’m mixed on Blind, he’s made quite a few bad plays and some great ones. Couldn’t judge Janmaat or Clasie with the rather sporadic playing time. I have high hopes on Depay. I thought LvG should have used him consistently as a 2nd half specialist. Also think RVP underperformed what we expect from him, especially after the first superman goal.

    Three cheers to Kuyt! It’s amazing what this guy has done this year. deGuzman or Wijnaldum probably should model their style of plays to Kuyt’s. When you’re technically less-gifted, you can compensate that with football IQ and heart. It is also probably not a bad time for Sneijder to sail off. Started badly, scored genius goal and penalty kick vs Mexico, played great with no luck against Costa Rica only to fizzle out vs Argentina.

    Where Vlaar/deFrij are on the defensive end, Robben is definitely our best player in the offense. Even the third goal in today’s match was from his quick touch to Janmaat before the cross to Wijnaldum. I still believe Robben is among the best player in the world. Without the long stretch defense by Mascherano, he could have redeemed his miss against Casillas 4 years ago. I do hope Robben could win a trophy with the Oranje, he is just too good a player NOT to do so. He should be our captain for 2016. Even my wife is so impressed by his performance this year, she told me if we have a boy, we’ll name him “Arjen”, to which I immediately agreed to (I did not agree to have another baby, though).

    It’s been a roller coaster ride the last 3-4 weeks, what started with a dimmed view turned to very high expectations after the group match and Mexico result. Again, I think the result vs Argentina would have been different had we not have to go through the shootout vs Costa Rica. But it was not an unfair result in the loss vs Argentina. I definitely feel much better with the 3rd place result compared to 2010 runner up.

    Look forward to Hiddink’s era, hope he’ll bring back the Oranje of 1998 with him.

    I have sent the Heineken fund to Jan, hopefully he’ll continue to maintain this blog. I don’t usually visit/post other than EURO/World Cup summer but will drop by to read updates from you all.

    Hup Holland Hup!

    • richarde says:

      I agree: I think had Holland won the Costa Rican game in regulation, as it obviously should have, the result against argentina might have been different. The team may have been physically and emotionally spent after the OT in the semifinal, which is the only way to explain the first-kick penalty debacle.

      I saw too much of Wijnaldum in this tournament and not enough of Clasie or Depay. Would have liked to see more of Lens to get a sense of the guy. He only played in the Chile game and was always falling down.

      The midfield will get better–but at the same time RVP and Robben are getting older! Oh, my. The defense was rock solid in this tournament–cohesive, mentally strong, well organized, hard-working. Vlaar was a revelation–he and Robben were easily the two best Dutch players. Blind works hard, understands the game, seems to have good technical skills. On the whole I thought he was good in this tournament–and loved his cool finish today! His weakness is that he simply isn’t a great athlete or very fast–but he will continue to be a key part of the national squad, I’m sure. I don’t like BMI either–not at all! His challenges are off–he seems to have this weird need to clip people all the time–the guy was bad against argentina and then he comes out today and clips Sneijder in warmups!

      I’m still pissed, however, as I feel Holland should be in the final. But I could also foresee more heartache against germany, so who knows. Fun tourney–a lot of good teams and good games, though they knockout games tend to be too conservative–except when Brazil is playing!

  60. Alistair says:

    I thought Depay was a little bit pissed off … He wanted to play to increase his chances of winning Young Player of the tournament. Maybe he should have been given 20 mins.

  61. vanvader says:

    Amazing the team only gave up one goal in the last 5 matches. Vlaar and De Vrij were rock solid. Remember when De Vrij was not a favorite on this blog. But he proved a lot of people wrong. Hope Louis takes him to Utd. The defense has a bright future with Kongolo,Rekik and Veltman.

  62. YOALB says:

    I thought De Vrij was quite awesome and confident today. I hope he aims higher than Lazio.

    Vlaar was outstanding again. It’s too bad he’s 29. Hopefully he keeps it up until euro 16.

    I really think LvG did not play Memphis because he wants to bring him to Man U and didn’t want his value to rise.

  63. OhYeah says:

    By the way, is Netherlands the team with the largest number of members who have scored a goal?

    Van Persie
    Robben
    Huntelaar
    Depay
    Sneijder
    Fer
    Wijnaldum
    Blind
    De Vrij

    I count nine and I can’t think of any other team with more than that.

    • JB says:

      You’re right (although Germany has one more game to go)!

      Holland 15 goals 9 scorers
      Germany 17 goals 8 scorers
      France 10 goals 7 scorers (including 1 own goal)
      Colombia 12 goals 6 scorers
      Brazil 11 goals 6 scorers
      Belgium 6 goals 6 scorers
      Argentina 8 goals 5 scorers
      Algeria 7 goals 5 scorers
      Switzerland 7 goals 5 scorers
      Chile 6 goals 5 scorers
      Mexico 5 goals 5 scorers

  64. vikram says:

    I must say that I feel happier at the end of the 2014 World Cup than I was at the end of the 2010 World Cup.

    That’s the difference I guess about finishing with a WIN.

  65. Mohamed says:

    Wijnaldum was awesome today. He played with a lesser pressure on him and with more offenive duties due to presence if de guzman and clasie with him.
    I liked him a lot. I hope he can grow into the midfeilder who has it all like Modric or Rakitic. Can defend , attack , Dribble , score and give a lovely through pass.
    Was very happy with his goal in the end.

    • JB says:

      I thought Wijnaldum was better as well.

      He’s young and I think he was just nervous in his earlier appearances. His first touch was a little uneven, but he seemed to make decent decisions.

      Also, I really think his role was limited to a primarily defensive one, as was Sneijder’s, de Guzman’s and de Jong’s.

      We did not use the midfielders to attack in this World Cup. They were mainly man-marking the other team’s midfielders, which limited their playmaking ability.

      I don’t know what role Wijnaldum will ultimately be best suited for, but I think the experience of this tournament will certainly give him great confidence.

  66. Gio says:

    Not to spoil holland’s good ending to the tournament. but looking back, I think Van Gaal respected argentina too much.
    VP should have started from the bench, I know de jong’s start was more pychological (to scare messi a bit) but boy o boy how I wished for more fit bodies…
    VP’s presence was close to nothing, de jong’s role could have been played by another fit player…
    Argentina’s defense closed any type of holes so it wouldn’t matter who had played up front and remember that we did the same thing so I think de jong’s role would have been cut off..
    Well, it doesn’t matter now……

  67. AZ-forever says:

    Jan, could you please update the predictors’ table.

    Thanks.

  68. jkw says:

    I think the world cup would be more exciting and produce the real best team if last four team play each other like in a group of four, the biggest points win,
    (Also may suit fifa commercial point of view, 6 matches instead of 4), then netherland may have bigger chance to win one world cup than cup specialist like germany or italy.

  69. Laurent says:

    So to sum up this world cup, Holland did much better than most of people expected. The team is taking reputation after that Euro 2012 fail, now people will consider Holland again in the top 5 of national teams.

    The first goal was initially to reach the second tour, knowing that Holland had to face Spain, Chile, and probably Brazil after. So the first goal was more than achieved.

    But after, considering the fact Holland had 9 points the first round, the “luck” to have Mexico and Costa Rica and a possible place in semi finals, the goal was the final title. And Holland failed for that.

    We can compare the situation to 2008, Holland was announced as underdog against France and Italy, passing the first round was the initial goal, but after finishing the group with 9 points, Holland was announced as a serious contender for the title. But failed. For the opposite reason :

    Holland underrated Russia in 2008, but overrated Argentina in this world cup.

  70. hien says:

    The win today did not ease my pain of the SF loss. I only saw the first goal and watched recorded program later (without knowing the final score). We play well but are lucky.
    1. Robben was fouled outside the box and penalty was given.
    2. De Guzman was offside by his right foot on the 1st goal.
    3. Brazil still plays like amateurs. They needs more time to rebuild their confidence/defense. They simpy forget to defense. For example, David Luiz simply gave Blind a gift.

    I’m proud of this team, but still very disappointed and angry about what LVG could have done different to win the SF. He was so good from beginning to QF (although he should have given Clasie more time in QF and then he could start SF) but failed in the SF. 3 Final losses, 2 SF losses. England and Spain and France only manage to get to the Final one and get it done (two are at home). England has 1 SF loss while France has 2 SF losses. We simply cannot compare ourselves with the big 4 (Brazil, Italy, Germany and Argentina).
    Germany has not won anything since 1996. After 2000 humiliation of not making out of the Euro group, they revamp their development as well as trying to keep players staying in their league. For Holland clubs, we finally see some positive out of the big 3 Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV with respect to having good young players and keeping them. However, this WC little success may change this. We may see these young players are transferred to other leagues, perhaps bigger clubs. It may be a blessing (Strootman case), catastrophe (Afellay) or unknown (Van Ginkel)…who knows.
    I did not like LVG’s post SF comments. Why did he have to say about 2 players did not want to take the 1st penalty? Is he trying to explain why Vlaar taking 1st PK or is he trying to shift the blame? He could have left Van Persie up front even though RVP was exhausted. Argentina defended in late 2nd half and most of extra time. Save the last sub for Krul. He could start Clasie instead of Nigel. I feel that he is afraid to take the risk. Perhaps it is the mentality thing. I still feel the 2010 team wanting to win more than this team. The 2010 said it clear that they wanted to win ugly. I guess some of my friends and colleagues will continue to make fun of Holland until we win the big one. I hope Hiddink can win the Euro for us. I think it is time for us to say good bye to Sneijder, VDV, Vorm, Verhaegh. I think we may have to hang on with Krul, Vlaar, Nigel De Jong, RVP, Robben, Huntelaar and even Kuyt (as LB) for Euro. I think it is time to develop Clasie, Van Ginkel to form the midfield with Strootman. Janmaat can become better but we need better backup and we need a better LB. It is also time give Depay more playing time. At the CB we have Vlaar, De Vrij, Veltman, BMI, Kongolo and perhaps Van Dijk. At least we can look forward to Euro 2016 with optimism.

  71. JB says:

    I think some of you are missing the plot a little here.

    This is the weakest Netherlands team to play in a major tournament in recent memory. RVP, Robben and Sneijder have never been surrounded by less talent than in 2014.

    LVG is probably the ultimate adherent / disciple of the 433. He is a system coach. There is virtually no way he would play any other system unless it was absolutely necessary just to compete. That should say it all right there — Holland didn’t have a good enough team to play 433 — our system!

    Those of you nit-picking LVG’s decision-making need to realize this. LVG is THE reason we got as far as we did. Every tactical decision he made prior to the semi-final worked. Every single one. 523 vs Spain. Bringing on Fer and Depay vs Australia. Defending against Chile until the end. Water breaks and Huntelaar against Mexico. Krul vs Costa Rica, etc., etc. etc.

    Feel free to lament that we didn’t make the final, but personally I’d rather end the tournament with a positive experience (3-0 win vs Brazil) and something to build on than get lit up playing against a German team performing at its peak.

    Let’s enjoy this tournament’s success and build our team for the future rather than continue to dwell on the past.

    • Erich100 says:

      You are right and correct here, JB. 😉

    • Alistair says:

      yes I think it would have been really tough against Germany, but i would still have preferred another Final rather than get knocked out!

      Re LVG, yes he deserves a lot of credit as the team was not world class in all departments. Lots of credit also to the team spirit – in fact LVG himself said that this was the best team he ever worked with in terms of mental attitude and spirit.

    • Khoi says:

      I could not agree with you more. I do not understand the nit-picking decisions and criticism. The tournament finished, even if Van Gaal made wrong decision, that is unrelated because Hiddink will have different decision making.

      I also disagree with suggestion that we need to change the our thinking to win the cup. Two years ago, Italy reached the EU final without big names. That’s the mentality Italy and Germany always possess. Finally, in this tournament, we possess that mentality too. I followed this team from 90s and I never see we overachieved, only underachieved. So there is nothing to change here. We need to build our team based on this momentum.

  72. Balkan says:

    We developed an excellent defense which would have given a lot of trouble to Germany. Vlaar/de Vrij a rock solid duo. Clasie was class today.
    Somehow after the group stage our offense stalled. Rvp disappeared after Chile game and only showed up today. Van Hooijdonk has been criticizing him heavily on dutch TV.
    Get rid of Bmi he is an idiot. He almost broke Robben’s leg right before the tournament and today took out Sneijder.
    With better use of Clasie, Hunter, Depay, Fer, Krul we get to the final and perhaps win it all.

    • JB says:

      I think the reason our attack went away as the tournament went on is pretty straightforward. Subsequent opponents respected us and prepared specifically to try to stop what we had been doing.

      Spain tried to dominate possession against us. But we counterattacked ruthlessly and pressed relentlessly in the midfield and took them totally by surprise. After that 5-1 game, everyone took notice that the Netherlands was back!

      Australia played a wide open physical game against us, because that’s how they want to try to play. We were initially susceptible to this, but our quality was ultimately enough for us to overcome them.

      Chile played the same 532 system as us, but with more pressing. We sat back against them because they needed the points and we didn’t. When they tired, we took the game over.

      By the time we faced Mexico, they were already wary of our new style, and Costa Rica and Argentina were the same. It’s hard to play on the counter when the opponent just chooses to sit back and defend itself. That’s how you end up with such low scoring games.

      That’s at least my interpretation of the games. Maybe we just became less effective, but more likely other teams developed a plan to defend us.

      • jkw says:

        I agree, we should have returned to 4-3-3 in qf, even on paper 5-3-2, with kuyt and blind is possible to transform in the first minutes to 4-3-3. In particular in SF against defensive 5-3-2 argentina, we should have started with depay and clasie, instead of BMI and de Jong.

  73. jkw says:

    My personal view vs argentina, BMI, shouldn’t be in starting line up, with the present of kuyt, the defensive approach took away too much creative, even after janmaat in we played better football. Another note, our midfield look much better with clasie, RVP play much better without sneijder, its psychological issue on top of style of play. In regards to kuyt, he provided steel to defenders but i cannot remember how many passes and crosses wasted in argentina box.
    Janmaat-vrij-vlaar-blind
    Wijnaldum – clasie – kuyt
    Robben – RVP – depay

  74. vanvader says:

    Anyone catch RVPs rant against Van Hooijdonk? I missed it. Just wondering what he said

  75. Jeff says:

    I tried to listen to the BVN program which was awesome by the way from the standpoint of seeing each player get his medal -of course ESPN stopped showing the post match celebrations as soon as the game was over. I heard RVP talk about the incident and Pierre responded in the studio along with Ronald de Boer but I could not understand so hopefully someone will. It did not seem too bad though and appeared to be related to the criticism of RVP by PVH.
    In any case, for me, although disappointed that we did not make the final, I would rather end the WC with a convincing 3rd place win than another 1-0 loss in the final. I would not have been able to handle it. Of course, I do believe we would have had a great chance of winning in the final against Germany. But still at least we leave this WC undefeated with the best record of any Dutch team (5-0-2). A fabulous achievement. The foundation of the team is solidly in place and Guus is a remarkable people manager. Maybe not as good as Louis from the strategy but in terms of managing the players he is top notch. This is from inside sources. Don’t forget we also have all these u17 generations that have reached the Euro finals these last few years so we should be in good shape.
    I also learned that Depay is a very difficult player. He has a pretty horrible childhood and he uses his first name on his jersey because he does not want to use his father’s name. Again he is in good shape with Guus and Ruud VN who is now officially an assistant coach.

  76. Erich100 says:

    To the great Louis Van Gaal:

    A BIG THANK YOU!!!

  77. Yoyogi says:

    My only concern moving forward is we need a true heir to RVP. It’s very difficult to find someone special who can lead the line and finish their scoring chances.

    Any opinions as to who are our potential promising prospects are?

  78. oranje fan 4eva says:

    Again penalties drama haunt us. Am very proud of this WC team and LVG as i myself was surprised the way we play and go all the way to the semi’s. Head up , the past is past…now look forward for the euro’s . HUP HUP ORANJEEEE

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