Daryl Janmaat had the best opportunity for the Dutch
I am pretty sure I start most reviews on friendlies with “I don’t like friendly games”…
And I still don’t.
What does it offer me? It offers excitement in the run up and then massive disappointment. Because if we lose against Germany, we lost against Germany. And if we win, it’s basically irrelevant as it’s merely a friendly…
And I hardly ever get entertained. There is no excitement in it. The only people who actually “enjoy” these games are the national team manager and his staff. And most likely the media.
But looking at the game through the glasses of Louis van Gaal, I think there are some interesting conclusions:
1. Germany is further than we are. There “flow” in the game was better. They were more confident, played a higher pace and were able to find each other in time and space. And they created good opportunities using the wings and pushing forward.
2. Using players that hardly ever play together in these roles does not work well. Our team lacked any flow as a result. Huntelaar and Afellay play together at Schalke: LVG benches the Hunter. Why?? Schaken and Janmaat play well together at Feyenoord: LVG lets Van Rhijn start. Why?? The hub in Feyenoord is Jordy Clasie. He plays or has played with Vlaar, BMI, De Vrij, Janmaat, Schaken but LVG decides to use Nigel de Jong centrally in midfield…
3. Our youngsters surely have the goods. From Vermeer and Krul to De Vrij, Janmaat and Van Ginkel. Bring it on. It might now be said that Bert van Marwijk was a bit too slow using youngsters, which now results in Holland being behind Low’s Germany. And we know Maher, Fer, Narsingh and Strootman are waiting in the wings to come back. Our present time might not be world class, but our future most certainly is.
4. Louis van Gaal makes weird choices. Why does he risk getting on a bad footing with Huntelaar? Why does he play Nigel de Jong who offers so much in defence, but so little in build up?
My fear is that Van Gaal is merely another “rigid” coach, just like Van Marwijk. The latter held on to his 15 man squad and 4-2-3-1. Van Gaal seems to be married to 4-3-3 and likes to impress whoever (media? his wife? The opponents? The players? Danny Blind?) by making weird choices.
Playing against this Germany, he could have used the Ajax system, with a false striker. Don’t use Huntelaar when he’s out of form (is he really??? The Hunter is NEVER out of form… He always scores) ok, but maybe use a stronger midfield… And let Van der Vaart play as central midfielder behind Schaken and Robben… I probably would have picked Afellay over Schaken. Used Clasie in midfield. With De Jong and Van Ginkel. Second half, bring Emanuelson for Van der Vaart. Siem de Jong would have been the right player for that midfield too. He is in form. But being “in form” clearly is less important than being out form…
Anyway…too late now.
I’m just a bit concerned that Klaas Jan might lose it one day. Before the Belgium game, he is called the no. 1. After the Belgium game, Robin is the number one. Now, suddenly Kuyt gets the nod. And every player loves playing against team mates, so I’m sure Klaas Jan feels terribly humiliated. Smart move, Louis!
On a closing note: our width is improving massively. Players like Emanuelson, Van Ginkel, Elia, Janmaat, Fer, De Vrij etc have a lot to offer. I loved how the two Feyenoord defenders took the game to Germany (De Vrij and Janmaat).
So, all in all: I’m happy with our talent and future prospects. But I’m still on the fence with Louis…