Holland needs penalties to beat CR goalie!

What an epic thriller! Where to start… I predicted a 4-0 win the other day and by Golly, I could have gotten that one right. If only….our forwards did their job (Robin van Persie!), if only we knew what offside was and if only their goalie had an off day…

We had 14 corner kicks, four dangerous free kicks, three balls denied by the woodwork,forced 14 saves by their goalie and had more than 65% possession.

But we didn’t score. We outplayed Spain that allowed us to play and scored 5 in 90 minutes (4 in 45 minutes even). We weren’t capable of taking down a highly defensive Costa Rica and score one in 120 minutes. And sure, their goalie is good but we should have beaten him at least twice.

krul kuyt

Still, every game has a hero and it could have been Robben or De Vrij and it should have been Van Persie but it ended up being Tim Krul and Louis van Gaal… Who immediately shared a moment with keepers trainer Frans Hoek after the game. Hoek prepared the goalies for this and Hoek will have told Van Gaal: in case of penalties, use Tim.

The Newcastle man only stopped 2 out of 20 in recent times but upped his stats by stopping 2 out of 5 tonight. And he was so close with 2 other penalties. And while Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben and Kuyt scored their penalties impeccably and deserve the compliments, it was of course coach Van Gaal yet again claiming the kudos for this win.

For the first time this tournament, Van Gaal started with three up front. The back line consisted – as expected – of three (Vlaar, BMI, De Vrij) with Wijnaldum playing in the De Jong role and Kuyt and Blind outwide. Sneijder in a free central role with Depay, Robin and Robben upfront.


It took some time for Holland to get into the game and to settle as CR was not planning on playing along. As the great ones all know and say “It takes two teams to play good football”. If one doesn’t want to play, the other team needs to either totally overwhelm the opponent with fast, flashy football….or be patient and grind out opportunities. Percentage football, one could say. Holland doesn’t have the flow to take the first option, so we played cautious, deliberate and wanting to wait for a good opportunity to play Depay or Robben in.

And it worked. Albeit that we simply forgot to score. Van Persie had a chance which resembled the Australia goal he scored. A good pull back from Kuyt, who again played an epic game, with a quick reverse pass by Depay but the ManU striker found his shot blocked. Depay had a chance later on from a similar position. He went for the near post but saw his attempt stopped as well. There were not many chances but Oranje dominated the game and it did seem that a goal could be scored any minute. Sneijder was already mentioned by Van Gaal as a potential goal scorer from a free kick and it took another great save from Navas to stop a Sneijder free kick going to the top corner.

In the second half, CR absorbed more and more pressure with Robben continiously threatening the opponents with his runs, fed by a strong playing Sneijder and supported by an outstanding Kuyt. The latter seems to have won the race for right full back now.


In general, the team played well with the supporting actors all doing their job. Notable exceptions are De Vrij, who for me was one the best players on the pitch and Wijnaldum who I felt was very bland and almost invisible. He is a player who can bring a surprise, do something unpredictable but he did what he needed to go (I suppose) but really nothing more.

Of the players who needed to make a difference, Depay and Van Persie were a bit disappointing. Van Persie did get in good positions and worked like a beast but at the crucial moments, the ManU man looked a lot like the striker we saw fail versus Denmark in 2012, missing a complete sitter even on a Blind cross.

Tim Krul can lay claim on the Man of the Match title, but Robben and Sneijder for me are good contenders for that title. Sneijder used his energy and passes where he could and rattled the woodwork twice (one from a free kick and one from open play).


Van Gaal: “This is the best team I have ever worked with. Not per se the best set of players. But surely, the best team in terms of spirit and commitment. It’s a joy to work with these guys.” About the Krul Cillesen substitution. “This is all about details. I did feel that Krul is the better penalty killer. So I took the chance. If we would have lost, people would have crucified me for this decision. But these games, normally the team missing the chances in the game lose the penalty shoot outs. Happily for us, that didn’t happen now.”

Robben: “I think it was only justice that we won. We had so much more chances, and we wanted to play, whereas they wanted to get to penalties. Football has won, tonight. They were stalling and time wasting in the first half already. Our team spirit is amazing and with Krul we demonstrate yet again we do it with the whole squad. We can go far.”


Bert van Marwijk in the tv studio: “I am envious that Van Gaal has this Arjen Robben. When we played 4 years ago, Robben wasn’t fit. The Robben of today would have scored that chance I am sure. What an amazing player. People talk about Messi being the best and all that, but for me it’s Robben!”

Captain van Persie: “What a rollercoaster this was. The ball simply didn’t want to go in. Post, cross bar, goalie…you name it. Crazy. This takes up so much energy. But we did it and we will now focus on the next game. We’re still in it to win it.”

Penalty killer Tim Krul: “I had the feeling I could get a shot at it with penalties. I was doing well on practice. It’s simply a matter of standing as long as possible and watching the ball. You always have a chance. But don’t forget Cillesen’s save right before the game was over. If he doesn’t stop that ball, there are no penalties needed. We are really doing this with the whole group! This is a dream come true for me!”


Its a bit too early after this big win to go and put salt on the snails (Dutch expression meaning that you are going to put your finger on all the little things that went wrong) but it is clear we are not capable of dominating and playing Total Football as yet. We do have the players (Lens, Depay, Wijnaldum, etc) but we lack the flow, the automatisms to make it work. Our game is probably at its best when playing stronger opponents. Well, in the semis, we can go back to absorbing the play a bit more and utilising the space behind the Argentinian full backs as Argentina will try and create more than a team like Costa Rica, playing anti-football.

So we won’t go into too much analysis now. We’ll enjoy the game and realise that the seemingly undoable objective of the KNVB, to get to the semi finals, has been achieved by Van Gaal.

Despite the role of Robben and Sneijder and Huntelaar and Kuyt, it does seem Van Gaal is the Man of the Tournament for Oranje.

I criticised him here as a person (I never doubted his coaching skills) and I doubted his motivations to go to the World Cup but Van Gaal shows that personal ambition and focus can result in people and teams to outdo themselves. Van Gaal is in top form and he is pushing the group to greater heights every day, supported by the incredibly in-form Arjen Robben.

Two more to go!

oranje juicht 2

oranje juicht

krul stop

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  1. Thank you Jan! Must stay up very late to get this out. I’m very happy today. Where are Demi and SamNY and DRB lately? We can dream to win another WC again. I was not at the beginning but LVG and this team has made this dream possible.

    1. (SamNY)

      Right here… I’ve reading the blog but not participating.. the log out functionality is a bit annoying and forced me to limit my participation.

  2. This is what happens when you play a team that doesn’t want to play. Its not about an inability to play total football – we tried that and failed how many times to a Portugal side that sat behind their own 18.

    So far Holland has done everything right. Holland v Germany final. Holland shutting everyone, mostly the so called dutchies, up.

    We do undoubtedly have the best coach, considering there are club coaches and national team coaches, we happen to have both and he’s the real deal and has a golden you hoo

  3. Louis van Gaal, Netherlands coach:

    In terms of team spirit and togetherness, this is the best group I’ve worked with. I thought we had more quality than Costa Rica and deserved to win. I don’t know how much ball possession we had, how many times we hit the woodwork and how many chances we had – in the end it’s all about scoring. We have practiced pens, I believe when you’re used to a certain way of shooting you’ll be more comfortable taking that shot. We told Tim Krul that he would be the best goalkeeper for the penalties as he’s bigger; we didn’t tell Cillessen, as we didn’t want to ruin his preparation and concentration. There is no question about who will start next game, it will be Cillessen. But we felt Krul was the better choice here – and he proved that. He guessed the correct way for every penalty

  4. Wow, after watching the Dutch lose matches in the past on penalties against teams they were dominating. Today’s win is such a joy. I am really starting to believe. Trust me I remember Germany ’74 and Argentina ’78 and the dutch are my love but they have been my heartbreak too. Let’s do this.

  5. Great win–wonderful job on penalties by all the scorers and Krul, and LVG for picking him and getting him in the game. Smart.

    We should have won the game by at least 2-0 or 3-0. Dominated the game. A strength of this team is the finishing of RVP and Robben–and RVP could not finish a couple of good chances–one good and one great chance, that being a ball that Sneijder practically put on his foot 6 six feet from goal and RVP stumbled and missed it. Uggh. He has got to do better.

    For me Sneijder was MOM–I though he played well and hit two or three wonderful free kicks and the great cross into RVP.

    Depay didn’t provide much–should go back to coming off bench–and Wijnaldum apparently works hard but like de Guzman has shown me nothing in attack.

    Game reminded me of Belguim-U.S.A. game. Thank goodness the best team won. Now let us whip Argentina.

  6. Sneijder is back to his bright days , which is just the biggest advantage of today’s game. He regained confidence and was very close to score.

    This was a brilliant Robben control https://vine.co/v/MU0lhh5Xiqq

    Indi has completed 98% of his passes tonight. Best in this world cuo till now. Btw , his cross overs were perfect. But he could have costed Oranje a lot if the ref gave costa rica a penalty. He should be more wise.

    1. Congrats for having predicted Argentina-Holland in semi Mohamed

      “Sneijder is back to his bright days , which is just the biggest advantage of today’s game. He regained confidence and was very close to score.”

      I don’t agree with this though. He had some good moments, that free kick, that shot on the crossbar, that cross for RVP etc. but still too many bad things. As always, Sneijder only shines on sporadic moments, his general playing is weak, he brings nothing, no speed, no dribble, many bad passes…

      If Di Maria was playing in his place, Holland would much more dangerous.

      1. What, I ask you, does Wijnaldum bring to attack? I never see the guy or hear his name in the final third. Maybe I simply miss him. I know he’s working hard but…

      2. I don’t agree with this though. He had some good moments, that free kick, that shot on the crossbar, that cross for RVP etc. but still too many bad things. As always, Sneijder only shines on sporadic moments, his general playing is weak, he brings nothing, no speed, no dribble, many bad passes…


        You are probably the only one in and outside this site who does NOT find those sentences ridiculous.

      3. I could have asked you to Google the news but here we go:

        Wesley Sneijder, 7 – Dictated play with a mixed range of passes from midfield. Kept the midfield line high with runs on and off the ball. His diagonals to Robben were a nightmare to defend.

        Wesley Sneijder – 8
        Very unlucky not to score in normal time twice with two shots hitting the woodwork, but created a lot of chances for his country. Very good performance.

        Rattled the woodwork on two occasions and ran play from deep for the Netherlands. Their star performer on the night.

        Wesley Sneijder – The best Dutch player on the pitch. After coming in for some criticism over the previous few weeks, the Galatasaray winger will feel vindicated tonight. His delivery, pace and precision were all spot on. 8

      4. Thank you , Laurent.
        I think we still missing Strootman in the midfeild. He would have added another dimension to our game.

        It’s funny everyone was complaining about possession in the 3 group stages games before , yesterday we had above 75% ball possession but we ended the game by PKs.
        Hope some people realsie now that possession is not as important as good finishing.
        We need to be extra lethal in finishing our chances vs Argentina.

  7. Where to start… I predicted a 4-0 win the other day and by Golly, I could have gotten that one right. If only….

    If only the goal posts/cross bar are more round …. 🙂


  8. Krul: But don’t forget Cillesen’s save right before the game was over. If he doesn’t stop that ball, there are no penalties needed. We are really doing this with the whole group!

    This type of unity is one thing that’s always lacking from our previous (mostly better) squads. That’s why the result will be different this year!

  9. I just realized we reached this semi without Strootman (arguably our best midfielder) and Nigel (arguably our best midfielder who came to Brazil).

    Too overwhelmed today with joy, can’t wait for Wed. Luckily I am able to take afternoon off work!

  10. By the way, for you who are in the US and watched this match on ESPN, who is the f*cker announcer of the match? Sounded very biased and brought up some MEX-HOL related comments.

    ESPN really needs to get some legitimate announcers for the semi/finals.

    1. Yes,he had huge heartburn against Robben. He was clearly supporting Costa Rrrrrrica and clearly hated Robben. I just muted TV, because I could not hear his voice.

    2. agreed! ESPN has been ridiculous with the announcers.. sometimes they use TWO Spanish announcers who announce in English!! Absurd! I think they don’t really care since they will hand over the World Cup to Fox after this tourney.

  11. Congratulations, everybody. That was very very tough game, CR’s antifootball was in a way amazing….

    I believe, Jan said everything in his post. I would like to add one comment, and it is about Wesley. He hit woodwork several times. In semifinal he will put all his efforts into the net. He is getting there and on Wednesday he will be on fire. Little General is now ready for this tournament.

    Good night, everybody.

  12. Unlike all of the Dutch National teams that I can remember there is serious team spirit in these boys. They may not be the best Dutch players ever, but man, they try their best. And best of all, they follow closely whatever Van Gaal tells them to do.

    These kids have discipline, drive, and courage. They are fighting for a dream. I’m proud of them, and I think Van Gaal is going the right direction with his genius strategies. He is playing his chess like the master he is.

    Be supportive and positive.

    Hup Holland Hup!!!

  13. I have to say that, while Krul came up big by stopping two shots, I did not like him walking up and talking to CR penalty takers. What was that about-just a bit of intimidation, I assume? I’ve never seen a keeper do that before and it seemed kind of bush–I’m surprised the official allowed it. I read that it’s not uncommon but have never seen it. I would be pissed if a keeper did that to one of my teammates.

    1. The great Hans Van Breukelen did the very same to the Danish in the EK 1992. And not only that, he “helped” them set the ball over the white spot, too. Sadly, that day Van Basten missed his penalty but that’s another story.

    2. Krul basically only told the CR players that he KNEW where they were going to shoot. It’s just making them a bit nervous. Nothing more.

  14. I found it amazingly funny, when Krul talked trash to a player, while he was going to focus….IN this World Cup Dutch things that have never done it before

  15. So pretty much the whole Latin American world has Dutch hate at the moment with the exception of the few that post here.

    I guess taking out the Mexicans and now Costa Rica has turned them into babies.

    1. Not really. Plenty of love for the Netherlands in Brazil. I’d say its the #2 team after the selecao. Many people here expect Netherlands to meet Brazil in the final. There are more Brazilians wearing orange at the games than Dutch.

  16. That was one of those game where the ball just did not want to go in the net. RVP misses two that he normally makes–including an absolute sitter–and then gets in the way of a Robben rocket that probably would have found the back of the net. Sneijder with two brilliant free kicks that come to nothing. Blind crosses beautifully into the box–and the ball rolls past not one, not two but three Dutchmen standing in front of the net, and not one can punch it in! Then RVP get the ball and whelps one that gets stopped at the line by a defender. I was pulling my hair out. But one has to like the toughness and togetherness of this team. I like our chances against the argies.

  17. Congrats to everybody!!

    Fantastic night, when everybody thought Van Gaal’s magic was over, he made that eye catching krul sub and once again won everybody’s heart. I think this VG is wiser and able to really control his emotions to good use, gone are the days where he would have spontaneos outburts.

    Its time to enjoy, however I do feel to say a few things hehe
    I think Blind should have supported more on the offense as kuyt did. It would be dangerous to play sneijder – wij as mids against arg, sneijder doesn’t help much on the defensive end. I think BMI played dangerously, he made unneccesaary fouls, he protested a lot and was teasing the opps. He should just focus on his game.

    I hate it when we have possesion, all we do is circulate the ball in between defenders. We didnt allow CR to attack us thats why there was basically not enough space for the dutch offense to exploit.

  18. @Hedonistix, yes I agree with you about the announcers. The Spanish guy is Javier Moreno who was a mediocre player for Venezuela and does all the Mexico national team games. He is so biased it is incredible. He is as biased as Ray Hudson (the worst), Lalas (who is finally changing his tune) and some of the other announcers who think that everything Argentina does is pure gold whereas the Dutch are just lucky to be here. It is so incredibly annoying. Thankfully, Ruud VN and Gullit are on ESPN and BeIN to rectify the others. I also liked Efan Ekoku who was very fond of our style and how we kept creating chances despite such a negative style by Costa Rica.
    Bottom line though is that if VP finishes the gift Depay gives him in the 22nd minute it is game over and we win 4-0. VP needs to do way better vs. Argentina.
    I just watched the highlights again and my goodness we created some really great chances.

    1. Everything is Messi-Messi-Messi. I like Lalas’ takes on team USA only, everything else I do not. I think Ballack and Roberto Martinez have been very objective.

      I would not want this same person, Moreno or whoever he is, to do the play-by-play on our semi match vs Argentina. I forgot exactly what he said yesterday but even his co-announcer denounced him by saying along the line of “what you just said is ridiculous”.

      Funny how announcers can affect how you watch the match.

  19. I know it’s hard to argue against a team that just won but am I the only person who though Jordy Clasie could have really added something to this match? I was really frustrated by all those dead end passes among the defenders and thought that someone like Clasie, sitting in front of the defence, would have been a great outlet to move the ball up more quickly through the centre of the pitch. I would have liked to have seen a back four then a midfield of Clasie, Wijnaldum and Sneijder. Anyways I really, really, really hope that Clasie gets his chance at some point!

    1. @Gerry, I’m not a big Classie fan but during the game I did think to myself that Classie may provide some spark to our attack, I guess Van Gaal does not think he is up to it. Maybe there is something behind the scenes like Nerves that are keeping him on the bench.

    2. I had the same thought: The Dutch were a beat slow getting the ball forward after recovering possession or stealing the ball–often using a lateral pass instead of a forward one. (That is one thing that impresses me about Belgium–they are very good at first pass forward after change of possession.) If Clasie hasn’t played yet I doubt he will, but you never know with LVG. Like CR and others, Argentina will try to play limit operating space for Robben and RVP.

      We wasted some chances and can’t do that in next game. As Jeff said, if RVP puts away that first chance of his–which was very similar to the chance he got and scored on against Australia–this would have been an easy win. But he didn’t seem to get the ball up as he usually does–kicked it low and straight at the keeper–and it seemed to set the tone for the day.

  20. LVG.

    With Robben taking so many corner kicks on the right side, we have to do a better job to convert those into goals. We have some tall players who should take advantage of that against most opponents.

  21. Well what a game, Jan your summation is pretty spot on, the thing that I will remember is in the 119th minute when Krul comes for Cillessen, that was the match winning play right there, clojetes or what?
    I don’t think anyone on here or in world football had the Dutch in the semi finals or really believed that they could get this far but football is a funny beast sometimes things just happen!
    I thought all the luck was with CR as we kept missing chances that normally would go in, after the first save from Krul I had to leave the room as I could not take the drama, I curled up into the foetal position in the corner of my bedroom and just listened to what was unfolding, for those of you who are as old as me you know where I’m coming from with regard to Holland in a penalty shootout!
    We all know that we will have to do better against Messi and Di Maria however we have overachieved in this tournament and who is to say that we can’t go a little further!
    I’m so happy – Hup Holland!

    1. Ha, I did the opposite. I just sat upright in my chair and didn’t make a sound. Not a peep, until the 2nd save then I let it all out. Our poor dog got scared.

  22. Today, I’m totally drained. Yesterday’s game finished at 1am here in Geneva and after that, I was so high strung I had to watch – of all things – some german TV as it was the only channel still showing some football related thing. Now, my German is quite rusty, but there was this Oliver Kahn character saying we are now favorites! So good to hear that from a guy like him.

    I also got to see van Persie’s post game interview with his daughter in his arms (what a lovely picture), but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying (in dutch, german dubbed + noise of the crowd). If anybody has a link, it’d be nice to share!

  23. Its surprising to me that everybody’s saying they underestimated Holland in this tournament. I always thought they would come back for revenge after that 118 Iniesta heartbreak goal… Hup Holland!

  24. Leroy Fer need to start against arjentina he can replace wijlandum and we can use his head in set pieces, and of coarse back to 5-3-2 formation

    Hope Fer will be fit, i think he will

    1. Yes Jad, Van Gaal will most likely revert back to a 5-3-2 with Kuyt on the right flank, Blind on the left, 3 defenders, but Fer in the De Jong spot. I know Van Gaal wanted veteran guys on the field for the shootout, so he sacrificed a defender for KJH, but you saw how one lonely striker from Costa Rica almost ended the game in the dying minutes, Van Gaal has to stick with 3 defenders:

      Blind–BMI–De Vrij–Vlaar–Kuyt

    2. Oh god no! Did you see what Messi did to those two Belgian clowns Fellaini and Witsel? We need small quick players to mark him. He will eat Fee alive.

  25. This game reminded me of Italy’s game in Euro 2000. The ball simply didn’t want to get in but the mental strength of this team is amazing.

    I do believe we will beat Argentina.

    BMI committed some stupid fouls he was pulling someone inside the area and it could have been a penalty.

    Now how will LVG start against Argentina? will we start attacking or will we sit back to counter attack?. Will Depay start?

    1. Man, the more the game was progressing, the more I was thinking of the 2000 semi. Good thing we did not have any penalties or CR red card during the game 😉

      1. I was watching the game on the Belgian TV (btw. It’s great that I can taunt the Belgians now who were already planning for the low-countrie derby 🙂 ).

        At the end of extra time they started to list all the past penalty-heartbreaks like Denmark 1992, France 1996, Brazil 1998, Italy 2000. It was horrible.

    1. Italy 2000 came to mind and I was scared. We lost pk in 92, 96, 98 and 2000. Finally we won in 2004 and yesterday. Of the 4 SF, we are the underdog while the other 3 are given equal chance by William hill. It is fine by me that we are not favourite.
      We need to have better build up. Perhaps we play too safe as in not giving away counter attack chance to opponent. LVG wants to win now. Bmi need to be more careful, but if you remember Mex game, he intercepted some nice play near the end to start our come back. Our young players has grower tremendously, and the unity and strong mentality and role players we have, we can win this.

  26. Whatever happens guys , we just must be proud of this team , these young guys and LvG.
    I am very happy with this new dutch mentality. Out of the last 4 world cups for Netherlands , They reached the semis 3 times. The mentality of “We have to go far no matter what are the circumstances”.
    Injuries , lack of experience , bad refereeing , bad luck , bad weather , playing outside Europe , suspensions , etc.
    if we keep up this mentality , I ensure you our first title will not be far.
    If Spain , England and France deserve one title , Argentina and Uruguay desteve two titles , then Oranje deserves at least three titles and I hope this will be our first.

  27. Jan:

    Just want to reiterate how much I love this site, your articles and all the comments!

    I feel like my sources for coverage of the team here in the US are somewhat limited and always seem to take a jaded view of the Netherlands team. It is nice to read such positive analysis and comments, and even the critical remarks here are usually thoughtful and worthy of discussion.

    Can you please do a tribute to Wesley Sneijder soon? I think his recent play is certainly warranting it, despite the many naysayers.

    Additionally, we were doing so well with your previews and the food parallels – tapas, shrimp on the barbie, chili, tacos — but then our players didn’t seem to have quite enough “hunger” against Costa Rica. Maybe consider some asado references this time?

    My respect for Robben (which was already very high) continues to grow with each performance. The guy is just playing at an unbelievable level. He is the fastest, most dangerous, most dynamic player in this World Cup, and yet all the media coverage so far seems devoted to just about everything else. Maybe that’s for the best, but he has been amazing!

    Finally, LVG. What can you say? His confidence / arrogance is so supreme that it takes the pressure off of the players. They know that if they carry out his instructions, they will have success. And even if the initial game plan isn’t working, there’s always and plan B, plan C, etc.

    The World Cup is always such a special event, but due to our team’s success, spirit and character this year, I think 2014 has been my favorite one yet.

    Hup Holland Hup!

    1. I totally agree about the importance of this site to me due to the lack of decent coverage in the US. Maybe they just want to justify CONCACAF as a legit confederation to make the American fans feel better, but it’s incredibly annoying and clearly biased against the Netherlands. All of the coverage seems to focus on what they consider to be the big countries (Brazil, Argentina, and Germany now that Spain has exited) or on what the commonly regurgitated storyline considers to be the underdog/Cindarella stories (Mexico, Costa Rica, US). Nederland is somewhere between these two, and since they weren’t believed to have a chance to get out of the group, perhaps there’s no prepared script for a deep Dutch run.

      We have never had a team like this and it’s amazing. Belgium took our historical role this cup- many, many big names but seemingly no way to grind out a win when it really counts… Or to even get started playing versus Argentina.

      With a totally new level of passion, commitment, and teamwork, the last-minute winning of our current team of 23 is much harder on the heart but much easier on the soul.

  28. This level of stress with all the ups and downs has made so tired but also extremely excited. Everything seems like a blur. I couldn’t watch penalties yesterday and I went out driving until my friends from overseas texted me. The fear of failing against CR was unbearable. Anyway it was a BIG day. We are through and in a very tough way.
    Obviously I am nobody to doubt LVG but starting 3-4-3 was suspect to me. We coudlnt do anything with the ball, we kept passing back to Cillessen for no reason, very boring. I have seen many games of Holland in past championships when they had the possession and could never do much with it but just resorted to meaningless passing until the game was lost or we got eliminated. I thought this would be one of those days. I wasn’t ready for it to end but I thought LVG finally messed up what was really working. In fact we should have won inside 90 mins. As Gullit said only after 80th minute when we switched to 442 we really started being dangerous. Why leave it for so late?!
    We won Senijder back but lost RvP. This is the RvP I have seen in 2010 when he basically just disappeared. This worries me. The last 2 games he has been mediocre at best. Robben is the superstar and super glue of this team. He is 50% of the squad.
    Di Maria out is an adavantage to us. Playing an exhausting 120 min game is a big minus. Hopefully luck will be with us for a couple more games. Anything after yesterday is a big bonus for a team that wasn’t considered to go past group stages.
    Congratulations to all Dutch fans.

  29. I really dont understand why none of you all has the courage to say that Blind sucks! He has no grit, no personality, no defensive skill. All he can do are backward pass. He always plays thanks to his father and this is simply disgusting!

  30. Mago…I am with you totally. Not a fan of Blind, but the reality is the day Van Aanholt was dropped from the team back at the end of May, Blind was going to be the starter, I personally wanted Van Aanholt, but the reality is what it is.

    If it is due to his father being the assistant coach, Van Gaal is the coach, and we need to support him, he also does not make a switch right now, and we have to live with what the coach decided. We all have to believe in what got us here, and ride this momentum into Wednesday.

    1. All I remember from Blind yesterday was a good low cross in the last minute which several of our players could not reach. I don’t think he was worse than Wijnaldum or BMI. Nothing special from him. He won’t be replaced at this stage.

      1. Blind is such an interesting case because he divides opinion so much. Some have him on their World Cup dream team while others think he adds nothing. To me, he generally is decent and has moments of brilliance (low cross, Spain game etc.). But he isn’t a liability either, so in to to he isn’t a bad choice. I can’t tell though if he is going to develop into something special or this is generally it.

        1. Blind is not athletic or fast enough to be special. He is like other Dutch players–de Vrij, Van der Vaart, Janmaat, others–who have good technical skills and a good understanding of the game but lack physical prowess–size, pace, etc. Of course, there are many players with physical prowess who lack technique and football IQ, so it is rare to have it all. Blind made two brilliant passes against Spain but has been a bit quiet since–though working very hard, as all the players are. The team is undefeated, so everybody gets decent marks or better!

  31. Love it. Here in the US there is not much fanfare in the way of the Neds. Everyone I was sitting around the TV with was rooting for CR. Glad the good guys pulled it out. Should have had it won in the 80th minute … and the 82nd, 85th, 87th, a couple times in extra time. Gutsy.

    I like them over Argentina and then against Germany/Brazil anything can happen.

  32. For those who claim that LVG is a genius because he changed the keeper, I’d just say that he did the normal thing. I was saying before that Cillessen never caught any penalty in my memory, of course he had to change him.

    Now I don’t know what LVG will do for Argentina, I doubt he’ll start with 3-4-3 and Depay again. He’ll probably put something more defensive.

    Maybe come back to 5-3-2 with Kuyt on the left side and putting back Janmaat on the right one. Maybe BMI on the left one and add one CB (Veltman).

    Maybe Blind as LB and Clasie in the midfield.

    For me till here Vlaar, De Vrij, Kuyt and Robben are top. All the others should be discussed before it’s too late, RVP and Sneijder are too sporadic, Wijnaldum does the minimum, BMI and Blind are just average.

    Also Lens shouldn’t play again, good minutes against Spain and Australia but Chile and Costa Rica he was awful. Huntelaar was also bad yesterday, one yellow card, two offside…

    De Guzman and Lens should stay on the bench till the end. Clasie should get some minutes, Fer should come as sub.

    1. “he did the normal thing” ??

      Please show me in the past when teams have subbed the keeper in the last minute of extra time solely for the purpose of taking the penalties. There was nothing normal about what he did, FFS.

      1. Please show me in the past a coach who chose a young eredivisie keeper who caught no penalty in his life (at least never in important games) letting two PL keeper on the bench…

        1. Man, you’re insufferable. Teams pick their number one keeper and stick with him, whatever league they come from. Teams don’t have a regular time keeper and a penalties keeper. Period. There was nothing normal about subbing on Krul. Everyone in the football world seems to understand this simple fact except you.

      2. Perhaps not the normal thing by our standards. It is LvG, and to him, standards are only banners you carry. I think it may become more of the norm. considering how well Jasper dealt with it.

        About BMI, can we really replace his beautiful voice for the anthem?

  33. In the 1st 15 min: I thought ” No problem, we can nick this easily definately for sure!”

    During Extra Time: I was like ” OMG…. what else can I say? Penalties.. we all know our history in Penalties”..

    Amazing Win! and I’m not going through all the details again. Except:

    1. Any thoughts why Clasie is still not being used? I thought Costa Rica was the best moment for him come out.

    2. Van Persie: What on earth happened with him? Why didn’t he shaved himself ? Looked like he had been spending the whole night in a pub outside.

    3. Di Maria is trying his best to come back to play against us.

    If he is out, I would say it would be balanced off our absence of De Jong.


    4. Am I the only one who is biased against Lens? I really haven’t got a clue what he had brought us. Why Lens over Huntelaar still?!

    5. Robben, he had been playing all 5 matches which is (60X4) + 120 full minutes. Anyone worried about him starting to get tired?

  34. Is this a joke or just another day at the office for the corrupted FIFA? On what ground this can even be considered?


    FIFA has confirmed Brazil have lodged an appeal against captain Thiago Silva’s yellow card that has seen him banned for the semifinal against Germany.

    Thiago picked up the caution against Colombia, imposed after he blocked goalkeeper David Ospina taking a kick, and as it was his second of the tournament he was automatically suspended.

    The Brazilian federation (CBF) has lodged an appeal and FIFA head of media Delia Fischer said: “I can confirm we have received an appeal from the CBF and this is being analysed.”

  35. Hi everybody,

    I would love to come to the Netherlands for the final this Sunday (I believe in our victory. we are in final).

    Please, help me dudes !

    Dutch can they tell me where I should go to see the final on a giant screen? Giving me the exact address if possible please.

    I went to Amsterdam to see the friendly match Netherlands Germany (0-0) in Amsterdam ArenA.

    There is something out there ?

    Or like in 2010, I went to Amsterdam to see the final on the big screen in a great place … I can not remember the address.

    P.S : We can beat the three countries that have deprived us of a victory … Germany 1974/1978 Argentina / Spain 2010

    Spain it’s done … I say that, I say nothing.

      1. Hi ,

        I am thinking of going to Amsterdam for the final as well. Not that i can help you with what you’re asking in your post but i am too looking for the answers to your questions .

        BTW : where are you coming from ? For now it looks like I may be going alone , if so it would be nice to hang out with a fellow dutch football fan . Are you going with some friends ?If I decide to go I’ll be traveling from Poland , btw: anyone here from Poland care to join me ?

  36. First thing first…… I happy that at last we have buried the voodoo of PKs. Cant remember when when was the last this happened.

    Agree with you Jimmy Floyd on when we reverted back to 4-3-3 the team looked very very vulnerable and individual weakness of players popped up like a balloon.

    Blind is the most pathetic player and we all know why he is there. its good to see that other people have started to see the true picture. 2 good cross vs spain and 1 good cross vs CR. That will be his chapter for wc 2014.

    Krul…….once again the subs have bailed out Van Gaal. Everyone knows that Krul has better reflexes than Cillessen and thats why Van Gaal used him for the PkS. There is nothing to genius about it. Krul should have started the WC which he has proved by even not touching a ball. I mean playing normal minutes.

    No one has picked this one up when Diaz out ran Kuyt on the right hand side…….damn he was lost in the woods running back handicapply. thats his big time weakness and was exposed only once in the game. with Lavezzi/Aguero/ Palacio I dont know whether it will be wise to start him there or not.

    Overall CR ran out of petrol in the last 15 and thats where NT Raised the tempo. And lastly Hunter and RVP……Hunter would have won us the game in normal game…did you watch the expression on Van Gaal face when RVP was choking. he always chokes in crunch matches

  37. Here we go again, first Laurent now Wilson. The two of you should get married if not already. My goodness, your analysis is so banal and predictable that I for one could not wait to read it.
    Blind has been included by many journalists and football experts in the team of the WC so far. As for Cilessen, he proved his worth during this entire WC by making stops/saves when it matters most. The one against CR was critical obviously. It reminded me of Iniesta 4 years ago in the WC final. But he made the save and handled the substitution amazingly well considering that he had no clue it would happen. After his initial anger, he recognized that the decision was for the team. He was the first one in Krul’s arms, well almost the first because Dirkie beat him to it.
    It would be great to have the 2 of you come up with something new for once. Step outside your comfort zone and default setting. I agree with Fish, you are insufferable.

  38. Of course I understand it

    But if Van Gaal starts with Schaken and replace him with Robben for the last minutes, then Robben scores, Van Gaal becomes a genius ?

    We all said/knew that Krul is a better keeper than Cillessen, now it was a critical moment, Van Gaal thought that losing the PK with Cillessen would have brought a lot of criticism.

    With chosing Krul, even if Holland had lost, he could just say that Krul is a more experienced keeper than Cillessen etc. and that he wanted to try something for PK.

    But if Holland would have lost with Cillessen, he would have nothing to say, he would have been 100 % guilty for that cause most of dutch fans don’t agree with Cillessen being the first keeper.

    1. Wrong again! You should listen to Vieri and Gullit on BeIN US. They totally agreed with what I just said. They too believed Cillessen has done very well, mostly through the critical saves has made but also because he reads the game so well. They also thought that what Van Gaal did wa sgenius for 2 reasons:
      1. It raised the pressure on the CR penalty takers even more because now they had to think “my God we have to shoot against an even better keeper”
      2. It allowed Krul to come in totally fresh and focused n one thing only ie to stop the shots.
      Finally, my best friend from San Francisco who was on jong Ajax in the late 70s is extremely close friend with Frans Hoek. So we know the scoop. They all think Cillessen is top class (I don’t want to jinx it). Not quite Neuer but give 2 more years and we will see. Don’t forget that 1 year ago, he was playing for Jong Ajax.

      1. Cillessen has made some good saves in the competition but also had some bad moments. More globally, I’d say that he hasn’t really been tested by strikers. Holland is having the strongest defence in the competition, Cillessen had like 2 shots per game to stop. He did it well, but that’s nothing to call him top keeper. Stekelenburg was making crazy saves in 2010, even some really good one in 2012, Cillessen didn’t have a very hard ball to stop yet.

        Now we’ll probably see more of him against Argentina if he starts.

    2. C’mon Laurent- I’ve defended you in the past when I believed your comments to be a part of actual analysis, even if from a different vantage point than most who visit this site… This, however, is nothing of the sort, this just makes it seem like your pissy because Oranje has soiled all of your predictions (and your pledge to stop posting).

      Subbing Krul was a huge and unexpected risk and it panned out. You’re comment about it being so obvious MIGHT have a bit more merit if he’d chosen to bring in Vorm, but he didn’t. Perhaps you should just let this one go and just let us enjoy it, whether or not you do.

  39. It is obvious fifa and everybody else wanted neymar vs Messi in the final. Now that Neymar is gone Messi becomes even more important. So we will have to play are + the referee the next game. I don’t think fifa will overturn Silva suspension. It would be too much and very embarrassing.

  40. Jeff…..my criticism are based what I have seeing all through in previous World cups. At the last moment it someone who shits big time jus like Kuyt in 2010. He jus couldnt take the Spainards head on and kept back passing.If Van der vaart would have started that game…..well I dont wanna go back to that again. you jus look at CR game… how many times did Blind go outside of his opponent (CR right back).

    Once again I think you have forgot what happened to us vs Australia. Time and time we are being bailed out somehow or another. Do You really thing we can win the world cup jus because of this so called Van Gaal Fiasco. If we do this will be the big bang theory glory for NT. `

    As I have mentioned earlier we have lucky this far because we have avoided big teams expect for Spain who were overrated. Aussies had us on back foot but then again they did not have depth in their squad.

    Vs Argentina will a massive game and with squad they posses it will come down to the individual players who will make the difference.

    1. Just curious, what team are you routing for in the WC?

      To say we havent played any big teams yet is a complete joke.

      Spain overrated? They are the reining world champs and european champs. OVERRATED?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me dude? What about the other teams who advanced who played Japan, South Korea, Cameroon etc?

      We beat the world and european champs. We beat Chile, who also beat Spain and Australia, and tied Brazil. Two strong teams.

      We also beat a very strong Mexico team, who tied Brazil and beat a good Crotia side.

      We also beat Costa Rica which had the best defense in the tournament. Costa Rica beat a solid Italy and tied England.

      It is an absolute joke to say we made it here without playing any big teams.

      Who did France play to get the quarters? Nigeria? Germany played Algeria? Give me a break.

      Truth is we faced two very strong teams in MExico and Costa Rica, both of whom had the momentum and crowd going in their favor. We beat both.

      Please stop posting and go support whatever team you like somewhere else.

  41. Exactly Paul. Very well said.

    Also, I read some news (in spanish) saying that De Jong is running against the clock to play against Argentina.

    That would be great news!

  42. Paul…. Spain were overrated jus because Del Bosque chose to stick to the same formula as in 2012 and Confederation Cup. I was adamant about Spain jus because of the depth the squad and the players they had . jus look what happened vs Australia after he benched all the regulars.

    When I said big teams I meant those who take us to the wire or in simply English pound to pound. Neither Spain, Chile, Mexico or Costa Rica came close to doing that. the closest came was Australia but they faded in the second half. They all started well but couldn’t keep up.

    Columbia vs Brazil

    Germany – France

    Argentina – Switzerland

    Belgium – Argentina

    this is what I meant

    1. Mexico played better than Belgium this world cup, and in my opinion, would have beaten France.

      I still dont understand classifying Spain as not a big team. Very strange. And Chile, who took Brazil to PK’s.

      I think we played great against CR, other than when LVG brought on Huntelaar and took out BMI. Our defense looked terrible after that and we almost conceded.

      Lesson learned that we need five defenders, which LVG even admits. Maybe we need 6 against Argentina, 3 for Messi alone.

        1. I agree Bitterballen. It doe snot matter what we do, Laurent and his henchman Wilson will always find something to criticize and ridicule. They will never leave this website since all they care about is to rattle the true Dutch fans. They have made it impossible to make any kind of comment about our style of play because they are not like the rest of us; ie loyal fans. I truly think the best thing to do is to ignore them all together.
          To read Wilson’s comments about the teams we faced is utter nonsense. Everyone had Chile as one of their favorites. And of course Spain wa sgiven by virtually the entire world as the sure bet to at least make the final. But no Wilson thinks we played against Andorra and Malta. Oh dear….

      1. Spain not a big team–please. Are some of their players past their prime? Yes, but nobody quite knew that until The Netherlands took them apart. Also, Chile and Mexico were two of the best teams in the tournament–both probably better than France and Belgium.

  43. When I saw Spain got out of the corner when we pressured them with their passing, I wished we could have that. When I saw Iniesta receiving the ball, turned and went forward, I wished Sneijder could do that rather than passing back. I am not sure if it is confidence, too cautious, but I also see when given enough space Sneijder will charge forward. Maybe our midfields need to move better to find opening. However, Spain is sitting at home watching us having a chance to win the WC.

    It will be a miracle if De Jong will be back for SF. I think we are lucky if we get De Jong back for Final. I am hoping for Fer to be back. I hope Vlaar’s injury is not serious. He has been good.

    On the note of Brazil challenge Thiago Silva’s suspension, perhaps we should challenge Argentina-Peru 6-0 result in 78 and rightfully take that title back, adding Heitinga’ wrongfully dismissal in 2010 and demand a replay of 2010 final. Let’s see what Fifa says about that!

  44. Now my question to the guys who are saying blind plays only because of his dad, are you guy serious and convinced of what u say???
    Really?? So van gaal would make him play because he is dani’s son?? So van gaal has a better option than blind but he doesn’t use it?
    And blind was also elected player of the year in the Netherlands because he is dani’s son???
    Please guys say something more convincing!!!

  45. We all know our team’s weakness. So far in this tournament, they have matured and have risen to the occasion. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be exposed by teams like Argentina who have world class attacking talent. Any simple mistake or lack of concentration will be instantly exploited. That’s the difference between lifting the cup and going home empty handed. The same thing applies to Argentina and whoever we meet in the final. They also have their own problems and our strikers will pounce on any opportunity their defense gives us.

    At this point, all we can do is have faith and hope for the best.

    1. Yes, I agree. We also need to be more clinical in our finish and be careful not to give away PK. We simply do not have quality and talents like Germany or strong defense like Brazil or the genius of Messi, but we definitely have better role players and I may say a best coach right now. Robben is definitely a candidate for Best Player if we win, and I think Depay will win Best Young Player.

    2. Messi is scary because you can mark him well for 98 percent of the game, but with his quickness and craftiness he can beat you the one or two teams he is given an opening. That is the big test for our defenders.

  46. Some good news at last , There is a minimal chance Nigel will be ready for Argentina game.

    And please guys , No need to criticize the team at this stage. We all know it’s not a perfect team but the truth is , it is currently one of the best 4 teams in the world , and still has two games left to prove it is the best.
    Before the world cup begins , some of you guys expected we will get a point or two maximum from this group.
    Which team do you think had played better than Oranje in this World cup ? Colombia ? Germany ? Belgium ? Just curious.
    Argentina suffered against Switzerland , a team that conceded 6 goals in the group stage and all of them were from open play. Not to forget that Switzerland almost scored in the last minute. We played much better and created more chances , hit the side bars three times against a team that conceded ZERO goals from open play in the group of death , Conceded only one goal in the 90th minute with one player red carded.
    We played against Bravo , Ouchoua and Navas. Them three are among the best keepers in the tournament and we managed to win each games of those.

    Hup holland.

  47. Thanks mohamed!!! Very well said!!
    At this point I am not willing to listen to more negativity!!! Nothing will change, this is the team we have and it has done great so far!!! Will enjoy it and hope for the best, argentine is beatable and with some van gaal magic we will have a good chance, argentine is good but not great, beatable team, if van persie and robben can pull some magic moments like against Spain and if our defense can have a good game then we win as simple!!! We just can’t afford to have van persie waste the same chances he had against Costa Rica!! He needs to be lethal against argentine!!
    We need a perfect technical game against argentine just like the one we had against chile!!
    Against chile we were able to keep them out of our box for 90 minutes!!! Then one magic moment from van persie (robben has been doing a lot alone) that’s why I hope van persie does it for us this time!!

    1. You said it: in these last two games our forwards must convert good chances because you don’t get many of them. Look at the 2010 final (sorry!): a great chance to win the WC but Robben cannot convert the big chance. This time I predict he redeems himself–RVP too!

    1. Aguero is great but losing Di Maria will hurt them more. Higuain stepped up the last game and is most likely to start again. My only concern in defense is Vlaar who is a bit slow especially when turning around quickly or changing directions. He struggles exactly against players like Messi, Aguero etc so that should be LVG and the coaching staff’s priority. We need someone to cover him and not be exposed to one on one situations.

      If NDJ is good to go, that will be a big relief. I was impressed by Fernandinho disrupting James Rodriguez. He kept him unsettled and didn’t let him get comfortable. You need a quality man to man defense like that to contain Messi. It’s very difficult to shutdown Messi but you can limit his effectiveness.

  48. Robben vs Messi, RVP vs Higuain, Agüero vs Depay incredible game on Wednesday. But the team with the best team work will win and it will be the Netherlands.

    Argentina doesn’t have the best midfield or defense, they have an amazing attack but so do we. It is time to show the world Holland is ready to steal the trophy next Sunday.

  49. Vlaar is very important to the team he is reliable and gives confidence to the young lads BMI and De Vrij. We need him and Nigel back.

  50. A few follow-up thoughts on the Costa Rica game.

    Midfield — A lot of the criticism of this team (mine included) has been directed at our midfield’s seeming inability to possess the ball and create. However, up until the Costa Rica game, I really think that LVG deliberately chose to bypass our central midfielders entirely from an attacking standpoint.
    In many of early games, Sneijder and de Guzman / Wijnaldum were primarily tasked with marking the opponent’s creative midfielders and denying them space and time. Then when we won possession, we would immediately send the ball long to Robben and RVP for quick counter opportunities.

    However, when facing Costa Rica, we saw our first opponent of the tournament that didn’t really want to attack themselves. Which meant we finally needed to be proactive and possession-oriented in our play (and actually use our midfielders as attacking players). And, as a result we got to see Sneijder play a much more significant and effective role.

    Formation – LVG obviously anticipated Costa Rica’s more reactive approach, and it looked to me like we initially played a 3-4-3, with Blind and Kuyt as wing midfielders and Sneijder and Wijnaldum as center mids. However, with Holland choosing to play 3 up front, Costa Rica ended up playing it even more safe defensively and kept 5 in the back. That choice, in turn, made our possession play somewhat sterile and Costa Rica’s attack virtually non-existent. As the game went on, however, Robben and Sneijder started attacking more centrally, and the cracks in CR’s defense began to appear and yellow cards followed. At the end of the day, the only things that kept CR in the game were their keeper, the woodwork and one really annoying linesman!

    Tactical Adjustments — I also think that for the first time in this World Cup, LVG panicked a little. When we subbed Huntelaar on for BMI and essentially played with 4 forwards, Costa Rica suddenly started to find attacking opportunities. Thankfully they were too tired to do anything with them. At the end of the day though, I really think our team is the most prepared of the whole tournament. Our game-planning and conditioning are allowing our players to survive the first half, make adjustments to address the game flow, and then finish the opponent off at the end. Against Costa Rica the script was basically the same, but with a lot more plot development this time.

    The Team to Beat – Finally, say what you want about Brazil, Germany and Argentina, but I think we are the team to beat. No one else has played such exciting games, scored so many goals, completed so many comebacks, and utilized so many different tactics. The three remaining semi-finalists may have some better individual players, but we are the best TEAM in this World Cup!

    Really excited about Argentina, and what plan LVG has in store to deal with Messi. Looking forward to yet another great game!

  51. My concern is that RVP regain his form. Van Gaal did a good job in the Costa Rica game by not withdrawing RVP from the game. We will need him to win the WC. How awesome is it to score your first WC KO goal in semi final and final?

  52. It seems that RVP’s and Sneijder’s performance moved in the opposite direction. RVP wants to be the center of attention. He thrives when the offense is run through him just like his last season at Arsenal and his first season at Man United. Maybe, he’s feeling a bit left out that Robben is emerging as the face of the team and overshadowing him both on and off the field. I hope that’s not the case for his uninspired performance during the last two games.

    We need all three of our top players to click and perform together. The time is now or never. This is their last great opportunity on the world stage and they need to seize the moment. Just like that Eminem song “Lose Yourself”. Keep playing that song in the locker room. Get these guys psyched up!!!

  53. Interesting theory from local football commentators.

    Van Gaal might have changed football forever with the last-minute Krul substitution. FIFA is now considering allowing a fourth substitution to be made after normal time, and this could mean that teams will be training dedicated “penalty shootout keepers” and keeping the fourth sub for them.

  54. Based on latest news, Vlaar is questionable, but NDJ and Fer are recovering much faster than expected. I would not be surprised to see NDJ in semifinal. Sometimes, I feel that Nigel’s “injury” was another tactical game of LVG. I might be wrong but in this tournament I anticipate everything.

  55. Az-forever…it’s weird but I have the same feeling about this De Jong move being a tactical thing by Van Gaal, maybe it’s wishful thinking that is getting the better of my reality thinking, but I am with you on this one.

    Closed practices the night before a game, constantly changing things up game in, game out, I would not pass this by Van Gaal.

  56. I’ve seen it mentioned a couple times, and apologize for having to say this…but Nigel De Jong will not be ready for the Semifinal.

    I watched the ESPN technical camera of the PK session, and he was clearly limping when the game had be won. He was described as having jogged at training, but unable to move laterally and did not participate with a ball.

    1. My comment was purely based on my intuition…I do not have any evidence that would support that NDJ “insury” was a tactical move…

    1. Thank you Andre. Goosebumps and almost tears in the eyes. What I wouldn’t give to be in one of those places. Hopefully this joy will last until next Monday 🙂
      I have seen the penalties numerous times. Breathtaking stuff.

  57. Brazil is begging FIFA to change its decision regarding Thiago Silva. If FIFA let it go, then football community should explode and boycott this WC…May be they will bribe FIFA…

  58. No one expect pk in semifinal, but if that happen I wonder what LVG would do this time, Krul’s late substitution wont surprise opponent anymore. I think he will try push things harder before full time, maybe clasie replace wijnaldum? imo he would be best candidate to men-mark messi?
    In the next games, I hope we can replicate 2nd half vs Spain’s performance, which I think was our best performance in this campaign.

  59. Interesting idea with Clasie, but what pressure that would be — man-marking the best player in the world having not played a single minute of this World Cup.

    Also, I don’t think penalties will interest van Gaal any longer. We’ve already shown our hand, both with our keeper and our shooters. I don’t think he’ll let any further games come to that.

    1. I don’t believe Van Gaal will tinker with the formation by inserting Clasie. It could turn onto a disaster. Clasie is young with no minutes under his belt, the pressure would suffocate him. I would say go with what worked in our best game which is Spain. Do same thing and do it better.

  60. Video of Dutch fans in Toronto celebrating after QF win: http://www.citynews.ca/2014/07/05/dutch-soccer-fans-celebrate-world-cup-advance/

    It looks like many teams will pratice PK and prepare one keeper for PK and pull a LVG’s move in the future. Why not if your #1 keeper is not good with PK?

    To contain Messi, I think we need at least 2-3 players (cover the zone where player can support each other). I’m not sure if Clasie can handle this. He is a bit “lightweight” and slower although he is at the same height as Messi.

    1. Was this at the school?

      Looks like they’re coming out in droves now, I’ll probably have to be there at 10am to get a spot on wednesday!

      1. Not sure if this was in school. Unfortunately I’m not in TO or else I’d be there.

        List of remaining referees for the last 4 matches: http://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/40/12/75/listrelease_07.07.14_neutral.pdf

        The Mexican ref was assigned Brazil – Germany so we are looking at the USA ref, the 2 Asian and 2 African as South America/Europe ref out of contention for semi final.

        It it is the all European final, I really do not wish to see Webb again.

  61. After Messi Higuain is the biggest danger. Di Maria not playing is a big relief.
    I hope Vlaar is playing. He has been the glue of our defense. If RvP wakes up and we take our chances we will win it. But we can’t afford being generous any more.

  62. Nigel and fer are too heavy weight, too obvious in making fouls, no one as fast as messi, except robben, but clasie has good anticipation and determination. Maybe LVG has his way to take pressure off from clasie.

    1. Could you imagine LVG using Robben to man-mark Messi?! That would surpass everything else tactically that he’s done so far 😀

      I just don’t think we could afford sacrificing Robben from an attacking perspective, but it would be specatular viewing…

      My only concern regarding Argentina is that we’ve really only faced one team so far with a traditional central striker — Cahill for Australia — and he scored against us.

      Playing that type of role, Higuain may pose more problems than we realize, and when combined with Messi and Aguero up front, that’s an awful lot to contend with.

      We’ll see what LVG comes up with…

      1. I was thinking the same thing this morning. We havent really faced a striker who can sit on the shoulder of the center backs like RVP does.

        Again, i trust Van Gaal to make the proper adjustments.

    1. I am going opposite this time and pick Brazil to beat Germany. Despite the obvious losses of Silva and Neymar and the perception of inferior in tournament-to-date performance vs Germany. I think they may rally around the Neymar situation and win …… only to be beaten by us in the final (since they have used up all their emotions in the semi and we have used up all of our blank bullets to post/cross-bar vs the Ticos) 🙂

      Same with us vs Argentina matchup, where most favor Argentina. For every Messi/Higuain/Aguero we have to worry about, they have to worry about Robben/RVP/Sneijder as well.

      1. The inclusion of the fans and refs cannot be discounted in predicting who will win. Even with this, though, I think germany will win. Hopefully zie germans get carded up the ass in an attempt to help Brazil. We can also expect Brazilian fans to turn against germany and come to the oranje side for the final.

    2. I still think Bra-Ger is 50-50. Germany should win on paper but with referee on their side and any accidents during the game Brazil may take it all the way to penalties. At this stage you never know. CR almost eliminated us with that last chance on min 117 and they had a couple of guys already suspended. Both games are 50-50 regardless who is playing or not.

      1. Both games are 50-50 regardless who is playing or not.

        I am in full agreement to that. Betting lines are pretty even, we are slight underdog at +200 to win in regulation and +110 to win outright.

        As a betting man who bleeds oranje, I love the underdog position.

  63. Any thoughts on why Janmaat has not been playing? I thought he played well in the first 2 matches he was in, better than de Guzman or Wijnaldum.

  64. It seems the “neutral” soccer world has turned against us. All I read everywhere is about Robben diving, Krul intimidating, etc. etc. Its back to the “Dirty Dutch” stigma that was thrust upon us after the 2010 Final. That got partially erased after the Spain game this time but it seems to have come back in full force.

    I really want Netherlands to play another dream game like the one against Spain and shut this nonsense up once and for all.

    With that said, I think we drew the worst opponent in the Semis. Argentina matches up very well with their strengths in our areas of weaknesses in addition to having Messi. I trust Van Gaal but I am concerned too.

    1. Vikram, I’d consider those “neutral” to be more “casual” observers that only read the headlines and watch the highlights. The same people who said Nigel is a “dirty player” after the karate kick. Anyone who follows the EPL closely would immediately know he is NOT a dirty player.

      The amount of energy discussing Robben’s dives can propel a rocket ship to the moon. Meanwhile, there is not much charge against Brazilian players antics. Is Fred’s acting in the first match vs Croatia NOT much worse than any of Robben’s dives? At least Robben runs when he dives while Fred just collapsed and held his face when the back of his shirt was pulled.

      And I have not really read Zuniga labeled as a “dirty player” with that knee to Neymar. Is that NOT worse than Nigel’s kick to Xabi? Xabi played on, Neymar is out of tournament. People should think harder.

    2. You are right. Everywhere you go to read something you see mostly negative things about Holland. As long as we go all the way I really don’t give a damn about what the media or the public says. Eliminating another spanish speaking superpower will certainly make many eat their words.

    3. What we’ve got to come to understand as Dutch fans is that it doesn’t matter what the media or the rest of the world thinks or says.

      In 2010 we were characterized as thugs, proponents of anti-football. Why? Because we kept Spain from doing what they wanted to. We defended, neutralized their possession and actually tried to win the game.

      This time around, even if we do win it will be all about Robben’s diving, Krul’s antics, van Gaal’s trickery, defensive tactics, Neymar’s injury, etc.

      In all honesty, I don’t care what anyone else says. I would just love to see a star above that lion on the oranje jersey, and if there’s any group of players deserving of it, it’s these guys, who entered with no expectations but have bonded together and found a way to win together again and again.

      Brazil, Germany, Argentina — all have flaws and weaknesses. None “deserve” to win this tournament because of their peerless performances. All four remaining teams can win it, and I prefer that the final team standing be us.

      Hup Holland!

      1. I totally agree. I am shocked by all the negatives. I called in this morning on the football show on sirius satellite radio and spoke with Ray Hudson. I said he was too biased in his analysis, saying Argentina was the team he supported because of its beautiful football. This guy absolutely adores Messi, and he would die for Messi. I said Argentina was totally destructive against Belgium thereby preventing Belgium from playing. But all he could say was that Krul was horrible and if you add that to Robben’s diving Holland was the team everyone loves to hate. He went on by saying that the style changed in 2006 and since then it has been awful with fouls galore and a ruthless approach to the game. This is really sad.

        1. I would not bother with American media… they are catering for the listeners / watchers.. that is mostly a hispanic basic with a majority of followers from Mexico and Central America. They are letting people hear what people want to hear…

          They (the media) summarized 8 years of Dutch football in two incidents.. the De Jong on Alonso Kung Fu kick and Robben’s admitting to going down easily. The fact that they overlooked Holland when we played fantastic football against Brazil and Uruguay in 2010… that we destroyed France and Italy in 2008…. that they demolished Spain and ended the tiki taka rein, deservedly beat Chile AND beat Mexico fair and square in scorching heat… is truly pathetic… and I refuse to lend an ear to it.

          You shouldn’t do that either.

          1. Thanks a lot. Sometimes hearing all these negatives is frustrating which is why I love coming on this site…for the support. I know you are entirely correct. Thanks again.

          2. I agree with all of you, people exagerrate about Holland.

            Holland is the team which deserves the most to be in semi final currently. With Argentina. For the simple reason that unlinke Germany and Brazil, Holland and Argentina won every game.

            I think people dislike Holland since 2006 because of players. A simple example : Here in France, everyone loves Bergkamp. Many people used to like Kluivert, Overmars etc. Holland was an appreciated and respected team in that time.

            Now, most of people here don’t like Robben or RVP. Most of french people (and probably also english, italian etc.) were supporting Costa Rica and Mexico. It’s not jealousy or the fact people like to support “little” teams, but people just don’t like RVP and Robben, they recognize their talent but don’t respect them. They don’t have elegance and class like Bergkamp, Davids etc. had.

            This year it’s even worst as most of people don’t know about the eredivisie players we are playing with, most of people (starting with me) were predicting that Holland would fail quickly, so now people cannot understand how Holland can go as far with such a team, they are explaining it with Holland having luck every time.

            Personnally I’m neither with the “pure” fans here neither with the haters. I try to analyze by myself. I think that this dutch team isn’t that impressive, like the 2010 one, but we are in a period where Brazil, France, Italy etc. aren’t that strong neither. Or at least don’t have consistency.

            If you look at Italy, 2010 they finished last in their group, 2012 they reach final, 2014 first round again…No consistency at all. It’s a bit the impression that Holland is giving, 2012 0 points, now at least semi finals, 2016 will be very hard to predict.

    4. Vikram, unfortunately the “neutral” football world are hoping for the Argentina-Brazil final ever since the draw was made.

      So it is a good sign that they are trying to damage Nederland chances with all this negativity. It is simply a sign of their fear of the Dutch.

      The worst one going around among Spain suuporters is that Robben is on some kind of drug treatment, untraceable to the tests. That’s why he is so fit so late in the season.

      Do not pay attention, support our team. Even if we win this one by beating both Argentina and Brazil by five goals, the world will be against the Dutch, beacause we will spoil the party the imagined.

  65. (SamNY)

    For all the Clasie supporters… We keep hearing from the players that this is a 23 player WorldCup… I do firmly believe Clasie will play at some point. And he might be the last Ace LvG has in his pocket.

    Against Argentina, we need to sit deep with 9 players constantly behind the ball. Argentina are very beatable… and the reason they haven’t been beaten is that other teams gave them too much respect.

    Argentina got lucky with Bosnia’s own goal inside 15 minutes. They got lucky against against Iran when the Iranian guy missed a glorious opportunity AND a penalty was not called against them.

    Oranje ALWAYS plays better against better teams. Teams that want to play. We beat Spain 5-1 and Chile 2-0.

    I do think RvP will step up again. Not sure who will be closing Messi down, but I suspect it will be a team effort. We will definitely play 5-3-2

    1. You say that other teams have given Argentina too much respect–and then suggest Netherlands play 9 behind the ball! I’d say that is giving quite a lot of respect, perhaps too much. My bet is that LVG plays 5-3-2 again, starts cautiously, and we will then feel the game out. As always scoring first would be huge….Two pretty dull quarterfinals when one team scored early and no more goals, each ending 1-0.

      1. Our defence cannot keep up with good dribbles and good one-two passes… they were exposed multiple times against Mexico. We need the numbers behind the ball just like when we played Spain.

  66. If we make the final again, it will be the 4th. An interesting statistic of finalists for the last 40 yrs (i.e. modern football era).

    Germany – 5 times
    Netherlands – 3 times
    Brasil – 3 times
    Italy – 3 times
    Argentina – 3 times
    France – 2 times
    Spain – 1 time

    So Holland is already 2nd best with Brasil, Italy and Argentina. A 4th final will be even better

    HUP Holland!

    1. Considering all but Netherlands have population over 40 million, Netherlands is at 16+ million, it is an even more impressive feat.

      1. Yes impressive. If we make it to the finals with Germany, then it means that we have made more finals than Brasil, Italy or Argentina during the last 40 years! Isnt that awesome ?

        But there is a big IF 🙂

        1. I really don’t pay too much attention on the correlation between country size and WC success. Uruguay has shown that it doesn’t matter.

          1. I really don’t pay too much attention on the correlation between country size and WC success. Uruguay has shown that it doesn’t matter.

            The same way I think the 2 titles Uruguay has are irrelevant since it happened way before countries had similar opportunities to participate …. 🙂

  67. Can someone shed some light on the Janmaat situation? Why hasn’t he played? He seemed to play quite well for us bar a few mistakes. I think we need him for the next game, right?

  68. The big worry for me is that somebody bumps into Messi in the box…Who doubts that he will take a few tumbles in the box in this game? We will need to be careful–and of course much depends on the official. If I’m an official, I certainly would not call a penalty kick in a semifinal or final unless the foul in the box is bad and obvious. You shouldn’t have marginal penalty calls–but of course we have seen a few in the tourney.

    1. Legitimate concern. Messi is not a classic diver and I respect him for that. But at this point he will anything to get to the final. We have the firepower to match Messi + Higuain + Aguero + referee. If we take our chances then we will score one more than them. I think LVG will start with 532 and switch to 442 when necessary.

    1. I don’t care what they think, predictions hardly materialize. I bet they had us winning 4-0 against Costa Rica. But a couple of things are true. We have been going from a win in last 2 minutes to a penalty shootout. During these 90 mins we have only scored twice one of which a penalty. RVP hasn’t scored in 3 games (incl one where he was suspended). BUT Argentina hasn’t lit the world on fire either. Messi hasn’t scored since last group game. They could have lost against Switzerland but they had a much easier game against Belgium. This is a brand new game, brand new tactical battle. If RVP clears his head and scores then we win. If he pulls another 2010 then I don’t know. I hope he is not disappointed that Robben is stealing all the headlines. This would be disastrous.

  69. Certain interesting things are shaping up…
    To beat Arjentina we will get all support from brazil..thats for sure,What if Germany beats Brazil???Germany will get all hatreds and cards..its goin to be God’s justice for Holselbleins Dive.All we have to do is take care of messi very well and score some goals,it would be bit hard to contain messi 4 90minuts or so.So lets concentre on scoring,
    We have faced the toughest 2 defensive team in this WC,Arjentine Defense is no where near to these Mexicans and Costaricans,Couple with their Outstanding Ochoa and Navas.If arjentins doesnt park the bus , it would be the end of them.i hope they dont park and attack us,thats what we need.i think Vlaar will be benched ndVletman will play,he will take care of messi than vlaar.
    Messi has won so much Ballon d ors and popularity..Now its the time for Roben…
    Also we must utilize our setpeices,which will help us a lot.i hope Dutch finds a fluke goal with in 10 minutes like David luiz and Silva got for Brazil.
    I feel Arjentina very unlucky and all the unluck is with them,this WC is for dutch no matter who the opponent is.

  70. An old saying claims that the winner is always right.
    It happens then that van Gaal is considered brilliant and main architect of the qualification into the semi-finals only to have sub Cillessen with Krul with a view to the penalty kicks. I’d be curious to know how the same people would consider him if Cillessen had not saved him and the Oranije just a minute before. They probably would have showed all his several mistakes promptly fallen by the wayside once we won.
    But I have a good memory and I’d like to talk with the “master of tactician” about his ridicolous 3-4-3 never tried before, not even in a friendly, about the way he continues to use a very weak Blind, about the way he doesn’t use Clasie, about Depay in the starting lineup, about the ghost of van Persie held on the field until the end of the game. A series of decisions that I consider foolish and guilt of which we strongly risked elimination (against Costa Rica!, although now you try to pass it off as a great team).
    But yeah … who wins is always right and I wish the overrated van Gaal continues to be right in the semi.

    1. I agree on the 3-4-3. Bad experiment. Even Gullit talked about it on BeIN TV. But he redeemed himself with the penalties. Perhaps he underestimated CR and wanted to try sth new. 3-4-3 just went on for too long. I doubt he would try to experiment against Arg.

  71. @laurent..Holland team was always stronger than many hyped football powers ever since 1970,When did italy beat us convincingly?Only Germany beta us convincingly 3-0 in a friendly match when we played under BVM,2008-2012 worst period of orange in terms of quality and under utilization.
    @laurent People dislike us because of 2010 playing style not even for 2006Wc(Everyone said we played well).Also RVP and Roben,sneider and Vaart hurt all the big teams in their times,i mean we have schooled every one bar Germany.so there will be immense hate against them,especialy vs Robin and Robben,its no wonder,None of the haters doesnt have a clue about dutchfootball and their intelligence.Bergkamp was class,Davids was but these guys are more effective in front of goal than the previous generation.its as simple as that.

  72. Vs Arjetins we need legs,lungs with intelligence and power,its sad that we cannt use Fer and Dejong for Muscle,i hope kuyt makes it up.
    @LVG we need Janmaat back,Joel veltman vs Arjetina is not a bad option consider low centre of gravity messi.RVP cannot choke ANYMORE ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.its was RVP who is reaosn behind nevry shoot out ,i cannt blame anyone else.
    Krul looks cocky,confident and has better reflex,can organize defnse but Still Cillesen face look so tensed..So why not start with krul???????

  73. Just to point out that i think Sneijder’s goal against Mexico really woke him up.

    He played outstanding against CR, that cross to RVP was sublime, and he sprayed passes around very well all game. Not to mention his amazing free kick and shot which hit the cross bar.

    So while people are crying about RVP, people are overlooking Sneijder’s great game. People forget that a good Wesley Sneijder can carry this team.

    He scored 5 goals in WC 2010, including the only goal against Denmark (i believe).

    In sum, and in form Sneijder and Robben is all we need. RVP in form as well would be DEADLY to Argentina.

    1. I agree, Sneijder is getting better and better. If he gets free kick opportunity again in the game with Argentina, he will score this time. I am pretty sure.

  74. Robben = Messi
    Sneijder > Aguero, and anyone other mid
    RVP > Higuain
    Huntelaar > Higuain

    The real shame is that no coach has ever figured out a way to utilize RVP and KJH at the same time. If we had RVP, KJH, Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt out there, that would be an incredible machine, which would win this world cup.

    I hope this is what LVG does, go all out and use our best firepower to bury our way to glory.

    Let’s be honest, this is our last chance for glory for a while, this is the end of the golden generation. We have no phenoms in the pipeline who can fill these guys shoes.

    No country does.

    1. I don’t think we need RVP + KJH + Robben all play at the same time in the front.

      It would means we lack 1 midfielder, we tried this at 2012 and you know the results.

      What we need strong midfielders & wingers who can bring lot of balls to RVP & Robben and let them finish it.

  75. I do not know why Cillesen is so unwanted here. I personally think he made very crucial saves during the game with Spain, Chile, Mexico and CR. He has terrific reflexes, and last but not least he is very patient. He never leaves the gate prematurely when opponent’s forward is approaching. He waits and makes forward nervous. I love how he saves with his legs. I personally do not think, LvG is going to change Jasper. Krul is our penalty specialist. However, it would be very costly if LvG saves one substitute if semifinal will go to penalty shoot out. Argentina will play a patient game but they will not park the bus like CR.

    With respect to RVP, looks like he is undergoing some mental breakdown…, and this is not a good sign. However, in 5:3:2 system he is irreplaceable. I love Hunterlaar but he is not a good sub for RVP in 5:3:2 system…

    Not sure what LvG is going to do if Vlaar is out…I do not like Veltman, and I do not think he fits this level of competition.

  76. The absent of tiago has bigger impact than neymar, considering his leadership and reliance on defenders in crucial wins. Its like puyol to spain. I think germany in final.

  77. Since no one reacted to this, I will post it again: http://i.imgur.com/A7oEmJU.jpg

    I’m hoping people will realize the significance of it, also if the opposing team’s guys are up to scratch this won’t work again, at least not as well as this!

    Also Jan, 25 dollars donated as promised. I urge everyone else to do their bit as well.

    1. OhYeah,

      I love that JPG. To me it shows the genius of LVG. I don’t see it as Krul better/taller than Cillessen but more of his ways in messing up with CR penalty takers’ psyche. Krul also picked the direction correctly in all kicks, whether or not he tipped them. I don’t think this is because Krul is better than Cillessen, this should all already been scripted/planned from the bench. Krul just executed the “strategy”.

      Luckily the result went to us, regardless, it is unorthodox and fresh.

  78. Against Argentina I’m sure our system will be 5-3-2. Van Gaal began to think to 5-3-2 after the friendly in Paris. Given the fragility of our defenders it was a wise choice to protect them against highest level opponents. Argentina is clearly part of that exclusive club of teams, as well as Spain, Brazil and Germany.

  79. i would not go so far to say that RVP is having a mental breakdown, he finished his penalty with aplomb. He also made a great move when he got away his shot in extra time i believe it was. He looks fine, he just didnt finish some good chances.

    1. Agreed. He was very unlucky not to score and he did some nice moves. Maybe he is not physically fit as Robben and the rest. Man i continue to be astonished with Robben and Sneijder fitness. Even mentally the way they approached the penalties they are acting like real world class players. Sneijder was the real missing link so far, but it seems that his form is returning at the best possible time !

    2. RVP did seem out of sorts against CR. However, apart from his one whiff at the end of game where he completely missed the ball, his other shots were on target and forced good saves. That one that deflected off two defenders and hit the crossbar was just unlucky. It does not seem like this is a situation where RVP is completely missing the plot. He is showing signs of tension, however; you can see it in his look.

    1. No way. He got into some great positions against CR, maybe we were watching different games.

      How about his move cutting inside and ripping the shot at a tough angle? That was world class!

  80. People don’t like RVP, Robben and De Jong, but who cares if people are hating on this dutch team. I don’t understand why you guys sweat it so much. The best way to shut them up is to lift the trophy up on July 13.

    This team hasn’t played any less attractive then the other 3 semi-finalists. No one criticizes Brazil for fouling too much, or Argentina for being dirty or the Germans for being boring.

    I had a French fan tell me he dislikes the dutch team because they play shit football. Which is funny because after they dismantled Switzerland. France played like garbage the rest of the way.

    1. No way. He got into some great positions against CR, maybe we were watching different games.

      How about his move cutting inside and ripping the shot at a tough angle? That was world class!

  81. Hi, Jan (and others).

    From Spain, good luck against Argentina. Surely there’s no other squad in this World Cup deserving more the win than Holland, and surely there´s no other squad the Football owes more a Cup.

    Four years ago, just after the final match I had some…errr… words with a poster you, Jan, probably remember very well. I mean Finnster, that big fan of Holland who died a couple of years ago. Yeah, on that occasion Finnster was not very kind to me and said some ugly things, but surely I was a complete idiot to enter the site when he died to censure again his attitude.

    Today Di Stefano, a legend of my favourite team, has died. Some guy in a blog said disrespectful things about him and suddenly, don’t know how or why, I remembered Finnster and felt like I was still owing him an apology. So here I am.

    Yeah, there´s no need to be resentful with the ones who die. They were not monsters after all, only people.

    Errr, no, I´m not on drugs…

    Good luck again. Your substitute goalkeeper is a cock, but still you deserve the win, ha ha.

    1. Hi Alberto, of course everybody is routing for their own national team and should respect that others are doing the same. I cannot imagine anybody taking issues personally outside the context of the game. When being a neutral one obviously wants to see exiting play of which the Dutch had their fair share of in the past. Now they just want to win the title for a change.

      A good friend of mine of Basque heritage, saved up money to go and see Spain in Brazil, hope he is still having a good time as a neutral now. lol

    2. Thank you for coming and saying these words. Appreciate it. I do think about Finn a lot. He was quite a personality on the blog and I am sorry that you had words, together. He died in the harnass watching a game of the Dutch when he had his heart attack.

      It’s all just football though isn’t it? A game…. I don’t like it when people treat each other like that…. I actually admired Di Stefano a lot, obviously, and I think I have always spoken positively about the Spanish side. I do not believe in hate and aggression etc. There is not one team or nation I generally dislike. I can dislike a particular player, but how can one not like players like Littbarski or Baggio or Iniesta or Rui Costa or Zico or Eriksen or Dembele…. It’s silly.

  82. I think you are exaggerating on the people’s attitude towards Holland. There are a lot of haters obviously, but I heard many many people saying great things about us. Also i believe Holland are now the neutral man’s favorite among the last 4 … because we are the underdogs.

  83. The absent of tiago has bigger impact than neymar, considering his leadership and reliance on defenders in crucial wins. Its like puyol to spain. I think germany in final which will be harder to us, in a way that fifa and latin American will find way to avoid all european final and ending of a tradition, european dont win south american land.

    1. I’m not sure if Hiddink can do better than LVG after this WC, but I’m sure LVG wants to win this WC badly (definitely not the attitude of we are happy to be in semi final). LVG will be the greatest coach in Netherlands history by winning this WC (sorry JC and Rinus the General and finally JC may have kind and respect words for LVG). Regardless of the outcome, LVG will leave a good team for Hiddink to build on and another Euro title will be expected (Hence the dilemma: we are doing well when not many give us a chance, and not doing so well when we have great expectations).

      1. @ Hien……Regardless of the outcome, LVG will leave a good team for Hiddink to build on and another Euro title will be expected ….no way …you have to be joking mate . We need a massive clean up after this WC and wipe of Van Gaal stain left by his pussy tactics.

        Strootman, Van Ginkle, PVA, Buttner, Van Dijik, Rekik,Ake. Bruma, Afellay is what we need and if RVP ,Robben, Hunter, De Jong are around.

    2. “Of course the Argentines have [Lionel] Messi who can do something crazy, but we have [Arjen] Robben who can do that too.”

      Amen to that, Hiddink! (still p*ssed at you for leading Russia when beating us in 2008)

  84. Would anyone has updates about Vlaar, Fer or Nigel De Jong? It looks like Aguerro will play up front with Messi and Higuain in 4-3-3. I’m looking forwards to 98 QF result again although a 2-0 win will make me less nervous.

      1. We will beat them. 98 win is not enough pay back for 78 final.

        The Netherlands and Argentina will be officiated by 37-year-old Cüneyt Çakir from Turkey. He ref 2 group stage games: Brazil v. Mexico and Algeria v. Russia.

  85. There is only one recipe to dethrow Argentina and that is exactly what Shaqiri did for Switzerland vs Argentina. Keep pressing them and find gaps between the defense. I think Argentina has got a good defensive line of Zabeleta,Garay, Rojos and most probably Demichelis and it will all come down to sneijder can raise his tempo through out jus like in the last 15 vs CR. Sabella went with 5-3-2 vs Bosina but had had to revert back to 4-3-3 to secure the win so he he pretty much aware of that formation.

    I think Federico Fernandez was the weal link in the Argentine defense and thats why Demichelis was chosen ahead of him to start vs Beligum. The formation will also be vital cos we all know NT will stick to 5-3-2 and this brings the question of whether Di Maria injury force Sabella to change the formation from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 and then back to 4-3-3 if needed jus like what they did vs Bosina especially when they two top strikers in the form of Dzeko and Ibišević .

  86. Apparently he is a very good friend of Kuijpers the Dutch referee and has refereed us before, last time against Italy in the friendly in 2013.

    1. I think that Çakir can be inconsistent but not really sure which team that helps. In the Mexico-Brazil game he let a lot of hard tackles (or worse) go unpunished with yellow cards and it led to Brazil easing back so as not to get injuries, and settling for a draw. But he was also the ref who controversially red-carded Nani for a chest-high boot during the CL when Nani did not appear to see the player running in behind him, which seemed unfair.
      Under his current more lax style, I think it generally suits us better as we may need more physicality to stop Messi. But it may also put Robben more in harm’s way, especially with “the Masher” in Argentina’s defense (i.e., Mascherano).

  87. @ Hien……Regardless of the outcome, LVG will leave a good team for Hiddink to build on and another Euro title will be expected ….no way …you have to be joking mate . We need a massive clean up after this WC and wipe of Van Gaal stain left by his pussy tactics.

    Strootman, Van Ginkle, PVA, Buttner, Van Dijik, Rekik,Ake. Bruma, Afellay is what we need and if RVP ,Robben, Hunter, De Jong are around.

    Hiddink will take us into the right direction…the all fashion way.

    1. I’m not joking. Of the 4 SF, we are the youngest team and this team carries us to SF. Why are we rebuilding again? We can retooling by changing some positions (Strootman, Van Ginkle, PVA, Rekik, Bruma, Zoet…yes; not yet to Buttner, Ake, Afellay) but up front you may still need Robben, RVP, Huntelaar, De Jong for another 2 years. Massive clean up to a WC semi finalist which is one of the youngest squad in the WC? No in my opinion. We are talking 30% change (7-8 players out of 23 men squad).

  88. Rvp tried hard but wasn’t himself. I am happy he scored his penalty otherwise it would have been a complete disaster for him and maybe us. Min 118 Sneijder hits the crossbar, Robben gets the rebound and shoots a missile but rvp is on the way. He was looking to get the ball from robben in a very tight space. If rvp is not there robben shot tears the net.

  89. “The same people who said Nigel is a “dirty player” after the karate kick. Anyone who follows the EPL closely would immediately know he is NOT a dirty player.”

    Is this a joke or what ?

    First those who follow EPL currently know that Nigel doesn’t play there.

    Second those who remember about him with City know that he broke Ben Arfa’s leg on a free nasty tackle, letting him a whole year home.

    Nigel himself said that he wasn’t tender and that he didn’t care about people calling him dirty player or not. All the dutch here would insult and hate on him if he was italian or english.

    He is a top footballer, but a footballer that you should better have in your own team.

    That’s why I feel between the haters and the blind fans here, that people here can deny Nigel or Van Bommel nastyness is completyly ridiculous. Van Bommel could go till the final without taking a red card, that’s a miracle.

    1. Laurent,

      Is this a joke or what ? First those who follow EPL currently know that Nigel doesn’t play there.

      Should have clarified I meant his days at City. I just don’t follow serie A as close as I do EPL so I don’t know about his reputation with Milan. No need to get snappy just because I think some of your posts make 0 sense.

      I am an LFC fan but I did read quite a lot of articles about how City fans love Nigel.

      That’s why I feel between the haters and the blind fans here, that people here can deny Nigel or Van Bommel nastyness is completyly ridiculous. Van Bommel could go till the final without taking a red card, that’s a miracle.

      I’m a fan, don’t think I’m blind. Emotional yes but not blind. I actually really hated Van Bommel. He and Winston Bogarde are probably the only 2 Oranje players that I did not like. And yes, I do think MvB was dirty and he’s such an annoying agitator. But I don’t think Nigel is along the same line with MvB in term of “dirty-ness”.

    2. Laurent,

      I think people dislike Holland since 2006 because of players. A simple example : Here in France, everyone loves Bergkamp. Many people used to like Kluivert, Overmars etc. Holland was an appreciated and respected team in that time.

      Sorry I have to reply to the other post from here since there is no reply button to the post I’m replying to.

      I agree and disagree with that at the same time. Agree meaning there is no doubt the 1998 was the peak of that golden generation for Dutch football. If one is neutral, then Holland was a “great team to cheer for” because of the quality of the players. In other ways, I disagree because that will be the same with saying “People hate Brazil after 1982 because of players like Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Junior or Eder ….” You can name anyone from 1982 squad and I don’t recall any Brazilian squad after that to be anywhere close to quality to 1982. But I’d make a reasonable assumption that most “neutral” and “casual” fans will not hate Brazil or say Brazil is a dirty diving team. I think there is an intangible sentiment toward Brazil from such fans.

      Now, most of people here don’t like Robben or RVP. Most of french people (and probably also english, italian etc.) were supporting Costa Rica and Mexico. It’s not jealousy or the fact people like to support “little” teams, but people just don’t like RVP and Robben, they recognize their talent but don’t respect them. They don’t have elegance and class like Bergkamp, Davids etc. had.

      Again, agree and disagree. Robben is notorious as a “diver” long before last week when he opened his big mouth. This is an easy trait to hate if one is neutral or casual. Especially here in the USA, anytime there is a wind of “diving” or “flopping”, they’ll hate. And yes, RvP is no Bergkamp but I’d reasonably guess most Gunners fans love RvP (yes, I know he plays for United now) after Bergkamp and Henry.

      This year it’s even worst as most of people don’t know about the eredivisie players we are playing with, most of people (starting with me) were predicting that Holland would fail quickly, so now people cannot understand how Holland can go as far with such a team, they are explaining it with Holland having luck every time.

      I fully agree with this. Their explanation of “luck” is very superficial because from my standpoint, the drive/guts to come back at the 88th min vs Mexico was huge. And I’ve mentioned here multiple times this kind of attitude does not usually associate with the Oranje (even the 1998 squad). Same with the “luck” argument vs Costa Rica. Oranje fan bias or not, reasonable people would say Costa Rica was the one who was lucky with the 3 hits on the cross bar/posts. But I suppose it is easier and more popular to say “The Dutch was lucky to beat Costa Rica” after the Robben diving statement fiasco and Costa Rica’s cinderella run.

      Personnally I’m neither with the “pure” fans here neither with the haters. I try to analyze by myself. I think that this dutch team isn’t that impressive, like the 2010 one, but we are in a period where Brazil, France, Italy etc. aren’t that strong neither. Or at least don’t have consistency.

      Again fully agree with this. Wow, I actually am agreeing with you multiple times on that post. I’d actually say on paper this year’s squad can be considered as “less impressive” vs 2010, same big 3, Kuyt, MvB and VdV were on the 2010 squad vs the lesser known/younger players from 2014. But as you said, Brazil, France, Italy or I’d even add Argentina isn’t showing they are impressive. Wilmots got criticized as sour grapes when he said Argentina was not impressive, after watching the quarter final between Arg/Bel, I actually agree with Wilmots. It’s like watching the ugliest final of 1990 when Brehme hit the PK vs Argentina. Not impressive but both 2014 Argentina v Belgium and 1990 Germany v Argentina had (ugly) skills to put their opponent down. Or as I like to say to my German friend/football nemesis: “you guys are good in boring your opponents, then score 1 goal when they are bored”.

      If we are to win this year by protecting a 1-0 lead after 10 mins. and playing defensive/ugly/boring football with untalented Blind, Vlaar, de Frij, Janmaat, I’ll take that trophy, please ……

      1. Seriously, the French team of 1998 is one of the most hated team and I would have no problem if Netherlands can achieve same result. If we win against Argentina and Brazil, we will be public enemy. Again, who care if we win?

    3. I disagree that Nigel is a “dirty” player. He is someone who plays hard and sometimes pushes the limits. But he is known and admired as one of the top defensive midfielders and has been playing just as well for AC Milan as for ManCity, where he was greatly appreciated by the fans.

      The Ben Arfa incident was unfortunate and surely a sore point for French fans. Whether or not he intended anything to happen, the ref did not even show him a yellow card, although BvM wisely dropped him from the NT for a spell until he scaled back his play. It seems that was a period where he went over the limits a few times but, apart from that, has been consistently a strong but not “dirty” player in the midfield.

      In fact, I believe that Nigel has only gotten one red card in his career.

      Who might be worse? How about Mascherano, who we’ll be playing against on Wednesday. For example, while playing for Liverpool, JM had the Premier League’s worst disciplinary record in the 2009-2010 season–when Nigel was playing regularly for ManCity.

      How about Sergio Ramos? I can’t count how many red cards he’s gotten. Pepe? Same thing.

      Nigel has had an outstanding Cup for us until his injury and we should be grateful for his presence.

      1. VanX : He is a dirty player. Apart the Ben Arfa incident, remember he also broke one american player leg etc. he isn’t to put next to Van Bommel, Pepe or Barton, but he is close to Mascherano and Ramos.

        1. Laurent June 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm

          “2008 remake, we’ll see after. Nothing to learn from this game, except Robben selfishness not to serve Lens, and Cillessen unable to keep a ball in his hands.

          “Spain was just fucked up, that happens.

          “Goldstone my first prediction was a loss against Brazil in second round, even if I also believed maybe Holland wouldn’t pass the first round.

          “Now I’m also thinking about finishing first and losing to Croatia/Mexico after like against Russia in 2008.

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

    1. Yoyogi,

      If we get past Argentina…which team would you rather face between Brazil and Germany? WHY?

      There is no preference to me since I think all 4 teams have equal chances to win the Cup, it will fall to who’ll be the most fit and can execute on match days.

      If we beat Argentina, then beat Brazil, we’ll make history by being the first European country to win in the Americas.

      If we beat Argentina, then beat Germany, we’ll make our own history because …. well, we beat the Germans …. 🙂

      Both are equally important to me as an Oranje fan. Beating Germany in the final after beating Argentina will mean we have avenged all 3 WC finals losses (74, 78 and ’10).

      For some reasons, I find it hard that an All-South-American and All-European final will be happening, so my guess/pick is we’ll play/beat Brazil in the final.

      Hup Holland Hup!

  90. I also think when Lens came in for Depay vs CR he was one way traffic with no footwork and dribbling like Depay and thats why was he constantly getting offside.kind of looks bulky when he runs IMO. also if you Look at Neymar and Di Maria they keep switching the flanks that is some thing we haven’t seen with Robben/Depay/Lens.

  91. I’m watching the 2nd half again of the Costa Rica game and you can see the moment when Vlaar injured his knee. It was during the 83rd minute from a Robben set piece, and after the kick, Vlaar immediately goes down and clutches at his knee.

    I agree with the comment that we should bring Veltman on to defend Messi. He has the speed, plus Argentina isn’t a tall team, so we don’t need huge CB’s to defend.

  92. Hien when I said massive clean up I meant the coaching staff too. If Danny Stays so will be his son Daley but unfortunately thats what gonna happen after 2016 . with Van Ginkle and Strootman in the midfield we jus need somebody strong and verstaile to take over De Jong. I think we will have a new back 4 in the Euro 2016. I think Van Gaal is trying to the same thing as what he did when he was in Barcelona after the 1998 WC. bringing all finest dutch brigade to Barcelona. Thats what he is trying to unfold at Man United.

  93. So far brazil has won 5 ,germany 3 and Arjentina 2…
    arjentina and Germany snatched directly 2 cups from us in 1974 and 1978.Brazil has kicked out a wonderful team of 1998 due to an error from cocu.or Ronaldos individual brilliance.1994 they went on to win it by beating a low italian team.if Brazil wins 6 th title it would be hard for me as fan.we have lost 3 finals,so this time let the other teams be the loosers,not we.
    Messi is very unlucky and Arjetina too….we WILL WIN..no matter who it is ..

  94. Does anyone else feel that Argentina will in many ways be an easier game for us than Costa Rica?

    What I mean is that Costa Rica were a team set up to suffocate any attacking threat – their offside trap was extremely effective, and they were clearly aiming to scrap through via penalties (they cheered when the full time whistle came and penalties were needed to decide the match).

    On the other hand, Argentina are perhaps going to play 4-3-3, or at least will aim to score against us. Obviously a team that aims to score is more likely to cause problems by perhaps scoring (shocking, I know!), however we’ve seen that van Gaal’s system works best when a team tries to attack us. Spain tried to attack, and that ended very well indeed… then Chile did the same, and we never looked to struggle in that match either.

    I just feel that if Argentina come out to beat us they’ll lose. If they come out to defend, we’ll struggle to find a way through and may need penalties again, but I’d still fancy our chances.

    I reckon Argentina will want to attack to prove they are better than Holland (and Brazil for that matter). They are in a home continent, and I think they’ll feel they need to show their attacking flair.

    Just two matches left! Hup Holland!!

    1. Stephan,

      Does anyone else feel that Argentina will in many ways be an easier game for us than Costa Rica?

      I don’t feel it will be easier as such (or people would think we’re delusional or just supporting our team blindly) but I think/hope this will be a more open match where the 2 sides would try to attack. I do think we’ve gone through real difficult last 2 matches so if we do win tomorrow, I suppose one can consider it to be an easier win.

      I predict this match will not go to Extra Time/Penalty (but the Brazil/Germany match would). I also pick us to win the match tomorrow (surprise surprise).

  95. Good thing when facing arjentina are..
    Their defense is really weak,they cannt defend like Mexico and costarica.
    They dont have the stamina of Mexicans,Costricans and chilians.
    Their Gk is excellent compared to Cillessen who looks shaky and confident.
    They miss Angel demaria,who had the speed to toy with dutch defense,.
    Bad things..
    Mascherano is a dirty player and will be behind Roben always,will try to injure him,if so we must do same to Messi with no mercy.
    Messi is the best dribbler in the world,so he can create hovac when he has ball in feet,where our defense chokes a bit.
    Why the hell cillesen conceded that long range goal to Giovani dos santos,i doubt if krul was there he would have stopped,Cillessen face scares me.
    Rojo is back and he has some sort of speed to contain Roben.
    So far They have not faced a team like us,But we have faced Spain and Chile both had some dribbling attackers up front.So we must get through with a disciplined game plan.
    Unlucky Messi and Arjentina.

  96. I don’t know much about Veltman, but through a google search i see he is highly sout after by Arsenal/Spurs/Chelsea, and described as a huge talent.

    If so, maybe he is a better option than Vlaar anyway?

    Anyone have any knowledge or insight as to Veltman’s skills?

    1. He is a better player on the ball. A bit faster than Vlaar… but he’s young and inexperienced.

      Looks like De Jong is going to play according to Goal.com. That is great news..

        1. He’s a long term upgrade short term downgrade. I think he has a lot more potential but lacks Vlaar’s physicality. Plus he lacks the experience of playing against top quality strikers on a weekly basis.

          1. Agree with wissor. Especially at this stage of the WC when Vlaar has proven to be a rock in defense and a leader Veltman is a downgrade regardless how good he may be. Long term is a different story.

  97. I think that Argentina has by far the best front line that we’ve faced in this tournament. However, without di Maria, their midfield is not all that creative, and their defense and goalkeeper are probably their biggest weaknesses. My thoughts on how to deal with their primary attackers:

    Higuain (Strong central striker) – We haven’t seen this type of player since Cahill (game 2). I feel like we need a defender who is both fast and physical to attend to him. I would normally rule out Vlaar, especially if he’s injured, but he actually did fairly well against Costa and Cahill and despite lacking great speed or mobility, seems to be able to get back just in time. De Vrij may be an option as well.

    Messi (Best player in the World) – Obviously, we haven’t played against anyone anywhere near this good – the closest theoretical possibility being maybe Iniesta (game 1). Switzerland used two center mids to mark Messi all game, and it almost worked. Are we prepared to do that? In every game in which we’ve used the 532, our midfielders have man-marked their counterparts, but we haven’t double-teamed anyone. Can some combination of Sneijder, Wijnaldum and Blind get the job done? Will Argentina have developed a means of counteracting this approach, having seen it already vs the Swiss? Ultimately, we will be faced with classic dilemma when playing against a superstar — Do we want Messi to have the ball make him do everything, or do we want to keep it from him and make his teammates beat us? Knowing LVG, he’ll probably try to do both!

    Aguero (Very fast, powerful and elusive attacker) — Again, a more dangerous attacking player than anyone since probably Sanchez (game 3). We need to do whatever we can to keep him static and isolated and prevent him from making runs in behind our back line. I think we’re just going to have to sit deep and pray that he doesn’t get the ball in space.

    A final note. While it seems a very daunting task to keep these three under wraps, if we can keep the game close, the pressure will build on Messi to do something magical. Which hopefully will mean the other attacking players will begin deferring to him and trying to stay out of the way. In my view, the more of a one-man team we can make Argentina, the better.

    1. The key with Messi is for one of two Dutch to stay close to him at all times. You cannot give him any room, any space, because he can do a lot with even a little space–which is of course worrisome. I would not have Sneijder marking him because we need him going forward–but yes to Wijnaldum and Blind. The Costa Ricans tried to bottle Robben with two players–and were largely successful–and I’m sure Argentina will mark him closely. We will have to play–and finish–better than we have in the last two games. There many not be many good chances, but some of them have to be converted. I feel like we have to get a goal from RVP in this game.

    1. I already suspected De Jong’s quick recovery when he sat on the bench wearing full kit at the match against CR, like he’s ready to play, except that the pre-match screen showed that he’s unavailable for the game.
      Then, there are rumours saying he still participated on team training, along with Fer.
      Lastly, back then at a team conference with the media, Van Persie mentioned that De Jong [i]might[/i] play in the final.

      Another surprise from Van Gaal? 🙂

      1. Well, if he injured his groin, as was reported, it is hard to see how he would play in this game. Even if it was a minor strain, Netherlands might be wise to wait and have him ready for the final. If he plays in this game, there is high risk that he could re=injure it, unless the injury wasn’t bad at all to start with. The team has an expert staff–I’m sure they’ll make the right call.

  98. Tadic moving to Southampton (don’t know about the amount).

    How not to consider that the Eredivisie is losing respect when the best player goes to Southampton to replace Lallana ?

    Tadic is better than Lallana, he should have moved to L’pool.

  99. Right before the game of Spain Vs Netherlands,i said that LVG is a Masterful Tactician and i got it correctly.

    Playing against Chile,i guess of Kuyt will be use as a support to the defense and i got it right again.

    While playing against the Mexico,i guessed that LVG might use the Super Subs in the second Half last 20mins to fire all cylinders.And i hit the perfection again.

    For tomorrow Semi-Final between Argentina and Netherlands,here is my instincts…

    It will be another very tough game for Oranje.Our defenses will be very very hectic but for sure they are mentality strong and confident.Kuyt will be assisting around.And our formation will be back to 5-3-2 with counter attacks with Lightning speed.
    In the Second Half will be a big time for Oranje as we all knew LVG is a very detail-oriented coach.He will do some changes and corrections that people may find it weird again.

    My bet for the final score is Netherlands 2 – Argentina 1(Penalty-Messi )
    We are into the Final 🙂

    Hup Holland Hup!Hup LVG Hup !

    1. Gastrointestinal? That’s what LVG just said at the press conference:

      ‘Van Persie en Janmaat hadden maag- en darmklachten, daarom trainde zij apart’, vertelt Van Gaal. ‘We spelen niet tegen Messi, maar tegen Argentinië. We hebben ons plan klaar om hen te bestrijden.’

    2. Could be hot air balloons by LvG…

      Argentina will not go for the kill… we all saw them against Belgium… they scored 1 and they sat back waiting for the counter-attacking opportunity…

      This will be similar to the Spain game… at one point, Cillessen will have to come out big, make a save and give us the chance to win.

  100. Just received an alert in my FIFA app that Vlaar, de Jong and Fer have trained with the team today. RvP has been complaining of muscle fatigue and trained separately along Janmaat.

    1. Call me crazy but from what I’ve seen the last 2 games I’d rather have de Jong and Fer fully fit than a “healthy” RvP that can’t score.

      1. yes agree balkan and good you pointed this out. i also saw this info earlier on my app. however, here’s a question for you. aren’t you worried that de jong is playing with fire should he play tomorrow? i mean it’s only been about 9 days since the injury (a tear) and if he re-injures it he will be out for good and take up 1 sub. this is iffy, no?

        1. I agree on de Jong. But I would assume that he would only be inserted if he is fully fit OR MAYBE if we are leading the game and need to defend the score he may come from the the bench. This whole training thing may also be just smoke to confuse Argentina.

  101. This is all speculative news and many errors.

    Van Persie trained solo with the physio, he has the same knocks he’s had since the start. He went 120 minutes for the first time since the knee injury and I’m sure is laboring.

    Nigel had what was called a torn groin muscle…not a thigh problem. He was taken through side to side drills and practiced with a ball yesterday. Today he warmed up again with the team.


    Van Persie will absolutely start
    De Jong is 60-70% chance of starting in my eyes.

  102. Isn’t funny when you read about any transfer news about our players it involves them linking up with LVG at Manchester United? Ha! Depay, Sneijder, Kuyt, Robben, BMI, De Vrij, and even De Jong are all going to United. Love it! But the truth is, our players are rock stars!

    1. De Jong will be going to Man Utd… that I guarantee. There is simply no better destroyer… he won’t be playing UCL football with Milan, so he will join LvG. In addition, he lived in Manchester, has EPL experience.. all these point to the fact that he will join LvG.

      That and I think De Vrij might follow… Man Utd need CBs even if they get Hummels

  103. Wissor3, I just read on AD that both Nigel and Vlaar are fit for tomorrow. That is huge for us. Even if Nigel can only give us 70 or 80 min, he will be better than nothing at all. Truly great news. As for VP and Janmaat they have GI problems. So no big deal.

  104. Has anyone else noticed that most Fifa, ESPN, and Bleacher news are very negative towards us in the sense that they seem to always root against us. For example, I just read on the Fifa app that “while NDJ would be a shock boost if fit tomorrow, it would mean nothing if we lose RVP.” That is such BS, we have so many weapons it doesn’t matter and the younger guys have really stepped up their game.

    Another example is on ESPN, where almost the entire broadcasting crew see us losing to Argentina and focus on what we have going against us.

    You know, I am very proud of our team. On fifa.com we are still ranked 15. …. yet WE made it to the semis and are very deserving of that honor. Screw all the anti-Nl asssholes and let’s do this. Hup HOLLAND Hup

    1. @Bitterballen,

      What you say is true re ESPN’s coverage. But I’d also say that if you’re going to ESPN with an expectation of thoughtful analysis, you’ve gone to the wrong place. Not just with soccer, but with all sports, they develop a storyline—usually based on its perception of what it thinks its target audience wants to hear—and sticks with it, regardless of what is actually happening. They don’t cover sports as individual events but as part their carefully produced unfolding drama.

      Ballack and RVN, Hislop, and Ekoku simply get talked over when they stray outside that storyline. (The expression on Ballack’s face sometimes is priceless when he listens to Lalas and Twellman rattle on.)For example, yesterday, Hislop said that he thought that Robben was the player of the tournament so far, and all that earned him from the host was a snide reference to diving and a quick cut to commercial.

      Tomorrow the referee will blow the whistle to start the game; the score will be 0-0…then we’ll see what happens.

    2. It is good for me as we are underdog. We do better this way. Big motivation to prove and a trip to space!

      It is very good news to read that Vlaar and De Jong are possible to start tomorrow if needed. About Janmaat, I wonder if that is why he was out the last couple games and Kuyt was in his place. Hopefully he and RVP will be better tomorrow. We need all 23 to win. Hup Holland Hup!

  105. Hendrik,

    Before I became a master tactician in football, I was gymnastics teacher. Please let me know if you need help doing the mental gymnastics it would take for you to still be critical of me.

    My Oranje has won every which way you can. Even Clint Eastwood and his orangutan would be proud!

    What have you to say now, Hendrik? Hmmm?

    I thought so.

  106. All I will say now Aloysius is that it’s all about you. It always has been and always will be.

    It is not about the players. It is about you moving them around like pawns on a chess board. You select extreme tactics just to draw more attention to yourself.

    The world comes to watch the players play football. You think they’ve come to see you.

    I commend your players and their spirit. They have given their all!

    Now if you would just give them the freedom to play good football.

    Right turn Clyde!

  107. I have no idea who to root for in this first SF. I think Germany is the better side, but having the fans against them if it’s Holland/Germany would be great. Having those same fans against us would be tough…tough to get ANY calls from the ref.

    But first things first I suppose. All things being equal…if I had to choose a team to win the whole thing OTHER than Oranje, I suppose it would be Brazil for the simple fact that they have so much invested in it.

  108. I think Brazil collapsed so quick. Having say that Germany remained cool and calm to weather the attack in the beginning. These Germans’ mentality are very strong and I think only us, Netherlands can match and beat them.
    5-0 and it does not stop.

  109. Germany is quite clinical and they show a glimpse of their counter attack, very fast. This reminds me of Netherlands-Spain 5-1 a bit although Brazil shows that they are lucky to be here. I think Spain showed better football after collapse.

    We can think about tomorrow’s game. There is no way in hell that Brazil can come back.

  110. Brazil tactically is very stupid. On attack they rush six-seven men forward, and directly, and so if they lose the ball a talented German team has acres of space to work with–and maybe 3 Brazilians back! They’ve been caught with three-four defenders trying to guard 5 Germans around the box who all have plenty of room. Amateur tactics, amateur defense.

  111. Maybe this a good thing? Germany takes their foot off the pedal and doesn’t have the same intensity in the final? I dunno…just reaching for straws here.

  112. This Germany is playing the spanish tiki taka but only going forward. It’s simply the best team in the opponent half possession.

    When you see how they are giving back passes when they are in 1vs1 situation with the keeper, always finding the free player to finish and score, it’s so hard to defend against that.

    Holland is unable to play like that, for the simple reason that Robben and Van Persie would shot or do strange things everytime. You need players with a big self control and generosity to do that, players like Muller, Ozil…

    They were already playing like that in 2010 and 2012, now the defence and midfield seem stronger.

    1. You make a point: The Dutch do want and expect AR and RVP to score nearly everything whereas the Germans spread the ball around five players. Let’s face it, they’ve got a lot of experienced, talented guys. Still, let’s not mistake the fact that Brazil has been amateurish.

      1. Robben said that Germany is the favourite, and yes to Laurent’s and Richarde’s above comments. Germany has showed that they are the best team of this tournament so far. They have better players than us. Let’s beat Argentina first and then go to the final as the underdog and upset the favourite Germany to win our deservedly 1st WC. Hup Holland Hup!

  113. Earlier, I asked who would oranje fans rather see in the final if we get past Argentina.

    Well, to those who said it don’t matter…

    You have your answer

    1. Still does not matter to me. I don’t think we can automatically assume playing Brazil in the final would be easier than playing Germany, i.e.: if this match ends at 5-0 and Germany beat USA 1-0, doesn’t mean USA would beat Brazil by 4 goals.

        1. It’s about playing the easier of the two. Brazil would have definitely been easier. I’m not saying Germany will win the final.

          I wouldn’t think any match to be easy, esp. after Mexico and Costa Rica. Argentina or Germany probably thought Switz/Algeria in the 2nd round were going to be easy as well?

          Tough to say. Playing against Brazil at home with 70,000+ people supporting wouldn’t have been easy. Suppose everything just clicked for the Germans today.

  114. Jeez, I hope they crucify Thiago Silva for that stupid foul on Venezuela keeper that earned him the 2nd yellow. But I still wish that both Silva and Neymar played so they would have no excuses. What a shallow team.

  115. As good as they look right now, Germany is not a complete team. They have a bunch of attacking midfielders, center backs and a strong keeper.

    I think they can be beaten on the wings but we’re going to have to be willing to play with them.

    LVG should be familiar with many of their players however and I’m sure he will devise a great tactical plan if we do meet in the final

    1. The higher Germany are up on a perch, the farther it will be when they fall – and the sweeter will be revenge. Let’s hope that fate is setting us up for the perfect coup de grace.

  116. this will be theeeeeeeeeeee hiding of the World cup especially when you consider teams like Iran and Australia. And being the host nation I wonder what will be Pele reactions to this game.

    1. This makes it interesting for the 3 – 4 Playoffs. I mean If Argentina losses tomorrow then the dream Final everyone was expecting will do eventuate but it wont be the final and If NT losses then it will the clash of the second round which we were trying top avoid after the pool games.

  117. Netherlands captain Robin van Persie may miss Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal against Argentina, as he is struggling with an upset stomach.

    This has to be a horrible news. What the hell did he eat?

    I hope and pray it’s not true.
    We need all hands on deck. Robben will be suffocated if RVP is out.

    De Jong and Fer might be fit so that’s great news. Vlaar seems ok too

    1. If anything, it is probably nerves. RvP looked frazzled in the CR game and just needs to relax a bit.
      Although, it does help cast doubt over Argentina’s planning. Will Hunter start? Lens be the striker? Will DeJong make a sudden appearance? The Argentines must be going a bit crazy trying to figure it out. But in the end, we’re still going to be a predictable 5-3-2, in all likeliness.

  118. Guys does anybody think that we may be better of if we do not play the final??? I mean those Duitsers look ….. handy to say the least.

    If we qualify will we be able to keep it in one palm’s fingers????

    1. Remember what happened when during last World cup after Germans thrashed Argentina ? They lost the next match without scoring a goal. Van Gaal is prepared

  119. German has a good team, no doubt, but it was amateur hour defending from Brazil tonight. Brazil’s tactics were astoundingly stupid–no respect for the opponent. Scolari has practically his whole team charging forward every time they get the ball–and so when they lose it there is no one back: Germany is 5 attackers against 3 defenders, and on top of that Brazil was losing the ball near the box, etc. We can only hope this strange win does strange things to Germany.

    1. I hope so too. The German players sweated, but no injury, no yellow cards. The 1st SF feels like a practice or a game between professional and amateur. I was hoping at least extra time as these Germans are like running on Energizer. It is more Scolari’s faults then his players, but the whole team.

      I hope RVP will be ok tomorrow. He needs to share the load with others for Robben. We cannot put all on Robben.

    1. Depends on how bad it is. Whatever strain of bacteria or viral bug is causing it may need serious treatment and rest. Don’t underestimate disease or sickness.

      But then again, it could be mind games.

  120. Jeez I hate it when some of you guys think so far ahead and talk about beating germany. We have to go past Argentina and Messi tomorrow after suffering a torture against Costa Rica. Rvp seemed sick during that game and I really believe he may have health issues. Let’s hope Lvg comes up with something good tomorrow and we get through to the final. We have a to battle to fight.

    1. Agree. Should take care our own business first.

      As much as I dislike this year’s Brazilian squad and their antics, it does not feel right to see them losing Neymar due to injury and losing 1-7 in a semi final match. Spain lost to us 1-5 was in a prelim match.

      The result of this match totally f*cked up any “predictions” by anyone (I wonder how the Microsoft computer will model this?). I actually guessed this would have been a gritty 0-0 or 1-1, followed by extra time or PK shootout while the Oranje vs Argentina match would produce more goals. I don’t even bother to guess now what tomorrow’s match will be. Just enjoy the (hopefully enjoyable for Oranje fans) ride!

  121. Don’t be surprised is Robben is pulled off the field with an injury tomorrow. Sabella is a Bilardo’s disciple, who is known for his dirty tactics.

  122. Hi All. Great to read your comments as always, thought I`d add my two pence-worth. Fantastic tournament, fantastic performance by Oranje! A decent show tomorrow and they can bow at the semis with their heads held high having met-or-exceeded expectations.

    There`ve been some fantastic goals, my favourites being Sneijder`s, Messi`s set-up for Di Maria and Germany`s first tonight. All had excellent blocking play to give the shooter time and space to his do thing without distraction from defenders: Depay for Sneijder, that bloke between Messi and Di Maria for the Argentina goal and I still haven`t quite figured out how the space was created for … was it Mueller? Brilliant! (Although still not quite the 4-point precision of Robben-Hunter-Depay-Sneijder ;-)) The Hunter gets a big shout-out for the finest penalty ever taken.

    Now (to salt the snail), I like this 3-4-3 (more triangles than 4-3-3!) and it was encouraging to see the Oranje playing the ball out of the back in the last game. Thing is, the midfield was sitting too high and so the defenders ended up having to lump it long. It`s not technique that`s let us down so far, it`s been the lack of short passing options from defence. I`d be happy to see the ball tik-tak between the defence and a deep midfield for quite a long time. At some point, a presser will over-commit and our mid`ll be able to turn — then we`re passing to the attack and back and anything can happen. Preferably, if a shot`s not on, going back to our keeper and starting all over again.

    We know they can`t hurt us if they don`t have the ball. Our guys have the skillz to keep it, more so if they keep it short and simple. (Concentration, fitness, flexibility, strength, technique, all the rest — not a problem, right? And somebody said that having LvG was like having another player on the pitch …). They need to take another step, but if they do, they`ll be worthy finalists.

    All the above is strictly IMHO, of course 🙂

    Hup Holland!

  123. OK guys, here is some astrological prediction. I analyzed all WC games that Dutch and Argentina played on a day when Moon is at Sagittarius as on July 9th Moon will be again at Sagittarius. Here what I got:

    06/18/1978 NED – GER 2:2
    07/07/1998 NED – BRA 1:1 (eventual loss through PK)
    06/11/2006 NED – Serbia 1:0
    06/17/2008 NED – Romania 2:0
    06/24/2010 NED – Cameroon 2:1


    06/30/1974 ARG – Brazil 1:2
    06/18/1978 ARG – Brazil 1:1
    07/02/1982 ARG – Brazil 1:3
    06/08/1990 ARG – Cameroon 0:1
    06/21/1994 ARG – Greece 4:0
    06/10/2006 ARG – Ivory Coast 2:1

    NED: 3 wins, 2 ties

    ARG: 2 wins, 1 tie, 3 losses

    Looks like Argentina is not comfortable playing the day when Moon is at Sagittarius….

    Already nervous….

  124. elfvoetbal.nl:

    “Van Gaal was in Sao Paulo with its full selection at work. With 23 players, the coach began at 16.30 hours Dutch time on the final preparations for the game against Argentina . The slightly injured Ron Vlaar , Leroy Fer and Nigel de Jong were at the beginning of the training on the field.
    Unlike the other games in this World Cup is the last training is not open to the press. After fifteen minutes the journalists were asked to leave so that the Dutch team in peace to work towards the duel with the Argentines. After the training will Van Gaal and Stefan de Vrij give a press conference”

    Quite possible that presence of NGJ and Fer during the training was a show for the media….

  125. According to almost all beinsports pundits Argentina will eliminate Holland tomorrow. Even Gully says it will very tough for Holland. I like this.

  126. Overrated argentina!!!! A very ordinary team, let them all predict Argentina win, this way their shock will be doubled!!! What’s so special abou this Argentina team I don’t understand (other than messi I mean, who himself is also overrated)

  127. I want to share this article with you on van gaal


    Read it and see how arrogant and jealous and hater the British towards orange are!!!!
    They are talking how van gaals life in Manchester would be a totally different experience from what he is experiencing in the World Cup, in a couple of places in the article they talk about the “lack” of quality for those erdivisie players he has in orange!!! Now my question is well ur England team comes all from the “mighty” premiere league all players from united, city, liverpool, arsenal and Everton, how come u still suck at the World Cup and you are a real joke u leave the World Cup with one point and two losses!!!
    The more I read British football articles the more I realize I hate these people with passion!!! Stupid arrogant useless human beings with the worst national team ever!!! One World Cup title that was stolen with an illegal goal in 1966 and not even one European title!!!

  128. On Mexican TV they’re saying this is Holland’s probable line up.






    I like it.

  129. Yes we should talk about argentina first, but for those who fear germany. I would say this, if you asked Van Gaal who he prefers bra or ger, without a doubt he would say Germany.
    He knows 6 players from the ger line up and knowing that VG is a data freak he would know their characteristics by heart.
    Looking at it from germany’s perspective I would say that they prefer argentina. Germany fears this version of Oranje, if holland had played totall football yes ger would have prefered holland.
    I personally think that deep inside van gaal is smilling at the thought of playing ger in the finals. Fingers crossed.

    1. Michael Ballack picked HOL on ESPN program that I taped and just watched. He also mentioned couple times how good and fit Robben is when other panelists mostly talked about Messi and Higuain.

      We’ll see!

      Hup Holland Hup!

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