Hours before the semi-finals, how is Jong Oranje

Louis van Gaal is in Israel. Danny Blind and him will be scouting the 12 capped players in Pot’s squad. “We are also hear to stimulate them of course. I selected a great number of these lads so It’s only logical that I’m here to see how they operate in a tournament like this.”

Van Gaal is not going to meet with the players or with Cor Pot. “I am not here to obstruct their process or to interfere. I am in another hotel. I will not wander over to their hotel.”

Van Gaal clearly would like to be invited by Pot. Earlier in the week, the two coaches had a bit of a spat. Van Gaal commented on the first game against Germany, saying the first half was good, but the second half was below par. This stung Cor Pot who responded in the media and later had to field questions about it. When asked at a press conference on his birthday whether he had been congratulated by Van Gaal, he said: “He sent me an sms after the Germany game to congratulate, but not on my birthday.”

When asked later if he got annoyed with Louis van Gaal’s behaviour. He said “Holland has 16 mio team manager and he actually is a real one. So yes, he can have an opinion. I don’t mind that he gives his opinion, but in all honesty I doesn’t mean anything to me. It is easy to judge from a distance. We are doing this project and we do this ourselves.”

The tension is palpable when asked whether he reports back to Van Gaal. “Report back? No? Why? He can watch tv, can’t he? This is my team.”

Pot realises more and more that his decision to bench the whole first team was a huge risk. Winning against Italy is almost a must for him as losing will undoubtedly result in “we told you so” stories. (Like I said post-game).

This might well have been a mastermove by a James Bond Villainesqe football coach as the players might be totally motivated to win it.

Pot: ” That is football. Opportunistic. If we win, we party. If we lose, it’s my fault. That is how it works.”

Adam Maher is quite convinced we win the whole thing. “I shouldn’t say that. Let us focus on Italy first. But we are strong and haven’t played out best football yet. We are good in big games. Four years ago, I was at the 2007 World Cup in Nigeria and we had a bunch of similar lads then, like Ola John, Martins Indi…But we lacked the mentality then.”

Maher admits he needs to be more important. “I hope I can bring it in this game. These knock out games are good as they allow for more space. My second game vs Italy…”

Adam Maher played his first cap for Oranje against Italy, and Pirlo.

“That was such an honour, Pirlo is one of my heroes on the field. And now I play against him. It was really good to see how he choses the simple ball and never tried to do something clever for the sake of it. He is so efficient. I think I played him well and I have his jersey!”

Bookmark and Share


  1. Thanks Jan for the interesting post as always.

    I think Pot has his ideas and thoughts why he likes to keep the A team players for a good rest against Spain.As long as the A team plays with their level,we are able to beat Italy for 2 balls.Let’s see then,hup Holland hup 🙂

  2. It’s never occurred to me before but does anyone see Lvg as being like the Kim jong il of the dutch world?

    Another note I reckon we can do Italy in, many of the players we used vs the seniors are playing now, I think we are better we just need to show it. Hopefully we can have the relief of a final win on thks blog to simmer everyone down in the knowledge that put players can do a number on Italy and Spain !!!
    p Holland

  3. haha bartra got a an yellow,norway guy was goin for ball and that guy got the ball,somehow he ad to touch bartra and barta exagerated the thing nice refreeing,spainsih divers..

  4. I don’t know if Spain have better players than Netherlands, but they play better as a team. And that’s Cor Pot fault.

    Isco is really good.

    Can anyone compare Isco with Maher? I think Isco is more dynamic.

    1. Eduardo, Spain players make things very simple. They rarely try anything fancy and just make effective and efficient moves and passes. It feels like they tire the opponent by making the game boring and the moment that the opponent takes a nap they hit and score. Spain needs a physically and mentally strong adversary who can exercise extreme patience and never lose focus.
      One thing is for sure, we will be experiencing the same final of 2010 or 2012 but hopefully with a different outcome.

  5. Take it easy Alaa the tournament is not over till it’s over!.

    Our bench managed to hit Spain’s bar twice and did OK. We lost 3-0 but it was our B team. Spain still has to play our big guns of course if we win against Italy. 😉

    1. Thanks Goldstone. More than half these players play for LVG’s first team. I wonder what happens psychologically to them and the fans if they lose to either Italy or Spain’s U21 teams. Hopefully LVG is a good doctor.

  6. very good 1st half imo . we were great especially Strootman who was the best player on the field .

    Depay instead of John in the 2nd half will be perfect though 🙂 !

    1. I don’t know what game you’re watching. Strootman looks ordinary to me. A couple of times Insignia was running rings around him.
      We look like Brazil. A lot of individual technique, nice buildup to Italian zone and then nothing. Also a few players keep the ball longer than necessary instead of making an easy pass.
      Still superior to this Italian team. We should win it.
      I hate the stadium.

  7. We should have scored. Italy has lots of luck and will in these tight encounters. Until now they’ve only been dangerous on the counter and Verratti should have seen red… come on, he grabbed three times the shirt on the counter attack after the yellow card. HUP HOLLAND from Italy 🙂

  8. based on appearance italian players look like men with facial hair and all but they certainly don’t like one. c’mon get your ass up and quit rolling around, and play some ball!

  9. Depay had a chance to tie it in injury time. It will be a tough day for Van Der Hoorn but the ultimate blame is all Cor Pot’s faults. LVG and Blind was watching from the stand. He should have come down to the pitch and perform the famous karate kick, but with his feet into Cor Pot’s ass.

  10. De Jong and Van Ginkel was bad, but how come they could play for 95 mins????? Old John was good, but he got changed…our tactics just never change, we got good players but shit coach

  11. as De Vrij fell down to the grass, I knew it would be nightmare.

    and the nightmare came true. VAN DER HOORN stepped in.

    his slow reaction to Borini’s turn… and his lazy face… I know this team would lose. damn 🙁

  12. I say this will all the love towards the oranje, but Van Gaal shouls focus on team building, names are not enough. You can have the creme d l cream but without a team its useless. I don’t want to admit this, but it just shows that we are far far far away from potentially the top teams such as spain, italy and germany. Don’t get your hope to high for brazil. Unless Van Gaal comes up with some innovative tactics and super strategies. Sorry to say this, but I don’t see us going far.
    Spain, Germany to name a few, are enjoying the benefits of their team building efforts. Oranje has just started.
    So once again, it is wise to stop thinking that names and potential youngsters can become heroes. We need to build a team (FULL STOP).

    1. Yeah man. I’d rather lose to Italy than get humiliated by Spain in the final. In the process hopefully Cor finds another job at some kids clubs. Where is Foppe, the last real dutch coach?!

  13. What a wasteful game for tonight.We are the better side especially in the 1st half,In general,we are much stronger than the divers,cheaters of the Pizza men.
    What a typical Dutch team,playing good but always lack of the killing instinct.ah….sigh….

    Pot and Van Der Hoorn,what ashame of you both 🙁

  14. Come on guys don’t blame it on luck or the italian fags’ tricks for this loss. The game could have been won but we can’t score. 180 minutes without a goal and with so much talent and you can’t score it is appalling.
    There are some very talented players in this team but who need a real coach and not someone called Cor. But then again even previous dutch teams had some great talent and choked when it mattered. It must be a dutch thing.

    1. Yes. It is a “Dutch thing”.
      The book, “Brilliant Orange” is dedicated to the Dutch propensity for playing beautiful football… and losing.

  15. What a weak mental team we have. Does someone here really expect Maher to do something ? Looks so weak mentally, miss an important pass at the end and goes to shake italian players hands while they’re jumping everywhere after their “stolen” victory.

    Also Martins Indi, he is strong, but everytime he is arguing with a player, he seems to be afraid , this guy seems to be a bit too educated and soft, we need some Douglas.

    Definitly no winner spirit in this team.

    About pure football aspect, nothing special to say, we already said every thing last games, we played better than them but let’s not to expect something for 2014.

  16. Guys, don’t worry about the result too much. We dominated in the first half totally and started the second half well with possession, but kinda fell asleep because Italy defended well and we felt too superior (big error). De Vrij was playing great, very unlucky about that. We could have had a penalty, a goal on maher’s free kick, we should have played second half with Verratti sent off, but all that didn’t happen. We lost on a lousy mistake, sometimes it happens. Spain will win easily on my book, they’re the biggest winners from today’s match.

  17. Be true to yourselves for crying out loud.
    We are always so keen on blaming that or the other.
    To be honest , all of the dutch players deserve to remain in the eredivisie until further notice. And really dont deserve more.
    They let themselves down plain and simple.

    Dont feel Strootman is going to man utd, more like napoli, if anything.
    Van ginkel if hes still being taken by chelsea is going to warm the bench there. And Maher doesnt look too special.

    On the upside, theyre still young and they can always improve. But as far as 2013 is considered nothing to jump up and down about. And definitely not much to look forward to for 2014. Quarterfinals, if were lucky.

  18. When van der Hoorn came on, I knew he would cause us to concede. I don’t understand how he managed to trick people into thinking he was a defender. He is dreadful. Overall we dominated the game in midfield, but our attack is useless. Wijnaldum is not a winger, de Jong has no control and his attacking movement in the box is shit, and Ola John just wants to take people on – where were his crosses?

    I’m not a huge follower of Maher, but he convinced me in this tournament. He was one of the only players who consistently did his job well. Good passing, ball retention, positioning to make himself available for a pass, and good dribbling.

    And the biggest thumbs down goes to Cor Pot… but that was always going to be the case.

    1. Yea i agree,
      Although nothing special,
      The midfield trio and de vrij were the highlight. probably a 3.5/5.
      The rest were average
      Wijnaldum is very talented but not as threatening when he is told to rigidly stick to winger duties.
      I truly believe he has it in him to become a very decent centre forward , maybe almost as good as van persie, if he works really hard, although unlikely. Same goes for depay.

      As a conclusion, I would hope in a post van gaal era, we could come to our senses and abandon a 4-3-3 system when we dont have the players for it. Unless you have two robbens it aint gonna be effective.
      There is absolutely nothing wrong with other formations if they work well for the players. As long as we play attacking football, most of the time.

  19. Our fullbabcks btw for the u-21 and for the national team are ridiuclously under paar compared to most other fullbacks of the big footballing nations.
    Van rhijn, blind are simply not good enough, at least not yet.
    Janmaat may look a bit better going forward but is as is weak when it comes to defending. Van der wiel is no longer in contention.
    Van aanholt and buttner still untested.

  20. when nuitinck out injury, I know that we would have problem, coz we have only one CB left, and thats van der Hoorn, Bruma would be much better sub for injured de vrij…

  21. italy had shut down our wingers, and we out of source of attack. I cannot understand how italy packed 2 layers of players in penalty box, double marked our wingers and still manage to put us in dangerous situation, let alone the goal. We should had more players available to retrieve any lost ball and keep pressure in the own half.

  22. I just got back to my hotel and as you can imagine I am quite upset as all of you are. The support from the stadium was there (lots of Dutch fans actually came from Holland and as I said last time the immense majority of Israelis and really a great pro-oranje atmosphere in the stadium), the team was rested, it was a beautiful evening and yes even the all-mighty Louis was there too. The team and the players forgot one thing; they were playing Italy. This team is filled with cheaters. The whole stadium could see it but not the referee. Many times our players were fouled but complete silence from the referee. I can recall at least 4 or 5 crucial moments like those including a no penalty call on Maher in the first, a blatant handball and so on. Yet, I agree with many of the comments from this blog i.e. we did not play well enough, especially up-front. That formation is too rigid and the wingers were always double teamed while De Jong is not mobile enough. He had one nice play in the entire game. Then came the moment of truth for a coach. So De Vrij is injured; very worrisome at a very critical moment in the match -15 min before the end. What does Pot do? He puts in the player, VD Horn, whose confidence is shattered from the previous game. Why not put Strootman or Blind there and bring an attacking player (midfield like Fer)? I don’t get it. Anyway, it was a sad evening. I can tell you the crowd was very bitter and resigned to accept that style from the Italians. Of course at the end of the match I gave some of the Italian fans (not sure if true Italians or Israeli) a piece of my mind. I told them they should be ashamed for supporting such a team. Their mentality truly sucks.
    What I thought was going to be a great trip ended with 2 defeats. I hope i am not a curse for the team. But just in case, I can assure you I won’t be going to Brazil next year!!! I will be watching on TV.

  23. I feel that it is not right to second guess the coaching staff – so I will reserve myself to only 1 comment.

    If I were to ask Marco van Basten: “How do you beat an Italian team?” – I’m pretty sure his answer would be something like this…

    You get the first goal – you do ANYTHING to get the first goal. If necessary you force your way into the box and force the ball over the line. Once you have that – then you have a game – if this is not accomplished early in the match you play right into the strengths of the Italians.

    Clearly Cor Pot knew things we did not – and Stephan de Vrij was injured – hence the resting of 11 players in the game against Spain – and fair enough I see why this was done.

    But – since failing to score plays into Italy’s strength, and forces the Jonge Oranje into “frustrated play” – (a weakness of Dutch teams in general) It is necessary to do everything possible to get that first goal.

    So to me the failure of coaching was to wait too long before bringing on speed and strength – Depay and Fer should have been on the field at the 45 minute mark – not in the final 15 minutes. No goal by half time? – Do Something! because its already almost too late against an Italian side. By waiting too long in the hot conditions – Jonge Oranje is too tired to mount the kind of attack required and the Italians – who are more accustomed to games in hot weather – just get stronger and stronger.

    I feel sorry for de Vrij and van Hoorn – one was playing hurt, and the other was thrown in just when the Italian strategy would be to storm forward for the 1 goal they needed. As already suggested bringing on an attacker and moving Strootman back would have been better.

    But the best strategy of all would have been to use a “hard-nosed” attack earlier and to at least try to force that first goal. IMHO – they let us “play pretty football” and then pounced when we started to tire. Our game works best when we get the lead and get confidence, and the game gets some “flow” to it.


    1. @ OranjeFan;

      I really agree with what you wrote. Very simple and when it is simple, there is usually truth. “Get the first goal”.

Start a Conversation

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