While Amsterdam football fans are still in shock as a result of the exit of success coach Peter Bosz, Rotterdam (and elsewhere fans) focus on the big game on Friday. The qualification game vs Luxembourg, in De Kuip. Never before was a match vs the minions from Luxembourg a hotter topic than now!
Bosz leaves for Dortmund and six times the salary he bagged at Ajax. But according to Bosz, it was time to move on, as the Ajax board refused to go along with his plans to re-arrange the backroom staff. In particular icon Dennis Bergkamp and stallwarts Spijkerman and L’Ami were at loggerheads with Bosz, at times. Ajax’ board felt they should determine the organisation of the technical side of things and not a coach.
The future NT manager (mark my words) played for Hertha in the past and speaks German well. A must for Dortmund. He gets quite a talented squad to work with.
Old hand and now three times NT manager Dick Advocaat, in the meantime, showed himself from his comical side at his first press conference. With Ruud Gullit at his side. Advocaat is known to be a very warm and funny guy amongst friends and he dropped his serious mask for a bit when questioned about Oranje and his future.
Asked about the results under Grim earlier this week: “I called Fred. I said it might be better if I stayed away a bit longer, hahaha.”
About his return: “I didn’t put my hand up. I was happy for the KNVB to find someone else, but no one wanted, or was able or dared… And I like a challenge, and so does Ruud, so here we are. I don’t apologise for leaving the squad earlier. I do realise people see me as an opportunist. I guess I am. I did profusely apologise to Danny. He worked hard to get me in and I have let him down. But that’s it. I also spoke with Danny when the KNVB came back to me. What we talked about? That’s between me and him. But probably was the 15th choice of the KNVB.”
More explanations: “I had difficulty with the role, to be honest. I thought I could be an assistant but I can’t have someone telling me when to say things or when to act. I had 4 offers already and said no to them. When Fener came, I simply lost sleep. And I knew. I have to do this.”
Advocaat doesn’t believe he owes an apology to the players. “No why? Do you think the players really care? It’s between me and Danny and the KNVB. They forgot me after 2 weeks, I’m sure. And if they do have a problem, it’s their problem. You are in or you are out.”
“Wesley Sneijder starts on Friday. No discussion. Is he’s fit, he’ll play. Why? I watched him for the whole season at Galatasaray and Wes is still the best midfielder in Turkey. What, he probably was the best player of the competition. I have no doubts about him.”
The new coach’ first decision was to give everyone an additional day off (Tuesday) and start the prep for Luxembourg on Wednesday. “I think they deserved that.” He now only has two training practices to prepare in the autumn-like Dutch spring.
Advocaat quickly added: “But, it’s not because I expect frills and glorious football. It’s not about that now. We need to win. That’s the only thing that counts.” Gullit chimes in: “When I was at AC Milan, we were considered a very attractive team, but with Sacchi it was all about the organisation and making sure we couldn’t lose. We didn’t play all great games, you know. And when we won the EC in 1988, we played really well versus the USSR in the first match, but we lost. In the finals we met them again and they were better. But we won! And now everyone talks about how great that team played. It wasn’t really the case.”
Dick: “And I’m not saying: play defensively. In Germany, Italy, Spain, clubs play to win and play attacking football, but from a solid organisation. They’re hard to beat. And I want that grit in Oranje. That game vs Hungary, the one that meant the end for Danny Blind… that can not ever happen again!”
Against Luxembourg, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. But against France away, in August, Dick will most likely build a 10 player compact wall, with a freewheeling Robben on top. Will Van Persie play a role again? Advocaat: “Why not? He’s still playing top level. He’s certainly not off the radar for me. In Turkey, he didn’t play all the games, but he was decisive against the big opponents. I can see a role for him but this game was too early. I wanted to work with Danny’s group now, but in the future, who knows…?”
We’ll most likely see Cillesen in goal for Oranje. I expect Memphis, Janssen and Robben up front (even though Robben missed training due to stomach issues). Sneijder, Strootman and Wijnaldum in midfield and Blind, De Vrij, Hoedt and Veltman in defence (even though De Vrij received a knock on the ankle from team mate Hoedt).
Expect a 6-0 win over Luxembourg and expect birthday and record holder Wes Sneijder to be on the score-sheet…