The Portugal friendly resulted in many-a critical comment on this blog and in other media. That is not a coincidence, as other media obviously copy all we are saying here. In fact, most of Goal.com’s coverage on The Dutch National Team are copies of soundbites of Tiju ;-).
But seriously, our defence is shit, our best striker can’t score for shit in Oranje, Robben is slow, Lens is stupid, De Vrij is ugly, Van Gaal is a moron, and Vorm can’t distribute the ball.
Before you know it, we will ask Van Gaal to please save us the shame and simply pull out of Brazil… Why bother.
This is not on.
We need to man up.
It’s early in the season. Hell, RVP, De Guzman, Vorm, Strootman, Van Ginkel haven’t even played a real competitive game, as yet. The Bundesliga lads just started. The bodies are still a bit rusty.
Then, most players can not play their best in a friendly. It simply doesn’t work. If your name is Robin van Persie, you know you have 50+ matches in front of you (and a World Cup). Subsconsciously, you play these matches on 85% of your normal intensity. Arjen Robben will peak in the summer 2014, but not in August 2013.
We played with a couple of new lads in the team (Vorm, Verhaegh, Wijnaldum and later on Van Ginkel) and that might seem a detail, but it’s not. Almost 30% of the team has never played together. That is pretty big.
The criticism on our defenders is justified. But at the same time, they are very young… When Rijkaard and Frank de Boer made their debuts, they were criticised too. Frankie was too slow and too complacent. Frank was too arrogant and sloppy. Jaap Stam never made it into the Oranje squad until he was 24 years old. 3 years older than De Vrij is now. We need to cut them some slack and accept their mistakes. That is how they will learn.
And knowing Louis a bit: if he sees that BMI and SDV don’t learn fast enough, he’ll recall Mathijsen, Heitinga, Vlaar or even Douglas. And as he said: with Rekik and Bruma playing regularly together, who knows…. They might be the real deal.
I am proud of having such a young team (defensively). It shows courage. And it will boost our football. With Van Aanholt, Willems, Pieters to name a few, waiting in the wings (Van der Wiel???) I think we will be fine. We might not win the World Cup, but if we are depending on a left back to win us a World Cup, we simply do not deserve to win it.
Our midfield wasn’t great. Apart from Strootman, Van Gaal would want to play different players on that midfield. Wijnaldum was given the nod but only because De Guzman wasn’t fit. And Van der Vaart played because Sneijder isn’t fit and Maher lacks form. Normally these two (and maybe Siem de Jong) will be higher on LVG’s list.
Upfront, people complain about Hunter and RVP leading the line. I have three words for you. Let them be.
Huntelaar scored two against Hamburg. In a game that mattered. Robin scored two against Wigan. Another game that mattered. Hunter won my sympathy for ever since his grass eating antics against England at Wembley. Leave the man alone. He risked his life in a friendly. He will be fine!
Robin van Persie is one of the best players on the planet. Full Stop. Every coach of every nation would sacrifice one testicle to have Van Persie in the team. Yes, also the Spanish coach.
So what will Van Gaal do?
He wil monitor all relevant players. And the closer we will get to the World Cup, the sharper he will get. And if Narsingh, Ola John, Boetius or Elia will shine, he will pick them. I think that Sneijder will be back for the qualification games, if he keeps performing for Gala.
He will use the time to mould variances on the current 4-3-3. He will play around with Robben, with the midfield make-up ( forward center mid or deep lying center mid).
And most importantly, he will craft something that we don’t have as yet: a team!
We don’t need the best left back or the best right midfielder or even the best center forward.
If Messi and C Ronaldo were the best players of the last 5 years, they still haven’t won the big trophies to prove that?
It’s not about the best this and that. It’s about TEAM.
This is also what Van Gaal can create. If we can operate as one, with the fitness required (physically and mentally) and we have three players in top form, who can make the difference, we have a chance.
Look at Germany in 1990. Or Argentina in 1986. Or Germany in 1996. Greece 2004. Or Italy in 2006. Spain in 2012.
Did they play “awesome” football? Did they have “awesome” players?
Germany 1990 had Klinsmann and Mathaus. Don’t you think RVP and Strootman (to name two) are better players?
Argentina had Maradona. Ok. We have Robben. The rest of the Argentina 1986 team played totally in service of Maradona.
Germany 1996, had an atrocious team. All anonymous players except for Scholl and Moller maybe? Bierhoff? Surely, Huntelaar is as good….
I think I made my point. We have (if all goes well) Sneijder, Strootman, Van Persie and Robben. We most likely will have other players in form available. Probably from the list of: Maher/Wijnaldum/Fer/Van Ginkel/Clasie/John/Lens/Elia etc.
I don’t care if it’s Lens or Wijnaldum of Elia. I believe that whoever Louis picks, will be the right lad.
By the summer of 2014, we will have a squad ready to go out and play for gold. We know the core names. We don’t now the supporting actors yet.
But with our talent and with Louis’ balls, bluff and bravado we will go a long way.