Young Oranje goes for Gold

Team Manager Cor Pot has made a remarkable decision with the jersey numbering. He gave ex Ajax winger and current RKC player Florian Jozefzoon the number 7, implying he will be first choice, instead of Wijnaldum. The PSV player (is he a winger of a midfielder) will have to accept the number 15. The other potential starters all have received a “low” number (see list below).

Insiders claim Louis van Gaal asked Pot to use the traditional winger in a 4-3-3, as Wijnaldum is more a midfielder, attempting to cut to the center of the pitch while Jozefzoon will make runs to the byline and cross balls in.

Jersey numbers:
1. Jeroen Zoet
2. Ricardo van Rhijn
3. Stefan de Vrij
4. Bruno Martins Indi
5. Daley Blind
6. Jordy Clasie
7. Florian Jozefzoon
8. Kevin Strootman
9. Luuk de Jong
10. Adam Maher
11. Ola John
12. Kelvin Leerdam
13. Mike van der Hoorn
14. Bram Nuytinck
15. Georginio Wijnaldum
16. Marco Bizot
17. Leroy Fer
18. Marco van Ginkel
19. Tonny Vilhena
20. Patrick van Aanholt
21. Danny Hoesen
22. Memphis Depay
23. Nick Marsman.

Yesterday, the complete squad had their first practice on Israelian soil. Jordy Clasie was part of the group as well, after missing the Australia game. Danny Hoesen was with the group for the first time, Hoesen replaces the injured Locadia. Cor Pot decided to travel to Israel earlier, as the temperature is such (30 degrees C) that the group needs time to get used to it.

Skipper Kevin Strootman is the oldest and most experienced of the team. His last tournament experience was not a good one. He was a witness of how the “Big” Oranje had a failed outing in 2012 as a result of coaching mistakes and frustrations.

“I saw things there, that I tried to take in as lessons. I want to make sure that will not happen here,” says Strootman, who has an important role on and off the pitch.

Strootman didn’t play a minute in the EC in Poland/Ukraine but definitely saw how others couldn’t cope with that situation. “I won’t go into that now. It’s history now. But I have had good times with Oranje but also saw how very quickly that can turn. The results didn’t help of course and I think it was a wise lesson for all concerned.”

“We have 12 A internationals in this group now, and they can’t all play of course. And the coach might make some decisions that will hurt some. I am also not 100% certain of a starting spot, obviously, so….”

He also emphasizes he is not the only one to show leadership. “We also have the captain and vice captain of Feyenoord in the squad. I expect them to lead too and Bram Nuytinck has worn the band in this team too, so we will need to do it together.”

With our without the band, as he is always a domineering force. “I don’t think about that. It is how I am. I want to perform at the highest level and I want to support any team I play in. Being skipper or not is irrelevant. I think you need to show it on the pitch, and off pitch its a matter of being aware and alert.”

Ola John could have had a cracker of a season. The youngster was one of Benfica’s or even Portugal’s surprise packages, but basically lost everything in the last two weeks: they ended second in the league, second in the Europa League and second in the Portuguese cup final.

The 21 year old wants to do better now. “I was pretty pissed off with those last weeks. But I have to flick the switch. I will focus on the EC now for 100%.” John didn’t want to talk too much about the deflated season he had. “Listen, I’m a bit tired, of course. But it’s all in the mind, I know that too. I do have high expectations of myself. This tournament could be a good finish of my season. It’s really cool to be playing with so many tremendous players.”

PSV forward Memphis Depay is almost the youngest of the bunch. The talented player knows what it is to win a European title. With Oranje Under 17, he won the title in Serbia in 2011. “We were very close back then. Both on the pitch and off. That is the biggest lesson I take with me. You really want to be one team together. It doesn’t matter how good you are individually, you need to work hard as a team.” Almost all players of that tremendously talented team are doing really well. Vilhena has a starting spot in Feyenoord and is part of this squad now. Nathan Ake won the Europa League with Chelsea while Karim Rekik already wore the blue of Man City. “We really wanted it. We beat Germany twice that year, I will never forget that.”

Depay didn’t count on the invite. “I didn’t play a lot at PSV. Advocaat clearly picked Mertens and I wasn’t good enough for more. But I am very glad to be part of this group. The quality in this generation is amazing. I will learn a lot from this, I’m sure.” Depay played his first game for Jong Oranje against Australia, last week. “Mixed feelings. My physical fitness was ok. My first half was really good, but my second half was not. I analysed it with the coach afterwards, but I do feel a bit down as a result.”

Depay can play on all positions up front, but focuses on the left winger spot. “Ola John is much further than me. He almost played everything for Benfica. I’m still very young, but I will show the coach I am ready, if he needs me. I think competition is important. And I can surely contribute as a sub, I think.”

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  1. Answered part of my own question (from the uefa site):

    Group Stage Games:

    Netherlands – Germany: 06/06/2013 20:30 CET
    Stadium: HaMoshava, Petah Tikva

    Netherlands – Russia: 09/06/2013 18:00 CET
    Stadium: Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem

    Spain – Netherlands: 12/06/2013 18:00 CET
    Stadium: HaMoshava, Petah Tikva

  2. Jan, would it please be possible to have a ^tab for upcoming matches (including under 21’s). Would be nicer to use this site as a one-stop-shop, rather than trawling for google results every time i need game info. Just a suggestion.
    I notice there is a ‘2014 Qualifications’ tab – which does list some friendlies, but sadly doesn’t seem to be updated and doesn’t include tomorrow’s game against Indonesia (for example), or any under 21’s matches.
    Shouldn’t be too difficult to set up and keep updated, i’d hope.
    Anyway, keep up the great work.
    Thanks. Take care.

    On a side note, anyone going to tomorrow’s game?

  3. Jan, would it please be possible to have a ^tab for upcoming matches (including under 21’s). Would be nicer to use this site as a one-stop-shop, rather than trawling for google results every time i need game info. Just a suggestion.
    I notice there is a ‘2014 Qualifications’ tab – which does list some friendlies, but sadly doesn’t seem to be updated and doesn’t include next month’s game against Indonesia (for example), or any under 21’s matches.
    Shouldn’t be too difficult to set up and keep updated, i’d hope.
    Anyway, keep up the great work.
    Thanks. Take care.

    On a side note, anyone going to next month’s game?

    EDIT: sorry, got my dates mixed up.

      1. The third guy is Touzani, one of the most famous world football freestyler. He is also from Holland.

        He failed in football cause he was no teamworker #Tiju#

  4. Thanks Jan.This is right article in the right time.In this moment my focus now is only on the Young Oranje in Israel.The rivals are very strong. Temperature is high.Much condition is need for it too.I wouldn,t that Germany or Spain say on the end: “Ha,ha,ha..this goals are present for yours Robben”.

  5. DRB300

    Thanks you for answer my question about central back. I didn´t know that Moisander can play right central back. Considering that I am agree with you that Ajax didn´t need a new central back.

    I don´t know if Veltman is ready to play CL. Maybe Ajax can play with Denswill and Moisander at the back. Let’s see.

  6. Wijnaldum is a strange player for me. IMO he tends to disappear on a big periods of time during the games. For me is like a ghost. Sometimes I don´t know if he is playing.

    I can watch a PSV game and Wijnaldum can be like 30 minutes without touching a ball, and then score. I can accept that for a central striker, but not for a winger or worst, for an offensive midfield (number 10).

    Don´t you think the same?

    Considering that, maybe that’s the reason why Jozefzoon will be the starter.

    IMO, its more interesting think about why Cor Pot chooses Jozefzoon beside Depay for the right wing.

    1. I don’t imagine Depay playing on the right wing, he is the type of new winger who likes to come inside and shot, or give an opening cross, it’s all his technic, putting him on the right wing would make him play not naturally I guess, he is a type of Cristiano Ronaldo player.

      What would he do on the right wing as he is only right footed ? (I noticed he never uses his left) Would run and cross ? it’s not his type, his technic is to observe defenders, temporize, and then go inside. In the modern football you find a lot of left footed players playing on the right wing and right footed on the left one, there are more technical players on the wings, more creators, a player like Mertens is everything except a winger if we talk about quality and defects, he doesn’t have any athletic quality, no power, no quickening (without the ball), but his technical is very good( passes, shots, crosses, skills…) he also got vision. Nowadays you can find many fast players used as offensive midfielder or even controller midfielder and many “slow” players on the wings.

      People debate about Depay/John on the left wing, but I think it wouldn’t be bad neither to use Maher there. As he did it some times with AZ this season. He got all qualities to play as “fake” left winger, crosses, shots and skills. It would also allow to use Van Ginkel in the midfield, with Strootman and Clasie behind.

      Wijnaldum best position is the right wing, people in Holland overrated his vision and technical as he played some good games last year as offensive midfielder, but he is no number ten. His influence in the game and his positionning are very weak, he doesn’t come low to take balls, he is just running everywhere on the field like an amateur, and give 100% of his energy to run into the box when the PSV players are attacking, that’s why he scored quite often, otherwise his performances are really poor, for a number ten, he almost never plays in spaces, never with his first intuition, always hesitate 3 seconds before to give a pass…

      As right winger, he got more the ball, and his perforation is quite good, he is also the kind to give interesting and powerful tense crosses into the box. If he plays, I hope it would be as right winger and not something else.

  7. It’s weird how Genero Zeefuik did so much for the U21 team in qualification, but didn’t make the cut for European Championships.

  8. Genero Zeefuik has overweight problem this season, actually most of the players who played in qualification have to make way for young NT A. It must be hard for them, like fer, leerdam, nuitick, aanholt, and even bruma has to stay at home.

    1. If Vilhena had stayed injured, then Duarte would have gone to Israel. He is selected for the senior squad, what normally is the biggest honor, except now. All our chips are on winning the Euro U21. Van Gaal has send along a big delegation of his staff to support Pot. There is almost more staff than players in Israel. Around 20 people supporting the players in their every move.

  9. U21 team looks so strong…but everything could end up in vein if u dont have a efficient scoring striker…All ur good works can end up with empty pockets…i hope hoesen climbs up according to situation,with less hope for Luuk..

  10. ‘if u dont have a efficient scoring striker’

    this is why we invented Total Football 🙂
    goals from all positions!
    it is great to see LVG putting his stamp on this squad.
    fingers crossed for a good U21’s tournament.
    i agree, we look very strong.

  11. Thank you Jan. From VDV will not make the Asian tour after suffering an Achilles injury. I did not see LVG calls up any replacement. Indonesia on Friday June 7, China on June 11, then summer vacation then Portugal on August 14 at Estadio Algarve.

    1. That seems odd that he would state that this early. Maybe that’s a ‘lets win it this time because there won’t be another’ source of motivation for him or for the squad.

      Or, maybe they’re planning a Beavis and Butthead sequel and he’s contractually obligated there.

  12. @SamNY: are you nuts??? no please no Van Basten again!!! especially when we have much better coaches as Rijkaard, F. de Boer, Koeman, Hiddink, Adriaanesse, Jol, Henk ten Cate.

  13. SamNY, I am still skeptical about Marco Van Basten. Let’s see what he can do this year and next year. I was hoping for Frank De Boer to take over after 2014 WC, but I see that he signs extension with Ajax beyond 2014. I also hope Ronald Koeman can do a better job with Feyenoord so that he can be a candidate as well.
    On the other note, if LVG only coach till WC 2014 ends, then I think he will try to win the WC. Whatever he said Oranje is not a contender, is just to shield his players/team from pressure.

    1. @hien – I understand your skepticism. But Germany did not sack Joacim L even after failing WC 2010 and Euro 2012 and no one can say German’s are playing boring football.

  14. No one can sell me on F De Boer – I think he’s the best that we have. Actually, after I saw what happened to Oranje in 2012, I believe he was the reason why Oranje 2010 did so well.

    But let’s face it, F. De Boer is not leaving Ajax anytime soon.


    Koeman is not proven imo
    Hiddink got used to speaking russian, he forgot how to speak dutch. Also, he’s too old.
    Adriaanesse, Jol, Henk ten Cate – what’s their record?

    All I’m saying is that with Van Basten, we lit up Euro 2008 and then fizzled. He at least has gone over the learning curve and can potentially do things differently.

  15. Actually i think FdB can coach both Ajax and the NT at the same time . Rinus Michels was able to make it btw .

    Anyway , Let’s focus on WC 2014 . If we win it , LVG may change his mind and stay for two more years to win the EC .

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