Lessons learned for the Italy game

Well, we learned Italy coach Roberto Mancini needs his glasses, before he puts Donnarumma in the striker role or something. Italy underestimated Bosnia & Herzegovina and dropped two points. Or won 1 point even.

Oranje, on the other hand, snatched the leader position, even after a long spell of no play, an empty stadium, three starting defenders injured or otherwise disposed and a new coach.

Some conclusions.

Playing in an empty stadium sucks. The Dutch starters asked their substitutes and training staff to cheer the lads on. They were so used to the passionate and loyal Oranje fans that they hoped to get some form of substitution via there peers. Lodeweges: “The players really valued it and they thought it was great. It really helped. At a certain point, Hateboer was running past and he must have felt like he was Leo Messi, that was how much we cheered him on, hahaha.”

I will never get used to it. Only a limited number of press and some officials were allowed in. Not even the family of the players. There was a questionnaire, a temperature gauge, masks. There were checks of bags and personal items and the majority of seats were blocked by an alarming red banner.

In this atmosphere, the players need to find the motivation somewhere. This is not a big issue for this generation of players. We had a very gloomy couple of years with Oranje and the players are very focused on making history. Steven Bergwijn: “It is not easy without the fans. But you do have to remember that millions are watching infront of the telly, and it’s them who we want to give joy and make proud.”

Virgil van Dijk sounds like the boss. The advantage of playing in an empty stadium, is that one can hear everything that is said (or yelled more). It was interesting to see/hear how Virgil grew into that leadership role. His charisma is known. But in the Poland match, he was very audible with his coaching. Him and Jasper Cillisen are constantly coaching. But Van Dijk stands out with his bassoon voice and he guides the team through the match. He is the one deciding when to apply pressure, and when pacing is more important. He will give the start sign for the press (Yeah Yeah!!), he points the way in possession (Forward!!) and coaches players who are played in (Turn! or Time!) and he gives compliments when something worked out (That is it!!).

Players taking charge is wonderful for a coach. Lodeweges: “I lost my voice already, and I am not even Antonio Conte! I tried to analyse, observe, think. And I usually sit quiet on the bench. Having a player or players doing this is vital.” Steven Bergwijn: “This is Virgil! I don’t know better. He is the man, our leader. And he has that voice, hahahaha.”

Lodeweges follows the Koeman doctrine. Not a lot changed, with Koeman leaving. The former Oranje captain organised the whole new Oranje protocol and Lodeweges has zero reasons to change this. Lodeweges impact as a coach was already huge. “Ronald was not a dominant leader. He delegated a lot. He would let me analyse opponents or prep training sessions and two weeks before the game, he’d ask me: so, what is your plan? And we would tell him what we believed we should do. He would listen and would decide which parts he agreed with, and which parts he didn’t. And he was always right, you know. 95% of the time, he knew exactly what would happen.”

The players’ council is very content with this way of working, and they (Babel, Van Dijk, Strootman, Blind, De Ligt) have informed the KNVB that they want to keep on traveling on this road.

If there is one thing that Lodeweges wants to streamline, is the press. “I think there is room for better choices to be made, by the players. I noticed that pressure sometimes gets translated to “running, hassling, sweating and panting. Putting forward pressure on was such hard work. So much energy used up. I think we need more control, we need to position ourselves better and be more selective in the moments to put pressure on. There are better chances to repossess the ball and it will cost less energy. We are working on that. Against Poland, that went well. Considering the circumstances, I do believe we actually played really well.”

Lodeweges is known to be a serious and passionate coach, but also very down to Earth. He likes to use language to put things in perspective. Asked about his new role, he calls it “a fun job”, when asked about the group, he says “it’s a hungry bunch of players”. He described debutant Owen Wijndal as “a good little lad, with a nice left foot”. And after the 1-0 win over Poland, he ended his presser with “we had a pretty decent evening, all in all….”

Some automatisms between players never fade. Memphis was scanning his options, ball at his feet. His peripheral vision was looking for runners and he was on the prowl for Frenkie. Vice versa, Frenkie knew an opportunity was coming if he timed his run right. Memphis eyes see, Memphis minds races, and Memphis feet execute. Their dance was unrehearsed but perfect. The run was made, Memphis chipped the ball his way, Frenkie controlled on the chest, turned and half-volleyed. That one deserved a goal. The dynamics between Memphis and Frenkie hasn’t suffered from 9 months no game. Their connection was clear from the first minutes they played together. Frenkie is always looking deep, for his passing, Memphis is always looking to get the ball. They have this telepathic understanding, like Jonk and Bergkamp, or Sneijder and Robben. Frenkie, Memphis and leader Virgil ended up being the best players on the night.

Lodeweges used 4 practices to show the players what he wanted, in terms of variance. “You don’t always have to play intricate and short passing. You can play long, you have to vary your approach. I like to see quick, deep balls over the defence.” The players enjoyed the intense training sessions, as both Bergwijn and Wijnaldum commented how hard it is to not play together for 9 months, and then suddenly needed to be a team again.

Lodeweges declared every one in the squad fit and ready to play Italy. Daddy Dumfries also returned to the squad.

It is not easy to look into the head of the coach, but I think he won’t change much for the Italy game. I think he’ll keep Hateboer in the side, as he knows his opponents well and has that tandem with De Roon happening. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Babel start on the left and maybe Van de Beek instead of Wijnaldum.

I was asked for player ratings, for the Poland game. Here they are :-).

Cillesen – 7 – he was there when he needed him and he had some good long balls too.

Hateboer – 8 – he wasn’t too successful in the first half, but his second half was fine, and the assist gave him an extra point

Veltman – 7 – played an invisible game, which is good for a centre back. Solid on the ball.

Van Dijk – 8 – Virgil is always focused, always leading. Good interceptions and overall leadership.

Ake – 7 – Played well, understands his role, great on the ball and an aerial threat too.

Frenkie – 7 – Played a tough first half, came into the role in second half. Created the goal but has way more in him.

De Roon – 7 – played faultless, was there to take Hateboer’s position, was dogged and good on the ball too.

Wijnaldum -6 – A bit invisible. Doing his work, making runs, and being a threat by his shere presence, but not effective.

Promes – 6 – Missing rhythm, his crosses didn’t connect, his dribbles were a bit off, but he played his role and had this one chance on a goal in the first half

Bergwijn 8- Played well, drifting into space, coming centrally to wreak havoc and worked hard. Scored his first goal, giving him an extra point.

Memphis – 8 – Still not in 100% shape/form but working his ass off, trying to dazzle, to entertain, to find openings. Everything he does is focused on creating something. Any opponent will use 2 players to stop him.

Van de Beek – 7 – showed glimpses of his qualities.

Luuk de Jong – not enough time on the pitch for a rating

Lodeweges – 8 – I can’t fault him for anything

I think Italy will be another scalp for us.

They are also not in 100% shape of course, but they will have to try and take something from the game.

Italy plays a bit like Holland does, and the game will be more open. Confidence is high in Oranje, which might be our biggest threat, actually. I think 3-1 for Holland. Own goal by Van Dijk. Memphis, Promes and Van de Beek on the score sheet for us.

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  1. beautiful article as usual, thank you Jan:)

    tomorrows match is very important actually to take a real step to be first in this group, not only to qualify to the semi of nations league but because our fifa/uefa ranking is risky we are number 8,in the european ranking and for world cup qualifications there will be 10 different european groups and only the first in each group will qualify directly.

    the first ten teams in the European ranking will be in pot one which is very important to be in to avoid the risk of drawing France or Germany or the other big teams in the qualifiers!!!

  2. Im expecting a high tempo game especially from the Italian midfield and off course insigne. If this guy is not looked after, he will be decsive. Hoping to see van dijk shift to the right and Ake to patner him on left.

  3. Yes I really hope we can win. Win this game and show the world again what we are. I still always sees a lot of disrespect when it comes to Dutch clubs and players ..

  4. Yes, agree with Alaa, really good article to set up the match. I laughed a little when I read the line: “Italy plays a bit like Holland does.” It is true, but did you ever think you’d be writing that? And thank you for the player ratings; all great stuff.

    Given all the variables and uncertainties that have surrounded preparation, I’d be I’m just hoping for a good result (a win). Style points can come later.

  5. i dont want to see hateboer and veltman at back….hope wijnaldum doesnt take offday…we have no depth in forward line…i see a 0–0 or 1-1 or 1-0 to italy due to veltman and hateboer.Both are burden for Vandijk and Ake..they have to carry these two..Like RVP,Roben carried kuyt.

  6. Van de beek is in the starting line up:) I am very happy!!! wijnaldum on the right side instead of bergwijn!! I was going to be really mad if Van De beek was not going to start tonight!!! I am excited, praying for a win 🙂

  7. They need to switch to a real 4:3:3 otherwise, this game will be lost. Wijnaldum needs to be replaced with a real winger. Dutch play through center and it is a deadend with Italian defense.

  8. Italy dominated poesession.it was going to come sonner or later. Their midfield as I said is highly versatile. They are making it count.one touch. Mancini also has a good bench.

    Lets see whats happens in second half. Wijnaldum experiment officially has backfired.

  9. A joke of a first half. This game shows how little quality we have. Besides Frenkie everyone else is having an off day. Italy looks very organized while the Dutch are all over the place. Not looking good for Dwight.

  10. Perhaps, it is good that it does not look good for Dwight. Otherwise, the shot-sighted KNVB could assign him as a National coach based one victory over Poland.

    1. I agree! This was his chance, he wanted to make a big statement by having Gini play as a winger but boy was he wrong. Wijnaldum many games with the Dutch team gives me the impression that he is tired before the game even starts. Hateboer was fighting against two the entire first half!

  11. Look at the stats (cited from vi.nl)

    Possession: 60-40% for Italy
    Passes: 307-197 for Italy
    Passes completed: 277-162 for Italy
    Balls recovered: 21-12 for Italy

  12. Do we create anything???Did nt expected goal through Virgila and ake with header..But expected to be defeated..We lack creativity This is down to De roon,Promes and Wijlandum and hatebore and AKE(i dont blame him as he is playig out of position)
    Ldewages went with ultra pragmatic and conservative approach…Glad that He didnt call Jaap stam for more safety.

    1. Dont think dumfries can handle Insigne either. Hateboer game will be restricted and with insignes presence if he is caught out, its over. You can tell he trying defensively to stick at the back.

  13. We need some changes. If we are experimenting then ihattaran and bergwijn need to come in ASAP for de roon and Memphis respectively.

    If we want a draw or win then Luuk needs to come on.

    Regardless something has to give.

    I actually don’t mind coach Dwight.. he looks like a doctor. Dr Dwight :). Just needs to shuffle the pack.

    Also hateboer could be a long term solution but maybe he just looks cool 😎

  14. Italians are running rings around dutch. I hope the score doesn’t get too embarrassing. We can’t even put 3-4 passes together. Lodeweges doesn’t even try substitutions.

  15. Why not make some substitutions? We are losing anyway and ball possession is lopsided.We can’t pass and can’t do sh!t with the ball.Try some new players.

      1. I agree. Thing is DeJong could have have played against Poland as well and Lodeweges inserted him in the 91st min. Tonight he may get a chance by the 88th minute.

    1. Offcourse..He was joke against poland(team never attacked)..Always we have these kind of luck riders in our team…
      Ake from left zero attack..
      Hateboer from right zero attack….
      We have no cretivity…When u add offday wijnaldum and invisible promes….YOU ARE DONE

  16. I Thought Berjwin will come in for Hateboer and Gini will play RB and Berjwin RW…they would have had a nice combo…Dumfires is not good option but He is head and shoulder above hateboer..

  17. same exact thing happened with portugal last year, the team was toothless for 90 full minutes that game, and here we go again one full match where we did not see one good action from the team!!! this manager is mediocrity at its worst, he was there for the portugal game and saw it all, but he didnt learn from it !!! and hateboer????? please god can he just play for atalanta and stay away from oranje?

  18. What a dreadful performance. It reminded me the performances when we missed Euro and the world cup. KNVB has some serious thinking to do when it comes to the coach.

    1. Memphis will miss next game with Bosnia. I would say try Boadu. Myron will get into good shape within a month and it would be good to see how he performs at International level

  19. Jasper Cillessen (GK) – 6/10 – Could have done little to keep out Barella’s opening goal, and did well to palm Insigne’s curling effort around the post in the second half.

    Nathan Ake (LB) – 6/10 – In a slightly unfamiliar position once more but never looked uncomfortable, largely because the majority of Italy’s attacks came from their left hand side.

    Virgil van Dijk (CB) – 5/10 – Was caught flat footed as Barella drifted into the box unmarked to give Italy the lead. Good on the ball but was caused problems by Immobile.

    Joël Veltman (CB) – 5/10 – Looked vulnerable when Italy attacked at pace, and was static and failed to pick up Barella for Italy’s opening goal.

    Hans Hateboer (RB) – 5/10 – Struggled to contain the threat of Insigne and Spinazzola down the Italian left, who wreaked havoc throughout. Produced a wonderful sliding tackle to dispossess Immobile in the second half.

    Georginio Wijnaldum (LM) – 6/10 – Had Holland’s best opportunity of the first half after a typical surging run but fired straight at Donnarumma. Was more involved and effective after being moved into the number 10 role in the second half.

    Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 5/10 – Struggled to get involved or dictate play with the same effectiveness as Italy’s impressive midfield three.

    Marten de Roon (CM) – 5/10 – Picked out Depay with a terrific pass towards the latter stages, but like his midfield partner, de Roon had a quiet evening and struggled to get a foothold in the game.

    Donny van de Beek (CAM) – 5/10 – Had a well struck first time effort well saved by Donnarumma after arriving from deep, but was otherwise quiet and unable to exert his creative influence on the game and was substituted before the hour.

    Quincy Promes (RM) – 5/10 – Struggled to get involved and exert any creative influence, and left Hateboer with a lot to do defensively.WTF hateboer at left?????

    Memphis Depay (ST) – 6/10 – Was unfortunate to not win a penalty in the first half. Sent a sweetly struck drive narrowly over the bar on the hour mark.

    1. Based on your ratings seems like the team had an average performance. If I was to rate them no one gets more than a 3 with the coach getting a negative 3. It looked like they all were competing as to who was the worst player on the field.

  20. Lodewages looked like coward..Playing wijnaldum for Berjin for safty has proven it..
    Hateboer,Dumfries,Veltman are getting chance after chance..They are not orange material..
    Wijnaldum is another player getting in to shadows..
    Hateboer,veltman,Wijnaldum,Dumfires,Strootman,Babel needs to be dropped ..

  21. I have not commented on the blog for many years but decided to post my comment after having watched this dreadful game today.
    Let’s face it international football -i.e. national teams- is no longer interesting. The quality is so poor and frankly nobody cares any longer. Club football has totally eclipsed the national teams and for good reason. When you see the quality on display today, it makes you pause and reflect. This is not the first time. The last international tournament where there was some quality was the WC 2014. Since then it has been a real fall into the abyss of football. The Euro in 2016, the WC in 2018 and this league of Nation. Compare all those to club football and the brilliant display of Ajax in the CL 2019. Watch Bayern-PSG this year even without fans and you realize how low international football has fallen.
    The rivalries between Holland and Germany, England and Germany and so many others have totally lost their fizz. So many of our players play in Germany -it really started with Robben and VB- and even coach there -it started with Louis, now Bosz and had Schreuder as well- that the mere meaning of these intense rivalries has disappeared.
    I still watch from time to time but as a distraction rather than a tense exercise in TV watching.
    For me the season starts on Sunday when Ajax plays Sparta. Of course I will also support the other Dutch clubs in Europe because unlike international football the UEFA ranking does matter. So to the AZ, PSV and Feyenoord fans here I will be with you but only during the European campaigns. In the Eredivisie it is AJAX and AJAX only!
    One last comment about the player ratings for the match against Poland. Not sure whether it was Jan who rated them but if it was goodness me I did not watch the same game.
    Below are my ratings:

    Cillesen – 6
    Hateboer 3
    Veltman 4
    Van Dijk 6 What did he do?
    Ake 4
    Frenkie 8 only player with world class
    De Roon 4
    Wijnaldum 4
    Promes 6
    Bergwijn 6
    Memphis 7
    Van de Beek 5

    Cillesen – 5
    Hateboer 2
    Veltman 3
    Van Dijk 5 What did he do?
    Ake 3
    Frenkie 6 Cannot do it all on his own!
    De Roon 3
    Wijnaldum 3
    Van de Beek 4
    Promes 5
    Memphis 5
    Bergwijn 6
    Luuk 4
    Dumfries 5
    A terrible display overall. I hope Louis comes back for a last chance to do something.

      1. Tomy14, you are probably right. I was too generous but at least he tried and fought hard. He seemed tired and had no inspiration at all. But really of I have to see De Roon, Veltman and Hateboer on emore time in an Oranje shirt, I think I will turn off the TV. Same with Ake. Such average players. It is unfathomable that they are being selected. Or rather it again shows that national teams are so poor. Ajax would crush this team 5-0.

    1. Totally disagree when you say that the international football is no longer interesting. These couple games haven’t been as interesting because of covid and no fans. But you can’t tell me that the last nation’s league wasn’t interesting? Common dude.
      As for this Dutch team, they got good players and still have quality to compete against anybody in the world, just have to utilize it. It starts with the midfield. Get that right and we could have won this game.

  22. Masonk29, I maintain what I said and believe me I am not the only one. The world is totally focused on clubs. In part because that is where the money is. Coaching a national team which used to be the most highly prized/coveted job is no longer desired by most. Take a look at the national team coaches of all major nations. Even Koeman -who I am quite sure will fail miserably at Barca- left at the first opportunity he had. It is simply no longer interesting to coach a national team. I am still watching but as I stated unlike the past I watch in complete relaxation with no anxiety whatsoever. And I am someone who, like Jan and a few others here, grew up with the total football of the 1970s. I almost died when Holland lost in 1974. This is a sea change for me. I am much more anxious watching Ajax play Heracles than I was today watching Oranje play Italy.

    1. 100% agree Jeff. You seem to be a bit older than me. I didn’t have the chance to enjoy international football until WC 1982 of which I saw more than 90% of it and I still remember it like yesterday. I hate the state of today’s football. Playing for the national team or coaching was the ultimate honor for players and coaches. But now everything is driven by $$$. There’s no benefit of playing for NT anymore except to use it as a stage to show your value to your next buyer club. Once upon a time your NT was a source of a lot of pride. The rivalries btw Hol & Germany, France & Germany, Italy & Germany, Scotland & England, N Ireland and England, etc. were almost war like. Today these players play for same clubs , they’re friends. In my view Bosman sentence was the beginning of the end and then this world without borders totally killed it. I am certain that if Bosman didn’t happen Ajax would have been kings of Europe for decades.
      Today I only watch because I need something football related on TV. For me the last time I ate my nails and fingers was against Mexico in WC 2014. Next games against Costa Rica and Argentina went to penalties of which I was sure we would lose as we always used to but luckily we won against CR.

      1. Balkan, absolutely agree with your analysis of all these rivalries that have just disappeared. It is pretty amazing because if you look at South America for example, we had such “battles” between Uruguay and Argentina or of course Argentina and Brazil but now Messi and Suarez are best friends as are Neymar and Messi or Suarez. Representing the national team is still a form of recognition but that’s about it. It is more a sort of relaxation for the players than anything else.
        I fully agree with you that the Bosman ruling was the beginning of the end of international football. It instantly dismantled clubs like Ajax that formed their players but took a lot longer to affect the international game at the national team level. Now we see clubs like Ajax and even AZ finally starting to recover from Bosman but I am afraid that the national teams will remain as they are today, a distraction, nothing more.

  23. One more thing, build-up in football starts with the defense and with Hateboer, Veltman and Ake we are not capable of building out of the back. Add De Roon who is even worse and VVD who is not a fabulous passer and that leaves Frenkie to do it all. He is the only one who is absolutely world class.

    1. Yes I agree it starts with defense but I don’t think our defense is the entire problem. The midfield besides frenkie is brutal. Or was brutal today. Our wijnaldum back where he is used to play. Try some others like ihatteran etc. Eventually we will find our midfield combos to counter the Italian and Portugal teams. The team is better than what today showed. But changes need to be made. Defense, we have one of the best in the world, hateboar shouldn’t be there, Dumfries added much more. Ake shouldn’t have been pushed to a LB where he is being played out of position. Van dijk and Ake/de Vrij/de ligt are probably the best CB combinations club and country. So I’m not worried about the defense. I’m more worried about the midfield and the attack, which we do have the qualities for them, just need to hike the right players in the right position and formation.
      Lastly, I still don’t agree about the international talk, but to each it’s own.

  24. Lodeweges is no coach. He is an assistant at best but even there he may not be the best. It seems to me he is trying to hard do what he thinks Koeman would do. He is no better than D Blind maybe worse. The sooner we get a permanent coach the better. But maybe Lodeweges is cheap enough to make KNVB consider him for the full time job. Wouldnt be the first time KNVB fked up.

  25. Disappointing result, but not entirely unexpected.
    By now, we all know our attack is toothless and play not enterprising.
    Didn’t watch the game but surprised to see Wijnaldum shifted out to the wing of attack. Surely he isn’t one for the role!! Seems the Coach just couldn’t drop him.
    And Ake not one for LB, as much as he has a good left foot.
    We really need a spark ⚡️ in the team which I find painfully lacking when watching the team plays. Hope that spark can come from the new Coach. 🙏

  26. Guys, Wijnaldum was a right winger on the paper. In fact, entire game he played in the center and Hateboer was given an opportunity to play freely on entire right flank. However, the latter was unable to move forward much and was overwhelmed by Italian attackers. I would say that was Oranje’s coach tactical failure. I think it would have been much better if Oranje played a real 4:3:3 with Koopmeijner, De Jong, and van de Beek in midfield. I think physically Koopmeijners is not weaker than de Roon but Teun is more creative than Martin. Attack should have stayed as with Poland. However, for coming games I would have tried Bergwijn Boadu and Depay. I think Depay and Boadu will be very dangerous duet. However, I am afraid that this coach will stick with players that play abroad.

  27. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but

    I must say this, alot of you guys simply have a high exception including the perceipation that NT should be better just because they beat the likes of France,England,Germany last time out, which is delusional tbh. You are not considering the status/development of other teams and their players.You have to ask this question, what have NT done to be better from last NL? Are they at the same level as last time out? The answer is simply No. I have said this so many times and saying again, it is the rotation which always fast tracks the trajectory of other big teams and this is where you expect them catch up and leap frog ahead. This is a brutual fact and if you wanna brung up the argument that nerthlands is small nation with so and so population them might as well stop comparing them with other big nations team. You cannot put a blind eye on this by putting a high bench mark around the team.Mancini made 7 changes to NT 1. It just speaks its volume there. The players are there, its just matter of calling them AND GIVING THEM THE MINUTES.

    The other teams have already made that transition through rotating while koeman was dragging with the core of players from NL until Depays injury raised that curtain of uncertainty or the dip if you wanna call it. There has been alot of boardment that Ihattarren should have started, Schuurs,Boadu, malen and others should be called up but the fact remains the tramsition will take time and that where now they should focus

    Also that Depay and Wijnaldum are on their way to Barcelona, the coupling arguments will come up or the need to continue with them. This will simply back log some worthy transitions.

    I was watching the spain game when I realized the Real Madrid and Barcelona dominace (coupling) is fading out abd how they have overcome the selection of players from la liga only. Its more suprising that coach Luis Enrique

    1. Contined

      Left out players like isco, costa, saul and alba. Time is changing, football is evolving and its just matter of keeping up with.

      If you gonna compared what happened some 20 years back and try to compare it in todays era then you are defintely living in a well.

    2. Stengs,Malen,Danjuma was not fit and on recovery…what we could have done..??..
      We lost when Hateboer starts LB and Veltman at RCB..This doubled when u play Ake as LB..
      Wijndlum was failure as midfield and he played him as RW????Only an idiot can do that..For that he took out berjwin who was one of the best against poland rsuty game..
      when will these idiotic dutch coaches stp playing wrong guy in wrong spot????
      This makes further worse when u have De roon at DM(i think De roon was good defensivly)…
      What was promes doing as if playing a leasiure match..
      This coach needs to be fired for good…Not for the single loss against italy…
      Mancini came up with 7 changes and he won with good game..

  28. It seems that Holland is not as good as we think. There are so many weaknesses.

    Maybe it is true that Holland needs a new coach, a true coach, like LvG (or Henk Ten Cate). Just wait and see. Lodeweges is not Hansi Flick or Joachim Low.

  29. Some of the criticisms is really uncalled for and sounds like some bandwagons just making unnecessary noise.
    Koeman played Ake at LB, there was no criticism then. Why blame Lodeweges now when its his body but Koemans mind. I seriously dont understand this.

    Same was the scenario for dumfries in the last few outings for the euro qualifers. He was heavily criticised for his performance and now hateboer. He hasnt played at fullback for 2 straight season.his passes went stray but so did others. Frenkie back header which mosie kean made a mass of. Hateboer had some good interventions as well but its clear he needs to play more at fullback and balance his game. I dontvthink Hateboer should be soley be blamed for italians diminating right flank. In the poland game bergwijn defensively complemented hateboer.vs ltaly wijnaldum was had no clue what he was doing.

    Absolutely no one could have changed the outcome of the game today.no one.

    Its time for transition and it should happen.

    1. What kind of transition? New players ? Different tactics? I Think this is just learning. And we will need a coach with iron balls who will take Wijnaldum off after 20 minutes and put Bergwijn in or Mo Ihatarren.

  30. I have said this before. I dont like the idea of building the midfield just around frenkie or the whole team around few dominant players.this has become a feature of NT and when they are not avaliable or injured,the towel comes out.

    One can only wonder what Mancini was thinking when he made those 7 changes.

  31. Majority of Dutch coaches are biased when it comes to the team selection. They put too much trust into a particular selection of players and play them over and over again regardless of performance.This creates a cohort of untouchable players who knows that they will not be dropped regardless of performance. That is why I thought that bringing a foreign coach might break this bias. However, the same biasedness pertains in KNVB who want to appoint the Dutch coach only. It is a circle that is going to be very difficult to break

    1. Dutch coaches are biased, may be you are right. The good thing going to come out of this could be that KNVB will try to find the right coach and lot of new players will come and there will be rotation of players which in the coming days will be good for dutch football and improve their chances in coming world cup.

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