Lots of work for Van Gaal… 100 days and counting…

I predicted a 1-3 win for Oranje over France. Well… I wasn’t too far off…. Couple of little mistakes. Only 2 goals vs the 4 goals I predicted which is a 50% difference, but for a friendly that is not bad. I said Oranje would win, well…we almost did. If they would have played with 4 debutants and would have less luck and the wind was stronger and if we would have had Gullit and Van Basten and Wouters…. I mean… It’s a friendly. Who cares. And no one likes the French anyway. And Van der Wiel was getting confused as he played against his team mates. Van Persie was still ill and you know….

But seriously….

A friendly doesn’t tell you that much (you know how I feel about friendlies) but at the same time… I think we can all conclude that the Eredivisie players (incl. Schaars and Clasie) do struggle at this higher level. At the World Cup, the worst opponent we will get is Australia and all these lads will snap at everything that moves. There is no time to ponder when in possession like in the Eredivisie.


“This doesn’t happen to me when I play against NEC??”


France was better. Full stop. More mature. More in control. We played ok in the first 25 minutes. But our wingers struggled. Our midfield struggled. Our defence struggled. And our goalie didn’t look too good. The only player who can look back at a faultless game was Arjen Robben.

The first goal of Benzema was stoppable, Jesper Cillesen. The second goal was scored after a series of positional mistakes in midfield and defence.

Our midfield leader Sneijder couldn’t take the team by the hand as he did so often in the past and he drowned in the mud with the rest of them. He tried. But he failed. And our leader of the line Robin van Persie could not be reached. The final ball was failing miserably.

All in all….not.good.enough.

Which sort of raises a question. To Mr Van Gaal.

Why are Urby Emanuelson, Virgil van Dijk, Nigel de Jong, Erik Pieters, Vernon Anita and Bacuna not being tested?

We all know what Nigel can bring. And Pieters, Anita, Bacuna and Van Dijk might not appear to be world class players, but they do play at a higher level and faster pace than the Dutchies.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Clasie and Rekik and I think Boetius and Promes have a lot of…promise… But they need to step up first. Let Clasie perform with Swansea or Sevilla for a bit. Let Boetius play a couple of good seasons for Feyenoord first.

I do hope Van Gaal will learn his lesson from this game and realise that at World Cup level, talent alone is not enough.

vlaar france

“This happens all the time to me when I play in the EPL”


We need men. Who can perform under pressure. Defenders who can defend a faultless game. They don’t need all be educated by Ajax in build up or in long passes. They need to simply stop the other guys from scoring.

And we need midfielders who can read the game, who can work for 90 minutes at high level and who can add value when the moment is there. Think Ramirez, Schweinsteiger, think Javi Martinez, think Cabaye. And we need a goalie who clashes heads with top strikers every week. And who knows what it means to be under pressure. Cillesen hardly experiences pressure in the Eredivisie. Krul on the other hand, and Vorm, play against the likes of Giroud, Rooney and Dzeko every week. EVERY WEEK!

Van Persie didn’t wanna make a big deal out of it. “We did well, the first 25 minutes. But their goal broke us a bit. We were not able to create anything. Our final ball was not good enough. It happens you know. I don’t really think it should concern us too much. The youngsters did well. It was tough. France is a pretty strong opponent. I only got one and half opportunity. We were not able to test their goalie. When we are at full strength, we will probably be able to do better.”

RVP france

And they will also qualify for “So You Think You Can Dance?”


Van Gaal was full of praise. “We lost our heads a bit. Tactically, we played well and disciplined for 25 minutes. Their goal made us a bit too anxious. I think Benzema’s goal was stoppable. I think Cillesen was a bit surprised by the speed of his execution. The players worked really hard.” Asked what he thought of Sneijder’s performance. “Listen, it’s hard if doesn’t get the sort of service he needs. Sneijder can’t do it all alone. He played well in the first 25 minutes and he sort of lost his level with the rest of the team. He worked hard. That is all I can ask for.”

In the meantime: young Oranje was beaten by young Israel. In the friendly, Oranje hardly created a thing. Castaignos scored an early goal which was disallowed for off side. Other than that: no real threat. Israel scored in the second half. Young Oranje is going well in their qualification for the EC in Scotland this summer. They have 10 points out of 4 games.


“Where is my marker???”goal france

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  1. Jan,

    I like your sense of humor. We will need a lot of that to keep ourselves going as we all know what is really going to happen in Brazil.

    You need GOOD players to be competitive in a World Cup. The Dutch team DOES NOT have any good player. PERIOD.

  2. Jan I think Finally you have caught the fish by the tail…….

    They don’t need all be educated by Ajax in build up or in long passes. They need to simply stop the other guys from scoring.

    This is what I was saying all through out about the selection criteria and the food chain . Cillessen shouldnt have started that game. He went through the same thing as what Stekelenberg, Vorm and Krul are going through in EPL weak in and weak out. its just that Ajax is always wining its very hard to pick out his weakness. I mean this should have being picked up after RBS Europa game. I think both the goal scored well marginal and could have been saved.

    1. Wilson, herew e go again. Blame Ajax for all the ills of the Dutch team. How convenient! Well let me tell you. Clasie is shit, BMI is shit, Schaars is triple shit, Janmaat is no VDW, Boetius has no business being on the national team, and Promes? please. There you have it. I have resisted until now but you guys drive me insane. Bottom line is that the only way we will have a chance at the WC is if we play with Strootman, Nigel, Wes, Robben, VP and Depay (the only true satisfaction tonight). Defense should be VDW, Veltman, Vlaar and Blind. GK Cillessen. Have yous een Stenk, Krul and Vorm play lately? Please watch and let us know your thoughts.

      1. How many NT games had Promes and Boetius played before yesterday? Any? The time for experimenting/tryouts should have been long past. LGV should be building cohesion among the guys who are likely to play in Brazil–not checking out another pair of 20-year-olds who aren’t close to ready for prime time. I think Blind is a product of favoritism–not enough speed and athleticism for NT.

  3. Emmanuelsons exclusion was a mystery to me as well. The dude plays with Ac Milan week in and week out, oranje presented itself with a bunch of players who were the rejects of the big European leagues.

    Anyhow, hopefully LVG has it all worked out and was really using this to see who he will take with him to the final squad, but it sucks to take a day off work and end up watching a game like this!

    1. In my opition Emanuelson and Pieters are both good options for left back and Anita could add some energy to midfielder and be a good option for righ back too. De Jong is better than any defensive midfielder Oranje got, and must pair Strootman in a double pivot.

  4. The second goal from France was another case of I’ll bend over and let you do what you want to me Gregory Van der Wiel. The ball comes in, he is nowhere near the French players and just looks at him score the goal. His lay down and let Ronaldo score in Euro 2012 was enough for me. Why is Van Gaal using this player? We will not even beat Australia with defence like that. Don’t get me on the GoalKeeper. He should have done better with the first goal. Why is Tim Krul no in the starting lineup. Holland are going out in the Group Stage FULL STOP.

    1. I totally agree, as I live in the UK, had to find a live stream to watch the game and what disappointment. With the performance displayed in France, I can honestly say DUTCH LOOK SHIT. The qualification was a walk in the park but again the teams they played weren’t a challenge.
      Being a Dutch fan, I will always hope but realistically, the group stages is the only stage for this current Dutch team.
      My predication for the world cup group stage:
      – Will loose against Spain 3-1
      – Will just loose to Chile 1-0
      – Against Australia – 2-2

      The Dutch will come home early.

      Sorry guys if I’m being negative, its just my opinion.

      1. You think we’ll score against Spain? Really?

        I think we’ll have a good chance of beating the Aussies.
        Still going home on the first plane though.
        Tails firmly between our legs.
        Sad times.

        1. Yeah, I think we will get at least one goal against the Spanish. Their defense is not the strongest, I think no team out their have good defenses. We may see a world cup with high scoring matches but for the Dutch, they will not be part of this.

  5. The world has moved on from 433. We are in danger of being left behind. Modern football uses 4231. Perfect for Brasil and perfect for Spain, Germany and balances defense with offense.

    We have 2x DMs (Strootman and De Jong) who are the key to our defensive frailties. We need to work with the talent available not just force an old system on a team that can’t execute.

    4231 gives us defensive cover and allows our one true playmaker an actual position to play. We’ve tried focusing a team on van Persie and crossing in 433. It hasn’t worked – I’m too old to wait another 32 years for another WK final.

    I want to celebrate in the canals, decked in Orange before I’m either dead or too old to jump for joy!

    1. the evolution of the game has more options 4-1-4-1 bayern and 3-4-3 peps barcelona with dortmund the same

      the 4-2-3-1 system works by giving an even distribution in midfield along with a defensive block of 4, the problem is defensive midfielders are limited offensively, and on top of all that, it relys on the other team having two static center backs.

      to beat this formation you need a center back to move forward and dribble to give you a man advantage. thats why 3 man defenses are the future of the game,

      the thing is van gaal already had that in his arsenal from ajax

      ajax played a 3-3-1-3 formation we have the players to play that and pull it off. but in the end van gaal seems to have some vision that is unknown to the rest of the world

  6. whats your guys ideal starting line-up

    this might look like a 4-3-3 but it’s a hidden 3-4-3

    by the way i still have not figured out co adriaanse 3-3-4 system anyone have links about it and how it was used

  7. I think after Rekik introduction the defense picked up. I always knew Blind would Buckle witht pace and that exactly what happened. this shows that Van Gaal was caught by surprise for not selecting another LB and taking BMI as his backup. AS for weil he was still in that turning pause when Matudi did that scissors kick.Thats what happens when you are running back at full pace and not looking back who is at the back. This is where he needs to improve.couldn’t have done much about the goal. This was his rating …. Gregory van der Wiel

    In familiar surroundings, just north of Paris, but Van der Wiel was one of the better defenders for the Dutch this evening. Found the correct balance of defence and attack, though couldn’t do much with Matuidi’s goal..

    He is very fond of playing up front offensively in PSG as they CBs provide better coverage for him when he is out of position defensively, but when he is playing for NT when he he retreating the CBS are dead flat and that how the gaps open up. But looking at how Ribery outpaced, he should be more focused on defensive game just like in during the Columbia game.
    Again I dont think Van Gaal gonna call van Dijik given the short time we have. but one thing for sure now we know that Rekik should start in Brazil

    Jordy Clasie rating – Perhaps the Oranje’s best player this evening, Clasie’s passing was of top quality, and also found space really well to drive his side forward.

  8. Jeff……look at both the goals France scored in the above video and look at Blind positioning and how is running back like a camel. Blind was always exploitable and I mean very exploitable because he simply doesn’t has the speed.

    1. CONT’ …….but yet that aspect of game has being overlooked by Van Gaal I dont for what ever reason and yet he wanted to try him out at DM. Looking at today game what will happen to him vs spain with likes of Navas and silva. he will get raped. T

      1. con,t….
        It has been culture thing for NT in the past and that needs to change…..sooner the better otherwise we will be in the same boat as Denmark,sweden and England. Van Gaal had plenty of opportunities and plenty of players to test at different position but he chose not to and this is the end result. Now he is saying they lost the plot……hell know the time has run out for him …end of story…..

  9. We need a goalie like Krul or Steks, Nigel back, Janmaat instead of Wiel, Lens and of course Robben! With these 5 changes the team can be more balanced and dangerous at the same time. Oranje is a mistery for next WC…one that has won his place is Depay.

  10. Just watched the game so I’ll add my thoughts below:

    When I saw LVG’s starting XI I knew it wasn’t gonna end well for us. First of all, I have no idea why he decided to use BMI when he was coming off a suspension after NOT PLAYING FOR ALMOST A MONTH. And not only did he start BMI, he also kept him on the entire game. Oof.

    Blind looked really slow as well in that first half and he rightfully got subbed. Rekik, and Vlaar were the only ones who looked halfway decent at the back. Especially Vlaar. His passing has really improved, and he played some nice long passes. Credit to him for saving us from going down 3-0.

    Sneijder was invisible as usual. He looked like he didn’t care, and his size will be a liability; when he tried stealing the ball from Pogba, it looked like a child trying to take something from a grown man.

    I think only myself, @wilson, and a few others have brought up the fact that he adds very little creativity when he’s on the field, yet there’s still a number of people on this board who, prior to this game, thought he should start in Brazil over VDV.

    @onzie was right…Sneijder and Strootman would not work together and they didn’t. @DRB300 brought up some great points, too.

    At this point I don’t think we should use Wes as a super sub either because he won’t change the dynamic of the game at all. If only Ibi Afellay left Barca when he had the chance…he would have been the perfect player to sub in for VdV because he would add speed which we’re clearly lacking at the moment.

    We need some big changes before the next 3 friendlies. Namely Urby, Afellay, and Van Ginkel should all be called up, IMO. Put these three on the field and it will bring some pace to this team.

    1. “””””Sneijder was invisible as usual. He looked like he didn’t care, and his size will be a liability; when he tried stealing the ball from Pogba, it looked like a child trying to take something from a grown man.”””””””
      This is wonderful

  11. I know history has an uncanny way of repeating itself but let us all hope that we don’t have to witness a dark period like the one in the early 80’s.
    Is there a way to prevent this..??
    Whatever happened to the Bergkamps, Seedorfs and Cruyffs of our beloved Netherlands??? What’s your take on this DRB300?? I read the articles you posted on Cruyff’s ‘technical revolution’ at Ajax and things, as pointed out in these articles, certainly look good but I guess it’ll take time to fully reap the benefits of such measures since the plan is indeed a long-term one. We need artists for the NT a.s.a.p and even if we slump to a dismal dark phase, we should stand by our beloved NT and remember that our first ever and only trophy till date came after a decade of international obscurity.

    Positives from yesterday’s game:
    Rekik: Rekik has an incredible attitude evident from the way he headed to clear the ball moments after coming on. I bet my ass he was boiling with rage inside at the prospect of facing such an ignominious defeat. We need such grit to succeed in all spheres of life. Hope that he develops into a world class CB and become a lock for the Dutch NT for the next 10-12 years.

    Depay: The thing I love about Memphis is the fact that he’s willing to take defenders on and make things happen. Has very good dribbling qualities but needs more consistency at the top level.

    Boetius: showed glimpses of his enormous talent in the opening phase of the match but quickly faded away as the game progressed. Still needs 1-2 more good seasons to earn a place in the NT.


    The negatives:
    Pretty much everything(build up speed, precision in passing etc etc..) Sneijder is finished..He looked dejected, uninterested, and demotivated. I’m afraid we don’t have a quality AM (no.10) at the moment since both Sneijder and VDV are well past their prime and the likes of Maher and Ziyech are still unproven at the top level. After that, there’s a huge gap in the talent pipeline and we don’t have anyone emerging from the youth ranks pretty soon…(unless of course you consider Nouri,Paal and Slabbekoorn who’re still too young to be considered for the under 19’s, let alone the NT)

    1. @abhirup..Boetius is light wieght ,simplay doesnt have any kind of strength..But we have 2 emphatically strongs wingers in Wijnaldum and Lenz..end of the story.

      1. If our two no. 10s are old and slow, it’s not going to be a good world cup. Neither can play anywhere close to 90, so LVG might has well play both and hope for the best!

    2. > “Whatever happened to the Bergkamps, Seedorfs and Cruyffs of our beloved Netherlands??? What’s your take on this DRB300??”

      Maybe van Gaal’s master plan. Coaches that started to emphasize on team discipline rather than individual brilliance, producing grey mouses. Ball possession as a religion and based on anxiety (primarily a defensive motive rather than an offensive one) makes players pass back all the time rather than turn around and leave their marker in the dust. You say Bergkamp, but have we ever produced another Vanenburg?

      Have you seen Japan vs Netherlands? Midfielders able to turn away from their marker. Passing and cutting through Dutch defense in the second half, but also able to shake off pressure with individual quality. If the possession game is used with a lot of attacking intention then the loss of the ball is not such a big thing if a player tried to do something positive with it. If fear is at the root of the philosophy then losing the ball is a sin. Risk taking goes out of the window. Individual development goes out of the window in this respect and grey mouses are produced.

      In retrospect that was what my rant vs Strootman was about. I saw him as the leader of the new generation. A template of a midfielder that conflicted with the vision I have for the NT as he might be able to shield the ball well, but is not able to turn around and leave his marker. He will always back pass it and then ball advancement does not happen. I want Japan kind of midfielders that can turn away from their marker, that can cut through midfield and develop dangerous intricate passing on the half of the opponent. Notice how Netherlands had a good possession spell in the first 25 minutes against France. However what happened in the last phase? Not that much. Others have noticed this as well. That’s what I have hammered on. Not only the Cruyff’s and Berkamps, but also evolved Vanenburg kind of players. For me the vision is Japan, not some kind of low rent version of a Ferguson United team based on grit.

      Also the world has moved on. What we did 20 years ago is not good enough anymore. To produce players that stand out technically we have to do much more than in the past. I can best explain this with an unrelated sport:


      Look at that gif. Both gold medal winners. Different times. With football it is kind of the same. Though one might say that we really have not produced somebody with the technique of Bergkamp, in a new era there are so many factors that need to be put into the curriculum of a player as well, that the formula has not been found yet. Maher has nice technique, but look at his mentality. However the hours spend on that dimension, can not be spend on technique.

      I believe in hard work though. Ajax has raised the number of hours of training with 30%. That is a good start. Hope that the rest of the country follows the lead.


      1. Cruyff was a one off. But we do have new Bergkamps and Overmarsen and Reps. We simply don’t have enough Woutersen, Rijkaards, Stams.

        Klaassen, Maher, Wijnaldum, Kishna are sensational talents.

        But we need a foundation for them. Like the 1988 team had 4 artists and 7 workers. (Gullit, MvB, Muhren).

        The 1974 team had 3 artists and 8 workers. (JC, Rensenbrink, Rep)

        We can use RVP, Robben and Wes as artists. The rest needs to grow balls.

  12. So now that the season is almost done and that the 23 list will be given in two months, I already have a idea about the squad I would take if I was the coach :

    Keepers : 1) Krul
    2) Stekelenburg
    3 ) Vorm
    No doubt about it.

    RB : 1) Janmaat
    2) VDW/Bacuna I wait to see VDW in the high level CL games that will come with PSG to see if he is still so unsafe defensivly or if he improved.

    CB :
    1) Vlaar- Not a top defender, a way too slow, but still the most safe.
    2) Rekik – Had a good season with PSV, was ok against Milan and was ok yesterday night, seems to be a clever defender.
    3 ) Douglas – Limited passing, but fast and agressive CB, and we need it, also he has more than 50 european games (CL + EL) experience with Twente
    4 ) Van Dijk – I haven’t seen too much of him, but he was good during CL against Barca,Ajax and Milan. I’m not sure if he is real NT material or not, but I’m almost sure he is not less than Veltman/De Vrij/BMI.

    LB : I’m still doubting about this area, but the 4 contenders for the two places are : Blind-Willems-PVA-Emanuelson. I wait to see the two last months to say who I will take. I don’t like Pieters.

    DM : 1 ) Nigel : No need to discuss
    2 ) Clasie/Fer/De Guzman depending on what they show next months.

    CM : 1 ) Strootman : Had a good season with a good european club, has done quite good yesterday.
    2 ) Van Ginkel : In a good form I’m sure he can compete (and even more) against Strootman, but as long as his club situation won’t be good let’s to consider him a sub.

    OM : 1 ) Van der Vaart : Usefull player, not sure he can play more than 60 minutes, but he deserves a starting spot.
    2 ) Afellay : Will be a usefull sub with his speed and penetration.

    RW : 1 ) Robben: No need to discuss.
    2) Wijnaldum/ Lens : Wijnaldum showed good things as RW last -21 EC, Lens is a bit shaky with Dynamo Kiev, we’ll see next months.

    LW : 1 ) Sneijder/Duarte/Wijnaldum (I’d like to see Duarte and Wijnaldum tested as LW)
    2 ) Sneijder/ Duarte/ Wijnaldum/ Depay

    I’m not sure at all about this area neither, also Elia/Babel/John aren’t totally dead for me, they can still surprise two next months.

    Strikers : 1 ) Van Persie : Not in his best form, but still better than others.
    2 ) Castaignos : A good option to add depth, if you put Afellay + Castaignos + one winger in last 30 minutes, you can definitly see another team.

    I don’t want to see Sneijder OM anymore with NT, it’s always boring when he plays there, he can fight for a LM spot or nothing.

  13. People shouldn’t take much from this loss. It was a severely weakened dutch side,

    What i’m worried about is the fact that Van Gaal keeps experimenting even at this stage. He should have his first 11 and stick with it.

    He also needs to stop playing eredivisie standard defenders. Krul needs to start, van Dijk should be given a chance, De Jong must start. Experience is vita.

    1. Exactly! What is the point of experimenting now, 100 days before the WC? Foolish. Stupid. You can’t build a cohesive team with such dumb decisions.

  14. Was very happy with our team’s passing and structure in the first 20 mins, after that the French mid-field started playing aerial through balls to Benzema, Valbuena and thats where our defence looked completely exposed!

    Vlaar played better than BMI & i have a feeling BMI will struggle against team’s with a fast counter attack, likes of Chile, Brazil..

    I feel bad for Sneijder, cos he can perform well if 1) The wingers get into positions as soon as he gets the ball 2) Strootman needs to learn to link-up with him, they need to understand each other completely in order to dominate the mid-field area.

    We definitely need to rethink our First choice GK, cos yesterday’s performance was amateurish.

    Lastly, I am glad we lost, LvG will drop his arrogance on squad selection.

    1. LvG doesn’t drop his arrogance. Ever. I have massive respect for his accomplishments at club level, and I backed him for this WC campaign, but I’ve started having doubts since the last set of friendlies. Those doubts are now cemented in this latest friendly with the fact that he’s still experimenting with the squad selection at the 11th hour. I’m hoping he’ll put my doubts to rest, but I have to say I’m a bit nervous.

  15. Haven’t managed to watch the game.
    But seems like it’s really a bad performance (except for the opening 25mins?) from what I read.
    But I do agree that LVG needs to settle down on the first 11 and get them into some rhythm. He needs to do it real fast. Or is it really a case of just unable to (players available not good enough)?
    DRB300, what’s your take on the match?

  16. Blind doesn’t really have a stand-out performance so far in NT.
    Do you guys think it possible that he won’t make the plane to Brazil?
    Honestly, I don’t really rate him as a DM. Just too bad, that there isn’t anyone better as LB. Pieters? I not convinced so far actually.


    1. I believe Blind’s best spot is DM in a team that dominates. He doesn’t have the legs to play ManU style or Liverpool style.

      I believe we need fast and strong defenders. I really really like Blind as a player but at the World Cup in this team he might be eaten up and chewed out. I think Martins Indi or Pieters have better physical strength.

      I don’t think we have anyone better than Nigel as DM and probably Clasie as the second best.

      With Strootman/Fer as the number 7.

      Wes is my number 10 but I am not sure about his stand in… Siem? Klaassen?

  17. If you look at all comments here, you see that Cillessen and Blind didn’t convinc, you also know that Klaassen touched like 5/10 balls in 20 minutes which is pretty ridiculous for a guy who is supposed to be OM.

    If you looked at EL last week you know that those three were also bad.

    If you’re rationnal you know what will happen if ajax players go to WC. We can discuss about Blind cause he had some good performances with NT, but Cillissen and Klassen are no material at all.

      1. Look at my list above, I put VDV, Stek and Nigel for sure and I doubt about Sneijder, VDW, Blind, Duarte, Emanuelson…There are more names formed in Ajax than in other dutch clubs.

        How can you say I’m an Ajax hater ?

        I just don’t want the current Ajax players cause they are bad, that’s all. You should take a look at the mirror if you really believe that Cillessen is the first dutch keeper.

        You have an Ajax passion and you’re probably suscribed in the arena and share your joys and tears with others fans, I just judge dutch football without any interest.

        When I go to A’dam I have others hobbies…

    my point IS FOR vaN gaal.
    LETS forget about some players. here after the list of players who should not go to brazil
    Blind as LB
    BMI as starter
    Weil no way for him ,he fooled every one by showing something good in attack,mentally weak guy.must be dropped.
    Vlaar…i would close my eyes when Messi/neymar or speedy guys face him.ditto goes with blind
    Clasie is too lightweight should be dropped for better physical player(sorry clasie)

    sniejdr should not start at any cost as long as rVP is there,
    Cillesen is mentally weak guy should be dropped though he is an ok goalie.
    We need playere swith mens attitude not girls,kick out the girls.
    this tells me that
    PVA as first choice LB
    Blind as second
    Leory fer as holding mids

    Vaart as starter
    Snijedr as sub
    Ricardo kishna

    Van persie


  19. LVG’s record with NT may go from “the one failed to qualify WC with the last golden generation” to “the one first qualifed for WC” and then possibly “the only one failed to advance to the second ground at WC”. I definitely do not like the last one. Even if NT make it to 2nd round and lost to Brazil is still unacceptable. It is not just the quality of players. What happened to LVG the Wizard or the Master of Tactics? There is no fighting spirit and the friendly trends now (Italy, Japan, Colombia, France) is familiar to the one before EC 12.

    Here are my final 30 for May (similar to Laurent with small differences).

    Starting 11
    Janmaat Van Dijk Rekik Blind
    Strootman Nigel De Jong VDV
    Robben RVP Depay

    12 sub
    Verhaegh Vlaar BMI Emmanuelson
    Van Ginkel De Guzman Sneijder
    Kuyt Huntelaar Wijnaldum

    7 who can push into the final 23:
    Stek, VDW, Veltman, PVA, Klaassen, Fer, Lens

    – I take the risk with Van Dijk, Van Ginkel, Rekik, Urby, Wijnaldum. I think Rekik can be a good surprise for us in Brazil.
    – I prefer Verhaegh over VDW. Verhaegh may not go forward as much or as good as VDW but he showed that he did a good job against opponent forward. I think he is more reliable than VDW.
    – I pick Urby over PVA for now but it is close call. Same for Vlaar over Veltman and Sneijder over Klassen. I’d expect more from Vlaar but he shows me that he only offer a slightly better than Veltman. I do not understand why Sneijder has not showed much with NT. The only reason I pick him over Klaassen because Sneijder’s past experiences. I am not sure if Lens has enough fitness or games due to Ukraine situation.
    – I picked Vorm over Stek because sadly we may have to rely on penalty to advance past 2nd round.

    I think the first game vs Spain we should play defensive counter attack. We simply do not have enough quality and mental strength to come from behind and play 4-3-3 attractive football vs Spain’s tiki taka. If we can upset Spain (1-0) we will have a good chance advancing to a knock out and hopefully luck to carry us deep.

  20. Hey Jan,

    Great write up, as usual … And good to see you still have your sense of humour 🙂 This was a laughable performance anyway. Not by the French though, they really surpised me. Sure it was a friendly but if they can keep this style of play up they will surpise a lot more next summer.

    What was Van Gaal doing ? For half a year he was saying that from this match against France on the preparation would be getting serious and the time of experimenting was over. But what do I see ? Lens was suspended for disciplinairy reasons (because of that Colombian diver) and instead we have frail chickens like Promes, Boetius, Clasie and Blind.
    Totally agree that we need less eredivisie and more abroad players. Three months before the tournament there’s no place for Nigel, Emanuelson, Anita or, hell, even Kuijt ? We need men, not boys. This game has put a dent in the teams confidence for sure. Weird tactics by Louis.

    The last couple of seasons, but this one in particular, made it clear that international football kept on evolving while dutch football stood still. Both on international as club level we dont stand a chance against any serious opposition. Wether its from Austria, the number four of Kazachstan, the champions of Kikkikakkistan or number five from Luxenbourg for crying out loud. Even Dutch coaches are getting sacked left and right. Man these are harsh times.

    I agree with some posters that 4-3-3 is not the way to go. Not that that system is dead, but we dont have the players for it. First you need two really, REALLY good wingers. We only have one. Second it takes a a special kind of number nine, neither Persie or Hunter has it. Van Persie has great allround skills but is made for 4-4-2 with lost of space, just like Van Nistelrooij was. Very well suited for the EPL. At least Ruud showed it in big international games as well …
    Furthermore we lack the athletes is midfield. One – Strootman – is not enough. But louis will hang on to it no doubt. My two cents …

    10-1-0 with ten players in goal and the goalie in front heheh, no something like a 4-5-1

    Vaart Robben
    Emanuelson Janmaat
    Rekik Vlaar
    Sar (sorry)

    1. France is bad seriously, just look at the attitude of players during 25 first minutes, imagine it would be Spain or a south american team doing that to them and being able to score in 30 last meters, they would have taken goals for sure and they wouldn’t react.

      Problem is that Holland is the perfect victim for every sick team/player. I said before the game that I wasn’t afraid of Benzema usually but that he could shine against Holland. That’s what happened, all his poor performances with NT during two years, his unability to create a single opportunity against Albania and such teams etc. are behind now that he played against Holland.

      It was the same with Ajax, he was in really bad period with both Real and NT, came to Arena, scored a bycicle kick and had fun with defenders lol I remember the same about Kaka, was really bad with Real, but had a very good game against Ajax and started to play again with Real after it. Players like Callejon etc. were all waiting the games against Ajax to score and get a bit of exposition.

      France won’t do more than 1/4 in WC. I’m not sure they’ll finish ahead Switzerland in the group, and even if they finish first, I bet they would have many problems if they meet Nigeria after. 1/8 or 1/4 maximum, thanks to the loting, cause I’m not sure they would be able to pass the first round if they were in some other groups.

  21. Hi Laurent,

    With surprise i dont mean that France will win it. I was just saying that with the mentallity and cohesiveness they displayed last night, the French can make it to the quarters. That would be a surprise for many, and better then the chances I give the Oranje right now. BTW isn’t Laurent a French name ?

  22. And about all those who post rumours about dutch eredivisie players going to big clubs, I read once about Martins Indi linked to Arsenal last summer, Wenger yesterday didn’t even know his name, calling him “the number 4” loool so let’s to stop

  23. Players that are not Oranje material….yet.

    Clasie – He just doesn’t belong at this level…
    Boutius – Lost the ball often and didn’t deliver anything. Young talents tend to show one or two. Don’t think he showed any.
    Blind – He was constantly caught out of position. The two goals came from his side.
    Cillessen – He is not confident and he doesn’t scare opponents… goalies should have a phsychological dominance over strikers.. He doesn’t have it. He looks like a kid playing with men.
    Klassen – he didn’t get into the game

    Borderline –
    Sneijder – He was not on the same wavelength with the rest of the team. Especially the two wingers
    Promes – was more composed than Boutius
    Vlaar – He’s slow, can’t (and SHOULDN’T) play a high line.. misplaced a couple of dangerous passes but saved a goal on the other side. I think big part of the first goal is his fault.

    I liked –
    Van Der Weil – He did close his side pretty well and offered some attacking intent. Having a better winger (Robben) on his side will help him tremendously.
    Depay – in 20 minutes, he took on defenders and ran pretty well.

    I think this game was lost tactically in the first half. The french game plan was very easy… play the ball over the center of the defence and have Benzema go and get it. All depended on benefitting from the high line Oranje played. LvG should have seen this very quickly and should have adjusted immediately, but he didn’t.

    What also bothered is that Oranje played possession in the first 20+ minutes, but never once tried a penetrating pass or a lobbed ball. It’s nice to play the square pass, but it shouldn’t be the game plan. We have speed on the wings but they were not utilized properly. It felt like we’re still playing Van Marijck’s static team but with less defensive power.

    1. Good analysis. The Dutch had good possession in the first half but did nothing with it–I didn’t see a single cross. And the defense was caught too high several times. I don’t see how anybody can be a good defender if he does not have good pace–and Holland has at least two guys in the back yesterday (Blind and Vlaar) who when caught out of position cannot recover. And this against a France team that is far from stellar. Dutch looked pedestrian. We might as well bring back Von Bommell.

  24. The game was over the moment Strootman had to go. Schaars is absolutely terrible. What LVG should have done is move Blind to MF, get Rekik or VEltman in and put BMI at LB. Using Schaars is beyond me. He is not even good with PSV.
    And for all those who praise Clasie, how many forward passes did he make? He does not do with Feyenoord either. Maybe this generation is just bad and we should focus on the u19 who beat Spain.
    By the way I heard that Kishna was the sole satisfaction of the u21 team.

    1. @jeff agree that schaars is terrible…honestly tell me who was not terrible??..only one real player we had yester was stroot.we gave chance to the younger ones to show their worth+sneijer too got a chance but they all failed bar Reikik.

    2. Clasie was trying to play between lines during first 30 minutes, his distribution was good and clean. After, the dutch block wasn’t high anymore and him and Schaars had to come really low to ask for the ball, playing mostly laterally or back. And don’t think Blind would have done better in those conditions, he didn’t turn and play forward against RBS pressing.

        1. France didn’t make a team pressing and just acted like every team which is playing against NT or Ajax. They let the dutch defenders making their 37 useless lateral passes before thinking about playing forward. Seeing that this phase was too slow, Clasie and Schaars came often very low to “unhook” to help defenders, but everytime they did, they were chased by one or two french players and were obliged to play back or laterally on their first touch.

          Clasie tried to take a risk once with turning, it was about minute 40 if I’m not mistaken, and he lost perilously the ball.

          I know how Blind plays and he wouldn’t have done better, Clasie and Schaars are a way more technical than him, able to turn and play forward, Blind is better than them on defending challenges though.

  25. Stekelenburg/Krul

    Van Dijk/BMI/Rekik


    Van Persie

  26. Clasie really disappointed me last night. He showed no guts and did not make a single pass for an attacking play.

    BMI was also very disappointing I’d bench him.

    Blind was too slow and he won’t create much on the wings.

    Rekik really caught my eye he was good, he was a leader on the pitch.

    Depay also did well not only for dribbling past Debuchy but also because his cocky attitude is something we need. We need players who are not afraid of big games.

    1. Two issues against Chile :

      -They’ll make us to live the Japan second half during 90 minutes and will logically win

      -Holland will draw or win with a poor playing, much luck, and a violent behavior that will make all the world hating them and wishing that Chile wins.

      Yesterday again, 9 fouls in 35 minutes, two first ones were hard challenges, people here complained about Colombia attitude, but Holland did the same yesterday on first challenges again.

      I don’t exclude that Holland can qualify to 1/8, but it’s sure 90 % that it won’t be with a beautiful football, Holland is not able to do it anymore and don’t have the players for. I wasn’t convinced in 2010, 2008 was mainly counter attacks, more crazyness than real control on the pitch, 2006 was poor, 2004 also…So the last time Holland really impressed during a tournament was Euro2000, that’s far.

    2. I saw a poster here (Vikram) predicted 3-1 win for Chile in the WC against Holland. If Chile plays the way they did against a fast team like Germany, imagine what they will do against oldies like VdV, RvP, Robben and Sneijder (the Old 4 not the fab 4).
      I think Vikram was conservative, Chile will win by 4-5 goals.

  27. What I saw from the France game,
    Players like Clasie, Boetius, Promes, stil need more flying hours in the league to be part of senior NT. Robben, Depay, Lens, Narsingh or Wijnaldum are stil the best players for wings. For the LB position, Pieters or Emmanuelson are better than Blind. For CB, players like BMI, Vlaar, Rekik, Veltman, are good enough. I don’t know much about Van Dijk. No problem with RB position since we have VDW, Janmaat or Verhaegh.

    To be complete:
    GK : Krul, Vorm, Stek
    LB : Emmanuelson, Pieters
    CB : Rekik, Vlaar, Veltman, BMI
    RB : VDW, Janmaat, Verhaegh
    DM : Strootman, De Guzman, Nigel DJ, Fer
    OM : VDV, Sneijder
    LW : Lens, Depay
    RW : Robben, Winaldum, Narsingh
    CF : RVP, Huntelaar

    Starting XI
    Krul, Emmanuelson, Vlaar, BMI, VDW, Strootman, Nigel DJ, VDV, Lens, RVP, Robben

  28. About Bruno Martins Indi, i really like this guy. Think he has the right “fysiek” (insert translation here) and personality.
    He has a great future as long there’s good coaching. Seems to me he’s running aroung without a clue due to too much coaching. Just let him mark his man for the next 3 years, and the rest will come in time.
    I think Indi can one day be as valuable as Chiellini for example (whatever you think of him), just take it slow.

  29. Anyone else notice the stupid header passes from Blind to teammates with no sense for the opposing players charging towards our goal ? So frustrating to watch. . It’s like he gave the ball away on a birthday cake ! Wow

  30. jeff this is for you……One guy that must be definitely laughing at Van Gaal and yesterdays game has to Douglas. he has been a sensation for Dinamo Moskva especially in defeence. They have lost once in the last 13 games and currently sitting fourth, five points adrift Zenit. Jeff this the reason why I dont like Van Gaal and policy making when it comes to selection time. Douglas has being on the seen from his twente days and when he was selected for that friendly game vs Italy if Im correct and was not used. He was one of the top defenders at that time in eredivise + his disciplinary crisis before he moved to Russia when he was written off by Van Gaal in his books. At that time his was main pair for CB were De Vrij and BMI which collapsed later on. they he went on experimenting with Vlaar and I still remember that creep Asian tour when he went for Nelom, Pieters and Heitinga which also didn’t make any impact leading up to the another friendlies that we played after that as there were not considered again.This showed the tour was jus a waste of time and waste of opportunity. this is where Douglas should have being selected and tested.

    Then came Veltman…played a few games with Ajax, doors open and gets selected by Van Gaal straight away. This clear shows his selection policy and the result is in fornt of us now. It to late now even if he calls pieters, Anita, Afellay, Emmanuelson nothing wont chanbe and we will go to World cup with a banch of failed experiments. the only thing he can do now and I mean mow is………………………..


    1. You should join Laurent in Amsterdam and share his “other hobbies”. You guys would make such a cute couple.
      Now regarding Douglas, I agree with you. I find it incomprehensible that he was not given a chance. The same goes for Anita, Van Dijk and Bacuna. Why not give them a good show? See we can agree on things.

  31. I definately think we need to go back to the 4-2-3-1 formation. Its not too late, Many of these guys played this systems under Van Marwijk before. We need to protect our back four who need more time to fully develop into top defenders. With the little time that we have before the WC we will need a strategy that can protect our defense and allow our attacking guys to play more freely.

      1. Since you’re talking about formation and positioning:

        VH and DRB: I’ve watched France’s first goal about a dozen times, and would be keen to hear what you make of the positioning leading up to that quick score.

        The thread of action began when Cilessen hoofed the ball way right on his goal kick, as if driving it to Promes; on the hard rebound, the ball was snatched away…

        Clasie was caught between the ball and out of bounds, only a couple of meters from the edge. He flailed a bit at the ball — but acres of space had opened on the far side of the field. BMI and Blind were left to deal with the fast break.

        I don’t know if Cilessen intended to drop the ball on that line, or if it got away from him. Regardless, we overcompenated and got bent out of shape (perhaps esp. Clasie). We missed the last clear chance to stop the break, and with a horizon of space to take advantage of, it was all over in a blink.

        Our failure to rebound from that blow is another story, of course.

        But I’d love to know what you think broke us down there, besides the obvious observation that Blind and BMI seemed slow. 😉


        1. Ball bounces towards the duo Clasie and van der Wiel. Both react to the situation to dual with Matuidi. Clasie is in full ball watching mode. Van der Wiel sees Clasie making a simultanious move and retracts from the situation backing off and waiting what comes out of it. The dual happens and a pretty clam bouncing ball moves van der Wiels way. This is the situation we have now arrived at:


          Van der Wiel being in a backward motion allows Valbuena to control it and pass it nicely to Matuidi who then loops it over Blind (who was keeping an eye on Griezman) to the left of Benzema and BMI. After the bounce Benzema takes a quick shot that BMI is unable to block and Cillessen is unable to read. Otherwise he was not fighting “G-forces” with a ball going through the middle of the goal, chest height. For that to happen a keeper must be caught by surprise and not having a stance that allows him to react to whatever side Benzema would shoot.

          Remember how Rekik came in on Valbuena with that header? Ruthless. Not taking any chances. Now look at van der Wiel. Backward motion or not, van der Wiel must act more ruthless with those balls. His mindset is nothing like Rekik. It’s the mindset of cuddling his little baby to sleep and going fast to his “save” position behind his man. A weak attempt to stretch his leg out and touch the ball, not cut through it. I guess I spend a paragraph on him as he stands for the mental collapse that was going on after the goal.

          Blind is not there to help BMI, but that is also triggered by Griezman (his man) coming inside to set up a wall pass situation. For me Blind is not really helping to do either. He is not in a position to help preventing Griezman to what he is up to or help out BMI when needed. He is caught by two thoughts maybe. Also depends on the agreements with van Gaal and the team to what Blind should have done there. BMI could have chosen a smarter defensive line. Few inches could have meant deflection if not a block. He was just too late. Then Cillessen does not look good.


  32. How about a 4-4-2 with a more underdog+counterstyle kind of thing…(Spain and especially Chile will probably come at us relentlessly anyway), I don’t think that vGaal is going to show us a 4-4-2, but just fantasizing of what could be possible.


    If Blind isn’t offering much anyway, if Emanuelsson and vAanholt can get caught out of position, why not an extra semi-CB, semi-LB (BMI), not that there’s much wrong with Pieters but whatever, he’s been ignored all this time so that fantasy is too far-fetched I guess.

    1. interesting statistics in support for the above formation:

      Hunter 34 starts for Oranje, 34 goals.

      vPersie 73 starts, 41 goals, perfect stats for a shadow stiker.

  33. Every team has it’s weaknesses and I trust the coaching team to fully assess and use the opponent’s ones to bring Oranje to the next round. The first three games won’t be pretty but are needed to establish a team that could grow as they advance. Unless of course, they decide to implode EC2010-like.
    At least now the Oranje fans have been warned about the limited possibilities and a warned fan-base counts for two.


  34. I have only one question.

    What are we doing still testing players and formations? The world cup begins in three months and we have only 3 friendlies before that. Why not give our best lineup a chance to really get some chemistry going so they can kick off with some confidence?


  35. I don’t know why KJH and RVP haven’t ever been tried together properly other than when BVM panicked in the middle of the euros.

    I feel like rvp needs a player to accommodate his play or at least he can accommodate someone else’s.

    I think we will be harder to beat in the wc. because realistically we could honestly look at the best players to win and we would probably end up with something that bvm would come up with.

    In my opinion if we haven’t got the squad to completely dominate we may as well play to our players advantages.

    Krul in goal would be a solid set of hands- showed no reason not to be played so far ( remember games vs brazil early on)

    defence is opinion based but someone like GVW-vlaar – rekik/veltman/ van dijk— aanholt/ blind or anyone who can do a job really.

    midfield could even be played in a double pivot like the wc. I don’t mean this in an anti dutch way but in the way that the strength of the midfield pairing will put fear into the opponent.
    Stroot and NDJ – both are very good players on the scale of world football and we are lucky to have them

    Then the OM position would be sneijder for me because he works best in this formation and is given freedom to play to good wingers. I will be the first to say that i do not like how sneijder is a shadow of who he was, but at the same time he does still produce results just not as dominating as he used to be.

    Wingers would be robben and depay in my opinion. Anyone who disagrees with robben can fight me. In the case of depay he is hard working strong (sounds like kuyt) but is skill full at the same time. Similarly, he has one of the best attitudes of not only the young players but the whole squad. Depending on the type of service we need for the CFs i think they can alternate and switch in game because I’m sure as hell depay and robben won’t let up all game so the fullbacks will think they are spared from robben only to get bashed around by depay.

    With the Striker it has to be a joke that we can’t get goals with rvp and huntelaar.

    KJH is a more intelligent and skilled striker than he is given credit for. When not playing inverted wingers we can definitely get good crosses in for him, if we are, sneijder can drift to the sides like he normally does and whip in crosses.

    I hate to say it but we don’t have the amazing young players that we thought we had.
    A lot of players who have come out of feyenoord and ajax lately have been mediocre yet they get a huge billing. Someone tell me which feyenoord player has actually progressed out of the eredivisie in the last 5 years.

    Having said that when the talent is obvious we have had some luck lately with kishna.
    He seems very complete and compared to someone like blind he has buckets of talent. The good news is FDB is great at getting the most out of his players and it is great to think what he could do with a real talent. JUST REMEMBER THE DAMAGE VERTONGHEN USED TO CAUSE!!!

    1. quote: “Krul in goal would be a solid set of hands- showed no reason not to be played so far ( remember games vs brazil early on)”

      yep, and in the meantime, he’s only gotten better and more experienced. Also has the best result of all the keepers in the rankings (nr.8 in the EPL beats nr.1 in the Eredivisie or nr. 14 and 20 in the EPL), he carries his team often enough. The other keepers don’t, that includes Vorm and Stekel at the moment.

      The 4-4-2 I mentioned earlier could also be called a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 (point forward), whichever way you want to look at it or however you wanna call it:




      Fits like a glove. Not even uneven “-“/dashes required. Point forward, cause we’re Orange, and if the ship goes downnnnnn….. [anyway], we’d better [have a good point/figurehead]. Changed the Cypres Hill song a bit, I don’t think I’ll be hired as a song writer any time soon.

      1. I agree with your 4-2-3-1 and we could call it a 4-3-3 if we need to feel more pure about it, but it’s just semantics. What I like about it is that it secures the center of the pitch with DeJong-Strootman ahead if our more suspect center pairing. As for the center backs, what I liked about Vlaar the other day was that he played like it was important, with heart and strength (though he’s clearly lacking in the footballing and speed categories, as is BMI). Rekik’s introduction added a lot to the back line, and I’d believe that he could start back there for us even though he’s currently a mere Eredivisie guy. Outside backs are always a question for us, but I’d currently choose van der Wiel at RB– he was one of the few dressed in orange who looked like he actually came to play the other day, and he plays at a higher level than our other options. With more strength in the center of the back half (Vlaar/Rekik/Strootman/Nigel), we can afford for the right and left backs to be a bit more attacking (ie VdW and maybe Willems).

        At the tip of your 4-2-3-1, I’d rather see RVP up front with van der Vaart behind him as the creative service man. Say what you want about Raf, he’s always played well for Oranje and would have the benefit of tough legs (Nigel and Strootman) behind him.

  36. fire lvg and have cruyff as coach


  37. It’s sad to say that Oranje is still understudying as the world cup is getting so close.At this present moment with our team,it is impossible to win against those strong opponents.Our back 4 is shaky weak.We need extra backup for it.So we can’ t just stick with 433 all the time.It is a suicide.I will say we need to be flexible with our formations.Becos we don’t have many world class player for 433.And i don’t think Van Persie can perform well unless we use Hunterlaar as main striker and use Persie as Shadow striker.There is no time left for testing players.We need to select the strongest and experience guys.

    IMO,i will go for Krul,Pieters,Blind,Vlaar,BMI
    VDW,Janmaat,Strootman,De Guzman,Nigel DJ,Fer,VDV,Sneijder

    Starting XI
    Krul, Pieters,Vlaar,BMI,Janmaat,Strootman,Nigel DJ,VDV, RVP,Robben,Hunterlaar

  38. My 23 for Brazil:

    GK: Krul, Steks, Cillessen

    LB: Urby/Willems

    -Emanuelson needs to start. He brings speed down the left side that Blind doesn’t offer, and he averages more accurate crosses per game (0.7) than Blind (0.3) or Willems (0.5). He’s playing almost weekly at Serie A, as well at the CL.

    LCB: Rekik/BMI

    -BMI is only here by default. I really don’t want to include him in the squad, but we have no other quality LCB’s. Rekik will have to start as he’s more reliable.

    RCB: Vlaar/Veltman

    RB: Janmaat/VdW

    DM: NdJ/Blind

    CM: Strootman/de Guzman

    OM: van der Vaart/Sneijder

    -I can’t pick Afellay until he starts to get playing time so I’ll have to go with Sneijder. However if Fer continues to score he can take this spot.

    LW: Depay/Lens

    CF: RVP/Huntelaar

    RW: Robben/Wijnaldum

  39. Whoa, just seen a stat where Erik Pieters averages 3.6 tackles per game which is 6th in the EPL (2nd in DF’s behind Zabaleta)…he can take Willems spot.

    1. Hope there’s a way for him to be seen, if it’s not too late.

      He didn’t show a lot of smarts when he punched out that window, but he’s got some talent.

  40. The result jeff…the result is in front of you. Im taking because its has all back fired for Van Gaal. Fron the Germany friendly to the Qualification, and till yesterday game, Blind has being the the no 1 LB for Van Gaal and never went for his backup all this time. Look on the right it started with Rhijn, Jamaat, and Verhaegh and weil , at one stage weil was not even in the picture at all but look at him now, he his neck to neck with Janmaat, why didnt Van Gaal did the same on the left .May be his daddy can answer this question. A good competition on the left with PVA,Pieters even Emmanuelson, would have brought out the best LB jus as what has happened on the right.

    The failure has come about because van Gaal was too adamant on other potentials who could have made difference over his selection and chose to go with his and his assistant resume.

    1. I find it hard to believe that nepotism would play a role in the selection of a NT starter-but that seems to be the case. Blind is a /sound/ player in many ways–but there is nothing special about him, and he simply doesn’t have the athleticism or speed that good defenders need when they are recovering/chasing/marking good offensive talent.

  41. Guys:

    My eleven,

    1) Steks. Experience
    2) Janmaat. Attitude
    3) Vlaar. Leadership
    4) Rekik. Placement
    5) Martins Indi. Toughness
    6) De Jong. Balance
    7) Lens. Speed
    8) Strootman. Balls
    9) Van

  42. Guys:

    My eleven,

    1) Steks. Experience
    2) Janmaat. Attitude
    3) Vlaar. Leadership
    4) Rekik. Placement
    5) Martins Indi. Toughness
    6) De Jong. Balance
    7) Lens. Speed
    8) Strootman. Balls
    9) Van Persie. Redemption
    10) Wes / Raf / Wijnaldum. Doubt
    11) Robben. The key

    What do you think about it?

    Oranje is a young team. I wish that in the month before the WC Van Gaal sticks to his final team. I think he has use Cillessen to show Steks or Krul that if they do not peak now he will not hesitate to play a youngster…Jasper is very talented but does not have the plane hours to play vs Spain. I am positive LVG noticed this and will sub him for good.

    We can be a very pleasant surprise at WC or be an embarrasment like in the Euros again. Any thouhts?

    1. Thanks Abhirup, I had read the article some time ago, but read it again now you posted it. Good article and it reminds us that the technique training is still pretty damn good in the Netherlands. Now we need to make sure the kids are allowed to express themselves with it in games all the time also by taking risk.


  43. my eleven

    goal : steks krul cilessen

    right back : van der wiel janmaat

    center : vlaar de vrij

    center : bmi rekik

    left back : pieters willems

    dm : stroots blind
    dm : ndj classie

    am : vdv sneijder

    lw : robben depay

    rw : lens kuyt

    striker : van persie kjh

  44. As we all know players that have got the tickets (in LVG’s mind) are RVP-Robben-Strootman, the rest he kept it opened, that’s was the reason of this last friendly against this reasonably strong opponent, to screen test those new possible players to complete 23-30 places

    Some positives I can get from last game:

    The players that would be dropped as they don’t fit anymore to LVG’s blueprint: (Schaars-kuyt-verhaegh)

    Players that would be in at least as subs, janmaat-gvdwiel, vaart-nigel-vlaar-lens-hunter-deguzman-stek-krul-cillesen)

    The young players that have secured their places to complete the list of 23-30 or even starters in order (Depay-Rekik)

    New players that are not ready yet and would be dropped for this WC (Clasie-Klassen-boetius-promes)

    Some positions that still left unresolved and need unfortunately another 1-2 friendlies to test

    1LB: need to try the last available LB, emmanuelson as its quite obvious LVG still not happy with the quality of Blind, BMI, pva, Willem and moreover pieters, 

    1CB: vanDijk as alternative to veltmans-bmi. 1LW: emmanuelson double back up for LB, affelay double back up for AM.
    1AM and 1MC, are between vanginkel, affelay, fer, and wijnaldum.

    So i can only hope vanginkel and wijnaldum recover soon.

  45. —-steke/krul/vorm—-No micky mouse league players
    ——Van ginkel—–strootman—

  46. By the way is Spain wins another trophy, I’m done with football. At this point I don’t even care who wins, as long as it’s not Spain.

  47. My player rating:

    Cillessen: 1
    vdWiel: 4
    Vlaar: 6
    BMI: 5
    Rekik: 6
    Blind: 3
    Strootman: 6
    Sneijder: 5
    Clasie: 4
    Schaars: 3
    Klaassen: NA (too short)
    Boetius: 5
    vPersie: 5
    Promes: 5.5
    Depay: 6

    A rather difficult game for the debutants, especially the 3 wingers, especially when vPersie isn’t trying hard enough either.

    1. You give more to BMI and Boetius than to Clasie ?

      The rest is ok to me, especially for Cillessen.

      What is funny is that the guy stayed two years on the bench, sub of Vermeer. Yes, Vermeer, not a top keeper neither. But ajax fans want to make us believe that Cillessen is a international class keeper…

      If he really was, believe me that all the ajax direction would have put him keeper number one to sell him as soon as possible to big clubs.

      1. I gave Boetius some slack because he’s such a kid (also showed some promise early on). Clasie has already had a few games and still couldn’t quite handle the quicker and stronger plays of the French. I put Clasie on par with vdWiel for the same reason I gave vdWiel an extra point compared to Blind, his offensive contributions (trying at least), otherwise he would have had a 3 as well.

        BMI at LCB: 4
        BMI at LB: 6

        averages at 5 (seemed like a nice round number, guess I could go for 4.75 average with 5.5 at LB but that’s like I’m taking it serious).

  48. I have been watching this team for over a year and I can honestly concluded that they might not even make the second round. Back in the good Orange days, some of these players we have not will not even been on the bench. Having say that I guess we have to work with what we have. Our biggest issue is in Defense and Mid Field.
    Having watching Strootman for a long time, he is not convincing enough. He passes are always off plus he does not have the technical ability.

    Another big problem is the left back and the central mid-field.
    If I was Van Gaal I would have BMI played as LEFT BACK, I would paired up Veltam with Van Dijk in the remaining friendlies and Van Der Weil or Janmaat on the right. I would also bench Ron Vlaar. He is simply not good, he is too stiff and does not move with the ball very well.
    I would now bench Strootman and bring Blind in the Mid Field to partner up with De Jong and Sneijder. Up front I would have Depay, Van Persie and Roben.


  49. ——————-Stekelenburg—————–




    12 Krul
    13 Cillessen
    14 Wiel
    15 Bruma/Van Dijk/De Vrij
    16 BMI
    17 Blind
    18 Vaart
    19 Fer
    20 De Guzman
    21 Huntelaar
    22 Lens
    23 Depay

    We need an experienced goalie. Stekelenburg played last WC after having played with Ajax for many years. So it’s Stekelenburg or Krul.

    Dutch football always uses fast RB and LB’s. Blind is too slow we need someone who can attack and Janmaat is really fast and dangerous when attacking.

    1. Why you even this guy Wijnaldum on your line up, are you serious? This guy have not played all year long. Do you follow the game at all

      1. People here tend to exagerrate about the importance of form. Wijnaldum has three months to be ready for the WC, it’s enough.

        The main is to have players who are technically good enough, and a Wijnaldum at 70 % can still do more than a Klaassen at 100 %. Injuries don’t make you to lose your technical and how comfortable you are with a ball. They don’t really interfer with you pure speed neither, don’t interfer with your vision etc. it’s not stamina and rythm.

        Don’t forget that official games are not more than 20 % of the time that a footballer spends with a ball, the 80 % are the daily trainings.

        A Wijnaldum who will train three months more and has some eredivisie games has no reason to be considered less ready than Klaassen just because he played less official games in the season. Especially when those official games are losses 6-1 against Salzburg where you’re walking on the field, I’m sure Wijnaldum spent more energy kicking it in the bed with his girlfriend that night.

  50. I see many of you putting Depay as starter because of his 20 minutes…No one says that Debuchy is awful defensivly, and even worst after 70 minutes ? Even Josefzoon would dribble him. Boetius also won his first 1vs1 against him giving him a panna.

    Depay can be a sub max for NT, he hasn’t proved enough to be starter, I was really disappointed against Milan, was totally invisible in two games against Abate, unable to win any challenge.

    He has good crosses and is usefull for corner and free kicks also, but don’t judge his dribbling ability on what he did against France, most of the times I find him disappointing in 1vs1 situations, he lacks true speed.

        1. 1 ) Better salary
          2 ) Dinamo Kiev has a more interesting project than all dutch clubs.
          3) He plays next to Veloso, Yarmolenko, M’bokani etc.
          4 ) Even if the general level of Ukraine is weak (like the eredivisie), playing agaisnt Shakthar, Kharkiv and Dniepro is more interesting than playing than playing against Ajax, Feyenoord and AZ.

          Simply because : Shakthar > Ajax, Metalist> Feyenoord, Dniepro > AZ.

    1. I think you have not looked entirely into what depay can offer.

      Do remember this, psv milan was very early in the season and depay had only really started being in the first xi.

      Watching him week in week out in the poor level that is the eredivisie you can see that he is something special and I’m not talking about klaassen scoring a few goals against a dire team special. I mean he is a poor PSVs best player and he has been responsible for bailing them out.

      I didn’t watch the france game but depay has played well for psv in their shitty EL campaign and also when he was given the full 90 vs columbia he was the best player which must count for something.

      The point i am making is that depay is a player that has a good lower limit in his performance whereas someone like lens can be invisible or worse let it get to his head and get sent straight off.

      He has a terrific attitude and he is in my eyes one of the few legitimately good talents we have that can become amazing alongside kishna etc

    2. Who would you played? Because this freekin Jeremain Lens guy which use to be a good player now left the dutch league to go play in Russia of all places. Are you kidding me. Russia!

      1. Lens plays for Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine, not in Russia, and who knows what will happen next in Ukraine? I don’t know if the league is still running.

  51. For this WC, I will disagree that you think Blind is better for NT than Strootman. I still have doubt if Blind is better than De Guzman as defensive midfield. I think Nigel’s and Strootman’s and VDV’s performance will dictate how this team go (Nigel helps out our weakest point, defense while Strootman and VDV make sure RVP and Robben and Depay have the services that they need to score). I like Blind’s versatility that he can be LB or DM.
    I like the idea of pushing BMI to LB and pair Van Dijk/Veltman although I prefer Rekik than Veltman at this point. I still prefer Verhaegh than VDW and this is based on Verhaegh’s performance vs Portugal (I admitted I did not follow him much).
    However, for player like Van Dijk, Douglas, Emmanuelson, PVA, Van Ginkel, Verhaegh or even Afellay, Elia, Ola John. They have not had much chance to show (injury, not call up, call up but no playing time) so I do not see how LVG will include them in the 30. It still is a wishful thinking that LVG and his coaching staff review players not in Eredivisie and give them a more careful reviews.

  52. I can’t believe how people here forget how good Lens is for us. Out of 16 games he played 6 goals 6 assists. Moreover, he was involved in more than half of the goals Netherland scored. He also played well against strong opponents for example against Italy, Portugal and Turkey. He is as important as Robben Vaar and RVP for us if you watched all the games we played under Van Gaal. Don’t judge a player by one game that is very amateur.

    1. I hope he is safe in Ukraine and the situation is not escalated. His Dynamo Kiev lost to Valencia in Europa League. LVG is keeping an eye on him and I think LVG will reward Lens for his service during qualification.

  53. Just finished watching the game.
    Actually i think we made France looks good.
    The team dynamics and play suffered because of players like VDW, Schaars, Blind, Boetius and Promes.

    VDW is still the same..lateral or back passing…pass and then run forward..too predictable and very difficult player to play with.
    Blind is slow and not strong to stand up to challenges.
    Boetius/Promes showed some good touches but overall hog the byline, making them easy to mark. They should drop back to retrieve balls, that will make them difficult to mark.
    Schaars really offer nothing..just an average player.

    I remain confident since these players are unlikely to make the final cut anyway.

  54. I talked to Van Gaal, he said business starts at May so do not worry guys. Chill out, he send a message to the blog: we will have fun at the WC ( for good or bad reasons).

    Just kidding! What I try to say is that in a WC anything can happen. Hell, South Korea reached the semis one time with all that cheating!!!

  55. Guys, i think you re making too much of a fuss on a friendly. It is obvious that LVG is still exploring options. National coaches have to use all these matches to experiment. No other choice.

    The team will gel once LVG makes up his mind and once they get in retreat together. We have 2 or 3 world class players and a bunch of promising youngsters. In the past teams won cups even with just one WC player. It will all depend on how much they fight hard as a team and on how lucky they are in those couple of weeks. Talent alone means nothing.

  56. summary

    goal expectancy for every nine shots

    *50 percent of goals occur when ball is recovered 30 meters from goal line.

    distance covered isn’t as important as distance ran at 5.5m/s

    a team with the sum of players with high pass completion rates *especially forward passing win more and control the final third

    score first chances of winning 70%

    set pieces, free-kicks, corners account for 33% of goals scored

    the favorite team only wins 55% of the time

    so in conclusion what would the analytics mean for oranje,

    holland must play with a 4-2-1-3 formation, jermain lens value has increased due to his ability to tackle and not let anyone get passed him, he must be a right back.

    limit opposing teams shots on goal from close range, and shoot at least 18 times a game, for an expected 2 goals a game ratio.

    Holland vs France statistical analysis

    France has 16 shots with 2 goals scored 1 out of 8
    Holland had 4 shots with 0 goals

    Holland launched attacks 45% right side, 22% center, 34% left side. this means holland was not only predictable but couldn’t break down the midfield of the french, but they can’t be blamed sneijder was playing striker made it a two man midfield. outnumbered

    france had 38% left, 26% center and 36% right side, meaning they had more variety, and an even unpredictable distribution.

    French shots were 63% in the middle, 19% right and left side, with 50% coming from 18 yard box, 13% six yard box, and 38% outside the box,

    we tactically lost because of sneijder, and bruno martins indi. we played a 4-2-4 the french played a 4-3-2-1 and had 5 midfielders we only had two, do the math.

  57. If i had to build a team on pure statistical analysis i and play the formation with the most chances of winning i would have


    nigel de jong has something like 83% pass completion but i have no way of knowing what percentage are forward.

    1. well, you’re not going to win a game with 2 meter backpasses no matter if they are 100% succesful.

      If you want to field a team completely based on statistics, go with the topscorers (goals per minute preferrably, not gonna do that now), at least you’ll get some goals to look at instead of useless back and forth passing without real purpose:

      vPersie: 41
      Hunter: 34
      Sneijder: 26
      van der Vaart: 25
      Kuijt: 24
      Robben: 22

  58. pass completion rates of players

    Strootman 88.9
    nigel de jong 91.8
    emanuelson 84.5
    rvp 77.1%
    johnathan de guzman 89.2%
    leroy fer 83.7
    anita 83.6
    ron vlaar 76.6
    pieters 74.6
    vorm 71%
    bacuna 70%


    bruma 89.5
    veltman 89.1
    blind 88.5
    rekik 87.9
    de vrij 87.7
    bmi 86.6
    clasie 84.9
    van rhijn 84.7
    schaars 83.3
    promes 82.1
    willems 82.0
    janmaat 81.5
    gouweleeuw 81.4


    robben 81.9
    verhaegh 81.5
    van der vaart 81.4
    elia 69.2


    van der wiel 89.3

    i was bored, went on whoscored.com checked out more stats

  59. I think its time we go with both Hunter and RVP as what steen said coz it clear that with the current batch of players that we have the 4-3-3 formation wont work. especially with De Jong . …..he is very exploitable with this formation…..vs Belgium….he jus cannot be defending all the time and offering nothing in the attack……we will miss out on the speed and egility factor leading to the buildup in the midfield. As it is his role is more comptent in the 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-3-2 and thats how it should remain.there is one area Van Gaal has to give some thoughts.

    coming back to Hunter and RVP……wehave to take into consideration how RVP is operating with Rooney at Man United. I think I posted a video in the last blog……Euro 2008 (holland our story)……you see that RVp was used as a RW with robben on the left and Nistelroy in the centre with hunter as his back up. I think its time LVG leaves his ego and club repitions aside and work hand in hand with same of our past coaches and oldies and come up with another alternative.

    the inverted wing also has to go for the benefit of the strikers….. for better service and goals we need timely deliveries in the box……Robben hasnt been succesful on the right with big teams at international level and with teams like Spain they definetly lock him if he starts there. I think he will be more tricky if he starts on the left as he will have options either to cut inside and square or go outside and cross. this is another area Van Gaal has to give some thoughts.

    with the avaliabity of Fer,Van Ginkle, Wijnaldum,lens things can change. 4-1-4-1 can work out perfectly IMO .



    —————————-De Jong————————————

  60. The truth is that we don’t know what to pick as the starting XI I just hope LVG isn’t as lost as we are.

    I do think LVG has some doubts especially on defense but he is experimenting so much due to the lack of international friendlies.

    My bet is he knows his starting line up at 80%.

    This is how I think LVG sees or starting XI:

    Stekelenburg or Krul (doubts)
    CB (doubts)
    CB (doubts)
    Sneijder or Vaart

    1. That wouldn’t be bad if the two CB are Vlaar – Rekik/Van Dijk.

      But you guys here seem to forget who Van Gaal is. Let’s to bet that he will make at least one “big” suprise. And probably a bad one like not selecting Nigel.

      He is definitly able to do it.

  61. i know the 433 won’t be compromised, but surely a player who is as intelligent as rvp would be able alongside kjh but slightly deeper
    so like- as a sneijder that produces results


    Back 5

    nigel de jong
    robben strootman lens

    van persie behind kjh


    1. modification.. . …. but yeap can be alternative given the calibre of the players. the best part is all these guys play top level 90 minute soccer for their respective club.

  62. i think we are done if we start blind as LB..he frequently gets out of position,lacks speed etc,its really our weak point even isreal u21 he was not that good.
    the good point abt NT is when you put wijnaldum and lenz its certain that WE WIL SCORE for sure…….

  63. 2 first half goals for the Hunter.

    Plus a another entertaining game of Robben and Buyern vs Dost and Wolfsburg. I am hoping for goals from both guys. In fact I am watching carefully how Dost performs against a such a top team

  64. krul or stek
    vdw,vlaar,rekik,willems or emanuelson
    de jong, strootman
    robben, sneijder or van der vaart, elia or lens
    rvp or hunterlaar whos in form
    This I believe will be our only chance at winning wc, you need young players yet players at top level that can handle pressure. lvg cannot be experimenting anymore before wc. These players are all still top class. Theyve played together for many years over international terms and I believe they work best with each other knowing they can trust whoever they distribute the ball too will play smart.

  65. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jtXOJ_WFY

    We didn’t do well at all against france but here are some highlights vs colombia which was a tough game all in all.

    IMO friendlies should be used to improve the team , results don’t really matter if sufficient improvement is made.

    In the colombia game i think depay is showing his quality against some quite rough defenders which is promising.

    Also remember that we had a very depleted squad for the france game, i am not referring to robben but more to the absence of leroy fer, stroots injury and us having to rely on eredivisie standard CMs of clasie and schaars.
    If i am honest there is no point using them they aren’t incredibly influential in their current teams so they have no real place in the NT other than for specific games in which their skills may be suited.

    Our midfield needs strootman a creative/defencive mid and a balanced mid
    This is where marco van ginkel would be crucial but i doubt he would get a call up now. Having said that lvg could go back on his word like he did for the china game when selecting shit players like nelom.

    1. It depends, if PSV beats Vitesse next weekend it would be a definate possibility.

      Twente is playing like absolute garbage and still have some tough games ahead.

      Feyenoord still has to play against PSV in Eindhoven.

      Its all too difficult to say right now. PSV, Feyenoord, Twente and Vitesse can all lose to Go Ahead Eagles or SC Heerenveen on any given day.

  66. Emanuelson has the same sickness as weil…….doesnt have the balance when it comes to both offensive and defensive plays. more offensive minded leaving the defense exposed.

  67. I haven’t seen Anita play but can he be considered as Oranje material?. I’ve read he is doing well in a very physical league such as EPL.

    Can he be an option?…maybe instead of Clasie although I have too say that Clasie has already played other games and he did good so maybe we’re being too hard on him.

  68. Completely non-eredivisie line-up:

    **Stootman*vPersie*de Jong**

    expressed in clubs and their ranking in their respective leagues:

    Augsburg(6)*Aston Villa(11)*Dynamo Moscow(4)*Stoke(12)
    As Roma(2)*Man.United(6)*deJong(11)
    Bayern M.(1)*Schalke(4)*Dynamo Kiev(3)

    Not exactly top of the world but at least not anyone who can’t handle top level football, except maybe Douglas but he’ll have the (coming) ‘home’ advantage and can be swapped with Vlaar (cause they’re both right-footed and we’ve used Vlaar at RCB before, perhaps we’ll need to use 1 eredivisie player after all, someone like Rekik to make this team more balanced).

    1. I don’t agree with all players but I agree with the idea.

      Even if we lose with that, at least we would have been rationnal not selecting players from a really weak league.

    1. They have vitesse next week so it’ll be a test of how far they have come since christmas.

      I do rate cocu, maybe he didn’t have the effect of FDB when he came in, but do remember that Cocu has had to develop chemistry within the team.

      the only players who remained from the first team last season are pretty much just wijnaldum, matavz and willems.

      Cocu still has what it takes to be a good manager, i would judge him by what PSV can do next year.

      1. Neither Matavz nor Wijnaldum have played much this season (injuries), and Locadia is now the starting striker.

        I don’t think Cocu is as good as FDB, but I will give him time. His substitutions are usually rather strange, but PSV are grinding wins and starting to play better and better. The game against Utrecht yesterday should have been 5-0, and even that would have been a mild scoreline for FCU.

        Narsingh is starting to get back to 100% fitness. Constant threat on the right wing, but his final ball was almost always poor. He’ll come back to form I’m sure, but with Ruiz contending for a spot on the right wing I will be surprised if Narsingh gets a lot of PT before the world cup.

  69. I’m usually one of the more optimistic posters on this board, but after watching the Germany/Chile, there’s no doubt that their front 3 of Vidal/Sanchez/Vargas would easily outpace our slow defenders.

    For our next pair of friendlies, LVG should experiment with the 4-4-2. Perhaps a lineup like this:


  70. Correct me if I am incorrect. Chile plays a quick passing style like Spain but more direct. In a sense this is what LVG wants NT to play. Their midfields are good. Their forwards however do not have a good clinical finish. Their defense is ok and our forwards can still exploit. Consider how fast they are, our fitness and mentality is the keys.

  71. Am I the only one to have high exceptations on Lerin Duarte ? I haven’t seen much but I really liked the few I’ve seen. Very dynamic player, attack/defend. Nothing is better than playing teams like Spain and Chile with energetic players. Remember how Barcelona midfielders couldn’t support the pressing of Ramires two years ago.

    If we go with slow defenders and midfielders, we can’t do it against Spain. Even Nigel won’t save it, Nigel is a very good player to break counter attacks and to stop a player coming to him in 1vs1, but he isn’t the kind who will go to press and “harass” the opponent, he lacks speed for that.

    Same goes for Strootman. Schaars is bad defensivly, too slow, Clasie isn’t slow but lacks some power and grint sometimes, Fer has good tackles but isn’t really good for the pressing neither. De Guzman definitly lacks grint, he is better in attacking tasks.

    Duarte is the best midfielder we have for the pressing, then I put Anita but I find him too light on some other aspects. Van Ginkel is also able to do it.

    But with Nigel-Strootman it will be a bit like against Spain with Nigel-Van Bommel, and we really let Spain to developp its football, even if they couldn’t be dangerous enough. I expect the same if we play them with Nigel-Strootman, they won’t be able to break spanish possession.

    1. he played him in both games against Salzburg though.

      Without much effect if I might add.

      I hope the time for eredivisie debutants in Oranje has really run out now (well, before this WC that is).

      Who really wants to try out yet another internationally untested eredivisie player (or in Duarte’s case, tested and ‘failed’)? (are you guys being serious? or was the comment and Jeff’s agreement more meant to say something about his potential after the WC even though that’s not what it sounds like?)

      Time’s up in my opinion. Next friendlies will be part of the training camp and then straight onwards to the WC, no more time for testing. The only exception I’m willing to make is Douglas (I consider the following people to be properly tested already in international terms so possibilities to be added to the squad regardless of them not being there or not used during vGaal’s campaign: Pieters, Emanuelsson, Krul and Stekelenburg).

      1. thinking about vGaal testing players, he ‘tested’ so many eredivisie players if I have to think up a list of ‘failures’ I can probably only think of the ones he’s used way too often (at the expense of possibly better players):

        Blind (almost every game, v.Aanholt only had a few minutes, Willems was doomed from the start, Pieters and Emanuelsson should have been given some time, plenty of chances, v.Aanholt also deserved to play against France at least, or vs Colombia/Japan)
        de Vrij
        Kuyt (as if he needed to use him to get to know him, pfff, ridiculous, if they wanna give him a 100 caps, do it after the WC, or use him as a defensive midfielder like my line-up elsewhere)
        van Rhijn
        John (allthough not used that much so I guess I’ll stop here, I was mainly talking about the ones I’ve seen too much of where I was hoping to see someone else, someone that looked more promising or useful to me at the time)

      2. He used Duarte LB first game, even Messi would be disgusting playing in such a position.

        Judging level of eredivisie players is hard as long as they don’t show it in another level, so I look more at the style of playing. I remember you were praising Finbogasson because he scores goals, believe me, he worths nothing. He just has nothing special, a better version of Malki, but currently he won’t be starter in any PL team, even not in Cardiff or West Brom. He lacks speed, athletic qualities, technically he is average, and I’m not even sure we can say that he has a good finish if you look at how many chances he misses every game. When your team is playing 4-3-3 and creates 18 big chances against RKC or NEC, as striker, it’s normal to score 1 or 2 goals every game. What is important is what you show except those goals.

        Duarte is interesting, not efficient enough so far, but has real qualities.

    1. I had to switch off my television. Was like I saw van Ginkel’s reaction in that stupid cup game against “FC ball on the roof” at the start of the season where he tore his ACL. Also Strootman tried to walk it off and then collapsed and screamed in pain.

      I am gutted. Hope for a miracle.

  72. Pieters is the best options to start on the left if Robben is on the left wing. Pieters defense has been solid given his tackling stats at Stroke and only lacks pressing forward in attacking situation. we all know Robben is is more a individualist when attacking and doesnt require extra contributions from the backs but when it comes to his defensive contribution is pretty much average or if not zero . In this way we will covered on the left with Pieters only concentrating on Defense and Robben taking care of the attacking department.

    I still reckon that Steen formations is the best one to go with.




    —————————-De Jong————————————


    Pieters- ?——-?——Janmaat


  73. It was his stupid coach that had the fault. Strootman should have rested after the injury he sustained against France. If Strootman is out, I’m honestly think we are done at the WC.

  74. 4-2-3-1?

  75. If we have to play with the point backwards we might as well play (I know it’s taboo in vGaal’s mind, but whatever):

    ******Strootman****** (or de Jong, or even Kuyt, this has always been my favorite position for him)

    back 4+keeper

    1. Hahah, i don’t mean to poke holes, but with vdv and sneijder we would just have a negative work rate.

      maybe in euro 08 this may have been the answer but i can tell you from experience playing with a lazier midfield is very difficult when you don’t have the ball and only really works when you have players that absolutely dominate on the ball

  76. Totally agree with you – steen!

    We won’t go passed the Group stage if we start with VDV, he doesn’t have the lungs to play in Brazil, the climate will be warm mostly 25 and 30 Celsius in some place & it’ll also be very humid.

    Having said that, A great advantage for Sneijder is that he moved to Turkey and has experienced warm and humid weather for over a year. However, he needs to be covering the most ground > 10 kms every game if we have to dominate mid-field. He did that in EC08 and WC 10, I hope he can do that in WC14 too.

      1. damn!

        Klaassen should be backup. I hope this doesn’t mean vGaal will switch to Clasie or Schaars, or worse, both or Blind (if something happens to Nigel as well).

        I’d use:


        vPersie’s position can also be played by either VDV or Sneijder, Klaassen’s position can be played by VDV. Sneijder, VDV and vPersie can also be used on either side, Klaassen I would prefer to use in his Ajax position first, which is the right I think)

        I thought Wijnaldum was poor against Portugal and hope this won’t be a nice excuse to include him in the squad at the proverbial final hour.

        1. with the point in the back, the way vGaal likes it 😛

          You can do:

          *********de Jong*********

          VDV backup to vPersie, Sneijder backup to Klaassen (or first choice if you want to take some risks).

          1. if you do vPersie+de Jong+Sneijder (and then Hunter up front), you’re actually replacing Strootman with vPersie, a bit offensive, but certainly no loss in quality on the field.

            Let’s go all in (a real all-in would also include Kuyt at nr.6, de Jong’s spot, for long distance shots and ramming speed *thinking about ships and Cypress Hill’s song again* and VDV at LB for accurate long balls for counters):


            of course you can temper this line-up somewhat by replacing Kuyt with de Jong or VDV (entering Pieters in case you use VDV).

    1. well….? I’m searching the internet and having some difficulties finding the latest information on this.

      How did you know for example that the results are “out in an hour or so” (@ 11:01 dutch time). Was that part of the NOS report?

        1. I googled “strootman twitter” and when I clicked the first page all I saw was an anouncement for the Napoli-AS Roma game. Guess I checked the wrong twitter account.

    1. Lol just because strootman may not be playing in the World Cup doesn’t mean we’re out of the group stages, players step up, you never know what’s gonna happen

  77. That’s simply embarissing… Our world cup hopes just got miserable. And yes, I agree with Abhirup, it’ll be difficult to get out of group stages without having top class midfielder

  78. This is sad. Sad indeed 🙁 .
    I don’t know how LvG should deal with this. Strootman is simply our best midfeilder with the best mentality in the whole team.

  79. It’s even more sad that our best two midfielders Strootman and MvG got injured in the Cruciate ligament. Things could have been much better with them both in the squad.

  80. 4-4-2 becomes more logical now:

    Hunter and vPersie the 2 in front.

    Robben and Depay/Promes/Lens on the sides.

    VDV (leftfoot replacement for Strootman) and de Jong in the middle.

    back4 + keeper.

    1. and just play with your back against the ropes and counter as efficiently as in 2008 when we were also underdogs (that way, VDV won’t have to do a lot of running back and forth, Klaassen or Sneijder can take over if he still gets tired too early).

    2. it’s not like we haven’t played 4-2-3-1 with de Jong+VDV as the 2, same thing (instead of Sneijder I’d use vPersie as the one in the middle of the 3, nr.10 position so I can use in form Hunter).

  81. Come on guys!! Don’t be one-hitter quitters!!

    Blind will take Strootman’s position and now it frees up space for a stronger defender!
    HUP HOLLAND we will bring the trophy home for you stroot!

    1. that’s exactly one of the things I mentioned I was worried about.

      No Blind in midfield please. No Clasie and no Schaars.

      Wijnaldum would have to make a huge impression (multiple hattricks counting assists as well) in the eredivisie to convince me that he would be worth something there.

      DeGuzman…perhaps, at least he’s playing in a decent league and has played in Oranje before (without too much success). At least he’s good with right-footed freekicks and corners, he’s got that going for him.

      Fer? Not sure, allright vs Colombia, decent league again, but often playing rather poorly for his team that is also not doing too well. He’s just behind deGuzman for midfield for me, but perhaps his style is closer to Strootman’s.

      Neh, I’m sticking with Klaassen/VDV as best options. Can’t think of anyone else of the top of my head. Certainly not anyone that has been properly tested there (Emanuelsson can also play midfield, but hasn’t played there for a long time).

      Am I overlooking Anita? Yes I am, perhaps because he’s so small and therefore easy to overlook. The Spanish players might step on him, and I shudder to think what the Australians will do to him, lunch? Do aboriginals play football? Ok, asking myself weird questions now and ranting to soften the blow of losing Strootman.

      1. Fer was player of the team at the beginning of the season for nearly every game. Then he got injured, he is playing well with Norwich but he will be out for 2 months. And there is a potential that he might miss world cup as well.

      1. Unfortunately Faraz. ACL It is a 6-9 months injury. 😐 .
        I feel disappointed in a way no one can even imagine. Probably the same feeling I got after Robben’s injury vs Hungary.

  82. really strottman is finish??
    any hope about him?? like robben 4 years ago??? or no??
    any chance Abhirup, DRB 300??? Jeff and …. ?????
    just say it is over or we have got a chance eto have him in WC.

    1. I’m afraid yes Faraz..
      We’ll have to do without his services in Brazil since he has torn his ACl…it usually takes 5-6 months to gain full fitness and match rhythm..So… 🙁

      1. there is no need to be afraid ..if we trust in GOD.change the focus,Stroot may be a good player,but MY JESUS is capable of anything,thats what i look for.Noone in this blog may not understand my theory,but still.
        ##Afraid###is completely negative word we dont need it.even if stroot was there but when go with kuyt,vlaar,blind as LB,devrij,BMI,Sneijder as starter,we were destined to fail.but guys like Roben,leory,stroot,dejong,lenz,janmaat would have carried the team to an extend..So others could easliy escape with the work of these players.

        1. My team:


          Manager: GOD

          Subs: Laurent, Goldstone, Ashenafi

          1. No. But THIS was hilarious.

            ‘To be honest I’m quite happy with the line up’

            ‘me too laurent’

            2-0 down by half-time.

            I look forward to more expert analysis 😉

          2. That shows how limited your abilities of understanding are

            I said that I liked the line-up considering the selection, that has nothing to do with the result or my expert analysis.

            Who were the subs ? Klaassen, Siem, Kuyt, Huntelaar. Woaw, they would have done better for sure.

          3. Hahahahaha!!

            Wriggle on that hook, little worm. Wriggle!

            Hoisted by your own petard.
            What an idiot. You cannot blame me for the words that you wrote yourself, moron!! Hahaha! I look forward to quoting you often in the future.

            Please. Enlighten us. Tell us more.
            With everyone disappearing to Football-Oranje.com (because of ignorant, miserable, bitter trolls like yourself dragging this site into the gutter), this place needs more humour, be it intentional or not.
            We’re all looking at you.

            Impress us 😉

          4. I went to take a loot at your website, there are like 3
            usual posters LOL

            Knowing that you probably use different nicknames like you do here, I wonder how many there really are…

          5. ‘take a loot’





            My ‘website’? Oh wow, this idiot is off-the-charts stupid.

            Tell us MORE!

          6. Laurent is mad angry because the Football-Oranje site has something like 3 or 4 new articles a DAY and this has may be one article in 3 or 4 weeks!
            and comments are moderated on other site, so stupid troll or repeat posts do not appear. much better. bye.

          7. Your attempt to make publicity doesn’t work, it’s been months you’re talking about that website, but still there are not more than 3 comments on every article lol no one goes there.

          8. While Jan writes with his own touch and vision of things, your website is just a collection of VI.nl news, nothing interesting.

            And comments are like :

            Bob “Well done Ajax !”
            James ” We will miss Strootman”

            LOL a lot of interesting analysis, I’ve never seen a comment having more than 5 lines, purely amateur website.

        1. Actually the meniscus is the least problematic. It can be repaired quite easily and typically requires only 4-6 weeks out. The worst is clearly the ACL. As DRB said, this is very concerning. I was able to watch very carefully the moment when it happened and to be honest I cannot understand why he tried to continue playing after the first injury during the Roma-Napoli match. You could clearly see he was not well. Then all of a sudden his left knee gave in. What a tragedy!

          1. It’s an interesting subject. Has he (or the medical staff) made things worse by trying to walk it off. Has that damaged even more in the knee?

            I don’t know.

    1. This is really a big blow for both Kevin and Oranje. The destroyer Nigel de Jong will play an important role in the midfield of oranje for this summer in Brazil.

      Without Kevin, it maybe be good for oranje to play 4231 instead of 433. But I don’t think LVG will change the system.

      1. Did you just wish a serious injury on another human being (in particular a player of the team supported on this blog)??

        Perhaps you should run your ideas past Jesus before you start typing.

          1. henk chicken ..u cannt call idiot unless u r an idiot who thinks u know evrything..i understood who is idiot…

  83. Wijnaldum , Klaassen , MvG , Afellay , Duarte , Fer , de Guzman , Clasie .
    Or play with De Jong and Blind , sneijder in front of them and find someone to play as a LB.
    Not sure how will LvG react.

  84. Haha Leroy, I was just about to write the same thing.

    Imagine if Robben or Van Persie would miss the world cup as well. Or both. *shudder*

    Is Nigel de Jong fit? I don’t think Schaars has the skill to play at national level and I think Clasie always chokes under pressure, so I’m not sure if we even have any viable options here.

  85. My hope for NT to advance to 2nd round is getting smaller. It would take all of the other 10 players on the field and whoever replace Stroot to step up and perhaps some magic from LVG if he has any.
    How is M Van Ginkel doing? Will he get some playing time? I’m still disappointed in Afellay’s decision to stay at Barca without getting playing time. It should be a lesson for Van Ginkel if his situation does not improve in England. I need him to be fit first because it will be humid and hot and he needs to keep up with those robot Spanish players who are never tired and of course those Chilean players who are used to S.A weather.
    I need all the planets to align in June for Netherlands.

  86. Let’s be realistic here. If we can avert the disaster that was euro 2012 we have already accomplished a victory, considering our squad and the opponents we are facing.

    If we don’t finish last and we score some goals I say we have won a moral victory. 🙂

    Also, I hope Spain loses all their games by scoring own goals.

  87. It’s really sad. Honestly, we have no backup for Strootman. He is world class CM in my opinion. He is a real athlete, good technique and a real leader on the field. Who can replace??!!!!!

  88. Kevin’s official twitter account is @Kevin_strootman….if you want to tweet him luck!

    Leroy Fer, Nigel De Jong and RvP left him tweets…

    Let’s on the other side not be overly dramatic… Marco van Basten was not a starter for the 1988 Euros… I realize Stroots is on his way to boss European midfields for the next 10 years, But I honestly think we should have competent replacements.

  89. It is a huge blow that strootman won’t okay in the World Cup… But many comments by you guys state that we won’t even make it out of the group stages… I laugh at that, because with every injury comes another opportunity for someone to shine. We need to think positive. Positive thoughts for a quick and healthy return, and positive thoughts that someone will step up, maybe wijnaldum, maybe a different formation that will work better than the ones we’ve been using? This is the game of sports. I’m 27, I’ve followed soccer and basketball since I was 6, and I’ve seen injuries go down, and players step up. I follow the toronto raptors basketball, they trade away their best player this year and they’ve been a top team in the nba ever since. So this isn’t the end for the dutch World Cup by any means. We have enough talent to still have a strong squad. It’s soccer, anything can happen. Maybe most of you aren’t but I’m still thinking positive for the dutch to get into the knock out stages.

      1. The title of that, the netherlands can kiss their wc chances goodbye, means that goal.com journalists and writers are kind of dumb. Just because one of our better players is out doesn’t mean our chances are completely over.

  90. I feel sorry for Strootman he is a great player and we really need him.

    Robben’s injury before the 2010 WC was one month before the tournament and his doctor did great maybe Strootman should go with the same doctor.

    How long is he supposed to be out of action?

    1. Robben’s injury was muscular tear, where the surrounding muscles could still support the leg…. Strootman’s injury is a complete knee bust.. He will need to wear a cast for few months and will have to undergo multiple surgeries to recover. ACL injuries are by far the worst injuries in sports.

      1. you are spot on SamNY. ACL takes at least 6-9 months to recover and in many cases, the player is not the same when he/she comes back. let’s hope Stroot is recovering well.

  91. you know, it sucks because strootman is one of the best at applying pressure. the most important thing for holland is how they press up the field and attack the opponents defenders. there is no clear cut replacement, but with this you would hope we maybe make a change in tactics to better suit us. what is there that we could do? we need cruyff

      1. I think 5 months is the lower limit of a torn ACL. From reports I read, seems like there is additional damage done to his knee. I doubt we will see Kevin running again before 6 months.. But I also have no doubt he will be back to full fitness and form… unlike Afellay, Kevin is a fighter and a natural born leader. He made the right decision when he joined Roma and I think he will get the proper support that he needs in Roma.

  92. He was doing good recently but he isn’t the best dutch player. He is replacable. It would be worst if we lose Robben.

    Now that probably means that Nigel will be in the squad for sure, that’s something we can be happy about.

    Van Ginkel is his natural sub, but Van Gaal won’t take him. Let’s just to hope that it won’t be Klaassen or Blind at that spot, better to go for De Guzman, Fer or Clasie.

    1. I agree. Though I hope you’re wrong and LvG would consider taking van Ginkel– in form I think he could actually be an improvement over Strootman.

      1. I also hope to be wrong but let’s to be realistic : Van Ginkel won’t play with Chelsea first team, and he has not more than 50 minutes of playing with NT…Two selections where he came as sub.

        Van Gaal didn’t seem to be really impressed with his talent.

  93. As i said earlier that we don’t have many world cup player.So,4-3-3 is not going to be spectacular.And our back 4 is the weakest.We need to have NDJ to support.That means we will stick with 5 defenders.Though Strootman is out of action and i am as disappointed as everyone but all the matches in the world cup is no easy game.Luck is very important and i am still positive.
    Let’s keep the chin up.Hup Holland Hup !!!

  94. I feel bad for Stootman. The moment he went down I feared the worst. He won’t be back at least a year. Now giving this a positive spin I hope someone steps up and gives LVG’s team a push so we draw with Australia and lose honorary with Spain and Chile. Unless of course tiju intervenes with his magic power and turns Holland into something else.
    Sad day for Stroot.

      1. We win against Chile 4 – 2. 4 goals because many are saying we lose this game. 4 goals to show the critics.

        We win against the Aussies 2 – 1. Only 2 goals because we were over confident this game.

        Spain game is too questionable. Low scoring by all teams.

        We need many goals each game to win. Stroot is no goal machine. Although his presence can prevent a few goals, we have to counter it by ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK!

  95. ————-VP—————-





    Looks pretty LEGIT to me guys… Now I ask you one thing before you leave this thread and go to sleep tonight….

    Does Kevin Strootman want you to give up on the WC dream and throw in the towel or do you think he wants you to BELIEVE in the team he worked so hard for?


  96. I know this is just a pipe dream but the only person i can see fit to replace strootman is Virgil van dijk.

    VVD is strong, tall, has boundless energy with a tendency to want to move forward. I do think he could have a niche here- how good a ball playing CB is he might be the only question (DRB300?)

    YES Van dijk! My reasons for this aren’t because of his excellence but really because of our lack of depth:

    Fer- poor form at a weak club
    GInkel- huge risk although is my preference to replace him
    Clasie- wouldn’t be able to hold a midfield with the low work rate of sneijder in it and would become a liability
    schaars- doesnt even have the quality to deserve a call up

    Wijnaldum- played well in cm vs portugal but has been out for a while now, i wouldn’t mind if he played providing defensive work is sufficient.

    1. At least we get to see if LVG has any actual ideas to prove himself as a top manager or if people were unreasonably harsh on BVM those years ago

      1. yeah i saw someone wrote it but it didn’t get enough of a response, it is a genuinely brilliant idea given the lack of depth we have

        I am not Oranje Aussie hahah

  97. What about Kuyt for DF position alongside NDJ? Two proven veterans.. We have all given up on Kuyt up front but he plays week in week out for Fenerbahce and they rate him highly.. not to mention his work rate. Xavi is 34, Kuyt 33. I love watching Kuyt work for Oranje and he would be a pit bull of a holding midfielder/defender. We should at least try it out!

  98. There is nothing to expect, even with taking the best 23 dutch players, the perfect line up and whatever, we won’t finish above Spain/ beat Brazil after. We all write different lines up but none of them would go to WC 1/4. Simply because we are in a hard group and in a hard situation with a high probability to play Brazil after. We would have been able to reach 1/4 if being in any of the 7 other groups, but not now.

    Well of course everything is possible in football, but we will need much luck and it will be ugly anyway if it works. Players themselves don’t believe in it, Van Persie made it to understand.

    So about the 23 final squad, it will just determine in which way we will lose. If we will lose with Afellay trying things but being unefficient or with Klaassen being invisible ?

    Let’s to prepare 2016, with a coach who will consider all players (I’m talking about Van Dijk, Douglas etc.), with the few eredivisie talented players who can developp in big leagues (Clasie, Willems, Wijnaldum, Duarte tc. for example), with Van Ginkel, Fer, De Guzman, Afellay finding better clubs for them, with Kishna, Boetius, Vilhena etc. reaching a higher level…

    Maybe we’ll have more chances.

    1. Oh no, not if we were in group H, as Germany/Portugal would beat us for sure in 1/8

      Group C would be hard also : Italy, Uruguay/England after.

      The others are ok.

      1. It’s a comment for people who wanna make sportive bets.

        There is nothing bad to bet against the team you support (or follow) if you really have the conviction they will lose.

        Your personnal life is more important than NT , no ?

        Holland going to 1/8 max is about 2.75e, let’s to put 2000e on it and allow yourself nice holidays in july.

        1. ‘There is nothing bad to bet against the team you support (or follow) if you really have the conviction they will lose.’

          Hey, idiot, why are you here?
          Do you enjoy the humiliation?
          We do!

    2. what if I think 2016 will be worse than losing 3 games in a row at WC 2014?

      After all, 2016 in itself is only an EC. and the WC 2018, who knows if we’ll even qualify for that one since vPersie, Robben, VDV, Sneijder probably and maybe even Hunter will all have retired by then.

      If Krul isn’t used by then, or some really good players suddenly show up for us, we can forget about that tournament and we’ll be right in the middle of those dark ages that Paul mentioned, if we aren’t already right in the middle (counting the start of those ages in 2012, still, it looks like its going to last a lot longer than last time when we didn’t have so much money/attention/popularity/publicity going to 4 or 5 leagues in Europe, so I’d still say we’re at the start, which also allows me to keep hope we might just stretch the inevitable a little longer, felt this way since before the 2010 WC started when I already felt it coming and viewed that cup as our last chance to win the WC, period, at least within my lifetime/from my perspective, then we made it to the finals and continued doing well afterwards, I hoped for a little more, just that 1 magic cup, so it’ll have to be 2014, cause it surely won’t happen after that, that dream is just too unplausbile to me, whereas the dream of 2014 is going quickly in that direction of being a futile dream, but whatever, I’ll practice some denial so I can at least watch 3 WC matches, that’s something at least which might not be achieved anymore for a long while, ie. qualifying for a WC, allthough they’re expanding the format I think, increasing the number of teams, so we should at least be able to make it a few more times, but I don’t see any chances to win it after 2014, don’t care about the EC).

      1. well, maybe we’ll have a few top-players left in 2018, but they probably won’t be at their best (their ages in 2018):

        vPersie: 34-35
        Robben: 34
        Sneijder: 34
        VDV: 35
        Hunter: 34-35

        We’ll have Strootman at least.

  99. With the latest development, we should put aside our hope of winning WC, should focus on either develop young players for next EC-WC or going with ugly football by feeding with 6defenders (except GK, RVP-Robben-Hunter-NDJ)make sure we dont concede goal in the first place and hoping robben does his magic.

    Bruma – vDijk – Rekik – BMI
    Janmaat –-NDJ – Blind
    Robben – Hunter – RVP

    1. hmmm, more defenders you say?

      Emanuelsson also counts as a defender (and is at least more creatively dangerous than Blind on the midfield, also left-footed and has played there before, it won’t gimp our attack as much as it would be with Blind, see the games vs Salzburg if this confuses anyone or before anyone feels like commenting that Blind is fine or great on the midfield), I’d also swap Bruma and Janmaat so they’re closer to the positions they are used to (not to mention that Janmaat can continue his overlapping runs with Robben).

      I have not seen vDijk, so I can’t tell if he’s better than Vlaar, Vlaar should be a decent option there as well. Since you already have vPersie with his leftfoot on the left side together with BMI(l-foot) backing him up, in my opinion you could go with a rightfooter on that side of the midfield as well, so Vlaar if you want to use lots of strong physical defenders that are used to defend the center. Your 2 def.midfielders will be Bruma and Vlaar then (I liked Vlaar’s buildup btw against France, I know Bruma has good buildup creativity as well, Veltman may be a bit too lightweight for this kind of approach, but could even be subbed for NDJ so you get 7 defenders of which 6 are CB’s, counting BMI as a CB).

    1. At least these guys won’t feel afraid against Xavi , iniesta and the others.
      Young defensive line with exception of Verhage , because we simply don’t have top quality experienced defenders so better depend on the new generation and prepare them for the next euro.
      Krul and de Jong will be very helpful to the young guys in the back line.

    2. Subs. :
      Vorm , Cillessen

      Veltman , mathijsen “for experience”
      janmaat , “emanuelson ??”

      Clasie ??

      Wijnaldum , Ginkel/Klaassen

      Depay , Narsing , Kuyt

      1. Mohammed r u serious……Blind at Left back…didn’t you watch the France game. he was uprooted in that game but still some of you think that he will be better at DM. If Blind starts at LB VS Spain we will get a mother of a hiding. The spain midfield is x3 better than the French and with Navas, Silva, Pedro and Tello on the wings we will definitely be on the receiving end. no two ways about it especially with strootman already out. the outcome of this injuries means that there is no way now we can resort to 4-3-3 formation.

        This is those kind of Scenario for Van Gaal when you jump off and the parachute doesn’t open. THE END……

        1. Well , Blind did quite good in many games. I agree that he was bad against France but he was also good vs Portugal and Columbia.
          I think he is currently better than Indi , Aanholt and Willems , what do you think , Wilson ? I wouldn’t mind Emanuleson although he is not better defensivly but he is faster and plays in a better competition.

          4-4-2 is good , but we all know it won’t happen with LvG.

    3. ur line up i really like.when u have wesly,vaart on feild team workrate would be low,it will effet our game.especillay spanish,chilian and aussies are tireless runners…..blind would be great at dm after nijel,he is the weak link we have as LB,lets replace snijder an blind by a runner and BMI.

  100. I wish a speedy recovery for Strootman. His hunger, drive and professionalism is truly exemplary.

    Sorry if I differ with some of the people here, but I think WC 2014 should be treated/seen as a testing ground for EC 2016 rather than a battlefield. I am not a pessimist but just realistic.

    I don’t think our squad and qualification record is good enough material for us to fight till the end. The qualities of Spain and Germany, just to name a few are just way over the top.

    And sorry to say this, but I think Van Persie, Sneijder or even Robben have not shown the necessary leadership that is basically lacking in our team. Pure leaders are able to take the team on to their shoulders and inspire or even push the young ones to their limits.

    This team has not found its grip and I dare myself to say lack identity. Time being the essence, I think they have failed in approaching a particular goal or fixed strategy…all in all, I hope that I’m wrong with my comments

  101. Just saw the strootman news. I am devastated, i have been following him since his Sparta days, what a talent. Bert really boosted his career by picking him for the NT.

    This is just awful, anyone who knows anything about this team knows what this loss means. Enough with the “Someone else will step up” talk, he is one of our three class players, and now he is out.

    I never thought we had much of a shot at this WC anyway, so its not like Robben’s injury. We felt we were contenders in 2010, this is different. i am not expecting much.

    We peaked in 2010 and have been declining steadily ever since. Domestically the teams are terrible, and now the NT sucks.

    When RVP and Robben retire, well, lets not talk about that.

    I seriously fear that dutch soccer is about to go into the dark ages. There is no hope anywhere, no future starlet, no talent on the horizon. Sure, there are good players, but nobody who is a game changer.

    Sorry to be depressing but its true. The golden generation is fading rapidly,VDV can only run for 45 min, and Sneijder maybe 60 tops. It is sad to see superstars decline, especially when they have carried the team for 10 years.

    Unfortunately, the population of the netherlands is so small, they cant just pump out new talented players like Italy, France, Spain, Germany.

    1. ‘We peaked in 2010 and have been declining steadily ever since. Domestically the teams are terrible, and now the NT sucks.’

      It was said here many years ago – no-one listened.
      It is true though.
      As a small nation, we simply cannot keep up such a production line of talent indefinitely.
      We have done amazingly well, punching well above our weight for nearly 40 years, but all good things must end.
      And it is ending. Slowly, painfully, and before our very eyes.

      The WC 2010 final was the dying twitch of our corpse.
      It will not get that good again.

      Football is now a business, no longer a sport.
      Wake up.

      Bert knew this.
      I miss Bert.
      You will miss him too in June.

      1. “We have done amazingly well, punching well above our weight for nearly 40 years, but all good things must end.
        And it is ending. Slowly, painfully, and before our very eyes.”

        I wonder what makes you say this..Do you have sufficient evidence to backup your claim.??…just curious..
        Your statement seems to indicate that the Netherlands, as a footballing nation, will no longer be able to produce top talents for the next few decades..How can you be so sure??
        Cruyff has started his ‘technical revolution’ at Ajax and the country has a healthy ‘youth development’ backbone (the development programs are top-notch I believe).
        The under-19s and the under-17s have been quite successful in recent years, winning back to back EC titles. A few days ago, the under-19s defeated the Spanish under 19s(who take their youth games quite seriously)
        While I certainly concur with others in saying that we’re going through a barren phase in terms of talent production,I also believe its a cyclic thing..happens a lot in football..but I’m just curious..what made you arrive at such a conclusion??

        1. Mark my words, this young generation has better talent at the back than the last one. We will have much better defenders than Mathijsen, Heitinga, Boulhrouz, and Bouma. Bouma joined Aston Villa at the age of 27. Bacuna joined Aston Villa at the age of 21. Now, Bacuna was playing much better than Bouma. And just to remind you Bacuna can not even make our U21 squad.

  102. Mohammed …..Well , Blind did quite good in many games…

    he played good coz all his opponent in those games were slow like him. was out classed by the speedy japs and then France…what else you want. with Spain he will get raped.. as I have said if Robben starts on the left the best otion would be to start with Pieters. The Only players the only players from eredivise that should go to world cup are.. Clasie, Wijnaldum, BMI, Rekik, Janmaat,Bruma,Veltman,PVA.




    —————————-De Jong————————————


  103. Paul, I agree with you. There may be some hope with the current u19 team but even that is not a guarantee. Look at the u17 generations that won 2 euros and lost in the final of the 3rd one. Not a single player has really made it big yet.
    Wilson, please look at your list of eredivisie players. It is totally ridiculous. I love how you and Laurent constantly criticize Ajax and its players despite the fact Ajax has won 3 championships sin a row. Yet you proceed to select mediocre players from other teams.
    Ok so you picked:
    1. Clasie: really? Did you see him against Ajax? What about the EL? Not even one round….Euro u21 totally inexistant but of course that’s ok
    2. Wijnaldum: injured most of the season so difficult to judge but he did not exactly light PSV on fire when he played
    3. BMI oh yes criticize Blind all you want but not BMI go figure. Yet he was horrible against France as CB (agreed better at LB) but please look how a 19 year old beat him in his own stadium…such ease. And this was Kishna very first game as a starter and first game in Rotterdam.
    4. Rekik: Ok I am willing to give you that one but only just. The pSV defense has not been exactly water tight. Although I blame Bruma nor really Rekik. But do we want a MAn City loanee to keep our CD?
    5. Janmaat: Average at best. He is not even 1/10 of Van Der Wiel. His defending is poor…reember the 2nd goal against Ajax. That is what he does defensively. Pretty bad if you ask me.
    6. Bruma: No comment. Red cards, horrible defending, mistakes galore. An absolute disaster.
    7. Veltman: YES. Of course you are going to say that it is because he is from Ajax. Absolutely nothing to do with that. He is a Vertonghen type of player. He will be mainstay of Oranje for years to come but he needs to make fewer mistakes.
    8.PVA: Untested at the top level. Not one European game buit sure launch him against Costa and Iniesta. Why not?

    1. Jeff, I have to say your point of view is biased towards Ajax. Wijnaldum was doing extremely well at the beginning of the season, this should have been his breakout year were it not for his injury. After his injury PSV started to fade. BMI was the best CB for the whole qualification process, there should not be any argument about this, he is kind of inconsistent at Feynoord but overall he has a lot of talent. Janmaat is way better than Van der Wiel under Van Gaal, he got the talent to become one of the best RB in Netherland history. You definitely have not followed every Netherlands game under Van Gaal. Except for the first game he started, he played almost without fault. He linked up really well with RVP as well and defensively did a much better job than VDW. If this is not the case, Van Gaal would not have benched VDW that many times.

      1. BMI is not even a sure starter with Feyenoord. Koeman has tried Joris and now Kongolo. That says it all. I agree with you that BMI is a much better left back. As for Wijnaldum, I again agree with you he did pretty well at the beginning of the season but he has not come back yet from his injury, hence my comment. But even when he played PSV was not so dominant. Of course I have seen every game of Hollan. Sorry but I was never convinced by Janmaat. I think he is just ok. His defensive ability is mediocre at best.

        1. As for BMI, he started every game but sometime at LB sometime at CB. Van Gaal was constantly saying that BMI should start at CB but Koeman never listen.

    2. Jeff what about :


      –Van der Wiel——Veltman——-Denswil——-Emanuelson



      ————————S.De Jong———————-

      Subs : Vermeer-Stek-Van Rhijn-Heitinga-Van der Hoorn…

    3. ‘ I love how you and Laurent constantly criticize Ajax and its players despite the fact Ajax has won 3 championships in a row. Yet you proceed to select mediocre players from other teams.’

      ^ THIS

      Give the man the keys to the palace.
      Spot on, sir. Well said.

      Stupid people cannot know they are stupid. That is their crime AND their punishment.
      And when they force their stupidity upon others they deserve all that they get in return.

  104. Yeah i agree with you Mason!

    It’s APPALLING to see the reaction on this blog!

    Sure, Kevin was a part of our top 3 but just because he can’t make it we can’t discredit the spirit and commitment of the rest of the squad. If so what’s the difference between us and the Goal.com editorials ?!?

    We are in it to Win it and I hope everyone in the squad would be strong willed like Sneijder, maybe Kluivert can motivate the youngsters!

    I’m no expert on squad selection & this may look like a joke to many but this what I would go with:

    —–KRUL / Vorm —–


    ———De Jong————–
    —–Sneijder—–De Guzman / Blind–


    The Nostradamus in me says we shall beat Spain 2-1 & rest will be history 😉

    1. I agree with what you’ve said, our campaign is not over by any means, if we on this blog are saying that 1 player makes the difference between progressing and not then we never had a chance in the first place.
      I feel for Strootman, he deserved to go to this WC and perform on the world stage after breathing life into Roma all he needed was a good WC and his asking price would have gone through the roof with all the big clubs chasing him. In a big team he could go on to become real world class, luckily he is still young enough to come back.
      I like your line up Soulmate, but I would slip Van Ginkle in there for Sniejder or blind. I agree on De Guzman, he plays against the best players in the world week in week out, he also gets heaps of touches on the ball in those games and can play physical when needed, he is not perfect but who is? (Bergkamp).
      I’m not sure about Willems, but when you think about it he has been there before and will know what to expect in a WC, I would probably go with Pieters for the same reasons as De Guzman, the EPL.

    2. Thanks for backing me up Soul! I like your line up as well. Strootman is one of my favourite players and I had the luxury of seeing him play in toronto against tfc! All we can do is wish him a speedy and healthy recovery. Our chances are not gone by any means! HUP Holland HUP!

    1. because i haven’t seen you in a while and i remember that awesome pic you took with players! if only you could talk some sense into them about BELIEF 🙂

      1. Haha… I’m reading everyday Bitterballen. Yeah that was 6 months before the last World Cup. Maybe I need to get over to Europe now and maybe also a chat to LvG would help

  105. I just watched the first half against France again, to analyze better defenders, here are my points :

    -Cillessen : Two dangerous/failed passes that unfortunetaly cost nothing, could do much more on first goal

    -Van der Wiel : Good contribution forward, combinations with Promes, had a shot near the french keeper just after the second french goal…But the two goals come from his side, on the first one he is 70 % to blame as he loses the ball . There was also a moment just before half time where he wanted to throw the ball away with his head, failed, and went with a dangerous tackle.

    – Vlaar : Clean passes, saved a goal, could score on a corner kick, he misses his anticipation on the second goal, letting Benzema to touch the ball and orchester the counter attack. But nothing really bad against him.

    – Martins Indi : Really clean passes , always between opponents players, and missed none of them. I don’t think he is to blame on the first goal, it’s more Blind’s duty to cover. On the second one he defends like a headless chicken though, just running randomly in the box. There was him, Blind and VDW in the box and they managed to let Matuidi alone…There was also a moment where he was late and made a silly tackle on Pogba.

    – Blind : The worst. Too much passes behind, and threw the ball randomly forward when he was pressed. If the two goals start from VDW’s side, they also both finish from Blind’s side, and he doesn’t react on both. There was also two other dangerous opportunities for France coming from crosses from his side.

    I’ll watch second half this afternoon

    1. Laurent:
      ‘To be honest I’m quite happy with the line up’

      ‘me too laurent’

      2-0 down by half-time.

      I look forward to more expert analysis 😉

          1. It is okay.Thanks Laurent.

            I just finished watching the first half.Our keeper is poor.I highly look upon Krul.Yeah….
            So is Sneidjer,not so good….

  106. A question for Henk..

    “We have done amazingly well, punching well above our weight for nearly 40 years, but all good things must end.
    And it is ending. Slowly, painfully, and before our very eyes.”

    I wonder what makes you say this..Do you have sufficient evidence to backup your claim.??…just curious..
    Your statement seems to indicate that the Netherlands, as a footballing nation, will no longer be able to produce top talents for the next few decades..How can you be so sure??
    Cruyff has started his ‘technical revolution’ at Ajax and the country has a healthy ‘youth development’ backbone (the development programs are top-notch I believe).
    The under-19s and the under-17s have been quite successful in recent years, winning back to back EC titles. A few days ago, the under-19s defeated the Spanish under 19s(who take their youth games quite seriously)
    While I certainly concur with others in saying that we’re going through a barren phase in terms of talent production,I also believe its a cyclic thing..happens a lot in football..but I’m just curious..what made you arrive at such a conclusion??

    1. economics perhaps?

      Our market is too small compared to Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina (Japan, Korea, US, emerging markets).

      Less money to be made when we progress further by those who own the football-show. So you get refs like Webb against you as well. It doesn’t help the disadvantages we already have (small country, fewer footballers).

      But mostly of course the fact that we aren’t supplying the top teams in Europe with players anymore. Foreign clubs show no or little interest in our players which is an indication that they’re not good enough at the moment (best example right now: Affelay, nobody wants him, not even Barca with their fake ‘oh we’re so fond of Affelay’ remarks).

      1. Afellay isn’t a good example, many teams are interested in him, considering his low value and profile.

        The problem is that he doesn’t wanna leave Barcelona…

        1. that’s one of the funniest excuses I’ve heard in a long time

          Me too, I’m the best footballer in the world, everyone is interested in me (I’ll have goal.com and the Dutch media post some silly rumours as well through my agent’s friends).

          I just don’t want to leave my couch.

          P.S., that’s also why my current club Bayern Munich can’t use me, not even in cupgames or friendlies.

          1. There are plenty of silly rumors about eredivisie players but isn’t it logical that teams are interested in a Barcelona player ?

            Villareal asked for a loan, he refused, he was on loan to Schalke last year but refused to stay longer…

            You just took the wrong example

            The problem is that his value is now about 5-7 mo, and Barcelona has no need to sell him for such a poor money, so they even prefer to keep him as 6th choice.

            And as he does nothing to leave and prefer to stay there touching his nice salary…

  107. Stekelenburg

    It’s time for Sneijder and Vaart to play together and show Xavi and Iniesta who is the boss.

    They have hardly played together and when they did they did great so just imagine having such an attacking team.

  108. why do people still think Xavi and iniesta are all spain are, they are a much better team than that. Look at how Juan mata is permanently on the bench.
    if they have injury to their midfielders they have sergio busquets and javi martinez to choose from.
    Holland will still produce good players but i think there has been no real integration into the eredivisie yet. People always say our best talents leave early and come back bad but really look at the players who stayed and none of them are that great. We have no players moving to the top teams/ competitive teams and that needs to change.

    Strootman was the last but before that i think we would probably have had had maybe 1 per season who move on to do big things.

  109. http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/man-utd-watching-holland-u21-winger-virgil-misidjan-4010736

    Don’t believe that ManU is really watch this boy, but I do believe that he is developing well. I was impressed with him duing his Wellem days and was a little surprised that an Eredivisie team didnt sign him when Wellem got relegated. I think he will make it back into the Eredivisie soon, maybe to a mid-table team like Groningen or Heerenveen. I think Lumu is now in Bulgaria also.

  110. I feel sorry for Strootman, but the truth is that I am not too perturbed about the fact he will not be available. I am simply not convinced that we can defeat Spain with Strootman and Nigel in the midfield. These boys are good defensively, but they are not able to stop Spain playing, keep the ball run past ppl and maintain a forward thrust.

    We need guys in the midfield who can press Spain, move and pass very quickly, take on players 1 on 1 and use their creativity to push the forward thrust of the team. I would prefer to see a mid with De Guzman /Duarte, Clasie and Vaart. De Guzman can play that Strootman box-to-box role. He has a little bit of speed (certainly more than Strootman). Also, he can defend (not as well as Strootman), but given that he is a little more creative than Strootman and is comfortable playing as a CM or an AM, he would be a good option. A guy like Duarte would be great at keeping the ball, being creative and pressing the Spanish midfield and work very hard. Anita could be another option.

    So I would say the following guys would be the best options to replace Strootman:

    1. De Guzman
    2. Duarte
    3. Anita

    Schaars, Blind and Fer would be too slow and lack the creativity to press Spain, beat players, keep the ball and keep up the forward thrust of the team.

  111. Just watched second half.

    Very bad football, the build up which was good in first half didn’t exist anymore. That has maybe something to do with BMI going on the left side, Rekik had good defending actions but his passes were globally uninteresting.

    Now let’s to talk about Clasie. I saw 3/4 sequences where Matuidi and Pogba put their authority to win challenges, he could do nothing. That’s a big difference, in one part you have players like Matuidi and Pogba who are able to win challenges, come to defend, but also participate to attacking actions and even scoring goals. In the other part you have Clasie, who is unable to defend with power, and who doesn’t participate on attacking phases. Clasie is a good technical player, good distribution, but he should reach another level to be considered as NT material, now he is just like a player who will stay in his area and distribute the ball laterally, sometimes forward, but nothing really impressive. He is not enough to rivalize against top teams.

    Schaars has tried more forward passes but he missed almost all of them. I think he should have taken corner kicks instead of Sneijder or Clasie though, he kicks them better no ?

    Now three games before the WC : Ecuador, Ghana and Wales.

    To find the Strootman’s sub, Van Gaal should give another chances to De Guzman, Fer and Van Ginkel. I’d like Duarte too.

    I do like Schaars, but he is 30 and has been tested many times with NT, he isn’t good enough, lacks something. Clasie isn’t convincing enough neither so far, maybe more an option for 2016. So maybe we should forget about them.

    Let’s to see more of De Guzman, Fer, Van Ginkel and Duarte. I don’t think Anita would do better than Clasie honestly.

    1. I like your choice of De Guzman, Fer, Van Ginkel and Duarte to replace Strootman. No Clasie or Schaars at Strootman’s position. Schaars should not be on this team.

      No more injuries to Robben, RVP, Krul, VDV.

      Prepared for the worst. Hope for the best.

      1. Making a point about all of them, I’d say :

        De Guzman :
        + : Distribution, pass quality (maybe an option for free and corner kicks also but VDV and Robben are better)
        – : Lacks energy, fighting spirit, is light on challenges

        Fer :
        + : Power, physical presence, tackles, penetration, can score on undirect corner and free kicks
        – : Has a bit a slow brain, struggle with the ball, very average distribution (especially on long passes)

        Van Ginkel :
        + : Can really play box to box, defend and attack, can combinate with strikers.
        – : Seems a bit too tender sometimes, his long passes aren’t so good neither

        Duarte :
        + : Dynamite player, fights on every ball, good dribble quality
        – : His positionning is a bit amateur sometimes, running everywhere, he should more manage his energy.

          1. I mentionned those players considering that Nigel and VDV are starters, so we’re looking for Strootman’s sub, balanced midfielders.

            Propper has more an attacking profile for me, AM one, I’m not sure he can hold Strootman’s spot with NT.

        1. i’m changing my earlier opinion on whether we should try Duarte (I figured it was too late to try out new players again, especially eredivisie players), we don’t really have a standard team anyway (like under BVM, the same guys over and over).

          So why not. Give him a spin (is he left-footed? Can’t remember, didn’t notice him much against Salzburg, but those matches were hardly watchable to me, like the AZ matches).

          Dribbling will be the key at this WC. The ability to dribble past one’s opponent(s), creating chaos and spaces which then have to be exploited with clever/attentive runs and good teamwork (that’s where passing comes back in and no selfishness or good vision/understanding). This counts for all the teams, I think the teams with the best (also strong, not easily pushed aside when dribbling) dribblers will do well.

          VDV and Sneijder haven’t been doing well in this area lately (neither has it been really there strong point in the past either, but they were fitter, stronger, faster).

          That’s the main reason I want to use vPersie as my nr.10 (or advanced/attacking left midfield). With him it’s less noticable, he still has some good dribbles left in him. You also need speed to create space for yourself as well, long legs are useful for big steps, stiffness from old bones or muscles isn’t useful. It leads to that dominance in midfield that Laurent described concerning Pogba and Matuidi.

  112. While we are looking forward from strootmans injury, the milan athletico game is on and both de jong and emanuelson are playing . I think this gives an indication of their ability in a high level of competition

  113. anyone thought about Davy Propper as a possible replacement for Kevin ?
    He is a very good technical player , although Vitesse are not doing really great these days .

    Btw , I think De jong and Emanuelson are a must in the squad. they simply can play top football.

      1. well Mohamed tonight it was everything but top football…

        i don’t think oranje are dead with strootman’s injury,but this is huge,huge blow. first,they have to focus on the chile game,and that’s it. beating brazil in the next round seems as impossible as beating spain,but you never know.

        you shouldn’t compare the next years to the early eighties – the situation is different,oranje will qualify for the next european championship,world cup,etc. i don’t see the young generation as talented as robben’s generation (robben was already world class at 20 and played for a top club: mourinho’s chelsea),this is a concern,but the young players seem to be good enough for european chamopionship and world cup participation. winning them is a different story. to be honest,even with strootman oranje wouldn’t win the world cup. the draw is really bad.

  114. I do not think I can look away and forward after Strootman’s injury. I think it is all negtive and downfall from here guys.
    Even if no other key player gets injured it just shows the shallowness of our squad when compared to our two immediate rivals before the quarterfinals.

    My only bet to move through from G2 (and remember the elftal needs to qualify on pole position to avoid Braz) is to adopt a 5-3-2 like Feyenoord did last weekend and were for once successful.

    Forget fancy Dutch school 4-3-3 Cruijff, de Krome etc and stick to the basics of avoiding defeat and hit them on the break with fast attackers.

    5-3-2 then with Janmaat and Blind as semi-attacking wing backs, BMI, Vlaar, Veltman in the middle of defence, Krul in goal, De Jong, Clasie and Fer in midfield and Robben, Depay in front.

  115. @steen: I didn’t say Spain is only about Iniesta and Xavi because I know they have more great players just as I didn’t say Holland are all Sneijder and Vaart.

  116. it is really amazing how some people on this blog say Dutch football is over…Holland could have won the WC 4 yeara ago and now Dutch football is over? it is a joke how some people are so negative.

    1. I would remember these posts. If we beat Spain you will see many chameleons.

      “No Chance in the group” as many experts and fans are saying. That is sad. If we do win they won’t say it was an upset or fluke. They will say “YEAH DUTCH FOOTBALL IS THE BEST”.

      1. I’ll reserve my final judgement until I see the line-up vs Spain. My eyes will be primarily focused on the keeper.

        And whether or not Hunter and vPersie will be playing together perhaps. Well, I’ll look at the whole thing anyway before I can get an idea what will happen.

        I still have some hope, granted, it’s dwindling quickly.

        1. but that is still mostly because vGaal refuses to use Krul (and I just know, one little mistake and he’ll have an excuse not to use him again, great motivation, whatever, Krul can deal with walking on eggs, Cillessen always looks one inch away from a nervous breakdown).

      1. So give us arguments and reasons to believe in it.

        Cause you say “4 years ago etc.”, but why you don’t say that two years ago, closer again, we finished last in EC with 0 points ?

        Since 2012 we played against 5 big teams :
        Belgium 4-2 Holland
        Holland 0-0 Germany
        Holland 1-1 Italy
        Portugal 1-1 Holland
        France 2-0 Holland

        3 draws and 2 losses. Against Germany it was both sub teams, against Italy we had a young team but they almost had their complete team ok, against Portugal both teams had many subs.

        Now what is more worrying that those results are the fact that we produced almost nothing in those games. We had a good first half against Italy and Portugal, 30 good first minute against France, but what about serious opportunites ? How many we had in every game ? Like 1-2 max.

        When Portugal speeded up the tempo, we couldn’t follow them and they logically scored, when Belgium attacked with 4-5 players we were unable to defend, same for french counter attacks. When Italy put pressure at the end, we took a goal.

        We have no control defensivly and are unable to create chances forward, Robben can correct 50 % of the second thing, but that’s all. The rest is just poor for the high level.

        No reason to consider ourselves as serious contenders for 2014, Van Gaal himself said “outsider”.

  117. Propper can play that Strootman’s role. But he isnt ready to step up to this international level as yet. Actaully he plays that exact box-to-box role at Vitesse. At Vitesse he plays alongside Veijnovic who is the DM and Propper plays the box-to-box role.

    He certainly one for the future.

    1. Eredivisie isn’t international level as you said.

      In eredivisie Schone played half of the season as DM, Landzaat was used CB at Feyenoord sometimes etc. many of the teams should have a “semi professionnal” state.

      Propper has nice passes, good vision, good shots, clever dribbles, but he seems to cruely lacks speed and energy, both with and without the ball.

    2. Pröpper is interesting, but he hasn’t quite held on to his form at the start of the season. Good opportunity for him to step up again, but isn’t he right-footed?

      vGaal prefers a left-footer on the left side I think, or at least a left-foot replacement for Strootman. I would see and use Pröpper the same way as Klaassen, on the right side with vPersie or VDV on the left side. But then I now realize your just replacing Strootman with VDV, and you don’t really need Pröpper (unless you don’t want to use Klaassen, Sneijder or Kuyt as a right-footer on the right, or if you go with 4-2-3-1 you’re talking about using Pröpper, Sneijder or Klaassen at nr.10 and then you use VDV and de Jong as the 2 def.midfielders as vMarwijk has done before, only swap them, I think vMarwijk used VDV on the right).

      It might also be a bit late for another debut (vGaal only called him up some time ago right? He didn’t use him?).

  118. I’m a bit pessimistic about some players doing well in eredivisie if they are not tested yet in NT or bigger league.
    I have enough disappointment by putting too great hope when they invited to NT, just too many (Maher, Affelay, Clasie, Ola, Elia, all our young defenders and recently Klassen, Promes, Boetius, etc) and now we start again with Duarte and Propper, etc
    I don’t know how Cruyff said that Klassen is example of his footballer with complete attributes and will be the next big thing.

    1. quote: “I don’t know how Cruyff said that Klassen is example of his footballer with complete attributes and will be the next big thing.”

      Football knowledge, vision and loads of footballing and coaching experience.

      He’s still by far the best footballer and coach the Netherlands has ever produced.

      And I happen to agree with him. What I don’t understand is, how can you and others strike off Klaassen based on 20 minutes vs France at 2-0 down in a team that isn’t functioning with the likes of Clasie, Schaars, Blind and Cillessen? Also considering that it was his debut.

      I have not stricken off Promes and Boetius yet either, like to see more of them in the coming friendlies if possible (perhaps first Depay and Robben, but some 2nd half time if we’re not in too much trouble again). I understand this may be a bit difficult concerning Boetius and Lens coming back from suspension.

      1. “And I happen to agree with him. What I don’t understand is, how can you and others strike off Klaassen based on 20 minutes vs France at 2-0 down in a team that isn’t functioning with the likes of Clasie, Schaars, Blind and Cillessen? Also considering that it was his debut.”

        20 minutes against France + 90 minutes against France U21 + 80/90 minutes against Milan + around 150 minutes against Salzburg…

        Now tell us from what you say that he is good ? Eredivisie games ? That Barcelona game ?

        About Cruyff’s quotings, or consider all of them, or consider none. Cause he also said that Afellay had a bright future etc.

  119. Losing Strootman hurts, but we can still cope without him.

    A midfield of VdV—-de Jong—-Wijnaldum could suffice, and would actually make our attack more threatening.

  120. can someone explain why we have only 3 incoming friendlies, I suppose they can organise 2matches in march, April and May, which in total 6 rather than 4 to WC in june?

    1. some excerpts of his goal.com rating for the last few games (this is for the one who said that Fer was playing good for his team):

      Norwich – Tottenham: 1-0

      “For a man with such physical presence, Fer was second best in the centre of the field all afternoon. Often outmuscled, the Dutchman also gifted Spurs possession on a number of occasions.” [you know how hard it is to get a bad rating when your team is winning and punching above their weight? Hard!]

      West Ham – Norwich: 2-0

      “Played one excellent ball through to Hooper but otherwise failed to impose himself on a limp midfield battle.”

      Norwich – Manchester City: 0-0

      “Norwich’s biggest threat on the ball, he looked like the player who might provide the touch of class the Canaries generally lacked. Saw an excellent header brilliantly pushed away by Hart.” [what a threat, 0 goals, 0 assists, must have looked really dangerous and fiersome, like a paper tiger, but yeah, he’s decent with headers, noticed that against Colombia as well]

      Cardiff – Norwich: 2-1

      “Introduced in the second half for Johnson and forced a brilliant stop from Marshall.” [wow, one failed shot on goal that ends up giving the ball back to the opponent, and his team still loses]

      Norwich – Newcastle: 0-0

      lowest rating (2 stars) together with some others of his team, no seperate description, well, it’s hard to score against Krul in a close match, so we’ll go to the next one

      Norwich – Hull: 1-0

      rating 2.5, only 1 guy on his team did worse with rating 2, vWolfswinkel

      skipped a game, see reason coming up (this is all backwards, starting with the latest games and going towards older games)

      Everton – Norwich: 2-0

      Flop of the match. “Allowed Barry far too much time to set himself and shoot for the opener, and though he played some nice passes, his languid style didn’t help the visitors.”

      Conclusion, the Dutch AD voters do not watch Norwich nor the Premier League enough. VDV or Klaassen should replace Strootman in midfield. I prefer vPersie over Sneijder in midfield. You can make several combinations that don’t have to include Clasie, Blind, Fer, Schaars or de Guzman.

      1. just in case you don’t know what I mean with several combinations (should have included them perhaps, will do so now):






        vPersie+de Jong+Kuyt (this would put Kuyt closest to his rightwing position, and I just know he’ll make a good midfield battle out of it, his defensive grit and qualities will come in handy and is possibly even better than Strootman’s when we’re talking about physical duels)

        and again, you can swap vPersie with VDV or Sneijder

        and my all-in idea earlier with Kuyt at nr.6

        vPersie+Kuyt+Klaassen (or Sneijder, or VDV instead of vPersie)

      2. of course I understand that Fer is the easy straight swap and is easy to vote for in the format AD chose to ask the question (not that you can choose you own midfield combination, where I actually replace Strootman with vPersie or Klaassen depending on how you want to look at it, an option that wasn’t available there in that poll, you could of course pick Klaassen, but the Gilette Pro results already tell me in which direction the favoritism goes in the Netherlands, if that Klaassen ‘hate’ could only be directed towards Blind instead, he’s Ajax too you know, hate is perhaps too strong a word, dislike?).

        1. what i mean to say is that seeing the numbers it feels to me like the Feyenoord fans are voting for Fer, Vilhena and deGuzman and the Ajax fans are voting for Klaassen, VDV and Emanuelsson (44% Feyenoord voters, 41% Ajax voters, which makes up the 3% difference between Fer and VDV).

          The fans of other teams or neutral fans I expect to be mostly divided between Fer and VDV, but more VDV voters I expect, perhaps quite a few deGuzman voters coming from that group (they should include a vote for which team you support in the Eredivisie and include that in the results, that would be very interesting to me).

          There must also be some die hard PSV and AZ fans or something that refuse to give up on Schaars.

      3. What a joke! Only Amateur looks at Goal.com’s stupid comments you can go check VDW’s comment,it is even worse and does not matter if he gave out assist. It is very biased that’s why I stopped reading. Go check whoscored.com where they give you stats and professional analysis. And to remind you Fer was voted as player of the team by Norwich fans on the website. If you trust one so called expert’s analysis instead of thousands of soccer fans then I have no comment for you. If you want to take a biased view on Fer there is nothing I can do to cure you blindness because simply you did not watch the game.

        1. I used goal.com cause I had already given my own opinion some time ago (after watching him play, some highlights as well, that sort of thing). Also the commentary of goal.com does often mention a few noticable things that happened in the match concerning the player in question, the descriptions are usually better (less biased) than the rating and does give you an idea what the player did during the game.

          Does whoscored.com also use a rating+description? Cause there aren’t many stats that can really tell you much about the player’s impact on a specific game.

          Btw, soccer fans in the Netherlands voting in the “Gilette Pro Klassement” vote for Clasie most of the time (he’s ranked 2nd just before Cillessen), so no, I don’t fully trust “thousands of soccer fans” (cause I don’t agree Clasie is 2nd best and Cillessen 3rd best in the Eredivisie, it’s a popularity contest) and it isn’t that impressive to be the best player of Norwich anyway (I never claimed that he wasn’t, on average that is, still not good enough though, I used the expression ‘playing good for his team’, that would include winning a few more games at least for me, that’s why I included the record and scores and the descriptions that are easy to copy-paste, can’t do that over at the site you mentioned I think but I’ll have a look next time, just used to goal.com even though I agree with you that it’s often biased, I figured all of them were since if you’re going to rate, it’ll be someone’s opinion anyway, just like the voting fans on their fansite who btw, will not include commentary on that particular vote probably).

          1. edit: “Cause there aren’t many stats that can really tell you much about the player’s impact on a specific game (nor did I really want to go into that much detail about it, copy-pasting some descriptions to show some opinions from others was way easier, that’s why I included where the opinions came from, so you can do what you just did for yourselves, dismiss it if you want).

        2. copy-pasting stats also seems somewhat silly to me, people can look them up themselves (I usually try to do some math on them first and then post the results if I’m making a comment about stats, such as converting it to goals per minute, instead of just number of goals and number of games to name one example).

          I don’t know of any other site where I can copy paste the descriptive opinions (not a number) quickly from game to game for a specific player if I want to avoid repeating or giving my own opinion.

  121. I don’t think that there is a big difference of level between the team of 2010 and the current one, but there were more arguments to believe in it :

    – BVM was a new coach and kept invincibility till the world cup

    – We had a group to finish first, and a good chance to meet Slovakia/Paraguay after, the road to 1/4 was already open from the loting.

    – Most important for me : Other teams form. There were only two teams better than us before the WC : Spain and Germany. The two EC 2008 finalist. France and Italy had an awful EC 2008 and lacked new players, Brazil was probably the worst team they had for 20 years at least, no key player, many average players…Argentina under Maradona was really irregular, losing qualifying games 6-1 to Bolivia for example…England and Portugal were outsiders as always, nothing more.

    – Players form was almost the same ok, only we had a Van Bommel who played a CL finale while we will probably have an unexperienced youngster replacing Strootman now, Sneijder had just won the CL, Mathijsen-Heitinga were not the best but more experienced that the defenders we’ll have, and Van Bronchkorst brought mental strenght and experience to the defence also. Robben, Nigel, Van Persie and VDV were almost the same than now though.

    That WC was for us, we are used to have hard lotings but that time it was a comfortable one, Brazil was the major step and we had luck against them, but it was really an average team, the one of this year is better after that confederation cup. Not sure they’ll win though.

    Worst Brazil

    That’s what we had to beat to go to finale. I don’t think we would have reached it if we had to face Germany, Spain or even Portugal before.

    Now that’s another story, Spain and Chile in the group, a better team of Brazil playing home if we qualify..A coach that failed in 2002, a team that isn’t invicinble anymore, many unexperienced players…

      1. I haven’t followed Argentina since the copa america, don’t know exactly what they worth, but they have an easy group, and after France/Switzerland/Ecuador are ok for them also, so I expect them to be in 1/4 minimum. World class players forward, some good midfielders, but don’t know what to think about their defence.

        Spain is still among the best, I’d not be surprised they win again, everytime people find things against them (like Chelsea beating Barca in 2011, Bayern last year…), they come with something new. Last year was the Euro -21 where they showed how far they are compared to other teams. Xavi and Iniesta aren’t in the form of their life, but they have plenty subs which are also top quality. They can send Spain B, Spain C and Spain D, they would all be good teams.

        England is always the mystery. I don’t expect anything of them if they keep calling the same players, especially as they are in a tough group with Italy and Uruguay. But Sturridge and Wellbeck are good weapons, if they find a system to use them, they can be dangerous, England has always a big athletic potential but lacks true technical players.

        Italy is one of the serious contenders for the title, strong defence, strong midfield…Only I worry about their attack, Balotelli and El Shaarawy still lack effectivness for me, and I don’t rate really high players like Pazzini, Quagliarella, Osvaldo…Rossi is quite good though. But they need a killer forward.

        Spain and Germany are the two best teams IMO, then Italy, Argentina and Brazil. The winner will probably be one of those five.

        1. Thank you , Laurent.
          Well , I do agree with you about Spain and Itlay. Spain simply have an incredible squad. They have at least 3 line-ups that can simply reach the WC semis and compete for the title. Italy are always contenders once they reach the knock-out stages , and yes they have a good squad but I kinda doubt their defenders quality. only Barzagli seems to be worldclass imo.

          Argentina , well. Hypothetically , They have the best attack in the tournament with Messi , Aguero , Higuain , Lavezzi , Palacio and De maria.
          However , I am not really sure they can play together. They Were not able to score a goal in Romania , A team that was defeated in their home 0-3 to Oranje. not to mention that Romania actually were very close to score a goal on several occasions.
          Their midfeild and defence with Mascherano , Gago and Samuel are not really great. Although I’d like to see messi winning the WC , I think Argentina may lose to France or Portugal .

          As a trial to give you guys some hope 🙂 , I checked Oranje results before EC 2008.

          EC 2008 Qualifications :

          Away Draw with Bulgaria 1-1.
          Home Draw with Romania 0-0.
          Away loss to Romania 1-0.
          Away loss to Belarus 2-1 .

          We qualified 2nd after Romania , with 26 points out of 12 games , Scoring “only” 15 goals in these 12 games ” agaisnt Bulgaria , Romania , Belarus , Luxemburg , Slovenia and Albania” and conceding 5 goals from these teams.

          Friendlies :
          we lost an away game to Switzerland 2-1.
          won Austeria in a very intersting game that ended with a 3-4 away win to Oranje. Jan venegoor of Hesselink and KJH scored two goals in the last 5 minutes as the result was Austeria 3-2 Oranje .
          We also tied to Denmark 10 days before the Italy game.

          looking at these results now , I just wasn’t able to believe my eyes 😀 .
          Before the Euros we also lost our yongster back then , Ryan Bable due to injury. Also both of Robben and RvP didn’t play against Italy due to injury. Seedorf almost refused to join the squad and Bommel wasn’t even considered by San Marco , Engelaar was 🙂 .

          Well , I will stay positive and stick to my theory for now , ” The Oranje perform great when they are the underdog ” 🙂 .

  122. When LVG announced his team selection weeks before the france game, I knew it was trouble. It become worse after one after another withdrew due to injury. Oranje strengths is allways at it’s wingers and no.10 and that night story tell us everything. Plus why the need to try out uncapped players at this time ??? If this is a tactic to fool other nation scouts well it isn’t working. I am very much agree with some comments on why urby was not called up. He can play left back or winger or trequartista. Willems should be call back in frm the youth squad as he hv the pace and good crossing. Please re-consider elia or babel back as we need a natural left winger apart frm lens. Can’t wait for the next few friendlies………..Hup Hup Oranje !!!!!!!!!!

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