Memories of 2006 – Van Basten: "Oranje misbehaved!"

Only 2 days to go, gringos!!!

It is really taking me by surprise, this World Cup. I thought it always started in a weekend… Hahahaha!

Two more memory lane posts to make, my friends.

Here is 2006. What to say. It still makes me mad.

What a World Cup it was. Dick Advocaat and Willem van Hanegem were the duo coaches in 2004. The two buddies had a massive fall out over the Robben substitution agains the Czechs and Van Hanegem famously said “If he would ever try and sub our best player again, I will simply knock him out”….

We needed new blood. This is what JC thought and the KNVB followed his advice. Rijkaard did very well in 2000. Now it’s time for San Marco. JC sort of forgot to mention that until then, Marco had only coached Ajax 2 and was still to prove himself to be a good jockey (courtesy of Adriaanse). Mistake number 2 of the KNVB was to allow San Marco to assemble his own staff. Marco picked coach colleague of Ajax 2 John van ‘t Schip, Stanley Menzo and Rob Witschge. Rumour was, so they could play klaverjassen when the players rested…


Make no mistake, San Marco picked the right players alright. Some of them were still young(-ish) but not much different from the current squad. The names will make you drool now: Van der Sar. Gio van Bronckhorst. Tim de Cler. Joris Mathijsen. Mark van Bommel. Phillip Cocu. Wes Sneijder. Raf van der Vaart. Dirk Kuyt. Ruud van Nistelroo. Arjen Robben. Robin van Persie. Hmmmmmm……

Not that bad.

And this is a squad that could have had Clarence Seedorf and Roy Makaay as well, but Marco didn’t need them, he felt. Other notable players to be left out were Edgar Davids (Spurs), KLaas Jan Huntelaar (Ajax) Emmanuelson (Ajax) and Nigel de Jong (HSV).

Schaars and De Jong will travel to Germany as back ups, as Vqn Basten was left with five serious injuries after the Farewell Game against Hiddink’s Australia. The Socceroos were a bit too enthusiastic and Cocu, Van Bronckhorst, Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Jaliens all went to the World Cup not 100% fit. Schaars and De Jong weren’t needed though and were sent home.


The inexperienced Van Basten has a good eye for football. But was a bit weak in people management. He himself was a tad insecure and he foolishly didn’t bring a more experienced coach along. Gerard van der Lem? Wim Jansen? The options were all there. But Marco went it alone with his happy band of brothers and clashed with experiences and extraverted players like Van Bommel and Van Nistelrooy. PSV players… (JC and Van der Kuylen/Van Beveren comes to mind, in 1974).

The qualifications went very well. Marco played 4-3-3 and won 10 out of 12 games with his team.

Holland was in a strong group, with Argentina, Serbia/Montenegro and Ivory Coast. The Argentines had names like Crespo, Riquelme, Masscherano, Tevez and Messi while Ivory Coast had Drogba and Kalou.

Winning the first game (Serbia) was key, and Holland did. Thanks to a wonderful Robben goal on a Van Persie assist ( in case you forgot: a counter goal). Serbia maybe deserved a tad more but was unlucky. Van Persie played right winger and at times it looked like we played 4-5-1. Van Bommel was subbed for the more tactically astute and conservative Landzaat. Van Nistelrooy was also subbed early. Signs of things to come. Holland did play the dominant game, had 60% possession but Serbia had more corner kicks, more shots on goal and less fouls….

In our second game against Ivory Coast, Holland ruled in the first half, with a rocket goal by Robin van Persie and a quick second by Ruud van Gol. Ivory Coast fought themselves back into it, via Kone, but lacked the luck to get a draw: 2-1.

robben drogba

This time, Sneijder was subbed early in the game for Van Der Vaart and Ruud van Gol was taken out early yet again. Possession was 50-50 and Ivory Coast like Serbia had more corner kicks, more shots on target and less fouls than Oranje.

The last game was not that key anymore and dreaded Argentina was played with a number of yellow carded players being rested: 0-0.

messi sneijder

Kuyt came for Robben as left winger, Sneijder and Van der Vaart both played and Van Basten fielded Jaliens, Boulahrouz and De Cler in defence. Babel, Landzaat and Maduro would get minutes in this game as well. In this game, we had a tad more possession and the most corner kicks, shots on targets and the most fouls…

Sadly, we didnt’ win it. As we would have not drawn Portugal as a result. Portugal beat us earlier in 2004 at the Euros and was too strong for Van Gaal’s Oranje in the 2002 qualifications.

Marco psyched the team out as much as possible to give it all that they could but in the run up to the game, it was a rift between Van Nistelrooy and Van Basten that would start a dramatic series of events. Marco told some reporter he was unhappy with Ruud’s positioning. Ruud confronted Marco with this lack of discretion (“Tell me first, next time!”). And Marco didn’t accept this insubordination and benched Ruud. This made other players in the squad (mostly Van Bommel) irrate and this whole event, one day before the knock out game vs Portugal, made the mood in the Oranje camp very edgy.

The psychology behind this, by the way, is interesting. Both Mark van Bommel and Ruud van Nistelrooy adored Marco as a player. Both had posters in their bedroom of the Ajax star and both were keen to work with him. They idolised him but they soon found out Marco is a man of flesh and blood, with his own character flaws. This didn’t go down too well. When they found out that Bassie was biased and emotional in his decision making (unfathomable like he was as a striker) they couldn’t cope with the situation and spat the dummy.

Ruud famously introduced a new characteristic in football. The “I like you factor”. Marco selects players on that basis (Landzaat over Seedorf, Maduro, Babel, Heitinga over Makaay, Davids and Bouma). If you are happy to be one of Marco’s disciples he is happy to work with you. If you have your own opinion, you are out.


Ruud would later add: “I had a clash with Marco, that is right, but we fixed it and he would become one of my fave coaches. The 2006 World Cup was a failure but we worked really well later on in 2008 and I still think he was one of the best and most entertaining trainer I practiced with.”

So, Marco battled with some players before the Portugal game and made an emotional decision: Ruud would not play. Dirk Kuyt would be the striker in his place. Portugal certainly did not have a shabby team with the likes of Figo, Deco, Coutinho, Maniche and C Ronaldo.

The game would infamously be known as the Battle of Nuremberg and since 2006, I haven’t seen it or the “highlights” since. Too hard. But I will see the highlights soon again, I suppose. Holland had 60% of the ball. We had 20 goal attempts vs 10 for Portugal. We have twice as much corner kicks. In terms of stats, we had two reds, like Portugal and 9 yellow cards. Portugal lost that battle as they only got 7 yellows.

Robben was tackled in the box and yellow carded for diving. This time, unjustly so. Cocu hit the post after a terrific attack. Kuyt choked alone in front of goal. Van Persie had a sitter and missed as he attempted an outside of the boot shot. But all in all, despite the antics of the Portuguese and the aggression of Holland, it was Mr Ivanov the Russian ref who really made it into a mess. He allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum and allowed this game to spin out of control. He took over the record of Spanish ref Nieto who only used 16 cards in 2002 versus 20 for Mr Ivanov. Mr Blatter later stated that Ivanov deserved a red card himself as well.

bommel figo

It was a disgraceful performance and Holland did not deserve to lose this game. But we did.

A later analysis of the game showed that the teams only played 52 minutes of actual football. Matchwinner Maniche: “I think most of the cards were over the top. It was a tough game, as one expects between two top nations in world football, but I don’t think it was ever really mean. The ref added oil to the fire with all these cards.”


Maniche is right. A further analyses says that the Portugal – Holland game had the least (!!!) fouls of all knock out games that World Cup. Only 25 fouls and apparently 16 yellow card type of fouls? Whereas in some of the other games there were up to 51 fouls counted and only six yellow cards…

It was one of those would’ve/could’ve games… What if we had a different ref. What if Marco wouldn’t have had that argument with Ruud and the man from ManU was our striker. What if Cocu or Robin would have scored? What if the ref would have spotted that foul on Robben in the box?


We started well. We had some good attacking moves on the flanks and Van Bommel has a distance strike that just missed the target. But in the 20st minute, we go wrong. Sneijder loses possession to C Ronaldo. Deco gets the ball, unmarked. He crosses to striker Pauleta and the striker bounces the ball back to incoming midfielder Maniche. Ooijer can’t stop him and Sar doesn’t have a chance. C Ronaldo would have to make way for Simao and since that goal Portugal controlled the game. In the second half, Holland has a man more due to a silly second yellow for Costinha. Cocu hits the bar and Portugal decides to stop Oranje from attacking. Until we lose Boulahrouz as a result of some Figo theatrics. Ten against ten and from the 70st miunute onwards, it becomes a battle.

Enjoy 🙁

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    1. Not my favorite dutch team, but I thought that team was good enough to make it to the finals. So the whole preparing for euro 2008 thing does not fly with me. That Argentina game was abysmal. It was like neither team cared. Would rather have played Mexico instead of Portugal… And dropping RVN was a huge mistake.

  1. Sad memories. I didn’t really expect too much before the tournament. It was also a big blow for me not calling Davids , who is one of my all time favorites.

    Davids , Seedorf , Makaay , Hasselbaink and Huntelaar who scored more than 30 goals with Ajax and Herenveen that season IIRC , and was the top scorer and the champion of the Euro u21 with Foppe De Haan prior to the WC. Why not to call them and add some depth to the team ?
    Definitely one of the worst dutch squads ever imo. I mean ; Jan venegoor of hasselink ? Landzaat ? Jaliens ? Kromkamp ? 19 year old Maduro and Babel ?
    The best thing I remember for Marco before the WC , was his trial to take The Mighty Dennis Bergkamp and Stam to the WC. Bergkamp would have been for Oranje like Zidane for France in 2006 , but we were unlunky 🙁 .
    KNVB should have appointed Foppe de Haan to be San Marco’s assistant. Great tactician and great players manager who is able to get the best out of the youngsters. Always liked this man.

  2. I think France and England have a young and talented squad compared to other big guns and if they click then might create some major upsets. Sterling, AOC, Wilshere, Lallana, Progba, Grinter, YC, Grizeman,Matudi…….they are all capable of producing the best of the best and this might catch some of the big teams by suprise.

    Laurent what do think of this guy…..Kurt Zouma…

    1. I think France is going in the same diection as Spain some few years back when they emerged out of nowhere to become the no 1 rank team in the world. I still remember during Raul, morentes, Luis enrique time they were considered as minows but then came their transition phase which overhauled the entire team with the new generation which took them to the next level. Isee the same thing happenin to France after their miserable spell for last few years. Their trasition of the next generation is evolving at a constant rate especially when it comes to the development and quality.

  3. And I could not forgive him for not bringing Huntelaar.
    What did he say again?
    “So he can go to the U21 championship and prove us wrong.”
    How arrogant was that!!
    I think we all know what Huntelaar did in that tournament, did he finally earn some apologies or at least respect from Van Basten? No I don’t think so.

  4. Only under Hiddink has NT produced some of best performance and I bet come 2016 it will the same story.

    Van Gaal…….he belongs at Man United not here……no many creep, excuses and bulshits…

  5. I am getting more worried as the WC is getting close.
    Media is saying Van Persie and Sneijder are not 100% fit.
    Robben clashed with Indi which is something that always happen in the Netherland lockeroom in every huge competition.
    Van Gaal might be training the players too hard.
    No good news coming out.
    I am not sure if you guys check out the video where Robben clashed with Indi. It looks pretty bad.


      The video is worrying. Robben’s Kick to Indi is intended. Indi tackles were tough for a trainig session , too.
      LvG has to calm the guys down . It seems only me in this big world is expecting a win against Spain , so there is no much pressure. They should be calm.

      Robben and Indi seems to have good attitude anyway. I am sure they can both take it easy.

      1. robben has no real reason to be so angry, if that was sneijder getting mad, hell yeah, sneijder injury looked worse, nigel de jong slide right through him. crazy stuff. thats an easy way to end your world cup. also with the reputation holland have now, one tackle like that might be a straight red card, since fifa wants certain teams to advance.

  6. Robben needs to harden up.. looks like a little girl… love the man but really. His challenge on indi was worse even threw in a cheap kick and indi got straight back up … indi should of given him a stiff jab to the nose.. Robben is a great player one of my favorites but thats as soft as it gets..

  7. All this diving and sh*t kills the game its pollution.. harden up.. you dont get a sore back by falling over then recover 10 mins later its bullsh*t… nothing rekless about the tackle just pure playing up by robben when it doesnt go his way.
    Anyway hup hup holland go the oranje

  8. Van der Hart rented by Go Ahead Eagles, still needs to go through medical.
    Utrecht, Herenveen, Go Ahead Eagles, Feyenoord after Veldwijk.
    Sevilla after Afellay.
    Go Ahead Eagles after Michael De leeuw
    De Guzman is back training with the team.

  9. I’m getting very excited about this WC , after watching Brasil play Serbia I don’t care if we meet them in rd16, they were terrible Serbia should have won that game with an ounce of luck.
    I don’t like seeing crap between players so close to the start of the tournament, there will be some lingering ill feeling with Robben and BMI, this is always a distraction in any squad.
    I think we will beat Spain, The Aussie’s, and draw Chile, and Chile will draw with Spain and Beat Aussie. After that anything can happen with some luck and will of the players.
    I can’t wait for the lack of sleep, bring it on!

  10. I’m reading online:

    Clasie will start in place of De Guzman, giving us a bad lineup especially now with Van Persie being hurt, but based on ESPN Soccernet last Friday:—-netherlands

    This starting 11 makes the most sense:

    —Robben—De Jong—Sneijder—
    —–Van Persie—-Lens———

    (With Depay main sub for Van Persie)

    play Sneijder a little deeper with De Jong, the lineup above gives us the best chance to win, but Van Gaal deciding to play Clasie, the same type of player as a Sneijder and feeding Robben with an injured Van Persie up front this team is doomed, any thoughts guys?

  11. I think LvG will need to alternate formation and Personnel depending on the opponent…

    We play 5-3-2 against Spain with one notable change, Lens plays instead of RvP. We would need our quickest players upfront and I think Lens can play as CF pretty well.

  12. Per training today, our base will consist of:

    Janmaat, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind
    De Jong
    Clasie, Sneijder,
    Robben Van Persie

  13. Jan:

    Love the pictures!

    Sneijder actually makes Messi look tall, and the ref with all the cards is hilarious (even if it rekindles painful memories).

    Also loved those away jerseys with the diagonal stripes!

    These prior teams were all SO talented, but maybe this year’s version gets it done…

  14. 2006 was so disappointing. Saw the Ivory Coast game live and wow did they put on a show in the first half. and then they disappeared. Weird change. Also VdV warm up – unbelievable how skillful he was.

    Portugal game was sad. VBaasten sitting Van Goal was so stupid. Not only for the obvious he would scored, but also he would have been the leader to cool tempers in the Portugal game.

    Any now, Brazil They’re smart that they didn’t play a late friendly and got to Brazil a week early. And heck let Robben bicker, he always does, that’s him.

  15. By the way – I got the official replica for Robben’s 2014 Jersey and I wore it yesterday… I found it to be uncomfortable and actually made me quite warm.

    The material Nike is using is not as good as the ones Adidas are using… and it might be counter-productive to play with this material.

    1. I have both the orange and blue version…and they are extremely tight! It reminds me of that under armour material. I think the players like it, especially Robben…but to me they are uncomfortable (although I have a bit of a beer belly).

    2. Still proudly wearing my 1988 shirt!!!

      I bought replicas for every tournament since 1988 – the good and the bad.
      I have replicas for 74 and 78 also.
      But the one I wear is the one that counts – 1988.
      Instant respect.

  16. Will Oranje be able to have ball possesion against Spain???

    That´s key if Oranje wants to win. If you let the Spaniards the control of the ball they will find goal opportunities. I think Holland has to circulate the ball very fast and it is good that Clasie seems likely to start to have a good ball distribuitor…also, it is very important to use Janmaat and Blind going forward and let Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie a lot of contact with the ball. Spain are more than favorites to beat Oranje this time, in my opinion Oranje has had a good preparation for the WC and Spain didn´t train a lot but they know each other perfectly.

    I honestly don´t dare to predict the result of the game, but I think we will see a more attractive game this time around than four years ago vs Spain due to Van Gaal´s willingness to attack. Hopefully Robben can have his revenge scoring and winning this game.

    It is pretty clear that Van Gaal will line up the same eleven used against Ghana and in de Guzman is not ready, Clasie will take his spot.


    1. I had a dream last night that Oranje lost 9-1 🙁 … well a nightmare… I was actually happy when I woke up.

      I think we’ll know if we’re going to the 2nd round before the game against Chile.

    2. I think Oranje will have a better game against Spain compare to the previous world cup final.
      Janmaat is more skillful than Van Der Weil,Clasie is more active than Van Bommel,Sneijder is greater than Kuyt.Van Persie will recieve more balls from the midfielders and Robben will have his luck this time.
      And our young bloods will be fighting hard for this great opportunity to become famious.
      Furthermore,Puyol is retired,Spain defence is weakened and breakable.And there is no more idiotic refree-The butthead’s Webb!!!

      Most importantly,Van Gaal is a masteful Tatician compare to Van Marwijk.

      It’s gonna be 50-50 game.
      Hup Holland Hup 🙂

      1. “Van Gaal is a masteful Tatician compare to Van Marwijk.”

        Hahaha. Very true. This is why the masterful tactician failed to qualify to the 2002 WC with arguably the most talented squad of the past 2 decades, while the not so masterful tactician made it the WC Final in 2010.

        You’ll miss BVM after an early WC exit.

        1. Listen… as much as I like BvM, he had some GLARING mistakes as well…

          When your team loses to Bayern Munich 3-0 and to Sweden few weeks before that, you should know there are problems. BvM did not do anything and stuck with his formation of aging players and ended up without a single point with a team that reach world cup final!! So please, let’s move on from this argument.

          LvG realized we have a problem once we played France and made some changes that should help stabalize defence and Oranje’s chances progress to the next round. I think LvG would have played 5-3-2 with or without Strootman.

          It’s funny how you selectively decide to pick something from 12 years ago, but forget something that happened 2 years ago.

          1. History speaks for itself. As far as national team is concerned, BVM is a far better coach than LVG. I hope LVG proves me wrong and achieves something this WC. Let him get to the final and I’ll gracefully take back my words.

            Indeed BVM has his flaws. I don’t think that the failure in EC 2012 is exclusively due to BVM. The oranje prima donnas decided to go back to their usual habits and they imploded from within. A deadly mistake BVM made was to break his rules and start Afelay who wasn’t a regular at his club. This started a domino effect. I disagree that LVG is changing his formation due to the loss against France. It is rather due to Strootman’s injury.

            The difference between BVM and LVG is that BVM’s team played ugly yet consistently won (with the exception of the last year of his tenure). On the other hand, LVG’s team plays ugly and doesn’t win.

            I still stand by my words and doubt LVG will prove me wrong. Sadly, I’m prepared for an early WC exit- something I never felt since cheering for Oranje starting 1992.

        2. I will say BVM is a good coach too.Why i call LVG masterful?Becos he is a very experience coach.He is flexible to use different tactics and formations depend on the situations whereas BVM only stick with 4231.

          Yes,he failed in 2002 WC.But he was succeed in Ajax,Barcelona and Bayer have to know every successful person comes from failures.Don’ t you agree?

          I really hope Oranje will win against Spain.So that the world of dry lips will be zipped with some respect.Yeah 🙂

      2. I would say that it’s hard to argue with Van Marwijk’s tactics since the Dutch were on the cusp of winning the WC last time, were it not for the toe of the Spanish keeper on that Robben shot. It wasn’t the most attractive football, to be sure, but the Dutch didn’t park the bus: rather the two DM’s played very well throughout the tournament, stymied the opposing attacks for the most part, and we got enough chances.

    3. I think it’s obvious by our 5-3-2 formation choice that we are going to pack it in defensively and attempt to attack swiftly on counters…its not a formation that allows for ball possession (especially when playing against a midfield as talented as Spain’s).

      We will hope to hold defensively and catch Spain moving up on the counter.

      Blind and Janmaat will occasionally join in the attack as wide players, but for the most part we’ll have to rely on the passing of Sneijder and the brilliance of Van Persie & Robben.

      It all will come down to how well our 3 centerbacks plug up their attack, and whether we can get the 1st goal on a counter attack. If Spain goes up 1-0, consider us toast.

      1. I agree with your analysis. With RVP and Robben, Sniejder and Clasie, the Dutch have the personnel to be effective in counter, but we need to score first.

    1. I’m reading online:

      Clasie will start in place of De Guzman, giving us a bad lineup especially now with Van Persie being hurt, but based on ESPN Soccernet last Friday:—-netherlands

      This starting 11 makes the most sense:

      —Robben—De Jong—Sneijder—
      —–Van Persie—-Lens———

      (With Depay main sub for Van Persie)

      play Sneijder a little deeper with De Jong, the lineup above gives us the best chance to win, but Van Gaal deciding to play Clasie, the same type of player as a Sneijder and feeding Robben with an injured Van Persie up front this team is doomed, any thoughts guys?

      1. I think everyone here rates Lens pretty highly, don’t they? I mean, we’re all fans, right?

        As Bitterballen says, he always raises his game for the National Team. Gotta love some passion and positivity.

  17. was looking at under 20 world cup team from 2001

    look at this roster

    No. Pos. Player
    1)GK Maarten Stekelenburg
    2DF Jürgen Colin
    3 MF René van Dieren
    4 MF John Heitinga
    5 DF Jeffrey Leiwakabessy
    6 MF David Mendes da Silva
    7 FW Riga
    8 FW Rafael van der Vaart
    9 FW Klaas Jan Huntelaar
    10 MF Youssouf Hersi
    11 FW Arjen Robben
    12 DF Civard Sprockel
    13 MF Saïd Boutahar
    14 MF Theo Janssen
    15 FW Thijs Houwing
    16 MF Gregoor van Dijk
    17 MF Santi Kolk
    18 GK Gino Coutinho
    19 DF Glenn Loovens
    20 DF Alje Schut

    look at that, no sneijder, no de jong, vorm?
    van persie? schaars? boulahrouz? kuyt?

    1. Boulah, Kuyt and Schaars were so called late blossomers. Van Persie was most likely too difficult (he had infamous clashes with Raf van der Vaart) and Wes was probably one year down from these guys. Wes was deemed “too small” for pro football at some stage, as was Clasie.

      Thanks for posting this. I was actually looking for this list.

      Hersi was a top talent of Ajax. He now plays in the Australian league, for Perth Glory. One of the better players but nowhere near the level people expected from him.

      No 13 Bouhatar was the playmaker at Excelsior behind Robin van Persie. A real no. 10. A great talent, never made it in the pro leagues.

      Houwing was a talented forward, Santi Kolk a talented midfielder…all gone basically…

  18. What do you all miss the MOST fro 2010? Sneijder’s goals, BVM’s tactics, Stekelenburg’s save of Kaka’s goal-bound shot, something else???? Have your say.

    What I miss the most is Giovanni van Bronchkorst’s leadership. He would never let an internal dispute fly (like what we are seeing between Robben and Bruno). All he did was countdown to our trophy (which never came, sadly) but he was a captain on the field and off and he led the team by example.

      1. BVM has done a magnificient work with the team then….not many dutch NT manager done that….his style of managing and philosophy of the team was balanced. He improve much the defence dept and keep up the attacking part. He did groom some young players into the senior squad. The game record are all consistent …qualifying….friendly ….until a bad luck 1-0 lose to spain. After that downhill … believe he still have bad dreams on why he can’t make oranje world champion that night…and can’t go over it. I believe until today as he still can’t get back into management ( only a short bad speel at hamburg )

  19. I agree. I miss GVB leadership the most as well. I’ll never forget his goal against Uruguay. One of the finest goals in the WC ever!

    What I miss the least is Braafheid. We were exposed as soon as he came in the final. I also can never forgive Huntelaar’s miss against Brazil when he went one on one against the keeper. Winning 3-1 would have been sweeter than 2-1.

    1. funny, those are great points (until you brought up Hunter’s miss I didn’t even think about it). Since we are talking about subtleties, do you remember when Heitinga was red-carded he raced off the field? Why did he leave so quickly. He should have wasted a minute or 2 arguing at least to kill time and force Spain to attack quickly and make mistakes. Every time I see the replay if this I get annoyed.

      1. Great point! I never thought of it this way. That red card was the most bullshit red card ever. The irony is Iniesta himself ended up scoring the winning goal 🙁

  20. Which of the following loses hurts the most for you all today?
    1) 1998 WC semi vs Brazil
    2) 2000 EC semi vs Italy
    3) 2006 WC Rd 16 vs Portugal
    4) 2008 EC QF vs Russia
    5) 2010 WC Final vs Spain

    1. My first reaction is ’98. That totally sucked.

      The loss to Russia, though, was made so much worse by how dominant they’d been in the first round. Seemed they were ready to crush all opposition, so when they lost to Russia (russia?!?), it sucked all that much more.

      1. Yeah Russia was the most schoking for me, I really didn’t expect it at all. I was already thinking about meeting Italy or Spain in semi finals.

        I was in Amsterdam that day, and I still had my fan heart, but I think it broke that day.

        Even in 2010 I wasn’t that happy, and didn’t feel any pain after losing finale.

        So 2008 for me without any hesitation

        1. When you finish first round with 9 pts and 9 goals scored, with France, Italy and Romania, you really don’t even think about losing to Russia.

          I went to a pub in A’dam and thought “It will probably be like 2000, when Holland beat 6-1 Youglosavia in quarters”, I really expected a big party.

          The first half was hard, during the break I started to think about the possibility Russia can win. And when they scored, I really started to realize it. But after Ruud’s goal, I just thought “Okkkk the joke is done now, we will kill them with adding two goals next 30 minutes”.

          But it was the contrary, I remember the atmosphere in the pub after the game, big silence. People were hesitating about leaving the place or staying looking at the tv. Some were crying.

          I just walked away doing nothing, I crossed the red light district but didn’t even look at any girl.

          1. That’s exactly how I felt. After equalizer, I said “Thanks God, Holland will start playing NOW”.. but they didn’t. I was watching the game at home on TV, windows open, where I could hear neighbours screaming after Russia scored, and I was silent. Then it was me screaming when NT scored and everyone else silent. Then.. i don’t even want to talk about it.

        2. ‘I was in Amsterdam that day, and I still had my fan heart, but I think it broke that day.

          Even in 2010 I wasn’t that happy, and didn’t feel any pain after losing finale.’

          Laurent, why are you here?
          You understand this is a ‘fan’ site, right?
          You know fuck-all about football, so do you just come here to bitch?

          Aside from Wilson (lol), I don’t think anyone would miss you if you left.

    2. 5, 2, 4, 1, 3.

      Losing in 2010 was one of my most painful experiences in my life. Just the memory of it passing my mind made me scold out loud for weeks. Tourette level control, even in public. After that, it mellowed down in for that part. The sting stayed for 1 or 2 years. Now it is a bad feeling thinking about it.

      What made it worse was the double punishment. Losing and then having people behaving like moral knights tripping over each other who could shame Netherlands better for the way they took on Spain. Selective outrage without boundaries. Conveniently forgetting how de Zeeuw got his teeth kicked out by Uruguay or how Melo intentionally targeting the injured spot on Robben’s leg by standing on it, however only mentioning what Nigel did at the WC. When Torres did the same some time later to Cleverly in the EPL, nobody was interested. Funny how that works.

      The worst people though are the clowns that claim to always have supported the Netherlands for their pretty play and now are done with Orange as they behaved badly in their opinion on the last WC. That’s the only good thing to come out such a final. Flushing out the high horse snobs that were not really in it to begin with. The ones thumping their chest they are well aware of the romantic intricacies of the WC history and how they can not longer support the evildoer.

      2000 was just a bad joke. I have no words for what happened. It did make me aware of the importance of the penalty. Just the last 48 hours I had a discussion again with a Dutch fan on another site claiming it all boils down to luck. It angers me to just hear that and 2000 is a big reason behind that. There are important things a taker and keeper can do to ensure that they can cut back on forces outside their own control during the process. I am always amazed how some Dutch NT keepers still not act like van der Sar later on in his career. Arriving later in the box than the taker. Harassing the taker over spot placement. Make movements to let the taker focus on the keeper, rather than the ball and picture in his mind of where to place it. Profiling all takers and knowing to make themselves big or small (go read about the Muller-Lyer illusion in goalkeeping), dependent how the particular taker is used to kick a penalty. Then there is the Sevilla-Benfica example. Keepers going off their line often are not corrected by the ref and get away with it. If I see Cillessen or others not use these methods or even any of them, I lose respect for them. How can they just be casual about the penalty after 2000? It’s a discipline that must be mastered with samurai focus and intensity. Anything less is not taking Dutch NT history serious.

      Euro 2008 was like the ultimate anti climax. Sure we could get knocked out, but not by damn Russia! What was that? A lot of things. Marco messing up, playing Robben vs Romania and getting him injured. The theme of the tournament was kids, the players being in that phase of getting them and celebrating with them after each win in the group. Then Boula’s wife got a miscarriage. Somehow that exactly hit in the hart of the group and kicked them out of warp. Focus and good feeling were gone and Vaart with his first words in front of camera after the game confirms this theory. Something between a quote and paraphrasing him: There are more important things in life than winning a football match. Marco was also schooled by Hiddink which shows that experience does matter at times. In game there was the incident in the last minute where a Russian got a red card but for some reason got it retracted. I think I remember that the UEFA explenation after the game about the incident was not without suspicion. That loss felt like totally unnecessary (though it was not an unfair result as Russia played great) and soon after the Euro Netherlands played Russia again and were much better, though it did end in a draw. A year before Netherlands had won with like 4-1. Nobody saw that loss coming and that made it so painful.

      The semi vs Brazil was a match that could have gone both ways. We should have gotten a penalty though. We had one hell of a team. Brazil losing with 3-0 to France (turning out to be beatable) made me later go over it, of what could have been, though we did lose to Croatia for bronze. That + Brazil being Brazil + penalty’s back then made accepting it for me a bit easier than some other games.

      Portugal was oke with me. The only period in my life I actually saw big plus sides in losing. Coward Advocaat held back the new generation and I did not want to succeed with the old guys who also messed up under van Gaal and were spreading such a bad atmosphere. The Scotland game filled me with hope. 6-0 with a roaming Sneijder. They burst onto the scene, but it was like Advocaat trying to push it back in. I still can’t stand the man for it. Winning would keep him on maybe, would redeem the old guys and I wanted to move on with fresh faces. Advocaat still wanted to cuddle with Seedorf and co. Taking Robben off for Bosvelt. It exposed his whole line of thinking. IMO losing meant we could move forward with a new generation. Kuyt was for me the poster boy of how the new generation should behave. Eager, hungry, humble, hard working, normal in front of camera. Those interviews between vsn Dorp and Edgar Davids were just stupid. Unworthy of the Dutch NT. Better to cut your losses at some point and move on.


      1. ‘The worst people though are the clowns that claim to always have supported the Netherlands for their pretty play and now are done with Orange’

        Totally agree.
        Laurent just BOASTED of the exact same actions above.
        Tiju is another ‘fair weather’ fan.

        Fuck it’s embarrassing. Do these people have no class?

        Not hard to spot the liggers, because they are never intelligent. Simple minds. Easily pleased. Easily frustrated. And loud – because they think that if they repeat the same shit over and over again, someone (probably another retard) might one day agree with it.

        1. Listen Fraek,
          Tiju has been coming here since pre 2006 world cup.
          and Laurent has been on this website for a long long while as well, and both have been pouring and writing comments and posts in the thousands.

          yes theres definitely some weirdness in most of Tiju’s quotes, and yes theres a lot of over-criticism and defeatism from both.. But thats just personality.

          Just, respect, live and let live. Thats not so hard is it?

          1. Listen Ramy,
            Tiju hasn’t been coming here since 2006.
            Like many others, he started at the netherlands world cup blog, as did I – WAY BEFORE he arrived, I might add.

            He hasn’t written comments. He has reduced each and every single article to an infantile rant. He has repeatedly, childishly posted the same crap, several times a day, every day.
            And I, like many others, have endured his misplaced outpouring, unnecessary negativity and amateur analysis for a very, very long time. The religion I forgive – because, to be perfectly frank, it is so utterly absurd that it’s fucking hilarious and we all need a good laugh now and then, hey? Besides, I quite like Tiju. Who doesn’t love a clown??

            Laurent, on the other hand.
            That’s a particularly spiteful piece of shit. Stupid, infinitely so, but spiteful.

            And no. I will not live and let live. Sorry.
            I will live and let everyone else know when they cross commonly accepted social boundaries.

      2. ‘Losing in 2010 was one of my most painful experiences in my life.’

        Knuckle bump.
        I’m with ya, bro. Worst pain I have ever felt.
        Embarrassment. Scorn. Humiliation. Rejection. Rage. Impotence.
        We hurt so deeply because we LOVE so deeply.

        1. The fact I don’t consider myself as fan anymore has nothing to do with Holland good or bad results, I said that I felt no joy in 2010, and no pain in 2012, so it’s not about results.

          It’s just personnal, I don’t have passion for football like I had before, I keep following cause it’s interesting for me but I don’t have emotions for it.

          And I live really good like this

    3. I don’t know where to start. Sad memories came into my mind remembering every tournament of those , but I think It was a massive depression for me losing the final. It was kinda like , one of my big dreams is gone. I knew after the game how everyone will bash Oranje and praise glorious la roja. You probably know how it feels …
      I thought to myself many times , what if Oranje continued their incredible show in 2008 and won the tournament , Then came in 2010 and Arjen scored his chance against Spain ? Wasn’t it possible ?
      Euro 2000 was also tragic by all means. I started supporting Oranje in 98 , and losing in PK for the 2nd time was unacceptable to me. Playing great football or 120 minutes then losing by PKs in the end ? Honestly ? Does that really happen anywhere on the earth ?
      I didn’t really expect a lot in 2006 so it wasn’t disastrous for me , though I felt sad too , of course , after Portugal game , but it was easy to get over this tournament.

  21. Here is how I felt after each loss:

    1) 1998 WC semi vs Brazil -> Utter saddness! What a terrible luck! We were the better team. What if Neuman didn’t get red-carded the game before and his sub (Bogarde) didn’t get injured during training causing Cocu to cover a position that is not his natural one, which lead to Ronaldo’s goal!

    2) 2000 EC semi vs Italy -> Disbelief! Missing 2 penalties in 1 game and playing one man up most of the game. You have to be kidding me.

    3) 2006 WC Rd 16 vs Portugal -> Anger. All the acting and and time killing tactics by Portugal should have been punished harsher. The ref should have red-carded himself.

    4) 2008 EC QF vs Russia -> How can 1 unknown Russian player (Arshavin) dominate the whole midfield! If it wasn’t for VDS, Russia would have won in regulation. How can we lose to a team that was demolished by Spain twice!

    5) 2010 WC Final vs Spain -> Would I see Oranje play in a WC again in my lifetime?

  22. For me the 1998 and 2000 tournaments were painful to see that after such good displays the team could not kill the games and ended up with empty hands. That generation had it all…defence, midfield and a brilliant attack with young and experienced players who won it all at club level.

    And in 2010 although the team did not play spectacular they won every game and against Spain I think it was a very tight game…if Robben had scored…

    In 2014 it is not expected a lot from Oranje and that can play as an advantage for the squad. I think we will progress first round and after that anything is possible. Everybody is afraid of Brazil but actually I find them more beatable this time than in 2010…sure, they play at home but they a young squad and do not have the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Cafu, etc…their superstar is Neymar and he is a work in progress. I think that if Holland reaches the next round we can start dreaming again.

  23. Robin van Persie and Daryl Janmaat clash with kite surfer


    This was today’s headline. The lads had an afternoon off and went to the beach. RVP and Janmaat went into the water for a swim and got crushed by an idiot with a kite who crashed right where the lads were swimming. Janmaat got hit in the head. “It hurt a bit but I’m ok.”

    Sneijder and others went for a walk with LVG on the beach only to be recognised fairly soon. “At first it seemed we were in trouble with the people coming at us, but they all meant well and it was quite alright.”

    Clasie: “I don’t think about starting against Spain. I think about doing my stinking best every moment. And then I’ll think about starting once my name is on the team sheet. Just being here is already great and I won’t get lost in the clouds thinking about being a starter.”

  24. By the way:

    THANKS to all who have donates some digits in my account for support of the blog…. It is TRULY appreciated and makes a difference guys….

    Really cool…. 🙂

  25. my sad memories go all the way to 1990!!!

    European champions going to the world cup, we had very high hopes then the famous story about players problems with the manager, and the ugly end in the second round!!!

    then the one that hurts me really the most is the 1992 euros in sweden!!! that 1992 oranje no one talks about or gives it enough credit!!! for me that was the sweetest oranje every to watch!!! having rijkaard koeman gullit van basten and adding to them bergkamp, witschge, de boer and brayn roy, they were unbelievable!!! the way they circulated the ball and how accurate their passing was, they used to amaze me!! they humiliated the germans in the first round beating them 3-1 and almost kicking them out from the first round. Then the sad part is that in semifinal they dont take denmark seriously and the saddest is that germany who was almost out in the first round qualifies to the final to play denmark that year!!!

    Then that 1998-2000 semfinal penalties against brazil and italy!!!
    i need to stop before my blood pressure goes up!!


      1. Listen Fraek,
        Tiju has been coming here since pre 2006 world cup.
        and Laurent has been on this website for a long long while as well, and both have been pouring and writing comments and posts in the thousands.

        yes theres definitely some weirdness in most of Tiju’s quotes, and yes theres a lot of over-criticism and defeatism from both.. But thats just personality.

        Just, respect, live and let live. Thats not so hard is it?

        1. You appear to have posted the same comment twice. I hope you are not having trouble with your computing, or developing a tumour.
          I answered your mistaken assumptions above ^ when you posted the first time. I suggest you read my reply to said post before you finish ejaculating your copy pasted opinion across this comments section. I thank you. And agree with you about the ‘weirdness’, the ‘over-criticism’ and the ‘defeatism’. But not the ‘personality’.

  26. hi guys…been here since the old place but rarely posting anything…thought i wanna share something with u guys here..found this info which really annoyed me..

    according to 2014 world cup guide (writers’ prediction), 4 of them voted our oranje as the team to underperform…WTH…???

  27. Tiju what about South Korea losing 4-0 to Ghana ?

    Friendlies don’t mean much but when you just lost to Tunisia one week ago, lost 4-0 to Mexico and 2-0 to USA some months ago…It’s starting to get worrying.

  28. Jordi Bitter free transfer to Almere City
    Emenrink free transfer to DHC Delft
    Braafhart free transfer to Hoek
    Rick Dekker free transfer to Utrecht
    Van Der Meer free transfer to Zwolle
    Wouter Marinus free transfer to Zwolle
    Hoogdorp transfer to Utrecht

  29. The betting rate of Spain vs Holland.
    Spain 1.80(Draw 3.15)Holland 3.75

    Do not get me wrong.I don’t talk about gamble.It is how the bookmakers stated it.
    From this point,it is a 50-50 game.

    I am rooting for Oranje.Hup Holland Hup.

  30. That Portugal game wasnt a really hard/tough game..more a constant series of lil fouls

    still angry at vanBasten for not taking vBommel back then.

    1. Just watched it Bitterballen…sadly I agree with everything they say:

      Hislop is spot on regarding Sneijder, the other older gentleman (not sure of his name) spot on regarding the 3 three, and the analysis regarding Van Gaal is right, what pressure is there on the coach to perform?

      What are your thoughts on the feedback in the video?

      1. This starting 11 makes the most sense for me:

        —Robben—De Jong—Sneijder—
        —–Van Persie—-Lens———

        (With Depay main sub for Van Persie)

        play Sneijder a little deeper with De Jong, the lineup above gives us the best chance to win, but Van Gaal deciding to play Clasie, the same type of player as a Sneijder and feeding Robben alogn with Van Persie up front, who is not 100%, I will sit back and hope we find a way to succeed, any thoughts guys?

        1. Jimmy, I am abig fan of hislop generally speaking, he has a good eye for the game and makes solid points. I disagree about his point about sneijder however, I think Wes is peaking at the right Time.

          I do think LVG will be distracted although he has something to prove and I’m sure it would be much easier heading to United on the back of a World Cup victory.

          I like your lineup as well, I think lens has been the most underrated player, he brings a Lot to the table and is tough. Maybe I would swap him and robben in your lineup as he can defend well but I agree he must be included.

          Anyone think Krul needed more game time in case we needed him? Shocker that LVG didn’t give him even half a game to play during the last few friendlies!!

        2. Robben will not track back and he can’t defend. Lens can and should be switched with Robben.

          I think the reason Clasie will play against Spain is that we will be deprived of possession and having one creative midfielder who can distribute will put too much pressure on him… If we have only Sneijder to distribute that very little of the ball we have, he would be easily marked and he won’t get to feed anything forward.

          I think Clasie will need to play.

    2. Yes I agree…I thought that Krul was the goalie of choice for Van Gaal, totally shocked he got no time at all in any of the friendlies, I even thought Vorm would be the solid number 2 going in to the tournament.

      You never know I guess what the coach is thinking…that is why he is the coach

  31. I don’t remember anything about football on that match….The only thing I remember was yellow and red colour…. Oranje naturally does not play hard tackle game but they will if the other team started it.

  32. Responding to a few threads:
    1) Tighter uniforms. Yup almost everyone is making skin tight uniforms. Harder to grab and easier to show off those muscles. RvP might be the most obvious gratutious flexer.
    2) Biggest disappointment. Lots of random chance, but I guess the biggest shock was 2000 – how in the world did they not score? And 1994 – wish Gullit had been there.
    3) Chances. Huge amount of luck for everyone. You have to hope that in 1 month that you can mould a team. Van Gaal is gambling that a few young players will really really want to prove themselves.

    1. Tiju why you chose football and not UFC or Muay Thai?

      You seem to be fascinated by strong players, strong mental etc. which isn’t a bad thing, we all agree about it, but it’s an obsession for you.

      Holland is reputated for its technical football, not for having lions or whatever.

      You have plenty of sports where the physical strenght is more important than the technical, why you chose football ?!

      1. @laurent all these guys are technically very good even Dejong can hold the ball in his feet more time than our offensive player kuyt.They might lack some visio compared to persie and Roben but they are real dutch players with lesser vision.But definitly not bad as Afellay or Elia or Brapheid

    1. I think that is good news. Slows down the game, and makes crosses into the box with taller players more important. We have Hunter (who may have to start), Vlaar, De Vrij, Janmaat, and so on. Spain’s weakness is that they are relatively short as a team, with some exceptions like Pique and Busquets, and Costa if he is healthy (bad for him to run around on a wet field with his injury) — although Ramos is excellent in the air.

  33. I’ve read and listened too many negativity against the Dutch team. The whole world is expecting us to go out on the group phase or the next round to Brazil.

    It’s time Holland shuts some mouths.

    Even though I myself admit we might not have the best team in Dutch history, I believe we have a very balanced team which with the right mentality can go very far.

    Our group is difficult but since when Chile has been a top nation? we’ve to kick their asses and we will. Australia and Chile are “MUST WIN” games.

    Spain will be very confident against us wanting to prove they are worthy champions but I believe we will be growing in the game and then anything can happen.

    1. Totally agree!!

      If we are not curse by injuries, we can defeat anyone. And as Dutch fans, we all know that the WC is not necessary won by the best teams.

    2. Yes Miguel,i agree with you.

      Our present squad is weaker than the past but that doesn’t mean Oranje is definately a loser.I heck care how they highly look upon other strong opponents.Even if our team is knock out in the early stage.Becos we are Oranje fans.We support Oranje and we bleed for Oranje….

    1. Top link. Enjoyed every second of that video, so thanks for considering to post it.

      His assist in the final is the only omission in the video, but the rest is very good. It tells the story as it is. How Robben turned from hero to villain, to hero again. Now a Bayern legend and one of the best wingers in the 21st century. Arguably the best winger Netherlands ever produced. IMO the only player pushing himself into an all time squad:

      (just a suggestion)

      1. You’re welcome. Robben is just a genius. It is great to have such mentality as Arjen. A player who never give up till he reaches his goal.

        Also the line up is lovely , though I would definitely try to find a place for Bergkamp. Reading Wilkes name was so nice. extremely few people mention his name when it comes to the best dutch team of all time.


  34. Which former squad does this year’s team remind you all of?

    a)1992 Euro Cup squad
    b)2004 Euro cup squad
    c)2006 World cup squad
    d)2008 Euro cup squad
    e)2010 World cup squad

    1. > “(Only one player missed. Guess who?)”

      Look at his run-up. That is what I mean. How is it possible that players as far as into the Dutch NT still do the basics wrong. It does not matter that there are plenty players that are still able to make goal out of it. Yes, it can still be a goal. IMO it’s about giving yourself the maximum chance to make a goal out of it. Top sport is about percentages. Cutting back on all matters that leave things up to chance. Gaining 1% more control, and then another 1% is what top sport is IMO. A run-up without conviction and proper balance is unacceptable, especially at this level.

      Every time I see players already messing up the basics, is like a slap in my face. Keepers idem dito.

      Good from van Gaal to stand up close, creating extra pressure. Little things.

  35. Not on the list but the low points for me were listening to the full time score of the Spain Malta game in 1981/2 (having known the half time score was only 3-1) and 4 years later not making Mexico in 86 because of Belgium. 1990 was a horrible car crash when I knew things would be life-long tough. By 2010 I was so inured to the pain I just shook my head. Whilst my son ran to his room crying I think my hurt just went straight to that little room inside marked PAIN – Do Not Open.

  36. I think that our weakest link this WC is not the defense, but rather the goalkeeper. I wonder what LVG sees in Cillessen! Why not Crul!!!

  37. I watched a little bit of the training and it seems like there’s no trouble between BMI and Robben. It was well managed by the whole group by not giving more attention to the fight.

  38. For some reason I don’t remember the EC 2000 game at all, but the 1998 semi-finals loss at WC I will remember for the rest of my life. For some reason it was a bit worse than in 2000, because I think that the 1998 generation was probably one of the most talented group of footballers ever (not just Dutch). Not to mention we had Hiddink at the reins. I rate him the #1 coach in the world.

    A lot of you seem to forget 2004 euros as well. I think we had a real chance to win that one as well. After all that was where we broke the penalty curse, finally.

    It’s not easy being a Dutch fan. I think it’s fair to say that compared to the size of the country, Netherlands has produced the most talented players. Yet only one trophy in the cabinet. I think the main reason for that is lack of confidence, mental strength and GRIT.

    1. By the way the ‘small nation’ excuse (which I too hear more often than not) is NOT VALID for me. I really don’t like hearing this because the Dutch have produced enough talent to overcome this. Furthermore Uruguay (small nation) won the World Cup more times than France, Spain, and England.

      It’s all about player development, youth programs, etc.

      We should have won 1-3 times by now. However, i am positive we will win a couple in my lifetime 🙂

  39. The failure to qualifier in 2002 WC has to be No 1 on the list and this will go down as one of the greatest underachievement in Dutch Soccer history Obviously under Van Gaal and yet people her call him master tactician. All the big names from 1998 WC and 2000EC with new comers Hasselbaink, and Van Nistelrooy. For me I though this squad would have won the WC but it turned out to be a disaster. I was utter disappointed that year and couldn’t believe in our failure to qualify.

    As for 2010 I felt bitter rather than disappointed because of the stage at which we considered that late goal but than again Spain had more depth in their squad then us and that is what matters at the WC especially at that stage.

  40. @Jimmy Floyd….Mohammed… have to be joking about Kuyt. He was the reason why we couldn’t penetrate vs Spain in the final because of his constant back passing. He is in same boat as Blind …no speed to propel and playing him at the back with the likes of Aguero, Neymar Hulk,, Pedro, Silva, Cavani and etc. Time to wake guys….. he is out of Fashion… No offense to him.

  41. Freak you’re fucking silly

    Jan can eventually block my e-mail adress but it takes about 2 minutes to create a new one. He can also eventually block my IP but I can connect on my mobile or go to my neighbor friend to write.

    Except moderating all the posts, there is no way to block someone on such blogs. Or maybe an ignoring option.

  42. Busquets said that people shouldn’t underestimate Holland.

    He said that spanish players should essentially control Sneijder, RVP and Robben.

    Personnally I think that Lens and Depay can be more dangerous than RVP.

    1. I agree with you here Laurent, Lens could be far more dangerous. It’s really ridiculous that we abandoned 4-3-3 because one player wasn’t fit for brazil. Now these chaps have to learn a whole new system In 3 friendlies that excludes one of our toughest players and implement this system on football’s biggest stage. LVG might be a great club manager but never won me over.

      By the way I try to always give credit where it’s due and I definitely sense more positivity from you in regards to Holland and the team. I think despite all the heartbreak we all want Holland to succeed and as we approach the tournament this feeling becomes clearer.


      1. Thanks Bitterballen, I have absolutly no problem with you or anybody else here, even not Jeff. It’s normal to have diffent opinions, to have little clashs etc. but as long as we don’t know each other personnally, there is no reason to hate or give value judgements.

        1. Speaking about football, RVP can be good to hold the ball like he did in 2010 against Spain. He had some nice balls conservation that helped us to go out from our half. That’s why I absolutly don’t want Huntelaar to start in such games, we would lose the ball as soon as we get it every time.

          But RVP may have hard times against spanish defenders, RVP is not good at winning challenges in my opinion, if you put a strong defender like Ramos behind him, he won’t make the difference. He lacks both pure speed and physical strenght.

          Lens can offer his speed but I don’t know. I have the feeling Lens will be scared. Lens has scored some crazy goals in his career, remember the one against Heracles. He can dribble, he can accelerate, but with NT he doesn’t do it at all, he plays a bit too shy in my opinion.

          Depay can offer his skills without any doubt, and physical strenght. Ramos can have hard times against a confident Depay.

          1. @Laurent ; Would you prefer to use sneijder deep beside De jong , With Persie , Robben and Depay upfront ?
            I would really like to see that formation though seems unlikely.

          2. We will have 3 CB playing quite low in my opinion, Spain having possession in our half. De Jong cannot run after spanish players, he isn’t that type of midfielders, he will probably also play quite low, just in front of the defence.
            So mabye starting with Clasie is the right idea, he is weak physically but he knows how to harass his opponent. DRB said that Clasie is a bit like Verrati, which I agree with, and Verrati played a very good game last year against Barcelona. I think Clasie should be the player we’ll have to sacrifice to run behind the ball. De Jong staying behind, Sneijder ahead.

            Sneijder in the deep position would be better against weak teams in my opinion. Perfect choice for Australia, no need to defend much.

            Van Gaal shouldn’t take risks against Spain in my opinion, it’s the first game, the strongest team of the group (on the paper at least), so a draw or short loss wouldn’t be that bad.

    1. but perhaps there are two things to make us positive this time 😀 :
      1- Howard Webb will NOT be the refree this time.
      2- The refree will be …. Yuichi Nishimura , The refree in our game vs Brazil in the quarter-finals last WC. Yes , It was him who red cardrd filipe Melo 😉 .

  43. @DRB300 : I’d kinda like to know how do you rate Blind. Do you think he is/will be good enough for Oranje ? How far do you think he can go ? Do you prefer him as LB or a DMF ?

    Sorry if I am asking too much .

    Cheers 🙂

    1. I prefer him in DM. I actually think Blind can look forward to a career as his father. Also a slow but steady climber. His luck was that he got an unusual lot of time to settle in at Ajax 1. He did pay out the trust though. Many forget how much slack he got in his period that he was not good enough for Ajax.

      His father had a problem called Koeman. Simply a better player. If his future is indeed in DM than in the future he could face an equal situation. He can still climb further, but if he has to compete with a natural top talent than I do not see him winning that. Possibly Ake. Ayoub. Bazoer. Who knows.

      Blind falls short in delivery in the final third. His conversion rate is low. His cross is not special. His handling speed is oke, but certainly not top class. His long balls from the back are not that creative. He stands his own often, but is physically not that imposing either. A Swiss knife, but not something a top chef would use, though this metaphor is selling him a tad short. Just want to get the general idea across.

      Blind is just not special in anything. I do not see a peek in one of his quality’s that belongs to the best of the world. He is just generally oke. Like on left back. It’s commendable that he is called the best left back from the Netherlands by van Gaal, but the fact that the same van Gaal said we have a problem at left back in the youth development as a country tells the story, doesn’t it? Blind is oke, but not good enough to compete with, against the international top.

      It’s hard to say with these gradual improvers if they will pull a Dirk Kuyt. A guy many thought reached his limit at FC Utrecht and then just kept going on. I think that he will keep on making little steps every year like his father, but at the same time it’s waiting for that natural top talent to overtake him sooner or later. Ake could be that player. If he moves to Vitesse and has a good start, we could maybe see this line up in the second half of qualification for the Euro:

      (Kongolo was stand in for de Vrij for a long time and has played a lot as right center back in the youth)

      I will say that I think Blind will always be there as back up. Picking up his caps here and there. Helping out when there are injuries, also at left back. I would be disappointed if he is the pillar we build on for the future though. Too little creativity, too little finesse in the final third, too little quality long ball distribution, no world class handling speed. I rate Ake’s composure as potentially higher. Ake does have an issue in the creativity department. That’s why I think Clasie will not be out of the picture that simple. He brings something very interesting. Look at that pass on RvP vs Equador. That is what I saw in Clasie from the game vs Scotland U21 on, some years ago. He can also enhance the speed of the game. That is special to have.

      Then there will be Hendrix from PSV, Bazoer from Ajax, Ayoub from FC Utrecht. It will be something for Blind to hold them all off. That is, if Hiddink does not go for 2 BtoB players and a 10 in front of them like Manchester City. Then van Ginkel and Stroot will be picked over him surely. Bazoer is also more vertical. Ebecilio. He will be left out just from a profile perspective, rather than (only) quality. I realize that I left out Vilhena from Feyenoord, but that player must become more solid defensively and is more a 10. Not the refined type mind you. Scoring type.

      I am looking forward at the time after this WC. Cheers.

      1. Thank you DRB300.
        I liked your post WC line up.
        Hiddink may also go for a 4-4-2 as I think he prefers this strategy , With a diamond shape midfield.

        _________ Cilessen _______
        Janmaat _ kongolo _ Rekik _ Willems
        ________ Ake/Clasie _____
        Ginkel _____________ Strootman
        ________ Sneijder/nouri ___

        ___Persie/Kishna _ Robben/Depay _

        what do you think ?


        1. I think the teams in qualification (that is what we will do for 2 years) are too weak to not try to benefit from at maximum.

          I also think we have still 2 world class players for at least 1 more year. After that the drop off can be right around the corner, but van Gaal is going for RvP at least 1 more year (canceled Cavani?) and Robben is just such a hungry top sport athlete, he will be a force for another year as well.

          However, exactly at the other side we have 3 very nice talents in development. Depay, Boëtius and Ola John. Against teams in qualification Ola’s lack of grit becomes less of a burden and his attacking quality’s can shine more. Then he is lovely to have. I look at these 3 players with quite some excitement. They all bring something different to the table.

          Depay: Brute power, trickery, drive, distance shot. More of an one man army.

          Boëtius has more speed, but is actually very sensitive for his surrounding. Looks to combine. Looks for fellow players to create intricate passing or at least some combinations. The better the players around him, the better JP is. More refined that Depay. Has through ball ability and not a bad cross either.

          However, if we mention crosses, we have to name Ola John. Saw it just recently with U21 again. Castaignos not converting IIRC. Ola’s cross is something to behold. If he is just capable to make a good next career choice, with regular playing time, he can become a nice surprise for us, while we already set sights a bit on the guys behind him.

          I personally choose these exciting players over a diamond. Besides, Sneijder’s quality shows more with every fast player in front of him. The more speedy guys he can serve, the better his main quality will shine. If he drops off further in Turkey and Afellay will make an impact at his new club, we can see something like this:

          Also cool. City style with 2 BtoB players behind a 10 player, though their “wingers” are positioned slightly different.

          However if that happens with the 10, a lot can happen. It means the 10 position has become more evenly than “ever”. We will see a huge hunt opened on the spot between all the 10(-ish) talent we have, trying to make a case for themselves:

          * Sneijder
          * vdV
          * Afellay
          * Wijnaldum
          * Promes
          * Ziyeck
          * Vilhena
          * Maher

          There is always a hunt going on, but this time people might get their fair shot. Interesting to see how this plays out. I am interested in what Promes can do over there. I also think him and Boëtius from the left would bring more football as a “pair”, specifically playing closer to each other and both having speed. I also think RvP will enjoy a Promes kind of player behind him, in case his buddy Afellay is not getting the spot. Promes was voted best player of the Jupiler league a year ago and this season was one of the best in Eredivisie. 2 seasons of consistency. That’s why he caught my eye lately.

          Nouri is way to early. Is for after the Euro 2016 I think, as almost all talents from 1996.


          1. Thank you for another great reading. So excited about Oranje future.
            Let’s enjoy this WC and look optimistically forward 😉 .


  44. Laurent,

    The problem with RVP for me is that he clearly isn’t playing at 100% and to beat Spain you need to be playing at 110% unless your sidekicks are in fantastic form. My worry is that RVP will try to play an excellent game and will either: a) get injured in the process or b) not be able to penetrate spain’s sound defense being 70-80% fit.

    LVG is putting too much responsibility on Robben and a less-than-fit RVP to carry this team’s attacking threat. Against Australia it could work but not against Spain and probably not against Chile either.

    By the time we go to Lens or Depay it might be too late.

    As I said in another post we should use Lens, RVP, and Robben against Spain to take some weight off RVP’s shoulders, rest RVP for game 2 and see where we are in the standings by game 3. We might not even need to use RVP until the R16 so he has time to heal.

    And in regards to Depay, he shows promise but does not convince me yet against big teams. He might get schooled by Ramos. And by the way of all the Spaniards it is Ramos who freaks me the f**ck out the most. He keeps scoring… and from headers! Beast !

  45. Ramos and pique will play a physical game may be busquets to,so playing RVP as striker is not a good idea vs spain i hope we bench either 1 of sneijder or RVP,this time let it be RVP coz is injured.its too bad that we lost Vaart and strootman ,both were the best with RVP during WCQ matches.i think its wise to go with 433 rather than 532.but over all i feel if we go with 532 we will end up in draw or will loose,Like Bitterbalen said Ramos is a dagger in headings.really a nightmare for any team,he almost scored vs stekelnburg in final with in 20 minutes of the game.
    I feel really sorry for Cillessen,Blind,BMI,Devrij(slow) for this team they are worst players in our current starting eleven.It becomes more worse when your top class players cannot play/press 45 minutes of a game(sneijder and RVP).
    Against Ramos and pique LVG must use LEROY FER as striker.He will Toy both of them physically.At the ame time Lens,Roben and wijnaldum can Bomb from wings..
    is the current best players to face Spain
    RVP and sneijder can come from bench since both are not fit.

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