Naive Oranje falls in German trap. Again.

When Ronald Koeman criticised his team for playing gallery football vs Belarus, he was clearly trying to temper the optimism in and around the team… Good goals, no goals conceded, some nice gallery play… Oranje will win the Euros AND the World Cup.

Koeman knew, that with a vengeful Germany coming to Amsterdam, he needed to get his team to be sharp and forget about Belarus. I mean… Belarus!

People in Holland were already claiming Oranje would beat the dreadful Germans 5-0!! As if. And Germany was never in the same situation as Oranje recently. We didn’t qualify for 2 major tournaments! In a row. That is not the same as an older Germany team that disappointed at the World Cup.

And that is what we saw in the Holland – Germany game. There was nothing mediocre about Germany.

On Saturday, before the game, Koeman already predicted that it was going to be a tactical game. “You never know which Germany shows up. They have been trying at least three systems in the past year… We don’t know who he’ll play or in what system he’ll play.”

Koeman is another coach in a not so long list of coaches who adapts his team and tactics to the situation. 4-3-3 was sacred for a long time. Van Basten made some changes in that system, Van Marwijk followed him and stuck to 4-2-3-1 for a long time. Van Gaal even went a step further with 5 at the back. A system Koeman tried and tested too.

Just like in an earlier match vs our neighbours, Koeman needed a tactical switch at half time to get his team to respond to a very good playing Germany.

The first 25 minutes…

Koeman already emphasized before the game that it was ridiculous for people to be too optimistic about the result. Oranje was tremendously effective in that 2-2 match, which Germany didn’t deserve to draw and decided to use Promes for Bergwijn, as the former has been playing as a wing back for Sevilla and doing really well in that role, allowing for more flexibility in his team. And with the tactical trick Low came up with (Goretzka playing as offensive mid to make Frenkie’s life hard), this was a good thing too.

Oranje without possession

Koeman and Lodeweges jotting down new tactics for 2nd half

When Oranje doesn’t have the ball, they revert back to a 5-4-1. With Babel (right), Promes (left) and Wijnaldum and De Roon in the mid section behind Memphis. Frenkie de Jong would drop back as third centre back, just like we did against France. De Ligt and Van Dijk can pressure forward when the situation arises, in this set up, as Gnabry and Sane love to wander and drift. Once Oranje loses possession for a spell, Holland plays even more compact, with Promes dropping back as left back, Blind squeezing inside as centre back and Frenkie de Jong pushing into midfield to put more pressure on the ball.

Oranje in possession

When Oranje does have possession, they stick to the 4-2-3-1. The main issue in this situation, is Goretzka, as he interrupts the passing line to De Jong, which blocks a quick and direct build up for Oranje.

Build up to the 0-1

The lack of grip in the first stage of the game is apparent in te 15th minute. A long ball doesn’t arrive, Gnabry drops back to midfield, plays into Kroos who has the field in front of him and without real pressure on the ball. Then, it all goes quick for Germany. Kroos launches Schulz on the left flank and his cross is expertly finished by Sane. De Ligt slips, which is a bonus for Sane, but Oranje’s centre is complete played off the turf by the running patterns of Sane and Gnabry. And even with Frenkie and Daley assisting Van Dijk and De Ligt, it simply isn’t enough for Oranje to get grip on the dynamic Germans.

Minute 26 – 45

Midway the first half, Koeman makes changes. Babel moves to the left and Promes will play on the right, converting to a classic 5-4-1 once Germany has possession. A copy of the tactics from Gelsenkirchen when Holland wiped the 0-2 off the board, to finish 2-2.

Oranje when Germany in possession

This seems to work wonders. In the first 5 minutes, Babel gets two massive opportunities, both presented to him by Promes. Germany realises quickly, by realising that they can now find space via the axis on the pitch. In the 34th minute, Gnabry benefits from this, when De Ligt doubts whether he should press on. Van Dijk has similar doubts with Goretzka. Rudiger recognises the moment and plays over the top to Gnabry. Van Dijk seems to push him to the left wing, but he doesn’t do enough. Gnabry turns inside and curls the ball into the top corner: 0-2.

Minute 46 – 87

In the half time break, the situation seems desperate. Holland is 0-2 down and has no control over the match, whatsoever. The biggest pain points: De Roon can’t get close to Kroos. And Gnabry is continuously unmarked while Oranje has no alternative for build up if Frenkie de Jong can’t be reached. Frenkie de Jong: “Our biggest issues were in midfield. Gnabry, Sane and Goretzka were constantly free. We were simply not positioned right and didn’t press on well enough. We also didn’t press Germany to the side well enough.”

Koeman brings Bergwijn for Babel and that was the difference. Holland switches to 5-3-2 and goes toe to toe with Germany. And suddenly, Germany is struggling to find the free man.

Another switch was made by Koeman in midfield. Now, Wijnaldum takes care of Kroos and he does a much better job. And Memphis and Bergwijn manage to push the ball to Ginter, which stops Germany using the strong left side (Schulz, Kroos, Sane). And Germany resides to long balls forward, which is bread and butter for Van Dijk and De Ligt.

These are all the ingredients needed by Oranje to stage a comeback.

It helps that Holland gets the 1-2 very early in the second half, from a super cross by Memphis onto the head of De Ligt. His first Oranje goal.

A good attacking move, started by Blind and executed well by Promes before it reaches Memphis via Wijnaldum, and Memphis scores the 2-2. Low tries to regain control by bringing Gudogan for Goretzka but Holland controls the match, as it is easier for the Dutch to forward press with Frenkie in midfield and Daley as third centre back.

But, as per usual, it is the individual class that will determine the end result. In this case, its Marco Reus. He surprises De Roon on the inside and passes the ball to the forward runner Schulz. It’s a combi of Reus’ class and miscommunication in Oranje that causes this goal, with De Roon ending up as right back and Dumfries completely lost.

The loss was unnecessary. Also something Koeman realised. “I am to blame. I could have made the change. It was 10 minutes before the end, I considered bringing Ake for Promes and cherish the draw. But we kept on attacking and Promes looked fresh and I figured we would win this 3-2 at the death. But we lost it.”

But the loss is not that terrible. Oranje should win all other matches and get a result away in Germany. Why not? And matches like this are necessary for the team to learn to self adept. In stead of waiting for the coach to come up with the solutions. Daley Blind, Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Gini Wijnaldum… You’d expect some initiative from them too.

With Davy Propper fit again and Donny van de Beek chomping at the bits, I can see Marten de Roon lose his spot. I also believe we have better right backs available… I hope Karsdorp will have a string of games soon as I believe he is better at this point than Dumfries…

Source: The Excellent VI Pro


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  1. Excellent analysis Jan. Germany was never going to be a pushover. Sane and Gnabry are young, fast, and world class. Low clearly got the message that he needed to move on from the older generation. And Germany was always going to be highly motivated this game. I was very encouraged by both the tactical adjustments and fight back. We have a deep pool of young talent that should prevent anyone from getting too complacent about their place in the starting 11 (other than maybe Frenkie, Memphis, snd Virgil, who seem to have have embraced their roles and responsibilities as spine of reborn Oranje). We have swept qualifying runs in the past and then disappointed in the tournament. Some speed bumps and learning experiences during qualifying can only benefit this young squad in the long run.

  2. Great job Jan. No one is talking about it. I think Frenkie De Jong was the biggest disappointment of the game. In my opinion he didn’t do shit except for the ball that he lost and then get it back from a tackle. The defensive mid have failed big time but at least De Jong should have been taken off the game. He made very little impact for someone Barcelona just gave all that money. I think De jong got some talent bu I think the media made him larger than what he is at the moment. He spent the entire game wondering around. I would advise everyone to relax cause we are a long way to go. By the way, we may find ourselves in a scary position because our next game in with Germany which we may loose and by that time, the Northern Ireland will be way ahead, I’m just saying.

  3. Koeman should have feilde dthe excat team feild vs France.From the begining berjwin should have been there…anyways we cannt do this kind of mistake in crunch matches..
    i still feel vulnerability at LB..there is no back up for some star players..Ake should be 1 Dm for us with st juste on bench
    as starters
    ——Gravenberch—Van debeek—–
    from bench

  4. Yes there is the tactical element, but I also think we lost as Koeman (and it’s hard to criticise) is becoming a bit to comfortable in his squad selection.

    Take for example, Gareth Southgate and England. After years of drivel, Southgate has been picking players by merit, and continuously blooding new faces. He did not stop after one good World Cup. He’s still recognising that England still have a way to go to finish the repair job.

    Koeman seems to have blooded new players at the start and has now seeming stagnated on this process.

    For example, what is Strootman still doing in the squad. Why has there been little experimentation of the young players who could either player the no.9 role or be a better back up to Memphis than Luuk de Jong.

    Blooding new players, even if they don’t make it onto the pitch, helps keep the so called establishment on their toes.

    Koeman must continue to introduce new players, and completely phase out the likes of Strootman and Luuk de Jong who have nothing left to offer in my opinion.

    The othe poison that concerns me in big games is De Roon’s position. I like De Roon. He would make my squad. However I do feel that his position requires someone with more aggression and is better at sensing the danger. Like Arturo Vidal is doing for Barca, Alan at Napoli like Viera, Roy Keane, Davids, Cambiasso, Effenburg, Gattuso did for their respective teams.

    Do we have any young players coming through in the defensive midfield position with these qualities?

    And when I say aggression, I don’t just mean flying into tackles. I mean aggressive with reading of the game, on the front foot senseing threat, and when the midfield or defensive is being overrun, someone who’s prepared to do battle.

    1. One counter arguement in relation to the england stuation could be the talents that the english teams are now producing in the youth ranks. It has taken them some years to do this.

      In contrast if you compare this to the dutch situation the transition is brady hopeless. You look at the AZ alkmaar contigent, the trio of Til, Ouwejan and koopmeiners.they featured extensively in the u21s but no break through in NT. Rosario over Koopmeiners, I just dont understand. Well I dont think rosario will get his break (rotation) either. I dont know why the dutch selectors have been so critical on potential players who feature for teams other than top three. Things needs to change.

      Again another example is to that of thomas buitink who scored his first hattrick for vitesse over the weekend.he was overlooked in the u19s who bombed out of the euros for Redan and zirkzee who were overall disappointing.if this continues the future will continue to be blink as other teams will continue to be one step ahead of the dutch no matter what or how good the production line for dutch talents currently is.

  5. I see koeman doing what van gaal did when he took over from Bert Van Mawjik. He assessed a group of players and then tried to build the team around key figures at that time mainly strootman, Robben, van persie. This was prior to strootmans injury.for koeman being van dijk, Memphis and wijnaldum. Van gaal was master strategist while koeman seems to be following his footsteps. Van gaal managed to pull the strings today after strootmans injury but not sure about koeman if he will be able to if any of the big three gets injured.

    I also agree with what Jean_ Venette has said about the complexity of the pool now. If t NT fail to go pass the german in the second round, they will find themselve in a tight corner.

    I was expecting some new faces this time around with the likes of locadia who has found his feet at Brighton. Bacuna as well and surprisingly he was also omitted from the u21s. This guy loves contact football and tackling and could have the solution in the midfielder.unfortunately for him the club is confirmed to be relegated to the championship next season. Hopefully he finds a new club or returns to eredivisie. If not just like van drongelen, use the championship as the platform to further his development and hope to get promotion back to epl after next season. Still 18 so….

    Koeman really needs the build the depth, especially in the midfield. He wont be getting it right everytime and I think Reus introduction was not just a timly one by low but he had figured out what had happened. (Tatical shift by koeman). Being said this Low will definitely be in the front seat come second leg and will know exactly where to hit hard after this game. I mean playing with a recognized striker instead of aux wingers.

  6. I have been keeping tabs on El Ghazi now for sometime now and I like what I see. The return of Jack Grealish has propel them into the playoffs position. El ghazi has been equally involved in their recent form. It will be intresting to see how far aston villa can go or el ghazi returns to lille who could quality directly in CL. He only lacks consistency other wise he could be a good partner for depay upfront like sane and Gnabry.

    1. El ghazi intelligence level is too low to to be considered in to top team..He wont make the cut due to lack of vision and game intelligence at least..

          1. Fat pig had everything he never lacked intelligence like Elghazi..wat he lacked was lack of running in the feild.Now He works his butt off for them team and he s the false striker now,changed his spot where he doesnt need to be superfast.Intelligence is hereditory we cannot built up that..Elghazi lacks it…

          2. again out of context.he never lacked ” running on the field”. his move to Man United was too early as he couldnt adpot to the high intensity and the physical demands of the epl. this was what all the experts said after his failure at Man United. Lyon became a stepping stone for him because the intensity is just right and now he has adopted to play in all the formation as winger, striker or false striker in various formation under coach Bruno Génésio.

            El Ghazi is more a winger. he has all the qualities of a winger but can be inconsistent at times. his move to lille was a abrupt one also as he was still trying to come to his feet at Ajax.his term at lille was again disrupted with injuries and now he has finally found his foot at Aston villa. he only needs to continue this form and try to shift another gear next season. he can be a good replacement for babel.

            if other youngsters like Dilrosun, Stengs, bergwijn prove other wise, then its another story.

  7. Koeman screwed up. He is really stiff. I agree that he keeps selecting same set of players. He seems to think that since he beat France and Germany that selection will keep repeating that success. But you can’t expect Babel to be consistent at this age, he wasn’t consistent is his youth years either. We also can’t assume that Depay will carry the attack all by himself forever. We need new players outside of Promes, Babel, Luuk deJong. I am sure Holland has a talent somewhere but Koeman seems too hell bent to use same set of players and that can really hurt us. Imagine, if we lose the next game in Germany we will be in real trouble as we will probably need to win all the remaining games and I don’t trust our squad to handle that type of pressure.

  8. I have feeling koeman might rope in Robben at some stage after he moves from Bayern at the end of this summer. this could also be his last chance to redeem himself and possibly a last shot at Ballon D’Or which could be quiet possible if can win the champions league in another team and lead NT to euro triumph. Im just thinking here given the style which Klopp is deploying at Liverpool. I mean the axuillary wing systen,Robben could a perfect fit there and I wont be suprised if klopps decides to lure him with salah struggling im front of goal.

    1. Love the idea of Robben coming back. He and Koeman would have to have some long discussions about his role though. From what I’ve seen, Koeman is demanding that they take on alot of defensive responsibility…would you even want Robben doing that and sacrificing his peculiar offensive talents to defense, and would he be asked to play in the qualifiers, or do you just bring him into the extended camp for the Euro and WC tournaments. All would need to be talked through, but it would terrific to see him back for the NT.

      With regard to team selection. I guess my question, again, (and its not specifically to you Wilson, its too everybody—but I know I’ll get a thoughtful answer from you) is who? Who did Koeman fall down on his selection? I appreciate that certain players may not have performed as we would have liked against Germany, but who would have been more deserving selections based on form and production over the course of the year? And also bear in mind that if its a close call, a coach will invariably go with the player who has performed for him well in the past.

      1. I think Balkan has nailed it on top in regards to koemans posture in relation to the team building. I personally feel its just a typical dutch mind set as this was also a feature when Van Gaal and Daddy Blind was at the helm. being said this selection wise you cant blame koeman and like what Balkan said after beating france and germany he would have been confident that the team could sustain the same composure which kind of wasnt the case. this is exactly where I said that other teams in transition will keep improving through rotation and thats exactly what happened compared to the dutch and koeman who were/are “stagnant” like what lucasmaximus pointed out.

        form selection point of view if a new face was suppose to be tested then it should have been in the Belarus game after they went 3-0 in the 55’minute. may be Ake in the midfield at least. locadia or even lammers for Depay.

        it can always be argued why make changes when you are coming on the back of wining streak especially like to that of in the nation league. the reason been you always have to recognize and stay in peace with other teams especially when they keep injecting new players.

        1. Yep, can’t disagree. I also agree with your notion that it is normally good for a team to be constantly injecting new blood; not wholesale changes (unless called for) but incremental ones. I don’t mean that for games 3 days apart, but over the course of a tournament cycle. Teams that stay the same from one tournament to the next generally have problems. Even the Spanish team from 2008-2012 looked different at the end of that run.

          And I do think that there are plenty of spots for change on the NT. Both outside attacking spots are open; if you consider bergweijn and Babel the nominal starters, Groeneveld, Dilrosun, Kluivert and Stengs 9and maybe someone we are not thinking of) all have a possibility for the Euros. The tourney is more than a year away, plenty of time for one of those guys to develop and show the quality that demands that Koeman take him into account—plus, Koeman will have an extended training camp pre-Euros, so if a player gets into that camp with a good showing over the season, he’ll have a full camp to show. Agree that Danjuma may be that guy, but also I wouldn’t sleep on Dilrosun. Before he got hurt, he had made a big impression, in part, I think, because of the demands of the Hertha coach. Stengs also may be primed for a big jump.

          DeRoon’s spot is open, I’d say, but I can’t think of anyone who fits the bill as an upgrade. I think Van De Beek will continue on an upward trajectory—I’d think at some point he’ll push Wijnaldum; and I say this as a compliment to VDB, not a knock on Wijnaldum. Makes me wonder, too, whether Koeman would consider playing VDB and dropping Wijnaldum back to more of the controlling mid that he plays at Liverpool…though I also wonder if he and Frenkie are compatible. So much depend on what Barcelona does with FDJ, and how his game might evolve there. A big season might push Rosario into consideration, too; same with Eiting if he develops at Ajax the way I believe he might.

          I’d also say the right and left back spots are still open. Though Koeman seems to put alot of trust in Blind. (And I know that some people here have strong feelings about Blind, so for the record, I like Blind in the lb spot. Doesn’t mean I’m right, of course.) I also think Dumfries has made a real jump, but there are others in that spot that can give him a run—Karsdorp, for one, has looked good each time I’ve seen him play lately.

          Things look good going forward.

          1. Agree about Dilrosun.if im not wrong then he was in the same batch as sancho and foden at city and alot will depend how much he plays next season at hertha and his overall performance as well.what I like about this guy is he is a good finisher even though he is a very straight forward and plain winger. What has evdaded NT for a very long time is left footed winger operating on the left flank. I think after robben switched to the right flank there hasnt been any left footed winger. O my bad. Forgot about Elia.

            Im also very optimistic about El Ghazi regardless of what any one says. He is working hard at aston villa and depending on what happens to him next season, I think he can make it back into NT. Off course you need the right players around you and in his case the injury return of grealish has turned out to be a big factor in recent surge of his form.

  9. By the Moment we are qualified for the euros , we will see if koeman will give Robben a call

    If he does , I think we will see Robben included

    By all means , we still need him. Not as a starter but we do need him if we are goals down , and in the last 20 min when the opposition is tired , Robben can still be our lethal weapon

    It would
    Be fun to see if van person is also fit ………

    Can someone give koeman a call ? He really needs to start finding a second striker . Not Luuk but someone who will become our future . Lammers
    , redan ?

  10. I think you can cast a shadow of doubt on most of the youngesters that they wont be ready come think about this season is coming to and end and in just one season you cant expect them to expedite the current level they are on and have a crack into NT. If this was the case then koeman would have called some up by now.the list is long and it would be in the best intrest now koeman concentrate on those players who are experienced / will be playing regularly next season in big leagues regardless of which clubs they play for.Dilrosun,Groeneveld,van ginkel,Dijks,Locadia,karsdorp,Bacuna and Anwar El Ghazi if he moves back to Lille or Aston Villa gets promoted to epl.stengs and st juste and maybe lammers are the only players from eredivisie that should round of the batch of players in consideration for extended squad from now on wards. Ake in make shift as well.


    El Ghazi

    Van ginkel
    St juste
    De Roon
    VD Beek


    De ligt
    Van dijk
    De Vrij


    2022 will be when others coming in the pipe line could be worth looking at again.

  11. Groeneveld came of the bench and scored the winner for club brugge as they chase for the direct slot in CL. They beat fred ruttens anderlecht 3-2 and are one point of leaders Genk now.

    1. That’s what I’m talking about

      If u did watch him In the last two games , you will see what our current wingers are lacking

      Groenveld outscale the likes of Bergwijn Babel kluivert Promes etc

      By the way , can anyone tell me why Ajax is spending money buying a Romanian midfielder , when we already got Van de Beek and other youngsters on the bench ?

      1. VD Beek is a attacking mid.the new guy is a direct replacement for outgoing surprised as well. Eiting who is injured was also in the mix and above all looks like gravenberch will again feature in jong ajax next season.

      2. kluivert is spoiled,he should prove week in week out to get called…for time being he needs to be put aside for Danjuma,Berjwin,Berghius,and stengs…these players are better for team now than him..

        1. Agree that for the upcoming Nations Cup Final, the NT wide players (absent injury) are Danjuma and Bergweijn and Babel. As for the Euro’s, well, a year is a long time, and it is possible that Dilrosun, Stengs, Kluivert, possibly someone else, may have a breakout year and force themselves into the team…they are all at the age and stage of their careers that will happen—if it is going to happen.

  12. The reason why groeneveld has gone on to jump onto the big stage is simply because of his fluidity.imagine this guy never played in eredivisie. Kluivert, bergwijn,dilrosun at this stage simply lack this.

    Check out his footwork on the third goal. This guy will hit big one day.

      1. You will again bite the dust when he gets his full confidence back playing week in and week not sure whats in store for villa come the playoffs but they are the in form team in the championship at the moment. If he returns lille, again good for him as they are sitting in commanding second place which also guarantees them a direct spot in CL. I dont think Lille will even think twice calling him back to reinforce the team for the big stage and this is what you want to see before a big tournment. Players playing at highest level and these are players koeman should concentrate come on next season.

          1. YES U didnt compare..But unfortunatly both are wingers,they job is from wings..similliar duty from right and left..
            So they must be compared for some aspects like Assist,Goals,Vision,speed,Intelligence and how selfless they are…so comparison is must to slecet the top wingers for NT…Agree We cannt compare Danjuma with Cillessen,Deligt,Frenkie etc…

  13. And Ronaldo scores down the middle on a header off the break right before the half.

    Complacent. Looks like Frenkie just turned him over to the center backs, neither of whom picked him up!

    Very disappointing!

  14. Just too nonchalant with the flicks and trying to dribble through six defenders. Neres and Tadic not on the same page.

    But still very wide open and fun to watch!

  15. And that’s why de Ligt is a defender… Dybala is on now in the 75th. Hopefully someone will bother to track him.

    Still stunned that Ajax is so in control of this game. Juventus seemingly just content to hang back and counter.

  16. Spectacular Ajax. A pity they couldn’t win. They need more teeth in attack against a very solid Juve defense. Not sure why coach didn’t make more substitutions.

  17. And why Carel eiting never in ajax starting. I hear about him a lot and i know he was injured. But i think he is fix now. Where is he now? Never see him afer first league against aek athens.

  18. Ajax style is spectacular and is the reason why people love football. However it is very hard to win that way against teams like Juve. Ajax is bound to make mistakes which Ronaldo and Co won’t waste. On the contrary Juve is a machine that rarely makes defensive mistakes. But who knows? Anything is possible. Luck is also very important. Maybe we are bound to get revenge for the 1996 sham.
    We will miss Tagliafico. Stupid fault.


    This is goods news as far as young talents playing at top level is concerned.he was on their radar for quiet sometime.

    On the other hand, the feyenoord camp seems to be going up side. In an intresting announcement they have confirmed that they will not renew the contracts for their exciting talents joel zwarts who is on loan at dordrecht and few others. This comes after TD van geel announced he will depart after the season ends.looks likes an internal dispute.

  20. Updates on AZ boys.

    Myron Boadu completely recovered from the injury and trains with the group. However, he will not feature this year.

    Calvin Stengs’ form has dramatically deteriorated. Not sure where the problem is but his dribbles do not work anymore, his passes lack accuracy (~25% accurate), he has difficulties to overcome his opponents. If I was van den Brom I would let him sit on the bench last four games as he can get seriously injured again.

    Koopmieners is doing well but I still think he is much better as a controlling midfielder than central defender.

    Guus Til is a nightmare. He did not score twice today from face-to-face situations with the goalkeeper and as a result AZ lost at home to ADO 2:3.

    In general, AZ is losing a courage and I do not believe they will be able to compete for third place with Feyenoord. This team still lack the ability to withstand a pressure. After they won Ajax and flipped Feyennord from the third position, everything went upside down. They tied game with Vitesse and De Graafshap and today lost to ADO….A winner mentality has not been ingrained in AZ yet.

  21. Dutch fertility clinic doctor is thought to have fathered over 200 children!

    How could this happen?!

    Why weren’t Gullit and Van Basten used instead?!

      1. If he hits the ground rolling at lazio, im sure Koeman will tie him down like Groeneveld who was in the same boat. There were few players who ditched NT to play for nigeria like Kingsley Ehizibue and Tyrone Ebuehi,but both were not highly rated. This guy is the special one and he if really would have wanted to represent nigeria he wouldnt have accepted the recent call up to the U20s. Im sure nigeria will come sniffing around when he starts playing at top level and maybe then he will disclose whats in his heart.

  22. Ironically, Ajax is playing very well with the ball in small spaces, but when they find themselves in wide open space without immediate support, lots of uncertainty and misplayed balls…

  23. And Ronaldo does it again!

    Off a corner. Say what you want about the guy, he is a deadly finisher.

    Seems like Frenkie or de Ligt might want to pick him up in the box…

  24. Ajax on the break but Neres takes over from Ziyech and then loses the ball. Juventus right back and Ronaldo with almost another – diving header attempt that ricochets off his side / the defender. FInally someone is tracking his runs.

  25. Tadic with some nice creativity almost creates another.

    Ziyech was *barely* offside on the latest replay of the disallowed goal. That would have iced it…

  26. AMAZING!

    Ajax defeats Real Madrid and Juventus back-to-back in the Champions League!!!! In 2019!!!! Why are we selling these players again?

    Eric ten Hag!


    On to the semi-finals!!!!!!

  27. Awesome. Ajax beat real Madrid in madrid and juentus in Turin. it is really awesome. and now semi final!!!
    in other hand, u see barcelona tottenham and inter milan all are alive in champion league and euro league, now u can undrestand how PSV group in CL was tough.

  28. Ajax truly outclassed Juve. So much energy and rhythm in their attack while they defended in the 2nd half like their life depended on it. They could have scored two more goals.
    Great performance!

  29. great game indeede. ajax looked dangerous every time they got the ball especially on the counters. some good misses as well by neres and ziyech. I under rated Van Der Beek for long time and maybe this time around koeman should give him the nod over wijnaldum.he had a good game in the midfield that phase of play where they had that one touch pass going on was mind blowing.

  30. I’d be really interested if someone could find out the combined worth of the Ajax team, the Juventus team and the Real Madrid team. I remember when we beat Manchester City a few years back there was a great image compare City’s 600 million dollar squad to our 10 million dollar squad.

  31. The stuff of dreams…Not just the win, but the manner and style in which they did, so vibrant and positive, and in the last 20 minutes so tough and composed…If Frenkie is the engine, Van De Beek is the crankshaft; he just drives that team forward…fantastic player, always pushes the team forward, and in the last 5 minutes, he was down on his own goal line defending; agree with Wilson, he is going to force Koeman to make a choice. Sinkgraven played well given the position he was put in,the center of the defense was a rock, De ligt will be a leader for years…I could go on and on; just a great, great team performance

  32. I just wanna go back to last seasons champions league where liverpool was in the same boat as ajax now. Their weakness got exposed in the final and the rotten potato turned out to be Karuis. Ajax to have weaknesses but unfortunately it hasnt being exploited yet.the one area that ajax pinned juventus down was in the midfield.creativity wise all matudi, Pjanic and Can were exceptional but nobody took that central role upfront. This is where VDBeek dominated the midfield and was very decisive .the juventus had a v midfield with point backwards and this is where Dybala continuously got sucked in in the first half with no one upfront. When kean came on, he mostly stayed upfront which created a big hole in midfield and again VD Beek was there to exploit this.when cancelo came he made a good impact with his crosses but with Bernardeschi continously cutting inside, service to kean from the right flank particularly was limited.

    This is one place where ajax is vulnerable. They havnt being stretched on the flanks and this is why I head kean om my cards to score if he played. He did create few chances aerially but otherwise was isolated and service overall was poor. Teams like Barcelona, City and liverpool will show no mercy in that aspect of the game.

    1. Seems to me that teams with players like Firmino,Mane, Salah, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson; or Sterling, Aguero, et al.; or Suarez, Coutinho, Messi, Dembele; are going to stretch and create chances on anyone…there is no defense, nor set up in the world that won’t seem vulnerable to that kind of attacking at times during a game; that is life in the semi-finals of the CL…Is Ajax perhaps more vulnerable because of the way they press and look to get forward? Probably. Hopefully, it will work both ways, the forward push of those teams will leave chances for the Ajax. You can’t expect, nor would you want, Ajax to try to play as Atletico Madrid. I think you have to trust that the coaching staff will put certain tweaks into the tactics to try to make it more difficult for whoever they play. But these are extraordinarily talented teams. Only so much planning you can do. Then its in the hands of the team on the field…I am so much looking forward to the semi’s.

      1. I was reading an article on Rafael Benítez where he mentioned,tatically a coach can do everything to in his grasp to nullify his opponent but one player of the bench can change the whole situation and its back to square 1. I think this is here the depth in the team is so crucial.

  33. AJAX has already achieved an incredible goal by reaching the UCL semis.

    They have nothing to lose, they are young and the pressure will be on Man City or Tottenham as the pressure was on Madrid and Juve.

    I think it’ll be very difficult for Ajax to win the tournament but this team can’t be written off of winning it because they have amazing talents but also experience with Veltman, Blind, Tagliafico, Tadic, Schone, Huntelaar.

    This team brings joy and that’s why we all love Holland because it is a joy to watch.

    The talents from this team will have an amazing future. De Jong is a world class player just like De Ligt, Neres is really good, Ziyec amazing. Now, it’s time for Ajax directors to be aware of the transfer period as many of these players will be leaving.

  34. This Ajax team has grown so much and to a level that anything short of winning it all will feel like a huge loss especially considering that the team will be dismantled by end of the season. I think the weakest area is the attack. If we can stop trying to walk the ball into the net and shoot more we can beat any team by scoring more than them. Ziyech is a glaring example of this weakness. This guy seems like he tries to get rid of the ball by passing when it is much easier to score. I don’t get it. He might have a mental block or something.

  35. Well that was interesting….

    Man City and Tottenham quarterfinal ending in controversy!

    I guess I’d rather Ajax play Tottenham, which is the result we get, particularly with all the Ajax guys there…

  36. Son is suspended for the first leg. If Kane is not back, that may leave Tottenham short-handed up top.

    I think this is a winnable tie for Ajax.

    Let’s do it!

    1. I was hoping for Tottenham to go thru and they did. Relatively easier opponent than Man City. Son’s suspension could be crucial.

      I see Ajax’s vulnerability in set pieces and their style of play that gives opponents plenty of space to attack. It’s beautiful to see them attack with passion the minute they get the ball but it also offers good passing teams plenty of chances.

      If they can play like they did against Juve in the 2nd half of the 2nd leg, they can get to the final.

  37. Ajax wanted Tottenham and Tottenham wanted Ajax.

    Now, Ajax plays the 1st leg away. I believe they can reach the semis but Tottenham is a good team with experienced players and with an amazing coach.

    But I believe we will be in the final with Liverpool…although Barcelona is favourite.

    Now, City will lose the Premier League against Liverpool. Those are my predictions!.

    And Ajax wins the Eredivisie.

  38. why is nobody talking about liverpool? van dijk will definitely win PFA Men’s Players’ Player of the Year. city is out of CL and so will be sterling who will be closest to van dijk in running. salah’s first half the season was average and might come to haunt him.. Chelsea and hazard simply will fallout due to their non existence in CL and overall performance in epl.

    not sure about Mane. he has been very instrumental for Liverpool this season but I think van dijkS consistency both defensively and offensively might give him the edge over mane.

    Im thinking if Liverpool does go on to win both CL and epl , then van dijk could become a front runner for Ballon D’Or

    1. Virgil has almost single-handedly transformed Liverpool from a decent Premier League side to a CL contender. He had completely solidified their backline issues and has been fantastic.

      Ballon D’Or might be unattainable for a center back, but he is admittedly the man right now!

  39. There are reports suggesting Salah got in a fight with Klopp and has expressed he wants to leave Liverpool. That can only be good news for Barcelona.

  40. Ajax vs Tottenham should be very interesting. The fact that we’re even having a conversation about Ajax in the semis of the Champions League is beyond my (recent) dreams, but I think we actually have legitimate shot to win it.

    Tottenham was a major beneficiary of some iffy calls today against City. I don’t think they are actually all that great. Plus, I think we play a style that they may have difficulty countering, even with all of their Ajax guys.

    An Ajax – Barca final would be amazing!

    It seems like things are getting on track again for club and country, and with our attacking style and underdog story, I think we’ll be the choice of most neutrals yet again!

  41. It’s a good result , I was really worried about Ajax facing Man City

    Spurs kicked out Man City because spurs knows how to win Man City . That saying , it’s not meaning spurs is stronger than Man City

    Spurs has no dept and will be definitely without son and Kane . Ajax got a real high change getting into the finals now.

    I feel very sorry for Vincent Janssen . I truly am . He had wasted another half year at a club which their coach had already given up on him. By the time his career is back. On track he is already over 25

    Now , Is anyone worried about Ajax players of getting tired ? I mean spurs will be playing their games all at home

    1. My biggest worry is that now Ajax is seen as favorites against Spurs as opposed to underdogs against Juve and Real. Can these young marvelous players stay grounded and not crumble under pressure? Can they stay healthy and fresh since they are playing for Eredivisie title too? Fingers crossed.
      As per Spurs I was rooting for them but I have never seen a more piss poor team than them yesterday. How the game didn’t finish 6-2 is beyond me. They couldn’t even get out of their half for most of the game, couldn’t even stitch 3 passes together without gifting it back to City and yet they went through. Pure incredible luck.

      1. Well I’m not too worried about that being underdogs or not

        Everyone is saying Ajax is a young team. But honestly don’t forget we are
        Actually a team that has mature players such as blind , Huntelaar , Tadic and Schoenberg etc

        I think we can cope with that my only worries is their energy level playing so many games in such a short period . And ten hag is not a coach that likes to rotate their players to keep them
        Fresh . This is something he has to learn from pep

        I wish they could do something like postponing the Eredivisie match like last time
        To keep them fresh before the match against spurs

        We cannot underestimate spurs becos this is why Man City lost

      2. The English media will take care of this. Tottenham vs Liverpool is their dream Premier League final! Clear evidence of the superiority of the English league (notwithstanding the fact that less than half of each of their starters are English).

        Ajax will most certainly be underdogs and will be seen as an easy path for Tottenham to finally win a trophy!

        If we keep playing the way we are, and keep scoring goals, I think we will be just fine. If we start changing our approach because the stakes have become higher, then I think we will get in trouble. Mentality is key!

    1. A few interesting stories from that.

      Firstly, Feyenoord very upset, they were supposed to finish at home and we going to give van Persie a great reception in de Kuip. Now they finish away from home.

      Secondly, last time Ajax played De Graafschap on the last day was 2016. They drew that match and lost the title on the last day.

      1. Well , I don’t give a damn about how Feyenoord feels

        This is all about Dutch football and the whole country / clubs should be understandable and united on this

        How often do Dutch teams get into the semi finals ?

        I’m sure KNVB would do the same for them if it was psv / Feyenoord

        I don’t give a
        Damn and all I need is give the Ajax players enough rest and fresh legs before they go to spurs new stadium

      2. I really have high hopes for PSV next season and even though Ajax have defied all odds this season, I would like to see PSV win the eredivisie and qualify directly for CL next season. Given the young dutch contingent PSV have in the extended squad,time has come for them to take the centre stage.van bommel needs to off load Luuk, Hendrix, Schwaab and even bergwijn if they get the right price.upfront Lammers on loan at heerenveen has proven with 14 goals this season that he is ready to be their no 1 striker. Malen can be his understudy or if not depending on how max Romeros injury return goes, who is also a very talented striker, the trio could well be an upgrade to luuk. If luuk stays around at PSV next season these guys will simply lag behind.on the flanks Lozano and Bergwijn are bound to depart and again talents like gakpo and Ihattaren could fill in their shoes. In the midfield van bommel needs to clear out alot of dead wood. Its a shame hendrix has flopped. He should be offloaded now to make way for others. Pereiro has already cofirmed he will depart at the end of this season which means Van bommel needs to invest in two experienced central midfielders that can provide a good balance in the the back line van bommel should look into the possibilty of bringing Bruma back on loan from Wolfburg. He is currently on loan at schalke with the option to make it permanent which I dont think schalke will exercise. CL footall could lure him easily and also could be in best intrest of wolfburg as well. Mike van der hoorn can be other option as well.he has been a revelation for the swans in the championship and if they fail to get prompted back to epl,again CL footall could easily lure him in, even on loan.



        Gakpo- ????-???????-Ihattarren

        Angelino- Viergever/obispo- Bruma/van der hoorn -Dumfries


          1. The difference between Dutch clubs and most clubs on this planet, are dutch clubs get players to fit their systems, they don’t adapt the systems based on the players. van Bommel has never played in a 4-4-2, PSV hasn’t played that system. If they do lose Lozano and Bergwijn, they’ll likely use Gakpo and Malen as wingers, which are the positions both of them have played. Ihattaren, Rosario, Hendrix and Mauro Junior will fight for the 3 midfield spots.

          2. Was just a fanatay team. Agree with you and probably thats how van bommel will see the team out but if they go on to winning the eredivisie then they will need reinforcments in midfield and backline to compete in CL. Also they can’t jut waste the hard work of ajax in achieving the coefficient points.

            On the other hand it will be intresting to see ajax cope up with their depatures. Frenkie, De light, Neres, Ziyech will leave a massive hole in the team.

        1. Van der really crap..Ajax made wrong choice and eventually they get rid of him..He is a guarentee leakage at back.I hope PSV doesnt buy him..Bruma is ok..i feel Bruma is a destined PSV guy..He should retire at PSV..i heard very high abot ihattarren and Gakpo..hope the make the cut..Psv should look some young center backs as well.

          1. “”revelation for the swans in the championship “”that says it all..just good enough for championship..where EPL teams are conisistanlty loosing to Bayren,Barca and Madrid..

  42. Tadic will be the one piece that’s interesting for Ajax. Said he’s not leaving but his value keeps going up and up. But lets pretend hypothetically he does leave, along with Ziyech, van de Beek, de Jong, de Ligt, Tagliafico, Neres and Onana.

    Up front Ajax still have Dolberg, Huntelaar, and will likely use either Danilo, Cerny or Traore on the other wing. There’s also been talk they’re looking to buy Ianis Hagi, though he operates more as a 10. Kaj Sierhuis will be returning, competing for the central role.

    Midfield will be weaker for sure. Schone stays in the line-up another year, and Marin will start immediately. The last spot will be fought for by Ekkelenkamp, de Wit, Noa Lang and Carel Eiting.

    Defense we’ll have Schuurs, Pierie, Blind and Magallan fighting for CB, though I could see Blind moving to LB to allow two of them to play, and Mazraoui will stay at RB.

    Keeper will be interesting. Likely will sign the kid from Emmen.

    I think to start the season it probably looks like:





    de Wit

    But I imagine Huntelaar doesn’t keep his spot. I also think Ajax will likely sign Hagi who is a huge talent in my opinion.

    Not an amazing squad, would be good to see them have a decent Champions League run and then make a dent in the Europa League. What’s important for Ajax is trying to boost their own club’s coefficient so they can be in Pool 2 when the draw is done. Right now they’re on the edge of 2 and 3.

  43. In terms of European football next year, I agree that PSV likely will have the better chance of doing some damage. They’ll retain more players, maybe even Bergwijn, and will look to be a more experienced squad.

    Ajax could get lucky (for once), right now they are around 20th in Europe, and a few of the teams above them may not going into Champions League. If they could sneak their way into Pot 2 for the draw and get a few weaker sides below them, R16 is not out of the question.

    PSV need to work to improve their coefficient so they can consistently be in Pot 3.

    I think setting some goals it would be great if 1 Dutch Club could make R16 in CL, but then also if a couple could go make a run in the EL. It’s always shocking that Dutch clubs can’t do any damage in the B Competition, almost like they don’t care about it. No reason why an Ajax or PSV couldn’t look to be Top 4 in EL next year, and a club like AZ or Feyenoord at least Top 16.

    1. @derekvdberg, i’ve also been thinking what Ajax may look like next year. Holding out hope (but maybe it is not realistic) that Tadic and Van De Beek stay…and I thought I read that Onana re-signed, (maybe I am wrong). They’ll have money (lots of it) to bring some additional players, the ones you’ve mentioned, and others…Not sure that Dolberg would play as a wide player. I can see Blind sliding to left back…who knows how Ekkel., DeWitt, Lang, Eiting, Gravenberch will develop given the opportunities they will have…sad that the present team will only have this one year together, but looking forward to the next wave is one of the joys of following them.

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