New faces in Oranje

We’re starting to get in the thick of things… The competitions have started properly, coaches leave or are fired, players reach their full potential or get injured. Oranje is almost qualified for the Euros and is prepping for the last two qualification games. Due to injuries (Vermeer, Malen, Bergwijn, Memphis), Ronald Koeman did what many here wanted to see earlier: the introduction of some “new” names.

With Kenneth Vermeer injured (and Jeroen Zoet suddenly on a dead end street with PSV), Marco Bizot is added to the squad. AZ talents Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu are part of the squad too, while Wout Weghorst is also called up, together with rival striker Luuk de Jong.

Interestingly enough though, Memphis did make the trip to the Oranje camp. Initially to “work on his fitness” and “be with the lads” but secretly he is working like a horse to get himself fit and into the team on Saturday. “I want to play. I may be important for the team, but the team is also important for me. After missing two big tournaments, I really want to be part of the team that secures our ticket.”

Koeman will obviously be careful with the Lyon captain but also emphasized Depay’s importance for the team.

The big question for many is: who will Koeman play now Berghuis, Malen and most likely Memphis are absent.

Most punters, analysts and fans feel that Stengs and Boadu deserve the chance to start. I personally think Koeman, conservative as he is, will be tempted to use his trusted players vs Northern Ireland. The Irish are a shrewd and physically tough team to beat. So the experience of Promes and Babel might be needed along with the power and work rate of Weghorst.

A more adventurous coach (Ten Hag!) would probably start with Promes – Boadu – Stengs… But Koeman is not that coach and might wait with using the youngsters once we get that point vs Northern Ireland.

Most of the team will be unchanged, although the right back question is also still unanswered. I think there is a case to make for Veltman and for Dumfries…

Luuk de Jong will probably remain as pinch hitter. Should Memphis be fit to play, it probably means Weghorst will find himself on the stands.

No one debates the quality of the two AZ players. Stengs will probably go and become a top class player for the next 10 years. I can see him end up at a big name team in the future. Boadu is a bit younger and lacks a bit of maturity. In the Eredivisie, it doesn’t hurt so much but he’s too light for the big leagues, at this stage.

Having said that, he’s a very complete striker. Light on his feet, quick, explosive, two-footed…scoring all sorts of goals… And what a great understanding (couples!) with Calvin Stengs.

Boadu and Stengs running riot vs PSV

But Wout Weghorst’s development can’t be ignored. The 27 year old is back with Oranje, for the first time since June 2018. Koeman used the 1 meter 97 centimeter tall striker only as a battering ram in the final stages of the game and has lost the pinch hitter role to Luuk.  But things have improved for Weghorst at Wolfsbutg with the entrance of coach Glasner, who has a strong football vision. The team now attacks more from the flanks, using wide wing backs which is perfect for the tall striker. He also grew enormously in his hold up play and his combination play. He also made the near post his domain, Wim Kieft style. The timing is impeccable, he first makes a move to the far post, to only switch quickly and dart to the near post. It seems he patented this move as he also was successful with this at AZ.

Compare Weghorst with similar strikers (Bas Dost and Luuk de Jong) and you’ll find that Wout creates three times more changes for team mates!

Versus Hoffenheim, 0-1 down, it’s Weghorst who creates the equaliser with an Ozil like backheel! The Weghorst phenomenon. Every two years he steps up to a higher leve. His motto: “I’m not a super talent, so I need to work hard to become part of the squad and then I work hard to become better and better on that level.”

Excellent assist by Weghorst

And this is how he went from FC Emmen to Heracles, to AZ and now Wolfsburg. Next stop? Somewhere in England maybe? Watford? Burnley? Or a bigger club in Germany?

Weghorst could leave Wolfsburg already last summer but he doesn’t want to switch after one season. But after two? Yes… By the way, he knows he won’t force Memphis out of the starting line up with Oranje but , he can be the ideal target man taking attention away from the mercurial Oranje forwards, while battling the central defenders.

With Boadu and Stengs, Oranje has another bossom buddy duo, after Krol-Suurbier, Jansen-Cruyff, Sneijder-VanderVaart, Frank de Boer – Cocu, Seedorf-Kluivert and many other combinations. Colleagues and best friends.

It’s 2016 in Wijdewormer, North of Holland when on a Saturday afternoon AZ is watching the AZ talents play Excelsior Maassluis. Something is brewing. Louis van Gaal is present, as he knows two big talents will play their first match at this level. Myron Boadu is 15 years old and he scores his first goal after 22 minutes. After 70 minutes he’s subbed for the 17 year old Calvin Stengs. And would you believe it? He also needs just 22 minutes to score his first goal. Their names are mentioned for years already in Alkmaar. They’re both born in Amsterdam and both scouted early by AZ. The biggest difference between them, the pace with which they presented themselves. Stengs was a slow burner. He was small in his youth and that made him a question mark. He grew taller when he turned 16 and he was moved into AZ under 19.

A young Boadu vs Ajax, for AZ

Boadu’s development was noticed by Arsenal, Ajax and PSV but the youngster decided he wanted to finish his high school in Alkmaar and thus he stayed loyal to AZ. Stengs and Boadu bonded on the pitch and at their school and their chemistry would develop more and more.

2019 was supposed to be there year and by all means, I think they’re making it happen. They both came back from a horrific injury and they seem to have shrugged it all off successfully. In May 2017, Boadu got seriously injured to the knee in the Euros Under 17. Three months later, a heavy injury for Stengs on the knee, in the first match of the season vs PSV Eindhoven. They needed to dig deep into their character and mentality to fight back. Both players were aided by two world class legends. Boadu worked on his fitness in the US, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic while Stengs was visited often by Ruud van Nistelrooy who suffered a similar injury before he signed for Man United.

When Stengs was ready to make his come back for AZ, faith again struck. In his sixth game for AZ, versus Feyenoord, the striker broke his ankle. This time, he needed 7 months to recover. Both players now have a yearning desire, a hunger, for a consistent season, with more highs than lows and without any more injuries.

This season, AZ as a whole impresses. Arne Slot is doing something really really well. His forward trio, are dynamic in their moves, can score goals, give assists and dazzle opponents. Idrissi might have chosen to play for Morocco, the two other want to be come colleagues in orange. With left full back Owen Wijndal (still at Young Oranje), they are called the three musketeers. In the competition, Feyenoord and PSV have been taken to the AZ sword. There is now only Ajax to deal with. “That is December 15”, says Boadu, confidently. “It’s three days after Man United away. That will be a top week.”

On October 11, 2019, both Boadu and Stengs play for Young Oranje vs Young Portugal. Two assists by Stengs on Boadu and a goal for Stengs. That was Boadu’s first match in Young Oranje (Steng’s fourth). A month later, the world looks different for both. Boadu: “Coach Slot called to tell us. My mum started to cry, my dad was speechless. I also didn’t know exactly what to make of it. I didn’t count on this, at all. It’s going so quick now.” Stengs responded in the down-to-Earth manner we know of him. “You won’t just get an invite for Oranje! This is the highest of the highest. I have no expectations. I’m just going to work my socks off and then we’ll see what happens.”

AZ Coach Arne Slot

So two of the three musketeers drove to Zeist to join in with the big Orange. The third musketeer will one day follow, without a doubt. How did they go to Zeist? “You can paint that picture yourself, no?”, laughs Boadu. “Calvin and I drove up together. Him behind the wheel, me picking the music.”

How can Oranje qualify?

After 6 matches, Holland has 15 points, as much as Germany and 3 more than Northern Ireland. Should Oranje draw vs Northern Ireland, we will be sure of an Euros ticket. When we lose vs Northern Ireland, it depends on the number of goals we concede. There is a scenario out there, in which Holland could end up exactly at the same level as Germany and Northern Ireland. The goal difference will be vital in that case, provided that the results against the rivals is also the same (Oranje beat Northern Ireland 3-1 at home). Oranje has a goal balance of 9-6, whereas Germany has 7-6 and Northern Ireland has 1-5. So even a slight defeat plus a win against Estonia will get us to the Euros. And even if Holland drops out of the top two, we still have the Nations League play-off ticket in hand. In March 2020, these play offs will be played.

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  1. I was waiting for this, injuries I mean and like in the past the inclusion of stengs and Boadu should narrow the selections comes euros to good better,best.

    I dont think koeman would have called them if not for injuries so cant give credit to him.this will again go down in the books as turning point going forward and not only in euros.

    Some more injuries and things could get even better or could settle the dust.

      1. Vilhena is not diminished he doing really great,i am thankful that he took us to Nation league semifinal..We were loosing and he came on chnaed game with endless eenergy…Much better option than Strootman,De roon and at times better than van debeek when in comes to work rate..vilhena is kuyt+footballing skills..if kuyt can get spot in NT by kicking out Vaart..VILHENA SHOULD GET IT..thats the justice..if strootman is still in team Vilhena should be there before him..

  2. Yes and I hate to see the fast that koeman will be taking strootman to the euros . As well
    As berghuis and Luuk ….

    I would rather have him Leave that a slot for ihattaren , Danjuma ,dilrosun …..

      1. Ok Weghorst
        I can understand it’s hard NOT to take him to the EURO’s given his current performance .

        But what has berghuis done .

        He should give This valuable experience to the young boy’s if he wants to build a team for future

        Strootman , although I don’t like
        But yes it is sad for him After having him
        In the team for long ( even barely having any playing minutes throughout the qualifications) and not be able to get on the final train . But that’s life

  3. Thanks Jan,

    My question for you is: Why are Dutch coaches are always turned their back on the national team? Van Gaal had the greatest career in international football then again he still felt the need to leave the national team to go to England. We all know what happened to the national team when he left. Look at Joachim Low in Germany, he still around after all these years. Koeman now wants to leave to go to Barcelona. So any word now on potential replacement?

          1. Fert van marwijk and total football???Guy got schooled in 2012Ec with rVP,Roben and Co???You want new players to die???what??The same team 2 year later 1CG ttok to WC final..with some jokers included like BMI etc..

        1. If van gaal can get a second shot after the failure of 2002 which was far more agonizing then 2012 is nothing. Absolutely nobody and not even strootman would have changed the outcome of the euros.the only think Im against BVM is that he overlooked Van Der Vaart both at WC and Euros.

        2. I agree with this comment. It seems like every Dutch coach both for the national team and at the club level is scared of moving away from that hallowed ethos of ‘Total Football’.

          Van Marwijk was castigated for it because he dared to veer away from that. Ultimately, his strategy was to compensate for the low quality central defenders he had at the time. Ooijer/Heitinga/Mathijsen. He came so close to realizing the dream that so many before him have failed despite having superior quality than the opposition. Once you get to any final and lose, it is very difficult to maintain the same enthusiasm and desire. It’s not impossible but it is hard to replicate. Just look at Pochetino at Tottenham.

          The point is that teams playing attacking or free flowing football have a tendency to be exposed defensively. It requires players at world class levels to maintain that attack for 90 mins and stay focused to defend effectively at the same time.

          I would like future Dutch coaches to be more balanced and worry about defensive solidity just as much as they care about scoring goals and pleasing the crowd. I don’t mean ‘parking the bus’ but making their players stay calm and defend with confidence. Learn to manage some difficult games.

          I feel like we are at the cusp of building another contending team with the current players we have and the highly talented youngsters pushing up the ranks. If Koeman does indeed leaves after Euro 2020, whoever takes over will have an excellent opportunity to mould and take a top quality side to the World Cup.

    1. Let’s be honest Wilson

      Kluivert will improve . He will perhaps score a few more Goals here and then …
      He will become a bit stronger and improve
      If there are injuries in oranje he may get Kormans call and if he gets lucky he may get a few minutes …

      And by the time he has reached already 25, 26 already ….

      And then we realised Justin ( once branded as Europe’s Hottest prospect) will never reach the level of Patrick.

      Not even close.

      1. And fhats what I’m seeing

        He’s hardworking . But he misses something which is called talent . This is something Stengs has shown us , naturally. Same to Dilrosun, see those goals he scored last months . It’s a piece of art

      2. kluivert and his scoring is pretty rare in any games…
        our best are
        Danjuma,Malen,Depay,Dilorusen,Stengs ,Babel and Promes.
        then next in line Boadu,Gagkpo,Berghuis..

  4. Van Gaal is an egocentric narcissist. He failed miserably with Oranje in 2002 and his ego demanded that he would have another go.

    once you get 3rd place at a WC, you can only fail afterwards, is what Big Louis must have thought and once a dream opportunity came past – in the EPL – he jumped on it. He wanted to win the title in England so he could say he won it in Germany, Holland, Spain and England.

    All Ego.

    With Koeman it’s different. Barca is his dream club. Man U wasn’t Van Gaal’s. I think Van Gaal initially was hoping for Arsenal.

    Just like Bayern is Ten Hag’s dream club.

    Koeman is a fool to go, because his successor will win the World Cup.

    I hope Peter Bosz will do it.

  5. I really hope that Wout will get his chance. Not very convinced about Boadu. I think the invitation of Boadu is more a tactical move to bind him with Oranje. I just do not feel that he is ready for this level of competition. However, I expect to see Calvin in the starting 11.

    1. AZ forecwer

      You probably knows this better
      weghorst played. With boadu and stengs before yea?

      They should know each other very well already ?

      If so , we can possibly see a “full AZ “ frontline in oranje ?

      1. Dont get me wrong, but I cant see weghorst as an upgrade to depay and thats why im in the opinon, going forward players like Lammers,Boadu,Malen should be the main stay.

        As far as euros goes Im keeping my fingers crossed for sam lammers who is set to return during the winter break. I potentially see him better than both weghorst and Luuk. If he can pile on goals for PSV on his rerurn then I dont see why koeman shouldn’t give him the call up.

        1. In fact, Weghorst had almost zero playing time with both Boadu. With Stengs they overlapped very little before the latter got injured. Wout had a great time with Alireza Jahanbakhsh. That was an awesome duet.

  6. Yep, three home games for the Dutch, due to Romania’s loss vs Sweden!

    Memphis and Wijnaldum might both make it in time for the game. Wijnaldum had the flu, Memphis a slight hamstring issue.

    I do believe Boadu could be the man for the job. Vs this Northern Ireland team, I would go for movement and light footed players. They’ll try and overwhelm us with their heavy metal football. We will win thanks to counter attacking football.

    I personally hope we will play with the skewered one wing back set up.


    Promes – De Ligt – Van Dijk – Blind

    Van de Beek – De Jong – Wijnaldum/De Roon

    Stengs – Memphis/Boadu – Babel

    This team will win 0-3. Memphis, Babel and Van de Beek.

  7. Not sure whether you have watched how Myron plays. But his efficiency is still not that high. In average he scores at the rate of 30%-40%. I understand that he is only 18 and he will get there but I just do not see him playing now for Oranje and making a difference.

    1. I think its a win win situation for NT either if he lives or does not live up to expectations. Firstly he will get the chance to market himself especially with the scouts out and about and secondly going forward, it will lay a good platform for 2022.

  8. Going back to the question as to who should be coach, should Koeman depart after euros. I think the KNVB should bring back both Guilt and Dick as master and apprentice.I think Dick still has it but needs to learn from his mistakes.

    1. What mistakes did Dick make in the past? Selecting wrong players? Or, Wrong tactics?

      What I remember, most famous was when replacing the young and energetic Robben in the Euro match (2006?)

      1. He forgot that goal difference mattered in the qualification games for the WC2018. He should have stopped the rot vs France. That was 2 goals too many. And he completely ridiculed a reporter when he asked about a potential 8-0 win by Sweden… and guess what?

  9. Thanks ligts

    This game will open in last ten -15 minutes or so. Did anybody had a better view of the hand ball. It looked like a double handball. Foot to the left then on right but either way.

  10. Starting to see that much of the problem on the right is Veltman. But having Babel and Luuk on at the same time doesn’t do much to help, even with Promes on the right.

    1. I was thinking the same. This means we’ll get either Ukraine or Belgium if we end up in the second tier. Spain, England, Germany and Italy (the other four) are hosts and can’t be matched against us.

      I think they knew this was the case and weren’t too worried about it.

  11. I think by the tournament our attack will be sorted out. Between Depay, Malen, Stengs, etc we will be fine. We had no real attackers out there today so it is what it is

  12. This has already been dicussed here in depth. Even though qualification had been more of a priority for koeman but this is dependent on few players and this is what happens when you typically build the team around them and they get injured.

    Hope to see boadu and stengs start in the next game.

  13. Some of you guys need to chill a bit. The objective was to qualify and we did. Perfection is something that I am personally willing to sacrifice just for the sake of qualifying. Call me a pragmatic, but searching for the ideal team got us nowhere in the last two big tournaments (red.FAILED big time)

  14. Saw various bits of this game–no one was very good in attack, and didn’t thing the midfield helped much at all. Kind of a makeshift lineup, and they played like it!

  15. This is slightly silly, but my math tells me the following:
    – If Ukraine does not lose tomorrow, it will end up in pot A.
    – If Germany wins against NIR, both Netherlands and Russia will end in pot B.
    – Outside of Belgium, the other teams who are on track to make it to Pot A are hosts (Spain, England, Italy, Germany)
    – As Russia and Netherlands are also hosts they would need to be matched against Belgium or Ukraine.
    – Russia and Ukraine cannot be matched in the same group, hence Netherlands will be in the same group as Ukraine.

    I may have made a mistake, and again this is all dependent on Ukraine not losing against Serbia tomorrow. But there’s a 50/50 chance our group ends up being Ukraine/Holland/X/X. I take that 🙂

    1. Actually, aside from this scenario, if Denmark wins against Ireland, I believe we’ll be paired with Belgium in the group. Russia/Denmark are in the same group so someone from pot A would have to be exchanged to pot B in place of Denmark.

  16. Koeman is the valverde of oranje!!!!

    It was obvious how impotent the team was against Portugal in the Nations league final, and this continues he didn’t make any changes after that game!!! He was still happy with what he saw obviously!!!

    In the euros we will destroy a couple of week teams maybe like Ukraine and Finland ? But then in a quarter final we get stuck with teams who close their half and give u the ball to play like Italy and Portugal and the rest of the story you know it!!!

    1. Well said Alaa! You however risk to draw sarcasm for stating the truth. That Koeman still plays L deJong and Babel (regardless some decent games of the later) in attack shows he has a piece of rock for a brain. Any Holland team from the past would have been able to finish second to Germany in this group. To not be able to score and place only 3 shots against this NI team when having 70% of possession is historical. 3 SHOTS for God’s sake. To be so dependent on 1 player (Depay) is fked up. Depay gets injured and we can only play for a 0-0. Shame that we couldn’t top the group after beating Germany away.

        1. Well said Alaa. This was discussed in great length in previous posts and conclusion was koeman is the coach and he knows whats the best. The reaction on his face said alot today and Im sure in the post match the emphasis will be on qualifying. Fair enough but with this squad I think any coach would have achieved this.t

  17. Most of you guys want the team to be built out of steel, when its apparent that it’s not. Building cohesion in the national team set-up is not an easy task. I know some wanted rotations to be more frequent but look at it this way, without it, we qualified.
    Its laughable, that now all canons are pointed at koeman when the guy achieved what two other coaches couldn’t.

    1. You are forgetting that the stability in the team wasnt the same under danny and Dicks regime and neither the current form of some key players. Both Wijnaldum and Van dijk shifted another gear after joining Liverpool and Depay same at lyon. Koeman was basically going to build on platform which was already laid for him. Just like who ever will take over from him.

  18. Veltman, Berghuis are certainly no NT material. really give me a shock when I saw both players in the starting 11.
    De Roon is a destroyer and only for breaking up play. Aside from this, he offers pretty much nothing else.
    Do u guys think Ki Jana Hoever be fastracked to senior team. Apparently, he is doing good in U17 WC.

    1. Emphasis will be on qualifying which was warranted. Otherwise there is nothing much to take away from this game. A draw was enough to qualify and thats what matters.

    1. Based on the current situation, Danjuma and el
      Ghazi May not Even ever got a call up again

      Danjuma is struggling At club level and has yet even to score his first goal . By the time it may be too late for koeman to let him join the euros , given so many wingers are fighting for the few positions

      El ghazi , I fear koeman even watches him
      Playing and again too much winger choices

  19. Until Koeman is a coach of Oranje, the starting 11 will not change. Even bench will remain the same. You will see as soon as Memphis comes back from injury, Weghorst will no longer be invited to the selection and Myron with Calvin will be out too. His main principle is to keep intact the main 11 to ensure automatic understanding between players. Previous coaches did a lot of testing and changes and it did not lead to anything good.

    1. I liked that koeman didnt play stengs and boadu..Both could have easily got injury,As northern ireland was decided to play rough game..i think both will play against Estonia some minutes..better starting against less pressure teams…Not like defender Deligt played vs Bulgaria with BMI..forward can easily play i understand,debt defener of 17 year old in crucial game with BMI was a suicide..
      However i agree that you wont see anychnages in starting 11 as long as koeman in charge..
      i dont trust cillessen,Bizot is more clam and solid than him,Bizot could save a penalty as well..Bizot has a lion heart while cillesen look afraid and nerves..
      Weghorst selection means nothing,,No need
      Dilorusen,Danjuma,promes,Malen,Depay,Boadu,Stengs,Berjwin and Babel is enough

      Ihatteren needs a look as well..

      Sad part is Ake and Devrij sits in bench thats the quality of our defense..


      —Van de beek——–Propper——-
      ———Jerry st Juste————
      Stand bye
      ki jana hoever.
      De roon

    2. Koeman was and is still is under a lot of pressure to make sure this team qualified. Losing out on three successive major tournaments would have been a disaster. He has a good quality side that is starting to regain it’s rightful stature in world football. After his Everton debacle, he needed to revive his reputation. Now that he has achieved qualification, we shall see how well the team does in the actual competition. That is also the next stage in the expectation game.

      Tinkering and experimenting while being part of a competitive qualifying group is not easy. However, he could have used some up and coming players more minutes (against Belarus and Estonia) instead of putting out a rigid starting line up that looks like it is set in stone for the most part.

      His other consideration is definitely his future career trajectory. The recent revelation that he has a contract stipulation allowing him to leave for the Barca job, already shows he has definitely planned his post-Oranje life.

      If the headlines about him taking the Barca job are true, he needs to end his Oranje tenure on a positive note. He is a Barca legend but there is no shortage of aspiring candidates hoping to take over from Valverde. With Messi in the twilight of his career, the future holds a very uncertain proposition for Barca and you can’t have a manager who flopped at both his previous two high profile jobs contending to take over. Koeman needs his current job to work out as perfectly as possible and he is not taking any chances.

      With that said, the game vs. N.Ireland was very very boring. It was one of those games where the players just want to get it over with. If N.Ireland had scored that penalty, things could have been different.

  20. Virgil left the NT for personal reasons. De Vrij is up.

    Bondscoach Ronald Koeman kan dinsdag tegen Estland geen beroep doen op VirgiI van Dijk. De-aanvoerder van het Nederlands elftal moet het duel vanwege persoonlijke omstandigheden aan zich voorbij laten gaan en heeft het trainingskamp van Oranje inmiddels verlaten.

    1. Thanks for the update, Goldstone.

      I think Koeman will brings in the new boys in the coming ip game as we have already qualified.
      I hope Koeman keeps building up the team and create different kinds of tactics and players.
      By having Plan-A, B and C with different players, we are able to change the game plan at anytime in any situations and I believe we can by very almight.
      Hip Holland Hup 🙂

        1. For starter, I think Koeman will move Blind to center with De Ligt. Maybe, just maybe, Ake will enter the pitch in the second half.

          For LB, I hope he will start with Aanholt.

          I think Holland will still have a chance to overtake Germany, if they don’t win against N. Ireland.

    1. So now Van Dyke, De Vrij, De Roon, Babel are out for Estonia.

      What will our attack look like? Koeman has leaned on Babel so long it will be interesting to see what offense he puts together

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