On the road to the semis: Frenkie will come good

Frenkie was the first to admit he didn’t play well against the USA. But he’s quite confident he will be present versus Argentina. Frenkie discusses some topics, and believes the Dutch were always happy to reach the finals. For him, it ain’t enough.

The Best

“I was a fan from a young age. I had posters of him on my wall, I adored him as a player. And it was just amazing to be able to play with him, a dream come true. He is the best in everything. In positioning, in ball handling, in his passing, his finishing. He sees everything a couple of seconds earlier. And you know it, but still he surprised me so often, at training or in the match. It was a privilege to play with him and now also to play against him. I mean, playing Argentina at a World Cup, it doesn’t get better. We didn’t app each other no. I won’t either, and I don’t think he will. We’ll see each other at the stadium and we might have a quick word there. And if not it’s fine too.”


“Everyone wants to know how we will stop Messi but it’s not about him, but about Argentina. I don’t know what would work best: sacrifice a player or just deal with him as a team. We need to dominate and play better than them and mind you, he’s not the only player in the team. In La Liga, all teams were trying to stop him and tried so many things, but he will always bind 2 or 3 players and he will always have one or two things he can do, whatever you are doing.”

The System

“I wasn’t good against America, but it’s not system related. I simply wasn’t top, physically. Dealing with the aftermath of a cold. We play this system for some time now and I have done ok in it. I am still playing at the same spot and I get to play a lot of balls and get a lot of touches, so for me it’s not even that different. We haven’t lost in 19 matches and we don’t concede much while we did play against some decent teams, like France, Belgium, Germany. We didn’t make the right choices in the first half against the USA but they only got one real chance in the first half, and that was a mistake from us.”


“I am a football fan, I want every team to play full on attack, but you always need to take form and the opponent into account. Our intention is to attack and dominate more but you need to make the right decisions. If you lose the ball and you are naive and want to keep 5 players before the ball, well, you will get in trouble. It’s that simple. You have to deal with what you have in front of you. It all starts with control and if you defend well, you will not lose so easily. By the way, our first goal versus America was not a counter goal, and it surely is one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament, in my view.”


“Did Van der Vaart say I must have preferred to stay in my hotel, after the first half against the USA? Hahaha, I didn’t hear that one. Well, yes. I was bad. It happens, sadly and we do hear the criticism and we need to deal with it. I mean, we have played better and we want to play better, but then again, we haven’t lost here yet and we’re in the quarter finals, so we can not be all that bad. And I prefer winning over playing beautiful.”


“I don’t think I have to run more in this system. I do have to track my opponent, yes. With Barcelona, we are usually the stronger side, so the opponent needs to follow us, that is a big difference. We do need to keep the space compact so you don’t have to run that much. If not, you do run more. I think I made the most kilometers in the first half versus the USA, because we didn’t play well.”


“I don’t think we will play better versus better opponents. I don’t think it works that way. Sure, there will be more space maybe, but to think that this will help us play better… we need to do the things right, we need to make the right decisions, stay focused and work hard. Offer options and recognise the opportunities. I think it’s normal for people that Brazil or France have more of the ball and if the USA has more of the ball, people don’t get it. But it was not because they were so good, it was because we didn’t manage to play our game.”

World Cup

“I love this tournament, because the whole planet is involved and all the people seem to be enjoying it, everywhere. It’s beyond club colours, and when you win, the whole nation is happy, whereas when Ajax wins, the Ajax supporters are happy. It’s a difference. I vividly remember the Oranje games at World Cups. Like the win over Brazil in 2010, or the match versus Argentina in 2014. How Mascherano had to do his utmost to stop Robben from scoring in the last minute, that sort of things.”


“I have considered to go with the praying group, who pray and meditate before the meals. I am not religious or anything, but it is a grounding thing and we have players from different religions, doing this. Memphis organises it, it’s a sort of gathering. You don’t need to be religious. The mood is great, and we really believe in ourselves. I have watched most games and there is not one team that really rises about the rest. Brazil played great games, but also some lesser games. This applies to all teams.”


“There is always some form of stress and I guess you need that too. It will be even more now, with those Argentina fans in the stadium, but every player enjoys that. That is stress you need in a way. The one I found tough to deal with, was the decider against Norway, at home. In front of an empty stadium due to Covid. That was eerie. And we needed to get a result as well. We could lose something there, while now, we can only win something: a place in the semi finals.”

The Title

“We really want it now. We have the team for it, we believe in it. We also haven’t lost a match for some time now and it’s only 3 more games, hahaha. It’s that simple, right? But seriously, we will be completely bummed if we don’t win. In the past, we were so happy to reach the finals, it felt like we reached something. We don’t believe this. Reaching the finals is a means to an end. Which is finally winning the whole thing.”

Bookmark and Share


  1. @Wilson, you and I should stop communicating :-). There is simply no way we can even understand each other. The point I am making re: giroud is simple: The guy is a France legend, he should be at least. Their top scorer. And still people in France and England boo him and criticise him. It’s like as if Van Persie is booed in Holland.

    The point being, if fans boo a great striker like Giroud (and clearly see it wrong) it’s no surprise people like you cannot recognise the value of a player less than Giroud.

    The fact that Berghuis is on the bench of a Dutch NT at a World Cup does NOT mean he’s a failure :-). you make it seem as if your point is made. As if that is the worst a player can sink to. No! Being part of the best 26 of a nation is not bad. It doesn’t mean Van Gaal thinks he is useless.

    Goodness me!

    As for Benzema, I never liked him. I don’t know what happened exactly, but wasn’t he involved in blackmailing a colleague over some dikpics or something? That is crossing the line for me. I had the impression Benzema is in with some south French mafia people and they wanted to get 100k euro from that diminutive French player. Forgot his name. if that is what happened, Benzema for me is an a-hole and I cant’ cheer for someone like him, no matter how good.

    I believe the NT coach didn’t select him for this reason?

    1. @Jan – I believe it was valbuena who was the french player. Benzema was also selected, then got injured but is now available again but deschamps has opted against calling him up.

    1. Armenian mafia?! I thought at this point we were just famous for forget-me-nots and Kardashians… (in the interest of full disclosure, I’m 1/2 Armenian)

      I’ll have to give my uncle a call and see if I can find out what really went down…

  2. I do not think Argentina, including their Messi, can pass our defense and Noppert. Noppert is our talisman, and he symbolizes impenetrable Dutch defense. And Messi suddenly will become messy. Never liked this guy and will watch Netherlands – Argentina is mute mode because if I hear commentator’s hysterical “messiiiiiiii, messiiiiiiii, messiiiiii”, I will vomit. I am sorry for TMI but that is how I feel about Messi.

  3. This what how our MAN, Noppert, responded to the most stupid question I have ever heard:
    Q: ‘What would happen if Lionel Messi went for a penalty?”
    A: “Messi is only human. Just like us. He can also miss penalties, as was already evident earlier in the tournament. Of course, he is good, but I can also stop a penalty from him,” the goalkeeper concluded, before he straightened out all the seats.

  4. I have a theory… Blind was the focal point of criticism leading up to the WC. He has yet to be exposed defensively and played phenomenally against the USA. All of the sudden, the criticism of Blind stops (theres no praise for him though) and now the criticism has turned onto berghuis. It seems like there always has to be a player who gets beaten down.

  5. I see the game as LVG Vs Messi. Interesting to see how LVG will look to contain Messi. Honestly, on current form, Argentina has the edge. Just hope LVG and team can turn up and show up. 🤞

  6. @ Jan. So funny how you’ve always mentioned these Dutch experts to prove your point. Let me tell you who the experts are. The experts are Philipe Scolary, Marcello Lippi, Aime Jacquet, Vicente Del Bosque, Didier Deschamp, Joachim LOW. These are the experts ok. All of your experts have brought nothing to the NT. HAHAHAHAH

  7. Jan: Thanks again for another great post! I really enjoy hearing the inside details from the team during the tournament and feel like we get real insight from your analysis. Keep up the great work!

    Love the prayer group as well. That’s great that such a diverse group can come together and share their beliefs / faith within the team. Never would’ve pegged Memphis as the organizer but that says a lot about his character and quiet leadership.

    The team dynamic can vary so much from one international tournament to the next, as players mature, veteran leaders retire, and new players are thrust into the spotlight. And this iteration of the Dutch team is certainly no different. Hopefully, we’ll recall this 2022 team with great pride and sense of accomplishment!

  8. @Jan

    Re: The fact that Berghuis is on the bench of a Dutch NT at a World Cup does NOT mean he’s a failure :-). you make it seem as if your point is made. As if that is the worst a player can sink to. No! Being part of the best 26 of a nation is not bad. It doesn’t mean Van Gaal thinks he is useless.

    Goodness me!

    That’s clearly a strawman argument Jan. You’ve just moved the goalpost.

    Nobody has ever disputed the fact that Berghuis is seen as Pirlo(or someone of the sort) in the Eredivisie.

    Nobody has ever classified Berghuis a football failure.

    What we’ve said is that he is not Oranje material and has no business sniffing around that starting lineup and the international scence. Internationals are not the Eredivisie.

    And Lvgs recent actions(when ish was about to hit the fan) towards Berghuis supports our claim.

    He is adequate as a footballer. Not even a little over average. Just average.

    And there are a lot of average players in the world who definitely are not football failures especially when there were no realistic expectations to begin with.

    Berghuis is just one of many.

  9. Hallo vrienden! It is I, Aloysius, who once again grace you with my presence.

    As you can see from the proceedings so far, I am once again in full “masterclass” mode. I would like to provide you and your readers with a masterclass in tactics as well, but I’m saving one up for Lionel, my managerial counterpart with Argentina. Haha! You probably think I refer to Lionel Scaloni, but of course the true manager of Argentina is none other than Lionel Messi himself. And although Lionel the player-manager may have a slightly more deft left foot than I possessed during my playing career, I have overmatched wits with him in the past — the Flea cannot hope to prevail as a tactician against the Iron Tulip. It is not a fair fight. In fact, I believe that I was still Barca manager when young Lionel first signed with the club at age 13. Which of course means I’ve been a top flight manager for not only his entire footballing career but practically his entire life. And the two most influential figures in Messi’s playing career – Guardiola and Mourinho – were my player and my assistant. I already know him like the top of my foot…

    And so lezers, there is truly nothing new under the sun, especially in football. And I am like Louis XIV, the Sun King. I have seen it all, I have anticipated it all, and I have managed against it all. Do not fear! We will not leave the lion standing in his vest, we will not put slippers on the beast. You will see my plan unfold on Friday evening, and it will be glorious!

    P.S., all this droning on about Berghuis, Bergwijn, Blind, is too much! The players I select are intended to perform certain roles in certain scenarios. I do not need a bishop to perform a pawn’s task, nor is a rook needed when a knight will do. They are each parts of a team, pieces on the board, and will perform when called upon. Besides, we are undefeated so far and have been scored upon one time only. You should be talking about me!

    Sorry, have to go. Truus is calling!

    Enjoy the show on Friday!

  10. @orangutan sorry mate, I am going to disengange from commenting on you. It does my head in and is not good for my health. You make claims as if you are the professor of football and the comments are outright ridiculous. IF you can’t see the class of Berghuis, I can’t help you. Please post your anti Berghuis stuff all you want. I am not being baited anymore.

    @JEan “The experts are Philipe Scolary, Marcello Lippi, Aime Jacquet, Vicente Del Bosque, Didier Deschamp, Joachim LOW”

    This is sad. So Cruyff, Messi, Van Gaal, Guardiola and Klopp – who never won a world cup – are all morons and losers. Only coaches who won a WC are good in your view? Unbelievable. Well Lippo and Zidane never played Berghuis because he is not Danish or Portuguese ;-).

    I will no longer comment on your contributions either. It’s just too low, I will not go there.

    You are saying here that Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Van Persie and Van Hanegem should shut up because they offered nothing to the NT?? WOw….

    It was nice talking to you

  11. @Anthony good point, it does look now, with the latest comments that some people are here to troll me and have no real love for the NT. I think in a real life pub conversation, these debates would end badly, to be honest.

    I can’t deal with the arrogance anymore.

    But yes, Berghuis scores two against Argentina and suddenly Bergwijn or Klaassen are the enemy.


  12. Dear Aloysius,

    It’s been an eternity since you last commented on this blog. I should know, since I am living now in heaven and know exactly what eternity is. It’s a long time! But things are very good here! And I’ve found there is a role for me. They have a strong grasp of triangles and the trinity already, but exploiting the third man run, that is where my expertise can be helpful

    And now, since I can understand the meaning of all past events and see the full future as well, I thought I’d give you some tips, although I can’t really reveal too much to you. But it’s like I always said, “if I wanted you to understand, I would explain it better.” Haha!

    Anyway, I think you’ve been emboldened by your run to the 2014 semi-finals with this heretical formation you use, and you now see that as the only path to success. After all I did to promote such wonderful footballing qualities while on Earth, you go and throw it away on defensive solidarity and wingbacks! I always knew that we had differing views on football, but…I can barely bring myself to say this….42% possession against the United States?!….2 total shots against Ecuador?! Aloysius, how can you live with yourself? I played football in the United States! I could keep possession myself against both teams! And 2 shots? Perhaps playing with a center forward and traditional wingers might allow your team to get near the goal?

    And keep in mind, to win, you only need to score one goal more than your opponent. How will you do so if you cannot score? Do you really think Messi will not score? Do you think you can shut him down in totality with a marker? There are very few players who know what to do when they are NOT marked. So sometimes you should tell your team, that attacker is very good, but don’t mark him!

    Finally, keep in mind, every disadvantage has it’s advantage!

    So now you should know what to do. And remember, it’s always better to go down with your own vision than with someone else’s, unless that is of course if you are you and the someone else is me!

    All the best,


    P.S., Xavi Simons

      1. Julian:

        So kind of you to ask about me! I am a voracious reader of Jan’s blog but rarely comment these days. With the Elftal in my rearview mirror, I busied myself with a few other managerial roles, first with Sparta, then Utrecht, then Feyenoord, and then the Iraqi national team, always looking for a new challenge.

        My former assistant Ruud, you know him of course, recently invited me to travel with him to the World Cup in Qatar. Our hope was to make an appearance on the Fox Sports telecast with Kate Abdo, who I candidly find… what’s the word?… exhilarating! Anyway, whenever you’re with Ruud, you must hit the clubs, which disappointingly were slightly more subdued in the Middle East. He was up to his old tactics though, trying to convince the ladies that he was actually Nathan Ake, and this time that I was Luuk de Jong, and that it was the harsh strobe lights that made us look just a little bit older…. Needless to say, no one believed I was Luuk even though they had no idea what he looks like.

        Thankfully, our trip was interrupted by the call from my boyhood club, ADO, and I returned home last week to take over from Dirk Kuyt, who sadly earned only a non-alcoholic Heineken in his short stint as their manager… Just to think, 65 years ago I made my youth debut with ADO, and now I’m fighting to keep the Storks in the Eerste Divisie. It still makes me a little emotional, but I just take my cues from Aloysius!

  13. Jean and Orangutan both have some nerve! Jan puts his time into this blog, with quotes, articles analysis and he gets shit on by you. Why don’t you two create your own blog and fuck off?

    You two should really go fuck yourselves. I’m sorry to say it. Arguing over Blind and Bergius like a bunch of clowns.

    WHO CARES! Move on already.

    I’m looking forward to Friday. Quarterfinals against Argentina with the best defense we’ve had in a generation. LFG

  14. I’ll have a look Paul! And great to have Louis van Gaal and johan Cruyff back! How blessed we are: we go from orangutan and Jean to Louis and JC. That heals my bleeding heart

  15. @ Jan- It’s ok to disagree without calling people arrogant. I think Oragutan and myself totally disagree with you on Berghuis. You got it wrong brother. Berghuis isn’t no special talent and I am going to stand by it. For your information, I’m from the Caribbean, way across the Atlantic. I’ve fell in love with Dutch football since 1988 since I’m only 49 yrs old and I have not looked back since. You know how much I’ve been ridiculed for being a dutch fan? People called us the team with the beautiful Jersey. lol No one can question my love for dutch football despite many disappointments. Just like you, I want the team to win but only if Van Gaal was willing to at least make some changes. So far, I just enjoying the ride with no big expectations.

  16. @ Jan

    I like debating with you. its like playing chess. either way, just look at what you have done. you have taken a setting which happened how many years ago and are trying pave an argument which is not the same setting as today. it was an isolated incident and its not like he is hasrssed or booed every time he plays for France. he received a standing oviation vs poland game after he got subbed off and becoming all time top scorer for france. yes he has to fight for a spot but thats because there is ballon dor winner in the team. then you look at other legends of french football, platini, Zidane, Thierry Henry, Frank Ribery, Karim Benzema, where will he fit in when Mbappe break his record which he will. you can easily relate his case to that of Klass Jan Huntelaar. 2 highest goal scorer for NT just until recently displaced to third by depay, underrated and never talked about when it comes to dutch legends. Crujff, Van basten, Gullit, Rijkaard always seem to be untouchable no matter what.

    also Benzema got injured in the training session leading up to the startof world cup. its not that he was not selected.

    1. @ wilson – You are missing part of the story in regards to Benzema. Benzema was injured prior to the world cup but he is still on the squad list. He has recovered (according to the physios at madrid. France physios apparently got the recovery time frame wrong) and is available for selection. Deschamps has chosen against bringing him back into the squad. If france win the WC, Benzema will get a medal. The speculation is that benzema is not brought back into the squad to maintain harmony within the team.

  17. Hendrik and Aloysius!!!

    My very first time hearing from your duo. Fun stuff. Thoroughly enjoying the banter.


    It is ironic(VERY) that the people who are all against others expressing strong opinions about some player(who do not know you and I exist, I might add), are also the ones most likely to use foul language and obscenities against people they share a blog with.

    It is a bully mentality. It is crude, low, and betrays a stark, lack of penmanship ability to otherwise express a winning argument.

  18. Hendrik and Aloysius,

    So wonderful to have your honored selves back again. Your appearances in 2014 were as delightful as as a breeze in the desert.

    I believe, Aloysius, you chimed in when you were first re-hired. But your appearances have been all too rare since then. Perhaps you had other things occupying your time—such as qualifying for this thing they call the World Cup. With that accomplished, and having made sure all the boys have their proper uniform numbers, perhaps you’ll have a few minutes poolside to keep us further informed.

  19. @ AZ forever

    Agree to your noppert claim. He could well be the triumph card for van Gaal. Noppert is just another example of how when given opportunity things can change for better. I always dream of this.

    It will take some worldie to beat him at this world cup or like to that brazil scored vs Korea. Richardlison goal.

  20. @ Paul NY

    “Jean and Orangutan both have some nerve! Jan puts his time into this blog, with quotes, articles analysis and he gets shit on by you. Why don’t you two create your own blog and fuck off?

    You two should really go fuck yourselves. I’m sorry to say it. Arguing over Blind and Bergius like a bunch of clowns”

    Fyi.Nobody on this blog has ever under appreciated jan work or effort he puts in. Let’s make this crystal clear. It doesn’t mean if we dont agree with Jan that we are not respecting him or undermining his work.

    It’s an open forum dude. You present your case, I present mine. Fundamentals of debate. Constructive criticism is not always negative.

    Go and watch some of the football talk back shows and what people like sneijder, vaart, van der myde, van basten etc had to say. And yeah stop being a bitch. You sound like dead pr#ck which cant stand but want a good p#$$y. Its doesn’t work that way.

  21. @ Paul NY

    “Jean and Orangutan both have some nerve! Jan puts his time into this blog, with quotes, articles analysis and he gets shit on by you. Why don’t you two create your own blog and f#$k off?

    You two should really go fuck yourselves. I’m sorry to say it. Arguing over Blind and Bergius like a bunch of clowns”

    Fyi.Nobody on this blog has ever under appreciated jan work or effort he puts in. Let’s make this crystal clear. It doesn’t mean if we dont agree with Jan that we are not respecting him or undermining his work. It’s an open forum dude. You present your case, I present mine. Fundamentals of debate. Constructive criticism is not always negative. Go and watch some of the football talk back shows and what people like sneijder, vaart, van der myde, van basten etc had to say. And yeah stop being a bitch. You sound like dead pr#ck which cant stand but want a good p#$$y. Its doesn’t work that way.

  22. @ Paul NY

    “Jean and Orangutan both have some nerve! Jan puts his time into this blog, with quotes, articles analysis and he gets shit on by you. Why don’t you two create your own blog and f#$k off? You two should really go fuck yourselves. I’m sorry to say it. Arguing over Blind and Bergius like a bunch of clowns”

    Fyi.Nobody on this blog has ever under appreciated jan work or effort he puts in. Let’s make this crystal clear. It doesn’t mean if we dont agree with Jan that we are not respecting him or undermining his work. It’s an open forum dude. You present your case, I present mine. Fundamentals of debate. Constructive criticism is not always negative. Go and watch some of the football talk back shows and what people like sneijder, vaart, van der myde, van basten etc had to say. And yeah stop being a b!tch. You sound like dead pr#ck which cant stand but want a good p#$$y. Its doesn’t work

  23. “Jean and Orangutan both have some nerve! Jan puts his time into this blog, with quotes, articles analysis and he gets shit on by you. Why don’t you two create your own blog and f#$k off? You two should really go f#$k yourselves. I’m sorry to say it. Arguing over Blind and Bergius like a bunch of clowns”

    Fyi.Nobody on this blog has ever under appreciated jan work or effort he puts in. Let’s make this crystal clear. It doesn’t mean if we dont agree with Jan that we are not respecting him or undermining his work. It’s an open forum dude. You present your case, I present mine. Fundamentals of debate. Constructive criticism is not always negative. Go and watch some of the football talk back shows and what people like sneijder, vaart, van der myde, van basten etc had to say. And yeah stop being a b!tch. You sound like dead pr#ck which cant stand but want a good p#$$y. Its doesn’t work that way.

  24. Wilson, I watched the clip. Did you notice how everyone else in the studio started laughing at his words, going “all right all right”… He’s clearly making shallow statements about Blind, not being able to move. It’s sooo exaggerated. The guy is playing his second World Cup, played close to 100 caps and some fatso has the audacity to say these things? Really Wilson. Shame on you. You’re not a fan. The number of people sitting on the sofa with their beer and related belly, putting chips in their face yelling how Blind can’t run. Disgusts me.

    Also, if you state an opinion, it’s usually custom to say “I think” or “I believe”. Many of the ones I have issues with make statements as if they are facts.

    I mean, Jean even laughs at me for taking the words of experts like Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Van Hanegem serious. As if his words will have more value to me than their words!?!?!? Of course I listen to them! Of course!!! They won trophies, played dozens of caps, and yes, I value their opinion over the opinion of Jean. Goodness me!

    As for the obscenities and rude words. These are usually the result of feeling powerless. Anger usually is the result of not having the control over a situation. Feeling powerless.

    I think two people here (at least) – me and Paul – feel utter frustration with the complete disregard for the fact that the whole Dutch football world says “A” but they think “B” and have the arrogance and thickheadedness to not even have a slither of self-doubt or self-reflection.

    I mean, if Max Verstappen and Valerie Bottas and Lewis Hamilton would say “this new kid can drive”, do you believe I will then say “ha, these F1 drivers, they don’t know anything. I do. And I tell you it’s not the case”. Does my head in. I don’t know how often I need to say it.

    So in my view, Jean and orangutan have to be simply here to troll me and rile me up. THis cannot be their serious opinion… Please someone…help me …..

  25. @ Jan

    Off course he is old and making a shallow statement by comparing himself to him but the reason Why I post that video was just to share what people outside see as the weakness in the NT. He was barely making a point about the left side. Don’t cut corners pix.The comparison of him was laughable.

      1. Frank Leboeuf? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha gasp ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I cannot catch my breath anymore. With him and Mémé Jacquet we really are taking the vieilles gloires out of the closet, are we.

        Mémé was atrocious and only saved because he had Zidane.

  26. @Nicolaas

    Wow, I am so flattered you took the time away from your coaching duties with ADO to respond to my post! What a great day it has been, first Aloysius, then Hendrik and now Nicolaas.

    As for Ruud, he was my first Dutch footballing idol when I was a young boy. In my mind I always imagined him and Franklin rekindling the old days in the clubs of Qatar. If Ruud was pretending to be Nathan Ake, who would Franklin be made out to be?

    Anyway, it would bring much joy if Ruud too were a consumer of Jan’s blog (although even he might be discouraged by the droning on about Berguis, Blind and co).

  27. @Wilson, up until now, the left side of Holland has not been in danger has it? I mean, I get it that you think Blind is not good enough, but he’s playing there, he played almost 100 caps and in those 100 caps, I think there was only one match that mattered where he made a huge mistake that cost us. Or am I missing something?

  28. There you go again. Weak link and investment. From day 1. Why would you wanna do that.

    100 caps yes, but this is where you have to ask this question. Does NT really cant do without him or in his absence the team cannot function like when he plays. Flip side man.

  29. What if the Argentine make him the focal point. Do you think this team will deserve it. I mean one mistake and its decided. Alot of analyst have said it will be close and might come down to those key moments. What do you think?

  30. Dude, that is football. The Argentine full backs are also not world class. What do you expect. Roberto Carlos in Oranje. Grow up. We are going to lose, maybe. And someone will be making a mistake. A lot of people are on the list of “players who were hoodwinked by Messi”. What are you on about.

    And why the question “can the NT play without him”. Stupid question. The NT won silver in 1978 without Cruyff and Van Hanegem. Of course we can play without Blind. Or Bergwijn. Or De Roon.

    I have no idea what you are trying to say, truly. What.Is.Your.Point?

    Is it “I don’t want Blind in the starting line up”? We know mate.

    1. Jan, curious as to why Van Hanegem didn’t play in WC 78.
      I have been watching a few highlights from qualification campaigns of WC 82, EC 84. I had never realized that Gullit, Rijkaard, Van Basten, Vanenburg, Koeman, brothers were part of the NT since 1982 playing for EC 84 qualifications. They were so, so young. Van Basten seemed like a 14 yr old 🙂

  31. Well the Argentine fullbacks are not a weak link as he is or are they.you exactly know what’s his weakness is and yet again you want to slide that underneath the carpet and paint a glorified picture of his because his weakness hasnt being exposed yet. And when it happens then you will say, dude its football everyone makes mistakes. Well football is also about making adjustments as you go on but that is not a feature under van Gaal. If there is an area of concern then it needs to be addressed.

    In 2014 Rob Vlaar stopped and had messi neutralized through out the game. You just wrote about it and yet again you bring up the messi conundrum and try to cover up Blinds potholes. Well it too late for this but this is the game where malacia should have started. He fits that bill for this game.

  32. Julian:

    Again, you are too kind to me! Ruud and I have had our disagreements, but we now are friends. He truly personified Dutch football for many years. He, Franklin and Marcel, the Milan trio, who as teammates finished 1-2-3 in the Ballon D’Or voting, defined our nation in Europe for an entire generation.

    Ruud was Mr. Sexy Football, and remains so to this day, but I just don’t think he is into blogging (except alas when he impersonates me). Franklin was quieter, more serious, but amazing in his own right, and succeeded as a manager as well. And Marcel,… he must be considered among the all time greats, and that’s even before acknowledging his ankle problems.

    I just think back to 1994 and what might have been. I am actually constantly reminded of that World Cup by Ruud. When he stole my phone, he made “1994” my passcode. I haven’t figured out how to change it yet.

    And no Hendrik, I don’t want to hear any more about what you would have done…

  33. Dear Nicolaas,

    It’s good to hear from you too! And thank you for bringing up 1994 again. That was nice of you to fill in there for me. But it is the same today with Aloysius…

    Our style, system, mentality….it is all reactionary. There is no initiative. Back then, when you were down 0-2 to Brazil, only then do we see Dutch football. Why do you wait?

    And now in 2022, once again there is no aggressiveness, no will to dominate. 42% possession against the US. Scoring on the counter… That is on the players, but more so the manager, who sets the mentality for the team.

    Please tell Aloysius that, as I’ve said before, you can’t eat steak in a fish restaurant….You must find another restaurant. It’s that simple.

  34. I wish Argentina is out and I will never again hear this “Messi Messi Messi Messi”…stuff. Just vanish, please, go to your family, stay in front of Virgin Mary, pray and make more babies and never come back to football again. It is so annoying when one person is being idolized to the extent that it is no longer unbearable. It is Media makes me hate that poor guy. He did not anything wrong to me but I cannot hear his name, see his face. Can we stop mentioning his name here? Please….I think I need to get therapy. However, the best therapy for me is when the Netherlands sends Messi home and Blinds scores a winning goal! LOL

    1. Mr. AZ:

      I assume you are already a big supporter of mine. Congratulations! Rest assured that you will not hear Lionel Messi’s name chanted tomorrow, other than by idiotic American and Spanish announcers. And I apologize in advance as Daley will not be among the scorers. I have not yet decided about Teun though…

  35. Mr. Wilson:

    It is dinner time here in Qatar, but I want to take time out to respond to your criticism of Daley Blind. Do you think I do not know that he is as slow as a shield toad? Do you think Ron Vlaar was any faster in 2014? Perhaps I have something under the knee here, in that my tactics are generally met with great success. The footspeed of a player is inconsequential when my system is executed properly.

    And are you still talking about Alexander Buttner? Are you his brother or something? Trust me, I have seen him up close and in person and he is not the solution, most certainly not when no problem even exists.

    Please find something else to obsess about! Like me, for example. I am not only brilliant but also handsome and talented. I think a lot more time could be spent on this blog discussing me, and then I would be happy to correct where the praise is not sufficient.

    Take care all and we will see you tomorrow! Except for Hendrik, who is still stuck in the past! Our post-match meal will be Argentine chimichurri steak, Gaucho style!

      1. Mr. Anthony:

        Haha! We of course keep our own statistics and internal metrics for our squad’s physical attributes. I assure you that was a one time moment of adrenaline, such as a grandmother lifting a car off of a small child. Never to be repeated. He was called “Concrete Ron” for more than one reason. Haha! Besides, I assure you that Daley Blind is fast enough for the role he plays, and just as Nathan Ake is covering behind him and Frenkie de Jong is next to him, the team as a whole functions in perfect synchronization of movement.

  36. I am excited about this match. I do feel we have a decent chance to beat Argentina. Their defense hasn’t been tested very well. They haven’t played a top 10 ranked team in this tournament. They had a favorable draw and were lucky to play a listless Polish team that never tried anything serious.

    As far as Oranje they played ugly and unmotivated in the group games, I do believe LVG has prioritized defensive performance and stability above all else. Personally, as long as we win, I am not complaining about style. However, I do feel that the team was a bit lethargic and unambitious at times. The work rate against Argentina has to be 110%. I don’t think taking it easy and trying to coast is gonna work against them.

    I have been pleasantly surprised by Noeppert. Is this guy for real? How has he been so anonymous this far into his career? He has been solid so far. I hope he can continue his top form into this game. At 6’8″ he has a huge frame and wingspan that will be amazing for penalties. Assuming he got the quick reflexes and can sense the direction of the ball.

    If it was up to me, I would bring in De Vrij and partner him with VVD. Ake has been a monster defensively but it scares me at times that he is a bit undersized at 5’10” or so. I would move him into the defensive midfield role and pair him with Timber who has also been solid and reliable defensively.

    I have to agree with Blind sitting this one out. There’s nothing personal. Just looking at him play even neutral fans can see it clearly. He really really struggles with pace at this point in his career. It will be exploited by the fast Argentine counter attacks. That means someone has to get out of position to cover for him or help him out. That will open up spaces in the defense say if VVD has to come and challenge the player who evaded Blind.

    What is the worst that can happen if Malacia plays? Is he that bad? Is Blind such a huge upgrade over Malacia? I know Blind can find that killer pass once a game, but it is sacrificing a lot to include him as an automatic starter. I just don’t get the rationale. Is it favoritism? Anyways, we shall see what happens.

    1. @yoyogi – Interesting suggestions. It sounds like you would play 4 2 3 1 ?
      X de vrij VVD Blind
      Ake Timber
      X X X

      Ake and timber have not played CDM for ages so its a huge risk to try them at CDM vs messi. I also think we have built up chemistry in our back line and system. Switching everything one day before a game seems foolish. playing a back 4 will nullify our wingback threat as well. I think we saw how effective our back 5 can be vs the usa.

      As for Ake being too short- Has he ever been exposed for the national team? He’s incredible in the air so I dont understand why his aerial ability is in question for you?

      As for blind being too slow – Have we had any real counter attacks this tournament? Our system prevents counter attacks from occuring but even if it does happen, its our back 3 who is most responsible. They try to delay the counter so that we have time for blind, dumfries, de roon etc to get back into shape. Even if malacia plays LWB, he will most likely be high up the pitch and not be the first player involved in the transition of a counter attack.

      Blind rationale – Blind offers more to our build up play than malacia does. Blind offers more coaching/organization of his team than malacia. Blinds tactical IQ is higher than malacia. Blind just had an amazing game against the USA. Why would you want to drop him? What do we sacrifice by starting blind? 1. Speed 2. 1v1 defending. …… Has our squad required our wingbacks to have speed (see low block comments)? Do our wingbacks have to defend 1v1 without coverage (Rarely as ake is always there to provide cover)?

      I dont understand the comment “is blind such a huge upgrade over malacia?”. If blinds inclusion improves the squad even 1% more than malacia, then blind should play. Based on the requirements of the system and how blind just had an amazing game, I am curious why you want to drop him.
      Based on his performance against the USA, Blind 100% deserves to start. That is not favourtism, but results driven. Why do you think he should not start? It sounds like you have a bias against him?

  37. @wilson – I think the main issue is that some people are not providing constructive criticism. Its absolute and extreme negativity.

    Constructive criticism will acknowledge the good and the bad of a player and provide an opinion in a positive approach (Constructive approach). Most of the “criticism” that some people on this board are using, is a destructive way. Take a look at the comments on berghuis and its very obvious that Jean and Orangutan are black and white – Berghuis provides no value to Oranje. How is that constructive. People who are WAAAAY more qualified than anyone on this board will say that Berghuis offers value to Oranje. For someone to be so extreme and believe their opinion (which is negative in nature) is correct and everyone else is wrong does not seem very constructive. The claim that “even Van Gaal knows berghuis is useless because he doesnt start him”, is the epitome of negativity. Clearly van Gaal rates him or else he wouldnt be in Qatar.

    Your criticism of blind is not constructive either. Blind had a major role in our win against the USA. He has yet to be exposed defensively. You said he would be exposed at the world cup and he hasnt yet. Yet you fail to give him any constructive feedback and admit that you were wrong so far. That starting blind has been proven (by our results) to be the correct decision. What is your constructive criticism of blind for what HAS happened in the world cup, instead of what you PREDICT will happen?

    Our squads realistic expectations is to go out in the quarter finals. If we lose to Argentina, then we will have met our squad expectations. If we win against argentina, it will be because our team performed… TEAM. Blind is a massive part of our team shape, culture and build up.

    I find it ludicrous that you are trying to say that blind will be the reason we lose to argentina before the match has been played. You get mad at Jan for bringing up 100 caps and say its in the past. So lets only use the world cup for a metric on judging Blind. How has blind done in 4 games? Has he ever been exposed this world cup? Has speed been an issue once? Has 1v1 defending been a problem? What criticism of yours has Blind failed at during this world cup?

    However, I would like to debate with you over why you think malacia is better suited than blind to play argentina. Messi is likely to float around the pitch and won’t be a direct threat to our LWB. The direct threat will probably be Di maria. Malacia may be the better 1v1 defender in a system with a high line and not much coverage, but we know that van Gaal will play a low/mid block as he has done every game so far. In a low/mid block with coverage, I think it is way more important to be positionally sound compared to the ability to defend 1v1. (how often has any team ran at our defenders 1v1 with space at this tournament?). To break us down, Argentina will need to play intricate passes so being mentally switched on the entire game, organizing, cutting passing lanes will all be crucial and Blind has been phenomenal at all these attributes at the world cup.

    Have you ever wondered why all your posts are negative? Your only positive posts are about players who are not playing (which is a round about way to being negative about the starters).Why are there no posts that talk about what we did well and why it worked (from the negative posters)? Where is the tactical analysis on why a player made a mistake or not. Instead the criticism is always “Player X is not good enough or is tempo dictated etc”. This is not actually constructive criticism, it is just saying you don’t rate a specific player. For once I would love it if you gave a tactical analysis on what we should be doing and then talk about which players can fulfill that role. I am all ears if you want to provide input on what set up we need to implement in order to beat argentina.

    1. Anthony:

      I think your commentary on Blind is spot on. But I also like hearing Wilson’s and others’ contrasting viewpoints because they make me think about the alternatives (particularly those systems, tactics or players who are not currently being used or chosen). That said, as you illustrate, in this case, in LVG’s system, Blind fits quite nicely, which was contrary to my expectations as well, especially in the US match.

      I think this type of back and forth, so long as it remains civil, is really helpful and can be productive, as it forces us all to listen to and explore alternative viewpoints and not just live in an echo chamber. Some viewpoints I agree with, and some I don’t, but it allows me to further consider and evaluate my own perspectives more thoroughly. I learn alot from all of the commentary and appreciate Jan’s entertaining, informative and insightful posts that the initiate and spur further discussion and debate.

      I think we are all Oranje fans, or else we wouldn’t be here. And hopefully this tournament run can progress beyond this next match so we can continue the discussion!

      1. @JB Well said. I agree and value all your points and would like to add one more. I think civility is important but i also think proper criticism is equally important. Insulting a player for being a donkey is not a back and forth and it certainly is not talking tactics. Proper criticism should provide an alternative solution and details on why the current solution is not adequate. Simply saying everything sucks is no good to anyone.

        I am really eager to hear wilsons view on what system he believes is best to counter argentina as well as why he thinks malacia is more suited than blind.

        I am not worried the discussions will carry on. We have until the 18th to keep talking tactics hahaha.

  38. Andrew, I appreciate your complimentary remarks above. I did indeed make a brief cameo on this site when making my triumphant return. It is unfortunate that Hendrik has returned as well. He attempts to haunt me but it really is just pettiness on his part. He resents that I have been national team manager several times now, something he never was!

    The accommodations here in Qatar are quite excellent and the food is divine. The Dutch expression is “Alsof er een engeltje over je tong piest”, which probably doesn’t translate quite well… And yes, we have correctly organized all the kit numbers, even though there are more this time around. You will note that the extras (numbers 24, 25, and 26) have not yet featured extensively, just as you would expect. Everything is still going according to plan.

    Finally, I would love to do some poolside chats. I am quite fond of sunbathing although there is somewhat less of me to bathe than in past years (I’ve been doing some intermittent fasting and have lost a few kilos here and there). But your pool reference has inspired me further. I’ve always been a big fan of the American band Weezer, and so their song Beverly Hills has become our informal team anthem, to the point where even Noppert is now singing “Take my picture by the pool, cause I’m the next big thing!”

    Thank you again for your support and Hup Holland Hup! We are rolling like cel-eb-rit-ties!

  39. Vangaal said in his press conference that he has sought help from Bastian schweinsteiger among others for info on the Argentines.He did not reveal anything but said its positive. Meanwhile The Argentine press is talking about stopping Frenkie de jong through which the dutch attacks come up. Hope Vangaal has a plan B, in case tbey try to stop frenkie and the Wing backs like the way ecuador had done.Probably Enzo ot McAllister will be taking on Frenkie.

  40. I read that LVG declared “we’re beating Argentina” and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
    Both Ake and FDJ risk missing the semi-final (if we make it) if they get another yellow.

    1. Mr. Balkan:

      Of course this is true. I said it myself just a short while ago in these blog comments. See above remarks re Chimichurri steak, gaucho style 🙂

      It is getting later here now in the evening, so I plan to sign-out. I look forward to seeing your comments in the morning, although I do not anticipate any last minute tactical changes.

      Goedenacht. Droom maar lekker!

      1. Thank you for the assurance Your Highness!
        We all hope and pray that everything down there will be working fine as usual and without any hiccups when we play that pretty thing called Argentina! 🙂
        In You We Trust!

  41. Aloysius.

    As you may have noticed, some of the inhabitants of this blog are a little anxious. But I trust, you will sleep soundly. You refer to Weezer, I’ll refer to that band’s 19th century counterpart, Rudyard Kipling (of course), as another exemplar of your behavior:

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    Good night to you as well. We are in your hands.

  42. Dear Aloysius,

    I know that you consider yourself a sportsman, having been a teacher of gymnastics. I too was a fair athlete, particularly in my younger years, when I actually enjoyed baseball as much as football (Neeskens did as well). Although my talents were more mental than physical. My preferred baseball position was catcher and up here I have met another catcher who I think can offer you some sage advice. His name is Yogi, but with Y rather than a J.

    I know you won’t listen to me (or understand what I have to say), but maybe if I let Yogi communicate with you in his way, you will be more receptive. But beware though, because while he and I agree on many things, unlike my advice, sometimes his statements can be a little cryptic. Here goes:

    I say “Before I make a mistake, I don’t make that mistake.”
    Yogi says “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

    I say “You play football with your head. Your legs are there to help you.”
    Yogi says “This game is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

    I say “To win, you only have to score one more goal than your opponent.”
    Yogi says “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

    I say “Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.”
    Yogi says “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”

    I say “Sometimes something has got to happen before something is going to happen”.
    Yogi says “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

    I say “If you have the ball you must make the field as big as possible, and if you don’t have the ball you must make it as small as possible.”
    Yogi says “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”

    I say “Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal.”
    Yogi says “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

    I say “I’m ex-player, ex-technical director, ex-coach, ex-manager, ex-honorary president. A nice list that once again shows that everything comes to an end.”
    Yogi says “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

    I say “Football is a game of mistakes. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins.”
    Yogi says “When we lose, we made too many wrong mistakes.”

    I say “When you first have the ball, you must look forward as far as you can.”
    Yogi says “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

    I say “The most important part are the fans, that people going home are happy. It’s their time off and you should give them something to enjoy.”
    Yogi says “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”

    I say “There’s only one moment in which you can arrive in time. If you’re not there, you’re either too early or too late.”
    Yogi says “It gets late early out here.”

    I say “If you don’t shoot, you cannot score.”
    Yogi says, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

    Listen to Yogi, and know where you are going Aloysius…..and remember, in the quarterfinals, it gets late early out there!

    All the best,


    P.S. 3-4-3…

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.