Ruben Schaken celebrates his goal in his debut game for Oranje with his idol Patrick Kluivert…
Through the ages, we have learned a great number of absolute truths: politicians lie, bacon goes with anything, foodwise and Oranje disappoints against minions.
And it’s not always fair to judge our elite on those “troubling” results.
Because to start off with: we did win. We did secure the three points. And we won with more than 1-0 (which is an embarassing result). I don’t think goal difference will really come into play in this group so the only reason we are disappointed is because we wanted more entertainment.
Playing with consistency, high paced circulation and flair is hard against these teams. Andorra players will consider this game (away against Holland!!!) as their world cup finals. And they probably would consider a 1-0 loss a victory.
So, they defend like horses and they will lash out at everything that moves.
If, like in this case, the coach (LVG) also decides to start with a B/C line up (Huntelaar is A for me, but at this point in time I regard Janmaat and Schaken to be C players more than anything else)…. No Sneijder, no RVP, no Arjen Robben… But more importantly, this team has never played together before. Huntelaar probably wouldn’t recognise Schaken if he’d bump into him in the elevator of Huis ter Duin.
And I guess that particular topic ( the starting line up) is – for me – at least, the topic we should focus on. Not the lack of sharpness of Klaas Jan ( yes, he could have scored three more) or the lack of creativity of Nigel de Jong.
They key discussion point for me is the decision making of our coach Louis van Gaal.
As Carlos already mentioned in his posts, he most likely would play with 3 defenders. As Andorra probably would start with…eh…zero strikers… I supported this style of thinking! Sure, 3-4-3. Creativity in midfield and skill in the final third.
But LVG decided on a normal back four but on top of that used two holding mids (Strootman and De Jong). I know Strootman is more than a holding mid and has good penetrative runs and passing etc but why did we need De Jong in this game?? To stop their world famous and ever dangerous playmaker??? Nothing against De Jong. You need him in big games, but I believe we could have asked Danny Blind to play against this Andorra…
De Jong saw a lot of the ball and wasn’t able to create a lot with it. If you have a player like Van der Vaart supporting the striker, you need a player sitting deeper with the ability to pick a killer pass. A player like Clasie, Maher or Afellay. The first two weren’t available but Afellay was. He played in the holding position before and has good vision.
We basically played with 6,5 defensive players ( Strootman is half half for me) and I wonder why?
Like I wondered why LVG used Schaken and Lens…. Both players are not renowned for their silky touch. And against Andorra you do need players who can take on a man in the confined spaces and master the one-touch-pass… Against Andorra, using Narsingh would have made more sense to me, and Lens would have been / is probably better suited to play the stronger and more adventurous Romanians… (Although they most likely will play like Andorra, but then like a better version of it….).
Those are the questions I’d like to ask LVG…. Why 4 defenders? Why Nigel de Jong? Why use wingers who need space to run into….?
Other than that…. whatever. Three points against Andorra. Let’s focus on Romania now.
A game in which we’ll most likely see Van Rhijn as right back, Van Persie leading the line and Narsingh for Schaken. The debutant Feyenoord winger left the Oranje camp with a knee injury while Van Gaal replaced Robben by none other than Eljero Elia, the one that got away… 26 international games, a World Cup campaign but hopelessly slipped away in the football swamp in Torino. The former Ajax and Twente winger is fighting his way back into the limelight in Bremen. Elia: “I was on my way to the wedding of a friend in Holland, when I got the call. Sensational! I knew I could get back to the top and I knew I was on the right track but that the call would come this quick was a big surprise… I’m overjoyed.”
Another lad being added to the squad is Young Orange player Jordy Clasie. The Feyenoord game-accelerator is most likely called up to add some much needed depth and finesse to the Oranje midfield (see above).
Van Gaal: “I had done what I could to improve the quality of the game against Andorra. It was not good. I even did a hair dryer speech in the half time break but the team couldn’t execute. It went well for 20 minutes and than it sort of came to a halt. I can’t blame the lads. They haven’t had much minutes together and Andorra is a very tough lot to break. You need to be 100% sharp and on the ball and we simply couldn’t deliver. I really wish we could have scored 5 or 6 and if we were totally sharp we could have… We had some 100% chances missed and a ball on the post…. Sad for the fans, but we need to know focus on Romania. I won’t go into this game much longer. We have the points, now we need to beat Romania. Which won’t be easy. They are in a flow and winning away against Turkey is a very good result for them. We can not be complacent.”