Oranje: A New Beginning (Blind leading the pack)

It is time to get positive again!

Yes, we are frustrated. Yes we should have gone to the Euros. Yes, mistakes were made.

But we can keep on moaning about it and withdraw support etc and where will this leave us?

I do believe the players were partly to blame, but I also believe they tried to do well. Their intentions were good. But the post WC blues, the shift from LVG to Hiddink etc may have caused them to underperform.

I do believe the coach was to blame as well. Inconsistent, vague, old-school…the contrast with Louis was too big.

And the Federation is to blame for the silly decision to follow up LVG with Guus and to also give him the charter to play “Total Football”.

But…all in all, looking at the amazing talent on show in the Eredivisie at the moment, I think we can safely say “We’ll be back!”.


I watched Feyenoord – Ajax in the Classico in De Kuip and was impressed with some of our youngsters. It was also great to see they can battle and tackle. Good to see a ref allowing some manly football. Impressed by Bazoer… Easily Holland’s biggest talent. Will be a world class player in 3 years. Composed, highly skilled, fast, smart, and mature. I loved Rick Karsdorp too. Venom, speed, good vision… Elia was alive. Working hard and making problems constantly. Vejinovic has something Pirlo-esque. Sven van Beek was strong again and finally scored in the right goal. Tonny Vilhena is reviving his career (even if he is still super young). Tete and Riedenwald played well for Ajax and Davy Klaassen showed to all (incl Frank de Boer) why he needs to play in midfield.

PSV did ok too, with Luuk de Jong impressing even if he did miss a penalty. But PSV fans disgusting me with the way they treated Adam Maher, forcing Cocu to sub the youngster as he was constantly booed. Locadia is showing his progress on a week by week basis and if you take into account the likes of Clasie, Jetro Willems, Van Dijk, De Vrij, Marten de Roon, El Ghazi, Dost, Memphis and Wijnaldim, all is not lost.

Daley Blind is even developing into a great field captain, like his dad. Didn’t miss a beat in Man U’s win over West Brom. Composed, highly skilled, great vision and courageous in the duels.


Marten de Roon

Marten de Roon deserves a special mention. He is from my hometown (Hendrik Ido Ambacht) and played for the club where I started (ASWH). In case you are wondering: I stopped there as well. Not Marten. He moved to Feyenoord’s youth system, then Sparta. Made it to the first team and played under Van Basten at Heerenveen. Went on to Atalanta Bergamo and his first months were hell, apparently. Young de Roon only speaks Dutch, German and English while all his team mates only speak Italian or French…. He is now starting to speak the language and two later additions to the team speak English and translate for him. Against AC Milan this weekend, the defensive midfielder (Strootman style) was named MOTM.

At this stage, Blind wants to have two defensive mids in his squad and as he has Clasie and added Vejinovic, it seems Daley will be a center back, most likely in a 5-3-2 set up.

daley man

Asked about the reason why a non playing RVP was ditched while a non playing Memphis was actually selected, Blind said this: “I know what to expect from Robin. He had 100+ caps and 50 goals. Once he is match fit and playing well, I have no qualms putting him in and I don’t need to worry about him. Memphis isn’t playing a lot either, but he is fit and I don’t have too many left wingers. Also, with Memphis being young and inconsistent, I love to have him in the group as I can assert some influence over him. Otherwise I’d see him again 5 months from now. Feels like a long time for a young turk like him.”

Meanwhile, in Eindhoven, young PSV back Brenet was tricked into saying silly things in an interview with PSV tv. The anchor clearly wanted to make some anti Ajax points and basically coaxed Brenet into saying that Blind oversaw him (Brenet) in favour of Tete. “And everyone in the squad here feels that way…”

Blind was obviously flabbergasted and said in his press conference that there is no reason for him to focus on Ajax players only. “I want to win games. Why would I select players that are lesser than others? What do I have to gain with that? Ridiculous…”

vince jansen

Vincent Janssen of AZ and Young Oranje

So much for Brenet being called up.

Vincent Janssen of AZ scored another real strikers goal. He is not the quickest but he has a good touch and uses his body well. Him and Locadia…you never know…. Heracles, FC Utrecht, Vitesse and AZ also have some interesting young players at hand, as does FC Groningen. All too early for now, but the coming 2 to 5 years don’t look shabby at all.

I personally see Berghuis develop under Flores at Watford and hope to see Leroy Fer and Marco van Ginkel shine still as well. Afellay had a sub turn against Chelsea last weekend and he was highly involved in Stoke’s win. In the meantime, Davey Klassen had to pull out of the squad due to knee complaints.

jonk over

Wim Jonk and Mark Overmars

This is not the worst Ajax news coming out. The worst being that the Cruyff Velvet Revolution is in jeopardy. Two of his proteges at Ajax are out. Former winger Tscheu La Ling left at board level and Wim Jonk was sacked on the spot as head of development.

The former felt no one cared about his opinion and left. The latter couldn’t work with De Boer, Overmars and Bergkamp and refused to communicate with them. General manager in waiting Edwin van der Sar tried to talk sense into him but decided to sack him as Jonk wouldn’t budge.

With Johan battling lung cancer, who knows what will happen with the JC philosophy.

While on international break, the current football news made news for transfers rumours. Man United is linked with Graziano Pelle and Ajax winger El Ghazi for a winter move. Juventus also wants to sign the former Feyenoord striker.


Virgil in EPL team of the month

In the meantime, Blind is working behind closed doors to get his defense and midfield shored up for the upcoming games. Oranje conceded 23 times under Hiddink/Blind. “This is one of the key things we need to address,” Blind said at the press conference. The general opinion is that he will implement 2 holding mids in the team. Hiddink worked with one deep lying central defender and two more offensive midfielders (Sneijder, Klaassen, Wijnaldum). Clasie, Blind or Klaassen were used mostly in the center of midfield and they are not real destroyers like Nigel de Jong.

The way Man United plays, with two defensive mids and one forward midfielder behind the striker is most likely the way to go for Oranje. The 5-3-2 seems unlikely against Wales but might be used against Germany. Wales plays defensive football and will accept a stronger Oranje to dominate the game.


Another topic was still the absence of Robin van Persie. Wesley Sneijder: “I feel for him as I experienced the exact same. First the band is taken off your arm and then you hear you are not fit enough. You can do two things: tell ‘m to put it where the sun don’t shine or work you arse off. I did the latter, but it was hell. Robin will do the same. And I’ll tell you this: a fit Van Persie should always be in the squad. Whether he is fit now? I can’t tell you this.” Sneijder didn’t talk to Robin. “This is how it goes. He’s not here so we don’t bother us about him. Was the same with me. The squad focuses on the game not on the ones not here. Whether it’s Strootman, Van Persie or Willems. I’ll see him in Istanbul some time, I’m sure. I texted him when I heard and that is all.”

Memphis Depay talks to the press again. Donning a new hat he opened up to the media. At practice the youngster scored every ball he hit on target. “It’s going well. I feel it. But I need to show it in matches again. That is where it counts. I had some set backs this season. I started well but the shift was big for me. New country, new city, new club. But I am working my ass off. Not everyone sees this. I even pay for a chef to make me proper meals and advice me on nutrition.” The ex PSV winger gained 5 kilos in the last 4 months. “I was a bit shocked when I weighed myself recently. It’s all muscle, but it is more than 5% increase and I need to work on my explosivity and speed. It’s due to the practices at Man United.”

memphis hoed

Asked whether his flamboyant appearances were a statement, he said: “It’s just a hat. A hat! Is that what keeps people intrigued. People say “what do you do with the hat?”. I say, I wear it hahahaha. Listen I don’t have any star behaviour or anything. I just like wearing hats. I am still the same football fanatic. But the media see me come at the hotel and get out of a fancy car and wearing a hat. And that is the big topic. No one sees how hard I work to get better.”

Blind had a conversation with the Man U talent regarding his work ethics. “We did talk. Was very positive. He didn’t mention any hats or anything. I really want to bring something special to the team and I do what I can. The criticism doesn’t hurt me. The people who judge don’t know what I do and who I am. It’s not my problem.”

Lastly, check out the website of kaassoldaat (cheese soldier). This wonderful Soldier of Orange is publishing the Eredivisie match replays online!! And Dutch language sports programs. Good fun!!

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  1. Thanks Jan for the site. Really can keep track of Eredivisie players. I must say two players that caught my eyes were Jesper Drost and Bryan Linssen. They look very composed with ball. I wonder if talents playing out of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord will ever be recognized and given the benefit of doubt.

    It’s good to see some new faces but Blind needs to do more. Phone calls is not an option here. Regardless of the team winning or losing there should be some sign of cohesion and team building in team. If not he should do it the easy way. Pack and leave.

    1. I can assure you these guys are definitely seen. There is a sports program called Voetbal Inside and they are on twice a week and discuss all games and remarkable young players. But they also feel the Eredivisie is weak. Washed out players from abroad can re-establish themselves in Holland. Our top players currently struggle to get a foot in, in mediocre teams. Siem de Jong, Memphis, van Ginkel, Kishna, Fer, Berghuis, Lens

    1. Though he is gaining momentum at Watford I really would like to see at DM. You can tell he really works hard when playing at LB especially when putting his body on line. I mean no body has to be genius to tell that those are the qualities that is needed in midfield rather than at LB where chances of getting exposed is more.

  2. I want to compare Akes versatility to that of Daley Blinds.Though Ake hasnt played as much as Daley Blind but yet he looks far more committed and rigid than Daley Blind.

    I mean Daley Blind has being getting the benefit of doubt at NT level jus because he is playing at Man U but yet he has not been able to justify his selection given his versatility to which he always keeps getting nod at DM and LB. Now compare this to Ake. He is a more improvised version than him but with less game time both at club and international so does this mean keep ignoring him and carry on with Daley.I know it’s a family affair but this is where you don’t need the sixth sense and the best interest of the team should come first.there is no two ways about it

    I would like to put this to the floor.lets say a quiz

    Ake at Man U and Daley Blind at Watford. Outcome?????

    1. I think you are wrong.

      Daley was Holland’s biggest talent from when he was 8 years old or so. Movement, positioning, composure, tremendous ball skills and vision with a long pass.

      Ake is more a Davids style midfielder. A bit wild, not that great touch (yet).

      Blind hardly ever loses the ball, he is smart and 100% focused. I would always play him. Big fan.

      He is not remarkable like Memphis or Lindgard. But solid.

      He makes the team more balanced and has a lot of maturity. Not unlike Bazoer. Really calm players.

      Ake is the opposite. In Dutch “driestig”. Like a bull.

      Ake is fast and tough and plays with courage. Great player, but different altogether.

      1. Jan I partially agree and partially disagree with what you have said. I think your Blinds assessment is more based on his outings in epl,but when it comes to NT it’s kind of 50-50 depending on the tempo of the game

        As for Ake, yeah I think he has got that animal instinct but at the same time he is also creative which gives his style of play a extra edge.

  3. What Blind lacks though and it is a big weakness, is speed. But he can score goals, give assists, organise, pass…. he is the real deal. The analists in England, the purists, like Michael Owen and Alan Shearer rate him.

    1. Fair enough, I See Where U Are Coming From, but to be honest most of the games he has played for NT, his weakness has always being capitalized on leading to goals.I don’t want to dig the past but weakness and dragging with it is not NT needs now. It’s time for a new core others wise foundation will still be weak.

  4. Normally frinedlies are friendly no one takes it serious,so effort will be less,i mean there would be no urgency..This is the time some players look like king,am sure Memphis might look like a king vs wales..
    Droping Bazoer,Hendrix and Ake is stupidity at any day on current form…

  5. Depays says its 5 kg muscles,??i think he is delusion or i think he must be fan of dwyne johnson or so….week in week out i saw struggling with his heavy build body to cop the pace of EPL fats defenders..

  6. Quoting Jan’s
    ” But they also feel the Eredivisie is weak. Washed out players from abroad can re-establish themselves in Holland”

    There was a time I’m really into Eredivisie games, following and watching the games, feeling that great players are emerging from there.
    However, after all the disappointment of the Euro qualifiers , our so-called talent struggling abroad, Dutch clubs continued poor performance in Champions league and Uefa competition and players “re-discovering” their form back home, I stop to believe.

    I hope I am proven wrong in time.

    1. @Ycsng0822…there is no need to disheartend..As duthc still produce good talents,but lacks real coaching in NT and coaches who ahs eagles eye to identify the real talents…
      Many of the dutch players were overrated,Depay,Afelly,promes etc…they cant survive out side…Some became victim of bad coaching Ginkel,luuk,seim etc…i am not saying they are on par with Vaart,snijder,but still…we could build a world beating team with a good openmided coach who listens to minute details…

  7. I also stop reading too much into the players comments and thoughts on how much they feel that the Dutch team will rise again..this is because whatever they claimed (to win, to fight hard in games) never come to fruition in the actual game day. It’s just false hope given really.

    I remembered how low profile and humble the Dutch team stayed during the successful WC under LVG.
    Need to talk less and work harder I feel.

    Hasn’t really gotten over the disappointment. 🙁

  8. Koeman wants Luc Castaignos with growing speculation of Pelle leaving the Saints in Jan.

    I have always been skeptical about Castaignos as a perfect transition for NT from box strikers given his all round capabilities in front of goal.

    Will be another good addition for the Saints and a good chance for him to revive his career given a player of his caliber.

    I like Koeman and how he acknowledges players based on their capabilities and not where they play. This is one reason why he is blossoming at Southampton.clearly something that Blind lacks.

  9. On a positive note , I watched a short interview with Wijnaldum on Fox yesterday, he came across very humble and spoke really well about playing at Newcastle. He basically said that he was really gratefull that he has been given an opportunity to play in the EPL and enjoys the big crowds and scoring goals of course! He did not seam cocky or arrogant at all which was very pleasing to see, his English was very good too.
    Let’s hope he drags Newcastle into the top half of the league by season end.

  10. It’s good to hear that Danny Blind will implement 2 defensive midfielders for the NT. That means, he will use 4-2-3-1 or 5-3-2 formation and no more 4-3-3 formation. IMO, the use of 4-3-3 formation is the main reason of why the NT failed to qualify for EURO 2016. In that formation, NT’s style of play was too much concentrated in the wings, both left and right wing. When the NT had the ball, the players rushed on the wings. The wings then were too crowded with NT’s players. On the left, Sneijder often clashed with Depay, while on the right wing, Narsingh or Robben clashed with wijnaldum, etc. It became worse when the left and the right back came forward to support the attack. As a result, Huntelaar or Van Persie, the central forward became isolated in the box and the attack was easily broken. It also leaves the big gap in the midfield, since no more NT’s player there. As we all know, the Turks, Czech, etc exploited that well.

    If Blind uses 4-2-3-1 formation, hope he plays:

    Depay — Sneijder — Robben
    Wijnaldum — Clasie
    Pieters — Van Dijik — Bruma — Janmaat

    Subtitutes ; GK: Vermeer, Zoer. Def: Wiel, Kongolo, Rekik,Riedewald, Tete, Veltman, BMI. Mid: Blind, Anita, Klaassen, Afellay, Elia, Narsingh. Strikers: Huntelaar, Dost, Castaignos

    In this formation, Clasie or Blind plays as defensive midfielder, Wijnaldum or Klaassen as a box to box player, and Sneijder as a playmaker or second striker. …Hope the spirit of WC 2010 will come back. Hup Holland Hup….

    1. when u have
      Depay–sneijder–roben team lacks work rate and team will be highly imbalaced,u would not dutch putting pressure whoile opponet has the ball…Depay is bit slefish so is roben,At least Roben finds goal of of his own,Depay cannt do that..Snijder is guy who likes to shoot whenever he sees a half chance towards goal..All in all Hunter or RVP both will be fU%%TY&&ked in big time…
      i think we played almost this team in every single ECQ2016,
      soome games little changes with Afellay,BMI and Devrij..

  11. at any cost Weil,Afellay should not be called NT for ever,Narsingh lacks quality too…i think all these playerrs played 5 games at leats in ECQ16 still have not leanred that they are crap?????

  12. i see an inch perfect team for NT when we play
    Peiters—kongolo—Van beek—–Karsdrop
    i would beat any NT with this dutch NT…bring on france,germany,brazil etc any one..we are up there with these players
    lets keep eye injured ones
    Current bench
    Stand bye

  13. Defense is sh!t. Even with two holding midfielders, they let the Welsh walk into the penalty area. The marking on the second goal was laughable really.

    Robben should have had 3 goals and it is very obvious that this team doesn’t belong with the big boys without Robben.

    On a positive note, I thought Quincy Promes was much better than Depay. He should speed and passing ability. He wasn’t afraid to take his man on. Cillessen saved his first penalty which is great for his confidence. I still think Stekenelberg is probably better.

    Bas Dost played well in my opinion. He really hustled and put pressure on the ball. Scoring a goal doesn’t hurt either.

    We did win, which is great for the morale of the team, but it’s also against a Bale-less Welsh team. True that we lost to much weaker teams, so this is definitely progress. Let’s keep this win in perspective.

  14. I liked Blind changing to a 5-3-2 system.

    Blind has done some interesting things:

    1) RVP isn’t called until fit. GREAT.
    2) Depay to the bench. He wanted to talk to him face to face which is great.
    3) Testing new systems. He finally realized we don’t have the team to play 4-3-3.
    4) Huntelaar to the bench. With RVP out you’d expect Huntelaar to start but it seems like Blind wants to give them more real competition.

    I am happy he is doing things differently but he has to find the way to make our midfield stronger. It’s amazing how easy other teams attack us. With just one or two passes they are playing inside our side of the field. Clasie is good but he needs help he is too little to handle a German, French, Spanish team.

  15. What i saw from the game against Wales:

    1)Blind switching to 5-3-2 again
    2)Cillessen’s first penalty save
    3)Daley Binds solid performance in defense where he should play no matter what the formation is.
    4)Wesley Sneijder back to his good performances for the national team. MVP of the match in my opinion.
    5)Quincy Promes
    6)Arjen Robben is everything for this team. Great performance, he should have had two more goals though thats why Wesley gets the mvp 🙂
    7)Impressed with Bas Dost

    1)Jefrey Bruma had an awful game.
    2)Jordi Clasie, a lot of unforced errors in his passes. Overall he had a bad game imo.
    3)Why did Blind wait so long to make a sub?

  16. How many of u guys feel secure with Bruma-Virjil as our CBs..???is this their fault or Holding mids doesnt protect them enough??
    In india there is a tall building called Kuthabminar..Virjil reminds me of that…His agility is so poor that players like Messi,Martial and Reus will make Mockery of him…..i feel Veltman is better option..or Kongolo too…better than Virjil…Bruma lacks positioning awareness,but his tackles are awesome and he is tough to beat..

  17. @ Srinjoy “wish we had lost…need to let blind go…he is no genius..
    but unfortunately in this case we had the age-old genius operating on the field”

    2 birds with one stone.

    This is definitely not the way forward for NT.

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