Oranje and final #1

The key thing for the Oranje team after the dressing down vs France is to quickly get the egg and mud of the faces and straighten their backs! It’s a tough one. Egos were hurt, reputations damaged. We’re the laughing stock in Europe after the biggest Orange defeat since 1969!!

And the players will have felt it. The media (French, Dutch, English) were tough on our performance and with all reasons and right to do so. But, it is not a knock-out competition. We’re still in it. So analysis should wait. Blame game should wait. Dick needs to pull the lads together and get them uplifted. Sneijder said after the game, that due to the Bulgaria result vs Sweden, the mood lifted in the dressing room. A little angel helped us to stay alive.

And may I bring into memory the WC1974? No, not Cruyff’s goals. Not Van Hanegem’s playmaker’s role, Neeskens runs or Krol’s crosses. Yes, we dazzeled the world but do you remember the qualification games before the tournament? We were shite. We should not have gone! Belgium was the nation deserving to go, as Oranje scored the decider vs East Germany in clear offside position. Otherwise, we were out!

And even then, with JC, with De Kromme, the fans and media back in 1973 wondered why on Earth Oranje was even traveling to West Germany?

Same in 2014 with Van Gaal’s squad. The media was ruthless. “We were going to be humiliated and on a plane back after the three group matches!” And it took penalties vs Argentina to keep us from playing another finals.LVG

Which we would have won by the way. So you know.

So yes, it was dramatic, but surely we can beat Bulgaria and Sweden at home? The good thing is, both nations have something to play for and both will have to come to take something from the game. Belarus away might be the toughest game. Winter, bad pitch, tough opponent.

The issues we have – as analysed by all of you after the France game – are apparent. And are multi-faceted. It’s many things and we can work on some of them.

There are also aspects we simply can’t work on. When Rene van der Gijp was asked what he hoped for, he answered: “I hope a guy and girl are making love right now somewhere in Veenendaal or Tiel or Zaandam and are making a Lionel Messi for us!”

Robben Advo

The criticism on the midfield players was justified. But the reason why Strootman and Wijnaldum are so good at club level and not at NT level has nothing to do with mentality or motivation or quality. It’s about a club coach, having a firm tactical plan and gelling the team in such a way that every player’s strength is used and every weakness is balanced out.

I personally believe Dick Advocaat got the tactics wrong. I did say it before the game, I’d never go in with 4-3-3.

Janssen had no role to play in this match and he doesn’t even deserve any criticism for it. He didn’t get one playable ball.

He had no business vs France and we should have started with 2 or even 1 forward. I would always have played four midfielders vs the agile and powerful French.

But, it’s a competition and we’re still in it. Bulgaria will probably play defensively against us, so now we do need the attacking prowess of Sneijder or Robben as creator and the presence of Janssen in the box, maybe even with Dost coming in as well at some stage.

Robben dans

It seems Vilhena will take Strootman’s role and I can imagine Veltman or Tete to come on for Fosu-Mensah. The Man United loanie did ever so well vs France but had a couple of cramp attacks during the game. Veltman is better in possession and overall, Tete the better all-round player.

Wesley Hoedt didn’t have a top game either so I could even imagine more changes. An attack minded coach could use Daley Blind as centre back alongside De Vrij, but Dick Advocaat is a lot of things….not an attack minded coach.

I believe our lads will show the fans in the Johan Cruyff Arena that they are 100% focused and motivated and I can see us beat Bulgaria 3-0, with Janssen on the score-sheet alongside Robben and Sneijder.

robben 2010

Here is a To Do list of considerations for Dick Advocaat:

Try not to use players without match rhythm

Wesley Hoedt played some promising football for us against Morocco and Ivory Coast. Good passing, speed in his handling, good vision. But against France, it was clear that he simply lacks rhythm. Lacking confidence and not as light on his feet as per usual. Blind as centre back is an option but I don’t see Dick call up Erik Pieters. Martins Indi doesn’t play that often either and De Ligt, who will have rhythm, is not playing his best football at the moment. Vilhena for Strootman is a no-brainer.

Don’t let Robben get isolated on the right wing

Against France, Robben was supposed to be the go-to man, but the Bayern star got double marking and was not easily found. He was relegated to making 30 yards defensive runs and was even seen heading balls away in his own box! Pep Guardiola saw Robben as a potential playmaker and used him centrally behind the strikers. Wesley lacks rhythm, so why not use Promes and Memphis upfront with Robben as playmaker.

If we can’t break them down with football, lets use the airforce!

Pierre van Hooijdonk always says it. If you can’t break them down, pepper them with crosses. Why not? Two strikers vs Bulgaria. It seems Ajax will go forward with Dolberg and Huntelaar. Spicey detail: during the last practice session pre-France, it appeared the A team (the starters) were also beaten by the B-team who emulated France…


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    1. yet again wrong choice Midfeild..gini should not play there…Propper for walking????it should have been
      Van de beek

  1. One skill that our current generation of players has truly mastered is the back pass. Our back passes generally always have the proper weight, pace and angle. Why we are choosing to pass backward constantly in a must win game vs Bulgaria I have no idea, but we certainly are adept at it

  2. This may illustrate my lack of knowledge outside the big European leagues, but I haven’t heard of a single Bulgarian player. How are we not dominating this game?

    1. no, it’s Robben. the whole team got relaxed after the goal, only Robben and Cillessen steadily playing well.

      lucky for us that one header only hit the post. De Vrij should’ve covered it. Tete in one of his worst performance.

      Please sub Propper and Janssen/Promes out.

  3. Oranje play so relaxed as if their goal difference is unreachable for Sweden…I still see nice attacks at times but Bulgarian defense is very solid…

    1. it actually not very solid, with all respect for Bulgaria. Janssen taking a couple long shots is a sign of loose defense (he rarely did that, really).

      true, nice attacks… but then… *back pass*

      man I need another coffee to stay awake with this boring play.

  4. A better performance than the complete dereliction of duty against France. One goal advantage is a risky proposition considering our defense.

    Bulgaria is dangerous on counter-attacks and set pieces so a second insurance goal is vital to secure the points with Sweden in control of the other game.

    Good luck Oranje!!

  5. I actually think this game is more suited to Propper’s style of play. We have close to 70% possession, and are playing at a relatively slow pace while the Bulgarian defense hangs back. We need some creative touches and flicks to break them down, and Propper can provide some of that. His work rate is not great, but he can provide value here.

    Personally, I’m shocked that Janssen is still out there. He just looks completely off his game and lacking in confidence. I would prefer just about anyone else at the moment. Where is Memphis?!

  6. Sweden 3-0 up they are hunting down Belarus..they new goal difference matters.. We need to beat this bulgariia by 4-0…
    Promes out Wijnaldum in promes spot
    Van de beek in Wijnaldum spot..
    Propper out Ginkel in..
    Janssen out Memphis in(lets see how memphis does)

  7. We just caught two breaks there. A sympathetic ref could have just given a penalty, and then moments later a striker with any speed at all could have outrun de Vrij to a wayward through ball

      1. damn it….

        so in theory we are already out of the world cup. even if we win Sweden wouldn’t do much as goal differences is what counts and we are way behind sweden

        Plus they are going to play Luxembourg at home…..

  8. I think we played really well. Blind, Vilhena, and Propper were stand out. Jansen good for hold up play but poor in finishing chances. CBs held their own at times so credit to them as well.

    We are still clueless while defending set pieces though.

    1. No we didn’t. Except for 4 moves, we didn’t pass, move off the ball, create space or avoid back-passes. We won because Bulgaria were a weak team who made a lot of mistakes. Not sure how we lost to them in the first game.

      Unfortunately, Holland has forgotten how to play basic football, leave alone Total Football.

  9. My 2 cents…
    when taking from hiddink Danny blind had 4 games in hand to qualify he could only win 1 among it..by his wrong choices Danny kicked us out of Ec2016…
    2–I think we are out after seeing the goal difference again..after just another stupid game by Danny Blind…This guy has cost us 2 big tournamnets…

  10. Need to win 2 games and take 6 goals back from Sweden doing it – so unless they blow it and do not win their next one at home to Lux, so matching their score next game and then beat them 3-0 is minimum.
    We go to Belarus, where Sweden have scored 4 today. Then Sweden come to us.

    1. Then, we need to be one of the 8th best second place teams of the 9 groups, still hard to say – those 8 teams have a play-off for the remaining 4 World Cup spots.

  11. It’s out of our hands. Even the 2010 team can’t turn it around.

    I’m not worried for us to win the remaining games. But winning with a great margin? This team can’t convince me

    1. Tie Breaking Rules in Qualifying Rounds

      In league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria (regulations Articles 20.6 and 20.7):

      – Points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss)
      – Goal difference
      – Goals scored
      – Points in matches between tied teams
      – Goal difference in matches between tied teams
      – Goals scored in matches between tied teams
      Away goals scored in matches between tied teams (if the tie is only between two teams in home-and-away league format)
      – Fair play points
      first yellow card: minus 1 point
      indirect red card (second yellow card): minus 3 points
      direct red card: minus 4 points
      yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points
      – Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organizing Committee

  12. Glad we got the win. A huge relief! Lifts the spirits of the players a bit.

    Vilhena needs to start games. His energy is good but he has to work on his tackling and passing.
    Propper also needs to start. Man of the match with his two vital goals.
    Hoedt did fine. Hopefully, he can get some game time with VVD at Southampton (assuming the later stays this season).
    Blind has really improved his crosses. Mourinho playing him at the left back spot regularly has helped him specialize in a position rather than be the jack of all trades under LVG.

    Jansen needs to find a new club. Needs to play regularly. He shows effort but lacks precision in finishing.
    Promes was ineffective with his runs in both games. Memphis should have been given a chance at least as a substitute.
    Wijnaldum had another weak showing in back to back games. He should have been subbed off.

    Robben had a bit more space and freedom compared to the lock down treatment he received from the French. Got the second goal with great off the ball movement.

    Tete, DeVrij, and Cilissen did just enough. Bulgaria just didn’t test the defense that much.

    Dutch team needs a dedicated defensive coach. Something has to change. The whole team needs to go back to basics and learn how to defend set pieces, positioning, man-marking etc

  13. We are OUT. Whatever possibilities anyone can come up with is purely academic and mathematical. Even if we win the the next two games (Belarus and Sweden), we have to win by margins like 8-0 against Belarus (assuming Sweden will thrash Luxembourg at home) and then something like 7-0 against Sweden.
    This is unrealistic and it is not going to happen.

    This was not a difficult group to at least finish second in but as usual, we blew it right from the first game.

    We have been pathetic since the 2014 WC and now need to go in hibernation. Start preparing for the 2022 WC as a realistic goal.

    What a shame!!!
    For the first time in my lifetime as a Netherlands supporter, I feel ashamed.

  14. We are out !

    I’m not someone that easily like to give up, but being realistic we are out . And it’s so sad

    Unless you win 7-0 in the upcoming games .
    This is so sad

    Prepare for the euro’s 2020

  15. So basically we got robbed because of the disallowed goal against Sweden. Then to make sure we don’t stand a chance de Light started game 1 against Bulgaria

  16. Blind really good to day. Passing was phenomenal as well as the timing of his runs. If only he had pace he could be a world class fullback. Happy for Propper that was his best performance for NT by a mile (not saying much). Still not convinced he’s the man against top quality opponents but you can only play the opposition in front of you.

    I agree with everyone here who is saying that Vilhena is the new first choice midfielder. Strootman has been error prone and Gini invisible. In my mind the only palyers assured of starting should be Robben, Vilhena, De Vrij, Van Dijk, and Blind. Biggest question marks at number 10 and striker. I agree with Jan and others calling for a front three of Memphis, Promes, and Robben.

  17. I don’t understand all the complaints. We got humiliated 3 days ago and we were able to pickup and have a good convincing performance. Vilhena super good. Proper the right guy for that game. Dick made a couple of changes (trust me there is no time for radical makeovers now). Can you imagine the same game and the same recovery under Danny Blind?

    I know things are tough but we can also score in the next two games and close the gap.

    We fight till the fat lady sings.

    1. I’m sure we can win then next 2 games. but qualifying is a different matter.

      meanwhile, Lux held the Frenchmen goalless in 1st half! why didn’t we just do that? we could’ve got that precious 1 point…

        1. come on folks, you gain nothing crying about spilled milk… we still have chances. we can trash Belarus and hope for a Swedish f-up…remember they lost in Sofia, that’s why we still have chances. With Dick at least you can count on winning the winneable games.

          Cheers !

          1. with Lux held France goalless, I’m actually getting more optimistic.

            hey tiju, France cant beat Lux at home! they certainly needed Memphis, didn’t they? 😂

    1. either he had a problem with the squad/coach, or Promes bribed Advocaat.

      would’ve appeared on the news though (if there’s another bust up). so I think it’s just DA with his strange decisions.

          1. Was jus following online. It said some thing municipal ground or stadium.thought it was being played in luxumbourg.somebody posted it was 0-0. Thats why I went online otherwise wouldnt have bothered.was also in the intrest of NT i guess.

  18. I don’t expect Lux to draw with Sweden. And we don’t deserve to go though before them. We harvested what we sowed. I hope they don’t give Advocaat an extension to continue his “good work” for the next tournament. But I wouldn’t be surprised if KNVB hires Benhaker after him. Unless a miracle happens KNVB will surprise us with some other sort of shit.

  19. Who would imagine that France will not be able to win LUX. Everything is possible in football. Let’s see. If we win Belarus 6:0, and Sweden wins LUx with a minimal score, the goal difference prior to NED-SWE game will be +12 for Sweden and +11 for Ned. Then NED need to win Sweden with goal difference +2. So, everything is possible. Do you remember how Spain won Malta 12:0 and overcame NED by goal difference to go to WC-1986?

    1. AZ, I respect your opinion but it is just wishful thinking. Spain – Malta was rigged , Belarus may not even be a win. We always have a tough time with these Baltic countries.
      God helps those who help themselves. We have shot ourselves on the foot one to many times.

      1. Let’s stay positive, Balkan. We will win Belarus, Question is how much. One small correction: Belarus is not a Baltic country. Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are Baltic countries.

  20. Hi guys!

    I don’t agree with many of your comments.

    I think Netherlands played very good.

    For me the MOTM was Vilhena. He is becoming in an excellent player. I prefer him as holding midfield than Strootman.

    I think Promes, Propper an Robben played very good. Also Jansen.

    I am big fan of Tete, but today we needed a RB with more attacking skills, like Veltman.

    I have a question: since a few years I am concerned trying to find the new playmaker.

    First, I deposit my hopes in Maher. It didn’t work. Then in Ziyech, and he chose to play with other country. And then, I trusted a lot in Nouri and then, we all know what happened to him. Poor guy. What a tragedy.

    There is another future playmaker around here? I don’t trust in a Propper nor Klassen as playmaker.

      1. Look at Danny. He thought he knew what he was doing.at inter I agree he wasnt given much time but if he gets fired from palace, it over for him.looks like he will be like Rijkaard.

  21. The beauty of Dutch football is also its fundamental problem. The desire to always attack and play beautiful football while pleasing for the fans and enjoyable for the players, means a lack of focus on defense and ability to grind out games.

    Luxembourg was able to hold a French team with the same starting lineup that trashed Oranje 4-0 just a few days ago. Tactics do matter. Getting points matter. I don’t care if you park the bus or play with 10 defenders a goalkeeper when you need to put points on the table. At the end of the day, if you win, that’s all that matters!!!

    I am not advocating we all of a sudden start playing defensively. Play cautiously when you face a superior or dangerous opponent. Play your traditional game when you have easier opponents or are not facing elimination. Be adaptable and don’t be predictable.

  22. For us to qualify we need to beat alot of odds
    1- winning the last two games, provided sweden will not win luxemburg or we must beat sweden with many goals to have a goal difference higher than sweden , so far sweden are 6 goals better than us.

    2-if we finished second we can be eliminated as worst second team, so our result must be better than the seconds of groups H or I or D or E ( we must rely that belgium beats bosnia in group H )

    We need miracle results for us and other teams in other groups

    Yes we have a chance but not more than 19%

    With performance of today there is hope in winning the last two games but it may be not enough to play the playoffs even unless luck really plays its way for us to qualify…

    1. If only we had Han Solo as our manager 🙂

      Unfortunately, I think the remaining scenario is much more of “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” than “Never tell me the odds! “

  23. I absolutely agree with what Balkan has said above “We harvested what we sowed” and its not good enough. I was trying to find the right words but couldn’t and what balkan said jus read my mind.you look at Daley Blind for instance. vs France his limitations and vs Bulgaria his strengths was was clearly under limelight.there is no denying that this was always going to be his prognosis from day 1 but yet the coaches invested in him, overlooking his weakness to his strengths,with the perception that with his intelligence he could provide the right balance but which was never going to yield.so it all comes down to why he was invested in the first place or why no one else for that matter. its not jus Daley Blind but others as well, Klaassen, propper, the midfield trio of sniejder, wijnaldum and strootman. I dont know whether this is the right word but its a “in house ” thing and is both the problem and solution itself. people need to change, the whole platform needs to change and the culture needs to change if they want to succeed in future.

    you look at De ligt. every one is saying he is probably the best defender Holland has produced in years. now if you look at Rick Van Drongelen he also is as good as him or even better but yet he has gone unnoticed jus because he was playing for sparta. this was very same situation with Van dijk when he was at Celtic and Veltman at Ajax, where he had to take the long road to proclaim the status he has now. you also look at todays game vs Bulgaria, propper would have received the golden boot for his performance today lol but the fact is, if he would
    have started vs france ,the goal margin would have been more.I mean where is all this gonna end. I was very excited to hear that Van ginkel will satrt but that never eventuated when he clearly has better potential and higher ceiling than propper whose play is mostly dictated by the tempo of the game.toornstra omission,same story. he was suppose to start in both games by all means.

    this cycle needs to break and good return will only come with a good investment.there is no two about this.

    there was alot things that was said in the previous blog about how player quality has dropped, this and that,which are all but jus fictitious.whats needed is fresh start with a right mindset.if GVB can bench kuyt and start toornstra,then you need people like him for NT job. with talents likes sinkgraven,Ake,Dumfries,van Drongelen, De Ligt, van crooy,stengs,Fesu Mensah,Kadioglu and with some senior players like De Vrij,Van Dijk, Karsdorp, Van Ginkel,Depay,strootman,Wijnaldum,Locadia,Toornstra, Riedewald,Buttner,clasie, there is no doubt a with more game time a formidable team can be moulded.

  24. If you look at the list of talents Netherlands has it’s funny to believe that some people think we will be bad for many years to come. We still have riedewald, kluivert, van de Beek, bazoer, TFM, depay, kishna, stengs, boetius, zivkovic, de lift, van drogelen, kadioglu, promes, haps, karsdorp, and so much more. People don’t realize that this is not a club it’s a national team so you can choose from mman endless amount of players who are doing well at the time and you could play awful one game but absolutely amazing the next

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