Oranje Assemble!

Young Feyenoord debutant Tonny Vilhena posing with his hero, Robin van Persie.

Louis van Gaal called Ronald Koeman last week to tell him seven players of the Feyenoord club had to report for duty against Estonia and Romania.

Jean-Paul Boetius, the young left winger, was the one not to be selected and he will fly with Young Oranje to Israel for a friendly.

Ronald Koeman was not allowed to tell the players until Friday and waited until after practice. He stood there, big smile on his face, to congratulate youngster Tonny Vilhena with his upcoming debut.

The 18 year old: “The coach congratulated me and asked me if I knew with what… I knew of course. I was hoping for this with a passion. When I heard I was in the prelim squad, Bruno and Jordi and Stefan constantly talked to me a bout it and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

The Seedorf like midfielder wanted to call him parents immediately, but Koeman was stern. The golden rule at Feyenoord: no mobile phones in the dressing room. Vilhena did learn immediately that his buddy Boetius was not yet selected. “It’s a shame that he misses out, but he is so proud of me… JP’s chance will surely come.”

Vilhena looks back on his development. “It’s going really fast. In October, I was on the stands. I wasn’t part of the match squad. I played against Willem II and scored twice. I made my debut against Croatia with Young Oranje and scored as well and three days later I played against and scored yet again. That was a top week. I got lifted up and made a big jump.”

The prospect has never spoken with Van Gaal before. He is looking forward to meeting him. “I have heard a lot from the other lads so I have an idea what to expect. But being on the same pitch with Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder…. Amazing. I will be the same Tonny on the pitch though. But off pitch, I will be a bit more humble I think, hahaha. I remember my picture being taken as an F pupil with Robin… He, Patrick Kluivert and Pierre van Hooijdonk were my heroes. I played football with a Kluivert jersey. And now I am training with him…”

Koeman understands why Van Gaal has selected Vilhena. “Tonny is only 18 years old but he is very mature on the pitch. I think he is better now than many players I have known, who had a superb career. He is pretty amazing. Boetius is also a gifted player but Van Gaal has reasons to bypass him for now. But I know from Van Gaal that it will be a matter of time for Jean Paul. If he keeps on performing as he does, he will come good.”

Boetius shrugs his shoulders. “I am happy for Tonny. And it’s cool that we have a good contingent of players from Feyenoord at Oranje. I am not disappointed. Young Oranje is good for me too. Being part of the prelim was already an honour. I played some difficult games recently, and I’m still young. I have still a lot to learn.”

Kevin Strootman is still a relatively young player. Only 23 years old he has played 17 caps and is a veteran amongst the youngsters. He also cops a lot of criticism recently, mainly due to his conduct in PSV games. “I am working hard to change my attitude.”

He smiles when he notices in the players’ hotel that the media swarm around the Feyenoord players. “Everything or everyone new is seen as positive. I had this too, when I made my debut. The first year is always relatively easy… The problem comes after it. When you get some setbacks… That is when the boys need to become men. The Feyenoord lads will experience that too.”

“I do recognise I’m different at Oranje, compared to PSV. I haven’t had major disappointments with Oranje. I do have it in my character to respond emotionally with disappointments… And at PSV I guess I’m more at home and show my emotions more freely. But not always in a good way.”

“I work hard to change it. I have spoken to Advocaat about it but also with Louis van Gaal. I don’t do myself many favours. I don’t get better when I lose myself in agitation. My peers do talk to me about it as well. But, at the same time, I am not a mean player. I don’t break legs or hit people. I’m simply reacting verbally.”

Louis van Gaal believes Kevin Strootman will be one of the players that will be able to make the step from PSV to a Champions League club without a problem. “I really love hearing this of course. I am grateful that he selected me and allowed me to make my debut as an Utrecht player… I watch the Champions League games and sometimes think “whoa, that is quite a high level” but some other games I think “hmmm…I could handle this… I do get interest from other clubs but I won’t leave PSV for just any club with deep pockets. I really want a club that appeals to me.”

Wesley Sneijder is back in the trainings camp of Oranje. “That isn’t so strange? I am fit. So I am selected. I think I’m still part of Oranje, right? Although I have to admit, I am relieved to be back.”

The playmaker missed 4 internationals as Inter pushed the former Ajax man into the youth team. As midfielder of Galatasaray, he reached the CL quarter finals and will play former club Real Madrid. “We are amongst the best eight clubs of Europe. I don’t think Galatasaray is that bad?”.

Van Gaal always kept his skipper involved. “We did speak a lot over the phone and he visited me in Istanbul. Hey, and I am still captain, right, haha? But no I won’t tell you what we discussed. We did talk about the World Cup. Because we do have the plan to go to Brazil.”

Like Sneijder, Robin van Persie can be considered to be a veteran and like Sneijder he revels in his new role as guide to the youngsters. “I love working with Van Gaal. Everything he does is thought through. He is clear in his ideas, he can explain everything. And I understand his choices. We had a good talk when we first met and I have come to known him as a friendly and even funny man. He may come across stern in the media, but when I work – in other words, play football – I look serious too, don’t I? I am not the same Robin on the pitch as I am at home on the sofa. This is one reason why I don’t like to give interviews right after a game. You are so uptight or full of tension or emotion… You don’t come across naturally. And people start to get all these ideas around you.”

Holland is the only country with Russia which hasn’t dropped points yet in the qualification series.

Van Gaal confirmed that his squad is getting to the point where they can play the sort of football he wants to see. “We are not there yet. The aim is high. I think only three teams in the world play better than us, but that is clearly where we want to be (Barcelona, Spain and Germany, is assumed). People come to the stadium to see Oranje attack and see goals. But even against Estonia it will be hard.”

Van Gaal will most likely start with Blind and Janmaat as attacking wingbacks. “That is how to take the game to them. With speed and depth on the flanks.”

Van Gaal will most likely go for creativity in midfield and De Guzman, Sneijder and Strootman will most likely start in midfield. Van Persie, Robben and Lens will lead line, with Raf van der Vaart starting on the bench.

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  1. Thanks, Jan.

    “That is how to take the game to them. With speed and depth on the flanks.”

    Hup, Holland!

    (And glad to see that Strootman is working on his game demeanor. It was starting to approach ‘roid rage level at times. :-/ )

  2. Van Gaal confirmed that his squad is getting to the point where they can play the sort of football he wants to see. “We are not there yet. The aim is high. I think only three teams in the world play better than us, but that is clearly where we want to be (Barcelona, Spain and Germany, is assumed). People come to the stadium to see Oranje attack and see goals. But even against Estonia it will be hard.”
    I like the calm Van Gaal. I am more optimistic now about our chance right after LVG was appointed. If Boetius keeps up his performance, it will be a short time that he will make it to the NT.

  3. Ons Oranje is predicting the following XI:
    Janmaat – de Vrij – Martins-Indi – Blind
    ——–De Guzman – Strootman
    ——Lens – van Persie – Robben

  4. If Sneijder rounds back into form, that is a pretty good looing line-up. Interesting that Janmatt has apparently moved in front of Van Rhijn…for offensive purposes I would think.

    1. Van Rhijn has been caught snoozing defensively on more than one occasion the last couple of weeks. I’m not a big Janmaat fan, but he’s been playing better than vRhijn lately so it’s a logical decision.

    2. quote: “Interesting that Janmaat has apparently moved in front of Van Rhijn…for offensive purposes I would think.” (I felt his recent performances deserved a name-edit there)

      Sure, if you keep scoring and playing this well…

    3. Should have mentioned as well that we really need players like him to step up tonight cause Estland will be very defensive (park the bus style). And our attackers will need all the movement and threat the back 4(!) can bring up front to take some attention away from them so they get a little space to score.

      So we’ll need lots of dribbles, one-two’s and runs+crosses starting from the back (which won’t really be the back but probably across the middle-line if we’re dominating and pressuring). The defense will have to worry most about counters.

  5. I think it’s quite clear that of the attackers, Schaken will be the first one axed (presumably when Afellay returns). Otherwise Van Gaal would be giving him the nod over Lens, who hasn’t played in 3 games.

    1. Afalley was with the dutch team since 2008EC…did he add anything etc in crucial matches???failure in 2008/10/12 then he will never do that.He is 27 now…forget and find some one else….

      1. ‘Van Persie was with the dutch team since 2005…did he add anything etc in crucial matches???failure in 2008/10/12 then he will never do that.He is 29 now…forget and find some one else….’

        ^ Fixed.

        Perhaps the coach knows better than you.
        Have some ‘faith’ and relax a little 😛
        Let’s just cheer on the team, and quit the negativity until another time, huh?

        What are your positive thoughts regarding our Oranje? I would actually like to know. Thanks.

      2. You’re trolling about Afellay. He played 45 minutes against Russia in 2008, two shots just near the russian goal, more dangerous than Van Persie and Kuyt.

        2012 he was the most dangerous player against Denmark, played only 45minutes against Germany and 30 against Portugal, was not good not bad.

        To put Achabhar and Emanuelson before him, you’re definetly trolling.

        1. in EC 2012 he probably shouldn’t have played (no playing time at Barca, coming back from injury). I can’t say I agree with you Laurent on that (that he was ‘dangerous’ or played ‘not bad’ for us against Denmark (allthough calling it bad is probably too harsh again, we needed more than just average/doing your job without too many mistakes).

          For example/comparison, Blind’s game versus Janmaat’s game last night, Blind probably didn’t make too many mistakes and did his job somewhat properly, but we needed a bit more, Janmaat does a bit more (as I was hoping for before the game which is why I replied to someone making a comment about Janmaat, that was the one I was looking to make an impact for us last night, and even more funny, when VDV came on for Sneijder, and the commentator said something about scoring – can’t remember exactly what – I said out loud that VDV was going to be the one to score the goal (at that time I was actually beginning to think this may turn out to be one of those hard-fought 1-0 victories, but Janmaat certainly prevented that from happening, he can stay 🙂 ).

          Blind is doing his name justice (offside trap missed/overlooked/not seen/wrong position, blind cross when he was in open space with all the time in the world to pick out a teammate (or was it just inaccurate?).

          I guess because the previous Blind didn’t do his name justice we needed another one (I also think he could have made it a corner just before allowing the Italian on the ball a few moments/touches before they scored, if he had been a bit more Chiellini-like aggressive and made a sliding).

          At least he seems to be coached well (I heard a “koppen!” just before he had to head back a ball to the keeper, wonder if he heard it as well…after all, he’s not deaf and did exactly what needed to be done).

          1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruzcNtDECSI

            at exactly 2:29 Blind puts on the brakes *me thinks*

            Who really WANTS that ball? (perhaps his steps were slightly off the line he should have takes, perhaps he was too slow, I don’t know, but I thought shortly after the cross went in, that ball is going be headed back again towards his Italian teammate instead of on goal, and Blind was going to get there first when it was too long, but the Italian turned so quickly and Blind seemed to get started a bit late towards that direction, it still seemed possible to push that Italian out of the way with a sliding towards the ball, guess it wasn’t the right time for that kind of behaviour).

  6. And how has Van der Wiel been doing? I like him, when he is fit and in top form he is a very good defender.

    Yes agree on Schaken he will be axed as soon as Afellay comes back or also when Boëtius makes his debut.

  7. Oranje U17 had a draw against N.Ireland while Jong Oranje (U21 side) won against Israel 2-1. Not very convincing for a side that had Maher,Van Ginkel,Fer,Luuk de Jong and Boetius…
    Did anyone watch the game? How were the aforementioned players?

    1. Was only on Israeli television. I have already mailed Eredivisie Live that they should pick the games up. Unforgivable that a country like the Netherlands does not have a station that broadcasts such a game.

      1. It’s a good news I think. Robben is a weapon for competitions, but not in qualifications. How many qualifications games he played since 2006 ? Not more than 15 I think, he is never here and we always did good without.

        It’s something we don’t talk about, but I think, in qualifications, VP-Robben-Sneijder played maybe 6/7 times all together maximum with the dutch selection, there is at least 1 of them who is injured everytime, they probably played more euro and world cup games together…

        A guy like Van der Vaart is almost always here in qualifications, but was substitute in 2006,2010(except the two first games cause Robben wasn’t ready), and 2012.

        We all agree to say that we seem to see two different teams in qualifications and competitions, we really were impressive in qualifications of 2010 and 2012, with a good teamwork etc. felt like invincible, but in competitions it was boring and poor, the level of teams is different for sure, but maybe it also has something to see with Robben and Van Persie…

    1. Business as usual. If they can’t replace him properly against country’s like Estonia and Romania, then we have no business going to Brazil in the first place. After all these years, one does not count on Robben playing all games on an end tournament. Having proper replacement ready for Robben should be as high on a list as breathing air and drinking water. It’s just pretty important.

        1. I can’t give one name as we are at an evolving period for winger positions. Many of our high profile wingers have not fully developed yet. Ola is just past 20, Boëtius is even under 20, Depay is under 20, even Lens is still developing and has yet to leave Eredivisie and prove himself abroad.

          On top of that, the winger business is patchy business. Wingers go from hero to zero often from one game to the other. Has partly to do with defender match ups, some being able and others less so to read the wingers movement. Wingers are often man beating players that live off the success of their individual actions and in that, self confidence plays a big role as well. Robben kind of wingers come along only once in a generation. Don’t expect something like that to come along that fast again, so enjoy him every game he plays in Orange. If fit, Robben picks himself. That is not the same in a future with players of less caliber. So that factor makes it less likely we have a natural (best of the rest) replacement for Robben at the WC. Who will be the one picked before WC 2014 behind Robben remains dependable on form as none of them are in the class of “even if he plays bad, he adds something”.

          Many coaches these days try to solve that winger problem (being dependent of beating your man with successful individual actions) by placing a left footer on the right and a right footer on the left. Then they can come inside and shoot/through pass or they can go outside and try to cross. It’s less one dimensional and allows a winger to be something more, but it also comes at a price. Van Gaal though, likes to play left footer on the left and right footer on the right. That lead him to pick a guy like Schaken for this game. If a coach selects Schaken, then everything is possible. So here I bring in that we also have to look at the ideas of a coach and not only focus on the naturally best developed winger. Depay might explode next season when Mertens is sold, but Depay is right footed, so what will van Gaal do then with him? Sometimes van Gaal brakes his own rules (put Lens (who is right footed) on the left side against Hungary) and the other times he is not. It is impossible for the outsiders to exactly know what van Gaal does in one situation and what in the other.

          Finally there are the chemistry packages. Maybe winger A is better than winger B, but there are scenario’s where winger B is still a wise pick. Example would be Ola John vs Boëtius. If Clasie and especially Vilhena are able to establish themselves as starting material, then van Gaal might want to profit from the fact that both Vilhena and Boëtius have played with each other for more than 10 years throughout their youth. Look back at the goal against NEC recently. Vilhena just knew that after that front checking move from Boëtius he would go deep and already passed the ball without even looking for a second time. So maybe Ola has a great second year at Benfica, but maybe the 2 Feyenoord kids are still more interesting as a package.

          So I can’t give one name right now. I have made a list for each position and will update that one soon again.


    1. That Arsenal rumor is good to take with a grain of salt as the original English website it comes from is pretty unreliable.

      The Fiorentina offer is confirmed by van Geel himself, but I think Serie A is slipping in both quality and attractiveness. They have empty old stadiums and superstars going to other places these days. I think Clasie should head for Swansea city. There are already other Dutch players there (even a co-owner) and they play the passing game, instead of a kick and rush style. If he is confident in his own ability, then Liverpool could be a nice option as well. Arsenal will be a tough club to start games. Wilshere is one of the biggest midfield talents of the new generation and Arteta is a very experienced EPL player. I am not sure he would be able to play a lot at Arsenal and if that does not happen, the Brazil WC is in danger for the little man.

      Best would be for him to stay at least another year at Feyenoord, building chemistry with the other players who are also Oranje players. If Feyenoord want to cash in then let it be BMI. Kongolo is right behind him and also very talented. Replacing Clasie will be very tough.

        1. I am a Clasie fan since the U21 game of Netherlands vs Scotland and I have the best in mind for him. I am also put off by the Anita situation. I think gradual steps to the right teams are the best thing forward. Clasie has a small tank. Funny as it sounds, but Wijnaldum kind of 10’s (the dynamic kind) are still kryptonite for him. Better to get used to EPL at a nice club like Swansea with a good manager, fellow Dutch players and with a good playing style that suits him than to start competing with Cleverly at United. Especially with WC 2014 ahead of him. At such a club he can play a lot probably, get used to a new competition and as a result of playing often be in a good position for a WC ticket.

          This suggestion is one in case he wants to leave at the end of the season or Feyenoord want to sell him and cash in.

          Best is to stay another year at Feyenoord probably.


    1. He’ll get more exposure at Norwich I feel. Don’t think its a step up though by any means. Then again Sporting is in pretty poor shape financially…

    2. I never really liked RvW. People should look how many of his goals are scored by penalty’s. He is just not a great goal scorer and that is pretty much his main strength. His field play is pretty underwhelming.

      For me it’s a good thing he moves to Norwich as I can’t really follow Portuguese football that well, while EPL games are broadcasted a lot.

  8. How serious was Robben’s injury? If he cannot play, will LVG call up Boetius?
    I’m guessing LVG did not like VDW much after the last Euro, either his play or his attitude or both. I do not see LVG recall VDW par injury to others (Van Rhijn, Janmaat, Blind, BMI, Willems).

  9. I think van der Wiel made himself impossible in the group with his comments at the Euros. And at the moment, we don’t need him, it seems.

    Robben is not too injured I’d say. Normally players leave practice when they took a knock. Need some work on it but will most likely be fine.

  10. Re VDW, he was promising in 2010, but after 2012 defeat vs Portugal, which he was humiliated by CRonaldo, he tried to escape the blame by saying its impossible to defend against Ronaldo. No world class defender will say that. LVG won’t use him unless he change his attitude.

    1. Van der wiel has never been a guarantee defensively. From the first time I saw him with Ajax to now, I always had to worry. He can play good games, but his lack of tactical intelligence and his weakness in 1vs1 always come back.

      He has no place with dutch team, Janmaat is doing it pretty well with Feyenoord, more agressivness than Van der Wiel when he defends, not less good when he attacks. + he plays every week compared to VDW.

      Van Rhijn is a stronger and quicker version of VDW.

  11. Agree Tiju. I was watching and was hoping for a Portugal loss. Israel was a whisker away from defeating them. But anyhow they are in big trouble in that group. So there is still hope they won’t make it.

  12. I agree LVG has to find the perfect sub for Robben because as we all know he gets injured very often.

    As Overmar’s sub we had Zenden or R. de Boer! now LVG has to find a player who can substitute Robben

    We’ve Lens, Narsingh, Ola, Wijnaldum, Afellay. I think Lens and Afellay would be the ideal replacements for Robben althouh Afellay has to better his finishing.

  13. Hi:

    I am not agreeing with the comments about VDW.

    I think VDW has better defence skills than Janmat (Janmat is insecure in defence, he tends to lost they mark, and he is not very good in the one against one) and also is very dangerous in attack. Add to that the fact that he is still very young and has a lot NT experience, 1 WC and EC! So, for me is a very important player for NT.

    On the other side, I am not very sure about Willems. I think Willems is a very gifted player, and he has a wonderful speed and great dribbling skills, but, once he attack, I think he is not very smart, and he doesn’t create much danger. He usually loses the ball, made a wrong pass, etc.

    But, other side, Blind, -who begin this season playing very bad as CB-, being a slow player, creates much more danger when he attack. Also is better defending than Willems, because is very good anticipating, and in the one against one. Also is very smart player. He knows what to do with the ball before receiving it, and that’s why he has a very good first touch.

    For me, on this moment (we all know our 3 LB are too young and they have a lot to improve) I think our best left back are Blind, Van Aanhold and Willmes.

  14. Yes we have a bright future with RBs and LBs. I am especially optimistic because LVG has transformed good players into great stars so we have a bright future.

    Janmaat seems a player who has more guts than VdW that’s something I like very much.

    Blind is the best option at the moment he seems like a more mature LB than Willems who still has to control himself a little more because sometimes he runs and runs with nonsense and Van Aanholt is grat but I haven’t seen him much.

  15. Starting line-up

    1Kenneth VERMEER (GK)
    2Daryl JANMAAT
    3Stefan DE VRIJ
    4Bruno MARTINS
    5Daley Blind
    6Jonathan DE GUZMAN
    7Jeremain LENS
    8Kevin STROOTMAN
    9Robin VAN PERSIE
    10Wesley SNEIJDER (C)
    11Arjen ROBBEN

    12Ricardo VAN RHIJN
    13Ron VLAAR
    14Joris MATHIJSEN
    15Dirk KUYT
    16Jordy CLASIE
    17Ruben SCHAKEN
    18Tonny Vilhena
    19Siem DE JONG
    20Rafael VAN DER VAART
    21Ola JOHN
    22Maarten STEKELENBURG
    23Michel VORM

    1. I see nothing different from the way we play last Euro. With Sneijder and De Guzman, the team becomes so static. The movement of the ball is predictable. 20 minutes of possession but no chance were created out of that.

  16. ————-vermeer—————-
    —-de vrij—————-bmi——
    ———–de guzman——————
    robben—-van persie—-sneijder—-lens

    this is not gonna fly

      1. That’s also part of his history. The players should avoid to get injuries that often. I believe if Robben does not get any injury, he should reach Messi & Ronaldo level. No disrepect to Robben though, everytime he got injury he work so hard to come back. I haven’t seen this from other golden boys of this generation (Sneijder and VDV).

      1. No this is pretty much it. Whether Clasie is better than de Guzman is debatable, and we definately don’t have a better right winger than Lens.

        It’s not easy playing against a handball defence like this. We are getting closer now that we have a second striker. We’ll score 2 goals or so and just forget about this game

  17. Estonia are pressing so hard, not giving the dutch any room. This will be a tough game, remember that Estonia made it to Euro 2012 play-offs. Aside from Estonia, none of these teams can be considered weak, though none of them particularly strong.

  18. Vermeer with his specialty double save… brilliant robben is man enuf but who else…put siem up there to support robin n put ola on for useless lens

  19. Didn’t like our first half . I think Estonia is doing great actually . They did park the bus very well .
    de vilhena and ola john for De guzman and Lens shall make the difference .

  20. De Guzman is the best player on the field by a country mile IMO. Numerous excellent flat a hard vertical passes breaking the Estonian line and beating a few of their men.

    Kevin Strootman is up there with the worst. No handling speed, balls back, clueless one time where the ball even was and no handling speed. Really frustrating at times he is not able to pass quicker. He is the box to box player and never makes real dynamic runs that create danger. One time he came into the box, but of course was not able process the ball well at that speed.

    Lens is in Lalaland and already started wrongly with arrogant style of shaking the hands of the opponent. Worst was that he let his man go one or two times and danger was create from that.

    Janmaat does well in pressing and bringing energy. When he makes a rush he is not really able know what to do with the ball, just like Jetro Willems.

    BMI had some good balls in building up, but also bad ones. He also let a man get passed him at the left hand side.

    De Vrij apart from one or two bad balls, pretty oke.

    Vermeer is doing oke I think and keeps the tempo high.

    Blind has 1 bad cross but also a very good one to RVP and Sneijder should have finished that chance

    Sneijder was underwhelming, one good vertical pass after a turnover, but his first touch was off as his shooting. he got subbed off after getting injured for VDV.

    VDV was pretty invisible and did maybe even worse than Sneijder. He probably knows he is not subbed off and is taking it easy. He better deliver second half.

    Robben a bit half. Does have individual action, but could have done better in the follow up of them. His last touch is lacking, What I do take offense of is letting his man go and not tracking back. That created danger and pissed me off.

    RVP is doing oke at times, some nice lay offs, but needs to score a goal for us.

    Oke Second half starts. Hoping for a good end result and 3 points.

    1. were u being sarcastic about the de Guzman comment hahah..he was horrible..reminiscent of a poor mans nigel de jong..that too without the bite in the tackle

      1. Nope, I liked him the most the first half. I say it again. First half he was the best Dutch player by a country mile. Second half he started dipping, but that does not take away from his first half. Strootman should take a look at JdG. The interview Jan posted told us that Strootman has the box to box role, but there was very little dynamism from him this game.

        I just don’t understand how Strootman is ducking criticism time and again.

  21. I like Onzie’s last comment. I am not a big fan of VDV (I expect he and RVP should have contributed more to NT) but VDV’s goal is an important goal in a game like this so thank you VDV!

  22. Good assists but let’s not get carried away. Janmaat’s been far from breathtaking, and we are playing against Estonia. He upheld the offside trap which could and really should have meant the 2-1.

    1. agreed. actually apart from his 2 assists, he’s not that great.

      about that Estonia one-on-one chance, Janmaat should have acknowledged it when his mate lost possession and move forward to set the trap. he clearly saw it, but he failed to do so.

    2. Ah I see now, it was both of them, Blind and Janmaat both not inline with the CB’s (or closer to that line) and playing the guy onside.

      Janmaat probably was even further but that doesn’t really matter then anymore, Blind has to change his mind then if he sees that (,if).

      And go for the ball instead of putting himself on the wrong foot, but that’s in hindsight. Don’t know how much you can expect in that regards (is Janmaat too far away to see? :P).

      That last comment sounds like I’m trying to play this in favor of Janmaat but that’s not how I meant it, was a joke based on what I said earlier (in particular the cross that I think ended up in the hands of the opposing keeper, or at least somewhere in that area, no man’s land).

  23. lets keep the perfect streak, all teams that finished world cup qualifying perfect went to the world cup final, and are 2-2 with holland and spain in 2010 and west germany in 1982 and brazil in 1970, lets remain perfect

  24. i have said this before and will say it again…lens is a sub-par player…schaken outshone him despite playing 1/7 the time he got…lens just got lucky with a few finishes for holland…well guess what …narsingh and schaken have both scored consistently given chances and yes they are better!! in my books narsingh > schaken > lens

    now dont give those narsingh cant operate in tight spaces bull crap -> coz guess what…neither can lens…in fact he is worse in every aspect possible!!

    Daryl Janmat man of the match…official…not at all surprised…what a beast of a game…van der wiel >>> van rijn >> who???

    I still see Pieters and Janmaat as our wingbacks for Brazil

    1. Lens was bad this game, but you’re being opportunistic.

      I watch every PSV game and Feyenoord game, and I can tell you that Lens is better than Schaken. Lens has a great touch, is fast, and he is strong. He hasn’t played a game in a month, and it showed.

      When Narsingh was fit, he still always had to make way for Lens.

  25. Don’t understand people who criticized De Guzman, was definitly the best dutch player during the first half, he impressed me. I already knew about him being a good footballer with a good vision and pass quality, but his pressing and his way to retrieve the ball quickly really impressed me, seemed a little bit tired in 2nd half with few missed passes and ran less, but still a great performance.

    Strootman makes me nervous, always three seconds to give a pass to a mate who are only few meters from him, make the tempo slow, never play between lines. I used to like this guy for his long passes, but I don’t see them anymore.

    Janmaat is our first choice, great game, not a perfect player for sure , but still a way better than VDW or Van Rhijn I think, a lot of energy in everything he does.

  26. Van Gaal is still an idioot. He tries too many players, there is no stability and 4-3-3 is a mistake. It is 70s tactics in a modern football world.I was critical of van Persie in WK2010 but I appreciated that Bert always gave players many chances and believed in them.

    This gives players confidence and gives the team many chances to learn to play together and be cohesive and to gel well on the field.

    I am afraid that van Gaal will soon dispense with Wesley rather than give him the time and confidence to return to his best

    This is like Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern all over again… van Gaal is to strict, too stubborn and only thinks what makes him look great rather than others.

    Van Gaal became too big for Amsterdam, too big for Barca, too big for Bayern and soon too big for Oranje….. mark my words

  27. You guys are nuts. I totally agree with DRB300. Janmaat is average at best. Yes he had 2 assists but really nothing special. De vrij same story. The 2 times they were exposed, Estonia almost scored twice. I also agree about Strootman and Lens. Totally awful. VDV is the one who changed the game. De Guzman also did well but he made too many bad passes in the second half. Overall though good job with a nice mixture of young and experienced players, 5 games, 5 wins. Can’t ask for more.

      1. Second half, was better for him, when Estonia let space. But he was really bad at first half.

        Seems like everyone agrees to seem him as a indisputable titular cause he has a balance attack/defend, but what I see about him is that his pressing and way to retrieve the ball aren’t so efficient because of his lack of speed( even De Guzman who is a bit more attacking player type could retrieve better than him tonight),and his passes forward are simple and not interesting most of the time.
        He has to show more.

        I would like to see Clasie with De Guzman against Romania.

    1. Jeff, Janmaat is technically and defensive speaking a weak player, but in this game after the first 45 minutes he added a lot. Not only 2 very good assists, but also that perfect cross to RVP our striker skied over the bar. Janmaat is like the left back Kuyt of this era. He compensates so much with his energy and I bet you that every coach in the future will love to select him, if only to stimulate the competition to give their all as well. Büttner’s arrival resulted in a very lively Evra at United. That is what high energy players can do. Kuyt is still with the team and second captain for this reason as well.

      For qualification Janmaat is perfect. Against the heavy guns some people will be unpleasantly surprised with Janmaat though. The 1 vs 1 chance later in game was also possible as Janmaat played the guy onside. I have to look back the situation as more players were at fault, but that was at least one of the mistakes leading up to the open chance.


        1. W’actually, I don’t mind Oranje losing another final, providing they manage to get there, as long as they do it in a glorious way. And if any of the “stars” are dubious before Brazil, vG should just leave them at home in favor of any young dog that’s able to play with penache.

  28. It is clear that 4231 with skilled defensive midfielders breaks up the play too much for fast attacking teams. Barca, Spain, Germany and our own Oranje have proven it. Even Brasil used it and if not for the wonder save we may not have won that game. It relies less on Clinical finishing and provides better defensive support. Sometimes your strikers do not always find the back of the net but that defensive support will have you concede far less.

    We have played dangerously and been lucky against weak opposition. Do you not remember Belgium? They are tier 2 and they exposed van Gaals weaknesses as a trainer.

  29. I didn’t like the way our first half was. Just a football philosophy I don’t like the strikers to have their backs to the goal.

    Sneijder was too up there, next to van persie, and van persie had to go in, in a way it resembled a 4-2-4

    Strootman is a great player, heading to real madrid or manchester united. But you know he was supposed to make these runs and stuff. and He didn’t do it, i don’t know if you guys noticed, whenever strootman got the ball, van persie would make these runs,and strootman would take a football eternity to pass the ball to the nearest guy. and he would pass the ball weak. It’s like mentally something is missing for the speed.

    I also feel that sneijder didn’t bring it. I’m his fan, don’t get me wrong, but tonight, he was acting as if van marwijk was his coach, not van gaal. He was way too forward, and stuck to being on the left side, the same side strootman was on, it was not where you want your triangle to line up. Since rvp went back, sneijder foward

    Strootman, de guzman, sneijder and rvp formed the midfield trapezoid. Call me old fashioned but I prefer a midfield diamond with a false nine up top facing the goal reading to get the crosses. but hey if a trapezoid is what it takes to win a world cup. well then I got catching up to do.

    Lens played like shit, but, big but, he had no help, he was always against 2 defenders only passing option was janmaat, who took advantage of that.

    I really wanted to see Blind, bmi and de vrij move up more, i feel if we are gonna keep playing blind we might as well move to a 3-1-3-3 like ajax played in 1995

  30. Jan, when you can please post your analysis of this game. I will try to catch the highlights as I am not lucky enough to watch this live. Read comments from others so far. I understand some players did not play well, but the good thing is that we have won 5 out of 5 with many young players. I don’t mind Van Gaal is still trying to find his starting 11. The difference from NT 2008 up to now as they are quite clinical during qualification (did not drop points) like the team prior to 2008.
    Onzie’s comments make me a bit sad. Holland is the only country lost in 3 finals and now the only one lost in the WC finals after having a perfect qualification record. We need to win WC and yes, I don’t mind Holland-Russia final as it reminds me of 88 Euro final.

    1. germany lost after going perfect too, it stands at 2-2

      Spain and brazil won the final, and holland and germany lost the final

      But don’t worry, 4th time has to be the charm!

  31. Too many negative comments. We won 3-0!!! and the job was easy!.

    Take it easy guys I think Estonia will not be the kind of game in which we can judge our players.

    Of course I was expecting beautiful football but it’s not the end of the world. LVG has enough time to gel the team.

    1. alright on a positive note

      Van der vaart still has something left in the tank. And germany is a big league so he’s getting quality play.

      We rebounded for a great second half

      Van Persie ended his dry spell and scored

      Robben had some sparks of magic

      The future is not only bright, it’s bright oranje!!

      We Played below average and won! Imagine what we would have done if we were firing on all cylinders.

    2. quote: “…Estonia will not be the kind of game in which we can judge our players. Of course I was expecting beautiful football …”

      Why not (1st)? And why (2nd)?

      I was expecting a game similar to our qualification against Finland and Moldova in 2011 where in the first for example an odd nose-injury moment, a Sneijder pass and a Strootman finish was required to find some space and break the deadlock. Elia did the mopping up (with a little help from Luuk’s finish). Moldova was an equally tough nut to crack. Why would you expect different from this game? And why would it not be a perfect comparison to games like against Denmark (2010, 2012) and Slovakia (2010) and therefore a perfect game to judge which players would be useful in such games which are bound to come again and again in our road towards the cup in 2014?

      Because Slovakia and Denmark are of slightly better quality? Debatable but besides the point, style is similar when they play us and requirements are the same.

  32. Hungary tie Romanie so it is good for Holland. The gap is 5 points now. Spain tie Finland 1-1 and Portugal tie Israel 3-3. Let’s look at this game and then look forward to Romanie game. From goal.com review only 3 players are better than average, VDV, Robben and Janmaat (mainly for his 2 assists).

  33. I have to say i’m worried about strootman . He’s been in bad form for a long time .
    I think he must leave PSV this summer . A move to a big club may get the best out of him .

  34. Hi guys,
    First time poster but have been reading the blogs for years (since the old “worldcupblog” days).
    Have to say that I’m happy with a win. Always good to win, especially when the boys did not play well.
    First off let’s hope Wesley is fine. He had his bright spots but looked rusty within the team. Van der Vaart looked good for the most part, maybe he feels he needs to step up with other attacking mids coming up.

    Some defensive lapses but let’s see how they stack up against a tougher team like Romania.

    However, I think Clasie should be given the d-mid role for now. Unfortunately I do not see De Guzman being up to Oranje standards. He’s been good for Swansea but I think that he does not offer the dynamic play and defensive-offensive turnaround/all-rounded play that Clasie or Van Ginkel can, nor even the defensive cover that Nigel De Jong can.

  35. Hi guys,

    I was there (box 20) … Very cold for my California standards 🙂

    Estland played all defense in the first half … But eventually they got tired and parking the bus works for so long …

    Second half we simply nuked them :):)

    De Guzman, Janmaat and Lens took the game in the second half…

    Will be there with Roemenie (box 22) …

    Had a blast. Will write more upon returning to Los Angeles 🙂

      1. There are a lot of thinks visible on the pitch when you are sitting 10 meters from it as opposed to watching the game from TV.

        1. De Guzman was everywhere for about 70 minutes. Then he got tired.

        2. Esthonia had parked the bus and we cracked them from the right side in the second half.

        3. Janmaat pushed up a lot in the second half and he was instrumental and directly involved in cracking Esthonia’s side.

        4. Lens is physically a *very* strong player. Up close that is very obvious. Tough as nails I would say…He pushed a lot together with Janmaat, he made a lot of not easily visible contribution. Not as much as De Guzman and Janmaat but he did physically challenged a lot from the right side. He is not very technical but his physicallity wears off the opponent.

        Hope the above explains my point of view.

  36. In my opinion…

    Vermeer is not oranje material. Too casual with the ball.
    Blind needs time to grow.
    Janmaat needs a bit more time, but I do like his aggressiveness.
    Indi and De vrij are the two CBs going forward.
    Strootman was hassled and couldn’t handle the pressure.
    De Guzman I thought wasn’t good.
    Lens … Wait, was he playing??
    Sniejder still looks rusty… His decline is obvious.
    VDV still has it… He always seems to be able to score.
    Robben and RvP should be the only two with guaranteed positions.
    Schaken is actually not bad. He was very lively and is an upgrade from lens.

  37. DRB300, I agree with you about Janmaat. He does remind me of Kuyt. But I would rather have V Rhijn any day especially as you said when we will play tougher teams. Below are the grades from AD. I have to say I agree with them. VDV man of the match.

    Kenneth Vermeer Eén keer echt in actie, aan het einde van de eerste helft. En toen stond hij er. 6

    Daryl Janmaat Stond voor de pauze niet diep genoeg, had na de thee duidelijk opdracht gekregen om zich meer met de aanval te bemoeien. En zo deed hij. Twee assists. Voorlopig streepje voor op Van Rhijn. 7

    Stefan de Vrij Verdedigend nauwelijks iets te doen gehad. Had misschien af en toe wat meer mogen inschuiven. 6

    Bruno Martins Indi Voor Indi geldt hetzelfde als voor De Vrij hierboven. 6

    Daley Blind Nauwelijks een jaar geleden nog verguisd in de Arena, nu in hetzelfde stadion de vaste linksback van Oranje. Had zich vandaag meer mogen laten gelden. 6

    Kevin Strootman Als altijd fanatiek, maar heel vaak érg slordig. Heeft normaliter behoorlijk wat diepgang, maar dat ontbrak vandaag bij de reserve-aanvoerder. 5

    Jonathan de Guzman Flets debuut in de basis. Kon
    zich niet onderscheiden. 5

    Wesley Sneijder Misschien makkelijk om te zeggen dat hij op z’n retour is, maar wanneer was Wesley Sneijder voor het laatst topfit? Wanneer speelde hij voor het laatst de 90 minuten uit? 6

    Jeremain Lens De revelatie in Louis van Gaals Oranje tot nog toe was vandaag duidelijk de minste. Komt op de vleugel – maar ook in de spits – beter tot zijn recht tegen een tegenstander die zich minder ingraaft. 5

    Robin van Persie Geen makkelijke taak, tegen een ‘handbalverdediging’ als midvoor moeten acteren. Was vaak de vierde middenvelder. Prachtige voorbeweging bij zijn goal. Paar fantastische acties. 7

    Arjen Robben Speelt zelf het liefst vanaf rechts, maar oogt veel gevaarlijker vanaf de linkervleugel. Een aantal ouderwetse acties. Daar kom je voor naar het stadion. 7

    Rafael van der Vaart Man of the match. Moest zich als invaller bewijzen en deed dat. Weergaloze aanname bij de 1-0, gevolgd door hier en daar een geniaal passje. 8

    Ruben Schaken In onze ogen een logischere optie voor de rechtsbuiten tegen een verdedigende tegenstander dan Lens. ‘De man van de voorzet’ viel uitstekend in en pikte zelfs een goaltje mee. 7

    Jordy Clasie Kwam te kort in actie om in aanmerking te komen voor een cijfer.

    1. This. Of all the players in Oranje, he caused the most danger with his perfectly weighted long balls to Robben in space. He was also excellent at winning the ball back through high pressure and controlled it well when he did get it. His only problem was his ground passes kept getting intercepted. However, I believe the system is partly at fault for this because when you play with a #10 instead of a single DM, you lose that central pivot and force the DMs to either pass the ball to the fullbacks, send long balls, or make a risky pass to the #10 at the edge of the box. JDG tried to make things happen by chosing the riskier option, and he turned the ball ever a couple of times because of it.

  38. I saw one worst thing yesterday…Near the box Wesly got th ball and Robin was free and shouting for ball he didnt give the ball and give a direct shot.NO hope with wesly on pitch Vanpersie will have struggle to score goal.Roben,Vaart and persie havd better combination and better team play….Vaart is more better for team game not wesly..look at the mniute 5 to 6…yesterday game,how wesly avoided persie….
    Persie started playing well when Vaart came….
    Van gaal please hear this…

    1. i don’t thind vaart is our midfielder key, i hope maher grwoing up and can do it, vaart show us before he is one half player, he is too slow, in big games, we need energic mids and if strootman is the pitch, we need who can run fast with energy and bother opponent mildfielder line .

      1. @Faraz…We know that with young brilliant players we will have a better game i mean Ginkel,Maher,clasie with Roben and persie..i am in for that..i was just observing keenly on Wesly and vaart.I felt that vaart is more useful to this team than Wes,i really doubt Persie would click with wesly..Wesly is the most selfish player in orange shirt.While vaart and persie are team boys.i was just telling i prefer vaart over wes for NT…

  39. I’m playing XCOM: Enemy unknown right know and the goals sort of remind me of the tactics in that game concerning soldier types.

    1st goal: Janmaat (Support/rifle) flanks from long range, VDV (Assault/shotgun) sneaks through the trenches to get a better shot.

    2nd goal: Janmaat (Support/rifle) flanks from long range, vPersie (Assault/shotgun) goes in for the close range kill with Run&Gun ability.

    3rd goal: Schaken (Heavy/LMG/missile) to finish up (allthough in the game that costs resources so I usually open up with that, but that’s game mechanics).

  40. Hopefully when Janmaat, BMI and de Vrij get older they all get transferred from Feyenoord together, so they can keep their chemistry. That’s one of the reasons’s why Spain is so good, all of their players train together week in and week out.

  41. Our RB and LB have to be players who can attack and be threatening throughout a game. I liked Janmaat and Blind did OK although I’d have liked him to attack more maybe with time he’ll get more confident going up.

  42. ——————Stekelenburg————

    —-Janmaat—De Vrij—BMI—Blind——-



    *Lens didn’t play well last night but he deserves the starting spot because he has been doing great with the NT.

  43. Watched much of the game.

    First half was tough to break down, but second half.

    Anyone who doesnt appreciate that second half is delusional. this is a team in transition and they are doing very well.

    This is no longer the golden era, we are a good team now, nothing more or less. Top ten in the world for sure, but no longer top 5.

    That being said second half had some beautiful moves and all three goals were the result of excellent approach play

  44. LVG is doubt that Sneijder can play vs Romania. Let’s wait and see. I do not think LVG will call up any player if Sneijder is not fit. Instead he will reward VDV with starting spot. Let’s go 6 win for 6!

  45. Hey guys, let’s be confident. On a single match everything can happen, look at Spain drawing to Finland. We got quality. And one of the best strikers in the World (Robin). And we got hunger. And I feel Robben has still a pearl left in his tank for Oranje… Remember he is a “one in a generation” player, an unlucky one, but still one.

  46. The u17 are out of the elite round despite a very good match. It seems that they are following the Ajax philosophy for youth ie form players rather than making good teams and winning youth titles.

  47. I think that people who say that they are happy with the result are in the right mindset. Here I was worrying only a few months ago that we might get second or not qualify at all for the WC 2014 and now we are already 5 points clear from the number 2, after only 5 games. We had our luck, like Arda not converting that back pass from Jetro Willems, or even yesterday when that player got a 1 vs 1 against Vermeer and decided to shoot rather then to pass it to the guy next to him. Those kind of opportunity’s will be converted against the better country’s, but we got way with it. But against Italy we played pretty good football and yesterday the second half was entertaining for me. I am really satisfied with how things are going and it is good to take a moment to enjoy this campaign as fans of Oranje. Portugal drew with difficulty against Israel, Spain drew with Finland. Netherlands have now won 13 straight World Cup qualifying games in a row.

    Tuesday we can make a really big step towards qualifying. We have to win. Sneijder is out, so maybe Maher will be brought in.

  48. I would like to see maher starting instead of van der vaart, honestly I think the team was more efficient going forward when they played against italy than yesterday, taking into consideration that italy is 100 times better than Estonia, yesterday it was a lot of ball rotation without passing into the area!!! With maher things seemed better and more direct to the area! Vdv is good only when he plays few minutes not more. And honestly I would like to see vilhena instead of strootman, I feel that strootman is overrated, please don’t hate me, but I never watched a game for orange where I got convinced by strootman!

    1. I agree with you that he is. Seems like he is the kind of player everyone would call “usefull” cause he is captain and has a leader mind, but footballistically I see nothing special. Considered as box-to-box, because he scores quite often and runs; but it’s only in dutch league, Heitinga also used to score a lot with Ajax but it stopped when he went to a higher level.

      Maybe he can go to Manchester, but I don’t think he is gonna be one of the best dutch players coming. Let’s say he can be as good as Barry maximum, it’s the same type.

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