I wanted to have a positive title. After all the negative shenanigans of the past
days weeks months years.
There definitely are positives. So lets list those:
Oranje remembers how to win
Winning matches is something you can program, you can make it a habit. We had a terrible period under Hiddink, towards the EC2016. It was less bad under Blind, as the draw in Sweden was a fluke and the loss vs France acceptable. The Bulgaria away loss was not, of course. That game cost us the World Cup.
Under Advocaat, we lost again vs France (away) but were able to win all the other matches. That gives hope.
Dick Advocaat moves on
I’m simply not a fan. I think he’s a nice guy, he’s funny in interviews and probably a real football maniac, yes. But he’s also not a builder (like Van Gaal), he’s not a tactical wizard and in recent
weeks months years decades he demonstrated that Dick comes first. And then there is nothing, for a long time. And then the rest follows. And Dick first, means: paycheck! In the last weeks after Holland failed to qualify, it was suddenly all about him. About his future. About his statistics. About his announcement to the press after Romania. What a load of bull! There was no announcement of any importance to make, as Dick’s contract with the KNVB ended. Full stop.
Dick became a huge ego-maniac. Now, most successful “result” coaches are. Think Van Gaal, Mourinho, Conte, probably also Klopp. But Klopp packages it better than the rest. Dick behaves and is allowed to behave like this is normal. After Holland not qualifying, I didn’t see any remorse, any sympathy, any accountability or any vision coming from Advocaat. Wouldn’t he be a good man – with his experience – to shed his light on the Dutch football crisis? But he only talks about me me me. And now after the Romania game, he immediately puts his job advertisement out: “Oh, a World Cup? Yes, I’d love to coach at the World Cup!”. Dick! If you wanted this, you could have done better with Oranje, you Dick! But no, no contemplation or soul searching, just blatantly applying for a job!
Advocaat, Van Breukelen, Van Oostveen, Hiddink, Blind, Jorritsma, Gullit and Grim. All moving on. A new board (Jan Smit chair), a new general manager (Gudde) and hopefully soon a solid Technical Director, NT coach, and supporting staff in place. With hopefully a solid vision, a new coaching/player development program, a new competition set up (allowing the all youth teams to compete) and a ban on artificial pitches.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the Dutch don’t have talent. We will always have enough talent to at least qualify. Full stop. Yet again. Maybe not always good enough to win the big tournaments (News Flash: even with Cruyff, Van Hanegem, Neeskens, Krol, Moulijn, Wilkes, Lenstra, Van Basten, Gullit, Bergkamp, Sneijder, Robben we never won a World Cup, so….) but good enough to compete. Stengs, Frenkie de Jong, Patrick Kluivert, Karsdorp, Kongolo, Vilhena, Memphis, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Pieri, Til, Van de Beek, Bergwijn… the list will grow. And with more experienced players like Wijnaldum, Blind, Strootman, De Vrij, surely we should be able to qualify?
Amazing young talent
The best news of all, we have this blog. With awesome editors and contributing writers (all called Jan, somehow….). Awesome pics, news, stories. And most importantly, we have AWE – wait for it!- SOME members here with amazing insights, good humor, passion for the Orange Lions and also some much needed insanity and stupidity.
Watch this space for analysis of the modern game, introductions to new coaches like Erik ten Hag and Mitchell Van der Gaag, a farewell to the Big Four and a cool story on Johan Neeskens (introducing his new book!).
So, we might not grace the pitch for another 4 months or so, but this Blog keeps Rocking. The Gift that never stops Giving.
Speaking of which, try out that donate button every one and a while, will’ya?