Oranje Euro Campaign: do or die!

The Dutch Oranje fans are still partly in shock after the two dreadful losses in September vs Iceland and Turkey. And while the Dutch top talents from the Eredivisie are experiencing that life abroad is a bit more difficult than expected (Wijnaldum, Memphis, Van Ginkel, Afellay), the usual suspects in Holland are debating how to clean up the Oranje Act. And Pronto too!

With only two more games to go and without the steering wheel tightly in our grasp, the analysts seem to agree on two things. Firstly, it doesn’t make sense to replace Danny Blind now. The poor coach surely made some mistakes in his first two games (overrating our quality, mainly) but can’t be blamed for the sorry state the team was and is in, after the dramatic campaign post-World Cup 2014.

Changing the coach now will not have a lot of impact. We simply have to deal with the facts at hand: our current ‘Dutch School” tactics won’t work and we do not have the quality we need.

RVP Dost

With the two key games at hand now, the debate whether we will still be able to make it to the top or not can wait till after the games! For now, the focus is on the games vs Kazachstan and the Czech and our voodoo powers to block Turkey from winning two games. Although…it has to be said…. Turkey drawing one and winning one won’t cut it either… Turkey will actually have to lose one at least… While we win two.

Anyway…. Danny Blind is trying to change the tyres of the vehicle while driving it… He has Marco van Basten as his super critical assistant and Ruud van Nistelrooy in support to work with him on the training ground.

Blind has made some errors in selecting the right squad for his first games and probably also some tactictal mistakes but that is all in hindsight of course. At least he had an idea. Sadly, it failed… (I’m talking about using Promes instead of Huntelaar in the last match, for instance).


JC usually wants his teams to play well and attractive. For the coming Oranje games, the old master doesn’t care. He wants results.

But anyway. Blind will have to work with what we have. The key is to use the best players we have and use them in a system that gives us the best options to win.

I don’t need to see “Total Football” or creativity in the coming matches. I want to see a team that will give 100% to win the game.

In the Arsenal – Man United game, we all saw what it means if players really have the desire. True, Arsenal oozes quality as well but Leicester City is playing like this with 9 average players and two top forwards and they’re in the top 5 in the EPL.

Blind will need to find the right words to get him team to give it all!

Selecting the right players is one thing, but prepping them to go out and win is something else.

el ghazi

One of the big talking points in Holland is Ziyech’s decision to play for Morocco instead of Oranje. The Twente playmaker played for every Oranje rep team in the youth system and was even invited in the prelim squad earlier this campaign by Hiddink but as he never got a minute in the Orange, he is still able to switch loyalties. And his heart made him decide to go for Morocco. According to many (Johan Derksen, Willem van Hanegem) he could have been saved for Oranje if we simply went out and talked to him to explain his future in the Dutch team. Ziyech being the ideal replacement for Wes Sneijder….

El Ghazi, the prolific Ajax winger, decided to go for the Dutch. The youngster is on the hitlist of many EPL clubs now, as he is the top scorer in the Eredivisie and he actually went to speak to Cristiano Ronaldo for advice. The Portuguese super star suggested that with Oranje he’d have more growth and more chance on silverware. The Moroccan player was immediately picked for the Oranje squad by Blind.

Rick Karsdorp, playmaker made right full back at Feyenoord, missed the cut after being selected in the prelim squad and quite remarkably (not for us!) Narsingh was dropped as well. The experienced PSV winger admitted in an interview, quite maturely, that he indeed played shocking in his recent Oranje games and understood Blind’s decision.

oranje bad

Arjen Robben and Luuk de Jong won’t be present either, due to injuries and Joel Veltman lost his spot to Virgil van Dijk, who impresses at Southampton.

Bruno Martins Indi and Greg van der Wiel both took the grunt for the bad results of the last two Oranje games but aren’t in the squad due to suspensions. It’s anyone’s guess whether Blind would have picked them if they weren’t. Janmaat makes his way back into the squad, as does Karim Rekik.

With Quincy Promes out due to injury, Eljero Elia who has revigourated his career at Feyenoord, is back in the squad to fill in. The sensational talent-who-once-was missed a couple of years in his development due to some bad career choices and lifestyle choices and after failing at Bremen and Juventus and Southampton seems to have the right motivation and quality to impress in the Eredivisie. Elia played his last Oranje game in 2012.


Elia is back!

Another setback for Oranje came in after the Ajax – PSV game. Davey Klaassen, usually a starter, suffered a light concussion against PSV and can’t make it for Kazachstan. He might join the squad for the last match, but Blind called up another Ajaz midfielder, Riechedly Bazoer, in my view one of our biggest talents.

As per usual, there was a little media rift created in the run up to the Oranje games. In a press conference, Phillip Cocu was asked if Danny Blind ever spoke to Cocu about his players, for instance about Narsingh. Cocu responded prickly with:  “Blind never calls me. I haven’t spoken to him at all.” The media quickly moved out to Ajax in Amsterdam to quote Frank de Boer saying this: “Danny calls me a lot. We discuss his choices, he asks me about certain players. He asked me if I thought if El Ghazi was ready for Oranje and I said: yes, pick him!” Asked what he thought Blind would do if De Boer would have said “No, he is not ready yet”, De Boer said: “Well…usually Blind listens well to what I say…”


Danny Blind responded to this favouritism by explaining that he has rung Cocu three times and three times the PSV coach didn’t pick up. “I guess my number is not in his address book so he might have ignored the calls.” Gio van Bronckhorst was called once by Blind, when the prelim squad was made public. “Danny can always call me to discuss players.” the relaxed Feyenoord coach quipped.

At this point, Blind and Cocu have spoken and in between Cocu’s words you can make out what went on. “I spoke to Danny now. He left a message for me and I called back. That is what I do. If I don’t recognise a number, but they leave a clear message, I will return the call. So lets not make this into a big thing. The players need to focus on the game. Whether Blind does or doesn’t call me is all the same to me. But it was good that we cleared the air.”

Last news from the Oranje camp: Daryl Janmaat didn’t return to Holland without a blemish. The Newcastle right back had a knock on his knee in the Man City game and might not be 100% fit for the Kazachstan game. Kenneth Tete is a potential replacement for him.


Yesterday Blind and Gio discussed Elia who was called up to replace Promes.

Elia, normally always quite eloquent and extraverted, was in shock when his coach told him he was to go to Noordwijk to join the Oranje squad. “I don’t know what to say. I have almost squandered my career and I know I can only blame myself. I want to atone and play well and work hard. I know I am on the way back and I know I have the quality still to make a difference. But this is unexpected. I didn’t think it would go this fast. I still have a lot of growth in me.”

All in all, Blind comes across positive and buoyant but he is a coach in distress of course. Arjen Robben, Strootman, Willems, Vlaar, Clasie, De Vrij injured, Van Persie warming the bench more than he’d like to, Klaassen and Promes injured, Luuk de Jong injured, Ziyech decided to play for Morocco and now Janmaat not 100% fit either…

virgil oranje

Virgil van Dijk finally gets recognition…

We could play a strong team of injured players, utilising Vermeer or Stekelenburg in goal, playing Willems, Vlaar, Martins Indi and Van der Wiel at the back. Strootman, Klaassen and Clasie in the middle of the park and Robben, De Jong and Promes upfront. Not bad…

Danny Blind: “We can find all sorts of excuses for sure, but we won’t. We simply need to play two good teams and win. With the players we have. Period. We are playing on astro in Kazachstan and we will travel a couple of days early to get used to the pitch. But from what I know, the ball will roll nicely, it is flat and evened out so we will be able to play our football. No excuses. Winning two games and then simply wait for the Czechs to do their job….”

Btw, wanted to share this with you:

fey shirt

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  1. when u play with Bruma,Virjil,dost/hunter,kongolo with Fer as holding mid there is a huge chance of 3 header goals we can score and we can win the match though we play ugly..Vaart was best corner taker,then comes sneijder and roben…Depay is pathetic in taking corners when compared to forementioned legends..
    How about elgahzi as striker…
    like when players are fit..
    with back up 11 of

  2. Blind says he is worried about RVP situation…why worry..he has to give that worry to turkey…
    Just drop him,if he dont start for his club he wont play for Nt.its as simple as that….RVP,alround game is patthetic for more than a year…his best game was against Turkey in last month…

    1. How about the pics of him smiling a lot in training or going to see fans on the sidelines?
      I’m not so concerned about his attitude towards media, esp if it’s coming from a shitty editorial on goal .com.

      I think if he keeps a hardworking attitude under LvG eventually he will make up to the difference in quality between eredivisie and the epl and can still be a decent player yet.

      1. Smiling is good….he must continue that.yes as u said he is an ok player,but people thnk he is cr7,roben kinda…thats fantsy..our dear coach Danny cannt think about a team with out depay…

  3. I think we should play with two strikers in both games. We have nothing to lose. We need to score goals.

    RvP MUST play as one of the two striker, neither Dost nor Huntelaar is mobile enough.

    We should also abandon the inverted winger bullshit for this game. Depay should play on the right and wip some crosses in, Elia is a nice player I always enjoyed watching him play.

    Blind should pick players on winning teams. Too much loser mentality hurts the morale of the team. I mean Aguero put five past Krul. Janmaat and Anita on that team too, if possible, they all should not play.

    1. “””RvP MUST play as one of the two striker, neither Dost nor Huntelaar is mobile enough”””””””
      that so stupid statment,it didnt surprised me that u said it as i understand ur brain…
      RVP cannt even beat a turtle,gets exhausted with in 20 minutes..is that called mobile???or what is definition for mobile??…both hunter and dost has better stamina and they are faster than RVP…and has better stamina too..am not talking the class of RVP were RVP is ahead,but to execute ur class u need stamina and speed..which is absent for RVP…

      1. You understand my brain?!? You a brain surgeon now?? Having Huntelaar and Dost on the pitch at the same time is useless, both play the same way, both are poachers… You’re just an idiot trying to say something smart back at me but failed miserably. You could not comprehend the progression of my thought process and now you understand my brain? You’re IQ must be below 80.

        We need goals >> play with two strikers >> the possible combinations are a. RvP-Hunter, b. RvP Dost and c.Hunter-Dost. I eliminated c because Dost and Hunter are both poachers.

        I have no idea why I responded to you. You’re an idiot.

        1. put both both strikers in ur a-s0s,we need fsater ,effint dribblers up front like Roben or wijnaldum…with a physically imposing striker…ididot…ur stupid idea to play with 2 striker…

  4. Very tough position needing to rely on Turkey losing. On the one hand, it would be in the Czech’s favour to field a weaker team, since they’ve clinched a spot in the tournament and can effectively knock us out by losing to Turkey. Not that any team is out there to lose, but testing a few kids would be a win-win for them. Iceland is in a different position, because they need to up their ranking so that they can get an appropriate seeding when the groups for the tournament are made, so I imagine they’ll be going to for every point they can get.

  5. so Janmaat has been ruled out. it will be either Tete or karsdorp.I was reading an article of Karsdorp and how he was voted best A junior player while playing for Feyenoord A in Eredivisie as attacking midfield before breaking into the senior squad. kind of hard to pick who is a better option here.My instincts, automatically Tete because he is playing for Ajax.

    on the other hand its huge waste seeing Van Rhijn being shutout out at Ajax under FDB especially with the tons of experience he has under his belt. Maybe its time for him to move abroad like some of his other compatriots. I dont get it, it has to be some kind of a rift between him and FDB. I mean how can this be possible. No rotation, No subs nothing.

      1. @wilson both Annholt and Van rhijn are exrtemly skillful full backs for RB/LB…..but their defending is worry some,annholt is slightly better in defense….their stregth is in attack,we must use them according to their strentgh…they can help defense too if they play as wingers…its will give team more baalnce and players like Luuk,hunetr or Dost will be better serviced…
        Trust me we have go tNo qulaity winger bar Roben..Roben is strugglling since abdomen tear in april…it reminds of RVP and RVN after 31…i think he is in same boat…if he plays like gigs at 35 i am happy for him,but that ssems very unlikely…Wijnaldum is the closeest to Roben we have but coaches often useess him for other position as he is good and versatile player for team…
        i must repeatedly say all our wingers are crap Promes,afellay,elia,Depay all……Depay can only play well against mediocre defenders..

    1. Tete is a better defender than Karsdorp. Karsdorp is a playmaker originally, with great speed and venom on the ball. Tete is a real defender. But Karsdorp is injured so we won’t see another right back. Tete needs to do it, with Anita as back up and for the Czech game, Van der Wiel is able to play again.

  6. Elia’s late selection is also very suprising to me. jus like Luuk De Jong he also never lived up to expectation in other leagues and now after coming back to eredivisie he receives the call up same as Luuk De Jong. Whats going here. will it be appropriate to say here that they are using eredivisie has the bench mark or should Marco Van Ginkle, Eric Pieters, Nathan Ake, Bacuna come back to eredivisie.

    either way it would have being more logical to push Afellay up front and bring in Maher.

    1. Typically, Blind and LVG select players for positions. They rather pick the 3rd rate left winger over a 1st rate left midfielder and use the latter out of position. It has to do with intuitive patterns on the field. Elia might not be good enough for the Serie A but surely he can beat a defender from Kazachstan, is the idea.

  7. Great post Jan.

    Its a big week for the Oranje. Sadly not in our hands any more and i feel the most important factor is for the squad to put in two passionate performances and win, regardless of what happens with Turkey.

    Its been an awful campaign and regardless of the result reform is needed. In my opinion Blind needs to win these two games or he should be shown the door. The above quotes from Cocu and De Boer are shocking and shows Blind’s inexperience as a head coach. He should know the players as much as the club managers!

    Against Kazakhstan i would go with two strikers and overload the box with crosses. The problem with earlier qualifiers was the addition of Nigel de Jong when he wasn’t needed and Blind needs to go attacking on Saturday.

    Cillessen, Tete, Kongolo, Riedewald, Van Dijk, Blind, Sneijder, Memphis, El Ghazi/Lens, RVP, Huntelaar/Dost

    For those saying the Czechs and Iceland won’t care about beating Turkey are talking nonsense, but looking at the Czech squad there is a lot of players that are on low caps. We need to hope players such as Necid will be eager to impress. Turkey have been poor this campaign apart from against the Oranje and they could definitely lose one or both of these games. They drew at home to Latvia!

      1. The fucken mentality here is that eredivisie players are more competent than players playing in average team in other big leagues. Blinds conversation with FDB,Cocu, GVB jus explains that.

    1. I think the focus should be more on the two game and not what happens on the other side as NT cannot afford to take Kazakhstan lightly. they drew with 10 men Iceland 0-0 and narrowly lost to Turkey 1-0 and Czech 2-1 in the last three qualifiers. Now compare this to the first round results vs Turkey 0-3, vs Iceland 0-3,vs Czech 2-4, vs shows how they have improved over the course of these qualification to some extent. and on top of this they are playing at home and the away games for NT has not being that promising in these qualifiers.

  8. also agree with Wissor 3. Fuck the inverted wing system and lets play free flowing champagne soccer. jus get the ball up to the strikers as much as and as fast as possible.

  9. I agree Wilson, we must be focused on the Kazies they will not just lie down for us, especially given our recent poor form, they would see us as ripe for the picking!
    It’s funny how JC now comes out and want results not Total Futball, well hello, I think we all want results, the fact is if you win the game you have done your job, no matter the style of play (Italy comes to mind).
    I just have that feeling that we will not qualify for Euro, I put that down to quality of players available at present.
    I hope I’m wrong!

  10. Iceland and the Czechs will play to win. They need to finish best as possible to have best possible chance with the draw later.
    I believe Turkey will definitely lose one of those two matches, but I wish I was so sure we would win both of our matches..

    What kind of luck, I feel a squad of injured players (with 1 non selected GK) would beat the squad we will be able to use this week!?


    1. really doubt for Vlaar and roben considering their age…would recover well…Promes is not required..Willems,clasie,Devrij all will be back…
      janmat has to prove he is better than Karsdrop and tete to be in…

        1. LVG loayalty…
          but cannt say who better i mean depay Vs andreas peira…i feel peirera is slightly better suitable for team winning….Young is more threat tha Depay on left wing…Since shaw is injured Depay gets lucky….

        2. Yes, especially in the match against Arsenal. He was very bad. Almost there was nothing he can do. He tried to cut inside (to the right side), and he always lose the ball (where he was surrounded by Arsenal players).

          He can not think something else, just cut inside, no pass, no cross, no dribble. I hate this….

    1. Van ginkel was a super talent in making,ever since he joined negativity,bus parking chlshit club…he became ghost of his own..Ginkel is still liked coz he was excellent for Vitsse…i am sure under a better coach he can repeat same,not under Jose or so…

    2. Agree bobotoh, he hasn’t done anything yet but he is a nice prospect.

      Not sure what Wilson is talking about, maybe he has not watched any games…
      van Ginkel is not a CDM and he has not been playing as one either, except maybe he sat next to the CDM more v Arsenal. Whelan is the CDM at stoke and he has started all games there.
      van Ginkel lost his starting spot and since then stoke has won their first 2 games, so not looking great for him at this moment.

      1. 4-3-2-1. then what position he has playing. apart from the last two games he has started as 2 holding mids with whelan. what have been you watching????

        Regardles of this he got injured at Chelsea while playing at DM and then same story at Milan. Inzaghi realized it it worked out well for him and milan when he pushed him upfront.

        even if he starts the whole season at stroke in 4-3-2-1 formation, it will the same story.No show and this is the reason why he has lost his spot.

        if you are playing with two strikers or simply 4-3-3 then he is the man.

        1. I have watched all the games he started.
          I just double checked the maps of his influence and positioning by opta sports via the fourfourtwo app and looks like I am correct.
          Also they are more of a 4231 with second mid moving up when attacking and whelan pretty much always staying back, as you can easily see in the map.
          Too bad I can’t post a few pictures for you…

          1. yeah my mistake on the formation part,got mixed up with 4-3-2-1 but I was still correct about him deployed with whelan as two holding mids which doesnt suits him at all. I also agree about what you are saying about Van Ginkle in more advance role than Whelan. its like 4-3-3 in attack and 4-2-3-1 in defense and this is where its not working for him. though he is doing the runner role but yet he gets more suppressed in defending limiting his contribution upfront as stroke attack is mostly on counters , they dont build up from the back and this is where his balance in the game is being affected

            Now if the formation remains 4-3-3 throughout then that where you expect him to maintain that balance in both defense and attack with the build from the middle.

            Now if you look at Wijnaldum and all the games he has played for NT as runner, his balance always shifts towards attacking and with blind as well this is where the midfield is opening beacuse defensively all of them including sneijder are either average if not poor.this is why NT needs a good DM and bring Van Ginkel as runner.

  11. We must win both games and wait Turkey loses. The positive side is that Turkey will face the strongest teams in the group that gives me 1% of hope.

    Blind must bring positive energy to the Dutch camp. He has to make his players hungry for victory but also make them feel they have to be a team and not only individual egos.

  12. ————————-Krul————————




    1) Krul because he has a stronger personality and can lead our defenders better. Cillessen hasn’t stopped some easy balls lately.

    2)Tete? I haven’t watched him but I don’t like the idea of having 2 new players in defense at the same time in such crucial games (Tete and Riedewald).

    3) If we are losing the ball too much or not controlling midfield as expected then take off Lens or Depay and bring Anita on.

    1. To be brutally honest…
      Kongolo is better than Raidwald…
      Kenny tete is fast and beast at RB..
      Bazoer is real threat,real deal so is jorit hendrix..Bazoer needs to be played ,he is player on fire..
      Wijnaldum should move to right wing as we dont have quality wingers….
      Depay is lucky,no williems and annholt in team for left wing..
      So it should be
      this is best 11 combination for current 23.
      Vrijil seems unluky as Reikik and bruma played together for 2 years..so i gave a nod for Reikik..

      1. So you want Oranje to play with 2 DMs and 1 striker when we are in a must win situation? Brilliant… Just f%#@%@ brilliant!

        Teams P W D L W D L W D L F A +/- Pts
        Iceland 8 3 1 0 3 0 1 6 1 1 15 3 12 19
        Czech Republic 8 3 1 0 3 0 1 6 1 1 16 10 6 19
        Turkey 8 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 3 2 11 9 2 12
        Netherlands 8 2 1 1 1 0 3 3 1 4 13 10 3 10
        Latvia 8 0 1 3 0 3 1 0 4 4 4 16 -12 4
        Kazakhstan 8 0 1 3 0 1 3 0 2 6 5 16 -11 2

        Looking at the table, Iceland and Czech both want to try and win the group. They both still have a lot at stake. Expect them to play Turkey trying to win their games. On the other hand, Kazakhastan are out of the race and they might play their games against us without trying to park the bus. We do play them away and we only won 3-1 on home soil.

        We have a home game against the Czech and it’s very likely we’d have more points than Turkey on that day.

        1. ha ha stupid……u need to play ur best and inform players to get result…not the crap ones and finally loose game and moaning like a little girl later…as hiddink and blind did repeated mistakes…playing BMI,afelly,weil,promes,RVP,even klassen as holing etc…wijnaldum is misused…

          1. Promes has never started any qualifier game s*cker

            Listen, you’re from India, you know nothing about dutch football, there is no football culture in your country, even Afellay would be the best all time indian player. Normally you should come here and ask us questions, learn from us, but instead you force us to read your crap and shitty line-ups on a daily basis.You have nothing to teach us about football or biology, do you understand this ?

            The real responsible is Jan for letting you posting all this and blocking my comments, many people left his blog, he got what he deserves.

  13. @Idiot laurent…..u lost one sidedly and u left the blog..u were yelling at LVG…idiot..u think that u know everything abt football,thats the first sign of a fool…while i came from country who doest even know football and its depth charactor..its shows my openess and looking/eye for better things…u will see very rae people like me india who follows football closly…i am not an idiot fan,if i was i would have been fan of latin american country or an african country..Normal indians support those teams…
    India doesnt have football culture but i have,once india enters football…u just watch it…..ur ideas and preditcions are so pathitic u idiot…Every one oin this blog knows promes didnt played much,so dont assume idiot that promes played every time,thats why i am putting his name…u brian is so underdeveloped that u cannt read in between lines…there are crap players playing for NT since WC2014….thats why dutch came in to this situation…..ITS A FACT U IDIOT..UNDENIABLE FACT..

  14. Yes Steve, this is JC’s bigger vision. In order to protect the national character of England, Holland, Spain even, he suggests to limit the number of foreign players in the respective leagues…

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