Oranje Fail: “Winners of Tomorrow”

Another disappointing weekend for Dutch football. Ronald and Erwin Koeman sacked at Everton. Ajax and Feyenoord in a less than average Klassieker. Where fouls, tackles and bad passes reigned. And Ziyech and Berghuis were invisible. Terrible. Enough of that!

I saw some posts here on and some questions about the KNVB’s infamous “Winners of Tomorrow” report.

Some people seem to think this is the dogs bollocks and anyone who means anything in Dutch football has contributed to that report…

Sadly, the truth is different.

Every year, the KNVB organises a seminar for professional coaches to cover topics that are current in World Football, coaching, tactics, preparation, etc.

Back in 2012, we got humiliated in the Euros2012 and the KNVB decided to get some more meat on the bone. The round table discussions that followed were attended by many big names in football. Ex players, journalists, coaches, youth coaches, you name it… And everyone got their say in. Marco van Basten, Louis van Gaal, Wim Jansen, Martin Jol, Henk ten Cate, Co Adriaanse, Marcel Brands, Wim Jonk, Mark van Bommel etc etc.


The KNVB, most likely led by Jelle Goes, produced this report some time later, called “Winners of Tomorrow” with a vision and roadmap towards renewed Oranje success.

That report had some issues though… For starters, it was a report focused on how to proceed into the future – from a KNVB angle – and it used the names of the people mentioned above as co-authors. But the problem was: they weren’t. They all contributed their thoughts, but someone like Wim Jansen read pieces in the report that he supported (the stuff he brought in) but also heaps of stuff that he couldn’t endorse (brought in by others).

Wim Jansen’s rant against all this was documented on this blog earlier in two parts… In case you are wondering: it was called Part 1 and Part 2. Just click on the link to read Jansen’s vision.

And he’s just one example. As a result, the likes of Adriaanse, Ten Cate, Jansen and many others publicly distanced themselves from the report. Yes, they contributed. Yes, they were at the meetings. But NO: they did not fully support the report as it is.

Secondly, the new (and now also ex) Technical Director of the KNVB, Hans van Breukelen, was instructed to “sell” the report in the media and among the stakeholders, but poor old Hans used the report – or bits and pieces – to promote his own little agenda: “We need to develop players who are mentally strong and physically strong!”. This, and Hans van Breukelen in general, came across as out-of-touch with the real world and as a result, the report became toxic.


But analysing the report, you’ll find (if you could read it and had the 2 hours to throw away) that the contents is rubbish. It’s the design of a bike or an elephant by committee. Even if you would want a solution for – say – implementing clean energy in a certain city or so and you’d invite 20 experts, you’d probably end up with a report full of discrepancies, controversies, illogical combinations, etc etc.

Sometimes, one simply has to watch football to see what’s going wrong.

Take the France away game (0-4 loss, in case you forgot). There was the problem in your face: France relied on 18 year old MBappe, their future, while Dick Advocaat played Robin van Persie. Basically our past.

It took one sprint between Van Persie and Umtiti to see that Robin is not the same Van Persie of 2010 0r 2014 anymore.

Using Van Persie is a symbol of what is wrong with the Dutch: we cling on to the past!

In this post, we’ll listen to Wim Jonk both analysed the report Winners of Tomorrow and they have published quite thorough analyses.

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Wim Jonk listens, JC lectures…

Wim Jonk was head of football development at the Ajax Academy (after an impressive career at Ajax, Oranje, PSV, Inter Milan) and one of Cruyff’s disciples in the Velvet Revolution. When JC decided to turn his back on Ajax, after an internal conflict with a certain segment of the Ajax clan, Jonk and others decided to exit as well. Jonk, Jongkind and others decided to team even more with Cruyff, and started working for Cruyff Football, supported by Jordi Cruyff.

They guard the football philosophy of the Number 14 and spread his wisdom far and wide.

Far and wide, as the Dutch KNVB decided – again – to stay away from Cruyff’s teachings, just like they ignored Wiel Coerver in the 1980s (and with him Rene Meulensteen). Now, Jonk and Co are dealing with partnerships in Belgium (!), China, the US and Portugal.

Jonk: “We did talk to Van Breukelen and Jelle Goes though. We were about to plan a second meeting and they seemed genuinely interested but they cancelled the meeting as a result of the internal chaos in Zeist. The rest is history.”

Jonk: “You’ll have the start at the bottom. The structure of the new youth competitions. Then you can work on the youth coaches to make sure they are up to speed with what’s needed at that level. There is so much to be gained with good practices and individual coaching and training. Johan oozed ideas of how to create attacking and dominant players in the youth system. He’d just start talking! But he never wrote anything down, so it was up to me and Ruben to turn all these gems into something workable. And that’s what we did.”

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Jonk is organising courses and workshops now, for interested clubs and federations. “At Ajax, when you work there, you’re caught up in politics and operational matters. Now, we simply turn up for parties that are actually interested and open to it.”

The media always focused on the political battle at Ajax’ senior department, but Jonk maintains that the real revolution happened on the youth pitches. “IF you want to improve football, you have to start with technique. Ball skills. And creativity. When we started in 2011 with Ajax, they let the under-11 players play on a big pitch and usually against physically stronger players, so they could “build resistance”. But that’s wrong. At that age, you need to offer them a “street football” alternative. They need to be able to use the ball, develop skills. You can’t on a big pitch and definitely not against players who basically run you off the ball. So our message is: small spaces, lots of ball contacts. And preferably six against six. And without knowing it, they’ll learn a lot about positioning. The ideal pitch size is the same as the Cruyff courts, of course.”

Cruyff also learned from the lessons out of the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. “He showed us how kids in a certain year are not all the same in development. A kid born in January is seriously much more developed than a kid from the same year, born in December. So we used to create teams of “January-June” kids and a team of “July-December” kids, and they played against their own “half year” peers.

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“Those physical changes are huge when you’re 13 years old and these all fade away once they reach a mature age.”

The KNVB has adopted some of the ideas, but not the further finetuning of the age groups within a year. “That’s a missed opportunity. It’s logistically easy to do. You basically have two teams of the same club on a half pitch playing matches next to each other. The early ripened kids, and the later ones…”

Jonk: “Youth coaches also have the tendency to act and scream as if they’re Conte or Klopp. That is the last thing you want to do. Imagine, playing street football in the 1960s with some adult constantly yelling at you…. Let them dribble, let them make mistakes. These lads need to learn to make their own decisions. It’s also important that we stop chewing everything out for them. I want the youth players to coach themselves, to start correcting each other. This will stimulate creativity and leadership.”

Everyone speaks about how Germany changed things after the Euro2000 tournament, but Belgium did as well. Bob Browaeys was the man in charge, as technical coordinator of the Belgium Federation. Wim Jonk: “They changed their junior football structure and they designed special youth teams for the less strong and tall players, like Dries Mertens. Look where he plays now. And it’s not just the top, at Ajax, the youthful teams were regularly played off the pitch by the Anderlecht youth. It’s changing back again, as we made some big changes at Ajax years ago, but Belgium has surpassed us. And when I met Bob, we actually said the same things, we spoke the same language. I asked him, who his inspiration was… Guess what: Johan Cruyff!”


Jonk and Jongkind traveled the world to look into the kitchen of other countries. “In Spain, the youth training has been documented methodically. They have their football vision and translate that directly into the youth Academy. Barca, Valencia, Villareal…very impressive. While in France, they use youth institutions to work with the lads from 13-16 years old. Players arrive late at the pro clubs. They work intensively on skills. Skills and tactics. They’re being driven to perfection and only then are they released to play for Lyon or Monaco or Brest. Pogba and Mbappe are prime examples. They played at amateur level for a long time. In Holland, players are being picked up by the pro clubs when they’re seven or eight years old! And you see this pattern in England as well. While in Germany, their big shift was the scouting and the parameters used. Now, the emphasis is on skills, not athleticism. And their biggest talents work once a week together in national DFB centres across the nation.”

So what do we need to do in Holland to make key changes?

Jonk: “First you need to accept and acknowledge you have a problem. Then you need to point your finger on the spot where it hurts. The Report Winners of Tomorrow seems to think it’s about mentality, physical strength and defensive capabilities.  And yes, these things are vital, but those are not the key elements. These things come to the surface, because we fail to do the real football aspects badly. People in Holland still say we’re so good in technical and tactical areas. We’re not! There’s eleven Key Topics in the report and not one of them is about skills. We keep on overestimating ourselves. We currently have one player who can dribble in the vertical direction. One! And he’s 33 years old: Arjen Robben. We need to fix this and we fix it at youth level.”


“Physical strength is not important at that level. Motoric potential and physical agility are. You don’t want slow and sluggish defenders like we develop now. The more agile and late ripe lads are not getting a look in now. They’re overlooked. The Dutch attacking school of football should be called Naive Football. That’s what we do. You need to understand how and when to play pressure. How can you block the counter-attack. You don’t need physically strong players per se. But players who can read the game, switch quickly and anticipate. You need the perfect mix. The Dutch NT of 1974 and the Brazil NT of 1982 are named as the most exciting teams ever. But they didn’t win a thing. Germany is now capable of mixing result with attractiveness. Well done! Who had thought we’d ever sit in anticipation to watch Germany play?”

What system works best for Holland?

“I don’t believe in systems. These should change constantly. I believe in football principles. And you can deploy these with 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or 3-4-3… Or whatever. The princinples are about forward pressure, when and where? The first pass, deep or square. How can you get your forwards one v one? How do you make sure the distances between players are correct? That is what Johan and I worked on. We never talked 4-3-3 vs 4-4-2. It’s about the intention. If you don’t have a strong central striker, why not play without one? Look at Spain. When you have a Van Basten or Van Nistelrooy, it’s not that hard to determine what to do but if you don’t, than it would be my plan to use Robben in the one v one as much as possible. And you need to build your team around that.”

jonk holland

Jonk continues: “The interesting thing is, that most of these aspects are naturally done by the youngsters. The 3-second rule is what they want to adhere to. They love hunting in packs to get the ball. They love playing their first pass vertical. They simply want to score goals. It’s the youth coaches that try to take that out of their game.”

The KNVB’s football practice models work either for defensive or either for offensive situations. In Cruyff’s vision, it’s the same thing. Jonk: “Cruyff loved the third runner. And people think it’s an offensive move, but it also works well for the defensive side of things. Because if the pass fails, your third man is already in position to play pressure on the ball.”

Jonk’s conclusion: “Obviously, you need talent. You can’t make gems from rubbish. But we do have talents coming through. Everywhere. But it’s key to make them aware of the use of their talent and the way they deploy it in a team, with others, and in time and space. The solution for the Dutch football crisis is to found at the start of the process.”

pep lecture

Former FC Twente and PSV striker Arnold Bruggink (currently tv analyst): “We do not longer have players that are top, in technical skill and tactical intelligence. Today, it’s players like Wijnaldum, Van Drongelen, Karsdorp, Van Dijk and Strootman that are able to make a step up. In the past, it was the more creative player. The ones that are in big competitions and big clubs are not the ones making the difference. We have Arjen Robben. Then, there’s nothing for a while and then maybe Memphis. But Memphis has a lot to prove still. And it’s quite simple: look at France – Holland. All their players are faster, stronger and taller than ours. You can only compete when you are simply better on the ball. Quicker. Technical skills comes down to the handling speed. And being able to take in what’s going on around you.”


Arnold Bruggink with a young Arjen Robben

“Guardiola has been playing different systems with the same players at three different clubs! So it’s possible. He did it at Barca, and people thought “well, yes, at Barca you can do this…” But then he did it at Bayern, with mostly different players and now again at City. It’s trainable. Feyenoord got hammered by Man City and you could see the weakness of players like Toornstra, Vilhena in those games. But it’s ok. They need this experience. And in three days time: away to Heracles. Which suddenly becomes a much tougher match. But Feyenoord will grow as a result. As for Ajax and PSV, they’ll miss that and in the long run, it’s not good. If Keizer plays one striker or both Huntelaar and Dolberg, or maybe even no striker at all…they’ll win most of their games anyway in Holland. Our top clubs and players are not really being tested anymore. And as long as the KNVB thinks our players are still top notch in the technical and tactical department, nothing will change….”

Arjen Robben shows how it’s done:


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  1. Hi Jan..wonderful analysis..posting here after a long long time..
    Jonk is the one who can fix the cracks at Zeist. There are ongoing talks about a possible collaboration between the knvb and Cruyff football, led by team Jonk. I read it on voetbal international . Could you cover the key points of that article as well for everyone of us in the next part? If the collaboration kicks off, it’s really good news for us

  2. Jan there is a whole lot of truth in this article especially the part where it about bringing it from the grass root level.looking at current u21s,its very hard to say they will be able to reinforce the senior team in other 4 years. I have said this earlier, the current u19s is the place where they should start and including those who were part of the u20 as well. Joel piroe and Roy- grot are beast,then you have van Drongelen,De Ligt Schuurs,Kluivert,stengs,Mensah,Pierie,De Jong are thriving at such a young age. Then you have malen,Chong,Kadigolu,lammers,bergwijn,and AZ contingent who are not far behind. This is a very special squad with alot of potential and the KNVB should move in to see these players don’t go stray and are precisely groomed.if you look at heerenveen,Utrecht and AZ contingent, they are already playing in the first team while PSV,Ajax and Feyenoord have very few of their younng guys playing in the first team. The time is shifting and the trend is changing compared to like before when ajax players used to skip the u21 level and go straight to NT leaving the u21s to bite the dust. I think this will be a big challenge for KNVB to see how these players from other teams develop to that of of the top three teams that also enjoy European football at youth levels and also Europa and champions league. If the players in lower teams are thriving than they should acknowledged and they should be given the nod for the shake of proving themselves.(van dijk).
    Interesting times ly head. Very very optimistic things will change with correct mind set,right decision makers,right players and a good coach. If NT continues to drag with players like klaassen,Proper,wijnaldun,veltman,Blind,Janssen,there will be a part 2 for orange twilght saga in 2020.

  3. The points made by arnold bruggink is spot on. Then KNVB can also take the help of Marcel Lucassen who can also help with player development but Rene muelnsteen is now manager with KERALA BLAATERS team based out of KOCHI which is my home.

        1. No Manoj ..an age old Fan of orange fan since 1994…From Pathanamthitta…Never been to Holland,but soon will visit Holland and will see Orange game in Holland…Good to see people from my country following a very special footballing Nation…cheers..

    1. I pray that some sucker club will hurry to offer Koeman $$$ so he won’t be available for the NT. His buying decisions at Everton were beyond horrible. Not to mention the only decent job as a coach he did was at a mediocre club like Southampton. Everything else ended in disappointment.

      1. I think he did a good job at Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, Southampton and first year at Everton. He failed to excel in Valencia, AZ and now Everton. He is not a coach who would do equally well in all clubs but his coaching biography is not that bad. Even The Special One failed in Chelsea if you remember. Things happen…

        I believe in fate and if it is his destiny to become Oranje manager, that is going to happen…

        1. You are right. I didn’t remember his other stints in Holland. Still just like any other dutch coach who does well in Eredivisie he mostly failed abroad.

          1. Vikram,

            I DO want a foreign coach to lead Oranje just to bring a diversity of thoughts to the table. However, taking into account current political environment in KNVB and Koeman’s availability, 99% he will be appointed as Oranje manager. KNVB was internally and by majority of guys in this blog was criticized by not appointing Koeman four years ago. Now they will amend the mistake. I do not think Koeman is a horrible coach, but he is not the one who could make big difference in Oranje. Those articles that you cited above do not tell anything about real quality of Koeman as a coach. I remember nasty articles about LvG and “The Special One” when they were dismissed from MU and Chelsea. Both of them great coaches, we all know that…

  4. I found this post extremely interesting, useful and current.

    This is what we need to be addressing now: our future!

    Thanks Jan for this amazing post.

    I must confess that I feel frustrated reading that we have the tools to solve the problem (Jonk and Cruyff ideas) but the KVNB just don´t do it.

    I really hope to see Jonk getting involve.

    Jan, why you said that your idea technical director would be Rutten and no Jonk?

  5. Jan, maybe the “klassieker’ was not exactly the best football, but Feyenoord is truly horrible this year. They were simply awful against Shaktar losing at home and even worse against Ajax. I felt that the difference in quality between the 2 teams (Feyenoord and Ajax) was actually quite dramatic and Ajax were far superior. It is extremely sad that no Dutch team will spend the winter in Europe this year. It must have been a very long time since this happened. Unfortunately, it reflects the level of our football at the current time. What is even more concerning (I have not seen anyone comment on this) is that with Koeman’s exit from Everton, we no longer have a single Dutch coach (except for Bosz) in any of the top 5 leagues in Europe. That says it all. We are at the bottom of the pit. And please don’t tell me Koeman would be good for Oranje. He is nothing special, I totally agree with Vikram. As for De Boer and Gio, again average at best. So unless the KNVB goes with a foreign coach, I can’t see a solution to our problems. We need an outsider who can reform the entire structure of Dutch football. Otherwise, I am afraid we will continue to stagnate or worse regress if that’s even possible.
    I have one question for all of you out there, one that has really puzzled me.
    Why is it that we won the euro u21 twice in a row 10 years ago and nobody from those teams except for KJH developed into world class players?
    Even worse, we made 3 finals within 4 years at the u17 level (winning twice) recently as well. What happened to all these so-called stars? TTV, Rekik, Kongolo, Ebicelio (voted player of the tournament) even Memphis. Why is it we can’t develop those players past the age of 18? Coaching anyone?

    1. feyenoord is really struggling bad in defense after the injury of Jan-Arie van der Heijden and Eric Botteghin.kevin diks have to say has turned out to be very being poor, Svan van der beek has recovered from a long term injury but is still rusty and his partnership with St juste is jus not there. Tapia and Diks were both used as make shift CBs but again didnt make much impact.Ambraat started at RB vs Ajax and we all have seen what happened on huntelars goal while Haps also is not doing any good either.GVB needs look for reinforcement in the transfer window. Nelom and Kramer needs to be replaced with quality reinforcement to provide more competition to Nicolai Jørgensen and Haps respectively.

      there has been many ocassions when coaches have had bad relationships with players but this doesnt change the fact on how they coach. we all know how sturbon Van Gaal was at Barcelona,bayern Man United .Van Gaal -Rivaldo,Ribery,De Gea, Mourinho-Mata.also if its the call for the country then whole scenario changes because now its about working with country man and not just any other player. I feel he is good with young players and as we saw him when he was at feyenoord and since its time to overhaul NT with younger generation he could be good fit.


      the answer to question is very simply. the current satus of eredivide is such that its a good development ground for the age group between 17-21.after this the development simply stalls and if you look at players now who stay longer than 3-4 season they simply end getting stray when they go abroad. I think it would be better for the upcoming young talents to move to mid table teams in Serie A and Bundasliga and then work their way up from there. karsdorp, Van Drongelen, Hoogma, Hateboer. so you have 3-4 in eredivisie, 2-3 season in a mid table team and then you acertain where you fit in coming into prime.taking big steps wont help and we have all seen what has happened to those who thought they were ready.

  6. http://www.soccernews.nl/news/405421/KNVB_op_de_schop:_E%C3%A9n_van_deze_drie_nieuwe_technisch_directeur

    Google translate:

    In November, the KNVB will launch a major reorganization based on the new CEO Eric Gudde. First, he will appoint a technical director for Hans van Breukelen this summer. Before the end of the calendar year, this TD must be appointed.

    The Telegraaf will know who the candidates are. “It is clear that the new technical man must have a trainer background, both national and international at top clubs. The man has to place a football vision of the Dutch team under the age of 15 to the big Dutch team. keep the KNVB light “, it sounds.

    “To date, the names of Fred Rutten (54), Louis van Gaal (66) and Co Adriaanse (70) are named as candidates. The KNVB demands a new commitment from the new TD for a minimum of five years.””

    Any comments?

    1. LVG is so clever and Brilliant …i cannot say that about Rutten as he is kind of Fan of Elvis manu…Will he be develoing Elvis Manus???i dont know..i am skeptical about him,may be i am wrong….
      Co adrianese seems pretty goo if we want to see next Robens and Vaarts..

        1. Wilson you literally say all of the time we have huge up coming talents, of course more robben and Sneijders will pop up even if it’s not for a few years

          1. Did NT have any new van basten,Guilt or Rijkaard.there will be new talents but none will be able to replicate the legacy of the legends. There were few idots here who tried to compare Klaassen to the Ice man Dennis Bergkamp. What happened.he is all shitting in EPL. I don’t wanna go and dig the past again but only a dumb will keep believing in this.

  7. Alot of dutchees featured in the league cup and again most scumbed to defeat with average to worst performance. Starting with Crystal palace, all mensah,Riedewald,and van annholt started for Crystal palace vs Bristol city.highlight of the game was van annholts nightmare defending. 2 give always,2 goals,Bristol winning 4-1. Jay Roy-Grot and Anita both started for Leeds vs Leicester but lost 3-1.Grot showing alot of potential starting in the middle but Leicester came out guns firing won the game. I’m very much suprised how come Leicester have not used Iheanacho all this time. He showed his class scoring and assisting one and definitely will feature more after today’s performance.

    Ake was a late sub for Bournemouth who won 3-1 over Middlesbrough. Daley Blind and united also won 2-1 over Swansea which had van der hoorn and fer who came late on as a sub.

  8. Jan: Wow! This is the post that we’ve been looking for. Unfortunately, someone seems to have used a Jedi mind trick on the KNVB to convince them otherwise. Your article provides very insightful analysis and discusses so many important thoughts that I had to read it multiple times just to full digest and appreciate.

    The thing that is the most frustrating with all of this is that there are right answers and there are people willing to implement them, but because of pride, politics, bureaucracy, etc., nothing changes and we are instead left with glossy materials with colorful charts and pictures of smiling children that accomplish nothing (and may actually lead us down the wrong paths).

    We can only hope that enough visionaries in and outside of the Netherlands will put the principles you discuss into practice so that the choices become self-obvious to KNVB and club leadership. There’s a parallel here to coaching children — you can introduce concepts to players all day long, but they won’t work to master them and make them a part of their game until they’ve personally experienced it work and they begin to think it’s their own idea. It’s almost as if we can’t accept our own developmental ideas (Cruyff, Jonk, etc.) until we recognize them occurring successfully elsewhere and then eventually repatriate them.

    It’s stunning how obtuse people in power can be, but just like in other areas (politics, business, etc.), everything just becomes about preserving that power. Hopefully articles like this one can continue to educate the public and guide the discussion in a productive manner.

    On a final note, all hope is not lost. We can still produce FIFA world players of the year — they just have longer hair now. Congratulations to Lieke Martens! Hup Holland!

    1. JB, your comment explains the frustration that I feel, knowing that we have the resources and right people to create the Dutch 3.0 football, but because of egos, bureaucracy, etc, we don´t do it.

      I totally share your point of view!

      I really hope for once, that we can solve this problem.

  9. Thanks Jan for this excellent article! It really delves into the root of the problem. I just hope that the people in charge wake up and do the things that need to be done.

    The KNVB needs to have a short and long term strategy here. The short term would be to identify a coach who can bring some level of confidence back into this team. The long term goal is obviously implementing the structural changes mentioned in the article.

    I wanted to quickly mention Frank de Boer and Koeman.

    FDB had a lot of promise at Ajax. He goes to Inter and completely mismanages it. He is kicked out the door before he has unpacked his suitcase. He goes to Crystal Palace and the same thing happens. I don’t know what kind of changes he was trying to implement overnight but whatever it was, it did not work.

    Koeman on the other hand manages to undo all the things he did in the Premier League in a matter of two months. One of the things that surprised me was that he was out of touch with his squad this season. He was literally not communicating with them. I don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is, it shows complete arrogance or cluelessness on his part.

    If your team is struggling, the best thing to do is to work out the problems with your players. Gain their trust and use their input to solve problems. I don’t know the man or what kind of personality he has but that doesn’t look good any way you look at it.

    Everton fumbled in replacing Lukaku. They had a couple of new signings that flopped big time but there is still enough quality in the squad to hang on mid-table at least until the January transfer window opens.

    No matter where you are taking over as a manager, at some point in time, things may start to go bad. That is when a team needs its coach the most. If he is the type that just folds and shows indifference, it doesn’t bode well if he is appointed to resurrect Oranje out of purgatory.

    I wish Jan can write an article about what went wrong with these guys.

      1. provisonal squad. november friendly.

        Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton), Jeroen Zoet (PSV)

        Defenders: Daryl Janmaat (Watford), Kenny Tete (Olympique Lyon), Joel Veltman, Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Wesley Hoedt (Southampton), Karim Rekik (Hertha Berlin), Nathan Aké (AFC Bournemouth), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace)

        Midfielders: Daley Blind (Manchester United), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Marco van Ginkel (PSV), Davy Klaassen (Everton), Tonny Vilhena, Jens Toornstra (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool), Wesley Sneijder (OGC Nice), Davy Pröpper (Brighton & Hove Albion)

        Attackers: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon), Vincent Janssen (Fenerbahçe), Jürgen Locadia (PSV), Ryan Babel, Jeremain Lens (Besiktas), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon), Eljero Elia (Istanbul Basaksehir)

          1. He’s just giving them one last chance for players like Van aanholt and strootman to say they actually played on a team that went on to win the next 20 world cups

          2. 1 would be good for starters but 20 is smokiness.and what makes you think they will perform better this time when they couldn’t do it throughout and without Robben.

  10. Today, after a LONG time, I saw Everton play really really well against a very strong Chelsea side. Though they lost 1-2, I saw the fight, the free-flowing style, interchange of positions, wing play, communication and everything that was missing (with the same players) when the stupid Koeman was in charge. This VAST improvement happened in 3 days under the new coach Unsworth who had been coaching the youth team over the last few seasons. They could have easily won the game.

    This is the type of change I want to see in Oranje. Get the young players up to speed, get a young up-coming, fiery coach that knows how to develop and work with young players. Please, no more old haggards like Dick/Guus/whoever else or assholes like Ronald Koeman.

    1. Vikram, we need someone like Conte at Chelsea. Our kids seem to be asleep most of the time, someone like Conte can remind them that they’re supposed to play football and not jerk off.

  11. Typical example of amateurism at KNVB.

    The prelim squad was announced without Virgil van Dijk.

    People were perplexed.

    Then the KNVB quickly put out a new release, as they had “forgotten” Van Dijk (in the previous release).

    What a good example…

    I understand Dick will not pick new players. Think about it: he will be replaced by a new coach (and a new TD in the background). Dick doesn’t want to govern beyond his grave.

    Imagine he would call up new lads. And then the new coach will have to deal with these decisions and start on the wrong foot with some players?

    No, it’s fine. These friendlies are worth fukc-all to us, so let this group deal with it, the KNVB will make some money and after Dick, the new coach can start the process properly.

    1. I don’t think so,Jan. I think using new players would have given a head start to who ever the new coach would have been. The KNVB should be clearly calling the shots here and telling Dick what to do as he is jus a standby coach. Even if they lose both games using the new batch,the new coach would have known which players to start and not waste time again selecting and experimenting . This was perfect time to give potential players like hateboer,Riedewald,St Juste,van Drongelen,mensah,sinkgraven,Pierie to start and test their ceiling.

      I was looking at the back line players for the Provisional jong orange squad. There is so many talents in there and I don’t think everybody will be able to play. Look at this players.

      Defenders: Hidde ter Avest (FC Twente), Damian van Bruggen (VVV-Venlo), Kevin Diks (Feyenoord), Rick van Drongelen (Hamburger SV), Denzel Dumfries (SC Heerenveen), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace), Justin Hoogma (1899 Hoffenheim), Bart Nieuwkoop (Feyenoord), Thomas Ouwejan (AZ), Jairo Riedewald (Crystal Palace), Jeremiah St. Juste (Feyenoord).

      I mean not every body will be able to play from here,so why not draft them in senior squad.


      De ligt- De Vrij- Van Drongelen

      Hateboer- VDBeek- Riedewald- Ake

      Van Ginkel

      Promes- Depay

      There is nothing to losses here or even with rotation of other players which would have given the incoming coach at least something to start with from this two games.

        1. This was more or less the same thing that happened during the euro tour after NT failed to qualify for Euro 2016.that tour was suppose to be used to inject some new faces which never happened and danny dragged the same team through the WC qualifiers. But I do admit back then apart from van dijk there were not much young talents who were playing regularly for their team but regardless of this there were other players whom could have been selected.in the end during injuries the team was everytime on back foot. This was always the highlight of the team under him until he was sacked.

      1. Ake cannot cross properly…Vanrhijn has best crosess among dutch right backs…Williams is the best from left…
        —-Deligt—Virgil—-Van drogelen–
        Vanrhijn—-Van de beek–Ake—–Williams
        However 11 men team doesnt win anything its always 23..We must have strong bench as well on bench
        karsdorp—Stjuste–Frekie dejong–Blind

          1. watch ake….regularly..or atleast watch the match Vs sweden…He has nice passes but Williams has billiards type sharp crossess..so is Vanrhijn Since u r using 3 CBs..u dont need so much defensive wing backs..But has precise crosses…thats awesome..

          2. Ake is better or CB or CDM. Watching Willems dominate at Frankfurt I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten a call up yet

    1. Vs Andorra,are you joking. There are many talents there who can handle andorra.priority here should have been paving way for a new NT and even if it was must win game then why not De ligt and VDBeek who would have been better of with jong orange rather than NT where highly likely they will warm the bench. St juste and Menash have formed a good partnership playing regularly at CB. Given the talents in U21s I don’t think there would have been a disruption to their campagin.

      St Juste
      De Jong
      All been regular for U21s so why not maintain this continuity.

  12. It was good to see El Shaarawy, paying tribute to Karsdorp after scoring the goal vs Bologna. He lifted Karsdorps jesery to the crowd and demanded applauds and support from fans for his recovery. It been a curse for Roma when it comes to ACL injury and now the fingers are starting to be pointed at the staffs as to where its going wrong.

  13. Finally Richairo Zivkovic gets some with minutes with KV Oostende. Vorner and denswil both scored for Club Brugge as they stretch their lead to 8 points at the top of the table.

    hoedt and van dijk also both started for southampton vs Brighton & Hove. anybody watched this game.

    locadia with another impressive start for psv with 2 goals and also a own goal but he is continuing to show why he needs start for orange.

  14. Erik Ten Hag gave Nick Vennema his debut against NAC Brada nd the young u21 striker netted his first goal on debut to rescue Utrecht to a draw.good times ahead for the young striker and will be expecting more playing time after this performance.

      1. For lammers and vennema its hard to call now as they are not starters in their respective teams. As for locadia definitely yes. He may not be a world class but he has proved he needs to be starting in NT.

  15. Gertjan Verbeek is appointed as a coach and Technical Director at FC Twente. I am very happy that GJ is back to Eredivisie. Hopefully, he will take out Twente from the misery and team can start competing for the higher places in Eredivisie.

  16. I watched the replay of hereeveen and AZ and will say Dumfries is a unpolished diamond. If he goes on to smoothen some of his edges,he can become a top defender.

      1. What i felt was Dumfries lacks the tactical intelligence and quick thinking mind which is required to be a top class player..i am sure he wont make it..He is just another Elvis manu type…i prefer Guys with useful brain. like RVP,Roben,Vaart,or should have charactors like Nijel/jaap stam/Ron vlaar/Roy keane etc(where keane and Vlaar had both in abundance)Jaap and Nijel were so disciplined guys…
        Dumbfry and many doesnt belong there…

          1. “i prefer Guys with useful brain. like RVP,Roben,Vaart,or should have charactors like Nijel/jaap stam/Ron vlaar/Roy keane etc” you sure you took the rights pills.

  17. Mourinho stopped Lukaku and Herrera from taking penalty and told Blind to take it (which he scored). Martial was 1st choice (missed and already subbed). says how much Mou’s trust towards Blind.

    I don’t get why ManU fans say that his crossings are poor.

    1. Again strootman was at his top of his game vs Chelsea in the middle. His performance for NT jus shows he is being used in the wrong position and he is more useful when playing in front of the DM.I think its more effective when midfield move back and forth together in triangle. Even De Rossi at Roma ventures forward like he is playing as a central mid. NT needs a DM and that will solve a lot of issues. Who?

      1. Comparing Strootman and Wijnaldum performances in their clubs and NT, it seems that the problem is the strategy and tactics used, and no the pointless statement “he doesn’t play well for the NT”

        We need a coach who knows how to use this players, with fresh ideas and modern tactics and strategies.

  18. I think a player like Van Bommel would be a great coach assistant. He retired recently and played in great clubs and leagues. He should has fresh ideas. Moreover, he is a great leader, with strong personality.

  19. Amrabat chooses Morocco as his country to represent. Good thing as he isn’t good enough to be on the NT and stupid coaches will just end up choosing him and limiting the potential of all of the other young talents. We need to give the chance to younger and brighter stars such as stengs, de ligt, de Jong, kadioglu, Dumfries, hoogma, bazoer, depay so they can forge a new path for the Dutch and create a dynasty.

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