Oranje finds anschluss with Europe elite vs Austria

Dear friends, I hope you forgive me the pun re: Austria. I am so used to go make word jokes with our opponents… Austria was a tough one, so I had to dig deep. I do believe WW2 is now far enough behind us for this to be acceptable, yes?

But, joking aside, I do think we have done well. We beat Wales and England, away. We drew Ireland while playing sub par and we beat Poland and Austria. And sure, Austria is not Germany and Poland is not Spain but decent teams. And we didn’t do too badly. Considering…

And there is lots to consider… We lost our head coach after differences of opinion with KNVB management. We lost key players like Vlaar, Strootman, Robben and Van Persie. We had top talents like Memphis, Willems, El Ghazi underperform for different reasons. And we took a mental blow from not qualifying for the Euros.

Danny Blind was facing a storm. Ziyech didn’t join, more injuries, a system that didn’t seem to work, individual players messing up in key games… a tough road.


But he stuck to his guns (system and approach) and gave youngsters a chance and he made the brave decision to have Advocaat join the coaching staff.

And I guess it worked. The Ireland game was sub par. Lack of pace, lack of desire, no forward passing, no risk takers.. Against Poland, we did alright and against Austria we got our swagger back.

We were lucky though. The Berghuis cross was deflected. Janssen mistimed his header, it could have gone anyway. Austria missed a sitter (Janko) and could have had a penalty (Bazoer on Alaba)… but overall, we played well. And we even could have scored 3 more. A lucky deflection of a Promes shot on the post, Janssen missing an open chance, Promes missing an open opportunity, Van Ginkel heading the ball away from an open goal… Opportunities galore one might say.

And even though we didn’t play great, there were many a positive light to be seen.

zoet aus

Goalie Jeroen Zoet showed composure and kept us in the game at some stage with some good saves. Kenny Tete had a tough start against Arnautovic, like any full back, but fought himself back into the game. I thought he played excellent and was also a threat going forward (more so than Veltman, but less so than Janmaat). Bruma and Van Dijk both had their little moments of complacency and their build up play can still improve but they do play with confidence and both players, with their length, have a physical presence that can’t be denied. Van Aanholt, was decent in defending, although he was caught out a couple of times, as he seems to “bite” too quick and allows wingers to trick him with their movements. Going forward, he was excellent though. He was a constant mover on the flank, although the passing speed of Oranje was still not quick enough for me and Van Aanholt was overlooked too often, in my book. Obviously, he started the move that led to the 2-0 and deserves kudos for his game.



Our midfield needs improvement, although they did step up. Kevin Strootman started rusty but played himself in the game. Great vision and passing and solid in duels. Strootman doesn’t do “friendly games”. If this is a player who was out for 2 years, I am very positive about his future and impact. Rock solid and the only way is up. Bazoer had good and not so good moments. Easy on the eye, agile in his movement, courageous and technically very skilled. But switches off too often. Had two or three occasions where a man drifted away and his passing could be more adventurous at times. His link up with Berghuis was not great. He also should make more runs into the box for me. He plays too much as a controller, like Strootman. But, he’s young. And I have very high hopes for him.

janssen aus


Wijnaldum was the big disappointed for me. He plays in the #10 role and needs to be much more dominant. His link up play with Janssen was simply non existent and it feels like it is too crowded for him in that spot. He plays well in a 4-4-2 or on the flank in a 4-3-3. The central role… I don’t know. Sure, his goal was fine. His run to the area where De Jong would lay off was great and well timed and his left and right foot can produce something special. But we need more from him in that spot. We’ll see Sneijder there vs Sweden for sure (if he’s fit). Upfront, Promes was a busy bee. Constant threat, constantly moving. His touch needs to improve and he lacks composure in Oranje, although in Moscow he can’t stop scoring. He’s positive though and seems to come across as a good lad. Janssen was special for me. His movement, his spirit, his hold up play, his smart passing and link up play… Excellent. If he keeps on working and not take himself too seriously with all the transfer rumours, he could end up being the real thing. Berghuis is a talent but needs to improve still. He is a smart player, re: movement but his touch is sometimes not there and he tends to be pushed off the ball too easily. But he has something special. A real street football player. Reminds me of Steve McManaman but with a better left foot.


Luuk de Jong impressed me as well. Great hold up play and good awareness. Van Ginkel did alright, but missed a sitter. Vilhena and Veltman couldn’t really make an impact, altough Vilhena has great energy and work rate. He’ll probably do well IF he makes the right decision re: his next step.


All in all, a good performance. A sloppy start, a lucky goal, some haphazard defending but also some great passages of play, with Strootman key in midfield and Promes and Janssen a constant threat. Well done!

We now need two things… We need the likes of Janssen, Vilhena, Berghuis, Janmaat and Memphis to to settle in their new situations next season. Wherever they go or decide to stay. And we need Sneijder, Robben, Clasie and Blind back. I still believe in a midfield with Sneijder, Bazoer, Clasie and Strootman, with Robben playing from the right and Sneijder false left winger (with Willems behind him) and Janssen upfront. Against weaker opponents, we could field two out and out wingers. Tete or Janmaat as right back and Willems or Van Aanholt as left back (I prefer Willems).

training aus

If Van Persie is fit, I’d use him in the squad as well. With Vlaar and Berghuis, Promes, Memphis, Propper, Van Ginkel and L. de Jong to complete the bench. I can imagine Blind will play son Daley as holding mid in place of Clasie if we need two strong center backs. Or Blind with Van Dijk/Bruma at the back and aforementioned Clasie as holding mid. Length can be key, and for this Blind has options.

I get excited with the prospect of Sneijder and Janssen in the team. With Janssen’s movement, Sneijder will find him. And Robben there too, they will be hard to defend. Playing Clasie will allow Strootman to go box to box which I think is his best position. I think it’s a shame to have a player with his dynamics, body and length to sit before defence.




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  1. i think so called old aged RVP,hunter, and super mega hollywood star Memphis,excellent Afellay ,narsingh and experienced Weil and favorite BMI played through out ECQ 2016…now we are watching it from TV,while teams like hungary and Co playing in WC…
    Exit from EC2016 was ludicrously artocious considered that 3 could qulaify form one group…We did nt qualify manily due to these players…i am not forgetting pathetic games played by Clasie,klassen and Sneijder,i not including them as they played partially good..
    it was horrendous qualification in past 26 years….Hiddink was the main culprit,Blind excatly followed what hiddink did.but it seems Danny has leanred a big lesson….
    Memphis has to earn his place by playing regular for his club.which is not going to happen at Manu..
    RVP and Hunter is done….Younger ones with constant movements give us better chances for goals…

    1. Well I follow your anger. This was really a disgrace. Still cannot understand how you can fail to qualify with Europe’s best 24 teams! I hope the lessons were learned.

  2. Great article Jan. I agree that for Midfield, Sneijder and Strootman are untouchables if they are fit. For the 3rd position there are many options depending on the nature of the match. I also agree that Janssen has huge potential. He seems to always raise my expectations even further. Promes and Robben are untouchables as well imo. I still have no idea how to utilize Van Persie and Memphis though. Maybe UEFA might allow us to play with 13 players out of compassion. Problem solved then 🙂

  3. Other transfer news. In addition to Villa there are also Liverpool and Palace after El Ghazi. Also Tottenham are showing an interest in Promes.

  4. Agree: Wijnaldum is not a 10 but he’s going to be in the NT midfield going forward along with Strootman and, I suppose, Sneijder if he is fit. Plus a holding mid if we play a four-man midfield. The team needs Wijnaldum’s athleticism–and he is now experienced.

    Robben will be on one wing (right) and either Promes or Memphis on the other side, no? Janssen is going to be hard to dislodge from the 9 spot.

    In the last two friendlies our athleticism has been quite noticeable and advantageous–we’ve shown a good ability to get to loose balls or win the ball back after losing it. The team is showing hints of potential.

  5. I simply HAVE to respond to Tiju again!! My God, I think in a past life we were either blood enemies or married…. 🙂

    For starters: we didn’t miss the Euros because of certain players.

    The same names Tiju mentions are the ones who got us in the WC finals in 2010 and almost again in 2014.

    The coach has had many successes in the past.

    Surely, it can’t be suddenly those individuals?

    It’s sports, and strange and unexplainable things happen.

    Greece wins Euros. Leicester wins EPL. No logic there.

    We didn’t qualify because we didn’t have a team! And we didn’t have a team due to different reasons. Form, fitness, injuries, bad luck, issues between Hiddink and Van Oostveen/Jorritsma.

    I know professional players and NO player will fail on purpose. Some will for betting fraud, but those are usually not top notch class players but mid-tier boys who either have money issues or are being blackmailed.

    We should analyse the games instead of blaming individual players.

    Team, tactics and mentality are key. But Memphis and Sneijder and Clasie have demonstrated their mentality in the past. So they do have it. But it wasn’t “found” in some games. The reason why that is, is the big question.

    I don’t think Clasie or Sneijder EVER played “pathetic” for Oranje.

    I do not doubt their commitment to the cause. Look at Chelsea: unbeatable one season, atrocious the next. It’s football. It’s interesting. It’s annoying too.

    I would love for people here to contribute with reason, logic, analysis and positive attitude. Bashing Oranje players all the time will get your ass kicked if you’d do it in the pub in Amsterdam or on the stands.

    Consider this a blog ass kicking.

    1. This is Tiju’s role, long-practiced on this blog: to shout “defeat” and call it prophecy.

      You write well, Jan. And your observations strike me as on-target.

      But Tiju has been crying the same sad song since at least 2010 (!), when he predicted defeat. Or was it 2008 or 2012? Same in 2014, when he predicted defeat. Defeat, defeat. Same now. Defeat, defeat.

      Predicting defeat is a bore. Holland is a tiny country, with no reason whatsoever to expect international success in football. Predicting Holland’s defeat isn’t smart, it’s just obvious. Fans are here because we want to turn that all on its head. The hell with obvious defeat. Hup, Holland!

      1. i predicted Defeat in 2012….which happend..
        I predicted defeat in 2016 ECQ which happend…
        i never predicted defeat in other tournaments FYI Golstone,
        i did see that Sneijder,RVP,Hunter,Roben took us to Wc and did their level best to get a trophy.i dont have complaint against them..Since then due to age factor RVP detoriated the most,hunter partially and Now seems Snijder and Roben looks half fit all the time..if they regins fitness i have no problem with any proven class players FYI.
        Previously my rants were against kuyt playing upfront by putting vaart in bench.when RVP,Roben and Sneijder available on pitch.i considerd it as a SIN. .and definitely it has cost WC and EC. i mean 2008 and 2010…when kuyt played were he actually belonged ,i stopped ranting.
        Now i have problem with less than avergae players/headless chcikens/Bodybuilders is been repeatedly getting selection over deserved ones.Or guys with bad attitude i came from barca u from India kind of as###hole.i cannot support a player who deosnt work hard for team unless he save team with spectacular goals.then all the hard work in gym to get 8 packs and strong curvy thighs.
        i am little happy that he learned from mistakes,hope he doesnt call back the players who failed him to qualify EC2016.if he does that he will be digging his own grave..For me age is just a number,if a 35 year has speed of 18 with good lungs,i have got no problem with him..and player of 18 year old plays better than 26 year old average player why not the 18 year old.

        1. Greece wins euro with male players they worked as collective unit..they had 1 mind and 23 bodies…
          Lecesier win EPL—-they had 1 mind 23 bodies.
          Dutch can also win it if we have that..we always had 4 minds and 23 bodies…
          Biased selections
          Unnecessary importance to certain players.
          Repeatedly failed players getting chances again and again.
          Playing RVP,Memphis,Afellay,KLassen,BMI,Weil was mistake by Hiddnink and blind..Van osteen doesnt slecet the team..on top of it they just ignored inform players when their main guns were not available.
          They failed the dutch NT 60% hiddnik and 40% Blind..
          I am just a blogger and not the one who failed the team.
          Now blind has selected different core of players and we are winning.. i am sure as long as Blind keeps the last eleven with 2/3 changes. we are really a good team.
          Wijnaldum<Daley blind

        2. NO TIJU!

          You are a LIAR.

          You spent 7 years on this site (and the World Cup Blogspot before it) writing often 10-15 posts a day stating your distaste for Dirk Kuyt. You must be an idiot, because you are the only one who forgets this. WE do not. We never will.

          You did NOT predict that Holland would fail at the last Euros (2012). Another disingenuous statement.

          THIS is what you actually predicted:

          ‘Holland will loose (sic) all games if headless chicken Kuyt is in NT’

          This is what you actually said, Tiju. You wrote it. I just copy pasted you own words.

          And what actually happened?
          We lost all 3 group games WITHOUT KUYT in the team.

          In fact, it is pretty obvious to most people that had Dirk Kuyt played, as he did in the 2010 World Cup (finalists) and the 2014 World Cup (semi-finalists), we would have done much better in the Euros.

          You do not get to rewrite your past.

          You do not get to change your posts.

          You do not get to lie.

          We are much, much smarter than you, Tiju, and we will hammer you every time you try to deceive your way out of another awkward situation here. Your card is marked. Your impotent rage betrays you.

          You are a poisonous little troll.
          It was said before that you treat our great National team like a Club side – this is the most accurate description of your trolling that I have seen. You do not understand our passion for our country, and you assume it is somehow acceptable to belittle it.

          The best 4 months ever on this site were the 4 months that you disappeared, after your last kicking. Remember it?

          We had new posters, new ideas, discussion, debate, conversation, intelligent back and forth, good times.
          Good times, Tiju, the very second you left.

          I don’t know why you came back. Everyone thinks you are an idiot, and no-one agrees with your ridiculous posts and hourly line-ups. Your negativity is tiresome and predictable, and the site has returned to resembling a cess-pool of hate – all thanks to you.
          You wish to be the class clown, but nobody enjoys your angry act. You are not smart and you are not funny. You are NOT EVEN DUTCH.
          Why are you here?

          1. @Aanvallen i would say Annfoolen…
            I NEVER use headlesschCiken words towards kuyt..i did predicted the humiliation by the arrogance seen this blog.i mean the bloody arrogance.U R TWISTING LIAR.
            now sickF#$$ks like you coming back after some wins by orange?????especially after dropping the players i mentioned???
            Yet again i won it by margins…you lost by margins
            i know it really hurts u fools live in paradise.
            if u are showing again arrogance dutch team will be humbled ….
            For the sake of dutch DONT DO IT…SICK

      2. i do like players like Blind,clasie,sneijder but they played some pathetic matches for us or else they played less than their usaul level..

    2. Nice ass kicking Jan, however it doubt very much that it will have any effect on Tiju, he just does not get it!
      I’m pretty happy after the last 3 games, at least we can get a little excited about our team again, as you say, not perfect but good signs ahead. A lot of people have mentioned the set piece problem and it’s a difficult situation to analyse , I’m putting some of the blame here on Blind, not dismissing individual player error, however, are we man marking or zonal marking? This is where I’d expect Blind to solve a problem with clear instruction, it looked like man marking to me which cost us goals ( Virgil and MVG caught out , it happens) so why not change it up to zonal or a combination of both? I’m going to draw a long bow but O’shea on VVD was a borderline foul, flip the roles and take a dive – Penalty every time!
      Anyhow, that’s all I’m going to winge about, I’m really impressed with a few players in particular VVD just a rock, and Janssen goal scorer at last and Stroot just cause he is back and will only get better and better and better for our Oranje!
      With Robben coming in our squad is looking solid going forward, I’m not sure on Sniejder, can he still bring it ? The game has sped up with direct play and I’m not sure if he has the legs to cope with it, but if he does come in ill support him to get it done. Maybe Stroot, MVG and Snijder (10).
      Hup Holland!

    3. “””The same names Tiju mentions are the ones who got us in the WC finals in 2010 and almost again in 2014.”””””after 2014 .i just said age is affecting certain players who got us to 2010,2014,2012 etc…so they needs to be dropped..nothing else did i say they failed us in 2010 and 2014 anytime??????
      FYI I NEVER SAID IT..why twisting it??

      1. I didn’t say you said that. I’m saying that you criticise players randomly. You don’t look at the dynamics, the circumstances… Afellay scored and created goals with assists. For instance. Memphis too early in the campaign.

        You are a fan that loves players when they win and hates them when they lose.

        If a player is outplayed (Clasie) because the forwards don’t pressure properly you blame Clasie!! Not the others.

        I am afraid you don’t read the game very well.

        1. I hate players with Bad attitude like Afellay and Memphis.i never had hates towards kuyt but i was against playing him as striker and winger..
          I do like smart players like Sneijder,clasie,Blind,Klassen etc…but when they are not performing well they should sit in bench or dropped.
          ditto goes with RVP,hunter…nothing else..
          IMO we need physical dominance in midfield to have effect which is absent when klassen and Clasie play over there.that is a fact.My point is that Clasie is not the end of the world.there will be guys in NT who can get the job done..
          Afellay has improved little bit,But still …way below.so is Narsingh but i dont hate narsingh as he is a hardworker.
          i rate Clasie much smarter player than wijnaldum.but dutch team benefits more from wijnaldum than clasie even though Gini is inconsistant.

  6. OK is Koeman really moving to Everton. As per reports the deal has been struck with pen to paper only left for finalization. Some Reports even suggest wijnaldum will be his first signing.

  7. More comments on Tiju’s rants. He is comparing Leicester and Greece with Holland.

    This is the thing: Both Leicester and Greece (and Atletico) play counter attacking football. There is no shame in that.

    But when Van Gaal did this at the WC2014, people in Holland complained and put pressure on the KNVB. Gullit, Cruyff, Van Hanegem and many analists.

    So the KNVB instructed Hiddink to play 4-3-3 in our attacking style.

    The result was what you saw. The team playing too outstretched, and opponents tearing us apart. With players like Clasie and others looking horrible but not their fault!

    Another comment: Van der Wiel played many big games for Ajax, Oranje and PSG. He played well for us in the games without Janmaat. Is it strange for Blind to pick Van der Wiel for the Iceland home game??? In hindsight, because he created a penalty, it’s easy to say “Stupid Blind for picking Van der Wiel” but it only makes sense. If he would have picked Karsdorp, people would say “How can you play an untried lad?”.

    Your reasoning is way off You think Memphis sits in the gym because he wants to and doesn’t care what Man U says about that. Really Tiju?? Do you think that is how Van Gaal and ManU staff work? Even in Holland players are benched if they go to the gym without the technical staff being involved.

    1. why this vander weil dropped form dutch squad for 2014WC by LVG??there is a reason for it..
      first let Memphis play regular for his club then we will see.but he is getting slecetd everyu time(Now i am sure Blind have understood like LVG he made mistake)i aprriciate Blind for supporting him as loyal mangager but it can cost in job…
      Lets looks forward and forget certain players who could even get us to easiest EC2016 …Learn from mistake and move on
      Base of team is
      Select right quality players…then we talk about Tactics etc etc..untill then its just futility..

  8. I wonder what will Tiju say if Memphis proves him wrong. I’m was jus reading his comments above about Narsingh. Jus like Depay there was time when Narsingh was headless chicken for him. And slowly his tune is changing now quote” but i dont hate narsingh as he is a hardworker” this is Tiju at his best.he keeps changing like a weather.

    1. why u becoming a liar…?? when did i say i hate Narsingh??? I DID SAY HE IS HEADLESS CHICKEN,NOT JUST HIM PROMES,AFELLAY ETC…I didnt change my statement..
      All i said even headlesschcikens can work hard be important to team.@wilshitfart

  9. Come on Tiju. The qualifying mess was a result of many factors with bad luck and injuries playing an important role. This team even with all the young players is still one of the best 6 teams in Europe. we saw that in the friendlies playing against teams that qualified and are in full preparation mode. Let’s be patient. September we will have a confirmation on whether we progressed or not. Definitely the potential is there and hopefully our young lads find a high quality club for next season.

    1. Alistair…Blind has totally changed players that played in ECQ2016..Good results are product of these changes and new players bought certain balance in team..
      I know that ECQ failure was collective
      but there is always a 1 st culprit and 2 level culprit..
      Level 1 were Weil,BMI at the back,RVP,Hunetr,Depay ,afellay at front..may be clasie,klassen,snijder could nt perfrom well with these players or they are also partially responsible for it…
      I belive everything starts with selection of quality players…i sure
      Would have failed every match we played vs Ireland,poland and austria…it doesnt mean that RVP,hunter,Devrij,Blind,clasie,sneijder are lesser players…but there would no chemistry,no power,with a poor back line except Devrij..ur midefield is so light weight,So some how these players cannt get the job done..thats how we failed in ECQ2016.
      it would repeat if we select them agin bar sneijder-blind–De vrij….

  10. As I write this, 16 out of 30 comments on this post are from Tiju. Most of them are, to me, incomprehensible.

    I apologize to Jan for even commenting.

  11. Wijnaldum is very inconsistent and doesn’t link up with Janssen or the wings that’s something Sneijder does really well. If Sneijder is fit he shoult play. If RVP is fit he should be selected but Blind must let him know he’ll have to fight for his spot and tell him he doesn’t want anymore ego fights.

  12. Janssen very close to sign with Tottenham. Apparently he is in London negotiating the deal and Tottenham have already agreed with AZ for 12 million GBP.

  13. 12 millions for Janssen, it’s too cheap, but it’s not surprise as almost Dutch players ‘r not good in negotiation salary & fee. Take a look at Matial he came to MU with near 80 mils so much different.

    1. thats true Ruud dutch players go cheap i think this has to do with popularity and crooked Agents.
      But what about Memphis went to united with 35M.i think Memphis got over paid…he was overrated and Media made him like CR7..so he got huge sum…when its come to payment i think Memphis won a lottery considering his talent…

  14. so many rumours from England & Italia on dutch players all three sides In-Out-Shift. Some of them are nearly done, very eager to see the result at the end, hopefully next season we will have more key players in big leagues PM, SerieA, Bundesliga, Portugal,Ligue1 & CL tournament.

  15. Dutch players & Managers transfer market so far:

    – Koeman has signed on paper with Eveton & almost 90% Wijnaldum will be his first signature.

    – Janssen 90% will join Spurs.

    – De Boer, Stam, Overmars still in rumours
    -Promes,vd Wiel,Bruma,Willems,Klaassen,Ake,Janmaat,
    Vilhena,Ghazi,Bazoer, van Beek, Veltman, Bergwijn,Blind
    ,Tete still in rumours.

    1. I’m still thinking where will Wijnaldum play with Barkely around. Remember Barkely was not in good terms with Martinez.

      Everton doesn’t have quality wingers and if my guess his correct then Sadio Mane will be his top target.then comes a good stopper. Krul or maybe zoet as Howard will go back to homeland and join major league.

      If nobody goes from Everton and if Koeman signs these players,he can go one step further than what he did at Southampton no doubt.

  16. It’s hard to believe that the Dutch couldn’t beat Iceland. Worse, didn’t they beat us TWICE? Totally embarrassing qualifying effort–but then the wrong coach was picked and it has taken far too long to get a cohesive group on the field. It’s been, what, two years since the last WC and there is still indecision about player selections. Of course different players need to be seen, but too many player changes and no chemistry. Maybe Blind is starting to get a sense of his best 15 going forward–let’s hope so. Sad not to be in the Euro championship.

    Tiju: Please shut the hell up about Memphis. Do you realize how freakin’ repetitive you are? Try going an hour without posting, dude. We don’t need to hear an opinion from you every five minutes.

  17. Blind,RVN,San Marco,Advocaat,and spirit of Johan Cruyff…they (probably) realized that they have a choice ….:or football(without stumps – like against Poland and Austria) or agents and manageurs in NT…Jenssen(AZ?) must go to Roma to be better , then he becomes weak but he must to play in NT to be sold in some other club and blabla watch the football on tv in Euro 2016….

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