Oranje for your Lockdown: Part 2

With everyone in lock down (see Van Persie and son practising in their backyard above)… some entertainment for you!

This is part two of classic matches of Dutch football. Obviously, there are many more classic matches of non-Dutch clubs but with Dutch players, that are great to re-watch. Anything Van Nistelrooy at Man U. Or the three Milan icons (Van Basten, Rijkaard and Kuyt). Seedorf at Real Madrid. Makaay at Bayern Munich.

I must confess, I totally forgot the European campaign in 1988 by PSV, winning the Europa Cup.

The finals vs Benfica was a forgettable match, as were the semi finals vs Real Madrid.

Therefore, this high light video on Romario and his hattrick.

Youtube is your friend!

The Dutch National Team

So, we’re entering the 1990s. And in 1990, the WC in Italy should have been ours. But it became a deception. I’ll skip those games. There was literally nothing uplifting in that whole scenario. The qualifications were bmweh due to arguments between coach Libregts and Ruud Gullit and the tournament became a complete disaster, as Michels refused to appoint Cruyff as coach and the players – consciously or subconsciously – sabotaged the tournament, under Leo Beenhakker.

Oranje needed to rise up and re-establish itself for the 1992 Euros and did so with some fresh blood, like Danny Blind, Richard Witschge, Dennis Bergkamp and Bryan Roy. Van Basten netted 5 goals in the 0-8 thrashing of Malta.

The 1992 tournament was a fun one, and one we could have won. The Danish beach goers were called back when Yugoslavia was banned and the Danish Dynamite won the tournament. But not after Oranje impressed again. Bergkamp’s goal vs Germany was a big one and Van Basten missing a key penalty vs Schmeichel was also quite the milestone.

Note how Van Basten directs Bergkamp’s goal…

For the qualification of the WC1994 in the US, Oranje had England in the group. We played some epic games against them. Slowly more new players entered into the fray: Ed de Goeij, goalie, there was Frank de Boer but also two players from Champs Feyenoord: Rob Witschge and John de Wolf, while journeyman Peter van Vossen popped onto the radar due to his scoring spree in Belgium.

The away game at Wembley was sensational.

As was the home game…. Notice Rijkaard’s goal flagged offside while he was yards on!

You can find the WC1994 matches online no doubt. It wasn’t to be for us. The heat in Florida, the lack of leader Gullit and some bad referee mistakes cost us our progress. We went out vs Brazil.
After a great come back…

We weren’t happy with the result and Dick Advocaat’s popularity went down when he returned from the US to declare that if you’re among the best 16 in the world, it’s not that bad…

In the run up to the England Euros, Hiddink tried some different players, from Eijkelkamp to Johan de Kock, from Orlando Trustfull to Youri Mulder. The latter scored an essential late goal at home to secure 3 points vs the Belarus. This was a must win game.

It’s sub Trustfull passing deep to sub Mulder, and in the dying minutes he scores 1-0. Mulder who was called up a day before the game when Kluivert ended up with an injury.

The Euro 1996 in England was a tournament to forget. We did play some interesting matches, but overall the theme for this tournament was the rift within the Ajax squad, the insulting comments by Davids and Hiddink sending Davids home for the remainder of the tournament.

After this tournament, Hiddink fixed the rift and started his prep for the 1998 World Cup. This was a friendly in Amsterdam, between Brazil and Oranje. JP Van Gastel, recently at Feyenoord as assistant coach, makes his debut as a sub would score a late goal.

Hiddink adds more names to the squad, as the old guard, like van Der ar, Valckx, Stam, Bogarde, Van Hooijdonk and Van Bronckhorst.

Here another forgotten match, at home vs Wales (qualification game).

The 1998 WC is probably one of the most popular campaigns by the Dutch, with amazing performances by Bergkamp, Frank de Boer, Edgar Davids and Phillip Cocu. Most matches will be etched in the memories forever, as is one of the most famous Dutch goals ever…

This next one is the same goal, but with commentary of Jack van Gelder :-).

Heartbreak was huge, when Oranje was kicked out of the tournament by Brazil, in a game that we should have won. Late in the match, Van Hooijdonk is clearly fouled but the ref “forgets” to point to the spot.

As the Dutch co-hosted the 2000 Euros, they didn’t have to play qualifiers. But this friendly vs Belgium is a must see game.

Club Teams

Ajax had a spectacular run in the 90s, after having won a European trophy in the late 80s, under Cruyff, it was Louis van Gaal’s turn. Ironically, Van Gaal was once seen as Cruyff’s successor at Ajax, as a playmaker. Now he was in JC’s footsteps as a coach.

In 1992, Ajax won vs Torino in the finals, but the semis with Genoa were more epic.

This Ajax was going to be built into the world class 1995 team.

In 1996, they reached the finals again, to be beaten by Juventus.

In 1997, Van Gaal almost went all the way again. This quarter final vs Atletico is also a classic epic!

Feyenoord and PSV also competed internationally for Holland, but their European campaigns were not that unforgettable.

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  1. https://youtu.be/Gqr4ZyD_Dlw

    Found this one and check the lineup for both sides.this is absolutely why huntelaar was such a lethal striker when serviced from by both flanks and the middle. Afellay and huntelaar combo was deadly even during at schalke and then vaart was fitter machinist.

    Even without Robben and Van persie, this was a solid and a very balanced team. Pieters and afellay would go on the miss the euros due to injuries and Robben and van persie would go on to get the nod by van Mawijk.

    I wasnt on this blog at this time but this game perfectly showcases how to bring the best out of huntelaar.

      1. Yeah I agree. van Marwijk just had one idea, and that is all he could do! Holland didn’t ever have a plan B. look at the last pool game v portigal in the euros! We went to a back 3, and it looked like no one had ever practised it! What a joke. Under koeman already there has been a variety of tactics.

  2. This is one of the reasons why sometimes you need to keep things just simple. If you really think about it then Robben was never effective for NT in big games on that right side. I also thought he should have stayed on the left to bring in the strikers more in to the game rather than taking everybody on at onces.

    1. @Wilson, Alex,

      I’m not saying you guys are wrong, but Allow me to be slightly contrary.

      As to Wilson’s comment, I don’t think its fair to say that Robben was never effective for the NT in big games on the right side. In 2019, he scored against Slovakia in the round of 16; he had a terrific second half against Brazil, running at them and breaking them down, he was very good against Uruguay, and against Spain, he was the most dangerous player on the pitch, and but for the width of Casillas’ shoe, we might not be having this conversation. He was tremendous in the 2014 WC, playing primarily on the right, though I concede that this was in 5-3-2, not a 4-3-3.

      So focus on the 2010 WC. In the build up, it looked like the NT was going to ride the talents of Van Persie, Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, and Robben. By then Robben gone to Bayern and moved to the right side. Van Der Vaart had the great left foot. So it made sense for Robben to line up on the right and VDV on the left. To go with Robben on the left, the NT could have played Affellay or Elia (who was in very good form) on the right and move Robben to the left, and either drop VDV from the lineup or move him to MF in place of either Van Bommel or De Jong. That would have made the team much more suspect defensively; something BVM did not want to do. If I’m no mistaken, too, the “Big Four” were very good in the build up games.

      In the final game against Ghana, however, things changed. Robben was injured. And this is where I think that BVM should actually get credit for adaptability. he changed the lineup radically. Not only did he select Kuyt to replace Robben, but he put Kuyt on the left, and switched VDV to the right. Why? Because, I’m assuming, he would have looked at the draw and seen Brazil looming in the quarters. Kuyt was put on the left with only one thought in mind: be ready to stop Maicon when they got to that match. No question the team sputtered. Neither VDV nor Kuyt was effective playing their non-domnanant sides, but they won. By the time Robben came back, BVM was committed to this more defensive/pragmatic style. They beat Brazil, they made the final…we know what happened with 7 minutes levt in OT. To me, it is not a question of that BVM was not adaptable, but rather the manner of how he adapted. It is impossible not to know that many, many people didn’t like the style he moved to in the 2010 WC, but he did change to meet the circumstances.

      2012 was dreadful, and in retrospect, they would have been better with a different coach and different ideas. The game that Wilson refers to on YouTube is in the 2012 qualifiers. There, if you look at the lineup, he had Kuyt, KJH, Sneijder, VDV and Affellay; five offensive players, an extra creative player in the midfield in place of De Jong. Affellay had a terrific game; in fact Affellay had some brilliant games in the qualifiers (check out the 5-3 win against Hungary (they fell behind by 2
      goals), he looked world class.

      But in the 2012 Euros (until the last game against Portugal when they needed to win by two goals) BVM went back to the DeJong/Van Bommel 2 man block in the MF,..it was a disaster, both players seemed to have lost a step and they couldn’t cover the same amount of ground…but there were other problems—without Van Bommel and De Jong being as effective in the MF the central defenders were exposed, they had never found a LB to replace Van Bronckhorst; they were traveling hundreds of miles from their cam to the playing venues; and most of all the players seemed a little jaded. The team needed new ideas at that point.

      The final issue is Wilson’s point as to whether the team would have been better with Robben on the left and then right-sided player opposite him so as to bring the strikers into the game to feed a target man. I’ve actually always felt that such a system makes the team a little too static and easy to defend because the defense knows where everyone is going to be. I like the wide players being less traditional wingers, and more like attackers, and I like the nominal CF to be more creative, able to drop back and be able to create and drift back or wide; this allows more interchange and the opportunity to create confusion. But I get the model, and when KJH got service, he was lethal…to me, though, if you look at Robben specifically, he had moved to the right as a player and was playing 50 games a season there. Would it have made sense to ask all of a sudden to become a wide left winger again?

      Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have points in response.

      Hope everyone on this blog is safe and well.

  3. Thanks Jan, more excellent ideas…though I’m surprised you, of all people ;), left the 2002 Feyenoord-Dortmund UEFA Cup Final off the list; really entertaining game,(especially the first half). Van Hoojidonk was the star, but Van Persie (so young) had a fantastic game as a left winger, tormenting the Dortmund defense until he subbed off early in the 2nd half. Great fun to watch.

      1. Hi Jan, hope is well in this scary time.
        First: Why the KNVB in the 1990 WC refused to appoint Cruyff as the NT coach?

        Second: What ever happened to Bryon Roy? Why was hi not part of the 94 world cup squad?

          1. @Jan,

            A piece on Cruyff/1990 would be great, always a mystery.

            The one incident that has always puzzled me more than any other, though, was Gullit walking out of the 1994 WC training camp. Any chance you could clear that up or offer some information on that? Or maybe as a part of a story on him; I’ve been looking at some past games from that early 80’s through 1990 team…what a player he was.

            If anyone wants to go deep into the youtube, there was mid-80’s end of the season match which decided the Italian Championship: AC Milan (with the Dutch trio) at Napoli featuring Maradona and a couple of Brazilians). Terrific game, especially the second half.

            Sorry, don’t mean to add to your work load. Thank you again so very much for keeping this going at this time.

  4. I am delight we have contingent of real striker & midfielder now

    ST: Weghorst,Malen,Boadu,Zirkzee,Hansen
    ,Brobbey, Redan,Hoogewerf

    MD: deJong,deBeek,Ihattaren,Gravenberch,Ünüvar,Reis,Xavi

    Some of them ready & some will come out soon.

    For the back line & winger i believe it’s our strong for now we have so many talents there

    1. I would say if they go on to play for big clubs like frenkie and de ligt or atleast they play CL continuously then it would be wise to pencil them in

      The reason why I say this is while everyone is anticipating things will happen, you have other countries who have their next generation already playing at the highest level while for the dutch, chances that some will get lost in due process of transition and others due to lack of game time is high.


      Lost a piece I was writing on your analysis above but on my part I wasnt more specific. I was comparing Robben at Bayern to Robben in NT.

        1. i believe it’s just a decision on when he will make decision.

          i believe atm he and other of players as below reaching top class & with them we can play to any big football countries such as Brazil, Argentina, France, Belgium, England, Portugal

          de Ligt, de Jong, van Dijk, Wijnadum, Bergwinj, Depay, Ake, Vrij, de Roon, Hateboer, de Beek, Dumfries, Blind, Kluivert

          I don’t count Promes, Ihattaren, Rosario, Malen, Steng, Dilrosun, Danjuma, Weghorst, Anholt, Willems, Ghazi, etc as i think they still need time to prove.

          Almost they are playing for big club & good performance & have good international experience, they have confidence & don’t fear any opponent

          1. Malen,stengs,Danjuma,Williems has the venom and skills to be there…i hope they all tstay fit..

      1. @Wilson,

        Losing something you’ve worked on can be very frustrating. I was pretty sure you would respond, so when you went awhile without posting, I was concerned, given the present craziness. Good to see you back

        1. We are in front line of the COVID 19 response team. Its crazy and tiring plus risk of exposure, quarantine, disinfection and so forth. Dont get much spare time this days.
          Feel alot down that there is no games to follow especially when the euros was so close. Stay safe everybody. And again thanks andrew.

  5. I watched the semi final against Brazil in 1998 yesterday. We had so many chances but Kluivert can only scored once. That team was so strong but they did not deliver any title. I think the 1998-2000 team has more talent than the 2010-2014 team but somehow the 2010-2014 even go further than the 1998-2000 team. The 1998-2000 has a lot of artists in the team like Bergkamp, De Boer brothers, Cocu. In contrast, the 2010-2014 team leaders are fighters like Robben, Sneijder, Van Bommel. If the 1998-2000 team had someone like Robben, they could have won the WC and Euro.

    1. i watched that match live 22 years ago…Brazil vs Holland…We had to face two really strong teams ugoslavia and Arentina…We were really in difficult situation physically vs Brazil..Junior biano was called to mark physcally on kluivert..it affcted kluivert game…May be a more physical van hooidonk would haeve domiantaed junior biano…..We played with out arthur numan who wa our best LB at that time..it took us our left wing…it was handicapped holland faced brazil…….thats team 1996-2004 not 1998-2000 team…..while other team was 2006-2014,,,,you should rewrite in that way…2006-2014 team faced lesser opponenet in WC 2010(only brazil) than WC1998 team….agree someone like Roben addded to 1998 team they would have won EC and WC..

  6. Have any of you guys watched “Sunderland Till I Die” on Netflix?

    Devastating bit of truth about Jeremaine Lens: He showed up for pre-season (2017?) and told the boss in the parking lot that he wasn’t looking forward to the year, just honoring his contract.

    Loaned to Turkey shortly thereafter.

    Attitude never won him points, innit?

    1. jeremaine never disappointed me on NT…He meant business,not attratctive ,he was effecive goal scorer…He scored when we faced strong opponnets and scored at right times…thATS MATTERS FOR ME…Exaclty opposite to Davy kalssen who only score in friendlies nd takes 10 chances to score…

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