Oranje forgets to beat weak Italy

I’ve said it many times before: I don’t like friendlies. There is nothing to win (lots to lose, ask Van Persie vs Chielini) and mostly it’s boring.

But…this particular game, I liked. Why? Because Van Gaal decided to play a very young (and Feyenoord friendly) team against the number 2 in Europe.

Maher, Blind, John, Clasie, Janmaat…how would they fair?

And I have to say… A Dutch team playing at 80% of it’s capacity (slippery pitch, slow pace, never played together before) was able to play a 50% Italy off the pitch.

We beat them in the first 80 minutes, 1-0. But we should be 3-0 or 4-0 up by then. Lens with another big opportunity, Kuyt with a golden chance (thank you Adam Maher), a couple of Maher chances, a Robben opportunity, Ola John with a free attempt… Seriously. If you want silverware, these opportunities need to be put away.

And then in the last 10 minutes, an 80% Italy beat a 50% Holland (changes, forwards not tracking back anymore, fatigue) 0-1.

And if they were a tad more composed, they could have won it 0-2, in the last 10 minutes. I’ll grant them that.

So we saw two interesting matches :-).

But seriously… Our back four did pretty good. Krul was never really tested and we know how good he is, so no questions there.

But Janmaat was shaky before (and got some criticism here) but he played a faultless game. Both defensively and in attacking sense. De Vrij was not too bothered by Balotelli (BMI was tricked a couple of times, but hey…Balotelli is world class). Only Daley Blind saw himself outmanoeuvred a couple of times before the break, thanks to reluctant backtracking of Ola John.

Blind would push up like he does at Ajax, and every time when Abate would run forward, John was supposed to cover.

Our midfield impressed me. Clasie and Strootman had a good rapport and De Guzman did great in the second half (although he maybe was a tad too offensive in those last 10 minutes).

Adam Maher was probably one of the best players on the pitch. The 19 year old AZ midfielder played with flair and always looking to find a great option up front. He could have been more selfish for me and he should have converted at least one chance. But other than that, Maher was great and had a good understanding with RVP. I am sure Robin van Persie talked to Maher a bit about life at Arsenal, as Patrick Vieira was on the stands to check the AZ midfielder out.

Van Persie played one half and was strong. Creating space, leading the line, coaching his compatriots. Lens scored a good goal and had a good second half, where he played centrally and enjoyed the freedom.

The only dissonant in the team was the very nervous Ola John. He made a couple of wrong decisions and lost possession often. His back tracking was wanting as well. Louis van Gaal: “I noticed before the game that he was edgy. But he didn’t play bad. I simply think he can do much better.”

Adam Maher had something to prove. In the last decade or so, the number 10 in Oranje was worn by either Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Van Persie or Huntelaar. Afellay is normally before the midfielder in the pecking order but with all these players not present ( bar RVP of course) the playmaker jersey went on the lanky shoulders of the hot prospect from Alkmaar. And Maher took the chance to shine.

“I think I did well. We had initiative and pushed up. I could easily play with Van Persie, I sensed what he wanted and he knew instinctively what I wanted. This leaves a taste for more.”

Jordy Clasie played a good first half and was tough in the challenges. But a slight groin stiffness prompted him to signal for a change. “Not sure if the coach would have subbed me anyway, but it didn’t feel smart to play on…”.

It’s remarkable to see how invisible Kuyt was in his half hour. He supported Janmaat (and later Van Rhijn) defensively and killed a great opportunity to score.

At the same time, it’s quite remarkable to see how sovereign and strong Stefan de Vrij is. Defensively very strong in an anonymous way. No showboating a la Frank de Boer but also not in need of flying tackles a la Jaap Stam. Very focused and with a tremendous long pass. The duo De Vrij / Martins Indi might be Oranje’s defensive center for the next 10 years…

The future is bright.

We might have drawn tonight (who cares?). But who cares…

We have amazing talent between the sticks ( Krul, Vorm, Vermeer, Velthuizen, Zoet, Mulder, Stekelenburg).

Pretty good backs (Van der Wiel, Van Rhijn, Janmaat, Blind, Van Aanholt, Pieters, Willems, Buttner).

Very decent center backs (Martins Indi, Vlaar, De Vrij, Pieters, Marcellis, Van Dijk)

Amazing midfielders ( Fer, Clasie, Anita, Emanuelson, Maher, Strootman, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Afellay, Van Ginkel, Wijnaldum)

Fingerlickin’ forwards (Lens, Van Persie, John, Elia, Van Wolfswinkel, Robben, Boerrigter, Huntelaar, Dost, Narsingh)

We are not complaining…

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  1. That was a lot of fun to watch. Until the last 10 minutes where they lost their focus. I would like to think it was just friendly game garbage time, on the other hand when you look at the substitutions you have to wonder.

    But lets focus on the positive. A lot of magic in the middle between Maher, Lens and Van Persie. De Vrij looks very sure on the ball…refreshing after some of Mathijsen’s recent blunders (v Ajax). Strootman was popping up at the right time all over the place. I was a little disappointed by BMI offensively, he seemed to play tentatively going forward. Then again, Balotelli was on the field, so that was probably in the back of his mind. Robben was active and had his usual flurry of solo runs as well as good combinations with the others.

    Overall a very nice showing and it bodes well for the future.

  2. Good write up. Only two things I slightly disagree with. I believe Patrick Viera works for Manchester city now.

    It was interesting, I thought Maher struggled other than one or two nice passes. Anyone else think he was sloppy?

    1. Bless you.

      Dutch media are riding Maher’s nut and I thought he was damn average if not bad. Kuyt plays a bad game according to everybody, as he missed a big chance, but Maher misses 2 or 3 chances and gets the man of the match award? Kuyt actually tracked back a lot and also had a Zidane like first touch at a certain moment. That does not score points, but I like to see that just for artistic reasons. Maher’s sloppiness is by the way not something of this game, I see him doing it at AZ all the time. His short passing is well weighted and often accurate. Make the distances everything over 5 meter and his accuracy turns consistently into a hot cold thing. Then he makes a great pass, then a really bad one or just didn’t calculate for the fact that there is a man in the passing lane, or the pass is just too soft and is easily intercepted. That kind of stuff.

      Also his decision making. Rather then using the gap that is created by the off ball run from a player, he thinks he has to pass the ball to that space creating runner. That’s just poor thinking. Maybe nerves or inexperience. However not “man of the match” stuff in my book.

      Half the team was better than Maher IMO.

      1. I agree that he is not man of the match. His movement off the ball is good though. He got into the right positions many times but his poor finishing let him down.

        1. And his handling speed was sub par. He maybe has a good first touch, but if you don’t have a good 360 picture of your surroundings in your head and update it all the time, then you will lose the ball often as well. The time at the edge of the box, he turns open the other way and got intervened easily, ball loss and chance loss. Or that chest control in the box not bringing down fast enough. Ball loss and chance gone. Had a few other moments he lacked handling speed.


          * Not clinical at all.
          * Wrong decision making, especially concerning choosing to pass towards the off ball running player who tried to create the space to pass into.
          * Inaccurate passing on itself. What jumped out to me was that moment towards the end of the game where he is at the edge of the box and kicks the ball in some weird direction high into the air resulting I believe in a simple goal kick.
          * Handling speed too low at times for me.

      2. I saw too that he lost possession at times or was sloppy but in my book it was being overzealous. I think he has tremendous potential and his fast execution and vision confirmed this. He was not MOTM with a distance, so much… Lens could be named it too, and De Vrij and Janmaat were definitely good in my book too. Despite the goal…. 🙂

  3. Thank you, Jan. What a great day!

    Class did indeed tell: The Dutch Rule. Our kids are going to give us a great new generation. They can go toe to toe with class.

    This is a match worth another watch. So much new talent, performing so well.

    We can all be proud to see the new generation so overshadow Dirk Kuyt today. 🙂

  4. By the way. People thinking Italy did not try to do their best might want to recall that Balotelli was beyond frustration in that crazy moment of him somewhere during the game. Tell me “he did do his best”. Italy did try, but were just outplayed at times. Netherlands played in a higher tempo and I get messages from people who were at the game and told that Italians just backed off as it went too fast for them. That’s a nice to hear. Not getting carried away, but the kids did well.

  5. DRB300′ I mostly agree with you about your assessment of the game. Maher’s volume of play must increase and he is careless at times but he has such potential. I really think he should go to Ajax so he can play under pressure all the time and improve his weaknesses.
    I have a few other comments:
    1. Vermeer is way better than Krul at the moment, especially when it comes time to play with the feet. How many times did Krul kick the ball to nobody? At least 15 times. Please give us Vermeer. The GK’s role in build up play is now more critical than ever and Vermeer is the GK of the future.
    2. Sorry Jan but neither Janmaat or de Vrij impressed. I know AD gave De Vrij a high score (7) but I disagree. The goal is his mistake. He did not track back and totally lost his player. Poor position and loss of his player equal a goal. As for Janmaat, I just don’t see what he brings. No offensive threat at all. I know Blind is not as fast (perhaps) but at least he went up and down that flank. Otherwise I agree with Jan that this was fresh, lively, technically pleasing and the score should have been 4-0. But the Italians knew they had a chance because the score stayed 1-0. It gave them a bit of vigor toward the end. But the score is really meaningless. We saw a new generation of players teach a lesson to the Italians.
    Finally, it is time to retire the Kuijts, Joris, Heitinga and otehrs unless oneo fthem is a good sport and brings something to the team mentally kind of like Oijer did in 2010.

  6. For a friendly it was very entertaining to watch. I love Kuyt, I wear 2 of his jersies, but his finishing was way off and I think his international days are numbered. Maybe a good 10-15 minute sub. They’ve just got to finish off more chances. I feel that will come with their getting more cap experience under their belts.

  7. Yesterdays was the first oranje match i watched in months. Pretty impressed by the young defenders. In the last 25 yrs i dont remember anytime when we had such a promising group of defenders. Italian commentator was impressed by Martin Indi and DeVrij. Personally i also liked Janmaat very much.

    Looks promising….

  8. It’s been a long time since we had defenders who could actually play the ball well and link with our midfield. That was the major issue under Van Maarwijk.

    De Vrij, BMI, Janmaat and Blind were good. They can get better so it’s all going well.

    It was a shame Italy drew but it’s a good lesson for this kids. I bet they’ll remember it.

  9. After watching this game I know the real Dutch football is back with LVG.

    The Robben, Sneijder, Persie, Vaart generation was very close to winning a major tournament but that generation didn’t have enough depth.

    The new generation has a lot of good players and if you mix them with the Robben generation well it will be a very difficult team to beat in 2014 WC.

    1. “real Dutch football” ?!?
      Im tired of this nonsense. I’ve heard it for 40 years. I want to win a WK. Its not great to dominate and still draw, its pathetic is what it is. I watched the greats dominate but still lose 2 finals and a team that noone expected to do well, make a final (again).
      Oranje punches above its weight but dont expect another generation like the 70s. We had our moment(s) but still lost.
      Forget “real Dutch football” and just win!

  10. No old farts ..so we had a better game….i think in total defensive block we still have to improve a lot…in think it will come with experience…
    I have to disagree with many points..Janmaat was good and was effective at attack his run was good he was box to box..he may not look good at a glance but is a very intelligent player.Very able to make vital interceptions.Good in antcipation etc..if he is not first choice then at least he deserve a seat on bench..
    Adam maher is 19 and he only needs fine tuning,thats it.19 yeard old runs circles arround and he was a nuisence for italy.he was running every where.this really gave pressure to italy.we cannot expect this from Vaart or Wes…He will only get better by time…i hope he joins wenger in arsenal or Ajax.
    Ola john—Was good,i felt like kuyt with speed and skills.No usless dribbles like Afellay.thats was great.Pitch was slippery and it didnt helped him.good at track back.Gave us balance between attack and defence.
    LENZ-Improving game by game..staring to cop with brilliance of RVP etc kind of players..
    RVP-he was mercurial whenevr he touched the ball..Was not eager.he could have played better if he wanted to..he took it as friendly..
    kuyt-I knew that kuyt needs pleny of chances to score unless it is a tap in or header so it didnt surprised me.no creativity from his wing as usual.but helped defence as usual.
    Roben:-Had some movements,i think he on a mission..
    De Guzman-Class actions from this man..i really wonder why fart vanmarwik didnt selcetd him for EC2012 though he was the best player of Mallorca?..
    Strootman-Normal stroot did his duty.
    Clasie-Improved a lot….
    De vrij—Where is the able back up for this guy?
    BMI- where is th back able up for this guy?
    Blind–Was good for debut,i think Van annholt is better.
    Krul–No comments
    Van gaal plz No Afalley,Vlaar,Joris,Johny,kuyt,Boulah if not fit sneijder and vaart too.
    Except Nijel,Persie and Roben we do not need any of the old players.If fit Wesly or vaart can join them..

      1. or van persie play central forward,lens behind him like litmanen behind kluivert.lens has strong scoring ability.van gaal should serious consider this pointt.killer instinct.

  11. Going beyond individual performances, I say (as a team) Holland is developing rapidly into a more solid and cohesive team. One has to take into consideration the relatively short time that the managerial staff has had to restructure this team (strategy and player wise). Of course this team is nowhere near to Spain nor Germany, but people who think that everything can be achieved instantly are naive.

    During this development stage, focus is put on strategy rather than the players itself. Van Gaal wants to footprint his system to see who fits where. At the moment, Van Gaal couldn’t care less about the players because he is still fine tuning the system. Once he and his managerial staff have got that all figured and what strategy to impose then the focus would be on individual performances/players.

    Yesterday, I saw 11 individuals working together as a unit (team). Mistakes will always exist, but at least you have the basics shorted out.

    1. Of course this team is nowhere near to Spain nor Germany, but people who think that everything can be achieved instantly are naive.
      the wisest comment posted here…

  12. Maher was very good. Remember that he is only 19! I can not believe some people here do not see his potential,his ceiling is bigger than that of other players who played yesterday in midfield yesterday IMO.
    It is a question if he can become the new oranje playmaker,too early to tell. But yesterday he did not play any weaker than Van der Vaart in the last 2 years.
    He is really fun to watch,his combinations,vision. Many times he missed a pass,gave a blind pass or lost a ball in some other way yeasterday. But remember that he played against Italy,vice-champion of Europe,and could have scored 2 goals if it wasnt for the great Buffon.

  13. Exactly,
    19 y old Maher failed to score only due to brilliant saves by buffon, however for an experienced player like kuyt not to score that easier chance is unforgiven.

  14. Has anyone notice that after kuyt in, suddently they no longer able to play quick passing balls, too many to mention his passes were blocked or interucted or inaccurate. Its a shame that he actually the least skillful players on the field, even de vrij has shown his composure and calmness in ball distributions.

    I think arguably the dutch style football last match has been the direct result of de vrij- BMI-maher-strootman-classie/de guzman and RVP in attack. The 2wing backs and wingers are not that essential, can be replaced depend on forms.

    1. Kuyt is the AIDS of dutch football lol. It’s funny cause this guy had been considered as underrated for a long time, but no one noticed that on these last years, he is completly overrated. People used to say “but he can defend compared to other wingers” blabla, but they forget that he always tries stupid skills he is unable to do, always put the ball into the box while there is no one in, bad control and pass quality, misses crucial penalty with Fenerbahce…

      I can understand Mathijsen is still called cause we still don’t have “safe” centers backs, but we really have too many talented wingers to call a guy like Kuyt…

      1. I shoud say amen to your comment…kuyt is not AIDS.he was not that bad.he was one of the reason we failed 2006/2008/2010.Reason is that i belive we created less chances due to his presence up front..it something else….he was always selected by the expense of someother inform players..He was very very lucky to play with the mercurial genreation of Persie,roben,Vaart and wesly with solid Dejong,bommeland gio…when these guys lost to age kuyt got exposed…He was always played like defender for orange though he was for selected attack and to create chances.But definitly he was moreusefulthan headless chickens like Elia,Afellay kind of players….
        Dont worry he will not be there for next matches for the sake of a good team.

        1. I disagree with the fact he was more usefull than Elia Afellay etc. when was he useful for the national team, except some friendly or qualify games ?

          2006 he took place against Portugal instead of Van Nistelroy, and missed big chances, everyone knows it would have been probably different with Ruud.

          2008 he played good against Italy and France, but all the team was good, also Boulahrouz and Engelaar, so it’s not something to judge about. Against Russia he was totally useless, touched 20 balls in 45 min and was logically changed by Van Basten during the half time. He got 3/10, the worst mark…

          2010 absolutely awful on the left side, he had to wait that the “headless chicken” Elia came at the 80min to score thanks to him against Denmark, he was really awful during the whole competition, brought nothing, every game dutch people waited for Elia to come in to bring some speed.

          Guys like Afellay and Elia aren’t efficient enough for sure, but they can bring some danger, and can always create something thanks to their technical, Kuyt is nothing. The best we can except for him is that he scores on a luckily way, not more.

          The difference is about their label, when Elia or Afellay misses a skill, everyone sees it and criticize, when Kuyt tries one but misses, people say “yeah but he has a good spirit”, it’s bullshit, he brings really nothing.

          1. @Laurent….
            kuyt has played many boring matches for dutch since 2004.At 2006 he and sanmark was the main culprit(san mark for benching RVN)…
            but 2008 if kuyt was their after 90 minutes we wouldnt have conceded 2 goals in the end…but like you said if we used a better skilled player we could have killed that game before 90 min.
            same scenario in WC2010.
            though his skill was artocious he was a brilliant player.had vision,stamina,team spirit etc.but i always belived Orange national was prestigous and they always had a better player than him…
            What i dont like in Elia and Afelay is,these guys dribbles a lot and ends up zero.Poor vision too,doesnt care about defence and team balance..pretty poor at anticipation and mentally weak pridonnas.
            i have never seen a player of least skilled like kuyt in a CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING TEAM.Also u cannot win it with headless chickens like Elia,Afellay.so can make sure that these kind of players will end up like loosers.
            In football -to win a WC ;either u need 11 highly skilled players or u need 11 skilled player with intelligence and grit.
            1994 brazil=Grit(dunga)+skill(Romaro-Bebeto0
            1998 France=Grit(deshamps+blanc)+skill(zidane)
            2002 Brazil=Grit(Cafu+lucio)+Skill(R+R+R)
            2006 Italy=Grit(Cannvaro+totti)+Skill(Delpiero+Refree)
            2010 Spain=Grit(Puyol)+inteligence and skill(xavi+andre+Villa)

          2. I can’t let you saying that Kuyt has vision and Afellay not, it’s completly no sense. Elia ok if you want, as he is only a real winger, but Afellay has a pretty good vision, don’t forget that he played as controller midfielder with PSV during 1,5 years, and also some games with Barcelona.

            He is no Xavi or Iniesta, but comparing to dutch players, he is more than correct, after going to Barca, he brought the “tiki taka” to the dutch team, and even Sneijder and VDV were always letting him control the play.

  15. I think it’s too easy to want to blame a certain player on the Italy goal

    Italy changed shape in the last phase of the match and Holland didn’t respond to that. Three of four Italy players before the goal scorer got the ball were able to take on the ball and have a touch. None of the Holland players put pressure on. De Vrij left too much space, and Strootman was not quick enough to give backing.

    But it is was all at the end of a game when most players were not playing at the level they needed to. At the end of the day, we should have scored two more….

  16. I think it was a lot of fun to watch (except last 10 min) and I agree with Jan that future is bright (and oranje). I think Lens was the most impressive of all of them. But I also loved Robben showing he is ready to fight! As for Kuyt – he must stay in the team. Not for his skills, but for his spirit. I can only imagine that what he brings to the team in terms of his calm but full of fight spirit is very important, considering the history of oranje… Strootman – so wonderfully solid. De Guzman – more and more impressed every time I see him. Krul – I’m still not convinced. RVP – pure class, but I’d like to see him wanting it as much as he wants it playing for MU (friendly or not, see Robben). In short, I’ve always loved LVG. Kluivert and Blind are also doing a great job. Roll on WC2014!

  17. Jan you’re not serious to talk about Marcellis, Buttner, Pieters, Anita or Boerrigter actually, they’re really far from the national team.

    Center backs : De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi (if not playing on the left side), Viergever,and as youngs players, Van Dijk, Nuytinck Bruma and Van der Hoorn are to follow. Maybe Gouweleeuw when he’ll go to AZ.

    Does someone have news about Douglas ? I have the impression he changed his mind, it’s strange that Van Gaal doesn’t call him, maybe Douglas told him he needs time to make a choice. He’ll leave Twente this summer for a better club, he knows he got some chances to be called with Brazil, since they don’t really have good centers except Thiago Silva.

    We can notice that all the young good players are formed in Feyenoord or Sparta, Ajax and PSV are really in a formation crisis about dutch talents, even in the generation 94/95, Feyenoord got Vilhena,Boetius,Achahbar, sold Rekik and Ake to top english teams, PSV got only Depay, Ajax no one.

  18. First of all, as I said in the online coverage thread, Van Gaal has huge balls to send this young and inexperienced team against a superpower like Italy. Very few head coaches in the world would take a risk like that. He has done better than I would’ve hoped and in a very brief time the Dutch team have gotten their speed, accuracy and overall energy back. What we still need to work on is the mentality: the game isn’t over until the whistle blows! The last 10 minutes are the most crucial.

    If there ever was a question whether we are seeing the passing of a generation, after this match we can say the answer is a definite “YES”. The only ones who still have the stamina, the skill and the drive to give something to the team are Robben and Van Persie. At this point I even fear that Sneijder has nothing more to give. That said, I really admire Robben. There were moments in the game where he was surrounded by 3-4 (Italian!) defenders and he still managed to pass the ball or take a shot. He is like a good wine that just keeps developing with every passing year. Can’t say the same for Sneijder. Or Van der Vaart. Or Afellay. Or Kuyt. And so on…

    So I say keep Robben and Van Persie, maybe Heitinga from the defenders and go forward with a completely new generation!

  19. Friendly games are good to give change for young players,
    it was good game, now its time to build a team and stop trying names, we need solid team a players who get used to each other game after game, decision has to be made

    1. Agree: I love the fact that Van Gaal is playing the youngsters. Dutch have some good young talent. But sometime soon he will need to decide which are the best, which deserve the minutes, and start working on team chemistry, which is always crucial. How much longer can he keep giving everybody a look–six months? Year?

  20. Good performance for such a young team, they really played together as a unit.

    Maher i really liked, the guy is only 19 so he’ll get better with experience as long as he stays in the Eredivisie for a few more years if he heads abroad I will be worried

    Robben is such a great asset he demands so much attention from the opposition which opens up other players

    Janmaat was good in defence

  21. Laurent, take a look at the u17 dutch team and 7 of the 23 are from Ajax. But you are right that the current u21 and u19 has very few players from Ajax. Denswil, Veltman and Van Der Hart the GK, that’s about it. But there are quite a few coming though including Al Asnaoui, Menig, Kishna, Accolatse and Becker.

    1. I don’t know the generation under17. About Ajax, it has been a real problem these last years, Anita and Van der Wiel are the best players formed in the club in the whole generation 87/92, it’s really few.

      Veltman isn’t good and is already 20/21, he will be one of the many players formed in Ajax who will play for Venlo or Roda in the coming years. Denswil is better and one year younger, but I also don’t think he has a future, Ajax will sell Alderweireld and bring another defender this summer, he won’t have his chance.

  22. @Ed: I know what you mean. Obviously we all want Holland to win! but I’d rather see them win a major tournament with great football than boring football, don’t you think?.

    I was very pleased to see real Dutch football because that’s why I started to follow the Dutch team in the 1st place and it’s not pathetic to dominate and draw when the team had an average of 22 years old so chill out mate and take it easy it was just a friendly game.

  23. Kuyt missed one huge opportunity big deal! we all know he is past his prime but give him a break he has done great for the national team. He never complained, never created conflicts, always worked hard so to me it’s obvious LVG calss him to guide the new generation he is a leader and will be called for the 2014 WC.

    Maybe LVG should consider giving Kuyt another role inside the locker room as motivator and not calling him as part of the 23 final list.

  24. italy played a superb last 6-7 minutes.it looked like they have the most intellgent and most mercurial attacking players.Verratti,abate with Gillardihno was deadly…like us they also selected some unwanted players..it happens with every coach…..

  25. Some great positives to take from the game:
    young players, looking to attack, with no fear.
    partnerships forming, confidence building.
    plenty of depth and ability.

    Some negatives too:
    poor resilience, alarming gaps around the outside of both wide defensive positions, over reliant on last ditch penalty box defending, very poor mentality to see out the game.

    What we learned:
    we have some bright young players coming into the fold.
    At this level, choker RVP couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo (sorry, we knew this one already).

    We should have taken more of our chances, or at least seen out the final moments.
    But Italy are a decent side, and they were clearly playing below standard for most of the match, and only pressured us at the end when they realised they could still salvage the game.

  26. Schedule for next week all new york eastern standard time or -5:00 gmt

    Friday Feb 8
    2:30pm 14:30
    PSG vs Bastia (van der wiel)

    Saturday feb 9

    7:45 am
    Tottenham vs Newcastle (krul, anita)
    10:00 am
    Norwich city v Fulham (emanuelson)
    Swansea city v Queens Park rangers (vorm, de guzman)

    Borussia Dortmund vs hamburg (van der vaart, bruma)
    Borussia monchengladbach v leverkusen (brouwers, luuk de jong)
    Greuther Furth v Wolfsburg (bas dost)
    Stuttgart v Werder Bremen (elia)
    Bayern Munich v Schalke 04 (robben, huntelaar)

    Vitesse Arnhem vs PSV (van ginkel, van aanholt, strootman, lens)

    Sunday feb 10

    8:30 am
    Aston villa v west ham united (vlaar)
    Man utd vs everton (van persie, buttner, heitinga)

    ajax vs roda
    Feyenoord vs az alkmaar

    Sporting lisbon v maritimo (van wolfswinkel)

    1:00pm or 13:00
    Nacional de madeira vs benfica (ola john)
    Galatasaray vs antalyaspor (sneijder)

    Tuesday feb 12th

    2:45 or 14:45
    valencia vs psg (van der wiel)

    Wednesday Feb 13th

    Real madrid vs Man utd (van persie, buttner)

    Thursday europa league feb 14th

    1:00pm or 13:00
    AJax vs Steaua bucuresti
    Bate vs Fenerbahce (kuyt)

    3:05 or 15:05
    Borussia Monchengladbach vs lazio (luuk de jong, brouwers)
    Newcastle vs Mealist (krul, anita)

  27. I watched the game . I was just happy with Our performance. LVG just proved he can do wonders again with young lads . Just like he did with Ajax in 1995 .

    I think guys you are being harsh on Maher. He is not the MOTM , but he was one of the best in the game .
    Well the media wants to make another zidane , but it’s not his fault being selected by them as motm 😛 .

    He should be smart and never let the media affect his career .

    The whole team was great but for me , clasie , lens and janmaat were the best .
    However , john and strootman weren’t at their top .
    De vrij , janmaat and indi should play together till the WC .
    They are our best defenders atm .

  28. Well I don’t care if the media wants to make another Zidane it’s just about time people talk about our Dutch talents. 😉

    Yes I agree BMI and Indi should be the # pair for the central defense although LVG needs rotation every now and then because with Bert that was the problem, when Pieters got injured he was clueless of who to call.

    1. Singh is still at Feyenoord. Gets a couple of minutes every now and then. Is not yet ready. Vilhena simply is better in Dutch style play. Singh might make it still.

  29. I like the midfield combination in 2nd half
    8-de Guzman

    In fact I also want to see if clasie will play better as no 6, I found sometime strootman is not quick enough to recover lose ball (the 91′ goal) and I remember it happened last times too. I think both strootman and clasie have an equal chance for no.6 , strootman has the height and better leadership, clasie is quicker.
    I think no 8. should be for de Guzman and both strootman-clasie as back-up

  30. IMO
    We still have big gaps in CB area and to some extent striker.

    deVrij-BMI have huge potential to be world class defenders, but their back-ups are too far behind (vDijk-viergever?) and experienced heitinga-vlaar who only want to defend.

    In striker department, we have goal poacher hunter-dost. but if we want to play like last night 1st half, we better have someone similar with RVP if he get innjured? no one is close to his skill at this moment (maybe vilhena?). I dont know about ricky Wolf style of play?

    1. 2jake hunter is choker in big matches..and static too..we must forget him..he is done.it would be better we try Ricky/Dost/Lnez there…all other experment would be time wasting and useless.
      hunter chocked in AC milan
      Hunter chocked in Real…
      was a success in Eredivise.
      Was slightly better in bundesliga against weaker teams.Scores bundle of goals against weaker teams…

  31. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1jPXEqtdIg&list=UUpnmJcBhJqKIHFkKvgdkdMQ&index=2

    People not warming up to Clasie should watch this video. It’s badly made as it repeats every chance too many times, but it does a good job at showing where the attack started. There are 3 moments highlighted in this video and 2 of them started with a sharp and hard vertical cutting pass from Clasie. The other was from de Vrij.

    These are signature passes from Clasie. If he becomes confident in Dutch NT, I expect excellent distribution and cutting passes in even higher volume from him. Also notice Maher (or RVP) having the first touch to make those hard balls soft and make them shot ready for a third man. Strootman and RVP have a very hard distance shot. De Guzman also has a very good distance shot. I see pattern potential with these players, but Clasie with his vision and creative pass forward, is vital in this whole story IMO.

    1. Clasie was very good indeed. I didn’t mind watching these plays several times… very attractive work. 🙂

      When the DM and CB are making plays happen, you gotta like that.

  32. http://i.imgur.com/J5CMNky.png

    This is a screenshot from a moment leading to the Italian goal. I took it from this second as I think it is vital. It is the moment where de Vrij stops thinking and just jumps forward with a leap to big, getting caught on a wet field, rather than staying balanced against a small, fast and agile Verratti. BMI also allows his man to perform the one-two and just stays behind him. Then Krul goes easily to the ground.

    I have seen many people blame Strootman, but the fact he tries to repair and walk in the neighborhood does not mean he is to blame first and foremost IMO. It was de Vrij with his weakness: his agility/maneuverability. He first makes the wrong decision to jump into this situation and then there is no way he can correct as his agility is bad and he is found in the dust.

    We dominated and de Vrij is best in ball possession. He can defend in a forward way, checking in front and covering through. His reaction-defending though is majorly flawed as his agility does not allow him to respond quickly enough often. That is why he never looks like that defender with the killer instinct, being too soft and late in situations. This is something that won’t leave him I am afraid. Too easily outmanoeuvred.

    1. Don’t totally agree with this. The problems started earlier. No pressure on the ball. Blind and Stroot to loose. De Vrij not free of blame of course. And Strootman covering on the wrong side. But…. there are not football games without mistakes. Italy gets two chances, score 1. We get 7 chances and score 2. That is basically the story

  33. I think you guys are over analyzing. As Jan says there’s no perfect game. If we score enough we win but this is our Achilles heel, always has been. We have never been clinical except for the group games in Euro 2008. We create many chances and manage to score maybe 10-20% of them, teams like Italy create 2-3 chances and score 50% of them. I am pleased for a new generation of promising players. I am under no illusion that these kids can bring glory in WC 2014. It will be between Argentina, Spain, Germany. Holland is not at that level yet and it will only be when our youngsters play together for a while and start gelling. Looks promising and hopefully LVG won’t confuse them by tinkering too much. The good thing is that they are starting fresh and are under no pressure and this shows in their fearless approach against Germany and Italy.

  34. After watching the game I was very impressed with the young lions and they way the team played in an overall sense. There were a couple of things that stood out to me particularly how good Van Persie played without really getting out of second gear, his class was there for all to see and he gelled well with Lens and Maher and Strootman who also impressed me. He found himself in the right spot most of the time and looks like a future leader. The defence was pretty good for the most part, a couple of indiscretions on the left side but definitely a pass mark. Krul disappointed me , not that he made mistakes but his unwillingness to play out from the back, I’m guessing its a Newcastle United thing where they typically play the long ball on the break. His hands looked great though!
    Robbed also showed all of the reasons why he should never be left out of the squad, he looks a lot quicker now than a year ago, maybe being an impact player off the bench is exactly what he is looking for!

    All in all I’m very happy with what I saw and the future does look bright considering this was probably not the strongest team Oranje can field!

    Lastly I would have Kuyjt before the very staic and non creative Hunter, just my 2c!

  35. IMHO, Van Gaal should really focus on increasing the squad depth at this point of time. The young players are really very talented and they did demonstrate that against the Italians. But,we should really focus on developing good enough back-ups/replacements in order to have two more or less equally strong squads for the showdown in Brazil.
    Germany and Spain have outstanding squad depth and we should follow suit. (It irks me to say this since we’ve always been the pioneers of youth talent production).
    So lets start a position wise analysis of the talents we have at our disposal.

    GK- I’m not worried about this spot. Krul,Steks, Vermeer, Vorm…we have good enough custodians to guard the posts.

    RB- Van Rhijn should be the first choice..Janmaat and Van der wiel are efficient backups..

    Central defence- From what we’ve seen so far, BMI and Stefan De Vrij should be our first choice defenders in the middle of the backline. But do we have efficient backups/replacements for these two?
    Vlaar, Heitinga, Douglas,Viergever,Nuytinck and Gouweleeuw
    . I can only think of these names at the moment. Will a Douglas-Heitinga partnership in the middle suffice against fast, counterattacking opponenets??? Vlaar is too slow in my opinion and Heitinga isn’t good enough anymore..Douglas hasn’t been called up so far and I don’t see that happening in the near future either. So that leaves us with Viergever, Nuytinck and Gouweleeuw…good enough as replacements???Your thoughts please..

    LB- I think this position is well covered. Jetro Willmes, Pieters, Buttner, Van anholt and Blind.Enough said.!

    The two DM’s behind the no.10 position- Plenty of options..Strootman,De Jong,Fer,Clasie,Van Ginkel and De Guzman. I think we should have Van Ginkel & De Guzman as replacements for Strootman and Clasie.That gives us a solid defensive block in the middle of the park without sacrificing much creativity.

    The playmaker/no.10- Sneijder is still the first choice in my book without a trace of doubt. I’m sure Wesley will bounce back and regain his old form .Maher should be his backup and to be honest, he still has pleanty to learn. Maybe,the training sessions with Wesley will help him a lot. Coutinho once famously said that Wesley was his idol and described how he looked up to him(during Wes’s Inter days)to be a better playmaker. Who’s gonna be the 3rd no. 10?? I don’t want to see VDV in the national team anymore..

    LW-Robben and Ola John are the obvious choices..Boerrigter and Elia as backups??? Are they good enough to replace Robben on the left hand side? Ola John has loads of potential but he was too tensed to take on the Italian defence that day.I’m pretty sure he’ll regain his confidence and get better. However, I’m not so sure about Elia and Boerrigter.

    RW- This is where we have a serious dearth of options. I believe Narsingh is quite limited in closed spaces and Lens is doing just fine so far, but against a world class defence, will they be able to find the crosses for the attackers lurking on the edge of the box? Schaken is 30 and should not be considered for the NT anymore..Beerens?? Lukoki???

    CF- ROBIN VAN PERSIE…enough said. Huntelaar is a very strong target man and a tremendous goal-poacher but he’s too static for my liking. Luuk De Jong, Bas Dost,Van Wolfswinkel,Achachbar…good enough replacements???

    LVG is doing a wonderful job but he needs to address this issue in order to compete with the very best in Brazil. I hope he does that pretty soon. HUP HOLLAND!! Looking forward to see the best of Oranje!

  36. Video analyses of the last game of Boëtius:


    They are very impressed by his first touch, vision and distribution ability.

    This guy has all 3 in abundance. If he starts scoring and giving assists, then we have new Dutch NT material on our hands. I saw in a show he also topped the week’s Gilette ranking. According to Ronald Koeman he has become starting material and has played pretty consistent in the past 4 months. That is a special, as most wingers are inconsistent and young players are even more inconsistent. Yet, Koeman typifies him as consistent so far.

    What defines attacking players on international level is a players return. How many assists and goals can he produce per game or per minute if you will? That part is not well developed yet.

    But speed, first touch, vision, distribution accuracy and tracking back are all part of this players repertoire, which is already a lot.

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