The first two games in the Eredivisie are behind us and the EPL has commenced while the more Southern nations will start their competitions shortly.
Too early to tell where we are, but that is international football these days. Some teams have been playing CL qualification games already and the national teams are gearing up to start their World Cup qualification games.
First, a friendly. And then Sweden awaits. Sans Zlatan of course.
The transfer window is still open and as long as that’s the case, all is still in flux. What’s going to happen with Janmaat? Memphis? Siem de Jong? To name a few. And Sneijder? Van Persie, how are these guys doing?
It is very positive to see some moves made by the young and up & coming. Vincent Janssen impressing on his EPL debut, almost scoring even. If not for man of the match Stelelenburg. Wijnaldum had a good second half versus Arsenal and an assist. But at the same time, no minutes for Clasie and an annoying hamstring injury for De Roon…
The news from the Eredivisie is not too depressing though. Feyenoord started well, with Vilhena, Elia and Berghuis impressing, while young left back Woudenberg presents himself as a potential mainstay for the club from Rotterdam.
Davy Propper is still making steps and might well be too good for Holland very soon. The move of Ramselaar to PSV is a good one, of course just like Siem de Jong reuniting with brother Luuk will make the Dutch competition more interesting.
De Roon injured in his first EPL match
At Ajax, Riedewald is back at full fitness and playing well, while Klaassen and Bazoer can be seen as surefire Dutch internationals. Even Daley Sinkgraven, hugely talented but underwhelming in his first period at Ajax made the headlines.
As it stands, against Sweden – not too difficult one might say – I think we should be able to get the result we need, even without Sneijder and Robben.
I won’t go into systems so much, but if we actually want to play to our strengths, I think we need to field Promes and Janssen up front. Elia might have been a sure bet but he’s out with a shoulder injury, while Memphis is most likely not match fit (and lacking form).
Both Janssen and Promes like to drift and Promes should play from the right, as you right back options (Tete, Veltman) are not the natural channel runners. Dijks is an option of course but he hasn’t really played a string of games at his new club so this game might be a tad too early for him.
Elia, here with his broken finger, out with shoulder injury
In midfield, Strootman is a fixed starter on the left, with Bazoer sitting deep in the holding role. I’d play Propper on the right with Wijnaldum in the #10 position behind Janssen. Their link up play should be enough for us to transform the 4-4-2 into a 3-4-3.
As I would field Willems any day, he can use the open left flank for his rushes forward. Bruma, Bazoer (as holding mid) and Tete can cover defense while center back Blind can move into midfield Danny-style to support the build up play. Bruma and Tete and Willems have the speed to cover the space behind us and with players like Blind, Bazoer, Propper and Strootman our passing capabilities should be more than enough. I have faith in Janssen and Wijnaldum and Promes to be on the receiving end of those balls, to put a couple away. That’s how I would do it. 3-0 win over Sweden. Thank you. Next.
I do believe there will be a place for Sneijder and most certainly Robben in the team, given that they do become fit. Robben for Promes of course. Sneijder might have to get used to a bench role, with a more prominent part for him in games where we will have to sit a bit deeper and play more compact. His legs won’t allow him to play in our new modern style but versus France or strong opponents at the WC2018, he might still have a role to play.
Impressive center back Riedewald
Huntelaar, for me, is a good option on the bench (if he can handle it).
Vilhena is a good understudy for Strootman. Good duellng power, great legs and magic in that left foot. Klaassen can play in the Wijnaldum role, Ramselaar can play in the Bazoer role (as can Clasie of course) and Berghuis can also sub Propper in midfield or Promes on the flank.
Not bad. De Vrij will make his comeback at some stage and even Vlaar will be in the picture with me. As is Van Dijk and even Feyenoord’s Van Beek and Ajax’ Riedewald.
Propper, only scoring beauties
With players like Hendrix, Karsdorp, De Roon, El Ghazi, Sinkgraven, Kongolo, Toornstra, Van Ginkel in the mix, the future looks bright, even if we don’t seem to have world class players right now. But like I said before: many people didn’t see it in Strootman, in Nigel de Jong or even Robben when they were younger… Time will tell.
Leicester and Atletico Madrid have shown us that you don’t need a team full of big name players. Spain disappointed at the Euros and so did England. While Wales won hearts and they basically had three great players, with 8 mediocre ones. But they had a team! As did Leicester City. Vardy, Mahrez and Kante being top notch, the rest all decent but not special.
Ramselaar off to PSV (with club legend Willy van der Kuylen)
I can see Robben, Propper, Strootman and Blind as our big name players, with the rest simply doing their job. And who knows, the likes of Memphis and Berghuis might still end up becoming world class. Stranger things have happened. Vardy demonstrated that one is never too old to make it to the big stage.
In terms of goal keepers, we’re still spoiled. Cillesen (on his way to Barca?), Stekelenburg, Vermeer (now injured), Zoet and Krul (still injured) are top goalies. Hahn of Feyenoord is on his way too.
There is no reason to get depressed.
What did get me depressed though, was the treason of Dick Advocaat. Who now wants to be called Dirk (when abroad) as he realises Dick is not a nice name to have. But his recent actions prove to me he is actually DICK. What was he thinking? He has a habit of abandoning teams he’s committed to, for a bigger pay-check. Dick is all about the money. Ask the Australian federation, the Belgium Federation and Sunderland. And now Oranje.
Three months ago, he told Blind he was ready to serve Dutch football and he wanted to get out of the limelight. He was presented to the media, he did his thing, the players loved to have him on board and guess what: the first club from some second rate football nation – where human rights are even less valuable than Dick’s signature under a contract – wiggles a bag of euros and The Dick runs to the exit. Shame on DICK!
Danny Blind and Marco van Basten do need a third coach to complement them. Someone with energy, with passion, warmth and experience.
Rene Meulensteen would have been a top option, but he decided to sign for a club (he was available three months ago). I would not know any other option to be honest….
Danny Blind responded hurt and annoyed when asked about Advo’s antics and KNVB technical director Hans van Breukelen was gobsmacked.
Anyway, the team managers have picked a decent prelim squad. The names you’d expect.
I just hope that prior to September 1, we’ll see some movement in the transfers still. I particularly would like to see Daryl Janmaat make a move, while Bruno Martins Indi has also been put into a blind alley at Porto. Not that I believe we’ll need BMI in the future.
Good to see we keep on producing talent. Up to Danny and Marco to make them all play nicely as a team.