….against England. It’s interesting, the Dutch were reigning supreme in the Golden Age, with the English Empire and the Portuguese seafarers… And England and Portugal are our up and coming opponents. We don’t do too well vs Portugal, but England…we never lost since that 1996 1-4 upset at the England Euros.
Ronald Koeman himself was part of some of these amazing games, with some significant contributions.
Koeman made it clear that he would be playing another system than 4-3-3. “I can tell you this, the system I’ll be playing is not 4-3-3.” That should be enough for us.
He also appointed Virgil van Dijk as the new skipper. With Daley, Strootman and Wijnaldum as vice-captains. No one seemed to disagree with the choice. Van Dijk has the potential to become a world class defender. He is vocal, he has personality and coaches prolifically in the Liverpool team as well. And, like Ronald Koeman before him, Van Dijk will have the game in front of him, which helps when having to re-position players and alert players.
Van Dijk will be the next in a line of wonderful Oranje players who wore the band before him.
Frank de Boer is the record holder captains of Oranje, with 71 caps with the band. He took the band from Danny Blind in 1995. Ruud Krol, a defender as well, wore the band 45 times, taking over from a certain Johan Cruyff in 1977, when JC retired as international.
Ruud Gullit comes next with 41 caps with the band, taking it in 1986 from Bennie Wijnstekers. Ronald Koeman wore the band 33 times, while before he took it – in 1987 of his rival Ruud Gullit.
Other names in the skipper top 10, are Gio van Bronckhorst, Puck van Heel, Cor van der Hart, Edwin van der Sar and Harry Denis.
Oranje in the Johan Cruyff Arena against England… hours away and a debut for Koeman in a full house.
The total balance between England and Holland is in favour of the English. The Three Lions won 12 times, and lost eight. Ten times both nations drew. The last match was at Wembley, in 2016, which ended in a win for Oranje with goals by Narsingh and Janssen.
The last time England was guest in Amsterdam, in 2009, Bert van Marwijk was the coach in a friendly ending in 2-2. With goals by Kuyt and Van der Vaart.
Kluivert scoring the 4-1 for Holland in a loss in 1996, but securing Oranje’s progress.
The last win by England on Dutch soil was in 1969. A team with Cruyff, Van Hanegem, Mulder, Israel and Muhren lost 0-1.
Justin Kluivert could be the ninth son of an international to make his debut. Ryan Babel will be the most experienced international in the young Oranje. The Besiktas forward played 46 caps and is the older player in the squad, with his 30 years.
The other father-sons: Martin Koeman and sons Ronald and Erwin Koeman. Martin only wore the orange once. Wim van der Gijp, also 1 cap, and son Rene van der Gijp (15). Johan Cruyff’s huge shoes couldn’t be filled by Jordy but he made it to the National Team anyway. Jan Mulder was a famous striker in the JC era and his son Youri played the same role. Just like Danny Blind and Daley Blind are almost carbon copies of each other. Steven Berghuis’ dad Frank – or Pico – played 1 cap for Oranje. Then there was Jan Everse SR and Jan Everse JR and lastly Nigel de Jong who’s dad Jerry played 3 international games for us.
The Oranje staff: keepers trainer Patrick Lodewijks, assistant Kees van Wonderen, Ronald, assistant Dwight Lodeweges and fysiology coach Jan Kluitenberg
The infamous England – Holland in 1993, when the 0-2 loss meant that England missed the World Cup in the US. Koeman scoring the first.