Oranje in Irish Stew

A young and not so experienced Oranje – missing Sneijder, Vlaar, Van Persie, Huntelaar, Robben and Daley Blind – but with Kevin Strootman back as captain played their first friendly in pre-Euros warm up games vs the Republic of Ireland. With Ireland going to the Euros and Holland simply as sparring partner. In case you forgot :-).

Danny Blind playing a simple 4-3-3, with Strootman as holding mid, Bazoer on the right and Wijnaldum on the left of midfield.

Oranje started ok. Good passing, good possession and composure on the ball. Ireland allowed Holland the ball and was playing their counter game, with the quick Shane Long up front, probably how they envision they should play at the Euros.

blind ier cover


“There is the goal we need to play towards!!”

But, it has to be said, with all the possession, Holland didn’t create a lot. Or anything, really. There was lots of confidence on the ball and in particular Janssen had some good movement without the ball but the problem for Holland was the lack of pace in passing. Too many touches, and not enough depth on the wings. Jetro Willems had some good crosses from the left and was our most threatening player in the first half, with Promes dropping deep and Veltman not overlapping enough on the right. But the passes didn’t come quick enough. Janssen was available a lot, albeit market but Strootman and Bazoer had trouble finding Wijnaldum and the AZ striker while Depay was not offered a lot of space to work his magic.

In the last 15 minutes of the first half, Ireland came better into the game and they got their goal from a dangerous set piece. Van Dijk had lost O Shea and Long responded quickest after a half hearted clearance of Janssen and Cillesen, 1-0.


“Welcome back to the game, Kevin…”

In the final stages of the first half, Ireland could have had a second one from a setplay and the Irish started their second half strong, as Oranje started to look lethargic. Some good crosses from Memphis, and good battling in midfield by Strootman but no danger from the lions. Around the 65th minute Holland started to up the pace and some crisp passing resulted in some good pressure but no real chances. Actually, not a single shot on goal. Blind brough Berghuis for Memphis who added some direct play to the team, using his left foot to open up the game but this short spell of pressure ended after 15 minutes. Dost and later Luuk de Jong would come on (for Janssen and the invisible Wijnaldum) while the tired Strootman was subbed for Marco van Ginkel. But despite the fresh legs, Oranje didn’t create much. The best opportunity was a deep cross from Willems on Janssen at the far post who wanted to head it across the goal to the incoming Oranje players but the ball got blocked.

bruma ier

Bruma was skipper when Strootman was subbed

It seemed to end up a bloodless loss but with Luuk de Jong and Dost in a 4-4-2, with lots of aerial threat, the key for Oranje was to get the ball wide and cross the ball in. Berghuis cross from the right ended up with Promes in the 84th minute who allowed Willems to use his golden left foot. As Jetro has done so many times for PSV and Luuk de Jong, a measured curve ball into the box found the unmarked Luuk de Jong who didn’t give the Irish goalie a chance. One chance, one goal.

Enough of positives in this game for Blind, with Willems back to his old self. Although he’s only 21 years old of course. He played disciplined, never got in trouble and had a number of excellent balls in. Virgil van Dijk was a rock mostly, and Veltman found a new career as right back, although I rate Janmaat higher in an attacking sense and Tete in a defensive sense. Strootman, although rusty, showed his typical grit. Vincent Janssen, although hardly given any service, had great movement and desire. The jury is still not out on Memphis, Berghuis, Promes and Bazoer for me. Great talents but not decisive yet in their actions .I felt Bruma was not playing his best football, seemed to be outfoxed too easily in setpieces and looked too complacent at times. Luuk de Jong and Dost did what they had to do, as did Cillesen. Nothing spectacular from these players and Cillesen maybe should have done better on that O’Shea header that led to the goal.

stroot ier

Ireland impressed me. Good work rate, smart tactics, grit and desire. Players like Long, Arter, Whelan and Coleman are above average and if Leicester can upset the EPL maybe Ireland can surprise the bigger teams with their smart counter football. Who knows…

As for Oranje’s future, we need Memphis, Berghuis and Janssen to get some games under their belt on a higher level. I would also like to see Van Ginkel back in the EPL to further hone his craft. Give them time, give Strootman some time and let us hope Vlaar, Daley Blind, Janmaat, Robben and Sneijder will come back to the team in fighting fit form soon. With those players (and potentially De Vrij, Propper, Van Persie) we will be able to gel a good side together for the World Cup 2018 campaign….

luuk ierl

Skipper Strootman was happy and sad…. “Happy to have played. I felt good and my body didn’t experience a set back. But, I’n not happy because we didn’t play our best game. We worked hard in Portugal for certain patterns but we couldn’t get our game going. It was too slow and as a result the spaces were tight and we couldn’t reach each other. This needs to improve. At least we manage to score.”

Danny Blind was not satisfied. This was a disappointing game. We have so much football in our squad but we didn’t manage to get it going. I do wonder what the cause is. We worked well in training but we played under par. Too much loss of possession, even easy passes at times went astray. You need to pass crisp if you want to put pressure on. We will analyse and discuss this. We had players dribbling too long, we didn’t have enough surprises on the wings, it was too predictable..” Blind subbed Memphis after an hour. Again, the big promise was not delivered. “Well, he had a tough season. And you can tell from his game. He’s rusty, he doesn’t have the confidence… when you get in this situation, you need to play simple. I feel that Memphis is trying too hard. Wants to do special things when it’s not needed. But, he has so much qualities, I’m sure if will turn around for him. He is very talented and once his confidence returns and things start to work for him again, you’ll see him return to form.”

Asked if Blind was going to make big changes. “Well not big changes. We’ll play the football we want to play but we will change some personnel here and there, but that’s what this is for. I’ll definitely try some fresh legs.”

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  1. The irish were better structured than the dutch IMO.they played 4-4-2 in attack with diamond midfield and reverted back to 4-3-3 in defense.they set pieces also was dangerous and that’s where they caught the dutch off guard. Right flank was always going to be dead since Veltman started started at RB.apart from this there wasnt much in the game.

    1. Pretty good analysis, Wilson. The 4-4-2 wasn’t necessarily the thing that “got” us though. We conceded as you said as a result from poor defending in a dead ball situation. No necessary. We didn’t look good at all with set pieces.

      But from an attacking perspective, we were too slow with the forward pass, which was partly lack of movement, partly form issues (Memphis, Wijnaldum) and partly line up (veltman, Bazoer).

  2. Seriously when I look at this squad,Blind has jus wasted valuable time and opportunity to make full use of this summer friendlys before the road to world cup starts.
    Well injuries aside the game vs Ireland is jus an indicator how hopeless the selection is.

    Please can somebody tell how this selection works. Does Blind have a say in this or is it a sepsrate panel. Well I don’t know how the selection works but they keeping making the same mistake over and over again.

    Memphis selections was jus ridiculous.getting selected for sitting on the bench.
    Bazoer had one of the most inconsistent outings for Ajax this season and I don’t how he got the nod.and again Veltman at Right back,jus dont what they are trying to prove.the right flank had power failure vs Ireland jus because of the gap between Promes and Veltman and veltman parking the bus. The selection of both Tete or veltman,two defensive RBs jus doesn’t makes senses at all. Why not Rick Kardsrop or Kevin Diks. At least in the he next game they could have tested these guys and seen where their ceiling lies at international level.

    Did anybody watch Belgium and Switzerland. Vertonghen played at LB and Witsel played at RB. Again the emphasis here how you to use quality players in make shift positions even though they haven’t played there.

    Nathan Ake should have been selected and they should have tried him at DM due to his stellar performance for Watford.

    The midfield should have been

    Van Ginkel- Strootman


    The team should haven been

    Memphis- Janssen- promes

    Van Ginkel- Strootman


    Willems- Van Dijk- Bruma- Kardsrop


      1. I did review that game, Virgil is one of our best player on the field, he stopped almost threatening attack from rival, he is having good form. Promes & Memphis were visible, still not as our expectation on them.

  3. Yes Tiju, really disappointing that speed thing with Memphis. I hear Pirlo and Xabi Alonso also didn’t do well vs Martial in the speed realm.

    Apples and Pears….

    1. If he has speed… its good for Memphis …i dont mind…what i can see is flop in making…xabi and pirlo are playing position where physical speed is not much challenged only decision making speed is challenged…they have quick brain to rely rather than their speed.

  4. Tiju, your comment re: Man U and Koeman… It clearly indicates that normally you would not be critical on “your club”, if they do something immoral, because it is “your club”, did I read that correct?

    What does this say about you?

    1. Manu has done little poor with LVG..But if you compare that with madrid,chelski manu did it in fair way…i thought they would have shown little more patinece.

  5. – I agree to give Karsdorp a chance instead of Veltman, i think Veltman is still a CB and he doesn’t have any skill of R/LB like Janmaat, Willem, Tete, Wiel, Pieter, etc.

    – Also, Ake & Hoedt are our rarely players who playing for big leagues that have good step-up & season. They end up season as young team of season at Serie A & PM so they also deserve for a debut at Orange.

    – At CMD now we should consider Strootman, Bazoer, Ake, Fosu-Mesah, Jorrit Hendrix, de Roon they were trained to play this position instead Blind, Classie.

    1. I’m not sure about Bazoer. Jus like others he also has never lived up to expectation.this was also evident at Ajax this season. Jus go to any ajax forum and you will know what im taking about.

      Hoedt I will give him another season at Lazio,maybe combo with De Vrij before he can be reviewed for selection.some aspects of his game still needs improvement.he is jus like van Dijk when he was at Celtic but he should be ready by the end of next season and if he continues playing.

      I don’t think there will be any positives from these three friendlys contrary to what should have been Blind ultimate goal. Looking at the Irish game and let’s say Robben gets injured during the qualifiers what will the current squad do. Will they Be able to cope up. Considering the injuries these three games should have been used to test players in make shift position technically.technically I mean versatile and those who are all rounded in particular position.

      You can jus tell Blind will wait for Sneijder and Robben and with strootman back,put the guns on this guys to lead the way in the qualifiers. I also won’t be surprised if he calls RVP. The rest of the team will be there to make numbers.

      1. I have another name for defensive midfielder LEROY FER, he just joined Swansea at late of last season on loan so maybe didn’t have enough time to show his highest performance however he’s an right option for this position and has contributed our Orange from 2010 and hope he can get back his best and continue to serve.

        1. Not really.jus like fellani when deployed at DM they only offer arieal superiority. defensively not much. DM – beak down attack, poession and st up attack from midfield. Job description. Dont think Fer is that fast to do this.could be an option when playing with 2 DMs but dont think Blind will ever play with 2 defensive mid.

          One player that should be tracked next season is Ruud Vormer.Club Brugge is in CL and this guy had a stellar performance for Club Brugge in Belgian league.if you follow Belgian league then you will know this. The club brugge that lost to Man United was not the same club brugge that won the league I may add,just to fend off those who do not folliw it and keep talking crap.

          I was really expecting his selection especially after Blind himself said he was on their radar.unfortunate again dutch is dutch and Belgians ain’t dutch.

          1. Wow, if that’s your opinion then i have no idea, i knew him(Ruud Vormer) long time ago but i don’t really appreciate any skill on him, not because he’s playing for an average league, just because the way he’s developing no see any step-up, another thing he’s quite old & still just a mediocre player until now.He even didn’t play any match for young dutch level. With Fer at least almost people know that he has contribute for Orange senior level even scored at WC, he used to sometime considered as a big talent to replace for de Jong, he’s playing at PM.

          2. Ruud I would agree with you but looking at the development of some of the players who were for seen to be the next stars I would select players who are performing exceptionally well regardless of age.

            You think about it after from strootman none of the U21s that went to Israel has made it to the next level.I don’t think 26- 27 is that old.come world cup they could be at their peak compared to current U20s and 21s who will still be lacking experience.

            This is always the case. You have to prove beyond doubt if you are playing in an average team outside of eredivisie.

            Remember Van Dijk when he was at Celtic. Look at him now, one season in Southampton and he has forced his way in NT How many games he played for u21s?

  6. I agree Leroy Fer is Oranje material if he keeps playing well with Swansea he should be really considered he is a very good player.

    1. Yes,@Miguel

      I don’t see any improvement from Ruud Vormer of Anderlecht, he’s just play as what he used to be. I always agree that Fer’s not a top player in the world but at least if he can get back his best then he’s qualified a plot at Orange.

      @Wilson, i even don’t mind much about the age or club or league of considering player for Orange, we support for all of our dutch babies but we have to think from all of the views that player can adapt Orange or not for ex: Mindset, skillset, teamwork, potential, rivals.

      P/S i haven’t never seen any talent of Orange come to senior team at age of 28 , Vormer even didn’t play any match for youth level u21. happy if you can give me some names like his situation, we can continue our discussion in accord, outcome could be good for our Orange.

      One names you pointed out above Van Dijk i agree at the point he didn’t play much for u21 level but you know at least management board has admitted his talent and gave him chances even before he went to abroad to join Celtic & after that he adapted very good to PM side Southamton now we’r still looking forward to see his continuously improve there.

  7. http://www.football-oranje.com/five-things/

    – I absolutely agree with #1, this time for Zoet to become number 1, he is more deserved than Cillessen now with his current Developing & Form & the way that he has improved during last time. Last CL he is one of best goalkeeper of tournament who could disappoint runner-up storm A. Marid both side home & away.

    1. i dont care players who play bad…as long as they are not hyped…when hype combines with bad attitude ..i hate those players…Memphis belongs to that catagory.

  8. You are really happy for a Dutch player to fail?? You are really happy because you want to be right?? Or are you happy because finally Memphis might take some lessons from all this??

    I can tell you that Blind in the Dutch media denied the poor attitude at training. “Some players need to work hard always, and want this. Other players need to feel good by playing around. I used to play with top notch players who saved it for the game.”


    “I will use other players in the coming games, because I want to see them all.”


    “Memphis lacks confidence and rhythm which is logical. I don’t doubt him and his qualities. It will all come good with him, I’m sure.”

    1. if u r sitting in bench and still u got called for ut NT..still shows poor attitude???
      i am happy coz he will sit in bench,orange are better with out him…i hope that he learns but thats seems unlikely…

      1. This is a world of diplomats…Blind doesnt want to say it public,he was being pretty decent…thats how it is..he is not a just fan to blast Memphis as he is accountable coach..

      2. @TIJU1234,

        You know what i want to say is we all love our Orange & hope to see one day that our ‘Real men wear orange’ can get back their class. We have so many experts in management board DB, RVN, Advocaat & experience players like Robben, Sneijder they & we all are surely able to realize Memphis’s situation and give him good recommendations. You should show your broad-minded thinking & support for all of players instead just blame them because their bad form for a only specific season. Memphis is the best talent that we have generated recently after Sneijder, Vaart, Robben, VPS in term of front-line. He is only guy you can compare to other rivals Spain, England, Germany, France, Belgium players such as Hazard, Pogba, Kane, etc. He has almost skill of a killer Movement, Teamwork, Free-kick, Dribbling, Passing, Confident shoot ball from distance, Enthusiasm, Scoring (showed at PSV, not MU yet). We don’t know what will happen to his career path, and that’s ok for me & you if one day everyone admit that he’s helpless contributing into NT team then we let him go, this time we should respect him & hope he can improve himself.

  9. http://www.skysports.com/football/news/12021/10217711/who-are-next-dutch-youngsters

    – This is evaluation from skyports for our orange latest generation after Memphis, Klassen. Seems like we have quite plenty potential players at 21 year old , four 21y lads in the list of that article & and more outside such as Vilhena, Rekik, El Ghazi, Kishna, Sinkgraven, Aké, Hendrix, Tete. Hopefully they will develop well and become a our good team in near future.

  10. This is another mention on Memphis

    “Memphis is yet to impress in the Premier League. In many ways, this is understandable: it is simply unfair to expect a 22 year-old to make the change from the Eredivisie to England in an easy, one year transition. At the same time, Memphis might be all the Dutch have at the moment.”

    -In another word, the people are tolerant for the lad as they are understandable his situation & very good point from them is maybe at this moment Memphis is the best player that we have.

    Source: http://www.eurosport.com/football/international-friendlies/2016/netherlands-win-gives-them-hope-but-rising-stars-like-memphis-must-up-their-game_sto5415816/story.shtml

  11. I think Blind has had enough time to finalize his squad and come to this series of three friendlies with more or less tested team. However, he keeps experimenting and dragging time…

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