Oranje in Rio!! Bring it on

A new post! But I still wanna make you aware of  1) my donation request as it is that time again (hosting cost, upgrades, domain name etc) and 2) enter your results in the Fantasy Competition! BRILLIANT trophies to be won :-).

Well here we are! Louis van Gaal was probably ecstatic. Some 12 years after failing to reach the highest in world football, competing at a World Cup, he finally made it. All geared up to show the world Louis is also the greatest of the world with the national team!

The team had a pleasant flight to Brazil and enjoyed their first days in Rio getting accustomed to the time zone and the climate. The touch down was early in Rio and Louis kept his players awake to make sure they would settle in quickly. The spent some time in the hotel and then went for a long beach walk. “I noticed a change. Coming into Rio, the airport, the buzz, the language, the smells…the players were immediately affected by it. More focused. The talk became different, when we did the beach walk. Everyone realised they were actually in Brazil. To play for the World Cup,” as Louis van Gaal put it.



The players live in the Caesar Park Ipanema Hotel and it was a true spectacle when the players arrived there.

The arrival of Oranje in Brazil does mean something. The first steps of the Dutch in Brazil are broadcast live on tv. A diversity of tv programs had anchor women out at the hotel and the training grounds to pick up some footage of the Dutch. Earlier on Bosnia and Chile arrived but those events were almost ignored. There were police and media choppers and the many people needed to be fenced off from the hotel grounds. They went to the Flamengo training grounds at 3.15 pm and had a short but fun session, to allow the muscles and joints to get into gear.

clasie sneij bus

Playing some foot-volley and having fun with the Flamengo youth teams, present as ball boys. Sneijder, Wijnaldum and Van Persie stayed on the pitch to teach the lads some tricks and without a doubt vice versa. Van Gaal had to order the players in and Van Persie held up a big thumb to the lads when he made his way back. Arjen Robben didn’t train with the group. Van Gaal had one player too many for the game and offered one volunteer the option to bail out. Robben was quickest to raise his hand (I wouldn’t think Kongolo or Clasie would do this, hahahaha).

RVP training rio


Wesley Sneijder is turning back into the 2010 Wesley Sneijder we all loved (and some hated). Cocky, arrogant, condescending and oozing with brilliance. His presence in Brazil was not an automatic one, under this team manager. It took a clash with Van Gaal and hard work. But he made it. “I was to blame, but I also fixed it. I planted a big flag for myself, on this mountain far away. And said “that is where I am going!”. And my flag is now close. And you know what, you all (media)…you also thought I was over the hill. I thank you for that. It helped strengthen my resolve.”

Classic Wes. Like Asterix, whenever he gets angry, special powers sink in as if he drank the magic potion and he is ready to take on the Romans. IT took a while for Sneijder to realise what Van Gaal meant. At first, he was angry. And hurt. The coach called him unprofessional?? Him??? The man of the 2010 World Cup? CL winner? But Sneijder realised he indeed had to change his tune. “I knew I wasn’t 100% fit. I hadn’t played for Inter for a while and at Gala I forced myself too much to get back into it. It took hard work to make all the improvements in my fitness and form. I am very close to being 100%.”

sneijd voetvolley


The biggest hurdle now is to adapt to the 5-3-2 system, which works very well for Sneijder. Bar for one thing: his timing. “The coach thinks I put pressure on the defence too early and as a result I end up playing next to Robin and Arjen. That is not good. I need to stick to playing closer to midfield. He is right. I need to adjust that.”

Jon De Guzman is the only player not 100% fit at the moment. He is working hard on getting back and according to his thumb up to the media, he is doing well.

Jordy Clasie is with the group, while Van Persie is allowed to take some breaks. The groin situation is not an injury, in Van Gaal’s words, but it probably does hurt. “But, players all play with little knocks and aches. Robin will have to wear it.”

Clasie played with the team without the orange skins and presumable is now the man to fill in for De Guzman. The latter is doing his separate physiotherapy exercises.

robben rio


Thousands of people joined in when Oranje gathered for practice and the first time Van Gaal used his booming voice to reprimand Sneijder it almost felt staged. The Oranje no. 10 made a mistake in midfield and Louis stopped play, ran onto the pitch and gave Wesley an ear full who accepted it with his head down.

Back in Holland, the nation is prepping for another World Cup. Streets turn orange, companies put out their orange products and the media are creating their World Cup oriented programs, shows and items.

kuyt rio

Patrick van Aanholt won’t be seeing all that. The Chelsea full back – out on loan at Vitesse recently – is on a plane to South America. Mexico. Not Brazil. The left back thought he did really well (in the Ecuador match and at training) but was told by Van Gaal he was just not good enough. “Mr Van Gaal told me that he felt I was the best attacking option for the left back position, but also the least defensive option. I do have a tendency to not give priority to my man and he felt I wasn’t paying attention enough. Something for me to work on. It was quite a blow. To be honest, I felt I was part of the squad. But I will have to shrug and learn and go on. Next season, Feyenoord might be my team. There is interest and Feyenoord is an amazing club. But I still have one year of Chelsea on my contract so when I get back from Mexico I’ll report back to London.”

van Aanholt nee

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    1. Its not a big deal Bitterbalen..we will win score ome goald vs spain if we play
      What scares me the most is turtle back line of complete feynoord..
      Things would have been more stronger had selceted Bruma,Vrijil etc at back..

        1. People think we have no life with out persie,sneijder etc,thats not good if we loose them we could cover it like a team.Lenz,Wijnaldum,Roben can take some defenders and its extreamly impossible to prevent them from scoring goals,mostly it down to their unselfishness,roben is a team player for NT.if they get a steal support from defense and some brain and lungs from clasie..orange is going to be a flamboyant team….Nothing else

    2. I think Van Gaal is right. Most players will feel something. The Real, Barca, ManU and Bayern guys…. they all played top matches till late in the season. They will all have a knock here or there….

  1. I really feel we can go far in this tournament as long as we start well against Spain. The big 3 are fit and hungry. Van Gaal is a master coach and no-one gives us a chance to go deep into the tournament, I disagree. Why not! If we can manage a draw or even a win against Spain, that will set the tone for this tournament and give our younger players the confidence that they can more than compete at this level.

    1. I do exactly feel the same.
      I mean , if we win Spain , We have a great chance reaching the Qurater-finals , and a very decent chance reaching the semis.

      Btw guys , Is there a chance Brazil would come 2nd to their group ? I mean losing to Croatia ?
      After watching their game Vs Serbia , I can’t see the reason why not .

      1. because it’s in Brazil? And even Belgium managed to win against Croatia last year.

        There you have 2.

        I think the chance is about the ecquivalent of the betting odds, haven’t checked, I know it’s small.

        1. Comparing squads , Belguim is probably twice stronger than Brazil , may be even more.
          Because it’s in Brazil ? Well , this can be a reason 😀 . Let’s wait and see anyway.

  2. i think the croatian squad is stronger than brazil. brazil had two-three worldclass players,mainly defenders and maybe oscar. neymar is too inconsistent (i would sell him and not cesc). on the other hand croatia have srna,modric,rakitic,mandzukic,topclass players. but brazil play at home and in the early stage if needed will be helped by the referees,fifa,etc. no one wants a riot in brazil.
    i don’t consider their confederation cup win a great triumph,brazil was the only one team who took it seriously,the other big guns (spain,uruguay,italy)didn’t,and all the high expectations are based on this. without any help they could be ousted in the 1/8. argentina are far better than brazil (despite their suspect backline).

    1. Agree with you Ferenc.
      It’s true Brazil was the only team that took the Confedrations seriously , However , You can see all “experts” ranking Brazil high based on this tournament.

      The Best NT squads are Spain , Germany “even without Reus” and .. Well , Engalnd .

      Best two front lines are Argentina and Oranje “both have some issues in midfeild and back line” .

      I agree with Laurent reagrding Italy. They have a slim chance to make it through the group stage. Engalnd with Geread , Rooney , Sterling , Lalalna , Cahill and Sturridge is just much more stronger.

        1. Right about Italy Mohamed

          People usually consider them as always regular etc. but fact is that they didn’t pass the group stages in 2004,2010 and were lucky in 2008.

          I’m really not sure they’ll beat England, they had problems against them in 2012

      1. In this world cup quality of the national teams are reduced significantly,it applies to evryone..Spain might be better in this department.i agree that Finally england looks like a team.For me the best tactical coach will win the WC,if he at least get some level of talented played.Biggest strentgh and my hope is LVG though he has not selected my players such as
        Bruma,Virjil,Emmanuelson,Van annholt,Anita,Vanrhijn,Reikik,Ake,Van ginkel.

        1. Wait…
          Bruma,Virjil,Emmanuelson,Van annholt,Anita,Vanrhijn,Reikik,Ake,Van ginkel are not on the team?!?! I hope he at least selected van der Sar, Bergkamp, Ronaldo, and Messi. If not, we’re screwed.

  3. i don’t rate england that high and think argentina are better upfront than oranje – they have 4 worldclass players upfront ( messi,aguero,higuain,di maria)’,oranje have only two (rvp,robben). i don’t consider wesley sneijder version 2014 a world class player. with cavani and suarez uruguay have the third best attack.
    in midfield spain are by far the best,and brazil have the best defenders.
    the winning formula is: neuer,brazilian defenders,spanish midfielders,argentinian,dutch and uruguayian forwards

    1. 1 Question mate..
      Forget about the defense of dutch and arjentines.cannt Arjen-Lenz-Wijnaldum against Messi-Demaria-Aguero????
      i think we could cancel out Arjentines when our extreamly skilled players are fit in offense.Problem is that we have always used kuyt when portugal plays ronaldo,nani etc,and russia used Arshevin, etc,spainnavas,ineasta,pedro.
      Then its no wonder that we failed against them though our midfeild and defense was better than them.

      1. i don’t answer any questions if you mention kuyt. you always talk about stamina and unselfishness and still hate and scapegoat kuyt who’s one of the most unselfish players of the game,and at 33 he has more stamina than most of your beloved youngsters.

        1. Kuyt has nothing to do with question,i said it like facts we have faced since 2006.Stamina alone doesnt bring WC or glory if so kuyt would have won many trophies i beleive.

  4. ad.nl says Van Persie had to go to the hospital to have his groin injury checked out. Back at practice, “the striker was clearly not in top shape for the upcoming confrontation with the world.”


    1. i think RVP should play the first game against spain, sit out the game against australia and if we are qualified after the 2nd game he should sit out the last group game too.

  5. It would have been a miracle to have RVP 100% fit as LvG predicted a few days ago. He broke down again like many times before. Hopefully Hunter will use his chance IF given by LvG. I think RvP I’llshouldn’t play if he is not fully fit and used only as a sub. But LvG never tested a lineup with Hunter and may be stuck with a limited front line.

    1. Not only in qatar..its everywhere in middle east..i dont know howmany died for Burj khaleefa.
      Very urfortunatly all these things are done through indians only,even though Arab invests and some top level europeans leading it.Its happening due to greed of wicked brain of my own country people.

  6. Tiju ……under Hiddink things might be possible as what you are projecting so I guess its too late for criticism and etc….there. there has alot of controversies when it has come to NT squads for the world Cup. It has become tradition IMO.

    There is no way NT will beat Spain with 3-5-2 formation…..
    our best hope relies on a stalemate.

  7. Laurent seems to have a point again about France playing better without Ribery :). 8-0 with a great football show .
    good for them .
    I think this team has a chance to reach the semis. They can beat Germany in their lucky day imo. Benzema is doing good in the Playmaker role.

    1. Thanks Mohamed

      I think people focus too much on talent, names on the paper, and not enough on the general state of mind that a team can have.

      France had too much pressure last decade, first after that WC 2002 fail, after with Zidane’s departure, after with Domenech being a clown…There were plenty top players but results AND style of playing were awful. Seriously, from 2005 to 2012, you can count with your hands the times France scored three goals in a game. Even teams like Lithuania and Belarus were coming to the Stade de France with the aim to get a point. And they often did. Against Henry, Gallas, Abidal, Ribery etc. It seemed like some players had a protection thanks to their state, and others were ignored. Players like Griezmann or Schneiderlin would have never been called 6 years ago.

      But now it seems like the team is totally free, there is no top player, no pressure, they just play and enjoy it. They all are good players playing in good clubs but no real star, and guys like Pogba or Matuidi have a winning mentality. Now France should just get rid of Evra.

      I don’t think they’ll beat Germany, but with all the germans injured, it can be more interesting than expected. But France will be a serious contender in 2016, that’s sure.

      1. Yeah, I also agreed with the fact that the french team had very stubborn crap coach like Domenech.
        I only want to point out that I see in griezman a huge talent!! Not to mention Varane, Pogba, Zouma, etc.

  8. I don’t like this stories of Martins Indi and Robben clashing during training. LVG has to do something to protect his stars. I believe LVG has to reduce his intense training sessions by Wednesday so our players rest a little! they must be exhausted.

  9. Del Bosque is a magician with team spirit, he has managed to make a quiet atmosphere even though his players are big enemies during the year.

    Now LVG has to manage to create an atmosphere of respect, friendship and peace!!!. We’ve had enough with 2012!!!!.

  10. When Robben was charged by the Ghana player and got so irrate this is what LVG said:

    “It’s normal and Robben needs to learn to deal with this without getting furious. When we play 5 against 5, these tackles happen as well and I never stop the play for it. Man up.”

    Martins Indi about the bust up. “Robben fell. He hurt his back and was angry. Too bad, I think he went down to easily.”

    Was Robben still angry at Martins Indi? “I don’t know. I am here now talking to you. Don’t know where Arjen is.”

    1. I do think he needs to ‘get over it’ a bit, but I also really like the fact that Robben so highly values this tournament that he lashes out at what he perceives as stupid, risky challenges. To me it shows a passion to succeed which is far better than being a superstar who is only interested in his own professional success. To see one of our key guys in this mode is a good thing, I think– sort of like seeing his passion when the national anthem is sung. Comparing this to the apparent level of disinterest before EC2012, I think it’s a definite improvement and increases our chances of success.

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