Oranje in trouble: an incident, or a symptom?

We had all the reasons to play well and to get a good victory.

Qualifying for Brazil is an important one, obviously. But there is also that West German recond we so dearly wanted.

There is prestige. The need for the Dutch to present themselves again on the international front after the abyssmal Euros.

And there is the FIFA ranking issue, which will enable the top 7 nations to become group head in the World Cup this coming Summer.

And there were no real reasons for Oranje to perform badly. We have the Best Coach Ever ™, we still have a core of Great Players ™ (like Robben, RVP, Sneijder, Strootman, Vorm) and some exciting young talents ( Willems, Janmaat, Maher, BMI)…

The pitch in Estonia was considered very good and LVG even allowed Robben to pay from the right.

When the game was only 2 minutes old, Robben seemingly demonstrated his conviction by scoring a zinger. In typical Robben style. A dribble inside, a curler in the far corner.

In the 20 minutes after that, Oranje was boss and could have / should have scored two more. Van Persie, Janmaat, Robben…. It was quite easy for Holland to kill off the game.

But as most of you have seen it I won’t do a minute by minute rundown.

Basically, weak defending (and mediocre goal keeping) allowed Estonia back into the game.

And a great passage of play by Estonia (and did we say “weak defending” already?) made it 2-1.

oranje est

By then, Oranje’s quality had left the game. The swift pass and move, the positioning game, the wing play, everything that makes Oranje Oranje was non existent. Sneijder wasn’t able to carry the team, the defence seemed scared to build up and play a risky pass while Robben, Lens and Van Persie failed to work together to create anything solid.

Until the last minutes of the match, when lionheart Kuyt passed the ball to RVP, who did well to wiggle away from his opponent, saw he would lose the duel but used the hand he felt on his shoulder to go for a spot kick. The ref saw it and gave it. It was a soft one, for sure, as RVP had his hand across the chest of the defender, but at that time….RVP had possession and the defender did have an arm on Robin’s shoulder…. A good reason for a ref to give a penalty.

RVP didn’t make a mistake and is creeping up to Pat Kluivert’s record as goal scorer.

The big question LVG needs to answer is: what went wrong…

Do we lack quality? I don’t think so. But we did lack confidence. Why? How? What can we do to instil that back into the team.

Were the tactics bad? Robben on the right? Lens on the left? And is there maybe a chance that Sneijder and RVP don’t work too well together ? Sneijder maybe too static?

Or did the players simply not execute the tactics well enough?

Normally, I would not be concerned about our goalies. Vorm didn’t look good with that first one, and Zoet actually conceded a similar goal from Boateng in the AC Milan game. But Vorm remains a top shot stopper. And once Krul and Stekelenburg return, we truly have goalies who are surely good enough for Oranje.

Our full backs are good enough too, I’d say. On the right, Janmaat, Van Rhijn and Van der Wiel should be able to sort it out.

On the left, I believe Pieters will make a return, although I do like Blind and Willems too. Sure, Blind is slow and Willems a bit inexperienced, but I am all for using young talents if there are no better options.

rvp est

The central defenders do concern me. De Vrij and BMI are both potential top defenders, but the emphasis here is on “potential”. We need them to be top in 10 9 months. Is that possible?

De Vrij is too sweet, not a killer. BMI tends to be a bit cocky and too confident at times.

But are Bruma and Rekik better? Very hard to say.

Vlaar is a killer, for sure, but does he have the speed needed and the build up skills?

Mathijsen and Heitinga should be phased out. I can imagine a coach wanting to use them still but the latter hardly plays and the former is not free of mistakes himself.

Pieters could be an option, by the way but other than that LVG might chuck a Michels ’74 trick and place one of his midfielders in the central defence role. Strootman or Fer maybe? Both tall, strong and Rijkaard like players….

Our midfield is fine, as long as Clasie regains form and Van Ginkel gets some runs on the board. With Maher/Clasie/Strootman/De Guzman/De Jong/Van Ginkel/Wijnaldum/Vaart/Sneijder/Siem de Jong we should have more than enough options.

The central striker position is also not a big deal: RVP, Hunter, Ricky, Dost, Luuk de Jong/Siem de Jong… Options galore.

In terms of wingers, though, we’re back in doubts… Robben is no problemo (as long as he stays fit) but there is that long list of potentials… Elia, De Jong, Boerrighter, Depay, Boetius, Lens, Narsingh…. And Kuyt, despite all he has done for us, I don’t really rate anymore.

Never saw him as a winger, really. He is a great asset, and might have a role to play, as he is a smart and hard working, disciplined player. But in reality, looking at LVG’s tactical plan, Dirkie doesn’t qualify as a winger.

I am not sure whether – as Louis says – the team needs a boost of confidence, or whether the team needs to lose its arrogance.

rvp sneijd est

Bookmark and Share


  1. I think Schaars doesnt have what we need in the Nt, he is a respectable player sure and brings a good mentality from what I hear but we do have some absolute solid midfielders in stroot and fer. Fer is an asset anywhere I jusy hope he shines enough to get a spot. With a solid midfielder core of them I reckon the rest of the team apart from cbs should be tailored to robben and rvp.
    So if robben suffocates our fullback on the overlap we could perhaps use a more defensive fullback. And our attacking mid position should be dependent on chem with rvp as well as form… Maher?

      1. Yes. A good thing.
        In case you haven’t been watching, the ‘young players’ are awful.

        They should not be allowed anywhere near the first team until they can prove that they can play with the big boys.
        Bert understood that.
        I miss Bert.
        You will miss him too when you watch the next World Cup Final and we aren’t in it. Trust me.

  2. @LVG
    please go for
    —————–Seim De Jong—————
    we will beat anyone coz with seim,stroot,ginkel,Bruma and nijel we have power lungs and grit.
    Bruma is fast and not so bad will do better with Nijel and BMI.we would beat any one with this team,but that cannot be said about the bench.
    Williams——————————-Van rhijn

  3. Yeah right… we draw a game and everyone cries for Bert to come back. Van Marwijk’s team played wonderful football at times, but mostly in non crucial games. He just organized defense and told Sneijder and Robben: “bring some magic”. I respect a lot what he’s managed to do, but it’s not a reason to replace a coach who’s done so well in these months.

  4. I think there was a short comment in the previous article that hit the nail on the head. What was worrying was the relative implosion of confidence of the CB’s but even the team as a whole after the 1-1. The quality of play went down significantly. Confidence is thin apparently. After adversity we get to see how people react on it and it was not good. General football ability throughout the team went down not up.

    * I though Willems for his level was bad on ball.
    * Janmaat at the end had that worrying bad touch that lead to a turnover
    * The tempo Schaars started with went down after the goal
    * Strootman had sloppy moments
    * de Vrij himself became sloppy
    * BMI looked bad with that second conceded goal.

    Apart from this, there where players not having their day like Lens and Sneijder but that is something else.

    It’s just that I don’t have the feeling that this team will be ever capable of doing what the 2010 team did and come back after a 1-0 against Brazil. If quality falls after a setback against Estonia then we have no business expecting it will be better against the top country’s.

    1. ‘It’s just that I don’t have the feeling that this team will be ever capable of doing what the 2010 team did and come back after a 1-0 against Brazil. If quality falls after a setback against Estonia then we have no business expecting it will be better against the top country’s.’

      ^ This.

      Sneijder gave the battle cry against Brasil in 2010.
      “We Are Holland!” he screamed to the dressing room.
      I wonder what the battle cry will be next year.
      “We Are POKEMON”?
      I don’t even know who the hell half these kids are anymore.
      They’re certainly not fit to wear the Oranje jersey.
      Sad times.

  5. Bert understood that we needed stability and regulars in key positions. This chopping and changing by van Gaal is just nonsense. Bert stuck by his players through thick and thin – he didnt change a winning team (even when aeroplane van Persie was just flapping his arms around and not scoring) and took all qualifying games seriously. Until this draw, we hadnt had a non-win for years.
    Van Gaal is going to be the reason that we fail yet again – and I can only be grateful that he will NEVER be in charge of Oranje ever again. Bert’s no nonsense play instilled confidence, kept the arrogance in check (mostly) and paid strict attention to the leadership structure of the team.
    All of which we currently lack….

    1. actually, it’s Vorm that keeps on cancelling/breaking those winning streaks or undefeated streaks.

      last time (Euro qualifying) losing to Sweden 3-2 (conceding 3 goals!!!) also broke some streak I think and Vorm was in goal (probably an undefeated streak).

    2. Hi Ed,

      Bert was a great guy cause he understood realism and practicalities. The previous generation that took us to the WK2010 final was overall a very talented generation but it had an uneven talent. We had absolutely great midfielders, fantastic offense but we seriously lacked talent in the defense. If one wants to play the Dutch 4-3-3 then you need Krol and Suurbier (I am sure you remember 🙂 ) or Frank De Boer. The generation that took us to the WK2010 final with one FDB in the defense could have been the greatest team of all times.

      But we had Heitinga and Mathijsen and so Bert cut all the bs and he played 4-2-3-1 with NDJ and vBommel in front of the defense and he produced a machine of a team that bulldozed every opponent for about 3 years 2009-2011.

      Today’s generation has even less talent than the last one in the midfield and offense and at the same time it is as “shit” in the defense as the last one.

      So what do we do? KNVB expects LVG to take us to at least the semifinal playing 4-3-3 with this material. Sure, smoke on… give me some too 🙂

      There are several Dutch coaches who understand practicalities, Bert is not the only one. Huub Stevens is another. He will play 4-4-2 with crowded midfield if he has to win a game. And as you well know, this is the effing objective. To win the effing game.

      One has to adjust his strategy to the soldiers he has. LVG clearly will not do that. Bert, Huub or others would. We need someone who thinks “Italian” before we become irrelevant again like in the 80s.

      1. Shock treatment is needed. Oranje should park the bus, 3 goalkeepers, 8 defenders and just Robben as lone striker (he would love that too). That’s it. I think LvG should try this out in the Andorra game. It’ll for sure confuse the heck out of the other team. The new Oranje slogan wouldn’t be “Aanvallen!” but “Verdedigen!”. Defenders, defending midfielders and defending attackers.

        The other option is for the Netherlands to either join Germany or Belgium and hope they’ll be so kind to select one or two of our nationals in their team. Sort of what’s already been happening at club level.

      1. The point of view of these picture is also misleading as they don’t show the shirt pulling that happened in the box. I have also made a comment on that blog where I explain the situation. Hope they speak English.

  6. Jan,

    Thank you for the match summary. As far as I know, the match was not shown in the US, at least anywhere that I could find. As for reasons, as you expressed them and as other bloggers have expressed them, the simple answer is that this team is just no that good. Why does Robin vP do so well with Manchester United, and not so well with Holland? I believe the answer lies in the qualities of those two teams. Man U is the better team–strategically, player quality, mental attitude. You mentioned arrogance in your remarks. The very last attitude which the Dutch should have now is arrogance. I believe them to be very weak yet in defense, their traditional Achilles heal. Their midfield, traditionally strong, is not as talented as in past teams, for many reasons not to be addressed here. The forwards can score, but not without the rest of the team hustling, passing, supporting and playing GOOD DEFENSE! My view, sadly, is that the Netherlands right now should be ranked in the top 25, perhaps in the low 20s. Any current ranking is based on past history, not on this team’s skills and performance.

    van Gaal has always been, for me, an enigma. For now, I think he is a good manager, with mediocre talent. The only way I think he can succeed will be by the choices he makes of the players to form his core team. There are not a lot to choose from, and we Dutch supporters and fans need to accept what Cruijff said several years ago, that Holland was not producing the talent to play national team football at the highest level. Players are NOT interchangeable, and “we” have weaknesses in all areas of the team and the sport. We will, of course, qualify for the WC. “We” will be lucky to get out of the group stage, and if so lucky, there it will end. I will watch every minute and love every play the Dutch make. I also hope I am very, very wrong about how I see this team and its immediate future.

    1. Hey Bob,

      Just letting you know I caught it on ESPN3.com. It’s still on the website if you want to watch the game (you don’t want to watch the game). They’ll be airing the Andorra game there too.


  7. Cool down my dear boys offcourse we lack intelligent players like bergkamp,bommel etc.But things will become ok once LVG drops some slow(devrij kind of),out of form(Wesly,lenZ),and less inteligent ones.We may not be bayern of 2013.but sure we will be competable if we get it organized(it seems like a big word now).i just wish orange qualifies on 10th spet and then LVG stick with some players.
    Bruma for Devrij
    Wijnaldum for Lenz
    Ginkel for Wesly
    Dejong for Schaars
    Peiters for Williams…the we should be fine…boys…

  8. By the way, I watched the final 10 minutes of the game against Estonia again and I must say that Kuyt was a force once he and took the center position from Sneijder and Sneijder went out to play on the wing. He created quite some danger and the penalty also was preceded by an action from him.

    On the wing he was less effective I think.

  9. LvG keeps changing his lineup and with whichever combination of players he puts on the field, he still hasn’t found a lineup that brings the best out of Van Persie. I’m not blaming LvG for this as I think the current crop just doesn’t have the goods to support RvP. So it would just be the same outcome if another manager was appointed. That said, I think its going to be a rough ride in Brazil….

  10. Everyone started to scream that we finally have a good defense when De Vrij and BMI started last year, now we’re really doubting.

    Heitinga was definitly a joke and will we all his carreer, from Ajax to Atletico and under the NT jersey, no one will forget his mistakes. His euro2012 is the reflect of his carreer, I don’t understand how some people here want him to come back…

    But Mathijsen was a good defender for me, always serious in competitions, I don’t really remember a mistake or something really bad he did. The game he did against Spain in 2010 where he totally made Villa being invisible and was close to score on a corner kick, De Vrij or BMI would probably not do it today.

    Ooijer was not good enough for us but was making less mistakes than Heitinga.

    Let’s to mention that Mathijsen earned his spot with NT when he was already 25, had a good experience with AZ, reached Europa league semi final…Ooijer played his first competition being 32 and having a lot ofexperience with PSV playing in CL etc.

    Now we will travel with 22 years old Feyenoord players, that’s the main problem according to me.

    1. I agree with your post and your assessment of Heitinga and Joris. Joris did what a real man does, his best. He exceeded expectations with a heroic World Cup final where he erased Villa. Heitinga is probably the most worthless player of that group …

  11. So another viewing showed a couple of things:

    * It was a great night for Estonia. These guys won’t ever have to buy their own beer. Their graybeards really showed up for team and country.

    * After a clumsy initial giveaway, Kuyt served at least four graceful flicks into the box; conversely, Sneijder wasted at least four approaches with low-percentage cracks from his favorite power spot.

    * Lens was a drag on the left. It’s a reminder that Robben really only excels on the right when he has someone a Franck Ribery on the left. He can only go to the cut-inside-and-shoot well so often.

    * RvP thrives on crosses, which are a bit rarer with Robben on the right, and even more scarce with Lens on the left.

    * BMI is awfully handy for transitioning from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3.

    1. Problems with players like N.De Jong, Mascherano etc. used as CB is agressivity and space to interfere. The way a defender has to defend isn’t the same as a DM. De Jong is used to need space to tackle and press the opponent player, in the box it’s a different story.

      De Jong hadn’t even have a DM formation, he started to play there quite late, so I doubt a bit about using him as CB.

  12. My view is relatively simple, How badly do players want this game. Estonia players against Holland ? 110%. Dutch Players after Robben’s early goal – 65%. It’s amazing how that issue is often overlooked. There is also nothing a coach can do (unless he fields a B team perhaps). No Dutch player would go home and shout “Yeahhhh we beat Estonia, we beat Estonia….” The reverse would be if they beat Brazil or even Romania away. Therein lies the simple rationale. Who wanted it more ?

  13. I think we have seen and heard enough of the commotions, time and time again we blame this , blame him , blame that,. After the Portugal game everybody were hyped up, strootman this , strootman that and now after the Estonia game Kyut was this , kuyt was that. I mean anyone who plays good or scores, the balance swings in favour of them , what is this are we playing pin pong or what, nobody is trying to remedy the overall solution . Enough time has been centred around the U 21 and It is for sure that players like Maher, Van Ginkle, Classie, fer, need high level competitive exposure with big teams, CL and EL exposure respectively .There is No way they will be ready in 10 months for WC. They at least need another 1-2 years from now before e they can stamp their mark on the international stage . I hope they prove me wrong come around WC. . Belgium, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, China, Portugal, and now Estonia. Van Gaal has used all his options and strategies , but yet here we stands 10 months from WC , baiting our nails and pointing fingers at eac h other.
    The irony is simple Its time for SOS call NOWWWWWWW,Come in. Pieters, Urby, Van der wiel, , Afellay (after injury), Elia, De Jong. I don’t care what others think, but we needs experience and stability in the current squad, that for sure.


    Van der wiel/ Jammant – Bruma – Pieters – Urby

    Deguman -Strootman

    Van persie

    Wijinauldum – Hunterlaar – Robben

    If all the players above player consistently with their respective clubs and should there be no injuries,we are in for our money AT wc 2014.The triumph card in this line up is that Robben , RVP, and Wijinaldum can switch position s when ever they want causing havoc for the defense with huntelaar as the finisher.. We will have experienced backline and good holding mids. End story. Comments please. I am waiting for it.

    1. This picture of strength about Pieters, how did that happen? Can you take me on a tour of how this particular picture has been build? Does it include performance for club as well? How has he done for Stoke so far? Do we want a player in the team that is unable to attack or even play football? Sweden left Pieters free for build up as they had no fear as long as he had the ball. Can’t blame them, though they pushed it too far and finally he was able to reach Hunter with a cross. We did loose that game though. As PSV lost their game from Ajax, in a match to “decide” the Eredivisie championship. A game with a fatal error from friend Pieters. He is also a defender being infected with the walking back disease. Just feinting you defend your man by accompanying him all the way to the back line, putting the arms on the back to prevent hands, looking real pro in the process and then be oke with the cross. Van Rhijn is taking the same route and that’s why van Gaal is dropping him.

      Now I am all for players reinventing themselves. Getting a second chance. However he will have to prove himself in EPL a bit longer I would say. Also putting him in CB, a spot he has not played at for a long time is a risk. Van Gaal will never go for it. He competes for left back and that is it.

      Emanuelson could be an option, but then you have to choose for either him or Pieters. Emanuelson on left back has not been a happy marriage in the Dutch NT. Hungary in the Arena was a big red flag for me as Braafheid vs Germany was. If he does well for Milan though, he as well deserves a new chance in the future. These two carry some experience, but I am far from impressed with their ceiling on that position.

      I also have a problem with the idea that Willems was that much of a weakness against Estonia. Now his strong points (possession and attacking intentions) did not rise to the surface, but the sample size recently where he showed being able to do well in this department is much bigger. He was not run by one time by an Estonian player. The thing with Willems is that I feel that investing in him is worth it. That offering him international games will prove good return.

      RvP on 10 behind Hunter was a disaster against Portugal. Both where pale as I don’t know what. Dutch rescue teams with K9 units where send deep into Ukraine territory that night to go look for Huntelaar who was reported missing right after kick off. He was never found back again. Have you seen Huntelaar against Belgium? His first touches and ball control where more humiliating for me than the complete Euro 2012 exit with 3 defeats. To have such a lumberjack occupying a sacred spot that should be reserved for elegance, grace, silk, unparalleled ball control was too much for me to handle. If this setup is a thing for you, then put at least Lens on top. Not that good on the wings, better as a striker, much better footballer than Huntelaar (though he should not fluff his first touch like he did against Estonia after a Sneijder pass). I am not even sure van Gaal fancies Huntelaar over Lens for the striker position. They are in competition very much.

      BMI and de Vrij did not do well for club some time now. Finally that dripped to the NT. They need to string some strong defensive games for their club to get back in their groove. We have the PSV duo as alternative. Denswil is now even starting to play together with Moisander. He might play some big CL matches. Let’s win the game against Andorra, qualify with the help of a Turkey on fire and look what happens in the next months.


      1. “Also putting him in CB, a spot he has not played at for a long time is a risk.”

        He did play at that spot against Indonesia just few months ago and he was showing how slow he is in the few chances the opponent got. And after that game LVG said that Pieters defender great haha. That’s Van Gaal. By the way DRB, I noticed you don’t complain that much about Van Gaal. Less than me for example. You even use him as reference sometimes to quote or prove something. Don’t you remember the first game Holland vs Estonia, where we both agreed about De Guzman being the best dutch player during first half. Do you remember what said Van Gaal after that game ? He said “De Guzman was not doing good first half”. Lol.

        That being said, I also don’t understand the Pieters propaganda here, he was probably the funniest dutch player last year with his stupid action against Zwolle, his mistake for the title against Ajax…And even one year before when he just returned from his injury, he played the first half of a friendly game against England and was so terrible that Van Marwijk put Schaars as LB for second half…

        + Pieters symbolizes perfectly the dutch defender of that last decade who defends with his eyes more than with his feet. Even less agressive than Van der Wiel against an opponent. I do prefer Willems and Blind for that reason honestly.

        1. That’s not what I meant though.

          With the China/Indo trip I felt van Gaal more or less threw his own rules overboard when he took Pieters. The guy had not played for club being on the bench for 4 games straight after that Ajax game and before that 10 games in a row as a result of a cut. That conflicts with his whole idea that players need to play for club and be super fit in order to be selected.

          From that I conclude that his selection was an encouragement and joker experimentation card. A border line arm around the shoulder of a player accumulating bad luck, pushed by his own stupid behavior or not. For this reason I treat that game/trip differently than other games. Especially since he took Nelom in the plain as well.

          Technically he has played there (in a “gala game” to collect money), but what I meant is that he has not occupied that left back spot with the idea of making it his own (for a while) at club level. Where a semi robust sample size of games under his belt at least gives one the impression he more or less has familiarized himself with the intricacies of the CB spot. A sample size of games that would make you comfortable he would hold that spot let’s say …. on a WC.

          If van Gaal starts to use him in center for the Dutch NT, now he is doing 90 minutes every week at Stoke as left back, I gladly eat my words, but until then I stick with my assumption that van Gaal will not use him in center as long as he is a left back.

          I see that you and especially Ed are his biggest critics. I think you guys make good points, concerning illogical choices he makes, his behavior, but we might step too easily over the results he has achieved so far. People being that sure we will crumble against big country’s need to watch Germany, Italy and Portugal. Yes we could have lost against Germany, but Bert was the one really losing with 3-0 in a friendly before the Euro. We could also have won if de Vrij put van Ginkel through with that possible pass. We are undefeated since Belgium (a game with it’s own degree of experimentation in it). Concerning de Guzman against Estonia at home I am reserved/humble enough to say that it is always possible for a coach to have certain agreements with a player we don’t know off.

          Though the results in qualification were good and Bert brought us to a WC final, he is also responsible for messing up a Euro (biggest fail on an end tourney ever for Oranje?). The Dutch lines where not compact anymore and a coach is responsible for organisation. If people don’t carry out their duties, it’s time to cut. He dropped the ball there. All people posting the FIFA rankings to point out the possibility of Netherlands not being seeded have to realize that the Euro has effected this coming WC as well.

          For me things are not that black and white where Bert did so well and van Gaal does not understand how to coach a national team.

          If van Gaal on the WC does a Bert as on the Euro then obviously he deserves all critique, but I was quite worried we would not qualify at all. At the start I saw us easily becoming second and then meet a France, Croatia or Belgium. We had to refresh drastically (especially in a vital line as defense that is tricky) but nevertheless perform right way. Looked as a daunting task to em and now we are almost qualified if Turkey manages to draw or win.

          Finally I agree. I prefer Willems and Blind above Pieters as well. I was struck by the sentiment Blind did that bad against Portugal. He was not IMO. However I look with interest towards this month. If Pieters makes a good run of games in EPL, Emanulson does the same for Milan, Denswil does for Ajax in Eredivisie and CL, Willems keeps going strong and Blind is able to hold off Boilesen, then we have more options to choose from.


    2. I agree with wilson. We won’t go far with the youth movement next summer. Yes we can beat the likes of Turkey, Romania, Indonesia, China PR, and Andorra but I’m not confident bringing that young group against the top 10 teams of the world. We’d get picked apart.

      I disagree with bringing in van der Wiel however. His defense was a horror show at Euro 2012. His performance against Portugal in particular was embarrassing. Likewise with Willems. Constantly going forward, often in the wrong positions, and his in-game IQ is worrying.

      We need Nigel back in the starting XI as soon as possible. Personally, I like a midfield of Strootman, Nigel and VdV. Raf and Stroot work well together, and Nigel can be that defensive rock we sorely need in midfield.

      Afellay when he returns should be on the squad too (we can use him as a sub for VdV). I just hope he gets loaned out to the Eredivisie where he’ll be able to get some minutes in.

      So my starting XI for Brazil would look like this:

      Stekelenburg (or Vermeer)

      Pieters / BMI / Vlaar / Janmaat

      Strootman / NdJ / van der Vaart

      Robben / RvP / Narsingh

    1. He’s awesome. It’s a treat for us to have him, just to watch him work. The way he varied his attack after that quick first goal was art, variations on a theme.

    2. Great stuff from the Orange Charlie Chaplin– seriously, is it just me or does he always look like he’s in one of those old silent movies? Really a unique athlete, a unique talent.

      His confidence is back, for sure. If he had regular time on the pitch with his Oranje teammates, esp RvP and Sneijder, I think the little bits of magic between them would increase dramatically. That aspect of the Spanish and German NTs is something that just seem impossible for us to replicate (except when players are too young yet to go abroad or are too old to play abroad and come gone to retire).

    1. All guys here who have been watching Ajax would tell you that he was a good player. But his first games with Oranje as LB were awful honestly. I remember a game “Netherlands-Mexico” just before WC 2010, he was playing his spot for the world cup against Braafheid, Van Marwijk started the first half with Braafheid, he was really bad. Then, in second half, replaced him with Anita. Anita did worst than Braafheid, and didn’t go to the world cup.

      Van Marwijk gave him a second chance few months later against Finland, he was also bad. Lost tactically, awful crosses…

      Now he probably had his best time with Ajax as midfielder but never had his chance at that spot with NT. I don’t think he will have it, he can be interesting if he plays next to Nigel though, like he played next to Tioté

      You can a bit compare him to Clasie considering their ” small” physical, their pressing and stamina…But they are different technically, Clasie distribute more the ball than Anita, with long passes etc. Anita is very simple in his passes.

      What I don’t like in him is that he always seems to be stressed with the ball, just the way he is moving his body and hands…Strange and atypical player.

  14. What I don’t get from the solidity fraction on this forum is why they don’t opt for a super solid 11:



    ————–de Jong—————-

    —-van Ginkel——-Strootman——-


    Dat midfield.

    1. Lol , I actually thought about a similar line-up , with seedorf instead of MVG to bring more experience and ironity to the team.
      What’s your opinion about seedorf DRB ? Do you think he can be a good option for Oranje in Brazil ?

      1. Adding seadorf would make it a static team.LVG is not a fan of Duglas and also LVG needs to find some one for kuyt with oout loosing kuyt work rate and and better pentrating skills(May be Depay and Urby)i would give urby a nod coz he is experinced than Depay.

        1. Penetrating skills?

          Did you actually watch the game the other night????
          The ONLY player we possessed who did ANY penetrating at all was Dirk Kuyt.
          Seriously, little man, wash that crap out of your eyes.

          that team is good.
          i like that team.
          but i still wouldn’t play Robben on the right.

          1. i didnt watch game,only highlights and DRB300 clip on Roben.i felt Roben was penetrating and a threat.i have seen many games of kuyt and i never saw dribling past one player and finally give a pass.But i have seen giving him good acurate croses and assits when he is not disturbed or surrounded by a player.ok??Roben did his played role by scoring in 2nd minute and played ok.what was threat from otherside?its ture that kuyt played batter than Lenz and am sure kuyt will play better than Afellay,Elia etc.but still it wont be enough.that is what i am saying.We need to find that hidden talented player.kuyt is a brillinat player and fighter but need something extra to face naymers,Messis,Ronaldos etc ok ??

          2. Yes. It’s best to take a wider viewpoint on the situation.

            I respect his views, but no matter how well DRB sees a game, he is one person with one opinion, and he is not always correct.
            Despite Robben’s early goal, he did absolutely nothing on the right wing. Nothing. As usual. He does not pass well. He has no vision. He runs himself into trouble. He cuts inside. He removes at least 3 other team mates from the game (who then stop making supporting runs after a few minutes of realising they will ever even see the ball). It’s the Arjen show, again. Hou je bek, man.

            I’m sick of idiots making statements based on a couple of seconds of you tube videos. If you cannot watch a full game, do not comment as if you had.

            Players do not (can not) play permanently to the level of their own highlights – it is impossible. There is a reason these are called HIGHLIGHTS.
            And if you look at you tube highlights, Ryan Babel is the single greatest player the world has ever seen.

            Still, Robben’s a wonderful (but selfish) footballer, and he scores goals. We don’t have any better.
            So, I have no real problem with Robben.
            I have no problem with Kuyt. He has shown time and time and time again that he deserves his place in the team, on merit alone.
            If only we had 11 Dirk Kuyts.

            I love how these kids come in here, and want to see other young kids running around in orange shirts, ruling the world.
            That’s NEVER going to happen.
            The 74/78 team had its share of hard men.
            The 88 team was a laughable travesty until they toughened up and matured.
            The 98 team lacked any and all testicles, but they stood for something – an ideal. And they were men.
            The 10 team was accused of being ugly – but my goodness they knew how to control a game of football.

            This team?
            This team is a rolling car wreck waiting to happen.
            No spine, no consistency, no tactics, no leadership, no motivation, no skill, no TEAM WORK, and worst of all no chance.

            It would be really nice if everyone could stop building up these kids to be world beaters.
            They are not.
            They will NEVER be world beaters. Wake up.
            You build these young players into ideals, so that you have more things to complain about when they lose.
            It’s tiresome.

            This place used to be about enjoying football.
            Now it’s an opportunity for a small few to berate and belittle our heroes based on the 30 seconds of you tube clips they almost watched. Embarrassing.
            If you do not watch the ‘game’, you do not have the right to comment on the ‘game’. End of story.

            I happily await the day that Van Gaal is removed from his current position.
            He was fortunate with Ajax, he showed his ‘class’ with his last NT assignment.
            The guy is a joke.
            He is tactically inefficient, stubborn, troublesome, egotistical and prone to rash decisions.
            But most scarily of all:
            He has NO PLAN.
            If only he had a you tube highlights video……..

          3. FYI..I didnt say anything about yesterday match.i was replying to one comment which is not based on last game.ok?ypu better take crap out of your tongue.then comes kuyo comment everyone here knows kuyt what he is capable of and what he is not capable of.i am sure if it is boxing i would take kuyt over roben at any day.Wcs,EC,sbelongs to very skiilled football players kuyt doesnt belong to that catagory so he has to adjust with that truth and he is doing it brilliantly.offcourse kuyt is more useful than Elia,Afallay etc,but u must understand that his counterparts in other teams are way to superior.

          4. “This team?
            This team is a rolling car wreck waiting to happen.
            No spine, no consistency, no tactics, no leadership, no motivation, no skill, no TEAM WORK, and worst of all no chance.”

            Time for you to find another blog.

    2. Maybe it’s complete heresy to suggest, but I don’t understand what would be do terrible about a 4-4-2 setup, with Robben and van Persie on the front line, with a mix of attack-minded and defensive minded players behind them. The two of them could operate with complete freedom in the front and could wreak havoc on any defense. With outside midfielders, preferably young with strong lungs, providing service, and a CM pair to balance creativity and defense (as in 1 Sneijder/VdV/Maher and 1 deJong/Strootman/van Ginkel, depending on their respective seasons and the opponent we face), it seems that a solid but free-flowing voetbal is possible.

      I’ve always understood the idea of Total Voetbal to be about a blend of players who can switch at any time between offensive and defensive duties, switch sides, switch positions, etc– but it seems that there’s consensus now that this can only happen in a 4-3-3. I don’t see it, nor do I see the 4-3-3 as the right setup for our current roster.

      1. >>Maybe it’s complete heresy to suggest, but I don’t understand what would be do terrible about a 4-4-2 setup

        well, we need to keep the tradition of shouting “aanvallen” and returning home empty handed and disappointed 🙂 🙂

  15. LVG has enough time to work on the team’s mentality.

    There has been little stability with our players, some with injuries, others lowered their level or moved to a new club and are having it difficult to adapt.

    That’s why LVG has had to call so many players and I believe that’s good for the future because after the WC the new coach will have many capped players.

  16. By the by
    schaars is a reliable left back .if given chances
    LVG can fix the team with
    ————-De Jong——————
    —-Van ginkel———strootman——-
    —————Seim Dejong—————–

    1. Reikik + Bruma is better than BMI + Devrij,look at feynoord defence and PSv defense.Adding Nijel with Bruma and Reikik would give the defense more strehgth and grit.By putitng Janmaat and BMi on wings will make things more stronger.i have been watching the defenders so closly and i am sure Reikik is less error prone than BMI and Bruma is better than De vrij against quality teams.i am sure Dries martens wouldnt have scored aginst us if it was Bruma.he would hace kicked his ass.
      The runners Vanginkel+stroot+urby will give you stamina,skill,workrate and enough footballing intelligence and they are team players.So persie and roben can do what ever they want.

  17. my problem with the current oranje squad is that the younger players are far less talented than robben’s generation. at van ginkel’s age robben was one of chelsea’s key players. the biggest talent,adam maher is playing in a very average club and if he was as talented as some people think barca,madrid,manu etc. would tried to sign him. this is a bad sign for the future,after 2014,2016. i cannot see any future robbe, van persie,wesley sneijder. the best dutch talents are benchwarmers at big clubs or starters in average epl teams. this is really a bad sign for the future.
    the central defenders are from the mickey mouse league,you can replace the feyenoord men with the psv men,the result will be the same. lvg should select as few player from de eeredivisie as possible. the defence wouldn’t be topclass with urby,pieters,etc.,but better than the eeredivisie-based backline. lot of people say sneijder should be omitted – i completely disagree with them. with a good sneider oranje can reach the semis,without him not. what about robin van persie? he’s almost always the invisible man against average or better opponents. why people don’t want him omit from the squad?
    on the other hand,the result in estonia is nothing special,oranje were less concentrated,these minnows (with stamina and workrate 😀 ) always have one good game against a strong opponernt.

  18. I was watching a video from OnsOranje with vGaal’s comments about the match and I suddenly felt the need to point out that I was quite impressed with de Vrij until his big mistake. Still feel the Bruma – de Vrij substitution could have come at half time. Looking back at the 2nd Estonia goal I noticed that it took very long for de Vrij to turn around and close the gap with that Estonian goalscorer, he was actually looking and running in the wrong direction after turning back for a moment, towards his own defensive zone/area, instead of the Estonian player/the space where the ball would most likely go, but that’s not my way of saying he was the only one at fault for that goal. Other things I noticed concerning that goal:

    – Schaars is slow
    – JanMaat not hungry enough for the ball (and a possible counter, walking away/backwards from the Estionian who gets the ball while no Estonian is threatening the side, this causes de Vrij to have to stay/step out of position too long and get confused later on, he already isn’t that clever or instinctive when opponents start moving around a lot)
    – Vorm can’t decide whether to come out or not, he probably should have stayed on/around his line/keeper box (too far ahead of his goal now, or he just isn’t tall enough).
    – BMI can put a bit more oomph in it when he tries to block a shot, now it’s like, whatever, I’m too late anyway, who fucked up (/how did this happen again)?

    In terms of offense, when Lens is playing with his rightfoot on the left, Sneijder should be thinking about that (in relation to where the goal is and the difficulty for Lens when he’s forced towards the cornerflag, if Lens doesn’t get it/see it, Sneijder needs to motion him over if the path to goal is open) instead of whether he will be good enough or not (don’t know if his mind is on that, but I’m guessing it did have some influence, a distraction from a sudden switch to a rightfooted player on the left, who also needs a bit of on-the-field coaching/communication probably if he’s going to play on the left thinking of Lens). But this is all a bit of a guess, offensively it looked good the first 20 minutes.

  19. Oh, and I forgot Lens, who doesn’t feel like defending and just walks away without realizing the danger (or caring about it).

    So you can either say a lot of people were at fault for that 2nd goal (someone said something about Willems? It was BMI with that pass that was intercepted, but I can’t blame him for that since he was just trying to make the best out of a tricky clearance under heavy pressure, possibly a foul), or you can just say it was a good goal, tactically well executed (including the pressure required for the interception and getting away with a foul, allthough that last part is not really an accomplishment of course).

  20. I think I also missed something, is Krul injured?

    I think for the WC I would prefer Stekel of Krul over Vermeer (this is a correction of an earlier list where I rated Vermeer above these 2).

    Vorm is not a real option for me (unless as backup to these 3). Zoet is even further away.

  21. Robben is suspended for andorra match, who will play wingers? LvG has to stick with again lens? Kuyt? So expect RVP to have poor service and need to score from individual effort. Lucky that andorra is probably the weakest of the group. I hope playing time for maher, de guzman and strootman.

  22. a possible 4-3-3 for the WC (when I’m using a slash it would depend on form and playing time)

    ***VDV/Maher/N.de Jong***Sneijder***Strootman

    I know Hunter on the right is not an ideal position for him, but if Hunting season is open at the end of this season, and since he’s rightfooted as well as a threat to defenders (more so than Lens, Kuyt or Schaken) it may pay off. Not to mention that Robben and Sneijder will have a tall target (and good header) at the far post if they’re going to put in crosses. I know this was a failure at Milan (and even a few games at Madrid I think) but my intuition tells me that it will be different for us (and the type of players we have as well as the tactics that we’re using and the situations Sneijder and Robben find themselves in with those tactics and the usual response or tactics of our opponents). Besides, Lens just isn’t good enough right now and I’m beginning to worry if he’s the best choice for the WC (not that Schaken is any better). It also won’t cause vPersie to get stuck on the side (and I won’t have to argue against those whose minds are set on vPersie only being a possibility for the CF position, while I still list him as nr.10 1st, CF 2nd, winger 3rd.). Most of all, I still want to fit the fabulous 5 in a starting line up (cause the fab4 were mentioned again, I still feel it always was a fab5 at least) as such (and I’ll include their favorite foot to show how they can swap running lanes and cross or dribble, you can imagine the possible plays and types of crosses perhaps the way I do):


    Ok some examples, Strootman and Robben (mostly Robben) provide backline threat, this provides Sneijder more space to get diagonally behind them for his typical crosses and shots, something that is seen coming by defenders from miles away when Lens or any other righfooter is playing there, all those crosses (both from Robben and Sneijder, perhaps even Strootman) are probably nicer for Hunter than vPersie, but they can work it out together, both providing goal threat. VDV will have good linkups with Sneijder and it’s easier for him to give a throughball for Hunter with his leftfoot (just imagine the line coming from a rightfoot, you want a somewhat straight line for those that doesn’t give too much ball-line to defenders, best achieved from that position with a dribble+leftfoot á la Robben). Hunter with his rightfoot won’t run out of space as he gets closer to the backline (/cornerflag) and can cross from there.

  23. @LVG even id roben and BMI cannt play
    ————–Ricky wolf————
    End of the story u will win it against andora..

  24. I watched 6 minutes of highlights and Robben features in EVERY play shown. RVP hardly touches the ball. Robben is fit and in form but until the NT learns how to service RVP in the way that he gets service in the EPL, we will have troubles.

    1. exactly,this is what lvg must figure out. he has one of the best if not the strikers in the world and it’s crazy how oranje don’t profit from rvp’s talent,how to finetune his skills with robban,sneijder and the rest of the team.

  25. 30 mins we’re still holding up pretty well at 0-0. If we can hold on to this tie and Turkey wins we will be through and on the way to the finals. Fingers crossed.

Start a Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.