Oranje is back! As is Klaassen!

My friends, I am sorry for the pause in posting… I have had some tech issues on my end and still working on them to get them resolved…

This pause did give me the option to re-think what I am doing and how I am doing it. I got some great feedback from some of you here and I will probably reach out for more.

I want to get these three games out of the way and after these games and maybe during the Xmas break I can reach out to you guys for some input on how we can improve this blog even more (if that is even possible!!).

So expect me to come back to you with some questions, ideas, suggestions etc. And you can start leaving some of that in the comments, if you do have things to share already!

Now, a quick look at the days ahead. Holland playing three games again in what, 9 days? And sadly, we can’t say the friendly vs Spain is “useless” because that result does count towards a good position in the World Cup qualifications. So it does make sense to win even friendlies, these days!

Still it gives coach Frank de Boer some headaches as he believes he can’t play players vs Spain for a full match and use them vs Bosnia. And some other players will not be able to play even two games, this quickly after an intense period of club games.

The latest is that Tonny Vilhena is out, positively tested for Covid-19. He has no symptoms but has to go into quarantine. Frank de Boer will not replace him. Before him, we saw Justin Bijlow already unavailable due to a foot injury and Twente’s Joel Drommel taking his place. Cillesen is out as well of course.

Frank de Boer did say that Bizot (AZ) will be the shot stopper vs Spain, with Tim Krul the #1 goalie for the Nations League matches (Bosnia Herzegovina and Poland) . Frank will not be playing players in the three matches for obvious reasons and will be careful with players who just came back from injuries. Denzel Dumfries for instance, again important for PSV in the domestic league, will probably not start vs Spain but will play in the Nations League matches. Hateboer will be his replacement for the Spain game.

De Boer was also asked about the system he would be using: “The 5-3-2 was a tweak we needed for Italy away. It matched their style and would solve the problem we had in the home game vs Italy. In the coming three matches, we will go back to 4-3-3”.

Davy Klaassen – not very well liked here on the blog I believe- will be making his comeback. He’s been Ajax now for a short while but in the games he did play for Ajax, he impressed. His timing to pop into the box and score goals, his work rate, his leadership are all revered and there is no expert / analyst or former pro who wouldn’t pick Klaassen for the starting line up, now De Roon and Leroy Fer is absent and Davy Propper is also still not 100% fit.

Kevin Strootman used to be the alternative left footed midfielder for Oranje, but De Boer did what his predecessors never did: he called the former Sparta midfielder to tell him he won’t need him. “His situation is not positive at his club. He has hardly played. He needs to change that in order to be important for Oranje again. But he took it really well and told he would do the exact same if he was in my shoes.”

Steven Bergwijn and Mo Ihattaren also had to leave the Oranje camp with little issues but won’t be replaced.

I think it’s quite remarkable that losing two midfielders ( Ihattaren and Vilhena) didn’t prompt De Boer to get a replacement in, but he will know best.

For the Spain match, I think Frank will go with this line up:

I believe Frank’s go-to eleven (for now) will look like:

But I could be terribly wrong :-).

The Spain confrontation will always be special. We beat them the last two times we met and that 1-5 in Brazil will forever be on everyone’s favorite Oranje top 5 list, I’m sure. But the loss in South Africa in 2010 will also always be with us.

Another reason to look out for this match, is that we most likely will see Marco Asensio in Spanish colours. The half Dutch, half Spanish forward is happy to be back in Holland. “I consider this my second homeland. Half my family lives here and I always spend time here, to see my family. Every year I visit and it’s special for me to play against Holland.” The Real Madrid star played all of his youth rep matches in orange and decided to go for Spain when he had to make his choice…

Let me hear your ideal line up below AND the line up for the Spain match…

More later!

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  1. Sinkgraven is not in the squad. Unfortunately he didnt make the cut and as usually his inclusion in the extended squad was just to make the headlines stuff of new faces in the squad. I dont think Van annholt has doing anything that warrants his callup to NT. Especially after recovering from his should injury and making a comback for palace
    just few weeks back. He is

    You can tell FDB has gone with experience regardless of their form and Bergwijn’s inclusion and then being dropped is a good indiction of this.



    Van Annholt-Ake-De Vrij-Veltman-Hateboer


    1. How did Veltman get so much playing time under FDB? It is not like we have no other candidates to consider. What is Veltman’s strength? Defending? Heading? Passing? None.

    1. Klaasen’s been on such good form since his return to Ajax, but on this blog it’s all about the next big thing rather than which player is on form. Everyone would rather see a Holland team with 15/16 year olds than actually professional level players.

      1. Some of you guys are clamming that Klassen is in such of great form. why was he a bench warmer abroad? Only in the Netherland that a player that has been on the bench everywhere he goes then again when he’s back at home, he became a starter and part of the NT. lol
        Only in the Netherland a soccer federation would hire FD. Dutch football is not going anywhere.

        1. He wasn’t a bench warmer abroad. He played everything at Werder and was their captain. He had options to move to other bundesliga clubs, but he’s got a baby now and keen to move back close to family. Like Daley, he loves playing and living in Holland and now Ajax has raised the salary cap he is happy in Amsterdam.

    1. True. First half there was a huge disconnect between defense and midfield. Donny was wildly waving his arms to push the back four up to put pressure on the Spanish forwards who use the space in between.

  2. Wijnaldum
    Frenkie klassen

    In second half van de been can enter the pitch for wiji if we need goal. Also we have gravenberch and ihatteren in minds.
    I don’t understand why malen didn’t participate. He can help us.

  3. The stunning players was Veltman and Hateboer..they were awesome..if anyone disagree i will kill them..
    10/10 for ve;ltman
    10/10 for hateboer..
    Veltman is better than Maldini and stam…
    Hatebper ….oh such great crosses and passes at finbal third…Stunning..Better than Bellarin and Alphonso Davies

  4. Fun game to watch; very open play. Depay missed one he should have put away, and De Jong should have made more from Dumfries’ set up, but Spain will also think they missed some golden opportunities.

    The NT was better in the second half after the changes. Dumfries was excellent (aside from the one bad clearance on an awkward ball), as he gave them physicality, energy, not to mention the two set ups referenced above. Strengs was good. I look forward to both of them, as well as De Vrij, starting in the NL games.

    Wijndal played aggressively and with purpose, looking much more at home than in his previous start. While he crossed for the goal, (and a lovely dummy by Stengs there), he did seem to squander some opportunities after he had gotten into good space. I haven’t seen him play enough to know his general accuracy on crosses. (AZ?) Bizot got better as the night went on; seemed tight early, not the same guy who had been very good in the Europa League matches.

    Frenkie was fine, as usual. But he didn’t really seem to hit the accelerator. I think the days of a pure defensive mf playing next to him must be over; Spain did what other teams have done, and what I expect will be typical going forward; they harassed him even deep in his own half. He needs to have players near him to him who can take advantage of that space.

    In the next two games, I’d hope to see a forward line of Mallen, Stengs and Depay. MF should be some combo of Gini, FDJ, Klassen and Van de Beek. Back line DeVrij and Dumfries on the right. Assuming Ake can’t play, the left side is either Blind as CD with Wijndal at lb, or Botman as lcb, and Blind at lb. I doubt that DeBoer would play Botman and Wijndal together in a competitive match. My guess is that he can get way with Blind in the center against Bosnia; I’d be concerned with him in cd against Lewandoski and Poland.

    1. @Andrew, would love to see the lineup u mentioned, it looks good!
      Hopefully, Veltman, Promes won’t feature. 🙏
      Veltman is a liability I feel..the goal which Spain scored could be avoided if he stepped up to play the offside.
      Promes’s wingplay is not good enough at NT level.

  5. Looking at how Morata was terrorizing the defence, just shows the level difference between him and luuk when both are similar esque players.

    I really dont understand what the selectors see in him and that has also led to weghorst being overlooked all this time.Really it was painful seeing him tumbling when one on one with spain gk.

    The only way things can change going forwad is calling up players who have the cutting edge and can go forward instead of back and lateral passing.this had become a feature of dutch football and again its painful and depressing.

    The one positive thing I liked about FDB was the change he made at HT and especially taking off Frenkie and wijnaldum. I have always said, it shouldn’t be just about one player but combo as an best thrio in the midfield. The midfield did improve when Klaassen came on and with blind moving up but still they looked vunerable on counters. Again the midfield needs more cutting edge and you simply cant relay on those typical right time at the right place goals because that wont happen in every game or during crucial stages. What VDbeek is doing now is exactly what Wijnaldum was doing two years back when he looked in his prime. The thing also to consider here is VDBeeks situation at Man united. He will never be able to bench fernandes and with little game time, there is not much you can expect from him going forward

    As usually just like luuk and his luck goals, VDBeek will continue to get nod and might pop up here and there with goals but overall the story will be same.

    1. I don’t think Morata and Luuk are anything a like. They both play central striker, that is where the comparison stops. Morata moves well, is good in the combination. And is young. Luuk is in his autumn years, is slow, has limited technique and agility. No comparison.

      1. Yeah Luuk is less mercurius,No speed,not much potency..should not have started for NT…At his level best he is a 10 min pinch hitter..Deboer is a NUT to play him 90 min instead of giving chance for Danjuma–Memphis and Malen trio…
        De boer must be sacked..

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