Oranje is back on the pitch!!

After a first weekend of Eredivisie football and weeks and weeks of cycling, swimming, running, throwing, fighting and what not, the Dutch top football players are back together under their new coach Louis van Gaal.

Ajax dropped a point against AZ and is facing huge financial deficits (hence their attempts to sell off Anita (Newcastle?), Van der Wiel (Arsenal?) and Janssen (Vitesse?)) and PSV lost against RKC this weekend but the cream of the crop will have different things to think off as off today.

The main topic: to show a brave face to the fans and media and to make a good first impression on the new coach.

Not that they don’t know him well already. The key players have dealt with him before. Like Arjen Robben, at Bayern: “I worked with him for almost two years at Bayern and he’s by far one of the best coaches I ever worked with. He always focuses on attractive football, which I like and he focuses on team discipline too. We will need this a bit. Although we should be able to bring that ourselves too…”

And about the Euros. “It was a disaster. Starting over can be fine, but if you have to do it for this reason, it’s not that great. But, sometimes things happen in a tournament that totally deflates the team. I won’t go into it publicly, but we will talk about it amongst the group, I’m sure.”

Louis van Gaal confirmed he will talk about the past Euros with the group. “I heard what I heard from the KNVB staff, I have witnessed things myself. Now I want to hear it from the boys. But I won’t allow this story to go beyond Day 1. We talk about it, deal with it, and that’s it. Then we focus on the here and now.”

Sneijder already told the media that according to him the changes in the hierarchy made it harder at the Euros. “We had players on the bench that were very important with their clubs. That wasn’t dealt with properly. Not by the coach and not by the players themselves.”

Robin van Persie was back in talking mode again, although he did answer most questions with the annoying “no comment” or “I don’t want to go into this” or “I prefer to discuss this within the group”.

Against Belgium, this Wednesday, the new plans of LVG will be made clear. Will he play with one holding midfielder or two? Will he use some of the youngsters ( De Vrij, Viergever, Maher, Narsingh, Van Rhijn?).

Kevin Strootman, one of the holding mids in the squad, left the camp by the way. He took an injury with him from the RKC match and decided to let this one go by.

Rafael van der Vaart will have had a special feeling when he shook Van Gaal’s hand again. The team manager was the one who gave Van der Vaart his debut in Oranje, and will most likely be the one to allow Raf his 100rd international game.

Van der Vaart: “As if it was meant to be. I think that’s pretty special.”

The 18 year old Van der Vaart made his debut against Andorra, in October 2001. Adam Maher, his current team mate at Oranje, was 8 years old when that happened. Three Euros and two World Cups later, the 29 year old Spurs player is a veteran, but still has a whole life ahead of him. And carries lots of experiences. “High point and low points,” as he said, “like the last Euros.”

“Of course there were agitations within the group. That is normal when the performance isn’t there. I was highly surprised to hear my name mentioned as one of the bad eggs. People who know me, know that I will never be the negative factor. I said on one occasion that I had difficulty with my role as bench warmer. Isn’t that a normal thing to say? I never said I wouldn’t. I have always given my all.”

And… “I expect to have a good group talk before Belgium and I also think Van Gaal will put his plans forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if he switches to a system with one holding mid.”

Van Gaal expressed his concern about Van der Vaart and Van Persie, as they haven’t played too many games as yet ( Van der Vaart copped a slight injury in the US trip of Spurs). “Oh, I’m fit alright. I can play and I expect to get some playing time.”

Raf is looking forward to joining the club of 100. Only Van der Sar ( 130), Frank de Boer ( 112), Gio van Bronckhorst ( 106) and Phillip Cocu (101) wore the jersey more often. Van der Vaart will be given a watch with inscription and a silver plate with all his international games engraved. The UEFA will offer Van der Vaart a medal for the honour. This is a fairly new activity for the European federation.

Van der Vaart, with a broad smile: “Of course it means a lot to you. It does. I do look forward and believe I will have 4 more years in me. If I remain fit… Why not? If we qualify for tournaments I might add another 20 games to my tally. I do believe Sar will be unreachable, haha… When I played one game, I looked forward to 10. When I had my 10th I dreamed about playing 50. And before you know it, the 100 looms. Once that one is in the bag, I will start texting Phillip and Gio, hahaha…”

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  1. Can’t wait for this friendly game,

    Just some guesses on what formations louis van gaal might use based on history. In no way is this my formation but just a guess and some notes, i put willems in there because people seem to be high on him and dedicated to him. But personally i don’t like willems, would prefer pieters or viergever

    3-4-3 1995 ajax style (least likely)

    ————Van Persie——————–
    —————Sneijder (litemanen role)——
    —————–N. De Jong—————
    —–Willems———————Van Rhijn—

    Then i think most likely bayern munich style 4-2-3-1

    ——————Van Persie—————–
    ——–N. De Jong—————————
    Willems——————————Van rhijn
    ———De Vrij———–Heitinga————–

    Hoping for a 4-3-3

    —————-Van Persie———————-
    —————–N. de Jong———————-
    Martins indi—————————-Van rhijn—
    ————-De Vrij——–Heitinga————–

  2. I think this game against Belgium will be a tough one. Belgium always hit the highest gear against us and that is for a friendly probably too much to overcome for Dutch NT. A friendly does not have the ability to mentally charge players, if there is not something about the opponent that is annoying you, or something to really gain from beating them. Belgium likes to compare itself with Netherlands often (it’s far less the other way around). That creates a mindset to prove yourself to the other. A friendly where I thought the Dutch players on their turn tried to prove something, was against England under Capello when it became 2-2 in a friendly. That had to do with many Dutch player playing in EPL or even some players wanting to make a transfer. Add to this that Belgium had to watch their team not go to a tournament for 10 years now (2002 last time they were around)and their players are attracted by big clubs (Chelsea is slowly becoming a save haven for them) and one can see why the ten thousands of tickets for the game were sold in a record tempo. Belgium feels that their time has come and what better to underline this, then to beat their more successful northern neighbors.

    However there are 2 things that could make us see a fighting Dutch side to some degree. All new players will have to prove themselves to van Gaal. Everybody gets a new chance. Also some players with pride will feel that they have to redeem themselves from the humiliating exit at the Euro’s. This could benefit the game as long as the players have not been made insecure by van Gaal in these preparation days. The biggest problem out there with van Gaal as head coach, is that players with ego rapidly start to resist him. Often that is a result of being made afraid by him to mess up a pass or something like that (van Gaal is very wary for turnover situations) and he starts to shout at them and set them straight as school kids in front of the group. This then turns into hate towards him. The fact van Gaal used the same patronizing tone on the press conference towards his employer, staff, journalists and the Dutch public, tells me he has changed nothing and that this problem will rapidly rise again with the players. Starting in 3, 2, 1 … .

    I am curious what system he is going to play. I hope we go back to an attacking 4-3-3. De Jong as only DM and Sneijder and Afellay in front of him. Afellay and RVP have a good click so RVP in striker position. Robben left wing (not right wing) and Narsingh right wing. For once I would like to have a system where the striker functions well in Dutch NT and some crosses are delivered. In defense I would try to learn something. In friendly’s the second half becomes sloppy and uninteresting as a result of many subs. So line up a whole new defense and look at who stays floating and who starts drowning. Krul in goal (Stek apart from Portugal game was bad at Euro’s) and from right to left, van Rhijn, de Vrij, BMI and Willems. Viergever for BMI is fine as well. I don’t care. I only think that de Vrij and BMI have a better understanding probably as they play at the same club next to each other at the moment. That and it gives me sweet memory’s of the years we had Frank de Boer with Jaap Stam at the back. Not saying they are of the same quality, but the idea is somewhat the same. One man handling guy (BMI) and one guy who is more of a footballer. SO:


    van Rhijn———de Vrij———–BMI————-Willems

    ————————–De Jong————————-




    The new captain for me would be Sneijder. However I have always experienced this discussion as overrated. It has become more part of the discourse I think since EPL football has risen. In England they value bravery very much. From that it is very important who gets the armband as he has to exemplify the value. I always feel Dutch kids are taught to trust on their technical ability and develop their own decision making. Knowing your task in the field and try to find the football solution all the time, creating a flowing game. That is what Dutch people value more IMO and from that paradigm the captaincy becomes less important. When thinking on your own tops your priority list having grand debates about a captain (and the central role he plays) even looks pretty silly.

    I think a draw is maximum what we could reach. More important however is the game itself. I like to see some good dynamic football again after van Marwijk’s reactive football years.


  3. i would get pissed of if i see persie as striker..Persie is not a good striker in orange…the real striker for orange is luc castaginos not luuk dejong,dost or ricky wolf..its a fact..i hope castaginos step up soon..Orange and LVG must search for other players for Afaleey,kuyt,Joris,Van derweil

    1. Tiju, cheers buddy! long time..
      I would actualy rather see RvP on the bench than playing center striker again.. but what about Huntelaar???
      How is Afelaay on your scratch list? Did you see his goal on the weekend?

    2. @Tiju,
      Luc Castaginos? He’s too inexperienced. He has a lot of potential but he has to prove his value before he can take over a starting role. He had 6 appearances for Inter Milan. If he was indeed something very special, he would have definitely had his chance. Let’s see how he does this year.

  4. just checked on Wikipedia. current skipper is Van Der Vaart, then Kuyt, then Sneijder. but let’s just see. you know, back then on WC2010, vdV was a vice skipper. after that (Gio retired), Van Marwijk overlooked him and give the armband to Van Bommel instead. so I can’t say that vdV will directly claim the captaincy now…

  5. Can’t wait for the game… would love to see Van Rhijn start as an Ajax fan I’ve seen a bit and what I’ve seen I like, I think his quite mature for his age.

    Just a thought and a slightly crazy one maybe, but maybe give v.Persie the armband, worked wonders at Arsenal…

    Guidetti might be returning to Feyenoord on loan…


  6. I’m excited for the game. I hope the players are excited as well, we’ll need them to perform better and somehow I feel this might be the team to do it – win another major trophy.

  7. I want to see 4-3-3, for keeper/defenders.. who knows at this point, I am reserving my opinion until further in the season… hopefully LvG gives some new guys a try.

    mostly I want to see this at least once:
    Afelaay – Dejong – Sneijder
    RvP – Hunterlaar – Robben


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  9. Looks like this is the line-up for tomorrow:


    Van Rhijn — Heitinga — Mathijsen — Willems

    N.De Jong

    Sneijder Van Der Vaart

    Narsingh Robben

    Mertens plays for Belgium at the left wing usually and Van Rhijn completely stopped him in two games he played against PSV,so I guess that is why he will play from the beginning.
    The rest is…Well,almost as usual,but the word is that the new new players will get their debut.
    I like how Robben is on the left wing,and Narsingh is used on the right because of his crosses for Huntelaar,like some of you suggested here even before the Euros.:)

    1. Somebody poke me in the eye please, Heitinga — Mathijsen? how does this fit with the spirit of change we are all hoping for…..
      This is like saying Van Bommel was the only source of all the dutch problems, when he wasn’t. Please Van Gaal, don’t disappoint, I like Mathijsen more than I like Heitinga but please if we are afraid of changes and taking risks then we will go nowhere.
      This is the psychological impediment that VG has, cause his failed once so his playing it safe.

      1. Truly looking forward to today’s match. If this lineup is accurate — and LVG starts Narsingh right and Robben left, with both Sneijder and VDV — we have the potential for a beautiful Dutch attack.

        It would have been rash to clean out the back four wholesale. We’ll see how LVG subs through: Defensive shape takes discipline, and familiarity. Stam and de Boer played like psychic twins sometimes; that takes time.

        Hoping for lots of crosses today from Narsingh and Robben for the Hunter!

        And very glad today marks a new beginning.

        Hup, Holland! 🙂

  10. Source from Onsoranje where it seems very clear Van Gaal will use a 4-3-3 formation and tomorrow will test almost all the new players. He says he had an open conversation with all the players that went to Euro12 and that it was hard at times but they are eager to put the crap behind to start a new era.

    That even the press where shocked by those revelations. Good Job LVG and players. And it seems Van Persie will have to show his value because Van Gaal prefers the Hunter although that can change. Robben will play on the left. Tomorrow is a game to test new things, I hope they can win too but when it matters is against Turkey.

    Any of you know of a live streaming page? Tnhx.

  11. Robben on the left; starts for Willems, Van Rhijn (who looked quite competent at CB for Ajax on Sunday against AZ) and Narsingh; trying out 4-3-3 again…Not saying it will all work out, but it is good to try out.

  12. We have all admitted that our weakest link lies in defense, hell the whole world knows that. Bringing a new army of back fours or at least trying new guys is the best possible option to wipe out the stigma towards our team.
    Bringing the unpredictable factor is important at this stage. What if it doesn’t work? who cares its a friendly. At least you tried out something and knows it doesn’t/didn’t work. I don’t want to single out Wirl-Heit-Math-Wils for all the bad apples, but boy o boy Euro was a very bad taste in the mouth (defensively)

  13. i would like to see huntelaar as a striker and van persie on the right wing. no heitinga,no matthijsen (with these guys there is no build-up from the back and they are error-prone, and in this kind of (friendly) games lvg should test new players. and i don’t want to see robben in oranje (only as an impact player for the last 25-30 minutes in important games). he’s pretentious (oranje don’t need his big ego),he hasn’t done anything in the last 2 years and he won’t evolve anymore. affelay can do better on the left wing. one holding midfielder is enough,oranje don’t need two,and back to the 433.

  14. Interesting choice as vice Captain – Kuyt!! vGaal said Kuyt is the perfect example to every footballer in Holland. Choosing him as v Captain was logical. Also vG will make a lot of changes after 45m. Stefan de Vrij, Nick Viergever & Bruno Martins Indi will replace CBs & Willems and Maher will replace vdV even Dost could get a run.

  15. Does anybody here watch Ajax AZ last Sunday?

    It was very exciting game.

    I really like Van Rhijn playing as Left CB, even he is right footer. On the other way, I didn´t liked Viergiver very much. He is still a little insecure in defence.

    If I were LvG I should try Van Rhijn beside Heitinga and De Vrij as right back.

    Like tomorrow will be a friendly game, I am sure LvG will make some changes and he will try with Viergiver. Let’s see.

    Also I really like Anita. I have been a big Anita fan since two years. I know here there is much people that doesn´t like him, or think he haven´t enough potential to play in orange, but I am not agree. I think he is excellent player and he should play. In fact, I prefer him over Nigel.

    Lukoki showed interesting thinks. I think he can become a great winger in the coming years. Without a doubt he has more potential than Ozbiliz and Ebecilio.

    The big question is: If BVM uses two holding midfields because our defence is week, what we can expect playing with just one holding midfield and the same defenders (Heitinga, Mathinsen)?

    I think LvG will try new things on defence.

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    i am not really looking forward to the game tomorrow.. still disappointed!

    i do like that sneijder is captain!

  17. wow,
    that line up make me worry, this is the same two slow CBs with one holding, looks like vgaal want to push forward, score more than opponent, and dont’care about the defence.

  18. That line up looks fine if you get rid of the 2 CB’s, please, they were woefull in the Euro’s and especially Heitinga, he always makes mistakes at crucial moments i think it could be mental with him!

  19. LVG said that Viergiver and De Vrij will play on the second half by Mathinsen and Heitinga. Also Maher will sub VdV.

    Lets trust in LVG. He will try new things..new players and new formation

  20. I’m with Gio. This is the time to test younger players perhaps in 2nd half. If we make mistake in the qualification then yes, someone please poke me in the eyes again. I pray that Mathijsen and Heitinga can get us qualified although I am not sure if they are still good enough for the WC.

  21. Kuyt is vice captain? This team needs to move forward. It good to have him in the team. He has great attitude and work rate and would help a lot in training and the locker room but his involvement in games should be limited at this point as a role player.

    What’s going on with the selection of Heitinga and Mathijsen? These two were the MAIN reasons why we failed at the Euros! Yes, we had other issues with on the field creativity, team chemistry, player selections, formations and internal disputes. At the end of the day, an inferior defense couldn’t give the rest of the team confidence and a fighting chance.

    This is the chance or this team to move past a generation of failed defense and defenders. Ever since the retirement of Frank de Boer, Stam etc…we have failed to replace them. It’s time to bring new defenders and start a new generation of capable defenders.

    1. Hard to say Heitinga and Mathijsen were the “MAIN reasons.”

      How many goals did we score? 😉

      Besides: Sweeping out the whole back four at once just doesn’t make sense.

      We all miss Jaap and Frank.

      1. @goldstone
        My point is that bad defense led to most of the problems we had. I’m not saying it was the only problem. I listed our other problems also. However, if I had to rank all our problems, defensive liability would top my list.

        We were forced to play with two holding midfielders because they couldn’t get their act together in defense.

        We could have added another midfielder who would have helped link the defense to the offense. If you remember, that was one of our main problems in the Euros in terms of chemistry and creativity.

        1. Mathijsen played more than any other Dutchman in 2010 qualification. Heitinga played every match at the WC.

          They’re our experience. We have no Gio, no Jaap or Frank.

          The youngsters have to be worked in. We can’t throw the baby out with the bath. At least not quite yet. 😉

          1. If the team didn’t crash out as they did at the euros you might have a valid argument regarding experience. You might also say that the team as a whole failed, yes I agree with you but its almost crazy to change the whole 23 players, suicidal.
            So we are left with focusing on what was the worst out of the bad, if I’m not mistaken it was the defense. Again, I’m not pointing out at them two as the main culprits, but refreshing the defense line is a necessity, I think.
            Look, I’m fine with them being in the squad. But it would have been better to play two new players in the first half then Heit-Math in the second. A statement of intent

  22. Looking at the midfield: Sneijder, NDJ and VDV better dominate that midfield area. Both Sneijder and VDV are not that great on the defensive side of things. When you have a defense that is still built on the unreliable pairing of Heitinga and Mathijsen, they are going to have a tough time.
    Clasie should have been selected. He would have at least added some defensive cover for the back four.

    Maybe it works against Belgium today. IDK, but it’s not a formation that will hold up against the elite teams.

  23. “I had the conversation with RvP and it was unbelievable. A great and high level, not only at a human side but also in the football vision. It was one of the best meetings I’ve had with an individual player.” – Van Gaal

  24. @Eduardo, yes; I saw the AZ-Ajax match. Terrific game; agree with you on Van Rhijn. Van Gaal was in the stands, and it is easy to see why he would like to see Van Rhijn play at the expense of VDW. While VDW scored a cracker of a goal, his defending was just not good. Van Rhijn on the other hand looked good. Also agree with you on Anita, he plays the whole field with speed and energy. (Does anyone know whether he is def. for Newcastle)

    We’ll see how today goes, but Sneijder and VDV in the mid? NDJ will get his work in covering for those those guys.

    Saw a snippet of a Van Gaal interview. My take was that he has a long range plan, but he has the immediate issue of Turkey and Hungary, and he may rely a little bit more on the old guard to get results in those early games.

  25. The general feeling is that we need to better our defense but the reality is that our attack is just names, names and names.

    I don’t care if our players are the big stars for their clubs if they don’t deliver for the national team. Something must be done because the opportunities were there to score in the last EC but it simply looked impossible for them to score!!!.

  26. We are getting completely dominated possession wise as well as creating chances!!!

    Defense completely failed again. Matijsen completely missed his tackle. Willems could reach the ball and Steks fell the wrong way!!!

  27. Problem again is De Jong , Mathijsen and Heitinga are too slow on the ball. Build-up is ridiculous.
    And defensively those 3 were also definitely below par.

  28. I hope LVG tears into these players. Nothing has impressed me so far. Mathijsen looked tired after the first 5 minutes. Defense looks terrible.

    Something needs to change if they want anything from this game

  29. This is actually very promising. We are working our way back to Dutch Football. But LvG is making some very amateur mistakes. If we are to play a free flowing 4-3-3 we can’t have an “out-n-out” finisher like Huntelaar who just stays static until the 18 yard box. We need a more involved striker like v.Persie or L. De Jong.

    Next we can’t have VdV & Sneijder in midfield. Both want to do the same thing but on different sides of the pitch; attack/get forward. We need either Clasie or Strootman to replace VdV.

    Nigel De Jong & Mathijsen NEED TO GO! NDJ has absolutely no use on a football pitch. He can’t pass, he can’t shoot, he can only make dirty tackles. We need Leroy Fer or Strootman at DMF. Both can pass, shoot, tackle and have good positioning. Mathijsen is just old.

    Bring on De Vrij & Martins Indi! v. Rhijn & Willems look good.

  30. what is there to say, i’m seeing positives, but first let me get this out the way

    Holland should never wear black ever again, that color is negative all over it

    second, Mathijsen thank you for your service, at the world cup you were really are best most underrated player, but you’ve done everything there is to do, enjoy your club football and we’ll see you as a next possible coach

    third, Heitinga get your shit together you don’t belong on the pitch

    Willems you got the offense, but come on, you need to improve a lot

    Narsingh needs a better cross and track back

  31. I want to see…

    v. Rhijn – De Vrij – Martins Indi – Willems
    Clasie – Strootman – Sneijder
    Narsingh – v.Persie – Robben

  32. I agree on Heitinga, Mathijsen and De Jong. Even though lacking defensive skills, my greatest concern is they do not direct play from defense in anyway. In such way all the opposition has to do to defend is man mark sneijder and van der vaart. I liked Robben and Willems on the left side. Still we must admit their gol was quite lucky, since hazard’s (?) shot wasn’t much of a threat until becoming a pass after hitting our defender. We had more chances than them overall. I’d like to see Maher and two new center backs in the second half.

  33. RamyE
    “Problem again is De Jong , Mathijsen and Heitinga are too slow on the ball. Build-up is ridiculous.
    And defensively those 3 were also definitely below par.”

    Exactly! All 3 need to go. With Bruma in for Heitinga.

  34. Oranje effort after conceding the goal was better. Created some chances but not enough to seriously bother the Belgian goalie.

    Really do not want to see Mathijsen ever again! Both Heitinga and Mathijsen should not start the 2nd half.

    Sneijder seems withdrawn and not involved as much.

    VDV looks active.

    Hunter hasn’t been getting as much service as he needs. Had one good shot on goal on a nice pass from Narsingh.

    Robben looks very active. Playing on the left and drifting into the middle to join the attack. He should definitely stay on the left side.

    Good debut from Van Rijhn. Very good competition for VDW.

    Willems had a mixed performance.

  35. DeVrij and Martins Indi should come in! As they both play for Feyenoord, they have familiarity with each other an know each others strengths an weaknesses.

    Yes! DeVrij, Martins, Viergiver are in the game just as I’m typing this!

  36. What a pass from Martins Indi!!!
    This guy is an absolute starter! 10 mins in the game and he already got like 20 touches. Passing is excellent and looks so confident and calm

  37. Martins Indi! I’ve been begging for him to be called up. I think Erik Pieters has a hill to climb to make the starting line-up.

    All LvG needs to do is take out NDJ. Then the buildup will be a lot quicker as Martins Indi has shown. Hunter again proves his worth

  38. Do we need any more proof that NDJ doesn’t belong in Oranje?!?!?! Useless player unless you need someone to break legs.

    I hope this is his last game for Nederland

  39. I keep saying this… N de Jong is poor with the ball. That error just higlighted this. Also as a defensive midfielder I don’t see him dominating this sort of end to end game. Actually he’s looked out of place all day.

  40. the new defense is absolutely useless. Viergever is slower than Vlaar…. Bad choice LVG.

    Unfortunately, Heitinga/Mathijsen/Vlaar are 2-3 levels better (or less worse) than De Vrij/Viergever… Absolutely terrible positioning..

  41. To be honest this has taken the same ryhtm as other recent Holland Belgium games. Remember the 5-5?! It’s great to see the youngster finally get a chance. Obviously they need to learn defensively but going forward they have been ok. The main thing is for me that Louis sticks with this you groupd. For example we have see the limits of Heitinga nad Mathjissen and we are yet to see the limits og de Vrij, Viegever and co. We need to per one of de Vrij and Viegever with a more dominanting CB and also we need de Jong or whoever fills that position to be competent on the ball and more importanyly start dominating games.

  42. As for the defending well so guys, it’s just as bad as Euro 2012 but at least these youngsters can say “well it’s the first time we’ve played together” unlike that of the Euro 2012 defensive unit who had 40+ games together!!!

        1. agreed. Belgium had a 10 min collapse, but other than that we didn’t do much.

          Maher and Lens should not play. But then if you don’t put them in, everyone will say “mm why are we still playing with the same old?”

          Here is why we are still playing with the same old. Cause Mathijsen and De Jong made one mistake each but the new ones were making one mistake per minute 🙂

          1. I agree on Lens, not on Maher! Sneijder was way below par today, is that a performance to give after being assigned the captain’s arm-band? Maher actually was better in my opinion than sneijder, had also a very nice shot on goal. Truth is Van Der Vaart was much better than sneijder in the first half and should have stayed on the pitch.

  43. I was afraid but also expecting we would lose to Belgians by more than a goal. Its scary how much young talented players they have. They could be the next big thing in football.
    We lost because they had a much better defence.
    That was the only difference.

  44. ultimately defending is done as a team. Maher was invisible in midfield and de jong very poor, put strootman in with sneijder and another and there would be better protection for the back four. lens was poor not international quality and when holland go behind they may as well loose one robben or sneijder because they start trying to do it all on his own. not a terrible game for the alternate back four that played the second half but perhaps a mix of old and new is needed there, and if we are playing 4-3-3 then we need a workhorse, a box to box midfielder and a playmaker. strootman, fer and sneijder next time please…

  45. So there’s a bit to learn for the youngsters but I think they have the attributes to overcome this defeat and Louis will deploy them again to give them confidence. Young players are always prone to this type of defeat and in a friendly it matters not. I’d rather watch the youngsters loose this way knowing that they’ll learn rather than watching the old guard loose this way knowing that they have nothing more to offer.

  46. Not too optimistic about this whole thing. The game seemed like a continuation of EK2012 with some new faces.

    1. The lines were closer until mid second half, that’s a good thing but we were not that great.

    2. The new players in the defense are simply not Oranje material at the moment. I hope they improve. But if we play them in the WK2014 qualifiers, we will not make it.

    3. I still think Wes is there some times and not there most of the times. During the first half was Wes playing??

    Crossing fingers for the WK qualification campaign. Didn’t see anything to be that happy about it. Sorry.

  47. honestly, i blame this on jermaine lens, i mean he is static, he didn’t track jan vertoghen, Then maher has to get him, pulls him away, leaves de jong isolated, it’s a dominoe effect of bad play, I can’t blame de vrij at all, and martins indi only had one really really bad pass. I mean this clearly shows to me

    Defense should be Martins indi, De Vrij, someone else (not viergever, not mathijsen) , and van rhijn

    De jong needs to step up and so do heitinga,

    But our front line of robben, huntelaar and Narsingh were sensational

  48. Martins Indi looked like Pique out there. His best passes came from a central position, not out wide. Willem or Pieters should play as LB and Martins Indi as CB. Viergever is not ready. De Vrij displayed promise. v.Rhijn was good.

    I have to take back what I said earlier. The game changed with VdV off. VdV was far more active than Sneijder. Sneijder didn’t make a single incisive pass all day. I think his 2010 form is gone. Taking off Narsingh was the mistake that changed the game.

  49. First game of the hibernation period for Holland went as expected. I am looking forward to 2020 when we will be competitive in world football again.

  50. I didn´t watch the game.

    How played Maher, Viergiver, De Vrij, Indi, Narsingh and Van Rhijn

    If Viergiver is slow, Van Rhijn can play Left CB instead Viergiver as he do it in Ajax, and VdW can play RB.

    Also, as I said before the game, Anita can play instead of De Jong. He is very ggod player. Also LvG can play with Clasie.

    For me, the midfield should be:

    10 5 8
    Sneijder Strootman Clasie
    Vaart Anita Maher


  51. I watched the game very carefully and to be honest, at this point i’m scared for the starting birth of most of these players at their respective clubs. were it not for Roben, it could have easily been 4-0.

  52. I love Huntelaar but he is too static for a 4-3-3. We need a more involved striker in the buildup. Not just a striker waiting for the ball. v.Persie should get a game or 2 and if he still cant score with these changes then its time to let LdJ have a shot.

    There are a few positions that need to be sorted out and LvG needs to figure it out before the next game. Some players did show that they belong in the side…

    Stekelenburg (spectacular performance)
    v.Rhijn – Bruma/De Vrij – Martins Indi – Willems/Pieters
    Clasie/Maher – Strootman – VdV/Sneijder
    Narsingh – Huntelaar/v.Persie/De Jong – Robben

    I think those few uncertain positions is where our weakness is right now. It was just one game but Sneijder just hasn’t looked good for Club or Country since 2010. He may have peaked. VdV looked a lot better.

  53. i know we can win the world cup, I just know it.

    All we are missing is that final pass. We had as many chances to score as belgium. And they have a better defense than us.

    This is gonna be an evolution. We are two or three positions away.

    Seriously Jermaine Lens has no business on Holland and so do Adam Maher no business, Maybe Maher in a few years. but right now, no chance

    Two Central defenders and a defensive midfielder away. Thats all we need, Clasie, Strootman and anita, it’s up for grabs

    1. What was so bad about Maher? I dont get it…
      He is barely 19,and he is probably the biggest talent in Holland right now(reason why he I would call him). We can be happy that he is getting games,experience,because it could be important in the future.

      1. he had to pick up the slack for lens and he couldn’t cover vertoghen,

        and offensively he didn’t do anything special to be included in the starting lineup he’s not ready,

    2. @Onzie
      I like the optimism but honestly, we have a long way to go before we win the World Cup. DEFENSE STILL SUX!!! We can fix the offense all we want but if we leak goals like this, it’ll be back to square one!

  54. I watched the game, and honestly… well it might be premature to make long lasting predicitons but as far as psychological analysis goes, this.. was exactly what we did NOT need.

    This was supposed to be the “clean slate” match and what happened was the continuation of the nightmare. I’m wearing orange jeans and the official 2012/13 shirt with a dutch flag and orange&black Hup Holland Hup on my wall made out of cut-out letters… and.. this is like a crashed wedding right now. wtf.. why.. I hope this won’t be the nightmare of 2002 all over again.. I can’t take it.

    1. I LOL-ed on the “crashed wedding”. 😀 Come on, man! It’s clean slate, experimental tactics. Better find failing tactic sooner rather than later! 🙂

      Although actually I myself feel a little bit frightened that the 2002 horror will happen again…

  55. If I had to guess, RVP didnt play because of his upcoming transfer, nothing strategy related

    don’t want to hurt somethin the day before taking a physical in manchester

  56. A little analysis on the Ups and Downs.

    -Sneijder, not a performance worth of captaincy. He’s out for long parts of each game, bad thing he still has the ability to make a wonderful pass which hides such defect.
    -Heitinga, Mathijsen, De Jong. I put them together because they have in common the fact that none of them is able to create any sort of game flow from defense (and to prove that, Stekelenburg was the keeper who touched most balls with his feet in last Euros and World cup). And I don’t see De jong doing that much of a wall!
    -Second half defending. The problem is Viergver is used to defend with very high pressing in Az, same as Van Rhijn in Ajax. De Vrij and to a lesser extent Martins Indi, have a more defensive attitude. I guess Van Gaal prefers a high pressing defense. In such case Gouweleeuw would be a better partner to De Vrij.
    -Lens is not Oranje material. He has some nice offensive touches and skills, but completely fails to track back (and Psv learned it well.

    -Van Der Vaart, Robben, Stekelenburg. Ok they failed in the Euros, but we should face they are the core of Oranje. I mean, Robben may look predictable in tv when he’s not fit, but still guys, he’s up there with Iniesta, Messi, Ronaldo. Steks is great as long as he doesn’t have to get out of his goal on corners. And Van Der Vaart has possibly more vision and heart than Sneijder.
    -Narsigh, Van Rhijn, Maher getting playing time. These three player are Oranje’s future. Possibly in France 2016 or in 2018 Midfield will be Clasie, Strootman, Maher. Van Rhijn can cement his position, I follow every ajax game, and I guarantee he is much better than van der Wiel, and today he was much too emotional and sub par.

    1. agreed on all your points. and to sum up a little:

      – return the armband to vdV
      – keep an eye on Elia, if he’s hitting top gear again, recall him, replace Lens. OR, Ola John, Boerrigter, etc. Just no Lens. not again. never. ever.
      – either leave Mathijsen or Viergever, then try on Gouweleeuw
      – de Jong… I don’t know, Strootman might do better job than him, yet he’s not convincing enough… yet. Try Clasie.

  57. 1st half looked like a replay of the Denmark game from Euro 2012.

    2nd half was a very fast-paced and free flowing game. Entertaining game even though we lost.

    Steks 7.5/10
    4 goals conceded looks bad on him but he had a string of amazing saves! I fault him for the 1st goal where he guessed the wrong way. 3rd goal the Belgians scored resulted from a rebound which he gave up. Our defenders made a mess of it so he wasn’t solely responsible. He needs to take more charge in positioning his defenders so they don’t get exposed like that.

    Willems 6/10
    still needs a lot of maturation and accuracy in developing his game.

    Mathijsen 3/10
    Rookie mistakes cost us a goal early in the game. No real vision or confidence. Please, please retire!

    Heitinga 5/10
    Same Heitinga we have known for the past so many years. Nothing new to offer.

    Van Rhijn 6.5/10
    Not bad for a debut game. Needs more experience. Has to be solid through out the game if he is to seriously challenge and take over from VDW.

    NDJ 5/10
    Slow at times and made errors. Clasie should be given a chance in the next game ahead of him.

    VDV 6.5/10
    Had good movement and passing. Better performance than some of his recent games for Oranje.

    Sneijder 6/10
    He doesn’t look as good as he used to be in that 2010 season when he led Inter Milan to Champions League glory and Oranje all the way to the WC Final. If his performance continues like this, it confirms the feeling that he’s definitely on the decline. Still is an automatic starter but can’t expect him to be magical through out the game like he used to in the past.

    Narsingh 7.5/10
    Very active on the right side of the field. He needs to pass more accurately and should improve with more games under his belt. Good dribbling skills that’ll pressure opposing left backs a lot.

    Robben 7.5/10
    A much improved and confident looking Robben. Good passes at critical times in the game. Involved in both our goals. Fast counter-attacking runs. Hope he stays healthy and keeps this up.

    Hunter 7/10
    A bit isolated at times. Needs to be more involved in games and his positioning. He has to find spacing to free himself in order to receive passes. Scored an easy tap in goal.


    Lens 4/10
    was totally ineffective! Once Narsingh left, the whole right side of the attack disappeared.

    DeVrij/Viergiver 5/10
    their combination needs a lot of work. Their positioning and concentration lapses were exposed by the Belgians.

    Maher 6/10
    didn’t add much after his introduction. He needs to take advantage of these opportunities. Lot of competition in midfield so his chances may not come very often.

    Martins 7.5/10
    As soon as he came in the game, he was phenomenal. He looked so composed and was making intelligent and accurate passes. His initial passes were responsible in the buildup to both our goals. He slowly disappeared as the Belgians equalized and started on a scoring spree. Oranje team momentum and confidence started to decline. He should play as CB where I think he’ll be more effective as DeVrij and Viergiver seemed to lack tackling and buildup from the back. This guy looks like the most promising at least based on this game!

    LVG 6/10
    Has a lot of work cut out for him. Defense is still a major issue. Unless he fixes that, it will negate any progress the team makes on the offensive side of the game. Needs to get a good assistant coach who can handle the defense.

  58. on a side note, for me the most obvious change to make is put Strootman, (try) Clasie, Anita in place of Nigel De Jong! The first and the latter especially have the ability to grab the ball back and speed up play.

  59. @SamDC

    Very good analysis! Definitely agree with your points. This style fits Van Der Vaart a lot more than it does Sneijder. VdV won’t have large distances to cover so he won’t get tired and it allows him to be creative and involved which is what he needs.

    Martins Indi should start the next match at LCB. He is strong and can build from the back and push forward. Oranje will start to play with a high line. Bruma needs to be called up over Heitinga. Bruma & Bruno could be a great partnership. De Vrij looked alright too and he will get more time with Martins Indi at Feyenoord.

    1. This guy is already our best defender. In the newspaper, Van Gaal described him as a revelation. Now we know why. And only 20 years old. I was optimistic about Willems, but BMI is so good with his vision. Maybe he could play CB and we keep Willems at LB. At this point we just need our best 4 defenders on the field, regardless of position. For now, Mathijsen, BMI, Willems, Van Rhijn. Down the road, maybe De Vrij takes Mathijsens spot, but probably not right away.

      As soon as Strootman heals I think De Jong goes to the bench. NDJ was an error waiting to happen. Just awful.

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