Oranje is happy, fans not so much…

It’s an interesting thing. During all the media outings, Louis van Gaal is super positive about the group, super positive about the work being done and the quality of his players.

He is keen to get good results in the Nations League and is proud of the lead. He is also telling everyone he knows that the group is “fantastic” and he has never worked with a better squad.

“It is about the team. The best team will win the World Cup. Not the best players.”

He even went so far – jokingly – to say that Noa Lang has more chances to win the Ballon D’Or than a certain Kevin DeBruyne. Okay….

During the presser for the Wales game, Van Gaal was fun, light and positive. Cillesen will play, De Ligt will be captain and Vincent Janssen will start.

About Janssen: “I need a target man in the #9 role. I want a player like this in my World Cup squad. Janssen can play like this in a 4-3-3 and if I switch to 4-3-3 I might need that. We will find out how he can play in a 3-4-3. Memphis and Bergwijn are different types of players.”

About the training sessions: “Of course we train on spot kicks. Every World Cup has matches decided by penalties. And we train them and I instructed my players to train them at the club. I have seen some players here, who should not be taking one… Which is a minus on their score card. The ability to take a penalty is part of the job description.”

The World Cup squad: “I want to have the full squad in my head by September. But it will always be with a big “but”. Players can get injured, loose form or other players might suddenly find form. But yes, by September I hope to have a good idea.”

All that positivity will be cancelled out by the response of the fans. Some of them here.

They think Van Gaal is playing the “confidence card” because LVG believes that only a positive mindset and an inflated sense of confidence is needed to lift the mediocre squad.

Some think Van Gaal plays 3-4-3 to accomodate his buddy’s son, Daley. Not realising that LVG has been a fan of the system for years and instructed Danny Blind in 2013 to analyse the way Italy and Juventus played, so he could work on bringing this to the Oranje squad.

Overall, the performances we saw in the first 3 Nations League games were a bit similar to the performances under De Boer at the Euros. Some good games and wins, and then a total off day, which cost us the Euros. Now, we blow Belgium off the pitch (but Belgium didn’t play at more than 65% of their capabilities) and we struggled versus Wales with the B-team (still, we won, but is that really that important?). Against Poland we had a dreadful first half and fighting spirit in the second. Memphis missing that penalty is probably a good thing. If we would have won, everyone would have thought all is well in the state of Denmark. Which it isn’t.

Tonight’s game versus Wales will hopefully end this weird late series of games on a high. I do hope the likes of Lang, Janssen and De Ligt will fire up this team and show us what they can do.

Potential line up:


Teze – De Vrij – De Ligt – Martins Indi – Malacia

Schouten – Koopmeiners


Janssen – Weghorst

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  1. @ Jan,
    You’ve mentioned several times that it is about the team, not about the individual player. I think you are wrong on that one. Off course, soccer is a team sport so therefore you do need the right balance and team chemistry but quality players matters a whole lot. Let’s take for example Milan vs Marseille of the mid 90’s. You have Chris Waddle vs Madini. Imagine you have Chris Waddle VS Blin? Hhahahahaha
    You have Chris Waddle VS Blin (assuming Blin was Maldini) Milan would of lost by at least 7 goals all the time. You see in spite of Maldini’s great skills, he still struggled against Christ Waddle but still manage to slow him down. Imagine Blin has to deal with Christ Waddle. You guys are expecting miracle from this team because Van Gaal is this great tactician. It is not going to happen. Player quality does matter. Now let’s imagine with this current squad we have for example David Alaba as left back, Kante next to F De Jong, let say Sergino Dest wanted to play for the Dutch and Hakim Ziyech, we would these 2 on the right as right back and winger, it would have been a very competitive team. I’m not saying we need Messi and Ronaldo but we do need better than what are currently available. I hope I am wrong.

    1. Yes of course, individual quality is important. That is a given. For me, hard work and ball skills are a given, if you want to play pro football.

      But the difference will be how these great players work together. The distances between them, the sign for pressing, understanding when to drop back, taking each other’s position and lastly the way the play together. The Berghuis pass on Memphis is a perfect example for the 2-0 v Belgium. If that pass was for Janssen, he would have had to play it a bit less hard, if it was for Malen, he could have played it a bit faster, taking the speed of the player into account. Understanding which player goes to the near post, which goes to the far post, etc etc.

  2. Btw, I know you all know I am a big Daley Blind fan. I like the type of player he is on the ball. He sits in the same category as Willem van Hanegem, Kirsten Nygaard, Antognioni, Van der Vaart… left footed creative players, who can change a situation with one pass. He is a connaisseur’s footballer for me. Intelligent, clean and gifted.

    I also see his weaknesses. Weak in duels, slow and at times a bit dreamy.

    Despite all this, I agree that Malacia is a better option on LB. When you have the likes of Van Dijk, De Jong and potentially Gravenberch or Berghuis in the team, the creative passing task is covered.

    Malacia has the same attitude as Dumfries and Edgar Davids and we need more of that.

    But I completely and utterly despise people who keep on ranting about how Daley is in the team because of Daddy or how LVG picked 3-4-3 to accomodate Daley Blind.

    It is simply not true (is my belief) and it also shows a complete disrespect and disregard towards Van Gaal (and Hiddink, De Boer, Ten Hag and many others). If Germany supporters would say this, I could understand it.

    But Oranje fans? I am simply baffled. I cannot take these people serious and would not want to be close to them in the pub watching the Oranje games.

  3. Think the last time i was really happy as a fan was in 1998 haha.. i still have problems being realistic about the total quality of players we have had last couple of decades

  4. @Jean we all realize the squad isn’t full of world-beaters, but complaining about it after every game doesn’t fix anything. It’s like a man whose short/bald and bad at his job. One of those things you can work on, and offer criticism on. The other you can’t. If the short man complains every day about being short he’s just going to be a cynic. If he focuses on being better at his job, he could have a good life.

    We can’t magically make better players available to us, so we don’t complain about the quality of the squad. Simple.

    1. Janssen reminds me of Giroud (obviously not as technical). Big, slow, decent left peg. He’s holding the ball up well and playing lots of 1-2’s with Gakpo and Lang.

  5. I personally like how Janssen plays. He might not be the quickest footballer, but he fights for every single ball and strikes as soon as he gets an opportunity.

    1. His strength is cutting in from the left and pretty average coming from the right. But you have look at his influence in the game as well. Him and Lang had a good chemistry.give him some more games.

      1. I also agree Koopmeiners is kind of looks in productive when Frenkie is around. His over the head balls are good but then you cant just be relying on that aspect of your game.

    1. If football was played like handball where you couldn’t move when you had the ball then Koopmeiners would be world class. His distribution with his left foot is amazing. His right foot is basically a chocolate leg. But he’s slow, his dribbling is slow and if he doesn’t see an option forward he’ll go backwards.

  6. I think LVG should seriously consider Janssen for the WC versus Weghorst. By no means I want to downgrade Wout. He is a fantastic striker, but I am afraid in order for him to be efficient, the entire team needs to work for him, including Bergwijn and Memphis. Do you really think those two are capable serving Wout. I do not think so. However, Janssen can fight for all balls and free up space for Memphis and Bergwijn. I would also eliminate Berghuis. I was wondering whether Wout could play together with Gakpo and Lang and whether they could give him good services?

  7. I think we can conclude that Hateboer and Teze are out of the squad for now.

    I also think Janssen passed his exam. LVG was very happy with him.

    Question mark for Koopmeiners.

    I think Lang and Malacia are in.

    B Martins Indi started slow but recovered well.

    Gakpo has promise.

  8. I would say he needs to prove himself more and perhaps start scoring. Fighting for the ball and freeing is up space exactly just not enough and what happened to him at spurs. He received some good balls particular on the Koopmeiners over the head ball and then the other one set up by gakpo which is couldnt deal with. This shows he is off.

  9. There is one condition for Janssen: he needs to improve his physicals, his endurance is not there yet to play all 90 min, taking into account his high work rate. But I am sooooooooooooo happy to see him in Oranje!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Rumour is that Overmars and van Bommel are trying to bring Janssen back to Europe.

    I think that we have 4 guaranteed starters: van Dijk, de Vrij, Frenkie, Depay (as a striker).

    CB, I think it will be between de Ligt and Timber, and it will depend on club form in the fall, which depends on Jurrien’s transfer or nontransfer.
    RB, I think the spot is 90% Dumfries. He won’t lose it to Karsdrop or Frimpong, but it will be interesting to see who gets taken as backup.
    LB, the spot of contention. Personally, I think it will be Blind, but its like 50/50 at this point.
    CM, Berghuis, Klaassen, Koopmeiners, Scouten are all fighting for the spot beside Frenkie. I think it might be Klaassen/Koopmeiners, and LVG changes it based on opponents.
    CAM, Hopefully it’s Lang after how he looked today. Played well between the lines. Berghuis, Gakpo, Til will be in contention for this spot as well.
    ST, Right now it’s Bergwijn’s spot to lose, but Gakpo put in a good show today. Janssen has something LVG likes. Will be interesting.
    Keeper, Should be Bijlow, but could be Jasper. Will likely depend on form in the fall.

  11. Luis van gaal is steadying the ship and he is master tactician….But players like Bruno martins indi,Hanshatboer doesnt have quality to play for oranje…
    Really liked the work rate of lang which is absent with Danjuma..i think lang will slowly ecemnet a place with his amazing work rate…just like Berjwin….
    Fifa has decided to take 26 players for WC for every team ..this would open plethora of tactical options and viability for every national coaches….i hope Van gaal forgets players liek hans hateboer,BMI and strongly warns Danjuma who waits for other players service…..
    its the 26 man sqaud wins games and trophy not just 11 players…
    People think wijnaldum will bring something ,no he cannot he is 31 and done….koopmeiners is disappoiting….My hopes are on Frenkie,Van de beek,Gravenberch and klassen…

  12. English commentators are biased and they think wales is WC contender candidate..they were belittling the dutch….i was happy and had oragsm when England got as@##s whooped by hungary…
    @alaa…elghazi was headless chicken,he never the intelligence to play top football, he was skilled player with poor vision with zero tactical brain….Cody gakpo has better brain ,better speed,better work rate,he bleeds for team…Gakpo shines when unselfish players arrpund him…No comparison between flop el gahzi and Gakpo..

  13. Think about the 26 man sqaud…
    Depay,Berjwin,lang,Gakpo,Berghuis,Brobbey,Luuk De jong
    Defenders–10 as we play532
    Malacia and blind for LB..
    Ake and botman for LCB
    Virgil and De vrij for stopper middle CB..
    De ligt and Timber for RCB
    Dumfries and karsdorp for RB…
    Then six midefilders-6 nos
    Frenkie,klassen,Gravenberch,Schouten,koopmeiners,?????6th man???
    three goal keepers
    Bijlow,Cillessen and krul…
    26 man for me..

  14. Let’s hope everybody is avaliable in September and again For me this has been a good outings for the team from rotation and fine tuning point of view. I have said this from day 1, this is the best way to thrust depth into team and also gauge qualities of different players and who can bring what in terms of complenentability . I mean you look at what Gakpo and Lang brought to the table at 10 compared to Berghuis who could well become a causality now with the competition heating up and should VDBeek, Wijnaldum or Ihattarren make the team. This is exactly what I have been emphasing for years should be happening and how it sharpens the team.

    I think Van Gaal will have to go back to the drawing board and assess the situation again and hopefully he makes the right decsion and comes up big and even better in September.

  15. The best thing about the wales match was watching noa lang, and by the way someone on Twitter out a nice video of all his touches from yesterdays match a 4 minute video, I have to say he is the best and most talented kid we have only if he focuses on his career and he keeps it up, his dribbling is top class and his vision is amazing he sees his team mates very well and knows where to pass the ball and always plays forward,
    In a 5-3-2 , I would love to see


    I think a trio of frenkie gravnberch and lang would be lovely to see behind the two strikers !!!

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