Oranje licking wounds preparing for Spain

As per usual, I found myself in decent company. Both Dutch football gurus Van Hanegem and Cruyff lamented Hiddink’s line up choices after the game vs Turkey. Both legends of the game and former success coaches felt the midfield set up was wanting, with the slower build up in the hands feet of Nigel de Jong and Martins Indi while Afellay was out of place as right winger and Wijnaldum got choked up in the masses around the Turkey box.

You need quick feet, decisive passing and good running patterns to break down a team like Turkey. Clasie has that in spades. Klaassen offers you the penetration options and with Promes and Narsingh you have real right wingers…so why not use them? Van Hanegem went a step further and implied that in his line up Blind would have started on the bench, with Willems on the left back spot. “Willems has the best left foot in Dutch football, so if you want to service Huntelaar, you’d want to use him.” Both Cruyff and De Kromme felt that too many passes went from defence (Martins Indi) to De Jong (midfield) and back. “If you play like this, the player in midfield is always with his back to the opponent’s box. What can he do? He needs to get the ball in his feet while facing the goal. The way to do this is to play the ball to the forwards, who pass it back into the feet of the penetrating midfielders. Martins Indi and De Jong won’t play those passes.”


Klaassen and Janmaat

Cruyff also mentioned Klaassen in particular, who – in JC’s vision – has the right skills and positionings smarts the team needs.

Cruyff felt it was a chore to watch the team play.

Now, I have to be frank with you. I wrote my earlier post without having had a chance to see the game. I have now watched the game in its entirety and what I am about to tell you will shock you:

It was NOT that bad.

Yes, Martins Indi and De Jong are not the right guys for the build up. I agree. Like I said, I would have been comfortable to use Veltman instead of Martins Indi or even Daley Blind as center back. I like Willems a lot and would have loved to have played him. And Clasie in place of De Jong. All that is a given.

But despite this, the team was focused, worked well and tried hard to get something happening against a sturdy and tough defending Turkey. We might not have had many open chances but I did count a number of good distance strikes from Sneijder (one free kick that would have been out of reach of the goalie), a pretty decent early chance for Depay, a shooting opportunity for Depay later on in the first 30 minutes…. Then we had that flick by De Vrij, scooped away by the goalie. There was a distance strike from Afellay that deserved better. That weird Narsingh flunked chance and Willems with an inside foot riser. And after the 1-1, Depay even had the opportunity to kill the game for us but missed.


Narsingh should have scored

The team kept the field wide. Dost did what he could to lay off balls. Blind and De Vrij played very decent. And Sneijder took his responsibility. Wijnaldum and Afellay were poor but I blame Hiddink partly for this, as Afellay should not have to play right wing.

In my view, there are two major causes for this performance:

1. The inheritance of the World Cup 2014

Oranje had a dominant leader in the last two years. Van Gaal moulded and fabricated a system and pushed the squad into that mould in weeks on end, before we started the World Cup. In dominant LVG style. After the World Cup, a number of things happened that had a tremendous effect. 1) Van Gaal left and with him the dominant in your face mentality, and 2) Hiddink came… a relaxed grandfather type laissez-fair coach. 3) opponents were/are extra motivated to play us as we were the #3 in the world. 4) Hiddink wants to or was told to go back to a more Dutch style 4-3-3 system and 5) key players were injured at key moments or players were distracted in the early stages of the season due to their moves to bigger clubs ( Porto, Lazio Roma, Man United, Newcastle United).

2. The tactical mistakes of Guus Hiddink

The KNVB decided to hang on to Danny Blind for the future, the LVG adept, but with Guus Hiddink as his mentor. Hiddink, being a totally different coach than Van Gaal (and Blind). Literally, the opposite on the spectrum. And Hiddink was given the task to let Oranje play more “Dutch school”.  So Guus goes 4-3-3 but everyone knows Guus is conservative, so he decided to use a midfielder as winger and destroyer Nigel de Jong as dreh-und-angel punkt as the Germans call it. The pivot. Wrong wrong wrong. You want Huntelaar to get service and you use two wingers who will drift inside and go for glory….


Memphis on the radar of Man United and Man City

This Oranje has been wounded from the first game. There is no real system, no automatisms in the team. The flow is gone as there is no real game plan and the players don’t fit the team tasks. And if you see the look on Blind’s face on the bench next to Hiddink you know enough…. Where is the pleasure, where is the football smarts?

Afellay is not really doing well in Greece. Martins Indi lost his spot in Portugal. Nigel de Jong has a dramatic season with AC Milan…. They are all big names, but the names don’t correspond with form. Why not Veltman? Or even Van Beek? Bazoer? Klaassen? Clasie?

The game against Spain will be an interesting one. If there is one team in the world with a game plan and clarity in how they play it is Spain. And they’re opposing a team that is drifting and swirling. In that game, Del Bosque says his team is not out looking for revenge. He might be truthful: “We just want to play a good game of football.” I do hope Hiddink’s lads are out for revenge though. On themselves. Hiddink has already mentioned he will rest a number of players. And according to the newspapers, we’ll see the likes of Janmaat, Promes, De Guzman and Klaassen come in. Huh?

opstelling spain

Not a midfield I have a lot of faith in, to be honest

What good will that do? I think it is wrong. Against Spain, in a friendly, you need to test your preferred starting line up, or at least your defence. These lads will be tested. Against Turkey, who park the bus, you want quick young feet (Klaassen, Clasie) and against Spain you want a destroyer like Nigel de Jong! Not the other way around? Promes would have been good against Turkey. Against Spain, that might be a bit much for a youngster like him. De Guzman on the holding mid spot is also not what I’d like to see. Use De Guzman on no. 10, but please play Blind as holding mid, Guus, and use Willems as left back.

I would also like to see Vermeer in the goal, or Krul. Time for the goalies to do some rotating.

The Spain game only makes sense if we use it to get better. Just throwing the B-team in front of the train will not do us any good!

I’d like to know what the game plan is against Spain. Win? Win in any way possible? Or play 4-3-3 Dutch style and win? Or practice certain patterns and who cares about the result? Or let young players experience a big game? What is the objective of this game?

Maybe we need to play this guy below as the striker?

guus balt

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  1. World Poll:

    Who should be Netherlands coach?

    32% Frank Rijkaard
    30% Ronald Koeman
    14% Frank de Boer
    11% Guus Hiddink should stay
    7% Clarence Seedorf
    6% Danny Blind

    Listen to the masses KNVB!

  2. No, forget those names. Koeman, De Boer won’t do it. Seedorf is untested. Rijkaard did it before and that is never a good idea (see Hiddink!!).

    It needs to be Danny Blind. He shares the same vision as Louis van Gaal.

    1. Glad to see BMI in this 11…so that means we have big black hole in with Williams and BMI on left….Fingers crossed we are going to loosee..i am happy..its good that Hiddink departs now..

  3. Hiddink plz bring Afellay,BMI and weil is same 11..aslo bring promes and Depay..
    kick out sneijder,clasie,klassen,bruma,devrij and blind
    play with
    and loose this match…common Hiddink….

  4. After loosing to Iceland,cezc,italy Hiddink some how formed a good team vs Latvia….Except for the pressence of Afellay…He played Bruma and devrij in center why this idiot played BMI again??????.
    Now i am convinced he underachived with our Golden Generation in 1998 and 1996 where LVG won 1995 CL with same team..

  5. I am concerned that the score will be something like 4-0 or 5-0 for Spain and then I have to listen to all the barracking from my Spain-supporting colleagues/friends.

    Anyone knows of a good FREE live streaming site to watch the game today in the USA?

  6. Min 18 Holland 2 Spain 0. Spectacular football. Why couldn’t we play half or even a quarter this well against Turkey?! Players are fine, the coach is the problem. Unfortunately a win today will prolong Hiddink’s time at the helm. A loss would have been more beneficiary but I will enjoy the show. With Hiddink we will have a hard time to finish 3rd in group.
    Oh and no Afellay thank god.

  7. No weil,No Afellay splendid game ,but hell lot of mistakes fromBMI and williams,,,,This show is saying afeally is headless chiken compared to klassen,janmaat etc

  8. It seems Spain is trying to play open football while playing with their B team. They have a weak defense and a pathetic/non-existent holding mid. Agsinst teams with solid defense and those who park the bus (example Turkey, Greece), Oranje will have problems.

  9. To be honest I like what Del Bosque is doing with this Spain. Even though they are stuck im past and future he has testing all avenues with different players and different formation.

    1. A win is great for the morale of these young kids. To be honest, it was pathetic at the end some of the defenders trying to play out of the back was horrendous. Although the defenders made some really good interceptions, after Sneijder left, the team really struggled.

      All the players showed glimpses of what they can do and made key mistakes.. That goes to De Vrij, BMI, Willems, Janmaat, Narsingh, Klaassen and Depay.

      Huntelaar was useless and I would have liked to have seen Bas Dost a bit longer.

  10. Looking at what lies ahead. I think Hiddink has zipped the critics upfor now with this games and if they is still somebody left, go and fuck you selves.

    USA is up next 06/06/15 and then Lativa on 13/06/15. we still need to work in some areas especially in DM we need a young hotshot and robust midfielder. LCB and LB is another area we can consolidate. Willems is rumored to be catching attention of both Madrid and City and with Buttner also hanging in the fringes, I hope we can build our LB around these two players.

    Definitely a fit Van Ginkle with game time under belt needs to start jelling in the squad and hopefully after finally breaking into Milan line up he will force his way in the next qualification.

    Again bit disappointed my man Jordy Clasie couldn’t play.

    Unless Afellay finds a good club and prove himself, we should forget about him.

    well with injured Strootman,Vlaar, RVP,Robben we should be back on track, but bare in mind we should always be prepared for Rainy days and for that reason we also need to focus on back up players should we have injury crisis.

  11. Hahahaha, well…most people want to see Holland win the qualification games. Beating Spain B in a friendly only means that we can play nice when the pressure is off. We need to bring this football vs every nation.

    but, I do hope Hiddink has gone through a learning curve. No need for De Jong. Play quick feet in midfield. Play penetration players like Klaassen. Give the youngsters your blessing.

    I’m happy though, as this win will ring through in the rest of the qualification games, I’m sure. Sad for Clasie who wasn’t part of this.

    1. Jan I dont agree when you say Spain B. I think Spain is also going through crisis somewhat after the world cup and they are also going through transition with Del Bosque trying to re-haul the the team with new players. Most of the players in squad are doing great in their respective clubs and you expect Del Bosque to use this same squad and mould them now onwards till 2016. May be few changes in the Backline is needed. Ramos and Pique are overrated. I think its a good approach and with time as the qualifiers go on you expect him to build on the right combination after using the two sets of players, well amost vs Ukraine and spain.

      Lets look at NT, when the injured players come back, it will be a new day, new formation and new approach. we would have forgotten about today’s game and players. where is the team building here .Maybe we will win big against USA and Lativa, but whats happening when we are hit with same injury crisis. Its jus like moving back and forth which I think is not the way to go. we have to identify players for individual positions now, I mean now, at least 2 per each position and start moulding them in the next qualifiers and all the friendlies. A very good example is that Right Wing position. well Robben will obviously be the no 1 candidate. Now Lens and Narsingh,Promes. How will they turn out next season leading to ECs and who should be given the nod looking at the clubs they playing for as a back for Robben. I mean these are the things we have look at.

  12. Special praise has to go to Vermeer who made me wonder why we play Cillessen? He was much more confident on goal and was very dominating unlike the anemic looking Cillessen

    1. @hjb, I find it very insulting when you say its is a friendly. these are the games where upcoming players lose their virginity and get the lust of what is to come later. jus look at Klassen and what happened today, if it was not for today’s friendly, he would have still be cork sealed and inside the fringe.

      1. its friendly,intensity was low….i reallly wanted to see Juan fran vs Depay at the back…but couldnt see,that would have been a real test for Depay..
        Over all i felt ornage had better muscles up front and due to physical power we were able to get something at final third…
        But game had good tempo due to 3 intelligent players together in midefeild i mean..Sneijder—klassen–Blind..
        Thank God No Afellay who kills of the game flow with idiotic brain.
        We had a big hole in holding mid it was open,a clinically finishing team can punish us by at least 4 goals to nil 4-0,.

      2. @wilson playing on the big stage for keeps is much different than a glorified practice. Your virgin analogy is is a misplaced metaphor when it comes to professional sports

  13. PLz no more….Promes,afellay,Weil,wijnaldum in team at least BMI too….Thoguh he did okay,still unconvincing..thats why sittng in bench of his club…
    For first 11
    For second
    Buttner—–Kongolo—–Van beek——Vanrhijn
    Untill Strootman comes

      1. When you have more intelligent player than Wijnaldum in wings(Singraven,Anas Acahbar)…we dont need Wijnaldum,he offers little in attack,always stays back..but a very powreful guy,can hold on to ball aganist any tough defender…Wijnaldum is always better than Afellay in every aspects of the game..

  14. jus looking at De Vrij goal, jus look at how far Sneijder had drifted before he came with that teasing cross. This is a clear indication how both Depay and Sneijder will cut each other off and for that reason it would wise not to play them today.

    Now lets look at Lativa game and How the formation suited everyone up front.

    we started with

    RVP – Hunter- Robben

    Sneijder- De Jong – Afellay

    with Sneijder and Afellay continously difting to the left.this is what was happening to the Formation.


    ———-RVP —————–

    Afellay—————-De Jong

    this is sneijders strong point when drifting to the left (false Winger). He is in the perfect position to come up with those teasing crosses and should he cut in RVP has dropped back slightly where he has the option to interplay with either Hunter or Afellay who again is difting to the left.This is how NT manage to score six goals as everybody was setting each other with spaces and posession.
    I dont think we will see Afellay any time soon but I glad Hiddink was persistent with him. so who should replace him there to supplement the drift.

    Kevin Strootman or Marco Van Ginkle. Lets see what happens when we use either of the two.The irony here all left footed midfielders on the right will always drift to the left. you dont have to care much on the right when you have Robben in the team.

    so lets see,we start with 4-3-3

    RVP- Hunter-Robben

    Sneijder- Strootman


    lets see how the drifts work.



    strootman ————–Clasie

    This could even work better,but on the other handI dont think this will work if Depay starts. he will cluster the whole setup.

  15. If everybody is back and running.we should start with

    RVP- Hunter – Robben

    Sneijder – Clasie – Strootman

    Buttner – Vlaar- Van Diijk – DJ



    Depay – Dot- Lens

    Fer- Ake- Van Ginkle

    willems-CB-De Vrij -Van Rhijn

    1. though i like Fer for his tackling and ferociuos manly approach towards game..he is a game flow killer ,but too much better than the flow killing of Afellay..

  16. after the dissapointments of the under 21’s ..great to hear the promise shown by the younger lot!

    Going into the match both Norway and Netherlands were tied at the top of the group on four points, with Serbia a point behind and Switzerland out of it after two defeats. Netherlands and Norway’s goal difference was exactly the same and Aron Winter knew his side needed to beat Switzerland handsomely to book their place in the European Championships this July.

    Switzerland started the game well, but after 21 minutes Pelle van Amersfoort met a corner to set up Ajax defender Jairo Riedewald for the opening goal. Before the break it was 2-0 as Dabney dos Santos set Abdelhak Nouri free, and the Ajax midfielder calmly slotted in a second. At the halfway point in the other match Norway were beating Serbia 2-0 so everything was on the line heading into the second period.

    Luckily everything went the way of the Oranje, with Serbia coming from behind to beat Norway 4-2, while Pelle van Amersfoort and Nouri added extra goals for the Netherlands to give them a comfortable 4-0 victory.

    Netherlands join France, Austria, Russia, Germany and hosts Greece in the eight team tournament with two groups still to be decided.

  17. I’m very happy we won but let’s not get carried away the result could have gone the other way if not for a couple of brilliant saves from Vermeer, ( I don’t know if Cillisen has those saves in him).
    Klassen impressed me he has potential that is for sure, but he did go missing for long periods in the game, Narsingh was average at best he never really looked dangerous out wide. Janmaat must always play, his side of defence was pretty solid and he covered well for the CB’s.
    I was happy with Blind playing holding mid, he is improving all the time, Snjieder is evergreen, I’m very surprised he is getting around the pitch as well as his has in the last two,games , I wrote him off after the WC, my bad.
    Depay was my MOM, he looked dangerous in attack and worked hard in defence -well done to him a big club will call for him soon. BMI had some scary moments but he also made some key interceptions at times I just don’t like him and Willems together , it’s a bad fit. DeVrij, well he scored a special header, Spain is his bitch!
    KJH – the less said the better!
    Hopefully the team will take some confidence from the win and get us into the Euro’s, we need to win every game from here, Iceland and the Cechs will drop points we need to be ready to capitalise on it when it happens.

      1. guys Spain was a better team on that day.we had our chances but we couldnt utilize it and when it came for spain they buried it. there is no two ways about it. The best team always wins. As far as I remember I dont think an underdog team has come in and won the WC. Maybe jan can throw some light here as im only going back till 1990.

        2002 was heart breaking.

        1. Bert played kuyt for Vaart….especially when Roben came back for knock out stage there was no room for kuyt vs spain at least…he should have started with vaart at central point and persie on left…

    1. Yes, it still hurts. I remember that day (11 July 2010) so vividly. That Robben miss….. During the move that led to the Spanish goal, Elia was fouled, we got chance after chance to clear the ball but didn’t….

      Anyway, the 5-1 thrashing last year did help in some ways (a 1-0 win wouldn’t have).

      This is a nice video:

  18. De oorzaak ligt bij de opleiding, bij de trainers of bij de opleiders van de trainers. Of misschien wel alle drie. Er moet in ieder geval iets heel snel op de schop. Want dit voetbal doet pijn aan je ogen.

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