Before the World Cup, many Dutch fans felt we shouldn’t even go… We didn’t have any defence to speak of, we missed Strootman, De Jong would be over the hill, Sneijder wouldn’t be fit, RVP and Robben wouldn’t be able to carry the team leading from the front and LVG would be too intense and too self obsessed to do the right thing.

Depay, Blind, Cillesen, Wijnaldum, De Vrij….nice players for the Eredivisie. Not good enough for world class level.

I was one of the ones who didn’t like Van Gaal in the job. I actually also didn’t see Koeman or Gullit or any other “normal” coach in the job either. For me, it was Co Adriaanse because of his courage and then as soon as possible Frank de Boer.

lio lion

I felt Van Gaal was too much about Van Gaal….

Whole tv programs (VI Oranje) were established with one goal only: to ridicule Van Gaal and criticize Oranje. But this particular program is now losing many viewers, as one can criticise anything and anyone in Holland, but you simply don’t touch the Dutch National Team. The ratings have dropped enormously and the icons in the program – Dutch football journo Derksen and ex PSV and Oranje winger Rene van der Gijp – are at each others throats.

pic oranje

But the unfathomable has happened. And the whole nation is going berserk as a result. The team that was expected to go home after three games and the coach who was expected to self destruct have performed beyond expectations and have made a huge leap from a talented group of outsiders to the favourite semi finalists of many international football fans.

Arjen Robben might become the Player of the Tournament. The Dutch youngsters have tripled their transfer value and could be on their way to bigger things (BMI, Janmaat, Fer, De Vrij, Blind, Depay) while Nigel de Jong, Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder have re-established themselves as football royalty.

depay lens

And what about Tim Krul: the man of the moment? Or Klaas Jan Huntelaar? Deadly in the box. 8 minutes on the pitch, 7 touches, 1 assist, 1 goal.

But the real Man of the Tournament is not Robben or Kuyt or Krul for us. It’s none other than Louis himself.

He was responsible for the systems change, for the intense focus on match fitness, the emphasis on commitment and team spirit and the many substitutions that really worked out well.

He truly shines on this platform and it feels as if he is not ready yet.

Nigel fit

The Dutch supporters at home can’t get enough. The clips on Youtube of groups of Oranje fans watching on big screens or in cinemas and pubs show masses of orange clad people partying like its 1999. Oranje is getting crazy popular again and there are more and more spontaneous celebrations in fountains and parks and streets….

And the love-fest continues with Van Gaal declaring that this is the best and most professional group he ever worked. “Not because they are the best players individually. They’re not. But because of their commitment, spirit and mentality.” Van Gaal has worked on this on purpose. Two years ago he already said “we might not have the best players, but we can make sure we have the best team”.

robben training

Bar Jordy Clasie and Michel Vorm, everyone already had a chance to contribute. And not for sentimental reasons. Van Gaal changes players with a clear solution in mind. And as a result, they pay off. Depay needed versus Australia. Fer needed versus Chile. Huntelaar needed vs Mexico. Kuyt back into the frame. Krul needed versus Costa Rica, and who knows, Joel Veltman vs Messi.

When Kuyt started the preparations weeks ago with Oranje he secretly hoped LVG would allow him to make some minutes in the team as to reach his 100st international game for Oranje. Nope. Louis doesn’t do sentiment. But at the World Cup 2014, a thoroughly motivated Kuyt plays as a 25 year old. Wesley Sneijder was told, 12 months ago, that he needed to shape up or ship out. And a super fit Wesley Sneijder is currently assuming the role of field captain again. Or Klaas Jan Huntelaar? A negative noise generation is 2012, has already tweeted numerous positive little messages to his followers. After the 120 mins vs Costa Rica, Van Gaal walked on to the pitch to speak to his troops. He saw that Kuyt and Robben took the word and started to instruct the players. Van Gaal stepped aside. “Robben was saying the right words and Kuyt made a lot of sense too. I wasn’t needed. It is super when you see the players take care of things.”

lvg stef

And before you know it, Stefan de Vrij or Georginio Wijnaldum could be word champions in a week. And six other Eredivisie players as well. Quite an achievement. Or better: reaching the semis can already be regarded as a tremendous achievement.

Its interesting to note that second to Bayern Munich, Feyenoord is the the club with the most players at the World Cup. I will post soon more on that topic!

So we’re about to take on Argentina and if we or when we do, we get to beat the Germans!

Perfect revenge for the Dutch: we took Spain and now we will go for Argentina and then the Zjermans!

Bring it on!

As for fitness updates… Sadly, Robin van Persie didn’t look to fresh. Bowel and stomach issues. He didn’t train yesterday but LVG is quite positive: “He is my captain. He normally always plays. But it is too early to tell now.” Leroy Fer has trained with the team but is still not in the clear. Ron Vlaar is most likely fit in time to fill in his spot (although I wouldn’t have minded Veltman) and the biggest miracle of all is that Nigel de Jong might actually be fit for the semis!!

fans

There is a bit of a risk in that, of course. For Nigel and for the Oranje. Because it might happen again: Nigel only 8 minutes into the game, he gets another jolt, Messi runs away from him and scores while Nigel needs to be subbed….

Van Gaal didn’t say much about the options he has. But he did say he thinks he has a plan. “I think it will be a close game. A typical 50/50 game and we need to hope the dime falls our way. They are well organised, experienced, have a couple of extraordinary players and always a tough opponent.”

Argentina won all their games with only one goal difference while their opponents all seemed to approach Argentina with a open game. Belgium even used three forwards. The main question for us will be: will we see Depay or Lens upfront or will Van Gaal go back to the 5-3-2 we started the tournament with. Against Costa Rica, we used the 3-4-3 system, and were able to create a lot of opportunities but we simply didn’t score.

fans2

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324 responses to “Oranje-mania in Holland”

  1. Jad says:

    I vote for 4-4-2 its more balanced the battle will be in midfield, LVG will play (and latest reports from telegraph confirming this formation:

    Cillessen;
    Kuyt,De Vrij, Vlaar (veltman), Martins Indi, Blind; Wijnaldum, De Jong (De Guzman), Sneijder;
    Robben, Van Persie (lens).

    Bring it on. Hup Holland Hup

  2. Jad says:

    Lineup decided on latest training:
    Cillessen; Kuyt, Veltman, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind; Wijnaldum, De Guzman, Sneijder; Robben, Lens.

    Expected formation Orange:
    Cillessen; Kuyt, De Vrij, Vlaar (or viltmans), Martins Indi, Blind; Wijnaldum, De Jong (or De Guzman), Sneijder; Robben, Van Persie (or Lens)

  3. Bret from SoCal says:

    Is it me, or does this have an eery resemblance to the 1978 Tournament? Coming off a prior Runners-up (1974 -vs- 2010), with a team that doesn’t excite anyone before hand, losing “key players” in the run-up (van Hanegem -vs- van der Vaart), excitement building back home AFTER the group play… And sandwiched around a dissapointing Euro campaign (1976 -vs- 2012).
    Just seems eery to me. But I’m a believer in cycles. I also wrote earlier in 2012 that this team reminded me the 1980 Team and obviously I was dead wrong.
    Well, I ready for tomorrow and sucking on batteries. Loving what the Germans did and hating the Argentines for being… well, Argentines. No matter the result, this team has made me very proud to be an Oranje Fan.

  4. Yan says:

    Why Lens again In the lineup?

    I already said it many times before. Lens does not bring anything to the team

    If LVG keeps using him holland will lose without doubt.

    I thought de jong is playing . If de jong plays we still have chance . Otherwise with the above lineup , bye bye

  5. Yan says:

    And what has van persie been eating ? Tummy ache at this kind of crucial moment ?

  6. Jad says:

    probably van persie will start, if not lens (80/20)

  7. Guillaume vB says:

    Thanks Jan for another nice piece.

    As for last night’s game of boys against men (and a bit of topic, I agree), I think the idiot Scolari has 120% reasons to be blamed:

    1) wrong selection of players. Hulk, Fred, Jo? Really? I understand the need to have hard working players, so he may have kept 2 of those 3 and taken one of Kaka, Robinho or even Ronaldinho to have some creativity. Some may compare what Fred has (not) done during this with our very own van Persie. But van P scored 2 crucial goals already, against a debatable penalty for Fred.

    2) relying too much on Neymar. Read above. It shows some courage (or stupidity) to give the keys of the game to players under 22. But seriously, did Scolari really expect all of Oscar, Bernard and Neymar not to choke under the pressure?

    3) emotions mismanagement. What was that shit with the Neymar caps, the Neymar jersey during the anthems? They really wanted to be trashed for his absence. And they were.

  8. van banger says:

    Well I’m just preparing myself for a good night rest before our next challenge, whilst I’m still a bit in shock after Germany thrashing Brasil I’m not reading too much into it as Brasil simply did not turn up for the game and played like school kids instead of men. However the technical ability of the Germans was the best I’ve seen all tournament, I can’t remember any bad passes or poor touches, so when we meet them in the final we will need to starve them of possession to have a chance.
    Argentina will be very difficult for us but I am quietly confident of a tight victory, Messi must be crushed for the full 90 mins or he will hurt us.
    I really hope RVP plays and scores a winning goal, he needs the confidence of his nation behind him to lift the trophy!
    As for who will play? Only Vann Gaal knows!
    Jan enjoy the Hienekens I will donate some more soon!
    Hup Holland!

    • AZ-forever says:

      It is easy to give perfect passes when nobody challenges you…Brazilian forgot how to attack Germans….This game is nota true indicator of German mightiness as Brazil looked very unprofessional…

  9. Stijnis Oranje Aussie says:

    8pm here in Melboune, Australia. In bed already so I can get up and head in to Holland House in the City at 5am can not wait!! Let’s hope we can show the world how good the mighty Oranje are and that Robben proves that he is better then Messi… See you when I get up guys

    Hup Holland !!

  10. jdv says:

    1974 total football
    2014 tatical football

    LVG re writing history

  11. P222 says:

    my heart goes boom boom boom….

    Hup Holland HUPP !!

  12. TIJU1234 says:

    Any clear news on persie,Nijel,fer and Vlaar?????

  13. AZ-forever says:

    No, I have not seen any news. It is early morning in US, I checked all internet newspapers and there is no any news from Dutch squad. I think LvG does allow media into their training.

  14. AZ-forever says:

    I meant does NOT allow

  15. Yoyogi says:

    Messi must be man-marked at all times. We have to keep it tight in the back. 5-3-2 to start the game and make adjustments after halftime.

    Quick counter attacks will be the key. They press very hard to regain possession whenever they lose the ball so our players need their teammates to move into space.

    I’m cautiously optimistic.

    Hup Holland Hup!!!

    • HedonistiX says:

      Cautiously optimistic is a great description of how I feel now. Calm and stressed out at the same time. Can’t wait for the kick-off.

      Hup Holland Hup!

  16. oranje fan 4eva says:

    Oranje can do another revenge here………HUP HUP ORANJE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! tomorrow we will see oranje color everywhere or we will meet brazil ….either way we will be in the top 4 better than england, spain, portugal, france, italy , belgium…..etc etc…..so the point is we have shown that holland still have one of the best football team in the world and on our day we can beat anyone….

  17. AZ-forever says:

    Although more than anything in my life I want Dutch to lift World Cup, reaching semifinal and playing all seven games is an excellent achievement!!!!

    I love Oranje!!!!

  18. hien says:

    It will be a close game, and our beloved Holland will prevail. Hup Holland Hup!

    FIFA: Louis, do you think stopping Messi is key to the Netherlands’ hopes?

    Louis van Gaal: I’m not thinking about individual players, I’m thinking always that we have to play against a team, but Messi is a very important player. But we also have very important players in our team: Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder. They have never won the [FIFA Ballon d’Or], but they are very good players who can decide a game, like Messi. So we have to play against Argentina and we have to try to stop Messi getting the ball, passing the ball, scoring goals, and you do that as a team. I hope my team can do the job.

    How would you describe Argentina as a whole, as a team?

    As a very good, organised team. They are playing very organised [football] when the opponent has the ball, and when they have the ball I think the tactics are adapted to the quality of Messi. And they have not only Messi but also prolific players like Aguero, Di Maria, Lavezzi, Palacio, so they are a very dangerous team. And when they are ahead they close the door for every opponent, so it’s better that we score the first goal.

    You always analyse each opponent thoroughly. What have you got planned for Argentina?

    I always think about the players on the bench, the quality of our opponents. I am thinking about all of this, but I cannot reveal [my analysis].

    Do you think the Netherlands can go all the way in this tournament?

    Yes, I think so. We got through the group stage against Spain, the world champions, unbeatable for two years; against Australia – we had never beaten Australia before; and we beat the runners-up, Chile. They are all very good sides, so that has given the team a boost, confidence to the players. We are very difficult to beat. That’s down to our organisation and also the belief and confidence that we have, that we have to battle for every victory.

    Finally, what kind of match do you expect against Argentina?

    I think it will be a balanced game. Perhaps the luckiest team will win.

  19. Jan, any news on Cillessen?
    That’s the only guy I’m worried about…
    Do you know what really happened during the goalies switch last game? Was he really the only one that didn’t know about the move? Did he kicked the bottle accordingly, or were there other motives? The guy must be 100% today. Will he?

  20. Aloysius says:

    This may come as no surprise to you (and obviously not to me, because nothing surprises me), but I really enjoy reading articles about myself.

    Here’s one that includes some valuable parenting advice.

    Enjoy!

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/football/fifa-world-cup-2014/interviews/Fifa-World-Cup-2014-Netherlands-vs-Argentina-Let-kids-stay-up-Louis-van-Gaal-tells-parents/articleshow/38031979.cms

  21. HedonistiX says:

    Questions:
    1. Are we wearing Oranje or Blue today?
    2. Is RVP starting?
    3. Is de Jong starting?

    I’m too tense to search answers to those questions.

    • Definitely Orange. It’s Netherlands vs Argentina so we chose the jersey.
      Even in the final it will be Orange, because the Germans will want to play in white I guess.

      😉

      • Cam says:

        Netherlands vs Argentina, if we are listed first we choose. Orange.

        I have hear that since germany qualified first, they are listed first and choose. White.

        I am not sure in the final if we can choose orange, as it is our light kit. White is also germany’s light kit.

        We might have to wear blue, or would fifa consider orange kit dark enough if we don’t pair it with white shorts, and use orange shorts.

        Is it up to the germans to let us use orange? I can see them being honorable here, and letting us wear orange even if they could decline us the opportunity.

        Someone else chime in here if you know more of fifa’s crazy guidelines for light vs dark kits

        • HedonistiX says:

          That’s why I asked the question because Argentina’s stripe is also their light kit, the same with our Oranje. I read somewhere this is based on the views on Black & White TV, the 2 colors have to be contrasted enough. This is why they asked Spain to wear White on match 1.

          Both our and Argentina’s dark kit are blue/navy-ish.

  22. Aloysius says:

    Here is another enjoyable piece, although the question that is being asked has already been answered.

    The answer of course is YES!

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28182663

  23. Aloysius says:

    Also excellent (even from a Dutch journalist writing for an English paper):

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/jul/08/louis-van-gaal-holland-world-cup

    Today, everyone is now speaking of Germany 7 Brazil 1 as if this is some great feat. Let me explain. Brazil without Neymar, without Thiago Silva, is not capable of competing with Germany. Additionally, Brazilian coaches have not heard of tactics yet, only this “o jogo bonito” gibberish. Marcelo, Luiz, these are not defenders.

    Holland beat Spain 5-1. You know, Spain — the World Champions, the 2x European Champions, the team that the Duitsers cannot beat.

    Which is more impressive I ask you?

    You will see the next stage of my plan unfold against Argentina, and you will find it enjoyable.

  24. Colpaart says:

    Word out of the Dutch camp / press is that we are going back to the 5-3-2 against Argentina. As for De Jong and Vlaar…they are legitimate game time decisions.

    Lineup:
    Cillessen
    Kuyt
    De vrij
    Vlaar (or Veltman)
    Martins Indi
    Blind
    Wijnaldum
    De guzman (or De Jong)
    Sneijder
    Robben
    Van Persie

  25. Aloysius says:

    This seems to be a kind of trashy website, but illustrates another of my strongest attributes — mind games!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2685835/Louis-van-Gaal-pulled-plug-Manchester-Uniteds-Toni-Kroos-David-Moyes-set-transfer.html

    Ever heard of Toni Kroos? Hendrik apparently loves him like a son. The Scotsman who was keeping my new office clean for me apparently liked him too and wanted him for United.

    I said no. Too slow, not athletic enough, and also the FIFA game on Playstation is not capable of replicating his hair.

    But there is something more subtle as well. He plays for our putative finals opponent, and now he knows that I do not think highly of him. I have entered his head.

    Ever heard of Jose Mourinho and his mind games? He is my pupil of course. Always two there are. A master and an apprentice. I am of course the master.

  26. Aloysius says:

    More parenting advice from the “tournament’s dominant influence” — Name your baby Aloysius!

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/jul/08/louis-van-gaal-lionel-messi-world-cup-argentina-holland-brazil-semi-finals

    • Aloysius says:

      I stopped reading too soon:

      “Manchester United’s new manager has described himself as a process trainer, a manager with a set of ideas that will of necessity take time to seep through his team and attach to all its working parts. The intention is not to tinker at the edges but to create a style so coherent and well-grooved that what the opposition do in reply is almost irrelevant.”

      This is entirely true. Now imagine how challenging it must be for a manager with this approach to create this type of style at the international level with just a few weeks of training. Now imagine him doing that but using a style that he as a manager has never used before with players many of whom have never played that way before. Now imagine him doing all that and taking a team that only 5% of you thought would have any success to an undefeated record and the semi-finals.

      I found a thesaurus to try to come up with a good word for a manager such as this, but all I could find was the term “supra-genius”. I prefer a synonym that Roget’s will soon add:

      “Louis van Gaal”

  27. OranjeFan says:

    Yeah, yeah – so what.

    Nothing is accomplished yet.

    Keep the cool heads, put the pressure on Argentina, shut down Messi and keep playing the game…

    This match up is one to relish — remember ’78!!

    For me the interesting part will be to see just which team LvG puts onto the pitch today. So far they’ve all been different. (Amazing)

    Hup Holland Hup!!

  28. Samson says:

    I am most optimistic about another genius move to demonstrate his difference from these other so called managers. Lets keep believing oranje fans! Hup holland hup!

  29. Miguel Rosado says:

    Has the line up been confirmed?

    • Colpaart says:

      No, this is the latest update. But has not been formally released.

      Lineup:
      Cillessen
      Kuyt
      De vrij
      Vlaar (or Veltman)
      Martins Indi
      Blind
      Wijnaldum
      De guzman (or De Jong)
      Sneijder
      Robben
      Van Persie

  30. Miguel Rosado says:

    I heard on Mexican TV that Huntelaar will start ahead of RVP.

  31. BobiPL says:

    I ve been reading this blog then site since around 2010 but I have almost never posted before . I ve been supporting Oranje since around 1997 and was thinking what were the betting odds back in 1998 when we played Argentina in the quarter final ? Right now we are not the favourtes to win as the odds are 3.10 Holland and 2.4 Argentina ? Anyone remembers if we were the favourites back then or we simply never get credit we deserve ? ( maybe its good , all in all)

    • Samson says:

      @BobiPL not sure what the odds were but its obvious Holland is always underrated especially by FIFA. How can a world cup finalist and first WC qualifier be ranked 15th..like WTF! But hopefully we will keep proving them wrong

      • AZ-forever says:

        FIFA ranking is determined by the number of games that you played with teams. The stronger teams you play and win the more point you will get. Netherlands ends up on 15th place because they played China and Indonesia in friendly games and during WC qualification games had quite weak teams…Last but least EURO-2012 disaster also contributed to current ranking. Otherwise, FIFA ranking does not show real strength of a team.

      • HedonistiX says:

        Unofficial lines in the US I got is:
        NED +210
        ARG +140
        DRAW not recall
        Both to win in regulation, so we are slight underdog.

        I jumped on the +200, obviously

  32. richarde says:

    I hope Vlaar is healthy. He has played well, except for the Mexico game in which he had some trouble, and he and de Jong are the team’s two most physical defenders. If we can win this and have them both back for the final, that would be a very good thing.

  33. Simon says:

    I hope Huntelaar starts, partly as a curve ball. Clasie as well. But most of all, I just need this to get under way before I chew my entire thumb off.

  34. Wolf says:

    The Revelations of Jan.

    Amen

  35. Alaa says:

    Ronald de boer is in São Paulo and he says nigel will start!!

  36. AZ-forever says:

    I hope he is 100% fit….

  37. Colpaart says:

    DE JONG IS STARTING!!!

    VLAAR IS STARTING!!!

    VAN PERSIE IS STARTING!!

    Official from Van Gaal!

    • Aloysius says:

      I wonder if I am not outsmarting myself a little with this approach.

      But then again, when I think about it, that is not practically possible.

      I have to go now to ready for the semi-final.

      TTYS

  38. onzie says:

    ———-rvp————-robben——-
    —————–sneijder————–
    ———–ndj———wijnaldum——-
    blind——————————-kuyt
    ——–bmi——–vlaar—–de vrij—-
    —————–cillssen—————-

  39. AZ-forever says:

    uhhhh…it is getting very intense…God Bless their hearts…

    Guys, focus all your positive energy thinking of Oranje.

    We have to win this game!!!!!

    For those who are over 40, please, take some calming remedy. I normally take valerian extract prior to the game, and it helps to reduce my heart beat rate.

    Good luck everybody…

  40. Tomy14 says:

    Its great news that De Jong is playing, hopefully he is 100% so he can have a great game. RVP please finish the chances this time because we cannot afford to miss any scoring opportunities at this stage. Wesley Sneijder was unbelievable against Costa Rica, hope he can have another huge game for us. The rest of the team knows what to do, fight, give everything you have and we will be fine….lets not forget we are already proud of this team. Robben this is your World Cup….make it happen!!

    Van Gaal please work your magic again!!!

    HUP HOLLAND HUP!!!

  41. JB says:

    Some comic relief.

    Great idea, but couldv’e used a little better execution:

    http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2014/07/09/soccer-flopping-everyday-life

    Hopefully we won’t see much of this today!

  42. onzie says:

    orange shirts, white shorts for the game for holland

  43. BobiPL says:

    Aguero is on the bench for now , good . I hope bringing back De Jong so early doesn’t back fire and we do not lose both him and one sub.

    Hup Holland Hup !!!

  44. Sonneveld says:

    Funny how average the Argentina defence looks. Can’t say I’ve watched all of them play often but Demichelis is well known to be mediocre.

    Just getting a weird feeling that van Persie might have his day! And hopefully Sneijder can be influential again.

  45. Samson says:

    Thanks for that @AZ.
    Great line up. My prediction: NED 3-1 ARG. Hup Holland!

  46. OranjeFan says:

    Hang on – here it comes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OJF

  47. goldstone says:

    LVG has done a world of good for the future of Dutch soccer — just by getting the kids a late day at school. They’ll never forget that, and a dozen years or so from now, we can hope to reap the benefit. 😉

  48. Overmars says:

    Hup Hup Holland!!!

  49. sjoa says:

    well….if singing of the national anthem is any indication…we are going to win!

  50. Lights says:

    My salutes to beloved Oranje.Let’s beat Argentina and we will be into the Final.Amen.

    Hup Holland Hup !!!

  51. richarde says:

    Would like to see kuyt be more aggressive in attack–he is tentative; not wanting to do much.

  52. richarde says:

    Wijnaldum never wants to commit forward too much, either. He had space in front to make a run-and didn’t take it, passing laterally. Would like to see him be more aggressive once in a while. He’s too cautious in attack.

  53. JB says:

    Well at least both teams are in their traditional uniforms.

    Looks nice.

    Our orange looks especially brilliant!

  54. JB says:

    Two cheap free kicks conceded. Don’t like this ref already

  55. JB says:

    GREAT SAVE by Cillessen!!!

  56. sjoa says:

    yes….can’t have a lot of FK’s like that.

  57. sjoa says:

    not sure about these long balls to Robben. Argentina aren’t stretched out enough for them to work

  58. JB says:

    Don’t think the long passes from BMI are the way to go.

    We aren’t showing much adventurous spirit right now. We’ll see how LVG plays things…

  59. mago says:

    Blind as usual: NO defense and ONLY backward pass!

  60. JB says:

    Wasnt Zabaleta just blatantly offside?!

    They cant keep handing Argentina this opportunities…

  61. sjoa says:

    ‘Twas a bright start….worried about the play now

  62. JB says:

    Lavezzi is killing us down the right! BMI can’t stay with him and Blind is not helping.

  63. Sam says:

    Lavezzi is tormenting Blind on that flank

  64. richarde says:

    What I don’t see from this team is much creative combination play in the attacking half or third. We do a little but not much; it is mostly trying to get the ball to RVP and Robben, typically with longish passes, which is a bit predictable. I think Wijnaldum’s general lack of involvement is a problem but maybe I don’t understand his role.

  65. sjoa says:

    very cordial game so far…unlike ’98 for sure

  66. JB says:

    Through ball on the ground to Robben, diagonal ball in the air to RVP is what we should be looking for, not the other way around.

    Wijnaldum seems to be playing as a defensive center forward.

    • richarde says:

      Even if his main role is defensive, he’s got to take some initiative when he’s got the ball in the attacking third with kuyt, RVP, sneijder and robben around–and he does nothing. He seems to have no confidence with the ball, and I wonder what it is that LVG sees in him. I guess a lot more than I do! I’ve got nothing against the guy but I’ve watched, what, six WC games with him in the lineup and he’s an absolute cipher in attack.

  67. sjoa says:

    RvP has to do better than that on a gift!

  68. JB says:

    At least Messi has been fairly neutralized so far (35th min), but from an attacking standpoint, either or midfield needs to take over distribution in the final third or our backline’s passing accuracy needs to improve dramatically.

  69. Balkan says:

    Rvp has lost a lot of his sharpness.
    Demichelis doesn’t get a card for hurting wesley. He will need to be subbed.

  70. Balkan says:

    Sneijder out. Shit.

  71. JB says:

    That sure was a card! I hope Sneijder isn’t seriously hurt.

    And what is BMI doing?!

  72. richarde says:

    Wijnaldum is utterly useless in attack. I cannot understand how we can win a World Cup with a midfielder who does nothing to help the offense. He just got the ball after a Dutch corner, and at the least could have floated the ball back into the box; instead, with uncertainty he kicks the ball way back toward our goal! BMI is getting in trouble.

  73. JB says:

    BMI needs to get off the field as soon as possible! If not, we will be playing with 10 men shortly. Wijnaldum looks uncomfortable receiving the ball and constantly defers. Blind is always going backwards.

    This game looks much more like the preliminary friendlies leading up to the World Cup when we were all questioning the 532.

    We’re seemingly leaving all attacking play up to Robben, RVP and Sneijder on their own, but for much of this game, we just can’t get them the ball!

    • Sam says:

      The problem with taking BMI out is we have no decent alternative.

      Kongolo? He would get rattled in this kind of game. Rekik would have been useful in this game.

    • richarde says:

      Exactly: I think it’s hard to get them the ball because the team functions to get Sneijder the ball and he is supposed to get the ball to RVP and Robben, but they are well marked and no one else commands any attention with the ball and so no space is created. Kuyt is doing a lot–love the guy–but he seems a tentative in attack; Blind does little and Wijnaldum, standing in the middle of the field and next to Sneijder, does nothing. Argentina is sound defensively, and so are we, but….

  74. sjoa says:

    yes….too much back passing. Maybe they were told to take a super cautious approach. But we hardly sniffed the goal. It looks like the strategy is to lay back, and hope Argentina makes a mistake….and counter with Robben. I’d be shocked if that happened. RvP isn’t even a factor.

    But LvG has gotten us this far. Hopefully he has one more trick up his sleeve for the 2nd half.

  75. JB says:

    Those second half stats that ESPN just showed are great, but that was when we’ve been switching to a 433.

    Don’t see us doing that tonight…

  76. sjoa says:

    Jaanmaat for BMI – is this good?

  77. Lights says:

    Janmaat in,Indi out,great !

  78. Balkan says:

    All our big 3 are doing nothing whatsoever.

  79. JB says:

    Janmaat so far is a vast improvement over BMI.

    WIjnaldum is showing more confidence as well.

    Can you tell Vlaar has played in England. At some point he just feels physically compelled to rush forward 🙂

  80. OhYeah says:

    Clasie is in.

    This better be a part of a larger masterplan by Van Gaal. 🙂

  81. JB says:

    Clasie has immediately brought energy and speed of play. We’ll see if he can add anything else tonight

  82. richarde says:

    who did clasie replace?

  83. Gio says:

    Van Persie….what was his label again? He is really making juatice to that label

  84. Gio says:

    D defense fantastic
    D offense 1 out of 10

  85. Balkan says:

    I can’t believe we haven’t had a shot on goal tonight

  86. OhYeah says:

    What is Sneijder doing? How can he mess up those freekicks so bad? Isn’t this supposed to be his specialty.

  87. Gio says:

    Van persie is the 12th player for argentina. He just gives the ball back to them

  88. sjoa says:

    still a lot of football to be played on a slick surface before PK;s

  89. Balkan says:

    Robben 2010

  90. sjoa says:

    First touch was too heavy

  91. richarde says:

    Oh, my: Could Robben have kicked that a step earlier? I think he waited too long.

  92. Simon says:

    I think this is Holland’s best performance in the tournament.

  93. Balkan says:

    We will go through if it is meant to be. I am shaking however.

  94. Gio says:

    Holland need to create spaces. Van persie needa to move more and not be static.
    Robben should ask for the ball from the middle
    Clasie should join forces with sneijder, killer pass

  95. Laurent says:

    Vlaar is a top defender best player on the field

  96. Balkan says:

    Robben is tired, TIRED.

  97. sjoa says:

    lets hope for a result in live play…..

  98. Balkan says:

    Our best chance is penalties

  99. richarde says:

    RVP does seem too static. Gosh, would i love for him to get just enough space to belt one on the net.

  100. richarde says:

    Another overtime = big time gut check for the players.

  101. Laurent says:

    Kuyt on the left side is awful with his useless crosses again

  102. OhYeah says:

    Seems that both teams are getting really tired and nervous… They don’t want PKs but at the same time both teams’ defenses are standing strong.

  103. Balkan says:

    We can’t use Krul if we get to penalties. We are looking better but legs are shot.

  104. richarde says:

    Vlaar has been IMMENSE in this tournament, no matter how the WC turns out. Let’s put one in…

  105. sjoa says:

    these guys are all toast. Robben especially. No one has anything left. Going to take a bug mistake to get a result before PKs

    • richarde says:

      You are right. I hope the argies are equally spent. Regardless of the outcome, things are certainly shaping up well for Germany, which didn’t even have to play a half against Brazil! Maybe the Hunter or Clasie can score!

  106. richarde says:

    Wow: Kuyt is spent–it looks like he can barely run. Players standing around.

  107. Balkan says:

    Hunter gets a yellow, second in 2 games

  108. Balkan says:

    We can still score if we find that extra step.

  109. Yoyogi says:

    Who will or should take a penalty now that RVP is off?

  110. Gio says:

    Holland vs Argentina
    Great wall of china vs berlin wall

  111. OhYeah says:

    So penalties yeah… Who was it that had never blocked a penalty kick before, was it the Argentinian goal keeper?

    No, wait…

  112. sjoa says:

    very timid kick by Vlaar….oh well

  113. OhYeah says:

    Why Vlaar first? Why not Huntelaar? The first shot is the most important one.

  114. Balkan says:

    Down and out. Lvg giveth, Lvg takes it away.

  115. Gio says:

    Bravo Holland! Who cares penalties are a lottery. I would blame Van Persie for choking than blaming it on Vlaar or sneijder.
    Not sure if Van Gaal got the tactic right this time, he should have done something once robben and VP couldnt break that defense since he always seems to get it right

  116. AZ-forever says:

    Well, guys, let’s thank Oranje for so many great moments they have given us in this WC. Let’s thank LvG who brought our team that far in the competition. This team has a great potential and it is still maturing. I am a bit sorry for Arjen as he is 30 and not sure whether he will get another chance in 2018. Overall, we have to be extremely proud of this team. Last but not least, we have gotten another game to watch Netherlands – Brazil. So, do not get depressed…

  117. Guillaume vB says:

    Ah. I thought I would take this worse than that. Honestly, we defended well, but only _played_ for a few minutes (around the 90′ 105′ mark maybe?).

    I think van Gaal outsmarted himself there. A Depay or even Lens would have helped on the left…

  118. Paul says:

    Good run guys, we couldnt get it done, we deserved to go out.

    In the end, it wasnt our defense that let us down, it was our offense.

    See you guys in 6 months or so, have a good summer everyone!

    HUP HOLLAND

  119. hien says:

    1998 all over again. Very disappointed? Yes. Proud? Yes. They exceeded my expectations. At the end it looks like we run out of gas and out of luck.

    – Had we started with Kuyt on the left and Janmaat on the right first?
    – Why not put Depay in?
    – Leaving RVP out there and put Krul in again?
    – Had Robben put away our best chance?
    – Why not Robben for the 1st PK? He is the captain (RVP took it first in QF). Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt, Hunter then 5th player?

    Too many if. I guess the WC is Germany to lose and we help them by taking Argentina to PK. Still proud! Looking forward to the Hiddink chapter and Euro (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and us to fight for).

  120. Yoyogi says:

    Why do you take off a goalkeeper who saved you two penalties and put pressure on a kid? To show you can change tactics? To show that you are brave by trusting a kid?

    Too much gambling runs out of luck! Know when to quit and play it safe.

  121. AZ-forever says:

    Guys,do not forget about last game. We have never won bronze medal 🙂 I think Oranje need to say proper goodbye to his supporters.

  122. Alistair says:

    Useless to go through the ifs and buts. We should be proud and thank the team for the very nice moments. Way beyond the initial expectations. I am also sorry for Robben – he deserves more.

    Lets welcome the Hiddink era !

  123. AZ-forever says:

    I would not blame anybody, especially LvG. He did everything possible with the material that has had in his hands…

  124. AZ-forever says:

    Exactly, Alistair. We do not need to dwell. Let’s cheer our guys during the game for the third place.

  125. wissor3 says:

    Ahhhhhh… Heartbreak.. But I’m proud… I’m proud of these young kids making it to this stage… Not losing a single game…

    Legs and luck ran out… We lost this game 4 days ago against Costa Rica…

    I think my only issue tactically was that RvP should not have started… He seemed worn out.. Not fully fit

    LvG just gave Germany the template to beat Germany.

  126. Nad says:

    I feel suicidal. I can’t believe Vlaar took the first penalty. Makes no sense. Your number 1 shooter must go first to build momentum.

    Would have kept RvP in the pitch to bring on Krul. Cilisen had too much expectation to live on and isn’t a great shot stopper.

  127. mago says:

    RvP should not have started.
    de Jong should not have started.
    Cillessen should not have started.

      • Jeff says:

        I too feel so sad. I don’t think I will ever see them win the WC. We were so close. I thought Robben had it with that move at the end of the game. I agree about Vlaar, but he was so good during the game, I can’t blame him. In fact I am not blaming anyone. It is so depressing.
        Thank God for the blog because for those of use who have lived through so many years of trauma, at least we have a community through this blog.
        The period of mourning starts now…

  128. Balkan says:

    In hindsight I would rather see a better game and an attempt to win in 120 mins but still lose than go on to penalties with a rookie goalkeeper who couldn’t even stop the ball through his hands. RVP reconfirmed his choking capability unless he was sick and LVG screwed up. An exciting WC comes to a sad end. Pity.

  129. Laurent says:

    LVG made a shit coaching from the beginning.

    -Janmaat for BMI was ok as BMI had a yellow card and had problems against Messi.

    – Clasie brought some stability and possession but it wasn’t necessary at all, Nigel could stay on the field. Clasie brought no attack at all.

    – Huntelaar was useless, just like last game, taking his yellow card. I think Fer should have absolutly come in such games.

    And of course Krul should come again for PK, Cillessen proved that he is far from catching a penalty, even when you shot in his hands he doesn’t save it.

    The three subs should have been : Janmaat, Fer, Krul.

    I’m disappointed for Vlaar missing, but Sneijder deserved it, for all his shit free kicks etc.

    So to sum up, no one expected Holland as far, but now that they came her and could maybe go till the end, you guys say that you aren’t disappointed that they lost again…

    I feel this loss could be avoided with a better coaching, that was a semi final, of course dutch fans should be disappointed.

    • wissor3 says:

      You know… Go screw yourself

    • Jeff says:

      Have some respect after such a loss. Can you at least spare your comments for a few days? What is it with you? Cruelty? Sadism? We all feel devastated and you come in with your inflammatory comments. I don’t get it.
      Let us mourn please.

      • Jeff says:

        This is for Laurent, not you Wissor3 of course.

      • Laurent says:

        What’s your problem ? I’m just analyzing.

        You all scream that LVG is a genius when he replaces Cillessen with Krul while he was just doing the thing that he should do since the beginning of the tornameent

        But when he doesn’t do it and play a semi finale PK with Cillessen, a keeper that caught no penalty, you say nothing.

        Football is not only jumping and drinking beers when Holland beat Costa Rica, you should also be critical and strong during the losses instead of insulting

        • hien says:

          LVG said that himself. He made the sub by reading the game but he also said he was lucky. This time the luck ran out. Yes, I think he should keep 1 sub for Krul, but the moment he subs in Clasie and Hunter, he went for the win intead of PK. It didn’t work this time.
          Too many if. Yes, I am very disappointed and sad and so are many here. Honestly, I think it will be very difficult for Netherlands to win the WC until we see more talented group of young players come along (more than this current group). It is worthwhile to put in a bid again to host the WC. It may bring us some luck.
          This team deserves applause and cheers as no one expects them to make out of the group and here we are, top 4 in the WC. Fans will remember Van Persie’s header, the 5-1 thrashing of the former WC champion to prepare them booking trip home early, the Cinderella run of Costa Rica, early exit of Italy and Spain and England, the biting and suspension of Suarez, J-Rod of Colombia, Germany’s thrashing of Brazil. I think RVP’s will be this best WC goal and win him the Puskas award for best goal of the year.
          LVG should give Depay a chance to shine vs Brazil as he may win the best Young Player of this WC.

  130. Jeff says:

    Ok whatever. You just don’t get it. I am not insulting you, I am trying to help you be a better person but I guess I am being too presumptuous.
    Meanwhile, I am having a perfectly intelligent discussion with my 2 sons who are probably as old as you, and unlike you who play football at a pretty high level.
    I have a lot to say but not now.

    • Laurent says:

      I wasn’t answering to you Jeff, it was for Wissor, I saw your comment after.

      I don’t play at a pretty high level but I used to play at a regional level.

      Anyway for me Van Gaal did a shit coaching. I felt that he started with Nigel and RVP but wanted to sub them after cause judging them not fit enough to play the whole game. He should either have started with Clasie, or let Nigel longer and give a chance to Fer, but Clasie isn’t a player who is interesting as sub, he didn’t bring any attack, he just brought a bit of control but I still consider it was unecessary.

      Huntelaar coming for RVP is not something bad in absolute, but he knew that he had only one sub left and that PK were maybe coming, he should have put Krul again, that was nonsense to let Cillessen. Krul should have priority above Huntelaar.

      I feel like LVG asked his players to take no risks in this game, while Holland could beat Argentina, Holland played better 2nd half and overtime. Vlaar and De Vrij perfectly kept Messi.

      My reaction was just to fans who wrote “PK are just lottery”, it’s a semi finale WC and Holland is used to lost at PK, so of course it’s a big disappointement.

  131. Samson says:

    @Laurent it seems u just spoke out after the 1st loss we’ve had this world cup. So yea..go screw yourself.
    Otherwise this was a nice & intresting tournament. Every good thing comes to an end. Will always be behind the boys in oranje..No matter what!

  132. Nad says:

    Van Persie was in horrible shape since Mexico. I don’t know if he is carrying a knock in the tournement or if his age is getting to him but he could barely run and was so weak when the ball was played to him.

  133. Samson says:

    cant believe you’re all blaming Lvg, he’s only human. He makes mistakes. And the rain didn’t help in our known attacking style incase u didnt realise. Well done team#Oranje!

  134. wissor3 says:

    @Laurent…

    How can you blame a manager who had a squad of KIDS make it to the semi final of the World Cup… Never lose a game… Play two 120 minute games plus penalties… Beat world champions and play so well…

    This game was lost because we came out from a group of death… Had to play at full speed for so many consecutive games AND play against an uber defensive Costa Rica…. The players were drained…

    No one, not even Tiju’s Jesus could have saved us

    • Laurent says:

      That’s typically Van Gaal, doing everything good at the beginning but changing his plans after and failing at the last moment.

      I think most of coachs in the world would have put Krul again for PK, he did it against Costa Rica, it worked, Krul is in confidence, argentine would have pressure like Costa Rica had, why he didn’t do it again ?

  135. wissor3 says:

    There is a reason teams coming out of groups of death never win… We couldn’t grow into the tournament… Even though we did dominate Argentina

  136. Ramy says:

    I really feel sorry for the haters and the negative idiots on this blog. specifically Laurent, although I’m all for free speech, you certainly are a complete idiot.

    Oranje punched way over its weight, and delighted us time and time again. Learn to appreciate that. And LVG is the coach of the tournament, wether you like that or not.
    That game, as he predicted, was a game of details.
    We covered at least 95% of those details, by defending superbly, keeping messi, aguero out of the game for large periods, and creating a few chances as well.
    But obviously we also missed some details, and you cannot expect LVG to cover all of them without fail, every time.
    too many injuries, some key players weren’t fit enough, and in hindsight maybe shouldn’t have started, which in turn would have meant that our substitutions would have been different too.
    Sneijder passing and shooting was below paar , for whatever reason.
    And BMI is simply too slow to cope with Messi or Lavezzi.

    • Laurent says:

      You are free to think that I’m an idiot, I just notice that people on forums criticize coachs, players etc. but here people prefer to insult the posters who criticize coachs and players. Do you have any contract with Van Gaal ?

      “Oranje punched way over its weight, and delighted us time and time again. ”

      Costa Rica has no reason to feel disappointed after losing to Holland, but Holland definitly has reasons to be after tonight. Even if Van Gaal did really good with bringing a team with many eredivisie players to semi, it’s still Holland, a country that should win a world cup in its history. And now they could be close to but failed again.

      And now there are 4 years more to wait, so of course there are things to analyze on coach and players. It was details but Iniesta goal was also a detail in 2010, when will details turn in Oranje favor ?

      Think about it instead of insulting me

      • Bret from SoCal says:

        @ Laurent;
        You are correct. I have spent 40 years (since the ’74 Final) pulling for Oranje. We should have won this game. We had the talent and the mental toughness to win this game. But we didn’t. And we didn’t due to our mistakes more than Argentina beating us, which of course is old hat if you follow the Netherlands.
        There are most likely several tactical decisions thatwe could analyze, or mental mistakes we could point to, or the missed goal by Robben in the 89th minute, or Kuyt missing in the 117th, or ect, etc, etc. But it is the plight of being an Oranje fan. So close, so near, so sorry… again and again and again. It’s always the same record.
        But what sickens me to no end is to see Argentina with 2 stars, or France with a star, and even Spain with a star and we have nada. How can we have fileded so many great players and teams and have zilch to show for it?

  137. VanX says:

    At least we don’t have to worry about the possibility of losing to the Germans. Might even prefer 3rd or 4th place over that.
    But we had a good run, to the maximum of this team’s capabilities, it seems. Perhaps if we put away Costa Rica in 90 minutes, the team would have been less tired.
    Let’s cheer the team on for that 3rd place medal. It’s not time to go home just yet.

  138. Ramy says:

    Really a game of details…
    Had Robben shot straight away after his first touch in the 89th minute, and not added that second touch, we would have been in the final after only 90 mins of play.

    • Laurent says:

      Details are what make a team to win something or no, they are directly linked to players and coachs choice

      In 2010, BMW put VDV and Braafheid as sub and the spanish goal started from Braafheid and finished with a VDV bad touch.

      Tonight Van Gaal let Cillessen and Cillessen caught no penalty while Romero caught 2, that’s the details.

      • Ramy says:

        Ok lets start the analysis then.

        1- Cillessen has been one of the most integral and important players of this squad. I have NEVER seen, again NEVER, seen better distribution of the ball in my life, from a goalkeeper that is constantly under pressure because of our weaker and relative young defense.

        2- Van Gaal did not only do a good job to bring Eredivise players to play well together, he did a phenomenal job. We have a young inexperienced defense, a very average creative midfield, and we are missing a lot of players which meant our squad depth could have been much much better.
        Furthermore, we’ve had a lot of small injuries along the way during the tournament, and our squad wasn’t fully fit today (de Jong, Van Persie, Fer).

        3- Please do not expect a country like Holland to stroll to a world cup win ever in your life. Wether you like it or not, we are the underdogs, we are david battling goliath every time, Holland is a nation of 17 mio. What the fuck do you expect? That it is our right to win a world cup?

        Re-evaluate your positions is my advice to you.

        • Ramy says:

          Laurent,

          I don’t care if you have no sense of decency in you, that you are a sentimental brute at a time like this, but I really cannot tolerate you saying really dumb stupid things on top of all of that.

          Yes we punched over our weight. Because we have 10x more details to cover and problems to solve and get right than both Argentina and Germany. They have it easier, they have more quality players, and less problems to worry about.

          If you can’t see that then you are an idiot.
          If you do not feel proud today, even content at the achievement Holland has made, then you are an idiot, again, a complete fool, Im sorry to say.

          I’ve never been prouder of what has been achieved here.
          If only LVG was around 4 years ago.

          • AZ-forever says:

            Ramy, no worries, we got another genius, Guus Hiddink.

          • Laurent says:

            There are things to give credits to Van Gaal and things to criticize Van Gaal on :

            – He went in semi with De Vrij, BMI, Vlaar behind. Many of us here were hating on De Vrij last year, he had a very good world cup. Vlaar also (I personnally always liked him, or at least since 2012). BMI was pretty average but ok.
            We can definitly give credits for Van Gaal to that

            – He put De Guzman and Wijnaldum as midfielder but both didn’t convinc. Especially the first one. That position needed a better play during the competition.Many of us here wanted Van Ginkel, he could definitly be an upgrade compared to Wijnaldum who doesn’t play in that position normally.
            We can blame Van Gaal for that.

            – He let Cillessen all the tournament while many of us here wanted Krul. And the logic also wants Krul. The result is that Cillessen partially makes us to lose with watching no penalty. Even if his world cup wasn’t awful, Krul could have done better.
            We can blame Van Gaal for that.

            – After VP, Blind and Sneijder’s case are arguable. VP only played well against Spain and Australia and was shit the three other games, Blind only good against Spain and was pretty average/shit the other games, Sneijder only good against Costa Rica (or at least, had some good actions) and average/shit the other games. In another hand we saw that Lens was quite unproductive most of time he came, Fer had injuries problems, De Guzman was bad, so only Depay, Clasie and Huntelaar seemed to be interesting options.
            We can blame Van Gaal for that. He made that list of 23 players.

          • Laurent says:

            * catching no penalty

          • Laurent says:

            I would also give credit for putting Kuyt as RB as no coach did it before, it was a good idea and worked good.

          • Alistair says:

            With hindsight it is easy to pinpoint LVG mistakes … but the reality is that we were a couple of penalty kicks away from the final. If those penalties went in, everyone would be praising LVG for the way Argentina were blocked.

          • Guillaume vB says:

            Hmm. Don’t want to rub it in too much, but we should never have gone to PK in the first place. If you want to win a WC, you have to WIN games and not “not lose”!

          • Alistair says:

            Yes that is true as well … we didn’t manage to score 1 goal in 240 mins (even though we created enough chances with Costa Rica). And winning on pens two times in a row … I think it was too much to ask 🙂

          • Paul says:

            A few thoughts.

            Vlaar has stepped up and shown his leadership. He is only 29, so he will definitely be at WC 2018. 33 is not too old for a CB. He is now our rock and a leader. De Vrij and Janmaat were also great, have great defensive awareness (which is tough to teach), and should only get better.

            Our midfield looks very promising. Clasie looked great when he came on, i was very impressed. With Strootman and Van Ginkel, we are set in midfield, great balance.

            The problem is obviously in attack, which is a new problem for the dutch. But, we have never won a world cup despite all of the attacking talent in the world.

            Maybe it is time to take our new strengths, defense and midfield, and build around them to win. Italy did it in 2006, and Argentina is doing it in 2014.

            I think Sneijder should retire from the national team. His set pieces were very poor yesterday, and i think he was partially to blame for the loss. I think RVP should remain, but VDV should also retire. If we want our younger guys to step up, they need to start now.

            All in all, i originally expected us to go out in the group stages, and the semi-final was more than i could ask for. The sad part is that this was a WC which was WIDE OPEN, there are no really great teams, including Germany. We actually had a real shot because of the world-wide lack of talent, in my opinion.

            I think this world wide lack of talent continues, and we will be in the running for years to come.

          • YOALB says:

            Paul, you nailed it. I was going to come in here and say the exact same thing. This World Cup was WIDE OPEN. Nobody was impressing. Every team had bad games. Germany was almost eliminated by Algeria. This was a shame to lose to such a crap team like Argentina. They will get rocked in the final. They are such a WEAK team. It’s unbelievable and a shame that they are in a World Cup final with that team. We could have easily taken it.

          • Guillaume vB says:

            To look at the bigger picture in this WC, what worries me now is that Argentina is having the same kind of run as Spain 4 years ago: barely and unconvincingly winning games with boring play and never with more than 1 goal, while Germany looks like us 4 years ago: most prolific attack, attractive play. We all know how that ended in South Africa.

            Please, let’s not repeat this. I would take it quite badly if this poor Argentina was to lift the trophy. If not us, let at least an attractive side win it.

          • Paul says:

            BTW, i think LVG did a great job, however, i think he made a big mistake with Cillesen. He looked uncomfortable all tournament, and he should never have been there for the penalties.

            But, no coach is perfect, and he turned our youngsters into winners.

          • Laurent says:

            I agree with you, Sneijder and RVP should retire/not be called anymore.

            Robben and Nigel can be options for Euro2016, but it’d be good not to call them for qualifying games, giving chances to other players.

            What was good in this world cup is that some of the dutch players will probably get deals with good clubs.

            – Vlaar should go a step above. I heard rumours about Everton, I think he can even get Manchester United, AC Milan or something like that.

            – De Vrij who was going to sign in M’gladbach or something like that can also hope for a top german or english club.

            – Blind and Janmaat can get something good

            – Depay showed his talent and should leave PSV ASAP in my opinion, PSV is a sick club and players don’t developp good there.

            – Wijnaldum can get something like BMI with Porto, a portuguese club, a sub english…

            So many dutch players will have a chance to play with good clubs coming years, and without this world cup it wouldn’t have been the case.

          • richarde says:

            Germany certainly looks the class of the tournament. Had Holland won it would have taken a minor miracle to beat them, given how much fresher they are. Why aren’t both semifinals played on the same day? It is obviously unfair to give one team an extra day of rest after both teams have played six games. It is not difficult to play both semis on the same day. It is unfair.

            There is plenty of talent around the world. If you are wondering about scoring: My take is that it is simply very hard to score in this sport against teams that are well organized. You can take risks going forward in a counter when the other team doesn’t have so many defenders back, but otherwise risk-taking is not rewarded in football. You are not going to score against a solid team with 7 players back unless it is fluky. The sport should consider some rule-tweaking to encourage more open play, IMO.

          • HedonistiX says:

            richarde,

            Excellent point on playing semi final matches same day, probably should also be followed with eliminating the 3rd place match. 3rd place winner of the World Cup makes little sense and should be replaced with just “World Cup Semi-Finalists” for the 2 losers.

            I also read some unfavorable opinions on Argentina. Like most of you, I am also gutted by the loss. While I think Argentina is not playing attractive football (they did not win more than 1 goal in all matches) but we should not deny the fact their defense stepped up yesterday. Prior to yesterday’s match, their defense was thought to be their weakest, but they improved. The same way our defense was excellent yesterday.

            In the previous World Cup, when they got smoked by Germany, I think they were playing a bit “open”, contrary to their current system. We all saw the different results.

            Yesterday’s match looked very much like the 1990 final match, one of the “ugliest” from viewers’ and losing team’s perspectives but apparently perceived as a great “technical battles”. I’m wondering if Messi’s free kick had not been caught by Cillessen, would we have seen a more “open” match? Lots of “what-ifs”, including what if Mascherano was not allowed to go back to play after his concussion? (classy move by Wijnaldum, by the way, when assisting Mascherano as he was dozing off …. it was a scary situation)

            We win some, we lose some.

            HUP HOLLAND HUP!

          • Simon says:

            Hey Ramy

            don’t worry about guys like him. they are flawed. the great thing about this blog is there are so many like minded souls. guys living around the world, with some sort of Dutch connection or just an irrational love for Oranje, and despite vastly different lives and backgrounds they are going through the same rollercoaster of emotions. We are the Oranje daispora!

      • Faraz says:

        shhut up Laurent

    • richarde says:

      That was my thought on Robben: I think he should have just whelped the ball, but he ran with it another step or two and lost his chance. It’s hard to tell on TV, of course, and the defender made a good play. Right after that he had a chance to cross across the front of net to KVH and again kick blocked. Neither side gave the other much at all. Another frustrating loss but can’t imagine how the team would have any energy for the final, had it won.

  139. Erich100 says:

    Blaming Van Gaal is absolute nonsense. And responding to such accusations is useless. The group of players wasn’t bad, but was not really on a legend-level. Van Gaal did wonderful with this group of kids, and no matter what happens next weekend, he IS the best voetbal manager in the world today.

    • Jeff says:

      This world cup has shown us that the top teams are extremely close to each other and games are won or lost for minor things, a free kick, deflection and so on. But nerves also come into play big time. Look at Belgium, Columbia and then of course Brazil. We had a very well balanced team between youth and experienced players, under the supervision of a fabulous coach. I really thought we would go all the way. What a shame!

  140. Ramy says:

    All in all ,

    1- very pleased and happy for the achievement of reaching the semi finals, when in fact on paper, and with all the injuries we have sustained prior to this WC, we are not one of the 4 best teams of the world.

    2- very very sad to know that it is probably the last time I see Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder, Kuyt in a major tournament again. They are to me true legends, that have given me so much joy over the years, I cannot thank them enough.

    For a small nation like Holland, with only 1.7 million active football players in the country, we have really punched over our weight again, completely canceled Argentina, and could have been playing the final on saturday, had it not been for a few details that were missed.

    You should all be very proud !!
    Much Love to our Oranje 🙂 🙂

  141. OranjeFan says:

    There is no blame –

    These guys did very well. In the end legs, injury and luck just ran out.

    Congratulations on a great run. For the team and coach.

    OJF

  142. Bret from SoCal says:

    I know one thing for certain, or should I say it was proved again. Van Persie is a great goal scorer in qualifiers and Group games, but he is absolute shit in elimination games. He has NEVER scored a goal in any elimination game EVER. So my advice to Guus would be to start the hell of RVP until the eliminations games in 2016. Then play anyone else. He just melts away into insignificance.

    • Ramy says:

      Bret from SoCal, stop with the RVP hatred.
      your reasoning is a big load of bullshit. And It doesn’t mean a thing.
      There’s absolutely no difference between scoring in the group stages and scoring in the knockout stages, its the same game of football.

      However do consider, that RVP is playing through injury, is exhausted, and has been playing on an empty tank for a while now. Furthermore, he is more often than not isolated, and has very little support.

      Robben too didn’t score in the knockout stages yet. Following your retarded reasoning shouldn’t that mean something as well ?

      I say RVP played fantastic all in all, and considering everything. You should be at fucking awe for what he has given you over the years!

  143. AZ-forever says:

    I totally agree with Erich100 and Ramy. With this material on hand, van Gaal has done a miracle. I absolutely do not understand how he could be blamed. He is a genius and deserves to be honored.

    Guys did everything possible: they completely shut down Messy and defense was superb. I have never seen our defense playing so solid. Unfortunately, our midfield lacks quality, which will be improved when Strootman and van Ginkel are back from injury. We also need fresh blood in our attack as guys are getting older…We have Depay and hopefully he will grow every year and turn into high class forward by 2018.

    THis is not the end of the world. Let’s enjoy the fact that we have such a beautiful team.

    I have been fan of Dutch team since 9 y.o. and in the course of 38 years I have gone through many disappointments and some exciting moments (1988). However, I taught myself to enjoy every moment of my team existence. I taught myself that World Cup is just another competition and after four years we will have another one. One day, we will win and I hope this will happen during the life span of this group.

    Bottom line, enjoy every moment and let’s cheer our team and wish them success for the fight for third place…

    • Jeff says:

      Great post AZ forever. Same with me I was 9 when we lost the 1974 final. And I am really hoping that I will see my beloved Nederland win another trophy before I am gone.

  144. Mohamed says:

    Sad moments for me 🙁 . The same feeling after the Spain final.
    I think I will take a long period to recover. It’s useful sometimes to lessen your expectations.

    • Ramy says:

      Sad moments indeed,
      Not for losing the semi final, we did great and we should be proud, rationally and emotionally.
      But it’s sad when I think of not seeing Robben again in another World Cup. and many of the other lads as well. But Robben most of all.
      True genius, and an eternal gem.

  145. OranjeRules says:

    Been a long time since I posted here…the negativity put me off after Euro 2012

    I do read all Jan’s posts! Jan is the best!

    Today I am proud to be of Dutch decent and proud to be an Oranje fan.

    Good job boys! Well done!

    Hup Holland Hup!

  146. Faraz says:

    i proud of dutch.
    i proud of Van gaal. u r genius
    tnx robben and all guys, really ffeling good about this cup, we r really good.

  147. Faraz says:

    Laurent why u back?? i think u died and i was happy about it. just go and die.

  148. Marvellin says:

    I feel so devastated.

    Despite LVG is a genius, he should stick to what’s is working, no need to change RVP with Huntelaar at the last moment. Why not put Krull in…

    If it working, why he need changed it, he should know the PK is coming…

    We are so close go to the Final.
    Beside German, we are the only deserve in the Final, not Argentina. They just so lucky.

    Now we have to wait another 4 years.

    • HedonistiX says:

      That view was presumably shared by the KNVB chiefs who only booked the team’s Rio de Janeiro hotel accomodation up until the semi-final, but the team defied expectations.

      Seriously? That is just awful!

  149. Bob H says:

    Oranje kicked some serious *ss on the way to the semis with a lot of players that have barely seen any serious international competition. They have nothing to be ashamed of. Well done. Hope they get a warm welcome home.

  150. Balkan says:

    In my opinion it was LVG who brought us this far, no discusion. However he could have pulled another miracle today starting with leaving out RVP and keeping a sub for Krul in case of penalties. Cillessen is too fragile to deal with penalties. The moment Romero stopped Vlaar I knew it was over. Argentina are nothing special, with a bit more accuracy we could have beaten them. Today RVP choke badly as he did against CR and Mexico. I don’t care about his goal against Spain, big players become bigger in elimination games. Robben also choked at the end of the 90 mins. I don’t want to blame any player but I am disappointed, Argentina was beatable but we didn’t try to beat them. We played an excellent defense but which counted for nothing as we didn’t hit Romero’s goal more than twice. Can’t win like that. I don’t think I will see Holland ever win a WC but if they get to semifinals every once in a while I will be happy. It seems like we can’t cross that last hurdle.
    Respect to all players and coaching stuff, they left it all in the field. It wasn’t meant to be.
    I don’t have a lot of hope in Hiddink, I rank LVG higher.

  151. HedonistiX says:

    Disappointed but I think it was a fair result. Argentina had more possession and better chances in regulation while we had more possession in extra time. Robben’s chance was great, he just made one step too much.

    My takeaways of this semi match and tournament:

    1. RVP disappointed me again, I don’t know what the f*ck is wrong with him. He should not be our captain anymore. Was he not 100% fit? If he was not, he shouldn’t have started since we already lost a sub for his spot if he’s not expected to be able to finish the match. He just did not look right.

    2. We were totally crushed in midfield today so no flows to Robben/RVP but our defense played their best in this tournament. Sneijder’s kicks were off, Kuyt was one of our best players on the pitch …. AGAIN!

    3. No Depay? Wijnaldum basically did nothing (I wonder if he even had a single touch tonight?) Janmaat for BMI was a good sub. Blind made so many reckless back/side-passes it’s not even funny.

    4. Cillessen guessed right in 2 kicks, might have touched both, so I would not assume Krul would have done better just because he tipped 2 vs Costa Rica. I would not blame the decision not to sub with Krul, in fact, I thought Cillessen played his best tonight with save on that Messi free kicks, decisive, looked confident, etc.

    5. The decision to have Vlaar took the first kick was TERRIBLE. Not sure why we did not continue with the order vs Costa Rica sans RVP: Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt, (maybe Hunter, Vlaar or Vlaar, Hunter). Vlaar’s kick was awful.

    I think this was a much better ending than 2010 even though we went to the final. There is no excessive drama/acting/dives/karate kick/harsh fouls, decent referee-ing and we hang with a perceived favorite Argentinian team (again, with perceived average/mediocre players we have). We were able to contain Messi as well.

    Considering the quality of players – relatively speaking compared to our more talented squad – we did great in the tourney. Need to point out Strootman was not here and LVG had to revamp the midfield because of this. I’m not a big VdV fan but he’s also not here.

    We should look forward and build for EURO 2016. Hopefully we’ll have some more creative midfielders in addition to Strootman.

    Hup Holland Hup!

    • HedonistiX says:

      From the goal.com article:
      “I didn’t want to take a risk on Nigel De Jong being injured, and he was the free man in midfield and [Jordy] Clasie can play going forward better than Nigel. I subbed [Robin] van Persie because he was exhausted.”

      Because he was exhausted? That is just terrible for the captain that’s supposed to lead us!

  152. JB says:

    Guys:

    Had to leave to go to my son’s baseball game, and will post my thoughts later.

    Just wanted to weigh in quikly and about how proud I am of our team.

    Lots of young players got lots of great experience, and we overcame injuries that no one thought we could.

    When you watch the final, be reminded that we only lost to one of the teams in a shootout, and the other is only having success because they’re learning to play with our style!

    Hup Holland Hup!

  153. Jschuurman says:

    The future is bright. Welcome back Van Ginkel, Strootman. Farewell: RVP, Sneijder. I predict Robben returns for Euro 2018 qualifiers, and maybe more.

    Curious to see what changes Hiddink makes. (Ie new ‘keeper?)

  154. Balkan says:

    I just read a comment on the Guardian site: “A team that doesn’t score in 240 mins deserves to go out”. Like it or not it makes sense. We were the highest scoring team until yesterday but somehow couldn’t score in 4 hours of football. We were supposed to outscore our opponents with our strong attack somehow our defense was our great strength.

  155. Yoyogi says:

    Cillessen was mad he got subbed out for the Costa Rica penalty shoot-out demanding he was ready and wants to prove himself to be the best penalty shoot-out goalkeeper. Well he got his chances
    Overall, he did well during the game so it’s hard to put the blame on him.

    Vlaar did very well during this tournament. Him and De vrij really impressed me and exceeded expectations. But why was he picked to take a spot kick first? why? why? why? Whenever the first person misses, it puts enormous pressure on everyone.

    BMI should learn how to play with a yellow card. We should not have to sacrifice a substitution whenever someone picks up a yellow. Just be a bit less aggressive and control yourself. Smart players foul when they have to. To break up a dangerous buildup and give the defense time to recover. They don’t pickup needless yellows in the middle of the park.

    Van Persie should have hang on for a few more minutes. He was walking around a lot so he could have continued doing that.

    It’s all over now. This team has a good foundation to build on. They now know what it takes to win a World Cup. Great experience for the youngsters. I’m sad to see Robben go empty handed while his Munich teammmates might win it all. He was looking for that redemption from 2010.

    Hopefully, we can win the consolation game and at least go home with something. Brazil shamed themselves yesterday. Holland deserves to win 3rd place.

  156. Khoi says:

    I want to say thank you to all the players who gave the their best in this tournament. If we can keep hard working and unify like we did in this tournament, we will for sure will the World Cup in the future.

    As for some critics, I understand your frustration and your desire for the “what if”s but please ask yourself what else we could do. To me, the semi-final was a tactical battle from beginning to end. Both team was built on the same philosophy with multiple defenders and midfielders to protect their goal. In the end, chances were very limited and the game become a battle of stamina then luck.

    Please do not blame RVP for this. Did you notice how much RVP run in this game before he was subbed? Also please spare Van Gaal. Keep the substitutions? Are you serious? Did you notice that Sneijder was walking in the pitch at the end of second half because he could not run anymore? How can we keep up with Argentina in 120 minutes if they use 3 subs and we use 2?

    You could argue that we should attack more but it will never happen. We go into the tournament with this system and we do not suddenly change it in the semi final. If we do, we will be the 2nd Brazil.

    Overall, I think we did well in this WC and I hope we can build the new generation based on this success. With the right attitude and the unity, this new generation will go far.

    Cillessen was brilliant. He was calm in all the matches and made many good saves.

    De Vrij, Vlaar and Blind are world class against Messi, Spain team, Sanchez, …
    BMI and Janmaat are raw talents and they could develop so much more.
    I appreciate what Wijnaldum and RVP did for the team. They have to sacrifice so much to play for the team. I can see many times that Wijnaldum has the change to dribble forward but he release the ball to others. The reason was because he has to be there to protect the backline.
    Depay could reach Robben’s level if he keep working in the right direction.
    Clasie had his first game as a semi-final and he did not choke. He came and made his contribution.
    And maybe Robben, Sneijder, RVP and Kuyt will not be done in 2/4 years.
    And of course, Strootman and Van Ginkel will come back in 2 years.
    We have the right platform to build the team!!!

    • richarde says:

      I don’t agree about Wijnaldum: German has five guys working around the box, cutting and making passes. How are you going to create offense if all you’ve got is three guys, and even they don’t have a lot of chemistry? It is what it is–Wijnaldum was not ready to play a proper midfield role. Losing Strootman hurt this team badly.

      Playing Kuyt on the left in the second half was another sign of our limitations. Kuyt does not have the pace to get by anyone, and he’s right-footed, so all he could do with take the ball inside and hit a cross. He can cross pretty nicely but it is very one-dimensional play. I’m not being critical of Kuyt–I have always been a huge fan of his, just saying that was one of our attacking issues.

      • Khoi says:

        I agree with your analysis. And it is not in in contrast to what I said. We all know the limitation of our team. Kuyt can not dribble, there are many static players. And there is only two solution: one is to find a work around which we did brilliant in this tournament, the other way is to improve our skill.
        German can play that fluid passing football because they have not only one Strootman but 4 or 5. I said I appreciate Wijnaldum for the sacrifices:
        1. He does not play at his natural position
        2. He keep his composure and discipline till the end. He know that he can dribble forward and he did not do because he knows the risk. He could lose the ball because he is not that good yet and noone will cover him because we do not have the players to cover him. That discipline was what we did not have in the 2012. Everyone went for their glory. This team is so much different. You do not see that random shoot from 30 yards from every single players on the field. They play as a team until the last minute.

        He may just did his job and nothing more. His attitude is absolutely right. And in two years, he could become good and dribble us to the final. When I first see him at Feyenoord, he reminds me of Drenthe and Babel. That is not the impression after what I see at this World Cup. He would at least reach 6 or 7/10 but he will never become 0 like some other wasted talents.

  157. richarde says:

    Very sad to see the Dutch lose today. I thought going in we were slightly better than the argies and would win a close match but it turned into a fierce defensive struggle and except for a few brief moments The Netherlands did not generate enough attack. Neither did Argentina. Both teams were stout defensively and it was a real stalemate match.

    This turned out to be a pretty damn good team–not great but pretty damn solid, and my only rationalization for this defeat is that after playing two OT games and with guys nicked up it would have taken a minor miracle to beat a very good and very fresh German team (which had a stroll in its semifinal and got one extra day off). Would hate to get to the final and lose again.

    I thought LVG did a fantastic job with a team that had some obvious limitations–but his magic ran out today. I’m surprised he didn’t save Krul again as if any game looked to be going to penalties from a long way off, it was this one. Unfortunately, BMI was BAD AND got a yellow and he really did need to be subbed out. That limited LVG’s substitution options. (I would love for somebody to tell me where this tradition of only allowing 3 subs for a full football game originated. It is very strange, IMO, and it hurts games like this when many players are obviously spent.)

    I cannot understand why Vlaar–of all people–would take the first penalty kick. Was that LVG’s decision? Bizarre. They have Messi taking the first kick and we choose a defenseman? That is a TOTAL head-scratcher. Makes no sense.

    This, sadly, is the end of the WC road for Robben, RVP and Sneijder–three great Dutch players. That is tough: they will be very hard to replace. Robben played his freakin’ heart out in this tourney–and Sneijder played with a lot of courage, too. RVP was good early but seemed to have fitness issue in the last three games. Also very sorry to see Kuyt play his last WC game: What a lion. LVG was smart to include him, and play him, and he played well in most ways though his lack of attacking threat was noticeable today.

    Vlaar was an absolute ROCK in this tournament–he was MOM today. Very impressed by his play in just about every game. Hats off to the guy.

    Holland’s biggest weakness is that, while RVP and Robben are special, the attack consisted mostly in trying to get one of them the ball in a 1×1 situation with a little space near goal. If that didn’t work, and it didn’t today, we had little. Not much chemistry between those two–and not much combination play with the midfielders–mostly because Sneijder was the only midfielder who got involved in attack–so we were mostly a three-man team in attack, plus a few crosses from Kuyt. Too few runs down the middle; too little creativity. German has five guys that combine and have lots of chemistry; Holland, not so much. De Guzman started but did not impress. I don’t quite understand Wijnaldum: I guess he is sound defensively and works hard but he contributes nothing at all in attack. In fact, he seems to impede the attack because when he gets the ball he looks scared and most of the time wants to pass it sideways or backwards. I’m sure he’ll get better.

    Overall, I congratulate the team on a tremendous effort. Still think we are a better team than argentina. Will pull for Germany now.

    • HedonistiX says:

      richarde,

      I cannot understand why Vlaar–of all people–would take the first penalty kick. Was that LVG’s decision? Bizarre.

      I asked the same question earlier on this thread post, ran into an article that mentions LVG thinks he was the best player on the pitch, an assessment you/I both agree with. So most likely it was LVG’s decision.

      I still think it was not good enough a reason. As you also pointed out, Messi went first. Our sequence vs Costa Rica was how I’d like to see it: big 3, Kuyt. With RVP out, obvious first taker I think should have been Robben regardless of Vlaar’s performance.

      My take on the match is also similar to yours, it was like a chess match with not many real chances. They were tough to crack, we could not attack but our defense was stellar.

      It’s going to be a painful Sun since I’ll also be pulling for Germany. I suspect Argentina – who’ll be the underdog based on preliminary betting lines – will pull an upset.

      The conspiracy theorist in me says they will prevent a European country to be the first to win in the Americas (as much as Brazil and Argentina are arch enemies). The fact the Germans did not stop after 4-5 goals yesterday may also hurt their cause on Sun.

    • Khoi says:

      Van Gaal said that he asked two other players to take the first spot kick and they do not feel good to take. I do not think we can blame it on Van Gaal. When it comes to penalty, it is the players that must come up with the courage to take it. Anyway, I do not try to blame Robben or Sneijder for not taking the first penalty. If you run 240 minutes in two matches, you can feel bad and lose your precision.

      In the end, I do not think we should choose a space goat for this loss. The team is still young and they can improve a lot. In 2 years, we may win in normal game time against team like Argentina.

      • richarde says:

        Thanks–good to know. It really shows how much steel Vlaar showed in this tourney. He shouldn’t have taken the first kick–but since no one else wanted it, it fell to him. I think nearly everybody on the team was spent. We expended too much energy in that stupid Costa Rica game.

    • JB says:

      I agree with the vast majority of what was said by Richarde, HedonistiX and Khoi above.

      I don’t know that I’ll be pulling for Germany, or if I will even watch the final.

  158. jdv says:

    Laurent,

    What are you doing here?

    You said yourself if Holland got this far you would not return to this blog for good

    Now be a man of your word and bounce on out for good.

  159. Yoyogi says:

    I would not rule out Robben coming back. He is in fine physical shape and I hope he doesn’t go to the premier league. It is very demanding on the body and his chances of picking up injuries also increases. If he can keep his form, he can definitely come back for Euro 2016.

    Sneijder and Van Persie may have hit the end of the road. RVP may return if he can stay injury free plus there isn’t much competition for his place anyways at the moment. It will be a huge gap to fill. However, he may retire to focus on his club career.

    This may also be the last run for Huntelaar. He may want to stick around if RVP retires. Finally, can get his chance without much competition.

    Future looks promising…sad to think that we are out. The World cup needs to be held every 3 years. 4 years is too long. We are getting older. I want to see Oranje win at least one in my lifetime!

  160. JB says:

    Guys:

    It’s all about expectations! If anyone had told you before the World Cup started that:

    We’d obliterate Spain 5-1
    We’d win group B outright and be the highest scoring team in group play.
    We’d come back from a deficit to win in three separate games
    We’d win a game in 90+ degree temperature and another in penalty kicks
    We’d make it to the semis, where we’d lose in a shoot-out to Argentina

    I think most of us would have been pretty happy with that!

    The US team was the same way. If anyone had predicted they’d go 1-1-1, beat Ghana, tie Portugal 2-2 and lose to Germany 1-0, and then lose to Belgium 1-0 in the KO rounds in extra time, I think any American fan would have been ecstatic.

    It’s just how it plays out, and how your expectations are affected that makes it feel like we do now.

    • Bret from SoCal says:

      @JB;

      I would have agreed with you 1 month ago, but not now. Because of how ggod they actually were playing mentally had me very excited and raised my expectations. This team showed me something that other KNVB teams never had, which was “win”. Do whatever it takes to win. Was van Gaal putting ona tactical master class at times? Yes. But this team had “nads”. That Mexico game sealed it for me. We simply refused to lose.
      And today we simply refused to win.

      • JB says:

        Bret:

        Agree regarding the mentality and mindset of the team. It was great, as was the US team’s as well.

        Hopefully, everyone involved will see and appreciate how this team bonded and became mentally tough, and rallied from adversity, and those traits will be valued by all Dutch players and coaches in the future.

        That’s one of the great attributes that we can always remember about this team!

  161. Miguel Rosado says:

    I would like to thank the Dutch National Team for this amazing WC filled with emotions. I am proud of this team as they fought till the end and I do appreciate their hard work.

    LVG was outstanding the whole tournament. Many here said nasty things about him and will keep saying more especially now that we lost but he got us to the semis.

    LVG transformed our youngsters into winning men!!!.

    I do think we could’ve done better with 4-3-3 against Argentina with Depay taking off some pressure from RVP and Robben.

    It’s a shame Kuyt won’t make it to the next WC and Robben, Sneijder, Nigel, RVP, Huntelaar and Vlaar will be 33-34 years old but maybe we can see one or two of them in Russia. I do hope so.

  162. Miguel Rosado says:

    cillessen 25
    vorm 30
    krul 26
    janmaat 24
    verhaegh 30
    ron vlaar 29
    de vrij 22
    indi 22
    veltman 22
    blind 24
    wijnaldum 23
    clasie 23
    nigel 29
    sneijder 30
    fer 24
    de guzman 26
    robben 30
    van persie 30
    huntelaar 31
    depay 20
    kuyt 33
    lens 26

  163. Jan says:

    Yo guys, my sympathy to all of us/you.

    It wasn’t to be. I am traveling at the moment but will post soon and hope to help us/you with processing this loss.

    Bottom line: I think the lads AND the coach have done enormously well!!

    I am extremely proud of them 🙂

  164. TIJU1234 says:

    As fan fan am severly down,for me always i take it as”” its now or never”.Well there is always a nextime,but next time fot next generation.Being content about what you got is a good thing but we must always look furthur and we must get optimal from what we have got.
    So far LVG was successful and unfortunate he had to deal with several injured players Vaart,Stroot,Vanginkel,Nijel an Fer this has taken a toll finally like 2002 he had.
    We should have used our setpeices well,like germany does.it would have made life easier,We lacked quality setpices from sneijder,we missed vaart.LVG should nt have started RVP and Nijel beacause both were not fit.like Costa incident to Athletico,it limits you in tactcs.RVP continued choking ,i dont think Hunter would have been different.We should have started with Deguzman as he was very fit.
    We should have burried game before 90 minutes,its all should haves.Down but some guys played exceptionally well i mean kuyt,Vlaar,Devrij,Robben,Wijnaldum.

  165. Miguel Rosado says:

    From our younger players I was amazed with BMI, De Vrij, Wijnaldum, Vlaar, Janmaat, Blind, Cillessen, Krul, Fer, Depay. They’ll be the base of the NT.

    and if you mix the with Strootman, Rekik, Van Ginkel, Van Aanholt, Maher, Locadia, Narsingh, Ake, Vilhena then you have a great generation!!! by the way I believe Robben, Sneijder, RVP and Huntelaar will go to Euro 2016.

  166. TIJU1234 says:

    i still think presence of Messi made us back foot,i mean we would have gone for kill by 433..but we know arjetina with Messi at focal point on counter attck will cost us a goal.its messi name,.
    Refree was picece of shit he should have 2 yellow carded demichellis.Arjetine physically handled our players,at time Nijel and vlaar game them back.but still..really down

  167. islander says:

    We didn’t deserve to win and when I saw KJH come on I realised we weren’t going to. RVP had spent the whole game playing against 3 defenders on his own with no service and no overlapping from the fullbacks. To bring on KJH who is less likely to make a goal from nothing and who thrives on good service was a mistake. LVG wasted his final substitute and it ended up costing holland the game, particularly given that KJH didn’t even take a penalty in the shootout.

    Perhaps the better option would have been depay for RVP, dirk to centre forward and a switch to 433 with depay and robben running at the defenders rather than a static striker waiting for service that hadn’t been coming and never arrived.

    Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, hard work can only take you so far and throughout the whole tournament the midfield has been lacking a player who can dictate the pace of a game. When holland really needed to move the ball quicker to make space all they could think to do was give the ball it Dirk who ended up either coming inside or playing it backwards.

    Disappointed but their are signs for the future of things not being as bad as some on here might have thought.

    Hup holland hup

    • richarde says:

      You make some great points. There simply was no room for RVP just as there was no room for Messi–both defenses were totally vigilant. Depay instead of KJH makes sense–in hindsight! I do think LVG should have anticipated penalties and using Krul. The Dutch worked very hard in this tournament–and were certainly as good as if not better than Argentina.

    • JB says:

      Agree completely with these comments as well.

  168. ycsng0822 says:

    Actually I think this is the best performance by the Dutch team in this WC.
    Both teams played out a very tactical, controlled and measured game.
    My MOTM is Vlaar or Macherano. Superb game in my opinion.
    Penalty is always a lottery.
    Anyway, Holland has certainly over-achieved and exceeded all expectations.

    I am hoping that we can cap off this fine tournament with a win against Brazil even though the match is consequential. It will be nice to beat Brazil at their own backyard.

    HUP HOLLAND. 🙂

  169. jruiter says:

    Well folks, I’m gutted. I’m so sad that its the last we will see of Kuyt, Robben, Sneijder, RvP, De Jong and Vlaar. They have brought me a lot of joy over the years. Our new guys need more experience to get to the level we need them to be for the Euro. We are also without a clinical striker – we currently have no one developing into something uber special.

    For me, Vlaar and Kuyt were players of the tournament for us!

    I am happy we did come as far as we did. LvG has done really well. Hopefully Guus can uncover some gems and improve upon what Louis started.

  170. van banger says:

    I’ve had a while to think about the game now and the longer time goes by the harder it is to accept that we are out of the WC.
    My summary is that we did not go out to win the match we were just trying to survive the match which never works. I was amazed that Argentina would park the bus the way they did in the second half, they have Messi for Christ sakes and they play defensive!
    Ron Vlaar should be cast in gold after that performance he was clearly the MOM and dominated the whole match even looking to give attacking passes at time, how must he feel though when the ball just keeps coming back to him every time! I bet he wishes Dirky had the pace to take on his defender sometimes. Funny thing was I thought he would just bury his penalty into the back of the net, oh well not to be.
    Don’t blame RVP for not performing, if you watched the game you would see a defender or two on his back every single time he got the ball which was very rare, if you know anything about football then you know that playing as a loan striker with your back to goal is the hardest job of all, the team gave him and Robben very little today!

    • Guillaume vB says:

      Totally agree. Vlaar was exceptional yesterday. Won all balls near him. I guess it was a logical choice for first PK (carry on momentum). If there is a blame it is on the players that did not want to take fist shot.

      But mostly, yes, they came out not to lose, and sadly not to win (except for a few minutes in overtime of regulation time). I’d say the max intensity of yersterday’s game was about half that of the last 20 minutes against Mex, or even the 120 against CR. No pressing high up (was the ball even there?).

      Were they tired? Was it bad choice of players (why subbing KJH and not Depay)? Did van Gaal insist too much on defense (Robben and vP too isolated)?

      My guess is it was a mix of all. As much as I would have been devastated had they lost the PK against Costa Rica, I was not after Argentina. As Balkan said: whatever the reasons, if you don’t score in 240 minutes, you don’t deserve to go on. My only sadness is that Argentina did not deserve to go on either (and eliminated my two countries, us and Switzerland ;-( ). But I do feel both coaches/team robbed us of good entertainment (I had predicted a 7-7 draw)…

    • JB says:

      Completely agree with these comments as well.

      It’ refreshing to come here and read thoughtful posts with perspective and optimism.

      Personally, I would have considered Vlaar a weak point in the team at the outset of the tournament, and several others as well. But after seeing many young players perform competently under great pressure at the highest level, my hope for the future is invigorated.

  171. van banger says:

    We can look forward with great expectations from now, the bones of this team are very good with quality players to come in, no team in this WC has taken the world by storm, ok Germany but only against a hapless Brasil.
    And for all of the faults Laurent points out, we still made the Semi Final, top 4 of the world, imaging when we fix the faults how well we will play.
    I’m very proud to be Dutch and very proud of the players and coach who gave more than we all expected!

    Bring on Brasil for 3rd place!
    Hup!

  172. jruiter says:

    Did anyone imagine we would have ever been praising our defence 2 years ago. We learned how to defend, something a dutch team can very rarely do.

    We need a few strikers now and some guys like Robben who aren’t afraid to dribble.

    De Guzman had a bad showing but I feel like he was used incorrectly. I would have liked to see him take free kicks but I don’t think, wes, rvp or robben would allow it.

  173. jruiter says:

    De Guzman is a diamond in the rough like the rest of our youngsters. Lets pray they stay in the Eredivisie a while and develop more instead of bench warming at some billionaires fantasy league team (man city, psg, fill in the blank)

  174. onzie says:

    beyond sad right now another four years wait.

    still a game versus brazil left i dont even feel like speculating what hiddink will do.

    3rd place game would like to see 4-3-3 go out with a bang

    depay———–huntelaar——–lens
    ——-sneijder——wijnaldum——-
    ————-clasie——————
    blind—veltman—–de vrij—–janmaat
    —————vorm——————–

  175. ARS says:

    Match for third place is nonsense.Should both teams get bronze.But never mind. Small final.

    Holland must to stand up.Relax.And play the game as best Holland can.This can be the toughest match.Brasil will want to kill those 1-7.

    I think, the Dutch team a lot of energy and inspiration spent on the group stage ,later Mexico and Costa Rica ,while Argentina focused on the finish World Cup.(without spending a lot of energy in group stage)
    Against Dutch team they had “first major expenditure of energy”.

    • richarde says:

      I can’t imagine Holland beating Brazil as the team has played two overtimes, is tired and unhappy–and meanwhile Brazil certainly will want to show something after their semifinal humiliation. The third place game is stupid–waste of time and energy.

  176. Nick says:

    I think Jan jinxed it all by not posting a preview.

    It’s all your fault!

    /sob

  177. Alistair says:

    Anyway guys, it wasn’t to be. However we must say that the team has made big achievements over the last years (except for the 2012 disaster). The team seems to have achieved the winning mentality and fighting spirit that was so dearly missed in previous generations (2010 was not a fluke – 2014 confirmed that we remain a big force in world football).

    Now let’s look with great interest at the Hiddink era. We have some very exciting youngsters (some of them were not in Brazil), midfield with Strootman and Van Ginkel will be much stronger than in Brazil and rest assured that we will still have Robben, De Jong and RVP in 2016. So it will be the perfect mix of very experienced players with some exciting youngsters!

  178. Simon says:

    Proud and happy, but disappointed as well of course.

    Apart from the early Argentine forays down our left flank I thought we contained them really well, and this was our best defensive display for many years. Of course a special mention has to be given to Vlaar who probably makes team of the tournament with that display alone. BMI, de Vrij and Janmaat all have their reputations enhanced.

    NDJ was immense as usual and Kuyt is a true legend and an inspiration to us all. Clasie started brightly when he came on, but then faded. I felt he didn’t have the confidence to turn his man (which Kuyt did!) or play the incisive through ball (which Kuyt can’t!). Same for Wijnaldum ~ I have a big question mark over him.

    It’s time to say goodbye and thanks for the memories to at least 2 of the big 3. Say what you like about RvP but his headed goal against Spain was genius, and caused the biggest (football related) explosion of joy for me since Bergkamp ’98 (v Argentina). Thanks Robin.

    I hope Robben keeps going but with so many talents coming through we can all look forward to more great tournaments in the future. My 10 year old son left the house (in London) this morning proudly and defiantly wearing his Oranje top. He’ll see us lift the World Cup one day.

    • richarde says:

      I wouldn’t say that BMI or Janmaat enhanced their reputations. BMI was pulled at half yesterday because he was bad. Janmaat didn’t play after the first game until yesterday’s second half when he replaced BMI and played better.

  179. Jad says:

    Am very proud of the achievement, and after this world cup the dutch team will be present in the semi finals of the next competitions am sure, as the mentality has been changed,

    we started with a mediacore team and ended with elite team, guus hiddink will continue on van gaal achievements,

    looking forward for Euro 2016.

    Hup Holland hup

  180. Abhirup says:

    Hi guys..
    I’ve never experienced such mixed emotions in my life before..I’m proud and gutted at the same time..
    Yet another “so close yet so far” experience at the biggest stage of world football..I didn’t post for a while cause I was too busy celebrating our victories but damn, this hurts!!
    🙁

  181. Alistair says:

    What a wonderful statement from a FIFA.com article:

    “While it remains to be seen if Van Persie, Sneijder and Co will grace the world finals stage again, the new breed of Dutch internationals have at least had the honour of playing and learning alongside them, an experience that could well see them take over as the standard bearers of future Dutch sides attempting to conquer the world.”

  182. AZ-forever says:

    Good morning everybody!

    Good article at http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2014/next-holland-coach-guus-hiddink-3835613

    Guus Hiddink: “Guus Hiddink is grateful for the work Louis van Gaal has done at the World Cup and feels taking over in September will be like accepting a present”

    We will rock in France, Euro 2016.

    Now we need to focus on our next game. We need to beat Brazil as we have nothing to lose !!!!

  183. Mohamed says:

    I want to thank everyone in the squad for this. No need to blame LvG or the players as they gave all what they could. It will be great if we win the game vs Brazil. We have to continue with this German mentality and get the third spot , For me it’s kinda better than losing another final.
    We are in a very similar stage to Germany in 2006. After reaching the final in 2002/2010 , bad euro 2004/2012 , we reach the semis 2006/2014 with a young team , but we are better as we reached the semis in Brazil , not in home like the Germany.

    Vorm , Kongolo , Veltman , Clasie and Depay should all start. This can be a nice experience for them to play an official game vs Brazil with no real pressure.
    Kuyt should also start as this will be his last game with the Orange shirt :'( . I will just miss him a lot .
    Kudos to the team that ended the World cup witout losing a game , despite lack of experience and Injuries.
    Hiddink should try new faces in the attack in the next Euro , because we want a complete team by the next WC , not a team that has experience at the back and too light-weight upfront . He has Depay to start with.

    • HedonistiX says:

      Mohamed,

      It will be great if we win the game vs Brazil. We have to continue with this German mentality and get the third spot , For me it’s kinda better than losing another final.

      We are in a very similar stage to Germany in 2006. After reaching the final in 2002/2010 , bad euro 2004/2012 , we reach the semis 2006/2014 with a young team , but we are better as we reached the semis in Brazil , not in home like the Germany.

      Both excellent points. I know LVG said the 3rd place match should not be played but I hope we will play to win this. I see this match to be an excellent avenue to put younger players who have not played much until yesterday, they’ll also have fresher legs.

      I heard Germany required their clubs to set aside EUR 2 million to fund their youth development plan. This is an article on this:
      http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/may/23/germany-bust-boom-talent

      As I know it, some top Eredivisie clubs have excellent youth programs but perhaps it is time to coordinate and develop a more centralized/national program like the Germans.

      There is also an interesting point about how they changed their emphasis from “size” to “technique” of players. Our current squad (the younger ones) seems to have a good combination of different types of players, i.e.: de Frij, BMI are more physical, Depay, Clasie look more technically gifted.

      Disappointed that we lost here but content with the performance. I do think this was a better ending than 2010 final when we were outplayed.

      I’m very bullish on our prospect in EU2016 under Guus, while secretly hoping my all-time idol Frank de Boer will take over for WC2018.

      HUP HOLLAND HUP!

  184. Mohamed says:

    Btw I expect Robben to be there in 2018. Perhaps as sub. , but will be a mentor for the lads and come fresh as a starter when it matters “quarter-finals and Semi’s”. A source of confidence. Like Klose with Germany this WC.

  185. Dozer says:

    Considering all the injury problems we had before the tournament, this was a great World cup, as I see it. The game against Spain is historical, and we were really Close to reach the finals.

    Our best players: De Vrij, Vlaar, De Jong, Robben, Kuyt.

    Looking forward to the EC qualifications under Hiddink’s regime. But first a game against Brazil; a game none of the teams want to play.

    Jan: I just sent you some beer.

  186. Abhirup says:

    Robben certainly has another tournament left in him before he bids adieu to the Oranje jersey..
    But the main question is..should we include him in the starting 11 in the near future??
    Don’t get me wrong..for me, Arjen is the 2nd best footballer in the world right now but frankly speaking, aren’t we too dependent on him to make things happen on the pitch?
    I think its time to rest the veterans and give the youngsters a chance to flourish…(except maybe RVP coz we don’t have anybody to replace him right now..Hunter is too static for my liking). By playing RVP, Sneijder and Robben , aren’t we forcing ourselves to be dependent on them? Look at France..without Ribery, they played such attractive football. My suggestion to Hiddink would be, rest the superstars..let the young guns handle some responsibility.. This way, they’ll learn to grind out results in the next major tournaments.
    Thoughts??
    I’m already looking forward to the friendly against Italy.. HUP HOLLAND! 🙂

  187. ycsng0822 says:

    In this WC, I learnt that football match can be won with good tactics and organized team. The way LVG does it is just so refreshing. Talked to anyone and they would say the same. Quoting LVG, “WC can be won with a team of 23players”. How true this is.

    On the flip side, Scholl mentioned that Dutch team is tactically overloaded and that inhibit the players’ play. It does make sense actually.
    But the question is can be not do it and be successful in this WC? Something to ponder.

    • AZ-forever says:

      I think Hiddink needs to find a golden mid-point: between tactics and freedom to play. It is easy to say but difficult to implement. With respect to our veterans, they have to play until we find younger replacements. The problem is that we might be at risk of having a deficit of talented forwards. Except Depay, I do not see any talented forwards who could lead our attack in the near future. Many young talents arise but also vanish quickly. Look at Narsingh, where is he now? Memphis Depay is very talented but he could also disappear very quickly. Guys, like Bass Dost and Riky van Wolfswinkel have never been employed. If you look at Eredivisie top scorer list, they are all foreigners. Luc Castaignos is the only closest one, who is quite mediocre player to me.

      I am quite optimistic about our defense and midfield though.

  188. Jschuurman says:

    Which two players refused to take the first penalty? I find that pretty stunning.

  189. Balkan says:

    There is nothing wrong with pointing out LVG mistakes. With Krul on Goal we would have had a strong chance of progressing. I think LVG thought his magic move would be Clasie which didn’t pan out that great. How can you use a young kid in a semi final when he hasn’t even had 1 minute of playing time under his belt. In the end we lost when we played not to lose. Law of the game.
    Expectations went higher after the group stage and so I am disappointed. We can say all the praise in the world for LVG and players etc. but in the end we again are empty handed.
    I would get some satisfaction if we beat Brazil on Saturday. They will play hard to beat us and compensate for the Germany humiliation. I hope this won’t be the case.

    • AZ-forever says:

      We have to free ourselves from heavy tactics and give some freedom to players in Brazil game.

      • Balkan says:

        I agree. We haven’t scored in 240 minutes. I am curious to see how will LVG go about this game. Give them freedom to play with a good chance of losing or play not to lose and get the third place?
        On another note I hope Germany crushes Argentina. I expect Arg to park a few buses to try and frustrate the germans.

  190. Paul says:

    A few thoughts.

    Vlaar has stepped up and shown his leadership. He is only 29, so he will definitely be at WC 2018. 33 is not too old for a CB. He is now our rock and a leader. De Vrij and Janmaat were also great, have great defensive awareness (which is tough to teach), and should only get better.

    Our midfield looks very promising. Clasie looked great when he came on, i was very impressed. With Strootman and Van Ginkel, we are set in midfield, great balance.

    The problem is obviously in attack, which is a new problem for the dutch. But, we have never won a world cup despite all of the attacking talent in the world.

    Maybe it is time to take our new strengths, defense and midfield, and build around them to win. Italy did it in 2006, and Argentina is doing it in 2014.

    I think Sneijder should retire from the national team. His set pieces were very poor yesterday, and i think he was partially to blame for the loss. I think RVP should remain, but VDV should also retire. If we want our younger guys to step up, they need to start now.

    All in all, i originally expected us to go out in the group stages, and the semi-final was more than i could ask for. The sad part is that this was a WC which was WIDE OPEN, there are no really great teams, including Germany. We actually had a real shot because of the world-wide lack of talent, in my opinion.

    I think this world wide lack of talent continues, and we will be in the running for years to come.

    • Balkan says:

      Paul, I do not agree on this worldwide lack of talent. Germany has plenty of talent for years to come, France too, Spain as well. This was a good year to win it but it wasn’t meant to be, nothing new for us dutch fans.
      I would like to see a good, deep analysis of a specialist who could point out what minor things could have taken us all the way to the top.

  191. Paul says:

    A few thoughts.

    Vlaar has stepped up and shown his leadership. He is only 29, so he will definitely be at WC 2018. 33 is not too old for a CB. He is now our rock and a leader. De Vrij and Janmaat were also great, have great defensive awareness (which is tough to teach), and should only get better.

    Our midfield looks very promising. Clasie looked great when he came on, i was very impressed. With Strootman and Van Ginkel, we are set in midfield, great balance.

    The problem is obviously in attack, which is a new problem for the dutch. But, we have never won a world cup despite all of the attacking talent in the world.

    Maybe it is time to take our new strengths, defense and midfield, and build around them to win. Italy did it in 2006, and Argentina is doing it in 2014.

    I think Sneijder should retire from the national team. His set pieces were very poor yesterday, and i think he was partially to blame for the loss. I think RVP should remain, but VDV should also retire. If we want our younger guys to step up, they need to start now.

    All in all, i originally expected us to go out in the group stages, and the semi-final was more than i could ask for. The sad part is that this was a WC which was WIDE OPEN, there are no really great teams, including Germany. We actually had a real shot because of the world-wide lack of talent, in my opinion.

    I think this world wide lack of talent continues, and we will be in the running for years to come.

  192. Mohamed says:

    I honestly hope we win the game vs Brazil. I know players are probably in bad mood , but how about Brazil players after the 7-1 ? I think it will be very good if this team finishes the world cup in the 3rd spot without actually being defeated.

    I hope we get the 3rd spot for the first time in Oranje history. This may be our lucky charm for the next tournaments.
    Scolari is talking about a win , LvG Seems not to care. I don’t like this .

    4-3-3 will be nice
    Vorm ; Janmaat , Veltman , Kongolo , Blind ; Clasie , de Jong , Depay ; Lens , Huntelaar , Kuyt.

  193. Mohamed says:

    LvG said that two players refused to take the first penalty , but refused to reveal who they are. That’s why he asked Vlaar to take the first penalty as he was the best dutch player on the feild.
    I can’t really blame him after all.

  194. richarde says:

    Why do they play a third place game in the WC? It’s stupid–the players are spent and don’t care; nobody cares. It is utterly pointless, IMO, given that the players on semifinal teams have already played six games.

    We surely will see Robben and RVP in the next Euro–but the next WC in four years? I doubt it. They will both be about 34! If we start playing more combination play close to the box, maybe they can become poachers like Klose.

  195. sjoa says:

    First off Thanks to Jan for creating this site- especially for the non Dutch speakers. If you love it and haven’t yet donated, please consider doing so.

    I’ve been a Dutch fan ever since I married into the country…a little over 20 years ago…and really became a fan in ’94 when the WC was held in my country – USA. I was fortunate (or unfortunate) to witness the quarter final in Dallas vs Brazil – still don’t know how Jan Woulters didn’t stop Branco’s ball near the post!!!

    Anyway, I now bleed orange – even over my own stars and stripes. I am disappointed about the loss – but realistically, I realize there is no way we would have been able to compete vs Germany in the final with only 3 days to recover. The Costa Rica match did us in….that had to be finished in regular time. Then we might have done better yesterday.

    I too was frustrated with RvP but he received 0 service. So I can’t really blame him. The creativity in the midfield was sorely lacking, but perhaps that’s because Argentina played so strong. And Robben had very little space – it was obvious the Argentine’s game planned against him. And Sneijder should have done better with his free kicks…they were awful.

    But all in all – it was (and still is) a very entertaining tournament. 2nd and probably 4th isn’t too bad for a country of 16+ million.

    Before it all started I predicted the final 4 – with the Dutch beating Germany in the final. So close!

    I also predicted that they would score 12 goals in the entire tournament. After Mexico I thought that prediction would be way off….I surely now wish it was!

    Many thanks to all of your insights….everyone. Perhaps I’m naive, but I don’t understand all the vitriol toward Laurent….he’s just expressing an opinion, no? Perhaps it may be unfairly critical – but it’s his opinion nonetheless.

  196. Jason says:

    Here is my first post, but I have lurked for many many years.

    I think LVG made the right choice in bringing on Huntelaar, it was the choice to try and win it and not go to penalties. Unsuccessful of course, but the right motivation.

    If he had saved his sub for Krul, everyone would have accused him of being negative and planning penalties from the beginning which I don’t believe he was.

    I loved the Clasie substitution, and wish I had seen more of him. Maybe against CR would have been ideal, but who am I to question LVG who managed to get this team to the semis. Amazing team spirit.

    I loved the ride, and the team represented well. Lots of excitement for the future. Hup

  197. onzie says:

    lets not hate on van persie, huntelaar didn’t do anything either, the reason why, sneijder didn’t give the passes and kuyt kicked everything all over the place

  198. richarde says:

    Why couldn’t/didn’t Clasie play in Wijnaldum’s spot in this tourney? Wouldn’t he have added more to attack and been just as responsible defensively?

  199. vanfadly says:

    the young guns really have stepped up their game in this World Cup. the togetherness of the squad is something Hiddink should maintain at all cost. for me it was the most enjoyable thing to watch at the tournament, not the run of Robben, or magic of Van Persie.

    either Vlaar or De Vrij should move to Man.United and continue working under LVG.
    Cillessen, Blind, Depay should move too. Clasie should stay at Feyenoord for another year.

  200. Miguel Rosado says:

    We’ve an amazing generation of players with some gaining huge experience in this WC. Now for the EC 2016 Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar, RVP, Vlaar, Nigel won’t be too old. At least I think Hiddink should consider them for the EC.

    cillessen—25
    vorm——–30
    krul——–26
    janmaat—–24
    verhaegh—-30
    ron vlaar—29
    de vrij—–22
    indi——–22
    kongolo—–20
    veltman—–22
    blind——-24
    wijnaldum—23
    clasie——23
    nigel——-29
    sneijder—-30
    fer———24
    de guzman—26
    robben——30
    van persie–30
    huntelaar—31
    depay——-20
    kuyt——–33
    lens——–26
    strootman—24
    narsingh—-23
    van ginkel–21
    van aanholt-23
    ake———19
    wiel——–26
    van rhijn—23
    rekik——-20
    vilhena—–19

  201. Keko says:

    Are we condemned to be eternally animators and see how others national teams lift up that fucking cup? It’s really tiresome to have seen in the past mediocre teams winning and Netherlands never.

  202. vanvader says:

    Really trying to figure out what Wijnaldum’s role was. He played timid and tentative. Which surprised me because he’s a decent offensive player. He worked hard and I have hope for him, but he needs to grows some balls

  203. Robin O'Brien says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the general sentiment here — proud of the team for over achieving, looking forward to the future with the young guys on the team having received invaluable seasoning for the future. Defence and midfield futures look quite bright, major questions remain regarding the offence, but I’m cautiously optimistic that that will work itself out over time. Couple of observations about the game:

    – I’m proud of both teams for playing a disciplined,hard-nosed, but largely clean game. After Brazil’s last two games (I frankly found the Colombia game almost as great a horror show as the Germany game — complete chaos on both sides), I found this cagey chess match quite refreshing. I guess it restored my sense of order in the universe. I had been concerned that the game may devolve into an 80’s Uruguay-style effort to pulverize Messi and Robben’s ankles; instead, both teams used outstanding team defence and some transcendent individual performances (Vlaar and Mascherano — bravo!) to neutralize the opposing superstar

    – After crying unabashedly at the end of the Costa Rica game, I was left strangely cold by this game. I was disappointed that Oranje didn’t do just a little more to try to win the game, e.g, bring in Memphis, take a few more opportunities to risk a pass or rush into the midfield versus knocking it around at the back. By some time during the second half, I was resigned that it would go to penalties, and I really felt that Argentina deserved the win. By the end, I was really just numb, and exhausted.

    And I agree about abolishing the third place game. This year in particular illustrates its folly — I can’t imagine what it will be like for the Brazilians to have to play that game!

    Well, it’s been a great ride, and I’m excited for the march to Euro 2016. Let me finally get Jan his $25ish, and I’ll look forward to seeing you guys back here for qualification.

  204. JB says:

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, Germany has made the finals utilizing a style they have derived from the Dutch. Spain made the previous final using their own interpretation of our style. Our football is winning, even if we are not the ones playing it.

    We developed it and perfected it, and everyone else has been watching and learning. We no longer have that competitive advantage, but we certainly can still compete and develop top quality players.

    I think BVM provided the groundwork for a mentally tougher Dutch team in 2010, but after Euro 2012’s failure we were adrift. LVG has rehabilitated our team and enlivened our spirit and enthusiasm once again. Maybe Hiddink can take the next steps with the current and upcoming generations.

    For the third place game, I’d poll the veterans (RVP, Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt, etc.) and see how they want to approach it. If they want to go all out and try to win the bronze, then let’s do it. If not, let’s use this as a showcase for the next generation of upcoming talent – play 433 and let Vorm, Kongolo, Veltman, Fer, Clasie, Lens, Depay and the other young players and subs get out and kick around and have fun with it. Enjoy the last game of their World Cup and give the fans a glimpse of the future.

  205. Alistair says:

    Not concerned about future options for our attack. We now have a 20 yr old who already scored 2 WC goals Depay, and there are a number of other super talents – Promes, Narsingh, Ziyech, Boetius and others. And obviously RVP and Robben will be with us in 2016 at least. It will be interesting to see how Hiddink will design the squad with this mix of players.

  206. bitterballen says:

    I hope I will see our Oranje lift the trophy at least once in my life, hopefully more. I am 34 but still….

    I know we exceeded all expectations and overachieved in Brazil but I am gutted. This golden group undoubtedly deserved to win something and the chance went begging. Our future is always bright and it only takes 7 wins to lift the word’s biggest trophy but starting from scratch is painful to think about.

    The more I wait the harder it is to continue watching.

    I credit Jan for coming back to this blog every time we go down, instilling belief, and galvanizing our supporters. It seems different this time. It’s harsh. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

    Need to tune out of football for a while.

  207. Albo says:

    Is it just me or did Van Persie seem spent, even before the game (at the anthem)?
    You could see determination in all the other players faces, but not in Van Persie’s.
    Van Persie is the eternal group stage player. We effectively played with 10 men. I know many of you like Blind but I’m not impressed by him. He’s easily muscled out, like it happened in the beginning of first half through the center. I remember when Vlaar was heralded as the new Stam and he failed miserably against Italy in that friendly 3-1 loss. What a change!!! He was a rock. Unfortunate he had to take the first shot. I never see defenders as great PK takers. My confidence on Van Gaal grew with time but the last game he just committed hara-kiri. I like Janmaat so I’m might be biased, but how come he was left out while Blind was never in doubt? I know, I know we are all geniuses now but I just feel like a need to vent out. I just love our new back line. I’ll miss de Jong and Kuyt for sure. I feel about Van Persie the same way I felt about Seedorf. Great club players but failures with the Oranje. If only Van Gaal was not so soft! Who would have thought he could be soft? Van Persie….. I’m so pissed!

  208. Guillaume vB says:

    Sometimes I want to hail van Gaal for the amazing successes we had this WC.

    But at some other times, I cannot help but think he only took risks when he was absolutely _forced_ to, like when we were behind (so often! and with so many come backs!!), or were “expected” to win (against CR).

    I think he was overly cautious in the last game. If only we had been a little bit more attacking…

    But then again, I think that we had been attacking more, Argentina might have stolen the game with a counter, and I would be way more sad than after the rather dull affair of yesterday.

    Mixed feelings 😉

  209. JB says:

    I’m very disappointed in this PK selection fall-out in the press today. That’s something that should have remained “in house” and not been revealed to the public.

    If the coach allows the players to determine who will take the kicks, then do so and leave it at that. If the coach chooses the kickers, then the coach must insist that his first choice take the first kick, etc.

    But with the way LVG has handled, now we have these “unnamed players” who refused to take the first kick and who are left open to speculation and ridicule. I would have expected LVG to have enough ego to absorb any criticism of the selection of the shooters and not place it indirectly on “unnamed players” refusing kicks.

    A far better way of handling would have been for him to say “I consulted with the players about the shooters and their order, and we went with what we as a team decided on”.

  210. goldstone says:

    Four years ago it was Iker Casillas’ toe that cost Robben the game-winning goal.

    This time it was Mascherano’s anus:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2125548-javier-mascherano-on-his-match-saving-tackle-i-tore-the-anus

  211. Albo says:

    Is it just me or did Van Persie seem spent, even before the game (at the anthem)?
    You could see determination in all the other players faces, but not in Van Persie’s.
    Van Persie is the eternal group stage player. We effectively played with 10 men. I know many of you like Blind but I’m not impressed by him. He’s easily muscled out, like it happened in the beginning of first half through the center. I remember when Vlaar was heralded as the new Stam and he failed miserably against Italy in that friendly 3-1 loss. What a change!!! He was a rock. Unfortunate he had to take the first shot. I never see defenders as great PK takers. My confidence on Van Gaal grew with time but the last game he just committed hara-kiri. I like Janmaat so I’m might be biased, but how come he was left out while Blind was never in doubt? I know, I know we are all geniuses now but I just feel like a need to vent out. I just love our new back line. I’ll miss de Jong and Kuyt for sure. I feel about Van Persie the same way I felt about Seedorf. Great club players but failures with the Oranje. If only Van Gaal was not so soft! Who would have thought he could be soft? Van Persie….. I’m so pissed!

    • HedonistiX says:

      Albo,

      Is it just me or did Van Persie seem spent, even before the game (at the anthem)?
      You could see determination in all the other players faces, but not in Van Persie’s.

      I noticed this as well, I’m a stickler for the anthem singers when watching football matches. I was certain we would win since we sang like ze Germans yesterday (RvP was a bit more subdued).

      Also same take on Janmaat. I’ve questioned this couple times here why he was not played in the last 2 matches and only entered as a sub yesterday. I think he played better than Blind.

  212. HedonistiX says:

    Question:

    How do you guys deal with this “loss post-match depression”? I am not even Dutch but I have adopted the Oranje since they lost to Argentina in 1978 and I was just 6 then.

    I honestly think yesterday’s was a fair result and I was pretty calm leaving the bar where I watched the match yesterday. I don’t even hate Argentina or Messi (which is funny because I used to loathe Argentina). I came home, posted/read posts here, reading articles, I’m encouraged by some posts (and outlook on our younger players) but still feeling depressed. I watched the PK yesterday on tape then replayed the PK vs Costa Rica as well. Then I deleted all of the Oranje matches that I taped.

    I may need some professional help 🙂

    • Alistair says:

      Very normal 🙂 it will pass after a couple of days as the emotions subside.

      • HedonistiX says:

        Here is how things will get worse on Sun. One of our group of friends is German, we were planning to co-host at a neutral site if a Ger-Ned final materializes. Now he’s going to host at his place. Since my wife is European and some others are also Europeans, we probably will support Germany (not me, per se, still tough to root for Germany). The non-German friends are supporting Holland but it’s not as painful to them to switch to Germany now.

        So what is a depressed Oranje fan to do in that situation? All I can think of now is downing a lot of Warsteiner (this will be served instead of Heineken).

    • Guillaume vB says:

      Man, I’ve had my share of losses with our team. But, believe me, this is nothing compared to 1998, 2000 and 2010…

      Those were games that could easily have turned our way (or should have, see the wrong call by the referee in the action before Iniesta’s goal).

      Nothing like that yesterday.

      • HedonistiX says:

        Thanks GvB and Balkan for your takes.

        Agree this was not as painful as 1998, 2000 or 2010, and as you pointed out, things could have been worse if we did make it to the final and losing to Germany. Realistically, after 2 x 120 plus PKs, we would have had 0 chances vs Germany.

        In some respect, things could be worse. I’ll just enjoy the cold beverage on Sun.

    • Balkan says:

      I am surprised at myself after yesterday’s failure. I was kinda calm and not so depressed. I guess having only 1 shot at goal in 120 minutes made me realize we are not good enough to go to the final. I was also disappointed that we had to go to penalties without a chance for Krul. In other words the way the game progressed I prepared myself that this was our last game. In hindsight it seems like we should have won if we tried playing more in attack but LVG thought different. This was a missed chance. The fact that germans look so good makes it easier. It would take 11 gladiators to get past germany after 2 x 120 minute games, gladiators that we don’t have with a couple of exceptions.

  213. wilson says:

    Jan First of all I would like to thank U for the hard work and effort that you have been put on this site as over the past few years this site has become a revelation for NT Fans especially so many of us logging from different parts of the world.

    From the very 1st Day I was skeptical about the selection and the depth in the squad especially after looking at the history NT and their performance in the previously WC.

    Once again it is utter disappointment as Voodoo of PKs has once come to haunt us.

    -Vlaar taking the first PK.
    -RVP starting
    -De Jong Starting
    -Krul not starting.

    In the end it all this added up and mattered on the crucial moments and it all reflects back to Van Gaal and whether he wanted to take the risk (gamble) or whether it came too late for him when the injuries struck in the last moment.

    Kongolo selection, BMI injury and Blind being shifted to CB what does this point to. was this part of Van Gaal master plan when he made the selection. This shows that Blind selection was jus a cover up coz he was seen by many as a player who could fill in for at muilt position which he is sucked big time.

    A lot has already being said and discussed as to where our downfall came.

    those who are saying there is nobody to blame,I can understand that loyalty and emotions talking but the true picture is simply that decision making went horribly wrong for Van Gaal and as I predicted it did matter in the crunch matches (knock out phases).

    Hien, Jeff, Bitterland, Mohammed as a fan I know we all have expectation and this whats happens when start flying too high and come crushing down in an instance. I was also once like that but have learnt the lesson hard way.

  214. wilson says:

    Jan First of all I would like to thank U for the hard work and effort that you have been put on this site as over the past few years this site has become a revelation for NT Fans especially so many of us logging from different parts of the world.

    From the very 1st Day I was skeptical about the selection and the depth in the squad especially after looking at the history NT and their performance in the previously WC.

    Once again it is utter disappointment as Voodoo of PKs has once come to haunt us.

    -Vlaar taking the first PK.
    -RVP starting
    -De Jong Starting
    -Krul not starting.

    In the end it all this added up and mattered on the crucial moments and it all reflects back to Van Gaal and whether he wanted to take the risk (gamble) or whether it came too late for him when the injuries struck in the last moment.

    Kongolo selection, BMI injury and Blind being shifted to CB what does this point to. was this part of Van Gaal master plan when he made the selection. This shows that Blind selection was jus a cover up coz he was seen by many as a player who could fill in for at muilt position which he is sucked big time.

    A lot has already being said and discussed as to where our downfall came.

    those who are saying there is nobody to blame,I can understand that loyalty and emotions talking but the true picture is simply that decision making went horribly wrong for Van Gaal and as I predicted it did matter in the crunch matches (knock out phases).

    Hien, Jeff, Bitterland this whats happens when start flying too high and come cruching down in an instance

  215. wilson says:

    Jan First of all I would like to thank U for the hard work and effort that you have been put on this site as over the past few years this site has become a revelation for NT Fans especially so many of us logging from different parts of the world.

    From the very 1st Day I was skeptical about the selection and the depth in the squad especially after looking at the history NT and their performance in the previously WC.

    Once again it is utter disappointment as Voodoo of PKs has once come to haunt us.

    -Vlaar taking the first PK.
    -RVP starting
    -De Jong Starting
    -Krul not starting.

    In the end it all this added up and mattered on the crucial moments and it all reflects back to Van Gaal and whether he wanted to take the risk (gamble) or whether it came too late for him when the injuries struck in the last moment.

    Kongolo selection, BMI injury and Blind being shifted to CB what does this point to. was this part of Van Gaal master plan when he made the selection. This shows that Blind selection was jus a cover up coz he was seen by many as a player who could fill in for at muilt position which he is sucked big time.

    A lot has already being said and discussed as to where our downfall came.

    those who are saying there is nobody to blame,I can understand that loyalty and emotions talking but the true picture is simply that decision making went horribly wrong for Van Gaal and as I predicted it did matter in the crunch matches (knock out phases).

    Hien, Jeff, Bitterland this whats happens when start flying too high and come cruching down in an instance. I was once too like you guys but I have learnt my lesson the hard way

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