Oranje: our future prospects….

Another attempt to make sense of where we are and what we can expect moving forward and how we got into this mess…

As the loyal blog followers will know, a post with this title has popped up every two years or so… We had the dramatic 2006 Portugal game. The 2008 Russia defeat. The 201o Casillas toe. The 2012 Ukraine debacle. The 2014 magic. The 2016 absence.

And that’s only in the period I’ve been blogging. We had the 1974 qualification issues. The 1976 red cards. The 1978 departure of Cruyff and Van Hanegem. The 1980 debacle. Absent in 1982, 1984, 1986. The victory in 1988 (playing 4-4-2!!!). The drama of 1990. The revival in 1992. More drama (Gullit/Advocaat !!!) in 1994. Hiddink’s clash with Davids in 1996 and the cup in reach in both 1998 and 2000. Only for Master Louis to screw it up in 2002… Oh boy. All this to find a new depth in Portugal 2004 with Advocaat (him again???) subbing Robben at the wrong time in the wrong match…

Does this sum it up nicely?

Ok, here’s my analysis:

Player Quality

This word “quality” doesn’t cover it. What does “quality” mean? Do we mean technical ability? Do we mean dribbling skills? It really is too broad a term. If we’re talking about talent, I can say for sure that we still develop great talents. That is never going to go away. We have young players now knocking on the door (Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek, Kongolo, Vilhena, Hendrikx, Kluivert) and many more in the youth teams below. And not just with the Big Three. AZ is developing amazing players (Stengs!) as is Heerenveen (Pieri!) and even VVV has a player (forgot his name) which is touted to be the next big thing for Oranje and Dutch football.

However, we do lack certain qualities. At this has to do with the level of refereeing in Holland (among other things) and the lack of resistance in the youth competitions. So when the Bazoers and Stengs and Haps’s of this world have to face Sevilla or Hoffenheim or Stoke City (let alone Barca, Juve or Arsenal), they simply can’t step up that easily. We need more power in the duels, we probably need more physical endurance and we need to have our players play with much more resistance.

Our development at youth level seems outdated. We still play 2 vs 2 at youth level. Or 6 vs 6. That is nice, but not enough. In order to understand “space”, players need to get an understanding of the canvass they’re working with. When the time is right, use a big field, play 11 v 11.

It’s no surprise that one of the world’s best free-stylers is Dutch. A Dutch player won the World Championship Free Kicks in 2005, beating Zidane in the finals. We had many Best of the World Indoor football players (Grunholtz, John de Bever). Our trickery is unsurpassed. But match technique… You’ll see it in the French squad. Daley Blind has it. Some other Dutchies have it too. But it’s a functional technique, that you use in the flow of the game. And it needs vision and fast thinking too. Kuyt wouldn’t be able to do a trick to save his life, but oozed match technique in his latter career-stage.

So, yes…we develop quality players, but rough diamonds. Allowing 15 year olds to play in a competition against other top talents is key. Our scouting parameters need to change too.


The Dutch “invented” total football. But we are the only big nation that doesn’t play it anymore. In Holland, it’s now somehow synonimous with 4-3-3. That’s nonsense. Napoli plays total football. Chelsea attempts it. Man City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich. Ajax got their EL finals playing a fluent style of football. But it has nothing to do with 4-3-3 or the manner in which we execute it. Tactially, we dried up. We got sloppy, complacent and don’t realise France, Germany, Denmark and Italy have surpassed us. Today’s system of choice, is playing with a striker up top (Lukaku, Costa, Aguero, Lewandowski, Dolberg, Jorgensen), two wingers who play on the inside or even behind the striker (Hazard/Willian for instance) and the width of the park is offered up by the wingbacks. Then 3 midfielders, of which one sits deep, to support the centre backs. And two box to box midfielders, who can pass, run, tackle, defend, score etc. The centre backs need to be tall, need to be able to build up, play the long ball and have speed.


An attempt to mix it up. Here Robben on the right hugs the line, with Tete potentially moving up on the inside. And Promes playing inside more, with Blind on the line.

The static 4-3-3 – even attempted by Dick Advocaat vs France! – is out. Sneijder, with his lack of dynamics, running and tackling can’t be carried anymore against top opponents. Look at Ziyech at Ajax: working hard, running, dropping deep, penetrating, left to right. Dick got it wrong vs France. Our three man midfield was actually a two man midfield (Sneijder was not pulling his weight) and Robben and Promes were forced to play wingback. No wonder Janssen was isolated.

The other nations came to check out what Holland was doing tactically in the last 30 years and all have surpassed us by developing it further. We should go to Napels, to Turin, to Manchester, to London, to Paris and to Munich and see what they do to be where they are. Money is not the key driver here! It’s focus and vision.

The Dutch Football Federation – KNVB

It’s no surprise that the NT’s demise is happening at the same time the KNVB is a complete and utter mess. There is no board of directors, no general manager, no technical director. No vision, no strategic plan. Just a couple of velvet hugging nobodies “taking care of business”. With the latest disgrace: the chairman/CEO of the Oranje Supporters Club – an outside agency! – defrauding the club of 100,000s of euros while having the exclusivity of distribution match tickets to the supporters. And none of the Club members wanting to put in a formal complaint, as the CEO would simply not sell tickets to Oranje games to renegade/complaining members! The several strategic plans (one from 2001 by Louis van Gaal and Andries Jonker and one from 2016 written by a committee of smart people and to be executed by Hans van Breukelen) ended up collecting dust in the filing cabinet. Louis laid it out, back in 2001. All talent development and scouting to be overseen by the KNVB and endorsed by the clubs. Like the Deutsche FB had initiated in 2000, led by Mathias Sammer.


The Germans failed miserably in the Euros 2000 and immediately, the Easter Neighbours did what they had to do: plan visits to Holland, Spain and France. They checked out our tactical and technical training and scouting protocols. They checked technical development in Spain and the Academy organisations in France. They changed it all. Instead of scouting for 2 meter tall Triathlon guys, the Germans switched to smaller and more agile technical players. Think Ozil. Reus. Gotze. And look where they are now. Top talents in Germany were collated and put in a strong competition. In Holland, it’s all still regional. So the top talents of PSV only play against Helmond Sport, Eindhoven and Venlo. But hardly ever against Ajax or Feyenoord. Or Sparta or AZ. This has nothing to do with TV money, or artificial pitches. This is about football development and scouting.

Van Drongelen left for HSV but preferred to go to Ajax or PSV. And boy, could they use him!

The KNVB has failed to develop a football vision, a development apparatus and continuity. The NT manager is focused on the short term results, the technical director was supposed to manage the long term. But there was no technical director. Hell, there IS no technical director. We do have a performance manager, but even he failed to inform Dick Advocaat that goal difference was going to be key, so Dick never instructed his lads to park two buses vs France, when they scored their second! And honestly, Dick shouldn’t have needed another executive to tell him this of course. The mess at KNVB level has been covered here at length. You know the story. The NT coach just had to pick the 22 best players and see what happens.


The story is, that Sparta played a friendly vs HSV. In the break, the HSV management had seen enough and offered a deal to Rick van Drongelen and Sparta. In the second half, he basically was a HSV player.

Tactically, Jurgen Klopp is a master. This is why Wijnaldum plays so well there. He’s part of a machine. A cog. Executing what the coach tells him to, and boy does he do it well at Anfield. But in Oranje, Wijnaldum is lost. Drowning. Like Strootman, Hoedt and many others. In today’s football, pressing, dropping deep, pacing up…it’s all decided from the team perspective. We saw Strootman as a lone wolf pressing Pogba, but no one would go up to Griezmann or Coman to take charge of the second ball. So Pogba outsmarted Strootman and played in to a totally free and unmarked Griezmann. It would result in Strootman’s first yellow and France’ goal. The Bulgaria goal came from a square ball from hell by Hoedt. Van Hanegem’s mantra: the centre back’s first option to play the ball, is vertically. To the forwards. Who can then lay it off in the path of the upcoming midfielders. This is how Spain plays, France plays, Germany plays. Even England! But no, in Oranje, the centre backs play the ball around at the back. Even Belarus will stop us from scoring like this…

The Coach

The coach should simply be a cog in the system. A passer-by. He should use the templates of the KNVB to select the best players. Who can then play in the system the KNVB/clubs decided on for future development. And they would all fit in. At club level, most players know how to play this 4-3-3 version (see above). Wijnaldum at Liverpool, Strootman at Roma, Vilhena, Karsdorp, Toornstra, Boetius, Elia and Kongolo all did this at Feyenoord. Ake at Chelsea. The list goes on. But in Oranje, they need to play traditional 4-3-3 because what more can a coach do in three days of match practice? I know most of you blame Blind for everything. But Hiddink before him, and Dick now…surely they are not suddenly crap coaches? If Blind was the exception to the rule, I’d buy the criticism.  But Louis had problems and could only fix them by changing the system and using the three weeks prior to the World Cup to gel it in. Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat aren’t doing that much better than Blind. Dick made some major errors vs France. And against Bulgaria, we were 2-0 up, with 30 minutes to play and with Sweden running riot in Belarus. Where was Dost? A fear-based tactics, yet again. Somehow, he allowed Gullit to film in the dressing room and post on Twitter. He allowed the players to forego a gratitude round for the fans. Resulting in Arjen Robben being the sole Oranje player exhaustively thanking the Oranje supporters. A disgrace!


Artificial pitches

The Eredivisie is currently the only “serious” competition in Europe with artificial pitches. Seven clubs play on the rubber/cork anomaly. With a lot of negative results. Shit games, lack of ball speed, strange bounces, and injuries. Oh, and did I mention the injuries? And for what? For monetary reasons only. Most if not all club managers using artificial pitches abhor them off the record. But, they can’t afford decent practice grounds, so artificial it is. We need to re-rout some funds (TV funds, European income) and distribute them more fairly. Ajax is getting top euros from the TV deal, as if they need the extra cash. They’ve got 150mio euros in the bank, Overmars doesn’t want to spend. Surely, a couple of millions could be put into a KNVB fund, allowing clubs in financial distress to invest in grass!


This is not the reason we perform badly, but it’s another example that we don’t seem to take the sports seriously. Like Arjen Robben having to do the gratitude round all by himself. Or earlier, the KNVB mailing (!) the medal for a century of international games to Robin van Persie in Istanbul. No regards or respect for the sports!

In all aspects of the game, we’re the laughing stock of Europe. We can’t qualify for big tournaments, our clubs can’t qualify for Europa League group games. Our main striker is third striker at Spurs. Our main goalie is second goalie at Barca. Memphis has to hope for regular playing time… Only two of our midfielders play for strong teams and they’re utility players there. Well liked and deemed important, but in Oranje they look like they sent their silly twin brothers to the match. Organisationally and strategically we’re a joke. And financially, we are a minion nation.

Everything looks really dour. But there is one thing that will keep us afloat and will allow us back to the top.

We still develop amazing talents and we have the most loyal and outrageous fan base. And that includes you!

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  1. Jan You are quite right on that rough diamond part. Producing talent is one thing and turning them into elites is another. So the questions becomes what can be done with these rough diamomds. It simple, let them get polished themselves. recognize them and let them play more and more.this exactly what Danny tried to do with De Ligt but it turned out to be a bad day at office, but with more games everybody knows whats in store for him.

    Now you simply ask this question.whats in store for nathan Ake.he was also one of biggest talent when coming up the ranks. He was NT u21 captain, chelsea u21 captain but yet after 3 season of epl under his belt but he still is not playing in NT? Does he need to go back to eredivisie and prove that he can play at LB, CB or DM. Timing is very important.he was suppose to be given the nod when he was at watford, which he didnt get and as result remains underneath the clouds.this is the draw back of not recognizing talents at the right time.

    You look at what happened to willems. It was jus because of his technical abilities that he was getting the nod in NT and as time went by that got over run by his non ability.again it comes back to why it was not recognized in the first place.

    This is where the crime is happening.

    Again like you said on top about rick van drongelen. They played the friendly and they RECOGNIZED his talent.

    Timing and recognizing the talents with their ceiling is absolutely crucial

    Also why did Bosz shift Sinkgraven to LB when had never played there.jus because of his technical skill and with the expectation with more game he would adpot to the new poisition.

  2. Sinkgraven can be a good wing back and with karsdorp on the side this two should be lock.with Riedewald and De Ligt two slightly quicker CBs and Van Dijk in the middle.this could be the idle backline going forward.
    what remains is a playmarker, a striker and a DM.as i said earlier everytime I see depay playing at Lyon, he is better in the midfield than on the wings.he has good muscular body and speed which is best needed in midfield and with his set piece abilities he jus needs to play their more.also looks like everyone has forgotten about El Ghazi. Though he has not settled well at Lille but he has shown glimpse of what he can do this should be his break through season. Also there is posibility that he might move in jan with milan most likely his destination never the less he is player of immense potential.

    Strikers, there is only one I can think of and that is locadia. Winger, false 9 or simply a normal 9 and who has not been tested.

    The rest are fill in the blanks

  3. I agree with some of your words. Yes, players leaving to early to the big money clubs is an issue indeed. Ake at Feyenoord would have played everything the last 3 seasons.

    Not a lot of players actually make it so I hope they get smarter. Ake, Rekik, Bruma. Berghuis, Barazite, Van Aanholt and now Janssen and many others.

    It’s a shame.

    I do think Ake has a future. His defensive mid role is pretty good but in a 3-4-3 system (Chelsea) he might be best suited as left wing back with Karsdorp on the right.

    I love to see Daley in the centre of the pitch with his passing. And with Van Dijk and De Vrij or De Ligt or later St Juste we have some good options at the back. Van Drongelen too of course.

    I don’t see it in Locadia. At PSV this season it’s sometimes as if he left the shoe box around his boots.

    Promes could be the striker, or even Robben.

    As long as we have good headers behind him. Van Ginkel? Propper? Against weak opponents, Dost?

    We’re short on strikers now but that will pass. I can see even Leroy Fer play there.

    1. I can see zivkovic become the #1 striker in a few years time once he evolves in the striker he was meant to be. That kid has loads of potential you just gotta give him time

  4. Things to do….
    1-Fire Hans Vanbrukelen from director spot for the future.
    2-Fire the stupid guys who has not remind the team about the need of goal difference…
    Both should be done immediately…
    1-Dont change advocate for another Blind type.We dont need Deboer,raijkard or bert van..Only Bosz,LVG are acceptable..so let Dick continue..
    2-We must understand that time of fab4 is over..We need to rebuild the team…We lack quality only in forwards..
    3-We must open our eyes of our heart to see the real talents.
    4-We must restrict our team sqaud to 35..let other prove and earn the spot..
    5-Midfeild combo strootman-Wijnaldum will never work.So never waste time on that..
    6-We need to fix a system..i feel343 is the best according to available talent.
    7-If possible Drop Sneijder and strootman,build a team with out them if any one has balls..
    8-You guys all know that i am not impressed by Depay.. Now janssen is loosing grip with spurs..Depay is second best we have as striker(Babel is 30)..if Depay s ur best forward then u are in deep trouble there.
    My Advice to Dick…
    1-Never be on backfoot like u showed vs Bulgaria when we were 2-0 up.
    2-Forget about Strootman,stekelberg,sneijder,RVP..Build a new team with ONLY INTELLIGENT PLAYERS.
    let this be ur pool..
    Depay,Leoryfer,Babel,Vanginkel,klassen,propper,Boetius,Berjwin,Mink peeters..ROBEN–9players
    Dale blind,Nathan ake,Van de beek,frenkie dejong,Toonstra,Vilhena,Bazoer,st juste
    so 8 players..
    Kongolo,Williams,haps,deligt,virgil,bruma,devrij,karsdorp,kevin diks,van rhijn,tete,Mensah,veltman..13 players
    Total 34 plus one wild card entry…

  5. Great article Jan, like always. I have to say as a Dutch fan, I’m crying in the inside to see what had happened to dutch football. I have a question for you Jan. Among other things, i notice these days Dutch does not produce those big physical players anymore such R.Coeman, Gullit, Jan Wuters, Haselbink, Edgar Davids ect….
    Now our players and very small and tiny. Look at wiljadun,Clairsi, Veltmen ect…
    Can you comment on that?

    1. Wijnaldum is really strong,Bruma is strong as well…Mensah offcourse
      Deligt yes….and many more its Genetics…
      Memphis wanted to be strong and he endeded up building huge muscles,Still he could nt suceed in EPL,But Erikson is pretty good at spurs,Luca modric…Ineasta had more muscles..Aubmanyang is thin and fast…
      Virgil van dijk is like tower…
      I dont understand what is strength..

      1. There are few strong Ayers still in the game because that is just how the game has evolved. Almost in every sport the players are becoming faster and not as agile because they realized it can help you more

  6. Like this should be our team(only most intelligent ones as starters..
    Second team
    Williams–Frenkie dejong–Ake—-Vanrhijn
    the structure
    2 fast forwards with efficacy to dribble and shoot accurately.
    1 shadow striker who does intelligent runs and and scores goal at times..
    2 Intelligent wingbacks to who stays up in the pitch..can do pepper spray when needed
    2 hardworking midfeilders with idea,brain,vision and good intackles..
    3 CBs…with 2 side CBs are fast and agile..
    Then GK..

  7. In considering our current plight as a national team and attempting to put things in perspective, I was trying to think of another country that has experienced / is experiencing similar difficulties.

    If you go back to 1970, there are only six countries that have won the World Cup – Brazil 3 times, Germany 3 times, Italy twice, Argentina twice, France once and Spain once.

    In that same time span, there has been only one other country to play in a World Cup final – us – although we lost in 1974, 1978 and 2010. Germany has also lost 3 times, Argentina twice, Italy twice, Brazil once and France once.

    What’s the takeaway from this? Over the last 45 years, we are one of the seven best footballing nations in the world! That is certainly how we perceive ourselves, and I think most other countries probably feel similarly about us.

    So what has happened to us in the past four years? Why are we seemingly no longer able to compete at the level of these other six?

    The first comparison I did was BRAZIL — Brazil has qualified for every World Cup ever played, and has won 5 times! Their last victory, however, was almost 16 years ago, and their performance at home in 2014 was considered an unmitigated national disaster by their fans. The current Brazilian national team roster features 4 PSG regulars, 3 squad players at Man City, 2 starters at each of Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Chelsea and 1 at Juventus. Only a few are still playing in Brazil. They have a few players in their thirties (David Luiz, Dani Alves, Felipe Luis, Thiago Silva and Fernandinho) and a few in their early 20s (Alison, Marquinhos, and Gabriel Jesus). In their prime, however are Alex Sandro, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, and of course Neymar. Is this the greatest Brazilian team ever? Hardly. Have they won anything recently? They won the 2009 and 2013 Confederations Cup, and the 2016 Olympic gold medal (also in Brazil), but exited at the group stage in the 2016 Copa America. They are overall a pretty average Brazilian team but feature a generational talent in Neymar. As a result, they are generally considered one of the favorites in any competition they play in, but they have underachieved in the more competitive senior tournaments recently. Yet, they still appear to be developing quality young players and placing them in some of the better club teams throughout Europe.

    Next is ARGENTINA – They have qualified in all 11 World Cups since 1970, have won twice and finished runner-up twice, most recently in 2014 (after defeating us in the semis). However, they are on the verge of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, and currently would have to compete in an inter-federation playoff to get in. The Argentine national team includes seven players playing in Spain (Geronimo Rulli, Nicolas Pareja, Javier Mascherano, Guido Pizzaro, Ever Banega, Joaquin Correa and of course, Lionel Messi), five players playing in Serie A (Federico Fazio, Lucas Biglia, Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain), three in England (Sergio Romero, Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero) and two in France with PSG (Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore). Other than Dybala and Correa, they have very few players under the age of 25, and many over the age of 30. Argentina appears to be an aging team in decline, albeit still with the best player in the world (although he has not always reached that level for his country). Other than their 2014 runners-up performance in the World Cup, Argentina has not had much recent success internationally. They last won the Copa America in 1993 and have finished runners-up in 2004, 2007, 2015 and 2016, while crashing out in the quarters at home in 2011. They did win Olympic silver in 1996 and gold in 2004 and 2008, but did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics and lost in the group stage in 2016. One could argue that Argentina is in a very similar tailspin to the Netherlands with little prospect for improvement with their current roster. Their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup would send shockwaves through that nation. Yet they still have Messi who, as we all know, can do the impossible!

    Considering that GERMANY won both the most recent World Cup and the most recent Confederations Cup, I don’t think that their current situation in any way mirrors our predicament. Nor does FRANCE, which boasts an incredible collection of up-and-coming talent and were World Cup champions in 1998, runners-up in 2006, and won the Euros in 1984 and 2000 and were runners-up last year.

    Which leaves us with Italy and Spain.

    ITALY has qualified for every World Cup since 1970, finishing as runners-up to Brazil in both 1970 and 1994 and as champions in 1982 and 2006. However, since that time they have exited at the group stage in both 2010 and 2014 and finished second at the 2012 Euros. Interestingly, almost every Italian international plays in Serie A – 4 with Juventus, 4 with Milan, 3 with Inter, 2 with Roma and 2 with Lazio. Their starting goalkeeper, backline and several starting midfielders are all over 30. The only young players or those entering their prime are Daniele Rugani, Marco Verratti, Andrea Belotti and Lorenzo Insigne. Italy appears in a transition stage similar to ours where their older veteran players have not been adequately replaced and continue to hang on while the new players have failed to make a real impact. In fact, Italy regularly features 5 players with more than 70 caps (Andrea Barzagli 70, Leonardo Bonucci 71, Giorgio Chiellini 92, Daniele De Rossi 116 and Gigi Buffon 171!). Yet still, Italy looks likely to qualify for 2018, primarily considering that their group includes (in addition to Spain) Albania, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein.

    Finally, we turn to SPAIN. Spain had an incredible run of international success from 2008-2012, winning both the 2008 and 2012 Euros along with the 2010 World Cup (against us)! Prior to that 4 year period, however, they rarely made it out of the group stage at the international level, and following our 5-1 demolition of them in 2014, they exited at that stage again in Brazil and lost in the first knock out round in the 2016 Euros. Spain continues to produce an absurd number of quality footballers. 11 of their 23 man international roster play for either Barcelona or Real Madrid. And those who don’t are scattered among Atletico, Chelsea, Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Dortmund, and other major European clubs. Yet all of Spain’s international success has really come from a single generation of players that all peaked at the same time, most of whom were a product of Barcelona’s academy and the Madrid team that were their greatest rivals. Those players, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Puyol, Pique, Pedro, David Villa, Iker Casillas, Fernando Torres, David Silva, are all gone or nearing retirement. Yet Spain still has many promising young players such as David de Gea, Dani Carvajal, Thiago, Marco Asensio, Isco, Morata, etc. Spain remains very competitive internationally, but has not been able to maintain its unprecedented domination of world football since 2012. Yet, they should still easily qualify again for the 2018 World Cup.

    In summary, the world’s 7 best footballing countries have experienced various peaks and valleys over the last 45-50 years. Some, such as Germany and France are surging upward again. Others, such as Spain and Brazil remain highly competitive but still suffer from shock results from time to time. Still others, such as Argentina and Italy, appear to be in steady decline and are currently failing to produce the next generation of international stars. I feel like right now, we are on the Argentina – Italy downswing, but we’ve suffered from talent gaps in the past and have still returned to play highly competitive and high quality football. We just need to take this opportunity to learn from those who are currently experiencing greater success and apply those lessons to produce our next great generation of Dutch players.

    1. Excellent post and excellent points. What is disheartening is that the current generation doesn’t seem to be fighters or even that strong (points made by other fellows above and they have merit). Pogba was running over our guys like they were puppets. That is not a good sign. Ok if you are not a great player but come on we are the most athletic -ok one of the most- nation. Where is the male version of Dafne Schippers?

      Anyhow. I really hope things improve. I would like to see us reaching another final in my lifetime. The 32 year wait between 78 and 2010 was unbearable.

      I hope we can qualify for the WK2018. It is still doable. And then mold a new team that will gain as much experience as possible.

    2. Lets see 4 years is coming to end and in football calender thats is like alot of time.there is no denying in this 4 years that NT has tried with so called “best” there was. Man United, Roma, Bayern,liverpool, Ajax, Feyenoord,PSV, southampton,Lazio but yet there is no light at the end of the tunnel and there wont be any if they drag with the same players. Failure to qualify for two major competitions should be enough to have the alarm bell ringing to move form the ” best” to “rest”. If Barcelona sign Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande, I dont see why NT cant give players like chery,Vormer,buttner the nod now when all are playing prominently at their clubs. May sound crazy for some of you but technically they are better skilled players than some whom NT has wasted their time in these last four years.

    3. This is an excellent post, thank you. Interesting to take a look through the other nations’ lenses, which normally I wouldn’t do.

      It’s also interesting to think that Italy has the benefit of low- to no-expectations as to their playing style. And Argentina, even with the likes of Messi, has had uninspiring and pretty unconvincing play even in the tournaments where they’ve made fairly deep runs.

      Thanks for posting.

  8. I have just read an article from wikipedia that (surprisingly) that Holland have more population than Belgium and Portugal.

    So, I think that Holland is not a “small” country compared to Belgium and Portugal.

  9. Dear Jan,
    Thank you for your post, it was amazing, we have to agree that KNVB holds a big responsibility for the mess we have, But believe me, Blind Is to blame for 80% of this disaster, because of him we did not qualify for 2016 and about to miss 2018, Ajax’s worst record since 2000 was under his management.
    I also Blame Ajax for this mess, all the talents they produced have left their clubs very early, 99% of them failed abroad.
    while I see Feyenoord trying to build a solid team, and PSV despite their recent failure in Europa League.

    I think the salvation might come after the 2018 mess, the KNVB entire management will be new, the likes of Robben, Snijder and Van Persie will retire, and we appreciate every thing they did.
    We also need a coach that will remain with the team as long as possible.

    if this happens, we can start building confidence again, and we can be a big name again by the end of 2018 with many new talents as you mentioned.

    BY THE WAY, I am the owner of the youtube channel: GloryOfOranje 🙂

  10. some mildly good news. UEFA and FIFA confirmed that the Sweden – Lux game must be played according to original schedule, that is before the Oranje Belaurs game. So we will know the result before our game starts. Sweden asked for their game to be played at the same time but request was declined. We have a mountain to climb but that was a relief.

  11. Does anyone know when riedewald will be uninjured because I really want to see him in the premier league and be back to one of the best in the world

  12. @JB

    was reading your post on comparison between various Nations and I will say there is alot more to it than what you have pointed out.

    you see Brazil is like US in NBA. they keep producing global superstars in every generation and most probably in every 4 years and production line doesn’t seem like it will will ever end especially with football being religion in the country . from 90s, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldhino,kaka, Neymar, and others who are coming up like Vinicius Junior whom Real have already signed at the age of 16 and those who featured in the u21s like Jesus and Gabigol.also there isnt any top league in the world where Brazilians dont feature and this has contributed immensely to their production line of talents in the national team and also with close cultural heritage to Portgual this even looks set to further continue. then saying that they are average because they haven’t won any competition is arguable. its always comes down to whose the better and complete team on that day. france 98, nobody would have predicted them to lose that final but it was france whose was a better team on that day even though with Brazil having all the stars in the team. same in 2014, it was germany who were far more better and complete team than brazil with the lineup they went in that game.

    Same goes for Argentina, their close cultural ties with Italy has being good production ground for their talents and it also looks set to continue with serie A being a continuous cropping ground for production of some of the finest Argentine talents like Icardi,Dybala,perotti, Gomez,Lamela, Pastore. even though it can be argued that not all of them started their career there but certainly they have hit form in Serie A . the problem with argemntina is the coaches have been persistant on building the team around messi, rather than team as whole and this is where it has all went wrong for them. sampoli started icardi, dybala, Messi and Di Maria all together in the qualifers in 3-4-3 vs Venezuela and its looks this is the best way goinf forward. though they might have to the long road to qualify f but come world cup they might jus find a balance team after all.

    now lets compare this to Netherlands. Most brazil and the Argentine players work their way up from bottom to top while the dutch end up doing the opposite. up to down. they wanna start from the top but end up at the bottom. I think this is very common and I don’t need to elaborate much on this as everyone familiar with this .this is where things need to change and the young players need to start from the bottom and work their way up. just like Justin Hoogma and Van Drongolen who chose to go to Bundasliga, Kardorp and Hateboer to Serie A. Donyell Malens return to erdivisie again proves this and again this is set to continue for others who have joined big clubs and fail to force their way into the starting lineup of parent teams when the time comes .imagine all this talents would have started with average clubs in bundasliga or serie A playing week in and week out. certainly it would work like for the Brazilians or the Argentine.the dutch have to realize this other wise the outcome will always be the same as others who left early thinking they will make it.

    for spain I think with Real, Barcelona guaranted CL very year, unless they flood their teams with foreginers then only they will feel the full brunt in future or unless Catalonia gains independence.

    as for germany, the academics at club level are quite active, schalke,hoffenheim,monchengladbach, mainz.they are consistently producing talent for top clubs to feed on and looking at their future, they are sorted for next 3-4 world cups.

    1. Wilson:
      These are certainly valid points as well. In response to your comments:
      From my perspective, Brazil is underachieving from a player development standpoint. You are correct that they produce tremendous young talent, but really other than Neymar (who has to-date shown himself to be an elite player, especially when surrounded with other elite talent), who has actually risen to a world class level recently? I can’t remember Brazil ever having a world class keeper. As defenders, Dani Alves is 34 and much of his development as a player occurred once he got to Spain. Filipe Luis is 32 as is Thiago Silva. These guys are the same generation as Robben, Sneijder and RVP. Marcelo (29), David Luiz (30) and Rafinha (31) are really from that prior generation too. Marquinhos and Alex Sandro are up and coming players, but I wouldn’t say are world class at this point. In the midfield, Coutinho, Casemiro and Willian (all in their mid to late 20s) are all quality players, but none of them is a star around which a top level club team can be built. Oscar (25) is already playing in China. Finally, as attackers, really only Neymar stands out and possibly Douglas Costa as a wing. There was a considerable period of time where Fred was actually the starting striker on the Brazilian national team. And so, I think that Brazilian players may suffer from some of the same issues that young Dutch players do. They are recruited at early ages by European clubs, and lose some of their indigenous flair and confidence along the way. Neymar, on the other hand, stayed in Brazil much longer than many of the others, and when he did move to Europe he went to Barcelona as a sure-fire starter. And he has had the most success of all! And while winning the Olympic Gold was a big deal in Brazil, that was not a full-fledged senior international tournament, which most Brazilians recognize. They long for another World Cup championship, as it’s been almost 16 years since they made a serious run at the final, and they also want to win with style and flair, which is why they churn through so many managers who tend to be results-driven.
      Argentina is similar to Brazil, but even greater in their underachievement. The best player in the world has already played 120 times for them, but they have won nothing other than some Olympic medals in the 1990s and early 2000s. And it’s not like Messi hasn’t been surrounded by sufficient talent to excel either. As you correctly note, many Argentine players matured in Serie A, while Messi moved to Barcelona at age 13. So again, are these players being developed by their boyhood Argentine club teams or only really once they move to Europe? Just like Brazil, I would argue that Argentina’s player development has really dropped off recently — Argentina’s best defenders – Mascherano and Otamendi are both 30 or older. Same is true in the midfield with Biglia (31), Di Maria (29), Banega (29) and Pastore (28). On the front line, yes, Icardi (24) and Dybala (23) are young talents, but the traditional strikers are still Messi (30) and Aguero (29), along with Higuain (29). You might argue that this generation of players has stayed on too long and blocked the upcoming generation, but other than Icardi and Dybala, who else under 29 at Argentina is likely to become a world class player? While Argentina did make the WC final in 2014 (at our expense), they have still not effectively integrated Messi with his international teammates in a way that allows both Messi and the team to reach peak performance, and in light of their current qualification predicament, it seems like this current generation’s time may be running out.
      Turning back to the Netherlands, I agree with many posting on this blog that young Dutch players do leave their original Dutch clubs too soon, but the allure of money, status and fame playing for top clubs in Europe is probably too great to resist for most.
      I recall a few years back when someone posted a video interview with Arjen Robben at age 16 making his initial senior appearances with Groningen (in the video he has scarves of Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona on his wall, rides his bike a lot, and juggles the ball in a meadow with a tiny dog). He was probably like many of the young star players in the Netherlands today. But if you track Robben’s career, he played from age 5-12 at Bedum, from age 12-18 at Groningen, from age 18-20 at PSV, from age 20-23 at Chelsea, from age 23-25 at Real Madrid, from age 25 through the present at Bayern Munich. If you recall, he really did not come into his own as a world class player until he moved to Bayern, and his experience at Madrid (shared with Sneijder and VDV) was probably a real set-back in his career at that point. Each player is going to follow his own path, but unless either the quality or the money available to star players in the Eredivisie increases dramatically, we will continue to lose any young players showing any promise to other European leagues. Maybe Dutch managers abroad like Koeman and de Boer can help cultivate those players and provide them with an opportunity for growth to some extent, but by leaving so early, they seem to lose some of their Dutch identity / specialness as players. Ironically, many foreign players who have spent some of their formative years in the Netherlands, such as Ibrahimovic (age 20-23 at Ajax), Suarez (age 22-26 at Groningen and Ajax), and Erikson (age 16-21 at Ajax), to name just a few off the top of my head, seem to have really benefitted from their Dutch training at younger ages.
      Is that type of training still available to young players (domestic or foreign) in the Netherlands? Or is there greater value in young Dutch players moving abroad for further development in their formative years, assuming they can find the right situation for themselves? These are questions that the KNVB and Dutch clubs will need to answer in order to continue to develop players at the level we have in the past. At this point, however, it’s just a catch-22 for these young players – stay home and excel in the Eredivisie, but not get paid or experience a high enough level of competition (i.e., no Champions League), or go abroad for a bigger payday (for the player and his Dutch club), but potentially struggle and wash out in a bigger but unsympathetic foreign league. And still, even if we could provide appropriate guidance for these young players in waiting and choosing the right foreign opportunities, who’s to prevent their clubs from selling them sooner than that to the highest bidder (which seems to be the only way Dutch clubs survive financially these days).
      Happy to discuss further, but I ultimately think what we’re experiencing may not be isolated to the Netherlands, but instead symptomatic of a broader global issue in the development of young players born to traditional football powers, but whose domestic leagues no longer have the money or quality to keep them there.

  13. i have been following football a from 1990 and 1994 i became fan of dutch..Beleive me i felt Dutch was really better than anyother top footballing nations untill 2014.
    Yes i do agree we had weak defense since the retirement of jaap stam ,deboer,etc…But so did other teams had.WEAKNESS..But we HAD most POTENT ATTACK IN THE WORLD FROM 2005-2014–RVP-ROBEN-VAART-SNEIJDER..
    i blame coaches for our losses
    Vs Portugal—Rvn Vs sanmark for kuyt.2006
    Vs Russia—-Injury to Rvp and Roben.2010
    Vs Spain—–kuyt again for Vaart–2010
    Vs 2012EC—-No new players got chance under BVM in his DARK4YEARS.BOMMEL shouldnt have been in team..RVP in wrong position.
    Vs 2014 WC–Injury to Nijel and RVP..
    2006,2012EC,2010…were spoiled by pure coaching blunders..
    Then comes
    2016 EC….pure blunders by Blind and Hiddink(Both are equal)
    2018—–Blind has done enough damage Advocate is reparing..lets hope…

  14. The NT was in the very same situation in euro qualification as now going into the last two games needing win vs Czech and Turkey. They needed win in both games with maximum goals. The second last game vs turkey it all backfired which featured MR REILABLE in DM. And then the Czech put the final nail in the coffin.

  15. It is reported on BR Stream that Janssen has agreed to a loan deal to Fenerbache, hopefully he can cement a starting spot!
    I have enjoyed reading all of your comments in this page, some really good stuff and analysis which I’m sure all contribute to the dire situation that Dutch football is in right now. I will be somewhat happy if we convincingly win our next two games , qualified or not, this would give us some impetus going forward.
    Personally I feel it’s a generation thing where we have not produced world class players, I’m not sure why, maybe life in Holland is too easy growing up so the desire to climb out of the gutter and get a better life through football just is not there, like in Brasil or Spain.
    Sure football is important in Holland but it’s not a life or death situation, passion breeds desire and I question the desire of Dutch youngsters to push themselves beyond where they need to be to become great.
    I’ve got tickets to watch Southhampton play Stoke on 30/9 I hope Van Dyjk is playing, I would love to watch him in real life and see how good he can be. I will,also be watching Crystal Palace play City a week earlier, again a few Dutichies to watch there.
    Hopefully they get a game and DeBoer is still coach.

  16. Yo van Banger, make sure you write some reviews for us ok? Exciting man!

    At the end of the day, the coach is responsible, there is no denying. But a ball inside or outside post is not something you can blame him for.

    Can I re-iterate:

    In the qualification for the famous WC1974, Oranje qualified thanks to an off side goal a child would have called?

    What do you make of this? If not for the linesman, we would never have known the 1074 Total Football miracle.

    I believe there is only so much an NT coach can do.

    The KNVB is responsible with the clubs to develop tactical Plan A, B and C and develop the right talents for that (or change the systems based on the specific qualities).

    We just sign a coach, give him some senior players and say: “Sort it out. At the end of the day, we’ll fire you anyway!” (Van Marwijk, Blind, Hiddink, Van Gaal, etc etc)

  17. An oral history of the Dutch National Team from 2010-2017 using only Han Solo quotes:

    Sneijder to Robben in the 61st minute of the 2010 WC Final: “You’re all clear, kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home!”

    Dutch fans after 2010 WC Final: “I feel terrible.”

    LVG on his authority as new National Team Coach in 2012: “I take orders from just one person: me.”

    LVG on the 2014 WC Team: “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.”

    Arjen Robben gets revenge on Casillas in 2014: “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”

    LVG to Vlaar on taking a PK vs Argentina: “Get in there, you big furry oaf! I don’t care what you smell!”

    Guus Hiddink on his return as National Team coach in 2014: “What’re you looking at? I know what I’m doing. ”

    KNVB on firing Hiddink: “Uh, everything’s under control. Situation normal. We had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?”

    Dutch Press on hiring of Danny Blind in 2015: “It could be worse.”

    Dutch Fans in response: “It’s worse.”

    Danny Blind on making his son a regular starter: “Great, kid! Now don’t get cocky.”

    Hans van Breukelen on his own general inepitude: “Sorry about the mess.”

    Fred Grim on his success as interim coach: “Well, you can forget your troubles with those slugs. I told you I’d outrun ’em. Don’t everyone thank me at once.”

    Dutch Press on hiring of Advocaat: “Where did you dig up that old fossil?”

    Dick Advocaat: “Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.”

    Advocaat on hiring Ruud Gullit as his assistant: “Well, that was a long time ago, I’m sure he’s forgotten about that.”

    Gullit on the offer to assist Advocaat: “That’s a good story. I think you just can’t bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight.”

    Dutch Fans on 2018 WC Qualification after 4-0 loss to France: “That’s what I’m trying to tell you, kid, it ain’t there, it’s been totally blown away.”

    1. And finally, doubting supporters to Advocaat: “Do you not realize you have got to win 2 games and also over turn a -6 goal differential? Don’t you know how bad those odds are?”

      Advocaat: “Never tell me the odds!”

      (and cross your fingers he pulls it off – a la Solo!)

  18. This is how low the Dutch league has fallen.

    “Catalan clubs like Barcelona will not be allowed to play in La Liga if Catalonia goes ahead with its independence process, league president Javier Tebas says.

    A contentious referendum planned for Oct. 1 could see the region in northeastern Spain unilaterally break away from the rest of the country.

    Tebas said that a deal to keep Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona in La Liga would not be as simple as most people may think, and the club would be stuck playing in a Catalan league which he believes “wouldn’t be much better than the Dutch league or something like that.”

    And Tebas, an outspoken critic of the independence move, said Barcelona would not earn as much from television rights away from the Spanish league and “certainly won’t remain one of the top clubs in Europe.”

  19. Hi Read this article a really good one. I also read the latest article on Klopps pressing game and its ingredients in Voetbal international also. The netherlands team can also adopt some of his tactics in the coming games and for the future propects. Netherlands must take the services of people like Klopps assistant pepjin linders and also Marcel lucassen who helped change the german football.

  20. @JB

    You are making it sound like the conveyor belt has stopped which will never happen.the players whom you mentioned over 30, are simply playing because they are still in form and they are playing at the highest level. I dont think this has anything to do with underachieving from a player development standpoint. As I said early there isnt any top league where Brazilians dont feature and there will always be somebody waiting to take over.from portugal to all over the world , imcluding brazil there will always be some body lottering around in outskirts.
    fabinho, jemerson(Monaco),caio (san Paulo), Luis filipe (Lazio

      1. What has to be noted here is most of players playing for Brazil national team are playing for top clubs and while they maintain a strong hold in team for long, on ther side other players keep building their way up and wait for someone to get dethrone from the initial squad.this is how the conveyor belt is rolling for them and coutinho is a perfect example of this.

  21. Tough match for Wijnaldum.. their high pressure game had them maybe edging Liverpool slightly at home early in the game, but not really in the game at all after Mane’s red card at 30′, he would eventually be subbed at 60′ down 3-0 likely to save his fitness with the game out of control.
    Ake with not the best game, losing 3-0 at Arsenal, probably feels he could have done better with both the first 2 goals but the team defending needed to improve, they didn’t look good. Still made a few good interceptions.
    Propper played 90 in CM for Brighton winning 3-0 at home.
    Klaassen starts for Koeman versus Spurs, with Vorm on the bench, and they get blasted 0-3 in the first half and he was replaced at HT.
    Hoedt gets his first start, no sign yet of van Dijk who has been training again with the first team, Janmaat on Watfords bench. Janmaat came on and scored. The usually stingy Southampton lose 0-2 at home.

    Willems starts again for Frankfurt at LWB, actually getting decent defensive numbers. Good on crosses as well.
    Gouweleuuw starts for Augsburg winning 3-0 at home.
    van Drongelen starts again with Hamburg at home, subbed with an injury at 70′ with a 0-1 scoreline.
    Bazoer benched still, getting tough reviews this season, Verhaugh left out as well.

  22. Pieters started in the United game at Stoke, Martins Indi came on at half in the game ending 2-2. Blind stayed on the bench.
    Robben came on as a sub playing 30 mins in Bayerns 0-2 loss at Hoffenheim.
    Kongolo was not involved for Monaco to be thrashed 0-4 at Nice, not sure why
    Bestikas started both Lens and Babel in a 1-0 win, Babel scoring the goal.
    Fenerbahce hosting Basaksehir saw the Elia start for the guests pull off a 2-3 win. Interestingly enough, 3rd most tackles in the game..
    Janssen came on for 30 mins.
    Promes scored the only goal in a win for Spartak v Rubin Kazan.

  23. @Jan – I will try to update you guys while I’m in England, I should have good internet at the hotel, if not I’ll put something togeather when I’m back. Hopefully I get a good look at some of the youth development academies to compare what the Dutch are doing. Also match reports on all our Dutchies in England.

  24. Fosu-Mensah starts again for Palace away at Burnley. More misery for de Boer in the opening minutes.. Not much Fosu-Mensah could have done on Lee’s horrible giveaway for the goal and was generally unfuckablewith otherwise.
    Riedewald came on with 10 mins to go, and played in CM. looked alright but couldn’t help get the equalizer for a 1-0 loss.
    van Aanholt stayed on the bench.
    I feel for Frank de Boer, Palace don’t look bad, actually they totally dominated Burnley and although they’re creating chances, but bad luck, great saves and big misses mean they still do not even a goal in the EPL this season in 4 games, all losses (that’s a record unfortunately).

  25. Fosu-Mensah starts for Palace away at Burnley. More misery for de Boer in the opening minutes.. Not much Fosu-Mensah could have done on Lee’s horrible giveaway for the goal and was generally unf*ckablewith otherwise.
    Riedewald came on with 10 mins to go, and played in CM. van Aanholt stayed on the bench.
    I feel for Frank de Boer, Palace don’t look bad, actually they totally dominated Burnley and although they’re creating chances, still not even a goal in the EPL this season in 4 games, all losses (that’s a record unfortunately).

  26. Tough start for both Dutch managers in the PL with both combining for just one win thus far. Everyone was praising Koeman for Everton’s aggresive approach at the start of the window but now with a little hindsight it’s tough to see what his plan was. Klassen, Rooney, and Sigurdsson all play more or less the same position not to mention the fact that Davies and Barkley were already in the squad. I am worried for Klassen as I feel he may struggle for minutes and be forced to play as a winger.

    Perhaps the only upside to this is that Koeman may be available to coach NT sooner than we thought lol. I also think poor Frankie will be looking for work again before Christmas if he doesn’t turn things around soon.

  27. Fer starts as usual for Swansea, with Narsingh and van der Hoorn on the bench. Watched the last 30 mins, Fer was okay. Made a nice through ball for Abraham who messed it up.. as always worked his ass off and is strong in his duels and on the ball, but for me a bit wasteful with it at times. They’d surrender a goal with 15 to go and lose at home 0-1, Narsingh played the last 5 mins or so..

    Rekik plays 90 again for Berlin in a 1-1 draw.

    De Vrij starts as usual for Lazio who thrash hapless AC Milan. Really notice even watching from TV the stadium in Lazio is so empty.. de Vrij great, blameless on the Milan goal.
    De Roon back in Atalanta’s starting lineup, hosting Letschert and Sassuolo. Hateboer left out but came on for the last 20 and saw his side comeback and win 2-1.

    Memphis started for Lyon and Tete was on the bench. Memphis created 4 chances (most on the match) and assisted the winner, playing 90 in the 2-1 win. Tete played the last 30 mins and the most tackles for Lyon.

      1. Totally agree Emmanual. I watched the PSV game yesterday and was completely unimpressed by either Dumfries or Pierie. Dumfries in particular was as bad as he was for Jong Oranje. He can’t do simple things like trapping the ball under pressure, dribble, penetrate. All he can do is use his speed to cross the ball. Of course he will get lots of assists that way but he contributes almost nothing otherwise.
        The fact both made the team of the week is indicative of how poor the league is. The PSV-Heerenveen match was atrocious. Such poor quality all around. I honestly think that something urgent must be done. The league is simply not good enough any more. This is why the fact Ajax (and PSV for that matter) is not playing in any European competition is extremely problematic. You cannot gauge your level of play against PEC, Roda, VVV or Twente. You could see Ajax gaining strength throughout the season because suddenly they realized they could compete at the highest level (well almost the highest level) and then even defeat/crush teams they never thought they could beat (Schalke, Lyon). Players need that. In fact they crave playing against better opposition. But this year, nothing. It will be the likes of PEC and VVV or ADO. What a shame!

        1. Honestly don’t speak for pro athletes if you aren’t one. If they want to play against better competition they go to another league. The Eredivisie is a developing league where players can make the next step to becoming world class. They use the Eredivisie to dominate in the league and gain confidence. As well they will be able to perfect the things some people have trouble with such as finishing where you don’t get chances to in bigger leagues. Eredivisie isn’t an awful league but it’s not the best either and there’s nothing wrong with that

          1. @Depay9…Jeff is saying if “””Dumb fry”””(Another headless chicken with great physical attributes) is in best 11 of eredivise,then we are stooped in to further low..where is new RVP,Roben,Vaart ,Sneijder..????ACCEPT THE TRUTH…

    1. I would have to disagree about de Boer. I think he is a bad coach! He had my team Ajax eliminated from the most embarrassing opponents ever. Every European campaign was worst than the other in the 6 years he was in the club. Even for the 4 consecutive Eredivisies that he won he was lucky because he had no competition whats so ever at the time. I would hope KNVB doesn’t make another mistake and appoint him as our new manager after Dick(head) leaves.

  28. Hi guys, I’ll be traveling for a bit. Not too many posts to be expected (unless I can’t sleep in the plane).

    You can expect more insights into KNVB Academy stuff and more, soon!

  29. De Boer is done with coaching. He makes terrible choices, first with Inter and now in England, neither fits his dutch philosophy. He was never great at Ajax either. I find it hard to believe that another top league team can hire him. Maybe he needs to go back to school.
    Jansen to Turkey is a major downgrade. In my view Germany would have been perfect but I guess nobody approached him. Most of the time Turkey is the beginning of the end for one’s career.

    1. He should go back to Netherlands in order to rebuild his reputation.

      And Jansen too. Unless he moved to Italy, Spain, or Germany, it is a downgrade. He was a top scorer in Eredivisie when moving to England. It was like RVN when moving to MU.

  30. Poor Frank de Boer, I don’t think he’s as bad a coach as some of you make him out to be. He just seems to take on coaching roles that are way too challenging. Why would he opt for a team like Crystal Palace who were flirting with relegation last season or a team like Inter who always seemed to have bad luck even after he left? I think you all knew from the start (I know I did) that he was doomed when he decided to manage Palace. FDB needs to ( or needed to, rather) coach at least a mid table team in Spain or Italy and then grow into that role. Now he will have to press the RESET button altogether and I hope his next gig won’t be another national team experiment with Oranje because that’s the last thing we need right now.

    1. Considering what has been going on with NT the last few years it is almost guaranteed that FDB will be the new coach after we fail to qualify for Russia. More misery for us fans.

  31. Thank you Emmanual for putting some sense into @Depay9…
    As for De Boer, I am sort of sad because I like him as a person and a true Ajacied, but in fairness he is a bad coach. Just look at the way Ajax played under him -slow and uninspiring- but more importantly the players he liked and promoted indicate to me his poor coaching philosophy. Players such as Gudelj, Dijks, El Ghazi and even Bazoer. Such mediocrity. De Boer was the champion of having wing backs and wingers put their head down, run and eventually cross to nobody. That way of playing was so un-Ajax like. Dijks is the prototype of players I despise. Dumfries -based on the 2 matches I saw him play to be fair to him- is the same kind of player. I agree with Emmanual, a headless chicken who runs as fast as he can and when he can’t run anymore he crosses. So yes sometimes, there will be a player on the receiving end of that cross. But mostly it will be a waste of a play. Wingbacks are so important in modern football, they need to contribute offensively more so than defend. Perfect examples are Dani Alves and Marcelo. I can guarantee you that Dumfries is neither.

    1. Jeff….Our struggle is that with strootman ,he is not a real DM,he lost his crown after injury…Wijnaldum lacks vision to play there..Sneijder u cannt ask him to play like a 22 year old..its time for him to ang up his boot..
      Then we dont have striker,i dont count Dost,luuk etc…Janssen is the best we have got and he is laying in turkey.that says a lot…
      We have zero wingers bar Roben thats another issue…Only Babel and Boetius has certain level of quality ….
      But our defenders are star studed they can walk in to any national team starter(Not BMI)
      We have 3 deadly class left wing backs in Blind,Williams and Haps/Buttner…if u want Robust
      LB then we should look for kongolo…
      We have 3 Deadly class right wingbacks in karsdorp,Vanrhijn and kevin diks..if u want Robust unF#$kable RB then we have Mensah and Tete..
      We should forget 433 and we should chnage to Gk-343……

      1. —–Babel—Vanginkel——-Roben——–

        Williams—Vilhena–Van de beek—karsdorp

        Hope that Janssen recovers form and Depay recovers speed..

  32. Frank Deboer needs time….she should have given time…he is a nice guy with heart..i stand with him….But he has spend some time alone and should be back with a vengeance..

    1. Emmanual, I agree with you about the national team issues. Our midfield and attack are what is lacking at the moment. I have no issue with Karsdorp, Blind and the players you mention. I was not talking about the Diks who plays for Feyenoord (on loan) -I have not seen him play enough to judge him anyway- but rather about Mitchell Dijks from Ajax. He is an embarrassment to my beloved Ajax. I will watch the Feyenoord game tomorrow and pay attention to Kevin Diks. I hope he is better than his namesake! I sincerely hope that Feyenoord does well as they are now carrying the flag as Ajax did last year. But I am not too optimistic. Maybe they can surprise for the first game especially at home.

  33. 8 Champions League group stage games are being played today. 16 teams involved. 176 players will start in those games, but by my count only 4 of them will be Dutch – Daley Blind (Manchester United), Kevin Strootman (Roma), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) and Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Basel).

    I know, I know. Feyenoord will be playing tomorrow against Man City and will feature a predominantly Dutch starting XI, and Wijnaldum will likely start tomorrow for Liverpool against Sevilla, and Promes for Spartak Moscow against NK Maribor.

    But this is just so depressing to see. I read today that Marco Asensio (young star forward for Real Madrid and Spain) had a Dutch mother and was named after Marco van Basten. How many children will be named after anyone in this generation of Dutch players?

  34. @depay9isthe best

    It looks like you are assuming alot if things. Its not simply as it looks and you need to start facing the facts. It was his inconsistency which was the main reason for his breakdown at Ajax and as Jan mentioned early it hasnt improved at Wolfburg.

  35. Couldnt help notice the all the three teams form portugal qualified for the CL. Benefica, Sporting and porto. Given the supremcy of eredivisie back in the 80s and 90s, wàs jus wondering if there was a time when three dutch teams were in CL , or two teams from eredivisie qualified directly for CL. If there was when and how did it come down to 1.

    1. Wilson:

      As far as I can tell, in the Champions League era, three Dutch clubs have only been involved four times:

      1999-2000 — Feyenoord (Second Group), Willem II (Group), PSV (Group)

      2000-2001 — Feyenoord (3rd QR), Heerenveen (Group), PSV (Group)

      2001-2002 — Ajax (3rd QR), Feyenoord (Group), PSV (Group)

      2002-2003 — Feyenoord (Group), PSV (Group), Ajax (QF)

  36. Blind pretty good for United, playing 90 and bagging a nice assist for Lukaku. Also was good on ariel which is nice. 3-0 winners at home v Basel.
    Robben and Bayern also 3-0 winners v Anderlecht, didn’t watch all of that, but seemed as dangerous as always. Probably should’ve earned a pen but the Italian red not interested, got blocked nicely on a good run shortly after.. looks like he played the full 90.
    Strootman a good game for Roma, drawing 0-0 at home in a battle of keepers.. He did look a bit slow to me, though ultimately not caught out by Atletico and their ruthlessly pressing game at times. Played 90 and actually created the most chances for Roma (3).
    Dost subbed on at 63′ to play at Olympiacos with his Sporting up 0-3, they hung on for a 2-3 win.

    1. That would suck! Although 2019-20 right now looks a little bit better.

      In Europe, the “Country coefficient” is used to evaluate and rank each European country’s FA / league. This ranking is then used to determine the number of clubs from each country’s league that may participate in the Champions League / Europa League. The coefficient reflects results over the last 5 years. Bonus points are added for reaching certain milestones in the Champions League / Europa League tournaments (finals, semis, quarters, group stage, round of 16, etc.).

      I believe that the Netherlands currently ranks 11th in coefficient (behind Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Portugal, Belgium, Ukraine and Turkey), and is currently entitled to 2 Champions League slots and 3 Europa League slots for 2019-20.

      Ajax reaching the Europa League final has probably helped the cause considerably.
      Right now, the cut-off for 2 (vs 1) Champions League slots appears to be the 15th position in the coefficients.
      Behind the Netherlands currently are Austria (12th), Greece (13th), the Czech Republic (14th), Switzerland (15th) and Croatia (16th).

      1. http://fr.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/country/index.html

        Effectively, we are 11th and to be sure that there is at least one team in CL, we must pass ahead of Turkey. But, our current score are more close to Austria’s score then Turkey’s score.
        Our teams are not built for European competitions. In 2000’s, we had Feyenoord of Van Persie-Van Brochorst-van hooijdonk, Ajax of Ibra-Sneijder-Vd Vaart and PSV of Cocu-Affelay-Van Bommel. Each team did something in European Team and won against great teams many times in many seasons.
        Yesterday, we see the big differences between Eredivisie and Premier League.
        It’s the same thing since 2010’s …

  37. Well, for comparative purposes to yesterday, we again have 8 Champions League group stage matches, 16 teams, and 176 starters.

    This time 10 starters are Dutch – Seven for Feyenoord, plus Quincey Promes (Spartak Moscow), Ryan Babel (Besiktas) and Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool). That said, only 2 of these players are national team regulars (Wijnaldum and Promes), although Tonny Vilhena may quickly increase his current 6 caps.

    So in this first set of Champions League matches, 14 Dutch starters were featured, but only 5 of whom are currently national team regulars (Blind, Strootman, Robben, Wijnaldum, and Promes).

    In contrast, 11 French national team regulars started Champions League matches this week for Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, and Monaco (which doesn’t even include Anthony Martial and Ousmane Dembélé)…

    And, in the time it took me to type this, Man City has already scored vs Feyenoord… 🙁

    1. We’ll I’m certainly glad that I chose to watch the first half of the Tottenham – Dortmund match — highly entertaining end-to-end contest. I’m probably equally pleased that I didn’t bother with Feyenoord – Man City. Three goals for City, three yellow cards for Feyenoord.

  38. I do not watch the game but the score says everything on who is sheriff in town. I understand that MC is may be much stronger than some national teams but still the difference between two teams is embarrassingly huge.

  39. well… if Dutch clubs were rich as MC, they would have bought all strong players and be one of the strongest teams in Europe too. Money dictates everything in this world….Just calming myself down 🙂

  40. I have a partial solution to our current troubles — let’s absorb Denmark into the Netherlands. Similar people with similar history, and the resulting country would look sort of like the State of Michigan. With the added bonus that we get Christian Eriksen!

    We could wear a reddish orange color and we’d have the playmaker we are so sorely missing. Plus Kasper Dolberg could be our new young striker and Kasper Schmeichel our goalkeeper.

    Guys, 1543 was a long time ago. Let’s look past that bitter conflict (and the 1992 Euros) and remember the good times – the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Scanian War!

    Let’s come together and do this. Call your Danish friends and make this happen!

      1. Yeah, but then we’d probably have to take Luxembourg too…

        You know, the whole Benelux thing…

        And since we just played Denmark in the Women’s Euro final, we’d have a dominant women’s team too!

  41. Promes starts and was pretty good, creating most and probably most lively for Spartak. Probably should have assisted the winner but Fernando missed. Subbed with a few minutes to go, 1-1 finish.
    Wijnaldum starts, almost scored in the first 10 mins after Sevilla stuns Anfield with an early goal. Works so hard off the ball, keeps it simple and keeps things moving for Liv who were all over the organized Spaniards taking them 2-1 in the 1H but could have been 4 or 5. Took their foot off the gas a bit in the 2H and Sevilla came back for 2-2.
    Besiktas went to Porto and started Babel with Lens on the bench, Babel scored with a few minutes to go to ensure all 3 points, winning 1-3 there.
    Vorm keeps his firm position on the Spurs bench
    Kongolo still not even on the bench for Monaco.
    Feyenoord hosted Man City… I will watch next.

    Nice to have a few more players to watch this CL season, than last..

  42. —————–Cillessen—————




    Janssen’s move to the Turkish league is OK although Babel deserves more credit for what he’s accomplished with Besiktas. They have a decent team actually with Babel, Negredo, Quaresma, Pepe….he could add more speed to our attack.

      1. Wijnaldum is playing well for Liverpool.they use his workrate.. kind of box to box player..Not a DM who controls the game neither a playmaker..i mean the balancer with work rate…
        Strootman is sluggish and Ghost of his own…We have better players in Ake,Bazoer,Vilhena as DM…..for box to box we have Toonstra,vanginkel etc…

        1. I don’t care how good he plays for Liverpool, when he wears he oranje jersey he also turns into a ghost of himself, just like Strootman. If Advocaat had done the obvious and subbed him in the game against Bulgaria the team was gonna have a chance to score more goals. 0 contribution in our offensive game, with horrendous passing which cost us possession numerous times. Incredibly weak defending throughout the whole game with some terrible decision making like the unnecessary foul which led to the Bulgarias goal. He was lucky Vilhena did most of the defensive work for him.

          If Advocaat choses to play against Belarus with Strootman and Wijnaldum i see us barely getting the win with either 1 or 2 max goals difference.

          My starting 11 against Belarus would be


          —Van Ginkel—–Vilhena—-Propper—-


          1. I agree with u this.there is no room for Gini and strootman at midfeild in our NT…But wijnaldum can play upfront as pure forward…he is better than Memphis and Promes when play as forward..

  43. Feyenoord beaten by Man City as expected.
    Not so much disappointing as the general attitude by the team in the first half, to me, like as they expected to get destroyed, unlike the belief I recall v Man United last season.. unfortunate that we could not see the best Feyenoord lineup as well, of course with missing their leading striker, 2 best wing backs (was Diks omission only tactical?) and Toornstra, though when he correctly replaced Berghuis for the 2H.
    The first goal was shit, poor Vilhena, and they were probably dammed after that.. poor defending on the second goal but it was a class goal from Aguero, and the 3rd was the exact kind of goal you allow when you’ve turned off.. second half was a bit better, but yet another set piece goal for Stones.
    I understand why van Bronckhorst adjusts his tactics/ formation, but I’d have preferred to see him go for it with their usual game.. even though it was set pieces which bore 3 of the 4 goals.
    In the end the shots on target were 8-1 by City, but it felt like more than that.

    Tough group for Feyenoord as well, hopefully they can dig in and steal some points off of Napoli or Shaktar yet and sneak into the Europa playoffs. I can’t see them pulling off 2nd place, but hey the ball is round – ya never know !

  44. Well, without doing too deep of a dive, there are 8 Dutch national team players on clubs playing in the Europa League matches today:

    Martin Stekelenberg — Starting GK for Everton (0-3 at Atalanta)

    Davy Klaassen — Substitute midfielder for Everton at 66′ (0-3 at Atalanta)

    Martin de Roon — Starting midfielder for Atalanta (3-0 vs Everton)

    Kenny Tete — Unused substitute for Lyon (1-0 vs Apollon Limassol)

    Memphis Depay — Starting forward (and goalscorer (1-0 vs Apollon Limassol)

    Karim Rekik — Starting defender for Hertha Berlin

    Eljero Elia — Starting forward for Istambul Basaksehir (substituted in 73′; 0-0 vs Ludogorets Razgrad)

    Wesley Sneijder — Injured / Not included in team for Nice vs Zulte Waregem

    Haven’t seen any action from these matches but the 0-3 for Everton seems pretty bad. On the positive side, Atalanta and de Roon are apparently doing well and Memphis starting and scoring for Lyon is nice.

    1. I also neglected to mention Vitesse vs Lazio:

      Stefan de Vrij — Starting defender for Lazio

      And (in honor of Wilson), I will note that Alexander Büttner is a starting defender for Vitesse!

        1. As expected koeman did some gamble and its all back firing.
          As for hans hateboer, this should be his break through season. The more he plays, the better. Come after the WC, maybe he should be looked at again.

  45. Stekelenburg gets the start for Everton at Atalanta, who starts both de Roon and Hateboer, Klaassen on the bench but subbed in for the last third. Lots of interceptions for de Roon, whose side wins 3-0.
    Elia started for Basakehir, played 75 mins in the 0-0 home draw, created 3 chances..
    Memphis started for Lyon, Tete on the bench.
    Memphis scored a pen, 1-1 final at Apoel.
    Rekik starts for Hertha Berlin hosting A. Bilbao, playing 90 in the 0-0 draw.
    Sneijder not involved for Nice’s 1-5 win, still injured.
    de Vrij starts for Lazio at Vitesse, Lazio dominate the first half but Vitesse’s Matavz put away a chance, after de Vrij just missed with a header. Vitesse also had another big chance go begging, could have been up 2-0.. second half saw Lazio score 3 and just one goal off another Rashica assist, for a 2-3 final, win for Lazio – de Vrij lead the game in Ariel duels and tackles.

      1. that’s great
        I chose Babel for LW because he scored a nice goal after a great team play away in Porto in the Champions League, while I admit I didn’t watch Lyon play because I never heard of Apollon, its nice to see Memphis scored a penalty and to hear he had an amazing game over there – he should!

    1. Call me crazy but i think we are going to finish second. Dick gets lucky in these kind of situations just like in Euro 2004 where we needed to beat Latvia and at the same time Czech Republic who had already qualified and guaranteed first place had to beat Germany!! We managed to win our game and the Czechs with their B team won against the Germans!

  46. Im really impressed with the midfield trio of AZ Alkmaar, especially Marko Vejinovic who made the right decision to move away to feyenoord and has become a good engine room for AZ. Guus til id up and coming midfielderlooks like to be talent with already making his way in the jong orange squad. And lastly you have Joris Overeem who seems have gone unnoticed but has been a consistent performer for AZ over the past few season.

  47. Anyone follows Club Brugge? Vormer and Denswil play every game there so why not give them a chance. Last i checked the Belgian league is rated higher than the dutch. We are struggling for decent midfielders at the moment, perhaps Vormer can help since he’s constantly playing…!

    1. I don’t bother anymore personally, was excited to see them play last season in the CL but they were awful, iirc they scored 0 goals in the group stage and let in a pile of goals – BUT having said that, why not!?

      1. Vormer was appiointed the club captain this season for Club Brugge which goes to show how he has blossomed over the years since joining from feyenoord.as mentioned by syber pals their performances in CL last season was awful, but it would be wrong to reflect the teams average performance on his ability and what he can and cant do. PSG also signed Thomas Meunier from club brugge and he has lived up to expectation there, Unfortunately for Vormer, he should have move to a better club especially to prove the critics wrong.

        Denswil is also in the same boat. As it is, unless they move to better club and prove themselves, they will never get a call up.

        1. Being said this, it was danny who should have given him the nod instead of Klaassen and propper.not doubt vormer is better than them both, but as I said,the when it comes it dutch football, it more about club you play in rather than how you play .

          Going forward, given he is already 29, it would be better to start fresh players like .
          van Ginkel, Toornstra, Clasie, vilhnea, hendrix, De Roon etc

          1. And if he plays regularly. But then again as I said it will remain to be seen from what perspective the selectors see him from.

  48. Ake and Propper faced off as Bournemouth host Brighton.. Brighton scored first from a header in the box before Bournemouth came back for a 2-1 win.
    van Drongelen not in Hamburgs squad today, apparently our with an ankle fracture.. poor kid, hopefully not out for too long.

  49. Why are all soccer analysts so awful. if a kid under 20 has one good game they start freaking out and say he will become world class. but if he has one bad season even if he was great everybody forgets about him. This is the only sport where this happens on a consistent basis.

    1. Ohh Jesus ….Please no more Locadia and Huntlaar…Wijnaldum as midfeild for what???Depay at middle????with his zero workrate???
      Riedwald means guarentee leakage…it should be
      Williams—Vilhena–Van de beek–karsdorp
      Second line could be
      Stand bye
      Frenkie Dejong
      this should be our suqad

    1. Amazing how many Bayern regulars are over 30 — Neuer (31), Rafinha (32), Ribery (34), Robben (33), and Vidal (30). Plus, Boateng (29), Martinez (29), Hummels (28), Lewandowski (29) and Muller (28).

      I guess in another year or two they’ll have to sign all of Dortmund’s players again… 😀

  50. Fosu Mensah and Hoedt both start in their clash, van Dijk entered as a late sub to keep it 0-1 for Southampton. Nice away clean sheet for Hoedt.
    Continued and unsurprising misery for Palace, and their totally moronic owner and board, feel bad for Fosu-Mensah, Riedewald and even van Aanholt.
    Wijnaldum stayed on the bench, rested, for Liv’s Burnley clash ending 1-1
    Martins Indi and Pieters start as usual for Stoke at Newcastle, they play 90 but lose 2-1
    Janmaat starts for Watford, Zeegelaar on the bench, as they host Man City. poor Janmaat beaten easily on City’s second goal, but ultimately his side just too far behind in quality, losing 0-6..

    Robben scored for Bayern in a 4-0 rout v Mainz, he and Kimmich really combine well on the R.
    Gouweleuuw hosted by Willems and de Guzman, the ex-Feyenoord midfielder with an assist but not enough as Augsburg win 1-2
    Bazoer and Verhaugh on the bench for Wolfsburg, the Verhaugh played the second half of the 1-0 away loss.

    1. Fer is a player who bring energy and positivity in team…Very good at tackles..Amazing header specialist….But lacks the intelligence of Propper…i am not a fan of Propper i am fan of Fer….Both would be much better strikers than Dost,Luuk,klassen etc ….We need goals…Propper as false striker who is subbed by powerful Fer at later in game…

  51. Fer did not start for Swanseas team to play at Spurs today, he did come on for the last 30 mins of the 0-0 draw. van der Hoorn played 85 mins, good for him, withdrawn for yellow card risk.. Narsingh left on the bench.
    Strootman left out of Romas team to win 3-0 over Verona
    Dost somehow did not score this week

    1. Why on earth do you want that dickhead loser to coach the national side? Have you seen Everton play this season? As an Everton fan, I watch all their games and this is the most pathetic that I have ever seen them play in more than 30 years. Who assembled this team? How much did he pay to get these slow over-the-hill midfielders packed together with no wingers and central striker? The answer is close to 150 million. Now don’t get me started on back-passes, an ailment that plagues the Dutch national team too. The truth is that right now, Dutch soccer is down the toilet and buried miles deep in a garbage pound. We need young players, a nucleus of who play in the same club (like Ajax of the early 70s), a forward thinking young coach (not old haggards like Dick, Guus, Frank, Ronald….), a proper management at KNVB, some luck and tons of patience. Then, only then can we think of a revival sometime in 2022.

      1. Sorry, I was being sarcastic. Many have recently called for Koeman to be considered for the national team manager position, but his recent tenure at Everton suggests that that may not be such a good idea.

        There are many Cruyff disciples out there — Guardiola, Koeman, Laudrup, Roberto Martinez, Peter Bosz, etc. — who each have done some good things. Each brings his own personality and style to the basic structure though, and some obviously are more successful than others as tacticians, managers and leaders.

        I liked Koeman as a player, but don’t think he’s the long term answer as a manager. It will be interesting to see where the KNVB looks next — Advocaat was clearly a stopgap measure. Personally, I really think we need to find someone who will really focus on development of the next generation of players, as it seems we are currently in a low point in terms of talent.

  52. After watching tete completely dominated Neymar I think we found the first choice RB in the NT. Unfortunately I wouldn’t play him vs Belarus and Sweden because we need goals and there are better offensive options

  53. Blind not even on Uniteds bench today, Klaassen and Stekelenburg are on Evertons bench at old trafford, and they stayed there.
    Rekik played 90 for Berlin, drawing 1-1 at Hoffenheim
    Letschert played 90 in a 1-3 loss for Sassuolo v Juventus
    Hateboer and de Roon both played 90 in a 1-1 draw at Chievo. de Roon tops on passes and also aerial duels, Hateboer leading his side on tackles
    de Vrij starts as usual, Lazio at Genoa, but unusually subbed off with 30 mins to go. I think because he has a yellow and they wanted to change to a more attacking formation.
    Tete and Memphis both start for Lyon at PSG, 3 created chances for Memphis tied for the most, unlucky for Lyon who play well but lost 2-0 on 2 own goals..
    Sneijder not yet involved for Nice
    Elia rested at Basaksehir, played the last 30 as they were losing at home and they drew 2-2
    Janssen starting for Fenerbahce, RvP not involved. Janssen scored, as mentioned.
    Promes rested today but then subbed in in the 1H for an injury in a 2-2 draw away.

  54. I also saw Tete dominate Neymar. With that kind of performance he will be Lyon’s #1 RB with no doubt.

    Memphis also played well. He seems more mature, he was not trying too many tricks.

    Gullit praised Atalanta’s duo of De Roon and Hateboer. What do you guys think of them? I am interested on De Roon because we need a defensive midfielder and neither Strootman, Vilhena or Wijnaldum are real defensive midfielders.

    1. Agree on Tete…
      DM job is so tough he should be industrious as well..Vilhena and wijnaldum has stamina in abundance,that is not the case with strootman after his injury..i dont think we will see the real strootman again..He seems little slow to me…DM has to play from back both Vilhena and strootman can do it…Can De roon can do it???i know De roon is tough tackler and ball winner but distribution????Wijnaldum lacks the vision to play there….
      i think our Top dog Dms are Bazoer,Ake,Van de beek…they have stamina,vision and speed,speed of thoughts…its the time for them..We should forget Strootman and Wijnaldum at midfeild…Vilhena can be make shift option…..

  55. Caught the hightlights of PSV and feyenord. Again I will say locadias workrate is too good and he should be starting for NT. His lethal on both his foot which makes him unpredictable especially when he pulls the trigger. Created two chances.one assist to pereiro goal and and other hit the post.it comes has a no suprise he has pushed Luuk and I dont see any reason why he shouldnt be starting in NT.

    As for feyenoord, toornstra again was involved alot in thick of things. Had a free kick hit the cross bar and other was cleared jus of the line before he could tap him. Again his positioning was good.

    Berhguis with two silly and red which saw feyenoord finish with ten men. This may have turned thr game into PSVs favour but still they took PSV to the wire. This not taking into account they came in the game after playing man city few days earlier.

    As for cocu starting pereiro in the midfield was a master stroke . The trio of hendrix, Van ginkel and pereiro were a cut above the feyenoord trio
    Lammers also came on for injured luuk who was berhguis first victim to reckless challenge.showed great skills and ball control. Hope cocu will use him more after this performance.

  56. Horrific news. Kishna is out for a long period of time. Him and boetius were supposed to compete for the LW spot in the qualifier vs Belarus. I thought kishna would for sure get the start and rack up at least 3 goals

        1. Cant think of any player who has recovered from ACL and went on to become a big name. ACLs are USUALLY career ending injuries. Fingers crossed though for stengs. Strootman, Khedira,Rossi are few names I can think of who career were hampered by ACL injury and they never made back to the peak where they were before.

  57. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKFM9XZW4AABvRy.jpg

    35-man Prelim squad for our NT vs Belarus & Sweden:

    Ake / Babel / vdBeek / Berghuis / Blind / Cillessen / Depay / Dost / Elia / Fosu-Mensah / vGinkel / Hoedt / Huntelaar / Janmaat / Janssen / Klaassen / Lens / Locadia / Martins Indi / vPersie / Promes / Propper / Rekik / Robben / Sneijder / Stekelenburg / Strootman / Tete / Toornstra / Veltman / Vilhena / deVrij / Wijnaldum / Zoet

    notable inclusion: Babel, Berghuis, Huntelaar, vPersie, Janmaat

    notable miss: vDijk (fitness), Karsdorp (fitness), Kongolo (game time), Boetius, Fer, De Roon, Hateboer

    vDijk might still be included in the end, if he get the necessary minutes just in time. there’s still 3 weeks.

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