Oranje steps up v Qatar

The mood after Ecuador was so low and the performance on the ball was so bad that Louis van Gaal wanted to use the game versus Qatar to go back to the basis foundation of our football.

He also wanted to use the match to start Memphis for the first time and change the personnel in midfield.

As you all know Louis by now, he would never change more than 3 players in his line up, understandably.

And our game was better. Our performance on the ball was neat. We offered options, we passed and moved so we could play forward. The ball circulation was better, the pace and intensity were better and we scored two nice goals too. We got a third one chalked off, but I believe that was a bit petty. The arm was next to the body and the ball was hit against it. If Gakpo had one arm amputated he’d still control that ball but with his side. I will count it as a 3-0, assist Janssen, goal Berghuis.

Van Gaal: “This was a match of two teams playing the same system, leading into a chess match of some sort as they covered our forwards with 5 defenders and the battle was in midfield. Which we won and were expected to win. In those sorts of games, it’s the forwards who need to make the difference and Memphis is the kind of player who can be that difference. You can say what you want about him but he is super important in the team and involved in both goals. I want him to take risks and I want him to keep on trying his actions. This guy, he didn’t play for 2 months and he has played 65 minutes today, meaning he is now getting close to playing a full match.”

Van Gaal is focusing on two things and two things only: winning the game and making sure his team gets a bit better for the next game.

“I think we did really well, looking back, in terms of squad management. I wanted the players who lack rhythm to play. De Roon has been out and I have given him time. Same with Frenkie and Gakpo whom we could spare a bit by giving them a rest by taking them off. The last 10 or 15 minutes of a game is where players start to dig into their reserves, which can have an impact for the next match. Gakpo is on fire, this is why I subbed him. Klaassen and Berghuis haven’t played all matches for Ajax, so I wanted to get them to full match fitness too. Simons is fully fit, I wanted to spare him for when we truly need him. Lang took a knock on training and I also wanted to spare him for now.”

The analysts in the studio were gobsmacked that Lang or Simons didn’t get a chance. Van Hooijdonk, Van der Vaart, Van Basten… They all felt this was the ideal match to bring the youngsters. “Janssen is not in great form, Koopmeiners didn’t play well v Ecuador… If you don’t play him now, when will you??”

Davy Klaassen was selected as Man of the Match, by FIFA. They use some weird algorithm to do this and Klaassen was also confused: “Me? Oh? Why… well, I’ll take it but…. I dunno, it’s not something you think about during the match. But we did ok, we played closer together, we were able to combine better this way. You want to create 10 chances every match but it’s not that easy. These group games are hard, you can see it in other groups as well.”

Klaassen must feel like he’s at an In and Out Burger. Than he starts, than he is passed over. “Oh, that is how Van Gaal works. He has different types of players and he uses us like chess board pieces, hahaha. He will analyse what he needs per match. The good thing is, he will tell you exactly why you play or why you don’t play. We all know his thinking, and that helps.”

Van der Vaart was positive about Memphis: “He is not in top shape, that is clear. But he is always busy, always threatening, he will always work even if he is not playing well. He is improving and that is logical if you were out 2 months. He was important with that second goal so he needs to keep on working and it will come back. Hopefully in time.”

Xavi Simons did not make his debut. Many people thought Van Gaal would use him after his positive words for Simons in the presser. “People think that when I say “he is making good progress”, that he needs to start in the Oranje line up immediately. Sorry, that is not how it works. Ken Taylor is also making steps and he has had three sub turns for us and he has done very well. Players need to be patient. I judge them on their profile and specific contributions and on their form. When these two match and I need to solve a problem I will use that player. Xavi knows this.”

Daley Blind had another important match for Oranje. The wingbacks are supposed to be the key players in this system, and where Dumfries was key for us in the group at the Euros, he’s pretty quiet up until now. He has no shots on goals, he has had no chances created and he has had no successful cross into the box! Blind only had one attempt on goal against Senegal.

Van Gaal: “The wingbacks need to play with the space they get and we need to use them as high as possible but only if we have dominance in the game. Otherwise, you are at too much risk. When we play against a team with 5 defenders, like we did versus Ecuador and Qatar, it’s harder because you only have limited moments to play them in.”

Blind played an important part in the Oranje build up versus Qatar, but this due to the different tactics of Qatar. Qatar does not press the Oranje wingbacks as Ecuador did.

Qatar wants the midfielders to put pressure on our wingbacks so they can keep their 5 defenders all the way at the back. This is perfect for Blind. Qatar gives him all the time and space to come up with solutions.

Here is an example. Blind has the ball on the left flank and can wait for the movement of Memphis or Gakpo. Gakpo and Klaassen run deep making space for Memphis and Blind is the ideal player to play these passes in between the lines.

This is what happens for the 1-0. Blind plays in Memphis in between the lines. Gakpo makes a dart deep and than we get the quick fire combination of Memphis, Gakpo, Klaassen, Gakpo and 1-0.

The second goal is a bit similar. Noppert opens to Blind. You can see the huge distances Qatar has to deal with. Blind can move up the pitch and when Ake plays the ball to the in-between the lines Memphis, he finds Blind who is now close to the final third.

Blind has time again, and when he makes a dummy pass for Memphis and his run, the space opens up for Frenkie, to receive the ball.

Here you also see the value of Marten de Roon, who covers the space behind Frenkie. Frenkie opens up to the right, via Klaassen and Dumfries cross is converted into a goal, eventually by Frenkie de Jong.

De Roon covering for Frenkie

Blind has the most successful passes in the Qatar match, towards the final third (36 passes) and he finds Memphis and Frenkie – our danger men – most: De Jong 20 times and Memphis 10 times. Blind can really benefit from the Qatar style of defending and is the starting point of most of our successful attacks.

What this means for the future. Not much… As it is not likely that Blind will get this much time and space versus Team USA or any other opponent.

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  1. Thanks Jan! Unfortunately, work demands interfered and I was only able to occasionally observe the Qatar match in the background. I think your analysis above is pretty accurate. I too was disappointed not to see Simons, but I did feel like de Roon’s presence allowed Frenkie to push forward and be more involved in attack, which was a real positive. That said, it did seem that in the portions I did get to see, the attacking midfield area became pretty cluttered, with Memphis, Klaassen, Frenkie, Gakpo, and occasionally Blind and Dumfries all right on top of each other. Hopefully, we can get that sorted out and be more in sync with each other (rather than getting in each other’s way)

    This 2022 US team is far better than recent iterations, but Pulisic is the key man and if he is out or significantly hampered, the US will really be challenged to score. The team is still built on athleticism and fighting spirit, which can occasionally win the day, but the improvement has really come in the number of US players now playing for quality European club teams. Here in the US, we still can’t seem to adequately train American players (despite my own best efforts 😉 ) and inevitably have to send them abroad for “finishing school”. I think Oranje have considerably more talent and experience, but the US will fight and press and make it a real challenge, even if they struggle to score themselves. I think speed and mobility will be a big factor as well, and this might not be the best match for some of our slower players (de Ligt, Blind, Klaassen). I’m actually really excited about this matchup!

  2. “And our game was better. Our performance on the ball was neat. We offered options, we passed and moved so we could play forward. The ball circulation was better, the pace and intensity were better and we scored two nice goals too.” – Is this considered success?! Aren’t we expected to play minimally better against the worst team of the tournament. Depay against those defenders wasn’t so good to me at least. He is leg heavy and ball control is still way off. But I have learned now that everything is seen as progress with LVG. He can do no wrong. Personally, the best part of these 3 games has been the start of the game with the anthem and first 5 mins, the rest has been like watching paint dry.

    1. “..Personally, the best part of these 3 games has been the start of the game with the anthem and first 5 mins, the rest has been like watching paint dry.” 😂😅

  3. Ecuador has shown the world how to dominate this Dutch team. There is no reason to believe the USA team won’t try similar tactics especially since LVG won’t be changing this slow, boring, walking style of play with old/slow/immobile/half-fit players. At this point, we don’t match up well at all with any team remaining in the competition, not just USA. If we somehow, somehow, somehow manage to sneak past USA (maybe in a penalty-shoot-out), we most likely run into Argentina. I don’t want to look ahead that far but I shudder at the possibility of the scoreline if that happens.

  4. Dumfries has no confidence at all, continuing his dreadful performance from Ecuador. He seems scared to bomb forward; not sure whether that is an instruction from LVG. Plus his heavy foot..that’s make me cringe whenever he was on the ball.
    Depay is just not there. If he can’t beat the Qatar defenders, forget about the other top notch ones.
    Klaassen just lack the creativity and fluidity to play beautiful football. Very workmanlike his play.

    After this latest showing, I feel LVG is behind all the insipid, boring football. He basically put the shackles on his players. I really struggle to enjoy the football play currently.

  5. ” Orange steps up vs Qatar”

    I dont know whether to laugh or cry at this.

    But hey this is world cup and in the mix of everything keep noting how van Gaal is playing his cards.

    First and formost he openly loud mouths this SQUAD can win the world cup on the eve of the world cup

    Then when he gets a reality check and is confronted he is trying to cover his tracks by insisting every body doesn’t know football like he does.

    Well its business end of the tournment now and let’s see what Mr know it all has in store.

  6. Jan is a loyal supporter so its not a surprise for me after a performance vs the worst team of the this WC…i feel many fans here doenst like the arrogance of LVG and they want NT to fail,may be LVG to fail..
    i lost my hope after seeing this 532 with Blind who has speed and athletsicm and Dumfries who takes on 3 guys and marauding in wings and mifedild we have players with 2 lungs who can cover 4 players of the opponent..so 532 suites really well,also we have defended mbhappe,koeman,Dembele,Neymar,Messi,De maria,martinelli,Vinicus,Rafhinha, so we made a step up…i think so..
    what can i say…lost hope preparing for mind to accept the defeat on way…

  7. I’m sorry guys. We played really bad v Ecuador. We really did better v Qatar. Yes, they are worse than Ecuador, but that is not something I can change. We won, (better) and we qualified.

    For now, that should make you happy.

    In 2008, we won three times after amazing performances and lost in a bad match v Russia.

    Playing good in the group doesn’t mean diddly squat. Playing bad in the group can still mean you win it. Just ask Paolo Rossi.

    Anyway, be miserable. Your choice.

    1. @jan. Pretty pissed with you. I bet you knew before the game that Qatar is a lesser team than us and you didn’t do anything before and you didn’t do anything after we won. Just an fyi, if USA is better than us, or worse than us, I’m blaming you!

      Queue the stadium cheer, “ it’s all Jan’s fault, it’s all Jans fault”.

      (Jan, I’m counting on the fact you’ve read my comments enough to know where I stand)

  8. @ Jan,
    You see, the difference between Brazil and the Netherlands is that in Brazil you are just a coach not a King. When the people spoke, the coach listen. Sebastiao Lazaroni in 1990 had to learn the wrong way unfortunately. Please go find out what the people in Brazil did to him. Van Gaal is saying Xavi Simons isn’t ready while you have Klassen on the pitch who’s a bench warmer at Ajax. Total nonsense! Frimpong can’t be any worst that Dumpfries. Dumfries can’t dribble pass a 10 year old. We are lacking creativity in midfield fine but take a chance with the other wing backs because our current wing backs provide very little to the team. By the way it’s not only us on this blog that are disappointed about the team. Yesterday, I was watching the game on a French network, these analysts were saying the exact same thing.

    1. I again agree with you jean. The “misunderstanding” here in this blog is that those who are happy with the style of play think that those of us who are criticizing are looking for total football which of course is not true. We simply are asking questions about some glaring and confusing player selection. You mention Klassen, I mention Weghorst when we have better players in the bench. Yet, we are the grumpy ones because we should be happy that we beat Qatar.
      Nobody is disappointed that we’re in the next round but with this style and player selection LVG can only be excused if he wins the cup. But playing with Depay+Weghorst etc. is as likely to get us the title as myself becoming US president.

      1. @balkin. I appreciate your summary of the misunderstanding in this blog. I’ve been quite vocal on this topic so maybe i should comment on the misunderstanding as I want to clear things up.

        I do not think that posts that are critical of the current style of play is advocating for total football instead. I also think analyzing player selection and tactics is great (and that doesn’t make someone grumpy).

        The part that I don’t like is the extreme negativity. Is everything awful and terrible or are there both pros and cons. Many of us have a feeling that our current tactics will not result in a wc, but is it fair to be overly critical after those tactics have us topping the group or should we wait and see what happens before we swing the axe. Expectations of our squad quality is probably quarter finals. If we achieve anything more, that would most likely be considered a big success. Why do some people act like it’s 100% van gaals fault if we don’t win the World Cup. We may simply not have the same talent as other teams so maybe the measuring stick for van gaal as a success or failure should considefa more accurate representation of our squads talent.

        You also say that no one is disappointed to be in the next round, however that is actually one of the main reasons for the “misunderstanding”. Some people on this blog have posted that they want us to be eliminated as early as possible and that they don’t want us to advance.

  9. Just wanted to highlight the differences in our play against Qatar from a statistical standpoint too:

    Possession: 63%
    Expected Goals: 1.61 (2.27 for shots on target)
    Total Shots: 13 (10 inside box)
    Big Chances: 2
    Accurate Passes: 718 (92%);
    Passes in Opposition Half: 495
    Accurate Long Balls: 26 (74%)
    Offsides: 5
    Corners: 4

    Statistically, these are much more in line with what we’re expecting to see. Yes, we achieved this against Qatar, the weakest team in our group, but like they say here in college football, you can only play who’s in front of you. And as these stats show, we played SIGNIFICANTLY better against Qatar. Certainly, some of that is due to the strength and style of the opponent. But tactics, player selection and mentality all play a role, and all three were considerably better against Qatar as well.

    Here are the same stats from the two earlier matches for comparative purposes:

    Possession: 47%
    Expected Goals: 0.67 (2.09 for shots on target)
    Total Shots: 10 (6 inside box)
    Big Chances: 2
    Accurate Passes: 355 (81%);
    Passes in Opposition Half: 155
    Accurate Long Balls: 16 (36%)
    Offsides: 1
    Corners: 7

    Possession: 54%
    Expected Goals: 0.10 (0.20 for shots target)
    Total Shots: 2 (0 inside box)
    Big Chances: 0
    Accurate Passes: 418 (83%);
    Passes in Opposition Half: 152
    Accurate Long Balls: 20 (44%)
    Offsides: 1
    Corners: 2

    Some of these are glaring, and not in a good way. Expected goals, accurate passes and passes in the opposition half are all dramatically reduced against the first two opponents. We definitely need to find a way to play more like we did against Qatar going forward. I think the presence of de Roon (and resulting impact on Frenkie), and the earlier introduction of Memphis (as a starter, rather than a halftime or later sub) made a big difference.

  10. Although I was raised (my father horn and raised in the Netherlands) here in the US to worship at the shrine of “Totaal Voetbal” of the 1970’s Ajax teams and Feyenoord (born in ‘68), and I for a long time bought into the Cruijff perspective that playing beautiful football was more important than winning trophies, I jettisoned that mindset after the 2008 EC. After 30 years of being the best team never to win a WK, I grew fatigued with that moniker. If you are not playing win, what’s the point?
    I saw the conflict with the WK 2010 when we kept advancing and kept winning ugly and not in the expected Dutch style. I remember Cruijff himself saying he preferred for Spain to beat us in the Final because of the way they played. I 100% disagree. I wanted the trophy. I don’t care for style points at the expense of winning. That said… Of course I would love to see the style and tactics of the 1974-78 and 1988-1998 team exhibit and rule the Cup again. But as they say here in the US, “You dance with the girl you bring to the dance.” And history in these tournaments does not always favor the most attractive teams. Think Brazil in ‘82. Think Denmark in ‘86. Or the Dutch teams in Euro 2000, WC 1998, Euro 2008.
    This is our team, like it or not. Yes, we see problems with how we handle pressure. No, our midfield does not dominate and produce sublime passes and bewilder the opponents. No, we are not truly a star studded team like we are used to. But so what? Here we are in the Round of 16 against a U.S. team we should beat. Come Saturday, even though I am an American, I will be wearing my favorite away jersey from the 1978 WK (Rensenbrink is my favorite all time player) and flying my Dutch Lion flag out front of my house.
    At this stage of the tournament anything now is possible. Our lads need our support. There is a crisis of confidence within our team and obviously with us, the fans. But all that matters now is winning the next game. And then the next.
    No more sunshine patriots. We can dissect and bemoan our coach after. But now we need to get behind this team and maybe make a deep run and steal a game or two.

  11. Playing beautiful football is mot the need of the hour. Netherlands has played beautiful football and has not won many trophies. The main reasons were poor defence, peaking early in the tournament and not having that bit of luck at that time. This time Dutch have a pretty good defence, play collectively, more, improve the midfield play, play the younger and new players at right time. Then dutch will pick up pick up steam as they go forward and then go far. Even Spanish coach has said the mode of play in this wirld cup by most nations is defensive. Then why single out the dutch for criticism. Stats show Brazil and Poland has zero goals scored against them, then comes Croatia,Spain and Netherlands with 1 goal each scored against them. My feeling is that the teams with least amount of goals scored against them in this WC are going to go all the way.

    1. And Australia is in to the knock-out round! If we both advance, we could possibly play in the quarterfinals!

      Another battle over who gets to wear the yellow-orange jersey 😉

      1. Never mind, I found it on ESPN NL. No follow up on whether or not it’s a significant injury, from what I’ve seen. Just lots of English tabloid speculation

  12. Another way of analyzing matches is through the use of heatmaps — depictions of where on the field players spend most of their time and have most of their impact during a match. I was curious about the differences between our first three games and so I compared the heat maps, focusing specifically on de Jong.

    I can’t really copy them into the comments section, but if you go to the whoscored.com’s Match Centre tab for each of the first three Dutch matches (links below), you can look at the teams’ heatmaps, isolate Frenkie’s maps, and see a stark contrast in his presence and positioning:




    Some of this obviously varies by the nature of the match and the competition level, but in the first two matches, Frenkie spent the majority of his time in our defensive half, slightly to the right of center and had 81 and 86 touches respectively. In the Qatar match, he spent the majority of his time in the attacking half, particularly on the left, and had 103 touches.

    And what a difference that positioning and those touches made to our team’s performance in attack! My hope is that this is not just a consequence of playing against the weakest group opponent, but instead a tactical choice that can be replicated in further matches.

    And hopefully not coincidentally, we produced 13 shots yesterday and looked far more likely to score than in our prior matches, where we shot 10 against Senegal and only 2 against Ecuador.

  13. If not for their snazzy uniforms, Poland would have to be the most boring team in this tournament 😉

    And yet, 80′ in they’re still in a qualification position based on goal differential and yellow cards…

    1. I was trying to look at the passing stats for the Argentina – Poland game and for Poland, it said “There are no results to display” 😀

      Argentina apparently completed 800 passes. Poland had 245.
      Argentina had 502 in the attacking half. Poland had 73

      1. Always painful to see cynicism win. A very late additional goal by Mexico or Saudi Arabia would have been so hilarious.

        That being said, if Poland can beat the French by a lone Lewandowski goal on a half occasion, and make that smug bastard Griezman cry, it’ll make my day.

  14. What conclusion do you get analyzing the PASSMAP Netherlands vs Qatar?


    For me it shows a very fluent game on the left (Blind-Ake-Frenkie-Memphis), but very poor on the right.

    Dumfries is isolated, and he cannot do it alone. He is good running and chasing deep passes, and for this he needs to play with another player there, to make the triangulation.

    Klassen pass weren’t great. He didn’t play nor supported Dumfries and and he didn’t pass in offense.

    For next game we need a playmaker that provides more support on the right, and maybe a better right back? I have the feeling that Berghuis is going to play there next game. But i will love to see Simmons there.

    Berghuis played with hunger last time. he tried risky attacks (that cost us three counteracttack), but at least proposed something different. It looked more that the Berghuis of the last weeks Ajax. I really hope he can cope at this level.

    1. True Eduardorw…we are futile at right..Dumfries is non functional..We wastd lots of time wit shitboer..Who was really aSh$#4t at Rb..Never gave chance to Frimpong or karsdorp..we suffer beacuse of that…
      Blind is 32 year a bench wamer at ajax..who should be happily accept a role in bench at NT…its painful to watch this dutch team with 532…some team is going to murder us..we can only go futhur only Depay,Berjwin,virgil,Ake,Frnkie on very top form…

  15. There is always that fine line between “being real” and “bringing the vibe down”. I am 100% convinced that Louis will have headaches and doubts and also sees how bad some players are playing at the moment.

    But he will not come out and say it , as he will keep that internal and doesn’t want to disrupt confidence and the “flow”. But how far do you take it. When do you need to be real and when not. When do you give Klaassen a hug or when do you kick him under the butt.

    Louis has many many flaws and I have mentioned them often in the past years. I have met him and we have mutual friends and I know him a bit, enough to say that he can be a complete ego-centric duckhat ( I have a filter on the blog that blocks comments with swear words) but he also has loads and loads of experience. We gave him the job. Most people applauded this choice. We have to go with it, now.

  16. It is true that JC preferred beautiful football over result-driven football but he always said that in his philosophy, beautiful possession based football results in trophies!

    If they don’t have the ball, they can’t score.

  17. Sorry for Mexico. I like them ,they do bring colour to the tournament.

    Aussie goal was amazing. I watched it on Dutch tv (via internet) but switched over to the Aussie broadcast when I realised they were winning.

    Rene Meulensteen – ex Man United assistant – is now Arnold’s assistant.

    Graham Arnold used to play in Holland, at NAC Breda and is keen to return to NAC as their coach next season (with Pierre van Hooijdonk in a management role).

  18. @Jean I think you miss the rationale LVG applies to this selection. Don’t get me wrong: I do not agree with this. I agree with all the people wanting Xavi in the team at some stage.

    But I am trying to clarify what is going on in LVG’s mind.

    You say: Klaassen is a benchwarmer at Ajax. Xavi is a regular at PSV.

    This is not relevant to LVG. LVG picks players who have performed for him in the NT. Players who have delivered. They are supposed to “get” what LVG asks from them and they deserve the loyalty. This is simply how he thinks.

    He said in a presser: “The fact that Xavi had good days in training doesn’t mean he gets a place in the team! It’s not that easy to get in the NT.” Klaassen is top scorer behind Memphis, and has two assists now so LVG will not piss off Klaassen by ignoring him in a favour of a kid who hasn’t even played 1 minute for Oranje and only 1 match for Jong Oranje.

    There was a disciplinairy issue with Lang at practice (or so it seemed) and if that happens LVG is also likely to not use him on the next match.

    You mention Brazil, well… that is Brazil. In one of the African nations they locked up players when they failed miserably at a World Cup. Jailed them!!

    We are not Brazil, we are not this African nation. We are Holland and we have 1000s of team managers, but Louis is the Sun King. At least, this is how he behaves. Comes with the package.

  19. @ Jan,
    Now Jan, let me ask you and please be honest. Base on what I’ve seen so far including line up, tactic ect, I say we are out on Saturday. What do you say? Imagine the Netherlands being knocked out by the United States in a WC? Imagine that? Van Gaal would have to meet the press after the game no mater what. I can’t way to see that. I think Holland has the best chance in this WC, 1 by being in a very weak group, 2 we are facing the USA in the 2nd round and 3 a shaky Argentina in the quarter final but unfortunately King Van Gall is going to blow it. Hopefully, I am wrong.

  20. Arjentina Threw away papu gomes and non performing players they got rewarded for that…we are stuck with dumfries who is not better than Frimpong…Blind who is not better than Malacia…and a single man middle feild ideally as i dont see anyone in mid other than frenkie..
    We lost out battles in mid
    We lost our battles in wings
    with this stubborn acts and refree loves towards Messi sissy messy..

    1. I feel like you’re not getting your point across consistently, Tiju— do you like Blind and Dumfries or do you not like them in the starting selection?

      1. its not that i like or not ,Mr .Van gaal decides…his choice for LB,RB piss me off…Apart form his work rate i dont like anything about dumfries…Blind is 32 and should accept a bench role..532 system is non functional due to Blind and Dumfries…that must be changed..we had plenty of chances to try Firmpong,Rensch,karsdorp out there but wasted with hans Sh#@@$tboer…Blind i agree that should be picked over Winjdal and co..but bench is teh best place for him at 532..
        Having said that i want to see a workhorse destroyer at DM…which is absent at NT…i would like to see Ake or Timber over there with 433 system…i know from experience dutch coaches are too stubborn to change anything..
        i am preparing my mind to accept loss against usa/arjentina etc…
        After that so many excuses we will hear that..like We are nor that good enough,We expect too much,We lack players,we can only come this far..lets congrats this team like that etc etc..i also feel we have to play against refree as well.
        with great luck we have some come this far..Senegal out played us..Ecudor out played us..some how we found goals or Gakpo brillianace or Luck…Even qatar found our weakness at midfeild..

  21. I just can’t think about oranje losing to the United States, I can’t man, I can’t, oranje should beat the United States easily only if they up the tempo a little bit, I hope van gaal knows that the United States will hope to do to oranje and hay Ecuador did by pressuring for 90 full minutes!!!! Can he make a couple of changes and surprise the United States …

  22. @Jan

    Re: …so LVG will not piss off Klaassen by ignoring him in a favour of a kid who hasn’t even played 1 minute for Oranje

    So your statement suggests that the likely reason that Xavi would never be played over Klassen is to protect Klassen’s ego and not to pixx him off because a newbie is taking his spot?

    And yet you are also suggesting that

    Re: There was a disciplinairy issue with Lang at practice (or so it seemed) and if that happens LVG is also likely to not use him on the next match

    Forget the fact that this sounds like the biggest excuse for Lvg. Can you also see the double standards in your statements.?

    At one hand, a veteran like Klassen is allowed to pout and be a vinegar pixxer(your terminology) if he doesn’t get his play time over Simons but a kid like Lang is likely to be punished with no game time for misbehaving.

    I don’t know what’s more tragic about Dutch football; the fact that this line of thinking is quite coherent with it’s inner operation and thus quite believable or the fact that fans like yourself seem to think it’s okay.


    Teams are moving forward, ready to grasp the promise of bright futures.

    Musiala, Foden, Tchaomeni etc are out there gaining valuable experience and honing their skills in the biggest stage and here we are chastising and making our future stars feel less than(as long as Klassen feels good)

    With coaches like Lvg and his ilk, notwithstanding their tactical acumen, the Dutch cause is always going to be undermined, always going to be a play thing, subjected to their whims and caprices.

  23. Netherlands can beat USA with right tactics and USA’s man to go is christian pulisic and their strong midfield. Sergino as right back can be a threat. These threats need to be neutralised. From what i saw in Argentina vs Poland match, its clear that expectations are rising among Argentine fans and pressure wil increase on them. The spectacle of Messi missing the penalty is a telling sign that Argentina might be vulnerable in a penalty shootout im knock out stages. Poland slso stands a chance in a shoot out situation with such a goal keeper in their ranks.

    1. Arjentina played poland out off the park..poland got schooled.the nonsense penalty was a gift by refree to messi…They simply did that because they benched non performing players…thats key…we need right players st right spot ..We wont create any thing with Blind and dumfries on wings with mid feild of 2…we will get schooled..however with Timber,Van dijk and Ake we will survive to an extend..if ecudo and senagal gets that many shots on goal,we will be f@##ked raped by mercurious arjentines,,,what the hell LVG is thinking…??May be once Arjentina takes an early lead(if we pass usa,which seems unlikely)..LVg might throw Frimpong,malacia and simons and may get back to 433..
      2014 under LVg we couldnt score for 180 minutes plus 60 minutes etxtra time …Same thing i expect again with Blind and dumfries..also a one man midfeild..its horrible to play extratime in two consecutive matches..

  24. Guys dont worry about USA. Get this in your heads. What van Gaal said ” this squad can win the WC”. when the times comes this has to at top of the talking point. Remember this two phrases ” acceptance ” and ” expectation” bergwijn delivers when playing for NT, berghuis and his left foot, blinds gorever experience mania , classy one touch klaassen

    I have said this many many times, come the crucial stages of the tournament, no matter what you do the player head to head will come to play a critical part and no matter which tactic or what LVG throws ( needed when required)the shortfall of the team will be come into play. We have already seen vs Senegal and Ecuador earlier what in store for the team. Any one thinking things will change or get better going into the knock out stages. Continue hallucinating.

  25. Also take note of what van Gaal had said about Simon’s “you have to earn your place. I said that Xavi is making steps and that’s nice for him. I try to involve every player and I do that with Xavi Simons. But also with Kenneth Taylor, for example, who came in well.”

    “If I say that a player has taken good steps, you think he should immediately join the Dutch national team. It doesn’t work like that”

    All this will change to needed when required when he finds himself chasing the game. Just keep watching

  26. How is frimpong injury..is he okay???He is going to be vital in knock outs..He and Malacia will change the rythem of our boring play…its okay to play boring but allowing opponent to dominate and allowing them serios number of shots on goal will not take you any where..532 is sysetm wher we are out numbered in midefieild this opens up hugs gap..Van dijk,timber and Ake will have torrid time ahead…then when you add Dumfries and Blind on wing backs it decapitate you ability to attack…thats how bad we play..when you dont have good defenders and midefild you can play 532…but playing 532 with top class defenders with a top class midfeilder is nonsense…

  27. @ Wilson,
    Don’t worry man, I got you. You are one of the few people on this blog that’s always been very consistent regarding your critics towards Van Gaal. You’ve said over and over that there must be competition on the team, Van Gaal needs to try other players. People have called you names, just like they’ve called me names. After months, Van Gaal kept on using these same bozos like the
    (Blin, Klassen, Dumfries, Berghuis, ect..). Here we are now, none of these guys delivered. They’ve played so bad and still refuses to try these other players that he brought to the squad. Jan in his earlier comment said that it’s because Van Gall doesn’t want to hurt Klassen’s ego. Are you kidding me? LOL
    Now everyone is laughing at our team like they always do anyway. When it’s all over, I hope some of these players have to courage to call Van Gaal out on his BS. I hope I am wrong and whish the team all the best on Saturday.

  28. I’m sorry for some of you guys and your negativity. First of all saying that we were outplayed by Senegal and Ecuador is a rather loose interpretation of the word ‘outplayed’. Secondly, every match has its own story and many winning teams start slowly in the tournament.In any case, it is football. One team wins a tournament, all others lose. I’ve watched Oranje play two finals in my life, one won, one lost. Numerous other semifinals. Most of them losing to penalties.

    If they have to be knocked out against US in the second round I would be disappointed of course, because I had higher expectations. But so far we are still there. Did what we had to do. So just enjoy it, continue supporting our beloved team and stop with all this negativity. It is a football match after all with no impact whatsoever on your life. Assuming you have one 🙂

      1. I agree. What a nail biting few mins. Belgium could have gone through but I am glad they’re out. They lost a whole great generation with terrible coaches.

  29. Wow! Morocco wins Group F and Croatia also advances. Belgium and Canada are eliminated. I guess after listening to the announcers hyping Lukaku for an entire half, maybe Belgium would have been better off keeping Mertens in. He would’ve scored at least one of those opportunities…

    That said, the 0-0 Croatia – Belgium draw was one of the most entertaining matches of this tournament so far!

    1. Modric still has amazing skill, touch and creative impulses. Croatia, despite being an aging side, is still going to be a challenge for just about anyone they face

      My son likes to point out though that even when they had van der Vaart, Modric and Bale, Tottenham still couldn’t win anything!

      Speaking of missed opportunities, Belgium is going to rue so many of its own missed chances, not just in this tournament, but with their entire “Golden Generation”. First Marc Wilmots and then Roberto Martinez failed to win any trophies with an amazing collection of talented players…

  30. @alistair

    I’m always astounded when people try to curb down others opinions whilst simultaneously giving out theirs.

    You say it’s just a game and people should limit their comments to positivity. But sly attacks on people’s speculated personal lives, that you don’t have a clue about, as chastisement for they commenting on a public spectacle, is totally fine by you…

    The irony always gets me🙃

  31. @ Jan

    Has the country that gave us Total Football become a Total Turnoff? This is the title of an article from THE TELEGRAPH this morning. Please check it out. It’s not me saying this time.

  32. In looking ahead to the US match, many fans will immediately look to players’ club teams and roles as a proxy for their talent level. If you were to take this approach with the US team, you will see that far more US players are playing in Europe at “big clubs” than ever before:

    Here’s a quick summary of the US forwards / attacking players:

    Christian Pulisic (age 24) is a forward at Chelsea (formerly of Dortmund) – He made about 80+ appearances for each club over a 3-year period and scored 30 goals over that same period. He is by far the most talented and best developed US player on the current team, having played with Dortmund since age 16. Chelsea won the Champions League during his time with them but has remained a somewhat underachieving top six team in England, and Pulisic, while having periodic bright moments, has been in and out of the line-up due to injuries and inconsistent performance. But from a US perspective, Pulisic is the real deal, and arguably the most talented, skilled and successful US player ever.

    Timothy Weah (22) is a forward for Lille (and George Weah’s son) — He previously played for PSG, where he made very few appearances and then went on loan briefly to Celtic. The vast majority of his European experience has been at Lille where he’s had 66 appearances and scored 6 goals. He’s very fast and skilled and can be dangerous in space.

    Josh Sargent (22) is a currently a forward for Norwich (formerly of Werder Bremen) – He played in 72 matches for Bremen, scoring 13 goals and has featured in 45 for Norwich scoring 11 times. He is one of the better finishing US players and maybe the most physical of the regular starters, but like Pulisic and Weah, he’s not truly a striker or a wing, he’s just sort of a forward / finisher.

    The US Team features several other attacking options, many of whom are still relatively young:

    Brenden Aaronson (22), a small but skilled attacking midfielder who plays for Leeds
    Giovanni (Gio) Reyna (20), a forward / wing (and son of former US midfielder Claudio Reyna), who plays for Dortmund and who very surprisingly has hardly played in this World Cup despite being one of the US’s best all-around attacking players (he’s like a right-sided Pulisic)
    Luca de la Torre (24), a possession-oriented midfielder who plays for Celta Vigo and who may be one of the most talented players on the team but is yet to feature in this World Cup
    Jesus Ferreira (21), a small, quick and fairly decent center forward for FC Dallas (an MLS team)
    Jordan Morris (28), a strong and physical winger who plays for the Seattle Sounders (MLS)
    Christian Roldan (27), another midfielder / attacker who plays for the Seattle Sounders (MLS)
    Haji Wright (24), who’s a tall and athletic striker playing for Antalyaspor in Turkey, but not terribly effectual at the international level (and has an iffy workrate)

    Hope this background helps. I’ll try to do summaries of the other US lines later if possible…

    1. US Team Summary (Part II)

      With so many other professional sports opportunities available to American athletes, the US has always faced a real challenge in drawing its most athletic youngsters to the sport of soccer / football, and then keeping their interest and giving them good enough training to develop their skills to the highest level. However, this 2022 team’s midfield regulars show that considerable progress has been made recently in this area.

      Weston McKinnie (age 24) is a midfielder for Juventus (formerly of Schalke) – He was born in the US but spent several years of his youth in Germany while his dad was in the military and then returned to Schalke’s youth teams when was 16. McKinnie played 75 matches for Schalke over a 4 year period, and has now made about 65 appearances for Juventus over the last year and a half since joining them on loan. Although Juventus has recently gone into pretty sharp decline, he features fairly regularly for them. McKinnie is a solid contributor and a key piece to the US midfield, but primarily stands out due to the current red white and blue highlights to his hair.

      Tyler Adams (age 23) is a midfielder for Leeds (formerly of RB Leipzig and the NY Redbulls), where he’s played about half a season. He played 75 matches for Leipzig over 3 years and has played in about 13 for Leeds so far. He’s the captain of the US team, brings a lot of energy, and is a pretty solid all-around player, and very versatile as well in being able to play multiple positions in addition to the three central midfield roles. When you watch him, he shows up almost everywhere on the field and is very influential, but can be overly aggressive and drawn out of position by a tactically astute opponent.

      Yunus Musah (age 20) is a midfielder for Valencia. He was born in the US and is of Ghanaian descent, but grew up in Italy, and then moved to London and trained with Arsenal until age 16, when he joined Valencia. He played with England’s youth teams internationally until switching to the US in 2020 and making a final decision to stay in 2021 (after further attempts from England to get him back). He’s made 72 appearances for Valencia’s senior team and scored 5 goals.

      Although not large, all three midfielders are athletic, powerful, fast and skilled and each is pretty versatile. Their roles vary more by formation than by their personal ability /skillsets and I expect them to really hound whoever comprises the Dutch midfield. While I wouldn’t refer to any of them as “world class” (even from a naïve American perspective), they are certainly not your father’s US midfield and can be very disruptive to their opponents’ play. This is the primary reason I would play a quicker more athletic midfield than we’ve typically used, and might sacrifice Blind and Klaassen for more youth and energy, if available.

      I covered most of the other attacking oriented mids in my prior comment. The only other true midfielder on the US roster is Kellyn Acosta (age 27). He has played his entire career in the MLS youth teams and senior level and has played extensively for the US junior and senior national teams. He’s generally a solid but unspectacular player who provides further depth and quality to an already versatile group of midfielders.

  33. Hakim Ziyech is probably feeling pretty justified right now, both in his initial selection of Morocco over the Netherlands and in his recent return from international retirement. It’s a shame he didn’t stick with Oranje as he would be a real asset now in our current team…

  34. im a simple man. I just wish they will play with some attitude and fire.

    I dont think we will win any prizes with the quality of players we have, but i wud hate it to be because of a lack of really trying.

    Hup Holland Hup, laat de leeuw niet in zn hempie staan!

    1. @Goose we are simple an here ..we are suffering since long time back even in blog its been 18 years..Qatar is having a warm humid climate still,there is no real winter yet..lots of teams are struggling with pace and intensity due to temperature except for Saudi kind of teams who are used to this climate..
      what makes us sad is that few teams like Arjentina and co they learn from mistakes and move on..couple of teams deosnt do that Eg Netherlands,Belgium etc..LVG is saying 532 is for water tight defense(which we dont have as we are giving away alot to opponents) so wats the use with it??/neither we dont create any chnaces with dumfries and Blind on wings ,one doesn’t have the pace to run and other cannot even dribble pass a 10 year school kid..then what is the point of this system..
      Midfeild there is only one Frenkie…i dont think koopmeiners or De roon exists there…i felt Berghuis was better honestly at least he has the lungs to cover..i feel players like Van dijk,Ake,Timber,Devrij,Deligt are betrayed by the LVg system..
      USA is team with full of runners just like Mexico and costarica of 2014..they will make us tired ,if they score we will be almost done untill unless LVG replace the wingbacks and gets back to 433 at half time…
      Getting in ot or playing for draw is worst idea..it will kill players in qatar ATM with heat for 120 minutes with nerve wrecking penalty shoot out..Arogance and dumbness always get punished..thats all i know..

      1. Meanwhile, Costa Rica and Germany are tied 1-1.

        Not sure what it would take to keep both Spain and Germany out of the knockout rounds, but that would be amazing!

    1. @Goose Emmanual/Tiju…i am fed up with this 532 ,as we have world class center backs and one world clas midfeilder we should go for 4 men back system,,4231or 433 or 442…We are getting out played at mid and in wings…On wingbackss we need better quality players,thats the issue with wings…

    1. Yes, it was out and clearly but I wouldn’t put it out of Japan to have scored again. On the other hand, Germany’s 4rth goal was offside , for the same reason Croatia was denied the penalty against Belgium. It evens out and today worked for the best.
      Spain got smacked in the face for taking it easy against Germany, while Japan was the best team of the group. Loss to CR was totally a fluke. That tiki-taka bs didn’t do squat for more than 30 mins against Japan.

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