Oranje trashes Spain: 5-1 (could have been 8-0)

Hi my friends, we are back. I think….

So you know: my tech guru friend Icko (big Holland fan too) has helped me upgrade, migrate, manifestate, generate etc etc to sort out the new site.

We have had issues, tech issues, hosting issues, potential virus issues, upgrade issues, conflicting software issues… Almost like the Dutch squad 1996 :-).

All these issues.

I wanted to thank you all for being loyal and for being part of this surge of Dutch Soccer Goodness online :-). And thanks to all who donate some of their hard earned cash. It hasn’t gone to beers, but to making sure the site is stable. We now have a following of 30,000+ people here so it is quite something…

Thanks to you all!!

I have had one of the best match experiences since….2010. This was truly a historic game. And will go down in history as such. Whatever happens next…

And also history for our blog. The success of the Dutch coupled with our “success” here brought my host server on its knees.

I have spent the last days in heaven enjoying our win. The Aussies here are all Orange fans now and there is some amazing stuff being written which I will cover for you here. But also spent the days in cyber hell trying to get my site back online. It seems that our success means two things: a site upgrade and most likely a dedicated server for the site :-(…. So lets hope it is all worth it.

Spain took Total Football from the Dutch. Today, Holland took it back!

, I will humbly point out here and now that I predicted a big win for Holland on our blog. I do believe the signals were there for all to see:

  1. Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie were extremely motivated as this is most likely their last World Cup and they have a point to prove
  2. Louis van Gaal finally made it to the World Cup, is highly ambitious and knows Spanish football well
  3. Robben in particular has some beef to settle with Spain
  4. Spain is lacking in real desire and is getting on agewise (the average age in midfield is 30 years)
  5. We had it coming (and so did Spain)
  6. Holland is superfit while most Spanish players had a gruesome seasonspain assSo, just like in the Brazil game in 2010, the team took some time to settle and needed to be pushed to the point where the backs needed straightening and the teeth needed to be clenched, and something special was produced to get us into the game.

    Van Gaal has done it before. The Ajax 1995 finals vs AC Milan saw Van Gaal doing his karate kick to fire up his team. This time around, it was captain Van Persie, who after a quiet first 30 minutes felt he needed to lead the way.

    flying dutchman

    It took a wonderfully time run by him and a superb pass by Blind (great vision, great execution) to produce what will go down in history as one of the best World Cup goals ever AND one of the best headed goals ever.

    We all know Van Persie is an underrated header of the ball ( last season he scored a number of tremendous header goals with Man United) but most of us here do not know Blind is actually a really good player.

    That goal, just before the break, and the way RVP celebrated it with Van Gaal made all the difference. The Dutch went into the dressing room with a smile on their faces. And the world champions knew they had a game on their hands.

    made in spain

    Who would have known? The first 25 minutes were not our best. Lots of nerves ( BMI, Janmaat, De Guzman), lots of back passing and hardly any Sneijder or Van Persie. Robben found Sneijder in space early in the game and that was a 100% goal scoring chance. I thought Wes could have done better ( the ball was blocked by Casillas chest-height which is probably the biggest gift for a goalie) but it wasn’t an easy chance.

    It did look like Spain would score as at times they glided through our shaky defence but it took a non-penalty to do it. I know many of you don’t rate De Vrij too much (wrongly, I believe) and predicted he would be guilty of causing a spotkick but Costa’s leg actually went to De Vrij’s… It was NOT a foul. And like in the Brazil game, should not have been given. De Vrij blocked Costa technically well, keeping his trailing leg close but Costa was looking for it. He even checked the ref while on his way to the surface…

    Brazil Soccer WCup Spain Netherlands

    Holland deserves a compliment for sticking in the game and taking the game to Spain, with Blind offering up some good interplay with Robben. We had to crosses from the left that deserved better (Janmaat with a mediocre lay off and Van Persie misjudging the cross). Shapes of things to come.

    Holland needed something special. And got it. A special pass by Blind. A special run by Robin van Persie. A special header. And a special celebration with Van Gaal.

    Robin ended Casillas almost-recordrun of clean sheets and established his own record too. The first Dutch player to score in three consecutive World Cups. Robben would follow suit in the second half. The record topscorer for the Dutch got his 44th goal in 86 games.

    In the second half, a reborn Holland showed up. While Spain seemed to have left something in the dressing room. Van Gaal had to change a couple of things… He wanted the team to 1) be less sloppy with that all important pass to the forwards, 2) be tighter to the Spanish, 3) have RVP and Robben use the space between Spanish midfield and defence better.

    RVP many versions

    It took another well time pass by Blind to reach Robben and Robben simply needed to perform some magic. Everything he learned in his impressive career came together in that defining moment. First, there was the run, second there was the velvetty take, third, there was the little flick to send Pique into the woods and four the dummy to send Iker into the corner while Robben went straight through the middle.

    Everything that failed in that moment in the WC2010 finals clicked today!

    And Oranje wanted more. It smelled blood. And Del Bosque decided to bring more attacking power… He brough Pedro for Xabi Alonso. A change that puzzles every Spaniard still. Without Alonso in midfield it seemed like Sneijder would have even more options. Just before that change, Robben stormed through the center of the pitch to find Janmaat just on his right. The ballsy Feyenoord full back laid the ball off to RVP who went for a vintage Van Persie finish with the outside boot and rattled the cross bar. Could have easily been 3-1.

    Robben RVP

    Only 2 minutes later and it actually was 3-1. A foul on Blind gives Sneijder the opportunity to deliver a curler to the far post. Van Persie and Martins Indi seem to demand all the attention of the defence and Casillas gets it wrong. All the way at the back its Stefan de Vrij who had the opportunity to redeem himself. He tries to head the ball but there is so much curve on it that he misses the header but the knees do the job. While hitting the post himself, the central defender scored the third.

    In the 70st minute, David Silva scores an offside goal and the fans all realise that this game is not yet in the bag.

    We’re only 1 minute further when Casillas has a howler. A back pass jumps off his foot and Van Persie is sharp as a knife and intercepts the ball and scores the 4-1.


    Van Gaal takes De Vrij (yellow carded) off and brings Joel Veltman. Van Persie, also on a yellow, is also taken off for Lens while Fabregas replaces Silva. Nine minutes later, great vision by Sneijder followed by a pitch perfect pass in the stride of Robben. He enters a sprinting duel with a Spanish defender and visible squeezes everything out of his legs. He wants this so badly! And tricks everyone in his path, including a pathetically flapping Casillas: 5-1!

    Spain is totally wasted by then and in the 88th minute, Wijnaldum gets a big chance but is denied by the Spanish goalie. Robben picks up the ball from the air on the edge of the box and fires a rocket on target, again stopped by Casillas.

    In the dying minutes, it seems Torres gets to score a goal but he dallies too long and Veltman cleans up while at the other side, Sneijder is gifted a golden opportunity but the Galatasaray man slips and fumbles the chance.

    Daley Blind, right, Holland's superb left-wing-back, in action v Spain, World Cup 2014

    And thus ends one of the most memorable games of a World Cup ever. 6 goals (could have been 10!!), tremendous game play and lots of pathos!

    The Spanish media talk about a humiliation and a nightmare. The Dutch media talk about a swinging Oranje, led by a sensational Robin and Robben. History in the making.

    And within minutes, the coolest gems of pictures went all over the internet (I posted some here).

    Robin van Persie was ecstatic. The skipper immediately commented on the game after the last whistle: “This is a dream come true! Ever since the 2010 finals, we were hoping for a re-match. And to do this now, with this team, at this stage. It was amazing. And the most important thing for me: Louis van Gaal predicted this almost to the detail. He knew how Spain would play, he knew when and how we could attack them. And everything he said ended up being reality. But let’s not get besides ourselves. We have won 3 points, but we’ll need to be ready for the next game now. So we will be proud for one evening and then our focus will go to Australia.”

    After his goal, he went immediately to his coach. “But also the subs. I feel that we are doing this with 23 players. I wanted to include them in the celebrations. It’s 23 players and something like 30 staff hahahahaha. I’m a teamplayer. I don’t want the sole credits. I can’t score without that pass by Blind. So I need to emphasize that we all play our part.”

    Arjen Robben was happy to leave that particular memory behind. “It was good for me to score twice against Casillas, hahaha. But honestly, that 2010 moment cost us the World Cup. We are not in the finals now, not yet at least, so we cannot be too happy as yet. By the way, I understand the goal scorers will get the attention but our young lads really stepped up. I am extremely proud of them. They kept a cool head, settled in really well and did the job for us. Without them, we can’t win anything. And I know from experience how overwhelming a World Cup can be when you are young. So well done to them!”

    Louis van Gaal was susprised with the big score. “I didn’t expect this score. But I knew we could beat them. I know they always want to attack and dominate. Against our golden triangle, that would cause them problems. I expected them to score and I expected us to get opportunities to score as well. Playing one on one against Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie is quite hard. The media and the supporters always want us to dominate and press forward but against Spain, that is very hard. This was the best way to play them, I knew this. This is why we worked so hard to get this system under our wings. It worked out well. I will have to see if we will play like this against Australia as well. Depends… We’ll see.”

    I was quite pessimistic, the first half our or so.

    Janmaat was sloppy. BMI was sloppy. Hell, even De Jong was sloppy.

    I felt like Spain could have had three in the first half hour. Although they failed to create any real chances. Their final pass was not good and Costa didn’t seem to be at ease too much.

    After the 1-1, during the break, LVG finetuned the positioning of the players (Sneijder sitting deeper and closer to Blind), Robben playing between the lines and the four defenders and holding mids playing a bit more tight. At the same time, Spain looked sluggish in the second half and didn’t seem to be able to bring the energy needed to execute their game.

    And we proved that you don’t need 65% possession to score 5 goals.

    I will now let you listen to the great Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer on the BBC:


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  1. Great write-up Jan! And if you have more material, please feel free to write a second one — we really need to enjoy this, but at the same time refocus ourselves for Australia.

    My confidence in LVG is increasing. It definitely seems like he has a plan to take advantage of our players’ talents.

    And other than Germany, who is killing Portugal right now, none of the other traditional powers have looked particularly strong so far.

    This may be our year to win it!

  2. How come Janmaat is sloppy, nearly silenced Iniesta and Silva, covered the most ground in the game. 7 tackles and a threat going forward.
    Do not forget about Cillissen’s save against Silva that is crucial. If it is 2-0 it might be a different story.
    The only sloppy player on the field I think is De Guzman.
    And Costa should get a red for what he did to Indi. Espn commentators were saying that after Pepe’s foul.

    1. > And Costa should get a red for what he did to Indi. Espn commentators were saying that after Pepe’s foul.

      Should already seen red for stamping on de Vrij’s ankle, while being awarded with a penalty. Disgraceful stamp that got Melo send off in 2010.

      1. Very true. The most stupid thing I heard about this was by no one but the annoying Lalas on ESPN. He said that it was definitely a penalty as it is De Vreij’s responsibility to move his leg from Costa’s path (despite being on the ground and actually pulling his leg away before being stamped on). I can’t stand the hate many so-called analysts show towards Oranje! I hope we keep shutting them all up.

        1. Yeah the game vs Spain was a bad one for the ones who hoped to see they could point to a trend in Dutch football and show that a pattern of ugly and wrong football is clearly there. The opposite happened.

          Football won in the game Netherlands vs Spain. Where Costa showed cynicism without boundaries by having figured how to fool a ref and spectators by quickly side stepping a a trailing leg from a defender that did not even touch him, we saw the proper diving a bit later by RvP. One of the most beautiful headers in WC history or even football history. Kids around the world will go outside and try to emulate it with countless tries on the field behind their house. One friend throws the ball and the other will go for a diving header and try to get it on goal first, never mind creating a dip to get it over an imaginary keeper. RVP was not busy with only winning, let alone winning ugly. He wanted to create art, history and something we will remember in 50 years from now. Compare that with what Costa did.

          After that goal, when the fabric of Spanish confidence was tarnished by the beauty and audacity of RVP’s attempt to do something unconventional like that, more would follow from Robben. Berkamp-esque control between 2 world class defenders to send Pique the other way and do the same to the keeper. The last goal from Robben was better than Bale’s one vs Bartra in the Spanish Cup final vs Barca. Why? Bartra is not a world class CB and Ramos is. Completely outran Ramos. The way Robben then toyed with Casillas who was crawling over the field like a toddler was beyond funny as well.


          Spain tried to win in a cynical way. Diving, milking challenges, creating penalty’s that were not there, headbutting a Dutch player. Netherlands answered perfectly. I have rarely seen this Lalas guy , but I am sure he made a fool out of himself. For the people who waited to jump on everything to frame like it was a continuation from 2010, what actually happened was probably all too much to take in at once. Give him some time I would say.


          1. “The way Robben then toyed with Casillas who was crawling over the field like a toddler was beyond funny as well.”

            So sweet, such a grand last goal. Casillas crawled around helplessly, and watched the strike motionless on his knees.

            Robben was a cat with a mouse under his paw. So beautiful it was cruel. Seemed like the whole football world was stood on its head in that moment.

        2. I said the same thing in a previous post which was lost during the site shutdown. I absolutely despise Lalas and his so-called knowledge of the game. What a disgrace he is! He is so arrogant and insulting towards Ruud Van Nistelroy who is 1000 times the player Lalas ever was. Yet he conducts himself with great restraint. Frankly I would have already head butted Lalas by now.
          Also last night on the recap show on ESPN, Graig Burley (former Scottish international) says “well this WC has been amazing so far with all the big guns scoring goals, Messi, Balotelli, Neymar….”. Ruud stops him and tells him “Oh what about Robben and VP? Are they not big time players also?”. He replies “the Dutch got lucky we will see what they do next”. This really infuriated me. Contrast that with the BBC analysis that Jan put up here. There is actually a longer version available on YouTube and it is worth seeing.
          I really hope we prove them all wrong.

          1. dont be surprised there is a bunch of guys being pessimistic and haters no matter what

          2. where the haters at?

            holland did everything possible what a game.

            nigel de jong turning back the clock showing skills, dribbling.

            sneijder has some passes in him.

            i was only disappointed in de guzman, but he didnt play as bad as everyone says. we cannot replace him with clasie thats asking for trouble. fer yes, clasie no

          3. Jeff, I completely agree with you. You are much better off tuning into the Mexican/Spanish station, whether or not you speak the language–at least you don’t have to suffer through the US commentators, who are abysmal.
            You might have seen the halftime report where Ruud and Roberto Martinez present opposite views on whether the penalty was correct, and Ruud says that Costa dragged his leg out. The nameless commentator says, “You mean to tell me that you’ve never done that before?” Ruud politely responds, “That’s beside the point,” but it was an asinine and disrespectful comment from someone who has never played the game before and has no idea to whom he was speaking. F*ck ESPN and their worthless mouthpieces.

          1. @ Lights. LVG indeed showed his class! I gracefully take back my doubts and hope he continues his brilliance all the way to the WC Final. Not only we won but we did with the beautiful Oranje football of 1998-2000 (and a bit of 2008).

          2. @Overmars~~Yeah,i hope Oranje reached the Final.

            During the last world cup final,after Inesta scored,i shut down the television and walked out of my house to a dark park.My mind got frozen and my heart was hurted.The next day,everyone was saying that the Dutch played ugly and aggressive football.I felt nasty bad.But this time around after the 5-1 against Spain.The world changed their thoughts with good feeling on Oranje.I am extremely glad…..

            Hup Holland Hup~~We all have an Orange colour heart.
            Cheers 🙂

          3. Cheers Lights. I hope you don’t go to a dark park this WC Final. But instead you celebrate with your fellow Oranje fans 🙂

  3. Amazin article, thanks for sharing the video with Henry and Ferdinand.

    It was total football. The commentators here in Mexico even said that this LVG’s team was actually playing TOTAL FOOTBALL.

    I AM GLAD HOLLAND FINALLY SHOWED SPAIN WHO IS THE BOSS. The Dutch taught them how to play and they never played like this.

    Spain scored 7 goals in 7 games last WC now we scored 5 goals in 1 game!!!. This should’ve happened four years ago.

    Our team must stay focused. I liked reading Robben calling for focus saying they remember the EC 2008 when they played excellent during the group phase but then crashed out against Russia.

    1. With BVM it was not possible,Miguel..Especially with kuyt,i cannt think kuyt running past players and scoring like Roben or he does it like Roben’s first gaol from blind pass.Thats the quality u need to win WC matches.Which BVM missed by playing kuyt.

    1. I am watching Germany and Pepe’s light headbutt is awarded with a red card. Pogba lashed out after being stamped on by Palacios. Only received yellow. BMI was warned after Costa headbutteded him. Costa walks. Brazil was awarded a pen that was none. Costa displayed pure cynicism by stamping on de Vrij’s ankle to fake being imbalanced by a trailing leg. Got a pen instead of a yellow/red card.

      On and on and on. The theme is clear. Big teams get away with things, smaller country’s don’t. I feel sorry for Croatia.

  4. So… good news on techno-biology from Holland: Human cloning is possible and an accomplished achievement. Frank de Boer has managed to clone himself into the shape of one Daley Blind.

  5. I am reading this site for many years, and the site before this one, and all the comments good and bad.
    I see only ONE prediction of this type victory; there is the guy who always comes with science and the statistics. You laugh at him. But he say we will have a high score game, and he predicts against Spainish. You laugh, and now I am sure he laughs also.
    This is clever guy.

    I always like Blind.
    With Robben, Van Persie; all three can be man of match.
    Eleven heroes. Eleven lions. Hup Holland hup. Now Australia; we do the same I am hoping.
    May be Van Gaal now change to 433. I think we have many players better enough for all formations to choose. And not important; is Van Gaal playing god, always a showman.

    We are strong. We are winners. A great night. We take back total football, and the world watches.

    1. I agree about being proud to be dutch.

      all my friends were texting me and messaging me all day about our win. everyone is talking about how good the dutch looked, nothing better than that!

    2. Bart, many of us share your sentiments. Thanks for sharing.

      I agree with you that LvG is likely to switch to 4-3-3 against Australia. I thought that although Australia showed serious nervousness in the first 15 minutes, they pulled together pretty well after that and were dangerous going forward. Our best chance to win, it seems, is to come out strong early in the game.

      Any thoughts on who might come into the lineup for 4-3-3? It is possible that Lens starts at left wing, or DePay (or that he comes on later). Clasie could come in, but deJong seems too crucial to leave out as he is the best at thwarting a fast counter-attack. I would expect that RvP is subbed out early if we are doing well, as he has a yellow and will be needed against Chile. I expect Veltman to start in place of deVrij either against the Aussies or Chile, for the same reason.

      It’s nice to be in a hopeful position at this point, with a round of 16 seeming in definite reach.

  6. Nice write up Jan!

    Nervous for Australia game, but i will be in my first federal trial (im a lawyer), so i will be have my mind focused elsewhere.

          1. Paul,

            Good luck with your trial. I know first hand how all consuming they can be…but think how good you will feel when it is over and you are settling into watch Oranje in the final 16.

  7. Tough call for Van Gaal with the formation switch. It probably makes sense to go 4-3-3 against Australia because they will be more compact and push forward much less.

    With that said, we probably should go back to the 5-3-2 against Chile, as they are more inventive going forward.

    So the decision is tough, do you change things around and hope the team continues to grow in both formations? Or stick with one and perfect it…glad I’m not the guy having to make that decision.

  8. Football needs more officials (referees) on the field. One man cannot see everything–I have never understood this about football. It is bizarre. There should be 3 referees /on the field/–one on each side and one in the midfield area. American NFL football games have at least 6 officials on the field! NBA games have three. With three officials, each covering a particular area, they could more easily spot the dives and overreactions to fouls that so mar this sport and result in widely different calls ranging from no foul to a red card.

  9. Well, its good to have the site back!! I was like hell we win and we cant talk about it!! hahaha
    Cheers and lets hope Clasie starts next game.
    Also I have one question, anybody knows how many yellow cards before you got one game ban??

    1. two yellow cards. After group stage all yellow cards will be eliminated. The latter might have changed but it has been always that way.

      1. Unless I am mistaken, the yellow card rules were changed in 2010 so that yellow cards do not get wiped clean until after the quarter final. This was done so that teams would likely be at full strength for the final, but comes at a cost — players have to avoid pulling two yellow cards for the first 5 games, or else risk a suspension.

        It seems harsh, but squads with more depth, and who attack more, will have the advantage.

          1. something is wrong with me today. I meant “you might be right”. Hate typos

  10. I think Van Gaal’s last minute experimenting, changing players and formations all the time may actually turn out to be a very good thing. I was very critical at first, but now I see that the current Dutch squad has a lot more flexibility and creativeness and they don’t depend on rigid tactics and strategies.

    Classic Dutch 4-3-3? Sure no problem.
    Solid defense and nice counterattacks with 5-3-2? We can do that do.
    Let’s do something different and try 4-4-2? Yeah.

    Didn’t we try 4-2-3-1 too in some matches if I remember correctly?

  11. Oranje´s game and exhibition against Spain has been one of the best games played by a team I have ever seen.

    Spain has dominated football for the last six years and Holland needed revenge. Nobody would have thought this, not even Van Gaal, Van Persie and Robben. But something is certain: the team had a game plan and was executed perfectly…in the first half we saw some good moves but Spain dominated, we were lucky when Cillessen stopped that Silva opportunity and that we could score just before halftime.

    Anyway, I think that even if Spain had scored the second goal we would have won. Spain´s players have not prepared well for the WC and right now Louis Van Gaal preparations showed. We were fitter, stronger, faster…they played friendlies against Salvador while Holland was playing against Ghana and Ecuador and first practicing with Eredivisie top players and they with the internationals.

    Van Gaal is a master working with young players and it showed on friday and another thing he does in a very good way is having-preparing a strong, fast and physical squad. Also, it seems there is a lot of union in the squad.

    Something is clear to me…the young lads have lost the fear factor and from now on they can build from the victory against Spain and algo WE DO have a coach. Going to the second half in the dressing room the tactical and ajustments Van Gaal made and the words he used really motivated the team and in the second half Spain was nowhere to be seen. We can remember the game against Spain in 2010 and yes, they have a star in their jersey but every Spaniard will never forget the humilliation and punishment Oranje gave them.

    It is clear all the team saw thay if Spain is attacked they can collapse and Oranje attacked them at will. What a great game. I think we will get to the round of 8 without much trouble and it depends who will play if we can get further. This team can go for gold, I think the toughest rivals we can get are Germany and Brazil…Spain is very likely they will be gone very soon and Argentina is not that strong.

    Hup Holland, hup Van Gaal, hup Van Persie and hup to the young lads!!!

  12. Still can´t believe how Del Bosque was lifting the heads of his players in the bench. I have huge respect for Spain, they learned the Dutch way when Cruyff went to Barcelona and they somehow play a sort of total football but with short passing and a crazy pressing…but there is only one team that can play TOTAL FOOTBALL and for me that is a more attractive proposal that TIKI TAKA.

    Total football is ball circulation, speed, pressing, accuracy, changing positions…

    Spain was over confident in my opinion. Why Casillas tried to play with his feet in that opportunity when he is losing 3-1 and is just in front of Van Persie? Just minutes before when the score was 2-1 he tried to play the ball from the back to Pique and actually Spain managed to do it safely but they never thought to play with a super fit and super hungry team.

    I am very happy to Robben…yes, he failed in 2010 but he redeemed himself and punished Casillas like nobody has done before. In Spain Marca said: HUMILLACIÓN MUNDIAL. You do the translation.

    It is imperative that the team stays on the ground. Australia is a competitive team and Chile is strong also. We have to go for the first spot…otherwise we can get Brazil very soon, something we have to avoid yes or yes.

  13. Cillessen wasn’t lucky in his save…. I looked at it multiple times… I was actually surprised how good he was with the block…

    He put his left knee on the ground to prevent a nutmeg, his left leg sticking out as to minimize the space the ball can squeeze out from and then his hands were free to prevent a side shot or a chip… re-look at the save and you’d be impressed with Cillessen…

  14. I didn´t say Cillessen was lucky. He was superb with the safe, technically he did everything good. I just said that the team was lucky not to concede a second because things could have gone different.

    Actually I feel that Jasper Cillessen is the best goalie we have. Good reflexes, talks to the defenders, knows how to read the game and goes well in the air in corner kicks and crosses. The real deal this boy! Hoek and Van Gaal, all the merit in trusting in this goalie. A more complete goalie than Krul and Vorm.

  15. It is great that we will have two Dutch coaches in Premier League. There are good opportunities for Dutch players to be hired and play in one of the strongest European Leagues, which is always not bad for Oranje….

  16. I think Blind was not tested defensively at all. His cross were all pinpoint and even going forward was good which Van Annholt also has showed vs Equacdor. I still have my doubts on Blind defensively.all through out the first half the game was played on Janmaats side and Blind had the luvury of going forward. until Pedro came on and started making those runs on the left.

    the NT has the history of starting with the a bang and that we have all watched in the past years but come the knock out stages we are not able to hold it together. I always look at the long picture and given the trend that we be experienced in the past decade, I dont want start jumping too soon.

    Glad we are back online……Thanks Jan

    1. I believe Euro-2008 is a great example. We completed group stage so brightly and chocked on Russia. It all depends on the wisdom of a coach. Guus over-smarted young Marco in Euro-2008. It is hard to outsmart LvG but the quality of players can be a decisive factor. I still feel that our defense is not strong….

    2. Well if you have your doubts with blind defensively, thats because you havent watched PVA defensively, he is a really really crappy defender. Altought he is certainly more atleth than Blind, Blind has a better brain, PVA is the real headless chicken so please do not talk anynore about PVA. He will never be important for Orange, since we have blind AND Willems who is a much better player than PVA also!!
      Cheers and enjoy.
      Also De vrij played really well, so please take note before you all talk about van dijk again

      1. Gabriel, my concern is not Blind. My concern is central defense, namely BMI and SdV. If not Ron Vlaar, with Spain we would have had problems.

    3. in 2008 – the team was not mature enough… players like v Bommel were not present… we were missing Arjen Robben for Russia… and Marco van Basten was an inexperienced trainer playing against a fox in Guus Hiddink..

      All this was a receipe for disaster…. this is NOT 2008 and this is NOT 2010…

      This team feels just right… I wouldn’t be surprised if we qualify as first in the group and lose to Croatia when our forwards take a day off… But then again, we do have enough fire power in Sneijder /Lens / Janmaat / Blind and the rest to pull a goal when we need it… You can almost feel that these guys will contribute with goals in this tournament.

  17. Mario the reason why Del Bosque was lifting the heads of his players on the bench was simply because he had realized the mistake he had made. It was simply both Inestia and Silva always cut inside which means all our 5 defenders were drawn with them which made it hard for costa and even Torres to breach the defense. to counter 5-3-2 you have to stretch the defenders on the outside and then use the strikers on the crosses which they simply didnt do. I wont be surprised if Xaxi, Inestia and Silva, Costa are all benched in the next game. their formation was ok but players choices to start was where Del Bosque got the hiding, but then it has come timely for them that they were exposed in the first game which gives time to re group.

    AS fro NT, I jus hope we can hold this composure right through out

  18. I find it funny to see other players in this tournament trying to copy Blind’s long balls. 🙂

    Just saw one from a Ghana player. Saw one earlier today I think from a German player. None of them quite as perfect though (with the right guys at the receiving end).

      1. I’m not sure about penalties, honestly. But it is 17 league goals, 26 in all competitions. Not saying he’s the greatest. But good to see some Eredivisie representatives out on the pitch, other than from our team.

  19. What a result. And I so missed this blog. I will forever remember June 13th….And for Laurent hahahaha. For that ESPN biased reporter hahahahaha too

  20. Thank heavens the blogs back… What an amazing game, been on cloud nine the last few days. My favourite part apart from the obvious goals was when RvP gave his captains armband to Robben and they embraced each other, was a great moment and I think showed the team harmony and spirit amongst the players at the moment. Something Oranje have lacked in the past

  21. I would have prefered Holland win 1-0 with playing better from the first to the last minute, against a strong Spain.

    Now people should really be careful and keep remembering half of the team plays in eredivisie clubs, it s a random team, not a safe team in my opinion.

    But ok I was wrong against Spain so for the moment it’s 1-0 for you (or 5-1 lol), we’ll see the rest of the competition.

    I can’t imagine what will write the troll after his 50 long posts of jubilation if Holland lose to Croatia/Mexico…

    From quarter final I will consider it as a good world cup for Holland.

    1. Really Laurent. Go on the French websites and stop being such an annoyance. People don’t want to hear your BS.
      What kind of expertise do you have? Are you a former professional player? a coach of any reputation? Do you even play? I bet you never played the game.
      On the other hand what you do have is arrogance, a lack of sophistication, education and an attitude that can only lead to failure.
      One more time leave us alone.
      I don’t need to hear that Holland had mostly eredivisie players on the team. Really? I did not know that. But thanks for the reminder. Now go and have a cold shower…

    2. Laurent,

      Honestly man, I recommend you just enjoy the ride, and stop being so critical.
      This is the last time you get to enjoy Robin Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder in an Oranje shirt at a big tournament.
      Be thankful for the 5-1 thrashing, and hopeful that more brilliance will come.

      We all know this squad’s frailties and strengths. At this point, theres no more a need to be critical.

  22. May I remind you guys, that our best performances in a WC, has come away from Europe – two out of our three finals. So, this is a good omen.

    Now Van Gaal is considering changing the system for the Aussies game into a more Dutch 4-3-3. Its interesting to see that, how the team will react, and it will be needed in the case that we would be behind in score. It would be interesting to see Blind in a new role, if the late will be the case. He is going to show how to link play in midfield.

    On the other hand, this is a strange situation, for me. Because back in 2010, we did know our weakness – that being a weak back four. So we needed also a screen of two DM-s. Now, the defense is quite a puzzle, really. How they will react to pressure? The first minutes against the spaniards, weren’t that good… to much nerves. But, these competitions are somehow like a self fulfilling prophecies, they allow some really good players to grow into the games. For the moment, let’s have faith. We could reach easily the quarter finals… Let’s hope for more.

  23. I dont want to be negative(as it seems a crime here)
    but our passing qualities worry me
    check this out

    Only our back 5 + de jong had a rate better than 80% because, as you can imagine, there were a lot of back passes(except blind). Sneijder was the best among the attacking players at 77%, worse than almost every spanish players (i dont count subs)

    And de guzman(50%) and cillesen(67%) were even more horrifying. lost half of the passes in midfield is simply self suicide.

    I also counted the interaction between BIG3
    S10: 1 pass to VP9, 5 passes to R11
    VP9: 1 pass to S10, 2 passes to R11
    R11: 3 passes to S10, 4 passes to VP9
    20 in total
    I would say the chemistry between them was not enough.
    note that Blind has done much more at 6+9+9 = 24
    not to mention 2 of them resulted in goals.
    (as reference, iniesta made 17 passes to silva)

    last thing, out overall success rate was 75%, where in most matches the team with <80% lost.

    I am not football expert(nor a good writer) so dont want to say too much. am sure some of you can do a much better analysis. I just hope oranje can improve a bit in this aspect.

    1. Kelvin,

      We all know those statistics are useless – as you say, they do not look positive but the score was fantastic so there is absolutely no link. Iniesta 17 passes to Silva ??? just to create 1 goal opportunity in a whole match. There you go.

      Holland provided a tactical lesson last Friday – I’m sure all smart coaches have taken note. For a start, one team had 60% possession and lost 5-1. That’s the first extreme lesson.

      In the next matches we will know whether that was due to one-off lucky circumstances, or whether there is really something great going on.

    2. @Kelvin

      Netherlands used the long ball from the keeper in the first half all the time. There was no real build up and good passing% go hand in hand with good build up intention. Though I am not sure van Gaal wanted to go that far in the first half (he changed it second half), he definitely said that Netherlands should skip stations moving forward and looking to score a goal. So it is as much as a choice as it is an inability to play football under pressure.

      The fact that Netherlands is pushed back in using this tactic/making this choice against some teams is something to worry about and is something I have been raising questions about. We need midfielders with higher handling speed and that can turn away from their marker. That is why I always refer to Japan second half against Netherlands. Imagine what Netherlands can produce if they start to develop midfielders that can turn away and create man more situations. It’s also not like we have never produced them: Vanenburg. That brand must come back ASAP.

  24. Koeman is officially to Southumpton. Very good and ambitious team. I wish him every success there.

    He actually had a bog role in Oranje’s victory with his tactics with Feyenoord.

  25. I have lost a lot of comments Laurent. The site took a big hit. The hosting went awry when we got cyberattacked (in a good way) during the Spain game. I almost lost the site. Was off air for days. We had to quickly migrate and upgrade and upscale and what not.

    Spent lots of time and energy and $$ on it. We are back now but I need to do a lot of tuning still.

  26. I will post another post soon with more cool stuff. I am also working on a newsletter and hopefully all the plans will go through. Incl a win over the Socceroos and over Chile :-).

  27. No surprise, given LVG’s lineup, but Feyenoord is ranked top club for development for the WC:


    The data provided accounts club-trained players, meaning any player that has trained at a club for three years between the ages of 15-21 as per UEFA definition, along with the amount of minutes played by the footballer at each club. This is done to ascertain the qualitative weight of each clubs’ role in the player’s progress.

    Feyenoord Rotterdam came out on top of the table, having nine club-trained players in attendance, whom together accumulated 882 matches for the first team before turning 23. Barcelona, and Deportivo Saprissa, also provided nine club-trained players to the tournament, but these players had less matches under their belt by the time they turned 23 and so are left trailing in 2nd and 7th place respectively.

    Lille OSC are the top ranked French team, lying in 5th position, Manchester United FC are the top ranked English club, coming in at 6th, FC Bayern Munchen are the top ranked German club, in 10th place, and Udinese Calcio are the highest Italian team in the charts, settling for 25th.

    The ranking by league chart documents the French association as having the highest representation, with 56 club-trained players making 6,255 appearances before the age of 23. England came in second with Germany third.

  28. HAHA Belgium.. talk about headless chickens.
    So much technical ability, such shitty tactics.
    Even if they manage to turn it around, this is highly unconvincing… honestly Wilmots?

    1. Coaching in my opinion. Not the first time in this world cup. If Mertens had started, I think first half would have been slighty different for Belgium.

      Ivory Coast : Drogba
      Argentina : Higuain/Gago

      Seems like coachs wanna try things, but realize it sucks and go back to the “normal” plan. I didn’t understand why Drogba, Mertens and Higuain didn’t start while they are normally starters.

    1. It certainly has been a battle of the coaches so far. Although we’re still seeing some great sparks of individual quality — Van Persie’s header, Messi’s dribbling run, even Dempsey’s moves for the first US goal…

  29. If you want to see the difference between the 532 and the 433 tactically, look no further than Argentina in its game vs Bosnia the other day.

    In the first half, Argentina played with a 532 (with Messi and Aguero up top), and did not look very convincing. In the second half, they switched back to 433, and looked much better attacking, but the game opened up at the same time, and Bosnia got back in it.

    I was initially skeptical about the 532 for Holland, but I’ve been very pleased to see how well van Persie and Robben have operated with so much space on the counter – they are tremendously dangerous in the open field. That said, our first game was against Spain, the current standard for possession-oriented play in the sport. Against future opponents that may be more reactive and counterattacking in approach (and that have now seen us score 5), we may not have the same ability to counter quickly and the same space to break into.

    So the question for LVG becomes whether it is better to (1) “experiment” with a 433 against Australia (in preparation for us to control play against more reactive sides) or (2) build on the current momentum and encourage continuity from our initial performance and stick with the 532.

    Personally, I think the Australia game remains a must win and not a time for trying out new ideas. I’d probably start out with the same 532 approach (as I think Australia will try to attack us), and if we need a goal, then switch to 433 at the half.

    What do you guys think?

    1. It was a mistake for Argentina to play 5-3-2 vs. Bosnia and we should not make the same mistake vs. Australia.

      By playing 5-3-2, Argentina conceded the entire midfield, and allowed Bosnia to bring the ball downfield after winning it. They allowed Bosnia to continue to attack throughout much of the game that way.

      With a weaker team, it is better to dominate possession and keep them bottled up in their own half. The Dutch philosophy is that the best defense is a good offense. That’s why LvG will play 4-3-3, in addition to the fact that it’s his favored system. We have the manpower to play this way against opponents such as Australia. I predict:

      Lens – RvP – Robben
      Sneijder – de Jong (DM) – Clasie/Wijnaldum
      Blind – Vlaar – Veltman (or deVrij) – Janmaat

      DePay and Hunter to come in later in the game, hopefully.

      DeGuzman may also start. Remember he was still recovering from injury last game. However, LvG may prefer him to start vs. Chile and continue resting his leg.

  30. Just wrote a lovely long comment and wordpress logged me out.. lovely. Not really enjoying this whole logging in sensation.

    What was a page long put into short. (Holland, Italy, Germany most impressive teams this world cup till now) (Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Spain & Uruguay the most disappointing)

    Article title is a bit optimistic 5-1 (could have been 8-0). Spain could have easily won 3-0. The euphoria has gotten the best of me lately as well..

    Louis van Gaal according to Dutch media is apparently sticking to the 5-3-2 system even though at practice he gave Lens an orange jersey which indicated he would be part of the starting 11 (sacrificing Vlaar(he’s been a little injured and hasn’t trained fully lately). Now media are saying it’s to through off the other team.. Football gossip.

    We have never won against Australia (If my memory serves me right we have only ever drawn against them)

    The formation will probably stay 5-3-2. Why change a winning system? We will have most of the ball against Australia and the backs will be function more like wingers. Louis lives and breathes 4-3-3, and so do all the players. Against Wales we saw how easy it was for them to switch into that formation the last 15 minutes. But if we want to come far with the probability of playing Brazil, you want to perfect a system that has worked well. And to perfect one needs to practice! If not, Vlaar wil be sacrificed for Lens (according to dutch analysts) and seeing how he hasn’t trained with the squad, i see the probability.

    A part of me hopes we only win by 1 goal so Holland can calm down a bit and realize we haven’t won anything yet, and a part of me hopes we will absolutely destroy Australia. But of course i’m rooting for the latter.

    So this was the shorter version.

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