It could be worse right? Eh… well… can it? We are now in the same league as Andorra, Slovenia, Kazachstan, Albania and Finland.

The thing I had to think of (a lot!) was the comment by the media when the draw for this Euro qualification was published. The top 3 go through. We are in a group with Turkey, Czech Republic, Iceland… The media went “It will be harder for Oranje to NOT qualify, hahahahaha!”. Well…we never shy away from a challenge and we did it! We did it!! We are failing to qualify… Reaching the last four in the World Cup 2014 was easier….

Well, I needed a break of a couple of days after the Turkey game. And not because I had to watch it at 2 am with Spanish commentary and delay… :-(.

I am not going to spend a lot of time on the game.

riedewaldturk

I mean, you saw it. First 10 minutes. Oranje has 6 men before the ball. Turn around comes. Turkey whacks ball foreward. Quite blind, really. De Vrij wins the essential header. But Turkish midfielder is there before Klaassen. More desire. De Vrij is out of position. Bruma doesn’t step up. 1-0.

Narsingh gets similar opportunity. Misses.

Blind looks up while ball is coming his way (Dutch throw in). He needs to shift his weight as ball comes on right foot. Bad touch. Bad throw too. Bruma was facing the open pitch as last man and Narsingh was available too. Turkish playmaker picks ball up and defeats Cillesen near post. Three big mistakes in a row. Throw of ball to Blind, Blind’s touch. Cillesen. No coaching going on. Just bad, weak, sloppy defending.

Third goal I don’t even rate. Was a foul on Van der Wiel. But everyone had stopped playing by then.

Sneijder gets a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box. He, in particular HE, should bury that ball.

Wijnaldum scores crazy header for Newcastle only weeks back. Now he has a free header and mishits the ball totally. Ball bounces of his shoulder.

If this is the way you play, it doesn’t matter who the coach is or who you field… It was a total shocker.

No confidence, no speed, no automatisms, no desire. Midfield was outplayed. We have too many “nice guys” in midfield. Blind, Klaassen, it was all too soft.

blind daley turk

Danny Blind, again, made some weird subs. At a certain stage, it was Sneijder playing on the right wing, crossing balls in with Promes (?) playing behind Van Persie/De Jong. Why not use Huntelaar? The Schalke 04 striker was Thursday good enough to be #1 striker and on Sunday, he isn’t even good enough to play pinchhitter…

I think the final conclusion, even though we still have a small chance to make it, is that Holland simply doesn’t have “it” at the moment and doesn’t deserve to go to France…

Sad but true. We lose twice against Iceland! ICELAND!!

In Holland, one can easily speak of a crisis. The fans are devastated, the media disgusted and the sponsors and retailers see 50 bio euros disappear. The only ones who don’t see the crisis, is the KNVB. A poll under Dutch football fans says that more than half of the people believe KNVB CEO Bert van Oostveen is the one to blame. Him, and the players. Both Hiddink and Blind seem to have the sympathy of the people.

But the KNVB has positioned itself into a difficult position. CEO Van Oostveen has publically and loudly stated that he supports Blind and Staf unconditionally. He is not going to send Blind away after two games, and also not after 4 games. The CEO has signed Blind until 2018 and has previously sacrificed Hiddink to allow Blind the reigns. No way that Blind will be fired by Van Oostveen. But should the board of directors sack Van Oostveen, then Blind and co. will most likely follow suit.

oostveen

Which leaves the question: if this happens (and it might, as Bert van Oostveen was also responsible for the unelegant exit of Bert van Marwijk), who will be the ideal team manager? Most candidates have committed to their clubs.

Hiddink’s demise was inavoidable. And it left Blind with a difficult inheritance. Only four games to sort things out. Four finales, with only one practice session before the first game. And Blind will have had his plan, but Martins Indi and Arjen Robben destroyed that plan. A cheap penalty made it even worse and that first game was lost in a freaky way. But there is no excuse for the dramatic loss against a mediocre Turkey. As Ruud Gullit said in an emoti0nal analysis after the game. “There was nothing, no desire, no cursing, no yelling, no dirty challenges, no provocations, there was nothing you would expect from a team that does not want to lose. It feels as if these guys can’t give all they have. It’s all too soft.”

The crisis is complex. Danny Blind might become the man to bring Oranje into the biggest qualification shame in the history of Dutch football while also being the man who is to lead Oranje into a new future, with a transformed team as the big guns (Sneijder, Robben, De Jong, Huntelaar, Van Persie) are getting slowly too old for Oranje.

blind schiphol

What went wrong?

In my view, the first mistake was made by Bert van Oostveen by selecting Guus Hiddink as successor to Van Gaal. The second mistake was Hiddink proclaiming that he would restore the Dutch school, with 4-3-3. Louis van Gaal did very well with Oranje. Why not build on these foundations and use a coach who thinks and works like Van Gaal: Danny Blind! And instead of wanting the Dutch School, the KNVB should have realised that the 5-3-2 is currently the best tactical set up for Oranje. As it can become 3-4-3 in a turn around situation just like that. Hiddink and Van Gaal aren’t friends. Hiddink is a totally different coach. What a change of protocol and work approach for the players. Why would Van Oostveen want this??

The next big thing that went wrong was the post-WC disease that most successful teams have after long stint in the World Cup. The players had a ahort holiday, they want to focus on their spot at their clubs and the first qualification games do come very quickly in the new season. The Dutch see games vs the Czechs and Iceland as necessary stumbling blocks on the road to new Euro success. The Czechs and the Icelanders however, see the game against us as the biggest game of the year! They weren’t at the WC and finally have the chance to play against a big team. Their motivation is 110%, ours is 90%. And suddenly, we have a game on our hand… Individual mistakes (concentration, arrogance?) and lack of sharpness resulted in losses in the start of the series. The Iceland game away was a big one. We lost 5 points already and needed a result. Two moments of lack of concentration and we lost that match, which prompted the KNVB to put the pressure on Hiddink which undermined his authority and led to his demise. By then, Arjen Robben was not available for half of the games and Hiddink stuck with old hands like Van der Wiel, Nigel de Jong and Ibi Afellay… He even mentioned Nigel as his “captain of midfield” only to snub the captain months later, saying he needed more football in midfield.

staf turk

Guus was on a losing streak. He got into a rift with the KNVB CEO, the media jumped on him, pundits started to wonder what was happening and it all got into the heads of the players who seemed to be playing without any confidence, adding mistake to misfortune.

Certainly, a trend to take heed of is the fact that our players might not be that good anymore… Dutch football in general seems to losing it’s way. In 1988, the Dutch clubs battled for top European trophies. In 1998, Ajax had just played two CL finals. In 2010, most of our top players played at big clubs (Inter Milan, Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City, Bayern Munich)… Today, our big guns are getting more tired and less fit (RVP, Robben and Huntelaar battled with injuries while Rafa van der Vaart is no longer on the radar). And the young guns we have are all playing for mediocre teams (on a European level) like Watford, Newcastle, Basel, Ajax, Feyenoord and Sunderland with Memphis and Daley Blind as the main exceptions. But… consider this… Would Blind and Memphis play at Man United if Louis wasn’t managing there? Probably not!

So, post World Cup blues in combination with bad management (Van Oostveen/Hiddink) in combination with lesser quality.

The perfect storm.

Some people think Danny Blind is also a problem and not fit to manage Oranje. I used to believe he was good enough. Simply due to the way he presents himself. He is a good communicator. He knows all the talents on the fields in Holland as he keeps track of all that is going on. He used to be a very tactically savvy player who has demonstrated to know what it takes to win trophies. He has worked on all levels in football. From assistant coach to technical director. From head coach to youth coordinator. And on top of that, he worked with Louis van Gaal for many many years. Doubts have arisen though, with his two games at the helm. Losing against Iceland in the way we did can happen to any coach. A quick loss of Robben, a Martins Indi red card. A silly penalty. No coach can stop that, most likely. But why did he play BMI and Van der Wiel in the first place? Why did he put so much emphasis on Robben as leader? Why was RVP on the bench “unfit” while starting three days later? Why subbing Huntelaar so early in the piece? Why using Blind as left back and not centrally in midfield? So many questions.

sneijdturk

The Turkey game offered up even more questions… Why Riedewald? The youngster, over Pieters? Why Klaassen in midfield who proved to be too light vs Iceland? Why sticking to Narsingh who didn’t dazzle vs Iceland? Why keeping Huntelaar benched? And Blind has one Marco van Basten and one Ruud van Nistelrooy next to him on the bench? Would they have agreed to sub Narsingh for Promes, moving the youngster centrally and letting Sneijder play right wing??? Is Luuk de Jong (PSV and failed at Borussia) really a better pinchitter than Schalke 04 striker KJ Huntelaar? Really?

But most importantly… His master Louis van Gaal decided more than a year ago now, that 4-3-3 was not working for Holland. We do not have the quality (yet) to do this. Hiddink proved the point with his abysmal campaign. Why didn’t Blind immediately go back to 5-3-2? He had four games to grind out a result. We didn’t need to entertain the world. We just needed points. Why not use Janmaat and Pieters out wide. With De Vrij, Blind and Bruma centrally. Blind moving into midfield whenever possible… We could have had work horses Van Ginkel and Wijnaldum in midfield with Sneijder and Memphis and Robben up front, using Hunter as pinch hitter!

In possession, Janmaat would always move up and be the right winger Robben isn’t. And fill that space. Marathon man van Ginkel as right mid would have covered ground on that flank. Pieters is more a defender which would work well with Sneijder who likes to own that left space.

Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken, but clearly Bert van Oostveen felt “5-3-2” means the system needed fixing…

persie sneijd turk

The analysts are ruthless in their analysis. You read what Gullit had to say above. Johan Cruyff pointed out that all of Oranje’s mistakes are basis flaws in quality and it is all trainable. “The defending was shocking. Weak. Positioning was totally wrong and the challenges were ill-timed. The penalty we conceded against Iceland is a typical example. Positioning: all wrong! Most of our movement in defence and in particular in and around the box is naive. The second thing that gets me is the lack of passing capabilities. The through pass forward. Only a couple of players see it and can give the pass. Sneijder, of course, but he is playing high up the pitch. From behind, it’s only Blind and Clasie. The rest rather play square balls because they don’t see it or they don’t have the skill. And it’s all trainable stuff.”

Willem van Hanegem laments the lack of quality. “The reality now is, that we need help from Iceland and the Czechs to qualify. That sums up how poor we have become. Having said that, Turkey wasn’t that good either and the only thing they were better in against us was team spirit and desire. Oh, and the fact that they converted their chances and we choked at the crucial moments.  Hiddink was told he was too old or too weak and had to go. A new young coach played two games and has zero points. Well done KNVB! We think we are very good but the reality is different. A lad like Memphis is playing and acting as if he is a demi god but he spent most time on the pitch moaning to the ref. If he gives a back heel the commentator orgasms but the effectiveness of all his dancing and twinkletoes is simply not there. The player who impressed me was Van Persie. He tried to play as a team player. He was always looking for the combination. We are too soft for our youngsters. The hat, the scarf, the golden boots… Start with performing, with making a difference before you behave like a movie star. For me, criticizing Danny Blind is too easy. He started his first game and was confronted with the epitome of bad luck: losing Robben, red card, penalty… What do you do? Sure, he made mistakes but we all make mistakes. That is part of the game. But I’m telling you, Turkey will make mistakes in the last two games. They probably lost their qualification against Latvia, when they could have scored 12 but ended up drawing.”

Blind staf

A telling statistic, one we can’t ignore, is the fact that out of the 8 qualification games, Oranje conceded first in six!! Six times, at home and away, the opponent scored first. Six times, our lads have to play to get back into the game. That is a telling stat. It happened again against Turkey. All tactical plans can go into the shredder. The idea was to let the Turks come out and play, as they needed a win. And we would counter our way to our victory. Hence Narsingh, hence Van Persie. After seven minutes, the Turks could play that game with us… In six out of eight games, the opponent can sit deep and make the field small and give us the ball. In all these games, we had serious trouble playing our way to chances. Spain, as an example, has more than enough players in midfield able to play the through ball. They have Iniesta, Fabregas, Isco, Silva, Mata in midfield. And fast full backs using the flanks when they can. A top striker like Costa is actually not even needed in the Spanish team, that is how well they break down opponents from midfield.

Our midfield does not have that quality. It’s predictable and slow. As Cruyff said, we don’t have enough players with the sharp through ball… And therefore, we might have enough possession, but we don’t do enough with it. We don’t really dominate the game.

Another issue we have: our top guns hardly make the difference. Robben was not as instrumental as he was at the World Cup. Van Persie looks quite bland these days and Sneijder misses opportunities he would have scored back in 2010. We don’t even remember who Van der Vaart was, by now.

elftal turk

There are now two options:

1. Turkey fails and Oranje wins the last two games….

This option doesn’t sound like the obvious one to me, to be honest. I think Turkey has the momentum and we clearly don’t. But it we do get through, I think Blind will need to focus on the 5-3-2 system. With players like Willems and Janmaat as wing backs, with Memphis and Robben upfront. Depending on form of the day and opponents, we could play with players like Sneijder, Strootman, Clasie, Van Ginkel or Wijnaldum in midfield while Daley plays center back. The other CBs are not that key. Bruma, De Vrij, Veltman, Rekik, Van Dijk, Van Beek….

2 Turkey finishes the job and Holland is out!

The more likely scenario. I think in this scenario, Blind needs to stay on and work on a new Oranje. Time to slowly phase out Van Persie and most likely Sneijder. Time for an exciting new team to be build. And I think we have the quality.

We have decent goalies…

Our back line is not that shabby either. I believe in Tete, Van Beek, Blind, Kongolo, Riedewald, De Vrij, Rekik, Bruma, Van Dijk, Willems… I also believe in Janmaat by the way and Van Rhijn will not have unlearned how to play….

With midfielders like Clasie, Maher, Wijnaldum, Fer, Ake, Van Ginkel, Strootman, Bazoer, Ziyech, Tannane, Klaassen, Blind, Vilhena, Sinkgraven and Propper we surely should be able to field some quality there

Upfront, Memphis seems to be the man, with El Ghazi coming through, Sinkgraven, Promes, Boetius, Berghuis… The only missing player in all this is the central striker… Van Basten, Kieft, Bosman, Kluivert, Bergkamp, Van Nistelrooy, Makaay, Huntelaar, Van Persie…where is the next one? Maybe it’s Vincent Janssen….

young nl

In 2011 and 2012, Alfred Stuivenberg won the European Championship with the Under 17s. The current Man United assistant coach had players like Rekik, Ake, Hendrix, Vilhena, Willems, Depay, Kongolo, Kyle Ebicilio and Anas Achahbar under his wing. He said: “The trophies were great but it is youth football. It is different. At top senior level, different skillsets are important and there is no telling where these players will end up.”

Statistically, Oranje is one of the more dominating teams in Europe. Holland has 67% possession over 8 qualification games. Only World Champs Germany and former Champs Spain come to the same percentage. In terms of attempts on goals, Holland is in the top 3 as well. We had 151 shots on goal. Only Germany and Belgium had more attempts. 60 of these attempts were on target. Only Germany had more precision. But… out of the 60, we score the least goals. Only 13 goals out of 60 with 6 of the 13 in one game ( Latvia 6-0). England is top with 24 goals and Poland is number 2 with 21 goals…. End conclusion is: the opponent goalies are playing sensational against Oranje or the quality of the shots is wanting…

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103 responses to “Oranje: where to from here….?”

  1. wilson says:

    Well summed up Jan. Can’t agree any more. Bit suprised at you choice of Blind at CB over Van Dijik and Rekik. As much as I don’t want to repeat this, but after watching him get pinned by Turan, he will always be a weak link in the team if he starts in defense even when playing with, 5 defenders and a smart coach will always know where to hit hard.
    I don’t know whether De Vrij was just not settled at LCB but his performance against Turkey again proves how much the midfield is working in front of him at Lazio.For a moment it felt like he had improved at Lazio but it seems like he still is as rusty as before and is still vulnerable when defending at a high line.

    I think vs Turkey it was the battle of the CM.Turan vs Sneijder and Turan showed why Barcelona came knocking to sign him.

    Also I think there was one thing the coaches did realize-Sneijder and Depay will never work on the same side but the decision to put Promes in the Central also didn’t work either.

    Fingers crossed Czech and Iceland will do the dirty work for NT.

    • Jan says:

      Good points Wilson… Well, I think Blind is a decent football playing CB. I like him. Positioning normally good. Great technique (except that little mistake against Turan, hahaha) and as JC says as well: the ability to play the deep pass. All other defenders with experience are a bit timid in build up. Van Dijk is weak in building up, so is Bruma, so is BMI. De Vrij had to leave the pitch injured (knee) and I think he is currently undergoing a scan and potentially surgery.

  2. OhYeah says:

    As Ruud Gullit said in an emotional analysis after the game. “There was nothing, no desire, no cursing, no yelling, no dirty challenges, no provocations, there was nothing you would expect from a team that does not want to lose. It feels as if these guys can’t give all they have. It’s all too soft.”

    And this, my friends, is the gist of it. We don’t have men on the field, we have boys who sit with their headphones on and play with their smartphone. Men who probably worry more about their appearance than how they can stay at the top of their game. There is no hunger to win and dominate your opponent, no drive to prove you are better, no killer instinct. We have no leader on the pitch, just 11 boys, some younger, some older. But all soft boys at heart, no men.

    What we need is another generation of players like Nistelrooy. A man who has the confidence bordering on arrogance. A man who has a presence and commands respect from the opponent. A man who even after years of playing still goes for the win, not to just “get it over with”. A man who in the face of disaster finds the mental strength to say “we won’t go down without a fight” and a man who can get his teammates riled up.

    To lift the trophy you need the combination of mental strength of the players and tactical smarts by the head coach. At the moment we have neither. What blows my mind is that Van Gaal found a way to make this team work and got the semifinals at the World Cup, and in just ONE YEAR all that work has been undone. Just proves what an effect a good coach can have. Hiddink’s current run must be the biggest flop in football history.

  3. wilson says:

    It’s also ironic that the coaches are still using Robben as the focal point. Hey,he is not getting any younger and the reason why he keeps getting injured is simply because his Work rate in NT compared to Bayern is just to much.

    Now if you look at Depay,one quality that stands out in him is his power shots and if he can excauate it at the earliest whether its a cross or simply a direct shot,he can be more clinically and this can more enhanced if he operates from the right.

    It’s high time the burden on Robben is lifted so that the workload is equally distributed upfront in the forwards.

    Bring Huntelaar more in the game (Focal point).Robben on left and Depay on right or make them switch flanks to confuse the defenders. This will really balance the workrate up front and which will be in the best interestof everybody.

    Huntelaar

    Robben – Clasie -Depay

    Ake -Bazoer

    Pieters – van Dijk-Vlaar-Bacuna

    Krul

    • Steve M says:

      where is this irony?

      • wilson says:

        How many goals have Robben scored in the Qualifers.

        • Steve M says:

          2 goals, plus he has 1 assist in 4 matches (or 5 matches if you count the last one v Iceland), second only to Huntelaar with 4 goals in 6 matches for us.

          I am just curious in what you find ironic about it.

          • wilson says:

            put it this way Robben had just come out of injury. He had even barely played for Bayern leading to the Iceland game. Yet they went a head gave him the captaincy armband and let him start expectating him to be the focal point,leading the attack up front. What happened,lasted only 31 mins. Funny and ridiculous as it sounds,a smart coach would have used him sparingly knowing he was still fragile and would be prone to further injuries if subjected to heavy workrate which is always the case at international level.
            What was suppose to be an important and must win qualifiers then turned out to be nightmare with his absence heavily felt in both the qualifiers.

    • Steve M says:

      I do like the idea of playing Robben and Memphis on opposite wings.
      Have been suggesting that for a while… makes me think of Robben and Netherlands v France at the 08 euros 😉

  4. richarde says:

    Great analysis, Jan. Appointing Hiddink as coach was clearly a mistake–in retrospect. LVG was respected, is tough–and he smartly molded a very effective team, one that focused on playing tough defense first and then taking its chances when they were there.

    What I see now are coaches who seem to have little or no clue about who should be playing for the NT. There is this big pool of players with some qualities (and some weaknesses) and for the last year it’s has been one big exercise in trial-and-error: Let’s try these two players in midfield or in the back; Ok, that didn’t work out, let’s try these two–or maybe that guy in the back, etc. etc. Van der Wiel and Affelay were dumped, did not play for the NT for years–and suddenly they are not only back but in the starting 11! The midfield is a mess.

    Essentially, I see no consensus about matching players with formation and building a strong side that does not easily give up goals. You can’t give up early goals. The team needs a strong leader who can get a grip on player personnel. Maybe the Dutch simply don’t have any great players any more, which is why we see so many different names thrown around constantly. You didn’t see that with Spain and Germany when they were rolling–they knew who should play, and there was cohesion and continuity–two things missing now with Holland. It is hard to believe that, under any circumstances, we could lose twice to Iceland and get humiliated by turkey.

  5. TIJU1234 says:

    Analysis is good,but in the end we need to find a solution,Very few teams are blessed with CR7,Messi,Neymar and roben..these are guys who makes things happen even if their teams play bad…LVG made defnsivy strong team,so he made sure that we are a tough team,then we needed goals.And there is Roben fast and accurate roben gave us goals.
    Now i feel even roben is gone,Yes RVP is gone,snijder is gone ,Nijel is gone if we dont get euro2016..Age has good say in Football..Even bergkamp retired after euro2000.
    it will be more wise to choose a set of players who shows intelligence ,charcater and profesionlism,this is the only way to over come the deficient void Made by our Fab 4 and industrious kuyt..
    How gERMANY woN IT??????????????DID THEY HAD ROBEN KIND PLAYER????OR EVEN A dribbler like Afellay???no..still they banged goals after goals vs any team…By intelligent one to tw0 passes,slick pass,headres,mental strentgh,players with amazing vision…As like Mercides,or BMW..set of some dutch players can do that for sure if they humble them selves…
    If any one thinks Depay would be next messiah they are wrong…if LVG fails at Manu,Depay is gone,His oeverweight muscles doesnt allow him to run fast.the kid is in trouble.
    Orange need a set of strong players those are
    strikers
    Dost—Luuuk—Locadia
    Wingers left
    Annholt,Buttner,Singraven,Bilal ouldchik
    wingers right
    wijnaldum,Berghius,Van rhijn,bilal ouldchik
    Runners
    Vanginkel,clasie,Blind,Maher,proper,toonstra
    holding blocks
    Hendrix,Ake,
    Left backs
    Kongolo—Riedwald
    Center backs
    Devrij
    Bruma
    Virjil
    Van beek
    Reikik
    right backs
    Tete,Ricky kardrop,hatboer,Kevin dijks-janmaat
    gks
    Zoet,Vermeer,krul,Vorm

    • Laurent says:

      100 % bullshit

      Depay is still faster than all the wingers you named.

      You’re such a retard, really, I cant believe you re > 30 yo, everyone must think that you’re 14yo.

      And you forgot Williams haha

      • TIJU1234 says:

        Bull shit what u are saying…i said set of pool players…Willimas yes i forgot as i was thinking included him as LB..
        Annholt faster than Depay
        Bilal ould >faster than Depay
        Singraven faster than depay
        Buttner faster than Depay…
        Depay has heavy legs now his speed is reducing hence it affecting his game..

  6. Albo says:

    I think we’re in for a dark age, like the early 80’s. I don’t see any talent, true talent, just empty promises, some meteors that disappear quickly.
    Didn’t Foppe de Haan win EC? What happened to that generation? Nada!
    I remember watching the final of Winner’s Cup, in 1987, Ajax vs Lokomotiv Leipzig. A certain Dennis Bergkamp was introduced by Cruijff and what a player. You could tell from that early stage he was a true breed. So was San Marco.
    You could see the talent of Overmars in his early days at Ajax
    I remember Robben at his early days at PSV and you could see the talent.
    In this generation I don’t see anyone with that kind of talent.
    Someone compared Cillessen to Van Der Saar (for the inability to keep out PK’s). What a blasphemy! Van Der Saar was a great keeper, unlike butterfinger Cillessen. Penalty vs Iceland, second goal vs Turkey, and so on. I can’t forget the goal he conceded against Mexico in the WC, and Blind was swept away in that occasion just like against Turkey.
    I rather not have Oranje go to playoffs, let alone EC. We’ll be humiliated with lackluster, spiritless, mediocre players we have.
    I read an interview of van Oostveen and he said there is no crisis!!! WTF!!! Really? I so want to slap him silly, f… a..hole he is.
    This team has no balls, and the only player who has them, Nigel, was overlooked.
    Why not Bas Dost? Danny Blind is not any better than his mama’s boy.

    • Jeroen says:

      I made the comparison. The comparison is that van der Sar was not a great penalty stopper early in his career either. It was only later that he improved in this area a lot. So it’s not blasphemy to compare the two. Cillessen did not do well the last two matches. Outside of that I think he has had much better days. Is he the next Edwin? Maybe not. But he has many of the same traits.

      Don’t forget Van der Sar went from Ajax…to Juventus (at the late age of 29) where he got thrown out because of Buffon….to Fulham. It was only late in his career (35+ years old) that he went to Manchester United and got the recognition he deserved. Before that, only Oranje fans were in love with him. But don’t forget that he didn’t save anything in the 1998 and 2000 cup shootouts.

      I don’t think you remember the fact that van der Sar made mistakes in goal in his youth as well. But like a fine bottle of wine, he got much better with age.

      • Albo says:

        Jeroen,

        Van der Sar moved at the age of 29, because Ajax was a powerhouse in European football in the 90’s. He had no need to go anywhere. He didn’t get thrown out because of Buffon, but because Ancelotti was shown the door. After Ancelotti left and Lippi came in changes in personnel happened.
        He was a great keeper by then and it is beyond me how Barthez was playing for ManU while van der Sar was at Fullham.
        I am not saying van der Sar didn’t commit mistakes, but he wasn’t a butterfinger. Cillessen did the same thing in the penalties against Argentina in the WC.

  7. Srinjoy says:

    Excellent article which provides 5 ready made solutions to the Orange problem…without any spoilers..please read on…

    http://www.football-oranje.com/five-players-who-can-breathe-life-into-netherlands-national-team/

    • wilson says:

      Seriously I dont think Bas Dost is the solution here.I have read a lot of comments on him being the heir to to the ageing RVP and Huntelaar but again the current set up itself in NT will deprive him as what Hunter and RVP have been going through all this years. Again the emphasis here is if you are playing with a box to box striker then you have to make him the focal point otherwise it will jus like strolling in the park.

      The current setup as it is for NT, any box to Box striker will struggle in front of goal especially when playing with top quality defenders simply because inverted wing system offers nothing but confined spaces, unanticipated deliveries and not but at least lose balls (re-bounces)and if you add sneijder (machine gun)to that equation,it all comes down to positioning yourself regardless of whether the ball was intended for you or not. A classical example is Huntelaar equalizer vs Turkey in the first leg after Sneijder’s initially shot was deflected in by him.

      If you look at wolfburg formation its suits him diligently because of the efficiency rate at which he is serviced. Timing, quality, preciseness,support play etc. In other words the flow is central around him and this is reason why he is making headlines at wolfburg. Now the arrival of Juilan Draxler from Schalke is yet another smart move by wolfburg as he again is the type of player you expect Dost to thrive around given his orthodox style of play.

      Now Dost in NT is like in another dimension when compared with wolfburg. he becomes a man on his own and this is where you expect him go through the same course as RVP and Hunter. after all he just another version of both the prolific strikers.

      • wilson says:

        As much as he fits the job description,I think it time NT move away from traditional box to box strikers and switch to a more upgraded option.

      • Steve M says:

        Good article, but maybe you guys are missing the point of the author a little bit.. I think he is not necessarily saying that these 5 players are the ‘solution’, but that to breath life into the team is the solution.

        Also, what the hell is a box to box striker? haha

        • wilson says:

          penalty Box…..

          • wilson says:

            maybe you are confused with box-to box midfielders.

          • Steve M says:

            Been playing and watching football since I was 5 and I never heard of a box to box striker.
            I checked your urban dictionary too, wasn’t there. 🙁

            By the way, besides Messi and Ronaldo, Dost has the fewest minute per league goal in 2015… I am not saying he is any saviour or heir to RvP/ Hunter or whatever, but he is clearly out performing both of them atm.

          • wilson says:

            yeah …….I also did some research on the word before posting.the word poacher come up but it doesn’t best describes strikers who only are clinically in penalty box.

            well I cant remember, was it box strikers or box to box strikers, but I picked that phrase up on this blog few years back when the debate was going as who should be no 1 Striker for NT. RVP or Hunter. cant remember who used that phrase. so there you go

    • Jan says:

      Lazy reporting this. El Ghazi was never rated and scores a couple against a shambolic defending ADO and suddenly he is our saviour. Bazoer is definitely a top talent but only 18 years old. Klaassen, Wijnaldum, De Vrij, all similarly talented when 18 and look at them now. This is just cheap scoring. Our problems are bigger than replacing some players with “5 new talents”.

      With Dost, Bazoer, El Ghazi and Ziyech we still would have lost.

      Remember Adam Maher.

  8. Alaa says:

    maybe they need this speech?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk

    they are disgusting I have to say only that, embarassing!!

  9. Steve M says:

    Completely disagree with people saying there is a lack of talent.
    If anything there is too much talent, so much so that players think they are the shit before they have proven themselves…hah!
    Joking aside I honestly really do think we have more than enough talent, just missing the steel in the spine of the team to allow the space for the talent to flourish.

    As many others have said and Jan has quoted Gullit as saying, our problem is a lack of grit.
    We are dying for someone to show up who will put his head down and really battle to dominate a match at any cost, even if it as least our manager yelling at us… I know JC wont manage again, but what is Neeskens and van Hanegem up to now that is more important than helping oranje?
    At least someone who the younger lads look up to for motivation and even fear, somewhat.

    Its clearly not RvP or Sneijder! These supposed leaders can collect any leftover dignity and say goodbye as far as I am concerned. Robben is special and IMO can stay around as long as he is playing, I think he does demand respect, he must be absolutely gutted at going off injured in finally his first match as captain…

    Kuyt retiring was symbolic to me, the player who epitomizes “grit”.
    Coincidence that his retirement happens just as we flounder with a passionless oranje? Maybe, maybe not
    (btw he only played 12 minutes at the 2012 euros)

    But I do have a lot of hope for the future!
    Strootman and Clasie are not too old, just need to get some proper fitness happening.
    And I love to see early comparisons of Bazoer to Vieira and Rijkaard.
    Hendrix seems tough as nails and has balls, and Kuyt to play along side, for now.
    Hopefully Scotlands toughness (and now Englands as well) has rubbed off onto van Dijk…

    Honestly it seems like there are quite a few other big and hard, football playing CMs and CBs (as no doubt you will see Tiju and wilson drop their names at any chance), but all these guys still need to prove it to us yet (I think)…
    And I hope they do prove it to us ASAP!!! ….Because this is torture for me – never being a super talented player myself I have always relied on passion and smarts, and love nothing more to stop flashy prima donna haircut types from scoring goals!!

  10. OhYeah says:

    That video that Bret from Socal posted was really eye-opening, by the way, everyone should watch it. Also that Al Pacino inspirational talk to his team. They illustrate quite well what the current squad lacks: fighter mentality, grit, determination. You think you cannot win on those qualities alone? What about Denmark in 1992, Greece in 2004? I would even argue that Germany brought home quite a few trophies because of their “fight until the end” motto on the field. How many times in history has it been when Netherlands has the more talented players but Germany brings home the gold?

    Robin van Persie was done already in 2012. I’m amazed he is still in the team. Half of these guys don’t deserve a spot, they should be dropped immediately. God do we need Strootman on the field right now… He is worth 10 Afellays and van der Wiels for me.

  11. Srinjoy says:

    i think you guys are all counting out one legend..who is not yet done…and who will benefit most from this mess….

  12. Srinjoy says:

    Rafael van der Vaart is ready to make his Real Betis debut after missing the first two La Liga matches with an ankle sprain.

    “The injury is much better, it didn’t give me any problems in training this morning,” Van der Vaart said on Monday, according to AS.

    “I feel ready to play.”

    Van der Vaart was pleased with what he saw from his new team-mates against Villarreal and having not played a competitive match since helping Hamburg avoid relegation from the Bundesliga on June 1, the 32-year-old Dutchman is itching for competition.

    Betis signed two Dutchmen in the close-season with Ricky van Wolfswinkel joining from Norwich City on loan.

    “He’s the typical Dutch striker, a very complete player,” the former Tottenham midfielder said.

    “He’s going to score a lot of goals and he’s going to be happy he came here.”

  13. ARS says:

    Dutch players have played in 2010 in strong European clubs.But their base was in Ajax,Feyenoord,PSV,AZ…2001,02,03,04,05,06..(after 1997 the Dutch clubs( generally )will become weaker but still solid(good) in the next few years(with poor results sometimes ,with good results sometimes)in euro competitions).
    And many players were taken to the big clubs after EURO 2008. (also u21 2006,07).Many of these players are helping today.
    Then someone concluded that Chelsea,Inter,Bayern,ManU,Barcelona(Afellay).. created Robben,RVP,Vaart,Sneijder,Kuyt,Emanuelson,NdJ,Hunter,Bommel..etc.
    And Dutch clubs have become a template for the sale of talents.
    But something came out wrong.These talents remain children and they must to go to larger (!) clubs to grow.Stoke,Birmingham,Southampton,Lazio,Roma,Liverpool(it is true happiness).
    And the successes of Dutch clubs in Europe are smaller.And parallel transfers in large clubs are smaller.
    And Dutch NT begins to play as clubs in euro competitions .

    LVG was good.He goes for a moment outside the mold …He is mad ,maybe..but he is a brave man.
    But many people wanted his head after defeat of the French…and if Mexico won..
    Hiddink did not make it..he succumbed to pressure.
    I think he should stay till the end.
    Holland-Iceland 0-1.This match was unhappy…but Iceland was good.And they had first big (hundred percent?) chance for goal.
    Against Turkey Netherlands had more chances than Turkey.Not that it looked bad for the eyes.(but not power,passion RVN style..for goals)
    ..Depay was good..3,4 times made chances teammates..but there were not goals.Rocking a little bit to the left, rocking a little bit on the right.!..I think it is more important like lightning enter into the empty space ..and then rocking..
    Cruyff is right for as many friendly matches.
    Once upon a time the children were all day playing soccer.
    You have a feeling that you know how much someone can be good player..how much he is dangerous..knowing his character you know how he could be good in football. And more important you know what you need to practice(individually).And the team(of course) with coach and good directions.
    But today we have a computerized analysis ,little time,modern training and complex world for children etc.

    Brave coach gives courage players..Good old example. Borussia Monchengladbach in 1978. won Borussia Dortmund 12-0.And now Dortmund chasing a rematch so strongly that Lucien Favre and CO frightened as soon as they hear the word Dortmund.
    About stranger coach in Dutch NT?I do not know.Jurgen Klopp (now free) as coach of Netherlands?It would be interesting!!
    But it is fair to give Danny Blind chance.Frantically dismissal of coaches can be dangerous..

    And at the end this picture above is not very inspiring for me.It should be lowered below.Half a face for van Oostveen and two full faces for the ladies…

  14. Eduardorw says:

    Dear Tiju:

    With all my respect, please don´t be so rude in your comments. Especially with Sneijder.

    I remember you criticizing Van Gaal’s months before the last WC for playing Kuyt. You posted like hundred of comments saying that Kuyt was old, that his time had passed, that Van Gaal was making a mistake, etc.

    I was partially agreed with you, but I respected Van Gaal’s decision. At the end, Kuyt was not only one of the best players for Orange but for all the tournament.

    However, you never recognized his value and your error.

    At the end, I learned the lesson: watch my mouth and be more humble in my comments. Kuyt teaches me that you can be fit and reach a very high level at 34-35 years old if you work hard, like he uses to do.

    So please, before said that Sneijder time has passed, and he should be subbed, remember your comments about Kuyt and show some respect. Remember what he did for us in 2010, and find another best Dutch playmaker, because sadly, we don´t have. Sneijder at 31, is still our best playmaker.

    • TIJU1234 says:

      @Dear Eduardorw..,
      I think u have misunderstood me in kuyt case.i always had high respect for kuyt for his personality.But i consider teh Mangers of Holland was cruel that,they benched Impeccable Vaart and RVN since 2006-2010.i still consider that was sin and it cost us..
      But After LVG arrival i never had to shout like before as LVG used him in right spots,wingback,holding mid etc..He excelled over there.its true that i was so annoyed too see vaart and RVN sits in bench and kuyt plays..that was it ..
      As a Football fan i like intelligent and charactor full players over overhyped,show biz,stuppid dribblers with out any kind of intelligence and charator…this is why i dont like Afellay,Weil etc…but i do have respect for promes ,BMI,narsingh etc coz they are good lads,So is Memphis Depay…But i dont want to see the wearing dutch jersey again..i dont see dutch challenging any other nations with these players on feild.
      i have nothing gaianst sneijder and he was over weight that time move to Galataray helped him,he is classic intelligent player with charactor.but form is also very important..he was not on form that time he literally became fatty..

  15. TIJU1234 says:

    some guys need to study bilogy and human anatomy..How our body responds after 30…Roben is suffering due to age,he cannt take a knock like he took in in 20s.very few guys could play as forward untill 35..
    Roben,RVP,and vaart has clearly showed declination of Age..Snijder is the only one seems has still some youth…
    i Have nothing against any our fab4 players…but its the time time build a new team..freshblood,charactor,intelligence and hardwork ..thats what we need…Results will follow..

  16. richarde says:

    Tiju:

    How many times have you said on this board that you don’t like Affelay, because “he is a stupid dribbler,” and that you don’t like RVP and Van der Wiel, too? 100 times? 200? 250? You are a broken record. Stop repeating yourself, man, please. You don’t need to keep making the same point endlessly. I think you have this compulsion to post constantly–even though you don’t have anything new to say–and so you say the same thing you said yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.

    • TIJU1234 says:

      i say repeatedly coz that is main issue we have,Afellay is a problem and so are many,..i have no hatred vs RVP like i do have with Afellay..all i said is time is over for RVP and Co…Repeatedly Afellay,BMi weil,promes are getting slection along with RVP not surprisingly we are failing REPEATEDLY…

  17. Miguel Rosado says:

    Amazing article!.

    You said ¨Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken¨. Exactly!.

    I agree it’s difficult for any coach when his best player (robben) gets injured and an idiot (BMI) leaves you with 10 men but Blind is the one to blame for using BMI and Van der Wiel in the first place.

  18. Miguel Rosado says:

    Oh man I feel the same as Guullit.

    Also I feel Holland’s bench is too soft, too quiet, too cold.

    Van Basten and Ruud were never players with a lot of charisma. They were world class players but they are not real leaders!.

    Maybe Blind should’ve chosen a real motivator, someone who is a real leader.

    Kluivert is someone who maybe won’t give you too much when it comes to tactics but he can motivate players, he can make the environment in the training ground more enjoyable.

    I don’t say Kluivert is the solution but why not Gullit as assistant coach?. I know I know, Gullit has a big ego and perhaps he won’t accept being assistant coach but if Blind persuades him by telling him he might stay when he (Blind) leaves then maybe Gullit would accept the deal. And I am sure Gullit would be a better assistant coach than San Marco.

  19. wilson says:

    it will hard for coaches to succeed at NT level if they continue to carry club legacy at heart and try to bring the same ideology and Philosophy to NT. simply as that.
    I mean you look at Blind and Van Basten decision to select Tete(20)and Riedewald (19). Tete has only made 6 appearance for Ajax while Riedweald 24.

    If you look at Van Der weil performance vs Iceland it was easy to pick out that he totally lacked composure may be due to not playing regularly at PSG and should have been replaced for the next game. Now that never eventuated with Tete as the only backup, you can clearly tell that the coaches had changed their mind after Robben’s injury and whether to start Tete and Narsingh together on the same side or no. simply that selection had backfired.In the end they went with weil because he was more experienced option and given by then the Turkey game had become ass saving game.

    Now if you look at Leandro Bacuna (24) for instance Groningen 109 apps ,Aston Villa 58 apps. I mean he also young,experienced and in good form so what did the coaches base their selection on . this is something thing that I really cant understand.

    Now compare this to the left had side . Blind again had a poor outings vs Iceland at LB. They shifted him to Midfield and started Riedewald at LB. Again that selection backfired.

    The question arises why were they selected in the first place and is this how you expect the team to win.

    I still remember towards the end of the epl last season, Vuron Anita was a beast at LB for Newcastle, battling their way out of relegation

    http://www.themag.co.uk/2015/05/john-carver-vurnon-anita-is-a-different-animal/

    why not him .

    The kind of mentality needs to change asap man otherwise NT will lose its identity.

  20. TIJU1234 says:

    Guys LVG is fuming at Man united…he is having issues with Carick and Ronney perhaps more..
    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/410199/David-Woods-Column-Louis-Van-Gaal-Ryan-Giggs-Manchester-United

  21. TIJU1234 says:

    Is there any chance to LVG back in fold for dutch???though current Manu under LVG is more possevie orited boring team..mostly like our current dutch team i mean toothless upfront..but MAnu has betetr defense with shaw and darmian,smalling..so they dont concede like us with Morgan and Carick as guard..
    Rooney–is some what like RVP..other one is Depay…even with quaity player like mata –they dont create anything
    Depay—Rooney—Mata
    Depay—RVP——Narsingh
    if with mata MAnu cannt create goals.how we are finding goals with narsingh /promes,afellay with NT???Impossible…
    So we need another try and we need to remove certain arround 10 guys from team atleast..
    Anwar Al gahzi is better threat than Natsing/promes or Afellay thats for sure..but he is also like others when it comes to clinical finishing and intelligence..
    He reminds me of Bulahruz..man with nice heart and brave…Lets give a chance to Elgahzi…

    • wilson says:

      Quote Tiju

      August 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      forgot to add EL gahzi is another stupid player..

      August 5, 2015 at 5:00 am

      Ajax cannot be clinical as long as they play Victor and elgahzi upfront..Both are deviated versions of Afellay.

      This is Mr Bilogy at his best

  22. Miguel Rosado says:

    @Jan: I was talking about Ruud Van Nistelrooy! I meant Ruud van Nistelrooy and Van Basten were not real leaders and lacked charisma.

    Gullit has a lot of charisma that’s why I think he could play a role as assistant coach. Blind in charge of the tactics and Gullit motivating the players.

    But Jan Wouters is actually a better option!.

  23. Miguel Rosado says:

    If Man U fires LVG they will be making a huge mistake.

    I believe it’s only media criticism. Today De Gea extended his deal for another 4 years which will give Man U’s fans a very good reason to love LVG.

    If they do fire LVG well I hope they do it now that way he can get back to the national team ASAP!!!.

  24. wissor3 says:

    @Tiju

    Who out of the dutch players do you actually like??

    Afellay is an idiot
    El Ghazi is an idiot
    RvP is an idiot
    Sneijder is old
    Kuyt is an idiot
    Blind is an idiot
    Your mother is an idiot
    Bas Dost is an idiot
    Huntelaar is an idiot
    Cillessen is an idiot
    Van Der Weil is an idiot
    Janmaat is an idiot
    NDJ is an idiot

    We lost these games because we are not commanding enough in midfield. We were always second to get to loose balls. Our midfield was pedestrian at best which is why our defense was so terribly exposed.

    Afellay SHOULD have played when Robben got injured. He does dribble a bit to often, but he runs way more than Depay does and he is really a fighter. He does possess a mean right foot for long distance shots and is a better option than Narsingh. He (along with Sneijder) is the closest one to showcase the “grit” that everyone is correctly speaking about.

    The buck stops with Dany Blind, he made all the decisions which were quite confusing to me. I also don’t understand the why NDJ was not included in the two games. He can play both in midfield and in defense. I’ve been arguing for many years that NDJ is the solution to our defensive issues!! He tackles hard but has a cool head unlike BMI. He is much more comfortable on the ball than Bruma.

    We are going to miss the upcoming Euros and I’m finding my peace with that. Maybe I’ll use the time to go on vacation.

  25. wilson says:

    As much as most of you will disagree with me on this, but Van Gaal is equally to be blamed here as Hiddink and Blind. I said it back then I am saying it again now, he was too self centred about himself and never considered what was to follow in the wake of the after month of him leaving for his new job at Man United especially when knowing Hiddink was going to be his predecessor.

    As much as he used the formation to cover the weaknesses of some players and tighten the lose end, it’s was ever clear that that the was nothing vigorous about the squad but the formation itself driving the team.
    Now the game vs Australia had Spelt it out loudly that that that formation was susceptiable and did make van Gaal to think again.

    All and all Van Gaal never built any foundation for Hiddink to work on but a milestone to achieve by reaching the Semi finals of WC. Van Gaal knew 4-3-3 won’t work after that defeat to France prior to the WC as he didn’t wanna take risky by using other players in the last hour and in contrast everybody knew in Nerthlands Hiddink was all about 4-3-3.they were both on a collision course.

    Being said this it was always going to be up hill climb for both predecessors given they both dragged with players which Van Gaal had manipulated in that formation.

    When Hiddink announced that he will continue from where Van Gaal left off and at the same time will changed the formation back to 4-3-3 as expected it was ever clear where he was heading and the rest I think everyone is quite familiar with.

    People who are saying NT should again switch back to 3-5-2 in the wake of 2 defeats,its of no use, it wont work with every team. Hiddink also used 3-5-2 vs Czech,what happened, scummbed to defeat.

    • TIJU1234 says:

      @wilson…Changes are inevitable…i think its was Fart van marwijk who spoiled the entire dutch team by not integrating young ones..(though there was no one though bar strootman)..LVG changed complete team on first game vs Belgium and then turkey for Qualification..for that u need balls,which is not shown by Blind and hiidnk.instead they repeated called the failed ones…So defat was inevitable,2 fighters Vlaar,strootman we lost due to injury then Nijel was omitted….
      ornage doesnt have qulaity players upfront..to follow fab 4…

      • wilson says:

        Well yes the changes were inevitable given the horror of Euro 2012,but it was also about building a formidable squad with
        a equalivent backup. What happened after Strootmans injury. Was changing the formation plan B.some called it a master stroke of a genius,but was the squad formidable. Simply no.if it was a formidable squad NT would not have been going through this dilemma

        As usually players like Kongolo, Rekik,Van Annholt,Buttner,Douglas all missed out of playing just because they did not meet van Gaals player description.

        • Steve M says:

          As a matter of fact, Kongolo was in Brazil with LvG, Rekik was 18 and not very convincing yet, van Aanholt actually played 2 matches for LvG (but he chose Kongolo), Buttner and Douglas (the latter was actually was called up by LvG) were, and are still, not good enough.
          A little research before you post maybe?

          I’ve read this blame idea of yours many times and mostly left it alone since it’s so far off IMO.
          I appreciate that you’re thinking outside of the obvious but I’ve seen this theory of yours squashed so many times by others, why keep beating a dead horse?

      • wissor3 says:

        @Tiju

        Fart van Marwijck?? When will you start learning how to respect players and coaches?? Who do you think you are disrespecting players and coaches??

        Bert Van Marwijck took Oranje to a world cup final and they were inches away from winning that trophy. Oranje won ALL their games on their way to the final, under LvG they played well in two games, against Spain and Brazil and we needed a wonder strike from RvP to bring us back into the game.

        Stop being a f**king P**sy and stop talking shit about players and coaches. If you have nothing good to say, then shut up.

        Last word, an idiot is a person who NEVER learns. Learn how to f**king spell the players and coaches names first you IDIOT!

    • Steve M says:

      Hahaha scummbed to defeat that’s awesome

      Yea stupid LvG only got us to 3rd place at the World Cup, what a chump.

      https://twitter.com/hlninengeland/status/642341608487284736

    • TIJU1234 says:

      @wilson….We cannot blame LVg…He even called Toonstra and co ..LVG was opneminded and felxible and his changes were immediate..
      We had no clue on euro 2012..it was mainly due to Bommel and our back line…Fart van marwijk couldnt find a LB and he had to adjust with very very young williams,buttner should have been called up that time not Williams..he was playing Bommel all the time an keeping Strootman on bench..Vaart was sitting in bench and kuytwas playing upfront..he did all ridiculos stuborn biased thinsg to NT…
      LVg had start from scracth..
      BMI was starter for feynoord and he gave BMi chance over Mathijenson..that clicked,with protection from Leory fer and nijel…
      He gave chances to Janmaat,Devrij,Depay,wijnaldum and many,but these guys played comparitivly well..though evry one are far from perfect.its LVg who build the Team and internatinally,dut earned respect from non footballing nations like INdia and Co..
      Bert completely spoiled or name adn i consider it as dark age of dutch football.suppre talents Roben,RVP,Sneijder and Vaart is been wasted by less intelligent coach…
      Belive me if it was LVG we would have been number 1 in our griopu and we have constructed a fear in others…

  26. Steve M says:

    If any one is interested, here is a list of dutchmen playing across the “big 5 leagues” in europe as of Sept 1:

    Newcastle – Krul, Janmaat, Anita, Wijnaldum, S de Jong
    Southampton – Steks, Clasie, van Dijk
    Stoke – Pieters, van Ginkel, Afellay
    Man Utd – Blind, Memphis
    Sunderland – van Aanholt, Lens
    Watford – Ake, Berghuis
    Aston Villa – Bacuna
    Tottenham – Vorm
    Swansea – Emnes

    Bayern Munich – Robben
    Shalke – Huntelaar
    Wolfsburg – Dost
    Augsburg – Verhaegh
    Monchengladbach – Brouwers
    Frankfurt – Castaignos
    Hannover – Benschop
    Hertha – Beerens

    Real Betis – van der Vaart, van Wonfswinkel

    PSG – van der Wiel
    Marsielle – Rekik

    Lazio – de Vrij, Hoedt, Braafheid, Kishna
    AS Roma – Strootman
    AC Milan – N de Jong
    Atalanta – de Roon
    Napoli – de Guzman

    Any ideas where Vlaar will end up once he is fit again?

  27. Steve M says:

    van Dijk is getting his first start for Southampton, Steks as well, v West Brom.
    Pieters and van Ginkel to start for Stoke v Arsenal.

    Think I’ll watch Stoke v Arsenal and see how Ginkel does away at Emirates…

    • Steve M says:

      HT 1-0.. Stoke was totally overrun, Arsenal should be up 3 or 4 nil.
      van Ginkel has been wasteful (7/14 on passing is pretty bad for a CM) and seemed toothless at first but grew into the match (and 5 interceptions is great), Pieters great on tackling worked hard but Stoke is so bad at team defending.. Beautiful pass from Özil for Walcott on 1-0.

      Dutch could learn from Arsenal about how to play v teams who only want to defend and frustrate.

      • Steve M says:

        Stoke improved slightly in the second half, but they lose 2-0, which would have been 6-0 if not for that keeper Butland.
        Pieters probably lucky not to get called for a brutal shirt pull late on, easily could have been a pen and red. Ginkel not convincing but tough match to judge him on.

  28. Steve M says:

    Blind and Depay retain their starting spots for United v Liverpool..
    KO in 45 mins

    • Steve M says:

      0-0 HT
      United dominated possession but neither them or Liverpool creating any good chances..
      Memphis not playing the best but he has been lively, at least looks very frustrated with himself and he’s working hard. Did make 1 nice chance for Fellaini who did nothing with it.
      Blind has been great vs Benteke, who wisely looks to be trying to put himself one on one with Blind as much as he can. Much better defensive hunger, positioning and passing.

      • Steve M says:

        LvG switches Young for Memphis for the second half

        • TIJU1234 says:

          Blind scored….United is playing better with out Depay..though Blind is weak he has got excellent brain.
          if young plays like this Depay would sit in bench very soon…

        • Steve M says:

          Man Utd win 3-1
          Beauty strike for Blind for the first goal.
          Young goes down easy (Memphis would not have even got that call I bet you), Mata goes across to Blind with the free kick, one times the pass into the top corner from the top of the box.
          Then makes 2 crucial saves off the line when it was still 1-0. Very glad for him. Much better then his lousy performance in Turkey. Nothing he could do about that Benteke goal, wow!
          @Tiju actually I thought Memphis looked the most lively going forward. Anyways some bench time would keep him humble hopefully. Can’t stand Young, and he has been poor this season but was good today. I call that more of Skrtl error than Martial brilliance, Skrtl would prob mark Memphis more convincingly.

          • TIJU1234 says:

            i think its all about pace thats made the difference for martial/Young vs Memphis..u need pace to get past ur defender,true depay has skills but he is loosing in pace due to over work work out of his mucles,i do agree he is trying his level best …So my question if cannt beat ur man at ur level best then what is it???
            Honestly i feel 1 more talent down..

          • Steve M says:

            I understand you about your muscle theory, just disagree.
            He was probably too small for the EPL before, I bet you LvG made him beef up and would like him to get bigger still. Either way, I think its fine and he should catch up to his size. Also he is only 21 yet and only first season, all the defenders are watching his moves so he has all the pressure, but he will figure it out. Utd fans need to be patient with him I think.
            After all, his fee is already justified by 2 goals and 2 assists in 2 playoff matches clinching their CL spot, no?

          • Steve M says:

            Plus, for club and country Memphis has played 9 games in 5 weeks, only subbed off 2 times. So if he is looking slow or lacking pace I think it is more logical to blame fatigue, or even management before blaming him. In theory muscles make you faster and stronger, not slower and weaker.
            Although I can understand LvG for playing him since he has had the most spark going forward for Man Utd this season I think alot of the other forward players have been poor.

  29. Steve M says:

    Also watched Southampton at West Brom in between the other matches.. 0-0
    van Dijk looked great in LCB, very calm and commanding esp for his first match in the EPL.. like to see him yelling and instructing players and popping into the midfield. Great clean sheet and helped keep West Brom the home side to only 1 shot on target.
    Can’t wait for him to link up with Clasie and hopefully form a nice partnership for the Oranje spine.

    Elsewhere, 2 goals and an assist for Castaignos as well.

    • TIJU1234 says:

      yes for got to add Castaginos over all game is becoming spectacular…

      • wilson says:

        Nothing spectacular here, he was the same in eredivisie but did not raise any heads just because he was playing for Twente.

        As usually,like others the move to Frankfurt should open doors for him in NT. Hunter vs Dost vs Castaignos.

        Don’t wanna start counting the chicken before they hatch but let’s watch him over the season. He is definitely someone who can comes close to be compared to RVN.

  30. Steve M says:

    Caught the end of Twente v Ajax 2-2
    A goal from a corner and a penalty for handball had Ajax behind after an hour, but a beautiful pass from Bazoer to Fischer and a penalty the other way evened it up. From what I saw Bazoer was bossing the midfield and connected well with Klaassen and what a nice assist.

    Anyways nice to see some drive back in some of our players games today, maybe they are reading your blog Jan!

    Poor Cambuur had a player sent off for handball in the box on 8 mins so PSV is destroying them 3-0 at HT.
    Falling asleep now….I need a nap.

    Feel positive!
    Hup Holland

  31. Miguel Rosado says:

    @TIJU1234: Just because he didn’t play that well against Liverpool doesn’t mean he is done!.

    Here is a clip of Depay vs Brugge. Maybe you didn’t watch the game but he was amazing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1mElDUp7Ns

    In teams like Man U there is plenty of competition and rotationof players. Yound is great sometimes he might play sometimes Depay will play.

    • TIJU1234 says:

      @miguel..depay was same he didnt play bad vs Liverpool,he was trying his level best.what i am pointing is.effectiveness.He is not creating Hovac in penalty box(i can excuse lack of goals no issue with it).So far he failed vs any top class defender..As Manu fan i follow the team closely…Honestly Januzaj was a better threat than Depay in their games,Januzaj ,Mata and herrera are the real deals for them…i was surpirsed Januzaj was loaned.he was better than depay..
      So far Depay has started every match coz he has immense support of fellow dutch man LVG.honestly saying Manu is playing better with out Depay..whether its young or Januzaj…Depay is the weak link in their attack.
      even after starting so many matches for Manu,depay cannt make differnce bar a performance vs second tier defenders of Brugge..that says something,and we must listened to truth..i think Martial is head and shoulder above Depay..i feel Martial suites the team better than Depay..
      Its good that Depay excelled vs a second tier defenders of club brugge…that is not the case with EPL defenders..
      Rooney is playing/showinng little age or may be down in form…
      i feel we are obsessed and biased towards one of our mediocre talent..

  32. TIJU1234 says:

    . “””In theory muscles make you faster and stronger, not slower and weaker.”””””
    @steve this is my personal experience….
    i was good and i had good speed to,i looked like little skinny and was agiile too…I went to Gym and trained for some months in put weight and muscles.but it reduced my speed ,agility and everything i still regret for it…
    if Depay practice a hip pop dance i would not mind it infact would enchance his skill..But Gym and bodybulding i dont agree..
    i think Depay destroyed his muscles by over training in gym..that is affecting his game..i hope he recovers.

    • TIJU1234 says:

      u loose ur agility and speed but u make ur muscles bigger and loose the real strength..thats what the ned product of Gym..

      • Steve M says:

        Interesting, did you use a trainer? Or maybe the trainer was no good.
        Maybe it is different for every different person, but I have friends who had the opposite effect as you had.

        • TIJU1234 says:

          100/100 had my experience….lost their speed,but karate,kungfu,hip pop were too much faster than any of the gym bodybuilder..it sets ur muscle and muscle become big and u loose ur speed and agility..
          had Roben trained like depay in gym roben would have been uselss by now,he would ahve lost his blistering pace..

          • Steve M says:

            Haha, its not 100/100, I am telling you!
            Everyone is different, I agree Robben would not be the same if he changed his body 10 years ago when he was Memphis’ age.
            A 19 year old tall and skinny kid was on my team 2 years ago, he went to the gym with a trainer and for him the muscles were built in tone and also a little bit in size as well, and it improved both his speed and agility, but it did take him a little time to get his technique back.. and he is not the only one I know in this exact situation!
            Thats why I was curious if you used a trainer..

  33. wissor3 says:

    @Tiju

    Your muscles may have grown, but your brain definitely did shrink. Januzaj was better than Depay, you must be out of your friggin mind. Januzaj was misplacing passes left and right.

    @Miguel

    The problem Depay is facing is that he being closely marked at the EPL and he’s constantly receiving the ball with his back to the defender and it does feel that he’s lacking acceleration and motivation. He’s 21 years old and it feels like making to Man Utd got to his head a bit. To me Depay doesn’t run enough with or without the ball. A few tricks here and there, a decent cross once in a while and a shot at goal every other game are not enough really.

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