Oranje wins in German style….

Any international game between Oranje and Germany is ALWAYS eventful. And it always matters a lot! Even if it doesn’t matter at all….

It has been 20 years since Young Oranje beat Young Germany and if there ever was a good time for Jong Oranje to win again it was now. In a group with Spain and Russia, getting three points in the openings game was considered key.

And man, did we show the Germans!! Beating them in the dying minutes, Mannschaft style!

And man, did we give them football lessons in the first half!

And man, did we squeeze our arses together in the second half….

I’m a glass-half-full man myself… Actually, I’m the guy pushing the glasses aside and grabbing the bottle….

But we do have to face up to that dreadful second half start. My goodness. NOT good.

We will stay positive, of course. And despite a slow build up, it was all Oranje in the first half. The Germans did show they can play good football, but Oranje beat them on every aspect. More aggression, more pressure, better understanding, bigger work ethos and most definitely more skill.

We demonstrated some good moves, got a couple of corners, Maher got a 100% chance. It was very good to watch on all counts. Wijnaldum was invisible for the first 15 minutes and I remembered thinking “why not Jozefzoon”, but boy did he show his metal.

It was a fine football demostration (the Setanta commentator couldn’t find enough words to praise Oranje) but one has to say: Germany was really weak (and needed a tactical change to counter us).

Although I personally would have preferred to have seen Clasie for Van Ginkel. De Vitesse player did have a good first half (and he definitely played a strong second half) but Oranje missed a quick accelerator in midfield to support in the build up. Strootman is capable of playing the Van Ginkel role while Clasie’s presence gives the center backs an outlet, allowing our full back to push up more…. I believe Van Ginkel and Strootman are too similar and don’t seem to have the rapport you would want your players to have, also not with Maher. The AZ midfielder did have an instrumental role but drifted out of the game too often too.

Adam Maher found the net first, after a slick move by Ola John, while Gio Wijnaldum created the second all by himself. Clearly annoyed that was not used in the first 20 minutes of the game, the PSV player started to show more of himself by drifting inwards.

Dribbling past 4 opponents the winger took the ball on his left for a zinger. It seemed the goalie blocked the shot but it veered into the net of the goalies fingers. A massive celebration ensued and Wijnaldum would add a couple of very cool flicks to the game before being subbed in the second half, after having taken a knock.

But in typical Oranje form, we forgot all our best intentions coming out of the dressing room.

You could see what was going to happen. The German players were ready and waiting, eager to start the second half. You know what that means.

And one minute into the second half, my growing doubts on Stefan de Vrij further increased. He has made a number of these slip ups, in some key Feyenoord games recently, and you can not do that at this level. Against Germany, it is immediately a goal.

And with the risk of a sending off for Zoet and a penalty against, De Vrij really needs to have someone give him a blowdry speech.

The period after that German goal was atrocious. Around 20 minutes of headless chook football. No system, no pressure, too much space between the lines…. maybe, no leadership either (although Strootman was seen gesticulating and yelling…). In these cases you need to be able to hold the ball in the team. How do you do this? Positioning. Work rate. Pass and move. This is how you take the sting out of the German game. They can’t press for another 45 minutes, and the resolve would go out of the window.

But we failed to do so. Our positioning play was horrific. We seemed to panic almost.

Allowing Germany to take two short corner kicks without realising it (offering them shooting chances) is a typical symptom of tactical imatureness, lack of communication and leadership and downright weakness. It was Ola John at first and Jozefzoon later who were caught out and the Germans played for a spell as if they were Dutch.

We slowly got more composure and the work rate of players like Van Ginkel and Strootman got us back in the game. Luuk de Jong made a nuisance of himself and through a quick break Jozefzoon was almost the matchwinner with his first touch of the game.

The 2-2 again demonstrated our defensive weakness. In the EPL, this would never have been a goal. You simply are not allowed to take the ball in a wide direction without a massive block tackle. And when Holtby took the shot, two players could’ve / should’ve blocked him… And I personally believe Zoet could have done better….

So, 2-2.

I feared a complete meltdown. But somehow the team decided not to give the game away. And led by a fearsome Martins Indi and a hard working Adam Maher Oranje fought itself back into the game.

Cor Pot decided to abandon the 4-3-3 and brought Leroy Fer for Ola John. Luuk de Jong and Maher played upfront and the team pushed once more, resulting in a fine opportunity for Fer, who headed over and beyond.

A couple of minutes later, Van Ginkel was loose running into the box and a desperate block stopped the Chelsea target from scoring. It was from the resulting Adam Maher corner kick that the aggressive Fer could attack the ball and score like we have seen him score so often already. And with 5 minutes on the clock, we would not allow the Germans back into the game.

A deserved win, is what I say (but I’m biased). It puts Holland at 3 points and Germany on zero, and the Germans are up against Spain next… A great start. Key for Holland now is to keep the first half form and lose the second half dip.
Coach Cor Pot was the winning coach, bringing the matchwinner only minutes before he scored…. “Yep, a golden change,” he said. “I’m happy with that. But I’m totally soaked from sweat, haha. The first half was beautiful to watch but after the break we did it all wrong. We became insecure after that quick penalty and they grew wings. We needed more physical presence and with Fer we got that.”

Leroy Fer was matchwinner. The man who scored so many important goals for his club Twente and Jong Oranje in key games. But he started on the bench. “Yes, that is always crap of course, haha. But I knew I would get my chance. And to come in like this is wonderful. But it is a team sport, it’s not about me.”

Skipper Strootman was not happy with the second half. He was playing like a traffic warden for 20 minutes… “We got that penalty after an individual mistake and then we all seemed to lose it… But I’m happy we were able to straighten our back and winning this is absolutely great. We showed the world that we can play and we got the three points. What more can you ask?”

Jeroen Zoet was relieved to only see a yellow card after his foul on Holtby. “I know that some refs do give red for this. I’m not sure if Holtby would have been able to keep the ball in, and I’m not sure what made the ref give me yellow. I was a bit scared there….”

Van Ginkel admits the team had fear. “Well, you know the Germans can come at you when it’s suddenly 2-1 and I think we did get some fear into the team, yes. And they did have chances to win it even, they may have been the more dominant team in the last phase. But I knew we would have chances in the turnaround.”

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  1. Easy on strootman guys . As i said , he kinda disappointed me but actually i have no doubts about his abilities . Perhaps thats why i was disappointed , I was expecting better performance from him .
    I think Hoesen will add a lot to this team . The guy can be a real deal upfront with his skills and speed . However , it seems Cor Pot is pretty satisfied with Luuk .
    I also think we should reconsider Wijnaldum as a winger . He’s got some unique magic and speed in his feet .

  2. I have to agree with the critcism of putting Van Ginkel on the field with Strootman, it just doesn’t make tactical sense. We should’ve played Clasie instead. I also have my doubts about Luuk de Jong, but we’ll see how it goes in the next two games.

  3. I think it’s quite a difficult choice that cor pot has to make for the next game and the one vs Spain . In the midfield I think van ginkels high work rates and speed are vital which is unfortunate as he is up against strootman who is given bit of a free pass on his leadership role . Having said that if we didn’t have strootman we have very little players willing to be loud and make it obvious we mean business.

    Yesterday vs Germany I think strootman should have done something to help restore composure, well some credit can ve given for stopping a complete collapse. I do prefer van ginkel but I don’t see there being the ideal midfield of Clasie fer and van ginkel vs Spain as they offer size and technical ability which is something I think we are blessed with with our midfielders.

    If you compared this to the failure of the golden generation we do have quality and work ethic so it is valuable regardless off how well we do in this tournament.

    Personally, I was very impressed with wijnaldum who I don’t see much of yet he does get criticized often for, yet I do feel a bit let down by Maher who as expected wasn’t there for physical presence ( even though he did bounce that oaf mlapa) but Maher did try too hard to make something rather than let his qual just flow. As a dutch supporter this game had my pre game panic eased instantly then my stress jacked up again , only for it to be relieved at the end.

    so long as we work out the second half issue we seem to be having I think we will be fine. When we had the second half dip I thought we should have brought on Clasie and fer earlier as Clasie can control play again and fer will be a handful for any u21 midfield.

    Finally, I just thought jozefzoon was appalling and represents everything which makes people believe the eredivisie isnt a credible league. I won’t focus too much on his miss, but he was switched off defensively at an important time and didn’t make take pressure off when in possession.

    My boy Memphis though he was a don, all the fairly dodgy corners we had were set right by him. I’m glad he will have more time to play next year I see him as being the explosive player of the next generation. He has all the qualities needed to succeed ,he just needs his attitude to be in check and he can be like a ronaldo for us . I have unbelievably high hopes for this one

  4. Strootman had a very lousy performance. He came in as the captain. It was his time to shine. Show fight, passion, leadership, and creativity. His name is being strongly linked with a possible move to Man Utd, so this was clearly a moment for him to shine.
    He seemed to be a bit toned down. At one point in the second half, he got dispossessed by a German player in the middle of the field. Instead of running alongside the player putting pressure and trying to retrieve the ball, he just let him go! Sometimes, small things matter. That could have led to a buildup and a goal.

    Luuk de Jong doesn’t look like he’ll be in the mold of RVN or RVP. Maybe, I’m being a bit pessimistic but I just don’t feel the brilliance and talent in him I felt when the others I mentioned before were coming through the ranks early in their career.

    De Vrij also had a lackluster game. He needs to focus and show much more aggressiveness. He is another big question mark for me at this point.

    Overall, I’m pleased with the result. I just feel that we have a lot of areas to improve as some of this players will be key members of our senior side next year.

  5. look t this senior team they cannt score against an indonesian team after minutes,looks like wesly is exhausted??do this seniors deserve cup glory at this point of time???No way they had their chances and fair share at EC 08 and WC10.i think kuyt or WOLf will come from benceh and they will score.1-0 victory or 2-0 victory is awaiting..Kudos to indonesian team they fighting like hell…

  6. every team that meet Indonesia always have hard time when they deploy defensive strategy. add to that, our NT are uncomfortable when fighting against crowded defence.

    hope they’ll find it easier in 2nd half.

  7. Guys cool down on stroot and Devrij…
    Stroot is doing professional negligence,it can be corrected,but when??????????
    Devrij is slow,he is terrible when he loose the man..Dutch wont WIN wc as devrij as CB…….Sad but truth..WC cannt be won by attitude of stroot…..sad but truth…
    Jozefoon is joke.
    Dutch need better striker than persie..
    Current wesly is not needed

    1. Agreed. It’s somewhere between a scrimmage and a diplomatic mission. I didn’t expect them to open up on these guys and crush them 8-0. There’s really no upside to doing that.

      That said, I’d still appreciate whatever updates that you guys who can see the game have to offer to us

  8. Jan, against a physical Germany team perhaps Cor Por prefers Van Ginkel more than Clasie. I think we will see Clasie next game vs Russia.
    Regarding the NT squad, perhaps they all hit Bali after the game to relax. It is a free vacation, playing is just a bonus.

    1. The first choice according to me, would associate him to N.De Jong. This guy really plays too easy, with elegance and class, really good pass accuracy as you said, and really good vision, seems like he is never stressed, always take time to find the good pass. His long balls are really good, I didn’t count how many times he found Robben and Schaken tonight, but that’s exactly the type of player we need cause we know that most of our goals come from the wings, especially when Lens and Robben are playing.

      + his activity and defensive work aren’t bad, he isn’t so agressive, but he goes on challenges. About defects, I’d say that he is a bit nonchalent sometimes, and try many risky passes which can be dangerous when they’re failed, but I guess he would take less risks if it’s a world cup game and not Estonia or Indonesia on the pitch.

    1. Means nothing, Indonesian players started to be tired and to let space in the second half. Van Persie created more chances than De Jong though he didn’t score.

      Though, Sneijder shouldn’t be called in next games as long as he doesn’t show a real level.

  9. Honestly I was hoping it would be a 6-0 win with van Persie, van Wolfswinkel, Robben, de Jong and a few others scoring. When we play a half against a team like Indonesia and can’t score 1, it makes me a little worried.

  10. can anyone rating players??? i cannot see the game but i know more about Toornstra and Pieters and Nelom, i know it wasn’t a pro game but rating this game can be obvious us something,

    also as a iranian i have to say indonisia is really nothing they play defensive football against iran too, but no problem for my country, china and indonisia is always easy to beat for asian mid team. 😉

  11. The u19 team with all their so called stars, Ake, Achakbar, Kongolo, Rekik, Ebicelio lost to Cyprus 1-0 and are virtually out of the u19 competition. Kind of embarassing.
    I am really happy for VP who deserved to be captain and especially for Siem de Jong. He is so underrated yet so good. I really hope he stays with Ajax so he can make the national team next year for the WC.

  12. U-21 game was fun. But did they forget they were playing the Germans? You know, the team that never, ever gives up. Second half, the Germans were on the pitch warming up and ready to play when Jong Oranje was still wandering out of the dressing room…and for awhile it looked like Pot had shown them a film from the 2012 Euro’s as training—you know, leave acres of space between the mf and def. lines, and let the Germans run at them with speed. But the first half was excellent…maybe they got blasé with a two goal lead, maybe the heat took something out of them. Great spirit at the end though. Would like to see Clasie.

  13. I had fun as well during the U21 game. I am downloading it as I type this and will watch it again later. I was very opinionated about that game, but want to look at certain things again. The senior game against Indonesia was bad. Van Gaal has hinted that Sneijder in current form is not good enough for the NT and having him seen in the game, even a Sneijder fan like myself could not disagree with that too much. It looked pretty bad. He is just not fit and now his passing is suffering as well. RvP missing sitters again for the NT, but that is normal. He did get the captaincy now, and it is a permanent appointment. It also allows van Gaal to not call up Sneijder for the future as his rule is that he always calls up (and plays?) his captain. That is also a signal towards Huntelaar by the way. So that discussion can go back in the fridge as well.

    1. I agree – going back to Italy game when Maher played the number 10 role that he was a much more dynamic player and worked very well with RvP. I think RvP deserves the arm band and I would even dare to say Robben needs to be the vice-captain.

      If someone can share a link where we can watch the game replay, that would be awesome!

  14. We do not need Sneijder anymore, IMO. I can’t see him getting fit enough to make a difference. You can’t win a WC with a LAZY midfielder! We should keep playing the youngsters in midfield for NT friendlies and qualifiers after the EC. They are good and will get better.

  15. Re: Sneijder. Well, I think that Robben is an instructive lesson. How many times over the last few years was it said, “we don’t need Robben…he’s this, he’s that” (Hint: many.) But now, that he is in top form, who wouldn’t want him? Same with Sneijder. I think what is actually being said is that Oranje doesn’t need him in his current form…and, too me, there is little fear that you would get him in his current form. Van Gaal doesn’t think that way. However, we’re still a season away from Brazil. Lets see where Sneijder is in terms of form as the year turns and Spring approaches. If he is back at the top of game, well, then yes, I would take him any time, any place, anywhere.

    1. This

      Robben and Sneijder are once in a generation kind of players, maybe even once in multiple generations kind of players. The more one invests in following the youth, the more one realizes how hard it is to “produce” these kind of players. Everybody asks themselves if a very talented kid could be the new Sneijder. Many fail despite being very talented as many factors are into play to ever reach that level. The thing is, Sneijder is still here and only needs to dust himself off. It’s also not the case of him being involved in illegal street races like Elia. This is a different kind of problem. Also we still have to see how he reacts to being dropped for the NT or being in the discussion of being dropped. Actually, maybe taking the captaincy from him could be a start of something new. I still have high hopes he will react to loss of status and gets into warrior mode for WC 2014.

  16. Lazy midfielder? I saw him play for Galatasaray and he was good. Of course he has to play better but the WC is still one year away he has plenty of time to get his top form back.

    Sneijder is very important for our team not only because he is a great player but because he has a huge winning mentality and he has showed that during the 2010 WC. I won’t talk about the EC because the whole team sucked but Sneijder deserves a little more respect and patience.

  17. About “Robben worked harder than his juniors” I read somewhere that Heynckes and Ribery praised Robben for changing his work ethics this year. JC also thinks that benching Robben made him a better player. What do you think? Perhaps Robben is mad and tries to prove them wrong. His defensive skill definitely improves, and yes, I read that Van Persie is the new captain. LVG said that if Sneijder does not improve, he will not be captain, and may not be in the team anymore. Sneijder needs to prove that he still has it (like Robben did).

  18. Van Persie as the new captain?? I’m sorry, but did van Gaal even watch the last two major tournaments? It was Sneijder who took us to the WC final while van Persie did shit all. It was Sneijder who poured out everything to win in the Euro while van Persie fucked up every chance he got. TBH, I would be completely behind dropping Sneijder based on his current form and fitness. But stripping him of the captaincy which he deserves more than any other player, and giving it to van Persie of all people? That’s not just a slap in the face to Sneijder; it’s a slap in the face to everyone who cares about this team and can see how van Persie doesn’t.

    1. Listen, no one cares about Sneijder more than me. On his day, he can dictate the midfield better than anyone, but he hasn’t been in good form for over two years. There are many other players who are in better form. The Euro 2008 team that destroyed Italy and France was primarly made up of young players such as Robben and Sniejder. I think Sniejder needs to rediscover his form before he’s invited to play again.

      His show today would not help his case if he is to make it to Mourinho’s Chelsea.

      1. I honestly don’t mind if Sneijder isn’t called up until he regains his form and fitness, but I think it’s appalling that van Gaal would strip him of the captaincy for being out of form. If he’s on form and fit enough to be called up and start, than how can you strip him of the captaincy for that? The captaincy goes to the player who has made himself important, given everything, and is a leader, not to the player who’s most on form for his club team. Otherwise it’s a joke. Sneijder has done more to earn the armband than everyone else on the team combined, with the exception of Robben. To strip him of it because of form and fitness while still calling him up is just a slap in the face to him and what he represents.

        To then give it to van Persie is just an insult to everyone who cares about the team, and an insult to every player who’s actually given their best in an Oranje shirt

        1. Mabe its a master stroke by Van Gaal. Perhaps Van Persie can reach a higher level under captaincy. He was a true leader for Arsenal.

          I think its a fair choice. He is the Dutch player playing at the highest level for the last two seasons and the world cup 2014 will be the last chance for redemption or else he will go down in history as a flop for Holland.

          Now he is the leader mabe we might see him come out of his shell in a big tournament. He is a player who thrives on responsibility.

    2. What you’re saying makes very little sense to me. In trying to foster a team atmosphere of world-beaters heading towards the next major tournament, you’re suggesting that Sneijder should keep the armband for old times sake? I am a massive Sneijder fan and have been waiting for him to show the fire in the belly to push himself back into full fitness and full focus, but there have been zero signs of that to date. I personally think its very much possible that he can still return to club and international football as a major force, but right now he’s just not.

      By contrast, RvP currently is on top form, has won hardware and stated his passion for winning more, has evolved from a pretty self-centered player into someone who could clearly be a leader. Has he done that for the NT yet? -no. But then, he’s always been a bit of a question mark (the perpetual RvP vs Huntelaar debate). Perhaps LvG is allowing van Persie a little added security and sense of importance that will allow him to break out in international play. Some need motivation (Sneijder) while others, like van Persie, may need a bit more recognition. Doesn’t seem that crazy to me.

  19. Yes it wasn’t a good call by LVG. I wonder if he is actually considering dropping Huntelaar from the WC list.

    Let’s hope Sneijder fights back and earns the captaincy back

  20. Hey DRB do you have any insight into the Dutch U19 team, they’re performing pretty badly. Is it just a mix of generations not clicking well together?

    1. They have a strong team, no idea how they lose to Cyprus. It’s going to be a funny group since Germany lost to Norway by 1:3 and Dutch beat Norway by 2:1. All four teams have three point, and last round Dutch VS German for final qualification.

    2. I have not seen the game. I believe that the coach said that certain players did not follow up to the agreements made beforehand. I think that happened out of hubris and Netherlands got caught. Cyprus played 5-4-1 and even that one attacker was defending.


  21. Jan, I thought Maher had been subbed off by the time the 3rd goal was scored (coming off for either Fer or Depay) and that Van Ginkel put the cross in that Fer put the head to, no?

    1. It was a double sub. Fer for Maher and Depay for Ola John. The corner was from Depay and the beautiful pass to van Ginkel that in the end resulted in that corner was also from Depay.

  22. Just wanted to make one comment on Leroy Fer –

    This goal is what Oranje needed – sport is always a mental game, a skill and an art. But as the Germans have proved over and over again – if you are fit tough and determined – you can eventually triumph against art and skill!

    So we need Leroy Fer and we need his mentality I hope all the youngsters watch that goal over and over again. The poor defender was picking himself up off of the pitch wondering where the “freight train” came from.

    With more of that mentality we will gain higher levels and bigger prizes. Its all about balance – skill art toughness and determination. (Arjen Robben for a prime example)


      1. Don’t think I would start Fer every game – but I would be ready to use him when necessary (against eastern teams for example – Russia, Ukraine etc). My main point is that skills and tricks are great – but the desire to win is necessary too.

        As I’ve pointed out before the great teams of the 70’s were not filled with dreamy artists – the game was tough and Oranje was tough – many of those games were quite physical. In Oranje at that time the balance – of skill and determination – was correct.

        Too often in the desire to recreate Total Football – we miss that fact that Cruiff was backed up by tough attacking defenders.


        1. Perhaps I’m making my point confusing by using Robben as an example of toughness – he is mentally tough, not physically tough in the way Leroy is. I guess I would accept one or the other – with the perfect ideal being both.

          Nederlands players who have possessed both: perhaps Clarence Seedorf, Ruud van Nistelroij, Mark van Bommel – I think more than anything that this is what is seen in Strootman (though he has had a bit of an uneven season in terms of mental control this past year.)

          And actually when I try to think of Oranje players who combine both – my list seems quite short, there is plenty to choose from with talent and quite a few who define tough.

  23. Dear Arjen,i am sorry for some fake Oranje fans’ hurt to you.i’m a chinese fan of you,a girl.i know they’are ugly,but as you believe,we true fans love you the most.they like money,but we love you.i regret for i can’t go to watch your games.it’s my dream.chinese fans love you the very most.but many Oranje fans don’t like you and even hate you.sorry for our hurt to you.they like criticise your mistake in 2010 WC.but we still love you.please don’t feel regret to us fans.you are the best in our eyes.
    i believe and hope you bring Oranje to the top of the world in 2014.no matter what the result will be,we will still love you.
    so don’t metion those people who hurt you.they are not your and even not Oranje fans.
    good luck to you.
    love you the most,

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