Oranje World Cup Post-Mortem

It has been said before, when Louis van Gaal manages a team, he becomes the super star of the team. And it seems we had to endure this again.

Sadly for him: should have won and ended up winning the finals, everyone would have accepted his pompous behaviour. But when you are ousted with devastating stats to boot, you can expect the criticism to rain down.

I have never been a great fan of the person that is Louis van Gaal, although as a coach he has demonstrated to have a keen eye. Other than that, I find him bombastic, pedantic and self-obsessed. He is condescending towards players, he is rude to some people of the media and seems to find himself and his image more important that Dutch football or the Dutch NT. Like Mourinho, he does know how to win, but he also is able to implode spectacularly (like Mourinho).

When he got the job, he was the first to claim that we lacked the top quality upfront (nice thing to say to your forwards) and that the only way we could win something would be to play that 5 at the back option. The push back from the media and fans resulting in him re-naming the system. In his own annoying style, it became 1-3-4-1-2. Say what??

Not happy

Modern coaches seem to speak about systems and shapes less and less (Ten Hag, Pep, Nagelsmann, Gasperini, Slot) and more and more about principles. I think the LVG system didn’t help us play good football and we most exciting bit of football we saw was when we played 3-3-4 in the last 15 minutes of the Argentina game (Luuk and Wout up front, Gakpo and Berghuis wide).

Van Gaal’s Last Dance ended in a colourless, rhythmless clumsy shuffle, with Louis stepping on a number of toes while exiting the dance floor.

And let’s face it: did we have anything to hold on to? Was there anything in our game that gave you the confidence we could get a win at this World Cup? The few flowing attacks versus the USA? We reached penalties versus Argentina as a result of defensive doggedness and pure will. We lost the lottery again, this time after all sorts of scientific penalty approaches on top. Without Weghorst scoring these two late goals, our demise would have been completely embarrassing.

Against Argentina, we didn’t prove to offer anything on the ball. Again. There were no flowing moves, to forward patterns, no breath taking dribbles, no scorching shots from distance. It was poor. We had two shots on target. Both ended up finding the net.

Lets discuss this performance by LVG and the team.

The Vision

We qualified for the World Cup playing 4-3-3. We started with a loss, rectified it away by Norway with a draw and a win at home, in an empty Kuip. Still, LVG felt we needed 5 at the back to get some results in Qatar. He refused to call it 5-3-2 as it sounded too defensively. But still this is all about security over adventure.

Football has evolved so much, Van Gaal says, that he simply cannot do it differently. All countries play like this, he said. In real life, only Oranje played like this at the quarter finals level and only Morocco had less possession, shots on goal and expected goals. Van Gaal also stated that the Dutch squad doesn’t have enough creativity to play differently. It’s not clear if Frenkie, Memphis, Gakpo, Lang, Berghuis, Bergwijn, Simons and Koopmeiners agree. They all come in front of the camera but most lack the personality to say what they really feel. Only Mathijs de Ligt and Virgil van Dijk spoke out against this system, early in the process. De Ligt lost his spot and Virgil was overruled by the coach.

So who was playing to his strength in this system? Nathan Ake, he had a top tournament. Marten de Roon and Teun Koopmeiners are used to playing this, while Dumfries has the profile to perform well in this system. Where was Frenkie? Our playmaker and most important build up soldier. He was criticised but is this system the right one for him? The Argentines simply put a man on him and Frenkie got isolated with options lacking around him. Virgil did what he could but was clear already earlier on about his preference. Two key players, but Van Gaal wasn’t interested.

The Execution

We can be brief. Oranje – Senegal. Two late goals, in a weak match. Oranje – Ecuador. The worst game of The Netherlands, with two shots on goal, as opposed to 15 (!) by Ecuador. Oranje – Qatar, a weak performance against the weakest opponent in the tournament. Oranje – USA, a justified win playing counter football, 30% possession in the first half. We did score a wonderful goal, though. Oranje – Argentina, the first match against a strong opponent and based on the quality on the ball, we deservedly lost. So what will stay in our memory? In the list of memories at a World Cup, what remains is 1) the team goal versus USA, 2) the smart Weghorst inspired free kick v Argentina and all the post match drama? We were the most bland team in this World Cup, it seems.


Van Gaal will adept the system to the quality of the players on hand. But the thing is: he selects the players! So he basically selects the players that fit his system. Players who fitted his vision. That is all good, but it’s not a matter of “there are no other choices”. Danjuma is one of our most dangerous forwards, but he was omitted as he “missed tactical training sessions for the 1-3-4-1-2”. Another typical Van Gaal choice: Noppert. Cillesen had to stay home, in a freak decision made at the last minute. Why select him in the first place, if he is poison in the dressing room? Noppert did well in the games, but the whole broohaha of the scientific penalty thing backfired. Van Gaal counted on Frans Hoek getting it right, but Noppert didn’t get close to any of them. Not Noppert’s fault of course. But due to the penalty focus, Van Gaal decided to let his team play out the 30 mins extra time, while he had Plan B on the pitch. And Plan B worked. 82 minutes of drab football in Plan A and 15 exhilarating minutes in Plan B. And when Argentina was on the ropes, Van Gaal reigned his dogs in.

Our best player, which means something…

Van Gaal would pick players on how they “delivered”. Well, Steven Bergwijn? Did he deliver at this World Cup? Why did he start v Argentina? This applied to Teun Koopmeiners, to Memphis, who was positioned as the only player capable of getting us the title. The creative Noa Lang only got 10 minutes in the second half of extra time. Xavi Simons got a go versus USA. They apparently delivered in training but were merely extras in Van Gaal’s blockbuster.


It ended up being the big Louis van Gaal show in Qatar. In The Netherlands, his press conferences are excruciating. He’s narcy, he barks at certain reporters, and has love fests with others. The whole team banned the media team of Veronica Offside. Louis doesn’t understand that the media are basically the mouth and ears of the people, the fans, the ones who pay his salary. He can be very condescending and rude in these cases. But at the World Cup pressers, he tries to turn on the charm: hugging a Senegalese reporter, kissing Dumfries, trying to french kiss Memphis, telling the media he looks like a God, and more. The international media love it. But he also said something that backfired enormously. “Messi doesn’t do anything without the ball” and “in 2014, we kept him quiet, he was invisible”. That was not smart. The little wizard scored a goal, set one up and scored his penalty too. After the game he sought LVG out to tell him: you talk too much!

Messi fuming with LVG

Van Gaal focused a lot on him, and his qualities. The Vision. The system. “Deliver!”. And the lads seemingly created a nice vibe amongst them. Playing games, blaring modern music on a yacht while LVG – as the somewhat nutty uncle – moved his stiff frame on the beat of the music. I am not sure if that vibe was actually so good or whether the players just went with it, what else can you do, while secretly smirking behind his back….


After the loss versus Argentina, Van Gaal immediately pushed the spot light on himself: “I can’t blame myself for anything. We played 20 matches and didn’t lose one single game.” That is clearly what he was about. Not losing. In stead of playing to win. Whoever decides to put the entertainment value on hold, for that so needed result, has to win. If you win, everyone will accept the style and celebrate that the best nation never to win one, has won one. But when you don’t, well… you have failed miserably. It’s about winning, for sure, but we want to win with the football that put us on the map. This is not about systems. About wingers or centre backs dribbling into midfield. It’s about courage, about attacking, dominating the ball and playing flowing football. As we know we can! The USA team goal is an example. The Weghorst free-kick is an example. We lost our identity, and the media from Germany, via Iceland to Brazil have all noticed it. “This is so far removed from the Dutch football DNA” the Argentine media shouted.

Loving Senegalese reporters, loathing the Dutch ones…

Interestingly enough, many coaches in The Netherlands are claiming the Dutch School is outdated and needs to be abandoned. But coaches and players in other competitions do tell stories of how the experts in Germany, England and other nations are constantly asking the same questions: What is wrong with the Oranje? Where is that attacking, recognisable football? Where is the adventure? Our “popularity” in other countries is because of that strong identity. It seems that clubs could now easily take a Polish or Slovakian coach. They play the same way as our current NT and they’re less expensive.

Louis wanted to win the World Cup so much, that he trotted on the Dutch football values, the DNA of attacking and attractive football. Exactly the type of game that made his name in the first place. Even worse, he because it’s biggest enemy. We might not have lost a match under this coach, but we did lose our image and reputation.

For me, the KNVB is the biggest culprit. Our mess all started with the KNVB allowing that ridiculous and offensive clause in Koeman’s contract. He was allowed to leave for Barcelona, leaving Oranje with the mess…

Lets make sure the returning coach starts paying back!

How bout this line up:


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  1. Um, sorry Jan. It is almost 1AM here in New Jersey and I promise I will read your post mortem when I get up in the morning. However, in anticipation of another long debate about Daley losing Messi who then lost Ake by losing VVD that made Molina lose someone else and then scored a goal, I will report my comment from the previous thread. Good day Mate!
    God bless you guys for still debating the smallest of details about that first goals. Why not summarize under one phrase: “Our defense had a moment of collective brain fart and therefore received a goal very early in the game.” I guarantee that if we didn’t suffer that goal we would have bored and confused the hell out of Argentina by following our master’s plan at which point Paredes would have knifed one of our players and we would have won by default. And maybe this was our real plan but…………….
    Why not debate what happened after that goal. After that goal, and after another one we brilliantly did absolutely NOTHING. In fact we were on the way to breaking our own negative record set in the game against Ecuador. Until the 80th minute when someone on the bench checked the clock and told our General: “Chief, umm with 10 mins to go and 2 goals down, there is a slight chance we may lose the game.” And at that point the Chief checked his notes, got a nod from both assistants and raised his right eyebrow and we started playing with desperation and got close to a famous comeback for the ages. And that’s when our talent for snatching defeat from the the jaws of victory shone again.
    Personally I am still scratching my head at how a 2 meter tall player who by scoring 2 goals at the death was about to inflict to Argentina a bigger loss than the Falkland Islands, goes and begs a midget for his shirt and gets rebuked. Furthermore he endures more humiliation when the midget live on camera calls him an imbecile. What a p…sy. A direct punch in the face live on TV would have been more worth it than the world cup itself.

    1. @Balkan, I am with you, man. If Wout punched, he would have lost his spot in football forever, but he would have gone into history as a person who sent Messi to knock out. That is worth a lot.

    2. @Balkan – I agree with you and my point of debating the goal is to say that it is a collective mistake, not just blinds fault. That’s why I explain details on the mistakes of different players.

  2. Koeman should not have left Oranje for Barcelona. You have to be such a brilliant coach and shrewd politician to be able to manage successfully a club where the player (Messi) has an absolute power. Koeman was neither of them: mediocre coach and stubborn as an ox. The outcome of this relationship was foreseen in advanced. Whether or not his second attempt is going to result in success in Oranje is to be seen. However, I do not foresee anything glorious. We will go through qualifications, participate in Euro 2024, maybe reach semis and lose to Czechs or some other tenacious team. As I said before, we need a solid foreign coach who can send to hell all those archaisms as “Dutch way of playing football”, 433 system etc, a coach who will stop nepotism and favoritism that have flourished in Dutch football. Do you hear us, KNVB?

    1. Totally agree on Koeman but dude, be careful what you wish for. That foreign coach will be picked by same clueless KNVB which means we may get some guy like Pochetino and freeze up in hell forever.

  3. @Jan, I like your lineup. It is certainly very attacking with a lot of pace. Timber has the ability to be the shield for defense, he has proven himself to be tenacious in this World Cup.
    The big BUT is that it is almost an overhaul of the LVG’s team and will Koeman has the guts to do that! It’s almost telling LVG his tactics and player selection are WRONG!

  4. @Jan Az midfielder Tijjani Reinders is a good prospect, he can play as a center midfielder as well as defensive midfielder getting grades of 6.9 and 7.5 respectively as per the site football critic. He may be the right partner for Frenkie. What do you think.

  5. @manoj kumar, Reinders is a good player at AZ Alkmaar level, he is not Oranje material. Plus, we have Teun Koopmeiners who should be given a regular spot in the midfield. In my view, Frenkie with his skills should be given an attacking midfielder role while Teun should rule the remaining part of the midfield. Also, Teun should be our captain, he has very strong leadership skills in the field. But will anybody dear to take a captain band from VVD and handle to Teun? I do not think so.

  6. Thank you for plainly speaking out the truth Jan. Excellent post mortem. Some of us saw most of this in the group games and tried to point out the obvious but then we had to retreat when it was made clear that we were on the path of Italy 82.
    I can’t believe I was one of the strongest believers in LVG. I’ve gone from love to hate in a matter of a few short weeks. There is nothing wrong with failing but it feels like we failed due to methods of a mad scientist who conned everyone into believing his hype. I really hope dutch media is merciless with him. He closed his career in the worst way possible, with a game that saw us humiliated on and off the field. Yet this flamboyant caricature will continue to taunt his 20 game unbeaten streak.
    Ask any Man U real fan what they think of LVG during his torturous 2 year stint with them. The signs were there , yet poor peasants like me bought into him again. Can’t wait for Koeman to make things right (not holding my breath really).
    I like the 11 Jan has suggested except NO MORE DEPAY until he quits his bodybuilding habits and learns how to run and dribble again, which means it may not happen in the foreseable future. Let a youngster learn the ropes in that position. It feels like Depay owns that side of the field for eternity.

  7. Now LVG’s latest public position is that as a nation, we lack quality wingers, and so in this World Cup, we were instead forced to play his now preferred 5-3-2, with slow, boring football that results in no shots on goal (aka “van Gaal ball”).

    Yet at Manchester United, LVG was also renowned for playing slow, boring van Gaal ball regardless of the presence of wingers. Anthony Martial, Memphis, Marcus Rashford, Angel Di Maria, even former wing Ashley Young, were all present and available and still the same structured, slow, turgid, boring football from van Gaal.

    I actually went back to see whether, contrary to my assumptions, post-2014 5-3-2 era LVG was in fact open to playing more exciting, free-flowing and less rigid football and came across this Guardian article about his time at United:


    Let me know if any of these excerpts sound familiar:

    “Van Gaal’s two-year reign has been synonymous with bland, prosaic football, featuring their worst scoring statistics for more than a quarter of a century”

    “Van Gaal has been described among those players as “hard work”. His tactics have been so unpopular that various members of his squad have talked between themselves about openly defying him.”

    “Van Gaal’s often abrasive, almost schoolmasterly approach rubbed against the players like sandpaper. They found his methods restrictive. Why, they asked, was a man with his impressive background so devoted to such an unappealing style? Supporters longed for a return to the old United way – attacking, adventurous football, played at speed and with penetration – but so did the players, and it pained them that he refused to bend.”

    “There was always the gnawing sense they had to stick to Van Gaal’s rigid system or risk being expelled from the team.”

    “United have scored one more goal than fourth-bottom Sunderland – a team who spent 237 days in the relegation zone.”

    “It is the least watchable United side in memory.”

    “It reached the point where many players regarded international breaks as a welcome break and the chance to play in a relaxed atmosphere”

    “United’s forwards were under orders to do the same thing virtually every time: control the ball, lay it off and then get in the penalty area and wait for it. Wide players were told that, rather than taking on their man, it was better to wait for the team’s full backs to arrive in support.”

    “Van Gaal talked about United needing “fast, creative players” but this was the manager who came out with a line in one of his first press conferences – ‘I do not want players to be intuitive’”

    “United managed 49 league goals this season; their previous average in the Premier League era was 76.4.”

    “At one stage United had more backward passes than any other Premier League club, the lowest percentage when it came to moving the ball forward and the joint second highest ratio sideways. United finished with the most 1-0 wins and the joint highest number of goalless draws.”

    “Their total number of shots on target, 430, was the 15th highest out of 20 clubs and Opta’s number-crunchers have data that shows only three other teams – Watford, Aston Villa and West Brom – created fewer chances.”

    And I’m not even a Manchester United fan. Far from it in fact. But what we saw in 2022 is just the latest iteration of “van Gaal ball”, and with the same boring, low scoring predictable results. I was fooling myself to expect anything different at this point.

  8. Still LVG got the results and 20 match unbeaten run. Again, if we won penalty shootout most of you wouldn’t be talking like this.

    But I do agree that our play during the tournament was too cautious, too reactive.

      1. The forward had the ball played over the top and ran onto it. He attempted to lift it over the goalkeeper who was rushing out to defend, and then both players’ momentum resulted in a collision that caused the forward to fall down before a Croatian defender cleared the ball off the line. I don’t think the keeper touched the ball. If I were Argentina’s manager, it absolutely would’ve been a penalty! If I were Croatia’s I would try to argue against it. It might have been a bit of a dive, but I think it probably is legit.

  9. The second goal came off a counter and a long dribbling run, concluding with several deflections and juggled / volleyed finish by Álvarez. It was actually a very nice individual effort, and reminds me a little bit of van de Beek for Ajax, where he just would keep running forward, and the ball always seem to deflect/ricochet right back to him

  10. Croatia is crap today and they lack so much in attack. Hate to say it but Messi may get that cup this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ends 4-0.

  11. I just read your article Jan and can’t say I disagree. I’m all for attacking football and it is indeed the DNA of Oranje and Ajax the club I support.

    Just one thing. Let’s not forget how many times we have seen Oranje dominating and getting knocked out, and how many times have we said offensive football and possession does not win matches and that we have to learn to play to win like Germany and Italy. Just saying.

  12. Croatia playing to open and cavalier approach. While entertaining, this isn’t wise esp. for a knock-out match. That brings us to LVG’s chess ♟️-like approach to any games.

  13. @Jan i like your line up..i hope koeman listens to that..i would replace Danjuma with Gakpo and Gravenberch with Gakpo spot…i dont know why we are sepnting time on less than avergae De roon type at DM..its time for Ake and Timber to take that roll or at least we should test them over there…alos time for integrating Struijk and Botman….

  14. Thanks Jan for the analysis. I agree that we played this tournament the way LVG wanted to. He is the center, the players are the puzzle piece. Unfortunately, his system did not allow the players to shine. Could it be better with Danjuma/Frimpong and Malacia? Might be but we never know because LVG made the choices.

    I like your new line up. But my concern is there is no backup. You put like 4 forwards in the line up. Usually, they are injury prone or are not at good fitness level. Who will be the sub? Xavi Simons? Might be, but who else? Watching Timber at World Cup, I do not feel like he is that comfortable with the ball. I will play Ake as midfielder and VVD/De Ligt or Botman/VVD combo.

  15. Croatia heavy defeat showed that it pays to be measured and controlled in approach to game. Should be compact and tight and strike when the time is right. Sometimes it’s not about the many number of shots and on target BUT if it can be “one shot one kill”, then it’s good as well.
    I am actually for LVG organization and structure, players covered each other tracks very well, our defense is solid as is, midfield we have FDJ (our Modric, Messi, Sneijder), we just need the SPARK in attack. Still waiting for the person. 🙏🤞🫵

  16. At least we stood up well to Argentina, World Cup finalist (could be winner). We have a good foundation built and good players coming thru. I’m optimistic. Unlike FDB’s era which I felt the team was in disarray.

  17. hi guys, I agree we would have had a different post here if we won the penalty shoot out, but that is the thing: if you do what LVG does, you need to show results. if not, you are empty handed AND your image gets a blow.

    As for the back up of the players I put in my line up: there is the likes of Weghorst, Janssen, Bergwijn, Malen, Simons. In midfield, we have Taylor, Gravenberch, Q Timber (at Feyenoord), Veerman and yes, Reijnders. I like him! Good long distance strike and good legs.

    The Croatia – Argentina match: the Croatians deserved a corner, didn’t get it and next up it’s a collision which could well have been a free kick for the Croatians. Striker running into the goalie. It’s a 50-50 for me. Not a pen.

    But Messi created that third goal in majestic form..

  18. Guessed we all agreed that Messi is just superb in this World Cup. His assists against us and Croatia were just incredible. How he saw the gap and waited for the moment for Molina’s goal was just so so unbelievable.
    AND we actually came close to stopping him. In fact, he was well contained by our defense in the QF. We can be proud.

    1. 3 knock outs..3 penaltys for free..Midget is in form of his life..Messy sissy…This world cup is already given to Messi…tonight they will kick out France…Morroco vs Arjetina final..arjtina wins with in 45 minutes..

  19. During the QF, messi was heard asking where was the dutch good football. But in the semifinal Argentina played 5-3-2 against Croatia and played counter football against croatia. So it is hard to say Vangaal is completely wrong in his approach but mistakes were made in selection as well as im choosing when to defend and attack based on the situation.The system also could have changed based on the given situation and the opposition.

  20. Again kudos to those who find a silver lining from this tournament. Some feel good that we were the team who held Argentina at 2-2 while Croatia got walloped. I guess Saudi Arabia should feel ecstatic. They have probably beaten the world champions. We probably offered only a total of 20-30 mins of exciting football with most of it during USA and some during Arg game.
    I have watched about 90% of the games in this WC. I can say without hesitation that apart from teams like Qatar or idk who else, we have played the most horrific of all. It is shocking, yet a few are content because of ifs and buts. I envy you, I really do.
    If we were to measure success by losing to finalist teams we are probably on the top:
    1990- lost to champions
    1994- lost to champions
    1998 – lost to vice champions
    2006 – exception, lost only to 4th team
    2010 – lost to champions
    2014 – lost to vice champions
    2022 – lost to champs or vice champs
    Amazing record!

    1. I agree with you, Balkan. I think I’ve watched 95% of all WC games since the 1994 final. To be honest, this WC is the most dreadfully boring of all, with no exciting team.

      If any of the two finalists scores, it will be over, the other one will never recover. So they’ll both play their horrific way and wait for a mistake from the other one. Watching mushrooms grow will be more exciting.

      Then everybody will tell us how amazing Messi/Mbappe was and how deserving and sh!t.

  21. Haven’t been able to watch, but I’m using that morocco has 61% possession in this out passing France by almost 200 passes. Deschamps must’ve been watching LVG’s tactics.

    But at least I just got to see the second France goal, created initially by some skillful dribbling by Mbappe

  22. – my wife at 1-0 for France: don’t despair, Guillaume, Morocco will score at some point.

    – me: oh, dear, I’ve seen France steal this sh!t so many times, you’ll see.

    We both blink tenderly at one another.

    Then unblink.

    And it’s 2-0.

    1. Hahahaha! You’re ahead of me. My wife blinks semi-tenderly at me and then tells me to stop watching football and put the rest of the Christmas decorations up!

  23. Both goals came from accidental ball bumps on shots by Mbappe. Morocco didn’t disappoint and if they had a decent striker would have probably tied the game. The early goal though affected their plans. Morocco probably is the team with more KM coverage by far in this WC. Splendid team. My hat goes off to them.
    In the final I really believe that Argentina will bring it home with their 12th player, the public.

    1. @manoj, LVG haters? Is your allegiance to the Orange or to a clown called LVG? Are you serious when comparing the style and quality of play of France and Argentina with that of your idol LVG? You can’t be serious.

      1. @Balkan, LVG is not a clown, he is one of the greatest coaches in the history of football. and I am serious. We certainly disagree in that, but he is definitely not a clown.

        1. Agree to disagree AZ. His record in general doesn’t show a great coach. The way he carried himself in this WC, the way he played and the fact of not showing any sign of regret about his tactics but only boasting about his record shows a clown in my book.
          But I respect your opinion.

  24. What he meant is that it is ok when others take a defensive approach and win with a couple of shots on goal, but it becomes outrageously boring if Oranje do it. Also remember, nice football and shots on goal have never won us anything. 2010 and 2014 we also played boring football but gave us best results since 1978. I just want the new coach to find a way to keep winning or not losing. I don’t give a damn about nice football. That’s old school and I’ve had 30 years of people telling us you play the best football but will never win anything.

  25. And btw for those of you who are younger, in 1988 when we won Euro with a great team it was not great football all around mind you. We lost first group match about USSR, played a good match against England and then we were quite lucky to qualify against Ireland in a boring tactical match thanks to a freak goal by Kieft. And all winners are like that. You never see a team outplaying everyone for 7 matches. You need tactical discipline (of which we had in abundance in 1988 under a great coach), and most of the times the fine details episodes (call it luck) make the difference between two great teams as you progress to QF and SF.

    1. “when others take a defensive approach and win with a COUPLE OF SHOTS on goal, but it becomes outrageously boring if Oranje do it.”
      Look at this moron. Couple of shots bahaaaaa.

  26. LVG 532 system was a failure when we look at our Poor lad Noppert..He was exccellent for us except in penalties ..Noppert saved LVG not 532…532 was total disaster..noppert doesnt condede cheap gaols…he was there in 3 rd p[lace of saves…that says a lot..

  27. Amongst various factors, the most prominent reason I feel the Dutch have never triumphed in the biggest stage of all, is the fact that they’ve been living in their own heads for ages. They just can’t seem to get out of their own way.

    What other reason could make, even half a nation, believe in what LVG was on about? It was so crystal clear from early on, when he took over, that even though tactically superior to his predecessors, nothing has changed much in terms of personnel selection and how he went about it.

    His preference for certain players was no different from that of daddy Blind and FDB. The only difference was that he could use them better in a tactical sense to grind out results and be more defensively disciplined.

    How this dream of football perfection and lacking capable “wingers” to play the sophisticated Dutch 4-3-3 can also mean a green light to play like an underdog from behind the east part of the Iron curtain is absolutely ludicrous.

    The Dutch have never, at any time, lacked a good crop of young players to build something on. With what you have out there in the form of Berghuis, Blind, Klassen, Memphis etc, what do you really have to lose to take chances on a few new faces. How couldn’t you not know that a player like Berghuis or de Roon has nothing more to offer than you’ve already seen?

    De Roon has been, close to a decade, the undisputed holding midfielder of the Oranje. Even though the man has never had any kind of a good tournament. Even though he was so bad that he was dropped for most of the qualifiers and then employed again in the most crucial stages of a world Cup.

    How is it possible that absolutely no Dutch coach has ever tried even an outlier in that position? And since Dutch coaches don’t want to treat Oranje call-ups “like a brothel”, why not Ake, no Timber? Just this maniacal focus on doing the same things over and over, even when not working.

    Dutch management is living in this silo, echo chamber of superiority complex that’s based on a pattern of play that has been usurped and perfected by Spain, leading them to great accolades, whilst the proponents still lay baffling themselves as to how best they can capture the glorious past.


    Potentially good players, for some reason, are deemed just not good enough to be given a chance.

    Which brings me back to the memory of the demolishing of Scotland in the early 2000s led by the young, irresistible Wesley Sneijder. The whole world was up in arms for his inclusion and he never looked back from the 6-0 destruction of Scotland.

    Sneijder, unlike so many others, was simply given a chance.

    I contend that Alaba or Davis would have struggled for a call up in an Oranje set-up. Heck, VVD wasn’t called up by Koeman until his mid twenties. One can bring up the excuse of he being a late bloomer or stubborn injuries but we all know his prolonged exclusion falls squarely in the realm or pattern of Dutch management reluctance to do the seemingly obvious.

    It is always something. Always a caveat. Always this impression that they see something, high over the pantheons, that all other great national coaches aren’t privy to.

    It has to be a left-footed right winger.

    Contrary, the left centre-back in a three has to be left footed.

    But the left winger has to be right footed.

    All these manufactured hurdles and barriers.

    Van Bommel and Nigel de Jong struggled to get in this team for one reason or another.

    Always something.

    Even one of the greatest midfielders in a generation, Clarence Seedorf, gets treated like a pariah, with Van Basten once retorting something to the effect of “none of the coaches succeeded playing him, so why should I try”

    And Van Basten lies not. It’s truly uncanny how they all are so susceptible to this groupthink. All the so called experts seem to be speaking from one tainted brain.

    And that’s why I trust my common sense when it comes to dealing with the Oranje. This over reliance on the opinions of Neeskens and Advocaat counts for nought when they are all coming from the same angle. There is no balance in thought. Just this ostrich approach that has yielded one major trophy in a couple of lifetimes.

    Just choose the best players at hand for a change. It’s not that hard.

    Be a master of the system. Don’t let the system lord over you, further creating obstacles and dwindling the talent pool.


    Great lineup. With the exception of Frimpong(not going to bench Dumfries our best performer in the past two major tournaments) and Depay(he needs competition like humans need air) this is the kind of lineup we’ve been clamoring for.

    I have to say that you were squarely entrenched in the opposite school of thought Jan. It seems that every time Oranje is in complete disarray and on the verge of implosion you come up with this completely logical takes that we’ve been trying to impress on you all along.

    Referencing all these Dutch experts and coaches is usually your thing in support of stubbornly doing things that are clearly not working nor have a chance of ever working.

    Moving forward, I hope we’ve all learn a thing or two from what’s being a disaster of a tournament for Oranje.

  28. @balkan @wilson I am not supporting LVG for the selection or his blunders but pointing out that 5-3-2 is used by teams and defensive tactical play with counter football
    id still used in this WC. I mean it has to be used when necessary. I think that Argentina likely to use 5-3-2 in the final, as they have to face two quick wingers both Mbappe and Dembele and in the midfield Griezmann.

      1. Yes we have Messi, Alvarez, Mbhappe, Dembele upfront so we can use 532..433 system with some nice play got him to wc.. Then he went back to boring 532 with depay and Berjwin… Depay and Berjwin are on par with Mbhappe, Messi, etc..

  29. I supported LVG but when he wwnt back to 532 myth.. I knew we are done… Infact in 2014 we plyed better with 433..though we started with 532 we turned back to 433..or 442 which got us to semi…532 thing never worked for us neither in 2014 and 2022…

  30. its high time to stop play with Blind and De roon…Berjwin needs rest to find his won form…its time for Timber or Ake to step up as DM to save this quality dutch team…Apart from strikers We have quality..
    Virgil-Botman-Devrij-Deligt thats quality
    Malacia-Struijk thats quality
    dumfries,Frimpong karsdorp thats quality
    Frnkie,Gravenberch,Timber ,Ake,Taylor thats quality
    Gakpo,Memphis,Malen is close to quality..
    its time to use Botman for virgil for back up plan as Botman is sensational at newcastle…
    Time to use Ake/timber as DM not with 532 stupidity…
    Struijk—-Virgil—De vrij—–Frimpong—-
    etxtra 4
    Tijjani Reinjders
    noah lang…

  31. I’d like to see this formation for the Euro 2024 campaign:



    -Malacia–Ake–van Dijk–Dumfries-


    1. Untill unless we find a world class DM nothing will work out…Ake Can do that ..timber can do that..Lets promote them and accomodate Botman..We need a number 6 who can tackle and carry the ball..Ake and timber fits the bill…Also Frimpong would be more lethal than dumfries..

  32. But Orangutan, it wasn’t a “disaster of a tournament” for us! We went undefeated in the group stage and finished first in our group. We won our first knock-out match and only finally went down in penalties to the eventual champion / runner-up after a furious last ditch rally. Mission accomplished for LVG!

    Now for those of us who enjoy actually WATCHING football rather than just reading about it after the fact, it was pretty dire. But I don’t think that’s going to change regardless of who’s coaching unless we play with more than two forwards / attacking players, have a coherent set of midfielders and look to dominate possession. I’m all for giving as many new faces as possible a look in attempting to achieve these objectives.

    But just remember, after failed qualifications in 2016 and 2018 and the disappointment of losing to the Czechs in 2020, this tournament will be perceived by the KNVB as a major success and having restored the Netherlands again to international prominence as one of the top 8 teams in the world.

    If only we aspired for something more…


    Is it possible to replicate/emulate at least at certain point Ten Hag’s Ajax in the NT?

    Considering a very high numbers of players in NT played under Ten Hag, it should be doable.

    If is the case, I will star like this:


    Gapko/Berjwin—- Depay/Lang——Simmons/Berghuis


    Ake/Malacia —-VVD/Botman——Timber/De Ligt—-Dumfries/Freinping


    Others on the radar: Danjuma, Malen, Van de Beek

  34. @Faraz: Danjuma is playing for us already. He can’t change country. As for Ziyech, I’ll post on him soon.

    @orangutan – you are making well rounded assessments in your comments. I find it hard to completely agree with you, but again, reality is proving me wrong, it seems. I can’t put my finger on it, as I might suffer from the same disease. I will write a post on this with my views. I still think players like Berghuis and Klaassen ALONG SIDE top players like Frenkie or Memphis or hopefully Xavi are good enough to win silverware. There were several teams who won trophies in the past that weren’t overly world class across the line.

    Daley Blind will be released from his contract at Ajax – he had 6 more months to go and Ajax decided to offer him a free as a thank you for his services.

  35. As a Feyenoord fan, I believe my club has had the most embarrassing list of “ex players”, or failed players who went on to do big things elsewhere.

    Sofyan Amrabat is the last in a long line. He is most likely the best midfielder of this World Cup and I can see him make an impact with Real Madrid, Liverpool or PSG. He was at Feyenoord under Dick Advocaat and left disillusioned for not getting a chance on his midfield spot, but merely being used as stand in at right back.

    Pop Quiz: Who is the other big name international, who failed in Rotterdam but went on to score for fun in the French competition and was on the scouting list of both Real Madrid and Barcelona and played 10 caps for his – impressive – national side?

    1. Re: Pop Quiz. Bonaventure Kalou jumped to mind as an International who went from Feyenoord to the French League. But he wasn’t a failure at Feyenoord, very good player.

  36. @JB

    Re: But Orangutan, it wasn’t a “disaster of a tournament” for us! We went undefeated in the group stage and finished first in our group

    Context my friend, context. Like you so aptly stated, ” for those of us who enjoy actually WATCHING football rather than just reading about it”, the Oranje’s display in Qatar can’t be placed in any other category than terrible.

    Going undefeated and claiming first spot sounds pretty impressive on paper. But again, how did we get there? What was that? How unsteady can you be against Senegal or Ecuador?

    We’ve seen the AC Milan teams of Capello and Sacchi grind out results. That’s how you want to win ugly; controlled and cocky in the face of an adversary futile offence. Oranje was anything but…

    Ironically, the attitude you are worried about KNVB exhibiting towards this deceiving QF appearance and “hard success” is what you seem to gravitate towards.


    Re: There were several teams who won trophies in the past that weren’t overly world class across the line.

    This claim is true Jan. The problem is when you come to make this fact the centre of your football philosophy like Oranje have done to a certain extent. When you feel that you just need 11 cyborgs that lack intuition and real quality but could carry out your vision as you see it. When you feel you can’t find a way to accommodate Seedorf but Blind is fine.

    I will always choose the best players at hand and find a way to fit them into my dream. Not the other way around. The latter is always too much work and requires an incredible amount of time not to mention no room for mistakes.

    History would support me on this. The Greeks of Euro 2000 come once in every lifetime.

    1. Sorry, that first paragraph you quoted was my poor attempt at sarcasm. That description is what many people will take away from this tournament who didn’t actually watch us play. And people after the fact will see highlights of a few nice goals that we scored and think that the overall quality of play must’ve been reasonable. But it wasn’t, and I don’t think it will be unless we make at least some of the changes that I noted in my earlier comment. So I think we’re on the same page on a good number of things! Now if we could just get Ronald Koeman and the KNVB to agree with us…

  37. The one player who should not play anymore is Depay, he is the most selfish player i saw when dutch were playing in this worldcup, this he was doing when he was not at fit due to injury. Really should not be in the team anymore.

  38. Ok my post mortem

    I’m not claiming “I said so”, im not claiming “im better than van Gaal” and I’m not claiming “im genius”

    This was my post from the ” orange step up vs qatar”

    “Guys dont worry about USA. Get this in your heads. What van Gaal said ” this squad can win the WC”. when the times comes this has to at top of the talking point. Remember this two phrases ” acceptance ” and ” expectation” bergwijn delivers when playing for NT, berghuis and his left foot, blinds forever experience mania or shall I rephrase to obsession with Blind, classy one touch klaassen.
    I have said this many many times, come the crucial stages of the tournament, no matter what you do the player head to head will come to play a critical part and no matter which tactic or what LVG throws ( needed when required)the shortfall of the team will be come into play. We have already seen vs Senegal and Ecuador earlier what in store for the team. Any one thinking things will change or get better going into the knock out stages. Continue hallucinating”.

    so indeed you have to start from “acceptance and expectations” point of view. Jan has touched on this but its necessary this is dissected more and looked into depth. you have to go back and look at the build up to the world cup when van gaal first took over because that was the starting and also the critical point to building the foundation of the team.

    well looking from the stats point of view and analytic review of the games (WC) that was discussed here in depth, what was one thing that stood out the most? if I recall correctly it was the attempts/shots on goal in context to our strikers/ forwards
    well if you have figured out where this is leading to then yes, the decision to change the formation. I think we had a heated debate on this prior to the world cup and while it was argued that it was more to do with the defensive back line and presence of Timber, Van Dijk and Ake, if you have to go back to that now, you have to admit it was the best of the moves and again the stats is precisely indicating that . Memphis fitness can be talking point but then this is where the depth of the team comes into fold and we all know van gaals stance on this “needed when required” and not necessarily rotation to build all around quality depth. I remember I said and was very critical to the sacrificing of a winger to a defender and also the very purpose to the accommodating and giving protection to blind. did this potentially come back to haunt Van Gaal. Well again the stats points in that direction. while the defense stood their guard overwhelmingly, upfront the impact was felt with only 2 forwards and with the wing backs also in effective by far vs USA . I mean the change of system was for the very purpose of the wingbacks to complement the forwards. Did it pay dividends. Overall ???? Not just in one game🧐

    So let’s see how it happened. Van Gaal used a close proximity of preferential players trying to build the team around and then change of formation as well. When there was a window of opportunity to look at the weak areas in the team and tie the lose ends with other alternatives , he neglected the expenses factor of it and took a cautious approach and what he thought could be compensated with 3 men backline. this was further met by injuries and dip in form of players just before the world cup and which meant it was too late to look at other players. hence he had to go with the same players (acceptance) and with (expectation )they will deliver with his tactical mindset. Well After from the back line, the only player that delivered was Gakpo and the biggest disappointment and who couldn’t deliver was Bergwijn.

    The other area where NT looked very thin and was lacking in was the creativity department and again you have to question the change of system here and who was focal point to deliver this. This turned out to be tactical experimental with different teams, different players. Gakpo Depay Klaassen in the hole etc Berghuis and Klaassen were extensively used in the qualifiers prior and after the system change but were hardly involved in the games and again this was an indication of how van Gaal tatically wanted to defy odds and outclassing opponents either from how the opposition played or from their starting lineup. You see it only took a good team to checkmate him and through what . Player head to head in the same formation. If you compare this to 2014 then the player quality (big 3)and the tatic both were influential factor in the run to the SF and like I said this time around he was just trying to defy odds tatically only. Was never going to happen. Even if I recall correctly and we debated on this, how he went on big mouthing this team was better than the 2014 one. Defense yes the overall team ,big no. I also remember saying playing tatically comes with its pros and cons and vs Argentina the coach scoloni did his homework well and took him by the neck. But again you look at what happened. Chasing the game van Gaal subbed of their regular pkickers Gakpo, Bergwijn, memphis ,and this came back to haunt him again big time. Then the choices, Rob vlaar 2014, and van Dijk again. They got it wrong again. I wonder who was handed the task to prepare the list. Looks like daddy written all over.

    Then the scenario if NT would have won on the PKs, the world would started falling on van Gaal feet and vs Croatia would have been the same routine. Wait wait and then pounce on if it comes by and if does not hold till you drag it to pks. You can’t think of anything outside of the box. That’s how it would have ended

    Being said this the biggest disgrace for me was when in his excuses as usual he tried to side step and said this:

    Speaking to Algemeen Dagblad, Van Gaal reflected on what he is now leaving behind, “What I leave behind with the Orange? A good, close-knit group with a lot of football ability. But without wingers who can pass a man at the highest level.”

    “You need wingers who pass a man. Our football doesn’t have that at the moment, not for the very highest level of a World Cup and the battle with top countries. That’s why I started playing differently. And we’ve come a long way. Just short of a semi-final. Out on penalties.”

    this is an absolute disgrace. apart from Noppert , the rest of the players were already in the spot light even before him arriving and to say that he is leaving behind a good group of players again shows how shellfish and egoistic bastard he is. utter disgrace man. the reason for danjuma omission precisely was that he was not involved in the build up to his 3-5-2 change of formation and now he saying we need wingers who can pass man. did he really needed this given he has been playing in the same formation at Villarreal. I really dont know when on earth the jury will be able to nail the selection. the biggest problem with van gaal is he never gives opportunties to players to prove themselves. he said there is no quality right wingers. what about kluivert? simple but a very technical winger. he had a very good season at lille before siwtiching to valencia where he had the same impact playing on the right mostly. he may be not clinical from the right but his runs and crosses are really effective. remember Ronald De boer but a faster version of his. this is the biggest problem with van gaal, he wants to show what ever he does is always right and if he doesnt like any player then he aint not good enough. if you look back at koeman era (Nations League) , he called up players like Dilrosun and Villhnea even though they were playing for not so big clubs but they did bring more dynamics to the team. Villhneas experience could have been big factor in this world cup and in especially in the midfield. its a sin when it comes to selection and if you play for a small club and this is what is when it comes the jury and selection for NT.

    i think the biggest task for koeman would be to sort out the midfield. the forwards and backline there aint much to to do but rotate and try different combos. dilrosun, kluivert, Brobbery, are probbaly the only forward players that needs to come on board .

  39. i know Hoek was the goal keeper trainer,but which idiot was the one behind fooling us Noppert is a great penalty killer???i dont know who that stupid was…
    i am still in december 9th night,cannot get over from that…What would have happend if we played a 433 or 442 without Blind,Berjwin,Depay,De roon and dumfries as starter????
    THose arjetines are midget bullies i fell we should have used weghorst,Deligt from start..like
    Bijlow for shootout….WHAT IF?/

  40. New here to the blog, Jan. Been an avid reader of your posts when I can. Just wanted to chime in post-Oranje exit from the WC. Overall it was a success to make it to the QF stage, tho we can argue day & night on tactics during the Argies match but it’s just too bad that Memphis Gakpo Dumfries & Bergwijn had average to below average games. Scaloni decided to matchup his ARG using similar tactic Alfaro used with Ecuador. And it stymied us especially with those important guys in the final third. In the end I just wished that LVG brought in Luuk or Weghorst earlier rather than have us sleepwalk for 80 mins & decide to pour himself another glass of wine & change his Pandora station lol. But he should’ve followed through with the direct tactic into the extra time halves bc we had momentum & Argentina was gassed + wobbly.
    But again I feel these 3 back systems w/ 2 strikers need a traditional type targetman striker w/ a little man roaming around the box to make key passes or crosses or finish layoffs from a bigger striker. Case in point from a club standpoint: Inter Milan.

    John Muller wrote a very interesting article in The Athletic couple months back about Frenkie de Jong really highlighting his special characteristics dribbling & ball-carrying & also pointing out how he’s been trouble spot for subsequent Barca managers trying to find the right fit for him. Maybe this 3 back system was contrived to support Frenkie as the lone DM. Frenkie was being Frenkie throughout but if we weren’t creating a lot of chances in the final third ( just like in the previous WC matches) then it was going to lead to a lot of frustration. And this happened in the Ecuador & Argentina matches when their respective managers decided to play mirroring 3-5-2/5-3-2 formations.

    Your post mortem XI to start off the 2nd Koeman tenure is solid. I’ll say this: if/when Geertruida makes that move to BVB, he should be under consideration. He may be an even better option at the #6 compared to Ake/J.Timber mentioned in a couple posts earlier…because well he’s actually started at the #6 in a few matches recently for Arne Slot’s Feyenoord. Other wise he’s in contention for the RB spot w/ Dumfries. I just like him better as an alternative to Dumfries because he’s more complete.

    I’m really curious where Cody Gakpo will move to, whether it’s in the Winter or Summer. I’m not a fan of a potential move to Man Utd, unless ETH has an idea that Gakpo can be his version of a Tadic False 9 type?

  41. @Victionary

    Welcome to the home of the Oranje. You made some very good points and observations none so more like the #6 spot and Geertruida you touched on.

    I’m not an avid follower of the eredevisie and the much I know about it is through channel surfing.

    But I took it upon myself to go on YouTube and checked out Geertruida. Quick, agile, somewhat of a dribbler, good size and tenacious on the tackle.

    If this kid had been given a shot at that 2 spot, can someone please, from the rafters tell me what de Roon can do that he can’t? And frustrating thing is, you have quite a few cases like this.

    None is crying for a Van Bommel or Jan Wouters to be displaced by a 22 year old. We are just just saying that a de Roon calibre, plus given his tournament performance, should have had competition 8 yrs ago.

    But the jury had long spoken in unison. And as we say, that has been that.

    1. guys note Matusiwa is playing CM at Remis and trust me he is the guy to invest in to bring that robust and hard tackling factor in the midfield like to off seedorf and Davids, Nigel

      also you can expect De Vilhnea and wijnaldum to get a call up again under koeman.

      gravenberch, Frenkie,simons,De Vilhnea, koopmeniners, Matusiwa, and probably wijnaldum should be good pool to start with

      other like Veerman, Talyor, Reis, Qtimber and others/makeshift if any should be considered based on their ceiling and performance should they make a case of themselves

      one of the drawbacks in the midfield also is most of the players (midfielders) have stronghold in the same position as Frenkie which is on the left . there is very few midfielders who can efficiently operate on the right.

  42. also if I recall correctly Jerdy schouten had a good outings in his first cap for NT vs wales. he is also somebody that needs to called up going forward / investing. although he is more suited for DM.

  43. @wilson

    Please bro leave Wijnaldum out of that central midfield conversation. We need to clear house. Buddy is like thirsty something and his best days are way past him. De Roon has to be on same boat.

    All he’s going to do is take space of a prospect who could potentially be our Tchaoumeni.

    Yes Gini is experienced. But we need our boys to make mistakes and learn the hard way. That’s how we prepare them for a fruitful tomorrow.

    That’s part of the reason why this world cup campaign was so disappointing. No breakout star. No world cup experience to prepare the Simons and Lang’s for what could be an exciting Euro if managed properly.

    We have to get away from that idea of quick fixes and being in the comfort zone of only what we know.

    Look at how Madrid operates. They will keep the old heads that are still performing at a high level. Not for sentiments. Not loyalty or reward.

    But as soon as Tchaoumeni comes in, Casemiro gone. Varane and Ramos, gone. Vinicius for Ronaldo. Fazed out and ready for another decade of a fresh run.

    You don’t keep them until the wheels fall off. You don’t create and have to deal with a Blind problem. You move on. That’s how a well-run organization thinks. And the trophies are there for all to see.

  44. Gini wijnaldum is 32 year old he is not the same at 2014..please stop nonsense..He is not the future…yes Vilhena has still something in him he has leags and lungs ..Jerdy schouten is better than gini if you really want to invest,,,but ideal players would be ake and timber as both are world class players..Matusiwa i dont know about him so no comments..wilson is saying he is another pitbull,if so he needs a look…somehow we got rid fo Blind now want Gini…then i would call back blind again…

  45. I am sick and tired of all the analysis , I am sick and tired of talking about how we have 200 excellent options in defense with an endless amount of great defenders among all top European clubs that we have, I need to start hearing about real options we have in attack, what happened to oranje? To Dutch football? We don’t know how to produce a kluivert or an overmars , a van persie or a bergkamp anymore? Do we really have to settle for bergwijn now or even malen or Lang? I mean have you seen how painfully inefficient bergwijn was during the World Cup? Man these names won’t make it to the list of 26 in France , Germany, Spain or any other top team, and they shouldn’t be the best Dutch football can produce in attack, hearing about new top defenders coming up won’t excite me anymore, the only time I can get excited again is when I start seeing big names in attack who make it to the biggest clubs in Europe play week in week out and score week in week out, a new robben please ….

    1. Exactly. While I think it is decent result last World Cup. I do not want to rewatch any of the games, it is just boring. The forward development has been really bad last decade. They cannot score under pressure. In Netherlands, they have so much time and space to take a shot. If Malen or Bergwijn or Janssen could have scored one third of their goal opportunities at Dortmund or Spurs, they would be in the starting spot but they can’t. And those are the best that we have last few years who were given decent chances at foreign clubs. There are players that go to foreign club and just disappear like Stengs, Boadu and Locadia.

  46. Nothing exciting in Croatia versus Marocco. Congrats to Croats. Tomorrow will be watching not a final, but a show called ” How to make Messi a World Cup Champion”.

  47. Wijnaldum was a key player under koeman 2018 and for this reason I said You expect him to be called up. I know it’s time to clear the dead woods but when it comes to Dutch coaches it’s always the same thing ( inside the box thinking) preference and selection.

    Danjuma and Lang has to be become the focal going forward.

    Danjuma- Gakpo


    Gravenberch- Simons


    Malaria-Ake- Van Dijk- karsdorp

    Noppert/ Bijlow

    1. With out a robust game reading tackler at DM we cannot exsist in modern game..also the he should be able to caary the ball from back..Only Timber and ake fits that bill..so. We must try Ake or timber there..Hence we can add Botman at LCb as well..time for ake or timber to play DM..ake would be awesome there,needs to see Timber as well..Gravenberch and Frenkie are pretty soft for this..A midfeild of
      ———Ake—————Would be world class…with
      ——-timber ———- on bench or vice versa…..

  48. its high time clear the house..No more Gini wijnaldum,No more blind..those Generation failed at every weher even to qalify for WC and Ec….
    ——–Simmons—————- or on bench
    Malen————Cresensio summerville—

  49. Summerville————Gakpo————Lang
    on bench

  50. I think Sumerville has a good shout of making the team. He’s been performing well for Leeds, and consistenly, even if off the bench. He’ll likely have a good shout at making the first team there soon.

    Of course, another LW.

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