Oranje’s dilemma: plan B or more of the same…

Memphis Depay signed a deal with Barcelona. In the past, this would have been a major headline in The Netherlands and maybe across Europe. Not today. The Euros are on and Denzel Dumfries appears to be way more in demand than our #10.

Oranje scored 5 goals and Dumfries was involved with all (scoring two of them). His rushes, his strength, his aerial strength, his speed, it’s been noted across the globe. Where originally Everton seemed in pole position to sign the former Sparta talent, today the likes of Juventus, Inter and Bayern Munich have joined, while apparently the whole English football community has him on the radar.

Dumfries was playing with the Barendrecht amateurs in 2014, when 17 years old, telling his mates he would start working on improving himself so “he could claim the RB spot in Oranje”. Sparta signed him and when coach Alex Pastoor allowed him his debut, he was at fault for 3 goals in his first 45 minutes. He asked his coach if he could be subbed, during the half time break. Pastoor refused. “This is what will make you better!”.

He went to PSV via SC Heerenveen and his journey hasn’t ended yet. Is there anything Dumfries can’t do? “Hahaha, there is lots I need to do better. My positioning play is weak and needs to get better. So I can have more time on the ball and make better decisions. I also think my cross needs to improve. My overall yield needs to improve, although this Euros is going well for me.” Asked whether he has enough energy to sustain his game in this tournament: “Of course, we only just started! I have heaps of energy. And I don’t need motivating either.”

Ryan Gravenberch is another publicity magnet. His performances at Ajax in the Champions League has caught the eye of many and like Dumfries, he’s a sought after talent. Where Dumfries played at the amateur level at 17, Gravenberch made his debut for Ajax. Dumfries: “I am totally in awe of that kid. I see him now, he’s so mature, and level headed. When I was his age, I went to high school with my mates and trained three evenings in the week. Over the years, I matured as a player and as a man. Ryan is there already.”

Gravenberch: “It is going fast yes. I really have trouble keeping tally. It’s hard to process it as the next game is already around the corner. The Ajax season was tough, I had times in the winter where I struggled with my energy. Now I’m fine again. I usually need a couple of days to recharge. Otherwise, I am very happy. It’s great to be with Oranje, this is a truly amazing group of players. And yes, I do want to play more, of course, but it’s not for me to say. Should the coach need me, I’ll be ready.”

There is a fair chance that Frank de Boer will make the decision to rest players vs North Macedonia.

It’s a tough schedule, after a tough season. Frank de Boer will take the input from the medical staff and scrutinise the data to see which player should rest. In the past Oranje had a situation like this before: in 2006, we won the first two group games and could rest the A-team against Argentina. The result was a break of rhythm for the A-list, and our first knock-out match (v Portugal) became a debacle. Or even worse: a national embarrassment (the Battle of Neurenberg). In 2008, we were in another Group of Death, but after beating Italy and France, we were up against Romania and Van Basten again rested some key players. The break of rhythm might have contributed to the loss vs Hiddink’s Russia in the knock out stages.

What is better: keep the first team together and in rhythm? With the risk of injuries or fatigue later down the track? Or is it better to let some fresh legs play? To keep the others save but also to give the B-team a chance to present themselves. That might contribute to the group dynamics.

It’s a tough call. Only De Boer in combination with his players will be able to decide this.

I have the feeling Frank will use the players from the A team who are still super fit. He also suggested he might go for Plan B, which is the “Italian version”, with a right winger in the team, whereas the left winger has a free role.

I hope Frank will use the 4-3-3 as a template. As both Gini and Frenkie are key to our success, I hope Frank will play like this:

Your views?


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  1. I think FDB needs alot to do if he wants to take this team to another level. At best this should be plan B if in future Van Dijk is injured again.

    When Koeman started at Barce,he wanted to make frenkie the focal point in the midfield like in NT but then Busquets would become less effective and loss his strong hold as CM/DM. Ultimately when he shifted frenkie on the left and with Pedri on the right, the midfield got that natural balance as before.

    I think FDB should work on the same as well to give a new life in the midfield. you have Koopmeiners who can play in Busquets role and Jerdy Schouten as well who is up coming in serie A at bologna. He is expected for a big move this summer. Gravenberch can be a cover up on the right with wijnaldum.

    If you look at the current midfielders, they are more runners and less fitters. This needs to improve if NT wants to shift to another level. I mean you look at Germany, they played with kroos and Gundagon in two man central midfield, yet they build up from the middle was phenomenal. The same you can say for italy.

    If FDB can gradually bring in changes, no doubt the WC can be better than euros in terms of quality.if he sticks with his old school style and overlook youngesters to the the flops who come back and look good in eredivisie. Im afraid they wont be much sucess either come next summer.

  2. @ jan

    When ever berghuis comes in to the equation, he simply nullfies the advantage of overlapping fullback.the reason being his stronghold is cutting inside and if he is not doing this, he is useless. Starting berghuis would cut out the attacking threat of Dumfries or neturlize him anyway.

    1. You are not making sense. The winger who sticks to the byline and goes on the outside to cross, that winger is suffocating Dumfries.

      The fact that Berghuis dribbles inside is PERFECT For Dumfries, as Berghuis will let the defenders decide: do I follow or stay to pick up Dumfries.

      You seem to miss this very critical aspect of the game?? Think Robben and Lahm!

      1. ” The winger who sticks to the byline and goes on the outside to cross, that winger is suffocating Dumfries”

        Really, berghuis sticks to the byline and goes on the outside to cross. I dont know what to say here. somebody help if they think otherwise.

        As for Robben, he was on another level and didnt need overlapping fullbacks, he wouldn’t pass them either way and hardly would fall back to defened. the fullbacks in his case didnt need to worry much offensively. Didnt you watch Bayern games . even in NT.

  3. Thanks Jan for the article.

    Better FDB sticks with the same 532 formation, and I think he will do that. Even if he can get a better score and more goals with 433. North Macedonia is just another practice match in preparation for the knockout stages, where we might have to face one of the big teams straight away in the second round.

    That said, I would suggest changing a few players:
    – No Wijndal please. Van Aanholt needs to continue his match rhythm to be able to play 90 mins. His substitutions with Wijndal have not proved to be useful.
    – Aké for Blind. We all know why Blind is in the team. Not for his defensive skills, thats for sure. but for his abilities to manage the play from the back. Let’s give Aké a chance and see how the team does with their buildup. At least 60 mins. Blind can come in for the latter 30 if it doesn’t work out.
    – Timber would be great but I understand if De Ligt needs the minutes and De Vrij is too important to bench. We need stability at the back. Removing the main pillars won’t help.
    – Let’s try Klaasen for De Roon for the first 45/60 mins. FDJ at 6, Wijnaldum at 8, Klaasen at 10. For the last 30, bring in De Roon and Gravenberch to give FDJ and Wijnaldum a bit of rest.
    – Depay with Malen for 45 mins. Weghorst with Malen for the other 45 OR Switch to 433 for the last 30 mins as plan B. Bring in Berghuis on the wing for a defender.

    1. Klaasen for De Roon? It is not an equivalent change as their positions are so different. If you let Klaasen to play on De Roon’s position he will shit himself.

  4. BY THE WAY, I think we will know today if we would have to face any of the group F teams in the second round.
    Basically, we need Switzerland to draw with Turkey, so it ends third but only with 2 points, which should hopefully not be enough for them to qualify from group A. If that happens, we play either a team from group D or E.

  5. @Jan disagree Jan….
    2006 We out played Portugal…We had poor finishing kuyt finishing was pathetic…RVP missed one too..cocu hit the bar…..Playing kuyt and benching RVN got punished….End of story..
    2008…We missed Roben,RVP p[layed last 45 minutes only….thats why we lost….Nothing to do with resting…
    ….FDB should give chance to at least 9 players except stekelenburg and De vrij…

    1. We didn’t outplay Portugal in 2006. MvB and some of the players had a huge falling out. That carried into the game. Boulahrouz started hacking away on CR7 and Bommel wasn’t playing his usual game. So much frustration came out.

  6. These guys are professionals they 3 games in a week when CL is playing 2 weekedn games with a cl match….Rest should make them better…
    Robin Goossens and Hakim Zyceh are a loss for NT as result of stubornness of dutch coaches,thats why we didnt win anything since 1988…FDB too has that thinh in him..
    Lutsheeral Geetruida,Bazoer,tyrell malacia all are called up for Curcao…lets see what they decide..
    We are strugling with winjdal,Hateboer etc…
    OUR moto should be
    Quality over Experience
    Sacrifice over ego….
    Second one is basic character of any dutch coach(Super ego)

  7. Winjdal should play and i want him to be more exposed..Hence we can shut him from NT forever..For the sake of team..
    @Wilson…Berghuis with dumfries is disaster combination…agree..Berghuis in the middle is okay for me though..
    Annholt is key for us…he has got the pace,athletiscm,ball controll and 1000 times better than winjdal..annholt to winjdal is huge drop of quality..if there was siinkgraven,malacia,or jetro was there we wouldnt be in this troouble…

  8. I think FDB will stick with the same 5-3-2 formation and model – it would be a big mistake if he breaks the rythm. He will probably just substitute those with lowest fitness / injury proneness. So I think he will replace Blind again with Timber, possibly try Winjdal again, and definitely give much more time to Gravenberch and Malen – possibly Malen will start with Memphis, rather than Weghorst.

  9. 5 changes I hope to see at least for one half. I see them as alternatives and they need to build up some match rhythm.

    Wijndal for Van Aanholt
    Gravenberch for Wijnaldum
    Koopmeiners for De Roon or De Jong
    Malen for Weghorst
    Timber for Dumfries

    Depay should play to build up his confidence. Also for the central defenders of De Ligt, De Vrij and Blind.

  10. if he changed the formation, it would be a disaster. He should have stayed with the existing formation.

    In my opinion, there is no need to change too much. For the starting eleven, maybe he should try to replace De Roon with Gravenberch.

    It was only in the second half that he could replace Weghorst with Malen. And may try Teun to replace Frenkie or Wijnaldum. And as usual, replace Blind with Ake.

    1. I understand that Teun and Frenkie play on the same position but Frenkie is much better than Teun and that replacement will weaken the team. I would look at Teun as an alternative to Marten. Teun is very flexible player he can play at Marten’s role too.

  11. I agree with most of what was said above. Unless there’s a likelihood of switching to the 4-3-3 later in the tournament, I think de Boer should stick with his preferred 5-3-2. The players need to have as much time in the system as they can to continue to develop understanding, familiarity, spacing, movement, etc.

    In terms of player substitutions, my recommendation is pretty obvious as well. Rest those who need rest and play those who you think will be needed later in the roles they will be needed. If de Boer anticipates bringing in Gravenberch or Klaassen in a knockout game, give them a run. If Ake is expected to play a big role, let him start over Blind. If Memphis and Malen are intended to develop a partnership, give them a chance to do so. But what I don’t really want to see is (1) making changes just for the sake of change, and (2) disrupting the continuity of the team by starting and playing too many new players. It’s no surprise who any of the favorites are this year— Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, maybe Portugal. England and even Wales can be contenders. We can play well with and defeat any of these teams on a good day, and so we just need to make sure that all of our players are available and that they’re thoroughly familiar with the system we intend to play when we face any of these teams.

  12. FDB does have to do anything. We need to continue playing 532(352). In the game with NM, he needs 1. to test whether Koopmeiners could be a good alternative to De Roon and 2. whether Malen could be a good alternative for Memphis. Weghorst should stay as is. Period.

  13. Well, Mancini for Italy seems to be taking the exact opposite approach to what I suggested for our side :). They have 8 new starters today.. We’ll see how that approach works out for them…

    1. I do not know but historically those radical changes and letting main players rest never been good for Oranje. As we recently switched to 532, we need to keep playing with the same players with minor changes. IMHO.

  14. We should rest Wijnaldum, De Jong, Dumfries, AVP and De Roon. The first four need to run a lot because of this system, Wijnaldum was gassed out near the end of last match. De Roon already has one yellow card. Depay should play to get into his form.

  15. Agree AZ. I doubt that such comprehensive changes would work for us.

    Well if the Euros were won based on the sartorial style of the coaching staff and the passion with which the national anthem is sung, Italy would be the runaway winners!

    1. There are others scenario:
      1. If Third-placed teams
      qualify from groups are A,C,D,F then we will face 3D.

      2. France beat Portugal and Portugal only have 3 points. Its possible there are 4 other 3rd teams with 4 points, then Portugal will go home.

      1. So it seems we are rooting for a tie in Ukraine/Austria and a winner in the Croatia vs. Scotland game (no tie). If that happens, I think we’ll likely face the winner of Croatia vs. Scotland.

        It’ll be A (Switzerland), C (Austria), D (Winner of Croatia vs. Scotland) and one of E/F.

  16. Italy is emptying the bench in the 70th minute against Wales, up a goal and a man. I’m surprised they haven’t brought in the backup keeper yet.

    This Italian team looks more like those I remember. Not heavy in star power, but tactically well disciplined and very effective. They will be a real danger going forward in this tournament. What did Cruyff say: “The Italians can’t beat you, but you can certainly lose to them…”

    1. You guys are all crazy about Gosens. He is another one of those very average players we do not need. I would not want him at Ajax! If truly Gosens is the start of Germany, then we should not have much to fear from them.
      As for the match tomorrow, if De Boer made a final decision about playing the 5-3-2 then he has to continue until the end, which means tomorrow as well. Apparently, the 2 changes a lot of us wanted will happen for the match tomorrow with De Roon and Weghorst replaced (FINALLY!!) by Grav and Malen. I am really hoping they step up because with that team we have a shot. The midfield of Wij, Frenkie and Grav could be one of the best in the world and the duo Memphis-Malen is exactly the modern way of playing football. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

  17. I think some more context for 2008 is important.
    If I remember correctly, Khalid Boulahrouz and his wife lost their baby just before the Russia game. Some players went to the hospital to support. Can’t over emphasize the effect a tragedy like that can have on a team

  18. From Wilson:

    @ Jan

    Leo Beenhakker over Crujff 90,players wanted Crujff.

    appoitment of Hans van Breukelen as the new technical director of the KNVB. I think you covered on this.wasn’t this nepotism or whom you like/want, if wanna call it.

    Hiddink over koeman after 2014.


    FDB appointnent

    Ziyech saga. We have talked on this in detail but at the end of the day it was KNVB fault and off course daddy who was the coach. I think ziyech was at Twente that time and the excuses ” to be patient” was just bullshit.

    The Dutch football and including hierarchy are full of this shit. and like I said they keep hitting the fork in their own foot and I dont think this will ever change.

    The only thing that will change is the new breed of players coming up who might inject more quality in the team and mark the start of a new generation for NT

    As for Blind, I just knew you would bring the 2014 cross up but I had this ready.just like everybody will remember Dennis Bergkmap’s goal vs Argentina in 98 and not FDB precise cross, the same will the case for RVP goal in years to come.

    1. You’re misinterpeting “nepotism”. This means, a coach picks a player because he is family, not on merit.

      Michels picked Beenhakker because he believed it would be better for the team and for Michels (he feared JC eclipsing the 1988 Euros win). Michels and Beenhakker aren’t family. And Beenhakker would normally be a fine choice. He was a top coach back then. So this point is not really supporting your comment.

      Hans v Breukelen. Nothing to do with nepotism. Simply a stupid decision by a board who don’t understand football. Just incompetence.

      Hiddink choice over Koeman, nothing to do with nepotism. Rumour has it that Hiddink used to be a pretty good coach.

      FDB appointment: nothing to do with nepotism.

      Ziyech story is wrong. He didn’t like how he was treated. So he immediately went from passionate about Oranje to passionate about Morocco. Would you treat you career like this? Because of an assistant coach? Who usually is with the team max 4 years?

      Ziyech wasn’t as good then as he is now. The family pressure to have him play for morocco was huge. Any player who would change loyalty because of some petty ego thing isn’t worth having in the team.

      Imagine how he would be at this Euros, if FdB went for a 5-3-2 and Ziyech (like Berghuis) was left out of the team? Would you want this mentality in Oranje??

      But…look at him at Chelsea! He scored the winner in semi finals for the FA Cup, he scored the winner in their Atletico match ( quarter finals) but was left out for the finals. Did he make a problem or kick up a stink? No he didnt. He celebrated with the team.

      So I don’t believe the “ego” story about Ziyech and Van Basten. I think it was used, yes, to explain his decision but it doesn’t make sense to drop your loyalty and dreams for a certain NT just because one guy treated you badly in the past. I call BS.

      More bad nepotism examples :-)?

      1. You missed to to link it what I said earlier , “You can not deny there is nepotism in Dutch football. You have also covered on this. WELL IN MANY WAYS,PLACES AND CIRCUMSTANCES”.

        I also said this, “wasn’t this nepotism OR WHOM YOU LIKE/WANT, IF WANNA CALL IT”

        there is a overlap here, but more importantly its the the outcome of all these decisions thats what im trying to link it to.

      2. Re: Ziyech

        It was ever clear he chose Morocco to simply get back at KNVB for snubbing him. They was never any pressure on him from anyone. He was initially snubbed by Morocco as well.

        His relations with van basten was not good from heereveen days and when he became the assistant to Danny, he knew it was never going to happen for him playing out of twente. He stats was good and he was also playing good but Davy Klaassen was also at that time making waves at Ajax and this was another reason why he was made to wait in line. (Club factor). No suprises here.

        Van basten is a prick, he was a great player but second grade coach but yet demanded respect because of his status as big name during his playing days. Ziyech had openly criticesd him for this. he only started changing his tune on him when ziyech started showing his class at Ajax and made him eat his own words.

        The ego part is also irrational as well. You have to look from a players point of view as well. 1-2 years is a long time in soccer and you cant be just waiting especially when u are player of his calibre and have ambitions. Morocco ended up qualifying for world cup while NT bombed out. He ended up making the right choice and the rest is history.

      3. Re: Ziyech

        It was ever clear he chose Morocco to simply get back at KNVB for snubbing him. They was never any pressure on him from anyone. He was initially snubbed by Morocco as well.

        His relations with van basten was not good from heereveen days and when he became the assistant to Danny, he knew it was never going to happen for him playing out of twente. He stats was good and he was also playing good but Davy Klaassen was also at that time making waves at Ajax and this was another reason why he was made to wait in line. (Club factor). No suprises here.

        Van basten is a pr#€k, he was a great player but second grade coach but yet demanded respect because of his status as big name during his playing days. Ziyech had openly criticesd him for this. he only started changing his tune on him when ziyech started showing his class at Ajax and made him eat his own words.

        The ego part is also irrational as well. You have to look from a players point of view as well. 1-2 years is a long time in soccer and you cant be just waiting especially when u are player of his calibre and have ambitions. Morocco ended up qualifying for world cup while NT bombed out. He ended up making the right choice and the rest is history.

        1. No one is above criticism obviously, but this is too much on Marco van Basten. Maybe he wasn’t the most fantastic coach (particularly at the club level), but his national team tenure was solid, and we played some very nice football at the Euros in 2008. There’s no need to be so disrespectful. As an Ajax fan myself, I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out with Ziyech and Oranje at the senior level, but it’s not as if he’s set the world ablaze with Morocco. Sure, it would be nice to have him up front on this team, but I doubt his presence would put us over the top. Unlike MVB, whose presence in 1988 actually did gave us our first major international trophy.

  19. Regarding Berghuis stifling Dumfries.

    Jan is right. A winger who cuts inside benefits from a wingback who flies to the byline, as it draws one of the defenders away to give them space. If Berghuis receives the ball on the right wing, and attempts to cut inside, it would be the left back (in a 4) or the lcb (in a 3) which steps up to cover him, open space for the Dumfries run. If the Dumfries run comes first, then that same player would need to hold and watch the run, open space for the cut inside. It doesn’t play this way all the time. In a back 3, it would actually be one of the midfielder 4 or 5 that has to cover Dumfries, but sometimes those guys don’t come back.

    Regarding the Nepotism. I think it just seems that way because the Dutch Football Community is much smaller than other top nations, so there will always be overlap between players and coaches. At some point each of our coaches will have worked in the Eredivisie and coached the players that he is then working with in the National team.

    1. you statement is correct but it may not be feasible in all the cases. the more you cut in, the more you are inviting traffic. what you are saying will work with average teams not with teams with dynamic midfielders who will provide cove as well. Robben was another level, Berghuis is not. go and watch the turkey game. its well captured in that game. lets also not forget here what happened to Depay at United.

  20. I’m hearing that we’re only going to make 2 switches, Gravenberch and Malen coming in, which I think is a good move. The team still needs some cohesion, and I think a good 4-0 or 5-0 knackering of Macedonia would be great for the confidence heading into the knockout rounds. I’m hoping Dumfries can get another!

  21. Re Nepotism
    — “this word you keep saying… I do not think it means what you think it means”
    – Inigo Montoya, the Princess Bride

  22. To see what Malen and Memphis can do together would be top on my list of changes. And I really would like to see what either Gravenberch or Koopmeiners could do in the midfield instead of de Roon.

    Or, on a less serious note— maybe Frank can just play Dumfries as a striker and try and run all the goals through him just to screw up the Golden Boot for all the pre-tournament favorites??

  23. Guys, a blog follower has 4 tickets available for Holland’s first knock out game in Budapest, next Sunday. This is the Whatsapp number: +447727127419

  24. @Jeff ..Goosens might be bad but he is not worse as winjdal…He looked better than dumfries,hateboer even annholt..So its okay..
    FDB is a coward,so is Dwight Lodeweges….They have dropped some match winners for them…by playing same 11 they will burnout some key players..They should learn from Mancini…
    its just a myth that we changed players after winning 2 games in 2006 and 2008 and we lost due to changes …thaht thinking its self is negative and naive..Clear cut defensive looser menatilty…
    We played a stunning game vs portugal we were better side,kuyt could not finish while RVN could finish like he did vs Ivory coast at WC2006…
    if Roben doesnt play in knock out ,we will struggle,when u miss RVP you are in real trouble..then Khalid,s sons death…you are in furthur trouble…..what THE HELL HAVE TO DO WITH CAHNGE OF PLAYERS>>>>?//?
    2—Gini wijnlaudm is not likeing 532..he scrifice for team..he is not fan of it…He doesnt like it..
    i think We could easily go 433,with Annholt and dumfries…Though dumfries will eventually nullified..

    1. change back to 433 is counter productivity, the team must learn how to play 532 or 352 correctly. There is nothing wrong with 532, we already saw good results from the past 2 games.

  25. Memphis already looking much more comfortable paired up with Malen.

    We’re getting lots of chances right away. Not sure if it’s the addition of Malen or just North Macedonia…

  26. De Jong and Gravenberch not quite on the same page yet. Same with Frenkie and Malen. But as the group winner, that’s the luxury that we now have though of letting them work these things out in a competitive match…

    And Dumfries with a chance off a corner. He needs to learn from Lewandowski and shove the defender out of the play before the ball comes so the replay doesn’t consider it…

    More opportunities in the box. We need to put one in the net already!

  27. What a recovery run by Dumfries! And now Macedonia hits the post. Dutch defenders are not looking too convincing right now. Better teams would have already punished us several times…

  28. Van Aanholt and Blind seem to be in each other’s way. More play down the left.

    And what a goal coming right down the middle. Nice interplay on the move, and a cool finish! Malen and Memphis!!!!

  29. Wijnaldum and Dumfries combine for a bad giveaway. I don’t know about the midfield balance here. De Jong is too deep, Wijnaldum uninvolved and Gravenberch meandering. I don’t think their roles are clearly defined at this point and there seems to be some confusion. Maybe a de Roon is needed…

    1. It’s a bit of a similar problem to the England midfield. At club level all 3 of our midfielders play as an 8, though Wijnaldum typically plays as the 10 for Holland. Right now we have a midfield 3, but their roles aren’t outlined, and it seems like everyone is trying to play or rotate through the role of the 8.

      England has the same issue where both Phillips and Rice are naturally 6’s, so neither of them has the tendency to step up and play as an 8 and it ends up with them having a double pivot in front of the back line.

  30. Definitely Malen and Memphis duet works better than Memphis-Weghorst, particularly in quick counters. This duet will highly benefit if Malen increases his work rate and come closer to the one of Weghorst. But speed of Malen-Memphis duet is incredibly high.

    1. The Memphis and Malen duo looks pretty devastating when they get going. If that threat forces opponents to play a little deeper to avoid their counters, that gives our midfield less pressure and more room to work, and let’s us control the game better. But we’ve got to be able to demonstrate that we can still score when in possession and control!

  31. I would say midfield should improve a precision of their passing and creativity. Gravenberch has not shown anything yet. He is like Wijndal, very timid and undecisive….

  32. We’ve slowed the pace a little, which is disappointing. I get that Macedonia is bunkered in but we need to play with more pace and rhythm. Just getting bogged down with too many players and too little movement on the left side. We need to show that we can dominate and score in possession as well as in transition.

  33. Memphis now hanging out on the left wing as well. I wonder how many players we can fit in that space? We must have identified a real weakness down that side.

    So many opportunities. If we were sharp, we could have 4 or 5 right now…

    Memphis in vs the keeper. He should have done more with that. Great ball from de Jong!

    We need to put this game away!

    1. They’re still playing for national pride though. They don’t want to be embarassed. And this is Pandev’s last international match. They’ll keep bringing it. We’ve got to improve and this is a good opportunity to develop more rhythm and fluidity in this system. Gravenberch needs to show more or it’s back to the bench for him. I’d keep the backline intact, unless Blind needs a break, try to get the mids organized, and stop overloading ourselves to death on the left

  34. Energy level dropped dramatically leading up to halftime. Conspicuous moments of lack of effort by Memphis and Wijnaldum. Maybe we should sub them out if they’re fading like that. No use risking injury to those two…

  35. Gravenberch definitely add more attacking form then de roon, but it also make lot of holes in the defenses. If we play against Portugal / German (in 16), they already punished us. We know now, why FDB prefer de roon as holding midfielder

  36. The idiots at ESPN say that FDB must be happy with first half performance. The fair score should be 0-1 to NM. Their goal was good with the player on same line with our last defender. In addition there was a clear foul on Pandev before we scored. NM has multiple times come close dangerously, we’re too loose. Disappointing. With all the chances we should have scored 3 at least.

  37. With Berghuis, you get the good and the bad. Extremely bad giveaway at midfield, but he at least hustled back to deal with it. Those types of mistakes can be costly against high level opponents…

    And a brilliant through ball by de Jong that almost creates a fourth…

  38. More subs on the way. As great a dribbler as Memphis is, the longer he holds the ball, the less likely anything positive is to come from it. Gravenberch still looking not quite ready. and Berghuis playing with a little too much confidence.

    Weghorst in for Memphis. And Promes in for Malen. Probably smart moves. Malen has shown us enough. I think we’ve already seen today our starting striker tandem for the remainder of the tournament.

  39. I was wondering who this guy in the stand that the camera keeps panning to was, and it’s Wesley Sneijder. He’s probably triple the size he was in his playing days.

  40. I guess playing some 4-3-3 is good to develop versatility, and prevents future opponents from just preparing for a single system of play. Like AZ said though, I don’t know that we’ll really be tested in this match defensively, so I don’t think we can read too much into this system’s success (if it is successful)…

  41. And another goal for Macedonia called back for offside… Timber with a decent strike, but a little to much fancy play in the last few minutes. The Netherlands can go from 60 – casual much quicker than anyone I’ve ever seen…

  42. Forgive the comparison (which is intended as great praise), but Frenkie de Jong is like a modern day Beckenbauer with these surging runs forward and precision passing from deep!

  43. I loved de Ligt in this match and very sad that Teun did not get a playing time. Congrats with 3 points. The choice Memphis – Malen versus Memphis – Weghorst will depend on who we play against in 1/8.

  44. As it is 3F. All case scenarios after Ukraine bombs out, it will again be 3F except if group F third place doesnt qualify. Then it will be 3E.

  45. As it stands right now, there are 11 possible variations for the third place teams. 3 of them see us playing Group D, 3 of them see us playing Group E, 5 of them see us playing Group F. Will update after the Group B games are done.

  46. To be honest, none of the teams in Group F have looked all that great. Germany’s performance against Portugal is really the only match in which one of the teams has really stood out. Both France and Portugal struggled against Hungary, and Germany actually was in control of most of the game versus France. They just conceded an own goal early on. While they are each obviously talented and big-name sides, I don’t know that any of them is playing that spectacularly right now

  47. Blind was great. Wijnaldum what a leader. Malen agreed looks better choice than Weghorst. But you see how Gravenberch can’t play that role. De Roon should play there. Defense was good but midfield cover was poor today. I think that is mostly due to De Roon being missing.

    I say just keep Malen upfront with Memphis and put back De Roon for the 2nd round.

  48. Was excited for the changes that were made. Malen definitely offers more than Wout in this system and should start in the next round (the fact that he was subbed off definitely hints at this). Gravenberch showed some ability but is not a realistic option to play with Frenkie and Gini. In hindsight it might have made sense to see if Koopmeiners could replace De Roon, but this probably means De Boer is happy with De Roon.

    Finally – please no more Promes this tournament, not sure why he is even in the squad ahead of Bergwijn. Gakpo impressed me more than Berghuis in his short time but I’m guessing Berghuis will be the choice if we need to bring a winger on.

  49. Blind was great, seriously. Has physical weaknesses, we all know, but is so intelligent defensively and offensively. And technically amazing. Just checked his stats. Most passes (102), most touches (116), highest pass accuracy (92.2%) than anyone in the Netherlands.

    Memphis certainly works better with Malen than with Weghorst.

    Gravenberch was a bit messy on the ball, but definitely much more involved than De Roon. No ? De Roon will offer more cover but don’t think Netherlands will manage to control the midfield with him.

    Berghuis also messy. But somehow looks like an important player that just had a few bad touches. I think he was also involved in the 2nd or 3rd goal.

    Gakpo impressive. Will be a big player in the future.

    1. Gravenberch obviously offers more than De Roon but we need someone that will sit deep when Frenkie carries the ball or takes up advanced positions. You don’t wanna take Gini out of the box and we haven’t seen Koopmeiners so unfortunately it will be De Roon again next game.

      Agree on Blind! his passes into the feet of Memphis and Frenkie were so good.

    2. DeRoon provide more stability in the defence rather than in offence. It will depend who we will face in the 16. If we face 3F (Portugal, german, france), then defence should be first choice.

  50. Denmark replaces Finland with 3 points and + 1 GD. Portgual is also 3 points and +1 GD. Both their GF and GD is same as well.

    worst case scenario from the remaining groups. England vs Czech draw. Scotland vs Croatia draw. Group D will be out .

    Gropu F. Hungry beat Germany. Portgual beat France. Hungry will qualify with 4 points.

    Ukraine is 3 points with -1 and Group E even with upsets with Poland defeating Sweden and Slovakia beating Spain will results in all three teams qualifying.

    in this cases Cand D will fall out and it will be 3F. vs Hungary

  51. Right now there are 7 possible combinations. 3 of them we play 3D, 3 of them we play 3F, 1 of them we play 3E.

    If Scotland wins tomorrow, they’ll knock out Finland, which means there will be only 4 remaining possibilities, 2 of them 3D, 2 of them 3F.

    1. Hope we face 3D / 3E in 16.
      Next quarter final will be in Amsterdam against winner of Wales vs Denmark. We definitely can win against one of them.

        1. Baku is my native town and it is very hot and humid this time of the year. Almost 100% humidity. I do not remember whether the Olympic stadium has temperature control though.

    2. If either of croatia or Scotland win. they will qualify 4 points. like I said Ukarine in group C is likely to miss out with 3 points and -1 GD. with this It will come down to one of either group 3E or 3F and 3C who will miss out. Just curious where are u getting 7 combinations from.

  52. Guys you have to be a bit more realistic.

    Barring Portugal losing 3-0 against France, they’re going to qualify. So I’m assuming they’re not going to lose by this margin, and 3F will qualify.
    The only other scenario Netherlands don’t face 3F is that somehow 3E doesn’t qualify.
    This entails Sweden winning or drawing against Poland, and Spain beating Slovakia by more 2 goals or more. Possible, but I am not holding my breath. Mind you 3D won’t be a walk in the park. Could be Croatia, Scotland, Czech, or even England. Serious opponents all. Especially England, when they know they’re facing a strong opponent.

    But I bet it will unfortunately be 3F.
    So… Let’s all be ready to see Netherlands face off against Ronaldo, shall we ?
    I for one don’t mind seeing the Netherlands lose against anyone, except, Portugal and Ronaldo.
    So Im looking forward to an amazing nightmare. Should take the week off after Sunday from now, LOL.

  53. My bad. Derekvdberg91 is correct. I never accounted for group B games which just got completed. Finland and not Ukarine is likely to miss out with 3 points and -2 GF. In this case , yes Ramy you are correct as well for 3E not to qualify. then only NT will avoid 3F.

    1. the winner of Round of 16 between NT and who ever they meet will have a easy route to the SF, They will meet the winner of wales and Denmark.

  54. Worst case scenario :
    1. Spain beats Slovakia 1-0
    2a. Portugal beats France 1-0
    2b. Germany obviously beats Hungary in Allianz Arena
    = Netherlands plays France on Sunday in Budapest.
    Yeeey !

  55. Right, we can basically assume Group F is going through.

    So if there is a result between Scotland and Croatia tomorrow, then we need Group E’s third to be higher than Ukraine.

    1. No. I’m assuming you’re referring to how do we not face 3F. For this we need 3G to get a win tonight (Croatia or Scotland) and 3E to be lower than 3C (Ukraine).
      For this to happen, Sweden needs to beat or draw against Poland. Spain need to beat Slovakia or Slovakia needs to beat Spain.

  56. Honestly, I am lost in all the various scenarios and permutations of the next opponent for the team.
    I am hoping we ain’t getting the 3rd place from Group F. Any of France, Portugal or Germany might be too much for the team to handle. 🙏 🙏 🤞.

    1. There are only 9 possibilities left for the Third-placed teams to
      qualify from groups: ABCD, ABCE, ABCF, ACDE, ACDF, ACEF, ADEF.
      And Netherlands will face 3F almost half of those possibilities… 🙁

  57. This is the first time Netherlands go to Euro round 16 since 2008 (13 years) … And this time the Netherlands has shown good promising, they continue to improve during the group stage, but we need more game time before facing heavy hitter team.

    I want to enjoy it as long as it lasts especially quarter final only facing either wales or denmark.

  58. Tonight its goin to be cracker..Scots vs croatia we are going to see a result ,as who ever wins gets in 16..England vs Czec would be draw or a 1-0 result for england….So D is assured for me…
    Then Group E..
    Sweden has stunning GK and no way Poland goin to beat them,its another draw or sweden beats poland..
    Spain has to beat Slovakia,i think spain will…that would give ateast -1 GD….Thats it ukraine will get the nod as ukraine has scored more goals than Slovakia..
    Group B third place finland has 3 points and -2 GD..so they are lamost out….Gruop A third place assured…os it would be A,C ,D,F and we face 3D…
    Portugal Vs france is draw and Germany beats hungary and takes no 1 spot….
    having said all these,i would say…IF YOU WANT TO WIN EURO YOU BETTER PREPARED TO BEAT ANYONE,ITS looser mentality to think about avoiding a better team..
    We have beaten [portugal 3-0,we have beaten germany 3-0 we have beaten 2-0 france..) not with Berghuis,Weghorst,De roon(not complately)..winjdal…Bring uqlaity players in
    Move Blind to midefied…play ake or play Blind LB and ake LCB..I STILL THINK our wing backs suc22ks..
    play your best eleven..
    We need ake at start and Blind should move up…

    1. Promes not even in the current squad right now. (although I consider Dumfries good during the group stage).

      I was hoping FDB give opportunity to Teun koopmeiners facing North Macedonia last night as defensive midfielder … 🙁

  59. The easiest permutation where we don’t play 3F is if A C D F qualify. We just need Croatia or Scotland to take 3 points today, and tomorrow Spain beat Slovakia and Sweden beat or draw Poland. Not such a big deal. In such scenario we play 3D which will probably be either Croatia or Scotland. To be honest, I don’t know whether this is a better deal than Portugal, but definitely better than France or Germany.

  60. Atalanta, Monaco, and possibly Arsenal are targeting Teun. Barcelona was monitoring Wijndal but doubt it will go anywhere after his mediocre performance in Euro-2020.

    1. @AZ-forever..winjdal lacks quality not just lack of performance..He cannot cross,He is not super fast like modern wing backs..Just like dumfries who thrives on his athletism..Both will not be signed by Top clubs in 4 major leagues..We miss Jetro williams,sinkgraven and karsdorp at wings..We miss bot man and bazoer too..Bazoer would have hit in 532..

  61. Here’s hoping we play Portugal in the next round. There are no easy teams. We are due to beat Portugal and this may be the year to exorcise our ghosts. In addition we will play in a full 70000 stadium in Budapest which hates Portugal and Ronaldo. anything can happen.
    Croatia is worse than Portugal for us. Scotland sounds easy but their passion and fury is scary. Denmark is riding high on adrenaline and may end up winning the whole thing like in 92.
    This can be a crazy tournament.

  62. This will likely (and justifiably) seem absurd, but I’m so glad to see a team (Czech Republic) wearing contrasting jerseys and shorts. I’m so tired of the whole monochromatic look, like England is wearing today. For Oranje, I’d prefer orange-white-orange, or even orange-black-orange, over the all orange kit… I’m still not sure how I felt about the away black kit yesterday, but it least had enough orange to make it interesting.

  63. Only 4 possibilities left:
    1. ABCD. we face 3D (Czech) —-no 3F – Least Possibility
    2. ACDE. we face 3D (Czech) — no 3F – Least Possibility
    3. ACDF. we face 3D (Czech) — no 3E – CURRENT POSITION
    4. ADEF. we face 3F (Portugal) — no 3C – Most Possibility … 🙁

    In order to face Czech in Round 16, we need Ranking of third-placed teams not changing, it means hope Spain Loss, Poland Draw/Loss… 🙁

    Maybe we should just gave Ukraine a draw, then we almostt guarantee face Czech … 🙂

    1. @Marvellin.. Who said nonsense about ranking… What kind of ranking??.. Do you think we will see a result poland vs sweden??. No way poland beats sweden… Poland gets a draw maximum and go home… Then spain beats Slovakia.. So Slovakia gets eliminated… its ACDF..

      1. Rangking = Ranking of third-placed teams.

        Right now Ukraine is the lowest

        If spain beats Slovakia… which one is gping home: Ukraine or Slovakia ?

        I just afraid that Spain will draw…. AGAIN 🙁
        then Spain become 3E… Ukraine go home. we face Portugal

        Basically, we do not want 3rd team from E

  64. Currently,
    Ukraine has 3pts with -1 Goal Difference

    If Spain beat Slovakia by 2 goals, Slovakia will have 3pts with a -2 Goal Difference

    So Ukraine Go through, or if Slovakia win, Spain end up on 2pts.

    The important result is for Poland not to win.

    But bring on France, Germany or Portugal – if we want to win, do it with a BANG!

  65. If Netherlands have to face 3F. There is another scenario – Portugal draw/win against France. German loss to Hungaria (they loss to Korean in 2018) — then German will go home & Hungary become 3F.

    One can only hope 😁

  66. I have a feeling we will end up playing against France. Will see.
    Germany can’t lose in Munich against Hungary but one can only hope. Maybe germans will be rattled by UEFA decision to not allow them light the stadium in rainbow colors. Even if that happens are we sure we want to play Hungary in Budapest in front of 70000 screaming maniacs?

  67. ukraine is on 3 points -1 GD. Slovakia is on 3 points 0 GD. if spain wins over Slovakia, their GD will decrease as well. if spain wins by 1-0 then Slovakia GD will be -1 as well equal with Ukraine. Ukraine has better GF. Any thing above 1-0. slovakia will be out provided Poland doesn’t cause an upset vs Sweden.

    A draw will in the favour of spain with 3 points and 0 GD.

  68. AZ confirms talks with Atalanta over Koopmeiners (15MM Euros). However, Max Huibert confirmed that he is not planning to hire any replacements as he has Fredrik Midtsjø, Jordy Clasie and Tijjani Reijnders. Jordy Clasie will play on Teun’s position but I do not really think this is an equivalent to Teun in terms of leadership and skills.

    1. this is the sad part about AZ Alkmaar. Boadu and stengs needs to be playing at Europa level to continue better with their development. the team needs more quality to have better chances in both eredivsisie or should they qualify for europa. looks like another dull season for them.

      whats up with FDB and not giving Koopmeniners opportunity to play.

  69. Ricardo Moniz has ban appointed the head coach for Hamburg and will take over as incharge, returning to the club after 11 years. if I remember correctly he was also at the helm at AS Trenčín when they beat Feyenoord to qualify for europa league. Hamburg has also signed Ludviot Reis permanently from Barcelona.

  70. Updated on 23 June 21
    Teams that can still finish in third place in their groups.

    Group A: complete
    Switzerland: 4 points, -1 goal difference, 4 goals scored, 1 win *(through)*

    Group B: complete
    Finland: 3, -2, 1, 1

    Group C: complete
    Ukraine: 3, -1, 4, 1

    Group D: complete
    Czech Republic: 4, +1, 3, 1 *(through)*

    Group E
    (last games Wednesday, 18:00 CET)
    Sweden (4, +1, 1, 1), Slovakia (3, 0, 2, 1), Spain (2, 0, 1, 0), Poland (1, -1, 2, 0)

    Group F
    (last games Wednesday, 21:00 CET)
    France (4, +1, 2, 1), Portugal (3, +1, 5, 1), Germany (3, +1, 4, 1), Hungary (1, -3, 1, 0)

    Which round of 16 tie will each third-place qualifier advance to?
    Saturday 26 June
    Wales vs Denmark (18:00, Amsterdam)
    Italy vs Austria (21:00, London)

    Sunday 27 June
    Netherlands vs 3D/E/F (18:00, Budapest)
    Belgium vs 3A/D/E/F (21:00, Seville)

    Monday 28 June
    Croatia vs 2E (18:00, Copenhagen)
    1F vs 3A/B/C (21:00, Bucharest)

    Tuesday 29 June
    England vs 2F (18:00, London)
    1E vs 3A/B/C/D (21:00, Glasgow)

  71. Sadly, this Euros will likely be the end of an era for a number of nations:

    For Italy, Chiellini and Bonucci are almost certainly playing in their final Euros, and possibly Insigne and Immobile as well.

    For Wales, both Bale and Ramsey might not be back in 2024.

    Belgium will almost certainly be without Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Witsel and Mertens, and Eden Hazard may no longer be a serious contributor.

    For Croatia, who already look pretty darn old, this has to be it for Perisic and Modric.

    Poland and Slovakia will almost certainly be without Lewandowski and Hamsik in 2024.

    Spain’s glory days will be a distant memory with the final remnants, Busquets and Jordi Alba, nearing the end.

    France’s next Euros will almost certainly not feature Lloris, Benzema and Giroud, and maybe not Kante or Griezmann either.

    And Germany’s next generation will have moved on from Neuer, Hummels, Kroos, Gundogan and Muller.

    Finally, despite whatever he’s doing to remain fit, I can’t envision Ronaldo playing in another Euros, and Pepe, Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho will all be gone as well.

    For us, Stekelenberg would be in his 40s, and Blind will probably be retired as well. And for Wijnaldum and de Roon, this is probably their last best shot as starters.

    It’s just a little sad to see so many generations of players likely playing in their final Euros, but on the plus side, there certainly are a lot of rising stars to carry the next generation, including quite a few wearing orange 🙂

  72. Well, except Italy, not a single team looks like a real contender for the title. I am wondering whether Italians will be able to carry on as their play is so physically demanding. I do not believe anybody takes seriously Oranje and perhaps that is good – less pressure on us.

  73. Spanish media and Spanish players are jumping on Rafel van der vaart as he has apparently ridiculed TIKi^&&FU@#344k…sidepass back pass game with zero goals and shots on goal..the boring tiki taka…ultra boring..i support vaart in this case…Vaart is right…So i can see spain with better venom against slovakia…that would eliminate slovakia…
    Sweden eliminated italy and holland in 2018 WCQ …then wats the chance of Poland???..so its ACDF..
    Portugal – France =0-0
    Germany -hungary===4-2
    Spain —slovakia==3-0
    Sweden -poland=====1-1
    thats my prediction..

    1. Poland is actually is a good team.if not for that red card vs Slovakia, they result could have gone their way. They has a good game vs spain as well. even if poland wins , sweden will still qualify

      1. I agree. Poland are actually good enough to beat Sweden, and tonight I think they might. Sweden is already qualified, they won’t play with the same motivation as Poland.
        But let’s see. hopefully we get the Czechs on Sunday. Spain will definitely do the necessary against Slovakia.

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