Prelim Squad announced

We are going to focus on the Prelim Squad!!

Yesterday evening LVG announced his prelim squad and poor little me in Oz is probably the last one to get it :-). What a breaking news story for the blog. Anyway…

Biggest surprise: no Gregory van der Wiel.

Biggest disappointments for Van Ginkel, Afellay, Vermeer and Pieters.

Van der Wiel is struggling with an injury and Paul Verhaegh takes his place. Van Ginkel and Afellay are in the “haven’t played a single minute” category and Vermeer – who is LVG’s fave goalie – could not be justified on the basis of one good cup semi finals.

So it’s Feyenoord being the so-called Royal Supplier with seven players, for now, incl the young Kongolo. PSV is second with four (Zoet and Wijnaldum are still in it) and champions Ajax brings three players to the mix.

The total prelim squad:
Goalies: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Michel Vorm (Swansea City) en Jeroen Zoet (PSV).
Defenders: Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse), Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (PSV), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Joël Veltman (Ajax), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg) en Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord).
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Leroy Fer (Norwich City), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Tonny Trindade de Vilhena (Feyenoord), Rafael van der Vaart (HSV) en Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV).
Forwards: Jean-Paul Boëtius (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (PSV), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04),  Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahçe), Jeremain Lens (Dinamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Quincy Promes (FC Twente),  Arjen Robben (Bayern München).

His next deadline is June 2. On June 5, the bus to Brazil is leaving….

Only 28 days to go and Louis van Gaal managed to get his mug on a little vine video viral on the next. “Zatsastoepit kwestiun!” he said to the BBC. This was not about Oranje, but about his – potentially – future employer Man United.

And we saw another little clash in the media. LVG had had a heart to heart with his defenders telling them he’d go for another defensive option (5-3-2) during practice. Joel Veltman decided to mention this to the media. And they turned it into a the sinking of the Titanic! No more Dutch Total Football????

Poor Veltman had to face the wrath of Louis in a private conversation and has learned his lesson: do not spill beans in the media!

As if playing 5-3-2 is a big deal…

We still have 30 days to go and it’s heating up nicely.

But, we are now in the zone where Louis van Gaal does his best work. In the run up to a big event. This is where he reigns supreme. This is where he hones his craft. This is where Louis shines. Chest out. Firm look. Ass in. Chin up. Loud booming voice on the grounds and in the press conference. ZIS IS A ZTUPIT KWESTIUN!!!

But, I am going to contradict myself now it seems… I think now is the time to stop ridiculing the man. Now it is time to stop watching him hoping for another stupid excessive burst of arrogance. AD column writer Sjoerd Mossou says it well.

This is the time to celebrate the fact that we have this colourful coach at the reigns before politically correct and somewhat boring and conservative Hiddink comes in.

I have always said I am not a big fan of Louis. Sure, he is a great coach but he also has a self destruct addiction.

But where we are now (30 days to go!!!), we see Louis in his greatness. This is where he starts to mould his young talents. And Louis knows we don’t have a lot of world beaters. We are not Brazil, Germany, Spain or Italy. Louis knows this.

He is a horrific diplomat, but he is a world class coach. A phenomenon, which keeps developing and re-inventing himself every day. I say, let’s enjoy him while he lasts. We have entered the most fascinating period EVER in Louis’ career.

And it only takes a couple of weeks. And it will be over with a bang. So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. It will be on your telly every day now. And he will be annoying, cocky, arrogant, hard to follow and amusing. He will speak to you in his best English (the English tabloids are in on it!) and you will hear him speak about himself in the third person.

oranje LVG 2

In his column, Mossou suggests we celebrate this time. Instead of criticising him. Because whether we will be glorious or whether we crash like a weatherballoon, it will be a ride to enjoy. Unique. And we might miss Louis, once Guus has started….

And I have to say, of all the things Louis does and has done, making a wonderful team from a group of young and gifted players is his forte.

He did this with Ajax. He did lay the foundation for Frank and Pep’s Barca. He was successful with AZ and he laid the foundation for Jupp and Pep in Munich.

So, in this same line of thinking, Guus will win the Euro 2016 and Danny the World Cup 2018 thanks to grumpy ol’ Louis.

Anyway, not a lot of news yet. Or it must be that Turkish champ Dirk Kuyt has joined the camp ( Sneijder still has one important game to play with Gala to secure second spot and direct access to the CL).

Today is the last day for LVG and his 30 man prelim selection. The deadline is approaching. There will be no time for him to explain himself before he announces it as he wants to talk to all players individually first. He was being himself again on the pitch. Yelling, booming, being in Veltman’s ear (“More direct Joel, be more dominant”) and giving Martins Indi a pat on the back. It is expected that 10 out of the 20 players can stay. The rest can go on a summers holiday or joins Young Oranje.  The international playing internationals will join the camp in Portugal. There is more and more agreement in the followers’ camp that Sneijder will make the cut as he has been improving a lot in Turkey and he is an ideal player to have in a 5-3-2 system, behind the two strikers. Virgil van Dijk won’t make it as he would have been called up already if Van Gaal would actually consider him.

Memphis Depay is having a lot of fun at the camps. He enjoys working with the detail oriented Van Gaal. “I am a perfectionist and so is Mr Van Gaal. I learn a lot and enjoy it when he has an eye on me. There is a lot to improve, I am sure. It doesn’t bother me as I am pretty strong in the mental department.” Asked if the 5-3-2 change would be detrimental for his chances, the PSV trickster says: “Why? I can be one of the two forwards and I can be a midfielder. I am not worried.”

janmaat oranje wc

Another player who is happy under Van Gaal is Darryl Janmaat. The Feyenoord full back’s eyes lit up when the 5-3-2 change was debated. “But not because of the weather,” he laughs while Oranje is again working hard on a wet pitch. “I’m guessing Brazil will be different. But I’m not complaining. I’m with Oranje, and we’re kicking a ball around. How cool…” The popular player will see his family soon for a last extended time before he boards the plane to Portugal and then Brazil. Everyone seems to be convinced of that. “Well, thanks…but I am not yet convinced, hahaha. I need to show it first. I have some stiff competition.” About the 5-3-2 system: “I played it with success under Koeman. I’m the kind of player who revels in that system. I am strong, fit and I love to go up and down the flank and defend and attack. It’s my strength I believe, so bring it on.”



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  1. Who are we going to miss against Ecuador on 17 May in terms of not having finished up with their clubs yet (out of the list of most important players for our team)?

    N. de Jong

    Does that about sum it up (not mentioning the lesser used players)?

  2. So I’d imagine the XI will look something like this:

    Fer——–van der Vaart——–de Jong
    van Persie——–Robben

  3. Friends:

    I really have no clue what this Dutch team can accomplish at the World Cup. Van Gaal knows how to prepare a team for big games and I am sure he will be very eager to show the World how good coach he is but with so many youngsters, change of formations and things like that this tournament can result in a good surprise for many of us or a big failure.

    Let´s enjoy the ride like Jan says. The key for Oranje will be eagerness and that the young guys can perform at their very best without making stupid errors. I think it is very positive that Holland is starting the World Cup preparations very early and very smart from Van Gaal to select 20 players of the Eredivisie to see who is in good shape, who has the mental strenght to go to such an important tournament and start building a team with some young lads guided by more experienced players who will be in Brazil like Robben, Van Persie, Kuyt, Vlaar and very likely, Sneijder.

    I think the work Van Gaal has done will have its fruits in 2016 and 2018, we will see a renovated and stronger Oranje but for this World Cup anything can happen.

    At least we don´t have to worry about Mathijsen and Heitinga hahaha!!!!

    1. Lens, Depay, Robben, Wijnaldum…..kuyt inclusion will simply mean leaving a utility player behind. all the positions he plays is well covered unless he goes as third striker behind Hunter and RVP but certainty he is not a utility player.

    1. Strong, good at tackle and good in the air. Has a strong header. Can not pass the ball well. Looks very much like an English defender. I think he will develop well in Championship League after 1 year. Under the Radar but has potential.

  4. Recent Dutch player rumours.
    Brouwers renewed his contract with Mönchengladbach for one year.
    Schalke04 Roma after De Vrij, Florentia and Liverpool have followed him for some time as well.
    Birmingham interested in Tom Beugelsdijk (a tough underrated CB)
    Lazio Newcastle Malaga after Afellay.

  5. I watched Chile against Germany. Chile is going to be a very tough opponent for all teams in the group. They are the only nation playing real total football today. There are definitely ways to beat them. And I think this is the lineup that can do the job.
    GK: Cillissen must go for accurate long pass to find the targets in the midfield. Chile press really hard in opponent’s half and even Germany commits multiple turnovers in the game. Slow build up would not be the answer.
    Back line:
    Janmaat Rekik Veltman Viergever
    ————Nigel De Jong——–
    Full back needs to keep attacking. Chile’s fullback loves going forward and are really dangerous when doing it. We have to use the space behind them and stop them from moving forward.
    CB needs to be fast, Chile’s player are super agile, No De Vrij Vlaar please. NDJ should be always in front of them to protect the back line. Chile is good at taking the ball at midfield and start fast counter attack. NDJ will be the best to stop them.
    Plus Veltman’s passing ability and dribbling ability will be important for NT. When Veltman comes forward NDJ can move back.
    Van Ginkel Leroy Fer
    No VDV and Sneijder for this game, they do not have the lungs to run with the Chileans. All three midfielders I put in have good stamina, stronger body, relatively fast, good in the air and can win the ball for us. All these attributes are important for beating Chile.
    However, all three players’ form are questionable, as all of them came back from injury not so long ago which is very sad.
    Fer would be a huge threat moving forward into the box just like what he did against Columbia. And will be a constant strike for Corners.
    Wijnaldum can move to the wing and interchange with Robben.
    Van Ginkel needs to mark Vidal all the time, even though Vidal plays at Midfield, he is super dangerous moving forward. He was unmarked multiple times against Germany.
    We also should not underestimate their headers even though they are short, they can jump really high.
    Robben behind Van Persie
    Both need to help in defense to win the ball in the midfield. Robben Janmaat Viergever needs to provide good crosses for Van Persie to finish in the air. Once more, Chileans are not that good in the air. Average height of the backline is about 173cm. I am surprised how Germany forgot to play the German way by using headers to win the game. I don’t think they even tried a cross from the wing in the game.
    Van Gaal should be familiar with Chile’s playing style. It was the kind of football he wanted to play. He should know how to break it down.

    1. no clasie and klassen in midfield?

      2 players you mention possibly 3 might not even make it to brazil (ginkel, vergiever, and wijnaldum)

    2. “Fer would be a huge threat moving forward into the box just like what he did against Columbia. And will be a constant strike for Corners.”

      And who will take the corners in your formation ? Robben can take them but Van der Vaart is the real man for that.

      “Full back needs to keep attacking”

      That s why you put Viergever while Van Aanholt and Emanuelson are available ? Viergever is the worst option for LB talking about attack.

      “CB needs to be fast”

      Veltman is not fast at all and has slow reactions, perfect victim for Chile agile strikers, remember what Soriano did to him.

      Why not Kongolo next to Rekik ? Looks better for me.

      1. 1. watch Van Aanholt’s recent game. He was absolutely horrible. It all starts from his own goal which is right in front of Van Gaal’s eyes. If he has the same form as first half of the season I will definitely put him as the starter.
        In my opinion Willems will work out here as well but he is injured.
        2. Emanuelson was horrible for AC Millan, very poor defending and very poor concertration.
        3. Viergever is the only one currently in form. He played many games this year and was very consistent. He can defend and go forward just like Janmaat.
        4. Veltman is faster than Vlaar and De Vrij maybe Indi. If you put Kongolo here nobody can build up from behind. Rekik does not have a good long pass. Veltman can bring the ball forward when needed and can give a long pass as well.

      2. VDV’s free kick might be a little better than Robben but he won’t bring much to the team when playing against Chile. Robben and Van Persie will be good enough to take free kicks.

  6. Fun post, Jan! We’re underdogs, with a pit bull of a coach.

    You wrote it up very well indeed: Let’s enjoy the ride. It’ll be over before we know it…

  7. Hey Jan, great article like always. Why wouldn’t Van Gaal consider Virgil Van Djik? Every body is talking about the man, I think this guy deserve a chance to at least prove him self. I don’t know why is Van Gaal beaching about the Scottish league because guys like Arthur Nurman and Van Bronkos, they all use to play in that league.

  8. Jean, I think LVG and Danny Blind are aware of Virgil’s strengths and weaknesses from his Groningen period. Van Dijk played at Groningen for years on end and I’m sure Danny knows him well (Blind has extensive knowledge of every talent in the country). And they must have decided years ago already that Van Dijk is not top quality. Otherwise Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord would have poached him away. And they didn’t.

    He could well be a late blossomer like Stam, who was ignored until he was 23 years old and playing for Willem II (after Zwolle and Cambuur).

    But I suppose LVG and Blind have looked at Van Dijk and compared him to Veltman/De Vrij/BMI/Kongolo/Vlaar/Denswil/Rekik/Bruma and decided he simply is not as good. Apparently, the physical strength of Van Dijk doesn’t weigh up to Veltman’s and co tactical skills….

  9. The comparison to Gio and Numan is not so relevant. These lads had proven themselves already. Both were considered huge talents in their youth and both played rep soccer for Holland by the time they went to Scotland.

  10. Jan I don’t disagree with you although I have not seen him play. But if we are talking about talent, Ron Vlaar isn’t talent. Are you kidding me? In our glorious days, Vlaar wouldn’t even be on the bench. I don’t know why this guy is even on the team, that is how disappointed Dutch football has been. To me Ron Vlaar is like a robot, no technical ability, he move very slow ect, another man that shouldn’t be on the team is Kuyt. Why Kuyt is still on the team? Why Kuyt played the world cup final while Elia and Van Derek Vaart was on the beach. I don’t understand. Any way. ..

    1. In the days of Stam, Rijkaard, De Boer, Reiziger, Bogarde you might be right. But we have suffered from not-so-great-center-back-itis for a while. Heitinga, Mathijsen, Ooijer…. He played the semi finals or quarter finals didn’t he in 2010?

      Vlaar came through as a tremendous talent back in the day at AZ. He performed so well as a youngster and sadly lost some agility due to his injury. But he has leadership qualities and is a rock.

      I am not a great fan but he is the only real option in the category 23 – 29 year old central defenders, isn’t he?

  11. I agree our fullbacks should be attacked mined (fasle wingers) as what joke has mentioned especially on left which will the overall weak area for NT. this will add options for our wingers to cut inside or over lap. Janmaat and Robben could work but then again Robben would simply be one way traffic and on the left we jus simply dont have any option.
    Buttner definitely meets the criteria but his positioning is has led him down on many occasion and you dont wanna do that at the WC.

    I am pretty much sure spain gonna come prepared with Robben as their main threat and as we saw what happened to him vs Real Madrid it will come down how crafty our midfield is in order to break their last line of defense.

    1. That’s why I put Robben behind RVP basically like Messi’s position. He can be anywhere on the field and the wing will be for the Wingbacks.

    2. We have a young team – that’s why I think we need Depay to be deployed upfront alongside Robben and RvP. We all know Robben will be closely marked, which should open the door for the new talent

  12. the biggest disadvantage of playing with 5-3-2-formation is the more space it offers in the midfield and given most of our midfielders are either unfit or have jus returned from injuries…..

    Van Ginkle

    it obvious that in 5-3-2 the midfield formation will like open cut diamond with De Jong at the forming the vertex

    once the midfield is breached it will be end of story. It will come down to the defense, how long they can sustain the pressure.

  13. Hopefully Van Gaal knows what he is doing. For me it is not the best option to change your whole tactics one month before the WC. Feyenoord is not a benchmark for the NT since Feyenoord did not win anything.

    I am sure Van Gaal is weighing up his options but at the end we will play a 4-3-3 with something like this…

    1 Cilessen
    2 Janmaat
    3 Veltman
    4 Vlaar
    5 Martins Indi
    6 de Jong
    7 Depay
    8 Blind
    9 Van Persie
    10 Sneijder
    11 Robben

    In my opinion these players are the most in form guys right now and if the WC starts today they should start. Watch out for Kongolo, he can push for a starting place, great talent and speed.

    Finally, against Ecuador, Ghana and Wales it is KEY that LVG defines his best eleven and try to gel some automatisms because there is no time for crazy experiments now. Holland has never played a 5-3-2 system and I am sure we can be more dangerous playing the 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1, 4-2-3-1…defence and goalie have to be defined ASAP.

    1. Well I think you’ve got the names vGaal is going to pick almost right (sadly, cause I think everyone here knows how I feel about Krul) except for the latest information that the formation is called a 3-4-3 (or 5-2-3 which looks more like a 3-4-1-2 on offence), which may mean that Depay or Lens is traded out for Sneijder in his usual nr.10 spot, Robben and vPersie as the 2 strikers in front of him (Robben a bit to the right, vPersie a bit to the left, but free roaming roles). You still keep your 2 def.midfielders, 2 wingbacks and 3 CB’s. Koeman showing it on the whiteboard really helped for me. One of the 2 def.midfielders will most likely be de Jong. Don’t know if Blind will be picked as the other (I prefer putting Klaassen there as a replacement for Strootman, just swap Nigel to the left side so Klaassen is closer to his usual spot and tasks at Ajax, de Jong can do both sides well and I don’t see the particular need for another leftfooter if you’ve got Kongolo and BMI near that area as well, with Klaassen you also have a better connection with the 3 attackers I suspect and he can score long distance goals better than Blind or Clasie, not to mention his ability to remind me of Fabreguas at Arsenal running into the penalty box from deep midfield and scoring, saw that too this season for Klaassen, Fabreguas usually had 3 attackers in front of him as well, or one line of attackers at least).

      Janmaat, Veltman, Vlaar, BMI and Kongolo might be the back 5 (with Janmaat and Kongolo doing most of the running on the sides).

      I’d like to find a way/formation to fit in Sneijder, vPersie, Hunter AND Robben though, cause those are the guys who seem to be on fire at the moment. I think the only viable way in that particular 3-4-3 (3-4-1-2) formation is a def.midfield position so I can use vPersie at nr.10. Otherwise I’d have to bench one of those 4, which is a tough choice (I know vGaal is just going to bench Hunter, but really he’s probably the only one out of that 4 that actually scored in a national team tournament final, i.e. I see him as the one who’s supposed to bring us that real Cup, not the other one he did before for youth teams, ah well, perhaps he can do it as a substitute like he scored in 2010, that substitution would probably have to come at the expense of Sneijder then, or perhaps one of 5 defenders if you’re willing to take a bit more risk).

      1. So considering who we’re going to miss vs Ecuador and using the new 3-4-3 formation (which looks weird with vPersie in the middle but just remember he’s a bit further back on the nr.10 spot), I’ll try a line-up:


        Perhaps you can try vGinkel instead of Fer if Fer is not showing up much in training in a positive sense, up to vGaal to see who’s better in the training.

        1. vGaal will probably use Lens instead of Hunter (playing without a nr.10) and Cillessen instead of Krul though. I’m more upset about the latter choice.

          If you’re going to play without a nr.10 I’d still pick Depay at the moment, Lens hasn’t shown much lately I think (at least no goals).

        2. or we might get something really horrible and see Clasie and Blind paired up in def.midfield. Then I’m afraid to watch the match vs. Ecuador. No defence and no goalthreat from those 2 there lately (in big matches, not vs midtable or lower eredivisie teams).

          1. Famous last words?

            we might get something really horrible and see Clasie and Blind paired up in def.midfield. Then I’m afraid to watch the match vs. Ecuador. No defence and no goalthreat from those 2 there lately.

            It is thanks to Clasie and van Persie that we didn’t lose that game.

            Fantastic pass by Clasie to RVP which enabled Van Persie to make that superb goal.
            Even RVP called the pass “better than the goal”.

  14. 30 man squad from Van Gaal:

    Keepers: Cillessen, Vorm, Krul en Zoet.

    Verdedigers: Janmaat, Van der Wiel, Verhaegh, Veltman, De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Rekik, Mathijsen, Blind en Kongolo.

    Middenvelders: Clasie, N. De Jong, De Guzman, Klaassen, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Van der Vaart en Pröpper.

    Aanvallers: Robben, Boëtius, Van Persie, Huntelaar, Kuyt, Lens en Depay.


    1. I will cut Zoet, Verhaegh/ Wiel (not sure), Mathijsen, Propper, Klassen/De Guzman (either of two), Boetius, and Kuyt, he is too old already!!

  15. Spain squad announced… It’s a very very strong looking side as expected

    Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United)

    Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)

    Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Xavi (Barcelona), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Pedro (Barcelona), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), David Silva (Manchester City), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

    Forwards: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Fernando Llorente (Juvetus)

      1. I wonder how would a Feyenoord defence + Ajax midfield do vs Athletic Bilbao or Sevilla?

        I think it’s best for me not to think too long about that. The other clubs in that list are completely out of the question, I picked the 2 smallest clubs, only 2 players in the whole 30-man preliminary squad, probably won’t even make it.

      1. Why do you say that?

        Don’t get me wrong, there is not a team in the world I wish to see fail more than Spain, but I’m curious as to your reasoning.

  16. Van Gaal is currently doing the press conference but will NOT announce the players now. He will wait until tonight. He wants more time to explain his choices internally to the lads.

    “I have has a wonderful week! The level was very high and I am actually really pleased. Some players of Young Oranje have really surprised me positively so it will be a hard call. I need more time for this so I will announce later today”.

    About the 5-3-2 system: “I will not say more. I have already mentioned when Strootman got injured that this might affect our midfield set up. You will have to pay attention this Saturday when we play Ecuador.”

    About Man United: ” I will not share anything on that topic. I only mentioned some things when we started the camp and those BBC people showed up. I didn’t want to send them home without a word. So I said a couple of things and people turned that into a whole thing. That was not my doing.”

    Back to the system: ” We want to play a system that 1) fits the players and 2) supports the Dutch style of playing. I have discussed two spots at length with my staff: the Strootman replacement and the left back position. Those are the key spots for me to sort out. The thing is: I can think about a system for 30 days but in the end, the players will have to be able to execute it. And we will see what it will be.”

    1. Yes, so to add to this (correct me if I am wrong), van Gaal was tempted to play this system because of 3 things:

      1) Strootman got injured and being the only player bringing both balance to the team (which allowed Sneijder or vdV to play) and also adding with attacking input with runs into the attacking third and even 18 yard box.
      2) Not having a good left back. He even spoke about a hole in the youth development, but added that this has happened in the past also.
      3) Wanting to play with at least 3 creative players. This system allows van Gaal to play with a Sneijder, vdV or another player with much creativity who might be able to carry less defensive duties. The other 2 creative players are Robben and RvP. The both backs together should be counted as 1. So that means 4 men creativity in total in his view. So this system change must also be seen as a way to accommodate our good old 10 players.

      So there were 3 arguments for this system change, not 1 or 2.

      In the past, especially in his time at Barca, he has battled often against this system. This system was often used in a very defensive way. The difference is that van Gaal wants to play offensively with it. If we look at this interview with BMI:

      Then it is probably 3-5-2 the way van Gaal will play it and it is not defensive perse. Also, it is not final we will play this system. If it is not carried out in an acceptable way, then van Gaal can switch again.


  17. When asked what he will do on his day off, this coming Friday: “I don’t know. You have to ask Man United.”

    Asked about the starting line up for Brazil he offered: “Two months ago I said I had three names, incl Strootman. Now I have 5 names, excl Strootman. So things are progressing.”

    I believe he is talking about RVP, Robben, Nigel de Jong, Janmaat and Cillesen.

  18. Strootman’s absence is the cause of Van Gaal’s rethinking of the system: “We only have one player of his type and level. France has a couple, Spain has a couple, we only have one. With all due respect, his alternatives are either less experienced or lack fitness. This prompted me to look for alternative systems.”

  19. Guys:

    In case Van Gaal really implements the 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 depending of how you want to look at it we can see some changes…before I mentioned Van Gaal will use these players in a 4-3-3:

    1 Cilessen
    2 Janmaat
    3 Veltman
    4 Vlaar
    5 Martins Indi
    6 de Jong
    7 Depay
    8 Blind
    9 Van Persie
    10 Sneijder
    11 Robben

    If we play 3-5-2 then it would something like this (almost the same formation except Depay-Lens)…

    ————————–Van Persie———————-
    Emmanuelson (Kongolo)——————————Janmaat
    ——————Blind———-de Jong (Clasie)———
    ——–Martins Indi—–Vlaar————–Veltman——-

    At first I thought a 3-5-2 was a bad idea but assesing our options I think this formation can help us.

    We need more stability at the back and although Vlaar is kind of slow he is good in positioning and reading the opponents intentions and his experience will be very valuable like Ooijer in 2006 and 2010 (against Brazil). Cillessen is a good goalie who can play good with his feet, something Krul can´t. And supporting the defence will be the new and fresh guns in Veltman and Martins Indi who can play the ball from the back very well, especially Veltman. With this back line we can be strongers and not get exposed easily like against France.

    Having two defensive midfielders does not meen we want to defend if they play the ball fast…that is why Nigel de Jong will need a partner with more technique to play the ball fast and forward,someone like Blind or Clasie will be a great choice there. Van Ginkel, Fer or others can be in the bench but the most in form guys are Blind, Clasie and de Jong as controllers…

    Then we have two full backs that will run like horses. Janmaat is almost certain in the right back and although Kongolo has made a good impression and can surprise many, I´d go for an experienced guy who plays for a big club and still has speed in the left, someone like Emmanuelson…even Depay can play there if Van Gaal coaches him how to defend well because in attack he will be a nightmare for every defender.

    And then we will position Sneijder in a free role but still he will have to contribute defending when we are attacked. And Robben moving forward from left to right and penetrating from behing making combinations with Van Persie who will be the lone striker.

    I thint it doesn´t look bad at all but we have to wait and see what fits the players better and how they are executing it in trainings and in the prep games. I don´t have many expectations so I will enjoy it.

  20. I love coming to this blog and watching people continously drop the names of the likes of Emmanuelson, Afellay and others. I do hope people stop posting lineups. It started with the rotten apple Tiju, and apparently it caught on.

    The 5-3-2 that LvG is talking about looks to be aiming at 2 objectives. 1) Crowding out the midfield which disrupts Spain’s passing game and 2) Quick counter-attack football. My biggest concern with this formation is that we would require quick players on top… VDV, RvP, Sneijder and Kuyt although all are technically brilliant, but they are all slow.

    I also do hope Hunter gets a chance in games where his finishing qualities are required.

  21. Chile announced their 30 man squad. Arturo Vidal included, so is Alexis Sanchez.

    Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica), Paulo Garces (O’Higgins).

    Defenders: Gary Medel (Cardiff City), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest), Marcos Gonzalez (Union Espanola), Enzo Andia (Universidad Catolica), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Mauricio Isla (Juventus).

    Midfielders: Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras), Felipe Gutierrez (Twente), Rodrigo Millar (Atlas), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Pablo Hernandez (O’Higgins), Matias Fernandez (Fiorentina), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional), Marcelo Diaz (Basel), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo).

    Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Gustavo Canales (Union Espanola), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Fabian Orellana (Celta).

  22. Belgium squad:

    Squad in full:

    Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (Hoffenheim), Silvio Proto (Anderlecht)

    Defenders: Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)

    Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Nacer Chadli (Tottenham), Steven Defour (Porto), Moussa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Axel Witsel (Zenit),

    Forwards: Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea), Divock Origi (Lille)

    On standby: Michy Batshuayi (Standard Liege), Guillaume Gillet (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Zulte Waregem), Radja Nainggolan (Roma), Sebastien Pocognoli (Hannover), Jelle Van Damme (Standard Liege)

  23. Good points SamNY. But if does use the 5-3-2 as a platform for crowding the MF and looking for the quick counter, I’d say that he would look for Sneijder to be the man to make the quick, key pass to start the counter, and then Robben is not slow, I think RVP actually moves quite fast when he is coming from deep, then you have Kongolo and Janmatt on the wings—both fast, and if, as I believe, Wijnaldum is the one who plays next to NDJ, he also has the speed to come forward on the counter.

    And, yes, Spain’s squad looks awfully strong. But that is on paper, let us see whether their present talents match their names. The core group has played a lot of games at club and country level the last 6 years, and sometimes teams get old fast.

  24. Still no announcement from Van Gaal as yet? Im very excited to see the provisional squad. I keep interupting my work to check the check every 30 mins or so.

    I do hope someone post it here as soon as it is announced.

    I am hoping that Buttner, Van Dijk, Van Ginkel and Afellay all make it into the provisional squad and given a chance to play against Equador.

    Buttner is the best LB for the 5-3-2 system. At least attacking wise, I will admit that there is serious question marks about his defending though.

    Anyways, I am very happy and looking forward to the “big ting”

  25. Buttner will not be selected, Van Gaal has never considered him. Van Dijk can be a surprise although is not very likely to happen.

    Van Ginkel might be included if he showed he is in form in last´s week practices and Afellay can be a good asset but he lacks rythm. Van Ginkel is the one who has more chances of these four players.

    I am sure we will see some surprises though. If we write about line ups is because we love the tactical aspect of the game…in every football program and magazine football analysts do that, some exagerate and some do not have a clue but still it is a fair exercise.

    Hup Holland!!!

  26. Am I the only one who feels that LVG is stalling on his squad announcement because he hasn’t a f&*%king clue who he really wants?

    1. Yeah exactly.
      He is logged on the net right on Jan’s blog and reading the comments in order to get any clues on who to call.
      Shame that Tiju is not allowed in. vDijk would have been called.

    2. Dutch must be the only NT that, with 30 days to go, hasn’t a clue who half the starters will be! I can’t imagine that is a good thing–don’t teams need a LITTLE chemistry!!

      1. I just hark back to 1974 when MIchels had the same problem. Sjaak Swart, Keizer, Moulijn, Van Duyvenbode, Israel, Laseroms, Hulshoff, Drost and Mansveld all not available.

        Michels didnt know who his central defenders were until 1 week before the tournament. And who the hell was Rensenbrink??

        Remember how did work out.

        And in 2014: most players know each other. Most players have worked in different systems. Most players are tactically well developed.

        Leave it to Louis. I think Spain – for instance – might have the problem we had in 2012. The same old same old players, the same old tactics….

  27. Nope…he will eliminate many of the youngsters, that´s for sure but it is key he can give a proper feedback to them.

    These players are young and some will make it but many will watch the WC at home so it is a job of a good coach to talk to each one of them so they know why they were not selected, know their strenghts and opportunity areas and learning that from a strict manager like Van Gaal can be very helpful for the inmediate future. Of course Van Gaal has many doubts but he will solve the puzzle.

    BY THE WAY, IF YOU FOLLOW IN TWITTER @iammoallim or Mohamed Moallin, AN EXPERT ON DUTCH FOOTBALL HE JUST POSTED A VIDEO FROM 200 WHEN WE BEAT SPAIN 1-2 AT MALLORCA USING ONE SYSTEM WE ARE DEBATING HERE…3-5-2…DEJA VU??? Hasselbaink and Frank de Boer scored for Oranje and in the bench it was Louis Van Gaal.

    1. Louis used it in the first half and it was a disaster, although it stayed at nil all.
      In the second half he promptly changed it to 4-4-2 moving one of the wing backs as a holding MF

    2. arguiably, the 2000 team was the best team in the world. It’s true, we didn’t have Kluivert and Bergkamp in the team that beat spain, but we Oranje had a very formidable bench.. Mackaay and Jimmy Floyd were not 2nd rank players.

  28. With LvG you can bet there will be a few surprises included when he reveals the squad later today.

    The LB position still hasn’t been confirmed. I’m guessing he’ll go with Kongolo, but he’s young and inexperienced. It’s practically an identical situation to Jetro Willems being called up to EC12 two years ago.

    He should give Erik Pieters a shot. We’ve already seen what BMI can do at LB, why not go with Pieters?

    Hunter’s had a great season, but it’s hard to imagine where he’ll fit into this system. At least van Marwijk tried to use both…LvG hasn’t made one attempt to use them together.

  29. Wow…Nasri is left out of the France squad.

    Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Bastia)

    Defenders: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Lucas Digne (PSG), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

    Midfield: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

    Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Loic Remy (Newcastle).

    Reserve: Remy Cabella (Montpellier), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Loic Perrin (Saint-Etienne), Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Benoit Tremoulinas (Saint-Etienne).

  30. I’m heartened by LvG’s flexibility in response to the Strootman injury. I’ve thought that his 433 has at times looked too rigid, particularly when deploying wingers like Schaken and Ola John with apparent strict orders to hug the sidelines and left backs either incapable of bombing up the wing Janmaat-style or else blocked by the static wingers in front of them. Oranje has looked best during the qualifying campaign when the forwards played with fluidity, with Robben, Lens, and van Persie flowing sideline-to-sideline, up and back, and the 532 we’ve been discussing feels like our best shot at producing that kind of flow at the WC. I see Depay fitting nicely into that kind of system as well, Hunter not as much. An on-form Sneijder should have ample opportunity to thread passes into the seams that that kind of flow creates, with Janmaat and Kongolo filling the spaces up the wings.

    Things that give me hope:
    – the interplay between Robben and Janmaat when those two were in the zone during qualifying. They played at times with real verve that opened up the right side. And Janmaat seems to be a guy Robben is happy to pass to; these days I only see Robben playing the ballhog when he doesn’t trust the guys available for him to link up with

    – The flexibility and pragmatism signaled by LvG’s comments

    – NdJ’s command and maturity during the qualifiers in which he actually played

    Things that give me pause:
    – Uncertainties at central defence, keeper, and left back. Bad combination — if we had even one “rock” in that mix (e.g., experienced, vocal CB or keeper who could help the rest of the young crew keep their composure in the heat of battle) I’d be fine with the youngsters. NdJ in CDM holds the most promise, and I just don’t seem him as a “rah, rah” kind of guy who can rally the troops

    – Static #10. If only Maher or one of the other young guys had been able to claim that spot! Neither Sneijder nor VdV have the wheels to flow optimally with Robben/vP/etc.

    – Who is going to link defence with offense? That was a huge problem in EC2012, and while I don’t see LvG allowing the same massive gap between the two, I don’t see a deep lying playmaker or CB who can accelerate the game and spring our boys from D to O with enough speed.

    That said, I’m getting excited. There’s nothing like the world cup. My work will suffer, my wife will think I’ve gone insane, and I can’t wait.

  31. Goalkeepers: Krul, Cillessen, Vorm, Zoet
    Defenders: Verhaegh, Van Aanholt, Rekik, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Kongolo, Blind, Veltman, Vlaar, Janmaat
    Midfielders: Sneijder, Fer, Nigel de Jong, Clasie, De Guzman, Van der Vaart, Vilhena, Wijnaldum
    Attackers: Depay, Boetius, Lens, Van Persie, Kuyt, Huntelaar, Promes, Robben

    30-man provisional squad

    1. No surprise except Van Aanholt called and Van der Wiel missing. No Klaassen neither.

      Zoet, De Vrij, Verhaegh, Clasie, Vilhena, Boetius and Promes should leave in my opinion.

      That gives us 5 center backs : Veltman, Rekik, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Kongolo

      3 full backs : Janmaat, Blind, Van Aanholt + Kongolo who can also play there

      6 midfielders : Nigel De Jong, Fer, De Guzman, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Wijnaldum

      4 wingers : Robben, Lens, Depay, Kuyt + Wijnaldum who can also play there

      2 strikers : Van Persie, Huntelaar

      Not bad at all in my opinion

      1. i agree except for leaving clasie.. he is a started, what do you mean drop clasie? i would drop wijnaldum.. what has he done lately?

          1. ” he is a started”

            Do you mean starter ? If Clasie is a starter Holland is fucked up.

            Wijnaldum should be on the bench, he can come as midfielder or winger.

  32. I’m fine with VdW not making it. He made a number of errors in the Colombia game, which resulted in Veltman having to cover for him multiple times. Same thing with France.

    Verhaegh is a suitable replacement. He looked good in his debut vs. Portugal. Besides, van der Wiel’s link-up with Robben was awful at EC12, so it’s not that bad of an omission.

    Zoet, De Vrij, van Aanholt, Vilhenna, Boetius, and Promes have no business being on that list. Wijnaldum should be taken off as well due to lack of fitness/playing time.

  33. Its great to see PVA back in the squad. De Vrij sucks, . Please can some one tell where will kuyt play. He inclusion is just unjustifiable.he will jus be occupying an extra seat. I mean if a player like Ashely cole has left out then Kuyt even doesn’t come near to him regard less of where they play.

    Van Ginkle omission is also crucial. For me he is the best Utility in the midfield. Guzman/Vilhena???????????????????
    Vaart and Sneidjer fitnesss???????????????????

  34. I don t understand why Van Gaal wants to change the system though, Van Ginkel is able to provide the same work than Strootman, De Guzman or Fer are different but can fit the 4-3-3.

    Why to play with 3 center backs when you are Holland ?

    1. Maybe the “leak” about 5-3-2 is simply strategic misdirection from LvG, making our opponents think that we’ll play defensive. Then he’ll pull a surprise at the tournament. Maybe.

  35. My cut: Zoet, PVA, Vilhena, Guzman, Kuyt, Promes, Boetius.
    Wijnaldum can play in the wings so: Depay Wijnaldum, Lens, Robben its enought.
    Dont like PVA, he seems like the Van der Wiel LB, Vilhena, boetius promes too youngers, Guzman too light, Kuyt too old.
    Maybe we could let boetius stay and let Indi go!

  36. my best 4-3-3 With current squad

    Robben – RVP – Lens

    Sneidjer – Clasie – De Jong

    Kongolo – Vlaar – Veltman – Janmaat


    Classie in a advance role. Like silva

  37. Zoet, Vilhena, Promes, van Aanholt, Boetius, Clasie, Rekik out. But as with van der Wiel, LVG may pull out other surprises, so I’d be sure only about exclusion of Zoet. Maybe players can show something extra during trainings and friendly matches, and thus make LVG include them in final selection

  38. Why was Boetius even included in the 30 ??? He was terrible in the one game he played.

    No Erik Peieters who shined in the EPL, no Klassen who was highly rated and an Arsenal target??

    Who is everyone’s MISSING 7 players who SHOULD have been at least in the provisional squad.. mine are:

    IN -> pieters, van dijk, klassen, VDW, van Ginkel, Narsingh
    OUT-> Van Aanholt, Boetius, Promes, Zoet, Vilhena, Wijnaldum, VDV

    By the way Anton/VanX, maybe the new defense strategy IS the surprise from LVG… It could work.. We have many no-names in our squad compared to Belgium, Spain, etc. Two of our big-names (VDW+MVG.. PSG & Chelsea) are off the list.

    Anyway guys name the 7 you would add and the 7 would remove!

    1. One bad game does not define a player. Janmaat was horrible in his debut sub out in half time and look at him now. Probably moving to Napoli or Arsenal next season.

  39. Check this out guys, esp. the photo.
    The midfield that day was Blind, Fer, Wijnaldum.
    Could it be again 7 years on?
    By the way 5 of that squad are in the current prelim.

  40. I have no problem with the selection. Van Der Weil hasn’t been a top performer. Verhaegh was really good against Portugal and contained Ronaldo pretty well.

    Cillessen makes me very nervous… I don’t think he’s very commanding in his box as is Krul. I really think Krul should be #1 goalie.

    The list to be cut for me:
    1. Zoet 2. De Vrij 3. Tony Vilhena 4. Boetius 5. Promes 6. Van Aanholt 7. Dirk Kuyt

  41. Italy 30

    Squad in full:

    Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain), Antonio Mirante (Parma)

    Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter)

    Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Romulo (Verona), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

    Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Mattia Destro (Roma), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina).

  42. Prtgual squad

    Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon)

    Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Rolando (Inter)

    Midfielders: Andre Gomes (Benfica), Joao Mario (Vitoria), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)

    Attackers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Nani (Manchester United), Rafa (Braga), Quaresma (Porto), Varela (Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg).

  43. The not so wonderful seven, will be:
    Vorm, v Aanholt, Wijnaldum (I will be sad about this), Vilhena (also about this), Huntelaar(mosty about this), Promes, Boetius (and about this)

    but this is life for you.
    Only 23 can go to Brazil and as Louis said only five are certain(vPersie, Robben, vdVaart, Kuyt, Sneijder).

    See you in June!!!!!!!

    1. There is no way huntelaar would be dropped, if anything happened to rvp we would be dead in the water with no real replacement , someone of lvg’s experience and genius would not think twice before picking him

  44. Guys:

    Let´s not talk about our cuts…the 30 players selected will have some games, trainings and time to convince Van Gaal…for example, if Fer or Wijnaldum that recently recovered from injuries are not in top form and don´t show their potential in the next days they will be axed but if they show their value for sure they will be in Brazil.

    Van Ginkel is a huge talent but had an awful year…was not his fault, he got a big injury but they did not play any single important game all season and doesn´t have competitive rythm…it is ridiculous to think he will perform against the likes of Spain and Chile…next tournament he might have a shot because the lad has talent. And Van der Wiel is an arrogant bastard thay played without passion at the Euros and although he had a very good season at PSG when he played against Colombia and France he did not show anything…Verhaegh played much better when he had his chance against Portugal and Janmaat claimed that spot brilliantly.

    Let´s see how the team performs against Ecuador and Ghana…I really liked the list.

    1. I think no ones cares about Van der Wiel here. He disappointed us enough in the past.

      Van Ginkel is really appreciated on this blog, and it s normal, we all liked him during the young euro last summer. De Guzman and Fer are also good though, so not a big problem.

      1. Man I wish I could like this post. I honestly could care less about VDW

        And we all like Van ginkel but with him coming back from his injury and his lack of minutes it’s crazy to think he would perform well against the likes of Spain and chile.

      2. van der Wiel can’t say he didn’t get a chance. LvG gave him two opportunities, but he didn’t show any signs of progression from EC12.

        I was actually excited to see him play after hearing good things about him with PSG, but he still hasn’t fixed that glaring hole in his game of flying forward and not tracking back.

  45. I meant ….he got a big injury but ___HE___ did not play any single important game all season and doesn´t have competitive rythm…I am excited guys, sorry for the mistake hahahaha.

  46. Fer inclusion in the NT has come at a time when Norwich has been relegated . this will a perfect opportunity for him to showcase his talents at the grand stage and attract interest from top clubs

  47. The selection so far is not bad. But we never know what Van Gaal is able to do and who he is able to remove in the final one.

    There are too many center backs and wingers, he should remove from there, the midfield is ok for me.

  48. those who think we should put Robben as striker. I dont think so that a good idea given that he is a players who likes ball on his feet rather than running after the ball. there will be alot of contact if he plays as striker which doesnt suit him and will be vulnerable to injuries.

  49. Players that will miss the Ecuador game. Robben Lens Van Der Vaart Sneijder Nigel De Jong
    All of them will come to the base next Monday. And Van Gaal will have the full squad ready on that day which is very good.
    I am expecting us to play 5-3-2 in the next game.
    And I think this will be the starting 11:
    ———-Van Persie———————

  50. ———-Krul—————
    —-Fer—-Wijnaldum—-de Guzman—

    This is what I’m hoping for.

  51. Why 3 center backs when you have Nigel ? It s really not ambitious

    Even without Nigel a 4 3 3 with Fer is more than enough to play against Ecuador.

  52. It seems like the Strootman injury pushes everyone here to think that we need 3 center backs.

    3-4-3 or 3-5-2 can be interesting, but whatever with 5 defenders is awful.

  53. before people wanna say silly stuff about vlaar like ” He iz a turtul defendur hurhruhruhru”

    i don’t think speed matters too much for defenders it is more positional ability,strength aggression etc that has a greater effect on the opponent. Its part of the reason centre backs are at their best from 24-30 rather than 21-27

    please watch this vine

    PS i know tiju is gone but no more illiteracy :)))))

      1. Hey goldstone, just saw your post in the last thread.. I will be watching the games at home in Miami and then I am off to Brazil to see Holland-Chile and possibly the first game in Round 2.. can’t wait!!!

        Anyone else in Miami or Brazil for the WC??

    1. Here is a good article about Ron Vlaar ( I expect him to be the leader of a young defense. He may not have the speed like the rest of the defense but I expect him to position well and perhaps the last line of defense?
      On another thought, there are only 8 returned players from 2010 squad in this 2014 WC provisional 30 man squad: RVP, Robben, Hunter, Kuyt, Sneijder, VDV, Nigel De Jong, Vorm.
      As Jan said, LVG lines it up nicely for Guus. We should praise him for this and perhaps he has many big surprises for us in Brazil.

      1. nice article on vlaar hien, thx for sharing.

        at the same token, pieters was a rock in defense for stoke yet he wasn’t considered… strange, no?

  54. Most at risk players in my eyes:

    Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven)
    Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem)
    Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord)
    Leroy Fer (Norwich)
    Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce)
    Quincy Promes (Twente)
    Karim Rekik (PSV)

    Also a decent chance Clasie, Blind or Boetius gets cut instead of one of those – possibly Fer.

    Seems a bit odd that Promes even got in the 30 tbh, though I guess needed someone to fill in if guys like Robben and Lens get injured.

    Not to be included of the ones available I’m most disappointed with are Pieters and Klaassen, and just generally that van Ginkel, Afellay, Strootman and Willems have been prevented from playing at what should have been massive tournaments for each of them (should all have been starters here) through injury.

    This squad will really struggle to get out of the group (compare it with Spain’s and it really is tragic). Big transition period for Oranje and glad Louis’s picking some youngsters (though not really much choice). In such a transition phase I don’t think there’s any place for guys like Kuyt and Vlaar tbh – but I can see why Van Gaal isn’t willing to go completely with youth. Will be a massive test of LVG’s mettle whether this Oranje team can overcome Chile in South America. Massive.

    Likely starting 11 against Spain (if LVG really does go with the rumoured 3-5-2 formation he’s been trialing):

    GK: Cillessen
    CB: De Vrij
    CB: Vlaar/Veltman
    CB: Martins-Indi
    RWB: Janmaat
    LWB: Kongolo
    DMF: De Jong
    CMF: de Guzman
    AMF: Sneijder
    RWF: Robben
    LWF: Lens
    CF: Van Persie

    If Van Gaal actually goes with a back 3 of Vlaar, De Vrij and Martins-Indi then expect them to get rinsed for pace worse than a back 4 of Per Mertersackers. Personally hope he gives kids like Rekik, de Vrij, Veltman, Vilhena, Clasie, Wijnaldum and Boetius the minutes they need in this tournament to be a foundation for the next 4. Hard being in LVG’s shoes to do that though, given what a failure his last shot at managing Oranje was.

    1. What is Willem’s injury? I too thought that he and Afellay and Strootman would all be future NT stalwarts if not stars–and none are here!

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