Predictions and Ukraine analysis

My friends, it’s been 7 years but we’re back at the top level. Sadly, my web developer and myself have not been able to reach the knock-out stages of the Website update League :-(. We wanted to present you with a cool Football Pool for the Euros, with real prizes to boot, this last week but the code simply doesn’t want to do what we want…

We tried until just now, but it is too hard. Our apologies! No Football Pool this time around…

So, we will lead this post with my predictions.

And I predict an Oranje win, of course. I have to!

But yes, I do see France, Belgium, Spain are ahead of us. And England! Probably Italy too. And one can’t rule out Germany, ever. Nor can you rule out Portugal.

So we are probably 8th in the top 8, but I can see us win. Traditionally, the World Cup title holders perform badly after a win (Spain being the exception to the rule). So France is out. We’ll play Germany in the Round of 16. I don’t care who else is left standing but we’ll beat them all. We do well against stronger teams, and we’ll pounce on the counter.

We’ll beat England in the finals, while Belgium and Spain play for the 3rd spot.

I will focus my attention on the Ukraine game now and will come back to address the criticism by some Oranje fans here ;-).

Ukraine has had an eventful past few years, with a complete overhaul as their main story. The Shakhtar Donetsk core of the team replaced by the Dinamo Kiev core. Coach Shevchenko was forced to refresh his team. Before the 2020 summer, they weren’t beten for 18 months. After the Corona restart, they imploded and lost six out of eight games.

Spain beat them 4-0. France was more ruthless: 7-1. They conceded 22 goals in 8 games. Shevchenko went the same route as De Boer, implementing a 5-3-2 and it wasn’t a full blown success. This time they kept France at 1-1  but that was also the result vs Finland. When they started their practice games for this tournament, they shelved the 5-3-2. And got the exact same result playing Bahrein: 1-1.

It seems the abandoned the 5-3-2 and will be playing a form of 4-3-3.

In this system, Atalanta midfielder Malinovskiy and Man City left back Zinchenko are key, in midfield. In the 5-3-2 system, the coach can’t play these next to each other. Dribble king Yarmolenko is also lost in the 5-3-2 so it seems unlikely they’ll be starting like that against us.

Defensively, Ukraine plays a 4-1-4-1, which is clearly the hand of assistant coach Mauro Tassoti, the former team mate of Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard at AC Milan. The former world class defender has learned his lessons from magician Arrigo Sacchi: always protect the centre.

They don’t play the high press game, like Kiev used to do. They don’t mind sitting and press with the full backs.

For us, the options are behind their defence line. Their lines play compact so there will be space to run into. This would beg for the use of Donyell Malen. The Ukraine defenders are not too comfortable in spaces and having to deal with speed.

We need to be very careful when we seem to be dominant, for instance with dead balls or corner kicks. Turkey scored twice from a Dutch corner, basically, on the counter and Ukraine seems to want to do this too, as they recently demonstrated against Cyprus. Other than that, they’re not a counter team anymore. The most likely forwards are Marlos and Yarmolenko, two players who want to get the ball to feet.

This is Ukraine breaking vs Cyprus

And Turkey on a break vs us…

With the Zinchenko and Malinovskiy on the pitch, Ukraine tends to want to play a pass and move game, not unlike the Dutch.

Based on this, using the 5-3-2 against this 4-3-3 seems ridiculous and unnecessary. Anyway, the cliche opinion that Ukraine is a counter team is obsolete. They do defend compact, zonal, and they like to build up from the back. Our chances is with a quick ball over the top. If there is no pressure on the ball in midfield, we should be able to penetrate and create chances.

I say: 3-0 for Oranje.

I hope Frank will play 4-3-3 in this line up

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  1. Not this time Oranje. But 2022 world cup Netherlands has a chance defenitely with some more players coming in to the team. Already, my pick is England. Then France, Germany and Italy.

    1. Italy look so good. And without their best player – definitely one to watch. You can tell they’re one of the few countries in this tournament with a good manager.

  2. I have no predictions as to who will win. Its been such a long strange year. With the pandemic disrupting their routines and with having to play without fans, thus forcing them to look inside themselves for energy and motivation, the long season can’t not have taken a heavy toll on players. Some players and teams will have more energy, some will come out their camps more ready to go than others. But which ones, I wouldn’t even try to guess. And recent performances don’t give give any clues: Putting aside what happened to the NT in Turkey—The Ukraine tied France in France, Greece tied Spain in Spain, Latvia forced a draw (3-3, no less) in Istanbul, North Macedonia beat Germany in Germany.

    All I can say is what everyone else knows. France has the deepest pool of players, Belgium has DeBruyne (among others), the old line that Italy is a threat in every tournament it enters is true, Germany is Germany, Portugal is always a tough out.

    But I’ll say this, my belief is that the NT has the chance (and, okay, I’ll say it, will) to have deep run. The old saw has to be true, here: their best players have to be their best players in the tournament. The CB’s have to be solid; Blind wherever he plays has to make a difference with his offensive skills, Frenkie De Jong has to be strong in the mf; Memphis has to stay in form. And, as is typical when a team does well in a tournament, there has to be a breakout performance from someone—Gravenberch, Malen, Weghorst, Timber? The other thing I think that needs to happen is that they need a top drawer performance in one of the early games to feed off; confidence and belief is an amazing thing.

    A few months ago, I was wondering what was the point of playing the Euros after such a long season, and right in the middle of the WC qualifying…now I can’t wait.

    1. The Italian midfield is simply too good. Those triangle passes in the middle did a lot of damage and again this was a feature when they beat NT as well. The pressure Turkey were sustaining,sooner or later they would have been breached.

      I dont think you can compare NT to Italy here.

  3. Guys anyone else getting this allow request where you have to put your email and context for submission. Im getting this in my PC when I post a comment. Something to with stop spammers.

  4. some benefit of doubt for FDB,QF at most. looking at the Italy and Turkey game, if the situation is same for Ukraine where they continue sustaining pressure after pressure then It can be concluded early what will be the outcome.if the game is tight, im going for a draw 1-1 which again am basing on from the ongoing trend.

    Going forward things need to change and the KNVB should stop with its mediocrity and above all at same stage they will have to look out of the box. FDB contracts has been extended up till 2022 and whether he will remain at the helm after the euros is a big question mark.

    the U21 euros also gave us a sneak peek of what’s to come in the future. it looks good but alot will also depend on transfers, transitions, individual development and off course the coach himself. the draw back for NT has not been the production of young talents but in their development and transition. you can take the Ajax dutch players for example except for frenkie and De ligt who were top notch. their development coming up the youth ranks, to Jong Ajax and in to the main squad if they make it is quiet exceptional but with time and when they move abroad , their transition sprirals downwards or end up falling out of contention. (VDBeek).

    the forcast for the future looks the same and has to be attributed to the competitive level of eredivisie compared to other big leagues. exception here are those who are playing abroad and moving forward are likely to reinforce the better or build up depth.

    Danjuma – Bournemouth/?????
    Brobbery -RB Leipziq
    Lang – Club Brugge
    Karsdorp -Roma
    Kluivert – Roma/Rb Leiziq
    Sinkgraven – Leverkusen
    Frimpong – Leverkusen
    Bograde – Hoffenhiem
    El Ghazi – Aston Villa
    Bakker – PSG
    Botman – lille
    sandler – city
    Kadigolu – Fenerbahce

    you look at this list and imagine how on earth a formidable team cannot for forged from this contingent, throw in there those in the current NT and upcoming eredivisie players. frenkie, De ligt,depay,van dijk, Ake,malen,Gakpo,Boadu, stengs,

    off course some will be lost but talent wise if you give this players to a tactical coach like Bielsa or conte, they will be able to forge a formidable team . not a short term project but with rotation, competition and when they get to know most of the players over a roll out period.

    I have very high expectation for 24-26 and can see NT winning but the build up needs to start after the euros and through a good continuity of players as mentioned and above all with a good coach.

  5. Italy looked sharp. Such good movement in the offensive area, Spinnazolla and insigne were a tough combo on the left, and the mf—Barella and Jorgino kept it all moving.

    @Wilson, agree somebody ought to be able to do something with that group. Still looking for that gifted no, 10 type. I think in the past you have offered high hopes for Simons.

    Re: The allow request. Not getting that, but the format is very different and look of the site is very different starting today.

    1. The whole of soccer fraternity is waiting for simons to break through on the big stage but im not sure if he made the right decsion switching to PSG or simply his timing was of given the arrival of koeman who injected la Messa stars like pedri, Ruiq,Mingueza,fati into the main team.

      His carrer could have kicked started under koeman and looking at things from PSG point of pespective I cant see him making any progress until maybe when he is 21 and also with neymar and mbappe around.

      He is still 18 and his contract is up for renewal.he certainly has no other choice but to extend it but at the same time he should start thinking of going out on loan and start clocking some regular minutes. He should have been in the same boat as other 18s by now, Gio Reyna(Dortmund),Musiala(Bayern),Fati,Pedri(Barcelona), Bukayo Sako (Arsenal), and which he clearly is not. Note here, all these guys also have broken into and are representing their national teams as well and for Simons this is simply shows he is lagging behind and needs to start catching up in them. He certainly is talented he canont be wasting his time on the bench instead of playing competitively given his talents and like others whom I have mentioned are doing. Other wise he will end up like those wonder kids who were hyped of high expectation but couldnt fulfil it. Hopefully Bosz will wanna bring him to Lyon on loan.

      Apart from him, Ihattaren is liottering around in the outskirts and the upcoming season will be crucial one for him and again given his high expectation which has hit cross roads at PSV.


      They are packed with technical and gifted midfielders. verrati, pellegrini and sensi are yet to play with Atalanta’s raising star pessina as well.

  6. Watched italy Vs Turkey ..Catanachio italy has tured to 433 and we are going back to 532…
    As a dutch fan it was sad day for me…Turkey is not at all top team in europe and italy played them off the park..i dont think ita;y was good as they had there own finishing failures and issues…But Turkey was too bad,they humg own defense..lativa got them 3-3..better team out played themmm..
    While @4-2 loss i am fully convinced its FDB and tim krul….This is excatly done by Stekelenberg at WCQ 2018 VS france…
    i think a humiliating loss is waiting us..But i am sure when we play Gakpo,Timber,Gravenberch,koopmeiners instead of Winjdal,dumbfry,De roon we might reach football utopia….However i feel we will betryed by our GKs at regular time…Both Krul ans steke are excellent at conceding easy goals and we they WILL MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE OUT OF ANY CHAMPIONSHIP..
    I wish Euro happned in last year with koeman at helm…

  7. The turks defensive game shattered by constant pressure from wings. apart from the spectacular play by midfield. The wingers put pressure and at some point turks were going to make a mistake and that self goal came and after there was no looking back for Italy.

  8. I would love to see the team reaching the semis at least, but the realist in me simply tells that it is a tall order, even getting out of the group. The team performance has been underwhelming since FDB took charge, and it is impossible to see the team playing well all the sudden. FDB just hasn’t gotten things right, both in terms of team selection and team performance.
    I feel for de Jong who I feel could have been better off in a better team.
    The positive vibes which are published and reported ain’t going to carry the team far, it ultimately takes some level of performance in our play which truth be told, I am not seeing.

    Still, no matter what, I will always support the team. Hopefully I am make to eat my words and proved wrong. 🤞

  9. I was having lots of trouble trying to post yesterday but seems to be working now. This Turkey team that got hammered by Italy without creating any chance to score in 90 mins drilled 4 goals past NT. Good indicator of how far we have fallen. Getting out of the group will be a big success. Being in a big tournament is meaningless if you don’t show up and with that psycho on the bench we are screwed. Do you know that FDB is the worst coach of the euros by quite a distance? Terrible record as club coach and nothing to show for in his career except for the mickey mouse Eredivisie trophies which ajax can probably win even with myself as a coach + quite a piece of a jerk. This guy has sucked out of me the joy of watching NT play. It never happened before that I don’t feel much excitement looking forward for NT play. On the plus side though I won’t stress out eating my fingernails. I will hate it if we somehow scrape past group stage and then somehow have a decent elimination game and then FDB stays for the WC. That would mess up my stomach.

  10. Looks like others are facing difficulty as well acessing the site. There is this access blocked feature that’s keeps popping up from time to time requesting to submit email and the content. any body else is experiencing this.

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