Prelim Squad announced for Oranje

Almost a month to go and we’re starting to leave the club competitions behind us.

You will have seen the squad selection by now? I don’t think too many surprises.

For some, the absence of Bizot was a surprise, as he was called up for the last international games. He was most likely part of the prelim squad, if not for some domestic family issues. Marco decided to forfeit the Euros as his family circumstances have not been resolved and he prefers to be with the family during the summer.

The list of injured players ( Hartman, Wieffer, Lang) might become longer with question marks for Marten de Roon, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and Zirkzee, while Luuk de Jong definitely retired from the NT.

Calvin Stengs, Thijs Dallinga and Steven Berghuis will have had idle hope and should something happen to Malen or Bergwijn or Xavi Simons, these three might still get a look in.

If Frenkie and Memphis can join the squad, I do believe we’ll be in good shape.

We simply need our key players to be in form and Koeman to pick a logical starting eleven for the games at the Euros.

I mean, our goalkeepers are fine. Our central defenders are top. Maatsen and Ake can cover the left side, even Blind might be able to play against opponents parking the bus. Frimpong and Dumfries will cover the right with Geertruida also on hand.

Our midfield options are pretty good, with Veerman, Schouten, Reijnders and Koopmeiners and when fit, we can expect some fire upfront from Malen, Gakpo, Simons and Brobbey.

As mentioned, we need Koeman to make the right decisions and allow the players to play to their strengths.

It may sound simplistic, but we need two teams: 1 that can dominate possession against the minions and 1 that can play on the transition when playing the strong countries who themselves want to dominate.

I will suggest three at the back in both scenarios and I would personally use Bijlow as first goalie.

My two teams:



Tell me your fave line up in the comments….

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  1. 532/343:
    Zirkzee/Brobbey —-Gakpo
    Ake/Maatsen —–dumfries/Frimpong
    Reijnders/Quinten Timber–FDJ
    Van de Ven/Ake —– Van Dijk ———- de ligt

  2. Yep, good lineup. I’d tweak it by having both Frimpong and Dumfries in the lineup; push Frimpong into the attack. He’s been playing as a pure attacker at Leverkusen, and (with Lang out) he is the one guy they who can consistently run at defenders one on one to break down a defense. I like Dumfries on the field not only because of what he brings in quality, but his toughness—always the first in to back up a teammate. Good to have on the field. Plus, he is better defensively than Frimpong, and I’d like to see the team take the field with no weak links in the back 7.

  3. Halo Andrew. Did you watch Atalanta vs Leverkusen final. A good game to see how Frimpong in that attacking role will not work when he gets tagged by two players. It really didn’t work for Alonso in that setup. Frimpong was laterally man marked by two Atalanta players until half time when he moved back to WB

  4. Hi Wilson,

    Yes, thanks,I did watch the game, and saw that…but if a team wants to tilt the defense towards him and devote two guys to him like that like that, it leaves more space for others, so I don’t see that as really being a negative. Atalanta looked really good—not only their set up but their intensity as they didn’t give Leverkusen a second on the baLL– not a surprise anymore that they took out Liverpool in the manner they did. Keupmeiners had a strong game. Decision time for Koeman as to who plays next to FDJ (if he is able to go.)

  5. I don’t see any problem in a winger dropping back to coverup efficiently helping out fullbacks and I think that was the case with Atalanta and also adeyemi who did the same vs PSG to netrulize dembele.

    Also I have long argued on Frenkie and koops playing together side by side. Hope I got this right from what you said. They simply don’t complement each other and neither koopmeiners is able to play in that free role in which he has being so influential in atalanta’s campaign this season in that advanced role

  6. I’d be happy with Frimpong in that attacking role. I personally doubt whether Dumfries has the intelligence to play off Frimpong. He is great when he can bomb forward with speed and grass to eat up, but in the more intricate game, it’s clear that he played amateur football till his 18th.

    De Roon is out, by the way. I gather Olie, Gravenberch and …. will follow…

  7. Instead of throwing out Blind ,koeman thrown out Maatsen..We dont have an effective attacking left back..We are handicapped at left wing,this will put us back foot Vs strong teams..Blind will walking at left back..Ake and Gakpo have to cover him..Blind is LCB at girona who concedes thousands of goals in every match..since there attack is good they would score more…We have Van de ven ,ake and Virgil as LCB ,then why Blind???He is a liability for team mates when on pitch..He will be watching how messi is handled by Ake and Frenkie while Molina is whoooping his ass..He has no pace so he wont be able to catch passes from team mates who has vision..theses games are top and little more speed defines the out come..
    He is an experienced looser,yes he won Europa ,but thats more of united and Jose..Eredivise ?? yeah thats goes with any feynoord,ajax or psv player..
    Glad for gravenberch,Sad for Quinten…

  8. ——-Gakpo———-Depay———
    ——Van de ven–Virgil—–De ligt———
    ————-Flekken————————as starters

    ——Ake———De vrij—-Geetruida———
    just squad members except weghorst may be bijlow..

  9. And here we go again, the Blind haters on their horse. 1000s of goals conceded per match at girona, which is why Girona gets relegated this season, I guess?

    So much ignorance. Koeman: “Blind has been in the project from the start and I’m not dropping him. He’s key on and off the pitch with his leadership and experience. And he can play on 3 positions, which is valuable, allowing me to bring an extra attacker.”

    What Tiju also missed is how Mickey van der Ven played left wingback for Spurs late in the season and scored two goals from that position. If you compare Maatsen to Mickey, Mickey wins hands down. He is fast, lightining fast, he is a proper defender (more than Maatsen) and he can play the inverted role in midfield (scoring twice even).

    So yes sad for Maatsen, but I think we have the left side covered, thank you very much.

    1. Jan did you lost your logical thinking??
      okay suppose Maatsen and blind both are not great at defending,but both are good at attack…problem with blind is ,he wont be able to catch the pass from Frenkie,gravenberch or Virgil o left side with turtle speed..speed matters look at Vini junior. Everything or trick starts only after receiving the pass,for that you need pace..
      1-Blind is used LCB which may be his best position considering his turtle and fragile leg at girona..they conceded goals in every they have to outscore opponent NT we hardly create chance at crunch matches..
      2-He is an experienced looser ,always conceding at crunch matches..part from Jose and Van gaals united gift of FA cup and europa..He only has eredivise titles,which every feynoord,psv,ajax players has it..
      3-As LCB we have ake,Van de ven,Virgil .top lcass..We dont need Blind
      4-As an LB he can play like a turtle,Maatsen is a starter at champions league final team.He has pace,crosses etc..we dont have a propper attacking LB..we have two make shift LBs in Van de ven and Ake..both are not that good at LB when it comes to attack..We have zero attack from left back ..we are handi capped at left with blind..
      scenarios gets worse when Dumfries play as right back in 532..

  10. According to Dutch Media:

    Use Blind in the proper role and even at 34 years old he has added value. Koeman always trusted Blind and his performances at Girona prove that Koeman was right as Blind is one of the key players there. Only 7 outfield players in the Top 5 European competitions have played more successful passes to the final third than Daley. Kounde of Barcelona is the only defender who played more forward passes than Blind. When Blind plays left wingback – like in Qatar – his defensive frailties will be masked by pressing forward. Another article goes into detail and is named “Girona’s football comes to life when you zoom in on Daley Blind”.

    But… hey… the best football resource of the Netherlands could see it totally wrong of course.

    1. Hi, nice to see you all. I am a dutch football fan since 1994.

      It is very interesting many guys there discussed Blind in the final squad is right or not. I remembered Muhren, who was already 37 years in 1988, delivered a great cross to Van Basten and then a stunning volley. I don’t know fans how to treat Muhren then but I think every players have their value whatever his age, haha.

  11. I don’t expect much from Koeman. I guess he will start with this formation:

    Gakpo Depay
    FDJ Schouten
    Blind Ake VVD De Ligt Dumfries

    So it will be exactly what we used two years ago except he need to replace the injured ones. The same outcome will happen, the moment we meet a team at the same level, we will fail.

    Everything is screaming mediocre. He cannot move forward. He cannot integrate new players into his line up despite they are doing so well at the clubs. It is because the group is set and he does not have time at NT team. The important part of the job that he is hired to do, to integrate players into his lineup. He does not know how to do that. He stick with the same group as if they are WC/Euro winners where the group consistently under deliver for years. There is a hierarchical order in his team and at the top are the players that has been there long time with experience of failing to qualify and dropping out at the first play off rounds for year. The moment when things get tough, those guys will disappear just like in the past. That is the important lesson they try to teach young players joining the national team.

    Sadly the team has quality players but the best they can do is to reach QF.

  12. Here you go again Jan with all these BS reasons trying to justify as to why Koeman after all these years has kept these same old players. Come on man!
    It’s going to be another disaster. Anyway, the sooner we get kicked out of the Euro the better. Hopefully the federation will finally hire a looking forward kind of coach.

  13. Wow. The disrespect to Jan. Jan has demonstrated so much more football knowledge than most of us reading his articles.

    Some of the greatest football minds rate blind. The stats show how incredible blinds strengths are. Blind has leadership and experience. We can now take an extra attacker which is more valuable than taking 4(or 3 lbs and an additional lcb) guys who can play lb.

    Blind lives in a lot of your heads rent free. It’s a squad game. Why does one player cause so much drama. The obsession with blind is so extreme.

    Yet the board knows better because
    1.“blind has won at every club he’s been on except girona (where they defied anyone’s expectations) but his wins don’t count because it’s meaningless or someone else did it. He didn’t contribute. Because. Well. Because”
    2. Blind can’t receive through balls because he’s slow…. Even though blind is the player who plays through balls and receives the ball at feet from deep. He rarely makes runs for through balls. And if he does, frenkie is talented enough to put the right weight on th ball.
    3. I’m miserable and wish for the team I support to fail because if I don’t agree with the coach, it’s better that my team suffers rather than supporting them.

    Terrible logic. Terrible support. Terrible fans.

  14. @ Antony
    Only you is willing to support a loosing team.
    team. This isn’t about Jan. Koeman took over this team and has made zero changes to his lineup. FDG supposed to be our irreplaceable player but has done very little to deserve it. Didn’t do much at the WC either. Depay is useless including at the club level. Malen is very inconsistent. Koeman should have rebuilt this team and be ready for the next WC qualifiers. He didn’t do that. He kept the same unproven mediocres. He is taking Gini to the Euros, for what? lol
    If Blin is so important to the team, why didn’t he makes him part of the coaching staff? Blin is a plyer of the past. Expect nothing from this team.

    1. @jean. You are correct. I support my team, win or lose. You should go support Argentina and stop your negativity directed at the Dutch national team since you don’t support the Dutch unless they win (and even then, you make excuses as to why the win was in spite of x,y or z).

  15. @ Anthony
    You have that same attitude before the WC. You just don’t get it. Any team can lose a game or a competition. That’s not the point. When you lose , you re-assess, rebuild or make necessary adjustments. Koeman hasn’t done that. He kept the same line up. If De Room wasn’t injured, he would have been on the team. He brought back Gini. What a joke. This team has no future. Koeman needs to go. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

    1. @jean. You’re right. I don’t get it. Please help me understand.

      If the coach doesn’t do what you want, then we must cheer for the downfall of oranje?

      If anyone else has a different opinion from Jean, we must belittle and condescend them until they know Jean is right?

      1. Spot on, Anthony.

        Though you have to remember that Jean, Jean, the Antagonism Machine isn’t really here to talk about tactics or players or the team, he’s just here to try and get under your skin. This blog could be about door hardware and he’d still be here telling everyone that they’re just hopeless idiots.

        I follow these players every week in their club teams, and we definitely have a solid core of players that play at a high level every week—
        Liverpool, Barcelona, Athletico, Leipzig, Milan, Atalanta, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Girona, and two keepers starting each week in the PL. That’s solid (unless all of those clubs are also managed by complete idiots, which some here might believe…)

  16. Ok Let me spice things up little bit here and yes we are back to it again simply because evidently it’s obvious how it’s gonna affect the team directly and indirectly both. No introduction is needed here.

    I will start with what koeman said was the reason why maatsen was dropped.

    “The reason is that there are several guys in his position. They are preferred. Nathan Aké, Micky van de Ven, Daley Blind. That also gives me the opportunity to take another attacker with me”

    Now what’s interesting here and the red flag as I will put it is all his choices are experienced, yes but they cant offer any thing different between them and which is offensively and this is where the axe falls on koeman for his foolishness of not selecting maatsen who could have offered armour in attack even off the bench if needed. I can guarantee this neither of Ake, Van Der ven apart from Ariel threat in box or blind could make impact of the bench if supposedly the scenario is NT trailing and needs somebody to come off the bench and provide that spark. It’s no brainer also that one of the three is stale pawn. If you play chess you know what this means and will be spectator. You can basically tell from his reasoning what’s in is head. Strategize as per team weakness, average teams, big teams, gamble and HOPE it will work out. I’m sorry these are traits of tactical coach but not a winning coach or somebody who can win silverware. Marcelo Bielsa is another name that comes into mind when you talk about this but he is far off better than koeman but though in the same boat.master technicians but keep failing

    Recall how this was the same situation under van gaal and when malacia was in the picture. Remember that debate. Vs average team Blind plays and throw in malacia if the opponents are tougher.

    Few more things I would like to clear out here as being said and is being wrongly picturized.

    @ Jan

    Van Der ven at WB and LB. I won’t say much here. Go and watch the city and spurs. He was terrorized by walker and silva and like Ake when he plays LB couldn’t really spark anything in attack. The only reason I’m picking this game is because this is where it matters and shows the true quality of players. Just to back up this

    “Micky van de Ven

    Played at left-back and it didn’t really get the best out of him. He also looked tired within half an hour, waving away one attempted pass to him.
    Did a disciplined job as he came in at left-back, but is best at centre-back and this was not his most expressive performance of a sensational first season at Spurs.

    My main emphasis year again is the logic of three players who brings approximately the same thing to the table. Like I said somebody is going to be a stale pawn there and again you have to raise the eye brow and ask why this madness. Same goes for the extra attacker option.malen, Simons, gako, they can play multiple position and with weghorst and depay upfront and if you take bergwijn to be that extra attacker,it still doesn’t makes any difference as why Not one of the three between van Der ven, Ake or blind shud have been dropped given de ligt can also cover on the left( Bayern) as well.

    So in other words you expect to see the same as what happend Vs Germany. Tatically Ake at LB dropping to 3 men backline, with Dumfries and Gakpo taking up the WB role or Vs tougher opponents while Blind will come in Vs those weaker team like which the critics always argue here as to vs who park the bus.It will only take a well organized team to dismantle it and sooner or later it will happen. Look at the WC, it perfectly showcased it. The sad part though and it has become mockery, instead of addressing the core problem in the team post WC,the Dutch management again fail to Stitch the problem and continue on putting bandage on it.This is the very reason why the left flank has never been stable and continues to come under spotlight and why not. the biggest downfall being on time transition.

    This further brings me to my next point I would like to raise. What if Hartman would have available, who then would have been dropped or would koeman opted for another attacker.

    Note I’m note saying koeman is favouring blind but whether decision to drop maatsen was right given his versatility as well

  17. @ Anthony

    “Terrible logic. Terrible support. Terrible fans”.

    To save time and being repetitive, unfortunately in NT the rationalization that you are trying to make is against blind, he can play till 40 and will still give what ever you have said on top but at the same time there wont be any change in outcome from NT perspective of being in the centre of spotlight

  18. Good to know that, even though I’ve not come here as regularly for quite some time, the exact same people are posting the exact same posts. “Dumb dumb old man Blind” and similarly insightful comments…

    That said, I do wish that Maatsen had been selected over Blind. I don’t like to admit that I agree with Wilson, but I actually do agree that he would have been a completely different option on the left side, the only one who would function as a real wingback. Thinking of him on the left and Frimpong on the right would be electric. Also more frail defensively, for sure, but I’d love to see it. I have a lot of faith in the back three (I’d start Ake, Virgil, and Geertruida against most teams, with vdVen and de Ligt being great options on the right and left as well).

    But despite that wish of mine, I don’t believe this team is the flaming pile of excrement that Wilson, Tiju, and jean venette enjoy describing. I actually think this is a solid team, front to back. We have solid options and solid backups at all positions, something we’ve not had in the past. This isn’t a team of a few superstars and a bunch of mediocre guys to make up the eleven, it’s a solid group of top tier players. Our main weakness, obviously, is not Daley Blind whether he’s on the bench or on the pitch, it’s our attack. I think we’ll have to rely on goals coming from a number of players, and the midfielders and defenders are going to need to score some goals as well.

    Can’t wait for this tournament to begin!!

    1. @ aanvalluh

      Are you serious man? Frenkie is in doubt, Depay has just recovered and form is ???, RW are makeshift options, RCM is also not credible, GK as well and you sre saying the team have solid options. I guess you have been away for too long if not have just woken to not knowing what has unfolded in the past months

  19. I forgot about brobbey on top,my bad. staggering 7 forwards. Again from decision making point of view it’s maddness and how koeman will utilize these 7 forwards only he knows.

  20. @ Aanvalluh
    You siaid this team is solid. lol
    Who do you have of front that you haven’t seen? lol
    Depay is done in my opinion. His career hasn’t impressed many. Inconsistency and injuries I unfortunately. Gakpo is an ok player. Everyone else is below average. What are you talking about man? Why wouldn’t Koeman took Zirkzee of .Wervergooss what ever his is. The tall guy. Please don’t expect much from this team.

    1. Jean—

      I’m thinking that, if you actually followed the players that make up this team, you’d know not just their actual names but the fact that Zirkzee suffered a muscle injury in mid-May that he’d need a but a month recovery. And he’d only recently come back from a prior muscle issue.

      No national team coach is going to use a spot on the roster for an uncapped player in that circumstance.

      I think I’m starting to agree with you guys, though— I think Koeman is a total idiot for not calling up either Mbappe nor Haaland. What a moron we have as the coach for this team…

  21. Wilson, my friend, please feel free to repeat your “Are you serious man?” in response here, ;), because I agree with Aanvullah.

    Assuming that Ake starts at LWB,LB, the seven players behind the attackers (Dumfries, De Ligt/Devrij,VVD, Van de Ven, Ake, De Jong, Reijnnders) will be difficult to break down, and with De Jong and Reijnders in the mf, you have skilled players to get the ball forward to the attackers…not saying that they won’t be underdogs to the Frances and Englands of the tournament, just that they could develop into a difficult team to beat in this tournament.

    With regard to Blind, I’ve never been in the “anti-Blind” camp, but I would have selected Maatsen ahead of him. Blind had a good season at Girona, and his stats are what they are (good). But…he’s played in a different position there than he would at the NT, and what he has brought to Girona offensively has not translated to the NT in either of the matches he’s recently played (Ireland and Germany). Maatsen, he had some issues defending in the CL games I’ve seen, brings vibrancy, pace, and ball skills to an attack that needs exactly that.

    I also agree with Aanvullah on another thing: Can’t wait for this all to get going, starting with the Canada match on Thursday.

  22. Not Vs top guns my friend. Tell me on which specificity or grounds you are saying that that we be hard to beat.facts look at the last two games, vs Scotland in particular. Those left footed Tierney, Robertson, mcginn ravaged the midfield inside out. Gilmour as well. Unfortunately in that game the Scotts were toothless in front and the Dutch capitalized on this on the other end.

    Vs Germany it crumbled as well with all Ake, Blind, reijnders starting. You might wanna go and watch it again my friend. The equation is pretty clear, the midfield without Frankie is mediocre and with frenkie one sided and exploitable as well.

    On paper it may look good but on ground not. Vs Canada no doubt it will be same old story weak team, sun shine but with competitive teams the fragilities will pop out.

    You go back, Vs France, Croatia , germany, Italy. What has changed???

  23. Note this done,though this time around the Dutch players are playing in top clubs and competitive league, in NT they still have not Built that cohesion playing together. Once again Vs weak teams it doesn’t show but as soon as they go up vs competitive or quality players, its gonna become a battle of individual quality and where it always exposes the cracks in the team. Write this down somewhere, they will be no exception this time as well

  24. @Wilson, the Germany match was instructive. From the 10th to about the 35th minute, Germany was on top. The NT mf was like a sieve, but the backline held up. (The German goal was a shot from distance, and a moment of brilliance.) But Schouten grew into the game and stiffened the mf. From late in the first half through the around minute 70, the Dutch were better; wasted two opportunities to take the lead. Then, some questionabl subs were made, and the team went bad again. Going forward, putting Van de Ven on the field for Blind (he’ll play lcb, and Ake lwb) and replacing Veerman in the mf with either Reijnders or Schouten will tighten up the defense.

    Anyway, we’ll see.

  25. @ Aanvallyh
    You’ll be very quiet in a few weeks. By the way I know a lot of you are relying on De Jong, the latest news is that he’ll be taking a big risk playing with his ankle. He said he doesn’t want this thing to become chronic. So don’t expect any miracle from this guy.

  26. @ Andrew

    Will be honest here and I hate when critics ignore or rationalize things from one side POV and don’t consider facts from both side of coin approach. You said the Dutch were better in the second half Vs Germany but you fail to address by then the Germans had already gone to the bench to their lesser capped player to their regulars like Andrich, gundogan and others later. This is what the critics turn a blind eye on and I have said this before Vs average or weaker teams who put up a good fight,the Dutch are able to propel themselves out because they are able to capitalize on their weaker subs and turn the tempo in their favour.again the Scotland game is a good example. Vs big teams who have quality bench and are able to maintain the same tempo through out, it trickles down to quality bench, player head and head, overall balance, not one flank active and the other in protective mode and creativity level up front etc. this is where the dutch simply crumble. Well Vs Italy, France, Croatia it has been on showcase. When they get neutilize they opt for lousy tactic like sending on luck de Jong, weghorst to look for those fluke goals which sometimes is a hit and sometimes fops

    Going back You look at the consistency level of Dutch team after that NL 2018. It’s up up Vs average teams and down down Vs tougher and big teams. What is this telling you????
    This is the story about Dutch football these days.

  27. @Wilson, its a fair point you make about not paying enough attention to the other side of the coin, but I wonder if we don’t both do that a little bit. For example, consider your argument about the subs. I went back and looked at the game summary. The Germans made their first subs in the 60th minute. At that point, the Dutch had been the better team for at least 20 minutes of game play. So why not concede that the NT had pushed back and gotten on top in response to Germany’s early dominance?

    That said, I do read what you say pretty carefully, and it serves as a good check for me.

    To your last question? What does the consistency level tell me? That they are not one of the favorites. Never said they were. I said that they could put together a solid team that could develop into a difficult team to beat. If you look at the squad, they have Van de Ven, VDV, Ake, three of the top defenders in the EPL this last season; De Ligt and De Vrij starters on big teams, Dumfries is at Inter; Frenkie De Jong is so important at Barceaona; Reijnders and Koopmeiners, both highly rated mf’s in Italy. Where they are lacking is in attack—Simons, Gakpo, Brobbey, Depay, Frimpong, Malen, they have to find something from one or more of them.

    Teams are never the same from tournament to tournament; they become their own organic entity. Some gel, some don’t. Consider your “big dogs,” Italy didn’t even qualify for the last WC; Germany and Belgium went out in group play. Brazil, the pre-tournament favorite went out to penalties the first time they played a team with any substance. Who thought that Denmark would become what they were in the previous Euros. You’re pretty clear, you don’t entertain the thought the team has a chance to do well in this torunament. I happen to think they have the components to do so.

    Anyway, I began this small back and forth. So its fair that you take the last word, (unless you are tire of my nattering lol). Cheers, man.

    1. I won’t disagree with your views but everybody knows the Dutch are always a formidable and competitive opponent . The opening few minutes was great as well but the Germans did dip after those changes and even JN also admitted this that the game could have gone either way in the second half until the last 15 minutes where they gained the upper hand and proved to be decisive.

      I think you also have contradicted yourself by using the the teams not being same tournament to tournament and then comparing in with the big dog example. And for the record, the big dogs I meant was to those of todate and not 3-4 years before. Simply because the transition period for these teams especially like Italy, Spain, England and Germany are much faster and in keeping up pace with each other. the Dutch without a doubt were in their absolute peak in 2018 and in the last 5 years or so are just averaging medium good. you mentioned about Italy and yes they have transitioned good in no time. I was merely looking and comparing the big guns that NT played since koeman took over because like I always the say, those are games that tell you it’s and bits about team. Cracks, fragilities, weakness, strengths, G spot etc

      At the same time most of the Dutch contingent now are playing in top and competitive league across Europe and so there can’t be any excuses now.

  28. @Wilson, sorry, I did say you could have last word, but I don’t think I contradicted myself, and want to clarify. I was using those teams as examples of teams that aren’t the same tournament to tournamnent—many of the players may be the same but the internal chemistry rarely is—Italy won the Euros and couldn’t qualify for the WC; Spain was impressive in those same Euros, and went out early; yopu don’t know what you get with germany tournament to tournament these days,etc.

    Apologies about stepping on your last comment when I told you I would not.

  29. OT: Love the build up to the major tournaments. Before the NT starts playing its games, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to Tarcisio and Jan for keeping this site going so we can interact with other Oranje fans from all over.

  30. And it only took 3 days for the “fans” to demonstrate why I decided to move on from this blog. Nasty. Vile. Personal attacks and lack of football know-how.

    Enjoy the Euros

  31. And warm thank you to Andrew and the others who see this blog as a fun place to hang and exchange views, instead of a digital spot in the darker corners of the bike stands under the football stadium where you could get verbally beaten up for having a different opinion.

  32. Oh by way, Koeman said in his press conference that Gini is going to start the Euros. Now you see why some of us are frustrated. Hopefully, one day the orange will go back to their glory days.
    @ Jan, what people are saying is that they thought Koeman would have rebuilt the team and hoping that at least by the next WC we would have a more competitive team. That’s what people were hoping for but he did totally the opposite.

  33. Lineup against Canada: Verbrueggen; Frimpong, Geertruida, De ligt, Van De Ven, Blind; Schouten, Gravenberch, Wijnaldum; Brobbey, Depay.

  34. @tjeerd..happy to see you back man..Vs canada we stooped in to new low just to fit in blind with out blame…Blind is LB and van de ven is forced to play LB..We look handicapped ..We are done at left,but still Depay and Gravenberch doing something at left but not efficient.Frimpong and Geetrudia at right is working really well..both are good…
    We play blind as LCb to safe guard Blind…We have no proper left back..
    Brobbey is good at everything except scoring…
    Maatsen on left with Van de ven as LCB ..would have been a cracker…..wat to do…We are destined to suck with blind…

  35. Wiknaldum was horrible, terrible. Very slow, confused! For Koeman to not only brought in back into the team but would maybe start him in the euros is total BS! Frimpomg and Van De Ven were fantastic

  36. Tactically this is how I saw the 4-3-3 working

    Depay- brobbery


    Van Der ven – gravenberch – schouten- frimpong

    Blind- de ligt- geertruida

    When frimpong went high geertruida moved up and van Der ven dropped to back three and Depay- further dropping deep.

    The only drawback was van Der ven can’t penetrate high enough and this is where maatsen would have been more influential with van Der ven in blind’s spot.I don’t know what koeman is trying to prove starting Blind at CB against minows

    1. @wilson. I was at the match and it was very clear that it was a 4-3-3 with frimpong rw not rwb. We saw the game differently. Gertruida didn’t attack much and floated into midfield at times to keep the passing lane open for frimpong. Van de ven seemed to attack more than geertruida on the left channel as depay floated inside into half spaces.

      Wow was depays movement incredible. The Canadians had no idea how to handle his speed of thought. He played off brobbey very well.

      Van de ven was very effective against Johnston clear mismatch of speed and physicality. His final product was a bit lacking but I was very impressed at his attacking contributions from what I view as a cb. He got extremely high up the pitch several times, even beating his man on the goal line.

  37. Hey guys,
    Have not been here for almost a year. I was a bit depressed by AZ performance this year and completely lost sight of Oranje. However, it looks like nothing has changed: grandpas Blind and Wijnaldum are still here and Koeman keeps his circle of trust intact. I think this is a recipe for another mediocre tournament…We will see.

  38. Once all the dead woods are gone, the team can be great again. Hopefully after euros. With more games I’m sure the new faces or less capped players will be able to deliver better.maatsen, frimpong, van Der ven, zirkzee, lang, Simons etc

    In between just a correction on top regarding the taically play of 4-3-3 and 3-4-3

    Depay- brobbery


    Van Der ven – gravenberch – schouten- frimpong

    Blind- de ligt- geertruida

    When frimpong went high geertruida moved up and van Der ven would drop back 3 maintaining a high line with blind and deligt gravenberch would drift to the left and link up with Depay. More in attack phases.Depay did drop deep defensively at times

  39. There are possibly two reasons one would stay away from the rumblings of this forum;first, to maintain one’s sanity from the enmeshment of Oranje’s deja vu delusion and second, not being able to face up and argue oneself out of the claim that the first point is not the state of things, at all.

    I happen to be part of the first. I see clearly the merry-go-round-like conditions that have permeated this team for decades with no end in sight.

    Nothing changes.

    Wjinaldum, Blind and the likes, all last had a useful tournament ten years ago. Ten years!! All woeful in every major competition we’ve had since then.

    Yet here we are ten years later and we are still trying to make space and reference quotations from establishment journalists of merit of these guys with the expectation of a last hurrah when now playing lower tier football as far away as Saudi Arabia.

    I mean, this is just not stubbornness anymore. It has to be pathological.

    Tooth and nail for Frimpong to have a sniff in the team. And now?

    What better opportunity for Matusiwa to be seen with de Roon out? But no.

    Why not Zirkzee? The kid is electric at the moment.

    Each and every decision made by the this federation is somehow made with a secondary leaning in mind. Nothing is straightforward. Everything is just overshadowed by petty agendas and inexplicable nonsense.

    And it shows. People like ourselves, that have never coached a junior league, are made to feel like soothsayers. Tournament after tournament.

    The people who fall in the aforementioned second category are the ones who cannot defend the indefensible. The ones who want the first categoried people not to remind them of the obvious. Of a pattern of things that have been on display for several decades now.

    Not rocket science, really.

    So they vacate in a huff.

  40. Anyway, they did win 4-0. Any first team has to include Van de Ven and Frimpong, best players on the night. Schouten had a strong game, too; he might be the best complement to De Jong. Depay had a good night; with Brobbey up top, he played a freer role, looked like he was moving easily.

  41. @ Anthony

    Won’t disagree with u. Tactically it changed at times like you mentioned geertruida floating up and down. And which gave frimpong more room to attack from deep.
    On the left van Der ven faded out in the second half like but in the first when he made those good runs, the back line was 3 men with geertruida, blind and de ligt positioned high

    1. If I remembered correctly on depays goal, all three wijnaldum, brobbery and Depay were in the box , ven der ven had moved up in that advance role in line with frimpongs cross

    2. @wilson. I think you’re still implying 5 atb with rotation.

      Frimpong was right in front of me. He never played rwb and was almost always the highest attacker. He 100% played rw. Geertruida and van de ven played fb and when one attacked, the other tucked in. Geertruida also sometimes moved centrally so that de ligt could have a passing lane to the rw. Van de ven stayed wide so depay could pop into the half spaces centrally.

      Very clever to have the variation of a high and wide winger, a winger who comes short and central. And then arguably a similar set up with the fbs.

  42. @Wilson
    Howdy buddy? Thx for the correction but I don’t think it would have really mattered if he wasn’t injured. The prospect of any kind of forward motion and the unfamiliar for some reason frightens these people to the high heavens.

    Can’t help but reflect on the case of the German Hummels. Always a great defender, he had an excellent UCL campaign and season. But we’ve all seen how he slowed down considerably 4-5 years ago which prompted his cut.

    The German federation must have been tempted for a recall akin to Kroos but stuck to their guns as they look to unearth another gem in the European stage. They choose to move forward and use his spot to nurture the future.

    This is admirably alarming as an Oranje fan. Wait, what? We could easily have squeezed another three tournaments out of him.

    Fdj. The Fdj conundrum is nothing new. Oranje is the only NT I daresay that consistently tweaks it whole system for the lack of one player.

    Strootman was an unmatched fulcrum of that 2014 team but to not have someone who can play that role even at a 75-80% capacity for that forseen eventuality is a travesty. Switching at the eve of that tournament could just have ended as disastrous as it was a triumph.

    Fdj in all his major tournaments haven’t proven to be the game changer that they are making him to be. Waiting on his fitness and in essence subjecting the success of our tournament on his performance will always be a recipe for disaster. He is no Zidane.

    But more importantly, it highlights a toxic football culture wherein a sector of potential greats are locked out of ever realizing what could be, as mouths remain agape, drooling at the hope of our crown princes, being waited upon, to finally, emphatically assume their federation given rights and roles.

  43. @ Orangiutan
    I’m in your camp brother. Oh by the way FDJ is already 27 years old. Like you said “ hasn’t proven much” . He was invisible at the WC then again people keep talking about as iif he’s Pirlo. Total nonsense. Seeing Blin and Wijnaldum . De Room on this team is BS. It’s time for a rebirth. It’s time for a new beginning.

  44. Sorry I’m so late to the party! My favorite lineups:

    Rensenbrink———-Cruyff ——————Rep

    Van Hanegem ————————Neeskens

    —————————-Jansen ——————————



    Or maybe:

    van Nistelrooy

    Sneijder ————van der Vaart ——————Kuyt

    ————-Engleaar—————de Jong——————

    van Bronkhorst —-Mathijsen —Boulahrouz—Ooijer

    van der Sar

    1. A silly joke, but what’s not as funny is that we haven’t had anything approaching these lineups in years. The most recent side with any attacking capability was honestly probably 2014, which was a decade ago. It would be almost sacrilegious to win a tournament with the teams we’ve fielded over the last 10 years, after not winning with so much attacking talent previously.

      At this point I’m sort of torn as to approach. My son loves Blind — he refers to him as the “only real Ajax player” left on the NT and the only player who can actually pass. That said, I think I’m ready for an overhaul. Players like Blind, de Vrij, Wijnaldum (?!), Memphis and Weghorst are certainly not the future and not the present either.

      My other favorite orange team, the Baltimore Orioles, have languished in mediocrity (or worse) for years and years. Their last championship was 1983, but they’ve now got an exciting young core and are getting good again, and it’s so much fun to watch the young kids play and grow and develop into a team. I wish I felt the same way about Oranje!

  45. @orangutan

    Yeah and let’s not forget about this as well.koeman had made his preference clear

    But then coming towards the end of the season brobbery really wasn’t that lively and after coming back from that injury spell.lm thinking zirkzee would have been the extra attracker that koeman took instead and maybe either of malen or bergwijn would have have been dropped

    The hummels example that you touched is an excellent contrast between the two nations of what I have long said about outside of the box thinking mentality and the reason why Germans always are able to fast track and catch up with the other big teams with timingly transition at the right time. While the Dutch with every one step forward its 2 steps back wards. And again Blind Vs maatsen is perfect example of this.

    Glad to hear from you again.

  46. @ JB

    2014 was one man show. Robben. I would go koeman 2018 and the build up before that NL . Babel, promes, Depay,gakpo. Players were in their absolute prime. Depay, wijnaldum, van dijk, promes and Babel making a come back. This was NT at their absolute peak

    1. Wilson:

      You may be right about Memphis, Babel, and Promes being in their prime, but to me, those players are nowhere near the equivalent of Robben, van Persie and Sneijder, even if they were slightly over the hill in 2014. We just seem to have stopped producing top level attacking players over the last 10 to 15 years. I don’t really have an explanation for it but it definitely concerns me.

      Maybe as you and others often suggest it’s because we don’t introduce young players into the team soon enough. Or maybe it’s because we just aren’t producing enough good young players to begin with…

      1. One other interesting thought. When you look at our most capped international players, did they play so long because they were so good? Or because there was no one worthy to replace them? Or were they just favored by coaches?

        Sneijder 134 15 years
        Van der Sar 130 13 years
        FDB 112 14 years
        Van der Vaart 109 12 years
        Blind 106 11 years
        Van Bronkhorst 106 14 years
        Kuyt 104 13 years
        Van Persie 102 12 years
        Cocu 101 10 years
        Robben 96 14 years

        Many of the above players were on the 2008 and 2010 teams and may have held on beyond their prime years due to that notoriety. But still, everyone on that list was one of the best Dutch players in the last 30 years. So were they truly deserving? Maybe I was just spoiled by that golden era, but if you ask me, Robben, van Persie, Sneijder and van der Vaart still have not been replaced…

        1. Last point — look also at our historic leading goal scorers (I’ve left out the guys from the 1940s who none of us saw play):

          Van Persie 50 goals 102 matches
          Memphis 45 goals 91 matches
          Huntelaar 42 goals 76 matches
          Kluivert 40 goals 79 matches
          Bergkamp 37 goals 79 matches
          Robben 37 goals 76 matches
          RVN 35 goals 70 matches
          Cruyff 33 goals 48 matches

          Those players cover most of our greatest eras, and obviously injuries hampered others not on that list (van Basten, etc.). To his credit, Memphis has certainly scored a lot of goals, but what other player since 2014 has a chance to break into that list?

          Wijnaldum somehow has 28 goals in 92 matches, but this is almost certainly his last tournament, and after him the active Dutch player with the most international goals is Weghorst with 10. Where have our attacking players / goal-scorers gone?

  47. People coming here to critise the Dutch NT because they follow football so well, and then asking why Zirkzee wasn’t selected. Where is the face palm emoticon.

  48. No level of face palm emojis can erase the fact that Zirkzee could have been on the form of his life and still not called up by a dysfunctional FA. And on that note, I proudly absolve my oversight.

    But what l will never understand is why people get so triggered when faced with concrete, verifiable facts.

    There are just too many. Too many stories ranging from Van dijk and more recently Frimpong, and all in-between things that are not inherently Ajax, that have been suspiciously overlooked through the decades. The NT has suffered as a consequence. Value years have been wasted as a result.

    But we are the bad guys for pointing out these things backed up by empirical evidence.

    I think we are the super fans. We are the fans who are not beholden to a cabal and system that has failed more than it has prevailed. And for quite obvious reasons at that.

    We are the fans who are not going to spare the rod and spoil the child. We will call a spade a spade.

    Ronnie Koeman, I hope you hear me.

    1. I don’t necessarily disagree with many of your points. But I don’t know that Koeman or the KNVB are truly at fault in this respect, as they are doing what they are expected to do, which is to try to field the squad they feel will be most successful and advance the furthest. The real problem is no one wants to sacrifice an international tournament on a “rebuild” or “experimentation”. We can throw around the names of every up-and-coming Dutch starlet — regardless of injury status — and insist that he be in the team, because it’s not our job on the line. The guys making the decisions are charged with winning, and so most often they are going to go with the safest and least controversial selection, try to achieve acceptable results, and kick the can down the road to the next guy. Fear of the unknown and the risk of failure and reputational damage are just too high for them to get too creative. Pretty much all national teams are like this so I don’t think it’s something unique to us.

      My larger concern is that we’re just not developing young players like we used to. We are no longer a nation that produces dynamic attacking talent. Our international players are no longer highly sought after by the bigger clubs around the world. We’ve become boring and mediocre, and our recent success has been due more to grit, tactical discipline and never say die attitude than anything else.

      That unfortunately is for me the depressing state of Dutch football at the moment.

      1. Just to drive the point home, I just checked out Transfermarkt, which provides a somewhat crude real-time valuation system for football players. According to that site, the top four most valuable players in the world at the moment are Bellingham, Haaland, Vinicius and Mbappe (which seems pretty accurate), each valued at approximately €180 million. We don’t have any guys anywhere near that range. Right now, Transfermarkt ranks our top eight most valuable players as follows:

        Xavi Simons €80 million
        Frenkie de Jong €75 million
        Mattias de Ligt €65 million
        Mickey van de Ven €55 million
        Tuen Koopmeiners €50 million
        Cody Gakpo €50 million
        Joshua Zirkzee €50 million
        Jeremie Frimpong €50 million

        In contrast, France has 15 players valued at over €50 million, with three over €100 million. England has 19 players valued at over €50 million, with five over €100 million. Germany only have five players valued at over €50 million, but two of them are over €120 million.

        I know it’s fun debating player selection, line-ups, formations and tactics, but when you’re an entire starting XI short of players that are comparable in quality to your opponents’, the debate seems somewhat moot.

        1. JB—
          I was with you, or at least trying to hang with you, until “our international players are no longer sought after by the bigger clubs around the world”… that’s just not true. If you look at the clubs represented in our first choice squad, they are the biggest and best clubs around the world. I won’t list them again, but it’s basically every major club besides Real Madrid.

          To produce as many top footballers as we do, when we’ll always be at a huge numerical disadvantage to France, Spain, England, Germany, etc is one of the things that makes the Netherlands so appealing to football ‘neutrals’. We are regularly punching above our weight.

          The fact that we just lost our current lost famous player (Frenkie) and it’s not a death blow to the team or even just to the midfield is a testament to the solidity and the depth of this current squad. We will do well in this tournament and will continue to exceed expectations.

          1. Aanvalluh:

            I appreciate your patience with me. I grew up in the era where Serie A was the world’s top league, when van Basten, Gullit and Rijkaard were the best players on the best team in the world, and Cruyff was bringing his Dutch vision as manager to Barcelona. It’s been a long time since then 🙂

            And preceding our most recent golden era, Sneijder, Robben and van der Vaart were all together at Madrid (although none of them played much), before all having star turns (along with RVP) at other major clubs (and Tottenham), including a few Champions League titles…

            And you’re technically correct. Frenkie is currently a Barca player, de Ligt is at Bayern, Ake is a starter for Man City, and we’ve got a few guys at Liverpool, but none of these players are truly stars. Frenkie is the closest we have to a world class player and he’s generally underachieved since leaving Holland. Virgil is in decline, and our most experienced attacking players — Memphis and Wijnaldum — are either out of contract or playing in the Middle East.

            I would love for us to do great in these Euros, but historically speaking, I can’t say that this team represents one of our stronger sides, particularly from an attacking perspective.

    2. “Concrete verifiable facts”
      (After complaining that an injured player was not selected and then following up with the “fact” that the “cabal” would not have selected him anyway, so your “fact” is this confirmed)

      And the “fact” that the cabal only calls Ajax players even though there are fewer Ajax players in this squad than PSV or Feyenoord.

      Superfans indeed.
      As an actual fan (who also looks at the players, the tactical choices, and the performances critically), I’m going to enjoy the hell out of watching this tournament.

      And thanks again to you, Jan, for keeping this site rolling.

    1. Well, we seem to be dominating Iceland, although the finishing has been iffy. This is an interesting line-up in that I’m not really sure in watching on TV who is playing which role, or if there’s just complete fluidity in the forward and midfield lines. Maybe the players haven’t really figured it out either 😉

  49. F De Jong has been ruled out. I think it’s the right decision if he wants to save his career. Too bad!
    This is the situation that Wilson has be predicted for years now.

  50. It has backfired indeed. Though I think it’s good for other midfielders and for them to have that tighter grip with different trio and combo. Koops injury also id a suspected groin which is not good either. Let’s see whom koeman.the latest is he is evaluating between both timber brothers.

  51. After we got thrown out of the Euros, I hope that the Dutch Federation doesn’t use De Jong as an excuse to keep Koeman around. I hope not!

  52. Frenkie is out. Teun Koopmeiners as well, it seems.

    I think Koeman will call up Matusima and Taylor. Wieffer, Timber and De Roon are also not available, obviously.

  53. Teun’s injury is quite an upsetting news. After De Jong was ruled out, I thought it is time for Teun to reign in midfield. Unfortunately, not this time…

  54. I have always said this, injuries has always been a blessing in the sky and you have take it positively. With or without Frenkie, NT doesn’t make much difference. It’s not as if NT would have won with frenkie. We have discussed on this, in the past tournament he hasn’t lived up to expectation in crunch games.

    Clear the dead woods, the news players or lesser cap players to get firmer grip playing more NL , WCQ and with those injured , I reckon NT can be Real contenders in 26 WC

  55. Koopmeiners and De Jong lost on the same day is a blow. Midfield should be the same as started today. Veerman has his weaknesses—well-discussed, and I doubt that, like tonite, he’ll be able to set up just outside the corner of the penalty box and be able to have the time and space to look up and pick out whoever he wants. But he has the best right foot on the team, keeps the ball going and consistently puts it in places which provide space to the others. His corners more often than not create danger. Maybe he is the guy to unlock the offense. Schouten impresses more and more with each game. Good defensively, clean with his passes. Reijnders looked like he’d left his legs in Australia—he usually glides all over the pitch–but should ready to go in a week.

    But its a horse of a different color to play against the French mf, or an Austrian mf with a guy like Sabitzer. So, as always, we’ll see.

    The forward line played with more bite, aggression and energy once Malen and Frimpong entered. Go with them along with Depay.

    Defenders? Lots of depth. Van de ven or Ake? Tough call. Both are very good.

  56. Gakpo needs competion. To predictable and hardly goes outside. Yes there are many players who have the same trait but are more energetic and skillful. That’s what I don’t see in gakpo.

    1. I actually don’t see the energy, skill, or ruthlessness in Gakpo either. I watch him most weeks at Liverpool but just don’t see him developing into the scoring threat that he needs to consistently be. His abilities as a multi-functional player have been very valuable to Klopp, but it feels like, at this point in his career, he should be really good at one primary role. I wish that was as a goal scorer (for club and country), but that just doesn’t seem to be happening

  57. On bitter note koopmeiners must be gutted. This would been his only chance to take the center stage and shift of spot light in frenkie’s absence.

  58. So, in my reading from the professional commentators (ex-coaches and ex-players, long time analysts, etc.), the point seems to be that Frimpong and Dumfries would not fit well together on the right, and so the lineup needs to be either Frimpong/Geertruida or Simons/Dumfries on the right. As much as I like Dumfries, I’d go with Frimpong/Geertruida.

    Thoughts, anyone?

  59. Wow! I couldn’t access this site for a few days and felt like I’d lost a part of my life! I know I’m not a regular contributor — except around tournament time 🙂 — but I was really going to miss you guys if the shutdown was permanent.

    Jan, thank you so much for keeping this site going! I even tried to reach out on twitter (which I’m even less active on) but so glad everything is up and running again!

  60. Good morning all,

    Or afternoon if you don’t live in the west (Toronto) I suppose 🙂

    Thank you Jan for keeping things going. Excited for a tournament. As fans, I think we should embrace the fact that we have nothing to lose, but everything to gain from this tourney.

    I personally, am hoping we go with the Dumfries,Xavi duo, not the Geertruida/Frimpong. Mainly because I love Xavi and I believe he is the future of this team. He is better on the left, so a lineup with him and Van de Ven overlapping, with Ake and Van Dijk central could also have been nice. Frimpong was great in our warmups, but I truly think Xavi is just a level higher.

    Zirkzee is exciting, but doubt he will play.

    All eyes on Veerman, what a player. I love players that even if they have minor limitations, they also have world class abilities to make up for them.

    I hope Wijnaldum never plays, and I like Reijnders. Reijnders has had many great games for us, but generally starting further back. Xavi is still a good option for the midfield three in my eyes but the coach doesn’t agree.

    Memphis looked great in warmups. After a so/so couple of years, would love for him to set the tourney alight.

    Looking forward to the preview Jan!

  61. We’ve lost 2 midfielders, why would Koeman called in a left back as a replacement? The same guy he left out to begin with. The only reason I can think of is that since he always has to create a spot for Blin, now he’s gonna move Blind into the midfield as a 6. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    1. I didn’t get a chance to watch, but when Emre Can scores against you and the only goal scored for your side is by Rudiger, it’s been a tough match.

      1. @ JB, lol. I am not Scottish, but lived there for a time a ways back; went to alot of Saturday afternoon matches. So, I set up today, wearing hope and my old Partick Thistle scarf, and…it was a rough match.

        Though the funniest part was that after Scotland scored (on a crazy deflection), the Scottish fans chanted in full voice: “You’re not singing anymore” to home fans.

        The Germans, apparently, not taking the joke well. scored (Can) right at the end.

        1. Haha! That’s hilarious! The Scottish have a lot of characters, and are ironically somewhat over-represented among football announcers / pundits, etc.

          Speaking of jokes, what was Germany wearing?! Wow, those kits look bad! And that was just the home version…

  62. Looks like the blog was down but ether way Like I have said before. Injuries in Dutch camp has always being a blessing in the skys. The only time good transitions has taken place. With zirkzee and maatsen being called I’m feeling that sense of euphoria that Dutch can pull up a surprise. Especially with the offensive threat which can be option off the bench as impact players. A Lot will revealed though in training sessions though. Hope maatsen and zirkzee never get wasted on vacations

    Practice match for the Germans.

  63. I’m not saying here but Ajax fans in general are getting furious on me for being critical/ negative about injuries in the NT camp. they can’t swallow that there is no current Ajax players in the squad and this will go down in history books.

    With many Dutch players playing competitively abroad in top leagues now, it’s looks step in the right direction especially with competition level which I have being saying for over 100 thousand years and also with respect to dutch leagues not yielding top prospects like before and those who only look good eredivisie level only and fade away elsewhere when they go elsewhere

    Being said this and with scouts out and about with euros going on. Keep an on the transfer market. You guys Would remember I talked about Jayden oosterwolde few times when he was at FC Twente. Apparently west ham is close to signing him after being scouted at fenerbache where he finished off this season. I said it back then about his capabilities and again you have to raise the eyebrow as to why the Dutch selectors are not able to do the same. I’m not saying he shud have been selected but from a rotation point of view.good to see him taking that next step and the ball is in his court now to prove to the Dutch management how good he is and for selection spot. This adds to what I said above about the competition level going forward getting intense with those playing abroad to those playing in eredivisie. This will also set a good bench mark for them

    Stengs to Lazio is also close. Injuries really slowed down his development. With conte appointed as the new coach there, hope he gets back to us very best.

  64. @ Jan
    I hope you watched Germany earlier. I’ve you noticed the difference between the Germany now vs 2 years ago? Huge difference! This is what Koeman should have done. Koeman kept it business as usual. He kept the same old players around. He brought Wijnaldum back into the squad. Kept Blind ect…. As you can see, Germany doesn’t have many big names but they have a very competitive team. Koeman is a horrible coach. He is sucked. I have zero expectations from this Dutch team.

    1. I get your point and agree that Germany have some good 21 year olds, but they are still starting Neuer, Kimmich, Rudiger, Kroos and Gundogan, and still have Muller and Can among other 30 year olds in the squad too, so not quite an entire rebuild. Plus, they’re playing their opening match of the tournament at home against Scotland (no offense, Andrew).

    2. If you have zero expectations of this team, why would you bother coming here, reading all of this, and posting non-stop commentary?

      I have zero interest in the NBA, Copa America, NASCAR, PGA, etc. The way I channel that disinterest is by not going on fan forums, blogs, or chats and consistently sharing my opinions that no one would want to read anyway. Just sayin. You could try that strategy and see how it works out for you.

  65. @ jean_venette

    I think the recall of kroos was important for JN. Germany was struggling in that CM after kroos retired from internationals. JN realised it while struggling in the aftermath. Mixed results in qualifications. Fulkrug upfront as well has weaponized their striker options which was another department which looked thin as they didn’t have recognized striker # 9 for sometime.

    Their only weak link is Tah. He cracks open under pressure and that’s the only weakness in this German side.

  66. @ JB
    Come on man! There isn’t any comparison between Kroos and De Roon or Wijnaldum. Are you kidding me? Kroos is till playing high level football at Real Madrid and a starter. Kroos is a starter over Modric. Zero comparison my friend. The players Koeman is still keeping around are garbage. Come on guys don’t do that

    1. Jean:

      I wasn’t really debating the quality of the players. And I agree that even at 34, Kroos is still superior to our current group of midfielders. But I thought your point was that Germany was willing to experiment, move on, and take chances on a new generation of players (unlike Koeman). But they ended up bringing Kroos back to their national team as a starter after 3 years away, which suggests that the youth movement was not necessarily as successful as suggested.

  67. JB
    I’m ok bringing back an older player back into the team but not Gini. If De Roon was Modric, I would be perfectly fine keeping him around but he is not. IFor a lot of us on this blog, that what’s been our frustration. Koeman should have had a 4 year plan. Use this Euros and the nation league coming up to prep for the next WC.

    1. Jean:

      I personally was stunned Wijnaldum was back. He’s playing in Saudi Arabia at this point! And even in his prime, he was never quite the player we needed. So, I’m right there with you on that one.

      My fear though is that there really isn’t anyone coming next, particularly from an attacking standpoint. But the way we find that out is by testing them, bringing in the younger players, giving them a chance and seeing if they’re “ready for prime time.” Which I think is what you’ve been suggesting as well.

      All that said, I was cautiously optimistic about the group of midfielders used in the Iceland match. They didn’t stand out individually, but they seemed to work well together. Maybe that’s what we need?

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