Truth be told, I wasn’t totally happy with LVG’s appointment. There were too many aspects in his past and personality I didn’t like. The dramatic series with Oranje in 2000/2001. The antics as a club coach (where some clubs asked him to leave, despite his quality) and his recent JC backstabbing at Ajax…
But…he is a world class coach. Club coach, I would add to that, but now he is demonstrating to the world that he has learned and developed. He is acting the National Team Manager perfectly. His relationship with the players seems to be great. He has clarity and consistency in selection and players’ choices. He has a good mix of assistants ( Danny Blind, cool & collected; up and coming Pat Kluivert for the fun factor and the passion; Ron Spelbos and Edward Metgod, the silent scouts in the background and then the usual goal keeper coach Frans Hoek and the video analysts he used at AZ and Bayern).
Stekelenburg, Huntelaar, De Jong, Heitinga….they all have seen and experienced how decisive the man can be and they all seem to be accepting of his authority.
Van Marwijk has taught Dutch players that winning ugly is important and sometimes necessary and now we know what winning is (again), LVG will add the Dutch identity back into the mix. Wingers, one holding mid and attacking football.
Rafael van der Vaart played his 102nd cap against Romania and surpassed Phillip Cocu. Gio van Bronckhorst and Frank de Boer are in his sights now (106 and 112 respectively). “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t matter to me….”, the Man of the Match laughed last week.
Two assists and a goal for Rafael van der Vaart and that swagger that adds so much confidence to the team. And what a team it was. Power, speed and skill on the wings. A world class number 9 (RVP or Klaas Jan), creative midfielders and a destroyer in between and strength and speed at the back. I think we’re getting in real good shape (considering Robben, Sneijder and Krul weren’t even present…).
So Romania had to concede 4 as well, like earlier in Budapest when we played Hungary.
And luck is always a factor. The free kick on the bar in the first 5 minutes could have gone in. And the penalty shout for Oranje could have been ignored. And all that jazz… But it went as it went and Oranje took the chances and did the business.
12 points out of 4 games.
I think Europe will be paying attention. I’m sure the football pundits and analysts in Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal will read the papers and think…hmmmm….. Oranje…. :-).
With rumours that Spurs is following Clasie and our center back BMI scored two out of five, to name two facts, I think it’s clear we will reap more and more excitement around this team.
And with RVP finding the net again and that dream header of Lens, we seemed to be in that flow.
And Van Gaal will do everything to keep that flow going. Until end of June, 2014, I’m sure.
As he said when he was appointed: the World Cup is starting against Turkey.
I think he was right. Let’s keep on winning and only stop doing so when that man Blatter is waiting to give us that trophy.