Not really… :-).
I’m not for that. I don’t believe in forced things. It doesn’t work. It’s all emotion! Sneijder out! Vaart out! Van Persie out! Heitinga out!
It’s all based on our disappointment. We feel betrayed.
Well, I’m sure the lads are not sleeping well either.
These are the same guys that almost got the big one two years ago.
I am also not about “age”. And that is partly because I’m “getting old”.
But what is age? Good enough is young/old enough. If Willems and Maher are mentioned, that surely Kuyt and Mathijsen are still welcome too. As long as they are GOOD ENOUGH!
Apologies for yelling.
But let’s get serious people.
We are not in trouble.
We have great goalies. Stekelenburg is 29 years old. He has 6 good years in him. That is two World Cups and one Euro to go. And behind him: Vorm, Krul, Cillesen, Mulder and God knows who shows up in the next 6 years. Period.
Central Defenders. Maybe we are not too strong here. Maybe. We have Ryan Donk in Belgium doing well. We have Viergever, Bruma, Gouweleeuw and De Vrij making their way up. Rekik is only 18 years old now but he’s made his debut for Man City and he will certainly improve. Heitinga is certainly not spent. Daley Blind will focus on the center back role at Ajax and with a strong marker next to him, he can be the same kind of players as dad. Relatively good defensively, but very strong in build up. The point is we need to practice. Test people. Develop them. And then there is that man Douglas! Most likely playing for us in Brazil in two years. I am not concerned. And if it was me as team manager, I’d try out Strootman as sweeper.
Full backs. A spot of concern. As full backs in the 1970s and 1980s were usually the worst players in the team, these days they need to be really strong. Fast, strong defensively, good vision, good headers and being able to cross a ball in.
Jetro Willems is a man for the future on the left. Erik Pieters will get back. Buttner will further improve and hopefully Emanuelson will too. And then there is that man Drenthe?! He is so sensationally talented! But needs a coach who can “touch” him. Instead of criticising him for being late at practice. Surely, if Balotelli is allowed to step on faces and burning down houses, someone should be able to motivate Royston?? I’m sure Feyenoord will produce some prospects for that spot too. At Ajax we saw Koppers playing really strong there for a spell and Patrick van Aanholt is a candidate too by then. I’d say, we should be fine.
The right back spot might be Van der Wiel’s now, but Kelvin Leerdam will be breathing in his neck and so will Ronnie Stam hopefully. And Ricardo van Rhijn will show himself too.
In midfield, I’m hoping we will play with only one holding mid. And we have a number to choose from. Nigel de Jong is still going strong. Strootman is too. Stijn Schaars is a candidate, while youngsters like Jordy Clasie and Leroy Fer will knock on the door with full force. Vernon Anita was close already and Ibi Afellay and Adam Maher can play the part too.
Creative midfielders galore, normally. The playmakers. Van der Vaart and Sneijder will not throw the towel as yet. Van Ginkel at Vitesse is catching everyone’s eye, as is Adam Maher at AZ. Georginio Wijnaldum was close already this time around. I personally don’t see it in Siem de Jong, but hey…add him to the mix. We have some exciting youngsters coming through at Feyenoord and I’m sure at Ajax, PSV, Vitesse, Sparta and AZ too… But with the number of strikers on hand, we should consider Mr Van Persie as a creative midfielder too.
Central strikers, no problemo. Hunter, Luuk de Jong, Bram Dost, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Luc Castaignos, Zeefuik, Nacer Barazite, etc etc…
On the wings, Arjen Robben will be around for a bit. At least I hope so. I think he is great. But please please, on the left wing, so we’ll see some crosses come in. If we play with a Hunter like striker, that is actually handy… We have Ola John on the left too and he has shown tremendous skill in crossing the ball in. And then there’s Derk Boerrigter on the left too. Narsingh on the right is a good classic winger too. Wijnaldum can play on the right wing and we know that if necessary Afellay can play there too.
And with youngsters like Memphis Depay (PSV winger), Stefano Denswil and Mitchell Dijks ( Ajax defenders) and Tonny Trindade de Vilhena (Feyenoord midfielder) even in the mix ( all around 20 years old in 2014), our future does look bright.
So, in summary, what do we have:
1. A very talented and skilful group of players, in a nice age mix
2. A football culture and style to rely on
3. Tactical smarts ( if we pick the right coach)
4. A strong need/urge/desire to take revenge on ourselves for this Euro debacle
The only thing we need to create is time to try out new players and test game play. Whenever the A-team gets together for a game, get the second tier lads together for practice. In the 2013 summer, don’t fall for the money trap to take the team to Japan, China or Argentina, but get the boys together for a practice period in Holland. Test young defenders, organise practice games against Ajax 2 or Katwijk.
Don’t let money be the guide and new coach, don’t do things “because that is how we always do them” but invest in re-visiting the Dutch playing style and drill it in. Forward pressure, high paced passing, wing play and pass&move.
There is no need to consider the 2014 World Cup as lost. We can be ready with a strong squad IF the KNVB has the balls to make the right choice.