Ronald Koeman interview

As per our customs, we like to present a new team manager via a “Big Interview”. In this case, the manager isn’t new. The interview is still big.

Ronald Koeman, the new team manager for Oranje. Welcome…

Koeman: “I am so blessed, happy and priviliged to be the….

Yes, you can stop the cliches and the asskissing Ronald, we know your drill by now, ladidadida I am so proud, yadda yadda… is there another clause in your agreement? Will you forsake Oranje again?? Maybe when Spurs come calling?

“Oops, no. I get what you’re saying. No clause this time.”

Yes, because you were so keen to coach Oranje but you left at a key time and you left us with Frank de Boer and Louis van Gaal. Two major tournaments wasted opportunities. What do you have to say for yourself?

“Like I said, there is no clause now and I am happy and blessed and….”

Enough! What can we expect?

“Well, like I said before. I am a 4-3-3 man. I will not proceed with the LVG style of 5 at the back, whatever Louis called it. We’re going back to the system with which I had success, before I …”

Yes, shut up. How did you enjoy the World Cup?

“I think it was an exciting World Cup. The Qatar location wasn’t a success, neither was the winter time, for me at least, but we saw some exciting games. The Dutch could and should have done better, I feel, but I think everyone feels this way.”

What was the reason? Van Gaal?

“It’s tempting to say yes to that. But in all fairness, our top forwards were not in good shape. Gakpo did ok, but Memphis and Bergwijn were the go-to guys for Louis and I think he betted on the wrong horses. Overall, we didn’t have the quality we needed to have.”

How do you think you can overcome this?

“I hope I will make better decisions. But I won’t go back into the World Cup or stuff that happened before me. It’s not fair on Louis and not fair on the lads. I wasn’t there. I want to focus on the games ahead and the tournaments where I can have an impact. I do believe 4-3-3 will be a better option for us. Playing three at the back because you have top defenders is not good enough for me. I mean, we won’t play 5 strikers when we have 5 top goal scorers, would we?”

You came up with the definitive squad for these two Euro Qualification matches. It seemed the goalies and the strikers were a problem but now that is overshadowed by the loss of Frenkie de Jong. Can we cope without him?

“Of course! We will field 11 players, don’t worry. And we do not have a “second Frenkie” in the sense that Frenkie is quite unique. But even with Koopmeiners injured we have alternatives. They will play their part in a different way, but they can definitely play in that role. Wijnaldum played there, De Roon did, Berghuis even, Taylor plays in his role at Ajax and Blind played there a couple of games as well. And I have Wieffer and also Joey Veerman in the squad. Geertruida can play there even!”

Daley Blind? People will wonder why he is even in the squad?

“Really? He played 99 matches for Oranje! A player like him will always get his exit through the front door! He has been a good and loyal soldier of orange and although I did tell him that he shouldn’t count on a starting spot at LB, he can still be very important for us. He can play on 3 different spots and he brings a lot of know how and experience in the dressing room. I want to be able to give him his 100st international game, he deserves it. But whether I will keep on selecting him will hinge on his game time, moving forward.”

Ok, so no LB role for him anymore?

“No, listen when we play 4 at the back, Nathan Ake and Malacia are two excellent candidates and we have the likes of Bakker and Hartman coming through too. Daley is vulnerable defensively, that is no secret, but he can definitely play in the central midfield role, when we play with two pivots.”

Exactly what Van Basten and Gullit said in the Rondo talkshow.

“Yes but I don’t need them to tell me. Everyone knows this. But I have options. I can play De Roon if I want to build in more defensive strength. Or Berghuis, Taylor or even Wieffer if I want to play more offensive.”

Would you risk it with Wieffer in his debut match? Against France?

“Sure, why not? When you’re part of the squad, you’re part of the squad. He will have to show me, of course, during practice here, but I saw him play against Ajax, and Shaktar and those are games at a high level and he was great. I also added Veerman to the mix, we’re not in bad shape at all and Frenkie is a player who – like any player – can get injured or suspended so we need to find ways to cope.”

How bad was the news for you, that Luuk de Jong and Vincent Janssen withdrew from international football?

“Bad bad…. it was a surprise. I would never expect a player to say thanks to Oranje but hey, times change. I mean, Luuk is getting on and his body might need the rest at times. I respect that. He’s 32 and started his pro life at 17 or so? 15 years of knocks and pushes and battles. It’s a shame because he is definitely one of the best headers in the game in Europe, but like Janssen, he wouldn’t be a starter. Vincent has a young family and I think the pace of today’s game forces him to slow down. I think we demand too much of our players. All these matches, it’s nuts.”

Do we now have a strikers problem?

“Nah. I don’t think so. Gakpo plays striker for Liverpool. Memphis at Atleti. We have Danjuma who will hope that Kane moves on, we have Brobbey, Dallinga, Malen, Lang and even Simons can play there. Oh and Weghorst. I think we will manage.”

And the goalies?

“I understand there was a highly scientific approach re: the goalies. I’m a simple man and the father of a goalkeeper and I think a goalie needs to stop balls from going into the net. With Cillesen, Flekken, Bijlow and now also Verbruggen we have good goalies. Cillesen has years in him still, and the others obviously too. Noppert is top as well, but injured now and I can see more good goalies in the Eredivisie, like Olij and Vaessen. We – again – should be ok.”

There was some surprise re: Frimpong versus Geertruida and Tete?

“I can understand this, but I have a simple answer. Geertruida can play RB in a 4-3-3, he can also play central defender really well, and he can play also in the defensive mid role in midfield. Frimpong for me is more a wingback or even a right winger! He is excellent in Van Gaal’s system, so to speak. I think Geertruida is a better defender, Frimpong excellent in attack. But defenders need to be able to defend.”

Dumfries is suspended of course, for the France game. Tete was quite annoyed with the snub, he made some public comments about it. It felt like you were playing with his balls?

“I didn’t hear him say it, and he might have used this as a metaphor. I’m not impressed but I will call him after these matches and suss him out. I don’t think he has anything to complain. I got him into the squad again and I have gotten him into this prelim squad. I think Geertruida has been impressing way longer than Tete, who is only back at full form since this season. But I will call him up and see how he is.”

So Geertruida versus Mbappe? 

“Yes why not. Or Timber.”

How do you see this qualifications group?

“I think we’ll need to be at our best versus all opponents. The onus is onus is on us and France. Two nations qualify and that should be us. But you can easily get into trouble against one of the others. Maybe not Gibraltar but even that match will not be an easy one. They never are. But if we don’t qualify, I will have failed.”

Are you positive about our future? Talent development?

“I am very positive. Look at the level of the Dutch clubs these days. Sure, Feyenoord is top, Ajax is always top, PSV will be there, but now AZ and FC Twente are joining in, Sparta, NEC and RKC are performing ever so well, our overall level is going up. And there is excellent talent, all over the place. Xavi Simons, Summerville at Leeds, Struijk at Leeds, Huissen at Juventus, we have Wieffer now, I still believe in Rensch and Teze, I can see talent at Ajax and Feyenoord, like Hartman. And it’s great to see a player like Malen getting back into shape, Lang and Danjuma are still young. We develop some great central defenders too, there is Botman, Struijk, Schuurs and Micky van de Ven, Bjorn Meijer, I mean truly… The future is bright.”

And you also seem to be keen to bring Wijnaldum back?

“For me, Wijnaldum always needs to be part of Oranje, as long as he’s fit. He always delivered under me. I am not saying it was Van Gaal’s problem, as Gini could indeed have a lesser period, it happens, but I can only refer to his many goals, his partnership with Memphis, his work ethics, I mean… Gini is top class. It’s not for nothing that the Liverpool midfield struggled without him.”

How do you rate Xavi Simons?

“He is a tremendous talent. From a footballing perspective, he’s a top class and his mentality is even better. He is not here to do tricks or to make pannas, he wants to win matches. Whenever he plays, something happens. That is really good to see.”

What do you expect from France?

“I think they will play their usual compact game. They want to create space for MBappe and they won’t press high. The pitch will be small when we have the ball and we need to be neat in possession and create options for triangles. And our rest defence needs to be top notch. We will need some training sessions for this, still.”

My eleven for the France game:


Geertruida  –  Timber – Van Dijk – Ake

Marten de Roon – Daley Blind – Wijnaldum

Xavi Simons – Weghorst – Memphis

Result: 2-2 (goals Memphis and Wijnaldum and two own goals by Daley)

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  1. No excuse for a bad result tomorrow even with all these absentees, defense is still very solid (ake-Van dijk-timber-geertruida)
    Midfield koeman has his boys de Roon and wijnaldum, he adds wieffer to them and in attack that’s where we miss gakpo heavily because he is becoming irreplaceable for us, but we have xavi-memphis-malen!!

    The mindset should be “let’s show France that we can beat them on their turf with a super depleted team” and not “ohhhh we are fucked, are we gonna lose by 3 or 6”!!!!

  2. And if it was up to me obviously the ideal replacement for frenkie is there now and his name is gravenberch , he is the only one who will dare the carry the ball forward; get him in the starting line up but no maybe Kenneth Taylor will be rewarded for his spectacular season with Ajax ….

  3. Its bit unfortunate that its koeman first game and it has come down to this, selection delimma but if you look back at what I have always being saying on how the dutch NT always look thin when there is injuries, it again goes back to how past coaches and their selections limits a good platform for future or . Again when instead of looking at a big squad, they are confine to specific players instead of trying to build depth. I think this is a big contributing factor of why the transitioning and evolution of dutch football is striken.

    Recall the approaches under van Gaal and father Blind on Malacia vs daley Blind when they took over. Only when the opponents suits then malacia gets the nod. Malacia doesnt need to play to prove himself etc. Look at how in long run this has turned out to be.on paper Ake looks good but he ain’t no LB and neither you can have high expectation with him not around his city comrades. Its again like I always say, back to square 1 and starting from the scratch. Then look at malacia who is a LB, who should have regular now in NT, now finds him self being pushed back. You can also look at rensch selection and tete and karsdorp treatment. I’m just taKing this as an example to highlight again on the continuity, growth, aspect of the team.

    Again you can look at france and how the rotation in the team keeps paving a good building platform in long run and during injury crisis.its not only them but other NTs as well.

    Being said this you cant really expect much from this outings. The only hope would be for the new players to make a mark for future.

  4. Does Ake has the pace to handle kingsly coman and Mbhappe??Ake is perhaps the best LB in EPl…Ian maatsen and Hartman needs another 6 months time to be in NT..Till then We can ne okay with Ake at LB..
    To play against france with a fluid game you need players with lengs..and clinical finishers up front
    i would go with work force
    —-Gravenberch———kenneth taylor———
    —————Cillessen———————-i feel with Depay ,simons and berghuis we have best combo to score gaols….
    wijnaldum as subs…yes Blind for his final match as sub then retire…

  5. I have to say the Lineup by Alaa looks to be best team. Berghuis is useless in high tempo games and it’s no use starting him.

    Also apart from brobbery maybe, there is no one from the bench
    Who can come on and make an impact which again is worrying.

  6. When u play wijnaldum and de roon you have static non creative mid… Geetruida starts also berghuis and Simon’s… Brobbey and malen will come as sub… Timber starts over de vrij..

  7. Lineup: Netherlands XI v France: Cillessen, Geertruida, Ake, Timber, Van Dijk, Taylor, De Roon, Wijndaldum, Berghuis, Simons, Memphis

    Koeman said he wanted to play with three “real” mf’s in this game. I suppose he has that. Seems like he wants to play it very close to the vest. Play a tight defensive game, maybe sneak a goal, and be happy with a draw.

    Back line looks fine given the illnesses. MF without FDJ is what it is: Wijnaldum didn’t look great in the Rome Derby on Sunday, a little lethargic really (but he played well for Koeman in the past, so maybe? Being optimistic here); De Roon will play his normal defensive game and we’ll see with Taylor, agree that it would have been nice to see Wieffer or Gravenberch. Up front, I’d rather have Malen than Berghuis. But maybe this will be Simons’ coming out party. Always look forward to a match. Time to play.

  8. Disgusting and new excuses accepted ….

    Kenneth Taylor why on earth is he even in France with the team ? Let alone start the game …. Mediocrity at its best !!!!

  9. Only god knows why kenneth Taylor starts and gravenberch no!!!!!!! Maybe because of how spectacular Kenneth has been with Ajax so far obviously being sarcastic here because the kid oozes mediocrity and lack of skills…

  10. Mid feild doesnt exist.. Worst players so far.. Wijnaldum, De roon.. Geetruida mistake, Cillessen stupidity… And much more… I pray that they get exposed..

  11. Well good to see koeman correct his mistakes. Talyor has no business starting or in NT and his selection, well??????

    Berghuis berghuis berghuis, you see what I said about him and high tempo games. Put malen in there.

    Depay needs to be relieved from taking free kicks. Brobbery for him in the last 20 -25 mins

    Timber has looked vulnerable again on set pieces. Konate header which was saved by cillessen, he was gone

    Midfield is settling down with changes

  12. So
    Koeman and his assistants saw Kenneth Taylor in training for the past 4 days and they decided he is good enough to even be in this team let alone start the game :)??? Koeman is getting paid millions to
    Make these decisions in the end :)? I guess some people are lucky in life ….

  13. Right before the match started:
    Koeman: “I have a lot of confidence in Kenneth Taylor. This is his chance. He is good enough to prove himself.”

  14. Koeman inadvertently treated this match sorta like a testimonial to get a cap for Blind & Klaassen. Overconfident maybe 🤔 in getting a 1-1 result?

  15. Excellent result. A couple more of these and the asshole Koeman hopefully gets a hard kick on his ass. By the way, I am an Everton fan and can’t stand even the shadow of that pathetic excuse of a man.

  16. As much as I hate to see result like this, I think it’s a good one. Obviously Koeman is out-of depth with his coaching. His selections of players for start are already an indication. A draw with Gilbratar will be icing on cake.
    The players can stay cozy with this coach and miss out on Euros next year for all they want. A generation of good players will be wasted next two years unless Koeman is sacked.

  17. Are you guys surprised? As a Dutch fan, this is demoralizing. You have a football federation which doesn’t give a F about football. They are refusing to move forward. They kept on bringing back these same Fc ing coaches. What in world Koeman is thinking when he brought all of the same loosers. Are you kidding me? These players didn’t produce then, what makes you think they are going to produce now. You have a lot of these young talents abroad and at home. Why don’t you start to rebuild and 3 years from now you can have a competitive team. I would rather lose against France if the approach was to rebuild. Koeman brought, Gini a player who already passed his prime, just came back from injury. Who does that? People in the Netherlands are way too passive. They don’t care one way or another if the NT performs well or not. That would not have happened in Brazil or Argentina. Total BS

  18. Barcelona calls him so he runs and leaves the team at a very critical stage with all the consequences after that and the de Boer disaster , why was he allowed back? He got his chance and he walked away!!! Time for one of the new generation managers , time for the Jansens and the slots we are sick and tired of this man!!!

  19. I think most fans here see that loss coming. This is what you get with picking out of form players left and right and put them into the line up.

  20. But also the mentality of these players ??? Are they a bunch of spoiled rich kids who are not willing to put up a fight ??? Like this lifeless no urgency no aggression attitude , what the hell is that ?

  21. What a relief! So, happy with this result. The moment when I heard that Koeman is going to bring Wijnaldum and Blind, I decided not to watch this disaster. When I opened and saw the score after the first half, I looked at the lineup and couldn’t understand what Koeman was thinking of. Anyway, KNVB will continue taking Dutch soccer to a disaster. After Koeman is gone, they will bring Dick Advocaat or maybe Frank de Boer. The impression is that people sitting in KNVB completely lack the ability to think outside of box. This shortsightedness coupled with Dutch stubbornness will not lead to anything good. Even Maarten Martens would do much better job than Koeman.

  22. Koeman can be pardoned on this one, Even though he will try to cover up his selection fragilities with the illness that struck the team but If he doesn’t take the heed from this game, he shudnt be around for long.

    There no rooms for berghuis, klaassen, blind, De Roon and wijnaldum in the team. It’s time to clear these dead woods and I hope we will see the changes vs Gibraltar.

    Geertruida, first game, defensively looked ok, but was clumsy with his tackles. Again to start him at CB backfired and offensively at RB , no cutting edge. Hence is it worth investing in him when Dumfries brings the same style of play. This question needs to be answered and also whether he can be upgrade to dumfries. Otherwise the French were very active on his flank.

    I thought instead of weghorst, Malen should have replaced Taylor. Depay on the wings kills the momentum of the flow as he tends to pause in between. With Lang, Danjuma and Gakpo, they bring more fluidity to the game than Depay who seems to be far off from his best days. For me koeman got this one wrong and again while weghorst work rate and energy was quiet evident, He was just lurking in the back ground and never really pose any danger to the French defense compared to when malen came on. I think weghorsts story is the same at United currently. To think about it you need clinical strikers in these types games to stand a chance and you have to admit with weghorst this often is scarce.

    Simons showed flashes of brilliance but then again players around him were poor. I think he started on the left then went in the middle and then ended up playing what looked like double pivot with de roon at point back wijnaldum on the left playing high and him on the right.

    In generally the faster this game is forgotten the better. There is really nothing positive to say about the game apart from the French being on another level. I think all the doughts, evaluation on which he selected certain players should just end here and make way for a good transition.

  23. Poor selections!
    Cillessen as GK when he hasn’t played top level football for long time!!
    Geertruida as CB and Timber as RB when at least it should be other way round since they don’t play in these positions at their club!!
    Wijnaldum, De Roon and Taylor in MF. the first just returned to competitive football, and the last playing just average in Eredivisie!!
    Blind and Klaassen as substitutes and surely they aren’t going to turn round the game when they couldn’t do Vs Argentina!!
    Depay playing striker, taking penalty kick. He has reached his ceiling. He ain’t going to flourish anymore. Move on with him.

    Think we need LVG again. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  24. I just looked at the first goal again, Kenneth Taylor loses the ball sooooooo easily to greisman who is not a big guy either, De roon was also there greisman runs all the way to our box Taylor is no where close to him so instead of standing up and running like a
    Monster to get him back he jogs way behind him …. This was only third minute it is not like this was 90tj minute and he was out of gas…. And forget de Roon how he runs like he is 90 years old….. man the mediocrity in some of these players is killing me

  25. Infact Daley blind of 90 year old was 1000 times better than wijnaldum and de roon and Taylor at midfeild… Blind was great infact… We lost in mid.. Taylor is with team for a while and he should get dropped for time being… Joke was De roon and Cillessen how this below mediocrea play for oranje.. Lvg deservedly dropped Cillessen for wc.. It is justified.. We have monsters of cb De vrij, Doekhi, van de ven, shurrs, Deligt and Timber for RCB… Then why the hell Geetruida for CB??. This show how clueless koeman was… The real problems are they wont see this, they will count it like a bad day… That hownstubborn they are..

  26. We need a committed, hard working coach who put his stuborn ego for the sake of glory of oranje… 4-0 drubbing is waht you get when play with your biased players…
    1- Geetruida as CB
    2- Cillessen should not be there at all..
    3..Gini, Tyalor and De roon doesn’t deserve to play in Nt over Tijjani, Van de boomen, Weiffers, Gravenberch..

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