Sloppy Oranje close to Euro2020

Koeman was fuming after the match. Serious look on his face. “Congratulations, you have one foot in the Euros,” was the interviewer’s attempt to see a smile on Koeman’s face.

Koeman did what everybody wanted him to do. Play Malen from the start, bench Dumfries and use Van de Beek instead of De Roon.

The first half ended 2-0. That could have given the impression that all was well in the Land of Orange. But it wasn’t really. A suicide block by De Ligt saved the openings goal by Belarus. And the quality of play in the first half didn’t really get us all too excited.

Van de Beek for instance… He had a strong opener and almost scored a typical Van de Beek goal, making a diagonal run into the box. His lob just landed on the roof of the goal. Otherwise, Donny got lost in traffic, where Malen, Promes, Wijnaldum and Bergwijn also tried to find space.

Malen then. A great player, who needs space to run into. Where Memphis wants the ball mostly in his feet, Malen likes to dart in behind. But vs Belarus, there was hardly any space for Malen to use his strength.

Promes had a better game, I felt. He was crisp on the ball, not as sloppy as Veltman or Bergwijn. His cross for Wijnaldum was wonderful but Promes seems to be the first player to sub, apparently. I would have used him as wingback and bench Veltman.

So over to Joel Veltman. A strange animal. Too small for centre back. Not good (fast, gifted) enough to play full back. A good defender but needing a lot of fouls (and collecting yellows) while his handling speed in attack is too slow. But, still better than Dumfries, who really needs to improve massively in his touch and ball handling. Dumfries running in to space? Great! Dumfries making dummy runs? Wonderful. Dumfries heading the ball? Very good! But against smaller nations like Belarus or Northern Ireland, he’s not good enough.

But neither is Veltman. Koeman came up with the “Diamond midfield” in a 3-4-3 system.

Knowing that Belarus played with 1 forward, Blind, De Ligt and Van Dijk played at the back, with Veltman as the right wing back. The only thing Veltman did well was his positioning, but the flow of the moves all seem to stop whenever he got the ball. He had 12 crosses (!) and only 1(!) was decent. The rest was wasted.

Another example of Koeman being risk averse. If you know Belarus doesn’t play with a left winger and we need attacking power on the wings, why not use Quincy Promes as wingback??

In this tactical set up, the wings weren’t used properly. Promes and Malen were supposed to cover the left flank, Veltman and Bergwijn the right, but we never had the proper pace to outdo the opponent. And in that central area of our attack, it simply was too crowded.

Only once did we manage to find a forward running player, when Daley Blind passed onto Promes who made a run in behind and his touch just let him down.

Other than that, it was a header opportunity for Gini and a shot from distance by Gini that made the difference, while we (De Ligt in particular) looked shaky at the back.

The change made in the second half, after we allowed Belarus their goal, was very much needed.

With De Roon for Van de Beek, we moved one body out of the busy zone back to the midfield and with Luuk de Jong we had a target man which Malen and co. could use to their advantage. Luuk got one header opportunity which he directed over the goal.

The Belarus goal was another typical example of a series of mistakes in a row, just like with the Northern Ireland goal.

In this case, I believe it was a matter of the Dutch cheering and slapping each other on the back at half time! “We have it in the bag! 2-0 guys, lets score two more in the second half. Yay!!”.

Well, that arrogance and complacency got them good! Because Belarus demonstrated in one attack that they can play!

The player who crossed the ball in, had all the time in the world to do so, as Veltman simply didn’t close the ball down. Frenkie de Jong let his man drift off. Frenkie actually saw it (as the footage shows) but decided to point at him and let Van Dijk deal with it. Blind was in two minds: do I help out or do I stay and guard my own man?

As a result, it was 3 attackers vs 2 central defenders. The cross was excellent and so was the header. Boom! And now Oranje had to battle for the 3 points.

Wijnaldum was the man who made the difference! He had another dart into the box, allowing Malen his second goal for Oranje on a plate. But it baffles me why the former Ajax talent didn’t pick the left corner of the goal, where the goalie wouldn’t have been able to stop the ball. That should have been 3-1.

And late in the game, Gini even had the legs/lungs (like vs Germany) to break out again, but a slip stopped him from scoring his hat trick.

The mood after the game was mixed. Van Dijk did have a big smile on his face, saying it was a great day! When the interviewer asked about it, he said: “Oh, that is for a personal reason. Not because of this match.” I think Virgil might have heard he is becoming a father again or something like that?

Wijnaldum was critical. Proud of his goals, but with his experience at the WorldCup 2014, he knows shit needs to improve pronto. Wijnaldum also mentioned the problem Oranje faced in the second half: “We didn’t start well in the second half. We were complacent. I think the 2-0 gave us the idea we would have an easy and fun second half. That really needs to improve.”

De Ligt was very open and honest: “I know I’m not at my best. The change I made, moving to Italy, it’s harder than I thought. There is a lot of new elements to my life now and I need a bit more time, but I’m sure and confident things will turn around. I have a lot of faith in myself and I’m not concerned. You know, in all those games I played in recently, I may not look 100% but we did win all the games, so… It’s not that bad.”

Ronald Koeman was happy on the one hand, and fuming on the other. He did make a comment on the pitch, which indeed was quite shitty. And he couldn’t resist the following statement: “Maybe we are simply not good enough yet, that we can just play these nations off the pitch…”

The Netherlands now are with one foot in the Euros. One more point is needed and if we get that in Belfast, we are good to book our tickets. Koeman does want to win the group, as that will also give us a spot as group leader at the Euros.

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  1. If my math is right, as long as we beat Estonia in the final game, we can lose the next game up to 3-0 and we would be in the euros.

    Either way, I hope we win out and get a top spot for the group draw. 🙂

    1. Depends on the result of Ireland and Germany.

      If Germany wins their remaining 2 games, then we only need 1 point from our last 2 games.

      If Germany and Ireland tie, then we need to beat Estonia, and not lose to Ireland by 3 or more (ie win the head to head).

      If Ireland beats Germany, then we need to win against Estonia and draw against Ireland.

      1. Germany and dutch has alerady 3 points lead from ireland..They both beat Ireland..To over come Germany they have to beat Germany by -3-0 and beat us by 2-0….Is it possible for them????
        Win against Estonia will give another 3 ponts lead…So its highly unlikely that we and Gemany loose it..Cool stuff to come..

  2. Does anyone knows whar the fixtures are after the two qualifier games ?

    I mean from
    Then until the group stages , usually how many friendly games will there and when and how many be arranged ?

  3. It would be stupid for me not to agree with all the comments, and believe me I do agree. Nevertheless, I do think Koeman is more pragmatic in his approach or in other words playing it safe.
    If there’s one thing that history has thought us is that holland can be very unpredictable (out of two major tournaments). Baring this in mind, the one consideration that I think is lacking from the comments I read is the psychological factor.
    Yes the team is not there (yet) but the points are in the bag. I prefer the latter.

  4. It would be nice to have a friendly where we could test out a good Van Dijk and De Vrij center defense.

    Some posters on here are like old women, just complain all the time. The team is young and developing. De Ligt is 20!! Frenkie is 22! And you are shocked they don’t have the composure of seasoned veterans? Come on.

    Frenkie will learn not to hold on to the ball for too long and De Ligt will improve. Malen will not make that mistake again. From a learning standpoint this was a great game, won’t be complacent and still won.

    1. @Paulny…
      We had coach who never tried to play newocmers even in friendly ..thats Fart van marwijk,under him we got schooled in 2012 with Roben and sneijder co.That stuborn coach was a disgrace to dutch football..He got A@@skicked for not playing vaart for kuyt at final from start 2010.
      World wide got name thugs..
      Wasted the talents of fab4,Dejong and co..
      Koeman is the best coach for me since last 28 years..He is just 4/5 players away from a champion team…
      koeman is not free from mistakes…when a team played 120 minutes in knockout match at least 3 players should be rested for next match whenit happens with in 3 days time..
      Koeman should immediatly start giving chances to Dest and karsdorp as RB.
      Koeman should immediatly give chance to AKE as DM like he give chances for Blind as LB though Blind is more of LCB..
      He must select a class player like stengs ,irrespective of age…
      Berjwin is not better than stengs at least..
      Frenkie de jong got stupid barca syndrome,to dribble and endless pass game with zero goal…while deligt is infected with fera syndrome given by unstability of the coach…
      Frenkie style is affected by Barca,he was affected by barca style..I DONT GIVE fu#$$ck abot Tiki F%%ka.. I hate that game..Evry time Tiki fuk##ka barca looses i have orgasm…That Tiki Fu@#ka spain in 2010 would have got raped by orange had that Stupid Bert played Vaart for kuyt from start..Eventually van gaal did in 2014..
      Ajax style suites De ligt ,De beek and Frenkie than Juve and barca…Ajax would eat alive if ajax played with frenkie and Deligt in ajax team..

      1. Tiju, I thought you were a disciple of our Lord Jesus? There is a lot of profanity in your posts man. There is not a lot of brotherly love for Bert v Marwijk, Dirk Kuyt and Daley Blind hahaha.

        I do agree that Bert should have used Rafael much more.

        But I don’t agree that Bert was a disgrace. If I remember correctly, he was the coach who got us in the WC finals? In 2010? Or am I mistaken?

        1. @Jan i am still unable to diagest those past stubborness , agres i was little over the top.
          RVN sitting for kuyt in 2006..
          Vaart sitting for kuyt 2010..when Both and RVN ae on their prime..
          2008 ,Roben and RVP was injured so ita was okay for me..
          2012 its Van mommel who spoiled the party by putting inform strootman on bench..Once again Bert punished for not playing new players as he used only 25 players for qualification..
          Bert was pragmatic agree,He did better than Danny Blind and Guus Hiddink..

          1. We all getting aged we need to see orange lifts a WC before we leave this i hate it we spoil it with stubornn coaches or biased coach who play son in law all the time..

    2. Malen mistake was not much to worry i have seen pathetic failing of kuyt(he wants to dribble pass the GK and shoot but he knew he cannot eventually falling to GK) Vs portugal on 1 on1 2006…
      malen had nice shot,but the goal keepr dived and saved it..Forgive malen..its natural..nothing to blame him..

  5. Portgual lost to Ukraine.england lost to the Czech. France drew with Turkey. But still they look genuine contenders. Netherlands won vs Belarus and NI, the alarm bell starts ringing. They are a good side but definitely can be better and I agree whoever said koeman is few players and heart attacks away from becoming serious contenders. 2020 is likely to be that one.

    There is still time imo. Beat NI and use the rest of the qualifers to rotate the squad or give nod to those potential who can seriously change the configuration of the team

    1. Ireland has to play open,coz they need to win,i think Thats the end of ireland..Once they start attack we will tore them in their own backyard,i expect a victory for orange if ireland decides to win game.
      it will be just opposite to De Quip…
      stengs,Danjuma,Dest,karsdorp,Koopmeiners ,Winjdal,to dropping non performing ones..Blind as LCB back up if Reikik not regular at hertha berlin…and Ake and koopmeiners as our standard DM fr 1 st and second choice

    2. Correct Wilson. And in England and in France and in Italy there are players who make mistakes and are to blame for goals. But only here do people constantly put negativity on one or two players…

  6. Have a question? Suppose if there will be players who will hit top form maybe towards the end of the season. Players that have not been called up. Should they be overlooked or should they be selected?

    1. Stengs for Berjwin
      Danjuma for LUUk

      Winjdal in 23.
      Blind as LCB back up
      Dest and karsdorp at RB
      Ake as DM
      koopmeiners as another DM..
      Bizot as first choice GK..
      thats teh changes immediatly needed..

      1. Emanuel i think u didnt see only alkmar big game this season which was against manchester. Koopmeiners is still dont dutch material. His passing not too good. Steng is maybe good talent but bergwijn is better than him for now. Bizot?? Maybe u dont like cillesen and make story for urself about bizot.
        I think we have good team just de virj has to replace de ligt. De ligt was really awful for now. And all guys see he is in shit form. Another who can add is dilrosun. He is in my list before stengs and if hac can keep his form he would add. Karsdrop maybe another one and maybe with too little chance danuruma if he improve in bornmouth.

        1. Alkmaar should ahve won the macth.Koopmeiners runs the channel he control s it..Bizot is clam and composed he is has no fear factor,lion hearted guy..He has old Vlaar infront of him still he save WHEN IT MATTERS…
          I know u r not fan of stengs,Stengs is way better than dilrosun,Ihatteren and berjwin,,may be ihatteren could compete him little bit..Stengs is the new Roben..
          karsdoor might be rusty still but he is okay as Back..
          Dest is execellt with ajax,incredible Dest..
          just watch Hakim zyech gaol vs Cillessen chapions league,Cillessen should have saved it..Pickford or Bizot would save that.That derailed Valencia..Cillessen is Good keeper,Bizot is more reliable,Bizot is the one whom neede to win a tournaments ,he saves when it matters the most,he is 1000 time better penalty stopper than Cillessen..

      2. Also i keep my eye on ihatteren. We really need him. But we have to see how psv do in eufa cup and also is NT final choice for him??
        1 year ago frenkie just atart to improve and now maybe this year iahatteren can do it

        1. its to early for him. I dont think he will make it to the euros unless if becomes a case of locking him down but even then it doesnt look like Morroco is interested in him at the moment.

          also if you look at the likes of Depay,De ligt,frenkie, it was in their second season that they really started make impact.

          Im hoping it will be show down between him and Lang for that AM position.

    2. They should be selected yes.

      I don’t agree with Tiju on most things, but I do think Stengs deserves a spot. Not for Bergwijn, but for Berghuis. I think he made a typo.

      Wijndal: Too early.

      Only Stengs and Ihattaren when he decides to go for Oranje and Dest when he does too.

    1. I think they have already sealed it. NI will be playing Germany and NT in the last rounds.they need maximum of six point which will then force a three way tie. as much as you wanna give credit to the NIT, by no means this will be evitable.A draw could be possible but then Germany vs Belarus and NT vs Estonia will out favour them.

      it will be of A mother of upset if they go on to beat both germany and NT. they will be playing both games at home. even if its a three way tie, again they will lose out goal difference.

  7. @Jan

    just going back to to our earlier conversation.

    “Wilson, did you ever play football? Or any team sport?”

    yes, soccer, Rugby,basketball.

    “If a player trains every day with 4 or 5 other players at his club and plays with them, this means there is a thorough understanding. This cannot be copied by a lad who only sees the others two days every two months?”

    Depends if they replicate the same form at both club and international level. the barcelona contingent was a great example, xavi, Inestia and the co when they dominated the spain squad.the juventus contingent in the Italy team. which common understanding or coordination have you seen of the ajax contingent in current NT. Blind plays out of position and no use elaborating on what he does out of there with specific teams. de ligt looks shaky, frenkie goes on his own accord and Promes is more a impact player at best.

    it terms of coupling, the only one currently that looks a strong hold is that of Malen and Memphis and this is where I think both should start together and koeman should bring more potential backup players to replace them on the bench.

    “Blind has had competition. Vilhena and Van Aanholt played left back in Oranje. Koeman (and others before him) always revert back to Daley Blind”.

    koeman only used Vilhnea once at wing back and that was vs portgual and Van annholt started vs England, both which were friendlys. Blind was not selected because he had had not played for months at United. this was way back in march last year. after Blind moved to Ajax, he kept getting the benefit of doubt and since then there hasnt been any rotation at LB. this is under koeman, just to add. if im not wrong then van annholt did have a late cameo in one of the games in the nations league. im not sure on this one.

    which competition are you taking about,? In case I have missed one.

    “You should read what Ten Hag says about Blind.I think you focus too much on the ball and what the ball is doing. Try to focus on players, on movement, on positioning and passing.This will show you suddenly why Blind is revered by Van Gaal, De Boer, Koeman, Blind and Hiddink. Recently, Wim Kieft and Arsene Wenger also lauded the Ajax man”

    Simple, whats he does or can do at ajax is shadow of a performance of what you see him doing in NT. I will strongly go back to to what Yoyogi said,


    he has nailed it here and this is what I have been wanting and waiting to see the way this is two separate comments which I have merged it.

    “Or do you still think that you understand the game better than Van Gaal, De Boer, Ten Hag, Hiddink, Wenger and Koeman? Just” checking…
    linked to the top.

  8. A strong u17 squad announced fpor the world cup in Brazil. Ian Maatssen, Jayden Braaf, Ki Jana Hoever,Naci Ünüvar, Kenneth Taylor and Sontje Hanse,Bogarde,Naoufal Bannis,Mohamed Taabouni.
    Notable absentee are Brian Brobbery who was deemed unfit and xavi simmons.

  9. @Wilson

    So basically, you are saying that Blind is excellent in Ajax, but not in Oranje?

    I think you’re wrong. He played very good for us on the left flank, even in the WC qualification games and Dick Advocaat used him on Frenkie’s spot in his last two matches and he was one of the key players in those games.

    I don’t think you can objectively say Blind sucks in Oranje. I don’t think you can say this about any player, maybe only Kevin Strootman and recently Dumfries.

    As for mixing it up and giving players a chance to improve competition:

    I don’t think that is how you do it. A coach will use training sessions to determine who is sharpest, best or combines best with others (this is a strong indicator or Koeman actually, the “coupling” as he calls it) and then he tries to build a strong team. A core of 6 to 8 players who he can rely on.

    This is how coaches work. Koeman, Van Gaal, Van Marwijk, Ten Hag, Klopp, all of them!

    So the core players in Oranje are: Van Dijk, F. de Jong, De Ligt, Memphis, Wijnaldum, Daley Blind…

    I think one midfield spot is up for grabs (De Roon, Propper, Van de Beek, depending on opponent, with Mo Ihattaren potentially coming on the radar soon).

    Right back is open and forwards are open. Babel might be a firm starter, but might not. Depends on competition.

    Not sure what you meant with “linked to the top” when I mentioned how you see it differently than approximately 5 top coaches but you believe you see it better than them??

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