Sneijder looks back and into the future

Van Gaal: “Look Sneijdertje! Those tattoos! Totally wrong. That is not how you do it?! Bring me a pen! I will draw you a good tattoo…”

Wesley Sneijder looked back at the abysmal EC while his team mates almost secured the ticket for the next big tournament. Wes was looking at the Romania game on his laptop in LA – where he is being treated for his injury – and feels the need to explain – as a true skipper – what happened last summer.

He was the guiding light in a team that had lost it. Dependable Mr Everton John Heitinga seemed to be on a summer holiday, Huntelaar left Dr Jekyl at home but came as Mr Hyde while Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel seemed to be playing futsol. And Van Persie was practicing without goals.

“There were so many excuses brought forward….already after the Denmark game… But there are no excuses. We played a World Cup finals against the best team of the world with these lads… And now we can’t score against Denmark? With all the quality we have?”

Sneijder doesn’t believe the EC squad was “over the hill”. Are you mad? Of course not! You can see how dominant and committed players like Heitinga, Van Bommel and Van Persie were for their clubs, right? How can you say they’re over the hill? I’m only 28 years old. Rafa only 29…”

So what went wrong? “A lot… Somehow, the automatisms we developed in 2010 were gone. It hadn’t even to do with form. Jeez, players like Huntelaar, Van Persie, Heitinga, Vlaar, Van der Vaart, Willems….almost everyone came out of a strong season. Every team manager would have had saliva if they could play one of these lads… And at times, we did play well. Really well. But we could keep that going. Something happened…as if a fear-switch was flicked, and half the team tracked back while the forwards wanted to push up. And what happens to your midfield then? They drown…”

Sneijder is on a roll… “And it’s the things you do or don’t do without the ball that matter. Your positioning. Fans always look at where the ball is. They only see part of the picture. But when Van Bommel builds up, what do the full backs do? What do the center backs do? When we lose possession, who do they respond? What do the wingers do? All these things… In 2010, we immediately went for the ball when we lost possession. Even 35 year old Van Bronckhorst or Van Bommel. We pushed forward and we were at their throats. Now, we tracked back…or some of us did. So when Denmark is offered space, sure they can play…”

Against Germany, 2-1 down, the whole world saw Sneijder walk over to the side line yelling at Van Marwijk: “Let’s play 1 on 1…”

“Yes, well… I thought we had them! We started great. Allowed them to score to cheap goals. We got back into the game and I swear to God, in the last 20 minutes or so, they were spent. I thought we would equalise. I wanted Bert to support me and he did. But the team didn’t respond. But we made the same old mistakes. Well…at the end of the game, yeah….Germany outclassed us. But in the first 20 minutes, they didn’t touch the ball…”

The Dutch team got a lot of criticism in the tournament and a crying Sneijder had to be told there still was a chance if they beat Portugal. “Seriously…people criticised me for not knowing this. But I simply don’t “do” calculations when you lost. I want to win. That is all I think about. So I didn’t know this. Didn’t even want to know, I guess. So when we lost versus Germany, I thought it was all over. And when it wasn’t, I was sure we’d beat Portugal. I remember talking with the group and with the coaches in the run up to the game. Let’s be at their throats! Let’s make sure we hit first and keep them down for 90 minutes…”

Holland did score the first goal. A pent up Van der Vaart unleashed a brilliant shot but to no avail. When it was 1-0, Holland started to allow Portugal on the ball. And C Ronaldo pulled the trigger twice when Holland showed lack of confidence yet again. With a pleading, working, leading, screaming, Sneijder… On the left flank this time around, to allow Van Persie the “10” position.

“I had to drift more to the left side, but I’m ok with that. Whatever the team needs, seriously. Robin needed to play centrally, I can easily play on the left. I will always look for and find free space to operate in.”

How different this tournament ended for Sneijder, who can’t stand losing. His analysis. “In South Africa, everything clicked. Everything worked. Every little detail was there. The tactics, the atmosphere, the confidence, the fun factor, the fitness and it was all supported by the results. Everything is connected, but it starts with results. And a little luck. We had some luck in South Africa. We didn’t get any breaks in 2012…”

Holland seemed to be on a roll in the EC qualifications, however. With the Sweden game as peak, with Raf van der Vaart as holding mid… Since that game, Oranje’s performances deteriorated. Also for Sneijder in person. Inter went in free fall and Sneijder got injured. So badly that the nation worried about his fitness. The friendly against England didn’t help. A clearly unfit Sneijder asked for a substitution and could hardly walk to the byline.

“Man, I had a fever. I wasn’t well. But I wanted to play. I shouldn’t have played that game, but who doesn’t want to play Wembley? For a player like me, in Italy, there are only so many opportunities to play Wembley… And I wanted to. But running for 20 meters was a chore already. Not smart. But I was top fit when the EC started.”

And Sneijder was the only player who impressed a former top player like Diego Maradona. The rest of the team grossly disappointed. How…why?

“Pffff…we all came together differently. In 2010, we all were eager to play. Robin had a tough year with injuries. I had won everything with Inter. Hunter wanted to prove himself. Rafa same. We were all keen to play and to make ourselves inferior to the team interest. And there were no discussions about how to play. This time around, there was that debate… Two big goal scorers… Rafa had a great season with Spurs, he wanted a starting birth… This all made the start was different. The dynamics had changed. This makes its mark. One player was not himself as he came back from a long injury. Another player felt insecure as another player was hunting for his spot. Another player had domestic issues. These things all work through. The dynamics were off. Sometimes we do have these issues in a group, and normally we deal with it. We are a strong and tight group. We are one team. Still. But the issues were too big for us to deal with in that short timeframe. And the coach suffered through that too. He got so much criticism so early on already… Uncalled for… But…that is how it is.”

Sneijder and Van Marwijk had a close bond. “Well… sure. He was our manager. He led us to the finals. I supported him 1000%. He was the right man for the right time. And I want to help and support. I want to be important. So I fed him with ideas. And gave him my insights. Like Mark did, and Robin and others… And he treated us as adults. Gave us confidence. And he allowed you to come up with alternative ideas. Bert is a modern coach, just like Louis van Gaal.”

Rafael van der Vaart is less subtle. He felt Van Marwijk was too rigid. “When you are a starter, it’s cool of course… But when you are dropped, it’s tough. You sometimes don’t know what to do to get into the team.”

Sneijder: “Yes that is true. I get that. We had unrest with Kuyt, Hunter and Van der Vaart having trouble accepting that role, but you have to show it on the field. Simple. But I had to tell Klaas Jan and Rafa to cool it a bit, but Kuyt was really super professional. This guy played almost everything the last years. And was important for us. And suddenly, he is on the bench. That is really tough. I couldn’t say I would be so professional about it, hey….?”

Wesley being treated for his injury

Wesley Sneijder was a bit of a rebel when young(er) and playing for Ajax… “Een mannetje”, was the Amsterdam term for someone like him… But he’s grown wiser and more responsible. “I feel mature now. I think I’m starting to become more of a leader. I always had a big mouth and used it. But now I am more responsible in how I use it…. I think I’m now deserving of the band… I’d love to be the skipper for the coming period. I think I can carry it.”

At the start of the Euros, Sneijder felt that this was the last chance for this generation for a big trophy. Now, he disagrees. “Well, you say those things to motivate yourself. But clearly, most of us are still in top shape. Only Mark retired… And maybe some others will have more difficulty playing as starters…. But I think the core of this EC squad could still be important for at least two years. Lets not look past the the World Cup. The Euro squad could have gone all the way, no….should have gone all the way!! But we didn’t. And we all know Van Gaal won’t change the whole team in two years. With Van Persie, Van der Vaart, Robben, Heitinga, De Jong, myself, Stekelenburg….there still will be a core of players under 30 in 2014. We will need to demonstrate that we can still do the job. If we can’t, Van Gaal has the younger options as well.”

On the new generation. “I am totally impressed with some of these lads. I remember when I started with Oranje, I had to really work my ass off to keep up at practice. These lads, Maher, Clasie, Martins Indi… Amazing how easily they adapt. Has everything to do with the high level of the academies of Ajax, AZ, Feyenoord, Twente, PSV and even Vitesse and Sparta. Really impressive and really cool to have these lads in the squad.”

Asked about the difference between Van Marwijk and Van Gaal, Sneijder smiles. “Well…seriously…Van Gaal is a breed apart isn’t he? Van Marwijk is a very professional modern coach. Would work everywhere well… To me, he is like Benitez, like Ancelotti, , Koeman… He is a modern coach. Strong personality. Good people manager. Van Gaal is unique. So driven, so focused on details. Coaches like Hiddink and Van Marwijk expect players to take responsibility. Bert didn’t care what you ate or how much you slept… Van Gaal is totally involved with everything. I like that in him. Plus, he is a tactical wizard. So interesting to work with him. He does remind me a lot of Cruyff (funnily enough) and Mourinho. I worked with him at Ajax and knew he would be great. In a way, a nice progression after Bert van Marwijk, who taught us to that winning is important, taught us to operate as a unit. Play with grit. He instilled some “German” football in us. Now, with Van Gaal, we might add some icing on the cake.”

Beauty and the beast, Wes and Yo happy in Italy

The little big man enjoys working with youngsters too, realising he’s turning into a veteran almost. “Well, I’m close to 100 caps. That is quite something eh? And yes, I enjoy working with younger players. It’s a challenge and a responsibility. But I think we’re in good shape with all the talent.”

How did he experience the first games under Van Gaal? “Clearly, we have a newly found resilience, coupled with changes in tactics. And the new players have added something extra. Both in terms of football options as in pressure on the older players. It’s good. It seems that most of us are doing well. Robin settled in nicely with ManU, Rafa is happy in Hamburg, Kuyt is happy in Turkey, he’s scoring goals and is important there. Players need that. And I don’t worry about the youngsters. They will all get a great carreer if they keep on developing like this. And 12 out of 4 is great! We are getting used to those qualifications now, aren’t we? But it’s good. I will have to fight my way back into the team, haha…”

Sneijder suffers an injury and is ruled out for weeks. He was being treated in LA last week and expects a quicker recovery as a result. Here is a pic of Wes watching Romania – Holland on his laptop.

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  1. “I had to drift more to the left side, but I’m ok with that. Whatever the team needs, seriously. Robin needed to play centrally, I can easily play on the left. I will always look for and find free space to operate in.”
    Really, Wes? I need you to return to 2010 form. I still believe in your desire to win, but I worry about your fitness.

    1. Let me add :

      >Germany outclassed us. But in the first 20 minutes, they didn’t touch the ball…”

      yeah Wes we saw that but the game lasts 90 mins not 20 …

      1. Why are you ripping on Sneijder? he was the only one at the Euro playing well and trying to play play our game. He even says here why they lost control after twenty minutes “Something happened…as if a fear-switch was flicked, and half the team tracked back while the forwards wanted to push up. And what happens to your midfield then? They drown…” He doesn’t say that directly about the Germany game, but I think he’s referring to both the Germany and Portugal games. In the Portugal game Sneijder clearly wanted to dominate possession, but Vlaar and Mathijsen were too afraid to push up and win back loose balls. Instead they sat back and let Portugal get full control of them and pick their passes to Ronaldo and Nani. This clearly pissed off Sneijder and I remember him yelling at Mathijsen and Vlaar to push forwards but they wouldn’t because they were afraid

        1. >“Something happened…as if a fear-switch was flicked, and half the team tracked back while the forwards wanted to push up. And what happens to your midfield then? They drown…” H

          Let’s view this argument. Are you saying that in the first 20 mins against Germany the back end of the team was pushing up and suddenly they stopped? mmm I don’t think so. I think the forwards in all 3 games after a while stopped tracking back.

          >Why are you ripping on Sneijder?

          1. I think his excuse is lame.

          2. I don’t buy it.

          3. He had 50% absence during each game

          Sorry each game lasts 90 not 20 mins and you need to be leading all of them not 50%.

          Maybe I am hard in my critique but he was much better in WK2010. So was the rest of the team. I just don’t like his excuses.

  2. It pains me to say this as I look back at Euro2012 as a tournament that is best forgotten, but it seems from this article as Wes so explicitly explains that most of those issues could have been fixed with the right therapist. Maybe something to think about for the backroom staff:P

  3. Orange were out of gas in 2012,Orange never had the speed and stamina they used to have…Age was the reason
    kuyt-31(Didnt played so cannot blame him)
    Bouma-35(didnt played acnnot balem him)_
    Vlaar-27 Not speedy,
    Dejong-27 the best player of Euro2012
    Willems-18 Superbly skilled and speedy wingback but final product is zero…
    We cannot expect speedy,running football from veterans..
    So we cannt balme anyone,but we can blame BVM…

    1. Tiju,

      1. Saturation of desire
      2. No change in team composition
      3. No change in tactics
      4. Age

      not necessarily in this order but I think that covers it. However, even though BvM has a lot of responsibility, I think the players came short of the circumstances.

      Anyhow, what’s done is done. LVG seems to be on the right track for the most part and we seem to be very competitive again. That makes me happy !

  4. Demi i dont belive in tactics or other hairline factors which affect game,with out changing players..i dont expect a slow Bommel or mathijensen/Bauma/Vlaar to catch CR7 or Nani..We cannot excute somethings with some limited players..Even Maurihno cannot do magic with out right players for right spot…Thats the basic theory of managment…But as u said BVM failed in tactics too.Failure was not immediate ,it was in making..

    1. Mathijsen is the guy who *erased* David Villa, world’s best forward , two years ago.. How bad can he be ?

      BvM’s mistakes (agree there with you) are not an excuse for Sneijders performance, for example. I cannot accept one guy is responsible for a group failure. There were more factors and the players are one of them.


  5. For those with free time to watch some games with dutch players or famous teams

    Today’s games include

    GMT-4.00 or New York Eastern Time USA

    11:00 or right now Paris St germain vs stade de reins Gregory van der wiel
    12:00 Real madrid vs celto vigo
    12:30 Werder Bremen vs Borussia Monglendbach Elia vs Luuk De Jong
    12:45 Hercules vs Ajax Amsterdam
    13:45 Roda vs Fc Twente
    13:45 PSV vs Willem II
    14:45 Lazio Vs Ac Milan Nigel De Jong and emanuelson
    14:45 Az alkmaar vs nec

  6. @Demi
    Joris was much more younger that time,and still he is a warrior for dutch.David villa is not a speedy boy or he is not CR7 or messi or nani or roben,i mean players who are capable of nutmugging the defenders with extreme skill and speed.infact David villa was an efficiant scorer.still he is.29 year old Mathijenson was always good against such players..Joris,Vlaar kind of players will have a horrible time against Garthbale,Nani,CR7, etc kind of pacy and trickery u said there are other factors also,true,i just said it starts from right selction of players…if you select right players automatically rest of the items will come…

    1. Joris was 30 in WK2010 and he was still getting sh** for being slow/ineffective/idiot. But when push came to shove in the final, he proved the warrior that he is and that guts trump playability.

      CR7 should be doubled and tripled team, even Spain does it to him. It is ridiculous to expect Vlaar to guard him by himself.

      >if you select right players automatically rest of the items will come…

      maybe there were not enough of the right players at that time though? or the right players didn’t have the right mentality ?

      I am not making excuses for BvM but he had a successful formula and it suddenly collapsed. Hard to make changes like that, not that he would have made as many as Van Gaal but still the rug was sweeped under his feet, IMO.

      1. Joris Mathijsen was never about speed, he reads the game the best, and when he made tackles they worked to get the guy.

        I noticed in Malaga, he started being exposed more when pelligrini was playing a 4-1-3-2 (south american style)

        and when they made diego demechelis a defensive midfielder and partnered him with a faster nacho monreal, he started playing like a superstar again.

        Mathijsen needed a defensive minded midfielder in front of him. and a faster defender next to him, IE heitinga who used to play right back, but with vlaar you got two slow guys, and with van bommel being slower it left mathijsen exposed.

        1. and it didn’t help that heitinga was being an airhead and not concentrating on the game. And obviously he also got exposed due to jetro willems runs forward. A stijn schaars playing tight to a guy whould have been more effective

          1. agree on everything. Let me add that Joris not only he could very effective but he never got a yellow card either, means he knew how to get the job done without violence.

            I am surprised a guy with the guts of Joris does not get respect around here.

      2. there are some defenders who are capable of handling CR7..if CR7 is gettinmg doubled or trippled this will free ther 2 men of portugal or real madrid.then there is no chance for opponent.My english not good enough to write about a right player.but simply i can say that
        if a player does
        1-Should be doing efficiently(capability) his First duty ie defender for defense,Striker for scoring,winger for creating chances,holding mid for defnsive mid..Gk for keeping efficiently..
        2-then comes second duty.Defender helps attack,wingers helps defence,holding mid attacks etc it can consider as bonus,but to win WC or EC at least 11 players should have this..
        3-Players who bleeds for team than their persoanl moto.
        4-Confidence in their duty(shouldnt be yelling to refree for not giving penalty),they should create another one if they are WINNERS.
        5-Must be humble in feild but should battle like a lion.
        6-Opponent’s actions should not provocate them for at least 90/120 minutes.
        on top of it they must be aware that pride goes before fall…So be humble,workhard,things will change….at the time of team selection coach must have all these in his mind….if he doesnt have he will fail…
        B/w..I am not forgetting Barca antics,but still

        1. have no problems with your spelling or english. I get it.

          Joris has all except 2.

          As per CR7, the way to stop him is:

          1. Stop the ball from getting at him. That is the prefered method.

          2. Double team him.

          It will not leave too much exposure. Portuguese do not push up too much and even if they did they would suffer in the counterattack. Play CR7 the way they played our Robben.

          Of course you know CR7/Rivaldo/Ronaldo will score too. Can’t stop it forever. But cut the ball before going to them instead of expecting Vlaar or Usein Bolt to outrun him.

  7. Gregory van der wiel, Hand ball, yellow card, gave up a penalty kick luckily didn’t score. but offensively he was playing better than i have ever seen him before, but unfortunate the hand ball.

  8. didn’t get to see all of the games, but eljero elia did great before some sort of injury, Werder Bremen 4-0 over borussia monglendbach,

    van der wiel angry at coach ancellotti for taking him off

    Roel Brouwers on bench again,
    Luuk de jong, stranded

    right now nigel de jong playing for ac milan

    Whats the dutch players looking like for PSV and Ajax?

          1. How about Rene and Willy vd Kerkhof, Jan van Beveren and Willy vd Kuilen? Or am I betraying my age now?

  9. What’s on the docket for today’s games?

    Since my Miami Dolphins (american football) are not playing today, i got time to watch some dutch players

    DId not know Tim krul is back, Newcastle 1-1 with sunderland

    Right now Glenn Loovens for Real Zaragoza winning 2-0 over Granada in spain

    2:45pm New york eastern time

    Genoa vs As Roma Stekelenburg playing

    3:15pm new york eastern time

    Moirense vs Sporting lisbon could see van wolfswinkel, Stijn schaars, and Khalid Boulahrouz

      1. @Mohamed Van persie needs,players who are Good runners with footballing intelligence arround him.if not at least runners+skills is needed…Not a surprise he failed with Wesly,roben and kuyt for 4 years.In left kuyt had no trickery and speed so he seldom got a cross or pass from him.In right Roben was always cutting in side trying to shoot from there.Wesly gives passes to him when he and persie are outside of box.when wesly gets the ball in the box he shoots.Bommel and dejong were guard for so we cannot expect much from them so is Joris and Johny.This was happend..under BVM….he was isolated and he sacrificied alot for the team..WC2010 Denmark own goal will tell you that…

        1. Tiju, I agree 100% with your assessment of RvP. See, we disagree less than you think 🙂

          There are two many egos in the front and RvP gets to pay the price more than the others.

        2. @ Tiju , I agree with you too 😛 .
          However , Even with LvG , narsingh and lens on the fanks , vdv and strootman in the midfeild , Persie is not the same as with Man u .

          He is great in the Build-up , he did so many incredible passes and crosses , assisted a header for Rooney .

          I hope Lvg can find a form in which Persie , Robben and Sneijder can all impress . We will be unstoppable .

  10. Chelsea was impressive. First time in years I enjoyed them. Eden Hazard is fab. So is Mata. And Torres was superb. Liverpool impressed too in the 1st half. Should have been 4-0 up.

  11. Anyone else think that Oscar on Chelsea looks like a starving 15 year old? He sure as hell doesn’t play like it though.
    @Jan – completely agree about the watchability of Chelsea I was completely shocked by them this weekend since the last game I saw of them was the CL final.

  12. BVM big mistake was to start with Afellay during the EC. Afellay was injured the whole season and suddenly he is in the starting XI?. That was unfair to Vaart who had a great season with Spurs, unfair to Huntelaar who was Bundesliga’s topscorer and unfair to Kuyt who has always played well for the national team.

    With so many big names you simply can’t do that. And as some of you have already said…Holland should hire a great psychologist!!! to deal with egos, motivation and keep the harmony.

    1. Miguel, that last issue is something that comes with the Dutch identity. They get encouraged to form and voice their own opinion from early on and they grow up among people that do so on an ongoing basis, day in, day out. Furthermore, there is a general contempt for anything or anybody that smells of authority, unless the person in question has a proven and acknowledged record of expertise. But even then it is very common to challenge this person, because if you’re able to trip them up, you get bragging rights. There is just no end to it.
      Works wonders in areas that allow for the best ideas and arguments to surface over time, but in other areas where rapid decisions are needed this will mean trouble.

      The only person able to straighten out or just contain any egos in the dutch NT will be the coach.

  13. And BVM huge mistake was not to experience with new defenders. When Pieters got injured he didn’t know what to do! And also with Mathijsen’s injury there was no good sub because Vlaar had barely played with the national team therefore he lacked confidence and he still didn’t understand Heitinga.

    Bert should’ve tried with Emanuelson or Buttner!!! As left backs.

  14. @Miguel be happy mate past is past,Bert was never a quick changer/learner..or he was afraid for i am not surprised,he was coach of fortuna sitard,feynoord(trouble time)and dortmund..have never been a coach of class 1 clubs like ajax,barca,arsenal,bayern etc…he did according to his vision,but that was incompetent,so he failed…i remmeber his hiring for faynoord in 2007,hiring many old farts…that says it all..i think he always used the policy “u scrach my back and i scrach your back”.One thing i know about this policy is,it is very good in family and family business.
    Cheer up
    New era has begun,forget rest

      1. Oh thanks Tiju for stating that BVM is a good coach but not as good as others. I’m sure BVM will now sleep well knowing that he at least met your “good bar”.

        A coach who managed to get to the WC final, win the Europa cup with Feyenoord, besides other achievements, is not good as elite category as assessed by who else than Tiju. Tiju, the man with the most ridiculous analysis ever said. The man who thinks because his predictions worked once makes him the smartest one on this blog. You, Tiju, has repeatedly made the most stupid comments on this blog, over and over and over. But this comment undoubtedly wins the trophy of the most stupid of all. In fact, the most stupid ever made. We all enjoyed the blog when you disappeared before the EC. Sure there were few stupid comments here and there, but they were not as consistent as yours. Thanks to you, since your return, many fans started abandoning this blog.

        1. Easy my friend 🙂 . Everyone has his own opinion .
          I think BvM is not a bad coach , but definitly not a genius one .
          Still , he did one of the greatest acheivements ever in the history of the Dutch football .

          Also Raymond Domenech reached the Final with France , but most of the French fans think he is a bad coach and he was able to do this because of his players’ Briliance ” Zidane ,Henry & Ribery ” .

        2. @Deckhard,i know that you are a football pundit,you know football better than me,everytime my predictions will go right..You will see that..Take a note now might see it as arrogance but that is what goin to happen..You speak accordning to the wisdom of the world and your experience and knowledge…i speak based on other things(its secret).you will get fooled one day..hey football pundit all bloggers here shared their fantasy..i call it as fantasy and fanatic love towards orange.i never considered it as might considerd it as stupidity but i dont..

          1. Tiju, hey buddy.
            I follow this blog longest time, am aware of only one prediction that you correctly made – that Holland would lose all 3 games in Euro 2012. Brave call. Good call.
            BUT, you reasoned that Holland would lose because Kuyt is in team. In FACT Holland most likely lost because he was not in team!
            Aside from this one fortunate prediction, you have a way of saying things which can be irritating to others. I only mean this in respect – you write thoughts as if they are facts, and 99% of time they are plainly false. It would really help you to communicate if you add ‘I think’ or ‘in my opinion’ to all sentences. Much easier to read.
            I only mean this to help you, as you tend to provoke and receive higher than normal reaction with your posts.
            I appreciate that your posts are generally more positive than they used to be – and i understand that English is not your first language. It is not mine either, but that is why this blog is best because everyone can talk together. I only ask that you talk with us, not shout at us or force opinions on us. Thank you.
            May I also suggest watching some more football, as much as you can digest. You have keen interest, and with some time you will surely develop good football brain and analitics skills. One day you will look back and realise, like everything with age and wisdom.

            Jan, great blog, keep it up.

            Deckard, hou je bek, man! Idiot.

    1. Ten years from now the 2010 WC team will get much more respect from dutch followers then it receives today. Many of us are still hurt from the final match which of course contributes to our feelings. BVM will be seen in a much better light in the future.

  15. Still believe all the tactics were irrelevant in the Euros. Nothing could overcome the stupidity of training in Poland when you were playing in the Ukraine. Nothing could overcome flying 1,000 kilometres each way.

    Oranje started each game well and then poof couldn’t run.

    And yes, you know you can never, ever, have 2 #10s like Van P and Rooney. Never, ever works. So happy Oranje didn’t try that. Well, maybe not.

  16. To Jan, the Nitpickers, Buffs and Comics!

    Thank you all from the bottom of my Oranje heart! This site has increased my knowledge of Dutch football thus annoying my wonderful girlfriend (who had no choice but to be born into a Portuguese family).

    This site got me through the horrible previous year with a smile and currently gets me riled up even when we have to wait months for games.

    This site has helped a non-internet savvy, English speaking Canadian guy to read detailed information and arguments from the Oranje pitch.

    Just wanted to let everyone who contributes know it is greatly appreciated! Enjoy some “Huge Beers” on me, it is the least I could do. DANK JE!

    1. Great post LZ

      I can’t wait to read more of your posts because as knoweledgable as everyone around here is, your positivity could lift some of the daily gloom 🙂

  17. Hello there.
    I’m from Brazil and I’ve been following this very interesting blog lately. Congratulations for your work Jan and it’s amazing to see people posting realy nice comments also. Kinda makes me feel really sad and disappointed with the quality of football discussion in sites and blogs here in Brazil. People still think we are the very best out there and hold on too much in the former achievements (5 World Cup’s trophies). Blind people, I tell.

    I’m very happy to see Netherlands back to 4-3-3, but I guess that everyone expects the team to play a little closer to each other. Compactation is a must in the football played today.
    I believe that Van Gaal can do it in time and Netherlands have really good players that can put together offense with creativity, deep passes and crosses with pressure when the ball is lost.

    My only question for you, would be about Ajax. What happened to the team in the last years? I’m not seeing as many Dutch players as it should have. The only big name is Siem De Jong and in a way Babel that returned this season. Feyenoord, PSV, Twente are all providing more players to the national team right now. Can you tell me the reasons why? Is it related to Jong Ajax?

    Thank you all.
    Congratulations and I hope to see you here in 2014 playing amazing football.
    See ya.

    1. Ajax’s current Dutch NT players: van Rhijn, de Jong, Babel, Vermeer. However they also recently had Stekelenburg, v.d. Wiel, and Anita who was their most important player in their title win. All those players were produced by Ajax

      PSV’s Dutch NT players are: Pieters, Strootman, Willems, Narsingh, and Wijnaldum. Not a single one of them was developed by PSV. Their ability to spend a shedload on players that other teams developed means nothing in terms of their contributions to the NT.

      Twente’s current NT players are: Braafheid (who was crap and probably won’t be called up again), Douglas, Fer. Only Douglas and Braafheid were developed by them. Also their former players have had pathetic impact on the NT, Elia (ADO/Ajax product) probably the only one who’s been any good in Oranje.

      Feyenoord has the best impact on the NT. Currently NT players: Janmaat, de Vrij, Mathijsen, BMI, Clasie, and Schaken. de Vrij, BMI, and Clasie being developed by them. It’s also worth noting that Wijnaldum and Fer are also from Feyenoord.

      The fact that Ajax isn’t spending tons of money on Dutch player developed by other teams doesn’t mean that their contribution is less.

    2. Andrei – so good to have another Brazilian on the blog – I miss my old Brazilian friend here who used to pop up regularly. Whether you like it or not most Dutch Fans respect and admire every Brazilian team that comes out. My favourite was 1982 !! Ajax is going thru a transition and trying to groom new talent, however rule 1 was get the house in order and they have done so. Need to wait a couple more years before the next batch of “Sneijders/Vaarts/de Jongs come thru. Hope to read more comments from Brazil 🙂

  18. Totally agree with TFC Ajax. If you also look at the youth Dutch teams, Ajax is now the biggest contributor of players from the u17 to the u19. So there is hope.

  19. @Martin Your post was great,like u said i would add in my opinion or my intution…i started predicting since 2010WC,i underestimated germany and rest of my prediction was so right..i lost germany all knockout double point matches of germany..thats why i lost plenty of points..i said orange would loose all three matches not only coz of kuyt.along with kuyt i never wanted to see Bommel,Joris,Bulah.i was not so happy with the call for williams too…But honestly i thought we would get a draw against denmark like 0-0..coz i know that nobody is goin to create anything except roben..roben can fail too…so no goals.But the defeat against germany and portugal was inevitable..also i was againt biased seclection of BVM.he never preferred in form players…do u think with kuyt we would hav won those matches????

    1. Actually buddy you made it perfect clear that we would lose with Kuyt. He was the main focus of your attention for a painful long period.
      I believe that if Dirk had played, those matches would have been different. It is impossible to accurately assess or measure this difference, so it is foolish to ask for this. We can ONLY imagine. It is just opinion – which can be valid nonetheless – but it must be an educated opinion.
      The team visually lacked bite, leadership, stamina, cohesion and determination. Losing the one man who embodies those things the most was clearly a contributing factor to the loss of this part of our game. There are many other factors. To ignore this is to ignore the science.
      Sometimes when you have an idea it is tempting to quickly find all the things to support it. This can disguise the truth when you fail to test your theory by looking also for the holes which do not support it. Do not let your opinion blind you so quickly to other possibility. Be more flexible and you won’t get cornered so easily with your posts.
      You wanted Kuyt out, and you predicted 3 defeats if he was in the team. Those are facts. Your prediction of defeats was correct but your reasoning about Kuyt was incorrect because you were blinding yourself with only one thought and evidence. Hey, it happens to us all. haha.
      So, we move on. Everyone is wrong sometimes, and one day when you have matured your understanding of the game you will laugh at how little you know now. It is the same for everybody, all of us. We can only improve by educating ourself better, which means getting closer to our subject and study it harder.
      Question everything. I think if you adopt this more scientific system you will develop more quickly, and your posts will show more possibility and less negativity, and be easier to read 😉 I like you buddy, so i only try to help clear the air for you and explain and not jump on you like some others.

  20. Barcelona’s policy is to use Spanish players instead of foreign players. They know Afellay is better than Cuenca or Tello but they also know that by giving them playing time they can develop into good players, that’s what Ajax should do.

    I am not saying they can’t buy foreign players but at least give a slight priority to Dutch players!!!.

    1. Ajax isn’t currently in the position to give too much priority towards nationalities. In the Eredivisie you have to get at least second or you miss out on a lot of money.
      Ajax will give priority to more talented players, but nationality makes no difference. This is the only way that Ajax will be able to stay competitive. The Dutch talents will simply have to play better than the foreign ones if they want playing time.

      That being said there are plenty of young Dutch players at Ajax. Lukoki is the third first choice winger, and the player standing in his way is also Dutch (Boershitter). Behind Enoh and Poulsen (who’s only a temporary stop gap until younger guys can step up) in DM we have Boccara and Sporkslede, both of whom aren’t ready quite yet for loads of playing time. Blind is the first choice LB, and Dijks is the second. Denswil is behind Moisander, Veldman is behind Alderwiereld and Ligeon is behind van Rhijn.
      These players will get playing time, but at the same time aren’t going to get thrown into the deep end before they can swim.

    2. Actually i always wanted to see this in Ajax , Miguel . Totally agree with you .
      the non-dutch talent has to be extra-ordinary to play ” e.g. zlatan , suarez , Eriksen ” , otherwise i do hope Ajax depend on dutch players .
      I hope we get Adam Maher and Marco van Ginkel in the winter . they will be a fantastic with Eriksen in the midfeild .

      give a chance to davy klassen , he is supposed to be the new bergkamp ” never seen him , is is true ? ”

      Why not try to sign Drenthe ? he is a free agent , feyenoord refused to sign him and he will be far better than Boerrigter !

      1. I also hope we get Douglas , or may be Jeffrey Bruma . I don’t think he will make it in chelsea soon , and he has been on the bench with HSV lately , so why not to get him ?

      1. yeah , unfortunately .
        Although i think it should be Carick actually .

        but to be honest , i Think Buttner still has a long way to grow into a reliable left back . perhaps after the WC .
        I think we should use Willims , and let’s hope he will develop defensively to be good enough before the WC .

        any info about Pieters and De vrij ? when will they come back from their injuries ?

          1. I hope he recovers his injury and gain his old form back .
            Both PSV & Oranje need him .

            thanks for the link , Goldstone .

  21. Arjen Robben recently contemplated retirement. “It’s a thought that haunts my mind. I have a laundry list of injuries makes me very sad.”

    Feel sorry for Arjen 🙁 , looks so disappointed .

      1. @Goldstone, I’ll now never be able to hear or read out Beckenbauer with thinking of him as Franz K. Beckenbauer. A great player, but a worldclass wanker. FK Beckebauer it is. 🙂

  22. Büttner wasn’t that bad especially for his 1st competitive UCL game!!!. He did some good things and even the latin ESPN commentator said he was an interesting player for Man U’s future.

    It is really soooo sad to know Robben is contemplating retirement. I really wish he doesn’t retire because he’s one of the very few players who I love watching nowadays.

    That would be a HUUUUUUUUUUGE lose for the national team and I really don’t care what some people say about him being selfish because he has always been a great player.

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