Sneijder, Robben and Van Dijk symbols of Oranje

While part of the attention in football land is going towards all the new signings, the Neymar transfer, Man United’s ambitions, Bayern’s poor performances and other irrelevant matters, the Dutch fans are following the non-news around a number of important players for Oranje. Sneijder, Van Persie, Janssen, Cillesen, Wijnaldum, Van Dijk…

Robin van Persie is very welcome in Rotterdam. Feyenoord would love to bring the gifted left footer back, in Dirk Kuyt style. Van Persie wouldn’t mind the role of mentor, in a Feyenoord that lost a lot of experience. Sure, they signed some exciting young talents, but with Elia, Kuyt, Karsdorp and Kongolo gone, quite some know-how left. Van Persie would be the ideal new leader of the team, in which only El Ahmadi and Brad Jones can be considered seniors. Feyenoord lost quite some goals too, with Kuyt and Elia and the low-scoring Feyenoord in the pre-season could do with some guile in the box. But Fener is keen to keep Van Persie in Turkey, and the former left winger does not have a “Kuyt-clause” enabling him to return.

Vpersie fener

Wesley Sneijder has another challenge. He is a free agent, but wants to play for LA United. Their season only starts in 2018 so Wes is looking for a good “in-between” club at level, to keep his Oranje spot secure. FC Utrecht, the team from his hometown rejected the courtship. Erik ten Hag is not keen to have a player for only half a season, let alone the wages pressure which come with Sneijder. For similar reasons, Ajax has stated it won’t need Sneijder’s services, what with the many midfield talents around. Nice might be the only club with some level that is keen to sign him on a one year deal. Sneijder is currently training privately.

With Ter Stege in Barcelona still on prolonged holidays, Cillesen has been impressing in the pre-season games for the Catalans, but when the German returns, Cillesen will most likely be relegated to the bench. Benfica is courting him to allow him playing time in the World Cup season ahead, but it’s unlikely Barca will let him go.

cillesen barca

In the meantime, Ruud Gullit is reminiscing about his career. He is not very active as yet as assistant coach. Apart from sharing his concerns re: the Oranje key players, he’s currently doing the rounds as a public speaker. The former Oranje captain, the only one to raise a trophy in the jersey, is comfortable in the spotlights. Former figure head, people magnet and eternal optimist. “I used to be known as the Black Tulip,” he quips. “Nowadays, I’m more like the Black ATM….” Referring to the alimony checks he’s paying monthly (four ex-wives). Ruud has been downsizing ever since his private issues, and even lives in a modest flat in Amsterdam. “I used to be on the top of the mountain, now I’m wandering below. And I like it. This life is better. I used to travel everywhere, but never saw a thing. I used to meet 1000s of people but never knew anyone. Now, every day I meet people, lovely, friendly, warm and interesting people and I can make a connection. I always get inspired meeting interesting people.” He’s the most iconic player we have, except for Cruyff and Van Hanegem. He was a living symbol of the 1980s. Reggae artist, anti-apartheid activist, a figure-head across the globe, the idol of a generation.

ruud 88

Van Basten loathed his fame and adoration, Gullit revels in it. In his home, he has quite some memorabilia. A small version of the European Cup, a picture with Nelson Mandela. He is all life, and loves telling anecdotes. “Did I tell you that story of Barry Hughes, at Sparta? Louis van Gaal was his captain and Van Gaal was already a semi-trainer. When they played NAC, they were behind at half time. Van Gaal was furious at half time and said to Hughes: “Coach! It’s a mess out there. You need to do something now!” And Hughes said: “You’re right son. You see it well. I’m subbing you!” And he smiles that big smile. He was always relaxed. Never a moment of stress. His team mate and room mate Carlo Ancelotti couldn’t sleep before a big match. Ruud would go to bed straight after dinner and snore the night away. “I’d say to him, Carlo! What the hell man, why stress out. We are going to play a football match tomorrow! There’s nothing better man!”

Despite the dreads, the reggae career, the friendship with Mandela and his anti apartheid stance, Ruud never felt black. He never felt to be from Suriname. “I’m from Amsterdam. I feel like someone from Amsterdam, not Suriname!” Ruud’s mum is white as can be. “I never experienced racism. I was a good player, that will have helped, yes, but even though I know racism exists, I never personally experienced it.”


Ruud’s open personality was not always his friend. He met many people who were out to “get” him. Or to take advantage of him. “I think I did deal with people who were out to screw me. But you know what? If I wasn’t who I was, I would never have met all the good people I met. I value that more than the loss I experienced by these bad people.”

Ruud has ongoing issues privately. His former Italian wife Cristina Pensa has recently put a claim in for all Ruud’s future earnings at the KNVB. Another chapter in a private life full of court cases and alimony obligations. Ruud is not happy with all that, as he wants to avoid “negative emotions”. “I was always most happy in tough times. It’s always a learning process, how do you deal with it. I am quite spiritual. I believe in fate. Not in coincidence. Complaining won’t help. I have a great life. I’m proud.”

It’s another 28 days until the key match vs France and Advocaat and Gullit still don’t know what their ideal squad will look like. Next Tuesday, the pair formally starts after summer reces, but Dick and Ruudje will have been working hard already trying to assess who will be part of that chapter. They have enjoyed watching all the pre-season games, from tournaments from the US to Hong Kong. “The clubs make it harder now. They don’t want to release their players. We will get our players on Monday before the match. Tuesday is the first real training day. Wednesday, we travel to France to play on Thursday. And on Sunday, we have Bulgaria. It’s not ideal. I know all nations suffer from this, we’re not alone, but it’s not ideal,” says Dick Advocaat.

dick hesje

Still, the team manager is not unhappy with some of his players. He saw Cillesen playing excellent against Real Madrid, while Stekelenburg at Everton also impressed. Wijnaldum picked up where he left off with Liverpool and Janssen seems sharp in the pre-season for Spurs. In Italy, De Vrij, Hoedt and Strootman play their games while Promes already found the net for Spartak. The move of Klaassen, Karsdorp and Kongolo will also please Big Dick. Kongolo started well in the Super Cup game against Paris St Germain but Rick Karsdorp is recovering from a knee operation. In Dick’s plans, a compact Oranje needs a playmaker Sneijder to release world class Arjen Robben. But Sneijder’s future is not sure, he’s not first choice at OGC Nice at the moment. And even Robben, our only star, is not fit yet and hasn’t really played a competitive game. And Robben seems key in the game plan vs France. Advocaat and Gullit saw the B-team of France play England of the pitch, recently. Coach Deschamp can field three equally strong teams with ample quality. What Holland can do against France, basically consists of the intelligence of Sneijder, the class of Robben and otherwise our mental strength and fighting mentality. Virgil van Dijk will be key in the latter aspects. But the tall defender, despite being coveted by all major EPL clubs, hasn’t played for six months now and trains individually, waiting for a transfer that might not even happen. So Sneijder, Robben and Van Dijk – key vs France – form the symbol of Oranje these days. Will they or won’t they show up?

Sneij Rob




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  1. Robben is already back in training. I hope he can get enough minutes to be deemed fit vs France.

    and let’s hope VvD and Sneijder get new clubs soon. I think we could still do well without VvD (De Vrij, Hoedt, De Ligt, BMI…)

    our major concern is no.10… IF Robben is fit. if Robben can’t play, then no matter who plays no.10, it doesn’t really change anything…

  2. oh, and it’s Ajax v Nice!

    Ajax XI: Onana; Veltman, Sanchez, De Ligt, Viergever; Schone, Van De Beek, Ziyech; Kluivert, Younes, Dolberg

    Subs: Van Leer, Neres, Huntelaar, Eiting, De Jong, Dijks, Zeefuik

    So, Justin starts again.

    And no Balotelli due to injury. this is surely winnable!

    1. FT: Ajax 2-2 Nice. Ajax will stay in Europa League.

      the boys got complacent after making it 2-1. it was avoidable, that second goal from Nice.

      shame 🙁

      1. Sucks the system of away goals. Ajax outplayed them but still don’t go through. I think they should not count away goals and just go to extra time

      1. seeing the away game, I would agree with you. but this one, Dolberg played really well. and he’s still young! as long as Sierhuis not ready to step up, Dolberg can’t leave.

  3. was looking at the playyoff rounds and only Napoli and Sevilla are above Ajax in Coefficient hence they could have easily being seeded if they would have won vs Nice. this could have also meant a favorable draw against any off Sporting CP,Steaua București,Young Boys CC, 1899 Hoffenheim, İstanbul Başakşehir.but then again if they would have qualified then they would have had to settle for third palace in the group stages. I think Europa should be better good hunting ground for them.

    1. Its hard to keep your star players without Champions League football not to mention the money that was lost from not being there.

      Van Der Saar is mostly the one to blame for letting Bosz go. We had something good going on and now we start again from the beginning. I won’t be surprised if this team somehow fails to make it to the Europa League even though there is plenty of talent in it.

      1. I think it was more a case of being offered big money in a bigger league for Bosz, Ajax will be strong this year in Holland, let’s see how some of the young players develop over the course of a full season.
        @Jan – good to see you back typing!
        Our France game will be here before we know it, I’m feeling a little uncomfortable with our current situation, too many question marks over players ( fitness, club, position etc).
        Gee I hope I’m wrong, non qualification would really suck!
        The Van Dijk situation is a problem he really needs game time in his legs, remember he is not the most agile player when fit and France will have fast forwards, it will be a real test for our Lions.

  4. Vitesse takes on Feyenoord this sunday in JC shield and it will be the first look at both sides who have been quiet active in transfer market leading to the opening round of eredivise the following. Vitesse, Im only intrested one play and that is Alex Buttner. Feyenoord there is a bunch of them and im hoping both Dicky and Guilt will be present in the stands.A set back for feyenoord is Kenneth Vermeer will be out for one month due to injury again, othetwise GVB will have a full squad.

    1. Projecting Feyenoord lineup.

      Vermeer, Diks, Botteghin, Van der Heijden, Haps; El Ahmadi, Toornstra, Vilhena; Basacikoglu, Jørgensen,Boëtius.

      Room, Dabo, Kashia , Kruiswijk Büttner Bruns, Serero, Foor, Rashica, Matavz, Linssen.

          1. Try to see the logic behind it Mr fat pig.looks like after eating too much shit you brain too is getting infected. The problem with you is you are a no brainer . There is difference between a big guy and slim guy. A defender and striker. You wanna to compare Van Dijk to Ronaldinho and Valedorama as I correctly remember from the last debate ,is absolute maddness, comparing two different players playing in two different position with different physic. By the way this is not the first of it as I dont how many player you have compared Depay to who even dont play in the same position.but we can understand your situation.

            Obviously Van Dijk is tall and big built but this doesnt mean he can not increase his agilty. My views about him cutting his hair was from a pure athletic point of view.

            Before you open your big hole, im only taking from a defenders point of view and

          2. Even if you compare sergio Ramos to Van Dijk, again their physic comes into question. Maybe for Ramos it wont matter much since he has slim built and is faster but for van Dijk, too come extent for sure. Again from a atheltic point of view.

  5. ATM…if Roben and Sneijder are not fit then the team should be 442 with our top notch players upfront those are Gini and Janssen
    on bench
    klassen for Janssen
    lenz for Wijnaldum
    Strootman for Ake/Bazoer….
    these are the top 14 players we have now when Roben and Sneijder are unfit..

      1. @Vanfadly i want to see is orange in Russia 2018…Seems like thats only doable by beating France in france…which is more IMPOSSIBLE with Depay,Dost,Dost promes upfront instead of Roben-Sneijder,Janssen..
        i dont trust Strootman as DM anymore…Ake is so alert and matured beyond his age…He has good vision too…Bazoer is awesomely skills with ball and able to run with ball with very good stamina and vision..and you know Blind has vision,inetlligence and stamina…Toonstra is double kuyt..So thats the best midefeilders we have…
        We need kongolo and Tete vs France to shut down Martial and Co…having said that i dont mind replacing Ake/Bazoer with Strootman,Stjuste or schaars etc..

      2. what I mean is, there is NO WAY Dick will field such team.

        1) Van Dijk isn’t matchfit (this is arguable though… once the season starts, we’ll see)

        2) Wijnaldum hasn’t played up front (either 2 or 3 forwards setting) for a long time.

        3) Depay9 was right, that midfield is too defensive minded. we need to win this.

        4) Dick will simply never try something too radical like that, too many players haven’t play for NT in some time: Tete, Bazoer, Kongolo.

        I’m kinda tired of “i want this and that” attitude, that simply have low chance of happening… I know I have some favorite players that I wanna see playing for NT, but if the circumstances aren’t allowing, then there’s no use of hoping.

        at least if we want a 442, here’s something possible:
        Klaassen, Janssen
        Promes, Toornstra, Strootman, Wijnaldum
        Blind, Hoedt, De Vrij, Tete

        but instead, here’s what we will most possibly see:
        Depay, Janssen, Promes
        Klaassen, Wijnaldum, Strootman
        Blind, Hoedt, De Vrij, Veltman

        players I hate on this list: Depay (underwhelming preseason), Blind (too slow vs France, though still can do the job), Veltman (incomplete fullback. he’s a CB, dammit)

        possible new/re-callups: Bazoer, Kluiver, Van De Beek, Van Ginkel, Haps, Riedewald.

          1. he’s good player and all, but he must do at least one thing: either lose the muscle (he’s seriously become slower and less agile than PSV days), or be more decisive.

            in current form, I’ll pick Kluivert (with such form of home game vs Nice, not the away game) above Depay.

          2. I say the National team has to take some risks when they play France. Because if you go for the players that are consistent but are not amazing then I don’t think we will win. We need to take a risk and play players like depay because if he has a great game he can easily win us the game. delays best form is better than any other dutch winger other than Robben

  6. Denmark into the finals after PKs.

    Ten minutes in and our Lionesses are looking good, playing with a high level of pace and workrate in front of an enthusiastic crowd in Enschede


    Fantastic goal for the Dutch Lionesses!

    We’ve been playing extremely well, with rapid ball movement, a high level and skill and excellent use of the wings

    That goal was well deserved!

  8. Back line is looking a little shaky right now and the officiating is strongly favoring the English. Their players are crumpling at any contact. Usually women players don’t dive…

  9. The English women are now hitting the floor at every opportunity. I don’t think they can beat us in open play, so hopefully we can be disciplined against their set pieces

  10. We have been very dynamic in our play and are hitting the wings with some great long diagonal passing. It’s actually quite reminiscent of our men’s traditional style of play.

    1-0 at the half…

  11. England has looked dangerous at times, but continues to resort to flopping and whining. If we prevail, I’m sure it will be attributed in their eyes to home cooking. I would disagree but ultimately don’t care because even to a neutral observer, our girls are playing great!

    We’re now pushing for a third with 15 minutes to go.

  12. And that’s it, with an English own goal to finish it off! What a performance! We’re headed to the Final on Sunday back in Enschede!

    And despite our past history in the Euros against Denmark, I think we can do it this time 😉

  13. Sucks that PSV lost. Im sure they would have gone far in the Europa league if they would have prevailed. I don’t like how teams like the one they faced just park the bus the whole time and try to waste time. It ruins the game

  14. Europa Leage draw:

    Ajax – Rosenborg

    Utrecht – Zenit.

    It looks like we will to the group stage with three teams: Feyenoord, Vitesse and Ajax. Do not believe Utrecht could survive Zenit….

  15. Guys,

    I thought Feyenoord will start Champions league campaign through the last round of qualification games. However, I looked at draw and did not see Feyenoord. Does that mean that CL will have another knock out stage or Feyenoord will start playing from the group stage?

      1. Really! My understanding was that season 2017-2018 we will start from qualifications as NED was not within top ten countries in the season 2016-2017. Well, anyway good for Feyenoord.

    1. That is very good new! I always liked Luc, and hopefully he will recover soon and help Vitesse in EL. Good guys are coming back to Eredivisie!

  16. Has anyone heard any news on kishna lately? I know he can still turn his career around and become and great talent as long as he avoids injuries

  17. I believe PSV should try and sign Dabney Dos Santos. Ever since Narsingh left De Jong hasn’t had the same form. Dos Santos is similar to him with his pace and assists and maybe he and de Jong could connect for a great season

    1. Think about it he is often on the bench for AZ Alkmaar.Clavin stengs rise has seen Jahanbakhsh shift to the left wing which further relegates him to the comes as no suprise how his development has stalled given a 18 year old has relegated him to the bench He is very similar to narsingh. Jus speed.

      1. I agree with Wilson, DDS’ development somehow has stopped. He started as a great promise but then somehow he started lagging behind. I always thought that he would be good as a attacking midfielder (As Adam Maher) but for some reason he has never been used at that position. Anyway coach knows better.

    1. I wouldn’t be too concerned. These guys tend to take a stance on a player and then refuse to see anything that differs from their initial position.

      Then, once conventional wisdom accepts that that same player is undeniably a star, they’ll act like they were on board all along 🙂

      Jan is a Memphis fan, so I think you’ll be generally pleased with the coverage he gets here regardless of certain remarks in the comments section…

    2. glad to see him playing well again!

      also read that he challenged Neymar on who can score more freekicks this season… oh dear Memphis… when did he score his last freekick?

  18. The reaction to the Oranje Leeuwinnen is interesting. Some are overjoyed to see their success and are fully behind the team. Others tend to dismiss the seriousness and quality of the sport overall.

    Also amusing is that the online English-language coverage of the Women’s Euros has dropped off a cliff once the English team was eliminated.

    Here in the US, the US women’s team has traditionally been vastly more successful than the men’s — the US women have won multiple World Cups and Olympic goal medals, so there seems to be more cross-over appeal. In other words, US soccer fans (male and female) generally have embraced the women’s game because they have been the only real success story for American soccer. In Europe and South America, I imagine it’s quite different, with the women’s game not really being approved of or respected.

    I actually saw the Dutch women play the US women in a friendly last year, and came away more impressed with the Dutch team notwithstanding the outcome. And so I am not surprised at their success in these Euros. At this point, I actually wish that the US team, despite their historical dominance, could play more like the Netherlands, who rely much more on skill and movement than power and athleticism.

    All that said, if you tune in tomorrow, don’t expect the quality or speed of play to be anywhere near the same level as the men. A solid U16 boys club team could probably handle a senior international women’s team. But if you take their performances in the context of women’s sports generally, I think the games can be pretty enjoyable and entertaining.

    If I can find an informative preview of the finals, I’ll try to post it here.

    1. Not a sexist here but I do not follow women football as have never understood the beauty of this game in their performance. It is exiting that Dutch team has crowned as European champions but I would be much more excited if women volleyball team wins Euro rather than soccer team. It just not the same feeling…

    1. why did the referee took so long to review the VAR??? had Feyenoord lost the PK shootout, the fans surely would go nuts. that was a clear goal, got disallowed, and then instant PK for Vitesse.

      also, Toornstra-Boetius-Vilhena should be called up.

        1. I liked his performance when he played alongside Toornstra in NT (forgot which game).

          Toornstra should take the no.10 spot, he has the ability to pick through ball. hope Dick will try him there. Vilhena at 6/8. Wijnaldum at 8 or Strootman at 6.

          1. Saw Feyenoord-Vitesse. Feyenoord plays with a confident bounce in their step. Good match. Impressed with Vilhena, Toornstra, Haps, and, especially, Boetius. Buttner was excellent for Vitesse.

            Congratulations to the Lionesses—that was a fun game to watch.

  19. Well, after a horrible start, including conceding a penalty in the sixth minute, we are right back in it — Groenen to van de Sanden to Miedema. 1-1

  20. Right now, we are struggling with the choice between maintaining possession in the midfield and countering quickly. Van de Sanden is such a threat on the right, there is such a temptation to just put it out there for her and let her go 1v1…

  21. Denmark’s backline looks shaky right now, but we are not capitalizing on their miscues. Hopefully, that will not haunt us later.

    We need to look to keep the ball more and force the Danes out of position, and then attack the gaps. In other words, patience!

  22. Hey Fellas, Tuning in, who are the star names I should look for? I’d love a description of the forwards, the top midfielder and top defender.

    It can be short, 🙂

    Lets go ladies!

    1. Martens is the left wing. Young, up and coming player. Just signed for Barcelona’s women’s team. Good dribbler.

      Miedema is the center forward. Tall, good heading ability and pretty consistent finisher.

      Van de Sanden is the right wing — strong, athletic and powerful player. Dominates against average defenders. A real weapon for the team.

      Van de Donk is an all around midfielder, plays with a high work rate and a quality attacking player. Plays for Arsenal and scored the second goal in the semi-final.

      Groenen is another quality mid. More of a playmaker but puts in a shift defensively as well. Great long distance passer.

    2. Van Veenendaal is the keeper. Probably the best in the Euros this year. Good leadership and generally very reliable.

      Dekker is the tall blonde center back. Clutch defender and wins every header!

  23. Everyone appears exhausted at this point. I’d like to see us change up an attacker or two so we can continue to pressure their back line and counter quickly..

  24. Sneijder arrives in Nice to pen down 1 year contract. Im still think how him and jean michael seri will fit today in the starting lineup. Most probably somebody will have to sit out.

  25. Ligue 1 has already started. Anwar El Ghazi scored the third goal for Lille as Bielsas Man saw off Ranieris Nantes 3-1 in the game of two coaches facing off after returned to French soil once again.

    Lyon overcame new comers strasbourg 4-0. Depay with a assist. Tete was on bench.

    Kongolo is injured and was not named in the Monaco team.

    In Russia Zenit thrashed Spartak Moscow 5-1. Promes scored the consolation goal through penalty.

  26. Luuk de Jong is hopefully going to Crystal palace. Will be good for him to get his career on track. Many people have updated on him but he is just entering his prime years. And like Zlatan he just will get better with age as he never has relied on pace and be a good player through his 30s

      1. Naa, dont think so. FDB wants a backup up striker for benteke which means playing time will be limited. Also ny no means he is an uprade to benteke so very much will have to settle down as second best.with Dost around dont think NT needs another striker like him.

  27. Great article Jan. Gullit was my idol when I was a teenager. I was convinced at the time we were going to win Italia 90 … I still don’t think I’ve gotten over the devastation!

  28. Ok guys the big leagues start this weekend and the french game also around the corner.three weeks or so. Lets look at what could be the line up be like given pre season which got wrapped up last sunday and also players who havnt featured for their clubs.Robben, Sneijder and Karsdorp and van dijk are all question mark as none have played consecutive minutes and will face fitness issues if they do start playing from the coming week.karsdorp has jus returned to training after going through Knee operation. Sneijder signed one year contract with Nice and with Ligue 1 already started it will take him some to get back to fitness. Robben also didnt feature in super cup vs Dortmund over the weekend ( calf Injury) and van dijk has being trainung on his own aimed at transfer speculation.

    This will be the delimma for Dick and Guilt and given there is no friendlys before the game alot of strategies and contengency plans needs to be worked out.

    One thing for sure the french will be explosive in all department. Backs, Midfield and forwards and that where it should be countered.

    If not for injuries, this will be most likely lineup for the french.

    Mbappe- Greizmann

    Lemar- Kante- Progba- Dembele

    Mendy- Umtiti- Varane-sidibe


    The question is how do you counter this squad.

          1. We still have kishna, depay promes. And you only need one amazing LW which we have in depay

          2. kishna had spoiled himself,Depay had spoiled himself..both were talents but almost gone..Promes i dont rate him high,but i think ATM he is way better than Depay and Kishna..

          3. Kishna and depay are still young. I swear everyone gives up on a player after one bad season. Like I said multiple times before. One season does not make or break a player

    1. okay…give me
      We do have enough quality and we will win the match…if Gini boy and Janssen upfront…i am forgetting sneijder+ Roben due to fitness..

      1. Emmanuel:

        When you present it that way, our task appears even more daunting. In your individual player comparisons, the French are clearly better than us (although Robben on his day is arguably more dangerous than anyone they have).

        Thankfully, the sum may be worth more than its parts, and I’m hopeful that we can prevail against France as a team.

        1. @JB only draw back with that line up is that they didnt played together..but the individual quality of our players will cancel out France threat…Mensah had amazing games for Manu under firepressure against top class players….He single handley defended Manu in crunch games under LVG..
          AKe has better vision than kante…He is so alert guy…with AKe as sold Dejong type DM and a beast like Mensah to handle pogba would give us huge edge…when u add had hardwork pressing games of NEVER TIRING vilhena and Toonstra…French wil have hard time….Gini and Janssen has the qulaity to hold the ball vs any defender,janssen has foxy brain and Gini has oustanding ball controll…So they could find a goal….Go nethertherlands go..Bring on france…

      2. Emmanuel has a point. That lineup could easily beat france and that isn’t even our best players. Honestly I believe you guys are giving way too much credit to the french

      3. De Vrij and van dijk can easily handle mbappe and griezmann. As well Dembele and Lemar will have no chance against kongolo and veltman/tete. Kante scored only once in the Premier league all year so he is basically useless. So all we need to look out for is Pogba and the only thing he can do is take a low percentage shot from 30 yards out that hardly goes in. Vilhena or strootman can easily deal with him.

        1. As well, Mensah easily pocketed bale in the friendly vs real Madrid. He has proven he can be excellent and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is called up

          1. I’m frequently wrong and when I am I will readily admit it, but Mbappe and Griezmann are widely considered to be two of the best attacking players in the world. I don’t know of any two center backs on any national team that I would expect could “easily handle them”, let alone the young and still relatively unproven players that we would put out there. If we are going to be able to defeat France, will have to do so as a team and not rely on just being better than they are individually — because, although I hope I’m wrong, I really don’t think that we are.

  29. Great win by our Dutch Girls, my sister just called me from Holland and said that the public are going wild in celebrations, it’s nice to see them get some recognition. Women’s football is growing worldwide so we may as we’ll enjoy the spectacle, especially if they win!
    Looking forward to the start of the BPL , a lot of Dutch players to follow, Janssen in particular I think it’s a make or break season for him.

  30. Crystal palace are targeting zoet. That would be a great team if they get all riedewald, van aanholt, fosu Mensah, de Jong and zoet. Unstoppable

  31. oks guys few things too note as we debate about the french. no matter how good the backline is or even if you have the worlds best defenders, if the midfield is weak in front of them,they will be exposed in no time. remember Germany vs Brazil 7-1. dont think Strootman and wijnaldum combo will be able to counter Kante and Progba.who ever starts in the defensive midfield will have to stay with kante and progba like shadow and not give them a single inch of space to move. if they find those pockets space they will simply either release their forwards breaching the backline or the long range torpedos will be the on the top of the menu like what progba did in the last outings. after from the middle you can expect their left flank to be in the thick of things with Mendy and Lemar. Mendy is a very explosive fullback and they will running riot with Lemar or Payet whoever starts so NT need somebody who is good is good in both department. I thinking Mensah. if veltman starts then I dont know what to say. the rest upfront can be manged with, Depay, Lens, Promes,Toornstra and van Ginkel, Locadia.

    Locadia – Promes

    depay – Ake – Strootman – Toornstra

    Buttner -Hoedt – De Vrij- Mensah


    1. Why do people rate Kante so highly? He can’t score, assist, not good in arial duels and does not even have lots of interceptions. I don’t know if it was just because he was on two championship teams in a row but I don’t see what’s so good about him

      1. In the last two PL seasons he’s had 2 goals and 5 assists. The NT don’t have to worry about him he’s only good for defence. And wijnaldum can tear him apart

        1. what he does, he does the best, that why chelsea bought him because he was the best DM in PL or if not he would have haven on the bench.his best part of his game is breaking down of play from the back and surging forward like a winger but from the midfield.

          also look at what happened to Leicester city when he left for chelsea. from league winners they finished 12th. this tells you alot about how influential he was for Leicester during their campaign in winning the title. and this is how he caught the eye of his suitors. . his departure left a big hole which Leicester jus couldn’t cope up with.

          1. Kante didn’t win Leicester the league. They won last year because everyone on the team had a great season and all got lucky. I’m sorry I just don’t see it

          2. I agree with Wilson. Like Busquets at Barcelona, Kante plays a pivotal role for his team, but one that does not generate a lot of stats. He was not the sole reason that Leicester won the PL two seasons ago, nor was he the sole reason that Chelsea won last season, but he was an integral part of both sides. The French team features a lot of high profile, flair players, but it’s the players like Kante that really make them dangerous. All that said, I think we can beat them, but it’s going to take an all around teamwide effort to do so.

    2. Robben should be in the lineup because even if he doesn’t get the chance to play games before the France game as long as he is fit he will be used. Even for 45 minutes Robben can carry a team like he has for Bayern for years

  32. I agree with Depay on this one. Our WC qualification hopes are on the line in this next match. Robben is by far our best player. If there’s any way he can be out there for us, we need him to be, even if not 100%

    1. Im sure Bayern will have big say here and if he is not fit then most probably they will have a word with Dick instead of risking him for the new season.

      But seriously it would be in the best intrest of the team to use players who are 100 percent rather than those who would just fade out with changing tempo of the games. Toornstra is in good form , so is Depay, van Ginkel and Promes so they should start
      .also clasie in last quarter could be very effective.

      1. Roben can only be compared with CR7 and MEssi as of current egenration…45 minutes fit Roben will be able to score a goal..But the question is will he be able to play 45???
        Back in WC2014 we had to play injured Nijel and injured/Flu RVP Vs Arjentina..Both played really well but we had to sub both..So we were left with no option to put krul as Gk substitue…Krul would have killed those Arjentines…
        So playing an unfit player like Roben is gamble..yes its still worth than playing Depay or proemes or Locadia…
        I feel Gini boy and janssen can do it with the help of Toonstra,Vilhena,Ake as pure DM and beast to cancel out Pogba..

        1. Van Persie was subbed off at the 120th minute van ghaal made the decision to keep cillisen in even though Krul could’ve been used. I think van Persie could’ve survived another minute for penalties

          1. y he subbed off???he was so tired…so he had to or else y to withdraw ur captain??

          2. The game literally ended after he was subbed. He could’ve lasted another 30 seconds and then scored a goal in the penalties. I’m not sure what van gaal was thinking

  33. @Depay9, When I read your post my recollection was that Huntelaar replaced RVP either before the OT started, or early on in the 1st OT. I’ve since checked it, and the game stats show RVP being subbed out in the 96th minute. KJH played almost the entirety of the OT. Van Gaal said after the game that he knew that he was giving up the opportunity to sub Krul, but he wanted to try to win the game in open play, and he felt that KJH gave them the best chance. (Real question in my mind was why RVP started—who seemed like he was spent from the outset. Hadn’t recovered from the CR OT and the Mexico game in the heat.)

    Re: Robben, if he’s fit he plays, if not, there is no point in having him out there. I don’t think Advocaat will worry one wit about Bayern’s preferences.

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