Struggling Oranje beats Socceroos…

Wow, what a night! Where to start….

I said before the game I wasn’t too confident. And I also predicted a wishful 0-3, for Oranje. Well, we did get the 3 goals. And we got a big hit in our confidence. Holland is back on the ground after being a little bit lifted after the Spain tapas.

And Van Gaal did something he normally doesn’t do and shouldn’t do anymore. The man who uses logic and statistics for his decision making, this time used his heart to make a decision. Feeling. Van Gaal and feeling do not mix.

He wanted to give the lads who beat Spain another go. The 5-3-2 against Australia’s 4-5-1. Now, I am not a big systems guy. I think systems are overrated. Systems don’t win you games, players and opportunities do.

From a systems perspective, Holland’s system didn’t mix well with Australia. The one lone striker up front worked his ass off against 3 mediocre building up defenders. And the rest of the Dutch team was marked. The Aussies used forward pressure almost Dutch style and never gave Blind, Janmaat, Sneijder and co time on the ball. This rattled the Dutch. In particular Sneijder and De Guzman were at a loss. Sneijder never had so many stray passes, while Robben does what Robben does when things don’t flow. He starts to want to win it all by himself.


From a mentality’desire/focus perspective, it felt we were sluggish, and arrogant even. Our pace was low, our passing was off ( three stray passes to Blind in the first 30 minutes, Sneijder not finding his feet) and we simply were too late for most challenges.

From an individual class perspective, only Robben showed his quality in that particular first goal situation. The rest of the team was mediocre. Poor even.

The first threat was Robben converting an Aussie mistake in the 0-1. In Robben style. The former Groningen man sort of felt his mates were still in the dressing room and he decided to go it alone. Which sort of got the Dutch back on their cloud. So much so that the Socceroos were able to score within the minute. A great one time played ball into Cahill and a Van Basten style volley: 1-1. Cracker of a goal.

Tim Cahill Goal of the tournament vs Holland

This gave the Aussies wings and they outplayed us that first half all over the pitch.

And this is where we really got hurt. Not so much systems, but mentality. Will to win. Desire. And having an Algerian referee on the pitch didn’t help either :-).

The width of the Aussies rattled Holland as well. Spain’s wide players drift inwards when they can. Leckie and Oar however, hugged the line and created a lot of defence problems for Holland, who had to play one on one whenever Australia had the ball. And when they did, they moved their 4-5-1 into a 3-3-4, impressively.

A dramatic accident involving Martins Indi forced Van Gaal to show his cards before the half time break. A tough Cahill challenge resulted in BMI hitting the deck with his head and he is off with a concussion. Van Gaal used the moment to bring the 4-3-3 back with young gun Memphis Depay on the left flank.

The 4-3-3 gave Holland more control over the match. The 3 forwards kept 4 Aussies at the back and more fighting spirit (Sneijder, De Jong, Janmaat, Blind) in midfield helped Holland back into it. But where we created more in 10 minutes than in the previous 45 minutes, it was bad luck in our box that gave the Aussies a lead. A cross against Janmaat arm and the ball went on the spot. Australia didn’t fail and led 2-1. This is where Holland finally straightened their back and inspired by the entrance of Depay, Holland did to the Socceroos what Cahill did to us: score immediately. A good throughpass by the young PSV winger (definitely on his way out of the Eredivisie) to Van Persie who was kept onside and the Man United striker had only one thing on his mind. High and hard.

RVP equal

I did have the feeling we had more in us this game, but was very conscious that this applied to Australia as well.

It took something special and a fail by the Aussies to get on top though. A Depay distance strike C Ronaldo style tricked the young Socceroo goalie and found the net. 2-3 up for Holland but this wouldn’t stop the lads in green and gold to bounce back and come looking for more.


And for me, they deserved the equaliser.

But sadly for them and fortunately for us, we were able to stay in the game and with Wijnaldum and Lens as fresh legs (Van Persie limped off after a shock landing on his ankle) we did create more opportunities but somehow it never looked like we would dance past the ruggish Aussie players.

Lets just hope that this tough game will have brought some grit to the Dutch. Because we will not get away from a team like France or Germany, should they choose to play like this against us.

It is time we all become realistic again, after this fabulous win versus Spain, and realise we can only get something if we really fight and labour like there is no tomorrow all over the pitch. And then, with some class by the Golden Triangle and some tactical wizardry by Van Gaal.


And looking back at the Australia game, one can safely say that: 1) we did not show grit and workmanship but were sluggish and looked arrogant, 2) our big guns were hot and cold this game and 3) Van Gaal got it wrong with his tactical set up.

So there is a big decision to be made by Van Gaal.

Playing Chile, will we go back to 5-3-2 (as they tend to play Spain-like) or will we simply rely on our class and traditional 4-3-3 against all future opponents from now on and use Depay as our tropical surprise?

I’ll give you one hint. Skipper Van Persie was interviewed right after the game and he gave his true feelings away, as he wasn’t as guarded. “It was good to play 4-3-3 again, to be in our own style. We clearly all feel better playing that.”

Your thoughts?


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  1. Sorry guys, the live blogging is for now the culprit of the Site crashing. Apologies. Looks like we need to abandon it… unless I find a solution…

  2. This comment came in right when I was posting this new one. So I moved it up. 🙂


    Hahahaha this is so much fun, reading all your comments.
    How old are you guys? 12? Never seen a football game before???
    Waaaaaaah!!! “we’re losing!!”, “we’re so shit!”
    Some of you whining, wailing children should be embarrassed.
    It’s just 11 men trying to be better than 11 other men at kicking a ball into a net. Relax. You’ll live longer.

    Refs will give penalties when they are not deserved. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!
    Sneijder had a stinker, still won’t pass to RVP, but was still involved in a goal. He cannot play that badly again.
    Blind had a stinker too, but also stopped a goal chance. He’ll be better again next time also. A blip.
    Janmaat forgot to put the right boots on the right feet. It happens. Cheer up!!

    Tell you what though, there is no substitute for Nigel De Jong. He is one hell of an ‘enforcer’. Man of the match performance. I’d like to see Classie next to him, rather than De Guzman. Personal choice.
    Robben is on fire, and tracking back. He’s having his own golden boot competition with Van Persie. Would be nice to see him pass more in the final third, but that’s never going to happen. Killer instinct.
    Van Gaal is getting his secondary tactics spot on – even if his primary tactics aren’t quite hitting the mark yet. Keeping us on his toes. Haha! Good to see that he is keeping our heroes fit and healthy for a full 90 minutes – cannot say the same for some other teams.

    IMPORTANTLY though, Holland have been LOSING both games so far, and we have turned them BOTH around.
    That’s serious mental strength right there!!
    I’m not certain that so many Holland teams of the past could do this. SO PROUD!

    The clowns here who said Depay was a “useless selfish dribbler like Elia and Babel” should learn to watch full games and not YouTube highlights. ‘Dribbler’ Ha! The irony.
    Depay was a breath of fresh air last night. Great footballer. Great goal. We’ll see more of him. Get used to it.
    The Aussie goalkeeper was not unlucky. Grow up. There is no such thing as ‘luck’. It was a fierce shot, curling viciously away from him. Bad timing. Beautiful strike.

    Some supporters are only supporters when the team is winning and playing PlayStation football. So sad.
    So predictable. But hey, that’s the price of being beautiful Holland. We attract these weirdos!

    Negative bitter little boys (hey Laurent) will try to bring us down to their level – which MUST logically mean we are WAY ABOVE them to start with. That’s satisfying. It really is.
    As long as he keeps posting, with every little cynical cowardly jibe at Jan and Ajax and Oranje, we can be sure that he’s still impotently raging away behind his nazi keyboard. So jealous. So limp. So simple. So insecure. LOVE IT!! 🙂

    Australia fought like they were being dragged to the airport by their toenails. Fair play to them.
    True Aussie grit. Leave everything on the pitch.
    I admire that. They gave us a proper battle, as was expected. It was all or nothing from them – win or bust – and we rode their storm with our individual quality, and took advantage as they became tired.
    Tournaments give us games like this. It is nothing new.
    Why are some of you so shocked? Did you expect 5-1 every week now?? Hahaha!! Come on….
    Winning is a great habit to have, but show some common sense, people.

    I don’t care about meeting Brazil sooner or later. If we are to progress, we will have to beat the best at some point – and I’m not sure Brazil are actually the best anyway. They look pedestrian. We can take them. Chile look more dangerous.
    Germany and Italy have impressed me so far. They are better than us, but hey, any team can beat any team in a knockout. And the competition is still young. Much can happen.

    Platini bought the smelly frogtards a nice clear path, but they will comically trip over their own noses as usual.
    Argentina could still come to life. So could England (that’s a wrecking ball team if it gets going). It’s a very open tournament. But not for Spain. Sorry boys 😉

    Brazil have paid $BIG to host this, you can be sure they will be around for a bit longer. That’s how these things work. Very disturbing for us to see that the Group A final matches are played after the Group B ones. That’s interesting! Hmmm, I wonder why!!
    Great World Cup. Has Webb refereed yet? Didn’t think so.

    Probably we won’t go too far – and we are SMART and we know this – but hey, we are enjoying this tournament.
    Enjoying it a LOT!
    Enjoying it even more when the bitter little children try to bring us down. That’s how we know we’ve already won!!

    I’ll leave the ‘football analysis’ to the geniuses here.


    FUCK YEAH!! 🙂

    AND we’re the first NATION through to the next round.

    Woop! Woop!

    Watch me dance, motherfuckers!

    Woop! Woop!

    Watch me dance!!


    1. Yeah! That’s the spirit!

      HUP JAN HUP!!

      We know this probably does not end well, we know that. But we enjoy it while it lasts. Damn straight we do!
      And when we go out it will hurt, and we will bleed.
      And we will bleed ORANJE!

      Till then, I dance. JOIN ME!

      Woop Woop! 🙂

      1. “Probably we won’t go too far – and we are SMART and we know this – but hey, we are enjoying this tournament.
        Enjoying it a LOT!
        Enjoying it even more when the bitter little children try to bring us down. That’s how we know we’ve already won!!”

        I think I understood. Most of negative people here are people who expect Holland to be one of the best team, and who are just disappointed to see many signs which prove the contrary. That’s all about perfection mind, clever people see it like that.

        Look DRB is also a fan, but he has some negatives comments, and he isn’t hating on Tiju, Wilson, Me etc. cause he probably understood that we just want Holland to be better. Of course we don’t hate Holland or whatever to spend all this time talking here.

        But you you just seem to be a bored 50 years old guy who needs football to meet people in bars. You know what Holland worth, you know it just like me. Probably you were even more negative than me when you were my age, during the 80s, but now you are in the end, you still didn’t see Holland winning any world cup and you’re understanding that it’ll never happen. You wrote yourself that you felt humiliated in 2010 lol that was the last train for you. Too late now lol

        That’s why you insult the negative ones here, you don’t want to read any negativity, you’re too old for that. Just like old men in hospitals, do they need to watch news about wars and diseases ?

        You’re just like Jeff with Ajax. He is understanding that Ajax won’t do anything again, so he hates me because I remind every time here. At least Jeff had a bright past.

        That’s strange by the way, the two guys who hate me there are +50 ones lol. I could be your son, would you hate your son ? Do you have one by the way? 😀

        1. Laurent, you made a promise that you would disappear if we manage to qualify … so if you want to demonstrate that you’re not a baby, keep your word and vanish please.

          And what the fuck do you want to say about Ajax ? They wrote a big piece of European football history. Respect.

        2. I agree with most here that all the psycho babble is driving us nuts. I am 50+. You are talking to me, bro. We don’t like negativity, I suppose. Because a negative mindset will create negative outcomes. Scientific fact.

          Did you predict Greece to win the Euro2004?

          No. But they did. Ajax might one day get back in the limelight and Holland might one day win the World Cup.

          Lets discuss respectfully and stop generalising. You have been caught out making “generalisations” before.

  3. HA HA Nice one Jan.

    I also can’t understand all this negativity … we do not have a world class defense … ok we knew that. But we have scored 8 goals in 2 matches, two topscorers are Dutch, we have the most shots on goal, we have turned around 2 matches … come on guys, this is much much better than we all expected before the tournament.

    I agree that De Jong was the best. Blind has 3 assists (probably the greatest assister of the tournament so far) – if he is a problem, I can live with it. Janmaat and Vlaar are not bad at all. De Vrij still a question mark for me.

    But for me the biggest disappointment yesterday was Sneijder. He is expected to make a difference and he didn’t. At times he was really bad in his passing. Let’s hope it was one bad game for him.

    1. the stats go deeper than that to how good we are.

      One goal every 22.5 minutes. Tournament average 60 minutes

      One goal per 3.55 shots. Tournament average 8.8 shots

      8 goals scored from open play

      3 goals conceded only one from open play

      28 shots 25 on target tournament average 15.5 shots.

      11 dribbles into the penalty area, tourament average 3.2

      even defensively we are above average

      tackles won 8, average 4.3

      recovered balls 82 average 48.5

      6 offsides given, average 2.6

      only negative stats are this

      13 tackles lost, 10 is average

      and pass completition rate is 73-75% need that to be at around 80+%

      furthermore we have goal difference on chile. we don’t have to win, we just have to not lose.

      We are balling, have fun, enjoy this. remember in the end this is a game, not life or death, your pride is not at stake because no one knows who you are. Just enjoy the ride for however long it lasts, whether its world cup champs or eliminated in round of 16.

  4. A win is a win and we’re through to next round. That’s what matters. Ah, and also Spain has gone to hell with tiki-taka.
    Regarding the match, to me MOTM goes to the one guy who turned it around for us and he is Depay. One assist, one hell of a goal for this guy and he almost never gave the ball away cheaply like Sneijder and a bunch of other more experienced guys did. De Jong only showed his maniacal tackling the last 20 mins and it helped a lot as otherwise the aussies would have again found the net through our swiss cheese defense.
    Cillesen seemed like a schoolboy again when he fumbled that chest hit ball, BMI ugly while he played, Blind and Janmaat mediocre, deVrij turned like a girl instead of throwing his body when Cahill scored the goal, Vlaar almost lost us the game with that lost ball after 2-2, Sneijder horrible, deGuzman what can you say, Robben a unstoppable robot but who turned selfish again when we could have scored a fourth, RVP is RVP.
    Our team had no energy, they seemed very tired since the beginning of the game and with no motivation. LvG showed that he is a human being and can make mistakes, nobody is perfect.
    The one thing I will never understand is how can these players not have even half the passion and grit of the aussies!? If they had that we could be world champions. I guess it is a cultural thing.
    For the next round I think we will have to play Croatia. No idea how it may end as croatians are warriors and warriors always give us trouble regardless talent advantage.
    I predict a 2-2 against Chile. Let’s enjoy this while it lasts. But I am terribly scared about the void and emptiness I will feel when/if we go out.

  5. And Jan, regarding the live blogging I do not think it is necessary as many of us comment here during the game. I doubt it is live blogging that is causing the issue. It seems to me like the webhost is not reliable and traffic on other sites hosted on same server as yours causes the gator to come alive. I would ask them to move the site on to a dedicated server which may be more expensive but I am sure that we would share that expense without hesitation.
    Thanks again for your hard work.

  6. I personally do not see why we need that live blogging….I noticed that the day when Dutch play, we constantly lose the site….I am suspecting that this is due to live blogging.

  7. Jan:

    Instead of the formal live-blogging, which seems to shut down the site, could you just create a new blog post and then provide your live-blogging in the form of comments to your own post?

    Would that alleviate the stress on the site?

  8. We recieved two penalties and one superb goal
    We must play 4-3-3 against all teams except agianst germany 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 with blind in midfield

  9. Chile are organized but beatable van gaal will try 433 against them and will see if the team matured enough since france game but am quite sure 433 will be big gamble against strong teams

  10. The good thing is that we won and we are on the second round but we cannot play like that against Chile. So far i have not been impressed by the performances of Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi and De Guzman, to be honest i was expecting them to play much better than that!! I don’t know why Van Gaal doesn’t give Clasie a chance to prove himself!! I think that with Jordy in midfield who can provide a long or a through ball will make us more dangerous up front and certainly do a better job than De Guzman. The next match against the Chileans will tell us how good our team is and how will they manage against a fast paced team that give everything they have on the field. Personally i don’t see us beating them but i can leave with a draw since that would mean that we avoid Brazil on the second round.

      1. Well i can tell you this much….they’re wrong!! I mean there is no way De Guzman had a better game than De Jong and according to them he did!!

  11. From what I’ve seen, Chile is very attack-oriented in their play, but sometimes they still struggle to score despite lots of opportunities. They press high and play very fast, but the speed at which they play seems to negatively impact their finishing – perhaps somewhat like Australia.

    I wonder if we don’t stick with the 532 one more time for this game (at least initially) to try to absorb their pressure and then counter quickly. I don’t think our back line is fast or consistent enough to deny them goal-scoring opportunities and think our best bet may be to defend a little deeper and with numbers, and then try to bypass their pressing in the midfield with direct balls to our front line.

    Additionally, their team is really small, I think even shorter than Spain, and so we should have a real height advantage in the crossing game and on set pieces. At the end of the day, I think we just need to take them seriously. They are a legitimately good team and attack relentlessly (sort of like a more direct, pressing Spain on amphetamines).

    I think they can be burned on the counter though, and Robben’s quality up front, perhaps combined with either Depay’s speed and dribbling or Huntelaar’s height and finishing could be very helpful. We’ll definitely miss RVP in this one though.

    1. Agree with your comments and Tomy’s: Playing 4-3-3 against chile will be very risk unless our midfield and backfield play much better than the did for a good portion of yesterday’s game. I fear bad passes and mistakes under pressure leading to scoring opportunities for chile. A counter-attacking system would seem like a wise way to contend with their pressure, but we’ll see what lvg has in mind.

  12. I’m pretty sure the coaching staff and the players learnt from the Aussie lesson and now focus on Chile.

    I see Kongolo in place of BMI whom I read will be out for one week (concussion protocol?). I don’t think we put Veltman (he is more Vlaar/De Vrij sub). Hopefully Kongolo will be ready to play.

    I prefer Wijnaldum or Clasie or Fer to start vs Chile than Guzman who showed little or no contribution at all.

    Up front I think LVG will pick Lens to replace RVP, not Hunter. Hunter may get 20 min near the end of the game.
    This is from seeing how LVG has used player and Lens taking over no 2 behind RVP in front of Hunter.

    The large question remains if we play 4-3-3 or 5-3-2. Given the way Chile plays, I feel LVG will stick to 5-3-2 to start the game and change to 4-3-3 by bringing in Depay later if needed. If half-time the score is 0-0, I think we are good. I still think it will be a tie game. The only thing I worry about is that Chile has nothing to lose (already qualified) while we have something to lose (1st place to avoid Brazil). Hopefully LVG prepares our team mentally, physically and tactically well for this game.

    We need a win or a tie to get 1st place so Chile will attack. Let’s hope we correct all the mistakes and get 1st place. We may not win vs Italy (QF) or Argentina (SF) based on our team’s; heck many predicted we will not make it out of the group and we prove them wrong. Let’s secure the first place vs Chile, then focus on either Croatia/Mexico. Once we get to QF, anything is possible (see WC2010).

  13. ++Lets just hope that this tough game will have brought some grit to the Dutch. Because we will not get away from a team like France or Germany, should they choose to play like this against us.++

    Well said,Jan.

    As for the next game playing against Chile,i think we need fast players to deal with them.LVG knows very well about Chile as he mentioned before that he likes the playing style of them.So,he must has a clue how to handle it.

    WE can try this lineup from the 6 Subs.Anyway,our Subs are as good as the regular players.And we can let Sneijder,Guzman,Blind,Janmatt and De Vrij have a little rest.Even if we don’t win this game,it is a good experience for them.And i want Robben to stay healthy all the way.


    Super Sub–Depay

    Hup Holland Hup !!!

  14. No one expects we will survive this group, every game the young players gain more experience and thus do less mistakes, van gaal is very good in developing those young defenders in no time, am sure we will go further in this wc, and all the other teams do mistakes, germany was impressive but against 10 only. We are developing dramatically , am sure we will reach the semis

  15. Thanks to Jan for the balanced write-up (as usual).

    My key takeaways after 2 matches:

    1. Team-wise: We are not good, we are not bad. Meaning, we can say this for almost every team who’d played. Only GER looked convincing after 1 match.

    2. Player-wise: the same. Meaning Blind sometimes is weak, sometimes passed like Frank de Boer. RvP had been brilliant but really in the first 43 mins vs ESP, didn’t do anything.

    3. I think LvG is a bad@$$! He commands the respect of players, they seem to want to “fight” for him and he can adjust tactic/schema or whatever you guys call it to adapt. We saw it in 2nd halves of both matches.

    4. I think there is much better cohesion among our players this year. Some of you pointed out the smiles and lovefest when RVP passed on the arm band to Robben. This is very un-Oranje but I find it to be a great sign for us. Sneijder looks like he realizes he’s only the 3rd banana this year and he seemed to be fine with this fact.

    5. I think it is important we won both matches in a rather ugly manner. 2nd match vs the admirable Socceroos obviously was much uglier. But it is better than winning 4-0 after the “easy” 5-1 in first match. Again, this is also very “un-Oranje” and another great sign. We have never won ugly matches when they count.

    6. Based on the above, I think this is the year we’ll win it all. We’ll be the first European country to win in the Americas. Nobody will refer to us as “underachievers”, “perennial World Cup finalists” or say something about “Nigel de Jong karate kick” again. It will be an added bonus if we meet/beat GER in the 40th anniv of 1974.

    7. Non-Oranje-related bonus: kudos and respect to the Socceroos, they played with heart and should gain respect from neutral parties.

    8. Suggestion to Jan: do you ever consider making your site a “paid site”? i.e.: charging those who want to participate maybe $5-10/year so you can use the $ to host in a more robust site? It may work to weed out trolls as well. I really appreciate what I read here (non-trolling posts) but it can get a bit frustrating when I see the site is down and my posts are gone.


    1. I liked your item# 8, HedonistiX. Having said that it is nice to have diverse opinion in the forum. Some of them are actually very funny to read, especially “bandwagoner” type ones…

  16. If LvG decides to play with traditional 3:3:4 formation, he needs to choose real central attacker, which is Hunterlaar. Most of our forwards are wingers. My impression is that LvG has been a bit hesitant which formation to play. That is why he consulted with his players. I feel that LvG has to trust his intuition and less consult with boys as they will be able to come to a unanimous decision. Personally, I do not worry about the match with Chile as based on what I have seen so far, for Dutch group stage placement does not matter anymore. I do not think Brazil, Croatia, or Mexico play any better than Dutch. Dutch team is an excellent team with great level of fitness, but their mental strength is not there yet. They have gotten much better, as they came back twice from being behind, but they still need improvement in that area in order to go as far as possible in the tournament. Thus, for Dutch, it is a matter of mental and psychological preparedness, which is a number one priority in LvG’s list.
    I love and believe in my Oranje!!!

  17. Some updates from Dutch camp based on Elfvoetbal:

    BMI did not train today with Oranje in Rio: struggled with a mild concussion. Thursday Martins Indi will be joining his Dutch colleagues.

    Jordy Clasie did not train as he is sick. He stayed in the hotel.

    Arjen Robben and Nigel de Jong did not go the field because they had mild symptoms (of what I do not know…) and went to the group training cardio exercises.

    1. Also, in some ways the Dutch, although electrifying, were very lucky. Had David Silva’s one-on-one with Jasper Cillessen in the first half gone in, the game would have been completely different.

      Fair article, but I think “luck” is a really important factor for any teams to win a tourney. Examples: Maradona’s hand of God in 1986 (it’s more than just luck, actually) or Italy beating us in penalties at one of the EUROs after we led/dominated them the whole match.

      Not saying “luck” alone is enough but I’d take luck and “winning ugly matches” any day. After we win this World Cup, yes, we can go back to play “beautiful Total Football” and losing in the finals again …. 🙂 (kidding!)


      1. Speaking of “luck”, I’d consider Casillas’ toe-tip 1:1 vs Robben to be “luck” as well. Without that, we’d have won it in 2010.

      2. “Had David Silva’s one-on-one with Jasper Cillessen in the first half gone in, the game would have been completely different.”

        why not to say :

        “Had Sneijder’s one on one with Casillas in the first half even before Spain’s PK gone in .. ”


        “Had the Refree yellow carded Diego Costa for diving in the Penalty area instead of giving him a PK ..”

        1. I agree Mohammed. Again we always hear negative comments.
          The coverage on ESPN in particular emphasizes the great Chilean team and how poor Spain was. But Thierry Henry and the folks at BBC know best and they gave full credit to the Dutch. The team had to come back twice from 1 goal down and both times they were PKs due to totally bogus calls by the ref. Even harder when you may feel that the calls were unfair. Yet the team battled and won. Kudos to the team spirit.

  18. Here are some interesting scoring stats that I think say a lot about our team’s attack so far:

    We’ve scored 8 goals in our first two games (vs Spain and Australia), for an average of 4 goals a game!

    So far in this WC tournament, there have been seven other games in which a team has scored at least 3 goals:

    Brazil 3 – Croatia 1
    (a goal to tie the game, and then a dubious penalty and an injury time goal when Croatia was chasing the game)

    Chile 3 – Australia 1
    (two early goals and an injury time goal)

    Columbia 3 – Greece 0
    (a goal 5 minutes in, a second half goal and an injury time goal)

    Costa Rica 3 – Uruguay 1
    (three second half goals following a PK for Uruguay)

    France 3 – Honduras 0
    (a penalty, an own goal and then a third, all after a Honduras red card)

    Germany 4 – Portugal 0
    (a penalty, a second goal, and then two more goals after a Portugal red card)

    Croatia 4 – Cameroon 0
    (an early goal, and then three more goals after a Cameroon red card)

    My point is this – Holland has fallen behind in both games, but recovered to tie and then taken the lead in the second half, and has had 4 different players score, including two players with 3 goals each.

    The other teams that appear to be so high scoring, however, are benefitting from the following circumstances:

    – Scoring a third goal at the very end of the game while holding a 2-1 lead with the other team pouring forward in attack
    – Scoring via penalties or own goals
    – Scoring multiple goals following an opponent being reduced to 10 men
    – Scoring additional goals against an overmatched opponent who has not scored at all

    Holland has scored 7 of our 8 goals from open play, all against full-sided opponents, and four when trailing or having tied the game!

    This team is currently playing the way many Dutch fans have been requesting – just flat-out outscoring the opposition. And like many of you, I’m enjoying the ride.

    Let’s pray that we can keep the goals coming against Chile and beyond!

  19. Holland has scored 7 of our 8 goals from open play, all against full-sided opponents, and four when trailing or having tied the game!

    This team is currently playing the way many Dutch fans have been requesting – just flat-out outscoring the opposition. And like many of you, I’m enjoying the ride.

    Great point, JB …. These are the kind of things I’m taking positives from. Yes there are weaknesses here and there but I don’t recall we’ve traditionally been able to win coming from behind. We did it 2x in the first 2 matches.

    As much as it pains me to say, Germany have been showing great fluidity (playing more like the Oranje) but in the first 2, we’ve been able to grind out wins (not going as far as mentally as strong as Germany).

    Despite obvious concerns in youth/def, I really like what I’ve seen.

    One change I’d like to see is changing de Guzman. I must have watched different matches than the analysis on our players.

  20. We need to improve in mental fitness. This is a great squad and at various times in both matches we have shown that we are one of the best, if not the best team of the tournament. The main problem is the mental block which happens to the young players during certain periods usually in the first halves. If they manage to shake this off as they go from match to match, then i believe everything is possible.

  21. Great take here:

    Tournament football, however, is about dealing with eventualities and coping with your own shortcomings. The Elftal did that very well at the last World Cup and it’s no coincidence that the survivors of that campaign are among the most optimistic players in the squad. “You cannot be fantastic throughout a tournament, from beginning to the end,” Van Persie said. It’s about getting there.

    To be clear, Louis van Gaal will never park the bus. He doesn’t believe in overly defensive tactics. But he believes in winning. His post-match comments after the hard-fought 3-2 win over Australia in Porto Alegre were telling in that regard. The 62-year-old disagreed with the man of the match award for Arjen Robben (scorer of the 1-0) and argued that a rather less elegant player should have been given the prize instead.

    “Robben was good but he would not have been my choice,” Van Gaal said. “I don’t like singling out players but I would have given it to Nigel de Jong. [He was] fantastic!” The holding midfielder had offered the usual blend of tough tackles and simplicity on the ball. His cool head and the ability to stand up to the Australians’ very physical approach were ultimately more important for the Dutch success than the moments of individual brilliance provided by Robben and Robin van Persie, Van Gaal effectively said.

    If you can’t play, you have to battle. “We had to give everything,” Van Persie said. The satisfaction that the Netherlands managed to do just that and come out the other side of a gruelling 90 minutes with three points was just as pronounced as the joy after the playful, almost effortless destruction of Spain — probably even more so ….

  22. Netherlands Route1: top the group if we draw Chile
    Lesser opponent in R16, but against our friend Italy, and potentially Portugal won’t be easy.

    Round of 16
    Match 51 Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza Netherlands Croatia/Mexico
    Match 59 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador Netherlands Italy
    Match 62 Arena Corinthians, São Paulo Netherlands Argentina/Portugal
    Match 64 Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Netherlands

    Netherlands Route2: second in group, if we lost Chile, Chile top the group.
    Tough R16 against the host, but the next journeys are manageable, we can only meet Portugal/Italy/ Argentina in the final.

    Round of 16
    Match 49 Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte Brazil Netherlands
    Match 57 Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza Netherlands Uruguay/Colombia
    Match 61 Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte Netherlands Germany
    Match 64 Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro Netherlands Argentina/Portugal/Italy

  23. PVA and John Guidett are both on Feyenoords score card. PVA is currently in Mexico and will report straight to London and hold talks with Chelsea about his future.

  24. Hi guys,
    Chile plays 3-3-4 or 3-3-1-3 (following LVG’s Ajax), I wonder how LVG will encounter Chile’s formation and their style of play. I m not really sure if we play 4-4-3, our 4 defenders can cope with their 3-4 attacking players. If we play 2 strikers, it may overcome their 3 defenders, Unfortunely we have lost RVP, which left us with Robben and Lens/ Hunter. Should we play 3 or 4 in the midfield against Chile’s better midfielders?

  25. Here is the thing; 2 months ago if you had told me we would be 2-0 and needing only a draw to come out as the 1 spot, and with a 5-1 win over Spain, I would have gladly taken that. Heck, let’s be honest, we have often discussed how great it would be to make it out of the Group phase! And yes, over the last 2-years I have been a pessimistic guy and often compared this squad (2011-Present) to the 1979-1986 squads. So I am really very happy and have yelled myself hoarse over the last 2 matches. That always present feeling with Oranje of “Dare I hope again!” is growing within me.
    The Spain game was awesome, and I do not think Chile’s 2-0 thrashing of Spain lessens our own win. I actually think that we were the ones who stole Spain’s manhood and ruined their psych, which Chile benefitted from. The Australia game was no surprise. For whatever reason, Australia has ALWAYS given us fits, even though they have been “friendlies”. Every team has a bad match in a World Cup, and let’s hope that was ours and we even won it.
    This upcoming Chile match, however, has me stressed. It is the wrong team at the wrong moment for us. Oranje is better team, but the way Chile is playing and their mental attitude can give us fits. The one thing I noticed about Chile is their aggression. In all aspects of the game they are overly aggressive. They argue vehemently every call, every tackle, every free kick, every aspect! They are playing very macho and you could see they were attempting to bully Spain with that mental approach. They are almost playing mean-spirited. Every tackle they make is harder than it should be, and when they get warned they act like the ref has lost his mind. The Dutch Team typically has not responded well to this sort of play. It tends to bring out the worst in our demeanor also, and besides the 1974 game against Brazil (2-0), we lose the plot and then our cool.
    Also they are a very pressing team, although not elegantly in the Dutch fashion. They are an ugly and fast team and I really would not be surprised to see them best us in this last Group Game. This could end up being the “ugly game” of this World Cup. But we have the quality and the maturity to win and advance as the 1 seed. I expect us to win, or should I say hope we win.
    Lastly… did some Dutchman steal and bed Alexi Lalas’s girlfriend in the past? This guy has shown such an arrogant and snide attitude toward the Dutch over the last 2 World Cups that it isn’t even under the surface anymore! He was such a dick to van Nistelrooij during the Spain game and was throwing snide comments about van Persie’s header after the Australian game, grandiosely claiming that the 53% voting for van Persie’s goal over Cahill’s strike were ignorant! This penis-wrinkle hates us!

    1. Ha, ha, Lalas is an arrogant fraud. I don’t know anyone who likes him. Don’t take it as something against the Dutch. He’s just a clueless spear chucker.

  26. This world cup has been one big gala party! Nerve racking yet with that warm fuzzy assurance at the bottom of your heart that for the first time, no matter what, each match will be a HAPPY ENDING for us!

    de guzman has been abysmal! LVG didn’t drop him becoz he has always given a bad-performing player 1 “prove me wrong card” and hence de guzman got the start vs the oz. Gino outshone him both games so there is no question abt who is gonna line up against chile!

    wes had a terrible lvg gives him the “prove me wrong” card against Chile, another bad performance and be assured, clasie plays croatia!

    martins indi has been another liability, worst defender by a distance! and although i wish an injury on nobody, it clearly,,,UNDENIABLY is a blessing in disguise! now veltman, the only classy defender in the squad, with buildup and dribbling ability to bring the ball forward gets a game> Added bonus is that de vrij is best pals with velty and he will up his game with his best mate by his side! Vlaar will need to up his game or will be outshone!

    Robbo will change his style and play more for the team, as he captains against chile,,,and automatically that will make him feel responsible to become more of a team player…

    Lens will start up front but Depay despite his super sub performance will prolly start from the bench (unless robbens sickness means he is rested?!)

    Nigel + Wes + Gino

    Lens + Robbo / Memphis

    I got my 21 Memphis blue away kit before the australia game…and rubbed it in hundreds of faces…shouting I TOLD U SO..when people realized…aaah now we know who this unknown number 21 belongs to


    1. I got my 21 Memphis blue away kit before the australia game…and rubbed it in hundreds of faces…shouting I TOLD U SO..when people realized…aaah now we know who this unknown number 21 belongs to

      Coolest thing is it’s listed as “MEMPHIS” instead of “DEPAY”!

      I got #9 RVP away blue and blank home oranje this year

  27. Does anyone else pay attention to #1-11 of our starting 11? I really like it, we don’t see this very often these days.

    OK, de Guzman, you can continue to start, unless you give up #8 to Classie.

    (Observer of useless trivias since 1978)

  28. Jan I said that the “two” guys who hate me are +50. That doesn’t include you.

    Generalisation is when the troll says “smelly frogs” etc. and keep doing personnal attacks here, but it seems like you agree with him as you copy his messages on the next article…

  29. The fact that we won both games after being in a losing position proves to me that this generation of players has something that even the golden team of 1998 didn’t have: mental strength and grit. This is very good and very unusual for a Dutch team (perhaps the same could be said for the 2010 team also).

    Both 5-3-2 and 4-3-3 are risky against Chile. With 5-3-2 De Guzman cannot start and we need a creative player there like Clasie. Otherwise the game will totally die in our half of the court. De Guzman simply cannot pass forward to save his own life. People say the same thing about De Jong but when you give him space he has pretty good vision and distribution forward. We do not need 2 De Jong type of players in the midfield when we got 3 central defenders.

    I would actually consider starting Depay instead of Lens. I’ve grown to like Depay very much because of his arrogance and confidence. He reminds me of Zlatan, a bit. We need more players like him. Yesterday he was the one who turned the match around, simply by his confident play on the ball. I think we wont see Hunter unless we are ahead by 2 goals and we dominate possession and we can switch to 4-3-3 with a clear striker in front of the goal.

    Plenty to think about. I think the Chile game will show us how far this team can go. I also think it is very good that we struggled hard this game, it’s very bad to peak early (2008 anyone?).

    1. That’s what impressed me about Depay also. His first WC appearance in a very touch match, and he played like he was training with a bunch of kids .. very cool player with the right mental attitude.

      1. I hope Memphis will stay a little longer in the Netherlands. He is just 20 y.o. . If he moves abroad and does not get any playing time, he will eventually degrade. Unless LvG takes him to MU, and gives him enough playing time to develop, I would not let him go abroad. Unfortunately, current younger generation of football players are eager to leave the nest prior to perfecting their flying skills (figuratively speaking). I always think of Royston Drenthe. Aside his personality, he was very promising talent. Left Feyenoord at age of 19 to Real and vanished eventually….There are so many cases like that in the Netherlands. I wish Dutch Football Federation would establish age threshold prohibiting younger players to leave Holland before certain age.

        1. Agree with u on this….if we can keep hold of them or help ensure they made the right decision on choosing a foreign club..we would have babel, elia, emanuelson, drenthe, buttner, afellay, wolfswinkel, luuk de jong, in this world cup

      1. The confidence I had in that team was up to the next level and what you wanna see when teams go to world cup. Mental strength and grit has nothing to do with PKs

  30. Man I just type a very long post only to be logged out, Arrrrrrrg!

    Anyhow , great to have two wins from two matches and scored a heap of goals. I think the Aussie game was the perfect storm for us after beating Spain, ( actually, tearing Spain a new arsehole that will scar them for ever).
    Being a Dutch Aussie I was very happy for them to give it to the dutchies but happier that we won in the end, Cahill’s goal was sublime! Our feet should now be firmly planted on the ground after the battering we took from a very determined young Aussie side.
    Chile will be interesting but I think we have them covered, RVP needs the rest and will be raring to go in the rd of 16.
    Put Clasie in for Sniejder also to give him a rest and let Robben lead us to another victory.
    For me the rd of 8 is attainable from there anything can happen.

    Hup Holland!

  31. I’ve been thinking about this a little bit more. We certainly have players who can score, and we also have players who, in basketball terms, can create their own shot.

    We’ve scored five goals against a world class team that tried to keep possession, and three goals against an athletic team that tried to run and press hard. Chile should be an interesting combination of some of the strengths of both Spain and Australia.

    Regardless of the result, however, we will go into the knockout rounds without having played a defensive-oriented side. And in our first game after Chile, we will probably not play one either considering the alternatives (Brazil, Croatia, Mexico).

    I think this may ultimately be a blessing in disguise, because against a more defensive-oriented team we would likely play a true 433, attempt to dominate possession and create goal scoring opportunities in the final third against a packed defense. And judging by the games we’ve seen so far, I don’t know that we necessarily have the current talent to be able to play that way.

    So far LVG has designed and implemented a game plan that maximizes our strengths (Robben, RVP) and minimizes our weaknesses as a team and hopefully we can continue to do that.

  32. I am very happy we are 2-0, it is much better than i expected.

    Remember 2 years ago, we lost all three games at Euro 2012, and when LVG took over we lost that friendly to Belgium 2-0? I thought we were toast for years.

    Now we are through to knockout rounds with a game to spare!!! I NEVER expected this, ever. I am thrilled and ecstatic.

    Depay was amazing when he came on, he will be a great player. He plays like a veteran with young legs and a shit load of talent. He is the future of holland.

    Question is, who will be our striker after RVP is done, in 2 years or so? We need a goal scorer to step up, that is my main concern.

    Midfield is not a concern of mine, with strootman and MVG, we are set in my opinion.

  33. lucky ? I think luck is still with us. It was a hard fought game against a diciplined, organise and determined aussie team. Glad in the end a super-sub rise to the occasion and he show the world again he is the next superstar player ( ofcourse it depend on which club he move to this summer )

    HUP HUP ORANJE!!!!!!!!!

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