I predicted a 1-3 win for Oranje over France. Well… I wasn’t too far off…. Couple of little mistakes. Only 2 goals vs the 4 goals I predicted which is a 50% difference, but for a friendly that is not bad. I said Oranje would win, well…we almost did. If they would have played with 4 debutants and would have less luck and the wind was stronger and if we would have had Gullit and Van Basten and Wouters…. I mean… It’s a friendly. Who cares. And no one likes the French anyway. And Van der Wiel was getting confused as he played against his team mates. Van Persie was still ill and you know….
A friendly doesn’t tell you that much (you know how I feel about friendlies) but at the same time… I think we can all conclude that the Eredivisie players (incl. Schaars and Clasie) do struggle at this higher level. At the World Cup, the worst opponent we will get is Australia and all these lads will snap at everything that moves. There is no time to ponder when in possession like in the Eredivisie.
“This doesn’t happen to me when I play against NEC??”
France was better. Full stop. More mature. More in control. We played ok in the first 25 minutes. But our wingers struggled. Our midfield struggled. Our defence struggled. And our goalie didn’t look too good. The only player who can look back at a faultless game was Arjen Robben.
The first goal of Benzema was stoppable, Jesper Cillesen. The second goal was scored after a series of positional mistakes in midfield and defence.
Our midfield leader Sneijder couldn’t take the team by the hand as he did so often in the past and he drowned in the mud with the rest of them. He tried. But he failed. And our leader of the line Robin van Persie could not be reached. The final ball was failing miserably.
All in all….not.good.enough.
Which sort of raises a question. To Mr Van Gaal.
Why are Urby Emanuelson, Virgil van Dijk, Nigel de Jong, Erik Pieters, Vernon Anita and Bacuna not being tested?
We all know what Nigel can bring. And Pieters, Anita, Bacuna and Van Dijk might not appear to be world class players, but they do play at a higher level and faster pace than the Dutchies.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Clasie and Rekik and I think Boetius and Promes have a lot of…promise… But they need to step up first. Let Clasie perform with Swansea or Sevilla for a bit. Let Boetius play a couple of good seasons for Feyenoord first.
I do hope Van Gaal will learn his lesson from this game and realise that at World Cup level, talent alone is not enough.
“This happens all the time to me when I play in the EPL”
We need men. Who can perform under pressure. Defenders who can defend a faultless game. They don’t need all be educated by Ajax in build up or in long passes. They need to simply stop the other guys from scoring.
And we need midfielders who can read the game, who can work for 90 minutes at high level and who can add value when the moment is there. Think Ramirez, Schweinsteiger, think Javi Martinez, think Cabaye. And we need a goalie who clashes heads with top strikers every week. And who knows what it means to be under pressure. Cillesen hardly experiences pressure in the Eredivisie. Krul on the other hand, and Vorm, play against the likes of Giroud, Rooney and Dzeko every week. EVERY WEEK!
Van Persie didn’t wanna make a big deal out of it. “We did well, the first 25 minutes. But their goal broke us a bit. We were not able to create anything. Our final ball was not good enough. It happens you know. I don’t really think it should concern us too much. The youngsters did well. It was tough. France is a pretty strong opponent. I only got one and half opportunity. We were not able to test their goalie. When we are at full strength, we will probably be able to do better.”
And they will also qualify for “So You Think You Can Dance?”
Van Gaal was full of praise. “We lost our heads a bit. Tactically, we played well and disciplined for 25 minutes. Their goal made us a bit too anxious. I think Benzema’s goal was stoppable. I think Cillesen was a bit surprised by the speed of his execution. The players worked really hard.” Asked what he thought of Sneijder’s performance. “Listen, it’s hard if doesn’t get the sort of service he needs. Sneijder can’t do it all alone. He played well in the first 25 minutes and he sort of lost his level with the rest of the team. He worked hard. That is all I can ask for.”
In the meantime: young Oranje was beaten by young Israel. In the friendly, Oranje hardly created a thing. Castaignos scored an early goal which was disallowed for off side. Other than that: no real threat. Israel scored in the second half. Young Oranje is going well in their qualification for the EC in Scotland this summer. They have 10 points out of 4 games.
“Where is my marker???”