Tag: Ayhan

Thanksgiving for Oranje

Let us have some Turkey! A positive Ronald Koeman mentioned that the whole squad is fit again. Bergwijn, who had to be subbed off versus Romania, and De Ligt, who had some muscle issues, are both fit and it feels like we’ll see an unchanged Oranje versus Turkey on Saturday.

Confidence is high and it feels like the players are now in the right mood to go and win this tournament. Thank you Austria!

But, Turkey won’t be a walk in the park. They always had gifted football players but up until now, no coach managed to give them a structure that works, a framework within which the players could excel. Until now, with manager Vincenzo Montella. One can expect a spectacle with his Turkey.

In the first four Turkey games, we saw 13 goals and no nation had a higher number of attempts. They also score third place in the list of successful dribbles. Turkey in possession is very good.

Montella, a former striker, is an adventurous coach but his defence lets him down regularly. The recently lost to Oranje, 6-1 and again 6-1 versus Austria! So Montella has found a trick, which worked versus Austria and which he’ll most certainly repeat versus Oranje.

He used to play 4-2-3-1 and got defeated significantly in several matches, as mentioned. The central defenders are sluggish and slow while the full backs tend to be on their bike bombing forward. Their defensive coordination and communication is lacking as defenders tend to jump towards the ball without a thought for the rest defence.

Montella decided to go with three at the back, creating a “sweeper” role available to give backing when an opponent finds space behind the Turkish full backs.

For Oranje, the mission is clear and simple (maybe simple to determine, but still hard to do):

  1. Create a man-more situation in midfield and
  2. push their defence back by running in behind their central defenders and
  3. lure their full backs up the pitch and use the space behind them (Ake and Gakpo did this against Poland)

When Oranje can do this, we’ll create chances.

Their threat is mostly the speedy Yilmaz on the right flank. It will be key for us to manage that side of the pitch and talk of playing Van der Ven instead of Ake is only logical.

Turkish midfielder Ayhan will be their third centre back, giving them options with his passing range. He has a tremendous diagonal which can hurt on the counter attack. Ayhan’s target is often left full back Ferdi Kardioglu, a former NEC player – Dutch born – who also played his youth rep matches for Oranje before deciding to go for Turkey. The former winger plays like a wingback on the left and created the most chances on this Euros tournament, along with our Cody Gakpo.

It makes sense to use Van der Ven versus Yilmaz and to use Bergwijn to stop Kardioglu. Frimpong can do it, but his partnership with Dumfries needs more time. Malen is not a star in tracking back and the fit and tactically astute Bergwijn should be able to. The last question will be: where will Guler play? The young Madrid star can play anywhere: false right winger? Or a false striker? Or as left midfielder? The left footed playmaker will offer Oranje heaps of problems and communication will be key.

We will need to find space on the flanks to make the Turkish centre backs nervous. A typical #9 like Weghorst won’t bother them too much. But speedy players like Gakpo or Simons driving the ball towards them will force mistakes.

On the other hand, Turkey can create something out of nothing. They have a number of creative ball players in the team and they can conjure up magic when close to our goal. The key is to keep them away from our box.

Holland needs to be good on the ball. Precise and quick positioning play will create spaces for us. Turkey has trouble keeping clean sheets and if Oranje is on song, we have more than fair chances to win this.

I can see another win for us: 3-1. Goals by Gakpo, Memphis and Reijnders this time around.


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