Tag: Frank Rijkaard

Open Letter to the KNVB

Dear KNVB,

I am assuming you want our Dutch National Team to do really well…

That is the basis for this letter. If you don’t want this, please disregard.

I do believe good results by our national team can turned into euros, correct? Sponsor money? Trips? Merchandise? Ticket sales, etc?

And clearly, euros is what’s driving this. From what I understood, Mr Van Oostveen was quick to comment after our loss against Portugal that the financial ramifications for Oranje were tremendous.

So let’s put it all in perspective.

If Holland plays well, we gain standing. Opponents want to play us. And sponsors want us. If Holland plays according to the Dutch School ( you might have seen the Euros finals between Spain and Italy?), the Dutch football export product ( coaches, players, methods) will become more and more in demand.

Now, what is important is for you to accept responsibility for the fact that our football has deteriorated while a competitor has adopted our playing style and is kicking everybody’s arse.

You see, we had people like Michels, Cruyff, Van Hanegem introducing a new style of football.

We had the Gullits/Van Bastens/Rijkaards doing their magic in the 1980s, with true believers like Arrigo Sacchi following suit.

And Louis van Gaal and his Ajax and Ajax-crew ( Co Adriaanse, Blind, Mourinho, Frank de Boer) impressing even more in the 1990s.

We also had a tremendous coach like Wiel Coerver (winner of the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord) who developed a masterful method for skills-training and today one of his biggest followers is second in command at Man United (Rene Meulensteen). But like Johan Cruyff, Wiel Coerves was pushed out. “Too difficult to deal with”.

I can’t remember all the arguments and reasons you had for not allowing Johan Cruyff in the team manager’s role but it had to do with salary and the fact that Johan wanted to have his own staff… Man man, how pathetic and agricultural you guys were thinking back then. Look at today’s situation. No coach takes on a job without his own team or without at least 1 Mio euros as a yearly salary…

Shame on the KNVB, in other words!!

After Rijkaard, you gave the job to self-kicker and ego-centric Louis van Gaal. Who made a mess of things. Louis is a club coach. (And are you SERIOUSLY considering him AGAIN???).

You resorted back to easy-going Dick Advocaat, who went two steps back in time with his ugly result-football. But he didn’t bring the results. Neither did he in 1994, by the way, so why he was given the job in 2002…. no one knows.

Young, unproven Marco van Basten got the job in 2006 and he was allowed to insult and character-assassinate Seedorf, Davids, Van Nistelrooy and Van Bommel. He even told the media himself, recently: “I was much too young for that job. I didn’t know what happened to me.”

Poor Marco. Poor players. Poor fans. Poor Oranje.

Again, shame on you!

And now Bert had the job for 4 years. The results were great until the Euros 2012. But the quality of football deteriorated. The Dutch School of football evaporated. And slowly, the only aspects keeping this team together ( spirit, team, mentality, joy, desire, will) disappeared as well and as a result we were humiliated Ireland style.

Bert had nothing to fall back on. He hadn’t tested younger players. He didn’t have a Plan B ( which should have been Plan A in the first place: 4-3-3) and he simply failed.

Now the KNVB will have to make a smart move. As there is a lot at stake.

Not just “winning or losing”. But re-building our football culture.

Which means, defining our style of play. The characteristics of our football. And making sure we play like this with all our rep teams. From the 14 year olds to the pros.

Think in terms of: forward pressing, dominance, ball possession, pass & move, depth and width in possession, tight without possession, wingers and full backs using the space up front, defender with speed and build-up qualities, etc etc…

So we need a team manager for the big Oranje, that adheres to this playing style. Selects players for it.

Shouldn’t be too hard, as most players if not all can play in a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 system.

And works on getting these lads to play together as a unit. If we identify two or three young defenders that might have “it”, work with them. Talk to their club coaches. Make a development plan. Invite them for sessions.

So, our friend the team manager needs to focus on tactics, on mentality, attitude and desire.

And what he does, fits in perfectly within the football culture of the KNVB. In terms of practice material, supporting functions such as physiology, nutrition, video analysis and other supporting facilities.

I think the KNVB needs a “culture management team” of three of four wise men who protect the Dutch football culture. They oversee (like a Board of Directors) the management team: Team Coordinator ( the current Hans Jorritsma role), National Coach and the Head youth teams manager.

These wise men aren’t too hard to pick: I’d go for Cruyff, Van Hanegem (both 1974), Rijkaard, Wouters or Gullit (1988) and Frank de Boer or Philip Cocu (1998).

And instead of taking trips to South America, Asia, Australia in the off season, you forget about those $$ and you allow the coach to work on his team for a day or 10 in the peace and quiet of Hoenderloo. To build and create a winning team.

It is your job to select the best man for the challenge. Or best men for the challenges. It’s also your job to create the ideal circumstances for these men top operate in.

So, do your job!

Orange regards,

Jan of Jan’s Bleeding Orange Blog!

Bookmark and Share

Who will be our next leader?

You can see their response: De Boer and Hiddink yell NOOO, Van Gaal fancies it…. Adriaanse tries to find the exit and Rijkaard & Koeman act as if they’re deaf… 🙂

While Italy, Germany and Spain excite the world of football (and soccer 😉 ) the Dutch are debating, blaming, leaking, hiding, evaluating and – since yesterday – looking for a new coach…

While all this is happening, it is interesting to see – on a grander scale – how three of the four semi finalists owe a lot to the Dutch football school.

It’s not a secret that Barcelona and therefore Spain as a football team owes a lot to Johan Cruyff, Rinus Michels and to a lesser extend Louis van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard. Total football was introducted to Barcelona in the 1970s and Guardiola and co have all expressed their gratitude to JC for his football lessons. Xavi, Iniesta and even Guardiola have shared how Louis van Gaal, despite being less influential, also added some touches to the way they play football in Barcelona and with so many Barca players in the national team, it’s only logical that Spain plays, well, Dutch…

It’s also known to most that Germany has made a huge shift from 2004 onwards in recognizing that youth development and personal abilities are key pillars for football. When Klinsmann and Low took the reigns in 2006, a huge youth development turnaround Total Football-style was under way, allowing players like Muller, Ozil, Kroos and Reus to make their way to the top, playing un-German football.

Former Bayern assistant coach Andries Jonker (no, he’s not a candidate for the job!!) explained earlier how Low copied the way Van Gaal played with Bayern in his first season. The positions Van Gaal found for players like Schweini, Muller, Badstuber and Boateng was instantly copied and although Gomez did not have a good relationship with Die Mannschaft, now the lanky Bayern center is the first choice for the German coach. Jonker: “Low did exactly what we did, and picked the best alternatives for the spots we had occupied by foreign players.”

What I didn’t know, is that Arrigo Sacchi – of AC Milan 1980s fame – is the current director of youth development of the Italian Football federation. Since quite some time now, he’s moulding the Italian youth rep teams to the – yes, you guessed it – Dutch school. It was never a secret that he loved Dutch football ( Duh!! Gullit, Van Basten, Rijkaard) but what I didn’t know is that as a young man he traveled with his dad to Holland a lot, as his dad was a shoe salesman and visited Dutch customers in Amsterdam. And young Arrigo would take the tram to the De Meer to watch Cruyff and co train under Michels, Kovacs and Ivics. These lessons are now imposed on the youth reps of Italy and coach Brandelli and Sacchi work well together in translating this onto the pitch.

Portugal is the one country of the top 4 not really interested in playing Dutch. They play “10 mediocre players + C Ronaldo” tactics.

So, with the real Dutch team imploding and playing without any passion, tactics, cohesion and desire, it’s good to see three other “Dutch” teams playing with intelligence, intend, focus and joy…

And I do wonder…. Cassano, Balotelli and Pirlo… They make the difference… What if we would play Robben, Van Persie up front with Sneijder in the Pirlo role… And the rest of the team simply in service of those three… So Van der Vaart, Huntelaar, Afellay and all the other wanna-be artists: on the bench!

A team like this…

Robben – Robin

Schaars Strootman Sneijder De Jong

Emanuelson Heitinga Vlaar VD Wiel


Three prima donnas and 7 work horses…

What if….

Bookmark and Share