Tag: Frimpong

Oranje gets 3 points and some valuable lessons!

After some solid performances by our lads in their club teams (PSV, Liverpool, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Man City), it felt that we could have a good go at this Euros. The last friendly results were also pretty hopeful. Despite the absence of Frenkie de Jong, Luuk de Jong, Marten de Roon and Noa Lang, I believe we all felt that this could be our tournament. And… it still can be.

But the Poland game did put our noses on the some of the facts (Dutch expression).

If have to summarize the game, I’d say:

  • good start
  • some good chances
  • one moment of lack of concentration and Poland scores
  • we keep on going and get a bit of luck on the Gakpo goal
  • Oranje’s energy drops after 60 minutes or so
  • Koeman needs to make a change in the second half as Veerman and Simons (and others) are less effective
  • Wijnaldum comes on but isn’t found in between the lines
  • with 10 minutes to go, Koeman brings two secret weapons ( Weghorst and Frimpong)
  • Weghorst scores

We can be happy with the 3 points and we can be very happy with the performances of Ake, De Vrij, Schouten, Reijnders, Verbruggen and Gakpo.

We need to be critical on Van Dijk, Veerman, Memphis, Simons and Wijnaldum.

Van Dijk wasn’t terrible but showed some weakness in positioning. Veerman had to deal with a man marker (Szymanski) and had no answer to this. We saw this in earlier matches where Frenkie was manmarked and had to work hard to get away from his man. Veerman is a passer. Not a dribbler. And he doesn’t have the explosive runs Frenkie or Reijnders has. The switch with Reijnders back to the 6 position worked well, as he has more legs and can take a man on. We have seen Veerman struggle with this before and it’s been my ongoing criticism of him.

Simons started fresh but ran out of steam. Memphis tried hard and potentially too hard. That shot he hit hard over the bar was a 100% chance for a player like him and it didn’t need that power. Relax, Memphis!

Wijnaldum, finally, was told by Koeman to not drop deep to get the ball but to stay close to Memphis and find space between the lines, where the midfielders/defenders were supposed to find him. Sadly, they didn’t.

Btw, we did get to 21 shots. The highest number since that dreadful first game against Denmark in 2012. When we had 32 attempts on goal and scored zero goals.

Another fascinating stat: in the 90 minutes of play, Oranje didn’t use a single Ajax player. This is the first time in 95 matches!!

Some conclusions:

Joey Veerman struggles with man-marking

Szymanski wants to hold Veerman’s hand

You need to be dynamic to lose your man. Frenkie would move to left wing or right back or wherever he had to go to make the man marker uncomfortable. Joey is too static. Plays too much in one pace and lacks the dribble and speed to bypass an opponent and create a man over situation. Yes, against Iceland he played well. Why? He didn’t encounter man-marking. This needs to be taken care of.

I wonder if Koeman will use Veerman versus France. Their midfield – no, their whole team – consists of top athletes. My fave line up below.

We defend set-pieces terribly

A free run towards the ball for Buksa

Again, we have to mention Veerman. He was one of the blockers in that situation but he didn’t get a grip on Buksa, who could out-jump Dumfries and head the ball home. Veerman did try to pull Buksa’s jersey, only briefly, but Memphis was totally ball watching. Van Dijk: “We’re sick of that goal. In a dead ball situation, this has to improve. The goal scorer had a free run towards the ball. That needs to improve!” was his opinion. One comment in defence of the Memphis and Veerman (and Schouten). They were facing a number of tall lads in that box.

Nathan Ake is our playmaker

When Frenkie is absent and his replacement Veerman can’t get a foothold in the game, it’s good to know that one of our centre backs can play playmaker. The City player started so many great moves and basically had two assists. The second one for Weghorst doesn’t officially count as the ball got a slight deflection.  Frankowski decided to press on Ake, who was seen as the danger man at Oranje’s side, but that resulted in the Polish wingback to be drowning and offered Gakpo the time and space to shine. The result: Bednarek had to deal with Gakpo. Who is a very agile and elegant player, whereas Bednarek has trouble turning even without an opponent in sight.

Oranje has a strong bench

With Memphis upfront, we actually have Bergwijn, Frimpong, Malen, Brobbey, Zirkzee and Weghorst who can come in to change things around. Weghorst has made the difference already at the World Cup, some friendlies and now also at the Euros. Holland lost its grip slowly in the second half and Koeman has a nice menu of options available to him. Wijnaldum didn’t impress, but his little run was key for the Weghorst goal. In a way, that was an assist. Frimpong and Malen add speed and depth to the team while the strong Brobbey could well be a key player for us versus France.

Bart Verbruggen does his job

The youngest Oranje goalie ever at a final tournament had no nerves. He had 6 more than decent saves, which is the highest number for any Oranje goalie in 5 years. His footwork is also lauded and De Zerbi taught him well. Keep your foot on the ball and pull the opponent in, to create space elsewhere. It seems like the ongoing musical chairs of the keepers is well over.

My musings for the France game

I know it’s early days as the France game isn’t until Friday and lots can happen in between. But, I think the midfield we played versus Poland won’t be good enough versus France. I hope Veerman can accept it, but I would use a different line up versus France.

I’d opt for Memphis on the left. Against two big, strong centre backs, Memphis – who is not 100% – would probably drown. On the left, he will get a chance to roam and get touches. I’d play Frimpong on the right. Allow Simons a rest but don’t write him off! I’d play Brobbey as a 9. Strong, grit, fight, speed. Let him deal with these two monsters and let them deal with Brobbey.

I’d use Gakpo as a 10, with Reijnders and Schouten in the engine room. Gakpo learned to play midfield at Liverpool and will be key to give a 75 minute “give it your all” game. I would also opt for Geertruida as he can play into midfield. There won’t be overly much space for Dumfries, I don’t think and I find him still a dissonant in possession and not necessarily that good a defender.

If Giroud plays, I’d use De Ligt.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Koeman calls up Jan for the blog!

Hi my friends, the last months on the blog were quite….quiet. My dear friend Tarcisio is having some IT issues and as our boys will be playing for the title soon, I thought it prudent to get back here and commentate on the Oranje games.

Word of warning: I will not go into the deep end for other national teams. Focus will be Oranje and their games.

And a big ASK: I have had to spend more money into getting the site back up and running.

After years of offering this platform, there have always been just a handful of committed fans who would support the blog with some digits. You probably know the cost of running this sortathing?

At the same time, I do see some people really getting a lot of joy/mileage from this platform so I need to ask all who can, to chip in a bit for the opportunity I offer people to share stories, their comments, their comical banter and at times their less than friendly banter.

If we value this orange community, please share a bit of your materialised energy so we can keep it going.

A proper post, soon! For now, please use the link below:

 

Bookmark and Share

Prelim Squad announced for Oranje

Almost a month to go and we’re starting to leave the club competitions behind us.

You will have seen the squad selection by now? I don’t think too many surprises.

For some, the absence of Bizot was a surprise, as he was called up for the last international games. He was most likely part of the prelim squad, if not for some domestic family issues. Marco decided to forfeit the Euros as his family circumstances have not been resolved and he prefers to be with the family during the summer.

The list of injured players ( Hartman, Wieffer, Lang) might become longer with question marks for Marten de Roon, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and Zirkzee, while Luuk de Jong definitely retired from the NT.

Calvin Stengs, Thijs Dallinga and Steven Berghuis will have had idle hope and should something happen to Malen or Bergwijn or Xavi Simons, these three might still get a look in.

If Frenkie and Memphis can join the squad, I do believe we’ll be in good shape.

We simply need our key players to be in form and Koeman to pick a logical starting eleven for the games at the Euros.

I mean, our goalkeepers are fine. Our central defenders are top. Maatsen and Ake can cover the left side, even Blind might be able to play against opponents parking the bus. Frimpong and Dumfries will cover the right with Geertruida also on hand.

Our midfield options are pretty good, with Veerman, Schouten, Reijnders and Koopmeiners and when fit, we can expect some fire upfront from Malen, Gakpo, Simons and Brobbey.

As mentioned, we need Koeman to make the right decisions and allow the players to play to their strengths.

It may sound simplistic, but we need two teams: 1 that can dominate possession against the minions and 1 that can play on the transition when playing the strong countries who themselves want to dominate.

I will suggest three at the back in both scenarios and I would personally use Bijlow as first goalie.

My two teams:

 

 

Tell me your fave line up in the comments….

Bookmark and Share

Jan’s World Cup Squad

Well folks, I promised you my World Cup Squad. I will try to get into the head of LVG but my personal preferences will shine through.

Yes, Blind was hooked by Schreuder for two matches now (apparently they had a bit of a fight) but Blind will obviously be part of the squad. There is no way in hell LVG will drop him. There will be very limited new blood in the squad, knowing Louis, as he won’t want to many new faces to “educate” about the Van Gaal method. So don’t get yourself all worked up. No Bakker, no Struijk, No Botman. He will probably add Xavi Simons for good reasons, but Van Gaal is a hard head and he could even completely ignore what we all want.

Below is the scene from Ajax – PSV that stuck with me most. Not the goals, not the silly hand bag battles, or moves by Kudus. Not the shot on target from Berghuis or the workrate of Xavi Simons. This:

As for the comments on Ajax – PSV. I think the match was pretty even between the boxes. Ajax had the better of the ball there. But when it started to become serious – in the boxes – it was PSV that was sharper and more willing to battle. For both PSV goals, Ajax simply didn’t want to defend. As if they didn’t want to get their shorts muddy. Before the 1-0, Bergwijn is worked to the ground and he stays there, as a spoiled child, watching the ref. Kudus and Brobbey decided to jog a little bit. As a result, the right hand side of Ajax was overrun and the right back couldn’t or didn’t want to pressure Gakpo too much: result? A pin point cross to Luuk de Jong: 0-1. For the second goal, it was a corner by PSV (or a free kick, not sure) and the ball was cleared half, Ajax started to push up, while Tadic lost possession on the edge of the box to Veerman. 5 (!) Ajax players stood still and watched. De Jong went into a duel for the ball, these Ajax players still stood there, watching. As a result, Guti was completely free to pick up the ball and score.

Simply lack of work ethics. Nothing to do with tactics or experience or quality. Everything to do with willingness to fight for every ball.

This is so pathetic… I’m ashamed to be Dutch…

Ok, now my 26 for the World Cup. Some comments: usually a coach picks two players per position. When you play 5-3-2, however, you would pick 10 defenders instead of 8 (in a 4-3-3) so that won’t work. You don’t even need 8 defenders usually, as historical data show that you usually only sub a defender if he’s injured or has a yellow. To change the game, you usually bring a forward, not a defender.

You will find my group of 26 in this image below.

I have to be frank, I thought I’d have a surprise for you, but I don’t. I was thinking to put Clasie in. Why? Because Clasie has 1) experience, 2) is a Van Gaal favorite and 3) brings the passing quality we might need if a player like Frenkie and/or Koopmeiners is out. Clasie is a good organiser, a very decent dueller for the ball and a cool head. Good set piece taker as well.

But right before posting this, I realised that it’s probably overkill. With Koopmeiners, Frenkie and Berghuis we should have enough players who can play in that role. You can even add Blind to that if need be while Ake or Timber could even play in that position.

I realised that there is no alternative if Luuk gets injured or suspended. Yes, you can send De Ligt up top or De Vrij but I decided to pick Weghorst as the joker’s joker behind Luuk.

Simons has to come, and I added Klaassen as well (positioned as LCB but that is only to make the picture symmetric I guess. Klaassen is the only real box to box player and with his goal scoring instinct I felt it was good to bring him along. Klaassen is also a player who will not complain if LVG makes him polish all the boots.

This my preferred start up eleven, based on the fitness of the players today:

Ok, let the insults, criticism and sarcasm begin!!

You know where to put your comments… ( pun intended).

 

Bookmark and Share

3 Reasons why Oranje needs Jeremie Frimpong

He might well be the best Dutch player to never have played for The Netherlands. Jeremie Frimpong (21 years old) again impressed last weekend at Leverkusen: he scored twice and gave his new coach Xabi Alonso a nice debut. Born in Amsterdam, the right full back must have impressed Louis van Gaal as well. Here’s three reasons why he should be called up for Oranje.

Note: It’s not for his Dutch language skills. He’s probably the only (young) Oranje player who doesn’t speak Dutch as he left for Manchester at a young age.

Frimpong moved to Man City when he was 9 years old (!). He used to play right winger or left back and shared the dressing room with players like Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Eric Garcia. In 2019, he decided to leave Manchester as his chances to play for the first team were slim. he played 1,5 seasons for Celtic but Peter Bosz signed him in 2021 for Leverkusen. He has 60 official games to his name and these games paint a pretty picture

Young Jeremie at City

  1. He seems born to play wingback

Leverkusen usually plays with 4 or 5 defenders. Frimpong can play in both systems but his strength is the wingback role. Against Schalke 04, last weekend, he demonstrated his blistering pace and lungs again as he has the ability to cover the whole right flank. He can repair defensive issues and is constantly available and threatening in attack.

It seems that Alonso wants to play in a 3-4-3 which is a blessing for the Dutchman. This system is almost identical to the way Van Gaal wants to play. The statistics tell the story: only Borussia Monchengladback striker Hofmann had more forward sprints than Frimpong, who payed way less minues. Only four other players in the Bundesliga demonstrated more speed this year, than Frimpong (who clocked a whopping 35,77 km per hour).

Frimpong marauding

2. The dribbel king of Europe

It’s not just running and bombing forward. He will find space in behind without the ball, but he’s amazing in the one v one. As he has a history as an attacker, he is very skilled on the ball. Probably way more so than Dumfries. His speed, explosiveness, his agility and his technical skills make him a player who is tough to defend.

And it shows in the stats. Of all the defenders in the five top leagues in Europe, Frimpong has the most successful dribbles. Only Cancelo, the City signing who was indirectly responsible for Frimpong’s exit at City, comes close.

Frimpong dribble king

3. His effectiveness

The Dutch NT has always been leaning heavily on the production of Memphis Depay. When he was injured or otherwise not able to play, and Wijnaldum was also absent, there was no one left in the Oranje squad with more than 10 goals. Davy Klaassen of all people is the third in line as top scorer with 9 goals.

In other words, we can use some more prolific players. And Frimpong demonstrates he can bring this, at Leverkusen. He has four goals and is the most prolific defender of the five strongest leagues. Usually, he is the man of the assist. Last season, he had 8 assists in 32 games. Four weeks ago, he had two assists in the CL match versus Atletico Madrid (2-0).

Frimpong scoring goals

4. What should improve

Of course, Frimpong is not yet the finishded article. Dumfries is currently the man for the right back, without much competition. Rensch, Hateboer, even Veltman, they seem a long way from the Orange jersey. Rick Karsdorp is close to the NT but he got injured and only returned to the training pitch this week. Dumfries is important for Oranje, also with his heading capabilities. Oftentimes he is used for the long outball of the goalie. Frimpong is 171 centimeters and not able to compete at this aspect of the game.

One could argue that Dumfries is the better defender of the two. The orientation of the Leverkusen man can be better. Just like recognising the right moment to start the dribble. But it’s undeniable that Frimpong will be a key rival to Dumfries in the near future.

But, Van Gaal will need to act! The Ghana Football Federation is also courting Frimpong at the moment. Van Gaal invited Frimpong twice, or named him twice in the pre-selection. The first time, Frimpong had to reject the invite due to injury. This time around, Van Gaal picked Rensch ahead of the former Celtic man, as Frimpong had less games. So he went to Jong Oranje and showed himself against Belgium. In the Romania game however, Frimpong disappointed gravely, as did the rest of the sloppy team.

In theory, Frimpong could even play for the England squad, albeit that England has an overload of amazing right backs at the moment and won’t be pushing for him. The quick dribble king will have choices to make and it’s up to Louis van Gaal to make sure he picks Oranje. He is a player for the future, alright. Malacia on the left, Frimpong on the right. Van Dijk, Timber and Ake at the back, with Frenkie in front of them. Maybe with Tijani Reijnders next to him and Xavi Simons in front.

The future looks bright.

Source: VI Pro

 

Bookmark and Share

Louis van Gaal interview

Louis van Gaal has announced his definitive squad for the coming two matches. He selected 28 players.

Why this big squad for the upcoming matches?

LvG: “For me, the World Cup preparation starts now. And apart from the fact that I want to see many players and test players, I also want to start implementing a new system. I remind you that in 2014, we were able to do this, but just. We had to grow into it, during the tournament and it was not ideal. Back then, i had 5 weeks (…) prior to the tournament to do this. Now, I will only have 1 week before the start of the World Cup. So I will need to start now.”

So these Oranje weeks are more about the new system than the matches?

“Correct. Usually, it’s two matches as a main course and the days around it, you practice. I see this differently. I now have a period to work on the new system and we’ll have two interruptions, two games, in between.”

Jordan Teze is a remarkable name. How did you come up with him?

“Well, as you will know, he plays for PSV. He is Dutch. So we follow him. Like we follow many players. And with De Vrij injured, we need some alternatives. Teze is a young player, with an outstanding build up pass. That is how he caught our eye. And that forward pass is important and it’s quite rare to see. He moved from right winger, to right back and now he plays centrally. That experience will be handy for him.”

And Hateboer is back.

“Initially, we wanted to test Frimpong. He is totally new for the group. But he got injured. Hateboer is not new, we know him, he’s an international already but lost his spot due to his injury woes. But he’s playing at Atalanta again, so it felt like a good time to call him back in.”

Denmark and Germany. Two top nations. What do you expect from them?

“I expect that they will be playing at our level, at the least. So we know there is intensity and pressure. They will defend on the front foot and we have not played those type of opponents. It will be great for the fans to see these games. I expect two full stadiums. Great opponents and Denmark has had a tremendous couple of years, Denmark qualified without dropping points and I hope the fans will want to be part of this process.”

Can we expect surprises these games?

“Yes, I think I will have surprises in the line up and in the way we play. Our spirit, but also our system.”

There was also time for some fan questions.

How is your hip doing?

“Thanks for that. I’m doing well. It was a 6 to 8 week thing. I had a tear in my hip, but it was super painful when it happened and I was not allowed to take painkillers, as I had to coach the team the next day. But it was really painful.”

How was it to be back as coach for Oranje?

“I was a bit reluctant and hesitant. There simply wasn’t anyone with the same skills and experience as me. I didn’t do it because I really wanted to. We were also two points behind, we had three big matches in that week and I expected not to be able to add much to it, in the first weeks. But I was wrong, because this is a super group, with a great commitment and maturity. The team spirit is amazing and that is just a joy for any coach.”

What changed since the 2014 campaign?

“Not much. My football vision has never changed. Same in 2012, or 2000 or in 1995. It’s just that the players are different and the generations are different. You cannot be a dictator these days. In the olden days, coaches like Michels were totally authoritarian. And another thing, at Ajax, we always worked from the perspective of “We are the Best!”. But clearly, when you play higher and higher you cannot expect to win all the time. At Barcelona I once played a match versus Valencia. The Valencia of Ranieri. We were 3-0 up in the first half.  And we kept on attacking, so we lost that match 4-3. That was a lesson! And we used this too last time vs Norway. We decided to play fully on result and we were able to manage the game and kill the game.”

How is it for you to work with these young players?

“Actually, it’s great. Working with young players keeps you young. And this group actually triggers me, inspires me. More so than the 2012 or the 2000 squad. They think football, they use analytics, they discuss tactics and ask me questions. That is quite good actually and it keeps me on my toes. And it’s fun. I always look forward to working with them.”

If you had to pick a player from the current generation who is most like you as a player…?

“I was a so-called defensive mid, but I wasn’t. I didn’t defend too well. I was a deep lying playmaker. I could dribble if I wanted to, but I lacked speed. So passing was my thing. And I saw the game well. Of the current squad, I think I resemble Teun Koopmeiners most. He also is comfortable in the deep lying role and his passing ability and vision are great. He is capable to play passes through the lines and he skips lines with his passes. He’s now also more an attacking midfielder, as he does have more speed than I had, hahaha.”

Which coach inspired you most?

“That was Rinus Michels. I was around 14 years old and Michels was coach at Ajax. I was playing but I always went straight to the Ajax training after school. I wanted to see him coaching the team. And I also went the same trajectory as him. I went to study for a physical ed teacher and I got my coaching diploma like him. It’s cool that I too now have coached Ajax, Barca and Oranje, like him.”

Do you have any hobbies outside of football?

“Tennis, golf and playing cards. I love klaverjassen and kingen. Loving my wife is also a hobby of mine. I am never bored.”

What was your favorite Oranje match, as coach?

“That has to be our first match at the World Cup in Brazil, the win over Spain. Spain was World Champion and hardly lost games. The media in Holland wrote “why does Oranje even go to the World Cup??” and we created a plan and the players executed it perfectly and we won: 1-5. That was a big shock to the global football world.”

What do you think of the Nations League?

“It’s a competitive tournament, so that is good. And I see it as a good prep for the World Cup. We hardly have any prep time. So I will use the games to test different players. But playing against Belgium is top. Poland is also a tough opponent. We have amazing opponents, Wales is also not easy.”

What kind of music do you listen to?

“I guess soft-pop, would be the term.  Music from the 60s and 70s, I suppose. The era of the best music. What the kids listen to now, that shrill type of pop beats, I don’t like it. Why would I try to listen to new music, when I know I have heard the best music already.”

Which player is the best young player you ever coached?

“I need to mention Clarence Seedorf here. He was 16 when he made his debut with me and he has won the most prizes internationally. But the ultimate are either Xavi or Iniesta. They were 17 and 18 when they made their debut. They were even better than Seedorf.”

Will we win the World Cup this time?

“I will never say this before hand. But what I can say, is that the Best Team will win. And I will do what I can to make us the Best Team. And then a bit of luck. It’s not the best individuals, but the best team.”

Sadly, I wasn’t able to ask my questions:

Where is Rick Karsdorp ??

“Well, Mourinho loves him. And I loathe Mourinho. So, there is that. Rick is also a Feyenoord lad. So that doesn’t work in his favour. And he might roll his eyes at me. So there.”

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share