In the past weeks, we saw some negativity posted here about the team which prompted me to respond. There were so many things said, that I felt a counter-post was warranted. I mean, Wilson and Tiju tend to vent their frustration with certain players and coaches here, but Jean Venette took it to a whole other level.
In general terms: you don’t need a team of world class players to win trophies!
For every France 2018 or Spain 2012, there is a Greece 2004 or a Leicester City 2016.
You need the best team to win trophies! And a bit of luck. I could end this post right here. Point made.
But, below I will quote Venette (and others) and respond:
“Jan is gonna write his opinion tomorrow and trying to convince folks that this team is good. HAHAHA”
I don’t do this. I am usually trying to explain why a coach does what does and why I think it might work. You can say a lot about our coaches from the past, but they all have a good pedigree and considered to be experts in their fields. We did have inexperienced coaches, but I am not 100% sure you can blame Van Basten for our exit in 2008 or Rijkaard for the dreadful misses v Italy in 2000…
What I do do, and what I do believe in: as a fan you need to support your team. You can be critical of your coach (I am), but the players deserve support. Yelling from the stands “Wijndal, you suck, you don’t deserve to be in this team!” is not my type of supporting.
And lets face it: how often did this group of followers here criticised players… Van Bommel, Nigel de Jong, Dirk Kuyt, Daley Blind… Every player less than Cruyff, Van Basten, Bergkamp or Sneijder gets insults, at times (on this blog).
“This Dutch team isn’t going anywhere. The team is suck….. Berghuis is suck and again he is a starter. LOL Most of these players as sucks.”
I don’t know why I would respond to this. Sounds like a spoiled kid criticising his dinner ( “this meatball sucks, this spinach sucks, I don’t want to eat this!”). The team doesn’t suck. This team (with Virgil) beat France, Germany, England and drew Italy away. So…
I think people in Lyon don’t think Memphis sucks. People like Pocchetino and Klopp don’t think Wijnaldum sucks. Apparently, Frenkie de Jong is the highest valued player in Spain now. So no, we don’t suck.
“You have a bunch of players in this squad that are bench players in their clubs or went abroad and could not perform.”
Someone remembers a certain Marco van Basten, in 1988? He didn’t play. He was not considered first team material by Michels.
The reason that Donny van de Beek doesn’t play at Man United is not hard to fathom (if you follow football, you’d know).
“You have to admit that this generation is suck except for a very few.”
We all know that Spain and England and France are stronger in terms of individual quality and options on every position. That is sadly the fate of The Netherlands. Small country. Less options. England has 5 top right backs, we only have 1 (in my opinion: Karsdorp). This is true. But having said that: how often did England win a big trophy in recent decades?
If you understand football, you know it’s not about the individual players. How many big trophies did C Ronaldo win with his country? Only the last Euros. When he was 33 years old. How many World Cups did Leo Messi win again?
Belgium has been playing several tournaments now with a top notch team with “world class players”. How many trophies exactly?
We have two of the top defenders of the Serie A. We have a true class act in Daley Blind. Frenkie de Jong is top notch. Wijnaldum is a world class player, anyone who begs to differ is not paying attention. He won heaps of trophies at Liverpool, played practically everything, scored key goals in the Champions League and at 30 could sign at PSG, Barca, Bayern or stay at Liverpool.
For me, Liverpool is World Class. So any Liverpool Legend must also be world class.
We have Memphis as top attacker and players like Gravenberch, Timber, Malen, Gakpo will surely follow suit. We don’t need a team of super stars. Those teams never win trophies. We need players like Klaassen and Weghorst who will put in a shift and help support the stars.
“Any tactical decision wouldn’t make any difference.”
Tell this to the German coach who won the Euros in 2004. Tactics are there to allow the players to play at their best level. Did you see the tactical change Koeman made at Barca? And the impact his shift to three-at-the-back made?
“If Berghuis was good enough he wouldn’t be in the Eredivisie by now.”
Why wouldn’t a player be able to decide to stay in Holland? Danny Blind never left Holland. He is considered one of the greatest liberos. How well have some players done when moving abroad (your own observation). So some move abroad and get criticism if they don’t break into a big team right away (Bergwijn, Van de Beek, Kluivert). Others stay in Holland and shine every week and then they get criticised for that?? That is not fair. Berghuis made a transfer to Watford. He decided to return to Holland and play weekly. He was offered a massive pay-check at Feyenoord and decided he wanted to be a big fish in a little pond. But don’t worry, there were more than enough suiters for Berghuis and he’ll make a move, for sure.
I compare him with Ziyech. Elegant technicians, with a tremendous left foot and great vision. But Ziyech is wasted in the high octane style of Tuchel (sadly) and Berghuis was wasted at Watford. I think we should be grateful that Berghuis stayed in Holland.
“For me I think we have to accept the fact that we have failed to produced talented players that we use to and figure out where and how we fell short and look into the future.”
You are behind the times. This process started in 2016 already (actually, after 2012’s debacle) and since, we have started to produce a lot of great talents… De Ligt, Gravenberch, Stengs, Malacia, Lang, Timber, Rensch, Ihattaren, Gakpo, Bijlow, all these names are coming through now and some hav established themselves (De Ligt, Gravenberch, Bijlow), others are on their way after suffering some setbacks (Gakpo, Lang, Malacia) and others struggle a bit with that last step up (Stengs, Ihattaren, Boadu)… The future is quite bright. Wijndal has indeed not progressed enough, I agree with that, but that is normal with young players. That last step is huge.
I pointed out that in The Netherlands (and I was there before the 74 World Cup and the Euros 1988) and before most tournaments, the overall attitude is shifting between “what the F are we going to do there” to “we’ll win this”. And everytime we believe we’ll win it, we go home disappointed (1990, 1996, 2002, 2012) and everytime we believe we have nothing to win, we do exceptionally well (1974, 1978, 2014).
Before the World Cup 1974, the expectations were truly low. We had qualified as a result of a referee blunder (Belgium had an onsite goal ruled out!) and we were missing all our central defenders.
In 1978, we didn’t have Cruyff and Van Hanegem.
And back then, players like Haan, Rijsbergen, Jansen, Jongbloed were not considered World Class.
And like with the criticism poured over Bergwijn, Van de Beek and co: Rep, Jansen, Suurbier, Rijsbergen and others did not have a glorious career abroad. Wim Jansen played in Japan and the US and returned to the Eredivisie, for instance. Rijsbergen made a name for himself at New York Cosmos but that was never taken as a serious team.
Wim Suurbier, party animal
In 1978, we had Poortvliet, Wildschut, Van Kraay, Nanninga, Brands…definitely not world class players.
In 2014, we played with a back 5 of all Eredivisie players. Except for Vlaar, who was playing relegation football with Villa.
In 1988, we had elegant and skilled players galore ( Van ‘t Schip, Vanenburg, Mario Been, Frans van Rooy) but Michels opted for a balanced squad with hard working players (Erwin Koeman, Suvrijn, Bosman, Wim Koevermans, Sjaak Troost) as he understood that these players would not upset the apple cart if they wouldn’t play.
But Van Basten was considered not match fit and Vanenburg was forced to play in service of the team, while 37 year old Muhren was brought in to add some experience and intelligence to the team.
And were we really brilliant? We lost our first game. We won vs England, but with luck.
So why would we now suddenly need 11 world class players??
In 1998, we had a very strong squad. Didn’t win. In 2002, we had one of the best coaches of Dutch history and amazing players. Didn’t even qualify.
“The world will not be talking about these players in 30 years time. Wijnaldum isn’t no Iniesta, nor a Donadoni, Enzo Scifo, Franchescholi, not even an Edgar Davids.”
I think you are wrong. Wijnaldum is on his way to play 100+ caps for Oranje. If you manage that, you will be considered a legend, whether you like it or not :-). He’s been exceptional at Liverpool, much loved there and respected and with a full trophy cabinet.
Memphis is a very colourful player. His foundation work, his clothing line, his funny hats and outfits, and mark my words, he still has his best years in front of him.
Daley Blind will go into history as one of the most gifted left footers we ever had. Frenkie de Jong will become one of our best ever midfielders. I think that in itself is already something to be happy about.
The thing is too: players are considered TOP after winning a big trophy. So, should Holland manage what Greece did in 2004, players like Weghorst and Klaassen and Dumfries will be considered “European top” suddenly.
I think we all have subjective opinions about coaches and players, and we need to accept that there is no such thing as “the truth”. Vincent Janssen is now somewhere in Mexico. Off the radar for most. If he would have picked another club than Spurs, who knows, right? He played 62 games for Monterrey, and scored/assisted 23 times. Which is one goal/assist every third game. Those are way better stats than Luuk de Jong. Janssen could have been on the radar if he would have chosen to play for Gladbach or Mainz or Club Brugge.
Frank de Boer is considered “a loser” but I think that is truly extremely harsh. Sure, his communications is not every enticing. It’s monotonous, he drawls a bit and has a lot of uhs and ohs and ahs… It’s like Emery when he was with Arsenal. He came across as a joker. But despite that, Emery is definitely a top coach, with trophies to prove this. De Boer won the Dutch title 4 times in a row. That is not bad, considering he coached Ajax in a period where they struggled.
He went to Inter, because they wanted to change from a negative, catenaccio style to a more dominant attacking style. The player revolted and the Inter board lost their spine. It took 3 coaches since De Boer and the appointment of Conte to change this. And guess what: Conte is out already, because according to him, the Inter board is constraining him too much.
Same story at Palace: the owners wanted a continental style football. De Boer could have had results in his first four matches but bad luck resulted in a ridiculous loss late in the (fourth) game, which meant the Palace owners shat the bed and chucked him out. They got Yoy Hodgson in and he went back to typical counter football. De Boer was sacrificed to appease the fans and some senior players.
His Atlanta gig can not be seen as a failure. He was there for a good spell and won trophies. What more did they expect?
I remember constant criticism on our teams and players. In 2010, Bert van Marwijk was considered a cautious coach. Our defenders were considered mediocre (Mathijsen, Ooijer, Heitinga). Before the tournament, our two friendlies were considered shambolic. In 2014, no one had any confidence in what Van Gaal was doing. And the story goes on and on.
As for the development of players, look at the 2016 squad and lets look at some names of exciting players who played for Oranje then:
Karsdorp – got seriously injured and missed two whole seasons
Fosu-Mensah – never was able to deliver on that wonderful promise
Hoedt – had a great spell at Lazio but had to re-invent himself after his Southampton move
Jetro Willems – got seriously injured and is now on the prowl for a new club
Bazoer – lost the plot and is now rebuilding his career
Davy Propper – got injured this season and struggled to get back into Brighton, after a solid spell there
Bart Ramselaar – never cut it at PSV, is now back at Utrecht
Van Ginkel – dramatic series of injuries, might return next season (PSV)
Vilhena – great move to Krasnodar where he is one of the key guys, but off the radar a bit
Obviously, Hakim Ziyech should have been on this list too, but his heart decided differently.
As a European football nation expressed in terms of population, we are 8th on the list. Poland and Romania have more people than us. But in terms of football ranking, they are way below us. The top 6 are: England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland.
It is logical that these countries have more talent to pick from than we do.
Only Portugal is way below us in terms of population, while being able to beat us regularly. All other nations below us (Belgium excepted at the moment) should be considered nations we can beat.
We don’t need 11 world class players to win a trophy. We don’t need to play well in the pre-season friendlies. Even worse, we don’t even have to play great games in a tournament to win it.
Lets get some comments in on this topic (with respect please).