The jersey numbers were presented for the Oranje squad. And with Jasper Cillesen out of contention due to Corona, Maarten Stekelenburg got the #1 jersey, while Tim Krul has his favorite #13. The jersey numbers don’t say much about who starts. De Boer said he wasn’t sure which goalie would be his new #1, and the coming friendlies will probably give us more insights.
Luuk de Jong has his number 9, a number previously held by Ryan Babel. But it doesn’t mean that much, it’s not the first eleven numbers that will play, as Frenkie has his fave #21 and Daley Blind his usual #17.
Frank de Boer already announced he will be playing a 5-3-2 against the Scots. He wants to spend more time perfecting it, as most of the players are well versed in 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 already. “Most players have this experience in playing with 3 at the back, but for some it’s years ago so we want to work on it. It also happens to be a good system vs Scotland, by the way,” according to the coach. He also said Marten de Roon will start against the Scots, but that was all he was happy with sharing.
De Boer: “We want to dominate the game but we don’t always have a lot of possession. With this system you can dominate the game without the ball. We did this well vs Italy away, with a good sense of discipline and work rate. Now, we need to add more when we do have the ball. Our key players know how to play in this system. Daley Blind, Mathijs de Ligt, Frenkie, Memphis, it’s not new for them. And I do hope the jigsaw will fall into place quickly, I think it can. And if not, it’s easy to re-shape into a 4-3-3.”
Cillesen not being able to play and train with the group was enough reason for De Boer to give clarity about the goalie. He’s not longer needed. “It’s deep deep disappointing for him and for us, but we can’t start with a player who is not fit. We can’t practice with him, he will miss at least one match and I think it means we can’t use him. I only need players who are 100% fit.”
He did say some highly positive things about his new lads, Timber and Gakpo: “I am really impressed with them. The pace is high with Oranje and so is the intensity, but these two didn’t have any issues getting on the proper level. Don’t think for a moment these guys are just here to make the squad full. We will probably need the depth of this squad.”