SEVEN DAYS TO GO. Gosh, I need a timer on my site…. Why am I so web-challenged… 🙁
Anyway, no matter. It’s one more friendly before we go for the big job.
Wales tomorrow, sans Bale and Ramsey sadly. Ramsey was one of my fave players last season. What a tremendous revelation he appeared to be.
Louis will play with yet another system. A bit cheeky of course. We will end up playing 3-4-3. With Sneijder close to RVP and Robben roaming where ever. Blind, De Jong, Fer and Janmaat in midfield (Blind and Janmaat covering the flanks) and BMI, De Vrij and Vlaar as defenders.
A system the players should be able to handle, without too much of an issue.
I like this. To me, it says Louis might be working with different systems vs our group opponents. Spain will most likely need a 5-3-2 approach (or a 1-9-1 approach, hahahaha). Chile depends a bit on their first result and how they play. Australia will most likely need a 3-4-3.
Van Gaal: “I selected the players also on the basis of their ability to play various systems.”
This probably explains why Van Aanholt was not needed. Blind can play on four positions, Kongolo on three positions.
De Guzman is out, as you know, and Clasie is not 100%. Odds are high that Fer will start. And from what I hear, De Guzman might not be out of the woods as yet, with his hamstring which might be very bad news indeed…
Wondering who LVG will call up if De Guzman needs to throw the towel…
Nigel de Jong is about to start his fourth big tournament as a starter. This time under Van Gaal. The 29 year old has an impressive list of clubs on his resume and after playing more than 10 years at the highest level, he still is hungry for the ball. “I have to be. That is how I can survive. You know, the playing pitch is like a jungle. It’s the survival of the fittest. I want the ball if I don’t have it and I must want it more than the other guy. Otherwise I don’t stand a chance. EWhen I played in the Ajax youth, we would win most games because we were better. When you play for Man City or Milan or Oranje, you don’t win because you are better. Because you are not. There are ten nations at the World Cup that could claim better players than us, spot by spot. Fine. We need to be better organised, better mentally, more hungry, etc. I reached the top in football not because I was the best player. I played with guys in the youth who were seriously, much more skilled than me. But I made it. And sure, when you are Lionel Messi or C Ronaldo, you can play frivolous and win. I can’t. I know my limits, hahahaha.”
De Jong looks the part too. Muscly, buff, tattooed and a stern look. But when you hear him speak, he is an intelligent, soft spoken and humorous bloke from the streets of Amsterdam. Vilified and criticised for his harsh play and in particular after he was involved in a couple of broken legs and a chest kick studs up to Xabi Alonso, people started to feel De Jong was giving Dutch football a bad name.
“I don’t care too much about what others think. It makes life easier this way, you know? I don’t respond to these things. I know and Xabi knows whether I hit him on purpose or not. That is enough for me. I will not go and publically defend myself. I am hired to do a job and in my position I cannot not go into the tackle for fear I might hurt the other bloke. The team manager would take me off. The team manager selects me and I do what he wants me to do. I am now starting at my fourth Tournament, so I guess I am doing my job properly.”
Van Gaal overlooked De Jong in March. Was he ever scared he would miss out on Brazil. “Nope. The team manager told me he wanted to see others at work. I am confident enough to know that if I would focus on my own game, I would be part of the squad. I am one of the best on this position, full stop. When I am fit and happy, I can deliver.”
De Jong enjoys the new system. “Yes, it fits us. It is the right thing to do. And I believe we will have it down pat for Spain and I believe we will go for the win. That first game is very important and we will try and win it.” Is a draw not a good result? “No man! You always go for the win. That is why we play.”
The mood is good in the Oranje camp. The Feyenoord youngsters (Wijnaldum, Fer, De Guzman, Clasie, Vlaar, De Vrij, BMI, Kongolo, Janmaat) seem to have a dominant role in the squad . This clip explains their shenanigans. What they basically say is: Bruno Martins Indi is the joker of the group, always trying to fool a mate. Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt are the best mentor / motivator, biggest training animal is Bruno Martins Indi, Terence Kongolo is the worst in playing pool, player who most underestimate himself: Bruno Martins Indi, the man who knows much about football: Louis van Gaal.
Martins Indi remembers one of his first friendlies, when apparently Robben yelled really loud in the tunnel towards the field “There are no friendlies!! We are Holland and we play to win!!”.
Yolanthe, Wesley’s better half, presents the new Orange knickers to the world. You can order them through this website if you are interest. One word of warning: Yolanthe is not part of the offer!!