The 1990 World Cup Debacle revisited

The gap between skipper and coach….

In the interview with Gullit, he made some comments about the 1990 World Cup.

Some of you seem to be ignorant about the whole run up to that tournament. Here is a post I published some years ago on the topic.

So here goes, by popular demand… What happened at (or rather: before) the WC1990.

Well, it all started in 1988 of course. Van Basten & Co stunned the world. With Michels moving up from manager to federation official, former Feyenoord coach Thijs Libregts took the reigns. The ex-Excelsior and Feyenoord player had quite a reputation as a coach. Arrogant and authoritarian, he had a title to his name, but no one thought he actually won it… He was Feyenoord’s coach when Cruyff decided to avenge his departure at Ajax and JC (and Gullit, Houtman, Hoekstra and Jeliazkov) won Feyenoord the title. Libregts was a suave operator, wearing the right suits and hairdo. But he was also a bit crass, with careless slip of the tongues… Like “Gullit is lazy, that’s what you get with those blacks…”.

Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten were a force in these days. The Milan trio ruled. But so did one Ronald Koeman, Jan Wouters and Ajax captain John van ‘t Schip. And positivo Hans van Breukelen was a voice to be reckoned with as well. The big guns decided they didn’t want cold Libregts. They wanted to win the World Cup and they pleaded with the KNVB to replace the unpopular Thijs by a coach they respected. Someone like JC for instance.


Libregts as Cruyff’s coach at Feyenoord

At some point during qualifying for the WC1990 (which we intended to win) revolted. Gullit led the players to a vote of no confidence and Libregts was told to go. But who would have to lead Oranje to the title? The players got to vote.

KNVB honcho Rinus Michels chose the side of his players and a ballot was made. All players voted and the top three was: on number 3: Aad de Mos. The former Ajax and KV Mechelen coach is a tactical wizard and a kid from the street, who spoke the players’ language. Wim Kieft and Ronald Koeman (having had some negative experiences with Cruyff who made them leave Ajax) picked De Mos. Leo Beenhakker came in at number 2, with a tad more votes than Haagse Aadsje. Leo is well liked by most. He can work on players’ confidence and seemed ideal for a short stint. Although everyone remembered how Beenhakker failed to coach Oranje to a big tournament in the mid 1980s (Mexico WC 1986, with the dreaded late header by George Grun). JC topped the list, of course. The Milan and Ajax clan in particular (Witschge, Winter, Schip, Van Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard (despite Frank’s falling out with JC at Ajax). And JC was game.

But Rinus Michels showed his true colors. He looked at the list and thought…hmmm…Johan…Can’t have him winning the WC and putting my EC trophy in the shadows… And Rinus vetoed JC’s appointment, giving the job to his mate Don Leo in the meantime.

Can’t remember what Rinus said to justify this, but it was along the lines of “Leo is more experienced, Johan is an inexperienced coach. He never did the course. And Johan will cause problems with the KNVB, because Johan is expensive and he wants to pick his own staff. It’s not good to pick Johan.”

Later, off the record, he even called Johan Cruyff a psychopath…

The players were livid. The one-time schmooch-fest between Gullit and Michels was over. And before that WC1990 had started,  a true trench-guerilla war began. Michels wrote columns in the Telegraaf (Amsterdam-based newspaper) and he leaked inside stuff to the press. Gullit wrote columns in the AD, the Rotterdam based rival of Michel’s on-the-side employer. A war began, resulting in the KNVB forbidding players to write columns.

So, the scene was set. Beenhakker – the fool – accepted the job and should have known he couldn’t win. And then, as they have done many many many times before, the KNVB in all their wisdom came up with their tournament preparation scheme… How they fucked up, again! In 1994 they would highly, dramatically underestimate the weather in the US for the WC (Gullit was adamant that the summer would be too much for a normal prep and – influenced by the Milan scientists – begged for a special approach… When people told him he should stick to kicking footballs, the dreadlocked one decided to withdraw from the Dutch team… We all know the result of that group phase…).

breuk pissig

A scene from the game vs Germany. Van Breukelen going apeshit on Voller. Both Voller and Rijkaard would be red-carded


Anyway, the KNVB decided to book a monastery type castle in the middle of nowhere in Yugoslavia…

These top players, who had tough seasons with their clubs, were looking forward to fun and chilling out. To clear the heads for this WC. Some beach volley ball, a nice town nearby for the wives and girlfriends, maybe a golf-resort…. But they got medieval circumstances… Isolation and a full on training scheme…

Something broke in that period. The players were miserable, and some players started to rebel (again), breaking out of their prison and going haywire.

The performances were abysmal in this WC. Gullit and Van Basten weren’t able to deliver. Was it fatigue? Injuries (Van Basten’s right ankle was already in shambles)? Was it the Beenhakker thing? Van ‘t Schip and Wouters were the danger men for Holland, Kieft had a good spell, Rijkaard was solid, but it wasn’t enough. At one point, Leo Beenhakker left the dressing room with what seemed to be a black eye. Rumors started how Van Basten punched him out, but Don Leo said “he’d bumped into to something”… Marco’s fist? Other stories related how Van Basten had thrown an ashtray to Leo’s head. Whatever it was, we’ll never know.

Don Leo sighed that “75% of what happened behind closed doors will never be revealed” but when asked about this much later, he claims he never said it. Players now balk at that quote, saying they can’t imagine what Leo had been smoking…

“We just didn’t have it. It didn’t gel. Gullit, Van Basten, Koeman…they all seemed tired. It’s one of those things…”

The first knock out game against Germany was a classic. Oranje could have won that, there were some good chances (Wouters, Winter, Schip) but the Germans scored twice and we only once. That sums it up. Although Rijkaard scored twice against Rudi Voller of course . But that didn’t result in us winning, it only resulted in both men being sent off.

Rinus shouldn’t have screwed the players over. And maybe the players should have gone on strike.

mich libr

Director Michels with team manager Libregts. Who thought he would lead Oranje to Sicily


Maybe, they should have said: look, we’re the 3 from Milan. We won European cups, we won the EC in 1988, we have tremendously skilled players and we’re eager. We only need one thing: a coach we respect. Give us JC! If not, we won’t go.

That never happened. They went with Don Leo and stayed too long isolated from the world in some horrible camp. The spirit was broken. The mind wasn’t fresh. The legs refused to listen.

No gold and glory, only humiliation and mysterious insinuations of mythical proportions…

This is a 14 minute clip of the highlights of the Germany game. Before the Germans scored, we could have been 2 goals up….

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  1. The Blues boss believes his early summer signings are more than capable of making a significant impact in England when the new Premier League season starts in August

    Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes new signings Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel are ready to make an impact in the Blues first team, despite their tender ages.

    The Portuguese, who is beginning his second stint at Stamford Bridge, is pleased with his early summer business as he sees Schurrle, 22, and van Ginkel, 20, as players for the present as well as the future.

    “Andre Schurrle is still so young but he already has great history because he plays in his national team, he has played Champions League and he played three complete seasons for Bayer Leverkusen,” Mourinho told the club’s official website.

    “He is a player who is absolutely ready and he gives us more than one position in attack and adds quality. He will be important for us.

    “Marco van Ginkel is one of the best prospects. He is not yet like Schurrle – close to being a finished product – but he is a player with great potential. Of course he needs to play and he will, because he is a player with great potential and physically he is more than ready. He is a natural athlete.

    “By the technical and the tactical point of view of course he is a kid, he has to learn, but I think he is very open-minded and we analysed him for quite a long time. The Chelsea scouting department did it for quite a long time and I did it in the last five or six months, and we made a collective decision to bring the kid here.”

    Mourinho also highlighted Chelsea’s other young starlets, including the returning trio of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Tomas Kalas, who he expects all have a role to play after developing well during their respective loan spells last season.

    He added: “They are good players with a very good value in the market and we have these players this season for free, after an investment that the club did before. After the development of the players on loan it is the right moment for them to be back.

    “They are very young with space to develop, they will be better year after year and I can imagine in five years they are much better than today, but what they have today is more than enough to belong to this squad.

    “We have a team to develop, we have a team to work. Of course we know there are expectations already and we want to create expectations for ourselves, we don’t need other people to create them.

    “So we are a very young squad. We have an average age of 26.3 and the reality is the best period of this team has yet to arrive. In five, six, seven years’ time, this team will be in the best moment of their careers.”

  2. Srinjoy July 11, 2013 at 7:41 am
    thats what we all thought abt marco van ginkel…trust me…strootman will not stay at PSV…eriksen has a higher chance of staying at Ajax than strootman does at psv…sad but true

    lol obviously the chance of Strootman leaving is higher than Eriksen. Teams are actually interested in Strootman and PSV is trying to get rid of him, whereas there aren’t a whole lot of teams after Eriksen right now and Ajax is trying to hold onto him

      1. Huh? Eriksen bad? Trash? I think you must be kiddin’? Eriksen is a top player. Ajax wants a top fee and Eriksen wants to go to a top club. He won’t go to something other than Barca, ManU, Arsenal, Bayern or a club like that…. Maybe Spurs, but that is about it.

  3. Great read Jan, but why must you post such depressing articles? 😛 Or maybe it’s just Oranje history that’s depressing and full of what could have/ should have been. Anyways keep it up 🙂

  4. Nice and depressing articles about missed trophy.
    Out of topic
    “Thiago is the only player I want, that’s what I told them. It will be him or no one.”
    Pep Guardiola

    Where he gonna play him, gotze, kross and muller?

    1. Thiago is better than Kroos, and Muller and Gotze will likely be competing for spots on the front line. Probably something like:
      back four
      -Gotze(Muller)-Robben- – Ribery—-

      Pep likes midfielders. I wouldn’t be surprised if he dropped a defender to play more midfielders. I think if anything it’s the strikers who have the most to lose. I can’t see Pep favouring guys like Gomez and Mandzukic.

        1. thiago is unfavoured in barcelona and now will be main man in the midfield that already crowded with more experience ones. Last time bayern won cl because of the dynamis and balanced group of players than barcelona, now he want to create barceloba no2. i can see the fall of bayern next season, due to pep scenario to save one player for spain nt.
          Even He want to play striker (madzukic?)in defence, how do you feel if you are a striker end up in defence by new coach?

    1. Just like always do every season. Arsenal will be linked to all the top quality players and will end up signing some above average player but nothing more.

      They were linked to Julio Ceasar… Why the heck didn’t they sign him last year??? They are linked to Suarez – no chance in hell he would end up in London. Now there’s also talk about Cesc which I think they won’t get because he would probably prefer to go to Man Utd. The only player they could potentially get is Higuain

      1. Exactly. And don t forget that since 2008(or something like that), Ajax and Arsenal got a partnership. And that Ajax didnt spend more than 5mo for a player since Cvitanich (2008).

        Two clubs going on the same direction, two banks.

  5. I was at the game against Germany and it was heart breaking…. I cannot tell you the gut wrenching feeling of watching such an incredible group of heroes become villains… Rijkaard in particular.
    After the game it was very nasty and many fights broke out – this was a team better than 74 and 78.
    I was incredibly sad afterwards… This was not like the 2 finals we lost…. To watch the Germans go all the way was even worse…. Terrible memories….

    1. I agree. I wasn’t there but it was a complete meltdown of a team that could have been 3-0 up at half time. I remember Wouters and Van’t Schip playing a great game and Van Breukelen saving at least 4 goals.

      1. i also remember this game and the wole 90 world cup. at the time i lived 30 kms from the italian border (in nice),in a way i felt the world cup vibe… it was the only one time in my life when before a world cup i was almost 100 percent sure that oranje would win it.
        i agree with Ed – this crop of players was better than the 78 and maybe the 74 team (i am less sure about the 74 team).
        the only one good game they played was against germany… against egypt and england oranje were unrecognisable. the first bad sign was a friendly game against yugoslavia just 2-3 weeks before the world cup. oranje won 2-0,but yugoslavians missed a lot of chances,and the chemistry badly missed. the three milan players looked extremely tired.
        the ireland game started well,and it was a very important game,with a win we could have finished first in the group and have had belgium the cameroon.
        but after an error ireland scored and germany came. too bad that such a great team had such a miserable world cup. oranje should have won this world cup because apart from italy (baresi,maldini,donadoni,etc.) the other teams including germany were not great at all…
        i respect a lot rinus michels but he should have accepted the players’ choice.
        it still hurst,23 years after…

    2. It still kills me watch this clip all these years later, I will never forget that day as I was buying a new surfboard and the guy who owned the shop was talking to me about the game and the Rijkaard/Voeller incident. Voeller was sent, why did Frank have to spit on him? I guess only Frank knows the answer to that, but what a defining moment in our footballing history!
      But as Jan and others have said, we had very good chances to score 3 In the first half, and ultimately not scoring first was crucial in that match.

      Oh the pain!

  6. Once again pellgrini will suck infront of Jose…thats what it seems..Manu will have tough time..if MOU wants to score goals the must go for Lukaku and shurle ,i have less hope of torres and BA.

  7. Anyone else watching the Women’s game?

    currently 0-0 vs Germany.
    ^ live stream

    i think our LOVELY Anouk is playing:

    Interesting article, Jan.

    On a side note, my father (now deceased) knew many of the players from this late 80’s/90’s era and from the previous one (70’s) – they ate together regularly at his best friend’s restaurant.
    I remember him telling me that he had spoken to Marco (VB) and that Marco had told him his career was over – this was way before the announcement was made official. I cried myself to sleep that night.
    On another occasion – after the 1994 world cup which we attended – my father asked Ruud (G) why he didn’t play. “They stole my watch” he replied. I always felt sad at that comment.

  8. I was 10 years old then and it was the first tournament I ever watched. I couldn’t understand what was going on and why it was going on at the time.

    Thanks for putting things in perspective Jan.

  9. Three years ago, Oranje were inches close to becoming the WC champions. I’m still not over that loss and will never be. As Oranje fans, we’ve all been through many heartaches: the 1998 PK loss to Brazil, the 2000 PK loss to Italy, the end of the golden generation in 2004 and loss to Portugal, the unexpected losses to Portugal and Russia in 2006 and 2008. I was shocked and angry after all these losses. However, the WC loss left me in utter sadness. This vidoe summarizes the crazy WC final. I wonder if I’ll witness Oranje reaching another WC final (and winning it) in my lifetime!

    http:// /watch?v=OTSm9w4ZEvA

  10. Club friendly schalke 04 5 – villingen 0 . Goal scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Marco Höger, Leon Goretzka, Michel Bastos and Adam Szalai

    Bad news for Macro Van Ginkle. Chelesa on course to land Di Rossi

  11. De Rossi and Van Ginkel are not similar players. De Rossi sits deep. Van Ginkel goes box to box. Van Ginkel, like Mourinho said, is a real athlete. He will be the Ballack of tomorrow

    (I do believe he has gambled his WC spot away. But maybe his career long term is more important to him)

  12. ….How many cups we have lost since 1974? The Dutch preferred to turn on each other, in-fight and self-destruction. When the team are in a relatively good spirit, we reached final three times, but then evaporated as soon as it entered the final spotlight.

  13. I was also 10 year old.i knew only 3 of them in India,but couldcnt see those matches.saw later clippings after 1994.when my uncle bought tv.You can not expect a WC with infighting and betrayal feel Michels betrayed JC.You need ONE heart to win a WC..

  14. Corriere dello Sport: Roma have reached an agreement with PSV Eindhoven for midfielder Kevin Strootman, and now want Arsenal attacker Gervinho and Manchester City full-back Maicon.

    Corriere dello Sport: Inter Milan have contacted Paris St Germain to ask about signing Netherlands international full-back Gregory van der Wiel on loan.

  15. The Ajax coach feels that the Reds’ playing style under Brendan Rodgers would not suit the young Denmark international but admits the decision is ultimately up to the player

    Ajax coach Frank de Boer has warned Christian Eriksen against a move to Liverpool.

    The Denmark international has been linked with a switch to Anfield, as well as other clubs such as Roma and Borussia Dortmund, in recent months.

    However, since the Bundesliga side signed attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan last week, Eriksen’s most likely destination looks set to be Liverpool – a move De Boer feels would be unwise.

    “If they play as they do now, I would not go”, the former Netherlands international told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

    “The playing style would not suit his own but, ultimately, it is for Chris himself to decide.”

    Eriksen, 21, has just one year remaining on his current contract at the Amsterdam ArenA and looks set to leave before the end of the transfer window.

    Should he move to Anfield, he would join an impressive array of attacking talent, with Brendan Rodgers having added signings such as Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto to his squad in the close-season.

    Rodgers also has the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez to call on as he attempts to improve his side’s seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season.

  16. Good evening and welcome to for the live webchat with Erik Pieters.
    6:24 We will be live from around 7pm (UK time), but feel free to fire your questions through to us right now.
    6:45 Hey guys, thank you very much for joining us here on – I look forward to your questions.
    Comment From Simon
    Louis Van Gaal recently said he maybe saw you as a centre-back in the future – and you have said yourself that it’s maybe a position you see yourself playing in the future, and it’s where you apparently started as a young player. Do you see yourself as definitely a left-back for the foreseeable future?
    Erik Pieters: At this moment I see myself as a left back, however, in the future there is a possibility that I could move into a more central position. it is nice to be able to play in more than just one position, also for the manager.
    Comment From Kev Chandler
    are you settling in at Stoke city ? what do you think of the training facilities at Clayton wood ,how do they compare with PSV EINDOVEN ?
    Erik Pieters: The guys have really welcomed me into the team, from day one i have felt right at home. Everybody is helping me. The facilities are quite similar as both clubs have their own training ground.
    Comment From Simon
    Would you describe yourself as a defender who mainly saw his role as a header/tackler who’ll stop the other team scoring, rather than someone who will be overlapping and attacking? More of a wide centre-half than a winger-type of full-back?
    Erik Pieters: My priority is to defend and stop the other team scoring, but at the same time I like to push forward and overlap, and help my teammates to score goals.
    Comment From Guest
    hoe bevallen de eerste dagen in engeland erik
    Erik Pieters: De eerste dagen bevallen goed. Ben erg goed ontvangen door de boys en kijk er naar uit om te beginnen.
    Comment From James
    Hi Erik, firstly welcome to stoke and good luck with your time here. My question is, how are you finding life in a new country and different surroundings? are you settling in well both on and off the football pitch? Best of luck for the new season and challenge for you, and stay away from glass windows ha ha
    Erik Pieters: Thank you James. I am still living in a hotel but later on I will find a house to live in. Of course with things like driving that is different for me, but these are things that I will become used to over time. I don’t have to worry about the glass because everything around me is in plastic now lol!
    Comment From dan goodwin
    what tempted you to come to stoke?
    Erik Pieters: Firstly I came to see the stadium and then after that I spoke with a lot of people at the club, including the manager, and I got a very warm feeling about the place. I was impressed with the plans for the future, and I am happy to be a part of it.
    Comment From Tom Priem
    How did you see your time at PSV?
    Erik Pieters: I had a really great time at PSV, having played their for five years and enjoying a lot of good moments. Also during my difficult periods the Club and supporters really stood behind me and helped me to get over the difficulties. I have a lot of friends over there and I will always follow the Club, even though I am with Stoke.
    Comment From Sam Chandler
    What are your hopes for the coming season ,we nearly struggled for parts of the season , do you think a top ten place could be in our grasp, new manager new ideas.
    Erik Pieters: The first few weeks of being here have given me belief that we can move forward as a Club. The players are determined and are working hard and the manager has good ambitions to take us higher up the Premier League.
    Comment From Chris
    The Stoke Fans are very passionate and we have all wanted a natural Left Back for many years – we all welcome you with open arms – give 100% and the Stoke Fans will love you!
    Erik Pieters: I am really looking forward to playing for Stoke, and I will give 100 percent in every match that I play. Thanks for the warm welcome.
    Comment From Anton
    Wat is je doel dit jaar? Kampioen 😉 Ga je PSV nog volgen?
    Erik Pieters: Mijn doel is om zoveel mogelijk wedstrijden te spelen voor Stoke.. En ervoor zorgen dat de club zich blijft verbeteren.. Natuurlijk blijf ik PSV volgen.. Heb daar 5 mooie jaren gehad met heel veel steun van de club en supporters..
    Comment From Ethan
    Have you heard about how loud the it is at the Britannia Stadium during home games?
    Erik Pieters: I have only heard stories about it, but it seems to be really loud, so obviously I am looking forward to the first game at home against Crystal Palace.
    Comment From Nath
    Has the thought of the World Cup in Brazil being at the end of the season come into your mind yet, or is it solely about joining up and having a good start with Stoke?
    Erik Pieters: I just want to get back on the pitch again and do my thing. Getting better and better for both myself and my Club is my priority, so we will have to see at the end of the season whether I am selected to be a part of the squad for the World Cup. Of course I want to play in the Finals, especially having missed the European Championship’s through injury.
    Comment From Ant
    Erik, have you sampled the local delicacy of the potteries, the Oatcake. If not you don’t know what you’re missing.
    Erik Pieters: I have never tried before but I am looking forward to them. If it’s local I have to try it. If you want to send me a couple in that would be fantastic.
    Comment From tom
    Erik which day in France have you enjoyed
    Erik Pieters: I’m really enjoying everyday here. It’s really hard work, but enjoyable at the same time – the goal is to make sure that we are ready for the first game of the season at Liverpool. Personally, it is good to be around my new teammates to get to know them, and for them to get to know me.
    Comment From Tom
    How much had you heard of Stoke in Holland? Has playing in the Premier League always been an ambition of yours?
    Erik Pieters: When I knew of Stoke’s interest in me, of course I looked at the Club and took an interest in them. When I was young it was always a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I’m grateful to Stoke for giving me this chance.
    Comment From Guest
    who are you rooming with in france? have you made friends instantly?
    Erik Pieters: I am rooming with Thomas Sorensen. I am just starting to get to know everyone each day, and they are getting to know me too.
    Comment From Chelmsford – Nigel
    Great to have a player of your quality at Stoke. To have a current Dutch International playing for us, is fantastic & I wish you a long and successful career at Stoke. But simply, why Stoke ? Our reputation in our own country isn’t great in terms of style of play, although we have been established in the premier league for 5 years.
    Erik Pieters: Thank you for those words Nigel. I spoke with the manager and his staff about the future of the Club and how they want to play football, and it excited me. I feel very warm here, and am incredibly looking forward to the season ahead. There were a lot of good reasons as to why I made this move.
    Comment From Chris
    How is Marc Muniesa settling in? I guess you two have been speaking seeing as you are both new? Its great to have some continental flair in the Stoke team! I am excited for the coming season.
    Erik Pieters: Of course, we are both in the same situation – we are both new, and we are both at the same hotel, so we travel into training together. He’s a good guy just like the rest of the group.
    Comment From Wilf
    What team do you support in Netherlands, my guess Feyenoord
    Erik Pieters: haha, no. I will always follow FC Utrecht and PSV for obvious reasons.
    Comment From Lewis
    Erik, are you excited to perform against the likes of Manchester United during your time with stoke?
    Erik Pieters: I’m really looking forward to playing against every team in the Premier League, because it’s a different league with a lot of good clubs, so every week will be a big challenge.
    Comment From Gazza
    Welcome to Stoke, the weather isn’t always like this! Which sports outside of football do you enjoy or play?
    Erik Pieters: I know the weather in Stoke isn’t always as nice as it is currently, but it’s very similar to Holland, where we also had rain. Outside of football I love to chill with my friends, play some pool and go bowling. I also enjoy watching movies/series and playing PS3.
    Comment From Guest
    Wanneer begint de competitie daar. Zodat ik je kan blijven volgen
    Erik Pieters: Het seizoen begint 17 Augustus tegen Liverpool uit..!!
    Comment From Josh
    Which player are looking forward to facing most in the league in the coming season?
    Erik Pieters: I am really looking forward to facing Tim Krul, at Newcastle United. He is my best mate, and I’m sure there will be a lot of banter between us before those games. Playing against Manchester United, Swansea, Everton and Norwich will also be great because a number of my international teammates play for those clubs.
    Comment From Reese
    If you didn’t take up football what would you have done, or what would you have liked to have done?
    Erik Pieters: I took my education incredibly seriously because my parents always made me aware of the importance of it. FC Utrecht, where I started off at the age of 14, were also very serious about young players finishing school – in fact, when our school work wasn’t completed well enough we weren’t allowed to train. I stopped school when I signed my first professional contract. I had a lot of thoughts about a future profession, and had I not made it as a professional footballer I would have maybe gone into teaching sports in a school. I always wanted to work in sports in some capacity, even when I followed ICT for one year.
    Erik Pieters: Thank you all for the kind words, and warm welcome that you have given me. I am really looking forward to doing what I do best on the pitch, and also really looking forward to trying an oatcake. All of the best to you guys, and I look forward to doing this again another time. thanks again, Erik.

  17. Thank you Jan. I wrote on the last post that I didn’t known the story behind thw WC 90 and why Michels vetoed Cruyff.

    I think the Dutch Federation is partially responsible for the NT failure to win a WC. Bad coachs chooses, no long term job (like Spain and Germany did) etc

    Sad story. I was 12 years old but I still remember Bhremes goal.

    I read that Cruyff didn’t want yo train that team because it didn’t have chance to win the WC. But now I am not sure what I read..

  18. ARSENAL could make a shocking bid to bring Newcastle star Tim Krul to North London.

    Newcastle star Tim Krul

    The Gunners’ interest has increased since their proposed deal to bring QPR keeper Julio Cesar to the Emirates was trounced by Italian giants Napoli.

    The Serie A outfit are close to securing the Brazilian international on a season-long loan, which led to Arsene Wenger turning his focus to Krul.

    The 33-year-old was told by the West London outfit he could leave following their relegation from the Premier League.


    “Newcastle star Tim Krul could be heading for the Emirates outfit ”

    And according to reports in Holland, will look at testing Newcastle’s resolve by offering £6m for the 25-year-old.

    Krul will provide massive competition with Polish duo Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski for the no.1 shirt.

    Arsenal recently parted company with Italian shot stopper Vito Mannone, who joined Sunderland to help make room for a fresh set of safe hands.


    Video of the friendly between PSV and Bielefeld from Germany who are going to play into the second Bundesliga.

    I want to make a few remarks about this PSV team.

    First of all they have all kinds of sweet footballers. Depay, Bakali, Maher, Willems, Hendrix, Wijnaldum. I have read here or somewhere else that they could be the best street football team of the Netherlands. There is some truth in that. Lovely.

    Second, the upcoming battle on the left wing side is great. Not sure Mertens stimulated Depay to be his best. When Depay came in he went on playing his own game. Being that lone wolf in the team, hard to reach or understand maybe even. Now he is facing competition from a younger kid that is repped as the next big thing at PSV maybe even Europe, he is forced to hit all cylinders. He will get passed by a younger kid when he does not develop an eye for his fellow players. Look at his back heel pass with the first goal of PSV. I felt that he could maybe also have laid off the ball off with his first chance. Basicly when that dimension of his game does not improve he will suffer the bad feeling of getting passed by a younger kid while he is still repped a huge talent himself. That is great motivation. I thought Depay was good at the Euro’s, was the best in this game. I think I know why that is. Mertens is now gone and he knows who is coming through the ranks to compete with him. This upcoming season could be his true breakout season.

    To add to this point, another remark. It is clear to me that the left wing side contains two lovely footballers at PSV. Bakali could become a reason to move Depay to striker position. I have made clear that I do not like box wonders. Those are Huntelaar, semi Luuk de Jong (bit of a hybrid, but don’t like him), Dost and from what it looks like, Locadia as well. At younger ages there are more incoming, including one from PSV. Now, they do have their value, but as a basis I want true footballers with an own action, combination ability and speed for the striker position. Yes they also have to score loads of goals. They must be the complete package and I do not settle for less. If I look at at it, then Depay is for me a candidate to pull off a RVP, moving from the left wing to the central position at the front. Only problem is his length, but also notice how strong he is in this clip when he brushes that defender aside in this clip. He is also good at holding the ball with him and keep the defenders busy. Until a better alternative rises I would love to see Depay developed into a striker. With all these street footballers, much football should go over the ground to begin with.

    Another thing to notice in this clip is the free kick situation. From the call to the celebration of the goal. In the Dutch NT Maher took the free kick against Norway in a friendly. Though it was then more from the right side so that a left footer could curl it in. Now after the whistle, Depay’s first reaction was to grab the ball to indicate to Maher that he was going to take it. With this pressure he scores a great free kick. Notice how Maher is closest to him, but does not celebrate with him after the goal. It’s a funny detail. Another thing is that Depay took the corner from the right which lead to a goal. Depay is making more clear that he is the man taking charge of the dead ball situations vs Maher.

    Moving on we see an 18 years old kid in Jorrit Hendrix being better in build up than all players at the back combined. Also watch the splitting pass starting at 2:27. Frank de Boer-esque. Is also pretty small for a CB as Frank de Boer and has the same top mentality. With Janmaat, van Ginkel, Strootman and now Hendrix, Netherlands starts to add more players having that elite mentality. Not talking about football ability as I don’t think Strootman has that in abundance, but the mentality is pretty good.

    We see Wijnaldum trying to score from distance and is developing that ability, which is nice. Contrary to some people, I think he is pretty wasteful still. Look at the big change he misses in this game. I think the tags for him need an update. I think he is prolific when the preparation work is done by himself, but when he is at the end of a sequence where he only has to finish or even tap it in, he is still quite wasteful. So maybe a nuance there.

    Finally it starts to become popular to hate on Willems. I’m going to stick with this guy through this period. Maybe this is the start of a bad phase with him, as all talents go through. I think he is a very good footballer and does not deserve half the comments going his way at this moment. People now start to call upon rekik on the left wing side, but I am pretty sure he can not bring the attacking swagger a Willems is able to produce. Defensively he might do a bit better. Anyway the competition is good for both.


  20. Ajax 5-1 RKC Waalwik Scouting Report

    Lukoki was ordinary as usual..sigh
    Bojan didn’t excite either
    van der hoorn looked very mature…good signing..even though alderqeireld isnt leaving
    Sporkslede seems quite a player to have in reserves especially Lazic looked brill scored, dribbled, persisted, nice of the match -> break into the senior squad?? we shall see
    Bazoer also stood out with his ball winning and quick feet
    Vermeer didnt have much to do but lukd strong
    Boeriggter seems to have gotten his pace back
    Seemed very weird to see a player of Rommedahl’s stature playing for RKC Waalwijk..sad to see such a decline
    funniest thing was when the RKC coach randomly decided to sub their goalie on the 84th minute…haha the goalie that came on got 4 minutes on the field and dint touch the ball..

  21. I really dont get it, I HOPE stroot dont go to Roma, He said that He want to play champions league, well, PSV coul play it if they qualify, wich will be more than possible with him in the squad. Roma will not play champions league, dont know if Europa League, also with the world cup near, he is better in PSV, or in other champions league team like Man U.

  22. Thanks with the updates with Ajax and PSV 🙂

    @DRB300: Depay and Maher will be important for the national team. They are both players with a winning mentality.

  23. The Eredivisie club have bolstered their ranks following the summer departures of Dries Mertens, Jeremain Lens and Erik Pieters

    PSV have completed the signings of Jeffrey Bruma, Stijn Schaars and Santiago Arias.

    Bruma, 21, joins on a four-year deal from Chelsea, while Schaars, 29, and Arias, 21, have signed three and four-year-deals respectively after arriving from Sporting Lisbon.

    The trio continue the Eindhoven club’s rebuilding process following the signing of AZ midfielder Adam Maher on the back of losing Dries Mertens, Jeremain Lens and Erik Pieters earlier this summer.

    Bruma, who is thought to have cost in the region of €3 million, has impressed in his last two seasons spent on loan at Bundesliga outfit Hamburg, and PSV will be hoping he can further his growing reputation in Eindhoven.

    “[Bruma is] a defender that we would have wanted sooner,” PSV technical director Marcel Brands told the club’s official website.

    “Unfortunately, it took a little longer than we had hoped for, but we are pleased that he is here.”

    Schaars, who played for Vitesse and AZ earlier in his career, returns to the Netherlands after a two-year spell in Portugal as part of a double €1.6 million deal with Colombia right-back Arias.

    “It was a difficult operation with Sporting, but we can add a chunk of experience in the team with him,” Brands added about the midfielder.

    “From the first day we approached Stijn, he could not wait to start.”

  24. The Dutchman, who was close to joining Everton in January, has signed a four-year deal to become Chris Hughton’s sixth summer signing

    Norwich have announced the signing of Twente midfielder Leroy Fer on a four-year deal, subject to international clearance.

    The 23-year-old becomes the latest arrival in a busy few weeks at Carrow Road, joining fellow new recruits Javier Garrido, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Nathan Redmond, Carlo Nash and Martin Olsson.

    Fer was close to joining Everton in January before the move was scuppered and Norwich manager Chris Hughton has spoken of his delight at capturing the midfielder.

    “We are really pleased to have acquired the signature of a player with the qualities that Leroy has,” Chris Hughton told the club’s official website.

    “He’s a very versatile Dutch international and at 23 he has that pleasing balance of having acquired experience playing over 100 games in the Dutch League – but still having plenty of time ahead of him to continue his development as a player here with us at Norwich City.”

    Fer has played for the Netherlands on two occasions and featured in every game for the Under-21s in this year’s European Championship, which ended in a semi-final defeat to Italy.

  25. 2 wins for Ajax in one day 5-1 and 3-0. I think the team is loaded with talent this year. De boer said the team is complete and he will not get Duarte unless someone leaves. We never know but unless Eriksen plays for a top team he will stay. I don’t see Barca, Man U or Man City going after him unless they have an injury. Even Toby decided not to go to Norwich. That says something about the desire to accomplish something great this year. We need at least 2nd round and hopefully QF in the CL.
    PSV is buying like there is no tomorrow. Really incredible. They do it every year.

  26. I should have added my congrats to Feyenoord for keeping the team together and unlike PSV not get anyone. I hope they do well this year and that is coming from a die hard Ajax fan.

  27. Thanks Jan for yet another great article. I always wondered why our beloved Oranje performed so poorly in the WC 1990.
    Keep up the terrific work!!
    Hup Holland Hup!

  28. actually quite sad that till now none of our Dutch players signed for a big club. Fer/Ricky to Norwich, Maher to PSV, Lens to Dynamo, Pieters to Stoke, Strootman to Roma (?) are hardly exciting. seems like Dutch players are not in high demand by the big teams.
    Hopefully there will be some big transfer soon.. Janmaat/Krul to Arsenal, Martins Indi to Milan… 🙂

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