The Big LVG Interview – Pt 1

NOTE: I apologise again for late post. This time, a site update didn’t go too well. Can’t do anything with pictures or fonts… :-(. Hopefully to be dealt with soon!

As you may remember, the Dutch professional magazine for football coaches “De Voetbal trainer” ended 2012 with a big LVG interview. Thanks to the donations by you to this site, we took a subscription on the publication and now herewith find part 1 of the interview.

Louis van Gaal is thrifty with his time. Not every medium gets to interview him at length. He doesn’t say it out loud, but it most likely has to do with him not having a very high opinion on most journalist.

Ex-colleague Sef Vergoossen ( retired professional football coach of several Dutch and Belgian clubs) interviewed him for De Voetbaltrainer and Van Gaal quipped “I will do this as the target group of this magazine are my colleagues. And who knows, maybe other journalists will read it and I will get more intelligent questions next time…”

What have you done to get a very down Dutch team back into winning ways and enjoying themselves visibly, in such a short term?

LVG: “Football and coaching are processes. It starts with a vision and you work from that vision. One of the first decisions I had to make was to establish a new staff. It is key that the right staff would be put together to support that vision. I didn’t focus on the players, but on the technical staff….”

But most coaches by then were already taken by the different clubs?

“It was not the ideal moment maybe and I told most of the people I worked with at Bayern to follow their own journey. Only Max Reckers – video analyst – and Jos van Dijk – physio- and keeper trainer Franks Hoek were available. Jonker and Bout already commenced new jobs. I only wanted to work at a real challenging environment. I had only spoken with Ajax and Liverpool. All other offers I had put aside. Until this came. What a great challenge! I think Bert van Marwijk did a marvellous job but something went awry between him and the group.”

Did you talk to Bert about that?

“No. I really thought about it. But I can not let the opinion of the ex-coach have an impact on the chemistry between me and the group. I didn’t want to put energy in what “was”. I heard stories already and decided not to go there. You come subjective if you don’t watch it. The people who were there were part of it. I heard some stories from Kees Jansma and Hans Jorritsma and I am only interested if something impacts the way ahead.”

The way ahead…

“The KNVB has given me a very ambitious goal. Finish in the top 4 of the World Cup. Achievable, sure…. But not very easy. You could easily debate whether it is realistic, even. But, it’s on the table so we will go for it. We have three objectives: 1) play recognisable “Dutch” football, 2) integrate the new generation of talent and 3) re-establish the relationship between Oranje and the supporters.

Looking at those objectives, I immediately called Danny Blind. Danny has won everything you can win bar the World Cup as a player and captain. He has worked in almost all roles in a football club and all of them successful. Technical director, assistant coach, head coach, Manager Youth Systems, scout… he’s seen it all. And there is no one in Holland with more insight in the talent base in Holland as him. We share a similar football vision, but he is not a Yes Man. He has his own opinion and he knows me well enough to be a worthy adversary in debates.”

And then you decide to select Patrick Kluivert. Not a surprise for me as I had him in my coaching class at the KNVB. He thought as a mature coach already four years ago…

“I know him very well of course. Worked with him at Ajax, Barcelona and Oranje. It was always quite predictable that players like De Boer and Blind would turn into good coaches. Patrick is more an intuitive player. These players normally don’t make great coaches, as they cannot really analyse why they do certain things or how a team should play. It’s not an anomaly that some of the biggest players out there (Maradona, Hagi, Zico, Van Basten, Zidane, Hoddle) never reached the same level as coach as they did as a player. There are exceptions, like Happel, Cruyff and recently Laudrup and hopefully Kluivert too. He did his practice at AZ when I was there and he was remarkably clear towards the players. And it’s interesting if you look at his coaching career. Because let’s face it: name three top strikers of Oranje of the last 50 years and you go 1- Cruyff, 2- Van Basten, 3- Kluivert, right? But instead of going the short route, like Van Basten did, he started at NEC. In the youth. And then he went to Twente. And he coaches the most difficult team: the C-youth.
You have to motivate players who were not yet selected for the A-team and you have to work with established players who are focused on getting fit for the A-team. And still, he wins the title with Twente! He deserves much more kudos for this than he got. The current generation has seen him play, and that is also important for an Oranje staff. Someone they can relate to. Patrick listen to the same style of music, knows the same street slang as they use. Patrick is the one who will communicate with the group most. He is our translator, you could say. I also added Piet Bon to the staff. Physical Doctor, but also a great guy. A personality. Most players trust him, like him and confide into him if there is an issue outside of football. A good mental coach, in other words.”

Speaking of doctors, you did say you will only select fit players, correct?

“Of course. I have selected a broad medical staff. We have added doctor Edwin Goedhart, who works intensely with a very good online platform for players management at medical and nutritional level. I worked with him already before, and he was head of medical at Ajax. We have an orthopedic in Rien Heijboer of the Rotterdam Erasmum University and we have the same team of physios as Van Marwijk used. But speaking of fitness, I do not only mean physical, but also mental. With national teams, you can not select players to support them or to give them confidence. At club level: yes. Not at national level. You play one key game every time and it needs to be 100%. We do not support players who are recovering from injury or anything like that. Can’t do it. And players who have distractions in their private life, whether it’s marital issues or transfer issues, will not be selected either. Too much risk for both.”

And then there Hans Jorritsma and Kees Jansma…

“And Kees’ PR staff. We kept them all on. Hans is team manager since 1996 and is doing a perfect job. If Hans organises something it is 100% done. Always. I also added Edward Metgod to the scouting team. Ron Spelbos is in charge and he has a certain style of working, which is great. Edward works a lot with an international scouting system – Scout7 – and every weekend 1600 games are uploaded. The system has info on 100,000 players from 126 different competitions! We can watch these games via livestream on our computers. On top of that, the system offers a variety of statistics on the players so every weekend we can compare the performance of our national team players. You can see patterns, and progression and all of that. You can see if a player loses possession more in certain situations, or what combination of players work better…. I can use these stats and combine these with our own video analysis and email it to the players and have them work with it or focus on it without having to see them….”

That is intriguing. So what do you do with all that data?

“That is always the key question. Bert van Marwijk left us his list of 50 players who are top drawer for Oranje. We used this list as a starting point. We changed our system from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 (with a defensive or offensive central midfielder) or even 3-4-3 and we applied the role descriptions of these positions to the list. So we have the data from scout7, we have scouts and the staff watching games live or on tv and we collate what we see on Monday. Danny Blind, Jos van Dijk, Frans Hoek and Edward Metgod sift through the initial data and prepare a report which I discuss with them on Tuesday. We basically re-shuffle the top 50 every week. To determine what the ideal starting eleven would be based on the results of that particular weekend. In our Tuesday meeting, they have to convince me to change a certain player, for instance. The closer we get to a game, the more the specific qualities of the opponent are taken into account. We try not to use “coincidences” in our approach.”

How many games do you still see live?

“Less and less. I I go and watch a game, it takes a lot of time. Geting there, spending time at the venue, going home… I can watch three games at home, in that timespan and with all due respect: I can see it better. More angles, more cameras, more slo-mos… I try and see 75% of all the players in a given weekend and I can do so by watching on tv. We do go to see the internationals live. Scouts, the assistants, I do it too at times… Because personal contact is key too.”

So your staff has quite some people with an Ajax and/or AZ background…

“Well, you can also say a Barcelona or Sparta background… We tried to get Gio van Bronckhorst. Perfect guy for the role. Ex skipper of Oranje. Also a Barcelona background… But his two jobs at Feyenoord didn’t allow for him to join. Pity.”

How are the tasks divided within the staff? Who does what?

“I will face the whole group when we discuss team tactics. I coach the starting eleven when we prepare for a game. And Patrick is my assistant. Danny works as coach with the “opponent” and instructs them to play like our opponent plays. Danny Blind also does the opponent scouting and instructs our team about their strengths, weaknesses, etc… Frans Hoek does the set-pieces and dead-ball moments. We do line meetings on the match day. It’s interesting, the defence is always a longer meeting than the forwards meeting… Defenders seem to be able to soak up more info on their opponents and can concentrate well. The forwards are less interested. More intuitive I guess. I do these meetings, with Pat supporting me with the forwards and Danny with the midfielders and defenders. I also do individual talks and normally Pat or Danny is with me, depending on the position of the player…”

Stay tunes for more, in Pt 2….

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  1. Thanks Jan… Was a fantastic read and really looking forward to pt.2

    Just red the latest on sneijder…

    The Sunday People state Liverpool are preparing themselves for a last-gasp bid for Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder, hijacking a move to Galatasaray. Sneijder, who is out of favour at the San Siro, has had talks with the Turkish outfit stalled in recent days while personal terms are discussed. It is believed that during this time, Brendan Rodgers has made contact over the 28-year-old. Working in Liverpool’s favour is Sneijder’s preference to play in the Premier League should he leave Serie A.

  2. This is mint. It carry’s a lot of technical information that I don’t hear about in other news sources, but care about a lot to know about. Greatly appreciate the article Jan.

  3. “And players who have distractions in their private life, whether it’s marital issues or transfer issues, will not be selected either. Too much risk for both.”

    I wonder how long van Gaal sees the period of a divorce like RvdV is in now with Sylvie. They just separated and live in different homes, but does that separation mean the period of problems is over in his opinion? If Raph starts to show less good stats in that Scout7 program, will they connect it with marriage problems or is that the period he needs to come back from injury? Transfer periods are pretty clear, but I wonder how he reasons when a player is in a divorce. I remember from Thiery Henry that it took him a year to get back into his game. His first year for Barca was pretty bad and he was in a divorce back then. Would that mean that van Gaal would not have selected Henry for a year in a hypothetical scenario he could call him up?

    I’m asking as he was very strict with his transfer criteria as well. He didn’t select a whole range of players for the clutch game against Turkey (was it?). That showed me his level of commitment to be serious about this mental fitness thing. If he would have lost, we would not have heard the end of it in the media, but he stuck with his rule. So that leaves got me wondering about Raph and the Italy game in less than a month.

    1. @DRB u got a point there…
      like LVG says external maters clearly affects the game of a player.We have seen it with Wesley after his will take bit time like henry took.
      Raphel is great player,i would call him the real dutch Zidane..But there is not much to worry about Raphel.since we have Maher,Ginkel,Anas and clasie.All are pretty close to seems Raphel doesnt have the stamina to play whole 90 minutes with full energy.He became slow and now a less runner too.however he can deliver VITAL PASSES TO Teammates and we can score know,goals decides the game.LVg must be very careful about selecting these old players such as Wesly,Raphel,Roben,persie and seems like only Heitinga and Robin are the players who can play for 90 minutes full without decresing team balance.its the time for Rafa,Wes and Roben to play as subs…Best option would be like SAF the genius uses Scholes and Giggs in start with Vaart and replace him with Wes or vice versa.Start with Urby in left and replace him with Roben…

    2. Yes, this is interesting.. I have a feeling this is a “rule” he likes to make public so players know this and so take care of themselves without wondering later why they do not make the team – but, I am sure he doesn’t publicly say that he will break his own rule in some scenario.

      maybe he is referring to the Boulahrouz situation at the ’08 Euros?

  4. What an awesome read, Jan. Thank you very much for the translation and post. Very cool to be able to read this, and to learn a bit more about Van Gaal’s obsessions. 😉

  5. “We changed our system from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 (with a defensive or offensive central midfielder) or even 3-4-3 and we applied the role descriptions of these positions to the list.”


    This is a bunch of nonsense from Louis IMO. I do think he played at one time 4-3-3 but recent games we have gone back to Bert’s system. Against Andorra he flat out admitted that even and it still does not make sense to me he did play Bert’s system against an amateur team. It was also one of the most boring games in recent times.

    1. First off, I agree with you.. I do not see the 4-3-3 at times.

      But also, 4-3-3 can look very similar to 4-2-3-1 depending on the work ethic and the commitment to the vision of the players involved.
      I play and manage a mens team and we play 4-3-3 (in theory) but it often looks more like a 4-2-3-1, depending on fitness during a match, or, exactly where the “3” Mids like to play.
      In our 4-3-3, when we are defending we have our 3 mids stay together in the center of the pitch (staying away from wings, the R and L forwards are responsible to cover ground between LB and RB) in a triangle form. This triangle points towards the opponents goal with the wing forwards set slightly back from the center forward.. so it almost looks exactly like a 4-2-3-1 if the wing forwards are fatigued at all.
      Then, if we have the ball, the triangle points to our goal, so 1 player stays ‘holding’, and the other 2 move to attack (though always staying central and together in the triangle). Actually, at these moment we look like we are playing in 4-1-2-3, then if our fullbacks push at all, we can even look like a 2-3-2-3! VERY attacking!

      Maybe typing this does not get my point across.. I am used to showing it on a white board with magnets and markers, haha.
      Apologies if my description falls short…

      Cheers DRB300 (what is the significance of the name, if you don’t mind me asking?)

        1. I have never gone very deep into tactics because the complexity’s that some people talk about always seem to be unrealistic to me at some point. They build one “if” on the other while football often has the tendency to spoil it somewhere with something unexpected that happens throwing everything overboard. Football flows from one situation to another and as a result of that the same goes for the formations you talk about: one formation flows to another formation.

          The only time I talk about tactics is when I get frustrated with how things are going on a consistent basis. This frustration derives from seeing no flair, no surprise, no salt or pepper in the game, no complexity’s that tickles my imagination. When I see brilliant players cut off and isolated easily by a mediocre opposition I get angry. IMO Bert has been an idiot when he saw how Germany pressed Sneijder easily and we lost 3-0 from them in the friendly. They countered our static game by taking him out of the equation. That was a big give away for what would follow as other teams would start doing the same ever since and Bert answered by doing the same over and over again. With 4-2-3-1 we had 2 blocks. A block of 6 and a block of 4. What happened IMO was that Sneijder became too dominant (and thereby we became easily cut off) and Nigel and van Bommel became 2 zombies. All what happened was Mathijsen/Heitinga passing the ball to van Bommel/Nigel and they passing it back or giving it to Sneijder. However Sneijder got pressured more and started to drop deeper and deeper and the 2 DM’s finally only had 1 task: stand there watching what Wesley was going to do with it. Controlling the area. Great. What kind of offensive/forward triangles can be made with a Sneijder dropping so deep? Who the hell is he supposed to triangle with forwardly? The spaces are now much too big, plus we have turned two capable players into zombies. So we threw intricate passing out of the window and Sneijder needed to pull off glory pass after glory pass.

          IMO if you play 4-1-2-3 you have a much more organic system in place from set up. Players are better spread over the field for offensive game play. With organic I mean outlets for triangles. You have the 2 CD’s with the DM obviously. The DM with the 2 more advanced midfielders, but more importantly towards the front you have triangles with the left midfielder-striker-left winger and at the other side same thing. Besides people only have to watch the last game of RVP at United to know what happens when 2 DM’s play a horizontal pass to each other in the defensive third. Cleverly played a ball to Carrick he could not control optimal, the ball was easily taken off of him and boom goal. If that pass is messed up, 1 attacking player takes 2 DM players out of the game. Very dangerous. So it’s a shit triangle to start off with. If a single DM passes forwardly and loses the ball, he is still there to correct.

          People say Sneijder can’t play in a this system, but forget how big the 10’s operating system is horizontal speaking. It’s huge and he will have to work hard as well.

          Plus team’s started to take him out of the game all the time after that Germany 3-0 game IMO, making our game dead. Add a box wonder like Huntelaar that is hopelessly mediocre outside the box and it’s one big clusterfuck.

          Pressing in this system goes better as well, though here I maybe like the nuance van Gaal has made for now. He does not apply full pressing, but irritates the opponent at some point only. As Narsingh becomes super mediocre in crowded area’s and small spaces, you would cut yourself in the fingers to full press all the time. Narsingh has played so well as a result of having much space in Dutch NT to run at. He is a counter winger and nothing more. He is often bad for PSV as they often press harder and play on one half. So I can see the practical idea behind van Gaal’s instructions there (though I think the Dutch NT by principal should always want to have the ball and be dominant all the time).

          We also have a great player that can play the DM role: Anita. Otherwise I would have said Clasie, but he is going through a dip. Nothing to worry about (he still wins the competition from Vormer in the state he is in, which is very impressive), but for now Anita would be able to fulfill that very important DM role in this system. He made Ajax practically champion there (2 times) and can develop with de Vrij the same kind of relationship as he had with Vertonghen. De Vrij also like to surge and then Anita can take over, adding a dimension of surprise or otherwise de Vrij can move up creating 3-4-3 at times for a man more situations on midfield.

          Point in case is that I think that under van Marwijk there were no fluid situations where we went from one system into another, I think we had 2 DM’s being nothing other then absolute static zombie’s and it was maddening. I am fed up with zombie football and would like to see some proper offensive triangles.


          PS DRB: De Rode Baron (The Red Baron), 300 is a fun movie and an even better story.

          1. couldn’t agree more with your final statement…

            Personally, I think 4-2-3-1 has died with Holland at the Euros (perhaps even in the pre-Euro friendly vs Germany as you have suggested).
            To me it has now been proven that you should not play with 2 holding mids, even when you do not trust your CBs (as was often suggested by people on this site as the reason for the 2 holding mids in the past 4 or 5 years). Further, I would love to see Holland take the reigns and regain their ability to switch positions fluidly with confidence a teammate sees what is happening and covers. Lets get back to Total Football!

        2. Thanks for the Guardian article Steve M (the reply option dissapears after a few exchanges, so I do it this way). Here is hoping we start playing more imaginative football again.


  6. Agree that LVG perhaps not there yet at playing 4-3-3. I still see 4-2-3-1 or a modified version of it. Still 2 defensive midfield, just positioning differently. He is trying, but not there yet. I hope he is grooming Clasie, Van Ginkel, Maher well enough as it seems that VDV and Sneijder performances are downhill. We need to be in transition mode now so we have a better chance at the WC. If we do not have a backup plan for Sneijder, VDV then our midfield is a bigger issue than defense which LVG has done a good job so far.

  7. Great read Jan, very interesting to get inside Van Gaal’s head , it helps clear some things up from the last couple of games that had us all guessing!
    Can’t wait for part 2,3,4…..

  8. Some news on espn soccernet

    The Daily Mail are reporting that Newcastle will bid £9 million for Ajax captain Siem de Jong. The 23-year-old is another player who impressed in the Champions League this year, netting twice against Manchester City.

    Klass-Jan Huntelaar has spoken to Welt about his future: “I asked myself whether I wanted to stay put or make the move to England. The Premier League is the only top league in Europe where I have not played yet.”

    “The most important thing for me was that my family feels well, though. And we have everything we need here at Schalke. My dream club has always been Ajax, I might return there towards the end of my career before I retire. I am completely focused on Schalke for now, though.”

  9. There are rumors that De guzman would be selected against italy as reward for good performance for Swansea.Now he doesnt play well for them as he used to be.
    Van Gaal is forming a terrible team with BMI,De vrij,Janmaat,Van rhijn,clasie,strootman,Ginkel.I hope that Douglas,Van aan holt,Urby,Ricky wolf,Maher ,bruma,ola john,Dost will step up their game and finally we will have a competent 23 member squad…who will be able to challenge any one in the world at any location..

  10. Eredisive Holidays is Redicolous, Very Stupid Fixture, how can we play in February, after our all players don’t play for more than one month, look at Spain, Italy, EPL, all players are dit for any game, in Dutch league it look there is second summer, also in My location in Iran, or another ASian league u cannot find 1 month hollidays between league.

  11. “Van Gaal is forming a terrible team with BMI,De vrij,Janmaat,Van rhijn,clasie,strootman,Ginkel.” Perhaps it is a typo? Did you mean “terrific”? Perhaps they are not terrific yet, just good.

  12. They are good and becoming terrific,thats why i used the word,i hope that these guys stays away from injury..We need lungs+intellgnce+skills+Power to compete with spain,Brazil,arjentina,Germany,portugal..thats what i mean.these guys have that…

  13. Fun fact:

    Manchester United have accumulated a club record of 55 points after 22 games since United was called United in 1907-1908. That’s more than the Ronaldo team of 2006-2007 (=54) or the Cantona team 1993-1994 did after 22 games (=53).

    So with RVP, league wise, they have been most successful so far. Of course that means nothing if the title is not won, but it’s a cool update on the situation after being half a season underway.

    I also know what the stake of RVP in this matter is, as a result of the media equating RVP with Suarez before the game United Liverpool game (the 2 prime candidates for player of the season).

    Before the Liverpool game, had you taken out the goals alone from RVP, then United would have had 26 points less (Liverpool without Suarez only 12 points less by the way). After Liverpool that is 2 more points, bringing the total on 28 points from goals alone.

    United fans don’t like to be branded as a one man team and their final resort to back this up is bringing up they have over 15 goal scorers so far this season and RVP accounting only for 30% of their goals. However the case is, that RVP scores important goals, not tank goals running up the score against the bad teams. So much so, that without him, United would have had 28 points less.

    If United win the title it’s fair to say that the driving force behind it was a kid from Rotterdam. If RVP really wants to become a legend and contender for the Ballon D’or then he will need to bring it also in the CL. One only has to look at Drogba’s placement in the Ballon d’Or top list to know how important playing a role in winning the CL is for that honor. Staying fit also helps 🙂

  14. Yes you are right if RVP wants to win the Ballon D’or he has to win the UCL or the WC with Holland or they will give it again to Messi.

    I was shocked to know Guardiola was a candidate for the best coach of the year! he only won La Copa del Rey! what about Dortmund’s coach or Di Matteo? how come they weren’t amongst the candidates?. Di Matteo coached for only about 4-5 months but he managed to kick Barcelona’s ass with Catenaccio style.

    1. Klopp was kicked out from a very weak CL group last season (this season he won in a very strong one). Di Matteo is a good shout (he also won the FA Cup), but when all coaches and NT captains were also allowed to choose, it was always going to be more of a popularity contest rather then a contest on results and merits. He operated only shortly as a coach and is also pretty young with an unproven record. Older coaches will feel less inclined to vote for a young newcomer or simply don’t know him very well. Sneijder was by the way the first victim of this system when he should have won the Ballon d’Or in 2010. He won the journalist vote and I still feel robbed from it.


    1. It does not make any sense to me that we are getting new ones to be honest. We just got new ones, so either it’s nonsense or we are trying to get over Euro 2012 I guess. I like that shirt more than the home shirt in Orange. Would be a good replacement. I would like to keep the black away shirt.

      1. Can we have three jerseys? 🙂
        I like that one more than the current home one, but I like the black one more than this one, and we can’t not have have Orange home shirt. What we really need is an orange home jersey with white numbers like at Euro 08.

      1. Yeah I really liked the black one. Our players looked super menacing in them, and the black made the orange really pop out. I hope we keep it for a while longer

  15. Short while ago the U16 selection has been made public on “Ons Oranje” for a training period, always a fun time to look at what is up and coming:


    – Stan van Bladeren (Ajax AFC),
    – Robin Boot (Sparta Rotterdam),
    – Yorrit Kanters (NEC / FC Oss),
    – Yanick van Osch (PSV).


    – Hidde ter Avest (FC Twente Voetbalacademie),
    – Melvin Kingsale (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior), *
    – Bert Koomen (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior),
    – Jeffrey Neral (Sparta Rotterdam),
    – Mauro Savastano (Ajax AFC),
    – Keziah Veendorp (RVO FC Groningen/Cambuur),
    – Rick van der Meer (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior),
    – Calvin Verdonk (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior),
    – Wellington Verloo (Vitesse/AGOVV),
    – Teun van Zweden (Ajax AFC).


    – Danny van Haaren (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior), *
    – Louisben Jagt (RJO Willem II/RKC),
    – Frenkie de Jong (RJO Willem II/RKC),
    – Joris Klein Holte (Vitesse/AGOVV),
    – Abdelhak Nouri (Ajax AFC), **
    – Jari Schuurman Klaveren (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior),
    – Laros Duarte (Sparta Rotterdam),
    – Rutger Etten (RVO FC Groningen/Cambuur).


    – Martijn Berden (PSV),
    – Anthony Berenstein (FC Utrecht),
    – Michael Breij (AZ),
    – Vince Gino Dekker (Ajax AFC), *
    – Dani van der Moot (PSV), *
    – Bilal Ould Chick (FC Twente Voetbalacademie),
    – Marlon Slabbekoorn (RJO Feyenoord/Excelsior), **
    – Ezra Walian (Ajax AFC). *

    * Players that have some buzz going on.
    ** Players that have quite some buzz going on.

    I have seen some comments on the net that deem generation 1997 as one of the most talented of recent times.

  16. Selection under 17 for training internship from some time ago (by club, not position!):

    – Van der Linden,
    – Gronsveld,
    – Nieuwkoop,
    – Idrissi (Feyenoord/Excelsior),*

    – Groothuizen,
    – van Bruggen,
    – Riedewald,
    – Mirani, Owusu,
    – Vissers (Ajax),*

    – Houwen (Vitesse/AGOVV),

    – Verrips,
    – Alberto,
    – Loof,
    – Groenendijk,
    – Paal (PSV),*

    – Bulut,
    – De Blom van Zwieten,
    – Hevel (ADO Den Haag),

    – Gootjes, Oldeburger,
    – Zivkovic (FC Groningen/Cambuur),*

    – Amin Mohammed,
    – Van Amersfoort, Kada (SC Heerenveen),

    – Ouwejan, Dos Santos Souza (AZ),

    – Mbikulu (FC Twente),

    – Haydary (Roda JC),

    – Stockers
    – Ben Mohamadi (Sparta Rotterdam).

    * Players that have some buzz going on.

    1. Men I REALLY!! Apreciate your efforts for showing us the next promises players in our football!!. I liked to the youth but I see more from the U17 in forward so thanks for putting the U16 also!, I have noted to watch specially Abdelak Nouri, he is a very intelligent player, iniesta/sneijder tipe. I really like him!! But he is too young for now.

    1. Tweet from journalist:

      Sneijder: “I don’t want any pressure now.I need time to decide, it’s not about money, it’s a life choice”. On Gazzetta tomorrow edition

      I guess he is stalling time to see what kind of offers are landing in his lap. If he does not move towards a top (CL playing) team then at least I hope he get’s an offer from Liverpool or something like that. A respectable, historical EPL playing club that could also use him on his favorite position.

    1. Played the full 90 minutes against SCG Muangthong United in the trip PSV took to Thailand IIRC. Willems is not going to make Pec Zwolle (first Eredivisie game for PSV after the winter break)in 2 days from now (18-01-2013) so a big chance Pieters will actually see (some) action!

    2. @Miguel…..As long as Bruno martins and Van annholt plays well in LB spot we dont to worry about that spot..But peiters in old form clearly stand above rest of the canidates.
      Ann holt
      Bruno martins
      Van rhijn
      Then we have
      De Vrij …8 superb defenders for us.dutch defence would be handy for any team..
      Bruma,Vlaar as stand byes

  17. @Hien: not yet although it’s clear Sneijder is waiting for a better offer.

    He has said he wants to go to the EPL which would be great. I especially wish he goes to Liverpool or Man U but everything is better than Gala!.

    1. Came from AZ, made the step to Ajax recently. Is big and strong for his age. Is a striker and scores a lot. From what I have understood one could do the following: (though it’s a bit dangerous to do as I could do some injustice here and there):

      * Walian
      * Paal
      * Moot

      All three are strikers and all 3 score very much. They do not posses great technical skill but are more finishers. So rather Huntelaar’s than RVP’s. Rather box intelligence that does the trick, than getting past players for fun.

      I would be a bit disappointed if this in turns out to be the case. Then we have 3 of such big talents in the youth coming through. We have currently at PSV Jürgen Locadia making name as more of a box wonder and we Bas Dost and Huntelaar himself at older age possessing this particular skill set as well. I know there is more to Luuk de Jong’s game: more involved in game play and hard working like Dirk Kuyt, but at a low technical level, no way close to RVP’s technical ability. He also has a wrong locomotion IMO.

      So I am not too happy about this development. We could be having a whole range of “Huntelaars/Gomez (Bayern)” kind of players that add not much to the (smooth) overall game play that can drop and play along nicely. Forcefully said: players that leave the team playing with 10 men. It remains to be seen what kind of degrees we are talking about and how players develop of course. Hope to be wrong.


      1. Thanks a lot DRB300.. 🙂

        Your posts are quite refreshing and equally enlightening as well.

        I do not like Gomez/Huntelaar type attackers who are too static to contribute to the build-up play. I’d rather prefer a versatile, technically exquisite forward who epitomizes artisty in every possible manner a la RVP. What about this guy Anass Achahbar?? I’ve seen him in action quite a few times and I must say I was impressed. If he steadily keeps on improving, we might just have the next RVP lined up for the senior NT. 🙂
        Your thoughts???

        1. Anass is a hot subject among Feyenoord fans. There was this season a big group who wanted him to go out on a loan to Excelsior (or a low Eredivisie club). The main concerns about him are that he is not fast enough and while his game play involves a lot of receiving the ball with the back to the goal (and of course also the defender having in his back), he is not strong enough to hold off the defender well at this age. Then of course he is also too small to win aerial duels, so he can not be used that well in hold up play, getting a team out of pressure with a long ball, while his game style does show it’s characteristics. There is probably no more technical skilled young player on the Dutch fields, but he has serious limits to deal with. However in the youth he was always a big scorer of goals, very beautiful goals even. He also has an individual action and probably can get past a man on the first meters, but after that he does not have the speed to outrun most of the defenders and so has to look fast at options to pass to, or shoot on goal for that matter.

          He is best paired with box to box midfielders behind him, that time their runs at the moment he controls the ball or even make a one two’s with him. His flicks can beat any defender and are placed beautifully in the run of the box to box player. He is also best played in a possession based team’s that push hard and play close to the goal of the opponent and on their half. This way he has to cover little ground and can he let his teammates profit from his main strength: being able to operate well in small spaces. The goal he made against Sparta Prague at home is something none of his team mates are able to pull off probably, including Pelle. Guidetti even said that he has seen Anass do things on training he had never seen before. Anass would make one hell of a futsal player. Unlucky for him is that football is played on a giant grass field where disntences have to be covered and where physicality is part of the game.

          I also think that there is too much pressure on him due to his buddy’s being able to make an impact in the first team. He is part of the Vilhena, Boëtius, Kongolo generation, but also Rekik (City), Ebecilio (Arsenal) and Ake (Chelsea)belonged to that Feyenoord group. Maybe those last 3 are no where near consistent first team action, but the first three get quite some game time and after Leerdam blew up his chances to play in the first team, Vilhena has become a starting player. This is not easy to see for him, sitting on the bench all the time. His position is occupied by Pelle who is now among the best performers in Eredivisie and has become a hero at Feyenoord in a short time. That having said, I think Anass can also play on the spot of Immers and even on the wing. He has an action, he has a cross and you don’t have to go all the way to the back line to kick the ball into the box. Or he can come more inside at times.

          It’s so hard to predict these things. Is he the new Aissati? Or does he make the click and is he able to fulfill his promise? He was always a big talent throughout the youth, but how many talents have not been able to make that final step to pro football? Many. He has some things holding him back in any case by just being the player he is. However since when is it a strange thing that a 18 year old kid is having a hard time making the first team? I think we have to give him some years to adjust and get used to this new physical level that is Eredivisie.

          By the way, If you like RVP kind of players, you can keep your eye on Kishna from Ajax. The reason many people don’t know him is because he was injured for so long. Cartilage problems (to his knee), the kiss of death often. This is the kind of injury that ended van Basten and van Nistelrooy’s career, so it remains a question if he will ever get back to his old level and develop as people have projected he would. That having said he is an elegant player, with speed, skills and overall football ability producing magic from time to time. I believe he plays on the left wing, that is where RVP also started for Feyenoord and Arsenal IIRC. Maybe he too can be moved to striker position later in life.


          1. Yet another insightful post..thanks a lot DRB and yes, I’m aware of this player Ricardo Kishna from the Ajax youth team..Last time I checked, Liverpool came close to snatching him up but unfortunately he suffered a horrendous cartilage injury that sidelined him for many months. I’ve heard of him ’cause I keep tabs on all the dutch youngsters coming up through the youth ranks.

            What happened to these guys?
            Eric Falkenburg, Leandro Bacuna,Davy Pröpper,??

            Jürgen Locadia…He scored a hattrick on his Eredivisie debut..Is he a speacial talent or just another average player?? I haven’t had a chance to see him yet..


          2. Eric Falkenburg is able to score that important goal from time to time, but phases out of games in a horrible way and simply lacks the defensive work ethic wherever he is played. He is subbed in and out all the time. Not a carrying player for AZ. His score rate this season is 1 goal every 209 minutes and no assists so far. Forget about Falkenburg.

            Bacuna I don’t really rate. Whenever see him playing he is underwhelming. I see him for the Dutch U21 team, not so much at FC Groningen. Also I see him play on a variety of places. RW, RB, AM, DM. He should pick a spot and develop there. Has only scored 2 goals this season and no assists so far.

            Davy Pröpper was at one time deemed a bigger prospect than van Ginkel, but Vitesse fans have developed a love hate relationship with him. He is subbed on fom time to time at Vitesse and does get his minutes here and there, but is defensively speaking weak and is not able to compensate for it with his football ability. So far he is just not goof enough. He has no goals so far and also no assists this season. Still young (that goes for Bacuna as well of course, but he will need to step it up dramatically if he ever wants to get to the senior team (he was in the U21 game for a few minutes recently IIRC).

            Locadia has earned a good contract at PSV and is held into high regard. PSV watchers see him as the next “Adriano” (though less skilled). He is a bit more than a box player. Has a hard shot and is also not that slow. Not fast, but has proper speed. Just an overall strong player, who’s handling speed should still improve. Scores a lot and Kieft had worked with him and was a bit impressed by him. He was a kickboxer when he was younger but eventually choose for football. I am not sold on his background and the family he comes from. They don’t all have to have backgrounds like van Ginkel, but on Twitter one can follow one and other and I don’t know about these kids (him and Depay). I do think they can reach the top, but I am not sure they are balanced enough to stay there. I think Locadia will make the Dutch senior team in time and if he makes the right choices (good girlfriend that keeps him on track, in his case, is important) he can maybe have a nice career in Orange.


        2. @Abhirup…Anas is very very intelligent player,i mean a gem in making he can be our Ineasta,all he lack is height but i am not worried coz i know how diffcult to stop Ineasta and Aguero and our wesly.1.70meters guys…
          i just hope that he moves to wing like Ineasta and gets more playing time.since he lacks height he mus change his position from main striker.,he can be a shadow striker and winger.Would do much better than some of the current orange players in wing,thats for sure.
          These are the real intelligent players coming up i mean players i expect to blossom
          Anas Achabar
          Adam Maher
          Jordy clasie
          Marco Van ginkel
          Kevin strootman
          Bruno martins
          De vrij
          Jan maat
          Van rhijn
          Ok players for national team or useful players based on needs.
          Leory fer
          Vurnon anita
          Van anholt
          Ola john

          1. I Really dont think that Ola John is an ok player man, and i have so much hope for Van Anholt as well

  18. The real worry of dutch national team are aging of our class players RVP,Wesly,Vaart,and Roben.Except RVP noen of them plays regularly and rest of the three do not have the stamina for 90/120 minute tough game.its worying point.
    but i have a confidence that if Clasie,Maher,Ginkel for Vaart and Wesly …and Ola John and Ubry for Roben are given cahnces then they would develop in to a title contender team by next 1.5 year.I have little hope for Afaleey,schaken,lenz,Narsingh,kuyt,Joris,Hunter,Luuk de jong in our national team.None of them are equalent to their counter parts of Brazil,Arjentina,Spain,Germany,Belgium and even portugal.But they are enough for medicre teams.Dutch can win title in brazil by beating brazil.But they need to belive and act according to that.they should stay humble but when they call for action they should fight like lions with ONE HEART.there are still something is pending to get cleaned…wish well for LVG.

  19. Different sources, different numbers. Talk Sport talked about RVP adding 26 points before the Liverpool game, Sky talks about 21 from goals alone after the Liverpool game. Maybe Talk Sport added assists to their calculations, though they did say:

    “While it is hard to speculate exactly where the Red Devils would be had they not signed RVP, the table above shows United languishing in 11th without their talisman’s goals”

    So that is a bit weird.

    However Sky comes up with this table:,,12038_8398852,00.html

    Scroll to the middle. Their table removes all top scorers per team. The numbers for Suarez are also lower in this table and actually one can see that Dzeko is getting more for City with fewer goals than Suarez does with all his goals for Liverpool.

    According to this table, RVP has earned more points for United with goals than EPL’s top performers Mata, Suarez and Fellaini combined with theirs.#Clutch

  20. Yet another insightful post..thanks a lot DRB and yes, I’m aware of this player Ricardo Kishna from the Ajax youth team..Last time I checked, Liverpool came close to snatching him up but unfortunately he suffered a horrendous cartilage injury that sidelined him for many months. I’ve heard of him ’cause I keep tabs on all the dutch youngsters coming up through the youth ranks.

    What happened to these guys?
    Eric Falkenburg, Leandro Bacuna,Davy Pröpper,??

    Jürgen Locadia…He scored a hattrick on his Eredivisie debut..Is he a speacial talent or just another average player?? I haven’t had a chance to see him yet..


  21. I have a question guys: Is the U-21 EC during this summer?.

    It’s a good tournament for our player to get more experience but I wonder if LVG will give permission to some players who are already very important for the senior team as Strootman. And also I wonder if it’s a good idea to overload them with 2 busy summers.

    1. U21 Euro is this summer in Israel:

      LvG will not only allow to play young senior team players, he will insist. I think he will even go himself to watch every game and sit next to Cor Pot in the dressing room.

      He sees it as an important tournament to fast track the experience factor with his young squad and he wants them to do everything in their power to win it.

  22. Guardiola to Bayern. Wow that will be a huge challenge for him. He’s been great for Barca let’s see if he can be great for any other team as Mourinho has.

    I like him going to Bayern because he likes to attack and that will only be good for Robben 🙂

  23. Cmon guys the turkish league is way stronger than the Portuguese one for eg so why all the hate. Don’t remember any such hate when kuyt moved from Liverpool to there

    1. “the turkish league is way stronger than the Portuguese one for eg”

      On what basis do you say that? Not on basis of the UEFA coefficient points, so I am curious what the argument is that you use.

  24. so Robben gets to work under the 3 best coaches in the world – Mourinho, LvG and now Guardiola… I think Guardiola will re-invent Robben just like LvG did. Under Jupp Hynckeys he was not the same, but we saw him with LvG in Oranje.

  25. There was no problem when Kuyt moved there because he was already 32 years old but Sneijder is still 28-29 years old and Urby is just 26-27 years old!.

    Sneijder has like 4 years to play for a top club and Urby is still trying to make an impact with AC Milan so going to the Turkish leag.

  26. what a tragic end to a budding career!

    MikeOldenhof9 hours ago
    what’s with all the Dutch players becoming susceptible to injuries. Robben, RVP, Narsingh, VDV, Sneijder, Afellay etc… even RVN had major knee surgery at PSV. don’t know any other country that gets so many top players hurt so often. hopefully he can come back. Ruud did when he joined Man U. Robben has been a disaster. when he’s on he’s top 3 in the world. I have a feeling if he gets back this year and gets injured again he’ll retire. It takes its toll being in rehab all the time. When you are always playing you stay in game shape being out every few months takes it toll and Robben has hinted that in the past he’s considered packing it in well can’t see this guy plying past 30.
    Reply +1

    Tee-Yo9 hours ago
    What a blow to PSV, this guy was on top top form along with Lens and Dries, they were tearing it up. One of the most in from right wingers around and then this happens, hope he comes back flying next season and that this injury doesn’t curtail a very promising career for luciano.

  27. Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp feels that Manchester United attacker Robin van Persie is the best forward the game has ever seen.

    Klopp saw the Netherlands international live in action during BVB’s Champions League encounters with Arsenal last season, and he was thoroughly impressed with the former Feyenoord star’s performance.

    “Personally, when we played against Arsenal in London, I saw the best forward ever: Robin van Persie,” the Dortmund coach told

    “I didn’t know a player could play three positions during 90 minutes. It was a great experience – and we want to use that now.”

    1. It was poorly translated from German:

      “Für mich persönlich war es so, dass ich beim Spiel gegen Arsenal in London den besten Stürmer überhaupt gesehen habe: Robin van Persie. Ich kannte keinen Spieler, der über 90 Minuten auf drei verschiedenen Positionen spielen kann.”

      Generally “jemals” is used for “ever”. The context is taken wrong. In Klopps philosophy, RVP interprets the striker role in an ideal way. In his image RVP is an example how it must be played. It’s more about the role execution than RVP himself.

      That having said RVP is the best striker in the world right now. I will post soon some stats that build a convincing case for RVP in EPL vs Cavani, Falcao and Zlatan in their respective leagues so far this season.

      I even think he could be threatening Ronaldo. Messi is probably a bridge too far.

      1. i fully agree. although i do like falcao,but he is a more one-dimensional striker. ibra,too. when rvp is fit,he does as much good for his team(s) as ronaldo, and his mentality is stronger, doesn’t do l’art pour l’art tricks. (messi is from another planet.)

        1. @ferenc in terms of skills and trickery messi is top and closest rival is two guys would be our Roben and Persie..
          But Van persie is the most intelligent player of all these players and perhaps very few players in the planet can compete with him..
          Players like Persie,bergkamp,xavi,Casillas,van bommel,even thomas muller has better intelligence than rest of the silky dribblers.

  28. @Tiju: Van Aanholt is great in this video and the very few times I’ve seen him play he’s always been great but I don’t watch him too often, do you guys think he should be called for the Italy game?

    Also Pieters is back for PSV 🙂

  29. Parick van aanholt has been a relevation for vitsee this year after the departure of buttner.i never thought buttner is better than him but some how he didnt get chances last year,
    Patrick van aanholt should be called fo italy game and at present he is much better than injury/rested peiters and jetro williams.

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