Thank you all for your kind words on the post earlier. I don’t mind football debates and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But if they back it up with unfounded stuff, I get into it. All good.
I do sense that players are judged unfairly. How often does it happen that Clasie is outplayed in Oranje’s midfield and then he gets the criticism, because he fails to intercept or keep the ball? How often do people see that maybe 1) the pass to him was bad, or 2) the players upfront didn’t press, or 3) no one made himself available…
If you saw Leiceester vs Man U, in the first 25 minutes, Man U played Leicester off the pitch. Was it because suddenly Leicester don’t know how to play? Or was it the time needed for them to find an outlet without Vardy? One player missing (a player with speed, always on the shoulder of the defence, reading for a ball over the top) and replaced by another (wanting the ball in his feet) and the whole team dynamic is gone. Drinkwater lost the ball many times as he didn’t find an outlet. Does that make Drinkwater a loser, suddenly? No. It’s the team dynamic.
“Ok, whenever I have the ball, this is where you’ll run and I’ll pass the ball blind in that space!”
Clasie, Van Dijk, Bruma, all the players criticised by people play really well at club level. Because the tactics stand, the players around them understand one another… Van Dijk is hailed as the best signing this season for Southampton and if I was Klopp I’d sign him immediately.
But here people say he (and Clasie) are shite… Seriously?
We are in transition with the National Team. Van Marwijk is partly to blame. Van Oostveen is partly to blame. LVG is partly to blame and Guus and Danny are partly to blame. But we also are a small football nation in terms of money, players available and number of big matches played (at club level). The reason why Ajax and PSV youngster suddenly get into the first team more easily than Feyenoord youngsters, is because these two have junior team (Ajax 2 and PSV 2) at Jupiler League level. Feyenoord, for financial reasons, can’t afford it (yet).
Current holding mid for the Saints vs the former holding mid
All is connected people.
If we would have had Strootman, Robben, Vlaar, Van Persie, Willems and De Vrij fit for the Euro qualifications, we would have qualified I think. Despite all the hits and misses we had in the games.
But we can’t – like Germany or Spain or England – replace 4 top players just like that. It happened before and it will happen again. We can’t sustain our world class level. Unless…..we qualify and take three weeks to gel a team together, like LVG did.
This is why I don’t like “ideal line ups” coz it depends on 1) fitness, 2) form and 3) strength of opponent.
If we play Ireland or Greece or Hungary with our best players available, we have to play 4-3-3 or even 3-4-3. If we have all players available but we play Germany or Italy, I’d play 3-5-3 (prefer this expression over 5-3-2 but it’s the same essentially).
So, my line up…. If everyone is fit and in form, is this for weaker opponents:
Janmaat – De Vrij/Vlaar – Blind – Fosu-Mensah
Propper – Strootman – Sneijder
Robben – Huntelaar – Memphis
Bench: Vermeer, Cillesen, Bruma, Van Dijk, Tete, Wijnaldum, Clasie, Janssen, Promes, Willems, Bazoer
Against stronger opponents:
De Vrij/Vlaar – Blind – Van Dijk
Janmaat – Propper – Strootman – Sneijder – Willems
Robben – Memphis
With Sneijder in the hole.
Bench: Vermeer, Cillesen, Bruma, Fosu-Mensah, Tete, Wijnaldum, Clasie, Janssen, Promes, Huntelaar, Bazoer
Good clip 🙂
Obviously, this all on the condition that all players are fit and in form. If Van Persie isn’t fit, we need someone else. Etc etc…
The key to our performances is to have time to work a new team. And this is also something that makes a big difference in coaching an NT or a club.
LVG struggled with the NT role. Remember 2002? During qualifications for 2014 he was complaining too. But once he had them every day, for weeks on end, he could work his magic.
I think Danny Blind is maybe a good NT coach, like others before him (Prandelli, Low, Klinsmann) did not have tremendous club careers but are able to pick the best players and make them work together as a team in a short time frame. It takes another type of coach/manager.
I think Van Persie will be a huge question mark but Sneijder has two more years in him, I’m sure. Huntelaar might go to Ajax (if they can sell Milik post Euros for a lot of money) and he’ll score 25+ goals in the Eredivisie. When we play on the front foot, there is no better striker than him.
But when Leicester can win the title with “mediocre players” and Greece can win the Euros (2004), why would we be so depressed?
I hope Berghuis will make a good move this summer, either back to PSV or Ajax or go for a spot in Watford’s line up. Last weekend we saw his quality with his assist on Deeney. What a ball in!
My biggest frustration is that Ziyech didn’t pick Holland but Morocco for his future. I think it was a mistake. By the KNVB, for sure, but mainly by him.
He is a sensational player. He has everything. Mentality, leadership, confidence, speed, physical strength, vision and he can score a goal. And never shabby ones. But he has pride as well and he snubbed Oranje. He might stay in Holland and make a move for Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV. That will help any of those clubs in Europe.
If was Ranieri and would lose Mahrez, I’d sign Ziyech on the spot! Eyes closed. No medical needed. Sign here son!
This was Danny Blind’s chance to give the Twente star minutes in Oranje, but sadly Ziyech got injured and wasn’t on the bench
I rate Vilhena as well. He needs more tactical discipline but the lad’s only 19 years old. Let’s hope he picks the right club after Feyenoord. He needs to play. Week in week out.
Propper is a prodigal talent in my eyes. If you look at the clip I posted before, you see that everything he does looks easy. He scores smart goals, with vision and technique. People compare him with Van Bommel? I don’t see it. Strootman and Van Bommel, yes. Propper is more Cocu for me. Elegance, technique and vision. If he keeps developing, he wouldn’t be out of place in Barcelona.
Tete, Riedewald, Karsdorp, Tofu-Mensah, Ake…all good prospects but need to prove themselves still. Getting to the top is one thing (Drenthe, Ola John, Maher) but staying there…. Pressure, expectations, distractions, discipline….
Janssen will be able to make the top for me as well. Lots of things lacking in his game. He’s not tall, he is not fast, his right foot is a bit weak but he makes up for it because he is 1) smart, 2) explosive and always awake and 3) mentally strong. A killer.
Reminds me of one Gerd Muller. You might have heard his name before?
I also hope Quincy Promes will make a good move this summer. He is ready for the EPL or Spain, Germany or Italy. He’s not Chelsea or Arsenal material, but if Mane leaves Southampton…. Who knows…
I’m pretty sure Danny Blind won’t be bothered by silly development strategies by the KNVB. He will try and do his job with the squad.
I’m convinced we have good enough players to play a role, always, at a tournament. We don’t need Messi or C Ronaldo. How many trophies did they win with their national teams? That’s what I mean.
With Ruud van Nistelrooy leaving Oranje this summer I do hope Danny will get an experienced coach alongside him and San Marco. Henk ten Cate? Jan Wouters? Foppe de Haan?
Next season, if PSV can keep the squad together and qualify for CL football, I do expect another step from them. I hope Cocu will get some more width in his squad. If Ajax can keep on making steps with Huntelaar and Riedewald back and maybe some better wingers, who knows…
Feyenoord will play Europa League group stage games (6 guaranteerd duels) and hopefully will get some more quality in.
I hope Ake, Berghuis, Promes, De Roon, De Vrij and others to get back to rhythm, not to forget Strootman at Roma.
Not pessimistic at all!
Our future stars in the Under 17 tournament will play for silverware with Feyenoord star Chong (on his way to Man United), Ajax’ Son of God Patrick Justin and Feyenoord goal machine Vente. I’ll keep you posted in the coming week.
Lastly, a big congrats to Erik ten Hag, the FC Utrecht coach and protege of Guardiola, who was voted the Best Coach of the Eredivisie this season, ahead of De Boer, Cocu et al for his turn around and onorthodox working methings at Utrecht.
Ten Hag has a Twente and PSV background and might well be Phillip Cocu’s successor once he departs from PSV.