The Hand of Ronald Koeman

It’s that typical question, when a coach takes over at a club or nation: “Is the hand of the new coach visible already?”

Well, Ronald Koeman clearly puts a line in the sand lets the past be the past. “That is the only way for us to qualify.” And he did so on the second anniversary of the death of his friend, mentor, former coach and neighbour, Johan Cruyff. During the press conference before the Portugal game, Koeman said: “I miss him a lot. There is not a day that goes by on which I don’t think about him. He’s in my heart.”

But, the heart is not the head. Maybe 3 seconds later, the former Everton coach says that all Cruyff stood for is currently not so relevant for Oranje. Not because Koeman doesn’t want to play the JC style, but simply because there is no alternative. “You have to play according to the abilities you have.”

Any NT coach knows this, you’re totally dependent on your material. As a club coach, if you miss a good left winger, you can sign him. Or several. Not with the national team. “But, what we can have and must have, alway, is the right attitude, mentality and focus. We need team spirit, first and foremost. Look at Iceland. Look at Wales. Greece in 2004. They compensate lack of top quality with mentality, focus and team spirit.”

The first signal Koeman gave to the players, was the move from the loose Hotel Oranje to the more enclosed “East Germany” style camp of Zeist. Most internationals hated the move, prior to experiencing Zeist. They like what they know. But Wijnaldum said it well, after their first week: “It was actually great. In Noordwijk, players go to their room or stroll with their mates on the boulevard. This time, I actually had to hang out more with players I don’t know so well. And it was fun. Now, we just got the room to rest or sleep and the rest of the time, we’re together. We play cards, we play darts. I had my thoughts prior to coming here, but it’s actually really good.”

Koeman had to start somewhere and this is was his first step. “But, we need to see it on the pitch, at the end of the day. A coach is right when he wins and he’s wrong when he loses.”

The first demonstration against England was a losing one. One of the worst international games Oranje played. Solid in the organisation but not creating anything. And sure, Jeroen Zoet should stop that Lingard shot and in that case, we’d have a 0-0 draw vs a strong England. Not that bad.

But 4 days later, a rejuvenated Oranje counters the arrogant Portuguese off the pitch, in 45 minutes. Koeman does see that Oranje is a quick learner. The ex Barcelona libero saw some aspects to hold on to.


Against England and Portugal, Oranje didn’t give away a lot. “Against two top nations, I think that’s positive. Our central defence played really well. You do need to start with the fundaments at the back and I’m positive. We have two more games of course, Slovakia and Italy and I do believe we will see more progress. We have more good players for these positions (Van Beek, Rekik, Bruma, Van der Hoorn) so I’m happy with that.”


Koeman was satisfied with the team discipline. He worked on the training pitch with them and he did see the results in the game. “Tactically, we did well, against England as well by the way. I focused on certain aspects and I saw that come to life in the match. And sure, we still make mistakes, but I am not complaining.”

Player Development

Matthijs de Ligt was one of the guiding lights vs England and Portugal. With Van Dijk and De Vrij/Ake at his side, he was fantastic. “At that age, he is remarkable. But we have more great talents. The key is to use them properly and allow them to grow.”


Koeman picked seven different players against Portugal but the most important change, was the set up of the team. Against England, it was a 3-4-3 with two wide players, resulting in two midfielders to cover the midfield. The 3-5-2 vs Portugal resulted in three midfielders and these three bossed the game. But individually, the differences were significant as well. Davy Propper has grown tremendously in England, from an elegant attacking mid at PSV to a leader and controlling midfielder at Brighton. Donny van de Beek and Wijnaldum at his side, a bit further up the pitch, all three players who can control the ball under pressure. All capable of one/two touch football and all players with good awareness of what’s around them. Both Tete and Vilhena played very disciplined in their wide roles and Ryan Babel appeared to be much better in holding up play, than Bas Dost. And obviously, the team played more compact and defended and attacked as a whole. With key roles for central defenders De Ligt and Van Dijk in the attacking moves.

Koeman can be highly critical and he wasn’t happy with the lack of response of his team, whenever Sterling of England dropped to midfield to strengthen the England engine room. None of the central defenders pushed up and the two wide backs (Hateboer and Van Aanholt) were playing too high up the park. Koeman adapted the system in the second half, letting Promes drop into midfield and go with two up top (Memphis and Dost), but Holland couldn’t play compact enough to control the game and was constantly one step too late.

After the Portugal game, he was unhappy with the fact that Oranje couldn’t capitalise on the red card for Portugal and create even more.

Koeman watched both games back on video with his analysts and realised that in possession, Holland still can’t impress. “When you’re on the bench you see the game as a coach and as an Oranje fan. I thought we did ok in possession. When I saw the games again on video, I realised we have a lot to improve on that. We need to improve in the football playing, but then again, I am sure we have the right players who will become available (Daley Blind, Frenkie de Jong, Vincent Janssen). We do have time to build on this.”

Holland isn’t the only nation to have to rebuild significantly. Germany had to do it from 2000 onwards. Portugal had a failed World Cup in Brazil and ended up winning the Euros. England was played off the pitch vs Germany recently and made drastic changes. “I think we’re at that same juncture. We need to make changes, we did, and now we need to build on this. I’m not satisfied, but I’m optimistic. We will keep on working on the 3-4-3 and the 5-3-2. Against lesser countries, we need to play 3-4-3, against the Germanies, Spains, and Frances of this world, we need to adapt.”

An analysis of the different players Ronald Koeman used.

Cillesen vs Zoet

Jeroen Zoet repeatedly voiced his frustration how he – as a regular- was bypassed by Cillesen, a benchwarmer. Cillesen got his change against Portugal and was one of the key players, with six saves and in particular the stretched reflex on a C Ronaldo header. Zoet was less tested by England but he did allow a goal that seemed very stoppable. Lingards shot from outside of the box passed Zoet by 1,5 yards. Any goalie should stop that shot. Of the 7 goals Zoet conceded in Oranje, 5 were from outside the box…

Tete vs Hateboer

In Koeman’s system, the wingbacks need to cover the whole flank. Enter Hateboer, who impressed at Atalanta with this style of playing. Tete is always seen as the typical defender and has always been seen as a weaker offensive back vs Karsdorp, Janmaat and now Hateboer. But the stats say differently. Tete had 5 assists and 1 goal for Lyon whereas Hateboer only had 1 assist and zero goals in the Serie A. Both backs were both playing well for Oranje, with Hateboer winning more duels and Tete being more precise in his passing. With Karsdorp and Janmaat also in the running, we’ll have options here.

Ake vs De Vrij

Even though there was not to cheer about re: the England game, the back three played very well. De Vrij is probably more complete and more experienced than Ake, but Ake does have to left foot. De Vrij and Ake won all their personal duels vs England and Portugal respectively. De Vrij intercepted more than Ake and his passing accuracy was very high (92% vs 80% for Ake).

Van Aanholt vs Vilhena

Vilhena is normally a midfielder although used by Gio as a left back every now and then. Koeman picked up on this and Vilhena played a perfect first half vs Portugal. Van Aanholt has tremendous legs and lungs and also knows how to score. Having Vilhena as another alternative (Kongolo, Willems, Pieters, Daley Blind) will be a plus, as the Feyenoord youngster might just have more in his locker in terms of positioning play and ball control over Van Aanholt.

Strootman vs Propper

It remains a mystery. Strootman is a leader in Roma’s midfield. He’s seen as a key player and has been for 7 seasons in the Italian capital. But in Oranje, we hardly see that player.  Strootman has excuses of course, for the England match… No midfielder would have impressed in the set up Koeman chose, as England created a man more constantly. But Strootman does seem to slow the game down and does go for the obvious pass. His first touch needs a lot of work. Propper on the other hand is a real gifted technician, with good vision for the forward pass. He was constantly open, his first touch impeccable and his head always up.

Van de Beek vs Dost

This is not a fair comparison as they played in different roles of course. But with an extra midfielder instead of a striker, the positioning was much better. Dost’s problem is that Oranje doesn’t play to his strength. He’s a classical centre forward, needing service. Whenever Dost drops back to midfield, he’s arguing with the ball. With Van de Beek, Koeman gets what he wants: dynamic movement between the lines and a player coming into the area instead of a player statically waiting there. Donny’s runs even got us our first goal vs Portugal, when his failed attempt was turned into an assist by Memphis.

Babel vs Promes

When you can’t play dominant football but want to use the turn-around to counter, you need speed. Ryan Babel, not having played in the jersey for eight years, does have that versatility. He’s fast, strong in the duels and can score, with his left and right and with his head. Babel’s relationship with Memphis is developing well and he was key in blocking Portugal’s build up. Promes and Memphis weren’t as helpful in that part of the game and Promes – key for Spartak Moscow – was never able to impress in Oranje, in the two recent friendlies.

Yes, these were conclusions based on two friendlies and particularly Promes, Hateboer, Ake and Van Aanholt will surely have more value for us in the future. With the likes of Daley Blind, Steven Bergwijn, Frenkie de Jong, Jetro Willems, Calvin Stengs and Vincent Janssen on the fringes, this Oranje can only become stronger and better.

I personally am still a fan of Adam Maher. He got lost at PSV and is currently playing relegation football with FC Twente, but with the right club/coach, I think Maher might surprise us all still.

And if we do need a strong central striker in games vs lesser opponents, lets not forget the qualities of ( a fit) Robin van Persie.

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  1. Jan Im with you on Adam Maher.I still have no idea what or where it went wrong for him.he has pretty much being in thick of things for twente offensively but it hasnt been smooth sailing for them defensively.Im also hoping he will blossom late.

  2. We could have a lot of creativity in the midfield if the tragic did not happen to Nouri. Since Nouri, Van De Beek, Frenkie De Jong started playing together, I thought we would have one of the best midfield trio in the next 10 years. It just sucks we would never get a chance to see this happen and what this midfield could have brought us.

    Adam Maher was so good in AZ, but he seems to need the system to run with him at the focus point. I remember watching him in U21 and AZ, he was just awesome. He also impressed a lot in the Friendly against Italy. I really hope that we can get the old Adam Maher back but at this moment it does not seem to happen. I was always interested to know how Adam Maher failed t reach to his potential. A lot of scouts thought he is going to Barcelona or Mancity in the future.

    The same could haven been said for Hakim Ziyech, he was just as good as Adam Maher or even better when he was on Herenveen and Twente, now at Ajax he is way past Adam Maher’s level. Unfortunately we lost him to Morroco.

    The Last player that I saw who might have the same potential as Maher and Ziyech is Daley Sinkgraven. He was just as good as Ziyech in Herenveen after Ziyech left. Howver, this poor kid is changed to a LB and now gets a lot of injury.

    Honestly, we really miss a attacking minded skillful midfield, one Freekie De Jong would not be enough.

    1. Long time ago I thought Vilhena could be the one but he becomes more of a defensive Midfield. Vilhena was very creative and skillful back then in U17.

      Slabkoorn also can play that role, very skillful player but after some kind of injury he now faded to third level league in Netherlands, I always wanted to figure out what went wrong for him as well.

      1. Vilhena still has got it…its good that he could build up/play from back…his positioning and runs are more intelligent than annholt…
        Vilhena-propper-vande beek-babel made huge difference to the team…they would have won the match against England as well..

  3. If the Dutch NT is losing Adam Maher, then maybe they can get the best of Van Ginkel? Someone who was predicted in the past to become something.

    How is he compared to Frenkie de Jong? Are they the same type of players?

    1. Van Ginkel and Ake are still recovering from damage made by chelsea..Dont know waht exactly went wrong with Maher ,as he had philip cocu as coach..Van Ginkel and Ake were at wrong club and under pathetic glory hunter coach..
      The Guy Adam maher is pretty much skilled,good shots very good at small space,can dribble past 1 or 2 players with ease has excelent vision also..All he has to do is build up his stamina and work his butt off like Babel did…So he can comeback like Babel..

    2. Van Ginkel is more of a B2B player, the young Maher can change the game with one turn or move, if you watchh his earlier games at AZ,the kid is a great talent. If Van Ginkel plays, he will take the same role as Van De Beek.

  4. Ryan Babel is a team player very very unselfish player,he had won us U21 title with and average striker like Righters..So that says a lot..
    Who will be or 23
    Vilhena—Van debeek–Wijanldum—karsdorp
    =========================================oon bench

  5. Hi Jan,
    Unfortunately Frankie de Jong wasn’t available for these friendlies. Which role do you seem him play in this system? Where do you see him fit?

  6. I am curious to see who’s going to be the Sneijder of this generation. We have no one that can move the ball forward. Being in possession doesn’t mean anything because it’s either we pass the ball sideways or backward.
    In our situation, I don’t think one coach would make a difference Koemam nor Pep Guadiola. I think what ever we used to do to create the great talents in the past, that is what we need to go back to. Maybe it’s more street’s ball I don’t know but need more skillful players. Our players are moving abroad to either seat on the bench or play for bottom of the table teams.

    1. Germany Doesnt had a sneijder,Roben,Vaart and RVP they won a WC….its all about team..yes when u have Fab4 u hav luxuary…
      Coach is more important ,i mean leader….Nappoloians Quotes..

        1. For Germany, yes. We can not say it is all only about teamwork.

          Individually, their players are world class. As a team, they are excellent. And they have a leader under Joachim Loew. Perfect!

          1. The next generation of the germans have also established themself and you can expect them to be as dominant in 2020 and 2022 as at WC. Meyer, Draxler,Kimmich, Goretzka, weigl,Gnabry,Sule.

  7. IMO the problem with Maher is that he misses a lot of passes, and not precisely the riskiest ones. He has great skills but he doesn’t have the football vision that I expect for a great creativity midfield… and sadly, this guy is the kind of player that tries, tries, and tries… but he simple doesn’t do…

    1. Are you joking?.take a look at some of his skills and goal videos on youtube. His decline came when Van Ginkel arrived at PSV as I remember is very important when players move from smaller to bigger clubs,they find their rhythm fast and start performing to the expectation that is required at that particular level. and this is something he couldnt do and Van Ginkels arrival also very much hindered this.this is also the exact same thing that happened to Zivkovic when he moved to Ajax from Groningen. Guardado, propper and van Ginkel became cocus undisputed midfield and this is when he was relegated to the bench. He just simply couldnt take it to the next level. This is further why he was loaned out to Osmanliapor who had qualified for europa league that season and at the same time for him to play competitive football. He is a modern day attacking midfielder, the only flaw in him imo was he couldnt build up on from his days at AZ or in other words he could take in to the next level at PSV. I defintely rate him above Ramselaar. If twente gets relegated It will be another setback for him.

  8. @jan did you deliberately ruled out Clasie from this team?

    There is a new vital possiesion in this 5-3-2, the “holding – creativity midfield “ who plays in front of the defense. His kind of number 5… this kind of Pirlo or Sneijder…

    We have many options here: Propper, Frenkie de Jong, Clasie, Blind, Bazoer and Ridewald.

    How do you compare them ?

    For me Propper was more number 10 and I didn’t expect watching him playing there. And he did it great.

    But for me, Clasie is just as good, or better: better as al holding midfield, amazing first touch, but I don’t know who has better footbal vision, like Sneijder.

    I think eventually, Frenkie Jong would be the ideal player for this role and we just need to find his substitute.

    I miren tempet to choose Frenkie and Clase over Propper… what do you think?

    1. My views on this is ,with 3 man defense, Clasie can be utilized more effectively as the extra CB can constantly cover him up during defense. Remember this is exactly how Conte become the undisputed king of 3-5-2 at Juventus. Pirlo defensively was nothing but yet he used him as deep lying midfielder with the extra CB providing cover for him during defense. His primarily task was to line up quality balls for the two strikers upfront from the middle. The only difference here would be the quality of strikers. Juventus have always gone with profilic strikers and NT are currently out of depth in that area. Also when Pirlo left they brought in pjanic to do the same job and allegri is continuing Contes legacy.

      From what I have seen of Frenkie , whether he playing CB or midfield he likes to carry the ball as far as into the box.he is a modern day midfielder and can fit anywhere in the midfield, but again with clasie you need profilic strikers upfront.At southamptom he was often caught up doing defensive yards as they were utilizing him as one of the two holding mids and constantly ended up receiving knocks and spending more time on sidelines.

    1. Locadia is pretty much similar to Babel, good on both foot, fast and can hold the ball at feet expect Locadia is not very good with his head. I would like to see koeman give El Ghazi chance as well up front.he also.has a alot of potential and is a striker/winger type player. Him, Babel, Depay, Promes, locadia can give enough depth upfront and competition at the same time.

  9. Feyenoord is lining up with 9 dutchman and is crushing their opponent. If teams did this throughout the league the Eredivisie would be better than la liga

        1. Yes Dost is class….strootman is astonishing in orange shirt…agreed…okay sir…
          Memphis changed his spot ,he is playing where speed is less required…send him back to wings u will see the ineffective Memphis again..will u play Dost as defender???as he is waiting so much…there is chance he might be a top defender who knows…

          1. This is what I have to say to you. From kevin Diks to all those other players whom you self proclaimed are better NT material which off course never turned out to be and never will be and others you criticesd that backfired, what you wanna make of that and now you are trying to cover your tracks with players who are struggling at NT level. Everyone knows strootman has never being same after his injury but he was a world class before that. Dost has never being able to get a tight grip at NT level but he aint no losser. Huntelaar and RVP all struggled at NT level. 2010, 2012, 2014.

            Everytime when I read you posts, this is the one thing that comes into my mind:


  10. Dylan Vente played full 90 for feyenoord in the absence of Van Persie and NJ as they thrashed Excelsior 5-0. Good to see toornstra back in starting lineup again. 1 goal and a assist for him. I just dont know who is a better player, him or berghuis.

    Ajax defeated Groningen 2-1 which has to be one of the worst performance for Ajax apart from the two goals. Kaj Serihuis was almost about to come on for his debut when veltman got red carded and was given his jacket back again after warming up.again looking at midfield battle, im not jus ready to put my money on was Juninho Bacuna who was a thorn in the midfield for Groningen. Watch out for this kid in future, only 20 years of age and has a been regular for Groningen at CM this sesson.

    In eerste Divisie it will be photo finish between NEC Nijmegan, Fortuna sittard and Ajax 11. NEC and. Ajax coming up this week offcourse.intrestingly Anass Anchabhar had raked up 12 goals in 19 appearence for NEC and I would like to see him back in eredivisie again and also kadioglu

  11. Anyone know how Calvin stengs is doing? I remember he was the face of dutch youth football then got injured and everyone forgot about him but I hope he comes back and does really well maybe almost on the same level as memphis

  12. Really good article and analysis, Jan. Thank you.

    In my mind, playing Vilhena (or Blind) and Tete as the Wb’s and Ake instead of DeVrij, allows for more flexibility. Were they to fall behind and have to chase the game, that group could easily shift to a four person back line (Tete and Ake become the fb’s) Vilhena (or Blind) moves into the mf, allowing Wijnaldum to move forward, and Propper to have a little more freedom offensively.

    I know its hard to complain after a 3-0 win over the defending European champions, but the way Portugal kept the ball and made Oranje chase them all over the pitch even with 10 men bothered me. What are your thoughts on why that was happening for most of the latter part of the second half?

  13. Naci Unuvar becomes the first 14 year old to ever feature in the Futures Cup, a tournament for U17 players which Ajax won 2-0 over Juventus.

    He finished the tournament as top scorer with five goals, including two in the final.

    Definitely a talent Holland needs to hold on to.

    1. I don’t trust this tournament anymore, we had a lot of talents who shined in this tournament, Elcolatse, Menig, Danzell Granvenberch, Van Den Boomen, Gino Dekker, etc, none of them made it too far which made me question the quality of this tournament…….

      1. Well it’s because they are u17 players alot can happen to someone between age 16 and 20 since they still haven’t grown completely and sometimes a person may shine at that age but may not continue to grow which is why they don’t fulfill their potential

        1. But it’s weird that Ajax win this trophy most of the time, but never win U19 UEFA champion in recent years. I think this tournament is played in Netherlands as well. I listed 5 “phenomenal” talents from this tournament before, it’s low probability that all failed, I think the tournament’s quality plays a part for sure. I value U19 UEFA champions league more than this.

  14. Hi all, great discussions and questions here….

    Some Responses:

    Adam Maher
    When he was developed at AZ he was a kid of the club. Well protected and revered. He played in a system with two holding midfielders, allowing him a free role if he was in the #10 role or when he played holding mid, the other holding mid would do his dirty work.

    When at PSV, he suddenly lost that protected status and PSV played differently. He is not good enough defensively to play the 1 holding mid and wasn’t too good at the wide side of midfield.

    I think he got himself a bit depressed at PSV.

    At FC Twente, in a weak team, he repeatedly demonstrates his class.

    I don’t agree that he lacks vision. He has it in spades, I think he lacks the intensity and the winning grit attitude that a lot of Moroccan players lack. They’re more artists. He could use a dose of Donny van de Beek for instance.

    Jordy Clasie
    I’ve always been a fan and I rate him. He’s a great passer of the ball but I have sort of forgotten about him as I hardly see him play or hear how he’s doing. He’s on loan at Brugge, which means they will always opt for players they own (for transfer value etc). I hope Southampton will give him a fair go. He might lack the legs to play in this Koeman midfield, but Koeman is a big Clasie fan so who knows.

    Yes, he could well be the next Babel. He is strong, goal oriented, good header, wonderful left foot. He just needs to keep his attitude in check and stay fit.

    Frenkie de Jong
    He can play on any position in midfield and even Central defender when we play weaker opponnents. I like him coming from midfield in the Wijnaldum role for instance. But he’s not the best tackler and his physique might be a problem. There is no one better on the ball though. I do compare him to Iniesta or Ozil in his playing style.

    Portugal Second Half
    Well, the game was won. We were 3-0 up. The players do start to get more tired in the second half and Portugal was upping the pace. I think we were happy to finish the game 3-0 and keep our legs intact. Also, the many subs and changes never help.

    1. I think Maher can be instrumental in Man City midfield kind of setup. if you look at Silva and De Bryne,both are more offensively balanced with Fernandhino as deep lying midfielder doing the dirty yards . same as at Real where Kroos and modirc with casmerio as deep lying midfielder.again the question comes back to who in NT can do the same job as what Fernandhino and Camerio are doing respectively at city and Real.somebody robust who is both defensively and well as offensively balanced.

      1. I think you got a point here, we don’t have quality defensive minded midfield after Van Bommel and Nigel De Jong, which is one of the reason we opt for more all around midfield players and having 5 in the back. If we have a player like Casemiro, we could easily go back to 4-3-3. It’s weird that I haven’t seen a player like Nigel De Jong developed in the dutch system for a long time now. I think Vilhena is kind of developing to that direction. To me Bazoer, don’t have that mentality to be a real destroyer.

        1. you see Casmeiro and Fernandinho are modern day midfielders and it would be wrong to say that they are defensive midfielders. they are up with the attack and back with the defenses working at the same rate. I dont think Van Bommel and De Jong can be categorized with them. both Dutchmen were more defensive minded and this is how Bert Van marwijk used them to their best in 2010.

          St Juste played at DM during Heerenveen days and if only he can play more out of that position will determine his ceiling out of that central midfield area. he is a tough tackler, has the speed factor and likes going forward.unfortunately cant see that happening to him at Feyenoord.

          Riedewald is more defensive minded and thats one of the reason why he is sits on the bench. he is only utilized either if there is a injury or when they are winning and want to see the game out with defense in mind.

          Frenkie, I would wait and see where he fill fits the best. I mean you look at Hendrix, he has been playing in that central midfield role for PSV since Guardado left, but doesnt look like he will be able to break into NT anytime soon, yet there were high expectation of him when coming up the ranks.

          1. Casemiro is probably more mobile, but his attacking skill is not to be overrated, he had a good long shot but so did Van Bommel and Nigel De Jong, other than that his just been doing dirty work. I would rate Van Bommel at his best over Casemiro now.

  15. Btw, Jordy Braaf is going to Chelsea.A great talent. It seems our talents in Chelsea developed better than our talents in Man City.


    Redan, if he keeps developing at this pace he might be able to become a bench player for Chelsea next season. He is that good! I hope he did not get loaned to some shitty team, this kid is our Rashford or even better.

    Juan Castillo played solid for Chelsea U23 this season, he got changed from a midfield player to LB, he probably would be on loan next season.

    Man City:

    Dirlosum had his ups when he first arrived now he has his downs. Didn’t get much done in the 2nd half of the season, rumour says he might be he might be sold to other teams, Juventus was a possible destination.

    Rodney Kongolo was on loan at Legue One Doncaster, this kid fits the bill for a modern day destroyer, he had a good start at Mancity and then another good start on loan at Doncaster but for some reason he lost his spot for 2nd half of the season at Doncaster. Probably because this 2nd half was an extended loan, the coach knows he is leaving for sure by end of this season. I hope he got loan to some better teams or maybe even in Eredivisie. He needs to play more. Probably our only hope for a destroyer in the next generation.

    Man United

    Tahith Chong,recovered from injury and played really well,fans are asking Mourinio to give him chance in the first team but I highly doubt he will get it.This kid has the quality to be on Man United’s bench next season.

    Millen Kaars, did not hear anything from this kid, not sure what happened to him, any one can fill in?

    With Redan, Chong, Baodu,Justin Kluivert, Stengs, Bergwijn(Dilrosun and Bobby Adekanye with a correct next move),if they can avoid/recover fully from injury and make a good next step in their career, we would be looking at 8 phenomenal attacking talents for the next generation,if this happened 4 years from now, our winger/striker position would be like our CB position, filled with talents.

      1. also jus on Rodney Kongolo, have been keeping tabs on him for sometime now. he is more of attacking midfielder. something like wijnaldum but better offensively.

    1. After Nouri’s tragic, Xavi Simmons is probably the most talented youth player the Dutch got, this kid if developed well, could be name that the world will remember for years. This kid is really really special.

      1. There is another player in celtic who has very similar talent and style like him. Karamoko Dembele, 15 years of age and the skills he poessess is very similar to that of simons and its always amazing watching them both play with little physic.

        Between them I will bracket two names for the next big dutch star. Sam Van Huffel,if he makes it through and develops at Leicester. He is jus a pure raw talent and I think this is one reason why he has gone for trial rather than knocking the doors of the top 3 in eredivisie. The latest from england is that the staff at leicester have being really impressed with what they have seen in the first week.he is pretty much like van ginkel when he first jumped on the scene at vitesse. Bit shorter and more mobile. The other thing to note about him is that he has come this far unnoticed. He even doesnt have a wikipedia or has featured at any youth level. The last player I can remember who blossomed late and went to become a household name was Luca Toni.

        The other one without a doubt is Chong and the next season will defintely decide his future.he has proven himself beyond doubts at u21 level and whether he gets the chance to play for the first team or get loaned out will be crucial.

        1. Sam Van Huffel never got called up for any Dutch Youth national team though, and he is 19 already. Talking about underrated, this 16 year old Zwolle CB Sepp van den Berg is shining during Sandler’s injury, this kid might have a higher ceiling than Sandler.

  16. as what Lucas mentioned above and if everything turns out well for the players above they should be hitting the horizon, on track for 2022 WC. as much as it may sound negative but I dont think NT will be able to qualify from the Nations League. Im excluding any luck factor which by chance might alter the outcome. even with Koeman looking like the right men and has closed the deficit the left by compatriots but he still hasnt got the right armor jus yet in his artillery to topple the germans and the french going into the Nations league.

    the best what koeman can do from now is the address the key issues like Midfield,LB and Forward areas which needs overhaul at the moment or more experiment and after the nations league use the wc qualifers and friendlys to inject new players as what lucas mentioned above to increase the depth in the team.

  17. Finally wenger has buried the old ghost and is using the same formula used by Pep and Klopp. Two attacking and a central mid, even though its 4-2-3-1. Wilshere has really been instrumental since his loan return and really complements the attack with Ramsey as rover.

    This is a winning formula and almost all teams using this have been doing geat this season. Liverpool, Napoli, City, Real and now wenger.

    This is something that is missing in NT . The question remains who should be the next CM for NT.

    1. If Im not wrong then this is how Koeman was trying to utilize clasie at Southampton before he moved to everton.If only koeman would have stayed longer, he would have moulded clasie into a premier league level midfielfer. 3-5-2 really suits clasie and if you profilic strikers up front his one touch passing game can be deadly.

      1. only van Persie has that. Depay has habit of taking too many touches. van Persie: first touch, then bang, goal. or even better: first time volley. that would be magnificent.

        1. We need to forget RVP,age has caught him…
          Babel can do that,propper can do that i hope Van de beek is not bad in that….But we need Dost up front and Strootman in propper spot with Gini aside….then we can play a boring game and we can say we played a tight defensive game…
          Dost is amazing and he is instrumental in liking up play upfront…Babel and epay should be kicked out for Dost…

        1. Brighton played 4-1-4-1 last week and surprisingly he was deployed in front of the back four. If he plays regularly there and fits the bill, then could be an option.

          1. As per you Davy Propper was not good??i remember your blabbering against him a alot…He must be nonfatpig for you right???

  18. deployed as one of the two central forwards, Memphis netted a goal and notched FOUR assists to win 5-0 against Metz.

    whoscored rated him 10 (of course)

        1. This is why I rate friendly games highly. You are being watched and a good place for marketing.his free role in the frendlys must have caught the attention and this is why lyon started him upfront and it turned out to be hit.

        2. FYI…Babel never flopped in liverpool like Depay flopped in MANU..So what nonsense you are talking..???Babel was complacent and now he is back he corrected himself….Depay would still flop had he continued as a winger…
          You dont know how much difference Babel makes upfront…We are lively when he is upfront and we are dead when Dost is front..

          1. Babel did flopped at Liverpool (never really fulfilling his potential). only popped up occasionally. but yes, Memphis flopped even worse than Babel (to be fair, Memphis only being given shorter time than Babel).

            of course Babel made our team more lively than Dost. their playing style are contradictory.

            Depay’s ceiling is much higher than Babel. I say now he’s way better than Babel.

          2. I think it more important to decide who should be Depays partner up front in any circumstances. He wont always have the luxury to score as he scored vs mertz at all level or with every team. With nations league in mind its important they build the team or use the calibre of players that are up to the level they are,which of course most are not but in any case can handle what is thrown at them. There is so many players which still can reinforce but on the other hand still have yet to fully feature in the team. Locadia, El Ghazi, Kluivert,Bergwijn,Lens.same goes for the midfield department.what koeman should do is to acertain which two are the best option starting and then as sub. It will be crucial to have super subs as well on the bench especially when the french and german will be bringing on their the moment only the backline seems to be well organized with backup options already well planned. This needs to be done for both midfield and forwards.

            I hope koeman will be active with the team during the WC.

          3. I was reading an artice on lens and it said he was one of the most fiercest strikers last season when he was at fenerbahce, unfortunately this season he has failed to replicate the form he was in last season. Has been rotated with Babel mostly this season or if not both have started together.I think he also has got a weight issue. Promes, as I said earlier he needs to move to a big league, if not he will miss the train.Serie A will have four teams in CL next season and that where he should target or epl team who will be in europa league. Locadia I think needs to focus much more at Brighton and try to break into the starting 11.

            Galatasaray has been the team of the season in turkish league. I think they did a good job clearing the dead woods and bringing in news faces. Surprisingly Ryan Donk has been in thick of things in the midfield for them and I reckon he should be given look. Its a 4 horse race to the title there with everybody breathing down at each others neck.

          4. if we want to replicate the dynamic movement in last third, for now the best Depay’s pairing are either Babel or Locadia (or Promes). Lens’ restricted time in Besiktas is also due to Quaresma. I put Promes in brackets because I consider him to be a more similar type of player like Depay.

            I still doubt El Ghazi/Kluivert on more central role, but it’s still 2 more friendly before the Nations League, so we should wait their development on each respective club.

          5. I would like to see koeman go something different in the next two friendlys depending on the players at his helm.I mean should there be injuries etc.4-2-3-1 maybe or diamond midfield with two strikers on top.this just to give more opportnities to players who havent had a chance yet and the same time moulding players in different formation.

            Depay – ?

            Van Ginkel

            Wijnaldum- VDBeek


            Van Anni-Van Dijk- De ligt- hateboer


  19. Qunicy Promes also had a hattrick for Spartak Moscow.its time he makes that move to a big league.he needs to take his stuff to that next level and if he stays in russia for too long, his development might jus stall like that to of jeremine lens.

  20. Kadioglu and Groeneveld both on target as NEC close the gap on leaders Fortuna and Sittard with jong ajax closing following behind .verdonk and anchahbar both asisting the goal.NEC with a game in hand which they have to play vs jong Ajax.winner takes all after Fortunas loss today.

  21. Frank De Doer has been lined up for Heerenveen job.nothing official yet but if this happens Kik Pierie will really benefit learning from one if the best in that department.I always thought heerenveen had a good squad. What they need is a good striker.

    1. Jesus goal was directly as result of Van Dijks stray pass but still it never made any difference to the outcome of the game. Salah for Ballon d ‘O.

    1. NT doesnt have the same set up or otherwise players that he has around at Roma. Especially De Rossi. Its more all Rossi, Strootman and Nainggolan complementing each other.that a WC class setup and on a day when Ezeko is the mood there is no stopping Roma.

    1. Ter stegen made some good saves too. It was big call by Di francesco to start youngester schick up front with Dzeko in 3-5-2 and like what koeman did vs portgual, the tatic worked over Valverdes 4-4-2. If Roma doesnt sell any players from the current batch they will become a household name in future. florenzi is such a composed player.he is both footed any caused havoc on that right side setting up both strikers constantly.

  22. It will be home finish for whoever wins between Jong Ajax and NEC on tuesday in eerste Divisie. The last two games will be just be formalities for both teams while fortuna sittard will have to battle in out with Jong PSV and Jong Utrecht in their last two games.

    Again Arnaut Groeneveld is such a talent and defintely should be playing in eredivisie. If it doesnt go wrong for NEC, then it will intresting to see him, kadioglu and Achahbar in eredivisie next season.

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