Total Football? Total Failure…. We are out!

In 1984, we missed the Euro’84 in France. Only 8 nations could make it and we had to allow Spain, who won 12-1 against Malta. It’s 2015 and again, Holland will miss a Euro tournament in France, but this time 24 nations were able to qualify. Albania did. So did Northern Ireland. Wales…Iceland… But not the Dutch.

It only emphasises the the issues we have. On all levels. Whether it is youth teams, or club teams, or individual players… The signature Dutch School is a joke. Germany and Spain stole our mojo and we struggle to beat the Czechs, Iceland and Turkey at home.

Ony 15 months ago, we beat Spain and Brazil at the World Cup. Today, we can’t win against the Czechs who were one man down….

RVP zit

The Czech game summed up the Dutch situation. Starting well, focused, heads up and with pace. Trying to use the space smartly. Good passing by Depay and Wijnaldum and after 48 seconds Anwar El Ghazi has the 1-0 on his right foot. He had 3 options: taking a touch, checking what Cech would do or passing it square to Hunter or Wijnaldum or…taking it in one hit and go for gold. He picked the third and worst option. And went straight to Petr Czech. Not much later, El Ghazi with a cross, it goes beyond all defenders and forwards but Sneijder gets a free shot on goal. He can take a touch and place it in the corner, or he can put his laces through it like he did against Mexico. But he decides to side foot it in the top corner. And shoots high over the goal.

sneijder czech

The first 15 minutes, Oranje impressed. We saw this before, in particular in the Euro 2012 games vs Denmark, Germany and Portugal. Strong starts. But no killers in the box and making sloppy mistakes, inviting the opponent into the game. Crap forward pressing and Riedewald, Depay and Van Dijk are outplayed. The Czech goal scorer does exactly what El Ghazi forgot: take a touch, head up, placing it past the goalie: 0-1.

The second goal came to soon. A throw in by the Czechs. Static situation. Tete is too soft, everyone is ball watching and Van Dijk defends like a girl in the box. Another goal, in the near corner. Jeroen Zoet not looking good, again!

Blind brings Van Persie, the saviour everyone hopes. Riedewald makes way and not long after the Czechs are shown a red card. The fans believe in it again, and a quick goal would get Oranje back into the game. With RVP chances do come and Memphis and Sneijder in particular seem to get more grip. Not strange, as Sneijder drops back with Daley Blind on left back duties and Depay not being crowded out by Sneijder.

Oostveen czech

In the second half, the game starts to get sloppy and the Czechs are gifted a freak goal. Robin van Persie, brought on to score goals, does exactly that. But in his own goal. What was he thinking….

Blind brings Dost for Van Dijk, who started well but played worse and worse as the game went on. The long hauls against the Czechs didn’t work too well. It was too hasty, too opportunistic. The Czech dedenders saw the balls coming and Huntelaar in particular could not get anything to go his way.

When you are one man up, it is better to use the space and time to find the free man. If you have players like Memphis, Sneijder, Van Persie and El Ghazi you should be able to pass the ball swiftly from foot to foot to find the free man and create the man more situation… Oranje did get opportunities though and Huntelaar got his goal, as did RVP but it was too little too late. When it was also the Turks scoring the only goal in their game instead of the Icelanders, it was crystal clear. No Euros for Holland.

RVP huilt

And looking back at this game, it was fair to say that Holland might have had the better players (on paper) but the Czechs had the better team. When in possession, Holland looks alright. Whitout the ball, it was horrendous. Panicky defending, lousy marking, no forward pressing and holes so big, you could park Van Gaal’s ego in there. I remember a situation where right midfielder Wijnaldum was the last man in defence in the left side of the box! Van Dijk and Bruma were totally played out of position (again) and it needed a superhuman effort by a midfielder to clear. There was no leadership at the back and every time the Czechs (10 men by then) moved forward they looked dangerous.

A win was definitely on the cards. If El Ghazi and Sneijder took their chances we could have led by 2-0 in 15 minutes. I think the Czechs would have given us the game. No way they would have battled themselves into the game by then. But sadly, even that would not have been enough as Turkey didn’t surrender vs Iceland and did themselves a huge favour by qualifying directly for the Euros.

RVP slipt

Guys, I’m a bit deflated and will leave it at this for now.

In a few days, I will do a proper “And now what?” post with some thorough analysis and a look towards the future.

For now, I will have a Heineken and a soft cry in the corner….

And watching the rugby. With a little video message for Memphis, Virgil, Bruno, Kenny, Robin, Anwar and the rest….

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  1. Total football,Total Failure.

    Jan with Danny announced to continue with the job, Im thinking whether will he continue with total football or change his approach given when all the injured players are back.

      1. I like him to stay. I think Danny Blind is the real deal. He made mistakes but the players let him down. They all back him and he is quite calm and a good analyst. Calm and analytical.

  2. The only thing that comes in mind seeing Danny continue with the job is more and more dragging with son Daley meaning somebodys chance of making the cut will be compromised and hence at some point his weaknessess will contribute to the downfall of the whole team.

    The first goal for Czech,Van Dijk was sucked in the big hole in the middle before being beaten to the ball by the Czech midfielder. That was Blinds area to cover but he was out of position.

    Formost if Danny is not transparent in his selection then firstly NT will continue to slump and secondly he should shown the door.

    1. If Blind is bad then Virjil is also equally bad…thats wht my opinion..Bruma too are error prone,Cannt sya who was better in between Bruma Vs Vrijil..,i think Virjil needs to be dropped or else he should learn from Vlaar…Virjil in back line is risky..also i saw him pathetically,helplessly falling against Martial antony.i thought it was an odd mistake from virjil..He is not a secure LCb neithr Blind is….

  3. Total football can only be played by qulaity and intelligent footballers with clinical finishing abilty…
    Seriously Van dijk,Depay,Elgahzi,proems,Afellay,Narsingh,all lack sever quality downgrade from..Vaart,Snijder Roben and RVP…its too low,expecting a victory for orange from thse players are like a miracle…
    What makes me more that everyone says we lack quality,but we end selecting same players…
    i need to add one point Bert van marwijk was benefiting from the clinical finishing efficasy of RVP,Roben and Snijder..which is not there for Danny blind there…
    danny should threw away some players
    Step one..
    Say Good bye to RVP,Depay,Elghazi,Promes,Weil,BMI,narsingh,afellay for ever,RVP is done and rest are crap..
    Step 2
    keep an eye on injured/Spoiled but talented ones
    if he selects snijder,then make him captain and build team arround him…i personally dont see Roben and snijder supreme fit for WC2018..they will give more pressure to team by yeilding to injury(practicall) i would say drop both if possible or both shows age…if both doesnt shows age then pick both they will reward u with gift…But anatomy and Biology is against them..
    Step for 4
    Give boosting,mentoring to mentally down guys like Willems(injury)annholt(Not prooerly coached)Vanrhijn(Down) and teach them to play as wingers…they are faster and accurate than any of our new crap players,they would be an enomous help in defense(Real total football).
    Wijnaldum should get vice captaincy and should be played in wings…
    Train Luuk,dost and Locadia as main strikers…i heard thomas buintik is deal but 15 old lad…So lets see..
    step –7
    Form formidalbe double teamed proctor for back line with the ability to play killer pass…Bazoer,Blind,Hendrix,Ake are the men for it with leroy fer can came in to it depends on injury,stroot and Ginkel can come in if they recover well
    Hire a defnder coach(stam)…then only select following lads for our defense
    those are Devrij,Reikik,Bruma,Vanbeek,Kongolo,Reidwald,Williams,janmaat,Tete,karsdrop…
    Step –9
    Find a better Gk as both are injured and krul is my personal choice….

  4. @Danny.Blind…Hire Tiju as psychological analyst for the team..thats setp-10 and very important too,some might laugh but am sure Blind cannot write of findings..

  5. I grieve. I grieve.

    In my dreams I see Cruyff arguing with Jack Taylor, Rensenbrink hitting the post, Casillas’s toe, Robben taking too long to shoot in the 90th minute.

    I grieve. I grieve.

    Jan, this blog keeps our dreams alive!

    1. This is I copy and paste a comment from that article. I am thinking the same about Memphis:

      “He is beginning to play too predictable. He cuts inside everytime when he has the ball. The defender knows ahead of time what he is going to do. His crosses have a counterclockwise spin thus the force of heading the ball will not be as hard as with clockwise spin. He doesn’t really have a cross with his left foot and therefore reducing even further his attacking options. And he missed to many attempts on goal when shooting inside the penalty box.”

      The worst was in the match against Arsenal. I think he has 0% dribbling success rate.

  6. I don’t quite understand this… why are Ruud van Nistelrooy and Marco van Basten the two assistant coaches?

    I do think we need to revisit the coaching staff. LvG had Danny Blind (a defender) and Patrick Kluivert (a striker) to help him.

    Kevin Strootman should be looked at by someone from the Dutch camp. I don’t trust in the Italian way of taking care of players. He’s been out far too long and I hope his career is not over.

    I honestly don’t think this group of players at this age can get us to the worldcup in 2018. We have a MUCH MUCH harder group and only 1 team makes out automatically to the WC. 4 years off of global competitions might do us some good. KNVB should find a way to protect young Dutch players. The fact that there are all these Belgian players in all the top teams and no Dutch player (outside of Robben – even his place is not guaranteed anymore) in any top team (bar Man Utd) is a telling story.

  7. THERE is a serious lack of minute observation from coaching staffs,they are out of ideas too…even if built team arround Roben+ snijder..i dont know they would at wat stage in 2018 considering their physque i dont have hope…
    its the time build a new team,there are arround 10 or more mediocre,less intelligent,less effcinent and overrated players playing continuosly for NT..they all need to be dropped..thats the first point of rectification…

    1. Every team has mediocre players!! Do you think Wales and Albania and Iceland and Turkey have fantastic players who happen to be geniuses?

      Even the better teams have mediocre players… think Argentina and Germany… think Italy & Brazil… think Oranje in 2010!!! Did you think Mathijsen, Oijer and Heitinga were world beaters?!

      You really are dumb.

      1. IDiot…Orange is team aiming for Gold..while albania and wales hopes to perform well in a turnament…thats the differnece,they are happy as if they won a trophy…so they might be content with what they achived…
        Mathijensen,heitinga,and ooiger had discipline and intelligence…the whole team had that…with Roben,RVP,snijedr at their prime,goals were assured or goals were raining due to talent and intellignce…Goals wwere protected by Nijel and Co….thats what we lack now…No creativity up front no gaols…this gives back line more vulnerable…

  8. I feel bad for Van Basten. From a superstar player to national coach with some level of success to being part of a mediocre coaching staff and now stained with this failure.
    As long as Oostveen is the main authority in dutch football things will be going south. I really can’t understand this guy can’t be sacked if he doesn’t want to recognize his failures and honorably resign.

  9. I think we won’t see the Dutch in major tournament till 2020. That’s 5years later….Don’t know whether the people here will still be active on this blog till then…:(

    I feel sad how the Dutch team has fallen to such low level. Average players + Average coach really mean disaster. I’m angry how naive are Hiddink and Blind to think we can play an expansive 4-3-3 when LVG decided and proved that it’s not feasible.

    I missed this LVG’s team. Still vividly rem how well we played against Brazil (Chile, Spain and Argentina)

  10. To be a national team manager you really need to deserve it.

    Don’t get me wrong Danny Blind is someone I respect because he was a great defender and loves the national team but he really doesn’t deserve to be the Bondscoach.

    Why do I say he doesn’t deserve it? well because he hasn’t won enough yet as a coach.

    Right now we need a REAL coach. Someone with many titles under his belt.


    Eredivisie: 2001–02, 2003–04
    KNVB Cup: 2001–02
    Johan Cruijff Shield: 2002

    Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2005

    Eredivisie: 2006–07

    Copa del Rey: 2007–08

    *AZ Alkmaar
    Johan Cruijff Shield: 2009

    *Rinus Michels Award: 2011–12
    *Premier League Manager of the Month: September 2014, January 2015

    Now that’s all the honours Koeman has let’s see Blind’s:


    KNVB Cup: 2006
    Johan Cruijff Shield: 2005

    OK see the difference? Blind might be a good calm person who can get along well with his players but this is not a normal situation. In this situation we need someone who can change things around.

    Koeman is the right candidate if you ask me.

    1. Miguel,

      I would not credit AZ Alkmaar’s 2009 Johan Cruijff Shield victory to Koeman. I believe it was still LVG’s team that won Dutch SuperCup, although Koeman has been already AZ’s coach for a couple of months. Things went very wrong between AZ and Ronald after that and he was later sacked by Marcel Brands.

      However, I agree he is a great candidate for Oranje as well as Frank Rijkaard. I think Oranje of 2000 has been the strongest team since 1974. I also like Ron Jans, current boss of Zwolle who could create very good TEAM using very mediocre players with extremely small budget. He has very unique football philosophy and very strong leadership ability.

  11. Let’s get real since Hiddink and Blind changed LVG’s system we have sucked.

    We can’t play 4-3-3 anymore at least not now. We don’t have the players!. Some might be amazing players but other simply don’t have it.

    For instance Blind is an average player he is not Cocu or Davids. He is just “soft” Blind. Or Bruma he is not Stam he is just “I am scared to shit” Bruma.

    We have to protect our defense just like LVG did. 5-3-2, or 4-4-2, 4-1-3-2!!! But stop with KNVB’s ego of we are Holland and we must play only with 4-3-3. It’s really frustrating.

  12. The simplest way forward for NT is to sort out their midfield all comes around to that one position,DM and thats where NT needs pull the strings if not the ropes together. You can have world class defenders playing in your team but if they are left exposed you cannot blame them for conceding goals, simple as that and this is where it has all gone wrong for the NT in defense and for the team overall

    You have to to agree with what Wissor3 said about how Hetinga and Mathijsen in WC 2010 had their work cut out by the Van Bommel and De Jong who were deployed in front of them as holding mid when both the CBS were on a decline.

    it was only vs Brazil their weakness came under limelight when Robinho beat both them to all the money,with his pace which eventually caught them out flat footed . This jus shows how well they were protected through out the tournament with De Jong and Van Bommel Marshaling in front of them.

    Also with what Miguel said about how you have have to protect your defense just like what LVG did in the WC by using 5-3-2 formation.

    all in all it was all about tieing the lose ends in defense on one side and reinforcing attack on the side and this is how how both the coaches were successfully.

    Im sure NT will be back on track in no time if the midfield is reinforced with players who fit the job description.

    there is no two ways about this.

  13. I posted this in the last blog and I feel it is important for NT so lm posting this again.

    These are the players who should starting looking for a new club.

    Alexender Buttner (frozen)

    Riccardo Van Rhijn (Frozen)

    Marco Van Ginkle (wrong step up)

    Nathan Ake ( wrong position)

    Leroy Fer ( wrong team)

    Jurgen Locadia (rotting on the bench)

    Rob Vlaar ( free agent)

    1. This is what I would like to see as a fresh start for NT.

      Firstly no inverted wing system

      No box strikers

      Efficient and productive engine room.

      Dynamic Back line.

      coach with no Ajax history.

  14. We have been living in some kind of illusion in the past few years. Without Sneijder and Robben we would NEVER have reached the finals in 2010 nor the 3rd place in 2014. These 2 players were so great that without them, what happened today wouldn’t have be seen as a huge disappointment but as a logic consequence of how things have been handled so bad in the past 10 years or so. Everything that came after them wasn’t good enough, so that left us with a huge gap in which Dutch soccer failed miserable to produce top players . The “big four” were born in 1983 and 1984. How could be possible that we couldn’t produce world class players that were born lets say between 1985-1994, who could be able to take the post of the now soon-to-retire world class players???.

    1. the reason is that…Dutch lacks the real scouts who knows game in depth…there is lack of nurturing of intelligent players or else or they are over looked for stupid dribbling players from age of 7…..thats how scouts eradicated intelligent players lately…lots of intelligent ones we lost to computers….i think this is a globel issue..

  15. This is an article worth reading. It successfully identify the problems we have been carrying over the last few years:

    Having missed out on your first European championship tournament since 1984, the pain you feel today is that of a slow-motion car crash. Deep down, you must have known it was coming; that sense of sliding towards the abyss and inevitability. In a qualifying process that’s basically designed to offer second, third, fourth and even fifth chances, you squandered all of them.

    Maybe you thought you had cut your losses when you dispatched Guus Hiddink in June. Hindsight being 20/20, you probably never felt quite right about appointing him in the first place. His term began in a friendly against Italy and, by his own admission, the game was over after 10 minutes — down two goals and man. There was also that absurd loss against the United States, when you squandered a 3-1 lead with 20 minutes to go and somebody named Jordan Morris, who plays most of his football in the Pac-12, set up the winner.

    But those are just friendlies. Nobody cares. What prompted the change was the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. You were third, five points behind Iceland and three behind the Czechs. You worried about having to go through the annoyance of the playoffs.

    And so you said goodbye to Hiddink and promoted his assistant, Danny Blind. He was an Oranje legend who had a bumpy time in the 18 months he spent as Ajax coach nearly a decade earlier, but he had spent years as an assistant in various guises. Change and continuity in one fell swoop. Very gezellig.

    And then things went from bad to worse. Four points from the visit of Iceland and trip to Turkey in September were really the minimum acceptable result. You got zero. And realistically, that’s when the bottom fell out. Tuesday night’s 3-2 home defeat to the Czechs was just rubbing salt in the wound.

    The dust has settled. Take Kazakhstan and Latvia out of the mix and the only team you got even a point from was Turkey at home. And even that only came thanks to an injury-time goal from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Who, after the match, underscored how you “didn’t play particularly well.” Everybody else beat you. Home and away. Did you know it was coming?

    But even if you’re not superstitious, you probably knew something like this was on its way. Maybe you took the time to scratch the surface a little bit and notice that your back-to-back World Cup semifinal appearances in 2010 and 2014 and the gaudy qualification record (17 wins and one draw in 18 games that accompanied them) were less of an indicator than the zero-for-three at Euro 2012.

    Truth be told, what Bert van Marwijk did in 2010 (when he took you to the final) and Louis van Gaal achieved in 2014 (losing on penalty kicks in the semis) were distinctly un-Dutch. And, not coincidentally, that’s why the purists among you sniffed and turned up their noses at it.

    Van Marwijk’s team was predicated on the twin gargoyles, Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong, and the fact that Wesley Sneijder, fresh off Inter’s treble, was in a state of grace. Stout, snarly defending and Sneijder’s individual magic carried you to the final against Spain.

    Brazil 2014 was a similar story. This time it was Van Gaal to go from ideologue to pragmatist. You can’t fault him and unless you were the most pie-in-the-sky purist, you did not at the time. Another injury to Kevin Strootman robbed him of the guy around whom he built his midfield. And so he switched to a back three, squeezed what he could from the exhausted legs of Dirk Kuyt, Sneijder and Robin van Persie (in the early stages) and rode the form of Arjen Robben and a slice of good fortune to the semis.

    You knew better than to be fooled, right? Take out the 5-1 against Spain (which may have had more to do with La Roja’s implosion than much else), the third-place irrelevant nonsense against Brazil and the meaningless win over Chile, with all those rested players. You had to come from behind against Australia and against Mexico (the latter thanks to a wonder strike with two minutes left and a controversial penalty deep into injury time). You failed to score in 240 minutes against Costa Rica and Argentina and only got to face the latter because of the penalty shootout against Los Ticos, replete with Van Gaal’s Jedi mind tricks.

    You weren’t yourself in those two tournaments. You were a scrappy, rag-tag team of overachievers, using tactical nous, hot individuals, team spirit and sheer bloody-mindedness to will your way forward. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it doesn’t mean those teams weren’t deserving, but it does mean they weren’t very Dutch in the traditional sense. And it doesn’t mean they were particularly good either, at least not compared to previous versions of the Oranje.

    This is the point where you might say that these teams actually had many of the qualities that previous, far more talented, Dutch sides lacked. Those teams were brimming with quality but often lackadaisical and prone to needless, pointless in-fighting. That may well be true. But talented players can — in some cases — be taught to be good, disciplined teammates who know how to work together and be mentally tough. No matter how long you work on De Jong, he won’t turn into Frank Rijkaard, in the same way that Georginio Wijnaldum won’t become Clarence Seedorf, Jasper Cillessen won’t wake up as Edwin van der Sar and Bas Dost won’t be transformed into Marco van Basten (OK, I feel dirty even mentioning the two in the space of a few words …)
    So what now?

    Look at the squad and there’s reason to be concerned. The attacking stars who defined this generation — Huntelaar, Van Persie, Sneijder and Robben — will all be 31 or older come the end of the year. Ron Vlaar, a hero at the World Cup, is 30, but is currently unattached having been injured since June, just before his contract with Aston Villa expired. This is the same guy who missed nearly two years earlier in his career. And then there’s Strootman. Two years ago, at 23, he was arguably one of the top three in the world in his position. Since then, he’s been under the knife twice and has hardly played for Roma or his country. We’re unlikely to see him again before the end of this season. And nobody knows what condition he’ll be in after several seasons out of the game.

    What that means is that there are few proven stars around whom to build. The closest you get is Memphis Depay. There is no question that he’s a special talent but, equally, he’s 21 and has just completed a big move from PSV Eindhoven to a much bigger pond at Manchester United. The last thing he needs is more pressure heaped on his shoulders. It simply can’t be Memphis or bust.

    This suggests there is no quick-fix, corner-cutting solution. Now it has to be all about rebuilding and looking at the system top to bottom. There is perhaps no football culture which — pound for pound — is as academic, as knowledgeable and as rich in coaching history as the Dutch. And few are as prone to endless debate and self-examination.

    That may have been a weakness at times, but it’s also, undeniably, a strength. This is the culture that produced Rinus Michels, Leo Beenhakker, Dick Advocaat, Ronald Koeman, Hiddink, Van Gaal, Rijkaard and, of course, Johan Cruyff. Few countries, if any, can produce a group of managers with comparable CVs and sheer brainpower.

    That has to be the starting point: dialogue, debate and a look at what can be fixed in the production line. But, always, with the mindfulness that you don’t judge a nation’s footballing school by the outliers and the superstars. Those are accidents. Van Basten was born in Utrecht; had he been born in Udine or Uppsala, odds are he would still have become Van Basten.

    Instead, you judge a nation by the depth, the rank and file. And here, maybe, you notice some cracks. Since 2010, the Dutch Eredivisie has averaged more than three goals per game every season (this year it’s down to 2.83, but give it time; we’re less than one-fourth of the way in).

    Other than Germany in 2013-14, no top European league passed the three-goal mark even once. And they haven’t just been marginally over three goals a game, they’ve averaged a whopping 3.18, when most leagues are in the 2.6 to 2.8 range.

    It’s a testament to attacking football, sure, but the flip side of that is a defensive carelessness. It’s not just full-backs who are wingers in disguise; it’s centre-backs who grow up so encouraged to playing the ball and so confident that if they concede, they can score one more than the opposition, that the defensive basics are lost on them.

    It can’t be lost on anyone that in 2010 Van Marwijk had to call up a two 35-year-olds — the middling Andre Ooijer and a recycled midfielder like Gio van Bronckhorst — to round out his defensive unit. Or that, out of desperation in 2014, Van Gaal called up three defenders — Paul Verhaegh, Joel Veltman and Terence Kongolo — with a combined five caps between them. It’s as if there’s an endless search for defenders, a situation in which everybody is given a chance and nobody shows much in the way of staying power. (Even a guy like Daley Blind, as close to a defensive stopper as the Oranje have, has been shuttled all over the pitch, playing three different positions and turning into a professional hole-plugger.)

    There seems to be a clear disconnect between what Dutch club teams do on the pitch — passing, possession, attacking play — and what delivered recent success for the Oranje at World Cup level, with the only common thread being dubious individual defending.

    And it may well be that what works in club football within the Eredivisie simply doesn’t work at international level. Or, indeed, at top teams. Forty-eight players have been called up by the Dutch in the past 12 months. Of those, just 12 are featuring in the Champions League this season. Take out the five guys at PSV Eindhoven (none of whom, other than Jetro Willems, look like an up-and-comer) the two veterans (Sneijder and Robben) and you’re left with Memphis, Blind, Dost (who is 26 and has three more caps than Iggy Azalea), Gregory van der Wiel (who isn’t a starter at Paris Saint-Germain) and Bruno Martins Indi (who has made one league start for Porto this year.)

    That’s the reality right now.

    You may want to take a leaf out of your neighbors’ book. Raphael Honigstein’s “Das Reboot” illustrates how Germany realised that the World Cup runner-up appearance in 2002 was an illusion and there was deep structural work to be done.

    Dutch football needs to think about whether it ought to do the same and, if so, how to implement it. There is no set formula and what works in some places won’t in others. It wasn’t that long ago that the Dutch represented the gold standard when it came to youth development.

    Something has gone wrong. The Dutch game has long been about feast or famine at international level. Between 1958 and 1970, the Oranje failed to qualify for four straight World Cups, then finished second in 1974 and 1978, stayed home in 1982 and 1986 and then won the Euros in 1988 and qualified for the next three. You don’t want to get stuck in another dark age. And, if you find the right solutions now, you won’t.

    Few football cultures have given as much to the world game as the Dutch. And, among the major ones, few have suffered as much heartbreak, cataclysmic failures and spells in obscurity.

    We need you back. And we’ll be cheering you on.

    Hup Holland!

    Gabriele Marcotti is a columnist for ESPN FC, The Times and Corriere dello Sport. Follow him on Twitter @Marcotti.

    1. Great article by Marcotti!

      I can’t pin-point what our problems were this year but only yielded 1 pt in 6 matches vs Czech, Turkey and Iceland should indicate we do not “deserve” to qualify. F*cking Iceland! I repeat …. f*cking Iceland! (not meaning to be disrespectful to Icelanders)

      One glaring omission from the current squad is, only a handful play in “top clubs”: Robben, Daley and Memphis (top of my head). Compare it to – what I consider to be – our best squad in WC 1998 when lots of players played for “top clubs” at that time: AC Milan, Juventus, Barca, Real and Arsenal. They were also the stars of such clubs (can anyone not remember Davids with his goggles in Juve kit?) vs today Robin was mocked by his teammates at Fenerbahce. One of our best players from WC 2014, Vlaar, is not even with any club now, although not his fault but still illustrates the situation of the team. And obviously, Strootman, one of our best players who was supposed to be at his prime last WC and this EURO did not exactly show up. Tough luck here.

      This is an article that I ran into on the sidebar while reading the Marcotti’s one …. which mentioned an extreme maybe scenario of “handing over the coach to a German” *** YIKES ***

      But in the long term, Holland needs to reinvent its soccer. It may have to swallow the ultimate humiliation: handing over its national team to a coach from today’s most intelligent soccer country, archrival Germany.

      I do not know if Blind or Koeman or Gio or Cocu or even my idol de Boer would be able to bring us back to respectability. Perhaps in addition to “talents”, “quality” or “beautiful football”, our future players HAVE TO be proud to play for the Oranje and show physicality/fighting spirits? I’m imagining Riijkaard, Davids, de Jong or even Schweinsteiger. The looks on their faces when they play are just different from the expressions I’m seeing from the youngsters like Memphis (no matter how “talented” he is).

      I’ll go to hibernation and will surely NOT enjoy the EURO next year.

      The ONLY positive thinking I have now is:
      The last time we failed to qualify to EURO, 1984, we won the trophy in the next

      One can only dream …… HUP HOLLAND HUP!

  16. I always have a problem and/or become defensive (in this case both) when a cynical artical/ editorial shows sly disrespect amidst truths (I admit) in the way that one does, and especially as some sort of ‘open letter’..

    The most disappointing part about missing the Euros for me is that we could all see it coming for so long.
    After watching them play this whole qualifiers with such lack of leadership, concentration and cohesion and then still end it playing like that is such a let down… at least a few of my favorites were not involved in the worst moments.

    It is a total disgrace and these players should be embarrassed, as I am sure they now are.
    We can point out small tactical problems or blame players all we want but the problems were deeper than that.

    I think it needs to be a change right at the very top of the knvb organization. If they cannot come up with a plan to turn things around besides carrying on as they are, then they need to be fired.
    I think the culture needs to change.
    BVO must go.

    Curious to see how players react and if any changes will be made.

    Life goes on, I will continue watching our players develope and hoping for the best.. chins up.
    Orange till I die!

  17. OK. Now what? First off, I think Gab Marcotti’s open letter is spot on. Pretty much agree with it soup to nuts. He calls on the Dutch football community to pool thinking and come up with solutions. We’re all passionate “back seat drivers” of Oranje, so let’s take up the mantle. Some random thoughts (not just for Oranje, but for the Dutch development system as well):

    – ditch the 433 as the pinnacle of all that is holy and embrace 2014 LvG-style pragmatism (in the sense of tactical flexibility and adjustment to the realities of personnel) and commitment to team vs individual success, but also…

    – … celebrate and cultivate individual flair/ ambition/creativity (the incisive sneijder/pirlo-style through pass, the Alexis Sanchez-style back heel)

    – Institute zero tolerance on whining. Love me some Robben, but every time I see Memphis with his arms out whining to the ref, I want to turn to Robben and say “see what you have created?”

    – Celebrate grit, toughness, tenacity. When you lose the ball, don’t yell at the ref or your teammate — take it personally, and win the f***ing ball back!

    – “Call a spade a spade”. Since 2010 Oranje has played not to lose vs to win. The result has been negative, counter-attack-focused football (2010) and hyper-cautious, horizontal-vs-vertically-focused football (2014). With precious few exceptions (2010 Brazil game after we scored our first goal, 2014 5-1 game against Spain), I feel like Oranje has persistently played with fear over the past five years. I felt strangely ambivalent during both the 2010 final and 2014 semi-final. And it wasn’t because Oranje wasn’t playing 433/total football/etc. — it was because of the stark disparity between 2010 Spanish and 2014 Argentine and German teams oozing with class and ambition and scrappy, hunkered-down Oranje teams praying for a moment of genius from Robben. Let’s declare the next couple of years a rebuilding period. Order Oranje players to play without fear and with total commitment and ambition, and exhort the media and fans to go easy on criticizing the inevitable errors of commission/commitment/ambition. Give them a measure of freedom, and the responsibility that comes with it. This way, we will find out who has the football intelligence, skill, and fortitude to provide the foundation of the next generation.

    Oranje forever, rain or shine.

    1. Robin O’Brien (are you RVP in disguise?),

      I agree with your comments almost line-by-line, esp points 2 to 5. I am indifferent toward tactic/formation as I think good coach should be flexible and creative enough to maximize the players he has, i.e.: LVG WC 2014.

      One other random personal observation: I believe Netherlands is a country with tallest average population. Why is it the Oranje lately hasn’t got any tall/strong players, esp. Defenders? Only Vlaar and Hunter look like that to me (maybe Strootman when he shows up), de Frij is tall but thin and doesn’t look strong. Not saying tall/bulky is always good but if the squad lacks technically-sound players, should we not at least field tall/physically fit/strong players?


  18. Couple of thoughts about players I’m intrigued by, small sample size be damned:

    Tete — showed fight, spark, grit.

    El Ghazi — love taking guys on, does so in creative ways, looked stronger/more physical on the ball than his slight frame would suggest

    Van Dijk — was horrific against Czechs, no doubt. But like what I’ve seen from him at Southampton. I’d love to see him paired with a Vlaar-ish companion in center

    Memphis — Needs a bit of a kick in the pants and some strong coaching, but with some tough love and good support I think his ceiling is really high. Would love to see LvG and Danny both drop him for a couple of games to send a message, then embrace him in a loving cocoon of coaching and reinforcing support. I’ve see fire and flair from him periodically, enough to still be a believer

    Who do you think may form foundation for the future?

  19. I thought Van Dijk wasn’t bad against the Czechs. The 2nd goal he was bad but he won almost every header and looked OK to me but they play him when we were with almost out. That’s cruel.

    I’ve seen him play with Southampton and I like him a lot.

    Tete impressed me he was actually good.

    El Ghazi was decent. He can improve a lot but he offers mucho more than Narsingh, Promes, Boetius.

    1. By just looking at Depay’s face which doesn’t show much of emotion but just a frown look like he is annoyed all the time I think he is full of shit about himself. I bet he thinks that Messi and Ronaldo are just a joke and he himself is the real deal. Add to it the tattoos and bodybuilding and here you have a wasted talent. I hope I am wrong.
      By the way I can’t remember any big time player who had tattoos. Actually the moment they get tattoos they go bad, any noticed this? 🙂

  20. I posted this as a response on the “Who is to blame” article.

    Lazy analysis. As per always, people get the blame and need to make way for the next moron to screw it up….

    Yes, the blame lies with the KNVB mainly, for making mistakes. And sure, Hiddink made mistakes and so did Blind. But the logic behind this analysis is missing.

    The main problem the Dutch had, was finishing third in the World Cup. Beating Spain and Brazil. This gave everyone the feeling that the next Euro qualifications would be simple. “It would be harder not to qualify then it is to quality” said one analyst.

    Van Gaal left for the exit straight after the WC to run to Man United. He didn’t like the Oranje job (he said many times) and only did it for his own ego and resume. There was no proper handover.

    Mistake #2 was to not appoint Blind from day 1. I don’t think Koeman necessarily was the best man. Lazy journalism to say that now. Is there any proof Koeman would be better?? National team coach is not the same as coaching a club. Koeman is a good club coach. Working with his players daily. Signing players he needs. National team manager is – for me – more a Danny Blind job. Great analytical skills. Knowledge of development and talent. Good communicator and part of the Van Gaal school of football.

    Hiddink was a mistake. His way of working is so different to LVG’s. There is a big trend breach right there. And the KNVB instructing Hiddink to play “Dutch School” football. Did they tell him what that means?? Who knows….

    And lastly, we simply don’t have the players at the moment. Seriously, we have 5 very good older players on their way out (Robben, RVP, Hunter, Sneijder, Nigel de Jong) and many great 20 year olds coming in ( Memphis, Bazoer, Berghuis, El Ghazi, Vilhena, Willems) but not a lot of established top players in the 24- 28 year old category. Janmaat, Vlaar, Wijnaldum, Lens, Narsingh… mediocre players really…

    The balance wasn’t there. Too many personal mistakes. Too many injuries… Holland should lick their wounds and start building again. Blind should stay. The players want him. But Van Oostveen should be replaced by someone who understands football…. Marcel Brands?

    1. @Jan…we need to go back 2006-2007 ECu21…s we did win that cups with proper functioning complimenting teams….Hunter,castelen,Vlaar were instrumental for that win not forgetting Emmanuelson,etc….they were a balanced team…
      2007 they had more lesser quality players still they won…i dont forget there Maduro,ababel both were class…but they did formed complimneting weakness of each other and balanced team…Both teams had one thing in common they played as team..I still beleive 2007 Afellay was injured and Bakal came in and played and outstding turnament,coz Bkal was more a team player and willing to scarifice for team…
      Blind/Hiddink has slected serious low quality players and played those were Promes,Afellay(main in first 4/5 games)Narsingh(later games)bMI,Weil etc when u play with these gusy with old RVP,selfish bodybuilder Depay and new defenders..catastrophy awaits you..thats what happend with orange..
      Team will be imbalanced when we play with RVP ,Depay,Hunter on same time,..Everyone think Elghazi is new hope,he lacks accuracy,clinical intellgent finishing etc….
      Since we have plenty of talents coming in for midefield wijnaldum should go as right winger,as he is the most improved player and clossest to Roben when it comes to ball control…Vanrhijn would be outstanding winger too…
      on the other side Depay needs to be dropped,he doesnt have the extra pace of Robn kind to pick up passes fron Blind,Sneijder etc…
      We need a workforce with with strong body in midefeild which isnot ether its time to bring in Bazoer,Hendrix,Ake,Propper,Fer for that…

      1. A team of
        Would be a better balanced team than

    2. Jan, I have an issue with your “players like Blind, they respect him”!!! To like or love a coach and respect him is to strictly follow his directions on the field. I didn’t see the slightest sign of this during the 4 games in charge. Now either players are a bunch of hypocrites and therefore shouldn’t be picked or Blind is a mediocre coach who can’t make his players play properly. Both ways it is coach’s fault.
      Above all as fish stinks from the head it is KNVB’s inability to pick the right manager and staff. Just the fact that Oostveen refuses to take any responsibility regarding the latest disaster is a sign that he doesn’t belong there. Period.

  21. Apparently, Barcelona is negotiating with Fenerbahce to get Robin van Persie this winter. The Catalans think RVP would be the ideal experienced super sub to join into the Barca game plan when Messi, Neymar or Suarez need a boost. Robin would be Pedro’s replacement. The Rotterdam born striker is unhappy in Turkey it seems and clashes with the Fener manager.

    1. Jan,i must say this, it’s the biggest joke considering its just a rumor. Well if it does eventuates than RVP will have to accept a pay cut coz I don’t see Barcelona paying him 230 million to sit on the bench and play second fiddle to MSN.

      Secondly this guy here Nolito of Celta De Vigo is heavily linked to Barcelona after featuring for Barcelona B some years back before being shifted out.

        1. i dont think RVP will go there,he went to fener for regular playig time with out compromising salary…so lets see…
          I think RVP is done with age,its the time to look new blood..We cannt waste a spot for 10 minutes+injury prone unfit player…it would be foolish if danny does that as he did already like Hiddink..

    2. I honestly do not understand how players of RVP, Kuyt, Sneijder and even Nani’s caliber opt to move to Turkey. It is a totally different culture including how you communicate with people. Its is like moving to the middle east. I understand the financial side but if they go there for $$$ they should shut up and not complain. They should have known better what they would be up against.
      If (a big IF) RVP somehow goes to Barca I predict a revival for him. I hope it is true. Regardless of his sometime shady character I think he still has potential and he seems very fit.

  22. Mean While in Italy, Roma are on verge of extending Strootmans contract even though he injured.
    Though it remains to be seen how best he recovers from his Knee injury. Given the extent of his complications,fingers crossed he make a steady return and not become like those players who were destined for stardom but was cut sort due to injuries.

    Falcao is one I can think of who after his foot injury has not being able to reach his form which made him a household name at Athe Madrid and is still struggling.

  23. In this case (sitting on the bench(RVP)) better to go back to Feyenoord….
    But he will train with top players and he wants it.

    He is near the end of his career and he can to do this things….and enjoys .

    And he can to help to NT in some moments…

  24. Yea all the best to Strootman.
    I’m surprised Roma extended his contract when Tiju doesn’t think he will recover.. 😉

    Would love to see Clasie start again this weekend but I doubt he’d be put straight into action v Leicester having only really played 60 minutes in a club friendly with Ajax since over his hamstring injury.

    I really think that if Strootman and Clasie can ever stay fit that they are 2 massive pieces to our puzzle, surprised no one really mentions what a massive miss it they were in the qualifiers, esp in the last 4 matches..
    Apparently that is a pretty big “if”!

    1. @steve,,,we missed 2 quality players…that effected us a lot..
      Ginkel——-stroot ——-
      was our quality,2 are fighting with injury and other is being badly coached and in wrong place..

    2. Steve – Strootmans injury has been continually mentioned on this blog, maybe not as much lately I think because it’s really difficult to accept that he may never come back to being the player that we all thought he was going to be for us. let’s hope Tiju is wrong in his diagnosis and we see Stroot late in the season next year.

  25. In the EPL, Southampton v Leicester looks good, hope van Dijk recovers well and maybe Clasie makes a camio.
    Interested in Watford v Arsenal as well, hopefully Ake starts again, Berghuis too
    Elsewhere Blind/ Memphis play away at Everton, might be good. Both players in tough battles with Lukaku/ Coleman. Lens is suspended and we’ll see if vAanholt will be back in the lineup for Sunderland at West Brom but it will probably be a snore fest, and I doubt Bacuna plays for Villa, hasn’t played in 3 matches.

    In Germany Robben is not quite ready for Bremen but apparently is back to training with the team this week. And always hope to see goals from our strikers there, Huntelaar Dost and Castaignos.

    And in Spain will van der Vaart or Wolfswinkel ever play at Betis?

  26. Strootman,Clasie was also on my mind as the two players who can stir up the midfield and provide that badly needed catalyst in the engine room .
    Regardless of whether it’s 4-3-3,4-3-2-1 or 3-4-3 but given both their injury history,didnt felt like making any comments.

    Strootmans injury is a serious one and it’s very hard to say at this stage how best he will be able to recover but I’m pretty sure he must be taking all precaution and care to make a come back as soon as possible and hope for the best.

    For Claise, under Koeman and Southampton,there shouldn’t be any hurdles for him in upgrading his skills to the next level. I hope he will become,how Wenger is using Carzola at Arsenal.on the other hand the frustrating part about him is the niggling injuries which always sidelines him from playing and topping up minutes.maybe this is where is needs to focus also on gym training.

    Given if strootman makes a steady return,then I have already 2 down and 9 to go.

  27. Another player who is right in the mix but not ready yet for Mr is Nathan AKe. I really think is one player the coaches have to start gambling with from this moment especially when it’s all about starting from scratch.Im talking about Blind and NT here.
    He has the potential to become Van Ginkel, Clasie, strootman combo and just needs to keep playing as much as possible.

    As speculated it will be aslo intresting to see what happens if Wanayama and Mane leave Southampton as both have been heavily linked to Tottenham and Man United respectively.m thinking what if Koeman decides to go Dutch again with either him or Van Ginkel.

    1. @wilson….Nathan ake still has got it ,all he need to do is get out of chelshit F#$%$^%^k..then sholud join ajax or PSV at least as Bruma,annholt co did redeem their spoiled career..He must find a new coach who helps him to be a better player…Am really sad for this guy…I think Danny blind can do that for him in NT..while Bazoer,hendrix are booming in PSv and Ajax…this is how a young lad can spoil theur future by moving to such a disgraceful club…i can never be fan of Chelsea or Madrid…they are the grave yard for every player..unless u r zidane,CR7,Ronaldo or Jaap stam u will be destroyed in this plastic money club…
      Our midefild needs tough ness and hardwork with intelligence,Only Hendrix,Bazoer,Ake can bring that…am not counting stroot and Ginkel both can do that as well…but they are at their bad times now…

  28. i feel a bright future for certain players
    Hope Strotman comes better and Maher gives a compettion for Ginekl/Clasie…
    Apart from these players i dont see much quality in younger ones
    players wiith benfit of doubt
    kishna…but i dont know…

        1. Blind will come up as subs i think so…there is peirera for Depay…i think morally both are down,it might be psychological move by LVG as he doesnt want to play menatlly down players for a tough match….
          But i know today manchester will win as Herrara and Mata are playing to gether as Phil jones is not a bad defender,there is every chance Manu will pull a victory…its going to be difficult for Depay especially as he plays real crap…Blind doesnt have to worry as he will get time..

        2. i want Manunited to win,as i support team like dutch NT…i am not a big fan of arrogant and disobeiednt players…i already understood what Depay is capable of and i am not expecting more from him..

  29. Blind and Memphis on the bench, too bad.
    Probably wise from LvG since they have both played so much this season and probably feeling low right now.. as they should!

    Looks like van Aanholt is not first choice for sunderlands new manager.. Bacuna left out at Villa as well.

    van Dijk is starting for Soton and maybe they will get to see Clasie, who is on the bench.

    1. Annholt is near to crap as defender LB..but astonishing winger if he trains well as winger..can dribble has got extra ordinary pace like roben Not like bodybuilder Depay.hAS ACCURATE CROSSES WOULD BE fit puzzle for good team as a winger…like Ashly young plays for Manu…

  30. Manchester is cruising with out blind and Depay…Rojo and hererra are showing they undeservedly kept on bench..Depay time is almost over with peirer in waiting..

  31. i didnt see Southampton match,virjil scored i heard,could see the goal.Clasie played as sub..lecister scored in last..i think Clasie would have played a little nerves or crap game…
    @steve how was virjil??.it seems we can use him as striker than a defender..

  32. Blind, Depay, Van Aanholt and also Huntelaar on the bench. Wow it looks like this has been one of the worst weeks for Dutch football.

    It was really an amazing decision from LVG to leave Blind and Depay both on the bench: 1) they must be feeling low and 2) they deserve to be on the bench.

    That’s what a good coach does. It is really a shame LVG is not Oranje’s coach anymore. If he had stayed longer we’d be a very difficult team to beat.

    1. yes Amennnnnn Miguel,benching Depay and Blind both after giving them so many chances at the cost of better players….
      Blind will comeback in mdifeild as they carrick,shendrlin and shweni only….Blind is ok i think….
      Depay vs martial….depay not goin to win
      Depay vs mata——-depay not goin to win
      Lindgraa vs Depay—-lindgraa plays better than depay
      Herra vs Depay——-Depay loose agains
      Perire vs Depay—-somewhat equal i thinkeventually peira will win the duel…
      Depay vs young—–When young plays united play better so young wins it…..
      its goin to be tough for Depay…….

    2. Annholt is not great LB its no brainer….
      Huntelaar is playing crap lately..its no brainer…
      Blind-Depay would have gotten kicked out earlier if it was not LVG…So i think it is good weak for dutch,as they humbles themsleves fight hard again…

  33. Van Dijk as LCB again, was great in the first hour, flawless and turned on. Scored a goal and had another chance cleared off the line.
    A real boss in the box.
    Clasie looks like me night need some time to get used to the pace of the epl. Covered well and great anticipation in his usual DM spot, just needs to move the ball a little quicker imo, something you expect from someone off for 2 months anyways.
    Both caught out on the first goal against, VvD allowing the cross and Clasie too short to defend it, but it was Bertrand who was nowhere to be seen in the first place.. BUT both were also pissed off when the goals went in, yelling and punching the air, and that is something have I missed. Fine sometimes you drop points, but going out without a fight I can’t stand.
    Also appreciate van Dijks leadership quality, looks like he is constantly communicating and organizing players in front of him, we need that in Oranje and hopefully he grows into that, because he did not look like he was doing that v the Czechs.

    And Ake was playing LB as usual, looked really good in the first hour v Arsenal, got nutmegged once and was out numbered at times, but he’s super fast and always gets back in the play, had a couple vital blocks and was good on tackles/ challenges.
    But probably got lucky to not concede a pen and get a red on Ozil, but went unpunished since Sanchez scored, no chance really on the second outnumber at the far post, but beaten cleanly on the third goal.
    Apparently Berghuis manager criticized his work ethic in practice but he played the last 20 mins and basically just ran around for a bit. 0-3 losers at home, Arsenal far superior.

    In Germany, Dost scored again, I didn’t watch that one but I see he was 6/7 on ariel duels, such a handful for defenders

    And wow what a strike by El Ghazi for Ajax!!

    1. i did watch Ake,he was fine….he is on my list,the only fault he did was going to a shit club like chelsea…
      Ake-hendrix–Bazoer is my holding…with stroot and ginkel comin in soon….or i just hope…
      Virjil is at times just watching ball,which i dont like,he is smart though doesnt do much stupid thing on feild…

  34. Well again its evident that LB is not where he should be playing.but with his overall game you can just tell how fitting he will be in the middle where he more suited.
    I hope he will receive the benefit of doubt if keeps playing just like what father gave to son.

      1. It was the same story last week week when Watford drew with Bournemouth 1-1. He never had any grip on that left flank, continuously out paced and outmuscled by Bournemouth forwards. The Bournemouth goal also came from his side when he lost track of their winger leading to the cross which Bournemouth scored.ButI guess you can’t blame him for listening to the coach.

        Lanky fullbacks are always vulnerable to pace on the flanks as with tricky wingers they will always struggle with their pace and this is why I think DM suits him Better where he is covered by the CBS when outpaced or outmuscled.

        1. As for Danny Blind, Man United’s win over Everton has just exposed how both Depay and Blind were overrated subject to their transfer and were being selected in NT just because of that. Well I hope the win today has opened both their eyes and ass and from now onwards both Blind and Van Gaal will make decisions in best intrest of the respective teams.

          1. ha ha …Danny has laready stated he is all in for experience.he likes the experience of Depay and Blind…..i still think Blind can contribute as box to box runner midefilder,Depay needs to be thrown out for Annholt and another winger/Buttner..

          2. @wilson LVg is different,he observes player very close when working with him,LVG,SAF,Wenger has a special eye to spot talent they know how to develop them…Only thing is that Players should accpet it and work hard and listen to them..
            LVG still has respect for Depay and He gave him 8*90 minutes in EPL with strong mental support
            Plus 4*90 CL games…what else u need to prove as an younster in Manchester.My observaition is that Depay to worked hard and what he lacks is quality like other dutch players like Afellay and CO.this is what Danny has to realise he must drop certain players as basic change…

  35. Bad Luck for Luc Castaignos and Eintracht Frankfurt. Got thrashed by Borussisa Monchengladbach 5-1.only lasted 60′ With his major contribution coming as a penalty which he forced out of Monchengladbach GK one on one

  36. There are certain common sin in coaching…
    1-Blatantly neglecting the inform players.
    2-Biased/One dimensional assumption on a particular player. then selection of those players
    3-sticking with wrongly experienced players and receiving repetition defeats hence forth.
    Unfortunatly Danny has done all 3….

    1. angel De maria lacked work rate and intelligence to cop with LVg formula…while Depay is working hard if we are honestly observinng..its his mediocre talent and over expection about him is the issue…

  37. *** This is not directly related to the Oranje, but trying to find a parallel ***

    At the club level, I’m a Liverpool fan. As most of you know, we just got Klopp to the Kop replacing Brendan Rodgers, whom most of us fans think did NOT play players in their “true” preferred positions hence NOT optimizing their/the club’s potential.

    1st match yesterday vs the Spurs ended 0-0, which is unspectacular until we realized Spurs has NOT lost any match after the first week vs MU (and also trashed league leader City earlier) AND Liverpool outran them in the match plus dominated the first 20-25 mins. Liverpool also achieved this by having 8-10 typical starters being injured.

    So same – actually worse (due to injuries) – players with these observations:
    1. Slightly different formation: one instead of 2 strikers, Origi earned his first start, Klopp did NOT force Sturridge (there is a EUROPA match mid week plus first home match at Anfield next). Despite showing his inexperience, Origi almost scored.
    2. Totally different positioning for each players: Emre Can in the middle instead of defensive line, Alberto Moreno in the Left, Sakho started, etc. Also interesting to point out no Lovren (who had been disastrous for the full last season but someone Rodgers paid more than 20 million for).
    3. Totally different mentality displayed by players: they ran and fought more than they did under Rodgers.

    I know it’s only 1 match but if you follow Liverpool, you’ll know the above is a HUGE deal. Klopp has shown he was able to bring Dortmund up from mid-table to win the Bundesliga while Rodgers’ top accomplishment was coaching Swansea to the mid-table.

    Applying this to the Oranje, I’m seeing some similarities: injuries, less top players (relatively speaking), old coach that did not maximize and clearly indicate some favoritism, new coach that inspired and clearly at a different level.


    1. klopp is much more intelligent than Blind,and dont hesitate to go unorthodox way..clearly not a one dimensional coach..
      As Manu fan i didnt like pool to get such a good coach like klopp..
      i still think Blind is open and if he gets good analytical assistant who has real eye for real talents and team balance.Blind can do the job if he doesnt hang on failed players and failed formuals..i am not convinced by RVN as assistant..

      1. I think as a coach, Klopp is at a much higher level than Blind. Klopp is arguably one of the best top tier coaches today, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief we could get him.

        Another parallel to be drawn is how FSG (Liverpool’s owners) made a drastical move to get Klopp who is many levels above Rodgers. This showed their commitment to bring the club to a higher level. We may not be able to compete vs the Top 4 (UEFA CL attraction to top players and amount of money) but we should really be the top 2 clubs in the next tier. With Chelsea’s bad start, we may even have a shot to creep up Top 4 this season.

        Question is: will KNVB “clean up” the house after EURO 2016 qualification failure the way Liverpool did? Having great players is a luxury but good coach with strong system and mental games may be as important.

    2. Yes good comments.
      Highlights how important belief and mentality are to any team, to me it trumps individual quality..
      I can definitely see the similarity between Liverpool and Oranje in that regard.

  38. What a game for Wijnaldum, unbelievable how much ground he covers. 4 goals – a nice strike, 2 headers down and a deflected shot from outside the box. Played mostly from the left mid/ left wing, worked harder than anyone, and finished 4 out of 5 shots on goal.
    Janmaat had a nice assist for one of the headers, but actually looked really poor for both goals against, not completely to blame tho and much better in the second half.
    Anita played the second half and was way better than Tiote, keeping Norwich out of he middle.

  39. wijnaldumplay in a bottom layer team and stands the 3 rd best goal scoerer in EPL…
    While Depay has Rooney and co to help….with one tap in and no assist….
    i dont know abt wijnaldum asisits,but people has to realise that we dont have quality winger for NT,from so called Depay,elgahzi to…other headless chikens…when qulaity players play on wings we will have victory over tougher opponets…

  40. @ Tiju

    Angel De maria lacked work rate and intelligence to cop with LVg formula…….

    so why is he thriving at PSG and please can elaborate more on what is LVG formula.

        1. ashly young doesnt have the galmour and hype of dpeay and angel De maria..but team plays better when young plays..coz he plays for team…so Manu has more chance of winning a game…

    1. @wilson..which angel de maria u r talking??
      He is not that great for PSG.he is still same,if he gets the ball dribbble maximum then loose it or give a pass.first aim id dribbling…only good thing is that he is way to effective than Afellay in scoring and assist…
      He cannt stand the tough defenders of PL.PL is stronger than league he playing same in mardid,manu and PSG…and PSG not goin to win in CL as they can only l;ook in frenceh league only …he is not going give them anything bar some dribble and some odd goals random…i am speaking practical truth…

  41. short introduction…

    Studying society is sometimes necessary for football.The Netherlands is a multicultural society.It can be very good for football .It can be bad(?) for football…
    If 20 percent of the local Dutch population holds its national identity 80 percent of the other nations will not be a problem.If 80 percent of the local population loses the Dutch national identity 20 percent of other nations will be a problem…(it can to create arrogance (a mild form) and Nazysm(severe form))
    But these are problems for social science,philosophy, ,religious experts..ETC..

    Alchemy with players from the others cultures brought in the total football higher dimension.This is known.And the younger categories have become better.
    Really?somebody will say.After WC 74,78?
    But I will say..that Gullit,Rijkard,Seedorf,Davids…were not needed in Dutch NT they would not play in Dutch NT.
    Where was the problem and where the problem is now?
    For players from others cultures is sometimes harder to play for the Dutch NT.They must to adapt in the total football but it will be something in them to oppose it…
    …(and Cruyff will be good example for that(hahahaha))..then things can starting badly..
    (Gullit 1994″we should play differently “,Seedorf vs San Marco “he is too Dutchy..”,Foppe de Haan vs Drenthe 2008 Peking)

    ok but love can be cruel sometimes said ABBA song” The winner takes it all”…

    And we always have a train on the line 20-80 percent.Above.

    In this “wars” we can starts to play worse..(94(?),96,98,06,08..we together gives ourselves to others at their own damage.

    Feyenoord,Ajax,PSV ..lost their tactical advantage in the world .Even in 1981,82,83…they had something..
    That,s why I say that Kees Kist( he would not missed the chances in the final matches 1978,2010 in key moments),Kees “Pier” Tol(player for 21 century),Frans Thijssen…that they are better than today,s players.

    We could to see this on the match Netherlands-Czech Republic 2:3.
    Wrong passes,lost fast,power..Czech players killed Dutch lines after 15 minutes ..Gary Lineker was in right ,NT looks like Andorra)
    God saved Holland from much heavier defeat.I agree with Jan ,every Czech action was danger.

    What to do?Ajax,Feyenoord ,PSV ..must be returned in their way.
    As well as workshops of painters of 17th century .Gerard Ter Borch ,Vermeer,de Hooch…alongside of water canals..
    I think PEOPLE LIKE Foppe de Haan …He should be a adviser Dutch NT..(Cruyff is too much in the air)
    In the second case a new Ernst Happel (..Jurgen Klopp..).For strength ,athletic, courage..and adjusting if necessary..
    (Austria today looks strongly .They beat “our” Sweden 4:1 .Away.Austria,Republic Ireland(Roy Keane),Wales and outsider Serbia.It will be a good group also)

    Germany-Netherlands 17 November.Final match after final match 2014.For whole world. Later in spring Holland-France (the best(?) team in Europe today.
    Later, maybe Cosmic Force Number One Belgium-Holland.Later maybe Portugal,Argentina-Holland…

    Anyway it will not be boring.

    Norway-Hungary in playoffs.Whether the Old Cosmic Force Number One(Hungary) can be in France..

    PS I would gambled and left Guus Hiddink against Iceland and Turkey …
    We wanted 433 and ended with 334(??)

    It was like Aesop,s fable about the hare and the tortoise…

  42. I watched MU vs Everton this weekend. First game that MU seemed invincible and unfortunately without the 2 dutch players. I want to say how impressed I am with Martial. How can a teenager be so humble and so disciplined? He is a pleasure to watch. When he was brought in I was outraged how could he cost so much more than Depay but there is a big difference. Martial is head and (probably) shoulders above Depay. Time will tell but Depay is deteriorating thanks to what seems to me a bad attitude. Unfortunately for him LVG doesn’t put up for much too long with disobedient players.

    1. Read from a Stoke fan, who doesn’t care about Oranje.. he says about van Ginkel:
      He has been solid, needs a bit more composure but has everything you want from a CM.
      Came on for like 20 mins, almost lost them the win by conceding an important free kick, lucky not to get booked. Good in general though.

      1. I thought that Van Ginkel was a defensive midfielder. If he is not a DM, who would be the DM for Dutch NT? I think every nation in the world needs one DM in their starting XI.

          1. Let’s just wait and see how he turns out at Southampton. His not a tough nut and is very injury prone when aggressive and this is why DM could be a workload on him. Again let’s wait and see how koeman will utilize him best to his capabilities.

  43. Cruyff…
    ‘Don’t analyse the result but look at the play’

    19 okt 2015

    “Don’t analyse the result, but look at the play”, Johan Cruyff writes in his weekly column in ‘De Telegraaf’. “Missing out on Euro 2016 is most of all the responsibilty of the KNVB and not only of the coach. Of course it is a distaster to miss the European Championship, but it might also be a good wake-up call for everyone.”

    “During Holland – Czech Republic I was astonished to see three or four balls being played wide to the next player, eventually giving the ball to the left or right back. And instead of playing the ball forward, most of the times the ball was passed back to the teammate next to him again, or even to the goalkeeper. It shows that certain rules don’t count anymore. Patterns that everyone should stick to.”

    “I have focussed on technical aspects in my columns in the last months and I have said that most of these aspects can be trained, even for average players. It is not relevant if Arjen Robben is playing or not. A great player, who has something extra, but if he is not available it doesn’t mean you don’t have to play football anymore.”

    “An example of this is how to support your forward winger. Anwar El Ghazi’s strengh is his creativity and trying to outplay his opponent. As a back or a striker, you need to give El Ghazi space to play and not close in on him. And this anticipating to specific qualities is what is missing in Dutch football. It is a problem that can be solved just by applying the basic rules and that is what the KNVB should look into.”

    1. More pearls of wisdom from the great one!
      I wish he would just “put up” and take on the job of bonds coach, then we can see if he is able to put theory in practise! I guess he has too much to lose through failure, and let’s be honest, we are all experts from the sideline.
      Cruyff wants the team to play forward quicker, yes we all say that, but opposition coaches don’t always let you do that, so then what? Modern football is about high pressing when in defense, the easiest way to counter high pressing is by playing long balls in behind to keep turning the opponents around, Cruyff would not like that, so unless he has outstanding passers and movers it will not happen.

      Stoke had a good win today and the Dutch players (Pieters and MVG) were ok, Peters had a few poor passes but Swansea did not create a lot of chances out of general play, so I give him a pass mark as part of their defensive team. Marco played quite well he still makes mistakes and looks a little slow but he kept working the whole game and was seen giving a lot of instructions to his team mates which is encouraging, I’m going to be positive and say that he will become what we need in the box to box role. Ibi got 15 mins but did not really impact on the match, I did see a good work rate out of him in defense which is pleasing but he also had some poor passes, all in all Stoke will be happy to be undefeated for their last 4 games.

      1. Van Banger, Cruyff is not going to coach the NT. After having heart problems he retired from coaching.
        His time has gone and what a pity. He had a generation of his golden players in WC 1990 and we all know the end of that story.
        KNVB is the demise of Oranje.

  44. Rio Ave is also looking good in Portgueses League. Don’t know much about Marvin Zeegelaar,but looks like a interesting character,had a assist in the last game and can play both LB and LW.

  45. Cryuff is too much criticizing KNVB,off course they are at fault for selecting wrong coaches and it all started from there… …But ultimately the lack of coaching and selecting wrong players cost us EC2016..while Albania,wales qualified…its unforgivable fault done by Hiddink and Blind by selecting and playing
    RVP,Blind as LB,Promes,Afellay,BMI,weil and Depay in every match…dutch could be formidable team if we balanced team even with out Roben…

        1. To be honest I have being Following Arsenal from Highbury days even before the arrival of Berkamp when they had some of the best home grown talents like Ian Wright, Paul Merson,Ray Parlour , Martin koewn ,Lee Dixon,Tony Adams.though they never won league under George Graham or Geroge Rioch but they were still domimant team in those day playing entertaining soccer.

          As for Wenger I think you have to appreciate his patients and determination which he has shown over the years.

          Looking at the epl I think it’s too early to say who will win this season. I’m expecting Chelsea Man United, Liverpool to hit the market big in Jan transfer window to further reinforce their teams.

          As for Wenger and Arsenal it’s always a suspense with plenty rumors which never eventuates so it should be a wait and see game. But I don’t see a position where they need reinforcement. Maybe a profilic Striker or another DM to ease workload on Coquelin.

          But I will go all out and say this, my money is on City. Once De Bryne, sterling and Silva get their mojo going in the middle, they will be deceive especially with Bony and Aguero upfront. City scored 10 goals in the last two games and this could be a indication that their new circuits are beginning to finding their rhythm.

          1. @wilson….Aresne is a player developer than a manager with a discernment that he can understand who is real talent and who is not…thats why he said they dont need Depay for 30M.
            ok point Maourihno is more chess game manager than a Good Coach…whether the clubs winning or not Players will develop under arsene if they listen to him…while Maurihno will by established players and use them for his achivment and he simply dont care about young ones unless they are roben or Messi.chelsea also has same policy so they both get along well.
            i think LVG will dismantle aresnal when they meet sceond time…as LVg is quivk rectifier,Manu is better team with out Depay and Blind..
            there are some good coaches in EPL those are
            Koman,martinez,LVG and Arsene,klopp,rest are simply not good at developing players..

  46. there is stat on memphis and sterling….
    its interesting and i am not saying sterling is super world class,but he is lathal than memphis…what striking memphis lost 198 times(731 minutes) the ball to 139 of sterling from 757 minutes…
    memphis created only 7 chances and streling created 18 …..
    I am not counting on goals and direct asisits. as both lack accuracy.

    1. Strange they missed the most important stat between the 2 players, # of years experience in the EPL.

      If you think Memphis is so overrated then why can’t you stop talking about him?

      1. Because he found the new player he wants to shiit on. Typical Tiju.

        Memphis needs to get his head out of the gutter and start acting as a player. Seems like fame got too quickly to his head.

        I think he will be benched for a large chunk of the season, playing only the closing 20-30 minutes of games. I do think LvG will be a lot more patient with him than he was with Di Maria because of his age and the fact that he’s Dutch. I also think that people in Holland should lower their expectations with Depay. Everyone compared him to Robben. Robben lit up every team he was on, he had electrifying speed and no one could run better with the ball glued to their feet.

        Here’s Robben at 20 years old against the Czech in 2004. He was unstoppable and he still is.

          1. i am Manu fan,i watch them very closely ,since Depay is playing there its easy to follow him too..Depay lacks extra pace like Roben,so he cannt recive faster beating ball passes and he looses posseion very often and mislty ends up in box with loosing tha ball from feat…i cannt say he is out of form or his level best t lacking hardwork due to his off field life style…he is doing his work at his level best,problem is that he is way too less efficient as a forward…

      2. His body style is different which makes him slower than Robben. But it also means he has better body strength which means he should be able to fend off defenders’ physical play. He does have nice footwork which should develop, and he can shoot with both left and right legs something that Robben can’t do on a regular basis. I think overall, he needs to find the explosiveness for the first 2 or 3 steps to find enough space to unleash a shot. Again, I think he’s acting like a super star already and trying all these useless flicks and tricks. Ronaldo was like that when he was younger and he got rid of these useless acts and became the mega star he is.

        All in all, Memphis is still an unproven commodity in the EPL and until (or if) he finds his feet, he should act as a soldier and not a commander.

  47. What can I say…The best wishes for healing….prayers,positive thoughts,strengthen immunity..
    ..I think that there is vaccine for lung cancer(Cuba)…CimavaxEGF..but is not registered in EU yet

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