Oranje practised against France in March 2014. Van Gaal didn’t call up Nigel de Jong. He wanted to use Clasie in midfield. He knew what De Jong could and couldn’t do. The AC Milan destroyer seemed to smirk when confronted with this, as if to say “you wait and see, I will play at the World Cup”.

Holland got muscled off the pitch against France. Our complete midfield was too light against the Pogba’s of this world. In the meantime, Nigel was outstanding for AC Milan week in week out, even taking the key free kicks and scoring goals with his head. Nigel returned in the squad and into the team.

And became the Man of the Group Stages for Holland, along with Arjen Robben.

Sadly, it seems his World Cup is now over with a serious groin injury. It’s too early to call maybe, but it doesn’t look good.

Vilified in 2010, declared a hero in 2014. This is the opportunistic game that is football.

de-jong-seedorf

 

Nigel as ball boy with future coach Clarence Seedorf

De Jong’s story is quite remarkable. Son of Jerry de Jong, former Oranje international, but hardly knew his dad. He came through the Ajax development system and was known as a creative, dynamic midfielder, scoring many goals, most notably the one in the European Cup competition against Thierry Henry’s Arsenal. He was Ajax’ Player of the Season in 2004 but lost his spot in the season following and was disgruntled with his treatment.

He made his international debut in 2004 but was overlooked for the 2004 Euro tournament. when Hamburg SV came for him, he gladly made the step to the Bundesliga. HSV paid 1million euros for the midfielder. Huub Stevens, his coach at HSV, turned the attacking midfielder into a defensive block in midfield. Stevens recognised De Jong’s tactical vision and physical strength and motivated De Jong to work and focus on this role. “He said to me: as an attacking midfielder, you will be sub top in Europe. As a defensive mid, you can become world class. I believed him. And he was right. I am no Messi or Ronaldo or Robben. I do not have that quality. But I can definitely hold my own in a competition of defensive mids. I think I would be among the best out there.” A knee injury kept De Jong out of the World Cup squad of 2006, although he was on standby in case any of the other midfielders had to bail out.

nigel memphis

Marco van Basten used De Jong next to Orlando Engelaar in the 2008 Euros where he played outstanding.

The metamorphosis was spotted by many European top clubs and in 2009, Manchester City manager Mark Hughes signed him on their quest to the European (and English) top. They paid 25 mio euros for the midfielder. He became a fan favorite in his first season and added grit and professionalism to the second Manchester club. He won the FA Cup and the EPL title with Man City, before he was sold on to AC Milan in 2012.

De Jong was also a starter for Oranje in the 2010 WC campaign and played every game bar the semi finals vs Uruguay due to suspension. Demy de Zeeuw played for him. In the finals, De Jong infamously hit Xabi Alonso in the chest with his studs, which got him criticised globally and he was the symbol of the “Ugly Dutch team of 2010”. In the same time, he had a couple of incidents on the pitch in England and with Holland against Australia in a friendly, which prompted coach Van Marwijk to not select him for a spell. De Jong never publically commented on this and would later say that “there will be no words that would convince people otherwise… being silent and playing your game is all you can do. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. I don’t think I can change that or should try to change that. What counts is what my family thinks and what my coaches think. The rest is irrelevant.”

DeJongTraining

He suffered injuries in the first half of this season in Milan and Van Gaal ignored the blocked midfielder for a while to try out different players. But with the absence of Strootman, the loss of form and fitness of Sneijder and the lack of experience of our defence it became apparent that De Jong could and would play an important part in Brazil.

His tremendous concentration, leadership and commitment has earned him many compliments this tournament. Van Gaal, after the Australia game: “I don’t like singling out individual players but if I have to, I will name Nigel de Jong as the man of the match.”

In an interview, recently, with Helden Magazine (Hero Magazine, about football players and ex players): “I used to really get off on doing a cool trick with the ball. A little flick or a step over. But I came to realise that many players can do so. There are 100s of players in Europe who can do a cool trick or two with the ball. They practice this day in day out. But I also realised there are maybe only 10 players who can execute the perfect block tackle. And enjoy doing it. Seriously. There are not that many who can do this. I like to think I am one of them. The perfect block tackle to me is much more satisfying than a step over or a Cruyff turn. I get off on stopping an opponent. And in all honesty, I focus on getting the ball, but if I don’t get the ball, I will settle for the man. One of the two will be mine. I cannot allow both of them through.”

nige wes

De Jong is 29 years old and back in demand in the EPL. Arsenal is supposedly zooming in on the midfield block while Man United is being named as his new club as well, what with Van Gaal being their new coach. “I wouldn’t mind returning to the EPL. But I am at an age where I will need to make the right decision and it really needs to be a good deal for me.”

All was looking so good for him. He was revered by his mates and his coach, while the media and fans at home again realised what a power house and important player he is. That, plus the fact he realised this could well be his last World Cup gave him the extra energy to support the youngsters and to bring Holland closer and closer to the finals.

De Jong is very positive about the chances of Oranje: “This 5-3-2 is a perfect system for this group and the circumstances in Brazil. These tournaments are tough, physically, mentally. We play with lots of young, untested lads, who have played Eredivisie and some international games with Young Oranje. Hell, most of the Feyenoord players haven’t played any European games of note. So the way we are approaching this tournament might not be to everyone’s liking, but it does do what it needs to do for us.” De Jong doesn’t want to compare with the 2010 World Cup.

nige kaka

 

Nigel with a juicy tackle on Brazil’s Kaka

“Totally different. New group, new staff, new stage… We need to stop comparing with the past but simply deal with the present.”

And the present is, that De Jong is most likely out for the rest of the World Cup. I’m sure the interest in his services for next season will remain but Van Gaal will need to look for another option in midfield.

He does have a couple: Wijnaldum has played on the center mid spot but will be considered too light for the role. De Guzman has been tested there but Van Gaal declared that he doesn’t consider the Swansea man an option for the role. Clasie and Blind play in this role for their respective clubs, but might be considered too light against really tough opponents (France, Argentina), while Fer could be considered once he is fit again or even Dirk Kuyt. Even Cillesen commented that he is worried that Kuyt might take his role in the next game!

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89 responses to “Tribute to Nigel de Jong”

  1. AZ-forever says:

    Jan,

    very nice post, but a bit too sad, it sounded almost like a eulogy 🙂 I strongly believe that Nigel will get fit again and make significant contribution to Oranje in the next major tournament, Euro 2016.

    With those losses (NDJ and Fer), midfield is getting increasingly problematic. However, I am still convinced that even our depleted midfield will be able to cope with Costa Rica.

    I like Costa Rican team: they enjoy their game, they are brave soldiers and they are not afraid of anybody. I do not think, their quality is better than quality of Dutch team. However, any underestimation can be fatal for Oranje. I am sure LvG knows that, and he is developing right mind set within his team. Bottomline, we need to win this game within 90 minutes.

  2. Alistair says:

    nice post, fully deserved by De Jong. This is going to be a problem – playing Argentina without De Jong will be a totally different story. I’m curious to see what LVG will come up with!

  3. Balkan says:

    Oh so sorry about de Jong. Without him is like having a house without locks. I would rate Fer at 50% of NDJ. If Fer is not available then ????? But we have come this far against all odds. Who knows what God has still reserved for us! Greece had just a bunch of dilettantes in 2004 and went all the way. These are moments when teams reinvent themselves and with the right mentality they galvanize and become even stronger than before.
    Next hurdle is Costa Rica. We can’t underestimate them. They have nothing to lose and when you play without fear you can do wonders. This will be the case with Orange if/once we get past CR. Once in the semis mission has been accomplished, now let’s go have fun and maybe win it all.

  4. goldstone says:

    Thanks for this, Jan. I refuse to accept that we’ve seen the last of NDJ… even in this tournament. It’s too great a loss.

    That aside, we’re moving, and our players are showing real leadership. Lots of folks want to talk about diving at the conclusion of the match v Mexico. But watch this playercam isolation of Robben and see how he behaves as captain at the end of the match:

    http://vimeo.com/99539200

  5. Balkan says:

    Otmar Hitzfeld brother passed away in Switzerland a few hours ago.

  6. hien says:

    De Jong has been confirmed to be out for this WC. Very bad news!

    From Goal.com:
    And on Tuesday the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) confirmed he would play no further part in Brazil and could be on the sidelines for up to a month.

    “An MRI examination at the hospital confirmed that Nigel de Jong has suffered with a tear in his groin muscle. The 75-times capped international is therefore ruled out for two-to-four weeks,” read a statement on the national team website.

    We overcame Strootman’s injury, now we have to overcome this challenge. It will be very difficult but I believe in LVG and this team. Hup Holland Hup!

    • Steyn says:

      How many other teams can lose their two best midfielders (VDV, Strootman) before the tournament, and STILL make it to the Quarterfinals losing their next best midfielder (De Jong) along the way??

      Not many.

      If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.

  7. AZ-forever says:

    I hope so too. Morale is very high in the team, which is super important!!!! Orange Lions will find strength to overcome many hurdles in this super-entertaining WC

  8. Laurent says:

    Very bad news for Nigel, especially considering that LVG will keep putting Blind as DM.

    The midfield really suffered against Mexico, Wijnaldum didn’t impress me in that position, a bit better than De Guzman but still not enough. Clasie or Fer should get their chance.

    Another option can be Kuyt, I prefer Kuyt as DM and Blind as LB.

    Kuyt was really impressive, now I think coachs realize the mistake they did not to try him in a more defencive role before. Especially when you know that Van Marwijk tried the slow Schaars as LB, why not Kuyt ?

    I never liked his attacking abilities, but he deserves his spot in the team if playing another role.

  9. bitterballen says:

    If you had told me our young defenders would navigate us out out of our group and into the quarters 6 months ago i would have raised my eyebrows. we are there now. 7 different players have scored. 19 players have been used. we are a team. we can overcome this.

    i vote for kuyt in MF but now is the time to try clasie and see what he is capable of. i think he can shine against CR.

    brazil was amazing BTW

  10. Balkan says:

    Switzerland keeps Argentina at bay and they can actually win it. Arg is nothing without Messi, even with him they’re nothing special.

  11. Guillaume vB says:

    In the mean time, Argentina goes to extra time against frigging Switzerland… Swiss team ready for a steal, it seems.

  12. JB says:

    Switzerland is putting on a dribbling moves exhibition in extra time. Watching this, I’d almost prefer to face Argentina. The Swiss look much more dangerous!

    • Balkan says:

      Belgium can beat both Arg and Swiss if they get past USA today. As an american I support US but the arrogance I see in media and public makes me sick. They think US will kick Belgium’s ass. Ugly cockiness.

      • JB says:

        I certainly think the US can play with Belgium and is capable of beating them on a good day. Don’t know that it’ll happen though. We’ll find out later this afternoon.

        I also think that the longer Brazil stays in the tournament, the more the Brazilian fans will start to rally against Argentina, whether they play Belgium, the US, Costa Rica or Holland.

        While I’m sure Brazil would love to decisively defeat Argentina in the final, the fear of possibly losing to them there may be even more powerful.

  13. Nad says:

    Will be almost impossible to progress to the finals without De Jong. Getting past Costa Rica is not a big task but this team needs a miracle to get past Argentina without De Jong. It isn’t so much that De Jong is great, he’s a top player but the issue is the lack of top replacements. They’re all average or below average.

    Van Gaal has been a magician tactically but he will need to pull off his greatest trick yet to get past Messi and co. Unless Belgium can pull of a surprise. I would much rather face them simply because they don’t have Lionel Messi.

  14. Mario Rosado says:

    @HIEN:

    I support Mexico only because it is my country. They play some good football but the National Team does not have consistency but some day Mexico can surprise the whole world like in the Olimpics. My football team is Oranje and all Dutch soccer because I really love the play such a country has been able to produce those great football legends.

    Holland deserves to have a World Cup, I think in 2014 there is a good chance. Costa Rica will be very tough but ir Oranje attacks from the first minute we can progress smoothly.

    All teams are very equal. I thought Germany, Argentina and Brazil will be more convincing but I think that all of them are very beatable and in a good day Oranje can beat them for sure. Determination and luck are needed and Oranje has had it in this WC. NDJ injury are bad news but this team has a tough mentality, we don´t have Rafa, Strootman and Van der Wiel and nobody has noticed it…well, Strootman blow was the more important.

    I think Clasie can fulfill that role, in the qualifiers he did it in many games, playing against tough rivals like Turkey at home and away and he has grown a lot since that. It is time to show our classie to the world.

    Come on Oranje!

    • JB says:

      The good news is that we have time to prepare for de Jong’s absence. That wasn’t the case vs Mexico, where we had to adapt at the very beginning of the game and lost a substitute in the process, which could have had a devastating effect due to the extreme temperatures.

      I’m sure that LVG can devise some scheme that will make use of our players’ talents. In fact, against Costa Rica and subsequent opponents, we may need more mobility and possession-oriented players in the midfield.

      In any event, Nigel should definitely stick around and motivate and encourage his teammates. He can continue to be a strong leader even if he’s no longer able to play in the remaining games.

    • HedonistiX says:

      My football team is Oranje and all Dutch soccer because I really love the play such a country has been able to produce those great football legends.

      Holland deserves to have a World Cup, I think in 2014 there is a good chance …….

      All teams are very equal. I thought Germany, Argentina and Brazil will be more convincing but I think that all of them are very beatable and in a good day Oranje can beat them for sure. Determination and luck are needed and Oranje has had it in this WC ….

      I concur! I am also not Dutch but bleed Oranje every 2 years. The memory of watching the “injustice” of 1978 when I was a kid and just started to watch/read football was what prompted me to support the Oranje. Subsequently, I worked for a Dutch bank and spent some time and met a lot of Dutch good friends.

      Also agree at this point, there are virtually no teams noticeably above/below the others. Without wanting to jinx the Oranje, I’ll say Costa Rica and USA are weaker. With that said, teams like Algeria, Nigeria and Switz showed great fights vs the traditional powerhouse. What they lack in quality may be compensated by less pressure and expectations to win.

      I am not worried at all about Costa Rica because what I think I’ve seen is our squad also look like they feel like they are not favorites. This is a totally different mental attitude vs our traditional squads, who were expected to be among the best and to win.

      If we beat Costa Rica this Sat – I think we will – I don’t see Argentina/Belgium/USA to be easier/harder than the other. It will be about mental strength, physical fitness, coach tactics and preparations at that point.

      Player selection-wise: probably time to start/try Clasie, and put Kuyt at the back. Robben really looks like a man with a mission this year and RvP should step up after “disappearing” vs Mexico.

      And yes, I do think we will (finally) win it all this year, 40 years after 1974. After receiving my away blue kit #9 RVP last week, I also just received my home kit yesterday, which arrived super late because of the personalized throwback style with JC #14. Superstitious as I am, I’m conveniently relating #14 with the year 2014, when we’ll lift the trophy.

      Hup Holland Hup!

  15. hien says:

    Add me to the list of those who wants to see Kuyt at DM to replace De Jong, and also to the list who thinks that it is time for us to see Clasie getting playing time vs Costa Rica.
    Had the Swiss better at counter attack and again just bad luck with hitting the post at the last minute of extra time (like Chile hitting the post vs Brazil). Holland, on the other hand, has Lady Luck on our sides so far. I also hope most of the teams in QF will go into extra time/PK while Holland win in 90 min.
    Any update on Fer?

  16. wilson says:

    Shaqiri was leading Switzerland charge and his penetration was really causing the havoc to Argentina ‘s Defense. That what Sneijder needs to do if NT meets Argentina. Keep attacking the line otherwise it will be hard if he doesnt step up. Maria long range efforts is also dangerous… cillesen is vulnerable in blocking long range shots. Great performance from Shaqiri and Di Maria.

    • Laurent says:

      Unfortunetaly we cannot expect smth like that from Sneijder.

      Sneijder is one of the worst OM in that world cup, before his goal against Mexico he was just disgusting. The guy just can’t play football, his first touch is barely better than BMI one.

      He always save himself thanks to crucial goals and make fans to like him thanks to that, but he is a shame for dutch football technically speaking.

      • JB says:

        That seems unduly harsh.

        Lots of Sneijder haters here. I admit he hasn’t been on his game as much recently, but we’re choosing to bypass midfield build-up to allow RVP and Robben to go to town.

        I think he’s still got something left to contribute. We’ll see…

      • Erich100 says:

        FYI, Sneijder is now taking defensiv tasks in midfield. That is what Van Gaal asked him to do, and he is doing just fine there. If you expect him to do what he did back in 2010 you will be as disappointed as I see you are.

        • Laurent says:

          In 2010 he was exactly like now : Shit football. Crucial goals, 1-2 good passes, all the rest is poor, poor controls, poor shots, very poor dribbles…

          Don’t you see that since the beginning of this tornament, we are unable to make good combinations ?

          Spain :
          1st goal : Long ball to RVP
          2nd goal : Long ball to Robben
          3rd goal : Free kick
          4th goal : Casillas mistake
          5th goal : Long ball to Robben

          Australia :
          1st goal : Robben individually
          2nd goal : Combination
          3rd goal : Long shot Depay

          Chile :

          1st goal : Free kick
          2nd goal : Counter attack

          Mexico :

          1st goal : Corner kick
          2nd goal : Penalty kick

          Now go to take a look at Germany and you’ll see that most of their goals come from combinations, good ball possession in the opponent half. Many passes between strikers till finding the solution.

          With Sneijder it’s just impossible to play football, very poor footballer, things would have been so much better with VDV. Now we look like Scotland with Robben.

          • Laurent says:

            That doesn’t mean that others teams are doig better. Germany suffered from Ghana and Algeria, France suffered from Nigeria, Brazil suffered from Mexico and Chile, Argentina and Belgium suffered from every opponent…

            Every team has its problems. And one of the dutch ones is Sneijder. Before the world cup I posted something showing how often we score in the first 20 minutes with VDV. Now with Sneijder ? No goal in the first 20 minutes since the beginning of the world cup…

          • JB says:

            I love VDV. One of my favorite players. But I think you’re discounting Sneijder’s contributions (see Erich’s comment). LVG’s tactics so far this World Cup have relied almost exclusively on the counter-attack and getting balls quickly to RVP and Robben to allow them space and time to operate. Sneijder is being deliberately bypassed in the process, not because of his lack of ability, but because the team is better served by utilizing RVP’s and Robben’s strengths.

            In a 433 possession-based scheme, which we may see against Costa Rica, I think you will see Sneijder have much more of the ball, and much more of an attacking influence as well.

            Ironically, as much as a love VDV (and agree that this group would be benefitted by his presence), I don’t think he could have played the role that Sneijder is being asked to play.

          • goldstone says:

            A couple of quick points:

            1) Sneijder finished second to Forlan for the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball, so he wasn’t all that bad;

            2) This isn’t really Laurent, who has enough self-respect not to post here anymore. It’s just another troll.

          • Laurent says:

            “1) Sneijder finished second to Forlan for the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball, so he wasn’t all that bad;”

            What do we care about Golden Ball ? Ribery finished 3rd of Ballon d’or this year but we all agree to say that Robben was better. They just gave that position to Sneijder cause he was the main dutch contributor during the world cup. Which DOESNT mean that he played good.

            That’s the problem of the dutch mentality. You guys are happy that Sneijder scores his crucial goal everytime in the last minutes. Don’t you think about all the possiblities he spoils with his awful shots and controls during a whole game ? When VDV is on the field we often score in first 20 minutes, when Sneijder is on the field we’re happy he scores in the last minutes after all his crap fails and call him hero lol…

            Just like people are discovering now that Kuyt has been not used in the right way past years by coachs, people will discover that Sneijder spoiled the dutch beautiful football in some years. And that has nothing to do with Van Gaal, I still see Sneijder having many many possibilites in the opponent half, but he just can’t get past a player, can’t keep the ball 3second in his feet without to lose it, it’s a real handicap to have such a limited player.

          • goldstone says:

            What about #2?

          • goldstone says:

            #2: (From the Spain Live Blog)

            Laurent June 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm
            “2008 remake, we’ll see after. Nothing to learn from this game, except Robben selfishness not to serve Lens, and Cillessen unable to keep a ball in his hands.

            Spain was just fucked up, that happens.

            Goldstone my first prediction was a loss against Brazil in second round, even if I also believed maybe Holland wouldn’t pass the first round.

            Now I’m also thinking about finishing first and losing to Croatia/Mexico after like against Russia in 2008.

            I swear I’ll stop writing if Holland go to quarter, copy this text and save it on your computer.”

          • HedonistiX says:

            In 2010 he was exactly like now : Shit football. Crucial goals, 1-2 good passes, all the rest is poor, poor controls, poor shots, very poor dribbles…

            Don’t you see that since the beginning of this tornament, we are unable to make good combinations ?

            Laurent,

            We were magical in WC 1998, EURO 2000, still lost via pens and extra time. Talking about combination, total football, attacking style and quality players, those teams were probably the best in the era (yes, I think they were better than France).

            We were somewhat ugly in 2010, in which Wes was instrumental in, but we reached and almost won the final.

            Considering our best squads had Winston Bogarde or Denny Landzaat, I think calling Wes “shit football” is a tad exaggerating if not misinformed.

            And why are goals through counter attack, free or corner kicks be inferior to combinations? Schurle’s goal was lucky (one more inch, he’d have tripped and looked stupid) and my German friend thinks Oezil really does not deserve to start. His 2nd goal vs Algeria was ….. ugly? lucky? But a goal is a goal.

            Your criticism on our goals so far also sound weird to me. Yes, RVP “stole” the ball from Casillas, who made a major mistake. Why wouldn’t you see it as RVP being hungry to go after the ball? and yes, the Hunter scored through penalty kick. 10 mins of playing time, 7 touch, 1 assist and 1 penalty made after missing his last 4-5 penalty kicks with Schalke …. I don’t know, I thought it was awesome.

            Last but not least, the end result probably what matters the most. Nobody remembered we beat Brazil 2-1 after 0-1 down in 2010, people only remember Robben’s miss and Nigel kick.

          • Laurent says:

            I’ll stop posting Goldstone, I keep promising.

            Just let me until the end of that world cup.

          • Steyn says:

            Laurent.

            You are not welcome here.
            Do you understand?

            Stop writing ‘we’.
            You are not Dutch. You are not a Dutch fan. You are just embarrassing yourself.

            No-one cares about your amateur analysis. Get over it.
            There is no need for your inexplicable negativity and childish attitude.

            Why are you here?
            You told us that you would leave if we reached the Quarterfinals.
            We kept up our side of the deal.

            In addition to being this site’s most mocked idiot, you are also a weak confused child who doesn’t keep his own word.

            Not that we are surprised. We are not.

            Do you STILL not understand that every time you post, with every little chip and jibe you make, we win a bit more?? How do you not see this?? Hahahaha! Ah well.

  17. Alistair says:

    This WC can go anywhere. There is no single team left that has not suffered in any of the matches played. Even Germany and Argentina – they demonstrated weak points and vulnerabilities. We have a chance like the rest.

    I think none of us predicted before it started, that at some point we will be playing Costa Rica for a SF place. A SF place guys, its not a joke. For the 2nd successive time. But it will be another difficult game, rest assured.

  18. wilson says:

    Yeh there was some thing in the air when Hunter scored that penalty. RVP had his head when walked on the park after the Final whistle. (maybe its jus the rivarly that he has with him) especially after his dismal performance. Robben also never came to congratulate Hunter and rather chose to celebrate on his own.

    • Jan says:

      Not True. Robben walked up to KJ Huntelaar as the last one so he could really have him for himself. See the player cam on Robben and you can see it for yourself.

  19. wilson says:

    To those who are thinking that Kuyt can win us the world cup , please you guys are dreaming….the best thing he does his he brings stability to the team and nothings in terms of attack but 90% back passing. De Jong Loss is killer blow for NT and this brings my to question on the selection. when Blind Shifted to midfield vs Mexico he was jus roaming around in the park and him and somebody else was on De Santos but couldn’t stop him from taking the shot which resulted in the goal. I hope vs Argentina Van Gaal does make that mistake again. As for Kuyt I admire his determination but once again he lacks speed and you dont wanna have someone like him in the midfield who is vulnerable on pace. you dont wanna give unnecessary freekikcs to Messi. Another thing too when Depay came on vs Mexcio then that Left flank got lively after Kuyt went shifted to the Right back.

    Now onwards the depth in the squad will be limelight and this is where it will show what van gaal is all about.

    • richarde says:

      Frankly the Dutch have very few players who look good in attack. Possession has been weak–and very little combination passing. Our midfield is not strong. Sneijder’s first touch has been bad, and Wijnaldum and de Guzman have offered little going forward. Netherlands are going through by playing solid, smart defense and we’ve some guys who can finish.

      I think the Dutch should beat Costa Rica and can beat Argentina, which has not been impressive. I don’t see us beating Germany, which simply looks better, and Brazil would be tough, too–possible wins but difficult. Belgium was impressive today–they essentially destroyed the U.S. but their finishing in the first 90 minutes was PATHETIC. I would like to see them beat Argentina. Belgium is a little shaky in the back but has a lot of talent.

  20. wilson says:

    Siem De Jong To Newcastle almost complete

    Hunter on Liverpool radar

  21. Alaa says:

    Robben congratulated huntelaar after the goal, and the walked together and talked!!! Didn’t u see the personal camera video on robben?
    I donno where u guys come up with stuff from!!!

    • Alistair says:

      Right. I was also wondering what a stupid piece of information was that 🙂

    • Steyn says:

      It’s nonsense.

      The TROLLS (Tiju, Laurent, Wilson) have nothing left to say.

      They’ve been exposed for what they are not. Fans.
      There is nowhere for them to hide anymore.

      They are now desperately making stuff up, and hoping that we don’t notice.
      They need a reaction – which is now (sadly) the only sense of recognition they can ever hope to achieve on this website.

      And so now their posts are a succession of bitter, envious, jealous jibes. And with every one, we are reminded again that we must be above them. And that’s quite nice actually.

      It’s rather cool having people trying to bring us down. It means we’re special. It proves we’re better than them!
      HUP HOLLAND!!!!

      I’M A LEAF ON THE WIND!!!

      WATCH HOW I SOAR!!

  22. JB says:

    Belgium is looking very strong vs the US, but can’t seem to finish. They’re just carving up the midfield with dribbling runs. I’m not sure whether this bodes well or not for us, but it seems that if Belgium wins they should at least be able to give Argentina a good game.

    Hopefully the US can put it out though!

  23. JB says:

    Pretty good summary / analysis of the Mexico game:

    http://www.benefoot.net/netherlands-2-1-mexico-oranje-leave-it-late-in-tense-affair/

    I really expect / hope to see a 433 against Costa Rica. If so, it will be interesting to see what LVG does to sort out the back line, and what choices he makes in the midfield.

  24. wilson says:

    @Alaa/Alistar….

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2113572-netherlands-vs-mexico-goals-and-highlights-for-world-cup-2014-round-of-16

    I was bascially comparing reaction after each goal. jus chech how Hunter reacts to Sneijder goal and well the reaction to Hunter goal is short and Robben is not in the picture. his initially reaction was celebration on his own before he came to congratulate Hunter.

    • Jeff says:

      To Wilson, what are you trying to imply? That the harmony within the team is not good? What a bunch of crap! I have no idea (and i am not the only one who thinks so) where you get your shit. The team is as unified as ever, you can totally see it. The mere fact that KJH took the PK instead of Robben says it all. The goal was to choose the one who could do the job not the primadonna. So please stop your BS.

      @Laurent, you were silent for a while but now back with a vengeance. Below are my answers to your rudimentary descriptions of the goals.

      Spain :
      1st goal : Long ball to RVP…YOU MEAN FABULOUS CROSS FROM BLIND TO RVP, this was not Irish or English route 1 football
      2nd goal : Long ball to Robben…SAME AS ABOVE. EVEN THIERRY HENRY AND LINEKER AGREED THAT THIS WAS A PEACH OF A BALL BY BLIND.
      3rd goal : Free kick…OK
      4th goal : Casillas mistake…OK
      5th goal : Long ball to Robben…BUT WAT A PASS THAT WAS, IN STRIDE, PERFECTLY WEIGHTED BALL, TRULY MAGNIFICENT

      Australia :
      1st goal : Robben individually…AFTER A NICE RECOVERED BALL BY BLIND BUT YES A NICE RUN BY ROOBEN
      2nd goal : Combination…GREAT INTERPLAY BETWEEN SNEIJDER (Oh REALLY???) AND DEPAY LEADING TO A THROUGH BALL TO RVP
      3rd goal : Long shot Depay…BUT NICE BALL MOVEMENT BEFORE THAT

      Chile :

      1st goal : Free kick…NO IT WAS AFTER THE FREE KICK ANOTHER GREAT CROSS THIS TIME FROM JANMAAT. HAD IT BEEN CR7 DOING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN IN HEAVEN.
      2nd goal : Counter attack…YES BUT WHAT A COUNTER ATTACK IT WAS, LIGHTNING SPEED, INCREDIBLE PRECISION, AND A GREAT BALL FROM NIGEL TO ROBBEN. THE FINISH BY DEPAY WAS ALSO FAR FROM EASY.

      Mexico :

      1st goal : Corner kick…BUT WHAT VISION FROM KJH TO BRING THE BALL BACK INTO THE EMPTY SPACE FOR WES.
      2nd goal : Penalty kick…OK

      I hope you will at least re-watch these goals and appreciate for what they are.
      QF PREDICTIONS:
      France 2-1 over Germany
      Brazil will find a way to win
      Belgium over Argentina and of course us over Costa Rica.

      • Laurent says:

        I don’t criticize dutch goals, a goal is a goal, but just I make people to notice that we play a very direct and dry football with Sneijder. Which Inter also played in 2010 etc.

        It’s not coachs system, it’s just Sneijder who is a boring attacking midfielder.

        For me his best games with NT were in 2008 and 2012 (seond halfs) where he played on the left side. I didn’t like him in 2010 despite of his goals, and now it’s even worst.

  25. Balkan says:

    It pains me to say this but Belgium looked really good even though they had to go into overtime due to Howard’s heroics. They will beat Argentina and may go all the way. I remember them unexpectedly beating Argentina 1-0 in the opening game in 1982 and only lost 2-0 in 1986 due to Maradona magic. I don’t think Messi can pull the same this time. This Belgium team is very strong across all departments. Ideally we can beat CR without sweating too much and in the procees conserving energy for whatever comes our way.

  26. bitterballen says:

    i really believe we have what it takes to overpower CR. we need to bring lens back into this game as he provides muscle power and will work well defensively. in the absence of de jong guys like lens, kuyt, and fer will be vital. i am not terribly worried about de jong’s loss as i would have been a few months ago. sure, we look weaker without strootman and NDJ but Van Gaal keeps pulling rabbits out of the hat and who knows what he has up his sleeve now. i trust our defenders despite their sporadic mistakes. veltman can slot in too if need be and i think we need janmaat back.

  27. Alaa says:

    Can we beat Belgium?
    I watched them today, they are impressive!!!
    I would hate to lose against them in semifinal (assuming we win and they win)

  28. Erich100 says:

    I’m sad. It seems some people will be glad to see the Oranje losing next match. You guys say they don’t play forward-attaching voetbal, or diss the boys because they’re not Bergkamp, nor Gullit. Van Gaal is no Michels. Well, yes, the boys might not be the best players, but… are you aware of how many goals these kids already scored in this wk? The team is getting tighter and better game after game. But yes, you don’t see the rotations from the 70’s, and Ronnie Koeman is not making passes there, BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING: THESE KIDS ARE WINNING AND PLAYING STRATEGIC VOETBAL. If they want to stay in the tournament there isn’t anything else for them to do, because unlike previous tournaments, the Oranje lacks legend-quality players. But these kids are listening to Van Gaal, and performing very good. It’s been four decades since the 1974 wk, and if there is a lesson to be learned from these decades is that most the times the best teams do not win the cup. Look at the world-champion teams… no totaalvoetbal, ZERO spectacle. It’s time to be pragmatic, play the next three games as finals, and go grab the freakin’ cup.

    People here like to diss the players, or the manager, but… do you really believe the other teams are any better than the Oranje?

    Fortunately, the ball is going to answer most questions. Soon.

    Don’t stop rooting for the Dutch, and BE POSITIVE!

    Hup Holland Hup!

  29. Yoyogi says:

    Argentina really apply a lot of pressure to get the ball back from the opposition whenever they lose it. Against Iran and Switzerland, they dominated the ball and possession (the two games I saw them play). However, they waste a lot of chances on offense. They are super reliant on Messi. 5-3-2 will free up Robben and RVP to run at their defense since they all like to push into the opposition’s half. If we end up playing them, with the loss of DeJong, we can’t afford to play any other formations.

    Belgium will be very tough to beat if they get past Argentina. They have quality players almost at every position. They will be super motivated to beat us.

    I hope we get past CR without any injuries. Fer should start which ever game he is fit for. Wijnaldum hasn’t convinced me at all.

  30. Alaa says:

    I’ve never used this language before but it is time.

    For all the whiners on this blog (and they know themselves): this team is winning for now and pulling some big results so please let us enjoy it and leave alone “how the goals were scored” or how “robben didn’t celebrate with huntelaar” as if when u don’t find something to criticize u just pick on any stupid thing to be able to criticiZe.

    No one was as pessimistic as I was before the wk but since this team started pulling great results I enjoyed it. So please leave us happy and keep it down. And by the way I know some of you can’t wait till the Netherlands lose to start saying ” U SEE I TOLD YOU, I KNEW IT”, I am ready for that!!

  31. Alaa says:

    And by the way if we had strootman, van ginkel, de Jong and van der vaart, I wouldn’t even worry about Argentina or Belgium who have many issues and almost got kicked out with mediocre teams like Switzerland and USA so lets not amplify the power of other teams for no reason, we have our defects and other teams have their defects too. And as I said if we had the players I mentioned above we would be amazing, but what can we do with injuries? Beyond us!!!

  32. Miguel Rosado says:

    I’ve no doubt how LVG will replace Nigel. I expect big changes from LVG for the Costa Rica game not only changing some players but also I expect him to change the approach of the game.

    I feel Holland’s players want to start attacking more so maybe we’ll see a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2.

  33. Simon says:

    Laurent. You post more than anybody. And yet your posts are the least welcome here. Your understanding of football is less than those guys who post just the occasional one or two lines. Your predictive ability is zero. If you must keep coming to this blog, please keep your posts brief and positive.

    • Laurent says:

      You’re wrong

      Here were my predictions before the world cup :

      Brazil/Mexico
      Spain/Chile
      Colombia/Ivory Coast
      Uruguay/England
      France/Switzerland
      Argentina/Bosnia
      Germany/Portugal
      Belgium/Algeria

      5 mistakes. Yet I have found that Germany/France and Argentina/Belgium would be two of the quarter finals.

      I predicted Belgium/Algeria while Tiju was writing me about the master tactictian Capello and the hard South Korea.

  34. Alistair says:

    It’s normal that you have the ‘pessimists’ in any group. In my opinion these people should still be welcome. But I have to tell them to look at what the Germans, French, Argentinians and Brazilians are saying. There is no single team that didn’t suffer at some point or another, and their fans are criticising them for their weaknesses as well. So please stop commenting as if Holland does not deserve to be there. Holland is one of those who deserve it most … I hear many many ‘neutral’ people saying that Holland was the best overall!

  35. Alaa says:

    @alistair
    They are definitely welcome, anyone here is welcome, who are we to say who is welcome or he is not!! Many times I like some input from these people I criticized in the previous post
    All I asked is that we be a little more positive and enjoy the ride while our team keep moving forward! It is once every 4 years!! And the other thing is that I was like them before, thinking ohhh if we play against that team they will rape us, if will play against this team they will destroy us!! But then when u see all other teams with no exceptions u see all the defects and the negatives they have, they are just all beatable!!

    • Alistair says:

      Perfectly agree … at the end of the day, this should be an enjoyable ride for a month, having fun watching matches and supporting our beloved Oranje … we can also say that we’re lucky as Dutch supporters seeing our team doing well in two consecutive WCs.

    • Steyn says:

      ‘who are we to say who is welcome or he is not!!’

      We are DUTCH.

      You colossal chode.

  36. TIJU1234 says:

    Nijel and Roben are the most indispensable players of this team.Nijels injury is sad news…But there is no need to be panic ,lets pray that he heals soon..Arjetina Vs belgium is going to be hell of a match,wilmots is not great coach but he is blessed with talents…LVG has Fer,kuyt,Wijnaldum and clasie for Nijels spot..i wouldnt mind if veltman plays in Nijels role.
    Wijnaldum was incredible like Dejong did in 2008EC.many have not seen his work so is kuyt finally he plays where he belongs,became a wonedrful asset for the team.
    i think Grit and speed of wijnaldum and brilliance and hard work of kuyt will solve Nijels absense to an extend.
    We need Janmaat back,after taking lead by 2-0 if we dont feel safe we can bring veltman as RB.Fer can be a bombing sub..
    here we go i think
    —–RVP———-Roben—-
    ———-sneijder———–
    —-Blind———-kuyt——-
    ———-wijnaldum———-
    BMI——Devrij—Vlaar—janmaat
    ———–krul——————-can make it vs costarica

    • Steyn says:

      Go write that poisonous shit somewhere else, freak.

      You don’t get to tell us how shit Kuyt is 10 times a day for 6 years and THEN say you like him.

      Stupid moron.

      What an idiot.

      Are your parents related??

  37. TIJU1234 says:

    Also lets all say ..France is unlucky,Germany is unlucky,Arjetina is unlucky,Brazil is unlucky,costarica is unlucky…This time all the blessing is with orange not with any other team,lets win first WC,if italy can in 2006,greece 2004,spain2010 then why cannt we??????
    Hup holland hup

  38. TIJU1234 says:

    lets dont be negative and be optimistic at least in this late stage,
    @laurent,wilson..orange may not be stronger than others but orange can win it and Orange WILL WIN IT.No matter what the opponent is ,

  39. wilson says:

    Jeff hang in there mate….I will get back to you after the semi Final

    Alaa/Alistar I have being enjoying the WC from 1990 everytime with high expection but everytime they have fallen short and some where along there somebody to blame.its kind of sickening when you see the same scenarios repeating again and again. The thing is why wait for the last minute when we could have address the issues in the first place.

    • wilson says:

      Van gaals selection was purely based on 5-3-2 formation and we all saw what happened vs australia when they crumbled to high pace in the first half. Its was the switch of the second half which exposed the left flank of the Ausies. You cant expect the same thing to happen with teams like Belgium, Argentina, Brazil, France or Germany.

      • Alistair says:

        @Wilson,

        Yes I think we all know that we have weaknesses, but the other teams have as well. As much as you’re worried about facing Argentina attackers … their defenders are worried about facing Van Persie, Robben and about blocking Sneijder’s shots. It depends on the perspective! The facts are that we won all matches, scored 12 goals and suffered just 4 goals (only 2 from open play). Regarding formation we have to trust the coach … that’s up to him. 5-3-2 was good against Spain, less so against Australia but the coach responded well. Same in the other matches. We were obviously lucky as well, but you can say the same for Brasil, Germany, Argentina and all the rest!

        • Alistair says:

          And always remember that football is not just about playing well to win. There are many other variables, injuries, luck, referee mistakes, etc. that can decide a match. You have to accept that.

          I was sick after the 1998 elimination because I thought that we would never have such a high calibre team. But then I learned that there are so many variables … that you cannot understand when it’s going to be a good year or not. When you expect the least, you get the best. E.g. 2010 and 2014 up to now.

    • Steyn says:

      Do you have some agenda you wish to discuss?

      Is there any particular reason why you would so frequently and repeatedly come to a fan site and type up your idiotic poison and comical hate?

      If Laurent is the new Tiju, then you, Einstein, are the new Laurent.

  40. Laurent says:

    Hey Steyn don’t you realize that everytime I post, you (and Jeff) post the day after ? What will it be when I’ll stop writing ? You’ll have nothing to say !

    You are no one to tell who is fan and who isn’t, I’m not dutch and not fan, but I’ll be happy if Holland win, that’s my right.

    So HUP HUP Holland let’s do it

  41. AZ-forever says:

    Jan,

    could you, please, enter last night games, so we could start predicting quarter-finals.

    thanks

  42. JB says:

    Guys:

    I really don’t mind the critical commentary of our team, coaches and players. In fact I welcome it, as long as its thoughtful, as it helps inform our own opinions. Being a fan is like having faith or being in love. You don’t know how real it is until it’s tested, and you don’t know how strong it is until you’re called to defend it.

    Personally, I think Wesley Sneijder is a good football player. There are certainly some weaknesses in his game, as there are with all players, but I think his strengths vastly outweigh his weaknesses, and he’s a key member of this team.

    And if you want to come on a site called Dutch Soccer Site and criticize him, I think you have to have the expectation that he will be defended. That said, I also don’t think everyone comes to this site to read comments with all hearts and smiley faces.

    It’s in the Dutch nature to argue. Anyone remember Cruyff’s “Yes but” comment regarding Dutch players?

    We’ve got several days to go before the next game – in my view, we should embrace the arguments that come and consider constructive criticism rather than try to stifle it (however, I don’t consider a statement that “Sneijder sucks” with no support to be constructive).

    Besides, Sneijder has played football at Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Galatasaray. If he’s no good, he certainly has fooled of a lot of different people all around the world whose job it is to know football.

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