My dear friends, let me start this blog post by showing you something that will fuel your hope for the future. Dutch football is not dead. When you have players like Vincent Janssen, Nathan Ake, Bazoer and Tannane there is a future. Let’s see how far these guys can go. And I know, it was only against Young Cyprus and all that, but you can see what kind of talent we do have.
The seniors were on a mission to win four games. They lost the first, as you probably will have noticed, and now a draw against Turkey is enough to finish third… Well, I don’t believe in “a draw is enough”. There are more games to play and who tells me that Holland will win the last two? Therefore, we need to play to win!
I have watched the press conference and some of the interviews and it really is not that inspiring. “Yes we will try and win.” “Yes we want to silence the crowd”. “Yes we are full of confidence.”
Whatever. We need to see it tomorrow I suppose. The Turks aren’t that good but they definitely aren’t shabby either. They play with intent, with a sense of urgency and they can play. They might be erratic at times, or undisciplined but hey…so do we.
We need to realise that we are not that great team (at the moment). And I am not referring to 1974 per se. We are also not that great team of 2014. Even if we almost have the same players. The team simply isn’t there.
I watched the first 30 minutes of the game again and despite what some say, Van der Wiel wasn’t the problem. Sure, he created the penalty and that was absolutely ridiculous, but the first 30 minutes, when we played 11vs11 and it was 0-0, the problem we had was created by the lack of movement by Klaassen and Wijnaldum. Our defence did not have an outlet. And when Sneijder got the ball the movement around him was absent.
Not, with Robben out, we have a mediocre team. Which is ok. We have four outstanding players. Two used to be World Class (Sneijder and Van Persie), one will be (Memphis) and one is a goal scoring machine (Huntelaar). The rest are all ok but need to play in function of these four.
With RVP not 100% match fit, it is only predictable that Hunter will start. When Oranje is in front, expect a like for like change with RVP. If Oranje is trailing, Blind will bring RVP to play next to Hunter…
I have my personal ideas who Oranje should play but I don’t think Blind shares my ideas. I do believe he will start Van der Wiel again. He has no options. If he’d play Tete he would basically have to send Wiel home and get Janmaat in his place. Lots of loss of face.
So Van der Wiel will start, alongside De Vrij and Bruma and Blind, most likely. I imagine Blind will keep the midfield intact but add Lens on the right as a false winger. He’ll play Depay left and Hunter centrally.
I would have made many different choices. I would have had Janmaat with De Vrij and Blind as left center back (like he plays for Man United) and Pieters as left back. Blind can build up well from behind and speed up the game.
Virgil van Dijk
I would have Sneijder, Anita and Wijnaldum in midfield with Memphis and Hunter upfront and Lens as false right winger (allowing Janmaat his runs in the channel).
You’d have Blind and Memphis on the left hand side, who know each other. You’d have Janmaat, De Vrij, Wijnaldum and Anita who sort of know each other.
Klaassen for me is a left midfield player. Not a defensive mid.
Should you need more fire power you can always sub Pieters for Van Persie.
Anyway…we’ll see. It will be a nail biter.
I hope we get a sensational win but it could well be a chess game ending with 0-0 or something like that…
We played Turkey eleven times before and won five times. We lost twice. Last game in Amsterdam was a draw with Huntelaar’s last minute equaliser. We lost our last game against them in 1997. The infamous Seedorf penalty miss game…. The Turks have a scoring issue at the moment. They haven’t scored more than once every game for a while. Yilmaz, team mate of Wesley, is the man in form in terms of goals. With Turan their bearded leader and playmaker.
RVP is our top goalscorer with 49 goals. Huntelaar is behind him with 41 but the Schalke man is prolific in qualification games, so who knows. For superstitious people, Promes shouldn’t play today. The former Twente winger never won a game with Oranje. He lost five.
The best number 3 is qualified directly, by the way. If we have to play play offs we are most likely the best ranked “number 3” and we will have some protection and probably will get an opponent like Norway, Slovenia, Israel or Ireland.