Van Bommel talks!

Mark van Bommel has officially not yet resigned from Oranje. Not officially, but the most decorated active international ( not counting Seedorf in other words) did say after the Euros that “others should pick up the mantle”… The 35 years old returns to PSV this season and his only aim internationally now is to win the Europa League.

“Yes, it has come that far now. I remember crying in 2010, after the Spain final… It all came out. I didn’t have that this time around. It was more a numbness, I guess. Anger, despair, flabbergasted… But it’s over. I think I have maybe two good seasons left in me and I will give those to PSV.”

It does seem you have tendency to cry suddenly?

“Oh you mean the press conference at Milan? Well, the weird thing is, I have felt so at home there in such a short timeframe. I only played there 1,5 season and everyone at the club was asking me to stay. They even offered me a better deal for another season. When I finally told the people I wouldn’t stay, most of the cried. The laundry ladies, the physios… And when the press officer shed a tear at my press conference, I couldn’t keep it dry either, hahaha… It’s just so emotional you know….”

There were tears amongst the fans too, after the Euros…

“Sure… I know… It was a very bad experience, for us too… Really…I don’t know…unexpected…”

Some people, analysts, say they could see this coming. And they believe Bert van Marwijk – your father in law – saw it coming too?

“No, I don’t believe that. Ridiculous. This team reached the finals two years ago and we have an awesome qualifications again. We only lost our last game against Sweden in the second half as a result of personal mistakes. People who now say they saw it are not straight. I don’t think Bert saw it. I do believe he was concerned for our last line of defense, with Gregory injured, Pieters injured and Mathijsen not 100% fit. Obviously Robben had fitness issues in the start of the season, Sneijder, Afellay, so it’s quite normal that a coach has questionmarks… But we were honest to God pretty confident going into the tournament…”

Too confident? Complacent?

“In hindsight? Maybe… But I don’t think so… Most players came out of a good season. Robin, Klaas Jan, Rafael, myself… Ibi was fit again, Gregory had his games. Johnny Heitinga was man of the season… We had reasons to feel strong. Robben had a tough season but he’s strong and we counted on him taking revenge with Oranje, you know. But that complacency might have been there in the Denmark game. When we were 1-0 down, it did feel as if we all thought “we will turn this around”… We were playing well, creating opportunities. I never expected us not to score… When we had our half time talk, we knew we had 45 minutes to score two and with Huntelaar and Rafael coming on later, we felt we were going to. It was really weird that game…”

What went wrong?

“I think the answer is not that hard. If you look at the game, you see two faces of Oranje. In the first 20 minutes, we push forward, we play our game, we create opportunities and are confident. We pressed as a unit. But somehow we lost that “tightness” and while our forwards pressed high, our defence tracked back… The gap in midfield for Nigel and myself was getting too big. And there was no way we could change it around.”

Why did that happen?

“I am guessing, but I think Johnny was getting a bit concerned with Vlaar and Willems – new lads – close to him and maybe he senses Gregory not being in top form…. There was no cohesion… But we did create opportunities so I thought – like the rest – that we would turn it around… And suddenly, the game was over… That game, we simply should have won it. Even that hand ball was not seen by the ref… pfff… It was not brilliant, but it wasn’t that bad.”

And suddenly you had to play all finals to even get close to winning it.

“Yes and that sort of broke our confidence I guess. We got all that criticism and the lads at the back felt the pressure and Robin got all those questions about him not scoring… It didn’t work for us. I think we made the right decision to stick to our gameplan against Germany. We again started well, with a couple of good opportunities… ”

You could have been the Dutch Pirlo if Robin would have scored that ball alone facing Neuer…

“Well, that’s football. I could have been the man with that pass but I ended up the loser. And yes, I let Schweinsteiger get away, but we made these mistakes as a team. Sneijder let his man go, Willems lost his, Mathijsen made the wrong decision and Gomez did everything right. Bang. Another smack in the face. And that 2-0 was not helping either…”

Again, it felt like a 2-2 was possible.

“Of course. You know people like Van Persie, Robben and Hunter only need so much to score a goal. It takes seconds. We had a number of good plays in the second half and Germany really didn’t play that good. But it wasn’t to be.

And the criticism became stronger. Van Basten and Gullit were ruthless.

“And why? As if we enjoyed it? They know what it’s like. They had that 1990 World Cup. Why would they be so cynical. And they never explained what they thought we should do. It was only “Oh this was sooo bad…” Well, we know that! They were both great players and I didn’t expect this sort of attack.”

But it wasn’t good…

“It wasn’t but in both games, Denmark and Germany, we could have had a much better result. There was no team playing great the whole tournament. Spain played a tremendous finals, but their other games weren’t that good. We lacked luck, we didn’t have “it” at the right time. We deserved more against Denmark and we could have had a second goal against Germany. I accepted the criticism on the first goal Germany scored. But I was not ok with the people saying I didn’t have the legs anymore. That is simply unfair. If I would have played 4 or 5 games bad in a row, sure. Then I would say myself: maybe time to step down. But I played well against England in the friendly, I didn’t do too shabby against the other teams in the friendlies.”

Was it hard to hear from your father in law that you were benched for the Portugal game?

“That father in law thing…that hasn’t come up in four years but when I’m benched people suddenly call the coach “my father in law”… No, it was not hard. It was good for the team. I’m not here for me, but for the team and if it’s good for the result that I sit on the bench, I will. The team needed something and I wasn’t playing great against Germany. I totally accepted that. And again, despite Portugal’s dominance: we were close. Vlaar had an amazing opportunity and Rafael hit the post. We were very unlucky.”

And then it was over…

“Yes. With all the crap that goes with it. Suddenly all sorts of talking heads knew exactly what went on. I don’t know where they got it from, seriously. The vibe in a group is always good when you win and always shite when you lose. That is a given. We don’t have a bad group. We’re all professionals. We talk about stuff and we accept that we are not all the same. We don’t need to be friends. What Robben yelled at Bert or what Huntelaar did in the hotel is all stuff that is part of top sport. In the heat of the moment, things are said. Big deal. We had stuff going on in South Africa too! But, I guess the Dutch people needed to vent their disappointment. I get that.”

But mistakes were made, correct? Willems? Afellay? The Huntelaar situation?

“Well sure, in hindsight you know everything. When Bert selected Willems, everyone though that was ok. Cool and ballsy. Willems did well in my book. Played good against Denmark, didn’t do too badly against Germany… The Portugal game, well… Playing all those offensive players put a lot of strain on the defenders, but he has speed and he was simply a better option than Schaars. Afellay played a very good warm up and seemed fit. And Huntelaar…I think he was getting frustrated and you know what, these are tough situations. If we would have won the Denmark game, everything would have been different… It just went downhill from there… Sad.”

Did Bert discuss his resignation with you?

“No, why would he? He’s strong enough to take care of himself. I expected him to stay in the job. I haven’t really spoken with him. I’m on my holidays now and I’ll return to Eindhoven soon. Looking forward to that. PSV has always been my club. I promised them in 2005 I’d return and here I am. An emotional thing for me, as they were very good for me. And since then, I played for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan. Not bad….”

Bookmark and Share


  1. jan..did you take the interview….gr8 i must say…i guess its you who are keeping us alive feeding all dutch football news…

    anyways van bommel did talk about that gr8 game for the first 20 minutues and then letting it go…and that huge gap that was getting created due to back four tracking back and forwards pressing…somehow u start to feel for this team and bert..seriously they probably cudnt do any better with back bour not confident and the forwards always chasing the game..remeber except portugal game we were always chasing..and also some bad luck…robin not scoring easy goals…feel so low and bad now after reading this interview…it was as if i revisited the euro and the painful loss every time…

  2. Thanks again @Jan for another interesting one!!

    I meant to ask you for some time about the comments rss feed:

    1. It seems the feed only keeps the last 10 entries, which means I lose some if there are more than 10 in between downloads.

    2. The feed is cluttered by spam entries. Is there a way to get rid of these on your side?

  3. always respected mark van bommel, he’s probably gonna be a future champion coach with teams. The way he read games is amazing.

    but the whole left back thing was a problem bert van marwijk created. He can say it was cool and hip to pick willems, but schaars is a central midfielder. And BVM had plenty of eredivisie options, Anita was better with more experience and didn’t select him, or emanulson, buttner, de vrij, and others. that comes to the hypocrite that is BVM, he picks bouma because it’s important to have experience, then he selects willems with no experience. and schaars too not much experience at left back.

    But Mark Van Bommel did confirm some things we already knew, the defense kept tracking back. making the field too stretched out.

    I just can’t shake this feeling he is hiding something though. HE is kind of blaming heitinga as the leader of the defense, and saying guys weren’t fit. which is big to say. He pretty much said they knew van der wiel was off, worried about vlaar and willems.

    And of course not many people saw it coming. and now the ones who made negative predictions, want to make even more negative predictions, But if robin van persie plays like robin van persie at arsenal. We win the first Two games, have Six points and who knows what happens. Reminds me of my uncle who predicts every tournament holland won’t get out of the group. and then they won’t beat brazil, they won’t beat spain. when they finally lose he goes into i told you so, they won’t make it out of this group, won’t be able to do that. always doom and gloom

    Lets realize, as bad as we were, We could have easily been in the semi-final against spain, with 2 extra days rest. And who knows what might have been!

    So lets get Guus Hiddink and be the first european team to Win a world cup in south america

    1. I agree with the left back situation, when you put an 18 year old he needs to be a wonder kid. Having skills that kids his age don’t have (Owen, Walcott etc) I’m very sorry to say this but all I see from willems is his speed. It was way to early to bring him into the spotlight, I feel for him and I hope it doesn’t ruin his career. I don’t know if you guys remember this but when we had problem with arthur numan, zenden played in that position, at that time zenden was a winger. It really makes me sad when I read that Heitinga didn’t push up because he was worried about the other guys, this team wasn’t afraid of their rivals they were afraid of themselves.

  4. At this day and age, not knowing the fitness levels of your own players is just amazing, there are currently all types of technology and fitness testing. I know that there’s a difference between being fit and match fit (not having enough rhythm because of a lack of games) but common (and if this is true) what a lack of judgement by the coaching staff. I know some people have said this, but its clear that VM just gave too much confidence in his players, putting a blind eye on little things such as fitness. But the blame is two fold, if I were a player and the coach gave me his trust even though I was not up to it. I would leave everything on the field, but these players seemed so tiny (in every aspect – not all but almost all)

      1. few years? i’m thinking 10 to 15 years. for now, it would be great if he retired into the sunset, maybe make psv champions league contenders, coach some youth teams, then a club team, and if he wins, then we’ll see about him coaching holland. But a long time away.

  5. As a PSV fan i appreciate his commitment to the team and i think if Strootman stays at PSV he will learn a lot from MVB…i just hope they play together, there is no way Strootman would be benched for MVB…i hope.

    funny that he mentions nothing about the system that was played…he seemed to support everything BVM did and was not critical of anything. not his lack of subs, nothing.

    Pretty predictable interview if you ask me. I could have scripted it and you wouldnt know the difference.

  6. I would like to see PSV playing 4-3-3 with Strootman as libero and Pieters as center back, like this:


    Toivonen–Van Bommel–Wijnaldum


    1. god damn..eredivise teams suck. Can’t even put some decent options up front for a run to the semis of Europa league…here’s to hoping Financial fairplay of 2013 will change that.

  7. HEY VAN GAAL confirmed????????????

    What it means?


    06/07/2012 20:03

    Louis van Gaal is door de KNVB benoemd tot bondscoach van het Nederlands elftal. De 63-jarige trainer volgt Bert van Marwijk op, die na het EK van dit jaar zijn ontslag indiende. De onlangs bij Ajax vertrokken Danny Blind zal Van Gaal assisteren.

    Van Gaal was sinds zijn ontslag in april 2011 bij Bayern München zonder werkgever en had al lange tijd de ambitie als bondscoach van een gerenommeerd voetballand nog een groot eindtoernooi mee te maken.

    In 2001 liet Van Gaal die kans liggen. Oranje overleefde onder zijn leiding de kwalificatie voor het WK 2002 in Japan en Zuid-Korea niet. Portugal en Ierland plaatsten zich ten koste van Nederland voor dat mondiale eindtoernooi. Het was toen de eerste keer sinds 1986 dat Nederland niet van de partij was op een EK of WK.

    Dat Blind in het kielzog van Van Gaal aan de technische staf van Oranje wordt toegevoegd, mag geen verrassing heten. Het tweetal was eerder al in beeld om Ajax weer naar de Europese top te leiden, op voorspraak van voormalig RvC-voorzitter Steven ten Have. De keuze voor Van Gaal als technisch directeur werd via een rechtszaak echter geblokkeerd door Johan Cruijff en een groep volgelingen.

  8. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooOOOOOOO i want Rijkaard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well if Van Gaal do what he did in Ajax, it will be amazing…. I hope the best for him!!!!!!!!!

  9. It is the Anti Cruyff team, the same team that fight against JC, Berkamp, Jonk at Ajax. Very interesting! If Van Gaal can do what he did to Ajax 95 then it is good. On the other hand, we also remember WC 2002 qualification.

  10. I’m really disappointed. He was the last person I wanted to see take over at Oranje.

    Hopefully, they don’t wait till we are mathematically knocked out of the qualifiers before they change him.

    We shall see…

  11. all i gotta say is today is july 6th on time, I knew it would be a decision by the 6th of july

    Man Everyone knows HIm, We know his tactics, It’s time to Guess what he’s gonna do, What formation

    Well maybe he’ll win this one,

    1. It’d be funny if the man who didn’t even qualify to the worldcup in 2002 comes after 12 years and win it in 2014 !
      well , who knows .

      still not happy with the decision . I won’t change my mind till i see how he performs with Oranje .

      1. life works like that sometimes, sometimes you have to fail to learn how to succeed. all i know is we will be playing some attractive football

  12. He was not the fans favourite,but Van Gaal was the most logical choice right now.
    He has experience,was very succesfull as a coach,knows dutch style,and he is capable to deal with the problems in the team now.

  13. Wow,

    The only thing worse that crashing out in the first round is not even qualifying. And the last coach to not even qualify for a major tournament was Van Gaal.

    Orange ppeared to crash partly because the coach stubbornly refused to adjust his system to take advantage of the players he had. And Van Gaal is notorious for forcing players to play his system.

    In the Euro a lot of egos just couldn’t be made to work together. In his last assignment Van Gaal ended up being hated by a whole bunch of players with big egos.

    So therefore the only logical choice for Oranje is Van Gaal! Of course, the players might hate him – but they’re arrogant anyway!

    Wow – obviously being sarcastic but wow. He’s a really risky pick.

    They should have finally asked Cruijff.

  14. VAN DE GAUL!!!! was the biggest dissapointment in terms of dutch coaches….he took a group of talented players and missed them a tourney in 2002…a tourney that had they qualified they could have at least made the semis. He also made me miss 4 years of watching holland in competitions. I’m very sad now. He simply SUCKS!

    Might be good for clubs, but no way for national teams. Couldn’t someone else offer this guy a job?! Is the economy in the low countries so bad, this guy can’t find something else! For gods sake!!!

  15. @Petrovic,
    how is he gonna deal with the team? He cares more about his own ego. What we have is a bunch of superstars who need someone to show them team first mentality. Unless he gets rid of the current starters and pick a mostly youth side, he’ll add more fuel to the fire.

    We also have a major crisis in defense. We don’t have quality and capable defenders. I don’t think this guy even knows we have defenders on the team. If he had his way, he would pick all strikers and midfielders. He is so obsessed with possession and attacking only.

    I don’t think for a second that he is trying to redeem himself. He just wants another chance to prove everybody wrong that his tactics work. I doubt he has learned from his mistake. He’s as stubborn as ever. He would do it again even if it means we lose games. Getting he’s style of play is more important for him than winning games.

    1. Here is the “good” news. At least you will expect nothing, so it will be hard to get heartbroken again. He is one of the worst choices I could think off. I mean how worse can it be? Kiss WK2014 goodbye. At least you will not go to WK2014 with hopes, you will not go at all so it will be hard to shed tears …

      Anyhow, you are free to choose:

      1. cut your veins
      2. hang yourself
      3. just jump out of the window

      this is worst than the EK fiasco.

      1. Hahahahahahaha –

        Its only voetbal – nobody died – take it easy.

        Seriously though – with the short time-frame, and problems, a short term solution is probably best – for a bunch of reasons.

        He is no one’s favorite, but building the team will take some time – and frankly we don’t have any time – qualifications are only weeks away.


    2. Sam,I look at it like this: He is a proven coach,very famous,maybe the most famous outside Netherlands behind Hiddink.That is why he is a logical choice. He failed misserably once,that was with a national team. But at every other job as a coach,he had succes. The players can respect him for that.
      I would prefer Rijkaard,definitely,but I think he would also have a hard time dealing with this team. Everyone would.
      He is given a second chance,he has a motivation to prove to all haters that it was a one time mistake. If cant make it the second time,he will be murdered by the press in Netherlands,and that is a big motivation if you ask me.
      He simply has to make it! He is trying to bounce back,as his whole team is in fact.
      But I cant say I am not worried about his tactics…hmmm..

  16. come come guys not so negative:
    vgaal list of honor:

    Nederland; AFC Ajax1992/1993 Nederlandse Beker
    1993/1994 Nederlandse Supercup
    1993/1994 Nederlands Kampioenschap
    1994/1995 Nederlandse Supercup
    1994/1995 Nederlands Kampioenschap
    1995/1996 Nederlands Kampioenschap

    1991/1992 UEFA Cup
    1994/1995 Champions League
    1995/1996 Wereldbeker
    1995/1996 Europese Supercup
    [bewerken] Spanje; FC Barcelona1997/1998 Europese Supercup
    1997/1998 Spaans Kampioenschap
    1997/1998 Spaanse Beker
    1998/1999 Spaans Kampioenschap
    [bewerken] Nederland; AZ2008/2009 Nederlands Kampioenschap
    [bewerken] Duitsland; FC Bayern München 2009/2010 Duits Kampioenschap
    2009/2010 DFB-Pokal
    2010 DFB-Supercup

    2006/2007 Rinus Michels Award
    2008/2009 Rinus Michels Award
    2009 Nederlands Coach van het Jaar

    just keep in mind…

  17. This was the only realistic choice for the KNVB as all the good club coaches were not going to take the job and Adriannse would have been a train wreck and Gullit was never an option. Blind will be his chief assistant and he knows the Eredivisie players who will be the ones who will be added to the team quite well. Remember Van Gaal did a solid job at AZ and then at Bayern getting the latter all the way to a CL final (and he had some difficult personalities to manage along the way with that team). He is likely to move the team back to the roots of Dutch football with a 4-3-3.

    Qualification will be a challenge as I have said before as we are not in as weak a group as we have been for the last two major competitions. He has little time to get things in place before two difficult group matches. We live in interesting times.

  18. just guessing on some process of elimination type thinking

    Before the 2010 World Cup, Van der Wiel was heavily linked with Bayern Munich, after the world cup, Van gaal and scouts were not impressed by him, and decided against it, Coupled with the fact that van der wiel’s been playing bad

    For sure, Two new positions with van gaal

    Right back Can Be Anita, or Van rhijn

    And a new midfielder for departing Van bommel

    I would hope a new winger, Elia getting the chance to play on one wing with robben.

    and my guess, just an educated guess, is that afellay would be in the defensive midfield next to de jong, pushing up like schwensteiger. Just a guess, nothing concrete.

    1. I like your thinking man, but what about the centre of defence and LB? I like Anita on the field, so RB is interesting, but will the coach have a new CB combo and LB? I don’t want the program to quit on Willems that fast, will kill his confidence, and I am tired of predicatable Robben on the right, Elia is a star, and Narsingh opposite him both feeding Huntelaar will work, I like Douglas/Maduro/Pieters/Willems to be featured, not sure about Afellay as a starter, as a sub, for sure

      1. well i think left back is erik pieters to lose, it should be his position, and only another person’s if they prove ot be better

        Center back I don’t know what he will pick, I would hope two footballing centerbacks, LIke viergever, and De vrij or Gouweleeuw.

        But at bayern munich, he was playing with daniel van buyten, and martin demechellis, Two tall guys, Who have great ball skills, but really slow.

        I mean We can translate that to Ron Vlaar, and Hedwiges Maduro fit his profile of the last job. along with Douglas,

        But luckily for us, he also coached ajax in 1995, kind of playing a 3-4-3, With one center back, danny blind, with frank rijkaard the defensive midfielder in a sort of 3-3-1-3 with that one being jari litiman

        Our hope would be if he played that formation, We have the perfect 1 in welsey sneijder! and They had Danny Blind in a kind of sweeper set, who would pick up and deal with stray balls frank de boer and michael reizger couldn’t deal with, or deep runs. I would hope Nigel de Jong is perfect for that.

        if we were to play like ajax 1995 our formation would be
        —————van persie or huntelaar————-
        ——–Afellay——————–Clasie or Strootman
        ——————Clasie or anita——————–
        ——-Pieters——————–Van Rhijn———–
        ——————De Jong—————————


        and the 1995 ajax team for reference was
        ==——-Edgar Davids—————-Ronald De boer
        ———————Frank Rijkaard————-
        ——–Frank De Boer———–Reizegeger
        —————–Danny Blind—————–

        ——————–Edwin Van der Sar

        and to translate his bayern munich formation of 4-2-3-1 to the holland national team, Note i’m biased to elia, replace him with kuyt or any winger of your choice.

        ————————van Persie———————–
        ————–Nigel De Jong———Afellay—————–
        Pieters——————————————Van Rhijn


        1. furthermore on that note, the ajax 3-4-3, was really more of a 3-1-2-3-1, very flexible, and gave an extra man it would seem,

          the narrow 3 man defense would be tested by other teams making guys go wide to exploit them, but R. De Boer and Edgar davids picked them up all the time, Which is why i wanted anita, clasie, and afellay there, they could pick those guys up. i would prefer clasie being in rijkaards position as he can push up, and sneijder would have to drop back to help. defensively.

          anyway i probably am rambling and making no sense, but pretty much, It’s a great thing to look at a persons habits, to find out what could be with holland, and what van gaal will likely do when making decisions.

  19. @Paul
    he worked wonders with Bayern? What wonders? Bayern is expected to win the Bundesliga every year. I don’t consider that wonders.

    How can the guy who failed to even qualify for a WC by beating Portugal and Ireland gets to coach the team again?

    He had Van der Sar, Gio, Frank and Ronald de Boer, MVB, Cocu, Davids, Kluivert, Makaay, Overmars, Van Nistelrooy and he still couldn’t beat Ireland to secure a place.

    Exactly 10 years later, he’s appointed again.

    Reminds me of an Aesop’s fable. “The frogs who desired a king”.

    Now these players have the dictator!

  20. He doesn’t deserve a second chance. This is the WC we are talking about. This is a major event that comes once every four years. Thanks to Van Gaal, we had to wait 8 years before we see our team in the World Cup again. 1998 to 2006!

    Thanks to him, we may have to wait another 8 years before we see Oranje again at the WC, if he fails. 2010 – 2018!

    That’s a combined 16 years this guy would take away from us if he fails again.

    Is it really worth it? Are we that desperate that there’s absolutely no one available?

    To make things worse, we have lost 3 previous WC final appearances! That’s a record! Nobody has suffered more than us. Nobody has waited more than us. This was absolutely not the time to take chances! Absolutely not! Especially with him. Knowing exactly what he’s gonna do.

    1. @SamDC – what you bring up means absolutely nothing. It was far worse right after Krol and Resenbrink retired in 1980. NT missed two WCs and a European Championship before winning the EC in 1988! IMO, Advocaat was a far worse manager.

      Anyone who thinks that the NT is an automatic qualifier for the 2014 WC is dreaming. Changes will have to be made and quickly.

    2. >Nobody has suffered more than us

      you know how I feel? Only Jesus Christ suffered more, and even that is debatable… (tong in cheek comment)

      The last few weeks I caught myself wishing not to have made the 2010 final. Wouldn’t be better if we failed at the 16 again? I can’t take this anymore !!!

  21. @Sam ´Bayern is expected to win the Bundesliga every year. I don’t consider that wonders. ´

    This year they are not champions. The last one who made Bayern champion was Louis! Luois became champion with every club he worked for;

    our most succesful coach ever

  22. this could be a double edged sowrd – LvG likes to experiment which is what everyone here called for… at the same time, he did get the best out of Robben with Bayern… Just a hinch, RvP will not play for Oranje and you might see De Jong in central defence.

    One thing is for sure, things will change!

    1. Exactly,a change is needed and it will come with him.
      The question is,will it be a change for the better,or will we sink some more. We will see.

  23. @Mohammed; thank you for the link., interesting perspective

    @Onzie, I think your “guesses” are pretty good; Affellay should be playing more centrally

    He’s not afraid to play young talent, that is certain…On his Ajax team, there were Rijkaard and Blind as vets, the rest were in their teens and early 20’s, in the final against Milan, he substituted in two 18 year olds (Kluivert and Kanu).

    1. thanks, but predictions can be wrong, and guesses, i’m just going by what he did with bayern munich, He loves lots of passing. kind of like barcelona. And afellay can pass the ball around a lot. Schwensteiger used to be a number 10 before being in his midfield position.

      So i can see afellay being very versatile, but i don’t like what i heard about afellay, and afellay wants to stay at barcelona, which might mean less playing time, but hey, He can work with what van gaal wants.

  24. The club Louis really worked wonders on was AZ, he made them champions again after 30 years. He had good but not the best material but beat the other teams on tactics , and team spirit. He is a legend in alkmaar and zaanstreek

  25. I don’t have a problem with experimenting with new players. We need to do it more. That was one of the failures of BVM. However, I’m not in the mood for bringing back a controversial prima donna and a previous failed manager back in charge.

  26. Congratulations to our new coach. He is a risk but we needed change. Let’s hope this change is not for the worst. If he can show a whole new line of defense by September and bring new faces I will be happy.

  27. well,i don’t know what to say… first of all, i was against van gaal. he’s a brilliant club coach,but failed with oranje. now he has a lot to proove,and he’s a fierce man,he’ll try. no doubt,oranje will qualify for the next world cup,but luis has to do more: returning to the dutch way,refreshing the squad and getting results. he will experiment,but i have still some doubts: not qualifying for the 2002 world cup with one of the most talented squads of dutch football history… on the other hand,this fact might give him extra motivation.

  28. There is no question that Van Gaal has success as a club coach. Put aside his disastrous spell for failing to qualify for WC 2002, the national team is different than the club. At the club he will have more time to gel with the team as it is a long season. With national team it is a group of players from different clubs, short time for preparations,…I’m certainly hoping Van Gaal does not use club method.
    If he retain the core players and adding more young players, I hope our goal is to win the WC 2014, not Euro 2016. Well, we have to qualify first so let’s see if KNVB is right or not. If they are wrong, I say let JC clean it up like he did with Ajax, taking KNVB to court…I’m just kidding. We have had enough drama for the past 2 years.

  29. I always thought LVG is a bit of a psycho, but I guess all geniuses are 😉 He will either be brilliant or a total disaster. It is 50-50 to me right now. But if he can give RvP, Afellay and any other bitches a karate kick in the face he will be a big success.

  30. @Oranje14,
    I guess since we failed to qualify in the 80s, it’s not that bad to take a chance on Van Gaal? Maybe you are a very patient person who is willing to wait another 8 years while we see Turkey, Romania or Hungary qualify at our expense. This is not Ajax or AZ where if things don’t work out you try again next year. I’m not in the mood to play Russian Roulette until Moscow 2018!

  31. Perhaps Jan can send another letter to Van Gaal or KNVB. All I want to say to Van Gaal is:

    Louis, don’t mess this up like 2002. Proves to us that you belong to the top coaches in history of Netherlands football.

  32. He wasn’t even in my top 10 coaches list… incredible! I guess there is comfort in not having expectations this time but it makes no sense:

    BVM left after a failed Euros yet he had a near-flawless qualifier record.

    LVG was hired yet he took away 8 years of WC action from us.

    Wow. I don’t know what to do anymore, this is terrible. I was looking forward to reading Jan’s MBV article above but now it’s so difficult knowing who our next manager will be..

    Obviously as Oranje supporters for life we have no choice but to support him but it’s tough considering his track record. ..

    Who knows.. maybe it’s for the best. However, why were we teased with the appointment of Frank Rijkaard the past few days and why were we even told Guus was approached a second time? I am more confused than before.

    1. Bitter, I think LvG was the most economical choice for KNVB. Don’t be depressed. At least it will be entertaining at times. I hope JC doesn’t tear him apart.

  33. Ajax of 1995 is the best club team ever in my view. That kind of elegance and performance has yet to be replicated. That Ajax could be the best match for Barca today.

  34. Guys, think what Van Gaal must be feeling. He knows better than anyone that he HAS to succeed. Otherwise he will be known as the guy who failed to qualify for the WC with one of the most talented national teams *twice*. It will finish his career and reputation forever.

    I’m sure he has been thinking about this moment for the past 10 years and I just hope he has the confidence and he won’t choke under pressure. I’m sure he has ran through his mind his past mistakes in the 2002 campaign a million times.

    It will be very interested to know what kind of changes will be happening to the team. Is Van Persie (and possibly) Afellay staying? Who will be the new captain? What about our defensive lineup?

    1. indeed… maybe we wont even see persie again..

      pretty sure affelay vd wiel and persie will have some changing to do if they even want to show up again… if they dont their time in oranje is over. VdVaart is already gone I think, I dont see him coming back to form again. Today Foppe gave interview in which he called the condition of vaart unacceptable and incredible. He also said persie was in bad shape and came short every time cos he leaned back after the season. Van Gaal will finish all this. vgaal will finish all chinanigans and will only look who is fit and who is in form he does not care for big names at all.
      I would have prefered to see foppe and not blind as assistant, but very happy with vGaal

      1. Foppe said that about VdV? I have been saying it all along and almost got into a fight with some Dutch doctor in this blog. If Louis gts rid of VdV he will make even more enemies in here. But he has my vote if he does. And I also will appreciate it when he only invites Afellay when he plays more than 45 mins in a row for Barca. Louis will bring some bullshit with him, but he will get rid of a lot more.

        1. yep he said he could not believe Tottenham accepts a player is on 70% and happy go along and that Oranje staff accepted vd vaart poor shape. We all saw vd vaart stumbling around against bulagaria etc it was laughable. I think vd vaart cant change anymore, maybe vgaal can push him but I dont think he will even try. Van Gaal alway goes for youngsters which is exactly what we need after 4 years of stagnation.

  35. In terms of tactics and discipline I have no concerns, he likes teamwork over individual plays/ers. My only concern is time and understanding, its hard for players to understand him correctly especially in the short period of time they have…
    Btw, its quite clear that the KNVB’s message is discipline, and going tough on “individualistas”. If it weren’t for this they would have gone for a more safe bet, now its clear the area that they want to improve.
    Two things I remember the most regarding Van Gaal, once Rivaldo made a magnificent winning goal for Barcelona but after the match VG called him and said that he wasn’t happy with him because the goal was not done from Rivaldo’s position which was on the left side. the other one, Riquelme was just signed to Barca as a superstar, but straight up Van Gaal said that he didn’t ask for him and thought he wouldn’t fit in his team because he was slow.

  36. He gave a famous press conference in 2002 when he failed to qualify. This was broadcast live. Now, it is nowhere to be found.

    If I do find it, I will post it here.

        1. for sure I am an idiot just like everyone who disagrees with you. Smarts are the ones who will say “mmm bring Burt back” like they did with Kuyt.

          1. i feel sorry if you think i called you an idiot, i don’t resort to name calling, i always believe if a person resorts to name calling they lost the argument.

            i didn’t call you an idiot, i said “saying the media were idiots for doubting him” louis van gaal views the media as stupid, because they like to focus on personal things, and don’t know the tactics he knows.

            referencing this article


            and this section mainly

            Van Gaal came to fundamentally believe football journalists cannot be trusted, mainly due to his conviction that most if not all are incapable of understanding tactics to sufficiently analyse his performances, and they would rather discuss insignificant matters and ask stupid questions. In short, any criticism from the press is interpreted as a professional and personal attack.
            “Journalist think they know as much about football as I do, but they don’t,” he once uttered. This antipathy has often led to memorable confrontations. His retort, “Is it me that is so clever, or are you that stupid?” towards Ted van Leeuwen in 1996 after being drawn into Edgar Davids’ future, became entrenched in Dutch pop culture.

            and for the record, I liked kuyt and felt he should have only been replaced for elia, because elia has more flair and tracks back too.

            i didnt agree with kuyt being replaced by afellay

          2. to make it more clear, Bragging press conference as in out of louis van gaal mouth “you were idiots for doubting me.” “look at how me team won the world cup, I am awesome, screw you cruyff i’m the greatest ever” Hopefully ripping off his shirt and going hulk!

  37. Dutch media report vgaal wants staff changes and has terminated the functions of Ruud Hesp, Wim Rip, Egid Kiesouw and Alfred Schreuder.
    There may be also another technical assistant named soon, its not sure if vgaal wants to keep working with Kees Jansma (chef of press) en Hans Jorritsma (teammanager).

    I especially hope Jorritsma goes, he is a hockey trainer who was once hired and managed to cling on… he got nothing to do with oranje and jinxed the campaign with his hockey face and hockey mentality and general grumpyness.

  38. i think some of you are been so negative. rijkaard was my first option but i think that lvg is one of the best coachs right now. he did amazing job with ajax.

    i am realy exating waiting to see yhe new orange. gessing i think clasie would become one of our stars. imagine orange playing 433 with sneijser clasie and jong/strootman/affelay.

    when will be the friendly game against belgium?

  39. Is Gio ready? I think he just started his trainer course? I think he will be a good one when he is finished the course. Ronald would be superb.

    What about vd Sar for Hesp? Hesp has just been fired from knvb so maybe vgaal has plans already for new keeper coach.

  40. Van Gaal probably had to sell his ideas to the KNVB first before they went along with him. He’ll pick newcomers over established players unless he feels they’ll be able to leave their ego at the door. Of course he’ll be allowed to bring his own where ever he goes.

    Wonder whether he showed his balls at the interview or if he’s saving that for the first team meeting. lol

  41. I can only hope for the best after this summer disappointment, maybe LvG is out to redeem himself after the 2002 debacle and prove that he’s better than just a club coach. Also hoping that he can clean up the players’ egoistic acts and have them play as a team.

    With low world ranking, we qualify not being placed in another group of death in Brazil and some luck, who knows maybe LvG’s Oranje can positively surprise everyone in 2014? And give way to FdB to head the team for 2016!


  42. I’m happy, can’t wait to see what van Gaal does to the team. You that with van Gaal he’ll either be a genius or a flop. Hopefully a genius!!!

    It will be good to see the van Gaal my way or the high way approach. I’m sure he’ll give lots of youngsters a good chance and whip some of the current team into shape.

    Best of all, he won’t be affraid to attack!!! I wish him all the best.

  43. It’ll be really tough for some players to fit into a Van Gaal team and I’m sure he’ll go through at least a few complete setups before he has enough able bodies and willing minds together to go anywhere. By that time WC qualifications might be over. Maybe the KNVB will stress that they are only concentrating on EC 2016 and that 2014 should only be seen as a bonus if they get there? Any more news about LvG’s appointment?

  44. The best way to deal with a team full of egos is to bring the biggest ego of all?

    Look at Vicent del Bosque. Calm and cool sitting on the bench while being able to get the best out of feuding Barça and Madrid players. That’s the kind of leadership you need. I’m skeptical of juvenile, dictatorial style management of dropping pants to make a point.

    1. I rather have a coach that lowers his pants, as long as it is in the dressingroom than a coach that is exposing our back side.

      I think the belgiums dont feel that happy now, they all bought tickets to see us beaten in brussels but now they are not so sure I think.

    2. It doesn’t have to come to that and I’m sure that Van Gaal wouldn’t have taken the job if not confident about current Dutch soccer potential. As he was without a job for a while he might already have a pretty good idea which players he would like to bring in and how they would work together.

      The mind of a good coach never sleeps. Hopefully he’ll be off to a good start that will allow him to build upon. With Oranje he must have more freedom to do what he thinks is right without any manager looking over his shoulder and get to choose his staff instead of being forced to work with whoever is there.

      Although both demand total control, I actually think that Van Gaal knows better what he is doing on a larger scale than JC. If there was a way they could work together that would be ideal as I’m sure Cruyff can elevate the quality of individual players, making them more efficient while Van Gaal can elevate the performance of a whole team with his tactics.

      One thing’s for sure, there will be enough material for journalists and bloggers to write about with Van Gaal around.

  45. You guys here are being so negative about our new coach. I think its a good choice, and while thinking that, I tend to forget about the past.

    there is a sheer admiration here on this blog about the way Germany plays now, well guess who was behind it. Van Gaal.

    All of us also, admired the new founded form of Robben 2 years ago, and behind that, was again Van Gaal. The last time a dutch club had success in Europe, was again Van Gaal.

    I dont think he will clash with his best players. He has a good relationship with Robben, and maybe can make him perform again. He will get along pretty well with Sneijder too, me thinks. And a couple of other big players. He gets related to them now on a more personalized way, and I like that. Many youngsters will have a chance to prove themselves under him, and he maybe succeed. who knows.
    lets use those magical words here again: get behind the team and its new coach!

    1. Not sure if Van Gaal will risk his reputation if playing Robben is hurting the team’s performance. Being the national coach has the benefit of having a rather extensive selection range. That said he probably would like to pick some defenders from across the southern border (Vincent Kompany e.g.). lol

  46. @J
    until I’m proven wrong and I hope and pray he proves me wrong, I don’t think for a second that this is a good choice.

    We just got rid of a coach because he failed. What’s the point of bring back a coach who failed at exactly the same job he was appointed to do? Just so that we give him a chance to repair his pride? Has he shown any indications that he’s changed his ways and his my way or the highway attitude?

    If he wants a second chance, he should have gone and taken another national team. He should have proven himself before bringing him back.

    If we had won at least one of those three WC finals we appeared in, I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But here we are, looking to win our first WC cup trophy and we have to endure a risky pick for a coach.

    I had a lot of hope for this team this year. I was hoping we would lift our 1st trophy since 88 and use this as a launching pad for 2014. At the beginning of the year, if someone had told me that we would lose all three games at the group stage and then get Van Gaal as coach, I would have said it was a cruel joke. IMHO, this is the worst possible outcome so far.

    I’m an optimistic person. However, I find it extremely hard to accept these turn of events. Are we ever gonna see this team win a WC trophy in our lifetime? I’m tired of waiting and waiting!!!

    1. Maybe by that logic none of the malfunctioning 2012 players should then be allowed to play for Oranje either? 2002 is long time ago and unless the KNVB were really desperate and with no other option they wouldn’t have asked him to become coach again.

    2. I respect your views but do you really think reaching 3 WC finals is that bad for a tiny counrty , you talk of winning them, but just reaching them is a big feat for a small counrty like ours. We are no Germany or even France but if you compare with like size countries like Belgium sweden Switzerland former Yugoslavia Ireland and Portugal, most of them have never reached a final, some 1, let alone 3. ENgland only 1, the only small counrty on earth is Holland (and Uruguay 2 but in the 1930 s.)

      1. i’m tired of that “little country” justification. it ‘s a pathetic excuse… Holland develops some of the most talented footballers on the face of this earth year in and year out and we need more national trophies to show for it. We SHOULD win a world cup, it wouldn’t be some miraculous feat for a tiny country. Greece has won, Czech has won, Denmark has won, and our country is a million zillion times better than those countries.. we were better than Spain too for a very long time and are considered one of the best in the world every year. We need to stop thinking that way and start changing our mentality. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of our footballers as you are but I would like to see more hunger and drive now… enough is enough! We deserve a trophy or 2.. or 10!! We are from Cruyff country, come on man!

          1. Haha Me too I like winning, I didnt say we should think reaching a final is enough but that sometimes people talk lightly of it on this blog.
            all those countries you mentioned won EC but never won a WC or even reached a WC final. Except spain of course.

  47. I’M HAPPY! It was a good decision. Now this bunch of primadonnas will have a tough guy to respond to. Van Gaal will bring back discipline to the team. Now, I don’t believe in miracles (knowing the quality of the players in this generation), but I’m looking forward for some really interesting football coming out from one of the best 10 living coaches in the sport today. HUP HOLLAND HUP!!

  48. @Uitlaatklep,
    do you really think KNVB was that desperate? I mean there’s no one in Holland that was competent enough to take the job? Was this a move to get back at JC?

    I really don’t know what to say. 2002 isn’t that long ago. I don’t think I can ever forget how disappointed I was when we got eliminated that day.

    I just hope that if things don’t go well, he should be fired immediately before it’s too late. Portugal had to bring in Bento during qualification because Quieroz was losing the plot. The first two games against Belgium and Turkey will tell us a lot.

    IMO, he’s still guilty until proven innocent.

  49. @ SDC, I am with you man! This is ridiculous but international tourneys happen only once every 2 years so we should just take LVG’s appointment with a grain of salt and be optimistic… and pray….

    I just don’t understand the quick nature of this appointment. Did they even interview Rijkaard? Or approach Hiddink one last time as was reported? Why were we misled?

    We will learn a lot in the next couple of games as you said… very curious.

  50. From those available, it was the best choice. Let’s get all behind Louis. We have asked a return to Dutch football roots and we now have it.

  51. The van Bommell interview was stunning, in the sense of his complete lack of awareness as to the reality of this national team. From the change of tactics to the incredible weakness of the defensive aspects of the team, van Bommell shows no understanding to what happened in Euro ’12. A national team can not experiment with players, formations and tactics DURING a major tournament. Whatever strengths a team has coming into a tournament must be what they rely on during the tournament. Holland did none of that, and the results spoke loudly. If van Marwyck did not see it coming, or if van Bommell did not see it coming, then why not? I have never been a fan of Mark’s, and his leaving the team will not be a significant loss. He brought the punk approach to a team which historically has played best when it dances, not when it kicks players in the chest.

Start a Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.