Van Gaal drops bomb on news conference

Never a dull moment with Louis van Gaal. We knew it. On the way to Asia for two profitable games in the East, Louis van Gaal implied that the World Cup 2014 will be his last job as team manager Oranje.

Quite a surprising message. Is he being open and frank? Or is he playing games? And if so, with whom? The players? The KNVB? Himself? This blog?

“I started this project, because as a coach I never was able to experience a big tournament like the World Cup. Once we have done the WC2014, it’s done. It’s over. Enough is enough. I am not really team manager material anyway. I enjoy working on a daily basis with the players. Normally, I will retire after this tournament… But…you never know, if a beautiful club from the EPL would want, I might be tempted…”

During the press conference, Van Gaal was questioned about his team selection. The ever quotable Van Gaal said that he selected “the logical squad”. Huntelaar, for instance, was not invited. “I think Robin van Persie is the top dog for number 9. Klaasjan did not have a top season. And I want to see other lads at work. I want to see Ricky van Wolfswinkel play. So Klaas Jan would have had to warm the bench. Why would I do this to him? He is a regular Oranje player and I rather have him go on a nice summer holiday.”

And he went on: “No player is certain of his spot. They all have to perform. Rafael had to go back to Hamburg with an injury. Too bad for him, but I know what he can do. For lads like Toornstra and Nelom, this is a golden opportunity. Erik Pieters too, he had a lot of bad luck. But with Blind now in Israel, Pieters can show me what he has. And we all know Erik is Oranje material!”

Van Gaal admitted he broke his own rule by selecting Pieters and Nelom. Both players have not played too many games with respectively PSV and Feyenoord. “I know, I want players with rhythm, but Erik deserves this to end his season on a high. The lad had his value for us already and had some bad luck. With him and Nelom as well, I have to good options for the full back positions. With my normal defenders in Israel, I can test some things out.”

Miquel Nelom is Feyenoord’s reserve left back, behind Martins Indi. But with Martins Indi playing centrally in Oranje (and potentially leaving Feyenoord), there is a fair chance that Nelom will be Feyenoord’s starting left back next season.

“I have respect for Nelom. He seemed to be doing really well as Feyenoord starting left back and the way he handled the fact that he had to make place for Martins Indi was really good. And every time he had to come on the pitch, he played great and with discipline. This kid has the right mentality, as this is harder than when you are a starter.”

Van Gaal was less positive about Jetro Willems. “Willems is a very talented player, but he hasn’t developed this season. He might even have gone back a bit. He needs to work on his weak points.”

Van Gaal explained that the Asia trip (games vs Indonesia next week Friday and China four days later) is not just about the money. “The circumstances next summer in Brazil will be comparable to the Asia climate circumstances. I want to see how the lads cope. We do have to bring some of the big names to these games, like Van Persie and Sneijder, but most of the players if not all really like this trip. Some, like Heitinga, have roots in Indonesia and basically all of them will be in Indonesia for the first time in their lives. Players do enjoy these trips. The KNVB will also try to find ways to support football in Indonesia, so that might be a win-win for all.”

In November, Oranje will play two more friendlies. “But those will be played close to home. I refuse to travel far during the competition. And I want to play two strong opponents then, so different story.”

Later on, an interview with Wesley Sneijder. The Gala man said on his press conference that he will only travel to Brazil in the 2014 summer when he is fit. “If I am only 80 or even 90%, I will not do it. This year taught me that for me, to be of value to a team, I need to be top fit. It was horrific, my return to football at Gala. I was not fit, the coach subbed me at half time, the fans turned against me… I hate that. So I will work my ass off but when I am not fit, I will not go.”

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  1. Thanks for giving us more on this, Jan.

    It’s understandable: all or nothing on U21, then the WC. Then hanging on for another two or four seasons he could be spending in the EPL… at his age? Hmmm…

    As for Wesley: He seems to have weathered a stiff reality check.

  2. Sneijder has not been fit for two years. Does he want to do the work necessary to get fit? I have my doubts. It would be a mistake for van Gaal to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  3. As much as Sneijder is a big game player, I’m beginning to have my doubts about him. Honestly, whenever I see friendlies like these, all I think is that some players are gonna rack up a good amount of goals to fly up Holland’s goal-scoring ranks.

  4. Turkish fans are a bit coo coo. One does not have the idea at times that even 1 rational thought passes their brain in all their hysteria. When they lose, they always blame the players of not trying hard enough and not giving their all. The reason why they underperform in football and in sports in general is because they have this single explanation approach for every result of their team every single time. Before improving as a football country, one first have to let arise a discourse that makes other explanations conceivable. These are generalizations, but I want to make a point.

    In case of Wesley, this is actually not a bad culture to be soaked in. Those fans demand his 100% effort every time like in few other country’s happens. Wesley is one hell of a footballer and simply needs to become 100% fit again and live for the sport. Hollywood friends need to be kicked out and has to take an inspirational personal trainer check in an hour after starting the day. Those are the people he needs to hang out with. He took 1, 2 or even 3 glasses of wine a day in Italy. Also needs to stop. Maybe Italians who grew up with that stuff operate well with it on daily basis, Wesley had a Dutch upbringing. He has taken cultural enrichment too far. I hope the Turkish fans push him into proper fight mode again and have him up and running before WC 2014.

    About van Gaal. He is brilliant with players U24. He is the best manager in the world who can get the most out of a young team. As we played with the youngest Dutch NT in history against Italy, it’s a shame he leaves so soon. My biggest worry was how the older players like RvP, vdV, Sneijder and maybe others would start to resist him, but it went well so far. He made them feel he can win important games without them and they have to accept certain things in case they like to go to the WC 2014.

    I am very worried about the next manager. I am afraid it will be Koeman and I am not a Koeman believer. I don’t buy him as a top coach. I think most advancement of the club Feyenoord comes down to van Gastel and the good work from the people at Varkenoord where they had talent prepared to help out the club in times of need. Koeman can be a smart fox tactically, but is too opportunistic for my liking. I like coaches with a philosophy they stick too. He let’s Feyenoord play a lot of high balls while having many Dutch internationals that can actually play good football. He makes Immers one of his main men, while the guy is not able to play football. I can’t understand Feyenoord’s game against ADO at the end of the season with so much at stake. Such a lethargic game. A coach must have his team on their front feet in such a game, at the end of the campaign, when a CL spot is for the taking. He can blame the players, but for me a coach is certainly also to blame. It was as much a test for him as for his players. He failed the test for me.

    Frank does answer more to the profile I have in mind, but there is something blind in de Boer. Van Gaal has that as well. Now one would say ideology and blindness are brother and sisters at times, but I am talking about his persistence to play Janssen DM while Anita was the answer staring him right in his face all the time. He just could not bring himself to put Anita in that damn DM spot. In the end Anita did become the DM and Ajax would run away in the league with 14 game winning streak in Eredivisie in the second half of the season. I think the Dutch NT comes a little too soon for him after WC 2014 and he probably wants to stay at Ajax anyway.

    Hiddink is making 14 million Euro a year somewhere in Russia, so not likely he is going to work for a fraction of that as Dutch NT coach.

    Advocaat is a coward and I would never want him to see back again as NT coach. He never changed. For PSV he also had that defensive sub ready before or at half time IIRC against Ajax this season. Frank made an offensive one and won the game. Not 1 but 2 points in my book for Frank for that alone.

    I still think Foppe is not taken serious enough as NT coach, but will never get the job anyway. He won 2 U21 tournaments with in hindsight not that great material. It’s a real shame.

    Jol is also too pragmatic and opportunistic for me.

    van Basten is learning, but as club coach not on the job for so long. 2 or 3 years now? Not done learning and I think that when he has a feeling he has the job in his fingers that AC Milan would be prepared to take him if he offered himself. At Milan he is a legend. When he comes into the room, people all turn around and start looking at him. After that job going well, I would not hesitate to take him back for the NT job. Maybe Ajax want him after Frank. I really do not think he particularly failed for Ajax or for country. His win percentage was actually pretty good, but I did not really liked his football. However Heerenveen did play some good football at the end of the season. If he is developing into that direction then he remains an interesting option for the future.

    Maybe Verbeek is an option as well. Has won the KNVB Cup this season. Would like him to go to a big club though before coaching the Dutch NT. He failed a bit at Feyenoord, so still has to prove it higher up than Heereneveen and AZ.

    Rijkaard has really disappointed me after Barca (or after ten Cate left hiss staff maybe), but would be a much better choice than Gullit who was pushed by some media before the job was given to van Gaal. Gullit always starts to speak about opportunism in the game and I really hate how he thinks about football in that department.

    I feel that we have coaches that are developing nicely, but would not yet be ideal at the time van Gaal would stop in little over one year from now. Hiddink is the only acceptable option for me if he is prepared to do it for the money he will be getting from the KNVB.

    Anyway, just some thoughts. My next post will probably be about the upcoming U21 tournament again.


  5. Silly van Gaal made a fool of himself today.

    Claimed that only four EPL clubs would be able to win the Eredivisie! And that Aston Villa is of similar quality as RKC.

    Do you agree? Wouldn’t Everton, Spurs, Liverpool and Swansea be able to win the Eredivisie??

    Give your comments here please….

    1. Yes Jan if he said so,then he has got an issue..worried about the national team,is he Blind? or is he over confident?
      Manu,Mancity,Chelsea,Arsenal,Everton,Spurs can go all the way,i would have added Liverpool too but at present they have some other issues.they almost up there others,also i doubt swansea long as Ajax,Psv feynoord,twente and Az is there it is goin to be hard for all other EPL teams..

    2. Yes Jan if he said so,then he has got an issue..worried about the national team,is he Blind? or is he over confident?
      Manu,Mancity,Chelsea,Arsenal,Everton,Spurs can go all the way,i would have added Liverpool too but at present they have some other issues.they almost up there with others,also i doubt swansea long as Ajax,Psv feynoord,twente and Az is there it is goin to be hard for all other EPL teams..

    3. Nope. I think Ajax could best each of those teams. English teams generally have trouble against technically and tactically good teams, which the Eredivisie is pretty much made of. You mention Swansea, which is ironic because they are pretty much like an Eredivisie team. They play players who probably wouldn’t even start on a top Eredivisie side. They get players who are technically and tactically decent, and look how well they do in the EPL. I think Swansea is a good measuring stick of what would happen if you put an average Dutch side in the EPL. I think if you gave a Dutch team the insane revenue streams that EPL sides get, they would easily best almost any EPL team.

      And yes, Aston Villa is shit. They would probably finish bottom half of the Eredivisie.

      1. @TFC Ajax true that Epl teams are not techniqually and tactically sound as Eredivise teams.but when u watch EPL u understand that one day aston villa beats Manu and other day the loose to Reading,those EPL teams pretty physical,eredivise teams will struggle even aginst Fulham kind of teams..To win a eredivise u need to have consistant 34 games,minimum 6 teams of EPL are capable of doing that if exclude liverpool though pool with suarez also has a chance.thats means 7 teams..Even ajax struggles against City in return home match,i aam telling this based on current facts..But like u said when money comes in dutch teams then they no chance…but thats remains hopefu wish….

    4. Not sure about Everton, Liverpool or Swansea. Spurs would probably win it. Ajax and Psv are strong teams, and the Amsterdam spanking of Man City can’t be just a coincidence.

      1. Spurs wouldn’t win it. My thoughts here are that the big teams in the Eredivise would be forced to adapt to the style of these teams and learn to play against them. Where the Eredivisie falls down is every team below the top six.

    5. There’s method to his madness… said the same thing about Seria A before the Italy match, right?

      His remarks aren’t just hot air (I really hope), but are intended to have some effect.

      Certainly had an effect on Jan. 😉

      Maybe this is addressed to Van Ginkel/Maher et al. who are being tempted with the leap to EPL.

      Maybe it’s about putting a burr in England U21’s butt.

      Maybe he really believes it. Doesn’t necessarily mean he thinks he’s Napoleon. 😉

      1. “Maybe this is addressed to Van Ginkel/Maher et al. who are being tempted with the leap to EPL.”

        That would be my guess, and it’s also in stark contrast to van Marwijk’s policy of systematically overlooking Eredivisie talents because he didn’t think they were playing in a good enough league. I believe this selection criteria is what drove Anita to leave Ajax for Fucking Newcastle. Van Marwijk completely overlooked him at Ajax despite him being the driving force behind two league titles, so he thought that playing in the EPL would increase his chance of a call up. Of course it did the opposite because Newcastle is completely the wrong team for him.

        Then there’s also the fact that his statement is true 😉

    6. I agree that on 34 games, Ajax got more chances to do better than Tottenham, Liverpool or Everton, Ajax plays a better football and is able to kill NEC or Heracles away in 30 min with two goals,while teams like Tottenham and Liverpool need often 85min to score one goal home against Southampton…

      But comparing about teams, names on the paper, there is a huge gap between the two leagues, he took the bad example with Aston Villa, he could say Norwich ok, but Aston Villa got pretty good names, the three forwards Benteke-Bent-Agbonlahor would score easily 80 goals together in the dutch league where Malki who is one of the topscorers wouldn’t play in any PL team.

    7. Well people also laughed when he said that Eredivisie and Serie A does not differ much as competitions. He said that before the Italy game, putting the youngest NT in Dutch history on the field made off a lot of Eredivisie kids and played Italy for 80 minutes off the park. So much so that Ballotelli started to kick the ball against the billboards out of frustration. Italians including Pirlo could not follow. I think that game is not treated with the respect it deserved. The football was good and Clasie had a 100% pass accuracy rate over the 45 minutes he was able to play (got injured). A midget who only had 2.5 Eredivisie seasons in his legs.

      I think van Gaal is not crazy in this regard. He does not only look at how good players are, but also takes other things into consideration. Ajax totally outplayed City at home and almost won from them at their stadium as well. Also won from the other Manchester club in the year before that. Last international game against Ireland the flagship of English football (the English senior NT) played an old fashioned 442 with little or no movement between the lines. It’s just not advanced stuff they are putting out there.

      That having said, each EPL club gets something like 20 or 25 million extra from next season on as a result from new TV contracts. The broadcasting rights for foreign markets are on their way to generate as much money now as the domestic TV markets delivers clubs in other fairly big competitions. This is only going to snowball faster and harder. USA is also increasingly warming up to EPL and that is a big market as well. This ultimately will result in a very big gap not only with Eredivisie, but pretty much any other league.

      That having said, I think it is refreshing one man at least remains looking at the football and does not get flashed 1 bit by all these parameters going in favor for another competition. Keep in mind that he uses that Scout7 program and gets to see many English teams into great detail in order to follow Dutch players. He must have seen a lot of RvP games and therefor know how United plays and all teams that play against that club. At Aston Villa plays Ron Vlaar and must have seen them in great detail as well. When I say great detail: Looked at their execution of the ball possession phase, the execution level of the transition phases, execution of the ball possession phase opponent, the level of execution of the dead ball situations, the level of execution of organised pressing etc. . He was not that impressed. The fact there is more noise, watching a bit more people than at a RKC game does not make the level of execution better. Now if he is taking a margin in favor to speak volume of Eredivisie or not, I think it is refreshing somebody is remaining critical of an EPL and Serie A.

      I recently saw again the quote’s of Xavi and how he thanked van Gaal for the vision of an all home grown first team and the completion of that vision not that long ago when they played with 11 players from the Barca academy. I also see increasingly more Bayern fans and even non Bayern fans thanking van Gaal for laying the foundations for their European dominance (3 CL finals in 4 years). People love the German NT recently, but it is also shaped by van Gaal who put Lahm where he plays, Schweinsteiger where he plays now, brought Muller, brought Badstuber etc. People speak about the clash between Guardiola vs Mourinho in the upcoming European Super Cup, but forget that both are van Gaal students. At the start of Guardiola’s career he said he learned most from van Gaal. Mou even goes further than that. Van Gaal is not crazy when it comes to football and has his own vision on the game that is (semi) adopted by arguably the 2 best coaches in the game of today. I rather try to look at what van Gaal tries to say with these things than contest them and say Spurs would be able to win as well and feel like I have refuted his point.

      1. Great post. Love the perspective.

        EPL certainly has a big following here in the US where it is actually advertised as the ‘worlds best league’. I think this popularity is both because it is the only league regularly broadcast here and because the quality of play is such a drastic improvement over the MLS. My hope is that the contract changes for broadcasting will lead to more exposure, particularly for the Eredivisie, but I doubt it.

  6. Thanks for nothing Van Gaal….

    I still remember the debacle of 2002 and despite booking my Brasil vacation for 2014, I hold hope that we will succeed despite you – not because of you….

    A failure of the magnitude of 2002 should never have given him the chance to be the trainer of Oranje a second time…..

    That team was a great team woefully mismanaged by an egotistical maniac!

  7. . “””””””””””The Gala man said on his press conference that he will only travel to Brazil in the 2014 summer when he is fit. “If I am only 80 or even 90%, I will not do it. This year taught me that for me, to be of value to a team, I need to be top fit. It was horrific, my return to football at Gala. I was not fit, the coach subbed me at half time, the fans turned against me… I hate that. So I will work my ass off but when I am not fit, I will not go.”””””””””””
    Glad that wesly identfied his problem and must love his mentality about goin to WC14 if he is not fit.thats the attitude every player should have…
    If LVG resigns then FDB is teh next mopst suitable one for that job,Considering Hiddinks proverty issue and Vanbasten’s Egos issues and koeman’s doubleminded ness….
    i am looking for Earnst happel kind of coach,man of innovations and who knows how make a champion team even from collection of average players..But this is still my hope….

  8. To be honest, I think most of the last “Golden Generation” is done for. Robben and Van Persie are the only ones left with enough speed, stamina and mental strength to compete in major tournaments.

    This has been apparent since the EC fiasco last year, I don’t know what other proof people are looking for.

    1. It’s a bit of a tragedy really that this generation will go out trophy-less largely because of bad coaching, bad luck, and bad refereeing.

      Euro 2008 we were on fire, but then tragedy hit when Boulharouz’s daughter died and half the team stayed up at the hospital with the family. The tournament went out the window right there

      In 2010 we were so close, but a casillas foot and a moron referee denied us.

      Then after FdB left BvM’s coaching staff, things started getting worse. Sure we were still destroying teams, but performances started getting worse, BvM started running the team like a friends and family club and when things started not going so well, he had absolutely no answer.

      Euro 2012 was just the culmination of everything that was wrong with the team, which had been building up over the entire year leading up to it. Those being: No solution at LB, no alternatives to our declining CB pairing, no attacking alternative for when Sneijder is marked out of a game, no ideas of how to get van Persie playing well but playing him anyway, and next to no young players tried out whatsoever.
      Add that to some VERY questionable tactics and lineups and all hope of this golden generation going out with a bang was gone.

      Imagine what this generation could have done if they had a good tactician like F. de Boer in charge, who would have had the team playing a brand of football that would have actually suited them

    2. Who are the other players ? Van der Vaart, N.De Jong and/or Sneijder can still have a role for the world cup. Depending on how good they are next year with clubs. We can sup um this “gold generation” to those 5 players.

      Mathijsen did a good job with the selection, he was always playing good during competitions, I rate him much higher than Heitinga and his 1000 mistakes, I can accept Mathijsen to come to the world cup as substitute to “coach” young defenders, but I really don’t understand why Heitinga is still called. Even Ooijer or Boulahrouz were more serious than him with the selection.

  9. If Oranje does well in Brazil 2014 and LVG retires as he said, there is also the possibility that one of his assistants will succeed him instead of Frank De Boer or Ronald Koeman. Of the 2, I think Blind has a better chance than Kluivert. Remember 88 after Rinus Michels stepped down and KNVB wanted Michels’s assistant instead of “the coach we cannot name name”? Right now I think FDB is the best candidate but many things can change from now till after the WC like a good candidate comes along or perhaps KNVB can convince Ajax to let FDB becoming Oranje’s coach.
    Jan summarizes this best with the first sentence “Never a dull moment with Louis van Gaal”. I see that there is still some craziness with LVG, but his ego is better controlled this time as he realized this is the last window for him at WC stage. He simply cannot mess this up and he is motivated to win.
    I think Everton, Spurs and Liverpool can challenge and give the top 3 Eredivisie clubs a tough time. Having better budget than all Eredivisie clubs I think these 3 teams can win Eredivisie.

    1. Paul your dreaming with all respect to you, the EPL is 3 levels above the Erdedivse, a team like Ajax can lift for a game or 2 in the CL , but to do it week in week out against physically tough teams would prove very difficult in my opinion. Ajax are not as good as Liverpool and they struggled to stay in the top 10 this year. In the EPL they don’t care about playing the beautiful game they just play to win which is very ugly sometimes. If you look at ManU results against the weaker teams, they are not flattering and they have 2 or 3 of the best player,s in the world in their team, supported by high quality players all over the pitch and a genius of a coach in SAF.
      But having said that I like you will always support the mighty Ajax!

      1. With respect to both of you, hypotheticals cannot be argued either way. They are BY DEFINITION unknown.
        There is no way to prove how Ajax would fare in the EPL. It’s fun to guess, but it’s also fruitless.

        Also, SAF is far from a ‘genius’. I think perhaps you should look up the term before using it so frivolously. He is a bully who inherited a decent team at a time when truly ridiculous sums of money were pumped into the English League.
        I will forever pay credit to his remarkable record, but let’s not sugar coat the rather insidious way it was achieved.

        1. @Joradan are u saying SAf is not genius?????being in prcarious job for 26 years and that to in one of the famous Club??Do you think a far from Genius person can survive like that??that to with 12 EPL titles and many other trophies…Approx .5 title per year…SAF took 5/6 years to build a team…it was not an immediate sucess for him…H e might feel as rude coach but when u ask people who worked him have atmost respect for him,whether its Ruud/Stam or Beckham the answer is same…..

          1. Yes, I am saying that the man’s reputation exceeds his tactical ability – and he is often given credit for the work of his incredible staff. He was a good coach, with unlimited resources.

            I am also saying that you do not fully understand the meaning of the word ‘genius’, and I suggest you look it up before you seek to embarrass yourself further.

            Have a good day.

          2. @Jordan am not praiser of SAF,but u must credit when credit is due…So far i know only one meaning of the word Genius..and was embrassd by hearing a man stating SAF was just good coach with unlimited resources.

        2. In the world of football, SAF is absolutely a genius , blind Freddo can see that. And further his last “stoke of genius” was the signing of Robin Van Persie – top goal scorer EPL 2013.
          I don’t care what the dictionary says!

  10. Woow,
    just reminded me again that our defence which are feyenoord, would be sitting mid table epl, mean no improvement to previous heitinga-vlaar partnership.

    1. Bmi and de vrij have a lot more potential than vlaar and heitinga did as a pair! Both have a great understanding with each other as they play week in and week out with each other and they’re only 21 years old!


    So 2 points from this vid:

    1. Cor Pot is the decider in this tournament. Van Gaal has not instructed him one single time what kind of players or formation to use.

    2. There are 2 kind of midfield formations he sees as an option:

    1. The passing/technical variant: Clasie, Strootman, Maher
    2. The physical variant: Fer, van Ginkel and Strootman

    You can’t conclude from that he will use the physical variant against a physical Germany and the passing technical variant against Spain. That’s not the logic here. However it is an option.

    My personal view is that with the hot temperatures one could start 60 minutes with passing the other team tired and then have runners go over them in the final 30. I think Pot is thinking about something like that as well.

    The biggest example in my mind from playing a 2 sorts of games in 1 is Guus Hiddink against Japan in 2002 during the WC. He brought some long guy in and really turned the Australian game around in the end phase and had them beaten at the final whistle IIRC. Somehow that game has always stuck with me as the example of changing your approach and get your opponent into this state of “what are we supposed to do now?”.

    The options stem from the perfect mix we were given with this generation. We really have 3 box to box midfielders and with Clasie/Maher two really have passing/creative players. Strootman is in the middle a bit maybe. That allows us to really have a certain trait in abundance to get the opponent in this state of not knowing how to react to the new playing style within the game if we choose to deploy such a tactic.

    Anyway I can’t wait until the tournament starts.


      1. Good intervention and one more thing I was forgotten to add. I actually do not agree with Pot that the technical/passing variant consists of Strootman, Clasie and Maher. To max that variant I would replace Strootman with Vilhena who has much better weighted passes than Strootman over shorter distances. I think generally Vilhena is a better footballer than Kevin.


        One might also opt for Hoesen then as he is a pretty good footballer as well. My beef with Hoesen is though that he is not clinical enough in front of the goal. Don’t feel the danger with him.


      Here Ron Jans goes into the 2 variants and comes up with another:

      Strootman, van Ginkel and Maher.

      He points out that the van Ginkel-Maher pairing offers possibility’s and I agree with that. I actually have said that often myself. The van Ginkel-Maher pairing is an interesting thing to see develop over the years. It’s such a pity that Vitesse won’t sell van Ginkel to Ajax as I would have loved those two to develop chemistry.

      However I disagree with Ron Jans here about leaving out Clasie. The back 2 are BMI and de Vrij. Those two and Clasie have build up tons of chemistry at their club. It even forms a triangle now BMI moves back to his favorite LCB and Blind taking up the LB spot. That triangle has the responsibility for build up and it’s important players know each other and have automatism with each other to let it flow much better from the back. This would go at the cost of Strootman.

      I also do not agree with Ron Jans about Strootman needing a DM behind him. I think Kevin’s best phase for Oranje was against Turkey in the second half where he went into full DM mode and even had that splendid pass on Narsingh at the end. He was a tank with fire power for 40 minutes. So if we dismantle the de Vrij-BMI-Clasie triangle and bench Clasie, then I would play Strootman DM, van Ginkel would become my runner a bit more up the field and Maher of course the passer taking care of creativity.

      I just realized that this new generation will give us tons of discussion material as midfield contains so many options. You can basically build a case for 5, 6 or 7 different set ups and still have a good point for your approach of the game. It also has to do with all of them still playing for Eredivisie teams. Maybe when some make it at international top clubs the case for certain players becomes more obvious as they are able to handle themselves at the highest level. This is more fun though.


      1. We have always had a ‘star’ – a world beater.
        Cruyff, Van Basten, Bergkamp, Van Persie, to name a few.
        Who from our gifted youngsters, in your educated opinion, might one day be mentioned among the game’s greatest? Do any stand out? Typically a striker. Thanks.

        1. Oef, hard question. Pretty much about who will become top 5 of the world in their position in the future.

          Maher is the first name that pops up in my mind but I am critical of him. He is nonchalant at times and did a bad job this season at charging up against the little teams. One of the biggest quality’s for a top player is being able to charge yourself up against the little teams as winning those lead to winning the silverware often. He also is also still quite sloppy in his middle to long range passing. His dribble will never become world class as he does not have insane speed.

          At times I think he is a Samir Nasri without the speed, but I also see some ball controls of a really high level. The way he makes balls soft and the easiness with which he passes and finds free standing fellow players combined with his age makes him a special player. He is a real footballer that could get there.

          Another real footballer is Vilhena. Very weighted passes and also has scoring ability. I expect him to score easily more than 10 goals a season ones moved up to the 10 position at a club like Feyenoord in 1 or 2 years from now. Not a big player, but build in a strong way. Should become a big one as well.

          I am also impressed so far by Nathan Ake from Chelsea. His style is quite special in DM, but should work on his creativity.

          The point is that the new Dutch generation is actually quite talented at the back. If we do not have better CB’s than Mathijsen and Hijtinga like during the WC in 5 years from now, then something has gone horribly wrong. We should really get back to that de Boer-Jaap Stam level from 15 years ago. Rekik, Ake (who can play there as well), Bazoer, Denswil, de Vrij, BMI, Kongolo, Hendrix. Maybe more. From that whole group something really good should arise. Maybe even a world class CB at one point. People are now hard on Jetro Willems, but I see some great potential in him as well. Hope he shuts some mouth in the next season.


          1. Awesome – thank you.
            I have had my eye on Vilhena for a bit now.
            The greats tend to stand out early on, even if they do maybe take a few years to reach their potential (as Van Persie is doing now). I’ll never forget seeing the young Van Basten and just knowing “we’ve got one here!”. I felt the exact same with Bergkamp.
            Anyway, thanks again. I shall follow these players a bit more closely next season.
            It’s a shame we don’t have an upcoming out-and-out striker – always a marque player – but then we create footballers, not players.

  12. Twitter “rumour” going around on Strootman “Kevin Strootman has already put pen on paper to sign an agreement with Manchester United”. Its hard to trust twitter news these days. Do you guys have any info on this in Netherlands? Thanks.

  13. van gaal give douglas a chance…this is my Holland team that can win wc 2014


    Jammant……..Douglas….Bruno…..Eric Pieters

    De Jong……….Classie


  14. To be frank guys douglas is undoutably one of the best defenders… BMI and Douglas can become the ultimate defence for holland in 2014

    The other question who will master the midfield…Afellay is still injured.. will sneijder/van der vaart be at their peak in 2014….what about raising van Ginkle

    huntelaar has proven he is better than RVP at international stage….lets dont forget the disastrous euro 2012

    Elia is another dyanamic winger who has tons of experience

    I still stand by the my intial team plus sneijder


    Jammant……..Douglas….Bruno…..Eric Pieters

    De Jong……….Classie


    keep a tab on the above next season

    pus gays can u comment…important

    1. Wilson problem is
      Huntlaar is hsot against big teams…
      Dejong is still in recovery..
      Wesly fighting for fitness
      Rest of the team mates are fine….
      Th fitness level of USA players were so much higher thahn that of the germans yesterday…its true that gutsy,intelligent,taletd players will win Wc but there is no substitution for hardwork…USA players were all over the pitch…that was awesome…

    2. van Gaal is about build up and Douglas can’t do that on the high level that is demanded.

      Douglas was even suspended a game because maintaining a wrong top sport mentality. If you go in camp for weeks and want to win a WC, you need guys who can focus and maintain discipline. That do not have natural tendency’s to give in to all kinds of urges and start displaying behavior that influences other players in bad way.

      However, the football part is the biggest argument to let go of Douglas. If we don’t make the plays, if we can’t stand the heat of the pressure the opponent will display to disrupt proper build up, the plays will come our way. That means our defenders are confronted with their weakest side: defending. We are what we are. Janmaat can’t defend. Pieters can’t defend. Pieters will walk with any winger and then some more. He will even let them cross. Success for him means not being nutmegged and bypassed so his man can get the next defender into a 2 vs 1 situation and score from that. Preventing that all game long and the Pieters is a happy camper. Janmaat got owned by a 18 year old Fischer and has no tournament experience like a WC or Euro. Janmaat is a mad presser that can run up and down like few others. If that is his strength then use it I say.

      Then you want to use two players in the middle that lose it when they are pressed a little. Both BMI and Douglas are not good enough footballing wise but are good in the guard department. They won’t build up properly and we get exposed via our backs as the plays come our way.

      Midfield configuration is not ideal either considering the model we play with the Dutch NT but I won’t go into that. You don’t have to follow a model that us used by the coach and you could defend your choice probably.

      As you play Sneijder, Hunter is also an option, but looking at form this last season, he is not good enough to push RvP out. I personally increasingly get intolerant vs box strikers living off from their box intelligence to tap stuff in. I would even say that every country that is not able to produce complete strikers that can win the competition from excellent pure finishers is doing a lousy job in the youth department. You are also more easily cut off from making plays with an handicapped striker like Huntelaar as he does not make things happen. Every strong country will become an even bigger mountain. For weaker country’s they have their use.

      Van Gaal plays the wingers the other way around, but you like inverted wingers and that is fine by me. So far however I like where the Dutch NT recently is going to (like, from the Italy game and beyond). Keeping the wingers a bid wide and the way they interact with the overlapping backs is bringing some danger I have not spotted during van Marwijk’s reign. Lens is tearing sh*t up for country, Narsingh did much better for country than club as well, Janmaat became a revelation for country. There is a dynamic going on there. I say, let’s sit this one out and wait with deploying inverted wingers again. I like this. But that is a choice.

      Ultimately you have to answer the question if you liked the Italy game and if so, if you have the illusion that Douglas could build up like de Vrij did in that match.


  15. i saw some more minutes naymar play.He seems like an elder brother of Afellay…i mean in his style of play…58 million o god for this guy???????????

      1. @DRB300 Neymar Dribbles,dribbles dribbles and ends up zero productvity,lack of intelligence in pitch and out side pitch,Barca wasted another 58M…Many latin american players are divers DRB..So i was not surprised by his dive. Suarez,saviyola,Simyone and is Busquets,ineasta from spain etc…

  16. Wijnaldum is Winger/AMF not a final poacher.but he has scored 20 goals for PSV as sub and starter in 65 matches.this is not a bad record at all when considering his position…it seems like he is a very efficient scorer/Finisher.i read m,any article and opions about him in pitch.About being absent for a log time in a game and suddenly bags a goal.if this this the case we must start thinking about playing as main not happy with workrate and other things.But this guy is real threat when he has ball in his feet espcially in final third.

  17. I don’t see how Robben will be staying at Bayern. When Kroos is back, he will drop to the bench and fight for a substitute role with Goetze and Shaqiri, both of whom are younger than him. He will be like Gomez was this year and how Tomyschuk was for 2 years.

    Somehow I think he will be back at Chelsea – but just imagine if ManUtd come asking for him. They are renovating the team with Nani seemingly done. They need Robben.

  18. Germany Under-21 captain Lewis Holtby is relishing the project of facing rivals Netherlands as his side kick off their Under-21 European Championship campaign.

    The two countries have shared a fierce rivalry for years and the Tottenham midfielder is determined to start off the tournament with a win.

    “There’s nothing more pleasant than beating Netherlands,” Holtby told Kicker.

    “To start off the tournament against our arch rivals is just fantastic. I want to lead the team to the title.”

    Holtby went on to say that he was determined to put Tottenham’s failure to secure a Champions League spot behind him ahead of the tournament.

    “That was a catastrophe for us. However, I can’t let this bad mood affect die Mannschaft.”

    Holtby joined the Spurs from Schalke in the winter transfer window for a fee in the region of €1.7 million.

    1. If we lose against this fake german team and don’t pass the first round, there are real reasons to worry. Even if it’s only an under21 tournament, it seems like they really take it serious from the dutch side. Which isn’t the case of germans who went without all their best players Gotze, Gundogan, Reus, Draxler, Schuurle…

      Knowing that at least 4/5 players who will start against Germany on thursday can probably also be starters next year during the world cup, they have no right to fail against such a german team.

  19. Thanks DRB300/tiju, but the loss against Belgium in the friendly was just another eye opener what to expect from big guns. Defenece will be vital in 2014 for holland. I thought Van der wiel was suppose to thrive after 2010 but since joining PSG,he seems to be fading big time.

    I still think De jong will be there in 2014 after full recovery as he is viatl part of DM. What about Buttner, what do you guys think of him.

    1. De Jong will definitely be there if fit. I believe van Gaal said that he was one of the few players who’s spot is reserved already. That said, that doesn’t mean he’ll be a starter. But I think he’ll make himself an important player again in 2014. Last summer he was one of the only ones who played like he desperately wanted to win it.

  20. SamNY: the perception from MU fans is that Robben’s style of play will not fit MU. I think Strootman joining MU is looking more realistic now. The other possibility: Robben and Sneijder joining Chelsea. I know Chelsea already has Hazard and others, but Mourinho may have a say now.

  21. wilson: I actually like De Jong as a player, but he has literally no position to play in the current Netherlands team. We have so many fast and creative options for midfield that De Jong won’t be the first or second choice for any of these positions.

    1. Which current dutch midfielder got better defensive qualities than De Jong ? Clasie ? He got energy, fighting spirit, but his physical is a bit too light.

      Strootman ? Surely not. He is good in anticipations, pressing, but in 1vs1 situation , it’s really easy to get past from him, he is really slow,isn’t good to defend on a man. + De Jong is far to be a bad technician, don’t forget that he was playing often offensive midfielder with Ajax. About quickness of execution it’s not even to compare with Strootman who really argues with the ball every time.

      About creativity, N.De Jong isn’t the best option ok, he isn’t the type to organize, to give long balls, Strootman does it better. But considering that there will be two central midfielders, does he really need it ? Van Bommel was doing it good next to him. Clasie and De Guzman can also do it good. An association De Jong/Clasie or De Jong/De Guzman can work as good as the one with Van Bommel. Especially as Clasie and De Guzman probably run more than Van Bommel.

      I’m maybe a bit hard with Strootman, but I’m not happy about what he showed with the national team and even many times with PSV. I see him being the kind of tactical player who is used for his leader spirit, his sense of tactic…But about the “pure” football qualities (defending/attacking), I really see nothing special. Van Bommel was also considered as a “tactical” player, but he was surely a way better in his distribution, and was always able to make a “clever” foul to hide his lack of defensive qualities.

      I hope Strootman will make me change my mind during this young tournament. Will be interesting to see how he will defend against players like Isco and Thiago.

  22. The only important contribution of nigel de jong would be late subs 80′ when we lead 1-2 goals and comfortable in possesion, I can’t see LVG use him when strootman-clasie-de guzman in good form. His inclusion will mean one less spot for those young talents.

  23. Thank u guys. with 2014 wc around the corner, it is obvious that some of older players will definitely be pushing for there spot. likes of Afellay (injured)where does he fit in the equation. he is also talented midfield/winger.The 2013 summer transfer will be very interesting especially with the transfer rumors of raising dutch players.its seems that there no one in the midfield that comes with the complete package. there all have some weakness. what would be idle team to WC 2014 given the raising young talents mix with the older guys. I think upfront there no question on the attacking capabilities. the defense and midfield is of concern. so this into consideration what would be the idle lineup for 2014.

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