Van Persie: "We still don't know how good we are…."

Oranje is 100 days away from Brazil. Only 100 days…. It feels like it’s so close. But looking at the task of Van Gaal, you’d wish it was 1,5 season away…. So many uncertainties…. These last couple of days, Raf van der Vaart and Michel Vorm have left the camp, sick. Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben aren’t fit either. It wouldn’t surprise me if we would see a somewhat devaluated Oranje perform. Van Persie is also struggling with the flu, while Robben is trying to fight off a knock.

Siem de Jong is called up to replace Raf.

Wesley Sneijder will most likely start along with some new names up front. Huntelaar will play if Van Persie isn’t fit and he will be flanked by some youngsters left and right.

Van Gaal told the media he is ok with Van Persie and Robben not being able to play. “I will use them in Brazil anyway, of course. But now I have a chance to see some new kids. Boetius will most certainly play.” Based on the last practice session, it seems Karim Rekik will also play his first Oranje game.

Van Gaal has a rookie-card, or a wild card, in his mind for a youngster who currently is not yet part of the squad. Van Gaal knows who that is, but doesn’t want to announce the name yet.

LVG training

Van Gaal is currently working with a 35 man squad (incl Van der Vaart and Lens). Willem van Hanegem wouldn’t be surprised if the rookie is Feyenoord defender Terence Kongolo. The last weeks, the young talents has played Mathijsen out of the Feyenoord team. “I have said this two seasons ago: that is probably our biggest prospect as a defender. He was the best player in the Feyenoord – Ajax of last weekend.” If the youngster keeps on performing the coming months, it could well be him. Virgil van Dijk could be another candidate. In Amsterdam, the name of Ricardo Kishna is being whispered. Danny Blind is a big fan of the youngster. When Kishna was badly injured, the top management of Liverpool traveled to Amsterdam to sign the winger. Blind was quicker and presented a juicy contract for the bravado boy and secured his services for Ajax. Kongolo, Kishna. Boetius, Rekik, Klaassen, Promes… It could be either of them. Boetius is cautious with his comments: “I have been battling injuries and I am happy I am playing for Feyenoord again. Everything else is a bonus. I will do what I can to show myself.”

Karim Rekik: “I have nothing to claim but I would be disappointed if I would miss out….”

Van Gaal discussed the situation of Jeremain Lens in detail at the press conference, as the former AZ and PSV man plays in war stricken Kiev. “We keep an extra eye on Lens, as he has a special training program during the long winter break in the Ukraine. But with this unrest there, the situation is pretty serious there and we keep an eye out for him.” The suspended Lens is not part of the squad now.

Van Gaal will use this game vs France as his last real opportunity to experiment. Partly due to the fact he has a long list to submit by May 7 (30 players) and partly due to the number of absentees. It looks like Van der Wiel and Clasie will get a chance to show themselves. This team manager is not that hard to please. Veltman, Klaassen and Cillesen, for instance, all were players of Young Ajax at the start of this season and are now part potentially, of the World Cup squad. If a youngster shows consistent form from now on, he could be in it.

Quincy Promes played for Go Ahead Eagles last season. The Twente forward is humble, still. “I am not counting on anything. It is going fast, but I don’t want to get lost in all this. I take it one step at a time.” Klaassen played Jupiler league last season, but for him it can’t go fast enough.

strootman robben

Kevin Strootman is still considered a youngster but he is about to play his 25th international game. He will be honoured with a bottle of champagne and a shield with inscription. Dirk Kuyt and Arjen Robben are also about to reach a milestone: 100 and 75 caps respectively.

Robin van Persie, still not sure if he will play, was happy to be interrogated during the press hour. He frowned and was quite stern whenever someone raised issues re: Man United. “We are here at Oranje now. And I wish to keep my comments limited to Oranje.” But when someone asked him about the squad and the newbies in it, he said he couldn’t comment on topics that are the team manager’s decisions… What he did say: “The Stade de France is sold out for this game. Quite astonishing. 80,000 people on the stands, which says something. It will be a real match, I think. France has a strong squad. They play well. I saw some of their games. Players like Evra, Giroud, Pogba, Cabaye are pretty good. I see them as a contender.”

Asked if he felt Oranje was one too…. “I think we need to be modest. We don’t really know where we stand. We have some changes in the squad, with some players out and some newbies coming in. The expectations in Holland are always sky high. Ever since the 1970s, that result and those performances are now the benchmark. I don’t think that is realistic.” Van Persie does not believe Oranje will lack confidence or ambition. “Oh no, we are going to Brazil to go for gold, for sure. But with us, at least 10 other nations. We simply do not know now where we stand. But I will say this: I am impressed with the quality of the youngsters. I saw Ajax – Barcelona and the way Klaassen was making sure that the Spanish couldn’t get to the ball in the dying minutes and how he played it tactically was pretty impressive. We have wonderful talents and if we can make it gel, we can do something spectacular. But we also need to be critical. Only then can we get better.”

RVP training











Call me crazy, but I think we are going to give the French a beating. I think they will be cautious at home, playing in a low pace and our fresh legs and youthful enthusiasm will get them. I think we win 1-3, with a dazzling Boetius and a powerhouse Klaassen performance.

Sneijder directing traffic, Boetius and Klaassen making runs while the rest of the team keeps it tight.

What do you guys think?

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  1. If Van Persie doesn’t believe we can win he should leave the squad… Don’t be modest, be bold, be confident…. Sneijder is confident we can go a step further – Robben wants to right the wrongs of the last final and VP wants to be modest…

    If Huntelaar believes we can win, use him….. If Klaasen believes we can win….use him. We almost won a WK without a firing CF. Van Persie won’t be missed.

    Saying we are one of the top 10 is hedging your bets… Go for gold….

    Klein landje maar goed voor goud! #WK14kampioen

    I’m too old for this twitter nonsense, but what the hell….

    1. At least half of starting NT seems up in the air, even at this late date, so how can anyone predict how the Dutch will do. I am a believer in chemistry but maybe that is not so important in football. I can’t imagine with so many different players still playing friendlies and under consideration how the team will “gel,” to use RVP’s word.

  2. Very nice post Jan. Great job as usual.

    I am nervous about this game, but I am also excited about seeing how our youngsters play against a top team. I always hate when we play without Robben (our x-factor), but at the same time I am a huge Promes fan and it will be great to see how he performs.

    Big up

    1. Nope. Pisses me off to be honest. I’m going to write another letter to Fox. I think they will come up with some highlights in their sport show. However I think I remember them saying the previous time that they don’t have the rights for the entire match and are only able to broadcast highlights. This time I want to know who the rights has so I can give them a piece of my mind. It’s embarrassing for a football country as the Netherlands. More so if you consider it is played in the Netherlands ….

  3. Nice article as usual Jan,

    I am tired of Van Gal’s “We are outsider comment” …He should go for one beat orange if he field the right combination of experienced and fresh legs..I am eager to see Boëtius,Depay,Klaassen and Promes performance in today’s game….Cheers

  4. There no better motivator than the “outsider” comment – that is, if he can go to his team and tell them they have to win no matter the cost… even if they have to chew opposing players by pulling a Suarez!

    I think this team can spring a bunch of surprises given that they have a lot of talent that is under the radar. No one knew Robben whene he played in Euro 2004.

  5. For me it depends on what Cillessen will do with the first few (hard/difficult)shots on goal.

    I still don’t understand why Krul isn’t ahead of him and the others in vGaal’s mind. For me Krul and Stekelenburg at his best are in a different league/tier then Vorm, Vermeer, Cillessen and Zoet. For me the latter 4 feel more like 3rd keepers, nice to have for emergencies but no way capable of winning a WC (come on, 6 goals against Red Bull Salzburg? try him against Brazil in Brazil like Krul and I doubt it’ll be another shutout then, it’ll be nice for the Brazilians though).

  6. Alexi Lalas said he thinks the Netherlands will struggle at the World Cup. If that’s the case then expect the Oranje to win the World Cup. Lalas is a buffoon his predictions a hardly ever correct

    1. Where did you hear that? At the last world cup he was a huge Holland supporter and even predicted a Dutch victory. Before the final he said Holland would win 3-2 or 4-3. But he totally turned on us after the final and now despises us because of the way we played in the final.

  7. guys are these links better than the streams from first row sports and the there online streaming pages? i usually use first row but the quality is up and down.. please advise, thanks

  8. Cillessen-Van der Wiel-Vlaar-Martins Indi-Blind-Clasie-Strootman-Sneijder-Promes-Van Persie-Boetius

    To be honest I’m quite happy with the line up considering the players he called. I would just have prefered Janmaat to start above VDW, and maybe Rekik instead of BMI.

    But I’m happy Clasie starts above Klaassen, Boetius above Depay and Van Persie being here.

    1. France defence isn’t strong tonight, Debuchy is a kind of VDW defensivly, Mangala has been awful last months with Porto, don’t even know why he is selected, and Evra is not impressive anymore. It’ll be a good test for Promes and Boetius.

      Midfield battle will be interesting, I said once that I noticed Cabaye has a kind of Sneijder profile, now they’ll both play in the same position, interesting to see who will be better. The most important important is what Clasie will do tonight, he probably plays his place to Brazil.

      VDW will probably have problems against Griezmann.

        1. The keeper seems find to me–it’s the left side of the defense that has been shaky. Blind and Clasie, I think, have been caught out of position a few times, one resulting in a near goal and the other a France goal.

  9. This was my prediction last night. How does it look now? Just so that we all are on the same page, let’s be glad we are not playing Germany or Brazil today. This average France team is going to win 4-0. What a shame.

    March 5, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Before EC 2012, I had predicted that Netherlands will finish last in the group but will get 1 point with a draw against Denmark. However, they went one step fur he and ended up with 0.

    I do not see any scope of an improved performance in this World Cup. They won’t reach the second round. They will lose 0-2 to Spain, 1-3 to Chile and draw 0-0 against Australia.

    Other than a few players like Robben, Sneijder, Van Persie who all unfortunately are past their prime, Netherlands simply does not have any world-class footballer. NONE. Add indiscipline, ego, a rude self-centered manager, incompetent KNVB and a recipe for disaster is ready. Just compare the level of young players in Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and compare them with those from the Netherlands. No comparison whatsoever.

    I am sorry but I do not see any improvement in the situation unless they go back to their grassroots. What happened to the Ajax Academy? Why are there no quality players coming out from there anymore? Time to ask these questions and find a solution. Maybe in 2018 World Cup, we will do better.

    I don’t feel very good making this prediction but I simply don’t have any hope that it will be wrong. Feel free to criticize me like last time however.

    1. Lots of breakdowns, lots of weaknesses exposed. Midfield has been a letdown: Clasie has not been Clasie (except for a fine judo takedown 😉 ; Sneijder hasn’t been able to direct attack; Strootman had at least one enormous brainfart. Cilessen’s early bobbles surely didn’t help nerves.

      Vlaar our Man of the First Half?

      Hoping for a better second half!

    2. Fair point vikraim. Still think Robben has something left in the tank and is not past his prime. Really disappointed with Sneijder and RVP not leading the attack

  10. Created nothing. To be honest, I don’t really understand what Vlaar is doing in the Holland team. He is poor and always has been. Would rather see de Vrij or any other youngster making mistakes they can learn from, rather than an old dog making the same mistakes time and time again

    Krul needs to start for me. And we need to look at abetter midfield. Not slick enough on the ball, and no real steal in midfield either

        1. Was it Vlaar who was out of position? I thought it was Blind–or doesn’t impress me much–or Clasie. Didn’t create anything in first half and could not muster any counters–but weren’t aggressive in trying.

  11. I said I was very worried about going into this game without Robben, Nigel and Van Der Vaart.

    At least Van Gaal and all those who thought we were going to do well with a weak defense without our best DM, Negl, Rafa and our best player Robben will now wait up and smell the mess.

    1. Sneijder doesn’t do enough tonight, took no shot, tried no dribble, he always play laterally on Boetius and Promes and make the game being sterile. VDV always bring more fantasy and diversity.

  12. I won’t give my opinion as I’m supposed to make people laughing here, will just quote what said french speakers (Wenger is one of them) :

    Lizarazu about Cillessen : “We should pressure on him, he seems not confident and his feet distribution is unsafe”

    Wenger about Martins Indi on second french goal : ” What is the number 4 doing on the field ? I don’t understand his way to defend”

    And globally ” the dutch team is having good possession but no big opportunity, wingers made the difference in their first challenges but nothing after. And the defence is really poor.

  13. Laurent:
    ‘To be honest I’m quite happy with the line up’

    ‘me too laurent’

    This ^
    This is why we come here.
    2 fantastic goals down to France by halftime!!
    Perhaps your professional analysis isn’t quite as astute as you think it is? Huh? I do love your team line-ups though. I just wish Van Gaal wouldn’t actually play them.

    Oh well.

    I miss Bert.

    1. Bert van Marwijk will be a much less decisive trainer in the years from now. He will get the praise he deserves far too late. He was pragmatic but he believed in his players and chose to embolden them with confidence because they knew how to play together.

      Bert rarely changed his lineup (good and bad) but at least he didn’t change his team lineup with each game.

      That defensive steel of deJong and van Bommel…. we can only wish for that from this team!

  14. This is the price paid for a weak goalkeeper and no real DM. De Jong and Strootman in a 4-2-3-1 with Sneijder pulling the strings and a true CF.

    Van Gaal is not the tactical mastermind you all believe him to be – he is an egotistical maniac who is bored of the role of trainer and only wanted “redemption” for failing to qualify last time.

    He MUST go before he embarrasses Oranje. We still have world class players but if he doesn’t choose them then we are still going to lose.

    His autocratic methods are great when they work…. His decision making is now a severe liability

  15. I saw 20 minutes from the first half including the 2 goals… what a dismal performance. The team has no speed in passing, no speed in running, no speed in covering, no speed in trying to get the ball back, no speed in attack. This is the worst performance I’ve ever seen.

      1. you kidding me? half of this team is playing for a place in the World Cup…. Boetius, Depay, Sneijder, Clasie and Van Der Weil are all playing for a place… If they can’t give 110% now, I’m not sure when they can…

        1. Have you seen Sneijder running? I mean, was he even playing at all? I kind of remember hearing his name once or twice, come to think of it.

    1. I agree: The Dutch have players with technical skills but down the middle the team is not very athletic, and the defense has been weak–players way out of position. I watched 38 minutes of the first half and don’t remember a single Dutch cross.

  16. I think Strootman-Clasie were doing quite good, clean technically, trying to play between lines, I just noticed one moment where Clasie lost the ball and it could become 3-0 but Clasie didn’t do bad.

    Problem is always the same, Holland wanna play possession but they don’t have someone to speed up the game when it comes to 30 last meters, so they play laterally everytime, until losing the ball and getting exposed to a counter attack. At minute 37, France had done 0 fouls and Holland 9, that means a lot.

    Same than during Ajax games, Holland -21 etc.

    1. I agree 100%. This is happening all the time with us lately.
      I also agree with some others that VDV is a better combo with VP, and brings something different.

      France only need to do a one-two in the midfield and they are all charging at our goal.

      Where is out speed in the final third? If we get to the second round that will be all we can hope for I reckon. Van Gaal isn’t going to change that much cos we played like this throughout qualifying too.

          1. I think Blind was poor in the first half–does not impress me. Isn’t his father a major Dutch coach?

  17. So many missed balls, wrong passes. LVG team is playing just like LVG said this morning that Holland is just an outsider team which will need a lot of luck to achieve his goal of semifinals.

  18. I got this from ESPNFC… Wes is getting a through ball to Ron Vlaar??!? Vlaar can’t score with a completely open net from the 3 yard line…

    Offside, Holland. Wesley Sneijder tries a through ball, but Ron Vlaar is caught offside.

  19. I find it amusing that Jan predicted that Oranje will win this one 3-1. I wonder what was the reasoning behind such prediction. We have NOT won a single big game under LVG yet. Unless beating China and Indonesia are considered big wins, of course!

  20. We are in trouble

    FT: Germany 1-0 Chile. A great friendly that, with the home side having to work hard for the victory. Chile looked very exciting, but just could not find the finish when needed.

  21. This mate just texted me from the Stade saying that Lloris has taken off his yellow shirt sometime round 60 mins and tatooed the words “I’m bored on his naked torso”, but I can’t confirm this since I’m only watching this on the telly.

    WTF this team can’t score v. Bessarabia let alone the frogs….

  22. Who is no. 7, on the right wing. He gets the ball and always plays it back or laterally–when he has space! No aggression. Going back to buildup is not the way to score goals.

  23. Quick impressions. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with tactics, performing poorly or anything. France is better position for position. Simple.

    That being said, IMO these were our:

    Worst performances: Promes (god awful), Blind (too slow for outside back), Boetius.

    Best performances: Van der Wiel (love to see him back. Quick, technical), Depay (MUCH better than Boetius or Promes by a long way)

    Everyone else did ok, played at generally their normal level. Our players simply aren’t good enough for a team like France.

  24. This game has been so poor that 1st chance was created in 85th min by Depay. God awful. Fuck you LVG for stealing 45 mins of my time. Luckily I didn’t get to see 1st half. OR these players have quit on him and don’t give a shit about Brazil.

  25. I hope Van Gaal is happy. He is the one who made such a questionable selection. Spain and Chile will be looking forward for team. And I will be looking forward to Van Gaal leaving.

    At least this games shows some of the guys that we will need to drop before we go to South America. Still call for De Guzman, PVA, Vaart, Van Dijk and Krul.

    I Still can understand how some of us here expecting a win. How many big games have we won under Van Gaal?

  26. Keep your hopes down. Better, don’t have any hope whatsoever for this Dutch team in WC 2014. When a manager has called it quits almost 6 months before the tournament, you can’t expect any better. A team with lesser talent can sometimes rise to the occasion with a lot of intangibles like team work, will-power, tenacity. This team lacks all of these. From the look of it it seems (as usual) that there is a divided dressing room.

    Any time I see Van Gaal’s face, I feel I am missing my punching bag, literally. Anyone else feels the same way?

  27. Now, would you think it is a good idea for KNVB to fire LVG and let Hiddink takes over now or let LVG finish the WC? Would you think 3 months are enough for Hiddink? Is this too cruel to LVG?

    1. Lol..This is classic Guillaume..I love this comment. Probably the koolest comment I have read here in a little while..U’ve got wits mate!!

  28. also, why only use 4 subs? This is our final game before we select our preliminary WC squad and keep guys like Veltman and Huntelaar on the bench! I guess we were doing so well that we didn’t need to try out anyone else. Seriously!! I simply can’t wait for Van Gaal to leave.

  29. The sad reality that we keep ignoring!!!! “ORANJE IS NOT ONE OF THE BIG NATIONAL TEAMS ANYMORE”!!! It is that simple, no matter who van gaal picks the quality is not there!!!

      1. Change your sentence to say “We HAD plenty of great footballers”. That’s the sad truth.

        Only 3 from the list you have were great players: Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie. Unfortunately, all three of them are past their prime. Robben still is visible somewhat because he plays in a great Bayern Munich team.

    1. Sad but true. I think BVM did a miraculous job. He got performance and results that are greater than the sum of the individual players. It is true that his team didn’t play beautiful Oranje soccer, but coming to think about it, I doubt they could have played beautiful even if they wanted to (against big teams, of course). Now we have a team that neither plays beautiful not delivers results.

  30. Won’t be too positive for our chances this WC.

    It was a horrible performance….disgusting shit.


    1) Boetius and Promes are a long way from being Oranje material. Lens, Wijnaldum, Depay and Kuyt will be fighting for the wings.

    2) Blind and Wiel didn’t attack at all and are too slow. We need Aanholt and Janmaat.

    3) Vlaar can’t be our CB, BMI is slow and seems to have just gotten up from a huge nap he has zero motivation.

    4) Clasie was so poor I even dare to say he can take the summer off and rest with his family. He was slow, weak, he was walking aroud.

    5) Sneijder didn’t creat a single attacking opportunity.


    1) Rekik was the best defender he gave instructions he was good the little time he played.

    2) Depay was good he did more danger than Boetius and Promes and I diked his attitude.

    We need Nigel at all costs.

    1. Definitely need Nigel. Blind is too slow–no size or real athleticism; didn’t see much from Clasie either. Boetius was terrible. Vlaar saved goal but is meh…The wingers did not cross….some good possession in the first half but a pretty dire effort today.

    2. + :

      -Van der Wiel, he had a decent game compared to others, with a positive energy, maybe he is changed, I wait the end of the season with PSG to judge better.
      – Rekik, played 45 min without any noticable mistake

      Average :

      – Clasie, was interesting during first 30 minutes in the ball flowing, after he was mostly playing behind or litterally but couldn’t do much more as he had to come very low to take the ball.
      – Van persie, most will say he had a bad game, but he created the best chance for Holland during first half, had some good controls and won challenges, but it’s hard to judge him on a game where he had no support behind, like in 2010 and 2012.
      – Promes, I put him in average ones cause I liked his attitude, he fighted a lot, came to defend etc. but technically he is unfortunetaly a new Schaken. No NT material and I expected it.
      – Vlaar, made some mistakes but had some good defending actions also.
      – Schaars : Nothing special to say about him tonight.

      – :

      -Blind : Was globally disappointing, didn’t cover on the first goal, didn’t bring danger forward.
      – Boetius : For me he did less good than Promes, brought nothing offensivly, no grint, not a NT material neither.
      – BMI : Really didn’t like him tonight, excpect his good passes during the ball possession. His defending skills suck, he still doesn’t get that pulling shirts and arms of opponents players is forbidden, and his offensive contribution as LB is totally inexistant.
      – Sneijder : Simply didn’t do enough. His place in the plane is not sure at all.

      About Depay let’s to relativize, it was a tired Debuchy in front of him.

  31. Man, the best would be for KNVB to sack LVG right now. That would make me happy as it would be a strong punch to his ugly face and his stupid ego. What an ugly coach, yikes. This person has mental issues. I am so pissed. I hope Tottenham or any other english team don’t fall for him.

  32. Watching Spain now, it makes me feel sad how attractive and effective their style is, the way they pass the ball among each other the quickness the ease they handle pressure!!!! Our players lose the ball under the smallest pressure!! It is going to be ugly in the World Cup, not looking forward!!

  33. To those who say that they miss BVM, I also miss him for some reasons but I doubt that he can do much better than Van Gaal. He clearly said that he was disappointed on the players after the EC fiasco.

    The only difference is that BVM would have understood that Afellay and Elia are still better than Boetius, Promes etc. even with sitting on the bench with their clubs. And he would have called Van Dijk, Douglas etc. BVM was coaching NT very rationnaly, if fans and medias were talking about the explosion of a new player, he would immediatly select him next games. Van Gaal is still doing his ego stupidity with calling eredivisie players after three good games in the poor league but ignoring Van Dijk who played C1 etc.

  34. Post match with de telegraaf

    Van Gaal “we didn’t play our World Cup squad…. It will be very difficult to reach our goal (semi final stage)”

    Then play our final team! Let them play together and learn how to anticipate one another… No more excuses… We went to a 2nd final without our best player… We can do it again – don’t whine just do!

    1. Agree: Quit d–king around. It’s time to play the WC team, and let them build some chemistry. Here we are 4 months from the tourney and he’s still playing anybody and everybody. No chemistry!

  35. Van Gaal actually said we were the better team for 25mins?!?… He’s a clown who has lost the plot! Van Gaal: De kluts kwijt reads De telegraaf headline…

  36. the only oranje class player tonight was strootman,
    very important in the team stamina,
    with him on his two legs in the first 20′ we’ve got the ball, as soon as he left, we’re out of the game, impressive.
    where were who wes or robin to lead your squad, to, at least try something?

    nigel de jong seem to be a good starting guy to help strootman this way.

  37. The next Jan poll:
    Name the one positive thing that came out of this game.

    1. Rien du tout
    2. Zilch
    3. Niente
    4. Nada
    5. Πράμα

    You decide guys….

    Anyway my two pence on the oranje performers tonight.

    1. Cilessssssen. Not good, not bad either. Could have done better on both goals. Will do better in Braz, my numero uno. 6/10
    2. Wiel. Not better than the ribbon man from the Feye. Deryl at number twee. 6/10
    3. Ron. Can work if Joel is down with Amazonian feever, Jefrie bitten by piranhas and Johnny wasted somewhere in West London. All in all, stay in the bench big guy… 5/10
    4. BMInho. The man from Portugal. The best in defence. Do not move him from there!!!!!! 6,5/10
    5. The assistant’s son. Good enough 6,5/10, although I prefer him at midfield, sort of 6ish you know
    6. Clasie, in 2016 maybe 3/10
    7. I Promes you a miracle ….. lalala, yeah but it never was. Sentenced to the JO and the standing horse for the next two years. Promeses, Promeses….. 2/10
    8. Strooters, where was he???? 0/10. Sarting in Braz guaranteed because we know he just …… might have it.
    9. The good looking guy from Manchester. I hope he just stayed in bed ill. -273/10 absolute Kelvin zero.
    10. Why Louis did’t pick anyone at this sspot and opted to play with 10 against 11?
    11. The happy kiddo from Rotters. I liked him, could make the trip as a sub though, 5,5/10

    Schaars. Simply No. Have a nice vacation in the Canaries Stijn.
    Depay. Well, Luciano has still not found it so he is in with Jermain and a fit Arjen.
    Klaassen. Next toornooi, ….. maybe.
    Rekik. Looked good, he’s in with BMInho, Joel and Johnny.

    In a nutshell
    GK: 1. Cillllllessssssssssen 2. Krul 3. Stekelenburg

    RB: 1. Daryl 2. Verhaegh
    RCD: 1. Veltman 2. Bruma
    LCD: 1. BMInho 2. Rekik
    LB: 1. Willems

    DM: 1. De Jong 2. Blind
    BtoB 1. Strooters 2. Fer
    Creative Midfielder God: 1. Vaart 2. Maher 3. Wesley

    RW: 1. Arjen 2. Arjen 3. Arjen 4. Arjen 5. Arjen 6. Arjen 7. (seriously) Narsingh
    CF: 1. vaaaaaaaan Peeeeeersie 2. the Hunter
    LW: 1. Depay 2. Boetius

    Wild Card: either Affelay or van Ginkel each with one leg, oterwise F***ck nobody.

    Cheers guys, see you in Salvador de Bahia, maybe some voodoo could hellp us as it is…….

  38. you know this is a repeat of the estonia performance because holland played too many lefties, and on top of that, sneijder was so forward he was pretty much a second striker, we really played a 4-2-4 and when we got 2 midfielders vs french 3 or 4 and you know that we didn’t have the numerical advantage.

    we can play way better than what was on display, the biggest thing is unpredictability. the more unpredictable the attack the better.

    so now we have our wingers narrowed down, should be robben, lens, depay.

    so now its time to make some changes. can’t wait to see who this youngster is that is going to make an impact.

  39. Okay…. LvG has to go! I’m not jumping to conclusions, I’ve been thinking it for a while. I hate his negativity and that feeds onto the players. You want a coach who at a press conference says we are here to win I have full faith in my boys that they will do the job. Not all this bullshitting around that LvG does. Also he has had nearly 2 years to produce a team ready for this World Cup and to me it seems like we still don’t have an idea of the team. I really think he doesn’t care at all… Just wants to tick managing a team at the World Cup of his bucket list

    Secondly…. The players have to get a some fight in them, a bit of grit. There are a lot of teams in a much worse position then Oranje, but they show fight, play for one another. I just don’t see this in the guys at the moment. Could that also be due to LvG ??

  40. i watched the first half of france-oranje,then spain-italy. friendly games are not important,but we are in march,4 months before the world cup,and i already felt some pre-excitement unfortunately from the 3 other teams… van gaal has to forget his love with the mickey mouse league,he should select players who play every week in competitive leagues,otherwise oranje will be eliminated in the group stage.

  41. our defence is always average for years, but definitely Vlaar-BMI need to stay on the bench, its a shame LVG did not try veltmans-Rekik combination, Im pretty sure we need to start with Rekik and need to look for another RCB, veltman? Bruma? vdijk?

    Clasie is not as good as nigel defensively, not useful either offensively, the same with schaars. I think deGuzman is better DM after nigel, and Blind as 3rd DM

    for promes-boetius, since that was first appearance and against a strong opponent, i would not cross them yet, I still think better taking risk with youngsters than kuyt-lens-schaken-elia-john. Robben-depay are our best wings.

    I definitely leave sneijder at home. he is liability in this team with his laziness.

    to be honest, we have only tiny chance to survive wc group, let alone beating Spain. We should focus on chile, how to beat their 3-4-3 formation. I doubt LVG will change his formation, but imo, with out limitation, we should play 3-5-2 against 3-4-3, vpersie-robben as forwards

  42. The negativity here is just funny. It is an awful game but that’s it. It’s one game it’s not like we have been playing terribly the whole time under van gaal. We did not play with the best team at all. Among those that played only van persie, strootman and possibly indi can call themselves a starter. We have two wingers who had never played for nt before. French players are at good form it should be a 2 goal loss. A lot of players here may not even get the chance to Brazil. Don’t make conclusion by one game be more mature please. If lens robben vaart janmaat Nigel strootman did not get subbed because of injury we can play way better than this.

    1. thanks man, makes me feel a little better! actually i am reading these comments from bottom to top so i am actually starting with your positivity but i agree we should always be positive .. even though van gaal is a nitwit.. have always said so and will always 🙂

      1. People tend to talk rubbish after one lost game. Trust me, we will make it out of the group, but probably get eliminated by Brazil in the 16. We can beat Chile. they play similar football as we do. Van Gaal has been using this tactic nearly for his whole life. He should know how to tackle it or else no Premier League for him. Chile’s defence is short, by short I mean extremely short. Medel is 171cm and he was playing as a CB. their highest CB is 178cm which tells you something. They care about build up just like we do, I would put fast runners at every position for the game except CF. We can keep pressing them , they will press us as well but we need to play high ball for this game just like what BVM did against Spain. If we keep our playing it will be harder to win. I would want Huntelaar to start for that game but this might not happen. Headers will make us win this game easily. They are very very exposed in the air. If we force them out of possession they are done.

  43. few months before wc, the teams i fear the most, spain-brazil-portugal.
    just watched messi and argentina, he is a less player with his NT than barcelona, while ronaldo is real contributor to any team he plays.

    unfortunately, we have to meet spain-brazil way too soon.

    1. Brazil hasn’t scored yet against Krul.

      make 2 important saves in the first halve (vs Stekel’s 1) and we could go 0-0 into the break, focus in the 2nd halve on getting that first goal ourselves, and counter-finish them off with a second later on.

      It can be done. The same with Spain, France, Portugal, Germany and Italy if we would meet them.

      Game vs Chile might be total chaos (like vs Uruguay, 3-2 with an exciting finish to the game). Hoping we will have the energy to make it 3-2 in our favor instead of the other way around. Hoping vGaal will not use Cillessen, Vorm, Stekel (in bad shape), Zoet or anyone other than Krul and contribute to a major 4-0 emberassment or something like that (probably the hottest game since it’s played around noon).

      Just keep your hopes up while expecting disaster at all times, otherwise it just gets frustrating.

      The good thing is, we don’t have to play ourselves.

      Imagine having to deal with all those critical fans in the stadium (actually thinking about those fans that wait on team busses when things are going bad at the club that you sometimes see in the media, what a fuzz about a meaningless game).

  44. It looks to me that Sneijder can play in 4-2-3-1 but not 4-3-3. He created nothing, but after VDV and Sneijder we do not have anyone else. LVG will not change from 4-3-3 and didn’t he say that he wants to pick players fitting his system (4-3-3)? In a way our options are limited. The only way to help our defense is to have 2 defensive midfield and probably playing counter-attack football. Not attractive but effective because we simply do not have enough players to play attractive.
    We need a healthy Krul, Nigel De Jong, Strootman,VDV, RVP,Robben in order to have a decent chance to advance past the group stage.

  45. Comparing the Netherlands current team to the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Germany, even Belgium is like comparing a third grade Asian club team with teams like Bayern/Barca/Real. Anytime they play now, the score will be embarrassing, 0-5/0-6 type.

    The Oranje that we all loved (74,78,88,98…) is gone, over, sealed and buried. The 2010 team overachieved and was plain and simple lucky, in an easy group and didn’t play any quality opponents in the whole tournament till the final (Brazil was not that good and Uruguay was missing Suarez). BvM deserves some credit for molding together a good team of average players that masked the problems for sometime.

    Now with LvG, the real skeleton is out.

        1. make a wrong prediction, get called on it and lash out, you dont have to be here there are plenty of belgian national team forums you can frequent

  46. Well. It’s a sad game for me 🙁 . The team played against France was just a shadow of the Oranje I used to like. I wouldn’t have been annoyed if we played good and lost , like Chile who played great game vs Germany.
    The fact is , we played a very bad game. I agree with Ferenc , we need experienced players who play in competitive leagues.

    Krul , Emanuelson and De Jong are important for this team. Wijnaldum , Babel , Elia can be very good options too.
    But I have to say that Sneijder was very disappointing , so is Persie with a less degree .

    After this game , I’m not waiting for any miracles in the WC . This could be the good part , so I won’t get disappointed if we get kicked from the group stage.

  47. How would someone expect from a coach who failed to even qualify to the WC with a “golden generation” to achieve ANYTHING with a group of mediocre players (bar Robben, RVP, Strootman)?

  48. that was one of few games when we failed to dominate, its big failure from midfielders without vaart and strootman. in the past we always keep possession even against big teams bar Spain (the king of possession), eventhough we did not necessarily play attractive football. I know possession is not everything but we are moving away from our tradition of attractive possession football. ok now I will stop saying negatives.

  49. My two cents:

    This Oranje can surprise in the WC if they gel together in june-july or can be a similar story than the one at Euro 2012.

    Too many testing and not givind the nod to guys like Krul, Emmanuelson, Steks and de Jong are a sign to concern. Anyway, I will lower my expectation for the WC and will enjoy the tournament itself.

  50. I wrote when we put up that horrid 2012 performance that the Oranje was entering a phase such as the post ’78 through ’86 timeframe, although it was obvious by 2011 we were in trouble. I caught some flak and some thought I didn’t have enough “spirit”.
    But doesn’t it now bare out? The 2010 Final was similar to the ’78. Good, but we reached higher than expected. And controversy, bad calls, and an almost goal (Robben -vs- Rensenbrink) helped to scuttle us.
    I’m telling you that it is cyclic and we are in a phase that we will soon forget. The only reason we even qualified for the WK is due to the expanded qualification format. If the same number of team as in 1978-86 were being used, we would be watching this summer. And it would be no better for the Euro 2016. We are simply not good enough right now.
    And so sad considering our pedigree and our expectations. It’s a sad day in de Nederland when the ice skating teams eclipse our voetbal bond.

  51. I think the selection made very little sense from what i hear, i would like to think LVG is still giving trials for players to show if they can give something on a scale above the eredivisie level.

    If i am honest Blind at left back doesn’t thrill me- he could make a good ndj replacement in the future but definitely not now. THERE IS ONLY ONE NIGEL

    Similarly, the starting wingers weren’t up to scratch really, we all like promes and boetius but the reality is that they aren’t ready to play for us in big games.
    They haven’t developed enough skill YET and don’t have the attitude of the players that are just winners – strootman and depay.

    As well as this my first 11 to play in the wc is critically different to the one that played today.

    Krul will get a call up he has been crucial for newcastle for so long, lvg was just giving confidence /footballing ultimatum to cillisen.

    The best 11 we have is without a doubt(midfield is in no doubt)

    vdw/ bmi/vlaar/veltman/van dijk aanholt or willems depending on your choice

    Nigel de jong
    stroot and sneijder – it is a more footballing version of mvb and ndj so i wouldn’t worry it has firepower- clasie being lightweight and sneijder being lazy hampered the ability of wes a lot

    Robben RVP/ KJH(too close to call really, both manage to be amazing and disappoint so frequently)

    and our 11th man in my opinion is memphis depay. He has balls, a good amount of skill and he gives his all.

    We need bravado to win and he is a player that has it. I see him with PSV, after his goal on the weekend you could see his rage at being behind and his will to win. He also presents something of an unknown quantity to opponents – this is what i was referring to

  52. I do respect the freedom of opinions that we have on this forum, but frankly speaking its hard for me to digest and understand some of the opinions here,
    To think that Van Marwijk could be doing things better is just mind boggling, even my 80 year old grandmother is more progressive than some of the people here (with all due respect of course). Defensive “park the bus” type of football is old school, even mourinho slowly detaches himself from those type of tactics. Besides, Van Marwijk had a better squad than Van Gaal. Its a shame that Van Gaal is leaving because the current squad is build for EURO 2016, let me repeat that EURO 2016 (NOT 2014).

    Another point that I would like to make is that constant changes of players/coach is not good in the long run. Every time the team fails, all I read on this forum is change a for b, “no wait lets change b for c” “or maybe we should go back to a…” If the quality is not there it doesn’t matter how many times you change a player…

    I have come to accept that this generation (maybe) is not one of the best, nevertheless I think it has a bright future upon it and yes its hard to understand why suddenly Van Gaal got bored and is leaving post WC. But I do not criticizes his overall performance, I think he has done a good (not exceptional) but good job in building a team that lacks the quality necessary to fight till the end, well at least in 2014.

    1. Totally agree with you, this generation is not the best but has bright future. That is the big picture a lot of people did not see here. We haven’t had a balanced young generation after 2002. In this generation you may not see extreme top talents like Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder, and Van der Vaart, but we have top talents like Willems Indi at the back, Maher Strootman Van Ginkel in the Midfield, Depay at the wing.These six will be the core for the future. As for every other postions we have good talents if not top and the squad is deep enough. Players like Blind, Promes, Dost and so on are all in this category. Just rethink about it guys, Bacuna is not even in the squad for the EURO U21 but he is playing very well at Premier League as a starter and providing goals consistently. His performance already outshined Bouma when he was in Villa. And to remind you Bouma went to Premier League at the age of 27 but Bacuna at 21. If one example is not enough, Pieters is another one, he is good before injury but after he is a sub for Willems. Look at him now, a starter in Premier League, giving most tackles per game. However, none of them can make the squad full of young talents. If you watched Eredivisie last year Bacuna is no way better than Van Rhijn even Leerdam at RB the same for Pieters against Willems. I do not think calling Pieters, Bacuna, Anita can improve our quality because simply they are not better than the players we have in the squad, maybe not the case for Pieters. My point is for those extreme top talents like the big four we have now, these players can leave Eredivisie at the age of 20 or 21 because simply they are talents coming out once every ten years or even more. We have no this kind of talent now, so everyone should leave after 25 like what Huntelaar, De Boer, Mathisen, Van Bommel did. If we can keep the talents the Eredivisie will be better and the NT will be better. For our new generation, they need to be patient and make sure they can play.

  53. Oke so I felt let down by the way we were unable to respond.

    Even after 2-0 I saw compact defensive game play. Then you can say, that is smart as when the spaces become big, Clasie and midfield will drown and we risk a beating of 3-0 or 4-0. Oke but if that is the case then we do not have the ability to really respond to a goal do we? If that limiting factor forces us to stay disciplined and compact on our own half, then it simply takes an option off the table by default. An option that a country that wants to go deep must have, on the table. Top country’s will get behind at times during a tournament. It will happen, but then they go out and bring the fight to the other team with a calculated risk. This tactic for me was like van Gaal said that this team is unable to press forward and do anything calculated as it will totally expose ourselves. At least that was the underlying message to me. There lacks so much compensation ability in this team and in more than 1 dimension.

    First of all, Netherlands was pretty oke at the start. Not good as they needed too many fouls to force their game on France (in a way that is also a sign of lack of compensation ability, commit immediately a foul with a miss pass -> turnover, rather than a clean intervention). However slowly but surely there was something going on there in midfield. There was some flow. There was some kind of platform creation higher up the pitch that could have become an area to ping balls through the lines. Incisive passes the cut things open. Clasie has that ability. That phase was never reached. When Clasie and Strootman were making themselves comfortable to establish their authority on midfield, France got out and made a goal that should not have been scored.

    The mistake chain of course involved van der Wiel (one of the worst players on the field). Clasie was dicking around also. Just soft intervention mentality. Maybe BMI should have reacted a bit more aggressive, but then certainly Cillessen should have stopped a ball that goes straight through the middle of the goal (and pretty low). Was like he positioned himself wrongly and could not fight the G forces to go to the other side. His mistake started with the bad anticipation. As Ronald de Boer paraphrasing van Gaal’s thoughts, he could have controlled it with his chest.

    This is another face of inability to respond well. Now the attacking dimension is not what I look at. It’s the loss of control and organisation after such a goal happened. Do people remember Estonia? After they scored a goal, we also lost the plot. Against freaking Estonia. That involved especially de Vrij and that is the reason he was not in the selection in this game. However the crack in that department has not been totally fixed yet apparently. The loss of organisation after a goal is still there, creeping in midst of our team. Compare that with the Dutch team in 1994 that was down 2-0 and scored 2 against Brazil. You see that done by this team? They were happy they could step off the field with 2-0. So we need to flush out the mental midgets.

    After the goal we never really recovered. Felt that the idea of establishing more control further up the pitch was thrown out of the window. Especially after the Strootman got injured. Strootman who was constantly looking for handshakes of Pogba. I saw more of that going on and I felt that with a 2-0 down it was uncalled for. Go do that after the game or something.

    The second goal is Schaars running up in an uncontrolled way, like “I am fresh and going to make myself noticed on the field” kind of way. Clasie again makes a wrong choice losing the nr 14 from France out of sight, so he can set up nice one two’s with Benzema and then the outbreak to the right (for France), Blind being too slow to catch up or even follow, cross, van der Wiel easily shook off with a feint run, goal. This had bad pressing written all over it. One moves up, Schaars, but not well communicated and organised with the rest. Schaars often points people behind him to take over, but time and again I have seen with PSV that it goes wrong and he should start thinking if he is not taking too much risk. Taking charge is nice, however the rest of the team must understand what he does and have the time to take over from whatever he is pointing to. On top of that when moving forward he must cut off the path to the free standing player. That did not look good to me either.

    Oke so now player by player:

    * Cillessen: Looked bad with the first goal, not off the hook for the second either. Why? I feel that we have better line keepers in the Dutch NT that would have pulled off some magic with that ball and Cillessen is compared with the other keepers we have. On top of that Cillessen did not look good with his distribution. He took too much time with kicking it away when he was chased. One time that costed him a dangerous ball through the middle that lacked speed and height. Could have costed a dangerous outbreak. This game did him no good in terms of status. Knowing that he will not save us with penalty’s, his position as first keeper is threatened.

    * Van der Wiel: Nope. He embodies the weak mentality in the team for me. He carries a big sign board of folding when under pressure. His lower limit does not exist. His face is in constant stress. He is slipping when he should not. He looks like a headless chicken to me at times. I never feel save with vdW. Not feeling it with him. Did not stop the mistake chain with the 2 goals, while being part of them. Did play some football with Promes at times. That looked oke. I felt he did not get out of the situations what they potentially offered. He could have hurt France more. I think Janmaat would have, while Janmaat is defensively maybe even weaker than vdWiel. How reassuring.

    * Vlaar: Sure he is that guy I equate to those cartoons where a guy runs off a cliff, then hangs in the air and after looking down starts falling in the water. When somebody is part of a penetrating one-two’s in front of him, you see him realizing what is happening after it already happened. He is such a beautiful dummy for cool looking goal highlights to make others appear flashy and quick. That being said. Vlaar is my first choice on the right center back position. He can intervene hard when he computes the situations well (meaning, they happen not too fast). Does cover through at times. Can offer something with corners. Both attacking and defensive (though his size deceives that he is actually not the best header out there). He has a good cross pass (ball on Depay). Has some leadership in him. Not sure why people go after him as he is the best we got at the moment. Within his limits a dependable player.

    * BMI: Not happy with him. His defending lacks something, his football lacks something as well. I don’t feel that save with him. Maybe that also has to do with his displays at Feyenoord and how Kishna just runs past him.

    * Rekik: The surprise of the night. Has he done anything wrong? I felt that he took actions that potentially bypass problems for the Dutch NT. His defending was aggressive, proactive and his football was more than fine. How he came in with that header, makes anybody think twice on the field when they find themselves into a situation to dual with him. He sends the message home that people can’t mess around. Leader material. After his injury at PSV maybe not as top as before, but I feel that despite his mistakes at the club, that he is part of the solution for the club and I felt the same with the NT tonight.

    * Blind: I see him winning challenges that communicate grit. His lack of speed is a problem for a back. In some kind of way I still feel most save with him despite seeing him stumbling to catch his man with the second goal. His lack of speed means there is little to no compensation ability. That is also why every attack is so dangerous. Every 1 vs 1 is a danger. So from that point of view he is a liability. It’s just that he does carry character and the way the team responded after the goal needs to be fixed as well. So I am conflicted with him. Carries traits that I want in the team for one solution, but also traits that collide with what is important for his position (his lack of speed).

    * Clasie: Love him and in ball possession, he showed again what he potentially can give looking at the first 20 minutes. That being said. A game is 90 minutes long. Not 20 or 30. Within each game there will be phases where Oranje needs to defend and where we have a less spell. Where turnovers will accumulate fast as teams try to force something and those big waves need to be addressed as well. I still see him as an interesting tool for a certain set/type of games, but he is not a man for all seasons. I feel sorry to say that.

    * Schaars: Not feeling it. I see willingness, I see some positive passing, I see hard work, but I miss big quality with him. I simply do not look forward to have Schaars running in midfield. I feel we need more special players on his place, that either bring more steel, or more silk. Both do not exist enough in this player for the level Netherlands is aiming at.

    * Stroot: Well, apart from that 1 stupid lateral pass in the 17th minute, he was present in midfield. I felt there was some good passing going on between him an Clasie. He did well keeping the ball with him, shielding, to give a delayed pass. Gave that deep ball to Boëtius who thought it would go out, but stayed in. He is a force in midfield and it was no coincidence that Netherlands lost the plot even more when he left the field. The break felt like “saved by the bell”.

    * JPB: Started oke, looked like being able to get past his man, got some corners by not challanging the tackles from Debuchy. Went down to win some free kicks. Not much more than that. He faded out for me. Nice start though.

    * Depay: Always does something stupid on his own half. This time again with that lateral pass. Did get past his marker. Had that ball on RVP. Depay is more of a man than JPB. Stands his ground. I would have brought him in sooner. That is something I put on van Gaal. I am not happy with Depay not claiming the corners. After the horrible Sneijder corners, I thought we get Depay to kick them, but Clasie was given a go. I want Depay to claim them. Maybe he wants to shoot on goal when the ball is cleared from the box. The fact that he has the guts to take a free kick from van der Vaart not that long ago, tells me that if he makes a push he might get to take the corners.

    * Sneijder: Quite bleak. The game passed him by. He was too far up to launch people. His chasing was fruitless. He played along, had some nice touches, but no impact in the game. Him an Clasie bite. Especially when Stroot and Clasie try to get the circulation higher up and establish that with the two of them. Where does that leave Sneijder? When that was out of the window and France gained control, Sneijder was reduced to a chaser while that is not his strength.Feel sorry for him. His corners were bad. Way too much loop s that everybody can anticipate, if they reached their target at all.

    * Klaassen: Bit bleak as well. Could not really impact the game. Hard to say something about him.

    * Promes: Started fine also. Was pushed around in some situations. Did show energy. Some actions looked positive to me. I think he was not bad, but I do wander where all that energy lead to? What was the end result? There is not much concrete output from all that he has done. Nice to see him, but at the same time he makes you miss Robben if you know what I mean. Somebody that will really get something done and impact stuff.

    * RVP: Well as often in the past, this was another bleak performance. Bit unthankful to go up against these big CB’s to win the long balls. Not as magical in link up play as one might think. Not quick enough with that one chance. His shot on goal was right at the keeper. He did maybe enough to not make fans get angry at him (though some will be), he worked hard, but as a captain and top quality player, he is simply not able to put the debate between him an Huntelaar to bed. I expect more from him.

    * Van Gaal: Well I hope he did not select some players as he wanted to test others. I felt that we really missed Nigel. Depay should have come sooner. His decision to select Rekik at this young age is an excellent one though. His job is to sort out the mental issue in the Dutch NT. The collapse tendency should not catch any fire. It must be flushed out asap. With Colombia the mentality was actually good. So we have to build on that brick, not this one.

    This game also shows how much it sucks that van Ginkel went to Chelsea and got injured. He could have taken over from Stroot (also box to box), as Schaars messed up the midfield configuration. He also has the right mentality. Klaassen vs Afellay? Rather Afelley more behind RVP. This hurts us so much. One quality layer less, that will expose us on the WC as it did in this game. With each of the three players Stroot, RVP and Robben off, we dip in quality much harder than the rest of the better teams. I would add Nigel to that group as well.


  54. Hi all,

    My observations and performance analyses:

    A) It is a friendly and was obviously a last test case for Van Gaal to experiment with some new players. We were missing some regulars and established players. The performance was simply not good, but let’s not blow it out of proportion.

    B) I do think we are in a transitional phase, and I expect this to continue till at least 2016. It feels like the period 2004-2008. Passing the group stage is a realistic option, but passing Brazil will be very tough with this up-and-coming group.

    C) Do not pay too much attention to van Gaal and his antics with the media. He is an arrogant snob but he also makes the comments he does to take the pressure and attention off of his players. You will see he cleverly avoids criticizing any of his players openly in the interviews. Also, Holland typically performs better when they are not considered a favorite. They perform better as an “underdog” and are going for this attitude I think.

    D) My analyses of the players:

    Cillessen – I would be really surprised if he is our nr 1. Good third keeper, but an in form Steks and Krul should be our nr 1 and 2. Cillessen has a bright future, but is still young. Goalkeepers profit from years of experience.
    He should’ve saved the first goal, and does not look as comfortable as the other keepers on the ball under pressure at this level.

    VdW – Given his experience, he should simply be the starting right back. Good age, plays in a competitive league (moreso than eredivisie at least) for a good team which is playing regular CL football as well. Has a good season for PSG so far. And he has experience that all the other contenders don’t have for the position on international level. Janmaat should be his backup as Van Rhijn has not been performing as well lately. Can change towards the end of the season.

    Vlaar – Thought he was one of the better players today. Strong in the air, defensively and offensively. Had a couple of good long balls, and together with VdW the right side of the defense was pretty solid. Backup should be either Veltman or Bruma, dependent on form. Heitinga is out of the picture for me.

    BMI – Left side of the defense looked poor today. It was hard to tell when it was Blind or BMI that let their man run, but they did not cover each other well in any case. In some cases I thought he did fairly well. I felt he was defensively stronger on LWB than Daley, even if attacking he doesn’t bring much to the game. I thought Rekik was a strong presence when he subbed in. BMI and Rekik to WC for me.

    Blind – Terrible performance today. LWB has been our weak spot for several years and we cant seem to find a decent player on that spot. Blind plays better as DCM. I thought BMI did a better job here, even if it means no attacking on that side. I’d like to see how much Emanuelson has improved playing at AC Milan. No idea who to take for the WC, except Blind as backup (we should be able to find a better main).

    Clasie – Wasn;t too impressed defensively…I don’t think anyone will perform that task for us as well as de Jong. Passing was in general good, and he is more eager to look for creative solutions now, but you can still see he needs to adjust to this high level as his passing is sometimes too ambitious. I think he is a good second option behind de Jong (who I think is already a sure bet for van Gaal).

    Sneijder – Didn’t show much this game. He should still come along as he and VdV are the best we have. He has been playing better for Gala so I think that will translate into NT performances.

    Strootman – Hard to judge, only on for short while. Seemed to struggle like most of the team. Schaars….I don’t know why we take this guy along every time.

    Boetius – Found him to do a good job tracking back and helping defense with some solid tackles. Didn’t seem afraid to take on his man. For 19y old, he is a promising talent. I would prefer to see Depay as starter though on LW.

    Van Persie – Wasn’t really in the game as we were on the backfoot most of the time.

    Promes – Also promising debut, considering the opposition and environment. Obviously Robben should start here.

    Steks, Krul, Cilessen
    Van der Wiel, Janmaat
    Vlaar, Veltman/Bruma (form)
    BMI, Rekik
    Blind (best we’ve got?), ? (like to see Emmanuelson)
    De Jong, Clasie
    Sneijder, VdV
    Strootman, ? (Maybe Fer?)
    Depay, Afellay
    Robben, Lens
    Van Persie, Huntelaar

  55. Would love to see Emmanuelson at RB. Fer should definitely be given a shot in the midfield. He faces top class opponents every week and can leep threw the moon when sneijder serves in those banana balls from the corner. The biggest positive about this game was we got something in Depay. Should definitely start and should have been put in way earlier as everyone else stated on the board. IMO

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