Who is Cody Gakpo?

Before we turn our attention to Cody Gakpo, here is a quick update on the Dutch camp. Louis van Gaal and Stefan de Vrij had their presser earlier and Louis did give us some insights into his thinking for the Montenegro match and he performed a typical Van Gaal Act when De Vrij was asked about the coach.

But first the team news: even though De Ligt is fit and allowed to play, De Vrij will keep his spot and Mathijs will start on the bench. “De Vrij played great in that position and I can share that he’ll start. As I don’t see De Ligt as an option for the left side, he will start as a sub.”

Van Gaal also had some clarity on Berghuis’ substitution and the disappointing Memphis. “Berghuis was not as effective as he can be. But he is still the best right winger we have, whether in the Eredivisie or outside. But he needs a wingback who overlaps him and Timber is used to playing the Ajax way: on the inside. Everytime there was an option for them to create, Timber would come into the half space and block Berghuis. I couldn’t sub Timber as I felt Dumfries wasn’t ready, so I decided to sub Steven. But Berghuis didn’t do too bad: he did create our goal, so he’ll get another chance, this time with Dumfries behind him.”

About Memphis: “He is our go to man up front for solutions. But the things is, he will always have 2 or 3 defenders on his toes, so the forward pass to him needs to be played fast and early. And we lacked the courage to do it. So everytime we found Depay, it was too late. He was suffocated. I have worked with Memphis before and the Memphis of today is miles better. He is stronger, smarter, quicker and has that swagger that top players like him (and C Ronaldo, Haaland, Lewandowski, Lukaku) have. We need to help him better.”

When De Vrij was asked if Van Gaal was now a bit friendlier and “softer” compared to 2014, De Vrij answered that back in 2014, Van Gaal was also friendly and open to suggestions. “He will always listen to you, and when you have good arguments, he’ll go with that.” This resulted in somewhat embarrassing response from coach Louis van Gaal. See here:

I believe this will be the Dutch line up for the Montenegro game. I predict a 3-0 win, with Berghuis, Memphis and Wijnaldum on the score sheet.

Apologies for the spellcheck error (Frankie – Frenkie)

Mo Ihattaren was touted as the new big thing in Dutch football. That PSV had more talents in the wings, like Cody Gakpo and Madueke, seemed less important. But after two years of hype, Mo left PSV through the backdoor, while Cody Gakpo and right winger Madueke are the two figureheads of this new and exciting PSV.

Gakpo is keen to become a firm fixture for Oranje as well: “I want to be a starter for the National Team!”

A talk with the lanky right-footed left winger.

About his inspirations:

“Diego Maradona was my idol. I watched all his movies on Youtube all the time. And Thierry Henry. He was a left winger like me, tall. Usually, wingers are smaller. Overmars, Robben, Messi so I really resonated with the taller players. I watched and analysed him, his movements, his timing, I tried to learn as much as possible. I have always been a PSV fan. I had a PSV doona on my bed, PSV pj’s and posters on my walls. I also had a team photo of Barcelona. I was a fan of Ibbi Afellay and recently I got to play with him, which was amazing. We still speak.”

Mo & Co

About scoring goals:

“I am a forward so I love scoring goals. It started in the E pupils. We would win the trophy with a couple of 100 goals. I made 100 goals myself. We won matches 20-0 and if you’d score 5 or 8 it would really add up, hahahaha.”

“I started at PSV when I was six and ex pro Twan Scheepers was my coach for a spell. He’s now a good friend, he helped me a lot with my football, with also with the mental side of things. Some people think that talent is everything but that is not true. When I got into my puberty, all sorts of issues started. At home, at school and a lot of talented players drop out. I used to think I wasn’t good enough, in those days. I wasn’t the typical star of the team or something. And Twan would help me with my confidence and self belief.”

“Mark van Bommel became my coach when was 15 years old, at the A1 level. Fairly quickly I made the step up to the first team and worked with him there as well. He’s very good tactically. I still have a strong bond with him.

Ruud van Nistelrooy was my striking coach from when I was 14 year old. He taught me a lot. With Boudewijn Zenden I am working on my weaker left foot. It’s a challenge in all honesty but it ‘s going better.

About his genes:

“My dad is from Togo. My parents met there as my mum was traveling through Africa. My dad first moved to France but after that he came to Holland. My dad was a good player. He played for the Togo national team and played in the PSV 2 team. My mum was Dutch rugby international, so we always have sports in our home, in some way. I have never seen them play, although I did see some newspaper articles on my mum, as women’s rugby was never televised, I don’t think. My dad doesn’t think we are alike, as players. He thinks he was 10 times better than me, hahaha. But I think I am a bit like him. I do remember that an old coach of my dad came watching me when I was in the A1. He did say afterwards that he felt my dad was better at that age. That motivated me to work harder. I really owe it all to my parents. They were always supportive and brought me to the club and came and watch me play. My mum always simply asked if I enjoyed the game. My dad always wanted to do a whole de-briefing. My dad always told me to believe in myself.”

About his body

“I had shoe size 46 when I was 16 years old and only 1 meter 60 tall. The ratios didn’t work and I was super clumsy. But it all went well. I had a calf injury when I was 17 and broke my ankle. I had a tear last season in my ankle too, which kept me out for 3 months. But I am cautious and aware of my body. I eat well, I take my rest and drink a lot of water. At the Euros, I saw how professional some of the older lads were and that was very inspiring. I also do a lot of weight and resistance training, I do need to be a bit stronger, but overall I’m happy with my body.”

About religion

“I’m raised a Christian and I am really into it. I try to simply be the best person I can be. I do dedicated time to my faith, I read a lot of books, I visit church whenever I can and I pray. I read the Bible daily, yes, I am devout man. I recently got a book from Denzel Dumfries “Praying is believing” which I am reading now. Other lads at PSV share my faith, like Madueke and Donny Malen. With Oranje, Memphis is a good sounding board, how we understand pieces from the Bible and sayings and that sorta thing. We share those insights. It creates a bond and is inspiring. I also love to talk to people from other faiths, like Mo Ihattaren, who is muslim. We do see a lot of similarities.”

About the Dutch National Team

“Once I was in the flow of the Euros, it felt normal. I never really felt that is was special or remarkable you know. I was never part of the squad before but the other lads really include you into things and it all goes so fast too. When I went on a holiday, later, it all sank in. We have a really tight group and I immediately felt at home. The spirit is great. That last match versus the Czechs… It was a tough day. It was hot, and humid but I don’t think we got into trouble, really, until the red card. I tried to stay close to Memphis and Malen. Both players coming from the left, both a PSV history… What I try to improve is to pick the right moment to make a particular move. I met Louis van Gaal last year for the first time, when we drew Ajax 1-1. I saw him at the parking lot and he said: Nice pass! I had given the assist for the PSV goal. “Keep on going like this,” he said.” Now I tasted it, I want to be part of the Dutch national team as a starter and kick some goals.”

About his dreams

“I want to win trophies. This season, the title with PSV. The double, really. And maybe a European prize? I want to score goals and create goals. I hope to be able to make a move soon. I would love to play in England or Spain once day. I have been playing for PSV for many years and I’d love to lave through the front door with a trophy or two. And then go to the World Cup in Qatar and do wonderful things with Oranje.”

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  1. The raw talent is there but is yet to evolve. Depay was in the same boat just before that move Man United. He also had broken into NT. His next club will be very important. Between then Danjuma call up is warranted. He has matured at 24 and is overall better skilled than him.

      1. I know the argument has always being it was just one game but this change the fact he scored vs one of the highest calibre team on full debut for NT.

        More over Danjuma is dual footed which makes him more dangerous. I have followed all his games at Bournemouth and he has a quick feet as well compared to both Gakpo and Depay.

        1. Gakpo is only devasting when he gets that extra space and plus he has good long range shooting capability. But like I saw he will evolve like how Memphis did.

  2. https://youtu.be/nKIPGvbbfgk

    Its quiet clear De Vrij doesnt commit to his man while Van Dijk had to come across and commit himself but was fraction late. De Vrij his left ball watching when he was in better position to Haaland who had to turn around before taking that shot. Not entirely his fault but could have done better.

    1. A bit harsh, they ran out to put the forwards off side. Haaland was not per se De Vrij’s man. Haaland searched for De Vrij (slower) but Van Dijk wanted to be on him from the Dutch perspective.

  3. Interesting how LVG analyzed the game..on Steven Berghuis and Memphis Depay. Hope he proved the doubters (incl. myself) wrong! I will be a happy man if it happens. 😊

  4. I have watched Berghuis on several occasions. If that’s the great hope for the right wing, God help us.

    Memphis is always going to disappoint. He is not a real team player nor is he good enough to do it on his own. Lvg had me chuckle grouping Memphis alongside Ronaldo and co. A substitution here and there would do him good.

    Good decision on de ligt. He is not better than de vrij or vvd. Always have a mistake in him.

    I hope who ever plays left back today proves to be indispensable. Blind for all is experience and technique is sorely lacking in athleticism and defensive prowess. Top teams will always be lickin their chops.

    Would love to see fdj a little further up the pitch and a true holding player tried in that position. Fdj has too much slung on his neck. He needs help.

    Gakpo was absent in large sections of the last game but I was quite impressed by his goal threat and he sniffing around.

    A few substitution should also do Wjilnaldum some good. Works hard but totally lacks creativity which maybe Gravenberch can provide.

    Lvg. Once again you got it wrong on Berghuis. He might redeem himself today. But what happens when France rides into town. Huup

  5. Malacia is staring in very vital match…where winjdal got plenty of time with team…i feel sympathy for Malacia…to play such crunch match its difficult for a defender…Gini with no vision,Dumfries with wooden feet,,,lets see how this tubornness will lead us…

  6. You see this is what i was saying about gakpo. No space, he is effective less. Montegero is playing like Norway. Looks like the coach has done his home work.

  7. midfeild is okay…klassen having nice game…frenike as usual levell..wijnaldum lacks the vision ,,..except berghuis,dumfries others are playing well..Gakpo needs fine tuning not bad not great..

    1. Oh, I see what you’re saying. Nope, I don’t care who scores the goals, just happy they got it. Getting the first one when a team like Montenegro bunkers in is always a relief.

      Looks like Turkey is on its way now. Had to happen. I didn’t look at their lineup, but if they did go with a second string, it is a good move. Tuesday will be the third game in 7 days, and they’ll be more rested. I suspect with the third goal now, LVG will start subbing.

    1. Who said???We will beat this turkey team…only a clown like FDB will lead us to loose against current turkey and current cezc rep….i pray that Blind doenst play vs turkey at least..Berjwin for berghuis…

  8. @ Andrew

    Agree. On another note I always like to rate the NT team in high tempo games because thats where you cant hide with respect to individual players and quality/ strength and weakness.

    The 4-0 scoreline just doesnt give the overall true picture but like you said what matters is win and not how you win. Montenegro started good though but then you cant just park the bus playing 4-4-2.

    1. Can’t argue with your point about games against quality opponents. But were in a era of qualifiers where Germany loses to N. Macedonia at home, and defeats Lichtenstein by only 2-0; and France is tied by Bosnia and Herzagovina and the Ukraine, and Spain draws at home to Greece, and where both Montenegro and Latvia came back from two goal deficits to earn draws in Istanbul. So I’ll take the three points—plus they looked pretty good in stretches today.

      So, got any thoughts as to what will happen Tuesday?

      1. You see this is what im always highly critical about. Using a deceit argument to potray its normal or a quality picture when its not. Hope my words are right.

        Its is true what you have said about other teams in qualification stage but then as always they pull through meaning shift another level come the tournments why? I have already said this thousands times. This hasnt being the case for NT. The balance factor, depth factor,individual quality point of view is not is never on the same level. This is the formula of winning.

        As for Turkey, I think it will again be a firey encounter and high tempo game. Well creativity wise you expect Turkey to be more productive and above par than NT with calhanoglu and again Yilmaz if given space will cause head aches so defense cannot afford any mistake. Expecting Van Dijk to be back, dont trust De Vrij.Cengiz Under is also in good form so you can expect the flanks to be very active.

        Nothing else than a three points is warranted.

        1. @Wilson, I understand what you are saying, and you’re right, the poor results of other teams shouldn’t be used as a reason for the Dutch to ignore problems in its own house. But I’d also say that these these other teams don’t always pull through. Recently, Italy didn’t qualify for the WC in 2018; France qualified for the recent Euros and went out against Switzerland in the first round of the knockouts; Germany qualified for the 2018 WC and couldn’t get out of their group, and didn’t look very good at this year’s Euro’s. Looking back historically, its always been that even among the top countries, the teams are at various stages along the spectrum.

          Anyway, I’m going to enjoy today’s win, and Gakpo’s goal, and look forward to the Turkey match. Appreciate the scouting report; figured you’d have some thoughts on it, that is why I asked. Agree, three points is necessary.

  9. Wow caught Gakpo’s goal on the highlights. Again like I said he can be devasting with space and without,vive versa. He will evolve into a lethal attacker one day.

  10. Looking at other international teams. Team to watch in Qatar. Argentina. That Scolani coach is moulding one hell of a team using different formation and very talented and upcoming players.

  11. You see this is what im always highly critical about. Using a deceit argument to potray its normal or a quality picture when its not. Hope my words are right.

    Its is true what you have said about other teams in qualification stage but then as always they pull through meaning shift another level come the tournments why? I have already said this thousands times. This hasnt being the case for NT. The balance factor, depth factor,individual quality point of view is not is never on the same level. This is the formula of winning.

    As for Turkey, I think it will again be a firey encounter and high tempo game. Well creativity wise you expect Turkey to be more productive and above par than NT with calhanoglu and again Yilmaz if given space will cause head aches so defense cannot afford any mistake. Expecting Van Dijk to be back, dont trust De Vrij.Cengiz Under is also in good form so you can expect the flanks to be very active.

    Nothing else than a three points is warranted.

    There are 55 European nations and qualifying began in March 2021. There are 10 groups of 5 or 6 teams, with qualifying treble headers in March and September to make up for the lost World Cup qualifying dates of June 2021 (when Euro 2020 was played).

    The 10 group winners will go direct to the finals.

    The groups are:

    Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
    Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo
    Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
    Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan
    Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia
    Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova
    Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
    Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
    Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
    Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

    – Click here to see the upcoming European fixtures | Latest tables

    Remaining match dates:
    MD 4-6: Sept. 1 to 8
    MD 7-8: Oct. 8-12
    MD 9-10: Nov. 11-16

    The final three places with be allocated via playoffs. This will involve the 10 runners-up plus the two best-ranked group winners from the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League who do not finish in the top two in their qualifying group.

    The order of preference for the two teams to enter the playoffs (if required) via the Nations League is: France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, Armenia, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands.

    There will be three routes, each with four teams featuring a semifinal and a final for a place at the World Cup. The playoffs are to be held in March 2022. The draw will be seeded based upon qualifying-round points. The two UEFA Nations League teams will be unseeded.

    In simply words. 10 runner ups and 2 team from Nation league will be drawn in 3 groups of 4 teams each. Winner from each group via semi and Final will go through. Worse case scenario,NT can still make if they end up as runner ups but It would better though they qualify as winners from the group and dont leave it to the last minute which is always tensed.

  13. Just watched replay of NED-MNE, it was OK game. MNE lacked their key attacker and then lost their key defender. NED defense was shaky, particularly Malacia. Due their mistakes, MNE could have scored three times but the quality of their strikers was not that good to punish Oranje. If NED play like that without obvious defensive mistakes against Turkey, we will most likely beat the latter. I also did not like Berghuis: he felt always like an out of blue, lacked an ability to penetrate the flank, unnecessarily pushed himself towards the center where it was crowded without him. Anyway, I have mixed feelings: happy for the result but not very optimistic about overall performance.

    1. Malacia was upgrade from Winjdal and blind…Winjdal cannot cross,not fast as Malacia,blind doesnt have the pace to move up and down..this will wear down against Turkey,Gakpo will not be same with Blind…
      @AZ …VS bulgaria De ligt played and made errprs…like that Malacia also made error…if that useless winjdal gets that much chance Malacia deserves it too..i am sure Malacia will get better and we have long term quality LB..

    2. Wijnaldum made huge error which didnt result in goal…
      De vrij made error which diidnt result in goal..
      Malacia amde error which didnt result in gaol…
      Only malacia error is magnified and he is targetd…Who played a must win WCQ debt…amount of pressure was huge,he was nervous…He played much better than blind ,winjdal in who played last 15 matches for NT….

  14. Good win today against a low level team without any decent strikers. Depay was better than usual, Gakpo is impressive. Deligt is dangerous and unreliable same as he was in his very 1st game against Bulgaria. If we can’t beat Turkey then we don’t deserve to go to WC. It will be a pity because this is a weak group.
    Our captain GW said after the game that he hopes NT will slap Turkey. It sounds a bit disrespectful to Turkey and I hope it doesn’t come back to bite him in the @ss like the Czech elimination game back in June.

    1. i dont want Blind and gini and berghuis to face VS turkey…they should be rested…
      Malacia—Virgil–De vrij—Dumfries/Rensch

  15. I reckon this group will be a four horse race including Montenegro. They could come back in the race especially given they will be playing the last two games vs Turkey and NT on home turf. So the group is still wide open and there could be possibly scenarios where team could end up dropping points.

    Montenegto are up vs Lativa next, Norway vs Gibraltar so the equation is simply for NT, a win. A draw or loss would mean it will go down to the wire on the last match day when they play Norway and Montenegro. This will put alot of pressure on the team and lets not forget what happened in 2001 in that last qualifer.

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