Why I think Oranje will be the next Euro champs!

There are several responses. 1. because I always think we win the next tournament. 2. Because it will be fun for us and the blog. And 3. because we have a great group of players who – even without Frenkie – can dazzle and win games.

I’m sure that the work of Ten Hag, Slot, Pep, Klopp, Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Peter Bosz will rub off on Koeman and after meddling with 4-3-3 and 5-3-2 and 3-4-3 he finally landed on the best system for Oranje, the 1-4-2-2-2.

Where he used to have the inclination to leave the right flank open (so Dumfries could bomb into space left available by Wijnaldum or Xavi or Lang or whoever played there) today he has the option to do the same at the left side and play with a more contained option (Geertruida) on the right. In this way he can utitlise a proper right winger (Frimpong) and leaving the left flank open for a player like Van de Ven or Maatsen to dominate the left flank.

Koeman would stack the left with ball players (Blind or Ake, Frenkie, Gakpo) and the right with legs and speed. Now we can do this on the right, with Geertruida,

We can play the compact game against dominating teams (Spain, Germany) and play high up the pitch against transition teams parking the bus.

Our goalies are very decent if not more than that.

Our defence is world class.

Our midfield is talented and eager.

Our forwards are getting in the groove. Memphis is hungry (playing for a new deal, remember?), Xavi and Frimpong are exciting, Gakpo has class and with the addition of Zirkzee, we do have a bit of everything. We have a real 9 in Brobbey, a roaming mercurial forward in Memphis, a class act like Zirkzee and of course pinchhitter Wout Weghorst.

It feels like the team has finally realised that 1. winning is everything and 2. we have the goods to be the winner.

So I say, we will probably beat Poland 3-0. I think we’ll have a shock win over France as well ( 0-1 Frimpong) and Austria will end up being our toughest opponent in the group.

I have a good feeling people! Hup Holland Hup!



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  1. I hope you’re right, Jan! I’d love to see us win this again!

    Meanwhile, in the current match, one composed first time pass from Rodri to a teammate with forward vision and Spain is off to the races! And two more goals later and they are dominating Croatia, who seemed to be in control for much of the opening 25 minutes…

  2. Dearest Julian,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re aged out from participation for 2026, and probably not of the required citizenship either (although stranger decisions have been made). But thank you for your message and your reminder of fonder times with Patrick and Rutgerus. I have to say I preferred Patrick of the two. I actually tried to sign van Nistelrooy at Rangers, but let’s just say we have had our differences. He didn’t care for my “systematic substituting” as he called it. Yet, I still think Hendrik was too harsh when he said “IF you consider him a number 9…” That was a bit over the top! Say what you want, but Ruud could put the ball in the net!

    In any event, I will try to weigh in on these Euros now and again as I take a break from training and sunbathing.

    Met vriendelijke groeten uit een zonnig Curacao,


  3. To the innumerable Aloysius fans (and also Nicolaas):

    No, I will not be following Nicolaas to Curacao. Since that body-painting adventure years ago, your life and mine have followed very divergent paths. Your technological ineptitude on your prior attempted posts mirrors your inabilities at man-management. It’s humourous that you did not suggest also an international return for Arjen Robben. I’m sure that was because you were concerned about attacking capabilities of Czechia and whether Karel Poborsky might be making another appearance…

    But for you other Iron Tulip fanatics who come to Jan’s site regularly, a brief update about me. Truss and I are doing well! We enjoy both our wine and the continuing struggles of Manchester United since my unwarranted departure. And do you see what they do now? Ten Hag wins the FA Cup and they retain his services! I win the FA Cup for them for the first time in 20 years and I am no longer manager. Oh you say because Erik had success in Champions League? Aha, I won the Champions League, remember? United are idiots!!! Yet, for once this is the right decision. Ten Hag has made many errors, but he is a good manager. As for Bayern, inexplicable decision-making, especially when I am still available….

    And speaking of wine, Koeman’s glass is still awaiting him in Manchester. We will see what Ronald has in store for us these Euros. I have tried to instruct him the best I can over these years, but he goes his own way. At Barcelona, at Ajax. But there he didn’t like me sitting aside the training pitch when I was technical director. And then we had the situation with Zlatan, and then his attempt to follow me at AZ. That’s really been his whole career, attempting to keep up with me. Haha! But Koeman says he wants to do it differently from me though. In other words, he wants to be wrong! You don’t win when you’re wrong. In fact, I am at all times the opposite of wrong! Which is why I win of course

    Oh, and best wishes to you Nicolaas in your retirement community in Willemstad. I’ve completed my own period of Niksen and am once again raring to go!

    P.S., I although I won’t be sitting aside the pitch in Germany, I have my tiny notebook ready and will be watching intently. Periodically, I will try to let all of my fans here on this blog know my ongoing assessment of the national team performance. I am sure Ronald will use injuries as an excuse for whatever result is not achieved. To be clear, no one has been victimized by player injuries more than Aloysius. So the gauntlet is down, Ronnie! Let’s see if you can outperform my teams. It’s the semi-finals or bust for Holland! I’ll be waiting in the wingbacks for the 2026….

    Very truly yours,


    1. JB, my friend, I took no offense at your comment about Scotland a couple of threads below…But he laughs last, laughs best, and so I wonder who you think will be favored when Scotland meets Albania in the Quarter-Finals? 🙂

      1. I would love to see that, and hey, if Morocco can make the WC semis, anything can happen!

        Still, with a negative 4 goal differential at the moment, they’ll likely need some combination of William Wallace, Fergus Suter and Scrooge McDuck to even get through to the knockout rounds 🙂

  4. Guys I will miss the game. Flying. Watched Spain game and watching Italy game here in US. Must say both midfield are solid and that’s where it will be decided. The left foot architects for both teams have been cutting edge differences. Unfortunately for the Dutch they don’t have that options. Yamal, chisea. Rodri was class as well in mid for Spain. Their depth to good as well. I think for the Dutch this will be the difference market unless the midfield really step up to the game.

  5. As I think more about the team heading into tomorrow’s match, I wonder whether the injuries to the more established midfielders actually could be a blessing in disguise. Schouten, Veerman and Reijnders looked like a pretty cohesive unit against Iceland. If they could continue to grow and gel together internationally, we might be better served fielding three relatively complementary players rather than trying to accommodate one or more established stars in their preferred roles. Just taking a glass half full perspective for once 😉

    1. As long as we are looking for reasons to believe, mine is that Depay will have a good tournament. He’s out of contract with a club, and guys in that circumstance have been known to step up. Plus, he didn’t play as much as alot of players this past season, so he’ll be fresher than most.

  6. As you might expect, we’ve generally fielded tall teams historically, but with the exception of Simons, Memphis and Ake, our whole line-up is 6’1” +. We’ve got to be the tallest team in the tournament, for what that’s worth…

  7. So much for being the tallest team…
    Virgil with an impressive volley, but saved. I think we’re actually playing okay but just need to make the most of our chances

  8. 23 minutes in and we’ve had 5 shots inside the box so far, but only two on target.

    Another opportunity but Reijnders can’t get a clean ball off. Another corner but we play short and it comes to nothing.

    We don’t seem to have any movement off the ball once we settle into the final third.

  9. At 30 minutes, we’re level again

    72% possession
    11 shots (to 3 for Poland)
    186 passes (to 70 for Poland)
    92% accuracy (to 79% for Poland )

    Hopefully our finishing touch will return. Gakpo’s goal was really a lucky deflection

  10. Dumfries skill set seems suited for a different style than we’re playing today. He’s been fairly innocuous, or maybe we’re just ignoring him and attacking down the left

  11. Poland has really been very average / ordinary/ vanilla in my view. But we have just not made the most of our opportunities. It will be interesting to see if Koeman makes changes or stays the course in the second half.

    And Memphis misses again just before halftime. The story of the match so far…

  12. Half time stats:

    67% possession
    0.92 expected goals (0.13 for Poland)
    14 shots (4 for Poland)
    289 passes (128 for Poland)
    5 corners (1 for Poland)

    And most tellingly, 10 shots inside the box but none scored!

  13. I know he gets a lot of stick from fans everywhere, but it feels this game needs a big target man in the box for Orange, and only Wout Weghorst fits that role. I would also replace Dumfries with Frimpong and Gakpo with a left footed player (not sure who).

    1. I agree. I think a more creative spark is needed, and someone who can finish. We’ve been “fine” so far, and had we not conceded the corner, we’d probably be comfortable with this performance so far, but I think a lot more is needed to truly advance in this tournament.

      I think that van Nistelrooy guy that Julian and Nicholas were talking about earlier might come in handy in this match

  14. An opportunity for Poland with Kiwior wide open at the far post! Little mental errors can cost you when you’re not finishing your chances at the other end

  15. Ake with a great defensive play to stymie another Poland opportunity. And another shot from an open Polish player blasted over. It seems time at 60’ to make some changes…

  16. Memphis is looking more and more like Carmelo Anthony with that headband — Where the ball stops on offense…. I think I would have substituted somewhat differently

  17. Dumfries getting more involved, but he thrives in more open spaces and doesn’t function as well in tight conditions.

    Malen has brought some energy. I don’t think Wijnaldum has touched the ball yet…

  18. We are looking really vulnerable on crosses to the far post, particularly in semi-transition situations. Our finishing has remained poor and ultimately too little creativity from our midfield/ attacking players has limited us

  19. Our defense has looked shaky the whole game. I hate to say this but Virgil Van Dijk is the weakest link. At this point he is playing by reputation only. I saw him live in the Merseyside derby where he was bullied the whole game by Everton’s Calvert Lewin. Imagine him against Mbappe. I would play Mickey over Virgil.

  20. I guess the questions for our team going forward are:

    1. How can you afford not to start Weghorst?

    2. How can you afford not to bring Weghorst in for the last 10 minutes?

  21. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

    My son is already back at school preparing for his upcoming college football season. He is even more critical of our Dutch teams than I am. He called me this morning to note that the TV networks consider us to be just an ordinary average European team now because we got slated for the early morning game here in the US. I think his exact words were “Tell your Dutch friends you’re just Luxembourg now with a slightly darker blue” 🤣

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