Wilson’s questions re: Oranje

Hi all, most of you will have noticed some dynamics on the blog… There are some people who seem to want to bag the Dutch attempts to glory by putting emphasis on the negatives. It usually comes down to harsh criticism on the coach and on some of the current players.

Usually resulting in a strong call for untested players to come in, players who haven’t competed consistently at top level mostly. Like Joey Veerman and Zivkovic, as two examples.

I noticed that a number of Oranje fans here agree that it’s all a bit too easy, too negative and too repetitive and diminishes the positive experience of the blog, while a lot of the arguments used are typical arguments of people who have no clue how to manage a football team or how to kick a ball.

I called Wilson out earlier, he’s one of the vocal ones and he responded with some comments and questions.

I do need to applaud Wilson for the guts he demonstrated to stand up for himself and come out with his criticism and comments. He dares to be vulnerable and that is great. I do not wish him any disrespect and I am glad we can have this conversation. I hope you don’t mind reading this.

This photo is fun. This Jong Oranje team won their Euros. Typically, these would be the players to make it big in Oranje. It will be fun to walk through the tem to discover which of these lads actually made it big. 

Boy Waterman, Gianni Zuiverloon, Arnold Kruiswijk, Ryan Donk and Daniel de Ridder had decent, average careers. No big trophies, not the top of their class. Erik Pieters, Hedwiges Maduro and Ryan Babel reached the Big Oranje. Pieters disappeared courtesy of Jetro Willems and later Daley Blind. Maduro fell away due to injuries and Babel made a comeback late in his career. Rigters and Drenthe both had a remarkable run but despite bit transfer (Rigters played for Blackburn, Drenthe for Real Madrid), theirs will go into the books as onorthodox career. Other names from that squad: Luigi Bruins, Julian Jenner. Roy Beerens, Calvin Jong-a-Pin, Tim Janssen… Only Tim Krul and Ron Vlaar had a consistent Oranje career, with Ryan Babel.

So you know, being a talent doesn’t mean you can join the big guns. It’s frighteningly difficult.

I promised to respond to the criticasters. I would love for this to be a healthy and respectful thread. And any opinion is welcome.

Next post will be an analysis of Louis van Gaal’s tactics. But first this….

Wilson: What has evolved for NT in the last seven years?

Well, a lot! it is important to realise that the KNVB and their management play a super important part in all of this, more so than any coach or player.

We can all remember how Bert van Oostveen, the General Manager of the KNVB back in the day came out of the 2014 World Cup thinking Oranje was world class. And he decided to ignore the advice of many and installed Hiddink in the NT manager role, with as charter: bring Dutch football identity back!

Bert van Oostveen and Guus Hiddink

The second mistake was to already promise Danny Blind the job once Guus was done. Those things are never smart to do.

The biggest problems were born there.

As for the football, we need to go back a bit. In 2010, Bert van Marwijk was criticised for not playing 4-3-3. That system was sacred, according to many. When the 4-2-3-1 failed in the 2012 Euros, Bert was told to leave and Van Oostveen went straight for the messiah Van Gaal. But he concluded that 4-3-3 will not work for this squad of his in 2014 and he decided to implement the 5-3-2.

Again, there was some push back but reaching the semis has stifled the criticism and not much later, it was Ronald Koeman who also started to play 5-3-2 at Feyenoord, while other clubs (Ajax under Bosz) also started to deviate more and more.

But Hiddink was instructed to go back to 4-3-3 and he was unlucky to have to suffer the post World Cup blues (a lot of high performing teams at a World Cup have a disappointing follow up year in qualifications), the absence of big names and the burden to find new player.

Abandoning the 4-3-3 was sacrilege in the past, but in the past 7 years, Dutch football has accepted alternative systems. That is a big step forward.

It might be too late in the eyes of many, but at least it has happened. Now, PSV plays 4-2-2-2, as does Young Oranje!! Ajax plays 3-4-3. Vitesse plays 5-3-2 and coaches like Slot and Ten Hag have come up with innovative variations on the theme.

The result is that Oranje too can now play 5-3-2 without anyone making dogmatic complaint-noises.

Another aspect we evolved in: back in 2010 the idea was that we didn’t develop good defenders. We had multiple strikers/forwards but hardly any decent centre back. Hence the use of a couple of Feyenoord central defenders (Martins Indi, De Vrij) and a CB of Aston Villa: Vlaar (relegation candidate back then).

Today, we ooze top notch Central Back. De Vrij, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Schuurs, Botman, Timber, Geertruida, Van Beek, Struyk and I am pretty sure I am forgetting a couple… That too is a change, I would say?

Ron “Concrete Ron” Vlaar

I believe the KNVB has added further insult to injury by sacking Hiddink right when he was turning things around, and the way he was sacked (stabbed in the back by team manager Jorritsma) will have deflated the squad and technical staff and Danny Blind was placed in the role too early. He couldn’t fix the Euro qualifications and started his World Cup qualification journey as a wounded animal.

What a way to treat two Dutch football legends!

Ronald Koeman was able to pick things up give the nation some pride again by reaching the Nations League finals and by introducing some exciting new talents to the mix (one Frenkie de Jong would be the biggest plus for us all).

Wilson: *You tell me what has being the highlight of NT in the seven years?

Definitely the games we played in the Nations League, beating France and Germany. As you know, we didn’t play a big tournament in the past 7 years. Qualification game wins usually don’t count as highlights.

But the upsurge of players like Frenkie, Virgil, Memphis, Malen, Dumfries and more recently Bijlow will give many people a big smile on their face.

Funny story. Back in 2016, when we didn’t make the World Cup, Rene van der Gijp was asked: what is needed for this Oranje to get back to the top? He answered: “We need to pray that right now two people are getting it on in bed, in Gorinchem or something, and make a baby who will grow up to be the new Messi! That is all that can save us.” Ironically, Frenkie de Jong appeared a couple of years later to take Oranje by the hand. He was born in Arkel, just outside of Gorinchem… ( Don’t bother commenting on the fact that Frenkie is now 23 and not conceived in 2016. I know.)

Me: “Every coach in Holland would play Daley Blind as CB replacement for Van Dijk. You need a CB with passing and build up capabilities”

Wilson: Not every coach. You know which coaches will and which coach wont.

I actually don’t. This was taken out of context as I’m sure it was said in relation to a particular match / opponent.

Re: Daley Blind

Me: Every analyst or expert in Holland thinks Daley Blind is excellent

Can you name them for me? Is there any in there from outside of Ajax soccer fraternity.

Wilson: * Above all and again What has this yield in the last seven year? Has the team struggled in his absence if he such a intrsumental/important player?

Like any player, Daley Blind had good and bad games. But mostly good games. His World Cup campaign in 2014 was great. Spain’s Azpalicueta didn’t have a chance against him and he has a Man of the Match worthy performance with two assists in the 5-1 win over Spain.

He would play mostly good games for Holland, as left back, and as midfielder. The last game Robben played vs Sweden (3-0), was played with Daley Blind in the Frenkie role and he played impressive.

Analysts in the Netherlands as well as (ex) coaches have hailed him. The list is long: Johan Derksen (not an Ajax fan, ex player, ex chief editor of biggest football magazine), Rene van der Gijp (ex PSV), Wim Kieft (ex Ajax), Ruud Gullit (ex Feyenoord, ex PSV), Kenneth Perez (ex Ajax), Youri Mulder (ex Schalke 04), Jan Boskamp (ex Feyenoord), Arnold Bruggink (ex PSV), Ronald Koeman (ex Ajax, ex PSV), Aad de Mos (ex Ajax, ex PSV), Willem van Hanegem (ex Feyenoord)…. etc

Also ex players like Danny Murphy (ex Liverpool) called him “an unsung hero”, Gary Lineker hailed his vision and maybe the most impressive piece of praise: ex Man United legend Paul McGrath… The Irish defender was asked: with which Man U defender from the past or present would you want to have played alongside. His answer? Yes… And why? “Because it would be nice to play next to a guy who has good feet, has vision and the passing ability he has. He never panics.”


Wilson: Im also shocked to here Ake is not a passing CB. He has all the attributes of Blind including the ariel threat which he always brings in set pieces and which Blind doesnt. 

Me: You are not right. Ake is a great player. He is good at everything and exceptional in the air. His passing is ok. Not great. Good enough for a centre back. Probably better than average. Blind’s passing is beyond that. Blind’s passing is a combination of vision and passing skills.

Wilson: Thats also a very silly argument which you gave,” Van Gaal picks the team which he thinks will win”. In other words you are implying if Ake had started,NT would have lost.

Ok, I may have not said it correctly. “Van Gaal picks the team he thinks has the most chances of winning.” Of course we can win with Ake. We also won with Malacia. There will be a day when Daley Blind retires and we will be fine without him. But Van Gaal will not hesitate to put a fit Blind in there, because Blind is the brain on the pitch, alongside Frenkie de Jong. He is by far the most football-intelligent player, alongside Frenkie.

This is where I feel like taking my gum out. Also look at Van Gaals selection of Timber at RB vs Norway. Its all contradictory and like I always say they keep hitting the fork in their own foot.

How is this contradictory? You lost me. Timber has played well at Right Back before. The reason why Van Gaal sticks to Timber is because Timber was part of the squad at the Euros. Bringing in Karsdorp could have worked but again, if you do the analysis between Timber and Karsdorp, you have the following aspects to consider: Timber’s positions where he can play (3: centre back, central midfielder, right back) versus Karsdorp (1: right back). Secondly, Timber was part of the Euros campaign and Karsdorp wasn’t. So Louis picked Timber. Timber is also used to playing with Berghuis and Klaassen. Also a factor. I am a big Rick Karsdorp fan, but LVG’s decisions made sense to me.

Wilson: I also dont understand, how you conclude from training you are not good enough to start. Then why are you there in the first place.I have long said this the backup players need to have a strong grip and be on the same par as the starting 11 so when there is major injuries there is no disruption. In contrast this has always been the case for NT, when ever there is being a major injury, the team is in disarray. Ake has already played vs big teams like Italy, Portugal, Belgium, France, how on earth you can tell from training he is not good enough to start vs a team like Montenegro is beyond me.

My dear Wilson, this is what makes a coach a coach. Louis has 26 players. But he can only play 11 players. So he cannot play them all. So how do you think he chooses his best eleven? Do you think he picks cards, blindfolded? Or do you think he reads tea-leaves? No! He does the following: 1) what is my preferred system, 2) what are the job descriptions per position, 3) which players do I have available who are top fit and have match rhythm, 4) which player is the best suited for the role and 5) how does this player “work” with the others around him.

This is exactly what a coach does. If you don’t understand this, I am now clear on why you sometimes have those odd comments about football. At training, you can see if a player is focused, whether he has form.

No one is saying Ake can’t play against big teams. He is in the squad isn’t he?

Wilson: I will also say providing arguments with factual contents is not negativity.

There are not a lot of factual comments. It’s all opinion. Most people (you as well) follow the ball and will judge a player on how he plays with the ball. That is never more than 3 minutes per game. Only Messi will probably have the ball more than that, and Frenkie probably too. But a player like Dumfries, Klaassen, Bergwijn will not have the ball for more than 3 minutes. The other 87 minutes are not relevant for most fans, but coaches take these very seriously. Positioning, offering himself up as an option, making runs for the team, covering the positions, etc. Kuyt copped so much criticism, as did Nigel de Jong, and then it was Strootman and now it’s De Roon or Klaassen. It makes me sick. Because these lads represent Oranje and deserve support. And if Van Dijk, Frenkie, Memphis and Van Gaal are happy with De Roon in the team, who the F are you to pour that negativity over them all? Have some respect and accept that you may not see it properly.

And it also applies to the criticism on Hiddink, Danny Blind and Frank de Boer. It’s what Adriaanse calls: Scoreboard analysis. If a coach wins, he’s great. If he loses he is a dik, he is a loser, he needs to go and more of that. In The Netherlands, there is respect for these guys. Hiddink did well with PSV, Real Madrid, South Korea and The Netherlands. One bad spell doesn’t make him a loser. Danny Blind is one of the most awarded player we have. Won everything as captain. And worked in all sorts of roles in football. Considered one of the best analysts and scouts. Yes, he was not able to qualify for the World Cup but he doesn’t deserve the treatment he gave. He tried. He did his best. He didn’t have an inch of luck.

Frank de Boer, same story. Great player. A Dutch Legend. Wins title with Ajax four times! And don’t tell me that it is easy, because it is not. Then he goes to Inter, where he is stabbed in the back. Three successive coaches were not able to turn Inter around. Conte was able to, won the title and guess what: he is also gone!! Crystal Palace: same story. Frank was hired to change things. Four games into the EPL, the owners feel the heat from the fans and quickly sacrifice Frank de Boer.

If Malen would have scored his chance vs the Czechs, Frank would probably still be NT manager today.

Wilson: Sometimes the timing is such there is continuation of comments from previous blog it intrudes contexts of the new post but that doesnt mean we dont appreciate what you write.

I write this blog because of my love for Dutch football. I write it for others who feel the same about Oranje. When people like yourself only pour their hatred and disappointment and anger into it, I cannot see how you appreciate me, the blog or Dutch football. We are supporters. Not cricicasters.

When you feel a player misplaced a pass, or missed a sitter, simply say: this guy played a bad game. But don’t say: “this player is bad, he can’t play, he’s in the team because of daddy/Ajax/whatever, he needs to be sacked”. That is negative. That is vinegar pissing. What you could say is: he missed three passes, I wonder why that is? Is he the best option? Those are comments and questions we can work with and which will result in a positive thread of comments. Negativity leads to conflicts.

So, lets stay critical and lets call a spade a spade but lets try to be civil and supportive. “Malacia is a headless chicken” should be “Malacia played alright, except for one bad pass”. I want to see some love for the players, coaches and the game. Because they all work their asses of and deserve support. Even the “bad” players.

Your thoughts?

Bookmark and Share


  1. Bravo Jan.

    Answering point by point, with reason, common sense and facts.
    I applaud you for your willingness to actually attempt to reason with our friend Wilson.

  2. I also was very Critical and was oozing negativity here on the blog when Frank De Boer was appointed as oranje manager!!!!! But I love nothing on this planet like I love oranje!!! And I have all respect for your open mindedness Jan, this website is an essential part of my life since day one you created it 🌹

    1. Critical is fine Alaa, but I hope we can always find respect for the lads and coaches, despite their failings. Imagine standing on the stands amongst Oranje fans and constantly yelling “Sack Kuyt! Kuyt is a brainless chook! Kuyt needs to go!!!”… I don’t think you’ll come home with all your teeth …

    1. Mate, I hope you will all the time as we all want to keep this blog going. But try not to get back to me with examples of bad passes by Blind and missed chances by Kuyt, ok? Try to discuss the points I make, with your views? Lets discuss the actual topic at hand: does Wilson have more football know-how than 200 Dutch (Ex) players and coaches…

    1. Could it potentially be a “Dutch thing”? When you follow the football as a Dutchie, you are aware of talents coming through. We heard about Memphis and Frenkie and Dumfries way before the international football crowd learned about them.

      Maybe we build “a rapport” with these lads and then when they finally make it into the Oranje squad, we are already feeling “friendly” towards them?

      Could it be that non Dutch viewers would be more harsh on the players than Dutchies?

      Am I more critical on players from Italy, or Mexico? Probably…

      1. @Jan. I don’t know, I’m not Dutch. I just don’t like referring to players in derogatory terms. Anyone, whether they are playing in a minor or lower league, or has reached the highest level, deserves respect for the work, sacrifice and pain its taken him or her to get to the place they are considered a professional athlete.

      2. Yeah and Ristu Doan is also back after his loan spell in bundasliga where he had a good season at Arminia Bielefeld. PSV now have good double up in every position maybe apart from LB where apart from Max there is no natural LB with Viergever gone as well.but they players who can make shift play there. Junior, obispo

  3. @ Jan

    PART 1 – Kind of long but I have tried to hits the points with facts.

    This is what I did, I went and printed out what I said and then yours and did a side by side comparison. This is what I came up with.

    When I asked “What has evolved for NT in the last seven years and highlights” it was in context to their trajectory and ascendency. I did mention about koeman and the surge and how it took a nose dive again after the NL. Not only was this but also in the scope of, from the top to the bottom (Dutch Football) in that seven years. It has being a mess. This is very concrete and cold hard reality article on this. The article also address some of the critics who always put the argument of population size / small country which has been has popular here in context to lack of quality players.


    After this koeman and then FDB came on board. please note some of the points in this article has been highlighted here many times as well and im not saying to go and dissect what the article is about but like I said its cold hard reality.

    Fair enough you said that beating Germany and France was the highlight for you but it didn’t help in trajectory of the team in any way. every team come a stage, reach their used by date and that’s where its back to re building phase .Germany (2004, 2018). Spain (2014), Italy (2017). Most of this teams have gone through this, caught up to NT and surpassed while NT has been stagnant in the last seven years. this is where I was coming from.

    Next My Favorite Daley Blind. I can write a book on him. Ok here we go. You said this in your response ;

    “Like any player, Daley Blind had good and bad games. But mostly good games. His World Cup campaign in 2014 was great. Spain’s Azpalicueta didn’t have a chance against him and he has a Man of the Match worthy performance with two assists in the 5-1 win over Spain.
    He would play mostly good games for Holland, as left back, and as midfielder. The last game Robben played vs Sweden (3-0), was played with Daley Blind in the Frenkie role and he played impressive.”

    I don’t know in which context you have answered this question but Blind’s peak performance has always being vs average teams or in games where the bar has been low like to that of Spain in 2014 which you always have used it to cushion you argument on Blind’s Finest hour whereas Spain came into that tournament depleted like to the of the Dutch in 2012 . Also the recent turkey game where he looked devastating with his passing game. He has always being exposed in all the high tempo big games, No matter where he has played. If there was any consistency in his game, I would have agreed he is a player of highest quality. (Excellent).

    Van Gaal and Danny Blind gave him (Daley) a good foundation to build his career on without any major competition. At that time Van annholt and Buttner were both vying for that LB spot, but both were made to look not good enough even though playing out of Man United. Well back then, it was those who “fit in his system” and now, its “Van Gaal picks the team he thinks has the most chances of winning”

    With very little depth (Jetro –injury prone) at Lb, Blind continued with his undisputed run and the incoming coaches after van gaal and Danny had not much choice but to continue with him until now when change is evitable. It’s just a matter of time and the more they continue to drag with him the more they will keep falling short come competitive stages and vs quality teams.

    This was my whole context on him

    “Not every coach. You know which coaches will and which coach wont”

    This was again in context to his time at Man United when Mourinho came and relegated him to the bench for Ashley Young. He also saw him as an intelligent and a very versatile player, but with the wining mentality that he always has, Blinds one super quality was just not enough in the quest for the title, while Ashely Young on the other hand not being natural LB clearly was technically better than him with his offensive qualities. Blind couldn’t survive the competition and returned back to eredivisie.

    You see in NT/ Netherlands it’s completely opposite it’s all about playing style and not about how to create that atmosphere/competitive environment where you can get best team possible. This is a brutal truth which is also rightfully picked up in the article above. again you can take Italy has an example and the winning mentality that Mancini had and how he did it in the Nations league and at Euros. I have talked about it in detail.

    In response to your big list of experts, this is again from his time at Man United and at the highest level when he was at his peak “The retired Rio Ferdinand recently described Blind, this season playing in central defense, as United’s “weak point” in the belief that he is playing out of position, and Koeman – like Ferdinand among the world’s leading defenders while at his peak – agrees. They did also mentioned about his intelligence to be fair but you see, outside of Holland players are judged on both on what they can or can’t do and when you have two of the best who were in the business saying this then “Houston has a problem”

    Also I have come across him being rated being versatile and intelligent but excellent never. excellent with weakness doesn’t go together.

    Me again * Above all and again what has this yield in the last seven year? Has the team struggled in his absence if he such an instrumental/important player?”

    Again I was expecting to hear when NT has struggled in his absence when claimed to to be important player. Never actually. If I go back, in his absence saw the rise of Van Dijk at LCB, this was way back during when Van Dijk was at Southampton, then came Frenkie in the midfield and as recently as Malacia and wijndal.

    again you look back at the last last seven years, the Lb probably is the only position that lacks quality depth . on the right there has been so many options karsdorp, hateboer,veltman, tete, Dumfries. its all goes back to that preference in 2014.

    1. went bit off track here

      “Every coach in Holland would play Daley Blind as CB replacement for Van Dijk”

      My response was not in context to NT coach but if not for Van Gaal,Blind would have been competing for a spot like any other player. It’s is so ironic he started his career with van Gaal and it will end will van gaal. Like I says after van gaal and Danny, there wasn’t much options other coaches had.

      1. Re: Ake
        You initially statement. Two parts. First,

        “Every coach in Holland would play Daley Blind as CB replacement for Van Dijk. You need a CB with passing and build up capabilities. You don’t need a strong defender. I am an Ake fan, but it would be overkill”

        Ake provides Ariel Threat/ defense
        Ake can build up from the back
        Ake has good passing as well. Agree maybe not to Blind’s level but it is exceptional.dont wanna post his videos here.
        Ake is a balanced defender as well

        How can he overkill it with all this qualities to Daley Blind’s one and only, build up capability from the back. How can you justify this man


        “Ake hasn’t played much for City in recent weeks and for you know, Ake wasn’t impressive on training”.

        Yes he has played less games, but so has serie A contingent and also he was very active in pre season in context to his fitness. I don’t buy to what you said he wasn’t impressive in training.can you imagine being called to a national team, and you won’t give 100% in training. Also of all the training camps I have watched for NT, it’s always has been light sessions and not hard burnout sessions where you have to prove yourself indefinitely. Ake must have been very lethargic in otherwords to say he was not impressive. I mean how do you determine this.body language! what if you chose to stay low profile aimed at avoiding injuries and stuff in training seassions.

        I don’t mind De ligt got the nod but when you called up somebody for a position and then let somebody else play there, who wouldn’t get agitated. The one thing I can say about Ake whether he is fit or no, he gives his 100% when ever he plays.

        Maybe the boss should have clarified this in the post match conference.

        1. “How is this contradictory? You lost me. Timber has played well at Right Back before. The reason why Van Gaal sticks to Timber is because Timber was part of the squad at the Euros. Bringing in Karsdorp could have worked but again, if you do the analysis between Timber and Karsdorp, you have the following aspects to consider: Timber’s positions where he can play (3: centre back, central midfielder, right back) versus Karsdorp (1: right back). Secondly, Timber was part of the Euros campaign and Karsdorp wasn’t. So Louis picked Timber. Timber is also used to playing with Berghuis and Klaassen. Also a factor. I am a big Rick Karsdorp fan, but LVG’s decisions made sense to me.

          But then it backfired. Again the same make shift, play multiple position bullshit which doesn’t yield anything. That was a bloody wrong selection and you make it sound like they are infallible.

          1. It didn’t backfire. It simply didn’t go too well. It wasn’t all Timber’s fault :-). Don’t forget, you play versus opponents who can also make smart moves. It’s not chess or a computer game. Nothing backfired. It simply didn’t work too well.

            you know what is interesting: you always come with new names. Diks, Zivkovic, Lang, etc etc. But when a new player is introduced that you don’t like, you start attacking him and the coach. Weird.

    2. I am not going to write another essay on this.

      It may be a Dutch disease. But the Dutch love left footed skilled players. We never complained about Van Hanegem’s lack of speed, because his brain worked fast. Same with Daley.

      I repeat what I said before: Daley Blind has been and will be the first choice of all these Dutch legends I mentioned. That should be enough.

      When I say that training sessions demonstrate that someone is not up to it, this is not to do with lack of application! I am sure Ake gives 100%. But it’s form and it’s the fit with other players.

      I am confident that players like Van Dijk and Frenkie enjoy playing with Blind. Apparently (this is demonstrated in real life), he keeps on getting the nod. That should tell you something.

      When I mentioned Ake and Overkill in one sentence, that was with regards to Montenegro. You don’t need 2 man markers and a defensive mid versus Montenegro and a defensive LB. You can make do with more football at the back. Versus Montenegro, LVG gave Malacia his debut and it’s only smart to have a strong defender with him. I think the results will tell you LVG was right.

  4. My main point about you and some of the others here, is not about Blind or Ake yes or no. It’s about the reaction to any player who – in your eyes – isn’t good enough.

    I don’t care who plays as LB. When Van Gaal puts Vilhena there or Rensch, I will support them because they play “on behalf of me”. That is my point.

    Next time: please say things like “Wow Daley Blind was exposed on his weakness” instead of “Sonny Blind got the job because of daddy”…. That truly annoys me and I am sure many others.

    It’s vile, it’s untrue, it’s hateful and is not supportive. At all.

  5. Let’s come back to this on another day when the dust will settle some what more. Looks like you are getting agitated now. I will say the same thing what Orangutan said, neither I played professionally and nor coached professionally but being on this site and being following all other teams for last how many years is enough to gauage where it’s all going wrong for my beloved team whom I want to see lift that golden trophy one day.

    1. @ Wilson First of all, I wanna say you make some valid points to balance the opinions in this forum. I particularly enjoyed The Guardian article you attached and I have never been more convinced of my feelings about Oranje and how it’s been ran.

      I believe we are all up in armor as part of the Oranje army. But that shouldn’t be a deterrent from voicing out heartfelt opinions, however passionate that may be.

      I have long contended that the Oranje management has always been a stumbling block against it’s own progress. The egos, quest for self-glory and a general malaise in the form of ugly entitlement haven’t helped. And this atmosphere of a cabal and connivance, wanton arbitrary actions that has been allowed to prosper, have led to one of the greatest footballing nations languishing(for decades) in the doldrums of the Hot or Not column.

      And don’t even start me with the foolish self-regard and maudlin nostalgia. Gullit(an assistant at that) has committed one of the major sacrilege of team sports by broadcasting backroom stuff. And you as the head coach would only recommend him as your successor because the French players fawn over him after a 4-0 loss? Even though his coaching record is less than stellar and quite frankly miserable?

      Appointing Danny Blind over Koeman against the uproar of a whole country and any individual with any kind of footballing brain. And if that’s not enough, followed that with the appointment of a timid personality in FDB who has one successful tenure(Ajax blueprint) and has been fired from club football three times on the spin. Again, against the better judgment of any casual American football-observing fan. How? How can you consistently get it so wrong going forward with clear answers staring you in the face? That’s because their decisions have always been rooted in petty vendettas and small-minded agendas.

      The Oranje management(KNVB) do not inspire confidence. They are as volatile and impulsive as you will. And the sad thing about this culture is that it heavily stems from insidiousness. And even sadder is that it comes at a cost. Koeman would most probably have taken us to the World Cup. Henk ten Cate a coach of formidable experience, who was promised the job by Van Breuklen before reneging(who does that? insidious much) undoubtedly would have given us a better euro tournament. But the powers that be have their own line of thinking. Patting each other in the back and forever reassuring their folly. Forever residing in this cocoon of reverberating thoughts and living in their own heads.

      This is an honest observation not a frustrated drivel. At some point we going to have to stop glorifying dysfunction and mediocrity if we want to see change. Danny Blind is now part of Van Gaal go-to guys. Could Blind be in line to have another crack at it? Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

      1. Well, one quick comment: backroom footage is being shared way more often in football and other sports. A bit silly to now criticize Gullit for it (even if it was a stupid message).

    2. Yes I am getting agitated :-). I was agitated many months before already. If you start to pick up on it now, you will have to work on your “orientation skills” and learn to read the room. Goodnes…

  6. I think this war will never end..and this is funny….i used to blame players more at earlier stages…but thats has turned to coaches in my case…Coaches makes calls and game strategy…Past 22 years Except Van gaal(3 times including 2002) and koeman era…i didnt like any coach including San mark..San mark was not bad though, i dont know who was the worst…they were equally worst….they were all stubborn..
    okay i am wrong we won Euros and WCs and even qualified for all tournaments with Sensational talents like Roben to Van dijk….form 2000 to 2021…amazing highlights…With some luck under LVG we could have it 2014 agree…..
    @wilson and Jan…from 2011 to 2021 we didnt nurtured a Good LB bar Blind…if You take Van aanholt Vs Winjdal vs Blind….i would say Blind wins by miles….We never gave competition for Blind,i personally feel only kongolo,Jetro,and sinkgraven had what it takes to battle with Blind…Jetro and kongolo was horrendously injured many times…over all Blind was not bad,but He is the not the one for title…May be he could win eredivise,.thats it..He is a very decent squad member ,i like his footballing brain…i would look for and upgrade from Blind..i have high hopes in Malacia..next one i am waiting..kongolo is defensivly good ,not bad going forward..for me its Malacia vs Blind VS kongolo Vs jetro now…No one else comes to picture..

  7. Dirk kuyt and Bert van should thank fab4+Nijel+heitinga and joris…They were lucky to work with them and forementioned players carried the team for long time and when had offday other couldnt do a sh@#3it…We lacked the extra venom and bite VS strong teams when kuyt played.not forgetting fluke headers.that cost us 2006Wc,2008EC,2010Wc,…i didnt want Redan to play for kuyt that time ,i justed wanted Babel/Vaart for kuyt…which never hap[pend and we sucked when big 3 failed…kuyt couldnt step up…never seen a single time he dribble past a player..

  8. Thanks Jan as always!

    I hoped you would of commented on Berghuis but you did not. I have been very critical of him and I will continue to do so because I don’t think he brings anything to the team. Hopefully we can find a replacement soon.

    1. Against Norway Steven Berghuis was involved in the goal of Klaassen.
      Against Montenegro Steven Berghuis set up Klaassen with a chance that Davy shot too high.
      Against Montenegro Steven Berghuis blocked shot came to Memphis who scored.
      Against Montenegro Steven Berghuis assisted Wijnaldum with his goal.
      Against Turkey Steven Berghuis pressured, blocked a pass, and help set up the 1st goal for Klaassen.
      Against Turkey Steven Berghuis assisted Memphis’ third goal.

      But yeah… Steven Berghuis doesn’t bring anything to the team

  9. Noa Lang scored twice for Club Brugge vs KV Oostende wining 3-0. 7 games, 2 goals and 4 assists for him now.

    Brugge are in the same group as City,PSG and Leipzig in CL.as much as you can write them off, it will be good stage for players like lang to show their talents. Same as Danjuma who produced that worlde vs Atletico Madrid few seasons back.

  10. What reality are we living in?

    They just picked up 7 points to turn around a dismal qualifying period, getting demonstrably better with each game.

    Yet we still have some ‘fans’ griping about players. “Looser players” ie: Blind, Berghuis, Klaassen.

    But, what did we all witness?


    Klaassen scoring 2, assisting 1, and winning a penalty.
    Gini got a goal.
    Berghuis with a number of chances, involved with 5 goals, two of them direct assists.

    These are the FACTS.
    I don’t think I imagined that, did I?


    Can some of you be humble enough to acknowledge that? Or do you prefer to argue for the sake of arguing.

    Lord guys.

      1. Again, not trying to go into the weeds too much…

        Great Blog Jan. I can’t imagine how much work it is for you. But know that for this english speaking person of dutch heritage, this is the best blog out there.

  11. Just want to also say my thanks and appreciation to @Jan for what a tremendous blog on Dutch football. It has been my staple diet of sort for online viewing; a must everyday for the past many years. Looking forward to insights on LVG’s tactics. 😊

    Noa Lang certainly impressive for Club Brugge. However, I think he needs to show himself in the CL in order to be seriously considered. He will add a different dimension to our attack, just like what I would see in Danjuma and Veerman.
    These three players, among many others will now have added motivation to perform well knowing LVG will give them a fair chance.

  12. Tomorrow is a tough game in Alkmaar where AZ receives PSV Eindhoven. PSV have been very impressive lately. Although Teun left Alkmaar recently, I think AZ will pleasantly surprise us tomorrow and beat PSV.

  13. Thanks mate. The voice of reason. Next up: Van Gaal’s tactics

    But first a comment on that Guardian article. That is really re-hashing old stuff, for me. We are now beyond that. The missed tournaments are in the past, the Hans van Breukelen stuff is in the past. And if you go back in time on the blog, you’ll find that I have also put my finger where it hurts, but I do realise that most of you here don’t read Dutch, so you need to rely on English articles like the one by the Guardian.

    It’s a decent article but not everything was in the proper context. And as I said: it’s old. People who can read / understand Dutch have way more and way better sources of information.

    We have turned a corner. And not because of a change in philosophy. I don’t believe a single word about that. What has changed: talent on the pitch.

    Frenkie de Jong, instead of Strootman.

    Virgil van Dijk instead of Martins Indi.

    Memphis Depay instead of Vincent Janssen.

    Frenkie had serious issues at Willem II with his usual playing style and he refusted to listen to the coach, but did his own thing.

    Memphis has been slammed here (by Emanuel more than anyone) and look at him.

    The influence of Hiddink/Blind/Advocaat/Grim/Lodeweges/Koeman/De Boer was limited on that.

    As an NT coach: you pick the players, you prep the players, you motivate the players.

    Van Gaal is a master in this. Frank de Boer is more a guy who expects his players to bring their intrinsic motivation to the game. Koeman sits a bit in between.

    Erik ten Hag and Arne Slot will have had more impact on the NT that the actual NT manager.

  14. But yes, lets bury this topic.

    I think I made my point. Criticism is fine. But I want it to be constructive and respectful. There is also no need to repeat your disdain of player X all the time. I think we get the message after two comments?

    Saying “Player X is a blind chook who doesn’t belong in the Oranje” is not good enough. Yell to a cushion or a tree or your boyfriend if that is what you want.

    Lets raise the bar here a bit.

  15. AZ lost badly. They played well but extremely inefficient. Without a quality #10, it is going to be very tough season for AZ to fight a place in podium. AZ bench always was short but this year it seems event more shallow. Feel very down….

    1. Watched the game. AZ a lot of possession but sloppy in front of the goal. PSV a ton of talent going forward but not very convincing at the back. Big PSV here, this is the best team in years, hoping they can win some silverware

  16. Saw the PEC Zwolle/Ajax match. Interesting in that Berghuis was played the No. 10, just behind the forward line (Antony, Haller, Tadic). Gravenberch looked good; involved and forcing the action, playing the entire field. Rensch played left back—I guess he is fine on either side of the field—and played well. NT selection is always debated, and Karsdorp probably does deserve a spot. But Rensch looks the part, too.

    Saw Lang’s opener in that match. Great first touch.

        1. Yep, agree. He played with energy; had one strip and long run in the first half that almost came to something, but for the most part, as Jan says, a little wasteful, a little rusty. Ajax had the ball almost the entire game kept PEC pretty well hemmed in the entire game.

    1. Yeah and Ristu Doan is also back after his loan spell in bundasliga where he had a good season at Arminia Bielefeld. PSV now have good double up in every position maybe apart from LB where apart from Max there is no natural LB with Viergever gone as well.but they players who can make shift play there. Junior, obispo

  17. Some unbelievable goals in the Eredivisie. Robin Propper had a scorcher but PSV’s Boscagli long range belter… the AZ goalie didn’t even react. Just watched it go into the top corner. Doan’s goal was also typical for him. Great player.

  18. Watched dortmund vs Leverkusen. 7 goal thriller. Was battle of each half. BL dominated the first half while Dortmund came out firing in the second and then sat back and saw the game out.

    Both Bakker and Frimpong were again heavily involved in the game but were sloppy particular in the second half. In the first both were good. Frimpong contained Guerrerio and Reus well on his flank while bakker kept both Brandt and meunier at bay on the other . Meunier did get better of him on his crosses though which resulted in the first goal from haaland and minutes later for Bellinghams goal which was disallowed for foul earlier in the build up. Other wise the first half was all BL.

    In the second and like I said, dortmund came out firing and again Meunier got better of bakker with the space to come forward and combined with sombody fogot inside to set up brandt for the equalizer. It took him a while to realize it better to close meuiner down rather than letting him cross which was proving to be dangerous with Haaland lurking in the background. also was lucky, not to be punished after being dispossessed by haaland inside the box. Moment of nail biting there for the fans. Haaland and his big long legs, took him out cold.

    Malen came in around 65. Injected some good pace in open play and also had a good tussel with frimpong few times. Frimpong saw a yellow for pulling his jersey after malen got better him. The resulting saw Guerreiro score a worlde from the free-kick.

    The dortmund penalty was dubious one. Haaland converted it and dortmund held on to win 4-3.Can somebody if can watch the highlightds and tell how on earth that can be a penalty. Or was it really a penalty.

    Again a good game, for Bakker, his confidence level is defintely growing as he plays more.He has started all the BL games now. He stood over few free kicks from the deep as well in the game. Comparing him to Guerreiro and Meunier, there wasnt much in it. Apart from Meuniers crosses there wasnt much he did while Guerreiro on frimpong side was more of a live wire but Frimpong also being the pocket rocket stood his ground on most occasions. I dont think either will be called up by van gaal but vs Lativa and Gibraltar, I dont see why they cant be called up.

Join the Conversation

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