A Big Puzzle for Louis

You can say a lot about Louis, but he does have balls.

Most of the nation think he is a dicknecked pompous asswipe, most people feel he failed with Oranje in the past and the media are clearly feeding him suggestive questions hoping that he’ll blow up….

But he took up the reigns of Oranje in a time when even our most successful team manager ever wasn’t able to “reach” the players anymore.

And in his first game, against old rivals Belgium, his team of world class talents and established names failed. Scoring two, conceding four. And if it wasn’t for Stekelenburg, we could have conceded seven or eight…

Quite the jigsaw for Louis.

The old guard at the back or done. Boulah, Mathijsen… I still believe in Heitinga but other than him, we do need fresh blood. Willems I like… Erik Pieters is good at left back but might be even better as center back. Don’t forget: this is his natural position. And with Vlaar, Douglas, De Vrij and Martins Indi we might be in good shape, just as Ricardo van Rhijn and Nick Viergever will most likely have the goods.

Van Rhijn is a good replacement for Van der Wiel and Kelvin Leerdam can play right back as well.

Nigel de Jong had an unlucky game ( and was singled out as such by Louis) but Nigel has demonstrated in the past – for me at least – to be great value. He mishandled the ball and it was 2-2, sure, but this doesn’t seem to happen to him in big games. And as Carlos pointed out after the England game, our goals all came after De Jong stopped England attacks…

But sure, Kevin Strootman can play there too. Or Leroy Fer maybe? Or Jordy Clasie? Or Afellay… Vernon Anita? Enough candidates…

With Robben on the left (with Ola John and Elia as stand ins) and Narsingh on the right (with Robben or Wijnaldum or Lens or Kuyt or even Van Persie) as stand ins, we do look good upfront. Huntelaar, De Jong, Dost, Van Persie, Wolfswinkel… all capable of scoring goals…

Louis will need to fix the heart of our defense and the right holding mid.

I believe 4-3-3 should work out for us in most games. As we can quickly adapt to 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 in the game, depending on having the ball or not…

I do worry a bit about Sneijder and Van der Vaart on the same midfield in a 4-3-3. I can see it with Van der Vaart as holding mid in a 4-2-3-1, but Sneijder needs a more penetrating midfielder with him, I believe. Someone like Afellay or Maher, indeed… But who knows, with Strootman as holding mid, he could even be the man with depth, if Raf will take over his position…

From what I’ve heard, Turkey was not too impressive. We should be able to beat these guys.

Once the EPL is on its way, we will see how things progress. Sure, a defensive line up with Heitinga paired with someone like Martins Indi or Vlaar should work. Willems and Van der Wiel or Van Rhijn on the flanks should be enough.

And Van Gaal will have to watch both Strootman and De Jong in how they operate, to pick the man in form for that match.

I believe this World Cup qualifications series will be played with a large squad. Douglas, Van Persie, Ola John, Afellay, Kuyt, Strootman, Vlaar, De Vrij…

Some players will need to present themselves, others will disappoint and/or Louis will try out different combinations.

And only a couple of months before the World Cup, we will see the final contours of our new Oranje emerge…

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  1. Blind is the right hand man. I’d expect it is his responsibility to fix up the defense while Kluivert probably work with the offense. Fix up the defense and we will be in better shape as I think the offense will be capable to score goals again.
    I wonder if LVG will play with this squad with Turkey or drop some players/call up some players. It’d be interesting to see what his next move is.
    Talents these players have. International experiences many do not have much, but given to them, let they fail and learn in friendlies. If the mentality is strong and they play their positions well, remains calm, no gap, we will do well. At this point I would not underestimate Turkey, or even Andorra, considering our team’s performance.

  2. The whole team needs to do their collective part in defense (as it should be) if we want to win trophies. This is a team filled with potential players. No single player on the roster should feel complacent or safe as they are all replaceable. Based on recent trends, even Sneijder can be replaced if he keeps up his form. So many talented youngsters knocking loudly on the door.

    So what this comes down to is coaching and personnel management because the talent pool and depth is definitely there.

    LVG needs to learn that you can’t keep pressing and playing a high defensive line all the time. We need to be cautious at times especially against top opposition that can exploit our defensive weakness. You can’t play every game with the mentality that you are a goal behind. Ultimately, our offense will be fine. We will score goals! Let’s focus more on defense please!!!

  3. Mark my words….
    4-3-3 is the wrong formation….we will be extremely vulnerable on the counter attack…especially when our forward/s miss their chances. The margin for error is too small and there will be every chance of a mauling by good sides.
    We have no ability to grind out results with this formation. Playing bad and getting a result means a 4-2 beating whereas 4-2-3-1 grinding out a result means a 1-0 win maybe a draw and worst case scenario a 2-1 (ala Germany) or 1-0 (ala Denmark) loss….which amazingly still kept us in contention for the next round at EK12….
    4-3-3 and bad luck/poor finishing/ bad play could be a dazzling display of exciting football that results in some heavy losses……

  4. I agree with you Jan, I think Heitinga has still something to give. And with the great season he had at Everton last year only shows that, I don’t think you can judge him on his current form for Oranje as it has been a defence in disarray.

    I am excited to see Robben play under Louis, as we have heard I think that Robben didn’t respect Bert towards the end and we now that him and Louis are close so I think we’ll see Robben back at his best.

    1. I’m happy to read your words about Robben, cause you should know that he’s one of my best. I like his technique and those “hocus-pocus” which he do to go to center and shoot 🙂
      I’m only worried about his psyche… But hope that his recently lost (and good relations with LVG) will make him hungry of victories…

  5. the last few months the team has long periods of time when the lines disintegrate. I can hear the Turkish coach yelling “Look at these idiots, are you going to loose from them? They will leave gaps of 20-30 meters in the midfield … Make sure you score at least two. This is our chance to beat them. Wait for their front to loose the ball and go fast on the counter attack”.

    See? Even blind men can see it. And Andorra can take revenge …

    LVG will probably go to the Turkish game with the formation he used in the first half against Belgium. It doesn’t work. If he has balls then he needs to call Vlaar, and most important remove Wes. I would also suggest two holdings (Stroot/De Jong) but I am sure he will not do it…

      1. hope not. at least the rest of the teams in the group are shyte too… but we have very little margin for error. I am deeply unhappy by the friendly with Belgium. We played with apathy for the most part and this is not a good sign. I don’t see hunger to win like under Bert for the most part. Still look like a tired team. Got to fix that fast!!

        1. We need to play with passion and intensity… Insipid losses to Portugal and Belgium and rubbish losses to Germany with no real display of emotion is more un-Dutch than playing 4-2-3-1

  6. It is not about a team formation, it is about clicking together as a team. Oranje has the talent, what is needed is to find a partner for Heitinga and get rid of de Jong. He is a liability because can not pass the ball properly. I think Anita is a similar player to de Jong but covers more space, great passing skills and is very fast. I saw him in his last Ajax game and he was terrific. He will grow at EPL.

    I remind the people that are so worried about the 433 formation that all Dutch players learn their trade playing that system and that Van Gaal knows exactly

  7. How to use that system. He won the Champions League with Ajax with that formation. Danny Blind will be responsible to find an urgent answer for the defensive area and I am very sure he is capable to do it. I am afraid of what can happen against Turkey but I am confident that we can return to the good path and that in the end we will be in Brazil. And in the WC anything can happen.

  8. Well said SamDC, Belgium scored on counter attacks when we could not Penetrate….the Belgian defense was so compact which means that oranje is not moving the ball quick enough to create openings.

    A good Oranje can play with an inexperienced defense but, even the experienced Joris, was terrible… he was so out of position on 2 of the goals. Defensively, De Jong had a serious mistake, but, he was defending well….and actually covering for Joris.

    I do think Van Gaal sees individual player strengths and De Jong, strootman would be a nice component to the team

  9. Last call……. :

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  10. i keep hearing douglas douglas douglas but to date nothing shows he will get called up yet! Sure, he will be eligible in september but that doesn’t mean much!

  11. I am not too worried I believe LVG is a great coach and a motivator. We’ll qualify for 2014 because our group is not so hard…not easy but we must qualify.

    We can beat Turkey, Romania, Hungary.

    Robben seems to be lacking confidence that’s something LVG can give him back. 🙂

  12. 4-3-3 requires two crucial elements to function: midfielders with exceptional passing, and (quite obviously) two fast wingers. LvG has the second ingredient with Robben, Narsingh, Ola John, and even Robin Van Persie at his disposal. The other ingredient is what LvG needs to work hard on experimenting and finding the right combination. Clearly, out the 3 midfielders, only Sneijder felt comfortable playing there. He dropped deep and seemed to almost involved in every possession. NdJ and VdV, however, looked completely lost. They either sat passively in the back (NdJ), or stationed too close to the target man (VdV). Bad personnel selection methinks.

    A good candidate to complement Sneijder, in my opinion, would be somebody who can congest the midfield/disrupt opponent’s attacking flow, win the ball back, and maintain possession by quickly distributing the ball out wide or dribble forward in to slice open the opponent’s central defense (essentially creating space for the striker to purge in). You need toughness and awareness to retain the ball, BUT equally important are speed and passing to restart the attack.

    I know I am going out on a limb here, but in my opinion, the best two candidates next to Sneijder are Ibi Afellay and Leroy Fer. These two are not only built with powerful engines to go up and down the field with ease, but also they are blessed with quickness to launch passes or drive forward. Clasie would be a great choice, too. His distribution is very good, although I think his height could be a slight disadvantage. Anita would be an okay choice, quicker in ball recovery, but more limited in passing compared to Clasie. Strootman is exactly the opposite of Anita, outstanding passer but very slow in reaction. He’d be a decent back-up.

    Afellay, Fer, Clasie, Anita and Strootman. 5 candidates for two seats alongside Sneijder. Pretty good short list. Vaart, as far as I am concerned, is pretty much done. De Jong might still be useful coming late into the game to protect lead or playing against heavyweight team.

    1. eric,

      2 arguments you mentioned I disagree with. RvP is not quick enough to play as a winger.

      Second one Ibi Afellay is not a person that will pass the ball quickly, as a matter of fact, I think he’s too slow passing the ball.

      1. Great points. I think LvG will be hard-pressed not to insert the EPL top scorer into the starting eleven. The question is where. If Narsingh or Ola John fail to shine (which I am not saying they will), I think RvP will be the fallback plan for winger to accommodate KJH as the target man. RvP is clearly versatile enough to play in all three front spots.

        Ibi is actually a very good passer– his outstanding display in his last season with PSV was the case in point. Since transferring to Barca, he’s been transformed solely to an attacking winger (mainly because of his turbo to pass defenders and his tight ball control). This trends carried out to Oranje with mixed results. I do still believe that Afellay’s natural position is the central of midfield. Very few player has the pace and agility AND stamina to cover the entire midfield. But first thing first, he needs to get out of the purgatory, leaving in Barca and finding a club where he can play as CM. I was actually hoping Arsenal would get a sniff at him, but now that Carzola was bought, there goes the chance.

    1. No Kuyt!!!
      Thanks for all his contributions but no starting role for him. Robben on the left and Narsingh on the right was actually one of the few things that worked out on Wednesday!

      1. Kuyt as a midfield replacement? I love Van Gaal singling him out for all the little Dutch boys and girls: work hard, harder than hard, and you can be a lion, too. 🙂

    1. Well, yes if they do it 100% the time they won’t win. But what I think the people above are trying to say that our midfield needs to get much stronger and be able to complement the defence and also feed the world-class strikers the passes they need to score.

      This might mean more possession and back-passing.

  13. Good defensive will be a hard thing. I’m afraid that young defenders won’t be solid yet (second half against Belgium proved it). Should we risk in point-matches? Our group rivals are not from the top shelf so maybe we should or even must risking, cause we have to get ready to the championships with young and experienced players in one(!).

    We’ve got great offensive potential. 4-3-3 is good enough to use our power 🙂 But, like everybody knows, Oranje has too many good players to give all of them place on the pitch. That’s why I think that we cannot speculate now… Coaches have to give the chances in match for players who will be in best shape at the moment and who play regularly in their clubs.
    Yeah, such a hard puzzle….

  14. I personally think it can be 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 at the same time. We need a joker who can be a defensive midfielder and an offensive midfielder at once. A Cocu or Davids (o boy how I miss Edgar), in today’s world I personally think its Xavi or Xabi. I have no problem with De Jong being the destroyer or Anita but he needs somebody beside him who can be a destroyer and distributor as well.
    Sneidjer and Van de Vaart are too offensive in my books, besides these two have never played that defensive role and asking them to change their style now, is just silly.
    People here ask why Sneijder likes to start from the left, its because he has a long pass and he distributes better when he leans towards a flank. Besides that’s where he has a shoot on goal from long range. Sneijder is a good distributor of the ball but not a play maker, we need someone who can start from our half, dribble it, push forward then give it to Sneijder for the killer pass and then goal. And this guy can can hold on to the ball, kill time and circulate it when we are up a goal or two. This team needs a brain, and sorry to say Sneijder is not that person. Wesley needs someone who can start the play deep down and then he finishes it off.
    If you look at Holland’s play, the “real” play makers are the wingers. But when they don’t get the ball, then Holland’s play is lost and nowhere to be seen. We have been lacking a brainy, tough defensive mid for a long long time.

  15. I’m looking forward to seeing the 4-3-3 again.

    It’s much more suited to Van Persie, isn’t it? I know it’s popular to dish him dirt, because he hasn’t delivered for the NT… but he’s a huge talent. Maybe this formation will give him more opportunities — particularly with Robben left, and another speedster on the right.

    Will be fun to see more of Narsingh and Strootman together. Will Strootman play today?

  16. @gio

    I think LVG will play this midfield:

    OFFENSIVE MID or NUMBER 10: Sneijder and VDV as a sub.

    MIX MID or NUMBER 8: with great defending and building up skills: Strootman and Maher as sub.

    DEF MID or number 6 (or 5): Clasi an Anita as sub. Also NDJ but I think that for 433 you need better control and passes skills.

    I think play Sneijder and VdV together is too risky.

  17. @Gio,

    You are absolutely right in your analysis. Van der Vaart and Sneijder composing a midfield of only 3 midfielders is not a good option. I would rather use there instead of VDV someone like Strootman or even Emmanuelson who are players that know how to defend and cover more space. Van Gaal will leave De Jong as a starter against Turkey because it can be too early to introduce Clasie, Fer of Anita there but will deploy a more defensive mid to support defence and also will start with another left central back. We all are missing Pieters, he in my book can be the perfect replacement for Mathijsen leaving Willems or Martins Indi as left backs. Many things can change but I am guessing Van Gaal will use this eleven in september.

    Van Rhijn
    Martins Indi
    De Jong (for Now)

    With this line up we should end this bad period and start winning again. I am recovering the good mood! See, the problem is not that hard. We got good full backs, Heitinga needs more support so use Martins Indi as his partner and help defence with a stronger midfielder who can create and destroy at the same time. And up front we are Ok like we could see against Belgium since Robben,Huntelaar and Narsingh all were present in our goals.

    One more thought…Isn’t it time to call Douglas to see of he is the answer that many think he is for our defensive problems??? Just a thought…

  18. @Mario: that’s exactly the same line up I’d use. Actually I am watching PSV and Advocaat is using just one holding midfielder (Van Bommel) while Strootman is used as an attacking midfielder and is doing good!!! 🙂

  19. I think Sneijder, Strootman and Clasie is a well-balanced midfield both offensively and defensively.

    Add Martins Indi and things should definitely be better. Douglas should be given a chance as soon as he is eligible.

    My only problem with 4-3-3 is that Sneijder ends up being pushed to the left. He is not a winger and will overlap a lot with Robben on the left side. I want to see him in a more central role.

  20. Erik Pieters was in the stands at St James park watching Newcastle…. Would be a great move. Krul, Anita & Pieters… They would get to know each others game. Can be a great thing for Oranje…

  21. Yes… van Gaal has a very, very difficult puzzle to unravel. Reminds me of a photo I saw of Rinus Michels during the late 1960’s poring over a line up of Ajax players, trying to find the perfect fit. It takes that extra special manager to piece together just the right combination. Does van Gaal have it? With Oranje, history suggests otherwise.

    This team, this mood, this approach have that feel from the 1981-1986 period. Plenty of talent… just not in sync, and without the right man at the helm.

    I really, really, really hope I am wrong.

  22. So Leroy Fer scored again! Is he playing center forward? Because so far he has scored in many friendlies, Europa League and now in the Eredivisie 🙂

    Wijnaldum should be a starter for PSV he had a good preseason and the little he has played he’s done great.

    1. I agree. Would be great if Psv sell Toivonen, i think Wijnaldum is a better player and he’s dutch! Having Strootman, Willems, Wijnaldum, Narsigh, Pieters and possibly (in future) Depay playing in the same team could be great for team chemistry in Oranje.

    2. I am becoming more and more convinced every week that Fer is the missing puzzle in LvG’s midfield trio style. Fer is such a horse, covering every inches of the field (we haven’t seen player like this since the pitbull E. Davids). And yes, Fer is equally at ease scoring and defending. He is the ‘bridge’ in midfield, I think of him as a poor man’s Yaya Toure. If Twente flies this year, it will be because of him. And a spot in Oranje is for Ler to lose.

      1. Leroy Fer has everything, except the most important thing for high level football IMO, that is handling speed. I have now seen him doing it all. He has a through pass (demonstrating vision), he has a long pass, a short pass, he has stamina, he can defend,he can attack, he can score goals with both feet and head, he goes box to box. All this, but in it’s core his football is build on strength first over pure football, coming second. It takes him simply to long to pass, play the position game and so he tries to solve many situations by running more. Therefor he is not able to speed up the game. Therefor he is not able to get Netherlands out of trouble when it is under pressure. You only get out of pressure situations with players having high handling speed and seeing the football solution in a split second plus being able to execute the pass and then positioning smart to receive it back again. Clasie is a player that does have that quality. That’s also why Feyenoord was better in many top games last year in Eredivisie and recently against Kiev in 150 of the 180 minutes, who have a budget many times over that of Feyenoord. It’s also funny you see Feyenoord struggle when Clasie gets tired. He starts to make mistakes or just starts to function sub optimal. The final 30 minutes, Kiev got chance after chance. Though that also had to do with Vormer being subbed out IMO. Anita is another player that has these quality’s and soaks up pressure, has probably more speed and stamina, but less distribution power.

        For me it is weird Afellay is looked over for one of the 2 more offensive midfield positions. His runs forward would also get the striker more involved setting up one-two’s and his pass completion rate is nice. From his PSV time I do know his defense is not very good in midfield, but everything is an improvement over VDV in that department.

        Another option is Anita in pure DM and then Sneijder and Clasie in front of him. Then you have 2 great passing lane readers in your midfield, who will apply early pressure and know how to control midfield. Both VDV and Sneijder have no idea how to control midfield. They are magnificent wizards and Sneijder will defensively maybe hold his own to a certain extend, but that’s about it. They have the “I’m not supposed to struggle syndrome”. Clasie also has great distribution and cutting pass ability to send the forwards away.

        You can do one of the two (players able to bridge the gap on midfield or players that pull off compact team play so that becomes less of a need). I think people crave for midfield runners (Fer, Afellay) as we all see that the team is simply not able to play close to each other. That has to do with the current midfielders not being able to control a game. We also saw it at the Euro’s (Portugal being the all time low creating ocean’s of space for Ronaldo to benefit from, what he then also did) and in the friendly against Belgium. Nigel de Jong is a patroller IMO. He is great guard bringing down who comes his way, has a good pass completion rate, but proactive game play is not something he has in abundance. Both Anita and Clasie do have this. Both also have high handling speed. The triangle Anita-Clasie-Sneijder is probably the triangle with the highest handling speed we can configure. You won’t have a lot of penetration power setting up one two’s (and that sucks), but these players should be able to stabilize possession higher up the pitch and let Sneijder come into his strength, spraying with his key passes. Clasie will also pose danger in this area.

        This last option really lacks penetration power from midfield and ideally Clasie is paired with a player having a vertical game, but I have a feeling we are losing control and VDV and Sneijder do not offer this either. We have now lost 4 games in a row. We switch to another system, without certain key player being able to play it. I say first things first. Let’s first try again to control a game from start to finish. We are only good in spells of the game. At the Euro the first 10/20 minutes and against Belgium the first 20 minutes in the second half. That’s not good enough.


        1. It takes him simply to long to pass, play the position game and so he tries to solve many situations by running more. Therefor he is not able to speed up the game. Therefor he is not able to get Netherlands out of trouble when it is under pressure. You only get out of pressure situations with players having high handling speed and seeing the football solution in a split second plus being able to execute the pass and then positioning smart to receive it back again.


          You can do one of the two (players able to bridge the gap on midfield or players that pull off compact team play so that becomes less of a need). I think people crave for midfield runners (Fer, Afellay) as we all see that the team is simply not able to play close to each other. That has to do with the current midfielders not being able to control a game. We also saw it at the Euro’s (Portugal being the all time low creating ocean’s of space for Ronaldo to benefit from, what he then also did) and in the friendly against Belgium


          BTW one of the best posts I have ever seen. Not sure I agree with the solutions you propose but the analysis is spot on.

  23. I personally think we should play 4-2-3-1 since the defence is not that strong(YET!)..
    These youngsters in the backline need a few more games to mature and compete with the very best..4-3-3 at this stage is a huge gamble.. We run the risk of getting outscored even if we manage to push in a few. There aren’t any friendlies lined up before the Turkey game,so LVG should introduce Strootman and Clasie as the two defensive medios and bring Sneijder back in the middle. That way,LVG can make sure that he adds strength to the defence without sacrificing creativity in midfield (Busquets and Song,together, will play the same role for Barca this season)

    ——————-VAN PERSIE/HUNTER———————-




      1. I think we should be fluid in terms of formation during games. We don’t need rigid 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 throughout the whole game.

        We need to be able to read games and react faster. We also need players who are in top form that will apply pressure on opponents whenever we lose possession. We gave Belgium tons of space and allowed them to play their game.

        Every formation has it’s strengths and weak points.
        There is no 100% perfect system! We are not going to be champions just because we have to play 4-3-3 all the time or 4-2-3-1. We have to play with whatever gives us the most advantage and allows us to win games while limiting the opponents attack. That’s all!

        1. Oh don’t be upset! In fact I must thank you, kind sir – many of the tumour infested dolts that post their asinine drivel here attempt to sucker readers in with nicely worded openers.
          You just came straight out with the brainfart, making it perfectly clear that the remainder of your statement would be equally as moronic. Saved me a good 10 seconds of precious weekend. I’m eternally grateful.

          1. I must say it was the proudest moment of my life sir. I think I should thank my heavenly stars for pulling off such a spectacular feat. You see,managing to save 10 seconds of an idiot’s life(who is delusional enough to believe that he possesses the birthright to insult others just because there’s a difference in opinion) is indeed,an astounding accomplishment. Very proud Sir,very proud!!!

    1. @Abhirup
      I want to see Strootman and Clasie together! VDV can’t defend and NDJ needs some competition in the midfield from Clasie.

      I do not believe that Song will become an automatic starter. Unless Mascherano is playing CB, I don’t see Song getting the nod ahead of him. Losing Yaya Toure really hurt Barca last year. They trying to bring back some of that midfield strength back into the team.

      1. Two holding midfielders? In a 4-3-3?

        Clasie is 5’5″, and needs to face big talent in a big league. Why bank on him at this moment?

        As for Vaart: Yes, he’s an attacking midfielder, but — just as a reminder — he was the last Dutchman between Spain and the goal at the WC. And he earned praise for his defense in the qualifiers for EC, didn’t he?

        I’d like to see more Strootman in the holding role than Black Belt De Jong. But if LVG wants to go 4-3-3, why are we talking about two holding midfielders…

        And why are you so down on Vaart? 😉

        1. @Goldstone
          VDV not being able to clear the pass intended to Iniesta is why we conceded that goal at the WC Final. You may want to watch that highlight again in case you forgot.

          I think the team should be more dynamic in the way they play. They need to be able to read games and change tactical formation during games. A rigid system can be exploited. When you add the problem with defense that we have, having Strootman or Clasie would be better than VDV.

          1. I’ll have to watch the bloody thing again, but I remember much of the team being flat-footed, arguing foul.

          2. Okay, so I watched it again. My recollection was clearly colored by a bit of wishful thinking.

            But so is yours. If you want to blame Vaart for not “clearing” that pass, that’s up to you. He was perfectly positioned, deflected the pass.

            The break started when the team lost rhythm over the “foul.”

            Blame Vaart for losing the World Cup if you wish. 😉

  24. amen to eric about leroyfer…..
    box to box hardworker but so is anita,strootman and clasie
    so let us fix with these four as holding mids…but i would love to see deguzman there too..another box to box player..
    Anita,clasie,strootman,leory and deguz man all are very good at attack so u wont be sacrificeing and attacking talent
    i hope u guys understood what i mean

    1. Speaking of Anita, TBH I wasn’t very happy with his debut yesterday. Got caught in couple possessions, and looked lost at times. Maybe the nerves, or maybe just the pace of the game got the best of him. It’d be interesting to see if Anita can get enough playing times at N’Castle. Tiote and Cabaye looked very, very good.. they have a great understanding of each other, and offered so much more in attacking that Anita did.

  25. i did not get to watch as many games as i wanted, but i did get to see sporting lisbon game this weekend,

    Stijn Schaars benched
    Van Wolfswinkel didn’t score, was good, but sporting was missing final pass
    and Khalid Boularouz kicking ass, at center back

    I think boulahrouz needs to be looked at for the center back position, Right back hell no, but he was right center back and played great. Could man-mark guys out

    Alexander buttner must have someone above looking out for him, was it fate to have the southampton deal fall through???

    1. btw anyone have summaries on dutch players

      i didn’t get to see tottenham vs newcastle
      manchester city vs southampton i heard no nigel de jong, but joos hoiveld was there

      and i saw ajax till it was 3-0 over nec and decided to stop watching.

      How did the dutch players do? anyone a world beater?

  26. I like Kuyt, but I prefers wingers like Robben, Narsingh and even Afellay. Too bad that we do not have much time but if we have more time, I would try Kuyt as a holding midfield. He did that very well as a winger.
    About not having a rigid formation, I think that is the coach’s job, and the players need to adapt to changes during the game, yes.
    We need a good leader in the center of defense and a good leader in the midfield. Wes is not the leader at this moment. I hope Strootman or Clasie can become the next leader.

    1. Moving Dirk Kuyt to the bench has cost TWO managers their jobs in the last 6 months.

      It’s not what Dirk does or doesn’t do. It’s not how good or poor he plays. It’s not his skill or lack thereof.

      It’s that Dirk wants to win. He plays with pride and fire. His attitude INSPIRES the other 10 men around him to raise their own games. He forces his team mates to fight together. He sets an example and others follow. It’s instinctive. Herd mentality. They simply have to.

      When you remove this, you are left with a very big hole to fill – hey Kenny, hey Bert! Talent is not enough.
      You need to WANT to win.

      11 artists? Or 10 artists and a Dirk Kuyt? I know which I would pick 8 days a week.
      (if we actually had 10 artists right now I would be happier)

      Dirk in the holding role? Hmmm maybe a few years ago, but I think his time may have passed now. New blood is needed.

      1. I always wanted to see Kuyt in a holding midfield or defensive midfield role. He can run like a horse for 90+ mins and he can tackle decently while able to make passes.

        I wasn’t too happy about him being deployed on the wings. He did help against Maicon in the Brazil game at the WC but his lack of speed and good crosses stifled the offense on his side of the field in a lot of games.

        Honestly, I think his time is done. There’s just too much competition for spots on the team. I hope he gets some playing time as a sub so he still feels enough connection to the team. His work ethic and team spirit should be used to inspire a lot of the next generation. I think that would be the best use of his talents at this point.

  27. Buttner to Man Utd is a great move. It’s a great opportunity for him. There’s also a lot of pressure on him as well. One or two critical mistakes could cost him a lot. He is a low risk investment for Man Utd in terms of money. His margin for error would not be tolerated much.

    Hopefully, he’s gradually phased in behind Evra and gets enough opportunities to show his talent.
    He’s going to get the maximum exposure as he is going to one of the most visible and popular teams in the world.

    If he turns out to be a success, Oranje will have great options at LB which has been one of our weaknesses lately.

    1. Stefan Coerts said in his tweeter today that Buttner is not MU material:

      “Have had a lot of questions re #Buttner. Typical modern full-back. Good going forward, less impressive defensively. Not #MUFC material imo.”

      Let´s see

  28. I can’t comment much on Buttner. Haven’t seen enough of him to make that call. Maybe some of you Eredivisie experts in here can give us an opinion about him and the move to Man Utd.

    For someone relatively unknown outside of Holland, it would have been better to go to Southampton. He probably would be getting more playing time. Maybe, Man Utd will loan him out. We’ll see.

  29. Heitinga and Van Persie on the bench, for van persie it’s fitness concerns

    heitinga has no excuse, why is he on the bench, he’s healthy, nothing wrong

  30. Ajax sings Moisander!!!!!!!!!!

    I wanted Viergiver or Nuytinck, but its ok. Good news.

    Now, It will be nice if Ajax sells VdW in order to give more time to Van Rhijn.

    Who sub Anita yesterday? I read Ajax play with Eriksen, Jannsen an Shone. I don´t see Jannsen as holding midfield.

    Lukoki is improving a lot. Much better this year. He has more potential than Ozbiliz and Ebecilio (where ios he by the way). Maybe in 2 years he will be fighting for a spot on the orange!

  31. Here is a quick sum-up of relevant events in the ManU – Everton game:

    – RVP @67min and Heitinga @injurytime on from the bench in the second half, neither of them impressed. RVP was actually put on warm-up immediately after Everton’s goal.

    – The game’s only goal scoared by Everton’s Belgian striker Fellaini (the guy with the afro). He was definitively the man of the match, receiving rightfully the credit for stealing the opening win from ManU.

    – Everton defended their lead fiercely and an almost certain equaliser was barely avoided with a goaline bicycle kick by a defender (forget which).

    Personal comment: RVPs only roles were taking a few corners and one lame attempt on goal. It was pretty much Everton’s and Fellaini’s night.

  32. I watched the replay of PSV V Roda, gee they played some nice football, even van bommel looked good, Strootman was impressive too, nice header for first goal my question is was this because the opposition was weak or are they the real deal?
    Time will tell!

    1. Yes.

      Willems also looking very good. He has a lot of potential.

      But, Lens on the first half played very bad, and Narsingh lost against Tamata in my opinion.

      But the season is just starting!

          1. Excellent read, cheers for that. After learning about his struggles, and especially about him missing out on the Ajax Academy spot in his youth really makes it all the better that he got this transfer to the EPL and ManU.

            Also it sounds like he has a great work-ethic and when given the opportunity will make the most of himself. Great stuff I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more from him.

  33. Gio, I agree with you about Van Persie, and many of the forwards,Van Persie, Afellay, Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, Robben…I believe we still have room for them in the national squad. How to make them play well together with the defense as one unit is Louis’ job. I am waiting to see how Van Persie will play with Rooney in MU.
    I’m still worrying about the defense. I do not see a quick solution and it scares me. I do not think Krul or Vorm do any better than Stek with the defense we have. As much as I like 4-3-3 or even 4-4-2, perhaps we have to have 2 defensive mid to cover for our defense. If you say this does not help then we are screwed. An additional point that scares me, remember what Van Gaal did in 2002 qualification, playing 3-4-3? Considering our defense now, …even having Ronaldo or Van Basten in their prime as our forwards will not help.
    I just hope we can get some healthy players back (Pieters, Strootman) and the team gels/click quickly miraculously so we can win the first WC game vs Turkey.

  34. What I can’t understand is how a coach like Alex Ferguson very far away from the Netherlands knew about Buttner but Van Marwijk never used him and specially at the Euros where we needed a good replacement for Pieters. I have seen some videos of him and seems great attacking but I wonder if he can defend as well. I expect Van Gaal to give him a chance.

    1. Wasn’t going to but now that you mentioned it I might.

      Also ORANJE NEWS: from another other CL-qlf matches tonight.

      Dirk Kuyt scored the equaliser in the Fenerbache – Spartak (Moscow) game on the 65th minute. However, Fenerbache lost the match 2-1 and Kuyt was carded (yellow) at two minutes into injury time.

    2. btw, De Jong officially scored an own goal (just marked as such). I didn’t see the situation, but it apparently was from a free kick where he managed to get his foot in and send the ball in the absolute wrong direction.

      Oh dear..

      1. yeah, the free kick came from the side and he was in front of two dynamo kiev attackers, and it hit his shin, and went into the upper 90 for a goal.

        he didn’t get much action for most of the game, him and his teammate igor de camacho should really be angry at the midfielder juan arango, this guy kept shooting from distance, never even looking to pass, luuk de jong was running all over the place waiting for a pass and only got one once good enough but he was offside. not a great day

        and no roel brouwers

  35. Mario….that SIR alex,he is SIR…he has very good scouts for him,BVM always backed experienced and he never gave a real chance to any newcomer…may be strootman is an exception…
    Buttner is class in attack thats for sure,but not that good in defnec i think,..but he is capable of outclassing other LBs in orange coz he has potential…let us see
    Victim of BVM
    Jonathan deguzman
    Jordy clasie
    Vernon anita
    Adam maher(Not much but still)
    Bruno martins(was much better than williams in 2011 and 120

  36. BVM wanted to protect Heitinga and Mathijsen by playing an extra defensive midfielder. He should have given other defenders more chances than some cameo appearances. Not that he had world class defenders at his disposal but it would still be worth trying instead of sticking to the same failed formula. In the end, his luck with Mathijsen and Heitinga just ran out.

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