Advocaat: We humiliated the French!

Dick Advocaat’s post-match press talk: “I am so proud of the team! We did exactly what we wanted and I think we really humiliated them in their own home. It was our aim to show that we are able not to concede 10 goals or more and they only managed 4 of which one was offside. I even made it harder for them to have Strootman red-carded. This would force my lads to play even more defensively and with less initiative even and still the French couldn’t get 10 past us. Great day for Holland! I also believe Robben deserves extra compliments for being able to head that ball way past the goal, if the defender wouldn’t have interfered. It is much harder to totally mishit that ball than it is to score. So yeah. Happy, proud. I think we can probably limit our defeats to Sweden and Bulgaria to 0-2. So finally, we can focus on putting artificial pitches in every Dutch stadium during the 2018 summer and get the whole country to enjoy futsal.”

RVP FRance

But seriously… I wrote the piece below while watching in disgust:


Writing this while watching the first half France – Oranje and I am in deep mourning, serious football depression and ready to make some drastic decisions.

We’re playing as if we won the first leg 5-0 and we can accept a 3-0 defeat here, and we’ll still go through.

But it’s not. And we re not. And we shouldn’t go through. We have nothing to do at that World Cup.

The options we lack to replace Robben, Sneijder and co, the lack of quality of the new generation, the lack of intensity and speed… It was a shambolic performance. Losing every second ball, every challenge, hardly any movement off the ball.

Shocking, really.

And yes, France has a top generation and strong and powerful players. Sure. But if you want to get something from them, you need to play at 110%. Intensity, desire, movement.

Robben France

There were no positives to be found. Tim Fosu-Mensah made his debut. That’s probably the only thing.

It starts with coach Advocaat of course. Why play Janssen up top? He has no rhythm or confidence, no speed and not enough dribbling skills to make a dent on his own. Janssen is good in and around the box. In the final third. Knowing France had to go for a win too, why not use Promes as the striker and Memphis in the Promes role? Or Vilhena in midfield to stop Pogba?

But apart from that, the team looked good on paper but really offered nothing on the ball. Sluggish, indecisive, clumsy. The number of stray passes by Wijnaldum, Strootman, Hoedt… A disgrace.

After seeing this game for 45 minutes, I wonder if an “Ireland away” scenario is possibe. In that game, coach Rijvers was down 2-0 and brought Van Basten in the second half to play with Gullit up front and the two got three goals to secure the win.

Maybe Ruud should put on his boots ?

Late in the first half, we had an intervention, Wijnaldum finds Sneijder, who finds Fosu-Mensah and his run and pass is misunderstood by Robben and the ball is passed to a defender of France. Typical!

Stroot rood

The only good thing is that France should have scored three goals by now and seem to be going for gallery play.

Total dominance by France. Great goal by Griezmann. 

Second half, Dick made one change, with the lethargic Sneijder out and Vilhena in. A bit more penache and tenacity from him?

I am disappointed we don’t see Memphis for Janssen.

The decision after Danny Blind’s sacking was to either build a team for post WC 2016 or give it all to go for short term result. The latter was decided, with old hand Advocaat as coach – short term focus – and Sneijder, Robben and now Van Persie as the key men to make the difference.

I think the universe decided that we’ll need to rebuild and rebuild significantly. Vilhena, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek, Haps… 

Add Promes, Memphis, Karsdorp, Kongolo and Tete and we might be able to build up again.

Dutch fans celebrate their victory against Uruguay following the 2010 World Cup semi-final soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 6, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Dutch fans celebrate their victory against Uruguay following the 2010 World Cup semi-final soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 6, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA – Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Now, with Bulgaria currently leading vs Sweden, there is still a slight chance, but if we play like this vs Sweden, we won’t even get a look in.

So, with Holland on the 36th spot in the Fifa ranking and Ajax and PSV not even qualifying for the Europea League, we need to face the music.

Dick and Ruud have to. The players, the clubs and most importantly, us….the fans.

And…me….the blogger. Is this still something that makes my heart sing?

I was able to witness and comment on our World Cup finals in 2010, our attempt to reprise this in 2014.

But dealing with the Eredivisie, the demise of clubs in Europe, artificial pitches in Holland and disappointment with every national rep team, the seniors and the youngsters for that matter.

Decisions to be made….

crazy fans1

And to make things worse, I just saw Arjen Robben trying to dribble his way out of our box after a France corner…. Why not indeed?

Second half, Oranje has more energy, more movement, but sadly lacking of quality. The players constantly need an extra touch, an extra look up.

And here, another good spell of possession for Oranje, France dropping of  a bit. Strootman had the ball in midfield, no pressure on the ball and what does he do: a long high ball to Robben  who is marked. Ball gone.

But France, despite their movement and flow their final pass in the final third was poor. It should have been 4-0 by now but Holland is actually still in it.

Not really sure what annoyed me more, the game of Holland or the commentary on Sky. Constantly discussing the poor level of Holland, the in-fighting from the past, the fact that Robben and Sneijder are still in it….

And now, 60 minutes in, Kevin Strootman is screwed by Griezmann. Gets his second card for a dive by over-acting Griezmann. Red card and Oranje with 10. Nice! Why not?

So here is the symbolism: young striker Janssen replaced by 34 year old Robin van Persie. Not a good sign.

crazy fans2

Finally a decent attack by Holland, with Robin on #9, Fosu-Mensah gets two attempts to cross the ball in and twice he fails to make the right decision….

Great players make the right decision at the right time. Instinctively. We don’t see a lot of that in our team.

68th minute, first chance for Robben. Good cross from the left, Robben is free at the far post and messes it up. Wants to head it back to Robin, but should have gone for the near post (for him). Good ball Promes.

Cillesen sadly is the best man in the team, denying Pogba from 2 yards out.

But, new star Lemar gets the second goal and it was a cracker. Control, technique, just perfect goal.

Another great chance for Fosu-Mensah, on a break in the 78th minute but he mishits the ball completely…

And after an undeserved red card, why not an off side goal as well? 3-0 for France now. Sure.

And wonder boy Mbappe scores a goal as well. It’s four… – END OF RANT

crazy fans3

The best thing that happened on the night was Bulgaria’s win over Sweden. That didn’t take any help from any Dutchman, so no chance of it getting F-ed up. We are still in it. So the drama might actually be even bigger when we lose vs Bulgaria at home, due to own goals of Memphis, Van Persie and Ruud Gullit who actually will play in that match.

But fair is fair: France is outstanding. They have everything in spades. Everything we are lacking. Speed, strength, flow, technique, team work, movement, confidence, intelligence. They weren’t that good, because we were ripe for the slaughter in the first 45 minutes, but hey…

We need to simply now get past this match quickly. Get the confidence back up to beat the next three opponents and pray that we’re not the worst #2. (Which we actually are!).

For the Bulgaria match, Strootman will be out (despite the ridiculous card). I think Sneijder will play and we might see Donny van de Beek in midfield. Good mover, good passer, can score goals and tackle. Bulgaria will park a couple of yoghurt cans in the box, so we do need a player with skills in the small spaces. Janssen will get the nod again too.

A Netherlands fans waits for the begin of the Group B Euro 2012 soccer match against Portugal at Metalist stadium in Kharkiv, June 17, 2012. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko (UKRAINE - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) ORG XMIT: HPB01

Some positives, I think the back four did ok. Cillesen was outstanding. Fosu-Mensah will reach the top, Blind was pretty decent and Hoedt and De Vrij do have potential to become the duo of choice at the back.

Some negatives, I think our midfield was atrocious. Wijnaldum, Strootman… what is the matter with these cats? Sneijder shouldn’t have been used in this match or at least as false striker instead of Janssen. But even Promes, the rock star from Moscow, is not even the shadow of Lemar or Coman or Mbappe…

But! We can beat Bulgaria, Sweden and the other guys. And we might just make it to the World Cup. And we might get lucky there even! But after the WC2018, Sneijer, Robben and Van Persie will need to make way.

And we need to build a new team around the Frenkie de Jongs, the Van de Beeks, the Kluiverts, the Tete, Karsdorps, Akes, De Roons, Fosu-Mensahs and Depays of this world.

The highlights….

Watch Netherlands 4-1 France Euro Highlights 2008 13.06.2008 in Sports  |  View More Free Videos Online at

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  1. Jan,

    do you remember how Oranje lost to France in 1981 (I believe) 0:2, the last qualification game for WC-82? It was also terrible game but better than yesterday’s….

    1. I do remember man, yes. Two Platini goals. They had a good team then but so did we. Difference is much bigger now. But I was gutted then too. No 1982 WC for us…

  2. Hi guys, some awesome analysis and comments on the earlier posts. Many thanks!

    I do believe there is a lot to be said for all your insights.

    The KNVB definitely has a job on their hands and getting rid of artificial grass and allowing pro teams to enter their “young” teams to enter a strong competition without too much hassle is key too!

    We still produce talents (AZ! Sparta! Heerenveen! Vitesse! Feyenoord! Ajax!) but we need to work on many aspects of the modern game.

    I’ll post an interview with the coach Ad Langerer of Young Oranje soon! Some good insights there.

    I do think our squad should be strong enough to finish second. France is just world class, we’re not (at the moment). But we need not lose vs Sweden and Bulgaria.

    Even stronger: we deserved the 3 points vs Sweden away!

    That match and the debacle away vs Bulgaria were the key problems we had. Could have been 5 points better off! Or otherwise 3 points (a draw away vs Bulgaria).

    Losing vs France is not the key problem. The spilling of points unnecessarily vs the smaller nations is our problem.

    Lastly, for Tiju/Emanuel:

    You do say good things at times. But you ruin what good you say, by following up with outrageous statements. As a result, people won’t take you seriously.

    None of the players you call “crap” are crap.


    I said it.

    And Toornstra is a fine Eredivisie player but no coach in the whole wide world would pick him ahead of Wijnaldum and Strootman.

    Just saying.

    BTW, Robin van Persie’s knee had a knock. He might be out for Bulgaria…

  3. The word is perception. There is too much F**king perception going in dutch football .he is not good for NT level because he playing for a average club. He should be the captain because he plays for a big club.he can boost the morale of younger players, he has good leadership qualities so he should play. Select him because he can provide cover in multiple positions.This kind of shit menatality jus needs to go,for starters.

    You think about it.sneijder jus joined Nice how many weeks ago.he never played throughout the period when his transfer out of galatasary was dragging.yet he was prefered and was given the nod. Based on what? Perception.he wasnt in any form and was only selected beacuse of his status as being a central figure in NT.

    Same goes for janssen. He selection was jus based on on what? Perception again.he plays exceptionally well at NT level.but what about his form or fitness.

    Locadia is more explosive than Janssen and Toornstra was in better form than sneijder but yet both were ommitted and became victims to what?PERCEPTION.

    Also look at Veltmans selection.why wasnt Mensah picked intially and not until after the injury of still thinking who would have started between veltman and tete if not for the injury.

    What I feel the best solution going forward is this. F**K the WC and let players who desrve to be starting to finish of the qualifers and then build on wards after the WC going into euros.its no use going to WC with this bunch of Players as said by someone.

    It will be further humuliation ig they reach wc .

  4. My first post (sorry for my bad english) …
    Sadly, Holland don’t have a new generation with enough quality. If we compare with the french generation which play yesterday, we can see the (big) difference.
    Why ? I think it’s because the early starts of youngs players from Eredivisie for Europeans clubs without great experiences. We have many examples : Kishna, Babel, Depay, S. De Jong and a lot other players who failed …
    I think KNVB must try to limit these departures of young players quickly. If we try to remember the Holland NT of 98 or 2000’s, De Boer Bro, Kluivert, Bergkamp, Overmars, Davids, Seedorf, Stam, Cocu … and Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder, Vd Vaart, Vd Meyde, Van Nistelrooy, De Jong … all of them played several seasons with Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord … before going top Europeans clubs. Currently, we have only Wilnajdum, Strootman and De Vrij who play with “great” (not the best like Barça and Real Madrid) in the new generation (Robben is too old sadly).

    Last thing : Everybody wanted the dismissal of Danny Blind. He gave a chance for many young players. Try to see the squad of yesterday : Robben, Sneijder, Van Persie … just only one new player (Fosu-Mensah) and Advocaat keep the similar team than Danny squad. And he loose 4-0 without any creativity or chances to score except the head shot missed by Robben. As Ajax team, we must try to give a chance of new players even if we will be defeated. In any case, we actually loose. But I prefer loosing with De Ligt mistake better than no creativity and spirit (grinta as said Italians)

  5. Dutch soccer is dead……as simple as that!!!
    No good players no good clubs no good managers. Maybe within the next 50 years a new johan cruyff will be born and can lead a revolution. But for now we are at the level of Luxembourg and Gibraltar!!! France couldn’t score more than 3 against Luxembourg…just for the record !!!!

    1. I don’t think that : after the magical 70’s with Ajax victories and 2 WC finals, we have had the same crisis like now in the beginning of 80’s. But finally, after 2 WC missed (82 and 86), we see a new generation with Van Basten, Gullit and Rijkaard and the only big victory of Holland NT.
      Strootman, Wilnajdum and Babel generation is dead. But, I hope another generation will come with J.Kluivert, Ake and Co.

  6. It’s all hindsight to say that this player should have played instead of this. The truth is we would have lost against this France with any of your favourite 11. With constant chopping and changing we have never developed a TEAM which is essential to do when you dont have any individual talents.

    And why do we constantly say that there is talent in next generation when it has been proved wrong since a decade. Even if there are young talents coming through dutch league, trust them to sabotage it buy stupid transfers.

    I hope Eredivisie makes young players go through an orientation program which shows them all the ruined careers because of premature stupid transfers.

    1. Very good comment, KJ. However, orientation will not help. The temptation to get big money at the expense of the career is higher. The problem of current football is the involvement of BIG money. In order to keep talents in the NED, there should be a law prohibiting youngsters to leave the country before they reach the age of let’s say 22. However, this will never work because clubs will rebel. Currently, the only decent source of money that Dutch clubs can get is by selling their players…Some big clubs buy those Dutch youngsters not because they need those kids, but they want to eliminate competition. They keep them on the bench, slow down their development, then send them to loan somewhere else. This is how we lose our talented kids. There is another side of the coin is a preparation of the youngsters. NED have a lot talented youngsters but for some reason lately they can not get to the right competitive level. And that comes back to the obsolete training system that nobody wants to challenge in the NED. Anyway I commented on that before…

  7. Janssen is staying at totenham..that means again on bench…
    Can we call Mink peeters???the lad is deal…
    Vilhena——Vande beek
    Vanginkel—-Frenkie dejong

  8. We will probably lose against both Sweden and Bulgaria. These players and coaching staff have no business in NT and it would be a travesty if they move on to WC. The players are like girls. No leadership, no toughness. Our best “talents” are second hand players. KNVB needs to be sacked from receptionist to CEO. If they took whole Feyenoord team and made up a NT I am sure results would be much better. Don’t compare today with the 80s. Back then you could always find a Van Something warrior who sooner or later would show up as a savior. Those days are over forever.. French opened their borders and got the best from Africa. We ought to do the same so 20 years from we can have our own Dembeles, Mbappe’s etc. Being sarcastic of course.

  9. Question and comment:

    The last time the subject came up, I thought I heard that the tiebreaker was head-to-head not goal difference. Is that correct?

    The drop in talent is there for all to see. The proof was present on the pitch against France, and its present when many of these guys who thought to be big talents go afield and can’t get places in starting 11’s at bigger clubs. There is a common refrain on this board: So and so is going somewhere, but its not a good fit because his opportunity to play will be blocked. If the player is good enough, he’ll play. He’ll force the other guy to sit. Being relegated in the EPL costs a team over a hundred million dollars in TV money. Coaches are under enormous pressure to win, they field their best players—if someone, Clasie for instance, is not playing, its not because the coach has an axe to grind or is prejudiced against foreign players, or Dutch players, its because he didn’t show enough on the practice field or in a game when given the chance. The question is why the more recent generation isn’t reaching the same levels as before.

    Part of it, I think, is the structure of the modern game. The players as they develop aren’t tempered by the same pressures as those in bigger leagues. In the Eredivisie, Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV play four big games a year—against each other—in which the stadium is rocking, the intensity is revved up, the stakes are high. Players develop more in one match between Feyenoord-Ajax than in 10 matches of Ajax v. Venlo. But over a nine month season, they’ll play one of those games every two months. Seems like a hard way to develop players…Especially, compared to players in the bigger leagues where they seem to have few breathers on their schedules.

    I’m also tempted to say that it is not much more than population. Spain, Italy, Germany, France all dwarf the NL. Usually small countries have “golden generations.” Oranje has had extraordinary talents come through in an unbroken string from 1984 through 2010 or so. Probability and statistics may have just caught up with them.

    So, the first problem is one the KNVB has to look at. (Fewer teams would mean a greater concentration of talent, more league games between the Big 3, etc.) The second will correct itself. There are some players coming through who have a chance to be good players: TFM, De Ligt, Kluivert, Van De Beek, De Jong, Ake, Kongolo, Haps, etc.

    That is for the future. At present, I agree with Advocaat; the lack of intensity is disturbing. Rather than get in and at the French, they backed off like they were scared. Maybe they were; maybe they had a right to be. France was fast, creative, dynamic, athletic, strong and positive yesterday…but Bulgaria, Belarus, Sweden are not the French, and the NT has to come out them with energy and intensity. There is still talent at the senior level, but the talent has to be combined with effort and will. There is no reason they can’t beat those teams, and (assuming that they don’t get drawn against Italy or Spain) there is no reason they shouldn’t be favored to handle one of the other teams in a playoff. The WC is attainable.

    The final point I’d add is that the NT, as a group, looks to me like a team that is waiting for something to go wrong, and when it happens they fade, with that “more of the same” look. Sometimes you just have to win a game, and then everything looks different. If they win at home on Sunday, everything will look different. (I do wish they were playing in De Kuip, though.)

    1. Tie Breaking Rules in Qualifying Rounds

      In league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria (regulations Articles 20.6 and 20.7):

      Points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss)
      Goal difference
      Goals scored
      Points in matches between tied teams
      Goal difference in matches between tied teams
      Goals scored in matches between tied teams
      Away goals scored in matches between tied teams (if the tie is only between two teams in home-and-away league format)
      Fair play points
      first yellow card: minus 1 point
      indirect red card (second yellow card): minus 3 points
      direct red card: minus 4 points
      yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points
      Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organizing Committee

  10. Jan,

    good post and good comments. Here is my take …

    1. And we shouldn’t go through. We have nothing to do at that World Cup.

    same feeling here. but next year when you see some totally shitty teams playing you will be wondering, hey could we have done something here ? like in EK last year

    2. And…me….the blogger. Is this still something that makes my heart sing?
    I was able to witness and comment on our World Cup finals in 2010, our attempt to reprise this in 2014.
    But dealing with the Eredivisie, the demise of clubs in Europe, artificial pitches in Holland and disappointment with every national rep team, the seniors and the youngsters for that matter.
    Decisions to be made….

    for those of us who lived the 74/78 WK this is not a new feeling. Despair…but the darkness is always worse before the light at the end of the tunnel. Soldier on my friend keep the blog going !!!

    Here are my $.02 for the current situation. The team is not as bad as it seems but the KNVB fiasco with Hiddink and Blind followed by the real FIASCO of Blind doomed this team from the beginning. Lots of arrogance from the KNVB, instead of doing what they did after the failed EK of 2012: hire a building up coach to shepherd the new generation to EK2016 and WK2018 they were in complete disarray and made bad decisions. You have analyzed that in a previous post no reason to expand more.

    The second problem is the current generation has a big midfielder problem. Holland as a smaller nation does not produce easily a generation talented in all lines. Remember the 2010 team had jokes like Heitinga for CBs. LOL big time. The last generation with a couple of decent CBs should have pocketed 2 trophies easily. Almost did with Heitinga and Mathijsen… now this generation has a similar problem in the midfield. Strootman and Wijnaldum are not up to specs. They are both auxiliary players. They need a big guy next to them tell them what to do. And with a Sneijder out of form, having two clueless midfielders really kills our team. This trio in current form is the WORST I have ever seen in an Oranje line up.

    And there is not much we can do. Dick or any other dick cannot place 2-3 newbies in the game with Frans. Nobody would do that. The time to bring the newbiews was after the failed EK, not now. TFM is a good talent but look how he appeared in the game. Like a deer staring at the headlights. Imagine one or two more like him. They will be looking to the sky for guidance. Vilenha although a good player brought some energy but he looked like a headless chicken to borrow a commonly used expression here. Hoedt who has a little more experience looked up to Griezman like he was Alexander the great.

    KNVB f up royally 18 months ago. Nobody can put together the pieces quickly now. the only way is to use the usual suspects and hope they will play with a fire in their belly the last 3 games. We can still do it. But someone has to step up. Bringing a bunch of newbies will not do it. And it will not help the building of a new team either. Let DA play the last 3 games with the existing cards and let’s hope. Hope is not a plan but it’s the only thing we have.

    Good luck to us and soldier on Oranje Legion !

    1. I agree with what a lot of you have said here, even, I have to admit due to the rarity of it, with Tiju– the midfield setup was atrocious. I like Wijnaldum a lot, but he is certainly lightweight compared to what a player needs to be in order to serve as the engine room of a team at this level.

      But I still maintain there’s a mentality problem that infects this team. It kept us out of the last Euros and it allows us to lose to lesser teams like Bulgaria and the like. To say the Dutch players aren’t as good as their French opposite is clearly true, in many positions on the field. That explains how Pogba or Griezman might break ankles and embarrass one of our guys, but it doesn’t explain why Wijnaldum and Strootman in particular continually were playing balls directly to the feet of the French!! What is that? That has to be a mental or motivational issue, but I really don’t understand it.

      And yes, France was fantastic and their roster reads like someone’s FIFA Ultimate Team. In many ways there’s no shame in losing to them– it’s the losses to smaller nations and the many games since 2014 in which it seems like our guys just don’t give a shit that they’re wearing the jersey that really disturb me.

      I can’t say that I don’t have hope that we still may qualify, but that hope is running a distant second to the memory of the ‘we just backed ourselves into a corner and now must give it all to qualify’ games at the end of the Euro 2016 qualifying round. I may not remember the specifics of those games, would have to go back and look at the details, but the general feeling is that we essentially didn’t even mentally get off the bus for those games. The chance for historical heroics was instead turned into a lethargic sigh.

      I will hope for better in the next few games- my summer of 2018 depends on it.

      1. What the heck are you talking about? No shame to losing to France? We got hammered, HUMILIATED. Did you check the stats? We could have lost 10-0. We only had 1 shot on the goal. And your summer depends on this team? Make other plans my friend or choose another team. These players are shot, scarred. Next game will be the same. do you remember the last time we played a great game and scored a few goals? Must have been an eternity ago.

        1. I’m not sure you read my post–
          What I said is that there’s no shame in losing to a true world class roster, I didn’t say there wasn’t a good deal of shame in losing the way we did this week.

          What I have seen with the Oranje over the last three years in particular is that we lose 100% of the games where the team really doesn’t even show up to play, which is a disturbing number of games. On paper, we sure as hell have the players to beat Bulgaria or Sweden, regardless of whether or not this is one of Holland’s great generations, which it clearly isn’t.

  11. It’s funny how people say we aren’t producing any talent when the u21 team ties a team as big as England and should’ve won. Whoever says that we will not be good again is stupid because dutch football will always be great

    1. There are many types of talent needed in a player to make it at the highest level. Being a good U21 footballer is one, and making wise decision about your career development by not getting tempted with easy money is also one.

      1. @ Depay9 is the best

        Buddy, we all here are supporters of Oranje for many years. Some of us have dedicated to Oranje many decades of our lives (myself – 40 years) and if we critical of the team, coaches, and system it is because we care. With that, please, do not call us stupid or incompetent, etc. Let’s respect each other’s opinion.

  12. Same old crap after every NT loss . some are jus making noise each and there and some are jus bandwaging.Hello??? Go back to that friendly where NT lost to france (3-2) in JC memorial did NT come from 2-0 down to level the game 2-2.this was almost the same france team. They came back because they took the game to them.there were some good explosive players on the bench that changed the game when they came on.afellay and Depay especially.2 assist2 goals when they came on and this is exactly what was needed vs this french team. EXPLOSIVENESS.that game went to the wire and im sure if the same strategy would have been used this time it again could have been close.

    I have to agree with what Depay9isbest said earlier. How much experience does lemar,coman, mbappe have?.they are not world beaters but natural atheltes therefore it was possible to counter them through their strengths and weakness. by saying this I mean speed with speed, muscle with muscle.istead it was mismatch in most department.the simply fact is that there was no balance in the team to counter the french and this has nothing to do with the current generation crap or this is that- that is this crap.What NT needed was explosive players to match them in major departments. I mean Blind – coman.tell me some thing new here. Felt sorry for hoedt when Coman was humiliating him when it should have been the fullback who should have being covering there. If there was players issues than they should have jus gone with 3CBs instead to counter for the threat on the flanks.this things were so easy to pick up even before the game. How many times the french have played NT in the two years.

    Then comes Depay. He is in form at Lyon and no coach can deny this. He certainly is in form and his explosivness was badly needed in this game. Why didnt he start this game and why was janseen and sneijder given the nod. Why? Perception. Robben did prove me wrong but there is no way janssen and sneijder should have started this game. This is was hyped to be honest and DA needs to gets some criticism atleast. It was jus meant to be on the paper.

    Again the best way forward is to let the door lose. Let Ake play DM, sinkgraven attacking midfield.Kuilvert on the wing, van Drongelen, De ligt with Van Dijk and De Vrij.bring in vormer, Buttner,clasie afellay who can add the end of next year with rotation NT can mould a good team going onwards.

  13. Wilson, honestly are you serious? You don’t think Lemar, Coman and M’Bappe are world class players, really? The friendly for JC was a totally different situation. Nobody cared that much because it was a friendly and the players mostly did not want to get hurt. I (and others) on this blog have already explained what is wrong with Holland at the moment. Read our posts again. You mention players randomly such as Ake, Sinkgraven, Vormer, Buttner, Clasie, Affellay and more. What kind of football are you watching? Have you seen Ake play? Sinkgraven has been injured and hasn’t played since March and even when he does he has been reconverted to left back, Vormer is so average -do you think he would match Pogba?-, Clasie cannot get a minute of playing time with Southampton and he was shipped out to Bruges, Affellay hasn’t played a competitive match with Stoke for I don’t know how long and Buttner I won’t even comment. Please I respect your opinion but watch matches on TV before you mention names. The combined value of all the players you mentioned may reach 10M euros, as compared to almost 300M euros for the 3 French players you referred to as average!!! Where I agree with you is that we MUST change everything and we might as well start building now with younger players and I also think we have a few players that are almost ready to step up. So yes out with Wes, RVP and even Robben to some degree and in with the new…but unfortunately none of the players you mentioned.

    1. Jeff. This is exactly whats wrong with your gangs menality and others who share the same sentiment and which which needs to change.If you dont know NT is ranked 36th now. An all time low. How did other teams surpass them. Mostly from playing friendlys with better opponent and simeoultanously moulding up from them. This is where everything is happening player rotation, best combinations, strengthens and weak areas and here you are saying it shouldnt be taken seriously. What a F**ken joke.

      As the players I mentioned, im not talking about then to be selected now but some time after the qualifers if they fail to qualify and going me I follow players every week in and out. I look at their individual capabilities rather than jus where they play and this is where it has all gone wrong NT in my opinon. The mindset needs to change otherwise this cycle will continue.The good thing is that in Art Langeler, you can see this and the future does look bright.

      As lemar, Coman and Mbappe being world class players,Im wondering what happened to them vs sweden.

    2. smashed it away ha ha cannt stop laughing …Wilson means there is no logic basically..what we are goin to do with vormer??Afellay???vs Coman?lemar?Martial??nothing..

  14. I have been a fan since 1974 and am as old as Jan. So I think I deserve a little respect. Being a true fan means you need to ask the difficult questions, which you guys are afraid to do. As for the rest of your post, I am sorry but I could not understand what you are trying to say. Bottom line is that friendly games are just that, friendlies, and nowadays players don’t give their all because club football has become so dominant. I don’t think you will find a single person who follows football who will disagree with this.
    Jan, Blind made a huge mistake by not selecting Ziyech when he had the chance. What a loss for us! He is he only true difference maker playing his trade in Holland at the moment. I cringe when I see him play for Morocco.

    1. Why would we want someone who’s clearly not loyal anyways. We will show him he made the wrong decision after we win the world cup then the euros in 2020. By then Memphis will claim the title of best in the world and Holland will be back on top

      1. No Depay9…Zyech should have been sleceted and played by Danny..before the arrival of vanbasten ..But Zyech had issue with Vanbasten…i feel that treament Zyech responded just like that…Remmeber RVN was benched by sanmark,Bommel openly said he wont play under Sanmark….Zyech had a choice so he opted it…i dont see it as Zyech fault..

  15. Guys ….Belarus drew with France,Frnace couldnt beat them..
    We could have drawn both matches with them at least…since we lack quality attack we may not be able to beat them…
    Last Game Advocate blew it with strootman-Sneijder-Wijnaldum…thats were we failed..
    I think Strootman should be dropped from team..he lacks the energy ..he is not the the guy he used to be…Van de beek should play instead of him…
    Wijnaldum was the only hardworker among 3..we all know Gini has everything except vision and quick thinking..So such a skilled player should play as forward…Gini was in wrong spot like Blind in LB..
    Then sneijder…Sneijder gave everything to this NT is the he old ,aged,cannt expect him to play like 21 year old mbappe..he must retire..why to blame him after playing him???
    i found a player with class who can di the job..that is Mink peeters…can we call him??
    We need fresh start with fresh players..i would say not even with Roben…
    —-Mink peeters—-Wijnaldum———-
    on bench

  16. Hey jeff with due repect. Why do you think before most qualifers the internationals team plays friendly matches as warm up games.before the luxumboourg game NT played two friendlys vs Morocco and vs Ivory Coast. Why waS all about transition from clubs to international level and this where the coaches can have a good look at them especially when they get to spend so little time with the team.moreover this gives them the best opportunity to test new players, find the right balance and stability with the best combination and starting 11 going forward.this is especially if it is crucial qualifiers.this is exactly what DA did before the Luxumbourg game though this was his first game incharge

    this is jus another reptition . Look at what happened to de ligt vs Bulguria.again its was dannys perception that he would cope with the transition but it backfired.this is why friendlys are important and going forward is the stepping stone for building a new team. This is why I said above lets the door loose. Use friendlys to inject players who have better individual capabilities. In no time the results will start surfacing .this is exactly what van gaal did when he took over the team after BVM. I still remember thst friendly vs Italy where he gave debut to most of the u21 players.also Go and look at the squad that he took to the Asian Tour.suprisingly toornstra was there also.

    1. After this loss, DA must have realized alot of things especially that of the upbringing of Danny. To think about NT lost 4-0. It would have been in the best intrest of NT if they would have lost with a greater margin but with new players instead of those who didnt deserve to start. At least they would have gone to get the exposure of playing with one of the best team on the planet right now.

  17. PSV have officially made transfer request for alex Buttner as they look for a new LB. Vitesse are reluctant to let him go though due to european competitions and are optimitic he will remain despite intrest.

  18. Hello Jan, and Hello every body, i am from Kuwait, and i am a huge fan of Holland since 1988, i’ve been reading your blof for many years, please allow me to tell you what i think.

    1) We had a lot worse defenders in 2010 and 2014, but we performed great, so it is about how good the coach is.
    2) I think the main problem started when Hiddink took the job, he destroyed the Dutch ego, the players just lost the dutch personality, and they feel inferior to world class teams, of course Blind continued the bad job.
    3) In 2014 our defense was very solid against Brazil, Argentina, And Spain, surprisingly, the only team that managed to score 2 goals against us was Australia, why ? because we played with 4-3-3, it is a clear message that we should drop this plan and go with 5-3-2, if we played like this against france with Robben and Depay upfront, a lot of good things could have happened.
    4) Strootman must be dropped out, we did not win in Sweden because of him, he fumbled that ball to allow Sweden to score, and he recieved a red card against France allowing them to score 4 goals.
    5) We All know that Advokaat is a contigency coach, he will leave after this mess, for now we must focus of course on winning the next 3 matches, and i believe we can come in the top 8 second bests, since many second bests are losing points as well, BUT, After that, many players should retire, a new coach with a long contract must be considered to duild a new team, i believe we have the quality, Kluivert, Van De Beek, Vilhina, Frankii Di Jong, and De Ligt, with the assist of the likes of Wijnaldum, Daley Blind, and De Vrij. those guys can leed the team to glory again.

    1. Dutch4ever. Welcome mate. Just some counter argument.

      1)2010 was all about De Jong and Van Bommel. If you balance is right, the team can go far and thats what happened 2010and 2014

      2) under Hiddink the team was ok till the first half of the qualifers apart from that Janmaat blunder vs Czech. He was trying to mould the team around all the best players. It was in the second half of the qualifers where the decline in players came about.This was the time when RVP was struggling at Man United. De Jong was just hanging in at milan
      . Huntelaar and Robben were both struggling with injuries. I dont think hiddink did anything to destroy dutch ego. It was the results that promoted KNVB to put pressure on him especially with the aftermath of WC.this was the hightlight of that second half of the qualifers where he was forced to inject new players and it was all start from the srcatch for him .this is when things started to turn sour resulting in the the burst up with KNVB and he resigned. I personally think if he had continued NT would have scraped through.

      3) the austrilians scored 2 goals while NT was playing 3-5-2. It was after they switched to 4-3-3 and after Depay was introduced that they came back and won.

      1. No stupid DONT TWIST THE FACTS..
        1)2010 was all about De Jong and Van Bommel. If you balance is right, the team can go far and thats what happened 2010and 2014
        We had a prime aged RVP,Roben,sneijder vaart,Dejong with expereinced Gio vani..We won most of the match by indiviadual brilliance that preserved by Joris,johny,Bommel,Dejong etc..What if Roben ,Rvp and sneijder not SCORED????..anyways bert blwe it away by benching vaart in final..
        2) under Hiddink the team was ok till the first half of the qualifers apart from that Janmaat blunder vs Czech. He was trying to mould the team around all the best players. It was in the second half of the qualifers where the decline in players came about.This was the time when RVP was struggling at Man United. De Jong was just hanging in at milan……
        What THE f#$$$$K U R TALKING?????We lost our very first match vs Cezh…half qualifiers????..We were never a team under Hiddink…that continues under Blind…Dejong,RVP,Sneijder were still good untill 2015…Hiddink couldnt do A shi$$$t when 3 spots are available to qualify….he was sleceting wrong ones…blind continued it…i feel that we lack quality forwards Bar Roben…We should be okay with midfeild and defense..but happend to them…
        We need to avoid strootman,we need agile fast DM and central defenders..even that is also not happening..

      2. Thank you Wilson, glad to discuss with you my friend

        let me first insist that Hiddink is a very bad coach for Holland, he can do good maybe with other teams, but not Holland, Since 1995 i have been saying this to all my Holland fans friends in Kuwait and Holland, in 1996 we were really bad, we won 1 match out of 4 , not mentioning the 4-1 against England, in 1998 we had the best team in the world, world class players in all positions, but guess what, we won 3 matches out of 7 !!! not beating Mexicio and Belgium regardless of Kluivert red card, in the second round it too us a miracle to defeat Youguslavia 2-1 in the last minute of the match, not to metion the penalty they missed, we only played descent with Argentina, and we tied with Brazil 1-1 before losing to Croatia 1-2 !! and in 2016 qualifier, Hiddink kept saying after every game: this is our level, this is the quality of players we have !!! are you kidding me ? Holland in it’s worst days can always beat the likes of Iceland, Turkey, Cezch Rep. but Hiddink could not

        now we have a serious problem, we must beat Bulgaria, Belarus, and Sweden, i am not sure if we can make it, we must qualify, then we will have a year to recover, i hope we can make it

        1. We don’t have a choice. We need to win all 3 games so Robben RVP and Sneijder can win the trophy they all deserve and win the world cup.i have a feeling of we can qualify we will have the ability to go very far in the WC since all of our players would develop. Depay will be used to playing a full season and players like Mensah will be playing regularly at a high level. And Janssen will probably get a move during January so he can play more. As well we will have our best defender VVD back and with a front 3 of depay Janssen and Robben that will be deadly.

  19. Whenever we experience a major loss (especially an embarrassing one), there is an overwhelming desire to do a thorough post-mortem, an examination of the underpinnings of everything football-related to determine what went wrong and why we are seemingly headed in the wrong direction. While there is a strong temptation to say “the sky is falling” — all is lost, the Dutch will never be able to regain their past glory, everything needs to be torn down and built up again — it is probably a bit of an overreaction. But the true value is in the examination itself. I think that we all recognize that we are currently in transition between generations of players, and that our exiting generation (Sneijder, RVP, Robben, VDV, etc.) was a lot stronger than our rising one (Memphis, Wijnaldum, Blind, etc.). I don’t think anyone can argue with that, and therein lies the problem.

    We can debate all day long the line-ups, formations, coaching changes, and other tactical adjustments that might give us a better chance to succeed in an individual match or tournament. But I think the problem is much more basic — our players just aren’t good enough to compete for trophies right now, regardless of how they are selected or arranged. The strongest European teams currently would appear to be Germany and France. Why? How have they become so? Is it just long-standing tradition that they dominate, or have they taken action at the club or football association level to create an environment of sustained success? Both have experienced catastrophic failure internationally in the past 20 years, but have regained their stature. Why? Because they are developing better players than everyone else.

    So to me, player development is key above all else. If we are producing top quality players, they can play (and start and win) in any league in the world (and in any international tournament). Right now we are not producing those players. The world has changed and the sport has changed. Can we rely on old methods from to continue to produce top level players, or have we moved too far away from and instead should return to those methods? And I agree, we need to examine everything at the KNVB level, but with the primary objective being “How do we start producing world-class players again?”

    France does not have a top league, but they are producing top level players, who command nine-digit transfer fees to the best teams in Europe. Belgium certainly does not have a top league, but they have produced a golden generation of players (but have yet to win anything). Germany has a good, but not great league, and they are now consistently producing high quality talent, so much so that their U23 team won the Confederations Cup against full-fledged internationals.

    France is not winning right now because of Didier Dechamps’ tactical acumen nor was Belgium’s rise was due to Marc Wilmots.

    The fact of the matter is that we are no longer producing Van Bastens, Gullits, Rijkaards, Bergkamps, Overmars, Kluiverts, van Persies, Sneijders, van der Vaarts, or Robbens. We are producing slightly above average players that would possibly be squad players on legitimate Dutch national teams.

    Ultimately, it is a good thing for Dutch football that this is happening, because it can and should cause a serious re-evaluation of our approach to training and developing players to complete at the top level. So let’s examine what Germany, France and others are doing at the club level and the football association level, and then assess whether those ideas can work in the Netherlands. The national outcry that will emerge after failing to qualify for the 2016 Euros and the 2018 World Cup should be enough to get the ball rolling, but we need to hone in on the developmental problem above all else.

    1. Well technically we are producing kluiverts. And if you have seen his youngest son Shane you will see that he is a future balloon d’or winner. He is the youngest person to sign a contract with nike

    1. quick summary

      in the game Pogba dropped our players as if they were bowling balls even Vilhena who is the fittest.

      3 months ago Ajax reached the top of Europe, Feyenoord looked strong. Now Ajax is out of Europe. We were hopeful that changing Blind to Advokaat would make a difference.

      Even in the 80s were everything was bleak the new generation of Van Baster Gullit etc was visible from 1981…

      Then he lists a litany of problems that make this crisis so serious without any light at the end of the tunnel. youth development, lack of vision, social issues, artificial pitches, physical education etc etc.. we have heard all that here before

      He says the success of Ajax with 7 foreigners in the 11 was an illusion of hope

      he says we can hope to be like Belgium that after 10 years of similar issues found a new generation of great players but coming out of nowhere, there was no plan or development it just happened. He says we can hope for the same since we are also not putting any foundation.

      so, I read Mossou often and like every other journalist he gets super happy during the good times and super depressing during the bad times.

      He does have a point that a bunch of great players may show up all together at the same time. Look at Barcelona and their famous macia. What has it produced lately? close to nothing. After the Iniestas and the Alonsos nothing new came and they do have all the Cruijffian foundations.

      There is a point in a very pessimistic article.

      That’s my take on it. This generation is not as bad as it seems. We just sold (including the Van Dijk transfer that hasn’t happened yet) more than 100 mil euro worth of young defenders this year. Come on… how bad are we?

      Our midfield is the Achilles heel but Sneijder should and must come up with 3 good games against mediocre opponents. Then we have a year to regroup and have a new team gel and get some experience in Russia.

      We are always a top athlete nation and a top footballing nation.

    1. ok but Portugal doesn’t have a dual mandate to play nice and win trophies. they only have the mandate to win. is there a Portuguese newspaper that will criticize a team that reached the world final? do they have journalists that will attack players and tactics of a team that came the closest ever to win the world cup? take that into consideration…

  20. At this present stage of Oranje is a downfall.
    And there is point to look back. Football is just like life. Sometimes up and sometimes down…

    I think the best solution is:
    1. KNVB must start to organize more international friendly game for Oranje.

    2. Coach needs to take in more young player to rebuild the team. Old guns will remain till the young lads are mature and confident.

    3. No matter what, we are Oranje die hard fan forever!!!

  21. We need to relax and figure it out what went wrong in last match…I do agree that KNVB must change the structure and player development…Must do something to block selling younger kids like Mink peeters to Reashitrid etc…
    IMO …..
    1-We lacked Energy,spirit,Confidence..this was due to some players those were Strootman(energy),Sneider(energy)wijnaldum (confidence)…so we should not play them i next game..
    2-We lacked sharpness upfront yes we feilded our best..Janssen has hsown he lacked the rythem..
    3-Fosu is great talent hardly anything came dangeoru from that wing..he was resoulte defensivly..But he is not karsdorp to give a venomous pass…
    4-Blind lacks speed and strength so he cannot take Risk,so he was in backfoot..
    5-We were betreyed by our midfeild..

  22. Great Comments all, and in particulat a shout out to Jeff with his insights and analysis.

    And welcome Dutch4Ever! Great to read your views.

    I will ask TIJU EMANUEL AGAIN to mind his words and stay respectful.

    We have many people here who share respectfully and eloquently. We do not need all that SHOUTING and $%CURSING$)#)@ on this blog!!!

    Don’t be the Strootman of this blog TIJU!

    I do think as well that Ziyech could have been a Dutch player. He played in rep teams in the youth, he was called up for the NT and he came.

    But something in the treatment of Blind and Van Basten (arrogance vs pride) didn’t gel with Hakim and he made his decision.

    He definitely could carry the Sneijder mantle.

    But hey, its not relevant now.

  23. Thanks a lot Jan. I have always enjoyed this blog and hope we can continue to generate the high level comments of the past.
    One final note before the game tomorrow. I watched some of the matches today including Wales against Austria. It pains me to say that I am not sure we would be able to compete with either team but especially Wales. Their team is balanced and has some difference makers, yet they could not score. Then suddenly out of the blue a 17 year old kid from Liverpool, Brad Woodburn, comes in and 5 minutes later he scores a brilliant goal. The point I am making is that here is another example that age does not matter anymore. If you are good, you will play no matter how old you are. This was the case of Wes, or RVP, or Robben. Blind tried it with De Ligt and everyone agrees that De Ligt is probably the best defender Holland has produced in years. So to all those who are saying that we are producing top quality players because the U21 tied England with 6 players who won the WC U20, I say: “great, but if they were truly special, they would have skipped the U21 stage and been called to the national team as many have done in the past”. This is what the article I sent earlier was also saying (Thanks to Demi for the translation). I don’t really care about youth football as teams go, but I care about player development. And we don’t produce them anymore. Let’s indeed hope it is purely generational and that in 5 years it will be our players at the top of transfer charts, not French or Belgium. Let’s hope that our coaches will be more interested in player development than merely beating Feyenoord, PSV or Ajax at the U15, U17 or even U19 level. Dutch football was the envy of the world. Guess what, Germany, France and many others have copied our methods (easily available on the internet nowadays) and added to these methods. Psychological coaches, nutritionists, physiologists, and on have joined the coaching staff of clubs and top countries alike. Please ask Van Breukelen whether he believed in any of those things. The answer is absolutely not. Well it really shows. Good luck to all of us tomorrow. This is truly do or die.

    1. Jeff, you just lost all validity of your comments when you just said we could not compete with Wales or Austria. We could slap them so hard. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard(sorry az but I had to say it). And the reason why Wales has a 17 year old is because they are such a bad country that he is able to make the team. When you are 17 and haven’t played in a big league it is a huge difference than if you have. Don’t say age does not matter because it does. And their are big talents in the u21 team like bergwijn st.juste kluivert(he was picked but got injured). The reason why they didn’t go straight to senior level because our senior team is that good. if they were from a crappy team like Wales or Austria or Sweden of course they could easily make it but Netherlands is such a good team that they have to wait and develop. Ben Woodburn would be no where close to our NT if he was dutch. You need to think before you comment.

        1. Mink Peeters isn’t even a starter for VVV Venlo… I’m not saying he isn’t going to be great I know he will just right now there are much better options

      1. And if we had a 17-year old super talent(which we have many) why would we throw him into what would be the biggest game of his life against some of the world’s greatest players. Obviously a slightly better than average 27 year old who is used to playing against that competition day in and day out is gonna do better than the 17 year old everytime. We have better players to do the job.

  24. For anyone saying how bad the Netherlands are doing I just want to point out Germany hardly beat Croatia 2-1. And they are supposed to be the best team in the world. As I’ve said many times every team will have good games and bad games so don’t panic after a loss like that to the French

  25. Van Ginkel-Vilhena and tete will start for
    Sneijder–Strootman–Fosu Mensah..
    Once again Wijnaldum in DM spot i dont like it,it kills of the flow of game..

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