I am quite sure no one will read the title of this post and be surprised. I’m sure every Oranje fan will have seen the game or at least know the end result. The first time Holland beats Germany in 16 years and the biggest victory over the East Neighbours ever.
Well done lads!
A deserved win, but also a much needed one. Because, yes…it is clear we are developing great talent still and yes, it seems with Koeman now as coach and the older generation having made way, Oranje is on the up and up, but in order to really make the step up, results are key.
Good play (like vs France) but losing gets tiresome soon.
So, we bucked the trend. We played a strong team and actually won. And I’m sure we’ll beat Belgium too in a couple of days. That is what confidence and “flow” bring.
I was positively surprised by Koeman’s choices for the line up. I expected Hateboer or De Ligt on that flank, not Dumfries. But the 22 year old did ever so well. I was happy to see Bergwijn on the pitch – he was a tad unlucky – and didn’t expect De Roon either.
Koeman will have seen things at training which he liked. I think De Roon played a good game and he did surprise me with a couple of “Frenkie de Jong” like forward passes even.
Fair is fair, Germany isn’t that good anymore. They struggled clearly to get in a flow and top players like Muller and Kroos are clearly struggling with their form. Nevertheless, they did dominate the first stage of the game, when Oranje looked a bit complacent and seemed to take it a bit too easy. Too much confidence, maybe?
In particular De Ligt fell victim of sloppy play but he did improve quickly and played a good game overall.
I felt Bergwijn, with all his quality, was a bit unlucky with his decision making and passing, he had a couple of opportunities to play a deadly final pass but missed the chance.
Frenkie de Jong took some time to put his mark on the game but once he did, he was quite mercurial and his substitution was purely because if fitness issues (Frenkie’s first game since the PSV defeat).
The Dutch axis is becoming very strong indeed! Cillesen is the best goalie, De Ligt/Van Dijk a strong couple, Frenkie de Jong the ideal deep lying playmaker and Memphis leads the line with panache, strength and speed. I like Wijnaldum in the more attacking role, but I think Promes, Propper, Bergwijn and Van de Beek can play there too. Wide, we have options too, now with Danjuma, Berghuis, Kluivert, Dilrosun, Bergwijn and others coming through (Malen!).
Our future is bright.
Still, Germany was able to play through a couple of times, when Low brought Sane finally, for instance. But overall the team did well defensively. I think Daley Blind played well as left back and really well in the Frenkie role, when the latter was subbed.
If I can be a bit of a nitpicker: I do think we could and should have put this game to bed much sooner. 1-0 is a vulnerable score line. And with the break opportunities we had, we should do much better. We were also a bit unlucky on that Dumfries cross to Babel, where the German defender miraculously slid into his own goal but manage to work the ball into a corner.
Denzel Dumfries was glad to have made his debut in such a wonderful and historic match. The PSV right back was like a kid in the toy shop and with reason. Only 4 years ago, he played for the Barendrecht amateurs before he made his foray into second tier of pro football with Sparta. He then went from Sparta to Heerenveen and as the assist king made his way to PSV Eindhoven, this season.
Ronald Koeman had trouble hiding his victorious smile in the post match interview, and did concede that “there are still things we need to improve in” but he also said that this was a victory we really needed. “The players, the fans…the whole nation needed this.” And after a lot of bad luck (Dost disallowed goal vs Sweden, France-Sweden game, goal difference between Sweden – Holland), we did get some luck going our way, when Leroy Sane missed the target when he was through on goal.
But we managed to keep a clean sheet and score when it mattered. The first Van Dijk goal turned the game around, as Holland won in confidence and Germany seemed to be at odds and sods. The second and third goals came a bit late (Memphis had a go at the cross bar before that) but the goals did justice to the way Oranje played.
Another festive moment before the match, Oranje legends Dirk Kuyt and Rafa van der Vaart had their place in the sun, their farewell greeted with a standing ovation. The two centennials (Rafa 107 caps, Kuyt 104) were offered their epic jerseys framed with the new title of Federation Knight for both former Oranje players.