Big test for Oranje and LVG

Only 4 days to go and Oranje will have to play their first WC qualification game for 2014’s World Cup, under LVG’s reign.

The Big Test.

After losing a series of games and the dismal Euros, it seems another loss in this new series might trigger knee-jerk responses no one needs…

LVG needs to renew his team, while at the same time some of the old hands are struggling to find their form (or worse: minutes) at club level. While others who do perform wonderfully at club level (Robin, you know who you are!) disappoint in Orange.

Sturdy and ballsy Louis van Gaal doesn’t seem to be phased. He leaves Nigel, Rafael, Ibi and Greg at their new homes ( in Milan, Hamburg, Gelsenkirchen and Paris) and decides to use some untested group of players (Fer, Clasie).

If it works: good on Louis. If it doesn’t…then what?

Robin van Persie decided to not talk to the press at the Euros (allegedly because of consistent questions about his future) and has grudgingly decided to pick up the pieces in the prep towards Turkey. “You have to ask the trainer” or “I can’t comment” is still his most popular statement though. What happened to the cocky and open lad he used to be?

He did have some good quotes too, though. “I am still honoured to be invited to play for Oranje, of course! Even if I don’t play. The coach makes the decisions and I will do whatever he wants me to do and I’ll play where ever he thinks I should play.”

He smiled generously when asked if he indeed had a good talk with Van Gaal, as the latter suggested. “Yes, we did. Was a very good talk.” Leaving the press to figure out if he was using irony or not…

Van Gaal in the meantime, repeated his mantra: “Robin didn’t bring as much in Oranje as Klaas Jan. So I have picked Klaas Jan for the role, over Robin. Simple.”

John Heitinga was surprised to be part of the squad and unknowingly fueled the first discussion around Van Gaal’s decisions. “I was really fearful of losing my spot. At Everton, I was left on the bench for the first game and we did very well against Man United, so the coach left the winning team intact. I only played a couple of minutes, which doesn’t really count.”

Other players were left out of the squad because of their late moves, like Raf van der Vaart to HSV. “Raf moved last week already and the Turkey game is coming Wednesday. I’m sure Raf would be ready for that,” mused Heitinga.

Bas Dost had to leave the preparation with a lingering injury. Van Gaal called upon Luuk de Jong, as a replacement.

Arjen Robben didn’t train with the group, as he is recovering from a flu attack. He didn’t play with Bayern last weekend because of that, but he expects to be able to play coming Friday.

Darryl Janmaat is one of the newcomers in the squad. The offensive Feyenoord right back received a welcoming text from captain Wes Sneijder. “I thought that was really cool! I never met Wesley and don’t know his mobile number, so I had to check from who it was, haha. I think the staff gave my number to him, but I truly appreciated it.”

Vice captain Kuyt send an sms too and this is part of the strategy to make sure the youngsters feel at home at Oranje. Martins Indi, the big Rijkaard like defender who can play left back and center back spent the first day analysing his game against Belgium with the help of video analysis. “Really helpful. I do this at Feyenoord too. The analyst showed me some situations where I made the wrong choice. Very helpful indeed.”

Feyenoord right back Darryl Janmaat

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  1. SO… This is the only possible line-up that I can think of:

    Stekelenburg; Van Rhijn, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems; Strootman, Fer, Sneijder; Narsingh, Huntelaar, Robben

    There are empty spot in the midfield. The regulars such as VDV, Schaars, Van Bommel, De Jong are all unavailable, leaving us with Clasie, Fer, and Urby.

    Urby isn’t regular starter at Milan, but has been called up on more occasions than Clasie and Fer.

    Clasie is way too young, but who knows…

    Fer is on top form, a regular too.

    No way Clasie is going to start. It’s either Fer or Emanuelson.

    1. van Fadly, I like your lineup for Friday, except the central of the defence. Staying with these two guys is no worse then experimenting. I would also consider a change in net, but the central defence needs to be changed. A post below has Martins-Indi in the centre of defence, better than what we have now because you are addressing the need to change and are looking at options which means you are looking at options. Either than that, good lineup with what we have of course

      1. I myself prefer the younger choices, but what I wrote is the probable lineup that LVG use. 😀
        And it’s rare to see a manager who drastically change his lineup, adding the newcomers too soon. Except the likes of Villas-Boas… which is not really a good idea. 🙂

    2. Clasie is too young? he’s 21 already! The real crime here is that he hasn’t been called up yet, not that he’s too young.
      Clasie is the only midfield player in the current selection fit to play as the lone DM in LVG’s system

      1. err, I probably misused the word. Young in term of selection, that’s it.
        Clasie? no question about his quality. Class-ie. 😀
        BUT, it’s rare to see a newcomer starts from the beginning of a match.

        except something magical happened during the practice… no way he’s going to start. 🙂

        again, this is an objective view. from personal view, I prefer him than, say, Leroy Fer. Or Strootman. 😉

  2. 4-4-2 is the best for the next game in my opinion .

    stek ,
    van rijn , Heitinga , indi , willems
    strootman , sneijder
    narsingh ______________ Robben
    persie , huntelaar

  3. If you think BvM is stubborn, LvG takes it to the next level. That said, I can’t see LvG deviates from his love and obsession of 4-3-3.

    GK: Stekelenburg. Obvious choice, need experience GK to organize the defense.

    RB: Van Rhijn. So-so debut against Belgium, but I think he has the talent to perform well once his nerves settle in.

    LB: Willems. Excellent speed going forward. Questionable when defending. Watch out for Martins Indi, he may sneak in to the line up at the expense of Willems. Two goals against Belgium started because of BMI’s early movement.

    CM’s: Strootman. Poor man’s Van Bommel, rather slow but has a nice balance of defense-attack. The other spot in central midfield is contested between Fer and Clasie. I’d give Fer an advantage as he’s starting the season on high gear. Plus, his tall, muscular body could be a bonus. Clasie has a better passing and distribution, but less physical.

    AM: Sneijder. No discussion.

    LW: Robben. No discussion.

    RW: Lens. With Narsingh demoted to the bench in PSV, Lens has a great opportunity to claim the spot. Not my favorite choice, but I am afraid starting Narsingh would send the wrong message to the entire squad. I’m okay with Kuyt although he won’t exactly fit the type of winger LvG envisions.

    ST: Van Persie. Pure class.

      1. Oops, missed the central defense.. Vlaar-Mathijsen is my preferred pairing. Agreed that Heitinga shouldn’t be starting (or in fact, included in the squad to begin with) because of lack of playing times. Mind boggling that LvG omitted Douglas, seeing how unconvincingly Viergiever played this past weekend.

          1. I like the talent of Viergiever, but I don’t think he’s ready for prime time (just yet). Without sounding that I am blaming Viergiever, it’s hard to justify “playing very well” if you concede five goals on any given day, even though the opponent has a numerical advantage. The first PSV goal was a complete disorganization in defense. Viergiever and the rest of the defensive pack were caught napping and too slow to react to the long ball. Same could be said with the two heading goals from Marcelo and Matavz. Poor marking on both cases. It could well be that Viergiever will become a permanent fixture in Oranje, but as of now, he has a lot to prove. I rate Douglas higher at this point, and he’s much more experienced at the international level given Twente’s constant involvement in Europe.

  4. Thank you Jan for the post.

    I heard some things:

    1. van Gaal sees Kuyt as a striker as he does not answer to the profile of a striker.

    2. Van Gaal was disappointed de Vrij was injured.

    3. Van Gaal puts left legged players on the left and right legged players on the right.

    4. Van Gaal has ideally 2 players per position.

    5. If you do not play for club, you do not play for country.

    6. Van Gaal has said that against Maher is not selected because he does not play for club where he would play for Dutch NT.

    Oke if we put some of these points into practice and use the system van Gaal used against Belgium, this is what it looks like:


    van Rhijn——Vlaar——-Viergever——–Willems



    ——————–de Jong————————

    These are the ramifications IMO. First of all Netherlands will always have 4 left legged players in the NT:

    1. The left center back.
    2. The left back.
    3. The left midfielder.
    4. The left winger.


    The keepers I leave as they are. I think Vorm is better with his feet than Krul, so I think he is second keeper and Krul third keeper. Build up is very important for van Gaal.


    The LCB and LB positions are question marks for me and I think for everybody. Personally I think Viergever did well against Belgium and he has more guts than Mathijsen in covering though and pushing up. Mathijsen runs backward with space in his back, while Viergever does not as he is very fast. Mathijsen also makes so many mistakes these days, that eventually I can see Viergever play. BMI had 2 great through passes against Belgium, but he also had some dangerous ball losses. Willems had also 1 or 2 great through passes but those did not lead to goals as with BMI. 50/50 case between the guys. As van Rhijn played against Belgium and Janmaat only came later with the selection I guess van Rhijn is nr 1. Vlaar plays for club, Heitinga does not for Everton in EPL. He has played in a Cup game recently. I can also easily see Heitinga in the line up, as I find him a better footballer than Vlaar and also did quite well against Belgium. The back line is quality wise so close to each other, that a coach maybe goes with the feeling of the last training session. However Vlaar plays pretty good for Aston Villa, that If I was forced to bet, then it is on van Gaal’s rigid thinking along his own made up rules leading to Vlaar to play. After all, van Gaal is also prepared to not call up regular guys as VDV, VdW, de Jong for the reason of being busy with a transfer and therefor not having the focus. Not really playing in your club team also leads to not having optimal focus then IMO. It’s more a game of guessing how principle van Gaal will be, then using common sense. We will see.

    What we won’t see I guess, is Douglas in the NT very soon. Douglas does not really answer to van Gaal’s profile sketch. If Douglas is not able to win the competition from Heitinga, who does not really play for Everton, then when is he going to win the competition? Van Gaal also threw Lucio out of Bayern in his first weeks at the club. Did not answer to his profile sketch either. Douglas kind of defenders, are not liked by van Gaal as their build up under pressure is bad. Build up is very important for van Gaal. That’s also the reason de Vrij is more liked by Louis and when he is healthy again, Douglas is pushed down in the pecking order even more.


    Sneijder and Fer are both 2 bony. Strootman and Urby are both left legged. Then this must lead to the above pairs on midfield.


    Right wing is clear, or was clear, until Advocaat started to bench Narsingh and give him sub appearances. I though Narsingh was 3 times as good as Lens on right wing against Belgium. Lens was also to blaim for Vertonghen’s goal, bu not tracking back. I also think Lens on right wing is not optimal for PSV. So I think Narsingh. IMO van Gaal has 4 strikers in the Dutch NT at the moment (even Lens could play there). Huntelaar is first striker. Kuyt does not answer to van Gaal’s profile sketch of a winger and is right legged, so I don’t see how he can put him on the wing, let alone the left wing. He is second captain, good for the team spirit though and an oke striker. Robben is the only left winger we have. What if he gets injured? I think Urby is played there. Maybe even Willems with BMI moved in at left back. At Bayern van Gaal also had no problem to use Danijel Pranjić as left back at a certain moment. Good footballer and a left leg. So he has not much problems to move them up or down at that side. Ribery is indeed right legged, but the only reason van Gaal left him at the left wing is because he absolutely refused to move. He did move Lahm instantly from left to right at Bayern. When he came at the Dutch NT Robben moved to left wing. As nobody in Dutch NT is resisting him and as van Gaal can freely choose what a whole country has to offer, he can simply keep close to his principal in most cases. Also RVP does not qualify as a winger for van Gaal. So he as well can’t play on left wing, though being left legged. When I say “can’t”, I am interpreting, not expressing my own opinion. Just to be clear.

    Now the system. Here I have made the systems van Gaal played during his first period as national coach for the WC 2002 campaign:


    These are most of the games. IMO van Gaal was pretty experimental and so we can´t conclude too much from the Belgium game. I mean van Gaal played in a friendly against Spain with 3 defenders, to play the game after that in another formation, in the previous 2002 campaign. However the credo of Bert van Marwijk has always been that with the NT you already have so few games, that you need every game to build on automating habits between players. That leads to play with the same people in the same formation. One of the reason why he was reluctant to phase in new players and throw out the old guard. Has van Gaal learned from his past mistakes and seen his experimental nature as a flaw in his NT coaching skills of the past? This is really something we will have to wait and see.

    I love the SMS Sneijder send to Janmaat. Did not know that. I also love Sneijder the player and how he is stepping up as a leader. In the past a difficult guy, but more and more he is saying all the right things. Though he has to take more care of his body.

    We can’t have a captain of the team that is in the papers for smoking and partying with Afrojack. He is a pro, making millions a year and the least he can do is taking care of his body for a few more years. Dutch NT depends on him. Inter depends on him. His stay at top will not last very long anymore, looking at his age. We need him in Brazil, 2 years from now. He is a once in a generation talent. I must say, that he really put up a show against Denmark in Euro 2012. However his fitness, or the lack of it showed against Germany and Portugal. Fitness allows you to execute what you have in mind and I mean more then passing the ball alone. His vision is great. Also “sur place” delivery and distribution will not come into danger, but in today’s football, off ball movement, pressing, being available and making space for others is clutch. If Sneijder is not maintaining a good fitness, this will result in less dominant displays and less value for Dutch NT. When Sneijder was taken off the field against England friendly, Dutch quality level dropped and England scored 2 goals all of the sudden. Can’t stress enough the importance to keep Sneijder in shape.

    Only Clasie can maybe come close in handling speed. Fer, Strootman, Urby and others have nothing on him if it comes to handling speed. It’s very trendy to label these running wonders as Fer as modern midfielders. Except there is 1 problem. They can’t play true football. Look at Fer’s first touch. Look at his ability to speed up the game. Nothing. Brama is doing the dirty work at Twente for him so he can run forward. He is surrounded by creative guys like Tadic and Chadli (now injured), that allow him to score. As I said. Only Clasie can get close to Sneijder’s handling speed and for the absolute top, I deem that vital. Obviously you need both. Fer can score goals with both head and feet, has a through pass, has stamina, leadership quality’s, duel power etc. Clasie and Fer were also excellent together in the few games they played together for Feyenoord at the start of previous season. However it starts with a Clasie. Fer was nowhere in the recent U21 game against Italy when they lost 3-0. Why? Fer can’t play a team out of pressure. You need high handling speed for that and only Clasie and Sneijder have that. Also Anita, but he is not selected. Big country’s put you under pressure and so and the way to solve that problem is high handling speed players IMO. Feel free to disagree.

    I am quite nervous for this game. I have seen van Gaal fail before. Dutch defense is at a fragile point. Turkey will have many fans in the stadium as many live in the Netherlands. I remember Rijkaard also losing a game from Morocco once and that also had to do with so many supporters for them in the stadium cheering their every move. These are important details. Turkey is our main rival for the group and we must win this game. It’s pretty huge IMO.


    1. Sneijder has a serious tendency to stay on the left side… if he plays with Strootman they how this is going to work ?

      Also since one week after the WK final when he married Yolanthe, he is not the same again. For how long this can be tolerated? He has 20-30 mins absence during games …

      1. * Sneijder has a serious tendency to stay on the left side… if he plays with Strootman they how this is going to work ?

        But Sneijder is no VDV IMO. I remember from the WC 2010 first game that Sneijder and VDV were played next to each other and VDV drifted continually into Sneijder’s working space to play the 10 position. That was horrible. I think Sneijder can play more disciplined when put right, as he will have freedom to also walk into center midfield at times and that’s his favorite spot I guess, rather than left or right. However his job is also to keep good into position and being available for the build up. I don’t think Sneijder will have to drop so much for that as he did in the past. Sneijder always dropped as Nigel and Mark left build up to him. If Clasie is played behind him, Sneijder can stay nicely more to the right, keeping the field wide as Clasie is excellent in forward passing and distribution.

        * Also since one week after the WK final when he married Yolanthe, he is not the same again.

        To be honest, I think it started before that even. It was directly after his brake up with his first wife, which was somewhere in the middle of his Madrid career. Madrid fans complained then already how he was not able to perform like his first year at the club and he was simply enjoying the single life in clubs and disco’s. I am not sure what the influence of Yolanthe is on Sneijder. Sometimes I think it is a good one, when I hear the maturity in Sneijder’s words after a game and sometimes I think it is a bad one, when he is getting a giant tattoo of her on his body. She herself is quite ambitious and works hard in TV land to have successful shows and stuff like that, so that keeps me hoping they both maintain focus for the next years.

        * For how long this can be tolerated? He has 20-30 mins absence during games

        There are flaws in Sneijder’s game, but I can’t stress enough how huge Sneijder is for us. He is the difference between a Netherlands being a very dangerous side and an average side. His creativity and magic are rare. I can’t remember a player in the Dutch NT that was so good especially for Dutch NT. Bergkamp was maybe fit, but “always” under performed for Dutch NT vs his club career. Gullit was a great player, but I am not sure he could have given 10 key passes in one game like Sneijder did against Denmark at the Euro 2012.

        Sneijder brought us to the WC final and he also gave the killer pass to Robben that should have been 1-0 for us. He never choked, Sneijder. He delivered also in the final and did his part of the job again. I will always be thankful for that. IMO in Euro 2012 he was the one with the burning desire to win. I really felt he was one of the few guys that gave their all. I saw it in his eyes. Now we can start to complain about the oil tank inside the little guy, that gets smaller as he does not live as a pro, but there is maybe also another dimension to it, as we have to remember that Sneijder was never this running wonder.

        The other side is that de Jong is a patrolling DM. De Jong has not eaten much cheese (as the Dutch expression is :)) of pressing. Taking the defensive line with him and move forward. Reading the passing lanes well and if necessary, intervene higher up the pitch at times and directly after that, give a creative pass that beats 1 or 2 men for his teammate. This is more the territory of Clasie. Anita can do this as well, though IMO has slightly less of a creative pass (does have better stamina and is quicker in running too). Then the field is not so much stretched as it has now been for a while and Netherlands can play more compact. This means less meters for Sneijder to bridge and more moments where he is in ball possession. That is really where you want Sneijder to be. In more ball possession and with more ball contacts, as he is able to do his magic more often. So all in all, my hope is that with a different DM and defenders that don’t start to sh*t their pants with space in their back (as they are fast enough, like Viergever contrary to Mathijsen), we get more compactness, which results into a better and more dominant Sneijder.

        Let’s hope for the best!


        1. Awesome fan post, DRB!

          Two tiny points:

          1) Bergkamp didn’t “always” underperform. I just re-watched that Argentina goal. Still marvel at Frank DeBoer’s pass.

          2) Can’t get the image out of my memory of Sneijder just strolling downfield while Spain scored the goal that won the WC. The concerns about his ongoing fitness seem on target. He’s brilliant beyond measure — and I hope being captain raises his sense of responsibility to match his creativity.

          1. Thanks goldstone.

            * 1) Bergkamp didn’t “always” underperform. I just re-watched that Argentina goal. Still marvel at Frank DeBoer’s pass

            I think Bergkamp had moments of brilliance and maybe the most brilliant ones, but it would be revisionist history to say he brought for country the same as for club. People were always waiting for Bergkamp to step up his game in the NT. He could be quite silent in a game. His goal against Argentina is maybe the height of Dutch football for me.

            This is a video of Bergkamp I often watch. The video quality is not optimal, but Bergkamp makes you forget:


            * 2) Can’t get the image out of my memory of Sneijder just strolling downfield while Spain scored the goal that won the WC. The concerns about his ongoing fitness seem on target. He’s brilliant beyond measure — and I hope being captain raises his sense of responsibility to match his creativity.


            The first 40 meters or so he chasing like crazy right? After that, the field is full of Orange, that staying there for the new attack is not a bad thing. I think the player kicking the first cross attempt away(VDV?) is at fault for solving that problem in a lousy way. Also where is Braafheid? and Stek should have done better. Those 3. Not really blaming Sneijder personally.


            PS Don’t bring that goal up again please :). Feels like a knife in my stomach!!

        2. I never questioned Sneijder’s ability to change the game. Maybe you didn’t catch the Cruyff era, when Johan played well the whole team did and when he didn’t play the team choked. I see your points about the DMs not pushing up and forcing him to come deeper. But his veering to the left happens a lot without VDV in the pitch.

          Ok, so we see how this goes. It would be a pity not to have a fit Sneijder to lead us. But it is equally frustrating to see him being out of the game for long periods of time.

          1. Wasn’t around in the Cruyff era. My first vivid tournament was 1988. Not bad one to remember clearly :).

            I think we can agree on the fact that Sneijder disappearing from the game is frustrating (VDV has this even stronger IMO), with the side note that a different kind of DM taking charge of methodical pressing, that has a proactive game style by nature and with fast (central) defenders that have no problem to move with him in a more forward way (as they are not afraid to play with space in their back, as they are fast enough), could provide a future window to hang on, as more compact game play should get Sneijder far more involved and give him the opportunity to become much more dominant.

            I just heard in a video report that Fer, Strootman and Sneijder played together in a training session and the reporter started to conclude things from that:


            In this video you see the ball shifted from Fer (right midfield) to Strootman (DM?) to Sneijder left midfielder. So I guess Sneijder remains to play at his favorite left side then, without us to worry him starting drifting. Fer is 2 bony, so can play on the right if it is an attacking 4-3-3 we will indeed be playing. I do think I have picked up from Twente fans, that Fer is better, more from center or even from the left. Here I have made some screenshots from Twente’s more recent games:

            (CTRL + to make bigger)

            We have seen him in the same system where he came alive this start of the season, constantly placed on the left side, not the right side.

            So if the video report is correct, there is something new to worry about. Against Italy U21 Fer was IIRC also placed at the right side and did he had a very silent game.


    1. Ok, so im trying to check with some bars, but since the game shows at 11:30am here i doubt there’s a bar open at that time specifically for the game. Would be nice to meet up with fellow supporters though…

  5. Holland is in one of their worst phases of results. There are two scenarios this friday. Keep diging the hole or recover the pride and beat the Turks. If you see their players they do not have anything special but they fight like Lions. Perhaps we are entering a debate of strategy when what is needed is only more courage!!!

    Hopefully the team will return to winning ways on friday. Too bad we start against the strongest rival since there is no time for this new regime to get use to each other…like we say in México, a jugar con huevos…lets play with balls!!! At this point thats the only thing Oranje needs since the talent is already there.

    And if we lose, at least we know the other rivals will not be that strong although if we lose I don’t know what can happen in Hungary…Ferenc???

    1. if oranje won’t be able to beat hungary in budapest they don’t deserve the qualification. i don’t follow hungarian football because it’s really bad. the national team has nothing special,the coach said even a draw would be perfect against oranje. turkey is far more complicated.i saw arda turan against chelsea and he was brilliant. but oranje must beat turkey at home.

  6. I’m not an expert on formations and tactics but couldn’t avoid the question of why a coach who won the CL with the tactics described in the following very educational link:
    and who now has two players from that team as assistant coaches ever want to employ the tactics of the team they defeated in that CL final? That doesn’t compute with me.

    My hunch is that they (all three coaches) will only select players who they deem to be capable of playing with similar pretty rigid but potentially highly successful tactics. If so, it might be interesting to see how a current crop of players, regardless of status, could fit those tactics.

    Any suggestions or comments are most welcome.


    1. I didn’t understand your question but if your implying that Van Gaal is going to repeat playing with a back three, its almost (and I might be wrong) impossible. Tactic wise, that team had an element of surprise but slowly people started playing similarly. So its hard to imagine history will repeat itself.
      From the current generation, the only team who are capable of doing a three defender line up and still play attacking football is Barcelona, but they don’t do it on a consistent basis. Only when rivals “park the bus” on them.
      Football used to be about 4-2-2s, with a heavy emphasis in midfield where the number 10 player was the orchestra and everything evolved around him. Modern football has moved way beyond that, and now the majority of teams are playing with wingers. Its suicidal to have a back three when rivals are playing with fast moving wingers. Imagine defending Messi and Alves at the same time with a back three, defenders and midfielders will be overlapping each other. The only way you can get away with a three defender lineup is when you want to play defensive football, like Italy for example.
      in the last couple of years, the best players have been ronaldinho, cristiano ronaldo and messi (all starting from the wings) football has lost its classic number 10s (Maradona, Matthaus, Platini) although not considered the best but I would say Riquelme is a pure no.10
      btw, no expert just saying things as they are..

          1. I’m not just talking about his speed. He slows the flow of the game down also. I saw him in a lot of games where he likes to just barely move and hoping to make that killer pass. When it works, it’s great but when it doesn’t, his team suffers.

      1. Thanks for the explanation. I’m pretty sure though that Van Gaal is able to come up with similar tactics that will tighten the connection between the lines when defending and create space when having ball possession by way of almost always having a man extra over the opponent. Defending and attacking from what I understood from that article then becomes a collective thing not just a local issue. It’ll demand a lot of effort and concentration from the players but I’m sure they can learn it as they go and hopefully really nail it in Brazil, that is if they make it that far.
        Bringing in Danny Blind and Patrick Kluivert as his assistant coaches sort of gives it away to me, as they were with his Ajax 95 team that won the CL.


    2. Thanks for the link. A great read…


      Could that be where we’re headed?

      Who would be our Danny Blind for sweeper?
      Could we pair Clasie and Strootman to hold midfield?
      Play RVP on right wing?

  7. Although our defense sucks it is not the main culprit for the bad results. As DBR300 can say in a more elaborate way than me, the gaps between the lines are what is killing us. You cannot blame the defense for the gaps. The middle and the offense bear more responsibility. It is a group sport, the lines should be tight.

    I think that LVG made a good move dropping a few “oldies” from the lineup. It clearly doesn’t work any more. We need a new midfield more than we need a new defense.

    At this moment, LVG will have to roll the dice and try something new. The old is simply dead. Good luck to us.

      1. back in those days, the gaps that Holland exhibits today were the normal. There were huge spaces.

        Nowdays, it is a lot more difficult to triangle with the constant pressing. The game has changed substantially. Back in the 70s you could clearly see 3 lines in the pitch. Now with 4-2-3-1 or variants, it is a whole different story.

        But the close lines have a different effect as well. Today’s soccer is all about stopping the attack before it even starts. DeJong and VanBommel in their good days would stop all passing before the passing gets to the last line. Kind of choking the opponent. We did this very well in WK2010…

        Which brings me to the point I am trying to make. If the attackers end up in front of one line of defenders, the defenders have no chance. The Cruyff saying is absolutely still correct in this regard.
        Even if we had Pique and Puyol we wouldn’t stop Ronaldo the way the game was played against Portugal.

  8. No, I do not meant cojones. I meant huevos and yes, it means eggs but that’s is how in México you say to cojones when you are brave and macho…do not correct me if you are not Mexican hehe.

    1. I wasn’t correcting, just asking. I also like using expressions and sayings as they often reveal something particular about a country or culture. I have a lot of fun doing that with my youngest son who only has grade one level dutch. The looks on his face whenever I throw in another expression like ‘now breaks my clog” are priceless.

  9. Guys, I think that van gaal needs to pay close attention to our defense. I would love to see us playing attacking football, however, the last friendly proved that our defenders can be absolutely horrendous.Therefore, I would love to see us using two players in midfield that can defend and track back very well. Strootman and Clasie could provide great defensive cover for Wesley and the other attackers. Also, those two can pass the ball really well, Fer is in good form and adds a lot going forward, however, I think that maybe Clasie is the better passer of the ball and he will sit deep and defend well. Therefore, I would use Strootman, Clasie and Wesley in the midfield.

    For the attack I would go with Van Persie on the right instead of Narsing. Narsing did well in the recent friendly, but he has lost his place in the starting lineup at PSV. Therefore, Van Persie should be given a chance and replaced at hf if he doesn’t produce.

    In defense I would use Martins Indi ahead of Willems. Indi is a more powerful physically imposing player and simply better at defending than Willems. Vlaar and Mathijsen should start in the centre, Heitinga isn’t starting for Everton. Janmaat should be our right back because he is more experience at club level than Van Rhijn and he shows more maturity in his play also.

  10. Ok uitlaatklep hehe, got you. By the way, is that your name?

    Don, at this point neither Turkey or us know what Van Gaal will do!!!!! That can play in our advantage or be a total failure. I trust in Oranje.

    1. Mario, no luckily not my real name, wouldn’t have been too nice having to grow up with that. Uitlaatklep would be ventilation flap or lid in English. I just liked the sound of it. We’re practically neighbors, as I’m in Canada!

      About the Turkey game, how many subs are allowed? Am asking as I’m sure he’ll pull anybody off the field that isn’t able to stick to his game plan. For some of these players it’ll be a steep learning curve to be able to latch on to Van Gaal tactics. With Van Gaal probably more worried about his plan getting carried out rather than the game’s end result. lol

  11. I think LVG will play a left legged player on the LCB and a right legged on RCB, and that is why LVG didn´t bring Douglas, because he chooses Vlaar and heitinga instead.

    So, there are only three players can play RCB: Vlaar, Heitinga and Van Rhijn. Vlaar should start intead of Heitinga not because he is bnetter, but because he is in better shape. For me in a future we will have better options for that spot, like: Douglas, Van Rhijn, Glouweeleuw and Van Dijk (I haven´t seem Bruma in much time)

    As LCB the options are Mathinsen, Viergiver and BMI. I think LVG will choose Mathinsen because his experience and considering that Heitinga will not play. But if Heitinga play maybe he will choose Viergiver. I think in a long term BMI is the best option, beside Pieters…. I think this is our Achilles Knees.

    So, I agree Vlaar Mathinsen will be the duo, and under LVG we will not seem a right legged player, like Douglas or Vlaar, playing on LCB

    1. Don’t read too much into not bringing Douglas. He didn’t make his last start for Twente due to an ankle injury (Telegraaf: “zijn enkel en is nog niet fit genoeg om te starten.”)

  12. I made a post earlier today, but it says on top:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

    Has it bumped into a problem, or can people conform that it has reached to the forum nevertheless?


  13. Pre-match thoughts:

    1. I think if BVM still be our coach, and we play with the same EC team, the probability to defeat Turkey should be lower than with a new coach and new blood.

    2. One of the reasons of the poor performance on EC was the poor compromise in defense showed by our strikers and also our midfields, beside the lack of build up creativity and speed. I think these problems can be solve if LVG bring a new actitude or spirit on the team, and if he play a very faster and creativity player like Clasie (Anita will be my second option, but he wasn´t selected).

    3. LVG should think in the future (Vieriver, Van Rhijn, De Vrij, BMI, Willems) but he need the points, so he need a balanced team, that´s why I understand he still selecting Mathinsen.

    1. I have to say I agree with all your 3 points… But the risk is big anyway. I just hope our players find the mental strength they had between 09-11… It must be a mental thing, I cannot think of a physical explanation. Maybe a bad spell? Anyhow… I hope this Friday we resurrect !!!!

  14. Why LVG chooses 4 central strikers?

    Considering LVG said that RVP and Kuyt are central strikers and no wingers, and that LVG choose 2 players for spot, Why LVG choose 4 central strikers?

    The only (strange) reason I see is that he is planning play 4-4-2 as Hiddink did in 98, using one classic central striker or number 9, KJH and LDJ (or Dost) and a shadow striker RVP and KUYT.

    Something like


    I just don´t figured out why he choose Dost (LDJ) beside RVP and KJH, and only 5 midfields.

    1. You’re right about the odd selection numbers, but RVP did say after his meeting with LVG that he would play wherever LVG wants him to play. That suggests an openness to playing on the wing.

      I just can’t imagine LVG resorting to 4-4-2.

  15. I agree with Mario. With a winning mentality Holland can accomplish great things.

    Turkey is a good rival but name by name we are better than them but they have such a fighting spirit which we are lacking at the moment BUT I am sure LVG will give the boys the right mentality to play this important game.

  16. We will win on Friday and it will be a great game MARK MY WORDS.

    Holland will kick Turkey’s ass big time with a big score you will see.

    My prediction: Holland 3 – Turkey 1

    Goals: Robben, Huntelaar, Fer

  17. Good discussions today. My two cents is that the best formation for this current team would be to look back at the ’98 team:

    Two excellent forwards. Kluivert/Bergkamp vis a vis Huntelaar and RVP. With RVP adopting the Berg. role.

    One superb winger, switching sides depending where he can find space: Overmars vis a vis Robben.

    A two man Mf most concerned with launching attacks, breaking up play in the mf and providing another layer in front of the defense: Jonk/Davids vis a vis Strootman/Clasie or Fer…one thing Clasie does, like Jonk, is send long, accurate passes out from his half of mf. Still, I’d prefer Jonk for his physical gifts.

    And the key: In ’98, R. DeBoer was listed as a nominal right-sided mf, but in truth, he had license to go wherever he wanted to (and did), and provided the link up between the mf and the forwards. Sneijder plays this role.

    Defense as always is an issue, but I think you go with Willems and either Janmaat or Van Rhijn (Van Rhijn my preference—a better def., Janmaat better attacker). In the center, I’d go with BMI and Heitinga. (left/right combo, plus, Vlaar looked a little slow at the EC, and nothing I’ve seen of him at AV has changed my mind)

    Do I think LVG will play 4-4-2? No. He’s been a 4-3-3 (or 3-1-3-3) guy, and, more recently at Bayern, 4-2-3-1.

    I bring up 4-4-2 because I think that there has to be a way to get Hunter and RVP (both in form) on the pitch together, and RVP is wasted on the wing.

    If LVG plays 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, he needs another winger to go with Robben. Narsingh? He hasn’t been able to beat Lens out at PSV. And Lens, well, he hasn’t been so good at the NT level. I may catch alot of flak for saying this, but if LVG opts for 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, right now, I’d play Kuyt on the right. He’d work himself to the last breath, he’d provide more cover for the defense (and assuming a younger defensive mf set and defense, a good idea), and he is a much better offensive player on the right than the left.

    1. Andrew, the only explanation I found to LVG decision to bring 4 strikers (KJH/LDJ and PRVP and Kuyt) is that he will play 4-4-2 as did Holland in 98.

      I don´t think so, but if LVG isn’t planning to, why did he brings 4 strikers if he will not play 2 at the same time?

  18. Andrew, in my last predictions I never used Kuyt but he would be very useful considering he now knows most of the Turkish players and besides he can be very supportive to either Janmaat or V Rhijn. His experience in this big game is important, Narsingh lost his spot to Lens and Lens for me is not ready for the big leagues.

      1. Dirk can be useful in more matches than this one 🙂
        It would be a mistake to write off one of the hardest working players, especially since you guys talked about playing with a winning mentality…

          1. Kuyt was a hard working man for a long time. He’s not a great striker. I wouldn’t bench RVP or Hunter to play him.

            Unless he’s used as a defensive midfielder, IMO, I don’t see him starting any other position!

          2. SamDC,

            he can also play as a “holding winger” like he did during the BvM times… It all depends how the game goes. If the Turks make constant runs on our defense, this is an option. I think LVG will never do it though.

            Anyhow, 48 hours left and we will see how all this plays out. I really really hope we put our marbles back together… It is very frustrating to see the team that can beat Spain become the punching bag of Belgium.

            WAKE UP GUYS !!!!

  19. Honestly i can’t see the point in playing with one left-footed and one right-footed in the CB .
    Puyol and pique are both right-footed .
    Maldini and Nesta did play together in the CB for AC milan and they are both left-footed .
    ferdinand and vidic in Man utd are both right-footed . terry and vidic in Engalnd NT are both righ-footed .

    I hope van gaal changes his mind about this !
    Douglas and boulahrouz can be excellent pairing for the qualifications and the WC .

    1. Ouch Buddy – Maldini/Nesta/Carnavarro were all right footed but able to use the left foot as well. Like Philipp Lahm who plays left back, is a right footer. Vlaar and Douglas both right footers but I have seen both pass (under threat) with the left foot. Some players are comfortable passing with both feet. 2 GREAT players who stand out as always putting it on their MAIN foot are F de Boer and Maradona – Robben falls into that category too (one footed) Hunter has incredible shots with both feet, vP favours the left. 2 players outstanding with both are Overmars and Sneijder – Overmars would take corners with either foot for Holland. It gives players that half a second extra to be able to use both feet.
      I dont care which team comes out as long as we win and play Oranje Style football.

        1. Andreas Brehme took free kicks with his left but scored the penalty in the WK90 final with his right. Not to mention his goal against Oranje in the same tournament!

  20. It is the first time in a long time that I have absolutely no clue about what to expect. It could be beautiful flowing football and we win 3-0 or absolutely horrendous and we tie or even lose. Let’s face it though, we don’t the world class players any more…they have all gone to Belgium. Interesting how history repeats itself. Same as in the early 1980s.
    Wes and Robben are still great but not really world class. The only true star is VP and Louis won’t play him, go figure. We are not going to beat anyone with Heitinga and Mathijsen who gets beaten regularly in the Eredivisie. Narsingh is total crap. No touch or any skills. Frankly I would rather have Kuijt. Fer, Clasie are again good players, probably good enough to play internationally at some level but they are no Dembele, Hazard or Fellaini. I wish Alex would have been elected prime minister of Holland so he could have negotiated for Belgium and Holland to become one country but only for football. Can you imagine? All Belgium players + Wes and VP. That would have been a team! Anyway let’s hope we get it right Friday.

    1. I think you’re a bit harsh , jeff . however , i agree with you at some points .
      agree that current generation is less than previous generations , but how about Brazil ? Argentine “even with messi” ? france ?
      also , i have to mention did a better acheivment than all previous generations ” except 74-78 generation ”

      also i think sneijder , robben and persie are all world-class , perhaps fer , strootman , clasie and maher will be added to this list in the next few years .

      belguim has a better defense for sure , i envy them 🙂 .

      totally Agree with you about Narsingh ! c’mon .. i don’t care how many assists he did in eredivisie last season , the guy is just not talented enough to play for Oranje .
      ola john , elia , wijnaldum , memphis depay and even lens are all more talented , still hope i’m proven wrong though .

    2. I disagree. Hazard has a lot of talent. But Robben is a class apart, remember a couple of toes stole him the ballon d’or. Clasie is 21, Fer is 22, Strootman is 22, while Fellaini, Dembele and Mertens are all 25. that’s a big difference! not to mention that none of them have really stepped up on world class level. Belgium has 2 world class players: Vertonghen and Kompany. I left Vermaelen out on purpose (he’s still better than most of our center backs at the moment!). In 2014 Belgium will be at full strength, if they don’t manage to qualify for the world cup by then, I’l be disappointed, because they probably won’t have another chance for a while (maybe france 2016 last call). Whereas I’m confident about the new generation of dutch players, as always. We had the bergkamps, kluiverts, davids, stams, then the robbens, sneijders, van der vaarts, van persies, and now we’ll have the clasies, strootman, van rhijns, mahers…. Trust in Oranje (until we play a final lol).

  21. Come on Jeff, Belgium football sucks and their national team too. They envy Oranje and that is why last game they played like it was a final. Oranje only tested new players and formations. They are a mediocre team and they have a good defence and some good players but that is all. When they reach a WC final we will talk about Belgium but they haven’t even qualified for a big tournament. They just beat Holland in a bad period we are having but we will bounce back. Holland is a very strong football nation, Belgium is just a Mickey Mouse team. They seem to have a good generation now but Belgium best result in a WC was in 1986 and that was a while ago. You should read more about football and not get carried by your emotions.

  22. New name, in honor of Rob Rensenbrink the 70s Oranje player who only ever missed two penalties in his entire career, and often enjoyed telling the keeper beforehand where he was going to place the ball, and then still beating him there. (wikipedia)

    The Turkey game could end up with a ridiculous score of 5-3 or so. Still in Oranje’s favor, though. They will definitely not be able to keep it dry at the back. That will still remain a work in progress for a while.

      1. yep, uitlaatklep was my previous username

        As remarked on this and these pages before, I totally agree with the notion that attacking and especially defending are team efforts and whoever isn’t able to do that will lose their spot in the team, no matter whatever other qualities they might have. If they are able to stick to that and bring something extra, that of course will get taken into consideration when it comes time for a selection.

        Not sure how much of that was going on with the previous coaches, but my understanding of LvG is that he doesn’t mince his words. Of course he will give everybody a fair chance to addapt but the sooner his strategies get applied the better. It won’t be about individual qualities, at least not at first, but way more about how effective the team is as a whole.

  23. Belgium has a good generation but come on!!! Do you really think Lukaku is better than Persie and Huntelaar? or do you think Hazard is better than Sneijder? and what about Mertens vs Robben?.

    They have good defenders with Kompany and Vermaelen but Fellaini isn’t so good I actually see Fer, Strootman and Clasie with a much better future than Fellaini’s.

    Holland’s defense is shaky but it will get better. We have good youngsters who can do the job plus we will have Pieters, Douglas and Maduro back at some point so I am confident we will qualify EVEN if we don’t start well the qualifying games.

    Holland has great players STILL better than many other nations and indeed better but much better than Belgium. Plus LVG has always been good building good defenders.

  24. A little spy who saw some training sessions yesterday when 11 players were singled out for a tactical training session noticed Vlaar/Mathijssen and a midfield that consisted of Sneijder Strootman Fer. Interesting but as it was an open training with Turkish Press there too, one never knows with vGaal ???

  25. Friday King Louis will put forth a 4-3-3

    1 – Stekelenburg
    2 – van Rhijn
    3 – Vlaar
    4 – Mathijsen
    5 – Martins Indi
    6 – Fer
    7 – Kuyt
    8 – Strootman
    9 – Huntelaar
    10 – Sneijder
    11 – Robben

    Just my feeling on things, could be way off base here though.

  26. If I were Van Gaal,
    – Build-up should start from the back, but the defenders should be quick in releasing the ball.
    – the midfielders should be the ones responsible for possession and distribution not the defenders. They should take it pass the middle line. Time and time again I see Dutch defenders circulating the ball in-between them, even giving it to the goalkeeper sometimes. Since the quality is not there, they should stop doing it.
    – midfielders (I know they are new) but they should take full responsibility of the ball. Lost of possession in the opponents half is ok, the defensive line should cover.
    – Sneijder should define his role, if he wants to be a litmanen then his goal rate should improve. But if he wants to be a Xavi then he should collect the ball and direct play. Personally for me, he is neither at the moment. Wake up Wes your the Captain, so take the lead.

    1. Smart, Gio. Our new young defenders don’t shy away from a little derring do in buildup, but should release with pace… early.

      We’ll all be watching Sneijder. Captain is as captain does. 🙂

  27. I bet you the opponent will play with quick players, abusing the defensive line, one touch football. This is were Holland have been so weak lately. They will try to exploit any individual errors, if mathijsen plays then they will attack this area of the field cause they know willems is also be liable.
    I bet you they are going to let the dutch attack and exploit counterattacks..

  28. @DRB300

    Great post man! Thanks for take your time to wrote it.

    I agree we need a “high handling speed” players, and that´s why I have been Clasie and Anita fan since last year (well, I really like Anita since 3 years). That is the kind of player I miss on EC.

    For me, if LVG plays 4-3-3, this will be my ideal midfield:


    But I have a question for you.

    In your “LGV should be team” you doesn’t have a sub for Clasie, but you have 4 central strikers.

    And that it’s my main doubt: Why LVG selected 4 central strikers (if he only will use one) and only 5 midfields if he will use 3!

    Do you think that LVG are planning play 4-4-2??

    1. Thanks Eduardo.

      I think the answer for that question is in the versatility of all the midfielders. Fer is 2 bony. Sneijder is 2 bony. Strootman can play midfielder next to Sneijder or pure DM as well. Last year he was the single DM for PSV all the time, though by nature I deem him more central midfielder, going box to box as he has offensive weapons as defensive ones. Now he plays together with van Bommel on midfield in a more controlling role, while Toivonen fills in the only forward midfield position. Fer could also play pure DM, though Fer really is a box to box player. He is almost the definition of a box to box player (Yaya Toure light I have people call him here I think, and rightly so). I feel that if you play Fer as pure DM, that you don’t use him optimal with his goal scoring threat. They are also 90 minutes player, as they pretty strong guys, Fer and Strootman. Sneijder, though having less stamina, is captain and will probably play in this game 90 minutes as well. Maybe van Gaal has already in mind what subs he wants to make and that is playing here a role as well.

      Also keep in mind that in case of emergency, Heitinga, but even Viergever can play DM. Hetinga has played there a lot in the past and Viergever sometimes too as it is a good footballer.

      These are the things that I could think off when you asked the question. Your point remains though. 5 midfielders is not much, however you look at it.


      1. Thanks DRB300…. I still don´t get it why LVG choose LDJ or Kuyt if he doesn´t play RVP or Kuyt on the wing.

        It´s possible that next friday we will see 2 strikes on the grass, instead of play 4-3-3

  29. btw guys , i was thinking of De ridder as a right winger for Oranje .
    well , he played very good for herenveen last week . he is 28 yrs old but he is very talented , i think he can be very important for Oranje ” better than kuyt , narsingh , lens , Boerrighter ”
    perhaps Alex , Jan or carlos can tell us 😀 .

      1. I prefer give more time to a young player as Narsingh instead De Ridder.

        Narsinhg should improve in PSV in coming years,as others good wingers prospects like Depay and Lukoki. So, if I were LVG I will rather work with players that can play in next WC and nexts years.

        Another player I think could be an option is Yanic Wildschut… anybody knows him??

        I don´t rate Zeefuik high, for me he is not an option.

        I don´t remember another right wing right now.

      2. De Ridder was a boy prodigy! He left Ajax and that ruined him. He could have become a great footballer. He had a terrific dribbling technique. He didn’t have a professional attitude though!

    1. I WAS a big fan of de Ridder when he played for the Euro Champs with Hunter, he faded badly. Distracted by his Good Looks and mild fame. If Marco turns him around – great ! Oranje material – maybe. That Wigan Clip is the ONLY great action he had in 3 seasons in the BPL. That tells you everything.

  30. Only from Holland:
    young and perspective right wingers :
    Ajax: Lukoki (1st squad), Lesley De Sa (U-19), Sheraldo Becker (U-17)
    Feyenoord: Maatsen (reserve team), Jean Paul Boetius (U-18)
    PSV: Depay, Elvio Van Overbeek (U-19)
    AZ: Mikhail Rosheuvel (1st squad/bank), Fernando Lewis (reserve team)
    Heerenveen: Rajiv Van La Parra (1st squad), Arsenio Valpoort (U-20), Luciano Slagveer (U-19)

    not young, not great perspective, but could be usefull:
    Wesley Verhoek, Roy, Beerens

    so maybe not that bad

        1. Jajaj Not much, that is precisely why I made the question!

          He plays in VVV Venlo and in U21. He is a rigth foot winger.

          Heereenven was behind him as Narsingh replacement

          and others Eredivisie and PL teams too:

          I want to keep an eye on him!

  31. According to , Oranje will play with this line-up :

    _____________ Steklenburg ____________
    ____ mathijsen _______ vlaar _________
    van rijn _____________________ Willems

    ________ fer ____strootman ___________
    _____________ sneijder _______________

    Lens_________ persie _________ robben

    your thoughts , guys ?

    1. Impossible. Vlaar would always play right and Mathijsen left CB. If that was a typo, then I could follow defense.

      Midfield is more or less what NOS said in their video report. Though, did not expect van Gaal to regress to a defensive 4-3-3, rather than maintaining an offensive 4-3-3. Had expected a bit more guts from him, but not blaming him. Attack would raise some eyebrows. Huntelaar was his nr. 1 and a news station hiring an optokopter to spy on and secret training, concluded after asking sport journalists that Huntelaar would play striker. Lens would also be a huge mistake. Narsingh was much better against Belgium.

      No I don’t like this line up. Any line up without Clasie is not good enough for me.

  32. @Mario…… agreed on FER.IT should happen….cannot wait for energetic skilled dutch team.even if play bad in defence we will be superb in attack.
    Bring bruma to FC twente and the we will see the real BRuma…We need him badly

    1. Unfortunaltely Wijnaldum is not a starter with PSV , i think wijnaldum should have developped more faster .. he is still 21 , but i always thought he would be a starter for Oranje in WC 2014 . It seems unlikely atm .

      btw guys , where is Alex ?

      1. Wijnaldum is a player without a clear position. Has a decent speed to be a winger, but not deadly enough to shoot and finish chances. Good movement, but lack of vision and passing ability to be an effective playmaker or attacking midfielder. Seems like this is what’s holding him back at the moment. At PSV, he comes in to replace either Toivonen or a front player (Matavz/Lens/Narsingh). Perfect role for him because he can exploit the opponent’s tired defense.

        Maybe Wijnaldum should consider playing deeper in midfield… much like Afellay in his last couple years at PSV. Though I doubt that he has an oversized horsepower like Ibi.

  33. Willems will play left back – you guys hailed Matens Indi for his two passes that led to the goals but you guys forgot that Oranje conceeded 3 times when he played on defence!

    Lens is crap – go watch the Belgium game. Narsingh will play RW.

    The only player that will lose their starting birth will be NDJ (and probably Heitinga). All the others will probably be the same from the Belgium game.

      1. @SamDC – I don’t, but I also give credit where it is due. Willems covered a couple of mistakes by Matthissen early in the game and he was VERY solid in the back, and was a better defender than Martins.

  34. Very good discussions. I’m excited and nervous for this game. No more test. We will see what LVG and this team is made of. I prefer Narsingh over Lens,but if LVG holds true to his rule that starting player must start for the club then it will be Lens. I still prefers the team to adapt during the game, meaning switching 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 or whatever it is, depend on your opponent, the score….I like that flexibiilty during the game (eg opponent parks the bus in front of the goal, play open attack style, counter attack, or when our defense gets tired…) Perhaps I am asking for too much. Let’s start with a win. Hup Holland Hup!

  35. I am very excited to see this midfield in action. I see much more potential with Strootman, Sneijder and Fer because we have more endeavour.

    I am feeling a return of my videos if this game goes well. I think I’m going to post a tactical analysis.

    I also hope van Persie starts because form is temporary but class is permanent. I also think this new look midfield will give him the support he needs but lets wait and see.

  36. I don’t agree with strictly adhering to selecting players who only start for their club teams.

    For example, player A plays for Real Madrid and is a great player but he comes off the bench because there’s a world class player on his team.

    Player B is clearly below player A in terms of quality but plays regularly at his club say at Granada.

    Who would you like to see start for Oranje?

    This could have the effect of pushing players towards moving or choosing lower teams or leagues in order to guarantee selection for Oranje.

    1. it’s a tricky situation because although i agree with you in principal, the reality is that sometimes bench player A for Real Madrid is overrated because he plays for Real Madrid. For instance, take Urby Emanuelson. I am not very impressed with him even though he played predominantly as a starter last season. I watched him play many games last season and he did nothing to show me he warrants a starting place. Afellay (whom I assume you were referring to at RM) is a good player and at times brilliant. But does he have what it takes to start for Oranje? He hasn’t proved that yet IMO.

  37. Guys, if we look back closely at how many goals Mathijsen was
    Responsible or partly responsible for in the last couple of games, we would forget about him. His experience is not paying off..
    If we counter attack and Mathijsen has the ball forget it …you just let the other team reset with his very slow pace.

  38. I’m not saying I prefer benchwarmers. I think selection should be based on who is the best fit for the specific position and who is more talented and efficient for Oranje.

  39. I prefer Clasie over Fer or Strootman.

    For me: Sneijder, Clasie and Strootman or Fer.

    Please LVG give Clasie some time!!!!

    I want to see a very faster and dinamic midfield!

  40. @Demi,
    Martins had a good debut overall. Those two passes were critical in both the goals we scored.

    Goals Belgium scored

    #1. Mistake by Mathijsen. Willems not able to do much.

    #2. Mistake by NDJ losing possession. Viergiver not able to keep up with Mertens.

    #3. Horrible confusion in the penalty box. Steks blocks a shot but gives up the rebound. Viergiver, DeVrij and Van Rjihn not able to handle Lukaku.

    #4. Van Rhijn gave too much space when the long cross comes in. Lens fails to stop Vertonghen.

    Martins Indi did have some moments where he was not sharp and failed to respond quickly. However, none of the goals that the Belgians scored were due to his direct involvement.

    IMO, given the confidence and comfort he showed on the ball going forward and creating offense, he has a lot to offer to this team. Remember, this is his first game for Oranje! A lot of nervousness and anxiety is involved.
    He definitely deserves a starting spot or a substitute appearance at the very least. Willems is still a question mark and hasn’t contributed much at all going forward.

    1. I have no problem to give BMI time… But I am not sure tomorrow is the right day for that. I would go with Willems for tomorrow. But I would keep BMI in my sights.

      Our last 30 mins with Belgium was one of the worst ever. We looked like Andorra… So I don’t want to single out anyone.

      We have been pathetic for a while. Feels like some bad spell fell on the team along with the natural aging process. Perhaps the moral boost given by Van Bommel, Kuyt, etc is not there anymore. We look “spent” …

      I really hope tomorrow is going to be different. But it is this, HOPE. The facts point to a bad outcome but I am really hoping our guys will wake up. What the hell we should be beating teams like Turkey with just “pushing and shoving” 🙂

    2. @ SamDC – I think you crucify the players you don’t like regardless of any good they do and glorify the players you like regardless of the mistakes they do.

      Against Belgium, the defence in the 2nd half had more holes than swiss cheese, the fact that you blamed the 3 other players and excuse Martins Indi is not justified. Van Rhijn was not very bad in the first half.

  41. Turkey didn’t even qualify for the last EC , so basically they ain’t that incredible team .
    We all know that Oranje is in one of its worst periods since 1980 , but we still have enough talents to get over this period ..
    We need to attack for 90 mins , never stop pressing on Turkey even if we’re 4 goals ahead ..

    Strootman and fer will make this game very different from the last game against Belgium with vdv and de jong , they are younger with better fitness and better balance between defense and attack .

    Let’s be a little more optimistic 😛

  42. Orange will win if heitinga takes the lead in back.Dutch will have 2 box to box midfeilders in fer and strootman..i would be sad if persie doesnt start…who will play as striker….???
    Schalke striker VS Mighty MAnu striker.Top scorer of the toughest league??????????

    1. Honestly both should start .

      If we play like 98 ,
      1 cf kluivert = hunter
      1 ss Bergkamp = persie

      2 holding mids cocu and davids = strootman and fer
      Ronald de boer = snijder

      Free winger Overmars = Robben

      Very simil

        1. @Mohamed – that might be the best option. we all know that RvP likes to drift outside the box which leaves no one to poach crosses if we play Robben on left and Narsighn on right.

          1. With all due respect to the current generation but I have to disagree completely and I know your judging based on similarities but they have completely different dimensions.

            If VG wants to play Huntelaar and Van Persie up front, he should define Sneijder’s role. Because if not, Sneijder and Van Persie will be stepping on each others toes. Besides, Van Persie has never played the Bergkamp role. His been either a winger or an attack reference but never the swadow striker. Why would you want to change a player’s role at the age of 29 and with all the success his achieved in the last couple of years..
            Huntelaar is a classic 9, static, Kluivert wasn’t. the success Kluivert and Bergkamp had was that they’re were able to fool defenders by constantly moving around and interchanging roles. I don’t see Huntelaar and Van Persie doing so.
            Not even going to try to compare the midfield. Again, I say this with respect

  43. As someone said before we need our midfield to have more the ball than our defenders. That’s top priority. We need to press forward as soon as they have the ball we need to do everything to recover it.

    Strootman, Fer and Clasie are all quality players and with Sneijder’s experience it’ll all be good.

    1. @Miguel – I think the problem is that none of those is a proven player than can totally dominate and/or own midfield like Mark Van Bommel, Edgar Davids or Even Phillip Cocu. Except for Strootman, I haven’t seen Fer or Clasie play and can’t judge them. I’ve soon some good and some bad moments from Strootman.


    Read the preview. WE WILL PLAY 4-3-3!!!.

    Van Gaal:

    “I’m sitting here with confidence,”

    Explaining his decision to omit the likes of Nigel de Jong and Rafael van der Vaart from his squad, Van Gaal added: “The old group lost four in a row. There is no guarantee of success.”

    And he will employ a new 4-3-3 system tomorrow with just one holding midfielder, as opposed to the two used by predecessor Bert van Marwijk.

    “The KNVB (Dutch Football Association) gave me a clear mission to play ‘Dutch School’ football and with the quality of this squad that must be possible,” said Van Gaal, who looks set to leave Robin Van Persie on the bench with Schalke’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar leading the attack.

    Van Persie has been in scintillating form since swapping Arsenal for Manchester United over the summer but Van Gaal prefers Huntelaar, who has netted in each of the Royal Blues’ opening two Bundesliga games.

    However, he added: “That can change after one match because the team is more important than 11 Huntelaars or 11 Van Persies.

    “The competition [between players] is important. When a team already is set in stone, you lose that aspect.”

  45. We should not underestimate Turkey or being over confident, considering our current form and last 4 games record. We all know that with the talent we have and play at the potential this team can beat any team in the world, but that is a big IF. Hup Holland Hup!

    1. yes and no – rvp was the best dutch player before the euros,but there he didn’t perform well. some players are fantastic at club levels,they are really top,but are less convincing in their national team. evp is one of them. however,against lesser qualiy national sides he was always good and at this stage of the world cup (qualifiers) the opponents are far from the top. he failad against germany,was ok against portugal,but these two teams belong to the world elite. danemark doesnn’t,but they are closer to the elite than oranje’s group rivals. belgium,too.

  46. Guys, friends:

    Enough have been said here and in many places about Oranje´s fragile defence and yes, we do not have a very good defence but it is not that bad either. At least I don´t think Turkey has a better one, neither Romania or the other teams in the group.

    I will make an analysis and I wait for your thoughts. I played as a defender (left and right back) in México at an amateur level. I even played in national tournaments where some scouts went to chase talents. You don´t need a fast defence in central d. As full back the team needs very fast defenders but in central defence you don´t need that. I remember the central defenders of my team, the starters and the subs and they were the slowest in the team. Why? Because fast players always prefer to play as wingers, full backs or strikers, even as holding mids and the coach uses speed in other positions. But in central defence what a player requires is the ability to read the game beforehand to always be in the right place to intercept the rival´s attacks. The defenders in my squad did that and we had a superb defence.

    After saying this I compare it to Oranje. With our central defenders in Heitinga and Mathijsen Oranje has lacked defenders that can read the game beforehand. Some of the best central defenders in history have been really slow but they now how to anticipate. Franco Baresi, Fernando Hierro, Ronald Koeman and even Beckenbauer are not recognized for being fast but for having a great understading of the game, the were the strategist in the field. Have we had a strategyc thinker in Mathijsen or Heitinga??? Of course not.

    My second analysis comparing when I played football 7 or 8 years ago to Oranje. My teams almost always played in a 4-3-3 and thay system is great because the wingers become midfielders when the other team has possesion switching inmediately from a 4-3-3 to a 4-5-1. The 3 midfielders have to be very energetic with excellent technique to keep possesion most of the time. In my amateur team I played mainly as left back, some even called me Maldini hehe…But the point is this. In front of me the left midfielder named Leo (not Messi) was the best player of the team but very lazy to defend! When he played in front of me every game I had to defend in a 2 vs 1 situation! The winger and the midfielder he was supposed to mark. That made my job very difficult and although I was very fast, I had trouble keeping things quiet. But when Leo was injured and his back up played in front of me as left mid, I could attack more and defend without conceding advantages to the other team. This analysis compares to what Oranje had in the Euros and last game vs Belgium with Van der Vaart and de Jong. Van der Vaart doesn´t mark and de Jong does but with his bad technique he can´t keep the ball long enough and in the counters the full backs get exposed and central defence looks worse than they are. When Van Marwijk deployed de Jong and Van Bommel as his holding mids it payed very good before and in the WC 2010 but the formula started to fail in the friendly vs Germany and in Euro it showed they were broken and our defence got beaten badly. Too late!

    What I am trying to point out here is the importance of a strong midfield to support defence. I think tomorrow with Fer and Strootman alonside Sneijder we will see a midfield with a lot of stamina and compromise to help defending. That was what Oranje needed in Euro and of course, Oranje defence needs a surgery that is starting slowly but will keep on going. I am sure tomorrow we will see Mathijsen because of his experiencie but if he starts failing again I don´t doubt Van Gaal will sub him or erase him in the very near future.

    One of the favorite words of Van Gaal is collectivism and that is why his teams always play very compact. Remember Ajax 1995? Didn´t have the best defence but due to that word “collectivism” that team was strong in all areas. Hopefully we will start seeing that tomorrow with our beloved ORANJE and win! I don´t know what will happen against Turkey, we might even lose. But sooner that later Oranje will return to winning ways and this time King Louis will acomplish his dream: Manage a National Team in a World Cup.

    1. nice post Mario, it shows some insight from playing the game. No question our middle is a bigger issue than the defense.

      However, based on the latest news LVG will play 4-3-3 with one holding MF. Do you think we can afford that at the moment ?

    2. interestin post Mario,but at one point i fully disagree with you: the 94-95 ajax defence was one of the best defences dutch clubs ever had – van der saar -reiziger,blind,rijkaard,fdb – topclass players,even reiziger was great but underestimated.

  47. @Mohamed w/ your 4-4-2 idea, we are not talking apples and apples here. RVP and Hunter are close in quality to Kluivert and Bergkamp; Sneijder is better than RDB and Robben is as good as Overmars. BUT!!!!!!!! Fer / Classie / Strootman are no where near Davids / Jonk / Cocu. Couple that with the fact Stam and FDB were the CB’s on the ’98 squad and its not really a fair comparison.

    I am still thinking 4-3-3 with RVP wide right and Robben wide left.

  48. @SamNY

    Viergiver, DeVrij and Van Rhijn are brand new to Oranje. I don’t dislike any of them. I want them to succeed so that they can fix the problems we have in this team.

    My comment was purely based on the goals we conceded and who was clearly involved in the goals. That’s all. It was all based on that one game versus Belgium. Martins can turn out to be a regular or he could be another Babel.

    The only player I don’t like is Mathijsen. Nothing personal. It’s just that over the years, he had his chance and he needs to make way! That’s all!

  49. We know that we have not had good CB since F.De Boer and Stam, and it is difficult to find a player like Rijkaard. Haan was proposed by JC to Rinus in 74 when a CB was injured (I read). Rijkaard is used as a CB by Rinus in 88. If Van Gaal has gut then he can try Strootman as CB and then have Clasie-Fer in front of Strootman. The 3 of them will hussle up and down. This is not going to happen.

    1. Hien,

      look at the video below (just an example) of how the middle loses the attacker, and please read Mario’s post.

      @ 0:55 Hazard passes VdV with ease and it is left to the defenders to stop him which they do by a foul.

      @2:13 The just let the guy take a shot … no DM around

      @2:31 Vertonghen passes our middle guys as if he was Messi

      etc etc etc… if you pull up a video from the Portugal game there must be one such failure every 3-4 minutes 🙂

      Our defense is bad but our middle line is ridiculous. With VdV not able to run, Sneijder in his own world and the static DeJong as the only DM….

  50. Nervous for tomorrow!

    Hup Hup!

    Getting married Sunday, so a win tomorrow would be a nice wedding present! I have 10 dutch family members flying into ny for my wedding, bringing my dutch blood home!

    Lets do it boys

  51. Congrats Paul!
    Demi you are right. We need tireless midfield and hopefully Strootman, Clasie and Fer can do that. I also agree with Mario that the CB does not need to be fast, but it will help. Football smart will compensate for quickness as the player will be in the right/good position most of the times. They will help closing the gap in the middle, but the forwards need to drop back or defense need to move up as well (not necessarily all the way up or down like total football). Play as one unit. I’m still very nervous.

    1. Vertonghen is the ideal CB for the Oranje… too bad he was born just a few miles on the wrong side of the border …

      Here is how I would go about it.

      1-2-3-4 (whatever is best for now)
      Classie and Stroot as DMs (Classie to pass the ball fast, I am trusting DRB300 on this)
      Sneijder in front of these two…
      Since Wes veers to the left, Stroot behind him would cover defensively cause Wes cannot/willnot do it.

      There is no way on earth we can play attacking 4-3-3 with Sneijder one of the middle 3. To play attacking 4-3-3 you need lungs, Wes doesn’t cut it.

      So, at the moment, and no matter how un-Dutch this is, we need two DMs. We could use Fer as well…

  52. I agree guys with two more defensive players but football shouldn’t be so static. The problem with our team is unfortunately it has been static with Sneijder attacking, and De Jong and van Bommel only defending.

    But midfielders are called midfielders because they are in the middle, they need to attack and defend. Strootman and Fer may indeed do some defending, but they can also add to the attack.

    I am personally expecting a win tomorrow.

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