There are around 17 million National Team Coaches in The Netherlands. And of course, you lot as well :-). And we all know better.
Frank de Boer is officially the only guy whose choices matter. For him the job to select the right squad.
There were some question marks about his selections. Let’s discuss.
Luuk de Jong v Wout Weghorst
The lanky Wolfsburg striker is showing glorious stats for years now and is one of the most prolific players in Europe. Still, Frank doesn’t want to rely on him for the supersub role. Understandable: we don’t need him as a 9 in the starting line up, as we have Malen and Memphis for these roles. Frank expects Wout/Luuk to come in as a battle-ram, as the extra striker who will wreak havoc in the box and use high balls to head them in or towards a team mate. Luuk de Jong is the better of the two in those situations. On top of that, Luuk has been part of the team already for years now and Wout wasn’t. Bringing Wout in and cutting out Luuk is a risk. Weghorst is not a great header of the ball and if the switch ends up not working, it will be tough to get Luuk back into the zone, with Oranje. Your Oranje blogger agrees with Frank de Boer on this one!
Maarten Stekelenburg v Marco Bizot
Frank drops Bizot. I am not disappointed. The AZ goalie is not having a strong season and is quite clumsy on the ball. He’s not a natural goalie. While Stekelenburg oozes talent and technique. And of course, experience. He is also known as laid back so won’t make it hard for Cillesen, who will be Frank’s #1. Ever since Onana’s ban, Stekelenburg is impressing as Ajax’ goalie. I am with Frank, again.
Rick Karsdorp vs Tete/Veltman/Dumfries
Karsdorp is having a bluster of a season, with many assists and penetrating runs. He’s doing better than Tete at Fulham, although he too is doing ok. Playing regularly, at least. Joel Veltman is playing really well, actually, at Brighton. Was named Man of the Match recently and impresses in England with his touch. He is to Brighton what Daley Blind is for Ajax! And Dumfries is beyond debate. His mentality, personality, being captain at PSV and his experience in Oranje, he will never be dropped. So Frank decided to keep the players in who were part of the squad in the past 3 years. With Tete and Veltman capable of playing centrally at the back as well. Karsdorp himself responded: “I didn’t expect a call up. People around me spoke about it, but I am very aware I have not demonstrated it in the past 3 years. So I can’t expect anything after 6 months. I need to keep on doing what I am doing and hopefully my turn will come one day.”. As much as I like Karsdorp, I think Frank makes the right decision.
St Juste vs Pascal Struijk/Nick Viergever/Gouweleeuw
With Stefan de Vrij out and Ake a question mark (even Daley Blind has just returned from injury) we have some issues centrally at the back. Perr Schuurs and Timber are needed at Jong Oranje, so Frank opted for St Juste. He’s a right footed defender, like De Vrij, and can also play right full back. Against the opponents we are facing now, it shouldn’t really matter. I am not in a position to complain about this choice… Again, spot on!
There are some questions about Strootman too. I can understand this, but I haven’t seen him at Genoa. Have you guys?? I do hear and read that he’s impressive again? If that is the case and if it is true that De Boer rates Strootman high “in the dressing room”, then I can imagine the call up. We don’t have Propper, Donny van de Beek will miss rhythm, it might be a good thing to have a pure defensive midfielder, who can read the game, play physical and can coach. I say, lets support the coach in his choices.
I do like to see Schouten, at some point, or Bazoer again… definitely Karsdorp too, and Danjuma, but for now, Frank needs to work on his squad for the Euros and I don’t expect many new players to come in. I believe Ihattaren might still have a chance to break into the squad, as does Gakpo but otherwise, I think a lot of spots are now taken…
A big question mark also, for Memphis!! The French Covid rules say that anyone leaving France for a non European country needs to go into quarantine for a week! This means, Holland playing in Turkey: Memphis can’t go back and play an all important match for Lyon! Which is ridiculous, as the French national team needs to play in Kazachstan, but they all were given exempts!! That doesn’t sound fair, does it! Memphis has even appealed to the French government, to get dispensation as well…
Who are your question marks?