Choices by Frank de Boer

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!

The stats are in favour of Wout

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.

Maarten rules in the air

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.

Veltman happy in Brighton

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!

St Juste rules in the air as well…

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?

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  1. Really ? You can justify leaving Wout Weghorst off the team when he’s been such a prolific goal scoring machine ? Makes zero sense! We absolutely suck !

  2. Nice one Jan. I do not agree about Weghorst. Luuk is a deep bench substitute at Sevilla. Oftentimes recently he doesn’t even play at all. Weghorst is one of the Bundesliga stars and I believe 4th in goal scorers list. But I really don’t expect much from FDB so I won’t feel any disappointment if we don’t perform well.
    One question I have for you: Considering Frank has spent time in the US and with the woke movement of “diversity and inclusion” in every field of life, does picking players based on their skin color play a role for the NT? Just wondering if Europe is still operating on the old tradition of picking the best skilled players instead of the best colored in the name of “fighting racism”. Thanks.

  3. You see the common themes you had here:
    1/ Afraid to change because of fear. Stick to what work 3 years ago even though recent result suck. Why? Because what work 3 years ago do not work anymore. Players go in and out of form. Even at club, they need to move on. What I found funny is that this is national team. The pool of talent is bigger but it operates like a club. The main reason is “what if you break the dynamic of the group by inviting new people”. Who cares? The group is going down hill. If the starting XI only perform when they have permanent bench players give them “coaching service” then I do not see bright future actually. We need bench players who give competition to starting XI.
    2/ Player X can fill in multiple roles. How many utility players do we need? It is an excuse that player X suck at what he do but he can play also at other positions. It is just excuse.
    3/ Player X make the dressing room happy. How many players X do we need for that service? It is just another excuse. The truth is player X sucks. But the coach also sucks and cannot command the dressing room without approval of a bunch of bench players.
    4/ Players X need to play U21 so he is not picked. Next time, it will be because player X never play with the team before so he will not be in Euro squad. Yeah, that’s how it go. Another excuse actually. Is U21 more important than Euro? I guess Drenthe and his team had rocked the world after winning U21 right? Prioritize U21 over national team, either it is really bad planning or it is just excuse to let some bad players stay in the squad.

    Is that how other top teams operate? Coach is picked based on their achievement 10 years ago even though they have failed for most recent 10 years. Then that coach go on and pick players that was good years ago.

    I will support the team no matter what. But I do not need to support the dumb decision of KNVB and FDB. I see the losing streak is coming if nothing change. I hope things change but I highly doubt. I want the fans’ voice to be heard and someone will take responsibility and fire those people.

    1. Nothing to add more….
      WE SUCK WHEN IT MATTERS..With De roon,Gini frenkie at midefeild we are headinng for a draw or possible failure vs turkey…that will cost us WC…they we will comback as tigers VS gibralter…So everyone one will forget who played crap VS turkey…
      klassen,strootman is arround team since 2014….he had 2 chances to get us to Wc and EC..both sucked..Babel should have been with us for WC2018 and EC2016…He was overlooked..
      Not selecting koopmeiners.Bazoer,Danjuma,karsdorp is LEVEL HIGH COWARDICE AND STUPIDITY…

      1. @ kevin

        well said, but this syndrome is an age old one and bound to continue. this is what happens when the whole of ajax fraternity is in one house.

          1. Not hate crimes, certainly not, but rather sheer stupidity on your part! It has nothing to do with an “Ajax brotherhood”. The fact is that I would have selected Rensch and Timber as well who are far better than St Juste will ever be. I am no fan of De Boer so I agree with most of the comments on some of his choices but let’s face it, he does not have much to chose from. The defense and midfield are very strong but the selection of potential forwards is very weak. Meanwhile you guys can go on living in a fantasy land with your “Ajax fraternity” nonsense.

  4. Good to see Guss Til get some minutes at Freiburg. Played as a second striker upfront. It has not gone right for him since leaving AZ for Spartak Moscow and now loan at Freiburg.

    Still 23 and given his hard working attitude, he is bound to succeed. Definitely somebody to keep tabs on.

  5. @jeff…selecting Timber and rensch would have been courageous move..i wish FDB had the balls for that. Especially our RB is not worldclass..klassen is no way better than koopmeiners and bazoer…thats seriuosu concerne as he had 2016 and 2018 and he sucked in big time..

    1. @Emmanual, yes agree with you but we know that De Boer has no courage whatsoever. He is as bland as they come. As for Bazoer, he is very close but not quite there yet and he does not fit in the national team defensive set-up so not sure we will see him in Oranje for a while, especially with the emergence of Timber. Koopmeiners does not play the same position as Klaassen who has now reverted to a more forward/shadow striker position. Koopmeiners is not needed in defensive midfield as we are pretty well covered between Frenkie and Gravenberch. So no real need for him unless of course he would be selected instead of the useless De Roon.

      1. Difference between bazoer and klassen is that klassen spoils chance after chance to score..while bazoer can finish from half chance..Bazoer is holding mid though he is shown in line up pic as defender…He runs forward when it matters and he makes vitsee lethal…the guy is class… while klassen thrives due to other quality players at ajax and National team..He is a weak link in NT..however still i would like to see him over de roon.Davy propper was much better than klassen….
        koopmeiners ,bazoer for key holding with Frenkie,Gini,Gravenberch as other box to box midefeild generals…

        1. Klaassen has scored 8 goals in 19 matches. For a midfielder, not bad. They call him Mr First at Ajax, as he usually scores the all important first goal. Your point Tiju?

          1. How many chances he spoiled in these matches to get 8 goals in eredivise …how many goals vs psv…how many goals he scored at everton and germany???i mean Vs quality teams…i take that in to account..i see virgil and deligt are better scoreres than him as both our defenders get goal from half chance and vs quality teams..if you say davy propper is stunning finisher i agree,Blind i agree ,…oh klassen… he scores but takes time and mostly vs low teams..thats why he failed abroad and RAN BACK TO ajax..

  6. In fact i do like babel he should have played in WC2006,Ec2008,WC2010,EC,2012,EC2014,WC2016 and WC2018….He had the quality to play for ornage ..his time is up ..cody gakpo,Danjuma,malen,Depay, Even brobbey,boadu, are better than him now..

  7. —-Malen—————Depay——-
    —-Frenkie ——–Gini————
    Malacia—-Virgil—De ligt—karsdorp
    on bench
    —-Gravenberch——- De beek———

  8. FDB: “Ryan is multifunctional and experienced. Much appreciated, not only by me but also by the players”

    Multifunctional is ridiculous excuse. You go to Europe with 23 players, if your best player at that position do not perform or get injured then you play your second best. This is not club football where you play entire long season and you cannot call new players so you need multiple utility players.

    Appreciated by other players really explain the selection decision here. Players are not picked based on skill or form but by how much appreciation you got. Opponent coach: “FDB’s and Babel got a lot of appreciation not only from me but my players also because that makes our job much easier. Thank you FDB!”

    1. To be clear, I was defending RK’s decision to call Babel because he was actually good at that time and we had no alternative. I like Babel but this decision is so ridiculous. He failed at Ajax, he is not even a starter at Galatasaray. He did not play like he played 3 years ago. Understandable because he is 34 years old now. We also had younger talent showing up. What I can’t understand is his inclusion in the squad.

  9. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. I tend to be optimistic (not the easiest thing in the world when you have been a Dutch NT fan as long as I have), but I also don’t have illusions, so when I say that my best guess is that they will get some kind of result, I’m not saying so just to say it.

    With De Jong, Depay, Wijnaldum, De ligt, they have players who have demonstrated that they can play and make a difference at the highest level. The core of this team is one that has shown resilience—the capacity to give up a goal and fight back into a match. The team they put on the field will be for the most part experienced, and will have the nerve to handle the Istanbul atmosphere and the importance of the match.

    At the same time, I worry about the central defense. If Blind plays, I’d prefer him on the left, not in the center, and if Veltman plays, well his history with the NT has been a little up and down; though it is good to hear how well he is playing in the EPL. All that said, this team has the wherewithal to get a win, and I’d be happy with a draw.

    I get the consternation about team selection. Leaving guys like Koopmeiner, Lang, Weghorst off the roster, given their performances this season, doesn’t feel right.

    But if I could venture a guess at DeBoer’s approach, it would be this. This is the first game of the WC qualifiers, and it is probably the most important of the lot. If he wins, they have dealt a serious blow to one of their chief rivals, if they lose they are chasing. He is not picking his team for the long haul in this one; he isn’t picking a team to build toward a future, or to develop players, or to see if a combo works—he can use the longer training camp and build up ahead of the Euros for that. He is picking players to get a result in this one exceptionally important game. He has had three months to think about the match, and he has probably known who he would start, and who would come off the bench under what circumstances,for awhile now. He would have determined that the guys who have been sent to the U21 team were not going to get on the field in Turkey, so why not send them to the U21’s. (I don’t agree with that reasoning, as it would useful to get them on the field against Latvia and Gibraltar.) Perhaps the KNVB was part of that decision.

    Going back to his days at Ajax, DeBoer has been conservative and, if you will, pragmatic. That is the team he has chosen for tomorrow. Lets hope his calculation is correct.

  10. Berghuis ,malen,Tete, starts…thats nice..
    But frenkie,gini ,de roon ..De roon plus gini pathetically broing mid…we are heading for draw…posible we will concede early with Blind as LCB…then FDB will take out De roon and we will play for earning a draw…What a coward guy FDB is…This game is vital ,3 points against strongest rival will us huge edge..FER#$$k FDB….i only hope turkey play a crap game defensivly..

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