Clarence Seedorf: Top Coach in the Making

I will never forget the sight. He was 17 years old, had just won the CL with Ajax and in the post match interview in the dressing room, Clarence sat next to Rijkaard. By then, Rijkaard was a veteran. His last game of professional football just behind him. And Clarence put his hand on Rijkaard’s knee and said to the interviewer: “Frank played a really mature game tonight…”

Or something or other…

And I knew then and there: Seedorf is a legend in the making. His talent was already widely covered in different tv specials and sports programs. His coach Louis van Gaal already felt he was too difficult to coach and his team mates called Seedorf a “wise old soul”.

This kid was special.

And he would remain special. Winning a series of CL trophies, playing for tremendous clubs and winning praise and respect from top analysts, coaches and players.

In his last days as a pro player – with Botafoga in Brazil – he still dazzled the world regularly with goals, assists and velvety touches.

But when Lady B called, Clarence picked up the phone.

Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara is AC Milan’s marketing director. Officially, that is. In real life, she is the power behind the throne. Or on the throne.

LAdy B and CS

Clarence and Lady B

Allegri has had an impressive run with AC Milan and is probably a very good coach. But AC Milan needs something more than that. AC Milan needs a top coach, a super star coach. A man with charisma, with bravado and magic in his aura.

Like Pep Guardiola at Bayern, or Mourinho at Chelsea. AC Milan wants a rock star. And with Clarence, it got just that.

AC Milan wants to go back to being the best in the world. It’s not longer Galliani who will steer the ship. He might still drive his Audi Q7 to Milanello but he’s not driving the club anymore. Formally, the vice chairman is still the top man, but in real life he’s not.

The 29 year old Barbara is in charge of the big clean up in Milan. She called Clarence for the job and Clarence clearly picked up the phone.

They call her Lady B. The former philosophy student and business woman. In 2011 she suddenly was projected into the Management Board of AC and kept her cool in the background. Reporter Donati: “This is clearly a revolution. Barbara and Clarence are modelling a new AC Milan together. ”

AC Milan has dropped to the mid range of the Serie A standings and after losing 4-3 against Sassuolo this weekend, Barbara scoffed “this can’t go on like this”. The blonde beauty, girlfriend of star player Pato by the way, sacked Allegri (Galliani’s man) and called to Brazil.

The club wants to go Dutch. Not unlike Barca in the past and Bayern Munich, in a way. Seedorf is inexperienced, but Sacchi and Capello were inexperienced coaches too, when they started their careers in the 1980s. The Berlusconi’s see Seedorf as a mix of both icons. Seedorf will be a modern, ambitious and gutsy coach, people believe. Real coach Ancelotti about Seedorf’s signing: “AC Milan has always made brave decisions.”

Not everyone agrees though. Altafini calls Seedorf “a big risk. George Weah thinks it’s a perfect plan and Ruud Gullit is looking forward to Clarence in the dug out. The current interim manager Mauro Tassotti, former team mate of Van Basten and Gullit: “Clarence is a big personality. He was a top player but there are no guarantees. The future will show whether Clarence will be a top coach. I will support him all the way, but he obviously knows his way around the club like no other.”

Berlusconi was clear in his vision: “We want to go the Bayern Munich way, with a sniff of Ajax for good measure. Develop your own talents, combined with a couple of world class stars.”

They also want some ex players on key positions. Jaap Stam is the ideal assistant for Seeforf while Hernan Crespo will also assist. The coach of the talents, Filippo Inzaghi is also an option for a bigger role inthe dug out. Like with Ajax and Feyenoord, a good group of ex players in their 30s and 40s.

AC Milan is waiting for new glory. And it will be led by a 37 year old Dutchman, an angry (and dirty) old man and a young blond woman.

Ajax director Edwin van de Sar is not surprised of his moves. “Clarence thinks big. He was always interested in so many things. He owns a club, he owns businesses, he analyses for English tv, he does charity work… He is quite something. I remember him joining the squad at Ajax. He was 15 years old. Legs like trees and a six pack of steel. I was a thin, long worm compared to him. But he was always a coach. He was always leading in talks with the club or the coach, also about tactics. It is quite something for him to get this opportunity.”

Frank de Boer is highly intrigued. “It’s quite a move. AC Milan is taking a risk and so is Clarence. But it fits him. There is hardly time for him to grt adjusted or to think about some tactical plan or to work on a playing style. He needs to deliver immediately. But he is so experienced and he always was coaching, even as a player. He has all the qualities to make it.”

cs huilt

Clarence in tears at his farewell

Urby Emanuelson is looking forward to the coach Seedorf: “I played with him of course and he was important for the team as an extension of the coach. He was always motivating you, coaching you. So I’m not surprised with this step. He helped me a lot here in the beginning and he’s a fabulous guy. I am looking forward to working with him.” Emanuelson will extend his deal with AC Milan, by the way, as he has had meetings with Lady B already about this.

Aad de Mos, former Ajax coach: “Whether you start at Xerxes in Rotterdam or AC Milan, the first four games will determine his career for a bit. If he loses the first four games, he’ll get criticism. It’s as simple as that. I am not sure if he is a good coach. Some players have it from day 1. Frank de Boer, Pep Guardiola, Louis van Gaal. They have the ability to communicate with players, they are intelligent and are good observers. Clarence is like that too.”

Seedorf is not totally inexperienced, as he used his iPad and the coach whistle at Botafoga regularly. He would show his team mates specific situations and would work through them on the training pitch.

He was in tears at the press conference when he announced his exit. The press conference was televised live in Brazil and with a chopper flight to the club he said his farewells to coaches and players. The Dutch Maestro as they called him there leaves quite a legacy in Brazil.  And not just as a player. But also as a human being, with ” his culture, politeness, compassion and professionalism”.

Willem van Hanegem coached Seedorf at the EC 2004. “I really wish him all the best. And I am keen to see how he’ll do. He has worked with so many great coaches throughout his career, it will be great to see how he will work. People in Holland sometimes ridicule him but no Dutch player can match his palmares. I worked with him and thoroughly enjoyed our discussions about football. He is a nice guy and I hope he’ll get Milan back to playing football.”

Willem and Clarence worked together in Oranje. It was never a happy or successful marriage. As a player that is. Who knows, we might already dream of Seedorf as National Team Coach. Why not…?

Clarence New Boss. Really not the same as the Old Boss….

Lady B 1

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  1. Personally I don’t give a damn about Milan or racism in Italy. The only question for which I will never get an answer is : has Clarence drilled lady D so hard that she got him back all the way from Brasil? I apologize for the diversion but looking at her I couldn’t resist.

  2. @balkan,
    I love ur first comment man 🙂 and I think he gave it very deep to her, trust me I lived there and I know how those italian women are;) he did just like gullit did to Franco baresi’s wife when he played at milan. That was a famous story those days:)

    1. That would be a terrible move for him. Rennes are 15th in Ligue 1.

      If Barca’s looking to ship him out, I’d rather see Ibi go to Hamburg with van der Vaart and van Marwijk or a mid-tier EPL team.

  3. Happy for Ola.

    People please no sexist comments about Lady B and Clarence. We have many female readers here and people like Clarence, Rafael and other players check us out and you don’t want them disgusted by these sexist comments.

    We don’t need that.

  4. Great to here!!

    I’m sure BvM will give the Dutch boys playing time to develop. We know BvM is no longer the NT coach, he may still have an input in building the squad to finally bring home what us Dutchies deserve…. the World Cup

  5. Great news. That is a very good move for Ola John. I don’t know who is Ouasim Bouy can anyone tell me if he has a future as Oranje?.

    Also good news about Emanuelson’s contract and ROBBEN is back!!!.

    RVP has come out to support Moyes. I hope Moyes changes his training methods because his last years for Arsenal and under Ferguson RVP was 100% fit.

  6. I’m still a little concerned about Heitinga and Buttner. It is well into the window and they have not made any moves as yet. I have even read a few places online that Buttner keeps saying he wants to stay….that is quite sad!

    Heitinga has apparently been given a few offers but is waiting to make the right decision. I can understand Heitinga’s situation a bit; he is not a young player anymore and will need to think of his final few remaining years.

    On the other hand, I am very happy to see Bouy and John making the move to Van Marwijk’s team.

    Also, with the arrival of Clarence the situration for Urby will probably change and so he doesn’t need to leave Milan this window.

    Ake should also make a loan move in my opinion, Chelsea’s midfield is congested and he isn’t likely to get chances in the defence either. He has been doing great in the youth team and now looks ready to make a loan move to the Championship, Eredivisie or the Belgian league.

    1. Ake needs to sit out 6 more months (I think) in order to get the “homegrown tag”. That has clear advantages for him as there are rules in England concerning the number of max. number of players (17?) that a squad can consist off, not being home grown. A player is more precious with that tag.

      As he is young enough, he might get on a loan and then finalize the 6 months next season, however he might prefer to make it in order now and then be free to go on a loan where ever he wants for a longer time. Maybe Vitesse next season. If Vitesse win the league and Ake would only joing in winter, he might miss the group stage of the CL games. Vitesse might not even come further. Would be shame if he misses that experience. Ask Suarez how badly he wants to play CL.

      Ake can get the homegrown tag and play CL football, all withing the next 52 weeks. Good for him.


  7. Reported on Espn soccernet

    Heitinga to Roma looks close. The deal could be as little as 1m

    Seedorf wants his first signing to be Maher but could be difficult as Maher only signed with PSV 6 months ago on a 5 year contract

    1. Seedorf was a great techical player, but I often felt that he was missing the important games and right decisions.

      With signing Maher he won’t make me change my mind.

    1. Well, I agree for Van Ginkel.

      Milan just brought Honda for the OM position and Kaka can play there. For the wings, they have El Shaarawy, Robinho and Kaka who is used there, it’s not sure at all that Afellay would play.

      But for the CM position, the concurrence is Montolivio, Muntari, Poli, Nocerino…Van Ginkel can take the spot and play with De Jong.

  8. I think Afellay to ManU would be the best… They are in need of a attacking midfielder and he apparently has a great relationship with RvP I recon he’d be a great mentor for Afellay

    1. A lot of the goals he scores are tap ins so i wouldn’t see him as an attacking threat as such. But saying that he makes very good runs from midfield and that will benefit the team in not only having to rely on rvp and robben for goals

      1. Hey, it sounds good regardless. I love how the club and fans in Rome have embraced his skill.

        His contract is for another 4 years. Should he see it through or is there a better option in your opinion.

        1. I’d say it is one of those things where if things are going good, there is no need to jump ship and make a bad move like players like elia. I think roma are moving in a good direction they are ambitious and have good financial backing with a coach that gets a lot out of strootman. Unless the coach leaves, totti retires and de rossi goes roma have quite a solid core to work with, I think they see strootman as the future leader really.

  9. Vlaar played a great game today. From

    Ron Vlaar

    “Marshalled Suarez expertly in the first half. as he showed all his experience. Cannot be blamed for either goal.”

    1. Kind of De Ridder player, got skills and good crosses but too light on the physical aspect, no speed and no strenght. No influence for his team neither.

      Nothing more than a basic eredivisie player for me.

  10. thats what italian yahoo said about strootman today:
    Kevin STROOTMAN 7 – Altro gol, il quinto. Altra prestazione eccellente. La sensazione è che possa fare la fine di Pogba. A giugno ce lo vengono a portare via dal nostro campionato a suon di milioni.

    which means: another goal, the fifth, another excellent performance. the feeling is he will end like pogba. in june they will come to take him away from us with a lots of millions in their hands:)

  11. @Srinjoy, Sounds like good news to me. Lets see if Daley Blind, Maher and Martins Indi can make the next step.

    Klaasen seems a little early and Siem isn’t a big prospect anyways

    1. These players don’t need to make the next step. They need consistent playing time in a familiar environment. At Milan in their current position, they will have way too much pressure on them. Also I don’t think it’s wise for Seeforf to rely on these players to get Milan out of their current position.
      Maybe Martins Indi could move there, but who is Blind going to replace? de Jong? Montolivo? He only just moved to midfield at Ajax, he isn’t ready to compete for a spot in Milan’s midfield yet.
      As for Maher, he’s struggled at PSV where he has barely any competition. Can you expect him to secure the AM spot ahead of Kaka and Honda?

      These players are better off staying at their current clubs and proving themselves there for longer before moving on

      1. Very true on Maher, as Kaka and Honda would be too much competition.

        I still think Martins Indi and Blind could both be a part of the defence. Martins Indi at centre back and Blind at LB.

        Is it official that Blind’s best position is midfield now? cause I still see him as a starting LB for the National team.

  12. Good description of Berghuis Laurent. But I disagree with the part about not having influence on his team because of two reasons. The first is that he did have a few good combinations, good movement and worked hard for his team today. The other reason is I simply don’t think he has been given enough opportunities to show himself in that aspect as yet. He hasn’t been starting most games this season and has been subjected to largely sub appearances late in games and if you can remember his time at Twente he did linkup well and helped the team to drive forward especially when the team is pressing.
    This kid has real potential, but having watched him at Twente and at AZ so far, I would say that your description of him being “a type of De Ridder” is absolutely correct.

    1. Thank you, to be honest I never watched him with AZ, but I saw him few times with Twente. When I said that he has no influence it was because he was often staying on his wing, waiting for the ball, I didn’t remember that he was hard working defensivly or touching a lot of balles. He was more like waiting on his side, making 2-3 tricks against his opponent and crossing. That’s what I remember about him.

      He was first competing with Ola John for the spot with Twente, and I was angry everytime he started instead of Ola.

  13. Blind would be a nice option for Milan as LB maybe in the future he ca play in their midfield. Martins Indi to Milan? if that’s true I’ll be really happy last time we had a Dutch center back playing for a big team it was for Chelsea with Boulahrouz who unfortunately was played as RB and Mou screwed him.

  14. @wilson: I don’t know if Blind is better than Mattia as I haven’t watched play Mattia too much but I do know that Blind is ready for a top team especially if that team is coached by a Dutch coach who can give him more oppotunities.

  15. bruma and reikik are too much for Ajax offense players,
    LVG are you watching Bruma and Reikik???????Reikik simply wins evryheader,if they PSV had a good spot kick speclist we will see lots of scoring from Reikik and Bruma.perhaps vaart can do that in NT with them.

    1. Promes looks the same than after the injury, scoring goals again, I dont know if he can cope with that statistics out of the eredivisie but the guy if veerry good!!
      Also Ziyech… this player maybe is better than Maher
      Maher vs Ziyech what do you guys think??

      1. Promes did not have the best of games though. Looked rusty at times, making mistakes.

        Ziyech at this moment is better than Maher, but who isn’t?

        Maher has lost any kind of grit that he ever showed to me back at AZ when he started. I just can’t stand watching him anymore. I am dumbfounded that he was allowed to play 85 minutes in today’s match against Ajax. Even when we go by technique a player like Klaassen (who went from average technique to good functional technique for me recently) showed more with that first touch after a long ball from Moisander than Maher does currently. Maher had enough arguments with the ball today. Even in that area he stopped developing, do I dare to say regressed? But never mind the football. His grit is poop. Sorry for the word, but it’s the best way to describe it.

        The water is turbid. This is basically Ziyech’s outbreak season and Maher had his one some time ago at a much younger age. This could well be his dip season. The development trajectories of both players are out of sync with each other currently. We (I at least) have to judge Maher after this dip and then we can see maybe more clear what they truly have in store for us.

        What I do say is that I have always been a bit of a Maher skeptic. I have often pointed people to the fact that van Ginkel had more output from a deeper position at Vitesse with more defensive duties than Maher as a 10 at his club. In the Italy game that people thought he was MOTM, I have pointed to many of his mistakes. At the U21 he did not convince me either. I have felt that the buzz around him was bigger than his actions justified. However I do not think that his current performance is a true reflection of what he is able to do either. It’s too soon to write him off.

        I have seen Ziyech less, but there is something light about him. Just like Promes. At the state Eredivisie is, it’s important to look at the actions and character of players and not too much at output. Ziyech might move to Vitesse next season and then we can see how he is holding up at a higher level, maybe with CL football as well. For the top he must develop more weapons than that sweet left foot of his.

        I look Utrecht games for Ayoub. Was not that good today, but that is a player I personally feel more depth in. He is very slow though and he also has a heavy walk. Does not hoover over the field, which I often feel is a trademark of a quality player. Not prerequisite, but it can give away that there is something special about a player. Willems from PSV is a player with hoover in him, but that player has other problems to worry about that keep him from reaching a new level.

        Mind you, I look at this question from the point of view of who is able to take over from vdV and Sneijder and all mentioned names do not yet evoke great enthusiasms. For that, the level of Raph and Wesley has always been pretty damn high.


        1. A very good insight from you as always. I think is a litle bit unfair to compaire Ziyech and Maher right know, I am also worried about the numbers that these kids haves, for the actual level of the eredivisie.
          About Klassen, he really seems to have improved in his technique, maybe he could be compared with Van Ginkel in the future, I think they are very similar players.
          About the Ajax-PSV I dont want to believe that Fisher is better than Depay, but his dribbling technique seems fairly good than Depays. but Depay is a more complete player I think, and also the kid is developping is grit very well.
          All in all our players are still very young, maybe they will struggle with a move to a better league but eventually I think they will do it very well.
          Clasie outplayed Ayoub today, I know Ayoub is very young (19) but Clasie really nailed it today!!

          Finnally I think we are very well covert in the midfield area in the future with Blind-Ake in the controller role, Klassen and Van Ginkle in the runner and maybe Maher, Ziyech and Vilhena for the AM role. I did like very much today the Boetius game.
          With Boetius Depay Kishna and John we shouldnt have any problems on the wing either. Let see if all these kids turns out at least the half of what they are showing us right know

          Cheers and thank for the Maher-Ziyech comparisson!!

  16. I know is a bit too late, but what about Utrech keeper Robin Ruiter? Is he orange material?, he seems pretty safe week by week, even today when Feyenoord wins 5-2 he made 9 saves acording to whoscored.

    1. Good call. I like him as well. If Vitesse reach CL football, they might look his way to replace Piet Veldhuizen, who IMO should be a second keeper looking at the ambitions of Vitesse. If Zoet and Vermeer can get call ups, then I don’t know why de Ruiter can not get one in time. He has talent.

  17. Feyenord plays good football. I believe they are the best team in the Eredivisie and will win the title.

    Clasie is amazing. BMI is great and De Vrij can be a top defender he still has a lot to learn but he has the ability to succeed in the future. Janmaat is really dangerous and crosses really well.

  18. @Laurent,

    Yes I heard. We are all very happy about that…really looking forward.

    For our Reggae Boyz to go up against Ribery and those other top players is a very exciting prospect. Plus many of us Jamaicans like the French team a lot since the Zidane days.

    We expect to get whipped, but wi gonna “enjoy wi self and”

    1. Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but at Ajax they have a Jamaican player in the youth now I believe or at least close to joining. Had a strange story attached to him, but from what I have heard it is quite a talent. Who knows you are able to see Ajax soon with a countryman in it.

      I even believe Ajax intends to look closer at Jamaica in the future to see if they are able to start up a development program. Will have to look into it further to see how serious that is, but read something about it. Could be win/win.


      1. DBR300,

        Yeah, it would be great to have a Jamaican playing in Ajax. That would be a great achievement for my country. We have been able to excel greatly in other sports like cricket, netball and track & field with guys like Bolt and Asafa Powel, but we are still very slow in out football development. But the funny thing is that football is the most popular sport in our country.

        We have a lot of young talents but not enough good coaches to guide and aid these boys. So if Ajax check us out I am sure they would find a few really good raw talents to work with..and it would “mek mi feel irie”

  19. Buttner is all done Man United. I was expecting him to come on When Evra got replaced due to injury…..came as suprise when Moyes did the positional switch with Rafael. This shows that Buttner is no more on Moyes game plan.

    1. I’d take Van Dijk rather than Bruma.

      The problem is that I doubt that Van Gaal will go to Brazil without De Vrij-BMI which was the most used CB pair during qualifications. Just like for Lens.

      Qualifications are an important part of the developpement, now let’s just imagine that he goes with Veltman/Rekik/Bruma/Vlaar and that we fail. All medias and fans will say that it was nonsense to go with different players that during qualifications, where Holland was invincible…

  20. De Boer is linked to taking the Barca job next summer. Im not sure if that could be terrible or something brilliant. It would be bad for the eredivisie for sure, but could this be good for dutch players in general as I imagine a player like clasie would be ideal to replace xavi …especially with our inside man:D

  21. De Vrij let 2 balls through his legs today before the goals fell. One can say unlucky, but did he not do the same against Estonia? Can’t exactly remember.

    The pattern with him is that he can solve problems the footballing way, but the way balls go through his legs is apart from bad luck also a symptom of his lack of resolute defending and intervening.

    Veltman had a big error today as well. On top level it would have been a goal. In this period he tends to make 1 blunder per game, which is not good.

    Both are not perfect. Veltman does have the best duel winning percentage in Eredivisie (80%) and is a good footballer as well.

    Currently I feel a bit safer with Veltman. Hope that his blunders go away. He made one against Colombia as well.

    1. If De Vrij is selected we are done for the WC……I agree with Laurent about the qualification and the media/Fans, but the sad part is that it was Van Gaal who was persistent on De Vij until he squirted against Japan. I hope it was atimely reminder for him and he wont make the same decision again.

    2. exactly i have noticed the absoulte blunders veltman makes when u least expect him to and when he is having a super game…which maybe what sees bruma go in ahead of him for brazil…de Vrij on the other hand is literally a liability ..always the weak link..and can be easily exploited..the ball going between his legs and into the goal is as inevitable as any shot on target going in when Zoet is in goal…the guy is an absolute useless shot stopper!

      Rekik (Deserving but unlikely) + Bruma (Deserving but might be pipped by Veltman) + van Dijk (Deserving) + Vlaar (Certain)

  22. BMI has been deployed more as left back at Feyenoord rather than CB due to the presence of Joris Mathijsen and De Vrij.I dont know but I think this can really jeopardize his role as CB for NT at WC. Given the form that Feyenoord are currently I wont be surprised either if Mathijsen gets the nod.If they need more experience in the backline then its better to call Douglas instead of Vlaar. For me Vlaar is a moddy player…..his performance is not often consistent…..sometimes he switches off and goes to sleep. In big games you will find him more aggressive and deterrent but with average teams he losses his composure easily.. dont know for what reason.

    As it is I think Rekik and Van Dijik can be penciled in at this moment.As For Bruma his recent performance has not been sublime… he laziness and off guard has let him down. In big games like the one with Ajax today, it reflects his qualities and flaws in his ability especially with WC round the corner. I dont know whether Van Gaal was present in the Arena and if he was….he for sure would have noted this down….somethig he has to really work on ASSAP.

    1. One thing i like in him is his spirit for fight,physical ability,etc but am not convinced with skills etc.
      For as striker spot RVP stands alone and then comes rest,alll are equally bad in one way or other way from hunter,kuyt,luuk,ricky and castaginos.So am dreaming abt false strikers for NT ie Vaart,Sneijedr(he always prefers to score),Wijnaldum,lenz and Fer as pinch hitter.All these players are better footballers than our less than mediocre strikers.this is the fact with us now.But i would not mind castaginos get a chnace to prove this worth,so let us see how good he is..

  23. wilson I wouldn’t call up Mathijsen again. He looked bad vs. Germany/Portugal at EC12, and that was 2 years ago.

    As for the CB debate, Vlaar will (and should) get a spot. He plays the best opposition weekly in the EPL, and he’s generally performed pretty well. The other three positions still seem up in the air to me at this point – in a perfect world I’d go with BMI, van Dijk, and Veltman.

    However with LvG I expect BMI, de Vrij, and Bruma (possibly Heitinga if he gets consistent playing time).

  24. BMI is a “must go for me”. He is a good physical defender who is quite consistent in his performances. I know he has been playing mostly LB at Feyenoord, but this is simply down to the fact that Nilom was injured for a long while and even when he was fit he wasn’t always very consistent, Combine the fact that Mathijsen has been doing well when he plays, then in my opinion Koeman had just decided to keep his bet 4 in the starting linup even if it meant starting BMI at LB.
    So Bruno isn’t playing LB because Mathijsen is better than he is at CB, but simply because he plays LB better than Nilom and Mathijsen brings more to the back 4 than Nilom does….Koeman wants to keep his best back four starting.

  25. I always thought Blind was an ok left back. Nowadays I can assure you he is the best DM we have alongside Strootman. Today he looked like Attila the hun against Psv

  26. problem with Vlaar and de vrij is they are turtles..otherwise they go to WC.CBs cannt NEVER BE turtles,they will get tored apart.IF LVG takes them THE ITS SIN…….IMO
    our cbs should come from the pool of
    LBs should be
    Bind and Vanaanholt.
    Rbs should be

    1. Difference between Vlaar and De Vrij is authority in my opinion, Vlaar is stronger and goes more on 1vs1 than De Vrij.

      Also remember how Vlaar took Bendtner during euro 2012, letting him no ball and no chance, winning every header…While germans and portuguese defenders suffered from him.

      Vlaar is a better option to defend on Balotelli, Drogba etc. than Veltman or Rekik in my opinion. He knows how to block them and anticipate before they get the ball.

  27. Blind and BMI offer extra flexibility on defense: the combination of their CB/LB/DM range — three positions coverage for the price of two players — gives LVG more options for the final squad. Either an extra midfielder or an extra defender could make the squad because of their flexibility.

  28. Janmaat—–Vlaar——Indi——Blind

    Van Aanholt can beat Blind and become our LB.

    Veltman and De Vrij have great potential but I believe Vlaar and BMI are more reliable.

  29. There were questions about his speed and all-round skills in Holland before he left for Scotland. This is why teams such as Ajax and PSV did not take the risk to buy him ( cost was a significant concern also). But we all can remember that a guy like Van Der Hoorn was seen as a bigger talent and better potential than Van Dijk by many ppl in Holland last season.

    Personally I think he will do well if and when he gets his chance, but for now I’m just tempering my expectations. We have been cruelly let down by many young talented guys in the past “story of a Dutch fan’s life”.

    Also, we most also remember one very important thing, Van Gaa may not even call Van Dijk for the next game. He never called him for the last game! VG is quite use to guys like De Vrij, Vlaar and BMI and will be reluctant to choose a new untested players so near to the WC and for such a crucial position as CB. But I am still hoping that he gives this boy the call.

    In conclusion, I hope that Van Dijk gets his well-deserved call-up soon and does well. But until then I will not consider him for a WC spot.

    Big up!

  30. I feel the safest with BMI and Veltman/Vlaar. Not thinking much about Van Dijk until he actually gets his debut and I see what he does.

    I like Van Dijk a lot just like most of us on the blog, but we must not forget that until he gets his debut for us, we do not know how well he can do at the international level. Therefore, until he gets his debut and does well I will not even consider him for a WC spot.

    His performances for Celtic have been very good in the SPL as well as the CL, however, playing consistently at international level takes a lot (even more at the WC) and we will have to wait until he is “baptized by fire” before we award him a WC spot. The France game would be a great occasion for such.

    There were questions about his speed and all-round skills in Holland before he left for Scotland. This is why teams such as Ajax and PSV did not take the risk to buy him ( cost was a significant concern also). But we all can remember that a guy like Van Der Hoorn was seen as a bigger talent and better potential than Van Dijk by many ppl in Holland last season.

    Personally I think he will do well if and when he gets his chance, but for now I’m just tempering my expectations. We have been cruelly let down by many young talented guys in the past “story of a Dutch fan’s life”.

    Also, we most also remember one very important thing, Van Gaa may not even call Van Dijk for the next game. He never called him for the last game! VG is quite use to guys like De Vrij, Vlaar and BMI and will be reluctant to choose a new untested players so near to the WC and for such a crucial position as CB. But I am still hoping that he gives this boy the call.

    In conclusion, I hope that Van Dijk gets his well-deserved call-up soon and does well. But until then I will not consider him for a WC spot.

  31. Supposelingly if Blind comes at DM then what happens to Clasie. De Jong is definitely going unless injured. how will this work. If Van Ginkle recovers in time than he will the perfect backup for strootman. As for CM I am bit nervous about Van Der Vaart and sneijder. Given both their age I dont think they will get any better.vaart comes with creativity and precision where as Sneijder is a machime gun. our contingency plan is when Vaart starts fading then we unleash Sneidjer . Though no one has emerged who can fulfill their shoes, but I still feel both of them are on a decline and that is something that gives me Goose bumps. Vaart and Sneijder are in the same boat as with Jerrad and Lampard

    1. if you look at Ozil, Messi, Hazard, Oscar, Inestia are all running midfielders but at the same time they are all creative…this is where I see the down fall of vaart. we need both speed and creativity in the midfield….. Sneijder has got the speed factor but his creativity is zero…Vaart comes with creativity and precision but his speed factor is almost zero again.

      if you the the midfield trio of Strootman, Vaart and De Jong, it sums up everything… Defense + Creativity = 100%. this also indicates that on counter ttacks we cant expect the ball to move up front fast resulting in our strikers being deprived of first time clear balls.

      1. That’s what I was saying a long time ago. We don’t have any midfielder able to play with speed and precision. Sneijder and VDV have never been fast.

        Only Afellay can do it.

        1. I know that it’s a dutch blog here and people wanna hear positive things, but let’s be honest, that Holland team of last decade isn’t the oranje team that people used to like and describe as “technical”.

          Our play was bad in 2006, we suffered from Ivory Cost and Portugal logically beat us. In 2008, 3/4 of our goals were counter attacks and France and Italy were two perfect victims on the decline, we had the illusion to be strong and lost to an anonymous russian team. In 2010 we sucked and waited for a late own goal against Denmark, it was hard till the last minute against Japan, we did just enough against Slovakia, we had a lot of “luck” or call it what you want against Brazil, also a lot against Uruguay, and Spain was better than us during the finale.
          Dutch people were happy to reach a WC finale (which is understandable), but dutch team of 2010 wasn’t apprecied
          by anyone out of the country. I read many negative things about NT.

          People used to like Holland for the total football, Ajax, Bergkamp, Van Basten etc. a technical and attacking football, on the last decade they’ll mainly remember about fights and bad attitude during competitions.

          They’ll probably keep in mind Robben and Van Nistelrooy, but players like Van Persie, Sneijder or VDV would never be considered as big as Bergkamp, Seedorf or Davids etc. in my opinion.

          Now, that’s why I’m quite pessimistic for coming WC, especially after that 2012 tournament. If we go with Sneijder, VDV etc. there are chances on the same way and for the same reasons.

          1. That’s a bit negative to be honest.

            First of all, what is the benchmark for a country like the Netherlands? Maybe ourselves from the past, at least that is something I read into your post. But that is an achievement on it’s own.

            Let us also not kid ourselves. The Dutch NT’s from the past knew how to dish it out as well. I just saw a docu about van der Kerkhof brothers and how one told in the camera that he went after a player to deliver him a blood nose when the ref did not look. Cocu and Edgar Davis were not cosy guys as well. It’s just that Netherlands played a high profile match against arguably one of the best NT’s in football history and were not planning to surrender like Italy and Germany did in their Euro final 2010, 2012 respectively. The Dutch NT had won 14 straight games from qualification to the final and going by it game for game makes things maybe a little less impressive, it’s the sequence that is so impressive. It was a winning machine. Also Spain after 90 minutes was not able to crack it down and the best chances were for Netherlands.

            The reality was that Spain was made out of Madrid and Barca players that play in a league that rewards crybaby’s. They are rewarded to be one like in no other competition. They went past the Italians in that regard some time ago. In Spain people get much more yellow cards much faster than anywhere else and that is something their FA agreed on. At one point I stopped watching El Classico’s as it had nothing to do with football anymore. It was a bad soap where one player tried to outdo the other in acting and rolling over the field.

            On top of that Howard Web lost it. After the Nigel kick he regretted not having pulled the red card and went on a hunt to book Dutch players. Spanish players made out a meal from many situations. Look back at van der Wiel on Iniesta. Or Iniesta on Heitinga. I see Heitinga’s arm, I just can’t figure out why that has to lead to acute paralysis in Iniesta’s legs or any Spanish legs for that matter. Maybe they should ask treatment for it. Their friend Fuentes might have some prescription for that.

            I don’t say other NT’s don’t dive or make meals out of things, it’s just that Spain and Spanish players for me have taken things to a new level. Compare that to Ruud in 2008 who did not go down after Buffon semi hit him in the box. Torres kind of strikers would have dived themselves out of the stadium into the near parking lot. Robben did not go down when Puyol tried to bring him down on his way to Casillas. Iniesta did and so Spain won.

            On top of that, there is the English case in this. One of their own whistled the final. Rather than pointing to his incompetence and mistakes in the final, they immediately went on the attack to deviate the story of a failing referee from their FA and their press and media is very influential. The story was simple. Football has won. Spain were the good guys. Netherlands the bad guys. Let’s stigmatize Netherlands. Their hypocrisy was stunning when Torres did the same in EPL and nobody really talked about it for long:


            Where was the outrage then? Where was the outrage after de Zeeuw’s teeth got kicked out? Melo’s viciously stamped on Robben’s leg where he was injured before the WC started? Elia’s sandwich before Spain scored? The corner we should have gotten and did not get. Crucial moment I felt. In the final nobody got injured. I see every weekend at least 1 game in EPL that is harder than the WC final Netherlands played.

            2006 and 2008 were under van Basten leadership. A stupid choice. He was not ready and did not appoint an old fox next to him. He surrounded himself with young, inexperienced people. The football under van Basten was bad. I only enjoyed the Euro 2008 tournament games. They were counter goals, but it felt fresh and fun to me. The goal from Robben vs France must be up there with one of the funniest ever.

            2010 from a result, mentality and organisational point of view was bloody perfect. It reminded people that technique is not the end all of things. 2010 does hold clues for us that we can use in a blueprint to finally win the WC.

            I don’t care if people hold Sneijder not in high regard. I have been a lifelong NT fan and I think he has been the best player for us since the millennium and despite Bergkamp’s brilliancy at times, he was also frustrating to see for the NT over 90 minutes. A lot also went wrong and quite simply he was a perennial underachiever for the NT. Don’t start about Seedorf. The most frustrating player to have ever played in Oranje, should make everybody’s top 5 list in this regard. Davids with his van Dorp interviews? I have never felt a more toxic atmosphere as during his period, especially at the end. They messed up 1996, after wanting to find a case of racism that had nothing to do with it (Ajax salary system was like in many companies based on seniority and duration at the club). They never got to any final for NT’s. Bloody Dirk Kuyt gave me air to breath again when he entered the scene. For all his limitations he put things again as they should be. Players that feel honored to wear the shirt. Players that fight every minute and don’t act blazé.

            This generation was maybe not the most talented we ever got, but they did turn up every time and were able to create energy. Even the 2012 crash (by the way there is a weird historic stat about losing WC finalists and their bad achievements in the follow up tournament) was not the result so much of players don’t caring, but maybe wanting too much (vdV, Huntelaar), players being in bad form/fitness (Mathijsen, Heitinga, RvP, Robben, Afellay, van der Wiel, Stekelenburg) or being very young (Willems). There is much more to say about 2012, but my point is that this generation is different for me from that previous Kluivert, Seedorf and Davids generation and for the good.

            One of the things I am proudest about concerning the NT is the Elo ranking over the past 50 years. Especially as it takes into account all matches and weights them for importance. It’s equal for everybody and then we see how consistent Netherlands has been. Better than Italy, England, Spain, Argentina, France and only below Germany and Brazil.

            1. Brazil 2012.1
            2. (West) Germany[6] 1975.3
            3. Netherlands 1924.3
            4. Italy 1923.6
            5. England 1923.0
            6. Spain 1908.7
            7. Argentina 1902.0
            8. France 1881.5
            9. Soviet Union → Russia[7] 1852.8
            10. Czechoslovakia/Czechia[8] 1833.0

            Over all these decades the last 10 years has been best looking at this metric (yes, better than the ’70), which does not mean it’s the only metric or even the most important one. I just want to point to the fact that we have not always cut trough qualification like a hot knife through butter.

            Maybe the rest of the world holds another opinion about the Dutch NT generations of the past compared to this last one, but I have a more balanced opinion. I think this one was not that bad and even refreshing.

            Concerning technical level of the this current squad and what is coming I am worried as well. Japan gave us a look of what the world has advanced to. Netherlands has maybe regressed in this regard and the world has actually advanced. That’s a bad situation. Here is hoping that Ajax gets many followers from clubs around the country (I say that without being sure they follow the perfect course by the way). They focus now more on personal technique and have increased the amount of training hours with 30%.

            For me, the vision is the Japan team, second half against us. That is how I wished Netherlands would have evolved to. Fast intricate passing, leaving opponents wondering what to do with all that movement, players that can turn away from the tracker in their back, who can dribble and pass dangerously in their run, having overview while doing so. We now have grit players like Strootman, van Ginkel, Janmaat on the way up. They might get us results, but I just expect less magic that indeed was a trademark of the Dutch NT in the past. We have altered the course, rather than exploring what is behind the horizon of the course the past generations had set in.

            1 thing though. I did enjoy the game vs Colombia. Playing with 10 men over 60 minutes and them kicking the ball away in the 90th minute to win time. I felt Netherlands was better with 10 men than them with 11. Was a game I felt pride.

            I have touched on the draw for the WC and it made me not want to post for some time. Even advancing is a knock out as I do not believe we can become first in the group or can win vs Brazil. It’s probably the worst draw we could get as Chili is very good as well. The point that got me so angry is how the Dutch press never held the Dutch FA accountable to play games vs China and Indonesia that messed up our ranking so that Switzerland could by pass us by 1 or 2 points. That is so sloppy and unacceptable. Even not playing those games would have seeded us as 5th or even 4th. Anyway, we might look ungracious in the process of being kicked out early, but we were pretty clean vs Japan and they outplayed us in an ugly way. Not sure it will turn ugly.

            We also might not want to listing too much to what other people think as many are from fans that support NT’s that get knocked out by the Dutch NT or never end up in finals in the first place. It’s easy to look clean not competing, or on the flip side, being superior in football. When Barca got outplayed by Bayern we saw Alba all of the sudden throw a ball in Robben’s face. Now our Spanish friends looked a bit less gracious themselves. People that are outplayed and feel out of control as a result of that, just often look less graciously. That is not a Dutch NT 2010 trademark, it’s more a human trademark that goes for Spanish players as well.


          2. @ DRB…… Bro yours comments are quiet informative but I think you forgot to mention about 2002 disaster which had all the big guns of golden generation. I think what trigged you was the luck part on Laurent comments. I think WC 2010 was all about sneidjer, there is no doubts about it, but to say “best player for us since the millennium” I dont think so. though he was at his peak for both Inter and NT around that year he jus went down stream after he was exiled at Inter. Like Van Basten I think it was the injuries that got the most of Van Nistelrooy other wise I reckon he would have the player of the Millenieum and then again again we have Robben … I have reached the summit 2013. I think Robben is on another level than Sneidjer given the number of teams that he has played for and been consistent throughout.

          3. @ Wilson

            “Van Basten – Van Nistelrooy- the next one on the list I think is Afellay”

            What does this mean?

          4. @ Wilson

            2002 is just another face of a mindset that I am pointing to. However I have never felt more frustrated about the NT than 2004, despite getting to the half final of a Euro. The only time I was flirting with the idea that Netherlands should crash out to make a complete fresh start and clear the toxic atmosphere. So that is probably why I did not mentioned 2002. But yes, it’s another example so thanks for bringing that up

            Concerning Robben I have no problem you picking him as the best since the Millennium. There is almost 25 caps between the two and that makes me point to Sneijder. For club, Robben had a greater career probably, but for country I do not feel he has outdone what Sneijder has done yet. I think Sneijder brought us to 2004 against Scotland. Already good in 2006. best in 2008. Best in 2010. And yes. Best in 2012. There is only 1 player I feel really bad for concerning that crash out and that is Sneijder. For the Dutch NT he has been awesome IMO until very recently. His big mindset and fearlessness have for me been key quality’s apart from his overall football quality. I always felt save him having the ball.

            That being said, Robben I love just as much. Without his injuries Messi and Ronaldo would have been in great danger receiving 1 less Ballon d’Or each.



          5. DRB : I agree with many things in your post, but I just wanted to give a view from outside. I was in Amsterdam during WC 2010, and I celebrated the victories against Brazil and Uruguay with dutch people, it was a crazy atmosphere, even in the tramway the driver was singing etc.
            But from out, many people have considered that Holland had a lot of luck against Brazil and didn’t really deserve to win, just look at the beginning of the game, they could kill us 3-0 in the first half. The fact we won thanks to an own goal and an header from Sneijder shows that the luck was by our side. The fact Van Bronchkorst scored a 35meters goal is also a sign, that’s things that never happen. Just like Thuram scoring 2 goals against Croatia etc. and many people here don’t hesitate to talk about France luck during WC 98.

            I post on some others football threads, and people were always saying “luckers gonna win and Van Bommel will play 90min” talking about Holland, our picture isn’t anymore the one of a team playing a beautiful football but unfairly losing like in 98-2000, now that’s a bit the contrary.


            I don’t agree with everything in the video, but everyone here who would watch with his innocent eyes should see that referees and luck were by our side during that competition.

          6. Well these video’s are done after every WC. There are a few incidents that would actually argue the opposite like the kick on de Zeeuw and Uruguay walking away from it without punishment. I also think Cavani showed he dived.

            I just think one can zoom in on luck in some games on the road, but I rather look at the big picture. 14 straight games that were won all the way up to the final. Luck in one game gets even out in others. After 90 minutes the other two finalists Germany (2008) and Italy (2012) were beaten, but Netherlands had still everything to fight for.

            I don’t know in what world people on other forums expect Dutch NT fans to feel lucky for Brazilian incompetence to score more in the first halve. Had also to do with van Bommel having a feeling for the situation and ordered to wait it out until the second half. He spoke about this in an interview I saw. With the same kind of reasoning one can say that Huntelaar could have scored 3-1 in the last minutes. We can even go further back to 1994 when the rules for offside we different IIRC and talk about the first 2 Brazilian goals scored in that WC against Netherlands. Or the foul that was committed right before the third, just like van Bommel did before the Gio goal vs Uruguay. But then nobody speaks about Brazil being lucky. That defender in 1998 pulling or kicking down van Hooijdonk in the box in extra time later admitted it was a penalty. Brazil is actually getting away all the time against us and in 2010 they were simply not good enough against Netherlands. Missing chances (there were not even that many) is incompetence too. Their mistake, not ours.

            I will tell you something else. Both the coaches from Spain and Brazil in the second half admitted that they thought they were going to lose. That’s the feeling the Dutch fighting machine gave them. Look back at how that header from Sneijder actually came about. Look at who, but more importantly how it was given away. The Brazilian defender could have easily made it into a throw in, but was panicking and afraid for Robben. Very weird situation. Robinho was very edgy vs van Bommel at the start. Another clue. Keeper made a wrong choice/mistake. Brazil was afraid for the Netherlands and that has nothing to do with just luck. We had bad luck at the start when we had to play with epic Andre Ooijer instead of Mathijsen. We had our problems as well, but still came up on top.

            All in all, I am not going with the luck story. Let these people on other forums say whatever they want. The road towards the WC final gave me inside and another perspective on things that I value very much. Only a very little group of country’s ever get to a WC final and know that it is not always a clean affair. It’s easy to sit on a high horse going with another hero/villain story and talk about luck. Their loss really. The Dutch NT of 2010 should be analysed and treated with interest as it holds important clues of how to reach (and maybe even win against in case of being matched up against a less extraordinary finalists as Spain 2010) a WC final. Especially by teams that do not have the strongest defense.

            I think a team that advances at the cost of Brazil with Andre Ooijer as a pillar at the back is pretty awesome.


          7. I really enjoyed watching NT during the 2008-2010 period, we really had a good football, better than the 2010-2012 and 2012-2014. I remember that game away against Iceland, we played a wonderful technical football. Also those three friendlies just before the WC were crazy, we just humiliated Mexico, Ghana and Hungary. But during the competition, everyone expected something else. I was suprised by the lack of creativity, and Stekelenburg had to make 2-3 important saves even against Denmark, Japan and Slovakia. We had no easy game.

      1. “clasie must be selected as runner box to box ”

        He is just not a runner. Anita is even more of a runner then, as Anita at least is build on a strong frame. Clasie does not have the lungs and legs to be a runner. In a tournament he will brake down fast apart not being able to perform his duty’s well that come with that role. It also conflicts with one of his main quality’s acting like a squash player constantly looking to push for a central spot in the field to control, dictate and read the game. To see what is happening so that he can quickly win back lost possession and then give a meaningful pass.

        Runners are Strootman, van Ginkel, Fer. Maybe Klaassen.

        Clasie simply competes with Nigel, Schaars, Blind and soon Ayoub and Ake. Van Gaal is pretty fond of Clasie by the way.

        If the team gets stretched, Clasie is a liability. If the coach can organize and guarantee a compact team, then Clasie is a very interesting player.

        I hope he goes to Serie A, like Strootman. I have a feeling that Italians might understand Clasie better than coaches and clubs in many other competitions. Clasie is a poor mans Verrati for me.

        1. he doesn nt hav the muscle to combat in holdin mid,simply too mall for it.but by good eercise he can run like davids with better brain..that wat my point..

          1. I don’t think Clasie has what it takes to play in the WC, he is just not strong enough or mobile enough. If MVG is not fit then I think DeGuzman has to come in with Stroot, VDV and Snjieder, De Jong should also be there for experience and strength. Classie is not in the same league as these players, maybe in 2 years for Euro.
            Also I think that Strootman will become our next Snijder, not necessarily in how he plays but more how significant he will be for the team, if he continues to improve over the next couple of years we will be talking about him as one of our best.
            My main concern for the World Cup is the ability of our defence to handle the speed of the attacking players coming at them, with that in mind I think a 4231 is best suited to our current NT.
            Anyhow , when is our next friendly?

  32. This is where I say the 4-3-3 formation which Van Gaal is using wont be effective with the current batch of players. It would have worked if players like clasie, Van Ginkle, Depay,wijnaludum, were on their peak….If you look at 4-1-3-2 or 4-2-3-1 we can be covered on both defensive and offensive aspect.

    1. if we select the best team with a 4-3-3 Formation we can up with a strong team but than again our option on the bench will be average rating players (medicore). when the big teams start bring on their Super subs, I dont think we will be able to resist long. this has already happened when we played against Beligum. Jus look at what Spain will have in the Armory if they want to add more catalyst to the starting 11, Mata, Carzola,Sliva, Negarado,Torres, Isco. There is where the game will be decided.

  33. Van Banger…i dont see Clasie challenging Dejong or Blind in that spot,Clasie is pretty weak physically,but he is an amazingly intelligent player kind of Ineats,xavi,vaart snijder type player.small but very intelligent players who decides the game.all of them play as attacking winger/mdifeid etc.So why not Clasie in that spot?especialy we know that vaart is 40 minute s and sneijedr is 40 minutes.we should not waste clasie for WC2014.
    Orange cAN WIN WC if they go like lions with one heart for 23 players at least.But dreams will get hampered if if anyone gets a call over a desevred candidate.
    in evry aspect of the game Clasie must go to WC2014 as a runner come offensive could feild a wonderful team.for WC and i bet if orange drops some players our chances are eqaula as brazil to win WC.
    lets fight like lions at the same time staying clam and determind.
    here goes our most deserved 23 players for WC.
    i am omitiing sneijder and vanginkel coz both are not fit.physically.
    here we go
    Van annholt—-Virjil—Bruma—–Bacuna
    I will beat brazil with my staring 11 easily I BET U ALL WILL SEE AMAZING ORANGE IF WE PLAY MY ELEVEN

    1. ONLY PROBLEM IS our mindset,we still think that we cannt live with out Afellay,kuyt,Devrij,Joris,Van derweil,Depay,vlaar etc etc .Infact we will kmore stronger and will be more creative and defensivly will get much stronger with out these guys.common guys lets break the rules,come out …..

    2. Would you seriously enjoy to watch a midfield Nigel-Strootman-Klaassen ? That’s really anti football. No speed, no skill, no triangles combinations…You were blaming BVM for having chosen Kuyt above VDV for finale against Spain (a finale where we had to defend against spanish possession) and now you want such a midfield…

      If Nigel and Strootman are together, let’s to chose some crazyness and skills for the third player, not a player like Klaassen.

      1. lauenr i would have useed vaart if he had stamina..but he lost it,van ginkel is injured,Clasie is phyicaaly small,i think then we have klassen/Deguzman are the best we have.
        BVM mistake for playing kuyt over vaart was unpardonable in 2010.

  34. DRB300
    I asked you a question a few months back, which I think, you had forgotten to answer. 🙂
    I wanted you to shed some light on the positive effects of Cruyff’s ‘technical’ revolution at Ajax, delineate the details of the changes that have been implemented in the academy so that it goes back to where it truly belongs and whether it’ll be beneficial for the Dutch NT in the long run. I mean, can we expect a batch of technically refined Dutch players from ‘De Toekomst’ within the next 5-6 years?
    One more thing..what are your thoughts on Kishna and Bazoer?? Potential Oranje materials in the making?

    1. I was not forgotten about this question, but fell in my usual trap that I did not think my answer was good enough and so making it a project from it that I postponed on.

      I have many magazines that dedicate articles on it and wanted to read them first. I was also planning to buy Bergkamp’s book. I will make my answer more modest (though it should include enough interesting details) and come back to you soon. I just finished up reading the first article. It’s an interesting subject. Player development in general is just very interesting actually.

      If that has your interest as well, this one might provide an interesting read:


  35. @ DRB…..Van Basten – Van Nistelrooy- the next one on the list I think is Afellay. What I meant from from the above was it was the injury that hampered their career throughout unit they hanged their boots…..Afellay too seems to be injury prone, may be because of his built…….
    Eredivise – La Liga – lengthy spells on sideline

    La Liga – Budasliga – same story

    Bundasliga – EPL?????? – he might have to hang his boots if his injuries continues to haunt him.

    1. @ Tiju

      You midfield trio of Strootman -Dejong – Klassen is once again looks vague with no spark to burn during crisis hour.

      Strootman is more a long range shotter and a Fitter. you will find hin lottering in the park when retreating after pressing far up front. (occasionally)

      Klassen – well I havent watched him play,still needs to prove alot. Both have similar style of playing (box – box) so i guess It Has to either one and other as backup if Van Ginkle doesnt recover in time .

      we did someone who is creative and with the jet thrust?????????????

      Once again I dont like lens starting on the left. he is more useful on the right especially when it comes to crosses.

  36. I was looking at player ratings for roma juventus on all the most famous Italian football websites! The ratings and the words they say about strootman for the game against Juve today are unbelievable!! One said this player is unreal!!! He knows how to do everything!!!!!
    Honestly I don’t want to see de Jong starting in the World Cup he kills the team flow on the attacking end!! All his ratings after last game were about how with seedorf who will be playing more attacking and pressing style how de long is so limited in that regard!!! De Jong might be a very good player for teams that like defensive negative play like Italy for example! Teams who don’t care about playing football but only getting results!! But for us I hope to see clasie-strootman-vaart in midfield!!!

  37. @ Tiju

    You midfield trio of Strootman -Dejong – Klassen is once again looks vague with no spark to burn during crisis hour.

    Strootman is more a long range shotter and a Fitter. you will find hin lottering in the park when retreating after pressing far up front. (occasionally)

    Klassen – well I havent watched him play,still needs to prove alot. Both have similar style of playing (box – box) so i guess It Has to either one and other as backup if Van Ginkle doesnt recover in time .

    we did someone who is creative and with the jet thrust?????????????

    Once again I dont like lens starting on the left. he is more useful on the right especially when it comes to crosses.

    1. stroot and klassen are creative ,may nijel lacks that a bit,but all have immense stamina and they will run arround circles of the opponet this will give huge relive for real creaters like lenz,rvp and roben.they would be an amazing ly balanced tean,i would have taken vaart but he is just 40 minute player,he can comes on for lenz that time we must use vaart-RVP as strikers.klassen and Clasie are the closest we have for Vanginkel.

    Kevin STROOTMAN 7 – Giocatore assurdo. Sa fare le due fasi con efficacia, poi al minuto 79 si fa 50 metri in allungo per mettere il pallone delizioso dell’1-0 di Gervinho. Imprescindibile.
    They say ” he knows how to do both attacking and defensive phases con efficacy! Then in the 79th minute he runs 50 minutes to give that amazing assist to gervinho”

  39. Il migliore, stavolta con De Rossi. Tanto per cambiare? Esatto, non sbaglia una partita. Spettacolari un paio di scontri con Vidal. Si inserisce anche in attacco ed è suo l’assist per Gervinhther one: .

    It means: he was the best with de Rossi! He gets is right every game! Spectacular a couple of clashes with Vidal! He is involved in attack and it is his his assist the goal!

    1. Don’t forget to mention Pjanic. Strootman and Pjanic have a wonderful understanding between eachother. AS Roma is a lot of fun to watch with those 2 driving them forward and de Rossi battling hard behind them, Totti leading them on and scoring a goal himself every now and then and Gervinho who is much more of an Arsenal/Barcelona/Ajax/offensive/creative type player than the usual/average Serie A players (OK, there are a few more of those in serie A, but it’s not that common).

      They should get Promes for the other wing, that’d be awesome.

  40. Actually it is important for strootman to get to know the week and strong points of Vidal and isla (both Chileans) he can be very helpful for the other oranje players to know how to deal with the two Chileans since most probably they will be the main part of the Chilean midfield!!

  41. Hey guys,i don’t know if i am wrong about my point of view.To most of the Dutch players playing in the European Clubs.Beside somes playing in the Spanish La Liga will get burried,The rest of the players playing in Italy,England,Germany ects will be shined.Haha,it is weird but true.Anyway,I never like the Snpanish team.I hope we are able to beat them in the first game of WC 2014.Hup Holland Hup !!!

    1. Unfortunately that commentator on Anita is not the Newcastle coach. Pardew sees Anita as second string. He is only slowly coming around to realizing Anita’s potential but has been favoring other players this season. It’s a shame but maybe Anita will continue to force his way into the regular lineup. Without more consistency he is doubtful for making it to Brazil.

  42. and more importantly why is nobody talking about an Ajax with 8 Dutch players winning convincingly against PSV and Feyenoord in a 3-day span? Why is nobody talking about the style of play, pressing, ball movement, exquisite passing and so on? Several people emailed me to tell me this Ajax reminds them of the Barca from a few years ago. My only regret is that we did not make the CL. What a shame! To be honest, I also liked Feyenoord. And I really hope they finish second so they can taste the CL as well. 2 teams we can be proud of in Holland.

    1. Well said Ajax on fire for a long while
      However boilesen seemed to be unusually bad defensively..I hope the boy is not doing anything fishy coz he was going out of his way to be fooled and look terrified when Ruben schaken ambled towards him with the ball..and then did weird stunts and got dribbled felt surreal and unrealistic given schaken was making simple linear runs without any twisting or turning!

  43. @Jeff, i watched the game and I love this ajax, and i love the fact that the team was mainly dutch players today and on the other side feyenoord too with 10 dutch players!!! this was beautiful!!! this ajax team keeps improving i hope they can keep these guys for few years so they can show us something interesting like they did against barca!!!

  44. I think the door is closing on Emmanuelson’s possibility for making the WC in Brazil. He’s had a run of poor showings lately for Milan. Gave away a penalty today that helped lose the Coppa Italia. Earlier in the week he played sloppy against Verona. Not enough defense and too many bad passes. A prime (and frustrating) example is the way he gave away the ball with 90 seconds left with a risky pass straight to Verona in the middle of the field, causing a dangerous counterattack against Milan, when he should have either made a safe short pass or cleared it long upfield to eat up time. Maybe it’s unfair to focus on the past few games, but in my view we just don’t have room for players making elementary mistakes like that when they are supposedly experienced.

    1. I agree,
      For me emmanuelson’s never be an option for NT, he has been given opportunities in his club , never show up his potential.
      Someone also mentioned leandro bacuna for RB, he is a good back-up option and should be considered, but at this moment other players are still ahead of him, imo. Like: Jaanmat-GVDW-RVR-Leerdam.

      The next friendly should be used to streamdown many optional players surrounding NT, new in-form players, should be given last shots to impress before LVG then focus on 23-30 players to WC. The players I’m talking about are:

      RW – Quincy Promes
      LW- Jean-Paul Boëtius
      BtB – Davy Klaassen
      LW – Memphis Depay
      LB – Patrick van Aanholt
      AM – Hakim Ziyech
      RB – Kelvin Leerdam
      CF – Luc Castaignos
      DM – Daley Blind

      the reason I put down again Blind is to test his new position as DM, I think if we play Blind as LB-DM (LB – when out-of possesion and DM – when in possesion), then we can give away Nigel position to more technical-offensive players like Clasie/ Klassen/ vGinkel/ Guzman.

      while promes-leerdam, Boëtius-PVA arguably best at eredivisie at this moement, will be interesting options in both flanks. For WC I would take promes-Boëtius-depay for lens/kuyt/elia/emmanuelson even narsingh.

      1. Emmanuelson as left winger is not bad,he is pretty good as winger as LB he has problems,Depay is too far away from quality…its true that he has some long rangers etc and has got better brain than some.But he is not fast as boetius ,ola etc,while lenz is so strong and a biggame player,boetius is pretty weak physically but still not a bd choice
        its hard to choose between lenz/promes,boetus and urby in wings.
        if lenz is in form i would go with Promes-lenz and the boetius-then urby .

    2. Blind seems to be fairly certain, whether he plays LB or defense midfield.

      We really need a backup for RvP and Castaignos has a golden opportunity to get his foot in as substitute striker.

      I rate Promes highly but he is still developing.

      It will be an interesting few months coming up, to see who earns their spot in the final lineup.

  45. Alaa and Srinjoy, Agree with you both. Can’t understand either what happened to Boilesen but he was very poor defensively. I guess it is allowed occasionally but I was impressed with Veltman, Denswil and Van Rhijn who in my opinion is coming back to a very interesting and competitive level.
    As for the fact the teams had mostly Dutch players and more importantly home grown is extremely pleasing. So there it is; despite being a die hard Ajax fan, I want Feyenoord to do well because the club deserves it as a result of investing in the youth. Between the 2 teams, and with the addition of Rekik and Depay, I truly think we have the core of our national team for years to come and guess what? Most play in the Eredivisie.

  46. Blind by far and then Veltman, Denswil, Van Rhijn, Duarte. Klaasen had a more quiet game. Vilhena and Shaken for Feyenoord. Not impressed by Clasie and terrible Janmaat.

    1. Jeff,

      First of all congrats in the deserved win. Ajax are now unbeaten in 12 straight games and have a 7 game winning streak in the league:

      One of the best that are going on in Europe. I agree with the names you mention except one: Denswil. I thought he had a bad game. I will also put forward why I think he had a bad game. Under this comment I will post a couple of gifs that show the problem I have with Denswil at the moment.

      I do think he is brave and dares to play football. That is important to become better and turn into a high quality player, rather than playing it safe all the time and never try to hone doing the difficult stuff at this level. If he does not do it now, he will never do it with a next club or in the NT and we already have enough simple defenders.



        With this one I feel that he killed a moment of intense pressure. Ajax were accumulating attacks a bit after the 1-1 was scored and Denswil’s task was to recycle possession when ball dropped out the final third to keep things going on. In the end an opponent will then start to make (silly) mistakes. Here all he had to do was pass it to the most obvious choice: Blind right in front of him. Blind even points if I see correctly. But no, Denswil chooses a deeper option while that man is not even in the position he passes it to. Wrong choice and wrong execution IMO.


        This is also a bit unlucky, but it’s the result of being a less clean and precise defender as Veltman. Veltman makes pinpoint interventions (has the best percentage in Eredivisie in this regard). Denwil intervenes less clean and at times even clumsy. He trusts more on the power of his interventions rather than accuracy. This run from Schaken became very dangerous as he also outplayed Boilesen and could have resulted in a goal otherwise.


        With this one I would like to see what I would call a more Italian mindset. That ball should never be allowed to actually get past him of it tries to reach a body in the box. An Aguero kind of striker that can steal a march on his defender (I think that was Veltman behind Denswil) would easily have converted this chance. Pelle is luckily slow.


        This is how you get your team mates injured and introduce a turnover. Slow lateral passing while the marker of the man you pass to is well within reach to trow out a tackle. Luckily for Denswil, Klaassen can stand up again and Ajax can still prevent the attack from resulting in a goal. With Madrid and Dortmund type of teams, these kind of situations easily translate into goals.

        1. Thanks so much and truly fabulous analysis. I agree with you entirely. I guess I still see Denswil as a tremendous talent and I often give him the benefit of the doubt precisely because I like how he “tries” to play. I really believe he could become absolute top if he wanted to. But reviewing all these videos is a bit concerning. Maybe he does not play enough and when Moisander leaves he could really develop. When he emerged this season I thought he was doing quite well and would continue his tremendous progression towards the top. But you are right that he has reached a plateau. I am not giving up on him, because as you also stated, he has everything a top class defender needs; speed, touch, agility, physicality and football mind. So let’s hope.

  47. Falcao is injured and out of WC…one enemy gone.the thing is that they played with some amatur team,he got fould by opponet defender,finally that defender and chairman of that club is getting threatening messages from coloumbia..really dont know the external issues waits for the european teams in brazil.

  48. Agreed janmaat was v bad ..and van rign was decent but whoever our RB is Bacuna van Der work janmaat van Rijn or even the Augsburg guy..all of them seem to be mediocre

  49. Sightgorsson turned down a big offer from qpr and kishna just signed a huge long term deal..the feel good factor is definitely back at Ajax…now for the Europa league

  50. My bid for next summer’s squad (let’s hope everybody will be fit).

    GK Cilessen
    RB Janmaat
    RCB Veltman
    LCB Martins Indi
    LB van Aanholt

    DM Blind
    RM Strootman
    LM van der Vaart

    LW Lens
    RW Robben
    CF van Persie


    GK Krul, Stekelenburg
    RB van Rhijn
    RCB Bruma
    LCB Vlaar
    LB –

    DM de Jong
    RM Fer
    LM Sneijder

    RW Narsingh
    CF Huntelaar (provided he is fit again)
    RW Depay

    One position up for grabs. I would not pick a sub left back, Blind and Martins Indi could cover that. I would get another midfielder (maybe Klaassen) or another atacker.

    1. I don’t really think De Jong has to come as sub. Either he comes and plays, or he doesn’t come. That’s not the type of player to let on the bench. Blind is doing well as DM but it’s better to let him LB with NT, at least for this year. Willems and Van Aanholt are no safe option for me, two good LB, but not safe enough for the moment I don’t imagine one of them being starter during WC.

      Nigel, Strootman, Schaars, Clasie, Blind, Fer, De Guzman, Anita, Van Ginkel, Duarte, Vilhena, Afellay, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Wijnaldum, Klaassen.

      Well, Afellay, Van Ginkel and Wijnaldum are no options currently, but can fastly become. Vilhena, Anita and Duarte are also just options for the moment, but who knows.

      That’s still too much for six places in the plane (theorically). I hope Anita will be tried as RB, Blind will be considered as LB, Wijnaldum as RW, and Klaassen as striker. That will make it a bit easier.

      1. Laurent, if De Jong plays there are only two options

        1. The other two midfielders have to be very agile beacuse there will be a huge vaccum in the middle if both Vaart and De Jong both start together.

        2. 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-3-2 (change formation) unlikely under van Gaal.

        Anita at RB is not a bad option.

  51. Narsingh is not a contender now while he has lost his starting spot. Park and even the newly arrived Ruiz are both ahead of him now. He will need to regain his starting place before we start considering him for a place in the WC team. For now Promes should be seen ahead of him.

    1. Park is being used mostly in the controlling midfield role, and Narsingh isn’t 100% fit yet. Once he reaches full fitness, we’ll see what Cocu’s intentions with him are.

  52. IF van Ginkle recovers in time + fitness he should start at CM. He is due back in April and given his talent even if he plays for Chelsea U21 , in 1 month he can pull his fitness off . he natural talent so that want be hard.


    Afellay – Van Ginkle – Robben

    ————- Strootman (slightly infront of Blind)




    the best part of this formation is that if we need more fire power in front we can unleash both Sneijder and Vaart and De Jong can anchor the DM if we did to hold .

  53. I’d rather start with Nigel at DM and Blind at LB for the reasons Laurent mentioned. Defensively it would be in our best interest to have them both on the field at the same time.

    IIRC in the game vs. Japan when Nigel got taken off we put Blind in his place and the Japanese team started to play much better, while we looked lost.

    My ideal 23 that go to Brazil:


    Lens – v.d.Vaart – Robben






    Sneijder – Afellay – Wijnaldum



    ————Cillessen, Stekelenburg—————-

        1. Under no circumstances do I see van Ginkel ready to handle the #10 spot for Oranje after such a lengthy, serious injury. And that’s if he’ll be fit at all.

          He wasn’t good enough to be there yet before his injury, what makes you think he will after? Especially knowing he will get no playing time under Mourinho (which we all could have guessed before he even went to Chelsea)

    1. Afellay will not have time to pass ball,he will be busy with dribbling,thats okay as long as he scores solso goas from his own effort,but that not happening….
      Fer has low distribution speed,it will affect quickbuildup/counter attack game,hunter is pretty static if baaall comes his way he might score,with sneijder and Afellay it seems less likely for hunter.
      i pretty like ur first line up,i think considering total workrate of lenz+vaart+roben i have a doubt we play a supergame.

  54. @ Laurent….

    How do you see Lens performance on the left compared to when he playing on the right?????

    The last time he played on the right was against Italy before moving to dynamo kiev. (not sure about Asian Tour). After that he has mostly being deployed at LW. he has always being labelled as big game player, but he hasn’t proved anything on the left. (in my opinion)

    1. I don’t really like him on the left side. On the right side I blame him for not going enough on 1vs1, not using his speed etc. but on the left side it’s even worst. He doesn’t know how to come inside with his right foot.I remember his first half against Turkey, he was not bad, but he was always putting himself in hard situations when he had to use his left foot, always trying to put the ball on his right one.

      What I don’t like in Lens in that he is too hesitating, almost never plays in first intention. Sometimes I wish he’d be a bit more headless chicken, using his speed, trying crazy accelerations…That might make us nervous sometimes, but when it will work, we’d all be happy. Just like for Walcott. Cause now it seems like he is playing against his “natural” qualities.

  55. I can’t remember exactly but I think it was DRB who wrote how disappointed he was Ozil didn’t join United.

    Interestingly, Juan Mata is set to join United. With Mata, Rooney and van Persie I believe this team when healthy has an absolutely world class attack and if Adnan develops next year they could be excellent. They just need one or two more big signings. It might look bad now but you can’t underestimate the quality difference van Persie (barely playing) and Mata would do for this team.

    Plus settling under Moyes

  56. RVP is nearing return. They don’t play this weekend because of FA Cup but I assume he will be ready after that…..

    “I’ve known Robin for years and cannot believe how he has developed into such a complete footballer,” Vorm told De Telegraaf.

    “For me, he is like Pele. I think Van Persie does so well. He is Dutch and a friend, but my God, he’s good.

    “Van Persie is more of a team player than Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero. I will never forget that he had the highest mileage in his last season at Arsenal for all other players in the Premier League.

    “How can a striker do that?”

    1. The Euro seeding is bizarre when compared to the WC. Switzerland and Belguim (darlings of FIFA for the World Cup) are not seeded in Pot 1. Neither is Sweden or Denmark. However Greece, Russia and Bosnia are in Pot 1. Will anyone ever figure out these rankings?

      1. Not if he’s able to replicate the form he had in 11/12 when he led the league in scoring.

        I know his game isn’t the prettiest to watch, but he does something we’ll need off the bench: score. I love RVP too, but there are times when he can be very ineffective for us and almost invisible (vs. Turkey, Portugal).

        There’s not another CF I’d pick over Hunter as Robin’s backup. He actually still has a higher goal per game ratio than RVP, 0.57 compared to RVP’s 0.51.

        1. Well I don’t know if it’s a good idea to talk about RVP against Portugal while Huntelaar did 10x worst in 30 minutes in that same game.

          We often expect speed from a sub, Huntelaar brings more slowness again.

          We should think about trying Castaigons or Hoesen, or Lens as striker. Three players that bring speed and deepness. Otherwise even Klaassen, Kuyt or S.De Jong are not less good options than Huntelaar for me.

        2. we need to select a better quality players than hunter,am not saying kuyt,seim has it.
          I would use Lenz,Vaart,sneijder or ven Fer/Klassen/Vanginekl if fit sub striker as back up for RVP.Definity i woont waste time with him ..

  57. So Robben played today, RVP and Huntelaar are fit again thats grrat news. Also Afellay just got back and Van Ginkel seems to be near his return.

  58. Davy Klassen as sole centre forward, backup to Van Persie in the WC.
    What you guys think? Noticed that De Boer never play him in that position though.
    Don’t see anyone as Van Persie backup..not Hunter as he is too static.

    1. Milan fans seem to think they’ll be playing together and that Montolivo will be benched. Apparently Montolivo has been dreadful, while Nigel is a certainty in the starting 11. Rarely has fantastic games, but also rarely has terrible ones.

  59. @ tiju……..
    why did you think hunter is such a hit at Schalke 04?……..

    we have debated about this a 100 times…….with hunter you needed two specalist wingers and a good fitter at CM…… the problem is that we deploy the inverted wingers on the flanks. given a specialist rightside winger should be able to stretch the midfield and the back 4 to create space in the middle for the strikers to move or either meet the crosses……….

    with Robben he always cuts inside drawing everbody to the centre which clusters the whole midfield area…..this is where strikers like hunter become static….the thing is with average teams robben is usually on target but with big teams it usuallyharder for him to complete those runs inside and shoot for goal and when he is dispossed that where the right side opens up leaving the RB vulnerable. this is exactly what happened in EC 2012.

    Edin Dzeko is another striker who is very similar to hunter… jus at man city they know how to use him. Silva and Navas they use their speed on the flanks to strectch the Back 4 creating room for him in the middle to move. thats the exact same thing Faran and Draxler do at SChalke.

    it all comes down to how you can use hunter effectively and with who……but it a pity with the current batch of players….it wont suit his style of playing especially when it comes down to first time crosses . and through balls.

        1. Ha! Love it… Strootwafel indeed.


          BTW: Danny Bakker? With two goals at the interval for ADO against Feyenoord? I missed the first half: what the hell is happening to Feyenoord?!

          1. Correction: Bakker just scored the second goal?

            Further: How optimistic can we really be that Van Ginkel will be 100%?

  60. @Abhirup

    So I finally have come around to write you an answer after reading multiple large articles about the subject. I have kind of thought about making one coherent story about it, but rather choose to go with making long extractions from the 4 articles, while also using my own words and sentences in it. That means there will be plenty repetition of the same ideas going from one article to the next but that is actually a good think IMO, as the amount of repetition communicates where the emphases lays for Ajax now.

    First of all the main players in all of this are: Cruyff, Bergkamp, Jonk, Jongkind. Cruyff with his vision, really zooming out and looking at it from a distance, taking part in discussions, bringing up ideas or challenging ones that other people bring in. The other ones are the boots on the ground, executing it, but certainly also designing it with their own input. The current setup is more a melting pot of expertise, a knowledge bank to create a top footballer.

    > First article is about Bergkamp and Jonk and we hear them talking about their ideas:

    Bergkamp has played abroad for Inter and Arsenal. At Arsenal they also trained per line (attackers, midfielders and defenders separately). He was not used to that at Ajax and the Dutch NT. When he came to Ajax to train the B2, he was able to give that individual approach that he had missed in his youth to these kids. He liked that himself at Arsenal and so wanted to share that. Jonk was technique trainer for a couple of years already and as on the field in the past, both of them had the same ideas about the youth development. Much more was possible they concluded both. Jonk was already busy with giving individual training session and the same goes for Ruben Jongkind concerning run training. They both were also busy writing a vision concerning the youth development. Apart from coaching runners, Jongkind also has a business studies background. So Jonk and Jongkind used each others expertise in the vision they tried to lay down with the intention to make clear to themselves how they wanted to work and where they wanted to work towards themselves, and not implementing it at Ajax. It was an investment to grow as professionals in the business they wanted to work in.

    At the same time a group of old footballers had regular meetings to talk about Ajax. Rijkaard, van Basten, Winter, Bergkamp and others. Bergkamp and Jonk both also did work for the Cruyff foundation and Bergkamp as well as Cruyff in that period asked Jonk to come over to such a meeting. Those meetings became interesting as the people who were there were all big ex footballers with a vision, or as Jonk and Bergkamp, developing one. Jonk really learned there and started to add or cut things from his vision.

    The moments where the rubber hit the road was after Jol resigned. There and then functions at the club became available and these guys wanted to turn their vision more into a reality. Jongkind also trained footballers at Ajax, but also runners like Bram Som (European Champ on the 800 meter). Jonk and Jongkind started to watch each others training and became interested in each others work. That lead to brainstorming on exercises of how to combine football (Jonk) with athletic (Jongkind) development. Jongkind is very good in project management and was a blessing to help with going from an idea to implementation of those ideas.

    At the start the biggest cultural change was implementing a change of culture. The dominant metric at Ajax was Winning. Coaches and trainers where scared being punished for bad results. As a result of that there was difficulty in exchanging players between teams. Maybe for a players development it was better that he would play the game in the weekend with a higher team. However the coach of the lower team did not like that as it could eventually result in losing his job by losing games. Same story is applicable to players that had to be played on a different position to work on specific points for their development. That was all the result of the dominant metric at the club: Winning. So the first thing was to get that out of people’s system and make them understand that the only thing that matters is raising the level and quality of the individual players.

    The Ajax academy is now organised in 3 categories, where they do not only look at birthdays, but also developement of the player’s body.

    The superstructure contains the players that are past their growth peak. the A1, A2 and B1 train at the same time so that they can train together. At times it is useful for a B1 player to “battle” against an attacker from the A1. The first half of the training they work that way in little groups on specific elements of the game. The second part is always team training. This goes the same for the middle structure. That way a kid that is just very good in position games but still in the a C team, is able to train in that area with (older) players from the B teams. So arrangin a combined training of multiple teams and separation of individual and team based training, allows Ajax more flexibility with talents and offer them more resistance quickly in certain areas, if they need a challenged in that department.

    When Bergkamp came to Ajax to train the B2 team, training exercises were still separated. First 30 minutes gymnastics, after that football. Now they look at practices to combine elements. They hired many specialists to do that.

    Ajax had also build a big tent with a lot of testing and measure equipment. All that constant measuring took a lot of time off the player’s ball time. It also messed with the players pleasure experience. There is now problem with using that, but it everything in the right proportion, integrated in a fun way, not dominate the football experience.

    Same goes a bit for tactics. At a young age they must experience pleasure and not be inundated with tactics. In the youth the talents must not be concerned with winning all the time, but with pleasure and development. All teams that play against the Ajax, especially against Ajax, want to win badly and so Ajax players automatically come into contact with pressure. The era where talented players are unable to finish their education at Ajax as a result of not being able to handle the pressure must end. Players at Ajax are developed technically, creatively and then, from being able to depend on those quality’s, they must have the self-confidence to handle difficult situations, such as penalty’s. A hard situation, but by practicing it a lot, one can gain confidence from the developed kicking technique.

    Players must also become more self guiding, not directed from above. They need to learn solving things themselves and not depend too much on systems or trainers as that makes them weaker.

    If winning is not the metric, then one has to develop something to replace it, otherwise its hot air. People from the Cruyff University have developed a model, based on Cruyff’s vision on football. With his input they made a map of all aspects that a football player must have. Dozens of criteria grouped into 4 themes:

    1) Ability with the ball
    2) The position game
    3) Movement
    4) Behavior

    That way Ajax can see where a player is and where he has to work on. In the lower and middle structure of the academy the players development focuses on technique, while at the superstructure the players get more task specific training. The measurement is of course still partly quite subjective on every individual player and that’s why the method is changed in this department as well. In the past trainers reported about the separate players of their own team. Now 8 different coaches give their input on a player. That way Ajax is better able to know how to move a player forward.

    Bergkamp and Jonk have especially missed ball ability and overview quality’s with the current generation and want to build a foundation for developing talents for generations to come.

    > The second article is a small general one:

    The fact of the matter for a club like Ajax is that players of 24 are already leaving the club. That is the reality. So Ajax needs a youth system that produces talents faster and more specific than in the past. If Ajax also wants to compete with the elite in Europe, then their talents must become stronger and act faster than they currently do. To realize that, Ajax needed to speed up the individual development.

    They also intensified the scouting of foreign top talent. The area’s Ajax scouts in for this purpose are:

    * Scandinavia
    * Western Europe
    * Former Eastern Bloc

    Ajax prefers to rather maximize its grip in these area’s, than having a loose grip in a much bigger (global) area. This way Ajax can act very fast when they need to. Ajax can not live off the talents from Amsterdam. The biggest talents must play for Ajax wherever they come from. However the priority still lays with Dutch talents.

    > With the third article is about Cruyff and we hear Cruyff talking about his ideas:

    In essence, Ajax is constantly learning institution, despite having quite some success (think about the three titles in a row). It’s always possible to do better. That’s the point. A coach like Frank de Boer is busy with moving the club forward, rather than self promotion and own glory.

    Cruyff talks much more with Jonk than Frank de Boer. If there is a problem or Cruyff wants information about something, he can easily call him up and talk to him, or solve a problem together. According to Cruyff, the project is unique in the world. Ajax works on individual training methods, accumulating a great amount of ex top players, a specialist approach, everything to get the best results in the first team ánd play attractive football at the same time. The core values are individual training of talent, configuring a staff with all kinds of specialists and a joint mindset that focusses on reaching the top.

    The way of thinking at Ajax has changed. A good example is the hierarchies with the youth coaches. It has gone. In the past the coach of the A1 was highest in rank. That’s not longer part of the way of thinking. The way Ajax looks is what “group” of youth players needs what kind of coach. Every age group is better equipped with a different kind of coach as they need to be dealt with in different ways.

    Also notice the word “group”, rather than “team”. The approach is no longer with 1 coach on 15 players. Ajax has a lower, middle and super structure now. That’s 60 players with 6 coaches. Dependent on their quality and development, we move them around and adjust their training schedule. It’s much more a flexible and dynamic system now from what it used to be. Winning is not important, apart from international tournaments. That’s where Ajax selects the strongest team of the age group, where they want them to learn to get results and gain prestige as a development institution. After that, they go back to their road of individual development. Ajax wants to become the best football talent development institution in the world. To reach that level, everybody needs to focus on getting the most out of themselves. From the supervisory board to the cleaning lady and everybody in between.

    We are only at the level of being good. Now we need to become very good and after that, excellent. Everybody must change their mindset towards reaching the European top. This is a collective effort. That’s why we also still need to get some people out of the organisation who are close to the previous management and have not distanced themselves from them. They disturb the process and the collective focus towards the future. They tried to run Ajax into the ground and smear people from the club to make way for van Gaal and Sturkenboom. On the other hand there are also people who are just not good enough, but who are nice people. That is the hard part of the such a project. The top sport world is not a sympathetic world. When you start accepting the shortcoming from the one, you can not any longer demand the highest effort from another. The club must be aligned in every way towards 1 single goal. That is really hard to achieve and demands a different way of thinking from the past.

    A nice story concerning this concept involves Cruyff joining a presentation about the future of the club Ajax. An organisational chart from the club with the power structures was shown. It went from the top being the supervisory board, to the general management, then marketing, finances and all the way down there was the first team and the youth development. So Cruyff asked the marketing manager what happened to his department if the first team lost all the time. The answer was that he would sell nothing. Then Cruyff asked the financial manager if he would make a profit or a loss if the first team would lose all the time. The answer was that they would make red numbers. Then Cruyff asked the general management what they could do if the first team lost all the time and they answered they could do little to nothing in that case. That way Cruyff made clear to everybody that everything at the club evolves around the well being of the first team. So he took the organisational chart and turned it around, making the first team and youth development sit on top.

    Last season Ajax lost to Staua over 2 rounds in Europe. Both defensive and attacking mistakes were made. Not even from technical nature, but a mental one. Complete focus, concentration and dedication on the deciding moments are just as important as pure football ability. That must be nurtured in the academy as well. The sooner players get it, the better it is for their career. However players must also think about how to become a better player when they are outside the academy. In the past Ruud krol was a great example of this. Always working hard after training to improve his cross pass. In the game against Brazil in 1974 that hard work was rewarded.

    The culture that talents demand from themselves to be the best must become naturally. You get what you invest (into your own education). The whole reward system to nurture this kind of thinking should also be altered. Maximum rewards for those who perform excellent. That goes for everybody in the organisation. Marketing, medical staff etc. Pay very good to the medical staff when everybody of the first team is fit, and pay far less money when half the team is injured. It’s about the principal.

    To reach the top, Ajax needs to use former top footballers and athletes. In the past the business Bobo’s where good to brush them aside and take the power in a club. That is the past. Nowadays’ they are schooled and that is also something Cruyff try’s to accommodate with the Cruyff University.

    Ajax also needs more specialists. Even Jongkind concerning running invites specific specialists in his area to help on certain details.

    The coaches at Ajax are different from the coaches that KNVB produces and the contrast is becoming bigger and bigger. That’s not a bad thing. To make an analogy, the one prepares people to get on the road and gives them a drivers license, the other is busy to prepare coaches for the world of the Formula 1 racing.

    Ajax is now in the phase to make the step from 60% to 90%.

    > In the final article we hear Jonk and Jongkind talk about their work at Ajax:

    We are now at a stage where we have to complete and guard the process at Ajax. The football world is all about opportunism and we want to stay away from that as far as possible. Generally we (Jonk and Jongkind) thought we had to raise the level and focus more on football. Now it has become a mission. We want to have the best football academy in the world and with that, we want to belong to the European top again, while being financially healthy in the process. It means we have to do that mainly with young players, not with older ones that you see at the European top clubs. The youth academy is the best guarantee for continuity. Ajax should never depend again on purchases and financial risks.

    Research has pointed out that the effectiveness of bringing players through the own academy is higher than buying and bringing players in. So we have started to build a talent factory. Nothing is more beautiful than becoming champs with own raised talent.

    What Ajax does is unique in the world. Jongkind brings out the Ipad and shows digital folders of every player in the academy with the technical, mental and athletic quality’s of them. Jonk and Jongkind started to develop this system a few years back. It’s a personal navigation tool.

    * Where does the players stand at the moment?
    * Where does the player want to go to?
    * And how can he reach his goal as fast as possible?

    Countless of ability’s are tested and showed, like kicking, passing, first touch, dribbling, heading, running technique, explosiveness, acceleration. With tactical ability’s it’s about recognizing game patterns, systems, what to do when the ball is lost. With mental ability’s it’s about how to live like a pro and how to regulate yourself in a better way.

    “With all those measure points we create a scheme with points of improvement. As everything is related to each other, we can see in one overview where the main gains for developement can be made. That’s beneficial for the player and the trainer as both know what to do next, but also for the parents and agent. That comes in handy when they want to know why their son/player is going into a specific (individual) course. Also new players are mapped this way (often even before they first get to meet Ajax) so that the club can exactly tell them what kind of training process they would follow at Ajax.

    We try to answer players and youth coaches 3 things.

    1) What are we going to do?
    2) Why do we do it this way?
    3) How are we going to do it?

    The hierarchies between the Ajax coaches has changed. Being youth coach at a higher youth team does not any longer mean more status. We look at what is demanded for a specific group of players. Apart from that, we have hired all kinds of specialists from different areas in the top sport world. A top footballer does not only excel in the technical and tactical areas, he is also a top athlete. Both body and mind (focus and concentration). With a better mental fitness, players are better able to deal with the extreme conditions of stress that exist in top football. We see it as a triangle:

    1) Football
    2) Performance
    3) Mental aspects

    One of the biggest changes has been the creation of the performance team. Many specialists from disciplines other than football. They go work with the players on mind and body in their individual training sessions. A list of memebers of the team:

    * Pole vaulter Christian Tamminga
    * World champ judo, Elmont
    * European champ 800 meter, Bram Som
    * Triathlete Jelle Heise
    * Physio’s Ross Watson and Ralph van der Horst
    * Triathlete and nutritionist, Bianca van Dijk
    * Triathlete and nutrition engineer, Peter Res

    All managed by Rick Menick and Gavin Benjafield. Apart from their specialisation they have all been top athletes and know how to get the most out of themselves. A pole vaulter has a certain craziness about him to push himself to get higher. They have all kinds of ability’s to get higher, like strength, speed, coördination, agility, concentration perseverance and guts. These quality’s are all important in the Ajax academy. Top athletes this way help with building a top footballer. As they often also know a lot about injury (prevention), they add that as well to the team.

    For football technique we have Jaap Stam, Ronald de Boer, Bryan Roy, Rischard Witsche, Kenneth Perez, John Bosman and Jonk himself. They mostly train with the superstructure. The 55 players from the A1, A2 and B1, are brought into little groups and get a trainer designated for the seassion that uses the programme we have designed to know from each player what specific skills they need to practice.

    Apart from this we also talk a lot with the players. That ranges from discussing a game, talk about their developement to giving them homework. We talk with players, not about them. An example is Riedewald last season, who looked clueless standing in the gym, not knowing what to do next. That is impossible to imagine anymore. The other day when everybody was gone already, he was searching for a ball on the facility to exercise a specific skill he wanted to master. He has become aware of what he exactly is trying to achieve.

    We also work together with the parents of the talents. Organizing a presentation for them of what we are up to and after that going into cooking sessions with them. We went into the cooking factory with them and learned them what the right meals where. This was about nutrition, but Derk de Kloet and Peter den Otter have organized a theme evening about mental toughness. Parents play an important role in the mental development of their child.

    We also work together with schools. Other clubs work with top sport schools, but with us the child can stay with his school in the familiar enviroment.

    The extra training hours happen in the morning 2 times a week. The midday training happens 3 times a week divided in 45 minutes of individual training and 75 minutes of group training. the total amount of hours of training has been raised with 30%. Children are much more able to handle than people think. In the past periodization was copy pasted from the first team to all the youth teams. At Ajax we have brought the load capacity up for the youth as we want to be at a higher level at a younger age. That’s another reason why the middle and lower structere of the youth academy are just as important as the superstructure

    All these changes meant a lot of explaining. It was possible that a player just stopped playing games in the weekend as that does not fit with his individual training course. That resulted in quite some raised eyebrows with some coaches and parents. Same goes for players that are played in a wrong position for them to work on their shortcomings. Or it can result in the technical heart stepping in when a player is injured too long. That happened with Klaassen. That way we have won 4 months on the comeback prognosis with him . Bringing back injuries has a high priority with us and the numbers tell us that we are on the right track.

    The whole approach is more build around the individual and their developement which should lead to more fun as well. Players that go into games with the aim to have fun, overwrite the feeling of fear that way. Riedewald recently was a good example. Scored 2 goals with his début. No fear.

    From the 32 players de Boer gave their début in his spell at Ajax so far, 18 were from the academy. That is 20% from the talents in Young Ajax and the A1. With Jol that number was 7%. 80% of the Ajax academy players are able to play at a professional level.

    If we talk about scouting, Ajax has developed new things as well next to things they already did:

    * 2 times a year 40 talents from Amsterdam and the area around it train 8 weeks at Ajax.
    * There is also a closer collaboration between Ajax and the clubs nearby.
    * The collaborations with Ajax Cape town and AS Trencin. Not only to get talents, but also to send talents their way.
    * Ajax is more active as ever on the international market for youth players. From Chengkuai Wang (China) to Vaclav Cerny (Czech Republic) and many more have come to Ajax.

    In the past Ajax bought players that already made a name for themselves. We want to prevent that in the future by getting them sooner. We have connected international youth scouting to professional scouting. Marc Overmars is on that. We have now come into a position that top talents from around the world start to call us, asking if they can come over and enter the academy. That’s a great compliment.

    Recently we have also increased the budget to 7 million a year, instead of 6 million. Apart from that there has been an extra one time investment of 2,5 million in accommodations, pitches and facility’s.

    The fact that Feyenoord has won the award for best Academy for the past 4 years is irrelevant to Ajax. We have our own metric for success. We are only happy if Frank and Dennis are happy with the delivered talents. Talents that immediately can add to the squad and can play the system of the first team. The KNVB games on the Saturday’s are only a tool for us to achieve our own goals. Those goals are at the horizon and beyond, succeeding in our mission.

    *** The End ***

    Oke so I hope this offers you a better picture at what has changed, why and where the club wants to go to.

    Finally the question about Bazoer and Kishna. Yes I see them as future Dutch NT material. Looking at Kishna’s length and the fact he can head a ball, I feel that he could become a striker for the NT in time as we have so little real talent in that position coming up. Bazoer wants to develop as midfielder. Could become a player with both football ability and strength. Things are looking up for Ajax.


    1. Wonderful! Much appreciated, good things are happening at Ajax and our good old friend Jeff will be very happy about it. I hope they are in a position to compete for the CL title in the next 4-5 years.

      Cheers! 🙂

      1. Yes, I echo the appreciation of DRB300’s contributions and insight. I also agree that, having read DRB300’s excellent synopsis of Ajax’ vision and the philosophy to grow and promote from within, that I have faith the team will be successful in navigating today’s economic climate, as, if I may digress, I do not believe the “spending without consequence” attitude of today’s top European clubs will last that much longer. The chickens, as they say, will come home to roost.

  61. The other aspect of the game that is as important as our starting Xl is our super subs…… vs Beligum we gave up lead simply when the super subs for Belgium came on and our subs were simply ineffective and were outclassed their presence. being said this we have to take players who can make immediate and boostng impact on the game especially when we are behind and need urgent reinforcement. I think when Van Gaal selects his final 23 for the WC…..he has to have a contengency plan as to who will the identical backup for the starting Xl so that there no imbalance in the play when our subs come on .

  62. Watching the HSV game and I have to say they are terrible. Rafa has to be dropping back very deep just to collect the ball and distribute all the time. apparently there is no one else who can sit deep and distribute the ball properly. Bert certainly has a huge job on is hand to revive this poor team.

    The good news is that Huntelaar is back and he scored a nice goal and O. John got his debut.

    Lets see if Ibra gonna gonn amake his comeback later today also.

      1. yet again…he proves you wrong in terms of results/effectiveness. We need him at the WC, he’s the only one I trust the score a 1 vs 1 like Robben had in the final at such a crucial moment (the only one to keep a cool head, the only one who can win tournament finals with moments like that just like he did it before in the youth EC final, or youth WC final).

        He’s been out for months like vPersie was in 2009/2010, but I don’t remember vPersie coming back with a bang like that. He needed quite a few games (and assists) to get his first goal again.

        And where are Luuk de Jong? Bas Dost? vWolfswinkel? Siem de Jong? Fer (since vGaal used him as vPersie’s replacement against Colombia)? THEY’re not scoring. So why use ‘m?

        The right choice for vPersie’s ‘backup’ has once again been made clear. If you can even call him a backup, since I stress again, I don’t remember vPersie coming back scoring. But hey, he’ll have another chance if he comes back from his injury, been out for a while now too (still not as long).

        Huntelaar also had some really nice touches that could have resulted in more in a better team (or if others had gotten more out of it). Overall he just looked very sharp considering this was his first game.

        1. I also said the last thing because I will continue to keep in mind that vPersie is a wonderful nr.10.

          You’ll never know if VDV and Sneijder can produce the goods in every match. It’s already up and down at their clubs. There are also injuries to consider next to form.

          The following 4-3-3 without Sneijder or VDV could work just as fine:

          Robben – Hunter – Promes (rightfooter, think possible crosses)
          vPersie – de Jong – Strootman
          Blind – BMI – Veltman – Janmaat

          With vPersie playing VDV’s spot (that’s where VDV played vs Colombia and Japan).

          1. > “I will continue to keep in mind that vPersie is a wonderful nr.10.”

            In what specific game you think RvP excelled as a 10 if I may ask? He played there an anonymous game against Portugal in the Euro. He played there for United against Newcastle. Not a stand out game either bar his long ball on Hernandez IIRC. I think there have been more games with him on 10 in the past that actually got me negative about him on that position.

            He also misses quick release ability for that position. Wants to do something fancy or show how skilled he is, missing many narrow windows (not all) to sneak the ball past defenders and launch a fellow attacker. For this reason he is not a good “distribution disk”. He is much more effective dropping and with that “surprise” going on he is good to distribute, having some “feeling time” with the ball.

            RvP is good at flicking balls through, but that is not what I mean. Anyway, I was curious what game you had in mind.

          2. in answer to DRB300’s challenge, almost every game for Arsenal where Bendtner was playing (as CF) and vPersie wasn’t playing on the wing (ignoring line-ups where Bendtner was positioned anywhere else than CF, since that’s just on paper, not the way they actually played).

            Which might not be many in your memory, not that many in mine either, but it’s his playing style for me mostly anyway, not the amount of times he’s played there.

        2. “We need him at the WC, he’s the only one I trust the score a 1 vs 1 like Robben had in the final at such a crucial moment (the only one to keep a cool head, the only one who can win tournament finals with moments like that just like he did it before in the youth EC final, or youth WC final)”

          He would never have such a 1vs1 situation as he is unable to make the run Robben did…

          Also you forgot that he missed a 1vs1 with the danish keeper during last euro, it could be 1-1.

          1. yeah laurent but that is kinda harsh considering Van persie miss like what a 100 chances in that game?? Lets not be so exagerated, we need him both, since we havent any world class forward

          2. Van Persie has never been a good finisher, he is no natural striker.

            But none of them are good for NT in competitions, both are players that only want to be served in their feet. Remember Van Bommel’s really good pass during first half against Germany, Van Persie couldn’t control cause he wasn’t fast enough.

            That’s why I think Castaignos or Lens as striker can be interesting, at least for 30 last minutes if Van Persie is being useless. Look how many players with a good long pass quality we have : Strootman, Sneijder, VDV, Schaars (the best one in that thing for me), Clasie…All are able to give a good ball if they see that a striker makes a good run.

            And Castaignos is always running between defenders etc. that’s a striker that like to be launched in spaces, not to receive the ball in his feet,he would bring the deepness that Van Persie and Huntelaar can’t bring.

          3. @Laurent
            He would never have such a 1vs1 situation as he is unable to make the run Robben did…”””””’
            You beat me there……..
            Kuytscored hatric vs Manchester united,though they didnt had rio,vidic at back for that game.Kuyt scored vs france 2008..come on guys there WILL be always opportunistic goals due to efficeint team mates.
            Fer is not playing as striker
            Castaginos is playing and doing goo
            Luuk,dost wolf are not playing at all,so there is no question for these 4 players.
            Lets concentrate RVP,lenz,Roben,Vaart,Sneijder,Fer and castginos as strikers than mediore like Dost,wolf,luuk,kuyt and hunter..

  63. @DRB300, fantastic article. So thorough and extremely interesting. Thanks for sharing this. As you can imagine I enjoyed reading tremendously. If you look at the Ajax mentality it is almost back to where it was in the 1990s. A sort of quiet confidence about their ability to score and win. It happened again today. Let’s hope it continues.

  64. Good to see afellay again on the pitch, man last time ive seen him was euro 2012!!!
    @Jeff, you are right, there is a different vibe with this ajax these days to the point where i woke up on a sunday here in detroit at 8:30 am only to watch them:) they give me a good feeling again after i lost interest in following them for many years, I hope they can also go very far in the europa league this year before we enjoy them in champions league next year!!

  65. It was great to see Afellay back on the pitch today. It is crazy how injuries have messed with this boy so much. But I am really happy to see him fight back and after some 600+ days convalescing he made a nice La Liga comeback.

    1. but then again he should start considering about a transfer b4 the transfer window closes other wise it will also be the last 10 minutes against average teams and on the bench in crucial fixtures…..Pedro and Tello are way ahead of him….. then again its his own mind set on club or country.

      1. i just hope he stays with barca,so in Nt we will not have any problem,we have roben,lenz,promes,wijnaldum as first 4 then urby ,boetius ,depay as emergency..

    1. Miguel…….its simply with Huntelaar you have to bring him into the game by creating room for him to move… this is where he is absolutely lethal but given if sneijder is playing or robben is starting on the right,you can forget about him scoring ….and that’s where he becomes static. This is wheere I think when Huntelaar comes in for RVP, Robben has to be on the left. (vs Beligum/ Itlay). It worked out pretty well. In case of RVP , rObben can switch to right provided if there is (specialist) left footed wing. This is how it should be….

      Robben – Huntelaar – wijanudum/Promes/Lens/Narsingh (best one)


      Specialist LW – RVP – Robben

      I have been watching some video of FC Twente and this fella Promes looks explosive when he cuts inside from the left going for the kill.

  66. @Laurent the long ball pass is something I haven’t seen much of during qualification. Heitinga is excellent at this, but he’s too shaky defensively for me to ever trust putting him in the back 4 again (especially after how bad he was at EU12).

    Sneijder is great at them too, but his confidence seems zapped since he’s been under LvG. Truthfully we’ve had better performances with him off the pitch rather than on it.

  67. Jan it’s about time you wrote a new article or this is going to become the longest page on the internet ever.

    It doesn’t have to be very important. You can do something on Louie’s hair dye. Is it purposely a shade of orange or accidentally?

  68. Anyone else noticed how fast, direct and powerful Manu looked playing for Cambuur over the weekend?

    I wonder why Keoman didnt give him more opportunities at Feyenoord. Lets see how he does over this loan spell. I think he is a very interesting player and Feyenoord fans like myself should keep a little more than an eye on him.

  69. @ Laurent, Tiju……

    Castaginos seems to be doing well in Eredivise, But he you have to remember that he had lackluster spell at Inter. Given the short time we have it wouldnt be wise to baptize him at the World Cup without knowing his full potential and depth in killer instict. he has been linked with Fuiham but that remains to be seen,

    The thing is we are in a pool (WC) where we will definitely need goals and we have to make sure the players who are selected will deliver in at the end of the day.

    RVP has never clicked at international stage as Robben and Sneijder has always overshadowed him. EC 2008, WC 2010 where EC 2012 was disastrous.

    Huntelaar has usually needs the right mix of players which also hasnt happened specially with Robben and Sneidjer all around.

    we jus have to put our mindset right and downstream options as to how we can work better and effectively with both RVP annd Huntelaar. They both are both world class strikers in their own right

    1. Don’t worry I don’t expect Castaignos to score or doing whatever crucial with NT during WC, he is not a good finisher and not a good footballer neither.

      But at least I know that some action would happen when he is on the field, I wouldn’t expect that he saves us but I’ll keep a bit hope when watching.

      With Huntelaar there is just no hope as he is simply unable to have chances in high level and locked games. You have to understand that against teams like Spain or Brazil, he won’t be often in the box, remember how many times we had 2-3 players in the box against Spain during WC ? except on corner kicks of course…Against Portugal during 2012 ? Our two best chances were long distance shots from VDV.

      Against those teams most of his work will be to come to the midfield, protect the ball and allow the team to progress on the field, and he is totally unable to do that as his first touch is almost always poor. + the fact that he knows that he is slow and always try to make his run as soon as possible which makes him mostly being offside. That has absolutly nothing to do with games against Macedonia and Scotland or Hannover and Mainz where his team is dominating and allows him to stay in the box and finish actions.

      I posted a statistic that proved that he scored less than 10 goals against strong opponents in all his career. I don’t think that things will change when he’ll be 31…German people understood that Kuranyi was a poor player for their selection despite of his statistics with Stuttgart and Schalke, I don’t get why dutch people keep and keep believing that Huntelaar is amazing…

      1. Yeh Laurent I remember that stats but I still adamant that with the right formation and the with right players Hunter can make diffrence.

        This was Schalke formation in 2011/2012 season when Huntelaar was the top scorer in the bundasliga…. 4-2-3-1


        Holtby——– Raul——— Faran

        ——Kuige——- Papadoupoulos —-

        It worked out super perfectly…..

        Huntelaar – goal scoring specialist

        Holtby – Left wing Specialist

        Raul – Running Midfielder and fitter specialist

        Faran – Right wing Specialist…………………..

        and when Raul retired Hotlby moved in making way for Draxler on the left.

        that why I reckon comes down to how effectively we can use both huntelaar and RVP

        1. That was a team of Schalke that lost in CL 1/8 and finished 4rd in bundesliga, nothing to take exemple.

          The real question is : Do you expect us to dominate against Spain and Brazil (if we meet them) ? Do you think that Spain would play low, allow us to attack on wings and reach Huntelaar in the box 10 times in a game?

          Look at 2012, Germany and Portugal let us having 60 % possession in our half part, but chances were inexistant. Their defence line was quite high and the only one solution was to try to reach RVP with long balls, or an individual miracle from Robben, or a free kick…

          RVP goal against Germany was a lucky and desperate shot from his weak leg, VDV goal against Portugal a long short, there were almost no chances from combinations, crosses etc.

          It was like impossible for us to make them moving back with playing football, for me the main reason is that we don’t have any midfielder able to make the difference and advance with the ball. We need an Ozil or Iniesta.

          It was even worst with VP-Huntelaar together, the midfield was completly outplayed in defending phases, even Nigel couldn’t do anything.

          1. And Van Marwijk already knew that Huntelaar wouldn’t be the solution, he sacrificed Van Bommel who had a good game against Denmark and a really good first half against Germany just because of the pressure of medias who wanted Huntelaar. And he knew that they would all blame him to let Huntelaar on the bench as we needed goals.

            The result is that Huntelaar didn’t score in 135 minutes, and didn’t even get a serious chance. The team had no balance, Sneijder who was pretty good had to go on the left side and lost influence, there were hughe wholes in the midfield. All that for nothing.

            I’m sure we would have played a better game against Portugal with Van Bommel instead of Huntelaar.

          2. BVM acted like peice of shit by dropping strootman for bommel,lenz for kuyt…we would hav burried both if we played with
            BACK LINE

          3. 3rd (best behind Bayern and Borussia, who as you may remember, where the 2 best clubs of Europe in the following season, which was last season).

        2. I think the key aspect that year was that Raul was doing a lot of dribbling and drawing opponents away from Hunter that way, and then he wasn’t selfish (or goal-oriented) as much as he was the year before, Raul turned much more into a teamplayer that year and that was mostly because Huub Steevens had put Raul a bit further away from goal (and probably gave some clever instructions to him as well).

          The coach had a big impact on Schalke and Hunter that year. The team clicked, Raul not being selfish was the key for me (whereas the year before Raul was the main man everyone looked to to score and when Hunter just arrived there, Raul was still too much at the forefront of the scoring task and Hunter was more overlooked, that changed when Huub Steevens started coaching and Raul’s dribbling skills were used to it’s maximum effect).

          As Roma also uses a good dribbler to do the build-up and create some spaces, Pjanic.

          Runner (Strootman), destroyer (de Rossi, de Jong), dribbbler (Pjanic, …? vPersie? vGinkel?), best combo in midfield perhaps.

          P.S. Hunter only looks static when he’s already in the right position, if he doesn’t have to move a lot and still scores, he’s just showing off his instinct

  70. Emanuelson might end up getting called by LVG. Seedorf will give him enough minutes and might be a surprise call for the WC…althoug I’d rather have Van Aanholt.

    1. thats just insane then urby is not solid as Van anholt as LB,But considering kuyt played as left wing for 8 years for NT.Urby emmanuelson is a fabulous choice as left winger.

  71. Yes great news that V.Ginkel is getting ready to get back to action but I hope he really leaves Chelsea on loan for the rest of the season because there he won’t have many chances to go to the WC.

  72. I have read a lot of comments here about Huntelaar. Some have been pretty interesting and others have been quite funny, but my view is pretty simple; Huntelaar is a world class penalty box killer who is undoubtedly among the best penalty box finishers in the world today. Therefore, he should certainly be taken to the WC as Van Persie’s backup. When one compares our other options to backup Van Persie, it should be quite clear that Klaas is the man.

    Let’s all just remember that goals win games and Klaas scores goals. Simple!

  73. Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong is travelling to Newcastle for a medical and is expected to join the club on an initial loan deal.
    The Netherlands international joined the German side for a reported £12.6m two years ago after scoring 45 goals in 86 games for FC Twente.
    But the 23-year-old has found the net just six times in the Bundesliga.
    “The striker is currently on his way to Newcastle for medical checks,” his club confirmed on Twitter. (external)
    De Jong could make his debut in Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby against Premier League rivals Sunderland.

  74. This deal has been very drawn out it seems. Reports of it has been surfacing for a while now..lets hope it closes soon. Luuk needs to start getting some minutes and revive his career.

  75. I can understand playing Ghana on May 31st, but I am confused by the game against Wales on June 04th. Is this really a team to measure ourselves against? Is it really the right time to play in Amsterdam when 9 days later we are playing Spain in a very different climate?

  76. @LZ: I believe we are playing Wales because LVG wants us to win at all cost so we begin the WC in good mood.

    Although I agree! Holland should be in Brazil by that time. They have to get used to the weather.

    1. Mourinho said that he doesn’t count on Van Ginkel this season. He expects Van Ginkel to play with young chelsea in march/april but not with the senior team.

      For me it means no world cup for him.

      1. Whoops!

        Mourinho first bought Van Ginke from Vitesse and gave him a lot of praises.Now after the recovered of the injuries,he wanted to place Van Ginkel to the young Chelsea Team.Haha…. Mourinho is a dramatic man that didn’ t take his words.What a shame…

        I wonder how Van Genke feel.A young talented boy ended up with such a blow…..

  77. I took a look at some of the other friendly’s from the European teams around that period, and they’re all playing on home soil instead of Brazil.

    The Ghana game should be interesting, but I would have liked to seen us perhaps play Denmark instead of Ghana. We’ve faced both Germany and Portugal after losing to them at EU12, it would make sense to play the last team we lost to.

    1. I guess as long as the playing field is even and no one is favourably acclimatized (from Europe that is).

      A victory against the Danes would have made a definite high note.

  78. @ Laurent…….

    “for me the main reason is that we don’t have any midfielder able to make the difference and advance with the ball. We need an Ozil or Iniesta.” this is another puzzle for NT winning the world Cup and I dont see anyone filling the shoes of Vaart and Sneidjer except for Van Ginkle.

    I dont mind van ginkle playing for the Chelsea U21 as long as he recovers fully and maximizes fitness to the fulliest.I think he is our next super star in making and he doesn’t need first team games to prove himself. He could have made the WC even if he was still at Vitesse.

    Luarent what does this striker remain you of “Pierre van Hooijdonk”

    1. i think some of manu scouts are pretty blind and idiots..recent signing shows this
      Fellaini for stroot man……..
      Now Van derhoorn?????????????are they that dumb???????

    2. Man U should have signed Van Dijk.

      I’m not really a fan of either of VvD going to either of those clubs. He’ll be competing with Kompany for playing time at Man City and Mertesacker with Arsenal.

      His agent should try and see if there’s any interest with Aston Villa; he and Vlaar would make an imposing CB pair that we could use for the NT.

  79. Well I hope Mourinho’s comment will encourage Van Ginkel to ask for a loan move if not he’ll most likely miss this WC.

    I am happy Van Persie is back and scoring, Huntelaar too scoring and it’s obvious he has to go as RVP’s back up.

    By the way how has Pieters been doing? I remember he was good when Bert coach the NT.

    1. Wow 😀

      It’s pretty amazing that he recovered that fast, after being reportedly out until July. Now he just needs to leave Chelsea on loan and he’ll definitely have a spot for Brazil.

  80. Miguel……It mighty take another season for Pieters to have a crack at NT. (EC 2016) His performace has been stagnant after his injury spell on the sideline. he seems to be pretty average at Stroke.

  81. vs France

    Afellay – RVP – Robben

    Van Ginkle – De jong – Strootman

    PVA – Rekik – Dijik – Janmmat



    when Huntelaar comes on Robben to shift to left. Promes to the right. Afellay to CM …Van Ginkle to Box – box and then we can try a new DM… Blind/ Anita/leerdam

  82. How about this little out take from Alaa’s link on van Ginkel

    “I volunteer at 9am at the club”

    What a Legend !! I am crossing my fingers for him. One thing I hope is that he doesn’t rush back too soon, he has to make sure it’s fully healed otherwise there is a chance he could do his knee again.

  83. If Chelsea can Loan Likaku to Everton… Moses to Liverpool…sell Mata to Man United…Im sure they can Loan Van Ginkle to Man United or any other big team….All these players were deemed surplus at Chelsea

    1. I think Baca didn’t wanted to risk their top players given the the condition of ground and weather… N e ways good for Afellay…. had few shoots at goal but was denied by the keeper.

      1. Draxler to Arsenal looks certain…….Afellay should start considering a move to Schalke if he really wants to go WC. He has already proven his significance when he was loaned to schalke in 2012-2013. Also Huntelaar and Afellay can build same cameo before the WC.

      2. He should leave, the midfield is full in Barcelona, no chance for him to play there. And even as winger the best he can hope is to be the 5th choice, Neymar-Sanchez-Pedro-Tello are all above him currently.

        Barcelona will probably struggle for the title till the last days, they’ll always put their strongest players.

        The transfers end tomorrow, right ?

      1. I think you misread what Sneijder is trying to say.
        “The Dutch star talks about the pain of losing the final in 2010 to a late Spanish goal, and how he believes the Netherlands can finally make this their year to win the World Cup – and why, if he ever stops believing that they will, he’ll refuse to even travel to Brazil.”
        He believes that we will win this year, and I think the selected players need to have this mentality. The coach can deflect the pressure during press conference saying perhaps QF or SF is considered success, but inside dressing room they need to have this “we are here to win the WC” mentality.

    1. “Don’t be too disheartened by Rekik’s struggles because you have to factor in the tiring task of covering for Bruma.

      Yet on the field, Rekik and Bruma are all over the place in terms of defensive positioning.

      How can Bruma be a leader when he is the worst defender on the team?

      He has committed a plethora of mistakes, received two red cards in his last three games and leads PSV in free-kicks conceded per league game (2.1).”

      Interesting points here.

      I’ve mentioned this before about how I feel that Bruma can be a liability for the NT. I’m hoping LvG is aware of this as well, and calls up van Dijk in his place.

  84. @Sam, I agree too, bruma is not impressive he commits a lot of mistakes, and that also sometimes might fool is as followers and make us think it was rekik’s fault!!! Rekik is way better than him! My 4 center defenders are rekik, vlaar, van dijk, BMI. Hopefully veltman can continue to grow because he can be a good candidate too but not bruma for sure!!

  85. Afellay not in the selection for the game against Valencia.

    Apparently Villareal asked for a loan yesterday, but he wanted to stay with Barcelona, silly choice, he won’t play…

  86. It looks like that all afellay cares about is the prestige of playing in Barcelona!! It is prestigious no doubt but the guy doesn’t realize that he will get probably one minute of playing time every few games, just like now he didn’t get called to the Valencia game!!! He is pathetic, he just loves the idea that he can take pics with the likes of messi and iniesta and post them on his Facebook! He forgets an important point which is he is not even considered as important as one of the rookies there tello let alone messi and iniesta!!!

  87. Pride is good to some extend ,i mean not letting down u and family,he is a really stupid player thats why id not want him in NT.I also heard that he said to some mates in NT that i play barca and u plays for some,, some worm clubs.Dumb boy……

  88. Anyway this piece of news just came out from italy!!! Looks like there is a last minute attempt from Milan to get him!!! Hope it works!!!Il Milan vede fallire la trattativa per Biabiany ma rimane comunque alla ricerca di un trequartista per accontentare le richieste di Seedorf. In esclusiva l’ultimo nome che sarebbe stato richiesto dai rossoneri.

    AFELLAY – Classe 1986, attualmente al Barcellona ma out per un brutto infortunio. E’ Ibrahim Afellay il centrocampista offensivo che Galliani starebbe trattando in queste ore. E’ stato richiesto il prestito al Barcellona ed è il nome più caldo per quel che riguarda il calciomercato della squadra rossonera. La pista Nani si è complicata e i rossoneri vorrebbero investire tutto sull’ex Psv, che piace molto anche a Seedorf, suo connazionale.

  89. Feyenoord Vs Vitesse playing now and I cant leave work to watch it now. I really wanted to catch this game live. Gonna have to watch it later when i get home. The good news is that Feyenoord is 1 up. Boetius set up Pelle..nice.

    1. Fulham also picked up Holtby and Mitroglu. Nice moves for them, and hopefully it will keep them from being relegated.

      Afellay will just have to learn the hard way I guess. If he *really* cared about making the WC squad he would have moved; Valencia or AC Milan would have both been great options.

      His contract expires in June anyway, and I doubt Barca will keep him.

  90. Well, I was waiting for white smoke from camp Afellay and van Ginkel. IMO the only relevant news that could have come out of this transfer window. This is like me looking at their apathy for the past 48 hours:

    I don’t know what to say. Seems to me that only Heitinga made a move in order to make a chance to go to Brazil with us. A player whom I did not expect to go through his lower limit like he did at the Euro and in the year after at his club. Did actually not do too bad under van Gaal. Against Romania away he was pretty good IIRC. I will keep an eye on him at Fulham this second part of the season.

    Afellay could have gone to Villareal, but even Milan was rumored to ask for his services. Van Ginkel could have pushed for a 6 month loan to Fulham just like Holtby. Same city an with a Dutch coach. Chelsea doctors around the corner. Would have been nice him at least trying something like that. Or going back to Vitesse and help them winning the league. Nothing. Barca stadium and Chelsea U21, or they must play out of their skins just returning from injury. Well done boys.

    Very disappointed.

    1. Oh yeah, I just heard some Roma fans mentioning something about Strootman experiencing hindrance from his knee. I hope it is not the same knee injury that made him dip for club and country around and before Euro 2012 and part of the reason him only sitting on the bench during that tournament.

      Another reason I wanted van Ginkel in the back pocket, before having to fall back to Leroy -no handling speed- Fer for the 8-runner role on midfield.

      We simply lack a quality bench.

      1. You may be right about the lack of a quality bench in the short run, but not necessarily in the long run.

        Maher and Clasie are very interesting players, and where they find their best fulfillment isn’t perfectly clear to me yet. Clasie, especially: Could he grow into a number eight? I know he’s no scoring machine, but his last goal made me consider that he might be missing some of his potential. Is he really going to always be a number six?

        As for Maher: His dips and climbs leave us nonplussed, esp. DRB. 😉 I’m not ready to write him off yet. Are we sure he could not grow into a number ten? At least bench quality for the NT?

        We’re transitioning, it’s clear. But we might just have a Golden Generation ahead if they’re used to maximum effectiveness.

        Apologies if the questions are too abstract. I just like Clasie, and haven’t given up on Maher. 🙂

        1. Well, not really talking about long term. I don’t think Maher commands a place with the Dutch NT at the moment. Not even with U21 maybe. He is a spineless player for me so far at PSV. Really lacks any kind of grit, fire, battling power and willingness to duel. He is probably in his dip season. Every talent has one.

          Clasie always had some grit and that is another reason why I liked him since the Scotland U21 game some years ago. I liked him mostly though for his ability to speed up the game. That being said, Koeman made the same point about him as more here on the forum. The moment the spaces become too big, he turns into a liability. He is not complete. I think Italian coaches understand him. He is a poor mans Verrati. Maybe in Italy they can set up midfield for him next season so that he can play to his full potential.


    2. You still give a chance to Heitinga after all what he has done ? That he had some good games with Van Gaal isn’t so meaningfull in my opinion, don’t forget that he was named Everton best player the last months before EC. And was absolutly horrible during the competition.

      He has always been the weakest player of our defence, I do respect Mathijsen but Heitinga put us into troubles every time, Van Basten did good with giving the RB starter spot to Boulahrouz during EC 2008, Khalid did good against France and Italy, had an average first half against Russia like all the team and couldn’t play any longer as the death of his daughter disturbed him.

      Few minutes after Heitinga coming on the pitch, we took a goal and his bad defending was the reason. Atletico supporters keep a really bad memory of him, they couldn’t get why he was playing with their shirt.

      We gave him too many chances and he never was good enough, often was dangerous for our team, I think we shouldn’t mention his name anymore.

      1. And even now he has to leave Everton cause Distin, who is a 37 years old ignored french defender took his place…It’s a bit a shame to select him, no ?

      2. Pretty much agree on all accounts. Also a free kick from Germany in 2004 turning into a goal where Heitinga played a negative role in comes to mind (IIRC).

        Give a chance? Well, there is a difference between a door wide open and totally shut. It’s not totally closed for me, no. How far open? Well the first sentence of my post indirectly gives that away :). Not much.

        I think what triggers me to say this as well (apart from his competition making mistakes in their league as well), is that I like players making career choices with the NT in mind (or feint they do). I appreciate Heitinga doing this. With that in mind I feel obligated to at least look at some of his games so now and then the second half of the season. I want to know if he keeps crashing through his lower limit for his new club. Both Afellay and van Ginkel can look at him in this situation, moving clubs before the WC and nod their head in the mirror IMO.



    I wonder how him and Aguero look together. I guess Lens resembles him most. Van Ginkel and Stroot in the Yaya and Fernandinho role. Robben gets to play Navas, maybe going inside too much for that. Now, where do we pull a Silva out of our head? Afellay?


    I think City play some of the best football in the wold at the moment. They really rock. People who have not yet seen them this season should make some time to catch a game of them.

    Anyway look at RVP’s link up play or actually completeness. Hope that Ajax can turn Kishna into something that looks like him. If only a bit. Can’t warm up to the idea of Luuk de Jong, Siem de Jong, Dost, van Wolfswinkel getting the nod over a long period of time to fulfill the striker role in the future. More magic please.


  92. I read on FootyLite that Van Gaal declares that he is sick and tired of the national team. What a way to inspire your team to a World Cup. I hope our guys enjoy their vacation in Brasil.

  93. woke up at the break of dawn (7:30 am) here in Pittsburgh to watch de Jong’s debut for Newcastle…horribly out of match fitness…and my fears that he is not suited at all for the premier league was confirmed, slow, and unlike kuyt doesnt have the determination or physical strength to hold up the ball, anita is always horrible..i laugh to myslef when people come up with small clips of some good actions..krul was amaazing again..shud be 1st choice undoubtedly!

    1. Anita is a hard worker player, but not good enough individually, he suited Ajax like Flamini suits Arsenal, and when Flamini went to Milan,he did nothing, so is Anita with Newcastle, he won’t get any club higher and I won’t even be surprised if they try to get rid of him next summer.

      I’m reading some N’castle threads, they say that he made some improvements this year but last year they were really negative about him. We can praise his determination but most of his pressing is random and sometimes even dangerous for his own team, tactically he is a way too amateur for me. I remember even as LB with Ajax against Real, on two goals in the same game he forgot to follow the defence line for the offside position…

      About Luuk De Jong no comment, he just shows what expects his brother (and Klassen ?) when they’ll leave dutch league. When you see that the two topscorers are Finbogasson and Pelle you just wanna laugh. The first one wouldn’t even be the first striker in any PL team , and the second one wasn’t good enough for AZ and Parma…

      1. Anita as a back has never been successful, but that should not be held against him. The fact he sacrificed himself to play right back and left back tells us something about how humble he is. He is the definition of a team player. Working hard, no complaining and doing what is asked of him. I love how modest he acts in this ego football world.

        With two roaming center mid players he is the guy who kept Ajax ticking. At Newcastle (at the thread I am following about him) they call him the metronome of the team. They actually take it out on Pardew and the Newcastle philosophy of hoofing rather than Anita’s inability and rightly so. I get the feeling they see Anita as a player vital to the vision they as fans would aspire to. Last season he was maybe less understood but was still a favorite of some of the fans.

        Enough about their perception. IMO Newcastle is just one of the worst clubs Anita could have gone to. Basically my opinion from the start. I would really wish he would improve on tackling accuracy. Not because of the penalty today (though it is a result of lacking ability to tackle clean as well), but as I often feel he leaves it with harassing opponents, rather than biting them with firm dispossession. At least too much for my taste. He thinks at times too much in ball possession rather than off ball. That makes him thinking in being an option to play to, while the opponent is still on the ball and he himself at times maybe even looking like the best candidate to do the dispossession. At the other end of the skill continuum I would like him to develop more creativity. It’s weird how he one time took many dead ball moments, showing skill to deliver longer balls and lacking in this department when the game is going on.

        If Newcastle try to play football, I feel that Anita is doing well. That, while being at the wrong club. Quite an achievement. His frame with Clasie’s skill would be cool, but I see few complete footballers coming from Netherlands anymore.


        PS Luuk de Jong looked dreadful.

  94. one of the commentator during potters vs manu game

    31′ Utd break at pace but Cleverley over hits a pass to Young and Stoke have a goal kick. With Mata, Rooney and van Persie looking so good on the ball, it only further illustrates how out of his depth Cleverley is. Pieters has a pop from 30 yards, I’m being kind when I say it was a shot. He hasn’t scored a goal for six years.

  95. BVM put VDV, Bouy and John as starters and HSV lost 3-0…

    That’s typically an occasion for german people to criticize dutch coachs like they were doing against Van Gaal when he used Braafheid and Van Bommel.

    But to be honest it’s not nice for HSV supporters to get a guy like Bouy as starter when they have to play every game seriously to survive. Bouy never played any professionnal game for Ajax or Juventus, just played in italian second division. I think that it was a pure Van Marwijk choice to bring him there.

    1. Still undecided as the quality at the back is very close to each other. That means a factor like form plays a bigger role had we had a few world beaters occupying the spots at tops clubs who have a lower limit that is higher than the top form of new defenders pushing for a spot in Oranje.

      Look at Janmaat. Did pretty damn well in qualification. Maybe one of the most consistent players of Oranje during qualification bar his start against Turkey. Now, at Feyenoord going through a dip period.

      Look at PVA. People here claim he should get a chance. I think that he has been poor the last games. I mean really poor. Take that game vs Zwolle. Scores and people might conclude he did well. He sucked that whole game. That goal was maybe the only good thing he did the entire match. Going through the acceptable lower limit for me.

      Veltman and his mind farts. What’s up with that. Even in the last game vs GAE at the start he had another one. before that game it has been a sequence all the way to winter camp and even before that, he had one in Oranje as well when Colombia scored and offside goal after his blunder. He got away with it and in Eredivisie he is getting away with it as well. That’s why it is not such a big thing, but the risk is that against higher level teams it will be punished and then we can not say we have not seen that one coming.

      de Vrij. Well, what was he doing with the goal yesterday? De Vrij has made his fair share of mistakes at Feyenoord, far from an impeccable defense. Apart from his pure defensive shortcomings, we have seen that he suffers from mental collapse if he messes up. Look at what happened with him against Estonia.

      Bruma is also a defender that simply makes mistakes he should not make.

      I kind of like Rekik, but needs maturing.

      It’s more a question of choosing the less bad ones and the ones who are in a good flow.

      That being said, I like Veltman and his clean tackling ability. Stats back this up as well. Rekik and his early signs of leadership and overall quality. Vlaar. Janmaat for his consistency during qualification. Blind. Cillessen and Krul as keepers so far. The rest I leave open.


      PS I am not on the van Dijk bandwagon as I have seen him play for U21 and he was the worst player on the field. Really big errors. There is something fishy about him doing so well in a league as the Scottish one.

  96. @Balkan: wow I’ve read and seen LVG say he likes more training on a daily basis with a club but he didn’t say he was sick and tired of the national team!

    If he is actually saying he is sick and tired of the NT well that is really very bad news.

    He can’t be saying that and then thinking his players will commit 100%. If he isn’t committed 100% his players won’t be either.

    I hope it’s just like a strategy to take some pressure off his team although I don’t understand it.

    1. …The 62-year-old then reiterated his intent to step down from his post with Oranje following the finals in Brazil, and he admits he will be happy to bring his time with the national side to an end.

      “I’m sick and tired of being the coach after two years,” he was quoted as saying by AD Sportwereld. “I’ll miss the eight times I can work with players, but I’ll have more time for others.”

      Van Gaal went on to state he has already selected a list of 10 players who he will take to the World Cup finals, but hinted that Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder has yet to convince him he deserves a place in the squad.

      “If they are fit, yes,” he said of the 10 unnamed players he has chosen. “So 13 spots are open. Is Sneijder fit? He has another three months…”


    1. Van Gaal is a psycho. Only a retard can say things like these 4 months before WC finals. In a normal world he gets fired right away and another coach takes over as he is declaring that he has quit on his job. Fuck him.

  97. LVG’s “sick of the NT” is more about the coaching part of it than anything else: he doesn’t like working with players only “eight times.” He’s a day-in, day-out trainer.

    I don’t make so much of his statement. Rather, that he’s still fishing for a club gig.

    1. I agree. He’s a drill sergeant missing his drilling time with a team on a day to day basis. He is looking forward to the WC so he can get back at that. All the time in between he finds boring. In a way he is saying he can’t wait till the WC starts so he can work with the guys.

      That being said, maybe too much honesty and not enough tact. He got the keys from the Dutch flagship after failing miserable the first time. Rather than doing it for the sake of adding an experience to his career, a bit warmer words about the honer of holding the job would be nice. He was also quite dismissive about watching every Ajax game, as if a guy like him has better things to do. If he hates the observing part of his job so much, he should maybe have considered not taking the job. He can’t say he underrated that aspect of it, as he has occupied the position of NT coach before.

      Still qualified us as the best team in UEFA and the fact he is so eager to start is in a way also reassuring. I rather have a coach who want’s to get at it, rather than being scared to make tough decisions and play Spain and Chile in the group. We are in a kind of nasty situation with the draw. Brazil waiting on the nr 2 of our group and all that as well. Van Gaal rather starts today than tomorrow. To me that is a good thing in this situation.


  98. Emnes at Swansea…lets see if he will make it. Liked his speed from his Sparta days but I have never been convinced that he has the “brains” to make it big..Hope he proves me wrong now that he is in the EPL.

    also, anyone knows if Janmaat’s injury that he got yesterday is in a anyway serious?

  99. Leroy Fer
    For a man with such physical presence, Fer was second best in the centre of the field all afternoon. Often outmuscled, the Dutchman also gifted Spurs possession on a number of occasions.

    Ricky van Wolfswinkel
    Another poor performance in front of goal. Ran the lines well and caused Dawson and Vertonghen problems but his finishing once again let him down.

  100. Tim Krul
    Kept on his toes by a lively Villa attack throughout but was on his guard to keep out Agbonlahor and Bacuna when necessary.

    Vurnon Anita
    Looked a lot more comfortable with Tiote alongside him in midfield. A bit more composed on the ball than in recent games, but still lacking the eye for a killer pass.

    Luuk de Jong
    His blocked shot was the catalyst for the Newcastle goal.

    Ron Vlaar
    Caused his side all sorts of problems with poor defensive errors. Made his side’s afternoon a lot more difficult than it should have been.

    Leandro Bacuna
    Tried his luck with a couple of free kicks but never really tested Krul. Had a job on his hands trying to keep Sissoko at bay in the second half.

    Michel Vorm
    Could do absolutely nothing to stop Liverpool score their first three goals, though could have held Henderson’s initial shot for the fourth. Saved well from Sterling and Suarez.

    Jonathan De Guzmán
    Whipped in free-kick created Bony’s first and twice went close after the break. Should have done better when Mignolet saved before he was replaced.

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