Cruyff and Van Hanegem: "Mental strength and "gogme" lacking…."

Cruyff is widely considered to be one of the best football players ever. When assessed on his impact on football tactics as a coach and player, Cruyff might well be the Greatest Ever. For some, Willem van Hanegem was as important and as impressive as a player. His coaching career was a bit more tupsy turvy and Willem never won an international title with any of his teams, like JC.

Both impressed as players during the World Cup 1974. Cruyff was the face of the team, if you want. The talking point. The leader. The man with the spotlights on him. Behind him, Willem van Hanegem was the dreh-und-angelpunkt of the team. The time keeper. The game accelerator. The Sneijder/Zidane/Pirlo of the team. And according to some, Willem was even better than JC at that tournament.

Cruyff made quite an impression in Spain and the US as well. Willem never played for another European team outside of The Netherlands ( he played for AZ and FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie, apart from being a Feyenoord icon). Willem did play for Chicago Sting (with Dick Advocaat) in the US. Despite Willem’s limited exposure to other European countries, he has quite a reputation in South America and in England as a Dutch Master. The games Feyenoord played for the UEFA Cup III finals vs Spurs and the World Cup games Feyenoord played against South American opponents like Estudiantes made sure of this.

Cruyff and Van Hanegem are not the biggest mates off pitch. They were fierce rivals in their Ajax – Feyenoord active careers. And wonderful partners wearing the orange jersey. They have tremendous respect for one another. But JC was always too bossy and dominant for Willem’s liking and Willem was always too unpredictable and contrarian and untouchable for Johan’s liking.

So they never really kicked each other’s doors in with cake and coffee the way Wim Jansen and Cruyff were buddies, and the way Dick Advocaat and Willem van Hanegem were buddies.

willem johan gerald

But their football vision is scarily similar. I have had the prvilege of watching an interview with both ex-players in 1983. Holland was qualified (or so we thought) for the France 1984 Euro tournament. Spain only needed to play Malta and they needed eleven goals difference in order to beat Holland to it. The whole nation was convinced even Spain was not able to do so.

Not so, Willem and Johan. In an interview that got them to be ridiculed for a short span, they both declared that 1) Oranje would not go to the Euros as 2) Spain would find a way to score 11 times.

As we all know now: they were right. Whether the game was bribed or not, Spain scored enough goals to qualify. And both players who seemed cynical at the time of the interview appeared to be some sort of oracle.

Yesterday, both ex players were in the media again. And as if they rehearsed it: their message was quite clear.

Holland is struggling massively on the mental aspects of the game.

Willem van Hanegem was clearly disgusted with the lack of fight, passion and belief Twente started the game against Ajax. “If you have your last chance against the number one, and you come to work with this attitude, Ajax will butcher you.” He saw a couple of other games in the Eredivisie (Roda – RKC, a relegation match) and saw the same thing: players who appear to not being in the mood to play a game of football. Van Hanegem even made a point Tiju will like. Apparently Schaken is on his way out of De Kuip, hoping for bigger and better things. Willem believes Feyenoord schould immediately sign Romeo Castelen. The former Feyenoord and HSV Hamburg man impresses every weekend and at least demonstrates the will to battle and fight.

Van Hanegem also stressed that it is possible for coaches to take an existing team and raise their level. By working with focus and clear goals and a consistent vision. He praises Frank de Boer, but more so Pellegrini at Man City, Guardiola at Bayern and Simeone at Atletico. He – rightfully – claims that Guardiola took a team that was at its peak under Heynckes and made that team improve and perfect their game even more… So Willem basically challenged the Dutch coaches and asked them to analyse and consider the approach of these coaches and see if there is something there to learn from.

Cruyff went a step further, by saying we lack mental strength and shrewdness. Or “gogme” in good Amsterdam-yiddish speak. As soon as a club feels the pressure of “having to perform”, they succumb under the pressure. It happened to Feyenoord a number of times, PSV had it big time in the first season half. Vitesse and Twente have it now while Ajax even drew twice in a row after they saw their rivals switch off. There does not seem to be that killing mentality. Cruyff feels that whenever a club “would like to win” things are going alright but when that is changed into “having to win” the players show their weaknesses. “The players also lack a shrewdness. I call it the ability to read the game”, Cruyff lectures. “I saw a team playing an opponent with tall players. The opponent loves corner kicks. So you first try to do what you can to not give corners away. But if you do, make sure you keep 3 players up front, at least! This will put pressure on their defence and for sure, their coach will instruct to keep one or two big defenders at the back. Those are little tactical things players can do in order to outsmart the opponent.” In another example, Cruyff saw a goalie constantly using the long ball to connect with the tall center forward. “The defenders tracked back, every time the ball went to the goalie. Almost inviting him to kick the ball long! Wrong! What you need to do is go up field. Play higher. Make your defensive line around the mid way point. And play offside.” Cruyff believes logical thinking can only happen in an aware mind. Being sharp.

All this talk about our weaknesses…. happening after a weekend in which Ajax made their claim to the title pretty firmly. And it seems that Twente, Feyenoord and maybe PSV will battle for the second spot.



Another big talking point in The Netherlands is the Oranje selection. Van Gaal has told the media he is considering a Wild Card for a player who has not yet made an appearance in Oranje. Was Van Gaal taunting the media? Is he serious? Could it be Douglas? Or Virgil van Dijk? Or is it maybe Terence Kolongo, of Feyenoord? Or Zivkovic? The Groningen forward who recently signed for Ajax?

Who knows…. Only Van Gaal knows at this stage….

In the meantime, PSV coach Phillip Cocu has been treated for a benevolent tumor in his back. The debutant coach of PSV was suffering some back pain and scans pointed out there was a tumor. Frank de Boer will claim a lot of the headlines re: coaching in Holland. Clearly Advocaat, Erwin van der Looy, Peter Bosz and Marco van Basten can consider themselves to have performed well this season, while Lodeweges, Booij and Jans have done pretty good too with their smaller clubs. And Erwin Koeman might well be the best coach of them all, keeping RKC safe (for now, that is).

But Cocu also deserves a special mention. The former creative left winger turned into all round marathon man in midfield for PSV, Barca and Oranje has had a massive career as a player and was always seen as a potential top coach.

He did the PSV senior team for a spell and decided to go back to the youth system until he felt he was ready. This season was supposed to be his season. He did a lot of things right: he signed some pretty good players (Maher!) and he allowed some exciting youngsters to progress to the senior side. He made one big mistake – or two actually… He omitted to pick a more experienced and seasoned assistant coach ( like Rijkaard > Ten Cate and De Boer > Spijkerman) but instead gave his confidence to equally young and inexperienced Ernst Faber. Second mistake was that Ola Toivonen was allowed back into the squad. The Swede was a poisoned apple and was first banned from the dressing room but bad results forced Cocu (?) to take him back into the fold. That never works.

cocu nu

His start with PSV this season was quite extraordinary. The youngster played with two offensive midfielders ( Maher and Wijnaldum) and with Bakkali as winger on the right. PSV hit a drought however and this situation forced Cocu to abandon his Barca-vision for PSV. The two creative midfielders had to make way (Wijnaldum injured, Maher lost form) for more balanced options in midfield. And the midfield became Schaars, Park and Hiljemark. Park is still exceptional and Hiljemark will be a better Schaars for sure, but to play these three in midfield did bring some much needed consistency to the team but it also hurt the attractiveness of the game. Is this a needed step back for PSV? Or is this move away from Cocu’s vision basically a defeat and therefore a bad strategic decision?

Cocu was able to sign Ruiz – for a lot of money – in the winter break and with the Costa Rican, PSV has had a sensational series, bringing them back into the top 4 and most likely resulting in European football for PSV. A must, for sure.

But, there is another but… This move cost quite a lot of money and has blocked the development of a talent (Bakkali, Jozefzoon, Narsingh) by a player (Ruiz) who will not stay in Eindhoven this summer.

The former AZ and Vitesse winger did make a good decision in bringing back Hiddink to Eindhoven in a consultant role. A mentor. That was seen by a lot of people in Holland as a weak move by Cocu, but I think it was very strong of him to do so. It was probably Cocu admitting that he needed a more seasoned assistant coach to support him in his work. Hiddink is the ideal man of course as Guus and Phillip have a warm relationship and Cocu talked to Hiddink already before he was formally installed.

Ask Cocu what he would have changed in the first half of the season, looking back and he will answer with “not much”. He continues: “I wouldn’t have made other decisions or used another player. I made those decisison with reasons and these still stand. It’s more that I might try and change my approach. I do believe I have tried too much maybe. Tried to analyse too much, and fill the heads of the players with too much information. I might have overdone it at times.”

There is a lot of faith in Cocu, but did he ever lose sleep over losing his job? “No, never. I have lost sleep over the results, yes. That does work under your skin. But all that stuff about my job or about my future and all that… I can’t do a thing with that.”

How does Cocu explain the bad series in the first season’s half? “It’s like with anything. There are always multiple forces at work. We started really well. People started to call us title candidates! Ridiculous. We have such a young team. We also had to integrate a number of new lads. Then we lost Park, who is quite important for us, and Wijnaldum followed and we had key players dropping out at key moments. That never helps. And once the pressure is on and you end up in a losing streak, you know all can go against you. But we were never as bad as people tended to think. And now, in our winning ways, we are not even that good as people now claim… The learning curve was steep for most players and I am convinced all players will learn a lot from this particular period. And I think all in all, the supporters can be proud of their team. We have turned it around pretty good and I have seen certain players develop really well. Mind you, we have almost a totally new back four, goalie, midfield and half our attack is new. This is a new team that normally needs time to gel together. I am actually very proud of the lads.”

Hiddink will assume National Coach duties in July 2014. Cocu will have to find another mentor to support him. “We’ll see how we go with that. We don’t want to make hasty decisions. We want to finish this season in style. Securing European Football will be top priority.”

Cocu agreed with Cruyff and Van Hanegem and their criticism. “It’s funny, I was talking about that with Frank de Boer some time back… In 1998, we were close to winning the World Cup. We lost the semis. But we were already pleased to be in the semis. We didn’t really feel like we were supposed to win it… We were mentally not as strong as the 2010 squad. I can see this at PSV too. Some lads think – or thought – they had it made by simply reaching PSV 1. I have to make them see that it only starts now….”


Bookmark and Share


    1. Are you serious?

      Firstly, there is not one but thousands of ‘intermediate species’. Are you stuck in the 18th century?

      Secondly, you misunderstand evolution.
      We did not evolve FROM monkeys.
      We evolved at the same time as monkeys from the SAME shared ancestor.
      Humans are more genetically related to chimpanzees than chimpanzees are to gorillas. We’re all ‘monkeys’, get it?

      Your difficulties in understanding stem from a closed mind, an inability to think, a poor education and a lack of desire to learn.

      The world has moved on a long way in the last 200 years. Come join the party.

      1. ya true,something came from nothing and something became dinosour,elaphant etc etc.So it really proves that you are from monkey but i am not.You may be a monkey or ur for fathers might be monkey,but i am a monkey,..

  1. This from talking about the United-Bayern game today… It’s nice to see our boys getting the respect they deserve… Bayern are the best team in the world and as I have always said, Robben is the key to that team.

    Fear factor

    Mark Payne: Many deserve mention, but Arjen Robben is the one, primarily for his trickiness and the fact that it was his superb volley that knocked out United in 2010. There is every chance Bayern could be falling over themselves to shoot in this tie, as United have so many defenders injured.

    Susie Schaaf: My biggest fear would have been striker Robin van Persie, but the Dutchman’s injury has made me re-evaluate. And I might seem arrogant by saying this, but to me, with a van Persie-less squad, there’s not a particular player, or combination of, whom I’m particularly bothered by.

    On a side note, I finally picked up my first Oranje jersey from Sports Authority in the US for $90, I need to be able to print the number and name on the back though.

    1. This kid is only 17 years old. Too early too call. He has Kluivert potential. He’s tall, smart, fast and strong. He outplayed Bruma, who is not a pussy. But… mentally… will he make it? And he seems to be a typical Gullit like 4-4-2 striker, while he needs to play differently in Ajax’ 4-3-3 system, so who knows.

      He might be an Oranje striker in 2 years or disappeared for ever… 🙂

  2. Alexander Büttner

    Had the unenviable task of stopping Robben and delivered with a far more mature performance than many thought him capable of. A little sloppy in possession but defended well before going off with an injury.

  3. twitter is going crazy saying buttner had robben in his back pocket! i haven’t seen anything yet so don’t want gloat plus pessimists will be like oh robben is in steep decline his career is over

  4. BUTT-ner’s performance was above average, he looks so uncomfortable on the ball while in possession, it amazes me that man utd would field such a player.

    Manure fans are known for their retarded tweets, BUTT-ner may have got the better of robben just once in the entire game, so much for having him in his pocket.

    Infact, Bayerns goal was built up by Robben, clearing two defenders away so that Rafinha could get space and time for a good delivery.

    Very pleased with Robbens performance & he almost scored with his right foot (something to look out for in the WC)

  5. not bad game from Butner, but he is injured and out, i hope he will be fine soon, robben is not like 4 weeks ago, his last 4 games not too good,
    you know why?? i think he is a little tired, he play too many game in this season,
    Robben play 36 games this season, he never play more than 37 games in 1 season in last 7 years, i think it can be so hard for him to keep his best performance.

  6. If we lack mental strength and toughness then it will be very difficult to come from behind. If we score first then perhaps we can switch to defend/counter attack. If we are behind then we need to open up, likely exposing at the back. I think the 2 Giants are simply saying that for this WC the expectation is low. We may not even make out of the group. If we are lucky we get 2nd and facing Brazil in 2nd round and it will be considered successfully.
    Every WC I always hope that we can do something special and win our deserving 1st WC. This time no difference but it does not look good right now. We lack overall quality and talents and intangibles (mental toughness, will to win, respect but not fear). In individual talents we have 3 world class, RVP (injured), Robben and Huntelaar (impressive since coming back from injury). With Strootman out of the WC, I’m anxious to see what wild card does LVG have? 1 of Virgil van Dijk, Kolongo, Zivkovic, Kishna, Van Ginkel or even Afellay or Douglas? The last 2 are probably least likely. With slightly more than 2 months away, I’m still excited and hope we have a lot of luck this summer (opponent’ own goal, our post, referee call go our way, anything…planet align). Go Oranje Go!

  7. I’ve had a few thoughts about who Lvg will and won’t chose and I honestly think van ginkel will get a call up. He has been injured and so Lvg can be pragmatic with it especially given strootmans absenc
    I’m unsure as if to what he does with afellay

  8. soulmate……. it is almost impossible to contain Robben and I cant remember the last time when any one successfully managed to do that but I think Buttner did exceptionally well today given the number of games he has started under Moyes so far. Unfortuntaley it is hard to judge him from todays game given his lack of playing time but I would definitely put him amongst all the finest Left backs that we currently have now. You might wanna watch his game against west Ham in EPL and reconsider your statement …….

    he looks so uncomfortable on the ball while in possession, it amazes me that man utd would field such a player.

    1. I agree Wilson. Well said. He had to contain one of the best players in the world. At times he did. Big performance by buttner today. He is a LB that can play against world class opponents but needs the playing time. Not sure if he got injured or what.

    2. Wilson, yes its almost impossible to contain Robben, however, Butt-ner was far from it & yes he did have a good game against West Ham. Since he doesn’t get enough playing time, he tends to lack confidence in passing the ball, tackling etc.

      If you remember the UCL final of 2012, Ryan Bertrand on his debut had a great game against Robben, managed to dispossess him several times.

      What is worse is that Butt-ner had the audacity to talk to the media about his strengths and Robben’s weakness. That kind of exaggeration is uncalled for & he’s quite hated amongst the Man Utd fan club too because of his Instagram antics, last thing we need is another dispute in the dressing room.

      Robben is our main player at the WC & if he’s going to start on the Left Wing in our line – up, then I would want a solid defender starting for us and I can think of only one – Eric Pieters.

  9. Another intesting point also to consider his how De Jong will adpat to 4-3-3 formation. 2010-2012 was 4-2-3-1 under BVM and at Milan its mostly either 4-4-2 and or 4-2-3-1. it will be repeat of the 2010 Final in which he had Bommel on his side. with one man army its hard to imagine how he will face of with the likes of Iniesta, Xaxi and fabregas, alone. He did crumble against Beligum with their versatile midfielders that 4-2 friendly..

  10. I am happy to read Büttner had a good game. Maybe now Moyes will take him more into consideration, I don’t expect Moyes to bench Evra but maybe he’ll rotate them more especially given Evra’s age.

    Büttner has what it takes to be a good defender just give him time and don’t judge based on some games. The little I’ve seen I’ve liked him.

    1. Thanks for sharing! Pure joy indeed. I wouldn’t place RVP in the list as his contributions to the national team are not as prolific. The fighter Davids deserves to be there along with FDB, Staam, and Overmars.

    2. So the BEST player of Oranje ever or the most successful one….?

      The best is NOT Van der Sar, in my book. Nor is it Van Nistelrooy. I struggle with RVP even. Although he is good :-).

      Willem van Hanegem belongs in the list for sure.

      For me:

      Van Basten
      F De Boer

      1. most influential and the model used for the modern player is cruyff, but you know, bergkamp was the most gifted and talented player of his generation, i believe he was even better than zidane. his first touch and spatial awareness was the best of any player around.

  11. Yeah I have to agree with Wil. Blind won’t start unless LVG has completely lost his mind. Nigel is the best DM we have, is proven, and faces better competition (Serie A, CL) than Blind does.

    Playing DM in the Eredivisie vs. playing DM at the World Cup is like night and day.

  12. @Wil and Sam : I hope you’re right guys. Blind as a DM is not my first option. I’ve said before that my preferred midfeild in a 4-3-3 system will be De jong – Ginkel – Wijnaldum with Robben , Persie and wes upfront. can work really great I believe. De guzman instead of Ginkel can also work good although I think the midfeild will lack the needed physical presence in this case with three short midfeilders playing .
    one more point , I don’t think that Danny Blind being a part of the Manegerial team has a big role in selection of Daley Blind. LvG does like him , Plus , Blind is simply a good footballer imo . He is just not my 1st choice as a DM for this tournament.

    1. Mohammed hopefully his eyes have opened after the France game and if he still starts with him either at DM or LB in the next friendly then my basis is correct and also he will need a pair of glass with the binos fitted on top it.

  13. If there has to be a wild card then it has to be Afellay. I mean wild card,capability and proven record PSV, Bacelona , Schalke. Afellay would be the fitting candidate given his past experience. I dont think Van Dijik will be considered coz veltman and Vlaar seem to have booked their spot unless injuries. zivkovic and Kishna dont think so unless RVP fails to recover. yeah it could come at the LB given nobody has managed to have a firm grip in that position but it wont be wild card but simply a last minute reshuffle to strengthen the back line.

    1. Willems, Pieters have already played for NT under Van Gaal…so the wild card could be either Kongolo, Afellay. I would also bracket Buttner but lets see how Moyes feels about his performance today and if he can gets for games before the WC.

  14. With regard to the wildcard didn’t he say that they were playing in the Ajax vs feye game. I reckon kishna would make the most sense because he won’t lose us games where’s kongolo could get ruined by the experience if it is bad

    1. Kishna would make sense especially after reading about the missing mental strength and gogme in the NT. If the guy has already announced he wants to become the best player he’s not going to get deterred no matter how many mistakes he makes, he might put up a fight until he collapses. An attitude that seemed to be dearly missing at the 2012 EC. Even if he isn’t on the field his energy might rub off and already fire up the others.

  15. Ok if Kishna as striker then either hunter or RVP has to be dropped as all three wont be able to play and if he starts on the wing then there is whole lot of possibility.

  16. kishna and Zivkovic are talents i mean natural,only thing we need to check is how good they vs Top nations,whther they will choke or we tested promes and boetius we need to check both vs top teams,but its too late i think.Considering the potential of the players they will easily over run/out run/out dribble,Verthogen,ferdinand,terry,lescot,Dante,pique,vermalen for sure,not not that sure vs Thiago silva kind of defenders.

  17. Van der Wiel still injured and will not feature in PSG:s game against Chelsea tonight. It would have been a great opportunity for him to prove himself against top class opposition

  18. Büttner glad to shackle Robben

    Alex Büttner was a proud man after his sterling performance during Manchester United’s draw with Bayern Munich.

    The Dutchman deputised for suspended left-back Patrice Evra and shackled fellow countryman Arjen Robben for much of an enthralling 90 minutes of Champions League football.

    For somebody who has had to be so patient for opportunities in the team, the 25-year-old was heartened to hear he was on the shortlist for our Man of the Match award, eventually coming second to Nemanja Vidic in the fans’ Twitter vote.

    Despite leaving the field with 16 minutes remaining due to injury, Büttner is hoping to be available for Saturday’s trip to Tyneside to face Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League and extend his run in the team to four out of five games.

    “First of all, when I heard I was going to play, I was focused for every minute on this game – and to do it well,” he told

    “If it goes well, it is a good feeling. Patrice couldn’t play and I started now to play more games. I was talking with the manager and he said I was going to play so I had more time to lift myself for this game.

    “I am happy that I played well. I can enjoy it now and want to be ready for the weekend. I’m a footballer. I want to play every time and hope I am fit for Newcastle.

    “I am good but my injury is more from Saturday’s game because it [my hamstring] is feeling tight. I have to hope I am OK for the weekend.”

    Büttner said beforehand he was confident of being able to handle Robben and was as good as his word with a tenacious display at full-back.

  19. Buttner had an okay game… Robben was on the right 40% of the game, in center 50% and on left 10% of the game. Robben was unlucky not to score and was the only player from Bayern to get any kind of space – he played some brilliant passes to Ribery and Rafinha. Robben is at the heart of 75% of the things Bayern does. His passing and vision are great – his delivery is fantastic – Running on and off the ball are great. He’s been running for 90 minutes of every game.

    On a side note, Spain has been having some problems… Pique is hurt, Puyol is out of the WC, Thiago seems to be out and Diego Costa is also hurt. I think Spain has some geniune problems heading into the WC. They still have the stongest midfield in the World, but their defence and offense look weak.

  20. Honestly i didnt like buttner he failed to hold robben, robben was free flying giggs was slow and wasted effort supporting buttner in holding robben. There are better options than buttner in that position. I favour to see players who are fit and played many games during this season, i dont like to see players who are not very talented and didnt play constantly, i dont want to see affelay, van ginkel, buttner, etc…

  21. Barcalona has been slapped with a transfer ban by FIFA. No more transfers for the next two seasons.

    What does that mean for Afellay?

    1. It’s ALWAYS great when Ajax scores.

      I come here right away just to see how much it annoys the little bitches. And i am NEVER disappointed!
      Hey, Laurent, what did YOU think of the Ajax goals??

        1. Haha didn’t even notice, look at Klaassen from 03:00. What a useless movements haha just trying to go where the ball is and running like a headless chicken, disturbing defenders.

          How poor can we consider that tactically ?

          Such a shame for dutch football and Ajax to create such players.

          Do you know him ? haha

          1. that’s a bit harsh towards Klaassen. I’ve seen Sneijder, Van Der Vaart & co coming out of Ajax, and I can assure you he’s not far away in many aspects at the same age.

          2. What? Van der Vaart was considered as the best young talent in europe when he was only 19, winning the golden boy.

            Klaassen is 21 and is absolutly nothing. He isn’t even among best eredivisie players in my opinion.

            He really has nothing special.

          3. Laurent Just Finish it,
            u say one time Klaassen is nothing and we all here about that.
            so if it was important for us we don’t talk about klaassen anymore, just don’t say ur negatice opinion again and wait to see what he do.

          4. Van der Vaart was indeed a better prospect, but he underachieved so badly. This shows how futile it is to ‘talk shit’ about young players. Klaassen is in nearly every list of best prospects in his age category; is being followed by many important clubs and showed some great potential in his first complete season at Ajax! And mind you, Klaassen is going to win the Eredivisie with a much weaker team. That is an achievement.

      1. Correction: I don’t understand this, clearly. Please disregard what I posted. Here’s more:

        Balague added the La Liga side may find a way to complete some business ahead of the new season.

        “They’re going to appeal,” he continued. “They have ninety days to do that. If they slow things down and appeal they may still be able to do things in the summer.”

    1. i think it is about all transfers.
      barcelona did wrong about under 18 transfer. then Fifa ban them for all transfer, barcelona has 90 days to change it.

      it is surely about all transfer

  22. FFS sake, let Ibi go!

    The boy’s entering the prime of his career and he’s wasting away on that bench. I don’t care where he goes, just as long as he gets out of there.

    1. I’ll tell you something..
      Ibi himself doesn’t want to leave..He’s just content with the Barca tag and wants nothing else in his life…Football isn’t his priority..I had high hopes of him but he has just ruined himself by staying put..I consider myself extremely disappointed..
      He’s just happy to click photos with the likes of Messi and Iniesta and to upload those on FB and Instagram ..I’ve never seen such an unprofessional footballer in my life..I don’t have anything against him though and wish him all the best!!

      1. Unfortunetaly it’s the truth. Afellay doesn’t care about football, I remember few years ago while still with PSV, a friendly against Genk, he didn’t want to play and took a red card on purpose after 9 minutes, provocating a genk player to fight against him.

        He has never had a fighting spirit or whatever, he just waits for the finale whistle to go home.

        That being said, I also had many times this impression with Van Persie and many other dutch players. And many other footballers in general.

        Afellay won’t fight till his last breathe to win, ok, but I don’t like the idea that we should call untalented players like Klaassen or whoever else to replace him…

        I always said that I prefer to lose with Afellay and Elia trying things rather than with Klaassen and Siem being invisible.

        I prefer to lose like against Portugal in 2006 or Russia in 2008 rather than how Ajax loses to Salzburg and how NT lost to France recently.

        1. Ibi and Elia are talented players with their feet,but they are of very low level intelligence ,it applies with drenthe and many more.thats why they failed.its not a wonder,
          @klassen has better technique than kuyt and many at he has a Cocu level technique and intelligence,But front u need a Ronaldo(Brazil) type killer.which seim and many are completly unfit.

  23. after watchin Real madrid game i think we have to forget VDV.
    can we use Robben as number 10??
    and Depay and Beoitius as Winger??
    or we use Wijnaldum and Robben and Depay with Van Persie in front for, robben can change his positon in left and right and also play as number 10. wijnaldum show us before he can play as a winger and also as a number 10.
    RObben he is more central in nowadays with bayern and hiss pass is better than VDV and Sneijder, also he can control game and ball and has speed, which VDV and sneijder surely haven’t that.
    i think our top 4 player need very high speed, we have to depend on Counter attack in spain and chile game.

    Janmaat- Veltman- Vlaar- Blind
    De Jong – De Guzman
    Wijnaldum Robben – Depay
    Van Persie

    with this line up. we have better team than 2006 and 2008.
    Mark My Word .

    1. only sad thing with vaart is his stamina,he is extraordinary team player with very very unselfish mentality so does RVP,so it makes the team more dangerous,Lenz is far more intelligent,unselfish and stronger than Depay.expereinced too,lenz always looks for team mates.Depay can come as sub but not as starter especially when we have lenz and vaart.
      dutch team has amazing chemistry when they feild vaart/RVP/lenz +roben up front,which will not be there when u put sneijder,or depay instead.also i agree that if we select right players for right spot we have every chance to win WC.but that is not happening here,we keep seeing hunter,kuyt,devrij,etc and some says sneijder should start over vaart,all these things are simply not good for a staring team.lets fix the pecking order.
      Wijnaldum is strong player,it is almost impossible to get ball from wijnaldum,able to score Maradona style goal by cutting past players,sure a difference maker.
      again Blind is a shear weak point at back vs top teams,BMI should play as starting LB not blind.
      krul>stekelen burg>cilessen
      the 23
      left wing
      Lenz,kishna(also a 3 rd striker too)
      right wing
      Roben,Wijnaldum(additional playmaker)
      play makers
      Vaart,clasie (play makers)
      holding mids
      Dejong—Deguzman/Then Vanginkel–Blind

  24. @laurent seems to fasinated by the useless and ineffective dribbles of Afellay and some other headless chiken who love some dribbles and changing their hair cut in a week.
    Klassen has classic intelligence,i mean genuine dutch brilliance he has,though techically not roben or over mars,but very efficeint brain and team player as long as he doesnt play as striker or winger,he is an orange material,but usless afellay is not.

    1. Lex Immers :

      Minutes played: 2460
      Goals : 11
      Assists : 4
      Shoots: 57
      Opportunities created : 44
      Challenges won : 220
      Challenges lost : 170
      Accurate passes: 75 %
      Successfull dribbles : 62 %

      Klassen :

      Minutes played: 1660
      Goals : 8
      Assists : 2
      Shoots : 25
      Opportunities created : 15 (LOL)
      Challenges won: 106
      Challenges lost: 104
      Accurate passes : 80 %
      Successfull dribbles : 50 %

      Serero :

      Minutes played : 1999
      Goals : 2
      Assists : 3
      Shoots : 18
      Opportunities created : 34
      Challenges won : 136
      Challenges lost : 93
      Accurate passes : 89 %
      Successfull dribbles : 56 %

      Klassen played less than both, but for a genius dutch player who is also a fantastic team worker and attacking midfielder with great vision and intelligence, he gave only two assists and created only 15 chances for his team, that’s really poor.

      Serrero is better than him in everything, except scoring goals. Immers has played much more but I really don’t think Klaassen would do better with the same minutes, especially for the dribbles and chances created. He would probably do as much as him, as they are exactly the same type of players…

      1. agreed with Laurent it seems that statistically speaking Klassen is the new Siem de Jong, good work rate but not brilliant, I cant see either the dutch intelligence in him??

          1. Actually, that’s what he does the best, finishing actions with one or two touchs thanks to Schone’s work. But I won’t even consider him as box player and Van Persie’s sub cause Huntelaar, Siem, Kuyt, Castaignos, Locadia etc. are all above him for that.

            How can you consider as NT material for the midfield spot a guy who created only 15 chances in 1660 minutes in the best team of Holland ? Even Maher created 30 in 1592 minutes with an awful PSV lol

  25. Screw all the dutch infighting,,.rise and support the boys from alkamaar as they try to do the impossible against defending champions benfica in 2.hrs

  26. az playing tonight, i think they deserve an article seeing as no one really supports them. They are doing an important job for the dutch league

  27. Az shined thanks to some Beerens and Berghuis actions but the general level is really poor, they’re not able to play three passes properly.

    Benfica was having fun playing in one touch football without even running.

    Maybe AZ can get a draw tonight, but the return will be something like 4-0 for sure.

  28. 0-0 at ht is great for AZ. I am very happy to see us battling so well.

    It is great to see a few Dutch players showing great determination and fight. These guys are underdogs, they are not as good of the powerhouse from Portugal, but still they are battling on.

    Dutch fans should all be pretty happy to see this. Hopefully our other top clubs will learn from AZ’s example and stop roll over and play dead when they go in Europe.

    Also, this will is a great peice of experience for guys like Beerens, Berghuis, Gouweleeuw and Viegiver.

    I expect them to win over the 2 the two legs, but im still proud of them.

    Big up AZ!!

    1. Are we talking about AZ Alkmaar or Helmond Sport ? Doing 0-0 home against Benfica for them is nothing to be happy. It’s not terrible neither, it’s normal.

      AZ beat Valencia two years ago, draw to Arsenal in CL 2010. Why should they respect as much Benfica ?

      But the game tonight just showed again how dutch football is going bad. While few years ago, Twente and PSV were able to dominate Benfica and to get a positive result home, now people are happy to see AZ losing 1-0…

      The worst was the general difference of level for me, I had that impression that Benfica wasn’t even running, could score much more if speeding a bit the tempo up.

      If you guys are asking for Berghuis to join NT cause he had some good shots, I advice you to watch Ola John against Benfica, maybe you’ll understand that we are overrating every “new” dutch player for nothing special here, and easily forget about them after.

  29. I disagree. He is actaully a decent striker and if you were to measure him on the current Eredivisie standard he is a certainly above average. I have watched most of AZ’s games this season and have seen most of his goals, he is a decent attacker and has significant potential.

    1. Srinjoy….It will be 3-0 next week. I think you forgot what Benfica did to Tottenham in the R16 at Estádio da Luz . The balance always swings in favour of the home team and in this case Benfica have taken a vital away goal putting one foot in the semis. Forget about AZ winning in Lisbon. I cant remember when was the last time Benfica lost at home. But again nothing to be taken away from the defiant Dutch side and their mentor Advocaat.

      It will be either Porto, Benfica or Juventus who will win the EL.

      1. I agree, but we have a magic man

        Roy Beerens

        Easily the best performer for AZ. A constant threat on the flank, if he wasn’t testing Artur he was creating the best opportunities for his side with well timed runs into space and pinpoint through balls.

    1. I watched this game live and I was also impressed but it was carling cup and it was Arsenal youngsters, not the starting team.

      I used to watch De Ridder with Wigan and I can honestly tell you that he sucks most of the time, no influence on the play, no stamina, no power…Not surprising that he has to do stages with RKC to have a contract lol

  30. I watched the 8 minute video about great Dutch footballers and this is what I’m thinking now: where are the next generation’s Van Bastens, Kluiverts and Robbens? Can we see anyone that could possibly reach their level? There is another thing that I realized. I think Van Persie shouldn’t be on that list because he simply doesn’t have the mental strength and the killer instinct. Compare him to Van Nistelrooy for example. Van Persie has the technique and the intelligence, but he will never be a star like Bergkamp, Kluivert of Nistelrooy was simply because of his lacking spirit.

    Furthermore, do you realize how different the situation is once Hiddink takes over the national team? Compare the current team with the one of 1998. I think that team was the true “golden generation”. They deserved the world cup more than the 2010 team. There was so much raw skill, maturity, football intelligence. I’m curious to see how Hiddink will work the current generation, because let’s be honest, if Van Persie and Robben retire it’s a shadow of any other Dutch team from the past.

    1. There will be some good players of course but dutch football will never shine again like he used to. As Johan Cruyff said, dutch kids are more in front of their playstation than on football fields. And that’s something we can also say about England, France etc.

      I think the football future belongs to east europe, the balkans are producing crazy players, just look at the new generations in Serbia, last summer Partizan Belgrad had great transfers. Only problems is that many of them have many nationalities like Januzaj and the albanian guys from Switzerland.

      But don’t expect much about Holland, especially mentality of players, since football is only going about money, you won’t see many serious players.

      Guys here are crazy about Kishna, for me he just seems to be so arrogant, potential for sure, but can turn in the next Arnautovic or someone like that.

  31. I think it can it can happen but Ajax needs to be toppled off so that more of our young lads can be exposed to big CL games. Imagine Feyenoord playing CL with current squad.well considering what Ajax have in their volt I know that’s what is making the difference but again it all comes down to how you do smart business. Jus look at At Madrid.. … They have been a thorn in la liga

    1. Strictly speaking I completely disagree, Ajax have always been able to do something in the cl , eventually they will qualify. But for other teams bar az
      They all flop when it comes to European football . Remember how feyenoord got out done by Sparta prague and Psv were just outdone by Milan. I back Psv but Ajax have consistently been respectable . I hope feyenoord move forward after koeman

  32. La gazetta dello sport published a list with the most talented U20 player in the world. We have six player in the list, the order is Boettius, Depay, Zivkovic, Ebecilio, Vilhena and lastly Willems.
    Spain has six player too, Germany has eight, other nations like Brazil and France has five players.

    The thing is we are still producing top talents in europe, so nothing to worry about!!

  33. I think most of national teams except Spain , Belguim and Germany are having a declining period. Even the current German team is not as strong mentally as the previous generations , although it’s probably more gifted technically .
    You can compare the the squads of the big 10 football nations “98-2000” squads with the currents squads and you can easily notice a severe decline except Germany and Spain.

    Even Brazil , who have been always producing great technical players : 98 squad : with Romario , Ronaldo , Rivaldo , Bebto , Donga , Taffaril , cafu , Carlos , Denilson , etc. vs now with : Neymar , Hulk ? , Fred ? Jo ??
    It’s a “Global” thing imo . I don’t thing there’s a need to bash our younger players. I also believe soon we will have a strong team with Ake , Bazoer , Nouri , Slabbekoorn , Zivcovic , Paal , van de beek , Ould-chikh , Adrkanye , dekker and nunelly. These guys are gifted technically so our declining period is hopefully won’t be long.

    You can also look at the Italians who used to have Maldini , Nesta and Canavarro and now they have Chellini and Barzgalli , and used to have Strikers like Inzaghi and Vieri , now their best striker is balotelli who is not as good , let alone his mental flops. Aafter totti and Delpiero they now have Insigne who is good but much lesser than Totti or Del piero.

    1. that is a bit unfair to say, but some parts i do agree with. For a lot of the players you have criticised many of them would be seen at the level of strootman in our team. Hulk is miles better than lens given they are in the money leagues . chiellini and barzagli are very solid defenders in my opinion, barzagli more so . Balo is dire tho. I feel that our emauelson generation has let us down and the following strootman generation has churned out some average players, nobody who has been a pure talent is realising it yet. Fer and wijnaldum were meant to be big things but they haven’t really progressed of late. That being said they can play at a level higher. Our future generation is very good though you are very right, as well as the names you have mentioned they will be playing with depay, boetius… still no real striker but other solid players ! it all depends on how much they want to develop

      1. what is Van Ginkel style of play? Is he more like Xavi or Iniesta? I mean, is he someone who gives pass to other players?

        How is he compared to Strootman?

        1. Van Ginkel is another running, more of the kind of Strootman, but the thing is that MVG can play as an AMF, he is more fastest than Strootman, but he isnt a xavi or iniesta. His first touch is okay, but he has a very good long shot and great control of the tempo in a game. Some people including miself rates him higher than Strootman, he could be a better footballer!!

        2. No he is a different type of player than Iniesta and xavi. I can put him in the same category of Ballack , Lampard , etc. I hope he can reach this level one day .

      2. “We were initially going to see if he could do 90 minutes but we thought 70 minutes was enough for him in the end. Sometimes there’s a risk when the tackles are flying in and you’re not quite as sharp as usual and we didn’t want to risk him getting a knock but he’s got to be pleased to have played three games on the trot now.”

        That sounds good. Thank you Gabriel.

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.