Daley Blind mystery finally solved!

For some, this has been a mystery. For others, it was always crystal clear.

Everyone can see Daley Blind’s weaknesses. You don’t need to be a football expert for this. He lacks pace. He can’t head the ball. He hardly scores or assists. He’s actually too slow for a left back and lacks the duelling power for midfield.

Why is it that all coaches he worked with, all football analysts and ex-players rate him so high? Why won’t Van Gaal or Ten Hag bench him for quicker players? Younger players?

Finally, there is a new statistical model being used which clearly shows in stats why Daley Blind is one of the best players in Europe. (Thanks to VI Pro)

The opening goal of Ajax vs FC Utrecht demonstrates Blind’s value vis a vis this new statistical model. And Blind’s role is key. The Ajax left back gets the ball after a turnaround of possession and his action allows for the pass to Steven Berghuis. He dribbles forward and passes to Tadic. The Serb finds Gravenberch who finds Antony. The little Brazilian scores. In traditional statistics, this goal will be summarized as “assist Gravenberch and goal Antony”. Expected goals and Expected Assists do add some context. These stats show you how likely that Antony goal was. But the role of Blind and Tadic in this move can’t be found in the traditional stats. There would not be a pre-assist even for Daley Blind.

This has “Final third” on the Y and “half opponent” on the X -axis. Name of graph: Successful passes

Daley launches his team mates forward like this an absurd number of times, allowing them to penetrate the box. This visualisation above demonstrates the combi of passes on the opponent’s half into the final third. Blind is a category in itself! Only Feyenoord playmaker Orkun Kökçü comes close.

The traditional stats say something alright, but they miss any context. For instance, a through ball getting a player face to face with the goalie is in these stats comparable with a horizontal pass at the middle line. Expected Assists helps to show which player actually create opportunities. The pass before the final pass was also not really on the radar, until the Expected Threat comes into play.

The aim of the Expected Threat is to add value to players who actually start the attacking move. This idea was launched by Sarah Rudd, who worked for Arsenal in 2011. Karun Singh took this model later and created a popular blog post to demonstrate this and the Athletic took the idea and popularised it.

The Expect Threat Zones. The lighter the block, the better the odds to score.

The idea behind Expected Threat is simple. The closer to the goal of the opponent, the high the chance that a goal is scored in the next 5 moves. Historical data helps to give values to these areas. So they divided the pitch into 192 zones (12 in the width and 16 length-wise). The players who get the ball in those high-value zones are scoring the most points, obviously.

Expected Threat identifies the players who are the most successful in finding the quickest route to a goal. And the scores are basically a compounded score of progression made on the pitch, through passing and dribbling (carry). Crosses are not part of this analysis, because the odds to score from a cross are way lower than playing the ball via pass and move into the box.

This sounds like higher math to some, but this video below will show what is meant. The Blind pass which results in the first Ajax goal.

Expected Threat will compare the starting point of possession, with Blind, to the final stage of this move, which is Tadic taking the ball in the box.


Statistically, the chance that a team scores within 5 moves at the spot where Blind gets the ball first, is 1,4%. This means, that only once in 67 times that the ball gets to that starting point, a goal will follow within 5 moves.

However, when Tadic takes the ball in box, the chance of Ajax scoring went up to 12.6%, which means that when a team gets the ball here, 1 out of 8 times, a team scores within the next 5 moves.

So, Blind’s pass has increased Ajax’ scoring changes with 11,1% points. And this gives Blind a value in the Expected Threat stat: 0,111 points.

Another example: the first Ajax goal against PSV. Again, Blind starts the move. This time he has a pass in the left channel towards Gravenberch. He brings the ball from a 0,5% zone to a 3,7% zone. With this pass, Blind collects another set of points to his name in the Expected Threat score. The score is lower than in the Utrecht example, because the zone where Gravenberch gets the ball has a lesser value (as it is further from the opponent’s goal).

The winning goal Ajax scored versus PSV also has Daley as a key component. With two trademark passes: he first plays Tadic in, hard and low. Then another pass towards Danilo. These types of passes demonstrate his value for Ajax.

Analysis the matches vs Utrecht and PSV show that Blind has numerous passes with which he accelerates the play. “I want to make every single pass count. In the match, at practice, always. I try to send a message with my pass, to the player I play the ball too. My pass should inform him what my idea is for his next move. When I play in to Dusan Tadic’s right, I want him to turn that way. It doesn’t always work out, but it’s always my intention.”

Recently, Blind spoke in the Cor Podcast about this: “Delaying the pass is the most important thing. When I get the ball, or anyone gets the ball, the opponent is usually in a particular position. They usually are comfortable. When I pass too quick, I am not doing anything about that positioning. But when I delay my pass, I force the opponent to do something. If they don’t come to block me, I can dribble forward. But if a players steps in, another one of my team mates will become free. I actually force the opponent to tell me what my best next move is.”

The facts show that Blind’s words are more than theory. He usually gets the ball in areas where he is not going to be a threat. Usually, on the left flank. The next step is for him to bring the ball there where a threat can develop. His hard, low pass to Tadic is his trademark, these days. Blind plays a cat and mouse game with his opponent. You act as if you don’t know where to go, you look around, maybe turn towards a less risky team mate in midfield, only to suddenly play the fast ball, skipping midfield, into Tadic or Berghuis.

Animation of Ajax’ build up patterns

Erik Ten Hag actually amended his tactics to fully benefit from Blind’s qualities. He is the first build up station. He usually drops back next to central defenders Martinez and Timber, or he moves way to the left, allowing Gravenberch to confuse the opponent by him dropping back. In both situations, the aim is to trick the opponent into making a press on one of these two. When they do start the press, the space around Tadic becomes wider and this is when Blind will play the ball.

Expected Threat captures this quality in statistics. Blind is the leader of this stat in the Eredivisie, as he was last season too. Last season, in the big competition, the stat leads were Neymar in France, Messi in Spain, Jaden Sancho in Germany and Jack Grealish in England. It’s no surprise that these four players are considered the top and three of the four made a big money move last summer.

This year, Blind shares the #1 position with Leo Messi again (France), Vinicius Junior for La Liga and Trent Alexander-Arnold in England.

This list shows the Expected Threat in passing. Different types of players can do well with this stat. Another Ajax player (Tadic) is second on the list, as a left winger. Ajax’ Timber is on the list as a central defender, while Veerman (these are his Heerenveen stats) and Kökçü are more playmakers.

There is a separate stat Expected Threats in Dribbles. Cody Gakpo does really well in that overview and that will also play a role regarding the interest from Liverpool, Man City and Bayern Munich in signing the lanky PSV star.

Stats do not tell the full story of course. One aspect that is not taken into account in the Expected Threat stat is the position of the opponent. Only the start and end position of the move are used and not how many opponent players are taken out of the game by the pass. In this way, teams that dominate on the opponent’s half will always score higher in this stat than counter-attacking teams.

But, this does give us a very objective and measurable reason why Daley Blind is revered by the football experts and that he fully deserves the title of the King of the Pass before the Pass….

I’m sure some of you will start to comment like crazy now….

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  1. I hate to take the focus away from this excellent analysis but I have to mention Marc Overmars. The man with the Midas touch also had some other touch intentions. 6+ young Ajax employees – all female- came forward to declare Overmars made unwanted advances and even went so far as to send dick pics to these women and pushing them for more. Rumour has it that the Ajax board (and MD Edwin vd Sar) knew about this for years. New employees were basically warned about him within the organisation.

    Overmars immediately resigned/was sacked when the news broke. The #metoo wave has now hit Dutch football. Will there be more sordid details coming out?

    1. I hope Ajax can keep up the good work. They are on the way up and I have high hope for them in CL. I don’t know how much this news will affect Ajax in long run. Hopefully, they can get someone to replace Overmars. The firing is deserved and i don’t know what he was even thinking. This is totally unprofessional.

  2. “I’m sure some of you will start to comment like crazy now….”

    there is nothing crazy to comment. we all know about this and I have commented on this hundred times. this is absolutely normal if you look this from Ajax point of view, at eredivisie level and at NT level. vs average teams this has always being the case and also where he looks like world class. HOWEVER in compact games or in high tempo games, he simply cant replicate this and eventually this is when his lateral and back passing makes the team (flank) lag. neither he is able to play a high line of attack and nor he complements his winger by going around them.

    this so called excellent analysis doesn’t change the fact that he is not a consistent performer at every level and he can only go out of comfort zone in specific games when it suits him. I will take the Dortmund CL legs for example, in the first leg , he was exactly like what you have mentioned above and they thrashed them. If I am not wrong then he was also the MOTM. I also gave a analysis of the game as to how he was afforded free space to move very high up and the result was exactly what you have mentioned on top about starting point expected threat area and resulting in goals. HOWEVER in the second leg how that wasnt the case even though they won again.

    “Daley Blind (5.5/10)- Daley Blind who scored at home against Borussia Dortmund wasn’t that effective tonight. He was not given much space and couldn’t go forward as much as he would like”

    you can see this is what Blind is all about and at NT level its completely a different story to that of Ajax and gets more complex and again we have seen it all over the years in which type of games he thrives and in which he cant. on the same note just wait for Ajax to take on more and equally suppressing teams in CL, and maybe then use this model to analyze him. kind of disappointing you used the Utrecht game to depict the model.

    “Why is it that all coaches he worked with, all football analysts and ex-players rate him so high? Why won’t Van Gaal or Ten Hag bench him for quicker players? Younger players?”

    At ajax, though Tagliafico is a more attacking Fullback to that of Blind , he is very clumpsy with his tackles and has Disciplinary issues and perhaps this is the reason why Ten Hag prefers Blind over him otherwise when ever he has played, he has put a good shift to that of Blind. this also explains why his loan move to Barcelona was blocked by Ajax. they still see him as valuable player/backup to Blind .

    I think with others we have talked in detail, how he has become undisputed and why the LB is the only position with very little to no depth and still with competiable players now on the horizon,they still wont get to compete with him and prove themself.

    at tops neither at Ajax nor at NT level, his absence has been a issue at any time and neither the team has looked vulnerable. he is highly rated for a certain degree of his technical capability which again doesnt make him undisputed or highly rated FB right now in the market. you can not put a blind eye on his weakness because it WILL creep in at crucial stages when it matters the most.

    1. Buddy, you realize what you’re describing is all footballers ever?

      “He doesn’t do well when the games are high tempo or compact.”

      Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t do well when games are compact.

      You have this anti-Ajax rhetoric where everything is always so convenient. Everytime Blind has a worldy it’s just “the opponents aren’t very good”. And then he has a bad game, as players do, and you cement that as his level.

      You’re keen to judge Blind strictly on his worst performance and neglect his good ones. Like if Blind plays 10 games, and he rates out of ten as a 6, 8, 9, 7, 5, 8, 9, 5, 6, 8. You just cross out año the 7-9 and say on average he’s a 5.5.

      Fact of the matter is that before the year is done, Blind’s going to have 100 International Caps, and he’s probably got at least 2-3 more years in him. He’s gonna stay at Ajax the rest of his career as they remained steadily in the knockout rounds of the CL.

      1. My friend Ronaldo is 37 years old now. What are you trying prove

        We have already seen in the last 8 years or so what he is capable of and not.

        Again what has he proved in last 8 years in NT that makes him one of best in europe.

  3. He is very good player, especially at WC 2014, he is one of the main reasons we got into semi final. Later he lost his speed but he could still be very useful in certain set up. Ajax got a very good deal in getting him back from Manu.

  4. Ok, went through the original article on Voetball international and again im not suprised how they have come up with this. The stats may show that they are on the same level but at the same time eredivisie, epl, ligue 1 is not on the same par to conclude that is really the case. In other words you really cant use the stats from the Utrecht game to conclude Blind is on the same par as Messi from the Lille game in ligue 1 or Vicinus from whatever game he played in la liga. Its not legit. Its like apple and oranges

    1. But when Danjuma lights up a team in the Championship he’s world class and deserves a permanent spot in the NT. Or Richairo Zivkovic scores 2 goals in China’s 2nd division… or Xavi Simons completes 4 passes in his 2 minute cameo in Ligue 1. When Marko van Ginkel gets put on the team sheet.

      You can’t criticize Blind for dominating the Eredivisie and then also highlight other guys that play in lower leagues.

  5. My bold predicción is that when Daley retires he’ll be Hollands most capped player and will have started the final for a major international trophy.

  6. NT will never wim any thing with him in the squad, thats my predictions. Not that I despise him but his weakness like I have maintained from day 1 will overshadow the team come critical stage.

  7. Re Blind. The premise of the article wasn’t that Blind was among the “best in Europe,” rather it was stated at the outset: “Everyone can see Daley Blind’s weaknesses. You don’t need to be a football expert for this. He lacks pace. He can’t head the ball. He hardly scores or assists. He’s actually too slow for a left back and lacks the duelling power for midfield.

    Why is it that all coaches he worked with, all football analysts and ex-players rate him so high? Why won’t Van Gaal or Ten Hag bench him for quicker players? Younger players?”

    So I think that this new stat (for what it is worth) is less something used by coaches/ex-players, etc. to decide whether he should be in the lineup, but more something that confirms to them what they see and feel, that the team functions better with him in the lineup. My guess is that if you showed that statistic to Van Gaal or Ten Hag, the response would be a shrug, and a “but I knew this already.”

    As far as him being exposed at a critical juncture, I think when you look at nearly every goal that is ever scored, it is the result of a mistake or a player being exposed in some way or another, and nearly every time, you can look back a few moments and see how the play could have been avoided if someone else had done something further up the field. Goals scored and team losses are always down to more than one thing, or one player, so I give no credence to any individual players being blamed for a loss.

    As far as the NT not winning anything with Blind. Well, the odds on that prediction are pretty good—he’ll likely be done after this WC, and Netherlands are at best, what, 9th or 10th favorite?

    1. I would again say you are comparing apple to oranges. You cant weigh mistakes from being weak and making mistakes out of the blue together in the same busket.the probability would be less and more. Mistakes aside the other draw back with Blind in the team especially in more high tempo games is his inability to maintain that balance between his attacking and defensive games. (NT).He is forced to stay back and this very well affects the build up phases making his flank lag with his consistent lateral and back passes. This becomes critical when seen from how the oponents gain advantage from it knowing what to expect and so do the coaches when they make tatical changes. Once again at SF or final stage, this all contributes to which team has the ascendancy.

  8. My two cents on Blind Daley….i used to criticize blind for his lack of speed to join attacks upfront,i still feel this limits our game vs very strong teams like France etc…i wanted to see how others perform when Blind is not there as LB…As LCB Blind has no room with Ake,Botman and Virgil….So LCB case was closed for NT..
    Then As LB…Owen winjdal was piss poor compared to Blind at LB…Bakker would not surpass Blind either ,bakker is too short of talent..but i should say Tyrell malacia is excellent as LB he is on par with Blind and gives extra in attack.Vs tough teams Malacia would do better…With senesi and Geetruida Tyrell is sensational at feynoord..they look robust..so for me its
    Malacia=Blind….Rest are piss poor….Blind can sit in bench and should makes way for Tyrell…
    Replacing blind is okay but with whom???thats the question..

    1. The question that should be asked is why Blind and Malacia are not being rotated. It’s obvious blind is reaching the twilight of his career and Malacia is the next option to step in shoes. Only through rotation, the transition can be successful but still Kock blocking is going on. This is whats unbearable when it comes to blind.credit should given where it’s due and it seems like the jury doesn’t want anyone to come near him until he hangs his boot.

          1. Also on the same note how many players in the last few years have burst on the NT stage due to injuries to the existing players then.

          2. In league football when you have 38 games to play and a draw or loss every now and then isn’t a big deal, you rotate players because if a kid slips up, it doesn’t matter.

            In international football, every game is must win. I’ll referente a particular switch when de Ligt was handed his debut against Bulgaria and it basically cost us qualification.

            Blind isn’t rotated because every single game van Gaal is playing his best 11. He’s not playing the second stringers because dropped points will cost him his job.

            If Blind is injured the next in line will step up. Simple.

          3. Answering the immediate question is easy. If Blind is the starter come the WC, whoever Van Gaal has in mind as the back up lb/wingback. Next man up.

            But your question presupposes that Blind will be the starter. Who knows if that will be the case? There are 9 months between now and late November, with Friendlies and Nations League matches. It may be that when the dust settles, Van Gaal decides on someone else.

  9. @ Derek
    Correct me if I’m wrong. You are saying de ligt was given his debut against Bulgaria and it cost us the qualification.

    Then in the end you are saying if Blind get injured, the next in the line one will step up. Wasn’t De ligt not next in the line. So You see it’s not simple.

    The importance of rotation is provide depth and a quality cover to certain degree because you can’t just throw a player at Critical stage who just has one or two caps at NT level. That’s suicide. And this is what happened to De ligt. he was raising star at Ajax and got masscared thrown in as next man in line. You can also throw another argument here as you have to start at some point and build up on it. Transition sake

    The second thing you said “Blind isn’t rotated because every single game van Gaal is playing his best 11”

    So in other wise words you are saying if Malacia starts it won’t be best 11. How do you conclude this because with him in the team Vs lativa the team looked more vibrant and this why I think they need to be rotated more. There is nothing to lose and will be in the best interest of team. At tops this will settle the dust easily. Refer to below

    @ Andrew

    You said “If Blind is the starter come the WC, whoever Van Gaal has in mind as the back up lb/wingback. Next man up”
    Looks like you have forgotten about the Norway first leg qualifiers. Van gaal had Timber in mind to be be the next man up for Dumfries. It nearly cost them dearly. Dumfries had to come on and save him from his blushes.

    We all know Van gaal wants to portray himself as a tactical genius.he thinks he can get away with it every time but it will never be the case with a oppoession who has come fully prepared. You see this things matters in the very end like at a Final or SF stage where head to head becomes critical and deciding fact. You can’t gamble here

  10. I’m afraid Wilson didn’t understand the article. It’s not about opinion. It’s statistics. And stats can be compared objectively. Madueke at PSV cannot be compared with Blind in this overview, as Madueke would be on the receiving end of Blind passes, if he was at Ajax. Madueke = winger. Blind = defender. THis stat is now useful to judge players like Blind (and Timber and Kokcu etc). Instead of “goals” and “assists” we now have more stats to use. Isn’t that great.

    I’d almost apologise to Wilson that Blind scored high on this :-).

    Eredivisie might not be top notch, but Ligue 1 is also not that great a league. PSG and Ajax are similar in terms of dominance.

  11. I would even venture to say that for Blind at Ajax it’s harder to pass a ball into the danger zone as most Eredivisie clubs will park 2 buses when facing Ajax. Only PSV, AZ, Feyenoord and Utrecht would try and attack.

    It’s easier for a player at Arsenal or Chelsea to score high in this stat as there is more end to end games in the EPL or Spain.

  12. Hahahaha we’re still discussing Daley Blind… Goodness me.

    On other news: Berghuis has pushed Gravenberch out of Ajax 1. The youngster is out with Corona and Berghuis, Blind and Tadic are killing it on that left flank.

    Maybe we need to bring the Berghuis discussion back again as well?

  13. Danny Blind was throwing every player with out much sense…No one should follow that….He gave BMI as partner for Deligt at 17 year old…Especially you cann not throw a stopper back in a crunch game with zero experience…that cost us WC..

  14. @ Jan

    You are making the same sentiments as Derek 91. On one side you are saying there was no other option and then De ligt was not next up in the line. Van dijk and De Vrij were injured/ not in the squad, who else was there that Danny overlooked and gambled by starting De ligt.

    Secondly, and I did mention this aon top, the original article from which you have sourced yours says this;

    “He (Blind) has only scored once, the counter stands to two assists, he makes hardly any tackles and he wins only 57 percent of his duels. But in a brand new stat, Daley Blind is absolutely unbeatable. Which puts the Ajax defender in a row with Lionel Messi (Ligue 1), Vinicius Junior (La Liga) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (Premier League)”
    Is Messi and Vinicius defenders. This is where I was coming from when I put Madueke in the spotligt.

    I also made it very Clear you cant compare Blind at Ajax to Blind at NT. Its a totally different story.

    Its a logic thing, you cant use the stats of his one game where he dominated and use that to OBJECTIVELY compare those who perfom consistently week in and week out in more competitive league. And you have rightfully put things in context by saying apart from few clubs in eredivisie, the rest park the bus. What do you expect to happen here in terms of stats for players. It will obviosly show high percentage.

    Being said this I really would like to see or know what this module show about Malacia from attacking stand point.

    1. Wesley Hoedt had games for Oranje and was on the bench. Virgil van Dijk could have been called up. Joel Veltman was in the squad (he’s a CB originally). There were options for sure. The thing is: De Ligt made one individual error, the second goal was partly his fault, partly BMI and I think Zoet also didn’t do well on that.

  15. Wilson, you need to understand the difference between club and international football.

    You keep talking about squad rotatión adding to depth. All of the guys on the international team are ready to play at all time. Even uncapped players are capped at a club level.

    Let’s take 2004 for example, van Nistelrooij was our striker. At the time Kluivert had retired, so we used striker with less than 5 international caps, Roy Makaay. We didn’t need to rotate Roy into the squad, the guy was a regular for his club.

    We don’t need to rotate Malacia into the team, he’s a fulltime footballing professional, not an uncapped 17 year old. The fact that he’s on the squad means he’s ready to play.

      1. My friend did I say rotate the whole squad because thats the impression Im getting from sentiments. Club football is club football. I understand what you are trying to imply there. Im taking about specific positions. There are certain positions right now in the team if there is a injury, the team will drastically loose its stability, equilibrium whatever you wanna call it. van Dijk, Depay and Frenkie. They are undisputed and there is no one at their level who can step in their shoes if they get injured, we have all seen how the team has struggled without them. Turkey first leg ( Van Dijk), vs Northern Ireland second leg (Depay). Maybe Dumfries as well. Besides them there is a room for improvement in the team if there are options avaliable and this is where Im coming from. Blind is not undisputed, I have said this hundred times and neither the team has looked vunerable in his absence. malacia has shown and possess the quality to be an upgrade to him. If options are avaliable and if they can bring change for good in terms of adding more quality, then why not. This is exactly what happened when Blind and van dijk went head to head at LCB, dumfriesl/ tete/ veltman, at RB I hope im not beating around the bush here. You also look at how lang and danjuma has reinforced the team . Its totally legit and the team looks more formbiddle now within a short period.

        Lastly your 2004 facts are horribly incorrect. You might wanna dig deep next time. Kluivert didnt retire, he was dropped by Dick Advocaat.


        Also in the lead up the ECs, Nistelroy, Kluvert, Mackaay , Hooijdonk were all rotated in qualifers .

        Even in 2006 when Hunterlaar, Van persie jumped onto the scene. I will still saw though you cant compare that generation to the current one.

  16. Koopmieners impressed vs Juventus today in a very advanced position behind the strikers !!! Man Of the match performance, he deserves to replace wijnaldum at this point!! Frenkie-koopmieners-Bergius for midfield wouldn’t be a bad trio at all!!!

    1. I was about to post this too. I have always been a big fan of Teun as a person and football player. He is very well-rounded leader. I will not be surprised if one day he will become a captain of Atalanta unless political trends will be too prohibitive.

  17. Agree on Teun. He’s the real deal. Weghorst doing really well for Burnley and I watched Donnys maiden game for Everton and the fans love him already.

    On Ajax’ debacle: it seems Van de Sar won’t survive this Overmars dick-pic thing. He knew about it before he extended Marc’s contract at Ajax and neglected to 1) take it serious and 2) inform the shareholders. Big No No.

    He gave a media interview the other day, I have never seen anyone stumble and stutter so badly as he did.

  18. Blind is a good player. No more no less. All the stats in the world and how they relate to Blind’s indispensability won’t ease him into most of the top national teams in football. Not the Germany, Italy, France, no top South American team, not even England. At no point in time I would imagine. Not even in his prime. There are just too many glaring defeciencies. Can’t run, can’t tackle,awful in the air etc. But as have been stated, we all know that.

    But what I also know that haven’t been talked about in this article is the other side of the coin, putting aside the stats for a moment. See how I conveniently did not include Spain in the string of countries that Blind couldn’t have made headway? That’s because a slight possibility exists for him to do so. Not because he could all of a sudden become a better player with Spain but like Ajax, oranje and most Dutch club teams, the Spanish way of playing is more conducive and could be more accommodating for Blind.

    The Cruyff school of football believes in offense and does not take too much into consideration the possibility of things going sideways. It’s a mentality of great pompousity and quite frankly egotistical. And it is an attitude that has been doubled down on and seen as the only way to Play the game. Dominate dominate dominate. That’s why Oranje have never learnt the art of defending and can’t resist pressure a lick. And that has come with its price.

    But the highest level of football is a game of margins and even the best teams most times have to be lucky to go all the way. The Dutch do not look at it that way. They do not see Blind and think liability even with all the baggage he brings along. They see a player who is going to contribute going forward and start attacks and get all these pre-assists to the pre-assists. Remember, the default mentality is that this would be almost all that is required of him as the game would be dominated in any case.

    But then you are suddenly taken out of your comfort zone and the script is somewhat in tatters. And that has always been the difference between the Dutch and these countries in terms of their haul of trophies. This is why Dutch footballers failure rate is so high in places like the EPL for example. They’ve never been exposed to the possibility of adjusting and calibrating in real time and how overwhelming it could get. Blind is all of these things. He can only be good enough for certain teams and environment. No fuzzy stats is going to make him run faster, tackle harder or play defense better.

    Every now and then, after excelling with the Ajax’s of the world, players like Blind are called into account. And even if not personally, teams like Oranje have to compensate. Even if they don’t know it. Would love to be fed the stats on that.

  19. Watched both Atalanta vs Olympiakos and PSV vs Maccabi Tel Aviv and must say both Veerman and Koopmeniners were at their very best. From midfield point of view off course. Again very notable was how fluent they can be when they have that freedom to move exchanging flanks meaning right to left and left to right.

    Between both I would lean more towards veerman as he is good on both foot and has ability the open the play up better than Koopmeiners. Koopmeiners is weaker on his right foot. Otherwise both seem to be somewhat similar esque players.

    For 2024-2026, the stakes are high and Im really hoping Matusiwa can break into NT by then.

      1. I think Oranje success at next World Cup will depend on if Van Gaal can integrate him into the team. Currently, looking at all the forwards, only Depay and him score enough goals to be a threat.

  20. I am getting worried about our forwards. Depay is injured, Noa Lang and Bergwijn are not playing, Berghuis is playing midfield at his club.

    Gakpo is too raw and Malen is not getting enough goals at Dortmund. Kluiver is incositent, Boadu and Stengs are gone.

    If we got to world cup right now, we will have Danjuma/Gakpo, Malen/Weghorst/De Jong, Berghuis/Bergwijn

    I don’t know how that will go.

  21. Still a long way to go and there is another season in between which will be played prior to WC and there is Nation league as well. Its gonna be hectic though, fingers crossed there will be no major injuries.

  22. Watched Donny Van De Beek Vs Southampton. I felt he lacks the speed, energy and intensity for English game. Still think better for him to play in the Serie A.
    Gini Wijnaldum is apparently struggling at PSG. Looked lost in midfield.
    I think LVG shouldn’t call both of them for the upcoming international.
    Didn’t see enough of Joey Veerman, not sure whether he should be called up, but if so, will be a breath of fresh air in the NT.

  23. Justin kluivert again scored for Nice. Simple tap in but positioned himself well. If hd continues with this form, he could be knocking on the door soon.

    Veerman one assist and goal for PSV vs Heerenveen. Started at 10 with Gotze playing as a false striker. Veerman has really made his mark at PSV. Lets see if he has got the attention of NT scouts.

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