Derby of Lowlands insignificant: Oranje weakened…

The ones who have been with me and the blog for years know my stance on friendlies. I don’t like them.

I have told you many times why. Won’t go into too much detail. But this Belgium derby appears to be horrible in timing. We are lacking many players, probably will play a starting eleven (vs Luxembourg, the game that counts) that never played together before.

A coach would want to be able to use the days prior to the big game (Luxembourg!!) to practice. Get the players working together, bond, discuss tactics and roles. Instead of taking on a much stronger Belgium in a friendly. We all know what can happen. Belgium could tear us apart. They are better. As a team, most likely. Individually, surely. And as per usual, they have that inferiority complex and will want to beat us.

So in that scenario, say we lose 0-4, we need to shrug that off before the Luxembourg game. Media will hassle us, fans will ask questions and players might lose more confidence.

It’s also likely that Belgium will turn it into a real match. Which might lead to injuries.

All in all, not great. Or, our players might feel compelled to take the game to Belgium. Which might result in an ok result (0-0) or a great result – a win – but it doesn’t mean shit and we might end up with fatigue in the Luxembourg match.

line ups

And all of this, only for commercial reasons. For the KNVB to make money. As if they need it.

Danny Blind will not say it publically, but he will not be amused with the timing of this prestigious friendly.

Playing Luxembourg in a tough phase in the season is not so bad. Even if the first 22 are injured and we’d need to play Fosu Mensah, Nouri, El Ghazi, Toornstra, Denswil, Babel and Pieters, we’d still win it. Or we still should win it.

This Belgium game can be disruptive though.

Against Belgium, I don’t care who Blind uses. It will be for him to decide which player he wants to see (Zegelaar? Schaars? Lens?) and which to rest (Sneijder? Van Dijk?). We do have a number of players who are rested nicely. Daley, Wijnaldum, Janssen, Clasie…they all have had games off in the last month, so that’s not that bad.

Most will play with something to prove, but again: it might work against us.

Danny Blind remains the master strategist, who can always see positives. “The game does count for me. Winning vs Belgium means we improve our ranking. This might be key in the World Cup draw. So we will take the game seriously.”

vdijk bruma

Arjen Robben is keen to come (and play) but Bayern will only allow Arjen to sit on the stands for the Belgium game. I’m good with that. We need one moment of magic from him vs Luxembourg. Should we lead 2-0, I think Danny needs to sub him. No risk. Although, goal difference might become important in our group, so maybe he needs to keep him on.

The meeting with Belgium four years ago was Louis van Gaal’s first as Oranje coach in his second term, Oranje lost 4-2. Belgium is ranked #4 in the world, a whopping 16 spots higher than the Netherlands…

Maarten Stekelenburg will be on the team sheet, I’m sure. Cillesen lacks rhythm and so does Vorm. Stekelenburg had a screamer of a game vs Man City but made mistakes vs Chelsea and France, but overall he’s still a top goalie.

The match vs Belgium back then was Maarten’s last in Oranje, as Van Gaal picked Krul after the game. Due to the current Ajax’ goalie’s injury, Stekelenburg was offered two more games between the sticks and then it was all over. “I never watched Oranje at the WC2014. Too hard for me to watch. I should have been there.”

Back then, Van Gaal allowed De Vrij and Martins Indi their debut, while it was the last game of Sneijder and Van der Vaart together in midfield.

stekel pen

Stekelenburg came back from a dark phase in his career. “I can still have a bad day, like vs Chelsea… I had to do better on 2 goals. And yes France… I know. But I don’t panick anymore after a bad day. I spit in my hands and go on. The worst period I had was under Magath at Fulham. I didn’t even get a jersey number… Now, I can focus on my next game coming weekend and that is the best thing to do to shrug off mistakes.”

Stekelenburg knows he is not yet the Oranje #1. “Danny hasn’t said it to me or any of the other goalies. The situation is a bit fuzzy now with the injuries (Zoet, Krul, Vermeer) and Jasper’s position at Barca. But, I’m 35 years old at the WC2018, which is a good age for a goalie. The team is getting younger so an experienced goalie might be a plus.”

In 1999, Frank Rijkaard managed a Dutch side in a friendly vs Belgium which ended in a famous 5-5. Saw some amazing goals in that game….

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  1. Schaars and Janssen both subbed off for injury. Janssen looks like his bell was wrung when he collided with Mingolet. Hopefully just precautionary.

  2. Belgium dominates the game but our defense holds them well and we are dangerous in our conters going forward! Sneidjer has been terrific this game, same goes for our tower in defense Van Dijk! Great teameffort so far thats the way i wanna see us play, all bleeding and fighting together! Gooo ORANJE!

  3. Just watched the game. I thought the Dutch did really well on defense keeping one of the best attacking teams with nothing much at all. The last 10-15 minutes were brutal though. Couldn’t keep the ball, it was so frustrating. Terrible passes. I don’t understand the Dutch language too much but the Dutch analysts were frustrated with blinds passing it seemed. Veltman made some bad plays, I don’t really like him at right back.. depay didn’t look confident, but a move in January somewhere else will help him. Bruma had his usual scuffles. It’s too bad about the injuries though. But like I said, the Dutch played really well for most of the game. Very good at defense. Brenet almost scored, that was a really good run. This whole Dutch team is pretty young. It’s a work in progress and I believe that when most of these players get more experience in other leagues, the team will gel more. I’m not worried. We’re rebuilding and all teams go through it! Hup Holland Hup!!

  4. Useless game as Jan says.

    At least we did not lose. I concede we had many injuries and no Robben.

    Until Danny Blind wins a big game, he will have my confidence. I still do not believe in his coaching methods and his results are very bad.

    If he doesn´t win the games vs. Sweden or Bulgaria, he should be fired. Needless to say that to win in Paris will be too much to ask now but in sports anything can happen. Two years back and a win in Paris was a 50-50 scenario, how a GOOD COACH CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE AND DANNY BLIND IS A MEDIOCRE COACH (AND THAT IS A GOOD GRADING BECAUSE AS WE SPEAK, WE ARE OUT OF THE WORLD CUP WITH ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB). WILL BLIND BE ABLE TO INSPIRE THE TEAM AND GET THE W? LET´S WAIT AND SEE….AND PRAAAAY!

  5. As soon as Schaars and Janssen left the field, Dutch attack died off. After that we did not show anything offensively. Defense led by magnificent Virgil was very good, except Veltman. The boy really had hard time to keep up with the pace of Belgium attackers. I was quite disappointed by our midfield: complete lack of creativity. My impression was that midfielders were rather busy to hold Belgium attack. Not sure whether that was Blind’s tactics but in general both midfield and defense held Belgium quite well. The goal that we conceded was again IMO Stek’s mistake: he comes too far from the gate.Although it was deflected from Veltman, Stek would be able to get it if he was closer to the goal line. With respect to attack, Dost was very disconnected from the entire team: he lacked pace, was always late to the passes, his own passing was bad and did not work hard to get the ball. When I compare him and Janssen, I can see how smart and hardworking Vins is. Overall, it was OK game and hopefully all those injuries were not serious. I really want Schaars and Janssen to be back to the game with LUX. Schaars seems a great addition to the midfield.

    1. Spot on Az………..””IMO Stek’s mistake: he comes too far from the gate.Although it was deflected from Veltman,”””””Nothing to agree more he has cost us a draw against france…he is not trustworthy and he is unreliable..

  6. Yet again another player only given the nod after injuries proves his credibility at international stage. This jus proves yet again that there are players out there who simply won’t get the callup jus because
    Danny thinks they are not up to the job. Don’t how many injuries will it take for others to comes on board and prove he is an asshole coach.

    I still can’t understand what he is trying to prove by starting Veltman at RB.

  7. Guys,

    Blind will stay until the end, let’s leave with it. Plus, due to this injuries, it is hard to tell where exactly Blind is failing, or whether he is actually failing. Do you think, Dutch players are physically weak as they get so many injuries? Taking into account that Vins is not going to be part of the team with LUX, I think it is time for RVP to come back. At least he is not going to be worse than Dost. I think Dutch will win LUX but with minimal score 1:0 perhaps.

  8. Danny Blind is starting to get it right. Don’t make any mistake, this was a full strength Belgium team and Oranje was missing 3 key players (Robben, Promes and Strootman).

    The Achilles of this team was Veltman. All the other players played well. Depay is crap, he is too slow and not cut to make it to the next level.

    Janssen injury is a big blow. But we are playing against Luxembourg which should be an easier match.

    1. “”””The Achilles of this team was Veltman. All the other players played well. Depay is crap, he is too slow and not cut to make it to the next level.””””””

      Thats terrible truth u have said,i ahev saying this for years….
      Schaars did better than strootman…

      Schaars is ferocious brutal tackler,leader,guts,stamina,strength, he is amazing…
      i would add stekelburg with Floppay and veltman…As this guy always stays far from line and at anytime form vaccum he will concede a goal and WE will loose morale after that..stekelnburg is our morale killer..

      1. Schaars played 15 minutes before being substituted for injury…that he is “an upgrade” to Strootman is very big conclusion to draw on a very, very small sample.

        1. Andrew i dont know how to explain it..Schaars is all about security first type guy,his concentraion is top notch..Strootman doesnt have that..Stroot is bit egodistic..i felt
          defense was clearly better vs good belgin side was due to Wijnaldum,shaars,Virgil yester day not forgetting Clasie..Schaars rarly makes mistakes…that 15 minutes he just out played strootman in that spot.i see something in schaars,janssen,kongolo etc kind players..Stroot is more box to box type..not a real holding but schaars is really good holding mid,who efficient in his duties with out fault..
          Our problem is not Schaars or Strootman..
          our problems are
          Depay,-no pace,no hardwork
          Veltman–not RB in wild dreams
          Blind—Getting caught out for pace at LB.
          Stekelenburg–Concentration syndrome

          1. Right those are our problems… Funny how Depay has played only what 60 minutes this qualifying campaign? and he looked quite good. Veltman has not played at RB in a long time and was only there yesterday because of injuries to first choice Karsdorp and Janmaat. Blind has played two games at LB during this qualifying campaign and was easily one of the best players against France. As for Schaars vs Strootman… lol. I’m glad Schaars apparently had good 15 minutes though.

            Wait why am I trying to reason with Tiju again?

      2. Tiju,

        You are a joke. Schaars played well for 15 mins and got injured. Strootman is still finding his feet after 2 surgeries. When fully fit, Strootman is better than Pogba.

        Stekelenberg had a MASSIVE save yesterday. Every goalkeeper will make a mistake once in a while… Buffon, Neuer you name the keeper and I can show you a video of him making a mistake. Steks is the best goal keeper we have. Cillessen was a heart attack waiting to happen. Zoet still not proven and Krul just can’t build the play up.

        Depay think he’s a prima donna.. he doesn’t want to do anything on the pitch. I don’t know if he ever had speed, but he’s slow as f*** just like you are dumb as f***

        1. No idiot Wissor…u took so much time to understand Depay is crap…so are dumper than me for sure…
          Then comes Strootman VS Schaars…may be strootman can be better as he has got tehattributes to win it..But ATM Schaars is really top notch…
          Then Stekelenburg yes he does good saves no one denies it…But he does concede when we play well..this is not the first time he is comin g out of line…So i dont trust him as same strootman he too have concentration issues…Slip moments..
          Goal vs Urugay 2010WC
          Goal pogba
          Goal karacssco ete etc….still to come more…

          1. Actually, Vorm was in goal against Uruguay in the 2010 WC.

            You also seem to conveniently forget the lights out save Stek. made against Kaka in that same WC (when they trailed 1-0 late in the 1st half), as well as the saves he made against Spain early in the final. That was the biggest stage of all. He has quality in him…

  9. Right backs
    Right wing
    Roben–kevin diks/Lenz
    Left wing
    Left backs
    RightCenter Backs
    Holding duo
    Play maker
    No more fragile players

  10. Oops my bad, Tiju. Apologies.

    I thought Vorm subbed for Stek in that 2010 WC game against Uruguay due to injury. Don’t know why I thought that. What I get for talking out of a–.

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