Dutch NT Managers – pt 2

And as the KNVB is closing in on a deal with a certain Louis van Gaal for his third stint as NT manager, the time seems right to focus on Part 2 of Dutch NT Managers… 

And on we go, into the era that most of us you will remember more vividly…

European Championships 2000 – Frank Rijkaard

The tournament was in our own country (and Belgium) and as a result, we needn’t play any qualification games. Only friendlies, with the 5-5 vs Belgium a truly fun one (with an outstanding Davids). The Euros themselves were fine. We grew into the tournament. We got lucky vs the Czechs but demonstrated our great form later on in the tournament. Playing Italy in the semi finals was something to look out for. The team in form got Italy a red card early in the game and with the tremendous domination we had, it seemed only a matter of time, before…. but no. We missed all the chances, including two penalties and also went on to miss more of those in the shoot out. A crying Rijkaard was seen sitting in the bus after the tournament. He immediately resigned from his duties and disappeared to Spain via Sparta Rotterdam.

Frank may not have won anything as a coach with Oranje, but the dynamics in the group were great and we did play some exciting football. Once can only imagine what would have happened if he stayed on…

World Cup 2002 – Louis van Gaal

It wasn’t easy for Louis, to pick up the disappointed and somewhat ageing squad after the Euro2000 debacle, also with heaps of injuries and absent players, but the experienced coach should have done better. He failed to qualify with a top notch squad and really overplayed his hand in the Portugal away game, where he ruined our chances. The press antics of the man are a disgrace too, with his pathos and drama and crocodile tears. He’d go back to Barca and would eventually leave there with a lot of commedia dell’ arte as well. 

Based on this tournament alone, Louis would be the worst NT coach ever.

Euros 2004 – Dick Advocaat

Someone felt it was best to pick an experienced coach to pick up the team and work with it towards the Euros in Portugal in 2004. As we did have older players retiring and a bunch of new kids (Sneijder, Robben) getting into the limelight, an innovative and young coach would have made more sense.

There was a lot of push back in the media: why pick another former NT? Why not a younger coach? Dick reluctantly took the job and immediately picked Willem van Hanegem, his good friend, as assistant coach. The idea was to use the highly popular legend to deflect criticism away from Advocaat, who is famously suspicious of criticasters and media.

We ended up going with an impressive squad: Sar, Stam, Cocu, Davids, Kluivert, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Vaart, Makaay, Sneijder, Overmars, Robben, to name a few. And Paul Bosvelt, yes.

Advocaat didn’t want to use too many new talents. Robben (returning from injury, of course) and Sneijder were benchwarmers. Van der Meyde and Zenden, to name two lesser players, started. We ended up losing the semis against the host country Portugal. That didn’t hurt that much. We had just beaten the Swedes on penalties (finally!!) which was great, but the main damage was done in our second group match vs the Czechs.

The story is famous by now. We drew against the Germans and the second match vs the Czechs, we had a recovered young Robben on fire. He was unstoppable by the opponent. But Advocaat decided to stop him. He took Robben off after an hour of play, at 2-1. The Dutch, incl Robben, were dumbfounded. A controlling mid (Bosvelt) for an attacker in fine form. 30 minutes later, Oranje had lost the match. Everyone wondered why Dick made that change.

Advocaat decided to let Van Hanegem do the press conference, fearful as Dickie was for criticism. When Van Hanegem was asked about the change, he also expressed bewilderment as to why Advocaat would have done it. Asked what Willem would do next time Dick attempts to do something like this, Willem responded: “I will knock him unconscious!”.

That caused a rift between Dick and Willem and a rift between players (who all favoured Willem) and Dick. The game vs Latvia was won and because Germany beat the Czechs, Holland went through. The loss against Portugal was not necessary but on the day, it was justified. The biggest talking point was and still is: Robben’s substitution.

Dick again demonstrated to be less “Dutch” in his coaching than his players or assistant. Lack of courage, lack of tactical insights. He will never really do something overly stupid (like Van Gaal did in the 2002 campaign vs Portugal) but he will also never dazzle. This can be seen even today, as he currently is Feyenoord’s coach.

World Cup 2006 – Marco van Basten / John van ‘t Schip

When another experienced coach disappointed, the KNVB this time did go to see Cruyff for advice. By then, JC had retired and suffered a heart attack before, so he wasn’t going to pick up the baton. But he did have some advice. Like he presented Rijkaard as a candidate to the Barca board, he now opted to have his other protegees (Van Basten/Van ‘t Schip) to take the job at the KNVB. Quite interesting, as both never coached a first time at that stage. Van ‘t Schip and Van Basten, in that order, were head and assistant coach at Young Ajax, and were impressing there. So JC decided that these two could manage Oranje. Based on San Marco’s name and image, it was decided that the roles would be reversed: Marco was to be head coach and Johnny was going to assist him.

Initially, the duo impressed. We won the qualification (12 matches), only dropping four points. We drew vs Macedonia in the last game, when we were already qualified and we drew against them early on away from home too.

The player selection was typical Van Basten: he basically didn’t select Clarence Seedorf because “he didn’t like him”. That was not the official reason of course, but Marco did mention many times – with a wink – that Clarence was “too much work”.

The Group stages went well. Bolstered by youngsters like Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie, the NT won their first two games vs Serbia and Ivory Coast, leaving the final game in the group of Death as a non-decider: losing or winning vs Argentina, it didn’t really matter. We ended up drawing which meant we finished second. And suddenly we realised it did matter: now we had to face angstgegner Portugal! And we got ousted after what was called the Worst Game Ever in a World Cup! Refereer Ivanov (retired after this game) couldn’t handle the battle of Nuremberg and ended up showing 16 yellow cards and four red ones! Overall, the opinion was that 1) shenanigans in the Dutch squad between Van Nistelrooy/Van Bommel and the coaches had brought an edge to the Dutch players and 2) the referee made some early mistakes which allowed for this game to explode even further. Boulahrouz had an early kick onto C Ronaldo’s knee and should have been red-carded immediately. The ref didn’t pick up on it and his yellow fuelled the anger of the Portuguese. Portugal won 1-0, while Cocu and Kuyt had huge opportunities to score, but missed. The rift between Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mark van Bommel and Van Basten overshadowed most of this World Cup for us, and we were tarred and feathered by the international media.

Van Basten did come up with some positives, besides the afore mentioned clashes. His relationship with Van Persie, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Robben and other young talents was very good and during the qualification matches for the Euros 2008, he patched things up with Van Nistelrooy (not with Van Bommel though). The qualification matches didn’t go that smooth this time and we placed second after Romania, having lost points versus Belarus, Bulgaria and Romania…

We ended up in another Group of Death, with France, Italy and Romania. The latter was stronger than us in the qualifications, while France and Italy were the recent World Cup finalists. We tend to do well under pressure.

We impressed with stunning wins over Italy and France, with the usual suspects delivering big time (Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder, Kuyt, Van Nistelrooy). Van Basten played a compact, fast counter attacking game with the speed, guile and technical skills as main weapons.

Khalid Boulahrouz played an interesting part, this Euros. He wasn’t part of the pre-prelim squad. But while Maduro, Emanuelson, Jaliens and Koevermans were axed from the pre-lim squad (and Seedorf decided not want to be selected), Van Basten did select Boulahrouz in his pre-lim squad. He would be the last player to be dropped from the group. However, when Ryan Babel got injured and had to miss the Euros, Van Basten didn’t call another attacker but picked Boulahrouz again.

His wife, pregnant in her sixth month, would deliver a still born baby, only a couple of days before the quarter finals vs Guus Hiddink’s Russia. The bond between the players (Boulah was close to Van der Sar, to Van Nistelrooy, Van der Vaart and others) was hurt, as the players spent hours with Khalid at the hospital and were in mourning. The game against Russia was a heavy-legged affair. Oranje lost its spark and the shrewd Hiddink was able to bamboozle Holland with his tactics. We lost in strange circumstances, as the ref decided to red card a Russian player for a foul, but he decided to cancel the red card and allow the player on the pitch. After 1-1 in normal time, the Russians were fitter than the Dutch in the extra time and beat us: 1-3.

Van Basten / Van’t Schip gave us memorable games. Some of them for good reasons ( WC 2006 vs Serbia, and Ivory Coast, all group games in the Euros) and some of them for bad reasons (Portugal 2006, Russia 2008). But overall, the experience was good. Van Basten decided he wasn’t a head coach, many years later. He blamed the pressure and media stuff. Part of the problem was Marco’s lack of man-management skills. He could act and communicate as a cynical player does, calling out players who make mistakes publically. His relationship with Van Bommel never really recuperated (as it did with Van Nistelrooy).

World Cup 2010 – Bert van Marwijk

Van Bommel’s future in Oranje suddenly looked positive when his father in law Bert van Marwijk was the shoe in for the NT coach job.

Van Marwijk had impressed as coach of Fortuna Sittard, a lowly club usually at the lower ranks of pro football but with the likes of Bert at the helm and young talents like Wilfred Bouma, Kevin Hofland and in particular Mark van Bommel, they did ever so well. Bert was a talented left winger whose career got stalled due to a terrible knee injury. He made his way from the local amateurs, to Fortuna, than Feyenoord at a certain point the Dutch NT. Bert is a no nonsense manager. He loves creative football but he absolutely adores winning. He further perfected Van Basten’s 4-2-3-1 and with Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel as partners in the engine room, Oranje did lose some magic but they gained grit. And after a record breaking qualification series with some amazing football, Oranje went to the World Cup in South Africa. That generation was at its peak but for some reason, the tournament started for Oranje with some figthing games more than actual creative, dazzling play. The Denmark game was a typical example of how we had to battle for results and somehow we forgot to play good football but turned into a street fighting team, almost. Rafael van de Vaart and Eljero Elia were subbed for gritty players like Kuyt and De Jong, but hey…we kept on winning. The low point being the finals vs Spain. We never got into our groove and disgusted the world with our aggro play, symbolised by Nigel’s flying kick on Xabi’s chest. Yes, it was an accident, but it looked terrible. Robben could have turned it into a victory story though, but Casillas’ toe had other plans.

Bert won silver with Oranje which puts him right next Michels and Happel.

Euros 2012 – Bert van Marwijk

This tournament ended up being a footnote in our history. Van Marwijk declined several offers from clubs to move on with Oranje with the aim to win this trophy. Gio van Bronckhorst retired after the World Cup and Mark van Bommel got the armband (he was skipper at Bayern at the time as well). The qualifications were a dream again, with wins over San Marino, Finland, Moldavia, Hungary and Sweden. We did lose the last qualification game but that was without any consequence. The home game vs Sweden (4-1) is considered one of the best matches Oranje played under Van Marwijk. 

That team had Rafa van der Vaart as one of the holding mids, a spot he should have had at the World Cup and at the Euros. Afellay was also impressing in these qualification matches as was Erik Pieters as left back. Some other names used by Van Marwijk: Hedwiges Maduro, Vernon Anita, Emanuelson, Stijn Schaars and Edson Braafheid.

We won that qualification tournament easily. But at the Euros, we came crashing down. The reasons were quite simple. Both Van der Vaart and Huntelaar felt they belonged in the team. Huntelaar had scored 12 in the series and Van der Vaart was amazing as holding mid. But at the Euros, Bert went back to his trusted engine rooms with two defending mids, while the more talented Van Persie was giving the #9 role. 

Erik Pieters got injured before the tournament and Van Marwijk opted to take the 17 year old Jetro Willems. The young PSV player who joined the club from Sparta only a year before would become the youngest player ever at a Euros. Vlaar played for the injured Mathijsen and Huntelaar and Van der Vaart started on the bench vs Denmark.

The crazy thing: we played Denmark off the pitch, but we didn’t score. RvP specifically seemed to have the boxes still around his boots and when the Danes scored, we couldn’t turn it around. 

For the second game, Bert started with the same eleven but had to sub his captain in favour for Rafael van de Vaart who couldn’t hide his disgust for being left out again. Same as Hunter. The rifts were becoming clearer, the second match was lost as well, vs Germany and we have one more game in which we could salvage our tournament. Both Van der Vaart and Huntelaar started and it was the former part Spanish, part Dutch midfielder man who scored the first goal, but C Ronaldo on fire turned the game around. Holland went home, with zero points on the tally. Forgettable.

Bert didn’t manage this team well enough, overall. After the World Cup, the team needed something different. But how, what and when is a different matter.

Bert deserves a statue in the Zeist statue park of Oranje, he got us silver, but he was also responsible for one of the worst Euros we ever played…

World Cup 2014 – Louis van Gaal

After Bert, in 2012, a number of players were slowly losing their spot in the team. Louis van Gaal got the job as a more disciplinarian was needed, the KNVB felt. Louis introduced some new players, such as Martins Indi, Luciano Narsingh, Jeremain Lens, Ruben Schaken all along the players who did remain, such as Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Robben and Van Persie.

Louis coached us through the qualifications without a worry. One draw, the rest wins. With Robin van Persie as top scorer in the qualifications, with Rafa van der Vaart and Jeremain Lens as runners up. Daryl Janmaat, Stefan de Vrij, Jonathan de Guzman and Stijn Schaars were other names that made their way into the squad.

After a friendly, Louis realises that the traditional 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 wouldn’t work with the issues we were facing. Robben, Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Van Persie were still super key, but lacked the legs to play a modern game of football in a swelty Brazil. Our back line was futhermore quite inexperienced and had a certain Daley Blind as key build up man, but as well know, Daley also lacks speed.

So Van Gaal introduced the 5-3-2. The Dutch purists, still recovering from Van Marwijk’s “anti-football” in South Africa, got their panties in a knot but Louis used the pre-World Cup period to perfect the 5-3-2. Overall, it wasn’t always successful but beating Spain the opening game 1-5 resulted in the silencing of the criticasters.

Not without luck (Australia, Mexico), Oranje sailed through the tournament and Van Gaal further made name for himself with the smart goal keeper change in the Costa Rica match, when penalties needed to decide the winner. Krul came on for Cillesen, not because Krul was a recognised penalty killer so much (Krul has more reach than Cillesen) but as a psychological move. The Costa Ricans immediately thought that Krul was brought in as a cert to stop penalties and guess what: he did stop two, and Oranje went on to play Argentina in the semis.

Van Gaal ended up bringing the bronze back to Holland, after a good win over hosts Brazil but the 5-3-2 criticism did prompt the KNVB to bring a more fatherly coach back who was instructed to bring the Dutch school back in to play.

Louis didn’t qualify for the 2002 World Cup, which was a huge embarrassment. But he did win us the bronze medal, so he’s now on even keel with… the other 15 million NT managers in Holland. He will need to win something now, in order to top this list!

Euros 2016  / World Cup 2018 – Guus Hiddink / Danny Blind / Dick Advocaat

Well, this must well be the worst period in Oranje’s existence. Worse than the drought in the early 80s and the miss of 2002… Because those misses were all related to lack of quality, motivation and emotional intelligence of the players and coaching staff. Back then, the KNVB was a hands-off kinda admin office. But after the bronze medal in Brazil and the tremendous criticism on Oranje’s playing style by icons like Van Hanegem and Cruyff, the KNVB decided to step in firmly with some strong directives! 

The KNCB Ceo was on top of the world and made some “technical” decisions he should have left for others to make: 1. Guus Hiddink was to return to the NT because “the players needed a soft touch, after dictatorial Louis”, 2. Danny Blind would be his assistant and his replacement after Hiddink would retire, 3. the NT was told to return to 4-3-3 and 4. the KNVB would install a technical director and work on a strategy moving forward (the “Winners of Tomorrow” report).

Well, we are six years later, that KNVB Ceo has been promoted away to some vague job somewhere. Hiddink was fired, just like Blind after him. TD Hans van Breukelen was tarred and feathered after his abysmal handling of the selection of the coach to follow Blind and the Dutch missed two major tournaments.

Yes, we lacked quality maybe in that post WC 2014 period, but I still believe that even with a younger squad with Janssen, Blind, Wijnaldum, Dost, Strootman and De Vrij we should have qualified for both the Euros 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

The World Cup Blues set in, right after the successes in Brazil which cost us points in the first qualification games. The injury woes and aging of Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie didn’t help. Strootman’s post injury form was pretty bad and some of the decisions made by both Blind (De Ligt v Bulgaria) and Advocaat ( Sneijder and Van Persie vs France) were atrocious. As was the decision by the ref in the Sweden away game, to cancel Dost’s header, which would have seen us go to the World Cup 2018. A horrific time.

Guus’ wonderful 1998 campaign got tainted by this. Danny Blind was already a question mark as he does have limited head coaching experience and resorting back to Advocaat was also a debacle as everyone knows Dick doesn’t deal well with stress and is a defensive coach. 

Nations League 2017 and Euros 2020 – Ronald Koeman

Koeman did something that should have pushed him straight to the top of our list. He brought swagger back. He relocated the Dutch back to the private forests of Zeist in stead of the beach promenade in Noordwijk. He tested the 5-3-2 and abandoned it swiftly and most importantly, he let the team win games again. Sure, the entrance on the big stage of Frenkie de Jong did a lot for the team as his confidence and skill pushed the Dutch forward, as did the leadership of Van Dijk. We almost won a trophy (Nations League) and qualified without too much issues for the Euros. Well done Ronald.

And then he decided to jump another train. He left PSV for the Valencia train (and that train crashed) and he did the same now for Barcelona. Do we sympathise with him? I guess we do. But surely, if he won the Euros with Oranje, Barca would still have been an option for him. But him running to the exit a mere 9 months before the Euros has tainted his name (for me) and Koeman will not make it to the top spot. 

Euros 2020 – Frank de Boer

He cut a sad figure. Imagine, you’re a winner. You won a lot as a player. You were a leader. A warrior. Gifted with a magical left and a strong header of the ball. You played for Ajax, Barcelona, Oranje… You are a legend. Then you become the Ajax head coach. And in tough times you win the domestic title 4 times, almost 5 times… 

You go to a big Italian club. And you fail. Then you got to the EPL. And you fail again. And sure, he was lured in with the request to bring “Ajax style continental football” to those clubs, but he wasn’t able to persevere. It took Inter three coaches before they got it. Atlanta was a better choice for him, at least he won trophies and stayed long enough to unpack a fresh pair of socks. His return to Oranje was not a good one. He was not candidate #1 (he was #5 or so). He was also told to be “like Koeman” and he was told that he had to work with the existing backroom staff. Louis van Gaal would have declined.

He decided to place all his chips on zero (meaning: 5-3-2) and go down in flames or up in a blaze of glory. After a series of guffahs and mistakes (Cillesen, Donny’s statistics, El Ghazi’s sms message) and underwhelming friendlies, Oranje did manage to win the group games and end up as group leader. The road to the semis seemed relatively easy for the Dutch, but they tripped dramatically in the first knock-out game against a sturdy and tough Czech Republic. Did we lose that match as a result of wrong tactics, or the wrong players? I don’t think so. We lost due to lack of quality, lack of execution of the tactics, sluggish players and personal misses/mistakes. But the overall picture was clear: Frank failed to ignite this Dutch team. He failed to imbed that new playing style and didn’t find the solution in the squad he needed. The role of Memphis, his striking partner, the use of the left wing back, the choice of goal keeper… too many questions. Before the KNVB was able to do a proper evaluation with De Boer, he resigned.


Well, it seems every coach we had has either failed or has succeeded AND failed. 

Hiddink, Advocaat, Michels, Van Marwijk…they all had glorious days, followed or preceded by debacle. Yes, Michels won us a trophy and a World Cup silver medal and a Euros bronze medal (?) but he also stopped us from getting Cruyff as national coach – twice- and he was responsible for the atrocious 1990 World Cup. So no, Michels is not my all time best NT Coach.

Frank Rijkaard is the man. He coached Holland to what seemed to be a sure fire Trophy in 2000, only to be outfoxed by….. Frank de Boer (missing two spot kicks).

The football under his leadership was pretty good fun and open and deserving of applause and kudos. Frank is my main man!

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    1. No. No one was approached. Not Wenger, not Zidane, not Conte, not Meulensteen. The public opinion and the “analysts” said: Louis. And weak Hoogma and Rutte immediately went to Portugal, hat in hand.

      1. Jan, you obviously must be joking! If you have a shot at Beyonce, why even bother with Aaliyah and Rihanna?

        Maybe I will select Wenger and Zidane as my assistants…

  1. I has been thinking about the decline of Dutch football for a while. I think there are two main problems:
    1. The gap between Erividese and top league is too big now. So a top player/coach in Erividese will have a tough time jumping to top league.
    2. The mentality of Dutch players is weak.

    To address first problem, we should form something like France’s Clairefontaine where top talents will develop there and they play against each other, the gap of the jump will be lesser than now. In a way, Ajax academy is doing that but the rest of Erividese clubs are under par.

    To address the second problem, we should hire psychologist to help with the mentality of these players. American sport has done that, even Microsoft has done that. You can read about it here https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/03/the-exercise-a-psychologist-taught-satya-nadella-and-microsoft-execs.html. Even if we get Robben and Sneijder to coach them mentality, it would be better than doing nothing, these guys know how to win at any cost.

  2. Aboukhlal, Buekema and Poku are really rising in AZ. I watched their game against Anderlecht and AZ B team was quite impressive compared to last year.

  3. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Jan. To be honest, I have not found any of these prior coaches to be particularly inspirational. But maybe my standards are unrealistic.…

    I have to say though that I do love those 2006 away uniforms. If I didn’t have such bad memories from that match versus Portugal, I would definitely own one of those jerseys!

    I also still feel bad for VDV, one of my all-time favorite players. He was never really given that creative license and freedom that he needed to truly shine, and was always a difficult fit with the other attacking players. I love Sneijder too, but I wish we had found a better way for those two to play together!

    1. Match did not live up to the hype. One of the worst matches especially the second half at least
      4 or 5 players should have got red card.

  4. I agree on the Copa América final. It was disappointing., Not really in the outcome (which I guess was deserved), but in the style of play by both teams and their general ineffectiveness. Some would argue that the match featured at least seven of the top 50 players in the world (Messi, Neymar, Casemiro, Ederson, Fabinho, Marquinhos, DiMaria), and could’ve included even more (Allison, Dybala, Aguero), but it was really an awful tactical display. Brazil’s primary attacking strategy seem to be “get the ball to Neymar”, while Argentina’s was only slightly different — “ get the ball to Messi“. At the end of the day, Argentina proved to be much more tactically disciplined, in that they could occasionally string together a few passes as a team and defend with a slight amount of coherence. Brazil actually seemed incapable of building out of the back whatsoever, and their midfielders showed no interest in working to get open for their back line. I’m honestly amazed that so much combined talent could put together such a poor performance. It was if the final was really just a glorified pick up game among high-quality players.

    I actually feel sorry for both Messi and Neymar that their teams are so utterly reliant on them to generate everything. Perhaps that’s based on their own cult of personality, and may even be of their own making, but both of the players have shined brightest in systems where they weren’t truly the focal point. It just goes to show you that suppression of individual ego and willingness to work as a team is ultimately the best way to go!

    Finally, this was a major international final, with an outcome that would help define these star players legacies! And yet neither manager had any sort of game plan whatsoever on how to win the match.

    1. I think Brazil has become more like Argentina before when they used to play in the shadows of Messi and the rest of the team were merely just to make numbers. Now if you look at the current Argentina team, that has changed now with the arrival of new generations, Pardes, De Paul, Lo Celso , Martinez and above all Emi Martinez in Goal. After a long time, you can feel this is an overall good squad and they will be team to watch in the world cup. I think their coach Lionel Scaloni has done a good job even without Dybala and Icardi.

      Brazil on the other hand is not what we used to see before where all starts could play together and still have a good balance in the team. with Neymar this has becomes hard. its just the way he plays wanting to keep the ball to himself at all times. there is a whole lots of talents in Brazil but yet they don’t click around Neymar.

  5. England vs Italy. Played in Wembley with the dutch referee who also managed Eng – Ger. Another dutch managed Eng – Denmark with that ridiculous penalty. The fix is in. Dutch have been charged with bringing the title to england. Italy has to be head and shoulders above england in order to have a chance. From the very beginning it felt like England was the chosen winner with their ridiculous schedule all in Wembley. Congrats in advance.

  6. Frank Rijkaard could have become a great coach. So could Van Basten but both are sensitive, nice characters and I really appreciate that. Both were honest with regards to their feelings towards players. We missed on Cruyff when Germany benefited from Beckenbauer and Vogts. We missed on Rijkaard and VB when Germany benefited from Klinsmann or France from Deschamps or Italy from Mancini. I wish Gullit, Kluivert, Bergkamp had this ambition in them to achieving with NT what they couldn’t as players, just like Mancini is doing with Italy.

  7. Here in kerala..too mnay Arjentine primidonnas mostly messi fans are exploding …they celebrate as if they won a WC…Copa is all about redcard…Italy,England,France,Germany,Portugal,Denmark,Belgium would burry them alive…with a decent coach we could do same…

  8. England starting with a back five, two defensive mids and three forwards. I recognize that Shaw and Trippier are really wingbacks, but still — What are they afraid of? Is this Italy really a powerhouse in attack? And will England actually be able to maintain any sort of possession or will they just let Italy have the ball?

    I don’t like changing formations for a final. Just seems the potential to disrupt your side’s comfort level and could be a big tactical miss!

    If England goes on to dominate and their 523 is a rousing success, feel free to ignore this comment:)

    1. Funny, the two coaches in the pre game analysis here on swiss tv said exactly the same thing a moment ago, about changing systems for a final.

  9. It’s over before it even started. This could be a humiliation for italy. If Shaw scores against you then you don’t stand much of a chance. Also, Italy playing with 10, Immobile doesn’t even count.

      1. No kidding. Kean would surely bring the title to Italy. Italy has hit way above the belt and it is just coming back to earth. In fact they are here just by chance, Spain should be playing this final. I hope Mancini just throws everything in attack, either win or get humiliated. Regardless, time has come for England to win something. It’s a cycle. But this was a terrible first half to watch. England parking 2 buses, Italy looking so powerless.

  10. Mancini should shift Chiesa in the middle and bring on either bernardeschi or beradi. their right flanks is dead with Chiesa drifting into the middle.

    1. Mancini will probably only start to make changes after 70th min if score is still 1-0. I hope he instructs his players to cross more into the box. They only had 2-3 crosses in the whole 1st half.

  11. Italy’s outside backs have completely let them down in this match — Dilornnzo and Emerson. Poor touch in both attack and defense, no width in attack, questionable positioning in defense. Spinazzola’s absence has been glaring.

    The opening goal was the worst thing that could happen to this match from entertainment value. England has no interest in the ball and Italy panicking. They’ve finally settled into some possession, but their front line has been completely out of sync. Immobile and Insigne not on the same page at all.

    And as I finish my commentary, Italy scores a very opportunistic goal!

  12. England punished for abandoning the game.

    Again, a team stops playing for 45 minutes, thinking their 1-0 advantage is enough.


  13. England with still too little creativity in the midfield. Grealish should have come in for Rice. Henderson was a like-for-like change. I fear this is going to penalties…

  14. The availability of so many substitutes really can change a match, although in this instance, most of both team’s changes were too little too late. I wonder how much the possibility of using 5 substitutes would have affected our semi-final in 2014 or our final in 2010…

  15. Again, I’m not a stats guy, but the statistics from this game tell a bleak and maddening story for England:

    Possession — Italy 62%. England 38%

    Shots. — Italy 20 (6 on target). England 6 (1 on target)

    And keep in mind, these statistics were generated by England, the more talented attacking team, playing at home, in a final, in which they were the favorites.

    1. One of my English Twitter friends said “we have a proud history of politely waiting for 1-1 when winning 1-0”.

      I think there was too much pressure, playing at home etc.

      1. That’s funny, but it’s a cop out. They had the stronger team, they had more talent, and they actively chose not to use it. They actually probably scored too early in the game and then got too settled in and focusing on defending their lead. Like I tell my son all the time, don’t let the score dictate how you play. You should be giving your best effort all the time, regardless of what the score is

    2. They gave it away by sitting back in the second half. again Kane for me is not a big game player. good PKicker but cant dig deep to get something of nothing.

  16. I’m glad the cynical teams lost and an offensive team lifted the trophy.

    I’m also glad Kuipers did not pull the red card on Jorginho (which, tbh, he probably deserved). That was a right call at that moment of the game. I wished he had been there for Switzerland v Spain 😉

    1. The Jorginho challenge wasn’t a red for me. He made full contact on the ball and then his foot skidded off and hit Grealish in the thigh. I don’t even know that that’s a foul.

      As for cynical, Chiellini’s pull down of Saka as he was about to break free was about as cynical a foul as you can get

      I like watching the teams and players with skill use it. England would have won had they relied on their skill players to carry them. They were good enough. Italy played a better tactical game and eventually benefited from their dominant possession. But England chose to cede possession. That seemed to be their game plan from the outset, which is inexplicable to me.

      1. Ha, totally agree on the cynical Chiellini foul (but the dude is always smiling, hard to be angry at him, lol).

        I meant cynical as a team: defend with 11 players in your own zone and count on 1 or 2 opportunities, like France played in 2018.

        Also agree on your England analysis. But I think it is understandable (too much pressure from having your first final in 50 something years, playing at home, a.s.o.).

        Also, it did not seem like they were ready for PKs. It looked like improvisation to me, as it often does. I am always amazed to see a player go to the spot with the fear of death in his eyes. Idk, it seems to me the coach (and psych support or something) should foster an athmosphere of confidence and responsibility ahead of time, like “if for any reason you don’t want to go, don’t, but the team should collectively step up to replace you”).

        1. I agree Guillaume. Long ago, I used to have very high expectations for players taking penalties, but over the years, I’ve come to better appreciate the pressure the players feel, particularly in these international competitions. Plus, there’s so much gamesmanship these days and modern goalkeepers have such incredible reach, that converting penalties has become more about trickery than skill.

          It’s a shame that championships are won / lost in this way. The ending was so anticlimactic, with so many misses.

  17. Chiesa for me is a very underrated player given how he was used in this tournament. At some point in time Mancini has to realize he needs to play in the middle like during the Fiorentina days. he will transition into an all rounded striker in not so distant future.

    with this once again I go back to what I have being saying all through out as to why rotation is important. Mancini built this team on rotation and Im hoping to see this NT.

        1. Ultimately, it’s sort of a chicken or the egg thing. You can’t rotate your players without sufficient depth and player availability, but you normally don’t develop depth and ensure player availability without regular rotation.

          Unfortunately, if LVG comes in, I think the pressure will be on him right away to ensure WC qualification, which probably will mean not much rotation. Although it must be said that he has in the past given young players a shot to contribute.

          1. @JB ha ha you dont know What LVG is ,He will right away go with some outsiders by chopping Depay,klassen,gini etc…Veerman,Vilhena,Malacia,Gravenberch,Propper and koopmeinres will step in i guess…/ovly Frenkie will be gurenteed…

  18. LVG is a fan of balling playing Full backs…He Played Blind at LB and Janmaat at RB…He will threw away winjdal(Should not be near team)..Perhaps will threw Dumfries as well…then he will go with sinkgraven/Williams/Malacia at LB …karsdorp,timber ,Rensch at RB….that would be huge upgrade to NT..that will change tesam dynamincs…
    Then On midfeild he would go with Frenkie/koopmeiners,propper/de beek,Bazoer,Graven berch,vilhena types perhaps Veerman also …there would be no place for some mediocre p[layers….i want to see rainbow man wijnaldum and LVG relationship…also lets see how LVG VS Virgil…LVG vs Depay….that will be key..i think primidonas has to go with LVG,they have no choice..

    1. Didn’t van Gaal give Wijnaldum and Memphis their debuts in 2014? I feel like those were some of the young players he gave significant minutes to, and if I recall correctly, both rewarded him with goals!

      Looking at the rest of the squad from that tournament, however, it’s pretty impressive the progress LVG was able to make.

      Defenders: Blind and de Vrij are still around, and Veltman is maybe too? I think it’s safe to say that the others — Janmaat, Kongolo, Martins Indi, Verhaegh and Vlaar — did not comprise our strongest ever international back line.

      In the midfield, we had Clasie, de Guzman, Nigel de Jong, Fer, Robben, Sneijder and Wijnaldum. Gini is the only remaining man from our most recent WC.

      Up front, Memphis, Huntelaar, Kuyt, Lens and van Persie.

      How did we make it to the semis with this group?!

      1. JB, really amazing, isn’t it? We almost made it to the final. But then again you mention Sneijder, Robben, RVP and then add deJong, Blind, Kuyt and Huntelaar and you have an excellent core that you can build a team around. Only LVG could do that. Yes, LVG gave the starting position to Wijnaldum and integrated a young and humble Depay who today identifies with a lion. I say bring LVG and clean house if needed including VVD who I think is irreplaceable as the best CB in the world.

  19. I keep thinking about this game. Really Southgate lost it for England from starting with the stupid decision to defend the 1 gol advantage from the 3rd minute , to bringing cold players to kick penalties. But what strikes me the most is giving the last 3 very important penalties to very young black players. I felt like Southgate was plain virtue signaling by thinking about how amazing it would be if these guys won the game and also given Rashford status as an anti racism warrior. I felt really bad for all 3 of them. Not only they will live nightmares about their miss but will also have to deal with all the media attacks, sarcasm of politicians etc. I wish politics and social causes stayed out of the football field and everyone only focused on the ball without carrying other burdens in their shoulders especially at this very young age.
    I am very happy that Italy won especially in the face of a few thug behaving english players like Tripier, Walker, Maguire and above all Pickford.
    Viva Italia! It’s coming Rome:-)

  20. When you have Sancho, Grealish, Foden in your squad, you need to use them.

    I like Shaw and Trippier, but surely Foden and Mount should have played in the engine room, with Sterling, Kane, Grealish and Saka in front of them.

    England didn’t have the balls to go for glory.

    1. foden was injured. Mount is a attacking midfielder. not sure if he would have effective in the engine room. I think Rice and Philips did a good job in the middle

      1. Rice and Phillips don’t create zilch. And the two central defenders don’t either. You don’t need two defensive mids (v Bommel, N de Jong). Mount can play there no worries.

  21. Maybe its because I’ve been watching Italy play since the 80’s, but this win didn’t look unlike other big tournament wind by past Italian teams—except, maybe that they looked good right away, instead of building into the tournament. Lock down defense and attending to defensive responsibilities everywhere; hard, no quarter given central defenders; excellent ball playing and technical skills often overlooked because of the country’s past identification with catenaccio; and great team spirit. The game, of course, has changed over the last 40 years—players are bigger, stronger, faster, have better fitness, and rules have been instituted to tilt it towards the offense—but even accounting for that, this team looked like you would expect a top Italian team to look.

    It is also a team in a sweet spot. Of the 11 who started, if I’m not mistaken only three were under 25, and nearly all the players it relied on, played regularly for bigger teams or teams that did well in top leagues, (perhaps you can except the sub Belotti, who plays for Torino, who finished just above relegation). That said, full marks to Mancini on his accomplishment. In a time where players move all over the world, and national teams have all begun to look and play more alike than not, he grafted his country’s footballing identity onto a modern team, and reaped a superb result in this tournament.

    Maybe there is a lesson to be learned for the Dutch, who have their own unique national footballing identity.

    1. To me, the most impressive Italy was at WC-1982 with Paulo Rossi. Their beautiful wins over might Brazil (3:2) and Argentina (2:1) were incredible.

      1. @Wilson, no question, the Sassuolo players were in the core, and a key part of that team. Excellent season for them…finished tied for 7th with Roma, not far from a spot in Europe.

        @JB, I’m with you on the 1982 WC. Rossi just coming out of suspension; the take no prisoners back line (Cabrini, Scirea, Gentile—can’t remember the 4th), and one of my personal favorites from that era Tardelli. (Fun fact about Tardelli, he got red carded in a World 11 v. World Champs (Argentina) Charity match.) Every game they played in the group stage was a draw, and they advanced only because they drew 1-1 with Cameroon while Peru’s draw with Cameroon was 0-0…then the fantastic run: the Battle of Barcelona with Argentina; the remarkable win over Brazil team with the dream midfield of Falcao, Socrates, Toninho Cerezo, and Zico; the dispatch of Poland (who played without Boniek because of the yellow card he’d received in draw with the Soviet Union that sent them through—a match where the Polish fans unfurled a huge “Solidarity” banner in the upper deck); and finally ripping apart West Germany in the finals. What a World Cup.

  22. Bakker signs for Leverkusen. didnt see this one coming but a good move for his development. Hannes Wolf has continued with Bosz 3-4-3 and he could be a good fit in both, back three and at FB as well Sinkgraven is injury prone and like we saw at PSG, Bakker could be a good back up for him or both could compete with each other for starting spot. BL is in Europa as well.

  23. @ JB

    “Didn’t van Gaal give Wijnaldum and Memphis their debuts in 2014? I feel like those were some of the young players he gave significant minutes to, and if I recall correctly, both rewarded him with goals”

    No, wijnaldum made his debut for NT under Bert in euro qualifers vs San Marino where he scored on his debut. after that he featured again under LVG back in 2013 vs Portgual, I still remember that game, Vaart and Sneijder were pretty much still in the picture and had strong hold in the midfield. It was after Strootman’s injury that he came into the picture just before the WC .

    Depay also came into picture after his second season at PSV Where he made a good impression but was still coming up. he would go on to explode after that season. during that time Lens , Robben and Narsingh were prominent under LVG. Depay did feature in the friendly’s before the world cup. Japan, Colombia etc.

    “Looking at the rest of the squad from that tournament, however, it’s pretty impressive the progress LVG was able to make”

    very much Luck and even when you look at teams like Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, England who bombed out in the group stage just showed the level of competency these teams came in with given their status as power houses of football. I dont know if the “level of competency” is the write word here but I hope you get what im saying. declining generation etc. I mean who have thought costa Rica would qualifer from England Uruguay group , or Algeria, Greece would qualify for R16s. Above all that Brazil’s drubbing of 7-1 by Germany. Also the initially idea of 3-5-2 was brought up by koeman if I remember correctly. he was guest in one the shows where he was asked to demonstrate it on the board. this was just before the world cup. there is a video on it as well. whether Van Gaal inherited that or got the idea after watching that show is another question.

    “Ultimately, it’s sort of a chicken or the egg thing. You can’t rotate your players without sufficient depth and player availability, but you normally don’t develop depth and ensure player availability without regular rotation.”

    if you are implying here Dutch dont have much choices, I will definitely not agree. I have listed the no of players playing abroad in one of my earlier post and also those players who should have being selected in the euros based on merits. the only mentality that needs to change here is that those players playing in smaller clubs can play at NT level and should be called up to frequently this is the only thing that needs to change, that all. I think a more neutral coach (non Dutch) will able to better than these dutch coaches. I mean you look at Schmidt at PSV.

    1. The New coach can learn from Mancini who selected his players even from lower clubs and proved it is the right decision in the Euro cup. Interestingly Mitchell Bakker has joined with Sinkgraven, Frimpong and fosu mensah at Bayer leverkusen.

  24. Alex Buttner has signed for RKC Waalwijk. Looking back at his prime days, its a bloody shame, he was never given nod by the then dutch coaches. Look at that LB situation todate and what dragging with Blind has yielded.

    1. Silly comment? What has Blind done or not done? We got third in 2014 with him there. This Euros, Pat van Aanholt played there (and quite weak too).

  25. Patrick Vieira is lining up Philippe Sandler on loan from Man city. Defintely somebody to look out for and a very talented defender.A good move given his situation at City. Vieria has been involved in mass exodus at Crystal Palace getting rid of the dead wood. Riedewald is also in for big season in the midfield.

  26. Media has been also massaging the topic of Steng’s transfer to Nice. For the past three weeks, there have not been any updates on Koopmeiner’s potential transfer to Atalanta. Based on last news, the negotiations were not moving well as AZ did not accept Atalanta’s offer. No news on Wijndal’s potential transfer. We still have 59 days of transfer window.

  27. Malen is heading to Dortmund, this is a good move in my opinion, he will replace Sancho’s role. The path is clear and it is up to him to step up.

    1. In general, moving to French League and Bundesliga is very reasonable for Dutch players. Unfortunately, Spanish League and EPL are not attainable at this moment.

      1. I would stay at AZ over moving tot he 6th and 9th placed teams in Ligue 1. I’m down for the Nice move for Stengs. But not too excited about Koopmeiners to Rennes.

    1. Dilrosun’s name as popped up at Feyenoord as well but I dont think he will leave Hertha given the stronghold he has in the team. the only draw back for him there has been his injuries which has restricted game time for him.

      Doan is a good player on the right. I was surprised when PSV loaned him out. he had a good loan season in bundasilga on loan. Kadioglu like many others is not effective on the right and thrive when cutting in from the left.

  28. Arsenal and Leeds United have Teun Koopmeiners in their list. It looks like Teun does not want to go to France. Too bad as French League would have been great transition for him. Direct transition from Eredivisie to EPL could be very challenging. His price tag is currently around 20 MM Euro.

  29. Boadu’s deal with Monaco is progressing well. At this moment Monaco and Boadu have been agreeing a personal terms. I assume leadership of two teams have already agreed on selling price. I am guessing it is going to be around 15 MM Euro.

    No news on Wijndal. I think his lackluster performance at Euro 2020 negatively affected his marketability. Bizot will most likely stay in AZ this season.

  30. I see things going in the right direction and the stars could align in 2024-2026 with a good coach and good contingent playing in competitive leagues and clubs. I also agree with AZ Alkmaar statement above of young players choosing a sub level clubs and then moving up gradually. Kluivert is also nearing move to Nice and could unite with stengs. Lille winning caoch Christopher Gailter is also moved to Nice and it ill be interesting to see if he can take Nice in the same direction as Lille.

    1. Well he has lived up to expectation after jumping from eerste divisie. How often has this happened and given he has gone on to prove himself vs the big three in eredivisie. He just needs to prove himself playing out of a more competitive club and the door should open for him in NT. Heerenveen is playing a hardball over his transfer fees though.

    2. This is what I found in Twitter today.
      “Louis van Gaal will make his decision on becoming Netherlands head coach today or tomorrow.There is a good chance that he says yes to the KNVB. (AD)”

    3. He needs to play consistently good and also in big games. up until now, he had promise but that is it. Look at Grealish in the UK and how much he needed to prove himself over 3 seasons or so before he got a call up! Veerman is gifted but he is sometimes off the pace and needs to have at least two consistent seasons at a good level. Being a good player in a mid-tier team is not good enough. We have dozens of players like that.

  31. Based on the fact the rumors about Arsenal’s interest in Teun has been increasing, I think talks with Rennes were not successful primarily because Teun wants to go to Arsenal (his childhood dream).

    @Wilosn News from Arsenal: “Matteo Guendouzi already leaving the Gunners on a loan deal and Granit Xhaka looking set to depart over the coming weeks, Arteta is determined to bring a new central midfielder, or two, to the club”

  32. Matteo Guendouzi was never in the picture under Arteta and was not going to be considered either this season. Maseille signed him on loan for another season. This will be make or break season for Arteta and if I was koopmeiners I would think twice before joining them. There will be alot of pressure on Arteta to deliver this season and he will demand 110% from the players.if they dont and pressure builds up, Koompmeiners could end up like VDBeek. There is no way he will be able to bench partey and Elneny.

    I have watched him play, I think he is overrated for epl. He should join stengs and boadu going to a sub level team first.

    1. Wilson and AZ:

      My son is an Arsenal fan and so I end up watching many of their matches. I’m not really familiar with Koopmeiners, but I don’t know how he could be much worse than anyone Arsenal has in their midfield currently.

      Partey is fine, but not the game-changer they expected him to be. Torreira had a bright start as a Gunner but has been out on loan recently and doesn’t seem like a long term option. Guendouzi apparently had some attitude issues and has gone on loan. Xhaka is a competitor and a decent passer, but is a walking red card. Maitland-Niles and Willock have been loaned out as well because they haven’t really fit in Arteta’s system. Odegaard and Ceballos have been effective on loan to Arsenal from Real Madrid, but I’m not sure whether either will return to London. Smith-Rowe is a very young player who was given a chance and did reasonably well, but doesn’t seem to be perceived as a regular. Elneny is probably the worst option of all — he’s slow, mistake prone and offers little in attack.

      In summary, Arsenal’s midfield is a weak point at the moment, particularly from a passing and creativity standpoint. So on one hand, it seems like a great opportunity for a young, skilled player to come in and establish himself. On the other hand, Arsenal perennially underperforms, Arteta’s system (whatever it is) has not truly taken hold, and the result is just random assortments of players being thrown out there from week to week to see what combination might work. It’s a sad state of affairs for a once very successful and talented club.

      I understand Koopmeiners is the AZ captain and can play in multiple midfield roles or even as a defender. As noted above, Arsenal are in great need of leadership, versatility and basic competence. It sounds like he could bring all three, but the state of affairs there is so chaotic that it may not be the best situation for him. Who knows, maybe Arteta will get it all turned around this season. But all the “Wenger Out” Arsenal fans are now getting to reap what they have sown, and Arsenal has sadly become a mid-table club, who occasionally will have bright sparks but more often seems to inevitably revert to the mean, and can be counted on for a few abject performances against Burnley, Fulham and Aston Villa.

      1. @JB, my main worry is not Arsenal per se, but the intensity of EPL. I do not think Teun is ready for that intensity despite having very strong leadership potentials. I would still like him to rise gradually and French league will be a great next step.

        1. And I can certainly understand that perspective. Few recent Dutch players have really had an impact in the Premier League. Virgil and Wijnaldum have been the main exceptions to that rule, with both having significant success with Liverpool.

          Van Aanholt and Ake have had longevity, but have not been major contributors and have not really played for great teams. Van de Beek has done nothing of substance at this point, and has basically followed in Memphis’ path at Man United. Blind was ironically somewhat of a favorite of Jose Mourinho, but is no longer physically at that level. Janmaat lasted a while at Newcastle. You know the story with Janssen.

          Berghuis and Bergwijn did not pass muster. I guess Pieters and Propper and Veltman continue to linger, but none of them are / should be on the international radar at this point.

          And so, I agree that the EPL is not currently a great developmental league for our Oranje players, but the presence of Elneny certainly shouldn’t be a barrier to entry…

  33. I totally agree with you, Wilson, that for Teun move from Eredivisie to ELP will be very steep. He needs to mature further in the Leagues different from EPL.

  34. Whoa: “Van Gaal told the Dutch women’s team preparing for the Olympic Games that the men’s squad was packed with “a bunch of so-called stars” before urging them to put the pride back into the national team.” I like LVG. He has the arrogance of Trump and shoots from the hip, but for me there is nothing wrong with speaking your mind. He puts in the work regardless the non elegance when addressing the media. Shame on VDV and GW for loudly undermining him. VDV probably doesn’t like LVG because he dissed him in 2014 and this shows someone with a thin skin. This skinned is also Ten Cate for withdrawing over the stupid reason that he heard rumors LVG would be the next coach. Why quit when there is no decision yet? Why not wait?

    1. I remember posting this up during the course of the euros. I really couldn’t understand which “starts” he was referring to. My honest opinion, the faster he comes and goes the better.

  35. I wouldn’t give it much weight. The headline states VVD’s objections as a fact, but the actual story says only that he “is believed” to be among a group of players upset with the hire. No identification of any specific player, not quotes for attribution. Its just sensationalism designed to catch a reader’s eye. Regardless, even if there is some truth to it, its the sort of thing that Van Gaal and Van Dyke could work out in a 5 minute conversation.

  36. @ JB

    The problem for Arsenal is simply the owners are simply not ambitious enough like city, united, Liverpool and few others. They have learned how to do business thanks to arsene wenger and will only dig deep in their pockets when there is a genuine crisis or water reaches the neck level. On the other end they dont wanna sell the club for the betterment either.

    Dont think they will live up to expectation either this season. Not saying they will be very bad but will keep falling short with good performances and with what they have got.

    Tell your son, buckle up for another roller coaster ride this season.

  37. Club brugge won the super cup in Belgium beat John van den Brom’s Genk 3-2. Dost and Lang both started for brugge with Lang scoring from the PK. Eiting came of the bench around 60′ but couldnt do much.

  38. Not looking good for van bommel but I guess the overseas players who were acrive in the euros are still on vaccation.

    “Wolfsburg’s preparations have so far only resulted in one win in five exhibition games. Van Bommel still has four weeks to prepare his team for the start of the Bundesliga. A week earlier, the first cup match is scheduled against Preussen Münster.”

  39. Atalanta dropped from the race for Teun Koopmeiners as they believe that the latter is overpriced. AZ is asking ~20MM euro for Teun. Knowing Max Huiberts, AZ will not reduce the asking price.

    1. should move to Rennes instead. I read they are also interested bin him. they are in europa and are continuing to strengthen their squad with good transfers. Doku, Kamaldeen Sulemana etc. have a good squad as well.

  40. its time for Lang, Stengs, Ihattarren on the right, Groeneveld, gakpo and El Ghazi on the left, Fingers crossed Van Ginkel will make a come back looking at preseason form.

  41. I am thinking the reason why many of our Dutch players are highly sought of in this transfer window is because they are relatively cheap such as Dumfries, Stengs, loan option such as Kluivert and free transfer such as Depay and Wijnaldum. If given the usual years, don’t think they will be looked at. These players never impressed at their clubs..😅

    1. like I said when they gonna hit that 26-27 mark, entering their prime, thats when they gonna make that impact in the NT and its all pointing to 2024-2026. I mean you look at Kluivert , I would say he was cut above the rest in JO though he is going out on loan, he has been playing competitively , EL, and CL and a move Ligue 1 is not bad either. if you look at the top six teams, Lille, PSG, Monaco, Marseille, Lyon, Rennes all are competitive teams. I would say they are up to par with Bundasliga. Apart from Bayern- PSG and the rest are pretty much equivalent teams.

  42. PSV is winning 5-1. I hope they can get into CL this year. Looking at their line up, there are only two Dutch players, Van Ginkel and Drommel.

  43. watched the first half 2-1. PSV mostly raided on flanks especially on right where Madueke was operating and thus creating space in middle for Zahavi. Zahavi is a very technically striker and will be a key man for PSV upfront. Madueke as well, I wouldnt say the same, but he showed flashes of mbappe when he got open space to run. the opening goal was gift from Muslera. second was well worked goal from the middle with Van Ginkel involved with his clinical one touch passing in the build up. on the gala goal, I think Drommel should have done better, the ball went between his diving hands

  44. checked out the second half lights and Van Ginkel was again in the build up to the third goal before being subbed. just hope he doesnt get injured again and continues with his fine form.

  45. 30 MM Euro for Malen….I do not see huge difference between Malen and Boadu, yet the former’s transfer fee is almost twice higher than Boadu’s. Most likely the fact Malen is Oranje player and Boadu is not play the role in the equation. Also, prestige of PSV in Europe is higher than AZ, consequently PSV players gets higher price tag.

  46. Ian Maatsen is set to go out on loan again. This time to coventry City in the championship. Last season he was at Charlton Athletic
    in league 1. At 19, I wouldnt say its bad. He certainly raised the eye brows last season at Charlton where he was deployed as a right wing and again championship will be a step up in terms of competition.

    Projection for 2024 and 2026, could be im the mix if he can break into chelsea or go out on loan to a higher level competition than championship and continue building on from there.he is contracted till 2024

  47. https://youtu.be/vwo5JdaNwk4
    Bakker’s debut for Bayern Leverkusen. As usually he looks good and composed until he runs out of options with ball at feet. This is the area he needs to improve on and crosses as well. Maybe when schick returns then it woulld be worth seeing how good his crossing ability is.

  48. No looking good for Van Bommel, 4 successive defeats without the euro contingent. The bundaliga fixture opens up with DFB pokal and if he losses that, he will go in history books and most probably shown the exist.

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