Euros approaching fast for Oranje

Well, we’re at the business end of the season… Things are heating up nicely in Spain and France, while the champs in Italy, Holland and England are known already. Still heaps to play for. Practically every club in the Eredivisie has something to play for still. There’s a lot of excitement in the EPL still on both ends and this weekend is a killer weekend for Barcelona!

And when the dust has settled, we’re all gearing up for two major tournaments in summer: the Euros and the U21 Euros.

Exciting times!

From this position, a bit congrats to Ajax, who had a masterful season. Winning the double with pretty good football and quarter finals EL is usually a season to be very proud of. It’s typical for Ajax at the moment, that most people are actually disappointed with Ajax’ European campaign. That says something about the expectations.

Another big feather in Ajax’ cap is the break through of some exceptional young talents: Gravenberch, Timber, Rensch, Brobbey and lets not forget Noa Lang in Brussels (technically also developed at Feyenoord, like Timber).

Ajax found the right balance: young exuberant talents, masterful experience in Tadic, Blind, Stekelenburg and Klaassen and the grit and bravado of the South Americans (and Mexican). Record signing Seb Haller wasn’t even that influential, so it goes to show what we can expect in the next season.

Erik ten Hag stays at Ajax, which will most likely result in another adventurous season coming up, hopefully with more CL results. I do expect a lot from Kudus, who had a difficult injury-laden season while Ekkelenkamp is touted as even better than Gravenberch. We also have Schuurs, Traore and most likely some new signings this summer. It’s believed Tagliafico and Onana are on their way out, but the Argentine left back has said time and time again, “I don’t need to leave, I’ll only go when the club is right and it is financially good for Ajax. I love playing here and living here, so staying at Ajax would work for me too.”

Onana has his own issues (won’t play a competitive match till March 2021) and might also not find a club.

PSV and Feyenoord both struggle. PSV has to deal with a coach who only wants to play one style, while the PSV players might well not be the right material for that German disciplined tactics. Feyenoord simply lacks quality, both in the squad and on the trainers bench. Advocaat truly is old school. Only Berghuis and Senesi represent real value (albeit with a limited fee for Berghuis!) and Bijlow, Malacia and Kokcu will represent more value in the future. They should stay a bit longer in Rotterdam.

AZ has impressed massively as well. Their start was rocky, they dropped at least 8 points which they shouldn’t have by conceding too many goals in the first matches. Add those 8 point to the table now and they’d be a title challenger. The likes of Wijndal, Koopmeiners, Midsjo, Karlsson all have a massive future ahead of them. Stengs and Boadu are still question marks though, and when Wijndal and Koopmeiners leave (while Svensson is leaving on a free, I believe) it remains to be seen if and how AZ can sustain their position.

Vitesse can also be proud of their season, with German coach Letsch capable of what Schmidt at PSV is failing: inspiring his players – even the difficult ones, like Tannane and Bazoer – in playing for the team. Those two, in combination with goalie Pasveer (on his way to Ajax!) and a couple of loanies, propelled Vitesse back to the top and into Europe (most likely).

This weekend it’s Feyenoord-Ajax, a last option for Feyenoord to give the season a bit of shine (although Ajax probably wouldn’t care too much if they lost).

And while we gear up for the European finals (with potentially a starring role for Ziyech, Ake, Donny van de Beek), our focus will shift to the Euros.

Sad news for the pundits and criticasters who were sharpening their knives for the Weghorst-Luuk debate: Frank de Boer is allowed to bring 26 players to the tournament, which most likely means that the NT coach will bring 3 more attacking players along.

Louis van Gaal made headlines in 2014 when he decided to bring less defenders and more forwards. Logic and statistics got him to do that and now it seems almost a natural decision to make. Statistics show that the majority of substitutions are about bringing game changers onto the pitch: strikers, wingers, creative mids.

Another reason to change players: fatigue or injuries. It’s usually the forwards that will struggle with this. Statistically, defenders are less likely to have to go off due to fatigue.

It simply doesn’t make sense to stack the bench with the likes of Hateboer, St Juste, Holman or Struijk.

And Frank de Boer has experienced this in recent matches with Oranje where he ended up sending defenders (Ake, Dumfries) forward in order to force an issue, as he ran out of attacking options. See photo below.

So I can imagine Wout Weghorst getting a spot in the squad. And De Boer will have to work through the scenarios: who do you want on the bench when you’re still 0-0 vs Bosnia-Herzegovina with 10 mins to go? Which midfielder can you bring late, to add some energy to the proceedings? Which skilled dribbler do we have to play the same part as Memphis did in the 2014 World Cup?

My squad:

Goalies: – Cillesen, Krul, Stekelenburg

Defenders: Dumfries, Karsdorp, De Vrij, De Ligt, Ake, Veltman, Wijndal, Van Aanholt

Midfield: Frenkie, De Roon, Gini Wijnaldum, Klaassen, Van de Beek, Gravenberch

Forwards: Malen, Babel, Memphis, Luuk de Jong, Berghuis, Bergwijn

Additional three: Weghorst, Stengs, Danjuma

I have left Bijlow, Koopmeiners, Lang and Gakpo out as I believe Van der Looij will select them for his Young Oranje tournament.

Based on today’s form and fitness, this would be my starting eleven for the Euros (Blind and Van Dijk not considered):

And against stronger teams (Italy, Spain, England, France) you could play Memphis on the left with Luuk de Jong or Weghorst centrally.

Should Daley be fit in time, I think Veltman is out.

Should Van Dijk be fit in time, Van Aanholt will be left out.

What are your thoughts?

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      1. If we win the group, we’ll play a 3rd place team, and then the winners of A2 and B2, which shouldn’t be that hard of a quarter. Semi’s isn’t unrealistic.

  1. In some intresting transfer news Lille is said to be tracking another dutch talent.this time Sparta Midfielder Abdoui Harroui. A very under rated midfielder who also is featuring for jong orange and a move to france would be good stepping stone him and as well for NT in future.

  2. Without KLASSEN we qualified for Ec2021….With him we sucked at ECQ2016 and WCQ2018…he sucked even with RVp,Roben…and Memphis,Devrij…He needs lots of chances to score and by that time good teams will burry us…Having said that he looks better than Gini and De roon at the moment…keeping him bench is okay with me…
    Then actually there is no place for Babel,Strootman,Dumbfry etc…
    Jurien Timber is excellent and he is miles ahead of dumbfry..i do understand dumbfry is better than hateboer…
    Berghuis,Gini,klassen on staring 11 makes you suck vs big teams..
    Tell Depay to not to take freekicks,he sucks with that…koopmeiners is our best freekick taker,Berghius is okay…
    krul should only come in as we head to penalty shoootout….krul is scary for us on playing 120 minutes…i dont want heart attack..
    Blind has played so many matches for orange,so he can watch from home..
    Virgil would be rusty and risky…Both should sit home…
    karsdorp–jurien timber
    De vrij-Deligt–Ake-Pascal struijk…
    Malacia–Aanholt–8 defenders
    6 midfeilders
    Bazoer-koopmeiners-Frenkie–Gini–Gravenberch–De beek
    6 forwards
    3 additional ones

  3. I agree with most of your selection, Jan.

    I will select Botman/Struijk instead of Veltman. Botman is fighting for Ligue 1 title, that is enough to merit his selection. Struijk is 21 and has wide range of passing. There is no point in investing in Veltman who is 29 and did not perform in his recent starts in Oranje. If VVD is fit, i will select VVD over those of course.

    If Blind is fit, i will also pick him over Van Aanholt.

    Noa Lang should be in there instead of Babel.

  4. My main concern is there is no game plan. With RK, it is clear that they try to move the ball forward through De Jong. Wijnaldum and Memphis play closely and combine to create goals. I do not see any pattern in the last few games. There is one, that is Berghuis cross to the box for Luuk. This is not promising game plan at all.

    I will choose one of those formations:
    Depay – Weghorst – Berghuis/Danjuma
    De Jong De Roon
    Blind – Ligt – De Vrij – Dumfries

    or 5-3-2
    Depay – Weghorst
    De Jong De Roon
    Wijndal/Danjuma – Ake – Vrij – Ligt – Karsdorp

    1. 5-3-2 is the only formation that needs to be used in the Euro against top teams. It allows us to play with 3 top CB’s like De Ligt, De Vrij and Ake which gives us a much better chance as opposed to playing a 4-3-3. We saw De Boer try this formation against the Italians and it worked so well compared to the 4-3-3 which was used in the first game against them.

      P.S. Do not expect any changes from De Boer in our squad assuming no injuries. He will pick the same 23 that he chose the previous time with the exception of Hateboer which I think will replace Tete. Only question mark will be who will be selected next to Weghorst as the add on players.

      My starting 11


      De Ligt De Vrij Ake

      Karsdorp Blind

      Wijnaldum De Jong

      Weghorst Depay

      I’m pretty sure Karsdorp won’t be selected from De Boer.

      Donny would have started in my starting 11 instead of Klaassen if he was playing regular football.

        1. my only wish is too see danjuma get selected and start at some point. he will prove everybody wrong especially those who think championship is weak league.

          1. Wilson I am with you. Danjuma should definitely be there but I doubt De Boer will leave out Babel.

      1. That’s true. My thinking is that we will not outscore other top teams with our current forward. But we can win the way Greece won Euro before with strong defence and a tall striker.

        By the way, I watched Mu vs Roma recently, VDB was so out of form, the play bypass him most of the time. He was also played out of position on the left wing. So yeah, sadly, I don’t think we can count on him.

        1. Kevin, VDB as you said was playing as a winger in that game which is an absolute idiotic move from Solkskajer. Anybody that has watched VDB knows that that is one position that he cannot play and somehow his coach uses him there those rare times that he plays him.

          1. He should seek a move. People advice him to stay did not actually watch MU. Solskjær has no plan to use him. It is VDB’s fault also because he did not speak with Solskjær to confirm the plan before moving to MU.

            The problem is that without match rhythm, I don’t know if we can count on him to perform at Euro.

  5. Just picking your thoughts u guys feel Robben should be called up for NT? though not as good as his former self, he still can be a game changer?

  6. You cant gamble on him given his age and susceptibility to injury . It will abe a big waste if he gets injured in the first game he plays.

  7. DANjuma,gakpo IS MUST..i dont care if they call babel/berjwin/berghuis…Danjuma has deadlyproductivity and ends with goal…thats not the case with berghuis or berjwin or bael..

  8. We will be more affected by the presence of De roon,Gini wijnaldum than the absence of Virgil vandijk…
    Absense of Gakpo and danjuma means no goals vs strong teams….

  9. Agree that Danjuma, Weghorst and Lang should all be selected. Unlike the selections for qualifiers and Nations League matches where the coach has to pick a team and might get a day or two with it before games, the pre-Euro’s camp gives the coaches a good long look at players, and how they perform against each other. Based on performance over this year, these guys deserve the opportunity to go to the camp and compete with the more established players for playing time.

  10. I watched everton vs aston Villa and Manu United vs Aston Villa and will say El Ghazi would have been a good addition as well in the team.with Jack Grealish injured, he has been recieving alot of game time and has showed he can be dangerous with his long range torpedoes and moreover doesnt shy away from taking on defenders head on. two very important qualities which is missing in the current NT wingers and midfielders.

    however from individual quality and technical ability perspective I think Danjuma is above him and it would be pointless accommodating both of them given both of then have a strong hold playing out of that left flank.

    1. If it comes to pick between Danjuma and El Ghazi, Frank might go for the Aston Villa man due to his Ajax connection. Both would be a good addition on the left side. Hopefully they both get selected in the preliminary squad.

  11. El gahzi is no where near Danjuma…Elghazi ha spoor cross ,poor dribbling,poor vision he cannot even dribble past 9 year old school girl…Comaparing him with danjuma is big SIN..

  12. OUR BEST LEFT BACKS ARE Terence kongolo ,Jetro williams and tyrell malacia…None will be called….that sucks….
    it is disgusting to watche crossses from winjdal and dumbfry when you have luuk at penalty box…

  13. Our Best Holding mastero midfeild is Bazoer…he will not be selected that sucks….
    after playing non productive game and subsquent exit we will say WE WILL HAVE A BETTER WORLD CUP AND TEAM IS STILL GROWING…
    thats called asEE@@hole menatlity….FDB has plenty of it…He proved that vs Italy at nations league..

    1. Forget Bazoer. He had another flare up in the game this Thursday and kicked out towards another player (missed him, so only got yellow). He’s got anger management issues. Frank will not select him.

  14. The forwards is the only department FDB can spice up and add more attacking flare, if he really wants to go far at euros. Bergwijn and babel have been bench players at their respective clubs and you cant expect much from them to bring from cutting edge perspective.further more the argument that bergwijn defensively is an asset and babel for locker room presence simply wont change the fact, without goals, there is no purpose and way forward.

    1. Totally agree. Weghorst, Danjuma and Noa Lang are decent option upfront. They are not RVP/ Van Nistelrooy or Robben but they are not bad. Having said that, I don’t know if FDB will call them or know how to use them.

    1. Can dumbfry,hateboer,De roon make themslves unavailabe too???..
      If Virgil opts to sit,Daley Blind should as well,i think daley doesnt chase like a greedy man…
      We have pascal struijk who is sucess at top level….
      stand by

      1. like I always say. you should always be ready for rainy days. this will test the credibility of team and how well FDB has developed the Back up options. I have long said this, this are the times the fruit of rotation pays off.

        1. Well, with the injuries to Van Dijk, De ligt, and and Ake, and De Vrij out via Covid protocols, you can’t complain that the CD’s have not been “rotated” in the NT.

          1. Its more technical then what you have mentioned. we all have seen when ever there is crisis in the backline the NT coaches are quick to fix it with 3 man CB or 3-5-2. If not then van dijk and de ligt is the only formidable CB pairing in normal 4 man backline in NT atm. The rest have all being trial and error when ever they has been extreme case of injuries.

            A health rotation is one which incites competition in the team and intend builds a good depth going forward.

            If im not wrong it was only the game vs mexico that FDB genuinely subbed Van dijk and de vrij for Ake and veltman at HT. Veltman aside, This should be done more often but with more competent players.

      2. Virgil is bigloss,but presence of De roon(impotent game),Wijnaldum(Non craetivity,vision)..Dumbfry,winjdal (Extreamly useless crosses.
        they are the players we should worry about as 4 of them starts every game…

  15. good to see Dilrosun starting at hertha and getting minutes. they were in danger of relegation as the whole team were quarantined for COVID 19 but since their return they have managed to get out of red zone and into the safey for next season.

    not sure whats the story with Redan. he hasnt made the squad for quiet sometime now even though is training with the team and its mostly likely due to quality of players ahead of him. He is still 20 and future prospect and should think of going out on loan to get more minutes and staying in touch with the rest of the pack.

    Bakker meanwhile started for PSG in coupe de France final. PSG won in PKs after the game ended in 2-2 draw.

    1. Thanks for that on Dilrosun. Seems like He’s had a hard few years with injuries, and falling out of the starting lineup…hope this is the start of a turn around for him.

    1. Interesting but odd. That’s like losing your shoes and having to buy them back from the person that found them. You’re just losing money. I’d love to have him back, but would not be happy with losing 15 mil on him.

      1. @Derekvdberg91; You hit the nail on the head…and, unfortunately, that is a big could happen. Young guys have enough trouble adjusting to foreign clubs, so bringing someone in who doesn’t really want to be there might make Leipzig figure why bother. But if they want him—and they should—nothing Ajax can do.

        1. RB leipzig for past few season has being a good stepping stone club for young players and they are pretty much doing the same thing as what ajax are doing. bringing in unkown young talents, developing them and then selling them for big $$$$$.

          yes they will be lossing two of their inform CBS who have been the spine of the team but at the same time they have reinforcement arriving and also back up players are starting now with few games remaining to cater for their departure.

          this was what the club’s sporting director had to say when asked in an interview about the two departures.

          “In the past we have always had changes on the coach, director, and player side and we have come back stronger every year,So I am sure that we will take the next step again. We remain ambitious and we are determined.

          With Joško Gvardiol, Mohamed Simakan, and Brian Brobbey we already have three permanent newcomers. If we add Dominik Szoboszlai and Konrad Laimer, who haven’t played a minute this season, we’re talking about five strong newcomers.

          We are therefore in a comfortable situation because we believe we have made the squad even better—and will further add to it in the summer. Now we’re looking ahead at new solutions. With the additions we will have a strong squad for the new season”

          Looking at Brobbery’s capabilities from what he has shown I think his trajectory will definitely lift off in there. maybe it will take some time but for sure given his package.

  16. Provisional squad was announced and no Babel, Strootman, Stengs.

    Karsdorp, Weghorst, Timber, Gakpo and El Ghazi have been called. Sadly, no place for Danjuma!!

    I hope Timber and Karsdorp make the squad as our RB’s.

    Even though I did not want Babel to be included I sort of feel bad for him, since he was selected every time in the Dutch squad the past years and now, in the most important selection he misses it.

  17. Keepers

    St Juste
    De Vrij
    De ligt

    De Roon
    Donny VDBeek
    De Roon
    Mr Right

    El Ghazi

        1. Wilson, Danjuma was the type of winger that this team needed. He brings something else into the picture from our current wingers. He is very good on the one on one, good pass and shot. I think El Ghazi is very similar to the players we already have. Anyways not a bad selection from De Boer.

  18. Gakpo over danjuma is also a question mark for me. Just feeling bitter. Thats all. Lang also should be ahead of gakpo.

    Well lets see whats in store for FDB and team.

  19. It’s looking more likely Brobbey could come back. Apparently he is getting cold feet with Nagelsmann leaving, which is completely understandable. The number of times we’ve seen a manager sign a player, that manager leave and the player never play again is too many to count.

    1. I have commented on this issue a few times and fully agree with you. I am even wondering whether there is a clause in Brobbey’s contract that would allow him to resiliate that contract if the management team and coaching staff all left. Regardless, if Brobbey does not want to go he should have the final say. Even if we spend 10M on him, we could resell him in 3-4 years for 40 to 50M. So it is a good investment.

  20. Aside from Danjuma, I would think this provisional squad is as good as it can possibly be.
    Let’s see what the final squad will be. 🤞

  21. Good to see El Ghazi in the provisional selection. Looks like FDB does not hold grudge against him. They hated each other when the former played for Ajax….

  22. Would have liked to see Danjuma and Lang, but happy about picks of newer players such as Timber, al Ghazi, Weghorst, Gakpo. I think this reflects the difference between picking for middle of the season internationals, and picking for a squad that will have a camp and a build up to a major tournament.

  23. I was watching the highlights of the game Newcastle vs Man City and Ake gave to goals to Newcastle. First he got beaten on a corner and the second he gave away a penalty.

    He was injured for awhile and it will take him some time to find his form but I’m questioning whether it was the right decision to get him instead of Botman!! Hopefully he is in a better form before the Euro starts.

  24. Jong Oranje squad

    Doel: Maarten Paes (FC Utrecht), Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Jan Hoekstra (Roda JC), Thijmen Nijhuis (FC Utrecht), Kjell Scherpen (Ajax).

    Verdediging: Devyne Rensch (Ajax), Perr Schuurs (Ajax), Lutsharel Geertruida (Feyenoord), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord), Mats Knoester (Heracles Almelo), Deyovaisio Zeefuik (Hertha BSC), Sven Botman (Lille), Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain), Jordan Teze (PSV), Sherel Floranus (SC Heerenveen), Danilho Doekhi (Vitesse).

    Middenveld: Jurgen Ekkelenkamp (Ajax), Dani de Wit (AZ), Noa Lang (Club Brugge), Azor Matusiwa (FC Groningen), Ferdi Kadioglu (Fenerbahçe), Mohamed Ihattaren (PSV), Abdou Harroui (Sparta Rotterdam), Ludovit Reis (VfL Osnabrück).

    Aanval: Brian Brobbey (Ajax), Calvin Stengs (AZ), Myron Boadu (AZ), Tahith Chong (Club Brugge), Javairo Dilrosun (Hertha BSC), Justin Kluivert (RB Leipzig), Kaj Sierhuis (Stade de Reims).

    1. I imagine the starting 11 will likely be:

      Bijlow, Teze, Schuurs, Botman, Bakker, Harroui, Kadioglu, de Wit, Lang, Stengs, Boadu.

      I think Ihattaren is probably better than de Wit, but de Wit always steps up for this team in particular and I can’t see the coach giving his spot away when he’s been arguably their best player this campaign. Kluivert and Brobbey will be in off the bench in most games. Rensch might have been able to work his way into contention for LB if he had gotten a few more games to finish the season with Ajax.

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