How Van Gaal rejuvenated Oranje. Again.

With his 2014 experience, Van Gaal i making this Oranje “World Cup proof”. It will be tough to beat this system.

We won’t have a festive farewell game for Oranje, as per usual and the last match in Holland – the 1-0 win over Belgium – was not a festive one as such. It was tactical, shrewd and a bit like chess. Van Gaal wanted this. He prepped his team as such.

He wanted Oranje to play versus a strong side and keep a clean sheet. The focus now, was possession by the opponent, a strong one at that. Frenkie and Memphis were not there to take the team by the hand, so Louis wanted to build a fortress. Oranje succeeded and Van Gaal was realistic: “We defended well, we play less than acceptable with the ball.”

From the tactical cam up in the stadium, the hand of Van Gaal was visible. The team moved organically, as one being. They pressed where the ball was and dominated without the ball. When the spaces opened up in the second half and the opponent started to get more fatigued, Oranje pounced.

Van Gaal’s philosophy is simple: not the best players will win, but the best team will. He learned this when he missed the 2002 World Cup with experienced world class stars and won bronze in 2014 with three top talents and the rest in service.

Compared to Brazil, when Van Persie, Sneijder and Robben were the key men, our current top players are more behind the ball: Virgil van Dijk and Frenkie de Jong. Van Gaal thinks this squad is stronger but any coach would always favour their current squad over a past squad. In the 2014 campaign, our top players were surrounded by Eredivisie players (Wijnaldum, Blind, Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi) whereas most of our lads now are playing at a higher level. Yes, lots of Ajax players, but Ajax has also stepped up a notch or two since 2014. According to Van Gaal, this squad show more responsibility and are self-sustainable in a way. Players like Van Dijk, Frenkie and Memphis will regulate behaviour in the dressing room, without the gaffer being there.

There is another differentiator: time. In 2014, Van Gaal had a month to prep his team, tactically, mentally and physically. For Qatar, he has 1 week. This is why he worked with the squad as he did during the last outings together. Focusing on moulding the starting line up and working on a winning mentality. Van Gaal used every minute he could. In one session, there was no more time to add another training session, so he took the lads in to the conference space and used 22 chairs to explain his vision. Another advantage: most players have similarly focused coaches at their club ( Pep, Klopp, Ten Hag, Gasperini).

Tactics is yet another aspect. In 2014, Van Gaal played a 5-3-2, with a passer in midfield and speed/guile upfront. That happened after our 4-3-3 was played off the pitch by France. Van Gaal immediately spoke to Robben about it, who supported the plan. He called Van Persie, who also saw this as a plus for himself individually. When Oranje would be able to cement the defence as a wall, we would have a fighting chance. When LVG started with his third tenure, he fell back to 4-3-3 because “it’s the easiest for the players”, but he already laid his plans for a 3-2-1-2 down. He only needed to convince his players, and he did.

Van Gaal solves a couple of issues, using this system. For starters, we have strong centre backs, so three in the backline should be enough to stop the opponent’s forwards. Secondly, we  add more bodies in midfield, using the full backs as midfielders. This creates an overload and he who controls midfield controls the game. Thirdly, we don’t have real classic wingers at the moment, so this role will be taken by the full backs. The number of assists they had (Blind and Dumfries, but also Malacia), demonstrates this point. And lastly, our free roaming forwards will have the freedom to play according to their intuition.

There are some issues too. LVG wants his players to be in position once build up starts. They work with certain meters between the players and different lines. It takes time to get in position which slows the build up down a bit. When they are in position, they need to have either a full back or a pivot in midfield to make themselves available. This tends to happen slow at times.

Also, what do we do when the opponent doesn’t press? And just sits in position – zonal – to wait for us to create something?

In that case, we need to create. Play fast, move fast and find the space for the combination or the dribble. We are very good when having to press the opponent, regain possession and pounce.

Van Gaal is not happy with the game play in possession. Against Belgium and Poland, it was sloppy. “I do think we will find this again in a short time. It has to do with the form of the day, with fitness and with the quality and resistance of the opponent. For this, we depend on the club and the way the player is built up. Against Belgium, both Koopmeiners and Frenkie were missed. But still, we had more chances than Belgium, strangely enough… that is football for you.”

Skipper Virgil van Dijk: “We didn’t play well but we did win. We were not good in possession which means we need to work harder and run more. But we did. And we responded well to their positioning changes. Try and beat this Dutch team, it is not easy.”

Van Gaal also said most players have gained their “plusses” on the score card and if all goes well – fitness- these players can organise their suitcases already. Timber, Van Dijk, Ake are players who dare to press high. With De Vrij and De Ligt, Van Gaal has tremendous stand-ins.

Van Gaal trusts the power and run of Dumfries on the right and the vision, timing and footballing skills of Daley Blind on the left, with Malacia as a super stand in.

Frenkie is beyond reproach in midfield, while Bergwijn and Memphis are shoe ins as well. Gakpo is also clearly in the LVG good books.

So the remaining questions are: who partners De Jong in midfield? Berghuis, De Roon, Koopmeiners, Taylor and De Roon are options, depending on the quality of the opponent. Gravenberch can dream, as can Simons. The goalies are also not 100% certain. It seems LVG will bring four, so Noppert, Bijlow or Flekken will have to sit on the sofa at home, as Pasveer and Cillesen seem to be the logical choices for now.

Then there is the target man: Brobbey or Janssen? And the pinch hitter: Luuk de Jong or Wout Weghorst? Van Gaal: “And there is always the potential of a talent suddenly manifesting itself. Look at Taylor. if they’re good, I’ll pick them.”

It seems Frimpong can still dream. More on him in the next post!

Lastly, there are some former internationals who had to abandon the orange jersey due to injuries, such as Karsdorp, Danjuma, Malen and Lang. One or two of these could make the cut if they perform really well in the coming 7 weeks.

Is Oranje now a title fave? No, more of a dark horse. But when the stars align (form, draw, off-day opponent) then anything can happen…. Just like in 2014.

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  1. Watched Juventus vs maccabi hafia. Maccabi Hafia started with a bang like they were playing the final. If you get a chance trying watching this game. With this again I want to say its a shame how the talents of Tjaronn chery was not recognised while his time in Nertherlands and under then NT coach ( father)
    and how long and far it has taken him to show the calibre of player he is. At 34 he still looks as elegant and crafty as when he was playing at Groningen.

    A famous win for Maccabi hafia. Hostile atmosphere, singing fans, great football.

    1. A great game indeed. Juve is not even the shadow of their former self. De Ligt called it well.

      Wilson is on the Danny Blind bandwagon again? Last warning: any comment aimed to be derogative on former Dutch legends will be deleted.

      Chery has been selected for the Dutch team by Guus Hiddink and later once more by Van Gaal.

      Under Hiddink he was part of the squad for the friendly against the US (I believe) and he was subsequently dropped for the next match.

      Van Gaal asked Chery and Toornstra back in his second spell, to train with Oranje.

      He was able to showcase himself.

      He was never invited back.

      No football coach would not select a player if that player has the ability to make the coach a legend.

      Remember: players make great coaches, not the other way around (in national teams).

      Chery didn’t bring enough. He is known to be lazy, hard to coach and has a difficult personality. A bit like Edgar Davids. But Davids was coachable and definitely not lazy.

      Is Chery a quality player? Yes.

      But teams need to be created around Chery, which our NT managers didn’t seem to think was needed.

      LVG and Guus will never publically share why they didnt want to see more of him but I personally trust these two icons to have their reasons.

      You probably don’t. So you will keep on being confused with the (football) world around you.

  2. Don’t wanna drag on this but some facts on what you missed out on.

    Was just called up like others to make up for numbers and was never in the picture for selection. ( sparring team). He was still a rookie at that time at ADO Hag and if im not wrong then the reason why they were called up because the teams training camp was based around the area. (Ziest). Utrecht, hague.

    This was aftermath of the world cup and As you can see in the article hiddink was still heavily dependent on the 2014 squad. Just look at that midfield list.

    After Hiddink resigned and when Danny Blind took over, that’s when I’m talking about. Looks like you have forgotten but not me. This was again with the obsession of Ajax contingent at the fore front during selection with klaassen , Riedewald and Blind in the midfield options. Sneijder too was in and out of the team as well.

    Chery had also moved to Queens park Rangers and as usually , you know what that means Not good enough ( where you play, club status) even though he was making headlines there. It’s is here which I said they never recognized his talents just like when Danjuma was at Bournemouth ( FDB euros). I remember debating this long time ago and I also posted an article where he (chery) said you have to move on.

    Regardless of all this I just wanna know where did you get that he was hard to coach, lazy and had difficult personality? Is this you assumptions or what?

    1. No assumptions. This is what is said about him. Trust me, coaches get better money and better jobs if they do well.

      Coaches will play the best team they can field for this reason.

      IF a coach doesn’t like a player it’s usually 1) tactical discipline or 2) personality.

      Van Gaal > Rivaldo as an example.

      You only see a fraction of a player compared to what a coach sees. Start to accept that Van Gaal, BLind, Advocaat, Hiddink, etc etc have more football intelligence than you.

  3. Oh man, it just happened as everyone predict. No change from previous shameful defeat. The result is another shameful defeat. Blind is done. If NT and Ajax cannot move forward without him, it is a shame on those two teams.

  4. Ratings
    Remko Pasveer: 5
    Jorge Sánchez: 4
    Jurriën Timber: 5.5
    Daley Blind: 4
    Calvin Bassey: 4
    Edson Álvarez: 5
    Davy Klaassen: 6
    Kenneth Taylor: 5
    Steven Berghuis: 5
    Mohammed Kudus: 3.5
    Steven Bergwijn: 4 ,5

  5. Just finished watching the Ajax-Napoli highlights.

    I have never seen a footballer as cumbersome and lethargic as Daley Blind. Dude is old and tired🤣 Why do they insist on squeezing water out of stone?

    Ousmane Dembele vs Blind. Really? Is this the plan for Qatar? No amount(and I mean no amount) of tactical nous and classroom work is going to prevent Blind from being exposed or players around him not been compensated for his lack thereof.

  6. @Jan

    Re: LVG and Guus will never publically share why they didnt want to see more of him but I personally trust these two icons to have their reasons.

    It is hard to see the rationale and cause for confidence behind such statement given the context and history of Dutch management and its fretful relationship with players.

    This is the same organization and management that treated Seedorf(the Clarence Seedorf of CL fame) like a pariah and been talked about as darn near uncoachable.

    The same group of coaches that relegated Van Nistelrooy to riding pine for almost the entirety of a knockout WC match whilst your country search for an equalizer.

    The same Lvg that leaves out one of the best right backs in Europe even though you do not have a backup RB.

    The same organization that managed to send Gullit home in 1994 for some disagreement.

    The same organization and team that is known for its acts of implosion as much as it’s electrifying football.

    I beg to differ in my trust of people(however genius they are) who appear to be led by emotions and ego than practicality and common sense.

    P.S. And yes, I tie them up in one bundle because they have never allowed for any meaningful deviation from how they collectively see things. Most probably why we will never have a foreign coach.

    1. Hey man, not everything you said is correct.

      Seedorf was not well like in general. Claiming penalty kicks and missing them, basically coming into the squad and claiming the playmaker role while the coach (and peers) had other ideas. It happens.

      Van Nistelrooy had a huge falling out with Van Basten. Things were said. Stuff was thrown. Van Basten had to bench Ruud in order to maintain authority in the squad. These things happen.

      Gullit wasn’t sent home in 1994. Gullit himself decided not to go as he had his own ideas about the line up, making sure he could start without having to do too much defensive work.

  7. Few positives from both legs I would say is to that of the impact Brobbery makes coming of the bench.
    I think Van gaal should select him to be Depay’s backup or if not backup striker. He is big, strong in air and clincal as well. I like his personality as well. Gentle giant.

  8. He is anything but clinical. And that is ok, when Anelka first played, his finishing was shit and he practiced a lot to improve that. I don’t see how Malen and Brobbey will be selected based on their output.

  9. “I think we showed that we made progress compared to last week.”

    These were Daley blind comments after another humiliation against Napoli , the team just suffered another four goals against Napoli who is playing great this year but they are not Real Madrid or City for gods sake !!!! Anyway he is saying the team made progress how on earth is that progress with all these mistakes he personally made in that defense …

    Plus this losing mentality of Ajax accepting the role of being nothing against Liverpool in Liverpool and twice against Napoli with the excuse that they come from a small league and can’t compete against top teams in Europe !!!!! Look at Portuguese teams man, Portuguese league is a small league right ??? Three fucking Portuguese teams in champions league are doing great , benfica who eliminated Ajax last year is again doing amazing this year qualifying in a group with two teams from “top” leagues that scare Ajax too much, sporting Lisbon and Porto having six points so far and seriously competing for a spot in round of 16!!!
    On the other side what do we have ? Feyenoord failing to beat a danish team both home and away? AZ losing to a Cypriot team in conference league? PSV draw with a Norwegian team at home ….

    Dutch clubs find the excuse of being in a small league a good excuse to do nothing in Europe; Portuguese teams on the other side are always in quarter finals and sometimes semis champions league (benfica quarters last year; Porto semifinal two years ago etc…)

  10. Answered some comments above, guys, in case you missed it.

    Dreadful Ajax performance again. Daley Blind is not making his own life easier!

    The blame for Ajax’ demise to me lies with the lack of technical management. Overmars had to go, and was replaced by inexperienced Huntelaar and Hamstra.

    Selling Martinez and signing Bassey as a replacement?

    He is not ready.

    Blind is fading quickly.

    Most of the midfielders lack grit and power. I think Taylor will come good, but without Alvarez, Ajax looks like a school team.

    I think Schreuder is the right guy to renovate the team but the poisonous chalice deserves some more sips first me thinks.

    1. The management is indeed weak. Of all the transfers, only Steven Bergwijn and Bassey start regularly. Brobbey, Wijndal, Kaplan, Conceicao, Jorge Sanchez and Ocampos did not have starting position/rotation.
      Brobbey: over pricing
      Winjdal: bias selection
      Ocampos: failed loan, why pay 4.4M for someone play one season and does not fit the system?
      The rest: unknown

      And that bring the question: do they discuss with the coach about the transfer at all?

    2. I don’t think Schreuder is the guy. The fact that he start the same eleven after the 1-6 loss tell me all I need to know. This is a competitive sport and he does not even create a healthy competition within the team.

  11. Hi Kevin, he used the same players but not the same line up. Rensch was replaced of course, Bassey moved to left back and Taylor, for the people who don’t really see tactical set ups, played as the second pivot.

    in the past seasons. Ajax’ midfield changed a lot. When Frenkie was there, Ten Hag used Schone next to Frenkie, with two 6’s.

    When they left, Martinez and Alvarez played there for a whilwe and in the last season, it was Gravenberch next to Alvarez, but Gravenberch played more offensive.

    Against Napoli at home, Taylor was playing high up the pitch, almost as a left winger. For this match, he played more as a holding mid and there was more control.

    In the first half, Ajax even had more possession than Napoli.

    All the danger came from NApoli’s left side, where the Mexicans at Ajax were played drunk (Berghuis too was weak in the challenges). The first goal came from a cross pass to the left where Bassey forgot to track Lozano but more importantly: Alvarez was pulled away out of the centre allowing Zielinski all the time in the world.

    The second goal: came from the combinations on the left.

    The third (penalty), same story.

    I can fully understand that Schreuder didn’t use Ocampos or Brobbey versus this Napoli away. Did you see anything from the Argentine already? And Brobbey is not as useful as Kudus in these games.

    Which centre backs would you prefer? Which holding mids?

    This is Ajax’ problem: selling Antony, Martinez, Gravenberch and not signing good alternatives.

    How can you blame Schreuder?

    1. Hi Jan,

      To be clear, I mean the same eleven in Volendam match after Napoli loss. And I am looking at people management skill here. This is the transition year and Schreuder is put into a bad position by having many key players sold. But is he the right guy to go forward? He said “Ajax is not at the level of Napoli or Liverpool” and while it is true, this is not right message to send. After a 1-6 loss, he need to make his players feel a strong urgency to improve, but he did not. His message is “this is your ceiling and you cannot do better than this”. And perhaps, that is why he start the same XI against Volendam. How does Winjdal feel about this? Your competitor in the team played and the team got beaten badly. Still there is no rotation, no change for him. What does it mean for young Ajax players? Should they look up to players who is over the hill like Blind or Tadic and admire them and try to be as good as them now? Why did they not get a chance to show they can do better against an opponent like Volendam?

      I am not blaming Schreuder entirely on the result. I think he is only part of the bigger problems. But he did not show leadership in this scenario and I highly doubt that he will be the right guys to nurture the next generation.

  12. @Jan it’s interesting you mention Overmars’ role in this, because now the poor Antwerp team he took over is flying in Belgium, so despite his extra curricular activities, he is clearly very good at what he does.

    I think I’ve said this before, but the thing with Ajax is they probably won’t ever be a consistent Champions League team. Basically, I see this as the transition year where they can make a Europa League run.

    2021-22 – Ajax sell most of their top players
    2022-23 – Go into the Europa League and make a decent run there while getting their new crop some experience/figuring out formations. Being able to make a deep run in three competitions will get the kids some gametime, and do well to up the transfer value of Timber/Kudus who I assume are on the way out next season.
    2023-24 – With mostly the same squad as the year before, are able to make a run to the CL R16. Will likely lose 1 or 2 more players
    2024-25 – Again, with mostly the same squad as the year before, Ajax will make a deep run into the CL (QF/SF). At the end of this season many of the players will be sold and they’ll start the cycle again.

    I think this three or potentially four year cycle will be how Ajax functions going forward.

    1. Realistically, I think next year Ajax lines up like this:


      Kudus, Timber and Alvarez probably all leave. I think Kik Pierie and Warmerdam will fight for the CB spot. Youri Regeer and Fitz-Kim might also take Grillitsch’s spot. Tadic will have first dibs at the 10 role, but I think Klaassen will end up there.

      2024-25 I think the team likely lines up:


      And then after this season, they’ll probably lose Brobbey, Bassey, Taylor, Rensch, Berghuis (to age) and will be back at square one.

  13. @ Jan,
    You finally realize that Daley is done. LOL
    By the way Jan, can you please comment on Depay’s situation? This guys is supposed to be our #1 striker, hasn’t played for months, got injured and was not even plying even before he got injured. In my opinion, Depay’s next game is going to be against Senegal. How is it possible? Jan, are you not worried about his match fitness? Anyway!

    1. It’s not a matter of “finally realising he is done”. Up until this season, I felt Daley’s plusses outweighed his minusses, also because there was no real clear successor. Wijndal was (and is) vulnerable defensively.

      Malacia still needs to prove himself for me, as he stepped up three levels to Man United. Playing well consistently at a high level. You can be a great player, but if you show it once every 3 games, it’s not good enough.

      When Daley left Ajax for Man United, he had 4 titles in his pocket. Ajax stopped winning titles. When he returned, Ajax started winning titles again.

      I’m not saying it was all due to him, of course, but you can’t say they won them despite Blind :-).

      Any player with titles, a World Cup semi final (and goals and assists in that WC), a European trophy and a CL semi final and on top 100 caps for his country would be considered a legend in any big competition.

      I don’t see why he deserves all this hate.

      But I believe it is time for him to move out of the way.

      As for Memphis, he doesn’t need match rhythm as he has proven time and time again. Like Danjuma, you can put him in and he’ll do the business.

      He is currently working on his fitness as he’s not match fit. He’s training and expects to be back next week or so. The Classico is too soon for him.

      But he’ll get his minutes and a la Van Basten in 1988, he will reach his peak in December when he beats France in the finals with a hattrick.

      Ask me for more betting advice.

      Frenkie apparently informed Barca he is now ready to leave (it seems they paid him the money he was owed).

      1. Jan, I agree with everything except I don’t understand your pessimism about Depay. Why only 3 goals against France in the final? Why wouldn’t he score 5 in the final and 5 in the semifinal? Why not 3-4 goals every game and he ends up best scorer in WC history while being a super warmer in the bench of his club.

  14. @ Jan

    “When Daley left Ajax for Man United, he had 4 titles in his pocket. Ajax stopped winning titles. When he returned, Ajax started winning titles again.”

    Since you have brought this up for the second time let throw some light on this. If you look at the trend of eredivisie then most of time it has been decided on which team does the best deals in transfermarket and if in the case where the top 3 all have gone head to head with good transfers then the race has always been tight. This was basically it. PSV 14/15,15/16 had caught up to Ajax ( FDB) with their home grown talents, depay,Wjnaldum,bruma,Willems,Maher,Reiki,while Ajax couldnt adequately replace their departures. Blind,Denswil,siem,Vermeer and then the following season Moisander, Sigthorsson marking the end of regin of FDB. PSV then also had better arrivals,Guardado,Van Ginkel, Isimat Marin,Gaston Pereiro and If I recall correctly than PSV reached the QF in the CL this season. Then came Feyenoord in 16/17 while Bosz arrived at Ajax building from scratch and then in the 17/18 Ajax again faulted with their new signings under Kiezer and then came in Ten Hag spending big on tadic, blind,Promes,Alvarez of what the team today is with departures replaced adequately and to the same or higher
    quality. It’s just merely a co indence and the financial advantage that Ajax has that they spent big and blew everybody away and nothing to do with Blind returning back at that time.

    If you look at this season the story is same. Transfers have faulted and departures have left a big vaccum.its falling apart.

    “I’m not saying it was all due to him, of course, but you can’t say they won them despite Blind :-).”

    And what crap is this? It’s like saying he is and then he is not. Butter won the EPL with Man United. I’m not saying it was all due to him of course, but you can’t say they won despite him. You see how this sounds.

  15. Pascal struijk is need of the hour ,he is playing in Top league ,regular..comfortable at 3 men back..can play LB and LCB..Tall ,physical ..Any injury or card to Ake amd Virgil we are dead..Youri baas is better than winjdal..i like him…ATM still you cannot say BLind or winjdal who is better..Both Lacks something..Van gaal/Daddy Blind had enough time to Test Struijk beacause that would create compettion for Blind at least..Just like Virgil suffered in 2016 and finally an injury of Blind gave way to Virgil..Rest is history..

  16. I really do think that this Blind debate should be put to bed now.

    It goes without saying that Blind has not been fit for purpose for quite some time now.

    His cons(which includes the team twisting itself to a pretzel for his accomodation) far outweighs his buildup contributions and once in a blue moon goal assists.

    This maniacal obsession of a has-been has led to the lack of any progress and development of any kind on the left side of that Oranje defence. It’s simply preposterous.

    And it’s not that people hate Blind or he only plays because of daddy(I have never intimated that btw) It is just that his continual senseless selection without any other player given a sniff, is a microscopic study of everything that is wrong with Oranje.

    Blind is a caricature, a microcosm, if you will, of how players like Struijk, Karsdorp and for a long time Danjuma have been treated as less than whilst some seemingly enjoy a monarchical status.

    You could extend this take to the whole Ajax connection and nobody exemplifies that as much as baby Blind.

    Now, we all know Blind is going to be a sure starter in Qatar even if he loses an eye before the commencement of the tournament. We also know that he is going to cost us when things tighten up and get crucial in latter stages. Either directly or as a result of players compensating for him. That’s entirely on management.

    But moving forward, Qatar is going to be a positive(either way) that we might finally close the chapter on Blind.

    Malacia. My opinion of him is indeed mixed. He is a great athlete and with his level of commitment could quite easily endear himself to fans.

    But this I am afraid might also be something that could signal for his shortcomings to be ignored. For a small quick player, I find that he does not move his feet as well and that results on him giving up a lot of unnecessary calls. His anticipation is not the greatest either I feel. Combined that with being rash in the challenge and brash in his all around play, I do not want Oranje to fall in the trap of settling on him a la Blind.

    Malacia is clearly the frontrunner successor though and I do agree with that assessment as of now. But that’s just it. I do no want that position been treated as signed sealed delivered in the form of Malacia. Give other players chances to prove themselves.

    Go outside of the box as Dutch management is wont to when it comes to their favorites. See if Struijk works. Big, strong and no slouch by any means. I don’t know how two-footed Karsdorp is but that’s another idea.

    ANYTHING. But please just open the doors of opportunity and see what trajectory it takes us into.

    1. “But moving forward, Qatar is going to be a positive(either way) that we might finally close the chapter on Blind.” I love how you think but don’t underestimate how Dutch football works. They might have a couple of old tricks under their sleeve.

  17. @ Orangutan

    “And it’s not that people hate Blind or he only plays because of daddy(I have never intimated that btw) It is just that his continual senseless selection without any other player given a sniff, is a microscopic study of everything that is wrong with Oranje.”

    I think you will come to the same conclusion when you dissect it and look for Why and how.They ( van gaal and daddy) was the stepping stone for him and whom have made him look undisputed by nobody competiting against him and daley in the process raking in caps which then now suppose to make him a LEGEND. Lol. Now I know there will be same old argument why shouldn’t they have when he was eredivisie player of the year, won four titles etc. The answer is below.

    Its very simply and without any doubt if not for van gaal or daddy he wouldn’t have gotten the sniff at Man united and nor would have been the main stay NT as over the years. I mean you look at the trajectory of van rhijn. He was sailing smooth to be undisputed at Ajax and future for NT until Tete arrived and stole the show. It would have happened to Blind as well and which later did happened at United.

    Then Blind has never lived up to expectations when it has mattered the most Argentina WC 2014, Portugal NL 2018, Spurs CL SF 2019, Czech Republic Euro 21.
    I will choose my words carefully here, there are 10 other players too and not only him playing but like I have said he cannot peak up in big games and it plays a critical role changing the dynamics and balance of the team which is always going to be a decsive factor NO MATTER WHERE HE PLAYS. Well it on the record being a failure and it all comes back to that “one question”. Why no rotation, competition, and continuing with him.

    When he makes mistakes or his weakness his exposed, he is not to be blamed and it is suppose to be overlooked to those at fault in front of him. But if the team wins with him assisting or scoring once in what a while,it has to be accounted for how many years

    I mean you look back at the debate few posts back. Re Malacia: “needed when required, doesnt need to play to get better, will take over when Blind retires”
    well now with questions marks surfacing on his performances at Man United, we come back to the same intersection.” should Malacia have clocked more minutes in NT instead of aging blind and in highlight of his performance in champions league.

    For Future as long as Ten Hag remains at Man United the future looks bright for Malacia but he needs to build up on to his trade with every opportunity he gets.

    1. You’re absolutely clueless man.

      “When he makes mistakes or his weakness his exposed, he is not to be blamed and it is suppose to be overlooked to those at fault in front of him. But if the team wins with him assisting or scoring once in what a while,it has to be accounted for how many years”

      This sentence here is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said because you have it entirely backwards. Blind has played nearly 500 games in his career, and you’ll scrutinize him over a dozen or so games where he makes mistakes. But then on the flipside, you find a 2.5 minute Youtube video of Buttner, where all of the highlights come from 2 games, and you think he should be our starting left back.

      Blind was not the starting left back all of these years because he was the starting left back. He was the starting left back, because the competition was yards behind, and we were not in a position to be playing kids because we were struggling to qualify for events. In 2016, 2018 and 2020 we were in a battle to get into the tournaments, so we weren’t going to start Buttner or Kongolo or Haps or Willems or Van Aanholt or Bakker or Wijndal or Oosterwolde. None of those guys ever reached an International level. They all had “potential” but never got to a level that we could play them in a crucial world cup qualifier. Arguably van Aanholt was there, but he couldn’t have played in the 4-3-3 we were playing when he was at his prime. The reason why these guys never got a transfer to anywhere good is not because van Gaal sabotaged their careers, but because they didn’t have the level. They had “potential” but not the level.

      Malacia is now playing at an International Level, he can and is challenging Blind, who is on a solid decline.

      Without a doubt between 2014 and 2020 there was not a single Dutch left back anywhere close to Blind’s level in terms of consistency. He made mistakes, of course, and yes he’s up against the best in the world he can’t keep up. But criticizing Blind for crumbling against 2014 Messi is moronic, as though we had anyone who could deal with that.

      I beg you to tell me one Dutch player in the past decade who’s put in a World Class performance against a big team in a high pressure game. No Blind has never had a worldie against these guys, but aside from VVD neither has anyone else. Tyrell Malacia isn’t going to go 1v1 against Mbappe and get a 10/10 from L’Equipe. He’s gonna be exposed, torn apart, but we could still win the game.

  18. Prime wijnaldum 2018, under koeman.

    Vs France 2-0, vs Germany 4-2 and vs Portgual 3-0, Liverpool 18/19 season. Liverpool 4-0 barcelona

    Robin Gosens (same boat as Strujik)

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