Is Oranje good enough…?

In the past weeks, we saw some negativity posted here about the team which prompted me to respond. There were so many things said, that I felt a counter-post was warranted. I mean, Wilson and Tiju tend to vent their frustration with certain players and coaches here, but Jean Venette took it to a whole other level.

In general terms: you don’t need a team of world class players to win trophies!

For every France 2018 or Spain 2012, there is a Greece 2004 or a Leicester City 2016.

You need the best team to win trophies! And a bit of luck. I could end this post right here. Point made.

But, below I will quote Venette (and others) and respond:

“Jan is gonna write his opinion tomorrow and trying to convince folks that this team is good. HAHAHA”

I don’t do this. I am usually trying to explain why a coach does what does and why I think it might work. You can say a lot about our coaches from the past, but they all have a good pedigree and considered to be experts in their fields. We did have inexperienced coaches, but I am not 100% sure you can blame Van Basten for our exit in 2008 or Rijkaard for the dreadful misses v Italy in 2000…

What I do do, and what I do believe in: as a fan you need to support your team. You can be critical of your coach (I am), but the players deserve support. Yelling from the stands “Wijndal, you suck, you don’t deserve to be in this team!” is not my type of supporting.

And lets face it: how often did this group of followers here criticised players… Van Bommel, Nigel de Jong, Dirk Kuyt, Daley Blind… Every player less than Cruyff, Van Basten, Bergkamp or Sneijder gets insults, at times (on this blog).

“This Dutch team isn’t going anywhere. The team is suck….. Berghuis is suck and again he is a starter. LOL Most of these players as sucks.”

I don’t know why I would respond to this. Sounds like a spoiled kid criticising his dinner ( “this meatball sucks, this spinach sucks, I don’t want to eat this!”). The team doesn’t suck. This team (with Virgil) beat France, Germany, England and drew Italy away. So…

I think people in Lyon don’t think Memphis sucks. People like Pocchetino and Klopp don’t think Wijnaldum sucks. Apparently, Frenkie de Jong is the highest valued player in Spain now. So no, we don’t suck.

“You have a bunch of players in this squad that are bench players in their clubs or went abroad and could not perform.”

Someone remembers a certain Marco van Basten, in 1988? He didn’t play. He was not considered first team material by Michels.

The reason that Donny van de Beek doesn’t play at Man United is not hard to fathom (if you follow football, you’d know).

“You have to admit that this generation is suck except for a very few.”

We all know that Spain and England and France are stronger in terms of individual quality and options on every position. That is sadly the fate of The Netherlands. Small country. Less options. England has 5 top right backs, we only have 1 (in my opinion: Karsdorp). This is true. But having said that: how often did England win a big trophy in recent decades?

If you understand football, you know it’s not about the individual players. How many big trophies did C Ronaldo win with his country? Only the last Euros. When he was 33 years old. How many World Cups did Leo Messi win again?

Belgium has been playing several tournaments now with a top notch team with “world class players”. How many trophies exactly?

We have two of the top defenders of the Serie A. We have a true class act in Daley Blind. Frenkie de Jong is top notch. Wijnaldum is a world class player, anyone who begs to differ is not paying attention. He won heaps of trophies at Liverpool, played practically everything, scored key goals in the Champions League and at 30 could sign at PSG, Barca, Bayern or stay at Liverpool.

For me, Liverpool is World Class. So any Liverpool Legend must also be world class.

We have Memphis as top attacker and players like Gravenberch, Timber, Malen, Gakpo will surely follow suit. We don’t need a team of super stars. Those teams never win trophies. We need players like Klaassen and Weghorst who will put in a shift and help support the stars.

“Any tactical decision wouldn’t make any difference.”

Tell this to the German coach who won the Euros in 2004. Tactics are there to allow the players to play at their best level. Did you see the tactical change Koeman made at Barca? And the impact his shift to three-at-the-back made?

“If Berghuis was good enough he wouldn’t be in the Eredivisie by now.”

Why wouldn’t a player be able to decide to stay in Holland? Danny Blind never left Holland. He is considered one of the greatest liberos. How well have some players done when moving abroad (your own observation). So some move abroad and get criticism if they don’t break into a big team right away (Bergwijn, Van de Beek, Kluivert). Others stay in Holland and shine every week and then they get criticised for that?? That is not fair. Berghuis made a transfer to Watford. He decided to return to Holland and play weekly. He was offered a massive pay-check at Feyenoord and decided he wanted to be a big fish in a little pond. But don’t worry, there were more than enough suiters for Berghuis and he’ll make a move, for sure.

I compare him with Ziyech. Elegant technicians, with a tremendous left foot and great vision. But Ziyech is wasted in the high octane style of Tuchel (sadly) and Berghuis was wasted at Watford. I think we should be grateful that Berghuis stayed in Holland.

“For me I think we have to accept the fact that we have failed to produced talented players that we use to and figure out where and how we fell short and look into the future.”

You are behind the times. This process started in 2016 already (actually, after 2012’s debacle) and since, we have started to produce a lot of great talents… De Ligt, Gravenberch, Stengs, Malacia, Lang, Timber, Rensch, Ihattaren, Gakpo, Bijlow, all these names are coming through now and some hav established themselves (De Ligt, Gravenberch, Bijlow), others are on their way after suffering some setbacks (Gakpo, Lang, Malacia) and others struggle a bit with that last step up (Stengs, Ihattaren, Boadu)… The future is quite bright. Wijndal has indeed not progressed enough, I agree with that, but that is normal with young players. That last step is huge.

I pointed out that in The Netherlands (and I was there before the 74 World Cup and the Euros 1988) and before most tournaments, the overall attitude is shifting between “what the F are we going to do there” to “we’ll win this”. And everytime we believe we’ll win it, we go home disappointed (1990, 1996, 2002, 2012) and everytime we believe we have nothing to win, we do exceptionally well (1974, 1978, 2014).

Before the World Cup 1974, the expectations were truly low. We had qualified as a result of a referee blunder (Belgium had an onsite goal ruled out!) and we were missing all our central defenders.

In 1978, we didn’t have Cruyff and Van Hanegem.

And back then, players like Haan, Rijsbergen, Jansen, Jongbloed were not considered World Class.

And like with the criticism poured over Bergwijn, Van de Beek and co: Rep, Jansen, Suurbier, Rijsbergen and others did not have a glorious career abroad. Wim Jansen played in Japan and the US and returned to the Eredivisie, for instance. Rijsbergen made a name for himself at New York Cosmos but that was never taken as a serious team.

Wim Suurbier, party animal

In 1978, we had Poortvliet, Wildschut, Van Kraay, Nanninga, Brands…definitely not world class players.

In 2014, we played with a back 5 of all Eredivisie players. Except for Vlaar, who was playing relegation football with Villa.

In 1988, we had elegant and skilled players galore ( Van ‘t Schip, Vanenburg, Mario Been, Frans van Rooy) but Michels opted for a balanced squad with hard working players (Erwin Koeman, Suvrijn, Bosman, Wim Koevermans, Sjaak Troost) as he understood that these players would not upset the apple cart if they wouldn’t play.

But Van Basten was considered not match fit and Vanenburg was forced to play in service of the team, while 37 year old Muhren was brought in to add some experience and intelligence to the team.

And were we really brilliant? We lost our first game. We won vs England, but with luck.

So why would we now suddenly need 11 world class players??

In 1998, we had a very strong squad. Didn’t win. In 2002, we had one of the best coaches of Dutch history and amazing players. Didn’t even qualify.

“The world will not be talking about these players in 30 years time. Wijnaldum isn’t no Iniesta, nor a Donadoni, Enzo Scifo, Franchescholi, not even an Edgar Davids.”

I think you are wrong. Wijnaldum is on his way to play 100+ caps for Oranje. If you manage that, you will be considered a legend, whether you like it or not :-). He’s been exceptional at Liverpool, much loved there and respected and with a full trophy cabinet.

Memphis is a very colourful player. His foundation work, his clothing line, his funny hats and outfits, and mark my words, he still has his best years in front of him.

Daley Blind will go into history as one of the most gifted left footers we ever had. Frenkie de Jong will become one of our best ever midfielders. I think that in itself is already something to be happy about.

The thing is too: players are considered TOP after winning a big trophy. So, should Holland manage what Greece did in 2004, players like Weghorst and Klaassen and Dumfries will be considered “European top” suddenly.

I think we all have subjective opinions about coaches and players, and we need to accept that there is no such thing as “the truth”. Vincent Janssen is now somewhere in Mexico. Off the radar for most. If he would have picked another club than Spurs, who knows, right? He played 62 games for Monterrey, and scored/assisted 23 times. Which is one goal/assist every third game. Those are way better stats than Luuk de Jong. Janssen could have been on the radar if he would have chosen to play for Gladbach or Mainz or Club Brugge.

Frank de Boer is considered “a loser” but I think that is truly extremely harsh. Sure, his communications is not every enticing. It’s monotonous, he drawls a bit and has a lot of uhs and ohs and ahs… It’s like Emery when he was with Arsenal. He came across as a joker. But despite that, Emery is definitely a top coach, with trophies to prove this. De Boer won the Dutch title 4 times in a row. That is not bad, considering he coached Ajax in a period where they struggled.

He went to Inter, because they wanted to change from a negative, catenaccio style to a more dominant attacking style. The player revolted and the Inter board lost their spine. It took 3 coaches since De Boer and the appointment of Conte to change this. And guess what: Conte is out already, because according to him, the Inter board is constraining him too much.

Same story at Palace: the owners wanted a continental style football. De Boer could have had results in his first four matches but bad luck resulted in a ridiculous loss late in the (fourth) game, which meant the Palace owners shat the bed and chucked him out. They got Yoy Hodgson in and he went back to typical counter football. De Boer was sacrificed to appease the fans and some senior players.

His Atlanta gig can not be seen as a failure. He was there for a good spell and won trophies. What more did they expect?

I remember constant criticism on our teams and players. In 2010, Bert van Marwijk was considered a cautious coach. Our defenders were considered mediocre (Mathijsen, Ooijer, Heitinga). Before the tournament, our two friendlies were considered shambolic. In 2014, no one had any confidence in what Van Gaal was doing. And the story goes on and on.

As for the development of players, look at the 2016 squad and lets look at some names of exciting players who played for Oranje then:

Karsdorp – got seriously injured and missed two whole seasons

Fosu-Mensah – never was able to deliver on that wonderful promise

Hoedt – had a great spell at Lazio but had to re-invent himself after his Southampton move

Jetro Willems – got seriously injured and is now on the prowl for a new club

Bazoer – lost the plot and is now rebuilding his career

Davy Propper – got injured this season and struggled to get back into Brighton, after a solid spell there

Bart Ramselaar – never cut it at PSV, is now back at Utrecht

Van Ginkel – dramatic series of injuries, might return next season (PSV)

Vilhena – great move to Krasnodar where he is one of the key guys, but off the radar a bit

Obviously, Hakim Ziyech should have been on this list too, but his heart decided differently.

As a European football nation expressed in terms of population, we are 8th on the list. Poland and Romania have more people than us. But in terms of football ranking, they are way below us. The top 6 are: England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland.

It is logical that these countries have more talent to pick from than we do.

Only Portugal is way below us in terms of population, while being able to beat us regularly. All other nations below us (Belgium excepted at the moment) should be considered nations we can beat.

In conclusion:

We don’t need 11 world class players to win a trophy. We don’t need to play well in the pre-season friendlies. Even worse, we don’t even have to play great games in a tournament to win it.

Lets get some comments in on this topic (with respect please).

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  1. I think most frustration come from the fact that we seem to have a good group of players but it looks like we will waste this generation by picking the wrong coach. The majority on this blog think that we have good enough players. For me, we won against France and Germany back then, what change between back then and now? Mostly nothing, Bergwijn, Babel and VVD are out but the core group is the same. Of all these players, only VVD are important but we have enough CB to cover for him. There is good enough material to win the tournament, I highly doubt that FDB will do decent job. But I hope FDB can prove me wrong and shut my mouth.

    The first match is coming in a few hours, I am excited. Haven’t seen NT at major tournament for 7 years, I am excited to see them perform. What about everyone else?

  2. Hello Jan and all, long time no post. My two cents … i don’t think the team is as weak as some are making it. In my opinion, we have a world class forward line (Memphis and Weghorst – who scored 20 goals in the Bundesliga this season, same league where Haaland scored 27 and with a better team … so…). We have a great midfield and a ‘more than decent’ defense line – probably defense is much better than it was in some of the recent tournaments. I’m not happy with the full backs – we could do with better talent in those positions … and the coach/tactics … we have to see how that works.

  3. @ Jan

    Let the dust settle. I defintely will tag this post and respond to it after euros or maybe when im sitting on my PC at work. Very contradictory statements you have made without rationalizing whats unfolding, the current trend NT, modern day status and so forth .what I see is alot of reptition which you have mentioned in different post from the past, expect for the comparison part of 70 and 80s generation.

    1. Sure man. My point in summary: we don’t need all world class players to win a trophy. But with Memphis, Wijnaldum, Frenkie, De Ligt, Blind and De Vrij I think we have a fair share of world class players.

  4. It is always going to be difficult to win when the stupid coach thinks De Roon has to play. Again that is the biggest issue with this team i.e. the fact the coach is so stubborn.

  5. @Jeff…”””It is always going to be difficult to win when the stupid coach thinks De Roon has to play. Again that is the biggest issue with this team i.e. the fact the coach is so stubborn.”””””
    That says it all..It is disgusting to watch Winjdal,Dumbfry and De roon play at orange…Wim zubier never lacked quality..
    @FDB. if you have balls
    1-Stop your stupid stubornness…
    2-Give chance to koopmeiners/Gravenberch
    3-Play Blind as LB and Gini as RB in 532
    4- Play Ake-Devirj-timber
    5-NEVER EVER start with Dumbfry ,winjdal and de roon…(GOLDEN RULE)
    6–Use Promes and Berghuis as subs..
    7- Start game with malen-Depay ,gakpo
    lets see whether you have balls to do that…I KNOW THAT you are nervous under pressure Semi Euro2000 Vs italy prooved it…

    1. Tiju! Did you just say Suurbier never lacked quality? You never saw him play, clearly. Suurbier had the name of kicking crosses behind the goal all the time. He was a poor version of Dumfries. Suurbier was super fast and tough as nails, but definitely not a world class player.

  6. @Jan Greece did in 2004,italy did in 2006,portugal did in 2016…its okay..we can also . they played to their strength plus with refree help/mistake it could go in any direction.We are not doing it for 32 years since 1988…With FDB who rates van der hoorn over virgil vandijk its an impossible task..Now he rates De roon over koopmeiners,Weghorst over Gakpo….thats the baddest situation we are in…yes dutch can win even with out Virgil and Donny…We have the players for that….But he choosen some wrong wrong apple can spoil every thing…thats how it is..We should have taken quality players(We have that)…

  7. Watched England ,they Just suffocated croatia for long time…But after taking lead they were bit relaxed..after the game they looked like they won the World cup…thats shows this team is in delution and will be beaten.
    i was sad that we cannnot compare our stupidly selected wing backs with english…they are on another level…thats how we understand the quality..

  8. ohhh sh3334t dumbfry de roon in….luckily winjdal out….Luuk played games under FDB and luuk scored and was not bad…All of a sudden Weghorst came to picture and he starts,luuk sits in bench…this FDB is joker…

  9. Lets make some noise in this tournament. Remember, around half of all goals are scored by penalty kicks and set pieces. Memphis is at his peak and we can do it.

  10. First off, thanks Jan for keeping this site going strong! Haven’t been back in quite a while but glad to see most of the crowd is still here!

    Second, thank God that Christian Eriksen is alive and appears to be recovering! What a miracle after such a devastating situation! I was anticipating the worst but praying for the best

    Third, I’m pretty amped up that we’re back and competing at the top level again, although I’m tempering my expectations a little, particularly due to Frank de Boring. Maybe he’ll surprise me, but watching his teams for years with Ajax and even recently in Atlanta, I can’t say that it’s been scintillating football that’s been played.

    We probably don’t need to be scintillating to succeed at this tournament, but I would love to see us get back on the right track again, and I’m just not sure he’s the man for the job…

  11. Does anyone remember the video I posted during the 2010 World Cup where the three-year-old Dutch kid is reciting the entire starting IX by heart, including his long drawn out pronunciation of Stekelenburg?

    That kid is 14 now and Stekelenburg is still our starting keeper…

  12. Nice to be back on this blog!
    Great job Jan keeping the lights on 🙂

    Sad FDB is trying his best to make us look as bad as possible.
    Timber, De Roon when we have Ake and Klaasen or even Gravenberch …

    Let’s do what we can and hope we can find a replacement for 2022.

  13. Way too much play in our end so far. The de Jong – Dumfries connection looks a little uneasy

    Nice combo play on the edge of their box. But there’s dumfries agan!

  14. How can FDB not see that De Roon is such a useless player for us in this set up ? I mean Klaasen can at least be an option to pass to. It’s like we’re playing with one less player. Going forward, he’s no where to be seen, and in defense they breeze through as if he doesn’t exist. I definitely don’t understand his selection.

  15. Nice experiment, enjoyed all the side passes, back passes, De Roon on vacation..

    Time now to do some damage with 433 please..
    Malen for Timber, Klaasen for De Roon, Ake for Blind

  16. Watched a full live match on the NT after a long while. Ironically, the much maligned Dumfries became the hero of the team with his assists and goal. He could have ended up with more goals if his shot and header hit the net. He is like a battling ram to me.
    One thing caught my attention. Both teams seems to be not going all out. The Dutch was very measured in their approach, moving and passing the balls around and probing. The Ukraine looked totally wasted, their energy sucked out. Is the weather over at Amsterdam somehow got to do with this?
    The team can learn from the two Ukraine goals conceded on not to switch off. Fortunately no harm done.
    Overall, still not convincing display from the team. Hope they can grow into tournament as the matches progress. 🤞

  17. The first goal was because of the substitution. De Vrij has to face two guys because: 1/ winjdal did not follow his man and 2/ Ake sit back too much like a CB in 4-3-3 formation. The second goal was typical Dutch mental.

  18. All in all very good start. Lot of ball possession and attacks. More importantly the team managed to fight back after the 2-2 shock. I think the changes in defense caused the temporary confusion that led to the goals. What a game from Dumfries. I also preferred Wijndal over Van Aanholt. Liked Ake as well. De Vrij very solid. My only questions are Van Aanholt and De Roon.

  19. Dumfries was MOTM for me. De Vrij and De Jong was also really good. FDB got the system working so credit to him for that. If he could get the leftwing working also then we will have real chance at winning the cup. The two goals conceded was concerning. Other than that, we had a good game. Even our subs did not do that bad especially Ake and Malen.

    1. I think one lesson you can learn from this game is not sit back and starting defending until the game is out of reach or over. Both teams made the same mistake. Ukraine after the second goal and NT when they were 2-0.

      I also think Ukraine found too much space in the middle to exploit and the left flank as well. starting Van annholt was a good choice as Blind and wijndal combo would have been weak.

      I liked the tempo of the game as well. was high and again like I always say, these are the games where you can assess better the pros and cons of the team.

      I am expectation all the groups games to be close as this one. I am sure all the coaches will go back and do their homework and tactical try to go forward.

    1. Austria has a big bundasliga contingent and technically better players than Ukarine . their bench is good as well. their striker Sasa Kalajdzic was behind Weghorst with 16 goals for Stuttgart. Marcel Sabitzer of Rb Leipzig is also a very creative midfielder, again like Malinovskyi of Ukarine and will be key man in the midfielder. Marko Arnautović and Alba will also give them a good depth as well. NT should not take them lightly.

      1. Oh I am not taking lightly by no means and I have not seen Austria playing as a team for ages. I am judging based on the game that I watched against NM. Pretty average team even with Alaba and Arnautović.

  20. Jan, I love your post and agree with it 100%. I started reading the comments and got to Tiju/Emmanuel’s comment that included “…it’s disgusting to see … dumphry (sic) … playing for oranje” and having watched the Ukraine match I burst out laughing and had to fast forward to the end and drop a little post here of support for Jan (you’re work here is great, Jan, and thanks as always for it) and a challenge for Tiju, Wilson, and anyone else here who has posted nothing but negativity about this team: for as long as Oranje is in this tournament, post one positive thing about the team after every match. That’s it, just one positive thing. Then if you still feel the urge to prove how much smarter you are than Jan, de Boer, van Nistelrooij, Lodeweges, and the rest of the coaching crew, have at it and prove what a voetbal genius you are with your brilliantly cutting commentary.

  21. Here’s my #1 positive comment – Dumfries (with notable exception of that brutal 1st half header miss) was utterly brilliant and the Oranje man of the match by a country mile.

    1. @Robin O’Brien

      Since you have mentioned my name, I will say few thing here. sooner or later the short comings of NT will be exposed. you cant run away from this fact. when this happens, I want to hear from you as to what you have to say then. thinking NT will surpass expectation as they play more wont change the fact, other teams also are on the same road and the gap wont close up. I wonder what if the critics would have had to say if the game would have ended in draw. I can imagine the back lash on FDB.

      I have made my stances clear, I want to see NT win a major tournament in my life time and WC is on top of the list. I cant see this happening with this contingent and management. I simply down put up to false hope or expectation. you have to be rational to see a greater picture. well this is me.

    1. I think its a time feature which has been introduced by the word press administrators. you have login out and then login if you are getting that access denied message.

  22. Guys, while it is great that NT won today, we all saw how fragile Oranje can get at times even with quite mediocre teams as Ukraine. I really liked how NED played today until the first conceded goal. It is great that we were able to came back but with such teams as Italy and England those type of mistakes might mean the end of the tournament. Looking forward to the game with Austria.

  23. Question of the day: So is FDB a good coach because we won or a mediocre coach because we almost threw the game away to a dead in the water team? Why keep a useless Depay in the field when Malen could have been an earlier replacement than 97th minute? How about deRoon, did you see how DeVrij was screaming at him after the foul that led to 2-2?

    1. I do not think Memphis is useless. He is an important figure in Oranje and if space is given, he will make a lot of damage to the opponent. That is why several players try to stop him which creates more space for Weghorst. One area for improvement is to delegate ball to a free players. Memphis tends to try solving problem alone. This has to be improved. I loved today Wijnaldum.

  24. Happy for the result..We played well,waisted some chances 2 by Dumphries…header miss was like Joke…
    Okay We beat the Euro champion Ukraine with clinical play..Dumfires out classes kimich and bellarin….LOL..
    First Touches of Dumfries was Joke,simillar to school boys..
    He wasted 2 good chances…
    He was free from defending,he played in wings.Timber took care of right wing and did excellent and Timber got underrated for his excellent work..
    We would have been won by 5-2 if Promes or Berjwin played for Dumfries spot as Dumbfry was not in defense..So shut the fu##$ck up and watch play..
    When did dumfries defended???
    Berghuis/Berjwin/pROMES all could cross and play better than Dumfries…that will take us to ANOTHER LEVEL….
    We had holes in our defense ukraine prooved it…We need koopmeiners at midfeild not De roon…it seems FDB will not give chance to koopmeiners…
    My credit goes to Weghorst,Timber,Annholt they stood with our stars like De vrij,Gini and frenkie(3 had excellent game)..wijndlaum was on Top yesterday..his lungs are incomparable…
    @Guilliame VB and Robin …Dumfries sucks as hell as an attacker..Was he defending???why dont you give credit to timber(More like nijel dejong who does all dirty work excellent) your observations are pathetic..

    1. Is this for real? The guy just had a MOTM performance. I know you are always pessimistic but this is another level. If you have an agenda against him and do not even care to watch the game, fine, but don’t do the name calling. This name calling is sad and “pathetic”.

    2. I think FDB knows better than anybody else who should play. I also think that he will give a chance to Teun when right time comes. With respect to Dumfries, he excelled in his desire to help the team, he did not give up despite the earlier set backs. Yes, his touches are not ideal, he wasted very good moment but he was a great team player in today game. The Netherlads looked like a good team today. I hope they will keep getting better and better in the course of the tournament.

  25. Jan,

    Van Basten had been out for most of the season, prior to Euro88. That was the reason he wasn’t picked for the game against USSR. Thank God that pep talk Gullit had with Michels paved the way for him to start against England. I don’t think it was luck against England that gave us the win, but definitely luck was on our side against Ireland, with that strange bounced Koeman kick, headed in by Kieft. At the time of Danny Blind, there were restrictions on how many foreign players you could field in all the European Leagues, and you had to be top shelf player to go anywhere. I don’t think he could have cut it in Italy or Spain, that were the most important leagues after the Heysel debacle for the English teams. I think the talk about Wijnaldum is nonsense. He’s the only true class player we have. He reminds me of Ronald De Boer, the way he gets out of most impossible situation. He’s a clever and a great player. Memphis does more tricks than it’s necessary. He couldn’t get anything right on the second half. We did look very vulnerable in the back, despite having 5 defenders. I wish De Roon had half of the grit that Weghorst has. I love him for that. We need more players with his spirit. For all the talk about our new talents coming up, I remember the final Ajax vs Lokomotiv Leipzieg. JC brought in a certain youngster, Bergkamp. I think he was 18 at the time. What an impression he made on me. I don’t think I feel the same way about any of our new talents. perhaps football has changed but yet, I think he was our last true talent, a joy to watch, with a silky touch. I love Robben but to me Bergkamp was the last of the Mohicans. We had a team of youngsters that won 2 European trophies. What a lost generation! I remember Drenthe full of promise, going to Real Madrid, and then he crashed and burned. By the way, where is Drenthe?

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