Jong Oranje failed!

I think hard and long about my post titles, and this is the one that won. Not “Lousy Italians steal victory”, not “Unlucky Jong Oranje leaves tournament with heads up high” and not “Cor Pot rested his players but it didn’t show”.

It was a horrific game to watch. I think for neutral viewers but definitely for Oranje fans.

In the first 5 minutes, we saw one yellow card and numerous referee forced stops. After 30 minutes, there were already 20 fouls. And of course a free kick on the post by Maher.

It took at least 25 minutes before we saw some flowing play (by Holland) and to be honest, that whole phase before the break was Holland’s most impressive, with good runs and plays on the left and right flank, with Wijnaldum and Van Rhijn on the one, and John and Blind on the other side.

We ended the first half with another free kick opportunity for Maher, who sadly missed the target, as the Italian goalie was frozen to the ground.

But all that didn’t result in a goal.

The second half was pretty one-sided until that one moment. The so-called attractive and attacking playing Italians played their traditional defensive game and Oranje simply was not good enough to break them down.

Only one real chance in that stage and the pull back from De Jong, beating the goalie, was 2 yards behind runner Van Ginkel. Not De Jong’s fault, in my book. It was too eagerly run by Van Ginkel. If he paced it, he would have had an easy tap in and if the ball was 2 yards in front of him he could have slid it in. Now, he forced De Jong to give a pinpoin accurate pass. Without De Jong being able to see where Van Ginkel was.

For all the rest of the effort, little to show for it. Ola John’s engine was out in the second half, Wijnaldum couldn’t get the combination going, Van Rhijn was indecisive, Maher active but unlucky, Van Ginkel made runs that weren’t rewarded and Strootman fought for all he could but never really contributed in the build up.

Pot responded with the usual, predictable changes. Depay for John was logical and the young PSV winger had some good spells. Van der Hoorn had to come on for the injured De Vrij and Fer came on late (too late for me) for Blind.

Van der Hoorn would unfortunately play a part in the Italian goal, where he clumsily “bit” in the trick and allowed the goal scorer to turn away and score.


But we didn’t lose this game because Van der Hoorn made a mistake.

We lost the game because the Italians were better, fitter and smarter.

And had more luck. One has to say. One ball on the post and a penalty shout in the first half, could have gone the other way of course.

But Holland needs to look into the mirror.

First to do so: the KNVB. If they take this tournament and this team seriously, why put Cor Pot in charge?

What is his claim to fame? How is he the youth development maestro? (See Spain, where their coaches move up through the system and “breathe” the Spanish style of football. Italy by the way, same deal).

The KNVB is the first to blame, with coach Cor Pot the second. Although I think he did what he could. He simply can’t do better than he did.

A team like this, with these prospects, a year before a World Cup deserves a coach of a different caliber. Someone like Ronald de Boer maybe? Phillip Cocu? Alphons Groenendijk? Jean Paul van Gastel? Jaap Stam? Alex Pastoor? Ron Jans? John van den Brom? John van ‘t Schip?

Someone with tactical smarts and who knows what it takes to win at the highest level.

Sure, you can say “the players had to do it and they didn’t”, but the players that were on the pitch were clearly not gelled into a swinging team.

Lets take the pace.

If you want to create chances against a defensive Italian side, you need to play with pace. High ball speed. Swift one touch / two touch passing. Simple but quick. And reach the wide players fast (so they are one on one) or play into the deepest man fast (so the midfielders can either move up or even overlap). None of this happened.

Lets take the build up patterns.

As I said before WHERE IS CLASIE? We need one player in midfield who can sit deep with defence, always available to take the ball and always ready to accelerate the game forwards. Against Germany, Russia and against Italy, none of the midfielders took that role. The reason is simple: Pot plays with three midfielders and the central one plays high. The other two mix up the tasks of box to box so one of the two came back to collect and build up, if the other went high up the park. Strootman is not bad at this, Van Ginkel is not used to it. He can do a lot but giving the killer pass is not what he is about. He even had clumsy loss of possession a number of times close to our last line of defence. This team – these central defenders – need a central midfielder who sits deep, not high. A player like Scholes, Xavi, Cabaye… A player like Clasie. Although Adam Maher can play that role too, mind you! So I missed that role (and that player). I would have played Strootman and Van Ginkel on left and right of midfield, with Van Ginkel free to make his forward runs. And I would have benched De Jong who is not that helpful against opponents like Italy and Spain. De Jong is great against lesser opponents. I would have played Adam Maher in the Messi role. The roaming center forward, making space for Wijnaldum and Van Ginkel and John.

That would be a dreamteam.

Still not convinced of Jeroen Zoet, I felt his clearances were poor and added to insecurity with Blind and Van Rhijn.

Italy won it deservedly, at the end of the day. More mature, more shrewdness. Not as bad as the Euro2000 semi finals, fortunately.

But we have learned valuable lessons this tournament.

The most valuable one: there is a LOT of work to be done. But Van Gaal is a coach who can handle that, at least.

We thank Cor Pot for all his contributions. I fear he was too lightweight for the job, but you can’t blame him for accepting the task of course.

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  1. Thank you Jan. I am glad you are one of the few who doesn’t put the blame on italians. After all with their style the italians have won 4 WCs while we keep chasing our dream. Cor Pot is not the only reason to my opinion. Players are to blame too and the difference in the end is the mentality. The italians enter the field to win the game at any cost, by any means and they always get under our skin. If we had half their grit we could have won this game regardless of Pot. KNVB seems to be part of this mentality and is more concerned about politics than results. It is troublesome that more than half of LVG team cannot even tie a young italy and immaturely falls to their pranks. If BMI etc cannot stand provocations of a few youngsters how will they handle the high pressure and tricks of all latin teams that may come their way.
    The only positive of this situation is to not have high hopes for Brazil and maybe we’ll be surprised by a miracle.

    1. Ok, Balkan, mind you, two of those world cups were clearly influenced by Mussolini’s fascist regime (there’s proof about that). And a nation little as The Netherlands could have had two or three and absolutely should have won one in ’78 in Argentina under normal circumstances. We should put our blame on ourselves because we didn’t manage to win a game we largely dominated.
      Better to have our feet on the ground before the world cup, winning this euro could have been an incredible trouble in disguise. We want hungry youngsters at the world cup.

  2. Ola John should have been yanked after 20 min. I feel sorry for Van Der Hoorn but he sucks as a defender. What are you going to do? Otherwise we played reasonably well, we just couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

  3. You are right Jan. The Jong Orange really lacked of creativity. I think, having most ball possession without flowing it forward and creating goal opportunity is useless! especially in the second half. But, that’s the typical Dutch Team. Look at how Spain or Bayern Munich Team play. They do not paly the ball in their own back too long. They flow the ball forward as soon as possible. The Jong Orange Team did not do it. They have no courage or too cautious. In conclusion, Italy deserve to win

    1. I noticed something in the dutch football these last years, which probably comes from Ajax first : The building is too too slow. Ajax also always got possession in CL games (except against Real), but it’s bullshit possession, it’s just passes between two centrals and the keeper, they take hours to try to reach a midfielder.

      Spanish finish games with 70% possession, but it’s passes in the midfield, we have 65% just playing behind. Look at a guy like Van Rhijn, he just does what Van der Wiel was exactly doing with Ajax and Holland, doesn’t hesitate to give the ball to Zoet even if there is just a little little pressure. De Vrij-BMI just do what Alderweireld-Moisander do and Mathijsen-Heitinga were doing, play at least 5 passes between each other before to throw the ball. But they do it less with Feyenoord, which proves that it’s an Ajax thing which is asked also for the selection.

      This thing seemed to appear after Euro2008 where we had a very direct play, with counter attacks. We also had this problem in 2010 and it killed our play. With Ajax it’s even worst as Vermeer is doing many many mistakes with his passes, many goals coast before of that.

      Many people here except the dutch football to come back thanks to Ajax, let’s forget. I really recognized the Ajax play this tournament, the one with a lot of possession and few real opportunities.

      1. Laurent, if I am not mistaken all Holland teams since 88 have had as their trademark returning the ball to the keeper even from midfield. Nothing new here.
        I’d be curious what dutch media will say about this failure.

        1. With Van Basten, Ajax and Holland weren’t doing it, look at the euro 2008, most of our goals are counter attacks starting from the defend, build with 3-4 passes. We are no Spain, we don’t have technical quality enough for that, I don’t disagree with playing a direct football, especially with quick wingers like Robben and Lens, many players able to shot from out the box etc. but it should start from the defense, to have space. Keeping the ball one hour behind doesn’t help at all, the opponent players just keep waiting for the mistake and don’t need to press.

          Now the dutch tactic from Holland and Ajax is really simple to describe, keepers play with their defenders, they observe, observe with passing to each other, try to reach a midfielder who immediatly tries to find a winger or the striker. There are few few passes between the three midfielders, the possession is behind and the ball is lost quite quickly forward with a direct playing.

          For example, I didn’t recognize Maher, who was always trying to find Luuk in one or two ball contacts maximum, while he is really able to keep the ball, provocate defenders etc. with AZ. He didn’t try any skill, nothing, seems like they asked him to play like Sneijder.

          I think we would even be more dangerous if we let more possession to opponents, like against Spain in finale, in counter attacks we can kill them with Robben, Lens, Narsingh… we also have plenty midfielders able to give long balls quickly. We definitly just need space, and Holland is playing a football which goes against its qualities when it’s about 65% possession behind.

  4. We clearly lack the bite and attacking impetus upfront. Midfield and Defence played well IMO. But as we struggled to score, that kinda put more pressure on our defence not to concede which we unfortunately did.
    Overall, I believe of the Under21 squad, the following are confirmed senior material and the takeway for LVG from this tournament.

  5. @laurent, thank u!! Very well said, there is a big difference between Spain’s ball possession and Oranje ball possession, they rotate the ball in midfield and in attack, an they rarely pass the ball to the GK unless they are really user pressure, meanwhile our defenders keep returning the ball to the keeper under the slightest pressure and that comes from the lack of quality and confidence, today there were times where the Italian attacker was 10 meters away from one of our defenders and the defender immediately passes it back to zoet(whose distribution by the way is a scandal by itself)!! And what makes things worse is that u don’t see a midfielder dropping to come out with the ball so sometimes it takes the back line two minutes just passing the ball among themselves then passing it back to the keeper who just shoots randomly to the finl third of the field!!! And one more thing, are teams in Erdivisie really Training defenders? the defenders in oranje no exception are really bad and make the most naive mistakes!!Sad days honestly!!!

  6. I don’t agree. Martins Indi and De Vrij are top quality, the defence is OK.. I think the future is bright. We are measuring this team as if they were the big Oranje but many of these players are finding their feet as international players. In Brazil they won’t be ready to challenge for the title but you know how Van Gaal works when blending youth with experience….he is the best at that and Holland can surprise everyone.

    My 11 now…

    2. Janmaat
    3. De Vrij
    4 Martins Indi
    5. Pieters(will recover his best form)
    6. De Guzmán
    7. Lens
    8. Strootman
    9. Van Persie
    10. Sneijder (next year will be back at his best)
    11. Robben ( he wins trophies by hiw own 🙂 )

  7. Just watched the game on replay, am frustrated and don’t yet have the distance from the game to comment in it globally.

    What I can comment on is composure. This was always going to be a chippy game, with each team seeking to rattle the other with all means at its disposal. Jong Oranje did it with ball possession and controlled force — I particularly appreciated the steel shown in midfield by v Ginkel and Strootman, who used block tackles and big bodies to cut the Italians’ flow for much of the game; the Italians did it with classic mediterranean agitation — flopping and writhing, yapping and beseeching, flailing of arms and clipping of ankles. Oh, and near flawless defensive discipline.

    So what happened? Oranje seemed the more composed side for 75 minutes, then fell to pieces as soon as the Azzurri scored. Flowing football went out the window, and they played “kick it to the tall guy” like a poor man’s Stoke City. Martins Indi lost his head completely, with Wijnaldum not far behind.

    While frustrated and sad about the loss, I don’t draw too many conclusions for 2014 from the fact that they lost. While I hear Jan and others about the pace of build-up from the back, I saw Jong Oranje creating enough chances to win this game — the free kicks, the pull-back, the Fer header right at the goalie late in the game, the Strootman shot in the first half almost deflected by two different guys — and as a lifelong central defenseman myself, I think the goal is squarely on van der Hoorn. Oranje defended similar plays capably throughout the game to that point, and I firmly believe that de Vrij would have held his position, kept the guy from facing the goal, and neutralized the play. The weak links in the game from a footballing standpoint, in my opinion — Wijnaldum (who again seemed 1/3 lethal and 2/3 petulant and mecurial), Zoet (distribution), van der Hoorn (poor guy), and de Jong (lacks cutting edge, vision, and breakout speed) — aren’t going to feature in 2014.

    What worries me is the lack of composure. Jong Oranje needed to keep playing the game that got them close to net for 75 mins, and that also, incidentally, held the greatest promise to keep the ball out of the hands of the Italians and limit their ability to waste time, at which they are truly world class. They didn’t. They needed to keep focused on football while the Italians emptied their bag of time wasting tricks. While a lot of guys important to the 2014 campaign (e.g., Strootman, van Ginkel, Maher) did, Martins Indi didn’t. And that worries me. I could see him at a key moment in 2014 getting a red card, being a half step slow because he’s still fuming over some prior incident, etc.

    I do not want to see Oranje in 2014 being the Brazil of 2010 — the team that cruises to the Quarters only to see itself unravel psychically because of a goal against the run of play. I wanted Jong Oranje to win this tournament first and foremost to get these young guys a taste of triumph that leaves them resilient, confident of, and hungry for glory at the next level. But instead of a monkey jumping off their backs, two more jumped on. And that makes me nervous for what’s to come.

  8. The second van der Hoorn came in I knew with every fiber in my body that he would mess up. I was in the kitchen to make a sandwich and waiting for the commentator to announce the 1-0. I went back watching the game, took my first bite and the ball was in the net. I have a feeling that Bruma at least would not have made the van der Hoorn mistake. Bruma was pretty damn good in one of the last U21 games and it’s the job of the coach to select the strongest squad possible. After HSV was slaughtered by Bayern (just like Barca and Juve were), Bruma was a bit sidetracked at HSV, but that does not mean he is not better than a player that has never even acted on that level. Principles to select players are nice, but they can come at a cost or even lead you to situations you aim to prevent with all your principles. Van der Hoorn was semi responsible for goals against Spain and was responsible for this goal as well. The guy is not a good footballer and not a good defender as we now could see (while he is granted the solid label in Eredivisie, which is easily given). How he stepped in and got caught was childish defending. Basically compensating for the fact that he gave his man so much room at first that you could have parked a truck between between them. Childish stuff.

    However fixating on this defensive mistake leads us to fail addressing some key points.

    #1 Attack failed.

    Wijnaldum was bad on ball in the past 2 games, but good in this one. Italians could not get him off the ball he held possession and passed the ball to guys with Orange shirts. However contrary to the past 2 games he could not create any big danger with it, let alone opening up the game up for us. I hope one day to see both Wijnaldum’s in 1 game.

    Luuk de Jong sucks, but that does not mean he is not our future. After RvP and Huntelaar we are forced to work with him or we need to convert a winger. We lack good striker options. Anyway he looks clumsy on ball, many ball contacts are off and many passes are off as well. Sometimes he does well, but it’s not enough. He invites hoof football also as he is a good header and pretty tall. I rather would have liked Depay as a striker or van Ginkel (then Clasie would have come in). His track back on van Ginkel cost us as well, just like Mike’s mistake.

    Ola is in my top 10 of best crossers in the world and what does he resist to do all tournament long? Yes you are correct. He simply does not cross. Was doubled a lot and tried to get passed Italians, but failed. If Italians double up then backs can help with a deep run. That did not happen bar a few times. Ola was like in many Benfica games very underwhelming. The biggest opportunity in open play was from van Ginkel I think, not from an attacker.

    #2 Backs performed sub par against Italy.

    Van Rhijn did a good job at covering through, but his crosses, ball watching when defending and lack of deep runs to help Wijnaldum made it harder for us to score a first goal. That one cross at the beginning that went out of the stadium should be a sign to improve his cross for the future. Not all were bad this tournament, but too many were. With the goal it is van Rhijn ball watching again. He just stands there and allows a dangerous pass to center. It was not as bad as against Ronaldo at home in the Madrid game, but he is not anymore the guy in his first 17 games when he started at Ajax that was more aggressive in a forward way.

    While van Rhijn did not too bad for me, Blind started really horrible the first 20 minutes. Every ball contact was wrong. He made not enough deep runs as well, his free kick at the end was bad and his crosses this tournament where sub par as well. Again, not all crosses from him are bad, but too many are for this level.

    I feel that both backs could have done more to help out the wingers. It is also Pot’s mistake as he always makes our wing play predictable. Austria game was the all time low. The whole playing style we have makes it harder for wingers to excel. All that building up from the back and lack of play through center gives the opponent far more time to react and anticipate on a winger play.

    #3 We lack football through center.

    While Strootman, van Ginkel and Maher are not associated maybe as the problem in this game (many think Strootman was the best player), they lack the ability to produce enough triangles and football in midfield. The fact they had good interventions, passes and actions to a certain point is irrelevant concerning our football as a whole. Without Clasie we don’t have game speed enhancers. The game was too slow. Italians could keep up with us as we have no players in midfield that can start to murder them with tempo and then give that creative pass. You can give a good pass like Strootman did here and there, but if the tempo before that pass was not enough to unsettle the opponent, then they have enough time to correct or intervene at the last station. As a result football in the final third was neutralized by the Italians. Pot was happy with how we played, but the interviewer should have asked how many chances were created from open play. I also think that van Ginkel and Strootman somehow make the involvement of Maher less noticeable. That does not pardon Maher for taking all corners at the cost of Ola John or be decisive at least ones in his forward position. Van Ginkel does more decisive stuff than Maher as he did throughout the Eredivisie season from a more controlling spot. It bothers me how Maher gets away all the time with the tag best footballer, without making the difference for us at least once. Typical he can score a free kick in a friendly, but not in the tournament. Quite frankly he annoys me. What was that stupid pass over the backline in the final minutes of the game? When any player would do that, he was tagged with words like lumberjack and anti footballer, but not Maher. A good footballer does not have a mishit for every good ball he gives. One time he did not see a clutch penetrating pass and choose to play it to Ola instead. As big as Mike’s blunder in my book. His job was to spot and give that one ball in that one moment and he did not spot it. Has nothing on Sneijder in a good form. Not even close.

    All in all a big chance to grow was missed. Playing a final would have given the guys great experience. Getting out of the group stage in Brazil is already success IMO. Just managing my expectations here. Cheers

    1. For sure Maher won’t score any crucial goal in high level, I never expected much about him, but I would at least prefer he plays with more skills etc. for youtube compilations instead of trying to play against his nature and failing, like the last pass you’re talking about.

      Maher is the typical arabic technician player, mentally and physically he is weak, he is a kind of Nasri.

      I don’t get why some people here seem to “hate” Afellay because he doesn’t score much, but want Maher for the world cup…Afellay is a way more developped than Maher in every aspect.

    2. Exaggerated on Maher and Strootman if you ask me. Maher could have scored on both free kicks, he was quite unlucky. we were able to take the ball over the midfield, but lacked link up play with our forwards. Strootman, Van Ginkel and Maher came out well on a couple of very tight situations and overall were far superior to the italian counterparts, with verratti losing lots of balls and insigne in the first half losing 5 balls. I liked especially when you could see Strootman Van Ginkel and Maher all on the same man leaving him without breath and cutting edge. That’s classical total football to regain possession. You are right (in my opinion, obviously) that we had lots of sterile possession. Not sure Clasie would have brought much yesterday, not because he isn’t capable of doing what you rightly said, but because he kinda is on a low and he surely doesn’t have Van Ginkel and Strootman physicality to regain the ball from the opponents. Mind you, we could have also tried to take Maher out on the second half, or putting him on the wing in Wijnaldum’s place (the other wing, though), since Georginho always tends to drift inside to his natural trequartista role. Maybe using Depay on the right wing. And so using Clasie, Strootman and Van Ginkel in Midfield.

  9. Once Haisleink said about football after semifianl vs Acmilan,football is cruel and some one else i thought of goin for fishing…exactly thats what i felt after the match,its true that dutch failed infront of the grit of italians in 90 minutes.But it was personal incompetence cost us in precise.I expected MVH to step up his game,though my intusion was saying we are goin to concede.He seems like he lacks confidence and fighting spirit.
    Strootman was at his best when compared to his prevous 2 matches
    Van ginkel-Pure class.
    Maher-was as usual
    Luuk-As usual
    OLa-Really struggled i felt better threat with wijnaldum.
    wijnaldum-This guy has got amazing skills and speed,can keep abll at his feet.mercurious,but need to step up his workrate.
    leroy fer-came late but he should have replaced de vrij instead of MVH.he had the aggressiveness..
    BMI-Infact he did very very except his emotion unstability,
    Blind-Had some issues this match,i dont feel secure with blind
    Vanrhijn-Same like blind i dont feel scure with him.
    Devrij-Was playing well untill he got injured
    Zoet-As usual
    MVH-lack agressiveness and spirit,techincally in competent..
    Depay-This guy is interested in goin gym and seems like soon he will become a fatty guy.he wont make it in to top leavel.

      1. thanks for that,ok my english an presentation are not good but where did i say shit?????it was my findings and idint missed a single minute….

  10. Can someone tell me why Nathan Ake didn’t take part? He’s breaking into the Chelsea team but not good enough for Jong Oranje? Seems like a player we should be assimilating quickly.
    As ever I think we’re being a bit negative on here ~ typical Dutch. We reached the semi’s. Played some good football on the way. Should have won yesterday in my opinion. I would stop this self-flagellation every time we don’t play like Cruijff et al.

    1. @Simon and Mohamed. With regards to negativity it all depends on your expectations. A few like me who measure success in tangible terms with trophies are disappointed, others who just like to see a game of football regardless of outcome feel it is enough. The fact is we won 2 and lost 2. We had terrible 2nd halves except for the Russia game but even that was dubious until Russia was reduced to 10 players. There is enough talent in this team to easily reach the final but we fail miserably. A script we’ve seen so many times before is that we don’t know how to react after falling 1 goal behind. I bet we would have lost the game even if the goal was conceded much earlier. It all turns chaotic and ugly. On a personal level the worst of all is not just not winning but never learning from past colossal mistakes.

      1. It’s as Moallim says Balkan :
        This tournament is just a step in the process of learning , even dealing with the defeat is important for these young lads .

        Let’s see how Big Oranje will do in the next friendly against Portugal in 14-8 .
        Expecting a great game.

    2. I think most people don’t want Oranje to play like Cruyf et al per se, we like Oranje to take the opportunities they are offered.

      We could have gone through. We outplayed Italy for a large part but we lacked something. That something is analysed here. That is all it is.

  11. Champions of 2006 u-21 :
    Vermeer , emanuelson , brafhied , tiendalli , zomer , vlaar , de zeeuw , schaars , aissati , castelen , de ridder and Huntealaar .

    Champions of 2007 u-21 :
    Waterman , donk , vlaar , calvin jong-a-pin , pieters , zuiverloon , maduro , drenthe , de ridder , beerens , jenner , aissati , bakkal , babel and rigters .

    Can you tell me three players of these two champion teams who is really important for the Big Oranje ?
    Literally there is no one of them who become a starter for oranje , even Huntealaar is no starter for Oranje .

    It would have been great of course if we win the tournament this time but i simply wanna say even if we win , it doesn’t mean no shit !
    I do belive in this u-21 team , most of them will grow into fantastic players .

    Btw MAN utd is interested in Van ginkel . Man utd is a better option of course than chelsea . Schools has retired and MVG will get fair chances to play there .

    1. It’s different. Most of the 85-88 born players who won in 2006 and 2007 were blocked by the generation 83-84, and I do believe Eredivisie was also better in that period, it was already going down, but still better than now.

      There is no absolute judgment in football, Why De Vrij, BMI etc. are linked with top clubs today while Vlaar and Donk weren’t ? Is that because they’re much better ? I’m not sure, it’s more because they’re starters with Feyenoord and with the senior dutch selection. If they had the same level than now, but were substitutes because Feyenoord would have better defenders and consequently never called with the dutch selection, no club would look at them.

      Aissati was also a big talent, I remember a game with PSV against Milan when he was only 17, was absolutly impressive, even better than Maher. He spoiled himself with injuries, and though is level was still quite good last year with Ajax, there was no chance for him to go to a good club, now he is with Antalyaspor…Maher will probably have a better career. Is he much better ? No, he is just in the good period, the one where the generation 83-84 is ending, and the 86-88 flopped.

      Look also at Braafheid, was named “best left back” in the dutch league, called with the senior dutch team, Van Gaal brought him to Bayern, he completly flopped. Even Celtic didn’t want him. It can also happen with Blind, BMI or whoever who is just doing good in the dutch league and called with the senior dutch team.

      I don’t like people being too optimistic about this new generation without relativazing. They have a big exposure cause the dutch league is being weaker and weaker, foreigners players stay less and less so clubs are almost obliged to trust guys like Van der Hoorn (don’t forget that since years, best eredivisie players are mostly foreigners…) and secondly because the middle generation (86-88) is full of players flopping abroad and being ignored by the selection. That’s why Holland directly trust very young players now, it’s more despite. Willems was the youngest euro player ever, and he flopped, though he isn’t the only one responsible, it just showed to other big nations that we had to take a 18 years old guy cause we had no real better solution as left back. Not that we have a super young generation.

      The circle in football is quite simple, Holland is considered being a good producer since years, when a top club sees that a guy of 20 is a starter with Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord etc. and got called with the selection, they’re interested in him regardless of how talented he really is.
      They send scouts, watch videos etc. but they trust dutch football as it sent many good players to top clubs last ten years.

      We are the only one team which went to this euro21 tournament with so many senior players, all our talents from Eredivisie, and regardless if we won or no, we just showed that our young players aren’t that great. Even Insigne had more exposure in this tournament than all our players, who is Insigne for Italy ? Maximum he’ll be on the bench in the world cup, while we all expect Strootman, De Vrij, BMI etc. to be starters.

  12. Ajax have reached verbal agreement over personal terms with Adam Maher, once fee w/ AZ negotiated, signs a four-year contract. [ajax inside] ~ Moallim

  13. Italians have been winning games like this for 70 years, and they’ll continue to them that way for another 70…it is their style, and if they get the other side to play that way, they will get the result more often than not.

    I thought Jan’s analysis (and others have pointed it out, too) hit the nail on the head. Jong Oranje had to play faster, up the tempo, and not get caught in the slog. That is Netherlands’ style, always has been, and it is presently LVG’s vision for the NT, but the Italians imposed their brand on the game…

    …I do think there was much useful out of the tournament, though. In the end, the youth teams are ultimately about development, and there are some players who separated themselves (on both the good side and the bad side of the line) and gave a clearer indication as to where they should presently sit in the NT set up.

  14. I just want to know: What did Cor Pot tell his players at halftime to make them play that way in the second half? Did he tell them not to take the ball out of their own half? Because that’s what they did. As time wore on it was obvious Oranje were no threat and it was inevitable that eventually the Italians would catch a break on a counter-attack.

    Italy was playing the offsides trap. Did we test it once in the second half before they scored? Any long through balls? Deep runs from midfield to break behind their lines? Playing with such little enterprise is not the Dutch way and frankly the whole second half was embarrassing, even well before the goal. The broadcasters showed Platini in the audience yawning. Maybe the players got off their attacking rhythm, but I expect the coach to be on the sidelines barking orders to set things right. In the end the Dutch had nothing ventured, so nothing gained.

  15. When attending a Dutch Soccer Coaching clinic here in the United States, the very excellent coach-teachers used an acronym for what the Dutch look for in a gifted player. They use the term TIPS–Technique–Intelligence–Personality–Speed. In trying to analyze this particular Dutch team, my view would be as follows:

    Technique–B+–they are obviously well taught, and demonstrate better than average technical skills.

    Intelligence–D+–this team of players sets up in a 4-3-3 formation, but does not execute it at all well. As Jan writes above, they do not move the ball forward well at all, the forwards and midfielders jam up the pitch, and the wingers have no clue on how to use the wing channels in order to open up the center for scoring-potential passes.

    Personality–C- They seem to be content with mediocrity, and often take the lazy way out of situations. They grab shoulders and necks of other players, run through players to try and regain possession, commit more fouls than most Dutch teams I have watched and do not seem to be communicating well with their teammates.

    Speed–B- This is not a particularly fast team, and most of the teams they played in this tournament out ran them time and time again. When they were out run, the stupid and cynical fouls were made.

    Add what appears to have been, at best, mediocre coaching to the mix and a lack of team leadership–the evaluation comes out as this being a mid-level, non-exceptional U21 team. For me, it was hard to like these athletes. No one was particularly impressive, and as a captain, Stroopman was of no value. His midfield play was terrible, which is such a critical position in a 4-3-3 formation and scheme.I know that these players are “young”, but I really do not see many who will make a contribution to the national team in the future. Finally, I believe the coaching incompetence was paramount. When the Dutch won this tournament twice–2006 and 2007, I believe–the players were not of any greater quality than this team. What they had that made them successful was a great coach–Foppe de Haan–who understands 4-3-3 as well as anyone, and who inspired those teams to perform as a team of excellence. So, hopefully the Dutch have some younger players who will come along to help support the national team again.

    Once again, Jan, thank you for your analysis.

    1. You are welcome Bob. I thank you for yours 🙂

      The TIPS system was developed by Co Adriaanse and Louis van Gaal at Ajax, beginning of the 90s.

  16. I actually thought we played quite well, I was surprised how quickly Italy LOST the ball to our hustling and how we retained 70% possession. I thought sooner or later we’ll score. It just wasn’t to be. We were the best team there, it was Bayern v Chelsea, it was typical Arsenal domination and lost in the last quarter, It was Holland Italy in 2000 Euros. I think Spain is going to Murder Italy.
    Btw – Ake is playing in the U/19 squad with a host of MORE talent !

  17. Here is my analysis.

    Before the U21 EC I thought The Netherlands had a very good team especially our defense and our midfield but I didn’t feel our attack was too great and now that the tournament if over I feel the same way.

    Our defense is good, our midfield was actually really good but we simply lacked the killer instinct upfront.

    Ola John, Wijnaldum and Luuke will find it really hard to be in the final squad for the WC.

    1. Miguel wijnaldum is not a bad option,he is effective,strong and efficient infront of goal.Italy was at their best to stop him in defense.italy did many bommel kind foul to stop the movements ie veratti did and some others too.OLa is soft guy,he struggled with physical play of damanti,thats why he sufferd.i was not content with hs performance in semi,but thats all he can do when he is against a tough wingback.Wijnaldum and Lenz are stronng and only the thing is wijnaldum’s work ethics is bit low.this could change if he wants to,Belive me this guy is deadly with ball and doesnt do foolish trickeries,he is effective in trickery and he can get past any tough doubt..
      Initailly i was sceptical about Luuk but not any more his touches might be bad but he works so hard and very unselfish players who puts team before anything.i love that attitude.i dont think hoesen or any other striker would have done better(May be wijnaldum would).My point is some of the u21 players lacks footballing intelligence and essential skills.while Spain is loaded with that ie why they keep winning..

  18. Let’s try to take the positives from this tournament.

    There are players who are ready for the senior team and there’s still one year to develop even more.

    The best:

    De Vrij
    Van Ginkel

    I don’t mention Clasie because he wasn’t given enough minutes but he’s a player we will be proud of one day. 😉

    Our defense was good De Vrij and BMI were solid, Blind was good but still has to improve a lot and I really don’t see Van Rhijn being called for the WC.

    Our midfield did very good they dominated the game and got the ball back very fast so that’s always good. There’s room for improvement but under LVG they’ll learn a thing or two and with a better attack with Robben, Lens and RVP they can do wonders. This midfield I can say it is our biggest asset for the future.

    Our attack was the weak point of this team although they played decent I expected more. Ola John, Wijnaldum and Luuke are really far from what I expect of a Dutch forward but fortunately we’ve Robben, Lens, Narsingh, Afellay, RVP and KJH for the WC 🙂

    Why Fer was not a starter? I mean everytime he played he was the most dangerous player so I hope LVG also noticed him 🙂

    1. “” we’ve Robben, Lens, Narsingh, Afellay, RVP and KJH for the WC “”””
      @miguel i agree on robben,lenz and persie.while what KLJH done against a strong team??Afellay has some skills and speed,but he dribbles and dribbles and ends up in zero.and very predictablen too.less efficient infront of goal.Narsingh reuires much time to pass the ball,he is lacks the intelligence to play with Wesly9if fit),Persie and Roben.i like his finishing but i dont trust him to well against a good strong opponents like,Columbia,spain,germany ,italt etc

  19. I honestly think we missed a fire cracker in this team. No go-to guy a la Robben with Bayern Munich. The last 30 minutes against Italy, the team lacked ideas and I didn’t see a single guy with natural talent to take on defenses.

    Wijnaldum showed some glimpses in the two prior games, but the Italians wised up to him and he just doesn’t possess lightening speed.

    The changes came too late.

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