LVG keeps on making progress with Oranje

The title young Oranje will confuse a bit, so I decided to leave the “young’ out of the title but despite my criticism on LVG, one has to admit that less than 12 months after the Euro 2012 debacle, we have a renewed, rejuvenated and exciting Oranje!

Against Estonia, we didn’t play great for a long spell but didn’t give anything away and scored three goals in an improved second half.

Against Romania, Oranje had flashes of brilliance again and Oranje clearly had its gloss back. Oranje’s best performance under Van Gaal.

Four goals and nothing conceded, nothing given away.

And one has to say: with a new young goalie (with Krul and Vorm and Stekelenburg all available as well) and a new, young but highly talented back four.

Blind, Janmaat, De Vrij and Martins Indi. Add Van Aanholt, Willems, Pieters, Buttner, Bruma, Van Rhijn and Van der Wiel to the mix and we have quite a nice little group to work with for defence.

And with Janmaat and Blind, we also have two players (like Willems, Van Aanholt, Buttner by the way) who can contribute massively in offence.

Janmaat was essential against Estonia and pretty impressive against Romania again. Playing with the confidence of a veteran.

Our midfield is improving too. The mediocre De Guzman and Strootman played a good match against Romania and it must be sweet for Van Gaal to know that whenever he brings Clasie, Maher or Fer, this team will not lose any quality.

Van der Vaart showed enough class to warrant a spot in the squad and his ability to score when we need a goal is something to cherish.

Van Persie and Robben are all class (when in top form or even when they’re not) while Lens is truly an asset whenever he decides to work hard and be focused.

Against Romania, we got the early goal and kept dominating. The 4-0 win was not a surprise, taking the run of play into account. Although we could have had 7 goals if Van Persie and Robben were a tad more sharp in the box and if the linesman wasn’t that eager to use his flag.

And I keep saying: Romania is certainly not a bad side.

So we struggle against teams that park the bus. We know this. Every team does. But we have shown a number of times now, that we can break open their defences if we are patient.

And against teams that leave more space and open up the game, we can play good football and outplay them.

Louis van Gaal must be really pleased.

The team was spirited, worked hard, there was great understanding between most of the lads and they looked like…well….a team.

Raf seems to enjoy his football, as does Robin van Persie. This is another RVP altogether. This is what playing with a number 10 in his back does for him. With Robben, it’s hard to say. His body language and facial expression are hard to read at times, but you read it here first: This team has a shot at the gold in 2014.

This squad, plus Sneijder, Afellay, Huntelaar, Narsingh, Pieters… Pretty strong!

Oranje took the second spot in the world record ranking of national teams without a loss. Mexico (1949-1957) has been overtaken.

Only West Germany is left. They won 16 games in a row in World Cup qualifications from 1969 to 1985. We can equal this record when we win the away game at Estonia and Andorra.

We play Hungary at home still and lastly Turkey away.

Start saving for the 2014 jersey people!!

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    1. Well said.
      Such a breath of fresh air after the constant calamities of Heitinga and Mathijsen.

      Janmaat and BMI so far are definite starters for me. If De Vrij keeps on convincing that he’s better than Vlaar, Bruma, Douglas, Heitinga, than all the better. He already holds the advantage from training and playing with BMI and Janmaat day in day out.
      Would be interesting to see if Blind continues as left back though, or if Van Aanholt, Buttner, Willems, Pieters can impress next season.

      ALSO, I’ve been realizing that LVG will content himself with just 7 defenders from the total 23 players, of which I believe is only one left back, given that BMI can play both center and left back.

      1. I disagree about BMI. He is the starter at central defense and there’s not enough depth at that position to move him to left back. He could play it, but they will bring a second left back.

    1. I think we all should be mistrustful. I’ll repeat myself but the team was playing really good in qualifying 2010,2012 but in competitions, from the first game against Denmark, Robben started to be egoist again.

      Let’s not judge our players on “easy” games, where they’re all happy and play together, let’s judge them on important and hard games.

      Robben is Robben, he can be altruistic sometimes, but his real nature always come back in crucial moments, no doubt he will spoil big chances like he did against Spain . Van Persie is also Van Persie, I don’t expect him to score a crucial goal against Spain or Brazil.

      We can hope for a better future thanks to new defenders who seem to be more trustful than previous ones, but about Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder, I don’t expect a lot, the problem is that we don’t have a better striker than VP or a better winger than Robben.

      The world cup is in 14 months, if I had to make a bet now, with this actual team, I think we can reach quarter final maximum.

      We wouldn’t beat Spain,Germany,Portugal,Brazil,Argentina, and it would be 40/60 if we have to play France, Italy,Belgium or Uruguay.

      1. ‘the problem is that we don’t have a better striker than VP or a better winger than Robben.’

        Do other countries?

        ‘Let’s not judge our players on “easy” games, where they’re all happy and play together, let’s judge them on important and hard games.’

        Huh? How about doing the scientific thing, you know, and judging the players based on ALL available evidence?? Hard games, easy games, all games…
        If you limit your data, you limit the veracity and meaning of your results.

        1. u better watch Jesus navas,pedro,ribery,some what angel de maria,CR7,Messi all play as wingers..which one u want u moron???Stand in ur toe u moron…

        2. I limit my data to important games like we’ll have next year during the world cup. I don’t say that it’s bad to beat 4-0 Romania, it’s always welcome, but I just try to imagine what would be Blind and Janmaat against Nani and Ronaldo and if Van Persie or Robben would finally make the difference in the highest level, technically they’re able to, but they proved enough that they don’t have a winning spirit, with selection or club, always failed when everyone expected them to shine.

          Let’s just take Pedro, probably less good than Robben in potential, but let’s count how many times Pedro proved he can score crucial goals, in CL finale etc. what about Robben who played 2 and didn’t make the difference ?

          Robben missed two crucial penaltys last year, if you count + the chances in world cup final against Spain, the chance he missed with Bayern against Inter the same year, his another missed penalty in champions league semi final with Chelsea against Liverpool in 2007, it’s enough to not trust him about important games. I’m not the first one to notice that Robben has a real problem with frustration. He tried everything alone and missed everytime against Denmark, and in the post match interview, he dared to say “There was one chance I gave the ball but had to shot”. He wasn’t even ironical.

          About Janmaat and Blind, remember that in qualify games, we have the possession, play good etc. we almost don’t see them in 1vs1 situation, under pressure, but it would be different in an higher level, remember how many times Nani was with the ball against Willems 1vs1, would Blind do better ? probably not, I’ve seen him enough in 1vs1 situation with Ajax, against good oponents like Lens or Tadic, he wasn’t trustful at all.

          1. ‘I limit my data to important games’
            Yes, and the point is that you shouldn’t.

            You can learn plenty about a player from any game – regardless of opponent.
            We can measure intelligence, team spirit, vision, recovery, determination, accuracy, etc etc…

            There is not one single historical account of less knowledge resulting in greater power.

            There can be a question over relevance, but there must never be a question over importance. The two are mutually exclusive.

          2. What’s the point of running down the Dutch palyers, Laurent? The players we have are the players we have–and we’ll see how they do at the WC when the time comes. The Dutch got to the WC final three years ago–an achievement you seem to forget. Euro12 was a disaster but the squad had got old. Now it is getting younger, and I for one feel the Dutch will have more chemistry than in Euro12, and better spirit, and we hope better luck. RVP has been great for ManU this year, by the way.

        3. quote Laurent: “the problem is that we don’t have a better striker than VP or a better winger than Robben.”

          quote: KiNG: “Do other countries?”

          Laurent: “We wouldn’t beat Spain,Germany,Portugal,Brazil,Argentina, and it would be 40/60 if we have to play France, Italy,Belgium or Uruguay.”


          I like where this line of thinking leads, let’s compare some of those countries strikers (CF) and wingers shall we? And put that to the test.

          vPersie (EPL: 19 goals, 8 assists)

          Spain = Villa (La Liga: 8 G, 4 A) -fail
          Germany = Gomez (Bundesliga: 7 G, 1 A) -fail
          Germany (perhaps not the CF) = Müller (Bundesliga: 12 G, 9 A) -fail
          Portugal = Postiga/Almeida (I can’t even find these guys’ stats, and I looked on multiple sites) -fail I assume (since they aren’t even playing in a top league, well, a fail in this stat or numbers comparison, don’t know enough about either of them)
          Brazil = Fred (not even going to try looking this one up, I can guess without hesitation cause I’ve seen him play) -fail
          Argentina = Higuain (La Liga: 11 G, 4 A) -fail
          France = Benzema (La Liga: 8 G, 6 A) -fail
          Italy = El Shaarawy or Balotelli? I’ll do the latter (Serie A: 7 G, 0 A) -fail (he’s only had 6 games in serie A so I guess he’s only getting started, but to start calling him as good as vPersie would go too far too soon, Sharaawy also doesn’t quite make the cut after having a quick peek, not to mention, still only serie A)
          Belgium? nvm that
          Uruguay = Suarez, the only one that comes close.

          And for Robben, well, I guess we’ll just have to hope he isn’t injured all the time before the WC starts, then we can see if the only real winger out there that can compete at his level (Ronaldo) is actually better or not (not counting Messi as a winger, nor a CF but a nr.10 playmaker, which he plays at Argentina behind Higuain most of the time).

          1. @Richard..some were trying to say i am a fool and used all kind of sick towards me.which i dont deserve and i reacted.they see they are the most intelligent people and others are fools.i know thats the string point of thinking of a fool.but then they go to absuive words i would kick them with iron rod if i meet them.i was angry at them.hope u understand this…On last post Mr king has called Jan an Idiot…thats how they disrepect people.i have nver disrespectd any one here in this blog unless they do some nonsense towards me…they are the ones to be blocked or banned not me.

          2. Hey bud, if you don’t like arguments why do you always seem to have so many?? Haha!

            Lighten up a bit, stop being negative and rude – kids read this site, man. Way uncool!! 🙁
            Two wrongs do not make a right. Doesn’t matter who started it. Just stop.
            Doing ‘what others have done to you’ is NO excuse at all. I’ve seen you initiate plenty of nasty dialogues – no need to lie your way out of it, we can all read!
            I’ve seen you ridiculing players, posters, managers, clubs, tactics, the entire Dutch nation, and still for the most part you are welcome here. Take our good nature and mirror it. Don’t take advantage of it. A simple request. Thanks.

            Be a bigger man. Grow up and stop crying like a little girl!! You are WAY more to blame for this than anyone else, so take it on the chin, listen to the criticisms you have received and improve yourself accordingly. That’s called maturity. We all do it. We all grow up. That’s what life is – making mistakes and learning from them.

            You won’t win any arguments here. It is an exercise in futility to even try. This is a football fan site, not a debating team!
            Don’t react to trolls, and don’t be the troll yourself. We are FANS.
            Repeating the same hateful and unfounded statements several times a day (every day) WILL eventually start to annoy even the most patient people. This is a fan site. We bleed Oranje. We worship our superstars. We don’t come here to tear apart our heroes. Why do you?

            Like many others here, I don’t read your comments anymore. I find them too simple and often disrespectful. Sorry, that’s just my opinion and I’m entitled to it. However, I DO fully respect your right to post your opinions, regardless of their quality, and it annoys me when people tell you to shut up or go away. You have the same rights here as anyone else, but please, stop making this so difficult for yourself. Always angry, always negative, always complaining, always claiming to know better than everyone else. It is painful to watch. Be positive. Find something you like about Dutch football and focus on that, huh? 🙂

            Take a back seat and enjoy the ride with the rest of us, or you risk separating yourself from the very group you so desperately wish to impress.

            I’m merely trying to be helpful here and show you why this sort of thing is happening. You’ve rubbed some people up the wrong way and that is going to take time to undo. Big deal. Sh*t happens! Haha! Perhaps I will now be faced with your usual spiteful reply, or perhaps something between my words will sink in. Who knows?
            Either way, all the best, bud.
            At the end of the day, mate, it’s all fun and giggles anyway. Life’s too short. Better to spend it happy.
            Peace out 🙂

          3. Why dont you give this kind of advice to some other here?Reveal ur identity and be act like a man.i know where i stand and i enjoy my life than many…
            “”””You won’t win any arguments here. It is an exercise in futility to even try. This is a football fan site, not a debating team!”””””””…
            Ultimatly its me who won and u all know the humiliation.i think fans has the rights to critcise the players coz they are fans.but i can assure that i have insulted anyone in mylife untill they do something wrong to me.why should i bear the nonsense?i am not taking back seat or front seat..india also play 442/433/351/etc..but its quality of the players that wins the cup..if u dont take quality players u know the result?The justice is with me me not the one who offends me.So will i win.I MUST WIN ANd i should win and i am the won who is goin to win…i have never been a looser in my playing time i always won it and i seldom lose a i know how to win games.i will dedicate some videos for u watch it…..

          4. @Tiju – 1 simple reason buddy. All the arguments start between you and someone else. To be honest, I feel like you try to pick the fights by constantly trying to pick on a player and trying to completely discredit him. Then you get angry when someone disagrees with you and starts calling you names.

            About 2 years ago I went after RvP and thought he was trash – now I can’t see Oranje without him. You know why? I was able to change my mind. All of us can be wrong and it’s nice to admit our fault once in a while.

            Stay cool and your opinion is always welcome.

          5. He’s very kindly giving the advice to YOU, because you are so obviously the one who needs it, dude. Dumb or what? Jeez…

            Why do you ask him (who has been nice to you) to ‘act like a man’, when YOU are the one ALWAYS CRYING and bitching like a girl? Do you see why EVERYONE HATES YOU now? This is why!

            Won? What have you won?
            Dude, you’ve won nothing! Hahahahaha!
            I’ve been following this group here (and at the previous NWCB) daily, and I have NEVER seen you win a single thing. You are incapable of winning.
            You are a LOSER by the very definition of the word!
            You have had your ass kicked so many times it’s embarrassing now. Genuinely embarrassing. I don’t know why you keep coming back for more…

            …unless, of course, you are nothing but a sad, lonely Troll.
            Why else would someone come to a group where everyone loves something, and then post negative and insulting comments all day every day for over 3 years? You are ASKING for trouble. You are SEEKING confrontation. CLEARLY. OBVIOUSLY.

            You CRAVE attention (in any form, good or bad) and you relish taking this site from being one that discusses football to one that discusses YOU.
            You are the worst type of troll, because you are too dumb to understand you are killing the thing which gives you life in the first place.
            And as for it says about your real life…. hahahaha!

            ‘i think fans has the rights to critcise the players coz they are fans.’
            No, not ALL DAY, EVERY GODDAMN DAY, you clinical fucking retard.
            Those aren’t fans. Those are TROLLS. How stupid are you?
            What about our ‘rights’ to enjoy this website without you continually disrespecting, criticising, swearing, preaching, crying, moaning, whining, bitching, picking fights, acting like a child, displaying your staggering ignorance for the world to see….. over and over and over and over again? What about those rights?

            Wait. You have ‘never been a looser’ OR you ‘seldom lose a game’? Huh????
            Sorry, it can’t be both. Which is it?
            You contradict yourself in almost every sentence, dumbass.
            Sadly, you lack the intelligence to even realise this!
            It’s painful. Your comments are unreadable! THEY MAKE NO LOGICAL FUCKING SENSE.

            Grow up or get out.

            And now, let’s all IGNORE this miserable wormfood and return to chatting about FOOTBALL.

          6. @Drago……You are the one who lack intelligence and who are you to say get out?or to grow up??how intelligent are you to say like that.???do u think u r intelligent??Every fools think they are inetlligent,so u might also be in that catagory.I am a good listener and listen to everyone but i make conclusion after so many my predictions doesnt go wrong.You are simple a fan who just sit over moon after winning against sanmarino and slashes when the team loose to a strong team am not.I am a fan who unfortunalty see the outcome BEFORE U.So i had to cry(in ur words not in my words).I tried to convey that to many fans and i did what i could.u might call it as rant or whatever i dont care.For ur little brain must understand that what is the benfit all the fans getting from wathcing a football game???.They(including me) stupidly watching the games with passion and energy for nothing.So they have the right to criticize them in EVRY F##$$%king day in your words.U have the little brain not me.DRB300 has said it PVA,Butnner are headless chikens,is he did anything wrong???No.He is a respectful fan and he has seen something wrong with them.As a bleeding fan he has the right to say like that.what he said is truth ,u will understand it if u watch carefully.i didnt say dutch will get humilated in 2008/10 but why i said in 2012.there was reasns behind that.whether u beleive it or not.even the arrogance of the fans could lead to defeat of a theoritically strong stay humble.and be open to ideas then u pray for ur beloved team.then u and ur team will have chance…Ur comments shows that u r a psychopath and ur name Drago shows it .So humbly i reuest you to stop this for other decent bloggers and you will never win over me.My predictions will never go wrong.

        4. Tiju?

          Is that you using these words? Can I ask you (again) to stop expressing yourself this way, please please pretty please??

          We all want a world where we want everyone to be an Oranje fan (didn’t John Lennon sing about that) and not all this division.

          1. I believe I’ve already said this but LvG has the right mix of youth and experience. And there is enough of both so that everyone has to compete for their spot – and everyone benefits. Especially the fans!

            I’ve had a terrible time watching matches lately but hope to do better by this time next year. ITMT – I’ll just keep reading and posting whenever I can.

            Loved the highlights of the Romania game and all the comments here have been great too.

            For me the RvP => VdV goal was the best — team thinking combined with tenacious attack and a great finish.

            Of course Robin’s header will be a highlight reel goal for years to come – but like Kuyt’s long range lob over the Hungarian goal-keeper I’m just not sure that it was totally planned teamwork. More a case of inspired creativity at just the right moment to take full advantage of a situation. (Don’t get me wrong that’s a good thing too) but in the end teamwork will win the big prizes.


          2. @Jan…..i was carrying it from your last post,against king.Where he started it….i had to confront with some trolls here in past 5/6 post of your articles.I am sorry that for spoiling your blog by replying to them…But i Cannt leave them like that,why should i bear nuts?when i see the arrogance and stupidity of these people,i couldnt stop myself.They have already used allkind of sick words towards me.when they get it back why are they crying??.Anyways i will stop from my side for u and other gentlemen of this blog.But what if they bark again?

          3. Look tiju I know it may feel like you are being victimised by others , but please have the strength of personality to rise above it and not respond. Similarly, if someone is saying something constructive please take it on board as I know you have done on an earlier post . You have as much right to be here as anyone, just don’t make it worse for others

          4. Tiju, often the best option with bullies is to just walk away. Not easy to do, agreed, but just remember that agitators get their jollies from getting people agitated. There truly is no better way to neutralize someone who barks than by ignoring the bark.

          5. Haha apparently this tiju fellow is going to post videos of himself excelling in some mystery sport lol roflmao.. made my day. .in other news can’t wait for my new htc one to be shipped from the uk

        1. Hey, Jesusfreak, when we want your opinion we’ll give it to you! Haha!
          Until then, pipe down, little girl. Be a good little sheep.

          You made some negative (and untrue) comments about Van Der Vaart a while back. I copy/pasted them back to you. You thought you could get away with it. I won’t let you.
          That’s all.
          If you don’t want this to keep happening, stop posting retarded comments! You make it too easy to beat you with your own words.
          This will keep happening until you learn to stop contradicting yourself and you conduct yourself on this website with respect for other people.

          1. But my point isn’t to study if Robben or Van Persie are good players, I’m not judging about having speed, vision or whatever . I know their qualities and defects footballistically.

            My point is to see if they can be crucial in top level games. It has more to do with psychology, mental etc. And there are enough facts going on the same direction which help to have an answer. Which isn’t absolute of course.

        2. Tiju why do you comment here? you’ve never said anything good about anyone Dutch. You’re completely negative, and I’m willing to bet 90% of the people that read this blog truly hate you.

          1. @Dirk…i dont care about hatred or likings.You can say about your attitude towards me.please dont take a staitics for that..The more the they hate me more they will loose,i see intuative things which i cannt prove with my engish or i dont have database stati..
            if dutch starts with playing elevn includes Wesly,Roben,Persie,stroot,dejong and back 4
            Dont say am negative if dutch face in EC/WC the results would be.
            Netherlands VS Brazil= 1-1
            Netherlands Vs arjentina=1-3
            Netherlands Vs Germany=1-2
            Netherlands Vs Spain=0-1
            Netherlands Vs france=0-2
            Netherlands Vs portugal=0-1
            Netherlands vs croatia=0-1
            Netherlands VS Belgium=0-2
            this is where dutch stands….sadly but true

      2. Robben was denied by a boot-tip, Casillas was lucky!… he dived the wrong way – against Puyol he was professionally fouled but he stayed on his feet – if he went down he would have gotten a free – or penalty.

        Sneijder is still world class – give him time – he has been on the sidelines for a long time but he will be ready for WK14

        Van Persie however is a different story – he is a club player, no more, no less. I must agree that he shows no class against strong opponents – where Van Basten and Cruyff found a way, Van Persie is always the victim of his teammates lack of support or playing style or…something…..

        He must show his talent (which is undeniable….) in Oranje – if not then he must pass on the striker role to others. 1 goal at EK and 1 goal at WK is NOT good enough for a “lethal” striker

        Van Gaal is still the weak link of Oranje – he is too foolhardy with his selection and too focused on being the centre of attention. If the team wins it is because of his coaching if the team does badly it is because they didnt follow his game plan….it is always about Van Gaal……

        1. i wholeheartedly agree with you. there is truth to what laurent is saying too. i am still not sold on our defense. bar Martins Indi, the rest of the bunch are shaky and too attacking-minded…

      3. @Laurent. I more or less agree with your assessment. This team would probably have a very hard time against the likes of Spain, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and would sweat against the likes of Belgium, France, Uruguay etc. BUT, what we have seen so far is a team that is steadily increasing its football level and knows when to turn it ON. In the process the chemistry between old and new generations is becoming stronger. So far all is in the upside. It is hard to predict what would happen playing Spain but until we get to play them we can only get better.

        1. The Dutch team is being reconstituted with younger players who are new to international play, for the most part. The selection process is still being sorted out. Of course we would have a “hard time” against Spain and Germany now! That’s a silly statement. What team wouldn’t? The question is, how will this team be in a year’s time, and I think it could be pretty formidable, but of course there are no guarantees.

  1. Sorry to re-post this but didn’t know if everyone saw…

    Hey guys thanks for all the reports on the game… Was unable to watch the game as it was not televised in Australia. Really appreciate it!!

    Was wondering what everyone’s thoughts are wether Van der Vaart has finally put himself in from of Sneijder in the pecking order for the number 10 position if both are fit??

    1. Stijnis, in my view, he cannot be our No.10 in Brasil 2014. he is good but not better than fit sneijder Coz
      1- he is too slow
      2- he is predictable
      3- he cannot driblling players
      4-he is not 90 minutes player now, a year later i would doubt if he can play foul 60 minutes for us.


      it was the worst thing happened if it was a normal player, it can be a very easy goal for romania, i don’t want to be so negative, but van der vaart fail to driblling players too much and i think he is haas never view of 360 degree of himslef in games.

      1. @Faraz both are on the same time we have Maher and Ginkel in this spot are waiting for chance with better energy and better team play.I was happy abt wesly when he scored ,i feel that he is too self centered when close to penalty box.while Vaart is looking for team that aspect we have more chance to win a game with vaart than Wes.Wes is man of brilliant passes when find space and has a speedy player to support.Though vaart is slow he can hold th ball in his feet even in the midst of 4 opponent players.this free up Persie and roben.thats a huge advantage.But the truth is when vaart or Wes is in the feild we dont get the workrate and hence it is getting affected the total team play and ends up with a loss against good scoring teams..100% fit vaart is class.i doubt that Wes and vaart will gain the same fitness they had earlier,So it is hard decison for LVG..At present dutch national team will play better with Ginkel and maher than Vaart and Wes.but if u ask me choose in between vaart and wes ,i would prefer vaart over wes.

        1. @ TIJU. yes, maybe ur choice is right, i don’t see van der vaart too much. really i just see him in second period of romania game from Euro 2012 till here. maybe u r right and i have to see him more 😉

      2. I saw that yes. Terrible decision by VDV. A bit too complacent. His touches and his vision, though, throughout the game is superb. He is fit, I think, but he is slow. His understanding with Robben and RVP is fantastic. If Holland can play tight and close together, I think he is brilliant. He can change the game with one move of his foot. He has a great setpiece in his left and he scores easily.

        But you do need players around him (Strootman, De Guz, Fer, Clasie) who will do the work.

        Same with Sneijder by the way.

        Sneijder for me is more useful when he can unleash Robben, Lens, RVP with a throughball. Sneijder is more useful against an opponent who will leave space behind their defense. As Sneijder showed against Spain in the WC finals, he can put Robben or anyone one-on-one with the goalie.

        Maher can do all this too, but is less experienced and less capable in the confided spaces.

        His plusses are his speed and his work ethos.

  2. Ok, I found the Hungary – Netherlands game of last year (that I think I missed) and it’s obvious to me now. Hungary are a bunch of cheaters and I hope they don’t make it even to the play-offs. I hope it’ll be Turkey or Romania, they deserve it a lot more.

    This emotional statement comes just after watching the HUGE dive @ 42 minutes in the first half (after already having concluded that their only goal against us, the penalty, was also a dive, and after seeing the Hungary – Romania game in which they also used a dive to get a penalty).

    Note however that these are all dives with contact (since apparently there are some people out there that think a dive requires no or little contact, quite ridiculous thought actually, what do these people think when you bodyslam on top of a defender that’s already down on the ground after a sliding, penalty? How about quickly hooking your foot under his leg on purpose when you see it and then tumbling over? Still penalty?)

  3. First things first: cut out the insults. They demean no one but yourselves, and make me assume that nothing else you write is worth paying attention to.

    Couple of thoughts:

    First, amen to just about everything you wrote, Jan. What a pleasure to watch a team playing with flair, joy, confidence, and swagger. My only minor difference of opinion concerns Strootman. A number of you (e.g., DRB300 whose thoughtful, in-depth contributions I value highly) have placed doubt in my mind, which made me watch him closely these past two games, and I thought his distribution and comfort on the ball were a step below where they need to be for his role as connector between D and O, including agains Romania. He’s also not (yet) known for his composure — fire is an asset for a DM, no doubt, but it needs to be harnessed in a way that I don’t yet see in him. He’s still young, mind you, and he certainly hasn’t been terrible. But given the depth of talent we now have in midfield, I hope that others (Clasie, Van Ginkel) get given good, hard looks over the next 14 months.

    Second, while I’m considerably more positive re. the “old guard” (Robben, RvP, VdV) than Laurent and feel that the seasoned vets/eager young talent mix that LvG is cultivating is absolutely the right way to go, I do echo his sentiment that while we have excelled in recent years in qualifying, translation to the big tournaments has been wildly inconsistent, and major questions remain to be answered. My biggest question at this point regards leadership — every team faces adversity at some point on the way to a championship, and you need guys on the team who can challenge others to “get with the program”, exude calm in the eye of the storm, and play their best games on the biggest stages. Guys from the past that come to mind are Zidane, Platini, Mattheus, Socrates, Cruyff, Maradona.

    In the current game, I think of Pirlo, Casillas, Drogba, Xavi – great example is Barca’s recent “mini-slump” (if you can even call it that). Based on a couple of articles I read, it appeared that Xavi took advantage of a minor injury to watch copious amounts of video and called the team out publicly for straying from its core game. He returned to the field and promptly led the the 4-0 demolition of AC Milan. That leadership can also come from a coach with unquestioned authority: Pep, Sir Alex…

    I’d maintain that BvM played that role for Oranje in 2010 — to me the discipline and harmony in that squad was such a wonderful departure from the Oranje teams of the ’90’s and 00’s, which make Euro2012 all the more heartbreaking and bewildering.

    With this crew, who plays that role? None of the old guard is wired that way — telling, e.g., was RvP reacting with bemusement to LvG referring to him as “one of the elders” of the team. While I’m loving the LvG II era so far, I don’t see him playing that role himself — too much ego, too much of a live wire.

    To his credit, though, I see LvG recognizing the need for that figure, and searching for it. I interpret him giving Strootman the captain’s band through that lens. Likewise the inclusion of Kuyt, a guy with diminished skills but unquestioned heart and credibility in the locker room. Unless something goes very wrong or he finds the fountain of youth, however, Kuyt won’t be on the field during the WK2014, and per the above, Strootman’s not there yet. I fear that LvG’s desire to cultivate on the field leadership may cloud his judgment re. Strootman and unfairly limit opportunities for his talented peers to demonstrate whether they may be superior alternatives.

    My two cents. I look forward to everyone else’s thoughts.

    1. This is exactly why Van Gaal has Sneijder as captain and will not easily drop him. Sneijder has that leadership. Raf a bit less so. I would not rule out RVP in this category.

      1. Thanks for the thoughts, Jan. I wasn’t sure about Wes in this department, particularly given the EK2012 meltdown, and haven’t necessarily seen it to date in RvP. I have, however, seen RvP mature hugely over the last number of years, from a me-first to much more of a team-oriented guy. And both he and Wes are at a point in life and career — on the cusp of 30 — where they have perspective and experience to draw on, accomplishments to give their words weight, and urgency that comes from being closer to the ends of their playing careers than the beginning. So I grant your points, and hope for the best!

  4. Sol : Seems like you didn’t get me. For sure Van Persie is one of the best striker in the world, but I would trust more Balotelli to make the difference in a crucial game (like he did against Germany) than him.

    Give me a good reason to think differently, in 2006 against Portugal he had big chances but missed, ok he was still young and was playing as right winger. 2008 against Russia, was substitute, everyone was waiting for his entry to make the difference, he came and was absolutly awful. Ok he was half injured.

    2010 played 7 games, scored only once in 7 games, didn’t even create a chance against Spain.

    2012, was really expected thanks to his season, missed everything against Denmark, scored a “useless” goal against Germany.

    With clubs, never won anything (well, in Arsenal he wasn’t so guilty), went to Manchester, terrific beginning, everyone excpected him against Real,he didn’t score.

    You can say he plays good, I agree, good technically, can keep the ball etc. but seems like he has a problem to exist when he level gets high.

    1. I share you point. BUT, as a huge fan of RvP, I cannot just stop trust him. Just a little more confidence and selfishness, that’s what he lacks IMO. I recall that game against Germany in 2012 EC, when he’s got the ball close to German box and instead of passing to open teammate he smashed the sphere between Hummels’ legs and scored that only goal for Netherlands in that game. I tend to believe that at that moment he told himself “F*ck it! I’m gonna shoot!” .. and he scored.

      Regarding the game against Romania. There was one moment I’ve remembered when one of our players lost the ball on our half and it was passed to Pope on the right – who was so unmarked and could score himself or pass it to teammates to score. Pls do not such mistakes against bigger teams.

  5. JAN. Please can you remove posts containing foul language. I come here to read your fantastic articles and enjoy the different views, but it is RUINED by the swearing and abuse. Would love to let my 9year old son come onto this site but not as it is. Today we are reaching new lows and those involved should be ashamed of themselves. You guys spoil it for the rest of us.

  6. Two interesting games.

    It’s great to see Van Der Vaart playing such a prominent role in the team. He’s been criminally overlooked in the past, and is one of the most exceptionally gifted footballers I have ever had to fortune to pay to watch. Bergkamp being another that springs to mind. These are extreme talents.
    I think Van Der Vaart needs a little motivation sometimes, but there remain barely a handful of footballers across the world that can do what he does on a pitch.

    In my opinion, unless Sneijder’s form and fitness remarkably improve, we should stick with Rafa and make him the heartbeat of the team for the next couple of years – pack the midfield around and behind him with energetic players and let him sneak into advanced areas to thread some of those slide-rule passes into Van Persie’s feet. His legs may be a little sluggish, but his feet are quick and his brain is quicker.

    I was impressed in part with our defence, which seemed to grow in confidence through the two games.
    Well done Vermeer. We have some good quality keepers now.

    Shock horror! Van Persie scored! Twice!
    These are good times for us.
    We have a vibrant and youthful team, some extremely talented and experienced elder players, and a dynamic manager keeping people on their toes and looking to impress.
    We have time until the WC to build a steady momentum and to gain some confidence.
    I am excited.

  7. Laurent, you are really missing the boat mon ami. Van Gaal is simply creating a team of young players under the guidance of a few older ones as he did precisely with Ajax in the 1990s. He is excellent with young players he can mold into his system and style of play. We now have a style that is reminiscent of the Ajax/Barcelona/Bayern and AZ teams he has coached in the past. I really believe that with Blind and Kluivert, he is trying to recreate the glory days of Ajax 1995. As for your points about Blind, I totally disagree with you. He has done superbly well in Holland because of his great technique, vision, intelligence and sense of anticipation. Is he the best defender ever? absolutely not but compare his technical ability to get out of a jam with those of the other 3 defenders and you will understand my point. This is why we need Van Rhijn as well. For his technical ability, ball possession and speed. This is the style Van Gaal wants us to play. To that end, Vermeer is also key because he is probably the best GK in the world with his feet. We never see any Ajax defender kick the ball as they always try to play to feet. Yet we saw that (albeit fairly rarely) with our defenders BMI, De Vrij and Janmaat. Bottom line is that we are developping a style that makes possessing the ball critically important. We therefore need players who can support that style of play. Hence De Guzman who is probably a lock now in that position. At least this is my opinion.

    1. Blind had moments where he lacked composure just as much as the other 3 defenders in my opinion. There was one moment that sticks in the memory around the 70 or 80 minute mark – a Romanian winger was dribbling into the penalty area near the touchline and Blind did brilliantly to win the ball off him, turned, but then rather than playing a simple short pass up the line that was available, he blasted the ball into the stands.

      All 4 defenders are still young and I’m confident this composure will come with experience.

  8. I think the thing happened betwenn King and Tiju is not our business, but it shows we haven’t freedom here, everybody has an opinion, and view, maybe some one afraid of our future and are negative, and someone always has hope and they r positive, if we accept freedom, we have to accept all. King, Tiju and … . everybody share their opinion, the most beautiful thing in this blog is our different view our different opinion. friends i come here to read, positive and negative comments, to see hope and scared, Jan give us somewhere to talk about our team, we all have to share our opinion and respect to our friends opinion. Tiju, king, Dirk and everybody who accept this game, if u cannot see other people opinion in this small world, how u live in our world.
    i talk just about freedom. no one of u live in country like IRAN, we have no freedom here, if someone say something (MAYBE RIGHT) but it is negative for our government, they arrested him easily and maybe kill him more easier than u think. in iran we just want freedom, we want to say what we think, i want to hear another opinion,
    i think if King was our king, Tiju would go to prison, or if Tiju was, king should go, this is so dirty, all can say what they think, if u like freedom u would accept this.

    if all of us think like each other, why we should come here? different comments is beautiful, i don’;t know why, but maybe bcoz i live in iran, i feel it more, i think just all people can talk and say their opinion, i know maybe ONZIE or DRB300 or TIJU or JAN has other opinion, but always respect is more important than what i think. someone of us r angry and say something wrong, but i hope one day come we all here can respect all people of this blog opinion.
    TIJU, KING, DIRK, VAN dEN BERG, i just hope if u all like freedom,just keep other people respect. it is not different if van der vaart play or sneijder play or kuit play or everything happened. we r a little group and all beauty of Jan blog is our friendship, even not netherlands win.

    if i’m wrong just tell me, maybe i have wrong view about life, but respect is something special which can growing up our friendship.

    1. faraz, thank you for expressing yourself and for exposing us to the world you live in… it’s great you can come to this blog and express yourself freely while listening to the opinions of others.

      i think what jan, simon, and robin are referring to are the vulgar remarks people make on this blog… it’s the way they say things not necessarily what they say if that makes sense… i agree it’s nice to have a home where we can all share our ideas and thoughts about the Orange Machine but we must do so in a way that is takes everyone’s feelings into consideration. we need to be mindful of others here and act mature rather than childish… but just like jan and the rest, i am very grateful for the debate on this blog and for hearing what people have to say…

      that sad, i posted above but not sure it went thru… i am basically still very skeptical of our back four (not because they are young or lack energy) but because they aren’t really tested.. there were moments of panic where our ‘attacking-minded’ defenders could easily have slipped up such as janmaat… i am just not convinced yet…

  9. Friday March 29th new york easter time usa

    Blackburn rovers vs blackpool (rekik)

    3:30 pm or 15:30
    PSG vs montpelliear (van der wiel)

    Saturday March 30th

    Sunderland vs Manchester united (van persie, buttner)

    palermo vs as roma (stekelenburg

    10:30 am
    Mainz vs Werder Bremen (elia)
    Freiberg vs Borussia monchen (luuk de jong, brouwers)
    schalke vs hoffenheim (huntelaar?)

    Swansea city vs tottenham (vorm, de guzman)

    1:30pm or 13:30

    Everton vs stoke city (heitinga)
    Bayern munich vs hamburg (robben, bruma, van der vaart)

    3:45 or 15:45
    Herenveen vs feynoord

    4:30 or 16:30
    benfica vs rio ave (ola john)

    Sunday march 31st

    roda vs PSV


    aston villa vs liverpool (vlaar)
    Hercules vs AZ
    vitesse vs pec

    9:30 am

    wolfsburg vs nurnberg (bas dost)


    ajax vs NEC

    Monday April 1st

    7:30 am
    Chelsea vs Manchester united FA CUP

    2:45 or 14:45
    Benfica vs Sporting lisbon (van woflswinkel, schaars, ola john, boulahrouz)

    15:00 or 3:00pm
    Fulham vs qpr (emanuelson)

    Tuesday April 2nd

    Bayern munich vs juventus
    psg vs barcelona

    wednesday april 3rd

    malaga vs borussia dortmund
    real madrid vs galatsaray

  10. Thanks Jan for the article.

    Great comments already and right from the start I want to express my joy with the current results and football of the Dutch NT. The Dutch NT has now won 23 of it’s last 24 qualification games over this and the last two qualification campaigns. We are also heading for a world record Jan already wrote about. I really had some concerns when I saw Turkey in our group and I actually expect them to show their teeth against us in the last game. I want to win that game as well by the way. What I really learned from Bert van Marwijk is that players need to focus on reaching their own level every game, not drop down in quality and mentality when the job is done. Bert for me was a coach that turned it around and actually started paying attention who was able to reach their level especially in those games. So I will keep my eye on the players staying sharp until the end.

    I will post my game notes down this post again. Some people liked it for the U21 game and so I have taken some screen shots again. Difference now is that I have noted the minute before every short comment. Bullet points are too generic maybe and minutes offer me a better reference.

    So my feeling is good about the team. I also feel surprised by some players in fast development, like Janmaat for example. Such a wonderful thing when somebody is making a name for himself. He was the one bringing a smile on my face these tow games. Such players, that give their all, are infectious and make you get behind them. For now I will say that with these two games he has further solidified his nr. 1 status for the NT.

    Let’s look at the keeper situation. Two straight games were for Vermeer. I don’t think he has done something the other keepers are not capable off. Made some saves, but they were not so special that I felt he really saved us from dropping points. Then again, he can only deal with what is fired at him and he did well. One could also bring in that the defensive organisation was pretty good and the last game even the best ever under van Gaal (his words). A keeper plays an important role in that too, not in the least with his coaching. Vermeer is distinctively different for me than the other keepers with his total commitment to find the football solution. Sure there were some high balls here and there, but even Valdes does that. It’s about how far he is prepared to go and that is pretty damn far IMO. Example was his pass between two Romanian players one time to reach I think JdG (not sure). It will go wrong one time, but apart from liking it from the perspective of letting us control the game more, it also gives us more of an identity. I feel a bit proud to see our keeper really trying to find the football solution as often as possible. It’s a road less traveled that I like to explore it. He is used to it as at Ajax he is forced to act this way, so it’s not like he has to do something new and by that, doing things out of his comfort zone in the NT.

    Janmaat I already have mentioned shortly. At Feyenoord his crosses are often bad, but in this game he made a pretty good one on Strootman. Locomotion is a thing I pay attention too and his kind results in some alarms going off softly with me. The one of van Rhijn is more healthy for me. It caused me to be skeptical, as I was/am about his technical and defensive ability. Netherlands was able to control a game, but the question is how Jammaat deals with games that we really don’t. Is he a man for all seasons? Where he surprised me was in the 53 minute with a defensive header to de Vrij when he was pressured. De Vrij then could build up quickly and we had another attack underway. That whole sequence started with keeping the overview while being pressured. It was hard to win it let alone to spot and get it to de Vrij. Flow enhancing stuff. On top of that he is relentless in his runs forward and makes his assists. It’s not all Hosana though. He did make some serious mistakes in the start of the game. Strootman also got pissed with him at that time (I think it was towards Janmaat) and made an angry comment. Anticipated wrongly one time, some ball loss, also leading to dangerous turnover, but he won over quite some people on the the 2 nights I guess.

    De Vrij did well, but I thought his acceleration after a BMI mistake could have caused us a penalty if it was against Spain. It was right at the start. Hungary players also dive as if their live depend on it (Sol pointed that out very clearly and rightly so). He also let Mutu get his shot off one time in the second half. I hammer on these points as I think de Vrij is just no killer. His defensive interventions simply lack and he needs to become harder in them. Other than that in the football department he is a breath of fresh air. Could maybe run up a little more, but there are probably agreements made before the game about that. Such games are good to point out that having de Vrij rather than Douglas does make a lot of difference. Build up allows the whole team to function and operate better. That brings us to BMI.

    BMI is not 1 but 2 levels under de Vrij in build up and finding the football solution. Biggest moment that makes this apparent is minute 71 where Netherlands is pressured, especially Blind, who gets it to BMI and he then rams it away to the opponent half. Options where right in front of him. Control gone. Such moments give away something. We won’t win the WC with our defensive skill. Van Gaal is working towards an oiled football machine and in that system good footballers at the back are clutch. He was also the one sending away Lucio the same week he got to Bayern. Now, if BMI was a watertight defender I can see the point, but he made more defensive mistakes than de Vrij in this game and Feyenoord fans must be honest about the fact he is not free from error at the left back side this season either, though that is him being played out of position. I can’t see him becoming a long term pillar for the Dutch NT. That also depends on the preferences of future coaches, but footballing wise he lacks too much for me. For WC2014 the upcoming generation is too young to be a threat for him, but after that, the left center back position is filled with upcoming talent, including a guy from Feyenoord (Kongolo) that are just better on ball and can defend as well. For now, BMI is already something to be thankful for as he has helped us out in a great way and I hope he keeps developing to get us as deep s possible into the WC tournament.

    Blind had a weak first half, but I am inclined to say he is also victim of the same mechanism that van der Wiel struck. Robben does often not help him out. That was in Estonia match and now again. Before that Blind suffered from Ola John, another winger that likes to look the other way when demands are made to put in a defensive shift. In the Estonia game it was really Robben’s fault, this time Blind was also a bit clumsy and naïve. I think his crosses against Estonia were pretty bad, but he is growing into his attacking role. He made the pass to RvP that led to the eventual Robben dribble and RvP header goal. He also had that nice moment where he kept a ball in and then got passed his man to drill in a cross in the opponent’s box. he is still not convincing me defensively and is much closer to the next competitors than Janmaat is to his. I can’t see Janmaat get passed by quickly anymore by van Rhijn, but Daley still feels the breath of Willems and PVA in his neck. BMI also being in the mix.

    It’s good to mention that van Gaal wants the wingers to be high up and the backs also come inside at times. Often it’s the other way around. Inverted wingers and backs coming outside. Both happens with van Gaal (backs inside and outside), but notice the Blind pass that happened from more inside or Janmaat against Estonia getting inside. At the end of this game we even saw Janmaat head the ball in front of goal from a Lens cross. Striker! Robben, RvP and Lens play much more high and in case of the wingers more wide than they ever did at the NT in recent years. I like it so far.

    De Guzman was pretty silent. Just there to press and keeping things in check. I did not see much deep penetrating passes from him into the attacking third anymore. I felt that he was given certain orders he carried out differently than in the Estonia match.

    Strootman was for me better than against Estonia. The better the opponent, the more you get out of him, just like Nigel. For me Strootman has been the worst player in all the small games so far. Makes no sense to keep him in those games. Maybe van Gaal wants to build automatism. What I liked about Stroot was him keeping the pressure deep into the second half. I saw a particular good pressure moment in the 87th minute that gave a good signal to Romania and his fellow team mates. After that Netherlands scored another goal by the way …. . He did not provide me new insight. He is a good enforcer with mediocre football ability that is often too sloppy in his passing as a result often by his low handling speed. I also still think he is better for club than for country. He should also shoot more often from distance in the NT. Had a good shot at the start of the game, but needs to put in more bend. Strootman always fires off those lasers. Curve or bend with speed makes it harder for a keeper to read and stop.

    VdV with another opening goal. Very important. After that he still had some nice touches on ball, but also became more silent. Actually before his goal he barely was in the game. Let’s discuss Maher at the same time as this is an issue. Vaart can score goals, but Maher is far from clinical and also does not have a great distance shot. In the Netherlands Maher is seen as the biggest talent as people watch his first touch ball control and his ability in the small spaces, but I am worried about the follow up quality’s. Scoring ability, dribbling ability, distance shot ability, even general pass accuracy. You can break the final line of the opponent with a dribble and with “passing and vision”, but Maher has no acceleration to get passed people and can only do it with the second solution. He also underperforms in small games (according to van Gaal) and charging up for the games against the small opponents is a key quality for a player to have, as often a club gets champion by winning against the little ones. Country’s get to an end tournament and knock out stage often by winning from the smaller country’s. When getting into this game he started to act the big footballer again for me. Have people noticed that bad high ball behind Janmaat in build up phase? There was no pressure on him, but it was off by quite some distance, yet it gets into the books as a completed pass. Maher has a pass completion rate of 67% in Eredivisie. Even Overtoom gets well over 70%. I don’t make big issues out of bad passes here and there, but with these stats I start to pay attention. Then there was this chance where he gets all time on ball close to the box of the opponent from a Robben pass and does something that is between a shot and a pass but fluffs it, just like against Italy. Minute 84. His shot on goal was saved as it was too soft again. If Lens is not there to convert, there is no end result. creating a rebound situation is a plus in my book, but if my concern is that the player’s distance shot is too soft all the time, it becomes further proof of a negative trait as well. He also missed 2 or 3 good chances against Italy. So van der Vaart is rightly above Maher, who lacks the end result. Goals matter at the top. A lot. That’s why I think that Maher might get a problem once Vilhena moves up one position to the front. Is probably much more able to score goals from the 10 position, but I need to see more games of him there to be sure.

    Lens was great. Had individual actions, speed to get past his man, a good cross to RvP especially, a goal again and then that pressure moment around the 50 minute mark. Had no chance to get the ball, but gave his all. Send a very clear signal towards Romania in that moment. He is a player that if he wants to play football can reach a very high level. I love him as he does better for country than for club. Hope he learns to pass a bit quicker, as that was at times hurting us.

    Robben made his dribbles and always gives me that feeling he wants to give his all despite not doing all his defensive tasks. His assist on RvP was IMO a ball that was meant for Lens who was behind RvP. I think he is getting too much slack at Bayern and I am over the moon to see him every time play for the Dutch NT. I think we will not see another winger soon of his quality for the Dutch NT and I am just thankful for every game he plays for us. He has my full support. Caused some havoc, opponents have respect for him and he brings the alpha male mindset to the team that only Sneijder possesses besides him. His throw ins are the most undervalued weapon. I think Robben is in the world top 10, maybe top 5 creating the most danger from throw ins. Take that last goal. Another Robben throw in. If he counters he does not wait for back up. Picks it up and produces a dangerous situation from the momentum. Especially with those sharp angled throw ins where the striker has to make an outside run towards the back line and who can then track it back into the box. Really good stuff and much more entertaining than your Stoke City areal bombardment throw ins all the time, not changing it up.

    RvP has not changed or something. Just missed again some big opportunity’s (especially the Lens one) and then he scores the hard “opportunity”. But let’s not get into that. My point would be that we saw at U21 a new opportunity arise who can connect with RvP. The over the top balls have not really fallen in these two games and I now know a guy who will give them for fun. Duarte. Would love him to move to Feyenoord to replace Immers and draw the attention of van Gaal to select and try him for the NT. The second scenario is van Ginkel behind RvP (or in the box to box role). RvP was very clear about his needs on national TV and articulated that he needs movement around him. Van Ginkel is that guy. He can be an outlet for RvP when dropping here and there and give a deep pass himself. Van Ginkel is good enough in the combination with RvP and scores quite some goals for Vitesse. I think he was also striker in the youth (Janmaat as well by the way). I don’t understand the public opinion of how putting VdV behind RvP is radically different concept than Sneijder behind him. Yes vdV is better in the short combination and play a bit closer, but both are still pretty damn static and VdV is no deep going guy either. He also can’t dribble past people. Now Maher is seen as some kind of new solution, but he has no acceleration and on top of that is not clinical in front of goal or has a good distance shot. vdV and Sneijder do have those last things much more. Neither of those 3 are a big shift from each other. Creating real vertical movement behind RvP is done by shutler guys and those resemble box to box players, but need to have also finesse preferably. Van Ginkel is pretty technical and has actually functioned as a 10 in the past at his club. That would be a real attempt to solve the RvP problem in the Dutch NT and get the most out of him. Sneijder, vdV and Sneijder are not all that different, especially Maher and vdV.

    Clasie is now the man behind de Guzman and in the few minutes did neither very good or bad. I hope he makes a wise decision now the transfer options come in. One Anita case is enough.

    Rests me to say that de Jong is selected for his pinchhitter role and he did indeed used his head to create the opportunity for Maher to shoot and Lens to score. So van Gaal probably liked that.

    Netherlands and Russia are the only country’s without points loss and I hope we can continue our good run. I especially would like to win in Turkey at the end of this qualification campaign, also because there live many Turks in the Netherlands who cause some rivalry with us. I think you have traditional rivalry’s (Germany, Belgium), but as many European country’s have many immigrant groups these days, there arise also new rivalry’s. Think about the Algerians in France. Good stuff as healthy rivalry can make national football more exciting. Hope that we can go flawless.


      1. Not that I know off.

        My suggestion stems more from a the opinion that Feyenoord miss a true footballer in front of Clasie and Vilhena. Immers can’t play football and is there for duel power. Though a team needs to have balance, having Clasie and Vilhena (real footballers) behind a man where the football stops, is close to being pointless. Especially now Boëtius has come onto the scene (also a good footballer) and Pelle (is static but actually pretty damn good on ball as well). So while a footballing body has risen, the man taking center position in this body is anti football. It disables a lot of wonderful synergy that connecting these players would result in.

        And it’s not like Immers is out of the picture. He can become nr 2 and play the games where Feyenoord feels the need for extra duel power.

        I hope Feyenoord would go for him. Fc Twente is probably also looking at him, but as I want as many NT potentials play together. At FC Twente there is only Douglas who is out of favor with van Gaal and will probably go at the end of the season as well. Castaignos should be happy if he even gets a starting spot at FC Twente for now.


    1. I noticed that about S. de Jong too. I think his function is better that mostt people think. His passing is good at Ajax, hardworking, have good headers and can score in crucial moments. He can be the new Kuyt in th NT.

  11. Hi Guys,

    just landed back in Los Angeles. Both games at the Arena were a blast. Some quick comments on the game versus Romania.

    1. Weather much improved, and so was the mood. The crowd, the players…Everything felt different. Everything was setup for a great soccer evening. So cheerful.

    2. Romania is not a bad team at all. They played very nicely during the first half. No comparison with Estonia. Problem is Holland is one of the fittest, if not the fittest of them all, teams on the planet. Romania lasted around 55-60 mins in the game. After that, they were silent. In the first half though they were running a lot harder. They know soccer, they simply couldn’t follow us after the 60th.

    3. De Guzman. Machine. Everywhere. Sure not as many passes as with Estonia but they guy is an awesome DM.

    4. De Vrij. Fantastic job. Colossus in the back. Great footballing skills too.

    5. RvP. The crowd loves him. He got the biggest applause during the presentation.

    6. Janmaat. Again rising in the second half, after Lens softens the right side.

    For those of you who are wondering how can some comments paint a different picture than what shows on the TV. The TV focuses on the ball but does not cover movements off the ball. Guys like Lens do a tremendous job tiring the opponents.

    Overall, that was a great game. The atmosphere… the crowd… the game itself and the result. What a blast… The drum was beating and the Oranje General was quite a spectacle…

    If there is a good friendly before the WK2014 I will go to the Netherlands again to watch it.. But will avoid going to Amsterdam before May, the weather is really cold … for us Californians at least 🙂 🙂

    1. Was the roof closed? In the stadium it should be doable I think?

      I heard that this month the Dutch gas company made a record profit in it’s existence. This was an absurd cold month of March even for Dutch standards. Thanks for the de Guzman insight. He probably invested a lot in the silent but important off ball work. Hard to spot at TV.


      1. Hi DRB,

        yes the roof was closed. Did it make any difference? No! LOL … anyhow, I was ready to quit before the Estonia game. The closed roof saved me… It did actually make a little bit of a difference.

        Everyone told me that this March the weather was a disaster. I was pinned inside the hotel (great hotel BTW) and went out for a short walk…

        Anyhow, the wind chill was much less the day of the game against Romania. Everyone was so much happier, I think the players too.

        But you know what? Chilling cold or not, it was two great games. I enjoyed them fully.



    2. Hey Demi. Welcome back. Good to hear you had such a great time. I have never visited Holland but it is a future project. Nice insights about the live experience too. How long is the flight from LA to Amsterdam?

  12. First time poster, but have been reading for a long time. Some of my thoughts on the game were: The defense played pretty solid, but at times left too many gaps. The midfield trio did a good job of circulating the ball and spreading it out to the wing JDG in particular and did a good job of putting pressure on the Romanian midfield. Robben had his moments, and his work rate in the attacking third is superb he just needs to track back more often. Lens played very well, won the ball that led to the first goal and has some beautiful crosses and got his name on the scoresheet. Rvp was Rvp got 2 goals, but should’ve had 4. I thought we played very well, but at times are passing was sloppy and we got away with it, I credit some of this to new players coming in, but hopefully by this time next year were a well oiled machine. See you guys in Brazil!!

    Hup Holland Hup!!!

    1. >”Some of my thoughts on the game were: The defense played pretty solid, but at times left too many gaps.”

      Who was in your opinion most responsible for being out of position at the back? Just curious.

      Cheers and welcome.

      1. @DRB300 I thought at times janmaat and blind got caught too far forward or were too eager to step on their man and left gaps that can be exploited by teams on the counterattack. Though most of the times they were caught out of position was due to a sloppy ball leading to a loss in poss.


  13. Jeff : I watch almost every Ajax game, the description you give about Blind is the one when he plays against Roda or Breda. Games where Ajax got 65/70 % ball possession and where the pressure is very low. In those games, he is often one of the best player, I agree, his passes forward are always good, he gives always interesting crosses, and more recently, he starts to score. But look at the last “hard” game for Ajax, it was against Steaua (the 2nd one), and honestly, he was completly bad. Look at games against Dortmund, Real, against good oponents.

    Don’t you remember that some months ago, he was whistled by Ajax supporters ? He improved, he is more regular, fights more, plays good passes, but about defending he is definitly no guarantee.

    If we have to play against Nani,Di Maria or Ribery, I would defintly choose for BMI as left back, he can scare them with his physical, they’ll play with pressure.

  14. To sum up, I’m not against a mix between youg and old players, it’s the good balance.

    I’m really happy with new centers, especially if we can also call Douglas, I think we have a pretty potentiel in midfield with N.De Jong, Strootman, Clasie, De Guzman, Fer, Van Ginkel, 6 potential good players. I want VDV to be finally titular as number 10, I’m happy with Lens evolution.
    It’s a new team, a mix of new players and some old ones and it’s what we needed after the generation 2004/2012.

    I’m just scared with keeping Robben and Van Persie, for the reasons I gave, though they’re actually probably the two best dutch players. It feels just like it will never work with them in the selection, and if they fail again in 2014, they’ll retire, and it’ll feel just like we could have tried to use others players instead.

  15. @Tiju: if they bark let them bark! I bet they will bark even louder if you demonstrate you are angry.

    I know you are an Oranje fan so let’s focus on football. 😉

    And come on guys take it easy on Tiju. I bet we are mature enough to stop those offensive comments and keep talking only about football and maybe about hot player’s wives.


  16. @Tiju: if they bark let them bark! I bet they will bark even louder if you demonstrate you are angry.

    I know you are an Oranje fan so let’s focus on football. 😉

    And come on guys take it easy on Tiju. I bet we are mature enough to stop those offensive comments and keep talking only about football and maybe about hot player’s wives.


  17. Tiju,bro,why do you react to everything, every single post your name is mentioned in?
    on the other hand,you shouldn’t say tgings like “headless chicken”, “brainless”, etc. you use too often this kind of words.

    1. I Finally find someone in orange jersey talk English worse than me. lol

      Robben : Maba3rf saraha be2ati3 be2ati3 3al fadeh

      what he talking about

  18. @DRB, Really interesting stuff. I always look forward to reading your posts.

    @Demi, I appreciate the on-site reporting. Thank you. I agree that when viewing in person, you often see things a player does “off camera” which provides a different perspective of his effectiveness than what is seen on TV.

    While, I think everyone has pretty well covered what happened in the two matches, my commentts are”

    De Vrij and BMI have a chance to form an extraordianry partnership for years to come. They are both so young, and I believe that defenders, especially, don’t hit their peak until their mid-20’s at the earliest, and often later. (Think of Frank De Boer and Jaap Stam, who just kept improving)

    Still not sold completely on Blind and Janmatt. I think both are good when theirprimary responsibility is to come forward and attack. Their defensive skills still leave me concerned.

    VDV is still fascinating to watch. You’re never sure where hs is going to turn up. Their were times when he set himself up as a strike partner for RVP and turned the formation into a 4-4-2, and their were times when he dropped deep into the midfield. And, as he showed, for everything else, he’s a goal scorer. In his younger days at Ajax, for every beatiful goal he scored, there was a scrambler’s goal.

    They are a different team when Robben is on the field. For all that people say, he is still one of the most dangerous players in the world, and he tilts the field.

    Finally, props to LVG. I wasn’t crazy about his selection as NT coach, but he is building the national team in a painstaking way, and I see much more reason for hope in Brazil than I had a year ago.

  19. I’ve been reading all the comments after this sweet victory against Romania! I noticed some of what u call very optimistic comments and some what people considered negative and pessimistic comments! Now I want to try to be in between be realistic ! There is no doubt at all that everyone was so happy after the Romania game, that we felt finally the Dutch style that was the reason we loved this team for is finally back (especially for non Dutch ppl who love this team, just ask urself, why would u love the Dutch team if it wasn’t for their attractive football style?) the team during van marwijks days was depressing me (despite the fact that we got excited to reach the final) because it wasn’t a typical Dutch team! Janmaat and blind and de vrij and BMI were all good against Romania but they didn’t get tested now my question is, since we have an easy group in the qualification wouldn’t make more sense to play friendlies in June against brazil and France for example rather than playing Indonesia and china? How is the management going to know how good janmaat is or blind is if they don’t get tested infront of someone like ribery, de Maria, Ronaldo or ibrahimovic! Again this team is starting to entertain and to play usuall Dutch style, but the big question is didn’t we guys have the same experience in the last qualification ? Didn’t we have this feeling after the Sweden win 4-1, if u remember the 4-1 against Sweden it was a very similar game to the Romania one? We had the same hype after that game, but when we got to the big tests (Germany and Portugal) all the negative and the week points got exposed! So why in heaven are we playing Indonesia and china in June?i don’t understand, most probably is a financial reason( revenues for knvb)? But that benefits knvb not the progress of the national team! Again at the end who are we? Definitely van gaal knows more!

    1. Totally agree with you , Alaa .
      There is no point playing against lesser opponents in the summer .
      That’s why I do hope feynoord reaches the CL . It’s a big chance for our young players to play “together” on a high level .
      However , the game against Italy our young lads played a great game . I became sure that LVG is really great with the young players . He can get the best out of them .

    2. Alaa, the reason is indeed money. Van Gaal admitted to that very bluntly. “We go there to get the money”. That is not getting into the pockets of the KNVB management, like in many other country’s. That money is used for youth development. It’s important money in these financial tougher times. It’s for future generations. So I am not against this trip as it’s serious money for a good cause.

      Also keep in mind that U21 will play an Euro between June the 5th and June the 18th. The Indonesia and China games will be held on the 7th and 11th of June. So they completely overlap. That means that all the best young guns will probably be in Israel playing competitive games. Van Rhijn, de Vrij, BMI, Blind, Willems, Clasie, Maher, de Jong brothers, Ola John etc.

      I also thing that we might see some new faces replacing the young guns. So the guys not able to get into that U21 squad might be in the senior team of the Dutch NT (world upside down) as the U21 Euro has the highest priority. So if Blind and Willems are selected as the U21 left back, then we might see PVA against Indonesia. Might be interesting.


    3. contrary to some opinion, I’d love Dutch NT playing against Indonesia. this might be my only chance to watch my beloved NT against my country’s NT! strange though, knowing that Netherlands conquered Indonesia some time ago but I fell in love with the Dutch NT. 🙂

  20. Jan doesn’t know this but altho I am an Ajax fan, I secretly hope Feyenoord wins the title – Simple Logic – Imagine 70% of the Dutch team playing in the Champions League !! What super preparedness for Brazil 14.

    1. Me too 🙂 . Actually I think LVG himself wants ” secretly too 😀 ” feynoord to win the title . If they can get Maher instead of immers + keep all their current players , they may go far ..

  21. Haha apparently this tiju fellow is going to post videos of himself excelling in some mystery sport lol roflmao.. made my day. .in other news can’t wait for my new htc one to be shipped from the uk

  22. WC next match will ne in september, thats 6 months from now, do they have scheduled friendly in between now to september, i dont count the two asian tour against indonesia and china, i guess LVG wont take this seriuosly.

    1. Don’t forget guys , the youth will play in the u-21 tournament , will be between 5th-18th of june .
      Blind, strootman , de vrij , indi , van rijn , janmaat , de vilhena , maher , van ginkel , clasie , ola john and may be narsingh shall play in the tournament .
      It will a be a joy to watch for all Oranje fans .

    1. If feynoord is going to play in the CL next season , i think this will be a bad move for clasie .
      Actually i think calccio is not good for Dutch players . Only few Dutch players can succeed there “e.g Davids and Seedorf ” .
      EPL is the best for dutch imo. Bundesliga and la liga comes next .

  23. @JAN: thank you very much for the blog. You have been doing a magnificent job. It is a shame what has been going on these past recent days and I understand it’s not your fault.

    I really don’t care who started it (if Tiju or someone else) but you guys are ruining Jan’s work.

    This blog has been great for some years and we should put our ego aside and if you can’t well leave the blog!!!.

    I will stop reading the blog for some time and I really hope someone puts an end to this stupid fight.

  24. Guys, please clean this board up, i love this place, would hate to see it turn into something its not.

    Sounds like Buttner played well today, i didnt get to watch the game though. Also sounds like RVP played well. Good for them.

    No talk on here about Van Wolfswinkel moving to the EPL? He will definitely get playing time at Norwich and play against better defenders and at a higher rate of speed than in Portugal.

    I think this is a great move for him, just in time for the WC. Remember where goal scorers like Anelka (Bolton) started and moved up to better teams.

    I think this is a great move for Ricky and Oranje

  25. Vurnon Anita

    Clipped, far-post pass to Cisse proved his side’s one moment of respite in the first half, though an early yellow card made him reassess his bustling nature in the middle of the park. Took the foot off the gas after the interval as City flexed their muscles.

    Jos Hooiveld

    Fortunate to see Torres penalised for handball when the Spaniard got the better of him. Completely lost Terry for Chelsea’s equaliser. Improved in the second half, especially late on when the Saints defence dug very deep.

    Alexander Büttner

    Bombed on down the left incessantly and stumbled into a one-on-one opening in the 12th minute, although Mignolet was out quickly to smother. Kept an eye on his defensive duties too, working back to quell Johnson and Sessegnon.

    Robin van Persie

    Utilised in a slightly more supportive role than usual, holding the ball up and bringing team-mates into play but forced the opening goal as he teased Bardsley before firing the ball across goal with Bramble haplessly turning into his own net.

    Michel Vorm

    Prevented Tottenham from running away with the match with a number of solid stops and played well despite being beaten twice. Could do nothing for Bale’s vicious drive and was beaten by a cute finish from Vertonghen. Incredibly comfortable with the ball at his feet.

    Dwight Tiendalli

    Got forward with real drive and intent, rampaging up the right flank all afternoon and firing in devious, dangerous crosses. Penned Sigurdsson back in his own half, and was rarely troubled defensively. Swansea’s brightest player.

    Jonathan De Guzmán

    Fielded slightly deeper than normal, anchoring the midfield, but wasn’t as dynamic or inventive as he can be. Looked lethargic, perhaps a hangover from midweek international exertions, and was duly subbed just before the hour mark.

  26. why the fuck does koeman always start shitty lex immers ahead of talents like harmeet singh?? also verhoek is way better than ruud vormer IMO!

          1. am glad he did…and immers is mediocre despite his goals and u know that primo…singh has not got a fair look in so far…dont u agree?

  27. Jeffrey Bruma

    Had no answer for Shaqiri or Robben when confronted in the middle of the pitch, and contributed to HSV’s humiliation with a shoddy display. Scored the consolation.

    Rafael van der Vaart Flop of the Match

    Completely ineffective as his team were humiliated across the field, made almost no impact but he was not the only Hamburg player to flop.

    Arjen Robben

    Reveled in the space given by the demoralised Hamburg, ripping them to pieces across the pitch. Scored in the first half with an excellent finish.

  28. Van der vaart with two assists, but is voted flop of the match by
    What a bunch of idiots. There was basically nobody else doing anything worthy in that team except him.
    Also, bruma scored.

  29. Watching Feyenoord and for a team that has so many Dutch National Team players they are playing very bad today.
    I was forcing myself to watch till the 70th minute,but so many mistakes…it was frustrating.
    I am worried by the form of Boetius who has been the worst player on the pitch for Feyenoord for a few games now…

  30. Watching Feyenoord against Heerenveen and for a team that has so many Dutch National Team players the are playing very bad today. Frustrating to watch,with so many mistakes and bad passes and combinations.
    I am worried about Boetius who has been the worst player on the pitch for Feyenoord fo a few games now…

  31. martins indi and mathijsen with a horrible mix up to end feyenoords champions league ambitions…martins indi promptly subbed…sad sight 🙁

  32. omg hrrible shit…from hallands national defenders…de vrij caught out froma simple throw in..abd shows huge lack of pace and never catches up with the attacker…2-0 heereneveen..horrimal!!

  33. he started with robben today and put ribery on bench, only because he is planning to start with ribery on tuesday against juve and leave robben on bench, so thats why i was not excited to see robben starting today!!! also muller was bench today just to have him ready for next game!

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