New Years Interview Danny Blind

“I focus on selecting players who add energy, not players who take energy away”

We ring out the year 2016 with the Man of the Year (and last 70 years): Johan Cruyff. Now we will focus on what I hope will be the Football Man of the Year 2017 : our national team manager. The annual NY interview with the highest executive in professional Dutch football: Danny Blind (55).

Last week, the KNVB had their annual New Years gathering. And as per usual, there were speakers. This year Martijn Koning, the comedian, did his thing. And after a chaotic year, every single KNVB individual was ridiculed and the butt of his jokes: Hans van Breukelen, Bert van Oostveen, Dick Advocaat… They all were part of the show and this resulted in great moments of hilarity and belly laughs for the people present. One name was left out though: there were no cynical jokes about our national team manager, Danny Blind. Remarkable, because if this comedian would have been there at the end of 2015, surely the show would have Blind as a main theme.

virgil pre lux

Danny Blind: “It’s funny indeed. My  parents told me that when (famous Dutch comedian) Wim Kan would leave out a politician’s name in his comedy shows, these politicians would be disappointed. Because it means you were invisible, hahaha. I think I might just be happy with this for now.”

Asked if Blind thinks this might be an indication he is getting it right and clearly there is not a lot to ridicule at the moment: “Yes, I do think people are starting to respond more positive to me and the staff… We had some difficult times at the KNVB and that took some pressure off of me, really… And I think the results and performances have been improving, which is key. But I also think I’ve demonstrated to have composure under pressure. I”m down to Earth and I think people appreciate that.”

As you said: it feels the KNVB is working really hard to get the attention away from you….

Blind, laughing: “Well, there was a lot of material for “other stories” yes. And that is Hans van Breukelen’s task isn’t it? To keep the pressure away from the players and the coaching staff, hahaha. He did a good job!”

Was 2016 a year in which you could get your way across, more so than in 2015?

“For sure. And in particular the group dynamics. Much bettter and different than in 2015. We started this in November 2015, with the Wales game, when we missed out on the Euros. I changed the way we selected players. In short: we had a short four game run when I took over the reach the Euros. And I selected players on that basis: we needed to win four finals. So I put my chips on experience. I looked at experience and the level of the clubs they were at. I had to pick between young Tete of Ajax and experienced Van der Wiel of PSG, for instance. Tete would be making his debut. I didn’t think it was responsible to pick a debutant, so I went for experience. Anyway, we now know that you can’t rely on experienced players for the full 100%. They didn’t come through, sadly. But there is no guarantee that the new kids would have… Essentially, I am now more focused on energy and personality. What do they bring to the squad. I focus on players who give the team a lift, and not so much need energy themselves. It’s what you can give, not take. That is the selection policy in summary, but quality and fitness are key, a given, of course. That’s where it starts.”

Blind WC

So, whether players play all the games, playing minutes in other words, are less important?

,,Still important, of course. But not longer priority #1. Under Louis van Gaal and Van Marwijk that was key and was easier to hold up. But it’s getting too hard. We are losing out. Check the clubs where Van Marwijk’s team played in 2010 versus the clubs our players are at now. And not only are these not the top clubs anymore, the ones who are with the second tier clubs sometimes don’t even play. It’s all a bit thin. But that away game vs Wales, we won 2-3 and ever since we only lost to France, of which the WC qualification game was quite close and we had an unnecessary loss vs Greece in the friendly. But hey, the tough times are not over. We played Belgium and didn’t create one single chance. Then again, neither did they, so that is also a positive.”

As you said: the vibe in the group now is: no whinging and whining, otherwise: stay home!

“Yes and that came from the group. They have their own team talks too. And players like Strootman, Sneijder, Robben and Wijnaldum are the initiators of this mentality. Wijnaldum is a top example. Started his career as a creative midfielder but is currently one of the strong holders in Liverpool’s midfield. Playing with constraint, with discipline. I have abused his qualities a bit this year and I told him this. I used the word abused on purpose, I had him playing full right back versus Belgium. And Wijnaldum responds with: “Trainer, I am here for the team and to reach the World Cup. I won’t whine or complain, I’ll play where you need me.” And even if we don’t play well, I always see great commitment.”

Dick Advocaat has thrown Van der Wiel out of the Fener squad as he’s dealing with too many peripheral activities. He was a starter in 2015 but never made it back in 2016…

“I will let you name the players. But if you see the recent developments with some players, the picture becomes clear, right?”

More on the team later. Let’s discuss this Performance and Innovation Manager (PIM) role at the KNVB. Did you come to some resolution with Van Breukelen? You seemed to clash about this role?

“Yes, we clashed about that. Because my point was and is: you can’t combine this PIM role with team manager (the role Hans Jorritsma has). I can’t see that. The team manager role is a full time role. And I have a good staff I’m working with and they are my PIM. We have physiologist Luc van Agt. A top expert on anything related to fitness, physiology, intensity, etc. We have a team of video analysts, who measure everything that can be measured and we have our scouts. I also use the experts at club level. As you know, the Feyenoord and Ajax academy are top notch. We can learn from them. And all the clubs where our players are, feed us with useful stats.”

So take Wijnaldum, who is now playing as a controlling midfielder for his club, you can use those Liverpool stats to utilise with Oranje?

“Exactly. And I do think Wijnaldum can play in this role for us, in the future. I get annoyed when people say “the football world is conservative”. I think the football rules are conservative and Marco van Basten might be able to lossen that up. Ridiculously conservative. But in terms of data collection and analysis, it is really good. When we went to Brazil in 2014, all players visited the dentist. We did that in Holland. As they can see what kind of physical issues are lingering in your body via your teeth. What issues can we expect and what can we do to prevent it. Van Breukelen is now witnessing all this and that will affect his decision making.”

How is your relationship with Van Breukelen. You were coupled with him out of the blue: technical director and national team coach. Is the love there?

“Our working relation is good. We respect each other. That, I can say. And Hans was reasonable enough to admit that his assessment of combining the team manager with the PIM into one role will not work. And that PIM job was emphasized so much, that this role became too big in the media. The saviour of Dutch football. But it’s not, it’s just one cog in the machine. And it’s a role behind the screens, in the background. I think they should not have hyped it up so much. It’s important to think strategically about these things. It got blown out of proportion. And Peter Blange (ex volleyball olympic champion, ex volley ball coach and sports expert) will now focus on collating information about youth development and intensity training. And he’ll focus on the Eredivisie. Great. And he’ll need to go via the clubs. If we want to improve our football, the clubs are the key. But listen, when you talk to Blange, you talk to and listen to a pro. Someone who knows what top sports is about. A good guy. And he knows his contribution will not have a 40% increase in performance, or even a 10% increase. But if he can give us 3% improvement I will be cheering him on. Everything counts. I think we need to change the circumstances in which we play, through new rules. Like Wim Jansen said: organise a competition with 4 Ajax-Feyenoord games. I am all for that! And stop with artificial pitches. It changes the sport and not in a good way. Invest in better coaching classes and have referees allow more on the pitch.”

What did you think of Guardado during Ajax-PSV. Was he taking it too far? Or was it needed?

“I loved it. He needs to do that. But in Holland, we are all confused for days after that. I don’t get that.”

Blind looks out and watches the golf player on the Borchland golf course. Four years ago, Blind was interviewed here after the Euro debacle of 2012. The main topic was: who is Holland’s best striker: Van Persie or Huntelaar? Both players have been surpassed and this applies to other 30+ players as well. Blind is sort of in charge of selecting a new aquad after a period of 10 years of familiar faces. A generation that gave Oranje it’s face for decade or more.

So how do you say goodbye to those kind of players? Can you do it without a hassle, or frustration?

“Well, it’s part of my job alright. I have been there myself as a player. And players like Cocu, De Boer bros, Van Bronckhorst… a top generation and they took the bow themselves. Cocu was still world class at 34. That is quite handy for a coach. I’m not making decisions based on “this or that player should not play for Oranje anymore”. It’s more up to them to demonstrate their quality, so I can select them. They select themselves.”

So you need players who give energy to the group instead of taking energy?

“Yes and in the broadest sense of the word. How do you perform off the pitch? Are you self centered? Closed off? Or do you work with others? Do you want to be part of the group process. What I don’t do though, is work towards a squad for the World Cup. That is too early now. We need to get there first, so I pick the players who will be able to bring us there. Forging a winning team for the World Cup will need to happen in the run up to the tournament. We need to get there first.”

Let’s zoom in on Sneijder. Your second skipper. Was involved in four goals for Gala before Xmas. In Oranje, you can see it is not getting better with him. How do you see him?

“Wesley is a leader in the group. He is the role model. He can tell people exactly what is needed to make it to the top. And he talks to the youngsters about this. About his sacrifices, about what it means to score and be great on the World Cup stage. He’s important to us.”

But you seem to question his best position in the team?

“No not really. I can use him on different spots and I have made those choices already. But I will definitely still use him as a real #10, don’t worry. He did well on the left vs Sweden too. But Sneijder, he was dominant for whole games when he was younger, now he will be less dominant, but his set pieces alone are key. Even if he doesn’t play well, his kicking is amazing. And he does this with Oranje too. A player like Sneijder used to dominate a whole game, but now he can still be decisive in a couple of moments.

He tells us he is looking at the game more like a coach than as a a player.

“I think that is true. I can see this development. Wesley is streetwise and shrewd, he would make statements that will help build his image, I’m sure. But, I know Wes from when he was 14 years old. And whatever you can say about him, he is genuine and pure in his commitment and desire. I always talk to him before he comes in for internationals. He’s a co-skipper and I talk the week through with my skippers. And he has a strong opinion about things and he sees things really well. He demonstrates leadership and has a lot of respect from all the players. Arjen as well. It’s clear, that both are the key leaders in the squad.”

But surely, you will not be the coach to tell Sneijder that you will not allow him to get his record international games…

“That’s not up to me. It’s up to him. He got a tough lesson from Van Gaal back in 2013. Louis dropped him in a harsh way: stay fit and play to your strength. His strengths are playing with venom, shoot with venom, accelerate the game and find the through pass. I know Wes will make sure he will demonstrate enough of his specific qualities to reach his record. His added value can all be shown in mere minutes right?


What did you think of Robin van Persie’s interview (posted here recently too) in the AD?

“I read it of course and I have no issues whatsoever with his view on things, if you mean that.”

Do you think he is right, that you needed to call him more often last year?

“I dont actually. Listen, he was tremendous for Oranje and Dutch football. And this is why I called him before Kazachstan away and explained in detail why I wouldn’t select him. In a personal conversation. I called him again for the Czech game, three days later. That second time wasn’t needed I guess, but I felt his stature deserved it. And after we failed to qualify, I called him again and explained my ideas. For me, to call him again after that, should only happen if my message would be different. If I would make a change and needed to explain this to him.”


“I don’t want to raise false expectations. And to be clear: I had no intention to change my policy and plans. Vincent Janssen was doing very well. And for me, Robin and Klaas-Jan are no substitute strikers for me. I know they have difficulty with that role. And listen, we follow Robin and all others every week. He had a good tun, but then he got injured again. And against Feyenoord for the Europa League, he didn’t impress. I didn’t see any threat from him. As a striker, you need to be dominant.”

There is an other alternative for center striker: Jeremain Lens. Is he an option?

“Why not? He hasn’t disappointed against Belgium. He had to go off with an injury but he confirmed the form he displayed with Fener. He has energy, is powerful and can be decisive. And he anticipates well on space becoming available. With Oranje, we are not that strong anymore, we don’t dominate games structurally in and around the box of the opponent. We are now focusing on the turn around and use the space available to us. Lens has the qualities to play in that center role. He played there in Oranje for Van Gaal as well.”

What developments do you see or expect for 2017?

“I can see Van Dijk, Bruma and De Vrij developing more. Three central defenders with big clubs in big competitions. And at an age where they can still grow. Wijnaldum is also in that group of players between 24-28 years old and he’s not doing too badly at Liverpool. Strootman is fit and doing well. Quincy Promes has room to grow too.”

Are you concerned for players like Janssen, Daley Blind and Memphis?

“Janssen does need to play and get minutes in the coming months, but I’m less concerned about him. He fits our game plan really well and I think he’ll be fine. Blind is currently active in four competitions and even if he doesn’t play all games, he still plays as a starter once a week. He has 70% of the Man United games still and this means he’s part of the Man United core group. I don’t think Daley will leave Manchester United. Memphis is not part of this core group and I think he may have to make a move this winter. Everton and Koeman? It would be a good option, as Koeman knows him well, but Everton has other options for the wings too. And if these guys step up, it might still be hard for Memphis. It’s not a given he will start playing regularly in that situation.”

So why will we reach the World Cup?

“We can still win the group. And we won’t give up without a fight. And if not winning the group, we should finish second because we are better than Sweden. Simple. Sweden without Zlatan is finding their feet though and they’re improving. They did well versus France. My biggest disappointment of 2016 is not winning in Sweden. We should have and should have had three points more than them, with a better goal difference. We also have a good core group now, with Bruma, Van Dijk, Blind, Strootman, Wijnaldum, Klaassen, Promes, Janssen… And they need to make some steps. I do hope talents like Berghuis, Karsdorp, Vilhena, Ramselaar, Hendrix, Bazoer and even Van Ginkel will make some headway. So, add Robben and Sneijder and potentially other older players – like Vlaar or Van Persie – and we should have a good enough squad to reach the World Cup and make a difference there. We might not have a whole lot of world class players, but we can still forge a world class team.”

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  1. Interesting Jan,especially that last paragraph.danny has made it sound simple and good but to deliver it on the field and on the match day,its always another story.few injuries and it red light on.
    The story on Sweden is quite true and they are not sitting back.I like what Janne Andersson swedish coach is doing. He is using friendlies to inject up coming young talents Sam Larsson ( Heerenveen),Issac thelin ( Bordeaux),Chris Nyman (eintracht Bra) to name some to bloster the squad adding more depth to the side.they have two friendlies in Jan lineup before the first qualifers of the new year in march.

    What are NT doing.jus talking. I hate to say this but if you look at the depth in the NT,there aint much as Danny has concentrated only on certain players and with injuries to these players,the covering players are often cold.this was very evident vs France.only vs Luxembourg Memphis came in to change the game around,apart from that game,don’t think they wasnt much in terms of players who could make impact in other games.

  2. For some time blind sticks with same team whether its friendly or Qualifications…
    and he is sticking with certain wrong players like Depay,klassen,Veltman as RB are main ones..Daley blind is playing as LB that should only happen when Annholt and kongolo injured…
    if you miss just 1 puzzle that wil cause entire team chemistry..
    Right players in the right spot first..After that he can teach them football…
    i like to see him use 1343 Like conte does wonderfully for Chelsea
    —-Bruma—-Devrij—Van Dijk
    on bench
    Even Belarus Got draw against France..
    I know that for the loss against France and Draw Vs Sweden cannot Be blamed for Danny Directly…But he could ahve killed the game against Sweden…and With Zoet/Cillssen that mistake wouldnt have happened..

    1. Maybe it time Danny realizes that there is quality in the wing backs and the team should be centred around them. van der weil,Van Rhijn,Janmaat, Karsdorp,Willems,Buttner,van Annholt.

      Looking at How conte has rejuvenated Chelsea especially Hazard for that matter,can be a option but only if Danny is up to it.

    2. Actually Zoet was the keeper v Sweden…

      Buddy if you want to blame someone for the Sweden draw, the first you should blame the ref for not allowing Dost’s goal, then you can blame Strootman for his giveaway…
      BUT usually blaming one person for a less than desirable result is pretty dumb!

      1. Sybe…Evryone knows who made the mistake VS Sweden and who made it Vs france.
        FYI….Zoet was helpless in that goal..Goal was Superb…But we could have killed the game of vs Sweden..thats what i said,instead we got a draw due to a mistake…I would blame more on Klassen in that game than Strootman…You Got to finish your chances…
        If williams was playing from Left we would have had more chances…If it was Bazoer instead of klassen we would have won it by 3-1 at least..With Williams u will get chance after chance which some one in the middle will utilise it,sneijder,Janssen or Promes..Klassen is not great finisher or a winner…Blind as LB restructs movemnets from it diminishes our chances/per game in a match…
        Thanks for your great brain to point me that zoet was the keeper and he must have scored 3 or 4 goals.
        Then VS France
        At least we could have got in to draw…stekelenburg in Notorious in that he always stays upfront from line..He does that stupidity everytime…He lost OUR MORALE by conceding an unwanted goal Vs strongeset team in the group..thats needs to be punished…
        Common Belarus got a draw against France….that was bottled by stekelnburg..

        1. Looked as though you were saying Cillessen/ Zoet the Sweden mistake would happen.
          My misunderstanding! but you’re all over the place there haha

          Funny that you follow that graceful correction you make for me with more fantasy ‘if’ stuff, then go on with more blaming, which was actual point I wanted to get into.. and now we can add your idea to punish players!
          yikes, been watching too much Mourinho with your plastic United haha

          1. your Danny Blind had forced me to put “””if”””””””””IF””””””””””

  3. PSV will welcome Van Ginkel,Locadia and Hendrix after the new year as the second half of the season is due to commence in few weeks time.cocu will be hoping the trio will reinforce the squad after some lack luster performance towards the end of the season. Looks like the midfield will be hottly contested with once again with Siem,Guardado,Ramselaar and Propper,Pereiro also in the picture.

    With Luuk de jong slowly fading,hopefully Locadia will get his chance at CF and also a crack in NT. He has really been injury stricken come NT his work rate.

  4. Alexander Buttner is also closing on a return to Vitesse as he looks for game time.should be a good addition to the squad.would be interesting to see what does Danny think about him.nothing to be taken away from him.has all the experience,with more game time should be in the mix for that LB.

    1. All the experience? Really, how much has he played the last few years. Along with your other comment, one the quality of wingback.

      Van Rihjn, van der Weil, Willems, Buttner…. C’mon, anyone can see that these all have struggled mightily the last while.

      Van der Weil, never nailed down a PSG spot, told to find a new club by Fenerbache.

      Willems, having a very poor season.

      Van Rijhn, any Ajax fan will tell you ok going forward, defensively… well, theres a reason Tete and Veltman surpassed him.

      And Buttner. You would think, for all the quality that you and Tiju/Emmanuel see in him, he would have nailed down a starting spot somewhere…

      1. Van Den burg….i think ur misunderstood about points….
        We are talking about 343 formation like Chelsea does.
        No one rates..”””Van Rihjn, van der Weil, Willems, Buttner even annholt & janmaat “””as top quality the same time we are left with some sh%&*t players on wing…i dont give a sh%&^*t about Van derweil and funny crosses.
        i do care about creating chances as wingers and their contribution to team and how they balance the team…
        All these guys can work funtsatically in to 343 formation like Chelsea plays now..

  5. Van der berg,Buttner played champions league when he was at Man United, Europa league (Dynamo Moscow & Anderlecht).this is why I said he has experienced football at top level including PL.the energy he brings into the game,I would rank him second to Robben.he jus needs to play and play and get his fitness level up to 100%. I’m bit septical about his move to Vitesse though as Danny has already said even if sonny boy starts jus one game in week, it good enough for him to start for NT.I’m hoping he finds a club in a competitive league where he can really compete for the spot.

    1. Just curious, Buttner is ranked second to Robben in what?

      He def has some good experiences, but 5 champions league games and 13 EPL games in 2 seasons over 3 years ago, is hardly enough to say he is ‘experienced’ and deserves anything besides the attention he already gets imo (Blind also says they keep track of everyone).
      Also, I’m not sure anyone views Europa league as top level..

    2. I would say the current LB is way far ahead in term of experience.

      I second what Van den Berg said. Some members here have double standard. What exactly did these players, van der Weil and Buttner, do to get an national team call?

      From the interview, Blind sounds reasonable. His selection is good as well. He try to build a team and only by sticking to a core, you can build a team. I say the progress so far is average but throwing random names into the team will not solve the issue at all.

      1. Agree Van der weil.Buttner doesnt desreve call ups..Then how is Depay called????even if u dont play regular u will be called thats the policy of blind it seems…cannt complain on that…we will only understand that these players play crap game vs Good teams..

  6. Word coming out of fiorentina,Kevin Diks will be sent out on loan but still to a series A bottom where he can gets more playing time and at the same time get exposed to top level football in serie A.

  7. 1. All roads lead to China: Gudelj and Chery for sure. Sneijder is a speculation but you never know.
    2. Ajax have started scavenging good Eredivisie players: Haps and Sam Larsson are on their radars. Hopefully, AZ will not let Haps go. He will not get anything different in Ajax, may be more popular shirt…I am very angry with this move of Ajax.

    1. But it’s quite shame as Chery fee only 4.5 mils of europe, almost same as previous transfer from Eredivisie to England.Usually player go there for money.

  8. China is offering hell lot of money…real big money..No one can deny that easily. Let Sneijder earn more money..We have Ramseelar/Clasie/Bazoer in making for his role…with more energy and stamina.perhaps Van Ginkel too..

  9. Ron Jans will leave Zwolle this summer. Van den Brom’s contract will expire this summer with AZ. I hope, Ron will succeed him. He is great coach and will fit AZ very well.

      1. Regardless of the website,but it still goes to show that it not only us on this blog but there are others who also see or share the same sentiment as us,especially

        1. Cont’d

          Even though they are not professional people or analyst but still it doesn’t take a genius to recongize talents especially given the likes of other players to whom these dutch players have been ranked with.

          St Juste is one player who naturally looks like a player who has got grit and has the potential to thrive to high ceiling and his non selection both at U 21 and NT level jus goes to show it all about where you play rather than how you plays coz he defintely is an upgrade and versatile to Hendrix .

          As I see it the coaches or selectors seriously need to start bringing in competition whereby more if these individually talented players get the opportunity to compete with the current players ( the core).this is the best way forward. Ake,St Juste,Riedewald,Haps,van Ginkel,sinkgraven,Zivkovic .

          1. * note,st Juste has only got the nod for U21 only when during injuries to starting players or has been a bench warmer in most case scenarios.

          2. Some of the places this has worked out naturally.I mean positional competition.

            Van Rhijn- tete

            Riedewald- Bazoer

            Sinkgraven- Dijks

            Karsdorp – Veltman (NT)

            Blind – van dijk

    1. They just add one more dutch lad Ramselaar, it’s make-sense to me as i don’t see any reason that they can put others over this guy.

      He’s only 20yr old and impressive & in core group for both club & nation.

  10. As was rumoured, Babel has gone back to Turkey and signed with Besiktas.
    Too bad, I thought he was fitting well with Deportivo, but I guess money talks.

    Speaking of which, sounds as though Chery’s move to China is all but complete, having asked QPR for a transfer out.

  11. What can you say about these players leaving for less excalting horizons…?

    Gudelj: bad egg. Is a mediocre midfielder in Ajax-terms. Nothing special. Couldn’t handle being benched. Started to sabotage and play hard ball. I can fully understand Bosz in kicking him out. No loss, really.

    Cherry: good player, but having to play for QPR in the Championship or raking in millions in China… I can understand his decision. If a club like Southampton would have come for him, who knows… but he is now going for the financial security. Can’t blame him.

    Van der Wiel: big talent got lost. Too many distractions. Busty girlfriend, rapper mates, fashion focus and a difficult personality. A loner. Totally distanced himself from the squad at Euro 2012. Picked fights with Zlatan at PSG. Slammed Blanc after leaving PSG. Not part of the group process at Fener. He’s gone forever I think. Too bad.

  12. I am reading some comments (Wilson, Tiju) that indicate they still don’t get the process an NT manager has to go through.

    Tiju is constantly referring to the Chelsea system… Does he know Conte has his squad on the practice ground every day, and Blind doesn’t?

    From August to now, it’s 5 months. which equates to 20 weeks. If players get one day off, he has the players in total a 120 days to practice.

    Blind has his players for 120 days in a period of 8 years. Does Tiju really think we should take 8 years to gel in a new system???

    If you read what Blind says, he is all about the group dynamics. You don’t get group dynamics if you pick new players all the time. Buttner? Diks? Van Aanholt as winger? Jeroen Zoet as central striker? It’s preposterous.

    It’s like going to a blog on cancer treatment and keep on saying you want the doctor to use a magic wand to cure cancer. Every week. “I don’t understand why the doctor doesn’t have a magic wand??”

    Some people only blurt out their opinions without taking in new information or learning.

    Why is it that no one on the planet considers Diks a right winger for Oranje, but people here do????

    What are they thinking? It does my head in.

    There’s actually people here thinking: “Yes Blind was skipper of one of the best club teams EVER and has had a long career as a player, a club man, tech director, assistant coach and now NT coach. Yes he worked with Cruyff and Van Gaal. But… I think he is wrong and what I say is correct.”

    1. Yes Jan with pleasure.let’s don’t forget before Chelsea,Conte was also the coach for Italy and his tactic has also being based on the players that fit in the system.from juventus to Italy to Chelsea he has used different systems and different players to forge a formidable squad. He did it at Juventus, he did it in Italy and he is doing in now at Chelsea.
      Danny wants to continue the traditional dutch football style fair enough but does the current players fit the system ??????? Definitely not all.

      I agree on the fact that” you don’t get group dynamics if you pick new players all the time”. But which group dynamics are talking about here or which game you have seen this so called group dynamics in NT. There ain’t no group dynamics. Or is it Robben the group being refered here to.

      Van dijk marked his authority only after Daley got injured. Karsdorp also under same circumstance when Veltman proved to be a waste of time and also injury to janmaat. Willems another waste of time and now he is wasting time with Daley too. Well im not saying throw in all the players Tiju has mentioned but there positions like DM,LB wings,CM where certain players have what it takes to better than whats on showcase now. This is why I’m adamant its matter of rotation,and it will automatically add depth and strengthen the squad.

      1. Also to add to this,van gaal approach was also the same after experimenting with few handful of players before 2014 WC. He also used the same approach as what Danny is doing now. A bunch of players before that injury to Strootman which forced him to changed the formation. He also didn’t have the rotation policy and finally when he was forced to used new players after strootmans injury it was too late.

    2. Jan, I think the fact that your request for comments was followed by the latest cascade of nonsense from Wilson and Tiju speaks volumes. I’ve been an avid follower of your site since the 2010 WK. Your articles are marvelous. I will keep coming here for them. But over the years the comments section has devolved into 90% nonsense, driven by two clearly passionate but off-kilter contributors who drown out and drive away anyone interested in thoughtful, informed, reasoned dialogue. Including me. Seems to me the only options are to accept the status quo, eliminate the comments section and have an all-curated content site, or establish clear community norms that are at least to some degree enforced. To your enduring credit, you have tried to right the ship through appeals to reason and Wilson and (especially) Tiju’s higher selves. I’m sorry to say that these efforts appear to have failed.

      By the way, your article on Cruyff’s intuition and reflections on his loss as well as this interview with Danny Blind were wonderful.

  13. “”Why is it that no one on the planet considers Diks a right winger for Oranje, but people here do????

    What are they thinking? It does my head in.”””””
    Answer is very simple We DONT HAVE quality wingers Bar our Old Roben…Where was this So called wingers at ECQ2016?????So they are unqulaified to play for NT….thats what my point is…
    Its time to look in to other options…
    LVG changed 433 to 532 immediately after strootman injury…So it is doable in any circumstances…
    IF YOU dont select right puzzles for the picture,your picture will never be complete…
    1-Danny Blind is wrong to play Veltman as RB
    2-Danny Blind is wrong to play Daleyblind as LB when He has kongolo.
    3-Davy klassen over Bazoer seems waste of Goals.
    4-With players like Depay,Narsingh we loose fluidity in game and we create less number of chances..
    Blind is doing 80 percent right but he spoils it with couple of minor selections.

      1. Coach doesnt trust him …nothing more..Kevin diks,Vangikel kind of players need to be a system where they should be understood by their play mates…thats were we see the majic..That is absent with firorentina..
        To prove urself u need to get chances..which kevin diks never got…Exactly opposite to Depay situation at Manu..

        1. Where have you read or how do you know the coaches don’t trust him. Do you know whose the coach for fiorentina.? Google it first before you wanna write about him.

          1. You need have a good balance and depth in the team to really stand a chance in big tournments You look at how Van Gaal used Huntelaar vs Mexico,Depay vs Australia, Kyut vs Argentina,Krul vs Costa all came down to tactic and depth in the team with proven players.

          2. whats the point when a coach doesnt trust the players??and doesnt give them vote of confidence..
            So what are you saying /pointing out??

  14. ^ yikes lots of incorrect info above by wilson and tiju — probably too much to bother to correct since they just ignore me once confronted with reality which they cannot hide from… but anyhow I’ll try putting a few facts/ corrections into the mix:

    Blind has now tried out 4+ different playing systems with Oranje, which not as many systems as has Conte has used with any of the clubs he’s managed (incl Chelsea where he has used the lowest # of players, leaving out ones like Ake and van Ginkel), and also I’d bet that Blind has actually had to use many more players (45) than Conte has at any of the places where he has managed, and he does not have even close to the depth of players (oops sorry just my opinion there at the end).

    Robben, our captain when fit, has only played in 2 matches since qualifiers, which he was only available 1 of 4 – to continue to say that Blind’s plan is based on Robben when he has only been available 3 of 16 matches is untrue.

    van Dijk came in when de Vrij was injured, not Blind.

    Veltman has played at RB because he plays in that position most consistently for his club to any of the other options, and most of his starts have been because of injuries.

    Klaassen and Bazoer do not compete for the same position, but Klaassen has a better scoring record for both club and country.

    Blind and van Gaal do not have the same approach or management style at all.

    1. And some opinion – Blind has not got the players to play in either Conte’s systems OR the traditional Dutch style – but which I do not agree he is intending to do anyway.. even comparing the 2 as managers based on the players they’ve had at their disposal is completely ridiculous to me.

      The reason for Conte’s success is because of the passion and charisma he carries (that is something, and maybe the biggest thing, which we have been missing a while!).

      Also, it should not be up to a NT manager to test and to give totally unproven players chances st the highest level, particularly when you are trying to rebuild, for me players need to convince of their quality at their club level.

    2. Van dijk was still in bench but Blind played,when were screwed vs greece,while Daley played,,Van dijk got chance again…..
      FYI De Vrij is RCB so it always
      De Vrij Vs Bruma
      Blind Vs Virgil….Daley lost the battle ,So father blind found a new way to inlcude him as LB over kongolo..

      1. OKay sybe what you said is true Danny doesnat have players Conte has…
        Narisngh Vs Mosses
        Depay Vs Hazard…
        Blind Vs azplicutta
        thats were we lack real quality…So once we replace these players lind also can have the team
        Azplicutta-De vrij
        Now you tell me where we lack players..??

    3. Pals has any of the formation worked out for Danny if he has used 4 different formation. Nooooo.he only uses it when he has no option or due to injuries and then abamdons it. Also Blind has only used 45 players because of injury,NO WAY IN HELL he has rotated 45 players in different formation and tried to build a formidable squad.This was very evident after the summer euro tour. Van Dijk and Bruma really stood out at CB partnership while Daley was injured during the tour. When Daley returned vs Greece Daddy benched Van dijk and started sonny at CB,only for the defense to crumble. What happened to continuity here. Vs Sweden he was forced to start van Dijk at CB as a lot was at stake and as usually shifted Sonny boy to LB. Jus for your information when De Vrij was injured,Bruma and Veltman were backup for him at RCB.

      What conte did at Juventus,Italy and Chelsea was he has used players available to him and then forged a formbiddle squad in a formidable formation contrary to what Danny has being doing.this is jus an example I’m taking here. I know Conte is way a intelligent coach than danny..

      If Veltman plays consistently for his club then why he was on the bench vs Belarus and France and Karsdorp started the game. Mind you Janmaat was injured in both the games and vs Grecce Veltman started the game and janmaat was on the bench.

      Bazoer and klaassen.don’t think I said anything about both of them competing for the same spot.

      Lastly van gaal and danny. You don’t have to look far here. I have already mentioned this above.Danny was under van gaal at WC,don’t think danny has something extra ordinary to think outside of the box otherwise we would seen by jus dragging from euros

  15. Pals I have one question for you really think NT will win all the matches in the qualification if Danny sticks with the current group of players. I mean the CORE.

    1. Sort of a loaded question, but actually no – I don’t think we will win all their matches regardless of what Blind does (and Conte would not either!), though nothing is impossible,

        1. Wilson, I know you asked the question to Sybe, so I hope you don’t mind if I chime in. But here are my thoughts.

          I’m not sure what you define as the core, but I’ll assume you mean the players he has called up in the past. If this is too restrictive, or inclusive, you can correct me.

          But I don’t think that it is difficult to determine who would comprise most of Blind’s preferred lineup of field players, assuming all are healthy:

          RB: Karsdorp CB: VVD CB: DeVrij/Brouma LB:???

          MF: Strootman MF: Wijnaldum AMF: Wes/Klas

          LW: Promes CF: Janssen? RW: Robben

          lb is unknown: I don’t know will play: Blind, Willems, Riedewald, Kongolo Haps?

          CF: Its Janssen by default. Who else is there? KJH/RVP maybe?

          I actually think this team could win a lot of games, and would be in every game.

          Injuries are a big problem because I think the NT is very thin right now. But, aside from Haps, all the players above are from what I’d think you would consider the “core.” I don’t know what other outsiders should be considered? De Roon, maybe? Ake isn’t better than the current CB’s, he hasn’t played MF at the senior level. TFM barely plays at the senior level. Has Zvicovic (apologies for the spelling) done enough? Maybe St. Juste, but again has he shown enough to supplant Wijnaldum or Strootman, or the current CB’s?

          I understand that people get frustrated with the team, but the talent, and the depth of talent, is not what it has been. There is little that Blind can do in a qualifying campaign to “develop” players. They are gathered from all over Europe a couple of days before a match. There isn’t much time to work with them. The younger players’ opportunity to make an impression and force their way into Blind’s thinking is by playing well at their clubs. Its the way its always been.

          And, please, don’t take me wrong. I like your thinking about casting a wide net to find the best players. I guess what I don’t agree with is an assumption that Blind is not looking anywhere and everywhere for the players who will give him the best chance to win the qualifier immediately in front of him.

          1. Andrew, agree almost completely, but I fear that thinking may be much too reasonable for him.. but kudos for not making anything up! 😉

  16. You guys done yet?

    “FYI De Vrij is RCB so it always
    De Vrij Vs Bruma
    Blind Vs Virgil….Daley lost the battle ,So father blind found a new way to inlcude him as LB over kongolo..”

    Not true, and since I’ve told you exactly how before now you are not just misinformed, you are actually lying now.

    “also klassen has a poor convertion rate too..compared to Bazoer his accuracy and power is so poor..”

    Really let’s compare and see, where is this info for us?

    “he only uses it when he has no option or due to injuries and then abamdons it. Also Blind has only used 45 players because of injury,NO WAY IN HELL he has rotated 45 players in different formation and tried to build a formidable squad”

    Not true, because you have used the word ‘only’.
    See how language is important yet?

    “Van Dijk and Bruma really stood out at CB partnership while Daley was injured during the tour”

    True except, you fail to add that this partnership had already been playing together. Now 12 of Blinds 16 matches as manager… funny, imo sort of the answer to your continuity question – van Dijk & Bruma have played all competitive games since de Vrij was out.

    We’ve also gone over this Greece friendly CB partnership decision before – you guys can keep twisting that scenario to add to your pretend theory that Blind has a bias to Daley because it is his son, but I think it just shows he has tried yet something else.
    Since we all know that Blind-family-bias is NOT true, and it has been pointed out to you exactly how it is not true (not only by me), and since you continue to repeat it, that means we know you are liars – in addition to just disagreeing with the parts which are only your opinions..

    “Jus for your information when De Vrij was injured,Bruma and Veltman were backup for him at RCB.”

    Not true, in the Turkey match when de Vrij was injured he was replaced by Wijnaldum, because we were down 0-2. The very next game saw Blind start with van Dijk start with Bruma and then they did so 4 games in a row…

    “What conte did at Juventus,Italy and Chelsea was he has used players available to him and then forged a formbiddle squad in a formidable formation contrary to what Danny has being doing”

    Not entirely true, Conte inherited a Juve who already played that way and they were also the core of Italy, and re Chelsea, you can go back to Jan’s questions which you failed to answer.

    Guys really, stop making things up!!!
    I cannot for the life of me understand the motivations to make things up and then try and pass them off as true in a Dutch blog, a place where most people will know better…

    Maybe stick to reporting rumours? …sigh

    1. You are in delusion Mr Sybe….to Deny that Virgil vand dijk forced out Daley Blind for LCB spot….With Virgil and Bruma we started winning 3 games continuously as Daley Blind was injured…When Daley cameback Virgil was on bench Vs greece,..Father Danny got Fu#$$ked in big time…So there was no option left for other than including Virgil as starter…
      END of the story……i am fed up with this argument…

      1. To understand klassen has poor conversion rate u need to watch games regularly than looking in to some numbers..klassen is looser not winner..he lacks winning mentality…

        1. You are so wrong… It’s not funny anymore. Davy Klaassen is a lot of things, but he definitely is a winner, a hard worker, an exceptional captain for the team.

      2. Not true, we have not won 3 matches in a row with Blind.
        Can you make just one comment without making things up?

        Nothing is more useless than arguing an opinion with you, which I do not care to do, because you make shit up and lie even – I would be pleased if you actually were fed up, but that’s probably another lie.. please prove me wrong!

        Do you pray with that mouth as well?
        Funny that the person who tries to bring religion into discussion acts the least religious!
        But hey, who am not to judge 😉

        Show Jan some respect!

        1. 1 match was draw …..its just error..Dont hang on that…
          Danny Blind WAS BIASED towards HIS son to sit out virgil….thats the fact is…thats tHE reality is…
          Why u idiotically brinGing up religion?????

          1. So you were not fed up, were you?
            I sure called that one!

            Haha right, so you can say whatever you like whether it is an error or not? And what if I am not here to correct this shit one day? Ah probably pointless anyway since you still ignore reality even when confronted with it, it’s not like anyone here has any respect for your opinion anyway I guess…

            Danny Blind may or may not have a bias towards Daley Blind, but if he does, there is zero fact to suggest it is because it is his son.

            So go ahead and have whatever fantasy opinion you like, I’ll still defend your right to be a f*cking moron (to use Jan’s words).

            here come the insults, change your profile name but you are still classic disrespectful tiju!

    1. Why does Sybe have to explain why Virgil was on the bench in friendlies???

      You’ll need to ask Blind. Was Virgil not 100% fit? Did Blind wanna try other options to see where other players fit in? Because Virgil was a sure thing already for Blind?

      Was Blind maybe unhappy with Virgil’s lack of communication?

      Did Virgil end up too late for Breakfast??

  17. Oh boy….

    Where to start.

    I think there are opinions here that are legit, as anyone can have an opinion. I can say kale is a nice vegetable and Trump will be awesome as a president and the earth is flat.

    so anyone who wants to say Diks should be our right winger….fine…. It will confuse the hell out of others and it will give you a reputation of “the guy who doesn’t get it”. I’m cool with that.

    Then there are blatant errors / lies.

    Usually, you will be called out on that here too.

    I sometimes comment on them, but mostly I let it slide.

    The thing that does concern me, is that there is a lack of trust in our NT manager.

    Strong distrust and dislike.

    That is something I find hard to deal with.

    I don’t agree with all Blind does. I can see why people think he’s cold or detached or headstrong.

    But as a normal human being AND as an Oranje fan, I have to support him in what he does.

    And here is why:

    1. He never did anything that clearly demonstrates that he is not honest with his selections and tactics.

    2. His career earns him our respect and support from the get go.

    3. Coaches are NEVER really able to totally explain their decisions, for obvious reasons.

    This has to do with inside personal information they don’t want to give out to the world. Or it has to do with tactical considerations that a coach wants to keep to himself. Or it has to do with the potential fall out these decisions might have on the rest of the team.

    We can all guess, but we need to simply accept and trust that our NT manager is doing the best he can.

    And if you hear Danny talk (in sports talk shows) or read the interviews, you will learn that he 1) takes the job really seriously, 2) does all he can tactically, analytically to prepare best and 3) he doesn’t leave things to coincidence.

    So, if he believes RVP or Kevin Diks or Buttner are not Oranje material because their personalities are venomous for the team, he will never say this out loud.

    If he believes Kongolo lacks tactical discipline, he will probably not say this out loud.

    If he feels Janmaat is not good enough for the NT he will never say this out loud.

    Re: Memphis – if we would have good left winger options, he’d probably go for those. But we don’t, really. So Blind has two options: let Memphis hang (like Mourinho does) and be 100% sure Memphis is a goner. Or give Memphis a life line, which might rejuvenate his career, which will serve us all.

    The two goals vs Luxembourg were quite handy for us….

    And no: Blind will not use Van Aanholt or Dijks as left winger. Ask yourself why…

    The Klaassen – Bazoer “conversion” discussion is preposterous.

    Klaassen played 110 games for Ajax and scored 40 goals as a midfielder. That is almost one goal every second game!

    In the Orange, he played 40 matches (youth and senior) and scored 10 goals). Impressive stats.

    On top of that, he create many chances and has many assists. Scoring is one thing, but creating chances for yourself is also a key thing. Yes he misses chances, but the key thing is that he gets in the right position. Once he stops doing that, then we need to be worried.

    One different football stats websites, his key strength is “finishing”.

    Klaassen is again playing an outstanding season for Ajax and is one of the best Eredivisie players atm, with Ziyech and El Ahmadi.

    Bazoer was left out of the Ajax line up by Peter Bosz. He hasn’t played a lot and is now in Wolfsburg.

    Anyway, I think we can summarize some people’s comments here- future comments! – as:

    I don’t like and trust Danny Blind so all I am suspicious of all his decisions.

    I would suggest Tiju enrols in a football coaching course somewhere and gets a grip on what it takes to coach a team.

    1. klaasen is no 10 and striker while Bazoer is DM..both has different roles..DM seldom scores goals while No10 and striker must score and assist…..Bazoer has scored numerous goals from DM spot,some spectaculator long range goals etc…while klassen only scores after spoiling some good chances..

  18. I would suggest people here – the naysayers and vinegar pissers – check out

    Their stats are impressive. They come up with performance scores based on a lot of different aspects of the game.

    Daley Blind scores higher than players like Valencia, Mata, Phil Jones, Carrick, Bailly, Shaw, Rojo.

    According to Squawka, he is the #4 rated player of ManU, behind Zlatan, Pogba and Herrera.

    I’m sure you will now come out and say Squawka is run and owned by Danny Blind?

    1. This is really funny…funniest thing i ever read..Did i tell Blind is bad or he is not scoring???No not at all….
      All said is Virgil is better at LCB so Blind got disposed from LCB spot..though his father given him enough support to keep him as LCB…
      Actually i do think Daley has better conversion rate and assists rates than Klassen.Daley is pretty accurate in his shots too..
      Our point is
      Danny is/was biased towards his son to replace Virgil Vs Greece for no reason..
      Infact i thank to Greece team to open up Danny eye.

  19. OK was looking for facts which I early mentioned above.

    @ syber pals

    This was the provivisonal 30 member squad for the Summer tour.

    As usually there were players who pulled out of the squad due to injury

    This was the final 26 member trimmed squad by danny.

    Out of the final 26 member squad Daley Blind was a late causality for whom danny never called any replacement.

    Note Syber pals De Vrij was out injured and Van Dijk was never a direct replacement for him. Vlaar,Veltman,Bruma and Van Dijk could have all stand in at that RCB position,but as usually Bruma got the nod there as after De Vrij injury he started most of the games at RCB in his absence.
    This is what You said “van Dijk came in when de Vrij was injured, not Blind”

    So no I’m not lying and neither I’m assuming.

    This is what Danny Blind told SB 6 broadcaster after the greece game “The Greeks hardly threatened our goal,I can remember three moments and two yielded a goal. Luck was not on our side. The second ball often fell for the Greeks.”

    This is what he said before the Sweden game ” Virgil van Dijk may come in for either Jeffrey Bruma or Daley Blind in the centre of defense” no reasons given why and eventually it was Daley blind whom van dijk replaced.

    Obviously danny was under immense pressure after the Greek defeat

    and his decsions to replace Daley with van dijk and not Bruma jus goes to show one thing only.van dijk and Bruma were more a secure option going into important qualifer which he never considered vs Greece until the defeat.

    Would like to hear what you think about this or you still think this is still all my assumption.

    1. You also said this ” Veltman has played at RB because he plays in that position most consistently for his club to any of the other options, and most of his starts have been because of injuries.”

      Vs Greece Veltman was exposed big time if you didnt watch the game while janmaat was on the bench and then vs sweden Janmaat got the nod and Veltman was on the bench. When Janmaat got injured prior to Belarus and France,Danny opted for Karsdorp while Veltman was on the bench. Wasn’t Veltman playing consistently at club level that time. Again it comes back to the same scenario as with van dijk. Better and secure option which danny only considered when it was dam clear Veltman was not the best option.well it makes sense other wise why not star Veltman when janmaat was injured. Veltman also started vs england while karsdorp was on the bench but it only took him two games to showcase his talents and make a positive impact.

      Again this is not my assumption but how some of the players have forced their way into NT.

      Its jus a matter of time when some other players will prove critics wrong when given opportunity.

      1. You really want to know what I think of all this?
        Great! well, since you ask… I think you purposefully spell my name wrong because you think it annoys me (which it does in a humourous way) and you are upset with me that I like to fact check your crazy rants.
        I think you are scrambling to save face, but you’re missing the point(s).
        I also think you change the timeline of this van Dijk discussion to try to make yourself look less out to lunch.
        And finally, I notice you’ve added more incorrect info! Hahahah

        Anyway, I stand by any of those things I have said.
        I am open to corrections if I have made any goofs

        Which reminds me, here is some info for you:

        When de Vrij was originally injured in the ECQs, he had started the game with Bruma, who had replaced BMI in the starting lineup.
        The very next match saw van Dijk and Bruma play together for the first time of 4 matches in a row – Kaz, Cze, Wal, Fra

        Under Danny Blind, Bruma had already come in to the NT to replace Martins Indi, not de Vrij when he got injured.

        Veltman has not started a match at CB under Blind, in fact, he has never yet started in a competitive match for us, in any position.

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