No words for Oranje! Amateur hour!

I have no idea where to start. Maybe this whole post should remain empty. No words. No explanations or excuses. No photos. No highlights video (seriously… there were hardly any!)….

I have a very hard time to do a proper analysis.

Actually, I think I need to give Wilson, Orangutan and others their due! It was atrocious. Frenkie couldn’t create. Daley Blind was weak defending (the 2-2). Koopmeiners atrocious. Malen didn’t “get” this role. Memphis keen to play backheels all the time. And the pace was debilitating slow.

Yes, the pitch was tough. Boohoohoo. Hoo. But we played a Montenegro team lacking some key players. In a game that could have gotten us our WC ticket, which we knew already before the game. As Norway dropped points v Latvia.

But all this pre-match gloating might have paralysed our players and definitely took the sense of urgency and our focus away. The series of defensive and positional errors in that final phase of the game… just utterly shambolic.

For all I know, we do need Marten de Roon who was sulking on the stands, no doubt.

We had a left wing that tried hard, but with limited results. A right wing that didn’t perform at all. Forwards wanting to press. A defence keen on slowing the game down. We had runners Wijnaldum and Klaassen highly ineffective. It was embarrassing. Or as Frenkie called it: childish and amateuristic.

I don’t want to say more.

I think we need to realise that 1) we are not that good as we think, 2) Van Gaal failed to impart his instructions well enough and 3) if we don’t qualify we only have ourself to blame.

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  1. I guess if you look at the crest and the colour of the jersey, then Holland should be easily qualifying for every competition.

    But I think we have to be realistic and look at the available players, and if you do that, then we’re not that type of team. Not an A team. We’re a B team, like Sweden, Croatia, Denmark, Poland etc have been through the years. One of those teams that has a good chance of qualifying but could slip up. That’s why I try so hard not to fault the managers, because I think it’s just a bad crop of players. This is our 6th manager in the last 6 years, so I think we can rule out that it’s been a managing issue.

    We’re a team that wins at home mostly, and struggles away. 1-1 Norway, 2-4 Turkey, 1-1 Bosnia, 1-0 Latvia, 2-2 Montenegro. Even the 2-0 to Czech at the Euros.

    I’d say we still have a good chance of qualifying. Our home results have been good, plus Norway look unimpressive.

    1. Good points, but we don’t do well under pressure. When we’re the underdog: yes. But Norway will come to Holland with NOTHING to lose. They were out, virtually. They could have ended as #3 actually. And they have mental and physical power. We seem to lack confidence, pace, creativity and ruthless organisation skill. Where was Virgil, in commanding the troops? Who tells Memphis to stop the tricks if the team doesn’t play well?

      It was a God-awful performance all the way. I have been supporting and defending the squad and the coaches on this blog but I am totally appalled with what I saw. Disgraceful really.

      I’m ashamed!

  2. It is really hard to swallow the results, after the team was so close to qualifying..just 10mins more to go!!
    I wonder what went through the players’ mind at that point..players like Van Dijk, Blind, De Vrij should instruct and direct the other players to maintain the discipline in defending..and apparently it never happened.
    I shudder to think what is the state of mind of the players could be a disaster Tuesday for Dutch football. Hate to be such a pessimist, but really given the team’s Jekyll and Hyde performances, I am not confident. 😕

  3. De vrij is out…De ligt is mistake prone…i can see LVG starts a conservative approach with De roon…hence we wont be creating anything till 80 th minute and then we will concede under panic situation…this is the story of this dutch team..
    i dont know how much morale is down for players…that could be massive…
    Danjuma is another hype train,He is one of the reason behind poor shots on goal in first half…Very poor runs off the ball…Really pathetic,makes Depay a lesser effective player..Poor connectivity with team mates,Gakpo,Berjwin,Malen all better than him at NT…
    Malen is not for right wing….these two players restricted us to PLAY BEAUTIFUL FOOTBALL..
    Expected Daley blind helplesness,he cannot improve his inability..He is a liability against Top teams…But some stupids say we need to try Winjdal…Winjdal is another less than average player,he cannot do a sh@##t…
    No koopmeiners please…please hell NO…..
    it will be difficult to throw Malacia and Deligt vs norway after not playing for NT for some games..
    Players thought they entered in WC and start walking…We miss the characters like Nijel Dejong,Mark van bommel at dressing room…

      1. Danjuma looked like headless chicken….Period…i didnt expect that kind of stupity from him…i can understand miseses…no excuse for Poor work rate,No excuse for lack of tactical awareness,Vision…i doubt he has the intelligence to play at Top club ..Another hype train..He was shi##$t yesterday,He and Malen on wrong spot spoiled our attack…

    1. Danjuma was one of the better ones on the left, Tiju. Not sure what you’ve been watching. He was involved in both goals and had a good chance (Malen) which he just put to the wrong side of the post.

      I do agree on Blind and Koopmeiners. No one speaks about Dumfries here? Or Van Dijk?

  4. @ Jan

    I dont think it was an amateur hour with respect to how you are describing. It was all backfire.Mr Know it all once again had to come face to face with reality check which was necessary imo given if they beat Norway and qualify. this game will have opened his eyes to the fact that this team is far from competiting with very best.

    I switched off after 77′ only to find out on facebook that the game ended in the draw. Had to go back and watch the last 15 minutes again.

    There was a chain of events from previous qualifiers which can be attributed to the outcome of this game and most of these has been throughly discussed here before. The fact that NT was producing exceptonally results vs average teams also had everyone believing the team was on the right track and also Mr know it all – was all but on cloud 9 beating his chest. So lets dissect it.

    Frenkie at No 6.

    Van gaal preference of playing frenkie at 6 since taking over was ticking time bomb and it exploded in this game. This was discussed in depth here and even though it was exposed in early qualifiers, to lesser extent though vs average teams,it was overlooked and persisted on. This was also not helped by lack of rotation in the midfield like how frenkie is deployed at Barce. Once again this aspect is key to improving the status of the midfield going forward. There were few phases, where frenkie made bursting runs forward only to loss the ball resulting in counter attack leaving the defenders exposed. If you look at both goals, both were engineered from the middle but by then frenkie was subbed off. But question mark still remains with frenkie at 6 and how he operates.

    Van Gaal- Mr Know it all

    Again you have to go back to day 1 where it all started and his vision to build the team. Again writing off players, not an option, personal preference, dont want to change the dynamics, I dont like this, I dont like that, all came into spolight in this game.

    To start Malen on the right was is first mistake. Malen is already struggling at Dortmund on the wings and still he starts him on the right over both Lang and Bergwijn. According to van gaal Malen was ambitious and expressed his intrest to play on the right and van gaal obliged to it. Well that backfired and then Bergwijn for him also never lived up to expectation. The question that arises here is what happens to lang when Gakpo returns from injury. This is why Lang should have been bracketed on the right as he plays there at Brugge and not written off as per van gaal saying he did not like his game vs Gibraltar. This was clearly the best combo going forward and they should have forced to establish it through training sessions and then in the game going forward. Again look at how van gaal pushed for gakpo over both danjuma and lang before his injury during the early qualifers. He should have done the same with lang.

    Koopmeiner’s substitution

    Bad mistake when you leading and want to protect that lead. It should have been De Roon but this goes to show that Mr know it all was confident; the game was already in the bag which again backfired. But I would say the collapse came about when frenkie came off.Both Koopmeiners and Gravenberch defensively were a big liability on both goals. Gravenberch should never be called up again until he builds up on his defensive qualities. Was pathetic and lazy assss in defense strolling back with no urgency. Was just painful to watch. The midfield overall needs a overhaul

    Even klaassen had no impact in the game, why because they closed him up. In tighter games he always fades out and thats whats happened to him. He was scoring vs average teams which painted the overall picture of him being a focal point but again this game showed he is only good vs average teams and is the same klaassen as before. Instead of Wijnaldum it should have him to be subbed off.

    Daley Blind – prodigal son

    Wont waste much time here. I have always said it, his weakness sooner or later will be exposed and it did but whats more disappointing to see is how it has unfolded and again you have to ask this question why hasnt malacia being getting nod. He had a good outings vs montenegro when Blind was injured. Since then he being subject to the bench even vs lativa and Gibraltar. Now when NT is going into a crucial qualifers with question mark around blind there is no one else to rely on as malacia’s inexperience will come to haunt him in context to getting nod in the starting 11.
    Again you have to go back to day 1 and van gaals vision to build the team with him at LB which is now on the brink of being shattered.

    He also didnt click with danjuma as he made him look isolated especially in the second half with his trade mark lateral and back passes sitting deep. Now when the the time has come to look for an upgrade, there is no one on the bench becuse all of them have been playing second fiddle to him.

    All in all the finger has to be pointed at Mr know it all and his co. Like I said its chain of events from day 1 and decsion marking which just exploded in last ten minutes of the game. I mean to think of it if not for the subs they wouldnt have lost.

    Being said this, I dont think NT will lose vs Norway. A draw could be on the cards but that would be in their favour. Now if they do qualify I hope Mr know it all will have come to his senses and will work on improving and building the best team possible for NL and WC

  5. My hope is that as professional footballers, they can overcome a mental blow like this and not act/play scared in the Tuesday game. I don’t know if I can watch the game Tuesday, I feel too worried about it and feel i’ll be 2 hours pulling my hair.

    And no crowd!

  6. I wasn’t aware we were playing yesterday until I saw the article title and I froze, I though we lost and then the draw didn’t look such bad result until I realized we threw a 2 goal deficit in the last few mins. I read a few player comments and especially VVD stood out with his harsh opinion but I wanted to scream to him “aren’t you the f.k!ng captain? Aren’t you supposed to keep a tight leash on your team and be an extension of the coach?”. Same with FDJ we said we played like amateurs. HELLOOO? Truth be told FDJ has not performed well during hi spell at Barca, he doesn’t seem so special anymore. To avoid long blah-blah I just want to say I can’t stand Depay. I know he will be the all time goal scorer for the NT soon but I can’t take his show off tricks anymore. This guy seems to be more concerned about his own stats and pleasure than that of the team. Same BS I have seen several times at Barca.
    In the end we should still qualify, it seems like even a draw can get us through BUT i heard we will be playing in an empty stadium. Is this true? Thank God Haland is out. If we can’t get a draw against a Norway that ties with Latvia at home, then we definitely are a second hand team and can’t pretend much. And I am horrified what happens if we fall a goal or 2 behind? Lately we have shown that we can’t recover.
    Let’s pretend this was just a hiccup to make the final game more exciting.

    1. I fully agree on your comments on Virgil van Dijk. He has no business being angry. He should be angry at himself. Leadership was needed.

      Frenkie for me deserves no blame. It was 2-0 when he left the pitch. What do you want him to do, dribble past 3 players and shoot the ball in the top corner? In this match, Frenkie did what he needed to do.

      1. I agree with the part about Virgil— seems like he hasn’t retaken that field commander role since returning from injury, which is unfortunate. I think his voice was a key part of the success that was starting to build before his year off.

        But I can’t understand how Memphis is taking shade here (from Balkan above). He netted twice in this game and definitely didn’t have a role in the defensive collapse. I also would argue that he has matured quite a bit— he’s still a player that uses a lot of tricks and flair, but he seems like a better teammate than he used to be and seems much more comfortable leading the attack. He’s not the problem

  7. @Derekvdberg91 I don’t think this is a bad crop of players. Except Bijlow and Bergwijn, all the other players started for their team in Champion League, even the sub like Gravenberch, Koop and Lang started for their club in CL.

    The problem I see is there is no leadership. This group is set up in a way that everyone is nice to each other. This is like a group of college friends who are brilliant but wasting their time getting drunk and do not achieve their potential. They accept everything thrown at them. They accepted FDB as a coach, they accepted some players do not play at their club getting called because they are nice? So that’s how every once in a while, they switched off, it is like “hey, tomorrow is our exam, let get drunk today”

    Robben, Sneijder, RVP and Van Bommel are not nice teammates but they achieve much more because they demand their teammates to perform. In this current team, who does that? Answer: none

    Also the coaches are responsible for a lot of this attitude. For all the high profile defenders, I could not get why we cannot set up a system that do not leak goals left and right. An Italian coach would be able to do that. Or a German coach would fix their mental switch off.

    1. I resonate with this. It’s all too soft and lovely. Van Dijk should be shouting and screaming in Gini’s, Malen’s and Memphis’ faces! Where are Johan Cruyff, Van Hanegem, Van Bommel, Davids and Jaap Stam when you need them??

  8. It is funny how this bunch of spoiled arrogant millionaires were acting/playing yesterday after the 2-0 as if they were so unbeatable and no one can score against them , and then suddenly once the game ended with a 2-2 now they are so stressed out and acting scared because they will need one of two results against almighty Norway either a win or a draw at home would be enough!!!! Didnt they act like they are the greatest players ? So why are they scared of Norway ??? Man the mentality of this team is pathetic , they lack respect for their fans and their nation that they represent, when you know tens of millions of people around the world and in your own country are behind you, how can you not put your heart in the game till the last second ? Pathetic ….

  9. And one thing that’s puzzling me so much is WHY ON EARTH is wijnaldum still doing to start in every single game ? What’s so special about this guy, please tell me? What does he offer ? He literally went unnoticed yesterday ? Was he even there on the field ?

    1. True. Wijnaldum wasn’t 100% fit. SO DON:T PLAY HIM. Van Gaal wouldn’t select players who are not 100% but he somehow does use Wijnaldum?

      And why use two box to box midfielders in a game against a team parking two busses. It does my head in. We should have played with Lang on #10 and with Koopmeiners or De Roon next to Frenkie. Two CB and two CMs. Use the flanks to attack and don’t overcrowd Memphis.

  10. I was hoping for a Verstappen win only to see him lose to Hamilton and ruin my mood, then thinking about a few coincidences about the Norway game which is now freaking me out: empty stadium, deLight back in formation, LVG botching 2002 qualification with a 2-2 in the last or before last group game, a Norway loss that doesn’t even give us the option for a playoff (Turkey will win) and I feel it is getting a bit eerie. And how is Covid affecting Netherlands when games across Europe today were full of spectators? Couldn’t they allow a limited number of fans at least?

  11. @ Balkan

    Re Memphis

    Im kind of in the same boat as well. I wonder why coaches dont sub him and try and build the team upfront around Malen as well. I mean he is a backup striker. Even Vs Gibraltar and Lativa, it was not the case. Malen should have been rotated upfront by now and atleast build that competition/ rivarly with Depay. you see, this things are not happening and the excuses, they dont wanna change the dynamics of the team. Will it take another WC qualifying disaster for them to realize that it time for a bloody change in dutch style/ system

    Depay also is not somebody as striker who incites fear to the oponents and most of goals have relealivity come vs average teams.

    If he gets injured, its over as everybody else are on the bench to make numbers and wait incase he gets injured.

    1. @wilson I couldn’t disagree with you more here. I’d rather have a half assed Memphis than Malen at the front right now. Malen needs to mature as a striker, and is nowhere near where we’d like. I do think Danjuma poses a good serious threat. If he and Memphis learn to play together it could be amazing. Why not try that?

      I’m pissed at FDJ. He’s my favorite player and dude, just finish the game and make sure your team qualifies. Why sub out and then debacle. We need a more killer mentality. I think that’s part of the issue here. They played as if it was a league game. And it’s not. You need to seal the qualification out! Close the job.

      1. @ignacio…..Danjuma was one of the reason behind poor attack..his off the ball runs are zero and stupid..That guy affactes memphis…klassen is lesser skilled than Danjuma on ball,but combination of Depay klassen wins you games and gets goals..We played our best games when Berjwin played on right/left wing…Eg..2-0 vs france,4-0 ve monenegre,6-1 vs turkey..all stunning games….thats the fact…i will only take Danjuma if Berjwin,Gakpo and Malen injured of left wing…We can excuse Malen as plyed out of position…
        The whole sh#$$it started when started playing Danjuma the overhyped train…Yes danjuma is skilled more than Muller….Muller is genius while danjuma looks like clueless clown..
        Get rid of that Danhuuumma overhype train,and avoid koopmeiners…you will win games at least VS Norway and Montenegro

    2. I don’t think Malen as #9 would have worked. Malen is a player who needs space. He is not good in the small spaces. Malen is probably an option vs Norway or at least bigger teams. Against this Montenegro, I feel Memphis on 9 and Lang on 10, or… Weghorst on 9 and Memphis on 10.

      You don’t think Memphis instills fear in an opponent? You are wrong again, in my view.

  12. @ Wilson

    “I dont think it was an amateur hour with respect to how you are describing.”

    That is all semantics. I think it was amateur hour and your words confirm this.

    “I switched off after 77′ only to find out on facebook that the game ended in the draw. Had to go back and watch the last 15 minutes again.”

    That too is amateur hour :-). Dutch fans should know better.

    “Frenkie at No 6.”

    There is zero rationale for this. With Frenkie: 0-2. Without Frenkie: 2-2. You obviously can make these points because Oranje imploded but Frenkie might not have played well, he was hardly the problem. This, for me, is nonsensical criticism.

    Van Gaal- Mr Know it all

    All in hindsight. Van Gaal has worked at top level for decades. If he picks Malen over Lang he will have had his reasons. We don’t know them, so criticising this is a bit silly. Unless Malen scored two own goals. But Malen is not too blame for the 2-2. He was subbed off. When Lang came on on his fave left winger spot, he did bring anything. Again, a silly piece of criticism. Not factual, just wilson’s personal opinion.

    “Koopmeiner’s substitution

    “Bad mistake when you leading and want to protect that lead. It should have been De Roon but this goes to show that Mr know it all was confident; the game was already in the bag which again backfired. But I would say the collapse came about when frenkie came off.Both Koopmeiners and Gravenberch defensively were a big liability on both goals. Gravenberch should never be called up again until he builds up on his defensive qualities. Was pathetic and lazy assss in defense strolling back with no urgency. Was just painful to watch. The midfield overall needs a overhaul. Even klaassen had no impact in the game, why because they closed him up. In tighter games he always fades out and thats whats happened to him.”

    This is good criticism. Koopmeiners came on to the pitch in another headspace and pace than the rest. Totally off the mark. Klaassen has impact. He was fouled for the penalty. But I agree that Klaassen and Wijnaldum were not the best options to play. I mean, Klaassen demonstrated good rapport with Memphis in earlier games, so I can understand LvG. But both? We needed more creativity on the #10 spot. Before you chant Joey Veerman… no. That would not have worked. But Noa Lang? Yes.

    Daley Blind – prodigal son

    “Wont waste much time here. I have always said it, his weakness sooner or later will be exposed and it did but whats more disappointing to see is how it has unfolded”

    I suppose you did see the comments here from people saying that you should stop saying “I have always said it”. Trust me, we know. And by saying it always doesn’t make it true. It’s like with a clock that is broken. It still tells the time correct twice a day. Blind was not great but definitely not a waste as you mentioned it. His interplay with Danjuma was fine. His passing was fine. He just massively fukced up at the 2-2. I don’t like people who will use one big mistake to completely obliterate all the good stuff he has one. I know you will be deaf to this. Fine. But I will always oppose your rants if I feel it’s unjustified. I don’t think Malacia would have won that aerial duel :-).

    “All in all the finger has to be pointed at Mr know it all and his co. Like I said its chain of events from day 1 and decsion marking which just exploded in last ten minutes of the game. I mean to think of it if not for the subs they wouldnt have lost.”

    Yes the Buck Stops with Louis. He could have done things differently: Marten de Roon on the bench instead of stands for instance. Not playing Wijnaldum. Using Lang as right winger. All true. But it was the players who screwed it up eventually. You are 2-0 up. There are 7 official minutes to play. If you are Virgil van Dijk and you see the players running forward, you need to step up to the plate and use your leadership and booming bariton voice to put players in their place. Louis was helpless at that stage. And to say that the subs made sure we didn’t lose, is just madness. The subs didn’t offer much, in my view.

    “Now if they do qualify I hope Mr know it all will have come to his senses and will work on improving and building the best team possible for NL and WC”

    And if he does, and we win the World Cup in Qatar, Wilson will return and say “I have said it all along, if he can build the best team, we can win. So this World Cup win is actually due to me and my sharp analysis – Wilson”

    1. Blind is now 10th in overall caps for Holland, not a position you can stumble into by chance. He’s been in every Holland team, every age group always. It’s not like it’s just one coach favoring him. EVERY coach in Dutch football likes Blind.

      Wilson I think if your opinion of a players qualities differs from van Gaal, Hiddink, Advocaat, Frank de Boer, Stuivenberg, Koeman, ten Hag as coaches. Gullit, Kluivert, Ronald de Boer, van Basten van der Vaart as pundits. It’s you versus these guys, and I’m sorry, but I think you’re wrong.

      1. I have said this multiple times Derek. Save your breath. He really thinks he knows better than all the people you mentioned. Just like he ignores them, he also ignores everyone here.

    2. @Wilson, your comment about Depay might be the worst one yet. First, he only scores against average teams? We only play average teams AND Malen scores against none of them. You want to switch out the only player on the team who has a chance of scoring a goal for someone who cannot? Even the Gibraltar defenders were not scared of Malen.

      If any player should have been immune to criticism this campaign it should have been Depay. He scored 11/31 of our goals and assisted another 10 or something.

      And the idea of becoming a better player by introducing competition doesn’t work at an international level. These guys spend a week together, having Malen competing with Depay for a spot is not going to increase his playing level in 3 days.

  13. Willem’s Wise Words (Willem van Hanegem column in daily Algemeen Dagblad).

    “I had to think back to the Spain – Malta debacle in 1983. Or Holland – Belgium in 1985. Or Ireland – Holland in 2001. Moments in which we through away a ticket to the World Cup. I don’t think Holland – Norway 2021 will be added to that list though. I have seen Norway versus Latvia and the Norwegians don’t have a team we should fear, really.”

    “Holland will get to the World Cup but we shouldn’t kid ourselves: we are way behind the bigger nations, such as France, Germany and Spain. I have watched the post match comments with astonishment. Memphis felt we should be hunting for the 0-3 (because it meant a potential hattrick for him). Virgil van Dijk wanted to kill the game off and bring the 0-2 over the finish line. Van Dijk had it right. We played so badly, that chasing a third goal was not even an option!”

    “Van Dijk saw it and others should have too: our forwards didn’t have it, our midfield was very poor. Why would we kick the ball up field when we don’t have the power, intelligence and speed to pressure this opponent. The result was key. Winning was key. Just get the three points and celebrate in the dressing room, fly home and forget about this match.”

    “This didn’t happen and apparently great coaches like Van Gaal can not stop this from happening. He subbed Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong, who both played poor but Gravenberch and Koopmeiners were even worse. We needed someone to win duels and these two subs are not those players. Koeman would bring Marten de Roon in a situation like this. To shore up the midfield and stop them from even thinking about attacking. But Koopmeiners is a passer of the ball. He wants to play nice football and you couldn’t play nice football on that pitch, against that opponent. Van Gaal could have spared players versus Norway and start his WC prep plans. But now the key players will all have to dig deep again to get a result coming Tuesday.”

    “And not just physically, but also mentally. I said it before, Daley Blind is a great player on the ball but doesn’t understand the art of defending. Positionally good, yes. But in a one v one… And what he needed to do was simple. He just needed to take a big step back, when that ball came in and that forward could never have reached that ball. Instead, Blind functioned as a little step up for the guy to head the ball!”

    “Now people say that Van Gaal needs to choose between a tough evaluation or a soft one. Nonsense. These players aren’t stupid! They know they played embarrassingly bad, that they let this opportunity slip. They thought the 3 points were in the bag and I’m sure some were dreaming of the World Cup Glory while playing that second half. The realisation that we really need to qualify for the World Cup was not present vs Montenegro. That will be different come Norway. But it is a painful conclusion for this experienced coach and these players… Under contract with Barcelona, Villareal, Ajax, Dortmund, Inter, Juve, PSG, Liverpool, Feyenoord…”

    1. “I have seen Norway versus Latvia and the Norwegians don’t have a team we should fear, really.”
      This is a bit foolish. It is just ONE game. Anything can happen. We may fall behind due to a defensive silly mistake and then have to work through panic trying to get back into the game in an empty stadium. Against a team that has nothing to lose and which is very strong physically. Obviously as Willie says more than anything we need to be strong mentally. But I cannot trust Depay or Malen or any of our attackers to bring us from a 0-1 or 0-2 deficit. My humble opinion is we should setup to defend and then counter attack but yet we can’t have this game to be 0-0 in the 80th minute. Very simple but also very complicated.

  14. It’s a great wonder how many times Oranje fans have had this conversation of impending doom. Just total collapse.

    A house can be readily brought back to life if the work required is a little bit of painting, drywall and an upgrade of washroom facilities. It is a lot more difficult if the problem is structural, a foundational flaw if you will. Pouring in concrete, here and there to straighten out things, would only do so much and can be quite deceiving and actually dangerous. Deceiving because the builder might see some improvements and take it as a bend in the road and dangerous because when things eventually come to a head, it will be a collapse. No renovations required.

    But what if you are too stubborn and prideful to see that your perceived Taj Mahal is warped, crooked, and might need an upgrade as major as to open up the possibility of a change of face of your Mona Lisa which has become your whole personality, identity? What if you even knowingly choose hope and stagnation over change and progress, forever mired in a past that protects and sustain your ego from the brutal realization of wasted time and bitter pill of failure?

    Oranje has foundational issues. There has been no other country in the history of football, close to having the yo-yo journey of Oranje. The dizzying highs and embarrassing lows. It is abnormal. It is a pattern. An identity. Foundational. Now, this is what we know.

    Oranje cannot defend. This is a problem that has followed this team from the beginning of time. I have never watched a game that Oranje have been in a any kind of sustained pressure without succumbing. This is something that people who are responsible for this team knows. This is also an issue that has never been seriously addressed if even. Grassroot levels haven’t been opened up to the possibility of they finding themselves on the back foot. Truly preparing for the inevitable. They would rather try to keep the ball from the opponent for 90mins and hope to strike blows after blows as the other team watches. What if that opponent is Portugal, or France or Argentina and are not just going to watch you dazzle them with a Cruyff turn? Have you ever experimented with Ake in that holding role or double pivot for such eventuality? Do you ever have any feasible counterracting defensive plans, other than showing teams how brilliant total football is?

    Oranje cannot handle physicality. There is a reason why LVG and other coaches did well with “lesser” players in Vlaar, Martin Indi etc. There is a reason why Van Bommel, Heitinga and NDJ nearly went all the way in 2010. Yet, it took tooth and nail for such players to establish themselves in the team. Demy de Zeeuw(featherweight) was always preferred over Nigel because he was velvety. Dutch coaches have always, always been suspicious of physical prowess and athleticism. As if everyone has to move like Van Hanegem to be regarded as fit for purpose.

    And that is why I do not want to hear any thing about Dumfries hard feet(whatever that means). I know what I will get from a Heitinga or Dumfries. You can build around reliability. That’s why I will never appreciate Daley Blind in this team especially at this point of his career. When did he last have an assist? When did he last make a stellar offensive play? Is his glaring defensive frailties worth the wait for the anticipated superman cross for Van Persie? The delusion is so real. And the price to pay even realer.

    As for the performance against Montenegro, I do not blame a single player but LVG. He is too much of a stickler for details for his team to be so disjointed. He failed along the way to somehow reach his players. And his game management was even worse. His substitutions were convoluted and tumoultous. A straight swap of Lang for Malen and Koop for FDJ might have just done the trick. He instead created a perfect storm with his flurry of substitutions. And we all know how Oranje can’t handle a chaotic environment. Where you have to rely on your physicality and grind instead of classroom instructions.

    Defence wins tournaments. This mantra has never been truer for Oranje. Unfortunately, they seem to be the only ones not to have got the memo.

    1. I actually agree with a lot of this, especially the part about choosing only silky players when often harder players are needed for certain positions. I think the current back line, despite the ten minute collapse on Saturday, has a better blend of silk and strength than most of the teams of the recent past. But in the midfield line right in front of them, we seemingly don’t have the ability to dial up the hardness when we need that against certain types of opponents. De Roon, though he’s less pretty to watch, has some of this, but even he barely registers if the scale included van Bommel or Nigel. I have often thought that Ake isn’t likely to have a starting spot in the center of the defense and have wondered if he could play instead as a DCM right in front of Virgil and de Vrig/de Ligt. It seems to me that allowing Frenkie a little more freedom to move forward would be an added benefit to hardening the back half of the pitch.

      1. Agree with your comments aanvalluh, and by extension some of Orangutan’s comments. FDJ was most effective in the NT under Koeman, when he played further up the field. In LVG’s current set up, with Klaassen and Gini playing further up the field, FDJ has to be the man in front of the defense, and he sacrifices some of his natural offensive inclinations to defensive responsibility. Unfortunately, they don’t have a Van Bommel or a Nigel De Jong, or a Jonk or a Davids to sit in front of the defense and defuse attacks. They had some success in the Nations League with De Roon, but he is limited. Its alot easier identifying a problem than solving one. Assuming they qualify, Van Gaal will have a year to fix it; and now that he is off his feet for awhile, even more time to contemplate it.

        And I do think they will qualify. They have the immediate opportunity to put right the failure against Montenegro, and as athletes they can’t ask for anything more. Perhaps this is simply a triumph of hope over experience, but I expect a good performance.

        1. Hi Andrew, it is probably fair to say that Koeman played 4-2-3-1 and had two holding mids, with De Roon protecting the space when Frenkie went on an adventure. Frenkie didn’t play higher up perse. In Van Gaal’s vision, Frenkie is the sole defensive mid and Louis uses Memphis as false striker, compensating his wanderings by using two attacking dynamic midfielders who will occupy the space Memphis leaves open. It has worked every so well (Turkey at home) but it failed miserably against Montenegro (in the last 10 minutes!). I want to re-emphasize that until the 83rd minute, there were no real issues. Just a weak Oranje, leading 2-0.

    2. Orangutan, I really adore your writing style, your wry humour and your way with words.

      You do say things that are not correct, at times. Demy de Zeeuw was not picked over Nigel de Jong. He played 27 international games in 4 years. Starting in 21 matches. Nigel stsrted in 67 matches. The debate in Holland in 2010 was always between Van der Vaart or NIgel de Jong. Bert v Marwijk wanted NIgel, the fans wanted Rafa.

      I don’t think Daley is in the team because of his assists. Like Frenkie, it’s the pre-assist where Daley comes into his strength. And I think it is fair to say that with two solid holding mids and two good CBs our full backs can be used in a more offensive way. The modern game. Alonso, Reece James, Davies, Malacia, Mazraoui, Alba you name them: all mediocre defenders but amazing going forward.

      Dumfries shouldn’t be compared with a central defender like Heitinga. Dumfries is our wingback, his skill is more about moving forward (Tactical smarts) and a good cross (soft feet) or even scoring a goal. You can’t compare him with Stam or Heitinga!

      Your sub rant re: Van Gaal also doesn’t hold. Bergwijn for Malen worked ok. Lang for Danjuma is logical. Koopmeiners for Frenkie was also logical. And Gravenberch for GIni as well. De Vrij had to be subbed, so I don’t see where Van Gaal fucked up. Do you think Louis was responsible for Koopmeiners stray passes? Or his reluctance to track back?

      Yes, defensively we are horrific, that is correct but I think we were sussed into a coma by three things: !) Norway drops points, 2) 2-0 after 80 minutes and 3) the thrill and emotion of thinking you reached your goal and 4) Montenegro’s compact defending and slow pace.

  15. @ Jan

    I wont go much in depth as alot of things have already being said. But will try to point out on things which you have not touched.

    I switched off because the site I was on was lagging badly and it had nothing to do NT 2-0 up nor assuming it was in the bag. I also went back to watch the replay because I wanted to see how it happened.

    When you say “amateur hour” for me it is implying the players played like amateurs which was not the case. It was the collapse in the midfield that resulted in Montenegro finding arces of space in the middle and again it all came from turn over balls. With frenkie and Koopmeiners, it was still a point forward but when Graverberch came on for frenkie it became a point back ward( normal Ajax style) and thats where it all went wrong. It can also be argued here what instructions was given to the subs especially Gravenberch who went on to play high up, in line with klaassen instead of playing the line which frenkie played and in supporting koopmeiners. This was critical. The Montenegro coach was also instructing his players from the side lines while the van gaal and co maintained their seat in the dugout. Says alot

    Even on the first goal van dijk had thought he had it covered raising his hand to signal Blind to watch his marker on the outside. But when the Montenegro played the ball on the other flank, koopmeiners didnt have the speed to track the run of the inside runner who received the last pass from the right flank. Dumfries was in no mans land .

    Again it all goes back to the instructions that was given to Gravenberch as to where to play because thats was collapsing point and after frenkies departure

    Frenkie at 6

    Yes NT was 2-0 up when he was subbed off but he was also piss poor in the game which is why I said it exploded in this game because he got pegged by the more physical Montenegro players and also like vs Czech in the euros as well. This evidently goes on to show it aint gonna work in long run. This is where I said how he operates and plays at Barce needs to be considered with respect to building the midfield combo and who to play along side him

    You also mentioned Veerman. He is not a 10 but naturally a deep lying midfielder like koopmeiners. He plays at 10 sometimes though at heerenveen but accomdate for other players. The question whether he is a NT material. Again based on his technical ability, I would say defintely yes.

    Daley Blind

    The reason for repeating is to get the facts straight. This is why I specifically used malacia in that argument but you chopped that part of. Malacia deserves to playing ahead of him given his better offensive qualities and which he showed it vs montenegro in the first leg but then knowing all the pros and cons associsted with Blind, they still wanna persist with him. Well its obvious now they cant rely on malacia vs norway.
    Malacia should have got the nod vs lativa and Gibraltar to get him up and running but they want blind to hold tight on to that spot.Well this is what you get and plus what you said about this being the only big mistake is a big joke. He has been exposed many times. Its all on the record. His inability to go forward in tighter games is always disadvantage to the team and it suffocates that flank. Euros, Nation League. Again its all on the record. You look at dumfries and how he complemets the wingers on his flank. This is why the rotation at LB needs to happen but is not happening. Why??????? The only time other players get the nod is when blind is injured otherwise there hasnt been any genuine effort to really upgrade that position. why?????.

    Everyone knows he has good passing and distribution qualities but that only is not good enough/ limited. Also thats what everybody likes to prasie about him but on how his defensive prones affects the team, they turn a blind eye on it.

    “And if he does, and we win the World Cup in Qatar, Wilson will return and say “I have said it all along, if he can build the best team, we can win. So this World Cup win is actually due to me and my sharp analysis – Wilson”

    Why not. Justifying offcourse and but it wont happen even if they qualify. 2024-2026.

    1. Hi Wilson, yes like I said, some of it is just semantics. In my book, if you lead 2-0 with a WC ticket as the prize and with 7 minutes to go you screw it up against a mediocre team you are a bunch of amateurs. Period.

      I don’t think Frenkie was the problem. No matter who bad he was. He was not on the pitch when Montenegro scored two goals. Period.

      Daley Blind has weaknesses, just like Lang, Dumfries and Bijlow. He also has strengths and some unique qualities recognised by a long list of football experts. Wilson is the only member of the Blind Is Useless Society. Period :-).

      1. @Jan

        Re: . The debate in Holland in 2010 was always between Van der Vaart or NIgel de Jong.

        Jan, funny but understandable how your reference point has always been the general consensus of the “criticasters” in Holland when their points are agreeable. De Zeeuw and de Jong are defensive midfielders and Van der Vaart is an attacking midfielder. I don’t know where the confusion is. Demy might have played lesser games than Nigel but MVB used him in the entirety of the 2008 qualifiers over Nigel. Only when push came to shove and his lack of physicality in the Euros(big boys) became evident was de Jong considered. Marwijk wanted steel for 2010 and easily opted for Nigel.

        Re: I don’t think Daley is in the team because of his assists. Like Frenkie, it’s the pre-assist where Daley comes into his strength.

        Blind’s contribution to build up play is heavily exaggerated. Nothing exceptional at this point. But Dutch management are like rottweilers. Once they have something in their grip they won’t look past their nose. That’s why a change of coach rarely bring real changes. They all seem to wallow in unanimity and groupthink. Blind’s technical ability can be most utilized in a team that caters for it and compensate for his many weaknesses. Oranje is not elite and has no guarantee of dominance. Blind doesn’t have the athleticism to make things happen on his own. Against France, Spain or any high octane decent side, Blind will be left out in the sea. Remember, you don’t have the time nor the space because you are not playing Latvia. You heard it here first: his pre-goal defensive deficiencies is going to cost us if we make it to the WC. And Blind can’t be used in a more offensive way like you suggested. It will only create more problems against decent sides. Man can’t run.

        Re: Dumfries shouldn’t be compared with a central defender like Heitinga.

        Why not? Both are rugged, hard-nosed and pacy defenders. Both lay it all down everytime they are on the field, for better or worse. Heitinga was decent on the ball so is Dumfries. But somehow he has been tagged a Frankenstein whilst at the opposite wing we have a frail, slow and cumbersome has-been still been talked about like the Kaiser.

        Re: Your sub rant re: Van Gaal also doesn’t hold

        Those changes LVG made were haphazard and convoluted. Wholesome changes are only made when you are chasing a game, a friendly or you think you are 10-nil up. LVG suffered from the latter. He made same mistake with subs against Portugal in the 2002 WCQ. Thinking you know everything also leads to overthinking.

  16. Jong Oranje defeated Gibraltar 0-7 today. They are tied on points with Switzerland in Group E for the U-21 Euros that will be played in 2023 but ahead on goal difference. Scorers today were: Summerville, Brobbey, Hoever, Zirkzee (2), Ekkelenkamp and Redan.

  17. Bergius. I never think one day we need u like this.
    Tomorrow is Hard day for me. If dutch player like to erase last game. They have one way. Beat Norway, then everybody forget that night.

    Question? If we get 3rd place? Is there any hope to go to world cup??

  18. That’s why I am concerned. It is just one game and just like N Ireland today I expect Norway to sit back and defend deep tomorrow and try to nick one or two in counter attack. Italy could have easily lost the game today, N Ireland had much better chances in 2nd half. Can we deal with a team that just parks the bus? Do we have the patience? Are we prepared to deal with nightmare scenario of falling behind first? Portugal is more of a similar situation since they just needed a draw. They suffered a goal in the last minute. But the pressure may be higher in our case since Turkey may well win and if we lose they go through to a playoff.

  19. @ Derekvdberg91

    “Wilson I think if your opinion of a players qualities differs from van Gaal, Hiddink, Advocaat, Frank de Boer, Stuivenberg, Koeman, ten Hag as coaches. Gullit, Kluivert, Ronald de Boer, van Basten van der Vaart as pundits. It’s you versus these guys, and I’m sorry, but I think you’re wrong”.

    I have answered this several times. Because there were no other options and why they were no options, because back then they were skeptical about rotating him to other players even though with all his weaknessess. just like now with malacia in the frame but warming the bench even though with better qualities. Like I said, there hasnt been any genuine effort to upgrade that LB position while compared to the right where they have opted for bench player ( Rensch) and a player who doesnt play there either ( Timber). Hateboer, tete, veltman, Karsdorp and dumfries.

    If you go back then willems was the closest who came to competing with him but he was injury prone and was also used when either Blind was injured or was playing in other positions. After joining Eintracht Frankfurt and was never looked at again.

    Well on a brighter side, his time is coming to a end and there are some good players who are coming up and will revampen that position better for future.

    1. Player rotation on international duty does not make players better. Players don’t develop over the week they’re away with their country. They develop the rest of the year and the goal is to peak with the National team.

      If Malacia isn’t at the level, subbing out someone who is at the level isn’t going to bring him there.

    2. @Wilson…at any day Rensch is much better than below average Wsh@##tinjdal,SHI@#$4teboer,SH#$Tete….these 3 should never get a call for NT…Had we qualified on last day we could have seen who is Rensch….
      B/w Resnch plays every game for Ajax mostly as Sub..Mazeroui is head and shoulder above Dumfries,karsdorp and probably one of the best RB on planet..excellent at attack,excellent for fuild free flwoing game…Resnch is not lesser though..

  20. I still think NED will qualify for the WC with the direct ticket. I read all your analyses and I loved Balkan’s post particularly when he was describing Memphis, it was hilarious. Overall, Orangutan did very good analysis. But cheer up, guys, we will go through.

  21. i think people are harsh on Frnkie Dejong….He was one of the best player on pitch vs Montengro…i do agree since joining FArcalona,ufelona he has regressed as a player..i hope he leaves that club and joins coaches like klopp,Pep,Nigelmann,Touchel types..We collapsed after frenkie sub…

  22. koopmeiners as DCM needs to be relooked..He has hug holes for a DM…i still think our best DMs are Bazoer and Ake…wijnaldum needs to be benched ..he is not untocuhable..
    i would go with

    ————Cillesen ————————-
    Bijlow is out…if i see tim krul on goal..please switch off TV and sleep…you are not going to make it with krul leakage..i hope LVG throws away the overrated Danhumma for coming sqauds..

  23. @ Jan

    “Wilson is the only member of the Blind Is Useless Society. Period :-)”

    Not really. It all about taking the facts into consideration and how it affects the team. Blind’ attributes vs specific teams has always being a barrier to the team striving to the max. This has been a continuous feature of him and like I said while dumfries complements his side better going forward, blinds inability to do that with bigger teams or in tighter games is bound to drag the team in lagging mode and at SF and Final stages you cant afford to have this in the team.

    It like going to the war with rifle while the enemy has semi automatic machine guns. You know what will be the outcome. This my friend is how I see it and why NT will not win anything with him in the team.

  24. Flekken to start? What u guys think? I felt he played solid for the limited matches I watched, incl. the recent one against Bayern.
    Am not in favour for Tim Krul and Cillessen. Cillessen I feel lack the stature of a goalkeeper…not commanding in the box, though his reflexes can be good.

  25. Malacia would be risky for this crunch game…as he played only 1 match for NT…But calling back winjdal for Blind is a worst thing you could do..Time to look Geetruida and Jetro williams is getting back on rythem.No koopeminers as DM…Ake as DM Frenkie and klassen as runners with Ake as gurad DM…case closed..

  26. its super necessary to drop Danhuuuma for Berjwin at left wing…..Let berjwin play on left and Lang on right…Danhuuuma should take rest and learn from berjwin..He was the key man behind our impotency infront of gaol vs Montengro…but he escaped… blame went on to Frenkie,Gini,Blind…Danhuummma was pathetic and worse than Gini,Blind and frenkie..

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