Oranje 3rd of the World after 3-0 Brazil win!

What an amazing end to an amazing campaign!

The Dutch National Team has knicked the 3rd spot of the 2014 World Cup, against all odds, in the process beating World Champions Spain and hosts Brazil! And brushing aside Mexico and Chile and beating minions Australia and Costa Rica. Without suffering defeat in open play.

What an achievement!

cill toilet

I think it is quite something…. In 1974 we finished second after a disappointing loss in the finals but also after teaching the world to play. In 1978 we got unlucky and we might even got screwed as Argentina might have paid their way to the finals back then… In 1998 we could have gone all the way but lost the consolation finals versus Croatia and in 2010 that frickin’ toe stopped us from winning.

In ’74 and ’78, expectations were low. In 1998 and 2010 we knew we had a chance. Now, in 2014, most experts felt we would be extremely lucky and successful if we made it out of the group!

A bunch of oldies (but goldies) and a bunch of youngster, led by an intense and highly strung coach.

And we were a split second decision by Robben away from a place in the finals…

That moment in the last minute of the Argentina game…. let’s not go there.

So, Holland vs Brazil. A classic poster! Played 11 times against each other. Holland winning 3, Brazil winning 3. The rest you can guess.

robben robin

Last time we lost, was with quite some drama (1994, 1998). Last time we won, we cruised to the WC finals in 2010.

The Canary Yellow agains the Orange.

There are many cool stories and angles to pick when talking about this match, but in this case it was all about: will Brazil be able to win the fans’ hearts back after the abysmal loss against Germany, 1-7?

Some said “expect a totally fueled up and foamin’ at the mouth Brazil”, while other said “Brazil is simply overrated and will be needing diapers when they come up on the pitch vs Holland”.

I think the truth was in the middle. But I also believe this is one of the worst Brazilian teams ever. The 1974 one was quite shabby, and this one, sans Neymar, is not much better.

sneijder brazil

Sneijder: “I was really annoyed I couldn’t play. I first was bummed out we missed the finals, and then my hamstring gave way during the warming up.”

Fred? Jo? Hulk? Seriously?? Willian and Oscar are very decent players and as a simple defender, Thiago Silva is pretty good too. But once David Luiz thinks he is Beckenbauer and Paulinho thinks he is Socrates you know you are in trouble.

Against Germany, the defence was absent. Against Holland, they weren’t much better.

In the first minute, Maxwell and Maicon and Luiz were a bit too lacklustre when Silva had to check a run by Robben after Van Persie launched the former Groningen man into space. Robben one v one the goalie is not a good idea in the first minute so Silva did what he thought was the best solution: pull him back outside of the box and pray he’d get away with it. Well, he did. He was allowed to stay on the pitch, but the ref did point at the spot.

robben penalty

With only 2 mins on the clock, captain Van Persie took the opportunity to do what Vlaar failed to do in his place versus Argentina (or did he…..). The Brazilian fans – to their shock – saw their team behind once more and when Oranje pounced again in the 17th minute via a beaut by Blind, the fans surely felt it was one of those days again!! Would their team again get trashed? The horror was visible on the faces of the onlookers.

RVP Brazil 1-0

And I have to say, being biased and all…. Holland was on top of the Canaries all the time. Sure, they had their chances and their spells… As they are surely no slouches going forward but in terms of team cohesion and discipline and tactics they played 1970 style football against a team that took a page from the Barcelona Dutch book of gameplay and the Atletico Madrid book of gameplay.

Holland had to deal with a setback when Sneijder grabbed his hamstring in the warm up and Jon De Guzman was told to prepare for the match, which saw us play with Robben an Robin upfront, De Guzman, Clasie and Wijnaldum in midfield and a five man back line with Blind and Kuyt out wide and De Vrij, Vlaar and Martins Indi as the three central defenders.

daley brazil


Blind hardly scores. And now he gets on in the consolation finals vs Brazil

That central block played tremendously well. De Vrij and Vlaar grew into the Men of the Match while Martins Indi, Wijnaldum, Clasie, Kuyt and Blind fought for what they were worth, with Blind regularly offering the team an outlet on the left and Clasie and Wijnaldum being crucial in midfield dominance, against players who play for European top teams ( Bayern, Spurs, Chelsea, Man City).

Sure, Brazil had some opportunities to get back into the game but for me it seemed more likely that we would get a third, as opposed to Brazil getting back into it.

Unlucky Daley Blind had to be subbed in the second half, which brought attacking full back Janmaat to the mix and Holland was the most likely to score the next goal. It seems like Brazil wanted it to end while Janmaat and Robben in particular seemed keen to get their names on the score sheet as well. Wijnaldum was also playing more adventurous, and even clashed with Robben at a certain point in the Brazilian box trying to dish out the final goal. And it would end up being the former Feyenoord man Wijnaldum who’d get his goal, finally, with Janmaat again delivering the assist (like with Gini’s buddy Leroy Fer vs Chile).


By then, Joel Veltman was given his final minutes to replace a cramped up Jordy Clasie while Van Gaal allowed Michel Vorm, the only one without minutes, his claim to fame. The Swansea man was allowed the last 5 minutes and had two goal kicks to his name when finally the ref put Brazil out of its misery.

Van Gaal’s mission has been accomplished. He reached the semi finals with Oranje and was able to do so without having suffered a defeat and using all 23 players. The Dutch have scored prolifically and with the most different goal scorers while we only conceded two goals from open play (Australia and Mexico, both crackers of goals).

I actually believe that we would have beaten Germany in the finals but hey…. I’ll take this.

The best thing for me, is the vindication of the Eredivisie. Many people, national and international (and here too) believed the Eredivisie is a crap competition.

dutch youngsters


Some Eredivisie quality (and Villan Roncrete Vlaar)

I think the facts speak for themselves: the player development and talent development in Holland is still top notch, if not better than ever. We now clearly also develop defenders! With a good coaching staff and a clear football vision, these lads can get somewhere.

Where Dutch clubs get unstuck internationally is the sheer fact that clubs in France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, England, Germany have more money to spend. So they can assemble more good players. That is why Dutch clubs suffer outside of the Eredivisie. But in terms of development, we clearly hold our own!

LVG Robben Brazil

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  1. We didn’t allow Chile, Argentina and Brazil to score against us, so clearly something has changed in Dutch mentality and maybe also youth development. I mean we had terrific players in 1998 but I didn’t feel this confident in the defense as I do now in 2014. The only black sheep (no pun intended) is Martins Indi, who seems to be on a downward spiral. Someone called him a walking penalty kick and it isn’t that far from the truth.

    A lot of people critizised Wijnaldum’s offensive qualities in the bronze game but that was the only game in the tournament he actually showed any! I was quite impressed. He seems to have very good technical abilities and he is very fast. I think we played too cautiously! Clasie has very good vision and distribution, Wijnaldum is fast and can be unpredictable. On top of that Strootman and Van Ginkel are hopefully returning to the national team by the end of the year, if not sooner. I’m not too worried about midfield.

    Who will replace Van Persie and Huntelaar? That is the question I need an answer to. Maybe the current attacking lineup will still play in EC 2016, but after that?

    1. Castaignos.

      or Luuk de Jong. 🙂

      alright, seriously. Next season will be important to show who will be in to striker competition for NT. be it Zivkovic, Castaignos, Dost, Siem/Luuk D.J. We still don’t know what kind of striker that Hiddink favors. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up seeing Lens again spearheading our frontline.

      We’ll see.

    2. No, I and others have criticized Wijnaldum’s lack of offensive play in previous games–not yesterday. Yesterday he did go forward, and de guzman, too–and it was great to say. A little late, I say. It was a fairly meaningless and thus open game, which is why he was more aggressive. But I hope he will take confidence from this tourney and get better.

    1. funny how many people criticized that gesture, saying that it’s such a poor sportsmanship (because previously our team basically said that 3rd place doesn’t mean anything).

      1. Such people are morons.

        It shows that the players know why they are fighting on the pitch: for the fans. It’s a wonderful gesture. The medal itself means nothing, but everytime Van Persie looks at his collection of trophies he will see the missing bronze and think of all the fans that support the national team and what an honour it is to represent your country.

      1. Hmm, someone in the local media got it wrong then. Anyways, I’m impressed with everyone’s fighting spirit and the fans seem to support and love them as well. I think that’s great. Think how it would feel like now to be a fan of Brazil..

      2. Van Persie did ever gave his medal, back in his Arsenal days. although only at pre-season tournament.

        won’t complain about it too much. I only saw it as a symbol of companionship between team captain and supporting general. beautiful thing when that supporter pat on RvP’s head, as if saying “great job, you guys already made us proud”.

        anyone got the name?

    1. de Vrij could be our next Jaap Stam. And he’s only 22 🙂

      I have so much hope in de Vrij after this campaign, hopefully he’ll land as a starter in an upper end club somewhere.

        1. Not yet and I agree de Vrij would be a different type of defender than Stam/Vlaar. From one particular play yesterday when I saw him cleared to the side instead of middle with narrow angle, I could guess he’s an intelligent player. He doesn’t have to be a Stam, if he can grow to be a Paolo Maldini-type of player, I’d be really delighted 🙂

        2. De vrij is a nice type of defender who is able to handle pressure and play football.
          Frank De boer type but with less quality at least till now. Hope he can reach Frankie’s level.
          FdB said before brazil game than De Vrij was actually the best defender in Oranje this WC.

    1. I like Beerens as he was part of my AZ for the past four years. However,I do not think his level is appropriate for Oranje. I hope he will prove me wrong.

      1. If you’d listen to Srinjoy, the dutch NT would be composed by Drenthe, De Ridder, Chris David, Beerens, Berghuis…

        The guy is always asking for the strangest players

        Maybe just a way to show that he plays football manager

          1. laurent nice try…we are legit dutch enthusiasts here and we will crush u whenever u open ur pie hole..lol

        1. I agree with Srinjoy. I posted a reply to your earlier post yesterday asking you to give us your credentials and resume so we can review, critique your performances as a football manager and decide whether or not we should give you the boot.
          Time to retire….early our dear Laurent.

          1. Why should I retire Jeff ?

            I didn’t have hopes about this WC, but I will have for next -21 EC, and maybe even for 2016, I rate Hiddink higher than LGV and I like some dutch youngsters

            I think we should meet in A’dam and forget about the past

  2. Roma sign Emanuelson
    AS Roma have bolstered their squad by signing Urby Emanuelson on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract with AC Milan.

    The 28-year-old left-back is moving to the Italian capital club on an initial 12-month deal, with the option to extend those terms by two further seasons.

    He becomes the Giallorossi’s fourth summer recruit after Seydou Keita, Salih Ucan and Ashley Cole.

  3. Ron Jans yesterday on NOS WK football with R De Boer and PVH. “come and watch the Eredivisie, great crowds, great players and we still know how to form players”. We almost won the WC with Eredivisie players. This is really good for the league.

  4. Argentina pretty much parking the bus, as expected, and trying to get Messi free on a counter. Germany with all the possession. Losing Khedira was a bad piece of luck.

    1. Argentina is actually very dangerous. They defend in numbers but also attack too fast. I wish Howedes header went in. Luck not on german side today. Can go either way.

      1. exactly Argentina has had some dangerous chances. Their defense is very organized. Its a pleasure to watch. If that idiot Higuain had put his chance away they’d be leading 1-nil. Though you could say the same for Howedes

  5. I was happy yesterday with the 3rd place but today while watching I final, I feel Oranje would be up 2-0 at this point against Germany. I am missing my Oranje.

  6. @ HedonistiX

    de Vrij could be our next Jaap Stam. And he’s only 22….. May its too early too ay that. Im Sure Hiddink will go with the traditional 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation and trust me De Vrij and Blind is A recipe of Disaster when playing with 4 man defense. I think this has already been discussed here, Van Gaal system was really simply. Have a 5 men defense which accounted for inexperience backline when playing with 4 defenders,2 holding midfielders, 2 worldclass forwards and a playmaker who could feed the two strikers. Having said this ts easy to to tell that Robben was fulcrum point and without him we would have gone as far as where they reached (3rd runner up). Jus like what happen to Uruguay after Suarez was banned for biting. If you look at all the games played, Beligum, Argentina and Germany (after Lam moved to RB) had a formidable backline and NT only played with Argentina, in which it took Rooben almost 90 minutes to Break the last line of defense. Against Mexico it was also the same story when they played the same formation as NT. lets see ….


    Vs Spain – their defense (Ramos/Pique)POOR
    VS Brazil – same story
    Vs Australia – their defense was good till the first half until we changed the formation when they LB choked big under

    at our Defense in the WC, even if Van Dijik, Bruma, Rekik, Douglas would have have been selected,still the result would have been the same wit 5 men defense.

    I still think there are better defenders than De Vrij and Blind which under Van Gaal never got the chance to get out of the shoes. For instance If you look at kongolo towards the end of the season he had pretty much outdone BMI for most number of games but yet he played jus 1 game.

      1. Wilson, I have 2 comments:
        1. Try to articulate your points in a semi-intelligent way, because frankly what you are saying is incomprehensible. Clearly writing is not your strength.
        2. Many teams at this WC played with 5 backs. I see nothing wrong with this tactic. The only thing it does is deplete the MF but even if we play with 4 backs I think we will be fine. Case in point in this WC, when we adjusted to a 4-3-3 we did not concede any goals. So indeed we can claim that De Vrij and Co are excellent defenders.

    1. Vs Spain – their defense (Ramos/Pique)POOR
      VS Brazil – same story
      Vs Australia – their defense was good till the first half until we changed the formation and when they LB choked big under Depay
      vs Chile – pretty good but then again you have to play full90
      Vs Mexico – 5 men defense was formidable but could hold up for full 90. This is one game I think we escaped the bullet by a inch.
      VS Costa and Argentina – Formidable Back line…strikers struggled to beak the defense.

    1. Thats whats happen when u have super subs on the bench…..well deserved victory for the Germans. I think Low Decision to shift Lam to Rb was a critical move and a trump card for the Germans.

  7. I believe those germans will still be the best team in 2016.

    France has to developp some top players in the two coming years to have a complete team.

    Holland should absolutly stop with Sneijder and RVP, and just like France, has to developp some top players

    Spain has to change everything. But they still have great young players.

    Italy will be better with El Shaarawy, and Verrati, Insigne with 2 years more of maturity.

    Belgium will progress and probably have a better coach

      1. France lacks quality so far, especially forward. It will all depend on how players like Thauvin, Martial, N’tep etc. will developp.

        Same for Holland, defence and midfield look promising. Now it’s about attack, Depay will probably be something big, but what about Boetius, Promes, Ola John etc ? We have to anticipate that Robben can maybe miss Euro2016, for not being good enough anymore, or for being injured. Many things can happen in two years. And we know that Holland without Robben is…hmm let’s not to be negative.

        Also for the striker role, Castaignos, Luuk De Jong and Locadia are not good enough for it, Holland should absolutly bet on Kishna or Zivkovic and make them to take another dimension in two years, that’s not easy.

        That’s why Euro2015 can be very important, Euro2013 helped to see that De Vrij, BMI and Blind would be together during the world cup, now next year it will be about attack.

        The worst thing would be to go to Euro with RVP and Sneijder again.

    1. That’s an insult to all the other players who brought joy and entertainment to their fans all tournament long like Robben or Rodriguez.

      I think the script was for Argentina to win the cup and then Messi be the MVP and world cup winner. Luckily that didn’t turn out that way…

    2. Full respect to Messi. He had a good tournament. I have no respect for those awards these days. Why dont they just give the award right to Messi at the beginning of the WC?

  8. The question is has Sabella dcesion leave Trevez out has come to haunt especially when Aguero and Di Maria got injured. Higuan and Palcios were both average IMO.

    1. Certainly must be laughing at Sabella. Points to one thing….Messi cannot do everything on his own. I guess Maradona will still remain the greatest of all time for the Argentines.

  9. Agree EC 2015 FOR U21 will be a good buildup for the EC 2016, specially with our young generation coming up. I have high hopes for 2016 and 2018. I can actual feel our next golden generation raising in for years time. we definitely have all ingredients and a cook to do deliver the perfect recipe.

  10. guus hiddink is from the 442 school style playing it safe 4231 is most likely

    striker huntelaar, rvp

    wingers lens, depay, robben, boetius, promes, ola john

    attacking midfield, vdv, sneijder, affellay, wijnaldum

    defensive mid: strootman, blind, fer, clasie

    leftback blind, pieters, wilems
    rightback, vdw, vrhijn, janmaat
    centerbacks kongolo, vlaar, bmi, de vrij, veltman

    i suspect this as a
    starting eleven i want sneijder done for not to play for holland put clasie or wijnaldum in his spot, with klassen as back up, id like to see a rekik, de vrij or rekik veltman pairig

    ———vlaar——–de vrij—–

      1. this is not what i would put, its just guessing what hiddink would put since hiddink is from the psv school about playing it safe, always 442 and now the new 442 which is 4231 so i assume he wouldn’t want cillessen unless he proves himself to be a better shot stopper

        i can even imagine douglas getting called up to play for holland, we’ll see what the knvb is trying to do, and what he wants in september when we call up our team for the friendly. i am assuming we want to follow the az alkmaar of lvg era tactics, 442 and 352 counter

  11. if i was coach i’d go for 343

    —-blind—————de vrij——

  12. Jeff my friend we meet again…. Ok yeah I agree with you this time about my grammatical errors…I was still in process of proof reading when the I accidentally hit the press button.

    Please go and watch the replay of the CR game, when Van Gaal switched the formation to 4-3-3 in the extra time when Hunter came on for BMI. The game opened up and could have gone either way.Unforutalely the CR were all out of gas and had not it been for Cillessen save on that Marco Urena guy it would have been lights out for NT.

    Most you guys are blind not to see this , Vaal System only worked with teams that had average or poor defense and choked with those that had strong and formidable back line.

    the Aussie caught us by surprise in the midfield and on the wings especially with Mark Bresciano and Matthew Lecki who toyed around Blind on so many occasion but then they were caught napping on the left flank by Depay when the formation was switched to 4-3-3.

    I was also anticipating Di Maria and Blind show down but that never eventuated coz defintiely it would have the exposed Blind Big time in defense.

    I will acknowledge my views on the Spain and NT game where I said NT will never win with player selection and the formation they used, but then again Spain had themselves to blame.

    1. Sorry but I still don’t understand what you are trying to say. Whether with 4 or 5 in defense, we did very well. Cillessen only had to make a couple of important saves per game -a testament to our excellent defense- and by the way to his stellar performance in goal. Nothing is more difficult than to make a few saves per game.

  13. yes Vanvader you are correct about about Maher. Im supervised how his form degraded after switching from AZ Alkmaar. After the Friendly vs Italy last year I was adamant that he will make the cut for the world cup and Sneijder/vaart to battle out for his backup, but things got worse and worse for him performance ways in the second half of eredivise. The kid definitely is talented and has got skills to fill sneijder shoes…remains to be seen maybe he needs the right mentor.

  14. The pool of young players are there for Guus and Danny.

    Keeper: Cillessen, Krul, Zoet
    Defense: De Vrij, Veltman, Vlaar, BMI, Kongolo, PVA, Willems, Denswil, Janmaat, Ake, Rekik, Bruma, Van Dijk
    Midfields: Blind, Clasie, Fer, De Guzman, Strootman, Van Ginkel, Wijnaldum, Maher, Vilhena, Ebilicio, Ziyech, Klaassen
    Forwards: Robben, RVP, Boetius, Promes, Depay, Ola John, Castaignos, Luuk De Jong, Kishna, Zivkovic

    We can look forward to Euro 2016 (and then WC 2018) with positives, hopes and optimism.

    Robben won Adidas Bronze Ball (Messi 1st, Mueller 2nd). RVP will win the Puskas award at the end of the year for his flying header.

    1. I would add Lerin Duarte as very interesting material, this guy is underrated in the dutch football, he could also have done better a better work than Wijnaldum in that penetrating midfielder role.

      1. I may as well add Siem De Jong who is with Newscatle. Brothers in NT has such a famous history (Van Der Kerkhofs, De Boers, Koemans). Hopefully he can turn things around.

    2. I would also add two players who I think can be very intersting options in the no. 6 position.
      Ayoub and Hendrix.

      Hendrix is a player that I expect a lot from him.

      1. Mohamed:

        My named is actually “Hendrik”, not Hendrix.

        In any case, I appreciate the compliment, but I am probably past my prime at this point, even to play the #6 role.

        I will say this however — Players today can only shoot with their laces. I could shoot with the inside, laces and outside of both feet. In other words, I was six times better than today’s players.

  15. So that’s it ZE Germans win again, it’s not surprising given the way that teams like Bayern and Dortmund have dominated in the last few years – well done to them!
    As for the NT I agree with the sentiment on here that things can only get better in the future given some minor adjustments to team structure and players. I agree with Laurent ( wow did I say that), that RVP and Sniejder Should part ways from the team so as to allow some younger flare into the squad, unless RVP can stay fit and continue to be one of the worlds best goal scorers.
    I’m really looking forward to see if Van Ginkle and Stootman can give us the midfield we need to play 433 if so I think the goal scoring will eventuate as it’s the midfield who should create the chances for the strikers , whoever they are (Robben, Lens, Depay, RVP, Ricky W), just to name a few.
    I watch the replay of 2010 final today , last 30 mins only, and I was still way more pissed off going through that again compared to losing to the Argies in the 2014 semi, I guess that is a wound that won’t heal for a long time.
    Jan I hope you keep the flame burning as we have games coming up in just a couple of months, the banter on here is just great I’ll even except Laurent’s insightful comments if he must stay around! lol.
    All of a sudden it’s getting exciting not knowing what our future is in the new Boss – Aussie Gus! As we call him down under!

  16. I’m very pleased with the team’s performance in this World Cup, especially the mentality that allowed us to rally from a deficit so many times. I think LVG’s tactics for the most part worked very well and covered over a number of weaknesses that weren’t as obvious as they would otherwise have been had we just played things straight up. Those tactics kept us in each game, and allowed us the opportunity to win the game with one or two quality chances on goal. However, in my view those tactics are not the kind long-term that will allow us to win the World Cup.

    As we all recognized many times, LVG is a supreme tactician and got the most out of this group. I just worry that his success with an overachieving side will become a model for others (people always like to use the World Cup as a source for new innovation) and the 532 –used fairly prevalently by our team and others in this tournament — may become commonplace for teams that seek not to attack themselves but just defend and counter. That will lead to many more games like our draw vs Argentina, or Argentina’s very near draw vs Germany.

    In other words, I hope that our tactical success in this World Cup does not make it more difficult for us and other aspiring attacking teams to play our traditional Dutch School style in the future.

    On the other hand, maybe the 343 will become the tactical counterbalance to the 532 for more adventurous teams, but my fear is that 532 vs 532 becomes the norm and we end up with many games that resemble Holland’s games vs Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina. Or perhaps this has already happened, and I just haven’t been paying close enough attention… 🙂

    1. Hiddink provides the right tactical style. He will probably play more offensively than Van Marwijk or Van Gaal but he gives a lot of attention to defense as well. In 1998, our defense was rock solid (obviously we had great defenders as well).

      I think there are 2 big positives for the Oranje. The first is that the team has evolved its mentality during the last years to become more the ‘Germany’ or ‘Italy’ type – overachieving rather than underachieving. In fact in this WC we punched beyond our weight.

      The 2nd is that there are a number of talented players in almost every area: defense, midfield and attack. The big question here is whether these talented youngsters make the right choices for their career during the rest of this year and during 2015.

  17. Difference between LvG and GH is that the former is a great tactician and can develop excellent short-term solutions, while the latter is more a strategic and he will build long-term solutions which are going to be implemented later by Dany Blind or his other successor. Both are great coached, but I totally agree with Alistair that everything will depend on career choices of our younger talents. My major fear is that young talented players leave NT too early and while being underdeveloped can not find a place in the base of their new employer. Then they slowly disappear….Look at Drenthe….He was very promising talent, now he is 26 and has not achieved anything….

    1. It is odd how you see some young players and think they have excellent potential, and they usually do, and think they will be great for the national team, and then like Drenthe and Affelay and others they get sidetracked by injuries or poor team choices or attitude issues and you never hear from them again! This is not unique to Netherlands–happens in every country.

      I was a bit envious of this German team because 1) they had strong players all over the field, at almost every position, and 2) they have a ton of chemistry, having played together a lot at club and national level. This Dutch team did not have as many accomplished and experienced players–but on the whole there is a LOT of talent in Netherlands and it can only be hoped that going forward the mix is right. You need talent and experience and chemistry…

      As an aside, watching Thomas Muller in this WC, I thought he was a real veteran–easily in his 30s. He has an older face, no? So I was shocked to hear that he’s only 24! The Germans don’t have anybody as good as Robben or even RVP, but they have so much chemistry and they are very cagey around the box. I hate it that they have 4 WC titles now while excellent Dutch sides have yet to have the luck, but I’m glad they beat Argentina. I will say that Argentina were better than I realized–not so great in attack with an over-realiance on Messi–but very rugged defensively, muck like Netherlands. They two teams were very much alike.

      I think WC semifinals should be played on the same day. Very unfair to give one team a day’s more rest than than the other, especially at six games. It amazes me that FIFA doesn’t see this, or care. FIFA should also add substitutions to this sport. At the least teams should get an extra sub for Extra Time–and they should also get a sub, IMO, if someone is injured and cannot return.

      1. richarde,

        The evolution of Germany national team is a long process that started with the overhaul of their youth program after their disastrous EURO 2010. I think it is very admirable that they took a very long-term approach to fix the system instead of patching with short-term solutions.

        Even before this year (EURO 2012, WC 2010), I have always joked the core of their squad has been playing attacking/exciting football, i.e.: the Germans play more like the old Oranje and the Oranje play more like the old Germany. Most of the core are also core players for Bayern and Dortmund, which have been very successful in the last couple years.

        Here is an article that I ran into and posted in another thread on this:

        I think for the size of the country, size/quality of domestic league and probably size of development budget, Holland has done exceptionally well in the youth development. Which means, it’s probably tough if not impossible for Holland to do what Germany did as illustrated in the article above.

        What our top clubs seem to lack – relative to the likes of Bayern or Dortmund – is the level of competitiveness in the Champions League. I don’t follow the Eredivisie much but I’m assuming a lot of the leading players in clubs like Ajax/Feyenoord/PSV, etc. are foreign players. Bayern also has Robben or Ribery but when we look at their lineup, I feel we can relate them directly to their national team. I thought we have good core of players from Feyenoord, though.

        I am also encouraged by what I perceive to be the change in mentality in our players, i.e.: they are tougher mentally, systematic in defense, etc., in short “more like the Germans”, as someone pointed out on this board. I think these attributes are probably not “train-able” but have to come within the players themselves (probably related to culture, etc.).

      1. We’ve had a couple of clips here that showed him to be fast, but I didn’t think he was THAT speedy. Hope his knee knits up nicely. The secret’s out. 😉

        1. Yes, thank you, vf.

          Here’s a list to put Vlaar’s sprint in perspective:

          The following list is updated regularly! Give always credit if you copy it: ask4sports.eu
          POR Cristiano Ronaldo: 10.9m/s (24.4mph, 39.2km/h) 2011
          FRA Thierry Henry: 10.9m/s (24.4mph, 39.2km/h) 1998
          NED Arjen Robben: 10.5m/s (23.5mph, 37.8km/h) 2012
          POR Cristiano Ronaldo: 10.4m/s (23.3mph, 37.5km/h) 2010
          ENG Theo Walcott: 10.4m/s (23.3mph, 37.5km/h) 2010
          ENG Theo Walcott: 10.4m/s (23.3mph, 37.5km/h) 2011
          ENG Gabriel Agbonlahor: 10.4m/s (23.3mph, 37.5km/h) 2009
          WAL Gareth Bale: 10.2m/s (22.9mph, 36.8km/h) 2010
          ENG Aaron Lennon: 10.1m/s (22.6mph, 36.4km/h) 2011
          CAM Samuel Eto’o: 10.1m/s (22.6mph, 36.4km/h) 2008
          NED Ryan Babel: 10.1m/s (22.6mph, 36.4km/h) 2008
          ENG Kyle Walker: 9.9m/s (22.2mph, 35.7km/h) 2012
          ENG Aaron Lennon: 9.9m/s (22.2mph, 35.7km/h) 2009
          FRA Franck Ribery: 9.7m/s (21.7mph, 35.0km/h) 2006
          ENG Wayne Rooney: 9.7m/s (21.7mph, 35.0km/h) 2010
          FRA Jonathan Biabiany: 9.7m/s (21.7mph, 35.0km/h) 2010
          NIG Obafemi Martins: 9.7m/s (21.7mph, 35.0km/h) 2011
          ENG Ashley Young: 9.7m/s (21.7mph, 35.0km/h) 2011
          ENG Aaron Lennon: 9.6m/s (21.4mph, 34.6km/h) 2010
          ENG Micah Richards: 9.6m/s (21.4mph, 34.6km/h) 2011
          BRA Ronaldo: 9.5m/s (21.4mph, 34.6km/h) 2005
          ARG Lionel Messi: 9.4m/s (21.1mph, 33.8km/h) 2008
          BRA Alexandre Pato: 9.4m/s (21.1mph, 33.8km/h) 2011
          ENG Aaron Lennon: 9.4m/s (21.1mph, 33.8km/h) 2010
          NED Eljero Elia: 9.4m/s (21.1mph, 33.8km/h) 2009
          ENG Kyle Walker: 9.4m/s (21.1mph, 33.8km/h) 2011
          ENG Michael Owen: 9.3m/s (20.8mph, 33.5km/h) 1998
          NED Arjen Robben: 9.3m/s (20.7mph, 33.3km/h) 2010
          ITA Ignazio Abate: 9.2m/s (20.6mph, 33.2km/h) 2008
          POL Zbigniew Boniek: 9.2m/s (20.6mph, 33.2km/h) 1984
          ECU Joffre Guerron: 9.2m/s (20.5mph, 33.1km/h) 2008
          GER Mesut Ozil: 9.1m/s (20.4mph, 32.8km/h) 2013
          GER David Odonkor: 9.1m/s (20.4mph, 32.8km/h) 2006
          FRA Gael Clichy: 9.1m/s (20.4mph, 32.8km/h) 2007
          BRA Alexandre Pato: 8.8m/s (19.7mph, 31.7km/h) 2008
          POR Cristiano Ronaldo: 8.7m/s (19.5mph, 31.3km/h) 2009
          ENG Shaun Wright-Phillips: 8.7m/s (19.5mph, 31.3km/h) 2011
          GRE Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 8.6m/s (19.2mph, 31.0km/h) 2010
          ARG Angel di Maria: 8.6m/s (19.2mph, 30.9km/h) 2013
          BRA Roberto Carlos: 8.4m/s (18.7mph, 30.1km/h) 2007

  18. 2 things that stood out for me post game yesterday: Brazilian president cold and emotionless face and the hypocrisy in faces of FIFA officials. Messi also cut out a very lonely picture.

  19. Very proud of the Dutch teams performance… Such a shame we didn’t make the final I think the trophy was ours for the taking. The biggest positive for me was the teams unity and fighting spirit. They played for each other in every game and when we went down which happened in the 3 of the games we didn’t give up and came back and won… shows a great mentality, a winning mentality.

    For me the top 3 players for us were




  20. I can understand why she was cold: tons of money were spent for this WC hoping that Brazil would win and that would entertain hungry people from slums for certain period of time. The prupose of this WC was to solve acute social problems in Brazilian society. Remember, in Brazil football is more than anything else, even food. So, now she does not have any excuses to justify those expenses and also big portion of money that ended in the personal pockets…

    With respect to FIFA officials, they are the reflection of what is going on in the World globally: World is being ruled by hypocrites. Hypocrisy and double standards become political priority of the corporate World. Unfortunately….

  21. Dear Jan’s Readers:

    Ja ja ja! I appreciate all of your support this summer. My time with the team has been wonderful and I’m certain your time with me has been wonderful too!

    In case you were wondering, I have finally selected my tattoo for this WK – it will be:

    Ongeslagen Oranje

    Fitting, don’t you think? I have of course achieved what no other Dutch manager could ever do!

    I am now off to coach Manchester United and to bring as many Dutch players there as possible so that I don’t have to works as hard and we can dominate England.

    And I already have my first success – Adidas has agreed to sponsor me (and the team) for € 1.77 billion, which I’m told is the richest deal in the history of sports. However, we will still wear Nike this season.

    Nike means “victory” which also seemed perfect for me, but Adidas is paying more.

    Thank you again for all of your support!

    Yours in Adidas,


  22. I have to say I completely enjoyed this World Cup.

    Nederland did, in my view, especially well. And all of the following are positives:

    – winning attitude
    – never ever ever quit attitude
    – experience for young players
    – goals for young players

    I am looking forward to the next competitions with anticipation. Our young talents will be augmented with more over the next few years and the core group will be ready.

    In my opinion there was virtually nothing between Germany, Netherlands and …well maybe… Argentina. (Brazil simply wasn’t good enough)

    If we’d made the final it would have been a great match but likely the Germans would have prevailed due simply to the fact that Netherlands had been pushed to the limit with extra time games too many times consecutively.

    To win the whole thing – you need to completely “blow out” at least 1 opponent in the knock-out rounds. And then coast into the final feeling good and (somewhat) rested.

    It was clear to me that by the time we played Argentina (either through illness or injury) we were running out of attacking threats. But in spite of that – we held our ground – and I am very proud of this accomplishment.

    An awesome campaign – congratulations to the team and the coaches.

    PS: Jan enjoy the “beer” thanks again for the site!!

    1. I totally agree with everything you said. This is why I feel a bit sad today now that I have had time to reflect. I do think Argentina, Germany and us were very close and any of these teams could have won. We lost the game against Argentina by not killing CR when we could have. If only RVP puts that chance away in the 22nd min, then we could have coasted to an easy win.
      Seeing Germany win made me feel regretful because this was a WC made for us. We had low expectations to begin with, most of the big European teams were eliminated and with Brazil out of the WC we had a golden opportunity to win on neutral grounds. Unlike 4 years ago where Spain was truly dominant, I don’t think any of the teams at the WC were dominant, hence the unique opportunity to win.
      Oh well, it is what it is and there is nothing we can do. I am still very happy and proud of all our accomplishments but the WC was definitely for the taking this year.

      1. Watching yesterdays game made me realize that both Netherlands and Argentina were close to German’s level–but I maintain that the Germans were still a notch above both teams, and they sort of proved that yesterday. How many shots did Argentina have on goal? One all day? Messi had a great chance, but the Higuain chance was simply the result of a bad German error. Germany dictated the match, played positively throughout while Argentina sat back and tried for counters and ran out of gas. Netherlands would have played Germany the same way. I too think the stupid Costa Rica game might have cost us against Argentina, but no matter what Germany would have been a tough hill to climb. I wish this Dutch team had had the chance, even though another 2nd place would have been cruel!

        1. I agree with you…I gladly take the win during the 3rd place match and finishing the WC undefeated but I still think we would have matched very well against Germany.

  23. Aloysius:

    Congratulations! Great job in setting the world back years in defensive-minded football! 532?! At least your formation points towards the goal, but with a dull tip!

    Only three teams were truly capable of playing with the Dutch School style of play in this World Cup:

    1. The 2010 World Champions, who are in need of refreshing and succumbed to your defensive tactics.

    2. The 2014 World Champions, who actually played relatively attractive and interesting football despite being German.

    3. The team that thankfully you will no longer be coaching.

    Back in 1968, a young but visionary Dutchman said this:

    “They laugh when I say it, but I don’t care. I insist that Dutch football can come very far internationally. It can become the best football ever seen on the planet. That seems boastful for a 20 year old braggart but can I explain why I’m an optimist? Because Dutch football is both disciplined and imaginative. Others don’t have this. We have fantasy in our game. In five or ten years’ time look back and you will see that this guy called Cruyff was right.”

    Please recognize that I was right (it actually takes a huge effort for me to be wrong).

    Now here we are, 46 years later, and you have kept the discipline but lost the imagination. You have given up the optimism for pragmatism. You focus not on fantasy, only harsh reality.

    We once played the best football ever seen on the plant. We were the model for the world in how to play the sport. In this tournament, we were a model only for how to stop others from playing.

    I guess that sometimes something has got to happen before something is going to happen.

    De koning is dood! Leve de koning!


    1. Thank you Mr. Cruyff. Hopefully some day and before it is too late you will take the reigns of NT and lead us to glory through discipline and imagination.

  24. @Hien

    The pool of young/experienced players are there for Guus and Danny.




    De Vrij
    Van Dijk


    De Guzman
    Van Ginkel
    Siem de Jong


    Ola John
    Luuk De Jong

  25. loving the feyenoord lineup that will be set up for the 3rd round qualifiers of the Champions League. I think the plan is clear, hang on to all the world cup stars for the CL qualification games, and once you are in the group stages, use their relative financial muscle to build a squad capable of getting out of the group. Loving the Boulahrouz signing!

    Current First XI


    de Vrij





          1. i do expect to see a lot more of him than i wud like but hopefully not in europe starting elevens ( i am optimistic that we make the european groups stages..that is a bare minimum given the world cup players becoz i doubt that every single one of clasie, de vrij etc will leave!)

  26. in other notes, I have closely watched the Ajax preseason games….Zivkovic looks very very good!

    and Viergiver is being moulded to play the crucial Defensive Midfield role to take over from Christoper Disastersen (instead of the CB role)

  27. @Jeff

    We were not ready yet – we did not have the depth in attack.
    In Robben and RvP we have two of the best attackers in the game, but we need more to back this up and especially more youth in the attacking positions. We are close – but not there yet.

    We are in the right direction and our depth in all other positions is coming up nicely. We will be there again in the next tournament and we will be at or near the top – again.


    We did not have the depth to play as JC would like. I too am not happy with that – however we were (and are) able to switch our game as required. I saw that in this tournament much more so than in the 2010 group. Our 2014 side shows real promise for the future and – when they are able to play “Total Football” — they will. It is always the goal, it will always be the standard we measure ourselves against.

    Being pragmatic may be distasteful but – there is so much “good” in the youth of this side. And after this medal – they cannot wait to get back into the next WC!. This is far preferable to going down in “glorious defeat” with all of the young players being hounded as “incapable”. Such events can alter a career forever.

    Nope – there is skill, discipline and also intelligence required to win. We can have it all. But – even as fans – we need to have discipline and patience.

    I’ve never particularly liked van Gaal – but he truly understands the game and what it takes to win it all. He knows that you cannot always be “perfect” but that you can keep working and keep preparing the ground for the next run… and… – one day – it will all come together.

    Netherlands are a small country – we will get it right and we will win it — and win it properly – of this I am convinced.


  28. @ Balkan

    Of course Brazilian President was gloomy. The presidential elections are coming up soon (in October) and she knows her time is up 🙂

    1. wow ur right…so newcastle now has krul, anita, de jong, janmaat…from a french team to now a dutch team…interesting….

      that means Mathijsen will still play instead of Janmaat at Feyenoord

  29. One random observation that I read yesterday when watching the final is how Germany now had beaten/eliminated Argentina in the last 3 World Cups, including the 4-0 defeat in 2010.

    After “owning” France/England/Holland (for the most parts), looks like Germany now has Argentina’s numbers as well. Italy seems to be the one whom the Germans can’t seem to crack (yet).

  30. I don’t like Janmaat’s move to New Castle. Not that good club for a player development.
    Napoli , Fiorintina , Valencia , Roma , Arsenal are way better. I wouldn’t mind if players like Siem de jong or Luuk move there cause I can’t see them as real Oranje material , but Janmaat is a player I do like.

    I hope LvG gets as much Dutchies as he can. I want Depay and De vrij to be developed with him. That’s only to start. Clasie will also be lovely.

  31. @Srinjoy:

    What about BMI in Feyenord’s XI? He played very good this WC. He was dangerous but experience will teach him not to commit useless fouls.

    1. Indi will probably go to Porto. Not sure how good is that move.
      Portuguese league , apart from Porto and Benfica , is nothing special over Eredivisie , Porto may be better than Feyenoord at European level , but I think it will better for him to stay in Feyenoord and Play CL.

  32. I like Janmaat’s move to Newcastle. He’ll get consistent playing time for an EPL team, and the competition is better there than in the Serie A.

    Some more news:

    Fred Rutten wants to bring Afellay to Feyenoord.

    Not really sure what to think of that move. Ibi is still only 28, and I think that would be a step back at this point. I think Ibi can do better, but the injures + lack of playing time have really effected his stock.

    1. Step back from Barcelona in terms of prestige, yes, but not for his career. As the old saying goes, sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward. I’ve always been a fan of his, and he needs to go somewhere that he can play. At Feyenoord, he’d be the central offensive midfielder.

      1. I agree, but I don’t think he should go back to the Eredivisie yet when he still has 3-4 peak years of his career left.

        He should look to go to the Bundesliga, Serie A or even Ligue 1 first, IMO.

  33. When I hear swansea is interested in clasie, I get depressed!!! I don’t want these guys to move to these small premiere league clubs!! That’s not good!! What about liverpool, arsenal and juventus and atletico Madrid!! Why aren’t these teams making a love for these players??

    1. I actually really like Swansea! They are much more similar in style of play to Holland’s traditional style than are many of the other Premier League teams.

      Additionally, if de Guzman stays at Swansea too, it might be beneficial to have both de Guzman and Clasie playing together regularly.

  34. Speaking of BMI, I have to say that he was one of the big question marks of the team for me. He seems awkward with the ball at his feet, he gives away pointless fouls, and he clearly isn’t very fast, being beaten several times down the wing. His play reminds me of an MLS back- big and physical but that’s about it.

    Am I missing something that you guys are all seeing differently?

    1. I agree. I actually thought BMI was the weakest link on the NT. He seemed very undisciplined in his defending, quite often getting too close to quicker players and essentially offering an arm bar as the only means of keeping them from blowing by him.

      His distribution seemed poor as well, as he played mostly long hopeful diagonal balls that were often inaccurate, and he both angered Robben and injured Sneijder in challenges in training / warm-ups.

      I don’t really watch him at the club level, but was disappointed in his overall performance at the World Cup.

    2. No, he didn’t impress. Neither did Lens, but he played so very little it is hard to assess him. Wijnaldum was the big mystery for me. He seems to be well regarded, but he never penetrated down the middle (that I saw in six games), and that was the team’s biggest weakness. Yesterday’s 3rd place game doesn’t count!

  35. @aanvalluh: I get you but I think BMI can only improve he is young.

    De Vrij was rock solid. I can’t compare him now with Stam or De Boer but if he keeps this form he will be a legend.

    Vlaar really impressed me. He was a huge leader. He was the best defender in the whole tournament.

    It was a shame Nigel got injured because his injury and Strootman’s injury affected the team so much. Perhaps is he was 100% fit LVG would’ve chosen to attack more against Argentina.

    1. It occurs to me that during the period of his absence due to injury, the perception of Strootman has grown by epic proportions to almost legendary levels!

      He’s now looked at as some combination of Deschamps, Keane, Matthaus and Rijkaard, with maybe a little Pirlo thrown in.

      I hope he’s half the player we think is in when he recovers!

  36. I smiled to myself when I remembered how both De Vrij and Vlaar suffered in that friendly against Japan six months before the WC 😀 . Now , you will find them both probably in most of WC teams on different football websites. What LvG actually did is real magic. He was able to het the best out of them both. That’s why I want de vrij to continue his development with him.

    I agree with Alaa. I don’t want our Oranje material players to move to mid-table team. Either stay with their Eredivisie clubs or move to a top or a “sub top” team. i.e. Seveille , Napoli , Forintina , Arsenal , Valencia , Shalke 04 , etc.

  37. Ajax coach has come out and compared young Croatian winger Robert Muric with Dutch winger Arjen Robben.
    The 18 year old joined the Lancers from Dinamo Zagreb in sordid circumstances in June of 2014 and is not yet allowed to play.

    This is what Ajac coach Frank de Boer had to say about his new talent, “He reminds me stylistically of Robben a bit. He cuts from the right to the left. He has a lot of threat and has a pretty good through ball.

    The 44 year old went on the add that the club are looking into his contractual situation,

    “Marc Overmars and our attorney know the exact state of affairs on Muric. We hope the matter occurs as soon as possible.

    The Croatian youth international is currently injured after sustaining an ankle injury.

  38. Reflecting on this tourney:

    JANMAAT – I was quite impressed with his powering runs forward. Six months ago I was openly skeptical about this guy but he literally proved me wrong and I really would have liked to see hime used more. I was happy Kuyt filled in but I think against Argentina Janmaat would have been the difference maker sending in more accurate crosses and being more of an attacking threat. I am disappointed to see him join Newcastle as I do feel he is worthy of a bigger deal at a better team.

    CLASIE – It’s a pity we didn’t see Clasie get more minutes at least against Chile to see what he could deliver. When he played against Argentina he seemed to add more flair to the team. I am excited to see what he will offer us.

    SNEIJDER – Many of you still hate on Sneijder when he took martial arts classes to ready himself for the defensive duties he would be faced with and he passed these with flying colors. Sure, he didn’t provide some of the magic we saw in the past but he certainly provided strength in the middle along with other flashes of brilliance. I would love to see him play one more tourney at least, in some ways he is the heart and soul of this team and should be given the yellow armband.

    LVG – I was never a fan of his and even though he proved quite a few of us wrong with this ‘tactical’ moves, they came back to bite him.

    We definitely played a good tourney and am proud of Oranje. What proved to be our downfall turned out to be a ‘tactical failure’. Why did we start NDJ and RVP knowing these were 2 subs we literally flushed down the toilet? RVP could have been a phenomenal super sub if needed as could NDJ. We needed Memphis to make an appearance and possibly Krul vs Argentina and LVG should have made the the ballsier decision by saving NDJ and RVP for later in the game or even for the final. He took this team far no doubt, but it’s a pity we didn’t go out knowing we really took it to Argentina with some of our promising young stars.

  39. PSG are set to agree to a €9m plus midfielder Clement Chantome deal, which would see Serge Aurier become Gregory Wiel’s rival in that position. After missing the world cup this will definitely keep him more focused especially stiff competition expected from the two compatriots.

    Dinamo Moscow have agreed a £5.5m deal with Marseille to sign France international Mathieu Valbuena and after signing Buttner they are also lining up Wilfred Zaha. there were six players from DM in the Russian Squad and will a team to watch especially in the Europa league.

    Luuk De Jong to PSV completed
    Hertha Berlin have already signed three dutch internationals Jeffrey Gouweleeuw , Johnny Heitiga and Roy Beerens
    Bas Dost has played down transfer talk and has committed his future to Wolfsburg but things might change if Wolfburg land Lukuku from Chelsea who are prepared for a lower Bid from Foreign clubs.
    Marseille have contacted Man City for loaning of Karim Rekik . Marseille coach Marcelo Biesla is in the market for a new centre-half signing and is convinced by the 19 year old’s ability. With Man City already Confirming the signing of Eliaquim Mangala this could be very well on the cards.

    Breaking News Afellay has confirmed he is committed to Barcelona and will warm the bench

    1. Barcelona are preparing to cut loose three senior players this week.

      Cristian Tello, Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay are all set to be offloaded in the coming days.

      Barca winger Tello is in advanced talks with Porto, striker Krkic has visited England for a meeting with Stoke City boss Mark Hughes, while Afellay could also move to the Premier League.

      Tello and Krkic are expected to leave Barca on-loan, while Afellay will be sold outright.

      1. I dont think Afellay will be able to land a top club given his playing time at Barcelona. He should have made the move last summer when he had the chance. its either back to eredivise or a free agent.

  40. Feyenoord should absolutly get a new striker before the CL games. The contenders are :

    Zenit St Petersburg, Lille, Copenhaguen, Standard Liege, Besiktas

    Feyenoord isn’t above any of those clubs currently, especially considering that De Vrij, Janmaat, Clasie can move coming weeks.

    It will be very bad for dutch football if Feyenoord doesn’t get at least the next round.

    1. I think somebody should move for Lucas Pizon. Just wasting his time at Vitesse.

      PVA to Feyenoord has also not gained any momentum. Hopefully after the all transfer is complete for the outgoing players we might starting looking at some new signings.

  41. also u heard it here first but

    ANWAR EL-GHAZI will be a star at ajax!

    hattrick in his first official game…although kishna is prolly just as talented if not more!

  42. Aren’t you guys surprised that dutch talents such as Janmaat get sold for just a few million euros when other players from all sorts of countries not even participating in the WC get some huge amounts over at least 15 millions?! I find this really strange. Our players do not command much respect and probably have some terrible managers. I hate Janmaat move and for this cheap.

    1. @Alaa

      He is very young, 19 or 20 … Dutch international as well. I saw highlights from Ajax preseason friendlies. Not bad, large figure but still fast – Ibrahimovic like in terms of physique. De Boer might give him a place in the first squad although it will be very difficult for him to play with Kishna, Zivkovic and Milik all competing for places.

    1. Also, does anyone know what our record is in international tournaments (Euros, WCs) when wearing blue away jerseys?

      In this WC, we were 3-0-0 with 11 goals scored and 3 allowed.

      I feel like in prior tournaments, maybe Euro 2008 and WC 1998, we also were successful wearing blue.

      Obviously just coincidence if we did well, but I really liked the blue this time around and hope that we’ll keep it going forward.

      1. jb you make some fascinating points! keep it coming… i too thought about the effect of the blue jerseys… i decided to wear orange vs argentina and am convinced we lost because of this 🙁

        i also like your post about the stroot meter… he seems to be zidane. hopefully he is THAT good.

        1. Thanks! I’m glad to be adding something to the conversation here, which I really enjoy.

          I liked your reflection on the tournament and players above as well.

          If Strootman comes back AND we wear blue, we’ll be unstoppable!

  43. I was very happy to see overrated arjetines loss in final as Majority of indians(Seasonal followers) were rooting for this team.Was really pissed of to see Messi getting Golden ball.We all know its Fifa we cannt expect more from them.

  44. We had the the best coach in the world,We had the best destroyer in the world,We had the best player in the world(Robben far better than overarated Messi).We had a concrete vlaar..Still we didnt win..if not now then when???

    1. You make a point–it is hard to foresee when it will all come together. I thought this might be the year, even though Germany seemed a bit stronger. I think we had good strength in the back and in the front but the midfield was an issue. Maybe not as big an issue as I thought–since Germany with an excellent midfield struggled to crack Argentina too and came very close to penalty kicks–but it was an issue.

  45. Wow Fer to QPR! how great!.

    Come on Fer! really? his decisions might end up screwing his career.

    I also think Dutch players are so underrated. If De Vrij would have been Brazilian or Spanish the top clubs would be all over him or all over Depay, Vlaar, Blind, Janmaat, Wijnaldum, etc.

  46. Guys do no underestimate moves to small clubs in Premier League. Even though the clubs are small, the Premier League is the most important league in the world. If they are still young, the right step at this stage is to find a bigger league and ensure they PLAY REGULARLY. If they are good in a couple of years time they will move to bigger clubs, no problem.

    Regarding Strootman, of course he is a star. I saw him in some matches this season with Roma. He is a very particular midfielder with a great mix of skills which is very very unique, because he can be very good defensively but also excellent passer, game changer, penalty and free kick taker, and much more! I think this will be his last season at Roma – they will not be able to hold him any longer!

    1. I’m truly against moves to little EPL clubs. Even if they can be a springboard to bigger ones.

      EPL is really a big market with no soul, where every club doesn’t hesitate to buy 3 players for every spot, very hard to make your place. Sec

      I don’t get why dutch players don’t go to sub spanish clubs. Like Griezmann with Sociedad. The technical level is very good in Spain, better than in England for me, and clubs aren’t as crowded.

      Bilbao, Villareal, Sevilla, Sociedad etc. are good clubs for players like Wijnaldum, Clasie, De Guzman…I prefer them to be there rather than in N’castle or Swansea.

      About Strootman, I think he is the dutch Khedira, with a better shot and pass quality, but less good defensivly.

      1. Fully agree with Laurent.
        EPL may be a great league to watch for fans , but tactically speaking , I do believe it’s not really good for players developement. The worst league for a player to learn the off-ball movement. La liga and Liga Calccio are way better in that aspect.

        Claise must go to Italy. He needs to know how to get over his litlle physics and improve his lungs. He can do this in Serie A. Actually a team like Cailgari where he can play under a great coach like Zeman would be very intersting.

  47. A point about the biggest eredivisie transfers so far :

    Tadic to Southampton : 13 millions
    Pelle to Southampton : 10 millions
    Martins Indi to Porto : 8,5 millions
    Finbogasson to Sociedad : 7,5 millions
    Siem de Jong : 7,5 millions

    Janmaat, Wijnaldum and De Vrij shouldn’t bring that much as they have only one year of contract left. I guess something between 5 and 8 millions would be fair. Even if they should normally bring twice more.Contracts are a major problem in dutch clubs.

    Depay can be the big hit, PSV shouldn’t let him leave for less than 15millions. About Willems, I guess something between 6 and 9 millions would be good. 10/13 millions for Clasie.

    1. Of course I’m talking considering eredivisie players values last years, nothing to compare to Liverpool which paies 31 millions for Lallana…

      Actually Southampton fans will have a big smile on their face but they’ll realize that they took a better player for less cheaper with Tadic

  48. I like players going to small EPL clubs as they will get playing time in the toughest league in the world IMO. Further they will play against most of the best players in the world hence the learning curve is very dramatic, some players just aren’t good enough, but others revel in the challenge week in week out, no easy games to be had when your playing for QPR or Swansea or Newcastle etc, even Tottenham has a battle every week in fact I would like to see some Dutch players under Potchettino, he brings a lot of style to the game in England.
    Look at Vlaar, the EPL has made him into a beast well before the WC, Van Gaal got as solution in Vlaar not a problem!

  49. Maybe with an excellent performance in qualifying we can beat Argentina to 2nd place … difficult to beat Germany, the gap is too wide. In 2010 we managed to stay 1st in the world for some months if I remember correctly.

  50. In fact it seems I was right … Man Utd are reportedly setting up a bid for Strootman – the plans are for a January transfer according to goal.com!

  51. Frankly speaking many english players lacks the intelligence of dutch players,EPL andtheir players are tecnically at a lower level than dutch league.But they have got some speed runners and some marvellous forign players who run the business.
    For eg.Leroy fer was struggling in a team with full of headlesschikens.Fer had the quickest brain for Norwitch city,and fer is our last option in dutch national team in holding spot .that says a lot.
    Still i havenot recovered from defeat vs Arjetina.

  52. We can speculate all day long about the best distribution of our national team players throughout the world, and the ideal scenario for each player. However, I think the people on this website and our national team coaches are the only ones who will take such a macro view of things and emphasize that aspect of the players’ club selection.

    Ultimately, we’re talking about these guys’ careers. This is what they’ve spent their entire lives hoping to do. When you go back and watch that video of Robben at age 16 and look at the scarves that he has up on the wall –- Barcelona, Tottenham, Arsenal — those are the teams he’s dreamt of playing for as a youth, not those that will provide him with the best opportunity and training to play on the Dutch national team.

    For players like Afellay, being in a big team like Barcelona is confirmation to them that they’ve “made it”, whether they’re actually playing or not. For others, it’s going to be about the money — securing a big money transfer to a team that can pay them a good salary is perceived to be the ideal scenario for their career.

    To be honest, it’s a shame that the Eredivisie can’t afford to keep its best players, as then those players would have the opportunity to be playing together and honing their skills with similar instruction and all learning a similar style. Germany has this advantage, in that such a large portion of the German national team still plays in Germany (out of their 23, 16 play in Germany (including 7 for Bayern and 4 for Dortmund), 4 play in England (including 3 for Arsenal), 2 in Italy and 1 in Spain). In Spain, this is generally the case as well (out of their 23, 14 play in Spain (including 7 for Barcelona, 4 for Atletico and 3 for Real Madrid), 6 in England, 2 in Italy and 1 in Germany). In contrast, out of our 23, 10 play in Holland (5 for Feyenoord, 3 for Ajax and 2 for PSV), 6 play in England, 3 play in Germany, 2 play in Turkey, 1 plays in Italy and 1 plays in Ukraine.

    From my perspective, I’d just like each of our players to have the best training and the best opportunity to play as possible. Players who played at (the apparently much maligned) Swansea over the last few years have had Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup as coaches. That seems like a pretty good group to me. And sticking with Wales for a second, they have two players on their national team that would be immediate starters on ours (Bale and Ramsey), but will likely never play in a World Cup. They certainly aren’t making decisions based on their prospects as Welsh internationals.

    My point is this — we can all envision an ideal world where our players are all playing at all the right teams to improve our national team, but for me, part of the fun is getting to follow different teams around the world in which our players play, learning more about them, and developing new rooting interests because Van Persie plays in Manchester, or Robben plays in Munich, or Sneijder and Kuyt play in Istanbul. That diversity of experience informs our own views and judgments and broadens our horizons (and those of our players as well).

    So in the end, if we can’t keep all our best players playing in Holland, I think the next best thing is that we keep them all playing regularly, wherever it may be that they play.

  53. @Bitterballen: I has the same feeling with your below paragraph:

    We definitely played a good tourney and am proud of Oranje. What proved to be our downfall turned out to be a ‘tactical failure’. Why did we start NDJ and RVP knowing these were 2 subs we literally flushed down the toilet? RVP could have been a phenomenal super sub if needed as could NDJ. We needed Memphis to make an appearance and possibly Krul vs Argentina and LVG should have made the the ballsier decision by saving NDJ and RVP for later in the game or even for the final. He took this team far no doubt, but it’s a pity we didn’t go out knowing we really took it to Argentina with some of our promising young stars.

    Depay could have donw what Gotze did for Germany, and if needed Krul in PK (although I hope Depay will win it). RVP did not look fit. Low has the ball to play Klose one game and Schurrle the next.

    We thank LVG for what he had done (kind of redeem himself for 2002 but again take away our chance at glory when we are so close) and welcome Guus’ 2nd stint. Hopefully Guus redeem himself (falling in SF) by winning Euro. We may not be favourite but we definitely can challenge for Euro title.

    1. I agree as well. LVG took us this far. He could have taken us farther and maybe all the way if not for the Arg game miscalculations. Missed chance which doesn’t come often.

  54. JB- You make some good points as usual. You seem to beat me to expressing some of the things I constantly think about. For example many people ask me all the time ‘Which is your favorite club team or who do you root for in the EPL?’ My answer is always and has aways been: I root for Dutch players wherever they play and as an informed neutral I have more fun watching the EPL and other leagues because all I want is for Dutch players to shine. However, I too wish we could keep Dutch players in Holland for as long as possible to help them progress by paying them substantial salaries. We deserve it as one of the top footballing nations in the world. It brings us back to the BeNeLux league idea which would be HUGE especially considering all the Belgium talent. Furthermore, it would provide a lot more funds by TV broadcasting and would be one of the top leagues in the world. Are they still considering this?

    Hien & Balkan – Missed chance indeed. Interesting how the ‘tactical genius’ ultimately failed tactically. He made some brilliant moves but when push came to shove he made 2 mistakes which have started to become the norm for Oranje coaches 1) He couldn’t say no to a top Dutch player (RVP) and 2) He reverted to the same defensive tactics that BVM was criticized for. Sure, we managed to squeak by Mexico and CR but had we played France or Brazil we might have suffered an early exit with our ‘back passing’ strategy. Guys like Blind, Clasie, and memphis proved they could hang with the best of them and should have taken the game to Argentina rather than sit back until the last minute.

    1. Yes, maybe: the argentina loss was deeply frustrating. However, look at the final: Germany took the game to Argentina and almost got burned. They controlled the game but could easily have lost. Messi–how many times do he miss like that? And Higuain with only the keeper to beat. I was struck by how very similar argentina and Netherlands were–rugged defense, counter-attacking with skilled forwards, a bit weak in midfield.

  55. Hien, thank you for sharing the article about Germany. It should hit home for us. This is my favorite paragraph:

    “Humility is a big thing. You have to conduct yourself in the right way because you have a responsibility to your team and that has gone out of the window in some countries. They’re taught never to give up and to always try to do the right thing. Even when they were 5-0 up against Brazil, you never saw anything flash. They were the same as at 0-0. Team is the key. They are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the group and are very humble.”

    I definitely saw our Oranje playing like more of a team this tourney. It bodes well for us in the future if we keep this mentality. it is VITAL. In a way, Robben’s departure from the team (and RVP’s too to a degree) will force us to think less individualistically so we can continue to play as a unit. Spain and Germany were successful this way along with Italy. Synergy must be at work for us to succeed.

    Another stat which hits home for Oranje is this: Germany has been in the top 4 12 times! Oranje = 5 times in the top 4. According to the law of averages we will DEFINITELY win the world cup and on multiple occasions provided we keep challenging and making it into the top 4 which I have no doubt about if guys like Hiddink are leading us. I hope Hiddink stays on until Russia as he does seem to have good fortunes with teams he manages.

  56. Another thought to consider as we look ahead:

    A lot of the post-tournament strengths and weaknesses we are now evaluating are relative and ultimately reflective of how we choose to allocate resources within the team.

    For example, if we play 532, we are committing at least one more player to defending than in a 433. And so Vlaar and de Vrij look great in a 5-man backline because they have support and less space to cover individually, and so our defense as a whole appears stout and under control.

    But if we take a man out of the back and put him up front, playing in a 433, do Vlaar and de Vrij look as strong with only two outside backs (and a holding mid) to help them defend? (Note that when we went one step further and replaced BMI with Hunter to play 343 at the end against Costa Rica, we almost got burned by just two CR attackers, and Cillessen had to step up big!)

    Van Gaal confirmed before the WC began that we were playing 532 due to the absence of Strootman (who is capable of playing as an all-around / box-to-box midfielder). Strootman’s presence strengthens our midfield and also our defense, which would have freed up LVG to play 433 with a third attacking player. Without him, LVG felt that we could not.

    Looking ahead to 2016 and 2018, I don’t think Holland will stick with the 532. Hiddink will likely take a more attacking approach, depending in part on our opponent’s formation.

    Personally, I feel more confident of our backline than before the tournament started, but I wonder if this is only the case because we were constantly playing with an extra man back there. On the flip side, I was disappointed with the midfield play and build-up in this WC, but that may be due to (1) the absence of true wingers to receive the ball and provide width and variety to the attack, and (2) LVG’s plan for our players to essentially bypass midfield build-up and instead immediately try to find RVP and Robben in space.

    As a result, it’s hard to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current side because of how our resources were allocated by LVG in this tournament, and how they may be used differently in the future.

    In any case though, it’s been a wonderful experience for younger players like Vlaar, de Vrij, BMI, Blind, Janmaat, Veltman, de Guzman, Clasie, Wijnaldum, and Depay to have the opportunity to compete against world-class players like Messi, Xavi, Sanchez, Vidal, etc. with everything on the line. So regardless of what formation is used and what progress has been made, those previously untested players now have a wealth of experience to draw from for future tournaments.

    1. JB-
      I get what you’re saying about Vlaar and de Vrij but was actually looking at the semi final match from sort if the opposite perspective… There have been a lot of comments about LvG “wasting” a sub by playing Nigel, but I keep thinking that there was no way for him to predict just how well de Vrij and Vlaar both played in this match. Even against almighty Messi, they really might not have needed the extra protection, since they played so far beyond their level, but predicting that (and not playing Nigel) would’ve been madness. Imagine starting the game presuming that one EPL center back (who doesn’t normally get that much respect) and one Eredivisie CB could hold the Argentinian offense at bay. Without Vlaar and de Vrij having the game (and tournament) of their lives, Nigel was a must. With them playing as they did, perhaps we could’ve had a bit more offense in the team (Memphis would’ve been my choice) and perhaps a ticket to the final.

    1. Interesting Alaa, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t see the point of predicting line-ups for the next WC. So much , and I mean so much can happen in 4 years time. New talents might come up through the youth ranks and positively surprise each and everyone of us, some of the established veterans might still have some fuel left in their tanks and many might as well flop tremendously..
      Keeping my fingers crossed for a World class squad for 2016 and 2018 that’s capable of going all the way.. 🙂


      BTW, Goal.com editors predicted that our 2014 starting line up would consist of Fer and De Jong as holding medios..

  57. Incredible analysis from you all today, keep it up.

    I think today’s posts may be some of the best on this board in its history.

    I agree with so much of what is said on here, and its great to be a part of it.

    1. Danish champions AaB Aalborg have sold winger Kasper Kusk to Dutch first division Twente Enschede, the club said on Tuesday.
      The 22-year-old Denmark international, who had a contract with Aalborg until June 2015, will transfer immediately, the club said. “Kasper’s departure leaves a gap, but we have said goodbye to other players before and got through it and I am sure it will happen again. Others will now get a chance,” AaB sporting director Allan Gaarde said in a statement. The sale does not change the club’s earlier announced financial outlook for 2014 of a profit about 13 million Danish crowns ($2.37 million). Twente, third in the Dutch first division championship, are taking part in this season’s Europa League. ($1 = 5.4931 Danish Crowns)

  58. it is amazing how were worried about our defense few months ago and now suddenly when u think about all the names we have in defense you feel like we might be having the best defensive line in the world for the next ten years:
    De Vrij, vlaar, veltman, van dijk, rekik, kongolo, willems, janmaat, van der wiel, blind, BMI!!!
    11 name and there could be more, out of these 11 players mentioned above i feel like 7 or 8 will be world class!!

    and now suddenly we start worrying about the lack in attack we have!!! who are our strikers?? please dont say luuk de jong or locadia!! we need good quality!!!
    is it kishna and zivkovic? i hope so!!

    DRB300?? where is he? i bet you he is depressed after the penalties against argentine and he doesnt feel like posting!!

  59. Go to read what DRB writes there, he is probably as direct and negative than me, calling Cillessen “loser” etc. and reminding everytime that he shouldn’t have started. The kind of comments I get free insults for lol

    This guy can be a true fan and keep his neutral and critical eyes when watching a game. I admire that.

    I didn’t know about that website, maybe I’ll start posting there instead of here, for the wish of most of people here.

    Where is the multitroll by the way ? How strange he didn’t come since the dutch loss…

    1. @Laurent : I have always admired your opinions , even when I disagree with you. I always think you have a point and I think that you know that 🙂 .

      Keep up your posts bro , It’s always welcome.

      DRB300 posts are just something we all do miss here. Hopefully he will post here again soon.

  60. @laurent
    Dont go man Who are the guys here going to insult if u leave?
    Am joking:) i like some of ur comments sometimes and sometimes u r too much

  61. Laurent I think you should continue to post here. Its good to have differing opinions. If we all agreed on everything this blog would be boring! As long as its not too bad I don’t see anything wrong with being critical of your team.

    Furthermore, I don’t like people calling out or insulting posters its not good for the spirit of the blog.

    1. there is a difference in saying a player is bad and calling people stupid and using personal insults and that is all im going to say on the matter

  62. That 2018 world cup Xl is bullshit. I think come 2016 we will have a completely different back 4 four. Hiddink guided PSV last year in eredivise to fourth overall when they were struggling in the 3rd quarter and he is very familiar with the players. Unlike van gaal, Hiddink is more dynamic and open minded coach and will open doors for everyone who have the potential and not like van gaal who was more crtical on the system being used.

    once again a vast number of talented players are leaving or have left for another clubs from eredivise and once again Ajax will most likely to win the title this season again given squad they posse. Im not sure about Feyenoord which might get raided in the coming weeks. Once again cant expect much from eredivise in terms of competitiveness .

  63. A lot of good accomplishment been made by the oranje in the WC and we all should be very proud of the bronze medal. We ALLMOST did it …We ALLMOST won the WC. We were much better than most of the top european nations. We had a very good chance of beating germany in the final. Anyway, the future is ours if we still keep on believing ……..HUP HUP ORANJE

  64. Hey Laurent –

    Don’t go anywhere. Opinions are good.

    And to everyone – if you know DRB300 get him to come back.

    I don’t always have time to respond to all of his posts but I sure enjoy his input.


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