It is time to get positive again!
Yes, we are frustrated. Yes we should have gone to the Euros. Yes, mistakes were made.
But we can keep on moaning about it and withdraw support etc and where will this leave us?
I do believe the players were partly to blame, but I also believe they tried to do well. Their intentions were good. But the post WC blues, the shift from LVG to Hiddink etc may have caused them to underperform.
I do believe the coach was to blame as well. Inconsistent, vague, old-school…the contrast with Louis was too big.
And the Federation is to blame for the silly decision to follow up LVG with Guus and to also give him the charter to play “Total Football”.
But…all in all, looking at the amazing talent on show in the Eredivisie at the moment, I think we can safely say “We’ll be back!”.
I watched Feyenoord – Ajax in the Classico in De Kuip and was impressed with some of our youngsters. It was also great to see they can battle and tackle. Good to see a ref allowing some manly football. Impressed by Bazoer… Easily Holland’s biggest talent. Will be a world class player in 3 years. Composed, highly skilled, fast, smart, and mature. I loved Rick Karsdorp too. Venom, speed, good vision… Elia was alive. Working hard and making problems constantly. Vejinovic has something Pirlo-esque. Sven van Beek was strong again and finally scored in the right goal. Tonny Vilhena is reviving his career (even if he is still super young). Tete and Riedenwald played well for Ajax and Davy Klaassen showed to all (incl Frank de Boer) why he needs to play in midfield.
PSV did ok too, with Luuk de Jong impressing even if he did miss a penalty. But PSV fans disgusting me with the way they treated Adam Maher, forcing Cocu to sub the youngster as he was constantly booed. Locadia is showing his progress on a week by week basis and if you take into account the likes of Clasie, Jetro Willems, Van Dijk, De Vrij, Marten de Roon, El Ghazi, Dost, Memphis and Wijnaldim, all is not lost.
Daley Blind is even developing into a great field captain, like his dad. Didn’t miss a beat in Man U’s win over West Brom. Composed, highly skilled, great vision and courageous in the duels.
Marten de Roon
Marten de Roon deserves a special mention. He is from my hometown (Hendrik Ido Ambacht) and played for the club where I started (ASWH). In case you are wondering: I stopped there as well. Not Marten. He moved to Feyenoord’s youth system, then Sparta. Made it to the first team and played under Van Basten at Heerenveen. Went on to Atalanta Bergamo and his first months were hell, apparently. Young de Roon only speaks Dutch, German and English while all his team mates only speak Italian or French…. He is now starting to speak the language and two later additions to the team speak English and translate for him. Against AC Milan this weekend, the defensive midfielder (Strootman style) was named MOTM.
At this stage, Blind wants to have two defensive mids in his squad and as he has Clasie and added Vejinovic, it seems Daley will be a center back, most likely in a 5-3-2 set up.
Asked about the reason why a non playing RVP was ditched while a non playing Memphis was actually selected, Blind said this: “I know what to expect from Robin. He had 100+ caps and 50 goals. Once he is match fit and playing well, I have no qualms putting him in and I don’t need to worry about him. Memphis isn’t playing a lot either, but he is fit and I don’t have too many left wingers. Also, with Memphis being young and inconsistent, I love to have him in the group as I can assert some influence over him. Otherwise I’d see him again 5 months from now. Feels like a long time for a young turk like him.”
Meanwhile, in Eindhoven, young PSV back Brenet was tricked into saying silly things in an interview with PSV tv. The anchor clearly wanted to make some anti Ajax points and basically coaxed Brenet into saying that Blind oversaw him (Brenet) in favour of Tete. “And everyone in the squad here feels that way…”
Blind was obviously flabbergasted and said in his press conference that there is no reason for him to focus on Ajax players only. “I want to win games. Why would I select players that are lesser than others? What do I have to gain with that? Ridiculous…”
Vincent Janssen of AZ and Young Oranje
So much for Brenet being called up.
Vincent Janssen of AZ scored another real strikers goal. He is not the quickest but he has a good touch and uses his body well. Him and Locadia…you never know…. Heracles, FC Utrecht, Vitesse and AZ also have some interesting young players at hand, as does FC Groningen. All too early for now, but the coming 2 to 5 years don’t look shabby at all.
I personally see Berghuis develop under Flores at Watford and hope to see Leroy Fer and Marco van Ginkel shine still as well. Afellay had a sub turn against Chelsea last weekend and he was highly involved in Stoke’s win. In the meantime, Davey Klassen had to pull out of the squad due to knee complaints.
Wim Jonk and Mark Overmars
This is not the worst Ajax news coming out. The worst being that the Cruyff Velvet Revolution is in jeopardy. Two of his proteges at Ajax are out. Former winger Tscheu La Ling left at board level and Wim Jonk was sacked on the spot as head of development.
The former felt no one cared about his opinion and left. The latter couldn’t work with De Boer, Overmars and Bergkamp and refused to communicate with them. General manager in waiting Edwin van der Sar tried to talk sense into him but decided to sack him as Jonk wouldn’t budge.
With Johan battling lung cancer, who knows what will happen with the JC philosophy.
While on international break, the current football news made news for transfers rumours. Man United is linked with Graziano Pelle and Ajax winger El Ghazi for a winter move. Juventus also wants to sign the former Feyenoord striker.
Virgil in EPL team of the month
In the meantime, Blind is working behind closed doors to get his defense and midfield shored up for the upcoming games. Oranje conceded 23 times under Hiddink/Blind. “This is one of the key things we need to address,” Blind said at the press conference. The general opinion is that he will implement 2 holding mids in the team. Hiddink worked with one deep lying central defender and two more offensive midfielders (Sneijder, Klaassen, Wijnaldum). Clasie, Blind or Klaassen were used mostly in the center of midfield and they are not real destroyers like Nigel de Jong.
The way Man United plays, with two defensive mids and one forward midfielder behind the striker is most likely the way to go for Oranje. The 5-3-2 seems unlikely against Wales but might be used against Germany. Wales plays defensive football and will accept a stronger Oranje to dominate the game.
Another topic was still the absence of Robin van Persie. Wesley Sneijder: “I feel for him as I experienced the exact same. First the band is taken off your arm and then you hear you are not fit enough. You can do two things: tell ‘m to put it where the sun don’t shine or work you arse off. I did the latter, but it was hell. Robin will do the same. And I’ll tell you this: a fit Van Persie should always be in the squad. Whether he is fit now? I can’t tell you this.” Sneijder didn’t talk to Robin. “This is how it goes. He’s not here so we don’t bother us about him. Was the same with me. The squad focuses on the game not on the ones not here. Whether it’s Strootman, Van Persie or Willems. I’ll see him in Istanbul some time, I’m sure. I texted him when I heard and that is all.”
Memphis Depay talks to the press again. Donning a new hat he opened up to the media. At practice the youngster scored every ball he hit on target. “It’s going well. I feel it. But I need to show it in matches again. That is where it counts. I had some set backs this season. I started well but the shift was big for me. New country, new city, new club. But I am working my ass off. Not everyone sees this. I even pay for a chef to make me proper meals and advice me on nutrition.” The ex PSV winger gained 5 kilos in the last 4 months. “I was a bit shocked when I weighed myself recently. It’s all muscle, but it is more than 5% increase and I need to work on my explosivity and speed. It’s due to the practices at Man United.”
Asked whether his flamboyant appearances were a statement, he said: “It’s just a hat. A hat! Is that what keeps people intrigued. People say “what do you do with the hat?”. I say, I wear it hahahaha. Listen I don’t have any star behaviour or anything. I just like wearing hats. I am still the same football fanatic. But the media see me come at the hotel and get out of a fancy car and wearing a hat. And that is the big topic. No one sees how hard I work to get better.”
Blind had a conversation with the Man U talent regarding his work ethics. “We did talk. Was very positive. He didn’t mention any hats or anything. I really want to bring something special to the team and I do what I can. The criticism doesn’t hurt me. The people who judge don’t know what I do and who I am. It’s not my problem.”
Lastly, check out the website of kaassoldaat (cheese soldier). This wonderful Soldier of Orange is publishing the Eredivisie match replays online!! And Dutch language sports programs. Good fun!!