Oranje back on the field!

We were without NT football for 10 months! The last time it took this long, was during World War 2!

Oh, before I forget, due to the plethora of football matches in the past weeks and due to a very busy worklife, I was not able to “moderate” the blog as often as needed and this debate ensued re: antisemitism ? Or something racism? I read the posts, and even though Tiju makes my head explode at times, I don’t think there was any racist malice implied and I have emailed the upset poster to share my position with him but I haven’t heard back.

I hope we can put this beside us soon, as it seemed to be a case of misunderstanding.


Interim coach Dwight Lodeweges is thrown in the deep end but the experienced coach doesn’t flinch. He is missing some players at the back, as Dumfries, De Vrij, Blind and De Ligt are all missing ( not a bad back four). Dumfries will become father, De Vrij came into the camp with a slight issue and Blind and Mathijs’ stories are well known.

CB options Nathan Ake and Perr Schuurs

Lodeweges decided not to call on another defender: “We did use Teun Koopmeiners as a fill in at practice, borrowed him from Young Oranje, but no. The guys we have now will have to do it for us. I think we have enough to be ok.” Asked if he was ready to give the debutants (Schuurs, Wijndal) a go: “Oh for sure. They are ready. Otherwise I would have invited them. Wijndal is positive, good left leg, quick, recognises the opportunity. Schuurs is open and like a sponge. Then we have Ihatarren, they’re all good kids. And you want them to play, don’t you. They’re so keen.”

So who is Dwight Lodeweges?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the KNVB will hang on to Dwight in this role, particularly when the two upcoming games go well. The players seem to enjoy his style.

Lodeweges was born in Canada, in Turner Valley. His parents were looking for a brighter future in Canada, post World War 2, but returned to Holland when he was 7 years old. Lodeweges was developed as a talent at Go Ahead Eagles and was a youth international for Holland. When Hans Kraay Sr went to play for Oakland, he jumped to the opportunity. When he arrived in California, it appeared the club didn’t exist anymore and Kraay and Lodeweges went to play for Edmonton Drillers in Canada. This was the start of the life of a football nomad. He played in Northern America and in The Netherlands. As a coach, he also had stints in Canada, in Japan, back in Holland and for Al-Jazira in Abu Dhabi.

Dwight in the middle, for Go Ahead. Left on the photo, Nigel’s dad Jerry de Jong

After a dramatic and painful season at FC Groningen in 2003, where a horde of hooligans jumped him with baseball bats, he decided to only work in pleasant environments. If something didn’t work for him, he’d get up and leave. He left NEC after three months in the job and also closed the door voluntarily at SC Heerenveen. Hans Schrijvers was his assistant coach at FC Groningen, Edmonton and Jeff United in Japan: “He is a pure person. What you see is what you get. If you trick him, or lie to him, he’ll pack his bags. He is totally honest and loyal and the way people treat him and one another is key for him. He has high expectations of himself and the people he works with, as he will give every inch, every drop of sweat he has. When he realises a group isn’t open to his football ideas or philosophy, he’ll end the relationship and moves on. Contracts or money don’t interest him.”

Henk ten Cate is, like Dwight, a kid of Go Ahead Eagles and in the 1960/70s, Go Ahead was the shining light in terms of youth development. The typical Dutch school was perfected there: build up from the back, good positioning play and combinations to create chances. Ten Cate explodes when we call Dwight “a good field trainer”.

“What is that?? People say this of others. I have been told this! And now Alfred Schreuder gets that label too. Because we were once loyal assistant coaches? But a field trainer can not be a good trainer and a bad coach? How does this work? Dwight is a complete coach. He is a great field trainer, but also a solid tactician. Very driven and professional.”

What is his strength? Ten Cate: “What every coach must be able to do, Dwight does really well: he can create practice forms that fully support his football vision. So he tells the players, this is what I want to see, and then he gives them many tools and ideas and practices that will support them in that goal. He is also open with his staff, he wants them to challenge him and create an even better level. Players who play under him usually realise during the game that everything Dwight predicted, is happening. Like Louis van Gaal.”

Dwight at amateur club VVOG. He is happy working at this level, and at Oranje level

Lodeweges works this way at Oranje, but also at Edmonton when there were no balls, no jerseys, no field… “He is a football fanatic. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Dwight talks with Frenkie about football. The level of detail and insights. Must be wonderful. I also think he deserves a job at the highest level,” Ten Cate goes on.

Sef Vergoossen worked with Dwight as assistant at Al-Jazira, Nagoya Grampus8 and PSV Eindhoven. “I am not surprised with Dwight at Oranje. He’s a top professional. He reads games amazingly fast and can tell you within minutes where the problems lie. He can correct this swiftly too and control the game. That note was a typical example.”

It’s November 2018. Holland is trailing 1-2 vs Germany. Koeman gets a note with some line up and system changes. Koeman takes the notes and instructs his captain to make the changes, with 15 minutes to go. Right at the death, Van Dijk scores the 2-2 and Holland reaches the finals! The note is found and auctioned of for 35,000 euros for a good cause. Dwight thinks the humbug of the note is all hogwash. But he smiles when he learns that his note results in a Cruyff Court in South Africa!

Vergoossen: “In the past, players would come to Oranje for a little reunion and R&R. Seeing mates, playing golf and prepping mentally for a match. Under Dwight (and Koeman), it was different. They would come to the training camp and work with laser focus on the specifics needed for that particular opponent. Tactical training sessions, aimed at the little subtle details needed to win a match.”

Van Dijk scoring after some tactical changes by Dwight

Cambuur CFO Gerald van den Belt has seen a different side of Dwight. “He is extremely down-to-Earth and won’t get carried away. I think he is all these things that Ten Cate and Vergoossen and others tell you, but he can also be an absent minded professor. He was successful with Cambuur, and when our big rival Heerenveen offered him a step up to the Eredivisie, he took it. This was so sensitive here, that the club and the fans almost exploded with frustration. He never expected that. He didn’t realise how big his impact was here and how he was loved. He is authentic as a person and has always remained the same Dwight Lodeweges. One has to respect that!

Expect some cool stories soon re: Donny’s Man U move and Nathan’s Man City move. More info on Barca and Frenkie and way more :-).

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  1. Hi Jan,
    Good to see you’re back. Thanks for clarifying the tense exchange on the other topic but I fully agree with you. Now in order to make sure I myself stay within blog rules is it OK if once in a while I say that I hate globalization from a football point of view which started with the Bosman verdict (club level)? Because I really hate how now you can’t tell german, belgium, dutch from each other any longer 🙂 and out of 11 of any club players in England 70% are very likely non English.
    Your presentation of Lodeweges is so good that I feel like I know the guy really well. I have a feeling he can be as solid as Koeman. 2 issues is see:
    – Not so impressive past experience on the club level.
    – Comes across as someone who can promptly walk away from a challenge if it doesn’t suit his mentality.
    That said I am excited to see my Orange team again and hear the beautiful Anthem. It will be a good test for our defense against Lewandowski. I predict a 2-2 score.

    1. Mate, you can be crticical of anything but we do try to treat one another here with respect, we are respectful to (ex)players and we don’t discriminate or use hate speech or be racist or sexist or something like that :-).

  2. Just saw the lineup. Veltman is starting next to Van Dijk in CD, Ake is at lb, and Hateboer at rb. Had hoped that Wijndal would get the start, and Ake would play central, but I suppose Lod. wanted a right footed player in the right cb slot, and more experience. Too, I expect that Ake will play lb with the more measured approach as Blind did, while Hateboer will be pushing up more offensively on the right side, as Dumfries would, with De Roon providing cover. It should all feel familiar to the players on the field.

    Looking forward to match!

  3. Watching it on ESPN. It is hard to watch without any fan cheering. I was hoping they would superimpose a stadium atmosphere like they did for Champions League.

  4. Man of the man first half- Nathan Ake.

    Midfield defensively looks good but offensively is very flat. Wijnaldum???

    Hateboer has been ok.

    Ake’s ariel presence is always dangerous with van dijk.

    So far so good.

      1. Did you watch the game or as usual the highlights.

        What are u saying. He has played wingback for 2 whole season.its obvious it will take him some time get a feel playing at fullback.

          1. Have u ever watched first touches of Jetro williams??Kimmich???Dest????Dani alves????.
            i dont prefer Dumfires or hateboer as RB..Both has issues…Dumfires is very physical and he will still be useful vs Mbhappe types..

  5. Depay let’s are heavy and his face looks tired . I don’t know what’s on with him

    We need Stengs , malen , boadu in here . I don’t want to see Babel here anymore

    1. I agree. Depay feels like a ton heavy, like a tank.
      Ake is a good, Hateboer is solid. We control the game but no teeth in attack. I would like to see L deJong in there.

      1. Did u see the Depay games in CL???Depay was much better today,he is getting back fitness..
        Veltman and Hateboer looked””‘ SOLID””‘ against a team doesnt know how to attack or create chance..2 worst players on the pitch..
        Ake is not a LB it is proven again,He is not Jetro williams ,Daley Blind or Annholt…But Ake and Virgil were colosal at back…What gem of 2 defenders we got..They carried Veltman and Hateboer in their back..
        We miss stengs,We miss malen,We miss winjdal,…
        Gnabry and Sane would F#$$$k Veltman and Hateboer…
        We miss sergino Dest..We miss jetro williams and many more..
        Lets see wat this so called veltman and hateboer can do against italy…

  6. Very good result. Physically Dutch looked good. Very solid defense although Polish did not pose much threat. However, creativity was lacking and I think de Jong could have done better job. In my view midfield needs more creative players. But overall I am happy with the result.

  7. Young Oranje won Belarus 7:0. Five our of seven were scored by AZ contingent! I think Boady, Koopmeiners and de Wit had very good rehearsal before the game in Kiiv.

  8. Defensively the team was solid and play was structured and organized. However, it lacked the threat and creativity going forward. This has been the problem and something which Koeman seems to have no solution with.
    I am thinking frank rijkaard can bring that to the team. The euro2000 team played nice football under him.
    still, happy for the win. 😊

    1. You have to really look at what the forwards have to to offer. Both Promes and Bergwijn have speed but they offer very little in terms of technicality.I was looking at Promes, he hardly penetrated outside of the polish RB and kept cutting inside with Ake overlapping. Bergwijn on the side was more tootless than him apart from his contribution defensively and off coure the goal which he happened to be at the right place and at the right time.

      Memphis is always the dangerman, he drops deep and makes things happen but if you look at the arieal threat, it always zero in the box because his positioning is not timinigly or neither at all. If I remember correctly Ake had few crosses in the box but nobody was up for it. Hateboer was reletutant to do the same as nobody in poitsion as well.

      I think this is where Memphis and Boadu should click. The question arises here where does Memphis shift, on the left or in the middle. Boadu’s positioning is good and even though he is wasteful at times, having memphis around him would really help him focus on the clinical aspect. The other thing the team also needs to do without Depay.

      Boadu and stengs hopefully will be back to form come october as both needs to be clocking as much minutes as they can in NT.

  9. Good result, nice to start with 3 points especially that Italy lost two easy points today at home. Would be nice to beat Italy next Monday and be 5 points above them already!!!

    Going back to today’s match there has been something negative about this team over this match and the past few ones (also against northern Ireland home and away) which is the lack of creativity!!! and the main reason for that in my opinion is Wijnaldum, it is true that he scores some good goals sometimes like against Germany in Hamburg but he doesn’t provide enough creativity as an attacking midfielder, I do not understand why they do not try van de beek over home sometimes, I mean frenkie and van de beek was the amazing duo that terrorized Europe in champions league 18/19 (added to them schone) that was the midfield trio that dominated real madrid and juventus, and also bayern in the first round. why not give it a try with frenkie De roon and van de beek in midfield and see maybe van de beeks presence will unlock defensive teams like Poland and Ireland!!!

    why does wijnaldum have to start every single game? he was not good at all today!!! I feel that van De beek should start and wijnaldum be the bench not the other way around!!!
    another thing is Bergwijn, I dont think he is a starter material for oranje!!! he should be benched but unfortunately at the moment, the only two to replace him were both injured which is malen or stengs!!! bergwijn is just not good enough to start for oranje!!!

    1. With Groeneveld unlikely to be called up now. Dilrosun for Promes and Stengs for Bergwijn. The other thing to remember here is stengs contribution defensively is pretty average compared to Bergwijn.

      1. and Malen hopefully will be firing for PSV soon, but bergwijn, Babel thats not oranje material!!! I would have loved to see Ihattaren in for few minutes, maybe he couldve provided some missing creativity!!!

      2. Bergwin was okay,he creates problems in opponent half,puts relentless pressure,helps defense,He balance our game ,i mean kuyt with better ball skills..He got Shi#$$$t partener at right wing in Hateboer..You cannot play beautiful with hateboer..
        Babel,veltman,hateboer,Strootman,leory fer are not needed in this team..

  10. Caught the extented highlights of Italy vs Bosnia. Insigne will the dangerman for the italians and plus their midfield trio of barella, sensi and pellegrini, all are very creative midfielders. Mancini also has good impact players as well.

    Should be a good game.

  11. Good, solid win. Poland had no chance, I didn’t expect them be so weak or maybe we neutralized them well. Italy will be a real test. I hope they bring some fan atmosphere in the stadium.

  12. Well, they won…Agree with the comments that Ake and Van Dijk were very good; I thought Veltman played a good game as well. Hateboer made me a little nervous defensively, though. Decent coming forward, and credit where credit is due, he mad a very nice play on the goal. But defensively, there were several times when his man got behind him. It was expected that, like Dumfries, he’d play well up the field…but he still has defensive responsibilities, he’s the rb. its possible that he is just used to playing as a wingback, and it may have been by design, but he was lucky to have De Roon covering for him, as well as the rest of a very solid defense.

    As far as the mf goes, I agree Wijnaldum was invisible for a good portion of the game; didn’t have a good game. (Yes, Wilson, I said that.) Frenkie De Jong was in and out of the game. When he got involved, he made things happen, but for periods he was not in it. The way Poland played was a large part of it—the flooded the mf, and were physical and aggressive—it seemed like more than usual the Dutch backline was trying to pass over the top. De Roon was Deroon; doesn’t give the team much offensively (and Poland was content to let him have the ball as often as possible), but he played the mf stopper role well.

    For the forwards, everybody sees the game differently, but I thought Depay was easily their most dangerous player. The way he both attacked, and also dropped off, found space, and made some really creative passes. But neither his fellow forwards, nor Wijnaldum behind them combined well with him. I’d like to seevan de Beek get an opportunity to play with him—at Ajax he was very good at playing behind the forwards and sewing the attack together. Plus, you can’t discount that this is the NT’s first game together in a long time, and the players are at different levels of readiness because of the chaos caused by the disrupted league schedules. Hopefully, the rust has been shaken off, and there will be an improvement in how the team works together.

    That said, I’d sure like to see Ihatteren and Wijndal (moving Ake inside) get on the field.

  13. Wijnaldum was partially responsible for lack of creativity,i will add promes too..i dont know wat happend with both..
    De Roon was very good defensivly…

    My question is Did ever poland tried to attack?..Had they atatcked veltman and hateboer would have had hell time..

    Babel was the only winger sitting bench to replace promes and berjwin….
    We need Danjuma gronveld,Stengs,Malen badly..

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