Oranje back to winning ways….

I wanted to have a positive title. After all the negative shenanigans of the past days weeks months years.

There definitely are positives. So lets list those:

Oranje remembers how to win

Winning matches is something you can program, you can make it a habit. We had a terrible period under Hiddink, towards the EC2016. It was less bad under Blind, as the draw in Sweden was a fluke and the loss vs France acceptable. The Bulgaria away loss was not, of course. That game cost us the World Cup.

Under Advocaat, we lost again vs France (away) but were able to win all the other matches. That gives hope.

propper roe

Dick Advocaat moves on

I’m simply not a fan. I think he’s a nice guy, he’s funny in interviews and probably a real football maniac, yes. But he’s also not a builder (like Van Gaal), he’s not a tactical wizard and in recent weeks months years decades he demonstrated that Dick comes first. And then there is nothing, for a long time. And then the rest follows. And Dick first, means: paycheck! In the last weeks after Holland failed to qualify, it was suddenly all about him. About his future. About his statistics. About his announcement to the press after Romania. What a load of bull! There was no announcement of any importance to make, as Dick’s contract with the KNVB ended. Full stop.

Dick became a huge ego-maniac. Now, most successful “result” coaches are. Think Van Gaal, Mourinho, Conte, probably also Klopp. But Klopp packages it better than the rest. Dick behaves and is allowed to behave like this is normal. After Holland not qualifying, I didn’t see any remorse, any sympathy, any accountability or any vision coming from Advocaat. Wouldn’t he be a good man – with his experience – to shed his light on the Dutch football crisis? But he only talks about me me me. And now after the Romania game, he immediately puts his job advertisement out: “Oh, a World Cup? Yes, I’d love to coach at the World Cup!”. Dick! If you wanted this, you could have done better with Oranje, you Dick! But no, no contemplation or soul searching, just blatantly applying for a job!

dick gone

New brooms

Advocaat, Van Breukelen, Van Oostveen, Hiddink, Blind, Jorritsma, Gullit and Grim. All moving on. A new board (Jan Smit chair), a new general manager (Gudde) and hopefully soon a solid Technical Director, NT coach, and supporting staff in place. With hopefully a solid vision, a new coaching/player development program, a new competition set up (allowing the all youth teams to compete) and a ban on artificial pitches.


Don’t let anyone tell you that the Dutch don’t have talent. We will always have enough talent to at least qualify. Full stop. Yet again. Maybe not always good enough to win the big tournaments (News Flash: even with Cruyff, Van Hanegem, Neeskens, Krol, Moulijn, Wilkes, Lenstra, Van Basten, Gullit, Bergkamp, Sneijder, Robben we never won a World Cup, so….) but good enough to compete. Stengs, Frenkie de Jong, Patrick Kluivert, Karsdorp, Kongolo, Vilhena, Memphis, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Pieri, Til, Van de Beek, Bergwijn… the list will grow. And with more experienced players like Wijnaldum, Blind, Strootman, De Vrij, surely we should be able to qualify?

sneij roe

Amazing young talent 

This Blog

The best news of all, we have this blog. With awesome editors and contributing writers (all called Jan, somehow….). Awesome pics, news, stories. And most importantly, we have AWE – wait for it!- SOME members here with amazing insights, good humor, passion for the Orange Lions and also some much needed insanity and stupidity.

Watch this space for analysis of the modern game, introductions to new coaches like Erik ten Hag and Mitchell Van der Gaag, a farewell to the Big Four and a cool story on Johan Neeskens (introducing his new book!).

So, we might not grace the pitch for another 4 months or so, but this Blog keeps Rocking. The Gift that never stops Giving.

Speaking of which, try out that donate button every one and a while, will’ya?

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  1. Thanks for keeping this site going Jan, it really is a great place for us to dribble on about football. I will donate very soon!
    I’m happy we finished as winners even though they were friendlies , a win is a win and we need to build some momentum and confidence over the next two years to ensure that we qualify for Europe.
    I’m looking forward to see what comes next for our Oranje, it’s like waiting for your Christmas presents as a kid😳
    Hip Holland

  2. Thank you Jan for your postings and for the invitation to comment again.

    I am a voracious reader of this blog, but seldom weigh in unless the moment strikes me.

    I too am not certain why Nicolaas is so ebullient about his record with Oranje – 6-0-1 with victories over whom? Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg, Sweden, Scotland and Romania?

    In contrast, I was 17-9-2 in my most recent stint with the national team.

    Further, in Nicolaas’ failed attempt to qualify, his record was 4-0-1 with 13 goals scored and 6 conceded.
    When I managed the qualification process in 2012-13, we finished 9-1-0 with 34 goals scored and 5 conceded. And of course WE qualified!

    If you care about friendlies (I don’t), my team also tied Germany, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Colombia, and Ecuador during my tenure and defeated Indonesia, China, Ghana and Wales.

    My ONLY losses were in friendlies as well – to Belgium 4-2 in my first match in charge, and to France 2-0 in a tune-up to the 2014 WK.

    Ah, and then there was the actual tournament, in which we defeated Spain, Australia, Chile, Mexico and Brazil by an aggregate scoreline of 15-4 (and tied Costa Rica and Argentina before penalties decided who progressed).

    So, if you want to consider only matches that matter, my most recent record as bondscoach is 14 wins, 3 draws and 0 losses.

    And so Nicolaas, it may be true that all you do is win, but ultimately, all eyez are on me.

    Until I die, live the life of a boss playa
    ‘Cause even at United, fire me and get crossed later
    The futures in my eyes, ’cause all I want is cash and thangs
    A five-to-one win versus Spain, flauntin’ flashy rings
    Unh, major clubs pursue me like a dream
    Been known to disappear before your eyes like the Italian national team
    It seems my main thang was to be major paid
    My game is sharper than Arjen Robben’s razor blade…

  3. one has to admit that under DA, even though he is not the best coach (and not the worst either) the team was starting to mold together … and despite his shameless self plug about coaching in the WK, he was not that bad during his 3rd stint. If he had the team from the beginning of this qualification series he could have done much better. Too much chaos under Blind.

    We have fewer real Oranje material players compared to previous teams but still enough to qualify. And with a little luck we could have still done it despite the loss in Sofia.

    I hope we sort out this mess at club level and NT level. Two strong friendlies are coming in March, England and Spain. We should have a coach by then !

    1. There is nothing positive to be taken away from these two friendlys.the young Scottish team were better than Romania who were no match for NT. The Scottish explioted the midfield brilliantly which again shows the midfield is one of the areas of concern. The Romanians were more lively on the wings especially on veltmans side where they had alot of openings.

      Watching Berhguis in CL and watching him vs Romania jus showed the lack.in depth in Romanian team. He is a very average player and with a explosive fullback he wouldnt have found the freedom like he did vs Romania. Being said this again it goes to show how crosses in the box is absolutely vital when it comes to servicing strikers.this was something that evaded the team when sneijder and Robben used to play together.I would like to see a normal wing system where the wingers can provide crosses from both side and berhguis was good in this department.

      1. I haven’t seen a “normal” wing system for so long.

        In Euro 2008, Robben was still a “normal” winger (CMIIW). But after he moved to Bayern, he was not a normal winger anymore.

        With a normal wing system, who will be the normal striker? IMO, someone who can also head the ball well when a cross come into the box. Tall.

          1. Also not sure what the future holds for Daley Sinkgraven. Wing back,left attacking midfield,Left back or left wing.don’t think he will reach his full potential if he stays at Ajax.he should be looking at moving to another team

          2. Now, it is up to the new coach. What system will he use?

            I support the use of normal wing system in current generation. If you have two Robbens, then it is time for you to use abnormal wing system.

      2. Impressive analysis. And what is your record as a top flight manager?

        In case you’ve forgotten, I’ve been a professional football manager since the early 1980s.

        I’ve won over 340 professional matches as a club coach and 190 as an international manager.

        Thanks for your input though 😉

        1. Nicolaas:

          You are far too harsh with Wilson. First of all, your astounding level of success 30 years ago at Haarlem and Dordrecht has no bearing on your ability to manage in this modern era. In fact, it just makes your methods even more outdated than they normally would be.

          Additionally, despite you being the departing manager of our national team, this man Wilson can rattle off the names and current form of at least 15 Dutch starlets that you’ve never even heard of. Maybe you should have been paying more attention to the talent we already have, but this was never really more than another mercenary gig for you, was it?

          I hear there may be openings for a national team manager in Qatar for the next WC. Perhaps you will find qualification easier there…

          1. Wonderful analysis Aloysius! Thank you for your unsolicited and irrelevant input.

            I thought that I was actually fairly restrained with Mr. Wilson, who has yet to reveal to us his management credentials. Besides, you are typically the one to show everyone your kloten…

            And, for all of your asserted dominance in qualification for 2014, remind me again of who else was in our qualification group that term? Was it Andorra, Estonia, Hungary, Romania and Turkey?

            What a savior you must have been to navigate us through those dire straits!

  4. The us team are trying to come with a anti WC tournament and have invited non qialifying teams like Ghana,Chile,Italy and NT to participate in it few weeks before the official WC starts. A B team for NT could be an option here with upcoming talents given chance to prove thselves.

  5. Really impressed with southgate for giving young talents to prove themselves especially with a team like Brazil. Abraham, Loftus cheek,solanke,Gomez,lingard Rasford.etc. he is trying to blend in these young talents with the some of the regular starters like Alli,Kane,sterling who will be sure starters come WC.this is how you mould back up players. Good job.

  6. In response to Demi:

    A lot of people claim Dick would have been able to get us to the WC if he was at the helm from day 1.

    These people all forget that Dick actually was PART of the coaching staff at the request of Danny Blind! Whether he was head or assistant coach, his wisdom and grit would have been part of the camp. But guess what? The hypocrit decided to leave after two months for another big pay-check.

    He’s in it for the money and for Dick. He could have mentored Blind in these tempestuous times. I wonder if Dick would have been head coach instead of Blind whether he would have stayed on with all the KNVB mayhem raining down on him.

    He probably would have left to coach some club team for a lot of $$.

      1. Kind of harsh, don’t you think? I can’t play for the players. Their mentality against France was not something I could control. We were defeated before the match started.

        And everyone talks about how I didn’t understand goal differential. What kind of a fool do you take me for? Had we tucked tail and accepted a 1-0 defeat, I would have been throttled by all of you as too conservative and not playing to win. Instead, we attacked — even with 10 men — and tried to compete. They brought me in to win and I always play to win.

        In fact, pretty much all I do is win…

    1. Jan,

      I don’t disagree. plus it is just an educated guess that DA would have taken us there. Hindsight is always 20/20… But you got to admit the picture of the NT is a lot more stable with Dick compared to Blind. I bet if we played now with France it would have been a completely different game.

      remember that in general NT coaches get a lot less money than clubs, imagine how little assistant coaches receive. DA was not at the helm when he left. not that I like his character but you have to see his point of view. he was #3 or #4 in the hierarchy and he got a better offer. nobody told him stay and you will take over. or give him the help from the get go…

      a club job in general pays a lot more. so why would he come back to NT? and in such a tough situation….just trying to be objective here…

          1. Delay is in form and will actually be played. I don’t know what they were thinking playing babel over depay when he is one of the best in the world

          2. OK you have to expect this Truth about Depay. He is only decisive when given space which I don’t think would have been a luxury for him vs France. Can you tell me one French player he would have gotten around.

          3. Pogba, Varane, Mendy, mbappe, Koscielny, whoever their rb is, Matuidi, Kante, can you even name me someone who he couldn’t get passed cuz he is unstoppable. He has more goals than Neymar.

          4. With average teams he will always be under spot light and you are dreaming he can go around those players.

        1. >What makes you think that if NT played now with it would be different.

          I think we more focused and we have much better rhythm and chemistry – considering of course our lower skills compared to the past.

          Remember it is just 6 months since Blind was gone. Any better coach (and that’s a lot of coaches IMO) would be able to make a more cohesive team.

          But that is my opinion and you are entitled to yours. I have a feeling you would have said the same thing about Sweden vs Italy though…

          1. Demi:

            I agree with you. The things you describe are what I brought to the team. We created a more professional and organized structure where everyone knew their place and role.

  7. I am not too negative because since Dick took over we only lost 1 game. These past couple of friendlies are good because winning becomes a habit.

    It is good that DA is leaving, now it is time for the Dutch revolution. We have talents I actually believe Locadia will become our central striker. Kluivert and Bergwijn are hot talents, such as Van de Beek, De Ligt, Depay will get many minutes with Lyon and that can only help him, Tete is really good, Ake and Mensah are finally playing every week. And players like De Vrij, Van Dijk, Hoedt, Blind, Wijnaldum and Strootman have to be the leaders. They need to guide the younger players.

  8. I’ve got a little more time on my hands these days and thought I’d weigh in from the great beyond.

    Too many of you are too focused on the manager these days — football is played by the players. Develop the players properly and they can manage themselves.

    Further, lost in all this is the sad retirement of one of our great legends — possibly the greatest Dutch player to play since me.

    I’ve composed a short poem about him that I will post shortly.

  9. I met this pretty cool chap up here. Apparently we were contemporaries (both born in 1947 and died in 2016).

    Anyway, he’s put some music to my lyrics. Let me know what you think:

    Guitar intro…

    Oooooh yeah

    Arjen played left wing
    Jamming good with Vaart and Persie
    And Sneijder, Overmars
    He played it left foot
    But made it too far
    Became the special man
    Then we were Robben’s band

    Arjen really shot
    Angry eyes and shaved down hairdo
    Like some cat from Bedum
    Oh he could lick ’em by diving
    He could leave ’em to hang
    Came on so loaded man
    Blistering pace and dribbling élan

    And a through-pass from Sneijder
    When Iker barely saved his ball
    Just van Marwijk to guide us
    So we bitched about de Jong
    As if we crushed Dutch football?

    Oh yeah

    Guitar segue…

    Arjen played right wing
    Jiving us when he was Munich
    Mexico was just crass
    But he would surpass
    Was not made of glass
    He took it hard not winning
    But boy could he play right wing

    Scoring goals with his ego
    Arjen continued to cut inside
    Like the Oranje Messiah
    But after Louis was the man
    We had to break up the band

    Oh yeah

    Guitar segue…


    1. This is just AWE-Wait for it!!-SOME

      This needs to be framed. I’ll post it on the Facebook page. What a wonderful piece of writing… I’ll never listen to Ziggy Stardust the same way.

  10. speaking of group forming take a look at the world cup groups… Spain in group B, Poland in group A. Sweden in group C Serbia in Group D… So we can have one group:

    Germany/Spain/Sweden/Serbia and another

    (yes I know Peru is not there yet but you get the point).

    stupidities….like the ones who pitted France/Sweden/Italy/Spain and us against each other. Ridic…

  11. American FA looking to invite Netherlands into summer tournament

    According to ESPN, the USA football federation are looking into organising a tournament next summer featuring several nations who failed to qualify for the World Cup.

    ESPN are reporting that US sources have told them that the FA is looking into the possibility of a tournament or a series of friendlies featuring the top nations who didn’t qualify for Russia next summer.

    Possible participants could be USA, Ghana, Chile, Italy and Netherlands, who all missed out on place at the World Cup.

    Talks are said to be at a very early stage, but the calendar would allow Oranje to take part, with the national team not in action at all during the summer.


    1. I’m not sure how I would feel about the concept of a “Consolation Cup”. My initial reaction would be that many top players would not want to participate, and even if they did, it would just add additional fixtures to an already overcrowded schedule possibly resulting in injury / fatigue. That type of response might, in turn, encourage a nation such as ours to field a younger team of prospects (which could be a very good thing), but the organizers may want to ensure that the star players will be participating in order to maximize revenue.

      At this point, my sense would just be to opt out and allow the next generation to develop with a real hunger for qualification in upcoming Euros and World Cups, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t watch if we do play.

      I did watch the third place match against Brazil after all….

        1. I don’t think players are going to want to play in a meaningless international tournament when they could actually have a summer off. With Champions League and Europa League finals running through late May and the next season starting up in early August, I would imagine most players would appreciate the rest after playing three times a week for most of the year. I would imagine that their club teams would like the same thing…

          1. Won’t it be the same for other teams who have already qualified. The other thing is Dutch teams won’t survive in CL and EL,so dont think they will be stretched out and let those who wanna go for vacation go. I’m sure there will be players who will put their hands up.

          2. I don´t agree.

            The coach is the one who decides if the players play or not. They should´t have the capacity to decide. The players should be proud to play for the NT, and if the are called to play the consolation cup, they must go.

            Moreover, the only players who still play in the NT who will play Champions league are Blind and Wijnaldum, and few Ajax or PSV players.

            I think the next coach can build a good team with players that want and need to show themselves.

            I can visualize these palyers:

            D:De Ligt, van Drongelen, Hoedt, Tete, Kardoshp, Hataboer, Willems, Sikgraven,

            M: Van de Beek, De Jong, Bazoer, Clasie, Ramselaar, Hendrix, Klaasen, Propper, Van Ginkel.

            A: Kluivert, Berghuis, Depay, Promes, Locadia,Jansen,Calvin Stengs, Weghorst

            We don´t need to call De Vrij, Van Dijk, Blind, Strootman or Wijnaldum.

  12. For me if koeman becomes the next coach,he has to come with the right mindset and not like the one he had at Everton. He has to learn from klaassen howler and apply that to NT and which players are needed going forward. There are certain players who are only come under spot light when they play average teams and its no use dragging with them because they will fade with above average teams. The way berghuis was humiliating Romanian players,for a moment I though I was watching real Madrid playing but then you have to realize the quality of his opponent.

    Player selection will be absolutely crucial going forward and in preparing for 2020.

    1. Ok the upcoming qualification is going to be a joke. We could field our u19 team and still come first. The past two tournaments were just bad luck not getting in. I would be very surprised if we don’t win all of our qualification games

    1. My favourite musician and Arjen Robben, it doesn’t get much better!
      As for the potential non qualifiers tournament I say ” why not” I really enjoy watching international football, especially if we are in it. A nice round robin format would do, no finals no trophy, just good games to watch testing new players, bring it on!
      Jan any word on the next coach?

  13. Advocaat may have his issues but he’s not the one who screwed up QC qualification; that was all Blind. Had Advocaat been the coach from the start, we would have surely qualified.

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