Oranje-Belgium: I hope we lose!

I noticed I didn’t have a good feeling about the Poland win… Was it because I have that innate fear, that if you are too positive, you may jinx stuff? Is it to protect myself from more disappointments? Am I starting to think like some of the vinegar pissers here ;-)?

I think there is nothing wrong with Louis’ football vision but I simply don’t like the school teacher / uncle style he shows when working with his players… His condescending style of dealing with them? Like how he praised Frenkie de Jong at the presser after Poland, how Frenkie was able to make whole sentences? Or how he explained that Virgil doesn’t always do what the manager wants? The manager knows best, but Virgil is a human being who sometimes wants to do his own thing?

Or his disgusting way of talking down to the press, while the press are basically representing us, the fans, and our questions.

I do not buy into conspiracy theories, how Danny Blind has damaging photos of Louis van Gaal and his sexploits with Frans Hoek and how Danny blackmails the coach to put Daley in the team.

But I do believe Louis is creating this bubble of confidence, telling everyone how amazing the group is, how strong Van Dijk’s leadership is, and how innovative the penalty science will be and more of those amateur psychology moves, to build a better and stronger team than we actually are.

The Poland win was nice. We had some great moves. But we should have done way better! We owned the ball, we owned the pitch and we created two wonderful moves (goals) and that is it.

Everyone was happy, we will go to the Final Four, we might get a chance at the World Cup title, there will be room for Memphis and Frenkie and more of these positive soundbites.

I believe we will be beaten by Belgium and if all goes to shite, we might lose 0-4. The southerners are hellbent on revenge. They were humiliated and want to do this to us. They’ll come to Holland with knives between their teeth.

At te same time, we lose our two most influential players (sorry Virgil) and we will go into this match thinking we’re top notch. Which we simply aren’t.

Our keeper situation is messy. Which goalie feels the support of his coach? At the presser, yesterday, Louis said he was jealous of Belgium, with their goalie Courtois. Nice one Louis!

Our full backs are mediocre. Blind: top with the ball, weak without and not getting better. Dumfries: top when launched in space, weak when having to participate in the big rondo and weak in defending.

Our midfield only consists of one sure thing: Frenkie (who will not play of course). The other midfielders are all question marks. Koopmeiners (also absent) is top at Atalanta, still need to prove himself in the orange jersey. Berghuis? Hot and cold. Klaassen? Important in moments, invisible in most of the matches. De Roon? Invisible for most, tend to stop the flow of the moves. They are all fine squad players, but none of them jumps out as players you cannot omit.

We do have quality upfront, but the quality is injured (Lang, Danjuma, Malen) or were injured. Memphis and Bergwijn are currently the only two top class forwards. Janssen would not be the striker in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany. Neither would Weghorst be. Brobbey would be the most likely candidate, but sadly, he lost his spot at Ajax. Gakpo might be a mainstay, he did well for Oranje versus Poland but I’ve also seen him disappointing in the orange jersey. Still a question mark…

It seems we’re always waiting for the next big thing. It used to be Ihattaren, now it’s Xavi Simons. He might well be our dark horse in Qatar, but I doubt it.

We don’t have a good record of following up good wins, with a good result in the following match. Now, I have not checked the stats, one of you might, but it feels to me that everytime we have a good game or a series of good games, we start to believe in ourselves a bit too much, and the next opponent needs to put us in our place.

Which means the players will go home with a defeat as their last match before the World Cup. In a way, this is the so-called “see them off” match (uitzwaai wedstrijd) and that will be a defeat. Not great to go into the World Cup with a loss behind your name.

Van Gaal will play up with his antics in the presser after the game. Probably blaming the press. Or Ronald Koeman. Or the absence of Frenkie and Memphis.

The players will play it down and blame the referee/pitch/aggressive Belgiums.

And it might be a good thing. It might be exactly what Louis and his boys need: a bit of a humiliation. A reality check.

To do well at the World Cup, it means doing well against a couple of these opponents: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, France – just to name a few. The Poland game is by no means a benchmark for these upcoming battles.

I think we’ll lose this 0-3. There will be finger pointing and chagrin after the match. Just the ingredients needed for this Dutch team to be to have to go out of their comfort zone and really battle to come back.

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  1. You know it’s funny you write that. I was kind of hoping we wouldn’t get to into the Nations League final because then for the Euro 2024 qualifying we get those extra two games again the minnows to pack the stats for our strikers.

  2. Thais for the post Jan.

    This post remember me a comment you made two post before, about Van Gaal. There you said how Van Gaal managed a you g Davids, but then how he collided with his Ajax’s 95 players when he become national coach. How F. de Boer complained and how many players doesn’t like him, like Van Persie or Sneijder.

    What do you think of Van Gaal today? I don’t think this Van Gaal behaves like the one in 2000. This Van Gaal made an excelent work in 2014.

    How do you rate Van Gaal?

    Do you think he was the best option to succeed F de Boer?

  3. @Jan: Regarding the Harry Kane vs LDJ, it was just my sarcasm about Harry Kane. Harry Kane is of course a better striker than LDJ. But if he is not English, he would not be overhyped so much despite not showing up in multiple important moments.

  4. Regarding tomorrow game, I think it is important to keep winning. I get it that Poland is not strong but a win is a win. Was Czech strong? I don’t think so. But we did not show up to play. It is important to come to every game with winning mentality. Even if the opponent is weak and you did not play well, you still need to win.

    You’re right about one thing though. We seem to hype ourselves up unnecessary. To me, this team is best when it play underdog. The moment they think they are top 4 whatsoever, they will fail to live up to the expectation.

    1. Yes to all you say. And sure, a win is a win, but in Holland I notice people getting beyond themselves. That 1-0 for instance, it was a wonderful move. People in Holland start to compare it with Barcelona or Spain in their best days and I am like: Whoa Nelly!! Hold you horses. If you do this 6 times in a half, yes, than you are like Spain. If you do it once in 45 minutes versus a weak Poland, you shouldn’t get too cocky.

  5. @ Jan

    Reading the heading of the post ” Orange- Belgium, hope we lose”. I’m thinking why all of a sudden change of emotions and feeling of generosity. ( throw the towel)

    This my friend is exactly what I have been saying through out and also in the last post as well. Injuries always come to haunt the team big time and look what’s on the cards now.

    Lucky for van gaal this was not the world cup and will give him more time to think and in adjusting the squad. Once again this window will go fruitless from composition and strengthening point of view and the trial is set to continue with the injuries on hand.

    I also hope this is the first and last time the world cup is held in the winter. Injuries will be a major disruption to many teams and the team with the very versatile depth will win win the WC and not by playing poker. Looking at some of the results as well and given the prep time like to that of this international break, again I will place my bet on the team that is from top to bottom are just on the fringes of putting final touches. that team looks like to be Brazil.

  6. I don’t think anyone here considers Holland the favourite to win the tournament, not Jan, not myself. If I were to look at this team right now, I would look at the results as follows:

    Group Stage Elimination: Extremely disappointing, time for an overhaul
    R16 Elimination: A bad result (unless we play England). I’ll be upset for a few days, but not looking for anyone’s head
    QF Elimination: This is what I expect of us considering the draw we have and the squad available.
    SF Elimination: Overachieved, I’ll be happy we made it this far.
    Finals or Winning: I’d be over the moon to get a result like this with the team.

    1. Nice one Derek. I think the draw will be of importance (no shit Sherlock) and the level of fitness of the competition. I think a Memphis playing less games is potentially a blessing for us.

      Players like Mbappe, Kane, Messi, Kimmich and Pedri will not see much rest, I don’t think.

  7. @jan how did wilson get into your body? I’m not sure if this was satire or true thoughts lol. Anyway, I hope we win. I think we are becoming a pretty good team. I’m looking forward to seeing Blind as well. Have always liked his vision 🙂

    1. Wilson achieved this by repeating nonsensical information here all the time. I don’t mind criticism on players and coaches. I have lots. I believe Dumfries is not good enough. I can see Blind slipping fast now, time for Malacia. I think Koopmeiners needs to step up more and I think Janssen and Weghorst don’t belong in orange.

      But I don’t like it when players are insulted or scolded. I know these guys give a lot and only want achieve the best results. A guy like Blind played 93 games for Orange and deserves respect. His dad is an Ajax legend. Deserves respect. We had it with Kuyt in the past as well as many will remember. I think you put yourself in an offside position if you sprout drivel about Daley Blind while at the same time pushing Zivkovic and Diks to be in Oranje….

  8. “””Our full backs are mediocre. Blind: top with the ball, weak without and not getting better. Dumfries: top when launched in space, weak when having to participate in the big rondo and weak in defending.”””””””
    yes this is our biggest Achilles heel..everything else is repairable in between a match…bias towards Blind and dumfries is unfathomble…
    Couple of players are pain in our !A@#s…BMI,Blind…Couple of players are injured Malen,Lang…
    When Berghuis plays i think its better to start with Rensch as they Ajax couple and they know how to combine…Mark my words ,if we do that we will have the best right wing at WC…Like wise when you start Malacia with bergwin on left we could cruise any one…

  9. —–Bergwin———–Depay—————
    Bijlow for 22+4=26 squad for me..No dumfries,no blind,no tik tik no voice…

  10. Oranje might very well do great in the WC if they do remember what they really are; underdogs of the greatest ability.

    That mentality was what nearly took them all the way in 2014. But with that mindset comes a catch: you shall never, ever forget what you are. Do not associate yourself with the boys of 74-78 and be ready to let Rinus Michels spin where he lies. Organize defensively like your survival depends on it as it really does. Be a Red Star Belgrade of the early 90s for the entirety of your tournament.

    I say all this to conclude what Jan has so stated; know and don’t forget your team is not good enough. Believe it. Then you can ease that pressure of expectations off your shoulders and play with the freedom of the underdogs to devastating counterattacking effect( Spain 2014 will testify)

    And I suspect Oranje will do well as they have probably the best coach in the world to set them up for aforementioned scenarios.

    The Iron Tulip is too smart and experienced not to have come to this resignation. Question is, would he choose to be weird?

  11. Tactically yes if there is a room for it or the opponent gives it away. If you look back in 2014, van gaal brilliantly orchestrated it till Vs Argentina where it became tit for tat head to head. This is expected in knock out stages and contrary to this WC no way this time it will be low competitive affair as to 2014. Brazil 0-7,0-3 loss or what we saw of the aging Spain squad dealt with.

    And then again the 2 week prep, injuries will play a crucial role for any team. It will be pretty much like another international break with more games.

  12. Also regards to what Jan said about finger pointing if NT losses, I think pretty much it will be swept underneath the carpet given injury causlities. The only thing if it does happen that should be pointed out is of how shallow the depth in the squad with respect to injuries to certain players.

  13. @wilson you seem to rate Brazil very high. They are a set team in big form but even the highest ranked teams have failed to win worldcup and lost in knockout games so brazil and argentina going out during knockouts cannot be ruled out totally. After all its a pressure match and favourite tag can backfire at times.

  14. It’s more about the balance of the team and how long they have been playing together and above all with respect to how they have rotated the squad to extent if any one gets injured, they can be equally be replaced and with minimal disruptions. Even to the extent if Neymar gets injured. They have player options avaliable to fill that vacuum. You may recall it was the opposite in 2014.

    There other thing is most of their players are playing at the highest level and all are good form. I would say the same for Argentina, coach scoloni has stick with the squaad for almost 1 and half year now building on the combination. From the bench as well. Both are excepted to meet in SF so one will technically have to bow out.

    1. I want nothing but a win vs Belgium for the simple fact that 2 wins against an opponent like that with players like KDB, Courtois, Hazard (even though he’s not what he was) builds a winning mentality on our players especially doing it missing your 2 starting midfielders and Memphis up top.

      I understand what most of you say about this team realizing that they have to be an underdog in order to make a good run in this WC but I’m sure that will happen if we face the top teams like Brazil, France, Spain etc. None of us, not even the “arrogant” Mr Van Gaal will think we aren’t the underdogs facing a team like France or Portugal because you can look at the quality and depth they have compared to what we have and that alone will make you feel like the underdog.

      The words of Van Gaal “the best players don’t win but the best team does” is something that I couldn’t agree more. Our team lacks in depth in midfield and we really don’t have the Robben’s and the Van Persie’s up top but what we have is a great defensive organization with the luxury of having some top defenders on our squad. If we built on that and with some luck on our side I see us surprising a lot of people in the WC.

  15. The thing about playing events like this, each player needs to only be good for 3 or 4 games.

    The group stage, I imagine we’ll be able to navigate even if Blind plays average and Dumfries is average, that shouldn’t be an issue. Even our R16 is winnable without our team peaking.

    Once we get to the QF that’s when we need everyone to get good. We’ll need Blind to put in a performance like he did against Dortmund last year. We’ll need Frenkie pulling all the strings.

    Then there’s the idea that a slip from the opposite team, means a goal for us.

    We are not the favourites, but knockout football is not always contrived by the “best” teams on paper, but rather the teams who hit form at precisely the right time. I coach sports professionally, and we know that with athletes that you don’t necessarily want to be your best weeks before the big event, because you only get to “peak” two or three weeks per year. Sometimes you hit it at exactly the right time and win the big tournaments, sometimes you win the warm-up event and slump during the major one. Sometimes you suck during the major tournament and then win your Euro Qualifying games a few months later by a high margin.

  16. No comments on Jan’s post. I think he turned 180 degrees within a very short period of time and I do not know why. I think even without injured players Dutch look solid so far.

    1. My post was obviously a bit of satire. But the undercurrent is there. We tend to get excited about yourselves and then we ended up disappointing. I was thinking: maybe a humiliation is just what we need.

  17. Taylor is slotting in as sort of left defensive mid and Blind has basically finished this game as a left winger.

    Gakpo and Pasveer to me have cemented their spots in the team.

  18. Very good game by Oranje: a very few mistakes in defense, not much was given away; and a goal when it was much needed. Very solid, I am very pleased. Excellent job by LvG.

  19. Well this post didn’t age well. Excellent gritty win by our B team. Our defense was excellent. Attacking play was muted because of the gameplay which was clearly to sit back and try and counter.

    Agree that Gakpo was the best player. This team is pretty good. Depth all around. Very solid to win 1-0 v one of top teams in the world who had everything to play for.

    With Frenkie and Memphis back and this solid defense, we will make a run in Qatar. I do like Gakpo as a super sub. Never saw Taylor play before, he was ok.

    Overall a great win

  20. Beside the usual suspects (Gapko, Timber etc) There are two players nobody mention but I think they deserve an applause. One because of his work rate and the other because is an extraordinary players and nobody seems to notice it.

    1. Berghuis: it’s playing very well at Ajax and for our national team in the midfield. He plays well as 10 and as beside our holding midfield. Very important player.

    2. Nathan Ake. He is an amazing center back. He played another extraordinary game. Solid defender.

    1. Yeah I’ve been thinking about Berghuis a lot. Him and Gakpo are basically in contention for the 10 position or him and Koopmeiners for the 8. I don’t really like Berghuis off the bench because he’s not that dynamic of a player. But Gakpo off the bench adds a lot. Maybe Berghuis will start as the 10 and Gakpo can come off the bench to relieve him.

  21. Tatically outclassed Again. 3-4-3 vs 3-5-2. Both team expoiloted each others midfield well. For the dutch it was expected but for the Belgians there was often big gap between Ohana and witsel and de Bryne and Hazard upfront. This was a major breaking point on counters for the dutch. On the hand hand though Belgians lacked that killer instinct up front with no one to take on the dutch defenders. De Bryne and Hazard were pulling the strings but neither there was anyone in the box to whom they could link with nor they could do much from outside of the box. The dutch basically sat deep and waited to pounce on counters.

    Being said . Nothing to really take away from the game but a positive win. Belgians simply are coming of age where there is big gap between their golden generation and the new generation. Under tatical less Martinez they simply have failed to achieved anything including with the golden generation. The only positive for them was Courtois who was in beast mode for them and made some good saves through out the game

    1. Because Kevin de Bruyne plays in that zone and Van Gaal wanted a Timber like mentality there. That is not what Blind brings, who defends more positionally and tactically, whereas Malacia can eat himself into the opponent. It’s good to have players who are multi functional. Malacia can also play right back.

  22. It’s always going to be easy for the Dutch when they play out of a defensive foil.

    Ake, Timber, vvd were excellent.

    Dumfries dynamism is an asset but has to be in the habit of being mentally attuned to his surroundings.

    Blind was ok and seem to be slower by the minute. Would be interesting to see how he copes against the big boys.

    Gakpo and Bergwin played a great game and I would start the latter over Berghhuis.

    Berghhuis had time on the ball courtesy of a disjointed Belgian side. He tried his splitting pass several times to no avail. Please somebody remind me if I’m wrong. All the time he had, I don’t know what was so impressive about his play. We all know how he folds in high tempo games.

    Liked Jansen a lot. A nuisance throughout and at this point would be my big man without second thought.

  23. Solid win against a disjointed “over the hill” Belgium. They looked leggy. I think we’ll see a different Belgium at the World Cup. It seemed as if they were less interested. I struggled to see positives in the first half. Our “without the ball” organisation is excellent but on the ball, the pace was low and the vertical passing was limited. AKe did well at times dribbling into midfield as did Timber but I didn’t see enough from midfield. Janssen did what he could but seemed a bit isolated at times.

    Great goal by Virgil, excellent shot stopping by Pasveer and kudos to the Belgium bicycle kick which ended onto the bar in the last second.

    Final Four, here we come.

  24. Pasveer seem to be a big presence and assured. First time seeing him play and hardly put a foot wrong.

    Like I have stated in the past, if Oranje do not get cocky and play and set-up like underdogs, they are likely to spring a surprise or two.

    Hazard has been ravaged by injuries. Thx for the memories from this Chelsea fan.

    Hard to watch the Belgian golden generation slide into oblivion.

    How batshuayi convinced scouts and coaches that he is a footballer will always remain a mystery.

  25. Yet to watch the game. But I believed most teams are not going all out in the Nations League, including our NT. It is about getting players to get use to playing a certain style and checking out the fit of players in the style. In that aspect, I think LVG has achieved the objectives.
    Come the WC, surely all teams will up the tempo, and that will incl. the NT!
    For now, we should just savour the very good work done in the Nations League and the process the NT has shown since LVG took over. Team is looking compact and conceding little.

  26. I have mixed feelings after these two matches against Belgium and Poland, on one side I like the confidence that’s building up in the team, I feel like 50% is on the field and 50% is in the players and management heads, if they feel confident that automatically means better performance, but on the other side I feel that anytime things go wrong with this team (opponent scores first) then the team will be exposed big time because our attack lacks creativity and is toothless, I hope Noa Lang and Danjuma come back in time for the World Cup…

    One thing, Van gaal man I am in love with this guy, you can say whatever you want about his ego and arrogance but the guy tells the media you can bet on Netherlands beating Belgium and it happens just like that, he oozes confidence and passes it on to his team and it gets transformed into positive results, I am saying this to remind you how non confident and shaky this team was during F.DE boer days and I am afraid that after the World Cup we will miss van gaal again because koeman even though he is not bad like DE Boer but he is definitely not a top manager , a lot of the momentum that van gaal created now will get lost again; but for now let’s enjoy his work and hopefully he gets rewarded nicely in Qatar with the World Cup!!! Our forever dream….. what a nice ending this would be for his career and for us as sad depressed fans who have been waiting for this moment for decades now:)

  27. We might make a nice jump in fifa ranking right ? We r eighth now but based on Englands losses and also Spain losing to Switzerland we might be jumping to six am I right ??

    1. We will stay 8th ( even with two wins) with 1695 pts. Italy will stay ahead of us in 7th and portugal will be closing the gap with 1692 points in 9th if they beat spain, spain and england may exchange their spots in 5th and 6th depending on their last game results…

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