It’s good to be back! Thanks again, for staying true to your favorite Dutch blog :-).
Starting to feel the jibbers already for the Saturday game!! And after, we’ll take Spain as well of course!
The man who deserved at least one Ballon D’Or. The man who will be remembered as one of Holland’s finest ever. The man who took us single left-footed almost into another World Cup finals….will not be at hand to guide the Orange Lions to victory against the Turks. Robben tore a muscle in his belly and will be out for four weeks. Just fit in time to win the CL with Bayern.
The King is injured, love live the King.
The lads need to do it themselves. Sneijder, Hunter and De Jong are the only old guard soldiers and may not both make it in, even. So it will be down to Depay, Wijnaldum, Blind, Clasie, Narsingh to do the job.
Depay has been criticised of not showing up in big games. The Ajax game, the two Zenit games…. He did perform ok vs Feyenoord last weekend (scoring one and having a huge opportunity for the equaliser) but needs a big game to shine. I believe in this kid! He does have that specialness that Robben has.
While the Dutch sports press is still focusing on the new coach, appointed or next season, Gio van Bronckhorst, Oranje is preparing for Turkey and Spain. Gio, who started as F pupil at Feyenoord and played in the first team in two periods (start of career and end of career) is proud to be the new Feyenoord coach. His buddy and colleague assistant coach Jan Paul van Gastel will remain as his sidekick.
Kazim Richards, Feyenoord’s striker, will be part of the Turkey squad in the Arena. The English born Turk has been having a go at the Feyenoord international Jordy Clasie for weeks and Clasie quipped: “We all know he has a big mouth and I want to beat Turkey, so I can shut him up. Don’t want him yapping at me for weeks again!”. Clasie made his debut for Oranje in a game against Turkey under Van Gaal. “That was quite special for me, but at the same time, I didn’t play well. But hey….still a big thing, making your debut for Oranje.”
With the three skippers injured (RVP, Robben and Strootman) Hiddink will fall back on his last big name player Wesley Sneijder to wear the armband. Hiddink, in his typical underrated tone: “I suppose that will work out well, yes? To give the little guy the band? He’ll know what to do?” knowing well that Wes was Van Gaal’s captain of choice when he started Holland’s qualification campaign for Brazil.
Sneijder was quite happy with the armband and his rehabilitation as a key player for Oranje. “I’m now one of the older guys who is being avoided by the young guns for being a nuisance, hahahaha.” The sparkle in his eye showed his excitement. “No one needs to tell us how important this game is. It hurts to see Iceland above us in the table. We will do what we need to do. And as an older player and now skipper, I will take responsibility and chat with the lads individually in the coming days.” Sneijder was in Istanbul when the news broke that both Van Persie and Robben couldn’t play. “They cheered as if there was something to really celebrate. They think they’ll have a chance now. And seriously, they do have a chance. They can play football when they have the ball. So the trick is not to give them possession. Tactically, they tend to be less strong. We need to play our game and not allow them on the ball and simply do what we do well.” Sneijder scored against Turkey in the WC qualification game and had very modest celebrations. “Of course, out of respect for them. I enjoy playing in Turkey. They treat me with the utmost respect and some of the Turkish internationals are my team mates, so I treat them with respect too.” Sneijder has the same number of caps as Frank de Boer and will probably over take him as the most capped field player for Holland, ever. He has 112 caps, with Van der Sar 130. Is that record achievable for Sneijder. “I am not really interested in that right now, but it’s 18 games away I suppose. So if we qualify for the Euros, or WHEN we qualify it will be feasible. But lets focus on winning first and then we’ll see later how that all adds up.”
Bas Dost was one of the key targets for the photo journalists when the players entered the hotel. “Huh? And only because I scored some goals?”, said the down-to-Earth Wolfsburg front man. He said he doesn’t expect to get playing time. “I would be foolish to count on playing. Huntelaar is number one and rightfully so. And I expect the team and Klaas Jan to do really well so I don’t think they’ll need me.” The tall former Heerenveen striker downplayed his amazing run. “Listen, I scored in a number of games. That is my job. When I don’t score for some weeks, people will call me a loser and waste of space again. I keep my feet firmly on the ground.”
Hiddink trained with 24 players on the Katwijk grounds and did his best to conceal what he’ll do with the absence of Vlaar, RVP and Robben. It’s highly likely that he’ll play 4-3-3 with a definite starting spot for Sneijder left in midfield. Clasie or Blind will play centrally and most likely Wijnaldum right in midfield. Depay seems a cert, and Huntelaar impressed against Real Madrid with two goals and will most likely start too. It seems only logical for Narsingh to start in place of Robben.
At the back, Bruma might take Vlaar’s place, with De Vrij the other centre back. Blind will play left back, or Willems will if Blind plays in midfield and Van der Wiel is the most likely right back, although Janmaat is probably on par with the Paris right back.
Gimme your preferred line ups and your prediction for the game!!!