Oranje disappoints Koeman (and us)

Koeman’s new Oranje had a bland loss against England, an aggressive win against Portugal and now a tw0-faced draw against Slovakia.

Koeman will stick to his 5-3-2, with good reasons, and said before the two friendlies he wanted to use all the players, see them all in action.

He played a line up that I don’t think we’ll ever see again… A midfield of Propper, Van de Beek and Strootman doesn’t seem to work (which I thought already before the match), in particular if Propper is playing the defensive mid role.

Anyway, I don’t think it matter who played where.

The team didn’t function in the first half. The tasks were made clear, we can be sure of that. But the execution was not great. To say the least.

Quite simple, the aggression wasn’t there. The front-foot forward pressing lacked. The team was too stretched with the back 3 too deep and the two forwards too high, resulting in a too big a stretch of pitch to control for Van der Beek, Strootman and Propper. The latter would be stick with his backline, while early in the game Kevin Strootman wanted to push up and Van de Beek as a result drowning against Slovakia’s main man Hamsik.

As a result, we could never put pressure on the ball, we allowed the opponent all the time on the ball and they can surely play ball if they get time and space.

And on top of that, the team wasn’t helped too well with about 5 early deep forward passes simply not reaching the forwards, resulting in early loss of possession. “That is not how you get to play football,” is what Koeman would say about that, after the game.

And when individual players (De Vrij, Blind) lose focus as well, it gets hard to win games.

Nemeth was supposed to be De Vrij’s man (the Slovakia is tall and strong in the air) but he smartly escaped from the new Inter signing and looked for the smaller Daley Blind.

The latter didn’t pick the striker up quick enough, some coordination issues with the former Feyenoord centre back, and as a result Blind was too late and went into the aerial duel half-assed. The header was perfect. Zoet was without a hope: 1-0.

Slowly in the first half, Oranje started to become stronger with the ball circulation pace going up and the forwards Promes and Memphis making threatening runs.

It did result in chances (Van de Beek, free-kick Memphis, curler by Van Aanholt) but it would take till the second half for Koeman to see his style of football being played.

The NT coach took Van de Beek off and brought Ruud Vormer for his debut. The 30 year old Brugge playmaker did what Koeman wanted and somehow the message got through to the rest of the team.

Sad for Van de Beek who was excellent against Portugal, like Propper. That is football.

Koeman: “I wasn’t yelling or overly angry at half time. Just disappointed and I told them this. We needed to go back to the key tasks as we discussed them before the game and just do it.”

In the second half, the Oranje team pressed more aggressively, played more compact and in particular Propper played higher up the park, pulling the defence along.

A good move resulted in Promes’ equaliser – forward pass De Ligt, Memphis in between the lines, good dummy run Van Aanholt and good shot Promes). It seemed Slovakia was getting tired and Oranje should have scored at least two more.

There were chances alright!  Vormer saw a ball flicked off the line, another 100% chance was hit straight at the goalie. Memphis had some chances, even Daley Blind partook in it, with a chance to make amends for his error.

Oranje had Slovakia in a tight grip in the second half, but as we lost the first half 1-0, we won the second with 0-1. Really, we should have put this game to rest.

Koeman: “I am not really too disappointed now. I saw a response in the second half. I also saw that the eleven on the pitch in the first half couldn’t fix it. That is useful information. I expected them to pick it up and I do hope they have learned from this experience. This is why we play friendlies. The first half: a lesson how we don’t want it to go!”

Ruud Vormer was the bright light in this friendly. The midfielder started his career under Van Gaal at AZ as a defensive mid. Aggressive but also a good passer. His only weakness, his lack of pace. He played here and there before going to Club Brugge. Feyenoord was his biggest club in Holland – under Koeman – but he was never able to push Clasie out of the team and left.

At Brugge, they put him on the creative playmaker spot and he never looked back.

Vormer: “What a season. We won the title, I got the golden boot and now this debut! But, I should have scored. I’m not a striker of course, but this ball should have gone in.” Sander Boschker is the oldest player ever to debut for Oranje, with 39 years old. The last 30-something player to make his debut was Ruben Schaken in 2012. It does seem Vormer can prepare to play some more in the orange jersey.

With Sneijder, De Jong, Van der Vaart, Van Persie all out of the picture, it’s good to have a more mature player in the squad. The balance in age needs to be there (Nigel de Jong said recently that he felt Hiddink let the older players go too early after 2014) and Vormer might well bring that.

All in all, not a great Oranje display but lots to hang on to. With Van Dijk coming into the squad, most likely a starting spot for Cillesen, we should be relatively solid, moving into the future. I also count Frenkie de Jong as a potential starter once he’s fit.

For Italy, we can expect a totally different line up. Most likely Vormer to start, with Wijnaldum in midfield. Babel in place of Promes. I do expect Memphis to start.

Van Dijk to replace Blind, Ake to replace Van Aanholt? Hateboer for Janmaat, definitely Cillesen of course. I guess we’ll see Vilhena, potentially Kongolo. Probably De Roon in the defensive mid role.

It’s all fun and games for now, the real deal is still a bit away.

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          1. just move back Vormer to DM and Memphis to winger….you can see them rotting their career…

  1. The Dutch will be OK, but Koeman needs to find his best midfield and front six. For a change we should be solid in the back. Perhaps because the The Netherlands has a lot of good players but few great players, there has been much indecision over the last two+ years about who to play, and where. That is never good.

  2. Depay- Promes

    Van ginkel

    ????-Frenkie – Vormer- karsdorp

    Ake – Van Dijk- De ligt


    This should be the idle lineup going in to nations league.I think the wing back position is still up for grabs and maybe koeman should try some more players there. I have always said this Buttner is the most explosive defender in eredivisie.though his career didnt turned out as planned but the wing back role without any doubt suits him the best.jus like vormer, this guy should be given a chance. His team mate Navarone Foor is another versatile player on that left side.I have no problem with Van annholt but his ceiling seems to be low.you have to bring him into the game to see the best out of him. he lacks those individual skills especially when he losses the momentum . Sinkgraven,also could fit in there well.the transition will suit him given he is more a attacking midfielder.

    1. I think Buttner is not an option. He lost his spot for a long spell at Vitesse under Fraser for lacking professionalism and getting too fat.

      Sinkgraven isn’t fit. Why would you suggest that??

      Van Aanholt is a key player for Palace in the EPL. WIllems is still an option, so is Pieters (depending on where he ends up).

      Lets not suggest players who struggle in the Eredivisie.

      1. I was more talking about going into future when they will be avaliable.not necesarily put them in straight away.

        Regarding Buttner, fraser also said a fit buttner can always be useful to the team given his qualities. Didnt sneijder had fitness issues when van gaal completely dropped and warned him prior to the WC.

        Either way I think most of players will be active in the pre season and will be ready for the new season and vitesse also will be active in EL and Ajax and PSV in CL qualifers.

        Lastly if willems plays then you need luuk de jong playing as striker. Playing Depay and promes upfront and expectating them to meet crosses from the flanks is useless.

        1. Buttner was good ,he lost rythem after his manchester move due to non playing games,then he become a fatpig…Now no hope for him…
          This wat happens to young players if they odnt play regular games..they become rusty…i feel bad for buttner…but he is done.
          Then ruud vormer failed as DM like Memphis failed a s winger in EPL… SO BOTH should never look back to their old spot…u should be glad that they found their right spot…

    1. Central midfielders. Vormer is playing the same position at Club brugge. Frenkie did play DM at Ajax as a cover up for schone before being shifted to LCB.

      1. Having van ginkel as a false striker will enable both Frenkie and Vormer to be rovers in the middle. You also have to look at Madrid set up when Zidane deploys 4-4-2 with Modric and kroos as central midfielders.it does work out.

  3. few Comments on the game.
    1. Defense/Midfield sit too deep, inviting the Slovenians to take pot-shot from outside.
    2. Poor 1st touch from Depay/Promes which resulted in turn-overs from Slovakia from otherwise a dangerous and promising goal opportunities for the Dutch
    3. Need a creative spark! Frenkie De Jong 😊

  4. karsdorp is top notch but he needs to find his fitness back…
    Bazoer is another topnotch talent ,but he needs to play regular..
    Limited players like Strootman,Blind,annholt should only be given chances if there is so many injuries..

  5. here goes fisrt11 Vs Second 11

    Babel–Memphis Vs kluivert-Berjwin
    Propper——–Vs Vanginkel
    Vilhena——–Vs Williams
    Van debeek—–Vs Frenkie dejong
    Ake————Vs Wijnaldum
    kongolo——–Vs Blind
    Virgil———vs Devrij
    deligt———Vs Bruma
    Karsdorp——-Vs Tete
    stand bye
    Fosu mensah
    Kalvin stengs
    Jeryy st juste..
    jurgan locadia

  6. De Roon will start tomorrow. Jasper Cillessen, Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum back in the 11. Babel and Hateboer most likely.

    That’s the latest from AD. Hopefully a better game ….

        1. Ironically last time vs Portugal Tete was better attacking threat than Hateboer.He did better than hateboer both in offense and defense.i dont like crosses of both they lack accuracy…

  7. May I ask if anyone knows why Frenkie De Jong isn’t involved in the team?

    We keep talking about building a new midfield, and how could we have missed him out?

  8. There is terrible injustce and bais in todas game…
    Terence kongolo was regular of hudserfeild ,he was too good….While Blind was sitting in bench and didid played since Januvary..
    DALEY BLIND MUST EARN his spot by playing regular.which didnt happend for last 6 months..He is not an undisputed LB for LB neither he is undisputed for LCB…His selection is biased…for any other player koeman would have said they will select only players who play regular for their club…
    Daley…..i am ashamed of you Go back home and give this chance to Kongolo Vs williams vs Annholt vs Haps..you are the achilles heal of this team along with kevinstrootman…
    Earn you spot Daley..this is not the game to get your fitness.
    this is why dutch never wins a trophy…
    disrupting the rythem with odd players..

  9. Wijnaldum looks lost in the midfield. The Italians have dominated the midfield. Depay and babel are dropping to deep. You can feel baloteli will score if he comes on.

    1. Vilhena seems to becoming a very solid option for the left back/wing position. Fits his style a lot. Solid, tenacious and good footballer. Blind clearly improved since the last game (obviously he needs playing time). Van Dijk and Wijnaldum were mentally already on vacation before the game started.

      Considering the circumstances, I like what I see…It’s promising to an extent.

  10. Koeman said going into these two games that he was going to give players chances, and to use the games to sort out out who he would depend on going forward.

    Some players made separated themselves from their competition: Vilhena, Janmaat, Cilleson. Others, went the opposite direction: Hateboer (looked out of his depth), De Roon. In picking the team now, I’d say Blind is behind both De Vrij and Ake on the backline

    I note Wilson and Demi’s comments re: Wijnaldum—I thought he was better than you guys thought, but that is just my opinion. And at the same time, I didn’t think Vormer played all that well. Again, just my opinion. The team as a whole played a bad first half, and its hard to look good when that is happening. Second half was much better, and Janmaat was a real difference maker.

    And I agree with Demi, there is promise going forward. Looks like Koeman has given them some structure.

    This is the pool for the September Nations League games. I doubt you’ll see Frenkie De Jong or Kluivert, or some other such young player who hasn’t featured in Koeman’s 4 game build up. So, question: What is the best 11 for France and Germany?

  11. AD has a poll, choose your players under the 5-3-2.

    Goalies: Cillessen 84% Zoet 16%
    Rightwingbacks: Jaanmaat 47% , Tete 45%, Hateboer 8%

    CBs: Van Dijk 33%, De Light 28%, De Vrij 27%, Ake 8%, Blind 4%

    Leftwingbacks: Vilhena 58%, Van Aanholt 42%

    Middles: Wijnaldum 30%, Propper 25%, Van de Beek 15%, Vormer 14%, Strootman 13%, De Roon 3%

    Attackers: Depay 47%, Promes 29%, Babel 24%

    I went for


    Jaanmat De Light Van Dijk Ake(De Vrij) Vilhena

    Propper Van De Beek Wijnaldum (not really LOL)

    Memphis Babel(Promes)

    1. I was also impressed with Vilhnea. first touch, consistency, passing and defending. its jus the execution part which is question mark for him.

      I also felt the chemistry between Promes and Depay was better vs Solvakia compered to Babel and Depay vs Italy but again you have to consider the fact Italians were better team and a level up than Slovakia and both Babel and Depay had to drop deep to retrieve possession. also when Koeman threw everybody in the game after the red card, it was hard to call who was playing where.elia, promes, depay,Berghuis, weghorst were running riot in all directions.

      Karsdorp, Van Ginkel, Frenkie and Locadia are the only players if any that should be considered for the nation league apart from the those who have played in the friendlys so far.

      1. Karsdorp should surpass Jaanmaat… I am a big fan. Hope he delivers but look what happened to Strootman after his injury. Time will tell.

        Frenkie of course is our biggest talent and much needed in a midfield that lacks personality…

        Not sure though if there is time to blend them in for the Nations League considering the team has not geled very well yet. It is another risk.

        We see… Overall I am happy with the renewal and the rejuvenation. Reminds me of the shake up Van Gaal did in 2012 after the failed EC.

  12. Berhguis,also I dont know what to make out of him. made a good impact of the bench but he only looks dangerous from dead ball situation. open play is a question make especially when playing as auxiliary striker

    1. It’s too early to judge many of these youngsters. Hateboer was terrible but so was Van Dijk in his first few games… Koeman should make time for more friendlies after the NL… We can’t write them off just like that. They need to be given more chances. And get out of Eredivisie….

      1. Maybe before the nations league other than that of Peru. Im not sure about the planned tournament for the non qualifers which was planned to be held in US. A B team would also have been an option here.

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