And thus ends Oranje post-season trip to Asia. With 5 goals, two disappointing performances, a couple of new hares (Cillisen, Tiendalli, Toornstra, Nelom), a new skipper, a warned playmaker and lots and lots of happy Chinese and Indonesian fans.
And 1 million euros for the KNVB.
Louis van Gaal was not unhappy. “The game vs China was actually quite agricultural. I expected a better game as the climate and the pitch were so much better, but it didn’t happen. We missed a lot of chances and somehow couldn’t get our rhythm.”
The Dutch team manager clearly didn’t mind too much. This was partly a holiday trip. Bonding.
The main thing was his ability to deal with Wesley. “This is the last time we meet before we play next season against Portugal and I don’t want to deal with this captaincy issue right before a serious match. Now, I had the chance to explain to Wes.”
Wes wants to attack LVG for taking his band. RVP and Robben spur him on…
Sneijder took it hard, the message that not only the band would go to RVP but also that LVG would not take Maher AND Sneijder both to the World Cup…. Sneijder apparently left the meeting emotionally to go back to his room… Later that evening he came out and joined the group and accepted LVG’s decision.
I have to say, the statement that Maher and Sneijder can’t both go to the World Cup is silly. I think LVG says it to motivate Sneijder to the max. But why wouldn’t you to take them both if both are in glorious form?? Maher can play on all midfield positions, so it would be foolish to not take him anyway.
Van Persie basked in the sun with his captain band. “As a kid I watched Krol and Koeman as skipper of Oranje and Johan wore the band too of course… I am extremely proud.”
And he remembered his first training under Van Gaal. He came home totally enthusiastic. His wive asked him… How was it? Robin said he was extremely happy. Mr van Gaal has very exciting practice forms. A joy to work under him. But… “You won’t start” is what she said. Correct, was Robin’s answer. He picked Klaas Jan over me. But my chance will come.
And one glorious season for ManU (and a title) later, and Robin is Oranje’s main man.
Van Gaal commented that some players really pleased him and some other disappointed him but he didn’t want to go into which player was in which category.
RVP is level with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Faas Wilkes on the top scorers list
Holland played without too much inspiration against a very agressive China. I asked our Asia Football expert Carlos and he believes that this is a matter of “not wanting to lose face” for the Chinese. They approach this as a serious game and the Chinese players also know there are Western scouts watching, so they did all they could to stop Holland. When one of them was red carded for a charge on De Guzman, already in the first 20 minutes, the game sort of died out.
By then RVP had already scored from the spot as a result of a foul on Robben. Sneijder came onto the pitch to replace Toornstra in the second half and scored a beauty after a nice build up involving RVP and Robben too. The commentator quiped “why do it easy, when you can do something like that”….
We see RVP and Robben hit the woodwork and Lens, RVP, Robben and co all misses glorious chances.
During the trip, the Dutch players acted as real tourists too of course, visiting some touristy spots and taking photo opps. Ron Vlaar was amazed “It’s quite remarkable, they actually know who I am here…”
And thus ends the Oranje season. With all players told to watch their fitness. With a new Main Man in charge in the dressing room. And with a number of wannabees having had a taste of the Orange…
Vlaar, Cillisen and De Jong photo-bomb at a Chinese wedding