Oranje – Germany; what went wrong?

It’s 24 hours after the Germany game. The Day After.

We are not yet out of the competition. It’s a simple calculation. If Germany wins against Denmark and Holland beats Portugal with two goals difference, Oranje is through!

So, let’s first analyse the Germany game.

What happened exactly?

We needed a win. Germany would have been happy with a 0-0. So Holland starts with some intent. Indeed, the first 20 minutes were fine. Not great, but we did create opportunities. Robin van Persie on a good long Van Bommel pass, Van Persie with another opportunity and Afellay with a cross to Van Persie which he basically squandered by playing it behind Van Persie.

The pace was good, the passing was ok, but when Germany had one opportunity, they scored. 0-1.

And fear entered into the frame. The defence stayed back. The midfielders drowned, the wingers didn’t get a good ball and Van Persie was on an island.

And when Germany had another option of slicing through our defence (another Schweinsteiger pass for Gomez) it was 0-2. And Oranje was chasing the game.

In the second half, Huntelaar and Van der Vaart came on and late in the game Dirk Kuyt came on for Robben. One great one-touch attack and Robin van Persie was able to score the consolation goal. Sneijder had an opportunity to score the equaliser but Boateng risked his ribs blocking this attempt.

Let’s look at what went wrong:

Our 4-2-3-1 doesn’t work if it’s not executed well. Our defence kept on tracking back while our forwards wanted to push forward. Space between the lines was huge and our holding midfielders drowned in that space. Our full backs didn’t do anything on the overlap. While our wingers lacked the form (Afellay!!) to make a dent.

The Goalkeeper
Stekelenburg actually had a couple of good saves. The Ozil ball on the post. The Badstuber header. The weird high ball falling almost under the bar. But he didn’t look too good with the second Gomez goal. The angle was astute. And for some reason, Stekel decided to go to ground before Gomez even hit the ball… Why?? If Stekelenburg would have stayed on his feet, he could have simply caught the ball.

Our defence is atrocious. Willems is a very young, inexperienced left back. Who did ok. He made mistakes, but that was to be expected. Where was the support for the young Sparta prospect? Heitinga and Mathijsen were both guilty for allowing Gomez all the space to score two goals and didn’t have the balls to pressure forward. Van der Wiel, like against the Danes, was invisible. Didn’t add any value to the game.

Both Van Bommel and De Jong seemed dinosaours. Too much space for them to cover, not enough balls or dynamics to push forward and play tightly within the team. Both Bommel and De Jong did not offer any added value and with defence were the “six players tracking back” while the forwards were focused on attacking.

The four forwards were again focused on attacking and scoring goals. But Robben and Afellay did not have the form while Sneijder had problems making his mark in the first half. He played a better game in the second half when Afellay made way for Huntelaar and Sneijder had more space on the left wing. Van Persie had a number of chances again, but he failed to convert them, while the Germans did.

Individual Form
Too many players lack the form needed to win gold. Robben, Afellay, Van der Vaart, Huntelaar, van Bommel and De Jong and the whole defence seemed to be seriously under par.

Physical Condition
It’s hard to say, watching a game, what the status is of the physical condition of the players, but it does seem like the energy oozes out of our players a bit quicker than with other teams. It could be result of being deflated due to the results… It could also simply be the result of the pitch being too long for our players to cover. But both Morten Olsen and Joachim Low stated that Holland didnt look fit. And of course this Raymond Verheijen character is yelling this in tweets as well. But then again, if you have 5 players in your line up that are not 100% fit (Willems, Van der Wiel, Mathijsen, Van Bommel, Afellay) is it possible to play this high energy game??

In a way, the mentality seems to be fine. Players like Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar and co play top football for years already and are used to pressure and playing big games week in week out. Jetro Willems also doesn’t seem to be fussed playing with the big names, on the big stage, against big opponents. One thing that does puzzle me, is the fact that we have players who said a number of times already “we don’t have the form now, but once the tournament starts we will flick the switch and be ready”…. I don’t think that actually works like that.

The Dutch total football school is based on dynamics. JC everywhere on the pitch. Van Hanegem placing the ball anywhere. Krol being left winger. Rep center forward. Haan playmaker and Neeskens running from box to box. Etc etc. This worked with Gullit and Vanenburg and Muhren. And Erwin Koeman ran from box to box. And with Cocu, Bergkamp and Davids ran from box to box. But where are our dynamic players and patterns? Robben and Afellay? Predictable. Van der Wiel and Willems? Limited overlaps. Two central backs. NEVER pushing forward. Holding mids? Static. Just like Sneijder… Lots of dynamics in his passing, but doesn’t pull his weight in yards covered like Iniesta/Silva/Ozil/Modric… In my view, we lack penetration. Who runs from box to box? How many times did we see a potential cross (ok, they were mostly shite) but only Van Persie in the box? Maybe time for Strootman!

Gomez only needs 4 chances to score 3 goals. Van Persie, Robben and even Sneijder seem to be overzealous or maybe lacking sharpness… amongst ourselves, we might have had 15 good opportunities? Only 1 converted. And with his right! Is it lack of sharpness or too much will, too much eagerness… Did you see Arjen Robben’s face and grimace when singing the national anthem? Was he impersonating Jack Nicholson as the joker (Heath Ledger for younger generations) or does he simply want to it too badly?

The Run Up to this Euro Tournament
Before we started the WorldCup 2010, most of our players came out successful seasons. This time around, Sneijder has had his problems, Afellay hasn’t seen a ball, Van der Wiel was injured, Mathijsen was injured, Robben had some dramas to process and Huntelaar now has to accept that he’s not a starter.

Everytime Oranje played a good tournament, the next tournament was played crap. In 1974, we were vice world champs, in 1976 we made a mess of it. In 1978 we were vice world champs, in 1980 we were sent home after the group. In 1988 we won the Euros and in 1990 we ended in shame. And now we are the vice world champs, so this tournament might be the next drama…

Available Players
Looking at Germany, one sometimes wonders what kind of squad Holland could have if our country was bigger. If we has 30 Mio in stead of 15 Mio people. I’m not saying “Let’s invade Belgium”… But if there ever was a reason to do this, this is the one!! Add Vertonghen (left back), Vermaelen (CB) and Kompany (CB) and we’re laughing all the way to shake Platini’s hand. If we need to rely on an 18 year old lad who played Emmen and Helmond Sport last year….well….

The Coach
So, summing all the above up… Our coach is obviously responsible for this all. For team selection, for fitness, for tactics, for team motivation, etc (not for history, ok….).
He might be a great guy for a focused campaign when all the players are on a high and fit (2010) but maybe the wrong guy for a campaign where we need more tactical flexibility, more balls and more empathy. Who will tell him? I am guessing that we will….

Let’s create some solutions for the Portugal game!

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  1. solutions dont come in 3 days, it is too late now!
    solution is van marwijk leaves after this disaster, and players like bommel-robben-vdv-vdw-mathijsen get dropped and we get few new faces, so that they can start cumulating experience from now!

    the sad part is that 3 years ago we were all waiting for bruma and van aanholt, those two guys were supposed to be developed to world class defenders! if that happened life wouldve been much better now!!!

    1. Why is every one focussing on Robben ?!?! what is this.. why would you cut such a brilliant winger from your squad ?!?!?!?!?!?! JUST PLAY HIM ON THE LEFT WHERE HE IS ACTUALLY GOING TO GIVE CROSSES. For fuck sake, its not that difficult.

      You don’t just replace half the squad and then expect to win a world cup in 2 years time.. Germany has been building a new squad for 4 years now ! it doesnt happen over night. It is easy to see the back needs replacement soon: V.Bommel, Mathijsen is too poor, Kuyt is also going to be almost useless in 2 years. V.d.Wiel didnt develop and if he does not from now he doesnt deserve a spot. Nigel de Jong did alright, not worse than V.Bommel at least. But for a technical player like V.d.Vaart I’d be willing to look for places to fit him in, hell maybe he’d make an ok centre back… And for the rest, you need to give Afellay and Robben way way waaaaaaaaaay more credit than they get now. Am I the only one that sees they are playing shit because they are both on the wrong side of the pitch ??

      What needs to happen is building a defence and midfield that doesn’t look like Dad’s army. We need speed, and dynamic players. If you have as much attacking talent as we do, you need fast and dynamic midfielders and defenders to be able to press and play high up the pitch while not having to worry about closing gaps and counters.
      Hell.. even Belgium has better players like that with Kompany, Vermaelen, Witsel and Fellaini.

      Best hopes are for Pieters, Douglas, Willems, Nuytinck, De Vrij, Bruma and Van Rhijn to step up, hell even Ryan Donk would be a step up from the current lot. For midfield, I have hopes for Jeffrey Bruma and Leroy Fer, they need to show their worth soon. That is the kind of modern controlling midfielder and defender that we need. Karim Rekik is a player like that but he is too young.

      In my mind there’s a few things that need to be done, and one of them is improving the way in which we select and develop youth. It should be about 1. technique, technique, technique, endless technique. 2. we really need to start paying more and more attention to dynamic players, preferably physically strong, but again, if they don’t have to be V.Bommel posture if their technique is like Xavi.. 3. We need to start appreciating physically strong and fast defenders more than the ones with velvet feet. Of course, is one is tall, strong and technically gifted, he gets preference, but if you don’t have those.. we can settle for a less gifted but strong and fast centre back. As long as he knows when to hand the ball in to a midfielder.
      5. We need to keep giving young players enough chances in Eredivisie, otherwise we are screwed.
      And well.. preferably I’d see this all happening within the context of Beneleague, no matter how hard opponents disagree, I see the pro’s outweighing the con’s.

      In this all I’m thinking of the midfielder type like Witsel, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Iniesta, maybe Sneijder .. and indeed… Anita, thought he is not nearly as good as the former mentioned.
      And defensive type like De Rossi, Pique, Sergio Ramos.. technically good, physically strong and high stamina.

      I’m talking mostly defensive and central midfield now. With that in mind, the closest and most promising bunch for me would be Douglas, De Vrij, Bruma, Willems, V.Rhijn, Fer, Maher, Van Ginkel, maybe.. Clasie, Achahbar And ones that fit part of the bill and are a bit older: Anita, Donk, De Guzman. I am probably missing alot but these are just examples.

      1. I think the guys must win because of this marvelous child


        I agree Robben must play on the left, affelay on the right may be

        and if ocasionally they switch places during the game its not harm.

        They have to perform they can, Mark Van bommel days are over, we need VDV in the squad.

        my starting lineup


  2. From watching the game again I noticed the same “I am exhausted” look on some faces especially Affelay, after ONE run. So dont expect him to track back. I was told temp was 30 degrees? Could that be the case – too hot for them, but its the same for the opposing teams. Anyway the good news is I checked Weather forecast for Sunday and its rain & max 18 min 14 !! That could help….but then have you ever noticed that the weather doesnt always do whats predicted ?
    Its true first 20 min we were the Boss – then one lousy (or great) pass from Schweini !!

  3. our forwards, especially Persie and Hunter NEVER, and I mean absolutely never track back. Robben does from time to time, not with Danemark but he did with Germany. And more in the past.

    Other successful teams are not like this. In Germany for example, everyone marks when needed.

    I am not saying this is the primary reason we don’t play well but looks like our team is split in half with the front part camping outside the opponent area and the rear half simply staying put.

    We have movement as a team only in the first 20′. But then somehow we run out of steam. Some old folks begin to walk …

  4. this is why we need to use the hungry young guys who are willing to die on the field to show their value, i mean by that narsingh and strootman, this guy narsingh he showed great skills, and good scoring ability, he is very fast, why not use him on the right to give some crosses to our poor forwards, i say poor forwards because people keep complaining about persie, but the truth is that he never receives any cross from robben!!!!

  5. jan, i fault the coach for certain things but he’s done a lot for this team. true, MVB should never have been in our lineup and a few others either…. BUT:

    i completely disagree with the argument that the size of nation should determine its potential…. that’s never an excuse… Uruguay won 2 world cups and look how small that country is…

  6. It is very clear changes will be done after the Euro even if we are lucky to progress. Is it that hard not to notice that Willems and Van der Wiel have been very poor? And that we don´t need two holding mids and desperately need one more striker in KJH.

    For Portugal: Steks; Kuyt, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Schaars; de Jong, Sneijder, Strootman; Van Persie, Huntelaar and Robben. If Van Marwijk chooses this team we will smash the Portuguese but he will stick to Willems and Van der Wiel and what is worst…he could bench once again Huntelaar, if that happens he will be the responsible for this failure. Klaas Jan is not a saviour when we are losing, he has to start to make his mark starting every game!!!

    If we lose the last game it would be the worst tournament of Oranje ever but many teams have failed badly and rediscovered their form very fast like Italy in 2004 and two years later lifting the WC title or France in 2010 and now they seem stronger. Sometimes in life you have to fail badly in order to be stronger…

    By the way, Douglas Teixeira will be avaible for Oranje in september. Bye bye Mathijsen. Great warrior in his last wars.

  7. Great read as always, keeping the faith high! Whether people say we deserve it or not, I know we will qualify and we just have to go all out and surely Germany will not play for a draw due to if we and they were to unfortunately lose, we’re both going home.

    With that being said we both need to win and if possibly 3-0 then we’re good to go. I’d like to believe RVP and Robben will try harder just to redeem themselves and Hunter surely has to start. Don’t quit on us damnit, hopefully Strootman will get the nod and if Afellay isn’t 100% don’t start him. I agree I wish we’d get those Belgium stars and I don’t see why we make an attempt to bring them in; I know the Belgiums have a strong side on paper, but let’s just concentrate on this game for Sunday and break our history! Hup Holland Hup!

  8. Make Sneijder the captain. It appears to me that he cares a lot about winning (at least he shows his emotion) than the rest of the team. Next we take risk. We cannot sit back as we need to win by 2. We need to contain Ronaldo and the best man for this job is Kuyt. We will start with one holding midfield and Strootman is the man. At least he is younger and has more energy to play 90 min than Van Bommel. We will start with Hunter up front with Van Persie, Sneijder and either Afellay or Narsingh (coin toss). I will put Vlaar and Heitinga and Willems on defense. I leave Stek in goal. I remind him of 2010 and threaten him if he made mistake like that Gomez’s 2nd goal and his spot will go to Krul or Vorm beginning WC2014 qualification. The last position is Van Der Vaart. Perhaps starting him early in the game may make him happy enough that he actually can make the difference. That is my starting 11. Boula can sub for Kuyt if needed. What if we lose, well we already lost the first 2 games. We need to outscore Portugal by 2 so 2-0, 3-1, 4-2. Last, perhaps Bert can show the whole team how their fans are upset with them, that they need to play with their heart, their pride for putting on the oranje jersey that attracts a legion of fan around the world and perhaps reading this blog to see that their fan still care (upset, frustrated, angry but still care). I swear if I see the same starting 11 again then there is no chance that we can win this game. Miracle can and do happen.

  9. Here is my line up for Portugal…


    VDW – Hetinga – Mathijsen – Willems

    Vart – Strootman

    Narsingh – Sneijder – V. Persie


    I am not saying this is magic. I say with the players that we have, we have to shuffle things up so there is more life to this team. Our two holding midfielders showed they’re worthless, Robben i am not gonna even comment about the guy.
    We bring in new faces, with a bit of attacking mindset and we hope we score two stupid goals against Portugal.
    I don’t see it happening, but we can just hope…
    Good Night Friends

  10. Lets be brutally honest. Do we really think this team has any chance of beating Portugal let alone win the tournament. If you think this you are blinded by your affection for he Oranje. This team is pathetic in every respect. Our back 4 except for the youngster have absolutely no idea how to defend. 2 holding midfielders is a band aid on dam ready to burst. Our wingers Affellay and Robben are selfish and have no inclination to help out the defence. Everyone has to chip in. Look at Barcelona and Holland of yesteryear. Stekelburg is a below par goal keeper. Give me Krul any day. Moral is down and dissent is in the ranks. There is no running off the ball. They just past and stand still. This has to be the worst Dutch team I have seen ever!!!!!! And I said that during World Cup 2010.

    1. Again, your critique of wingers is very foolish. If yur Central defenders and midfielders fuck up why you expect the wingers to take the blame for it cause they didn’t do their own job AND everyone elses ?

  11. Lets be brutally honest. Do we really think this team has any chance of beating Portugal let alone win the tournament

    NO … but one can dream. Paolo Rossi 1982 and Denmark 1992 were NOT supposed to happen and defied all logic. On the flipside, so did our losses mid-90s to early 2000-s when we were always among top 4 best team everytime we entered a tourney.

    If miracle does happen this Sun., it won’t surprise me if we actually will beat Germany in the final.

    But to be brutally honest …. NO, it will not happen.

  12. Here’s my line up in 4-3-3
    Steks; Kuyt, Heitinga, Vlaar, Schaars; de Jong, Sneijder, Strootman; Van Persie, Huntelaar and Narsingh.

    Robben comes in as impact winger and so can Affelay. Sneijder Free role

    Let’s go Bert !!

  13. Just one change which is Kuyt for Robben will immediately do a huge improvement!
    I am sure if Kuyt is there everybody will feel ashame for being lazy and selfish!

  14. quote from a movie: there is no room for sympathy. if you are not willing to give up everything you already lost. Jan, can you somehow get Bert to read all of these comments? Let’s hope for a miracle this Sunday.

  15. portugal are better than oranje and a dutch victory seems very unlikely. but miracles happen exactly in this kind of situations.
    starting eleven: stekelenburg – kuyt,heitinga,vlarr,schaarsd – de jong,sneijdeer,strootman – affelay,huntelaar,van persie
    the most important thing: oranje have to play more compact: the gap is always too big between the lines,i don’t want to see it bigger than 30 meters.
    second: pressure on the opponent when they have the ball. pressure,pressure,pressure. in their half,don’t let them build up.
    third: kuyt should keep ronaldo quiet. ronaldo is angry and psychologically weak,oranje fans should chant “messi,messi…” boulah has to smile towards ronaldo from the bench saying to him “messi will have his fourth golden ball this year.”
    fourth: giving a last chance to robben and introducing him in the 65th minute as an impact player (he’ll replace affelay),but he’s not allowed t shoot.
    fifth: don’t react to portuguese provocations.

    1. love whatever ferenc said…make ronaldo go bad during the game by chanting messi messi and am sure he is going to be messy….if ronaldo does not have a good game the only other guy tocontain would be nani…this guy is playing gr8 football too…i personally believe beating portugal with a two goal margin would be difficult..bt lets hope..thats the only thing as a fan we can do..

  16. Denmark can’t afford to draw, so will attack the Germans who will pick them off at will and win.
    Portugal can’t afford to go for the draw so will attack and Holland will pick them off at will.
    Germany and Holland to go through!
    Although if that happens, I fear it will be like the Euros in England when Holland qualified by the skin of someone else’s teeth, and lost the 1/4 game.

  17. I am sick to the back teeth of 4231.
    It’s anti-football for simple minds.

    I am truly ashamed of us playing this way.

    Bring back 433 – and get it settled before the next championship.

    Oh, and chuck out those old men we keep handing caps to. Dutch football needs a TOTAL overhaul.
    BVM has dragged us to our knees.

    Johan Cruyff – I beg you with all my heart.
    One last legacy.
    Step in. SAVE US!

  18. How about JC and Van Hanegem as the coach and assistant coach for WC 2014? A couple of 60+ old wise men. Who knows? Perhaps they can introduce magic as Oranje winning the first WC or Oranje may fail to qualify for WC 2014 (like in 2002). Many believe Portugal will win or at least draw. I still hope for Netherlands to upset Portugal, payback for 2004 and 2006. Once advance they can get lucky, perhaps revenge the Russia for 2008 by penalty (ugly winning strategy by Bert). Again I’m getting too far a head. Let’s focus on Portugal and C. Ronaldo, the world’s most expensive and perhaps most overrated player. Ferenc brings up a good point, not reacting to provocations. I wonder if Bert post a picture or an article of 2006 in the dressing room as a way of motivation.

  19. The only way I can see us through in 1/4 finals is score an early goal. I think this is also the case with the two loses vs Denmark and Germany – when we concede everything just fall apart cause we lost confidence. In the first match we would just need to score first and then play more relaxed. Even before the first match the pressure was huge on the players and their own expectations were too high – you cant speak of winning the cup before the start of the tournament – you should go match by match and be totally focused. These guys looked stressed since from the begining, there was not any joy and passion to see on their faces..
    And yes against Portugal we should field fresh/young guys and leave those who are under the pressure most on the bench..

  20. If we do loose to portugal and get eliminated it can do us good… Say we do really well again it I wouldn’t surprise me if Bert was still there for world cup 2014 with the same team as now. At least we get a wake up call the World Cup is the big one the one we want, the one we need, the one we dont have. At least they know they need to get there shit together.

  21. nice joke i heard;

    ” the last time we defended that poor, we lost the country for 5 years! (’40-’45) hahaha

    maybe its me but i really dont want them to make it to the next round..let them go home as soon as possible…

    vMarwijk thought he had a good line-up and system, blinded by good results, not seeing how poor we have played for the last couple of years..including the WC

    some really poor judgment (Affelay, Willems, vBommel, vPersie as striker) and some other out of form (Robben, vdWiel)

    btw; funny that vdVaart was tired after 10 min. of play

    1. Hi Goose, it has been a while since we shared thoughts on Jan’s blog. As generally always in the past, your comments are right on. The mystery for me, and perhaps for all of us, is what has happened in the last several months. It appears to me that the national team has had a total collapse–players, coaches, everybody. From player choices to start, choices and timing of subs, player performance, are always poor defense even seemed to get worse!–all happening in this major, major tournament. Now, how does it get fixed?

      1. hi bob.

        i think it isnt actually a total collapse..i reckon we played about 2 decent games of football under vMarijk (sweden. hungary).. results was the only thing positive; reckon most of us (including vMarwijk) got blinded by it..

        like i said before; some bad choices. some players out of form and this is what u get

        solution; new manager, break down this team and start building for the next few years

        vMarwijk gambled and lost, his stubborness is what us costs us now

  22. Nice piece Jan, but I think you missed one element/point which is leadership both on the manager’s side and on the player’s side. Van Bommel his just lacking the ability to lead/motivate this team. When your captain is your weakest link then it says something about the team.
    Puyol leads by example, you would have to injure him and make him bleed in order to get him out of the pitch.
    And one other point, I don’t agree completely with the notion that our defense is the weakest link. There are so many ways written in the manual book to get around this and one of them is used by Van Marwijk by using 2 holding mid-defenders. Another way is to pressure way up field so that when the opponent has the ball, it rarely reaches the defensive area(ex. Barcelona).
    Please look at the bigger picture guys, I’m not saying we should play like Barcelona or even Madrid but tactics can be applied in any condition or situation. If the defense is your Achilles heels, then its everybody’s responsibility to steal the ball and avoid that the ball reaches your defensive area.
    Unfortunately and up till this point, the Dutch are lacking a variety of things which of course is reflected by this poor running. Attackers lacking goals, attackers failing to pressure on the opponents half, defensive midfielders loosing opponents, defenders loosing opponents etc…Its like when your the captain of an airplane, when an engine fails you use the other engine and fine tune other things just to compensate for the lost of power. But the Dutch look like a team that has lost both engines and is just gliding to the nearest airport without responding to anything.

    1. I agree, and I mentioned this in my response to Alaa at the top of the comments. But the problem there is that Mathijsen, Heitinga and V.Bommel don’t have the speed for that. Hence I propose leaving static CB’s and defensive midfielders and opting for more dynamic, fast players with high stamina. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to play high up on the pitch with your defence and not get killed in counters. That is why our back 6 now cling to our own box, because they are afraid to be outrun. Thus leaving massive gaps in midfield because the attack does press on.

  23. To tell you guys the truth, I was expecting this. The vibe was not the same nor the determination as two years ago. The team seems tired, and it takes a massive mental effort to wipe everything from the memory and go from a step too close of being World Champions to that route again where you have to battle every oponent to get to the final of a minor competition after all. So its not easy. And while Bert was absolutely right two years ago, its extremely wrong this time. At least we could have something to cheer about… a new talent, some good moves, a great goal, some nice team gestures, whatever. We could get something from this. An eager Hunter trying to prove himself and score some goals, a fighting and dynamic Strootman, we could discover a new winger, and maybe game changer in Narsigh etc. In order for Bert to do these things, he should not have callled Bommel, Kuyt, Bouma and maybe some other older guys. They belong to the past. We all do respect them, as ever, but their time is gone. It was time for the future. Its like Barça, in order to stay top every year, they get a massive player each year on, to keep improving.

  24. I do not agree though that we will go into football wilderness for years to come. Nope. Au contraire. Check the roots of our every time success guys. The roots were always in the Eredivisie, and top clubs of Netherlands. Ajax and Feyenoord are on the rise. Especially Ajax, who have a top notch coach, and a new board, new youth programm, new youth coaches, our forever legends of Bergkamp, Stam and co… we will rise again, pretty soon.

  25. btw,last night irish fans were fantastic,i have never seen such a bizarre and touching scene in football – their team was annihilated,but they were singing,singing like if they had won the world cup. it was really,really great!

  26. JC and VH seem a little kooky to me, I think if they stepped in it would be 50/50 we miss the trip to Brasil.

    A 4-3-3 should work to get the result we need against Portugal:

    – De Jong acting as a destroyer in front of the back four. Heitinga would be the only returning player from the German game. Boula or Kuyt on the right, Vlaar and Schaars on the left.

    – Wes and Vaart in CM together (Vaart moving up to play shadow striker like Dennis did and Sniejder moving all around like Wim Jonk used to)

    – Hunter at CF, Robben left wing and RVP right wing (the wings can alternate for short burts to change up the look but the basic set-up has Robben on the left)

    – Affelay can provide cover for Wes and Vaart, I don’t like how he has looked on the wings, perhaps in a short spell inside he can provide help for Wes when Vaart runs out of gas (and we all know he will)

    – I will trust you guys that Narsingh is as great as you say (the short spells I have seen he has been mediocre at best) and he can provide cover for Robben and RVP

    – Hunter stays in unless he dies on the pitch

    I only have jokingly say this …. we could put Aron Winter, Jaap Stam, Fran de Boer and Gio out on the field at their current age and condition and they would do no worse and probably better than our back four did on Tuesday.

  27. Some good comments but some clarification is needed (at least from my perspective). Age caught up to van Bommel plain and simple. He cannot compete at this level and with that the 4-2-3-1 was doomed to fail. de Jong was the best player on the pitch against Germany; I haven’t seen him make a bad pass in the tournament and he had a great in the box tackle to save a goal. He had to track Ozil and as a result van Bommel is left to deal with Khedeira and Schweinsteiger – impossible to do. Heitinga has been horrible and responsible for two goals (along with van Bommel). Very strange given he had a good club season with Everton (at least in the matches I watched). He looked like he just zoned out and fell asleep because of all the possession we had (doesn’t happen with Everton).

    Afellay has also been poor. He had a bad injury and when he came back, he played midfield for Barca, NOT on the wing. This was a poor choice by BvM to put him up front. Both he and Robben did very little tracking back, exposing the defense even more (contrast this with all the defensive work that Kuyt did in WC 2010). van der Vaart is getting old and slow. He’s fine as a shadow striker where he plays for Spurs but cannot boss the midfield any more.

    It was hot on the pitch in both matches but that affects both clubs. Germany got two relatively easy goals, we got one moment of brilliance from van Persie. Unfortunately, we could not convert any of the other chances that were created in either game. Even if we get two goals from all those shots and passes, things would be different but you have to put the ball in the net.

    Portugal are not a very well organized team. Defensively they are flawed as we saw in the Denmark game. CR7 never tracked back at all and a 32 year old Danish fullback was running down the flank all match long! This is what Van der Wiel needs to do! Over load that side and scoring opportunities will come.

    BvM has some interesting strategic decisions to make. I don’t think changes in the back line are warranted. It is what it is and the fact that he didn’t experiment at all during the run up to the tournament leaves him with few options. Sneijder is a given as is de Jong as the defensive mid. I think going with van Persie and Huntelaar is needed so we have the opportunity to score (have to have two goals). That leaves 2 openings. My big roll of the dice is to go 4-4-2 with Robben on the left and Narsingh on the right (though they have to do some defensive duties!) to get crosses into the box.

    It should be interesting on Sunday.

  28. We never prevail against portuguese teams, even in the club level. How can an uninspired Oranje win it, let alone win it with two goal difference? It’s going to be another agonising night. This Oranje looks as bad and as impotent as the EC’80.
    Bert is one trick ponny. He needs to GO badly!

    1. Hey Ilir, how are you doing, mate? How is your hammer hanging? Long time no see here around. 🙂

      Is there any other Oranje supporter being Albanian around here?

  29. Narsingh is no star but he makes others better and serves others instead of seeking glory, he is the best what could happen to this clueless oranje but I am afraid we wont see him.
    How I long for good old fashioned 433!

  30. Exactly what is there left to be lost? I’d say let’s go out all guns blazing.

    Van der Wiel out, Boulahrouz in.
    Willems out, Schaars in.
    Van Bommel out, Strootman in.
    Afellay out, Huntelaar in.
    Robben out, Narsingh in.

    If Bert starts the same 11 as before, without Huntelaar, with Van Bommel in the middle, I’m going to go mental.

    1. OhYeah, keep some medications close by. You are almost for sure to see the same 11 that started last game. And if we’re still 0-0 by the 70 minute, our genius coach will sub MvB with VdV and Afellay for Hunter. At 85th he will insert our secret weapon Dirk Kuyt.
      Seriously if he starts the same 11 his mental health should be questioned.

  31. Jan:

    Thanks again for the new site! I’m sorry that it’s been introduced at such a disappointing time, but the timing really couldn’t have been better — it’s been such a phenomenal place to come and hear ideas, read others’ assessments and vent! I think everyone who has posted here appreciates your efforts (and this forum) tremendously.

    I like your word “dynamics”, which I feel sums up the problem. The players – all of them — are not moving; they are static. This is true both when Holland is in possession and when they are defending.

    Watching Spain again last night, there is constant movement, even if just in slightly adjusting position to provide a supporting option. There is constant interchange of positions, forwards (e.g. Torres, Silva) winning balls and tracking back. Defenders racing forward and taking on players in the box (e.g. Pique), and midfielders moving every which way to shift the point of attack and pressure and confuse the team without the ball. There is continuous action, quick ball movement and constant pressure.

    We can say that Spain’s players are just technically better, but I don’t necessarily agree. I think Spain’s players are more willing to work and to work together – they know they are good, but they also understand the total team effort it takes to win. Maybe their depth is a factor too — other than Xavi and Iniesta, no one’s starting position is truly secure. They have to go out and earn it each game. A number of Dutch players are certain to start each game and others are fairly certain to sub in. Their position in the team is not at risk, and they play like they are untouchable.

    I don’t know what can be done to motivate professional players to play the game hard and to proudly represent the style of play their countrymen innovated, but whatever it is, van Marwijk hasn’t figured it out yet this tournament. Hopefully they can pull it together on Sunday, and I won’t have to keep yelling “Move” and “Run” at my television.

    1. I agree,
      Spain doesn’t have an attacking force, but they hell compensate it by having the necessary “brains” in midfield. Just to give you an illustration, Xavi/iniesta would hold on to the ball or dribble it then 2 to 3 players crowd him in but because he is smart/quick (and in his mind he knows that he is letting a teammate unmarked), he lets loose of the ball just at the right moment and gives it to the unmarked player to score. They do this over and over until they master it. However, I don’t think they are going to win and will encounter problems in this tournament cuz their plays are too monotonous (e.x Chelsea in the CL Final) and they struggle against oppositions who have big man defenders with skills.

  32. i read half the comments and I could not continue – I don’t know what you people are smoking, but I’d like to get my hands on them.

    Dropping Robben??? Seriously???

    The only person who was constantly out of position is RvP. At one point early in the game he came to the right wing took the ball from Robben and was about to cross it… but then who the FECK was he going to cross it to????

    My switches are – Robben plays left, vPersie right, Hunter CF and Strootman for MvB if BvM is so stubborn to play the 4-2-3-1. If he switches to 4-1-4-1 bring Kuyt on the right wing for MvB and RvP occupies middle of the field with Sneijder.

  33. Still harping – there tired because they’re traveling 1,000 miles.

    They’re competing against some of the top athletes in the world – they look tired because they’re not rested.

    Why on earth are they taking airplanes when they didn’t have to? They had pretty close to home field advantage and they threw that away.

    I’d bet if the players had just a touch less travel – luck would have broken the other way.

  34. @SamNY
    yes, I don’t agree with taking out Robben. I do strongly suggest that he plays on the left. His ability to beat a defender, cut to his left and score a goal has been reviewed by video teams of all opposing teams. They seem to expect it from him. He has become too predictable. Nobody is concerned that he’s gonna make a cross on from the right. It’s like written in chapter 1 of “The Handbook for Left Backs”

    My biggest complaint about RVP his whole career is that he continually disappears from is strikers position and wanders off to create a ball and play a one-two pass. It would be a great role if he was not the only striker in the game. I’m now really convinced that Hunter has to play whenever RVP is on the pitch.

  35. I have been defending BVM and his tactics here a lot. To me it’s not the system that failed but the execution by the players. This is a system that we used to qualify for the 2010 WC at the top of our group. The same system that got us to the WC final and within minutes of penalty kicks. Who knows if it went to penalties. This is also the same system that we used to qualify top of our group in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

    However, if the reason we stumbled in this tournament is because of player fitness, then BVM should be responsible. He should have the guts to bench some of these players and replaced them with whoever is fit and hungry to go. MVB should have been replaced by Strootman. Robben should be played on the left or should be benched if he’s not performing what he’s told to do. VDW should have been replaced by Boulah. I think in the end, if this team is eliminated, we need a strong coach who rewards performance and not protect reputation of superstars.

    If BVM is fired or resigns, my choice would be Rijkaard.

    1. Sam, you forgot LUCK my friend. We had all the LUCK in the world in 2010 BUT the great thing was that we were prepared to ride that luck. There’s a saying “Fate favors those who are prepared”. This time around we are not prepared for anything. BvM clearly isn’t that smart.

    2. SamDC:
      If BVM is fired or resigns, my choice would be Rijkaard.


      I also like that choice. I think Rijkaard is a tough mo-fo who wouldn’t tolerate any b/s. We also probably played our best football with Rijkaard under the helm in EURO 2000. Can you share with us the rationale why you like Rijkaard to be BvM replacement? BTW, I never understood the real reason why he resign right after that loss?

      One other name that I hope will be considered is the other Frank and the other #4: Frank de Boer

      Whoever it will be, it should be someone with authority that can command respect (well, JC#14 would be top choice if not for his health). I think whatever happens this Sun, BvM already lost credibility, whether or not it’s his fault.

      So I’m hoping that I’ll read great news when I get out of the US Open Golf tournament this Sun (no cellphone allowed inside)


      1. I’m afraid Rijkaard is no mofo. He is the good cop. You might not like it but Ronald Koeman is considered. He is pretty tough. But I don’t like him too much as a coach. Co Adriaanse would be perfect but probably will never get the job.

        1. if you wan’t a tough mofo,it’s definitely not rijkaard. just remember his last two years at barca… he’s the perfect trainer when everybody is hungry,but has problem to motivate superstars. with him oranje could return to the dutch school,but he needs someone who motivates the players (henk ten cate). he would be my main candidate for the job,i prefer him to ronald koeman who was a fantastic player,but still has a lot to prove as a coach.

  36. @Sam O
    that arrangement where they have to travel that far to play their games is absolutely unacceptable. Whoever is responsible for coming up with that idea and whoever approved it should be fired. Don’t teams have a choice as to where they stay and train? or are they assigned by the host nations?

    Did they have to travel everyday that far to the training ground?

    That definitely affects a team but I think that just exacerbates the other problems we have. I wouldn’t single that out as the main reason for the failure of this team so far.

    Anyways, we still have something to play for. In Ireland’s case, they are out already. They can’t do anything. We can win a game with 2+ goals and hope that Denmark loses. So there’s still a chance.

    1. Apparently, they had to pick locations before the draw and as Ukraine does not offer top locations, they decided to do it this way. They’re not the only nation solving it like this.

  37. From a Dutchman living outside of holland I don’t care that Bert took us to the WC final because all anyone says or remembers from that final is we played dirty football. We are the Dutch the people of the Beautiful game, total football. This is the style that any successful team of recent years whether it be club or country is influenced by and it pisses me off there utilising what we created to there advantage taking all the glory and what do we have to show for it… Nothing.

  38. even our free kicks and corners, i remember in 2008 every free kick and every corner was a real danger,it was either a goal or almost a goal!!!
    this year? did u see sneijder’s corners last game against germany? not even one of them touched any head!!!!!!!!!!
    what the hell are they doing in training?
    are they training on how to have inteviews with tv channels and signing autographs for fans!!!!
    bunch of useless losers! u see spain and all the hunger spanish players were showing yesterday, u think spain has never won anything, and then u realise that those players who are showing all this hunger are players who won a world cup,a euro, and 3 champions league titles for some of them! meanwhile our heroes are so proud of making it to the world cup final! thats it they’re done they’re not motivated anymore:) but xavi and iniesta still run like crazy and still play like any new young player in their team!!!

  39. I highly doubt its a problem in attitude, Ive not seen De Jong work so hard in a while, Sneijder too, V.Persie, Robben.. i cant imagine that they dont want to win.

    It just doesnt click, the midfield doesnt work, the defence doesnt work, and it seems like their energy drains alot quicker.

  40. I blame Bert for sticking with a playing style that made us reach a final, yes.. but we lost, and everything that worked then doesnt work now. He was too stubborn to change it, and I blame him for that.

    We need footballing quality on the pitch, and alot of it.

    After the Euro, I’d say, put in Douglas for Mathijsen, see if Van Rhijn or Janmaat can’t possibly replace V.d.Wiel if he keeps it up like this. Put Pieters in as long as Willems isn’t ready. And give a chance to Strootman and Fer to decide who takes over in midfield.
    And I wouldnt even mind playing Sneijder with Strootman/Fer in holding mid, at least we get creativity and dynamics in our midfield, then we can put V.Persie and Huntelaar in and get some crosses in from wingers on the right sides.

    BTW, Vilanova said Afellay will be playing central at Barca next season, which was a remarkable thing to say lol. I suspect he’ll be understudy for Xavi or something.

    Robben V.Persie Narsingh/?
    Strootman/Fer/N.De Jong
    Pieters Douglas Heitinga(?) V.d.Wiel/V.Rhijn/Janmaat

    Or could we position someone like Strootman or Fer at CB with Douglas instead of Heitinga ??!! or would that be too little experience.

  41. my dream last night was 3-0 w 2 goals ftom vdv. Regardless of ourltcome want to thank all of you. I am now obsessed and even dreaming of what needs to be done.

    In the dream there was a confirmation that Germany beat Denmark

  42. Holland can only beat Portugal at this stage by sheer luck. And I mean a lot of it. Luck can in turn be manifested in the way of Red Cards (i got my eye on Pepe as he tends to lose it) or own goals (again one of those defenders scores in his own net). I expect absolutely nothing from the dutch to take the initiative, since they are completely broken at this stage. heard they skipped practice and went straight to the gym yesterday. Sounds good. Those players dont need to work on their skills, but shape. In no other game at the euro has the match been so SLOWWWWWWWWWWWW…..players completely out of a shape. When they took off their shirts, it was the only time I spotted love handles on footballers!!!!

  43. wow… they delayed the ukraine france game due to weather… don’t remember when i last saw that at a major tourney….

    also @ samNY and @ samDC i disagree with you both… Robben should not start. What has he done to prove himself? He can’t cross, he is too predictable, and he is a useless pathetic, ego-driven idiot… let someone take his place.. we have nothing to lose!

    1. He can cross with his left, only problem is a good cross turns away from the goalie and for that he needs to play on the left, he can only hit the gas pedal with his right foot, lol. Nothing more.

      He is indeed all that: ON THE RIGHT …
      But I suspect I can tell you 100 times he needs to play on the left wing, you’re still going to say he is shit, arrogant, predictable etc.

    2. thank you. Finally someone said it. WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO LOSE AT THIS STAGE! Play all the players that haven’t played at all. Trust me, they cannot be half as bad as the starters. I don’t get some of the reports and interviews coming out of the dutch camp. Where do these guys find the confidence to say, “all we have to do is beat portugal”…really?! That’s like getting fired from a shitty job and saying “all I need to do is make millions.”

      1. I doubt Luuk de Jong is going to win the match for us, but I would certainly like to see Narsingh on the right and Robben on the left, Afellay isnt fully fit, Narsingh is.. and he is lightning fast, otherwise for the left we have no real option if you’re playing Van Persie down the middle. Im sure Van Bommel will be on the bench, maybe V.d.Wiel will be benched too who knows. But I can’t see who, besides Narsingh would do better than Van Persie, Sneijder, Huntelaar.

  44. and since we are on the topic of Robben I have something else to say…… and let me include VanderVaart too…. and while I’m at it, maybe JAN can create a whole blog devoted to Robben and Vaart….

    I read somewhere recently that Robben told his Bayern teammates to win the game against Denmark for us…. first of all, why would they??? If I were them I would draw the game just to knock Robben out for missing the penalty and acting life a selfish egotistical schmuck, who did not have the decency to shake his teammate Kuyt’s hand when being subbed. Don;t get me wrong, I will NEVER forget his contribution like when he whipped in the corner to create the first goal against Brazil at WC2010… or his goal against Slovakia…. but his time has come… he does not deserve to wear the Oranje jersey anymore, he is taking precious time away from our future, people who are hungrier and more selfless like Ola John….

    and VDvaart, that is what you get for saying ‘only 3 of Germany’s players are good’…. why should they beat Denmark for you after you got spanked… you had a whole 45 to prove yourself and all you did was hit a floater into the stands…

    I am sorry but I am so frustrated….

    1. Bitter, you are overly exaggerating Robben’s walk from the pitch when substituted. He just took a shortcut. Seconds were ticking and he saved some time. Robben has his shortcoming but this is not one of them.
      Now asking the germans to beat the danes is a bit childish and also humiliating but who knows, they may be great friends and just don’t mind doing this kind of conversation.

    2. Actually it was the other way around, the Germans told him that they will win the game of Denmark, otherwise I agreed with what you said about VDV

  45. Sam DC – Sam O thinks that good coaches almost never impose a system on players – but instead look first at their players – and then figure out what system would use those players best. This is particularly true for national sides where you are essentially putting together components every 2 years.

    BvM’s system worked reasonably well at the WK to get them to the final – but like Sijnis and I believe Jan – was very disappointed that he didn’t try something else for the final. And that hacking – yes it wasn’t pretty.

    What was clear after the Hungary and Sweden qualifying games (friendlies are actually pretty useless) was that the WK system didn’t work anymore. Other teams had figued it out, reducing Oranje to trying to get lucky.

    So Oranje had 2 huge strokes of luck going in – home field advantage and the fact that 2 attackers had just finished HUGE campaigns. Thus, the obvious steps would have been to get training camp right next to where you’re going to play – and make it nice and comfy for your boys – and figure out a system that would give you a way to use both your big guns.

    But there is one other point that I’ve always wondered about – why does it always appear that Oranje doesn’t seem to sub strategically? Spain seems to happily work with essentially 14 guns with Fabregas and others sometimes starting, sometimes not. But they always put on the fresh legs at almost the perfect time. Look at the Spain – Italy match. Torres should have iced it – he came that close.

    All the way back to 2000 till now – it just appears Oranje throws bodies into the mix, without a thought to what they need.

    1. regarding “why orange subs sucks”…there are computer programs used in every sport at the availability of the manager. Some managers are really into using them and decide most things by looking at stats, running times etc. This is especially true for club managers. The richer the clubs the more sophisticated the programs as they use their one GUIs (graphical user interfaces) especially designed for them by a team of programmers from certain companies (most of them in the US).

      Sadly, it seem BVM has not clue as to what a computer is. He, no doubt, has something they use to look at running times etc, but at a very banal level. Even Van Gal (the most pro technology dutch coach) used it mainly for tactical simulations (that is to say, you run the last game your opponent played and see ways to combat their style). Most coaches use these programmes so much that they leave very little to chance. They can tell you what exactly you need to do at most moments in a game and who your subs should be.

  46. Go back and look at the first Sweden and 2nd Hubgary matches. Affellay was all over the pitch, end to end, side side. Look at the Brazilian tour match when he played Sneijder’s role, same thing. it was a gamble to play him, but in hindsight, it turns out he is just not fit enough or sharp enough. As has been said, Robben on the left could be a difference maker (played well there against England, was so obvious).

    I thought Alex’s comments at the beginning were quite insightful. But too late to do anything about that now. For lineup changes, I’d bring Strootman in as one of the holding mids, I’d move Robben left, I’d play RVP behind Hunter, and nominally put Sneijder on the right, but he’d go whereever he found space, or if—and don’t laugh—I’d play Kuy on the right (keeping Sneijder central). He’ll run for as long as he can, and if Robben is on the left, you can be sure he’ll be getting into the box to support RVP…it looks bleak now, but if they get an early goal on Sunday, who knows?

  47. @OranjeAussie
    Chelsea won playing Mourinho football. Inter did the same two years ago. Italy in 2006 and Greece in 2004. No system will work unless it’s executed by the players. We have had numerous teams thru out our history playing Oranje style football and come up short. To me for once, I want to win. I’m tired of watching this team come up short every two years. I was willing to give someone a chance to try something new.

  48. I just have a simple question:
    What happened to our defense? We know they weren’t that great to begin with but they at least gave us a chance during the WC and the qualifiers. How did they all of a sudden become citizens of San Marino and Andorra?

    1. SamDC,

      Don’t you think the talks about our defense being week are overblown? I am not saying our defense is good but other than Italy 1982, I don’t recall any WC/EURO champs that have “good defense”. I am also not saying that good defense is not important but all winning teams – except for Greece – usually had great midfield/offense. They scored and created chaos toward the opponents, if they get scored on, they scored more.

      The problem with this year’s squad is not just bad defense but more like bad energy, player selection, etc. Heitinga, Joris, vdWiel are experienced players (I was so impressed by vdWiel in last WC I actually thought he’d break out this year) but they couldn’t seem to go after their opponents. To me, that’s not “bad defense” but “bad forms”. Ireland will be “bad defense” because their defensive players are not in the calibre of our players.

      I really believe if we had scored 1 goal vs Denmark (or more) & Germany, the situation could have been different. Players wouldn’t have been panicked, they might have played with higher energy, etc. My recollection is we’re also NOT a good come-back team (I think in major tourneys, we only won once coming from behind, that’s vs Brazil in last WC), had we scored first, the goals might have poured. Think big wins in matches vs Italy, vs France, vs Yugoslavia, etc.

      Just my random rants. I am really in no mood for the EURO anymore after last Wed.

  49. SamDC – Defence got 2 years older – and Gio retired.

    At the WK Gio cleared a lot of balls. He abandoned his position more than once because he guessed (almost always rightly) where the ball was going to go. He saved the Uruguay game at the end, for example.

    BTW -very funny how complementary Oranje and Belgium would be now. Not sure that Kompany is Nederlandstalig though.

    Still really hesitate to guess that anything would have worked when you have tired pieces.

  50. Bottom line is that Holland does not know (forgotten) how to play soccer. Simple as that. Results are just mirroring the facts.

    Anything that anyone will say will be with reference to something that happened LONG LONG ago. The present is bleak, the future unknown. Result = Hibernation from international prominence for at least the next 8-10 years.

    THAT IS A FACT. Anything else is just wild speculation and wishful thinking.

    1. Excuse me, but this is just a nonsense post. People were saying the same thing after the debacle in 2004 with the de Boer, Kluivert, Davids, Bergkamp, etc team. Oranje would never be back in the near term. Well guess, what they were wrong and you are wrong here. There are lots of good young players who will come into the NT. ‘Nuff said.

  51. I swear sometimes I read comments that are infuriating. I understand we are all disappointed because we share the passion for oranje. But to say that Narsingh should play instead of Robben is pure nonsense. Go ahead and throw Narsingh against Contrao. We will see how many times he will get by him! Robben is class and one of the best in the world. He has to be less predicatble I agree but he is still dangerous. Look at the move that led to the chance for wes. Were it not for a truly phenomenal block by Boateng it would have been a goal. Narsingh has no experience at this level. So although I am all in favor of using Narsingh as a sub (instead of Kuijt), I am supporting him starting the game. Line up should be the one that started the second half against Germany.

  52. my take against portugal:

    definitely not Hunter and RvP together, the gap between middle and front will be huge again. These guys camp up front. Will play conservatively to shut Portugal from the flanks. Their defense is not that great and I would let Robben take a few stabs at them.


    Boula – Heitinga – Vlaar(Joris) – Schaars

    Kuyt – VdV – Stroot


    Persie – Robben (instructed to track back).

    So, I am shutting down their flanks, play with only two folks who camp up front (Persie, Wes) and let Robben with his speed track back for some assistance with defending and do his runs from the left. I swap wingers as needed.

    If I get a nice result first half (1-0) I risk more in the 2nd …

    Its tricky to get the result out of this game. Changes are required.

    If one of my front guys misses 1 or 2 he gets subbed asap. Yeah, he can survive the emotional wreck; you will see 🙂

    Better this way than emotionally wrecking the whole country.

    fat chance we move forward but one has to try.

    Affelay, Luciano, Jetro definitely big no-nos for such crucial game.

  53. @ Demi

    Your lineup isnt bad, but Vlaar was terrible against Denmark, its a case of soberest driver, whose the least worse defender.

    I dont get people who still think Robben has it. Show me a clip in the past year of him beating a defender. And when or if he does, he will just rip a useless shot. Open you eyes. We all loved Robben, not his personality, but his skills. He is 28…he doesnt have it anymore.

    1. @ Paul

      Go back to the Germany game – Robben beat Lahm and another German defender in one single run. Badstuber had to come from midfield to cover for them.. he was the 3rd defender. You almost all forget that Robben is always marked with 2 players when he doesn’t have the ball and 3 players when he has the ball. The fact that he still creates chances to others and can get a shot here and there is actually evidence of his quality.

    2. agree on both. But Joris is out of shape and his recent injury makes him worse than Vlaar at the moment. Same for Robben. I want to shred him into pieces but anger doesn’t produce the best outcome. He can still help against Portugal.

      Basically my answer is for both your commments, I understand but I just don’t see anything better at the moment. I would let Robben play and if he doesn’t perform for one half, he is out. Him or Persie will not be allowed anymore to waste as many chances and still sit in. 1-2 fuckups and Hunter comes in. But I would go with Arjen to start, just in case. There has been a lot of bad luck lately, who knows maybe this will change.

      What needs to change for sure is our midfield. Bommel is a retiree and Nigel, although I love the guy, only functions good next to Mark. These two need to go for now.

  54. Paul, I just mentioned the play down the wing against Germany. Especially against 2 defenders who know his every moves, very tough. Oh and maybe you should watch the highlights against England! 28 is old. This is when players are at their peak usually 26-30. I don’t get it.

  55. thanks paul, wholeheartedly agree with you.. i guess he has to fumble a few more times and ruin our chances completely before they realize how much he sucks…and also take others’ playing time away in the process…

  56. @Paul
    You are absolutely right. Vlaar is just not up to this level of play. He reminds me a lot of Arsenal’s Johan Djourou. He has good size and is well built for a defender but he reacts too slow to situations. He doesn’t have quick short acceleration. He was out of position or lost his man in the penalty box when we conceded goals. Just check every single goal we conceded while he was playing. I have been paying close attention to every single touch and tackle he was making.

    All I’m saying is that at this point in time, he’s nowhere near the type of answer we are seeking. He needs to be paired with a good CB that will show him how to develop and improve his game.

  57. Vikram – a team that has forgotten to play soccer doesn’t get to a WK final and top its qualifying group.

    Holland has lost 3 games in a row- but they haven’t gotten blown out. Seems pretty clear that the coach made a few gambles and they didn’t pan out.

    Robben isn’t as good as he was 2 years ago – but he can still cross and pass – he just seems to have this odd need not to.

    They have a shot and their pride – nothing to lose now. Go for it.

  58. @ jeff, i really don’t get how much slack you give robben. he should be punished for squandering a golden opportunity to win us gold.

    what has he ever won? the biggest nearly men of them all…

    IMO kuyt is more worthy of playing time than robben… he helps us win at both ends of the pitch and knows how to handle the media…. i did not like him at first but he won me over at euro2008….

  59. Paul and bitterballen, I agree that he is not as good as he was but I really think it is because he is too isolated on his wing. He needs to switch sides frequently and be allowed more freedom like Messi. But he is still dangerous. Again watch the england game and you will see what I mean. More freedom, more space, and 2 goals! Although yes England is not Germany and probably not even Denmark.

    1. yes, this is was painfully true. While the writing style seemed more arrogant than ambiguous, his observations (at least about the football) were spot on. I disagree about his observations on culture as he ties it to their economy. The low countries have a very rich history that is written in many languages and there are countless sources that could agree or disagree as to how independent minded the farmers or business modelers were back than…

      But regarding footy, it was sadly true.

  60. Also, Kuyt offers an aerial threat on corners, etc when Huntelaar isnt playing, not to mention that Sneijder’s corners were TERRIBLE…wtf was that!!!!!!

    Ribery is freakin fast btw!

    And yes, players acceleration slows down around 28, FACT.

  61. I am from France but don’t care for the French team at all. But for God’s sake look how Nasri amongst all people comes back to defend. Why can’t we do this?

  62. 28 is not too old. It all depends on your fitness. He is just so mentally ruined right now. He has lost his focus and concentration. He is so hell bent on scoring, it’s getting to his head. He cares more about proving people wrong than playing team ball.

    Most logical thing coach can do now is to give him an ultimatum. Move to the left and start making crosses and passes or get benched. Not shaking Kuyt’s hand when being subbed was really shameful. What’s his explanation? Was he trying to save time?

  63. Robben’s 28 is combined with how many injuries and surgeries? He had back pain, knee pain, hamstring torn, hernia…you dont think that takes a lot off of your speed??

  64. SamDC, agree with you. It has nothing to do with quickness or speed but all to do with his mental state of mind. He is trying too hard and when he passes, his teammates can’t score. I mean he hit the post against Denmark and gave a peach of a ball to Wes against Germany. Why this vendetta against Robben? Frankly we should not even discuss him while there are so many other problems on the team. He is the least of our worries. Again I don’t get it. I talk to friends of mine who are high level coaches and they totally agree that Robben is not the issue.

  65. @ Jeff

    It does matter because with a weak defense we need a strong offense…and when he kills a million attacks that is a problem…

    If we would have scored 2 goals against denmark we would have won…so our wingers does make a difference…that is why we focus on Robben…

  66. Stop this bullshit of playing wingers on the opposite wing. This system encourages both Robben and Affelay to be greedy because they will be more inclined to cut in on their stronger foot.

    Holland looked a different team when Robben was making runs on the left wing.

    If you want more cohesion, team play and better runs than play Robben on the left, Affelay on the right.

    1. Rene van der Gijp is an ex-winger of Oranje and PSV and now analist on tv. When he heard Bert criticised the wingers for not being dangerous enough he exploded. He said it is really critical that the ball is played at the right time, on the right foot or that the wingers get support from midfield to set up a combi. Our wingers did not get enough service. Robben only got on through pass and Bommel gave it too late (robben off side).

  67. Bitterballen,
    I have always wanted to see Kuyt as a holding midfielder. I don’t know how good his defending to be an outright CB. But as a holding midfielder:
    he can do whatever MVB is doing.
    He can pass,
    he can tackle,
    he can join the attack,
    he has the lungs of a marathon runner,
    he’s not too tall or not short,
    he is experienced,

    he just ticks all the boxes for a holding midfielder. He can be that missing link we have now between the forwards and defenders who seem to be on two different islands.

    However, I don’t want to see Kuyt anywhere on the wings in an offensive position.

  68. Guys,
    Robben is human. Football to him is the most important thing to him. That’s his career. It’s something that he’s been working for almost his whole life. He has failed twice in the CL final and at the biggest stage in the world cup. That is a big mental baggage to carry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s suffering for serious depression right now.

    How would you guys feel if you chased something with so much passion and the whole world expecting you to win and you keep coming up short.

    I don’t agree he is physically deteriorated that much. Look at that England game. He was running around everywhere and scored amazing goals. But this last CL match seems to be the final straw. I think it just brought back all the past failures full circle.

  69. Personally, I think Van der Wiel and Robben don’t play well together. VDW comes up, makes a few quick passes with Robben, and then doesn’t know what to do / defers to Robben and drops off, while Robben heads off towards goal.

    If Robben’s always going inside, there needs to be another threat going wide right. Van Persie actually overlapped Robben and got to that spot early against Germany, but then there was no one left in the center.

    VDW can’t afford to make that run if Robben is never going to give him the ball because then VDW is way out of position defensively.

    I agree that it might be worth trying Robben on the left, moving Van Persie to the right, and inserting Huntelaar up top.

    As for Robben’s issues, I think its more mental than anything. Although he relies on speed a great deal, he still looks like he’s moving pretty fast. Besides, Iniesta and Torres are 28 too. De Rossi is 28. Lahm is 28. Ronaldo is 27. Ribery is 29. I don’t think its an age thing.

  70. Ok! So what are we supposed to do? Just wait for him till he recovers mentally? He can do that with bayern, this is only a few days tournament and u need the player who gives u the best!

  71. All he needs is a goal and it will be like he was against England. Confidence is a huge thing.
    Please for those who say Kuijt should play, frankly as much as I love him, he does not have what it takes any more. He does not bring anything positively.

  72. It’s not easy mentally. Robben even considered retiring. Many players seem to have mental issues. Don’t you remember the scandal of Cruijff in the pool with some hotties the night before the final in ’74? Being on the phone with his wife trying to explain himself. And that translated on the pitch the next day as well. We don’t know what goes on, on the players minds. It’s the coach’s duty to select the most fit player, mentally and physically. But BVM is one trick ponny.

  73. Jeff,
    I don’t think Kuyt can do worse than MVB. From what I read here, Strootman had a tough season. He didn’t seem that great in that game vs. Bayern Munich. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m just saying, if Kuyt should play, let him play instead of MVB. MVB has been almost anonymous these two games. He was seriously tired in the 2nd half of the Denmark game. We need someone who’ll chase down players and give us energy.

    1. i think the only bad NL game strootman had was the friendly against Germany… he looks like he has a bright future… i would love to see him get some playing time against portugal… would have been awesome to see him against the danes.

      i agree kuyt would be a far better option than MVB… look, MVB did a lot of good for us and i appreciate his work rate… no doubt he was a star for us. but kuyt has much more left in the tank and never gives up.

    1. No, he wasn’t even there when it happened. Bild had organised a couple of prostitutes to jump naked in the pool with some Dutch players. These guys immediately went out but the Bild paparazzi had their pics. It was all over the news, but JC wasn’t even there. His wife needed reassuring though.

  74. SamDC, Kuijt cannot play holding MF. He doe snot have the vision, the skills or the ability to hold on to the ball. We simply need to play like the French. They remind me of how we played 4 years ago. Nasri, Cabaye and only one defensive minded player Diarra for France. But look at how far up the field the defense is. That’s what we are talking about. There are overlapping runs by defenders, movement off the ball. I don’t see anyone walking.

  75. @ Jeff

    Totally agree. Players are switching positions and always moving…this is the best France we have seen in a very long time…better than they were in 2006?

    They were making ukraine look stupid for a while, but, their defense is a little suspect

  76. i don’t know how many times I posted comments about MVB’s ability (or lack thereof) before this tournament began……. i am sure you all saw this coming…. the signs all pointed to his demise.. the sad thing about dutch coaches is that they tend to wait until it’s too late…

  77. France has one thing that we lack. A good solid defensive unit. They have Sagna (now replaced by Debuchy), Adel Rami, Mexes, Evra (Clichy in this game today). I think they have one of the best goalkeeper in the world IMHO. I rate Lloris him in the same class as Neuer, Casillas or Buffon.

    They have new players in this squad like Marvin Martin and Jeremy Menez.

    Our team doesn’t have a solid defensive foundation. It’s like a table with a wobbly leg. You are always worried it might collapse whenever you apply pressure on it.

  78. Paul, Totally agree I would even say that this is the best French team since Platini’s. All credit to Blanc. The thing that makes me angry is that had we been able to score 1 goal against Denmark we would have won by 5. France is a serious contender for winning the whole thing. Look at the second goal, Benzema played exactly like VP and gave a great ball but Cabaye still had it all to do. Our stars have simply not done it for us. Kasey Keller said it best on ESPN. He said that Holland was the team with the most shots on and off target in this euro. At some point it may start going in. To have any chance at all, we must score first.

  79. @ samDC

    haha at the wobbly leg!

    I dont think FRance look that great in defense to be honest, its Diarra who is a beast and Ukraine is very sloppy in possession…but Lloris has always been a great keeper, much better than Steks

  80. We all knew FRance had the young talent waiting to explode, but at the WC they stuck with the old guard of Anelka, MAlouda, etc. This team is fun to watch.

  81. I too had a dream last night that Germany was beating Denmark 2-0 and we were up on Portugal 1-0 waiting for the 2nd goal…then i ended up driving on some road lost trying to get home…

  82. Mexes is a little suspect. But he is nowhere near the level of incompetency that Heitinga and Mathijsen seem to be perfecting as an art form these days. Rami is solid. Evra is Evra. Sagna is one of the best RB defensively when he gets back. Diarra adds a level of security.

    They can have the confidence of pushing up and playing their game without worrying the house is on fire.

  83. Although I recognize that a team that plays “total football” rarely focuses on the opponent, I think in this context Holland needs to be cognizant of Portugal’s tendencies and their objectives in this final game. Portugal is in a similar boat as Holland – they really need to win. But they could possibly get through with a tie and a Denmark loss to Germany. Having an understanding of what Holland need to achieve as well, I would imagine that they’ll play defensively initially as they did against Germany and try to then counter quickly with Ronaldo and Nani.

    To me this suggests that Holland should start immediately with a strong attacking line-up and try to score early to force Portugal to really come out and play an open game, especially since Holland needs at least 2 goals.

    Additionally, since Ronaldo is not a particularly energetic defender, his side of the field will be more susceptible to wing play and overlapping runs – perhaps Robben or Sneijder and VDW should be played on Ronaldo’s side, where there should be some more time and space. On the flip side though, neither Sneijder nor Robben defend very well themselves, and Portugal’s best attacking fullback, Coentrao, typically plays on Ronaldo’s side as well. So, it may be that virtually all attacks and space originate for both teams from that side of the field.

    Personally, I think Holland just needs to throw caution to the wind and attack all out, trying to outscore Portugal by two goals. The Portuguese aren’t as strong up the middle as Germany, so perhaps a player like VDV could be useful in helping Sneijder keep possession there and start the attack, maybe combined with de Jong as center mids, with VDV in the creator role, Sneijder as more of a passer and de Jong as the destroyer. I certainly don’t think Van Bommel is needed at the outset of this game. And if fatigue / fitness really is a concern, maybe Sneijder and VDV could alternate attacking and hanging back, giving each other a bit of a rest from time to time.

    Due to Ronaldo’s and Nani’s speed, though, Holland is going to need to have its center backs play deeper and not concede space behind them, and will need to have faster outside backs available to help them (probably still Willems and VDW).

    Finally, up the field, Holland need to make better use of space available, by attacking aggressively and with numbers and dynamics / movement off the ball. The best way to diversify the attack, in my view, is to play Huntelaar as a center striker, Robben and Van Persie as wing forwards – which should facilitate scoring chances from dribbling runs, penetrating passes and crosses. As many of you have noted, there is nothing to lose at this point, so let’s put the best attacking players available on the field and go for it.

  84. what do you mean.. if you said france i would say ok maybe you are right with our current form but portugal aren’t better than we are, def not on paper… they barely beat denmark (thru a lucky goal from an unlikely source) but don’t hold your breath….

  85. England have adopted Mourinho football which was copied by DiMatteo and used by Chelsea to win the CL. They just scored a goal. They are playing very conservatively just as they did against France.

  86. incredible… sweden remind me of holland… Ibra has Robbenitis and tries to take impossible shots with teammates wide open on the flanks and then the other guys hit rockets over the bar without even trying to come in…. Kings of Off Target Shots

  87. England plays very ugly…but i guess effective…its all strength and height, crosses and headers…same game as always…its not really even football, its just crossing and heading

  88. If we are to lose tomorrow, I’d prefer a 0-3. This result will maybe convince our Domenech that his time is over. But I’m afraid it will be more of a dry 1-1 which will tell BvM that not all is lost.

  89. Agree with you Paul. England is playing ugly football. How can anyone cheer this? I love how the english media is so biased. Holland’s play is totally negative but Chelsea is phenomenal, heroic and brilliant! Does anyone get this?

  90. one thing alexi lalas is right about, you need to play to your team’s strengths and england do NOT play beautiful football.. so they take advantage full advantage of their strengths (defense, air balls, etc) and try to beat their opposition in doing so. it’s better than what we are doing at the moment.

  91. @ Jeff:

    The way the english media spin it is that the dutch are supposed to play pretty but dont anymore and they bash it…but you are right, what a double standard…they call their team…”tough, gritty, spirited” yet we are dirty.

    In the end of the day, we have the same number of trophy’s as they do and they have 10X the population

  92. See at least Roy hodgson made a change as soon as his player showed signs of weakness…Milner made a bad challenge that led to the goal because he was tired and he was replaced

  93. The dutch are the tallest people in the world yet we have the shortest team in the tournament, i dont get that…we need some more height.

    And what a game this is.

  94. See how walcott was used. i think Roy made some good subs. Robben shouldbe used like Walcott, when defenders are tired bring him on to cause havoc

  95. What I notice is how every single manager in this euro has been making the right decision with subs except one….our Bert. We talked about injecting pace late in the game, then that is what Narsingh can do, not Kuijt.

    1. but what changes exactly?

      my guess knowing him, Van persie on the bench with huntelaar, and kuyt in for affellay

      van bommel and de jong in the center!

    1. Paul,

      None of our 3 front men will track back, once in a while robben but it’s too little.

      Look at other teams, they are a real team- regardless of result…

      We have too little defense and too much offense. Doesn’t work

  96. Shit england will qualify now. What a joke! Well maybe it is a good omen for us as England had never before beaten Sweden. Perhaps our guys will go all out and beat Portugal.

  97. HK TVB Commentator :

    ” I substitution changed the whole match. You’re really have to give credit the way English Coach knows how to read the game.

    Bert, do you hear? Did you watch this match and what did you learn from it?

    We need Younger and hungry players.

  98. They were lucky on Walcott shot because after Sweden second goal England was finished. But when you win everything is forgotten … who wins is right and who loses is wrong. That’s why you have to play to win … forget about the obsession to play nice football.

  99. I think in a way we are lucky that we still have a shot at progressing.
    Usually, you are definitely out if you lose two games. Look at Ireland and Sweden.

    Germany even while resting a few players can still beat Denmark. They don’t want to play for a draw as it is risky for them.

    It all comes to our defense. If they can get their act together, I’m sure we’ll score on Portugal.

  100. not sure if you caught Ibra mocking Hart after Sweden’s second goal… it came back to bite him….

    as it did when Vaart decided to make a bold statement about German players

  101. The consensus in the English media seems to be that the Dutch players are amazingly egotistical and genuinely don’t like each other — leading to their general unwillingness to work together.

    If that’s truly the case, it’s very immature and disappointing, and I think they’ll come to regret the lasting impact their disfunction is having on their fans at home and around the world.

    They all seemed to get along much better when the little orange birds were involved:


  102. We are officially tie with Rep. of Ireland as the lowest scoring team among 16 team in Europe. Even Greece has 2 goals compare to the lone strike by Van Persie. This pretty much summarize our many issues. Expecting 2 goals out of this group is a stretch. Perhaps taking risk by playing 4-3-3 will help? Does anyone has any info how they are training or if they even care to train anymore?

  103. any guesses toward what the starting lineup bert van marwijk will pick, if i had to guess

    he will start the game with

    CBs: Heitinga, Mathijsen
    LB/RB: Van Der Wiel/Schaars
    Def mids: De jong, Van Bommel
    Off mids: Robben Van Persie Sneijder
    CF: Huntelaar

    i would prefer
    Heitinga and Van Bommel for centerbacks
    De jong only mid

    Kuyt, Sneijder, Van Persie, Robben as mids

    huntelaar center forward in a 4-1-4-1

    but yeah, knowing van marwijk van bommel will start

  104. what do you guys vote for in regards to Jan’s poll for Portugal:

    Huntelaar and Van Persie together 34.78% (56 votes)

    Only Huntelaar, with Van Persie benched 1.86% (3 votes)

    Narsingh and Robben on the wings 8.07% (13 votes)

    One holding midfielder instead of two 20.5% (33 votes)

    Van der Vaart to start 15.53% (25 votes)

    No more Robben!! 8.07% (13 votes)

    Start like we did against Denmark and Germany 1.24% (2 votes)

    Forget about it: we won’t score two whatever we do! 8.07% (13 votes)

    Other: 1.86% (3 votes)

    I say bench robben and start RVP and Hunter

    1. Whom I’d start if I were BvM:

      Hunter for Robben:
      I don’t think Robben is all sh*te BUT I am very convinced that if Robben is replacing Ibi after 50-60 mins, he’ll create chaos for the Portugal defense. Robben may be predictable or selfish like some of us here said but I still think he’s our most gifted player and he still has some speed. His 2nd goal vs England was one of the most spectacular goals I’ve seen. But he might have been f*cked up mentally after all those losses when he’s not scoring or creating something he gets frustrated quickly and starts making terrible decisions.

      vdV or Strootman for MvB
      Time to ditch the 2 defensive midfielders and old van Bommel. I don’t really care for whom.

      Boulahrouz for Joris
      Same with Mathijsen. Thanks for the service for the Oranje all these years but time to move on. Boulah can start with a rough-ish tackle on Ronaldo, shout at him when he dives and show him who’s the real boss of Nuremberg.

      Robben (Offense)
      Kuyt (Defense)

      I just do not think we’ll stand any chance whatsoever if we start the same XI players/system. Most importantly: MvB and Mathijsen have to go (not even on the bench).

      1. But what are you going to do about Wiel? Did you see what he did before the 2nd german goal when he left his guy free to go and take a header at Steks, point blank. God/Steks saved it …

        If you put Boula at joris’ position, what are you going to do about right back? Portugal will kill as from the flanks.

        Other than that, I agree. Joris/Mark, you WERE awesome. Time to go.

        1. Demi,

          I thought about Wiel and Jetro, both have been unimpressive BUT I still have hopes in them because they are freaking young. Just ask them to mark their men and run. Everything else being equal, there are much more rooms for improvement for Wiel/Jetro relative to MvB/Joris.

          I am not sure if Kuyt could play LB, if I remember correctly, he did play LB once for us so he can replace one of them if needed.

          1. Dirk can play RB, but for sure I would put Schaars instead of Jetro. J is too young to handle this game. As per Wiel, we can burn him at the stake after the game 🙂

            Good luck to us. Seems there is consensus Mark has to go, Joris has to go and the 4-2 part has stopped working. We have been made, friend. Our beasts got older and the opponents have figured it out …

  105. This blog is great–many ideas, diverse opinions and a courtesy to consider the thoughts of others. Here we are, after two terrible matches played by our beloved national team, writing about lineups, the future of the manager and how “we” can go about fixing the situation. What a great hobby and interest to share! As an American, I love the Dutch–the people, the country, their search for excellence and their willingness to be self-critical even though it hurts. Let us all hope for the return of that excellence in the performance of the national team, and a willingness to honestly and humbly go about that which now seems broken. They have done it before, and I am sure they can and will do it again. Younger, better athletes are coming, I believe (two Euro U-17 championships, for example) and if we get the leadership which is needed, it will not take long before Oranje is back on track. Hup, Holland, Hup!

  106. Question for you guys:

    Can we play NDJ as a CB instead of Matijsen?
    That 2nd half against Germany, he did a lot of good defending in the box.

    I know he’s short but at this point can he do any worse than these guys?

      1. issue with Portugal, Pepe will go for headers. Who will stop him?

        Hopefully Steks, 2 goal posts + 1 cross bar!
        Sorry for being cheeky, I’m still not myself after Wednesday.

        1. huntelaar and van persie are tall enough to get pepe, if kuyt is there at right back, he should get him, and you know, shouldn’t waste two guys on the goal posts, they did statistics, two guys on the goal posts, is two guys not defending the header

  107. I was thinking all day how to sum up “what went wrong” … So here is my 3 liner:

    1. A weak defense got weaker, Joris was a great soldier. Time to retire.

    2. The 2 part of the 4-2-3-1 doesnt work any more, so the entire system fails. Mark, thanks for being a beast. Time to go.

    3. The front line camps outside the box …No help at all. IMO we don’t need all 3 primadonnas to score.

    4. 1 + 2 + 3, start showing too late. Not enough time to correct, not too drastic showing to force a change. Too late.

    That’s my sum.

  108. I would love to hear some news about what is going on in the Oranje camp.

    Also, I don’t even care about progressing, it seems that we don’t deserve it, but can we at least stick to Portugal?

    PS. I personally like the idea of De Jong as a CB. And it’s right, he couldn’t possibly do worse than what we’ve got now.

  109. I feel sorry for our team !
    really .
    after watching all big football nations teams , literally we are the worst 🙁 .
    Spain , England , france , italy , germany , portugal and even Argentina and Brazil in their friendly they can all play better than us !
    they all have worldclass defenders and play better football .

    We have worldclass players in many spots but no doubt we need to make some modifications .

  110. i still think the key for the portugal game is to use De jong aside with heitinga as a cb , play with schaars and strootman as 2 Holding mids with great lungs and ability to push farward .
    boulahrouz as a RB to help in stopping ronaldo .

  111. The only thing this team needs is BALLS. I mean, they had that in the WC2010 and they are the same players but with no BALLS. If I were Van Marwijk I would yell at them like a maniac, for example, Van Persie should be yelled at for all the goals he has missed and if he starts fo feel bad and wants to leave the door is open. But Van Marwijk has treated these players very softly and them semm not to care too much. Why does Van Persie don´t miss those chances at Arsenal??? Perhaps Wenger will kick his ass but at Oranje he has his father Bert to hug him!

    1. Van Persie misses chances for Arsenal but later on in the game he nearly ALWAYS makes up for it with a goal or an assist. I read the majority of goals have come after 70 minute.

      The difference is when Van Persie misses for Arsenal the fans don’t kill him, they support him and he rewards that.

      With Holland, Van Persie misses one chance and the whole nation is on his back and they destroy his confidence and put him under more pressure.

  112. jonesin’ for a new article, please Jan and Co, need something more positive than a lot of what I’m reading here. I’m trying to decipher whether some of these guys are undercover, double agent fans with several teams selected. I have been reading posts on other forms too, completely disgracing our names and putting us down intensely, I can’t believe this $h1t ya know, can we live and let them live and do our thing first; IT’S NOT OVER! RALLY TOGETHER AND LET’S MAKE HISTORY! HUP HOLLAND HUP!

    1. yes, i have been writing down the Great Escape,

      the thing is lots of these fans became fans of holland because holland always played the most exciting style, and people identified with that style. and now that they aren’t playing that style, they feel betrayed, So the negativity deals with the style of play and system, which isn’t exactly true, bert van marwijk did good at the world cup,

      his downfall was his selection of players, Germany and Spain both play 4-2-3-1 and they do very well. We needed defensive mids who can push up and create attacks and interchange to keep the other teams guessing. And van bommel was too old. He didn’t get a proper left back. Mathijsen is too old. Leaving huntelaar on the bench, selecting afellay which is breaking his rule of players must be playing for their clubs, same with kuyt, not playing enough. and replacement players like bouma, Made him a joke, They blame the system,

      Sad truth is, if van persie makes his chances, Holland is on 6 points, No worries On to the quarterfinals. But alas, BVM’s selection is where personally my beef lies,

      I prefer 4-3-3 and think holland can play that system effective with the current young crop of players coming up, but i don’t mind the 4-2-3-1, we can dutch it up.

  113. How are you lads? I’ve been traveling at the moment so I haven’t been able to keep up with the blogs. Hope you all are well.

    As I read the title of the article I was thinking “do we really need an article to tell us “what went wrong??””
    But this is a brilliant well thought-out article. Fully agree with it. A simple way to look at why Oranje is playing horribly is to look at the Germans. They play the EXACT same system. BVM doesn’t have us playing with imagination but wants Oranje to be “drilled”. With the exception of VdV and Sneijder we have very few complete players. That’s the difference between Schweini and v.Bommel, NDJ and Khedira, Lahm and VdW.

    All we can do is learn from the mistakes of this tournament and move forward. Oranje needs to get back to its roots and the philosophy that put us on the map of world football.

  114. I am gonna offer my opinion about this Holland team.

    The team needs to change the tactic because of 2 reasons:

    1. We don’t have the players to play like 2010 any more.
    The team in 2010 play with 9 players in the back, 8 for defending and Sneijder waiting for a split pass to RVP or Robben. That system is extremely difficult to break down. What is the changes in 2012?

    We don’t have Gio anymore so the left back position is not safe. Afellay replaces Kuyt and we have one less defender. VBM and Mathijsen is getting older. Therefore this system is not working anymore. We need a new one.

    2. If the opposite team knows exactly what you are gonna do then you can not do it.

    Bert always insist that playing one system to perfection is the winning way. However, I would argue that no team can do that. Even Barcelona lost in the end(they won many titles when other teams don’t know how to stop them).

    Look at Spain, they change their style of play in this tournament. And we don’t. We exactly do what we did two years ago. Everyone knows what we are gonna do. Moreover, we don’t have players to play the system to its perfection(already explained above).

    Another example is that if you watch the previous two games carefully, you would observe that they basically leave space for Willems to go forward because they know exactly that he can not do anything dangerous. Similarly to what the Russian team did to Boulahrouz before. In 2012, they don’t know what we are gonna do because both Gio and Wiel can go forward. Now we don’t. So they gonna put an extra player to close down the right wing and let our left back free. I would even think that we can just replace Willems by someone who only need to defend. I am not saying that he is bad. He looks great but he is young and not up to the task.

    So basically, BVM should change his game plan now. There is no way hoping that the system will work in the last match. It is not about the form of one or two players. I do not think that Huntelaar, Robben and RVP becomes really bad just after some days. We need to use our back up plan.

  115. the problem goes to the pre-van marwijk era to be honest!!! now that I am thinking about it, can u guys tell me what happened in 2008???
    the disaster against russia was not because boula’s wife had a dead baby(with all respect for boula’s pain) but dont tell me that the team was distracted because of that, the team against russia seemed to be out of energy and lacked it all over the field, and because we were not able to score first that day the russians scored first and then u could see all the problems in that match come to surface!!! the differnce that in the first round against frnace and italy we scored first and we were very efficient every time we touched the ball we scored and robben scored an incredible goal against france!!! but if france scored one of those very easy chances they had in the beginning of the match it would’ve been a totally different story and all the problems against russian would’ve shown against france!!!

    Italy has 6 starters from juve, spain is based on tha barca players mainly plus real madrid recently! germany has 7 from bayern! england has their players mainly from three teams!

    these teams are having a big advantage over us! ajax used to be the main provider of oranje! i remember the unforgettable decisive match against ireland in 1995 the one that we had to win to qualify for the euros the year after, i remember we had 8 starters from ajax (sar-de boer-reizeger-bogarde-davids-kluivert-overmars) and added to them we had bergkamp and seedorf who were ajax products! that match was beautifulllll real total football domination! hiddink didnt have to do any effort let these ajax guys enjoy themselves!

    now u have 11 starters from 11 different team all over europe, this is not good, especially with the recent busy schedules in europe, where national teams have no time at all to gather their teams for enough time!! instead if ajax was still the main producer of players for the national team it would be much easier for example if u had 6 or 7 players from ajax u add to them sneijder van persie and huntelaar for example! it would be easy to gel this team together!

    I am worried that this is whats making the traditional dutch style dissappear!!!

    we need ajax, psv and feynoord to be back! and we need not to lose players like bruma and van annholt when they are still 15 years old to chelsea and then these big teams have tens of those talents they throw u away once u dont deliver from ur very first game!

    if bruma and van aanholt played for ajax for example till now, maybe we wouldve been talking about two real rising defenders!

    1. Excellent, excellent point!
      The sad thing is football has become all about the money. Sponsorships and tv broadcasting rights. Thats where the money is and thats where players want to play. The Eredivisie is I believe 7th in Europe and any good talent we have leave… sometimes too early.

      Bruma, v.Aanholt, Castaignos are good examples of this. In particular Elia and Castaignos went to Italy which is not where a Dutch player belongs these days. We need a good core group of players like Spain has Barcelona and Germany have Bayern. It makes it a lot easier to incorporate stars when you have a strong core.

  116. I read an article that the Dutch FA will decide on BVM after the Euros. I hope the new manager will incorporate some fresh players and bring back some hunger and flair.

    A new squad of 23 to try:
    Janmaat – Bruma – Douglas – Pieters
    Sneijder – Fer – Strootman
    Narsingh – Huntelaar – Elia

    GK: Stekelenburg, Vorm
    DF: VdW, Martins-Indi, Willems
    MF: NDJ, Clasie, Maher, VdV
    FW: LDJ, v.Persie, Robben

    Elia is leaving Juve and I hope he gets to show his talent with his next move. v.Wolfswinkel and Ola John should be given a chance to prove themselves as well.

  117. do u guys know that if denmark beats germany 1-0 and portugal wins by any result then denamrk and portugal qualify and germany goes to hell!!!! because at that point all of them have 6 points, so at that point only their direct encounters count, so all their encounters versus the netherlands do not count! then since all of them have six points they look at gool difference which would be the same in this case! so they look at who scored more and in this case it is denmark 3 goals portugal 3 goals (assuming they beat us 1-0 god forbid) and germany only 1 goal only so they go home:):):)!!! crazy stuff!!!

  118. if spain and croatia tie 2-2 and italy beats ireland even 5-0 that doesnt count. then croatia and spain qualify! because in their direct encounters spain scored 3 and croatia 3 meanwhile italy scored only two (one vs each of them) this way italy goes home!!!
    i love doing these calculations!

  119. I think the biggest problem was the lack of passion. It seemed as if nobody wanted to be there for the majority of the match. Tactics/form etc certainly played huge roles, but I was disgusted to see the lack of effort that some players put in.

    Where was the running off the ball? Where was the short, fast passing? Where was the movement? Where was the love of playing for your country? So dissapointing!

    In the past, I found myself dissapointed that the Dutch would lose, but still content that the football and the attitude was good. Now, I’m not sure what to think. Hopefully we can turn it around, before they do the image of Dutch football any more damage.

  120. My starting 11 against Portugal:
    Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems/Schaars, De Jong, Van Der Vaart, Sneijder, Afellay, Robben, Huntelaar/van Persie.
    In short, do not play Huntelaar and van Persie together!

  121. We will have no control/authority in the midfield if Huntelaar and van Persie are played together, because we will lack midfielders. Look at how Spain played against Italy. They even had no striker.

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