My friends, I am sorry for the pause in posting… I have had some tech issues on my end and still working on them to get them resolved…
This pause did give me the option to re-think what I am doing and how I am doing it. I got some great feedback from some of you here and I will probably reach out for more.
I want to get these three games out of the way and after these games and maybe during the Xmas break I can reach out to you guys for some input on how we can improve this blog even more (if that is even possible!!).
So expect me to come back to you with some questions, ideas, suggestions etc. And you can start leaving some of that in the comments, if you do have things to share already!
Now, a quick look at the days ahead. Holland playing three games again in what, 9 days? And sadly, we can’t say the friendly vs Spain is “useless” because that result does count towards a good position in the World Cup qualifications. So it does make sense to win even friendlies, these days!
Still it gives coach Frank de Boer some headaches as he believes he can’t play players vs Spain for a full match and use them vs Bosnia. And some other players will not be able to play even two games, this quickly after an intense period of club games.
The latest is that Tonny Vilhena is out, positively tested for Covid-19. He has no symptoms but has to go into quarantine. Frank de Boer will not replace him. Before him, we saw Justin Bijlow already unavailable due to a foot injury and Twente’s Joel Drommel taking his place. Cillesen is out as well of course.
Frank de Boer did say that Bizot (AZ) will be the shot stopper vs Spain, with Tim Krul the #1 goalie for the Nations League matches (Bosnia Herzegovina and Poland) . Frank will not be playing players in the three matches for obvious reasons and will be careful with players who just came back from injuries. Denzel Dumfries for instance, again important for PSV in the domestic league, will probably not start vs Spain but will play in the Nations League matches. Hateboer will be his replacement for the Spain game.
De Boer was also asked about the system he would be using: “The 5-3-2 was a tweak we needed for Italy away. It matched their style and would solve the problem we had in the home game vs Italy. In the coming three matches, we will go back to 4-3-3”.
Davy Klaassen – not very well liked here on the blog I believe- will be making his comeback. He’s been Ajax now for a short while but in the games he did play for Ajax, he impressed. His timing to pop into the box and score goals, his work rate, his leadership are all revered and there is no expert / analyst or former pro who wouldn’t pick Klaassen for the starting line up, now De Roon and Leroy Fer is absent and Davy Propper is also still not 100% fit.
Kevin Strootman used to be the alternative left footed midfielder for Oranje, but De Boer did what his predecessors never did: he called the former Sparta midfielder to tell him he won’t need him. “His situation is not positive at his club. He has hardly played. He needs to change that in order to be important for Oranje again. But he took it really well and told he would do the exact same if he was in my shoes.”
Steven Bergwijn and Mo Ihattaren also had to leave the Oranje camp with little issues but won’t be replaced.
I think it’s quite remarkable that losing two midfielders ( Ihattaren and Vilhena) didn’t prompt De Boer to get a replacement in, but he will know best.
For the Spain match, I think Frank will go with this line up:
I believe Frank’s go-to eleven (for now) will look like:
But I could be terribly wrong :-).
The Spain confrontation will always be special. We beat them the last two times we met and that 1-5 in Brazil will forever be on everyone’s favorite Oranje top 5 list, I’m sure. But the loss in South Africa in 2010 will also always be with us.
Another reason to look out for this match, is that we most likely will see Marco Asensio in Spanish colours. The half Dutch, half Spanish forward is happy to be back in Holland. “I consider this my second homeland. Half my family lives here and I always spend time here, to see my family. Every year I visit and it’s special for me to play against Holland.” The Real Madrid star played all of his youth rep matches in orange and decided to go for Spain when he had to make his choice…
Let me hear your ideal line up below AND the line up for the Spain match…