Oranje keen to polish tactics

Louis van Gaal is leading the way in our Nations League Group but for him, it’s not about the Nations League. It’s all about prepping for the World Cup. And with difficulties, as the playing calendar means he has to shuffle the pack in order to keep players healthy.

The Oranje tactics work. For LVG. The two training sessions of the past days were defined as “fantastic” by the 70 year old. He is quite happy with the Oranje progress.

It seems the questions are being answered. Not necessarily in a positive way, but still.

De Ligt as left centre back is not something we’ll see Van Gaal do again.

I believe Hateboer and Teze will have to be concerned by competition from Rick Karsdorp and who knows, Devyne Rensch should he make that spot his at Ajax.

Koopmeiners is put on notice by Van Gaal: “I want to see the dominant Koopmeiners I know from Atalanta. He hasn’t played like that in the orange jersey yet and Van Gaal needs to see more.

When asked about the system change in the Wales match (when the 3 forwards changed positions in the 20-something minute): “That also hinges on how the opponent plays. The way we started versus Wales can work, but Wales didn’t play the way we expected them. So in that case, it made sense to switch it. We played Noa Lang on the #10 role and our game improved as a result.”

LVG now calls the system, the 3-4-3 and the wingbacks/midfielders are key in creating triangles everywhere on the pitch. And thus it’s possible that forward Bergwijn is playing deeper than wingback Malacia, who was on hand in the final seconds to cross the ball to the striker.

Van Gaal kept his cards close to his chest re: the starting line up versus Poland. It’s certain that either Ake or Blind will play on the left centre back spot. I think we’ll see Cillesen again and as Lang and Vincent Janssen will be on the stands, it seems Klaassen or Berghuis will start, as will Memphis, who will captain the team. This might indicate that De Vrij will start on the bench, and De Ligt will be the central defender, with Timber to his right.

I hope LVG gives Gakpo another go, as the youngster drowned a bit versus Wales, amidst a team of fortune-seekers. With the more settled players around him (Frenkie, Memphis), we can expect a better Gakpo. He was voted the best player of the Eredivisie last season and I’m convinced he can do better than he did last Wednesday.

Janssen made an impression at training, becoming the top scorer at practice in the 5 v 5 matches, scoring some beauties with his left and right foot. Still, Van Gaal will treat him like he did Schouten and Martins Indi. “He is part of the group, so he is with us pre-match, in the dressing room and he can experience how we do things and what he can expect. Once he has that experience, he will be part of the squad. Vincent will play versus Wales, coming Wednesday.”

Vincent Janssen, standing on the right, celebrating his goals at practice

The Polish counterpart of Van Gaal has used his top players versus Belgium and some – like Lewandowski – might be rested for the Oranje game. It seems the coach wants to use his big guns in their home game next week against Belgium.

There is quite a lot of murmur re: the players from Young Oranje and the wish of many to see players like Brobbey and Geertruida in Oranje. Geertruida has indeed made amazing progress under Arne Slot and deserves a call up. He can play central as well and he can play as a defensive midfielder even. Geertruida is definitely a better option than Hateboer.

Brobbey is a real fan favorite. He scores goals, he has an impressive physique and he’s a funny guy in interviews. But is he ready to solve our #9 issues? Is he the killer in the box? According to the experts, Brobbey is not ready yet to play the full 90 minutes at top level and simply needs to play, week in week out first.

It seems Brobbey might be a better “Oranje striker” than Vincent Janssen, but it feels right that LVG tests Janssen now and allows Brobbey to hone his skills at a lower level. Should Brobbey get playing time in the coming season and if he keeps on finding the net, he’s most likely in the WC squad.

Poland is not a bad opponent to have for Holland. We played them in the previous Nations League and beat them twice. The last time we lost against them was in 1980, some 42 years ago! Dennis Bergkamp is Holland’s top scorer versus the Polish, with 3 goals.

Memphis can make further steps up on the Oranje all-time topscorers list. One goal vs Poland and Memphis equals the tally of one Klaas Jan Huntelaar. The Van Persie record of 50 goals might be crushed by Memphis before the World Cup starts.

Brobbey, lamenting a missed chance

The Poland match is in De Kuip, in Rotterdam. Traditionally, Oranje’s bunker. Since 2007, Oranje won all their games in Rotterdam. The players love playing there because of the vibe and the perfect pitch. The only thing is: the VIPs have to use dirty old toilets….

Turkish ref Halil Meler is officiating the match. Feyenoord knows him well. He was the referee in the Slavia Prague game, where he showed eight yellow cards, of which five for the Feyenoord players.

The line up I expect:


Dumfries – Timber – De Ligt – Blind – Malacia

Frenkie – Berghuis


Bergwijn – Memphis

With sub turns for Gakpo, Schouten and Weghorst.

Oranje will win 3-0: Memphis, Klaassen and Berghuis scoring.

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  1. I think, Klaasen should be replaced by Koopmeiners. The latter’s long passes could be useful to break Polish defense. Oranje’s build up is slow than it is supposed to be.

  2. No reaction from the bench when the goal was scored.

    The Dutch will score though. Poland is starting defend rather what they did during the goal.press and this is where things looks to start crumbling for the Dutch.

  3. This horrible first half was a total waste of time. Dull, boring, no ideas, totally predictable, poor ball control, misplaced passes and more. On a grade 1-10 nobody deserves higher than a 3. We haven’t lost to Poland since 1979 but today could be the day to break this record. It would be a pity but this 11 does not click and LVG should make changes.

  4. Poland seems to have good defensive backline and are throwing everything in front of them. Like I said in my previous post, it will be unpredictable Vs pressing team.
    Poland pressed they scored, now they are defending. Imagine a team that will continuously press and defend. This is when this team and van gaal will get to know how where they stand.

    Let’s see what van gaal has evaluated from the first half.

  5. Guys, in the end you’re all going to stay that i was right. It doesn’t matter the tactics you play, these guys are just suck PERIOD. Holland plays 5/3/2 so they can have a numerical superiority in attack but Dumfies is the worst left back in dutch football history, Blin is slow as fuck. Berghuis is a waste of time. Depay sometimes you wander what the hell he is doing on the field. De Jong is very inconsistent. This world cup is going to be a big embarrassment for dutch football

  6. This defense is a disaster. Expect another goal or 2 from the polish. LVG is experimenting by risking too much. A loss today undoes a lot pf progress. Why is Blind irreplaceable?

  7. Depay full of overconfidence when taking that penalty kick. I had a feeling when he was taking it right from the sport without taking more than 1 step.

  8. Goodness me, lots of homework for LVG. After a good game vs Belgium, Daley Blind disappoints again. With Malacia in the ascension, I think it’s time Daley is thanked for his serviced.

    He was weak in possession in the first half and at fault for the 0-1.

    Memphis should not wear the captain’s band. He thinks he needs to do too much and be the leader. He should just play simple and focus on his own game.

    I thought Bergwijn was impressive at times.

    LVG was very unhappy with Timber in this match, but believes he is on his last legs, due to the full season he had, as a youngster.

    Flekken said after the game he should have stopped the 0-1.

    Weghorst get 20 mins and is found literally ZERO times by his team mates.

    Expect a full review soon.

  9. If you replace Bergwijn with Wout then you need to change tactics, you need to change how you develop your offence. Weghorst is not Bergwijn, he needs a lot of support from the players to produce goals. Unfortunately, neither midfield nor wingers were looking for Wout. All attention was on Memphis and he was in “model” mood today. I personally was disappointed in Kpoomeiners too. He played 25 minutes and did not produce anything: only back passes and clumsy defense.

    1. Wow, Jan speaking up against Blind and Depay. Depay did what he always does, dribbling to infinity, misplacing passes and running head first into crowded areas. I bet he thinks he a mix between Maradona and Messi. When we win nobody speaks about it, but today he lost us 2 points with a terrible penalty in a wide open, empty net with the keeper on the ground in the opposite side.
      Blind shouldn’t have started 2nd half. LVG seems to be weak in front of nepotism, there is no other explanation for keeping him in the field.
      LVG lost a good amount of shining today. We should be able to come from behind and win games against strong, deep defending teams like Poland today and his selection and substitutions weren’t the best.
      These games are good to test players, but we shouldn’t let things slip away by changing 50% of first team in every game.
      The only positive was coming back from 2 goals down and get a point.

      1. I am sorry to say that I fully agree with Balkan.

        I’m not too harsh on Memphis. We know what he can do. I think the band is too heavy for him and I know in other matches he’ll pull through and do his job.

        I’m a big fan of the Good Blind but if Blind is Bad he is Bad. And with Malacia performing as he does, I cannot see Blind starting in Qatar. But I do like to see him in the squad.

  10. 1-When you have 3 Torpidos as RB,Dumfries,karsdorp,Rensch…then only an idiot or boased people will go for Shi@2tboer. He doesnt belongs to NT and he will never will be…
    2–when you have Timber(monster),De ligt ,De vrij why you need Teze????Teze can join Nt after 5 years…
    3-When you have Botman ,Struiijk,van dijk,Ake…why you dont give chance to botman and struijk…Then playing Deligt who is not an LCB….Then Martins indi who is another card prone laibility to team..
    4–Mark flekken gives night mares to fans,when the team is playing possession football and they are in control this damn concedes a goal OUT IF NO WHERE…as GK u must go with experince Cillesse,Bijlow is the man for that…i know krul is night mare for us but he can be a penalty killer at tournamnets…
    5–Blind is playing so slow,it restrtcis him to receive a forward pass…But we need to find an overlapping attack mineded LB who can contribute to attack…Winjdal is poor average…bakker might be better option than winjdal…Winjdal is of poor cross…
    6..We need to call back Vilhena,Van de beek and Gravenberch..hope they clocks regular minutes in next season.

  11. Its safe to say Time has caught up on Van Gaal and like I said in previous post,this is own doing and now he find himself racing against time to get the best team together.

    Poland you can say was not even a semi pressing team but they made it look so easy on both goals. Again I said this , imagine a team pressing and defending at the same rate compared to Poland who parked the bus after scoring each game.

    Again the tatic “creating space through formations and analyzing the man vs man situations as they evolve through the game” defaulted. It could have even more backfired if it was for a more tatical coach on the opponents side doing the same thing as Van gaal. I mean, Sloppy plays, Blind, PK miss.

    This is exactly what FDB did. I’m not comparing him to Van Gaal but the approach.

    You just can’t do much here. Even for players like Gravenberch, Danjuma,Karsdorp, VDBeek. You cant expect them to just come in take the team to another level. They also will require time to adjust, acclimatize as they play more and more and probably then we will see a team with all clyinders burning.

    If I have to talk about Argentina here, what Van Gaal is doing now, rotating,fine tuning, testing new players, they have already done this in Copa America last year and using every player available who were selected. They are all ready in other words and if the WC was tomorrow I can see them reaching the final.

    Let’s see what van gaal pulls up this time but for sure it has backfired on him. Remember his press conference about not selecting u21 players.

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