Oranje not good enough….

Below is the original text I wrote straight after – or actually during – the match.

With the game behind us, we can make some short and snappy conclusions:

  • The Heroes of the US game, Blind and Dumfries, the zeroes against Argentina

Scoring and assisting versus USA, and letting your man go (Blind) and conceding a penalty (Dumfries) making them the losers versus Argentina

  • Confidence, mental strength and will are important

We never played with confidence, the game was sloppy, slow, measured and basically… weak. When Plan B was executed, we scored 2 (we = Wout) in 15 minutes and in the remaining 30 extra time minutes, we should have pushed on.

  • Belief in penalty science unfounded

Louis and his minion Frans Hoek had decided that a scientific approach to penalty kicks would help the takers and the goalie. A whole theory was implemented and based on the 2014 deception, Van Gaal went for penalties this time, thinking he’d done the job already. In 2014, he wanted to win in 120 mins and brought Huntelaar. It failed. Now he decided not to bring Janssen or Simons but to stick it out to pens. Another mistake (in hindsight).

  • Van Gaal’s arrogance

Louis decided before the game to explain how Messi was invisible in 2014 and how we would manage to do this again. He also said repeatedly: “Messi doesn’t do anything without the ball and they’ll be playing with 10 men”. These words were obviously picked up by the Argentinian media and Messi was fuelled like never before.

  • Where is Ziyech??

Ziyech chose Morocco, which prompted the many Dutch experts to say “how can you pick Morocco when you have more chances to win silverware with Holland??”. Well, Morocco is playing the semi finals, Oranje is on a plane home.

  • Just not good enough

There are many subtleties that could have gone different: Danjuma instead of Taylor, Bijlow instead of Noppert, Malacia instead of Blind but overall, I think it is fair to say we were simply not good enough to win the title. Quarter finals sounds just about right.

Sadly, I am at an airport gate waiting for my flight after a couple of days of business in Melbourne.

I hoped to be able to ignore the game and watch it at home, after the match, but there is no escaping Messi and co. So I missed the 1st half, and I’m currently watching the 2nd half, 2-0 down, with 15 minutes to go.

And from what I have seen, we have been kicked out of the tournament at the highest level we have a right to be. We don’t deserve to play the semi finals, let alone the finals. Not good enough.

Not Dumfries, not Blind, not Koopmeiners and in this form, not Memphis even.

I didn’t see the 1st half but I can imagine De Roon and Bergwijn didn’t bring much. I saw the 1-0, and yes, Blind didn’t look good, but neither did the whole part of the team dealing with Messi. And lets face it, that pass was sublime, as was the run. You will all tell me how bad Blind dealt with it, I’m sure but Van Dijk should have tackled with his left, on the ball and there will have been others wanting as well (Ake, De Jong).

Still 45 mins to recover, but Koopmeiners had another dreadful game, with balls bouncing off his feet, passing backwards all the time and Memphis dribbling into cul de sacs, while Dumfries – again – saw no way through as he was constantly forced into a dribbles he cannot do.

Overall, a weak performance. 1 attempt on goal, none on target in the first 70 minutes.

It’s sad, we could have gone all the way, as Croatia would be a better opponent than Brazil, but at least we can cheer for Messi as he might well win it, finally.

We can be angry, disappointed, pissed off, disgusted, but I think we can only say that we are not good enough.

Ake, Van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong were consistent. Noppert was great, but overall not that great.

And while I am typing this, Berghuis curves the ball onto Weghorst’s head: 2-1. Wow.


Who knows.

A grand finale?


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  1. Very disappointing day! Very down with our play throughout the match, then tremendous excitement at the end with the equalizer! Then white knuckles throughout extra time. But when we got to penalties, I was semi-confident, because I figured of all things, we would be prepared for penalties.

    Maybe those were great saves by Argentina, but I was expecting more. At the end of the day though, as I said on the prior post, it was just too big a hole, and just too much to try to come back from 2-0 down twice!

    1. That said, I will always remember that free kick goal from Koopmeiners to Weghorst! Not sure who came up with that or had the temerity to try it in that situation, but that was absolutely BRILLIANT!

      That will be my lasting memory from this tournament! We need more moments of inspiration like that in the future. Hup Holland!

  2. It was clear from the first Messi penalty during the game that we would lose on penalties should it get there.

    Again, the team chose not to try during the 30′. Why, oh, why.

    Also, is it too much to ask to select for once a keeper that is even just moderately competent on penalties? Noppert didn’t even touch one. Cillesen bis.

  3. Tough loss but deserved loss. At least on paper it looked like a close game haha.

    two world cups in a row we lose to Argentina on Penalties. Gutting and brutal way to go.

    The team fought hard and got back into it. There’s no shame in losing in the quarterfinals to Argentina.

    Until next time!

  4. I haven’t been so disappointed in a Dutch team in many years. The only consistent bright spot was Ake who has to be in the team of the tournament for his defensive efforts. He’s been a monster. Props to Weghorst too, what an impact.

  5. again a disappointing performance bar the last 15 minutes. Very few players played well. But i loved how Weghorst did his thing and i wont easily forget his 2-2. Was with 8 friends watching, think the last time i went crazy after a goal like that was with the Bergkamp one in 98.

    Dont know how to feel..terrible style of play during all the games..very few nice attacking..but a fighting spirit.

  6. LVG is not the messiah that has been sold to us and indeed is a terrible coach or is crazy. 5 painful to watch games, horrible performances, terrible decisions, but to top it all what shows what a colossal idiot he is , how do you go back to your chaotic defense when you have them on the ropes. 2-2 at min 100 is terrible shock to them and you should go for the jugular. Bring quick players in Xavi etc. and kill them. Yet, he pulled the team back for 30 mins and waited for penalties like we had some Jezus Christ type on the goal. Silver lining. I don’t get to see his arrogant face with a notebook again on the bench. We had good enough quality to go past Argentina.

  7. Agree 100%. I’m sure he took it because he’s the captain, but we HAVE to make the first kick! I actually don’t recall having seen Virgil take a penalty before.

    Again, I’m sure that penalties were a likely scenario envisioned by van Gaal, but we did not look prepared. Obviously nerves, fatigue, emotion are all factors. But the PKs were just so anticlimactic after such an incredible comeback.

    My primary takeaway is that the players’ courage and fighting spirit are very strong and enduring, but we are in need of new, creative leadership that can return us to an attacking style of play.

    There were certainly bright spots — Ake especially! And Gakpo. He, Simons and Lang may be future stars. And our center back options are still strong. But I never had a greater appreciation for Robben, van Persie, Sneijder and VDV (who I’m already big fans of) than I do now after witnessing our utter inability to attack in their absence at this level. Perhaps the players we have can do the same, but they were just tactically restrained. But I feel / know that we can do better. Croatia can. Morocco can. Portugal can. There’s no reason that we cannot do so going forward and hopefully the next generation of young talent will be up to the challenge!

  8. A few stats of interest:

    Netherlands had 52% possession, but 0.54 expected goals
    Argentina had 48% possession and 1.80 expected goals

    Total shots — Netherlands 6 (2 on target), Argentina 14 (6 on target)
    Passes / Accuracy — Netherlands 530 (84%), Argentina 500 (83%)
    Corner kicks — Netherlands 2, Argentina 8

    Accurate long balls — Netherlands 39 (57%), Argentina 17 (33%)
    Duels won — Netherlands 53 (44%), Argentina 67 (56%)
    Successful dribbles — Netherlands 1 (8%), Argentina 6 (67%)

    Fouls committed — Netherlands 30, Argentina 18
    Yellow cards — Netherlands 7, Argentina 9

    1. How many times including messi used hands to stop our transition any stats??
      how many times refree called foul when we were through for sift touches??
      How much time they wasted in total?
      Video of acuna thinking and falling inside box…
      i would have accepted loss aginst any team other than these dirty arjentines..and their clown fans in india unbearable as an indian..

  9. Hallo / Bonjour,

    My name is Aloysius and I understand that you have a national team manager position open. I think I may be the right candidate for the job.

    I have extensive experience as a high level club and national team manager and recently took a small nation similar to yours to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, where we succumbed only to the mighty Lionel Messi and Argentina via penalties. With just a bit more attacking talent, such as your nation possesses, I could probably help you advance even further. I can already envisage Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard as excellent wingbacks in my 532 system.

    The only things I ask for in return are a substantial salary, complete tactical freedom and a large supply of tiny notebooks.

    Please text me if you are interested (+31 IR-ONT-ULIP)

    Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you

    1. Considering the history of our shootouts why we stopped attacking after scoring 2 gaols…We shopuld have killed of at extra time with more attack or get killed…Let them earn their hieneken..

  10. 1-Blind lacking of marking to first goal
    3-Moore importantly Van gaal stategy to defend after scoring two…that lead us to loss to these arjentine thugs ottokundi.

  11. Netherlands was slow when they passed the ball and during attack. Argentina was defending well and they closed down the spaces and disrupted play in midfield quite often. So the turnover had to be quick and counter attack quick to penetrate through the lines. I think this was where Netherlands was found wanting.

  12. I’m very disappointed like all of you but we should be proud of this team. Very difficult to beat team, strong fighting spirit and still one of the few teams unbeaten in the tournament.

    If there is one lesson to be learnt, it is we have to play to avoid penalties in the ET. The penalties track record is abysmal, the worst among the elite nations. We should have thrown out everything during the second half of ET. If there is anything positive to say about Argentina is that they did all they could to avoid the penalties, and found a Dutch team that was happy to dig in again during the last 15 mins.

  13. What a sad ending going out on penalties! Oranje must have one of the worst records when it comes to penalties. And some teams like Argentina are masters when it comes to penalties. I believe one of the most important things to win penalties is to have a goalkeeper that has the instinct and reflexes to stop penalties. Krul should have been included just for penalties. Now that FIFA allows 5 substitutes, that enough to have a penalty specialist goalie to automatically make the roster.

    Noepert did well overall. No blunders and he saved a lot of clear cut goals. So credit to him where credit is due. However, he definitely showed us that he is no penalty specialist.

    We need to take penalties seriously and have designated penalty takers that do so at their club levels. So many WC campaigns are decided by penalties and it should have maximum attention moving forward at all levels of Dutch football.

  14. I think the Dutch did very well given the current abilities inside the team.
    I don’t know whats wrong with some of you but you all should be proud. For reaching the Quarterfinals, for the comeback last night, for the 20 games unbeaten run and 70% win record under LVG, for an almost moment of reaching the Semi Finals and playing against Croatia, for the dream we all had that they will make it to the final and then who knows. So close!!

    Some players were fantastic in this tournament. Aké, Gakpo, Timber, Van Dijk, Frenkie De Jong.
    Dumfries was matched and canceled yesterday but he played good overall.
    With more playing time together, Koopmeiners will become the best player to partner De Jong in midfield.
    Then add to that lot, Xavi Simons, Frimpong, Lang, Taylor, Rensch, Bakker, Botman, Til, Gravenberch, Danjuma… and we should feel we have plenty to look forward to for 2024.

  15. If you guys feel you have any anger, hate, rage, disappointment, you should be sending those vibes at this idiot of a referee, the VAR team, and the Argentinian national team.

    How on earth was this a penalty for Messi ?? Dumfries leg in a natural position defending the ball, the Argentinian player looking to be tripped, stopped and then fell.

    How on earth was this not a penalty for Gakpo ???? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8M-ShRqGuk
    Clearly he is tripped from behind.

    How on earth did Messi not get booked for his handball ????

    How on earth did Paredes not get sent off for the tackle on Aké, and then kicking the ball with intent towards the Dutch bench.

    I don’t believe in conspiracies. But that was a very bad job done there.

    And the Argentinians are simply disgusting for their behaviour, towards the end of the game, and certainly after the game. We all know about bad losers, but theres nothing more embarrassing and disgusting than bad winners!

    1. I knew it the moment a Spanish La Liga referee was picked. It is an obvious conflict of interest. Dutch team maybe should have complained about it internally without making it public through back channels. The ref was protecting Messi like a Faberge egg.

      I wish LVG experimented with more players in midfield. If I have to pin down one obvious problem with this team, it was the midfield that couldn’t link up the defense and offense. There was no rhythm. No fluid passing. No real coherent vertical passes. Gapko, Memphis were lacking service to make that run into the box.

      The other issue was that we didn’t have a decent left winger. Almost everything was going down the right flank. That helped teams to overload on the danger side.

      I really don’t know why Gapko takes freekicks and corners. The man is 6’3″ and needs to work very hard on his aerial game. That will serve him well if he’s going to move to the Premier League. He had that one header versus Senegal and I was hoping he would do more of that.

      Overall, this is a young team with a solid core. I hope some of those names you mentioned reach their true potential. Hope springs eternal when it comes to Oranje. there’s always a good conveyor belt that keeps pumping out exciting talent to keep us hoping for the future.

      1. Tactics schmactics. During the crazy 10 minutes at the end of regulation time, the swiss TV announcers said something like “look, you can have all the tactic in the world, and get back in the game by the simplest of all: lob high balls in the box and hope a tall forwards catches it”. That worked.

        Finally there was some urgency, some will to win.

        For. Ten. Minutes.

        The rest of the time? Nothing but slow useless passing. No shot on goal, nothing.

        Was Argentina any better? One assist by Messi, who otherwise was totally absent. Maybe a few minutes of trying in the last moments of overtime, otherwise, slow useless passing.

        Was Croatia any better? One action for the equalizer, nothing else for 120′.

        Was Brazil any better? Marginally.

        Four hours of terrible football on all sides.

        And now the effing know nothing that blab on and on about Messi, Messi, Messi.

        1. Agree with you on football was bad on all sides. But the days of playing beautiful are over. Its about winning any how. Things like team spirit, fighting mentality and good defence have developed in the Dutch side under Vangaal, it needs to be kept up. While dealing with the weaknesses in the team composition by bringing new young players. The formation or beautiful should not be a condition for dutch football. A balanced approach where any method or formation can be used for getting the final result which is winning the matches and tournamentd.

          1. Totally agree. The days of beautiful football are over.

            What I can’t get over is the lack of intensity, lack of running, lack of will.

    2. 100% agree with this. None of it sat well with me.
      Apart from the fact we should have attacked it a bit morr, but the ref lost control. Messi was becoming buddy buddy with the refs too, and the TSN broadcasters even mentioned it here in Canada. Not good.

  16. Also, wtf, how can we get surprised each effing time that some games will get decided on PKs and not be prepared and not do everything possible not to get there.

    1. Guillaume, the genius in charge had assured us that this time around we were a sure lock to beat any team in penalties (sort of but you catch my drift). That epic comeback went to waste, I can’t even re watch it as it makes it harder to accept that God gave us a chance to beat them before PK-s only for us to walk away from it.

  17. @Ramy comment summarize very well my feelings.

    I have never believe in conspiracy but this is too much. They even didn’t show the repetition of the fault against Gapko. I whisper to see from another camera. No VAR either.

    I thought Messi was a good guy but no more. The way he celebrate his goal, imitating Riquelme (if you don’t know, the Argentinians hate Van Gaal because hi benched Riquelme at Barcelona) or how he approached Van Gaal after the game. To low. This is not sportsmanship. Not say Paredes kicking the ball against our bench after his fouls against Ake.

    All this smells very bad.

    The worst part is the feeling we could have done more. But we didn’t. The only can blame ourselves for the tactics in the extra time.

    I am extremely sad, anger and frustrated. I barely sleep yesterday. We need to f….g win a WC for good sake.

    I don’t know what can @Jan or anybody here write to make us feel better. This is so sad!

    1. @EduardoW, while I agree on Messi behavior and the other argentina players acting in a thugish way and also for the fact that they picked a spanish referee against all logic you should not forget that an instigator of that melee and everything that happened during the game and after the penalties is our beloved genius Van Gaal. You have to be crazy to make those declarations before the game about Messi being a pedestrian and argies basically playing with 10 players, that we have unfinished business with them and then “we’re beating argentina” – why say these foolish things and put so much pressure on your fragile players while galvanizing the opponents??? This mind playing game goes against any logic especially when you know you have a full 80000 stadium fiercely against you, when Messi is sort of God to those people, when you are hated by the other side. I would understand this type of talk if you had a 1974 type of team but not with your current crop. To top if off, he takes the foot of the gas when we had them on the ropes after 2-2. It was like he desperately wanted penalties to prove something. Instead he reaped a lot of hate and put the players under additional stress when those thugs started mocking them after the penalties.
      I really think LVG lacks a lot of common sense and I am happy he is gone. The loss hurts because we had good enough players to eliminate this Argentina team but instead his “vision” made a whole mess out of them.
      Good riddance to LVG and he can brag all he wants about his meaningless records.

  18. Sometimes I think that LVGs tactics developed from his opinion that currently we don’t have the right talent to play the traditional offensive football. And in a way he succeeded to play this 20 match unbeaten run and get eliminated only on pens in 2014 and 2022. So we should question whether with an offensive style, would it have been better than that or much worse ?

    1. Of course, do you actually think we have the players to play offensive 4-3-3 football ? Who with ?
      Gakpo? Although great talent he may be in the future, he is still only shining at Eredivisie level.
      Depay ? He has proved himself at the international stage, but is certainly no world class talent, and has also been injured for a while now. He was always going to need some time to regain top form, let alone a place in the starting 11 at Barca.
      Bergwijn ?? Couldn’t cut it at Tottenham and now plays alongside Berghuis in Ajax, and not particularly doing great there either.

      So no, long story short, LVG played his team to the best of its current abilities and anybody saying otherwise is just being a romantic, reminiscing about the olden days of Bergkamp, Van Persie and Robben, etc.. Realistically speaking, 532 suits our players best. This being the historic Dutch way or not is totally irrelevant.

  19. I somewhat agreed with Ramy. Putting formation aside, I feel LVG setup the team the best it can be given the players at his disposal. Who doesn’t want to win, playing beautiful football. It’s akin like who doesn’t want to do well if he/she can be. Sometimes, the environment and in this case, the standard of players available determine how the team plays.
    LVG achieved a record of 20 matches unbeaten and counting still. He had left behind a legacy, good AND bad. He deflected attention on his team and relieve the pressure by taking it (the press and journalists) all on by himself. 🫡.

  20. We got to admit the team doesn’t deserve to be World Champion given the standard of play (though we are unbeaten). This team thought good (not great), has to evolve still. If not, we just got to continue hoping and get behind our fav NT, good times and bad times.

      1. Both teams are great but you gotta love Morocco. What a fighting spirit and game rhythm. Coming after a prolonged battle with Spain. Where do they find this energy?
        Why can’t some pricks like B Fernandes of Otavio quit their simulations. BF is hated in PL for his theatrics in almost every game he plays. Such a pity because they have immense talent and don’t need cheating.

  21. Both teams are great but you gotta love Morocco. What a fighting spirit and game rhythm. Coming after a prolonged battle with Spain. Where do they find this energy? Why can’t some p.r!cks like B Fernandes of Otavio quit their simulations? BF is h@.ted in PL for his theatrics in almost every game he plays. Such a pity because they have immense talent and don’t need to be cheating.
    In 1986 Morocco beat Portugal 3-1 in their group games.

  22. My tactical analysis of Morocco: They played hard, tried to score and didn’t let stifling tactics hold themselves back. And they are 20 minutes from the World Cup semifinals.

    There’s still time obviously, but regardless of the outcome, I can you who’s buying a Puma 2022 World Cup Morocco jersey. Every single person in Morocco!

    The last time I bought a Netherlands jersey was the last time we truly played attacking football — 2008…

  23. What an irony.

    Few years ago Van Basten was suing that Ziyech was crazy for choosing Marocco over Netherlands.

    Well Ziyech and Mazaraoui with Marocco played one World Cup more and reached a semifinal with Marocco playing better football.

    Congrats. They deserved!!

  24. JB, that would be amazing but highly unlikely. Morocco is spent and to pieces. Imagine how much they have defended in this WC that the only goal scored against is an autogol. France or England will be too much for them.
    It seems to me that it is likely a battle of Falkland Islands in the final. I hate both teams so I hope France makes it. But personally I would really love if Croatia goes all the way.

  25. Sorry, I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade. But I don’t understand the double standard.

    Why are we applauding Morocco or Croatia for their valiant DEFENSIVE efforts, but poking holes at everything the Dutch did last night ?? Because they certainly played with the same fighting spirit as the Moroccans or the Croatians. I’d even say the Moroccans played even more defensively than the Dutch. The Croatians only mustered one effort on target.

    Going by your discontent on the defensive performance of last night, you should be rooting for Portugal. Or is it okay for Morocco to play defensively but not the Dutch ?

    I am certainly confused at the consistency.

    1. I’m certainly not applauding Croatia, and, for that matter, found all of yesterday’s teams appalling.

      Based on yesterday’s performances alone, I would have been happier with all four being out and both Portugal and Morocco being in.

      In today’s game, the Swiss announcer actually praised our “10 crazy minutes” again, and wondered if and when Portugal would try something similar. Well, they did not and are being sent home. Just like we only did try another tactic for those few minutes and are going home.

    2. Ramy:

      Fair point. I’ll explain my perspective:

      Personally, I tend to root for the underdog, and among the favorites left (Argentina, Portugal (until today), France and England), I really can’t bring myself to root for any of them. So Morocco and Croatia it is for me!

      Secondly, at least Morocco and Croatia ostensibly play a 4-3-3. In my opinion, we are so limited / constrained in LVG’s 5-3-2, and with just the two front line players, and no attacking-oriented midfielders, we can’t really effectively attack except on the counter with that system / set of players selected

      Finally, we’ve been the favorite in every match we played up until the clash with Argentina. I can grudgingly understand us playing more defensive against Messi and company, but against Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar and the US?! Not at all the way I like to see us play.

      Just purely my personal opinions / preferences…

      1. My earlier point about the jerseys though still stands. Morocco fans are going to be ecstatic with their team’s performance regardless of how they play. This will be the World Cup they remember forever, because of how far they have progressed. And for some Dutch fans, particularly those born and raised in the Netherlands, the result may outweigh the means of achieving it (primarily out of national pride).

        But for many Dutch fans around the world, including many on this blog, they were initially attracted to the team for its style of play over the years (or just happened to be partial to the color orange). For them, the luster of those prior performances has faded, and we are left with an ordinary team that plays boring football and rarely shows glimpses of our prior quality and dynamic attacking play.

        Very few, if any people watching this tournament will be inspired to become Dutch fans going forward (or to go out a buy Oranje jerseys), other than perhaps as a result of that brief flurry of frantic activity at the end of the Argentina match.

        Football is a great sport for many reasons, but the value of sports in general is primarily as a source of entertainment. And there really was not very much entertaining about our style of play in this World Cup and for me at least, that’s very disappointing!

  26. The problem of Oranje is that they never learn from their lessons. Lesson Learned concept totally absent in Oranje, including KNVB, Dutch coaches, and finally players. This results from incredible level of arrogance and complete lack of self-awareness. We say LVG is Narciss, I would say LVG is a product of the Dutch Football as a whole. So, now we will have Ronald Koeman. Do you think he will do anything different? I doubt it. I have always said that and will repeat it again: if we want something different that would effectively leverage available talents in Dutch football and create a real team, we need to bring a foreign coach and fully empower him to do his job. But I think it will not happen because bureaucrats in KNVB are too political and too shortsighted.

  27. I understand JB view but I’m sure that if we won penalties, we would all be talking about fighting spirit and how difficult to beat this team is. Well, we are still unbeaten but the penalties went the other way and in football winner takes all, especially the post match narrative!!

  28. I think it is just for optics but let’s see:

    FIFA reports on Saturday that in the case of semi-finalist Argentina is being investigated whether they violated Article 12 and Article 16 during and after the match against the Orange. Article 12 deals with misconduct by players and coaches and Article 16 deals with order and safety at matches.

    The world football association does not release anything in the statement about which incidents are being looked at more closely. In the case of the Netherlands, only the possible violation of Article 12 is investigated. FIFA has given no indication when the investigation may be completed and whether that may have consequences for Argentina in the semi-final against Croatia (Tuesday).

  29. Looks like not only Dutch are unhappy with the arbitration and how in in general referees are assigned in this World Cup. This is what Portuguese sayPepe and Bruno Fernandes do not understand that with Facundo Tello an Argentine referee was in charge of the quarterfinals against Morocco. The pair saw Portugal go down 0-1 and felt that this was partly due to the arbitrator.

    “It is unacceptable that an Argentine referee whistled this match after what Lionel Messi said yesterday. In the second half, the game was always at a standstill and only eight minutes were added. They spent ninety minutes disrupting our game with minor fouls, but the referee did nothing about it. After what I said today, you can give Argentina the title,” Pepe said afterwards according to Portuguese media.

    The Portuguese defender also had a good opportunity for the equalizer, but his header missed the goal. It earned him a kiss from Moroccan player Jawad El Yamiq. “We are disappointed, we had the quality to win and unfortunately we did not succeed,” continued the 39-year-old Pepe. “They were lucky that we didn’t score.”

    Bruno Fernandes also thinks it’s crazy that the referee counted so little extra time. “We already knew what kind of referees there would be at this World Cup when we started this. I don’t want to go too deep into it, but the game was so often at a standstill and there should have been at least fifteen to twenty minutes of extra time. We knew that we would play against more than just the Moroccan team,” said the Manchester United midfielder.

    “I have to say that it is very strange that a referee from a country that is still in the tournament whistles our match and that there are no more Portuguese referees whistling at the World Cup,” continued the furious Fernandes. “These referees don’t whistle in the Champions League and are not used to this kind of match at this pace. In the first half I should have gotten a penalty, I never let myself fall. I was alone in front of the goalkeeper and could have shot at goal. That’s as clear as what.’

    Fernandes does not think that the fuss around Cristiano Ronaldo has caused the elimination. ‘Maybe people click more on the news around him, but for us as a team it had no consequences. It just didn’t work out to beat Morocco. We can say that we have created more chances, but Morocco is deservedly in the next round. We didn’t play well, because we didn’t win.’:

  30. Thank goodness for this blog; reading everyone’s comments have helped me to process and wind down form that match. I think I agree mostly with Ramy and Alistair.

    There was so much uncertainty as to the team’s future at the conclusion of the Euro’s, and almost immediately re-entering the WC qualifiers carrying the bad loss in Istanbul. Yet, they went down to the last pk of a quarter-final against one of the pre-WC favorites led by one of the best players of this era. A darn good run from a roster that really didn’t measure up to those of some of the other top teams (England, France, Brazil).

    So, maybe I will get some stick for this because it seems like some have the knives out for him—and of course those who do have the right to their opinions—but I’d say thanks to LVG for the run that took us to the final week of the WC.

    And that single moment, when Weghorst scored in the 101st minute, was amazing. I think I had an out of body experience—I know it took me a second to realize that the unholy noise I heard came from me. (I hope my neighbor was not home. lol)

    So its on to the future. The Nations League Finals in March, Euro Qualifications, and then on to 2026. Time to see if the Langs’, Simons’, Frimpongs, Gakpos, Botmans, Timbers, Malacias etc. of the world become what we hope. One thing about this game, seems like as soon as one countdown to a tournament ends, another starts up.

  31. @Jan,
    I just saw your comment about Noppert versus Bijlow. Not sure what you meant, but as a whole package Noppert miles ahead from all goalkeepers nationwide even though he is not good penalty catcher.

  32. Yes the most defensive teams Morocco and Croatia reached the semifinals. One of them might go to the finals and win the tournament. It seems that Netherlands coach is being unfairly attacked for his methods. Mourinhjo had rightly said attack wins you games, defence wins you tournaments. In hindsight, it would have been better. I expect younger players into the squad immediately. The Dutch will definitely make an impact, if they improve selection and as said rightly by wilson with a rotation and substitution policy.

    1. Morocco and Croatia play defensive (or even Brazil as LVG claimed), but in an “elegantly” way. Just like how Italy played back in Euro2000 and WC2006 (if I am not wrong when a certain Fabio Cannavaro impressed).
      LVG’s team of 2022 though played similar, the style is very workmanlike and not eye-catching. He focused on small triangles and quick combo passing with very little 1-1 take-ons and dribbling (except FDJ which I love seeing!). LVG’s team of 2014 had Robben, Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder who added elegant to the 5:3:2 with their skills on the ball.
      In my opinion, we can play 5:3:2 OR 3:5:2 OR any other formation, as said earlier in my post, we need to add the charm back to the NT. LVG has instilled team spirit and camaraderie, as well as football intelligence, We just need more technical players and play beautiful football AGAIN!!! ☺️

  33. Good news everyone, we are officially as good as Brazil, Portugal and England 🙂

    It took me a while to process this loss. Thank you Jan for organizing the blog and get things going. The world football has changed so much. Nations like Croatia and Morocco are now ahead of us. Meanwhile, we are doing better than Germany, Italy and Spain. Overall, I think we are going into the right direction. After missing two tournaments, we got into knock out round of last Euro and quarter final this World Cup. The most important thing to me is to keep the consistency in competing at those tournaments and eventually we will have enough talent to win.

    Looking forward, there are multiple positive spots. Gakpo, Ake, Noppert are delivering at top stage. VVD and FDJ are reliable. Weghorst delivered both last Euro and this World Cup when calling upon. At the same time, we should improve in several areas:
    _ Left back: In my opinion, Bakker will take the place. Malacia and Struijk will also be his competitor. Blind had a ok tournament in my opinion, he did well in several game. At the same time, Argentina exploited his weakness, they pulled Ake out of position and pass the ball into Ake’s space then Blind cannot cover because of his speed. And he will only get worse in the next two years.
    _ Right back: I think it is time to play Frimpong, he is comfortable with the ball. I like Dumfries but I think Frimpong is the stronger RWB.
    _ Midfield: this tournament shows that we only have one reliable midfield, FDJ. LVG does not trust anyone else and keep rotating everyone. Can Koop and Xavi improve and form the triagle with FDJ?
    _ Forward: Gakpo and Weghorst were good but everyone else were non factor. Seriously, I do not want to give Depay the benefit of the doubt, I think he reached his ceiling. Bergwijn had a shocking bad tournament. But then who is coming up to replace them? A few years ago, I was hoping that Malen and Boadu will be the ones but they are fading. I think this area is where the whole youth development in Netherlands are so outdated and need to be revamped.

  34. At least for this WC, we have also our moments, the superb FDJ’s pass to Gakpo against Senegal, how the team smartly and tenaciously contained the marauding Ecuadorians, the beautiful passing moves which the team scored against the USA, the LVG’s inspired substitution and comeback against Messi’s Argentina AND the wonderful freekick routine in critical moment.
    🇳🇱 continues to provide magical moments at the WC, the biggest stage!

    I am now rooting for a Croatia Vs Morroco final. I wish for the Argentinians to be knocked out. 🙏 🤲

  35. Another highlight of this World Cup, we are unbeaten in 20 games and counting..🙂
    Just watched the replay of the 2nd half, felt we imposed our game on Argentina, pegging them back. Felt we played good at 433, and saw the raking long passes of Van Dijk. The team really covered the tracks of each other well and played intelligently, just lacked the cutting edge.
    Overall, the team competed well with Argentina I feel.

    I predict Argentina will fall to Croatia at the semis. Messi will be rendered ineffective. 🙂

  36. Maybe @Jan can put up an article on the post WC when the dust settled.
    If I am to say, the worse outfield players who played is Steven Bergwijn. He offered nothing at all. I felt Noppert, Ake, Timber, Van Dijk, FDJ, Gakpo were among the best. What you guys think? 🧐

  37. Everyone be aware that Jan has updated the start of this thread so you may want to read his quick notes:
    @Jan, I do not agree that we were not good enough. I insists that we had good ENOUGH players to go past Argentina. I insist again that it is all LVG’s fault for this failure. The lack of common sense for LVG is staggering from the silly, stupid, arrogant statements about Messi before the game to the retreating of the team back in defensive trenches in OT when we had the upper hand and could have crushed them. There are so many things to say about him and his strategy approach but I won’t go further.
    Those who say it was btw 5-3-2 and 4-3-3 are wrong. The overall ugly play in this WC has nothing to with that, playing pedestrian and strolling around midfield and not knowing what to do with the ball and giving it away like a hot potato, NAH, nothing to do with the formation.
    I am glad for those of you who find pleasure in those rare little moments of happiness sparked by individual brilliance but to me they just add to the pain. I am sure those who have followed Orange for 30-40-50 years feel the same. Fed with an empty spoon and always falling short due to stupidity. And NO, I am not stupid enough to think we could the WC with this crop but to be among 4 best countries in the world would be a consolation.
    LVG looked to many of us like a genius because FDB was so low but in the end we only went a step further from the last EC. I am very happy to see his back.

  38. So some of you guys are giving your post-mortems of the tournament. My primary takeaway is this – your manager’s tactics should enhance your team’s performance, not constrain it. Your tactics should help your team succeed, not hold it back.

    Coming into this tournament, I’d watched our entire starting XI and many of the substitutes play multiple games for their club teams and also for the national team. We know they are generally skillful players who are all eager to participate in the attack. Some are standouts – Frenkie de Jong, van Dijk, Ake; some are above average – Memphis, Timber, de Vrij; some are up and coming – Gakpo, Simons, Lang, Frimpong, Malacia, Taylor; and some are average at this point – Blind, Dumfries, de Ligt, de Roon, Koopmeiners, Weghorst, Luuk de Jong. A few, such as Janssen, Berghuis and most notably, Bergwijn, underperformed in this tournament.

    But let’s be honest. Talent-wise, France are superior to us, as are Brazil, England and probably Portugal. Spain and Belgium, one could argue, are superior too; perhaps even Germany. Croatia and Argentina are probably comparable from a talent standpoint, but each has a aging talisman – Modric and Messi – who is capable of moments of brilliance and a leader who the team can rally around. Some of these teams are still playing, and others have gone home (some much earlier than others).

    Some teams with our talent level or less – Croatia, Argentina, Morocco (!) – made it to the semi-finals, while other equally or even more talented teams have fallen by the wayside. Brazil and England (both boasting their most talented squads in recent memory) are both out, primarily due to missed penalties. Spain, Germany, Portugal and Belgium are also out (some of whom didn’t even make the knock-out round). The USA, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, and Senegal all had nice moments / runs in this tournament.

    So now that we are out, what conclusions can you draw? My conclusion is that our team’s strength was in defense, we played to our strength and advanced based on our defense, but our tactics, formation and style were all TOO defensive. In essence, we OVER-played to our strength and the rest of our performance suffered mightily. We never developed a coherent midfield, our forwards were isolated, and we never… not once… not even against Qatar… looked convincing in our ability to build an attack other than on the break. Putting aside aesthetic sensibilities like “this isn’t Dutch football”, to be honest, it wasn’t German football, Belgian football, Spanish football or even English football. It was just poor football from any sort of attacking perspective.

    Now many of you will argue, van Gaal’s job was to win, and he is still undefeated and we made it to the quarterfinals with an average team and lost only in penalties. And all of that is true. But, nothing I saw along the way convinced me that we had any chance to win this World Cup. Because eventually we would encounter a team that could and would play football, and with us playing the way we were, there was no way we could prevail in that scenario. After 1974, 1978, 1988, 1998, 2010 even, how ironic would it have been had we won in 2022 playing this way? It would have been a straight up repudiation of everything Holland is famous for in football. But it’s not the players who decided to play this way! All Dutch players love to attack. It’s part of their DNA. Even the defenders. But in my view, van Gaal’s rigid system, formation and tactical plans restrained those attacking instincts and inhibited our team from performing at its highest level.

    We have the best backline I can ever remember us having in an international tournament, and also the weakest frontline as well. So where does the team need help? What tactics are appropriate to help the team achieve its top level of performance? To me, van Gaal took the opposite approach from what would make sense and played ultra-defensive football. We needed help in attack, but through his formation and tactics, he chose only to bolster the defense further. Go back and watch any of the knock-out round matches so far, and virtually every team playing (other than Poland, Switzerland and Australia) looked more comfortable on the ball, more dangerous in attack, and that includes world football powers Japan, South Korea, Senegal and even Morocco! I tried to be patient with van Gaal and give him the benefit of the doubt that we were biding our time, ensuring advancement and then planning to introduce our real style of play, our real plan of attack, but it never came. No progress was made, other than a brief flourish against the US during a game in which we seemed to willingly concede possession. And ironically, the most straightforward, effective and attacking football we played all tournament was in the last 10 minutes of regulation against Argentina when we threw tactics out the window, brought in strikers who score goals, and just went all out to score. Was it pretty? No. Was it Dutch football at its finest? No. Was it the most enjoyable period of play by our team during this entire tournament? Possibly. Now take that attacking mentality, go back to the beginning and (1) play in a formation that encourages and supports attacking play, (2) incorporate players who will attack, shoot and score, and (3) rely on the greatest backline in the last 30 years of Dutch football to just do their job, and suddenly we could have a compelling, exciting and attacking team that could go toe-to-toe with almost anyone.

    I’m sure I’ll get plenty of pushback on this, and maybe I’m just being naïve or idealistic and no one is really going to play that way anymore. But if this was LVG’s last hurrah, I would have expected something more, something innovative, something inspired. But it never came, and even had we beaten Argentina in penalties, even had we gotten past Croatia / Brazil next and made the final, there was not going to be anything different coming from the Dutch brain trust – it would just be more of the same and likely to an increasingly defensive degree. Trust me, there’s nothing more I would like to see in football than the Netherlands win the World Cup, but had we done so playing the way we were throughout this tournament, that victory would not be truly satisfying for me.

    When we win, let’s win playing our style, our tactics, with our talent and our competitive spirit. Those are things that inspired the rest of the world to play the way we play! Those are things that attracted Dutchmen and non-Dutchmen alike to the Netherlands team and country. Let’s not hold ourselves back with our own stifling tactics but instead use tactics that empower our players to play positive, exciting and entertaining football! That has always been my hope and will be so going forward. As someone once said, “Better to go down with your vision than someone else’s,” so I’m sticking with my vision! Here’s to the next big tournament and tremendous thanks to everyone on this blog (obviously Jan especially) for indulging, educating, entertaining and empathizing with me along the way!

  39. I agree with ycsng0822, the one player who offered literally zero during this World Cup was bergwijn, man the guy didn’t even complete one dribble let alone shooting on target, he was a main striker who was supposed to score or even assist but he went lost all the time, not surprising because his form at Ajax had dropped so much over the past few months, Van gal gave him a chance because he usually performed well in oranje but the guy was kicked out from Tottenham as it was clear he can’t compete at the highest level!!! Too bad malen or danjuma weren’t there…

  40. I have been watching snippets of the game and also post game against Argentina. Probably most ridiculous things even seen in a WC. Messi celebrating and mocking NT bench after scoring for 2-0, Paredes chopping Ake and then hitting the ball toward our bench, Argentina players mocking dutch players after last penalty, their keeper calling our players b!.tches and other derogatory language , a complete punk, Messi confronting LVG in his face and to top it all in his post match interview Messi staring at one of dutch staff and calling him “vovo” which I believe translates to “imbecil”. That dutch player turns out to be Weghorst who had gone to congratulate Messi after the game and Messi had rebuked him. I’m like if I were Weghorst I would have wanted to punch someone and not congratulate him but I guess he is a better gentleman than I am.
    Tragicomic stuff all around. The saddest part is that it was all sparked by the complete lack of self awareness from LVG. I can’t get over how he put his players in that humiliating position. Sorry that I keep repeating this but I don’t see anyone here being mad at LVG for that statement before the game.

  41. Netherlands is the only team involved in 3 most carded games in the history of WC-s.
    17 cards vs Argentina
    16 against Portugal in 2006
    14 against Spain in 2010
    Today’s “soccer fans” naturally believe dutch have a terrible record and play dirty.

  42. @Balcan

    You forgot to mention that Messi mocked Van Gaal celebrating like “topo gigio”, the way Riquelme celebrated his goals.


    The story behind this is that the Argentinians hate Van Gaal because Van Gaal treated bad Riquelme. You can still can listens Argentinians complain about this 10 years after Riquelme played in Barcelona.

    After the game, Messi went to said Van Gaal “you talk too much”. I don’t understand how a person can behave in such a low way. And this is basically your question.

    What Van Gaal say before the match that made the Argentinians so mad?

    He said that Messi doesn’t defend good. He said we will defeat argentina. Anything else? Saying this is crossing the line? I don’t see it this way. Van Gaal never was disrespectful in my view. Correct me if I am wiring please. So nobody can say that about Messi because he gets berserker?

    I have talked to someone who knows very well inside fifa, who knows infantino and Messi. He basically said me Messi is an as.. h…e in real live. He also suspects that FIFA wants his new hero. His new Maradona. More decent, better example for kids. Loyal husband, no drugs, not political affiliations. Fifa wats a Messi win the WC to replace Maradona and the can help in certain ways. But at the end, Argentina needs to win, a referee can give you a penalty, save you from a red card, but you need to win.

    I am not saying we were robbed. But we played with against Argentina and FIFA invisible hand. Netherlands lost because we chose not to attack on OT and go for the penalties. Bold move. But the referee didn’t help. Just the fact the referee speak Spanish with the Argentinians create a insecurity in our players.

    I am not going to support this Messi bandwagon. If someone deserves the WC is Modric by far more a decent human being and sportsman than Messi. I hope Croatia kick his ass. It will be difficult. They will face more than Argentina on this game.

  43. @ Eduardorw spot on ..
    I dont blame LVG for being honest in press..but would blame him for
    1-Blind has cost him by loosing his marker,or Daley betrayed him for trusting him..This case wilson won over Jan…No more debates please..
    2- Why did nt LVG attack in 30 minutes which was our strentgh and which got him life..That was a grave mistake…that cost us game..
    To beat this messi you need lots of luck,When you arjentina you have to beat fifa as well..

    1. @ Emmanuel. Surely you are not saying that one play means Wilson is correct over Jan. How come you didn’t say the debate was over when blind played well vs the usa. It seems like blind playing well is forgotten and blind playing ok(as decent as the rest of the squad) but with one mistake is remembered.

      1. There’s no guarantees that malacia would have solved that problem.
      2. Blind didn’t get exposed for lack of 1v1 defending or speed. He got exposed by a world class through ball that was absolutely insane. No other player on the field could have played that pass. Messi exposes everyone.
      3. Look at that build up. Messi shakes off frenkie which make ake step up. Ake gets nervous and his stutter steps allows Messi a yard to play a pass. Because frenkie got beat, ake stepped up. Because ake stepped up, blind has to drop into the Center back role. Virgil also is half a step further than the rest of the back line. He gambled and followed his man instead of seeing the player between him and blind. That’s 4 Dutch players who all played a role in that goal. Just because blind was the last guy in the sequence of events, doesn’t mean that it’s all his fault.

      1. @anthony..when two equal powers on play these details matters..blind mistake is kind of van der vaart mistake at final of spain 2010..distantly similar…Blind forget to make man mark..its okay frenkie tried and failed ,thats acceptable..blind could nt even try as he left his man molina or molina is pretty fast player for Blind..Ake did well to stop messi but it was Blind duty to cover molina he failed..
        However Why LVG again went to sit back at extra time ,especilly when his plan B worked and made hovac in arjetine Box..Most of the arjentine had heart attack,with areal bombing…LVG did a stupid thing..noppert Was great for normAL 120 minutes…but i feel Bijlow would have been better penalty stopper than Noppert..Anyways we should have killed the game off with areal bombing with 433 from start..This arjetines are creepy most overrated AS@#@$1S@32holes..they were beatable by this dutch team thats waht Weghorst and Luuk dejong proved…..
        Memphis and Berjwin couldnt do anything..they should have replaced by 60 minutes itslef…
        Frimpong would have forced arjentina to defend all the time on that wing…Malacia would tore apart molina..anyways i am gutted and i feel bad for players…even the non performed players including blind…Blind should retire from NT…we have Malcia,Struijk and may be Bakker…

        1. @Emmanual – I agree that details matter, but lets be fair about which details we are talking about. Why are you blaming blind when there are 4 other players who could have also dealt with this.

          Ake got dragged out and messi created space by shifting ake. This is not good defending. Why does ake get a free pass on this mistake but blind doesnt? (It is understandable that messi will shift ake’s body position).

          Van dijk should have seen that molina was between him and blind. This is a standard play to have a player trying to make runs between CB’s. If van dijk holds the line with the rest of the defenders, he doesnt allow molina the angle to receive the pass to goal. Why does VVD get a free pass but not blind?

          Frenkie got beat very easily which caused ake to get dragged out. Why does frenkie get a free pass but blind doesnt?

          The small details of Ake, frenkie, and VVD matter!!! Just like the small details of blind matter.
          Blame blind for his role in the goal, but also blame everyone else who had a role in it as well. If we are going to talk tactics, then lets make sure we actually analyze the tactical part of the game and not just blindly attack players we don’t like.

          Btw, the goal is not a speed issue of blinds at all. Molina received the ball in full motion going towards our goal. No player could defend this by utilizing speed alone. This was a body shape (blind would have to turn and accelerate) and team shape issue (as described above).

          1. Excellent analysis, Anthony!

            Virtually every goal conceded is a team effort. Give credit to Messi for a brilliant pass, but there were multiple Dutch players, who could possibly have diffused the threat prior to the goal being scored.

            That said, it’s possible to see the problems in hindsight, but very hard to deal with everything in real time as it’s unfolding. Personally, I think it was more of a great play by Argentina than a poor effort by our defenders.

          2. @Anthony…we are marking or facing messi who is no doubt the most press resistant,baller player on the planet..do you think Frnkie or ake can stop him??/ offcourse messi with will beat at least one opponent,thats waht he did..
            .its plain and simple blind was closest one to molina,He is our LB..our one midfeilder and LCb were behind messi they did some wat okay ..or its okay to fail aginst messi..Blind should have read messi pass hence at least he could have cut that pass..Blind is the one who gave hope to Arjentina..thats a seriuos issue..
            however i will blame LVG more for sitting back at extra time and Not playing Frimpong,Malacia with Tall strikers..
            Any way its over cheaters and fifa they want messi to win it..i root for three other teams in semis.i will cheer for them.

  44. Am a big (but simple) fan of Oranje since ’98WC. Paid Johan Cruyff Arena a tour visit even for a short stay. Very disappointed about the match. I never like cr7 but people know that they shouldn’t bring that arg#10 topic in front of me now. Thanks guys for posting/informing all your views/comments – haven’t caught up reading all these after that match. but definitely a pleasure as a follower.

    @Eduardorw, just read your comment (so much agreed), and my view of those SA teams will never change. the leftover, may Croatia win the WC, if not – whatever. but hope there is justice at the end. i don’t think there is any real GLORY if that team wins (given all those action/behaviour).

    i do believe the team (at least, most of them) can lift their heads high, unlike euro’20 the way they’re out. i hope in the very near future can find good wingers (right one)…keep the spirit and play great football and win trophies! the japanese team learnt much re the mistakes/incidents they lost to belgium 4 years ago and moved on, i’m sure Oranje will grow stronger. who knows, they will be much more ready in ’26WC and will take on and eliminate that clown team at some stage.

  45. Thanks kevin for your well balanced commentary. And thanks all, as most of you have very sensible things to say.

    Some more from me:

    – Yes I will write my little post mortem later this week
    – i do believe we are not good enough: we didn’t impress in any match, bar the win over USA (not a great team) and these 15 Weghorst minutes versus Argentina. If you are good enough, you score at least 4 penalties and your goalie stops one at least. Noppert wasn’t close.
    – I also believe Van Gaal should have pushed the team for a win, versus Argentina.
    – but with Memphis and Bergwijn toothless and a weak midfield, you can’t win the title.

    I agree that Blind needs to make way, and that Frimpong deserves a chance. He is Dumfries +, the only thing missing is his aerial threat versus Denzel.

    I believe Danjuma needs to come in, I think Lang when fit should get more time and Simons will become our #10, with Gravenberch and Frenkie in midfield.

    I hope Koeman will go back to the 4-3-3, with potentially Ake as left full back or Ake/van Dijk as centre backs and Malacia as full back.

    @Athony: you are 100% correct in your analysis of the Argentina goal. It was a series of mistakes.

    Danjuma – Memphis – Lang would be a nice attack.

    @AZ Forever: I think Noppert was ok, but not amazing. He stopped shots you’d expect him to stop, he was a bit iffy with his feet (Exuador goal, and late drama) he didn’t get close to any penalty, so he was ok but not great.

    @Balkan: I agree 100% with you on LVG

    1. @jan Really appreciated sharing the journey with you and the board. Thank you!

      I love the line up that I think you are suggesting:

      frimpong VVD Ake Malacia – Is frimpong too attacking for RB instead of wingback? is VVD too old at 35
      Frenkie gravenberch simons – Do we need a destroyer CDM like N de jong?
      danjuma memphis lang – What about gakpo?

      Back ups
      rensch/dumfries de ligt/timber botman bakker
      taylor koop Schouten/veerman?
      gakpo Brobbey Malen?/bergwijn?

      Other potential players?
      Van de Ven

      I think our back 4 will be loaded with talent. Our midfield should be fine. If gravenberch and Simons become world class and we add a few more talents, we will be very solid.
      Our attackers is the biggest concern. We have loads of promising talent but no one who really feels like they are likely to become world class. Maybe Gakpo?

      Any thoughts on our projected 2026 line up?

  46. @ Anthony
    I didnt wanna start with this but either way I was waiting for your and derekvdberg91 comments. this was my first article from the previous post. “It’s easy to beat Argentina” Just to refresh

    “2019 Nation league Final, World cup semi Final 2014, 2021 Euors quarter final, though Blind never put any foot wrong but then he goes into protective mode knowing he can’t provide cover both offensively and defensively and this affects the team and especially on his flank.. Well this is flooded all over the net, about what JC said “ you have to score one more goal then your opponent” . How do you expect this to happen when only one flank is productive than the other. This is often the scenario when game is either tight or in high tempo game. Like to that of the Ecuador game and which you obviously have closed your eye on.

    Daley Blind 5/10: If he is not going to get on the ball in the final third then Blind has nothing to offer this team. An invisible performance and Malacia will be breathing down his neck.

    Then you want to talk about the USA game which was handicap match and much more favorable one compared to the Senegal and Ecuador game. In the same context why Van Gaal couldn’t do the same vs the Ecuador? Because Head to head the south Americans were more aggressive and made it count and this is where it will come down to again vs Argentina and like I have said, in knock out stages this becomes a decisive factor. This is the difference of what I see compared to you and others”

    Nobody picked this up but for Argentina to start with 3 in the back was a clear indication they did their homework and came prepared to counter the dutch. This was going to be stalemate with only Messi to be the difference maker if any. Like Robben in 2014.And that’s what happened, he dragged in Ake and Blind got exposed.remember all the debate about protection.


    Blind had already lost the marker before even messi passed. This proves either messi knew and was expecting Molina to make the run or he may have heard a call. The initial attack started from Molina to messi.

    This one shows how Molina came inside and then outside and then making that run. He is within messi ‘s peripheral vision.


    First video

    This also proves your point 3 is wrong that Blind had to drop into CB role to cover for van dijk.
    The other two options for messi as in the photo was well covered. I also came across a picture which showed the ball went through Akes leg. So its debateble


    I also dont know whether it was a tatical move because of Blind there or it was because of messi presence on that side that Argentina attacked mostly on that side. On the right it was pretty much quiet apart from two breaks by Acuna which 1 resulted in the penalty.

    I not claiming or rejoicing I won vs jan but it is what it is and this was expectated sooner or later no matter how much protection he going to get.

    More or this later

  47. Looking forward to what Koeman has to say about the team’s performance in this WC and how he intends to carry the team FORWARD..
    Wonder whether he will keep to the same 26 man team in this WC, OR introduce new members like Danjuma, Gravenberch, Botman, Struijk. Also wonder anyone in the current team decides to call his time on international football..Daley Blind etc.

  48. Btw, did you guys catch Berghuis sold Messi a nutmeg at the touchline in the second half? OR not sure whether I caught it wrongly..maybe I am just wishing for Messi and his Argentina to be damned. Called it sour grapes OR sore loser. 😁

  49. Looking back is always easy…as we say in Holland; ” its looking a cow in its ass”. But i came to the conclusian that i rather go out in the first round trying hard and attacking..than playing like this.
    I know we dont have top quality players, but knowing that, they are also never good enough to win playing like this.

    @Jan; wanted to thank u for all ur efforts here…

  50. @ Wilson – I think everyone in the world saw that argentina played 3 CB’s. It was a complete shift in their formation compared to every other game at the tournament. If anyone did not notice that, then they probably don’t follow the game very well.

    Protection – It is funny you think blind needed protection on this play. It is actually ake who needs protection. Ake got dragged out and blind is covering for him. This is not blinds natural position within the formation. How can you argue that when blind is being protected when he is covering for Ake?

    Blind cover for VVD – I never said he had to cover for VVD. I said he was covering for Ake who got dragged out by messi. Watch the video and you will see Ake in midfield and blind dropping into CB which proves my point 3 correct.

    Coverage – If you watch the video again, look at the spacing between VVD timber and blind. VVD is overcommitting to the player in between himself and timber and undercommitting to the player between himself and blind (around 7 seconds on the video). That is not well covered like you say. Watch Van dijks recovery run after molina gets the ball. If van dijk had proper spacing, he likely cuts out that pass.

    Sooner or later comment – Of course holland would be scored on sooner or later. Of course blind would make a mistake sooner or later. Literally every player in the world will make a mistake sooner or later. The debate is not, will blind eventually make a mistake? The debate is – Would malacia or blind provide more or less net positive contributions to the team. I would be absolutely shocked if malacia would have made any difference on this play. There are so many small break downs leading up to the goal that there is no way malacias presence would have solved all of this. Would malacia have prevented frenkie from being taken out of the play by messi? NO. Would malacia have allowed ake to not be dragged out and then have messi shift him enough to create space where messi can play the ball between akes legs? NO. Would malacia make VVD not overcommit on his coverage of the other striker (i think it was alvarez)? NO.

    Malacia – This is a HUGE “what if” but lets hypothetically say that malacia has a smarter soccer IQ than blind on this play and reduces the space between where blind was and where VVD was. Malacia would still be facing a 1v1 sprint where molina has body positioning on him. When a player makes a run towards goal in between 2 CB’s, the spacing of the CB’s is critical. If VVD had better spacing, molina would run into him. Blind/malacia would take away the touch/run that goes to the outside and VVD would cover the inside touch/run.

    Messi – Lets also acknowledge that this is an out of world pass. The margins of mistake from blind, ake, VVD, frenkie and even timber and noppert are such small mistakes that normally, this would never be a goal. But with messi, it is magical. What messi did is take out the entire defense with that pass. Not just blind.

    Don’t get me wrong. Blind made a mistake against the greatest player of all time, playing one of the greatest passes in world cup history. But if you actually analyze the play like a coach would, you will see many breakdowns on the build up to the goal. No top level coach will only analyze the last touch of a sequence of mistakes. Lets be fair and do a proper analysis of the breakdown on the goal.

    Wilson, I would love to hear your thoughts on the following if your interested?

    1.Ake getting pulled out of position and how he does a backwards stutter step.

    2.VVD’s spacing in relation to blind and timber? Also if he should have dropped the defensive line to be more in line with blind and timber.

    3. Where should frenkie have gone as soon as he lost messi?

    4. at 6 seconds on the video, messi has a passing lane open to alvarez feet. Timber has dropped deeper than blind and VVD. Do you think that if timber stepped up with the rest of the defensive line, VVD would not have overcommitted to alvarez and he could have proper spacing with blind? Does timber dropping on his own contribute to the goal against?

    1. @Anthony please stop defending Blind,Blind looked like he was complacent,he did nt care about Molina infront…you say all about milimeter difference between Ake to virgil or virgil to timber ..We need to get rid of Blind for our sake…He was good,thank you Blind..bye bye..
      Another One is gini wijnaldum i hope he doesnt come back..
      its time for good bye to De roon,wijnaldum,Blind…..

      1. @ Emmanual – I am not defending blind. I am tactically analyzing the goal. I have said blind made a mistake. However, I am breaking down the events that led to the goal. If we are going to criticize our team and players, shouldnt we do it accurately? Why are you asking me to stop analyzing the goal. Are you that bias against blind that you won’t even be willing to analyze it on a fan forum and instead you try to shut down and discussions to try and accurately criticize blind.

        P.S. I never said millimeter spacing between ake and virgil (ake got sucked into midfield which is the reason blind dropped back to cover) The spacing between virgil and blind is an issue. Please do not put words in my mouth.

        1. @Anthony its messi ,he toys with great players,yes he beat frnkie and put ake in touble thats his Job..Both Ake and frenkie did their Job while Blind was watching the play….thats huge differernce..i do agree that some fast physical players does it but with ther athletiscm they recover..Blind had gave them psychological edge..Why you want to analyse goal where a guy who was watching game just like us or little more???..You are entitiled to analysis,what i felt was it was moment of sleep from Blind..He does it at ajax very often…He was screwd by Dest VS usa..He was an achilles heal for ajax and NT or some time..
          Milimeter i just used to point between ake and Virjil.Blind was watching he didint cared…thats a sin…..

          1. @ Emmanual – Watch frenkie’s movement after he gets beat. He could easily drop in and cover the passing lane to molina but he doesnt. He watches what messi does. Virgil could have gotten his spacing correct, but hes busy watching messi. Literally every single dutch player is caught watching messi because no one even thought that type of pass is possible.

            Of course messi toys with great players. He toyed with frenkie, ake, virgil, timber, noppert and blind on that play alone. Each one of these players has criticism during the play. Why are you unwilling to acknowledge that it was a teams mistake and not just blinds. This type of criticism is so unfair to point out a single player when multiple people are at fault.

            I want koeman to drop blind, but I am not willing to single out one player unfairly when he has served our squad for many years.

  51. its time for smmerville,noah lang,Donyell Malen to come in to pics with Frimpong,Malacia and going back to 433 or 4231 or 4213….with ake and timber promoted to DM as we dont have real DM who can patrol the defense……Ake lacks the speed just like De ligt at right to control fast and speedy players..
    Stand bye
    Jerdy schouten

  52. Details decide these types of games Jan! So many of us here criticized the decision of Van Gaal having Blind as a starter but many others said “look how good he did against the US forgetting that even against them he was tormented by Dest in the first half and that we should have been 1-0 down when Blind kept Pulisic onside. Unfortunately for us Molina didn’t make the same mistake as the US player did and we deservedly got punished from failing to learn from our mistakes of the previous games.

    Another thing I need to point out is why the hack would Van Gaal include Janssen in this team and not Danjuma or even Mallen? Why have 3 strikers like Weghorst, Luuk and Janssen? Van Gaal stated after the game that he decided to play a more defensive game due to lack of wingers on this current Oranje players and yet the only two players who could take a man on were the two he left out!

    The biggest crime of them all though was the fact that we had Argentina on the run after the equalizer. Their team demoralized, tired, no fresh legs with Messi mostly concerned about arguing with the ref and we decide to sit back and wait for the penalty kicks!!!! Lady luck hardly ever smiles on the Dutch in penalties having lost 8 times and yet Van Gaal thought he was prepared for them!! Didn’t he learn anything from Luis Enrique who said that “our team practiced 1000 Penalties” and yet they failed to convert a single one against Morocco!

    I did think prior to the game against Argentina that they were the better team and the hard or easy way they’ll be the ones to go through but after the game and how everything went down I can’t help but think that we missed a huge opportunity at even win the WC considering how this tournament has gone this far.

    The reality is that we always come up short whether it was with Cruyff playing, Van Basten and Gullit, Bergkamp and friends, Robben and Sneijder or Van Dijk and his crew we always manage to mess things up and afterwards end up analyzing the “what if’s” while refusing the fact that this is Oranje.

  53. What makes me sad is that we have plenthora of world class defendrs even Shuurs can walk in to Arjentine starting line up…We have Ake and Timber among defenders both can play exceptional DM if given chance why do we still go with below avergae De roon and Co…why cannot We make use of Ake and timber on regular basis at DM..we have world class midfeild with Frenkie-Ake-simons or Frnkie-Gravneberch-timber etc…still we suck…

    1. @Emmanual – pretty bold to declare ake and timber as exceptional DM when they have never played there for holland, currently do not play there for their clubs, have not played that position for years and even when they did, it was very rare. I’d love to see what either of them could do in that role but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

        1. I would love to try ake or timber at DM. I think it would be a great way to get more of our top quality CB on the field. I just am hesitant (yet hopeful) ake or timber would be as good at DM as they are at CB. Man city never play 3 at the back though.

  54. @ Orangutan. You have been pretty quiet brother! You see, I have not said my piece but I will when the time comes. What I found ironic is that the same people that used to call me manes are the same people today that are saying ” BLIND IS NOT GOOD ENOUG”

  55. Discussing whether Blind made the mistake or not is irrelevant now. I think the new coach has to think about replacing him anyway because he is getting old and is now more part of the past than the future. With Dumfries I don’t think it is the same situation and he has more to offer imo.

  56. This here dude is usually of the quiet type, even when watching football.

    There was only one moment in that game when I was screaming at my TV “why is nobody attacking him”, and that was the second Messi got the ball leading to that goal. I don’t know how or why, but I knew it was coming.

    1. To be fair, and although I try to block that memory, there was this one other time I screamed at my TV.

      It was 12.5 years ago.

      A referee had misjudged a call. Was it a foul given against us or a 6 yards instead of a corner?

      Anyway, I screamed.

      And Iniesta got the ball.

      The. Ball.

      Man, it still hurts.

      1. Guillaume, would you believe me if I told I have never seen the action that lead to Iniesta’s goal? I left the bar where I was watching the game in NYC the moment Heitinga got his red cause I sensed the end. I never, ever, went back to see what happened afterwards. The only chance I would go back to that game would be if we won a WC, which means probably never.

      2. Thanks for bringing this up again, Guillaume :{

        My favorite “modern” Dutch player is still Rafael van der Vaart, but the image of Iniesta volleying just beyond VDV’s outstretched toe remains etched in my mind every time his name comes up. I was so excited when he subbed in for de Jong thinking that he would provide a renewed attacking spark in that match, and then so filled with regret that he was the one who played Iniesta onside and then couldn’t recover in time.

        But just like with Blind in this match, virtually every goal arises from a series of events, choices, positioning and movement that involves many players. One thing goes awry, and a chain-reaction of events is triggered leading the opportunity. And to think, many more chances are missed than made. We hone in on the one mistake that ended up “mattering” at the end when countless mistakes are made throughout the match that ultimately go unpunished.

        I think with each passing tournament, I probably grow a little more jaded / pessimistic / resigned about our performance / progress, but hopefully the next iteration of our team will be the best one yet!

  57. @Jean

    Re: @ Orangutan. You have been pretty quiet brother!

    I’m here bro just processing comments and how things have transpired.

    To be honest, what’s there to say, that haven’t been said already.

    We have an ex/new manager coming in and do I feel things are going to be on the up? Yes I do.

    Things are at the point so, where even playing a few not-too-familiar faces would give the team a positive bump.

    Do I feel it’s going to be a complete new day under Koeman? No. He is going to come in, ruffle a few feathers, in the form of maybe moving on from Blind and, adding more competition for places and then revert back to form.

    He will play favorite.

    And please, we all know every coach have favorites. But when you are playing a wingback system and your wingback can’t cover much distance because he is too sluggish, that’s playing favorites. Koeman is going to find two or maybe three players like such, who he is going to play no matter what.

    And rinse and repeat.

    But what do I know. I’ve never won a CL, never even coached an under10 team.

    @ JB

    I find your write up most poignant about Lvg’s decision to go ultra defensive. This, I agree, is the biggest reason for a failed campaign.

    Again, as if 4-3-3 is the only workable formation in the world, Lvg shut up shop offensively as he rightly realizes he might not have the personnel for the Dutch classic system. Just like he did in 2014 with a Strootman injury and in emulation of his 2014 nearly-triumph.

    Lvg yearned for a 2014 kind of performance and that’s what he single-mindedly went for. That’s why players like Danjuma, Frimpong etc(ironically) were never in contention. He wanted a familiar scenario, the recognizable faces of yesteryears.

    But 2014 unfortunately was 8 years ago. There was no Robben, no RVP and what he had at his disposal he treated as an afterthought.

    That’s the reason why there was no experimentation. Went a whole tenure only to revert back to de Roon in a world Cup knock out game because you’ve never tried nobody out of the ordinary as a midfield enforcer. Never had any kind of offensive coherence in the wingback position and attacking midfield.

    It’s a shame because I feel we had players that could have established themselves in the world stage and gain valuable experience for 2024 if given the chance.

    But Lvg, in his truest form of the Dutch spell, wanted to capture a point in history that can only be found in the annals of once upon a time.

    And of course he failed.

    Time waits for neither Cruyff nor Vlaar.

    It’s gone knocking at Noa’s door.

    The chunky silhouette of the new gatekeeper, lurks.

  58. Haha! Thanks Orangutan. I think we agree on a number of things, but not everything of course 😉

    But either way, I truly do enjoy your writing style! Chunky silhouette of the new gatekeeper indeed.

  59. @Jan.
    (I hope you read this before making your next post)

    I think the statement “we were not good enough” is misleading. Or not totally true.

    Good enough for what?

    Yes, our strikers were out of form, yes we never found the right partners for Frenkie in the middle, but we COULD HAVE WIN IT!

    If we were Switzerland after the game against Brazil I would agree with the statement “we simply were not good enough”. But that’s was not the case. We could have defeated Argentina, at least, let’s say, we had 50% of chance of doing it in the OT if we decided to attack.

    And if we were good enough to defeat Argentina, we were good enough to defeat Croacia and Marruecos, and a little good enough to defeat France, let’s say, with an off of 30/70%.

    So, this is not like we were overplayed for lack of quality. This is worse, this was in my criteria, a tactics mistake in OT. We were not better, but we had enough to win.

    Yes, we didn’t have a good team. We didn’t played good football, we not were the Oranje of 2014 nor 2010 or 1998. We were not a great team, but we were good enough to defeat Argentina and therefore, win the WC.

    This situation is painful, and no so easy alleviate just saying the rival was better and he deserved to win and we should pay our respects as good loser. No. I don’t think it’s the case.

    PD: what is the point to crash Blind? I think an era is over: the era of the Blinds, De Vrij, De Jong and Wijnaldum. Blind should retire form the NT with glory, because he was an amazing player, my favorite Oranje left back, more than Gio and Numan. So, let’s pay him respect and move on please…. There is no point on talking about him anymore. Our NT suffered a commotion, I am still in shock and we are still debating the same issue we have been talking the last 8 months?

  60. I am not joining the remove Noppert as GK bandwagon. Bringing Noppert was the best thing Vangaal did. It was mainly based on his form in Heerenveen but that criteria was not followed in the case of other players. Koeman must follow up on the Noppert example and look for the young and performing players like summerville, Botman, Frimpong and others. This can strengthen thr side and with a good organisation, he can create a strong side.

  61. Sure manoj, but I hope Koeman doesn’t follow LVG example in employing players who are basically unemployed by their own clubs and warm the bench day in and day out. LVG didn’t follow his own philosophy and brought us a tattooed bodybuilder in the shape of Depay , further paired with another like him in the shape of Bergwijn who has done NOTHING for his club.

  62. While doing a bit of exercise in my basement YouTube suggested to watch Netherlands campaign for Mexico 86. We got second in a group with Hungary, Austria and Cyprus and played Belgium in a playoff which we lost through an away goal in the last few minutes by Grun. But the thing that stood out in both games was Van Breukelen. He was a hell of a goalkeeper for as long as he played with club and country. I would take him over Van der Sar and everybody that came after him including the new hot keeper in town Noppert. Such a pity that he turned into a knucklehead when working for KNVB. Actually KNVB only employs knuckleheads, it’s a requirement 🙂

  63. @orangutan well said :-).

    @Jean, I think you still believe you are the only one with orangutan who saw the weaknesses of BLind. You did not. We all see that. We all critiised him. But most of us also see his strengths. Most people here don’t like your constant attacks on the guy. You and Wilson – I believe – kept on harping on about Daddy Blind and nepotism etc. That riles me up. But I have been critical on Blind like many here and it’s time for him to move on.

    Anthony, your analysis of the goal is correct, Wilson is merely trying to beat a dead horse, which is not only dead, it’s decomposing already. I hope he’s enjoying himself.

  64. @ Anthony

    I know its no use dwelling on this but this is just in response to your questions only. For those who dont wanna read. Just close you eye and jump to the next post

    First of all You are ignoring the facts I presented and then at the same time trying to sugar coat blind and yet again trying to paint a good picture of him when everybody saw what happened

    “Don’t get me wrong. Blind made a mistake against the greatest player of all time, playing one of the greatest passes in world cup history”

    Bloody hell man what on earth is this. Blind completely loses his marker (Molina) and you want slide that underneath the carpet and sugar coat he made a mistake against the greatest player of all time. What has messi’s pass to do with blind. Just answer this one question?

    When Molina started the initial phase of attack, he comes in, passes ball to messi and then goes out. He is still running when messi beats frenkie and sucks Ake in. The video is very clear. Frenkie is beaten cold and Ake has to cut messi off so that he cannot pull the trigger. Somebody had to and Ake reacted the fastest. hats off to him for his performance in this world cup.

    You keep saying Blind dropped back to cover when in the video he clearly is unable to keep up with Molina’s run and losses him by a yard and once Molina is inside the box , it too late.

    Your questions

    “1.Ake getting pulled out of position and how he does a backwards stutter step.

    If I understood this correctly then this is the same as question 3. ake,-frenkie, frenkie-ake

    2.VVD’s spacing in relation to blind and timber? Also if he should have dropped the defensive line to be more in line with blind and timber.

    This is again crap, trying to push the blame on van dijk now when he was in the right position closing off Alverez should messi had gone for him. You are just trying to beat around the Bush. isnt it obvious you don’t give the space to a striker in those kind of situation and van dijk closed up on Alvarez well. thats his trade and why he is one the best in the business

    now if van dijk wouldn’t have close down on Alverez and stayed in line with Timber and Blind as you suggest then Alvarez would have got more space and time to pounce on should messi would have opted to feed him. you see how the scenario changes.

    “3. Where should frenkie have gone as soon as he lost messi?”

    Ake’s position isn’t that obvious. but you have to admit frenkie was beaten cold and the build up fast and silk that even he wouldn’t have seen it coming with Ake initially having committed himself to closing down of Messi. you can clearly see frenkie striding across in the back ground (picture) and not covering for Ake

    4. at 6 seconds on the video, messi has a passing lane open to alvarez feet. Timber has dropped deeper than blind and VVD. Do you think that if timber stepped up with the rest of the defensive line, VVD would not have overcommitted to alvarez and he could have proper spacing with blind? Does timber dropping on his own contribute to the goal against?

    im not sure if its its Macallister or Acuna on the far bottom corner (picture) and given both De Roon and Ake are sucked in by messi (more clear in the video), timber is in the right position to cover both on the outside should again messi opted to go outide or inside as well. so you can see the only options that was not covered was to that of Molina making his run with Blind losing him.

    so lets sum this up, if messi opted to feed alvarez he would have gotten smashed by either/both van dijk or timber

    if messi would have opted to going outside, the attack would have being foiled as timber was in a good position to cover outside and the defense would have neutralized the attack.

    Instead messi went for the unthinkable and this is where you have to applaud messi’s genius and vision for picking out Molina and assisting him for goal.

    1. @ wilson – To answer your question, blind comes inside to cover for Ake. Blind, like VVD and Frenkie assume they have the passing lane closed. All 3 of them have poor spacing in regards to cutting the pass to molina but that is because no one expects such an amazing pass to occur and they become focused on other areas of the pitch. That is why messi’s pass fools all of our players. Are you honestly trying to say that messis phenomenal pass is irrelevant to this goal?

      2. Theres some major principles in tactical defending that you are ignoring. abandoning your position to step up on a striker, before the ball is played is a big risk. As soon as the ball is passed, then it becomes less risky. A cb shouldnt be pulled out of position whenever a striker moves off the ball. You claim that you give a striker no space in those situations. What situation? Alvarez dropping into midfield without the ball? If VVD read the situation better, he would have seen that timber is already pressing on alvarez and that he has a runner(molina) coming into the space he vacated. Its not crap that a cb should see a run before he vacates his space.

      I agree that the situation changes. However, which run is more dangerous. Alvarez with his back to goal, dropping into midfield. OR molina making a run towards goal between LCB and CB? Obviously molina’s run. Besides, timber could have stepped on alvarez and VVD could have dropped on molina. Its’ a 3 v 2, Why wouldnt VVD cover the more dangerous run? Im shocked you are even trying to compare the two.

      3. So we agree that frenkie did not close down any passing lanes. He got beat and then did nothing. Are you willing to admit that frenkie should have covered the passing lane to molina? Or was frenkie doing nothing the right decision so that we can blame blind some more?

      4. I think you are all over the place with your assessment. Timber was in the center of the pitch (which means hes not covering the right).there are no attackers high up and on our right side. Dumfries and acuna are way further back and not involved in the play. I am glad you bring up de roon. He could also screen the pass to alvarez so that VVD doesnt need to get dragged out of position. Also why do we need both VVD and timber to smash alvarez when hes moving away from goal and his back is to the net. Surely just timber could preform this task.

      To sum this up.

      1. we dont need two guys to smash a non threatening alvarez.
      2. frenkie lost messi too easily.
      3. frenkie and de roon didnt cut passing lanes.
      4. ake got dragged out of position and then didnt stay tight enough to messi to stop the pass
      5. VVD got sucked out of position and created a hole for molina to run into.
      6. blind was on the wrong side of molinas run.
      7. timber didnt really commit to alvarez or holding his line. This forces blind to follow his man instead of playing the offside trap.
      8. Noppert got scared of messi and dropped back to his line, resulting in a big space between his back line and himself. Hes slow to cut out the through ball (this one is being extremely picky on nopperts footwork)

      There is literally so many different elements to this goal that can be analyzed and you think any analysis is crap because you just want to blame blind. If you drop your ego and your obsessive need to say “i told you so” and actually analyze the goal, youll see that its a teams mistake and not just blind.

  65. @ Jan

    “Wilson is merely trying to beat a dead horse, which is not only dead, it’s decomposing already. I hope he’s enjoying himself”

    Naaaa,it simply you dont wanna except what ever I was saying turned out to be correct.

  66. God bless you guys for still debating the smallest of details about that first goals. Why not summarize under one phrase: “Our defense had a moment of collective brain fart and therefore received a goal very early in the game.” I guarantee that if we didn’t suffer that goal we would have bored and confused the hell out of Argentina by following our master’s plan at which point Paredes would have knifed one of our players and we would have won by default. And maybe this was our real plan but…………….
    Why not debate what happened after that goal. After that goal, and after another one we brilliantly did absolutely NOTHING. In fact we were on the way to breaking our own negative record set in the game against Ecuador. Until the 80th minute when someone on the bench checked the clock and told our General: “Chief, umm with 10 mins to go and 2 goals down, there is a slight chance we may lose the game.” And at that point the Chief checked his notes, got a nod from both assistants and raised his right eyebrow and we started playing with desperation and got close to a famous comeback for the ages. And that’s when our talent for snatching defeat from the the jaws of victory shone again.
    Personally I am still scratching my head at how a 2 meter tall player who by scoring 2 goals at the death was about to inflict to Argentina a bigger loss than the Falkland Islands, goes and begs a midget for his shirt and gets rebuked. Furthermore he endures more humiliation when the midget live on camera calls him an imbecile. What a p…sy. A direct punch in the face live on TV would have been more worth it than the world cup itself.

  67. It’s very simple. Argentina scored and went into defensive mode, van Gaal reacted by throwing in lanky strikers and bombarding high balls, this was further neutralized when Argentina started came out and started playing offensive again. Look what had happened, by now all the regular penalty kickers had been subbed off . This is the pros and cons of playing tactically I talked about.Gakpo,depay,bergwijn at most. Van gaals only hope was noppert to be make an impact in pks but it didn’t transpire.

    The argentines had to go defensive because of injuries otherwise if they would have played through out like they started. The margin would have been more. There is nothing else to it.

    Just go and read all the comments on Jan’s post. ” Argentina is easy to beat”

    The hype after the USA game,overlooking what happened vs Senegal and Ecuador. It all came crashing vs Argentina and you have people saying NT made a great come back. If they made a great come back why couldnt they finish it off. Because it came at the expense of Argentina going defensive and after full time and going into extra it was back to square 1 but now with Argentina offensively coming out and NT having to defend with weghorst and luuk.

    There is nothing else to it. You see how the tactics came back to haunt NT in the pks.

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