Oranje: one more year to prepare…..

Louis van Gaal has almost exactly one more year to prep his squad for the World Cup. Will the No. 5 of the FIFA Ranking have a chance in high heaven to win the World Cup? How strong is this Oranje.

A wonderful VI Magazine analysis, added with a splash of Jan insights.

Van Gaal is an optimistic man, normally. Who will always see chances for his team. His team is the absolute leader in the current Group D of qualifications, hasn’t dropped a point and is practically certain to go to Brazil.

But the same Louis van Gaal says his team is not yet good enough to go for the title. The ambition announced by the KNVB is to finish in the top 4 at the World Cup. One year into the qualifications, Van Gaal claims this is too ambitious and considers talking to the KNVB about this. “I would be a surprise if we win it. I don’t think we will. I can mention eight nations with better odds.”

Let’s analyse the squad and see where we stand.

Attacking capabilities

– Creativity, the ability to take opponents on one on one

These players are the big magnets. The players for whom fans pay the hefty price for a ticket. Clubs open their war chest to sign these lads. The Big Guns. Examples are Messi, C Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Reus, Balotelli, Iniesta, Cavani, Suarez, Bale… These are the lads who can make the difference at the highest level, under the most pressure, in the smallest of spaces. Holland has always had players like this. Cruyff, Rensenbrink, Bergkamp, Van Basten, Roy, Vanenburg, Ronald de Boer… We have demonstrated in the qualification games that we have a number of players who can do it at that level. The Narsinghs, Schakens, Mahers… But can they do it at the highest level? Doubt is justified.

We know Arjen Robben can. He belongs in the list above. Robben, injury prone, somewhat older… The only one at world class level. The afore mentioned Narsingh and players like Elia, John, Maher….they might have a good day… But they will also have a bad day…. That is part of their development. Even players like Neymar and Reus can’t bring it every game (yet).

Apart from Robben, we have Robin van Persie, who does not have that one-on-one dribble skill like Robben or Messi, but he definitely brings a lot of creativity in the box. Robben and Van Persie. That is the score on this topic.

sneijder backheel

Sneijder’s backheel vs China


– Goal scoring

We scored 20 goals in six games. Only three nations in Europe have done better: Bosnia Herzegowena, Germany and England. Top nations like Spain, France, Portugal and Belgium have more difficulty scoring. The Dutch goals were made by Van Persie (5), Lens (4), Van der Vaart (4), Martins Indi (2), Schaken (2), Huntelaar (2) and Narsingh (1). Siem de Jong, Robben and Sneijder added some friendly goals to it. A good wide range of goal scorers and we have goal scoring capabilities in attack, midfield and defence. Statistically it can be shown that Oranje creates a good number of opportunities on top. And we always did. The Dutch develop pretty good strikers and we had several generations with amazing forwards ( Cruyff/Van Dijk/Rep/Jan Mulder, Van Basten/Kieft/Bosman, Kluivert/Nistelrooy/Van Hooydonck, etc), but what do all the stats mean against nations like Hungary, Estonia and Andorra? Can we do it against the top nations. This year, we had three real tests: Belgium, Germany and Italy. In these three games we scored three goals and we conceded five. We have a phenomenon in Van Persie (we need to make sure he stays fit), a box killer in Huntelaar and players hovering around central striker position who can score goals but sometimes run cold ( Robben, Vaart, Sneijder, Siem de Jong, Maher). Bas Dost, Van Wolfswinkel and Luuk de Jong can still develop into goalscoring machines at the higher levels they now are, but it seems Louis should invest a bit more in his relationship with Huntelaar.

– Position play

Oranje demonstrated the perfect positioning play resulting in a goal in the last game of the season, against China. It’s the 66th minute when Sneijder repossesses the ball. He finds Van Persie. The striker dribbles a bit and passes to left winger Robben, who pulls the ball back on the coming man, Sneijder, who scores nicely with a backheel. This goal had class, smarts and all elements of a good cooperative team. Quick passing, good running, no egotistical moves. Effective and efficient. And Oranje showed many goals like this in the last year. Our team does not depend on one tactic or on set  pieces. it is clear that Van Gaal’s work with positioning play has paid off. He has managed to play more pass-and-move while introducing more and more new players. Where Van Marwijk relied on two strong defensive mids and put emphasis on defensive skills over build up skills, Van Gaal seems to switch Nigel de Jong for a more football player type like De Guzman or Clasie. Whenever Oranje has possession, we have so many tactically smart players on the pitch (Van Persie, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, De Guzman) that we are almost always able to create a man-more situation. Even against strong opponents. In South Africa, in 2010, it was visible already against Brazil. In the first half, we played with De Jong as holding mid and we couldn’t make the play. In the second half, Van der Vaart came on and Oranje got the upperhand. Same with the game this season against Germany, early in the campaign. Oranje was nervous and a bit afraid. We didn’t do well. But against vice Euro champ Italy, later in the season, we demonstrated our gogme, our wits and our prowess. It’s not all perfect yet. Against China, against 10 men, it took until Sneijder came on to allow the ball to run smoothly through the ranks.


oranje youngsters

Narsing, John and Maher. The new breed…

– Depth / Speed

The ability to penetrate behind the back four of an opponent. Every top team has at least one player with that skill. Spurs has Bale and Lennon. Real Madrid has C Ronaldo. Barca has Dani Alves, Pedro and Messi. Bayern has Robben, Ribery and Muller. Dortmund has Reus. The big Rondo, where players pass and move the ball swiftly until one of the ten field players can make the run. It takes timing, it takes speed, and it takes a player (at least one) to play the pass.

Oranje has Robben and Lens. Narsingh has the quality too, but is still an uncertainty. From midfield, the running man (Strootman/Van Ginkel/Fer) should be doing it and from the back only Daryl Janmaat/ Van Rhijn have the ability.

Whenever Oranje plays with Sneijder/Vaart/Maher, this ability is less apparent as these players want the ball in their feet. On the other hand, these three are all capable of giving the killer pass, as is Van Persie, De Guzman or Clasie. It seems the development of Fer (Norwich), Van Ginkel (Chelsea) and Strootman (Roma) will be key to give Oranje that edge.

It has to be said that your back four has not excelled in giving that killer pass. Heitinga and Vlaar demonstrated a good pass at Eredivisie level but have yet to convince at the highest level. Willems has the guts to play it, Blind has the vision to play it and hopefully BMI and De Vrij the skills. But we have yet to witness it.

– Length/Power

Robin van Persie and Huntelaar can both be seen as specialists in the air. Huntelaar is more the Kieft/Houtman header. Excellent timing, courage and strong muscles. Speaking of courage, who can forget the header against England. Where Klaasjan gave another meaning to the expression “eating dirt”. Robin van Persie is more of the Van Basten style header. Van Persie heads the ball like he plays football with his left. With class, with pizzazz and with vision. Van Persie can place a ball with his head like most others can with their foot. We saw him score pretty amazing header goals this season.

Van der Vaart, Robben and Sneijder all scored important header goals (Vaart at Spurs, the other two at the World Cup vs Brazil and Uruguay) but can’t be seen as experts. Jeremain Lens even got word from Van Gaal that he should be working on his heading skills. And he immediately scored a freak header from outside the box. Both the De Jong bros are strong headers, with Siem having added value in the way he senses where to be when the ball comes. An uncanny sixth sense for position. Van Wolfswinkel and Dost are not typically good headers, and neither is Maher. We do have aerial threats from midfield in Leroy Fer and Marco van Ginkel. The former being a real specialist. Strong jumper, good timing and tremendous courage. Van Ginkel is a strong athlete as well, but technically not a great header of the ball. Strootman, equally tall, is a remarkably weak header however. The two full backs are weak in the air, but the center backs (Heitinga, Vlaar, Martins Indi and De Vrij) are all pretty solid in the air.

RVP, Blind Janm

The young and the new: RVP, Blind and Janmaat

Defensive capabilities

– Ball winners / toughness / will to win

During the WC 2010 people criticised the two defensive mids De Jong and Van Bommel but when you ask players, you will always here the same : they love playing with Nigel and Mark. And they hate playing against them. And their role in 2010s Oranje was vital. They were the lock on the door and kept the team afloat when it didn’t flow. And the reality is, during a major tournament there is always at least one bad game. Every strong nation has players like these, to hold the fort. Spain has Xabi Alonso and Busquets. Brazil has Gustavo anD Paulinho. Germany has Schweinsteiger nand Khedira. Argentina has Gago and Mascherano. In Holland, Bommel and De Jong are absent. Van Bommel retired, De Jong has a long-term injury. De Guzman is now the man of choise for Van Gaal but his strength is build up. Not the destroyer role. Strootman, Clasie, Fer can all play on that position but none of them seem to have the grit of the two guards we use to have. In the Eredivisie, even Van Ginkel, Maher and Afellay played those roles but at the international level they would be too light.

In Van Gaal’s philosophy, taken from the Total Football text book, the whole team will need to be able to repossess the ball, Barca style. Gone are the days in which Sneijder/Van der Vaart could observe how Bommel/De Jong chased the ball. Tactical smart, will to win and physical fitness are the three players called up to replace Mark and Nigel.

– Tactical Discipline

Jupp Heynckes said recently that the biggest strength of his Bayern was their unity. Gone were the days of Robben and Ribery being the stars while the rest of the team did the work. Everyone does the work: even the Robbery couple. It was exactly this discipline that got Oranje in the WC2010 finals and the same lack of discipline that got us egg on our face in 2012. Does the current Oranje have “it”. The problem is: we can’t tell until we are tested. And we have not really been tested in a real match yet. Taking a look at Jong Oranje in Israel, it is clear to see how hard it will be for the youngsters to step up. We played nice matches against Germany and Russia when the circumstanves were good. We have a good spell against Italy, but when the Azuri scored, our spirit vanished. Van Gaal’s influx of debutants and youngsters will have affected the “team building” process. His captain-policy was a bit of a mishit (Sneijder and Kuyt both lost their standing this summer). Both Sneijder and Kuyt responded with great disappointment on that fact. The list of players that might have felt put down by the Team Manager grows. Van Persie was the first to be told he wouldn’t start, quickly switching roles with Huntelaar, who now must feel abandoned. Van der Vaart, Nigel de Jong, Ibi Afellay, Maarten Stekelenburg. This is quite a gamble. Sneijder and Stekelenburg could well bounce back but for Sneijder and Huntelaar it might be too late. It’s almost as if experience is a dirty word, since 2012. But Israel 2013 has taught us that youth isn’t everything. As for tactical smarts, Dutch players are universally admired for their vision and coaching and practice in Holland is always tactical. Young players like Blind, Clasie, Fer and Maher seem to be able to read the game and take the opportunities presented.

LVG Kluiv


“Louis leave the gangsta rappin’ to me, ok bro?”

– Defensive Headers

Oranje only conceded two goals. Spain and Belgium are as tight. Only Switzerland (vaults) and Russia (gulags) do better with only one goal conceded. Holland is well organised when losing the ball, but with the young and experienced back four and the fact that both De Vrij and Martins Indi lack the ruthlessness of Vidic, Terry and Silva, to name three, it is logical for Van Gaal to add some midfield length to the mix. Janmaat and Blind are not natural headers of the ball. Against opponenents with a strong airforce, Van Gaal might pick Van Ginkel or Fer over Clasie/De Guzman, purely to support the last line of defence. Being developed purely in Holland, it is clear that the current defenders lack some grit. Martins Indi being exposed in Israel (as was Van der Hoorn, now at Ajax) and De Vrij was humiliated a couple of times in the Eredivisie even. Janmaat and Blind like to find the footballing solution. Pieters might add some power to the back four, as could Vlaar. The latter misses the footballing skills and the speed of execution – maybe – but his physical power is an asset. Heitinga can’t be ruled out either.  A good header of the ball, but in need of a new challenge.

– World Class Goalies

Germany has Neuer. Brazil has Julio Cesar. Italy has Buffon and Spain has Casillas (and De Gea and Reina). Holland doesn’t even have a number one… Stekelenburg lost his spot (after a tremendous WC2010 and a poor EC2012 and a poor season at Roma). He might do a “Sar”. Edwin van de Sar drowned at Juve, made a comeback via Fulham and became one of the greatest. In top form Stekelenburg is world class. At the moment, Van Gaal is mixing it up. Krul had a go until his injury. The latter had an abysmal season with his club, while Vorm and Vermeer have class but it is not yet World Class.

– The Coaching Staff

Van Gaal has everything one needs to be a Top Coach. Experience, ambition, tactical smarts, communication skills (towards the players that is), a modern method (video analysis) and loyal assistants. Blind has been around and is a walking football encyclopedia while Kluivert is seen as a top coach in development. The latter has a great report with the players. But there are some weaknesses. Van Gaal’s relationship with the media is strained at the best of times. He tends to use players as pawns. Youngsters don’t mind too much, but the likes of Van Persie/Robben/Sneijder don’t like to be manipulated. In the past Van Gaal’s ego has forced him to make stupid tactical decisions ( Reiziger as left back, bringing 2 extra strikers vs Portugal when 0-2 up) and his track record as a club coach shows he can’t work anywhere longer than one season without ending up in drama. The man’s will to become a success on the World Cup Stage could be a blessing for us, it could also be a curse.

– Conclusion

Van Gaal said a month ago that he saw eight other candidates with better options to with the title in Brazil. He was most likely referring to Spain, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Italy and maybe even Columbia and Belgium… He will also see England and France as outsiders. Van Gaal is a realist. He assesses Oranje’s strength well. We do have tremendous weapons, but also some vulnerabilities. We have one year to work on those, although the onus is less on Van Gaal and mostly on the question marks in the squad to develop well. In summary: the Feyenoord back four + Clasie, Daley Blind, Leroy Fer, Kevin Strootman, Marco van Ginkel and the goalies.


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  1. Robben playing as a false No.9?
    If so, that’s good as it gives us options upfront.
    As it stands, there isn’t anyone which can rival Van Persie.

  2. Brazil is more balanced athan any team now with an experienced coach.Scelari is shrewed and they have good(young and energetic) players in every department.
    Spain- if spain is relying on old guns they are going to suck this time.but things would be different if they play thiago,isco,silva with some seniors.
    Arjetina has the most threatening attack of all,Demaria,Messi can tear up any defense,it would be foolish to park the bus stategy against them.they have a fair chance after brazil.
    Belgium.can easily score once they use Luakau and benteke at the same time,they have already faced a defensivly stroong croatia,scotland etc.So current goal drought is more due to the defensive strentgh of the opponent rather their lack of precise in attack.if it was not Wilmots am sure Belgium had a nice chance to win a WC.
    Coloumbia-Lacks some intelligent players to win a WC.May be QF.
    England-Will be and goin to be Clueless under their new boss.(once they meet a strong opponet they will be eliminated).
    France-Frnace has some exciting talents in pogba,Valbuna,Ribery,Varene, with some smei experinced palyers.On top of it they have a good coach who i respect a lot and he clearly knows what it takes to win a WC.
    Italy-I feel panderlli and italy are not welbalanced like orange.
    Portugal-Evrsince 2000Ec portugal are a threat to anyone was unlucky to face Spain in 2012 and 2010.they almost won against them.But will not win WC.

  3. TFC : Schone as DM is enough against weak dutch teams, to controll the game, but in high level it’s not realistic. Counter attacks would be too dangerous, AZ had many many opportunities to counter attack yesterday but they always needed 3 or 4 passes to go forward, their building was slow. A good team can be dangerous with 1 or 2 passes. Don’t forget that against Dortmund and Real, almost all the goals were counter attacks. Ajax definitly need a DM able to break the opponent game, at least for champion’s league games.

    I’m also not a fan of Poulsen, building is too slow with him, and defensivly he isn’t that good, his game against Dortmund was awful. Enoh is able to be the best as to be the worst, but his energy always brings something positive.

    1. I agree that Ajax need a better DM to be able to compete with good teams like Dortmund and RM, but I don’t trust Enoh there anymore than I do Schone. He’s better defensively than Schone, and better on the ball than Poulsen, and does bring lots of energy, but he’s also extremely reckless and undisciplined.

      I thought Ajax became a lot better against Madrid two years ago when he came on (the madrid counters were cut off, but I think at this point FdB has run out of patience for him. He isn’t able to play Ajax style football, so he won’t be kept around for a few CL games against top teams if someone wants him. Also because the goal is to play Ajax style in the CL as well as the Eredivisie.

      It sucks because Ajax had an ideal DM, and then he ran away to fucking Newcastle at the end of the transfer window, and DMs in his mold are hard to find.

  4. This is high time to narrow down the selection.No one can predict van gaals’s selection thats cool too.IMO we should not waste this tournamnet for already proven failures.There are bunch of wrong players is been taken to evrytournamnet and most of the time they didnt played and when got a chance to play they didnt do well.and also there are mediocre players also been selected and they also failed to bring something extra when stars failed.
    It is like building house ,you do as much interor decreation but you need to select the right guy for the right spot and also requires right players on bench.so build up starts from that spot,From there own u can build Unity,hunger,Spirt,scarifice etc.Looking forwad to slection against Portugal.
    I hope we can qualify by Sept 10.by beating 2 minows.then LVg will have an ample time to shape up the squad.by not fearing defeats.

  5. “””His captain-policy was a bit of a mishit (Sneijder and Kuyt both lost their standing this summer). Both Sneijder and Kuyt responded with great disappointment on that fact. “”””””””
    i think LVG was so transparent and fair in this case.We all know Wesly’s contribution to NT.and he got respected for that.but the same time he became shadow of his own.So for the sake of the team LVG took his captaincy fair deal.
    Kuyt was respected for his hardwork and given Vicecaptaincy,but there are better players than him in NT(Definitly not afellay,Elia or babel).So he has to make way for Seim dejong,lenz and even ola for the sake of the team.
    So totally it was not a misshit ,it was brave and transparent action for the collective good.

  6. Brilliant article, Jan, as always.

    Very important to get our older players in shape for next summer. I am looking forward to the Van Der Vaarts, Sneijders, Robbens, Van Persies finally coming good in a tournament. They will bring with them an urgency – an arrogance – a determination.

    You win NOTHING with kids. They are tactically fragile and psychologically weak.
    There are some comments here (and in previous threads) which display a complete and staggering misunderstanding of the game.
    Experience is priceless. It cannot and will not be ignored. Thankfully Van Gaal is in charge, and not some of you! 😛

    WHEN we come unstuck next summer, and we WILL, it won’t be because of the coach, it won’t be because of the players, it’ll be because of the heat.
    In the sun we lose our heads.
    We’ll need a mixed squad, and we’ll need a lot of good fortune, and if we play to our strengths we might just reach a Quarter Final or a Semi.
    Anything further than that is a bonus, and wholly unpredictable. Anyone expecting this needs to re-evaluate.

    With a year to go it is time to open up the squad, test new players, try new systems. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    As the pieces begin to fit, we become a well oiled machine. There is plenty of time for our stars to shine.
    And next summer, we unleash the naranja mecanica

      1. No ‘probably’ about it.
        Look at the annual temperatures and humidity rates for Rio, and focus on the Summer months – then compare these results with other locations, including our natural habitats and previous tournaments.
        Also, we are Northern Europeans, not just ‘Europeans’. With the exception of a few individuals, this is where the majority of our squad play year round.
        It might assist you to buy an atlas – perhaps one with some weather charts on it. Just a suggestion.
        Finally, i have been to Rio. Many times. In the summer.
        It is hot. Very hot. Hotter than South Africa 2010.

      1. Collectively, dear boy, collectively.
        That much is made obvious by the use of plurals on the surnames.
        You have misread my comment.

        To avoid a future recurrence of this, I would recommend taking a little more time thinking and a little less time typing.

  7. Great article!! Thanks Jan.

    I agree the development of the three players who have left the eredivisie v.Ginkel, Fer and Strootman if they can succeed at there new clubs it will be great for Orange

    Saw this on ESPN

    AC Milan’s move for Benfica striker Ola John is gathering pace as Sky Sport Italia report Benfica representative, Vlado Lemic, has met with a delegation from Milan led by Adriano Galliani, the Rossoneri vice-president. The Dutch international could cost quite a sum as Benfica will want at least the €12m they spent on him last year.

    1. IMO,

      John to AC Milan will be too risky, learn from elia-huntelaar cases, dutch forwards have been undermined in Italy the last decade as opposite to defensive minded (Bommel-Nigel) or all-around players like emmanuelson. Italy always prefer all-around forward who can attack as good as defend (unless he is as good as Ibrahimovic). Even sneijder eventually became redundant due to nature of Italian football.

  8. I agree, we need the seasoned players to carry the team. RVP and Robben are most likely in tip top shape. Nigel de Jong could make a comeback. Sneijder or Van der Vaart might be some sort of supersub.

    I think Strootman might be a disappointment this coming season.

    I will come out with my predictions soon.

    1. he should have gone to napoli (stroot)!! they have an awesome lineup… higuain, mertens, callejon, albiol, insigne, hamsik… great team!

    2. wes will be in the starting eleven, no doubt, there is no player actually that can made the passes that wesley does.
      He will be our mainly weapon. Again!!!

    3. I simply do not understand all the admiration for Strootman.
      His vision is shockingly poor.
      His pass range is mediocre at best.
      His speed of thought is woeful. His speed of foot is even worse.
      His tactical acumen is non-existent.
      He does two things very well though. Firstly, he bosses a midfield very well. He controls his ‘area’ and those around him. Secondly he wins back possession with unerring ease. This is a huge plus point in our team of show ponies.

      Unfortunately his biggest errors come from expecting the players around him to share his enthusiasm for a good battle. They do not.
      If his pass goes astray he expects the intended recipient to fight for it, like he would. When this doesn’t happen (and often it does not), we have lost possession in potentially a key area of the pitch.

      Is there anyone better than Strootman? I don’t know.
      But he makes me very nervous.

        1. Idiot.
          Youtube ‘highlights’ make even Babel look talented.
          I suggest you watch an actual game of football, then return to this discussion.

      1. I agree with you Vampa, but I think you even overrated him when you said that he controls his area. That’s exactly what he doesn’t do according to me. Van Bommel was doing it, a real presence in the midfield. Strootman doesn’t hesitate to project himself when the team is attacking and takes hours to track back when the ball is lost. Van Bommel was making smart fouls to break counter attacks, Strootman doesn’t do it cause he is just too slow to reach the opponent.

        All the long empty avenues against Germany and Russia during the EC-21 were because of him, fortunetaly Van Ginkel was coming quite low to defend and to help.

        For me his good points are long passes, powerful shots, anticipation sometimes, that’s all.

  9. Hello this is off topic and I apologize.

    I’m wondering if there are any fellow dutch loving aussies know whats going on with setanta and eredivisie this 13/14 season. I see it ain’t on the setanta TV guide. I called them but they had no idea. Basically want to know where I can watch it, online is not an option for me also… Will be a real shame if i can’t watch it anymore someone

    1. What might have happened is this: Fox has acquired a substantial shareholding in the Eredivisie NV. In Holland, Fox will broadcast the games, like they will in Singapore, for instance.

      In Australia, Setanta had the rights but I wouldn’t be surprised if the rights will flow to Foxtel/Austar.

      I have been checking but not sure yet. Keep each other posted

      1. Cool thanks Jan ill definitely be keeping an eye out for it… I care a lot more to watch eredivisie than follow a couple of dutch players in epl teams..

  10. Hello this is off topic and I apologize.

    I’m wondering if there are any fellow dutch loving aussies know whats going on with setanta and eredivisie this 13/14 season. I see it ain’t on the setanta TV guide. I called them but they had no idea. Basically want to know where I can watch it, online is not an option for me also… Will be a real shame if i can’t watch it anymore someone please help!

  11. Wesly is not the same wesly that we used to see,he has become slow and also become a less runner.this will affcet the total team play and balance.i remmber before itay match in 2008 wesly declares that italy would be terrified by us.and he kept his word and schooled italy.that physically energetic wesly is not ther anymore.my feeling is that we will have difficulty in scoring when Wes is not fit.that can cost as in tough knock out match.lets forget China,Sanmarino,hugary and Romania.Orange would be facing some real deal in WC014.

    We need to create as many as chances against a strong team to score at least one goal especially persie up front.We need intelligent,skilled and hardworking players with BRAVE HEART.
    @DRB300 can you please make chart score(out of 10) of probable 40 players of dutch NT in the feilds of Dribbling Skills,Ball controll,Hardwork,Intelligence,Vision,Strength,Courage/Bravory,Unselfishness…

    1. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Sneijder at his awesome best next summer!! What a player. What a playmaker!

      @ Tiju, @ DRB300: how about adding some further ‘feilds’ – such as Leadership, Pass Range, Speed, Commitment, Hair Colour, Preferred Boot Manufacturer, Favourite Movie, Goal.com average Player Scores, Fifa 2013 in-game Stats… you know, the stuff that REALLY matters.
      Then we could post this to LVG and he will have to pick the best team, right? Right??
      I mean, it’s a perfect plan. What could possibly go wrong??

  12. Sneijder didn’t change. He always had a lack of consistence in his own playing. He is really a sporadic player. Will give 2,3 good balls, 2,3 good shots in a game, that’s all.

    Technically he is poor, his ball control sucks, he is totally unable to get past someone, and he lacks of energy. His short pass isn’t that good compared to best OM in the world, he misses many many passes, you just look his first half against Indonesia, even against them, he was missing everything, and it hasn’t something to do with form or physical condition.

    He was probably one of our best players in 2008,2010 and even 2012, thanks to his goals and assists, but there never was a game when he had 85 % of good passes or something, a game when he played good from the first to the last minute, in a team like Spain or Brazil, he would be insufficient.

    I always thought he could better be a good CM if he had a different physical and more defensive qualities, his long balls are really good, it’s his main quality.

    1. Are you kiddin’ Laurent? A sporadic player?

      In his best days at Ajax, RM, Inter and Oranje, Sneijder was the boss. Commandeered every ball. Directed traffic. Played like a skipper. And changed the game with one pass or one free kick.

      His ball control sucks?? The reason why he has a lower % succeeded passes in certain games is because he plays with risk. There also players who play square all the time. Wes is not one of those. Technically he is poor? Come on man…. 🙂

      1. Jan if you compare Sneijder to the best OM he sucks technically, he isn’t able to keep the ball in his feet 3 seconds really, no speed, no ball protection. He can only pass or shot. I would like to know if you can give me examples of others OM in the world with such a profile, for me in general there are two cases :

        – The type quite slow, but very technical, with a good ball protection. You can put Seedorf, VDV, Zidane, Rui Costa, Riquelme, maybe Bergkamp even if he was more considered as a 9,5.

        – The type of “perforing” players who are able to penetrate 20 m with a run, you can put Cruyff, Kaka, Iniesta, Ozil, Gotze, Mkhitaryan…

        Sneijder is none of them. The point isn’t that I criticize him as player, he definitly got extrems pass, shot, vision qualities, but you can’t play a football about possession and domination with a OM which isn’t able to keep a ball in his feet.

        1. And when you talk about being the boss with Inter and Real, it’s not true at all. In Real they only remember about his free kicks, his influence in games was quite poor, Real fans were really happy when Ozil came. With Inter it was an ugly football directed by Mourinho with a lot of effectivness and he was the main piece.

          Sneijder had the advantage to play in teams which weren’t playing a good football. And that also counts for Holland 2006/2012, 2010 being the perfect example of his career. He scored 5 goals, could give the crucial assist against Spain, but compared to Ozil and Iniesta, about influence in games during 90min, he was really far.

          Well to sum up, I recognize that he was the best dutch player during last competitions talking about effectivness. He suited perfectly the way we played.
          But if we talk about pure technical qualities which a good OM is required to have, he is poor. And in a team like Spain, Brazil or Germany, he would be nothing.

          1. Do you actually believe these words you wrote?
            I guess we all see the game differently.

            Could you please provide us with some video links (or correlative reporting) to back up these claims of yours? Thanks.

          2. I actually have to agree with Laurent. Sneijder is not a tight space OM. I always though Sneijder should play behind VDV and not infront of him.

            At Inter’s Mourinhou, Sneijder was playing a #10 player with 2 players ahead of him, one of them is the almighty Eto’o. The whole inter team was defensive team playing the counter attack.

            Holland 2010 was the same, a pretty defensive team. I would rather see VDV over Sneijder to be honest.

  13. Celtic hope to sign Ajax winger Derk Boerrigter ahead of this week’s Champions League qualifier against Elfsborg.
    Boerrigter, who has a year on his current contract, is en route to Glasgow for signing talks ahead of a £3m move.
    The 26-year-old is in his second spell at Ajax having re-signed in 2011.
    He scored six goals last season and helped the club win their 32nd Eredivisie league title.
    Boerrigter has also enjoyed spells with Zwolle and RKC Waalwijk.
    Celtic have until midnight on Tuesday to add a “wildcard” signing eligible to play in Wednesday’s first leg of the Champions League qualifier at Celtic Park.

    1. Ji-Sung Park is poised to return to former club PSV Eindhoven on a season-long loan.

      The QPR midfielder, 32, flew to Holland for a medical at the weekend and the deal is expected to be finalised on Monday.

      Moving on: Ji Sung Park will complete his move to PSV after a disappointing time at Queens Park Rangers

      Park left PSV to join Manchester United in 2005.

      Meanwhile, QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar is wanted by Fiorentina and Harry Redknapp is considering Burnley’s Charlie Austin.

  14. I don’t know why everyone here is underestimating Strootman. Imo , he is very good in every aspect of footbaal , with excellent clean tackling ability and great long passes. He is still 22 years which means he can develop more and more in all the other aspects.
    Simply , if he is not good enough , LVG would have never thought to give him the captain armband even before RVP and Robben.
    I just hope he plays his regular game with As roma.

    1. I’m afraid i must respectfully disagree.
      You say he is very good in ‘every aspect’, and yet he can ‘develop more and more in all other aspects’??
      Yes, let’s hope he plays at Roma – and improves a hell of a lot before next Summer.

    1. Agree with you Wilson about Rekik. If PSV performs well in CL and Rekik shows he can play against top teams , I am sure LVG won’t hesitate to take him to Brazil .

    2. I really liked his through balls down the center in order to cut off the opponents midfield. That’s what a defender good in build up play should do, not only passing horizontally. I think he intercepted well all the crosses bar one where the opponent anticipated him.

  15. you can’t expect Robben, Sneijder and RVP top play the same way as they play in Brazil (individual style). The heat will push them to limits if they try to play the individual style of soccer, normally how they play and eventually they will ware out thick and dry.ThatS where I see Box – to box strikers coming in handy. The wingers using flanks to cross the balls in the box for the strikers. This is exactly what Neymar did in Confed cup and caught most of the team off guard.

    1. Van Hanegem was the brain behind JC. I think he was actually in better form than JC in this World Cup. Cruyff scored the goals and had the great dribble against West Germany of course, but Willem was the midfield playmaker.

      Rensenbrink was sensational too.

    1. Defense is a collective effort.I think Reikik is getting good support by bruma and other defensive mates.its cool news.seems like he is a freaking talent.

  16. @wilson, nice video. Karim Rekik certainly showing tremendous potential. Hopefully he can do well against stronger teams.
    Hope he can really grow this season. As it stands, we don’t have many solid options in center defence.

  17. Lets says both Sneidjer and Van der Vaart prove themselves in upcoming season and are fit for WC 2014. what do you guys reckon whom should Van gaal go for given that Maher to will be the lingering for the second best

    1. It’s a long season ahead – impossible to tell at this stage, pointless to even debate it.
      All 3 players can be excellent. Let’s wait a year and see then.

  18. Martins Indi to Napoli? That will be good for his progress given the many attackers (Tevez, Llorente..) who crossed over to Serie A this season. I certainly wish that it materialized.
    I am actually hoping for De Vrij, Janmaat and Clasie to move abroad also. They can be developed further and qualities to succeed. However, not sure Feyenoord will allow mass exodus of their star players. 🙂

  19. Guys let us have a discussion about Vaart VS wesly..considering the hot conditions in Brazil we can only accomodate only one.
    So whom u will pick?
    Vaart or Wesly??

  20. guys created a fantasy premier league for us on the barclays premier league website


    Bleed Oranje classic league code: 355721-91979

    Bleed Oranje head to head league: 355721-92311

    with all the latest group off Dutchies moving in to the premier league v.Ginkel, Fer, v.Wolfswikel, Steks, Pieters

    sure to be a great season and great way to keep tabs on there progress

  21. Ajax

    Van rijnn alderwild moisander blind

    Eriksen , siem de jong

    Bojan Sigporsson fischer


    Janmaat de vrij BMI/Matthiessen nolem/BMI

    De vilhena , immers

    Schaken pelle boetius



    Arias bruma rekik willems

    Schaars , JS park ” if he comes ”

    Wijnaldum/ narsingh , matavz , depay

    1. Brilliant PSV TEAM /….9 /11 dutch players in the starting line up

      BAkkalli brill..nearly scores in the 1st min//hits the post.aaah

  22. For those concerned about the heat in Brazil, keep in mind that half the cities are in temperate zones. SP, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte are not that hot in June/July. Rio, Salvador and Brasilia won’t be that bad ~25 avg max. This will be easier than the 1994 tournament in the USA. Having traveled there myself for a few months, I think the concern about the heat is overblown.

  23. willems and bruma on fire…rekik and brenet decent but made some errors…schaar playin maturely…zoet hasnt looked entirely secure….wijnaldum and matavz have been missing horrible chances…as did bakkali…but bakalli still the best offensive player….maher has been invisble as usual…but the worst player …breaks my heart to say this…has been depay…nothin he has done has come off…shud be 7-0 to PSV at half time…yet 0-0…elimination looking a real nightmare reality….jozefzoon on for depay to change things up plzz

  24. That Brenet is playing bad.

    Honestly I really don’t expect PSV to do something interesting this year with Depay and Bakkali as wingers, maybe they create chances but their decisions are bad, the 1vs1 situation Bakkali missed is a joke, how can he keep looking at the ball and not raising his head to see where the goal is.

    Ajax would have controlled this belgian team quite easily.

  25. until now, very average game, PSV slighty better, but not comfortable in the field, great game from Schaars, really have more experience than the rest of the player.
    Depay and wijnaldum, and Schaars could have been score.
    Maybe bad luck??

  26. They could have won 6-0 easily, that belgian team is poor, seems like they don’t have any midfielder, you just have to give a long ball and you get a 1vs1 situation with the keeper…

    PSV really lacks of maturity, especially forward, they all spoil too much.

    I think Rekik deserves to be called with NT, great physical challenges, ball protection, tackles. With the ball he lost almost nothing but he doesn’t seem at ease.

    1. Keep in mind that this was their first official game together, and considering the amount of pressure on PSV to make it to the CL again I think everyone put in a terrific performance.

      I’m proud of the lads and I have a feeling PSV is going to be a joy to watch this season.

  27. The result should have been at least 5-0 , but I think PSV will win win the away game so i’m not worried.
    Maher will need more time to regain his best form. He is playing as a box to box player not as a playmaker or a real no. 10 , and he is no longer the best player or the best talent in the team as he was in AZ.
    I’m sure Cocu will give him the needed time to adapt his new team and his new position , and I’m sure Maher will be able to regain his best soon.
    Maher with AZ form can make this psv team very lethal.

    Agree with Srinjoy about Narsingh. I said before that Narsingh is simply not the type of winger i like, but he is a fantastic finisher.
    One more point ,I think BRUMA REKIK WiILLEMS will get a call up to Oranje very soon if they continue like that

  28. quote from article:

    “Top nations like Spain, France, Portugal and Belgium have more difficulty scoring.”

    Belgium is not a top nation. I really had to say something about that, allthough I may have said it before. I admit, they’re temporarily doing very well in the FIFA world ranking (unlike France, but you can see France’s strengths when they’re playing top nations like Spain or Germany, even though they lost these matches, I don’t see any big matches on the belgium list of matches for the last year, but they’re playing France soon, too bad it’s only a friendly, but since their neighbours they might actually both go for the win, producing a somewhat similar match as if France was playing Spain or Italy, allthough I don’t think Belgium has enough status to create that extra desire to win/prove themselves in the French players).

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