Oranje – Portugal preparation

The Deer in the Headlight look of Paul Verhaegh

The first international game in the new season. After that breezy Asian tour, important wins over Indonesia and China, we are now facing our menace Portugal. 2002, 2004, 2006, 2012… Just some random numbers for you.

And in the lead up to this friendly (…) there is some unsettling news:

– There is LVG’s criticism on our former skipper Wes Sneijder… Is it justified? Is LVG motivating the little playmaker?

– There is everyone’s criticism on De Vrij (and Martins Indi). Can the Rotterdam man face the pressure?

– There is the generic criticism on our young and somewhat naive back four ( Janmaat? Blind? De Vrij? BMI? All untested)

dirk oranje

On top of that, LVG has demonstrated his fickleness in his selections. No Nigel and Siem, for instance. Although Siem would have had to thank for the invite anyway (as Schaars and Janmaat had to do). Schaars is injured. Janmaat has the flu. But Siem de Jong is in hospital with a collapsed lung? He is out for weeks.

The media can’t help themselves. When Dirk Kuyt came to the Dutch trainingscamp, most journalists wanted to hear what Dirkie thought of Wesley’s fitness. The two recently played the Turkish Super Cup against each other and Sneijder (and Drogba) won.

Kuyt: “I see Wesley a lot in Turkey. And we talk about football of course and about our families… Wes is really disappointed about the whole thing but he is committed to fight his way back. That is how he is. He really wants to be part of Oranje of course.”

Asked about Sneijder’s game, Dirk said: “He is fit alright. He trained all summer and he played really well against us.”

The largest Dutch newspaper was quite critical on Van Gaal and his selection criteria. As per usual, Van Gaal loves players he can mould to his own liking. Players like Maher, Wijnaldum, Van Ginkel (the ideal sons-in-law) and doesn’t like player with a mind of their own ( Sneijder, Robben, Van Bommel). With a number of key players lacking the form and rhythm it will be interesting to see how things will develop.

gio wijn

Paul Verhaegh is the player most media jumped on, as he is the big unknown in the squad. And the Augsburg player has just gotten the chance to get used to the idea being part of Oranje, or the next surprise came in: Daryl Janmaat can’t make it. So there is a fair chance that Louis van Gaal will let the former PSV prospect start against one C Ronaldo….

Verhaegh: “I will see what happens. I heard Janmaat is not here so who knows. All I can do is do my stinking best and hopefully I get the chance to show myself. And sure people are surprised hearing my name. I was surprised! I will turn 30 soon and this coach is known to go for youth, so….”

Paul Verhaegh was with one Klaasjan Huntelaar at the PSV youth system and like Hunter, Verhaegh was moved to AGOVV which played first division back then. He moved to FC Den Bosch and after a year he was signed by Vitesse. He somehow made a move to Augsburg in Germany, which has since moved up to the Bundesliga. “I took a long and winding road, haha. Many of my team mates from back then play for big clubs now. Augsburg is not a big name. Most people think of Schalke, Bayern or Dortmund when you talk Bundesliga.”

raf oranje

As Verhaegh is somewhat older and not playing top drawer football, people wonder why Van Rhijn and Van der Wiel are not above the debutant in the Oranje squad hierarchy. “I don’t think I am above them at all. I would not even state I am better than them. How can I? I think Van Gaal wants to see me up close. I am not even considering the World Cup. That is so far away still. I will take this one step at a time.”

Although the Portugal game is “but” a friendly, Holland does need a good result. A win – and maybe a draw, will keep Holland as number 5 on the FIFA ranking. The first seven nations will have a protected spot in the draw of the World Cup. Holland is well on its way of qualifying of course but the differences in the Top 10 are small. Portugal is now number 7 while Belgium is on the rise, as the number 10. If the draw was today, the following nations would be group leader: Spain, Germany, Columbia, Argentina, Holland, Italy, Portugal and Brazil.


Jeremain Lens and his dad, former PSV winger Sigi Lens

lens oranje

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  1. LvG dropped VDV and picked him back up. I don’t see the problem with Wes being dropped. Wes needs to work on his stamina, speed and overall fitness. I didn’t see the last Gala game but I do hope he comes back.

  2. Oranje 3 – Chops 2

    RVP with the opener, Robben with the winner.

    “All I can do is do my stinking best” – Verhaegh…..This is a good attitude. He really needs to focus for this assignment. “I am not even considering the World Cup”, and he knows it.

    I have a good feeling about tomorrow.

  3. @Stijnis

    Lumu has still not made a big impression. I think the words the article used were sensation seeking rather than doing justice to his development and shown quality. There are story’s surrounding this player that his transfer rights were sold to third parties. Then there is the thing of him not playing for an Eredivisie side, but Willem 2 still. This kid should focus on playing good football in the Netherlands first instead of thinking about big clubs abroad.

    Concerning Zivcovic, I have mentioned him back in January. I also think we should be less fearful he chooses for Serbia. He would be the first “black” player for that NT and I am not convinced that a child from two pretty progressive thinking people (a Serb mother and a father from the West Indies) would like to have a treatment that the Serbs gave one or more England U21 players last year. One could argue that was the opponent, but Mateja Kezman simply stated recently that homosexuality is a disease. Zivco was raised in the Netherlands, still in international context one of the most progressive countries in the world and I am simply not sure if he can identify with Serbia. Apart from that, I also think Netherlands is such an attractive NT to play for. Even compared to Brazil, where you are one of the many and don’t get to play in the Euro, Netherlands has a very strong appeal. I think he should feel privileged to be in the position to wear the Orange senior shirt one day.

  4. The friendly against Portugal is possibly relevant to get in pot 1 I believe. That could result in an easier group and becoming champs is also all about being energy conservative during a tournament.

  5. 1) There is LVG’s criticism on our former skipper Wes Sneijder… Is it justified? Is LVG motivating the little playmaker?

    2) There is everyone’s criticism on De Vrij (and Martins Indi). Can the Rotterdam man face the pressure?

    3) There is the generic criticism on our young and somewhat naive back four ( Janmaat? Blind? De Vrij? BMI? All untested

    @1: Sneijder somehow needs to find a way to become the man on top of the food chain at Gala. I don’t care there are a lot of ego’s and former big names in the squad. I think van Gaal is raising the bar here and has set a new challenge for Sneijder. Maybe van Gaal understands that Sneijder needs to get new challenges formulated for him. Sneijder for country IMO has been a blessing overall, but his club form has been iffy for more than 2 years now. This is where the line is drawn. Not only good games here and there. Not being fit so now and then. Sneijder needs to produce another stellar year. Playing every game and being good in most of them. Not Drogba grabbing the headlines, but Sneijder. As SamNY said, vdV has been out and now he is back in. Sneijder knows what to do and the door is open. van Gaal is aiming at his ego and now we get to see his response. Opening match against Fener was not bad ….

    @2: de Vrij was pretty good against Italy (though made a mistake with the conceded goal). Was that proper build up we saw from the back? Koeman plays plan B football with Feyenoord. Van Gaal intents to play better quality football with the NT. This will benefit footballing defenders as de Vrij. I have de Vrij in higher regard than BMI and look forward what he has in store for us against Portugal. I nice new challenge.

    @3: Naïve …. . They are just not that good defenders. People reside to solutions as Douglas as a means to solve something we can all see with our two eyes. However that leads to a desynchronization with the rest of the team. With good football from the back we can bypass a lot of defensive problems that would otherwise occur. Bad build up invites pressure and a higher rate of attacks from the opponent. Van Gaal was prepared to call up Rekik and not Bruma. have people thought about that? Let that one sink in please. He might identify BMI as a weak spot (the only one so called real though defender). Rekik is pretty good in build up, probably already better than BMI.

    1. I have to agree. It all depends on the coach’s plan. With Van Marwijck everyone criticized his defensive strategies… well him just like LvG identified the weakness in defence and tried to fortify it with 2 destroyers in MvBommel and NDJ. LvG will probably fortify it with defenders who are with the ball at their feet.

  6. I really still not trust De Vrij and Martins Indi. I think the 4 dutch center defenders for WC should be Douglas, Vlaar, Bruma and Nuytinck. I think Nuytinck need some chances, hes playing better at Anderlecht. Rekik is so young, he need a lot more of international experience, a thing that Bruma and Nuythinck had playing in U21 and at club level.

  7. I regard BMI quite highly, and I am bullish on his chance to anchor Oranje defense in many years to come. He is fast, tall and built for power. It’s been a while, maybe since Jaap Stam, to have a central defender in Oranje shirt that has a balanced strength, quickness and aggression to fight for the ball. While I do agree that his build up game is not meeting up the expectation (yet), I give him a ton of credits for his willingness/initiative. He seems very calm and comfortable with the ball on his feet. In many of the previous Oranje games, I vividly remember he tried hard to rush the ball forward and send passes vertically across the mid line. This is a contrast look from the the likes of Mathijsen, Heitinga, Vlaar or even De Vrij who are more risk-averse and content with passing sideways.

    As time progresses, I am banking on BMI to get better in attacking. He needs time and encouragement, but more importantly, he needs Koeman NOT to play him as left back.

    Neutral on De Vrij at this point, I am still figuring him out. Seems always a step to slow, and can get out-muscled easily. Almost like a twin of Bruma in many respects. Quality-wise he’s fine for qualifying round, but will get burned against top notch strikers. Appreciate his calmness and leadership at the back, though.

    Rekik is a superb youngster. Talented, very technical. Will be the one to watch for sure. Needs experience, I would give him some time to develop and see how high his ceiling is. If he pans out as advertised, he will run straight into BMI. Would be a nice competition between the two. Too bad both are naturally left-footed.

    1. de Vrij looks error prone to me..and a kind of player u seem to trust in up until he makes a blunder..and then his every move…which previously u wud have been fine with…make u quiver n nervous…especially if pacy direct speculative long distance shooters like c ronaldo hover around

  8. Ajax attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has revealed that he is open to the possibility of joining Tottenham and believes they are a “great club”.

    The Denmark international had been linked with a move to Liverpool and AC Milan earlier in the summer but Spurs made an enquiry for his services in December and have maintained their interest.

    And, with less than a year left on his existing contract, the 21-year-old is willing to consider linking up with his ex-Ajax team-mate Jan Vertonghen in north London, although talks have yet to take place.

    “Tottenham are a great club,” Eriksen told Danish newspaper BT. “I know from Vertonghen that it is a good club, which is interesting, but there has not been any contact.

    “I do not know if I am going to leave Ajax. We’ll find out in two weeks. There are to my knowledge no negotiations right now either with a new club or Ajax.

    “If there is a good approach [from another club], I see as an opportunity to try something new but, if nothing comes, I do not mind staying.”

    Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been busy reshaping his squad so far this summer – with the likes of Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado all joining the club – though the future of star man Gareth Bale is still unclear.

  9. I think there is a good chance to win tomorrow, Portugal is missing many players and will probably use Braga guys like Custodio and Micael at the midfield. Veloso is here but not making a good impression, struggling to win his place with Dinamo Kiev, just like Lens.

    We can definitly dominate the midfield, the two only players we have to look forward are Ronaldo and Danny, will be interesting to see Verhaegh and Blind against them.

  10. Mohammed Moallim just tweeted:

    LvG names starting XI v POR (tomorrow): Vorm; Verhaegh, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind; De Guzmán, Strootman, VdV; Lens, RvP, Robben. #Oranje

  11. I can’t imagine van Gaal would use Wijnaldum as holding midfielder. So Stroot will probably take that spot as he did against Turkey second half. Wijnaldum will be the runner/connecter. VDV is the passer.

    Anybody disagreeing?

  12. Yep, the news is correct. De Guzman was unconscious for a spell and the players panicked and called for an ambulance. Van Persie sprinted to the bench to get the first aid kit. Kuyt has an eye wound and will not play either.

    Wijnaldum to take the spot but with Stroot in the anchor role. Not sure if LVG will invite a new lad (Clasie?) to come out.

    LVG said he only wants to practice against top nations now. “Portugal is an outsider for the title in Brazil, just like we are.”

  13. I don’t see LVG calls up anyone in the last minute. Strootman will have the main defensive task in the middle. With Wijnaldum (instead of MVG) and VDV as the other two midfields I see this team will play a more offensive strategy. I hope the back 4 will raise to the challenge and 3-1 for NT. Let’s kick Portugal’s @$$!

  14. The squad named shows LVG has gone for experienced players rather than upcoming young talents like Maher, Van Ginkle . I guess both of them will come off the bench.I would hav liked to see the experienced gang to come of the bench.I thought Van Ginkle was exceptional in preseason for chelesa where as if you look at Lens he didnt play much at Kiev. The only positive thing I see in the squad is Wijnaldum stating on the expense of De Guzman, if the Concussion news is correct. Van Ginkle should hav started with Wijnaldum on the wing.

    1. Wilson,

      van Gaal works with profile sketches. I am pretty sure Wijnaldum is not a winger according to van Gaal. That means only under very special conditions he will fulfill the winger role (injury pretty much forcing van Gaal’s hand). Now of course you can ventilate your idea’s and have your opinion of where Wijnaldum should play, but I just wanted to throw this out so you don’t have build false hope of this happening very soon under van Gaal. Wijnaldum competes with van Ginkel/Strootman/Vilhena/Fer/ … Afellay?

      Second, I do not agree that van Ginkel was exceptional in pre season. I think his long ball distribution and creativity have been bad. He has worked hard. He has defended well. He was pretty solid in his overall short passing. However really finding that forward solution when the spaces were tight and being accurate with long balls, was not up to international standard. If he wants to become of added value at Chelsea he has to dramatically improve that part of his game. Basicly enhance his playmaker ability from this withdrawn position. I will not criticize the fact he has scored no goals or added with assists as he was often played as the most defensive midfielder, but the other points stand IMO.

      1. DRB..if LVG does sketch profile,it might be good for some players.We have no effective wingers bar Roben and Lenz.For the sake We might be able to put many wingers but no one will the edges like Lenz and Roben.its high time we need wijnaldum in wings.thus we must ensure that he get selected by kicking out a weaker player ratherthan strongerr pl;ayers like Leory,Stroot,Ginkel etc.

    2. as far as I know, Van Gaal left Maher, but brought Van Ginkel. somebody has already posted the fixed starting line-up for the game, Wijnaldum will fill in De Guzman’s spot.

      Maher hasn’t really performed well since PSV switch.
      Schaars and Janmaat were injured/sick, I don’t know if Van Gaal already replace them, or decide against it. But I think Clasie is a more likely replacement for Schaars.

    3. However I was zooming in on 2 parts of your story. Van Ginkel being exceptional in pre season and Wijnaldum should be played on the wing.

      The point you raise here is a very good. How is Wijnaldum picked over van Ginkel on midfield? That is one very interesting choice van Gaal makes there. One that surprises me a bit.

      1. LVG just thinks that Strootman is able to hold the midfield and accomplish all defensive duties. Which is wrong. Van Marwijk was also using Strootman and surprised everyone when he choosed him for games against Brazil and Uruguay though he was still playing with Utrecht. But Van Marwijk is a rationnal coach, and after that awful performance against Germany (3-0) where Strootman was the worst player, I think he realized something and didn’t use him again.

        Once again I don’t really understand the admiration for LVG here. Everywhere he went, fans disagreed with many of his choices. You talked about him discovering Alaba, but don’t forget that all Bayern fans were angry to have Braafheid as LB and described him as one of the worst player they ever had in their club. Who brought Braafheid to Bayern ? Van Gaal. He also brought Pranjic who did nothing and wanted De Zeeuw and many others eredivisie players who would be just average players there. Bayern would never have reached the level of today if they had kept Van Gaal. Barcelona also don’t keep a good souvenir of him.

        He just seems to live in his own world, with his own very subjective choices and doesn’t wanna listen to anyone.

        1. you have a very valued point here,which is not noticed by many….i like stroot but i dont trust him in defense ,i have better trust in Anita,Nijel,schaars and Deguzman in defensive duties…

          1. But i dont agree that stroot was the worst against 3-0 ghermany.it was kuyt who got exposed in the absense of fab 4.

        2. Completely agree with you. Van Gaal is not as good as some guys think here. He uses to trust strange players, make strange choices, disgust players who can be great for the team. He only listen to his own mind. I dont like him at all…

      2. Van Gaal said that PSV has played four competitive games already (2 in CL qualifications and 2 at Eredivisie level) while Chelsea hasn’t seen a real test yet. He therefore rates PSV players higher.

    1. This is a link to see the countdown towards the ending of transfer windows in the different country’s:


      Note that Russia is closing later that Eredivisie. Eredivisie can close but IIRC transfers towards Russia can still happen. However transfers towards Eredivisie are off.

      When Ajax will sell Eriksen my understanding is that Ajax will not buy a replacement. Possible players on the left half position:

      * Fischer
      * Blind
      * Andersen

      Despite their right leg:

      * Serero
      * Klaassen?

      That last name I am not sure. Klaassen has been used on the right half position when I saw him. Serero however has also acted on left half IIRC.

      So yeah, at least 4 names pop up. For me Blind moving up to make space for Boilesen would be a pretty obvious choice for now. If that does not seem to work other options should be tried.

        1. Schone is one to mention as well yes. Bit of the default solution when there is a problem in midfield or even right wing for that matter. I think it is interesting who Frank will use to replace Siem de Jong. If Frank thinks that whoever he uses the next weeks for that position can also play the half position from the left, then we could possibly see the answer before Eriksen is even sold.

          That having said, not sure Schone is the long term solution if you want to make steps into Europe. Might invest time in a player with a higher ceiling and more potential. Andersen is stepping up lately.

    2. cocu bleeds for orange and PSV he will be rewarded for that.this year it will be PSV.omens are like that.I am sure that ericksen and Toby will leave ajax.its bit hard to replace them…..

  15. Oke so there is a catch with Zivkovic (the young talented 16 year old striker from FC Groningen that recently made his first Eredivisie goal). Word is that he lives with his aunt and uncle who are Serbian, who were also with his contract signing and he himself has declared to have more feeling with his Serbian background than West Indi background. Also, he took the last name of his Serbian mother and not his father, which is a point to note as well.

    1. Lets hope he makes his Serbia debut in a friendly in Belgrade so he has a chance to see what playing for Serbia in front of Serbian fans is like before it’s too late to change his mind. That is if he chooses for Serbia and doesn’t play for their youth squads first to get a taste

      1. A pure destroyer like Nigel De Jong is needed when Oranje faces a strong opposition that plays a very fluid possession game, the likes of Spain, Germany and maybe Italy. He brings value to the team by disrupting up the flow of the opposing team, fighting for the ball, and making them frustrated to the point that they would be vulnerable for counter attack. This only happens once in a while (i.e. when Oranje goes deep into the final rounds of a tournament). Another time when De Jong maybe needed is to protect the lead and coast into a final whistle.

        In any other games, when Oranje is the favorite and expected to control the match, I would argue that a distributor holding midfielder brings much more value to the team. That’s why I am very excited about Jon De Guzman. A very efficient passer with enough determination to win the ball back. Clasie could probably do the job here, although I am a bit concerned with his aggression, or lack thereof (and of course, the fact that he’s currently out of form). Anita actually showed flashes of brilliance in this role in his last days with Ajax, now that he’s warming ‘Castle’s bench, he’s long forgotten.

    1. IMO van Gaal has been very generous towards Nigel. He even played against Andorra. If there is one team we did not need to play with and Nigel and Strootman it was that team. Still bothers me.

      This basically is a question who van Gaal will favor: JdG or de Jong?

      I don’t know. I can tell you that Nigel is a better footballer than people give him credit for. Is also pretty good with rondo’s. The problem is just that Nigel has become so sober and all creativity has dried up with him. I think that van Gaal has made clear that he has to improve his creativity and put Clasie forward as a player having that (also the reason I like Clasie). Looking at Clasie, Nigel knows what to do. I’m going to use this season to see if Nigel offers more in the attacking/creative dimension with both Milan and the Dutch NT.

      Nigel however is firm on the van Gaal’s radar. Keep in mind that against Russia 2008 he was almost the only player holding himself together. Was a rock in 2010. Probably with Sneijder the best player in 2012. Against Germany probably the best man in the field. You don’t throw away such a proven player. For me he is often too sober and dry and love my Verratti kind of players in DM, but I see Nigel definitely as a player that could offer the Dutch NT something in Brazil and I think van Gaal has the same opinion.

  16. Thank you DRB300. I’m a bit nervous if Eriksen is transferred…We should not worry much about Zivkovic as other young talents will show up. I hope Rekkik and Bruma develop into solid CB and be called up to NT. I still see that LVG only call up 1 or 2 new players max each time. CB is still our weakest point.

  17. I personally think that Van Gaal is searching for players who can adjust to his system/tactics. Holland has a number of talented youngsters but really lack experience/established players. At this moment I can only consider Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder to be top quality players, the rest like Huntelaar, Van de Vaart and Kuyt I only consider as experienced players. Just as a mean of comparison, you only have to look at Spain’s backfour (Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos and Jordi Alba), don’t even get me started with the rest of the squad.
    So I think that Van Gaal is looking for a Holland that functions as a team rather than a bunch of top star individuals…maybe at euro 2016 I’ll be changing my words to consider Holland as a bunch of top star players but at the moment and until Brazil 2014, I don’t see that happening…

  18. It will be a close game…if there is a game Holland should win against Portugal this is the perfect chance. The circunstances might help Oranje…it is about time to collect some bills they owe us!!!!!

    I predict a draw anyway.

    1. I also go for a draw. A 0-0 or 1-1 like against Germany and Italy.

      Looking at the portuguese midfield and players who are missing, I was going to say that Holland would have easily 60/65 % possession if a distributor like De Guzman or Schaars would play. Now the midfield will be Strootman-Wijnaldum-VDV, our play may be more direct.

      I hope both team will take this game seriously despite of the missing players, and the tempo to be like the Belgium-Holland of last year.

  19. with the likes of wijnaldum,Vaart,roben and persie.we will score goals.but sure i dont know how the defense goin to stand against Ronaldo.Defense i sthe achilles heel of this dutch team.i would say we might see a slow tempo game if Vaart and wijnaldum doesnt run much.things will change once Vaart get subbed by Van ginkel.

  20. I think with Stroot-VDV-Wijnaldum in midfield, they will play a fast ball forward putting Portugal’s defence under pressure. Lots of broken passes would lead to quick counter-attacks lead by none other than Ronaldo. It will lead to pressure on our back four…

    Ronaldo is a better scorer that all our front 6 combined. Sorry guys I don’t see us winning this, we lose 4-1.

    LvG gets pissed off and quits.

  21. LVG will not quit, but he will sub 2 forwards for 2 defenders then perform the famous karate kick again on the sideline…let’s not go down this road again. This

  22. @SamNY: siempre negativo, nunca positivo lol!!!

    They’ve Ronaldo but we’ve Robben in top form.

    We’ll win tonight.

    BMI and De Vrij will have a great game.

    1. @Miguel –

      Robben is an artist, Ronaldo is a machine… sorry for being negative but I would rather them lose today and learn from their mistakes than lose during the WC…

  23. Let’s go Holland! Get your revenge 😀

    My only complaint about the Starting XI is Verhaegh. Did van Rhijn fall out of favor for LvG? Because with his Ajax teammate Danny Blind in the lineup, it would make sense to pair them together.

  24. I think that De Vrij and MBI problem is Ronald Koeman.

    Koeman saved Feyenoord 2 years ago, but I think he did everything on his reach, and if Feyenoord wants to go forward he must to change his coach.

    Feyenoord has one of the best Dutch DM (Clasie) but Koeman seems happy to build up only by Mathinsen´s long passes. Koeman´s Feyenoord plays a very rusty football, even considering it’s the same team of the last year.

    I am answering what could do Frank de Boer with players like Clasie, De Vrij and BMI. Is the same question that I had on the U21EC: what could do Van Gaal with the U21 team instead Cor Pot.?

    So, IMO it will be very hopeful for the NT if Feyenoord find another coach.

  25. @Eduardo

    van der Wiel was awful at the Euro’s last year – he constantly charged forward, and lost the ball multiple times.

    He hasn’t been called up since, and I doubt LvG is going to use him when we have Janmaat and RvR.

  26. Koeman will stay this year as Gio is not ready, unless Feyenoord wants someone like Hiddink (who is available now).
    Back to NT, VDW has not showed enough to be called back. He needs to prove like Afellay, Sneijder….
    “Van Gaal loves players he can mould to his own liking. Players like Maher, Wijnaldum, Van Ginkel (the ideal sons-in-law) and doesn’t like player with a mind of their own ( Sneijder, Robben, Van Bommel)” I would put RVP in the latter category and I hope RVP and Robben do not clash with LVG as I expect these 2 to carry NT. Internal fighting caused us many issues in the past.

    1. Robben should not clash with LvG – don’t forget that it was LvG who took Robben from Real Madrid and helped him get back on his feet.

      I don’t see RvP clashing with LvG. LvG is from the same mold as Alex Furgesson and RvP got along with him very well.

      Robben-RvP won’t clash cause they simply never did clash..

  27. ready for this match, have no idea what to expect, but for me playing well, creating a lot of chances, dominating possession and playing good defense are more important than winning.

  28. Portugal so far very subdued. Our mostly young team runs a lot and we have possession. I can’t ignore how bad Blind looks. Just like in the U-21…

    1. Onzie please expand on this point in the coming days. Jermain Lens on right back has been my personal project for some time now. I just can’t stop thinking about the level he would have reached had he been playing there throughout his career. His foot eye coordination is in some way so good for pinpoint interventions that it’s scary.

      I sometimes think he could have been as good as Ashley Cole.

  29. This ref is a moron. This game is going to get out of control. You don’t have to throw out cards everywhere and call lots of fouls, but at least talk to players and stop turning a blind eye to the stupid cheap shots. Also Robben should have gotten a penalty when the defender took his legs out to keep him from getting up to get to the ball.

  30. I didn’t find Blind bad. I only keep in mind one action where he didn’t defend on the right way against Danny.

    Lens isn’t exceptionnal tonight but still win every challenge against Coentrao. Verhaegh is ok also, our right side is working well and the goal came from there.

    Strootman started strong, was running, doing a good pressing, scored, even tried some futsal skills, but started again to neglect some defensive tasks after and to stop running.

    Wijnaldum not playing on his natural position and it’s noticable, how many balled did he touch ? Hope to see Van Ginkel.

    VDV can do more, many short passes failed.

    1. I actually was about to post the same comment…

      I think RvP likes much more dynamic midfielders behind him… VDV a bit slow for my liking.

      Lens worked defensively but not offensively… I even saw him switch sides to help with Ronaldo.

  31. So Daley’s dad is on the bench and Daley himself almsot terrible but still on the field. We cried nepotism when BVM kept playing MVB. Holland can’t escape these situations.

  32. Well, you knew that was inevitable. Portugal is exhibiting much better levels of proficiency with the ball. The ball-handling of the Portugal players is much better than for us.

  33. The irony for LVG. Around the same time of the game (late 2nd half) 2001, Portugal came from being down to equalizing. That game, though, meant more than this one!

  34. Ridiculous second half, giving the ball away like a bunch of scared school children. They seem so desperate to attack, when they should be keeping cool heads and laying off a little bit.

  35. We desperately need a CONSISTENT player(s) like CR7! As much as I dislike CR7, he is someone you can count on at the club and national team levels. More importantly, he delivers at the big stage consistently. Only when we have such players we can go far in the WC. In WC2010 we had Sneijder. I doubt he can recover his old form in less than a year. I don’t know who to count on in next year’s WC2014.

  36. Van Persie was not good, quite slow with the ball but was able though to make his team mates playing around him. When Huntelaar came, we didn’t have the ball anymore. Also, it was him who couldn’t throw the ball away on the corner kick where Ronaldo scored. Useless again. And the worst is Van Gaal’s reaction after the portuguese goal, seemed angry and not understanding. Let’s to bet he will select him again and again.

    He isn’t the only one to blame though. Lens had an awful second half, started to lose against Coentrao, and totally inoffensive forward. Robben was also really boring to keep the ball for hours and to ignore others players runs, especially Wijnaldum many times.

  37. Laurent, I totally agree with you. Huntelaar is useless and Lens is clearly off form. But the biggest mistake and loser is putting Robben on the left and Lens on the right. It makes no sense at all. With that set-up we wont go very far. So Van Gaal is a total joke. We have all the right players but it is as if he had cut Robben’s legs. Would a coach put Messi on the left so he can cross the ball? It makes absolutely no sense at all. Otherwise VDV was also useless and should not be called again. On the other hand, everyone else did well.

  38. I hope we don’t end up facing Portugal at the WC. For whatever reason, we just don’t match-up well with them, and our record against them shows it.

    Good game overall, but you can almost feel a goal coming from the Portuguese side. The entire dynamic changed when RvP got taken off for Huntelaar.

    Hunter just isn’t very creative – he’s a pocher who shines against subpar teams, but struggles against the elite.

    RvP has so much better footwork, and he’s more adept at creating openings for his teammates. IMO LvG should only use Huntelaar against teams like Estonia, Andorra, Romania etc.

  39. Yes agreed. Better a draw and this should help keep our FIFA ranking but we could have won by 2 or 3 goals had Robben and Lens been switched. Sometimes I wonder what coaches see. It is so frustrating that LVG does not see that. Robben is one of the top 5 players in the world and yet he exiles him on the left wing.

  40. I see many negative comments….but Oranje played well. It is team that is being built but the Portuguese had a tough time. Huntelaar’s mistake cost us the goal but it was a deserved result.

    Impressed by Wijnaldum and the defence except for Blind….I am positive Pieters will regain his best form to play as left back. Overall, a good result but Oranje could and should have won. Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo, with a few top players injured it showed today that they have a limited squad.

  41. Well , I was able to manage and watched the 2nd half , but It wasn’t worth it honestly. Too disappointing.
    Is LVG serious about playing total football and attacking football ?
    I don’t think we had any shots in this half on the Portugal goal.
    We really need Willems and pieters on the left. Blind will make Oranje suffer against top teams.
    De vrij , Indi and van rijn were really good. It also seems that Koeman , on the other hand , is a real a**hole. He is unable to get the best out his players.
    Vorm , what a good keeper. He definitly will be in Brazil , even if not a starter , but you can’t leave such goalie.
    I’m kinda unable to judge how good strootman and wiljnaldum were ?
    Lens wasn’t good. Appearantly his move to Dynamo kiev was a bad one.
    Van ginkel is always interesting for me with the ball in his feet. He is a great talent. Made a great pass to huntealaar , but huntelaar couldn’t handle it.
    I really want to know what LVG will say after this game !

  42. Jeff is damn right about Robben. He is far better on the right.
    He didn’t make any crosses on the left in the 2nd half i watched , i thought this was the reason why he plays on the left in LVG logic ?!

  43. Who cares… just a friendly. Germany drew to paraguay, belgium to france, Italy lost to argentina, brazil lost to switzerland and croatia won 3-2 versus lichtenstein…

    1. It is about a culture of winning. Van Marwijk made his team take each team seriously. He used it to gain cohesive understanding between his players. Van Gaal just chops and changes all the time. This is not a team like Spain where the players all play together at Barca all year long. Van Gaal simply does not understand – he only thinks that he needs to understand and that players follow his plan. Which did not work tonight.

    2. Alberto, friendlies games can reflect quite much sometimes.

      I had a bad feeling before EC2012 cause we had lost too many times before. Uruguay (1-1 penalty loss), Sweden, Germany, Bayern, Bulgaria. 5 loss in one year, I felt the team was already going to the tournament with a bad state of mind and a bad habit to lose, even if it was just friendlies. In 2010 it wasn’t the case, we started the competition with being invincible since 19 games, believe me that helps.

      Remember Italy in 2006, they were struggling a bit in qualify but had won friendlies games 4-1 against Germany and 3-1 against Holland, they showed they can beat good opponents. And they won the world cup after.

      Germany is taking too many goals in qualify and friendlies games recently, and that’s just the reflect of their defensive problems.

      Now, with Van Gaal, we played against 4 big teams : Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal. 3 draws and 1 loss. That’s why I just feel we wouldn’t beat any good opponent during the world cup if it continues like that.

  44. It’s amazing that people on this board can’t see what all of Holland (outside of KNVB) can see. Van Gaal is a mistake and we will surely lose against competent opponents. LVG is just too clever for his own good and insists that he is some tactical mastermind when clearly he is not.
    Sneijder is our only true world class playmaker and Stekelenburg is our only true world class GK – such a keeper does more than just dive left or right, he marshalls the defense. In the absence of dejong or van bommel, it is vital Oranje has Stekelenburg – he is the only true successor to van der sar.
    I’m sorry but this “loss” is more the fault of LVG than of the team. We need more than van Persie in the team. He does not create goals from nothing – bring back our playmaker Van Gaal!…

  45. The goal scored was not huntelaars mistake lol……the back pass from pepe caught everybody off guard . the two defenders who were went for pepe should hav done better . we can debate whole day about huntelaar and RVP but will end up going round and round. may be it time they both play together. overall if you look at both of them ,they both were underpa. agree that bLIND WAS EXPOSED BIG TIME

  46. hav to say this Argentina and Italy game was class of its own . After watching both the games I would definitely rank both Argentine and Italy above NT. As for NT game, well I think Ronaldo was a one and army and was well contained by the CBs . I think he was lucky to score the goal. Again I would like would like to reticulate on super subs. we really dont hav any at this moment that can change the game around. The subs Huntelaar, Ruben , Van Ginkle did not make any impression on the game after coming on. this was evident in the second of the game as NT faded away.

    On the other hand I agree with Laurent about wherer we are heading, looking at the results of previous games and to-days game, it is not a good sign. At this point in time I would like to say that France is the same boat as well.
    Also I hav to totally agree with Ed about LVG. His ego lays in the fact that he has won 4 titles with big teams so he rates himself high. The 2002 world cup Qualifying,he had a bunch of good players (golden generation), but yet NT failed miserably. on top of this LVG has already declared his intentions after the WC2014 and also that NT cant win the WC 2014. what can we conclude from this.

    This was another game which clearly shows how much NT is dependent on Robben. on a day when he doesn’t perform the strikers are cold footed as if they are hiding in his shadows. No matter if you put him on right or left, if its is not his day, you can expect miracle to happen.

    Again coming back to super subs. we agently need to reinforce our players who can influential make impact when our so called stars are not performing. I dont know how, but if we dont it will be the same old story, pass the group stages and shit in the knock out rounds.

  47. Again except to see new faces in NT in the next friendly. with players like Rekik, Bruma, Maher, fer performing so well and other players who are recovering from injuries,De Jong, Pieters, I dont how they will fit into the equation if this trend continues. Time will definitely be our nemesis come WC2014.

  48. Orange back line should be fine with Devrij,BMI,BRuma and Reikik and Vlaar can be a standbye.there should not be any room for Joris and heitinga.
    On leftback spot we have Urby Vs peiters Vs Blind Vs Williams.IMO URBy is the best out there and rest are almost equal,blind and peiters lack speed while Williams lack the intelligent positioing of those 2.Considering his age its pardonable.
    For Rb spot its Janmaat VS Rhijn VS Paul VS Brenet i would try teindally there too.he is not a bad option but he is with out a club.Janmaat is slightly ahead of th rest.
    LB -Urby>Peiters=Blind=Williams
    this is the senario now
    Considering this i would go for
    Van Rhijn
    ————————————8 spot is needed for a 23 man squad.otherwise if any injury happens to thses players.we will not have good back up.like what happened to CORPOTin EU21.when Bram Nuytick got ijured and hewas forced to put MVH in rest u know.
    @LVG its a TIP for you..taking URBY will give u addtional winger and left and Midfeild…So urby is must…he is winner 2006 EC too.he is a filling team puzzle..

  49. To lead this young and fast back line you need either Nijel Dejong or schaars as pure holding mid on Top of them.Schaars was captain of EU21 in 2006.he reminds me of Dunga and Deshamps.such players will lift WC if they get some good players along with them.
    @LVG if you want RVP to score u need at least 2 runners with him those players are MVG,Stroot,Leory,Clasie and Maher.
    let orange play with one pure holding mid with 2 box to box runners to help defnse and offense.like cocu does for PSV.wijanldum and Maher helps schaars in defense.

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