Oranje press conference Poland

Van Gaal’s pressers are usually interesting. He can be funny, over the top or very agitated.

Frenkie de Jong was with Louis, this time.

Frenkie, how did you manage the difficult transfer period, which was pretty intense?

“Well, I knew what I wanted myself. So I didn’t suffer much from all the mayhem. The media were constantly talking about it, but it wasn’t tough for me. Simply, I knew what I wanted. Sometimes the club wants something differently than the player, it’s a fact of life. I can deal with that. But I’m very happy that it went as it went, and I am playing again so, all good.”

Frenkie, what does lack of match rhythm for you?

“It’s more a physical thing, a strength thing I suppose. It’s not like you suddenly can’t play. It’s not a technical thing, but a physical thing. I am pretty fit and I think I have a good match rhythm. Maybe if you don’t play for months on end, you may lose some of the technical skills, but usually it’s not about that.”

What can you tell the defenders about Lewandowski?

“I don’t have to tell them any thing. Our defenders are very experienced and all top notch quality. They know exactly what to do and how to play a striker like Lewandowski. The key is that as a team we defend in such a way that he won’t get too many chances.”

The coach said you haven’t executed his tactical plan too well as yet. What is your opinion?

“I think so too, we have reached a good level in parts of the games, but we can definitely get to a higher level, and we need to work on this. I think the Belgium was good, the second half versus Germany too.”

And with this Frenkie left the presser to go back to the team activities.

Louis was very complimentary about Frenkie and in particular the way he handles interviews and media, in this particular case.

Louis, were you able to do all the things you want to do, in this busy week?

“Yes, of course. Football is key and priority and I made sure I was able to do what I wanted to do. The rest has been planned around it. The lads were very good, they are committed and they take responsibility. And the players understand that all these fringe things are also important. It’s not too distracting, because we mix it up. Only last night was the first night they were able to do something for themselves. And our team manager has been amazing with the planning, when to do the blood tests, when to try the new kit, when to see the dentist, etc etc. The penalty test results are not yet done so I can’t say much about this.”

How do you see this Poland versus the Poland we met in Rotterdam?

“Lewandowski. He is playing from the start and he wasn’t there in Rotterdam and he is the best striker in the world, so that is a true test. We scored enough, but we also conceded too many goals and with Lewandowski in their team, it will be key to work on that. We did an 11 v 11 match on training. We had the A team playing our so-called reserve team who played as Poland. It was a very good practice session, but sadly we didn’t score. But… we didn’t concede either. 0-0. But we should have won. By the way, that Szymanski midfielder, the Feyenoord player, he’s also special. I like him.”

There is a great hierarchy in this team, what does that mean exactly?

“Well, it’s a logical thing right? The older players are the leaders and the younger players follow. We don’t have young players rebelling against the older ones for instance. Players like Taylor and Rensch are youngsters and know their place.”

You said you wanted to work towards a firm starting eleven. How far away from this are you?

“That is not handy to say publicly, because I want to make sure all players will have a drive, a reason to ask 100% of themselves. And obviously, there are key players whom have performed always in Oranje, who are the pillars. I will not name their names, but you will know who they are.”

Louis, did you always believe penalties are trainable?

“Yes, I have always known this and still believe this. Sure, you cannot emulate the pressure of the moment or the sound in the stadium, but you can automate your kick. If you train the kick constantly there is a level of consistency you can work with. And also, we can teach the player how the opponent’s goalie can try and influence him and for them to try and overcome this.”

How do you compare this squad with the 2014 squad?

“I think this squad is better than the 2014 squad. That was more a transition team, with an older trio or quartet of older stars and a number of younger players, less tested. This team is more balanced in age, and in experience. We have players in top teams again and I think the fight in this team is better and the team dynamics are fantastic as well.”

Tim Krul will not be part of the World Cup squad. The Norwich goalie didn’t want to come to the penalty test day in Zeist, for whatever reason, and this decision means Van Gaal will not invite him to Qatar. Van Gaal understands the reasons Krul gave and is a bit disappointed in that, but he respects Krul’s decision. Van Gaal also conceded that interestingly enough, Krul has the best penalty killer stats.

Five Oranje players need to watch themselves for a second yellow card: Virgil van Dijk, Steven Berghuis, Steven Bergwijn, Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners. After this group stage, the yellow cards will be scrapped.

With Wijnaldum not part of this squad, we see a huge gap between topscorer Memphis and the #2 goal scorer, Davy Klaassen.  Memphis has 42 goals, Klaassen has 9 goals!

38 year old Pasveer can become the second oldest debutant in Oranje, behind Sander Boschker who was 39 year old. Barry van Galen is then third and Henk Timmer (goalie as well) would be fourth.

Daley Blind will get close to 100 international games. If Oranje reaches the semi finals, we will probably have his 100rd cap. If he is rested one match, he might play the World Cup final in his 100rd cap for Oranje. He’s currently the most experienced Oranje player in the squad.

When LVG speaks of his key players, I think it is fair to say that Virgil van Dijk, Denzel Dumfries, Daley Blind, Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay are clearly in that little group.

I can imagine Jasper Cillesen and Steven Bergwijn will join that group and as he believes Koopmeiners is a bit like Van Gaal, I expect Teun also to be part of that elite circle.

For the Poland match, I think we’ll see:


Rensch – Timber – Van Dijk – Ake – Blind

Taylor – Frenkie – Koopmeiners

Memphis – Bergwijn

I expect us to play 2-2 versus Poland, with Memphis and Koopmeiners scoring.

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  1. I had some tech issues so couldn’t post comments for a bit.

    This is my comment on the ongoing debate between Wilson and co on the one hand and Derek and co on the other….

    Derek, I am afraid you are correct. Wilson is a passionate follower and clearly invests a lot in this, but I do agree that the baseless, offensive, and mindboggling drivel about the Blinds and Van Gaal is getting pathetic. I have spent so much words rebutting these claims but Wilson is not good at processing information. Closed mind.

    As for the many many names that were brought up, from Toornstra to Zivkovic to Diks to God knows who. Funny how most of these players NEVER made it big and were rightfully ignored.

    It seems supporting a team means different things in different cultures maybe? We love every player wearing the jersey and we tend to want to support the team and coaches. We accept that LVG has more info to go on than us and we believe the coaches want to achieve the same as us: good football, and trophies.

    Others tend to support by criticising and second guessing and insulting.

  2. @ Jan

    “baseless, offensive, and mindboggling drivel about the Blinds and Van Gaal is getting pathetic”

    Ok tell me then what good they have brought to NT. Failure and humiliation only . What do you want to say.

    1. @wilson…Danny Blind took us to humiliation…But Van gaal?????are you out of your mind??..Danny couldnt even get us to euro cup where we had 3 teams could qualify..
      Current scenario
      1-kenneth Taylor is better than Veerman…period…veerman is good player though.
      2-Rensch is as good as karsdorp and Frimpong….thats not goin to be decding factor for WC…
      3-Tyrell Malacia is better than Blind….that could cause a damage…As Dadddy wants his son to be starter…but Blind is still better than wijndal..
      4-Virgil is aging and Botman is overlooked for looser BMI…that could be deciding factor as well…i hope botman will comeback sooner..
      In the past i do agree out of your list Tijroon Cherry and Buttner should have given chances..thos times they were consistantly doing well in their clubs…But zivkovic ???thats joke….Then Jens toonstra was a top player for feynoord for long time…should have got some chance as well..

  3. I mean coaches like hiddink, van Marwjik Advocaat, Rijkaard, koeman failed as well but there was never a period like what came under the two names you mentioned

  4. So this is what I mean. Wilson has the idea that the coach should score goals? Blind was sacked after losing v Bulgaria, a game in which the players didn’t show up. It’s easy to blame the coach, and he is responsible, but the players let him down.

    Danny Blind is an Ajax legend. He was a top notch player who meant a lot for Dutch football and Ajax. I’ m fine with criticism on his performance. He failed as team manager in a time when the KNVB was a mess, Hiddink had been pushed out and we were lacking top quality players.

    The criticism on his decision making and management could well be justified.

    The accusations that Daley is in the team because Van Gaal wants to please Danny is utter nonsense.

    Daley Blind played under Frank de Boer, Guus Hiddink, Erik ten Hag, Jose Mourinho, Ronald Koeman, Louis v Gaal and now Alfred Schreuder but Wilson knows better. He is reaching his 100rd international game. He played 50 champions league games and is rated by ex players such as Van der Gijp, Gullit, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Boskamp, Van Hanegem, Kraay and Kenneth Perez but Wilson knows they’re wrong.

    These silly accusations do my head in.

  5. I’m not going to comment on the ongoing discussion, but I will say that this blog has served me exceptionally well for 12 years as the best place for an English only speaking Dutchman to get info and updates on all things Oranje.

    I always come here before a game to read Jan’s post and the comments underneath, it helps create an excitement and build up for each match which I can’t get anywhere else.

    When I first discovered the blog in 2010 I was convinced it was going to be our best chance to win the world cup and went looking for somewhere online to direct my excitement. Now in 2022, I don’t have the same confidence as then, but I’m just as hopeful and always believe we can do it. I trust the coach and players are all aligned in the same thing that they go to the tournaments to win, and I support them to the end.

    I really hope that we see Oranje lift the world cup one day, but even if they never do, I’ll always come here and get excited for the games and support the team forever.

    I’m feeling positive about tonight, so I’ll go for a 3-1 win.

  6. The dutch played well, Poland didn’t really offer anything and that could be to the way they Dutch chased them down really quickly. Didn’t have a great deal to do, but I was impressed with Pasveer, played with confidence and happy knocking the ball around when the Polish were trying to press. Taylor played so well when he came on, hope he goes to the world cup. De Roon – man why does he still get games at this level? Taylor is a much better option – but I guess that’s what LVG wanted to try. Weghorst has probably played himself out of a world cup place, Janssen showed much better touches (especially for the goal, Memphis would have taken the shot on!) I think Louis likes him. Could have been more clinical in our finishing but happy with the game. When Frenkie is on the pitch he makes it look so easy – the way he takes the ball, looks and then turns into space is something that looks so simple but no-one else can do it like him.

  7. Good game, a bit boring at times but we controlled it well. Poland has some good players but today they didn’t show up. I am afraid against strong teams we will be in trouble but for now happy with the win. Please get rid of Weghorst, he is a blond dinosaur that offers nothing. Luuk deJong would be much better. I liked Janssen, I don’t like Depay.
    Sc.rew Daley Blind………haha just joking. But in reality he shouldn’t be playing full 90 mins.
    On to the next game: It would be a huge disappointment for me personally if we lose at home against Belgium. What happens if we end up with equal points? Goal difference?

  8. Never watched the game, but I like the starting line-up. Van Dijk flanked by Ake and Timber who are both very mobile and that complement Van Dijk. Based on Van Gaal’s selection for defenders, he could be thinking of Van Dijk (De Vrij), Ake (Martins Indi), Timber (De Ligt). If so, then I would think Struijk can be a better option.
    Pasveer gives a calm demeanor and presence. He plays very assured. He can be our no.1 GK if he continues his form. Read he won the U21 Euro Championship prev.
    Hope to see the same line-up Vs Belgium.

  9. This game firmed up a few things for me. First was the line-up. I liked this team. I thought Malacia would start after his form with United, but Blind had a good game. Hopefully Koopmeiners injury isn’t major, looked like concussion protocol.

    Berghuis was impressive when he came on, he’s a solid bench option. I think I still like de Vrij, but he needs to be playing in the squad. Otherwise the back three was fine.

  10. Good solid win. Too bad for Teun and Memphis with their injuries. I think Blind will lose out to Malacia. Blind was mediocre at best. Dumfries, hot and cold as per usual. Timber, Berghuis and Taylor impressed. Pasveer couldn’t really impress as a shot stopper but we know he’s decent and mentally stable (more so than Cillesen I think).

    We’re seeing LVG’s starting line up for the World Cup take shape. I think Van Dijk, Timber, Dumfries, Frenkie, Bergwijn and Memphis are certains.

    I guess it will be between Koopmeiners, Berghuis, Taylor, Gakpo for the positions in midfield next to Frenkie (or in front of).

    If Luuk is fit, he’ll tak Weghorst spot I think. More analysis later.

  11. A few things about this game and this team at this current moment. Depay was the weakest link and you can see why he has been on the bench at Barca and the fact that his spot is guarantee on the team is ridiculous. Hopefully Marlen and Danjuma make the team because if the team is ever down a goal, I don’t see Weghorst nor Janssen make a difference. I don’t see why these 2 are on the team. In mid field, when we play teams like Germany, France, Argentina or Brazil we going to need someone
    next to FDJ that can do the dirty job like a Nigel Dj type. Maybe Tyler can be that guy! In defense I prefer De Vri over Timber and definitely Malacia on the left.

  12. I only watched the second half. Below is my observation:
    Pasveer: calm with good distribution. There is not much testing from Poland though.
    3 CBs did a solid job of stopping Poland’s attack. VVD is particular strong in position and challenge.
    RB: good job from Dumfries with the assist and consistently try to open their left flank.
    LB: I can see both strength and weakness of Blind in this half. He is slow. There was a Poland’s chance where they just play the long ball for their winger and he just run past Blind easily. At the same time, if you watch carefully, you can see that there are multiple occasions, his passing skip the midfield and go straight to the forward. With only 3 midfields and FDJ were out, we did not really dominate the second half. But those long ball help keeping Poland from pushing so far up.
    De Roon: he disrupted both their attacking flow and our attacking flow. Whenever opponent has the ball, he is right on their back. At the same time, he had a lot of heavy touches.
    Berghuis: he played really well, linking up nicely with forwards.
    Gakpo: he played well and always present a threat to the opponent. Take a silly yellow card for over aggressive.
    Depay: he looks sluggish at time, he does not seem match fit. Unless he turn around at Barca, it will get even worse.
    Bergwijn: he shows his strength in both dribbling, finishing and link up play.
    Janssen: he play way better than what I thought he could do. he looks a lot better now compared to last time he play for NT. His link up play is really nice. Got an assist.
    Weghorst: he looks bad. Taylor created a chance for him and he shot it straight to the stand. I would take LDJ over him in his current form.
    Taylor: his ball carry is very nice, almost got an assist. He also show some flash of defending skill.

    Watching this game shows that LVG figured out some nice subs to carry for first team players. But a lot of positions raised question mark.

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