Oranje ready for the Austrian Press?

Ralf Rangnik has been long touted to be an impressive coach. Dutch ex-players who played in Germany speak highly of him. Man United fans probably less so.

Still, he took the boring, defensive Austrian football team and turned them into a force of nature.

The specifics? High press. No mourning moments after possession loss. A goal attempt within 10 seconds of repossessing the ball. Pressing the opponent to the side. Stacking the axis of the field.

They may not have the best eleven players, but Rangnik might have formed the best team, with Baumgartner and Sabitzer as the stand-out performers.

Koeman was quite impressed with Austria, naming them one of the big surprises of the tournament.

There are different ways of dealing with them. France did it with long balls from deep. No build up from the back, but hoisting the ball forward. This does make sense, as Austria tends to leave quite some space at the back.

Oranje plays a similar kinda game on paper and could decide to go head to head in a similar vein and “let the best team win”, but Oranje can also use the “France tactic” and hoist the ball towards our forwards.

Koeman will have to pick the eleven that match his tactics best.

Knowing Koeman a bit, I don’t think he’ll mix the team up too much.

I do expect Veerman back in the line up. Veerman might not be ideal vis a vis the fit and physical Austrians, but his passing might be the key to break open the Austrian defense. I don’t think we’ll see Xavi. There was some criticism on his positioning against France and I wouldn’t be surprised if Koeman falls back on Reijnder on the 10 spot.

Memphis will play, this is what Koeman already said in the presser. He clearly doesn’t want to get in a discussion with the media, so he bluntly said: “I trust him, he’s important for us and he will play.”

No Weghorst, because he has demonstrated to be great as a pinchhitter.

Zirkzee is slightly off it, having dealt with a flu attack and Brobbey might need a bit more time too.

We’ll see the usual back four, I think, although I do hope Geertruida in place of Dumfries. The combi Dumfries/Frimpong wasn’t great and I do believe the slender Leverkusen winger will start.

I think it will be tough game but I do believe we’ll end up winning 3-0, with finally Memphis on the score sheet, alongside Gakpo and Reijnders.



Bookmark and Share


  1. Rumour is as Jan mentioned,

    Gakpo Reijnders Malen
    Schouten Veerman
    Ake VDV De Vrij Geertruida

    So Malen comes in to try to get behind the backline. I truly don’t get how people aren’t higher on Xavi Simons though. Set up Frimpong rush, scored. Pressed hard. Truly a great player.

  2. We simply don’t have the speed and guile to beat a high press. No run behinds, no quick crosses, no interchanging positions….. All I am seeing are slow lateral and back passes. Unless something drastically changes in the second half, this team won’t progress past the second round, no matter who they play.

    We simply can’t have Memphis, Gakpo and Xavi together. They all clog up the same left side. Don’t we have any left-footed winger? For that matter, any left footed player other than Ake? This team is weak, disbalanced, and lacks a vocal leader. The less said about the stubborn (and not very smart) coach, the better.

  3. When you are chasing a game against a fitter opponent, you use your fitter players. Koeman sends in the geriatric Wijnaldum. Enough said. His insistence on using players past their prime in Memphis and Wijnaldum sums up the state of affairs with Dutch soccer.

  4. I have been a big critic of Virgil van Dijk. Not only is he NOT a leader, he is a rather stupid player. See his positioning during Austria’s 3rd goal. He stood behind the line like a statue and played the scorer onside.

  5. This all comes down to Koeman in my opinion…
    First, to not be able to come up with the most solid back line in the tournament with the players at his disposal is shocking. They don’t gel together, but also there’s something wrong with the system— it seems very often that our defenders are not sure who has the responsibility for the runners.

    And secondly, the team was not mentally prepared for Austria’s high pressure tactics. Everyone in the world knows how they play but yet we can out slow and casual. I know that the players also could/should react once they feel it happening, but they should have been completely jacked up and ready to start at top speed. I think that’s Koeman’s responsibility to have them in the right wavelength before the match even starts.

    1. Did you honestly think that Koeman has the intelligence to use common sense? In my 40 years of following football tactically, he is the most knuckle-headed coach I have ever seen. Also, a guy with no morals or principles. Remember, how he had a clause in his earlier contract with KNVB that if Barcelona calls him, he will bail? Guess what, he indeed did that but ended up ruining Barcelona (along with Everton earlier with his outrageous management and spending that they haven’t still recovered from). How and why did the KNVB hire this idiot back?

  6. I did my permutations and combinations, and it seems most likely that we will avoid Spain in Round 2 and will most likely play the winner of Group C or Group E. So it could be England or Belgium possibly. Regardless, we stand very little chance against either. I hope it is England as we can only hope for another knuckleheaded coach (Southgate) to mess up his team. That’s our ONLY slim hope of progressing.

  7. This game proved one more time that Koeman is a very poor tactician. He cannot adapt his selection to an opponent. It was absolutely terrible performance: bunch of clueless players who do not know how to play together. Hope Spain will end our pain. We need a non-Dutch coach with no biases and stupid hierarchical way of thinking. I would be happy if we did not progress. I am not going to watch next game, just following the score. It is very unhealthy to watch how Oranje plays especially when you care so much.

  8. @ AZ-Forever
    Let me tell you, some folks on this blog ain’t gonna like what you said. lol
    They gonna tell you to find another team. They just can’t handle the truth. Watching the Dutch team these past 4 years is very painful. It’s time to rebuild. We have to keep on searching. The majority players of this generation is sucked. It’s time to rebuild and hopefully 2 years from now we’ll maybe have a decent team.

    1. Time to swallow the infamous Dutch pride and hire a non-Dutch coach. Time to bury “Totaal Voetball” as a sweet memory and embrace what you are today. We will need a manager who has Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C for every game. A manager who plays to the team’s strengths, hides weaknesses and does not try to force a square peg in a round hole. Only select players from the top leagues who are playing regularly at their clubs.

      Even as an Everton fan, I won’t mind Jurgen Klopp coaching Netherlands. He is a hard task-master, disciplinarian, and has an eye for youth. So oldies like Wijnaldum, Van Dijk (even though he has an association with Klopp), Memphis can say their good-byes.

  9. As I had calculated earlier, we are NOT playing Spain. It is most likely going to be England. There is a very small possibility of it being Belgium, although I would rather face England than Belgium. Regardless, Oranje have a humungous task ahead. They MUST forget about possession, let the other team have the ball more and play on the counter. There is simly no other way out. Our defense is leaky with the overrated Van Dijk not marshalling his troops. So we must play with 3 Center halves. If is very unrealistic of me to expect Koeman benching Van Dijk, so he must be supported by De Vrij AND Micky. Bring back Dumfries in RB. The dude who played today was abysmal. Xavi Simons has to play. He is the engine of the team and should be given a free role. Against England, although I am not a big Memphis fan, he still should start over Wout, but play the false-9. The English defenders are good in the air but can be beaten in quick one-twos that Memphis is capable of.

    So my starting lineup (5-3-2):

    Dumfries – DeVrij – Van Dijk – Micky – Ake
    Reijnders – Xavi – Memphis
    Frimpong – Gakpo

    Regardless of the score, Wout should come in around the 65 minute mark. If we are leading, he should play the lone target man while the rest of the team falls back. If we are chasing, he should play as the second striker (assuming Memphis or Gakpo plays more centrally then).

    With this strategy and line-up, we MAY have a shot.

  10. save the time and sorrow, everthing been said has alrady being discussed in depth here. vs high pressing, high tempo games, vs average teams, koeman tatics, preference, selection, cuutting edge, midfield lows, lateral and backing passing literally everything. you have to simply give credit to Austria and Ralf Rangnick for what he has brought to the table and I hope KNVB will look at him at some point to take over as coach. this guy only came into spotlight when he took over at Man United but was branded amateur and what a way to show himself off at one of the biggest stage. loud of applauds man. I switched off at half time, I knew its gonna end in other draw or Austria would win.

    the only way koeman can salvage the sinking ship is reaching the final which is through the hardest route now.time to focus on the after math and the WC 26

  11. @wilson, knowing how KNVB operates, they will consider the advancement through the groups stage as a huge success and keep Koeman. It is easy. Otherwise, it is too much work for those fat asses in KNVB to look for another coach and take some accountability. Why to bother. From year-to-year KNVB lowers their standards.

  12. @ AZ

    in btw you have to keep logging out and in to acess.

  13. @Wilson, AZ 2023-2024 season was roller-coaster. Last year we sold five key players and purchased inadequate replacement. Meanwhile we started season so well: 8 games and 8 victories. Then something got broken and everything started from the lost game to a Bosnian team in the group stage of the conference league when we were leading 3:0 and then lost the game in a bizarre manner 3:4. After that that team lost confidence coupled with the injury of Lahdo who played so well with Pavlidis before. Jansen was unable to turn things around and he was fired. Maarten Martens (assistant coach) became a main coach. He somehow stabilized the situation, but I did not see a major change in performance. I think we were able to maintain 4th place only due to scoring abilities of Pavlidis. Now, he is leaving for Benfica. We are also selling Sugawara and bringing another Japanese as his replacement. Our major problem is central defense. Bazoer is our central defender, imagine now the status of our defense. Also, most of our 2023 purchases were very bad choices. We also do not get any bright talents from our youth team even though they won Champions League in 2023. Also, Robert Eenhoorn resigned and we got a new Managing Director. Something has to change in the upper management policy, but last season was complete disappointment.

  14. they shud try and get experienced wesley hoedt and Jeffrey Gouweleeuw back and release martin indi and bazoer. apart from that they are all good in other departments with poku, addai coming up in the mix to van bommel and van Brederode, I was also disappointed when they loaned kenzo goudmijn again to excelsior and Jens odgaard to bologna. good players. dani de wit is another player that shu8d get rid of imo. very poor skill set playing at AM and vs big guns. I hope they go heracles hitman jizz hornkamp to replace pavlidis.

  15. @wilson,
    we will see but Max Huijbert will never pay for experienced players as Hoedt or Gouweleeuw. It goes against his policy. He wants to buy cheap, develop and then sell for more. AZ have been managed like that since the collapse of DSB which is already 15 years. I think AZ is up for the next step but with Max Huijbert it will be difficult to do it. He is a peasant and has a peasant vision. We need a courageous leader. That is the problem of entire Dutch football: lack of courageous leadership at every level.

  16. There is an outside chance the Dutch could beat England or that game can go to penalties. England is still soul searching under Southgate who even doesn’t know what is their strongest starting 11. Foden and saka are the only players carrying England at the moment. Including Their flank players of the bench Gordon and Palmer.Their backline are vulnerable and midfield lacking both cohesion and chemistry. If the Dutch can overpower them on the flanks, they could stand a chance surprising them. Remember Vincent jassen Vs stones in the NL.The English pressing game is not that free flowing but come in phases and they try to get ball to their main players like saka and foden who can take on multiple defenders and free space for kane and Bellingham arriving in and around the box. If the Dutch play how they played Vs France, it can come down to who creates and executes the best opportunities. I think this is a game frimpong must start so that he can maintain that balance in the offensive front.the English are not robust like what the french had. Being said the Dutch can go with any lineup koeman wishes, if they can’t utilize middle channels to create opportunities, link ups etc it might just be another dull game going into penalties. Don’t think Ake or van Der ven shud start either be face walker and saka. That flank is where the Dutch need to contest at all cost in both fronts. Not sure how maatsen has been doing in the training sessions.

    Depay- Zirkzee-Frimpong


    Gravenberch- schouten

    Maatsen- Ake- van dijk- de ligt

    Changing to 3-4-3

    Depay- zirkzee


    Maatseen- gravenberch- schouten- frimpong

    Ake- van dijk- deligt


  17. Guys, I will write my piece later on. I’m still disgusted by what I saw… Unbelievable. Koeman completely failed in my eyes. I said it before: Veerman is nice against Volendam and RKC but is not good enough for this level. Malen should be benched too. Twice he let his man go. Can’t understand what Van Dijk was doing and it was an utterly shameful, disgraceful performance.

    I don’t think I ever saw them this bad. In 2006, against Portugal, we went too far. Now, we didn’t go far enough. I can’t believe what I saw…

  18. We’re going to be in a world of hurt….After Koeman is finally sacked, who’s the best candidate available to take our hot seat 🔥 💺?
    Van Bronckhorst?

  19. First off Jan, I just sent a $20 AUD donation, keep up the good work and I love your passion!

    As for the 2nd round onwards I agree 100% with vikram’s lineup from yesterday:

    5-3-2 and the player selection though I would put van de ven outside and slot Ake inside left. Other than that, agree with everything else.

    I thought after the loss yesterday, accept the limitations of the team and hope Koeman has the guts to accept as well and switch to 5-3-2 and hope for a 2016 Portugal knock out stage run to the final with some luck and tough defense.

  20. They played that game like a bunch of sheep let out to pasture; intermittently interested in the things the things that gave them pleasure, no interest in doing anything that required industry, and no plan from second to second.

    If they have any pride, they’ll give England/Belgium a battle.

  21. It is now very simple:

    Czechia beat Turkiye – Netherlands play Romania on Tuesday
    Turkiye win or draw – Netherlands play England on Sunday

    A part of me wants England as Koeman may switch his lineup and play cautious
    With Romania, the approach will be like yesterday’s game against Austria and a loss can happen

  22. There is a third possibility:

    If Czechia beat Türkiye by a margin of more than 2 goals, Hungary (from Group A) will qualify and Türkiye will be eliminated. In that case, we will still play England.

  23. If we play England it is probably going to be a boring match between two teams managed by boring managers, probably it is going to end 0:0 and it will be decided by penalty shootouts, which we might win it (as bad as we are in penalty shootouts I think England are even worse than us) an progress to the next round which will be the last game for us in this competition.

  24. Not a problem @Andrew but there is 4th scenario where Georgia wins (leading 1-0) and that means Netherlands plays Romania on Tuesday, let’s see how it plays out

    1. My bad. Never thought of Georgia getting a result against Portugal. It seems Portugal is resting some of the first team players, so let’s see. I have both games going on on two screens simultaneously. LOL.

  25. Netherlands lose yesterday only to be placed in the weakest quad of the 4 in the knockout stage, will Koeman and the team take advantage of this second life or blow it like yesterday’s result

  26. Well well well, we avoided England and will be playing Romania. Not sure if that is a good thing or not, but we couldn’t have asked for a “luckier” bounce. If Koeman can’t get the team ahead from THIS position, then he deserves to be fired on the spot.

  27. If Netherlands do not get to the semis, which may include a rematch against Austria, absolutely agree, leave Koeman in Germany and find his replacement ASAP

  28. The crazy referee in the Czech-Turkey game showed maybe 11 cards to the Turkey players (along with many to the Czechs too). So chances are Turkey won’t be at full strength against the impressive Austrians. If don’t want to get ahead of myself, but if we somehow get past Romania, we potentially will get another crack at Austria at the same venue (Berlin). Redemption? Revenge? This is what separates the men from the boys. Let’s see what we really are.

  29. did anyone expect this. NED VS Romania. winner to play Turkey vs Austria.

    This made my morning though, “Play poorly and get a favorable KO round draw. What a hilarious joke this is”

  30. Yes, I have. At least in these Euro games. Compact defense and middle third, usually plays 4-2-3-1. Two quick wingers and a midfielder who can take good shots from a distance. Their center halves are not very tall though. So this game may be a tailor-made one for Wout Weghorst.

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.