Oranje: ugly wins are also wins

We were up against an agitated opponent. We humiliated them in Belgium, they wanted revenge. They also wanted to grab their last chance to get into the Final Four. And we lost two of our key players. It didn’t look too good. I tried to find the positive in that event and posted that earlier.

I expected a loss, as you will remember, and with De Roon for Frenkie and Janssen for Memphis, we were definitely weakened.

Before the game Van Gaal wanted a different “version” of his midfield, what with Frenkie absent. De Roon and Berghuis started as the two pivots and Klaassen in the 10 role to pick up the first holding mid of the opponent. Nothing new here.

The positioning of Bergwijn and Janssen was completely new. They were told not to pressure the ball but to move wide. Against Poland, our forwards were instructed to put pressure on the ball. In this match, Van Gaal allowed the central defender to have freedom on the ball. It’s not a bad idea, as in this way the vertical pass to the two playmakers (De Bruyne and Hazard) was blocked off, but the central defender of Belgium was not Boyata, as expected, but Alderweireld. One of the best passers of the game.

When De Bruyne and Hazard started to drift and float, we were getting into trouble with Timber at times pressing all the way to the Belgian box! Ake and Timber ended up in no mans land at times and add to that the slower and limited build up smarts of De Roon and there is your recipe for a weak first half.

Belgium started on the front foot, as was to be expected. Alderweireld was their free man and his passing is quite good so Belgium did take the initiative and created more than we did. Oranje was played a sort of counter football in the turn around but once we had the ball, we seemed a bit hesitant.

The ball circulation pace was low and it seemed only Ake and Berghuis were motivated to speed the game up and create something. Dumfries was minding Castagne, who was found often, while De Roon took care of De Bruyne, who kept on drifting into different areas

Belgium could have scored 3 or more in the first half, with chances for Hazard and Witsel. The Oranje organisation was solid, but the pressure on the ball was not easy, due to Belgium’s roaming midfielders.

in a game like this, Vincent Janssen’s weakness – his lack of speed – comes to light as there was a lot of space in behind but only Bergwijn tended to try and get in there. Klaassen did make some good runs but on the ball he showed a complete lack of match rhythm. De Roon was solid, he played well and interestingly enough, he speeds the game up more than Frenkie, at times. Frenkie loves to turn and chop and turn again, and dribble. De Roon, knowing his own limitations, is more of a short passer.

Van Gaal had to replace the active Berghuis, who still suffered lower back issues. He was keen to make an impression with his work rate and vertical play, and with De Roon, Koopmeiners and Klaassen not overly convincing, the Ajax #10 will probably make the squad for the World Cup. His left foot remains a unique weapon.

Van Gaal wanted more aggression in the second half and brought Malacia for Ake. Malacia had to deal with De Bruyne who pops up on that zone a lot. Van Gaal wanted a pit bull defender there instead of Blind, who is more a tactical defender. The forward press by Malacia went really well.

Gakpo was on the pitch already for Berghuis and he demonstrated again what potential he has. The corner kick which brought us the goal was a peach, and we saw him do this with succcess versus Feyenoord as well. Consider Gakpo a shoe in for Qatar as well. Frans Hoek deserves credit too. De Vrij is then already on the pitch for Timber and he pulls away to defenders by sprinting early across the area. Klaassen positions himself in front of Courtois, who usually plucks corners for fun.

Ken Taylor was brought on to give the team some more solidity in midfield. The kid can do everything a midfielder needs to do. He’s strong on the ball, good passer, positively looking forward, making runs and creating opportunities.

Bergwijn could have scored three goals, he smashed a ball in to the side netting, after a splendid Gakpo turn and the Ajax winger should have shown a bit more composure. Blind also launched Bergwijn in the last phase of the game but he found Courtois in his way.

Pasveer and Timber impressed again. Both demonstrated a cool head in tight situations. Pasveer is calm, in control and constantly on the front foot. Had some good instinctive saves. Timber also is very relaxed under pressure. What a talent he is.

Pasveer had the save of the night on a great pass by De Bruyne and a finish by Onana. A great instinctive save. I think Pasveer can start packing his suitcase.

So much for the individual performances. As for the team game play, it was not good. it was sloppy in possession again, not being able to string too many passes together. As said, the pace was low and the decision making was wanting. Still a lot to work on.

But, if you are second best all night but win the game, that is worth a lot. In every big tournament, you will have at least one game where you’re under pressure. If you can win ugly, well…it’s still a win!

We love the win, we love the clean sheet and we love to be in the Final Four. That is all well and good. The defensive organisation Van Gaal instilled in the squad is superb. Belgium was the better side, but they didn’t create too many chances.

This means we will be a tough team to beat, even if we are not playing amazing.

To be ready for the World Cup, we need to shore things up more. I believe the midfield Berghuis – Klaassen – De Roon is not good enough. I hope Taylor or Koopmeiners or Gravenberch will step up to offer that better option next to (or instead of ) De Jong.

I also hope to see Danjuma fit and ready, as we will need more quality up front. I also hope Brobbey will be on fire for Ajax in the coming months as he will be a better, more explosive and skilful option for Janssen.

Give me your thoughts!

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  1. Koopmeiners is doing so well in Serie A, if he’s not injured I could see him lock the spot beside Frenkie. Taylor would be the next on my list. I don’t think he’s there yet, but he’s getting better every game and is such a flexible player, which van Gaal likes.

  2. The pace was really slow; every players incl. the Dutch looked heavy legged. As much as I would like to give praise to the team, I afraid these Nations League games ain’t barometer of the actual capability of all the teams. Come the WC, I am certain all the teams be charged up.
    For me, Kenneth Taylor, Danjuma and Noa Lang should be in the final squad. Pasveer also.

  3. Pasveer should be made our no1 Gk…then Cillessen ,the penalty stopper..
    Donyell Malen,noah lang and kennth Taylor should make the squad…
    Frenkie Dejong should be super fit…
    My points..
    As much i like Lui king van gaal..He cannot drop Daley Blind…He finds a system to accomodate daley in any sceond of the game…thats why Malacia played as LCB…Blind was a slow winger yesterday…i dont van gaal kciked out pascal struijk who is starter for Leeds and is familiar with 3 men back system for a redcard prone BMI…
    i dont know how Blind cops with strong speedy wingers..
    I think dutch NT will go down once Van gaal leaves…i hope he stays as NT manger his last breath…We will miss him..

  4. I’m just tired of talking about this team selection. Why in the world that Van Gaal refuses to drop Daly Blin? He’s rather looking for some type of BS accommodation for DB by sacrificing Malacia in putting him as a central left back. That is non sense. Imagine Daly Blin vs Mbappe or Neymar? Imagine that? Hopefully Lang, Malen and Danjuma is back in full fitness. By the way Depay being injured doesn’t make any difference in my opinion. His contribution over all is very little. The guy sometimes is not even on the bench at Barcelona, than again his position in the NT in undisputable. I don’t understand that. My last point, you have a wonderful kid like Xavi Simmons that is being sacrificed for someone like Klassen for example. That is ridiculous! The WC is not the nation league. SO PLEASE, DO NOT GET YA’LL HOPE TO HIGH!

  5. @ jean_venette

    I have forever said what you have said above about in investing wisely and in the best interest for future. berghuis and klaassen are just waste of time given come crunch games they will in shambles. it has already happened and there is no doubt it will happen again and a very good game to gauage this is that friendly vs Germany which was high tempo free flow game. though it too late to call others, it just goes back to the jury and their choices which in their point of view is practical. this is where its also kind of disappointing they dont wanna genuinely look at other options out there. I mean how they decide ok he not the right choice and the other one is WITHOUT EVEN GIVING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE THEMSELVES. this is what has baffled me when ever these two (dont what to call them ) have come into the picture. they simply write players without any legitimate grounds.

    I mean if you think of it, investing in BMI, blind, Klaassen, Berghuis, Malacia at LCB, how is this suppose to take the team to the next level. come in koeman its back to square 1. you look at Botman/strujik situation, was BMI selection in any way a practical one.

    for now it may seem the team selection is spot on given the results and performance but the loose ends still exists in the team which is being ignored and once again it will only take one moment and a competitive team to expose this.

    1. That’s because you treat reality like it’s the FIFA video game, and every time a player gets an international cap their rating goes +1.

      This whole argument sounds so silly coming from you, Danny Blind’s biggest critic, even though he tried to “invest in the future” by playing de Ligt against Bulgaria and it basically cost us a spot in the World Cup.

      When you play International Games you aren’t looking to “invest in the future” you play your best players. The players who are going to be competing for the world cup. You know what we do with players who are going to be in the future? They play the U21 Euros.

  6. I like Veerman too, but there a lot of factors to consider.

    I don’t pretend to Have the answers, at the end is Van Gaal the one who has all the data to make the right decision, but I will risk raisin my opinion:

    BLIND: blind has plenty of experience playing in the national team. Even in Euros and World Cup!. He reached a semi final of CL and a final of a UEFA league. He plays CL every year and played in MU. So, I think Blind makes a good tandem with Malacia, that has everything Blind doesn’t (speed) but lacks what Blind brings to the team (plenty of experience and vision). It makes sense bringing these two players to the World Cup. And being honest , beside Malacia, which other option we have better than Blind? Is there any other better left back in Netherlands? Winjdal is injured and the other players on that position had failed (willems, etc)

    KLASSEN: the same. Plenty experience in the NT. Leed Peter Bosz Ajax to a UEFA League final. Plays CL every year. Delivers when he plays, scoring and running. Is Veerman better than him? Veerman has more vision, by far, but I have seen Veerman failing few times when PSV plays in Europe. Against Ranges was invisible. And again the team that played against PSV last time (I forgot the name) for the UEFA league.

    I would life that Van Gaal has given Veerman the chance to prove himself, but honestly, there are not much time.

    VEERMAN: So, let’s see where can play Veerman.

    Veerman as 5

    Is Veerman better than Frenkie and De Room? I don’t think o so.
    Even Clasie can be better option. Clasie can play as 5, has a similar vision, amazing first touch and defend better than Veerman. Also, Clasie has WC experience under Van Gaal by the way.

    As 8 (box to box)

    Is Veerman a better runner than Taylor or Graverbench? Scoring, presión, defending? I don’t think so.

    As 10
    Is better than Klassen and Berghuis? I already made my comparison with Klassen. Berghuis again, plays CL, has amazing records in eredivisie (similar numbers than Ziyech) and plays very well in every position on the midfield. He has a good record in organge, and the players know him and he knows orange players.

    For me, replacing a regular and experienced player in the orange for a new one it’s a risk. And requires a lot of reasons to do it. I am not quite sure that Veerman has done enough to justify replacing other players like Klassen nor Berghuis.

    1. Some people here will criticize Blind when he is unable to compete with Mbappe and co, but when Veerman disappears against Rangers and other Europa League level teams, he’s supposed to be called up.

      Veerman’s a good footballer, but Klaassen consistently performs at a top European Level. Same with Berghuis. Are they top in the world? No. If they play Brazil or Argentina will they dominate the midfield? No. Are they better than Veerman? 100%

      My favourite thing about this blog is the regular criticizers of Blind and Berghuis had absolutely nothing to say after the Poland game.

  7. Guys!! Get with the program. So many nonsensical things said here. And Jean, start reading my posts so you don’t need to make all this fuss.

    Van Gaal has many reasons not to drop Blind. We have been over this time and time again. Blind has experience, leadership, tactical smarts and a wand of a left foot. Many coaches before Van Gaal have confirmed this. He is also capable of playing on three positions which is wonderful for any coach.

    Blind played left back and Malacia LCB because of De Bruyne. Van Gaal didn’t want Blind to defend 1 v 1 versus Kevin and posted Malacia the pit bull there. That is smart tactical play with Van Gaal actually confirming that he sees Blind’s weaknesses.

    If we play against a country with a fast right winger, he might decide not to play Blind. That was not the case with Belgium. Jean: do you know who played right wing for Belgium?

    Depay contributed little you say? Right. I am not even sure if I want to type more about this comment than this.

    XAvi Simons has played Eredivisie football now for 2 months. He did well, he showed promise but he also had more than enough moments where he wasn’t. Van Gaal would never pick a player with that limited experience. You have to wonder if he is up for it physically even. Simons hadn’t even played for Young Oranje. He will get there. But you wouldn’t drop a fit Lang, Danjuma, Gakpo or Bergwijn for Simons would you? I do think that if there is 1 player with a chance, ever so slightly, to make the squad, it would be him. But only if some of the other lads get injured.

    Then the Veerman drivel.

    Veerman should be able to play on 6, 8 or 10, right? Well guess what. He told Van Nistelrooy and the media he doesn’t want to be a 10. Ok. So that leaves the 8 role or the 6.

    Keep in mind, Veerman has only been playing what, 3/4 season at PSV level. Before that, he was a nice player at a mid-tier club, protected in the tactical set up.

    When you play for PSV, you get no protection, you have to run, tackle, defend and hassle.

    He is still learning this. Taylor is further than Veerman in that sense. Taylor is also perfectly two-footed AND Taylor plays day in day out with 8 colleague internationals.

    The scales tip to Taylor.

    Klaassen has been a part of the Dutch squad for some time now. He mostly delivers whenever he plays. He has experience, he has lungs/legs and he can score goals. I would not replace Klaassen with Veerman.

    I think Veerman is a 6 more than anything. Deep lying playmaker. He has Koopmeiners, Gravenberch, Berghuis, De Jong and De Roon in front of him. It is that simple.

    Gravenberch needs to play, and he will drop out if he doesn’t. The reason Gravenberch was called up for this international week was because he was already in Zeist, with Young Oranje. Easy to transfer him. Van Gaal is not the one to invite new players into an ongoing camp. The coach really believes the whole induction (protocols, structure, rules, etc) is key and he takes this really seriously. new players can disrupt this process once you’re in it.

    So I can totally accept and understand Van Gaal’s decision and believe your comments on Veerman and Blind and Klaassen are a bit naive and ignorant. The way Van Gaal thinks and acts has been mentioned here so many times. I don’t know why it is still a mystery….

  8. Totally agree, Jan, and it’s also worth backtracking to say that I get the sentiment in the slightly satirical previous post, saying you hoped they wouldn’t win against Belgium. Your fears about what that would do have already come through in one sense— I’ve seen a huge uptick in sports media posts about Oranje being a “dark horse” to make a deep World Cup run (or win the whole thing) as well as a huge number of posts about how many wins we’ve had under van Gaal. The media is ready to jump on the bandwagon if only to build up the height for the potential fall.

    But something looked different to me with this team in this game. You’re right that it wasn’t pretty, but it showed a grit that has long been lacking in many past versions of Oranje. These guys were digging deep, defending the entire pitch, really ready to gut out the win. I think that’s a great sign, as is the ability to win a game against a top tier nation without a couple of your key players.

    I also love seeing much more Totaal Voetbal in these particular players, even the subs. From Bergwijn defending all the way back inside our own box to Ake making deep runs during open play into the opponent’s box, there was a lot of movement and effort that will confuse a lot of teams who will be overrun by Dutch players consistently playing out of their natural positions. I’m loving Ake, Virgil, and Timber at the back— all solid defensively and all comfortable with the ball at their feet (as is Pasveer)

    I think we have some great things underway here and we sure as hell aren’t dropping games the way they are in Germany, England, and France.

    Hup Hup!

    1. @wilson…LVG loves who can stand up…there is nothing in it..its just bust up…He call Malacia the pitbull, he likes him if not Daddy blind LVg would start Malacia as LB..But when i see lord Maguire i thank God that Blind can never be that bad…maguire is a walking fridge on feild,slow slugish,game slower….

  9. Oranje’s resolve to do what it does, over and over again, against the face of all common sense, could only be categorized as one thing; SPITE. It surely can’t be ineptitude.

    Oranje’s football tradition is too polished, too sophisticated, too inundated with sharp football minds, to suggest and dictate decisions, bloated with redundancy, taken on its behalf.

    The stagnation, the clannish resolve, the stern refusal to learn from anything remotely not aligned to seared beliefs, only points to one thing; man-made problems.

    Dutch management claim that there are millions of national coaches in the Netherlands. Funny but not funny haha. The Dutch problems run so deep and obvious that any tom, dick and Harry can identify and thus speak on them.

    And ultimately claim expertise as the problems lay unresolved and blatant enough for them to be harped on forever.

    Again, no expert can convince me that Karsdorp has no room in this squad.

    That Blind is simply untouchable, so extraordinary what he brings to the team.

    That Rensch should be in the squad and opportunities for players like Veerman, Struijk, even young Simmons anathema.

    These are clear and obvious observations and the fact that lay people(national coaches haha) talk about them brings out the thrall of spite that Dutch management have exhibited over time.

    How dare people who have never played professional football try to give an opinion. And what really does the media know?

    So they double down. SPITE. Undermining what could have been something better.

  10. “””Blind played left back and Malacia LCB because of De Bruyne. Van Gaal didn’t want Blind to defend 1 v 1 versus Kevin and posted Malacia the pit bull there. That is smart tactical play with Van Gaal actually confirming that he sees Blind’s weaknesses.””””””””
    @Jan agree on this ….Since but why Malacia ??when you have struijk and botman for LCB…BMI the looser was injured after AJax match…all of sudden throwing our best LB and best LB in EPL is been thrown as LCB just because he is pitbull???experience was needed for Botman and struijk both didint play single game of nation league..BMI already knows van gaal system and even he can be dragged to WC directly…now i heard BMI is ruled out of WC…We need an able back up for Ake..but who??i think Van gaal has cost Strujijk a WC ,poor lad still wants to play for NT and he is a starter in toughest league…Red card prone BMI should not have been considered from day one…
    Dumfries-Rensch……that means we have luxuary of world class defenders..why Indi??who is nobody..

  11. @ Eduardorw

    first thing first its not Van Gaal but Danny Blind who does the scouting, drafting and whispering in his ears. Remember Somebody that has a proven failure record. Brutal fact. now to what extent the coverage of his scouting is nobody knows but looking from the selection point of view its clear its not very wide but what he wants his eyes too see.

    then you mentioned how the experience factor should be paramount and then simultaneously comparing inexperienced talyor who got the nod comparing to veerman and then to others like klaassen,De Roon and berghuis. Rensch selection also comes into spotlight here on what you are claming of experience to be the decisive factor come selection. hateboer was called up in the last selection and even though he has NT experience and has been regular for atalanta this time around gets the boot, hence its clean and clear its double standards and contridictory to what you are proposing

    now the comparisons

    Exprienced Blind vs in exprienced Malacia – off all the game Malacia has played for NT, 6 in total on and off the bench, he has looked better going forward and defensively as well. you weigh this to experienced Blind. there are players in the NT who are dictated by the tempo of the game and Blind is one of them. as soon as his flanks gets raided he automatically goes into that (mouse in hole mode)and what does this means. his flanks becomes dead.when he is not pushing up, his flank starts lagging unable to complement upfront ( back pass syndrome) and if he does, leaves the door behind open for backline to soak up the pressure. again this all has happened and nothing new. and again its gonna happen with tricky wingers. you cant just take the Poland and belgium game for guaranteed where he was in his comfort zone with his flank relatively quiet. for this reason I would would opt for Malacia even though he is inexperience . no matter he plays with a team like lativa or brazil, his performance from consistency point of view can be relied upon. Now I want to point something what Jan has mentioned in regards to this;

    “If we play against a country with a fast right winger, he might decide not to play Blind.”

    You put this into consideration right. Does it sound pratical. Malacia by now should have clocked up as much minutes as possible to boost up his confidence level. If he has to be thrown in those big games then surely he needed to be starting more. Not throwing him in the last minute and then making him the escape goat in context to his inexperience. He has been deprived of that because of the very reason what Jan has pointed out, only needed when required if not Blind fits the bill. This is how and thanks Jan for pointing this out, Blind has gone on to wear that undisputed mask starting back from 2014. Nobody gets to compete against him unless he is unavailable or when he is deployed to a make shift position. Well this is in past but todate what’s disappointing to see is while Malacia has come into the picture proving himself and given Blind has reached the twilight of his career, they still haven’t given Malacia that thumbs up to compete with Blind from a transitioning point of view for future and here you have critics labelling it as experience Vs inexperience delimma. This goes all way to the WC qualifiers when Malacia could have clocked reasonable minutes Vs minors like Lativa, Gibraltar on feet of his debut performance vs Montenegro away but Blind straight away got the nod after returning from injury. Again the emphasis here is how it has been staged to give Blind as usual that benefit of doubt again undermining his weakness and over upcoming Malacia who is pushing for a start but won’t get it unless it’s required. I mean those were the windows to get Malacia up and running but it wasn’t done. Why??? Somebody tell me.its not that Blind was untouchable or undisputed.( Worn out) You see how being experienced has been manipulated when it comes to blind. On other hand you look on the right, under van gaal Dumfries, hateboer,Timber, Resnch at 19. It has been open corner in contexts to rotation and competition. Also Acknowledging here what Jan always says about how the Dutch coaches and pundits think highly of Blind, but the fact remains he has always needed protection and his weakness has always overshadow his integellence regardless of his experience whether he has played LB,WB, CB,MF.

    klaassen vs Veerman- though they play different positions to say klaassen is better than veerman because he is experienced is laughable. creativity point of view, any time any day. Veerman surpasses everyone except frenkie. also at best klaassen will get what just few minutes which probably will be come in the group stage and his chapter is closed. otherwise it hard seeing him and berghuis playing in knockout stages Vs likes of Brazil,Argentina and looking at how gakpo played in the hole in the last two games it should be either of berghuis or klaassen who should go as the double pivot of koops and frenkie looks to be the first choice of van gaal. You see this is where I felt veerman should have been tested along side frenkie given the double pivot role he plays at pSv and along side gakpo as well. Once again I will go back to what Jan said in regards to this;

    “When you play for PSV, you get no protection, you have to run, tackle, defend and hassle”

    At Ajax this is not the case for Talyor, as much he drops back and forth he still plays in the shadows of alverez. Also in a double pivot role as to how it is likely to be , again it remains to be seen given he doesn’t play in that set up

    Veerman vs koopmeiners- this one is hard to call given they both started as deep lying midfielders and have transitioned more to a central role now at their respective clubs. Atalanta compared to PSV have a better squad at present hence koopmeiners definitely takes a big piece of cake but again this is where all frenkie, veerman and koopmeiners could have been rotated given in the double pivot set up fair and square.

    De Roon- frenkie can compensate for him and hence him to is likely to be a backup and probably feature in group stage only clocking few minutes. If something happens to Frenkie probably that when he comes in.

    Gravenverch- as mentioned by Jan playing time? and again in double pivot setup. Bad idea. He is good going forward and lackluster coming back. Bayern play 4-2-3-1 but he hasn’t really made any stride playing in that role either

    Now if the setup was 4-3-3 or Frenkie in a point backward midfield set up then I would agree a Ajax midfield like step set would have been practical.

    1. You must understand that playing Left Back for Holland isn’t some grand, life changing experience right? If Malacia is a good left back, he doesn’t need to play left back for Holland to like level up? Getting an international cap is a nice thing for player, but it doesn’t make them a better player. The second Blind retires Malacia will have the spot, he doesn’t need to learn how to play Left Back for Holland if he knows how to play Left Back, its the same thing. The fact that he can slip in a LCB is probably a good thing for his selection.

      Also, your fanboying of Veerman is getting ridiculous at this point. He’s behind Klaassen and WAYYYY behind Koopmeiners. Koopmeiners is dominating Italian teams week to week, Klaassen is a Champions League level player. Veerman can’t handle Bodo/Glimt or Rangers.

  12. I’m actually really curious to see the update to the FIFA Rankings.

    Belgium (2) lost to us (8) – Likely to move down
    France (4) lost to Denmark (10) – Likely to move down
    England (5) lost to Italy (7), drew with Germany (11)
    Spain (6) lost to Switzerland (16) – Likely to move down
    Italy (7) beat England, beat Hungary – Likely to move up
    Holland (8) beat Poland (26), beat Belgium (2) – Likely to move up

  13. @ Jan,
    What experience are you talking about? Klaassen! LOL
    Why would Van Gaal played Malacia as CLB as opposed to leave Blin on the bench when he already played against Poland? Why wouldn’t he bench Blin and gave Malacia his chance? What ever he wanted to experiment is nonsense. Blin is playing in a 5/3/2, how many assist as he provided all this time? How many crosses Blin has provided in this tactical formation. At least Demfries has. Blin needs to be coming off the bench….. He is aging and he is way too slow. END OF DISCUSSION. Also, you talking about Depay as if he is so good. He is not. He slows the games down way too many times, he is trying too much when he does not have the skills to do so. Depay is not Ronaldinho. My point is, I don’t see why he’s so untouchable particularly when you are not even playing for your club because you are not good enough.

    1. Jean:

      Davy Klaassen played 275 matches at the highest level in Holland, England, Germany.
      Davy Klaassen played 35 international games, scoring 9 goals. As a midfielder, scoring in every 4th game is pretty good.

      Veerman played 89 matches at the highest level in Holland and has 1 cap for Under19s without goals.

      Does that answer your experience question?

      As for Blind assists (see next post): Daley had the most assists in the Nations League campaign (2).

      Memphis is good enough for Barca. He is not a real #9 so Barca bought the best one there is. You can’t compare Memphis with Lewandowski. Totally different players. Memphis was Barca’s top scorer last season. Xavi didn’t want Memphis to go.

      You live in an alternative reality.

  14. In response to orangutan and his comments on spite… I will copy some of his words and give you my analysis.

    “Oranje’s resolve to do what it does, over and over again, against the face of all common sense, could only be categorized as one thing; SPITE. It surely can’t be ineptitude.”

    I’ve had discussions with orangutan about this earlier. And I am trying to get my head around it.

    I think I have it now: what he calls spite is not spite, actually. Spite is more like a laden opinion, or judgement. What someones sees as spite, another could see as perseverance of a vision. Or what one sees as ‘arrogant’, another could define as ‘confident’.

    I think what onrangutan is talking about is actually the Dutch Culture. Or football culture. It’s not spite. It’s an overarching mentality towards football which is very Dutch, basically.

    I mean, lets face it: it’s not just Van Gaal who acts like this. Coaches like Hiddink, Blind, Advocaat, Koeman and more have been criticised in the exact same way.

    And as I pointed out, all Dutch ex players or pundits who comment on the game seem to be sharing the same opinion, so it’s not one guy’s spite, it’s a cultural thing.

    We have certain beliefs we share, as Dutchies, and those beliefs can be summed up as such:

    – we are the best footballing nation never to have won the World Cup
    – we should have won it 4 times now (1974, 1998, 1998, 2010)
    – we are the best in developing players
    – we are responsible for total football and Barca’s tika taka
    – we outsmart every oppponent. IF we lose it’s because of 1) bad luck (1978, 1998), 2) unfair practices of the opponent (1974) or ref mistakes (2010).
    – we invented modern football
    – only Dutchies can coach the National Team

    This is endemic and systemic.

    Only yesterday, former Dutch internationals Jan Boskamp (1978), Wim Kieft (80s) and Andy vd Meyde (2004) were singing Daley Blind’s praise and said “surely he will play at the World Cup, Holland needs him”.

    This is not mass psychosis. This is not Danny Blind blackmailing a whole nation.

    I fear that this attitude of the Dutch is what we’ll have to live with. It’s like loving another human being (woman or man, I’m quite tolerant as you know, or any gender) and realising they have some flaws.

    If you support Oranje, you’ll need to be able to “accept” those flaws.

    If we didn’t have them, we’d be like Denmark. Or Austria. Or Poland.

    But we’re not, we’re a small nation sticking the middle finger up to Germany, Brazil, England and Argentina whenever we can…

  15. I’m really struggling to find the energy to comment on Wilson’s long comments.

    In his first sentence, you know he’s already creating his own slow motion car crash:

    “Danny Blind does the scouting”….

    I do not know where this comes from. Yes, Danny does do scouting, like Fraser did and now Davids. Van Gaal sees all 60 players every weekend as well. There is also a scouting team (we don’t even know their names) and every Monday the staff gets together to discuss and watch the relevant footage.

    The experience comment

    If there are multiple options for one spot, and I mean truly comparable options, then LVG will look at 1) status in Oranje, 2) experience, 3) fit with other players.

    Veerman is not the same as Taylor. I explained this.

    Rensch is a young Oranje player. You move easier from young Oranje into the Big Oranje than if you’re not a young oranje player. It has to do with tactics, with protocols and usually also with parallels in practice / training sessions and locations. Calling up Brobbey and Gravenberch over – say – Veerman and young van Hooydonk is because of practicallity as well.

    You clearly have no real understanding of the game when you believe Blind “hides in a hole” when his flank is raided. I won’t even comment on this. It’s ridiculous and painful to read.

    You ask: does it sound practical to consider a different right back when playing versus a fast right winger? That, my friend, is called tactics. You adjust on the basis of the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent, if need be.

    You seem to think Taylor doesn’t need to work hard because of Alvarez? The Sangare of Ajax? BS. Watch Taylor play for a change.

    No one said Klaassen is better than Veerman because of his experience. Klaassen cannot be compared to Veerman. Different. No one is saying better. Veerman is a 6, Klaassen is an 8.

  16. @Derek

    Re:The second Blind retires Malacia will have the spot…

    It is not a monarchy 🤣🤣 Great football organizations base their selection on merits not entitlement.

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