Oranje’s new direction….

Well, Ronald Koeman doesn’t need a lot of introduction here. FG Groningen, rocket shots (mostly over the goal), Ajax, PSV, Barcelona, Feyenoord… Thon’s jersey. Wembley. Assistant to Van Gaal and colleague of Mourinho. Vitesse. Ajax. PSV. AZ. Feyenoord. England. Highs. Lows.

He selected two assistants, along with Patrick Lodewijks, the former goalie and current keepers trainer he met at Feyenoord and took along to England.

Kees van Wonderen was part of Bert van Marwijk’s EUFA Cup winning side in 2002. An elegant, football playing centre back (originally a midfielder) developed according to the philosophy of Wiel Coerver.

Dwight Lodeweges, most recently assistant to John van ‘t Schip at the surprise of the Eredivisie season PEC Zwolle, is maybe not so well known.

PEC Zwolle assistant Dwight Lodeweges with Van ‘t Schip

Lodeweges was the former head coach at NEC, Heerenveen and SC Cambuur. His current management really endorse this big step up for the assistant, but also emphasise he is key in Zwolle’s current success. He’s not just an assistant. He started as high performance coach at Zwolle in 2015. The Canadian born was also responsible for the development of the Zwolle talents. When Ron Jans decided to move on from PEC Zwolle last year, the Zwolle board immediately asked Dwight to step up as head coach, but the 61 year old declined. He didn’t feel like a role as the figure head and scape goat. So Zwolle went on to look for the new coach, with Dwight Lodeweges as a committee member. He was in the interview with John van ‘t Schip and every candidate coach was told: you will have Dwight as your right hand man. Van ‘t Schip as the manager, Dwight as the field coach, like they do it in England.

Dwight on the right, playing in the US (or is it Canada?)

Lodeweges loves working in the shade, in the background. Working with talents, moulding new systems and game plans. The kudos for PEC all go to Schippie, and Dwight is totally ok with that.

In 2016, Lodeweges took a second job, as the Under20 coach of Oranje, at the KNVB. He worked actually, with young talents like Van de Beek, Guus Til (AZ) and Fosu-Mensah (Man United), which is more than Koeman can say. At the KNVB, they were impressed with his skills and know-how and were disappointed when he decided to leave after one year. He couldn’t combine the role he had with the KNVB with the job assisting Van ‘t Schip. The former Go Ahead player is known to be a workaholic, working 70 hours a week easily and his big ambition was always to work with the top team of the Netherlands: Oranje. With PEC Zwolle on course to play the play-offs in the Eredivisie, it is fair to expect him to perform the two jobs simultaneously until the end of the season.

For the job of Director Top Sports (Technical Director), the KNVB originally wanted Louis van Gaal, but he declined. Fred Rutten was the next on the list. In every way, Rutten was the ideal guy. In terms of age, experience (as a player and top coach) and with a background in football development. Rutten is known to be a walking encyclopedia on football and a work-aholic. But he demanded a coaching role with a rep team, as Rutten is keen to remain in touch with grass. The KNVB didn’t see this, so Rutten declined and accepted a good paying job with Maccabi Haifa, as head coach. So Nico-Jan Hoogma was next up in line.

Koeman and Hoogma some years back

Adding Nico-Jan Hoogma to the list of new faces and it is clear we will have a no-nonsense management team in Zeist (with Koeman the master pragmatist). So, what does it say when Justin Hoogma, a talent at Heracles Almelo, gets an offer for 4 years from Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, and dad Hoogma tells his son to take the offer. “You’ll learn more in Germany than you will here”, were his words. And Hoogma knows. He was there, playing for HSV Hamburg and exactly in the period when the German federation decided to overturn the whole German youth development system. Hoogma will take the Dutch development and training books and re-write them. As Wijnaldum and Hateboer recently explained, players from the Netherlands starting abroad are all confronted with much tougher training-regimes. Hoogma can confirm. When he left Holland for Germany, he experienced the exact same.

Famously, Hoogma already introduced longer days and more training intensity when still at Heracles some years back. The defensive rock also found that heading a ball was not a normal skill anymore, so he organised the so-called heading gallows (used in the 1960s for heading training) to the club. Hoogma also widened the field of interest for the players, by keeping them longer at the club and work on their nutrition, video analysis, mental coaching and individual training. It’s no wonder that Heracles selected coaches like Verbeek, Peter Bosz and John Stegeman, people who are highly interested in the “total human being”, as Van Gaal calls it.

More relevant aspects: Hoogma and current KNVB chairman Jan Smit were responsible for the promotion of Heracles to the Eredivisie and the fact that the club is one of the most healthy, financially. Every week, 11,000 fans in the new stadium… the only negative is that Heracles, under Smit and Hoogma opted to go for an artificial turf. Interesting aspect: PEC Zwolle recently announced they will stop playing on artificial and will move back to playing on grass (albeit hybrid) within a couple of years.

Nico-Jan Hoogma at HSV

Hoogma is also an outspoken opponent of the current KNVB football pyramid as they call it, the overall competition, from amateurs to semi pros all the way to the Eredivisie. The licensing model, in other words. Hoogma wants to make the Eredivisie and the Jupiler league smaller, less clubs, and wants to introduce a specific competition for the youth teams of the Eredivisie clubs.

Hoogma will also appoint the new Football Development manager, someone Hoogma will work closely together with, to further innovate the coaching training. Hoogma, born in Friesland, is known to be a hard worker, a pragmatist, someone happy with a role in the background, but also known to call a spade a spade…

Ronald Koeman, another pragmatist, is known to dabble with different systems. At Ajax, where 4-3-3 is sacred, he butted heads with the 5th column about this and at Feyenoord the winning streak started with a 5-3-2 away against PSV Eindhoven (and winning).

Koeman is happy to let go of sacred cows as long as it brings results. King Karim El Ahmadi remembers it well. The first Ajax-Feyenoord under Ronald Koeman. The Feyenoord players didn’t like going away to Ajax. Only months before they conceded 10 goals against PSV, a huge humiliation. When the Johan Cruyff Arena came into view, the Feyenoord players got more silent. The bus stopped on the big parking deck with camera teams and reporters ready to cover the arrival of the Rotterdam team. The players looked at one another: who will go first? Ronald Koeman got up, flung his jacked over his shoulder, puts his chest out and with a confident smile stepped out of the bus. El Ahmadi: “We saw him do it, and it took the fear away. We got confidence from that. We ended up playing 1-1 while we were the better team. That sums up Koeman.”

With Koeman, the KNVB has the perfect ambassador. He’s been around, winning trophies in Spain, at Wembley, in Germany with Oranje and of course in Holland. A cosmopolitan, a man who opens doors and has the respect from the players. At Feyenoord, Graziano Pelle and John Guidetti were club cult heroes, but they only had one question after their games – despite the number of goals they scored: “What did Koeman say?”. Guidetti: “He’s a tough task master, he only needed a couple of words to get you sharp… My first four goals were all penalties. I was proud of my stats. But he said: how’ bout you score a field goal or two as well at some stage? That sort of stimuli, you know?”

El Ahmadi: “I think there is a pre and post Koeman era at Feyenoord. Winning the title started with Koeman. The vibe just changed when he came in. Under Mario Been, the vibe was loose. Mario was happy for us to call him Mario. When Koeman came he was quite adamant: you call me coach. We all looked up to him. He said: my door is always open. If you don’t like something or wanna talk about things, come on in. Well, I don’t think anyone ever went in to do that… He taught us to win.”

A week before his exit at Everton, he was already pondering how he would go about things with Oranje. “I hear people talking about things we lack. The Robben factor. Sneijder’s class. Etc… but hey… look at what we do have. We have amazing attacking full backs, we have good central defenders, and I did see Promes score a couple of goals in the Champions League, right? And Depay is above average and when you have players like Wijnaldum and Daley Blind at top clubs in England, you can’t complain. And then we see those young talents coming through at Ajax and AZ? There is more than enough to hold on to.”

De Roon and Hateboer

Everton played Atalanta Bergamo for the EL and Koeman witnessed how Dutchies De Roon and Hateboer were excellent. Koeman: “If you can hold your own in the Serie A, you can hold your own in Oranje.” Hateboer and Koeman even chatted before the EL match. Hateboer: “Well, we’re both from Groningen, so yeah… My friends and family are most occupied with the Oranje topic than me. I mean, there’ a couple of others who are not too bad right? Tete, Karsdorp, Janmaat, Fosu-Mensah, Veltman. That’s five players, so I guess I might be a candidate when Koeman wants to play five at the back? We’ll see.”

Koeman changed the system at Feyenoord in his last season and managed to secure the 2nd spot behind champions Ajax, with only a 4 point gap. The PSV away game was the game that got Van Gaal intrigued. The then NT manager was in the Eindhoven stadium with skipper Robin van Persie. And seeing Feyenoord in the 5-3-2 got Van Gaal to implement that system for the WC2014. Basically, Koeman was co-responsible for the success of Oranje in Brazil. Not that Van Gaal would give Ronald that credit of course…


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  1. Exciting staff Jan,Good to hear koeman was into thick of things even when at Everton. Hateboer story is quite interesting and I think he should get a call up. The one thing I like about koeman he is open and straight forward. If I remember correctly he once voiced about Pieters not being selected in the NT.he also voiced about Blinds being a weak link in United’s Defense.
    Keeping all this in mind its pretty much clear what his selection will be all about.

  2. U21s named by Art langeler

    Pelle van Amersfoort (SC Heerenveen), Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Joël Drommel (FC Twente), Denzel Dumfries (SC Heerenveen), Oussama Idrissi (AZ), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax), Gervane Kastaneer (1. FC Kaiserslautern), Justin Kluivert (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Bart Nieuwkoop (Feyenoord), Yanick van Osch (PSV), Thomas Ouwejan (AZ), Bart Ramselaar (PSV), Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle), Jeremiah St. Juste (Feyenoord), Guus Til (AZ) en Michel Vlap (sc Heerenveen).

    Interesting no established striker and also zivkovic.

    1. Well he defintely looks matured at U21 level for man united but the question is will he be able to break into united first team with so many players upfront including rashford,Sanchez,martial,lingard and mata.

  3. Jan, thanks again for your post.

    You developed here, and in many of your previous post, what I consider the most important issue regarding Dutch Football: their future.

    For me, the most important news is the designation of Hoogma as TD. This guy has a huge responsibility and I wish him the best.

    Please, keep us informed about Hoogma steps. I this sense, do you know i he pretends to include Cruyff or Win Jonk initiatives to the KNVB? How much power does he have in order to change the Eeredivisie format? Or to force the teams to put grass on their field again, or transform? or to transform the clubs training methods (I don´t see how a national TD can force the teams to change that?

    1. Good point. The TD is not capable of doing all this on his own. He will need the backing of the clubs AND the backing of the board. Structurally, it’s messy, with a separate organisation for the amateurs, the pros at KNVB and also the competitions have their own entities (Eredivisie and Jupiler). All the noses need to point in the same direction but with heavy hitters Jan Smit and Louis van Gaal in the background, this might just work out this time. We do not have much time left.

  4. Loved your post, very informative about the new staff, so anxious to see Oranje again in March, 2 tough matches but will tell us a lot about the near future when we play Uefa Nations League.

    Greetings from Kuwait

  5. Excellent article, Jan. Thank you.

    I’m getting excited to see what he’ll put on the field in the upcoming matches. What will separate these games from the ordinary friendlies is that the players will playing for spots; no pro forma displays. I do hope he goes 5-3-2. I think it suits the current group of players. I don’t think DeVrij has ever been as good as he was in that formation at the WC; imho, Blind’s best position is as a left wingback. He’ll find space out there to make use of his passing, and he reads the game so well that he’ll know when to move forward in to the attack, when to drop in as an extra body in the mf,; plus you aren’t wedded to find a CF who fits a “profile” when no one presently seems to fit the bill. Depay doesn’t have to be a winger, he can play as a forward, as can Promes. There are questions of course; who plays the midfield? What gets the best out of Wijnaldum and Strootman? Where do Kluivert, Bergwijn and Frenkie De Jong fit in?

    Exciting times, I think. Watching a new team get built from the ground up can be a real pleasure.

  6. I think Koeman will play a 3-4-2-1 system, with a player like Promes as striker. We don’t have top class strikers at the moment. Dost being our only option, playing at a good level.

    He will hopefully try out De Vrij – Van Dijk – De Ligt or De Vrij – Blind – Van Dijk.

    Wide, we have good options, with Aanholt, Willems, Tete, Janmaat, etc etc.

    I think we might see Donny van de Beek in the central role with whoever has the form of the day: Wijnaldum or Van Ginkel or Strootman. The two in the Hazard/Willian role might be Memphis/Babel or Memphis/Berghuis.. All will depend on the opponent as well, I guess…

    1. Any one of Devrij-Vrijil-Blind,Deligt are capable of playing from back.–i am more worried about agility and speed at back..it be better to Flank the main tank with speedy guys some what like
      —Bruma—-Virgil—-De ligt———–
      —Mensah—Devrij—-Kongolo——on bench
      i wont go for Devrij-Vrigil combination some how i dont feel comfort with thati have same feeling like i had for Strootman-Wijnaldum combination at midfeild which failed miserably..

      1. Agree,with high defense line,you cant have De Vrij and Van Dijk playing together.also attacking fullbacks will really help the current situation especially when playing dost up front.this will create a lot of space in the midfield plus you can have good crosses coming in from both the flanks and as well as options such as Depay cutting inside from the left,but the question remains who starts in the midfield. In terms of work rate if Clasie is 100 percent fit than he should get the nod.you jus can’t throw in VDBeek and frenkie straight away.Clasie and strootman could be a good options.


        Depay- Promes

        Van Annholt- Clasie- Strootman- Hateboer

        Ake- Van Dijk- De Ligt


  7. Personally I think a 4-3-3 could still work well, but you’d need to convert the middle three into more of a triangle to support the back 4.

    Cillesen would still be our number 1 keeper for me.
    RB- Karsdrop has been injured for a while, but at his best he looked like our best option.
    CB- de Ligt and van Dijk. Obviously de Ligt is still young and inexperienced, but he’s getting there very quickly.
    LB- I like Ake, though he might be a little slow. I considered Blind for this option as well.
    CDM- I’d love for Frenkie de Jong to have this spot, though he might still be a bit too young, so lets give it to Blind for a bit until de Jong is ready.
    LM/RM- Wijnaldum and de Beek to me are the best two options for this position. de Beek still a bit inexperienced, but he’ll be a top Eredivisie player by the end of 2019.
    LW/RW- To me, Depay and Promes still have those spots, but Kluivert is right on their tails. Hopefully Kluivert can break into the squad by 2019.
    CF- In my opinion Huntelaar beats out Dost just based on experience. He may be playing Eredivisie football now, but he’s shown he’s able to score at an international level, whereas Dost hasn’t. Though I’d love for Janssen to have this spot.

  8. Glad to see this place still chugging along, its decreased popularity solely due to the horrendous state of Dutch soccer. Its depressing to see RVP and Robben winding down their careers, im 33 and they were my golden generation. I would say 1995 to 2014 or so was an incredible era for Dutch soccer, so many talents across Europe. One must wonder what the hell happened?!?! How could the mighty have fallen to such a terrible place.

    Very very sad and depressing. Not much else to say.

    1. It literally happens in every sport to every team and country. No need to get upset they are just in a slump they will get out of it soon and once again be the best country in the world

  9. Locadia had a good debut for Brighton. Hopefully he continues that this week. He scored one and rattled one off the wood work.they won 3-0 but to a championship side. Injuries has hampered his NT outings a lot and if he needs to be playing in order to get a call.up.

    I watched PSG and Madrid and one of the reasons why Madrid came out on top was because of some master stroke sub from Zidane.when the left footed wingers came on for Madrid the game totally changed and another thing to note was how the wingers were changing the flanks.this is something that was very evident before in NT and slowly has became a thing of past.still remember when Bolo Zenden,marc overmars use to run riot both flanks. Since Robben moved that right flank,the left flank has been mainly being deputized by right footed wingers who have been easy to predict. when Elia jumped onto the scene in 2010,I thought he would go on to join his compatriots who dazzled the flanks before him but he never quiet lived up to expectation. With Robben out of the picture now,this would be right time to go back back to normal wing system especially with Dost around. Dost was at the fore front with persic and De Bryne at that time. At sporting the formation is slightly different but again Martins and Acuna are heavily involved in his assists.

    Hope to see a revival of this in NT where wingers constantly change flanks and come up with teasing crosses for the strikers.can’t forgot that Kluivert equalizer vs Brazil from RDB breath taking cross.

    1. This was exactly the same thing that happened to Huntelaar at Schalke and he was quiet lethal in a normal system,but come NT he always ended up getting isolated.The moment you have inverted wing system everybody get surpressed and it becomes all clustered.I have also seen this with Napoli on oscassions they have been punished with teams able to counter their attacking player with Insigne taken out of the equation.

  10. @Wilson, do you think it is wise to play with 3 players up front if we lack of world class strikers and wingers?

    We only have 2 pretty good wingers (Depay and Promes) some regular central strikers (Dost, Jannsen and Locadia that can play in both places) and some potential stars in Kluivert and Ter Stegen, etc.

    Hence, we don´t have the deep to have quality wingers or strikers on the bench. And this is vital in a team so prone to injuries.

    What we do have a lot are great defenders and box-to-boxes. Then, why don´t play with 3 central backs and 2 strikers?

    In my mind Koeman can play 5-3-2 with Depay/Promes and Locadia/Jannsen upfront. I think Locadia could play very well there.

    At the end, Koeman will made a team capable to switch from 5-3-2 to 3-4-2-1 or 4-3-3 as van Gaal did in the last WC, and Blind tried to do in the qualifications, but never achieved.

    1. Locadia – El Ghazi


      Van Annholt – Wijnaldum – strootman – Hateboer


      Van Dijk – De Ligt

      Diamond midfield in 3-4-3. Frenkie as a rover covering both at CB and in Midfield.Depay and Kluivert as impact of the bench.

    2. bad luck for Beskitas. they had a good squad . the red card early in the game swang the game in Bayerns favour. dont think there will be able to turn the aggregate around in return leg.

  11. “Is there anybody out there” (play Pink Floyd son in your heads)

    Well … how much silence… i need you guys! I need to know what Nico-Jan Hoogma is doing, what do you think about Van Wonderen etc.

    I am bit sad for Dutch football and also boring… so.. I will do something I don´t like to do because is a nonsense, but I will do it anyway: A future formation!

    Sorry guys!


    –Van de Beek——- Wijnaldum

    Willems —————— Kardoshp

    —Blind—De Vrij–Van Dijk–


    Def: De Light, Hoet, Veltman, Tete,
    Mid: Clasie (for Frenkie), Strootman, Klaassen (or Van Ginkel?), Vilhena,
    Attack: Depay, Jannsen, Kluivert, Ten Stegen

    1. I don’t think if we play with a back 5 we need to have Frenkie in as well. That’s 6 (7) players who have a defensive role in the team. I wouldn’t mind see Frenkie play in front of back 4, and then move on of the defensive players into a winger.

      Choice of players is probably the strongest, though I still think Huntelaar is more clinical at the highest level than Locadia, we do need to bring in younger strikers.

      1. good to hear about huntelaar but this days he has looks worn off. Locadia is not a natural striker so its better to use him auxiliary winger. he drops deep in defense and his workrate is good and this is what you wanna have in the team but on the hand you cant have both Depay and Locadia starting on that left side. they will simply clash. Given locadias overall play, if he is fit then he should start. by having Pat Van Annholt assisting Locadia on the flanks, you have many options. either locadia can cut inside when ever he wants or Van Annholt can overlap on left which hasn’t being happening and push locadia further in the box to station him self for crosses. this will further create space for the midfielders to position themselves in and around the box. Promes in the middle can be false striker like Firmino

        van Annholt – Locadia-Promes – El Ghazi

        Freinkie – Wijnaldum – Strootman – Hateboer

        Van Dijk – De Ligt

        (this is counter attack situation)

        when Van Annholt is retrieving Frenkie can again slot in that Rover position in midfield in front of the CBs,or covering for Van Annholt at LB which ever situation arises.

        again you have to remember the current strength of NT at the moment is the attacking fullbacks.

        depay, Kluivert, Babel,clasie can be super subs

        1. I read some where that Ter Stegan has dutch heritage but dont think he will play for NT.he has already played for Germany.

          Dortmund again pounce late to hold Atalanta 1-1 and qualify for round of 16.Hateboer and De Roon both starting the game.

    2. Who is Klassen???Is he play Regular for his club??What has he done for NT????Davy Prropper would 1000 times better than overrated klassen…???
      What was klassen and strootman doing for NT in WCQ2018 and ECQ2016???

        1. Blind ,bazoer,williams are 1000 times better players than klassen..offensivly and defensivly they are better players than overrated klassen…its just bad luck that they sitting in bench or their teams have better players in that spot..klassen is not even in playing sqaud…
          Whovere taking klassen name on NT level is not following football and needs treatment..

      1. That midfield is barely an Eredivisie level midfield. Hateboer and van aanholt may be doing well, but their ceiling is too low. They’re almost at playing at their best level. Better to leave spaces for guys like Karsdrop and Ake who have room to grow.

        1. @ derekvdberg

          Wijnaldum and strootman are the only midfield players who are playing in above average teams,but they consistency level at NT has been low and in the last fours years both have being average at best.the question is whether you drag with them for another four years or you try something different since this is the time to build a new foundation.you need to have stability in the midfield and with strootman and wijnaldum, it has never looked to be happening.you need to start drawing lines on how to improvise this situation and balance the equation. Ake is playing CB in a three man defense and by having him infront of the defense can provide coverage both up front and again in defense. call it an axuillary defender. there is no other way to go around this or have somebody else who is defensive minded and can provide offensive cover up as well. Riedewald. this jus leaves you with the offensive players.this is the only way to go around this and the best formation to this is 3-4-3-

          ___________Front Line_________________

          ____________Mid offensive line____________

          __________Aux defense Line________________

          __________three man defense___________

          acknowledge that Van Annolt has a low, but his offensive ceiling is higher than his defensive ceiling which is his strength and also a plus. I think Sam Allardyce did utilize this to maximum effect at sunderland and again it depends on the tatics and the coach on the day and on how they wanna execuate it.

          dont think hateboer has a low ceiling. he made good decision of moving to Atalanta and has been playing consistently both in europa and serie A this season.

          rover up to cover in the midfield and simantenously dr

          acknowledge that Van Annholt has a low ceiling but on the other hand his offensive ceiling is

  12. @Emmanuel,

    I once read that when Klaassen got injured many years ago, Cruyff himself suggested he should be treated in Barcelona by a X doctor, and he also visited him in the hospital even thought Cruyff and Klaassen didn´t have a previos relationship. Klaassen was extremely surprised.

    I also read that Cruyff praised him a lot because he is a very smart team player.

    Honestly, I don´t know if this is true. I think that Klaassen, van Ginkel, Propper, Vilhena, are average players without any exiting touch. None of them are capable of make a magic pass like Sneijder or Ziyech. For me all are good box-to-box but they need to play alongside a more creativity player.

    Regarding Strootman, he might deserve another chance. However, I prefer to build a team with players that will be able to play in Qatar. therefore, I won´t call Sneijder, Hunter, Robben, Babbel etc, anymore.

    1. Visiting in Hospital is nice thing..we all should do that…klassen in NT is a sin..Propper,Vanginkel are better players than klassen in any marjin..Propper has scored some goals for NT wheh we wanted gaols..how did u forget propper and went behind klassen…???that is so shocking..

      1. jajajajaja I totally forgot him!

        I think my mind was still thinking “why Ziyech chose Morocco instead of Netherlands?”

        But, nevertheless, I think Propper is not the answer neither. I am still searching for our next offensive midfield.

          1. Davy Propper is regular starter in his team..he doing good….i dont like him as midfeileder.He is complacent at times…But Guy is Brilliant ,has got typical dutch intelligence..Nice shots on target,long shots as well..Nice finisher of Moves,can Finish better than Luuk dejong,janssen,locadia,Memphis,klassen etc..
            For me He is striker as he is very good at that spot..he is an effective false striker…

          2. High tempo game he will struggle as in most epl games.his positioning is better though. Like klaassen he knows to be at the right place at right time.
            You need,agility,muscle and experience in the midfield but unfortunately there ain’t no complete midfielders at the moment.

            Clasie- Strootman

            Auxiliary defender of either Ake or Riedewald.

  13. Rajiv Van la para is coming of age…he is the most threatening player of hudserfeild.he has certain level of potency up front..he doing it in regular basis,not a one game show..he must be given a chance in NT..

  14. Locadia again scored for Brighton on his debut in epl. he continued from FA Cup last week and scored the fourth goal after cominng off the bench. can now pencil him in the starting line up for NT.

    1. Some years ago we debated between Hasselbaink or Mackaay (both top scorer in Spanish League) for the fourth striker position on the NT, behind Bergkamp, Kluivert and Van Hoinjdonk.

      Now we get exited if a Dutch striker score in Brighton….

      On these days, players like Michael Mols don’t have any chance to play in the NT.

      We need a revolution!!

      1. Situations were different back then. Currently there is no better forward avaliable and locadia has had a good start to epl. Incase if you have forgotten Luuk De Dong was a flop at Newcastle but yet he went on play for NT. There was also a time when Locadia use to play second fiddle to Luuk but locadia has gone on to become a overall all rounded player with better and higher ceiling which he looks set to take to another level if least. This is the right time to unlesh him, he has being long overdue in NT

  15. If we avoid some SO CALLED OVERRATED players we can have a balanced team…
    Williams—Van De beek–Dejong–Wijnaldum

      1. When was the last time Blind played for Man United.he hasnt played for a while now so dont think him and klaassen should be called strictly. Only those who are in form should be first priority.

      2. Blind is not a regular in his club….We have better central defenders than him…Williams is better attacker than him …So he has to compete with annholt..Since Annholt plays regular at 532 system i prefered him over Blind…
        then klassen who is that??where is he playing..is he playing??

  16. I hope Koeman gives Vormer a try since he’s been playing regular football with his club for a long time plus the fact that we need something new in midfield. I find it weird that he was never called from any of the previous managers knowing that he captains the best team in Belgium which according to Uefa coefficient rankings is rated better than the Dutch league so far.

    This would be my list of players as of now.
    Note that all players chosen below are not injured and are ready to be used for the upcoming friendly games against England and Portugal.

    GK Jasper Cillessen
    — Jeroen Zoet
    —-Sergio Padt

    DF Virgil van Dijk
    —Stefan de Vrij
    —Daley Blind
    —Nathan Aké
    —Matthijs de Ligt
    —Joel Veltman
    —Daryl Janmaat
    —Kenny Tete

    MF Georginio Wijnaldum
    —-Kevin Strootman
    —-Davy Pröpper
    —-Ruud Vormer
    —-Tonny Vilhena
    —-Donny van de Beek

    FW Ryan Babel
    —-Memphis Depay
    —-Quincy Promes
    —-Bas Dost
    —-Luuk de Jong
    —-Steven Berghuis

    1. Agree Tomy 14 and as I have mentioned before, Vormer is in the best form of his career and most probably he might be at his peak given his performance for club brugge which resulted in him winning the golden boot.I still remember his move to club brugge was result of him not getting game time under koeman at Feyenoord and again he was overlooked to others in NT like Klaassen and Propper. I hoping he will get the nod this time based on his current performance and also because of his individual capabilities.currently the midfield for Brugge is being rotated around him, clasie and Nakamba and with club brugge announcing they want to loan clasie for another season shows how comptent they have become at the club. Vormer- Frenkie- Strootman could be a good option in the mid.

      Lastly I think there is no use of dragging with one dimensional players and those who have a low ceiling.this was hightlight of NT failure and coaches who inissted on doing this overlooking other players.players like Propper,Berhguis,Blind, Klaassen,Luuk and Vilhnea are exceptional but to certain level and I dont think they will be able to surpass that thressh

      1. Surpass this threshold, looking from the their performance in the last four years.its time to for overhaul. Current Form, individual capabilities and wholesomeness ( all rounded) should be criteria for selection.

    2. Davy Propper and Vanginkel are 1000 times efficient strikers than Dost…what Dost has done so far in NT.???..He cannot even connect with other players to play a fluid game..
      Daley Blind is bench warming…

  17. Patrick Joosten returned from long term injury and featured for Jong Utrecht over the weekend. scored the opener vs Jong Ajax and was subbed at half time. another player that caught my attention was their LB,Robin Van Der Meer. AT 23 he is tall, big and rugged fullback (Pieters). definitely someone to look out for in future. they have a good squad with most players having already Played for the main team. Troupee,Venema,Van Der Meer,Joosten but unfortunately they are are sitting rock bottom in eereste divisie

  18. Hard Luck for Atalanta again. Juventus only managed to beat them after being awarded the penalty 1-0.hateboer and De Roon both featured full 90.

  19. Steven Bergwijn is flourishing now that Locadia has freed up a spot in the starting 11. Had a very good February, and is continuing into March.

    1. To be honest you just cannot judge them from eredivisie level point of view.idrissi also has being doing well since joining AZ from Groningen.

    1. He’s been playing very good recently and i never thought i was gonna say this since what i had seen from him at Ajax. I hope he keeps it up

  20. Leroy sane said in a recent interview that the toughest defender he has ever faced was fosu Mensah. Looks like that kid has a huge future ahead

  21. In two days Koeman will announce his first pre-selection.

    Who are your thoughts?

    Any new faces? Any old faces coming back again, like Clasie?

    Who will be the new strikes? werhost is expecting a call up…

    1. Atleast, he will will not call Sneijder again. Sneijder said that he retired from NT after a meeting with Koeman.

      I think we will see some new faces.

  22. I hope that since these are just friendlies, and not warm ups for an event, that Koeman uses mostly players who haven’t been tested before. I’d say with matches like this, lets leave the regulars at home, give them a break and let the outsiders have a chance to fight for a spot in the squad.

      1. He is in good form.even when he was at Groningen, he was a consistent scorer. I still would like to see a left footed winger in the team

        but I think there will be alot of competition on the wings. Im not sure about Kluivert though. He still needs to prove himself more.

        Koeman visited alot of AZ games so most probably the suprises will come from there.

        1. Kluivert is a definite for me. There’s a reason every top club in the world is sending scouts to watch him.

          Idrissi is also a good option, he’s been our best player in the U21 qualifications.

          Guus Til should also get a chance in my opinion.

          1. Yes, saw that article.

            I noticed he didn’t include Van Aanholt in the lb group. Against MU, he had a nice goal; quick thinking on the re-start, good skill on the finish…but if Koeman wants to solidify the defense first, Van Aanholt may not be the guy, especially if they play 4 at the back.

            Wilson has been touting Hateboer at rb for awhile now, and, based on what I’ve seen this year, its hard to disagree that he shouldn’t at least get a look. He’s had a good year. Is Tete regularly starting these days? I’d be disappointed if Veltman turned out to be the starter.

  23. Hey guys, there is the team:

    No Locadia, but there are some names you were asking for: Vormer, Til, Kluivert, Hateboer, de Room.

    Koeman included Weghorst, it ill be nice hear the opinion of @AzForever!


    Koeman was finally announced as the new Netherlands head coach in February and is preparing a new era of Oranje heading into the UEFA Nations League later this year. His first match takes place on the 23rd of March against England in Amsterdam before travelling to Portugal three days later.

    With Wesley Sneijder announcing his retirement last week, his place as the veteran in midfield is taken by Club Brugge’s Ruud Vormer. The former Feyenoorder was recently named player of the year in Belgium and at 29 gets his first call-up.

    Also involved for the first time are Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Justin Kluivert (Ajax), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Guus Til, Wout Weghorst and Marco Bizot (All AZ). However, there is no place for PSV trio Marco van Ginkel, Jorrit Hendrix and Bart Ramselaar, while Joel Veltman (Ajax) and Jurgen Locadia (Brighton) also miss out.

    Koeman will name his final squad a week on Friday.

    The full 33-man squad is as follows.

    Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Sergio Padt (FC Groningen), Jeroen Zoet (PSV)

    Defenders: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Nathan Aké (AFC Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Jeffrey Bruma (VfL Wolfsburg), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta Bergamo), Daryl Janmaat (Watford), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Karim Rekik (Hertha BSC), Kenny Tete (Olympique Lyon),

    Midfield: Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Davy Pröpper (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marten de Roon (Atalanta Bergamo), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma), Guus Til (AZ), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

    Attackers: Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon), Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Justin Kluivert (Ajax), Quincy Promes (Spartak Mosow), Wout Weghorst (AZ)

    1. Who will be in final 23….
      Finally we are are free from klassen,,..i hope he doesnt pair Wijnaldum with strootman at midfeild…
      My final 23
      with Gk343…
      First 11
      Wijnaldum–Vandebeek–De Roon–Annholt
      on bench

  24. Jong orange squad.

    Goalkeepers: Joel Drommel (Twente), Yanick van Osch (PSV), Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord)

    Defenders: Rick van Drongelen (Hamburg), Justin Hoogma (Hoffenheim), Thomas Ouwejan (AZ Alkmaar), Denzel Dumfries (Heerenveen), Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle), Bart Nieuwkoop (Feyenoord)

    Midfielders: Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Juninho Bacuna (Groningen), Riechedly Bazoer (Wolfsburg), Carel Eiting (Ajax), Arnaut Groeneveld (N.E.C), Michael Vlap (Heerenveen), Bart Ramselaar (PSV), Pablo Rosario (PSV), Pelle van Amersfoort (Heerenveen)

    Attackers: Oussama Idrissi (AZ), Richairo Zivkovic (KV Oostende), Sam Lammers (PSV), Pelle Clement (Reading), Gervane Kastaneer (Kaiserslautern), Vito van Crooy (VVV Venlo)

    This is also a very good squad.good to see Vito van crooy back in the squad.well scouted by Art. This guy,Arnaut Groeneveld from NEC Nijmegan has been in top form.he is a left footed winger.also good options to up front, lammers,Clement,Zivkovic.

  25. Hi,

    I saw some request to comment on AZ representation in Oranje pre-selection. I will be very brief:

    Marco Bizot (AZ) – very good goalkeeper and I would keep him as number 3. He conceded less goals than Zoet but he has never played at national Team level.

    Guus Till – solid midfielder but he might be still too green for Oranje.

    Wout Weghorst – not Oranje material.

    1. @AZ, appreciate the input. Weghorst not being Oranje material underscores the problem doesn’t it? The other 2 (Dost and DeJong) have never shown anything that makes you think either will be a difference maker on the international level. Seems like with that lack, a two man front line, or a “false” 9 might be the be the better approach, or at least one worth exploring as Koeman starts to build his team…his final team selection may give better hints. if he takes only one of those three, it could indicate that he is going away from the traditional 9, but wants at least one on the team to change it up late in the game. But if he keeps 2 or all 3 of them, he’ll probably play with a traditional striker.

      1. Andrew, I still believe that Dost has not been properly used in Oranje. If the striker is successful at club level and absolutely invisible in Oranje then it is a management problem in my opinion. I think Bas Dost has all qualities to become striker number 1 for our team.

        1. I have mentioned about this before when he was at wolfburg.you need a good fitter and two wings who can stretch the defense. Any winger who cuts in field like depay and like robben will have him being isolated or no room to move.

          1. @Wilson, I remember when he was at Wolfsburg. He had that tremendous hot streak; multiple multi-goal games over period of a couple of months, and it was, as you say, players stretching the defense, and he was running the channels,; so many of his goals were there for the taking, and credit to him for taking them. Of course, he had Kevin DeBruyne, and another very good player (was it Schurrle?) running along side and feeding him.

            So, questions: Do you think it is a good move to select the other offensive players with the idea of making Dost the focal point of the offense…has he shown enough to warrant such dependency? And if so, who are the Oranje players who would best fit in that set up?

          2. Yes Andrew indeed.with Robben no more.this would be good time to do this. You look at harry kane.he is not a modern day striker but a clincal one like huntelaar. Two seasons and he has been piling up goals for tottenhan and when he is injured, the team feels his absence.consider him moving to Real Madrid.do you think he will able to replicate his form like at Tottenham. With Ronaldo ,Bale and others. Dont think so,he might just be like Benzema , looking for spaces,tap ins or headers etc. At tottenham all eriksen,Alli and Hon Meung son are all good fitters with finishing abilities below to that of Kane. This is where he thrives and any clincal finisher arriving at Tottenhan whether a winger, striker or CM will disrupt this chain.this is the same reason why Huntelaar never lived up to expectation at Madrid and Milan until at Schalke where the set up was in his favor.draxler,Faran,Holtby etc.

            Dost proved it at Wolfburg and now is proving at Benfica.as I said above there is no clunical finishers in the selection by koeman apart from Dost.so why not, but but but Memphis has to switch to right wing and like you said Dost has to be the focal point.

            Looking at Van Annholts selection its highly likely it will be a 3-4-3. Janmaat/hateboer and Van Annholt as two attacking fullbacks to complement dost.

          3. Jus to add above, it was Perisic ( left footed) who was on that left wing for Wolfburg and De Bryne on the right and in the middle something in 2014 when they finished second in bundasliga.the depature of de Bryne was end of him.

          4. I still don’t understand. But, Robert Lewandowsky still scores lots of goals at Bayern.

            There, he is surrounded by “cut-inside” style players: Robben on his right and Ribbery on his left. Ribbery is right footer, while Robben is left footer.

            Is he isolated? I cannot answer. Because I don’t see German Bundesliga. Is it because Lewa is much better than Dost in terms of positioning?

  26. U19s

    Zakaria Aboukhlal (PSV), Sven Botman (Ajax), Trevor Doornbusch (sc Heerenveen), Deroy Duarte (Sparta), Jelle Duin (AZ), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Niek Hoogveld (NEC), Boy Kemper (Ajax ), Ferdi Kadioglu (NEC), Orkun Kökcü (Feyenoord), Lars Kramer (FC Groningen), Noa Lang (Ajax), Justin Lonwijk (PSV), Tom van de Looi (FC Groningen), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord), Donyell Malen (PSV), Nathangelo Markelo (Everton), Mike van de Meulenhof (PSV), Che Nunnely (Ajax), Armando Obispo (PSV), Kik Piere (sc Heerenveen), Joel Piroe (PSV), Perr Schuurs (Fortuna Sittard), Jordan Teze (PSV), Nick Venema (FC Utrecht), Dylan Vente (Feyenoord), Owen Wijndal (AZ)

      1. He’s been the best player for Man Utd’s U23 team, and he’s been training with the first team. He’s knocking on the door of Utd’s first team right now.

        1. That DM position is aboslute crucial when playing 4-3-3.strootman is not a Reliable DM. BTB at best. Hopefully by next friendlies Riedewald will have more game time.

          1. That the NT lacks a true DM who can sit in front of the defense is true, and its a compelling reason why it may be a good idea to move away from the 4-3-3 with the current group of players. I think Riedewald is having a nice season at Crystal Palace, but in the match against Tottenham, he didn’t play that role (he played on the left side of MF) and against MU, he didn’t start, and only played the last 15 minutes or so…if he can’t lock down that position at a lower level EPL team, I’m not sure he is the answer at the NT level…but its probably a moot point because I don’t think Koeman is going to come out with a traditional 4-3-3, or put players on the field with profiles specific to a 4-3-3.

          2. To be honest looking at the midfield selection, its hard to call out which will be the best and most formidable combo.in a high tempo game Propper will be a pedestrian. Wijnaldum and strootman have most appearences in the midfield but have never clicked at NT level even though both are playing in top leagues.
            Again with average teams, yes but with big guns they will have to dig deep.

    1. Yes players are mediocres….But we could do it collectively..Like Greece did 2004,Portugal done in 2016,italy done in 2006(i am sure that italy would have ad hell of a time had the faced us in 2006 and we got same team in 2008)..and they beat us in 2000.
      Did Germany had Roben or Messi in 2014??did they had Sneijder,RVP or Vaart????No…..
      But we must think about team without klassen,strootman,Dost etc…thats the STARTING point..

      1. Holland does not have to be like Greece in 2004. What Greece did in 2004 was something extraordinary.

        I mean, it is still fine if they don’t win the tournament, as long as they qualify for the tournament final round (reaching the quarter final or semi final, at least).

  27. I recommend you to read this article about Hoogma’s new challenges:


    This is just one part of it, that points to my main concern: the lack of power. All the decisions are going to be made by the clubs, and the clubs are concern in their profit, not in the NT:

    (google translate)

    Already after the World Cup fiasco of 1990 there was a discussion about a technical director in Zeist. That never stopped. Irrelevant according to former KNVB boss Henk Kesler, who predicted that such a person would be especially busy with golfing. His successor Bert van Oostveen thought about it for a long time and did not want to appoint a man to ‘drink coffee with the national coach’. If there was already a technical head, it was never considered full. And a football boss without power is in advance no chance. That has shown the past. Whether they were called director, supervisor or manager; it has rarely been a happy combination so far. Almost no one issued his contract.

    The former hts student can still be such a good director, but he remains the manager of a opinion factory distributed to the bone

    It is good now that Hoogma gets more say than the last victim, Hans van Breukelen, who first had to pass the commercial director with his plans. Does not take away the fact that there is a core of truth in the golf and coffee comments from Kesler and Van Oostveen. Because in fact the power is not with Hoogma, but with the clubs. Obviously, they do not deal with KNVB core tasks such as the competition schedule and the choice for the national coach, but they do have many other hot topics, such as competition design, football pyramid, youth training and artificial grass. Twice a year the club directors vote in Zeist.

    The problem for Hoogma is that the Eredivisie management boards can not agree on anything between them. Let alone that they can oversee the complete football landscape with Jupiler League and youth. Hoogma is therefore at the top of a rather fragile structure. Where the Germans ran as lemmings behind the leaders Sammer and Bierhoff, the Netherlands has a culture of debate that has been totally lost in football. Characteristic is the jumble of committees, committees, steering groups and meeting clubs that hardly produce any results. Behind the scenes, Hoogma is seen as a calm, modest man with a solid football background who can also think conceptually. Knowledgeable and reliable. But the former HTS student can still be such a good director, but he remains the manager of a opinion factory distributed to the bone.

  28. Another main task

    Bert van Marwijk got tired of it. The further the then national team coach Oranje led through the World Cup in 2010, the more often foreign journalists asked him where the Dutch Total Football had remained. His answers came down to this: comparing with 1974 makes no sense; other players, other times. Moreover, the Dutch had not come to South Africa for the beauty prize, but for the main prize. This pragmatic approach, with a strengthened midfield, yielded on a toe after the world title.

    Four years later, Louis van Gaal went one step further. In the run-up to the World Cup in Brazil, he switched to a system with five defenders and two attackers. From the same underlying idea: with this selection, the Hollandse School is suicide on the highest stage, the play method focuses on the qualities of your players. Just like Van Marwijk, Van Gaal was right.

    ‘What is the new Dutch vision?’, Bert van Marwijk asked aloud. Hoogma will have to give the answer and record it as a guideline

    Marco van Basten did the opposite: he put the system above the available qualities. It led to invitations at the Dutch side for offenders like Martijn Meerdink, Kevin Bobson, Dave van den Bergh and Romano Denneboom. Everything for the winger of the Dutch School. But what is the identity of Dutch football in 2018? To what extent must we and can we stick to the playing style that once brought us success? It was Bert van Marwijk who recently suggested at the VI Congress that the identity of Dutch football must be redefined. Because ask a random group of trainers for whom the Dutch School is in their eyes and they will all come up with a different answer.

    During a working visit to RB Leipzig, Eric Gudde saw how things could be done at the end of last year. Every aspect of football there – from training to scouting and physical programs – is determined by the game philosophy. Taking into account the individual qualities of players. This blueprint is applied to all Red Bull clubs in the world. Everything starts with vision. With a red thread that has been missing for years in the Netherlands.

    ‘What is the new Dutch vision?’, Van Marwijk wondered aloud at the VI editors, after an argument about the much-needed translation of the Dutch School into modern football. Hoogma is the man who will have to give the answer and record it as a guideline.

  29. Hi guys, sorry for being absent. Just a lot on with work. Will post on Koeman’s choices soon. I see Nico Jan Hoogma’s 10 commandments were covered here already.

    Also cool interview with Rafa van der Vaart and Martin Jol coming up!

  30. Dost- Promes


    Van annholt-Vilhnea- Strootman-Janmaat

    Ake- Van Dijk- De Vrij


    Van annholt can have as much space on left as possible with Promes dropping back and forward. Both flanks will be complement Dost while vormer will be the general in the middle.

    1. Dost for what???Strootman???Does he have energy??
      Ake lacks speed but he a regular starter for his club…
      Williams—Vilhena—vande beek—Berjwin

        1. okay..i thought its ur dream team now..but still what has Dost and strootman did for NT to qualify 2018WC????has nt u feel disgusting to slecet both ahead of van de beek etc…we have played better matches with out strootman and Dost under advocate..Did u forget that???

          1. Emmanual,

            With current players selected by Koeman, which players that should be in starting 11?

            Because you picked players that are not included in Koeman’s selection.

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