Oranje starts the new season with a decent draw… (edited)

Oranje broke the deadlock (and the horrific series) against Portugal last night with a draw.

Midfielder Strootman scored the Dutch goal in the first 20 minutes of the game, C Ronaldo was gifted a late equaliser.

Strootman is one of the three players Louis van Gaal considers starters. Before the game, he said “Van Persie, Robben and Strootman have a bit more credit points than the rest. They can consider themselves protected players. The rest? They all have to keep on proving their worth.”

Comments made, after questions on De Vrij and BMI who seem to be on edge after some lesser performances with Young Oranje and Feyenoord. “I too read and hear about De Vrij and Martins Indi lack of form. That might be the case at Feyenoord, but it’s not in Oranje. They haven’t let me down and I do not doubt De Vrij’s qualities. However, I am looking with glee at the development of Bruma and Rekik and in all honesty, if they do better than the Feyenoord couple I might be tempted…”
raf port


The following eleven were used as starters against “angstgegner” Portugal: Vorm, Verhaegh, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Wijnaldum, Stootman, Van der Vaart, Robben, Van Persie and Lens. It’s a special game for Rafael who joins Gio van Bronckhorst with 106 caps for the Dutch. Only Sar (130) and Frank de Boer (112) played more in orange.

First chance is for Portugal but the header is too weak. Van der Vaart and Van Persie demonstrated some nice build up play in the start of the game but nothing comes of it. Paul Verhaegh has a decent debut and offers Van der Vaart a chance with a good cross but Raf can’t control the ball. The start of the game is lacklustre. Both teams forgot to take the handbrake off.

In the 17th minute, it’s Kevin Strootman who scores for Holland. The midfielder gets the ball on the edge of the box and pulls the trigger. Goalie Beto doesn’t have a chance. In the 28th minute, a mistake by De Vrij allows Micael a sitter but the Portuguese aims badly and misses. Van Gaal acts his role again when Verhaegh fouls a Portuguese player and the whole Portuguese nation starts to complain, whine and provoke. Memories of 2006….

C Ronaldo does find the net after half an hour of play but the winger is given off side. His chip was nice but won’t be allowed.

c ron port

Van Gaal keeps on playing his part, when the frustrated Portuguese make more and more bad fouls, like Coentrao who can’t control himself.

In the first half, Oranje played with a three man midfield with the center player in an offensive role (“the point up front”). In the second half, Van Gaal switches tactics and plays the center player as holding mid (“the point back”). It’s Van der Vaart who is rested and Van Ginkel coming in. Van Rhijn comes for debutant Verhaegh. In the first 5 minutes, it’s Vorm with a good save on a Coentrao attempt. After one hour of play, RVP is subbed for Huntelaar. Robben gets the captain band.

Robben offers Lens a decent chance but the winger mishits the ball completely. Robben gets a nice chance from the right, later, but curls the ball just over the goal.

The game starts to open up and C Ronaldo tests Vorm who won’t be beaten tonight.

In th 70st minute, skipper Robben has a good action with Wijnaldum, but is tackled on the edge of the box. Free kick. Wijnaldum, Robben….they can all do it, but it’s Huntelaar who hits the ball weakly in the wall.

The Portuguese are not happy with the score line and put more pressure on the Dutch. Machado hits the cross bar. With 10 minutes to go, Lens is taken off for Schaken. And five minutes later, it is C Ronaldo scoring for Portugal after a corner kick. De Vrij didn’t look too good there, but he wasn’t the only one. Ball watching (De Vrij), not alert enough in the marking (BMI) and more silliness (Van Rhijn)….

robben port

C Ronaldo gets a free kick in the dying seconds of the game but hits straight at Vorm, who stops the ball.

And thus it remains 1-1.

All in all, not a great game, but Oranje didn’t do too shabby. Paul Verhaegh can look back on a decent debut, as the defenders were under the microscope this particular game. They all faired well. Verhaegh set up the attack resulting in Stroot’s goal and bar one costly mistake (De Vrij), the defensive four did alright.

Louis van Gaa had difficulties naming positive points, although he did see “a fantastic Verhaegh”. Mostly he saw things that went wrong. “In the first half we did create chances and we scored a goal, so I can’t be too critical, but in the second half we made a lot of mistakes in possession. We were very poor. And with some lads, you could see the tank was empty. We haven’t lost against Germany, Italy and Portugal now, so we haven’t do too badly, but this was the poorest game.”

About Verhaegh: “I think he did very well. He played with maturity and smarts. He could leave C Ronaldo to De Vrij regularly, we knew he would try and come into the center a lot.” Van Gaal also emphasized that the door is open for Sneijder. “Listen, Wes knows what he needs to do. If he is fit and in form, I can’t ignore him. We all know how good he can be. But it will also depend on how players like Van der Vaart, Maher, Van Ginkel and Wijnaldum develop.”

orane port scoresRobben was vice captain and took his job seriously in front of the microphones. “I’m disappointed. When you lead 70 minutes, you want to win it. You don’t want to concede so late. And it’s a bit sour grapes for us. A deflected ball and our friend happens to be on the right spot. It’s shit. But all in all, a good lesson. These types of opponents will be at the World Cup and you will need to learn to beat them. We did well in the first half, I think but in the second half we sort of forgot to play football.”

Van Gaal repeated his words, that he is not really happy as team manager. His passion is club coaching. “I have trouble working in this role. I am not only dependent on the players but also on their coaches. How do they prepare them? Do they get playing time, etc…. As a club coach, you have more control. Now, I only see them 7 or 8 times a year. But….in the coming months it will become more fun, I guess.”

Paul Verhaegh ended the night on a high, with his first Oranje jersey in his bag. “No way I would have exchanged it, not even with C Ronaldo. This is a boyhood dream for me. If you would have told me two years ago this was to happen I would have had you locked up. But this now does give me a taste for more…. But I can’t count on anything. I will keep on doing my best at my club and then we’ll see.”

“The lads told me that C Ronaldo basically floats everywhere and doesn’t really get bothered with defending. This did allow me to attack and support the build up. He is very strong and athletic, that bloke but I still got to play my own game. ” Verhaegh was one of the better players in his passing and positioning and he started the play that resulted in the 0-1 by Strootman. But at the end of the first half, he felt his hamstring. “At my age, you know your body well. Probably the result of the tension. My hamstring tensed up and I felt I had to make way.”

Ricardo van Rhijn came in, while normally Daryl Janmaat and Greg van der Wiel are also in the picture. “Yeah I know there is competition, but that is good. I won’t say that I am better than they are. How can I?”.

robben cr


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  1. We clearly have defensive issues like almost everyone agrees. They have been persistent over the last few years. Van Marwijk solved them by putting vBommel and De Jong in front of the defense. LVG plays a more modern push forward with possession and lots of running to cover. And he has young guys with good lungs for the most part.

    Lens is a typical example. In the first half he shut his side and made Verhaegh look good. In the second half he got tired and we got attacked from the right as well. But mostly Blind’s side was “open season” for Portugal.

    We have a serious problem on the defensive side. The CBs are not bad but the sides are very weak. It is a young team, they run a lot but I can’t see them as serious contenders for the World Cup. It takes 7 games to win it or 6 to just try in the final but I can’t see how this group can have 6-7 straight great games. Too many holes to plug. We need to do a lot better. Not sure if we have the material.

  2. This is NOT a decent draw – the defence is a shambles. There is no captain on the field and our strikers ALWAYS go missing in the big games. Portugal are a decent side but not a great side – when will we learn that 4-3-3 and attacking formations like that must be resigned to history.

    It worked in the past but we need to develop a plan B when this formation does not reap the benefits that LVG so desperately thinks is our only option.

    We also need our playmaker back. We have no marshall in defence and no leader in midfield. Poor club form or not Sneijder always brought it to Oranje. He has been our best player for the last 2 tournaments. Yes, we need to find the next Sneijder but the current one is not finished,

    1. Call me crazy or naive, but sometimes I think Oranje should play a 2-5-3. Just put the best guys out there and assign 2 or 3 midfielders extra defensive duties. The lack of quality among the l/r backs is troublesome and calls for an unorthodox solution. I’m praying Willems develops tremendously as he has the talent. Barring that we need to try something different.

      BMI – SDV
      MVG – Stroots – (RvV | WS | AM) – JdG – GW
      Lens – RVP – Robben

  3. We are still a year away, but I agree that we lack leadership and defense (the 4 defenders only, the goalkeeper is good) needs to improve significantly to give us a chance to win WC. Perhaps this team will mature for Euro 16, not ready to win WC 2014 yet. I like friendly like this as it is a good test to expose all the weakness that this team has. We will have to rely on RVP and Robben which I expect other teams will closely mark them and hope for either Sneijder regain his form or find the next Sneijder.

  4. Watching now. Agreed robben isn’t utilized right. Lens poor. Rvp quiet…some fucking national team coach need to learn how to get the best of rvp. Its getting ridiculous. Strootman good goal. I love all the strootman haters. I’ve followed him since sparta. Dont ever underestimate him…he is a fighter and the future. Him and van ginkel will boss the midfield nform the next decsde.

  5. I kinda hope LVG changes 4-3-3 form although i know actually this probably is not gonna happen. I think total football is all about football rotation , pushing forwards and playing great football no matter what the form is ! In 88′ we played 442 and it was real total football that lead us to win a trophy.
    3-4-3 may work ?
    ___ de vrij ___
    N.de jong __ BMI
    ___ clasie ____
    Van Ginkel___ Strootman
    _____ snejder _____
    Robben ___ persie ___ Depay/lens/narsingh/john

    Or 442
    De vrij __BMI
    JANMAAT __ Willems
    _____ clasie__ strootman __
    Robben____________ xxxxx
    ____ persie ___ siem de jong o huntelaar

    I think these forms can be better for Oranje ?

    What do you think guys ?

  6. I don’t know if it was me, but lord almighty! The Portugal team seemed very confident with their individual ball handling skills, and by the end of the game, it seemed like whomever on the Portugal side had the ball could have kept it as long as they wished. It seemed to me that we made Portugal look like Brazil!
    On the contrary, everytime (at least in the 2nd half) we gained the ball, it seemed as if we couldn’t wait to make a turnover via a bad pass or some fruitless movement.
    I’m sorry but if this is the sort of team we travel to Brazil with next summer, it will be shades of EK ’80, WK ’90, and EK ’12.

    1. Perhaps because it was a friendly LvG wanted them to execute certain attacking tactics, regardless of the result. It was scary how much pressure PT put on the defense, but much of it was because of poorly executed attacking tactics. They lacked patience in the second half and did a poor job transitioning to offense. I think if they had been more patient and taken better care of the ball things would have looked better.

  7. This board is becoming too negative. The team is in re building mode. We all know that this is not a winning team. What we look for now are the positives. Its getting very old reading over and over again peoples deoression. Get over it.

    This team is good, but no great. Accept it and move on with analysis.

    I am thrilled with the result. I thought for sure a 3-0 was coming. We haven’t beatenm portugal since 1991…and we played an ok first half…dominated first 30 min.

    1. “This board is becoming too negative.”

      Of course we are! Did you not see what we all saw? Have you forgotten we are just 3 years removed from a World Championship opportunity? Do you not realize the over abundance of talent we have available?

      Let me put it this way; Suppose throughout all of the years that the New York Yankees, with all of the Hall of Famers and bona fide stars had only ever won one championship. Do you think the supporters in New York would be so understanding and patient?

      Do I “bleed orange”? Yes of course! I grew up idolizing Cruijff and Rensenbrink! But that we are now 40 years removed from our “opening” into world football and we keep seeing these sort of martyred efforts in the name of beautiful football and maybe next tournaments is getting very, very old and tiring. Every f%$^&ing 2 years we go through this s%$t! It’s always some bulls%$t thing, or some tactical mistake. A player gets a swollen head, or a coach experiments at the wrong time. It gets freaking old! How many times do I have to read David Winters “Brillant Orange” before even I understand we are being idiots about a very simple game. Just freaking win. I don’t care how, I don’t care if it’s ugly. For Chrissakes even the stupid Greeks have a more recent trophy than us. Is that not ultimate blow?

    1. ???

      When does Portugal score three goals ? Even against teams like Finland and Hungary, they always suffer till last minutes to score one. As DRB was saying, they have a real problem to make the control a game and to create. And tonight they played with Ruben Micael and Amorim in the midfield, how can they score three goals with that…Their forward is Postiga, just a kind of Huntelaar bis against strong teams.

      1-1 reflects the game, even if I had the feeling they could be more dangerous than us when they started to make the tempo a bit high. Our defense was suffering sometimes but De Vrij and BMI had a good game with no mistake.

      I’m pretty sure we would have beaten them with Van Marwijk and the confidence we had between 2009 and 2011.

      1. @Laurent portugal scores at their will and wins at when they want,that makes them scary..i watched 90 minutes of Israel Vs portugal,it is not difficult to score aginst them but they will score when they want-Beating sapin4-0 is not a small thing..1CR7=RVP+Roben+Vaart thats th equation is……

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

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

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

    Again coming back to super subs. we agently need to reinforce our players who can influential make impact when our so called stars are not performing. I dont know how, but if we dont it will be the same old story, pass the group stages and shit in the knock out rounds.
    Again except to see new faces in NT in the next friendly. with players like Rekik, Bruma, Maher, fer performing so well and other players who are recovering from injuries and unfit repectively,De Jong, Pieters,sneijder I dont how they will fit into the equation if this trend continues. Time will definitely be our nemesis come WC2014.

    1. One more time…rebuilding era right now. Nobody thinks we are favorites. I don’t think we have a real shot for the next decade plus. As they say, defense wins championships…and there is a reason our boya have only one…defense.

      Until we have a consistent back four we won’t win shit. For now ill just watch them and hope for the best.

      1. Rebuilding agree, but we are heading in the opposite direction. 4games, 1 loss and 3 draws, the stats proves other wise. WC IS almost 1 year away, and here we are still rebuilding. Thats bizarre and absurd for me. Van Gaal has been sticking to De Vrij and BMI from the Wc qualifying to all the friendly including the EC.He is not bling to see where the loop hole is ,but still he is persistent. how can he rebuild a team based on this . Wijnaldum was not even considered in his initial 29 member squad. jus after two rounds of Eredivisie, he selects him in his final 23 and mercilessly he starts the game against portgual on the expense of De Guzman. it seems he doesnt have any strategy . Anyone who performs good , the door is open for him. is this the way to rebuild a time. Verhaegh selection, nobody heard about him ,but his selection was the biggest surprises, no backup for Left back, what king of fucken rebuilding his this or is he playing poker.

        1. i dont understand this stat? 4 games 3 draws and 1 loss???? What is this ridiculous and arbitrary stat???

          2-0 over china
          3-0 over indonesia
          4-0 over Romania
          3-0 over Estonia
          1-1 Italy
          0-0 Germany
          4-1 over Romania
          3-0 over Andorra
          4-1 over Hungary
          2-0 over Turkey

          By my count it is 8 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss during Van Gaal, and the only loss was his first game in charge after the team had NO MORALE after the 2012 Euro debacle.

          1. Germany
          2. Italy
          3. Portugal
          4. Turkey

          All solid teams.

          To claim we are going backwards is simply ridiculous. absurd. Are you 7 or 8 years old? It takes time to sample all of the right players. Its a year away from the WC, half the squad may be hurt, he wants to see how everyone plays.

          I really dont get it, maybe you guy dont understand what rebuilding means? It means trying new players constantly to see what works. We need a solid defense going forward, im not worried bout our midfield.

          One thing that pisses me off is the inclusion of Shaken, he has always sucked for the NT and he is old. Let some youngsters like Depay and Narsingh play a bit.

          I dont think LVG is perfect, but some of you need to realize it takes time to build a team, and also realize the golden generation is OVER, and the next ten years will be dominated by our neighbors to the south.

        2. @Wilson Rebuilding should be done with new untried players who desrves a chance to prove their worth.LVG did that very well.but Expecting a WC with the players like hunter,kuyt,Afellay,Vlaar,Joris,old and unfit vaart,schaken,is kind of living in false dream.At the best you can do is swith off th Tv and sleep.when u wake up u will recive a news that dutch failed.thats what i do.if some players play for dutch now.
          I am really worried about Persie and Roben too it was the experinced player who let us down than the newcomers which is a sad fact.our experineced players doesnt seems to have lungs for 90 minutes with good fighting spirit.thats hidden fact.they must ACT LIKE MEN and should be brave hearted.Never say die attitude,thats how u lead youngesters.At present when i see RVp face i see a negative approach.
          I am really glad that we have Hunter,kuyt,afellay,Schaken against Angel de maria,Giacherini,El sharway,Valbuena,Ribery,Augero,Debruyne,Hazard,Naymar etc.I am omitting Messi,CR7 for roben and pesrie.

          1. “At the best you can do is swith off th Tv and sleep.when u wake up u will recive a news that dutch failed.thats what i do.”


  9. I should be pleased with the result as I really expected us to lose but still Portugal was missing players. In a real game, the way game was played Portugal wins easily cause they also have the referee on their side too. Did you notice how poor that Italian scumbag was?
    In terms of individual players, Vorm is the undisputable #1 keeper, Verhaegh impressed me with his aggressiveness and dynamism, Robben could do much better but he was lucky not to have a leg broken, Van Ginkel will be the real deal one day. I can’t digest the fact that we couldn’t hold the ball for more than a few seconds in the second half.

  10. why we don’t use Wijnaldum in Lens Position which he shows he can play well there in U-23 Europe Cup. and use Adam Maher in attacking mid role??

    i think lens cannot be good choice for attacking role bcoz the class of his new club.

    1. Wijnadlum is too talented,can keep ball at his feet aganinst any bruno Alves or animal PePe.He can excel in any postion in feild bar GK.thats the quality he has.i am sure he would be more threat if he is on wing.sad truth is we dont have much wingers right now.the problems i found about the wingers are
      Roben-Deosnt do much track back.So hell of time for his left/rightback(Ask blind)
      Kuyt-No creativity,full of back pass
      Afellay-Headless.kills of any movement due to lack of quick thinking
      Olajohn-Soft boy,get marked easily against physical defnders
      schaken-Headless,not much threatening too.
      Lenz-Owner of typicla lens mistakes
      Boetius-Young and untested
      wijnaldum-doesnt works hard at times.But still the best behind Roben

  11. I agree that we had a bad 2nd half , but after all it’s a friendly.
    I was gutted after the game , as usual , now after reading other games results i think we are not that bad.
    I have to say that germany , which is considered as a big candidate WC winner next year has conceaded 33 goals in their last 20 games. With players like Hummels , lahm , mertesaker , Boateng in their back-line.
    Brazil was beaten by Switzerland.
    Belguim tied with France.
    Argentina looks like a real deal actually , 2-1 against Italy , the game was played in Italy and more importantly, they played without Messi.

    Let’s not over-react , verhage was very good. He will probably be Janmaat’s sub in Brazil. I can’t blame LVG for giving him a call-up.
    Wijnaldum was voted as the man of the match , so LVG had a point in choosing him. It’s not just two good games , he was one of the best players in the u-21 tournament.

    DRB had a great point when he said that having good footballers in the back line is better than just playing with tough defenders .
    Spain won the last EC with
    Arbeloa __ ramos__ pique__ alba
    As their back four , non of them is really that great or tough defender ” , but they are all excellent footballers.
    I think our defense line handled great pressure today , and they were very good.
    Pieters will add more solidity to the defense , Willems will add more football and more pressure on the opponents.
    LVG has to work on two things in my humble opinion ;
    – How to keep the ball in the opponents area , so we can decrease the pressure on our back line
    – How to make the best out of RVP , so we can score few more goals !

    Robben played bad , but I know that he alwyas has an ascending performance curve. Robben always reaches his top form by the end of the season so i’m not worried , but I totally agree LVG must use him on the right .

    1. The comparison with Spain’s defense is interesting, but as a team they defend much better than Oranje. EVERYBODY works hard to get possession back, so the pure defensive quality of the back line is less important. The midfielders, even stars like Iniesta, work hard to win back possession. Oranje aspires to play this way but they are not as committed as Spain, perhaps because there is less competition for a place in the first team.

  12. Oranje should not be in rebuilding. Its being taken apart by an egotistical maniac. The core of the WK team is still young. Stekelenburg, Sneijder, Robben and De Jong are in their prime years. They were our stars in 2010 and they are still good enough for another great WK.
    Van Gaal should be building on 2010, not systematically reinventing Oranje – throw in Van Persie – Van der vaart – Strootman, Huntelaar – it is quality players v available at his disposal. He needs to fix this defense. We all saw how organised and methodical that defense was over 2 years leading up to WK2010. Of the natural defenders aren’t up to it – being back our defense midfield destroyers. Teams at WK 2010 cowered before having to face dejong and v.bommel. Now defensively we are an easy target.

    1. True, but van Ginkel can easily play van Bommel’s role. He looks like a choir boy but tackles ferociously and cleanly. I’m looking forward to his development. People are concerned that he doesn’t play offensively enough in Chelsea, but Strootman offers more than enough in an advanced role. They will both be on the field come 2014.

  13. Now, two next games are against Estonia and Andorra away. We will probably win both and be already qualified for the world cup. That would mean that the two last group games against Hungary and Turkey will have no interest for us, even if LVG can experiment things there, there will be no pressure. So yeah, we can expect to have no pressure and interest for the 4 future games.

    I won’t complain that we win as easy qualify games, but maybe we would learn more about our team if we would struggle more. Beating Hungary 6-1, 0-4, 5-3, 1-4 in two years is just crazy. They’re not a bad team at all. Also crazy that we beat Romania 1-4 3-0.

    LVG said he only wants serious opponents for next friendlies games, Holland will play against France in march, we can also organize one or two friendlies in november, and three before the world cup as always. That means 5/6 friendly games to prepare the world cup.

    That’s good that we played against Portugal and good for France too, last friendly against France was in 2004, I don’t understand why the federation has been only organizing games against Germany Italy and England those last years.

    Teams that we didn’t play against for a long time and that can be interesting for next friendlies :

    Europe : Spain, Croatia, Russia, Bosnia, Serbia, Poland

    South America : Argentina, Colombia, Chile

    Africa : Nigeria, Ivory Coast

    Asia : South Korea

    1. i just (only?) want Argentina from that list, I hope it’s not too big a wish (ie possible/doable/plausible to happen).

      I’ll take Colombia as a 2nd prize if I have to.

  14. Actually I see many positives from this game.

    1) In the 1st half Holland played great football. With Strootman as the leader.
    2) Wijnaldum was magnificent but I’d use him as winger.
    3) Lens is Oranje material. I do not care if he plays for Dynamo as long as he keeps playing well for the NT.
    4) BMI and De Vrij are good. Rekik and Bruma will be breathing on their shoulders though.
    5) We haven’t lost against 3 top nations! (germany, italy and portugal) and we are still with enough time to improve. And we have managed to boss things around against Italy and Portugal. Tonight we played better but as it happened against Italy in the last 15-20′ of the game we look tired and conceded the equaliser.

  15. As a national coach, LVG does not have the luxury of having these players every week as a club coach. I like the approach that he rebuilds. He picked a group of core players to build around, replaced the defense after Euro 12 and also introduced more younger players. Unfortunately for us Sneijder and VDV are losing their form, and he has not resolved the issue of better services to RVP. I was hoping that Hunter put them away with his chance or at least this team could hold on to the lead then perhaps this draw will be less painful. He still has Mathijsen as CB’s backup so it tells me that we do not have good defenders compare to others like Spain, Brazil, Germany, Italy, and perhaps Belgium, England, France too. LVG is still working on his defense at this point. We are lucky that we have a weak group so we can get our ticket to Brazil. At this point Quarter Final at WC will be considered a success (although I am still hoping that miracle will happen as I desperately want this team to win the WC). Perhaps a 70% fit Sneijder is still a value to this team.

  16. We do need a captain in the field. Tonight RVP wasn’t a good leader.

    Our captain needs to motivate, give instructions and RVP can do it but he needs to show more his love for the NT. He was a great leader at Arsenal so I expect him to show that fighting spirit with the Netherlands.

    By the way did someone noticed that the portuguese coach had to move Ronaldo to the right wing because Verhaegh was magnificent.?

    1. @Miguel older guys roben and Persie and Vaart were exhausted by heat over there..so they were not menatlly fit to lead at that particular point of time.LVG immediatly understood this and he replaced RVP and Vaart.

  17. Guys cool…Portugal would have easily won against us if they had mountino and Mireles.
    Tip for LVG
    1-Guys like Bruno alves and Pepe will eat Persie and Roben.so we will not be creating any chances form Persie and roben.
    2-if persie and Roben doesnt play well its hard to win.
    3-LVG you build the team with right players.You must understand that Huntlaar is for San marino.
    4-You build the team by DROPPING SHIT PLAYERS LIKE huntlaar,kuyt,Afellay,schaken etc
    5-minimum 30/29 dgree celcius will the tempreature in brazil so i am Damn sure players like Vaart,Joris,Vlaar will not make 90 minutes fullconcentrated game.may be sneijder might overcome this scenario.
    So Please drop kuyt,hunter,Vaart,Afellay,schakaen,Wesly,Joris,vlaar,Blind for EVER and Ever .then you select the right players who can keep ball at their feet and works hard with brilliance.
    like-wijnaldum,Urby etc
    Guys things wont be different if LVG slects ola and Narsingh coz they ARE SOFT FLOWErs.
    dont drop the tough guys
    stroot etc….
    @Lenz is showing lack of games thats it.guy is tough and dont give shit about any PePe

    1. Sorry, but you’re wrong about the heat in Brazil. WC 2014 will be played in the Brazilian winter. Many of the cities are in temperate zones and have winter highs in the mid 20’s not upper 20’s/30’s. I have traveled there myself in the winter and south of Rio is like spring in Europe. The places you have to worry about are the Northeast: Fortaleza, Bahia, Manaus. A lot will depend on the group location.

  18. Strootman proves the doubter(s) on this blog (and on Dutch TV) wrong once more.

    Verhaegh and de Vrij handled Ronaldo well.

    The left side of our defence still looks very weak (gatenkaas, I don’t feel safe when the ball is heading in the direction of Blind’s side, luckily it never got punished).

    van Rhijn really shouldn’t have given the corner away, I shouted a short “damn!” when I saw that, immediately followed by “that may cost us dearly” before the corner actually produced a goal. Obviously, I was even more pissed when the goal actually came, seeing it coming from miles away (where were our counters? did everyone hope 1 goal would be sufficient? preventing injury? 2nd halve was really bad, unattentive and even a bit cowardly from time to time, except for still Strootman who apparently WAS in the mood for another goal, Robben gave it a shot as he always does, but he got little support especially further into the 2nd halve, in short the 2nd halve was mostly about time stalling and hoping 1-0 would be enough, tsk, 2-0 wasn’t even enough the last time vGaal was there, why would 1-0 be enough? ah well, I guess it didn’t matter enough, but what are we, Italy? The time stalling made the game more boring, it wasn’t overdone or anything, it was actually rather little compared to 2006 for example, but still boring and in the end you still leave with emtpy hands, enough with the friendly draws, right now, I’d rather lose so some of our weaknesses are further exposed and we can try some other players as well, or some other tactics).

      1. well, when I’m suggesting to try other players, in honesty, I’m only thinking about Blind (thinking about Wijnaldum a little bit as well). I’m not seeing enough options being tried on that side. Where is Willems, Büttner, Pieters? Is there anyone else? These 3 players alone have impresses me more in that position playing for Oranje than Blind has (and I think by now Blind has had more games than Willems and Büttner, perhaps not yet Pieters).

          1. I registered it in my mind as a game that mattered (big enough).

            that’s how I got it confused with a game for oranje.

            I would have refrained from having an ‘oranjelevel’-opinion about him if I had only seen him in the eredivisie, or in other words, I can’t tell how good a player really is from eredivisie performances, but I can when I see them playing for oranje (unless it’s a really meaningless friendly, like the one we had against Ukraine some time ago) or when I see them playing Premier League clubs. That’s how the 2 versions of judging his abilities got mixed up because I see them as the same types of games. Whereas eredivisie…might as well be playing in Siberia. Let’s hope we can see a change coming in that in the Champions League this year, I’ll be watching the PSV vs AC Milan game with keen interest.

  19. ————–Vorm——————–
    On bench…..
    ————–Seim dejong—————-
    ———-Leory fer–clasie/Wesly—————

  20. I mean, Wijnaldum+vGinkel+Strootman in midfield, and there were those complaining to BvM that he was playing 2 def.midfielders which was 1 too many.

    Who was playing behind the CF after VDV went off? Wijnaldum seemed to move to the side, so I guess Strootman? We were playing really defensive/on the back foot. We were asking for the equalizer.

  21. By the way about Lens, I don’t have the feeling he will be selected for WC. He had the season of his life last year with PSV and NT, but I’m really not sure he can do it again.

    Something I didn’t know and him neither before to sign with Kiev : In ukrainian competition, there should be at least 4 ukrainian players starting on the field. Which means 7 foreigners. How many foreigners Dynamo uses ? Danilo, Tremoulinas, Dragovic, Vida, Veloso, Haruna, Belhanda, Dudu, Mbokani, Ideye (if he stays)…

    The first four names are defenders and Dynamo doesn’t have too much, that means they will be used very often.

    Unless many injuries in the squad, Lens won’t start more than 15 games this season there. Hope Dynamo will go as far as possible in Europa league.

  22. Sneijder would have been useful to have around after VDV went off. 🙁

    I saw the highlights against Kuyt’s club, Sneijder was definitely playing better than Kuyt, at the heart of almost every attack/chance and a brilliant long distance strike on goal. So if Kuyt’s there (to headbutt his teammates into the hospital during practice :P)…

    Why can’t Sneijder be there (to replace VDV when we need someone capable of providing good counterplay)?

    Wijnaldum can’t compete with Sneijder, different league/tier of player. Maher might turn out to be useful, but he wasn’t there yesterday anyway.

  23. I support the commets of Miguel. Van Gaal has progressed a lot with his team. Almost a year ago Portugal outplayed us. None of that happened in this game. Portugal had some injured players but our eleven squad had many newcomers and many of them showed they can play at the highest level…the defence is not shaky anymore. I never saw Portugal having fun with Oranje like they did at Euro12. Martins Indi and de Vrij have a lot to learn but they are much better than Heitinga and Mathijsen. The ESPN commentators in spanish were impressed by them even suggesting that if Barcelona desperately need a CD they should search for new blood like M.Indi. The Feyenoord duo are class act! They just need a proper manager and in Van Gaal they find that.

    Strootman is our new de Jong but with more technique and he can even score beatiful goals in important games. Whoever can’t see he will boss Oranje midfield for many years is not a football specialist. And Van Ginkel will be his partner. I really hope Sneijder finds his form…if not, LVG has to find an answer soon enough and I do not see VDV being the solution.

    Chill out guys, it was a friendly…against a rival that has produced many defeats to Oranje and we were visitors with half the squad with less than 10 international games per player…and we managed to tie and play some good football for some spells. The experience these lads are gaining is worth tons of GOLD. I do not think Holland as favorite for the WC and that can help a lot…Van Gaal says we do not have a chance to reduce pressure in the players but this coach always plays to WIN.

    I am very positive for the future…not like Van Gaal haters who talk without hard data.

  24. The 29-year-old Dutch goalkeeper was linked with Barca last summer as a possible replacement for Victor Valdes.

    Valdes revealed he will not extend his contract beyond the end of this season.

    And Vorm claims he would have to join Barcelona if they wanted him.
    Vorm said: “There has never been a specific club, but if I am to believe the stories then Barcelona have been following me. Whether I’m good enough? Yeah, I’m good enough.”

    Jonathan de Guzman is a major doubt for Swansea’s Europa League play-off game against Petrolul Ploiesti after suffering a head injury on international duty with Holland.

  25. I have a very simple solution to last nite’s game – We needed Sneijder!! When we are being dominated, HE usually rises to the occassion and slips in a killer pass to RvP or Robben. We seriously lacked a playmaker willing to take the ball and execute in 2 steps, sometimes one.

    1. Wesl;y was pretty good against Fenerbache….Addition of wesly alone will not make much difference against srong teams.
      1-LVG must forget about some players
      2-Roben shoudl track back.
      3-Lb is not safe with blind
      4-RVP and roben will have trouble against powerful defnders,even they may not see th ball much.
      5-we neeed to creat more good chances.After the strootman goal,it never lookd that we will score,thats so bad.
      6-Players like Leory fer is must against Brazil,Arjentina,spain,Portugal,italy etc.

  26. Paul USA, I totally agree with you. Both Strootman and Van Ginkel are top class and they will rule the midfield as you said. I think we played pretty well overall but did not create much offensively again mostly because of the position of Robben and Lens who are clearly uncomfortable playing on the left and right respectively. When Robben had chances to get away he ran out of territory on the left. On the right he could have held the ball longer and create more danger. This is really absurd. I simply don’t get it.

  27. It was fair result against a team that historically beat us to death, in fact Portugal see the draw as unsatisfactory. The portugese worked better as a team. Our defence looked disorganised.
    Mixed review about blind, imo, was doing well against sometime 2 opponents, as robben worked less than lens in defence area.
    Robben need to stop dribbling too much against technical players like portugese/ spanish. There were too many wasted chance and he failed to pass to better positioned mates. Im not impresed with huntelaar’s attitude, as if he try too hard to proof he can do what RVP can, he is not club free kick taker, why did he take it in NT? There are lots better free kick taker in NT.

  28. Anyone know why ola john was left to u21, hopefully LVG wont use schaken and kuyt anymore, i dont see how they are going to give impact as a subs. For me, lens is better version of kuyt and schaken alltogether, why would we need three of them? Eventhough lens need to be more confident to take on defenders unlike last match.

  29. Just some points:

    I felt a bit betrayed by Robben. The eventual goal from Ronaldo started with his apathetic reaction after he rushed in a stupid situation to get the ball. Rather than tracking back and press, he let this Portuguese player pass freely and van Rhijn being insecure at the moment gave away a stupid corner. Blind gets a lot of hate here, but people might realize who was standing in front of him. Van der Wiel has been a past victim of Robben.

    I think Verhaegh was nice at moments, but I saw enough shaky moments to say he was great. As van Rhijn gave away a corner that lead to the goal he makes a case to be called up again. I was happy to see people noticing Lens being a beast of an interceptor. Lens tested on right back would be a dream come true. He has something that can’t be learned. Defenders can play on that position all their life, they don’t have this special gift Lens has. This pinpoint foot eye coordination in connection with speed and strength makes it almost impossible to get passed him. Too bad he is a bit lazy and ran out of gass in the second half.

    Vorm shamed me. His time wasting was probably the result of Dutch players battery’s being empty, but I never want to see this time waiting behavior again.

    The van Persie vs Huntelaar discussion is not worth it. They both suck for the Dutch NT. It’s just a case of picking the player that sukcs less. I sometimes think it’s more important to focus on the crowd making noise that encourages the Dutch players than wasting time on the two mentioned players. With Wijnaldum “moving up” second half we could have a shutler construction in place in combination with RVP for a short time, but Wijnaldum had other plans. There was no moving up or playing behind RVP.

    This team is build around RVP, Robben and Strootman. At least van Gaal grants those three most credit and made them (first, second, third) captain. I don’t like the football a Strootman brings with him. I like the PSV football that is currently played. No coincidence that occurred when Strootman was sold. I miss higher level intricate passing, time and space creating triangles and a high focus on the ability to make plays. Strootman does a lot of good things, but the second half was probably the worst half of football I saw this past year from the Dutch senior side. They could not string 2 passes together. Though Strootman is not the only cause of this, he is no solution to this problem either. In DM I want a man that channels the football solutions from the CB’s. There is no point in having good footballing CB’s without a good footballing DM. Strootman needs to be removed from DM and moved to the runner/connector role (where he will battle it out with van Ginkel who is probably better) and a good footballing DM needs to be put in place. There was no reason for us to be so bad in the football department in the second half. There is no reason for us having created so few chances. All this starts from the back. Don’t focus on the positive contributions Strootman brings, focus on what is missing from the big picture.

    I have no idea what Wijnaldum was doing. He could have been brilliant or a failure. I have to watch the game again to understand what he was up to. All I know is that the Dutch NT created too few chances and that I missed my buddy Sneijder. I missed true Robben lanches. I missed balls that cut open the opposition defenses.

    The CB’s did pretty good. I feel that de Vrij did not let me down. Maybe even MOTM? de Vrij operates better under van Gaal than Koeman I think. More games are needed to judge this though. BMI did also well.

    Van Gaal is a specialist in throwing in his own window. I think his record for the Dutch NT (second period) is good but his remarks make any success hard to digest. Being coach of the Dutch NT must be considered an honor, not an act of self sacrifice. People can be honest, but that does not want to say their feeling is grounded in the right way. He failed during his first tenure and walking away from that is childish.

    Belgium has surpassed the Dutch NT now on the FIFA ranking. I am pissed we gave away this game in the final minutes. Huntelaar should have been more alert with the man coming first pole. Again no W against Portugal and they missed some good players.

    1. DRB I think you may hit the key problem. We miss OUR MOST CREATIVE PLAYER, SNEIJDER. Without him the NT seems out of magic really. There is no other player with the quality, experience and courage that Sneijder adds to our NT. Even a 50% fit sneijder I think is better than the vaarts mahers, etc etc.

    2. replying specificly to: “Belgium has surpassed the Dutch NT now on the FIFA ranking. I am pissed we gave away this game in the final minutes.” [end quote]

      We’ve dropped to 7 with Portugal breathing down our neck as far as I can tell (Italy also went passed us). Man, that would really make the draw worse if we lost that 7th seed spot to Portugal.

      1. If croatia wins their next 2 matches against Serbia and Korea, which they probably will since Serbia is already out of the race, they will have passed us as well, putting us out of the first seeded pot for the draw, or whatever they call it.

        They’re looking very good as the best nr.2 as well in qualifying (meaning they won’t have to play play-offs to make it, they’re sort of tied with France on that front).

  30. I like the idea of LvG dropping Sneijder. I think this motivates him to regain his 2010 WC form. I mean look at Sneijder now, he can’t play the full 90mins at Gala without being subbed off by his manager! u don’t want that Sneijder in Brasil… He needs to step it up and 2014 WC is the perfect motivation for him. Hup Holland Hup

    1. I completely agree with you, Jalepino.

      Sneijder is a fighter and hates to be dropped. he will fight himself back into the team and have the shape we need. LvG is doing the right thing.

  31. Our weakest point was the LB. Blind was good but in the second half he looked tired and Portugal had a highway to run in the left side of our defense.

    LVG has to find another player to play in that spot. I’d like to have Blind as a sub.





  32. Let’s hope for PSV, Feyenoord, Ajax do well so Blind, Van Rhijn, De Vrij, BMI, Clasie, Rekkik, Bruma, Willems, Maher, Wijnaldum, Maher, Narsingh, Depay and other young players as Strootman, MVG, De Guzman will develop into better players, while Sneijder, Pieter, VDW, Afellay, Lens, regain forms and RVP, Robben can maintain their forms. I really want NT to win 2014 WC but this team current form tells me that it is not good enough. We will need a very good draw in order to advance deep. Sneijder is still better in vision, pass than VDV and I think he is pissed and motivated to fight his way back to earn his spot to Brazil. Only 9 and 1/2 months to go, not 1 year.

  33. We made an average Portugal side look good, because we lack vision and penetration, we lack a decent supply from Vorm (although he is a wonderful shot stopper), and we do not hustle to get the ball back.

    Portugal put their players on our defenders and goalie all night long. When we couldn’t interchange passes from the back, we inevitably had to kick the ball long, and possession was then quite often taken back by Portugal, and a bit of the old rough treatment.
    School yard tactics, and LVG did nothing to combat it.

    Terrible game of football to watch.

    Anyone suggesting that some of these youngsters will somehow become world beaters by next Summer needs to have a really long slow think about the whole thing.

    We were lucky to get away with a draw last night.

    I hope LVG knows what he is doing.
    BVM may have been unpopular, here especially for some reason, but does anyone REALLY think LVG will achieve even a place in the WCFinal this time around??

    Time for a reality check, people.

    Hup Holland.

  34. there is one thing I noticed with this young group, especially during the time in U21 tournament… and was apparent yesterday

    The Forward Pass delivery – I don’t know how many times did players start to break a counter-attack yesterday when somewhere in the middle of the field, the forward pass was behind the runner, it delayed or broke up the play. This core of players has a lot of speed and they need to be able to complete forward passes.

    Bright Spots for me:
    1. Vorm – wasn’t afraid of Ronaldo. Didn’t like his ball distribution.
    2. Veragh – shut down Ronaldo with some help from Lenz. I also liked his move up the field. He is mature and didn’t make any mistake.
    3. Wijnaldum – grew into the game but it was obvious he’s not in his natural position. I would put him where Lenz is.
    4. Van Ginkel – I have never been as impressed with a new kid since… well, Robben. I would move him back to defence for Martins Indi and Move BMI to LB position.
    5. Strootman – the move to Italy will suit him well, he should learn first hand how to tackle hard. His tackling was clumsy at times but he is a bright star for Oranje’s future.

    I didn’t like any of the forward players performance… Robben had no help and displayed some selfishness.. RvP dropped deep to help but didn’t get proper delivery. Lenz was sub-par but I’m willing to forgive him for that based on his previous performances and the fact that it’s a new season so might be some rust there. VDV proved my point again, he has no place with Oranje. Hate me for it but VDV was no where to be seen on the pitch.

    1. Agree on the forward pass issue. Portugal made some tactical adjustments, allowing less space and keen to intercept those passes. It worked. Oranje did not wake up to the reality. You could blame that last goal on the general amount of pressure Portugal was able to generate from our sloppy attempts at possession.

  35. Portugal didn’t play a great game. Actually we were far better, we controlled the 1st half and in the 2nd half they were better but only in the last 10-15 minutes they really managed to put hard pressure on our defense.

    I am impressed with all the negative comments. I bet Portuguese fans were not that happy with a 1-1 result at home and I laugh when some people say we will have to rely on Robben or RVP. Of course we need them to succeed! just as Portugal needs Ronaldo and Argentina needs Messi!.

  36. I understand. In 2010 most also predicted NT as quarter finalist until we surprised Brazil. The 2010 has more mature players, leadership and some of the players just have an outstanding season (Sneijder, Robben…). Suggesting that these youngsters will somehow become a world beaters in about 9 months is almost impossible, but like every 4 years I still hope NT can win the WC. I have not won a fun bet with my friends yet while being made fun of so I hope my luck will change next year

  37. I don’t know if we will win the WC. But I do know it’ll be very hard to beat us.

    Last night’s game was only a friendly. Brazil even lost to Switzerland, Germany tied against Paraguay, Italy lost to Argentina (we played great against Italy with a new team remember?) so I wouldn’t be too hard on our team.

    I bet LVG knows more about tactics than any of us here so don’t worry guys I bet he even noticed things we didn’t even see and will make things better next time around.

  38. —It is pointless to play VDV now. A waste. LVG should be playing only those who have a good chance of being in Brazil and helping the Dutch to win. He’s got to start sorting a bit more–figuring out the right guys, in the right positions, for the system he wants to play–and then start developing some chemistry. I didn’t see last night’s game but I’ve never seen Robben and RVP play well together on the NT. RVP is one of the best scorers in Europe but he does not get the service he needs in NT games. Robben naturally fancies himself a scorer himself, makes bad crosses, and usually seems to get more or better chances than RVP. Did RVP get any quality chances last night–goal.com had him as the Dutch “flop of the match.” In the EPL he’s kind, but with NT he is FAR less effective. LVG needs to fix this.

  39. I actually see positives in NT FIRST HALF performance against a good Portugal team. The team played pressing football and all the players worked hard to chase down the ball. Also, there was a genuine effort to play good football where passes were not hurried and the players all looking for interplays and combinations.

    Defence: good perf from De Vrij, BMI and especially Vergaegh who showed good positioning, control and overlap. Put in strong and good challenges also. Blind is the weak point.

    Midfield: Strootman, VDV played intelligently. Wijldanum was quite anonymous IMO.

    Forward: Lens is strong and actually put in a good perf against the fullback. He pressured the opponent well. Robben got himself in some good positions but spurned the chance with a poor/unlucky final pass/cross. On another day, it could have ended up as a goal scoring assist. Van Persie though didnt see any goal scoring chance, but he held the ball well and bring the others into play.

  40. Van Gaal is building a team for the next ten years….after Euro 2012 it was necessary to clean the house for good keeping only the best of that squad. Van Gaal is one of the better tacticians in world football. Winning the CL with a bunch of kids at Ajax is no luck.

    I think the chance Oranje has to win the WC are not so strong like in 1998 to mention a comparison but in football anything can happen.

    My dream eleven if everyone is fit and in form will be:

    1 Stekelenburg
    2 Janmaat
    3 De Vrij
    4 Martins Indi
    5 Pieters
    6 De Guzman
    7 Lens
    8 Strootman
    9 Van Persie
    10 Sneijder
    11 Robben

    The numbers signal a 4-3-3 formation like Van Gaal plays. I think the experience of Steks and Pieters are needed in defence and in midfield and offensively we should be fine with this eleven IF Sneijder returns to his best. His courage to return will be key to Oranje, he will fight for his place. Adam Maher will rise his game too as well as Siem de Jong. It is a World Cup season and everybody wants to be in Brazil next year to play the WC.

  41. My saddest observation was to see robbens decline..he just doesnt have the pace to burn away from most defenders anymore…even when given a head start on a counter attack…he doesnt have the close robbenesque control that got him past players messi style actualy in an even more exciting way that messi….agreed that he was left alone on counter attacks with no dutch players keeping pace…but robben always used to manage..to outrun his man..then beat another…often driblling around a third..before shooting on goal…it was ronaldo who always did step overs and ran into a corner wall…and lost possesion or stupidly had to pass back…but now even robben does the same…or he slips trying to turn..or sometimes dives…n the saddest part is that all his turns are now slower n easier to predict for defenders…he just doesnt get u on ur feet anymore as a pure dribbler…i really had hopes that when put on the left wing…he wud still beat a couple of players but he just physcially doesnt have it anymore…last game against england..we kinda saw shades of the old…chelsea..groningen…real madrid ..early bayern days..robben…but def not yesterday bar one punt n sprint past the defender on one occasion

    1. tiju was in love with the strong n powerful Lens n had him in every single line up that he posts every 2 seconds..until this last game…now he will be another casualty / victim on the dreaded list the

      *fools/headless chickens who will ruin Holland listing*..

      which includes everyone from sneijder to vdv to narsingh to elia to softie ola john …headless afellay…now powerless lens


    2. i undrestand exaxtly what u want to say about robben, i really miss Robben 2006 and 2010, we just seduce oueselves with saying robben is back, he cannot driblle defender like which riberry do now.

      1. yes thats the sad part…i still remember the early bayern days…when robben’s dribbling outshadowed ribery…but ribery who is older is now much much better…robben has become an inefficient 1 trick pony

        1. but he is still our robben..and in any argument with a friend..i will always maintain he was thte best dribbler ever..ahead of messi…and show them old videos if i have to!!!

  42. About Wijnaldum’s performance, not so surprised. For me it’s still a mistery that they use him as midfielder. He always seems to be lost, not understanding exactly his role, observe him and you’ll see that he is always hesitating on his positionning, and so was it with PSV last year. Not surprising that he was as discrete most of the time yesterday.

    With the ball, he can stand on his feet when running, good balance, good pace, that helps to go quickly forward. The action where he got past three portuguese players is what our NT needs doesn’t have. A midfielder able to run, got past players and create space. Only he and Afellay can do it in our current team. Fer sometimes also.

    Though he should be used as RW or LW cause he has more influence there

  43. @Srinjoy said:

    “I still remember the early bayern days…when robben’s dribbling outshadowed ribery…but ribery who is older is now much much better…robben has become an inefficient 1 trick pony”



    Last night Robben was well covered by Portuguese defenders and had zero support by our forwards. Maybe he has lost a little bit of speed but I don’t believe Ribery is better I really don’t but I respect your opinion 😉

      1. Ribery always had a better dribble, but robben is much faster still! Robben gets past defenders thanks to his speed and to lesser extent his dribbling abilities. And when Bayern plays the big matches, be sure Robben will have on his feet the responsibility to score, much more than ribery will ever.

  44. Positives:

    1) De Vrij and BMI keep doing well for the NT. Also Bruma and Rekik have enough time to show if they are Oranje material.
    2) Our RB spot is well covered. Janmaat has been doing great, Verhaegh impressed me and playing him on his debut against a top footballer like Ronaldo was a huge test and he passed it.
    3) Strootman has shown yet again he’s the future of the NT.


    1) Our captain has to be the leader. We need someone in the field who has the balls to give instructions and to inspire his teammates.

    I remember Davids, he wasn’t the captain but he was always a huge motavitor. We need that type of player.

    Fer impressed me and reminded me of Davids during the U-21 EC. Every time he came in the team looked more dangerous.

    2) LVG has to find our what to do about RVP. We need him to play like he does for Man U.

    3) Our LB spot. Blind is good but sometimes he loses his man, I hope Pieters gets his top form back.

      1. This one does not only boil down on how talented the player himself is. The thing is that I do not like the Dutch upcoming striker force. If I am not allowed to use van Basten as a benchmark here than people basically admit we have regressed in player development and that we will never produce that level again.

        Luuk de Jong is some kind of weird hybrid of Dirk Kuyt and Huntelaar. De Jong needs wingers for supply and a chance in the box to score but then again he also operates deeper in the field and really works his ass off. he is +12 KM runner often. However neither Kuyt or Huntelaar are elite and Luuk is not close to both players main quality’s. Look at his U21 performance. Balls bounced off his feet for days.

        Locadia lacks running speed and handling speed. He is not a good header either for now. He is a pretty static player that is not able to create something out of nothing. He can turn into a brute finisher with an eye for his fellow player (could wrap up a number of assists per season). Locadia is however a limited player.

        Hoesen can’t finish. That is a problem for a striker. If Locadia and Hoesen would melt into 1 player I would start getting excited. Hoesen has the minimum field play ability I like to see from a young prospect.

        Dost is a box player. With him you play with 10 man as a team. Poor mans Huntelaar. Will always be limited.

        Siem de Jong could play striker, but I do not have to explain he is not a complete striker. He is a good header though.

        Achahbar can do most with a ball in the whole Eredivisie (Dutch Moroccans are technically the most gifted in the Netherlands), but lacks speed. With the Armenteros purchase his chances on minutes for Feyenoord are getting slimmer. So far he is not fulfilling his promise and looking at the recent Euro U19 games he is becoming frustrated with life. I have seen many people claim he was the biggest talent at Feyenoord.

        At PSV there is van der Moot incoming. Finisher in the box. Limited again

        Ajax have Walian incoming. Technical limited probably. Have to see more of him though. Is ahead of where he should be looking at his age, but then again he is big.

        Feyenoord has Idrissi incoming who might come closer to this idea of a complete striker. However I have questions about the ceiling of his quality’s.

        Basicly we need to get our hands on everything that might rise. You never know who starts dipping and who might rise.

        Richairo Zivkovic has speed, can score goals and does not look technical handicapped. Bit pale so far, but there is something to work with. He is 16! Some people think he is able to get the first striker position at the end of the year. I don’t think this is another Robben level player from Groningen, but against the background I tried to paint we need to be cautious with what we have.

        All in all, I don’t want to lose this striker to Serbia. Well, maybe if they want to trade him for a defender like Nastasic, but I don’t think that will happen. 🙂

        1. Thank you man 🙂 . One more thing if you don’t mind , so you don’t have any hopes for Luc castaignos ? I think he has talent , despite a kind of bad attitude may be, but this can be rehabilitated , can’t it ?
          I remember when he was with u-17 Oranje he was seen as the new Thiery Henry, he is still 20.

          1. Yeah could have mentioned him. He is a bit off my radar as he was a bit of a flop last season especially looking at his transfer sum.

            I have seen games of him that were so poor that I could not believe FC Twente payed the money for they did. Not even talking about missing chances. Basic things like controlling a ball or holding play up a bit. Making a pass to the right colored shirts. That kind of stuff.

            I think recently he has played a bit better actually. Last game against Feyenoord was maybe even oke? Never write off a 20 year old player I would say. I think the Henry equation is off and the person saying that was sensationalistic or not meaning to imply the same level but rather the type. He is not as fast as well. That having said, with lowered expectations he might rise this season for FC Twente.

            I dislike this player so much that I wish he never plays for the senior squad though. He actually acted too cool for me saying he could still play for France. His body language is full of manners I dislike. His technique is limited. I like able players and that’s why I hope Achahbar will make the “click”. Achahbar is all about pairing him with box to box midfielders behind him. We have Fer, van Ginkel, Ebecilio, and also reasonable box to box midfielders in Vilhena and Strootman all incoming or available to unlock the hidden potential in Achahbar.

            In 5 years time to unlock bunker teams an Achahbar could still be a great weapon for the Dutch NT. Very good in the small spaces. For the top he needs to become able to really create something on his own. He is pale without movement around him.

  45. I really would like to see a 4-3-3 offensive 3-4-3
    ——rekik—–de guzman—–de vrij–

    I’d like willems and lens to be wingbacks, although I’m not a fan of willems, I do hope he can play better, I’d like robben as a false nine, switching with rvp and wijnaldum for a dynamic front three, strootman is box to box and helps out on wings, sneijder provides killer pass, lens and willems get forward, de vrij rekik split open allowing de guzman to go back and spray the field like busquestes does at barcelona, its in effect a 3-4-3 but on defense 4-3-3 maintaining possession is a must

  46. OK ….First thing first I find it so disturbing when I hear comments like “ it was just a friendly Game ’’ For gods shake, these are the games that we have to make impression on and define our course where we are heading. In my earlier blog I commented on 3 draws and 1 loss. What I meant from the stats was , playing against the power house of soccer . The friendly against China and Indonesia was totally a waste time and bullshit , it would have been better if NT would have gone to South America or Africa to play a couple of friendly . what did we achieve from it , nothing we still the same on the the FIFA ranking and I’m pretty much sure nothing will change after the Portugal match. On the hand WC qualifiers is jus like training in the back yard for NT.

    If we talk about rebuilding. I agree it should be done around new players, but it has to be solely done with a batch of players, something that Tiju has already mentioned. If you look at Leroy Fer , Maher, Fer is at Norwich city and for me he was one of the most understanding dude’s at the Euro 21, and once again if you look at EPL, you expect a player like Fer to further strengthen his capabitlities overall where as Maher you can pencil him as the next candidate to feel Sneijder and Van der Vaart shoes. I mean all this is evident and we all know more has to be centred around these players but yet its not happening.

    Van Gall should hav started with:

    Robben – RVP – Wijnaldum

    Fer – Maher -strootman

    And then sub Van der Vaart , Van Ginkle, Lens respectively , when NT were fading after the interval. For me this is what I call a constructive rebuilding around young players.

    It has to be taken for granted that if Robben and sneijder are playing you can expect goal from RVP or Huntelaar. Both are goal scoring machines at their respective clubs, Man U and Schalke04 , but this is only because they have the luxury of mids which provide them with effective and quality balls. Both sneijder and Robben fanatic goal scorers so its obvious they will go for goal at first instance. Therefore I reckon if RVP is starting Maher to be CM and Sneidjer or Van der Vaart to come on as super sub. As for Robben ,if he starts on the right forget about him ever coming back to defend and provide backup to RB. As some body has motioned van Wiel has already been a victim of his ill defensive game , but yet he was solely criticised for his performance against Portgual in EC 2012.So the best option would be for Wijnnaldum to start on right and robben to stay put on left , but again crosses into the box are important .What van gaal should do is to start be concentrating more on Maher, Wijnaldum, Fer and Van Ginkle.

    As for Sneijder, I think it would be best if he is used as a super sub when NT are fading and need that auxiliary boost. Even if he is 100% , It remains to be seen where he can go 90 min. For WC 2014, maher and either Van der Vart /Sneijder

    Jus to add this overall all the forwards were hopeless in the game against portgual.

    For the next WC qualifiers and other other friendly

    Robben – RVP – Wijnaldum

    Fer – Maher –Strootman

    N/s – N/s- N/s –Jammant


    Sneijder/Van der Varrt
    Van ginkle

    N/S – NOT SURE

      1. i was posting videos abt wijnaldum and wished he was in orange and i was sure that he would do well.that happend and am happy for wijnaldum.Sad point is from27/28/29 we loose agility of body and wijanldum is 22 i think.6 years for wijanldum.so it is better to use him Fer23 at right ages..

  47. I believe LVG is using some psychological tricks with our players’s minds.

    He wants to motivate them, the season is just starting and there’s enough time for them to prove they are worth being in the squad.

    That’s why LVG took off Sneijder’s armband.
    That’s why Maher wasn’t call, because he wants him to work harder to adapt to PSV.
    Van Ginkel didn’t start because LVG doesn’t want big egos and that’s why he started with an Eredivisie player like Wijnaldum.
    Clasie wasn’t called to let him know he has to improve if he wants to be part of the team.
    Fer and Pieters will be called but he is letting them adapt to life in England.

  48. regarding the Ribery-Robben debate….

    Go watch Ribery… he is a nasty player, he gets past defenders by elbowing and kicking them. His cut from the left and kick using the right foot sucks. He has David Alaba who is a super LB to support him, still…

    The combination Robben-Lahm is MUCH more effective.. Lahm was a leader in assists last year because of Robben and how many defenders he occupies.

    Robben is always double teamed without the ball, triple teamed WITH the ball. He’s got much more speed than Ribery and his dribbling is much better as well. Robben’s shots are more dangerous and his through passing is second to none.


  49. Some great points here.

    Our LB situation needs to get sorted out before the WC. Willems showed at Euro 2012 that he isn’t ready for this level yet. Blind showed potential early on, but he got exposed vs. Portugal.

    LvG should give Erik Pieters a shot during our next two WCQ games. He’s got a decent amount of experience at the NT level. I want to keep the Feyenoord 3 of Janmaat, De Vrij and BMI. They’re familiar with each other and the chemistry’s there.

    I’d have to agree with someone who said our midfield looked it’s best vs. Italy when we used Strootman/Clasie/Maher. I would probably replace Clasie with de Guzman.

    Off the bench we could use VdV, Afellay (if he’s fit and healthy), and Sneijder.

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