Player Ratings and our Future

It’s time, with some days behind us for the dust to settle, to do a proper analysis of our current squad, their performance and their future in our Oranje.

We will analyse the coach separately after this post. And then look at our future material. The prospects…

Maarten Stekelenburg
Coming out of a mediocre season it Italy, Maarten Stekelenburg played an ok tournament. He was lucky to stop a number of close efforts (most of them by sheer luck I believe) and did what you expect from a goalie. But to win a tournament, you need your goalie to stop at least that Denmark shot and the second Gomez goal too. He didn’t look too good there. In terms of coaching and defensive management: I do not get the impression he is at Van der Sar level. I believe he is a bit lacklustre in his body language. Aspects were both Vorm and Krul have impressed me more. Although I do not think that Vorm and Krul – being still young – would have faired better in that department. I do believe though, that Vorm would have stopped the Denmark goal and Krul would have stopped the 2nd Gomez one :-). But, Stekelenburg is still going to be in our World Cup squad, although not necessarily as first goalie. If rumours are correct and Vorm moves to Tottenham and Krul to Chelsea, who knows what happens.

Gregory van der Wiel
Came out of a troublesome season with Ajax. Was injured for a while (and Ricardo van Rhijn played Van der Wiel into oblivion) and didn’t return to his full form. Played a bad tournament but showed some good spells in the Portugal game. His defending and passing were under par and his crosses atrocious. Needs to really up his game or could be easily surpassed by said Van Rhijn, Feyenoord’s Kelvin Leerdam or even Ronnie Stam, if he indeed decides to come back to Holland ( PSV). Stam has the right age and playing for Wigan will most certainly have strengthened him. Van der Wiel will need to improve big time. And his post tournament interviews don’t bode well. “There is something wrong between Oranje and me. I can’t play my own game.”

Joris Mathijsen
Didn’t have a great season at Malaga. Was criticised and benched and most likely his legs can’t carry it anymore. He came into the tournament with an injury and was almost out for the whole tourney. Played a bad game against Germany. Showed some positive forward movement in the first 15 minutes of the Portugal game, but drowned with the rest of them. Doesn’t show the leadership and build up qualities we need if we want to play Total Football. Joris was a good soldier for us, but needs to retire. And I wonder if we will be mentioned in ten years from now…

John Heitinga
Did have a tremendous season at Everton. Man of the Season. Doesn’t get better at that level. Johnny won’t win CLs or even European League trophies with Everton but this was a mighty season. But playing central defender at Everton or at Oranje is a different thing. He is not expected to push forward with Everton. At Oranje, he constantly tracked back. Don’t know why, but he did. He also didn’t seem 100% fit. Did he not mention this to Bert? Johnny will be a 2014 player though, and I can even see him making one last jump to Liverpool or Tottenham.

Ron Vlaar
Ron had a big season at a small club ( relatively speaking). Being great at Feyenoord means you can tag along in Oranje. We can’t expect Vlaar to suddenly carry the team. I think he played ok. Any defender would get in trouble against a C Ronaldo on fire. And with Van der Wiel slipping up, the tall (but slow) Vlaar had trouble playing against Portugal. But he could be still valuable. He’s only 26 years old. He’s strong, good header of the ball and a good long pass. Vlaar should have put that Sneijder cross against Portugal away, allowing Oranje a chance at 2-1 to progress. You only get one of those in these types of games and a real winner, a real top player, scores it. Vlaar could be 2014 material, unless Viergever, Bruma and Gouweleeuw develop much better.

Jetro Willems
This 18 year old prospect had a big step up from playing Jupiler league with Sparta to playing Nani and Thomas Muller. I was tremendously excited to see him in the squad, but in hindsight: this only works if a lad like this can settle in a team that operates well. In a Germany or a Spain, Willems would have been great. In this nervous and torn Oranje, it was actually a sorry sight to see the lad struggling. Irresponsible of our coach. Maybe Jetro told him it was all good, maybe the lad is mentally super strong, but was this necessary. If you have Buttner, Emanuelson, Schaars, Bouma, Anita… I think the lad did well, considering… What can you expect? I also believe he has the goods to become a really exciting player. But he needs at least couple of consistent seasons. Man United apparently wants to sign him and that could work out really well, or it could ruin him… Drenthe style.

Mark van Bommel
Had a good season with AC Milan, but in a different system and in a different role. His 35 year old legs can not cope with the gaps we shown between defence and offence, but I don’t think any midfielder could. Maybe Strootman could have been the exception. But he never got the chance to show it. Bommel’s individual game wasn’t too great. He missed his men, he allowed himself to be muscled off the ball… he had great moments and he had bad moments. One also has to question his leadership, if it’s true that there are two camps. But… I can’t imagine Mark continuing in Oranje, so let’s thank him for all the great memories. He gave it what he had, I’m sure. But it’s time for new blood now.

Nigel de Jong
Had an ok season with Man City. People on telly in Holland claim he only played 12 games or so, but that is total rubbish. I watched him weekly ( or Man City) and Nigel was called on anytime City got in trouble. He is still highly valued at City and he had a good season there. He is still strong, committed, focused and playing sober. I think he was the best player we had this tournament! Which is not good news of course. But Nigel deserves to be a squad member still. For sure. He lacks dynamics ( see Strootman) but he surely plug holes and destroy. And apparently, he is a good header too, suddenly?

Rafael van der Vaart
Had an ok season with Spurs. I don’t think they did tremendously well. They should have ended number 3 for that. And Rafa is not as important and influential as Modric is. Rafa is a great player, good vision, good passing, good goal scoring etc. But he’s not a holding mid. So in a 4-2-3-1 he’s not the right man for the holding mid role. He is a playmaker. But if you have Sneijder already…? Do you play them both? And what to do with Van Persie? And on top of that, he’s not getting fitter and not younger either… He will be 31 years old in 2014. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a massive Vaart fan, but… With Maher knocking on the door, and Wijnaldum, Clasie…. If he is in great shape, he could come along. Also, Rafa does need to keep his ego in check. He always thinks he should play. This tournament, last World Cup, I agreed. In 2014, probably not…

Ibi Afellay
Came out of a horrendous injury. Hasn’t played more than 18 minutes for Barca since. Bert thought Ibi could make the difference. This tells me Bert lost faith. It’s ridiculous to think a player who isn’t sensational in the first place (he’s not Messi or Rooney or C Ronaldo) to lift us in three top games in eight days after such an injury. Ibi did well against Northern Ireland (YEA!!). And ok against Denmark. But drowned in his second game against Germany. He was also playing against type (he’s not a left winger) and Bert could have or should have used the only other real winger we have in the squad: Luciano Narsingh.
If Ibi keeps on developing, he will be a key player for us at the World Cup 2014. He played holding mid for PSV for a while and did that really well. I don’t see a winger in him.

Wesley Sneijder
Came out of a troubled season, with injuries and issues at Inter. His mentality and personality – as ever – were great. Good positive vibes. Winner mentality. Humor. And leadership. On the pitch, he was hot and cold. Great in possession, but lazy when he lost the ball. He did show his class and a fit and motivated Sneijder is definitely one of the best midfielders/players on the planet. He does need to keep his ego in check, but with Sneijder it’s relatively easy: make him important and he will carry the responsibility. He will most likely be the future skipper of Holland in 2014 and beyond. The problem with Wes, like with Robin, is that they have a protected position at their clubs. They are the guys that call the shots. They need to lose that attitude once back in Oranje.

Robin van Persie
Came out of a sensational season with Arsenal on a personal level. Staying fit all season and scoring from every angle. But his position in the Oranje hierarchy is different and his role in the team was overshadowed by Huntelaar’s position. There have also always been rumours about Van Persie’s bad relationship with buddies Sneijder/Van der Vaart, but Robin was the first to jump Rafa after he scored against Portugal. The national debate Van Persie vs Huntelaar probably didn’t help. For either of them. Van Persie played a good game vs Denmark but once in scorings position, he blocked. Bad touches, bad balance, bad decision making, too eager….etc. Van Persie carries a weight on his shoulders and bad management by Bert may have caused all this. But, with Van Persie’s skill and talent, he will most certainly make the World Cup cut. Hoping the team manager will be able to craft a winning team of all those talents.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar
Came out of a tremendous season with Schalke. Has Man United and Valencia chasing him for his signature, apparently. Started in a bad way. Was promised a fair chance as the starting striker but felt screwed by the coach. Couldn’t make an impression in all his minutes, but in his defence: he didn’t get a playable ball all this tournament. Hunter will most certainly be part of the new squad, unless Van Marwijk stays on. Then, Klaas Jan could chuck a Van Nistelrooy and retire early.

Arjen Robben
Came out of a difficult season with Bayern. Suffered injuries and let his team down at the key moments (Dortmund, Chelsea). Came into the tournament totally focused on re-establishing the brand Robben. Over-zealous. Over-eager. Too self absorbed. Playing too much for Robben. Bert needs to share the blame by persisting with Robben on the right wing. But it does seem that Robben’s injuries robbed him of his speed. And his left foot clearly was out of whack. He’s still a threat. And an in-form Robben can compete with C Ronaldo for the second-best of the world trophy. But despite all his efforts, his contributions were mediocre at best. If his body agrees, Robben will be a candidate for the 2014 World Cup.

Dirk Kuyt
Came off a disappointing season with Liverpool. Didn’t play a lot. And if he did, didn’t play too well. Is always hailed for his work ethics. But the minutes he got never enabled him to make a change. In my view, Narsingh would have been more impactful. It’s interesting to see how Dirk will fair in Turkey. He might be spent. He might not make the cut for 2014. That is what I expect. But never say die with Dirkie…

The Others
Schaars disappointed me by throwing the towel on the left back spot so quickly. He is a good midfielder and if he indeed moves to Inter, he might develop further and take Van Bommel’s position in the squad. But he’s not getting younger either and needs to compensate his lack of speed with something else.

Bouma should never have been selected in the first place. Boulah will most certainly not make it into Oranje anymore although the Cannibal might make a new career in Turkey.

Strootman is still my main man for the future. Tough, great passer, good work ethics and mentality and most importantly: dynamic and penetrating.

Luuk de Jong has a future. The striker has shown he can score, create and work for the team. Good header, smart mover. Nothing wrong with him. Will be part of WC2014 squad if he keeps developing. Will have competition from Dost, Van Wolfswinkel, Castaignos and Barazite, though….

Luciano Narsingh had the most assists in the Eredivisie. He basically made Dost the topscorer and the latter should pay 20% of his salary to him. Narsingh can further develop under De Boer if he goes to Ajax. And might develop into a fresh new Robben… Let’s hope so… He will most likely be part of the 2014 World Cup.

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  1. Hi Jan, I’m sorry but within a dysfunctional team where players were divided into different camps I think player ratings will only obscure the reasons behind the collective failure. That’s what it was, wasn’t it, a collective failure?

    1. Did not want to take away any of the fun of talking about individual players and their future within Oranje or belittle your efforts in supplying material to get everybody going again as you are doing a fabulous job, Jan.

  2. Great article Jan!
    Really fair analysis of the players. Not much more to add since the whole team was off. Glad you spared Willems too. He’s a real talent and needs to stick with PSV and progress his game.

    It will be really interesting to see who takes over after BVM and who emerges from the youth ranks into the senior squad. Maher, Clasie and Strootman are going to be key midfielders and I hope they fulfill their potential. Clasie is shaping up to be a Dutch-Xavi

  3. @ Jan’s article: “The problem with Wes, like with Robin, is that they have a protected position at their clubs.” I disagree with respect to Sneijder. This season his position was in jeoprody. Ranieri didn’t seem to like Sneijder and didn’t start him many games, not due to injury, but due to Ranieri’s coaching philosophy. Also, many of the Inter players seemed to have problems with Sneijder this season.

    1. I agree. Wes was not untouchable…the fans love him but he was in danger of being marginalised as Inters results briefly spiked when he was injured and the talk was that they were better without him.
      That was nonsense of course but he does not have a protected status at Inter….

      1. I have been hoping Sneijder moves to Man United for a year. Maybe.. I sincerely hope he has another 4 years left in him. With his passing qualities, it might just work out.

      1. wes might not have been untouchable, but they (wes, robin) think they are, and think the run the show.

        i get the same feeling from robben. they all want the games to run through them as the focal point when in. impossible

  4. I like Narsingh, Dost and Huntelaar as out strike force. RvP and Hunter will be pushing it age-wise. I don’t know who we can replace Robben with, he certainly will likely not make it to 2014 if he mentioned retirement this year. Sneijder will be a mainstay, Strootman for sure.

    Douglas, Heitinga, Schaars and hopefully van der Weil finds his swagger.

    This team has lost its flair at the moment, the dutch arrogance, the one twos, the flicks etc. Van Persie and Vaart, Sneijder and Robben seemed afraid to take people on. That is the sign of the end. The coach never told them to abandon that part of their game, in fact Bert has alway told them to play with arrogance but in the Championship I saw no highlight reel material, nor did I in much of qualifying. These guys should be showboating half the time like they invented football. They’ve lost their mojo.

      1. It helps that Van Wolfswinkel plays in a league where they know what defending is, while Dost scores plenty of goals alright, but with 2 of the best wingers in Eredivisie and such weak backlines its hard not to. Huntelaar had mediocre wingers at his disposal and still topped the scorers list, makes you wonder where Dost will end up.. FC Köln ?

          1. Marin transferred to Chelsea didnt he? Besides, I’m talking about ending up at. Dost was topscorer in a weak eredivisie with some of the best wingers there, considering Huntelaar struggled at the top even though he had mediocre or alright wingers at Heerenveen/Ajax. So I’m saying Huntelaar had lesser players around him and as topscorer still struggled, Dost had great players around him, so I’m interested to see whether Dost will fare better at Werder or end up benched and moving to a club like Köln.

          2. oh man, my bad, wolfsburg finished 1 place above, looking at the roster, only two players come to mind, beneglio swiss goalie, and trasch as good players, but i haven’t seen much of the team. Hopefully he develops good

        1. Considering the recent past….i’d say he’ll end up on the bench at some big club like KJH….
          I think Ricky Wolf was brave not stupid to choose playing time over a sub role in a bigger club. He’ll keep match fit and focused. His time will come….

    1. I still have hopes for Jeffrey Bruma, he’s played almost a full season for HSV, they fought relegation alright, but that can only toughen the kid. He did play some good matches near the end, I hope he gets another season or 2 of top flight football under his belt, at age 20, that is a big positive for any defender. I do hope Bruma will make a significant development in the next 2-4 years.

  5. not much to add Jan..

    apart from a wrong line-up/system,im still confused how we lost ‘breath’ after 20 minutes in each of the games..why did we look the least fit team in the Euro’s

  6. Fair assessment by Jan. I think the only players that will not make it for WC2014 are Mathijsen, VBommel, Bouma, Bhoula, and Kuyt. As for the rest they all have the chance to prove themselves with the new coach and make it to the team. Of course they will be complemented by new entrants and i am sure that some of the latter will challenge the current stars for a spot in the team. But let’s keep to the subject and debate the current team in this thread.

    1. I’d add vdv to your list .
      Kuyt imo can be fit for 2014 .
      if he plays regular in Turkey and in the CL i think he has the lungs , spirit and the fitness to play two more seasons .

      He is experienced and respected by all his team-mates , has no ego issues and will not make any troubles if he is on bench .
      Tbh i think benching him is a main reaseon why our defense looked miserable in this tournament .

        1. I find it rediculous that many write-off Boula out, while he did NOT play a single minute in this EC. I actually find him way better than VDW defensively. Can someone tell me what killer defensive mistakes he has ever done. It is true that he is useless offensively, but if the midefiled and attack are doing their job, we don’t need his attacking abilities. Not that VDW’s attacking abilities are like Roberto Carlos! I believe he would have shut-down Ronaldo against Portugal if he would have played instead of VDW. Unlike others (e.g. Persie) who shine for their clubs and suck with the national team, Boula is the other way around. He did a great job in the last WC when he started for the suspended VDW. Next WC 2014, Boula would be 32 years old, which isn’t too bad. He is still fast and built like a rock.

  7. Jan your writings are just a joy to read 😀 .

    I’d like to know your evaluation for Bert too 🙂 . Who’s the best to take over the job for 2014 ?

  8. It seems Liverpool might be a destination for plenty of Dutch players. Brendan Rodgers who loves to play TIka Taca and total football like holland
    the same guy who signed vorm, wants van wolfswinkel, Eljero Elia, Luuk De jong, And if rumours are true that reina is to leave liverpool for ac milan, MIchel Vorm Might end up the Goalie Of Liverpool

    on ricky van wolfswinkel his move to manchester united might be in danger

    He has Liverpool, Napoli and Manchester united wanting him. Honestly, he should not go to united, it’s a waste, he might end up on the bench. Liverpool is interesting, and so is napoli

    Other interesting transfer news, Erik Pieters to Newcastle might not happen. Newcastle still likes him, but set sights on French defender debuchy, but chelsea is trying to steal him away at right back. Which means any notion of van der wiel to chelsea is probably a lie.

    with douglas teixeira, the transfer to newcastle is taking forever, apparently he’s claiming a club bigger then newcastle is after him, I call bluff but i’m not gonna complain if he signs for real madrid or ac milan or whoever

    1. stijn schaars has 7 million euro price tag from Inter milan. and fulham and sunderland want him. Which i wonder about sunderland, because they like to head the ball…. a lot. Fulham has martin jol as manager

      Eljero Elia has Schalke, Salsburg, Benfica (doesn’t seem right) Feyenoord, and west ham united after him, along with liverpool

      and my favorite news, Haven’t seen or really heard about bram nuytinck, everyone was talking about Gouweleeuw, De vrij, and viergever.

      amd guess Bram nuytinck, has Borussia Monglendbach, Napoli, Juventus, Ajax, And West Bromwich Albion after him

  9. Great analysis Jan… I hope this Euro doesn’t play on Willems mind to much, it would be hard to be a defender in the current Dutch team let alone being only 18 and debuting.

    I’m excited about van Rhijn when I saw him play he looked extremely confident and very calm under pressure. And know I also heard he is working closely with Stam at Ajax.

    I also just read that Benfica are now interested in Luuk de Jong and that he is also interested on a move to Benfica. Soon the Portuguese league will have more Dutch players then the Eredivisie.

    1. if you watch the portuguese league, it’s exciting. Full of attacking intent, Kind of like holland, except more diving. and lots of good wingers and that kind of action. Lots of brazilians, and Angolan’s and Cape verdean speedsters. Along with smart coaches and great action. Looks like going dutch is working for portuguese teams.

    2. I am secretly hoping for an Alaba type development for Willems, hoping he’ll get experience in playing European football at PSV and make big steps and certainly hope he hasn’t lost confidence completely.

      Portuguese league is only popular due to the big clubs being regular and more or less steady contenders in european football. Besides they do pay abit more.

    1. Van Bommel just announced he is retiring from the Dutch national team.

      Best news from the Oranje camp this summer! Hope Mathijsen and Heitinga (and Bouma) will follow suit.

  10. Looking at the number of new talents that are rising, we could probably send two Netherlands teams to the next World Cup. Now if we could only get Guardiola to coach…

    1. Guardiola is a true nationalist with Catalan Blood, his job at Barcelona was more than just pure coaching. He had a mission to promote Barcelona and indirectly Catalonia. When he picked up the reign from Rijkaard, the team was already half established and he just needed some “catalan” connections and of course Messi peaking at the right moment. He based his team on guys that knew each other since their development stages (15 years old).
      For the famous “Guardiola doctrin” to take effect, you need a strong vertebral column, he had the Pique-Iniesta-Messi-Busquests-Valdes-Cesc and then the more seniors Puyol-Xavi-himself connections. He didn’t change Rijkaard’s approach (and the traditional Barsa approach) he just took it to another level (beyond the galaxy) hehe’ Some people forget about how and at what moment Guardiola got the job and thought that he made a total revolution. No he didn’t, yes he is a genius and the titles will speak volumes of this. But he just placed the missing puzzles of the jigsaw asked for some advice from cruyff, got the right players at the right time and made a difference.
      Please look at the current condition of our team, it needs more than just a magic wand, the players can’t even look at each other. hehe’

  11. i’ve been watching for this guy ” jeffery Gouweleeuw ” !
    Damn , the guy looks amazing in buliding up with nice defensive skills .
    kinda similar to Pique . can be great pairing with douglas or heitinga .

          1. I was going to ask the same question. We really need better athletes in Oranje. This guy has pace, strength and skill. In retrospect, going 0-0-3 in the group phase, we could as well have used this guy and given him some experience.

        1. He’s had somewhat of a fall back in recent months though, making quite the defensive errors, he is only 21 and is not ready for CL level football, he needs experience and alot of it, and needs to become more balanced in his creative/vs pure defensive qualities. Too soon to throw him in.

  12. Jan, great article, a pleasure to read and very objective. Thank you. A good coach can make a very good mix with the core of these players and youngsters. It will be exciting if the right man comes along.

  13. Let’s move this discussion more to the point. We listed the players that will probably make it for the WC selection. I am now listing only the players that i would like to see in the starting eleven, given they are in good form:

    LB: Willems
    MD: Sneijder
    FW: Van Persie
    FW: Robben
    FW: Huntelaar

    So in a typical 4-3-3 formation, I would keep 5 from the current team but for the other 6 roles (GK, 3 DEF and 2 MID), i prefer something better for a typical starting eleven in the next WC. Let’s not discuss who can fill the gaps at this stage, but do you agree that these 5 should be part of the team … less, more ?

    1. strootman and clasie ” aside with sneijder ” in the midfeild .
      Fer , Maher and Schaars as subs .
      De jong , Douglas , pieters , de Vrij , Gouweleeuw , bruma , van rihjn fo defense .
      emanuelson , elia , wijnaldum , narsingh , kuyt , ola john , Ricky , luuk and dost .

      i believe we have plenty of talents , just need to know how to get the best of them .

    2. @Al

      GK – Stek, Vorm, Krul – we know it will be one of these three for the next 2 – 3 tournaments unless a huge new talent comes out of the U-17’s. I don’t think it should be handed to Steks, rather the one on best form when we are playing games (friendly, qualifier, tournament).

      RB – Perhaps a new club and new Oranje coach can bring van der Wiel back. If not, I hope this van Rhijn kid is all he’s cracked up to be.

      CB – I think Douglas needs to be tested at the very least. Heitinga still has it in him to help Oranje. I hope at least one of Gouweleeuw, Bruma, Nuytink can develop into a Jaap Stam.

      LB – I don’t think Willems will be ready until until the next Euro (and thats assuming this debacle didn’t ruin him). This should be Pieter spot for WC-2014. Another mistake of BVM was throwing Pieters in against England after no time back from injury with PSV.

      DM – de Jong in the destroyer role. Strootman in the box to box playmaker role. Afellay could figure in here as well.

      AM – Wes backed up by Raf and / or Ibi. Question is where do Classie and Maher develop? Should be left to the U-21’s as long as possible to continue development.

      RF – RVP if he will accept the role, in Oranje he always looks better wide than he does in the middle. Pushed by Narsingh.

      CF – Hunter is pure poacher. Cover from Dos, van Wolfswinkle and LDJ.

      LF – Robben, nuff said! I hold hope that Elia and or Drenthe can come back to prominance here. Elia especially looked so very dynamic in his time at WC-2010.

      Question marks as to where they develop: Siem de Jong, Wijnaldum and Emanuelson. Did I miss anyone?

      Kuyt can come along to the WC if he wants, he has character and class!!!!

  14. why do you insist on play Robben and Van Persie, while they failed in this latest Euros ??? We all love the guys, but they should be evaluated as well for their performance and both performances were Mediocre ….

    1. @ AL, Willems is clearly not ready yet. We should not throw his career away by making him play every match for us from now on. Let him develop first.

      @ Marcel, because no matter how you put it they are still by far the best players we have, along with Sneijder and Huntelaar. You don’t just drop a player like V.Persie, you find a way of making them perform.

      1. @Alex,

        because no matter how you put it they are still by far the best players we have, along with Sneijder and Huntelaar. You don’t just drop a player like V.Persie, you find a way of making them perform.

        Agree and disagree. Maybe some of them could have been better utilized coming as subs to maximize their roles/physical condition. Maybe some of them indeed can’t co-exist together but separately could make the team better? It is the job of the boss to find out.

        I hate to keep citing the example of Cesc not starting in match 2 after started in match 1. What did he do when he came in? He scored (not sulked). I don’t know what vdV reaction was after not starting in match 1 but the rumormongers seemed to have fun with his revolts, etc. Ditto the sulking talks on Hunter.

        Others cited Messi/CRonaldo kept starting after underperforming but fortunately (or unfortunately) we actually have deeper options than Argentina or Portugal, which is our blessing (or curse).

        I am a firm believer at this world level, players like Robben, Sneijder, RvP, vdV, Hunter are all “special” but they need to realize also that they are parts of a team. The world is NOT fair, so if you don’t start – boo hoo – you do NOT weep but you prove yourselves next time you’re up there. If you never get up there (or in Hunter’s case, only got there for less than 20 mins), then it’s a tactical error.

    2. Yes, it’s a good thing Messi was evaluated after failing to score a goal at WC2010.

      Ribery and Ronaldo took quite an evaluation, too. 😉

  15. I agree @ Alex, but VP, this is not his first time underperforming ….

    maybe they should remain, but not have their places secured and sacred …. if they don’t deliver, the coach should have the balls to fill in their places…

    1. I have long waited for both vPersie or Robben to exhibit the brilliance that each is capable of, but time after time they’ve failed Oranje or simply disappeared, which sould be pretty difficult when you’re wearing a bright orange shirt. I think that both of these guys might need to make way for some younger talent with more to prove, fewer psychological issues, and more fire in the belly.

  16. Here are my thoughts. Stekelenberg was OK in the tournament but will be pressed by Krul. Vorm holds the ball up too much which is OK for his club team but not good for a high pressing quick NT (which is what we should be doing). Willems was thrown into a situation not of his own making and did as well as could be expected given the circumstances; assuming he didn’t suffer irreparable mental damage he will be considered for LB. Mathijsen will retire. Vlaar works hard but his lack of quickness is telling and that’s something that cannot be improved; you are either quick or you are not (and that’s the chief problem with Bruma as well). Heitinga was the biggest disappointment of the whole tournament for me; just appalling mistakes given his good club season. he is in danger of losing his position at this point. Van der Wiel has no future at this point and needs to see a sports psychologist ASAP; van Rhijn is a superior player as was shown in the latter stages of the Ajax season.

    van der Vaart’s time has passed and he really can only play as a withdrawn striker these days and that position doesn’t exist on the NT. He has lost speed and quickness. I thought de Jong was the best player of the tournament for us. Solid on the ball and good passes; he will be considered for the holding midfielder in the WC campaign. van Bommel was too slow for the EC and I guess he has announced his retirement (should have done it after the WC).

    Kuyt’s career is over for the NT (or should be); he has lost speed and there are better options, most notably Narsingh. Robben for me was decent in the tournament and barring an injury will be in the mix for the WC. Afellay should only be considered as a midfielder and quite frankly there are better choices there with Maher, Clasie and Anita coming up. van Persie was hugely disappointing; striker has to finish chances and he didn’t. He still has the physical tools to do the job and will be in the mix as will Huntelaar who really didn’t get any help from wing play when he was on the field.

    I’m excited because there are a lot of good young players at all positions who should be considered for the NT. Qualification for the Brazil WC is going to be difficult and we have a tough opening fixture against Turkey (who destroyed Portugal in the final friendly prior to the EC). Even though it’s a home match, given the issues that surfaced last week, it might result in a defeat. Away to Hungary follows up next within the week, not good either.

  17. GK – Stek, Vorm, Krul – we know it will be one of these three for the next 2 – 3 tournaments unless a huge new talent comes out of the U-17′s. I don’t think it should be handed to Steks, rather the one on best form when we are playing games (friendly, qualifier, tournament).

    RB – Perhaps a new club and new Oranje coach can bring van der Wiel back. If not, I hope this van Rhijn kid is all he’s cracked up to be.

    CB – I think Douglas needs to be tested at the very least. Heitinga still has it in him to help Oranje. I hope at least one of Gouweleeuw, Bruma, Nuytink can develop into a Jaap Stam.

    LB – I don’t think Willems will be ready until until the next Euro (and thats assuming this debacle didn’t ruin him). This should be Pieter spot for WC-2014. Another mistake of BVM was throwing Pieters in against England after no time back from injury with PSV.

    DM – de Jong in the destroyer role. Strootman in the box to box playmaker role. Afellay could figure in here as well.

    AM – Wes backed up by Raf and / or Ibi. Question is where do Fer, Classie and Maher develop? Should be left to the U-21′s as long as possible to continue development.

    RF – RVP if he will accept the role, in Oranje he always looks better wide than he does in the middle. Pushed by Narsingh.

    CF – Hunter is pure poacher. Cover from Dos, van Wolfswinkle and LDJ.

    LF – Robben, nuff said! I hold hope that Elia and or Drenthe can come back to prominance here. Elia especially looked so very dynamic in his time at WC-2010.

    Question marks as to where they develop: Siem de Jong, Wijnaldum, Ola John and Emanuelson. Did I miss anyone?

    Kuyt can come along to the WC if he wants, he has character and class!!!!

  18. Yeah, maybe you’re right on Willems … but I still saw a lot of good things in that guy. I would be tempted in giving him more caps during the WC qualification and friendlies … at least share the playing time between him and Pieters.

    1. I don’t understand how the situation deteriorated so quickly within weeks or even days, poor judgement on part of the players and maybe coaching staff. To through away 2 years of work is just unacceptable. You go from Hero to zero in the blink of an eye. One thing I am sure of at this moment is that they guys did not have the 0-1 scenario and just lost their papers and went overboard. They should learn a lot from Bilic and the Croatians, they were calm and collected until the very last moment. So showing of emotions whatsoever…..I can’t imagine taking this guys for war, they would just take cover under their blankets and blame each other.. poor poor poor judgement

      1. In BvM’s defense, some of the issues were out of his control (though he should have seen things and adapted); and I go back just 3 months prior to the start of the tournament: 1) he didn’t know that Pieters would be lost for the tournament and that he was going to have to use an 18 year old with limited experience; 2) he didn’t realize that Heitinga who had a very good club season would have major brain farts on the pitch; and 3) he didn’t know that van Persie would have great difficulty finishing chances.

        Here are some things that were in his control that he should have dealt with: 1) he should have had other options for the central defense knowing that Mathijsen had an injury plagued season and was no longer physically able to play at this level; 2) he should have realized that van Bommel no longer had the physical ability to defend at this level because of age and loss of whatever quickness he had; 3) he should not have put Afellay in a position to fail because of the long recovery time and the fact that he’s not even a winger for his club time; and 4)he should have had a strategy to get Huntelaar and van Persie on the field at the same time if the team fell behind and needed goals.

        Do the things within BvM’s control outweigh those that were not? It’s a tough call. Say they get the first goal in the Denmark game and convert some other chances; it could have been a different tournament. We will never know.

        1. Bert’s shortcomings are huge and outweigh anything out of his control in my opinion. A coach of his stature should be close to perfect when it comes to planning.

          1. I wish that were true but I can’t find any trainer in the current EC knock out round who is “close to perfect.” Maybe Löw comes closest.

      2. Gio, I am glad you’re mentioning 0-1 scenarios. Personally I posted this concern several times before the tournament started and unfortunately my concern proved right. And especially in these tournaments if you are not ready it will not be easy to recover when you fall behind.
        You said it right “from hero to zero”. We will end second from the bottom. Really sad.

  19. Jan,

    Thanks for such a thoughtful and even-handed summary of each player. The challenge is to select, organize and assemble the right group.

    As Michels said, “It is an art in itself to compose a starting team, finding the balance between creative players and those with destructive powers, and between defense, construction and attack – never forgetting the quality of the opposition and the specific pressures of each match.”

    1. In an effort to get the above quote right, I went on FIFA’s website, where they concisely summarized Michel’s approach and noted:

      “The key to Michels’ concept was intelligent movement, understanding and fitness.”

      Sounds like an approach that should still apply today…

  20. @ Jan:

    Great article, as always.

    I hope Gouweleu moves abroad so we can hear English or Spanish announcers try to pronounce his name…Any ideas how they would say it? G sound?

  21. After reading all this I am convinced the situation was as bad 2 years ago. Remember VP telling Bert to take Wes out and not him. The only difference was that we kept winning and both Robben and Wes were on absolute top form creating a dynamic of victories. They could all rally around winning the WC and started believing they could actually do it. So the differences were attenuated and kept under check. Had we lost against Denmark 2 years ago, the team would have unraveled.
    Again look at the attitude of the team during the first 20 min of the Denmark game at this Euro, full of confidence and aggressivity. Let’s face it, there was only one team on the pitch. After the goal it was over. This is really strange given the potency of our strike force. We could have scored 5 or 6 against Denmark. But nobody was willing to fight anymore and the differences between the players became wide open gaps. If only VP had scored on his first opportunity we would not be having this inquest.

  22. @ Jeff:

    I agree with you, which makes this tournament all the more disappointing. The job of a coach is to get the most out of players, and BVM failed this tournament. He must go.

  23. I would like to see a new coach (or if Bert stays) put his stamp on the team. He goes in and say “we play 4-3-3; this is my starting 11; if you do not perform then your chance is given to the sub. For a sub, if you can not play as a sub then you are welcome to leave the national team; performance + team unity is the highest priority; leave your egos at the door; if 4-3-3 does not work well, we fix it together but you have to respect the coach and team’s decision”. If we play 4-3-3, I still think we should try De Jong as one of the centre back, perhaps with Heitinga. That leave Strootman as the holding midfield.
    Wiel Heitinga De Jong Pieters
    Afellay Strootman
    Narsingh Robben
    Van Persie
    I will have Krul, Vorm, Van Rhijn, Willems, Vlaar, Maher, Classie, Ola John, Van Der Vaart, Hunter. If we have Douglas then Heitinga is a sub, I will play Douglas with De Jong.

  24. If there are any Feyenoord supporters what do you think of Bruno Martins-Indi? He had a great season alongside Vlaar. Together they shut down all the top teams at De Kuip (Ajax, Twente, PSV).

    I think he will be an asset to the future to pair alongside Douglas , Gouweleeuw, Bruma. Very strong in the tackle and in the air. Great positioning and can also be used as a left back. What do you think?

    1. De Vrij was the pair with Vlaar in the center. Martins-Indi was at left back but pretty inconsistent. He’s playing for the U-21 team in the Euro pool play right now but doesn’t start. Nuytnick and DeVrij were in the middle against Bulgaria in the last match and did quite well. Daley Blind of Ajax was at left back and Leerdam of Feyenoord at right back. Dutch are top of their group and have only lost one match.

  25. you know, i’m tired of hearing about all these myths of the dutch team.

    Myth Number #1: are defense is one of the worst in the world, We allowed 5 goals, Portugal allowed 4 goals, Difference, Portugal scored 5, we scored 2, Czech republic allowed 5 goals, still went to quarterfinals.

    Myth Number #2: we don’t have the defenders to play 4-3-3, We have plenty of youngsters, Van Rhijn, Anita, in central defense, De Vrij,Viergever, and Even Boulahrouz could have been there, Van Bommel,Nigel De Jong could have slid in.

    Myth Number #3: It’s the formation, the two defensive midfielders aren’t working, It’s not the formation, it’s the players there. Anyone saw ac milan knew van bommel had to be rested a lot for big games. He just can’t do it anymore. (he did play great champions league but those games were spread apart). Germany, And Spain have 4-2-3-1 line-ups, the difference is they trust their defenses and they can push up. Guys playing in those positions will have one guy attacking, like schwensteiger, or xabi alonso, hell even busquets and Khedira will move up and attack, get involved.

    I’ve been reading on my spare time many articles on what coaches and others said. And i noticed a trend here, While all the fans are complaining about one defensive midfielder. And playing 4-3-3, Critics of Bert Van Marwijk, not associated with cruyff, Don’t have a problem with the 4-2-3-1, they are confused by his selections, Like namely Willems, Gertjan Verbeek was like, you can’t use viergever? or was it buttner (along the lines of he can be left back and you can’t use de vrij? you couldn’t use emanuelson? you only tried him out for offensive midfielder? you didn’t even try him at left back? You couldn’t use vurnon anita?

    so those are my three myths about the team.

    I do believe BVM is a smart guy, he’s not an idiot, but he made these weird decisions. Out of i don’t know what? ignorance? or pride, trying to prove i can win with this,. To prove he’s the best, i don’t know. But his selections were weird. and every other coach knows it.

    1. I think it is dangerous at a big competition like the Euros to slot a player in the back line who has never played there before. Italy are the only team to do this and it cost them in the second match when Croatia got the tying goal. de Jong doesn’t have the height and if you are short you really need to have played there a long time so you know how to position yourself and the angles (this is what made Cannavaro so great). van Bommel doesn’t have the quickness.

      Regarding Emanuelson – as an Ajax fan I watched him when he first came into the starting 11 until he left for Milan. I also saw a lot of the NT games that he played in and he’s just not good enough to play at any position. I don’t think he would have done any better than Willems at fullback and who is he going to replace in the midfield? Actually his best games for Ajax were on the left wing of all places.

      1. i’ve seen nigel de jong, be a centerback a few times. When in the middle of the game they put him back there, and he practiced with the dutch team as a center back, during the televised practices, and he intercepted everything very well. But even if van bommel, de jong, and emanuelson are not good, (and i do remember emanuelson messing up vs. hungary) What about anita? Viergever, Alexander Buttner, Stefan De Vrij, They all didn’t even get a chance to play some games.

        and it wasn’t just that. It was the preparation before the games, we played many friendlies, and in the germany and swiss friendlies we had braafheid playing there, not even giving others a chance.

        I mean it was dangerous putting willems in the backline when he didn’t play for holland there before. It is incredible the decisions Bert Van Marwijk made. I’m still confused as to it, The only reasoning I have is that he doesn’t like rate the eredivisie and bundisliga very highly.

        and i forgot to mention roel brouwers, whos now 30 so probably past his prime, 2-4 years at most left in him at his prime

  26. Marcel – interesting article. One question though TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More is an English Slogan.

    Did Michels actually write it in English? Or was their a Dutch translation PLOEG or TEAM = ?? I can’t think of the Nederlandse words to make it work.

    Agreed on the wierd decisions – can’t figure out Emmanuelson being sent home at all.

    BTW – still hammering away on the logistics. Agreed that the other teams had to travel. But Oranje had to go back and forth every time – plus lots of extra travel right before hand.

    Also – what the heck was going on with Van P’s cleats in the first game? He kept on falling. Another example where they would have been a lot better off if they’d had a chance to test the field a bit more in preparation rather than being 1,300 kilometres away

  27. One other note – GIO made a huge difference 2 years ago.

    Van Bommel coudn’t quite do the same thing.

    BvM gambled – won one time, lost the second.

    Right now though Oranje has to get a group together to qualify for the WK. Shattering losses could have the ripple effect like 2000 did to the 2002 qualification.

    Don’t really think BvM can break that mentality – and don’t think Pep would even look at the job. Rijkaard – ahhh the irony.

  28. Third note – subs!!

    Just about every other coach at the Euro consistently used all 3 subs – but not Oranje. And they’re fresher at the end.

    Why doesn’t Oranje use them?

    Have guys who haven’t run 5 miles to make that last spring for goal. Have fresh legs to track back, etc.

  29. Well said on point #3, I couldn’t agree more. Look again at where Schweinsteiger was positioned in the two Gomez goals against Holland, look at where Xabi is willing to move during a Spanish attack….Its a sensitive position since you have to be defensive and creative at the same time (double agent), covering a lot of terrain (stamina matters). And allowing your play maker (the Xavi’s and Ozil’s) to move freely. We used to have these types of players in Wim Jonk, Cocu and Davids. From the current generation I would say Strootman

  30. @ Gio:

    The only problem w Strootman is that he is untested at a high level. I think he needs to step in along side NDJ in the qualifiers and VDV should be designated a nice spot on the bench…He is too old and slow.

    Sad to see MVB retire but it is definitely time. One positive is that he will be a mentor to Strootman at PSV…will be interesting to see how Advocaat decides to field them…considering PSV does not play with two holding mids…any thoughts?

    1. the hope with strootman is that manchester united would sign him, I honestly don’t watch much of them, besides the game against ajax, and the manchester derby and a few other games, like when they killed arsenal,

      but from what i understand, manchester united, has darren fletcher at 28 and would need a replacement for scholes whos 37 and came out of retirement, I heard cleverly was good, but not good enough, and sneijder would be the one to go in there. I don’t like strootman to manchester united unless he gets playing time.

      if he does get playing time great. Then he will be tested, and tested a lot in the champions league

      lets not dismiss the europa league, lots of great teams and great players. if we can have dutch teams win the europa league or players play there it’s good too

  31. I read a lot of names being mentioned for the national team by everyone, but frankly except for a few experts on this site I don’t trust any of them.
    Paul, once again I agree with you. Strootman is untested and so are many of the names mentioned. I watch studio sports on BVN TV every week and get a sense of who could potentially be ok for the national team but I still would defer to those who live in Holland (Alex, Goose and others) and live and die the eredivisie week in and week out. When I hear Narsingh for Robben, I cringe. Please give me a break. The only blatant omissions for the euro were Anita and Urby, and from the eredivisie perhaps Siem de Jong, Viergever/Marcellis who did well in the Europa Cup with AZ and Nuytink who has been playing very well with the u21.

    1. yes i don’t like how people are saying, robben needs to be benched? why does he? it was a team problem. Robben has soo much to offer, if he is used right, where was van der wiel supplying robben. 1v3 everytime, can anyone really blame him.

      But i would like to add, alexander buttner was in my opinion the best left back in holland.

  32. one thing i do give BVM credit for is selecting Strootman to the NT…alot of us knew how talented he was with Sparta and thought he might get lost in the jupiler league.

    Bert saw his talent and gave him a shot…respect for that.

  33. @ Jeff:

    BVN TV! MY father used to get that until he moved into a condo and they wouldnt let him put up the BVN dish anymore…great network! studio sport is great. i love how theyd show a good part of the big matches, just like foxsoccer does with premier league review show (not sure if many of you know about it, it is great).

    He also likes to watch all the corny ass Dutch shows, all the game shows, singing, etc.

    1. he has said publicly on French tv TFI that he is not ready for national team management and that when he is he would only consider France. So has Mr. Mou it all.

  34. Thanks for the video Mohammed…I must say that
    Gouweleeuw and Koscielny have very uncanny similarities…
    I love this kid..He loves to drive forward and truly epitomizes the definition of an attacking CB like Pique.

    Thanks to this vdo,I’ve picked up the correct pronunciation of his surname..sounds like “Hallelujah” without the letters ‘a’ and ‘h’ 😀 😀

  35. What about Fred Rutten?

    He has some decent experience, he is out of a job, he is not really a product of PSV, Feyenoord or Ajax, spent his entire playing career with Twente.

    He clearly knows how to get talent out of a side and had a good eye for talent with Twente (Elia).

    I don’t really think PSV form can be attributed to him. I think the loss of Affellay was a huge hit to that team and it took a while to rebound.


  36. Just wanted to everyone to read this article and see the stats about Strootman in a 4-3-3 system vs. 4-2-3-1, where i can play in both.

    Also a good article about Rutten.

    It shows his flexibility and willingness to change tactics based on RESULTS.

  37. Paul, we (my kids and I) watch studio sports religioulsy and we love it. Just enough highlights to get an impression on players. I don’t watch the other shows because I don’t speak Dutch.
    Not too keen on Fred Rutten. He did not do so well in Germany and I think he lacks the charisma that is required to take teams to the next level. You saw it first hand with PSV this past year. Honestly it will either be Bert or Koeman. There is nobody else.

  38. @ Jeff:

    You might be right, just an idea.

    You really think Koeman is much better?

    Ugh, i really hope its not him, it will be BRUTAL…talk about lack of charisma!!!

  39. Koeman has a lot of experience. Played and coached for a lot of teams. He’s had a mixed bag of some success and failures.

    What other candidates are available out there?

  40. Paul, I am conflicted on who should be the coach. Like most I think De Boer is the best but we should not precipitate anything. He is doing well at Ajax and his role there is too critical in making sure we develop players who will ultimately benefit the national team. So he can’t leave yet. Van Basten confessed it was a huge mistake for him to take the national team coaching job when he was not ready, granted De Boer has done way more than VB when he took over. As I mentioned before I believe Bert has lost credibility but maybe he can salvage it. If it is not possible, then I do think Koeman would be good. He played and coached at all 3 major clubs in Holland, won the only title in Dutch history and is a winner. He also has the Barcelona pedigree don’t forget. But on the other hand as with De Boer, he may be better off trying to finish the job at Feyenoord. There too, the national team would benefit greatly. The only other one I would even consider is Hiddink one last time.

    1. The thing about koeman is…his teams sucked in europe. Even when he coached abroad, he kept sucking. At least bert won a uefa cup, but koeman won nothing in europe. I think the next coach should be someone proven in europe. Someones who has won something, a CL, a Uefa cup. Winning the dutch title, shouldnt be considered as a major triumph. Koeman the player, i used to love. very good attitude, but as a coach, I’m sorry, I just can’t see it. Besides, his teams had crazy losses in European competitions. He never made it as a coach at a huge club and switched clubs very often.
      Someone else mentioned Umbrella man…common now!

  41. Say what you want about Marco,but he was the one who built the core of this team..He experimented with the youth talents and laid the foundation stone for a strong future..I never had anything against Marco. Bert is a good coach, an excellent human being but a poor tactician.He had no plan B and the only adventurous thing he did was playing with 3 defenders in the dying minutes of the game against Portugal,which was suicidal,to say the least. I have immense respect for Bertje,don’t get me wrong but I think its time 4 him to bow out with grace and dignity.

  42. I am not critical of Marco, far from it. I was just repeating what he said himself. He went from being coach of Ajax A1 for 6 month with Van’t Ship to coach of the national team. Pretty fast rise don’t you think? I agree he did well but had he done what De Boer is doing now, he might have been truly special. I still think Marco could coach oranje again but it will never be the same as what it was when he first took over.

  43. Do you think that or otherwise not, you will need information about wedding party diamond necklaces as well as I needed information about everything you study right the following. Unless you believe that Apologies, didn’t want to clutter up the line. But I came across on the internet with this blog and that i feel pleased with this example – sure, it’s important to recognize that this was the truth – and shown to personally that possibly this case will even gladly check out the website, that i propose. Thank you and also sorry at once.

  44. I’m not a fan of Koeman ” the coach ” .

    I agree wuth jeff about FdB . his role with Ajax is very important for Oranje .
    Giving the chance and devolping young Dutch players who can play Regularly in the CL and hopefully make it to the quarter-finals is very important for Oranje . It will give FdB himself the chance to be a better coach and gain coaching experience to be the future Oranje coach .

    Marco , inspite of his mistakes in 2006 , has built this Oranje generation , played fantastic counter-attacking football in euro 2008 till the russia game .
    he had an unsuccessful period with Ajax after the EC i would say , i think he needs more experience with a big club . Needs to know how to win trophies .

    Bert will have many problems if he continues , he has many issues with the players i think .
    Robben , De jong , Vdv …
    I’m afraid he will be just another Domineich if he continues .

    Foppe de Haan is my favorite . he’s a winner , knows how to get the best of the players . good coach for young players and plays fantastic football . he can mix experinced players with young ones .

    Hiddink is a great coach , but i still remember how he celebrated when his country team was defeated 4 years ago , plus , he never won any trophies with any team .
    He had his chance with one of the best generations in the football history i’d say ” 98 generation ” , and couldn’t make it .

  45. @ Mohamed:

    You are joking right? With all due respect, a little research on Hiddink will go a long way.

    Trophies he has won:

    SIX Eredivisie titles with PSV
    The Champions League trophy with PSV in 1988 (Hans van Bruekelen baby)
    FA cup with Chelsea – remember when he saved their season?

    Not to mention getting South Korea to semis!

    Please do your research so those board is more informed.

  46. * this board.

    Honestly, it is just astounding to me that a regular poster on this board does not know that Hiddink brought PSV their only CL trophy in the same year we won Euro 88…

    Sorry as a PSV fan people sometimes forget the great history of the club.

  47. Van Basten just signed up for Heerenveen,and wont break that.

    @Paul Isnt Rutten a little bit alike to Marwijk? Both are cautious and defensive, altho Rutten did mix some talent with PSV.
    And MCLaren is a no, he totally messed up with Twente and is hated by most Twente fans. He has no credibility whatsoever in Holland. It would create an enormous storm in Holland if he would be assigned. Rijkaard also lost a lot of credibility. Verbeek is with contract and happy with az.

    Foppe Hiddink vGaal or Adriaanse, but Foppe said he was done with coaching big teams. Hiddink and vGaal have a history in oranje. Adriaanse is more a clubcoach who needs to be with his team every day to improve. Its hard.

  48. @ dutch dream:

    i was obviously kidding about McClaren, remember the clip of him speaking english with a dutch accent, classic!

    Idk, Van Gaal is to insane for me. The last thing we need is more drama.

    I say either Hiddink or Cruyff. Cruyff does a lot of talking, maybe he should actually do something…

    1. As far as i know , Cruyff has issues with his health issues that prevent him from coaching .

      Regarding Hiddink , well .. I think i was mistaken 😀 . Sorry for that .
      However , let’s agree reaching the semis is not a trophie , especially with a spanish golden goal in the quarters disallowed by the refree .

  49. Not to mention, if Robben were to say shut your mouth to the aforementioned coaches, the following would happen.

    1. Van Gaal would run onto the pitch and give him another black eye.

    2. Hiddink would ban him from playing under him ever again.

    3. cruyff would boycott the team unless Robben left or retired. Then he would write 12 articles about it and a book.

  50. I really think Rijkaard should be considered again. I disagree with those who blame him for the failure of EC 2000 against Italy.

    I don’t know if they practiced taking penalty kicks or not. They should have. But at the end of the day, it’s absolutely upto the player himself to convert the kick. You need that mental confidence to step up to the challenge and make it.

    My philosophy when it comes to penalties is to hit the ball as hard as possible. I don’t like those players that go for placement. Even if a goalie guesses correctly, the velocity and momentum of the ball make it more likely to result in a goal.

    Anyways, my first choice would be Guardiola as our next coach. I don’t know if he would like to step into this team with all its drama. There’ll also be opposition in appointing a foreign coach. If he’s not available or acceptable to the Dutch public, Rijkaard is my 2nd choice.

  51. Rijkaard screwed up the subs in that infamous semi-final. Check the match data. He had so much talent on the bench and I seem to recall he put in Winter if I am not mistaken. It was a total joke. He had Maakay and Jimmy floyd on the bench but never used them. Can you imagine the penalty shootout with those guys?

  52. Cocu failed at PSV. Compare him to De boer and you can see a huge difference. I think he is best as an assistant coach at the moment. Neeskens is too old even though he is my absolute idol. We need the new generation (Guardiola/de Boer). Anyway, this is a moot point because it will either be Bert or Koeman I am quite sure.

  53. @Eduardo Good news Ajax says Fiorentina is still interested in El Hamdaoui and sure they will sign him up this summer.
    Totteham is still negotiating about vertonghen , there seems to be another UK club interested in him as well.

  54. Stop talking about foreign coaches! There will NEVER EVER be a non- Dutch manager of Oranje….not Guardiola not Wenger….NEVER

    Be proud that we have the playing AND coaching talent to compete with the best. We consistently punch above our weight….

    We have made 3 WK finals….better than Spain,France, England, Uruguay and Hungary. If we had won we would be the greatest of all from the smallest of all but we still manage a QF or SF too.

    Be proud, be Dutch!

    2012 is just an aberration… Remember we have a EK, we want a WK! 2014 we will return, better, stronger, more focused, better prepared and hungry for success.

    1 poor tournament is not the end of the world. England has a WK but they crave the consistent success of Holland – everyone wants to win but our boys do us proud….( most of the time…)

  55. Hey wait a minute. What about Huub Stevens?! He has done more than a decent job in Germany with Hamburg and Schalke with a bunch of not so great players. I have always liked him.

  56. Huubs career win loss is not so good. More losses than wins. 47% is not good. Van Marwijks average is closer to 60…. Bert made mistakes but he knows how to win…just had a recent bout of memory loss 😉

    1. Hmm, I wasn’t aware of his record. I thought he did well with no big name players and created nice and successful teams. Do you know what teams he has coached in the Netehrlands in the past?

  57. How about Sneijder for captain & coach.. he is that good. furthermore, he plays for a very defense-minded team that starts from the back. he is smart, outspoken, and hungry for a title. i nominate wes.

  58. btw i am watching a replay of the argentina-brazil game last week and am not too impressed with this brazil side in the least…. what ‘star’ talent will they have in 2014? pato? neymar? hulk? def not the team they once were which bodes well for us provided we step it up defensively…

  59. Huub Stevens?

    Mediocre at BEST.

    Did ok with Red Bull Slazburg, i think thats where he is…

    I got a name nobody has mentioned…Martin Jol…big team experience…discuss…

    1. In his first season with the club, he led them to ninth place in the Premier League, collecting 52 points, one point off of Fulham’s record points tally in the top division. They claimed some notable scalps during the season, including victories over Arsenal, Newcastle United and Liverpool, plus a credible 2-2 draw against eventual league champions Manchester City

      1. Paul, Stevens took Schalke from the edge of falling out of Bundesliga last year into 3rd place this season and did very well in UEFA cup. I wouldn’t even mention him and Jol in same sentence. Jol seems more like british than dutch.

  60. @Balkan Stevens? He is too authoritive and oldfashioned for our primadonnas.
    Lets face it guys there is nobody at the moment free or good enough except adriaanse hiddink or vgaal. But knvb must first buy off marwijk then pay huge salary for new coach… I try to imagine the sour faces at knvb that will bring about. I think now van Marwijk will be allowed to stay.
    And we have been extremely lucky with the wc group, Turkey and estland rumania which we can handle , even with our weak defense.
    This time we have time to innovate calmly.

  61. Van Marwijk to stay…but we need a passionate assistant. Cocu seemed anonymous not like FDB…
    Maybe we need a Jack van Gelder type… Loud and very passionate! He could also predict the future….remember when Bergkamp scored against Argentina? Jack said…I think we will go to the semifinal….then Dennis scores seconds later….
    No more Paul the Octopus…we will know the tactics in advance every match, who will score and when! 🙂

  62. Dutch just had too many personnel problems this tournament, and BVM made more than a few bad decisions that together with injuries and age and chemistry issues sunk this team.

    The coach, whoever he is, needs to improve the back four AND the midfield. Experiment with new players NOW.

    –Van der Wiel is athletic and technical but at Euro he showed NO confidence. He needs a heavy dose of toughness. He must get a lot better.

    –Affelay is talented and moves well but is notnot a winger–needs to be in the midfield, somewhere. The Dutch don’t really have any prototypical wingers. Robben is–but he rarely crosses the ball! I think Robben has a bit left, but not sure how much, and WC is another two years off. He seems to have lost a step.

    –I still believe in RVP. Yes, he missed chances against Denmark but he is world class and there is no debating that. Renaldo didn’t have any goals at Euro until the game with Holland.

    It’s time to play at least half a dozen of the “comers” and see who’s got the talent–and TOUGHNESS–and then the coach needs to get the personnel and their positions SETTLED so that players know their roles and can develop some chemistry. There is a lot of talent and potential talent–but the coach has to do a better job of sorting it out and getting the best players in the right positions.

    1. @ richie rich,

      There is a big difference between RVP and Crybaby7.

      Crybaby got progressively better at the Euros and RVP got progressively worse. How many tournaments/games do you need to prove yourself? At least Crybaby delivered when it mattered whereas RVP has yet to. CRybaby is 2 years younger than RVP.

      We gave RVP almost 90 minutes in every game and he could not replicate his Arsenal form. I mean seriously I wouldn’t pull the plug on him completely but rather see him come on as a let sub.

      1. *late sub.

        Also, those ‘mis-kicks’ were a joke and inexcusable at international level. I was always a big fan of RVP for Oranje but at this point I want to see us win a title and RVP will be on the wrong side of 30 when he has the opportunity to deliver a title.

  63. IMO Frank De Boer will be the perfect coach… But not right now. Maybe after this season with Ajax he can take the team and lead it to the World Cup.

    Till then, Bert and the “money wolves” can redeem themselves …

    We are lucky to be in a relatively easy group. It can be handled till end of the year and then slowly start the rebuild.

    Frank will be the perfect guy.

  64. @ dutch dream.. i would not underestimate the turks, hungarians, romanians or even estonians. i wouldn’t call it a ‘lucky’ group.

    – Estonia did better than Serbia in Euro 2012 QF and finished second after Italy with 16 points.

    – Hungary gave us a run for our money at Euro 2012 QF by losing 5-3 and beat Sweden in those same QF.

    – Turkey is always dangerous.

    – Romania drew Uruguay recently, beat Switzerland and drew France.

    Obviously we have a good chance to qualify but going forward we should take each opponent very seriously.

    I reckon Hiddink would be the ideal coach for us. He always succeeds at taking lesser teams far in tournaments and it’s about time he delivers for us. He will also not take shit from our players.

    1. Romania took 4 points from us in the qualification group stage for Euro 2008 and secured 1st place in the group, remember? Turkey is tricky too. Chances are turkish may outnumber dutch supporters when they play in Holland.
      We have plenty of talents, we just need a good manager to massage them into a good team. Unfortunately we may be stuck with Bert.

    2. You are right we must not underestimate… but Estonia come on, Hungary we beat twice, rumania is not as strong as 4 years ago, even Turkey, I cannot see them win in holland the awaygame will be the only hard one. These are all b countries.
      I think we will see an oranje in novemer that is burning with revenge and will show that we are still an A country.

  65. I am for Guus!!

    Look at his manager Bio:

    from Wikipedia —


    Guus Hiddink (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣys ˈɦɪdɪŋk]; born 8 November 1946) is a Dutch football manager and former player. He is currently the manager of the Russian side, FC Anzhi Makhachkala. He is considered to be one of the best managers of his generation[dubious – discuss] and was the best-paid coach in international football in 2009.[4] His achievements include winning the European treble (Eredivisie, Dutch Cup and European Cup) with PSV Eindhoven; managing the Netherlands and taking them to the semi-finals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup; leading South Korea to a fourth place finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the first and only Asian team to reach the semi-final stages; leading Australia to their best ever finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup; leading Russia to the semi-finals of Euro 2008, Russia’s best performance since the breakup of the Soviet Union; and leading Chelsea to an FA Cup win against Everton in 2009. Hiddink has also previously managed Fenerbahçe, Valencia, and Real Madrid.

  66. I wanted to get your opinions on a subject…
    If a new manager comes in and changes our system to a 4-3-3 do you think Sneijder has the discipline to be our midfield maestro? And I don’t mean drifting up the middle behind strikers (unless we’re in the final third). I mean to be Xavi and boss the midfield. Drop back pressure the opposition and be the target man to distribute the ball and maintain positioning on the right.

    He has shown what a genius he is when allowed the free role to roam and make passes and shots but can he maintain positioning in a bit of a stricter role. I see Wes as our man to be the new captain and Leroy Fer and Strootman joining him in midfield with Maher & Clasie as subs.
    What do you think?

    1. >I mean to be Xavi and boss the midfield


      >I see Wes as our man to be the new captain

      and no.

      sorry, but Wes although a fighter is not captain material.

      The most serious problem our squad has is there is no apparent new captain. Wes is not.

      1. Why not? I think he naturally is. We need someone to take the reigns and lead and he seems like the ideal candidate to me hands down. I would be very disappointed if he was not our next captain since he is in his prime and deserves it. He even sat next to Bert for one or two press conferences when MVB looked like a timid puppy and VDV (vice captain apparently) was nowhere to be found.

  67. @OB, Sneijder IS our midfield maestro. You are witnessing one of the best MF maestros to grace this earth let alone the Dutch team. We saw him perform his magic at the World Cup 2 years ago, at Inter, and hopefully for quite a few more years (Xavi is 32 years old and looks 10 years younger on the pitch). I think Classie should be our new VDV and learn from Sneijder since he will take over for him in the future. Strootman has enormous potential and could well partner Wes in 2 years time as could Maher.

    1. I agree. Wes is one of the best midfielders to come out of Nederland. But as we have seen he does his best work when he is allowed to roam freely behind strikers as he did at Inter & Oranje in 2010. I haven’t seen him in recent years as a RCM in a 3 man midfield so I was wondering if he could have the discipline to hold down that role while also doing what he does best.

  68. Sneijder or Van Persie should be the next captain. Van Persie is a captain at Arsenal.

    Is there any news about the next head coach? Every time I go to this site, I want to know about the news about the next head coach… What does the Dutch media predict about the future manager/coach?

  69. lovely analysis! well done Jan!

    as much as i like RVP, i disagree that he should be our captain. reason being, he has yet to prove himself in an oranje shirt. Sneijder on the other hand was crucial in our WC campaign so sneijder would be my vote for captain.

    i’m not so sure if F. de boer is good with dealing with egos and politics and all… wasn’t he involved in the 2 camps during the 90s? edgar davids and co. versus f. de boer and co.?

  70. Hey guys sorry guys but a quick question, where do I put my next round of predictions in for the fantasy league? Doing it from my iPhone and can’t seem to find it. Thanks.

  71. @Jeff,
    Oranje have a history of problems with penalties. I don’t blame Rijkaard for Frank de Boer missing penalties. We wasted so many chances to score in that game. As they say, you can take a horse to the river but you can’t make it drink. There’s no guarantee that Maakay would have scored. We have seen Ronaldo and Messi miss their shots and their teams were eliminated just this past season in the CL.

    He has redeemed himself at Barcelona. He had a lot of egos to deal with while he was there. Just handling Ronaldinho itself is a monumental task. He was able to bring out the best in him.

    Before Rijkaard came to Barca, they had a disappointing period. He was able to rebuild that team and was very successful.

    He made bad choices with his coaching positions. He should have gone to better clubs like Milan or Chelsea. He is still relatively a young coach and I’m sure he’ll be a much better coach than some of the names being talked about in here.

    1. First of all since EC 2000 Frank Rijkaard gained much more experience and did a fantastic job in Barcelona so you cant compare Rijkaard 2000 with Rijkaard 2014. In my opinion Rijkaard is be the best choice although Hiddink would be great too. At least even Sneijder or Robben wouldn’t even think of shouting things like shut up or the likes towards our couch with regards to Frankie and Guus career.
      The other thing i wanted to say is that Makaay would have scored! He always scored 😉

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