Post Match Reviews…

Well, we’ve seen the opening games in Group A and B. We’ve seen half of the field in action. We’ve seen dark horse Russia deliver. And favorites Oranje and Germany not deliver. But we also saw Germany win the three points!!

Not delivering, but winning. Very Germany.
Playing well and not winning. Very Dutch.

Where to start? After having had a couple of hours to let this sink in, I still stick to my guns. We didn’t play bad. If we had scored a couple in the first half, we would have easily won this 5-0 ( or 5-1).

So why didn’t we score? Why was Robben’s aim so far off? Why did Van Persie look like Bambi on ice for the first time. (Not the drug, but the frozen water). Why did Afellay didn’t see his team mates in the second half? Why can’t Van der Wiel cross a ball in?

Bert van Marwijk said it like this ( and I tend to buy this): “We were too eager. We wanted it too badly. The guys seemed to block.”

This might apply to Robin van Persie.

At the same time, Arjen Robben’s decision making was not always good. I don’t agree with the Robben bashing. He played well in the first half, linking up with Robin a lot and even trying not to be selfish. But in the second half, tactics went out of the window. And everyone wanted to break the deadlock.

The only player with an eye for the game and for team mates was Wes Sneijder.

Tactically the second half was a mess. What struck me, was that Sneijder didn’t have a lot of space to play in, as Afellay seemed to block the left wing and Willems (rightfully so) came there too on the overlap.

In the second half, Sneijder got more space to roam in and was more important for us…

What does that say?

It sometimes felt the 4-2-3-1 was a 4-2-1-3 and the space was full up for the little midfield maestro to explore.

All in all, Sneijder was my MOTM. His killer pass on Van Persie in the first half deserved better, but Van Persie’s left foot abandoned him.

I personally don’t think Robin was shite. He actually played very well, again: linking up well in the first half and positioning himself wonderfully all the time. It is just the dreaded pulling of the trigger that went awry.

What will Bert do now?

Well, don’t expect too many changes. He will say: “We played well. We simply didn’t score.”

This image says it all..

And thus, I think Bert will change nothing. Subbing Van Persie now means losing him for the tournament. I’d start the exact same way against Germany.

The changes Bert needs to make are in midfield and defense though. Not upfront.

Our forwards will need to pressure better without the ball. That is a given.

But we need to keep the field smaller in possession. Wide, yes, but the defense needs to push up! At times, the distance between the creative 5 and the holding 5 was huge! I’d prefer Raf van der Vaart over Nigel de Jong anyday. Or even Strootman. I hope Mathijsen will be fit for Germany as Vlaar tends to keep the field too long.

Also, our full backs need to push up more. Van der Wiel was atrocious. Despite Willems’ mistakes here and there, I think he is da Man for the job. I wouldn’t sub him.

So, let’s look at the others:

Poland played well. Like Holland. Taking the game to the weaker Greeks, but forgetting to score. The Greek battled their way back into it and Group A looks like a lively group.

Russia wasn’t tested by the Czechs and the main problem Big Dick has with them is to get some consistency. They won this, they might win the next one, but Russia will most likely have an off day at some state and go back home.

Portugal can play football if they decide to do so. They have this sleezy counter attacking gameplan in their dna and as long as they play like this they will be depending on the opponent. They should have played more adventurous. I’m truly impressed with Coentrao, the Real left back. Great player!

Germany looked like Holland in the World Cup. Playing 4-2-3-1. Struggling to create. Ozil was mediocre in the first half, but very good coming from the left side. Podolski was invisible and Muller was struggling too, but they had luck on their side. They didn’t deserve it, but they did get it.

I think it’s about time Holland shows them who’s boss!

Afellay said he felt Oranje was bossing the game. “We created so much. It did resemble some games we played with Barcelona. What it is…concentration, luck, sharpness… no idea…”

Skipper Van Bommel was terrible down. “I don’t know what to say. I’m knackered. The humidity got to us too. But that was not the reason for this defeat. Even that handball, we can’t blame anyone. We had 5 big chances to score and we didn’t score. Simple as that.”

Sneijder: “We all worked hard, and we did what we could to bring our forwards in to position. If they don’t score, it’s game over. We know we would give opportunities away. At this level, the opponent will always get one or two chances. The point is, that we simply need to score more. And we failed. Now we simply need to win the remaining games. Hard, but doable.”

Robben: “I’m sure the Danes pinch themselves still. How could they have won this. I don’t think our loss was a disgrace. We played too good for that. It was more a miracle. And a total disappointment for us… But, we need to regroup and focus on winning all our other matches.”

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  1. Prachtig in reply to your comment on the previous article, The formation worked for BvM the system was fully functional and it had nothing to do with Holland missing every single chance they got. If Holland had their shooting boots they would have demolished the danes. Creating chances is not a problem so why make the system more attacking? It will only expose an already dismal defense.

    Just tell the strikers and forwards to put away their chances and Holland will stand a much greater chance against the germans

  2. As much as a i love Van Persie, i think the Dutch nation has destroyed his moral. He misses a chance and the crowd will scream HUNTELAAR into his ear. He has no support from the fans which is a shame because he thrives from that at Arsenal where he is loved.

    The pressure is getting to him and i think the peoples choice Huntelaar should be tested against the Germans. Huntelaar still missed the second easiest chance in the game so lets see if he can handle tournament football now from the start.

    Van Persie can still decide things off the bench.

  3. Van Persie will decide a match by staying on the bench…. 2 tournaments with Sneijder and Robben feeding him chance after chance and 1 lousy goal?.. No thank you….
    Cruyff delivered, Van Basten delivered, Kluivert scored clutch goals, Bergkamp was all class all the time… VP goes missing in big games…
    I’m done supporting Oranje if VP keeps his starting role…if Huntelaar isn’t the starting CF for Germany I’m not getting up at 2am to scream obscenities at van Persie all game long….

    1. Unfortunately by the time VM gets his head out of the sand the EC will be over. How is it even possible that the man who leads EC qualifying in goals is on the bench? Can someone please throw me a freakin bone here!

      Huntelaar has 5 goals to go to be the all time dutch international goal scorer of all time! Not bad for a guy who does it from the bench! Can someone break out the calculator and show VM that currently he is the 2nd best player in goals per min avg in dutch history! How many goals does he have to score to make VM see? 70….

  4. twelve hours after the game i see the game as a kind of greek tragedy or less pathetically like barcelona-chelsea,bayern-chelsea,etc: if you play it ten times,oranje will win it 8 times,1 draw and danemark only once. yesterday we saw this last possibility. everybody knows that the defense is bad,and everybody knows as well that oranje’s chance is to score more than their opponents. i honestly think oranje played better than during the world cup,but – apart from screwing the opportunities (human factor) – we made two tactical mistakes: 1. as Jan wrote the distance was too long between the lines. 2. our players should have done more pressure on the opponents when the danes had the ball.
    with the attacking display we saw yesterday oranje can beat any other national side on the world (including spain).
    changes bert has to do: replace van der wiel by kuyt,vlaar by matthijsen if joris is fit,de jong by strootman or vdv,playing huntelaar as a starter and robben should start on the bench – he has more impact on the game when he is introduced in the 60th-65th minute.

    the good things about tomorrow is that germany are beatable. portugal should have wion it,but they were too coward. oranje MUST win against germany.

    1. Also for the next match, Robben should start on the bench.the wounds of the CL defeat and the penalty miss are still fresh and the Germans including his Bayern mates may take it up to rankle him…

      1. Robben is still the most potent winger we have. Affelay needs more match fitness, Narisingh is too raw. He is off his 2010 form but still any team at the EK2012 would love him in the starting lineup. Its RvP that needs to be benched. He just doesnt work for Oranje and we have a goal machine waiting on the bench. I havent EVER seen Huntelaar spurn that many chances in a full game before.

      2. This is crazy. Robben was one of our best players and ppl are throing him under the bus. Huntelaar comes in and RvP takes afallays spot on the wing. I think we should go 4-3-3 with a midfield of sneijder, van bommel and Kuyt

  5. Playing to our strengths as Cruyf put it was missing in the sense of who the starting eleven were. Having Van devart, and Huntelaar on the bench makes no sense to me. Having a guy that scores 48 in 48 on the pine does not utilse our strengths. I trust I know less then the coach however I think the best tactical lineup to maximize our scoring talents would be to have started RVP on wing and Hunter as the striker. Affelay did have a decent game in my opinion, however Hunter had are best chance but just needed more of them. I am not sure 20 min is enough playing time for a man that is one of the best finishers in the world at this moment.

  6. Agree with Ferenc on starting Hunter over Robben and not Robin. I love Robben but it seems more obvious that he and Wesley can’t co-exist. Also Strootman over de Jong, hence we’ll have 2 super subs in Robben and VdV. vdWiel was so awful today, I am embarrassed to have annointed him as the next superstar. Anyone will be better than him in match 2.

    Bottom line is it is imperative for Hunter to start, something is not right if you do not start the top scorer of the bundesliga when you play Germany, obviously he knows how to score against the Germans.

    Come on, Oranje don’t quit now, I am sick of the label “underachievers”! We’ll shut up the critics if we beat Germany and Portugal!

  7. I completely agree with your assessment, Jan- the plan was a good one, we did some nice things throughout- as was pointed out in one of your articles not that long ago, it takes luck to win a tournament like this and today we had nothing but bad luck. Our guys need to do better, for sure, but a little luck would’ve gone a long way today.


  8. Hadn’t thought of it myself, but I like Ferenc’s call on making Robben the sub- he is a ‘special moment’ kind of player, and special moments can’t be expected for the full 90. Imagine the fear an opposing defender would feel if you had to start facing Robben at the point in the game that your legs were really starting to ache.

    Hunter needs to be in that box

  9. Acording to the castrol index Robben was the best player on the pitch. Can’t say having on the bench for 2/3’s of the game would be an advantage. However if he keeps missing in clutch situations and passing when he had a gimme goal… He will be the all time worst dutch clutch player of all time. Missing on big games seems to be history repeating itself I’m afraid.

    However RVP is the one who scares me not Robben.

    1. Robben picked a bad time to stop being “selfish.” Good grief: He was alone with the goalie at the 17 minute mark or so–though a bit off to the side–but instead of blasting the ball he chose to center and the chance was lost! Oh, my. You know what, if we are good enough, then beat Germany.

  10. Sad n shocked but nor overawed… We did play better and had many more chances, everything has been said – we just didnt score. That was our bad game of the tournament.
    Criticism: Robben/Affelay did not switch enough so there was no running to the goal line and crossing with your favourite foot. Too many times cutting in and crowding which we were guilty of. Secondly the full backs could have overlapped a lot more – it didnt happen ! The positive side of things is against Germany there will be more of WILL to WIN, which would NOT be there if we had won 5-0.

  11. Holland plays with two wingers who don’t cross the ball at all, but always try to cut inside (Affelay on the left, and Robben on the right). Robben is very good in crossing, so put him on the left more often, and Affelay on the right. Starting with Hunter is a good choice.

    AFAIK, in 88, Rinus Michels replaced Bosman with Basten in the second match, after losing to the USSR in the first match (CMIIW).

  12. So fucking annoyed…. The BVM needs to be lynched… This has been COMING for such a longtime but that stubborn arsehole refuses to change and has shamed the nation by playing this pragmatic crap. I can’t wait for the Dutch press to tear him a new arsehole tonight, he is an embarrassment to the heritage of Dutch football. Cruyff was right.

    We won’t beat the Germans, and Portugal have always had the psychological edge.

    N de Jong has zero contribution today. This game need creators not midfield hackers and essentially we played with 10 men and a passenger. As for Hunterlaar, I feel sorry for him. All the goals he has scored in such short time I find it insulting that when we are 1-0 and missing a crazy amount of chances he is only given 20 minutes.

    BVM’s fault…

    1) Poor team selection – does not play to our attacking strength
    2) To concerned on not losing rather than ensuring that we win – hence two defensive midfielders
    3) To concerned with being a well drilled team – we are not bloody German or Italian, stop it BVM, stop it!
    4) Fails to experiment during friendlies with players and tactics. What are going to learn from subbing on Narsingh in the last ten minutes of a friendly against Northern Ireland when we are already 6-0 up?!
    5) Does not understand the importance of playing a natural goal scorer…RVP fantastic player, however you can see that the last few months he has struggled in front of goal and Hunter HAS to start. Every time Hunterlaar gets subbed on you can see that he is thinking “Shit I only have 10 minutes to score” and is clearly not relaxed.
    6) Sneijder/Van der Vaart and RVP/Hunterlaar fiasco – Sorry BVM, you have had since 2008 to sort this out.
    7) Waits too long to rectify things with substitutions. I know you have some absolute faith in your players which is all nice and cuddly and reassuring but, 70th minute BVM is too late.

    I could go on an on an on but it matters not as hopefully he’ll be gone from his post shortly. I know many of you think that I should get “behind the team” but the truth is, I NEVER wanted his appointment in the first instance. I kept quiet and before during WC2010 and limited my criticisms on the run up to EURO 2012 but tonight was all too much. The kettle has finally boiled over and I have had enough of BVM.

    The only positives that can come from this is the sacking of BVM and the retirement of spoilers like kuyt and van bommel. Hopefully N de Jong follows suit. Hopefully this will pave way for Claise, de Vrij, Buttner, Maher, Wijnaldum, Anita and many others. Players who want to win, rather than players simply focused on destroying the opponent.

    1. i second this motion, with his selection, forget about winning the world cup, it would be a miracle to qualify for it, turkey is playing awesome, and if it comes down to a playoff, anything goes. Holland needs to let the younger generation get some action and take over

  13. Its bad that the germans won … ITs a must to beat the germans or draw them which would be a 3 points denmark 3 portugal germany 4 and us 1 and beat portugal and wait for germany to beat the denmark so that we can do it …

  14. Goalkeepers: Krul,Stekelenburg,Vorm

    Defence: Ricardo Van Rhijn,Van der Wiel,Heitinga,Douglas,De Vrij,Jeffrey Gouweleeuw,Bruma,Jetro Willems,Pieters

    Midfield: Kevin Strootman,Jordy Clasie,De Jong,Narsingh,Robben,Adam Maher,Afellay,Ola John,Sneijder,Fer

    Attackers: Van Persie,Huntelaar,Van Wolfswinkel,Luuk De Jong,Castaignos

    Standbys- Memphis Depay,Tony Trinnidade de Villena,Annas Achabar

    This is my prefered squad for the WC qualifiers and the showdown in Brazil.Let’s get someone like Rijkaard/Van Hanegem/De Boer(hardcore old-school disciples of total football) and win the cup. Its time to plan for the future. 2years will be enough to groom this squad..never thought I’d say this but we should follow Germany’s example(they aped our youth development style anyway). As for this year,I don’t see much chances of making it past the group stages. Sad,but true! Goodbye Bert and good luck! Thank you for all that you’ve done.

    1. oranje are not yet eliminated and can beat both germany and portugal. on the other hand i wouldn’t be unhappy if someone replaced bvm after this tournament. he’s a good coach but too conservative and doesn’t take any risk. i would like to see frank rijkaard or the very best: pep guardiola 🙂

      1. Van Marwijk’s only fault is playing RvP instead of Huntelaar. The system works and the chances are there. We could have won 5-1 if RvP put away his chances. We can beat Portugal and Germany with KJH but with RvP i’m scared of the result and the effect 2 heavy losses will have psychologically on this team.
        Right now they have a self belief that goes beyond arrogance and I know they believe they can turn it around. RvP is too fragile – Huntelaar has been through the wilderness and back in his career and knows what its like to bounce back from adversity. RvP is not Oranje material…

        1. I agree with this totally.I can;t get where all this Van Marwijk hate is cming from? Because he is not playing an Eredivisie youth team? He has the best line up and formaton possible yet everyone on this blog thinks they are smarter than our coach

  15. Some of you lot are smoking something.

    If we had put away just 1 or 2 of those chances we would all be patting each other on the backs after a great display of aggressive possession football.

    There was nothing wrong with the balance, the team selection, the players themselves, the system we played, the pace, the width, the movement, the desire, the stadium, the supporters or any of the other ludicrous things I’ve read on here since yesterday. Morons, some of you. Seriously. Look at yourselves.

    You know who you are – you should be embarrassed by your own behaviour – though judging by your comments you are clearly not even smart enough to formulate a coherent and rational thought in the first place, let alone reach a level of understanding on the subject.

    I thought us Dutch fans were supposed to be smart, pragmatic, loyal, unswerving.
    You lot are not true fans. I doubt you’re even Dutch. You disgust me. Truly.


    ^ there you go.

    No matter how you try and spin it, you cannot justify that statistic with ‘our terrible defending’, robben being ‘shit’, afellay being ‘useless’ and BVM being ‘an idiot’.
    You are the idiots. And yet you seem so happy so show everyone! Astonishing.

    29 chances tells you we DID create. It means the team was working, the players were working, the plan was working.
    It also tells you that WE CHOKED IN FRONT OF GOAL!

    That’s it!
    We choked. It happens. That’s football.
    Accept it. Move on. Grow the hell up.

    If you cannot get that into your thick heads, and you feel the need to express yourself in anger here, then you don’t deserve the oxygen you need to breathe.
    RVP choked (as did others) most spectacularly – and not for the first time at international level.
    In my opinion, if BVM made one mistake it’s endulging that glass show-pony yet another time at the expense of our true striker – Huntelaar.
    Poor guy seemed so desperate when he did eventually come on – but at least he connected his foot to the ball!

    Can we pick ourselves up in time for the Germans?
    Yeah, of course we can. We didn’t do much wrong.

    Have some of you even seen a football game before? I have to ask.
    Or is it just youtube highlights clips?

    Here’s a nice example:
    Someone please explain to me how Vlaar was at fault for the Denmark goal. Idiots! Why even type that?
    MVB should have pressed closer to the right, stopping the Dane from even receiving the ball in the first place.
    Heitinga should have shown the Dane to his right, away from goal, and then shut him down, not leap forwards and leave that whole area behind him exposed.
    And Stekelenberg should have kept his trailing leg bent to avoid the inevitable nutmeg.
    That’s 3 mistakes – and Vlaar wasn’t involved in any of them.
    You lot crack me up, you really do. Muppets. You’ll just type the first tiny thing that comes into your tiny heads.
    Dammit. THINK! Then make your comment.
    Stop reacting, and acting like a bus of screaming women.

    Oh well….
    If you’re gonna come on here and show the world exactly how stupid you are, I suppose at least it gives us the opportunity to remember your names and ignore everything you ever say for evermore.

    Hup Holland.
    I enjoyed the game and look forward to the next one.

    1. I didn’t even bother to finish reading your useless non sense! You got your point across in the first 10 paragraphs! It was like you took a movie and spliced the film together so the movie never ended! Just kept repeating itself!

      Your the idiot for coming on here and calling everyone idiots! This is a place for everyone to express there opinions not for you to bash it!! Grow up!! Ya there’s lots of things you might not agree with as I’m sure your not the only one.

      This is for people to converse not to argue! If you don’t agree with peoples opinions shut it, or converse respectfully!

      We don’t need people throwing dirt in peoples faces on here and creating arguments!

      We don’t need your type here!!

  16. Hi, I’m Mark. I found the worldcupblog by googling and found the link to this site on your blog, looks nice! First time poster here.

    32 shots and no goal? That’s absurd.

    How many chances does the EPL Player of the Season and TOPSCORER need to convert? What? He’s feeling the pressure because everytime he fails to score the crowd screams “Huntelaar”? Oh please, grow some balls, score some goals and shut everybody up. This is the guy who claimed that he didn’t get any passes in the WC, well, there you go. If I was RvP I would beg BvM to play KJH instead of myself, I would never want to put myself to shame like that again.

    Robben should play on the left. It was great while it lasted, but now he has become too predictable. Took a shot when he had to pass the ball and passed the ball when he had to take the shot. He also wasted time trying to outclass his defenders, to no avail.

    Afellay looked exhausted and was too much in the way of other players. Lost his guy too many times (Denmark’s RB). Someone please tell this guy that he is allowed to pass the ball, he was the most selfish player on the pitch.

    Sneijder was BY FAR the best player on the pitch. Pure class, utter brilliance, happy (late) birthday.

    MvB & NDJ did good, but they focused on the middle and forgot the flanks. Denmark figured this out and scored. I must say, though NDJ is very slow to react, I would never play VDV instead of him. This guy came in and gave away almost (if not) every ball he touched.

    VDW was atrocious, just like VDV, gave the ball away, especially in the last minutes of the match. This guy has to chose beforehand to either attack or defend in a match, he cannot do both. Kuyt came on for like 5 minutes and he couldn’t keep up, defensively speaking.

    Heitinga & Vlaar were decent. The problem with Heitinga is that he thinks that when he goes strong on his opponent, making his opponent lose the ball, he can take a step back and relax. No sir, you have to stay with him, because he might get the ball back.

    Willems did surprisingly good. He was the second best, which is pretty embarrassing to be honest, considering the likes of RvP, Robben & Afellay on the pitch. Funny how everybody (including myself) worried about LB and RB turned out the be the problem.

    Stekelenburg did good. Third best.

  17. Ned, I could spend lines and lines of text shouting you down but I won’t. Your opinion is your opinion, my is mine and others have theres. This is a blog where opinions are shared and yes critised, but I’m sure all will agree this does not give an excuse to insult others ideas and opinions.

    If you don’t like another persons opinion, for sure, argue your case. But no need to resort to shouting other people down and calling people muppets and say they no nothing.

    This forum is a place for passion, expression, ideas, thoughts. If we all thought the same then this would be a sterile forum with no purpose.

  18. «Bert van Marwijk said it like this (and I tend to buy this): “We were too eager. We wanted it too badly. The guys seemed to block.”»

    That’s exactly what I’m saying/fearing from the beginning Jan. And the beginning starts in 2008, mind you. Why would they be too eager? Why would they want it too badly? Because of BvM’s mentality and “mourinhesque” approach to the game. Everybody wants to win, sure, but at what costs? I would pay to listen to BvM mambo jambo about the need to win. I really would.

    Just think of this. The games prior to the tournament the team plays well and thrashes the opponents. As soon as the tournament starts, kaboom, there goes the pleasure and the beautiful game. Two years ago all I can remember (with utter oranje pride) is the second half time against Brazil. I’m afraid I won’t remember much from this years’s tournament… Need I say what I remember from EK2008? Right.

    Anyway, I still have hope. I think our boys have it in them. Let’s see if BvM sees it.

  19. Oh, and the defence did not fail. And there is nothing wrong with the system if you have 32 shots. The attack failed, they forgot to score.

    It’s rather painful, because they created so much. One could almost say that they are the best side of this EC. This Oranje could easily beat yesterday’s Germany and Portugal (even Spain for that matter). But if you fail to score against Denmark…….

  20. Ned:

    Seriously, I need to be Dutch to be a fan of the Netherlands team?

    Just a couple of ideas here.

    1) Why is that a striker that is on the way of becoming the best striker of ALL TIMES for Netherlands is starting the game from the bench, and only brought in for the last 20 minutes where everyone is already mentally and physically exhausted? Hunterlaar’s goals to game ratio is better than that of Kluivert, Bergkamp and Van Nistelrooy. Are you registering what I just said?

    2) Why is that we have a left footed winger on the right and a right footed winger on the left?

    3) Why are we still playing the same 4-2-3-1 that absolutely every opponent has adjusted to in the past two years? The last six months have showed that the tactics of BvM are predictable and static and every opponent can close down the game in midfield, tearing a large opnening before our back and front lines and fragmenting our game. Why isn’t anything being done to adjust our tactics a little better?

  21. We’ve made it hard for ourselves by losing the first game, but there is plenty of talent in this squad, and we are Oranje – we will always play our best against Germany, and based on that alone I can’t see us losing the next game.

    A lot of people are posting that this and that should be changed, personally I think we don’t need to change anything as drastically, but this time we should use our bench more effectively- depending on the game we should bring on Huntelaar at half time, either for RVP, or to play with him. Narsingh can be the impact sub in the 70th minute, Kuyt if we are 2 goals up.

    I believe we can still do it. This is the toughest group, so who says Denmark will get anymore points, or Germany, or even Portugal? It’s just as open as before, let’s do our best, which I’m sure will be enough to progress!

    Hup Holland Hup!

  22. i just watched that moment when sneijder feeded rvp a pass in the first half where he had only the gk to beat. but he tried to control the pass with left foot instead of right. i cant remember watching him control the ball with right foot in similar situation in the arsenal colors. i think he was very low on confidence last night when it comes to taking the shot on goal but yes his pass and link up play were really nice.

  23. vMarwijk should move Robben to the left wing..hes far to predictable on the right (always cutting to the centre), far too easy to defend..

    We need a real striker, Huntlaar, and keep that position manned.. Sneijder was always looking for somebody up front but vPersie was all over the place

    i didnt think the back looked too bad (not really tested either btw

    build up is much too slow with those 2 defending midfielder…and they bring not much extra to the team either

    vdWiel is a disgrace.. the whole idea of playing without wingers is that the 2 flank defenders come up and deliver the crosses..vdWiel cant cross a ball over 3 meters if his life depended on it..

    but eh; im sure vMarwijk will stick to his brilliant playing plan..and it has brought us about 2 decent games in 4 years!

    i would play like this:







  24. orange defense did not lose against the danes, it was orange forwards that lost the match. the defense did their job, they only conceded one goal.

    orange and german defense will decide the match on wed.

    – the german defence can handle the dutch attack.
    3 out of 4 of the back four play for munich. hummels himself is a munich product. the german have one of the best goalkeeper in the world who also play cub football in munich. so basically the know each other and they know how to play against robben and huntelaar.

    – eredivisie players(vlaar, vdw, and willems) do not have experience playing against top class International players like the germans in the club scene.

    robben need play in the left side so he can cross the ball often.

  25. As far as the group is concerned, a Portugal victory over the Danes would be a better result for Holland. This would enable Holland to still have a chance even drawing with Germany. A Holland win over Portugal would then make 4 points, and I think Denmark will have run out of steam by the end and lose to Germany – so, Germany 7 pts, Holland 4, Denmark 3, Portugal 3.

    But Denmark can put more pressure on Holland by drawing v Portgual… only a win against Germany would do then…

    If both games were draws, Denmark would have 4, Holland 1… but because of the new rule of head to head rather than goal difference deciding ties, Holland could win 10-0 v Portugal and Denmark lose 10-0, and the Danes would still go through.

    So a Portgual win would enable to Holland to grab a lifeline with 2 possible results against the Mannschaft.

  26. We still control our destiny, win and we’re in!

    RVP is dead to me! Well at least as a centre forward he is. I would start him on the wing or the bench! I’ve had enuff of his bumbling in front of goal when in Oranje. Given the day yesterday he’d have scored 4 goals for The Gunners. He’s the Anti-Maniche! Great for club but mediocre for country.

  27. I agree with the call that Oranje played better in this game than in WK 2010. The passing at times was crisp, sharp and incisive without due reward. On another day we score five. Wes Sneijder was world class but when the substitutes were made at once it really disrupted the shape of the team. And I think RvP was trying too hard.

    I am still confident going into the match with Germany and think we can beat them. Strap yourselves in ladies and gentleman, its going to be a glorious ride from now on!


    This is the formation for the Germans. BVM won’t do it but this is what we need. MVB can be in place of NDJ but I prefer de Jong’s style of laying back more, we need the destroyer to protect the back four.

    I would consider starting MVB next to Heitinga if Mathijsen is not 100%. Also would consider putting Kuyt in at RB, I am sure he could do as well as VDW did yesterday.

    I doubt BVM makes many if any changes though. One thing I think he WILL do, Hunter plays 90 mins against the Germans.

    1. WHAT. HOLLAND PLAYING 4-3-3?????
      VDV and Sneijder playing… together? NO.

    2. I hope you are right but this has been going on for 4 years. There is more pressure now on BVM but it was the same in WC.

      Everyone knows Hunter should play, but I’m afraid that the coach will do it when its too late.

      I forget the numbers but I think huntelaar and RVP scored the same amount of goals in WC, but hunter had like 50-60 min.

      IMO RVP at the wing would be better however he runs very stiff and doesn’t have the graceful cutting abiility of Affelay or Robben.

      Plus you watch if they benched RVP it would be the second coming of the anti-christ!! Just like in WC when they subbed him late and he through a tantrum on the sideline.

      He will bring the whole team down with him if he’s benched!

      Best thing during the game was when everytime RVP would mess up the camera would be on Hunter!! So even the camera crew are helping as I’m sure BVM is watching the replays also, and hunters face is on the jumbo tron is a little added pressure!!

      Here’s hoping you are right.

  29. What worries me the most for the next game is the fact that as Bert said “players were too tight, tried too hard etc”. If they were tight for 1 st game against “weakest opponent” how will they feel against the strongest one?! What’s worse is how will they react if they fall 1goal behind? Coach is the one that prepares team for such situations and Bert hasn’t done a good job there.

  30. van Tiggellen declares: Holland played bad, not enough passing and passion. The players say they had many chances but I dont know what they saw.

    I agree: Lots of desperate shooting from 25 meters dont count as chances. Denmark was the efficient one.

  31. Yesterday I found myself cheering for the Germans for possibly the first time ever. Not because I like them lol, but because I felt for qualification purposes, it gives us the best chance. Had Portugal beaten Germany, then the second match would be a be all and end all type game for us. Portugal and Denmark playing on 3 points, us and Germany playing on 0. If we lost to Germany, and the other game drew, then we’d be eliminated. Portugal wins and Germany wins? Then we’d have been eliminated, with Portugal sitting on 6 points, the other two on 3 heading into a heads up match where one’s guaranteed points. And if the Danes won and we lost to Germany, we’d be relying on the Danes to beat Germany (I would never rely on that).

    So I’m happy Germany one because it affords our team flexibility. If we lose to Germany on Wednesday, we need Portugal to win, and given that if Portugal doesn’t beat Denmark, they themselves could very well be out of the tournament, I have to expect Portugal will have that killer instinct to get the job done. Now I hope Portugal beats the Danes, just in case we need it. But only by a goal.

  32. Well said Jan. They need to leave the game behind, and focus on the killer instinct (scoring goals). Make the most out of your chances. Dominating is nice but you need to put the game away. The front 4 played well together the first half so I do not see Bert making changes. Maybe he hope for Mathijsen to be fit. I will start Strootman over Nigel and sub Van Der Vaart in if needed. Van Der Vaart needs to be ready and has better contribution. He made many bad passes vs Denmark. I don’t see Bert changing anything else. We still have a chance and if they wants to save this tournament, they need to put everything on the field vs Germany. Hup Holland Hup!

  33. I hope nobody in the squad even remotely think about trying to get a draw against Germany (and then think we’ll beat Portugal).

    Went to a family BBQ yesterday and first thing my brother in law said to me when I walked in with a gloomy face was “I think the Oranje needs this loss plus some spanking to get them ready for next matches”. So yesterday could have been a combination of many things:
    1. Players not passionate/in-form
    2. Not the best selection of players
    3. Not the best selection of system
    4. Not the best finishing
    5. Not the best defense
    6. Unlucky (hit post + 2 non-call on hands-ball)
    7. Bert is an idiot, we are all idiots
    8. etc.

    I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between and a combination of all of those. It is all water under the bridge.

    But what I really want to see is the fire/will to win. Start by paying attention and sing to the national anthem seriously! Chase the ball for crying out loud. Play for the win and pride. As a fan, I really want to see everyone giving their all. What’s most disappointing in yesterday’s match is not all of the above points BUT it seems to me that last 10 mins or so they just didn’t care and did not press/go after the ball.

    Regardless of who will/will not start, I think we’re at the same level with Germany and higher than Portugal (the Ger v Por match was pretty bad, actually). It’s a matter of who wants this the most and which coach can inspire their players more.

    As I said yesterday, if we win the next 2 matches, we all will forget about the Dane and all the “soccer experts” will quickly point us as the “favorite” again.


    P.S.: with all that said, the subjectivity in me still want to see the Hunter starts alongside RvP next

    1. Usually the last 5-10 minutes of a losing game the teams push forward with all they can in search of the equalizer. They throw countless crosses into the other keeper’s zone and use pressing. Even the keeper pushes forward. Holland never did it yesterday, no spirit, nobody could send a decent cross in. They just let the minutes pass by against a fair play team like Denmark. If we were playing Portugal we’d have had no chance as Nani would be injured for 10 minutes.

    2. i fully agree with you on this: we should forget the draw against germany,oranje MUST win it and the hame against portugal,too. there is no more time left for calculation.

  34. Though i am sad as we have lost to the danes, but seeing the match few more times, i realise we are playing better than in the WC,10 where we had difficulty in creating chances, here we have created so many chances and thats why it hurts.
    to create so many chances and not put a single one away.
    am sure the danes are still pinching themselves.
    Coming to the Germany portugal game, i belive germany is definately not playing the football they were playing in the world cup whihc is good and we can actuallly beat our arch rivals and also our most recent rivals and still top the group….too long a call many of you may think………..But as they say….IF U ARE NOT DUTCH, U ARE NOT MUCH…so come on…HUP HOLLAND HUP…

  35. unfortunately the Danes and the Germans have the upper hand now for qualifying … sad but true.

    We need to win the German game, the Danes can get a draw or even win and we are out ! simple as that.

    We will know the result we need before we play. But it is not so difficult for the Danes to draw.

    Most likely it is either win with Germans or go home.

  36. @Lucas,
    I read your comments and I understand your frustration but I strongly disagree with your analysis.

    Yes, BVM is also to blame for this loss. If things do not go according to plan, you need to make the right changes at the right time to rectify the situation.

    However, you seem to have completely jumped over “THE MAIN” reason we lost the match.

    You can have the best system in the world. The best lineup in the world. All they do for you is create a chance for you to score. At the end of the day, the player or players have to put the ball in the net. It is as simple as that.

    Look at the friendly game we played against Bulgaria. That was a very offensive team. We started with Hunter, RVP, Sneijder and VDV. This guys are absolutely world-class players for their clubs by any definition. They are all at their prime and not bothered by any major injury issues. But, you know how stale and boring they played. Is RVP in capable of playing on the left and making crosses into the box for Hunter to finish? Is VDV in capable of doing the same on the right? We have seen both of them do it at the club level playing on the left and right respectively.

    There was a huge commotion about we have to start with real wingers. Why couldn’t RVP and VDV do it?

    I agree that he didn’t experiment enough with young players during friendlies and easier opponents in qualifying.
    I agree he makes his substitutions too late into the game to have an impact.

    Again, “THE MAIN” reason we lost yesterday was our failure to score. Everything else is a secondary contributing factor.

  37. It could still be that we beat the Germans, Portugal beat the Danes, The Danes draw with Germany and we draw with Portugal….

    4 points a piece for everyone…..

    Denmark and Portugal could still go through at our (as well as the Germans) expense. All is not lost but it can get very convoluted.

    The key to all this mayhem is that we MUST beat the Germans……

  38. Sam DC: ‘Again, “THE MAIN” reason we lost yesterday was our failure to score. Everything else is a secondary contributing factor.’

    totally agree.

    or as someone expressed it further up:
    ’29 chances tells you we DID create. It means the team was working, the players were working, the plan was working.
    It also tells you that WE CHOKED IN FRONT OF GOAL!’

    I dream of creating 29 chances every game. So much for negative football!
    I pray we create 29 chances against Germany.
    Some dutch in-fighting going on here… haha! I think it’s obvious why we lost. We’d played great and didn’t score. Isn’t that it?
    Or was I one of the ones watching a completely different game?

  39. Two years we waited for this tournament. Two very long years and it seems like it’s over in 90 mins.

    This team is very top heavy. We have a fundamentally unbalanced team. We have attacking forwards that are the envy of the world but we are cursed with this defense.

    Maybe the whole Dutch system needs to be examined more closely. Why do we have a defensive system that doesn’t keep up with our attacking system. Too much emphasis on attack and not enough focus on defense?

    I think offensive systems are more suited for regular seasons and defensive systems are better for tournaments.
    Over the long stretch of the regular season, offense eventually will win out. But when it comes to single elimination games, defensive solidness usually carries the day.

    Look at France vs Brazil in 1998. France didn’t have a single decent forward in that 98 WC winning squad yet, they were able to beat Brazil with one of the best forwards of our generation. Why? because of defense.

  40. Hate to break it to you guys but….it all over now!

    Sure we created “29 chances”, but how many of those where actually clear chances? Not many if I recall, unless you view shooting it up to the stands, or shooting it to the keeper hands as “chances”.

    RVP was the flop of the match hands down. He has been doing this on a regular basis for years now! I don’t know how BvM can still pick him over Hunter. My starting formation for Germany will be

    ———— Stek ————————
    Wiel — John — Mati/Vlaar — Boula (as extra defender)
    ——- De jong —Van Bommel————–
    Rooben —– Wesley — Ibi
    ———— Hunter ————–

    Or if BvM still wants to use RVP then it should be….

    ———— Stek ————————
    Wiel — John — Mati/Vlaar — Boula (as extra defender)
    ——- Wesley —Van Bommel————–
    Rooben —– RVP — Ibi
    ———– Hunter ————–

  41. Van da Man

    That 29 chances statistics is a bit misleading. I don’t consider shooting into the stands a chance created. If it comes within 5 or 10 inches of the goal, it’s a chance created. But that said, I think we had enough chances to score.

    I’m not really worried about us scoring. Yes we were horrible yesterday but I’m sure we’ll score again. What I’m shocked and just absolutely angry about is our defense. Why do our players so nervous? How hard is it to follow your man and do enough to disrupt his dribble or pass? It’s not like we faced Zidane, Ronaldinho or Maradona yesterday.

    Why do we leave so much open space and passing lanes for our opposition? Is it our defensive system or our defenders that’s failing?

  42. @Pico

    there’s a reason we play games and not decide matches on paper. If that was the case, we didn’t have to play the Danes yesterday. I’m sure there were enough Picos in Denmark breaking the news to them that it’s all over.

    You are right, it looks daunting on paper to assume we’ll beat both Germany and Portugal to progress but then again, if we can finish some of those golden chances that RVP and Robben were fumbling, we can beat them.

    1. I don’t think all is finish. Spain lost to effing Switz in their first match of the last World Cup. Did anyone talk/remember about that?

      It’s a matter of how you bounce back/pick yourself up after a setback. If they still show up against Germany as flat as they did yesterday then yes, they deserve to lose and go home. If they lose BUT show spirit/will to win, I’ll feel differently.

      I’m still seeing some of us posting of a draw, a win, Portugal/Denmark drawing, every team gets 4 pts, etc. To me, it is very simple, if we somehow – big IF – pick things up and beat Germany, Portugal pretty much stands 0 chance against us in match #3. As much as our defense is not as strong as our offense, Portugal is nothing special from what they showed yesterday. Also don’t forget the psychological boost if we can (again) somehow beat Germany.

      In short, play to win (not to draw, not to be pretty, etc.), just win.

      1. Totally agree with you HedonistiX

        Although the situation is a bit difficult. However, for sure holland won’t lose two games in a row, even we’re facing Germany next. If we lose, then we simply deserved to be kicked out of the tournament.

        Mind you, Holland always plays better against the strong teams. We have beaten Argentina, Brazil, England, France and Italy.

        So, it’s not a matter if we can draw or not. We must win against Germany. Yes having 29 attempts to score, we’re on track. Just need to get the goal. You don’t score, you’ll simply get punished.

  43. There’s too many armchair coaches here who know everything better. I think the team did well and I agree with jan’s assessment. Willems played really well.

    If we created 29 chances, we’re on the right track.

    Both Germany and Portugal looked flat.

    Lets hope for a win against Germany and Portugal (lets go for 6 and stop thinking about whats enough). After this EK, this will have to have wholesale changes with the squad as everyone will be too old for the most part. This teams deserves a cup for being the most co-hesive group we’ve ever had. Say what you want about BvM, but he’s the guy that is responsible for that.

  44. We were wearing our clogs, not our boots 🙁

    29 chances, 0 goals. The stats don’t lie.

    Our strikers should have placed some more of those chances on target, or at least passed a final ball to someone in a better position, on many occasions.
    I think that was the bitter shock for us. We are usually so good at finishing.
    That’s certainly the consensus among the impartial international sports reports this morning.

    I was pleasantly surprised by our play, to be honest. I thought we did a good job of methodically working out their team in the opening 20 minutes, and then exposing their weaknesses.

    If it was me in charge, RVP should now warm the bench. Let the Hunter have a go next time. Robben should play left, so he doesn’t ALWAYS cut in and shoot.
    I’d put Afellay in De Jong’s place, and give Narsingh the right wing to roam.
    I’m not sure our defence gets much better than where it is right now…

    Portugal aren’t a bad team either. Credit to them for being solid enough to withstand us. Agger was immense.

    Happy with the game. Disappointed with the result.
    We move on. Now let’s beat Germany and Portugal, and put all this behind us.

  45. It has to be said that this performance was actually much better than our match against the Danes during WC2010, and I think the reason our performance came a bit short does have everything to do with the players being nervous, tired, and/or emotionally drained leading up to the match. I can’t imagine the players getting a great deal of sleep the night before in anticipation of their opening Euro match. And let’s remember we didn’t really “turn on” at the World Cup until we met quality opposition in Brazil and Uruguay.

    I was pretty disappointed yesterday, and with Pacquiao losing his fight (also after dominating), I was, in a very manly way, emotionally drained. But after sleeping on it, looking back, and putting things in perspective, I’m cautiously optimistic that this first loss might work in our favor. We played much better football than both the Germans and the Portuguese who both had much more space to exploit (Portuguese could easily have been ahead on several occasions).

    Anyways, I’m putting the loss behind us, and I’m looking forward to our game against Germany. Chin up, guys!

  46. I don’t know how happy you can be with the game. For a team like Holland, that’s always labelled as a perennial underachievers by a lot of people, what we need more than anything else is to get a result. That’s all. We have this huge burden on our shoulder to finally deliver.

    Goal #1 should be to win.
    Goal #2 should be to win.
    Goal #3 should be to win.

    That’s all. Forget this style of play, so and so should play here, so and so should be benched etc…

    Go out there, win. Just win no matter what. I don’t care if you give me the best looking game the world has ever seen. If you don’t win, it doesn’t mean anything. I don’t care you play anti-football, park the bus, battle of Nuremberg, total football, tiki-taka, joga bonito, whatever it is, at the end of the day, give me a win!

  47. Was it just me or that Krakiv Metalist Stadium yesterday sucked? The stands was so far away from the field. It takes away from the fan advantage we have. Think of all those Oranje fans behind Danish goal taunting the keeper and screaming at him.

    Just looking at the Gdansk stadium for the Spain-Italy game, it looks so packed with the fans on the edge of the touch line.

  48. Holland plays better as the underdog and when all hope seems lost, like in Euro 08 against Italy and France. Lets hope this was the wake up call they needed.

    1. You can’t exactly label our defence as crap after one chance created and taken from the Danes. Heitinga made a solitary mistake and paid dearly for it. i’ve seen our defence play great and you can’t deny that they had to be world class in 2010.

      The defence in the dutch team is the black sheep. Under-appreciated and under valued. No wonder no one in Holland wants to be a defender anymore!

      The offence is the problem at the moment

      1. Thats because Van Persie scored three goals against Hummels Dortmund in two games this season, Huntelaar zero

        Really seems like Hummels wants to play against Huntelaar if anything.

  49. Jason,
    I disagree. We have not rectified this defense since Euro 2008. We don’t have positional awareness. Our defenders get caught in no man’s land. They don’t cut passing lanes and they just don’t play gritty man to man defense that is needed to carry a team like this.
    Everytime the Danes came forward to attack, it seemed that they might get a goal.

    There are some goals that you concede just because of the brilliance and perfection of the play. Conceding goals due to amateur mistakes is just unacceptable.

    1. It was amateur hour against the Danes – I’ll admit that but they are not as bad as everyone here is making out. We just don’t allow them to make mistakes, when they do – like other teams – we are real quick to throw them under the bus.

  50. Van Der Weil was no good and Heitinga made the biggest mistake. So we replace VdW with Boula but can’t do anything about Heitinga. Hopefully with Mathijsen back he settles down. Vlaar and heitinga don’t have enough time together but I think they could make a good pairing. Now is not the time for experimenting

  51. I think RVP tend to go outside the box to often, better to put Huntelaar as central forward and RVP behind him!
    Jan congats on the new site.

  52. I have not seen a cross from VDW that led to a goal in an Oranje shirt. Maybe I missed it. If he’s our RB, that’s one of his main duties in the game next to defending our right flank. I think people gave him too much accolades too soon. I haven’t seen any maturation from him compared to 2010.

    Heitinga seems to have gotten worse. He keeps making the same mistakes of losing his man and getting caught out of position.

    Vlaar is just another Johan Djourou so far. I mean he’s still young and can one day become a great defender but as of today, he’s so devoid of any passing abilities. He so scared when the ball comes to him. It’s like his first instinct is to pass it left or right. He doesn’t have fast acceleration that you need from defenders. I think someone like Messi can run circles around him blind-folded.

    Mathijsen is just done. Let’s just hope he can maybe comeback and play one last decent game for us against Germany or Portugal. He was never any good at all. Probably a very average defender on his best day.

    Willems is just a prodigy. Too young for me to make any conclusions about him. We need to see more of him. If he’s coachable and works on his weaknesses, he has the ingredients to be a top class LB.

    1. Vlaar is n’t even young. He’s 26 years old already and most likely won’t get faster either. His strength is his mental strength, leadership, grit, length and long pass. These could get better in time.

  53. Ok now that we have all digested the loss lets be objective. We created more chances than in any WC2010 match. That’s a fact. However it seems that we lost the winning mentality and killer instinct of two years ago. Luck was also not on our side unlike two years ago. Anyway Denmark is now behind us, and it’s all about Germany now. Forget Portugal, we have to beat Germany first. To be honest our objective was to win the cup and you have to be able to defeat Germany to win it. So in a way nothing has changed. We have another chance to show what we are worth. If we win we deserve to go all the way, if we lose we don’t deserve it and we are rightly eliminated.

    1. Robben is definitely cursed. But Bert has fucked up this team by not playing youngsters and not creating backups during qualifiers and friendlies. How can you play Narsingh or anyone else when they haven’t seen more than 30 mins of total playing time before the tournament?

  54. Luke de Jong? what has he done? I rather play Narsingh who’s a winger than him. Instead of that put Afellay on the right, RVP on the left and Hunter in the middle.

  55. I am hoping the goals are reserved for the Germans and Portugese…

    I would however, like to see a bit of a shake up.

    Both RVP and Huntelaar were on at the same time and I seem to remember that Hunterlaar had a very good chance to tie it up…maybe they can co-exist for 90 minutes?

    Sneijder looked amazing, if he plays like that on Wednesday, they’ll certainly be lots of opportunities to score. I would love to see Strootman make an appearance as well.

    It’s a tough road, but just as in 2010, you need to beat the good teams to make it to the end.

    Hup Holland!

  56. This tiki-taka bull$h*t the Spain is playing doesn’t seem to be working anymore. Italy looked better than they had been, we probably should consider giving Pirlo a Dutch citizenship …. 🙂

  57. I rather get Chiellini than Pirlo. We have enough talent in midfield.

    Torres and Balotelli made horrible mistakes one on one with a goalkeeper.

  58. A big debate question is whether we stick with “the system” or modify/abandon it in favor of something new.

    To me, the biggest failing of the 4-2-3-1 as played by Bert’s team is the static and defensive nature of our holding midfielders. Many have commented here on how our players were frequently “selfish”. The reason is because we have only 4 attacking players. 6 people (plus goalie) sit back and let the others attack. Of course players need to be selfish when there is no one to pass to up front. There are hardly any passing combinations near the other team’s penalty area and not enough bodies forward. All of this can be attributed to the fact that we only have 4 attackers, plus the occasional wingback that trots up usually after the other team’s defense is well settled.

    Some people think we will be too exposed if we commit more people forward. Being afraid of counter-attacks is not a good reason to play static, predictable and conservative. Midfielders can track back, that is part of their job. If we are worried that 4 defenders at the halfline will get scored on by 1-2 attackers on the counter, then we may as well play a different sport. Perhaps the reason we lost to Bulgaria and now Denmark is because we were so conservative, we kept the games close enough for them to win. We only scored 1 goal between these two games. Playing this way is not very enterprising. Very un-Dutch, really.

    German newspaper Bild makes the same comment I do. They say that Germany and Holland have the same formation, but the difference is that their holding midfielders go on the attack, hence their advantage over us.

    In a group stage, unlike a knockout game, offense is actually more important than defense. This is because you get 3 points for a win, only 1 for a draw, so it is worth the risk to put more on the line. So I disagree that “the system” is something that needs to be followed religiously. It should be used against selected opponents, more for knockout games than group stage games. Denmark is a good example. Our defensive mids made very little impact, but we could have used an extra body up front to help create “quality” chances on goal, not speculative ones.

    I was skeptical of the conservative approach in WC10 and I’m not really sure it was the formula for success there. We should always have topped our group, on paper. Of course we should beat Slovakia. Brazil was a good result but it was due to the second half where, as far as I could tell, we really abandoned the system and went for broke. It worked okay against Uruguay, but that is a knockout stage game where such tactics are called for.

    I’d like to see us return to Dutch roots sooner rather than later, if not this tournament than the next one. And I’m afraid that will require a management shakeup. Bert has done very well in the past but perhaps it is time for new ideas, the new ones being a rebirth of old ideas that at one time made the Dutch game renowned.

  59. Watching Spain playing Italy, they are doing fine but still beatable. However the Dutch team can learn a few things from Spain:
    1. Their defense move up to support the offense when they have the ball. Jan already pointed this out.
    2. Their player find open space really well when they have possession and the passing is very good.
    3. They can run 90 min while we looked very tired near the end, and it is only the first game.
    4. They stick to their tactic/game plan even when they are down. In the 2nd half vs Denmark the domination, flow disappeared. If you keep dominating and have many good scoring chances perhaps we would score eventually? Well, maybe.

    1. @Hien. I thought the Italy/Spain game was much more open than our game vs. Danes. Both sides commit players forward more so than us, even though both have defensive problems currently.

      On your point #3, I think the weather is much cooler right now in Poland where Spain/Italy played, so the players are less drained at the end of the match.

      To me this was also a failure of our preparations. Perhaps we should have trained longer at warmer temperatures to get used to it. All our games are at the same locale, but I think the next game is later so might not be as hot.

  60. In international football, it seems to me that the trainer (van Marwyck)should set the expectations, the team form and make good judgments on whom to start. The trainer also needs to be able to make adjustments during the match, especially after half-time. Based on yesterday’s match, I do not believe that vanM met those expectations. Comments such as “the team was trying too much” goes back to the coach. The choice of players and subs goes back to the coach. Suddenly everyone! misses their shot, terribly so,very non-professional–which goes back to the coach.These are all training issues, where the trainer can and should have an impact. van M did not have the team prepared for the match. I think the players were over-confident, not trying too hard.They have done this before, not taking an opponent seriously and losing to an inferior competitor. I do agree with Jan that “we” should have won by several goals, but should have and did are two different results. I also see no on-field team leadership. There were too many long, reckless shots, too many “chokes” (especially Robben) when the goal was in sight and, of course, our always chaotic back four. Holland will never become a great team (such as Holland of ’74,’78 and ’98) unless and until the KNVB decides to make it a goal to encourage excellent athletes to become central defenders and fullbacks.

    Germany did not look very strong against Portugal, but I believe that they BELIEVE that they can and will always be able to defeat Holland. Let’s hope our team can prove them wrong, but if they play as they did yesterday,…?

    1. ‘Suddenly everyone! misses their shot, terribly so,very non-professional–which goes back to the coach’

      Interesting theory. Please elaborate.

      1. I understand your question and here is how I would explain it. I make several assumptions with respect to national football teams in Europe. First, the players are much better than average. Second, they are motivated to represent their country. Third, they know how to compete, to control emotions, to focus on technique and to execute the technique. I also assume that they are still very young men, maturing but yet immature and who need a trainer who will create the spirit, atmosphere and demand for excellence which is required to win in major tournaments. When these gifted athletes badly miss open shots at goal, over and over again (look at the match statistics) it shows a lack of professional behavior, of being able to adjust their skills, concentrate on shot placement, take shots more quickly and not wait for the perfect moment to shoot. The qualities reflect a trainer who is not aware of what is lacking from his players, who fails to spend time on such skills in training and, most importantly, to make quick substitutions when it is obvious that certain players (van Persie, Robben, etc,) do not have their heads in the match. These are the connections I make between poor technical performance and the quality of the trainer.

  61. I believe in 74, 78 and 88 that Holland was perceived to have lousy defenders as well. The only time Jaap Stam was regarded as a great defender by a dutch person was after he retired. A tragedy.

  62. The 98/2000 team was definitely more balanced. In defense we had De Boer, Stam and Numan. Defense was way better … But maybe attack is better now. However on balance, the 98/2000 team was more complete.

  63. OK we lost but we can still make it!…if Bert changes some things.






    *With Afellay coming off the bench!.
    *Persie didn’t score but he did gave great passes.
    *Huntelaar has to play.
    *Sneijder giving those great crosses.
    *Vaart coming off the bench instead of Bommel or Nigel.

    1. Affelay must play no matter what, him being a subbed is terrible for everybody. If BvM really want to play RvP then Wesley should take Nigel place. I would put Boula instead of Shaars because you know….we are facing the Germans.

      And after seeing Varrt play, I would not play him anymore. You saw how many balls he lost right? We will be greatly punished if he plays.

      For us it does not get much better than this lineup at the moment. We have the creative force behind RvP, the extra defender on the right, the two best wingers of Netherlands, and the Hunter at front. My only concern will be Wiel. Plus Wesley is known to control the ball/take away the ball pretty well.






      1. Sorry I mess up lol






        1. I think we all see some change is necessary for the next game. In my opinion, vdWeil is a risk as he will get trampled by Podolski, who is a tank. Let’s put the Cannibal on that side of the pitch. Schaars at left back for experience, although Willems is an option. I can’t see RvP taking the #10 spot right now as he has not played there much for Oranje, and does not really create a first line of defense. Agree that we need to change holding mid but maybe Afellay has more energy there and will be quicker for defense, and Sneijder did well where he was. Swap the wingers and I daresay put in Kuyt who can cross well and defend too, and keeps width. Sub in Narsingh later in the game if necessary, or RvP can come in for Kuyt or Robben. So here it is,the winning lineup:






          1. —————-Stekelenburg——————


            ————-Bommel—De Jong——————-

            ——RVP——Sneijder——–Kuyt (Afellay 2nd half)——


            I would start very defensively make sure we dont concede in the first half. Kuyt for sure to start the game and add width.

            In the 2nd half I would take Dirk out and put Iby in.. Afellay can play a strong 2nd half and I would be more willing to risk later rather than sooner.

            As per the offensive line I dont see the need for all 3, Robben/RVP and Hunter. Other teams score with a lot fewer resources. I would take Arjen out since he is very predictable lately but I would opt to put him in for the 2nd half as well.

            This way we have all sides tight and let Wes/RvP/Hunter find a way to score. Why do need that many resources in the front? Other world class teams do more with less.

            I would increase the risk as the game goes not the other way around. Duitsers score, end of story for us.

          2. The thing is about RvP at right wing is it just didn’t seem to work in the Bulgaria game. Maybe he isn’t used to playing that position, but as fine a player as he can be, I think we get more out of having a true right winger there.

            You are going more conservative with the defensive mid choices. But for either Germany or Portugal we need to take some offensive risk. In my mind, offensive pressure is the way to go if done responsibly. Look at Italy today, at the end they kept putting pressure on Spain’s defense and could have nicked the game. On the other hand Spain had chances too. It’s really a balance, but I think we are more likely to generate a 2-2 draw with offense than a 0-0 draw with our defense. We can get through Germany’s defense but we need an extra body in support so now and then.

  64. Just saw the Spain vs Italy match or at least most of it. Balotelli misses a huge change by falling asleep in a one on one with the keeper and he gets replaced immediately… no mercy. Might be a problem with the Dutch players, no matter how bad they perform, they’re pretty much guaranteed their spot because BvM has no plan B.

    1. You left out the best part: Italy scored 4 minutes after that substitution. Substitution strategy is a critical part of the game, and it needs to be done better in our next game, for sure.

  65. I personally wouldn’t mind if the team didn’t train until 24 hours before the game against Germany. These guys don’t need training, they been doing it since they were in their late 15. What these guys need to do is take a couple of steps back from all the hype (media, criticism hell even their own family I suppose) and just re-connect with themselves, This Dutch team is lacking cohesiveness, togetherness and most importantly calmness.
    I read a lot of body language, and I saw it from their gestures and desperation that they were not prepared for the 0-1 scenario. So they threw everything away in a form of desperation to find an equalizer. They need to learn a lot from basketball where every minute counts and you should built up a goal rather than shooting irresponsibly.
    So again, this team lacks the ability to get a grip of themselves. They become desperate, because they don’t have that mental strength.

    1. Agree, Gio! No technical training just improve on mental toughness and reconnecting as a team.

      If I were BvM, I’d show them videos and footage of 1988, the loss vs USSR and the win vs Germany! Replay that again and again. When they thing they are done, replay that again!

      and Van Basten described the mood within the Dutch camp prior to the final game.

      “Everything was positive and a lot of players had found their confidence. We were convinced that we could win the match and the whole tournament.”

      “In the beginning, we were afraid of losing and not being able to perform well; in the end, we had the confidence, which is very important in a tournament like that.”

      1. Another must-read for this Oranje squad prior to Wednesday match:

        Anyone who tried to pretend this was not a rematch of the 1974 FIFA World Cup final – also held on German soil – would not have found much agreement in the Dutch camp. Hans van Breukelen, for example, had watched that game as a 17-year-old in an orange shirt: “It was one of my motivations not to lose again. I think the whole team had that kind of feeling. We have to beat them this time.”

  66. @VanX: Bert failed with his preparation for Denmark game. We all know the schedule in advace and the weather. We can also predict how Denmark will play. Let’s hope he did not fail vs Germany. Narsingh should come in before Kuyt who did not bring anything. Not counting group D tomorrow Netherlands and Portugal are the only 2 teams failed to score.

    1. I haven’t really seen Narsingh play, but my concern was whether he is too green for the Germany game. Willems is young too but got fast-tracked into the squad integration. My thinking in Kuyt is that with a more offensive midfield, we balance with a more defensive winger who still can give us width. I’m happy if we have a real winger, so either way is an improvement.

  67. Great read as always and I’m still asking myself did that really happen or was it a bad dream? I still have complete confidence we’ll go all the way this year, Germany looked shaky and Portugal hardly turned up; even with their stack they can’t put it together and unless we sharpen up, we’ll be in the same situation. All we have to do is win every game, not worry about our opponents and we’ll be straight. Definitely predicting qualifying no prob.

  68. I’m sorry to say this, but Italy played more “total football” than the Dutch have for the past 2+ years. It was a joy to watch. 3 defenders to begin with (!!!), the ball always moving forward, not getting stuck in the mid-field and then passing it back to their goal keeper, sharp, quick and accurate passing, only focusing on keeping the control, keeping the pressure on the opponent and trying to score, score, score.

  69. A good friend of mine and Germany supporter just wrote to me the following:

    “I think the Dutch will win the next two – yes, beating Germany! I think Portugal takes Denmark, then loses to the Dutch in the last game. I still believe Germany and the Dutch team advance.”

    God bless him, I hope he’s right!

  70. Interesting fact according to


    “Oranje-middenvelder Wesley Sneijder creëerde tegen Denemarken liefst tien zuivere scoringskansen voor zijn ploeggenoten, meer dan welke andere speler ook tijdens EK-eindronden sinds 1980.”

    Badly translated this reads:

    Sneijder created 10 clear scoring chances against Denmark, that’s the highest amount for a player at the Euros since 1980.

    I agree with Jan and some other. We need to drop the nerves and score more. I personally don’t care whether it’s Van Persie or Huntelaar, I think they can both do the job.

    We just need to score a goal against the Germans before they do.

    (PS. Congrats on the site, Jan!)

  71. OhYeah,
    Italy can afford to play with 3 defenders because they know how to defend. They got quality defenders in Chiellini, Bonucci and De Rossi playing as holding midfielder. Italians are synonymous with defending. It’s in their genes.

    Maybe we need to send some defenders to Italy. They were able to stop or intercept most of Spain’s passing. Do you think Vlaar and Heitinga can do that?

    Prandelli is trying to change Italian football. He wants to make it a more balanced team from one that was obsessively concerned about defending into one that can also play offensively.

    Ultimately, time will tell if his experiment worked or failed. Judging by today’s performance, I would say the Italians look like a possible dark horse team after all that was said about them coming into the tournament. Expectations of the team after all the scandal and recent defeats had been very low. Most of the pressure was on Spain and the Italians relaxed and played a decent game.

  72. But heres the problem that the hopelessly optimistic dont want to admit.. WE DID PLAY BAD.

    I can’t in my right mind say that it was good. There were hardly real chance when you look back at it. And we failed miserably at those. For the rest, the play was average at best, no crosses in, big gaps, very weird situation at the back, especially with V.Bommel

    In this current system, mark my words.. We are going out hard !! as the new european laughing stock.

    Im not one for ultimate pessimism, but lets face the truth, the team is hardly playing at their level, they lack confidence, nothing really works, they only got those chances because Sneijder did reach his level. We failed miserably against Denmark, and that says alot.

    If Bert continues like this, we’re going to lose or draw in the next 2 matches.

  73. @VanX

    >But for either Germany or Portugal we need to take some offensive risk. In my mind, offensive pressure is the way to go if done responsibly. Look at Italy today, at the end they kept putting pressure on Spain’s defense and could have nicked the game

    We have been very irresponsible since that qualifying game versus Sweden. I know this is soccer and results are not guaranteed but the entire style of play is out of whack for months now.

    The only decent game was versus England and that ended in anarchy the last 25 mins…Mentally we have a huge problem. The careful approach is gone.

    Anyhow my strategy with Germany would be crosses to find Hunter. So maybe we can do this:



    —————–Bommel—De Jong——



    Kuyt playing deeper and covering the right flank, holding winger as we have called him in the past.

    RvP available to throw in if Hunter gets tired after 60′. Robben for Iby as well after 60′.

    1. I think we’re close to agreement on most things. But for this lineup, Bert would have to bench both stars RvP and Robben in the same game, and I see little chance of that happening. My proposed lineup keeps in Robben but on the left, and pushes Afellay back to holding mid, sacrificing DeJong (who is a fine defensive player but does not offer offensive support). That being said, Bert’s not going with my lineup either, so it’s a bit of fantasy anyway.

      1. There is a lot of pressure to keep all 3 offensive stars on the field. Even though we could live with two or even one. This is becoming a curse. There have been many attempts to marry all of them somehow but they all failed. And the lines are getting further apart and the results are getting worse. And the morale is collapsing.

        It is a very hard problem. There is so much pressure to keep them all on the field. Tough… But either we solve this right here and right now, or home.

    2. Please don’t abuse the anarchy term. Unlike what most people think anarchy does not equal chaos. Anarchy is when there is no frozen power structure but where each individual can make choices to 1) better one’s self and 2) therefore better society and humanity as a whole.

      In regards to soccer, Total Football would be more akin Anarchy than any system forced upon by a coach. Each team member should be ready and willing to take up the responsibility that comes with letting go of fixed (power) structures.

      The Netherlands in the early 70’s, under the influence of the hippy and anti-war movement were totally ripe and ready for this and it might be a long-long time before anything likewise will occur in such a pronounced way, anywhere.

      There might still be an anti-authoritarian element alive in the Dutch mentality but not enough to dare to go anarchistic Total Football.

  74. What I think is necessary is giving our players confidence. Tell Klaas and Robin theyll play, give them confidence, adapt your line up and put ROBBEN ON THE LEFT SO HE ACTUALLY DOES GIVE A CROSS !!!!! And please get rid of V.Bommel… Get back to putting the right players on the right spots, instead of forcing them in an awkward system that doesnt fit them, that is exactly what V.Basten tried and got heavily criticised for, why should Bert not receive criticism if he does it.

    Knowing him though, he won’t change a thing, hence I am highly pessimistic, as we keep lying to ourselves that it was good, when it really was not. No one was impressed.. but hardcore dutch supporters. Granted, Sneijder had an exceptional game but judging from some commentaries you’d think we were outstanding, truthfully it was rather poor, the fact we still had chances to win it says alot.

    COME ON BERT, with this material you have to play better, do better and win..

    1. I’m sorry but getting rid of Van Bommel is a suicide with the current defense we have. We’ll get literally murder by the Germans if we take De Jong, let alone Van Bommel. You saw what they did to us without De Jong(he came late afterwards and mistake by him/Strootman is what led to the goal) right? The formula here is simple…play Hunterlaar on top along with an extra defender like Boula on the right/left.

      The Germans will come from the flanks.

      1. if we don’t close the gaps between the lines, we are toast. Problem is with Robben/RvP/Hunter all together in, the front line has one mile gap with the middle. We have simply lost the tight formation.

        Lots of you say if we bench XYZ(mostly Robben/RvP) we will screw his psychology for the rest of the tournament.

        Ok, which rest of the tournament?? excuse me, we have 90 mins of hope left on this tournament. We screw one more time, we ship the **entire** team back …not just primadonna A or primadonna B.

  75. @ Demi, you say you want the offensive approach but then opt for a very conservative line up.. Kuyt ?!?! V.Bommel and De Jong.. and Schaars.. that just seems like more problems to me. I dont see that line up doing any good other than stopping us from scoring and turning V.Persie into a wreck that you can mail home even if we reach the knock out stage.

    1. I never said that unless I wrote it wrong. We were conversing with VanX and discussing approaches and I was clearly talking about being “responsible”. Yes the line up is very conservative but that doesn’t mean we are going to park the bus. The other line ups didn’t us any good so far though … Anyhow, we see.

  76. Also I forgot to add that we must play FAST, and pass the ball quickly in order to win. The counter must be fast, which is doable with Ibi/Rooben on the flanks.

  77. My iPhone took me to the old site, where I’d posted a few comments during and after the Denmark game. Just watched the first half again and still have the same perspective — the front four seem isolated from the rest of the team and are counted on to create all scoring chances, typically against six or seven defenders. They had a few nice combinations between two players, but it is rare that a third is brought into the play. To me, this is because none of the players are moving off the ball. They don’t anticipate the next move or create space for their teammates. Instead they stand still, wait for the player with the ball to create the opportunity and then try to move. The goal that Spain scored today was the result of a combination of three players, all of whom continued to move in anticipation of getting the ball or creating space for their teammates.

    1. >the front four seem isolated from the rest of the team

      I am sorry for so many posts but I am having the worst weekend of my life for years now. You hit the nail on the head. This is exactly what the effing problem is. Huge gap between the front and mid lines.

      My personal opinion, and I could be wrong, is that the players in the front, are simply too offensively minded, the mid-fielders after years of playing carefully are too careful and the gap between these two lines will allow the germans to murder us on the counter attack.

      Someone has to make these two lines to come closer to each other. The easiest change , and we have 3 days and 90 mins before we GO HOME, is to use less of those offensively orientated players.

      Our front line will simply has to pull deeper and create chances that way. Weil and Robben were 2 miles apart. The Danish coach did the obvious.

      1. I wonder what would happen if they dropped Sneijder deeper and moved either RVP or VDV into the attacking midfield role and put Huntelaaraim as a true striker up top. I would worry that Sneijder’s impact would be reduced but there certainly needs to be more linking play between the midfield and attack, and also a need to get more numbers forward.

        Having the true playmaker provide service from a deeper position could also enable the attacking players to make more creative runs, rather then just milling around at the edge of the back line.

        I also don’t think the other players trust Robben to get them the ball and thus don’t move into attacking positions when he has it, and VDV did not look comfortable making longer penetrating passes from a deep position. He would probably be better served in a more advanced, creative role with more freedom of movement — like for Spurs. I think the same could be said for RVP.

  78. People here and in general are too fast to reach conclusions. After the Bulgaria game, a lot of people here were posting that Sneijder should be benched!

    Well, Sneijder on Saturday was the only one who had the nerve to do his job when the pressure was on the line. Winning and losing comes down to one or two surgically accurate passes. Sneijder made one to Hunter but he failed. Sneijder made the perfect pass during the WC final against Spain to Robben and he failed.

    This is probably the last game for this generation of supremely talented attacking players. If they lose this game, it’s probably over for them. It’s hard to imagine this same group of RVP/Hunter/Sneijder/Robben/VDV will all be together again at the 2014 WC. Some of them could be injured, we could have better options to replace them or they maybe out of shape, a new coach if BVM resigns would try something new, who knows whatelse.

    This is their time. They are at their prime. They are all relatively healthy and they are together. Life doesn’t always give you multiple chances. We have one shot on Wednesday, let’s give it our best. We still have destiny in our hands. We win both games and we go thru. Simple as that.

  79. a few things…

    a) Sneijder should be the team captain. he is the voice of the team and the engine of the dutch machine. Bommel is too old to contain young midfielders. i can’t believe he won’t retire after this tourney…

    b) schaars needs to start in place of jetro. jetro had a good game but we need more defense as SamDC pointed out.

    c) Gio is sorely missed as well.

    d) if we play OUR game on wed against germany and control the tempo we can win. we do need a bit of a shakeup.

    e) 29 shots do not count as legitimate shots if they aren’t on goal. however, V persie and Hunter’s big misses rank higher than the 29 shots that weren’t.

  80. I think at this point what our players need more than anything is confidence. Confidence that they can beat Germany in one important game and keep the dream alive. Motivation to bring out the belief in them.

    That is what BVM needs to do more than anything. Make them believe that it can be done. Be a leader. This is not the time for fingerpointing and negativity. Make them watch “Braveheart” or something. I don’t know…whatever works

    I don’t think they need more practice or more tactics. I’m sure their mind and body are fine. It’s their spirit, their inner soul that needs to be lifted up.

    They have the talent to do it and they have one more chance at redemption. 30 years from now they will look back at this game and tell stories of how they turned around adversity into triumph.

  81. IMO, this is the best discussion yet on Jan’s sites: Something was badly wrong on a wonderful squad, and this site has a lot of keen thoughts.

    Is David Winner around? I’d love to know how he see this in the long march of Dutch disappointments.

    For me, Nigel de Jong’s impotence seemed like part of a morality play. Our first big tournament match after the cleats-to-the-chest. Ugh.

    Love the idea of bringing Robben into the match late. Guaranteed to cause panic.

  82. it would be better to deploy huntelaar front and let play van persie as a shadow striker behind him.. u need to have robben and affeley on the wings and push sneijder a bit on the half, and drop de jong / or make play both van persie and sneijder behind huntelaar. and on the extreme wings have affeley and robben.. u need to drop a player from behind, if u need to win the next game..

  83. Think that Jetro playing ok and no need to replace… but in front have to play Hunter and Persie together… to break Germany walls… have to wait a miracle to conquer Germany and Portugal…

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