RIP Johan Cruyff: the founder of modern football

Still flustered by Johan’s passing. Expect more posts in the coming weeks… Also. leave questions about him or requests for topics….

“Johan Cruyff is, pound for pound, the most important man in the history of football”. In his 2011 book,Barça: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, Hunter writes, “If the 175,000 FC Barcelona members (or socios) queued up in an orderly line, night after night,to massage his tired feet, cook his dinner and tuck him into bed; if they carried his golf clubs round Montanyá’s hilly 18 holes; if they devoted 50 per cent of their annual salary to him… it still wouldn’t be near enough to repay the debt those who love this club owe Johan Cruyff”, adding, “If he had not installed a culture, a philosophy at the Nou Camp, then Lionel Messi would have been rejected and sent home as an underdeveloped 13-year-old kid. Andrés Iniesta wouldn’t have been selected.

johan wijst

Cruyff doing what he does best: leading the way!

People die. We all know this. We can even prepare for it. But when people close to you pass, it always hurts. It leaves an emptiness or a feeling of “if only…”. Sometimes, icons though. People whom we might not even know on a personal level, but people who made an impact on our lives… From historical / biblical figures (Jesus) to cultural and political icons, such as Elvis, John Lennon, JFK and more recently David Bowie. These people resonated with us for their work and legacy, but also for what they stood for….

Johan Cruyff passed away a couple of days ago. For the average football fans around the world, it will have a short impact. For Oranje, Ajax and Barcelona fans, it will have a similar impact to Lennon or Elvis dying.

With the death of Cruyff, we lose a man who changed football for ever. A man who brought us a football revolution on and off the pitch. Who dazzled as a player, innovated as a coach, confused as a speaker and analyst and worked tirelessly for the sports after “retiring”, as the founding principal of the Cruyff Foundation and Cruyff University.

JC lacht

Football fans the world over are indebted to what he was able to bring to football in general, Ajax and Barca as clubs and Dutch football as a whole. And not to forget his contributions to language, both in Holland and in Spain….

Cruyff was controversial from the first minutes he entered the public frame, with his delicate build, his intelligent play and his influential personality.

young JC Ajax

As a 17 year old in Ajax 1, when Ajax was battling relegation….

In the 1960s, he made his debut in Ajax 1 as a 17 year old in an away game in Groningen. Ajax lost, but like man talents after him, he scored in his debut game. In a team full of strong, manly, robust players, the young gazelle like forward held his own. Sure, opponents wanted to tackle him, but he had a sixth sense knowing when the tackle game and he graciously jumped over the razorblade legs to pursue his quest for goals.

He made the #14 his own and ever since that jersey number will be linked to Cruyff, like the #10 belongs to players like Pele, Van Hanegem, Maradona and Messi and the #7 will be synominous to the likes of Best, C Ronaldo, Cantona and Beckham. Hopefully, we might add Memphis to this list in 10 years time as well.

JC senior Ajax

Amongst personalities like Sjaak Swart, Piet Keizer and Velibor Vasovic, Cruyff would be leading, gesticulating and coaching as if he was a veteran and he lead Ajax to world success and Oranje and the world to Total Football.

A firebrand and trailblazer alike, he would lead football on the pitch, becoming the first false striker, using the time and space like Einstein would in physics but also off the pitch. The first to challenge the national football federations inspiring the birth of a football union for players and demanding fair pay for international games and things like insurance policies for players when playing for their country.

He established record after record as a player, and would become the most expensive player on the planet when leaving Ajax to play for Barcelona. Once in the downtrodden team of – by then – coach Rinus Michels, Johan would inspire and lead the team from a losing 4th position in La Liga to the first title in decades, topping it off with an inspired 0-5 win over rivals Real Madrid in the Bernabeu Stadium. Inviting a standing ovation from the Madridista. Only a week before that game, Cruyff reached sainthood status in Catalunya by naming his first son Jordy, after the Catalunyan saint. Cruyff became El Salvador (the saviour) in Spain and would put Barcelona on the world stage as a club.

JC barca

El Salvador, El Flaco

By then, Cruyff is European football royalty. His successes at Ajax (two European cups – Ajax would win the third on the trot without him) and the success year at Barca made sure of that. But the World Cup 1974 in West Germany would make him a global star. Total Football rocked the planet. Left full backs playing left winger. Right wingers becoming strikers, box to box midfielders and a midfielder playing like a midfielder as sweeper while the goalie would act as sweeper when the actual sweeper was pushing up in midfield. The world saw football history being made in front of them – in full colour – with Johan Cruyff as the leader.

JC WC 74 pingel

The most famous WC1974 dribble ending in a spot kick

He would win the Ballon D’Or three times (1971, ’73 and ’74)

In the 1960s, the Beatles grew their hair and revolutionised a generation, in the 1970s, the long haired Oranje players did it for football and sports in general.

Life in Spain became harder for Cruyff as he became a real super star and his life became more and more public. He lost a fortune in some hairbrain investment scheme and he and wife Danny were held up at gun point in their own home at some stage, by a burglar. As if dribbling past 4 defenders, Cruyff knew to escape and alerted the neighbours who called the police. This incident was the cause for Cruyff not traveling to the WC 1978 in Argentina and for his departure from the crazy football world in Spain to the anonymity of American soccer.  Coach Michels left to coach the LA Aztecs and Cruyff decided to join him, to invigorate American soccer and pick up a nice paycheck in the autumn of his career. He’d play for the Washington Diplomats as well, but outspoken Cruyff would never feel like a true diplomat… 

JC LA Aztecs

JC’s LA Story

He was quite clear when he returned to Europe, that he’d wanted to play some extra seasons to make up financially for the money he lost in investments. Spanish club Llevante announced his signing to shock from the world, but injuries kept Cruyff sidelined a lot. AC Milan made a move for JC but the battleworn striker couldn’t pass the medical so all that was left from that adventure is a rare pic of Cruyff wearing a Milan jersey in a test game.

He decided to move back to Amsterdam and join Ajax as an advisor. When his body was on the mend, he decided to train with the first team. Not much later in November 1981, Johan accepted a “performance contract” to finish the season as a player. His second debut against Haarlem is famous. After a nervy start and a full house loaded with expectant fans, the #14 accelerated past a Haarlem player and on the edge of the box lobbed goalie Edward Metgod. The stadium erupted and since that game, Ajax couldn’t lose anymore. With young talents like Kieft, Olsen and Vanenburg and hard nosed midfielders like Lerby and Schoenaker, Cruyff did it again for Ajax.

JC Leo Ajax

JC pushing Leo out of the coaching role

In 1982, Ajax would in the title and in 1983, Ajax won the double.

When the Ajax board publicly questioned JC’s ability to add a third season the most famous son of the club decided to take matters in his own hands. His Oranje colleague Van Hanegem invited Cruyff to his farewell game in Rotterdam. In a Feyenoord jersey, Cruyff played with #10 and scored a goal in a full De Kuip stadium. That day, Cruyff signed for Feyenoord. Despite losing 2-8 early in the season against his Ajax, Cruyff would steer Feyenoord to a massive title win, and winning the national cup. His revenge was complete.

He always said he’d take up coaching after his active playing career and the only two clubs he’d want to coach were Ajax and Barcelona. He also had ambitions to coach Oranje to their first World Cup, but the Dutch federation, with which he had a love-hate relationship blocked his appointment on three occasions. In 1990, the players voted for Cruyff, but Michels ignored their plea and signed Leo Beenhakker. The 1990 World Cup in Italy would become one of Oranje’s biggest disasters. In 1994, the KNVB felt Cruyff was to dominant with his conditions (Cruyff wanted to appoint his own coaching staff) and went with Dick Advocaat. Every big tournament since, Cruyff was the popular candidate to take on the national team but the federation always knew better. In 2002, another debacle ensued when JC’s rival Louis van Gaal failed to qualify for the World Cup in Japan/South Korea.

JC Coach Ajax

Cruyff made an impression as Ajax coach. Going against the grain of football, he fielded a team of youngsters and forced them to play 3-4-3 in every game. The young team played attractive and scored a lot of goals, but also conceded many as a result of Cruyff’s risky playing style. The headstrong coach decided that this was part of the process and that losing and playing under pressure would teach the young talents what was really needed in the top. This revolutionary approach won Ajax the European Cup II but PSV was the dominant team in the league. Still, he laid the foundation with a playing style that would lead to Van Gaal’s Ajax dominating Europe later on. Two fast full backs, a good build up player as the libero and a sweeper who’d push on to become a fourth midfielder. Cruyff would use two all-round midfielders who’d tackle, run, pass and penetrate and an offensive midfielder who’d join the striker in attack. Obviously, Cruyff used two winger who were instructed to “hug the line”. In that period, icons like Ronald Koeman, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Gerald Vanenburg, John van ‘t Schip and Jan Wouters would make their way to the top.

But it didn’t go without casualties. Famously, young talents like Van Basten, Vanenburg and Rijkaard would feel the wrath of their coach when they were too complacent, leading to Rijkaard’s departure from the club, who walked out of practice, never to return. Via Real Zaragoza, Rijkaard would find his way to AC Milan where he conquered the world alongside Gullit and Van Basten.

Another conflict with Ajax’ board resulted in Cruyff’s demise at Ajax. Next stop: Barcelona.

JC coach Barca

Coaching Barca, with son Jordy and Ronald Koeman

With the work he’d done in revolutionising the Ajax academy, Cruyff went to Catalunya to give Barca a make-over. With Carlos Rexach and Tonny Bruins Slot as his assistants, Cruyff moulded his dream team together. He won four league titles in a row and brought the first European title to Barcelona, beating Sampdoria at Wembley (with the Koeman winning goal). A young Pep Guardiola was brought from the junior Barca team to the first team, after Cruyff went to scout a different player. The lanky and physically wanting Guardiola caught Cruyff’s eye and the shy youngster would not only become the “dreh-und-angel punkt” in the Dream Team but would evolve into Barca’s most successful coach ever, in the image of his mentor. Another Cruyff protege, Frank Rijkaard, would lay the groundwork for Pep’s work with the Blaugranas. Guardiola: “Johan painted the Sistine Chapel, and Frank Rijkaard restored it…”

In his last two seasons, under chair Nunez, Cruyff failed to win trophies and was unceremoniously sacked.

Despite not having formal relations with both Ajax and Barca (and Oranje), Cruyff would remain incredibly influential for all these teams. His advice, his public columns, his mentoring would have lasting impact on the culture and playing style of these teams, while indirectly influencing clubs like Feynoord, Arsenal and Liverpool via their coaches or the work done in the youth academies.

JC Feyenoord ben

Who would have guessed: JC winning over The Legion of Feyenoord and winning trophies

Feyenoord’s youth academy was revamped under the management of Wim Jansen and Stanley Brard. The former knows as Mr Feyenoord. Playing in Oranje’s 1974 midfield and a close friend of JC. The latter made sure Jansen would play for Ajax in the autumn of his career alongside a young Frank Rijkaard. Stanley Brard is not only Jansen’s son in law but also the much criticized left winger for Feyenoord when JC lead them to success in 1984. The former full back was used as winger to cover for Cruyff and made sure the team was balanced. Brard and Jansen were architects of the Feyenoord academy developing players like Cabral, Wijnaldum, Fer, De Vrij, Martins Indi and Clasie.

Pele JC

Two greats of the game, Pele and Cruyffie

The last big project Cruyff took on, apart from his Foundation and University, which helped athletes study in an modified format for their career after sports, was the Velvet Ajax revolution. A project that sadly failed.

The Ajax culture was diminishing in Jopie’s eyes and he wanted to bring a new structure, new governance and new operational management under ex-Ajax players. The plans were solid, the personnel looked the real deal, but the egos and the lack of leadership – Cruyff was not operationally involved – allowed this project to fail miserably.

JC analysis Guus

Working as an analyst with his golf buddy Hiddink

Sure, Frank de Boer won 4 titles on the trot and may well win another one this season, but internationally Ajax failed. The development of youth players at Ajax is not a success either, with current players like Milik, Sinkgraven, Younes, Gudelj, Viergever, Bazoer and Van der Hoorn all signed from other clubs.

In 2011, the Ajax’ board tried to break Cruyff’s influence by appointing Louis van Gaal as CEO behind his back. Cruyff, supported by proteges Jonk, Bergkamp, Winter, Overmars, sued the club for obstruction and asked the court to overturn the decision to sign Van Gaal. Cruyff won the case.

From Wikipedia too good to try and improve on it, so here’s a copy

Ajax, Feyenoord and FC Barcelona, where Cruyff spent the majority of his career, maintain his football philosophy. La Masia, Barça’s youth academy, was the brainchild of Cruyff. In 1979 he wanted to establish a copy of the Ajax Academy in Barcelona. His proposal was accepted by president Josep Núñez. He established a unique model at La Masia where the youth players could grow up and have a better chance to be part of the senior team, as they would already be accustomed to the style of play. The style of play Cruyff introduced at Barcelona came to be known as tiki taka – characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession—which was adopted by the Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012 winning Spain national football team.

JC dribble barca

El Salvador giving Catalunya pride after Franco’s tyrannic reign

Cruyff’s style of play and his coaching philosophy have significantly influenced the football career of many players and managers, notably Pep Guardiola. Guardiola, the manager of Barcelona between 2008 to 2012, stated: “Throughout my career I’ve simply tried to instil what I learned from Johan Cruyff. He has had the biggest influence on football out of anyone in the world, first as a player and then as a coach. He taught me a lot and you can see that in the fact that so many of his former players are now coaches”. Guardiola added, “Johan Cruyff built the cathedral, our job is to maintain and renovate it.” According to Xavi, the Barcelona and Spain midfielder at the heart of tiki-taka style of play: “Our model was imposed by [Johan] Cruyff; it’s an Ajax model. It’s all about rondos [piggy in the middle]. Rondo, rondo, rondo.”


The Germany national football team that won the 2014 World Cup had deep Cruyffian (and Guardiola) influences. After leaving Barcelona, Guardiola implanted the Cruyffian vision at Bayern Munich. Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who completed more passes at the 2014 World Cup than Messi did, incarnates the goalkeeper whom Cruyff dreamt up in the 1960s and 1970s: a footballer in gloves. It had always bothered Cruyff that goalkeepers just stopped shots. It was a waste of a player, Cruyff thought. He wanted a goalkeeper who could also get involved in the passing. Thus the goalkeeper effectively becomes the eleventh player, like Edwin van der Sar (at Ajax) or Victor Valdes (at Barcelona).

diego JC

Diego called JC “El Flaco”, the thin one…

Referring to the influence of his style of play at Ajax, Barcelona (“dream team“), and with the Netherlands (“total football“), in addition to the 200 Cruyff courts he set up around the world for kids to hone their skills, football journalist Graham Hunter states, “Johan Cruyff is, pound for pound, the most important man in the history of football”. In his 2011 book,Barça: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, Hunter writes, “If the 175,000 FC Barcelona members (or socios) queued up in an orderly line, night after night, to massage his tired feet, cook his dinner and tuck him into bed; if they carried his golf clubs round Montanyá’s hilly 18 holes; if they devoted 50 per cent of their annual salary to him… it still wouldn’t be near enough to repay the debt those who love this club owe Johan Cruyff”, adding, “If he had not installed a culture, a philosophy at the Nou Camp, then Lionel Messi would have been rejected and sent home as an underdeveloped 13-year-old kid. Andrés Iniesta wouldn’t have been selected.” Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling, the author of the first full-length biography of Cruyff in German (Der König und sein Spiel: Johan Cruyff und der Weltfußball), concluded that the Dutchman was the single most influential figure in football history, as no one made a bigger overall impact as a player and manager.

Johan Cruyff, Rest in Peace. He will be missed but his legend lives on…..


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  1. A great tribute to a great man. RIP I guess. During my young days there was only 2 names that use be very popular Pele and Maradona but then again that was back in the days when the techonolgy was still in its early stages.
    Just to add on.
    U21s also won vs Norway 1-0. Was expecting Kevin Diks to feature there but it was Han Hateboer who started the game.again don’t see anything done which will boost the NT in future.jus don’t know what will happen to players like van Aken, St Juste, Diks,Sinkgraven,Achahbar.

  2. watched the video clips..Johan Cruyff really a football artist..played the game so beautifully.

    Btw, watched the game against France.
    Actually saw a number of nice passage of plays in the Dutch game. Also a lot of passes forward to probe the opponents. At least the play is purposeful.

    Van Dijk, Bruma were woeful I think. Looked confused in 5-3-2.
    Clasie wasn’t active in breaking up the play and imposed his presence. Too passive. Same when he played for Southampton.
    Luuk is no national material.

    1. Southampton conceds in every game they play..i dont trust virjil van dijk…Bruma is better when he plays with veltman,devrij…or raidwald or Reikik…if give Ake ,hendrix as DM then its reach perfection or even stijn schaars..

  3. without the raw sentiment and emotion and obviously this may have been too soon to ask this, just purely on footballing terms, was Cruyff as good as Robben was in this generation (keeping in mind the standard of defenders/tactics + standard of teammates)

    1. I think it is quite clear that JC was the best player ever, but maybe not the best individual player. When JC played, there was more space and time. The JC of then would not have it easy now. So Robben and Messi are probably quicker in handling now then JC was back then.

      But if JC was born 40 years later, he would have adapted to the pace and still be sensational.

      But he is the Best Ever due to his tactical vision, leadership and the fact that he directed the whole team. Robben focuses on Robben. Messi is a bit more a team player now, but JC was coach, director, conductor and star… He changed the game. I don’t think in 30 years we’ll say that Robben or Messi changed the game.

      It’s like with The Beatles. Hendrix was better than Harrison, Bill Bruford better than Ringo. Etc… But The Beatles laid the foundation for all! Same with JC.

  4. I was just comparing performance of Dele ali and MEMphis shitpay….the difference is so huge…it would be acid test for dutch defense if they feild Kane,vardy and dele ali,,,just cannt wait…
    B/w Daley blind is injured…i dont want Virjil as starter…

  5. Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will miss his side’s friendly with England on Tuesday after breaking his nose in a training session.

    The goalkeeper suffered the injury in a collision with striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and will play no part in the game at Wembley as a result.

    Netherlands coach Danny Blind will now have to choose between Kenneth Vermeer and Jeroen Zoet.

    Who would you back guys. I’d pick Vermeer all day long!

  6. So Sneijder out, Cillessen out, Klaassen out. Blind also injured his hamstring, severity unknown.
    Vorm and van Ginkel have been called up.

    Not good news, I would never wish injuries on people because that is the lowest class, but silver lining is that none of them should start v England anyways IMO

  7. Van ginkel,vorm called up

    can we see

  8. Elsewhere some positives…

    Netherlands U17’s beat Slovakia 2-0 in a Euro qualifier today, Donyell Malen and Dylan Vente scored.

    Also Netherlands U19 win 1-0 over Northern Ireland U19. Some great moments from Nouri (8) and Bergwijn (7) .. here are some highlights:

  9. When and if we Are Lucky and there Are no injuries then this would be my favourite team and I think the team with the most possible quality we have!!
    Janmaat——Bruma–de vrij—-willems
    4-2-3-1 because the 5-3-2 is proving to be a failure with Danny blind and 4-3-3 is leaving the defense very unprotected!!

    1. this is very strong team.can be world beaters…Kevin diks can replace janmaat,as this guy has got speed and pace….which we needed at back line…
      Strootman and dverij needs another 6 months to reach top level…Hope all stays injury free..

  10. @ Alaa I think it’s still too early to pounce on your lineup. I mean you look at players like
    Ruud Vormeer (27),Tjaronn Chery (27),Alex Buttner (27).you give them just one chance they will re



    Buttner- Van Dijk/Hoedt-Bruma/De Vrij-

    1. Omit the above please. Couldn’t finish it.
      But All the three players I have mentioned have good individuals abilities than those who are choking now and have been on European scene for quite some time now. Except for Chery who is has played there while at Groningen and now is making his way up in championship. He is certainly way better than Klaassen whom Napoli wanted to offer 25 mills. Just give them one chance and you will see how they will prove the book markers wrong and also put and end to this so called Ajax revolution (free pass)in NT. Get those Fuckers out from there and put those who deserves to be there.
      Start the clean up from right on top. They have become so fucken blind and ignorant that they even are not taking heed from Belgium who have surpassed them with just dust to smell.



      Buttner- van Dijk-Bruma- janmaat

      I will only bracket strootman, here and also I’m not big fan of de Vrij.

  11. I read somewhere in the news that huntelaar complained to blind that he was always second to persie and now he is second to the young new strikers and based on that complaint blind decided to start with him against England!!!!

    It is amazing (if true, am not sure about the story), but this adds one more bad quality to blind as a manager which is being afraid of “star” players and starting them only because they complained!!! Reminds me of euro 2012 when van marwijk was scared of his big names and with sneijder being below average but still starting and we all remember the results in 2012!!!

    I can’t but remember and worship van gaal for how he didn’t care about any of the big names in 2014 and how he made them fight for their place and how he made sneijder go get that boxer to train him to lose the extra weight or otherwise he wouldn’t have travelled with the team!!!

    And if the huntelaar story is true it makes u wonder why this guy thinks he needs to start??? He is playing like shit this year and he seems also to be done just like van persie!!! So where is he getting all this confidence from to ask for a starting place ??? Disgusting really!!

    1. Alaa,Huntlaar can be forgiven in this case,its sympathy of Blind could have done it for hunter..Even when RVP is playing bad Hunter was second choice…Now he has to be coz he plays like shit now and following the footsteps of RVP..
      Let him play one game and its best to forget him and Snijder i would say Roben is also injured all the time,so its better to forget Roben too…Blind must understand that there is LIFE after Hunter,Sneijder and Roben..
      IF LVG didnt dropped some players we would have sucked in WCQ2014 itself..

      1. Again don’t write him off,we have seen how hardworking he can be and how lethal he can be infront of goal. You just have to know how to use him effectively.

          1. I would love to see more of Janssen but since we have no motivation against what will be a rampant England, its best to prevent scarring the youth…and give Hunterlaar his fair do’s

  12. RIP Johan Cruyff. When I read the news I was shocked.It is very sad. He gave so much to the world of football he will be remembered forever!!!.

    It’s a shame he was never the Oranje coach.

  13. Now about the England game it is very hard for Blind with so many injuries. It’s no excuse because he has lost too many games but we’ve to agree that he hasn’t had the best of lucks.

    Now I’d like the following line up:






    *Wijnaldum playing the #10 role with freedom to attack.

    1. Given the English midfield won’t be as rugged as the could go with that midfield trio. When you playing with huntelaar you need wingers, if not wing backs. Karsdrop at RB.

      I would put veltman at DM and replace bazoer with Clasie.


      Clasie – Van Ginkel


    2. Clasie was one of the worst layers vs france….he completely out played by french…it was bazoer who kept us alive in mid ..klassen and clasie were the worst players we had with vrijil vandijk..

      1. Clasie has always been mediocre…a lot of people called for him without actually watching him play much just because he is an ideal dutch son in law and his name seems to suggest that he is “Classy”. He really isn’t.

  14. @Wilson: I agree when you play with Huntelaar he needs wingers. Yes I haven’t watched Karsdrop and Janssen play that’s why I didn’t put them on my line up but if they are good that’s great news!. We need a new center forward. What do you guys think about Locadia can he be Oranje material?.

    I also’d like Blind to play Van Aanholt at least 45′. He can be a good weapon. Imagine having Willems and Van Aanholt playing in the same wing! they would drive defenders crazy!

    1. Down the road, I like Alaa’s lineup. Though I wouldn’t write Huntelaar off just yet, and depending on how he develops, Tete for right back.

      For tomorrow, I’d like to see Vermeer in goal, Bazoer start.

  15. We can debate alternative line-ups of current mediocre players endlessly, but if want to revitalize Dutch football, we have to do so from the ground up. With all of the great Johan Cruyff retrospectives we’ve read recently (including Jan’s), there has never been a time in which this should be more obvious! In Jan’s own words:

    “Cruyff made an impression as Ajax coach. Going against the grain of football, he fielded a team of youngsters and forced them to play 3-4-3 in every game. The young team played attractive and scored a lot of goals, but also conceded many as a result of Cruyff’s risky playing style. The headstrong coach decided that this was part of the process and that losing and playing under pressure would teach the young talents what was really needed in the top…. [H]e laid the foundation with a playing style that would lead to Van Gaal’s Ajax dominating Europe later on…. In that period, icons like Ronald Koeman, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Gerald Vanenburg, John van ‘t Schip and Jan Wouters would make their way to the top.”

    Identify the best young players, teach them to play an attacking style together, and let them develop together. Be demanding with them but allow them to grow in quality and confidence. Continuing to trot out the same old players with the same old ideas about who they are and how they should play will only yield the same old results.

    We are at a low point for Dutch football domestically and internationally, so why not start fresh now and build again with a new vision?

    Will we lose lots of games? Probably. But will we gain in development and understanding and fresh ideas? Absolutely!

    Cruyff said “Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring.” Right now we have neither. So start building the quality again and the results will follow!

    1. nicely summed up JB, but the problem is Danny Blind is all about himself and not what best for NT. He is jus running his own show with no idea that the ship is sinking.

  16. good to see Grim rotate the squad vs Serbia. Gave Diks his first start. Vermeij score the winner 1-0 for the jong orange. Ake also fetured at DM.Like the menatlity of this coach

    Opstelling Jong Oranje: Jurjus, Diks, Luckassen, Hoedt, Brenet, Hendrix (Aké/86), Haye, Bakker (Ramselaar/70), Ezihibue, Vermeij (Menig/86) en Joosten (Dos Santos/70).

  17. @ Miguel “What do you guys think about Locadia can he be Oranje material?.”

    I think Luuks arrival at PSV was quiet a hindrance to his chances of playing as a CF.hence Cocu shifted him to the wings.yes he the kind of striker who could come handy in 4-4-2 or formation. his defensive game is quiet good as he tracks back very well.

  18. Well, today I read that Danny Blind said that we are in transition and in some time we will be a good team again… the source.

    What a joke. When Holland became a bad team? Some bad results and a failure to qualify for a major tournament is not the end of the world like Holland, England, France and other top teams have experienced in the past.

    Danny Blind has talent…enough talent, very young guys and some experienced players to blend a great Oranje side for the future. But it seems he lacks the movitation factor for his squad, tactical knowledge or implementation of tactics. He might be well as assistant but as the head coach he has really sucked.

    The game vs. England tomorrow is useless. We have a team in a bad row and also so many injuries that I do not expect anything from the team. This game however should not be the end of Danny Blind´s reign.

    I am confident that in the summer where Oranje will have a training camp participating in 3 friendlies (Ireland, Poland and Austria), will define his future. In those 3 games if the team does not get positive results against teams that are going to the Euro but do not have the talent that Holland has now or ever. If in those 3 games the team does not live up to the task then he must be axed just in time for the WC Qualifying campaign.

    In the future we could see a line up like this that could be very powerful if well coached.

    1- Cillessen
    2- Veltman
    3- De Vrij
    4- Blind
    5- Willems
    6- Bazoer
    7- Depay / Promes / El Ghazi
    8- Strootman (badly missed in these 2 years)
    9- Janssen / Huntelaar
    10- Sneijder / Klaassen
    11- Robben

    I do not see a bad team here. Do you guys?

    My coaches to replace Blind if summer camp continues a mess: Koeman, Frank de Boer, Cocu.

    Hup Holland, Hup Cruyff, the inventor of total football along with Rinus Michels!

    I do not see a bad team here

    1. @ Mario….I wouldnt jump the guns just yet because I feel there will be further changes in next friendlies for sure.Right now the teams look medicore but keeping Robben aside will be vital for the team in standing on their own with collective effort .from now on wards Robben should only feature in qualifiers. Also remember there is another transfer window coming in the summer and a lot rumors are pouring in on potential transfer of dutch players. PSV could well get raided as well and you can expect a whole lot of other players pushing for that spot. also remember that both Ajax and PSV will have to go through the qualification rounds to reach CL.

      The question here is what the selectors will use to tag players who deserve the spot. sitting and watching eredivisie and selecting players from TV is a sick joke.

      looking at what is going on, this is what will. this circus will continue until Robben comes and rescues Dannys ass and the KNVB will keep wiping it.Im surprised as being neighbours to Belgium they still haven’t learn t from them.

    1. I totally agree with Mario on this point, at this moment i see that de Boer, Koeman, Cocu, are dominated than Danny at all.

      – de Boer: simply he is intelligent and smart manager.
      – Cocu: he is flexible and know how to win big club with his small team(if you watched PSV vs E. Marid)
      – Koeman: He know how to build strong team with mediocre players.

  19. From last friendly match with France, i can see that only three players showed their confidence and can compare with opposer.Jetro , Virgil, Jasper. We lost that game because of team’s performance for sure but these players are good. At some moment you may still see some minor mistakes from them but in totally their classes are positive.

    – Virgil is the best defender in PL.
    – Jasper is a new Van der Sar.
    – Jetro almost top clubs in europe are scouting him.

        1. wow, i don’t think Daley Blind is better than him, you can say he is more decent than Jetro but in term of confidence, skill and potential to be higher level Jetro is better. DB is the captain because of his diversity and because of Orange’s crisis i think

          1. i was just joking. I meant better than Van Dijk. he is the captain because Danny is the boss and Daley is his son and he is playing for Man United. when will KNVB wake up.

  20. BTW, guys do you use skype we can share it here and maybe some convenient time we can all in group live chat together.

    This is mine lle032006. 🙂 enjoy

  21. Some of the comments made me real laugh…
    Virjil is the best in PL…thats itself say there would be no pl in semis finals in CL.Just because guys is tall and strong…yes offcourse guy is better than BMI..and many…i feel like he very less agile defender,who lacks pace too..LEAKS are guaranteed with him at back..
    Cillessen as new vander sar????thats completely joke…
    Jetro is mightly talented and much better than overarted floppay..infact Manu should have singed Jetro and wijnaldum….

    1. – “Virgil is the best defender in PL”. It’s not only my opinion, people say that you can look at the statistic board how many time he appear in ‘PM’s team of week’. Not because his tall & strong, so many players in PL like but outcome from Virgil is positive & dominated, he can utilize his strength to score and defend, he is also confident with his dribbling if you watch his match you will see no-one can scare him even top striker in PM such as Kane, Sturrige, Vardy, Mahrez, Matial, Rooney etc.

      1. i saw martial toying and schooling him as i follow MANU.Southampton has conceded good number of goal..i am not concenr abt his dribbling and goal scoring ability..i am concerned about alertedness,reading of game,agility and speed,he is poor in many aspects..

        1. Just to refreshen your memorry if incase you have forgotten,Van Dijk is under the koemans Umbrella.the rest I will leave it to you to figure out.

        2. TIJU1234, i think if you watch Southampton regulary in PL it’s very easy to realize Virgil is very good at ‘reading of game’, that’s why he know how to choose 1 good position to score & many times i see his guess is very good to stop the pass from opposer’s midfielder to striker. ‘Agility and Speed’ is really a point of his weakness because his tall but no-one is perfect for all of views so if we combine him with another defender that can help him to less that then great i think.

  22. if Blind has balls.if wants t see a good team then…he must start with

  23. Starting XI: Zoet, Willems, Blind, Bruma, Veltman, Afellay, Bazoer, Wijnaldum, Depay, Janssen, Promes.
    Depay Sucks….Dele Ali,kane is not playing…i can smell a very good performance from Dutch as No clasie,klassen..but there is weaklinks such as Afellay and Depay..if Afellay play as LW he should be good..or better than Floppay

  24. Depay is a good player but his attitude is frustrating he thinks he is already a star when actually he has a lot to prove.

    If he plays focused he can be great. It’s frustrating because he feels he is a star but at the same time he lacks confidence.

    1. Oops.Silly mistake: Lineup on said WILLEM Janssen.

      Jeroen Zoet (G)
      Jeffrey Bruma
      Daley Blind
      Jetro Willems
      Joel Veltman
      Quincy Promes
      Ibrahim Afellay
      22. Willem Janssen
      Georginio Wijnaldum
      Memphis Depay
      Riechedly Bazoer

  25. Depth at the attacking positions is definitely not a strength right now. Narsingh is really not the guy you want as your first attacker off the bench.

  26. Why is Veltman playing as Left back?

    Virgil van Dijk sucks…. the whole team sucks…

    If you don’t know how to dribble, you pass…
    If you don’t know how to pass, you hustle…
    If you don’t know how to hustle, you tackle…
    If you don’t know how to tackle, you organize…

    This team can’t do any of the above.. it is embarrassing.

  27. we won how…Janssen,blind,veltman were excellent..bruma,bazoer were good to..
    its really funny to watch Narsingh and Afellay both needs hours time to think were to pass…they can kill of any counter attack initiated by any other intelligent dutch player..

  28. Well we were a team with an injury crisis. Therefore it was a good result…result. Because our performance was not good. Blind wanted to counter attack and it worked out well but they really dominated us I am still shocked that we won because we didn’t deserve it at all but I am happy that we finally won!.

    Van Aanholt was good when he came on. Blind should give him more minutes. He can be a left midfielder-winger.

    1. Except Roben injury none of the injury was Affecting us.infact we won because of it..i am not talking about long term absensce Devrij and strootman…

  29. We have plenty of good players Blind has to take advantage of the summer camp to make a good team, prepare them for the WC qualifiers and install a winning mentality into the team.

    I am not satisfied with tonight’s performance but we had so many injuries that gives me a positive feeling. To win at Wembley is always a good feeling.

  30. I am so proud of Vincent. He is very humble guy and at the same time hard worker. I watch him every week when my AZ play and get amazed how much work load he carries out every match! Netherlands have not had such a striker after RvN. I am not worried about Vincent getting star disease, but I really want him to stay in AZ Alkmaar as long as possible and by no means to go Ajax as he will not get anything new in Amsterdam.

  31. Danny should give more chances to these players:
    – Zoet
    – Virgil
    – Bazoer
    – Promes
    – Propper
    – Jannsen
    – El Ghazi
    – Kishna
    – de Roon
    – Fosu-Mesa
    – Strootman
    – Hendrix
    – Hoedt
    – Anke
    Utilize others if they are in form as bellow
    – de Vrij
    – van der Wiel
    – Martins Indi
    – Leroy Fer
    – Depay
    Forget old men: Hunter, Sneijder, Robben, Vlaar, Persie

  32. @Ruud1984: how can you say forget Robben, Sneijder, RVP. Come on are you really serious? because I haven’t seen a Dutch talent with the 10% of Robben, Sneijder or RVP’s abilities.

    Did you watch the 1st leg pf Juve vs Bayern? well Robben if injury free is still a machine.

    1. @Miguel…i suggest u to watch games of dutch players regularly…I am still a big fan of RVP…He is playing real crap,slow,sluggish withzero workrate…basically he is done and sitting in bench of fenerbache…Ditto goes with vaart…
      Sneijder is the only one senior pleyer who plays regular football,still his workrate is poor and he is also showing flashes only.common 32 is almost retirement age of football player..
      Roben is on treatment table for long time,he will come inbetween and will play a game then again injured..he is the only one senior player who is capable of playiing top level when fit…Rest needs to be respected and should retire…
      Then Again Roben case we cannt trust or build a team arround 32 year old injury prone player.we need to find soln and we need to emulate bayern formula how well they replaced with Koman and Costa for Roben..
      Absence of Roben can be easily covered with collection of intelligent players who puts teams first…
      Can u name a WC2014 wiinning german player with Roebns skills??or RVP skills????
      Common man there is life After Roben and RVP…look forward and move forward…
      But defintly moving with BMI,weil,Depay,Afellay,Hunter,Narsingh is really crap..and stupidity..

      1. TIJU1234, (Y)

        @Miguel, i admit that RVP, Wes, Robben even Van der Vaart are our talents, but like TIJU1234 so many reasons and because their old days we should build new team shouldn’t just rely on them , you can see now Bayer Munchen just try to utilize Robben as much as possible but they give so many chances to Coman, Costa. that’s way Germany ‘s doing but Our orange not ready for that.

  33. BIG WIN!

    That´s what Oranje needs now. Playing nice will become latter. I am positive about the future, always will be.

    I remark that I still have my doubts about Blind. He seems determined to make his Oranje a great team but he inherited a mess from Hidding and perhaps he did even worse because he did not have any kind of experience in such a tough environment and situation and that is why we are out of the Euros.

    Since he took the reigns he has had key players injured in every single game. England´s game was not an exception. I think that if the best players are fit and he keeps calm, installs a winning mentality, blends the your guns with the veterans, the team will become that…a team!

    I will not write off Van Persie and Sneijder although both will have to fight strongly with the likes or Janssen, de Jong, Wijnaldum, Klaassen.

    Arjen Robben is another topic…I am sure that he will not have the tank to play every game for Oranje and that he has had many injuries recently and during his career. But when top games and qualifying matches are under way, he has to be. He has 2 or 3 years more of good level, perhaps he will not be as fast as in 2014 or 2010, but he still has speed and nowadays his football intelligence and leadership will help a lot.

    Another player that we miss a lot is Kevin Strootman. The reason why Oranje had to implement the 5-3-2 system at the WC was the absence of this man and when he was gone in the qualifying process for Euro 2016 in a 4-3-3 system the midfield melted and defenders were exposed. It is not like we don´t have a good defence, but if your midfield does not cover the back four, it is impossible to win. Oranje needs players of Van Bommel, Davids, De Jong never die and over my dead body mentality. Strootman has it.

    Said all this, I haven´t seen a lot of this Vincent Janssen. But boy, does he have balls. Playing in Wembley in his first start for Oranje and converting the penalty as a master and then his ferocity to recover the ball and deliver it to Narsingh.

    I am very happy Oranje won. Beautiful to see how all Wembley applauded at the 14 min of te game for JOHAN. Mark my words: With Danny Blind or without him, Dutch football will stay strong and the National team at a senior level will win silverware in less than a decade.

    It can´t go wrong when Van Basten, Ruud VN, De Boer, Cocu, Koeman, Bergkamp, Jonk, Van Bronckhorst, Danny Blind, Van der Sar, Overmars and many Dutch ex stars are involved in the game for Dutch clubs in managerial of coaching roles. The Dutch National team is well alive, Johan Cruyff tradition and legacy is very alive and the ORANJE will reclaim his spot very soon. Not going to the Euros is better than making a mess in the tournament. The new talents Oranje is producing make me very confindent.

    Hup Holland and hup Cruyff!

  34. I also think Oranje should return to a 4-2-3-1 system. I think today they played some phases like that. That system protects more the defence and allows the offensive mids to explode and also counter attack.

    1- Cillessen or Zoet
    2- Veltman / back ups Tete and Janmaat
    3- De Vrij / back up Bruma
    4- Blind / back up Van Dijk or Rekik-Kongolo
    5- Willems / back up Van Annholt-Pieters

    6- Bazoer / back up Clasie
    8- Strootman / back up Propper or Hendrix


    7- Depay or Promes (depending on form)
    10- Sneijder – Klaassen – Wijnaldum (the one that is in better shape/form: NUMBER 10 IS OPEN TO GRAB IT FOR THEM OR A NEWCOMER.
    11- Robben / back up can switch with Promes or Depay because as seen today, these last two can play together in each wing and let´s see what El Ghazi and Kishna have to say


    9- Janssen…let´s wait and see AND HOPE HE CAN MATURE AS A TOP PLAYER LIKE VAN NISTELROOY / BACK UPS Huntelaar – Persie – De Jong and Bas Dost…what happened to Castaignos??

  35. Hah wow did not expect a win.
    Happy if the result can give some confidence and swagger, but not happy if it means we see Oranje sitting deep like that and inviting so much possession, even if it’s not really all that dominating. Some say it was a B squad for them, but I don’t think it’s exactly our A squad either. Also strange hear people hoping for a loss, but it’s not as if they would sack Blind now if they had not before.
    Even though it’s only a friendly, it’s all we have until fall so I was right into it when I finally got home from work.
    Funny from OptaJohan:
    6 – The Netherlands had six shots on target vs England, the most the English conceded on target in a game since the World Cup 2014. Shocked.
    ..And that includes their last 2 matches, wins v Germany and France.

    I liked Zoet, seemed assured. No chance on the goal and basically flawless otherwise. Do not feel that a weird goal may just happen at any moment so actually all of a sudden I prefer him with Krul out.
    Blind and Bruma were very good besides the Vardy goal (but 3 others probably also just as, if not more, guilty on the play), and maybe another moment or two Bruma left Vardy a little too much space. But generally I was glad to see CBs playing well.
    Veltman decent too, but did not offer anything forward. Although I saw Bruma calling him in a couple times and probably good with another strange midfield, so maybe that was part of the (anti) game plan for this game.
    Willems definitely not back to his best yet. Esp once Walcott introduced. Although, why play an attacking LB when you plan to sit tight in your own end? Also he should really stop taking free kicks already.
    I guess van Aanholt is not really a defensive LB either, but PVA did look real good when he came on, def added a spark and for forward well.
    Not a great midfield, was clear none had ever really played together there (or that they weren’t sure if they were man marking or zonal, Danny) found no chemistry and we lacked in possession.
    Regardless I actually liked Bazoer. Great place for a 19 year old, learning his trade at v England at wembley. Was beaten a couple times by Barkley but grew into it and had the edge in the end I think. Has lots to learn of course but great experience.
    Agree with O14 Wijnaldum can be CAM but not a great deep mid. Afellay not as much of an impact as with France at all, but I’m happy if his hands were warm in those stupid gloves.
    van Ginkel ran around a bit anonymously when Blind finally got a sub prepared for inured Bazoer. Clasie no time. Too bad, 433 suits him better, would’ve liked to see Clasie-Bazoer
    though after France match can understand it as Clasie not good, but was also 532 with wing backs not being wing backs, CBs not spreading out, and a poor Klaassen and old Sneijder. But Strootman ever comes back Clasie is utility anyways, seems to be passing on his chance to step up.
    Promes looked good to me, I think he’d have gotten the better of Danny Rose, then again Narsingh even played thru Rose. Sucked he got hurt early.
    Not a big Narsingh fan, but was in the right place to finish that Janssen set up.
    Janssen great and a tribute to hard work and brings a good intensity. Right from the start closing defenders down and causing mistakes. Earned the pk and took advantage of Chubbielka to assist the winner.
    Memphis makes good free kicks (unless he shoots) but otherwise not so good, his Man U form showing here. Should take the cue from Janssen, simplify his game and put some real work into it.

    I hope we can leave 532 alone, especially if we cannot execute it in an attacking manor. Not like we are stopping goals with it anyways, with 14 in the last 7 since Blind took over.
    Not beautiful but for now at the least I’m happy to have all the fellas at footie off my back about all my orange!

    Not to mention the U17s and U19s both qualifying for their ECs today

  36. That’s quite good arrangement @Mario Rosado

    With me, at the moment our Orange not at top level in term of player’s quality however generating of GK, Defender, Central Midfielder, Wings are still acceptable, evidence for this you can see so many rumors for transferring on internet from big clubs to our talents those positions. Cillessen, Zoet, Krul, Willems, Bruma,Pieter, Janmmat,Martins Indi,van Beek, Gouweleeuw, de Vrij, van Dijk, Kongolo, Wiel, Fosu-Mesa, Tete, Riedewald, Bazoer,Propper, Fer, de Roon, Hendrix,Promes, Depay, El Ghazi, Kishna. They are almost potential & can be improve more, some of them maybe not in form but still young and hope they able to overcome.

    What we are lacking is striker & attacker. We dont have any decent scorer like Kluivert, RVN, van Hooijdonk, Hassenbank(so we should try to motivate Janssen and maybe soon future is Donn Mallen). Klassen & Wijnaldum can play well but seem like hard to reach level of Sneijder & Vaart.

    1. Nice goals but we need to see more of him, reminds me of Depay!
      @jan – nice article on Johan, he will be missed, my uncle passed away a day later in Holland (90 years old) it was a very tough week for my dad who grew up watching Johan ( same name as dad) and losing his brother at the same time.
      But I’m happy we won today, it’s the best Dutch news in a long time from a football stand point!
      Hup Holland

    2. I like Chery, but anonymous this season except decent recent form. Has only played 90 one time since November.. at 27 now I wouldn’t expect much more from him.

      Where do you like him best, LW or CAM?

      Also he has been selected since those goals, so I guess he was noticed 😉
      Couldn’t show his class in training to earn a starting place, it seems.

  37. wow, @Wilson it’s five best goals & came from dutch league , it doesn’t mean anything almost our players qualified that even mediocre boys such as Jean-Paul Boëtius, Ola John, Vilhena, etc you can research on youtube.:)

  38. anyone noticed???No virjil van dijk we had better defense…am i the only one seeing it??
    Like wise play Annholt we will have lethal LW not crap Floppay who haszero speed..

  39. @TIJU1234: I agree RVP has to be dropped! because he has even been benched some games but Sneijder should be selected along with Huntelaar and Robben.

    Robben is our Messi well I even rate him better than Messi but that’s just my opinion. Blind should talk to Sneijder and Huntelaar and let them know they’ve to improve in order to play and that they have a bigger role now. They have to teach youngsters how to be winners and make them feel hungry, lead the team.

      1. I don’t care if he plays only one game or if he hasn’t played at all I’d call him as soon as the doctor tells him he can play again.

  40. I am a huge dutch fan but i am also realist. After watching those 2 games, i am convince that we may not be going to Russia 2018 unless a miracle happen concidering the group we are in.

    But the way this kid Bazoer that the media is talking about. If this kid is the future of Dutch Football
    “WE ARE IN DEEP SHIT”……. Maybe somebody can tell me what is role was on the field.

  41. @JB, Thank you for the link.

    What I saw last night was a team that was for the most part on its heels because it never scared England offensively. There was no one in the side who could run at the defense and make them back up, cause them to overload one side, have the vision to make the pass to open up a defense, score a goal out of a half chance in the box. Perhaps they will find that among the generation of Nouri, Bergweijn, Mallen, etc. But it is not there now. (Aside, of course, from Robben.)

  42. there is one player who got totally forgotten..thats Adam Maher,the guy is so good like Roben in small spaces,whcih we are missing now…any one has idea ornage looked world beaters U21 at isreal??
    Ola with Annholt or Naouri
    BMI with daley Blind
    Blind with kongolo
    Vanrhijn with Tete
    u have a very strong team

  43. @ ruud 1984. thats is five best goals,it doesnt mean he only scored 5 goals in eredivisie.

    2014-2015 season – 15 goals (Depay 22 goals)

    by the way whats do mean “almost our players qualified that even mediocre boys such as Jean-Paul Boëtius, Ola John, Vilhena”

    yes agree with Sybe Pals that he got selected, but what the use if you dont play. you look at Janssen, if he would not have started vs England,he wouldnt have come under the spot light. have to give credit to Danny for this,maybe this is the only time he has shown he has big balls.

    either way he is on a rampage at the moment at QPR.lets see how he ends up his first season

  44. the too much hype about bazoer reminds me of maduro!!!
    he played as a starter in wc 2006 and he was only 20 at that time, and every one said he is the next big thing in midfield but he turned out to be nothing!!
    we have hyped many young players over the past ten years and they all turned out to be failures to the point where we dont even have one player in the top european teams!!

  45. Apparently Chelsea wants to swap Andreas Christensen with Nathan Ake at Borussia Monchengladbach with Christensen returning to Chelsea.Liverpool is also eyeing Ake but Chelsea has slapped a 10 million transfer fee on his potential suitors.

  46. @drenthe bad attitude ,no mentor,no guidence…one bad move to plastic money club..
    @MAduro–was intelligent player,good reader of game,man with killer pass..again lack of workethic…
    @Ola bad move to benfica,he is done…
    @babel—-same as maduro,workethic zero..
    Both zuiverloon and Afellay were bit overrated,still tehy are there…
    Bakkal was unlucky..

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