Second best Oranje robbed by Ref

I’m sorry guys, this is the only way I can see it. When you score 1-0 so you can sit back and trust your speedy forwards to finish off the opponent, a penalty for the opponent will definitely change the game. This ref got it wrong. Initially, he made the right call, but the VAR called the ref to the side of the pitch and the nervous guy felt the pressure and decided to go with the VAR and award a penalty.

We can talk for months about Memphis’ form or De Jong’s injury or Koeman’s weaknesses but in a game like this, which was always going to be close, a penalty can be deciding.

So lets recap: the ref made the on field decision that it wasn’t a penalty. If the VAR believes the ref makes a clear and obvious error, they can intervene. Did the ref make a clear and obvious error? No. I listened to the English commentary and they felt it should never have been a pen. Even Neville in studio in England felt it was ridiculous.

Kane didn’t even hit the target and his follow through hit Dumfries. Not the other way around. A real brave ref would have given Oranje the free kick. What is Dumfries supposed to do: nothing? And allow a free shot? He has a right to block and it was Kane who hit him. I have seen players red carded for a follow through like this.

And on top of that: Saka made hands right before the ball came to Kane! The rules are clear: if a player gets the benefit because a team mate made hands in the build up, it needs to be a free kick for the defending team. Didn’t Georgia have a goal disallowed for the same reason??


I believe the ref shouldn’t even be on the pitch as he was found guilty of taking a bribe on a game. Which got him banned for 6 months. 6 months??? Why not for life. He looked very nervous and made a series of odd decisions, mostly against us. I remember situations where Gakpo and Simons knicked the ball off an English player and the ref would call them back. Unreal. On a Veerman free kick, an English defender headed the ball corner, but the ref gave a goal kick. When captain Van Dijk protested this, he got yellow. The skipper was supposedly allowed to talk to the ref, right? Well… wrong!

Now, before you have a go at me: Oranje was second best. We started brightly on the counter and Xavi scored a scorcher in the first 8 minutes. After that, it was all England.

We couldn’t handle their midfielders who looked very alive. Mainoo is amazing, Foden finally came to life and Rice was trying to bully our midfield.

Tactical tweaks

Koeman surprised a bit from the start, with an offensive tactical trick that got us the first goal. He likes to use the box in midfield, but this time around, he decided to do it differently: two wide forwards high up (Gakpo and Malen) and Memphis playing as a 10. Meaning we actually played with three 10s: Reijnders to the left, Simons on the right and Memphis through the middle. This way, Koeman wanted to create an overload versus Rice and Mainoo.

Koeman: “I wanted to shore up the midfield and use our wide players for depth. I wanted them to stretch the pitch, but also Reijnders and Simons and Memphis needed to make runs.”

And Reijnders listened to the coach. His run in behind was the key for Simon’s goal. When Dumfries gets playing in, in the 7th minute of the game, Reijnders immediately makes a diagonal run from his midfield position. Walker responds too late and Guehi just picks off the ball. Simons wins the second ball from Rice and the rest you saw.

So, Koeman’s offensive tweak worked. But his defensive tweak fails and this is why we got under a lot of pressure.

He wants to force England to the wings, and Malen and Gakpo were to squeeze inside, allowing Reijnders and Schouten to stay in position against Foden and Bellingham. But the defensive tactics, brilliant on the whiteboard, fails because of the communication between the players. You need to signal the moment another player needs to take over and you have to be “on”  for this. England’s penalty comes from a move where Malen again forgets to mark his man (Trippier). Now Dumfries is up against Trippier and Bellingham. Dumfries gesticulates that someone needs to pick up Bellingham but no one sees it or responds. Bellingham moves the ball to the right to Saka and he starts the move resulting in his handling of the ball and the Kane dive the penalty.

In the first half, Mainoo and Rice are constantly playing from under the press in this way, like in the situation where Dumfries has a goal line clearance from a Foden attempt. Mainoo is free between the lines and he is able to pass into Foden. The amazing Dumfries action saves a goal.

Memphis’ injury might have been a godsend for Koeman as he quickly sent Veerman on, who has the skills to put a player one v one in the box, on a good day plus Veerman is needed to fill the gaps in midfield. I probably would have chosen Gravenberch, but what do I know.

We got back into the game late in the first half but decided to pace the game out, allowing Koeman to make changes.

With Wout in the second half we started to get more control and were getting more threatening, as the English seem to run out of steam. Foden had a shot on the post, (Dumfries a header on the bar in the first half) and there were some more moments, but not many. Virgil got the biggest chance from a Veerman dead ball but too close to Pickford. How he would love to score against the goalie who ruined Van Dijk’s 2021 Euros.

Picking Weghorst for the second half instead of Malen is logical. Malen wasn’t delivering. And Weghorst has done ever so well in all his sub turns. But the way we were playing, we needed a number 9 with ball skills, as Weghorst was playing far from their goal and had to play a pass and move game, which is not his strength. He doesn’t get many good crosses or service either. Veerman disappoints as left attacking midfielder but Koeman doesn’t want Veerman up against Foden. I think Gravenberch was the better option and Zirkzee the better options instead of Wout.

if we would have gone to Extra Time, we would have won it, I’m sure, with the likes of Zirkzee and Frimpong keen to come on and dazzle. But a brilliant late move involving Watkins put an end to it He will never score that goal ever again as it went exactly where there was one chance to go through on goal. And he got it.

Either way, Koeman made defensive changes which didn’t work out. Southgate made late offensive changes and those paid dividends.

Overall, a mediocre tournament with a good end result. I think we were not good enough, despite the easy road to the finals. Sure, missing Frenkie, Noa Lang and Wieffer might have been a slight issue, but overall, we didn’t do enough. Too many times, players like Dumfries or Memphis, or Weghorst were too sloppy in possession or simply not picking the best option. For me, Schouten, Verbruggen and De Vrij were the best players in Orange.

First half against England, we didn’t have wherewithal to find solutions and I think this comes down to something Van Basten said recently: “We learned our football on the street. We had to fight, there was no ref, there was not even a slick pitch, it was with bumps and puddles and holes and trees and sidewalks. And you had to be streetsmart and you had to be a bit of a bully at times. These kids today, they play on silky surfaces, with top quality balls and coaches telling them to not take risks. This is where we go wrong, particularly in The Netherlands. Everything is organised too well, if you ask me.”

I think Koeman will stay on as coach. The KNVB will probably find this Euros a success.

I believe Koeman needs to make way for a more innovative, modern and daring coach. I think his squad selection was fine, but he made some odd choices. I mentioned a couple for this game. I also believe that playing Frimpong and Dumfries together was a mistake. Just like I would have want to see Brobbey instead of Memphis in this match and definitely hoped for Van der Ven to come on.

Tactically, Southgate outsmarted him. His tactical tricks were very intricate and complicated and everyone should know by now that Malen is not reliable in matches like these.

It says something when every match you play (bar the England one) you concede first. Every match you need to change your starting eleven and tactics to get a result. It says something when you keep your trust in an old hand who simply fails to deliver (Memphis) or when you believe a certain player is not a 10 (Simons) when in the tournament, he ends up performing best on the 10 position. And on we go.

Koeman was clearly also unable to find a solution against England that worked (the trick with high and wide players didn’t really work as England has the run of the roost in the first half).

I say: Koeman out, not necessarily because he failed per se, but because we need to rebuild and that is not his forte. We don’t want to see Blind, Wijnaldum, Memphis, De Roon and Van Dijk at the next World Cup. With all due respect. Give the former Barca captain a statue in Zeist and move on.

Some stats: Schouten is top dog in ball retention. With 11 caps to his name, the upstart was one of the best Oranje players, as if he has been playing many tournaments in orange. He had 6 interventions, the highest number and 53 of his 56 passes reached the end destination. In total, he won the ball back 29 times this Euros, the highest of all players in Oranje.

Dumfries is now involved three times in a penalty given to the opponent. In the 2020 Euros versus Austria, against Argentina in Qatar and now in Germany again. Even thought it technically wasn’t a penalty of course.

Ten Hag, Slot and Peter Bosz would be logical options as team manager but they’re not available. Alfred Schreuder could work, but he too is under contract. Alex Pastoor is currently without a club and he has proven in the past to be able to play an attractive, dynamic game of football. He is a tough taskmaster and a great communicator and most importantly, he has balls.

Xavi Simons is now the youngest Oranje player ever to score in a knock-out game at a big tournaement ( 21 years and 81 days).

As for the players, I believe Schouten, Reijnders, Gakpo, Verbruggen, Dumfries and Simons have proven themselves. They’re future proof, with Schouten the best player of the tournament, for me, together with Stefan de Vrij.

De Roon, Blind, Wijnaldum and De Vrij will be question marks for the World Cup 2026 for me. As is Virgil, with all do respect.

Weghorst was amazing, but I can’t see him winning the spot in two years, with Zirkzee, Brobbey, Lammers and Dallinga all knocking on the door, which is seemingly still firmly in the hands of Memphis. Noah Ohio might also be an interesting prospect to follow as is Ruben van Bommel.

With Frenkie De Jong, Frimpong, Hartman, Van de Velde, Lang, Timber (2x) we can build a really strong squad.

Should our key guys remain fit, I think we should be considered a candidate for greatness for the 2026 World Cup.

I thank you for your contributions here, and for the generous donations some of you made to the blog (you know exactly who you are) and lets hope Spain ( second-rate Holland, of course) will beat this England on Sunday.


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  1. Thank you, Jan, for the post. It is hard to write a blog when you are heartbroken again. I wish we have had a courageous coach with the iron backbone. I think we have enough quality material to work with but in terms of coach we are not there.

  2. I am sure we all are in agreement that our performance in Euro 2024 was mediocre at best with flashes of great moments and gut-wrenching dumb mistakes in equal proportions. We were incredibly lucky that we went to the semi-finals even after finishing 3rd in our group.

    My question to those of you who follow Dutch football closely as I look into the future of Oranje is where are our new players who can carry the torch forward? Look at Spain, England, France, Germany and they have endless supplies of young talent playing at top clubs and competing for national team spots. Whereas we are still bringing back old players like Wijnaldum, De Roon, Klaasen, Blind, Memphis who don’t play for top clubs anymore and those who didn’t develop at all (Malen, Bergwyn and others). Why is our supply-line so depleted? We haven’t had a single world class player since the Sneijder, Van Persie, Robben generation and it has been more than 12 years. What happened to the famed Ajax Academy? What the heck is the KNVB doing?

  3. @Jan i dropped a small gift to jj united pty ltd..i was sceptical about koeman ,so i had zero expectations from this wonderful generation of players..i knew they are goin to be wasted by KNVB and koeman..beacuse of facing low ranked teams and luck we reached to semis..low ranked teams doesnt get uefa or fifa support..hence we made so far….koeman has lost to all big teams, he is failed one ,he got sacked every where,why KNVB hanging on a looser…??..i agree next time we need to beat fifa and uefa not just opponents..
    loosing to fifa or uefa is making me sad..this is is an indiactor we will be always victim of these bastards dirty play…popular teams make more veirwership and more talks,money talks,sad state of affairs..
    KNVB should fire koeman right now..4-2 vs old croatia,3-2 vs italy,4-0,2-1 vs france,3-2 vs austria,2-1 vs england…Except england game rest were well deserevd failures…

    “””De Roon, Blind, Wijnaldum and De Vrij will be question marks for the World Cup 2026 for me.”””only virgil and de vrij should be question should not be there on discussion…

  4. I’m amazed my old user account on this site is still active.. I check it from time to time, but I can’t remember the last when I posted. Years ago! I was one of the core bunch that migrated from the old site, which was so long ago that I can’t even remember its name..

    The studio experts in my country were completely divided on this penalty. Some thought it was a clear foul (dangerous play), some thought it was ridiculous. By the rulebook the ref made a correct call, but let’s be honest: it’s 50/50. My personal judgement is that the truth is somewhere in the middle: it wasn’t exactly a penalty worthy foul, but the move Dumfries made wasn’t a smart one either.

    Equally bad is the clear corner kick the NL team was robbed of in the last minutes. Really, no one caught this? The referee, the side referee, the whole VAR team? For me this screams more of bias than just feeling the crowd pressure.

    The main question is: did Netherlands lose because they were robbed by the ref team or did England play better? I’m afraid it’s the second one. I just don’t understand this current generation of players, there is no fighting spirit, no chemistry, no grit. There are flashes of brilliance where the old Dutch football school shines through. The match against France was solid, the match against Turkey was very good.

    But what happened against Austria? Total collapse of defense. There are probably U-17 national teams that defend better than NL did in that game. And then the UK game… every Dutch player was just always two paces behind their UK counterpart. They didn’t only play without emotion, they played like they had a squad that suffers from collective clinical depression. I didn’t see anyone picking up the reigns and rallying the troops. Remember Edgar Davids? Can you ever imagine him limping around the field with a sour expression on his face? He would fight through gritted teeth for every ball. And win a lot of them!

    With this level of inconsistency from game to game and this attitude and the lack of mental strength to fight every situation until the end you can never be a champion.

    And lastly, and I’m sorry if this might offend some members: please let’s not turn the Dutch national team into a meme team like France. I understand that Netherlands has a colonial past as well, but let’s keep the team makeup more balanced and well-rounded. I’m saying this as someone whose all time favourite players include Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids!

    In conclusion, I think this team is fundamentally flawed and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. I’m not saying this team isn’t capable of playing great football. I’m saying it is not capable of bringing the trophy home.

    1. For me, it was not a penalty. Not a 50-50. It was Kane who hit Dumfries. If Kane wouldn’t have yelled and gone down, but instead Dumfries would have done it, we would have gotten a free kick.

      but the most important argument: the VAR has no business interfering if it is not a CLEAR AND OBVIOUS error. The ref gave goal kick. The VAR Intervened. That was the biggest error.

      And of course, Saka’s handling of the ball assisting Kane.

      Also, who ever has control or more possession is not necessarily the team that wins. It’s about goals. We were 1-0 up and if the pen wasn’t given, we probably would have been able to go into the break 1-0 up. That is what would determine the coach’ choices etc etc. Goals change games and this penalty should not have been given.

  5. First and foremost, big thanks to you Jan for taking your time to deliver such great game analysis and coverage. Really wanted to get into the conversation but completely swamped with


    I don’t know why so many people decry the players without bringing up the man at the helm. Koeman is simply not a good coach. I would contend that oranje played the worst football of any team relative to the players at disposal. You literally have some of the finest defenders in the world and yet looked frantic and disorganized every time any kind of pressure is applied by ANY opposition. Defending set-pieces is no better with probably the biggest team in the tournament.

    Each and every team l saw, tournament wide, including Romania, has a set purpose in their play. A lot of times these sequences might not come off but you can clearly see what they are trying to do. Oranje does not have a pattern or recognized style to fall back on rather than the aimless lateral, sideway passing. So, so painfully predictable.

    Press conferences about how he is trying to clog that section and open up the middle yaddi yaddi yadda is all for the birds. You can talk blackboard stuff all you want but the great coaches are able to translate those ideas in the field and the even greater ones are able to adjust when faced with opponents that are one-upping them in real time.

    Koeman has never shown the ability to do neither. Not playing Frimpong (arguably our best pre-tournament player) for that extent of time is a disgrace. Just like how he opted for de Vrij at the eve of the tournament after ignoring him for the whole of the qualifiers. Dangerously erratic.

    He is just not smart on his feet nor a great tactician like say an LVG. For you to opt for playing on the counter, a coach should have a knowledge of how to organize your defense. Again, like LVG 2014. Ronnie clearly lacks the wherewithal.

    I wish the KNVB would test the resolve of a Klopp. Same players. Similar time frame. Oranje fans would know why a great craftsman doesn’t quarrel with his tools.

    1. Completely agree about your comments on Ronald Koeman. As an Everton fan, I have seen him up close for a long time and I despise that guy. Stubborn and stupid at the same time. But I guess we are stuck with him for 2 more years as the spineless KNVB will view this tournament as a “success” since we were in the semi-finals. The same KNVB who put in nis contract that he can escape if Barca came calling. The same KNVB who hired him back after he ruined Barca (and Everton in the past).
      I have been saying this for a long time: Oranje needs a foreign coach who can install a style that fits the current crop of players and let the players play freely. Klopp would be fantastic. Guardiola even better. But I am afraid those will remain our pipe-dreams. Even if Koeman goes, it will be some retread old haggard coming back for his n’th assignment with Oranje.

  6. Hi Jan
    What are you hearing regarding Koeman’s future? What are you hearing in the media/ex soccer experts? I think the Dutch fans I saw in Germany should show the same passion in demanding the KNVB to sack Koeman. I think if the KNVB feels pressure, they would sack koeman.

    1. I think most people feel he is not the man for the future. But a lot of die -hard old school Oranje fans think he did great.

      I think Nigel de Jong is the type of guy to be hard on Koeman, with his Ajax and Man City background, he’d expect better football. Or at least, I hope so. I will write some more on this later

  7. I expected NT to go out in Quarters or Maximum to reach Semis. They got there. Penalty in this match as everyone knows was a no-penalty after Saka handball.Neverthe less England played better in second half than NT. Substitutions were late and the substitutes like Zirkzee actually never got any playing minutes in the whole tournament, So obviously they were not going to do anything about it.Looking forward to changes in NT team and management.

  8. I am new to this site but have been around Dutch football for many years. I see many here are disfavoring of the manager but I say from a team-building view, he put together a competitive, hard fighting group that overcame big injuries and made the most of available talents, which were limited in attack. Plus, he gave many new young talents a chance to shine at a major tournament.

    And if you consider the tournament in total, we play only one poor match — the defeat to Austria, who was a tournament dark horse themselves — and the semifinal match was lost in the last moments against a top level opponent solely due to a horrible VAR penalty.

    Very few Dutch supporters expected us to make it so far and that should give confidence as we look to 2026. And so, I don’t see how you can blame our failure to reach the final of this tournament on some mistake by the manager. In fact, I would credit him for building the team in a way that enabled the success we had.

    Our expectations for 2026 are now increased based on this performance. Maybe by then Xavi will be a more accurate passer, Gakpo will be a multi-trick pony, at least two of the Reijnders – Schouten – Veerman trio will step forward further, and the young players like Geertruida, Frimpong, van de Ven and Zirkee will be stars on the rise.

    Many of you seem to think a different coach might be better to provide that development and ascension, but it’s easy to speak from behind a computer screen with no responsibility. I don’t know why we would disrupt the progress and team dynamics reached so far. In fact, the manager created a strong collective spirit and there was no bickering or clashing of egos that are normally such a problem for earlier Dutch teams. Remember, you have to lay the foundation for the success to follow. When you build a house, you don’t start with the roof.

    So for me, the best thing to come from these Euros is excitement for the future. There is a lot of future in this team. And in general, I am very proud. I liked how the players gave something in every game and for me, the manager obviously was key to that! So why change course now? Dutch football is back and I think with one or two more attacking options, we’ve got a real shot in 2026!

    1. Hi Broer welcome to the blog..What made you think that koeman is good?.His coaching proficiency?/or his election of players? or his tactical geniuses?…
      My observations and facts.
      1-He is sacked manger from every where except Southampton and Oranje,sacked from Everton,barca,valencia, etc…there is a reason behind that..proven failure for top clubs and top national teams..
      2-He has not beaten a single top team we faced in his second tenure..and conceded tons of goals.Dreadful record VS Defeat vs Croatia,italy,France(multiple),Germany and strong austria..
      3-where is defensive shape we had in euro 2024?? we were cut through open and survived due to verbrggen ,ake ,de vrij and virgil individual brilliance..beacause they are world class players.
      We were underachieved by a foolish ,pragmatic coach with coward approach with wonderful generations of players..yes i do agree he was robbed with a penalty..but so does van gaal 2022,he was robbed for Messi crowning, expect that more..i expect more robbing on the way.unless KNVB do something..

  9. I dont wanna keep repeating I said this,said that but it is what it is, two tournaments now, almost same tatical approach, set up, almost same players, same style of playing (total lateral and back passing football), thrive vs average team, average to dragging vs bigger teams. it has to end here. it just no use continuing and expecting things will change. two tournaments is enough to see which players should stay and which to go or benched. like I was saying the team lacks cutting edge and left foot architects. this is where the new management shud focus on.

    once again the downside of playing tatical setup in knock outside stages buckled its knee . You keep changing and changing and then you dont know what’s happening. then when the opposition makes changes , its just go with flow or go for luck. I remember saying this before the euros started and how playing tatically with Ake at LB will impact/ limit the attacking game on that flank. While he was solid defensivley but that flank just looked dead offensively ( vs engkand). Gakpo too, I said this before as well, he is a one trick pony. was completely neturalized. this is why he shud be benched for more explosive wingers like lang or simons. also recall this was the same story under van gaal and with blind and gakpo combo on that left flank vs Argentina. Big hype for gakpo in the media prior to the england game. Best player in the euros,highest goal scorer,will score two goals. Same hype like after that USA quarterfinal at world cup,come teams with no weakness, cutting edge,the dutch find themselves falling in their own trap.

    The biggest disappointment for me is how the team cant punch through the middle. Again the lateral and back passing has become unique feature to the extent that the opponents just let them do what they want. No triangle link ups, no passage of play, build up from the middle, very rare. This is truly haunting the team. Exception that reijnders and schouten has just come on board but even if you look at their strengths and ceiling, they still lack that craftsmanship like to that of what kobbie manioo (19) displayed fluently.schouten lacks that techincal factor overall . More defensive balanced.plain and simple. This is why I was skeptical that a investment in matusiwa would have been better. Though I’m not saying schouten was bad. Matusiwa just brings more to his game. Robust, break down and going forward as well.

    Note also how koeman boosted before game that he cam not be fired because he reached the SF. You see the typical self ego these dutch coaches. Trying to sweep his failure under the carpet and giving it overachieved status subject to easy run leading to SF. Even if not for the penalty,england still would have one it because they were a better team and given how they dominated the first half.they did put the foot of the pedal after HT when they introduced shaw and while that was time for the dutch to take the advantage,the weghorst sub just killed the end of the England simply was on another level. The other aspect you also have to look at is how the dutch couldnt take control of the game after Simon’s goal and then compare it to how England did it after they equalized.

    This is what KNVB shud do if koeman has to continue. Appoint two assistants who will take over from him if he fails in nations league or after the World cup. One of whom shud be Rijkaard.If they can get Rangnick on board, might as well. If not another golden generation is on the brink of going to waste again.

    This is how things shud unfold. Lang and Simons to compete with gakpo for that LW. If a fit and firing danjuma is avaliable. Him too. Gakpo and depay bench. Zirkzee and brobbey shud be starters upfront. With zirkzee to man united confirmed, van hoojidonk can come into picture at bologna and follow the foot steps of zirkzee. Can be the next pinch hitter. On the right there has to be some wild card entries especially those who are playing there and are fluent. Kluivert being one of them, malen and bergwijn time are up and shud be chopped with other dead woods. Stengs as well but if he has to work on his defensive side of the game. wieffer,schouten with Matusiwa selection shud compete for that RCM. Frenkie, Reijnders and koopmeiners on the LCM. The backline is stacked

  10. @Broer van Erwin


    Just wanna point out few things.

    I think after the euro Draws the expectations was the knock out stage.QF at least as that’s how things were bracketed with france finishing group leaders and the dutch runner up. Unexpectedly they finished third and had the easiest of route to the SF. So from expectation point there is nothing out of the blue that happened. The rest was just a hype especially after the Romania game that the dutch could win the euros.

    Secondly yes its every managers task to put together a competitive, hard fighting team especially with injuries but remember with dutch coaches they never prepare for worst case scenario or have a plan B. It has to be Plan A and in the event if it gets disrupted or backfires, it becomes a tatical warfare and defying odds

    Could frenkie and koopmeiners presence propelled the team to another level. Doubtful, reason being it hasnt worked from before.they have played together and the outcome has being the same.frenkie vs Croatia, vs Italy,vs france vs Argentina. Further more if you look at reijnders performance then he played well in that frenkies position. Thats his stronghold as well at Milan. Maybe less involved in break down areas but stirred the midfield well. Especially when linking up.

    Lastly the decision to go with Ake at LB like I said was way from before euros. I remember discussing this after that Germany/ Scotland friendly what koeman was cooking.

    Again you have to visualize how this is being manipulatize . Was it koeman or simply a favourable draw leading from the third place finish. Spain Portugal,Germany would have beaten the dutch as well if crossed path earlier.

  11. Great analysis Jan, as always.

    I hesitate to talk too much about the penalty because as we all know, there are many things that happen in a match and you typically can’t blame just one moment… BUT… this was such a huge single moment and it was in a match that was extremely even. Each team had one great goal in the run of play, each team had one off of the woodwork, and the difference really did come down to this really poor decision. Kane’s diving and rolling until VAR finally looked at it is an embarrassment to him and to England.

    I think that it’s important to say that, although England may have had the better of the match, that virtually every one in the world said, rightfully, that England has the superior players in just about every position on the pitch. So for the game to have to boil down to such a fine margin and a referee’s gift is actually quite an achievement.

    I think the comments here about us not having great players on the pipeline are completely incorrect. We have some really great players in the selection— between those that were injured or not fit for this competition and those still on the rise, I think we have a bright future for the next couple of years already in view.

    But Koeman needs to go. The only reason, I believe, that we saw some new faces on the pitch this Euro Cup is because of injury to the more familiar names. That said, maybe those circumstances have finally allowed him to see some of this new talent, but I kind of doubt it. I think it will take a lot for him to actually bring Zirkzee, Frimpong, van de Ven, etc fully into the side. If Koeman stays, I guess we’ll have to hope that some players hang up their Oranje boots on their own (Blind, Wijnaldum, de Roon) or he’ll probably continue to hold roster spots for them.

    I honestly think that the fight and grit to win is in this group of players. Going down one goal early in so many games is, in my mind, down to either poor tactics or poor preparation, both of which seem the role of the manager. But unlike so many times in the past, this team would fight back and get back in the match, even against Austria.

    I think the future remains bright and I look forward to seeing what comes next. We still have yet to see the best of Zirkzee, Summerville, Geertruida, Hartmann, Schouten (who was already phenomenal), Reijnders, Maatsen, even Simons and Gakpo (who have both already accomplished so much).

  12. @ Wilson This is nice of you to have this analysis and such advance vision, but where does it get you? You seem to feel there are many neglected and overlooked talents who if just used in the correct manner would bring Holland to victory. But that is what everyone wants, so if it were true, why would we not have simply chosen those players and selected the appropriate manager? The next San Marco is just sitting there awaiting his call up, right?

    And many of you here continue to criticize without any sort of solution or recommendation. I look at this post alone — @AZ-Forever, @vikram, @Jan, @orangutan, @jean_vennete, @manoj kumar, @emmanual, @aanvalluh – all with critical comments for a manager who just took your team to the Euro semi-finals! I hope for your sake he is not “keeping receipts”! And I ask how did Netherlands perform in Euro 2020, in 2016, in 2012, in 2008? It’s been 20 years since we were last Euro semi-finalists, but for you not good enough to barely lose in waning moments against #5 ranked FIFA team in addition to German referee…

    And look at the situation now in England – can you deny that England has more talented attacking players than Holland? And for years, their manager is criticized and ridiculed for not making use of what he has. But England stuck with him and now look – they are in the final. At our expense, of course, because of again a ridiculous penalty!

    Yes, I admit they were ahead of us in terms of midfield quality in the match, but we responded tactically with quantity and eventually that strategy worked. But imagine a time when we have the quality to bring as well. That time is coming, and I think many of today’s squad can achieve that quality in the coming years.

    The knee kick reaction for everyone is to fire the manager, because that is the easy solution, but think about a moment club teams — Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Juventus, Napoli, even Barcelona — not all of their most successful managers were fired (some retired or left on their own), but once a successful manager was no longer in place, those teams have been adrift, and continue to struggle to find a suitable replacement.

    You could even say the same for our manager. None of the clubs that he managed have thrived following his leaving. In fact, virtually all have gone the opposite direction, so you might criticize and say, “Oh, he did not do a fantastic job there,” but his replacement certainly did no better and in many cases performed much worse. Even the legendary Xavi cannot restore Barcelona and resorts to long balls style play — Xavi! At the end of the day, a manager is only as good as his players, right now our players are getting better and better, and I think the manager will make the best use of them possible.

    So be patient and be proud! We are getting there, and we will continue to get there playing good football. So long as the referee and VAR will allow us to! But to say fire the manager is crazy and not the answer! He knows what it takes to win titles as player and coach, so I say trust in him!

    1. @Broer van Erwin

      I wont make this a full blown debate. The signs were already there, where this team was headed with koeman,his preference of players and the tatical set up. I thought I made that clear. Even in build up to euros they lost to all big guns France Italy,croatia snd Germany.this was sufficient enough to draw the conclusion of what the teams outings would be in the euros. The injuries came later and complicated things further. I will again say this,no body is blind to see how an easy route to SF is being manipulatize for success when a tie with top 4 in R16 would have easily ended their campaign. You have to look at it from both side of the coin and not with a face up coin showing what on top.

      The reason why some of the talents are not selected is simply because of preference of coaches/ selectors have. Look at wijnaldum and blind selection. Look at how maatsen was overlooked in that last two friendlys for blind. Koeman opted to go with experience in wijnaldum and blind case, it was a complete waste and I have said this many times, the transition of players in NT are never on the right time except for ajax players if the NT coach is a former ajax coach. If not its certainly forced by injuries. On another note you look at kobbie manioo. 19 yrs and just what 2-3 caps and played like a boss. why cant the dutch do this. Again this is where I draw my conclusion from.

      Just on your last part about

      We are getting there, and we will continue to get there playing good football. So long as the referee and VAR will allow us”

      NT will never win anything in 100 yrs if they dwell on what you have just said and what football you are talking about ( total lateral and back passing).

      Again the controversies were all through out the tournament and not as if it has happened before or only happened in that game. The critics are furious as if not for that PK the dutch would have won. Did they play or show any winning mentality or would have won if not for that pk. why they couldnt score another goal and win it before England scored the winner. Well this are just my views but credit has to ge given where it’s due. England played well,were on another level and deserved to go to the final. The Dutch were simply riding the luck bike and waiting to pounce on england mistakes.

      In conclusion if koeman stays he shud be only given till NL znd like what I said. His two assistant shud be his predecessors

  13. Guys, don’t be fooled by Broer of Erwin, this is Brother of Erwin, this is fricking Ronald Koeman himself. Don’t get pulled in. He will support the NT coach to the death, because it is actually him!!

  14. @Broer Van Erwin, given you are such a staunch supporter of Koeman, may I ask what makes you think Koeman is sticking with Depay, Berwijn and Malen when these players ain’t playing well at all? Why the obsessions with these players?
    We have surely better players in Zirkzee, Frimpong..don’t you agree?
    Wish to hear your opinions here.

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