Some good, some bad… Hup Holland Hup!!

Interesting times. A wise man taught me, that if one door closes, another door opens up. Sometimes more than one….

And I have seen this happening many times. We can see how Kevin Strootman’s injury is one of those doors closing for us. And we can all moan and whine and feel a victim. But this picture will make most people happy.


And why not? It gives a new dynamic to the whole team and the whole debate. Louis van Gaal said Strootman was one of the three players certain to go to Brazil and probably certain to start. Don’t get me wrong, I’d play Strootman as a starter too. But he is not Cruyff or Messi. And he would have had a long season in the Serie A. And it is not like sans Stroot we are rubbish.

If we are rubbish, we would be with Forza Kevin as well.

The dynamics will change. And maybe LVG will be forced to rethink a couple of things.

The San Marco analogy of 1988 ( Marco not fit, started on bench, won us the trophy) might well work for players like Van Ginkel and Huntelaar. Or Van der Vaart and Sneijder. Who knows? Sometimes, having played 55+ games and won a lot of trophies with club doesn’t mean one can repeat this in the Summer with the national team. Look at Messi’s performance in 2010, for instance….

There are many scenarios here. LVG might decide to go 4-4-2. He will probably never announce it but it will clearly look 4-4-2 when executed. This will happen if KJ Huntelaar keeps on impressing.

Klaas Jan and Robin on top. Robben, De Jong, Van Ginkel and a fourth midfielder (Blind??? Klaassen??? Lens?? Wijnaldum??) in midfield.

And some guys at the back.

Strootman’s absence might have impact on this as well. If Stroot – who is a physical powerhouse – gets replaced by a lesser iron man (Clasie? Wijnaldum? Klaassen?) we might see Sneijder bypassed in order to restore balance.

Don’t forget: most successful midfields these days ( Liverpool, Bayern, Arsenal, Real, Juve, PSG) consist of players who can run AND tackle AND pass AND score. Whereas Holland seems to think in terms of “we need one guy to tackle, one to run and one to make the play”.

Marco van Ginkel is back. The Chelsea midfielder is officially not longer injured. He is part of the Under21 Chelsea squad and will most likely get some benchwarming time and maybe even minutes in the first team in the coming weeks. He is keen. “I have worked very hard and Chelsea has worked hard with me on a daily basis. I literally was the first player in and the last one out every day. It was tough but good.” Asked if he dreams of the World Cup. “Everybody dreams of the World Cup, so why not me. But I have to be realistic. I need to start making some minutes on the pitch for Chelsea first.”

Robin van Persie was in a bit of a pickle. The Rotterdam born striker is known to be a bit disappointed with the Moyes approach at ManU and somehow the magic seems to be gone. No real chance on reaching CL football via the EPL anymore and if it hadn’t been for RVP’s hattrick, the CL of this season was history too. Robin did take a knock in yesterday’s game but it doesn’t seem to interfere with his WC chances. But what will he do, coming summer? He is 32 years old next season. And Like Sneijder and Robben, Robin wants to win the Champions League. He might do so with Man United this summer, but if not, he will surely not win it next year. He has a clause allowing him to leave, but where to? Real Madrid? Bayern Munich? And if he indeed is considering a move like this, will we see a repeat of the performance he gave off pitch in 2012? When he refused to speak to the media? As they might have asked about his future at Arsenal? Today, Robin is the team skipper and Van Gaal will not allow his captain not to talk to the media….


But as Robin’s career is on its way to autumn, his successor might have been discovered already. Ricardo Kishna of Ajax is toted the new Van Persie by many. His length, his winger-style (Robin started as a left winger at Feyenoord) and certainly his arrogance and cockiness (RVP was not as PC as he has become under Wenger and Sir Alex).

Kishna impressed in his first Classic against Feyenoord when he tricked Martins Indi and Janmaat as if they didn’t existed and was key in Ajax victory. Daryl Janmaat was spouting venom at the Ajax talent after the game. “That kid Kishna…what’s wrong with him. This is his second game at Ajax 1 and he is moving around with little gestures and things as if he’s C Ronaldo?? Who does he think he is? When we got onto the pitch for the second half, he strolled lazily onto the field. He is a weirdo.”

Kishna laughed the matter away in his recent interview with VI. “I was happy with my game against Feyenoord. I did hear from my mates that Janmaat said something negative about me, hahaha. I had to laugh about it. It probably means I played well and he couldn’t get a grip on me.” The 19 year old is seen as a super talent. Everyone can see that. But most people – incl Frank and Ronald de Boer – are somewhat concerned about his attitude. Some call it bravado or flair. Some call it arrogance and provoking. “I enjoyed the Feyenoord game. That entourage, the atmosphere is just brilliant. I don’t value what Janmaat said. I am not an annoying guy. I don’t do silly things. I focus on my game. I would never make a foul on purpose or anything.” Fons Groenendijk, Kishna’s coach at Ajax 2: “Kishna has something special. Something ungraspable. He has what you only see very rarely. That pure and utter class… And most of it, he is born with. It’s talent. His ball touch, his speed and in particular his first touch. Exceptional. And we can all claim we taught him, as coach, but it’s nonsense. This is natural. A gift.” But he didn’t get it all for free. The ADO Den Haag developed talent couldn’t play for two years ( between 16 and 18 years) as he had marrowbone issues and he had two heavy knee injuries. When Kishna went from the Ajax youth to Ajax 2 he was disappointed. He wanted to move straight into Ajax 1. His coach, Groenendijk, taught him to earn that. “I needed to remind him that the only way Frank de Boer would pick him, if when he would show that he was eager. By working harder than anyone.”

And last week, in his first interview with VI, he was able to tell the world what his ambition is. “I want to become the best player in the world. I have big dreams and no one will stop me.”

We are doing well in the young talent department. To have players like Blind, Clasie, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Veltman, Klaassen, Boetius, Promes in the national squad is already quite something. But the European Top is also around the corner for Vilhena and Kongolo. Terence Kongolo’s little brother Rodney already made the step to Man City. The two youngsters + JP Boetius, all three under management with Stellar Group, are said to be on the radar at several European top teams. This summer, according to rumour, the Feyenoor trio might already make their move.

Fey 3

Feyenoord is not waiting for all their talent to run off and they are about to sign the “American Messi”, the 15 year old Wan Kuzain, who was on trial in Rotterdam earlier.

From the American Messi to the Dutch Messi. Rafael van der Vaart. Impressive in the qualifications games of Oranje, but now too slow, too fat and too injured?

“It drives me mad at times. People ask you wherever they can, and the kids sometimes don’t get it either. In my car, these media people sometimes chase me as if I’m Princes Diana. I ask them friendly to leave me be, but what I can do?”

Van der Vaart had always time for fans and media (and our blog) but when it doesn’t well or when a player is injured, it sometimes is hard to please all. “Its part of the game, but sometimes it goes too far. And when the results are like this, fans and supporters can become hard to deal with. We were yelled at, cursed at, threatened… As skipper, I have to interact wit them but you can’t win. I remember seeing Marco van Basten…. One of the greatest ever. He is an Ajax legend, but the Ajax supporters really made his life miserable. He quit. That was sad for him and I can only sympathise. No one wants to perform badly.”

And then people ask him whether he made a mistake to return to HSV? “Well it crosses your mind, yes. But what can I do? I am here now. We will need to fight our way out of this. Even when big name icons start to criticise you, you can only respond with your feet, on the pitch. And listen: we did play horrible! We started well under Bert but something went awry.”

Van der Vaart needs to have the ball a lot, in order for a team to get some result from him. In recent games, Van der Vaart was making sliding tackles. It didn’t look good. “I know… but I needed to help the team. But I also realise, once I have to be the one making block tackles, something is going wrong. We didn’t see the ball and then we concede a goal and the whole thing falls apart….”

And all this with the World Cup only months away. “Well, yes…it crosses your mind. But I think the coach knows what I can and cannot do. I think I was important for Oranje, even recently. And if I make sure I regain fitness and form, I will have a chance. There are never guarantees. You have to show it yourself.” Van der Vaart had serious difficulties with being a benchwarmer at the Euro2012. Will the current World Cup need potentially be a repeat of that?

“Eh no. I never said I didn’t accept a role on the bench. My problem was more that Bert had picked his team before the Euros no matter what I or others did. There simply was no room to play yourself into the team. My beef with Bert was that he promised everyone would get a chance and that didn’t happen. With Mr Van Gaal, I think and I know it is different. He will say what he does and he will do what he says.”

Was it hard to play under Van Marwijk again, at HSV? “Not at all. We are close, actually. Bert is a very very good coach and an honest and good man. But he picked a strategy for the Euros and it failed. Once we were at the point where we needed to change it, it was too late. We were all – incl myself – on the wrong track. Tactically in particular. We were not longer a team. Then it doesn’t matter how much skill you have. It simply fell apart.”

raf hsv

Van der Vaart was the model the KNVB used to show the new WC-jersey. Interesting choice, a player who isn’t certain of a starting berth at his club. “Ah well, I really think I will make the WC squad. That is my ultimate goal. Playing for Oranje is the highest honour and a joy. And I think we can surprise in Brazil. We have a young but super eager and talented team. And we all want the same thing. I think something could evolve, you know?”

Your 6th tournament, potentially. Where will it end? “Well, I still have one more big jump in me. I am not ready yet. And then I might just play a couple of years Jupiler League. I don’t play for fame or fortune. I play because I love the game. I might play in the amateurs with my dad in the same team… That would be cool!”

Bookmark and Share


  1. Have to agree with Onzie on van Gaal approach for NT to WC. He has nothing to lose especially with the offers from EPL linked to him.

    SOS …..Hiddink should take over now…atleast we can see what he is doing at PSV.

    1. @laurent,his genes are like ,i mean easily get fat,some body is like that ,family genetics,just look at RVP its entirely opposite genetics.Vilhena will have serious problems to continue his career after 28.

  2. Jan….. I think if we play Hunter and RVP together then we will need a fast and strong midfielder who can really play high and run the lines in the middle and feed the ball to the strikers cos at Man United Rooney is a all rounder and perfectly shadows RVP IN 4-2-2 formation, I dont think the same can be possible with Hunter and RVP as both are almost identical strikers with RVP slightly having edge over Hunter in the distribution department. You cant expect hunter to set up RVP cos thats not his style of play and if RVP decides to go on his own then that’s where they will clash. as it is it can be only be one way… RVP setting up Hunter but again the speed factor will be vital here.

    1. I agree. Oranje’s problem in 2012 was that the 3 in the 4-2-3-1 were playing far too high making it almost a 4-2-4 and leaving huge spaces between the lines for the other teams to exploit. Therefore a 4-4-2 with two wide men in midfield will again leave huge spaces to exploit between RVP plus Hunter and DeJong plus somebody since this somebody is not Strootman.

      The 4-3-3 of vGaal deployed more like a 4-1-2-3 crowds the midfield at the spots where the opposite teams’ 4-2-3-1 players are found, leaving not too much space.
      But the players are slow in transition so it hasn’t been tested with stronger teams, So I would go for a acked midifeld, 4-5-1 or 5-3-2 even.

      1. Orange problem was Bommel and Afellay in 2012,with RVP was pressure by hunter and media than german,portugshe, and danish defenders,which made him make horrendous missings.he was eager to prove and his over over eagerness killed his scoring,Bommel was walking and we had very little work rate on pitch especially it came from Nijel and sneijder.main problem was Bommel,Afellay and RVP.

    2. To deploy hunter RVP has to move left,RVP has good speed for a winger with world class trickeris at his disposal,But the work rate of the 2 runners +nijel is main thing to achicve the goal.



  3. I also dont it will be good idea to have De Jong lateral with the midfield cos in 4-4-2 formation he wont be able to cover both up high and low. can be very well exploited. its better to have him stationed jus in font of the backs where he generals the left and right (side ways) only rather then going back and forward.

    1. @Faraz some times sHit things happend in football,i still wonder if scelary didnt selected Ronaldo for 2002WC,brazil would have sucked,Ronaldo was completely unfit for year and he did nt play enough matches too,still he got slecetd and rewared him with a WC,.
      Ceratin players are superstars,Ronaldo was a super striker so is Marco vanginkel is a super midfeilder whose class is tad hgher than mnay.He MUST GET THE PLANE IF HE IS FIT …..

    1. Was not able to see it myself. Not sure there even was a live stream.

      Anyway Netherlands U17 won from Austria U17 with 2-1.

      Difficult game where Netherlands was down with 1 goal with less than 10 minutes of official time to go. Berenstein from a free kick made it 1-1. In extra time it was Paal (who was subbed in for Slabbekoorn) who got past 2 players and crossed the ball second pole. Berenstein again with his second goal of the evening.

      This must have been the line up more or less:


      1. Soon I would like to see something like this in midfield/attack:

        I have left defense for what it is. I want to look if a triangle of Nouri, Paal and Slabbekoorn would work. I have little respect for the Dutch education concerning strikers lately. We basically produce one box wonder after the other. Huntelaar leading the pack, all the way to this U17 striker van der Moot. I want an Aguero kind of striker. Suarez. Guys that run fast, nutmeg, create on their own, make things happen for the team and just be brilliant to look at.

        So van der Moot out and actually any so called striker out, and I put Slabbekoorn up front (who actually shares some trades with Aguero). Paal and Nouri behind him to do their magic. Rest of the team supports the triangle to go for the high score line. Press, win the ball and turn the Austrian fans into Orange ones.

        That’s how it should be done.

        France is next. The big one to qualify, given that we will not slip up against Sweden later on. France will be played March the 25th at 19:00 Dutch local time. Maybe that one does have a stream as the French FA had a stream up for U21. Maybe they also have one for lower NT’s. Dunno.


    Vaart can easily regain his fitness and he can run arround circles in feild,if he he shows a determind dedication towards daily runningof 2 hrs.if a non player like me can run for 45 min definilty vaart can,He may not have the old speed but stamina would be there,anyways vaart is not our defender or holding mid,so he doesnt require much speed,
    Common vaart neglect ur selfconfidence and look at HIM,so that you shall never be perished ,you will renew ur wings like eagles when u look up on HIM and obey HIM…

  5. VDV & Sneijder will both go. They are big game winners and I don’t see anyone better than them currently.

    What we need is a balanced team – going back to Euro 2012 and WC 2010, the team was not balanced. For example, we had only one true winger (Afellay is an all purpose player who sucked in 2012). I think we have a plethora of young fast wingers who can balance field.

    I think the choice to play Sniejder or VDV will be key and will also dictate the choice of other players and formation. I would play 4231 with Wesley and 433 with VDV. Sneijder plays the first game against Spain. VDV plays the second and third games. Blind + DeJong play DM in 4231. DeJong + Wijnaldum play in the 433 next to VDV.

    My biggest concern is the goal keeper position. Tim Krul needs to start, to be eliminated due to his build up play is not wise. He is the best shot stopper be it aerial, ground or reflex save. He is also the most commanding in the box. The likes of Neuer, Buffon, Cassillas have nothing on him, they just play on better teams.

    1. not to mention he has waaaaayyyyy better build up then both Vorm and Cillessen, so it’s a lame excuse not to use him anyway. Especially Cillessen has shown time and time again that he’s overrated when it comes to build up play (but Vorm has it as well when too much is asked of him).

      Also the dislike in the Dutch media for the long ball is not good for us (in Hunter, Klaassen and Robben we have good receivers of high long balls as well). Krul does a fine job with the build up until the CB’s in front of him (such as de Vrij in the game against Italy) don’t know what to do anymore and keep on playing back and forth (eventually ending up with a keeper under pressure, at which point, you can’t put the blame on Krul anymore, well, apparently some people can, but they’ll have to ignore all those Feyenoord players+non-creative/offensively ineffective Blind+Ola John and Maher not quite creating enough threats either, all in front of him in that game that were out of their depth except for perhaps BMI and MAYBE Janmaat).

  6. Yeah. I am very happy and proud of them. The only Dutch team still flying the Eredivisie flag in Europe…This has been a great learning experience for guys like Berghuis, Beerens, Viergiver and Gouweleeuw (missed the game).

    We need more of our Eredivisie guys getting valuable experience in playing European football. Its just a shame that for ezample a team like Feyenoord has done absolutely nothing in European in sop many years. I think this is one reason why Guys like De Vrij, BMI and Clasie look so out of it when they play with Holland.

    Anyways, “big up” to AZ for this success.

  7. Laurent,

    I think it’s actually the 1/8 they got in 2012, not 1/4. It was actually 3 Spanish team and 1 Portuguese team that got to the 1/4. AZ lost against Valencia in the 1/8 round.

    1. I mean quarter finale, maybe in french and english we give different symbols to rounds.

      Here 1/4 = Quarter finale (even if there are 8 teams and not 4)
      1/2 = semi finale (even if there are 4 teams and not 2)

  8. @SamNY…….VDV & Sneijder will both go. They are big game winners and I don’t see anyone better than them currently.What we need is a balanced team……..

    the team will only looked balanced on paper if they both go but on the ground it will be the other way around. Its no use doing 60/40 with snejder and VDV because they are totally different type of MF. the change in tempo of the game is the last thing you wanna do especially if you are losing. As it is only one should go given both their performance till to date. the Fittest and the most inform one.

    If Van Gaal takes both of them then that will simply be to justify his selection and give a false impression OF the strength and Stability n his squad to WC.

      1. it was such a pathetic decision to go to that plastic money club,where everyones place are at jeopardy,coz they had lot of money and could by anyone,i feel pity for MVG and his development gone reverse ever since joing that defensive minded coach and shit team….

  9. Lets hope he will still get some playing time with Chelsea’s first team. There is still a lot games remaining for Chelsea this eason. But I guess realistically, there would probably need to be a few injuries to midfield regulars like Ramires, Lampard and Matic for Van Ginkel to get some useful game time.

  10. I really believe that even if Van Ginkel gets a little bit of minutes with Chelsea’s first team he can be more useful than guys like Schaars, Clasie, Propper and even Fer for us this WC. However, if he only gets runs in the reserve team he should not be considered for the WC.

    I also believe that Afellay can become useful for the WC if he gets a little bit of first team minutes with Barcelona. We are really lacking midfielders with the kind of skills, dribbling, passing and speed of Afellay. Pus there is also another factor that some ppl dont consider, that is the fact that we are really lacking players with experience playing at top European teams and training and going up against great players on a regular basis. Afellay trains with guys like Messi, Xavi and Iniesta. How many guys do we have that has this unique opportunity?

    Despite the fact that many ppl here don’t seem to rate this boy I still do. He has been wickedly treated by injuries, but like I have said many times; Barca bought him because of his abilities. So if he is good enought to play for Barca he is good enough to play for us.


    1. You have a good point.

      Van Gaal and some people want to make a selection with players who have many official games, who are supposed to be in a good form.

      But you learn probably more with training every day next to Iniesta, Messi and Xavi than with playing every week end against Go Ahead or Cambuur.

      Priority should go to players who have real experience and who have already proved some things in europe, not to eredivisie players.

    2. Afellaay has speed agreed,driblling agreed????but intelligent passes???i mean productive and efficient passess??it requires intelligence which that cocky man doesnt have,he is a proud stupid girl…….

        1. Laurent and Van Hass –

          As much as I hate to agree with tiju, but I need to point out that Afellay HAD all these great attributes… and as a bench warmer in Barca, we don’t know if he still has them and as such I don’t see a reason why he should be called.

          If Afellay really cared about playing the game, he would have found a way to move away from Barcelona and played anywhere. A move back to Erdivisie would not have been a bad move. I think the Afellay discussion really needs to be sealed.

          1. But who said that the clubs buisness should necessarly have something to do with NT ?

            There are plenty national teams where players are taken no matter if they play with their clubs or not.

            Just look last France-Holland, Deschamps selected Lucas Digne who is a bench warmer at PSG, and he played good 45 minutes.

            For me we need the best dutch players for NT, no matter what they do with their clubs. I agree Afellay has been silly to stay there though.

  11. I agree with Van Hasselbaink and Laurent. I think Afellay and Van ginkel can be more useful than De Guzman , Fer or Vilhena , etc.
    I think afellay , Wijnaldum and Ginkel should be a part of our Midfeild ; aside with De jong , Vaart and Sneijder.

    1. Why you guys keep mentioning Afellay, Wijnaldum and Van Ginkel? These guys have not played all season. Are you guys doing this on purpose? Ya need to stop this. Afellay should of left Barcelona during the winter transfer window.

    1. I don’t really know him, have seen him only few times, but I clearly disagree about “the new Sagna” as he seems to be exactly the opposite, a good counter attack defender but not a solid one.

      If I’m not mistaken, he isn’t a formed RB, is he ? I think he was playing more as CM and RM with Groningen.

      1. was more focus on eredivise players through out the campagin…..which backfired big time and still has that stabbourn face of pretending everthing is normal which really sucks….. he has the first hand experience of what happens when u fail at WC level and has also found a portal to escape whatever the outcome is for NT at WC.
        As it is it will be a vaccation for him in Brazil……

  12. Has anyone recognised the brilliant tactical manoeuvre by Advocaat today? He line-up his team today with 5 at the back. Three guys spread across the centre back position (Viergiver, Wuytens & Reijnen) with Viergiever pushing up into midfield when appropriate. All three CBs read the game well and pushed forward when appropriate, always being cognisant of their primary duties (defending).

    Reijnen would move into the RB position to help Johansson to double up on the Anzi winger and Viergiver would do the same with Pouslen on the LB, when this occurred Elm and Gudelj would also retreat into the CB positions to keep this tight.

    The midfielders had read the game very carefully and wrok very hard also.

    Beerens was given a more central role to use his pace and look for opportunities to spring counter-attacks. He worked tirelessly to cover large portions of space.

    Berghuis played as a number 10. Running with the ball and always looking for space to propel the forward trust of the team. He played a smart game by constantly reading the plays, tracking players and looking to spring quick forward balls into the strikers. Overall he has a good game. Not exceptional, but good (with time he will improve immensely).

    Overall, it was a tactical master class from Advocaat. He knew where his team was vulnerable and he setup his players to defend well as a unit and cover for the weaknesses of each other. It was clear that the team’s objective was to defend their lead and make it into the next round. It wasn’t beautiful, it wasn’t very possession based, they were even lucky at times, but it was tactical and effective.

    Great job!!

    1. Still AZ has more possession than Anzhi in the first half. AZ have more chances than Anzhi today. They should have won this game. I still do not rate Advocaat that high. He is too conservative. His bench players barely get a chance to play. He did not sub anyone today and he did this a lot of times this season.
      By the way, he mentioned this weekend he is going to use 2nd team for the League game in order to prepare for the cup game.
      So we probably will see talented young players like Haye, Overeem, Lewis, Hoedt maybe even Dabney Dos Santos to play. It is always hard for young players to get playing time under Advocaat.

    1. Basel is no way better than Lyon. AZ definitely can take Basel. Basel lost Salah already.
      Basel Lyon will be good draw. AZ have decent chance of going to the next round.
      Valencia Sevilla will be an OK draw. AZ have slim chance of going to the next round.
      Benfica, Porto, Juventus will be bad draw. AZ have almost no chance of going to the next round.

  13. What is really pity is that AZ is the 6th dutch team, clearly behind Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, Twente and Vitesse. I honestly expect nothing from them, and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have reached this round if they had met better opponents before.

    Juventus is too high, but a serious Ajax or PSV, playing with the whole team and not with things like Duarte LB etc. can compete against Benfica, Porto or Valencia. All those three teams aren’t scaring this year. It would be like 60/40 for Benfica, Porto and Valencia, not more. And Sevilla, Basel and Lyon would be 50/50.

    Twente, Feyenoord and Vitesse also can compete against Sevilla/Lyon/Basel. Twente attack line Tadic-Castaignos-Promes is quite strong, but the midfield and defence are a bit too light in my opinion, Feyenoord is more complete and has good players in every line but lacks someone like Tadic. Boetius, Vilhena, Clasie etc are still too tender. Vitesse have good wingers and good lateral backs, the midfield is also interesting, only I don’t really rate Kashia/VDHeijden behind and Havenaar forward.

    1. That is the problem for top teams in Eredivisie now. No team is interested in playing in Europa League maybe except AZ. They learned their lesson 2 or 3 years ago when they were playing in Europe and their league ranking started to drop. The money you can get from Europa League is just too limited. Winning the league or Cup gives you a lot of money.

      1. I also need to mention Twente kind of take Europa League seriously as well. I think AZ, Twente, Zwolle (who just missed european soccer because Eredivisie’s fair play ranking dropped to no.2 at the last moment, Jans mentioned that he is very eager to play European soccer and was very disappointed they did no get the chance this season, this is the mentality Eredivisie teams should have) are the only teams that are interested in playing in Europa League. When Utrecht,Vitesse, PSV, Feyenoord get knocked out in the Europa League you barely hear coach or players criticizing themselves or saying they were disappointed by their performance. To them Europa League game is just a game to finish with no purpose. However, when you think about it, they have their own reasoning because most of Eredivisie teams are not deep enough. With a fully healthy Utrecht team I am pretty sure they can get at least two rounds deeper but look at them now, they are a team full of injuries, so if they do get pass another round or two in Euro League injury issue might be worse and they might even see themselves in relegation zone. To make it worse, KNVB is not helping teams that are competing in multiple competitions. AZ has a schedule of 5 games in 15 days that is just ridiculous especially that players in Eredivisie are quite young. KNVB definitely need to do something to encourage teams to compete in Europa League, if they can not raise their coefficient in the next two years they might see themselves in big trouble with fewer European Soccer allocations.

  14. @Bitterballen: thanks for sharing.

    Maybe Messi didn’t see Puyol’s foul on Robben? at least Robben somehow managed to reach the final while Messi’s Argentina was humilliated. 🙂

    1. Puyol is Messi’s teammate. Messi is not going to say Puyol deserving a red card which probably changed the match outcome had Spain played with 10 since that moment.

  15. Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
    Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund
    Paris Saint-Germain vs Chelsea
    Manchester United vs Bayern Munich

    One elite Dutchman in the Semi-finals at least

  16. Tough draw for AZ. But it will be a great experience for the boys. I know they will do their best, but I’m afraid this will be the end of th road. They have already done great and should be very proud. Also, I’ll look to see if Advocaat will pull out another tactical masterclass.

    1. If we can take one point in the two games, I will be satisfied since that will help the coefficient a little bit. Benfica is the 2nd best team left, AZ has very slim chance of going to the next round.

  17. What is this Twitter talk about RVP?:

    Claiming RVP ripped his cruciate. Some news outlets take it serious. It would mean no WC. I really hope this is just attention seeking nonsense. United might also want to step up the time they need for a proper diagnoses.

    1. I hope this is incorrect. We need all the weapons and some luck this time. With only Robben a real threat, it is much easier for our opponent to shut Robben down (double team, one defender marking Robben all the times, like Vogts did to JC in WC74 without getting a red card).

      1. Rumors are now flying around the internet. Getting nervous. I would like United to step forward and just make a statement. Almost 2 days have past since the injury occurred. With Stroot we knew it the next day. No wonder people start to make up story’s.

        1. As YCNSNG pointed out, the 2nd scan is today and let’s hope for the best. It is said that his upper leg was very stiff so I hope it is just muscle pain/soreness and nothing serious.

  18. Hopefully the second scan reveals nothing serious. I CAN’T imagine WC without Strootman and Van Persie. It will be a massive disappointment for me. Keeping me fingers crossed.

  19. Netherlands U17 will play Sweden before France. I missed that. March 22 at 17:00 hours Dutch local time the game will be played. France will be played the 25th at 19:00 hours.

    Netherlands got a bit lucky vs Austria. Hope that France will slip up against them while we run up the score vs Sweden. Would put more pressure on France in the final qualification game.

    1. But this coach…I do not understand him… He started with only Slabbekoorn (of the big talents) in the game against Austria,no Nouri,no Paal. And Ould-Chikh,well…He did not even call him!
      You should always find the way to play your best players,so that you can win AND play great.But playing great should be the priority in my opinion,if only at this U17 level.

      1. Totally agree. I would look for a system to fit all 3 in, which is fairly simple if you sacrifice the traditional strikers. This guy finds a way to somehow marginalize them. What a joke.

        He has yet to win from a big country. Hope for him he gets lucky against France, otherwise I wish somebody else would take over.

      2. Guys wake up, I do not know how much money each of the Under17 Under19 teams’ coach give to KNVB, except for Stuivenberg we had not had a good coach for our young sides for a long long time. Cor Pot and the U19 coach whose name got translated to Mushroom are two of the worst coaches I have ever seen and this new U17 coach stekelenburg is clearly misusing a very very talented generation with Keenth Paal, Slabberkoorn, Nouri, Van der Moot, Berenstein Van de Beek. He did not even take very talented players like Ould Chikh, Walian, Gino Dekker. I kept track of a lot of U17 and U19 games and a lot of weird line ups happen. It really sucks. KNVB need to get serious about choosing our U17 U19 Coaches, our U19 did not even go to the elite round but we can beat Spain U19 that tells you how inconsistent this team is.And our U18 wins big and loses big. KNVB need to get serious.

  20. Whewww !
    BREAKING: Following further investigation, Robin van Persie has a sprained knee, which will keep him out for around four to six weeks. #mufc
    Official Man UTD account.

  21. Guys,

    It’s funny how I don’t see more us here talking about our sliding uefa coefficient. I can recall Your Are a Joke mentioning it earlier and I must say I have been a little concerned about it too. We really need Ajax to start doing something in the CL next season. This string of disappointing and disgraceful group stage exits isn’t doing our coefficient any good.

    Also, PSV, Twente, Feyenoord, Vitesse and whoever else makes it into the Europe next season need to do some good to our coefficient. We need to lift the profile of our league and get our youngsters some much needed prolonged experience in Europe.

    It’s not just the coefficient is being affected by our failures in Europe, the profile and international appeal of the Eredivisie is being significantly dragged down as a result of the performances of our teams in Europe. For example in my side of the world (Caribbean) almost no one watches the Eredivisie or recognise our top teams. Committed fans like me are very few and even further between.

    Just saying a word or two!

  22. Official

    Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will be out of action for four to six weeks with a sprained knee.

    The Dutchman suffered the injury in the final stages of United’s Champions League win over Olympiacos on Wednesday and was carried off on a stretcher as the Reds held out for victory.

    David Moyes said on Friday lunchtime the club’s medical team would be doing more investigations into the injury but unfortunately the news is not good.

    A club spokesperson told “Following further investigation Robin van Persie has a sprained knee, which will keep him out for around four to six weeks.”

  23. RvP out 4 to 6 weeks…I do hope he doesn’t get injured again this season.. I also hope Robben gets some much needed rest. He’s been playing week-in week-out for Bayern. He (+ Neuer) has been the only constant in the Bayern starting 11.

  24. I wanted to write about this long time ago but for different reasons I couldn’t: the approach the KNVB is having regarding how this sport has to be played. It’s certainly worrisome, and I can see a patron whereby we are getting closer to the playing style that teams like Germany and Italy adopted in the past; and that can be briefly described in this way: muscle over talent, and collective above individual.

    What is happening right know in the national youth teams is the same that motivated Cruyff and his entourage to start a revolution upon Ajax’s academy, where coaches were more concerned on winning games than developing talents and, as a result, they tried to mechanize the game choosing players with good functional technique but with 0% creativity and spontaneity. Players like Klaassen(have you noticed the aversion he has of a ball, always trying to get rid of it as soon as possible?) and Siem de Jong can be used to exemplify this prototype of player.

    I know a lot about talents in the Netherlands, and I know very well that many of their greatest talents are being overlooked by the KNVB coaches because they aren’t tall enough or strong enough or because their creativity represent a threat to the stiff tactics this coaches are used to. It seems that all of the sudden the Italian school has overtaken our Dutch soccer. Bilal Ould Chikh, for instance, a 16-year-old talent that is regard as the biggest Twente’s talent (who, btw, yesterday made his debut at Jong Twente), is not being called out because his dribbling abilities and his capacity to elude opponents as if they weren’t there are against the way KNVB feel football. With this insight even Robben wouldn’t be called out either if he were a youth player.

    KNVB, stop killing Dutch football identity!. Long life to Van Gogh!!

    1. yes ..he is,though he can play for serbia,he will not play for them,wonderful sign by ajax and wise decision by Richario not for going behind plastic money clubs..

  25. Huntelaar scored again today bringing his goal tally to 10 in 12 games.

    LvG really needs to find a way to utilize both he and RVP on the pitch at the same time, whether it’s a 4-4-2 or a 4-1-3-2.

    If he doesn’t move away from the 4-3-3 with RVP starting and Huntelaar on the bench, our games vs. Spain/Chile will look just like our performance versus France.

      1. Different formations used. Bert’s problem in the Portugal game was he used VdV as a DM which a) was a bad move tactically and b) like you said below, left gaps in the midfield because Raf wouldn’t track back defensively.

        You mention Germany yet some our best chances came when Hunt was on the pitch; Robben’s pass to RVP at the 58:00 mark, Sneijder’s shot that went just wide at 61:00, Robben’s pass to Sneijder at 70:00 which would have went in if Boateng didn’t make it in time, and of course RVP’s goal itself which was aided by Hunter drawing the defenders away from him.

        We have 3 friendly’s left, so there’s no harm in giving it a shot. If it fails we can always revert back to RVP playing up front alone with Hunt on the bench.

  26. Norwich, who moved up to 13th in the Premier League, could have extended their lead but Van Wolfswinkel’s header was pushed over by Mannone.
    The Dutch striker, an £8.5m signing from Sporting Lisbon last summer, has now failed to score in 22 games in all competitions – a run of 1,256 minutes (20 hours, 56 minutes), although that was the only negative for the Canaries.

  27. For those who keep and keep asking for RVP and Huntelaar together, I don’t really understand. Both have been really average with NT separatly, bad the few times they played together, but the solution should be to associate them again ?

    Why not just to admit that we have no top striker, and try to build a good team around one of them instead of associating them…RVP playing behind Huntelaar is bad for the balance of team, unless you put two real DM behind, but don’t expect VP to work like Rooney, he won’t defend as much. Remember the big holes in the midfield against Portugal when the midfield was Nigel-VDV-Van Persie. VP is no link between the midfield and attack, he can’t do it, the team will be divided in two parts.

    Forget about this idea for a 4-3-3, and as Van Gaal will use 4-3-3 for sure, just forget about it.

    1. “A system depends on the players you have. I played 4-3-3 with Ajax, 2-3-2-3 with Barcelona and a 4-4-2 with AZ. I’m flexible. The philosophy stays the same though.” LVG 2008

      1. A 4-4-2 with Van Persie-Huntelaar would only work if Fer helps Nigel in my opinion. And it would mean no VDV, unless he uses him as LM, which would mean no Lens.



        ————–Van Persie——Huntelaar————

        Maybe it can work with Van Ginkel too, but it wouldn’t work with Clasie or De Guzman, they don’t work enough. I’m not against testing this against Ecuador, but I doubt Van Gaal is thinking about it, he is more thinking about PL next year.

        1. That’s the lineup I had in my mind. Fer/Nigel sounds intriguing on paper.

          VdV, Lens, and Depay are all options we can use on the LW. I prefer Raf, but it depends on who’s most fit and in the best form at the time.

          1. With a back line of:

            Willems/BMI—–Rekik—–Vlaar—–van der Wiel/Janmaat

            This is our best shot at making some waves in Brazil, IMO.

          2. Rekik-Vlaar should be the pair behind yes, considering that Van Dijk and Douglas don’t count for LVG. Or maybe the surprise of LVG is Van Dijk ?

        2. Fer is not quick releaser of ball,he makes game sslow,but a tough nut to crack in the back,extreaamly dangerous on set peices especially when Vaart on team.If want to play this line up we need to move persie to left and hunter to middle.Guys with better realsing spped would add more tempo to the game,also roben,Persi,Vaart and hunter are not welknown for their stamina,may be persie would survive,lots would be ded=cided on workrate runners of the team,that is going to be Nijel and fer in this team.
          instead of we might put a better quality players
          —–Van ginkel——-Klassen———-

  28. Netherlands won 2-0 from Sweden. Slabbekoorn scored the first goal in the first halve. A second goal followed after the break, scored by Bergwijn.

    Line up:


    The problem now is that France has scored 1 more against Sweden while getting the same scoreline vs Austria as as we did: they won with 2-1. This means Netherlands will have to win the net game vs France, while they advance with a draw already.

    I know I have said this many times already, but I keep repeating that it is weird that this U17 coach is not looking at a system to fit in his best players. Paal, Slabbekoorn and Nouri are almost even marginalized by him, let alone they ever play all 3 together at the same time. IMO this can easily be solved by replacing the strikers that never seems to score. Van der Moot, another box wonder in the making (yay), had 2 full games and scored 0. So Slab as striker and put Paal and Nouri behind him. Especially this Sweden game should have been used to run up the score line this way, to not get into this must win situation against France. I consider that a fail already. Also this coach has won 0 games against big country’s. So he must outdo himself to beat the frogs.

    Can’t wait for the excuses when he draws and says Netherlands was actually better, but were not able to win. He created that situation from the very beginning. Not only in this qualification round, it already started with his unwillingness to try something I propose in the friendly games against England, Germany and Portugal earlier this year and maybe even before that. This must win situation is also dangerous. France has quality up front and is able to expose a high line.

    We will see if Stekenburg can surprise us. It’s time.

    PS props to Austria, they were close in drawing and not even that far from winning both from Netherlands and France. This together with their club Salzburg having done some damage in Europe certainly caught my attention. They should win from Sweden.


    1. Hey DRB i was wondering what you thought of depay in terms of how good he is and can be because i don’t get the chance to watch the eredivisie games or even the highlights i just see his goals and his odd holland performance.


      1. I think he is a maverick. A guy who is unpredictable. Who is a tad crazy. Who at the one hand is pretty self confident, but at the other hand starts nervous in big matches at times as he puts too much pressure on himself. I saw that against Milan. His unpredictable nature is good for attack often, but in defense he is able to do stupid things that initiate a dangerous turn over by the opponent. That happened in that Milan game at home, but very recently it was there again. It is still prevalent in his game.

        There is a big bill board when PSV players enter the training pitch at the Herdgang:

        “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.”

        Very well put. Depay is a player who must have made that saying his own. His philosophy. What I am hearing is that he is last one to leave the complex. Training hard, working out, keeping his body in top shape. A huge difference compared to, for example Vilhena, who is rumored for leaving as fast as he can. Hard work is a huge parameter for success long term and Depay, not being content with just being talented, is someone striving for continual improvement.

        What I do not like about him is that his ball handling is often untended. Not fluent. This is not just the flip side from being an unpredictable player. It goes much further than that. I have seen games where his lower limit concerning field play was unacceptable. Then he scored a goal, was the game changer, but for me he still did not play a good match. Apart from sloppy passing, his dribbling has moments of no control. Against France there was a moment where he was in the box, but lacked that bit of control in his dribbling to give that final ball, creating great danger. Messi has it. Hazard has it. Depay does not have it in this department. I am using extreme examples (not being able to dribble as Messi is not really a stick to beat a player with) to drive my point home.

        Another problem with Depay is that he lacks speed. One can easily say that he is fast, but judging him with the international top in the back of my mind, then I say that he is not fast enough for the wing.

        When he started to make sub appearances for PSV he had a really high minute to goal rate. I got the impression that he was pretty clinical. After this season, playing many full games for PSV, I have to conclude that he misses a lot. An awful lot. He is the opposite of clinical. On the other side of the spectrum. Today again one must say that he should have had a goal.

        This brings up the next question: is that permanent, or can we expect Depay to start banging in his chances? I don’t know. Hard to imagine him not starting to finish his chances a bit better, but if he ever gets clinical I can not tell. If he does start to finish them, then he will become hot property even for the top teams in Europe, if he not already is.

        There is also a contradiction within Depay. He is a great at absorbing body checks and winning a dual that way. Would indicate balance. However he has serious balance issues if he is just in the run of play. I am talking about Royston Drenthe level of balance problems. It might be the result of having such a big upper body or maybe it’s something else, but he should maybe do more exercises to get that more in check.

        The lack of overview critique he gets, I am less harsh in. I think that is maturity and also simply experimentation. I remember Sneijder for Ajax really kicking every ball from distance on goal. It annoyed me back then. He overdid it I felt. Maybe, but that practice made him better long term and ripe for the top. Depay should invest in himself this way as well. Depay’s choices in dangerous areas and in the box should improve, but that is also something that comes with time.

        The thing that is worst developed with Depay is his heading. He is a terrible header.

        Depay, despite his mistakes, is a force on the wing for PSV. He is an engine for the team. Bit machine, bit maverick. He is a young man, rather than a boy. Maybe not everything is all that polished or right what he does, but he makes things happen. He creates threat and danger on that left side. If a game needs to be turned around I can easily imagine many PSV fans turning their head towards Depay. That is quite a thing for such a young player to achieve, also basically in his first real Eredivisie season where he consistently starts.

        Normally what will await us is that he will experience a dip season (where we ask ourselves “is he actually that good as we thought?”) followed by a conformation season (a season where he is at least if not better than his outbreak season). What is his ceiling? Pretty high. I Don’t know if there is an extra gear if he shifts towards a Tevez role at a club like Juve. Or that he would actually start doing worse. It’s an interesting idea to play with. If he stays on the wing, I am curious how he deals with the speed issue long term. If he is not played as a pure winger but plays more in a free role to do what he wants from the wing, gets inside every time he wants (his kind of game), then he should be able to settle with one of the better clubs in a top league. If Chadli can play for Spurs than Depay must be able to do at least the same.


        1. I too think Depay has the kind of ability to be a “game changer” like Robben is, I know Kishna has been 2 years injured which has clearly afected his development but Depay is a player with more resources i guess. Pretty similiar to CR7, except for the head factor!!
          I am very glad to see that he is training well, because last year that wasnt the case, with all that rap shit.
          I seriously think he is the big deal, lets hope he stays with PSV one or two more years and can sign for some big team like juventus for example.

    2. I have to say Van der Moot is a very talented striker. The thing is he did not get called for the friendly tournament before these qualification matches so there is no way he can fit in immediately. That stupid coach keep ignoring Van der Moot and Walian. In last round both of them played really well but for some reason they can not get into the squad for the friendlies.

      1. I don’t want to sound harsh, but I am just not a fan of both kind of strikers. I am talking about the brand they represent. I wish them all the luck in the world with their club career and hope they are able to get financial independent as soon as possible.

        That being said, if we talk about the Dutch NT, then I feel like I should step in. I like winning and I also love aesthetics. I love technical superior players, players that can create on their own and that can take part in high level intricate passing sequences.

        I love watching Aguero, Suarez or RVP last season. Those kind of footballers. I think Netherlands should be ambitious and strive to produce another Rensenbrink, Bergkamp, Cruyff or van Basten. Players with elegance. I get sad from Huntelaar. From Dost. Castaignos. You get the idea.

        I have no idea what Netherlands is doing with their striker development, but whatever is running there, it does not make me happy. It should be an elite position. It should be the creme de la creme. A Dutch football pundit made this comment: The best footballers are the attackers. If a player is less good, he is put into midfield. Then the rest is put in defense. The guy who is not able play football but is there anyway, is put in goal. Though being funny and simplistic, I agree that the striker position should be reserved for a very special player. A player that has the ball glued to his feet. A player that can create, combine, finish ruthlessly and finish with style.

        This is why I would play Slab as a striker, who reminds me a little bit of Aguero. Paal and Nouri behind him. Van de Beek in DM. I would break with all available strikers.

        I also think the future striker of the Dutch NT won’t be a striker who played there in the youth. I think we will see a winger making a switch. Prime suspect is Kishna. IF he stays fit and turns out to be as professional as Depay, then he could become the striker of the Dutch NT after RVP. A guy with speed, finishing ability, technical ability, creativity and some arrogance.

        Again, this is just my opinion. If people like their pragmatic fox in the box kind of striker who turns mediocre the second he steps outside his box then I guess Netherlands is on the right track. It’s just that something tells me it’s a one way ticket to mediocrity.


        1. Van der Moot is known as the next Huntelaar so it is understandable that you are not a fun of him. Walian can be elegant sometimes. If you set the standard as high as Van Persie then we do not have any of those kind of talent from the pool of players born between 89 and 92. That is a standard too high, how many Van Persie type of player we have in the world? Achabar might have the talent but his physicality limited him and now he is totally lost.

          1. We basically have three 10 players in Nouri, Paal and Slabbekoorn (who scores very easily) who do not get a look in as a trio to see if they can play together. Those players are regarded as the best of their club teams. We are sacrificing the trio potential for a brand of strikers that I am not interested in to begin with (again, harsh, wish them all luck with their club career, but this is the NT we are speaking of). A choice for van der Moot or Walian is a choice against this trio getting minutes under their belt to find that click and start producing magic. Should it not have been tested in at least 1 friendly?

            Strikers out, system from point to the front to point to the back (Ajax system) and this is what you get:


            I would also point to the fact that van der Moot has now gotten 2 whole games to score at least 1 goal. We needed 3 goals or more against Sweden to prevent a must win situation vs France and a striker chipping in would have solved things. He did not.

            I by the way agree with you that this coach made a huge error in selecting him for these games all of the sudden but leaving him out for the friendly’s against England, Germany and Portugal. Thanks for making me notice that. I have not been a fan of this coach so far and this is another reason to dislike him.

      2. @You are a joke,

        I will post the summery of the game vs Sweden below this post. From that footage I made the following screen shot the moment he is about to head the ball:

        Here van der Moot gets a perfect cross from Berenstein (from the left, Bergwijn from the right, I switched that in one of my line ups). The goal is completely open. All he has to do is head it in. He heads it over the bar where the keeper stands. With all due respect, but that is not the result of being unable to fit in immediately. That argument is for rusty combinations and lack of chance creation for him to score from. This was a wide open chance where he should just finish.

        If box strikers start to miss the tap ins or easy header finishes, then it becomes hard for me to understand why big talents like Nouri and Paal should sit on the bench watching at a set up that keeps such strikers in the line up by default.

        The three are basically played out against each other for the 10 position, with some minutes on the wings as a possibility as well. They don’t even try to play Slab striker and one of Nouri or Paal on 10. Forget playing a different system to play all 3 of them.

        Anyway seeing that goal from Bergwijn I wonder why Ajax let him go to PSV. I thought I read somewhere he was ex Ajax. I think the wingers might be given more credit. That cross on Moot was also very good and the game reports suggest for some games now that Berenstein is one of the better players all the time.


        1. I think we get another generation of players who can win the U17 European Championship but our coach is just terrible which might cost us the tournament. I am not sure how good this France U17 is they had some recent interesting generation that developed pretty well. The thing I can’t understand is that why can’t KNVB hire some more experienced coaches who had successful coaching experience in some decent clubs. Our last U21 coach Cor Pot is just terrible and stubborn, Van Gaal was willing to give him good advice but he chose not to listen. And if we go back to our Notouriously bad U19 Coach Mushroom(his name when translated into English is Mushroon). When he led the team to the European U19 final tournament, nobody is willing to go because they all know how terrible he is. The only good players that went are Kongolo, Ayoub and Basacicoglu. We lost all three games in the group stage (our U19 always suck very bad, I feel like KNVB just do not take U19 that serious) and the coach stayed!!!! What a surprise and now you see what happened, we even failed to get to the elite round. That is just very lame.

          1. Corpot mistake was slecting mike van derhoorn over Jefrry bruma,who has done well for orange 21 under corpot for a long time,Corpot sucked ,MVH sucked,We sucked.end of the story.Corpot first 11 was perfect and it was a pefcet selction for u21.

    1. This is a player with a lot of red flags. I am a guy with a 1996 trauma and will always go for team chemistry rather than giving somebody a chance to show he has changed.

      Besides, is that the case? How come a player like him is basically never able to play 90 full minutes in the English Championship? Does that not puzzle you? We might start defining what resurgence would mean. Some goals don’t cut it for me.

      Drenthe had quite some talent. I felt that he could have been a player that provided infiltrating runs in the final third. Creating man more situations and being dangerous with his shot. His talent just happens to be build on an unprofessional character. Basic stuff like showing up for training.

      If you start to invite such players then how can a coach demand maximum professionalism from other players?

      For the Dutch NT, no thanks. I rather resist the bit of shimmer and lure that Drenthe’s football might have. Let’s build on the new generation like Depay, Kishna and Boëtius. Or more for midfield, guys like Ziyech who might be level headed and hard working. Vilhena had a full season at Feyenoord. Maher should not be written off yet. Even Klaassen for that matter. Much more professional building blocks to work with.


  29. Pieters should be given a shot at LB. We’ve already seen what Willems + BMI can do. He’s playing week-in/week-out vs. some of the toughest comp in the EPL.

    1. Watched most of the game. Pieters did quite well. I am not sure he was challenged that much defensively doing this match, but he actually went forward a few times and even got an assist. Another goal started with a vertical pass from him that Bacuna was unable to process all that well. Bit comedy defending in that sequence as the Villa CB followed up with mishitting the ball.

      Unfortunately he had to go off with an injury again or maybe his old injury from previous match played up again.

      I can’t remember a time where everything is so close to each other for so many positions. For the left back position alone people can make a case for Pieters. For Willems. For PVA. For Blind. For BMI with his hard vertical pass. Some Feyenoord fans might opt for Kongolo. Now Büttner is back in the picture for United and did not do bad yesterday some might go for him. Emanuelson at Milan has some fans. Soon we might even see people mentioning Koppers ;).

      Not a good sign. We need a players raising his game and becoming a regular for a European top team. Milan is a top club with history, but they are very, very far from being a top team at the moment. Urby plays out of poverty, not because of his high quality on left back.

      1. “Soon we might even see people mentioning Koppers”

        Soon ? Ajax fans already mentionned him when he had a single “good” game against Manchester United lol

  30. I agree. I just finished watching parts of the Aston Villa vs Stoke and Pieters did well. He setup a goal and was generally good going forward and tracking back. In fact he had a much better game than Bacuna on the opposite side.

    Also, Another impressive performance for our boys at AZ despite coming from a tough midweek Russian trip. Beerens have looked much better since Advocaat switched him to the leftwing a few weeks ago and Berghuis looks to be improving a little every single game he plays. Another goal for him today and a general all-round good game. Viergiver continues to lead well as at the back also.

    1. Yes, it was a good game. What I learned:
      1. Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas controlled the midfield very well.
      2. Barca is not very good defending cross/header.
      3. Real played counter attack well. I think this is the only way to defeat Barca.
      4. The way Neymar and Iniesta went down to get penalty made me rethinking had Robben went down when Puyol fouled him, it would have been red card and the game result may have been different.

  31. Maybe. But I wouldn’t trust him there. He looks to have the attributes to do well as CB though. However, the fact that its not his natural position would make it a very risky move.

    He should be called to the provisional squad for the WC and given a few runs at the LB though.

    1. Yeah I’m a Melburnian… The club that Engelaar plays for has a strong Dutch contingent. John van’t Schip is coach and has just been signed on for another three years. Rob Wielart also plays for the team and is an important player who is often given the captains armband. The team just got bought by man city only a few months ago

  32. i cannot find anyone talk about eredevise this week.

    PSV win and reach second in Eredevise. they r infront of Vitesse with same game.

    Vitesse beat by Gronigen, zikovic score the frist goal and play 86 minutes fro Gronigen.

  33. @DRB : How do you currently rate Zickovic ? Is he a typical no.9 box player like Van der Moot and Walian ? Or he is kinda gifted technically and can grow into good no.9 for Oranje ? Like Kluivert may be ?
    Is he a good deal for Ajax or he would only block Kishna’s Development in the striker’s role ?

    1. > “How do you currently rate Zickovic?”

      I am lukewarm to him at the moment. I am not on the Zivco bandwagon. I rate him as a potential, but the way a talent is hyped in the Netherlands while he has not shown anything that special yet is quite over the top IMO. The thing is that Netherlands does not have that many (or any) special players in development at striker position and so anything with a bit of quality down in the nursery is more than welcome. That’s why it’s pleasant he chose for the Netherlands and not Serbia. He is a guy to keep an eye on, not much more than that.

      > “Is he a typical no.9 box player like Van der Moot and Walian? Or he is kinda gifted technically and can grow into good no.9 for Oranje ? Like Kluivert may be ?”

      Well Walian makes also goals as a counter striker I think. He possess some speed. He just lacks technique. Moot is more like Huntelaar. Good finisher in the box. Zivcovic is more a counter striker like Castaignos (who is for now more dynamic than Zivco). The exponent of that mold/brand in recent Dutch history is Roy Makaay. You have to think more in that direction, rather than Kluivert. Every player has different accents but Zivco is good against teams who maintain a high line.

      > “Is he a good deal for Ajax or he would only block Kishna’s Development in the striker’s role?”

      From a “player profile / club’s playing philosophy” point of view, not really a good deal for Ajax, as Ajax play a possession game, which translates into limited space between their most forward attacker (in this case Zivco) and the opponents keeper. That’s a problem for a striker that loves hitting teams on the break after a turn over. It is also often crowded for an Ajax striker to work where he gets to operate. Must, as a result of that, possess ability in the tight spaces. Not sure how good he gets in that department. He still has time to be nurtured into that direction. Must also have hold up play in his locker. He is young and must become stronger for that. Currently an Ajax striker even often has to be able to work well with inverted wingers, rather than process many crosses from the wings. This is proven by Sigthorsson’s problems as striker for Ajax, who would flourish were he given more crosses, which has been very limited for him.

      It’s impossible to say something final about a 17 year old. How will he respond to different training exercises that he will get at Ajax? What if they shift that towards a bit of a different profile and he responds well to it? Ajax has certain ideas to mold him into a striker that can become more of use to them. We will have to wait if this process comes to fruition or that it was doomed from the beginning. Their transfer record under Overmars is not free of scrutiny, so it’s healthy to be a bit skeptical about it until it succeeds. The starting profile of the striker is certainly not one that fits Ajax perfectly.

      Concerning your last question, first Kishna has to be put into striker position by Frank. It is my personal opinion that he would be a good striker, I am not sure Frank will use him as one in the next season or the one after that. He has acted as a winger so far. If Zivco would suddenly explode as a striker, then I can imagine Kishna staying on the wing with Fischer at the other side. However I would be surprised to see that. I think Kishna’s first worry, if he wants the striker position, should be his knees. Staying fit. After that, de Boer’s sometimes rigid mind. After that his competition. A returning Meleg from FC Groningen after this season (goes out on loan as part of the Zivco transfer deal). Zivco himself. Maybe a returning Hoessen. Who knows. He should be able to beat them as I rate him higher than any of them. That’s why I say that staying fit is his main thing to worry about. I am also talking about avoiding all the short to medium range injuries that prevent him from making steps. We can’t have that as well, as he already missed 2 years of development. RVP talked about this concerning his first 6 years at Arsenal. He was thrown back all the time by injury’s. In his last 1.5 year and 1 year at United we got to see what a fully fit RVP could do over a whole season when staying fit, resulting even in winning PFA player of the year among other personal awards. It was there all the time, under the hood, but he got thrown back all the time due to his fitness issue’s. Kishna is a bit of the next RVP and even had worse fitness worries than when RVP started.


  34. Memhpis Depay player of the week:

    The kid is really improving day by day with hardworking manners. I am so proud of this kid, he really stepped this season as he is the light in that PSV team!!
    Depay to start in left wing in Brazil!! I know that is a bit to soon for him, but at the momment who is a better winger than him in NT?? Lens, Boettius, Promes? Neither of them.
    SO I say Depay to start and let the magic flow!!

  35. Weil hasn’t featured for three straight weeks now. I wonder whether he will feature for PSG against Chelsea or no. would have been a good test for him and for Van Gaal to select between him and Janmaat.

  36. It’d boost Büttner’s WC chances if he does well against Bayern although I do feel LVG won’t consider him.

    Great news to read Van Ginkel is already getting some playing time now let’s see how fast he recovers his form.

    1. Thanks, Srinjoy!

      Depay’s stats v Roda JC (via

      Pass accuracy- 81%, successful dribbles-10, tackles-3, total shots-6, touches-87, rating 9.7/10

    1. Interesting video indeed, even if every NT follower already knows that Robben would go 9/10 for an individual action and Sneijder for a useless and hopeless shot.

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.