Tag: De Guzman

Cruyff and Van Hanegem speak, and so does Louis!

Only nine days to go people!!! It is getting scary. I have to make the Fantasy World Cup League for us and have two more World Cups to cover here, for our Memory Lane trip…. But the news is coming fast and furious!

Everytime it’s the same story. A couple of weeks before the big tournament starts, Van Hanegem and Cruyff are asked about their opinion. And the two Oracles of Dutch football always have great soundbites… So Van Gaal will have to now allow these two (Waldorf and Statler) looking over his shoulder and commenting on all his moves. As if I wasn’t enough :-).

We’ll see what they have to say in a bit. First: jersey numbers. They’re out. And it’s official: Blind will play with 5 (and therefor take the left back spot, is my wild guess) and De Guzman will be the starter in midfield with 6. Robin wears 9, Robben 11 and Sneijder 10.

willem JC

Now, back to JC and De Kromme.

Cruyff: “I miss a player like Davy Klaassen. If you want to play 5-3-2 and move up to 3-5-2, it means you need smart players with a brain for timing and positioning. Klaassen has that in spades.”

Van Hanegem: “It is good to see Sneijder is back in top shape. But I am annoyed with that baseball cap. You can’t see his eyes when he’s being interviewed and that is wrong. Someone needs to tell him to lose the cap!”

Which teams will end in the top 4.

Cruyff: “Argentina. Never did a European nation win in South America. With players who can play really good football but also players who can numb their mind and tirelessly focus on that one element: win and bring out the best of yourself.”
Van Hanegem: “Argentina will be very keen to perform and with Messi and Di Maria they have two very good players. I won’t say Messi saved himself for the World Cup but I’m sure it has crossed his mind a number of times this season.
The Argentine defence is solid and if Messi can bring his top form, he might be forever heralded as the greatest ever, what winning the World Cup in Brazil!”
Cruyff: “But Brazil has so many great players…”
Van Hanegem: “Brazil… I did have my doubts until I saw that crush Spain in the Confederations Cup…”
Cruyff: “So aggressive….”
Van Hanegem: “But in a good way! Driven. Hungry. With that “don’t fuck with us!” mentality. That was what they resonated. And they didn’t seem to be worried with pressure. Everywhere they play, they feel pressure…”
Cruyff: “They know how to deal with that pressure…”
Van Hanegem: “I sometimes feel they played with the brakes on a bit, the Brazilian players in their club competitions…. Because they know they have to win this. They are the stone cold favorites.”
Cruyff: “Spain?”
Van Hanegem: “I doubt them. I normally would say yes, Spain, but they haven’t been to dominant. I think they are losing it.”
Cruyff: “But they have great players, still. Midfielders mainly. This is the problem they have in England too. They all have foreigners as strikers. Benzema, C Ronaldo, Bale and in Barcelona it’s Neymar, Messi and Sanchez… They quickly grabbed Diego Costa. Smart.”
Van Hanegem: “I think that is a top player. But Llorente of Juventus is no slouch either. And they do have some other physically strong players…yes, Spain is on my list.”
Cruyff: “And again Germany, of course.”
Van Hanegem: “If you see their squad with quality… Gotze, Reus, Muller, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Neuer….”
Cruyff: “Germans are always a threat. And with the introduction of more foreign coaches like Van Gaal and Guardiola, they will only get better.”
Van Hanegem: “You just know that Germany will be up there again.”
Cruyff: “Outsiders… I don’t see Holland as such, we are a bit too young. We have quality but lack experience. And that draw….”
Van Hanegem: “I would mention Belgium before Oranje. They have so many great players. France too by the way. I think we should cheer them if they survive the group.”
Cruyff: “It will be extremely tough.”
Van Hanegem: “The first game is versus Spain. The first game of the world champions, is always a tough one. The pressure is extra big. So yeah, we might be able to get something against them.”

RVP ghana

Oranje might get passed the group stages but is not planning on winning the beauty prize. Results first. Van Persie: “It wasn’t sparkling. We need to find the balance still.” The times of the beautiful game seem behind us. Van Gaal decides to play a less attractive and more realistic game. Which is: stop as much as possible and play all balls on the three upfront! Van Persie: “Our goal versus Ghana was a good example of this. We created three good chances in this way, but we missed the opportunity to pick the right moment as we could have broken more. It is still a bit too sloppy.”

The players realise that it will be a tough battle for our team and the rock in midfield Nigel de Jong is quite useful in those games: “I think we did well. We could have been 2-0 or 3-0 up by half time. If we did score, I don’t think anyone would have complained. This team needs a bit more time, but the potential is certainly there.”

We just had the Oranje press conference and here are some soundbites:

“Jon De Guzman had to leave the training this morning. He felt something in his left hamstring. I won’t take chances. Against Wales, we have sufficient replacements at the moment. I won’t make any rash decisions and we’ll see tomorrow what happens.”

“I might use a 4-4-2 against Wales.If Wales comes at us with one striker, it is useless to play 3 defenders. I will move one player up (Daley Blind). This is easy. He played in midfield for Ajax and Bruno played left back for Feyenoord. This is how I defined my squad.”

Louis gets bit antsy when the media complain about the narrow win against Ghana. “Oh dear, we only won 1-0?? Did you see how the other big countries done? We won 1-0 but it could have been 3-0. Germany plays 2-2 against Cameroon. Italy can’t win. And Spain wins against the number 8 of South America.”

“I am not sure if we are ready in time. We are making great progress but time will tell if we are ready for Spain and Chile and Australia. I do hope so. But like I said, we do pretty good if you take the friendly results as a benchmark. Wesley Sneijder played well today on training. He is playing really in midfield now.”

Mark van Bommel will be celebrated before the Wales game. He played 79 times for Oranje and Van Gaal (the coach who drove him out of Munich) was the coach back in 2000 to give Van Bommel his first cap.

Van Gaal talks about the number 10 position: “I can play Robben as 10, but I want his depth and speed upfront and Sneijder is a better passer of the game. But I have to look at fitness and how well a player plays within the system. I need to make sure Robin doesn’t need to work too hard. I saw him chasing the left and right defender against Ghana. He was doing too much. The wide defenders of our team need to manage those two.”


Van Gaal also claims that four players in the squad have not reached their full fitness yet. “I won’t mention names but we have four players who need to make a step up. The medical tests show this. Full fitness is needed if you want to play like I want to play. The games against Romania and Hungary were good examples.”

Sneijder is probably not one of those players. Chest out, chin up, the Galatasaray midfielder has managed to get to full fitness thanks to the help of K1 fighter Saki. The kickbox start trained for months with Wesley. “I contacted him. I met him once and he was a nice guy and very fit. I started working out with him. I also played and trained for Gala of course which also helped. But Saki is a Gala supporter and I needed some improvement in explosivity and footwork. I need to be faster and lighter. We did two to three sessions per week, in the evening. And I worked on a special program for the KNVB as well. My body mass index is now better than it was in 2010!”

Yolanthe explained his routine. “Gets up early. Takes his healthy breakfast and trains and trains. And he sleeps two hours in the afternoon. He started this as a kid and still does it. And I cook healthy and light. Lots of beef, fish and raw vegetables. And when take cream on my strawberries or chips on the sofa, he refuses. He is very serious.”

Sneijder was not too happy with the performance vs Ghana but is hopeful: “It was still a bit new and we needed to check too much…. and suddenly it clicked but then other things went wrong. Little things. We need to iron those out and we will. Once we do that, you’ll see it will look much better suddenly.”

squad pic

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Lots of work to do for Oranje

Not a title you would associate with an upcoming game vs Andorra.

But the State of the Union of Oranje is not too positive after the shock draw against Estonia.

And it’s not like Holland is not allowed to draw. After the amazing run we had under Bert and under Louis, it’s not a drama to not win for once. But what is a drama, that it happens in a game where we led 0-1 after 2 minutes. A game inwhich we dominated in the first 20 minutes. And a win would have secured our spot in the top 7 of the Fifa Ranking and would have given us that record to snatch away from Ze Zjermans.

The way we let this game slip away and the way we had to salvage a point were embarrassing, really.

Johan Cruyff is per usual the biggest contrarian. Where people only see good things, he sees negative elements. And the other way around. “It’s probably a good thing that Holland is not the first nation after Brazil to qualify. In all honesty, if we would qualify that easily and quick, people might believe we are really good. And we are not. Now, Van Gaal can work on the elements that need improvement, without bringing the qualification in trouble. This is maybe a blessing in disguise, this draw. Because now everyone realises: oops… We are not that great….”

JC Est

The oracle talks on: “Take Tiger Woods. If he plays without concentration for one day, he can simply tumble from the 1st to the 10th spot. The differences are minimal in the top. If we want to go for silverware in Brazil we will need to work really hard. And that is easier for Louis van Gaal now. Because if we would have won, criticism would not have its desired effect.”

The other Dutch icon, Willem van Hanegem, spoke as well. “I like Louis and I can’t really criticise his football vision. But the last weeks he seems to be losing it a bit. He has lost his consistency, it seems. First he claims he doesn’t need a type like Sneijder anymore. But when Wijnaldum gets injured, he calls Sneijder up. At first he’s not fit. Then he is fit enough? And the result? Sneijder feels the pressure and plays his own game. In order to prove himself. You could have predicted that. And Sneijder does play too close to Van Persie, basically suffocating the Man United striker. He needs movement around him and space. Sneijder doesn’t offer movement and doesn’t allow space. When Kuyt came to play centrally, things changed a bit. Another problem Van Gaal generated is that weird switch of Robben and Lens. Why? He was adamant that Robben should play on the left flank and now that is not needed anymore? Sure, Robben scored. It took the Estonia coach a couple of minutes to realise Robben played on the right, but since that goal Robben and Lens did not produce one single cross for Van Persie and Robben blocked Janmaat too. I think Van Gaal should sit down with his key players (RVP, Sneijder, Robben) and determine what system will be used. And lastly, De Vrij vs Bruma. Everyone who watches the Eredivisie can see that De Vrij is not in his best form, while Bruma is very strong. Why would Van Gaal use De Vrij and then sub him when he made a mistake? This is not good for the lad, not for the team and not for the coach… He should have simply said: Stefan, you will be rested, I wanna try out Bruma for this game.”

Oranje needs to regroup and will do so by acknowledging the weaknesses of the team: defence. With players like Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Van Persie, Kuyt and Robben, most international opponents will be very careful. But with big names like De Boer, Stam, Rijkaard and Reiziger missing in the current squad, most opponents feel there is something to be had against this Holland team.

robben est

Skipper Robin van Persie does not allow criticism to creep into the camp. “It’s normal that the fans and the media are unhappy with that performance, but internally, we are not negative. The last thing we will do is point fingers. We need each other. We need to play and act like a team.”

The media asked Van Gaal about his substitution of De Vrij. Was it because he was to blame for that first Estonia goal? “No. I subbed him not for that. If someone makes a mistake, the team makes a mistake and the team will need to resolve it. I subbed Stefan because he lost confidence and didn’t play the vertical, deep pass anymore. That needed changing.”

Kevin Strootman: “The Feyenoord lads have been starters this whole qualification series. We did very well. Do you seriously think they forgot how to play football?”

In 2004, Holland played an away game against Andorra, and that was a special game. The 34 year old AZ midfielder Barry van Galen made his debut in Oranje under Van Basten. The current AZ scout would never be called up again. “I am eternally grateful to Marco for this. I think he simply felt I deserved at least one international game. And sure, I’d love to have played that game against Brazil, like Bart Latuheru, hahaha. But it was the best day in my whole career. And Marco asked me after the game: what did you think? And I said: I was shit. Because I was. I didn’t do anything right. And Marco nodded, hahahaha. And after the game, I was interviewed, and who was standing next to me? Johan Cruyff. My hero. Ah, those memories. I played with number 10, even. Van Basten made me the happiest man ever.”


Barry van Galen against Andorra, 2004

A won against Andorra will give Holland a ticket almost for certain. Romania would have to bridge 6 points and 15 goals in two games, something that is highly unlikely of course (*cough* Spain – Malta!!! * cough*).

If Romania drops points vs Turkey, Holland will be definitely certain of Brazil.

Van Gaal has to make some changes, as Arjen Robben and Bruno Martins Indi are suspended. Ruben Schaken is the obvious replacement for Robben. The Feyenoord defender will most likely be replaced by Vlaar. Karim Rekik is an option too although he is not 100% fit. However, Van Gaal could decide to play with three defenders only, taking into account that Andorra will probably only field one striker.

In this case, we might see Janmaat – De Vrij / Bruma – Willems/Verhaegh

And maybe four midfielders, with De Guzman to support the build up. I wouldn’t mind seeing Sneijder, Maher and Strootman together.

And Lens – RVP – Schaken upfront.

RVP most likely wants to play, as he is only 4 goals away from Patrick Kluivert’s record of 40 goals in the Orange Jersey.

rvp kluiv

Arjen Robben is the unlikely vice captain. The egotistical self kicker Robben, as vice captain. “I like the responsibility. I love coaching and supporting the young lads. And it gives me great honour to wear the band, you know.” Robben’s drive has not diminished after winning the CL at last. He was furious when he left the pitch against Estonia. “If you score after 2 minutes and you are the better team, you simply need to win. Period.” Asked about his drive and his loathing of losing….” Ask my wife. I haven’t changed a bit since winning the CL at Wembley. I still play as if it’s my last game. But Guardiola said something interesting to me. We had a good chat and he said: you have nothing to prove. If you simply play good football, I will put you in the line up. Just enjoy yourself. I loved that…. I need to learn how to do that.”


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Oranje and WorldCup 2014: one year to go

And here we are. Louis van Gaal had his Asia trip to check on the big boys and to allow some wannabees in, while Cor Pot had the top talents at his disposal to win some silverware.

With the dust settled, the Confederations Cup in full flow and the rest on their way to beaches, mountains, exotic cities or the training field (Sneijder), lets check the State of the Orange Union.

There is a list (in Louis’ head) with names of players of whom LVG thinks he will take them… This is of course, unless something remarkable happens (injury, dramatic loss of form or conflict at club).

At the top of that list is the current Captain, one Robin van Persie. He will lead us all into the final year leading up to the World Cup. Arjen Robben, vice captain, is close behind him. In the form he currently is, he is likely to win the Golden Ball at the end of the year… Or whatever the name. Kevin Strootman and Jeremain Lens (both still PSV but probably not for long) will be on that list too. Lens going to Kiev might be a gutsy move for him, in view of Brazil 2014, but maybe not. Russia has the future, they say…

I think Vorm and Vermeer might be certainties too, with Stekelenburg and Krul battling for the third spot. Stekelenburg to Fulham is a good move for him. Once Krul returns from injury, he might be taking Vermeer’s spot again, as the EPL is simply a stronger competition than the Dutch one.

Darryl Janmaat is way ahead of the rest of the pack on the RB position while Daley Blind has been doing really well on the LB spot. Ricardo van Rhijn will be a good alternative for Janmaat, but he might be surprised by the development of Gregory van der Wiel.

On the left hand side, Jetro Willems and Erik Pieters will both be vying for the spot behind Blind although I do give Van Aanholt a chance to make it, if he keeps on developing as he has, this season.

Pieters could well be a central defender option, depending on his coming season.

In defence, it seems Martins Indi and De Vrij are the key players for Van Gaal. For now… I wouldn’t be surprised if we would find another player suddenly coming in the frame for De Vrij. I was not totally convinced those last games for Feyenoord and I was not totally impressed with him in Israel. He has strong point, but he is slow and a bit clumsy in the one-on-one. Simply a bit too slow and lanky it seems.

I like De Vrij, don’t get me wrong but Bruma at PSV is a terrific prospect for me. I rate Bruma as a real candidate. Vlaar can most likely be the other player who can get his ticket, provided he will perform well this coming season. And then there is John Heitinga. He has been solid for a long spell in Oranje and has lost his standing in the last year or so. He is planning to move to the Eredivisie to make sure he can have a real go at making the squad.

Joris Mathijsen will not make the list, in my view.


Sneijeer Heit

In midfield, it seems Jonathan de Guzman made an impression. But he is leaving Laudrup and Swansea and his season might be quite different yet again. Who knows…

There are a couple of no’s, in my book. Like I said, Joris is probably not going to be there. I expect Nigel de Jong to be on the list of no-goers too. He is injured, as is Afellay, Boetius, Tim Krul and Luciano Narsingh. I believe Afellay and Narsigh, when fit, would be assets to the squad but the question is whether both will be able to reach their top form again.

Van Gaal has some options to choose from beyond De Guzman. Again, the Canadian born will have to prove his worth still this coming season in Spain, but lets assume he will succeed. Strootman, Fer, Clasie, Van Ginkel can all play that role, although Strootman will be the second midfielder, normally. The box-to-box man. With Fer and Van Ginkel as stand-in. Clasie would be the ideal stand-in for De Guzman.

As playmaker, I expect LVG to pick between Sneijder, Siem de Jong, Van der Vaart and Maher. Van Gaal thinks De Jong and Van der Vaart are more alike, as they play as second striker, while Sneijder and Maher are more similar as they play more like midfielders.

This suggests that LVG will pick between Siem and Raf and between Wes and Adam.

I personally think that is foolish. If both Wesley and Maher are in top shape and good form, you want them both. Sneijder is maybe only relevant as playmaker, but Maher can take any role in midfield and is versatile and also good coming from the bench.

Siem de Jong is a question mark. He is good at Ajax’ level, but can he make the step up. Also, he seems to play in the same pace all the time and lacks speed.

Speaking of which, Rafael van der Vaart is a question mark because he might not be able to perform consistently at the top level. His physical body doesn’t seem to want to do what his astute football mind wants…

Huntelaar will most likely be the RVP stand in as central striker and it is to be hoped that Ola John performs well the coming season so we can play with a real left winger with tremendous potential. Ruben Schaken has been used as a right winger, with success, but he is not really top notch Oranje material in my mind.

Derk Boerrigter has not impressed this season as a potential Robben stand-in on the right. Schaken is ahead of him but Wijnaldum might have something to say about this. Under Cocu at PSV, he might live up. At the same time, with Toivonen likely to move away, Cocu might play the ex Feyenoord prospect as playmaker.

Van Gaal has added two key aspects to his infamous TIPS system: orientation and conduct.

With orientation, Louis means: how does a player deal with a lot of space around him or behind him? This would apply to a central defender for instance. With a midfielder it’s more, does the midfielder see the runner on his blind side and can he pass the ball on intuition? Conduct is more: what does a player do when faced with a setback? An own goal. A horrendous mistake? Or a referee who is not that good? Or an aggressive opponent? Or how does a player respond when the team needs to fight back into the game? And obviously, how does a player respond when he is benched….

Van Gaal will also have a surprise or two, I’m sure. To give one example: Clasie was benched by Cor Pot, but the little Feyenoord midfielder is a typical Van Gaal player. A lad who sees the game quick and is able to accelerate the game (like Sneijder can). Just like Van Gaal is a fan of Siem de Jong, whose most important strength, according to LVG, is orientation. De Jong feels where space is, feels where the ball will come and is able to be right in time. A quality he shares with players like Jari Litmanen, Gareth Bale and Hernandez.

He might not have the creativity that Maher and Sneijder have, but he has the ability to enter the box at the exact right time to finish a cross or a pass.

I am hoping on the next 23:


Van Aanholt
De Vrij
Martins Indi
Van Rhijn

De Guzman

Van Persie
Van der Vaart (or any other wildcard player)

And in case of emergency, I’m sure Kluivert still knows how to hit a ball :-).

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Oranje ends season with 2-0 win over China

And thus ends Oranje post-season trip to Asia. With 5 goals, two disappointing performances, a couple of new hares (Cillisen, Tiendalli, Toornstra, Nelom), a new skipper, a warned playmaker and lots and lots of happy Chinese and Indonesian fans.

And 1 million euros for the KNVB.

Louis van Gaal was not unhappy. “The game vs China was actually quite agricultural. I expected a better game as the climate and the pitch were so much better, but it didn’t happen. We missed a lot of chances and somehow couldn’t get our rhythm.”

The Dutch team manager clearly didn’t mind too much. This was partly a holiday trip. Bonding.

The main thing was his ability to deal with Wesley. “This is the last time we meet before we play next season against Portugal and I don’t want to deal with this captaincy issue right before a serious match. Now, I had the chance to explain to Wes.”

sneijder rvp china

Wes wants to attack LVG for taking his band. RVP and Robben spur him on…

Sneijder took it hard, the message that not only the band would go to RVP but also that LVG would not take Maher AND Sneijder both to the World Cup…. Sneijder apparently left the meeting emotionally to go back to his room… Later that evening he came out and joined the group and accepted LVG’s decision.


I have to say, the statement that Maher and Sneijder can’t both go to the World Cup is silly. I think LVG says it to motivate Sneijder to the max. But why wouldn’t you to take them both if both are in glorious form?? Maher can play on all midfield positions, so it would be foolish to not take him anyway.

Van Persie basked in the sun with his captain band. “As a kid I watched Krol and Koeman as skipper of Oranje and Johan wore the band too of course… I am extremely proud.”

And he remembered his first training under Van Gaal. He came home totally enthusiastic. His wive asked him… How was it? Robin said he was extremely happy. Mr van Gaal has very exciting practice forms. A joy to work under him. But… “You won’t start” is what she said. Correct, was Robin’s answer. He picked Klaas Jan over me. But my chance will come.

And one glorious season for ManU (and a title) later, and Robin is Oranje’s main man.

Van Gaal commented that some players really pleased him and some other disappointed him but he didn’t want to go into which player was in which category.

RVP scored China

RVP is level with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Faas Wilkes on the top scorers list

Holland played without too much inspiration against a very agressive China. I asked our Asia Football expert Carlos and he believes that this is a matter of “not wanting to lose face” for the Chinese. They approach this as a serious game and the Chinese players also know there are Western scouts watching, so they did all they could to stop Holland. When one of them was red carded for a charge on De Guzman, already in the first 20 minutes, the game sort of died out.

By then RVP had already scored from the spot as a result of a foul on Robben. Sneijder came onto the pitch to replace Toornstra in the second half and scored a beauty after a nice build up involving RVP and Robben too. The commentator quiped “why do it easy, when you can do something like that”….


We see RVP and Robben hit the woodwork and Lens, RVP, Robben and co all misses glorious chances.

During the trip, the Dutch players acted as real tourists too of course, visiting some touristy spots and taking photo opps. Ron Vlaar was amazed “It’s quite remarkable, they actually know who I am here…”

And thus ends the Oranje season. With all players told to watch their fitness. With a new Main Man in charge in the dressing room. And with a number of wannabees having had a taste of the Orange…

vlaar en chinezen

Vlaar, Cillisen and De Jong photo-bomb at a Chinese wedding

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Oranje: a family affair…

World Cup 2010 was a high for most fans, but at the same time a bit bittersweet. We reached the finals and if it wasn’t for Casilla’s toe, we would have won it.

But we didn’t play great football. We didn’t dazzle. And even JC started to detach himself! We expected to improve but the next big tournament was a disaster!

While in 2008, we showed so much promise with this squad.

Still, in 2008 and 2010, we impressed also with the fact that Oranje was such a family oriented group. The lads all had little kids and it’s no secret that Raf van der Vaart’s son Damien has garnered interest from different clubs while little Van Persie almost was snatched up by Chelsea!

I’m pretty sure Van Bommel has a couple of little brats, so does Gio van Bronckhorst… Van Nistelrooy…

With Daley Blind, we have the eigth international making his debut, just like his dad did before him. The 22 year old Ajax defender started against Italy last week. His dad, Danny Blind, is assistant team manager and has 42 caps behind his name. If he hadn’t been in the same generation as Ronald Koeman, he would have played at least a 100 internationals.

Martin Koeman, Ronald’s dad, played only one international but he can boast to have two sons in the orange jersey. Ronald played 78 caps and Erwin played 31. The older Koeman was brought into Oranje at the Euros 1988 and helped Oranje win it.

Johan Cruyff, the most famous Dutch player (and one of the best if not The Best in the world ever) only played 48 international games. His son Jordi was a good player but lacked his dad magic. Still played 9 internationals and excelled at the Euros1996 in England under Hiddink.

Other father/son combinations are Wim van der Gijp and Rene van der Gijp. The Sparta/PSV winger didn’t play that many internationals. A bit more serious living would have increased this number. Jan Mulder, striker of Anderlecht and Ajax reached the Dutch team, like his son striker Youri (Twente, Schalke 04). Jan Everse senior and junior both played for Oranje (and Feyenoord) and Jerry de Jong (PSV) and Nigel de Jong ( Ajax, Hamburg, Man City, AC Milan) wore the jersey.

Then there is the brother connection. We have had 18 pairs of brothers in Oranje, in the past 110 years. Ola John was the last, as his bro’ Collins made his debut in 2004 under Marco van Basten. He played two games in orange. The first brothers were Tonny and De Kessler. The most famous ones were most likely the Van de Kerkhof (Rene and Willy in the 1970s), Ronald and Erwin Koeman (in the 1980s) and Frank and Ronald de Boer (in the 90s/00s).

There there is the Witsgche brothers (Richard and Rob), the Muhrens, the Van der Gijps and most recently, Siem and Luuk de Jong.

Feel free to add to the list in the comments below :-).

Ola John is also the eleventh international to be born outside of Holland. Siem and Luuk de Jong are in that group too (Switzerland).

Jonathan de Guzman was born in Canada. His brother Julian still plays for Canada. But De Guzman is not the first Canada-born player wearing the Oranje jersey.

Pop Quiz: Which Dutch forward was the first Canada born player to grace the Dutch National Team?

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LVG ignores big name players

Oranje plays his first international game of 2013 on Feb 6 against Italy. And the classic last weekend gave Louis van Gaal a lot to think about.

The Dutch team is in a period with lots of injuries. And there are many bench roles for players in the big competitions. Ajax-Feyenoord was double interesting, due to this. Louis van Gaal saw 14 candidate internationals at work.

And what did we learn? That it’s a thin line between international top defender and flop of the match… Bruno Martins Indi made it into Oranje when LVG took the reigns but the agile Feyenoord defenderr played atrocious against Ajax. Weak in the passing, naive defending, no personality and will.

Joris Mathijsen’s problems could be seen by any one watching while Darryl Janmaat and Ricardo van Rhijn both struggled. Both very good in offensive duties but very vulnerable as real defenders.

But, some players impressed. Kenneth Vermeer is Ajax’ eleventh player in build up. Very good with his feet. And Daley Blind played like he did before the break. He deserves a call up for Italy. He was boss against Schaken and had time and air to support in offensive duties.

Vermeer could even start against Italy, as Krul is losing game after game and Stekelenburg is benched.

Amongst the midfielders and strikers it was remarkable to see that the most impressive players are Danes… The only Dutch player to impress in that area was Jean-Paul Boetius. He is only 18 years old and kept on taking the game to Ajax, with bravado and a good work ethic. Even when Feyenoord had clearly lost the game, he tried to do what he could.

It’s important that he is able to play at a higher level than Eredivisie at times, such as Europa or even Champions League. Feyenoord struggles to offer him this, while Ajax seems to have that consistency at least.

Jonathan de Guzman might make his debut for Oranje. The Swansea midfielder can finally count on wearing a Dutch jersey with the seniors. The Canadian born player did play for Jong Oranje before.

Former Feyenood man De Guzman left Rotterdam for Spain but Laudrup signed him for Swansea, where he scored twice last weekend with assistant Danny Blind in the stands.

Wesley Sneijder and Stekelenburg didn’t play for their clubs for quite some time and are left out. Rafael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben are on their way to match fitness and won’t be part of this, while Heitinga is ignored as he hardly gets playing time at Everton. Nigel de Jong hardly is match fit while Afellay is also injured.

De Guzman was part of the pre-selection in 2008 as well, under Van Basten. He had just received his Dutch passport. Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Khalid Boulahrouz – both Sporting Lisbon – are selected too.

This Friday, LVG will present the definitive squad.

Pre-selection Oranje

Goal: Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City).

Defense: Daley Blind (Ajax), Khalid Boulahrouz (Sporting), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord), Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord).

Midfield: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Leroy Fer (FC Twente), Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea City), Adam Maher (AZ), Kevin Strootman (PSV).

Forwards: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Ola John (Benfica), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Ruben Schaken (Feyenoord), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting).

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