Quite a blow for this new blog too!! And no player even mentions that post match! But…not too worry. Dutch football will carry on. Expect more interviews and analysis and in the coming weeks loads of stuff on Holland as we bounce back and we will keep on following all our heroes during the season. All of them. Like… eh…Willems… And…the others.
Seriously, we have columns from guest speakers, surveys, games, talent analysis and what not. In particular what not!
KNVB general manager Bert van Oostveen calls the humiliating exit of the Dutch national team “Oranje unworthy”. He didn’t want to comment on Bert van Marwijk’s future at the football association. “That wouldn’t be appropriate.”
“Zero points at a final tournament, I don’t think it ever got this bad…”, he mused. “This will be thoroughly evaluated, with all involved. Head coach, technical staff and team manager (Hans Jorritsma). And we will do so quickly as we have a first game on August 15. You can expect our communications before mid July and I will manage the evaluation myself.”
Van Oostveen didn’t want to speculate about an exit of the former Feyenoord coach. “We will also evaluate the fact we won silver on the World Cup and the fact that Van Marwijk cruised through the two qualification series with the team.”
Last December, Van Oostveen extended Van Marwijk’s deal till the WC2016. But there are evaluation points and specific clauses in the contract. Van Marwijk didn’t want to comment. “I am totally gutted now. The last thing I’m pondering is my career…”
Van Oostveen did add that Oranje booked a positive result financially. “But only just. And with the team performing like this, the ticket sale will hurt.”
Gregory van der Wiel describes the tournament as a bitter disappointment. The right back had a tough night against C Ronaldo and the Portuguese star scored twice against Oranje.
Two years ago, he played the World Cup finals, now he goes home with zero points. “I wonder what happened. I didn’t play my own game. I love attacking, playing football, creating two-against-one situations. This Euros it feels like I had to defend constantly (sic).”
Van der Wiel: “No idea what went wrong. I was unmarked a lot but simply didn’t get the ball. Today I played a guy who didn’t track back. But still I couldn’t support the forwards.”
“We started good, like in the other games, and after 20 minutes it’s started to pivot. Portugal is deadly in the counter. It’s hard to pinpoint where the problems came.”
Ron Vlaar’s name suddenly popped up on the team sheet. The Feyenoord defender replaced John Heitinga.
The tall defender was disappointed. “We knew exactly what we needed to do. We scored early and we didn’t even know the scoreline at the other game. But we started to play more sloppy and Portugal was constantly threatening. But even when they scored, we felt we were in it. But when they scored again, it was game over.”
“We had to take risks. And with Ronaldo and Nani, they have to super assassins in their team. At a certain point we only had three defenders.”
Vlaar saw his starting berth approaching. “I felt I was close. I had some good weeks. But who cares now? I’m disappointed. I wanted to perform. Maybe sometime in the future I can look back at this and feel good about it. Certainly not today.”
Reality is harsh. These are words Arjen Robben uttered after the Portugal game. “We lost three times at the Euros. That is quite a message. We all need to look very long and hard into the mirror. We have all failed. And there were some incidents within the group but I won’t mention those. Those will stay internally.”
On the pitch, Robben could be heard yelling “Shut your mouth” to Bert van Marwijk a couple of times, when the coach instructed the winger to track back.
“Ir’s hard to explain it all. Some things are so hard to explain. Again, we started good but we didn’t keep on playing our game. And then we concede and we sort of disappear.”
Mark van Bommel didn’t want to speak on behalf of the team, only for himself. “I can’t look into their heads, but I do believe the vibe was different this time around. The situation was different too of course. Some players have a different status now…. But whatever, we can’t say a thing. It was simply bad. In particular the results.”
The new PSV signing did defend his coach and father in law, Bert van Marwijk. “Bert is a fighter. He will land on his feet. I don’t think he deserves too much of the blame. And whatever he or the KNVB decide, that is for us to respect.”
Wesley Sneijder was open, as ever, after the game. “Do we need to fire Bert? What? Come on man! Chin up! We reached the finals with Bert two years ago and now he can’t do any good anymore? Do I see a future with him? I certainly do.”
Sneijder was part of the pre-game discussions with Bert on tactics, but admits he didn’t get his way. “Well, we needed to change certain things, I was with that. But I don’t feel too good on the left flank. I don’t get to see the ball enough and I can’t do all I want to do, but that’s what it is. I played there, did my best. You have to do what’s best for the team, right?”