The KNVB will evaluate Bert van Marwijk in the coming weeks.
We will do it now!
I believe Bert should go.
Not that he should be fired per se. I think Bert should resign. But despite everything ( weak defense, egos, blablabla) it is his job to keep it all in check and manage it. That is why it’s called team manager.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!
He did well in 2010, we all say, but maybe it was the team carrying Bert to the finals, more than the other way around?
There is a number of aspects I can not pass judgement on. And I won’t. But I will mention them. The players’ fitness. What could Bert and co. have done about that? The weird 1300 km travel program for every game? Was that really necessary?
Things I can judge are:
– Squad & Team Selection
– Team culture
I’d like to bring in some stuff I overheard in the post-Euros debates on Dutch telly. One fairly well positioned ex-player said that he had some off-the-record debates with Bert about Oranje and he got the impression Bert saw this implosion coming. Bert apparently lamented the fact that we had such weak defenders. Apparently, Bert felt that the Eredivisie central defenders ( incl Vlaar, De Vrij, Marcellis, Viergever, Gouweleeuw, Brouwers too) were too weak in footballing sense to support the gung-ho midfielders/forwards. The mismatch. According to this ex-player ( Rene van der Gijp), Bert was pretty desperate about this. ( “You tell me, Rene! You tell me who to pick!!”)
Can I start with Team Culture? The so-called camps and rifts? I think that is all a bit exaggerated. These camps and rifts are always there. 23 guys who are all machos and winners. You’re bound to get that. Even during the World Cup 2010 campaign I’m sure some players had issues, but we never heard. Because we were winning. Once you start losing, these things come out. Camp Sneijder Camp Schmeijder. Who cares. They are all cocky little brats. Let them sort it out. It’s of course something Bert needs to manage, if possible, but as we don’t know exactly what went on, I think it’s hard for us to judge Bert on this.
As for Squad and Team Selection, I do believe Bert is to blame for some of the grieve. Wilfred Bouma? Really?? Why? Why wasn’t Brouwers or Viergever or De Vrij ever tested? Is it really so that a 34 year old spent benchwarmer at PSV is a better option that someone like Viergever? If you haven’t tested it, how do you know?
I wanted to avoid Spain and I managed to do so…
Urby Emanuelson played left back for Ajax. Plays left back at times for AC Milan. Is experienced. Has 100+ pro games under his belt. Plays in the Serie A. Surely, he is at least as good as Willems? Don’t get me wrong: I like Willems. But an 18 year old rookie can only do so much in a team that is dysfunctional. Put Willems in Spain or Germany and he’d be great. But what do we expect from him in this Oranje. Knowing how badly out of shape we are/were, Bert should have protected him. In the Portugal game, he played horrific. Also, three top matches in 8 days is a lot for any player, let alone an 18 year old rookie…
I like Schaars a lot. Another player I like to see more of, but if you have De Jong, Van Bommel, Strootman, Afellay and Van der Vaart for the holding mid role and if Schaars himself declares left back is not his thing, why select him? Why not take another player who can play or is willing to play there? Vernon Anita for instance?
And why bring a real winger like Narsingh with many assists under his belt to the Euros and not play him? At all?
Why putting so much faith in a player ( Afellay) who hasn’t had 18 minutes of play in the last 6 months? Why play him in two games in a row? He’s not even a winger? Against Germany, a real left footed winger would have found Van Persie, but Afellay screwed up a relatively simple pass over 6 yards by playing it behind the Arsenal striker… And like Willems, everone knew Afellay would be able to play 3 games at top level in 8 days!
And any coach with Hunter and Van Persie in the squad would gladly play them both. The whole nation ( incl. Cruyff and Van Hanegem) pleaded with Bert to use them both. Put Sneijder on line back (on the holding level) and use Van Persie behind Hunter. At least try this out once! Bert never did. The only chance Huntelaar got was with Van Persie and Van der Vaart as wingers. Goodness gracious me! No wonder Hunter is pissed off! Bad management, Bert.
But if you do play Huntelaar, you need players on the flanks that will cross in. So, Robben on the left, someone else on the right. And you really want to play offensive football: Narsingh. If you are fearful of the balance ( or lack thereof): Kuyt.
And if you need legs to go from box to box, why not play Strootman instead of De Jong? Why not test these concepts?
So we’re evaluation tactics now… We played our best match in the qualifications with Van der Vaart on the holding mid spot. Why not continue on that path? Why resort back to the couple Bommel/De Jong? So many questions on line ups and tactics…
The most important one, the role of Arjen Robben. Robben in top form is in the same league as C Ronaldo. Just under the Messi league :-). He can tear you apart. But if he’s not ( the dribbles didn’t work, the left foot shots were all wasted), maybe he should play on the left wing. So he can serve up crosses. In particular when Hunter is on!
And we have all seen how the team was divided into a group tracking back and a group pushing forward. Leaving huge gaps for Danes, Germans and Portuguese players to have fun in. This is something the coach should fix. ( I think it’s something the players should fix too, but they clearly weren’t able to). And our coach wasn’t able to fix it. Too bad. Really sad. But that is a big no no of course.
We didn’t play too sexy in 2010. We wanted to fix that. But did we ever practice this? Do we actually have the back four to do so? Shouldn’t we be realistic and realise that without Xabi Alonso, Busquets, Pique, Ramos and Alba we can’t play that kind of football?
If Bert sees that Van der Wiel is not in top form, Mathijsen is not fit and inexperienced Willems is in the team, shouldn’t he be asking the lads to play sexy and attacking football?
I think Bert became the victim ( and the players too by the way) of good intentions: trying to appease the fans, trying to impress the world, trying to keep the “mates-vibe” in the squad intact….
Maybe Bert should have said: I can not play total football with this group. We are not good enough for that. We have no Krol, Rijkaard, De Boer, Stam. We will play like we did in 2010. Go for result. Win the Euros. And hopefully club coaches will develop some better defenders…
To top if off, I believe the substitution actions of Bert said enough. Bringing Vaart and Hunter changed the whole make up of the team. It affected too much. After they were on, it was chaos. Nothing was created, really. And bringing Kuyt late in the game had no function other than making sure the number 14 in the hierarchy got some minutes. Against Denmark, we needed Luuk de Jong. Against Germany and Portugal, we needed Narsingh.
In summary, I think Bert made many mistakes. And these mistakes tell me that tactically, he is limited. He only knows one system and has no ability to improvise or be flexible. He basically hoped and gambled that Oranje could repeat the 2010 trick. With lesser full backs. Non-fit Mathijsen. Rusty Van Bommel. And an unfit Afellay.
These mistakes, for me, mean that he needs to go. Let someone else have a go.
Bert deserves a statue. But he doesn’t deserve the job anymore…
So, the question arises: who now?
I don’t have any reason to believe Koeman is “The Man”. Why? He was great as a player but mediocre as a coach until now. He played 4-4-2 with Ajax! He got into trouble there with everyone. Including Sneijder and Van der Vaart! He left PSV for Valencia. Where he made a
mess of things. Some Valencia officials still wake up screaming “Koeman!!” when they had too much to eat that evening… He almost destroyed that club. Then he landed at AZ where they kicked him out before the season was over… There is no indication whatsoever that Mr Koeman can handle this. He has had one good season with Feyenoord. That is all!
Also, I think it’s wrong for the KNVB to approach coaches who are employed by memberclubs of the KNVB. Not done!
We need someone with:
2. Proven experience in getting results
3. A passion for total football, attacking football
4. Dutch nationality
In my book, Van Gaal is out. He screwed it up once. He, like Koeman, is thrown out everywhere as he’s a dick.
Van Hanegem won’t make a good team manager. He’s probably good as an assistant.
Cruyff won’t do it.
Rijkaard probably won’t do it.
So the best candidate is Co Adriaanse!
He has done tremendously well with Ajax, Willem II, AZ, Salzburg and Porto. He has authority. The players look up to him. Sneijder and Van der Vaart rate him as their best coach ever. He is great as a figure head, supporters and media respect him and most importantly, he has the balls to play attacking football. And he’s available.
End of evaluation.