The Dutch National Team has reached the Final Four of the Nations League. A view on the stats tells us that the full backs were instrumental in the group stages.
The only player to play in all Nations League games is Steven Bergwijn. The 24 year old had the most shots of all Dutchies (13 shots, 2 goals) and had the most successful dribbles (9). He also created 8 opportunities for other, but none of these were converted into goals. He is the man who had the most assists, without these ending up as actual assists…
Memphis Depay only played 46% of all possible Nations League minutes and he missed a penalty versus Poland but he is still the key man, with three goals and one assist. He needed 12 shots for his 3 goals, with a total Expected Goal value of 2,5, the highest xG of all Oranje players.
Cody Gakpo created in total 14 chances for his team mates, five more than any other. Twelve were from open play and two came from corners. Despite all this creativity, he only had one assist, the corner which Virgil converted versus Belgium at home. The PSV forward was also the strongest in duel power. Of all internationals with more than 10 personal duels, his win percentage is highest (65%).
It’s no surprise that Frenkie is the engine of this team, with the most touches (325) and the most successful passes (259). He was also involved with most attacks from open play ( 192). These stats tell us how important he is when Oranje wants to move forward. Once the ball gets there, Frenkie’s work is done. He had zero shots on goal and a low number of touches in the opponent’s box (3).
The Victim and the Perpetrator
Denzel Dumfries was involved with 3 goals, two scored by himself and one assist. The right back had the highest expected assist value of 1,7 and he was the biggest victim (fouls against him 9) and the biggest perpetrator of fouls (11) in the squad. Dumfries has the highest number of personal duels won (33, 10 more than any other player).
Oranje scored 14 goals, of which 11 were assisted. Daley Blind and Vincent Janssen have the most assists (2 ). Blind had two within 4 minutes versus Belgium away. Janssen had an assist versus Wales at home and in the Poland away game, for Bergwijn.
With Blind having the most assists and Dumfries the most expected assists, it clearly shows the hand of Louis 5-3-2 Van Gaal. The impact of the full backs is also visible in the xG Chain stats. This is the sum of the total xG (expected goals) values of all attacks in open play and all players involved, for instance as scorer or as pre-assist giver. Blind leads this table, with Dumfries as #4.
Jurrien Timber has grown to be a firm starter in Van Gaal’s Oranje and will probably start at the World Cup in Qatar. The Ajax defender “saw” the most passes by an opponent and intercepted 8 forward passes.
Guus Til played one minute versus Wales and was on the pitch when both Wales and Holland scored late in the game. He himself had only one touch. His impact was truly minimal but he still had some share in reaching the final four.
The Creative Goalie
In the list of players who created a chance, Mark Flekken is also present. In the away game versus Wales, he had a long pass to Gakpo who almost scored. Flekken ( 1 in 180 minutes) created just as many chances as Davy Klaassen (1 in 244 minutes).
Kjell Scherpen was with the group 3 times, just as many as Virgil van Dijk. But he didn’t play a single minute for Oranje. He is the player topping the list of players who were present but didn’t play a minute.