Tag: Van Oostveen

Research: Oranje fitness below par; Bert responds

Oranje went to Poland and the Ukraine as favorites. Maybe not The Favorites… But surely as potential winners. With names like Van Persie, Van Bommel, Heitinga, Stekelenburg, Sneijder, Robben, Afellay, Huntelaar… What could go wrong? The lads won silver in 2010, so….

But it went horribly wrong. And I still have the images in my head. Of Heitinga tracking back when Sneijder yelled him to push up. Of Stekelenburg going to ground before Gomes had pulled the trigger. Of Van Persie hitting air instead of the ball, of Robben shouting at Van Marwijk, of Van der Wiel having a sook…

We fell hard on our face.

There was an evaluation after the tournament. To establish whether the players and the federation should move forward with Bert. But the evaluation became less relevant when the most successful coach in Oranje’s history decided to resign.

Now, almost 6 months after the – repressed – Euros, KNVB manager Bert van Oostveen states in the VI magazine that the “players didn’t appear to be fit”. He claims that tests have shown that the elaborate flights from Poland to the Ukraine (to play the matches) has taken its toll on the players.

They lacked fitness.

Bert van Oostveen with the fittest of them all…

And Bert decided to share that news, which is seen as a horrible kick in the nuts by former coach Van Marwijk who reponded as if bitten by a snake.

“What? Did he say that? Bullocks! We were not the only ones with this program. One of the finalists did the same as us. We constantly checked fitness levels and as far as I am aware, the players were fit.”

Van Marwijk is getting ready to make a return to coaching, expressed his disappointment with this sudden announcement.

“Why would you bring this news suddenly? I had daily contact with Van Oostveen during the campaign. During our valuation, this never came up. It basically never came up. This is the first time I hear about. Is that strange, or what? It does feel like a back stab, but I won’t let this ruin my christmas.”

In all honesty, many on this blog felt the team looked slow and lacklustre but to come out with this news after 6 months is very suspect. If the KNVB is serious about fitness tests, they should find a lab that can process results a bit quicker.

In the meantime, AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek has supported Van Marwijk publically.

“The KNVB has recently published new rules of conduct to the coaches. We are not allowed to be emotional with our responses to what is happening. We need to be respectful to the referees etc etc. Great! And in the month this is published, the chairman attacks Sparta coach Michel Vonk and the general manager stabs Bert van Marwijk in the back. Don’t the rules apply to them??”

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Van Gaal revisited?

So, apparently all the other candidates said no. Hiddink was number 1, supposedly and with Cruyff public plea for Rijkaard, one has to expect him to be in the top of the wishlist too. Co Adriaanse was never a real candidate, apparently, and Ruud Gullit was most likely never seen as a serious option.

Louis van Gaal has all the right ticks behind his name, according to some. Experience…? Check. Success as coach? Check. Understands Dutch school football? Check. Dutch nationality? Check!

What the experts at the KNVB overlooked, unfortunately, is Louis’ track record as national coach… No results. Not really effective as figure head. And although the players never speak negatively about him as a club coach, he definitely pissed off the media and the supporters.

His “experience” also shows that he hardly ever leaves a club the normal way. Sure, Ajax 1995 and AZ 2010 were two situations where the expectation levels were low. He was the underdog. But every time he was presented with fanfare and champagne, every time we actually expected him to perform: he imploded. He can’t handle criticism, he can’t handle a board or management looking over his shoulder and he doesn’t know how to look in the mirror.

Louis’ ego has always been the problem.

So while our Oranje team seems to buckle under the pressure of players’ egos, the KNVB decided to put some extra weight on.

Did we forget the two Portugal games, in the 2002 qualifications? Wasn’t it Louis’ ego that helped the Portuguese snatch the key points against us?

And wasn’t it his sensational ego that prompted him to organise a press conference to blame the media about his disastrous results?

And the current KNVB management feels it’s time to give Louis a second chance?


Why not give him the U21s first?

Back in the day: Rinus Michels, Hans Kraay sr and a young but grumpy Van Gaal

“The Dutch team manager needs to be an ambassador for Dutch football.” Apparently the KNVB has reasons to believe Van Gaal has learned from his many mistakes in the past. Based on what exactly?

When Van Gaal got the job in August 2000, he actually promised the nation the World Cup. In those days, he also was the technical director at the KNVB. He basically fired himself? Or he gave himself a resignation letter…

KNVB manager Henk Kesler said: “We know who we put in power,” back then. His successor Bert van Oostveen says something similar now. “A tremendous amount of experience, very dedicated, very driven…” But, this time not a 6 year deal but merely a two year contract, until the 2014 World Cup.

With Van Gaal, we have the return of the last team manager who failed to qualify for a World Cup. Leo Beenhakker was his predecessor.

Holland played 14 internationals under Van Gaal, of which 10 in the World Cup qualification. Right after the Euro2000, Holland drew against Ireland, 2-2, and lost at home in De Kuip against Portugal, as a result of two incidents. One, the infamous line up change, with right back Reiziger as left full back. “He can do that,” Van Gaal said, who missed all his left backs as a result of injuries. Reiziger made a crucial mistake, offering the Portuguese the 0-1. When some idiot blew a whistle, some time later, Davids stopped playing, allowing Figo to steal the ball and prepare the 0-2.

Holland was able to take revenge in Portugal and was 0-2 up when Van Gaal decided to bring more attackers, with only 10 minutes to go. This lack of balance in the team resulted in Portugal equalising. A play off against Ireland was supposed to get us our ticket, but despite big opportunities for Kluivert and Zenden, Ireland won it: 1-0.

Holland didn’t qualify and Louis resigned. Louis played 14, won 8, lost 2 and drew four times.

Van Gaal forgets to win in Portugal: 2-2. The end is nigh…

Danny Blind will be Louis’ assistant. The former Ajax and Oranje libero worked with Van Gaal at Ajax and shares his football vision. When Blind supported Van Gaal’s return to Ajax, Cruyff and Co decided Blind had to leave Ajax.

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Interview with KNVB CEO Van Oostveen

Pic: Bert van Marwijk signing till 2016, Bert van Oostveen gloats.

Before Friday July 6, we will know if Bert van Marwijk is going to remain Oranje’s team manager. Before that date, the KNVB will do an evaluation. “Bert deserves a real and honest evaluation,” says Bert van Oostveen, KNVB’s CEO.

“We will analyse this project 360 degrees.”

When Oranje leaves Krakow for the last time, Bert van Oostveen is driving on the A2 in Holland together.

That was quick?
“Well, there was nothing to do for me there anymore. The works has to be done here now. I need to brush up the splinters and get them together one more time to analyse it all.”

Is this the end of the team manager?
“What kind of question is this? That is not how it works. We always evaluate tournaments. And Bert deserves an honest and objective evaluation.”

“We will meet before we go on a holiday. I am leaving on July 6, so before that date.”

Van Oostveen was surprised by the atrocious physical condition of the Dutch team. “I want to know how it was that other teams were so much fitter than we were. I need to know as the CEO, but also as a fan? Everyone saw it? And I saw more things that surprised me. So we’ll approach this from all angles. 360 degrees. We cannot accept this scenario again ever and therefore we will scan it all. It’s not about missing chances on the pitch, but also about missing chances off the pitch.”

So what is the cost to the KNVB in total?
“Well, it is all under pressure now. We will lose our ranking position. We will be happy if we stay in the top 10!! And that means we will be less interesting as opponents. And we might lose money in ticket sales. It will be less. And we will all have to pull our weight a tad more now. We play the Turks in Amsterdam in September and we don’t want more Turkish fans than Dutch fans of course. On the other hand, our stature as vice world champs is still intact in Asia and South America, so we can probably leverage that by doing a trip in that direction.”

With the current coach?
“We’ll know soon enough!”

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