Thanksgiving for Oranje

Let us have some Turkey! A positive Ronald Koeman mentioned that the whole squad is fit again. Bergwijn, who had to be subbed off versus Romania, and De Ligt, who had some muscle issues, are both fit and it feels like we’ll see an unchanged Oranje versus Turkey on Saturday.

Confidence is high and it feels like the players are now in the right mood to go and win this tournament. Thank you Austria!

But, Turkey won’t be a walk in the park. They always had gifted football players but up until now, no coach managed to give them a structure that works, a framework within which the players could excel. Until now, with manager Vincenzo Montella. One can expect a spectacle with his Turkey.

In the first four Turkey games, we saw 13 goals and no nation had a higher number of attempts. They also score third place in the list of successful dribbles. Turkey in possession is very good.

Montella, a former striker, is an adventurous coach but his defence lets him down regularly. The recently lost to Oranje, 6-1 and again 6-1 versus Austria! So Montella has found a trick, which worked versus Austria and which he’ll most certainly repeat versus Oranje.

He used to play 4-2-3-1 and got defeated significantly in several matches, as mentioned. The central defenders are sluggish and slow while the full backs tend to be on their bike bombing forward. Their defensive coordination and communication is lacking as defenders tend to jump towards the ball without a thought for the rest defence.

Montella decided to go with three at the back, creating a “sweeper” role available to give backing when an opponent finds space behind the Turkish full backs.

For Oranje, the mission is clear and simple (maybe simple to determine, but still hard to do):

  1. Create a man-more situation in midfield and
  2. push their defence back by running in behind their central defenders and
  3. lure their full backs up the pitch and use the space behind them (Ake and Gakpo did this against Poland)

When Oranje can do this, we’ll create chances.

Their threat is mostly the speedy Yilmaz on the right flank. It will be key for us to manage that side of the pitch and talk of playing Van der Ven instead of Ake is only logical.

Turkish midfielder Ayhan will be their third centre back, giving them options with his passing range. He has a tremendous diagonal which can hurt on the counter attack. Ayhan’s target is often left full back Ferdi Kardioglu, a former NEC player – Dutch born – who also played his youth rep matches for Oranje before deciding to go for Turkey. The former winger plays like a wingback on the left and created the most chances on this Euros tournament, along with our Cody Gakpo.

It makes sense to use Van der Ven versus Yilmaz and to use Bergwijn to stop Kardioglu. Frimpong can do it, but his partnership with Dumfries needs more time. Malen is not a star in tracking back and the fit and tactically astute Bergwijn should be able to. The last question will be: where will Guler play? The young Madrid star can play anywhere: false right winger? Or a false striker? Or as left midfielder? The left footed playmaker will offer Oranje heaps of problems and communication will be key.

We will need to find space on the flanks to make the Turkish centre backs nervous. A typical #9 like Weghorst won’t bother them too much. But speedy players like Gakpo or Simons driving the ball towards them will force mistakes.

On the other hand, Turkey can create something out of nothing. They have a number of creative ball players in the team and they can conjure up magic when close to our goal. The key is to keep them away from our box.

Holland needs to be good on the ball. Precise and quick positioning play will create spaces for us. Turkey has trouble keeping clean sheets and if Oranje is on song, we have more than fair chances to win this.

I can see another win for us: 3-1. Goals by Gakpo, Memphis and Reijnders this time around.


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  1. Latest in the transfer market wieffer to Brighton from feyenoord. Dont know whether this is good or bad. If he can thrive there its gonna be big complement for NT but if he gets lost like veltman and others, shame another investment gone down the drain given his caps for NT.

    1. I think Brighton could be a great place for him. They play attractive football, they play against the top teams in Europe weekly, and it’s a bonus that there are other Dutchmen there. Veltman is only “lost” there because he’s not capable of playing at the next highest level (bigger English clubs, Oranje, etc), but he’s actually quite a fan favorite there.

      Our man Bart is also currently ‘lost’ at Brighton.

  2. AZ will be feeling the pinch in the upcoming season after their high profile starting from coach Pascal Jansen, striker Vangelis Pavlidis, Dani de wit moving to Germany, keeper Mathew Ryan who didnt renew his contract and suguwara whom also is expected to leave.

  3. @wilson, it is another the same year for AZ: 4-5 key players left, and the management in the search for their replacement. Despite this annual situation, the club manages to stay within the top 5 every year. However, last year showed that the gap between PSV/Feyenoord and AZ has dramatically increased with Twente getting and sometimes surpassing the latter. So, who is going to fill the gaps created by the departed players? Goalkeeper: most likely Rome Jayden Owusu-Oduro will take part between the bars. He is very talented and played last year before we signed Mathew Ryan. I have never been impressed by Ryan. I think his departure is a blessing for AZ. Yuki will be replaced by a new signee, Seiya Maikuma, who is actually Yuki’s sub in the Japan national team. Dani de Wit’s position will be taken by Sven Mijnans. Midfield will most likely look like that: Kristijan Belic – Sven Mijnans – Jordy Clasie. Very decent midfield, in my opinion. Big question is whether AZ will be looking for an experienced attacker to fill Pavlidis position or choose among Poku, Lequincio Zeefuik or Mexx Meerdink. To play successfully in UEFA League, neither of the above-mentioned are adequate. Out of those three I would choose Lequincio Zeefuik though, big Lukaku-type player who has a lot of potential to develop into a great attacker. Central defense will remain a problem for us as I mentioned before, neither of four currently available players are adequate. In terms of coach, I would have brought an international one, but AZ management decided to go with Maarten Martens. I loved Maarten as a player but as a coach he is so so. I am looking forward to a new season!

  4. Nicolaas, I am impressed. You managed to use more digital ink to explain yourself than I thought was possible on this site. And yet, what have we learned? You’ve told us all about the Turkish manager’s height, and your personal desire to always be looking for a new job. And you’ve described the opposition players in a way that suggests you’re planning to adjust video game settings against them.

    Jan’s analysis was far more interesting, accurate and informative, interjected humor and most importantly, included pictures.

    You go into excruciating detail, but you still have not addressed many important factors, such as temperature and barometric pressure, pitch conditions and dimensions, and the players’ dietary needs, including whether de Ligt has been supplied with his favorite ochsenfetzensemmel complete with all nine bread rolls!

    And of course, as always, you miss the ultimate point — we are Holland. They are Turkey. We should control and win this match. We should not modulate our style to how they play. We should make them change what they do to confront us. There is a reason I keep a tiny notebook with me at all times — to write down only the important details, not everything that you drone on about with us today. And so, my advice to Ronald is to keep things simple, play with confidence, and let the system he has already established do the work and serve its purpose. But I would love to hear more about the personality model of Montella. Perhaps you could offer up some analysis of his recent dreams too? Haha! The Dutch players should be focused on one dream only — raising the Delaunay cup!

    Assuming we are victorious today, I will provide a tactical analysis of the next opponent – and you will need a big notebook as it will be a masterclass!


  5. This is AZ’s possible selection for 2024-25 season

    Rome Jayden Owusu-Oduro
    Mees de Wit – Bruno Martins Indy – Riechedly Bazoer – Seiya Maikuma/Denso Kasius
    Kristijan Belic – Sven Mijnans – Jordy Clasie
    Ruben van Bommel – Lequincio Zeefuik – Ibrahim Sadiq/Mayckel Lahdo

  6. Southgate did what Naglesmann did yesterday and threw on a bunch of attackers, but here it worked immediately. So now what does England do for the next 10 minutes plus extra time?

  7. England has the momentum. They should keep pushing and try to win it in regular time. They have subs and can balance the team out if they go to extra time. Do teams get an extra sub in extra time?

  8. The Swiss are completely legit in my view. They’re going toe to toe with Germany, Italy, England, etc. and are just playing their game straight up. If they were previously considered a second tier European team, I think that perception needs to change

  9. I really hope both of the matches today don’t go to penalties! How much more entertaining would extra time be if instead of penalties, the tiebreaker was a coin flip 😉

    1. I agree. When I saw him as the first shooter, I had a bad feeling

      Funny that England has gotten good at penalties, but still can’t manage to play to their potential in open play

  10. It’s going to be a long game if Memphis is the only one pressuring the Turkey back line.

    I feel like we’re giving them way too much time, space and respect in the back

  11. Turkey is going to be content to delay and generate nothing so long as we do the same. Seems like we need to take the match to them a little more.

  12. Embarrassing. Looks like the Romania game was the illusion rather than the reality. The only match of five so far we’ve looked interested in playing. Where do we think a goal will be coming from if we can’t even string three passes together other than between the center backs…

  13. From the game beginning and also especially after the Turkey Goal We don’t have any plan in attack and clearly no opportunity to score a goal or corner, Memphis better to be out of the starting lineup and Simons seems not mentally fit!

  14. If Turkey is now just going to sit with a 5 man back line, we’re going to have to find some other solution than what’s been tried so far.

    Unfortunately, we’ve played right into their hands in the way the match has progressed so far.

  15. This performance is worse than the Austria game. Midfield totally disappeared. Forgot the concept of second ball. Players look tired and disinterested. Put Weghorst in and try high balls. I don’t see any other way.

  16. On the replay of the goal, Turkey actually had three players literally waiting in line to head that home. We have demonstrated time and again in this tournament a lack of defensive discipline and organization, particularly on set pieces. Admittedly, that was a recycled opportunity, but to have no defenders in any sort of goal-side position there seems inexcusable

  17. We clearly have been looking past Turkey, as we don’t seem prepared in the slightest for how they were likely to play this match. Players probably focused on what their penalty strategy would be against England. Doesn’t seem like we’re going to find out…

  18. What an uninspiring performance! Midfield shows zero creativity. Memphis is awful. I do not think this really wants to continue in the tournament. Noy sure why to bother…

  19. Amazing that we’ve begun the second half exactly the way we ended the first. Low energy, lacking in imagination, no movement off the ball, content to play at a slow, lethargic, walking pace…

    And some how Memphis misses the easiest chance of the tournament…

  20. I think it is time to pack the bags…Netherlands do not want to continue, it is just too much of work for them. What is shot from Guler.

  21. We also desperately need a legitimate attacking midfielder who can pick a pass. Whatever Simons and Memphis are providing is woefully inadequate

  22. Nobody wants to move forward. Dumfries who normally runs crazily, does not want to advance. This game is even worse than the one with Austria.

  23. We are seating way too much possession and space to them. They’re just bringing the ball up the field unedited and creating chance after chance!

  24. We need to start next game with:

    Dumfries – de Vrij – van Dijk – van de Ven
    Shouten – Simons – Reijnders – Ake
    Weghorst – Memphis

  25. Unbelievable comeback! Hopefully that will ignite this team’s spirit!

    A few post-match thoughts: If we want to get the best out of Memphis, I don’t think he can play as the sole striker anymore. He gets lost in that role and is ineffective, but when someone else takes on that responsibility (like Weghorst), Memphis plays with much greater freedom and involvement. I’m also not sure what Xavi Simons is bringing at this point. He won’t take shots. He gives the ball away needlessly and he doesn’t impose his will on the game. He’s obviously very young and will improve, but right now for me, he’s a luxury player that we can’t afford.

    And Gakpo and de Vrij! Joint players of the tournament for me so far, followed closely by Verbruggen!

  26. If I was the coach of a team playing this Orange, I will base my game plan on crosses into the box. Never seen a top team so unsure whenever the ball is floated in near the 6-yard box. Can happen in the first game but not after 6 games. England is actually good in the air. Something to work on.

    1. England so far this tournament:

      1-0 vs Serbia
      1-1 vs Denmark
      0-0 vs Slovenia
      2-1 vs Slovakia (both goals scored after 90’)
      1-1 vs Switzerland

      Despite all their talent, they have not been very impressive yet…

      And other than vs France, we’ve scored at least 2 goals in every match we’ve played

  27. @JB, Guillame, I am with you guys. The NT kept dropping off (I think at one point they had about nine guys in close to a single line at the top of the box) allowing Turkey’s wide players way too much time to send it in. Stressful. But they were diving and sprawling everywhere to block shots. Fantastic effort.

    I don’t think he’ll do it, but next game I hope Koeman starts Zirkzee or Brobbey precisely because of what JB was saying above. I wouldn’t start Weghosrt. He’s played with so much energy in this tournament, and I wonder whether he’d be able to play at the pace he’s been playing with for 90 minutes. I’d rather have him as a game changer at the 45-60 mark

    Turkey wasn’t going to let Gakpo cut in to his right foot. In the 2nd half when he changed it up and went left and crossed it caused the Turkish defense problems and created some space.

  28. I wish we had more players like Weghorst, he is fighter and runs like crazy when he dose not have the ball in position… He is not a world class striker but I believe he tactically is a constant threat to defenders and we need this in front line .

  29. Koeman will and should stick to his plan related to Memphis and Weghorst. So far it works, why to change. However, I would sideline Simmons and let Memphis to perform as a playmaker. Whereas Zirkzee could start as a striker. Then at 60 minute, Weghorst could come as a sub and replace Zirkzee. The other change I would do is van de Ven instead of Ake. The latter looked very tired.

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