The Germans are coming!

Any match vs Germany (or West Germany) will bring the heart rate of any Oranje fan up. The pantomime villains! But if we get a double bill for games, vs Germany (our neighbours on the East) AND the Belgians (our neighbours to the South), well… any Oranje fan would start salivating.

We do have a firm rivalry with both nations and now we’ll meet them both in the course of 4 days. There is a God! The rivalry with Belgium is more brotherly. We actually like the Belgium people. We love their country, their food, their beaches and we also are impressed with their national team, at the moment. We had massive competitive games against them, but also some amazing friendlies, with heaps of goals and lots of good memories.

Less so with the Germans. Yes, those clashes in the 40-45 World Cup…eh.. War didn’t help. The first post-war match at top level was the finals in 1974 of course.

How many articles / posts have I not written about this in the past 14 years! On the Worldcupsoccerblog and on this blog… All these wonderful stories, anecdotes… But whatever we say about it, we lost. That doesn’t change. I remember vividly watching the game. I was 12 years old (yes!) and watching the games at my holiday address, with heaps of other people. A colour tv, but a small screen. I sat on the floor, right with my nose on the screen.

In those days, the expectations around the national team were low. Really low, as somehow it never really register with the pros. They were paid for by the clubs, they weren’t properly insured when playing for the NT and somehow, we weren’t too interested. When Holland went to West Germany for the World Cup, no one expected them to shine. And with reason, as we actually scored our winning qualification goal in off side position and actually didn’t deserve to go. And ironically, Belgium didn’t qualify as a result of that goal. A good reason for them to dislike us!

So there I was. Johan Cruyff was an untouchable. He was an Ajax player, so as a Feyenoord fan I wasn’t openly a JC fan, but like anyone, in my heart I adored him as a player. Willem van Hanegem was my fave. Partly because he played for Feyenoord and partly because he lived just one block away from me. As did midfielder Wim Jansen. We had some rock stars in the team too, the 5th and 6th Beatle: Ruud Krol and Johnny Rep. And there were some unknown players part of the team too. Players a 12 year old didn’t see play often: Robbie Rensenbrink, who was at Anderlecht. The snake man. What a player! I didn’t get why Keizer didn’t play on the left wing, but after seeing one match (vd Uruguay) it was clear why Rensenbrink was the man. Jan Jongbloed, our sweeper keeper was another unknown, a massive masterstroke by Michels Cruyff to put him in.

But the Germans got the better of us. Was it our arrogance? Was it the night of lost sleep, as JC had to spend hours on the phone with his wife pre-match, to explain the naked girls in the swimming pool? Was it the sheer quality of Sepp Maier, who simply stopped every ball aimed at the German goal?

Who knows. Willem van Hanegem says it was arrogance. Johan Cruyff said he was played out of the game by Berti Vogts. Others will point to the ref and the first real schwalbe/dive by Holzenbein, getting the Germans their penalty.

But the world took notice. And Oranje made its mark. Winning or losing, it didn’t matter.

We need a revenge though. In 1976, we bitterly disappointed, with red cards for our star players. In 1978, we took on the West Germans again and drew 2-2. We ended up in the finals again, and West Germany didn’t. Still, it didn’t feel like revenge.

In 1980, the Germans were boss. Holland disappointed massively and in 1982, 1984 and 1986, we didn’t compete. Long long stories. And all these stories have been told, here and at other blogs in the past. Simply ask me if you want me to rehash them.

Then came 1988. The 12 year old fan was now a 26 year old supporter, with some ties to Feyenoord and the national newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. And as a result, found himself in Hamburg on the stands. My partner worked for the newspaper and called me up at 11 am-ish. “I have tickets for the game, you gotta come now!” I drove from Amsterdam (my place of work) to Rotterdam (where the newspaper resides) to pick her up and our tickets. Changed clothes at home and off we went to Hamburg. We arrived 30 mins before the game and saw Oranje win vs West Germany (1-2) in an unforgettable match. The one where West Germany and Holland both got a gift penalty. The one where Van Basten scored the winner in the last minute. The one where Ronald Koeman wiped his ass with Olaf Thon’s shirt and Van Breukelen yelled at “I hope you focking sterbst” to Frank Mill…

And while we walked out of the stadium, in a state of joy, my partner saw a sports editor of her newspaper, and we tagged along to the players’ hotel to celebrate the win till the early morning. I vividly remember a somewhat boozy conversation with a young bloke at the party whom I later recognised as a very young Richard Witschge. Around 2 am I realised we still had 5,5 hours to drive home as work was waiting the next morning and we decided to leave.

The story of our trip to Munich the Sunday next, where Holland took on the USSR in the finals is even more epic, but will have to wait for another time. Now its about The Germans!

In 1990, the same squad albeit with Richard Witschge among others, was keen to win the World Cup, in Italy. We played Germany again and that is where the comparison with 1988 stops. It was shocking. Holland actually didn’t play that bad vs Germany, but our key players simply didn’t come to the party. Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten in particular were sub-standard. Our best players were John van ‘t Schip and Jan Wouters, with Rijkaard getting the spotlights spitting a big one in Voller’s wig. We lost. And had to go home. The players lamented after the World Cup that the power struggle between Cruyff and Michels had demoralised the team and Beenhakker’s army boot camp in Yugoslavia prior to the tournament didn’t help either. If you wanted a performance from the likes of Gullit and Rijkaard, it was key to have a player’s hotel close to the action (clubs, girls, pizza) and not in a remote and desolate castle with nothing to do but to moan and whinge and whine.

I watched this game at home again, in despair. The group stage of Oranje was already abyssmal so expectations were not too high. Most supporters were distraught that the KNVB ignored the wishes of the players and signed Leo Beenhakker for the coaching job.

In 1992, at the Euros. Oranje got the chance to take revenge on the Germans and we did. In a master class, in which Van Basten conducted Bergkamp’s goals (pointing at Winter where to place the ball) and an uncharacteristic distance striker from Rob Witschge, Holland won 3-1 in probably the best performance a Dutch national team demonstrated vs the Teutons. I remember watching this game with my best friend Nico and my life partner of course in my home, where we ended up dancing through the apartment block, convinced we’d win the title, against the beach team of the Danes.

In 1994, the Allied forces the US organisers of the World Cup keep Holland and Germany separated.

In 1996, we sadly don’t meet them either. We end up being dressed down by England and Germany ends up winning the Euros with the worst team ever.

At so the list goes on. We have been able to keep them at bay in 1998, 200o, 2002 (by not qualifying) and meet them again in Portugal 2004. First group game, and Germany tastes first blood. Van Nistelrooy scores the equaliser late in the game and everyone is happy with the draw. In 2006 we miss out on playing them, same in 2008 and 2010. It’s 2012 when we do end up playing them again in the group stage and after a good start (15 minutes or so) we forget to defend and allow them to score first. A situation we simply can’t overcome and despite having the silver medal at home of that previous World Cup, we end up going home. In 2014, again, the Germans are able to get to the finals without having to play us and that must have helped them a lot.

By now, all stories about how Germany took a couple of pages from the Dutch football Academy book in 2000 are fairly well known. They re-invigorated their youth development and started to play more Dutch than German. Their horrific tournament in Russia this year is a clear testament how the Germans have really started to copy all we do….

What will happen tomorrow?

Well, I think we’ll win 2-1. I think Germany will be a tad nervous, a bit forced maybe, and on their toes for the young Dutch talents.

I think Koeman will play the following 11:


De Ligt – De Vrij  – Van Dijk  – Van Aanholt

Wijnaldum – Frenkie De Jong – Daley Blind – Strootman

Bergwijn – Memphis

I think Memphis and Wijnaldum will score.

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  1. Why strootman ??!!! Can anyone explain why Koeman keep letting strootman go capture the important midfield place ?!?!?!

    I cannot recall a single match we played good with him starting . I beg if anyone can pass this message To Koeman !!!

    We need to let our youngster start ! Give can de beek a chance ! Every single Match will allow them gain so much.

    I feel for aka and de vrij . They really deserve to play

      1. You also have to realize that the biggest incosistency in NT has been the inability of the young talents shifting to the next level. Dont have to name those who tried and at the same time were playing for NT but didnt work out for them outside of eredivisie. This will the biggest challenge for koeman when giving the young talents the nod. De ligt and frenkie have been on the list of some of the top clubs and whether they will be able to survive in there is pretty much anybodys guess.once you start rotting on the bench , the NT doors slamps shut on your face and its back to square 1 in NT. No face and no start

        You look at kluivert, im sure if he would stayed at Ajax, instead of u21s, he would have been in the main squad.

        In strootmans case, Its pretty much evident koeman doesnt rate anyone highly than him just yet. Strootman defintely was a liabilty at CM but now with frenkie in the picture, whose work rate seemingly is quiet balanced strootman can concentrate more on BTB role which is strong hold. This is exactly how things was unfolding at Roma with De Rossi in the engine room and strootman at BTB.

        On paper the midfield of wijnaldum, Strootman and Frenkie looks good but if you look at modern day trend, BTB midfielders are thing of the past and outdated. Its either playing with two attacking and a central in 4-3-3 or two mobile central and a attacking midfield in 4-3-2-1 like the germans.

        Im not sure about strootman and I think Koeman will again bite the dust. Being said this I think what stopping koeman from not starting him is the fact that there is no one who can really put in a fight for that spot. Dont think Rosario or VDBbeek will be able to dethrone him just because they scored in CL.

          1. Thanks Wilson

            Very well analysis

            By the way , I don’t think van de beek can take over strootman’s position right now but if he keeps improving Koeman will have no choice but to move Strootman away

            And I think once van Ginkel is back ( which we all don’t know when) he should also play an important role for oranje

            I do hope that arnaut danjuma will have time to play Tonight and show us a new partnership with depay

            Sorry but at the moment we only have one so called world class striker / winger .

          2. Playing depay as a striker will always come with aerial threat and on top.of all he always waits for the ball to come to him and not him to the ball. In other words his positioning as a striker is poor. Poarchering yeah anybody can do it but in heavy terrific you cant expect Depay to typically take on defenders from a standing start . I think his best position is playing him in a two man upfront. In worst case scenario hr will always droft to the left and clash with who ever is on the left wing.

          1. I actually dont get this. Why build the team around players who have deficiency in certain aspect of their capabilities. Propper will never survive in a high tempo games and that the highlight of him at Brighton. Pretty much few others, they will only shine with average teams which suit their comfort be honest I think De Roon is no better off than propper either and he showed it when was playing for middlesbrough in epl.unfortuntaley for him, koeman hasnt given his the opportunity to prove himself.

    1. IMO,kind of players such as Strootman, Wijnadum, Vilhena have more experiences & proved that they can play at the big club of EuRope, players like de Beek, Rosario, Til, Danjuma, Berwinj, Kluivert, Dumfrie we just see their potential, so it’s up to Koeman’approach to pick right time to check & motivate them i guess.

      I hope we can play a young team to see how it’s going, like bellow

      –Danjuma—Depay—Berwijng———–de Beek–de Jong—–
      Why not, right? Maybe we will lose game but we can check out lads to see where they are.

    1. Not beause lativa was an average oponent, but the quality of this gang stands out in the team. I hoping to see Depay and Zivkovic in a two man upfront not so in distance future.

      1. Depay- Zivkovic

        Goreneveld-frenkie- van Ginkel-stengs

        Ake-Van Dijk- De Ligt- janmaat


        Diego simeone will virtually win the world cup with this squad.I have always admired why simeone prefers 4-4-2 untill I watched him on the side lines communicating to player. In defense he expects everbody to drop back and once the ball is retrived the wingers on the flank then launches the counter attack creating more space in the middle for the strikers to get into position. He excuates this so brillantly and when he goes to the transfer market, he only gets players who fit in his master blue print.

        1. This team would be slaughtered :-).

          I don’t see why Zivkovic? I think there are only two people who see it in him: you and him.

          I rate Danjuma, Malen, Kluivert and Bergwijn much higher. I don’t think we need a #9. Leave it open. Let the lads mentioned above get into that space. The likes of Ramos, Hummels, Kompany, Stones etc have no clue who to handle them.

          1. I wont argue on Zivkovic, he is a 50- 50.but looking from the highlights of that game though Zivkovic looked far better of than malen and Kluivert.the thing is,with Lozano and Bergwijn, Malen will continue to get less minutes at PSV, Kluivert is in the same boat at Roma. Dilrosun like Zivkovic who are featuring contantly for their respective club could well edge both kluivert and Malen out if the situation doesnt change. As for Bergwijn remember ola I said the faith of these upcoming new talents will be decided when they move out of eredivisie. Bazoer was another one.

          2. I agree with Jan, for Van Ginkel u shouldn’t have anymore hope on that guy, he’s already done & proved that he can be just a mediocre one & only able to play for some small clubs & leagues. National team he cannot compete to even some young players.

            a very young long list of players that over than him that even not qualify NT team here
            Klassen, Ramselaar, Til, Koopmeiners Bazoer,Eiting,Hendrix, Classie, Stroona,

  2. Danjuna / Dilrosun my eyes are in these two

    Kluivert – sorry …. but I think he needs a lot of luck and working more harder . I hope to Roma was not a mistake for him

    Tahith Chong – no hope under

    Malen – two less playing time . Too less chances unless Luuk de Jong goes

    Bergwijn – time will tell

    1. Dont forget about lammers and Piroe as well at PSV. There will big competition once Luuk departs sooner or later.they also have another argentine striker max romero as well who is injured at the moment.

      1. yes you read my mind, exactly!

        can anyone tell me when Luuk De Jong leaves or give up his important striker position?

        Sorry but since he is no Oranje material and can never be anywhere close to being a world striker, i would wish he can give up his position to our potential youngers.

        I guess Malen would be the next one..but i’m not sure if he’s just the same class as Kluivert or Bergwijn..?

  3. in general, young players to be in 11 man of the first squad they have to show they are mature & even dominated the veteran at the same position otherwise coach will pick their brothers, at the moment at NT team only de Ligt & de Jong show that, that’s why they deserve with Koeman choice. Kluivert, Danjuma, Berwijng, Dilrosun, Fosu, Dumfrie, de Beek, etc just begin on that way & not show that clearly, so we have to wait to see. 😆

    1. If Dilrosun keeps scoring and his current form in the German League, I’m sure in the next call up he will be included.

      Though how he performs wearing the Oranje shirt will be another question now (and also how he partnership with our current strikers) .

      Bas Dost was an example who played well for his club, but failed to perform while playing for Oranje.

      1. I hope so for Dilrosun, but for Bas Dost from beginning he didn’t show he will reach a top striker to me, the reason he got chance to wear Orange shirt because of our NT team crisis, especially for central forward position,he is good at the clubs he used to play & current CP because they are small club, he didn’t play for big club so we didn’t see his limitation when he go back Orange we will see it, to me he is another version of Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

        For striker, i hope that we can generate some the players such as Baster, Kluivert, Nisterooy, Maakay, Hessenbank, van Hoijdong, Bergkham, Persie

  4. This is very good clip to analyze about de Jong vs France
    , he has showed how good he is & even France player realize his possession, so many good skills, not easy to get the ball when he’s possessing, & they don’t know how to stop him then just let him do what he wanted, they were puzzled & accepted his domination.

    save as de Ligt

    so if some more of our lads can show as what de Jong/Ligt has showed then we will have very good & strong team that i think can against & even dominate France the worldcup champion.

    But unfortunately they are not now 🙂

  5. Perfect change of direction, protect the ball by his body, Pivot position, Body Orientation, excellent first touch & vision to change direction, if there is no passing angle then play backwards,

    Dribbling, Passing, Teamwork, Confident that even dominate world class player.

    de Jong is one of the player that can compare to Mbappe of France although they are playing at different position.

  6. Depay has good skill & smart muscle & fast player but he ‘s not stable performance & distract by other stuff such as Friends, Fashion, Party, etc that’s why he can not reach top players. I see that de Jong/ Ligt have stable & mature performance & solid life so i guess they can reach.

  7. It seems that everyone ( all in a sudden ) our all the spotlights on frankie de Jong .

    How would we compare him to ( in the nederlandse team ). Anyhow he seems to surely seems to be the only replacement of sneijder ( although their playing style are different ?)

    What worries me though is that currently there is no one close to his level . ( maybe van de beek ) but good that they can play together ( unlike sneijder and van Der Vaart back then )

    Another thing talking about Dilrosun , he seems to be an upgrade ( or double upgraded version) of kluivert . Physically Dilrosun is also a lot stronger

    Poor kluivert I know he’s a hardworking lad And it must be a lot of pressure living under his dads soul. But honestly he is still far away from reaching his dads standard

    1. Jan,

      i can say you know all of the stories

      i am also concern for Kluivert, believe me de Jong even better than Sneijder, he could be the player that any club want to have

      And you are right, at the moment in term of front-line he does’t have any partnership that same level, Depay is one of that kind of player with good performance & remove unnecessary things.

  8. Team vs Germany:

    Dumfries-De Ligt-VVD-Blind

    De Roon-De Jong-Wijnaldum


    Dumfries and De Roon are surpise inclusions for me. What do you guys think ?

  9. Lineup. Some surprises.

    1 J. Cillessen
    5 D. Blind
    4 V. van Dijk
    3 M. de Ligt
    2 D. Dumfries
    8 G. Wijnaldum
    7 F. de Jong
    6 M. de Roon
    11 R. Babel
    10 M. Depay
    9 S. Bergwijn

  10. Ok 1-0 up , not sure how it will end , as Germany looks like they’re a difficult one to beat

    But first of all I have no complain with this starting line up. At least no strootman , so well done koeman

    Van de roon looks hardworking but still not goof enough as a supplier

    I’m not sure if wijnaldum should still start. Had he done anything ?

      1. since Koeman took over, Wijnaldum has shown his Liverpool form. that chemistry with Depay… wow.

        even after Liverpool signed Keita and Fabinho, Wijnaldum still can hold his own. we’re in for a treat.

  11. First half: so much fun. The kids are loose, but by the end of the half? Fun. Because the Germans just can’t seem to get it together.

    De Roon could be something of a Van Bommel. Smart positioning, when I was watching him. Bergwijn and Dumfries are showing quality.


  12. Very good game!!!! Congrats everybody. Although Germany was not at their best, I am confident this victory is the beginning of the great journey to the top of the football Olympus. Entire team played well. Particularly, I was impressed how compact entire team played the last 75 minutes. We have an absolutely fabulous central defense, Both van Dijk and de Ligt were phenomenal. Another player that had fabulous game was de Roon. Fantastic display. I saw a lot of improvement in Blind and Wijnaldum. De Jong, Depay, and Babel played at the same level as they usually play. Bergwijn was just OK. Finally, Dumfries had very rough game. I think with Kenneth Tete coming back, we have now very complete TEAM. Big applause to Koeman. He has done very good job.

    I am very happy!

    1. Yes! The Heineken will taste extra good tonight in California. De Ligt is a huge talent in the making. What he lacks in quickness he more than makes up with his other qualities. Shaky at times? Fine. He got through it. Against Germany! What a fine way to introduce Groeneveld, and to boost the confidence of the kids. This will go a long way in their mythology.

  13. Some points after the game

    – de Jong, Ligt, van Dijk, Depay, Wijnadum are our key players at this moment

    – Other players are just support.

    – Jong players need to improve more as they are still lack of confidence & experience to play with top players, but Koeman is smart to give them minute on the field Berwijn, Danjuma, Dumfries.

    – Dumfries not that confident when attaching but he’s quite solid as a defender, so applaud for his debut.

    – Koeman is the right coach that we need for now & Orange on the right track for noot because today we won Germany but even when we lose away game to France we can see it.

  14. On Koeman what i can say is, he know exactly what our NT team has now & he doesn’t want to make the lads or the fan happy, instead he try to motivate them slightly step by step.

    I am sure that he see all of potential from our lads & also know they are not reached level to compete with strong team rival yet, but he can utilize them & make them get them experience somehow.

    1. Nothing but praise for Koeman: he survived the youngsters’ shaky moments. And they held up.

      Where has DeRoon been? Jan used to rate him highly, and boy is it good to have him back. Serie A has taught him discipline — and that little pass that led to Memphis’ second goal was soooo nice I watched it more than twice.

      Dumfries measured up. Where did he come from? And Babel was the right choice for his defensive effort, if nothing else.

      So hats off to Koeman. What fun this match was, with those kids running over the Germans. Dank u wel!

  15. Well, that was a performance to make a fan smile. So much to like, the defensive partnership between VDV and De ligt; the team toughness; Wijnaldum constantly switching from offense to defense on a dime; Blind’s all around play at both mf and lb; Frenkie De Jong’s special skill; Memphis’ play—in addition to his scoring skills, he is a superb distributor; Dumfries’ debut; Cilleson’s command…so much to enjoy, and to look forward to.

    OT: Goldstone, where in California are you? I live in Oakland.

    1. Hi, Andrew. I’m in Los Angeles… but enjoy that Oakland Trumer Pils stuff. If we ever time a north/south trip during an international break, we should share a match. 🙂

  16. 3-0 win against Germany

    I’m sure this will be a new area of our comeback

    Very Impresded with koeman to bring on ake to replace de Jong , who I believe has done enough for us . He still need match fo fitness

    As I said before , Ake really deserves a place to play . He had too much potential to show . Too shame he plays for a small club in England

    How was harteboer doing ? Promes did bring on something on the final Minutes

    Shame van de Beek wasn’t able to play

    1. Hateboer did fine at Atalanta. he didn’t get the chance last night. and seeing how Dumfries took his chance, it’ll be difficult decision for Koeman on who will take the RB spot vs Belgium.

  17. i AM MORE Happy about Babel..such a talent come back from disaster career and still useful for NT…things would have been different had Danny Blind called Babel,Ake kind of players an year ago…

    1. We need Kongolo back at LB…
      It not good that player like ake sits in bench…
      ———–Cillessen seems our best FIRST 11 PLAYERS

  18. Ake yes he needs to play

    Babel ? Sorry no

    In my opinion Babel needs to go and give up his place to the new potential Strikers and let them gain experience

    Babel is good but not top. Nothing close where our previous strikers standard

    Babel is 31 now how long can he play ? 2 more years Euro ? Yes .

    World Cup 2022?

    Wake up Koeman .

    1. Babel served his role just fine yesterday. No, he won’t be with us in 2022, but his defensive work helped us shut out Germany — not in a friendly, but in a Nations match.

      I’m not plugging Babel’s work around the box as superstellar. But Koeman wore a wizard’s hat yesterday, and his choices got us three points and a match to remember.

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