The Great FdB interview

We’re back! Oh Goodness Gracious Me, the site was down. Some weird error, and it took me some time to sort it. Also because support was hard to find in the Xmas/NYE days.

Not a lot of news re: Dutch Eredivisie or Oranje anyway, but the Premier League keeps on powering, just like Italy, Spain and Germany have started up again.

Traditionally, the national team manager gets the big interview at the start of the new year and Frank de Boer gladly agreed to do his part.

Louis van Gaal saw it first…

Fdb: “That I was going to be a good national team coach? Hahaha, yes we were doing a canal boat tour in the winter some time back. Ronald and his partner was there too. It was a gastronomical tour, very good fun. And Louis told me that he thought I would be the prefect for the job, but the KNVB picked Ronald Koeman, back then. I thought that was actually a fine choice. Anyone could see there were some amazing talents coming through.”

When Van Gaal resigned in 2002, he said he might have been too much of a club coach. How is this with you?

Fdb: “Well, yes but it was totally different, as we were all in our early 30s. We weren’t young talents anymore. We had won basically everything. I think in such a scenario, a Hiddink type coach would be better. It was important to manage the vibe in the group, but not to tell Ruud van Nistelrooy to button up his shirt! Or tell Van Hooijdonk to wear socks! Pierre never wore them. We all knew this. And then there was a new physio, Raymond Verheijen. He’s a good man, with expertise but he was years younger than us! And he presented himself as the clone of Louis. We had more than enough to do with one Louis hahaha. At the World Cup 1998, and this is not to be negative about Guus Hiddink, but we determined how we played. Not Guus. We never trained tactically. He just made sure everyone was feeling ok and was happy. And at certain times, he had to step in and be razor sharp and he was. But he knew exactly what he needed from this group. I think that is key for a national team manager.”

What does the current squad need?

“A mixture of approaches. We have a mix in ages too. They all know what they want, but… not everyone has been there. Gini and Virgil have had big successes with Liverpool, Daley and Gini and De Vrij and Memphis were at the World Cup. But other players haven’t. It’s all new. Dumfries, Frenkie, Malen, Van de Beek… They still need to learn what it means to play a tournament.”

Are you now more manager than trainer?

“Yes, it’s part of your development too, and it’s also because one can’t do it all alone. Management is an important part of the job but I think I actually prefer to be trainer.”

At Palace and Internazionale, there was criticism of how you lacked empathy.

“Managing a squad is a skill and being more social and show interest in someone else, yes, it is something that doesn’t come natural to me, I had to learn this. And that is why they say being a coach is an experience profession. And I started at Ajax, where I had played for 20 years or so and I knew everyone and everyone knew me. Supporters, sponsors, management, ex players, the works. And my vision was developed by Ajax basically, so the match was perfect. I had to learn to work in a non Ajax environment and that wasn’t so easy.”

What went wrong?

“Well, at Inter it was always my plan to take into account the Italian culture, the club culture, traditions etc. I also wanted to bring in my own ideas. And I noticed really early on, that the basis of my thinking, the basis of the Dutch way of playing is passing and receiving. That is something you have to be able to do. Look at Frenkie, at Koopmeiners, Bazoer, Propper, Blind… But the Italians didn’t like it at all. They fumbled, they became childish, they tried to screw the other players by playing hospital balls… They preferred to do sprints, with the stop watch or play tactical practices. They didn’t feel good with my approach, they felt they needed more intensity. They also didn’t do rest. If a player had a big couple of games, I would sometimes give them a day off. The medical staff went berserk. I was supposed to clean the situation up, like Koeman at Valencia, years ago. But there was resistance. And mind you, after they fired me, they used and fired two other coaches before they came to Conte and it started to click, with a completely new squad.”

Was it a mistake to go there?

“No I don’t look at it like that. I learned a lot. It was a good experience. In England, I did change my way a bit. Crystal Palace wanted to play continental but I analysed my squad and noticed I couldn’t do that, so I adapted to a 5-3-2. I think the tactical choices were fine, but I was a bit too harsh to certain player. Scott Dann had been skipper for many years and I was certain I wasn’t going to use him so I took his band. That was not smart, the way I did it. He has a lot of supporters in the club and I created my own resistance, in this way. We played four games, lost them all and we didn’t score one single goal. We needed some luck and we didn’t get it. We played away vs Burnley, my last game in charge. We played really well, we created chances and put them under pressure. But we didn’t score. We did have a short back pass to the goalie and Burnley took their chance and scored. That is also part of being a coach: you can’t do it yourself.”

The KNVB was looking for Koeman 2.0. They actually signed De Boer 2.0 it seems?

“I do think I changed as a coach, yes. I have more patience and more empathy, I think. The experiences at Inter, Palace and Atalanta were important. They wanted to go the Koeman route with me. I didn’t want to say too much about it, but I am not Koeman. I am different and I will have to do it my way. Even Koeman at one point said – from Barcelona – that he didn’t want the KNVB to look for Koeman 2.0 as it would only lead to failure. A national team coach needs to be autonomous and independent.”

Not a lot of people had you on the top of their list.

“I get that. I understand that names like Van Gaal or Ten Cate or Peter Bosz were mentioned. I was out of the picture for a spell. I did think it was tedious that I had to defend myself all the time, when I was signed up.”

It doesn’t happen often, signing a national team manager after two failed adventures.

“But I also won the title 4 times in a row with Ajax. And I won trophies with Atalanta. I mean, sure, I understand that some people focus on the negatives. It’s up to me to win them over.”

Four times the title with Ajax. It sounds as if it was an easy job.

“Well, it was a different Ajax back then. We had Tobias Sana, Danny Hoesen, Niklas Moisander, Lorenzo Ebecilio. Nothing against these lads, but no where near the level they have now. But still, we won against Barcelona and we beat Man City. But the only thing people seem to remember is the square passing, hahaha. But hey, you’re as good as your last match. You know what my biggest memory is from all these years as Ajax coach? That last game when we lost the title against De Graafschap. And not the title vs Twente, in May 2011 and won it for the first time in a long time. I can’t blame people to focus on the bad experiences, I do that too. We won the title 4 times in a time when Ajax did not have a lot of money and we had a lot of managerial problems back then as well. But what is the strongest memory of these days: me in the bus, having lost the title in Doetinchem.”

Ronald Koeman once said, that people in Holland enjoyed themselves if it didn’t go well with Ronald Koeman. Is that something that applies to you too?

“Probably yes. It’s not that people actually enjoy it when you fail, but they need to know that big name players can also fail, are human. All that glitters ain’t gold, that sortathing. It’s human nature, I think.”

You started with a loss vs Mexico and a draw in Bosnia Herzegovina. But it seems that you turned it around really quickly.

“That was maybe the lessons learned in Milan and with Palace. I came into a situation with an existing squad and a technical and medical staff that worked well together. I don’t think changing things around is handy, in that case. So I had some indepth talks with my staff, with the players. What do they want, how do they see the game. And after that, I was able to make some subtle changes. I also have to take into account who we play. I changed things for Italy, and changed it back for Poland. And sometimes, you have players who suddenly give you options. There was Owen Wijndal suddenly, well… I loved using him. And when you play Wijndal and Dumfries, you need to make some tactical changes, as you can’t have both of them stampeding forward all the time. Away against Poland, we were lucky when they broke for what could have been a 2-0. We did have enough players behind the ball by the way. It was the timing of the interference, or the planned interference. De Vrij was a step too slow, and a meter here or there makes the world of difference. And these defensive issues aren’t new, those were here under Koeman as well. We love to attack, but how do we organise ourselves defensively. I am working on this with Dwight Lodeweges now. We can improve there.”

Is this Dutch team world class without the ball?

“Maybe, when you look at the specific qualities we have. We have defenders who are world class, yes. But we want to dominate and we do have the players to do so. Frenkie, wants the ball. Daley wants the ball. Memphis wants the ball. We have a team that wants to take the initiative. We did ever so well under Koeman in the Nations League, but also in those matches, we were lucky at times.”

Still, our defenders are world class: Virgil is the best in the EPL and De Ligt the biggest defensive talent on the planet.

“And Frenkie de Jong? And Gini Wijnaldum? Memphis? It’s all a bit cyclical, I remember a time when we had mediocre defenders – according to the media – and world class strikers. But we have Donyell Malen, Cody Gakpo, Justin Kluivert… A couple of amazing attacking talents. And our new right full back?”


“No, Bergwijn! At Sputs, he is used as wing back and he does that. He tracks back, he challenges and hassles. He realises, when I want to play in the EPL I have to work my socks off. And he does. I can see him play up front, together with Memphis. Steven is fast, and he has a click with Memphis.”

You brought the classic #9 back into the team, with Luuk de Jong. Is this purely to play versus lesser opponents?

“Exactly. What we need, is movement. A lot of movement. It’s like in basketball, the 3 second rule in the circle. Move into the box, you don’t get the ball, move out again, keep circling, like sharks. Like Man City does it. What you need to have is good peripheral scanning ability. You saw this against Poland away and Bosnia at home. Memphis, Berghuis, Malen, Wijnaldum, continuously moving. And yes, you go 10 times but don’t get the ball, but the 11th time you do and it’s the break through. The most simple and hardest-to-defend ball is the pass over the defense in behind. You can’t defend against pace. We need to improve. But Mbappe, Messi in his top years, CRonaldo, Sterling, Mane, Salah, Malen, it’s all about pace and getting that yard. “

So where does Oranje stand now, 6 months before the Euros?

“We can beat any opponent. But we will need to be top to do so. Should we reach the semis, I think we’ve done a good job. Belgium, France and Spain are top favorites. I Think England, Italy and Germany are right behind them. And then it’s Portugal and us. Portugal won the Euros in 2016 but didn’t impress in any of their matches.”

And thus…

“We need to raise our consistency levels. Not now and then a great match. Every match a great match! I don’t want to be dependent on one or two players. The difference between us and France or Spain, is they have top notch players on every spot in the team. Double, even at times. We have some world class players and some who can become a world class player. Wijndal can become world class. Gravenberch, as well. It’s amazing what he does, but can he keep on it. It’s very hard to predict the career path of players. Look at El Ghazi, or Bazoer.”

You need experience, to guide them? In other players?

“Sure, this is why I think Babel is important. I get all these questions about Ryan. Same with Strootman. But you need some of these types: experienced, professional, never whining or being difficult and working their asses off. Their mentality is amazing. I called Strootman to explain why I wouldn’t be selecting him and he said he agreed! That is the sort of mentality we need. And some people tend to ridicule them or the fact us coaches say they’re important in the dressing room. People who haven’t played top football have no idea. They are key for the intensity of the training sessions. You usually need 16 players who could all be in the starting eleven, and then 6 players who simply accept their role and work their butt off to keep the rest sharp. Strootman and Babel are those types of players.”

Louis van Gaal spent as much time with the reserves in Brazil, as he did with the starting eleven…

“Yes and I get that. You need them. For a tournament, the training sessions are so important. Remember Ooijer in 2010? In South Africa? He didn’t expect to play a single minute. He was constantly teasing, and taunting. You know Andre? He has that Amsterdam style cynical humor. He was giving the physio a hard time all the time. And then suddenly, in the warming up for Brazil, Mathijsen couldn’t play. And Ooijer slotted in and played a top match. Why? Because he was super fit. He was sharp. It’s always the weakest link – not meaning Ooijer per se – who determines the strength of the chain.”

Koeman moved from Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk to a training centre in Zeist…

“Oh yes, at first I thought it was a step back! But when I look at it now, we have two fantastic pitches, we have that living room vibe in our hotel. That wasn’t there in Noordwijk. You wouldn’t see players in the communal space. Some were gaming in the room of player A, others were playing golf, the next little clique was walking the boulevard… Now, they’re all together, chatting or playing board games or watching a game together. Way better for the team building.”

What do you do when you don’t have a lot of time to practice?

“You can talk. You can discuss the organisation, the defensive positioning. If this happens, we do that. If this is the way they attack, we do this. Before the Italy game, we discussed our tactics. Do we play 4-3-3 or 5-3-2? We had a great session and then we went on the pitch and man, the sparks were flying, I was worried that we needed medivacs on the pitch, they were sharp, they tackled and challenged like how they play their match. It was very satisfying on the one hand, but I also thought “Goodness, I hope no one gets hurt!”. This immense pressure on the players, in their competitions. I mean, Van Dijk’s injury. Would that have happened if he was super fit and not having to have played so many big matches? Who knows? We see a lot of muscle injuries now, hamstrings etc. We need to manage this. For the Euros, I have only 2 weeks preparation, while Louis had 4 weeks for the World Cup in Brazil.”

Will Virgil van Dijk be ready in time?

“It will be a race against the clock, really? I do hope so, but it needs to be responsible. Liverpool won’t let him go if it’s not the right thing.”

What do you do now, in this period?

“Watching games. And there is a lot to watch. We do know about the usual suspects, the Wijnaldums, the Frenkies, we want to now focus on the category that is up and coming, such as Sven Botman at Lille or Jerdy Schouten at Bolonga or El Ghazi at Villa. This category player can be very interesting for us and we’re mapping that now. We do have some firm spots taken but from spot 17 to 23, it’s wide open, as far as I am concerned.”

How did Corona affect you in the US, at Atlanta United?

“It was typical for the US, very well organised. We we had 4 weeks of serious quarantine, than we opened up a bit more and I was allowed to fly to Holland to visit my mother-in-law who was in bad shape. After three weeks we could train in bigger groups and we entered The Bubble. We all went to Florida, we were all based in a couple of hotels and we tested and played, tested and played….”

And that was your final phase at the club?

“We both felt it was good as it was. We run our course. I can not say anything negative about the club, I had an amazing time. The facilities were top notch, we won two trophies and the lifestyle was great. But I also started to feel the impact of constantly on the road, flying, time zones, etc. Now, I realise how nice it is to not have to do that all the time.”

The good life as team manager…

“Yes, you know what a big difference is: you don’t need to focus on negative stuff. A player who is unhappy, or needs attention, or a medical staff member with opposing views, you always deal with that at club level. It’s constantly putting out fires. And the lads that work really well don’t get the attention they need. And now, it’s great. I play tennis, I go to Zeist twice a week for meetings and planning and I have dinner with my family. This is a big benefit of the team manager’s role. We do get stressed, but always a short time, hahahaha.”

Good to be home at Xmas!

“Well, in all honesty, I lost jobs before Xmas so I have had Xmas with the family, hahahaha.”

Source: VI Xmas edition

Bookmark and Share


  1. Thanks Jan! That was great. Man, Dutch managers really are a great interview. They say what’s on their mind, get specific, bluntly state their opinions while also openly acknowledging hard times and mistakes (well, sometimes 🙂 ). Refreshing.

  2. Related (in my mind anyway) is this YouTube video of JC explaining his on-field application of diamond formations. Classic – matter-of-fact, vaguely annoyed that others don’t immediately see what is obvious to him, simultaneously both transcendent football genius and argumentative guy at the end of the bar. God, I miss him:

  3. People give Frank a lot of grief for his coaching tenures, and about his playing style, but I’d like to argue in favour of him.

    At Ajax, he won 4 Eredivisie’s consecutively, which in itself is a success, but considering the teams he had at his disposal, it’s a bigger success. His first triumph sported forwards consisting of El Hamdaoui, Siem de Jong, Sulejmani, Lorenzo Ebecilio and Aras Ozbiliz. His midfield, Christian Eriksen, de Zeeuw, Lindgren, Enoh. And it never really got much better after that.

    The Inter team he inherited was a bad team looking to get a Top 4 finish. He tried to instill a project which would have taken more than a year to do, changing the philosophy of the team, and thus became one of 4 managers sacked in an 18 month period.

    At Crystal Palace he inherited another bad team, tried the same concept, but was only given 5 games in charge.

      1. If you’re referring to his squad selection, that can’t all be put on Frank either. Ajax itself was partly to blame.

        If you look at the Netherlands squad that won the U17 Euros in 2011. Only 2 Ajax players, Danzell Gravenberch and Peter Leeuwenbergh. In 2012, Eltson Acolatse, Queensy Menig and Branco van der Boomen. 2013, Riedewald. 2014, van de Beek, Nouri and Savastano.

        Part of the Ajax revolution has to go to Edwin being promoted to CEO in 2016, when he changed the transfer policy as well as the youth development pathway. Frank didn’t have the luxury of spending 20 million on Tadic or Promes in his time.

        1. To some extent, yes you points are legi but at tops its all about the team you inheirt and quality of players you have at your disposal.

          What is common with most of the upcoming dutch coaches that we see today? Every where they go they wanna introduce or shove as I wanna call it ,dutch style of soccer without contemplating whether it will work with players at the helm or no. This is the reason why most of the dutch coaches including FDB,Cocu,Van Bronchorst, kiezer had to bite the dust else where. I would add Bosz to this list as well when he was at Dortmund. if you gonna throw in the time line argument here, then the pressure is always part and parcel of the job and is across the board for all the coaches especially when you are at household name clubs

          This has been discussed in great depth here before. Total football or dutch football,whatever you wanna call it, at the end of the day you need to have the absloute right players to make it count. If not you have to make shift with what have.

          A very good example here is to that of Bosz at Leverkusan now. Compared to start at dortmund, he slowly incorporated 3-4-3 with 4-3-3 at Leverkusan and with some exiciting young talents he has completely transformed them into a formiddable side.

          I watched leverkusan and Bayern few weeks back and it was like watching NT play of the 90s. Back passing, build up from the back, on to the flanks and into the box. Transition was smooth typical to that of dutch style football and you could tell the dutch connection in there . Not to mention here the players he has at his disposal. Though there are no household names in the team but yet the qualities of the players he has, orchestrates perfectly what Bosz wants and in this case the dutch style or 4-4-3. The only thing that the team lacks is a top striker who can cause havoc and rain goals. If this happens leverkusan will be unstoppable.

          Coming back to frank,you have ask this question, what is there or what can he get out of the current squad. Absolutely nothing, koeman has already laid platform down for him and the only thing what he needs to do is to incoperate the existing team with the upcoming players. What else he can do but thennnnnnn ” Strootman and Babel” are whom he thinks are important to the squad.I really dont know what to say here.

          The way I see he will get descent results at euros, go on to the qatar WC and then shown the exist.

  4. Belated Happy new year to all….Happy to see the blog back and running…
    We are all added 1 more year in life and time is passing…. can we see dutch crowning in our life time??thats wat my thinking is…
    If Deboer thinks Babel and strootman can contribute then he is delusion…We have Virgil,wijnaldum,Cillessen,Blind even Dejong and De ligt are experiened now…So is Stefan devrij…..these are players with very high level experience…Now we need to mis them with right players…its sad that he looks for semis,kind a thing…He should look for Gold not semi..if he takes any one from Babel,strootman,Veltman,hateboer he can forget any dream…i also think we dont need De roon,Luuk etc…may be luuk for 10 minutes..i dont know…
    Anyways he tends to play with tall striker and thats will cost us…
    He should go for best 23 players,not the players who sits in bench…
    i hope hw drops hateboer,veltman,babel and strootman forever..

  5. Not looking good for the Next Next Generation of Dutch strikers.

    Brian Brobbey, after speculation of representing Ghana at an international level, is now refusing to re-sign with Ajax, and Ajax are pretty frustrated. Obviously Mino Raiola is behind this, but if he gets shipped off at 18 years old with 3 Eredivisie games in his belt I doubt he’ll develop as he could have with Ajax.

    Joshua Zirkzee was unhappy with the amount of playing time after Bayern signed Choupo-Moting, and was hoping to be loaned out this winter. However, after expressing his anger to the club, he was dropped to Bayern’s U23 side, where he received a red card and 3 game suspension in his first game. Frankfurt has withdrawn their interest in the striker.

    1. Indeed, they are in really bad situation.

      Zirkzee should seek a transfer not a loan in my opinion. If Bayern believe in him, they would not have bought Choupo-Moting to block his way.

      Where does Brobbey go? If he go to Italy, expect to ride the bench like Sam Lammers. He will probably be the fourth in pecking order in Serie A club.

      1. all in all you just have to put fingers crossed Boadu will live up to expectation and doesnt fade out. him and Malen are the top bet as of now.

        also Redan(20)is somebody I expect to blossom late. still stuck on the bench at hertha but I think his time will come and I have a feeling it will be Peter Bosz that will give him his big break. he will make it big one day no doubt.

        in case you have missed, leverkusen has agreed to transfer of Timothy Fosu-Mensah from United.

        lastly and again Richairo Zivkovic I think has every thing to redeem himself and his career and just needs one lucky break in terms of club football. dont have to mention about his capabilities.

        1. Re: Sam Lammers

          you really cant say much about him when atalanta has both Zapata and Muriel scoring free flowingly even of the bench as in Muriel situation . its like both strikers and running after each other with a knife and they keep on banging goals.

          to my understanding Lammers was a panic buy for Gasperini after Zapata was in hot pursuit by other clubs.

          It kind of sucks for Lammers and until and unless either of Zapata or Muriel departs then he will come into the picture.

          1. That’s the problem, Sam did have some good game at the beginning but he was never given extended run of game. At this stage of his career, he should play a lot of games like Malen but he is sitting on the bench every week. If Brobbey go to Italian clubs, I expect the same thing to happen.

            I am really disappointed with Boadu’s progress this season. Malen is getting there. His first assist last week against Ajax was awesome.

          2. I dont think Brobbery will make it big either. he has nothing special and only plays to his strength. at best he might turn out be like Romelu Lukaku esque.

            if you compare him to boadu then boadu is more intelligent and all rounded but at the moment its not just clicking for him

  6. Brobbey to Dortmund in the news. Not the worst spot to end up, he’ll sit behind Haaland but have to compete with German wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko, who I imagine would get the nod because he’s an academy product and a German.

  7. Should stay put at Ajax imo. Huntelaar will retire at the the end of this season. Can compete with Lassina taore for Haller’s back up.

    No where he will be a guaranteed starter.

  8. But then Im not sure how much damage he has done by dragging on with contract extension with respect to the ajax Hierarchy.

    Haller’s signing could also be deciding factor for him in his decision him and Taore are both simply esque players and it would come down to either of the one.

    Also to note here with on going contract talks, brobbery hasnt featured anywhere after that CL fixture vs Atalanta where he started for ajax .neither he has featured for jong ajax after that. I think the indication here is clear and it will all come down to the player and his agent.

    All and all the player that could benefit from this will be sonjte hansen. If brobbery departs, doors could open up for him in jong ajax with Taore, haller’s back up.

    1. Brobbey’s been injured since that game, that’s why he hasn’t been playing.

      Traore also looks to be on his way out after this season. So whichever kid decides to stay will probably be Haller’s direct back-up next season.

          1. Ajax also have Danilo (top scorer in the Eredivisie) coming back from loan next season.

          2. ops. yeah totally forgot about him. looks like ajax will light up next season with the return of eiting, danilio, *lang and Pierie as well who is back to his heerenveen form now at twente .

            add to this gravenberch and kenneth Taylor who look set to be the next break out kid in the midfield.

  9. Teun Koopmeiners is on pace to score 27 goals in the league for AZ (13 goals in 16 games). I know a lot of them are penalties, but that’s still a seriously high number. I think the highest I can think of for a midfielder recently would be Wesley Sneijder when he had 18.

      1. There’s no way van Ginkel’s making the Euros. 1. I doubt he gets to the level required competing with Frenkie, van de Beek, Koopmeiners, Wijnaldum, de Roon, Klaassen and Gravenberch.
        2. He’s an injury liability.

          1. Regardless of whether he gets to a level where he is considered for the NT again, it is great to see Van Ginkel back on the field. What a long journey, and he is to be commended.

            Taylor was the Captain of the U17’s (in the European Championships and at the WC). He’s a strong, solid guy, plays a simple game exceedingly well. Could grow into a very good holding mid. Oozes leadership.

            Interesting about Tete playing wingback. How did he look there? I’ve always liked him; has always seemed to be more defense first, but can play in a good ball. He should def. be considered for a NT spot; he has played there before, and fit in fine. Given Dumfries’ play in the last round of internationals, the spot should be his. Good to have solid options though.

            @Wilson and Derekvdberg91, thanks for all the good information. Good to see the board active again.

  10. interestingly Tete is being deployed as wing back at Fulham. never saw this one coming. again this where you wanna see which card the selectors play here as Fulham is battling in the relegation zone but otherwise he ticks all the boxes for callup to NT.

  11. watched the replay of the Ajax and Twente match and few takings from it.

    1) haller is a good addition to the ajax squad and given he is still 26, He will be around for long time and given his abilities he is going to score alot goals for Ajax. With him now, I dont think Ajax will be running after brobbery to whether he stays or goes.

    2) Jayden Oosterwolde, dont wanna jump to the gun to soon but this guy is really showing good potential. Shame his hamstring gave up otherwise he looked dangerous going forward.

    3) kik Pierie, will defintely say he back to his very best, like when he was at Heerenveen and it safe to say now he could be a good replacement for Daley Blind who is naturally is down grading. Really stood his ground and intellegently broke the play down on occassions with some slick moves.

    4) Huntelaar, super sub and if you look at the game itself, again a perfect example of why you need depth and quality on the bench. Heart breaker and killed the game off two typical huntelaar goals. Schalke are said to be intrested in bringing him back as he closes towards the twighlight of career. I’d say call him up instead of Luuk.

    6) Quincy Promes, goodness gracious if this guy goes to euros, I just dont know what to say. Like babel, he also makes up for the experience and caps they have for NT but other wise both are out of form. Missed a shitter and again it goes to show his finishing capabilities is very week. Again danjuma for Promes/Babel

    Overall twente played well and are a good team. Cerny,Danilio and Menig make up a good front line and if not for injuries, the outcome could have been different. Again the difference were the subs and turned the game around for Ajax.

  12. On a sad note, I having a bad feeling Bakker will fall out favour at PSG now that Pocettinho has taken over.

    He started Kurzawa in the super cup final vs Marseille and then subbed him for kimpembe towards the end of the game.

    Guess he really needs to prove him self going foward as thats where Kurzawa edges him out.the one good thing about bakker is he is not injury prone and thats where he has the upper hand on both kurzawa and Brenat.

    1. Ya I wasn’t happy to see that, but Poch has been letting Simons sit on the bench, so at least that’s something.

      PSG will have a long campaign as long they’re still in 4 Competitions, and the best part of Ligue 1 is that it’s still competitive, so Bakker will get his time. At the very least he needs to put in a good enough showing so that he can get a decent loan move after this season.

      His position in the Euros will now be up in the air unless he gets back into the squad.

  13. Nice seeing Vitesse doing well. They’ve always had successful bursts, but this team seems to be doing all the right things.

    Undefeated at home, including wins vs Feyenoord and PSV. A couple of away losses to AZ and Ajax. The only result they’re probably not happy with is the loss to Zwolle away.

    They’ve had 3 different owners over the past ten years, the first who termed them basically into Chelsea’s farm team. But now they seem to be gaining their own identity.

        1. He was never really a 10. Typically plays holding mid, though sometimes with Ajax in a three man midfielder he would operate as an 8.

          But ya, with Vitesse he plays in the middle of a 3 man defense, though he is the one of the three with liberty to dribble forward, then the wing backs drop back and turn it into a 4.

  14. Also Jan, I think you should write a piece about the entangled relationships of Dutch soccer players through the ages.

    Donny van de Beek is dating Estelle Bergkamp (Dennis’ daughter), and Dennis was his former coach.

    Mark van Bommel married Andra van Marwijk daughter of Mark’s former coach.

    Ruud Gullit married Estelle Cruijff, Johan’s daughter.

    I think there’s another famous one, though I can’t recall at the moment.

    1. Nice to hear about Timber. Did he start because Schuurs was injured, or was it just a coach’s decision? I wasn’t able to see the game; any other comments/observations about it?

  15. Just caught the last 20 minutes or so of the game. Ajax were mainly defending in that period with feyenoord trying to look for the equalizer.

    Looking for the replay.

    1. The first 15 minutes were very boring. Ajax then dominated for about 60 minutes, except for one decent chance to Feyenoord. Then when Ajax started making all of their substitutions the team kind of fell apart, and all of a sudden Feyenoord had a bunch of chances.

      Honestly probably should have been a draw.

      1. The midfeild selection of promes, klaassen and Gravenberch was dubious tbh and especially when ekelenkamp replaced Gravenberch and then Laybad on for antony.

        If ajax would have lost or gone on to drop points, it would have been due to the selection.

        Agree feyernood have only themselves to be blamed.berghuis,Fer and especially Luis Sinisterra who missed that shitter in the first half and the header in the final minutes.

        Meanwhile Lang continues to shine at club brugge. Him and dost again scored in second consecutive game and now has 7 goals and 3 assists in 13 games.

        Danjuma is still injured and is on light training.

  16. Its not looking good for koeman at Barcelona after their lost in the spanish super cup final and add to this Xavi who is also on his tail and vaying for the top job.

    Koemans decsion to sell Surez could back fire on him with the spanish new papers already cornering him for his egoistic approach/start.

    1. About Suarez, before moving to Atl. Madrid and after the lost 8-2 to Bayern, Barcelona fans agreed to sell him. Even most fans urged Koeman to sell him soon.

    2. He took the bad job. Barca team ended up where they should be, they were 2nd last season, have to let Suarez, Vidal and Rakitic go for free and there is no reinforcement. The thing is Barca fans still expect him to take that squad and compete for La Liga title. He should have stayed with the national team.

  17. Weghorst with another goal. FDB need to call him up and get him into the line up. We have only two strikers that score goals in good leagues, Depay and Weghorst. Weghorst is not even in the squad. Why are Babel, Promes and Luuk ahead of him in squad selection?

    I hope FDB at least watch him play before bringing dumb conclusion that he can only score header goals. He does hold up play, assist, shooting also. And even if he just score header goals, he did way better job than Luuk.

  18. Yes, Weghorst definitely deserved to be ahead of Babel, Promes and Luuk on current form. I will be very disappointed if he isn’t selected and the trio of Babel/Promes/Luuk continue to be selected. We need to show progression.

    1. It was worth investing in weghorst rather than luuk from day 1 but in dutch football polictics ( perference) also plays a big role into who gets the nod and who doesnt.

      This was koeman on why he was selecting Luuk and not Weghorst

      Again its was just his perference and nothing technical. Luuk was and neither is up to the level where it is guaranteed he can come on and force to squeeze in goals. If it was Dost, yes you could have agreed on but with luuk it always fluuk.

      Luuk did score few goals not to mention and from there the selectors were piosed to believe he is the best option in there.( pinch hitter). You look at his outings thus far and continuing under FDB. what komen is saying in that article is just his expectation which has failed to materialize. Well he is gone and somebody else has to wipe his shit because it has all gone to waste and like I always say its back to square 1. This is one place I have being highly critical about dutch selectors and coaches who dont recognize individual capabilities of players.I mean you look at his comment about weghorst as he points out about ” scoring goals” to ” other aspects of his game”. You could say the same about luuk.”Aerial threat only” and on tops its the ” goals” that wins you game and weghorst is no doubt more clinical finisher than luuk.

      Well this is just my views but being said this I think its too late to call weghorst now. Its all finding the right balance and that takes time and not just one or two caps.Even Malen has yet to hit the ground rolling in NT and again euros has come to early for players like him, stengs and koopmeiners.

      The idea of Depay on the wings is also something that would be in the best intrest and favourable for NT .he thrives better at CF and like I said any new combination will take time and not just I or two games.

      1. I also think its time to move away from the lanky, poacher type strikers unless if they could reach up to the level of Harry kane which I dont think weghorst will reach.

        I think weghorst will end up like Sebastien haller if he switches to epl.

        Depay and Malen are lock, boadu seems to have lost his mojo after the depature of idrissi but he is a intelligent striker but defintely not ready.he did well on his debut though.

        1. The third striker is up for grabs but it really doesnt matter who it will be because you cant see them clocking much minutes at euros with depay in the picture. Worst case scenario and if depay gets injured, pack the bags and the next avaliable flight home.

      2. Sadly, what you point out is true. We should have invested in Weghorst rather than Luuk. It was not a big problem before since Babel, Promes was working and Bergwijn and Malen is coming up. But now, it is a big problem, Babel is done, Promes is heading towards done. Bergwijn is not producing goals, he got some minutes so that is good but we need someone to finish the move, can not rely on Depay on too much otherwise team will double mark him and noone can finish. Only Malen can help but we do not know if he can do that at top level yet.

        Depay can play a free role like he did most of recent games and let Weghorst play CF. In the end, we did create chances but there was no good shooter in the team.

  19. Hey guys,
    I am back. For some reason, I was unable to open this website as it was asking for a specific extension that apparently my computer was missing. Today I tried again and the website opened.

      1. No, Wilson, I could not. It was right in the middle of the working day. I was tracking the score. Both teams changed their selections quite a bit, especially Ajax. Based on commentary it was a game with pretty equal chances. Let’s see how things will go with Feyenoord. That is very critical game.

  20. Richardley Bazoer is flawless,stunning player…it will not be wise to drop him for even Wijnaldum….i hope FDB picks him
    Frenkie,koopmeiners,Gravenberch,Bazoer should be our main midfielders. Then its wijnaldum,Van de beek/vilhena/ihatteren
    Then the classy forwards–Depay-Malen-Stengs-Danjuma- with Gakpo.Berjwin,Berghuis,Weghorst on heels..

      1. No plays center..Evry pass starts from him ..Like Frenkie played at no 10… i think u didnt see the game only saw the google crap line up..

        1. He plays a free role in three man CB. Vitesse deploy 5-3-2. In attack it somewhat 4-3-3 with Bazoer moving up. He has been quiet decsive in that formation.

          I read this in one of the article.

  21. Watched PSG and Montpellier. Kurzawa started once again at LB and it clear and confirmed now thats its Pocettinho’s peferrence. Bakker came on for him in the 75′ but by then PSG was already 4-0 up.

    If you compare both LBs,I think Pocettinho will learn it the hard way that when Kurzawa ventures forward, he doesnt track back on time and only with big teams he will realize this the hard way in defeat. In contrast With Bakker he maintains that line where its easier for him to make those decisions whether to go forward or stay put. Being said this I think when Bernat comes back he will fall back in pecking order.he should be looking for a new club come summer.

    Also watched AS Roma and Spezia.Have to say Karsdorp is back to very best and I wont be suprised if he gets the nod ahead of dumfries. Scored Roma’s third goal and was always a threat going forward and crossing in the box. Looking at his confidence level now it will just come to how well he features for NT. Between him and dumfries I reckon karsdorp has a better crossing ability but then NT doesnt have strikers like Edin Dzeko as well.

    Bayern Leverkusen vs Wolfburg.

    It was a tense one especially when Leverkusen did everything right, dominated posession and only to be shut out by the towering wolfburg defense. Again typical dutch kind of football, back passing then on the flanks for bailey and Diaby to run the flanks but this time they were cut short in their tracks everytime they tried to go outside of their man. Opportunity wise they did come close in the opening munutes of the game but were denied by wolfburg Gk who was a giant for himself underneath the sticks. After wolfburg scored the only goal, Leverkusen were only chasing and chasing but it just never opened up for them.

    First game to watch Wout Weghorst and must say it was very disappointing. His contribution was one header and one shot on target which was well saved and 25 touches here and there. What I realized about his game was he needs to be serviced when he making those runs between the lines and it has to fall on his leg other wise he is just a spectator running here and there. Also ariel balls (very few), he looked out of ideas and from here you can conclude that he is not that luuk or dost type of strikers who dominate in that department. From what I saw in the game,I cant see him playing along side Depay in NT. Maybe its just one game but these are the games where he should have made it count and shown his (capabilities). I have to say he will not be an upgrade to luuk in any way , unless he gets good servicing and for this reason its best Depay stays upfront for NT.

    Timothy fesu mensah also made his debut for Leverkusen.came on for lars bender at HT who had earler suffered from concussion .did very well imo linking up with bailey and Tah from the back. defintely was an upgrade to bender. could tell he has lost weight and could be due to his long spell out with injury but he overall did well and will be a good addition to the squad once he is 100%.

    Sinkgraven was also in the mix alot.even though he is a very technical player in terms of how he plays, you always feel he needs to do more going forward and complementing in attack. His frame is also sometimes a question mark especially in duels but Like I said this is where he plays intelligently . He doesnt invite duels and is always passing whether is back, lateral or forward and for him the players around him really complement him well.this is one phase I cant see it happening in NT if he gets the nod.

    Also shifted to midfield when bosz had to reshuffle the formation to 3-4-3 due injury.had a stinger of a shot which was equally saved by keon casteels towards the end of the game.

    Lastly and this is something I felt even Bosz to must have realized that he cannot rely everytime on bailey and diaby and needs more players like them or even better if they want to fight for the title. They beat dortmund last week in true fashion but then it didnt work out for them vs wolfburg.

    1. At the end of the day Holland is spoiled for defenders, and I think we need to play a formation that shows that rather than try to squeeze what we don’t have into a 4-3-3.

      I think Holland should be trying to play a 5-2-3.

      ——-van Dijk———–de Vrij———
      -Karsdrop———de Ligt———-Bakker-



      1. @Derekvdberg91, Does VVD’s lack of availabilty change your thinking? He is def. not going to be available for the start of the WC qualifiers, and, his availability for the Euro’s is highly questionable. Would you feel as comfortable going with some combo of De ligt, Ake, Devrij, Botman, Schurrs, Blind, Bazoer?

    2. Karsdorph actually developed pretty well at Roma. His attacking play is so good now. He did not improve much defensively. It is definitely worth trying him out as our right back. A lot of his cross into the box is low cross which is more suitable for Depay/Malen/Wijnaldum.

  22. Daishwan Redan also featured for Hertha vs weder Bremen. Came on 63′ with hertha trailing 3-1. From Highlights, couldnt catch much of his interventions but he was stationed in the middle. Weder bremen eventually won 4-1 and hertha now are in big trouble lying close to the relegation zone. Dilrosun didnt play due to injury.

    If Bruno Labbadia gets fired which he will I think this is a very good team to inherit.

    1. Turns out Labbadia has indeed been fired by hertha. I wonder if any of the dutch coaches will be tempted to take on the coaching job. Like I said they have good young players and a good team to inherit. Injuries aside, I remember saying this when he took over from Jurgen klinsmann that Labbadia wont last long either.

  23. Devyne Rensch has been getting some minutes for Ajax lately. At no point has he looked like a teenager in defense, and he’s been versatile playing at CB and RB. Definitely another one to keep an eye on. Holland seems spoiled with the number of defenders and defenders coming through.

  24. Finally, Myron score two goals and I think Koopminers should have given Karlson to shoot the late penalty. The latter has expressed several times his desire to be another penalty shooter in Alkmaar.

  25. Last but not least, the transition from Slot to Janssen has gone very smoothly. If AZ let Slot to stay another week, I am quite sure that AZ would have been still alive in Europe. But it is what it is and we are still a strong contender for Eredivisie title despite all those points that we stupidly lost against lower teams.

    1. I don’t know how many of these guys they’ll be able to hold onto for next season. Maybe Boadu because of his slump, but I imagine Koopmeiners will be on the way out. Stengs is a maybe, he might stay another season to try to earn a top move.

      Either way AZ is a European calibre team and we need them to get one of the European slots. I think PSV edges them still, just a bit, so I’d rather PSV be the 2nd Champions League team.

      1. AZ goal is to make CL group stage automatically. This will give them an access to a large CL premium. Next season, Koopmeiners will be out definitely and by his departure he will create a large hole in the midfield. If AZ makes CL group stage and sells Koopmeiners, cumulatively they can earn ~70 million Euros. But I am afraid that Huiberts will again go cheap and will not bring an adequate replacement. Then AZ will badly fail in the CL group stage. The problem is that AZ still can not afford paying high salaries to expensive players. Next candidates for departure is Wijndal and perhaps Fred Midtsjoe. Withe respect to Stengs and Boadu, they liley will stay another season with AZ as this season is not convincing at all and AZ will refuse selling them cheaply.

        1. Tijjani Reijnders came on late in the game today and looked impressive, hit the post and missed another one from outside the box. He might be able to step into Koopmeiner’s boots next season for a minimal salary. Zakaria Aboukhal is also another contender for next year in a starting role. If AZ could bring in one decent signing, an aged CB from one of the higher leagues, they could start to round out into a better team.

          I’m excited to see if Maxim Gullit and Peer Koopmeiners can make the jump.

  26. For AZ next game with Utrecht will be very decisive. Victory will mean that they overcame mental setbacks. A lot depends on Boadu’s form. If he increases his scoring efficiency, it will be difficult to stop AZ. My gut feelings is that Boadu will do better and better. Last but not least, Fred Midtsjoe’s form has been improving greatly and this will be very dangerous weapon in AZ hands.

  27. Tijani is good technically but lacks Koopmeiners power. His brother Peer could eventually take his place as their style is very similar. Also, Koopmeiners is a real leader of the team. After his departure, I think Dany De Wit will be a captain or Bizot if the latter stays in Alkmaar.

    1. I was awake and waiting for the game but dozed off to sleep. Good to see boadu scoring again and like it has been suggested he is an intelligent striker but needs that consistency to keep the rythm going.

      @ AZ forever: how was the battle between Wijndal and berghuis on that left flank. From the highlights berghuis as usually was cutting inside and looked like wijndal was not bothered.

      Watched club brugge and Genk in the Juplier league. It was the battle of the first and second in the table with John van den Brom at the hub for Genk. I will say this, Noa Lang is destined for stardom and he just needs to choose wisely his next club whennnn the time comes. He started on the right wing and popped all over the park, left, right and centre. This is the beauty about this guy and with his pace and explosiveness he was really decisive with 2 assist. The opener for dost and than in the winning goal. Ruud vormer also scored a sublime equalizer after the break. By the way dost is now 4 goals in 4 games.

      Some may say Juplier league is not up to the level of eredivisie but once again if you look at the technical abilities of noa lang and how his trajectory is ascending, forcing his way into starting 11 within a short span of time it only goes to show where his ceiling can also look back at how groeneveld came into spot light and hope this will be the same for Noa lang. Its also baffling how Ten hag said he doesnt fit in his plans and sometimes you feel like questioning how the dutch coaches simply write off players.Club brugge will for surely capture him after his loan ends. They did well this season in CL compared to last season and is also active in the europa league hence I cant see how you can write noa lang off.

      The one thing I will say though looking at how he plays is that he will nullify the attacking midfielder whoever is there and perhaps this is one reason why he didnt fit at Ajax.he is very similarly to how stengs operates from that right flank at AZ with de wit in the middle. Stengs too if u notice covers alot of ground popping up every where and this is exactly what im saying how lang operates as well. The only difference is lang is more explosive and fast. They have to have the ball at their feet, thats the bottom line. These are the type of players you need in NT especially as impact players for now. Again I will say he is a very techincal player and if you play him to his strength he can be a very decisive player.

  28. Also watched Juventus and Bologna to see how how good Jerdy schouten is. Will say he didnt disappoint and really did well from the base of the engine room. Arthurs first goal deflected of him otherwise he had a good game. His positioning was excellent and maintained a good line of defense, passing, harassing, breaking down of play was exceptional and maintained a good balance beteeen his offensive and defensive game.

    From NT point of view, I cant see how he wont be able to succeed or thrive but given he operates in the same role as busquets at Barcelona, will the selectors dare to switch frenkie to right like what koeman is doing.if not the story will be same if you put koopmeiners and frenkie today. I will also say here Schouten is overall better than koopmeiners from what I saw in the game. I have seen koopmeinees laspe of concentration in defense where he is often dethrone off the ball and this is probably his only weakest point but with schouten he really makes it count in all aspects of his game.

    Was a good entertaining game. Dijks too played well but juventus scored when it mattered and Bologna couldnt when they had the opportunity.

    1. From the set up it looked like Diemers was at playmarker and berghuis on the wings but this is what I always say, berghuis is very predictable when cutting inside. On one side his flank is often dead as he never goed around his marker and the other, with big teams he often ends getting shut off.

  29. Frenkie–koopmeiners as double pivot would be deadly potent with frenkie on more attack.Both has exemplary vision…
    With Bazoer–Graven berch on bench you have the top world class midfielders…Then you select from Wijnaldum/Ihattern/Vilhena/De beek/Stengs (any 2 from them)..Thats luxuary

    I am following tyrell malacia and geeetruida…Believe me these guys are not jokers or average…Tyrell malacia man handled Antony of Ajax…Antony is wolrd class skill played,to contain antony like that ,you are serious talent and consistent on games…
    There is no need for klassen,De roon,Vormer,Hateboer,Veltman,strootman.Babel and Dost…THESE GUYD MAKE OUR TEAM VULNERABLE AND NON CHAMPION TEAM…

  30. Forwards
    Malen,Depay,Stengs,Danjuma,Berghuis,Berjawin 6 nos
    Jetro williams–Tyrell malacia
    De ligt–Devrij
    stand bye

    1. I’d take Stengs over Groenenveld, and put Lang on the other side. Throw de Ligt in the middle of the 3 to give him the freedom to move up, and I like the formation.

      1. No arguement there as this needs to experimented come the qualifers and in warm up games maybe before the euros. Remember also El Ghazi is also pushing for that spot and if it becomes a case where FDB overlooks in form players to those who are declining but have that experience tag then it will just kill the vibe to the build up.

        1. I think Frank will be flexible, the thing is that now there’s so many more relevant games, how many true friendlies do teams play anymore?

          Frank was part of a youth movement, and like van Basten I think he would be quick to do the same. I don’t think he was willing to because of the need to win the Nations League games, but once things settle a bit I think he’ll be better about it.

          March we have Turkey away (tough), and Latvia home (easy) and Gibraltar away (easy) but unfortunately we need to bring the same squad to both games, so he’ll pick a similar team to handle Turkey. Hopefully he’ll keep some kids on the bench for the latter fixtures.

          There used to be an international break in February, not sure if that exists anymore. But if not the next friendly break would be in May for the warm-up for Euros (though I’m not sure if this is happening since the league seasons may go longer this year).

    2. @Wilson,

      I like that lineup. Good cases can be made for Dumfries and Wijndal at lb and rb, respectively, but Bakker and Karsdorp are good choices, and I think Malen has shown more than either Lang or Danjuma. But the fact that we are having the conversation speaks well of the player pool.

      As far as what FDB will actually do for the opener in Turkey, I’d guess that right now he’d put Blind or Wijndal at lb (especially since Bakker hasn’t been starting)’ And he’d put Malen and Stengs/Bergweijn (probably Bergweijn because he’s a safer bet defensively) out with Depay.

      1. To continue with blind who is worn out and hasnt played at LB will just be a waste of time and opportunity when there is finally a breakout in the options at LB. Wijndal and bakker should be lock going to euros and the upcoming WC qualifers and should be starting. I mean you look at wijndal vs italy, he made mistakes but he did well also. Is turkey any different to the Italians🤔🙄. This is my first question and secondly, what is there which bakker and Wijndal cant do in terms of attributes compared to Blind?

        If you again gonna put up his experience and versatility argument here then my friend I can only say its just your assumption and same for FDB if he does the same. It all but beyond doubt that he has slowed down due health and he is still holding on because his defensive lapse has often gone unpunished and he covers that up with is passing game operating out of CB only

        Now if you take this into consideration and picture him at LB for NT, he will now be vunlerble × 2 including with no van dijk to bail him out.

        Just my thoughts

        1. Lol, you know Wilson, I almost didn’t mention Blind because I know he is such a hot button for you…but my comment was about what FDB might do.

          That said, I’m a fan of Wijndal, and I would like to see him start. In the recent round of Internationals he made a big jump in performance between his first appearance and his last, and he was probably AZ’s best player in their games against the Spanish and Italian teams. He’s fast, physical, never stops, and gets himself into good attacking positions. A little wasteful sometimes, but who isn’t.

          I haven’t seen enough of Bakker to have an opinion, but I know that both you and Derekvdberg91 think highly of him.

          btw, Wijndal didn’t play against Italy. Ake was the lb in the loss in the Netherlands, and Blind was the left wingback in Italy. But I understand your point.

          1. My bad it was vs Mexico. But like I said if FDB will overlook inform players to others, its gonna kill the vibes to the build up.

            Im hoping for a good extended squad to be selected based on both individual capability and current form and let their performance talk on the ground.

    1. I think it’s low. I think they would just take no fans in the stadiums.

      I actually have a flight (figured I’d gamble on it) booked to Budapest in time for Holland’s game if they manage to win their group. I don’t think I’d go to Baku for the quarters though, but who knows.

  31. Looks like Jeremie Frimpong is set to join Peter Bosz at Leverkusen. They’ll have almost a whole Dutch back 4 if Fosu-Mensah can get into the team.

    1. Not really,Tah and Tapsoba are undisputably their no 1 CBs and with Lar Bender who can feature both at CB and RB Im not sure if Bosz will wanna go all dutch.

      Frimpong is still a work in progress and it might take him a while before coming in contention for starting spot. Bosz is well known for deploying 3-4-3 and this could be where he may go on to utilize him at.

      At celtic he was mainly deployed as wingback and though he received prasies for his offensive pros, he was equally and also on the receiving end of criticism for not being defensively good enough. The fact that Celtic sold him also goes to show they expectation was not high for him.

      Well looking at how Bosz transformed sinkgraven, the same can be said is in store for frimpong. He has already tasted CL and EL level football and given he is still 19-20, bosz could be the right mentor to take him to the next level.

      Besides this I really think Bosz needs a lethal striker up front to complement bailey and diaby. If they can get one they will become a formiddable side.


    I remember saying this that frenkie needs to rotated to get the best combo out from the midfield and thank you mr koeman. He has unlocked that. What this means is the midfield can be now reshuffled in NT with the option to bring in a DM/CM like Busquets and as deployed by koeman at Barce.

    Wijnaldum-koopmeiners- frenkie

    Gravenberch-Wijnaldum- Frenkie

    Wijnaldum- Veerman – Frenkie

    Wijnaldum – schohten – Frenkie

  33. Noa Lang needs to make the squad at this point. Watched the whole Bruges derby and he’s making the other squad look like fools. It was a pretty Dutch affair. Dost had a few chances, Lang scored one for Club and Musaba scored one for Cercle.

  34. Ajax has an offer from Spartak to buy back Promes and I think they should take it. He’s only going to go downhill and lose value, so they should try to ship him out while they can. He was good the past couple of years but this year he’s lost a step and I’d rather us fill the spot with someone young. I doubt Lang comes back into the team as he has issues with ten Hag. We also have Neres still who is losing value every week, and probably should have been sold after the Champion League’s run when teams were looking at him for $40 mil. Haller, Tadic, Kudus and Antony can be the front 4, with Traore, Brobbey, Labyad off the bench. Then Hansen and Unuvar can start to get some looks at the first team.

    1. Lang will score alot of goals at club brugge. The reason being and like I said he takes that centre stage playing as AM while playing from the wing like stengs. He should make the bench for Euros atleast.

  35. Honestly, very frustrating season for AZ….Impression is that this team’s main goal is to win top three clubs, remaining does not matter. Two contrasting matches: great game against Feyenoord and such a poor performance against mediocre Utrecht. So many ups and downs this season.

        1. Imo AZ needs more quality and cant simply rely everytime on boadu, koopmeiners and stengs. This off course if they really want to push for that top spot. Imagine what will happen when either of them departs. They will be done. Its a pity they are not in the same boat as ajax, feyenoord and PSV to spend big.

  36. Club brugge signs Chong on loan. Looks like they are going all dutch as he will be the fifth dutchmen and fourth to arrive on loan.

    It will be intresting to keep a tabs on them in europa.

  37. Another goal and a assist for Lang vs KV oostende taking his tally to 9 goals and 6 assists in 17 games.

    Dost aslo continuing with his goal streak.

    Honestly speaking its worth watching club brugge games these days. You really have to admire langs stamina as he continues with man of the match performance week after week.he just keeps running and pops up everywhere. or else juplier league is simply to weak to his standards and he needs an upgrade.

    1. I do not feel sorry for AZ. It is what it is and one can not jump above its head. AZ had a great chance to win Eredivisie last year if not corona. This year we are worse than last season and we are there where we deserve to be. Still 14 games to play, we will see how it will end.

      1. AZ has all the right pieces. They have a decent team that can get into Europe. They have an academy which is regularly pumping out decent players. They just need to create a financial model to link everything together.

        Honestly making the knockouts of Europa this year would have helped a lot.

        They’ll benefit from the success of Ajax and PSV, hopefully getting more CL spots for them, and then they’ll need Holland to make a good run at the Euros as well.

        1. Really, I dont think so. After watching the game it was clear Ajax simply had more cutting edge and even though AZ played well, stengs who was probably their best player and the brightest spark simply couldnt do everything on his own. Ajax defended valiantly what ever was thrown at them and made it count on the opposite end when the opportunity came.

          Ajax have been upgrading the quality/ depth in the squad through transfers and this is where if other teams dont raise the bar in terms of player quality or signing it would be day dreaming thinking they are on the same level. Financial contrains aside, you look at Idrissi’s depature, who was his replacement. Was it/he an upgrade or degrade. This makes alot of difference and is bound to increase/decrease the gap in terms of overall performance of the team.

          My prediction, Ajax have ran away with the title.even a loss to feyenoord and PSV will not dent their title hopes with 7 point gap and its hard to see them dropping points with the rest of the teams. You also have to consider here other team like PSV,Feyenoord and AZ are bound to drop points as well.

          For AZ, departure of either stengs or Koopmeiners in summer will break the spine of the team.

          1. Oh, I’m not talking about this season. This is a done deal. I’m saying they have a framework together to be in contention for the next few years. But obviously change needs to be made.

            I think they need to adopt the Ajax model of trying to find cheaper old guys. Jeremain Lens would have been a great addition on the wing, and they could have gotten him on loan. Terence Kongolo would be another option. They could also look into partnering with a big club and taking some of their younger guys on loan.

  38. There is so much to like about AZ Alkmaar, but playing in three competitions reveals their lack of depth. Its hard to imagine any team playing so much football with a limited pool of players won’t get worn down. Look no further than the cup game where Ajax made seven changes, and AZ basically played with the same team they have been playing all season. Not only do they lose that match, but the effort takes that much more out of the group, and then they have to trun around and play important league matches in a congested league schedule. This is where the vast difference in financial resources between the two clubs shows.

  39. I think adopting Ajax model would be a good way to go but the problem is that AZ current management is not ready for that. They will keep heavily relying on younger players, raising/buying them for cheap and selling them for more. That is the main policy of the company. I do not think the company is transparent enough how they spend the money that they earned from those sales but it is obvious that they do not replace the departees with the adequate quality of players. After DSB collapse we have had two Technical Directors: Ernie Stewart and Max Huiberts. The first one developed AZ current policy; the second implemented it. I strongly feel that AZ management needs a change but rigid and conservative Max Huiberts is not an innovator. If he stays AZ will have these cyclical ups and downs which are so dependent on availability of local material. With Max AZ will not be able to have strong bench and will not be able to challenge consistently Ajax and PSV. They also need to increase the budget which is also quite a challenging task. Anyway, we are there we are supposed to be at this moment.

  40. I think AZ have made huge progress since DSB collapse and is at right direction. However, to become a top Dutch club and consistently challenge Ajax and PSV, more needs to be done.

  41. Ah, that is good to hear about Riedewald. Seems like he has been around for a long time, but he is only 24. Haven’t seen him much this year. What position is he playing for Palace these days?

    1. Palace deploy 4-4-2 and he plays as RCM and could be an option for De Roons position.

      I remember Riedewald was used extensively as DM during the u21 days shifting Ake to LB.

      At 21 his career looked to have taken a noise dive when FDB was fired from palace but he waited patiently for his chances and justified his credentials when called upon.

  42. These players are finally coming of age..they moved abroad very early and didn’t make immediate impact or impression.
    Another who comes to mind is Rick Karsdorp at Roma.

  43. Karsdorp was already a nerthlands international with quiet a handful of NT caps when he joined Roma. It was that serious knee injury (ACL) which
    hampered his transition to Serie A.

    Has was on a long road to recovery and finally looks to be back to his very best. Could be a good competition for Dumfries.

  44. Meanwhile Leverkusen lost to a fourth tier side (2-1)in DFB Pokal quarters. Luckliy Bosz never started all the dutchmen otherwise a lot of fingers would have being pointing at him. Were unlucky though denied 4 times by the post and when bailey finally scored, the defense were caught napping.

    TFM started in 3 men defense (3-4-3). Did well and couldnt have done anything about the goals as both goals came from the opposite flank. Frimpong came late in the second spell of extra time and boy he did show his lightening speed. Im telling you this guy has potential to reach the very top. Made three good runs, out of which in one he was brought down inside the box and which was not given as penalty. Dont know how the referee interpreted it when the Replay clearly showed his jersey being pulled back before going down. Straight after this phase of play Leverkusen conceeded the second goal.

  45. I also watched lazio and Atalanta. Lammers came of the bench around 67′ and though he was involved in the build up to Atalanta’s came back goal at 2-1 mark, lazio were fast to pounce back and scored the decisive goal soon after that.

    He is a Morata esque striker and hopefully next season he will get more minutes. The competitions is furious currently in the forward department for atalanta.

  46. Geetruida is better than dumfries, and Tyrell malacia is better LB than Ake,blind, and winjdal.when it comes to defensiive aspects of game…
    if we dont drop Blind,veltman,hateboer,babel,luuk ,klassen we can forget any gold….

  47. Andre Onana receives a 12 month ban after being found guilty of doping.

    I’m hoping Ajax don’t put Stekelenburg in net and decide to use Kjell Scherpen instead.

  48. Noa lang now looks unstoppable in Juplier league after scoring two more goals for club brugge, taking his tally to 11 goals and 6 assists. All the dutch contingent played in the game with chong and Denswil coming of the bench.

    Same was the story at Bayern leverkusen who thrashed Stuttgart 5-2. Sinkgraven and TFM started, while Frimpong came of the bench late in the game. This was the second game for frimpong and again he showed why he going to be big hit for bosz at wing back in the coming years.was heavily involved in Demarai Grays 5th goal.

    Arnaut Groeneveld also contiuned with his scoring form at Bournemouth after 10 game injury comeback. He is always aesthetically pleasing to watch when he has ball at feet and especially when he is given freedom of space to move.

      1. if Danjuma not selected fo NT..better swich off TV and wait for team to comeback as looser..Some one should go and slap Deboer if he omits for march games..3 vital games..

  49. Groeneveld – Malen-Lang


    wijnaldum – frenkie

    wijndal -Ake (Botman) – De ligt (De Vrij)- karsdorp


    ake is injured for now but will be avaliable come match.

    1. watched juventus vs Roma and karsdorp was again in full stride. he really has shifted another gear and while Roma dominated possession, they just could not covert it into chances while juventus made it count with two clinical finishes.

  50. As LCB Ake,Virgil,Botman are head and shoulder above Daley Blind ..So please drop Blind…
    As LB,Winjdal,Tyrell malacia,Jetro williams are head and shoulder above Blind ..So please drop him as LB..
    Karsdorp,Geetruida, and Dumfries are incomparable to Hateboer and veltman as later looks like jokers…So drop shitboer and veltman.
    Cody gakpo,Danjuma,malen,Stengs,Memphis,Lang and nerghuis Berjwin are miles ahead of promes and Babel…So drop PRomes and babel..
    Vilhena,Bazoer,gravenberch,koopmeiners are stunnningly world class so place for De roon and Strootman…
    Malacia—De ligt—Devrij—-Karsdorp

  51. Also remember here the euro u21 championship will be on around the same time as the qualifers. Jong orange will feature vs Romania , germany and Hungry on 25th, 28th and 31st. Could be a clash here and im not sure how selections will be worked out as all bakker, botman, boadu, lang, gravenberch and schuurs could feature in there as well and are also vaying for the spot in NT.

    1. as mentioned earlier koeman is doing a good job moulding frenkie on the right. bacre setup could be an option going into future paving way for the likes of veerman, and koopmeiners in more deeper role or even gravenberch who like frenkie excels on the LcM.

      I’ve been also tracking Reis at VfL Osnabrück. he has become a regular starter there but overall the team looks to be weak. the good part though about him is he has played in all the positions in the midfield and also in different formation and going into future could become a good versatile midfielder. he also is an intelligent player and hopefully next season koeman will have look at him or if not he needs to move to team in a competitive league.

  52. there is also reports that Ajax connected Groeneveld Danjuma before signing idrissi. but not clear what happened there as Promes transfer to Spartak Moscow is still pending.

  53. For the WorldCup qualifiers in March, FDB should do:
    _ Drop Luuk for Weghorst. One is on the bench most of the season, the other is on fire in Bundesliga.
    _ Drop Promes for Bergwijn. Promes is no longer in Ajax’s plan. His form regress a lot. I am not really convinced by Bergwijn but at least he play a lot of games in EPL.
    _ Drop Babel for Lang. Lang is unstoppable in Belgian league. Maybe he is the small fish in big pond but we never know until we test it out. I don’t even know why Babel is still in the discussion.
    _ Drop VDB for Jerdy Schouten. VDB is not playing at all in MU. Jerdy Schouten is starter for Bologna and receive heap of praise. He could play like Schone at Ajax before and let FDJ play box to box midfielder.
    _ Drop Veltman for Pascal Struijk. Pascal start every game for Leeds since December and Leeds win 5/7 games when he plays as CB. Don’t let him choose Belgium over us because of Veltman.
    _ Replace injured Ake by Botman. Botman is starting CB for Lille, top of Ligue 1 table.

    1. I have Groeneveld ahead of Bergwijn on my cards and given goals is more decisive than defending, groeneveld is more likely to get you that then compared to Bergwijn.

      I have watched schotuen,he is good and defensively better than koopmeiners but it remains to be seen how he fits in with frenkie or which combo can bring thye best out of them. deep lying midfielder or double CM.

      Pascal Struijk, still too earlier for him as Bisela has been rotating him in different positions, 3 men CB and including extra men in front of 3 men backline . he also has yet to clock substantial minutes as well.

      Ake is almost recovered from his hamstring injury and is due to return very soon. I dont understand why he always gets that underrated tag when he has proven himself both club and international level.

      Both Ake and Botman needs to be rotated on the Left in the up coiming qualifers while on the right De ligt and De vrij. most likely it would de Vrij and De ligt since de ligt has been featuring on the left for for quiet some time now at Juventus.

      1. Jurrien Timber has been starting for Ajax but probably too early for him.

        I imagine our defenders will be van Dijk, de Ligt, de Vrij, Ake, Blind, Wijndal, Karsdrop, Dumfries, Bakker.

        Blind will go, no matter his performances going forward. He’s experienced, played big matches before and even if he doesn’t start, FDB will want him in the dressing room. I’m not his biggest fan, but I just think it’s inevitable.

        I don’t know why people are bringing up Geertruida all of a sudden. I’ve seen most of Feyenoord’s games this season and he ranges from poor to okay.

        If van Dijk and Ake can’t go, I imagine Schuurs and Botman will be next on the list, but Struijk could work his way ahead of Botman.

      2. I rate Ake highly. He had two injuries and did not play for months. His situation at Man City is not very good because of the competition there. In my opinion, we should give him time to recover and regain his form. We already know what he can do. Strujik played 90 minutes the last 3 games for Leeds as CB so I think he already clock substantial minutes. Given his surging up, I think we should lock him into our team before he change his mind and choose Belgium.

        It is unfair to compare goals in EPL and EFL. I don’t think we can take both Lang and Danjuma to test out if they are good or not. Given their form, I might choose to test Lang. Also Bergwijn play further back on Spurs line up to give space for Kane and Son upfront. Given that, I understand your concern that bergwijn does not get enough goals and assists.

        1. Really 3 games and should be called up. Bakker became a regular under Tuchel at PSG but wasnt called up even with good number of games under his belt.

          EPL vs EFL.

          I think you have forgotten how Danjuma from a second tier league( eerste divisie) went on to light up on biggest stage playing at Brugge. Though they lost in that game to Atletico Madrid 3-1 but he did show that he has what it takes to play at the highest level and if Im not wrong then it was soon after wards that he was called up by koeman before scoring again vs belguim. I think there has been arguments here that 1 game at NT level is not enough for him to be called up again especially when he is playing in Championship but his technical abilities is what has been a standout where ever he played till todate. And also he has a proven track record of being a goal scorer. If only he would have gotten to play more in epl before relegation, it would have decided and given a more conclusive picture but then again you can look at Anwar El Ghazi here and his trajectory coming up from EFL. You could say average to good but he has hit the ground rolling in epl . now Danjuma without a doubt is technically better than him, hence you can do the maths here given if he had been playing in epl or bournemouth wouldnt have been relegated.

          Now whether FDB will consider or think along the same lines, is his prerogative, but there is nothing to lose calling danjuma up . He is still 24, has a proven track record and only to be playing in 2 tier competition through injury setbacks.

          1. He was benched before and came back and claim a starting spot. I don’t think 3 games is enough to call to national team but given his trajectory, I would rather lock him down in our team than let him choose Belgium. And I don’t know why you use Bakker example here, clearly, there was an issue why he did not even get called to national team, wasn’t it? Who was his competitor that he does not even deserve to try it out?

            Danjuma had a good period where he perform in CL and national team but that was very short. He was injured since then and now is playing regularly in EFL. I don’t think you can really call that proven track record. Wijnaldum or VVD is someone who has proven track record. He has potential but right now, he perform at a EFL level. If I have to choose between Bergwijn and him, I would still choose Bergwijn. Experiment is good but only to a certain extent.

          2. Wont argue much here, we all have different preferences, but like I always say, cutting edge and individual capabilities wins games and its on the final hurdlle it makes the most difference.the ball is in FDB’s court now.

  54. Really excited to see the many Dutch players been influential and getting the minutes in their respective teams. Weghorst, Noa Lang, Botman, Danjuma, Jerdy Schouten, Sinkgraven, Karsdorp etc etc.
    If these players continue to develop and with the regular stars fit and performing, we are in good shape going into the Euros. 🤞☺️

    1. Karsdorp has been playing consistent for Roma now. Given that we do not know how to get the best out of Hateboer, FB should just drop Hateboer and try Karsdorp out.

  55. I never watch Club Brugge games. However can’t help being skeptical that the reason for why Noa Lang, Bas Dost, and even Tahith Chong are performing is because of the lower standard of competition in Belgium league. I don’t think anyone of them, incl. Lang will be selected for the final team.

    1. I am skeptical that they will perform at upper level as well. Only Lang could have potential because he is young and he seems to be above Belgian league level already. I am never impressed by Chong, not good ball control, not fast enough, I don’t think he will make it.

      1. The Belgian League is not that far off the Dutch League, not in the middle anyways. Ajax has spending power at the top, but aside from that the middle and bottom teams are pretty much on par. I was comparing them recently and if you take Ajax out of the equation than Belgian teams significantly outplayed us in Europe the past few years.

  56. Strootman and Veltman are starting games at Genoa and Brighton. Never really follow them and I certainly don’t wish to see them got selected for the Euros squad. Hopefully FDB won’t just select them because they are getting the minutes in football. 🤞

  57. I know PSG put it on Barcelona yesterday, but Frenkie De Jong played well in the more forward role; Karsdorp has been sharp; Wijndal,Keupmeiners and Malen have both been very good over the entirety of the year. Lang has a had very good month or so.

    Who are you thinking?

  58. Dost played today for Brugge, but Lang wasn’t even on the bench? Is this because they didn’t register him for their Europa League squad? I know in the past you could only register a few signings in the winter break.

  59. PSV are a walking disaster.

    1-1 and they decide not to sub out Boscagli, who needs stitches, so they elect to play with 10 men until the half. In that time they get scored on, but they come back and suddenly its 2-2.

    Then, they do decide to sub out Boscagli for Baumgartl, who makes a terrible mistake and gifts Olympiacos the third goal, and then nearly gives them a fourth.

  60. Good win for Ajax; I think a team can get alot out of a late fight back. Excellent finish by Brobbey after Klassen sent him through…but darn…Klassen had three really good chances earlier in the match, and flubbed them all.

    Timber looked good as the rcb. Has he moved ahead of Schuurs, or is Schuurs just coming back from some type of injury?

  61. I thought they were lucky and the penalty was a dubious one as well. I guess one wants to complain now. Also Ajax found and had alot of space to work with in the midfield because of lille 4–4-2 formation. Otherwise a decent match.

    Botman was desent as well.

  62. Leverkusen and young boys lived up to a spectacular of a game. Bosz started both sinkgraven and Frimpong in 4-3-3 and then after trailing 3-0 at half time switched to 3-4-3, making a strong comback to tie the game at 3-3. Frimpong picked up an assist and was in the thick of things on the right. Once again this guy with ball at feet is scintillating to watch. Im expecting him to be called up for u21s. All the hard work by Leverkusen though went to waste when a keeper howler allowed young boys to score on the death and win 4-3. This has being the highlight for Leverkusen for some weeks now. There have been conceeding late in the game with defensive mistakes and their back up keeper who is relieving their #1 has been poor as well. Fesu Mensah was unused sub.

  63. I just watched the game Lille vs Ajax. Actually felt Botman ain’t as commanding and assured that I hope to see. He struggled with Antony’s movement. Also lost his man few times. Before the game, I was actually hoping for a Van Dijk-esque performance from him. 😅😬

    I felt Blind was the MOTM. He probing and forward passes from midfield were very precise. He orchestrated Ajax play in this match. Blind certainly has the football intelligence and technique.

    1. Re: Blind

      This has always being the case with him and is nothing new. He has always being judged on his passing abilities. When he gets spaces, he works his way up like a world class but that has never being a feature of his in tighter games or high tempo games, where he either gets pinned leaving big hold in middle (MF) or if he playing LB he justs stays put at the back and that flanks becomes a expiolting point. Being said this and note this down, his weakness will be expoilted when ajax comes up with more suprresive teams. This off course during last few hurdles like last season vs Tottenham when everybody fell to ground in despair and when you look back, you find he was a weak point. Not directly, to be fair but indirectly yes. when Fernando Llorente came on. This has always the highlight of blind in NT and will continue if he plays.come the last few stages of the knock out rounds, its gonna happen and I have always being critical about this. When it comes to to the semis or the finals, the individual qualities of each and every players is at stake and this becomes a deciding factor to the outcome of the game.

      Lille played 4-4-2 and ajax expoilted this with an extra men the midfield. I was looking ay that J Davids guy, he is big and took him some time to drop back and deep. This is where Blind got up and worked well in extra spaces. On the other hand Lille really did close them down.

  64. It’s good today at least we have some real striker although they are not world class


    A little regret for Redan, he was very good & dominated others when he was around 17-18 year old but his development to senior level is not good

    1. I have watched Redan just few times off the bench at hertha. His overall play looks good, movements,ball control, pace,passing but he still looks kind of underrated. It maybe due to his frame as he often looks second best in duals.

      Still 20 and given he made the right decision to move from Chelsea, he could blossom late like malen. Although hertha needs to avoid relegation as they are dangerously lying in red zone.

  65. It’s not lucky for Hoever, he has proved that he can adapt PL at age of 18 & he decided to leave Liv on loan, it’s very good idea however his destination is Wolve that coaching by Portugese & at his position he has a Portugal player there Semedo 🙂

    If he came to other clubs such as Vila, Leed, Palace, etc i believe he can earn more minutes & reach top level now

  66. PSV is the most bipolar team I’ve ever seen. They can either be a 1/10 or a 10/10. Good for cup football.

    Ajax went through without many issues, they need to find a way to hold onto Brobbey, that kids a star. I think if PSV win it will be enough for our coefficient to pass Russia (assuming Krasnodar lose), and guarantee us Top seeding in the CL.

  67. I have no clue what is wrong with managers in the Eredivisie. Winning on away goals, with 2 minutes left in the tie, and they have only 6 men behind the ball and concede. Why can’t these managers just stick 10 men behind the ball for the last two minutes of a game and clear the ball, why are these guys always trying to score instead of going to the corner flag?

    1. Just finished watching the PSV game. Couldn’t agree with your comments more. PSV had their moments going forward, but their organization behind the ball was a mess. It wasn’t just the late goal—which was bad enough—but while trying to hold the lead they kept giving Olympiacos so much space…players would charge forward out of the midfield on the barest of half chances, and then the team would be caught chasing numbers back up the field. You’d think they had never played with a lead before. I agree that the coach bears alot of responsibility, but these guys are professional players, they should know better. (And if they don’t…) btw, when Malen hit the post, I had a flash back to Ziyech in the CL semi’s…and sure enough.

      Nice win for Ajax. Knocked off the Ligue One leaders over two games, well done. Perhaps its personnel—fielding both Martinez and Alvarez, moving Blind out of CD—but they were more pragmatic and solid over these two games with Lille than they were in the CL. Completely agree with the comment that they should try their best to keep Brobbey; a fine finish to win the match last week, and he changed the game after coming on today.

  68. Any updates are about our coefficient ranking ?

    Psv although can’t go through which is sad sad sad ,but at least they’ve managed to win the match and get the points

    1. If Ajax can win, and we move up to 7th, it means they will be seeded in pot 1 next season, and won’t have to face the likes of Man City, Bayern, Barcelona etc.

      It also means that the team that finishes second will start in the third round of Qualifying rather than the second.

      In terms of Europa League, it would mean that our Cup Winner gets a direct spot in the group stage, rather than the playoff.

  69. I’d like to imagine Ajax will move past Young Boys, but they did well to dismantle Leverkusen so I’m not going to count my chickens. I think quarterfinals of UEL would be a good result for this current Ajax team, especially without Haller or Onana,

    However, there are some other weaker ties (Rangers-Prague), (Granada-Molde), even these Villareal and Roma teams aren’t that scary. So the semi-finals might be within reach.

  70. Disappointed with leverkusen but cant blame much on bosz for the downward trajectory. They are facing crisis in the backline especially with Jonathan Tah whose form has declined even though being capped at German international level.

    The injury to their no 1 stopper Lukáš Hrádecký also has severly affected the team with Niklas Lomb who is deptuzing him not up to his level and mistake prone.

    Bosz will need to strengthen these areas in the summer.

    Youngs boys in both legs bascially pounced on leverkusens mistake and punished them for it. Average team at best and ajax will have no problem brushing them aside.


    Danjuma back to his very best.

    Watched leeds vs Villa. In absence of Jack Grealish and with barkely on the bench, he was the main target when ever villa had poessession. He certainly is not up to the level of grealish but he did job well .Had three or four good shots on target, made some good runs and was in the thick of things taking corners as well and also tracked back as well. I havnt checked but he would have been the man of the match.

    Its also true he will be benched when Grealish is back but that doesnt mean his form has dropped or he cant replicate his good form consistently for that matter. If he showing such a composure at epl level then it has to be accounted for, otherwise no one else (Dutch) has been in form lately. In epl offcourse

    I have always said this, with his technical abilities, he is better than berghuis, bergwijn,and others in NT now. Him and Groeneveld are players who can get goals and more importantly shift that workload of Depay.

    1. I’ve never been a PSV fan (as an Ajax fan born in the 1990’s), but I try to be a fan of Dutch clus over all other European clubs, because I understand the success of the leagues will depend on all of them.

      But watching PSV is hard, always. I sincerely hope they don’t get the other UCL spot.

    1. Raiola is his agent and dont know,i heard man city is interested..i know ihatteren is 1000 time better skilled than klassen..lok at klassen thrives at ajax eevn start at NT..ihatteren needs discipline..

      1. Note..i dont want klassen in NT…Bazoer is 1000 times better at klassen spot..klassen need 10 chance to score one goal..which will cause us championship…without klassen they reached CL semi,with out klassen we qualified for EC2021..
        WITH KLASSEN,we su##3ked at WC2016 and EC2018..even with RVP,Roben,De vrij,depay to help…

  72. it id disgusting to watch Danjuma gronweld and Bazoer gets overlooked..
    Stengs-malen-Depay-Danjuma….all are Mercurius team players…they are less selfish than sneijder and Roben….Which will give us crown…

    1. As much as I hope all of our top talents play for us to help the team, I hate the idea of countries cap-tying talents and then having them rot away Internationally. If Oranje doesn’t have any plans for him, let him go somewhere else and play.

      I’m glad FIFA changed the rules for nationalities. It was just awful that some of these kids who would get capped at 17 would maybe not make it to a Top Team’s level and then never get to compete internationally because of that one decision.

      You get guys like Munir El Haddadi who has played 10 minutes for Spain, 8 years ago as an 18 year old, who has since been forced into International Retirement.

      1. Bakker’s quality, but I sort of hope he goes to not a superstar team. I don’t think he’s ready to compete at the highest level for his spot yet, so I’d prefer him go somewhere like Lille or Lyon where he could become the number 1 LB without major competition. Let him fill that role for a year or two and then go to a big club and fight with these guys for the place.

          1. There you go again. I leave this blog for a few months and come back to read the same non sense about all sorts of mediocre players. Bakker is a zero and Pocchetino realized it which is why he will NEVER play again. The best outcome for him is to play for Dijon or a club like that. I cannot even believe you keep thinking he is good. So how are we supposed to believe and trust your opinions about other players? Please do us a favor and stop talking about Bakker and other useless players.

          2. @Jeff, I get what you’re saying Wilson likes to hype up a lot of guys, sure. But you’re doing the same thing just on the opposite end of the spectrum. Bakker’s not a zero and he’s too good for Dijon. He’s good enough for any team competing in the Europa League and plenty of teams in the Champions League.

            You’re tarnishing your opinion on players with statements like that.

          3. @jeff

            unfortuantely you were nowhere to be found when he became no 1 under Tuchel. coaches have their preference and its nothing new. there is always causalities when there is change over of coaches as they want to build the team according to their philosophy or how they wanna see it. look at koeman for example.

            I like to see things from out side of the box and not necessarily from inside everytime. im not sure about you. here you are saying bakker is zero, when he is/was playing at the higest level and with some of the worlds best. even though it was due to injuries but he was there and he to seized the opportunity. simple, good for him and NT. This is how I see it. the more the dutch players play at the highest level the better because firstly this is the only way to keep in touch with other big nations who have their players scattered all over big leagues and play at the highest level.

            And secondly this is the only way forward to upgrading the quality in NT rather than dragging with players who simply cannot deliver when its is most needed.

            I hope Im making my self clear here.

  73. It is so hard to deal with undisciplined football player. Maybe Ihattaren is a talent but his behavior will never help him to achieve high level in any club.

      1. I like Malen personally, because he can drift between the lines. Boadu is more fox in the box. Neither are the type of 9 I’d want in my 4-3-3, I prefer a Drogba, van Nistelrooij model and was hoping my Zirkzee or Brobbey could turn into that…. losing hope.

      2. Hi Wilson,
        Boadu struggled entire season and only last two games he started to score. This season with Slot and now Jansen, he was asked to come quickly back to defense and help the team to defend in case of ball loss. While this is very right thing to do in modern football, for some reason Myron thought that was the main reason why he was not scoring. He talked to Jansen to change a strategy, i.e. he will not come too deep and will stay in the middle and wait for the counter ball. For the last two games this strategy worked. It is hard for me to compare with Malen as I do not watch PSV games and not very aware of Malen’s style.

        1. Malen, he has shown consistent good play over a long period…and he has played well at the NT level. I’m not discounting Boadu, as he has shown some real flashes of skill. But for now, Malen.

          Things just never seemed to work between Ihatteren and Schmidt. I don’t know enough to say who is at fault—usually its shared.

          Ihatteren needs to leave PSV; Veerman needs to go to a bigger platform. So Ajax and PSV for them, respectively would be good. I think Brobbey could turn into a top CF, so impressive against Lille. Of the 4 excellent set ups he made for others, (Neres finally scored), three were decisions he made to lay off for a better chance than simply going for goal himself. Good awareness.

          1. I agree with all of you. Malen for sure. Boadu has potential but he is inconsistent and I am not convinced about his touch on the ball. Malen has shown he can produce at the highest level.

  74. When your confidence level is high and if you are not playing, this is bound to happen.

    I dont think Schmidt will last long at PSV. I cant remember,was it was vs olympaikos or vs vitesse that Cocu was in the stands watching the game. Maybe he is in next in the line.

  75. I think that Ihattaren will definitely leave PSV this summer, regardless of what happens with Schmidt, he’s refusing to sign a contract. I have a weird feeling he might sign for Ajax. This would leave the door open for Joey Veerman to sign with PSV, as he’s looking to make a big move in the summer as well.

    1. @Derekvdberg91, since you are an Ajax fan I will leave you alone since I too am a die hard fan and have been for 40+ years. So as such, you should know very well that Bakker is a terrible player. Ask any of the Ajax coaches and they will confirm. I have my sources so I know what I am talking about believe me. But regardless of what they say, he is not a player who will play for the national team, nor should he ever. The only reason why he played for PSG for a few games is because there was simply nobody else! Now that the players are back, he will never play again, mark my word. The guy has no technical ability and is not especially fast. Look at all our wingbacks at Ajax and tell me if you think Bakker would have ever played a single minute. Timber, Maz, Rensch, Nico, Q Timber and even Klaiber are miles ahead of Bakker.
      As for Joey Veerman, he is yet another average player at best. PSV can take him if they want to but that will continue to reinforce the divide between Ajax and the rest of the Eredivisie. Veerman is no better than Diemers or Toonstra and even then I am not so sure. If you watched today’s game against Ajax in the cup, he was totally invisible. This was a big game for him, the biggest in fact of his career and the biggest for Heerenveen in 12 years, which is how you test players not against Fortuna Sittard or RKC!

      1. Bakker is also only 20, and defenders mainly develop later, with a few notable exceptions. If you take Nico for example, he was a nobody at 20 years of age. If we’re talking current form, I would start Bakker before Rensch or the Timbers, but I think they might have a higher ceiling than he does in a few years.

        As for Veerman, say what you will, but right now every big European club is looking at him. Was he below par against Ajax? Yes. But it’s tough being the lone star on a team, Ajax were available to mitigate the space around him because who else on that squad is even worth marking?

        1. Thank you Emmanual. Glad we agree!!
          @Derekvdberg91, you must be joking. I cannot even imagine anyone would say such a stupid thing, even ….an Ajax fan. Rensch and Timber are way better players than Bakker ever could or will be. You talk about age but Rensch and Timber are both younger than Bakker. Please my dear co-Ajax supporter, go on the various Ajax websites and you will see what people think of Bakker.

  76. I know its pointless to compare Bakker with other LBs now who have been capped at NT but for the sake of the argument, I just want to ask you Jeff.

    How fast is Blind

    How fast Dumfries

    How fast is veltman

    How fast is karsdorp

    How fast is tete

    Tete was a pure defensive LB but he still managed 13 caps for NT before making that switch to Lyon. Nobody said any thing about his speed or his offensive game.

    Again @ jeff. what technical abilities for you did tete have that kept you mouth was zipped and ask you sources what did the coaches then had to say about him, given now he no more a subject of intrest since ending up at Fulham?

    Actually there were some critics who did point it out about tete but the whole of ajax fraternity was ok with that at that time. If you compare tete and bakker then both are pretty much in the same boat and are similar esque players so why bite the lips now. The only difference is back then when tete arrived on to the ajax scene, van rhijn had stalled resulting in tete getting the nod while for Bakker he couldnt get a crack because of experienced Tagliafico and Blind there. However with transfer and some luck has had the ground rolling at PSG.

    If you put this up as an argument then what jeff is saying about bakker just becomes an uderstatememt that he is not a NT material because he couldnt crack into ajax first team or was never rated by ajax coaches .the merit of NT selection has to be performance and bakker under tuhel was on track.unfortunately that has changed under Pocettino,but you cant blame that on bakker. There is no two ways about it.

    In generally and to clear it out karsdorp and Dummfries make up for their lack of speed with the accuracy in crossing and same with bind, passing ability but for tete and veltman, there were just plain but still got the nod.

    From what I have seen of Bakker play for PSG, especially on that left flank, neymar and mbappe are so hungry for ball the ball that they drop back deep and demand first time balls and thats what bakker does. The ball comes and he just passes it to them. It no use for him overlapping because they wont pass.

    The difference between kurzawa and bakkers play is that bakker is defensively better and maintains a good line of defense while going forward while kurzawa leaves the back door open maintaing a line of attack. At some stage Pocettinho willfind this out the hard way.

    However things have been different for Bakker in the u21s. I think in the last outings he had few assists and offensively had alot of ground covered. I think this is where he should concentrate for now.

    1. Wilson, you don’t seem to understand what I am talking about. It is not the speed (or lack of in this case) that bothers me but his lack of technical and passing ability. Blind is one of the best passers of the ball anywhere in the world and compensates his lack of speed by a tremendous sense of anticipation (as was his dad by the way). You mention Tete, Kardorp, Veltman and Dumfries as if I had endorsed them as great players but I never did!! In fact, the only decent one of the players you mentioned, except for Blind, is Dumfries mostly because of his physical ability but he is not exactly my cup of tea. I love highly technical players equipped with a tremendous vision. We have a fabulous generation emerging now such as Timber and Rensch, so I am neither worried for Ajax or the national team. But please for the last time, do me/us a favor and stop talking about Bakker.

      1. Well Bakker has another 13 or so years to prove you wrong.

        At 20 years old Royston Drenthe looked like he was going to be winning Ballon D’ors, now look at him.

        In contrast, at 20 years old VVD was still on the bench at Groningen.

        How about we stopped writing off players who are twenty years old, just because other players flourished at 20.

          1. Well said what? That players flourish at different times. Hello!! I know that but they need a minimum of ability, which is cruelly lacking in Bakker. He has no ability as I said so many times in terms of technique or passing/vision which essentially rules him out as a prospect of any kind. This is becoming very repetitive but he will land like VD Horn in 2nd division in England or Germany. That is the best outcome for him.

          2. which ability EXACTLY are you taking about?

            and d you still havntanswered my question on top about tete. im waiting please.

        1. @jeff

          “The guy has no technical ability and is not especially fast”

          do you want me to do a compilation of Bakkers passing abilities? well its on the you tube for your argument sake.

          1. for the record I have watched quiet a # of games when he was starting under tuchel and thats where Im coming from and not just from watching youtube.

          2. I don’t need your compilation from You Tube, I have seen him play probably more than you. 90% of his passes are backwards and short. Any player can do that. You can tell the PSG players do not trust him because they never pass to him. Mark my word, he will disappear like so many others. Anyway I don’t quite get the reason for such a contentious discussion about a mediocre player. We have plenty of players for the LB position from Blind to Wijndal, Van Anholt, and now Rensch who can play both RB and LB and even Timber. So frankly enough with Bakker.

          3. If you think Tete is a very average player, then I am happy to say I am in complete agreement with you. See!! we can agree on something. Modern wingbacks are critically important especially when it is a team that plays like Ajax or Oranje. Look at the Liverpool and Barcelona wingbacks. Those are the models we need to follow. I am so happy that Ajax has been able to form such players (Timber brothers, Mazraoui, Rensch, and I would even add Van Gelderen despite the fact he has been injured most of the season). If Nico leaves, we should get Winjdal because that is how important these positions are.

  77. So for those of you who don’t know. When Ajax purchased Danny Blind, he was in his mid 20’s. He was an absolute nobody at 20.

    Much like some of you, the general Ajax fan-base was in an uproar about this signing. Marco van Basten who was Ajax’s star at the time was at the forefront of the noise, demanding the Ajax staff to purchase a star, rather than this nobody. Danny Blind ended up being a star.

    So, it goes without saying that there is nothing to gain from slandering someone who’s 20 and saying they’re never going to make it, based on your opinion of their technical ability. I’m sure PSG wouldn’t have bought him if they thought he had no technical ability.

    1. @Derekvdberg91, you are comparing apples and oranges. Please comparing Danny Blind to Bakker is absurd. First of all, Blind fulfilled a Cruijffian ideology of having a skilled player with incredible vision play as a centre back, exactly as the great Dutch team of 1974 did with Haan or Krol which was again Cruijff’s idea. So in this way, getting Blind was totally logical. It doe snot matter one bot that Van Basten was against it. But I can absolutely tell you that Bakker has neither the football vision or technical ability of Danny Blind. You also keep coming back to the issue of age but in the last 10 years or so, I could possibly count on one hand the number of players who have emerged as an older age. The era of the Stam and possibly VVD coming out of nowhere to become a star is truly over. The chances that all the scouts and coaches missed Bakker’s talent are nil. So let’s close this chapter.

      1. @Jeff,

        I don’t think Derekvdberg91 was comparing Danny Blind as a player to Bakker as a player. You’ve made your points, but people differ in what they see. Frank De Boer has mentioned that Bakker is a player he is keeping an eye. So, time will tell.

        I got a nice feeling from your comments about what Danny Blind brought in terms of a CB, and Cruyff’s vision with regard to CB’s. The ’94-’95 Ajax team seemed the ideal with Rijkaard and Blind playing in the center, reading off each other and , taking turns being the guy who pushed into the midfield, always an extra man there, and that team ticked like a clock.

        btw, as I said, I appreciated your point, but for the record, Krol played left back for the 1974 team. If I recall correctly, Rijsbergen and Haan were the CB’s.

        1. Andrew, yes that is correct about Krol but I was making the point about players like Krol and Haan who can distribute out of the back as opposed to players like Huulshoff and Rijsbergen who were destroyers. Thanks for your comment, I sincerely appreciate it. As to F De Boer watching Bakker, of course he is going to say that when asked about a player. Can you imagine him say anything differently? It would not be politically smart on his part, but with Winjdal, Blind, Van Anholt and now even Rensch and Timber, I don’t think we will see our friend Mitchell play for the national team!!! There are so many players from the Ajax academy that unfortunately never make it. For example, I have no idea why we kept Ekkelenkamp who is simply another mediocre player. I hope we can agree on that. He belongs maybe with ADO or RKC but to be with Ajax is ridiculous. I try to keep a close eye on the youth teams of Ajax and watch the u19 (especially) and Jong Ajax play because I know ultimately that some of the those players will make it into the top team. It is difficult this year because the u19 have stopped playing but I am not impressed with anyone on Jong Ajax except for Q Timber and from time to time Hansen. Otherwise, it has been very disappointing. I had high hopes for Unuvar and Taylor but they do not seem to show signs of improvement. This concerns me greatly because we need at least 2-3 players every year to make it. This year we have Timber, Rensch, Brobbey (to an extent) and of course Grav but we need new blood for next year especially if Brobbey leaves.

      2. You’re talking about Blind after 10 years at Ajax, not Blind before the move which is what I’m talking about. I’m 100% sure if you saw Blind playing at Sparta, you’ve would’ve been calling him talentless and technically bad and slow and writing him off, because that’s what he appeared to be, but he developed.

        Also, scouts didn’t miss his talent. He signed an incredibly large contract at an incredibly big team. The fact that you think you have a better football eye than the scouts from top European clubs is the concern.

        1. What scouts? You are talking about the PSG ones. They bought the fact Bakker was an Ajax player who wanted to leave. They thought “wow here is a gem”. But we fooled them. Great job by Overmars! Being from Ajax carries a lot of weight especially in the youth. Bakker benefited from that. And by the way what other club was really thinking of signing him? I would love to know. Anyway, please watch him play for 5 min and then come back here to give us your impression. Blind have have been slow and perhaps awkward at times but Cruijff saw something in him that made him a prized target. JC is my idol so as far as I am concerned he cannot do anything wrong. Again comparing blind even the one from Sparta pre-Ajax to Bakker is a sacrilege!!

          1. Look, my family has had season tickets to the ArenA for generations, as a kid I grew up going to games every weekend.

            I lived in Amsterdam for a short while again in 2017-18, and had season tickets again, plus went to all of the Jong Ajax games at De Toekomst, so I’ve seen plenty of all of these guys play, and not just on a TV screen. I don’t rely on forums and blogs for my information, as we have been involved in the Ajax community since my youth, so I talk with other fans who attend games regularly. Me and my friends even did some graffiti with CBS outside the ArenA when we were younger.

            Now I’m not saying he’s going to be a world class player, I’m just not writing him off. You seem to fall into the subset of Ajax fans that has a fuck ’em and chuck ’em mentality. “Oh they’re 19 and aren’t world class, let’s sell them,” which isn’t the Ajax or Cruyff mentality. The type of guys that are against signing Tadic a few years ago or Klaassen this year.

        2. Oh and by the way, I am ready to open the topic of Botman as well. He is a better version of Bakker but certainly not my kind of player. Another one who can’t make a penetrating, incisive pass or a dribble.

          1. @Jeff. Let me first preface this by saying that my preference at lb would be Wijndal, though I am a big fan of Blind, it wouldn’t bother me in the least if he started at lb, and if they played a 3 at the back, which allows Blind more freedom and space (think of the recent Italy match) I’d probably prefer him.

            That said, I don’t think its fair to discount PSG’s evaluation of Bakker as nothing more than Overmars putting one over on them. (Perhaps you are engaging in hyperbole to make a point?) IIRC, He was a free transfer, and they signed him to a 4 year deal—clearly, they saw something in him. Clearly he worked his way up to start in the CL, and for a series of other matches under Tuchel—I don’t agree that this was because there was no one else. There is always someone else for a team with the resources of PSG

            As for what would I expect Frank De Boer to say about a player…my observation is different than yours. IMO Coaches use the media to send messages, especially to players on the fringes of the NT. A comment like that gets back to the player, keeps him working, makes him feel he is noticed.

            and yep, anything that takes me back to the ’94-’95 Ajax team makes me happy. What a team that was.

            Anyway, my 2 cts.


  78. @ jeff

    I agree with you on the concept of modern day full backs and how teams thrive with them. I also agree that Bakker doesnt not fall in that category as well however what my argument was that in NT when they can overlook at somebodys weakness and give him the nod simply because of their strengths then why not for others. Blind, tete, were all exception so why not Bakker as backup to wijndal. I mean playing for PSG,also in the CL, has to be accounted for. Isnt it.

    Talking this discussion in another direction, when it comes to Dutch football Ajax has always being the bench mark regardless if you are average or competent. Van rhijn, van der weil, klaassen,tete, El Ghazi, Riedewald, Bazoer,Blind. How do you know Rensch, timber will not end up like others as above when they all were competent during they stay at ajax.

    As far as the modern day LB is concerned and again looks like you have turned a blind eye on the past. Remember Alex Buttner, though he has completely disappeared, he was modern day esque fullback when United picked him up but then he was overlooked to Blind in 2014 for what? Preferences and even though Buttner just needed one break to fend off Blind it just never came under Van gaal and Blind and then at United too. The is the one and only reason why I have been so critical about father and son todate.

    I wonder what were you thoughts on Buttner and why you never brought this modern day LB argument back then.

    1. I also agree with you assessment on jong ajax. After so long it looks like they are in a depleting state and this could well lead to a foreign dominated ajax team in not so distant future.

    2. Wilson, I actually liked Buttner but he never reached his potential. Again, it is very rare for players to leave the Eredivisie and be successful abroad if they have not played consistently for Ajax or PSV. Most players at the other clubs don’t know what “pressure” means. We saw that with Veerman from Heerenveen. Most of these players crack when a lot is expected of them week in and week out. It is one thing to play for AZ, Vitesse, Groningen or any club like that (even Feyenoord these days) and do well when there is virtually no pressure but another all together when you have to perform for Ajax where failure is not acceptable. Players crumble under the weight of this enormous pressure. This is why players like Buttner never succeeded after he left Vitesse for Man Ud despite being quite promising. And again Buttner was way better than Bakker ever will. You talk about “catching a break” and yes you could be right but for the most part if you are really talented you will play and find a club that will play you consistently. This is life in football. Blind has qualities that are very rare in football. Despite the fact he is as slow as can be, he has a truly exceptional sense of anticipation and vision. His passes are able to slice through defenses. Look at how well he played against Lille in that first leg in midfield. Best player on the pitch. So yes i agree with you that Blind is not the ideal version of a modern LB but he has something more, something that very few players have, which is why he is indispensable.

      1. You arguments are legit, no doubt but you still fail to collate the arguments which others have put forward and above all negelect looking things from both sides.

        You obviously cannot compare ajax to other teams in eredivisie when they are financial super powers and are bound to invest in more quality and at the same time expensive players from abroad. The same with the other heavy weights like PSV and Feyenoord, including Ajax who are again bound to pick up talents flourishing in mid level and lower level club teams. As far as Veerman goes, you have to give him a break and consider that he has jumped a level up from eerste divisie and this is just his second season. Your expectation is simply too high for his trajectory to sky rocket within the spent time span and like somebody side in a average team like heerenveen. The situation at Heerenveen has also become complex now with the arrival of Siem De Jong and Schone with the midfield all clustered.

        Re: Blind. I can write a book on him.

        Agree that he played well vs Lille but then it is also true that he will never be consistent in every game and with different teams (EL & CL level). On another note has Blind’s absence been ever felt by Ajax or NT? I havnt come across seeing it, so no but yet he has been picture pefected to look like that he is of great importance to the team when he never has been due to his certain lacking qualities which again u have mentioned and also considering that teams have easily coped up, in his absence.Now it doesnt mean that if the Ajax fraternity, legends, coaches or any tom dick and harry feels Blind is indispensable, then he is.You have to look at it from an overall point of view and thats where it gets real. With competent teams he is bound to get exposed especially when it matters the most, on the last hurdle.this has already transpired, done and dusted.

        Van Dijk, Ake,Groeneveld,Van Ginkel,Frimpong,Lang, weghorst are just few names who left eredivisie and are flourishing or have flourished.

        1. Again, here you go again with a list of names. So from that list of random names, only Van Dijk has truly flourished. The others have either not lived to expectations (Ake, Van Ginkel), are developing but certainly have not reached top level yet and may never do so (Lang, Frimpong and Groeneveld) or are simply good but not international caliber (Weghorst). I am not sure what you are trying to say or prove. Regarding Blind, he is simply arguably the first name on the team sheet. I maintain he is indispensable for Ajax and the national team. His passes put teams under constant pressure. There is nobody like him.

  79. Strootman, Babel, St. Juste, Weghorst, Promes, Tete and Vilhena the notable inclusions on the provisional list.

    Lang, Boadu, Koopmeiners, Ihattaren, Timber with the U21s.

  80. The U21’s will likely line up:

    Timber, Schuurs, Botman, Bakker
    Ihattaren, Koopmeiners, De Wit
    Gakpo, Boadu, Lang

    I think if that team were to play our current eleven the game would be much closer than it should be.

  81. My guess as to De Boer’s line up in Istanbul:

    Backline: Dumfries, De Vrij, De Ligt, Wijndal/Blind. This means two right-footed CB’s, but these guys are better than the guys underneath them, and playing two tested Italian League CB’s makes sense to me. He might be waiting to see whether Ake becomes fit and how he looks.

    Midfield: De Jong and Wijnaldum for sure. He may then drop Wijnaldum back a line and play Van de Beek closer to the forwards, but he hasn’t played much, and De Boer has said that he wants guys who have been playing. If heplys Wijnaldum more advanced, I’d guess De Roon. He might surprise with Gravenberch (and I would like to see that), but I get the feeling with De Boer that he’ll go safety first.

    Forwards: I would be surprised if it was anyone other than Malen, Depay, Stengs/Bergweijn.

    So, no, I don’t seen him fielding a team that is going to look like a surprise.

    1. This time around Turkey have a very strong squad and good depth as well. this game will show FDB credibility as coach for what he has selected.

  82. I didn’t even realize that this was the group stage of the U21 Euros, I honestly thought it was a friendly period or something. Make sense to not pick the top kids, the only meaningful match is Turkey.

  83. I watched Genoa and Roma last and this morning strootman is in the squad and don’t for which reason. his time is completely up. when I switched on the game had already started and it took a good thirty minutes for the commentator to pick him out and that’s only when I realized he was playing.

    Karsdorp omission is big surprise fro me when he is in his best form. again he was the thick of things going forward and crosses were always dangerous

    what I don’t under stand is how players like Babel and Strootman can be important in dressing room when firstly they are out dated and secondly they never reached that level where they can demand respect and be looked upon to by younger players for inspiration. if it was Robben, huntelaar, sneijder than it would have made sense.

  84. so this also means the euro squad will pretty much be the same because those players who have dropped to the u21s will miss out and wont have enough time to get into full rhythm at NT level.

    1. I think it will be different when it comes to the Euros. Frank will fill any holes he sees necessary. It was similar to in 2006 when the competitions overlapped and Huntelaar and Nicky Hofs were left to the U21 team (ironically Babel was again called up as a striker to the World Cup team controversially).

      The final squad doesn’t have to be listed until June 1st and the U21 final is on the 6th, so hypothetically a player could play in both. Frank could call up a player while they’re still in the semi’s, they just won’t be able to compete in the friendlies beforehand. Honestly the U21 semi’s/finals will probably be more relevant than any friendly match.

      1. My hope is that they do take a younger, more experimental side to the Euro’s. The schedule is too compressed. To play the Euro’s and then jump back into WC qualifying in the fall, along with league and European play, is alot, maybe too much, to ask of the core players who have come off what has been a hard, draining year. heck, it may come to that anyway…Players opting out, claiming injury and fitness issues. To me, given that the tournament is a year late, it will likely be played in front of small, or perhaps no, crowds, and the looming WC, it doesn’t feel like a major tournament. So by all means, let the younger guys go at it and see what they have.

      2. for most of the big nations their u21 squads does not include those playing at full International level but are also eligible for the u21s and this is where Im coming from.

        1. I think it depends on the depth of squad at the time. I remember one year when Juan Mata went to play and he was already one of the best players in the world at the time.

          1. If you consider the talents that the current u21s have then the question arises when are they suppose to take the next step. Its obvious they wont hit big like what other u21 nation players have accomplished and above all their trajectory will always be slow playing out of eredivise.

            I think I have mentioned this above, when it comes to Dutch football, Ajax is always the bench mark or unless if you clear cut are playing for a big club or simply at top level. You look at Gravenberchs selection ahead of Koompeniers for example. Gravenberch plays the same position as Frenkie which becomes a stale mate and koompeniers selection would been more practical in the sense that he has been in the forefront at AZ giving consistent performances both at eredivisie and european level while Gravenberch is still in the mix . it also would have useful to build frenkie koopmeiners combo which could have been the best option going forward atm Im not against Gravenberch but thats how it is, he wont be able to bench frenkie and I dont think he has reached that level where individually he can make the difference which he still needs to prove. Ajax is dominated by foreign players and alot will be revealed when the dutch contingent do not have the luruxy of same players around them or are playing out of their comfort zone.

            And another thing, as usually there are other players who are just there to make numbers and will just be spectators.

            Remains me of danny blind era.

  85. Very disappointed to see the provisional squad. No Koopmeiners, Stengs, Karsdorp etc. And then still Klassen, Strootman, Babel, Promes. 😑😕

    Guessed certain things ain’t just meant to be changed.

    1. koopmeiners out..klassen and strootman in….ohhhhhhh f88896k fdb going to pay for it..
      then babel and promes danjuma…seems fdb will cost us another wcq

    2. My friend i think like u
      But they all selected for dutch youth team and they have more important games nowadays.then after the youth cup. They can be back to senior squad

  86. No Danjuma. Surely he can’t be worse off than Babel..despite he playing in the Championship.

    Just read on St Juste.
    “The 24-year-old has made 22 league appearances for Mainz this season, who currently sit second bottom in the Bundesliga”..😅
    Surely Botman is better than him.

    Not sure whether anyone poses these questions to FDB. Certainly the selections raised many questions.

  87. I actually don’t mind what Frank did here.

    So I’m a professional tennis coach in the real world, and work with players from 7 to around 18 who are looking to play on tour. One of the theories we use is that we want them to play up, to gain experience at that level, but they can’t only play against the best.

    For example, I once coached the Number 1 U12 boy in the country, and he was probably Top 10 in U14 and Top 40 in U16, so easily able to play in either of those age groups, but when it came time to play Nationals we had him play the U12 tournament, because learning how to win big events in an important skill in itself. We see it all the time of players who learn how to perform at a high level but don’t know how to win

      1. Other tournament, another disappointment lomming.when will this circus end. Lets go back to that Nations league final in portgual under koeman. What has happened to that team. That team was suppose to thrive on and build a good depth by incoperating up coming young talents for euros.

        You have to ask this question, has things progressed under FDB from where koeman left off. It has ended up like that of danny Blind era and with more dragging.

        1. I say we call the Euros a write-off. Let 6/11 of the guys get some big game experience, and then have our U21s go and win the Euros.

          Then, you combine those 2 teams together and we get a winning squad for the World Cup. I don’t think we were ever going to win these Euros, the youth are too inexperienced and the experienced guys aren’t good enough.

          1. This is exactly what should have been done after FDB took over. He was suppose to inject 2 or 3 youngesters competitively in the team and have them ready for euros. Even wijndal needs more game time.

    1. I feel like it’s because Dutch players are more technical in their development and guys like Pepe are more natural. You see that in other sports too.

      Like if you have to train reaction time into a junior, it’s bound to decline at an earlier age, but when they have natural reactions, it stays longer.

      Dutch guys all come up through a school and their taught their talent if that makes sense, whereas some of these other countries the kids grow up with a ball at their feet and the ability is more natural. Like Ronaldinho will be 80 years old and still amazing.

  88. Brian Brobbey looks so good for Ajax, they need to find a way to keep him. Signing Haller would have been one of the reasons he wants to go. He honestly should be starting for Ajax come next season.

    1. The very accurate Fabrizio Romano posted on his Instagram that Leipzig and Brobbey reached an contract agreement. What a huge blow for Ajax! Every game he played he showed why he is highly rated. Did Ajax make a big mistake by signing Haller? Only time will tell….

        1. Like lille, young boys also played 4-4-2 and like I said got brushed aside. Looking at technical players, depth in the ajax squad and if drawn favourably, they will reach semis.

        1. Absolutely not. They will get raided in the sunmer. Bayern have already signed Dayot Upamecano. Also Big clubs are already linning up for upamencano’s partner Ibrahima Konate as well. Both are pretty much the spine of RB Leipzig and their depature will be a massive void to fill in.

  89. Well looks like Barce new President has made his intentions clear.he respects Ronald Koeman a lot, but he wouldn’t have signed him for his project. He could continue, but he likes other coaches better, RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann is his first choice.

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.