What Bert should do now…

Thanks to the AD for this insightful article. I have used what I can and added my own opinion to it :-).

Willem van Hanegem said it ( I think). “Football is a simple game. But playing simple football is hard.” And we saw that demonstrated by Oranje. Despite all the quality, all the experience, all the will and all the chances, we lost.

So, is our coach suddenly not able to motivate them? Has Van Persie unlearned to score? Has Italian football wasted Stekelenburg? No…

It’s tactics.

It’s system and player selection.

In the last months, things aren’t going too well for the team manager. Like with Van Basten’s 4-3-3, the time for this current system to be binned could we be here. The idea of the 4-2-3-1 is to play tighter and not let a mouse slip though the trenches. The 6 at the back defend the fort and the thoroughbreds up top need to score. Well, in the last months, the six at back conceded a lot of goals and the guys up top can’t find the net.

And if you recall the Denmark game, you’ll have to agree that it indeed looked like “6 at the back” and “four on top”. The gap between the forwards and the rest was huge. The stars wanted to attack attack and pushed up high while the insecure defense (incl De Jong) tracked back whenever they could. In particular after the Danish goal. The result? Gaps for the Danes to exploit and lots and lots of yards to cover for our lads.

“Those forwards need to do better in the turnaround”.

No, that is too easy. If you do that, you’ll be playing like we did in the World Cup. But do you think Denmark and even Germany or Portugal will have a go at us if we play counter football? Dutch football is forward pressure and high paced football in a small space.

Pic 1: Our current system is too static and predictable and when executed like Saturday leaves a huge hole in midfield.

But, this system reached the finals at the World Cup!

Was it because of the system, or despite the system? Did we play really good football? Were we lucky? We had an easy group against three teams counting on us winning. Cameroon didn’t lay down and play dead, but Japan and Denmark invited the Dutch victory in.

Our first knock out game was atrocious! The Brazil game was too, in the first half. In the second half, Raf van der Vaart came in for Nigel de Jong… We won, but also because Brazil imploded.

The Uruguay game was not that good. Hell, I remember plugging my butt in the last 10 minutes!! We scored the first but allowed them back on the scoresheet.

And we all know what happened in the finals.

So, the system, to me, was not the hero of the World Cup. The difference was the sheer quality of and will of our individual players! And some luck, at the right times.

It’s clear that if your defense is the weakest link, you should make sure the defense will not come under pressure. As Cruyff always says: if you don’t want to be under pressure, you simply have to put more pressure on them. Our best game in the last two years was against Sweden. Little hint: Nigel de Jong didn’t play, but Rafael played on his spot. Silencing the “Sneijder and Vaart can’t play together” crowd.

So, is Van der Vaart the solution?

No. It’s never one player. The solution is, to bring more football from the holding position. Like in Spain, where Xabi Alonso plays there, but that is one hell of a playmaker. Or Pirlo in Italy. Or Schweini in Germany. Very tough lads, sure, but mostly football players.

If you have Hunter and Van Persie, you should bring Sneijder back on line. Let Sneijder direct play from midfield with skipper Bommel. Let Van Persie play on the 10 position and bring Hunter up top. And yes: Robben on the LEFT!!

In stead of 4-2-3-1 we should play 4-1-4-1. With Bommel in the lone holding role and Sneijder next to Van Persie centrally. Van Persie playing in the Litmanen role, as a shadow striker. In reality, it will play like a 4-3-3 in possession. Which means there is always a player in reach within 12 yards. And this relieves our defense even more.

See pic 2.

So what to do with Huntelaar if we don’t cross balls in?

Well for starters: to think Hunter is dependent on crosses should check Hunter’s goals for Schalke on YouTube again. He is fine in the combination with a Raul type behind him. But bringing crosses in will work, obviously and with a free flowing Van Persie behind him, we can become quite a threat… In particular if Bommel and Sneijder are there for the loose balls.

The “idea” with false wingers is that the full backs will overlap to give the cross. Well, we haven’t seen any decent cross from Willems or Van der Wiel… So it doesn’t work.

We need Afellay on the right ( or Narsingh) and we need Robben (or Afellay) on the left.

So, bottomline, will Bert make these changes for us?

No. Fat chance. Bert is married to the system. Believes in it. Told the journalists yesterday that no matter what people say, he will always do things “his way”. Bert thinks that if we keep on creating, we will start scoring soon. And win games. He also said confidence in the camp is still very high.

Let’s hope Bert is right!

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    1. Well, history tells us Bert will change nothing! But I agree with article. We were too far apart. It seemed like we never had many attacking at one time until the very end.

  1. Changing the system because of a small, very small string of poor results in the middle of a tournament is just not smart. And its a bandaid, And you’re conceding defeat already.

    Its ludacrous.

    Bert will change the system and 65% of the squad after this tournament win or lose. We also have plenty of young players ready to go for the national team -so i’m sure some of the people on the blog that want to see the newbs get a “run out” will be happy and hopefully they will finally be quiet about it.

  2. All this debating on the system we should play and the all the “What if’s” and “Should have’s” (Bad Grammar)
    is quite frankly making me sick of this whole Euro2012 campaign… I watched all the games so far and not ONE TEAM with the exception of Russia played any football nearly as dominant as Holland. Its a disgrace that we should have one foot in the airport already, but maybe its good for us,In the short term: it might make us think “hey we have no right to be considered favourites just yet so we need to work a little harder now”

    In the longterm it might mean we will have to revamp the formations, bring in new (younger) players for our next campaign which I thought we already should have been doing in the qualifying… let Narsingh, Wijnaldum, Strootman, Luuk, Anita maybe even van Wolfswinkel chances to show what they can do, because 2 years from now, all we’re going to have are 30 year old players who won’t be able to cope with a German side thats in their prime, an revamped hungry Brasilian squad and a once again functional French team. (assuming they finally get their sh*t together)

  3. this really makes sense.. in the previous game there were so much of gap in the forwards.. this system would release the pressure.. in the previous match, there were so much of individual attempts which were good but was not productive… u need to change the approach of scoring.. my opinion is if holland can score in the first 20 minutes, the game would come in holland’s favor and holland can switch to the old format and defend and attempt on goals where we can score against germans through counter attacks as robben is good like what we did against the england.. and we can score more goals like what we did against the sweden.. its jsut a matter of scoring in the first 20 minutes.. its easy to score against germans in the first 2o minutes if we dont let them play.. this new german team needs the possession unlike the previous german teams.. they are more into this play if u see bayern’s game.. anyways hope for the best

  4. Maybe there is overreaction? Sure it was a horrible loss, but sometimes it is tough to score in soccer–and games in which teams like denmark get outplayed by steal a tie or win are not uncommon. Maybe it’s time for Hunter, but Holland played well enough to win the first game but it just didn’t happen.

  5. People are acting like Huntelaar is the messiah. What did he do against Germany in the friendly?

    Infact when has he ever performed in a big game? Its ok scoring against Moldova and Finland but tournement football is a completely different ball game.

    I still prefer Van Persie. Yea he missed sitters but he also put a few chances on a plate for Robben and Sneijder. Huntelaar doesn’t offer that. If he doesn’t score he does nothing.

    1. When has ever played in a big game other then low minutes? Thing is RVP is not a true striker.

      I do remember Huntelaar scoring a beutiful header against England a couple months back.

    2. Where do get this stuff from? Fortunately this statement is without any foundation. What did van Persie do against England, Spain, Brazil, or any other big game for that matter? What did he do at the World Cup? Absolutely nothing that’s what. He is often just as anonymous as the next striker. The big difference is up to now he is neither potent enough to be centre forward for Oranje nor fast and direct enough to be the ideal winger. He should be on the bench rather than being allowed to take his place for granted. atm he can play as badly as he likes without ever being dropped, while Hunter is not allowed to even have one bad game without fearing for his place.

      For definition sake I will class a “big game” for Oranje as any game against a FIFA Top 10 ranked opponent. van Persie has consistently and repeatedly gone missing in these kind of games since marwikjk keeps playing him as the CF. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if he did his job and scored big goals consistently but he has failed so many times now. He has had countless opportunities being teacher’s pet ahead of a real goalscorer only to keep fluffing his lines. At some point one must be fair and give someone else their chance. Huntelaar has been waiting patiently for years now and the reality is he has always been a better CF than v.Persie – always. And rather than just empty words Let me show you some real facts to prove it, a side by side comparision of both players’ performance for Holland since Marwijk took over:



      I would advise you to Download and read it.

      The Conclusions:

      (1) The “average” FIFA Ranking of all the teams both players have scored against is almost exactly the same (Avg Rank: RVP 77 / KJH 80)
      (2) However Huntelaar is the one who scored a brilliant goal and changed the game against the highest ranked opponent on the list (England – FIFA Rank No.5)
      (3) Huntelaar is the one with the superior goal ratio vs FIFA TOP 10 Ranked teams but yet hardly ever gets to start the big games
      (4) Huntelaar has scored more goals for Holland with 548 minutes less playing time than van Persie (equivalent to 6 full matches & 8 minutes less playing time)
      (5) Huntelaar is also the one yet again who has scored more goals away from home, where opponents are usually harder to beat (Away Goals: RVP 2 goals, KJH 7 goals)
      (6) Huntelaar has repeatedly proved that he is the more consistent goalscorer, scoring in more games in a row, and against more teams in total
      (7) An incredible 52 goals for club & country just this season alone, in addition to these critical facts is just further proof that Huntelaar is Holland’s BEST STRIKER.

      Now, If van Persie can do what he is supposed to do then everything will be fine and there will be no problem. We will rejoice.
      But – as long as he keeps failing however, then there can be no justification for Marwijk to keep ignoring Holland’s best striker.

  6. It is not possible to play with one holding midfielder againts germany. I think Bert will stick to his plan and just instruct Robben and Affelay to cross more. I am sure that he will start with the same starting eleven.

  7. I mean, no more cut inside from the two wingers and shooting from long range. Give more crosses…that’s what a winger must do. I am really sure that Bert will start with Persie.

  8. THANK YOU! Love this article and the observations of our WC matches and our current state. Managers are stubborn. I guess they have to be which is how they got to where they are. But sometimes it goes too far. Bert’s marriage to this system, Del Bosque calling up useless Torres over Soldado/Lopez, Hodgson leaving out Ferdinand, and the WC France debacle.

    The tournament is on and all we can do is support our side. Bert won’t change the system but for the love of god just try the same formation and players with Huntelaar upfront instead of v.Persie. Huntelaar is a different player when he starts rather than when he has 15 minutes. When he comes on as a sub he is not calm but rather on panic-gotta-score mode. He’ll force shots and make mistakes. Huntelaar has played against this German defense and has scored against these players in the Bundesliga. He deserves a shot.

    1. Yes, good point OranjeBoom. Maybe we could have a petition to demand Huntelaar to start? They must have on-line petitions by now and there must be enough people in support to get it through parliament before Wednesday. lol

      Even if Huntelaar doesn’t score he’ll be able to create more havoc in the Germany box with more rebounds and all than RvP. If you look at Bayern’s goals this season an awful lot of them were “simple” rebound tap-ins. As it looks like nothing else will change it might be the only way out.

      1. haha they already did have a petition in Holland. Majority of supporters chose Huntelaar. We obviously can see what BVM thinks of our opinions

  9. Aesop’s Fable I find very appropriate for our dilemma as to what BVM should do:

    One day a cat and a fox were having a conversation. The fox, who was a conceited creature, boasted how clever she was. ‘Why, I know at least a hundred tricks to get away from our mutual enemies, the dogs,’ she said.

    ‘I know only one trick to get away from dogs,’ said the cat. ‘You should teach me some of yours!’

    ‘Well, maybe some day, when I have the time, I may teach you a few of the simpler ones,’ replied the fox airily.

    Just then they heard the barking of a pack of dogs in the distance. The barking grew louder and louder – the dogs were coming in their direction! At once the cat ran to the nearest tree and climbed into its branches, well out of reach of any dog. ‘This is the trick I told you about, the only one I know,’ she called down to the fox. ‘Which one of your hundred tricks are you going to use?’

    The fox sat silently under the tree, wondering which trick she should use. Before she could make up her mind, the dogs arrived. They fell upon the fox and tore her to pieces.

    Moral of the story…

    A single plan that works is better than a hundred doubtful plans.

    1. I love those kind of stories. Very entertaining and enlightening. The only problem with having only one plan is if it doesn’t work, maybe because there are no trees around?

      If a coach goes into a tournament with only one plan he should be deemed incompetent and get fired on the spot. I bet you Sneijder would already be a greater coach even while playing at the same time. He just has that yes-can-do positive energy about him.

      I keep hoping they’ll be able to progress even in spite of BvM.

        1. @ Jan

          I do agree with your logic and see this being effective, however unless they have been practising this or another formation simalar it could mess things up, and maybe take away confidence in chemistry IMO.

          Jan I was wondering why you think Robben should start on the left?

          Is he not a lot more dangerous from the left? His shot seems to be much better from there, and it seems like he feels more confident one on one. Everyone that defends him knows he cutting in left but can’t stop him.

          Or are you thinking for crossing purposes?

  10. Marwijk will start with the same 11 players, no doubt about it. I only hope he changes his subs pattern and does it before it is too late, but this is a fat chance too. I am affraid we’ ll again allow a goal first and then play catch up. I find it very hard for our slow and old duo of ndj and mvb to keep up with germans pace. Playing on the 13th doesn’t help. I predict 1-1 or 2-2. History doesn’t help either. The only 2 convincing victories against the Germans were 2-1and 3-1more than 20 yrs ago and where germans reached the final after the 3-1 loss.
    On the flip side there is nothing to lose. Ideally we’d go out and play free of stress and either win 3-1 or 4-1 or lose 0-3. Hopefully it will be a fun game with a good result. Fingers crossed.

  11. Totally subscribe to the “in spite of BvM” idea if Oranje is able to progress. Maybe the players themselves will revolt and start playing the way they see fit best.

    Just to keep up our hopes: even if we lose from Germany, there’s still a scenario possible whereby we could progress! If Portugal beats Denmark, and Germany also wins their last game, it would be up to the Netherlands to beat Portugal with a better goal difference than the Portuguese beat Denmark with. There would be 3 teams with 3 points each, but Oranje would progress on goal difference. Maybe that’s BvM’s gameplan?

  12. Uitlaatklep i agree with your last point. The Germany game despite what people say is not a “MUST WIN”. A draw would be a good result providing Portugal and Germany beat Denmark and Holland beats portugal in the last game

    1. Luckily for us, we’ll know what we need before the game Wednesday, seeing as ours is the late one. We NEED Portugal to win for our game to not be a must win. That being said, I very much expect Portugal to win. Their better than what they have shown at times, and their game, not knowing the future, should be considered a must win for them. Hopefully Portugal pulls it off, but only by a 1-0 scoreline. That’s the ideal scenario in my mind

  13. I hate to say it, but since BvM is obsessed with his 4-2-3-1 with two defensive minded midfielders, Afellay is the one that has to be dropped for Huntelaar. Put RvP on the right and Robben on the left. Robben pumps in the crosses to Huntelaar and RvP and Sneijder pick up the loose balls at the top of the box. Afellay can come in later in the game to add speed and torture the other teams’ tired defenders

    1. I’d differ and sit Robben for the Hunter. Robben and vdVaart to be our supersubs (Robben may replace Ibby and vdV in for Nigel). Robben’s speed is good to disrupt opponent when he comes in fresh as a sub, he can be predictable as long as he’s faster than his marker.

      1. he can be? he IS predictable!

        yes his speed (and technique) is what can give him the upper hand for sure, maybe starting later will also allow him to get his confidence back?

        1. Ha,ha, …. I meant by “he can be predictable” is: it is OK for him to be predictable as long as he is faster and can lose his marker.

          I looked at diNatale’s goal today and saw a tad resemblance to Robben’s miss at the post. Lots of us said “he’s selfish because 2 players were unmarked” but if it had bounced in, we probably would have said “that Robben is a genius”! (he actually created that chance by himself while diNatale was poaching a genius pass from Pirlo)

          It’s all relative.

    2. This is what I thought it should have been from day 1 also. I’d even suggest Affelay for RVP. He seems to have a better jump on defenders then RVP.

  14. @TFC Ajax,

    I think that is the most likely scenario. Drop Afellay, Robben on the left wing, Van Persie on the right, and Huntelaar as central striker. I think that is the case when Ruud was still with the Dutch NT.

  15. A lot of good ideas here. The “system” can still work so long as holding midfielders and wingbacks push farther up when appropriate. I prefer that over putting another high midfielder who won’t contribute as much during normal defense.

    The team should be able to convert to 4-1-4-1 if they fall behind, however.

  16. You guys make a lot of really good points. v.Persie always has and always will drop off outside the box to receive the ball on the right. It’s as predictable as what Robben will do when cutting in from the right. So why doesn’t BVM just put v.Persie there if we have a more than qualified #9 who can play in the box? It’s just logic. Look at the goal v.Persie scored against Bulgaria(?) the other day… cut in from the right to take ball down and score.

    If players are allowed to work naturally they’ll play a lot better. When Henry was still on Arsenal v.Persie did all his best work from the right.

  17. Jason, theres only 2 games remaining. its now or never. i understand changing the system is indeed great risk but in this situation here, you gotta do something here…


    1. This logic would be correct if the first game was a disaster tactically but it wasn’t. Execution wasn’t top but can be fixed and missing chances is not something that happens for too long. I think Van Persie would score in the next game by accident even. How many ways of missing does one have?

      So, I don’t think we’re in trouble. Just keep on doing what we do but better and convert some chances.

  18. Regarding playing Robben on the left – are you sure he has not forgot how to do crosses? He’s been playing on the right for so long, and every time he’s got the ball I expect him to do 2 (two) exact the same movements before he loses the ball or kicks it to audience, and he never disappoints.
    and that’s sad.

    After his last injury he hasn’t been playing on the pre-injury level – no sparkle any more. Psychological moment, I believe.

  19. Hi Guys

    I don’ t think we played badly against the Danes.The 1st half was a classic tho the result is scoreless.We were out are the assassins.How could they so blinded not to see the handballs.This is obviously sacrilege…….

    Last night I watched the game of Spain vs Italy.I like how the way the Italians pressed the Spain with fast speed,tight defense,counter attacks.Very impressive defenders.I hope our defense can have a good study on it.

    Our next game against Germany,I am very confident that we can eat them up.We need to play like the Italian type.

    1-Lock up this key player Mesut Özilft
    2-Our left/right defenders must not try to go attack too much as the Germans will definitely play long ball passing to counter from their left/right wings.
    3-Nail tightly on Gomez/Klose
    4-Use Wesley Sneijder/ van der Vaart to play long ball pass to our wings/attackers
    5-Formation is 42211

    —————-Maarten Stekelenburg—————-
    –Van Der Wiel— Heitinga— Mathijsen— Willems–
    ————Van Bommel(Kuyt)—Sneijder————-
    —————van Persie—————–

    I selected Willems and Kuyt becos they are speedy to defend or move up.

    **Withdraw Van Bommel if he gets tired or slow**

    1. The Denmark game was a bit like the 2000 game against Italy. Couldn’t score even if our lives depended on it. That was a semis. Lucky for us, this is merely the first game.

    2. Like Cruyf said play to our strengths which is offense. Our best shot is to keep pressure on them with our attacking players not defensive. Thus taking Gomes and Klose out of the game.

  20. Jan, I like the analysis and the Persie Hunter system, but then I think most of us agreed on this already. let’s see what happens. Looking forward to the next game – 2.45 am in Singapore 🙁

  21. Van Persie can be more productive than Affelay on the wing. He’s Hollands best crosser of the ball for staters and he’s a very tricky dribbler when he gets one on one with a full back.

  22. The problems we saw in the Denmark game are not new. We havent had a decent game since San Marino (when Oranje was the best team in at least this universe because they scored 11 goals against a bunch of amateurs).
    But despite all those bad results and awfull gameplay BvM and MvB wont take any criticism and keep going “their own way”.

    There are several ways to cope with retiring, emerging and injured players. 4-1-4-1, 3-5-2, heck even 4-4-2, change players at positions, but no ..
    This is getting a severe case of tunnel vision due to stubbornness.

    And btw, even if we win against Germany and Portugal we still can get nocked out.

    I am not a happy camper right now lol.

  23. I think it’s the substitutions what’s going to decide the game. If the germans shut down centrally Robben should switch to the left and van der Wiel should be replaced early in the second half by Kuyt.

    Otherwise I think it’s going to be the team spirit that decides the game. If we can grab an eraly goal, I’ll get optimistic otherwise it’ll be nail-biting. Let’s hope that I won’t have to bite nail completely off at the end of the game.

  24. The only hope I have is that Persie would have a little sense of self, and be a decent lad by injuring himself during training. A minor injury would do, just to keep him out of the teamsheet.

  25. excellent analysis,Jan. i completely disagree with those who think the game is not a “must win” and even with a defeat we can qualify – if germany beat oranje,they’ll draw against danemark,because in this case the last game will have no importance for them
    draw? too much calculation,mathematics,”if…”,etc. if oranje beat germany,oranje’s destiny will be in our hands and we don’t need to calculate,etc.
    first we MUST beat germany,then we MUST beat portugal. is it possible? yes. do we have the potential? yes.
    the time of calculations is over.

  26. Its quite depressing when I make a direct comparison of Podolski-Muller Vs Afellay-Robben, our pair have much more pedigree but at the moment I would pick the first pair. I saw the Germany vs Portugal match, and Podolski-Muller were effective and efficient at the same time more productive for the team. No unnecessary cutting ins when they don’t need to a.k.a crossing it, dribbling only when nobody is available to pass a.k.a waiting for others, they connected well Podolski-Khedira-Gomez and Muller-Ozil-Gomez. I’m repeating myself because I’ve said it so many times we don’t see a Sneidjer-Affelay-V.persie triangulation nor Sneidjer-Robben-V.Persie.
    I saw when Robben had the ball and waiting to see what denmark would do, Van der Wiel was unwilling to make a run on the sides he just waited behind Robben and Sneidjer was nowhere to be seen. Don’t think that small plays are not looked into, the rivals most smart player or (s) will look into this, get the message a cross and exploit it. Its so easy to disconnect the current Holland team, just man mark Sneidjer-V.Persie-Robben and they will start making individual plays…THAT’S WHAT THE OTHERS WANT HOLLAND TO DO, because they are scared when Holland play as a TEAM

  27. Guys, wake up!

    If the dutch team loses vs. Germany, then Holland is definitely out! Not the goal difference decides, but the direct comparision. That means that Denmark will always advance ahead of Holland if Denmark and Holland tie on points.

  28. an article about the team’s revolt led by Van Der Vaart:

    I don’t want to believe this. but this might worth reading.

    and this one about Van Hanegem slams Van Persie for… calling on the sideline!

    damn, the media put our team under more pressure…

    1. I think I could understand if Van Der Vaart angered by decision, despite he already mentioned previously that he won’t complain about the substitute role. The team is losing, but Van Marwijk delayed his act too long. That, of course, made VDV became upset with Bert’s decision…

  29. For me the sad part is that its no surpise.. how many good games have we played the last couple of years?? 1 or 2 maybe.. and none at the WC

    Bert just got it wrong and now his too stubborn to change..

    maybe we should be glad that after wednesday this will all be over

  30. I agree there’s too much gap between the front and the rear.

    Also worth noting, is that 4231 does need overlapping wing backs or the edges of the pitch are not covered – e.g. if VDW does not press on, the right wing has no one to interchange with.

    However, MOST importantly 433 (and even 4141) requires good defenders.
    We don’t have those.
    End of debate.

    And 4231 got us 29 chances the other night. I don’t see anything wrong with the system when played correctly.

    If we’d realised that Arsenal structure an entire attacking line around RVP, and duplicated it, well maybe he might have scored.
    But we didn’t, and he didn’t.
    So out with the choker, bring in THE HUNTER and let’s wipe the floor with these German mugs.

  31. I love Nigel De Jong, he’s one of my favourite Oranje players, but I think he may be limiting the team. Manchester City dropped him this season in favour of a Toure and Barry defensive 2 and become a completely different proposition.

    Many are saying Vaart should be the man to replace him, but that doesn’t work for me. I’d like to see Strootman come in to provide a dynamic partner to Bommel. Bring Mathijsen in for Vlaar and you’ve got a great side.

  32. Telegraaf has joined the war. According to Telegraaf Oranje group is split, some want to play more pressing, others want to defend deeper and counter attack like in 2010. There seems to be many displeased players, and everybody is making questionmarks at the De Jong sub and why bommel was not subbed. The paper says Hunter is hurt but wants to keep on fighting for a place and ´is not broken mentally yet.´

    Mentallly broken? Hunter?

  33. @Rob I also thought Strootman would be good next to Bommel. I like his drive. But he is inexperienced at this level, played a not so good season half and could easily make mistakes or even lose it, as he did a few times in de eredivisie.

  34. I do not believe this media fueled speculation about division.

    But, hypothetically, if that is true and the Oranje camp are truly splitting in such a way then I am disappointed. Van Marwijk is a coach (imperfect though he may be) who managed them to a WC Final. They navigated qualification to Euro 2012 almost flawlessly under his direction. They played quite a good game against Denmark, but lost where they should not have. If anything they should be hoping to continue in the same vein and beat Germany. Why would they panic? Why would there be a crisis in the dressing room? They are extremely weak if they are panicking. Winners do not panic after losing a game. They play their way out of the hole; they do not dig a bigger one and make it their grave.

    It would be selfish for individuals to cause division, thus destroying the potential of this team. Hopefully BvM can still communicate this.

  35. Personally I believe Bert’s method/system is wrong. However as much as I criticise him I can’t berate him for believing in some of his players/system (regardless of whether I think it’s misplaced belief or not).

    However the danger with Bert is that he is “Married” to his formation that he fails to recognise during game that is not working. I.e. 70th minute is to long wait to try change the game. I can’t really recall a time when a late substitution of his has changed the flow of the game/scored an important late goal. Some managers have the knack/personal/inspirational words for players to make late effective game changing changes. I don’t feel Bert has this quality.

    I hope he does see that we need to start more positive against Germany. If he does, we CAN win, if not I fear the worst.

  36. We got this, we must play cautious and the other C word that I hate using over the years; but we all know it. I was not fully convinced by either Germany or Portugal when they played each other, but as long as we keep our heads and our cool we should be able to beat Germany. Quite a few factors to take in before this game and how it will play out, but we need to win Tuesday no exceptions.

  37. I think Bert will stick with the same squad except replacing Vlaar with Mathijsen. I would like to see De Jong on the bench with Van Der Vaart starting as you said. After 45 min and still has not scored, Hunter needs to come in at the beginning of second half, and Narsingh needs to come in before Kuyt.

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