What Oranje can expect from Czechs…

When West Ham manager David Moyes was asked about their secret, last season, he responded with: “Soucek and Coufal. They know what is needed to win, to perform top”. The former Everton coach explained how the two would even show up on rest days, to work on their skills. “They simply show the rest of the team what is needed to win.”

And attacking talent Patrick Schick said: “We are not the best team in the world but we can stop the best team in the world. We are very tough to play against. We have a lot of players who leave everything on the pitch.”

At PSV’s trainings ground, there is a saying plastered on the walls: “Working hard beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” And this is exactly the potential pitfall for the Dutch.

The Czech Republic plays a bit like West Ham United. Typical English kick and rush. Goalie Vaclik doesn’t need a lot of invitations to kick the ball long. Goal kicks are usually always kicked long.

Still, the do have well trained patterns for the build up too. This above is what happens a lot. When their opponent drops back, both controlling mids (Soucek and Holes) will drop back to assist the back three with their build up. The reason? Like Liverpool, the Czechs have their most creative player on right back: Coufal. He had the most passes, so far, he has the highest “expected assists” value and the most balls into the box. With those midfielders dropping back, Coufal gets the opportunity to push up and when the opponent doesn’t pressure enough, Coufal can bomb forward and create something for his team. Right back Coufal had seven (7!!) assists last season. They fall into two categories: crosses from the flank and passes into the space between defenders and goalie. Stopping Coufal will be a key mission for Oranje.

Otherwise, the Czechs are well drilled in their set pieces. The only goal at this Euros that didn’t come from a corner or penalty, was Schicks amazing long-range effort, definitely one of the goals of the tournament. Throw ins are important for them too. Left back Jan Boril has a pretty powerful throw in, whereas Coufal can throw a ball like an arrow. Like a pass.

Corner kicks come in different versions too. This is the version that surprised Scotland. Coufal is being found on the edge of the box and he curls the ball in. Jankto and Darida are the usual corner takers and they will look for Soucek, the tall holding mid who scored so many goals in the EPL. Schick is also a very good header of the ball.

The Czechs are happy to use their aerial strength and cross the ball in early. Coach Silhavy might get the max out of his team, but in an attacking sense, they’re definitely not that great. Only Finland, Slovakia and Russia created less opportunities. Per match, the Czechs have an average of 3 attempts on target. Oranje has double that number.

Their work rate is pretty amazing. They can press high and swift and they tend to push their opponent to one side, if possible. They are ranked high in the list of “possession turnaround on the opponent’s half”. Seven of their 28 attempts on goal are the result of this high press. Once a second ball is won by the Czechs on our half, we need to be careful.

Defensively, on their own half, it doesn’t look too good for the Czechs. The space is large, because their full backs are usually gone up field. It will pay off for Holland to not press too high but to play compact and use players like Malen and Memphis and Dumfries to use the space that will open up.

The Czech defenders clearly don’t like to play with space behind them and look uncomfortable when confronted with speed. It really points towards the use of Malen over Weghorst.

The Czechs will wait for the opponent around the centre circle, in a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. Their #10 Darida will sit next to Schick to block the central defenders from their opponent. With their two holding mids, they try to block the pass lines in the spine of the pitch.

The wingers in the team are work horses. Their role is to put pressure high onto the ball when the opponent opts to build up via the wings or wingbacks.

Look at this situation. The Czechs leave the pass to the Croation right back open and once that ball is played, Jankto will push up and press the ball. Jankto does it in such a way that the right back is forced to play back to the centre back. And Jankto can now immediately put pressure on him.

And as the right winger Masopust blocks the pass line to the left, Croatia is forced to go back and start over. The main aim for the Czechs is to slow the game down. And Croatia is forced to play the ball from left to right. The Croatian manager: “We started bad. We played slow and we were running to much with the ball and couldn’t create.” The match against Scotland, who also play 5-3-2, suggest that Stefan de Vrij might be the free man in build up on our side.

Dumfries and Van Aanholt shouldn’t be surprised if Jankto and Masopust will travel all the way back with them, resulting in a 6-3-1 system. They tend to start with zonal marking but as the game progresses and they get a good feel of their opponent’s system, they will go to man marking. The Czechs will adapt and can play the aforementioned systems and a 4-1-4-1 if need be.

There are basically three types of passes that will help us break down their compact style of football. The key is to play forward passes, instead of the defensive passes we saw earlier from Croatia.

The ideal pass is the pass behind their central defenders. Their defenders are simply slow. Striker Mick van Buren, who plays his football in the Czech Republic: “They’re vulnerable at the back. Oranje will need speed. I’m a fan of Weghorst, but I would play Memphis and Malen against these guys.”

A similar scenario, left back Shaw of England is playing the ball towards Sterling who will end up one v one with the goalie.

The second option is to play the ball between the lines. The central defenders tend to go back, due to their lack of speed, and there are always gaps in their midfield. See this example of the Italy game. Italy won 4-0. Players like Daley Blind or Frenkie de Jong should be able to find Malen or Memphis in that space.

The third option is to use the width. Locatelli finds Spinazzola on the left, which stretches the defence, and in this case Insigne becomes the free man.

As a bonus, goalie Vaclik is a very good line keeper with good reflexes but he’s weak with high crosses from the flanks. This can be a weapon for us when we take corners.

The Czechs are not a real counter team, which can cross the length of the pitch with some deadly passes. Like we can, or France. But they do haul the ball long at times, trying to create havoc. Usually, this should worry the Dutch.

My conclusion: we need to watch three things: Schick, set pieces and Coufal. Stopping the right back might be a bit of a problem for us, considering how open we were in earlier matches. Other than that, it shouldn’t be too hard not to concede against them.

Offensively, the key is the forward pass. The Czechs will lure us to spaces where we can’t be dangerous and we need to make sure not to step into that trap. When we manage this and stay out of physical duels, we should be able to break them down.

If we can score early in the match, say in the first 20 minutes and a second goal before half time, we can probably beat them convincingly.

With Malen in the team, I predict a 5-1 win for us. Malen twice, Memphis, Wijnaldum and De Ligt on the score sheet.

Watch the Dutch go for some fun at bowling…

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  1. Jan, I think your prediction is a bit off. Considering the stars alignment, the weather, the political situation in the US and all the rage against Hungary in Europe we will give Czechs hell. It may finish 7-2 or 6-1. But I hope we show mercy to the Czechs for the sake of their amazing beer and don’t score more than 4 times.
    P.S. I hope some humor is allowed today to release some tension 🙂

  2. And my quick deep analysis 🙂 from yesterday’s cracking games:
    – Denmark may end up winning the whole thing. Their journey seems similar to that unbelievable run in 92. There is something about these vikings. The spirit of their Kattegat predecessors is alive and well.
    – Italy is not as strong as in their home turf and I don’t think they will go past quarter finals. Chiesa’s goal technique reminded me of Bergkamp’s in 98 against Argentina.
    – Belgium- Portugal may end 4-3 or 4-5 with Lukaku and Ronaldo scoring 3 a piece.

  3. Jan:

    Thanks for the preview. I wish that I shared your optimism. After watching the two matches yesterday, I think we are in for a war of attrition, particularly if we cannot score early. I’m concerned as well about the gaps in our defensive system, and whether we can lock those down today. Finally, I’m still concerned about de Boer and his decision-making. I’m on board with his starting line-up at this point — same as before but with Malen remaining as a starter and de Roon returning — but I just don’t trust his tactics, particularly if the Czechs sit back and make us break them down.

    We’ve not shown great ability to slice apart defenses creatively except on the break and we’ve not been sharp enough in finishing the chances we do get. I think we have sufficient talent to get to the semis or finals in this tournament, but we’ve got to respect each opponent and have a creative plan A and plan B for how to defeat them. I hope that de Boer can provide that along with the motivation and man-management we need. Each match from here on out is a “final” and we need to prepare accordingly.

    1. JB, we have the talent but do we have the team and the spirit. Look at what the danes are doing with their mostly unknown players. Another thing is we’re basically going to be playing in Prague. Our 3 wins came in the comfort of our home. Lots of luck and nerves of steel are needed today. How do we play if we fall behind? The margin of error is razor thin.

      1. Agree Balkan. I think this is going to be a physical battle as well. We need to maintain cool heads and use the Czechs’ aggression against them, drag them out of position and then attack the space created. I think there is a good team spirit within this group so far, but this match should be our toughest test yet. Hopefully we are up to it!

  4. We also need to manage the ongoing coronavirus situation. Just saw that Perisic tested positive and is now ruled out from Croatia’s match against Spain and through the semis as well if they were to advance. We really can’t afford to lose anyone in our starting line-up at this point, so hopefully our players and managers are still taking the protocols seriously.

  5. My son is not a fan of the Puma kits this tournament. He calls them “the template” because they look like the basic uniform you start with before you add any details.
    The Czech version looks to be the most basic of all…

  6. We are not asserting control and are playing a little shaky in the opening 5 minutes.

    We need to get the ball on the ground, keep it and settle things down a little. We actually seem a little too energetic in attack and a little too passive in defense.

  7. Dumfries so close on a beautiful long ball from Blind!

    I still don’t like how we’re defending so far though. Giving the Czechs way too much time on the ball. Memphis seems to be struggling keeping possession against the Czech centerbacks…

    We need more of de Jong and Wijnaldum on the ball

    1. Blind is the master of beautiful long passes. Wijnaldum has been crap thus far with about 80% misplaced passes. It is still early though. Once he scores he will feel better.

  8. The through ball from Memphis to Malen one of our best chances so far, but we can’t get enough men in the box to finish. Memphis isn’t really an central striker, but we need him in there as a finisher and not just a creator…

  9. 20 minutes in and the Czechs have their first real chance — and a good one. Still waiting for us to assert more control and play with more purpose.

  10. De Roon really has had very little impact yet again. The Czechs are crowding all of the midfield spaces, and our passing has been a little erratic and unimaginative. I’d love for us to keep the ball on the ground and move it quicker with some one and two touch passing.

  11. Malen and van Aanholt disappointing so far as well. Any reason the Czechs should be roughly even with us possession-wise? We don’t seem to have a clue what to do when the Czechs apply even the slightest pressure to our back line. I guess we just don’t have a very possession-oriented team.

  12. The last 5-7 minutes have just been a complete shambles. Can’t string together more than 1-2 passes, no defensive intensity, no effort at retaining possession. Don’t know why de Roon and van Aanholt are even on the field. Malen’s first touch is abysmal.

  13. How can Memphis be considered a world class player if he can’t receive the ball with his back to the goal?

    We have zero rhythm and even less intensity, and our primary strategy appears to be lofting long balls into the center of a Czech back line that’s an average of 6’3″…

  14. I don’t see Malen making impact as starter, he is good as an impact sub but when starting, he cannot outrun the opponent because they are not tired yet. Weghorst is more dangerous, he might play like crap for 20 minutes but he will create chances or score goals.

    They studied us well and we do not have answer to the tactic they play. Wijnaldum, FDJ and Depay are all nullified by the tactic, the only player that is not nullified yet is Dumfries. He was able to get to the penalty box a couple of times.

  15. This game will go to penalty or Czech will get a late goal if FDB does not make change to the team at half time. This is really unconvincing so far.

  16. Horrible game by the team. Czech sitting deep and We don’t know what to do with the ball. Abysmal team performance.
    Malen is disappointing. Van Aanholt is struggliing. 😕

  17. I hope de Boer has a good halftime speech planned. The pregame speech of “Guys, let’s go out and try to complete around 75% of our passes and see what happens” hasn’t worked out so well…

  18. Malen does not impact because he is not right selection for this game. I said that before if we play with the team with very organized defense we do not need the explosive attackers like Malen, we need menaces like Weghorst who will annoy the defense and drag their attention to himself to free Memphis and Wijnaldum. We will see but Dutch need to increase speed and be more accurate with passes. De Roon absolutely must stay, he can destroy Czechs quick counters.

  19. Depay didn’t do a whole lot in the group games as well and showed signs of sloppiness and lack of skills, tons and tons of misplaced passes and slow down of our attacks. But many people give him a pass because he has Messi like status to many. Today, in my view the biggest disappointment is Wijnaldum. He has been invisible. Looks tired and at times barely drags himself across the field. He is the engine of our attack and it is choking big time. If no changes are made this game can go either way. Czechs are playing the game perfectly to their strengths. Once we get tied they will surge forward. They are very strong physically. Oh, and also Malen is spent. The commentator said that he has only played 1 half in most games for PSV this season.

  20. Wijnaldum has 4 accurate passes out of 8. De Jong has 29 out of 33. De Roon is 22 out of 31. Other than de Jong, that is entirely unacceptable.

  21. When you are the favorite, you have to be relentless. Any time you allow the other team to have the ball, any fouls committed, any unnecessary restarts all kill momentum, slow down the match and allow the opponent to rest. Not to overstate the obvious, but the longer they stay in the game, the more chance they have.

    1. Every disadvantage has its advantage 🙂

      Promes on for Malen

      We can’t retreat into a defensive shell. We need to continue to attack, even if it is just on the counter!

  22. And this folks is why we have never won a World Cup. That 60 seconds from Malen choking on the breakaway and DeLigt being stupid is a microcosm of our fragile intellect.

  23. Typical example of why we have never won a World Cup, and we are such underachievers. In less than 60 seconds we blow a beautiful chance on a breakaway and a one on one, and then commit a stupid foul and go to 10 men.
    We are such a fragile team.

  24. The pressure is on the Czechs now to control the game and score. They should not be as comfortable in possession and perhaps we can steal a goal. De Boer needs to analyze his remaining subs and see what is available to make adjustments for a 10-man formation. With more subs available than normal, we can survive longer

  25. This is following the 1976 Euro Semi’s. Czech team frustrated us, we melted down, Van Hanagem and Neeskens get a red, and we lose 3-1 in extra time.

  26. Watch us get petulant and start playing ugly and really implode.
    Typical Dutch weakness. This is where we need some of that German discipline and hardness.

    1. That’s the frustrating thing. We knew how the Czechs would play. We knew how this match could go. We’re familiar with Dutch footballing history. None of these things should be surprising to any Oranje fan, let alone our own coach and players. Nothing unexpected has occurred, and yet we seem woefully unprepared for the obvious.

  27. Winaldum, the rainbow hero, today is not even 1/10th of his own self and had his team in disarray. I sensed this and that’s why is hated it.
    By the way where is our coach? Do we have one? No changes? Promes is all we got?

  28. Wouldn’t we be better with Blind taking free kicks (vs Memphis)?

    Unless we turn this around, this collapse is likely to be the legacy of Wijnaldum, Memphis and Malen for Oranje…

    Weghorst for de Roon

  29. Its very hot and humid… And wijnaldum can walk off the feild with a rainbow.. I think fdb should give chance to koopmeiners and gakpo… Let them play… Firing fdb is must.. When we face a good team under fdb.. We su%#&#k… We even failed to crap Turkey..

  30. Honestly, this has been an EPIC collapse. I’m not even sure that EPIC is a strong enough word. Wijnaldum has not been a 10, and 8 or a 6 today. He’s been a zero. He literally let himself easily dispossessed for the second Czech goal. He has completed 7 passes today… (even de Ligt, who hasn’t played in 30 minutes, has 19 completed passes)

    And to be further honest, we’re playing two men down with Memphis’ lack of effort.

  31. The game is over. It was over by DeBoer’s tactics and the Russian referee.

    DeRoon should have been replaced by lKlassen at halftime. Depay should have come out for Promes not Malen.

    The Dutch FA should file a complaint against this referee

  32. Is it bad that I want the Czechs to score again so that the humiliation is so complete that there is no possible way that even the most idealistic morons can deny how bad this train wreck of a team is?

  33. Always the first team to get knocked out. And now all the stupid pundits on ESPN will show off and say “I told you so”. Really embarrassing!

  34. Do you think KNVB will make any drastic changes after the Euro exit? I do not think so. We will continue with this team and FDB. Only if we miss WC then FDB will be sacked and Dani Blind will be appointed as a new head coach

  35. De Boer out, shame performance from De Ligt, Wijnaldum, Depay, AVP. KNVB should also be out. Why is Promes the first getting subbed on? He should not be even selected.

  36. Promes has been a waste of a sub. No contribution whatsoever.

    Stekelenberg 48 touches
    De Ligt 32 touches (55 min)
    De Vrij 57 touches
    Blind 71 touches (81 min)
    Van Aanholt 59 touches (81 min)
    Dumfries 44 touches
    De Roon 43 touches (73 min)
    De Jong 67 touches
    Wijnaldum 26 touches
    Malen 23 touches (57 min)
    Memphis 58 touches

    200 lb and 37 year old Wesley Sneijder would have been an improvement as a playmaker today!

    At least the Danes will have a clear path to the final!

  37. This is 100% all our fault. The red did not steal it. The Czechs did not steal it. We absolutely imploded and reached back into the time proven Dutch weakness and arrogance.
    We almost seem to act surprised and irritated when a team out hustles and is more hungry. This blueprint is known and an entire book (Brilliant Orange; the neurotic genius of Dutch football) has been written about our tragic and stupid mentality.
    We are the Boston Red Sox (pre-2004) of soccer.

  38. First time i dont have a lost feeling.. I knew this team is not capable… This coach is a looser, naive… I blame coach more.. Depay and wijnaldum were not performaning.. They should have been subbed.. It takes ball.. Fdb doesn’t have it… Sad to see RVN on bench… His painful eyes same he suffered at 2006wc..

  39. Easy games against Austria and Ukraine but we need to change things to make it more interesting. Because the combo Malen-Depay work so well against the great North Macedonia? Right? 30 minutes in the game, we play like 10 corners, that’s the game plan? Then why is Malen starting?

    Dumb decision by De Ligt, and this ref is also bought. First sub: Quincy Promes who cannot even run? Right, because he works well with the group? The moment thing is going well, this coach start going back to those decisions before Euro? Why is Promes even being selected?

  40. One last parting shot, I can’t resist. I knew this rainbow sh!!t would be a curse. Take that band and shove it up your @.ss Gini you arrogant j..erk. The worst player in the field. I also want to call on all those who kept saying this is Depay’s team. Depay was CRAP in the group games and we kept analyzing how we should use best players to make him happy. There you go. NO SHOTS on target. In hindsight this was maybe our worst game in recent memory.
    Take care fellas.

  41. Czech add more winning score against Netherlands, but Netherlands always think their quality is below us.
    Now it’s them against Denmark in final 8, not Netherlands… Sad, have to wait to WC if qualified, after waiting 7 years.

  42. Dutch never win a game from euro 2000 in knock out stage. Last time we win was against yoguslavia in 2000.
    2004 2008 2012 2016 and 2020 and u don’t win 1 game in knock out stage. U think de boer blame for it?? No u r not a good team any more.
    Just don’t go to world Cup. Teams like Japan iran morroco and … Will trash dutch.

  43. The ref is not bought…it was a clear red card. It is De Ligt who was stupid and should have let him go. It changed the game, period. For me, this game truly showed the weaknesses of De Roon who did absolutely nothing. He was not the only one, granted, but what a waste of space he is. He contributes absolutely nothing. Where is the “panache”? Better to lose with Timber and Grevenberch than with stupid De Roon.

  44. @Faraz,
    We reached Euro 2006 semifinals, 2010 WC final and 2014 semifinal. What do you mean we did not win any knock out stage game since Euro 2000?

    1. @az-forever.
      We didn’t win a game in “euro” in 90 mins in knock out stage since 2000.
      2004 we just win in penalties and then we were out.
      2008 loss to Russia
      2012 out
      2016 not participate.
      I talk about euro not worldcup. Surely

  45. Shameful performance by:
    1/ De Ligt: bad decision
    2/ AVP: how many times his side is exposed in this game?
    3/ Wijnaldum: invisible captain?
    4/ Depay: master of losing possession?
    5/ De Roon: another invisible player?
    6/ FDB: at half time, this site know that Malen and AVP is not working, what did he do? Nothing. When De Ligt got red card? What did he do? Sub in Quincy Promes. For what? We have 10 people, let make more interesting by having 9 people instead by subbing Promes in? You either sub in another defender to defend or keep Malen in the game as he will be more dangerous when opponent got tired. But overall, this is just dumb decision to start Malen over Weghorst. Who in our team score 20+ goals in top 5 league? There is only one, that is the sad story. Many years ago, we have Kluiver, Makaay, Hasselbaink and RVN. Now he has one, Weghorst but let bench him.

  46. @az-forever.
    We didn’t win a game in “euro” in 90 mins in knock out stage since 2000.
    2004 we just win in penalties and then we were out.
    2008 loss to Russia
    2012 out
    2016 not participate.
    I talk about euro not worldcup.

  47. My overall assessment — This was a tactical masterclass by the Czechs. They played exactly as we expected, and for some reason, we had no answer. Zero. I’d like to say that we were too arrogant or too apathetic, or that we were looking past the Czechs, but in reality, we just had no clue what we were doing or how to attack. For me, Frank de Boer is not a good coach. He is fine when he has an entire team of Ajax-bred youth players to implement the Ajax system against Eredivisie teams, but outside of that setting, he has never demonstrated even baseline competence.

    But the players are equally at fault. De Ligt is young and talented but COMPLETELY unreliable. He falls easily and constantly puts us in incredibly dangerous positions (wasn’t it Bulgaria that started all this nonsense?). The red card today was not at all controversial. It was a deliberate hand ball to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity. De Vrij was fine. He is solid and when partnered with Virgil is a good starter. Van Aanholt is over his head at the international level. Blind is a great player with excellent skill and is very intelligent, but athletically he is limited and can’t be a starter going forward.

    De Jong is excellent and his mentality and creativity is his strength, but he lost focus and went foul-hunting throughout the match. He needs to mature but should be the player this national team is built around for the next 10 years. The midfield should be structured around his strengths because he is one of the few world class players we currently have. De Roon was a weak link and brought very little to the table. Wijnaldum by far was the most disappointing though. So much experience and quality, but no on-field leadership and such a conspicuous non-factor in our most important match, and from the captain no less. Maybe this is too harsh, but after today’s match, I don’t see a need for his involvement going forward. He contributed nothing in attack or defense and was often just walking and watching.

    The front line is and has been our weakness. The fact that Ryan Babel has been a recent contributor says it all. Weghorst, Promes, etc. are not Dutch international quality. Memphis should be but he’s so tempermental and erratic that he’s become unreliable as well. Malen has potential, but WHAT A MISS! The sequence that sent us from qualifying for the quarterfinals to out of the tournament fell entirely on his inability to beat the keeper when sent in 1v1. In my mind, we need a wholesale change up front, and I would love a return to the 4-3-3 where we have a true striker and some actual wingers. Memphis and Malen are neither.

    I really thought this unorthodox formation and collection of players might do the trick this time around, but this early exit likely saved us the embarassment of a semi-final or finals dismantling by one of the top teams.

    De Boer should resign and Ten Hag should be the new NT coach. Wilson, I’d love to hear yours and others thoughts about the next generation of players, particularly on the front line, and who might be ready to contribute in 2022. I need some encouragement right now…

    1. I would not say we were overly optimistic about this team. Ever since the end of the 2014 WC and Van Gaal leaving as coach, there has been non-stop hand wringing and doubts about Oranje. It has been a case of “are we good, or are we mediocre?” One match we look good, and the next we look like a Scotland or Ireland quality team.
      Today we saw how far we have really fallen. And I’ll tell what dawned on me about halfway through the second half. Something I noticed in Group Play, but I finally was able to crystallize it. We are no longer a technically gifted team anymore. From the mid-1960’s up to roughly the 2010 team, we had the Dutch Football DNA of vision and the ability to implement it with superior technique. Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV teams had players who masters of ball control. A pass was usually pin point, and the receiving first touch was sublime. Whatever has happened to the Dutch youth academies I cannot say, but obviously they have lost the plot and these lads cannot control the ball like their predecessors did. And if you cannot control the ball, then you cannot play attacking football.
      Bottom line is until we fix the fundamentals of ball control and passing, playing with the “Totaal Voetbal” approach is meaningless.

  48. I also think we need a foreign coach who is free of Dutch mentality and biasness; who would be able to build a TEAM but not a selection around one player. But I think FDB will continue. We also need a new KNVB lead. A lot of work ahead.

  49. There is serious problem with FDB coaching..People might think De ligt cost us…yes technically but he was the last man and lost and tried with hand,,If i was in his position i might do the same,kind of relfection…
    Nijel de Jong wasx furious over our players like Gini…WHERE IS THE CHARACTER IN THIS TEAM…MOST ARE SNOW FLAKES AND COWARDS…i can forgive De ligt but we should have scored on before 45 minute…
    We played bad under FDb,we will BE BAD IN COMING MATCHES……He has missed some quality players such as Botman,Jetro williams,Sinkgraven,karsdorp,Bazoer,Danjuma ….and formost coaching is too bad.. i think Jan had explained this in earlier posts…

  50. Shameful performance from Wijnaldum and Depay!! Amateur and stupid mistake from De Ligt which cost the team the game. Seriously how does this team always manage to f*ck things up???

    Jan were we right from the beginning saying Frank is not the man for the job?

    I expect nothing else but De Boers resignation.

  51. Tenhaag will not take the Job…louis Van gaal,Cocu,Advocate ,Henk ten gate if koeman comes back he ….FDB is not the man..i would love to see LVG..what a coach..

  52. Ihatteren for wijnaldum. Gravenberch for de roon. Timber for de ligt. Where were gapco. Stupid coach. U have gapco then u u use promes. Noway u miss iahatteren when u have nothing. Really shit. If u miss ihatteren I never back here to see what happened to dutch.

  53. He is not available but I would like to see Jose Maurino as our coach. He will swiftly get that “Dutch mentality” out of their brain.

  54. De ligt. De ligt Dr ligt.

    What the hell he done before??? Against England. His mistake cost us a penalty. Against Portugal his mistake cost us a cup. Against Turkey against Germany another penalty.
    Why u don’t forget that monkey man

  55. Historically, the Golden generations have always failed. I am wondering whether Belgium will be able to prove the fact wrong. I personally do not Belgium to win anything. Perhaps, I am very jealous.

    1. Or maybe the flemish and the dutch can all notice theyre basically the same people, with minor differences and unite the country back to a greater Netherlands. Would be nice to have De Bruyne on the team , no ?

  56. Sure, De Ligt made a stupid mistake which, on paper, costs us the game.

    But if it hadn’t been that, it would have been something similar.

    We never played in this game with the intensity of the f…ng Austrians yesterday. They wanted to win and fought and fought and fought for every ball “comme des affamés” (pardon my french).

    Why, why, why, can’t we play like that????

  57. @ AZ forever.

    I like the idea of JM as coach but I think he will favour more towards going homeland given the their current generation talents who are thriving in big leagues.
    Perhaps after the WC next summer he will get approached by the PFA

  58. The closest I’ve seen a team play stylistically to how I’d like to see Oranje play is Ajax during their Champions League run in 2018-19, which is why I think Ten Hag would be the man for the job. They had just the right mix of possession, pressing, quick interchanges, intensity, movement off the ball, etc. And that was accomplished with much of the same spine as we have available to us — de Ligt, de Jong, van de Beek, etc.

    I do think a new generation of talent is needed to supplement what we have though — Jayden Braaf, Kenneth Taylor, Sontje Hansen, Devyne Rensch, Ki-Jana Hoever, Brian Brobbey, Mohamed Ihattaren, Gravenberch, etc. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on those and others as we think ahead to 2022…

  59. There was no fighting spirit. Unfortunately the quality in the team is often wasted by the lack of winning mentality. This has been the problem many times.

    Also football is a game of coincidence and chance. Don’t take it seriously. If Malen didn’t miss it would have been a different story.

  60. What would have been the outcome If not for million different detail executed differently.
    – What would have been had Blind been subbed after we went a man down and switched to 4 at the back?
    – What would have been had De Roon not been used at all in this tournament?
    – What would have been had FDB not stuck to his 532 so religiously..
    – What would have been had FDB showed just a bit more acumen as a manager?
    – What would have been had Memphis not played like he doesn’t care? Ah yes he already signed for Barca.
    – What would have been had Wijnaldum actually had any lungs to play this game? Cuz he looked rekt from before the end of the first half. Ah wait, right, yes I remember, FDB the genius played him the whole game again NM.
    – What would have been had we had a good left wingback like Dumfries ? or a good Defensive Midfielder like MVB for example
    – What would have been had the Dutch stopped making the same fundamental mistakes again and again after every tournament that no one seems to learn from. (Watch Cocu be appointed next, lol )

  61. Qualifying for WC is a must. And it is not going to be a breeze, we’ve already lost points. This team can grow and it only needs a few changes IMO:

    Van Aanholt
    De Roon

    And a new coach of course.

    1. Well …
      We had Cillesen. Somehow FDB felt grandpa Steks was better.
      The LWB is an issue. Wijndal needs to step up, or St Juste, or Malacia… All kids really.
      Next year hopefully, we should have Van de Beek and Propper back in new teams and in full form to add more options to this midfield. Koopmeiners will also further his development.
      More importantly, we will have Van DIjk back.
      There’s cause for optimism, but we need a better manager; seriously. That FDB experiment was a nightmare.

  62. Belgium scored one.. Wants to see portugal out…..
    We were playing not good from firat game… Czec was better than groups stage opponents.. De ligt hand ball was total reault of clueless 532 system and clueless midfeild… sack FDB.. Dont tell gini, depay etc that there place in team isnot assured…

      1. No he will do well with a group of players more talented than him.
        He’s intriguing as a person. I find him very determined to prove others wrong. But he doesn’t have motivation or will otherwise. Like tonight. zero will to lead by example. I can imagine he is already celebrating in his head the move to Barca, dreaming. story from rags to riches, lol.

  63. I don’t mind the red card. He did a mistake. It happens. Had he not touched the ball, it could have been a goal. one never knows.
    What bothers me way more that the red card that changed the game, is the catastrophe that happened later.
    No will. no fighting spirit, and a manager so inept, there’s no plan B. It’s either plan A or collapse. I
    m not sure what Promes came on to do in this game. Im not sure how he felt keeping Blind so exposed in that backline after the red card was a good idea. Im not sure how he felt Steks was a no1 goalkeeper to begin with, and that Cillessen could stay home. I understand everything is much clearer in hindsight. But this manager really lacks imagination, or quick thinking.
    Whats more inept is the decision making that will come from KNVB in the next weeks. That will be the paramount of ineptitude.

  64. I replied to Wilson, but this thought needs it’s own space. I will paraphrase what I wrote to Wilson.
    “I would not say we were overly optimistic about this team. Ever since the end of the 2014 WC and Van Gaal leaving as coach, there has been non-stop hand wringing and doubts about Oranje. It has been a case of “are we good, or are we mediocre?” One match we look good, and the next we look like a Scotland or Ireland quality team.
    Today we saw how far we have really fallen. And I’ll tell what dawned on me about halfway through the second half. Something I noticed in Group Play, but I finally was able to crystallize it. We are no longer a technically gifted team anymore. From the mid-1960’s up to roughly the 2010 team, we had the Dutch Football DNA of vision and the ability to implement it with superior technique. Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV teams had players who masters of ball control. A pass was usually pin point, and the receiving first touch was sublime. Whatever has happened to the Dutch youth academies I cannot say, but obviously they have lost the plot and these lads cannot control the ball like their predecessors did. And if you cannot control the ball, then you cannot play attacking football.
    Bottom line is until we fix the fundamentals of ball control and passing, playing with the “Totaal Voetbal” approach is meaningless.”

  65. I think ball control is not the issue. Until this match Oranje had one of the best passing rates in the tournament. Today it was 72% – that’s awful. It was a bad game that’s it.

    I would focus on fighting spirit, Will and resilience. That’s what’s wrong with Dutch football. Just look at the Italians – they manage to do so much more with less quality than we have.

    1. The we must have been watching different matches. Name one match this entire tournament, but specifically this one, where the passing into the box was crisp, consistent, and the first touch after was worthy of the 1974-2010 squads. And I cannot remember seeing an Oranje squad get so easily dispossessed of the ball in the midfield with crap passing and ball handling.
      The teams of old for the Netherlands were the teams that would swarm and dispossess and then complete pin point passes perfectly where the running player was going to.
      Not once did I see that dominant technical control maintain.

  66. Whether it comes down to individual skill / ball control or just speed of thought, creativity and movement, we have to be better in maintaining possession and producing chances, and a key to that is passing accuracy. Portugal looks way more comfortable and creative on the ball trying to break down Belgium than we did against the Czech Republic.

    Modern midfielders should have a pass completion percentage of no less than 80%. I don’t think Wijnaldum or de Roon approached that level. In fact, here are the pass completion numbers:

    De Jong 84%
    De Roon 74%
    Wijnaldum 67%


    Stekelenberg 32% (31 of 37 were long balls)
    De Vrij 72%
    De Ligt 79%
    Blind 77% (1 for 8 on long balls)
    Dumfries 68%
    Van Aanholt 77%
    Memphis 78%
    Malen 75%

  67. I think we can all agree Dumfries was our best player through the tournament. Shame he couldn’t get one or two more games to show off this form.

    I would argue he was our best forward, midfielder and defender.

  68. I don’t normally place much emphasis on stats, but these are pretty telling:

    Completed passes in attacking half / own half / total:

    De Roon 14 / 14 / 28
    Wijnaldum 7 / 3 / 10
    De Jong 24 / 22 / 46

    Defenders / Goalkeeper:
    Dumfries 10 / 3 / 13
    Van Aanholt 14 / 13 / 27
    De Vrij 15 / 16 / 31
    De Ligt 3 / 16 / 19
    Blind 24 / 25 / 49
    Stekelenberg 4 / 8 / 12

    Memphis 21 / 7 / 28
    Malen 7 / 2 / 9

  69. Belgia just win against Portugal, maybe Netherlands should face Portugal (3F) then Czech (3D).
    Against stronger team, we usually play better.

  70. Again up till this match, Holland had one of the best passing rates. Wijnaldum passing rate was fantastic during first three matches. You can’t just look at one match. It was just a bad and unlucky match. And unfortunately it was a knock out.

    Portugal played much better than us and are out as well. Football is not a science!

    1. Alistair: I respectfully disagree. Today was the game that mattered most! Wijnaldum completed 10 passes in the match. Stekelenberg completed 8. One is supposed to be the engine and playmaker for the team. The other hit a bunch of long goal kicks and is an occasional defensive outlet. In comparison, the fewest completed passes by a Portuguese midfielder was 27. Renato Sanches, who plays a similar role to Wijnaldum for Portugal, completed 62. And that’s for Portugal (!), a traditional counterattacking, defensive oriented team. Renato Sanches played with energy, made himself available and combined with teammates. Wijnaldum did not. It’s one thing to finish slick team moves against North Macedonia, a team that had already been eliminated. It’s another to run the team in a knockout round match. Wijnaldum was a non-factor in the most important match of the tournament for us. He was certainly not the only reason we struggled, but I’ve come to expect much more from him and was obviously mistaken.

  71. For comparative purposes, here are the same stats for Portugal in their 1-0 loss vs Belgium:

    Renato Sanches 38 / 24 / 62 (93%)
    Palhinha 16 / 16 / 32 (95%)
    Joan Moutinho 16 / 11 / 27 (87%)

    Guerrero 42 / 27 / 69 (92%)
    Dalot 33 / 22 / 55 (90%)
    Ruben Dias 18 / 46 / 64 (89%)
    Pepe 21 / 43 / 64 (88%)

    Jota 22 / 8 / 30 (94%)
    Bernardo Silva 15 / 0 / 15 (55 min 75%)
    Ronaldo 26 / 5 / 31 (89%)

  72. Great game from both Belgium & Portugal, both deserved to win, but at the end Belgian is the one whom scored the goal and reached the quarterfinals.

    Portugal continue attacked in waves. Belgian players get much pressure on their defense. But these Belgian holds the line very well.

    At the end Belgium is a worthy winner.

  73. Cold shower thought of the night:

    Come to think I was late leaving the office earlier this evening, and had to do a bit of speeding to try to reach the place where I was watching the game in time. Unfortunately I got myself flashed by a speeding camera in the process, and as that happened, I said to myself, it’s ok, it will be worth it at the end.
    Little did I know what was in store for me tonight…

  74. @Ramy,
    We all love Oranje but it is so unreliable that I would not risk my life by speeding recklessly because of them. It is not worth it.

  75. In short, this is nothing new, what been discussed, stats, percentage. Its a on going trend and its all happened and we have seen it before. I have said about it many times for Wijnaldum,Blind,berghuis,Promes you just have to take on board, what you eat, is whats gonna come out. I will explain this in detail later.

  76. In short, this is nothing new, I mean what been discussed stats, percentage. Its a on going trend and it all happened before. I have said about it many times for Wijnaldum,Blind,berghuis,Promes you just have to take on board, what you eat, is whats gonna come out. I will explain this in detail later.

  77. Sorry, not done venting yet. We never appeared in control of this match whatsoever. That starts with the coach and his tactical approach. We never played as if we were the better team, never looked to dominate play, and just let our opponent dictate style and tempo. Once again, unacceptable!

    Frankly, I’d never heard of any players in the Czech starting line-up before this tournament began. Here they are with their current clubs and transfermarkt values:

    Tomas Vaclik Goalkeeper Sevilla $4.4 million
    Pavel Kaderabek Left Back Hoffenheim $8.8 million
    Tomas Kalas Center Back Bristol City $4.95 million
    Ondrej Celustka Center Back Sparta Prague $770,000
    Vladimir Coufal Right Back West Ham $13.2 million
    Tomas Soucek Def Mid West Ham $44 million
    Tomas Holes Def Mid Slavia Prague $4.4 million
    Antonin Barak Att Mid Hellas Verona $15.4 million
    Petr Sevcik Left Mid Slavia Prague $3.85 million
    Lukas Masopust Right Mid Slavia Prague $3.85 million
    Patrik Schick Striker Bayer Leverkusen $25.3 million

    So yes, they obviously benefit from three Slavia Prague players in their starting IX. I can understand why de Boer had no answer for that.

  78. The arrogance of Dutch football is too much starting from the coach. Why do you tinker your team in the middle of the tournament? With Weghorst, he play upfront, target man leave more space for FDJ, Depay and Wijnaldum dribbling. With Malen, it is a different system, it might work but why do you think you could make it work in a week before playoff game?

    Then there is the talk about the easy road to semi final, the one love arm band. Where is the talk about opponent? What did we prepare for? Lot of heavy legs in today’s game. Why did they play the 3rd match game and cannot run in this game? Depay, Wijnaldum, PVA, De Roon, De Ligt and Steks are all under perform, yet zero sub at half time. Then we go down to 10 man and FDB sub in Promes because he think Promes, the guy who did not even survive Ajax’s bench, will win game? We totally deserve this because of our disrespect to the opponent.

    There is still another layer of arrogance though. How/Who/Why appointed FDB as the coach? It is like “oh yeah he failed every where but it might be just fine this time hahaha, Euro and WC are all weak teams”

  79. The fact that everyone on here including Jan are ok with the hateful comments from a some about the rainbow flag means that I think this website is not the place for me anymore unfortunately.

    I have enjoyed talking football with many of you and I hope that we can see this team come through in our lifetime. I’m calling to now: Canada vs Netherlands World Cup 2026 final 😉


    1. Dwherwey: I would hate to see you go! I think you’ve provided lots of thoughtful commentary and insights in at least the posts of yours that I’ve read. I’m not a regular contributor myself, but I do try to show up for the major tournaments. I think this website has been a great gathering site for Dutch fans from all walks of life and has definitely taught me lots of things about football and other areas of life. I think that we often learn though our facing challenges and competing viewpoints rather than avoiding them. Sometimes it strengthens our own convictions. And sometimes we begin to understand others’ perspectives better as well. And just for the record, my criticism of Wijnaldum today was really directed at him only based on his performance on the field, and nothing else.

    2. Whoa brother, how I am ok with hateful comments about the rainbow flag?? I think you are overreacting :-). For starters, Im in Australia and only now see the comments. How am I ok with it? I don’t moderate this blog in real time and live all time.

      Secondly, the criticism is not on the rainbow flag, but on players and media focusing on anything other than football. It could well have been Babel’s hairdo or Memphis tattoos.

  80. Compare to the other big teams, France, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, England, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Netherlands got the easy road to the final.

    And Netherlands just blew it in 1st chance of opportunity.
    Opportunity that may never came again.

    No Portugal, No German, No Spain, No France this time… at least until the Semifinal (England or Germany)

    … and yet they still have found a way to make it miserable. It worst than 2008 when we loss in Round 16, but still managed to beat France & Italy.

    Why did they keep breaking our hearts

  81. Actually the first half display was so poor and limp that I decided to not watch for the second..just too painful to watch. A friend even commented that it was like a inter-school match, which I don’t disagree actually, such was a very poor game between the two, I shuddered to think if the opponent was one of Germany, Portugal, England or even Denmark. The team would have been humiliated. I saw how England dominated the game against Czech.
    Dutch football continues to be downward spiral.

    Also read the stats. below. shocking. 😱
    Georginio Wijnaldum 3.5/10: Hard to think of a worse performance by Wijnaldum in an Oranje shirt. Did not get involved at all and a shocking stat that he only completed 10 passes in 96 minutes.

  82. I would love to have Ten Hag taking over the NT. That will restore the image of Dutch football. Ajax plays nice football.
    the “icing on the cake” with this debacle is FDB will continue as the coach thru the WC qualifiers. Or Dick Advocaat or Cocu or Danny Blind takes over. That would make for a real circus.

  83. @Marvellin,

    Sorry man for your pain. I know how it feels and feel how your is bleeding. When I was younger every loss of Oranje was like a knife cut through my heart and it was aching for many many days. For the past 10-15 years I started taking it easier. I always say that this is just a tournament where my Oranje was not good enough, our time will come some day. It has been 43 years since I have been waiting for that day when our boys in Orange will lift a World Cup. I do not know whether it is going to happen in my life span but someday it will. So, take it easy and believe in your team.

    1. Thank @AZ-forever. This time is not so painful as in 2010 or 2014. I started not too convince this time, but after 3 matches, I start to believe… at least we can go to SF, especially the Netherlands facing Czech in Round 16 and Denmark after that.

      Anyway, the history is repeating again.

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