The whole nation will be keen to respond to anything that happens around Oranje but at the end of the day people will always be waiting for what the two Oracles have to say… Johan Cruyff and Willem van Hanegem.
Today, both wrote their columns. Have a read… Willem first.
“I have seen the best pass of the whole tournament already. That Sneijder pass on Huntelaar! A shame that Klaas Jan couldn’t finish that one. Everything would have been different now. Unfortunately, I hear a lot of people complaining now.
And I thought we’d win the first one too, to be honest, but let’s not act as if those Danes are a bunch of nitwits. Well, maybe Bendtner is one, but other than that, they played decent football and created opportunities. It wasn’t necessary to lose against them but it’s not a disgrace.
But why did we lose? Let me start positively by the way. Jetro Willems. I was very happy with his game. This is a true asset to the team. Started in his first minutes with a nice shot on goal and a wide pass to Robben. Wonderful. Sneijder was the biggest disappointment to me. Although he played well, I do expect even more from him. Sneijder is so gifted, I would want him to step up more. But, he is improving and in the second half I could see him do many good things. When Huntelaar came and Van Persie dropped a bit, Sneijder was pushed to the left and he seemed to play a bit more freely.
Some people seem to think Robben doesn’t play well? I didn’t see that. All those talking heads on tv, but I think he created a lot. And whenever Robben is in good form, he doesn’t need a lot of support but in this game he did, and he didn’t get a lot. It’s sad to see how his team mates let him drown.
Van der Wiel overlapped him actually only once! And sometimes it was Van Persie who seeked him out. Van Bommel, the right midfielder, should support Robben much more, but the skipper was too busy with his own game. Van Bommel needs to support him, make himself available, play off him. I didn’t get Bert’s subs, by the way? Why did Afellay have to go? And Nigel de Jong’s sub was a mystery to me. He played good. I would have subbed Mark van Bommel. He was struggling and had copped a yellow already.
I think it would have been more logical to replace Van Persie with Hunter and bring Huntelaar. Maybe Narsingh on the flank for Van Bommel and Afellay drops back to midfield. So Robben can play on the left.
Willem as assistant coach in 2004
And now, Bert is a bit in trouble. Because changing your system after one disappointing game is not a good thing. I think he needs to play Van Persie, otherwise you can best send him home. And blame him on the loss. Which would be ridiculous of course. I think Bert should have started against the Danes with one holding midfielder. Bring Huntelaar up front and let Van Persie play off him from midfield.
I think we would have won then. And then you can play against the Germans with two holding midfielders and let Hunter start off the bench. That was logical. Now I would replace Van der Wiel with Boula and play Mathijsen for Vlaar. Who, by the way, didn’t do too shabby.
It’s good that Willem kept his dayjob…
The last thing I want to say: what was Van Persie doing with that phone on his ear right after the match? What kind of impression does that leave to his team mates and the fans? You just lost a big game and you missed a number of huge chances and you take a phone to chit chat about something?? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t think Van Marwijk should accept that. I don’t care who he had on the phone and why. It’s not done. And I’ve never seen anyone do this. Not Balotelli, not C Ronaldo, not Messi, not Cruyff.”
Speaking of which…. What did Cruyff say?
“Ok, so we lost. It is how it is. But now we need to support the team. This is when the team needs it most. But we also need to learn from the mistakes. We missed a lot of chances. That is never a problem for me. The fact that you create them is key. In the next match, some of them will go in, I’m not too worried about that. But I do think our game play needs further analysis.
One of the causes of our disappointing result is the build up. Our defensive midfielders De Jong and Van Bommel had too much of the ball. That is not their strength. We have other players in the team for that.
And against Denmark, it was clear we didn’t need two defensive mids. Our problem was not in defense. I even thought it was cool to see how debutant Willems had the best kick of our six defensive players. He was seriously the best build up player we had. His direct opponent was the first to be subbed, which says something too.
I enjoyed watching that lad. He’s strong, technically skilled, quick and mentally strong too! He has solved our left back problem, as far as I’m concerned.
It’s a good thing that JC kept his dayjob…
But the way we position ourselves as a team is still a concern. This needs to be improved. At certain times, we played with two blocks: three forwards, six defenders and poor Sneijder. He had to drop to pick up the ball and try and find the forwards. He must have ran too many yards like this. Very tough and ungrateful work. The forwards don’t get the best out of Wesley and he is being physically eroded.
But, to remain positive: we had 5 or 6 really good opportunities. That is good. We normally have players that can finish. And in the coming games, we will. We now have a couple of days to fix things. And to realise that those mistakes can no longer be made.”