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Old 14-10-2011, 15:42   #281
Sonny.Bill.Williams
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Strength in numbers

It's even more remarkable, in the ten games played, there's been five different midfield combinations deployed in part due to injuries throughout the campaign (in brackets for and against): Van Bommel, Nigel de Jong, Sneijder (7-1); Van Bommel, Van der Vaart, Sneijder (5-1); Nigel de Jong, Van der Vaart, Sneijder (9-3); Van Bommel, Strootman, Sneijder (13-0) and Van Bommel, Strootman, Van der Vaart (3-3). The penultimate trio helped in part by the 11-0 demolition of San Marino. The one prior, consisting of ex-Ajax teammates, combined for the team goal of the campaign in Budapest.

The first triumvirate which used throughout the World Cup and in the first two qualifiers (San Marino, away and Finland, home), basic shape: two defensive midfielders and a number 10, has since been been dropped in favour of a deep-lying creator alongside a defensive midfielder with a trequartista in front. This has brought great verve, creativity and control to a Dutch midfield that has shaped into formidable unit with the tools to best if not equal the finest in Europe.

Last summer the front three were: Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben. Due to the persistent injury of the Bayern Munich winger, Van Marwijk like he has done with the midfield has had to adjust, with five different combinations played. And like in the centre of the pitch with minimal disruption. The different attacks (in brackets for and against): Kuyt, Huntelaar, Elia (5-0); Van der Vaart, Huntelaar, Afellay (2-1); Kuyt, Huntelaar, Afellay (4-1); Kuyt, Van Persie, Afellay (9-3); Kuyt, Huntelaar, Van Persie (16-3). The latter being utilised the most in four games.

Holland ended the qualification phase with 37 goals Klaas-Jan Huntelaar responsible for twelve. The former Ajax man is riding a crest of wave with the national team, often not guaranteed a starting role, no one can deny when the opportunity has presented itself he's taken it with both hands. 14 goals in his last 12 internationals since the World Cup has earned him the right to wear the number '9' shirt. He's also 11 goals away from breaking the national record, currently owned by Patrick Kluivert (40 goals in 79 games), Huntelaar has 30 from 48 appearances.

The formation of choice is 4-2-3-1, a number nine supported by two inverted wingers and a trequartista, an interesting feature is the playmaking capacity of the wide men: both often drifting in when doing so their position taken up by the full-backs. The consistent high level performance despite an ever changing midfield and attack has – to an extent – shows strength in depth. In the words of Van Marwijk a "luxury problem" to have once everyone is fit and available for selection.

A generation looking for fulfillment

Wesley Sneijder, another standout performer in Budapest, afterwards was put in the same esteem company as Xavi and Andrés Iniesta by former manager Marco van Basten. The Internazionale playmaker has created 28 goalscoring opportunities for his teammates during the campaign and has been a player reborn.

Playing with freedom as a trequartista he's often dropped deep to dictate the play – with his short and long passing – rotating with the regista. This was notable against Hungary as his and Van der Vaart’s constant switching and movement (on and off the ball) hurt the opposition just as well as their rapid circulation of the ball.

Age hasn’t been a talking point, though it's the elephant in the room, Sneijder will be 27 when Euro 2012 kicks-off. It will be his fifth international tournament with L'Oranje. Three more than Johan Cruyff and two more than Marco van Basten. In the last two years he’s turned touted early promise into reality. The fulcrum of the side, one of the premier players in world football, much will rest on him but the burden lessens with the calibre of players around him, much of the squad is roughly the same age with equal wealth of experience.

Arjen Robben will be 28; Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar the same age; Rafael van der Vaart, approaching 100 caps, 29 the same as Maarten Stekelenburg. Mark van Bommel the captain 35, Joris Mathijsen 32, Dirk Kuyt 31. Nigel de Jong and Johnny Heitinga 27 whereas Ibrahim Afellay, if he recovers in time, 26.

Every one of the names – with more than 700 caps combined – has featured prominently under Van Marwijk, it would be foolish to suggest it will be their last tournament, but it's realistic to assume a high percentage will not be at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, meaning next summer could be the last of this generation as a collective. Van Marwijk, who is expected to sign an extension to his contract taking him to at least 2014, knows and in the last 18 months made sure the future’s safeguarded.

Already 23 players have won their first cap under him including: Michel Vorm, Tim Krul, Gregory van der Wiel, Jeffrey Bruma, Erik Pieters, Kevin Strootman, Georginio Wijnaldum, Eljero Elia, Jeremain Lens and Luuk de Jong all under-25 (bar Vorm) and featured in the last squad. Van der Wiel and Pieters are the first choice full-back whereas Strootman, who has greatly impressed in his short time with the set-up, will compete with Van der Vaart and Nigel de Jong in playing alongside Van Bommel. Luuk de Jong rise and eye-catching performances at FC Twente has made him the third choice striker.

Lessons from history

Since triumphing in 1988 the fortunes of L'Oranje can be best described as mixed. A disappointing 1990 World Cup, where an alleged mutiny took place, was followed by reaching the semi-finals of Euro 1992 crashing out on penalties. A better performance in USA 94 saw them dumped out by eventual winners Brazil in the quarter-finals the same exit in Euro 96.

The last great generation reached the semi-finals in 1998 but again fell to penalties two years later in Rotterdam it was Groundhog Day. Under Louis van Gaal they failed to reach the 2002 World Cup, first missed tournament since 1986, Dick Advocaat returned for Euro 2004 and again the Dutch made the semis but couldn't progress any further.

Marco van Basten brought an air of freshness but his insistence his squad was not ready to win the 2006 World Cup proved correct as Portugal who eliminated them in 2004 were the victors in the Battle of Nuremberg. In fairness things got a little better in 2008 as a new swagger had many take notice but Guus Hiddink’s equally exciting Russia put pay to the Van Basten revolution.

Greater challenges await this current crop, in the eyes of Rafael van der Vaart the best since France 1998, once the festivities begin. Not many expected the Dutch to go far last summer and the same it seems next year but one thing's for certain a renewed approach coupled with players at the peak of their powers gives L'Oranje every chance of equalling the feat of Rinus Michels class of 1988.

One could argue lady luck hasn't always worn orange. The same was true against Spain last July, who could meet Van Marwijk’s men in the final in Kiev – if they get there. After a freak set out circumstances saw them on top of the world, albeit for a month, Van Marwijk has thrown down the gauntlet to his players and the nation as a whole, to make the next four years a golden period in Dutch football history.
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Old 22-10-2011, 07:29   #282
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Interesting set of matches on Sunday, AZ could extend their lead as the six clubs behind them all play each other.

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Old 28-10-2011, 18:02   #283
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[Last weekend was good for AZ and this weekend could be even better should they win and Twente vs PSV end in a draw, Ajax will be looking to get max points]

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Old 30-10-2011, 21:45   #284
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[AZ took advantage of PSV and Twente's draw, Ajax bounced back with a win and Groningen put on a show against Feyenoord]

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Old 31-10-2011, 19:29   #285
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Just watched the psv game ....wtf

pathetic refereeing ...psv would have won had it not been for that BS sending off


Good performance from PSV nonetheless
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Old 05-12-2011, 17:11   #286
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Originally Posted by Sonny.Bill.Williams View Post
Just watched the psv game ....wtf

pathetic refereeing ...psv would have won had it not been for that BS sending off


Good performance from PSV nonetheless
You talk a lot about Strootman on this forum, but what do you think about Wynaldum?

Can he be the new Ruud Gullit? They have a lot in common:

- Gullit as well as Wynaldum occupy the AM position
- Apparently Wynaldum is considered one of Hollands biggest talents
- They both started their carreer at Feyenoord Rotterdam
- They were both transferred from Feyenoord Rotterdam to PSV Eindhoven early in their carreer
- Finally it's amazing that they are very similar in appearance
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Old 05-12-2011, 18:09   #287
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Originally Posted by MilanMarkus View Post
You talk a lot about Strootman on this forum, but what do you think about Wynaldum?

Can he be the new Ruud Gullit? They have a lot in common:

- Gullit as well as Wynaldum occupy the AM position
- Apparently Wynaldum is considered one of Hollands biggest talents
- They both started their carreer at Feyenoord Rotterdam
- They were both transferred from Feyenoord Rotterdam to PSV Eindhoven early in their carreer
- Finally it's amazing that they are very similar in appearance
When I first saw Wijnaldum play I wasn't overly impressed ,most probably due to the fact that he was hyped as the new Seedorf ...over expectations etc

But he has really improved dramatically over the past 3 seasons....he has become a legitimate goal threat ,his play is more composed and his making better decisions (older now so obv).

Liked how he has developed -very promising player ...still lacking discipline tactically ,but he gets away with it in the Eredivisie

Ruud Gullit? hmm ,not sure ...my knowledge of Gullit is based on the odd match I've downloaded from Dinar and highlights so can't say for sure ,but on the surface I'd say Gullit was much more complete .....he was older so Wijnaldum ,with the right coach ,could emulate Ruud
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Old 05-12-2011, 19:18   #288
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Not that i've seen a lot of wijnaldum either, but isn't he playing a completely different role to a couple years ago and a completely different one from Ruud?

4-3-3 CM. Cruyff/barca/Ajax style CM. Playing a xavi/iniesta-ish role.

Ruud was more forward.

not ot mention the gigantic difference in physiques. Ruud was large and in charge. Wijnaldum is tiny, even clarence is quite a stretch for a comparison now


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Only Milan can punish it's own fans by qualifying for CL. I'm off to sleep, another year wasted. When will this fucker be fired..
#RnB
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Old 05-12-2011, 21:07   #289
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Originally Posted by Senatore_M84 View Post
Not that i've seen a lot of wijnaldum either, but isn't he playing a completely different role to a couple years ago and a completely different one from Ruud?

4-3-3 CM. Cruyff/barca/Ajax style CM. Playing a xavi/iniesta-ish role.

Ruud was more forward.

not ot mention the gigantic difference in physiques. Ruud was large and in charge. Wijnaldum is tiny, even clarence is quite a stretch for a comparison now
He has played a similar role for Feynoord last season ,but it is different to Ruud ...they do have similar levels of versatility though ,Ruud was more rounded

Not sure I agree with the Xavi/Iniesta comparison ...more of a Van Der Vaart role ...often the highest place midfielder between Strootman and Toivenen (who thinks he's Ibra )

Yeah the physical difference between Gullit and Clarence is a given ...that said he isn't weak ,just smaller in stature
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Old 21-12-2011, 21:58   #290
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AZ fan attacks AZ keeper ...match called off




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Old 21-12-2011, 22:02   #291
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AZ fan attacks AZ keeper ...match called off




fans turning on their own players somethings not right there
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Old 21-12-2011, 22:06   #292
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You don't mess with costarican Dida.

ps. It was at Ajax's stadium (Ajax fan).


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Brocchi si nasce, campioni si diventa

Last edited by crazy4milan; 21-12-2011 at 22:09.
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Old 22-12-2011, 00:04   #293
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I apologise ,not sure if it was a Ajax fan ..haven't read a definite source referring to the fans choice of club ,got confused with something else I read


btw

@ Pedro/Dutch members how good is Jeffrey Gouweleeuw? Was good versus Az and poor against PSV (the 1st half I managed to watch ) ...still young ,but apparently highly rated and outside chance for 3rd choice CB for E2012 ? ....First Impression - Very Cavalier a la Luiz .
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Old 22-12-2011, 05:44   #294
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AZ fan attacks AZ keeper ...match called off







The second kick when the guy was on the deck was maybe a bit excessive.
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Old 22-12-2011, 06:14   #295
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So the guy invaded the pitch, got beat by the keeper (and this video will become a hit), taken by the security, problably jailed and his team will problably lose points/get some punishment...
What a champion
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Old 22-12-2011, 07:40   #296
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The second kick when the guy was on the deck was maybe a bit excessive.
I feel the same (and that's why I think the ref did the right thing by sending him off), but then again, in his position, I also wouldn't let the guy that tried to hit me get on his feet again, who knows if he would try it again (+ part of me believes, considering Alvarado's size, he got off easy by "just" getting kicked in the knee).


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Old 22-12-2011, 12:47   #297
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this should happen in milan games

noce to knock out every body and leave unscathed

in the name of self defence, he receives no ban and a 50 dollar fine for becoming chuck norris

ill pay it for him


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GOOOOOOOOL DEEEEL MILAAAAAAAN. HA ILLUMINATO SAN SIRO IL NUMERO UNDICI...GIAMPAOLO....PAZZINIIII....GIAMPAOLO....P AZZINI....GIAMPAOLO PAZZINI!!
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Old 22-12-2011, 21:50   #298
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Can't believe PSV are still level ...most dominating performance I've seen from them this season
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Old 22-12-2011, 22:04   #299
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@Sonny

No to Gouweleeuw he had 2 good matches and then returned back to normal.

From the Eredivsie these are my players to watch:

Strootman, Wijnaldum and Labyad of PSV
Eriksen of Ajax
Chanturia of Vitesse
Chadli of Twente

There is one player who is good enough now to sign and that is Vertongen (Ajax)
the rest of them are talents who can blossom
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Old 22-12-2011, 22:06   #300
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@Sonny

No to Gouweleeuw he had 2 good matches and then returned back to normal.
From the Eredivsie these are my players to watch:

Strootman, Wijnaldum and Labyad of PSV
Eriksen of Ajax
Chanturia of Vitesse
Chadli of Twente

There is one player who is good enough now to sign and that is Vertongen (Ajax)
the rest of them are talents who can blossom


Thanks
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