Koeman balks at De Jong’s injury and will call with Tete: ‘Like it or not…’

Koeman balks at De Jong’s injury and will call with Tete: ‘Like it or not…’

NOS Football

The absence of Frenkie de Jong in the Dutch national team’s European Championship qualifiers against France and Gibraltar is a major setback for national coach Ronald Koeman.

“It is a streak, he is an important player,” said Koeman, who had watched El Clásico with the technical staff on Sunday night and soon learned from Barcelona that De Jong had suffered an injury.

Koeman on missing Frenkie de Jong: ‘Strike off the bill’

Monday morning, after an mri-scan, the final message came that De Jong is not deployable for Oranje.

It takes some getting used to for Koeman, who rarely had problems with injuries in his first period as national team coach. “Everyone came in to Zeist happy and fit for two years. So this is a disappointment. But it’s also not like we’re suddenly in sackcloth and ashes now. You always have this risk.”

Who replaces De Jong?

At the Oranje press conference leading up to the European Championship qualifiers, of course, the question quickly sounded: who should replace De Jong?

“Frenkie has some characteristics that not many players have. But his absence does not mean that we are suddenly going to change the system, that would be strange,” Koeman said. “It will be something different, though. Because the person who will be in Frenkie’s position now has a different way of playing.”

Koeman could not yet name a replacement: “I’ve been thinking about it since last night, but I haven’t decided yet.”

Wieffer can become ‘a better De Roon’, says national coach Koeman with a wink

Could a debut of Mats Wieffer be among the possibilities? Koeman certainly doesn’t rule that out: “I saw him play yesterday in the Klassieker and I wouldn’t be afraid of that. I selected him because I think he can play at this level.”

Koeman on criticism of Tete: like it or not…

Koeman showed understanding at the press conference for Kenny Tete’s criticism of him. The Fulham right-back expressed his displeasure last weekend about being included in the pre-selection but not in the final selection. Tete said he felt that “his balls are being played with a little bit.”

Koeman on not calling up Tete and Frimpong: ‘More striker than back’

“If there’s one person he shouldn’t criticize, it’s me,” Koeman said. “He was always in the picture with me, but in the end the choice now falls on someone else. We had a bigger pre-selection because we had a lot of question marks.”

“But I’m not vindictive, everyone can say what they think,” the national coach said. “Maybe after this period I will give him a call how he stands in it, because for me it is: like it or not…”

Georginio Wijnaldum is again reserve captain of the Dutch national team, Koeman continued. Wijnaldum returns to Orange under Koeman after a long absence.

The AS Roma midfielder made his return several weeks ago after a serious injury. “He is fit and important for the group,” Koeman said.

Does Orange have a striker problem?

With the quitting of Luuk de Jong and Vincent Janssen at Oranje, the national coach seems to be facing a striker problem.

Orange not ample in strikers finds Koeman: ‘Calling up Brobbey indicates something’

“We don’t have very many choices, so in that respect we might have a problem,” Koeman said. “But within this selection a number of guys can play there as well just fine.”

“The selection of Brian Brobbey indicates that we don’t have many options,” the national coach continued. “We select with him a boy who is not a base player at Ajax. But it is someone with a future.”

Well Malen, no Veerman

The Orange began preparation Monday afternoon with 24 players. Only PSV’s Joey Veerman was missing from the first training of the week. He will train with national coach Ronald Koeman’s team on Tuesday.

Donyell Malen did enter the training field in Zeist at around 5 p.m. on Monday. For the players who played (almost) a full match last weekend, the practice session was over after just over twenty minutes. The other players, the bench players and substitutes at their club, trained for an hour in the rain.

The training session in Zeist was watched by hundreds of people, including many children. They saw that Koeman paid extra attention to captain Virgil van Dijk, with whom he did a build-up exercise.

At a little after 6 p.m., the popular Memphis Depay was the last player to leave the field.

Kayleigh Williams