After fiasco in France, Van Dijk doesn’t know either: ‘Just starting badly’
Van Dijk disappointed in Orange: ‘This was just bad’
Virgil van Dijk is heavily disappointed with his team’s play in the European Championship qualifier match with France. The Dutch national team was humiliated 4-0 and even the captain of Orange, shortly after the match, does not know how it could happen.
One thing was already clear to him: the two quick counter-goals were disastrous for his team’s chances. “When you’re down 2-0 after seven minutes, it’s going to be hell here. It’s just bad how we started. You immediately fall behind then.”
After those two goals, the first by Antoine Griezmann and the second by Dayot Upamecano, the Orange came through quite a few times. Yet even that did not yield anything. “There were a few more ‘fifty-fifty moments’ and half chances that we created,” Van Dijk grumbled. “But that too happened without conviction.”
Poor on the ball
The Dutch experienced a nasty run-up to the game with France, with cancellations of Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn and an outbreak of stomach flu that felled as many as five players.
Still, the field play should have been better even under those difficult conditions, Van Dijk realizes. “You can’t lose the ball so easily. When you make such mistakes on the ball, you are wide open.”
Van Dijk did not (yet) share the conclusion that the Netherlands played naively. “You can say that now, but there are several factors that caused it to go wrong. We will discuss that, although that sounds cliché. Against Gibraltar it has to be much better.”
‘Take a beating’
Jurriën Timber was also murmured in front of the camera, pointing to the many ball losses in the opening stages when analyzing the match. “This comes hard. 4-0 is really a beating. When you are that sloppy on the ball, you do make it very difficult for yourself. Their attackers punish mistakes mercilessly.”
After the third goal, Timber (started as right back) and debutant Lutsharel Geertruida (started as central defender) switched positions. Why that happened, Timber could not tell shortly after the match.
Timber and De Roon want to learn from painful defeat against France
Even after that conversion, the Dutch continued to have trouble with the French’s attacking play. Koeman’s team never got a grip on Kylian Mbappé.
That the Dutch team fell through the ice like that also stung Timber. “You just have to stand up, even when you fall behind so quickly. If guys are above it and don’t play so childishly. It’s tough, but you have to. Otherwise you get slaughtered.”