‘Defeat justifies World Cup approach Van Gaal’
The morning papers did not spare the Dutch team after Friday night’s hefty defeat (4-0) in Paris. “Modern 2023 soccer with a future declassified the stale-looking Dutch team, which played soccer as if modern developments such as variation in pace, fitness and playing spaces had passed the team by,” Willem Vissers told the Volkskrant.
“As if the soccer players lived in a cave for a while, cut off from the latest gadgets and trends in the game. France was faster, better, more fanatical and athletic, with Kylian Mbappé’s fabulous 4-0 highlight. Dribble, feint, devastating shot. Delightful discharge in the stadium.”
“Well, it’s OK, returning to the time-honored 4-3-3, which is what the Netherlands did. It is a beautiful system of play and other top countries like France and Argentina also play more or less that way. But the assignment then is clear: run, sprint, keep the spaces small, don’t give naive balls wide against a team with the speed of France,” according to the Volkskrant.
World Cup approach Van Gaal
Maarten Wijffels criticizes in the Algemeen Dagblad the tactical approach of national coach Ronald Koeman, who jettisoned his predecessor’s system. “Sticking to 4-3-3, because it is so nicely Dutch, is then naive. It was the lesson Louis van Gaal tried to convey at the last World Cup in Qatar. But the message still lands only with difficulty in a country partly ruled by puritans.”
Ajax midfielder Kenneth Taylor has to take issue with the Volkskrant. “Kenneth Taylor is not exactly in form at Ajax anyway. Yet he was in basic, as a midfield controller, in fact as a replacement for Frenkie de Jong. Yes, then it is as if the tenor of Carré was replaced by the village singer of Heiloo.”
The Algemeen Dagblad does not spare Taylor either. He gets a 3 as a report grade from the paper. “The 1-0 of Griezmann the left-winger could blame himself. Too weak in the duel with the Frenchman and switching at too low a tempo. Grossed in ball loss and was substituted early on.”
Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, Marten de Roon and Memphis Depay also received a fat insufficient. Cillessen received a 4. “His return to Orange failed. At the 2-0, NEC’s goalkeeper defaulted and saw Upemecano score simply after his miss. Could hardly make a save, only Upemecano’s header.”
De Roon and Depay received a 4 as a rating. “Ball loss by Depay for France’s 4-0 was also something Memphis could blame himself for. And the penalty kick he missed actually told the story.”
‘Nightmare after chicken curry’
The Telegraph particularly returned to the chicken curry meal. According to the newspaper, the five players who left Orange earlier this week had fallen ill after eating chicken curry. “Nightmare after chicken curry,” the newspaper headlines. “Thanks in part to the chicken, it turned into an egg for the Roosters. The Dutch team, battered by injuries, a suspension and food poisoning, was completely out of sorts in the Stade de France and had absolutely nothing to contribute against France (4-0), which embarrassed the Orange internationally and gave them the fastest 3-0 deficit since 1919.”
“Koeman will never say it out loud. But the national coach of Orange should consider himself lucky that chicken-cricketgate was happening now,” Mike Verweij said. “France-out can and should be lost although the way it was done was of course embarrassing and Gibraltar-home the Netherlands will also win without the dozen absentees. It would have been much more annoying if the players of the Dutch national team had been felled by food poisoning in the coming international period.”