‘Have missed, especially in ball possession’
National coach Ronald Koeman can name a few things that need improvement at Oranje, after the hopeless 4-0 defeat against France in the European Championship qualification series. The most important: intensity and build-up.
On Monday, the Dutch team will have a chance at redress. Against Gibraltar, admittedly, but even against a soccer dwarf you can “wash away the hangover,” Koeman said.
What the hours look like after a 4-0 thrashing against the vice-world champion? “We crawled into our shell for two days because of all the justified criticism,” says the national coach. And there was plenty of analyzing, looking back at footage, telling each other the truth and reflecting again.
“You see a lot more when you look back at the match,” Koeman said. “You discuss that and then it’s good to feel that the group recognizes that. And is self-critical. And then you move on.”
That sounds simple, but Koeman wants to see a few things different against Gibraltar. “The build-up.” What the Orange had discussed and trained, did not come out at all against France, according to the coach.
“Sometimes you have to dare to dribble in as a central defender to create a maneuver situation in midfield,” Koeman noted. “Then you see mistakes being made on the pitch and I said that directly after the match. You can’t do that.”
‘You can’t play like that’
But it all starts with the intensity of the game. “I missed that. Especially in ball possession. We look at statistics and there was a big difference between France and the Netherlands. That has to change, you can’t play like that.”
Gakpo turns up at training Oranje, Weghorst aims for starting place against Gibraltar
There is little honor to be gained at home against Gibraltar – “you have to win the game,” Koeman said – but it is a chance to get the good feeling back. With which players that will happen, the coach would not yet say. Although during the press conference he hinted at a starting place for Wout Weghorst.
“In principle, everyone is deployable, but we will see if Matthijs de Ligt and Cody Gakpo are fit enough to start.”
In goal will probably just be Jasper Cillessen. The goalkeeper returned under the crossbar after the missed World Cup and did not go clear in Dayot Upamecano’s 2-0 goal against the French on Friday. Koeman saw that too.
“That inward free kick was great, for goalkeepers such a ball is always difficult. His role in that goal was questionable, but for the rest there was no doubt.” Cillessen’s main competitors in goal, Andries Noppert and Justin Bijlow, are absent due to injury.
During the Nations League final round in June, Koeman, along with goalkeeper coach Patrick Lodewijks, thinks they will be a little further along in their assessment of the goalkeepers. “Let’s hope we’ll have more choices and clarity then,” he said.