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Posts Tagged ‘Demy de Zeeuw’

Our Opponents: Uruguay

Alright time for confession.  Everybody who thought the Oranje would get this far raise your hand!  Ya I thought not, well me neither so don’t feel bad.  Now everyone who thought Uruguay would get this far raise your hand!  Well I did actually but largely due to that side of the draw and the resulting fixtures.  Well done to them though as there is no such thing as an easy quarter-final. 

After Friday’s victory I saw a huge emergence of Dutch fans.  As soon as the final whistle sounded there were cars in the streets and fans on the sidewalks cheering and waving their flags.  I can’t recall ever seeing a display like this from the Dutch fans.

Both teams will be without some key players.  For Uruguay Luis Suarez will be missing because his intentional handball in the quarter-final.  It’s hard to downplay his significance as both he and Forlan have 3 goals a piece. For the Dutch Nigel de Jong and Gregory van der Wiel will be missing for picking up their second yellow cards against Brazil.  Boulahrouz is likely to deputize for van der Wiel and while de Jong’s replacement is less concrete it is likely to be Demy de Zeeuw.  Both players are significant in their own roles.  Nigel de Jong has been outstanding and, if you care to look, has consistently been among the best passers in the side.

I’ve unfortunately not seen much of Uruguay up to now but I’m fairly familiar with both the missing Suarez and Forlan.  From a neutral’s perspective you must enjoy Forlan’s determination to thrust Uruguay into the global reckoning.  For some reason is often stricken with an asterisk in terms of quality because of his unsuccessful spell in England though after the displays here it’s obvious what initially attracted Manchester United to the South American.

Up to this point and with the sole exception of last Friday every match they’ve encountered in the last two years has been with the Oranje firmly installed as expected winners.  For the first time the Oranje will enter a match with the added pressure that they could be on their way to…

Let’s agree that we won’t push our luck shall we?

Instead of worrying about what could be let’s just enjoy the highlights of a previous encounter with Uruguay, in 1974 to be exact.  The creator or at least the poster believes that is was the first true glimpse of what became known as Total Football.  One of the best things about this video is the offside trap played by the Dutch, the first example is already at 0:15 of the video and every Dutch player is within 2 meters of the half way line.  To call that aggressive is an understatement.

Oranje Squad Trimmed and Tested

Hello there.  Initially van Marwijk named his preliminary squad of 30 players and on the whole there were few surprises.  No van Nistelrooy was the only significant talking point while the inclusion of 2 uncapped players was strange.

Since we last spoke about the squad there have been some cuts as well as a friendly against Mexico.  The squad was trimmed to 27 following the departures of Otman Bakkal, Wout Brama, and David Mendes da Silva.  It would seem van Marwijk has made up his mind as far as his midfield is concerned.  Perhaps on the only player still fighting for a place is Stijn Schaars being amond the least experience.

May 27 is the day of reckoning for the rest of the squad.  This evening the Netherlands took on Mexico in a warm up game with van Marwijk looking to run the rule over the other players on the bubble.  Ryan Babel was not available due to an injury.  He may be available for the next two friendlies.  Vlaar too is attempting to recover from injury but faces the same seemingly impossible task as Babel: having to impress on the training ground and having no chance to show your ability via a true match scenario.

Vernon Anita, Edson Braafheid, Khalid Boulahrouz, Jeremain Lens, the aforementioned Schaars and Demy De Zeeuw were all looking to impress.  Interestingly Anita came on at half time while Lens did not feature at all.  Engelaar came on for Schaars which leads me to believe van Marwijk was looking to judge the balance of the squad with either player.  The same can be said for Braafheid and Anita on the left of defense; it seems they are battling to be van Bronkhorst’s understudy. 

Come tomorrow I expect Lens, Schaars, Anita, Vlaar and Babel to be left on the cutting room floor with their dreams in tatters.  I truly don’t understand why managers select players like Lens and Anita with no international experience what so ever.  I would hope the proper expectations are initially set.  Boulahrouz looked to be at fault for the Mexican goal however; Anita was tracking his man and Boulahrouz was the only player close enough to mark Hernandez.  You never though, it could be a lucky blunder that lets Anita slip in through the back door.

The two passes leading up to the Dutch goals were outstanding.  Van der Vaart and Afellay will be giving some selection headaches for the manager ahead of South Africa.  Afellay’s in particular was completely delicious; instinctively dissecting the Mexican defense allowing van Persie to coolly volley (a real volley) home. 

With friendlies like this you can really only judge the team by the first half.  You should expect any substitutes to give there all but it’s often beyond them and the myriad of substitutions that often follow half time inevitably hinder the match as a whole and they often end as a true contest.

Click here for a link to the highlights from tonight.