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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Post Match Reaction NED v JPN

Good evening all.  We saw the Netherlands take on Japan this morning in what was a fairly dull match.  I don’t know if you managed to see the late game with Cameroon and Denmark but that was a much more entertaining spectacle.  The result of that match, a 2-1 win for Denmark, means the Dutch are officially through to the next round.

That was painless eh?  Two matches, two wins and six points to show for it.  Three goals for and none against.  Ultimately they have not impressed but they haven’t really needed to.  Let’s take a look at what the press are saying.  As always I don’t want to take credit for what I post here but merely highlight good work by others.  Links are included in all cases for you to check out the full pieces.

From one of the most notable Dutch football sources VI.nl comes the following reaction:

  • De Jong was quoted as saying “These are tricky opponents and its difficult to keep our patience.  It pays off though” and also “”You have to get points, especially in a group stage. When you see how many countries struggle to win against somewhat lesser opponents that you just close down games. And then comes the beautiful football might be in the semis or the finals. “
  • Their match report can be largely summed up with this quote: The first half seemed an eternity.

Next up is the former U-21 Dutch manager Foppe de Haan blogging for Onsoranje.nl

  • He titled his most recent post “Big names were Disappointing”
  • “For sure the first thirty minutes, I found that the Orange did quite well. Okay, it was not perfect or sparkling, but it was not very bad.”
  • “No, the best player on the field I found was Mark van Bommel. Who played really well, actually did nothing wrong, though I was also pleased with Ibrahim Afellay”
  • De Haan also speaks about the team selection ahead of Cameroon and whether players should be rested: “Playing with a refined second team is in fact the stupidest thing you can do. You also saw two years ago at the European Championships in Switzerland and Austria.”

Again from one of my favourite sites, Zonalmarking.net, comes the tactical breakdown of Netherlands v Japan.  This is always worth a read.  Just a couple highlights:

  • “Both sides kept faith with their opening day line-ups. Holland continued to play both Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder despite the impressive substitute appearance of Elijero Elia against Denmark.”
  • “Looking at it from another perspective, it was the second time Holland had broken the deadlock by putting a cross into the box, suggesting that this approach (which seems quite unnatural to their attacking players) might be more effective than constantly playing through the centre.”

Everyone is going to be happy with two wins but when you consider the audience you know that the enthusiasm will be severely tempered.  All Oranje fans require a match to be played a certain way whether domestically or internationally. 

With the last game against Cameroon I’m looking for an improved performance and I really need to see Robben given a run out.  I completely agree with Foppe de Haan regarding the squad selection; whatever momentum has been gathered must be maintained at all costs.

NED v JPN Match Report

The Dutch continued their progress with a win over Japan.  Strangely they are among the best performing teams thus far with 6 out of a possible 6 points.  Only Argentina have full points at the time of writing.  Considering the other European highlights include Spain, Germany, England, Italy and Portugal that is significant.  Maximum points may prove vital yet in this most unpredictable World Cup.

Strangely similar to the Oranje’s first game against Denmark there was precious little to be interested in during the first 45 minutes.  Absurd possession with precious little to show for it.  It appeared that both managers had a very distinct plan for this game.  While the Dutch have instilled an ultra posession style of play even beyond what Total Football would require.  When a person speaks of Total Football you envision fluid passing, darting movement and incisive attacking play.  You cannot describe the curent crop of Oranje thus. 

Van Marwijk is very much of the mindset that if you have the ball for the entire game no team can score which strictly speaking is a great idea.  I have said before that this works in theory but then so does communism.  Bert van Marwijk stuck with the same line up that failed to impress against the Danes. 

The first 45 today should prove a stern warning to van Marwijk about playing without any natural width.  Van der Vaart was poor again out of the left as he continually drifted infield allowing the Japanese to stifle any creativity.  Sneijder had difficulty throughout as he was manfully marked out of the first half.  Late in the first half the Dutch fullbacks were pushed up the field in an attempt to provide some desparately needed width.  Proving they were well prepared upon granting them space behind the fullbacks the Japanese attempted to expliot these gaps and while not rewarded with a goal they did provide a few worrying moments.

The second half proved fruitful again though and Kawashima’s failure to control Sneijder’s piledriver gave the Dutch a lead.  As with their first game it was the substitutions who took the game home and provided more chances in the last 20 minutes than in the rest of the game.  The Dutch started very brightly creating meaningfull chances early on.  Something that was missing in the first half were incisive crosses that forced Japan to make difficult defensive decisions.  Sneijder’s goal began as a cross into the box that fell unkindly to van Persie.  While trying to control the ball came out to Sneijder on the edge of area where Sneijder promptly cannoned the ball off the keeper and into the net.

After the goal Japan attempted to push back into the game through some attacking substitutions and extra pressure down the inside channels trying to exploit the Dutch attack-minded fullbacks.  Against Denmark Eljero Elia and Ibrahim Affelay were introducted to positive affect and today was no difference.  Both came on with twenty minutes to go.  Elia and Affelay were very bright and the latter could have – strike that- SHOULD have had 2 goals for himself.  I have to think that these cameos have provided van Marwijk , notoriously fond of consistency, with a selection headache ahead of Cameroon.  Making an appearance was also Klaas Jan Huntelaar who replaced van Persie very late on.  His impact was almost immediately felt as he control provided Affelay with the second of his chances.

We don’t have to be too worried about Cameroon now and if the result goes our way this afternoon.

Remember you can follow me on twitter @m_devries .  Also, you can follow Bert van Marwijk on Twitter @VanMarwijk_NL10 .  Join me in pleading for wingers to be used prior to the 70th minute.

Yes, we won.  Yes, it was rarely worrying.  But too little is being left to chance.  Total Football is a fantastic idea but to expect that at this point is naive.  HOWEVER!  There is nothing wrong with playing organized attacking football with the emphasis on keeping possession.  MY SALARY FOR A WINGER!!

Player Ratings

Stekelenburg – 7
van der Wiel – 8
Mathijsen – 6
Heitinga – 6
van Bronckhorst – 7
van Bommel – 7
de Jong – 6
Kuyt – 8
Sneijder – 7
van der Vaart – 4
van Persie – 6
 
Subs:
Affelay – 6

Elia – 7
Huntelaar – 6

Team News NED v JPN

Well I tried to put some winds of change out there. I tried to add some alternative ideas to the idea-o-sphere. But alas the line-up for the Oranje is unchanged today.

I agree that the Dutch were not poor against Denmark but surely there was room for improvement. Coupled with the success of the underdog in the tournament thus far I personally – and humbly – believe that a minor change in the form of Elia perhaps would have created a level of unpredictability for the Japanese.

If rumors are true of a minor injury for Elia during training this week then I can understand van Marwijk’s reluctance to risk the player.

My hope is that van Marwijk provided van der Vaart with explicit instructions regarding width and driving towards the by-line to stretch the Japanese defence.

That’s all for now.