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Netherlands National Team Discussion

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Netherlands and the Lotto years

1991-1993

 

When Holland won the 1988 European Championship it not only secured their first major international trophy but also ended a long period in the wilderness. The Dutch had been unlucky to lose consecutive World Cup Finals in the 1970s, but had then failed to qualify for neither the 1982 or 1986 competitions, nor the European Championships in 1984. So impressive was the victory in West Germany that much was expected of the Dutch side that arrived at the 1990 World Cup. In the interim the trio of Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten and Frank Rijkaard had helped make Milan the continent’s most feared club side, winning back-to-back European Cups. Unfortunately a series of managerial switches between qualification and the start of the tournament had left the squad tense, unstable and prone to internal bickering. Meanwhile, Holland’s star players failed to show their true worth. Gullit was still recovering from injury, Van Basten failed to find the net, and Rijkaard compounded a miserable tournament by getting sent off in the defeat against West Germany for spitting on Rudi Völler.

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The man who had led Holland to their ’88 triumph, Rinus Michels, returned to the Dutch bench in time for the 1992 European Championships in Sweden. Michels had spent his entire playing career at Ajax, and as a coach became the truest practitioner of the Amsterdam club’s concept of “Total Football”. The philosophy’s greatest disciple on the pitch, Johan Cruyff, played under Michels at both Ajax and Barcelona, not to mention the national team that dazzled at the 1974 World Cup. By the early nineties the free-flowing nature of those sides had been reigned in, but elements of the style remained. The most noticeable difference to the Dutch side was its kit. The KNVB’s long-standing relationship with adidas had ended at the close of 1990; in a qualifier against Malta in March 1991 Holland debuted a new kit produced by Italian company Lotto. The shirt’s most marked characteristic was a unique pen-effect pattern woven into the fabric that echoed the brand’s logo. The white collar and cuffs featured a red-white-and-blue tri-colour trim in the style of the now familiar Italy shirt. Even the 3D numbers were the same as those worn by the Azzurri. It’s also worth noting that this was the first major senior tournament to incorporate front numbers and names on the back of shirts. Although only one member each of the three Dutch sets of soccer-playing brothers — Koeman, Witschge and De Boer — made the Holland squad, the initiative did prove handy in helping to distinguish between mustachioed defenders Van Tiggelen and Van Aerle (not to mention the various Anderssons and Nielsens in the Sweden team).

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Michels selected twelve players from his successful ’88 squad, the same twelve that had also gone to Italia ’90. This experienced group provided the backbone of the Holland side that attempted to defend their title. Two young additions to the team were elegant forward Dennis Bergkamp and winger Bryan Roy, both from Ajax. It was Bergkamp who made his mark early on the tournament, scoring the only goal of Holland’s first match against Scotland. A goalless draw against the CIS (a provisional post-Soviet national team following the break-up of the USSR) was enough to see the Dutch through to the semi-finals, but there remained the small matter of a grudge match against Germany. A late Van Basten goal had beaten the West Germans in the ’88 semi-final in Stuttgart; two years later West Germany had knocked Holland out of the World Cup in Milan. Now they met for the third tournament running in Gothenburg, where the Dutch sailed into an early two-goal lead through a Rijkaard header and a low drive by Feyenoord’s Rob Witschge. Jürgen Klinsmann pulled a goal back after the interval but Bergkamp scored his second headed goal of the tournament to seal a memorable 3-1 win.

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In their semi-final Holland faced surprise package (and eventual tournament winners) Denmark, who were only competing in Sweden due to war-torn Yugoslavia’s late disqualification. Bergkamp and Rijkaard were again on hand to respond to Henrik Larsen’s double strike, forcing the game into extra-time and towards the inevitable shoot-out. Four years earlier Dutch goalkeeper Hans Van Breukelen had saved from Benfica’s final penalty to win the European Cup for PSV Eindhoven. But this time it was his opposite number Peter Schmeichel who stopped the decisive kick, from the right foot of Van Basten no less. It was a sad end to another disappointing tournament for the striker. A textbook volley that crashed against the German crossbar proved to be the only glimpse of the devastating form he’d shown in 1988.

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I didn’t wear my Holland shirt at Wembley the night the Dutch visited England for a World Cup qualifier. Though I was delighted to see two of my idols, Gullit and Rijkaard, in the flesh, I was still not over the disappointment of discovering that Van Basten had been ruled out of the game due to an ankle injury — one from which he never recovered. The striker did return In May to play a couple more games for Milan, including the European Cup Final defeat to Marseille which proved to be his final professional appearance. After conceding two early goals — the first an expertly taken free-kick by John Barnes after a few seconds — Bergkamp got one back at the other end, deftly lobbing Chris Woods in the England goal. Late in the second half pacy central defender Des Walker for once struggled to keep up with his opponent, and was compelled to bring down 20-year-old Ajax winger Marc Overmars inside the box. Subsitute Peter Van Vossen converted the kick to earn the Dutch a point.

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Surprisingly, Norway were proving the strongest side in the group. Having lost in Oslo earlier in the summer, England could now not afford to lose their return match against the Dutch in Rotterdam the following October. But lose they did, prompting Graham Taylor’s infamous “Do I not like that” remark. Holland sealed the points with two goals in quick succession, the first a cleverly chipped free-kick from Koeman. English fans argued that the defender should have already received a red card for a professional foul on Platt. Bergkamp headed a second a few minutes later, and England’s hopes of qualifying for USA ’94 were effectively over.

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At the 1994 World Cup the Dutch wore an almost identical shirt, the only changes being the shirt’s background pattern (that now featured a repeated KNVB crest) and the replacement of the 3D numbers with a more conventional flat white font. The team were already without Van Basten, who hadn’t played since May ’93, and on the eve of the tournament lost Gullit, who after a long-running feud with coach Dick Advocaat stormed out of a training session. Neither player would ever play for his country again. So Rijkaard was one of only four players from the ’88 squad still involved with the national team. In the stifling heat of Orlando the Dutch stuttered through their group: a defeat against neighbours Belgium was sandwiched between two narrow victories over Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Yet somehow they finished on top having scored more goals against their direct rivals. The speed of Bergkamp and Overmars made easy work of an exhausted Ireland in the second round, but in the quarter-final in Dallas the Dutch succumbed 3-2 to eventual winners Brazil.

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Holland’s second goal in that defeat was scored by Aron Winter. With Rijkaard, Koeman and Wouters having all retired from international football after the World Cup, the Lazio midfielder remained the only survivor from 1988 included in Guus Hiddink’s squad for the 1996 European Championships. For the tournament in England Holland’s Lotto shirt underwent further modifications. A button-up collar was added, while the tricolour trim became a broken stripe resembling something akin to morse code. The shirt fabric incorporated the image of Dutch players celebrating a goal at USA ’94. On the pitch Holland struggled again, drawing 0-0 with Scotland and beating Switzerland. Only a late Patrick Kluivert consolation goal in a 4-1 defeat against the hosts saw them through the group on goals scored. In the quarter-finals they lost to France on penalties after another goalless draw.

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Euro ’96 was the last tournament in which the Dutch wore Lotto. For the 1998 World Cup in France they had struck a deal with Nike, whose uniforms they have worn ever since. Winter remained a part of the international fold for that tournament and was even selected for the one that followed — Euro 2000, which Holland co-hosted — by old teammate Frank Rijkaard, who was now in charge. Several of Holland’s Nike shirts have made great use of black as a secondary colour (which was totally absent from all the Lotto kits), presumably in an attempt to reference past glories. But none have inspired the team to a second international success, just as I have yet to be compelled to add any of them to my collection. Personally I thought the 1988 kit was hideous at the time, an opinion which has not changed despite its recent new-found status of cult favourite (a case of a lousy shirt being elevated alongside a winning team). I much preferred the clean kit worn at Italia ’90 and the Italian style Lotto strip sported at Sweden ’92. That was also the last time Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten played together, and the last time I genuinely enjoyed watching the Dutch — none of which can be a total coincidence.

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Credits to: James Campbell Taylor

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Two tournaments.

I've been saying it since the World Cup. Not sure if people remember that "meltdown"(yes I'm going that far) I had where I said the final was going to be Brazil vs Argentina. I was wrong in the end but I called out Holland for being a poor side in the last World Cup and to get lucky to get where they did.

When you scrape past 2 CONCACAF side when its usually child's play for the South Americans, then the team definitely wasn't working much. I thought after the 5-1 win over Spain they didn't produce anything special in that tournament.

I feel they've been found out, but there are more factors to it of course. Even so, they were never this bad to fall to where they were. If you get to a world cup semi-final, poor a side you are you should still be doing better than the sides they are playing against (Belarus, Bulgaria, etc.)

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Yeah, two tournaments because in the World Cup they were ok and got far with Louis van Gaal.  Remember when he done that keeper substitution at the end for the penalty shoot-out?

There are a lot of things wrong with the Dutch national team right now and the main issue is the KNVB.

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We don't have any strong characters anymore, no leaders, no players that can make a difference.  We just have a bunch of uneducated bunch of footballers right now, they think they have made it in football becoming professional but have achieved fuck all.  Its a mix of the different backgrounds now in The Netherlands.   We are still one of the best at youth levels but when it comes to a certain age these players just collect the money and fade away, agents are mainly like Dutch Agents like Mino Raiola are largely to blame for tapping up young players and getting them moves aboard so he can earn a few bucks and these players just disappear off the radar. 

 

The KNVB are a different story, they are dinosaurs who just keep on running back to the same old managers who were good in the past but times have changed and so have the players. 

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Qualification doesn't require much talent at all. For all the team might not have the top names of old, Sweden don't have better players. 

A bad manager really can fuck things up. Its the same man that has cost them in both qualification groups. Madness to have stuck with him at the start of this campaign. There's no balls in FA's when it comes to managers, probably because of the money involved.

The English FA were the same fuckups by how many tournaments they gave Roy Hodgson which culminated in a loss to Iceland after years of wasting time with him despite the warning signs. International football can trick people into blaming the calibre of player coming through, even when what a team has got is man for man better than all 11 of the opponents players. Fuck me Costa Rica won England's group but because Italy went out as well we chalked that off and let him carry on. 

International managers need to be sacked at the first sign of alarm like Chelsea do :ph34r:

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Their boots are made of wood. 

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We have just lost our identify at the moment and have no confidence which again does come from the coach.

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@VanPanna

I've read many opinions from Dutch people concerning a severe lack of 'national identity' and that the Dutch 'wouldn't defend the Netherlands during an foreign invasion'. Do you think this sort of mentality could be detrimental to players' commitment and passion for the national team? 

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van Persie, Robben & Sneijder are old now meaning the previous generation where the team could actually compete with the best are basically done now and they don't have talented enough players ready to step up.

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xD

 

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They aren't good enough to be a major threat to the titles but still should be qualifying.

 

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Going through a period of transition where they've lost so many icons in the team and they've not been able to be replaced. Second rate players aren't doing enough but despite not qualifying for next years world cup, I think they're on an slow upward curve and getting some decent players back in their side. They were worse in the last couple or years than they are now. 

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

Going through a period of transition where they've lost so many icons in the team and they've not been able to be replaced. Second rate players aren't doing enough but despite not qualifying for next years world cup, I think they're on an slow upward curve and getting some decent players back in their side. They were worse in the last couple or years than they are now. 

Even the players they have should qualify ahead of Sweden tho imo. 

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There are many reasons behind the situation surrounding Holland...  For me it's not always the case of a head coach being to blame and there are other fundamental situations going on especially at club level.  But with Holland a part of the reason was the insistence on Blind as head coach and then the way the KNBV is being run that they couldn't convince any of the better Dutch coaches to take the job!  To bring back Dick Advocaat was ridiculous...  What was he going to offer in terms of something new and modern?

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8 hours ago, Spike said:

@VanPanna

I've read many opinions from Dutch people concerning a severe lack of 'national identity' and that the Dutch 'wouldn't defend the Netherlands during an foreign invasion'. Do you think this sort of mentality could be detrimental to players' commitment and passion for the national team? 

Yes but only from the Turks and Morrocan communities, they are so extreme towards their back ground but havent even stepped foot in their grand parents/parents country.   

 

 

 

 

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There was a discussion about this on the Totally Football podcast. A British journalist who’s lived and written about Dutch football for the last 20+ years sited the lack of bravery to look outside of Holland for new ideas. It’s the same old same old rehashed by the Dutch. That when Advocaat steps down Gullit is being touted to be his replacement says all you need to know about the jobs for the old boys mentality in Holland. Well worth a listen.

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Isn't Advocaat what posh people put on toast?

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1 hour ago, Batard said:

There was a discussion about this on the Totally Football podcast. A British journalist who’s lived and written about Dutch football for the last 20+ years sited the lack of bravery to look outside of Holland for new ideas. It’s the same old same old rehashed by the Dutch. That when Advocaat steps down Gullit is being touted to be his replacement says all you need to know about the jobs for the old boys mentality in Holland. Well worth a listen.

This is part of the problem and how the KNVB have been messing up for years.  In truth, most of the top Dutch football clubs have been run like this for decades although in part it also has its positive side that ex-footballers make the decisions up top.  Germany has this philosophy too and some Spanish clubs have been like this for many years...  Infact at PSG they've recently (two months back) brought back club and France legend Luis Fernández which in the long run if given enough power will make the correct decisions.

Ajax ruled the roost for many years with this philosophy because on the main the decisions were made for the good of the club.  But it's like everything in life when too much time is given to individuals...  They feel comfortable and then start to make rash decisions and help out old friends without first ascertaining whether it's the right move.

12 minutes ago, HoneyNUFC said:

Isn't Advocaat what posh people put on toast?

I seem to remember there was an 80s alcoholic drink called Advocaat if I my mind serves me correctly.  The liquid was white and quite disgusting and only posh people drank it as nobody normal thought it was nice.

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What the Netherlands need is someone who will represent their country with pride.

A real inspirational figurehead the country can get behind and help unify amongst all the petty squabbling.

A people person if you will, who every fan loves and looks up to.

A character that knows how to play with the media when they are out to take you down.

That someone who understands true traditional Dutch values and implements them, not just by talking a good game.

It doesn't have to be a tried and tested person, but perhaps someone who has managed domestically in Holland, has built up a fearful reputation and cleaned up, meaning the people believe in his credentials.

For that reason, I urge the Dutch to forget imposters like your Danny Blind's, your Louis Van Gaal's, your Dick Advocat's and look no further than this guy...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Come on Schteve. Bring back the good times.

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1 hour ago, SirBalon said:

This is part of the problem and how the KNVB have been messing up for years.  In truth, most of the top Dutch football clubs have been run like this for decades although in part it also has its positive side that ex-footballers make the decisions up top.  Germany has this philosophy too and some Spanish clubs have been like this for many years...  Infact at PSG they've recently (two months back) brought back club and France legend Luis Fernández which in the long run if given enough power will make the correct decisions.

Ajax ruled the roost for many years with this philosophy because on the main the decisions were made for the good of the club.  But it's like everything in life when too much time is given to individuals...  They feel comfortable and then start to make rash decisions and help out old friends without first ascertaining whether it's the right move.

I seem to remember there was an 80s alcoholic drink called Advocaat if I my mind serves me correctly.  The liquid was white and quite disgusting and only posh people drank it as nobody normal thought it was nice.

Its what old people drink in the Netherlands lol its yellow from egg,  Snowball was the famous cocktail from it. 

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5 minutes ago, VanPanna said:

Its what old people drink in the Netherlands lol its yellow from egg,  Snowball was the famous cocktail form it. 

Hahaha... That was the mix they drank! A Snowball! Here it was older posh people that drank it. Old people drink Sherry here!!!

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Going back on topic, losing youth players to big teams abroad also has been very harmful to the national teams development as those players do not progress as they would if they stayed in Holland. 

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Hang on a second. Dick Advocaat isn't bald today :o he has a wig that gives off the appearance of an old age thinning and receding hairline xD

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2 hours ago, Batard said:

There was a discussion about this on the Totally Football podcast. A British journalist who’s lived and written about Dutch football for the last 20+ years sited the lack of bravery to look outside of Holland for new ideas. It’s the same old same old rehashed by the Dutch. That when Advocaat steps down Gullit is being touted to be his replacement says all you need to know about the jobs for the old boys mentality in Holland. Well worth a listen.

It really surprises me that it's Holland who have this issue. I've always imagined them to be very pro giving new coaches / players a chance.

I don't profess to be an expert in Dutch football at all but surely it's worth looking at someone like Cocu.

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4 hours ago, VanPanna said:

Yes but only from the Turks and Morrocan communities, they are so extreme towards their back ground but havent even stepped foot in their grand parents/parents country.   

 

 

 

 

Do you think they adapt to the 'Dutch philosphy'? Or is Quaresma level 'street football' mentality more common?

I honestly find it truly bizarre that immigrants (or children of) are over represented in many European national teams. It is really surprising seeing the French team compromised of black Frenchmen despite not having that large of a population. Is the stereotype of 'coaches prefer balck players because the physically mature faster' actually true? I'd like to see data on youth level players that charts physical development over puberty.

 

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2 hours ago, Spike said:

Do you think they adapt to the 'Dutch philosphy'? Or is Quaresma level 'street football' mentality more common?

I honestly find it truly bizarre that immigrants (or children of) are over represented in many European national teams. It is really surprising seeing the French team compromised of black Frenchmen despite not having that large of a population. Is the stereotype of 'coaches prefer balck players because the physically mature faster' actually true? I'd like to see data on youth level players that charts physical development over puberty.

 

The thing is there are alot of Moroccan who are in the Dutch youth levels. They come from not the best back grounds, then they learn their trade in The dutch youth levels but then have this incredible desire to play for Morocco.  There was a recent case for Anwar El Ghazi who played in all levels of the Dutch youth but at 20 he felt he had to choose between Netherlands or Morocco, he probably doesnt even know anything about Moroccan football or anything at all, he even asked Ronaldo for his advice  , its ridiculous. 

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3 hours ago, Dan said:

It really surprises me that it's Holland who have this issue. I've always imagined them to be very pro giving new coaches / players a chance.

I don't profess to be an expert in Dutch football at all but surely it's worth looking at someone like Cocu.

Yes we always give youth a chance but all the good youth play abroad after getting stolen at the age of 16. Players like Fosu-mensah, Ake would be established players now if they stayed in Holland. We also have 12 year old at Barcelona its ridiculous. 

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