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Dutch Courage
#1
It`s been a bleak old time for the masters of `total football`, didn't qualify for the WC, Hiddink`Blind and Advocaat all flopped managing the National side the latter now trying his best to get Sparta Rotterdam relegated, Many of the last batch of Dutch greats have retired from International duty, none of the Erdevisite clubs are setting Europe alight and well there have been some noticeable flops too, is it really all that bad?

New Manager: Hardly much to choose from the Dutch have used Hiddink, Van Gaal and Advocaat so much in memory that options are not forthcoming thus currently at the moment all eggs are in the `Get Koeman` basket, strange how he changed his stance after being sacked by Everton

Rigidity: Van Gaal knew both with Ajax and the National team he couldn't play the traditional 4-3-3 every time and would often variate into all sorts, a particuarly succesful 3rd place doing 3-4-2-1 worked wonders at the last WC, because of the players involved a new manager needs to be able to do this

Goalkeeper; Cillesen (Barcelona) Vorm(Tottenham) Stekelenburg (Everton) Krul (Newcastle, on loan at Brighton) Vermeer (Feyenoord, on loan at Bruges) none are first choice even those on loan! Which leaves Jeroen Zoet of PSV who is decent but not off the class of VDS or De Goey , the other options aren't experienced enough

Full back: Not too bad here Karsdorp (Roma) Tete (Lyon) Fonsu Mensah (Man u) Willems (Eintracht Frankfurt) Haps (Feyenoord) have great potential, Erik Pieters of Stoke is right to wonder why he is always left out of squads

Centre Back: Again strength here, it`s a question of VVD(Liverpool) and who? De Vrij of Lazio is the usual suspect but De Ligt of Ajax is certainly going to be a huge player, not bad strength in depth here either

Midfield: Daley Blind is better deployed at DM then LB, the hugely impressive Richely Bazoer(Wolfsburg) has been ignored for some time now who would also be good at that role, Strootman is a fine player but they dont know whether he is AM or DM, there are not bad options but no real settled team.

Am/no10: Klassaan hardly having a great time in the EPL he may not be quite the same league as Bergkamp or even Van der Vaart but he is probably the best they have got, Wijnaldum and Strootman have been given and failed in most opportunities played here, competition needed

Wingers/wide forwards: Quincy Promes and Memphis Depay are very decent, after that the class isn't quite as good and old EPL names like Berguis, Elia, Lens and Ryan Babel often make the squad, some promising young players

Forwards: Saying Vincent Janssen or Luuk de Jong hardly fills an EPL fan full of dread, Janssen a fine player but flopped hugely, Locadia may be an option as would the re-born Ricky Van Wolfswinkel at Basel or Wout Weghorst (AZ), hardly as dreading as Van Basten/Van Nistelroy/Van Persie

The future: Despite the awful recent record of Dutch clubs they continue to nuture and sell off some good players to foreign leagues throughout Europe and still healthily survive. Naturally to say the big three of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord do have some scary good talent coming through, again if they live up to their potential then the future is brighter.

Thanks for reading
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#2
Koeman finally appointed by the KNVB and time to sit back and see how 'big Ron' sets up a solid foundation in a Netherlands team that requires stability. Then the gradual rebuilding process begins with nurturing a new generation of young Dutch footie talent. The soccer coaching structure, that was set up by the KNVB in the 1960s, is still one of the best in the world and they can count themselves very unfortunate not to have won the World Cup at least once TBF. However, a dearth of top talent would affect any footie nation and even the top ones. It is just a case of utilising the system to eventually 'filter out' the best of that new generation of youth players and nurturing them to good effect with a decent manager/coach 'on board'. Patience is a virtue!
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