Historically famous for Johan Cruyff’s total football and never managing to win the finals, no one ever knows what to expect of the Netherlands this year. This is particularly so if you put in mind that they are in a tough group that is well packed with big teams such as the reigning champions Spain, Australia and Chile. Here is a list of the top 10 things you need to know about the Netherlands.
11. Holland National Team Is Young
There isn’t so much of what one would term as a star stunned Dutch team but Van Gall has still managed to pull in several genuine match winners. The most stunning include Bayern Munich Winger Robben Arjen and Robin Van Persie who plays for Manchester United as a striker. Actually, not many teams in the 2014 World cup can brag of holding such a technically adept and devilishly quick pair of attackers. Just as is always the case with the typical Dutch team, there are still a couple of upcoming soccer stars that you should keep an eye on. Among them, the 22 years old feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie is the most popular.
10. The Netherlands Scooped The European Championships in 1988
Held in W. Germany, the Netherlands beat the Soviet Union 2-0 in the final match. In an earlier round, the soviet had edged them 1-0 but it seemed like they all over sudden realized that the soviet was about to collapse, and they decided to accelerate the fall. So, they stuffed them really well when they got a second chance. And of course, we all know what followed in the coming year, the Berlin wall was down and there was no more the USSR.
9. The Head Coach IS Moving On As Manager Of Manchester United
True, Van Gaal is brilliant but arrogant. He is famous for his ability to back big teams with big trophies. For instance, when he took over as Ajex lead coach in the year 1991, he congratulated the club for what he termed as, “Recruiting the best manager ever in the World Cup History“. It was his 1st big job but 4 years later, Luis van Gaal and his Ajax were lifting the trophy up. The one time when he did not make it work was in 2001, when he was selected as Netherlands coach but he had predicted they would not make it. In 2014, Van Gall was just back for another go after which he is leaving to replace David Moyes as Manchester United manager. This will be right after the World Cup tournament is over.
8. They Of Late Changed Their Formation
During his reign with the Netherlands, Van Gaal has been using a classic 4-3-3 system which featured dynamic midfielder Robin van Persie upfront supported by two wide players. However, in their friendly match against Ecuador, the Dutch changed to a 5-3-2 formation with wingbacks. Van Gall brought Robben Arjen to partner with Van persie.
7. Surprise! Netherlands Keeper Plays For Ajax
Cillessen Jasper, 25, plats for Luis Van Gaal’s beloved Ajax. It was initially thought that Michael Vorm would be the one in the 1st 11 but Jasper arguably had a far better season than Michael. Further, it can be argued that Luis has a tendency of favoring goalkeepers from his former club.
6. Very Few Caps At The Backline
Although they only conceded 5 goals in the entire qualifying matches, Netherlands defense comes with a big question mark since most of their defenders are young with little experience playing in international stages. Ron Vlaar is at the lead with only 24 caps, when both Darly Janmaat and Ajax’s Daley comes second with 16 appearances each. The most stunning defender to watch is Daley Blind, the son of the former national team defender Danny Blind, who will either be holding midfield or play left back. He is an expert in making simple targeted shots and passes.