Netherlands searches for lost identity

Qatar World Cup

It is enough for Van Gaal’s men to add a point this Tuesday against the eliminated Qatar to go to the round of 16

The draw between the Netherlands and Ecuador (1-1) left everything pending for the last day in group A, especially after Senegal’s –predictable– victory against the lazy host, Qatar. The African team has also gotten into the fight for the ticket for the round of 16, but there is only a place for two. Place your bets.

A point against the Qataris is enough for the Dutch tomorrow –they add up their matches for defeats– at the Al Bayt Stadium (4:00 pm) to go through to the next round, but the ‘orange’ team needs something more. It is not worth it just to pass. You need to find your lost identity and psychologically rearm yourself. It is urgent to hit the table after a rather poor start in order to dispel doubts for the next phase.

The midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the striker Gakpo – two goals – have been the positive note for the Netherlands. An oasis in the middle of the desert. The Barça player has arrived at the World Cup at a great moment and is, without a doubt, one of the team’s leaders. The beacon that sheds light on a bewildered midfield, but has not yet found the ideal travel companion. He is quite alone in the creation and the team suffers more than necessary.

lack of forcefulness

The Netherlands do not dominate the game and have a hard time getting to the top. But not only that. His lack of forcefulness in the wide zone means that rivals also generate danger with relative ease. In the debut against Senegal, De Jong’s partner in the double pivot was Berghuis and against Ecuador it was Koopmeiners who occupied that position. Neither of them was the ideal complement to De Jong.

«We have been very bad. When we have the ball, we can do much better”, acknowledged the orange midfielder after drawing with Ecuador, making it clear that the game is not as expected. All of this could lead Van Gaal to change his system against a Qatar that, with nothing to lose – they are eliminated – will go out to try to score points. The veteran ‘orange’ coach could opt for entering Marten De Roon or the young Ajax player, Kenneth Taylor. The Netherlands has the ticket to the round of 16 in his hand.


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