Can Netherlands exceed restrained expectations at World Cup 2022? | Football News

Earlier World Cup appearances: 10
Titles: 0
Greatest end: Runners-up (1974, 1978, 2010)
World Cup document: W27 D12 L11
Objectives: 86
Greatest win: 5-0 vs South Korea (1988)
Participant to observe: Virgil van Dijk
Rating: 8
Fixtures: Senegal (November 21), Ecuador (November 25), Qatar (November 29)

Because the Netherlands head to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, expectations amongst followers are extra restrained than in earlier tournaments.

The present Oranje squad is just not as star-studded as earlier generations and exited the European Championships final 12 months with a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic within the spherical of 16.

Since then, the Netherlands have notched up a string of spectacular outcomes towards formidable opposition, together with two wins over neighbours Belgium within the Nations League to high their group.

A beneficial draw with Qatar, Senegal and Ecuador within the World Cup group levels has additional buoyed spirits.

The nation additionally seems behind supervisor Louis Van Gaal who led them to the World Cup 2014 closing after it was revealed he was receiving remedy for prostate most cancers.

Louis Van Gaal
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal forward of a Nations League match towards Wales within the UEFA Nations League, June eighth 2022, Cardiff, Wales [Peter Cziborra/Reuters]

Shut however no cigar

The Netherlands has produced many nice groups in its historical past however in the end underachieved on the worldwide stage, failing to win the World Cup regardless of reaching three finals.

It was in 1974 that the Netherlands, captained by Johan Cruyff, reached their first closing utilising their type of “Whole Soccer” – the place outfield gamers can change place whereas retaining organisational construction. The staff stormed the knockout phases, swatting apart Argentina, East Germany and Brazil, however finally misplaced the ultimate to West Germany.

4 years later, they’d fall brief within the closing as soon as once more as Argentina scored two targets in further time to win.

The Eighties would see a decline in Dutch soccer at each membership and worldwide ranges, with the nationwide aspect failing to qualify for a World Cup. Nevertheless, the staff, impressed by Marco Van Basten, would win the 1988 European Championships.

Within the Nineteen Nineties, a brand new technology of Dutch stars that included Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf and Dennis Bergkamp jettisoned the Netherlands to a collection of spectacular however in the end disappointing World Cup campaigns.

In 2010, the Netherlands would take Spain to further time in a feisty closing however an extra-time winner from Andres Iniesta sealed the win for the Spaniards.

4 years later, a tactically astute Dutch staff oscillated between free-scoring attacking ways that resulted in Robin Van Persie’s well-known lobbed header in a 5-1 rout of Spain and cautious defensive shows that noticed them eke out two goalless attracts resulted in a third-place end.

The Netherlands would fail to qualify in 2018 after ending third of their qualifying group to France and Sweden.

Van Gaal’s goalkeeping headache

Probably the most heated discussions round staff choice have targeted on who ought to begin in purpose.

Supervisor Van Gaal dropped common keeper Jasper Cillessen who moved to Dutch membership NEC from Valencia, for 2 Nations League fixtures.

Cillessen’s perspective has additionally been referred to as into query by former teammate Rafael van der Vaart who described him as a “nasty man”.

Virgil van Dijk Netherlands
Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring towards Belgium within the Nations League UEFA Nations League. Johan Cruijff Area, Amsterdam, Netherlands – September 25, 2022 [Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters]

In a shock transfer, van Gaal handed veteran keeper Remko Pasveer his first senior cap on the age of 38 in September. Nevertheless, the Ajax shot-stopper has seen a drop in type on the membership degree in latest weeks.

Feyenoord’s goalkeeper, Justin Bijlow, can also be in rivalry, however the 24-year-old has additionally suffered a drop in type.

The Oranje boast a strong, star-studded line of defense with the likes of Liverpool FC’s Virgil van Dijk and Manchester Metropolis’s Nathan Aké. Van Gaal has dropped Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt in favour of the extra agile Jurriën Timber.

Van Gaal has experimented along with his midfield in latest matches, however a number of gamers are assured to begin, together with the versatile Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and former Manchester United defensive midfielder Daley Blind.

Up entrance, Ajax’s Steven Bergjwin and FC Barcelona’s Memphis Depay will possible begin if match.