With Germany booking their place in the final, they face either Netherlands or Argentina. We at Outside of the Boot take a look at how the sides have set-up tactically so far.
Prior to the start of the tournament, this Netherlands side was deemed as one of the weakest Dutch sides to enter the competition. Concerns about whether the Netherlands were in a period of transition filled the air with people wondering if they could bridge the gap between the young and old well enough. As the tournament progressed, we witnessed some spectacular individual performances, excellent team play, stunning goals and some tactical brilliance brought forth by van Gaal. The Oranje have been a spectacle to watch and here, we dig deep into the tactics the Netherlands have used so far in the tournament.
Spain 1-5 Netherlands
Starting Line Up: Cillessen, De Vrij (Veltmaan 77’), Vlaar, Martins Indi, Janmaat, De Guzman (Wijnaldum 62’), De Jong, Blind, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie (Lens 79’)
Detailed Tactical Analysis: Spain 1-5 Netherlands
The expected Dutch formation was a 3-5-2, despite the coach playing it down, and that’s the way they went. Van Gaal decided to start with De Vrij, Vlaar and Martins at the heart of the Dutch defence while Blind and Janmaat were assigned the wing back positions. De Jong and Guzman were in midfield while Sneijder played ahead of them, constructing the attacks with Robben on the left and van Persie on the right. The first half saw the three man Oranje defence expose their goal quite a bit with gaps forming between them. However, luckily, Spain lacked the runs that were necessary to punish the Dutch defence. The Dutch wing backs, on the other hand, put in an excellent offensive shift that was sufficiently rewarded with goals. The wider areas were a constant threat in attack and with Robben’s speed and movement, clubbed with his and van Persie’s centrally focussed runs proved to be more than just a handful for Spain to deal with.
Australia 2-3 Netherlands
Starting Line Up: Cillessen, De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi (Depay 45’), Janmaat, De Guzman (Wijnaldum 78’), De Jong, Blind, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie (Lens 87’)
The Dutch fielded the same squad that hammered the defending World Cup champions against the Australians. Once again, the same strategy was employed with a three man defence, and an attack headed by van Persie and Robben with Sneijder behind them. Wing backs provided further support. Robben’s pace and incisiveness helped the Dutch take the lead which proved to work against them as the Oranje seemed to temporarily switch off. A switch in formation saw the 3-5-2 change to a 4-3-3 with van Persie down the middle, Robben out wide in the right and Depay brought on from the bench to complete the front three, a change that proved effective in the end.
Netherlands 2-0 Chile
Starting Line Up: Cillessen, De Vrij, Vlaar, Blind, Janmaat, Wijnaldum, De Jong, Kuyt (Kongolo 89’), Sneijder (Fer 75’), Robben, Lens (Depay 69’)
Detailed Tactical Analysis: Netherlands 2-0 Chile
The defence was composed of De Vrij, Vlaar and Blind forming the back three while Kuyt and Janmaat were the assigned wing backs. De Jong and Wijnaldum were placed in front of the defenders while Sneijder retained his position right behind the first line of attack. Lens came in for the suspended van Persie to play on the left side of the spear tip while Robben occupied the right. The Dutch struggled to hold on to the ball in the first half and were forced to play long balls with Chile pressurizing them very high up. This forced the Dutch to shift to a counter attacking style of play, relying on their pace and movement. Blind and Sneijder were employed to deal with the Chilean threats in the form of Sanchez and Diaz respectively.
Netherlands 2-1 Mexico
Starting Line Up: Cillessen; De Vrij; Vlaar; Blind; Verhaegh (Depay 56′); Wijnaldum; De Jong (Martins Indi 9′); Kuyt; Sneijder; Robben; van Persie (Huntelaar 76′).
Detailed Tactical Analysis: Netherlands 2-1 Mexico
The back three in the form of De Vrij, Vlaar and Blind were called up once again. Janmaat was replaced my Verhaegh while Kuyt held on to the other wing back position. Sneijder continued to play behind the strikers while the returning van Persie saw Lens drop to the bench. Unlike their previous two games that saw the opposing teams come and attack, Mexico were happy to sit back and invite the Dutch forward. This change was dealt with by Sneijder dropping a lot deeper than where he played in the first three games. With both teams playing with similar formations, it was a matter of individual ability that saw the game tilt towards the Dutch.
Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (4-3 pens)
Starting Line Up: Cillessen (Krul 120’); De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi (Huntelaar 105’); Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Blind; Robben, Van Persie, Depay (Lens 76’).
Detailed Tactical Analysis: Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (4-3 pens)
The Dutch switched their formation for this game. The back three consisted of De Vrij, Martins Indi and Vlaar and in front of this back three saw Blind play out wide on the left, Kuyt on the other flank, Wijnaldum as cover for the defence and Sneijder with a slightly more advanced role, though he continued to drop deep. In attack, Depay occupied the left flank while Robben took the right, which placed van Persie down the middle. This set up saw Blind and Kuyt push forward which allowed Depay and Robben to make runs more centrally, forming a more cumulative threat. With Costa Rica employing a 5 man defence, the Dutch were unable to find a way through despite pushing hard and hitting the cross bar twice. Costa Rica changed their formation later in the game from a 5-4-1 to 5-2-3 to pressurize the Dutch back three and break up the build up from the back.
Latest posts by Razim Refai (see all)
- Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week #24: Niklas Sule, Kingsley Coman, and more - March 15, 2016
- Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week #21: Alireza Jahanbaksh, Jurgen Locadia and more - February 16, 2016
- Talent Radar Young Goalkeeper Rankings: Jack Butland reclaims top position - February 16, 2016
100 to Watch
2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Dani Ceballos and Leroy Sane feature
A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young...
2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 10 Young Defenders – Edition 1
Football News 24/7 Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe,...
Tactical Analysis: Juventus 4-0 Torino | Home side too strong to play against
Ryan Tank writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Serie A match that ended Juventus 4-0 Torino. Torino suffered from...
Scout Report: Axel Tuanzebe | Manchester United’s defensive starlet
Ravi Inder Gill takes a look at Axel Tuanzebe, Man Utd’s young defender waiting in the shadows. In today’s game,...
Interview: Brandon Fernandes on experiencing football outside India, a longer ISL, and FC Goa’s upcoming campaign
Outside of the Boot gets the chance to sit down with FC Goa’s talented midfielder, Brandon Fernandes There’s been a lot...
Scout Report: Ousmane Dembélé | Barcelona’s Versatile Winger
Miles Olusina breaks down the abilities of the canny Barcelona and France winger Ousmane Dembélé as he embarks on his...
Scout Report: Steven Bergwijn | PSV Eindhoven’s rising star
Wang Yulin takes a look at PSV’s exciting Dutch attacker Steven Bergwijn When you think of the team ‘PSV Eindhoven’,...
Hanoi FC: The Vietnamese Champions struggling to connect with the locals
Trong Nhan Doan looks at the peculiar case of Hanoi FC Most of the time, the most successful team is...
Expected Goals: A Pioneering Method of Analysing Football
The Football Code has a look at expected goals, a new metric set to revolutionize statistics-based analysis of football Football...
Tactical Analysis: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid | Clash of two organised sides
Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week La Liga clash that ended Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid The clash of two organized...
Tactical Analysis: Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich | Ancelotti’s men secure hard fought win
Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week Bundesliga match that ended Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich. Schalke: Fahrmann, Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic, Caliguri, McKennie...
2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1
Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in...
Déjà vu on Tyneside: Why Newcastle are being left short-changed by familiar failings
Jeffrey Gamby-Boulger looks critically at Newcastle’s repeated failings in recent years and why Mike Ashley is the root of those problems. ‘It’s the same...
Hipster Guide 2017-18: UEFA Europa League | Part Two
Oliver McManus takes us on a journey through some of the more obscure parts of Europe as he tells us...
Tactical Philosophy: Leonardo Jardim
While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...
Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Pietro Pellegri and Joshua Kimmich feature
A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...
Tactical Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City | Tottenham’s half space focus against Swansea’s compact block
Ryan Tank provides a tactical analysis of the Premier League game that finished Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City Tottenham attacked...
Scout Report: Maxwel Cornet | Lyon’s latest starlet
Josh Sippie breaks down Maxwel Cornet, Lyon’s dynamic attacker. Olympique Lyon just have a knack for plucking supremely talented youth...
Scout Report: Marcos Llorente | Real Madrid’s young midfielder
Karan Tejwani provides the lowdown on Real Madrid’s talented midfielder, Marcos Llorente. Real Madrid have made smart purchases from Spanish...
Scout Report: Eddie Nketiah | Arsenal’s academy talent
Josh Sippie takes a look at highly-rated Arsenal academy striker Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal’s youth ranks are always going to be...
Talent Radar Award History
Subscribe via Email
Young Player Rankings 17-18
More on Outside of the Boot
Specials3 weeks ago
Analysis: Mourinho’s Manchester United defence and the 4-4-2
Talent Radar1 month ago
La Liga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Opinions1 month ago
FC Barcelona and their Transfer Recruitment Circus
100 to Watch in 20179 months ago
100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2017 | Part 5 | Midfielders
Tactical Analysis3 weeks ago
Tactical Analysis: Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal | Klopp Exposes Wenger’s Stubbornness
Talent Radar1 month ago
Serie A’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Talent Radar1 month ago
Bundesliga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Tactical Analysis1 month ago
Tactical Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona | Real’s Pressing Excellence