“We have to wait and see,” said the national coach at a press conference in Zeist. According to Koeman, the staff will check tomorrow morning whether both players can participate from kick-off, or whether they are only fit enough for a substitute. “Matthijs was back a little faster than Gakpo,” said Koeman. “We’ll see.”
Gakpo and De Ligt dropped out on Thursday in preparation for the match against France. That also applied to Bart Verbruggen, Sven Botman and Joey Veerman. The five turned out to be suffering from stomach flu. Without them, the Dutch were treated to a hopeless defeat by France in Paris: 0-4.
Possible debut Wieffer
Central defender De Ligt (Bayern Munich) and keeper Verbruggen (RSC Anderlecht) already returned to the Orange squad yesterday. Liverpool striker Gakpo reported again in Zeist today.
Denzel Dumfries was missing against France due to a suspension. The right back of Internazionale is allowed to participate against Gibraltar (kick-off at 8.45 pm). Mats Wieffer is also available for the duel in De Kuip. The Feyenoord midfielder was an important candidate to start against the French, but according to national coach Koeman he was not underarm fresh either. Presumably that is why Kenneth Taylor appeared at the kick-off. If Wieffer is fit enough, the chance of a debut is high, partly because Taylor was seriously disappointed against France.
Koeman also indicated at the press conference that he does not regret letting the Dutch national team play with four defenders against France on Friday. After the hopeless defeat in Stade de France (4-0), the national coach is not considering letting the Orange play football with five defenders in the future.
Trust in 4-3-3
Louis van Gaal, Koeman’s predecessor, had the Dutch national team play with five defenders. According to him, the Orange only had a chance of winning the title of the World Cup in Qatar. In the end, the Netherlands was eliminated in the quarterfinals. In regular time and extra time, the later world champion Argentina was held at 2-2, but Messi and his teammates took the penalties better.
Koeman realizes that he could have chosen five defenders on Friday against a strong opponent like France. “I could have, but I didn’t choose it,” he said. “I also see the old system as a one-off. I have a lot of confidence in our system. I have not had a second doubt that we should have done things differently. We will not do things differently in the future. It really gets better, I’m convinced of that.”
If the Orange gets a penalty kick, Memphis Depay will be ‘just’ behind the ball for the time being. The striker missed a penalty against France in the final phase. Goalkeeper Mike Maignan went to the right corner and turned the bet, which was not convincingly shot. “As far as I am concerned, it is clear that he can still take them. He can still be number 1 from me,” said the national coach.
It was already the fourth time that Depay left a penalty, penalty series excluded, unused.
Koeman praised defender Nathan Aké and the way he has developed at Manchester City and the Dutch national team. “What we want, he does.”
“He plays in a squad that exemplifies how football can and should be played,” said Koeman, referring to City. “If you become a permanent fixture in that, that says something. Trainer Guardiola from City called me for my birthday last week and he immediately said that I have to look after Nathan here at the Orange. That says something that you feel like this.” one manager. He is an example for everyone.”
According to Koeman, 28-year-old Aké was one of the few Orange players on Friday who scored a sufficient score during the game against France. The left-footed defender was also one of the best players for the Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar at the end of last year.
Shortly after five players were signed off, there was speculation that a meal of chicken curry was the culprit, but that was denied by captain Virgil van Dijk: