'Our midfield is getting weaker and weaker'Oct 20, 2014
In his weekly column in Dutch newspaper 'De Telegraaf' Johan Cruyff criticizes the way Dutch football teams make use of their midfield. ''While OUR strength was in the diamond formation on the midfield, nowadays only two midfielders are controlling that area. This way, the once so strong Dutch midfield is getting weaker and weaker by the day.''
Johan Cruyff feels the mediocre play of the Dutch national team is not necessarily the fault of head coach Guus Hiddink. Once again Cruyff appeals to a change in the education of Dutch football players and takes the match between FC Twente and Ajax as an example. ''With Twente putting pressure, Ajax were not capable of passing the ball three times in a row and the same happened to Twente when Ajax took the initiative. In the Eredivisie you can see on a weekly basis how teams run into trouble once the opponent is putting pressure on them. That is why the results of the Dutch national team cannot be dismissed by humiliating the national coach, but instead serious questions should be put on how the education of the players can be tackled.''
Cruyff is missing the 'third man' on the pitch in order to get a faster and better changeover and gets nostalgic about his own time as a head coach. ''In the past my defence at FC Barcelona consisted out of two backs who once started as wingers and Pep Guardiola with Ronald Koeman in the centre. So not just ONE typical defender and not just ONE player who was good with his head. It worked because if the team lost possession of the ball the striker was the first there to defend and that focus ran through the whole team. With our way of playing not the striker but the winger was the player with the most goals in the team. In any situation, three players were constantly working together in order to benefit from the space they had created.''