Women’s Euro 2022 – “It’s a complete mess!” : For the Netherlands, there is a kitchen after a plate

5 years is a long time. And on the Holland side, we’ve gone from a dream to a beautiful mess. In 2017, the team led by Sarina Wiegman achieved a historic crown and came out of nowhere at home, in a crazy atmosphere. This euphoria continued until the World Cup in France three years ago, where Daniel van de Donk’s teammates only failed in the final against the intractable United States.

Logically, the Portuguese should have claimed to have kept their crown this summer. unless… “It’s been 5 years since the last Euro, 3 years since the World Cup, so the teams have changed, the players have not had the same status depending on the year, the Netherlands is less good at the moment”Camille Abele, the former French international who lived the Euro with Batavian, analyzed a few weeks ago. His fears continued to be confirmed during a more eventful group stage phase for Mark Parsons’ players.

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“It’s a complete mess!”It even goes so far as to sum up Kevin van Nonen, a journalist for Eurosport Netherlands. “There were Covid-19, injuries, young players who did not live up to expectations, those who had hardly any experience and who suddenly had to carry the team … It is difficult for the Dutch women to cope with the post-Wegman (left to coach England since the end of 2021) “.

“Since Mark Parsons arrived, we’ve witnessed the strangest things!”exclaims our colleague, who takes for example the beginning of the controversy raised by one of the choice strikers, Jill Roard, just before the Euro: she should have retracted her remarks, saying that she was joking, after she revealed that part of the team had slept during an extended tactical session with their coach …

The French team, who has been avoided for the time being (touching wood) from Covid-19 cases, can almost count itself lucky. She “only” had to lament the absence of star striker Marie Antoinette Catuto, who injured her knee and had to leave her partners for the rest of the competition, before facing the Netherlands in the quarter-finals on Saturday (9pm, follow-up LIVE commented on Eurosport). Coming into the running for this Euro, the Netherlands quickly lost two of their pillars: goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, injured in the shoulder and also returning home, as well as defender Aniek van Nouwen, who injured his ankle after a violent tackle. .

Lack of Lake Martins? We will stay focused. They have other great players.

And it’s not over. After a draw with Sweden (1-1), the Dutch had to lament several cases of Covid-19, which particularly affected other key players, midfielder Jacqui Gronin and top scorer Vivian Miedema. If the former returns for the last meeting of the group stage against Switzerland (4-1), then the Arsenal striker, top scorer of the selection history (94 achievements), has not played again since July 9.

She must make her comeback against glaucoma, and will, despite her short playing time, be the number one danger to the Tricolores: “She knows how to score, but who can give her the right balls?”, worry Kevin Van Nonen. Because a new slab has been added to the Dutch misfortunes, with the announcement of the Lieke Martens package, the new Parisian and another major offensive hazard for the team in normal times. At this level, it even began to resemble the Ten Plagues of Egypt.

Lieke Martins, injured in Holland vs Switzerland: Low weight for her choice

Credit: Getty Images

To understand how absent he is, just listen to Parsons: “This is terrible news for us and for you.”Reaction to the announcement of his player’s departure from England. However, in their first three appearances at this Euro, the former Barcelona was less exciting than usual. When asked if her future partner’s absence would affect, Grace Giroux couldn’t escape: “To say is not to lie, she is a very great player, she finished the best player in another Euro. For us, not having her head to head can be an advantage even if it is unfortunate that it is due to injury. We will remain focused. They have other great players.”.

Our game is the same: we have the ball but we also have technical players up front, who are comfortable with the transition and fast.

Among those, at number 10, is Daniel van de Donk. The 30-year-old, who scored the decisive goal against Portugal (3-2) last week, is not in the shape of her life either. However, she has a good excuse: She injured a knee with OL at the end of December, and played her first game of the year on June 1, during the Fenottes’ last outing of the season.

But don’t count on Corinne Deacon’s squad to declare victory too soon. Les Bleues, who have remained in consecutive quarter-finals without a win in international competitions, which is the glass ceiling at the moment in Euro, and failed at this point in the last three editions (2009, 2013, 2017), expect to face the mirror in some way. “Our game is more or less the same because we have the ball but we also have technical players up front, who are comfortable with the transition and fast”Geyoro announced at a press conference a few days before the showdown.

Partners Melvin Mallard, who should start again this Saturday in Rotherham, are hoping to start strong, as they have each time in the group stage, to take the lead on the scoreboard and be reassured. Faced with the choice they remain against in the victory over the Tournoi de France in March (3-1), it will be necessary above all to manage the second half better, as they often weakened, unlike the Netherlands, who scored six of their eight goals after The end of the first half.

Mallard, the future of blue attack with red mat

Since the inception of the euro, the Netherlands has rarely been a defensive sovereign. Like the French national team, they haven’t been able to keep a clean sheet yet, and the spaces left in defense in the lanes should come in handy for strikers Delphine Cascarino and Kadediatou Diani.

The Dutch striker played only five matches

Also, the Bleues will have to use their experience, against a team that, due to the absence and few courses that both Wiegman and Parsons have had in recent years, inevitably cause a lack of experience when the basics are no longer there. . Van Nonen cites first PSV Eindhoven Isme Progts (18), who has appeared only 25 minutes so far, or Romy Leuchter (21), “The team’s top scorer (with two goals against Switzerland) is the striker with only five games”.

Romy Lochter scored the goal of the Netherlands’ victory over Switzerland at Euro 2022

Credit: Getty Images

In this group of players unaccustomed to the spotlight, however, there have been some good surprises, such as goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaer, who has made several important saves and thus manages for the time being to make the forgetfulness of captain van Veenendaal, or the Ajax Victoria midfielder Belova. Damaris Igurola, another resident of Olympique Lyonnais, could take advantage of the absence to be noticed once again in midfield, as was the case against Portugal.

If all fortune tellers seem to be turning green on the French side, there is still hope in the Dutch camp, as Kevin van Nonen concludes on an open tour: “For them to get into the semi-finals, the French players will have to collapse on the inside. But it’s a personal point that seems typical French…”. Let’s hope Charlotte Billbolt and her cohorts prove him wrong this Saturday at New York Stadium.

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