Although Holland’s loss to France on Monday was disappointing, the reaction following the final whistle was different from before. For once, there was a sense of optimism that the Oranje were finally back on the right path. For once, there is hope.

  • By Ibrahim Ayyub
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It’s never an easy task when facing the reigning World Cup champion, especially when it’s on their homecoming night as they celebrated their recent World Cup triumph in front of their fans. Nonetheless, that was the daunting task awaiting the Oranje when they faced France on Monday night. However,  the young team hung with the World Cup Champions for most of the game before falling to them 2-1.

These last eight years, we witnessed the Oranje play without a purpose and, some would say, without passion. They resembled zombies on the pitch as they failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018. The quality on the pitch was not what it once was and the coaching seemed uninspired. The Oranje played without a solid defence while the attack seemed predictable and bland.

We are witnessing a new era unfold before our eyes. The old guard is truly gone now that Robben and Sneijder have bid farewell to representing the Oranje. Cillessen seems more confident than ever with a defence led by captain Virgil van Dijk who may found his perfect partner in crime, the young Matthijs de Ligt. Hopefully, it was rare off night for Tete at right back and we will see better performances from him in the future. The midfield with Georginio Wijnaldum and the young phenom Frenkie de Jong showed us flashes of what this team is capable of doing, and Memphis Depay leading the charge.

Sure, there are still some pieces missing to complete the puzzle, especially up front and with the left back position. Yet, the likes of those above-mentioned players along with Nathan Aké, Donny van de Beek, Justin Kluivert and Luuk de Jong means that for the first time, that the future is bright and that we are no longer staring into the abyss. Perhaps, Ronaldo Koeman is the Obi-Wan Kenobi to these players where he can provide hope for a better future.

It will take time, and Koeman still needs to work on the team’s first-half struggles. Nonetheless, this is a project that will require patience. It’s time to plan for the future and not focus on short-term success that set the Oranje back. Right now, the future is looking good… for the first time in a long time.

Ibrahim Ayyub (24 Posts)