At his club Eindhoven, he is not usually afraid to name all the pain points realistically after a match. According to Denzel Dumfries (25), there are plenty of other experienced players in the Dutch national team who would dare to go public with an uncomfortable truth. “I think we have a lot of capacity for self-criticism in the selection. These are mainly players who have already played major tournaments, such as Martin Stecklenburg, Georginio Wijnaldum and Daley Blind. We are very busy with each other and improving each other,” Dumfries said at Zeist on Tuesday.
The PSV player sat behind a table in the furnished press center on the KNVB campus. UEFA, the European Championship organizer, obliges national teams to organize a daily media moment from now on. This time Dumfries had spent fifteen minutes of chores with Owen Wyjendal. The two full-backs who play an important role in national coach Frank de Boer’s playing style: Dumfries on the right, Jendal on the left. Things did not go smoothly in the training matches against Scotland and Georgia.
The usually critical Dumfries doesn’t find it odd that his fellow players and coach are positive after the game against Georgia on Sunday. “So am I. Of course, there were also moments of improvement. In certain situations we left a lot of space. We analyzed that right away, just like the attacking game. Creating chances was already much better than facing Scotland.”
Dumfries thought practice games were very useful. “I think they are decisive. I faced certain things in those matches, we discussed that based on the video images.”
In the 5-3-2 concept chosen by national coach Frank de Boer, Dumfries and Wendall have to defend both sides when the opponents have possession of the ball. If Holland gets the ball, they are supposed to advance along the line and act as half-wingers. Dumfries: “It makes sense that it takes a while for this system to crash. It’s asking you for other things. We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect from the start. It’s a process. We’re on our way in that regard. We still have a week to tick the i. I have complete confidence that everything will be fine.”
Dumfries learned that a national debate had arisen over the tactics. “The biggest advantage is that it is more compact defensively. You are in the back with more men, while there is plenty of room to attack.” In the concept he played at PSV Eindhoven this season under Roger Schmidt (4-2-2-2), Dumfries played a big role in the emergence.
“It works for me now. I particularly see many advantages in this system. Owen and I are active players and we can now unleash that energy,” Dumfries said. On Sunday, Dumfries only made one pass, which Memphis Depay just missed. That giving a good cross is not his business. “I know my qualities and the guys on the team too. My presentation isn’t good sometimes, although I can also put in a good ball, you know. I have to rely mainly on other things, like speed.”
Wijndal (21) was still clearly looking at training matches. At AZ, he used to play along the line with a left half and a left wing in front of him. “Yes, he’s used to it, it’s a new system for me. The hardest part is that there’s no one in front of me. It’s up to you to decide where you are: when to be low and when to be high,” he speaks in a language. “Fortunately, we have a few players who actually played like this in the 2014 World Cup. We talk about it a lot as well with the coach. It is clear what I have to do.”
De Boer has already described it as a “good learning process”, meanwhile, the first game of the European Championship against Ukraine is approaching on Sunday. This brings pressure. Wijndal: “Of course it’s sexy, but we know we have qualities.” The young Arizona defender said that many games are played at the hotel to excite one’s senses. “This is important to the feel of the group.”
Van de Beek leaves the wounded
Donny van de Beek (24) withdrew from the European Championships due to injury. I have left the check in Zest. Denzel Dumfries called it the “big bummer.” “You two work together for such a tournament. Doni is part of the group, so it’s a tough blow. For him and for us,” said the PSV captain.
National team coach Frank de Boer does not think it is necessary to call up a replacement at this time. “It’s always sad that the boys have to drop out of school due to injury,” said de Boer, who is now working towards the match against Ukraine with 25 players instead of 26, in Amsterdam on Sunday. “A new delivery at this point is not ideal. I also have enough midfielders on my roster to accommodate it. At the moment I prefer to leave the group as it is.”
Van de Beek already trained separately from the group on Monday, with Matisse de Ligt (groin complaints). KNVB does not state what the injury is for privacy reasons, but it is about the thigh. Van de Beek had already struggled with this at his club, Manchester United, in recent weeks and did not want the injury to worsen by playing in the European Championship.
Orange does not need a positive expert at the moment
With faith, hope and “focus”, the Dutch national team began the final stage of preparations for the European Championship in the Zaster bubble.
“Evil tv fanatic. Proud thinker. Wannabe internet trailblazer. Music specialist. Organizer. Hardcore pop culture expert.”