De Jong impresses me in midfield- Didier Deschamps wary of the Netherlands
Written by: Tushaar Sachdeva
The Les Bleus gaffer will be careful against a rejuvenated Dutch side, who will be gunning for glory.
In the last round of fixtures in Group 1 of League A in UEFA Nation's League, Netherlands play two games in this International break. Hosting their first game against France, the French coach Didier Deschamps speaking before the kick-off, insisted that the world champions are not underestimating the rejuvenated Dutch team.
France need to make sure that they do not lose the match in Rotterdam to seal a place in the knockout stages. They sit atop with seven points and a game to play but the Dutchmen are in a pole position, they need to win the game against France and ensure atleast a point against Germany.
Talking about the key play of Ronald Koeman's side, Didier Deschamps picked out Frenkie de Jong as the key the man to run their engine.
"We tend to praise attacking players, but there is one that impresses me and that's the young De Jong in midfield, with his intelligence, his ability to bring the ball out and get it forward," said Deschamps.
The Netherlands hammered Germany 3-0 in the previous fixture and stumbled to defeat with only a single goal making all the difference.
"(Qualification) depends on us, through tomorrow's result which should see us ensure first place in the group. We know what we have to do," added Deschamps.
"Even if a draw is enough for us, we will play this match with the ambition and the goal of winning it."
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On the other hand, Ronald Koeman said, “We have to focus on our competition, because we still have a young team. And the development of these young players will play an important role for this Dutch team."
“A young team needs more experience, but the balance in the team is good. The next step is when we know how to qualify for the European Championships. We want to dominate the game, but they have a few players with lots of individual qualities. They have a lot of speed up front, so their biggest asset is the counter-attack. That is why it will probably be more difficult tomorrow than in Paris.”
The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which followed an overhaul of backroom staff and football association's administration. Since then, the team has shown slow yet steady progress
Published: Fri Nov 16, 2018 06:03 PM IST