Timber can take over De Ligt’s role: ‘I expect a change there’

Simon Zwartkruis believes that Louis van Gaal can solve a weakness of the Dutch national team from the first match of the World Cup by drafting Jurriën Timber. Matthijs de Ligt filled in the position of right central defender against Senegal, but perhaps Timber fits that position better.

“He has proven that he takes the specific qualities of the opponent into account in the composition of his team,” says Zwartkruis in the VI Orange podcast, referring to the way of working of Louis van Gaal. After the match against Senegal, Matthijs de Ligt honestly stated that his physical strength and header were the reasons why he was selected and not Timber. I do expect a change there.’

The journalist also sees that setting up De Ligt in that zone can entail a risk. ‘It is a way to pull apart a three-man block, if you show guts as an opponent and you dare to occupy the flanks. You force the right and left central defenders to pull to the sides and widen the spaces between them. That is what Van Gaal does not want, he talks about distances of five to ten meters.’

“Then you get Virgil van Dijk in a large space, which he never really experiences at Liverpool,” Zwartkruis adds. ‘There they are two in a center in a four-man defense. Timber is more flexible than De Ligt. He is also better at covering, which is also an important aspect for Van Gaal.’

Bergwijn little talkative

Finally, Zwartkruis talks about Steven Bergwijn. He joined a press conference of the Dutch national team on Wednesday and was not very talkative. “He acted unprofessional,” the reporter says sternly. ‘As a player you are not only there on behalf of yourself, but also on behalf of your team, the KNVB and the entire country. You do not only speak to the press, but you address the millions of Dutch people. You should be aware of that when you sit down there.’

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