The Dutch disease or the 'mystery case of the empty center': This Roda performance highlights the obsession of many Eredivisie coaches with possession above all else. It has lead to passing around the ball in unimportant parts of the pitch, and worse of all leads to a lack of activity in the center part of the field. This diagram is the defining element of Dutch football now... AZ: Feyenoord: PEC: Now compare this with Liverpool: or Roma: This suggests the problem may not just be players, but a systematic problem in Dutch coaching. Why the obsession with possession in the first place? My interpretation is that it is a fairly new development as even the great teams of the 70s and 90s rarely had more than 60% possession. Imo the Dutch school never came to grips with the changes to offside in 2006 which neutered the offside trap as the main defensive weapon. Defending was never our area of expertise and playing high up the pitch became a lot more difficult in the wake of the rules change. However one man seemed to have an answer: Guardiola's Barcelona used possession as a replacement for the offside trap to be able to play high up the field again without being exposed to counters all the time. Unfortunately this system cannot be copied with average players and the result is backfield ball circulation without any real penetration. Maybe it's time to do the unthinkable and really start to learn how to defend.