Dutch Division – The Inside Story
Tonight’s all important Group B clash between the Netherlands and Germany is a vital one for the Oranje. Bert Van Marwijk will be well aware that victory is necessary for the Netherlands to add raise the spirits after their dreadful performance against Denmark. The Netherlands have had a rivalry with Germany ever since the early 1970s and tonight’s game will be as intense as ever with the two teams not having won international trophies for some time now. However victory won’t be the only thing on Van Marwijk’s mind. He has a squad issues.
Playing two defensive midfielders was always a negative move by the Dutch coach seeing that he has world class attacking players warming the bench. The decision to field such a formation has gained even more criticism after the Oranje’s loss to the Danes. What is even more worrying is that criticism has come from his very own squad. Van der Vaart, the team’s vice-captain, has let his disappointment at being made to start from the bench known at a rather critical time for his team.
“The coach has made up his mind. He has certain preferences and I’m not one of the players he prefers. I don’t feel like I can do anything to make him change his mind,” Van der Vaart complained in a thinly-veiled criticism. “I have to admit that it’s not an easy situation for me. Some days I feel better than others, but I’m obviously disappointed.”
Criticism has also arrived from Urby Emanuelson who has stated that he’s lost faith in Van Marwijk after not being selected by the coach for the Euros. Rumour has it that players in the Dutch camp are concerned by the coach’s favoritism of Mark Van Bommel who also happens to be the coach’s son-in-law.
It’s not long before more of the squad begin voicing their opinions and this will definitely not help the team.
Victory over Germany tonight is needed for Van Marwijk if he is to defend his selections and still have the faith of a nation who were left disappointed after losing to Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final. Van der Vaart and the rest of his squad will have to keep their opinions to themselves if they really want to win this year’s Euros.
One thing is for sure though, the Dutch squad is a pressure cooker of egos and if it explodes the Oranje can give up all hope of winning anything for some time to come. The nation will be hoping they pull a France styled mutiny.
- By Dwayne F, Resident Football Fanatic