Euro 2012: Whats Wrong With The Dutch National Team?

 
on June 19 2012 2:06 AM
Euro 2012: Whats Wrong With The Dutch National Team?

Just take a look at the names of the Netherlands' top players which include, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van Der Vaart, Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. There is nothing these guys can't accomplish if they played like a team. But playing like a team is a challenge for these Dutch stars. They must take a leaf out of the books of teams like Greece, who despite having an average group of players, managed to back each other and roared past the rampant Russian's who looked certain to qualify.

There is no one single person you can blame for losing all their group games. There were several factors contributing to it.

The battle between van Persie and Huntelaar for the top centre forward position seemingly consumed this team to the point that in before Euro 2012 began, coach Bert van Marjwik jokingly asked if anyone in Parliament had asked about it recently. When van Marjwik revealed his decision to start with van Persie, Huntelaar started having tantrums. We all know both are excellent marksmen, but there is a plan with three attacking midfielders and one striker. If Marjwik thought, van Persie is the man for him, Huntelaar should have shown some respect and support before going to the press.

Now comes the curious case of Robben. He is skilled, has a deft touch and can shoot from impossible angles. He is dangerous in the box, out of the box and can switch sides and play in any position. Every coach dreams of a player like him. But you can't throw your shirt, when you are substituted. You just can't jump over the signboards without even looking at the face of your compatriot who just went in.

This is largely due to an attitude problem with the Bayern Munich star. Robben is too often criticized for being selfish inside the box but you can't blame him entirely for this. Being an attacking mid fielder he is licensed to shoot, but at times he gets too carried away.

Netherlands never looked like a unit because the forwards are so detached with the proceedings at the back. Joris Mathijsen, Nigel De Jong and their keeper Maarten Stekelenburg are often expected to fend off the goal threats among themselves. The men in Orange sure have to plug this gap if they aim to be a better team.

Spain are a blend of Barcelona and Madrid players who can't stand each other in their El'Classico clashes. But they are united when they don the Spanish jersey. A lot of praise goes to their skipper Iker Casillas for getting the best out of this squad.

The Dutch skipper Mark Van Bommel has no such influence on his squad. Many Dutch players have questioned his inclusion in the squad ahead of van Der Vaart. He is Marjwik's son-in-law and this makes matters more complicated. Diego Maradona, left out his highly talented son-in-law, Sergio Aguero and played Gonzalo Higuan regularly.

This makes one rule exceptionally clear future reference. If you have someone related to you in the squad, you need him to be exceptionally better then the next player who can play his role, or else there will be unnecessary fingers pointed in your direction.

 These are a few pointers for the Dutch team,

1. Never go directly to the media with your problems. Talk to your teammates, your manager and seek an amicable solution.

2. You need to be patient. There are only 11 players who can play at once. Your time will come.

3. Do not make controversial team selections. Let the better player play.

4. We all know that given any day, the Dutch team, are never short of strikers. Be a little less selfish and pass when you are not in a scoring position.

5. Last but not the least, play like a team.  

Spain were always tagged as the perennial underachievers, as they never won at a major tournament with a largely talented squad but shed that title since winning the 2010 World Cup. Since then, the Dutch have been the world's torchbearers for selfishness. It's too bad because they could have been great.

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