giovedì 28 giugno 2012

Coach Bert van Merwijk resigned

Henk Spaan - editor of Hard Gras - said after the World Cup 2010 final that Holland destroyed a 40-year tradition of Total Football. The Netherlands have a tradition of playing attacking football, while van Marwijk’s squad played a pragmatic brend of football in 2010. So the coach was under pressure to come back to the old way. But Holland's effort to come back to his well known and prideful '70s' play style failed miserably. Total Football wasn't here. And, as you know, Bert van Marwijk has stepped down as Holland's coach. van Marwijk was fighting to retain his job after this terrible Euro Cup. KNVB confirmed him, but the coach decided to step down after his team were eliminated in the first round of the tournament following three straight defeats against Denmark, Germany and Portugal. Former Feyenoord and Borussia Dortmund coach relied on the squad which lost the World Cup 2010 to Spain but it didn't pay. He stayed with his usual starting XI, and forgot on the bench young guns such as Kevin Strootman or Ron Vlaar. The problem here was also that van Marwijk lost the dressing room: his relationships with Arjen Robben, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Rafael van der Vaart, who had publicly criticised him, were bad. There was tension there, and not a positive one. On the pitch, his team was outplayed, specially in middle, where Mark van Bommel, coach's son-in-law, and Nigel de Jong were a mess. And the decision of van Marwijk to play with two holding players was highly criticized. The defense was slow and not good enough, the attackers up top never worked - mainly against Denmark when Holland didin't score despite they had over 30 shots - and a dualism was created in a nation split about  Robin van Persie or Huntelaar as Van Marwijk's pick at centre forward. Some players underperformed: van Persie scored  43 goals in 54 appearances for both Arsenal and Holland this season but, match against Germany aside, didn't find the net. The team had not a reliable left-back in Jetro Willems, 18 years-old, too young to fill the void. But the task to sub Van Marwijk will be not easy: after all, he's the man that lead the Dutch near to be World Cup champions. The questions is: who will replace him? After the disaster of World Cup 2002, should be not easy to see Louis Van Gaal in charge of Oranje once more. Ruud Gullit too lost his appeal after unimpressive stints with Feyenoord, Los Angeles Galaxy and Terek Grozny. Frank Rijkaard has previously coached Holland and reached the semi-finals at Euro 2000 so he could deserve another chance. He's the current Saudi Arabia's head coach. Former international Frank de Boer did a great job the past two seasons leading Ajax to two Eredivisie crowns but he seems determined to stay with the club. Guus Hiddink is another former Holland boss but he got a big paycheck with Anzhi Makhachkala. Two ousiders could be Gertjan Verbeek and Will Van Hanegem. Coo Adriaanse is unemployed, and he's a guy that can satisfy KNVB's demand about tactics and philosophy. Be that as it may, with Holland criticised for a lack of fitness, the first goal should be to bring on Dutch fitness trainer Raymond Verheijen.

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