After Bert Van Marwijk resigned as Holland coach after a disastrous Euro 2012 showing, can Holland rebuild for the 2014 World Cup?
It is a question that may have sounded inane after the 2010 World Cup. Then, Van Marwijk led Holland to the final, eliminating giants Brazil in the process. Hoping to win the competition for the first time in their history, having reached two consecutive finals in 1974/78, it was ultimately Spain who broke their hearts that year and to date, Holland have only ever won one major tournament – Euro 1988.
In this years Euro’s, despite being the highest goalscorers in qualifying, Holland failed to earn a single point in Group B – the so called “Group of Death” – having lost to Denmark, Germany and Portugal to finish with an embarrassing zero points.
Before this dramatic reversal in fortunes, they were World Number 1 in the Fifa Rankings in August last year.
So the question is – can Holland rediscover these dizzying heights of success, or will it be another twenty four years of trophy-less misery for the Oranje?
Fourteen members of the twenty-three man squad chosen by van Marwijk to contest Euro 2012 are currently 28 or above. By the time the 2014 World Cup comes calling, the likes of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be thirty. Fellow forward Dirk Kuyt will be 33, whilst vice captain Rafael van der Vaart will be 31. At the age of 35, captain Mark van Bommel has played his last tournament, having recently retired.
To say that Holland require a massive rebuild is an understatement. The job at hand is gigantic – how do you set about replacing the national teams 7th and 8th all time highest goalscorers in Huntelaar and van Persie? Similarly, replacing your 5th, 6th and 7th most capped players is a tall order as well, but whoever next steps into the breach will have to do just that with Rafael van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder.
Click “next” below to read part 2…
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