Ruud Gullit has given his assessment of Netherlands national team after their failure to qualify for Euro 2016.

  • By James Rowe

imageGullit was part of the squad the last time Netherlands failed to qualify for the Euro’s in 1984, before he went on to lift the trophy four years later.

Below is a transcript of his interview with NOS reporter Joep Schreuder on the current squad.

JS: “Is this a crisis?”

RG: “Yes it is a crisis because you could see the signs and that it was coming.”

JS: Can we blame someone?”

RG: “We have been asleep really. Everybody used to look at us as an example and we were really proud of that. But the other countries have improved and all the lesser countries now know you have to defend and that you can with limited resources achieve the best result.”

”We think that attack is the best form of defense but the other countries are not so naive anymore. When I played we had a generation that we could learn from Ruud Krol and Piet Schrijvers etc. When we started we missed a few tournaments, Euro 1984 and World Cup 1986 purely because we were still learning ”

JS: “Is there a crucial difference between now and then? You were 17, 18 but you were coming up along with van Basten & Rijkaard & Koeman”

RG: “I think that we still have a lot of good talent. Let’s not make it sound worse than it is. The most annoying thing about this squad is that they are not taken by the hand by experienced players. If you look in this case Wesley Sneijder & Robin van Persie. But they are attacking players and in my time you had defenders ”

“We speak about the criticism of Johan Cruyff towards the youth. But when Johan became manager of Ajax who did he buy? Jan Wouters & Ronald Spelbos. These are character players that give you the balance in your team. You can’t just have 11 good footballers. You also have to search for special characters for certain places in the team.”

“It is off course a completely different generation in this day and age. Players get picked up and dropped off at school. They get told everything that they must do in training. There is no own initiative anymore. Kids do not play in the playground or on the squares. Their initiative is taken away from them.You have to look at the roots. It is too easy to say that this generation has no talent when it is quite clear that they do.”

“The the wrong decisions have been made. Is it Danny Blind’s fault? no. We the public all wanted Ronald Koeman. He did not get it which is a shame. If it would have been better with Koeman? We will never know. To give an example we believed ball possession to be holy in 1988 when we won.We were the better team in the opening game against Soviet Union. We lost 1-0 and in the final the Soviet Union were better and we scored two goals. What is wisdom.?

JS: “What now”?

RG: “I refuse to accept that we are completely useless. We made a massive mistake to hang Dutch football on a system and that is at the core of the mistakes made, because people spoke about playing the Dutch way.What is that exactly? ”

James Rowe (696 Posts)