On Sunday, Frank de Boer named his provisional Netherlands squad for the start of the World Cup qualifiers later this month. The squad saw De Boer once again go with established names over younger in-form talents.

  • By Michael Bell
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When Frank de Boer was appointed as Netherlands head coach he stated that in order to come into contention for the national team you had to be playing and in good form.

For his first few squads, you could understand him going with the established names as he looked not to cause unrest among the squad that Ronald Koeman managed to turn into a success. However, with some of the performances not exactly great since his appointment, you would think De Boer may decide it is time to start making some changes.

Not yet it appears.

Once again on Sunday, an eye-roll-causing Netherlands provisional squad was named with older more established names once again picked over young in-form talents.

The U21 European Championships has been named as an excuse by the KNVB, with De Boer allowing a number of players, except Ryan Gravenberch, to represent Jong Oranje instead of taking part in the World Cup qualifiers. Given that the first game is Turkey away and that these are the final games scheduled before the European Championships in the summer, it is a cause for concern.

De Boer must be one of the only Dutchman on the planet that thinks 34-year-old winger Ryan Babel, who has one goal in his last 11 league games for Galatasaray is a better option than Noa Lang, who is setting Belgium alight and has nine goals in his last nine games. Then there is Kevin Strootman, who has regained his spot in the squad after a handful of appearances for Genoa, who haven’t won in five games. He is there instead of AZ captain Teun Koopmeiners, one of the most gifted midfielders in the Eredivisie. Jeremiah St Juste has his first call-up despite Mainz 05 battling relegation in the Bundesliga, while Sven Botman, who is top of Ligue 1 with Lille is with the U21’s.

Quincy Promes and Tonny Vilhena are also lucky to be named in the squad, despite a lack of form all season. Whereas, Rick Karsdorp, Jerdy Schouten, Jairo Riedewald, and Anwar El Ghazi have all been left out despite some good form.

Now, this is just a provisional squad, with the final 23 set to be announced next week. De Boer has to drop eight names from his selection but does he have the will to say goodbye to Babel and Strootman? Will he finally choose Weghorst over Luuk De Jong? These are the questions that now need to be answered and could be crucial to Oranje’s success against Turkey and going forward into the Euro’s.

It is about time that a call up for the Dutch national team was a reward for players playing well and not their influence in the dressing room.

Your Opinions

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Michael Bell (59 Posts)