The Netherlands football team is currently in shambles. Spencer Steevensz ask’s if it is time for rejuvenation and rebuilding?

rvp ned turkElko Born recently wrote an article smartly making the claim that the Netherlands base is full of older players past their prime- Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Klaas jan Huntelaar, the brilliant, yet ever injured Arjen Robben; and young players who aren’t ready to handle the pressure of leading the country – players like Memphis, Jetro Willems, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordy Clasie and Davy Klaassen. There is a lack of 25-29 year old stars to handle the transition between two golden generations.

Should Holland fall out of the Euro’s, and I’m not sure they deserve to be there, currently – should Blind wipe the slate clean and start focusing on the most promising players for 2018?

By that time Memphis will have had years out of Holland, and be entering what should be his prime at 24 years old. Willems will be the same age. Wijnaldum, Janmaat and Daley Blind will all be at the physical height of their careers. It may be too early to see if the likes of Klaassen, El Ghazi, Kishna, Bazoer and Riedewald turn into the world class players their young talent touts – but it could be a very promising line-up. The shame of missing out on a major tournament will still be fresh, and the team will go in hungry to prove the Netherlands is still a world football leader. They’ve gone into Euro qualifying more with the attitude that they were third at last year’s World Cup so they shouldn’t have to work too hard, and work too hard they have not.

Blind could keep giving the older generation a swan song, including them in friendlies and prolonging their international careers, but looking forward will be the better choice. The way things stand Van Persie’s decline looks swift, depending on how he settles in at Fenerbahce he could remain dangerous, but not nearly as much as he was in his last year at Arsenal and first year at Manchester United. Sneijder should lose his place to the bevvy of young midfielders who could use some experience in the national squad. A midfield triangle of Wijnaldum leading Klaassen and Clasie could be a technically-skilled and fiery trio that would surely be fun to watch. Defensively, Stefan De Vrij should continue developing into a leader of the Dutch team, and should Van Dijk settle in well at Southampton he could very well round out that pairing. Willems and Janmaat on the outside give both wings attacking prowess without sacrificing too much defensive ability.

The most worrisome hole would be in the true striker, number 9 spot. Bas Dost has proved how dangerous he can be, but has spent large parts of his career being little more than invisible. Luuk De Jong thrives at PSV, but may fall into the category of a great Eredivisie striker that doesn’t cut it at higher levels.

We’ll have to wait at least a month to know if the final nail in the Dutch chance at Euro qualification has been hit, but should that happen, swift changes looking toward the future of Dutch football should take place.

Spencer Steevensz (104 Posts)

I'm a digital/social marketer out of Chicago. I grew up loving Dutch football - total football is the only way to play. I support PSV in the Eredivisie, and whatever team has the most Dutch guys on it in any other league. Hup Holland Hup!