Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhat Holland's Euro 2012 squad and Doutzen Kroes have in common - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough What Holland's Euro 2012 squad and Doutzen Kroes have in common - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

What Holland’s Euro 2012 squad and Doutzen Kroes have in common

More Euro 2012 squad announcement news with third favourites (at 6/1) Holland whittling down their squad from 27 to 23 players in what this writer hopes was in a similar process to how Britain’s Got Talent culls their contestants down to size before the semi finals of that particular guilty pleasure.

Skirting around the issue of who from Holland’s bloated coaching staff would play each BGT judge (though head coach Bert van Marwijk looks way too loveable to be a Simon Cowell), let’s have a little look at the Dutch squad after Vurnon Anita, Siem de Jong, Adam Maher and Jeremain Lens missed the cut; all of whom I know nothing about incidentally apart from the fact only Maher spells his first name properly.

Anyway, the Dutch squad, as you would expect from the country that gave the world Doutzen Kroes, is heavy up top but rather lacking coverage at the back (aiiioooooo!). For every Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder going forward that the Dutch possess, they can also offer up Wilfred Bouma, Johnny Heitinga and Khalid Boulahrouz.

Which is not to say that the latter are bad players as they aren’t, the simple fact is you don’t play for PSV, Everton and Stuttgart respectively if you don’t know how to pass a ball but the attacking part of the Dutch squad is rather stronger than the defensive part.

Indeed, the biggest problem facing van Marwijk is how best to fit in all of his attacking options into a cohesive starting XI that can balance defensive solidity with attacking fluidity, albeit a problem, as Jonathan Wilson has pointed out before, that all international coaches face due to a lack of time spent with their players.

Fans of Newcastle, Swansea, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal will all have personal reasons for keeping an eye on the Dutch with Tim Krul, Michel Vorm, Nigel de Jong, Rafael van der Vaart and Dirk Kuyt all in the squad alongside the aforementioned Heitinga and van Persie.

The Dutch squad in full is;

Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm (Swansea), Tim Krul (Newcastle).

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Malaga), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven).

Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Mark van Bommel (AC Milan), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (Sporting Lisbon), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham).

Forwards: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Luciano Narsingh (Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

To finish, here is a Dutch version of the kind of montage the BBC excel in (and ITV fail massively at) to get you all pumped up only to be, inevitably left hanging.



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