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Bright Orange Future? (video)

Having started with only 2 players with over 8 previous caps and a whole raft of youngsters in an impressive 1-1 draw with Italy on Wednesday night, are we about to witness a successful new generation of Dutch talent under the stewardship of veteran coach Louis Van Gaal?

By all accounts, Holland were incredibly unlucky not to secure a victory over Euro 2012 finalists Italy at the Amsterdam Arena. A fortunate stoppage time equaliser made the Dutch pay for several wasted opportunities in front of goal, in spite of their control of the match, particularly in the first half.

Although having competed in the World Cup Final just 2 and a half years ago, Robin Van Persie was the sole survivor in the Holland lineup against Italy on Wednesday evening from the team that finished runners up in the 1-0 defeat to Spain in South Africa. Since that night in Soccer City, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Mark Van Bommel have both retired from the international setup and Louis Van Gaal has replaced Bert Van Marwijk at the helm of Oranje after a dismal group stage exit at the 2012 European Championships.

Holland look certainties to qualify for World Cup 2014 after a strong start to their qualification campaign which has seen them achieve 4 wins out of 4 thus far. In a group containing Romania, Turkey and Hungary, Van Gaal has relied upon the usual household names of Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben, Van Der Vaart and Heitinga whilst integrating a new generation of Dutch youngsters who were given a chance to demonstrate their claim for a seat on the plane to Brazil against a strong and experienced Italy team during the week.

Van Gaal fielded a starting eleven that contained 8 players under the age of 24, many of whom may be little known outside of the Eredivisie.

Holland started with a back 4 in front of Newcastle United keeper Tim Krul which included 3 Feyenoord defenders Darly Janmaat, Stefan De Vrij and Portuguese born Bruno Martins Indi, aged 23, 21 and 20 respectively. Ajax’s Daley Blind, son of Dutch legend Danny, completed the quartet.

The Dutch midfield in particular is said to have impressed, comprising of AZ Alkmaar teenager Adam Maher, PSV’s Kevin Strootman and Feyenoord’s fourth youngster in the national team lineup Jordie Clasie, earmarked by some as “the Dutch Xavi”. It was reported that both Maher and Strootman were instrumental in Holland’s domination of possession over the Azzuri.

20 year-old Benfica striker Ola John joined the more experienced Jeremain Lens and Van Persie in attack as several chances in front of goal went begging for the men in Orange.

Jonathan De Guzman entered the fray in the second half to earn his first cap after a much lauded start to life in the Premier League with Swansea City.

Whether many of his new charges will make up Holland’s 23 man World Cup squad remains to be seen, however in spite of his disappointment at losing the late goal, Louis Van Gaal reserved praise for his youngsters commenting “as a team we played well, in the style of the Dutch school of football“.