Derksen slams disruptive Dutch influences

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Football News

Former Dutch footballer and current Voetbal International journalist Johan Derksen has hit out at several members of the Netherlands squad following their disastrous Euro 2012 campaign.

As one of the pre-tournament favourites, it was a great surprise to see Bert van Marwijk's squad exit the competition at the group stages, after failing to win a single point in Group B, with three disappointing defeats against Denmark, Germany and Portugal.

Holland boast a star-studded line-up, with arguably the strongest array of individual attacking talent. But, as a collective group there were clear divisions in the camp, which ultimately affected the team's performances in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

Derksen blamed the excessive number of egos present, pinpointing the likes of Gregory van der Wiel, Ibrahim Afellay and Robin van Persie as the main culprits.

"[Gregory Van der Wiel] was working on everything except football," he is quoted by "He has his own clothing line and was working too long on it.

"Plus he was working on hip hop music and was getting his hair done every day. Players hardly saw him without headphones on. He wasn't listening to music only during matches and training.

"From day one [Robin van Persie and Ibrahim Afellay] were not part of the group. Afellay is hated in the Dutch camp. He came across as 'I play for Barcelona, who do you play for?' He was very arrogant. When it was someone's birthday, and everybody had to pay for a gift, he wouldn't even chip in €10.

"Van Persie was behaving in the same way. Van Persie and Afellay were together for the whole tournament. Also, everyone was disturbed by Van Persie not talking to the press [referring to the gagging order placed on the 28-year-old by his club, Arsenal, amid doubts over his future]."

However, Derksen did have kinder words for Holland vice-captain Wesley Sneijder, whom he believes was the only player trying to foster any sort of team spirit: "He wanted to take the lead, and wanted to get the team on their feet."

Van Marwijk now faces an uncertain future, despite the fact he is under contract with the Dutch FA until 2016. It remains to be seen whether he is seen as the right man to take the country forward, when the Oranje Army compete with Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia and Andorra in their qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup.

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Robin Van Persie

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