Netherlands need to ditch ageing internationals for youngsters

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"We don't count anymore", read the front page of Monday's Algemeen Daglad, while the Volkskrant said there was a "blatant lack of quality, fitness, speed, teamwork and courage."

De Telegraaf simply ran with the headline: 'Staggering'. Inside, they rued that "only a miracle would bring the Oranje to the European Championships," as it carefully dissected the Netherland's 3-0 defeat away to Turkey, which left the Dutch fourth in Group A, two points behind the Euro-Asian side.

Despite being a side renown for displaying total football, the Oranje have become a side who De Volksrant joked could struggle when they travel to Kazakhstan in three weeks time.


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If this is the case, and the Oranje fail to come to terms with their deterioration, then they might as well bid goodbye to any hopes of reaching Euro 2016.

The maths is simple, if the Netherlands fail to secure maximum points away to Kazakhstan and Turkey manage to beat the Czech Republic in Prague, then the curtains will come down on what should have been a simple task for the Dutch.

Overachievers in Brazil

Despite reaching the World Cup semi-finals in Brazil last year, the Dutch were less than impressive and although they stunned viewers across the globe by beating Spain 5-1, Louis van Gaal's men were hardly the dark beasts that the media created them to be.

Indeed, cracks have started to show in the Dutch national team since reaching the 2010 World Cup final where a late Andres Iniesta goal denied them a shot at international glory at the third time asking.

Although the Dutch can boast players such as Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder, they have been unable to find a replacement to either Edwin van der Saar in goal, or Jaap Stam in the centre of the defensive pack. Starters such as Casper Cillessen and Jeffrey Bruma unable to cut the mustard.

Depay must mature

With a disjointed defence lacking any leadership, and with golden oldie players such as both Sneijder and Van Persie very much the wrong side of 30, the Dutch just don't have an answer to the immediate future of the national side.

One player who is certainly grabbing the headlines from Amsterdam to Utrecht is Manchester United winger, Memphis Depay, who is considered as the future of Dutch football.

However, with Depay only 21 and still showing signs of subtle immaturity, the former PSV Eindhoven star is still much too young to take the responsibility of a country with an expecting population of 17 million inhabitants.

Depay has only managed to find the net three times in the 19 appearances that he has donned the iconic orange jersey, and there are questions being raised whether established players such as Van Persie and Robben are stopping him from shining through.

Indeed, a similar issue can be said with Davy Klaasen, who is still living in the shadow of Sneijder. He has been a bitter disappointment for the Netherlands since having a year to remember both internationally and domestically in 2010.

Blind should gamble

Even if the Euro 1988 champions do silence their doubters by qualifying for France next summer, Danny Blind should make a bold decision by leaving some big name players at home.

Blind, despite not having a team littered with world-class talent, does have a squad filled to the brim with young players who have ten caps for the national team or fewer.

Another reason why several young players such as Quincy Promes, Marco van Ginkel and Terence Kongolo are not giving a chance to start games, is that the Netherlands still hold an undying belief that they are of a similar calibre to other international powerhouses such as both Germany and Argentina.

As a result, Blind, just like Van Gaal before him, is interested in playing a squad with names rather than young and hungry players.

With the former Ajax captain already in danger of leaving a post which he should have taken over from after Euro 2016, the 54-year-old should rejuvenate this tiring Netherlands side, and take a leap into the unknown.

Do you think Netherlands need a clear out of their squad and start from scratch? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below

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Transfer News
Manchester United
Robin Van Persie
World Cup
Wesley Sneijder
Arjen Robben

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