Van Marwijk calls up mix of youth, age

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk included two uncapped young wingers Friday in his 24-man squad for the friendly against England next week.

FC Twente’s 19-year-old Ola John and Luciano Narsingh, 21, of SC Heerenveen were named alongside an experienced squad led by veterans including AC Milan midfielder Mark van Bommel, Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart and Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.

Liberian-born John and Narsingh were selected as Van Marwijk continues to hunt for ideal wingers to fit into his system, and as Bayern Munich‘s Arjen Robben has been in patchy form this season.

”These two boys have developed well recently and what I like about them is they are both players who can not only score but also give decisive passes,” Van Marwijk said of John and Narsingh. ”They have both showed they perform, well under pressure.”

Narsingh is chief provider for Bas Dost, the Dutch league’s leading scorer this season.

World Cup runner-up the Netherlands has seen several key players struggling for form this season, particularly Robben and attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

But Van Persie is in the best form of his life for struggling Arsenal and Van Marwijk is spoilt for choice when it comes to goalkeepers. He will have to decide whether to play usual first-choice keeper Maarten Stekelenburg or one of two in-form Premier League players – Tim Krul of Newcastle or Michel Vorm of Swansea.

The match at Wembley was scheduled for last August but was postponed amid rioting that tore through London. In the meantime, England coach Fabio Capello has quit.

The Italian’s interim replacement, Stuart Pearce, is taking charge for the first time at next Wednesday’s match.


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

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg), Urby Emanuelson (AC Milan), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Malaga), Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord).

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

Strikers: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Ola John (FC Twente), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Luciano Narsingh (SC Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).