Van Bommel, Van Persie included for Dutch
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk called up Mark van Bommel and Robin van Persie Friday for a friendly international against Turkey, a decision that could infuriate their clubs as both players have only just recovered from injury.
The Dutch football federation has clashed with Bayern Munich in recent weeks because of injuries suffered by midfielder Van Bommel and winger Arjen Robben while on international duty.
Van Marwijk defended his decision to include Van Bommel and Van Persie in his 21-man squad to play Turkey on Nov. 17 in Amsterdam, saying both are fit again and keen to play.
"I’ve thought about this carefully and been in intensive contact with both players," Van Marwijk said. "Both players are in full training and have been declared fit by their clubs."
The coach said Van Bommel, who has only just recovered from a right knee injury, and Van Persie who has just returned to the Arsenal team after a long absence with a left ankle injury, will benefit from being included in his squad.
"Those sorts of players need rhythm and training," he said. "If they stay at their clubs almost all the players will be gone and they can only train individually. With us they can train well."
Van Marwijk hinted that neither player would play the full 90 minutes against what is likely to be a physical Turkey team coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink.
Relations between Bayern and the Dutch federation soured when the defending Bundesliga champion said Robben aggravated a hamstring injury by playing at the World Cup as the Netherlands reached the final where it lost 1-0 to Spain in extra time.
The dispute continued last month when the federation refused to send Van Bommel back to Germany for tests on his right knee after a European Championship qualifier against Moldova and instead fielded him for 70 minutes of the 4-1 defeat of Sweden.
Bayern has struggled in the league this season as players such as Van Bommel, Robben and Frank Ribery have been hit by injury.
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger last year criticized the Dutch federation, saying it misdiagnosed an ankle injury suffered by Van Persie, delaying him getting the right treatment.
Apart from Van Bommel and Van Persie, there were no major surprises in Van Marwijk’s squad.
Midfielder Nigel de Jong was again overlooked. Van Marwijk has said he will not pick the Manchester City player again until next year after De Jong’s tackle last month left Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa with a broken left leg.
Against Sweden last month, Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart took De Jong’s place in midfield and combined well with Wesley Sneijder to give the team a more attacking and inventive midfield.
Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Utrecht)
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Urby Emanuelson (Ajax), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Hedwiges Maduro (Valencia), Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Peter Wisgerhof (FC Twente)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Theo Janssen (FC Twente), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax)
Forwards: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Robin van Persie (Arsenal)