Van Gaal drops Van der Vaart from Dutch squad
Coach Louis van Gaal on Friday dropped veteran midfielder Rafael
van der Vaart from the Netherlands squad to play Turkey and Hungary
in its opening World Cup qualifiers.
Van Gaal also left out midfielders Ibrahim Afellay and Nigel de
Jong for both matches.
The announcement came on the day Barcelona said it is loaning
Afellay to Schalke and Van der Vaart, who has 100 internationals to
his name, was reportedly poised to move from Tottenham to his
former club Hamburg. De Jong was in Italy for a medical ahead of a
move from Manchester City to AC Milan.
”They have not played enough and their attention is on new
clubs,” Van Gaal told reporters. ”I need players who can focus
totally on Turkey and Hungary – those are very tough matches.”
Van Gaal called up uncapped Jordy Clasie frm Feyenoord and Leroy
Fer of Twente, whose only international was two years ago, to
bolster his midfield. Clasie’s teammate, defender Daryl Janmaat,
was the other uncapped player included by Van Gaal.
Strikers Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie are both in
the 23-man squad for the Group D matches against Turkey on Sept. 7
in Amsterdam and Hungary on Sept. 11 in Budapest.
World Cup runner-up Netherlands is looking to bounce back from a
disastrous European Championship in which it lost all three group
Former Ajax and Barcelona coach Van Gaal took over from Bert van
Marwijk in the aftermatch of Euro 2012 and is seeking to rebuild
the team while also qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His first match in charge was a 4-2 defeat to Belgium in a
Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm
(Swansea City), Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
Defenders: John Heitinga (Everton), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord),
Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord),
Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Nick Viergever (AZ Alkmaar), Ron Vlaar
(Aston Villa), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven).
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Urby Emanuelson (AC
Milan), Leroy Fer (FC Twente), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Kevin
Forwards: Bas Dost (Wolfsburg), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke),
Dirk Kuijt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Luciano Narsingh
(PSV), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern