5 reasons why the Netherlands are struggling at the moment
Seven years ago, the Netherlands were runners-up in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Three years back they reached the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup. It all seemed like the Dutch side were getting back to a competitive best.
However, it’s seemingly gone horribly wrong for “the Oranje”, who are on the verge of missing out on their second successive major competition after their recent failure in the European Championships qualification group.
With the national team without a manager, without hope in their World Cup qualification camping and without anybody seemingly capable of leading them to glory the flaming Orange are seemingly going through one of their darkest phase of their illustrious football history. What happened? And why are they here? In such a spot?
Here are five reasons why the Netherlands national team is seriously struggling at the moment.
#1 Failure to produce top stars
Johan Cruyff, Denis Bergkamp, Wesley Sneijder, Edwin Van der Sar and many others have all come through the world famous Ajax youth Academy, where they learn how to play football at the highest level. From the 1970s to the 1990s the Ajax academy churned out some incredible talents, but in recent years there has been a distinct lack of Dutch talent coming through.
Of course, players like Vincent Janssen, Memphis Depay and others play for some big clubs around Europe, but are any of them actually good enough to rely upon on the national stage? There is no Cruyff in this generation, not a Bergkamp or even a Robin Van Persie to inspire this current crop of players. Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben are still involved in the squad but if anything that’s indicative of the problem. Both of them are no longer the players they once were but the Dutch do not have anyone suitable to replace them.
A severe lack of new, good players coming through is dangerously harming the national side, and whilst players like Georginio Wijnaldum, Daley Blind and Kevin Strootman are good players, they aren’t the type of players to rely upon on such a big stage, especially the latter considering his constant injury problems. Once the KNVB realise they need to look at youth development, only then will we see some sort of improvement from the Dutch.