Dutch name new captain but stick to same style

AMSTERDAM - Coach Bert van Marwijk has named his son-in-law Mark van Bommel as the new Netherlands captain before their opening Euro 2012 qualifier against San Marino on Friday.

The midfielder takes over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst who retired after this year's World Cup, where Netherlands lost in the final to Spain and were widely criticised for their rough performance during that match.

"We discussed it with the technical staff for minutes before we decided," Van Marwijk told reporters on Wednesday.

"Mark is the right age and position to do it, while he did the job in the past at PSV and now at Bayern Munich."

The coach added that his team would stick to the same playing style that earned them a place in the World Cup final but lacked the flair that earned them global admiration in the past.

"There are so many other visions that can lead to success but if you look around you will see that most top countries and teams work this way," Van Marwijk said.

"Stability and clearness is the power of my team and players have to know what they are expected to do when they are needed."


For the match away to San Marino Van Marwijk will have to make at least four changes to the team from the World Cup final seven weeks ago.

In defence Ron Vlaar is expected to replace the suspended John Heitinga and Vurnon Anita is likely to take Van Bronckhorst's place.

The choice Van Marwijk has to make in his attack, where he needs to replace the injured Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, will be more difficult.

Eljero Elia, who did well during most of the appearances he made during the World Cup as a substitute, is likely to replace Robben but for the position of central striker Van Marwijk has three options.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar seems the most logical choice, as Dirk Kuyt is preferred to fill in one of the wing positions, but since Ruud van Nistelrooy is back in the squad, Van Marwijk might prefer the 34-year-old who has been in good form for Hamburg SV.

Van Nistelrooy did not made the World Cup squad but was recalled after Van Persie pulled out injured.

"I'm glad to be back in the squad after two years, though I still believe that I could have been valuable during the World Cup," the striker, who retired from internationals after Euro 2008, told reporters.

"But now I'm more fit and sharp than in May this year so I fully understood the decision of Van Marwijk.

"There is a chance that if Van Persie is fit again the coach will not invite me, so I hope to show that I still can be valuable for this Dutch team."

Probable team:

Netherlands - Maarten Stekelenburg; Gregory van der Wiel, Ron Vlaar, Joris Mathijsen, Vurnon Anita; Dirk Kuyt, Mark van Bommel, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong, Eljero Elia; Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

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