UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications
Van Marwijk: "We are prepared for all scenarios"
12 October 2010
Holland are up for their first
real test tonight. Sweden come to the Amsterdam Arena
and the Scandinavians are seen as the strongest opponent
in Group E of the qualifications for the 2012 European
Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
Bondscoach Bert van Marwijk - as
always - has nothing but praise for them. "Sweden
are a decent team with specific qualities. Zlatan and
Toivonen are simply very good, very dangerous players.
But they have good midfielders as well."
Van Marwijk compares them to Denmark:
"Here too it's a case of two teams who have very
few secrets for each other. They are physically very
strong but they can play a bit of football as well.
Many Swedish players play in strong foreign leagues
and have a lot of experience. They have plenty of those."
Van Marwijk has also learned that since the arrival
of manager Erik Hamrén, in November 2009, Sweden
play more offensive. "It could be they want to
put us under pressure from the start. Perhaps they surprise
us? Moldavia played a lot more defensive than we expected
after their game against Finland. That can happen tonight
as well. We are prepared for all scenarios. Any game
can be dangerous. We have seen that against Finland.
It's a matter of being focussed."
Van Marwijk also addressed his
choice to play Rafael van der Vaart as a holding midfielder.
"You can do that with Van der Vaart, but the whole
team has to adapt to that. If not we are vulnerable."
The issue of Van der Vaart has
become part of the issue about the attractiveness of
Holland's game. It's the most important discussion in
the Dutch sports media of the moment; a discussion in
which even big guns like Johan Cruijff and Guus Hiddink
take part without holding back. Of course their remarks
also reach the staff of the team.
"We played three friendlies
before the World Cup and we played very attractive.
During the World Cup there are other rules at play.
We wanted to play with style, but for some reason it
didn't work out. But we did win six games in a row.
We still try to play attractive football."
During the press conference he
was asked whether or not playing Van der Vaart next
to Van Bommel instead of De Jong ads to that attractiveness.
Van Marwijk: "That is possible with Van der Vaart.
But the whole team has to go along with it, otherwise
we are very vulnerable. Like during that stretch of
the game against Finland. Against Moldavia we were very
focussed again. But we should always be focussed for
The manager didn't really have
an explanation for that vulnerability against Finland.
"Those last 25 minutes of the first half were terrible.
We lost control. When we don't have every player does
his part, especially when we don't have possession,
we are vulnerable. When everyone does do his
part we are a very good side. It's a matter of positioning
yourself well, so that the opponent doesn't have a chance."
It all fits in with the long term-strategy
of Van Marwijk. "From the moment I started I have
said I want the team to be more stable. As a team Barcelona
and Spain defend very well. As a team..."
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