October 2, 2006
Man Management, Dutch Style
This is the face of a man who is quickly losing control of his job. Despite being top of their qualifying group, Marco van Basten faces the biggest crisis in his reign as manager of the Netherlands.
Late last week, van Basten recalled Mark van Bommel to his squad. In the process, he was admitting he was wrong to say that the Bayern Munich midfielder had no international future while he was in charge.
Things got even worse when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had to pull out of the squad with an injury. He responded by calling up the other player he said had no international future. In Ruud van Nistelrooy, he was calling up someone who had spent the better part of the week criticizing him for just about anything.
Desperate to humilate the manager of the national team, both van Bommel and van Nistelrooy rejected their call-ups saying they would never play under van Basten again. With gaping holes in midfield and attack, van Basten will likely have to turn to Dirk Kuyt, who has yet to play well at the international level, and Denny Landzaat, who is struggling with Wigan this season, to fill them.