5 Big Names Set to Miss the Holland World Cup Squad
Having earned a reputation at clubs like Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, current Holland manager Louis van Gaal is known for his firm belief in free-flowing, attacking football.
To no one's surprise, Van Gaal made several changes to the Holland squad he inherited from Bert van Marwijk in 2012.
Van Gaal has continued to tinker with the make up of his squad throughout his tenure, and with less than two months to go until the World Cup in Brazil, the Dutchman still has some tough calls to make.
While it remains to be seen who will be in his definitive group of chosen players, which big name players look set to miss out at the moment?
Maarten Stekelenburg was Holland’s first goalkeeper during the World Cup in 2010, when the Dutch finished second.
He played a vital role in Holland’s 2010 success, making save after save against opponents such as Brazil and Uruguay.
But after a fall from grace at his club side AS Roma, his stock fell drastically with Van Gaal. Partly because of this, Stekelenburg moved to Fulham, where his circumstances got even worse when new manager Felix Magath benched him.
At the moment, Stekelenburg seems to have the likes of Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea) and Jeroen Zoet (PSV) ahead of him.
Louis van Gaal often speaks of the Big Three: Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Kevin Strootman. According to Van Gaal, these three are Holland’s best players. Against the big opponents, they’re the ones who are capable of making the difference.
But last March, this notion was left in shambles when Strootman suffered cruciate ligament damage during a match against Napoli.
It is expected he will be out injured for four to six months. It's a huge blow to Holland, as this means he will miss out on the World Cup.
Jonathan De Guzman
After Canadian-born Jonathan de Guzman had chosen to represent his second home country of Holland, it was Louis van Gaal who debuted the Swansea midfielder in 2013.
Not long after, however, De Guzman fell victim to Van Gaal’s continuous midfield tinkering. When Holland last played a friendly against France, the midfielder wasn’t even called up.
As things stand, he doesn’t seem to be in Van Gaal’s midfield plans, although Strootman’s injury might change the manager’s mind.
Ever since Van Gaal started his job as Holland's manager, he’s had a rocky relationship with one of Holland’s former star players, Wesley Sneijder.
Contrary to his predecessor Bert van Marwijk, Van Gaal doesn’t seem to have much faith in the midfielder, who was arguably one of Holland’s best players during the World Cup in 2010.
Although it could all be a ploy to motive the player, Van Gaal so far has refused to make Sneijder an integral part of the team, going so far as to leave him out of the squad altogether on several occasions.
Virgil Van Dijk
Holland’s attack and midfield look solid at the least, but the defence should be a cause for concern, if not to say a major headache, for Van Gaal.
While the defence doesn't lack talent, defenders like Daryl Janmaat and Bruno Martins Indi are arguably too young and inexperienced to be solely relied upon.
But to the amazement of many, Van Gaal is yet to call up central defender Virgil van Dijk, who has been making a fantastic impression at Celtic this past season.
It is probable that the manager refuses to take the level of Scottish League seriously. But against the likes of Spain and Chile, what options does the manager have?