5 Surprise Omissions from the Netherlands World Cup Squad
This week, the Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal announced his preliminary squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
Following the announcement, Dutch fans and pundits alike hurried to see if Wesley Sneijder was included. He was.
But while Sneijder still has a chance of going to Brazil this summer, other players are not as lucky. Here, we take a look at the five most shocking omissions from the Dutch World Cup squad.
As a fan of their ability to pass the ball and play a role in the build-up, Louis van Gaal has an obvious preference for Ajax goalkeepers.
When Jasper Cillessen took over from Kenneth Vermeer as Ajax's first goalkeeper this season, he also took over from Vermeer as Oranje keeper. So it goes with Van Gaal.
Unfortunately for Vermeer, however, this logic does not extend to reserve goalkeepers. Even though Vermeer is still Ajax's second man, Van Gaal hasn't picked him to fulfill a similar role in the Dutch squad.
Instead, Van Gaal has gone for Tim Krul's and Michel Vorm's big-league experience.
Gregory Van Der Wiel
After his successful season as Feyenoord's right-back, Louis van Gaal's preference for Daryl Janmaat seemed obvious. Gregory van der Wiel, who plays plenty of matches for Paris Saint-Germain, would have to be satisfied with a place on the bench.
Much to everyone's surprise, however, Louis van Gaal didn't pick Van der Wiel at all—not even as Janmaat's stand-in.
Van Gaal decided to pick the relatively unknown Paul Verhaegh instead. Verhaegh, who plays for German side FC Augsburg, has only made one appearance for Oranje, while Van der Wiel, who was part of the Dutch team that reached the final of the World Cup in 2010, has made 37.
Ever since Stoke City's Erik Pieters fell out of favour with Van Gaal, the left-back position has been up for grabs in the Dutch team. Especially after Jetro Willem's injury, no one knew who Van Gaal had in mind.
Emanuelson, who started out as a left-back at Ajax, would normally be one of the main contenders. But for some reason, Van Gaal never gave the AC Milan player a real chance.
Instead of picking Emanuelson, Van Gaal decided to include Chelsea prospect Patrick van Aanholt.
Granted, Alexander Buttner never made a truly excellent impression playing as a left-back for Manchester United. But in the Dutch squad, the left-back position seemed there for the taking, and normally, a Manchester United defender would be at least considered.
Not by Van Gaal, though. Buttner was never really given a chance by the Dutch manager.
Considering Van Gaal's indifference, his possible role as Manchester United's new manager might not bode well for Buttner's future at the English club.
Louis van Gaal loves to include youngsters in his squads, and Davy Klaassen is undeniably one of the best youngsters in the Netherlands.
Unsurprisingly, Van Gaal selected "The New Bergkamp" for the Netherlands' friendly against France in April. The midfielder's star was rising, and a place in the Netherlands' preliminary squad would have surprised no one.
Despite first-choice midfielder Kevin Strootman's injury, though, Van Gaal decided against it. PSV's Georginio Wijnaldum received the nod instead.