Wesley Sneijder hits out at Netherlands rift claims
Just when the Netherlands need to focus on their do-or-die clash against Germany tonight Wesley Sneijder has been forced to rubbish rumours of a split within the camp.
The tournament started badly for the Dutch, who went in as one of the favourites. A shock 1-0 defeat to the Danes now means they will be fighting for their Group B lives when they face their bitter rivals in Kharkiv tonight.
That surprise slip-up has also, according to reports in the Dutch media, led to infighting in the squad and disputes with boss Bert van Marwijk.
Already out in the open is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s anger at being left out in favour of Robin van Persie, an opinion, which although clearly biased, can only have been strengthened by the Gunners hitman firing blanks against Denmark.
But Sneijder dealt a knee-high tackle to suggestions there’s anarchy in the side and claimed the Oranje are ready to beat the highly fancied Germans.
“It is not obligatory that we should all be friends in order to play together and win games,” the Inter Milan man said.
“And I don’t have the impression that there are clans, or small cliques that are opposing each other. If that was the case I would react, because I am here to become champion of Europe.”
The big shock, however, is that it only took five days for tales of trouble to emerge from a team that historically has difficulty keeping its mouths shut. Ever since the dynamic Dutch burst on to the scene in the 1970s the side has been riven with rifts, with the only thing bigger than the talent on display being the egos that go with it.
Meanwhile, Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff is expecting a much tougher test from their old foes Holland than the last time they met.
The pair played each other in a friendly last November with the Germans running out 3-0 winners. But Bierhoff said: “It will be much harder, they were missing a few players and the Dutch will be stronger."