Bert van Marwijk provides painful reserve role with Orange: ‘I hope not’


Friday, June 10, 2022 at 09:09• Last update: 09:10

Bert van Marwijk is not surprised if Matthijs de Ligt is on the reserve bench during the World Cup. The center defender faces fierce competition and has to fight together with Virgil van Dijk, Stefan de Vrij, Nathan Aké, Daley Blind and Jurriën Timber who will be the center defenders during the final tournament. Last Wednesday, De Ligt acted as left central defender in the Nations League match against Wales (1-2 win), a position that seems destined for Nathan Aké. A reserve role during the World Cup is therefore not inconceivable for De Ligt, says Van Marwijk.

Louis van Gaal chose to play against Wales with a B-team. The national coach brought in eleven other names, including De Ligt. “After the previous appearance of the A-choice against the Belgians (1-4 win, ed.), the match against Wales did not cause Van Gaal to doubt. PSV’s Jordan Teze made his debut and you could see that he was not himself. Cody Gakpo said that the Orange shirt still weighs heavily”, Van Marwijk explains a few weak links in The Telegraph† “It was like that for more players. The B-choice also knows very well that at such a moment all eyes are on them and that they have to show that they are better at that moment.”

Van Marwijk was not surprised that Van Gaal chose De Ligt on the left in the center, as Teze made his debut in the Dutch national team. Against Belgium, that role was reserved for Aké. Van Gaal has often indicated that he would like to have a left leg as a left central defender. “Yet this has the disadvantage that De Ligt is on the ball with his wrong leg for a fraction of a second and the moment passes to play in the axis of the field between the lines”, Van Marwijk points out a sore point. “On the right, he (De Ligt, ed.) Always does that very well. Those are the moments when the Orange can accelerate in the build-up.”

On the right in the defense, De Ligt faces competition from De Vrij and Timber, among others. Timber played as a right central defender against Belgium, while debutant Teze got the chance against Wales. “De Ligt is just a top defender, he will soon become the new leader and captain of Juventus if he stays in Turin,” continues Van Marwijk. “If he ends up on the bench during the World Cup, which I do not hope, but which could just be, that says something about the strength of the Dutch national team. Van Gaal will soon have to choose. In any case, big names will be on the bench The choices are difficult, but it is a luxury that not every coach has.”

Van Marwijk sees a team in Orange that has a chance to become world champions. “The Netherlands has proven so many times in history that we can beat top countries and at the moment the majority of our basic team plays at the top of Europe,” said the man who led the Dutch national team to the 2010 World Cup final in South. -Africa. “You see what happens when Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn come on the field. This Orange is a team with weapons. We have creativity, speed, physical strength and length in addition to the experience of playing at the top of European club football. Then it makes sense for the coach to say that he is going for first place with this team.”