Netherlands coach, Danny Blind, says that the team’s next goal will be the 2018 World Cup in Russia after they failed to qualify for Euro 2016 as the Czechs top Group A.
The Netherlands failed to reach the European championship finals for the first time since 1984 as they lost 3-2 at home to the 10-man Czech Republic in their final qualifier.
The loss left the Dutch with 13 points from their 10 matches behind Turkey on 18, while the Czechs claimed top spot in the group with 22 points, two ahead of Iceland.
Despite their failure to qualify for the euro 2016 finals, Blind said that he would continue in his role as coach.
Dutch football fans usually decked in bright orange were reportedly wearing black on Wednesday as Dutch newspapers described the team’s 3-2 home defeat against a 10-man Czech Republic as “the biggest underperformance in the history of Dutch football”.
A headed own goal by Robin Van Persie climaxed an alarming fall from grace for the Dutch.
Van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart had been the heartbeat of a Netherlands side that finished second and third at the last two World Cups but their influence waned badly in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Louis van Gaal has accused his shell-shocked Manchester United players of “throwing the game away” after their second-half collapse against Leicester City on Sunday.
Van Gaal was left stunned by a shambolic defensive performance from his reconstructed team and admitted it brought back painful memories.
Man United were looking good to achieve back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time under Louis van Gaal when leading 3-1 thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera.
However, the newly-promoted side hit back with devastating effect in the second half of the match.
Goals from David Nugent, Esteban Cambiasso, Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa saw Nigel Pearson’s men fight back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to win 5-3 and pick up their first win at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League.
After two home draws against Everton and Arsenal, the Foxes were looking for a big result against a rejuvenated Man Utd side who started with Falcao, Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in attack.
Reports say Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, gave his squad the famous Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment following the humiliating 5-3 loss.
This is according to Sky News anchor, Eamonn Holmes, who said he walked past the United dressing room after full-time and revealed that Van Gaal handed a stern dressing down.
Manchester United striker, Robin Van Persie, has said that songs from Nigeria’s music duo, Psquare, are part of the songs on his favourite music playlist.
The football star made this known during an interview with football legend, Paddy Creramd.
During the interview, Van Persie was asked what he does when off pitch and he said he likes to listen to music: “I like to listen to music… all sorts honestly. I can listen to Dutch songs, English songs. Whatever…if the tune is good I like it.”
He mentioned his favourite musicians as Michael Jackson, Usher, PSquare amongst others.
Van Persie, also spoke about his experience with the former coach of the club, Sir Alex Ferguson, during the interview.
Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged Striker Wayne Rooney to step up in game in terms goal scoring as he also admitted that time off is not good for him because of his ‘frame’.
According to Ferguson during an interview with Skysports “Wayne is going through a period like all strikers do, he is not scoring,”
“He has missed bits of games and been off with tonsillitis, and Wayne is the type of player who can’t miss games because of the frame he has got.”
Regarding the use of Rooney within the diamond formation, Ferguson added: “I am happy with that part of his game.
Rooney scored 34 goals in the 2009/10 season as a lone striker but has taken a back seat since the arrival of Van Persie from Arsenal in the summer.
Ferguson is impressed with the impact that the former Arsenal striker has made and said: “Without doubt Robin is an up-front player.
“He has experience and now our players are starting to realise how good he is. We are getting more aware of the runs he is making and the movement he has up front. Hopefully that understanding gets better.”
The Premier League leaders head to Reading today and the manager is not concerned that their previous fixtures have not been attacking classics.
“I don’t think the form has been that bad to be honest,” the Scot added. “But when you are manager of this club, you have to go through that analysis about Manchester United not being as good as they used to be.
“We are still top of the league so we must be doing something right.”
Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger made his stand known to those bidding for his star striker Robin van Persie that the Dutchman is not going anywhere as he is keeping him as he admitted the 28 year old is one of the best strikers in the World.
Italian Serie A Champion, Juventus, EPL champion Manchester City are the top bidders for his signature as Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson joined the bidding race on Friday to have him at Old Trafford, a bid which is believed to around £30 million.
Van Persie’s deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer and he is presently unsettled at the club due to Manchester United’s joining the bid for his signature.
Van Persie won both Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association player of the year prizes in recognition of his phenomenal 36-goal contribution for Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign.
Van Persie we learnt will not travel to Asia later today on Arsenal’s pre-season tour, although the Gunners were keen to stress his non-involvement was due to the striker having only trained for four days since returning from holiday.
The saga is shaping up to be a carbon copy of those that saw Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both sold last summer – something which dragged on towards the tail end of the transfer window.
But Wenger is convinced that Van Persie will continue to give his all for Arsenal – regardless of whether he leaves the club.
But in case Van Persie leaves Arsenal, the clubalready signed two new strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud but are also said to be lining up Spain star Fernando Llorente.
In search of a replacement for former AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Italian giant AC Milan decided to plunge into the race to capture Gunners striker Robin Van Persie who is presently being sought after by Serie A champions Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City.
Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly confident that Van Persie will choose Old Trafford, but the lure of San Siro could turn the Dutchman’s head, despite Milan recently losing their Serie A crown to a resurgent Juventus.
It is however obvious that the Arsenal captain will be leaving the club this summer as AC Milan has been seen as the probable club to whisk the striker away as Milan’s vice-president, Adriano Galliani, is now looking to lodge a bid for the Premier League’s top scorer from last season.
The Rossoneri are desperate for another stunning signing following the €62million deal that took Ibrahimovic and Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva to Qatar backed Paris Saint-Germain this week.
Van Persie is said to be available at around £25million and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger would obviously prefer he moved abroad if a transfer is inevitable.
Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick as Arsenal crushed a woeful Blackburn Rovers 7-1 to chalk up their first league victory of 2012 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Thierry Henry, with his first League goal since he returned to the club last month, completed the rout with virtually the last kick of the game after coming on as a 68th minute substitute with teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netting twice and Mikel Arteta adding the other.
Van Persie opened the scoring after only two minutes and added two more to take his League tally to 22 goals for the season and 28 in all competitions as Arsene Wenger’s men racked up their biggest win of the season and climbed from seventh to fifth in the standings.
Blackburn, who were totally outclassed and reduced to 10 men when Gael Givet was sent off for scything down Van Persie just before halftime, were briefly in contention when Morten Gamst Pedersen made it 1-1 direct from a free kick after 31 minutes.
However, once Van Persie put Arsenal back in front seven minutes later with a close-range effort, the contest was as good as over with Theo Walcott having a superb match and the Rovers defence struggling to cope as Arsenal scored five times in 24 minutes.
Another positive for the Gunners was the performance of 18-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored his first two Premier League goals against the hapless away side who fell from 18th to 19th and remain deep in relegation trouble with pressure again mounting on manager Steve Kean.
Six other matches were being played on a bitterly-cold Saturday with league leaders Manchester City playing Fulham in a 1730 GMT kickoff at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal scored three goals in a seven-minute burst after halftime against visitors Aston Villa, including two penalties from Robin van Persie, as they staged a dramatic comeback to win 3-2 and reach the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.
Arsenal trailed 2-0 at the break but Van Persie’s spot kicks either side of a Theo Walcott equaliser spun the match on its head at The Emirates and sent Arsene Wenger’s side through to a meeting away to either Sunderland or Middlesbrough.
Sunderland were earlier held 1-1 at home by Boro with halftime substitute Fraizer Campbell equalising for the Premier League side after Barry Robson had put the Championship (second division) outfit ahead early on at the Stadium of Light.
Arsenal were booed off at halftime as Villa struck twice with goals by Richard Dunne and Darren Bent.
They were given a lifeline shortly after the break when Dunne brought down midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Van Persie beat Villa keeper Shay Given from the penalty spot.
Three minutes later Walcott made it 2-2 when the ball cannoned back into the net off the England winger from an attempted clearance by Alan Hutton after the Arsenal player’s initial effort had been saved by Given.
The comeback was complete in the 61st minute when Bent’s mistimed sliding tackle on Laurent Koscielny gave Van Persie the chance to display his penalty-taking prowess again.
In the early kickoff, Middlesbrough had threatened to shock their north-east rivals when Robson volleyed them ahead.
However, Sunderland replied after the break when former Manchester United front man Campbell, playing his first game for 18 months after a serious knee injury, capitalised on a Robson error to earn his side a replay.