Newly Dutch coach Marco Van Basten has vowed to introduce an “attractive and attacking” style of play to the national team.
The successor to Dick Advocaat, who resigned after their Euro 2004 semi-final loss to Portugual, signed a four-year contract on Monday. His assistants will be Jonn Van’t Schip, Rob Zitschge and Stanley Menzo, who will be responsible for goalkeeper training.
“This staff intends to build a team which is offensive and attractive where the players must show proof of initiative and especially take pleasure in putting on the orange jersey,” said Van Basten.
“Football must be a pleasure,” he stressed.
Van Basten takes up his new role at a time when several experienced Dutch players have decided to retire from international football. Among those who have called it a day are Jaap Stam, brothers Frank and Ronald de Boer, Marc Overmars and Michael Reiziger.
“The group will inevitably be rejuvenated but I’m not worried because there are a number of very talented young footballers in Holland,” said Van Baasten.
The immediate aim for Van Basten, is to secure qualification for the 2006 World Cup finals. However, failure to do so will not necessarilly mark the end of Van Basten’s reign.
“But a failure won’t necessarily put Marco’s job in danger,” KNVB director Henk Kessler said.
Holland have been drawn in a tricky qualifying group which includes The Czech Republic and Romania.