If someone with “van” in his name gets injured during this week’s international friendly with Turkey, Bert van Marwijk might need to obtain the best legal representation he can afford. The Dutch manager certainly doesn’t mind pulling a tiger’s tail, but he could be seriously bitten if a groin gets yanked or a knee gets turned the wrong way on Wednesday.
On top of incurring the wrath of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal if Robin van Persie pulls up lame, Bertie also decided to see how much more he can endear himself to Bayern Munich’s management by calling Mark van Bommel to the side.
Neither player has played for his club side lately with van Persie recovering from a left ankle injury sustained during Premiership league play and van Bommel sustaining a right knee injury from the last round of Euro 2012 qualifers.
Still, it makes total sense to use them for 90 minutes this week, doesn’t it?
Thus far, it sounds as if Wenger is stringently against the call for van Persie, but Bayern Munich is okay with van Bommel’s inclusion, odd considering that Bayern Munich has had rather frosty relations with the KNVB due to the handling of van Bommel’s injury along with the perma-crocking of Arjen Robben.
Further, it is slightly bewildering in that the other defensive midfielder van Marijk called for the Dutch—Demy de Zeeuw—has been ruled out due to injury and has not been replaced on the roster. For van Bommel, this means the odds of him seeing playing time are higher than that of van Persie.
So, Bertie and the KNVB appear to be playing with fire here. Rather than optimizing the opportunity to blood more youth in the Dutch set up, the old warhorses have been called upon to possibly further delay returns to the club sides that pay them to play.
And if VdV somehow pulls up lame due to this match against the Turks, petitions should be drawn up to ban the Netherlands from scheduling international friendlies forever.