It’s not a golden time for Oranje.
The Dutch national team have missed out on the World Cup and it’s something which has been coming for the whole qualifying campaign.
Not blessed with an amazing generation of talent, the Netherlands needed to perform above their capabilities to really impress, but managed to perform below even the more conservative expectations.
Arjen Robben has used the opportunity to retire, not wanting to stretch his 96 cap international career out any further. After the Bayern Munich star’s announcement, there’s been a queue of players ready to send their tribute, one of whom is Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
De Telegraaf quote the Southampton defender as saying: “I take it as a privilege that I can play with him. Especially outside the field he was a teacher. One huge professional, with a giant drive. Naturally he is a fantastic player, but also a fantastic person.
“We are going to miss him and will have to jump in the hole to cover his departure. Everyone has to take into account how Arjen is. He is an example. Hard work, every day again.”
Van Dijk will be one of the players expected to step up if the Netherlands are going to quickly rebound from their World Cup disappointment.
Injury and a transfer circus have recently distracted from the Southampton player’s other priorities, and surely one of those must now be getting the Netherlands to Euro 2020.