A harmonious Holland changing room seems like a contradiction in terms, and Robin Van Persie’s call for Dirk Kuyt to be dropped is the latest instalment of Dutch football’s soap opera.
Van Persie has urged Holland manager Bert van Marwijck not to play Kuyt and instead pick all three of Arjen Robben, Rafael Van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder, but Kuyt seems unaffected by his team-mate’s opinions.
On the back of a perfect qualifying campaign of eight wins from eight, Holland are a team in top form, and at 11/1, they also represent excellent value to win the World Cup.
Routinely described as the best team never to win the tournament, Holland will be looking to rid themselves of the tag of being football’s perennial underachievers, and they have seldom been in a better position to do so.
Sneijder and Robben have produced stellar performances for Inter Milan and Bayern Munich this season, and together with Van Persie and Van der Vaart, they form a formidable ‘Fab Four’.
Cameroon, Denmark and Japan do not possess the necessary quality to threaten this Dutch team, so winning Group E seems an absolute formality for the Oranje.
Creative and free-scoring, Holland are to be feared by their group rivals, and if inter-squad relations are kept at least reasonably cordial, they will be a fearsome proposition for any opponent.