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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football

Van Hanegem backs decision to fire assistants

Wednesday 29 October 2008

FC Utrecht coach Willem van Hanegem agrees with the decision of the club's management to fire his four (!) assistants.

Last week the club took measures to deal with the poor results and the bad atmosphere by firing all four of Van Hanegem's assistants John van Loen, David Nascimento, Rob Druppers and Maarten Arts.

"It was inevitable," said De Kromme in a reaction on the club's website today.

"Something had to happen and management have taking their responsibility," said Van Hanegem who has been home sick since the incident caused a big commotion in Dutch football.

"Because of my absence perhaps it hasn't been that clear, but I am fully behind the decision to change the technical staff. And if management would have felt I too had to go I would have accepted that decision."

In the first days after his assistants getting fired Van Hanegem was leading the training of FC Utrecht, but shortly before the weekend he called in sick.

That spurred a lot of reactions from Dutch pundits and colleagues.

"Of course it was an unfortunate moment to get the flue on Saturday afternoon, so shortly after the decision and before the important game against NAC. Management's decision caused me some emotional problems, although technically I fully agreed. But I am only a human being and this was very hard for me emotionally."

Many pundits said over the past few days that they feel Van Hanegem should resign because he has lost all credibility.

Judging from Van Hanegem's reaction he has no such plans: "I'll be back right after the weekend and I am looking forward to working together with Ton du Chatinier, my newly appointed decision. I've known him for a long time and I think we'll form a great team."



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Oranje: a new mission