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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 can't handle Utrecht's mess

Monday 27 October 2008

The poor results of FC Utrecht led to some very unexpected steps by management this weekend.

Instead of holding the manager - Willem van Hanegem - responsible for the lack of success and good football, management sacked all four assistants of the head coach.

Van Hanegem's assistants John van Loen and David Nascimento, keepers trainer Maarten Arts and fitness coach Rob Druppers were all sacked.

The measure led to a nasty war of words in the Dutch newspapers and saw Van Hanegem fall ill "because of all the stress" and not attend Sunday's home game against NAC Breda as a result.

"We noticed in recent weeks that the chemistry among the members of the technical staff and with the players was decreasing. This could be related to the fact that the composition of the technical staff - apart from the manager - has been the same for many years. We thought it wise to do something now," said General Manager Jan-Willem van Dop, who himself got sacked recently and got his job back after a court order.

Especially John van Loen reacted with much disbelieve to the measure.

He said he never received any signals: "Last Tuesday I was told I would not do any more press conferences. I was happy with that as I am not the manager and I can not express myself as much as the manager can. Director of Football (DF) Piet Buter told me then that he thought things were going fine. Two days later I get fired."

Van Dop later said that here had been several meetings about the functioning of the assistants, as was confirmed by DF Buter.

"Even in the last year when Foeke Booy was coach here personal relationships deteriorated. We would often talk about it. Things then went well for a while but never stayed well."

Former Utrecht player Ton du Chatinier has been named as new assistant to Van Hanegem.


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Joris Mathijsen recovering well
Cruyff: "Kuyt at right back"
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Holland and Denkmark: head-to-head
Van Persie seems worth the confidence
Van Marwijk again opts for Van Persie instead of Huntelaar
Huntelaar: "Upset is not the right the word"
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"
Van Marwijk: "We remained disciplined"
Ibi and Rafa show manager he has options
Ibrahim Afellay Oranje's Zidane?
Van Marwijk looking for certainties
Cruijff: "Not enough depth in your game is asking for trouble"
Bouma: "I've gone through the desert"
Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"
Euro 2012 finals squad
Mathijsen strains muscle
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
Ola Toivonen's goal sees Sweden beat Holland and qualify
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sinks Moldova
Oranje maintain perfection, beat Finland
Netherlands thrash San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifier
Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands
Oranje trash Hungary
Sweden no match for Oranje
Van Marwijk: "We left them without chance"
Dirk Kuyt out for months
"We are prepared for all scenarios"
Minimal but easy win for Holland in Moldavia
Van Marwijk: "We played very well"
Holland want result after tumultuous week
Van der Vaart to replace De Jong
"This case only has losers"
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
Holland & Moldavia: head-to-head
Holland & Sweden: head-to-head
Wisgerhof replaces Maduro
Bouma back on the radar
Netherlands - Finland 2-1
Van Marwijk: "We were late all over the pitch"
Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"
Heitinga: "That can not happen"
Van der Vaart unhappy with role on the side
Kuyt and Boulahrouz out with injury
"It all revolves around Jari Litmanen"
Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"
Alonso: "No hard feelings"
Van Marwijk: "Second half was better"
San Marino-Netherlands 0-5
Oranje: a new mission