International Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Van Marwijk safe, Spain continues to experiment and more

DutchVanMarwijk (Getty Images)

The Netherlands' quest to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Denmark in their Euro 2012 opener won't cost manager Bert van Marwijk his job, no matter how it unfolds.

Van Marwijk has been given a vote of confidence by the Dutch FA entering Wednesday's massive match against Germany, one that could see the Oranje — the 2010 FIFA World Cup runners-up and one of the favorites to win Euro 2012 — get eliminated from the competition.

Van Marwijk has been coach of the Dutch since 2008 following that year's European championship, and he just recently signed an extension to remain coach until 2016, a deal that encompasses another World Cup and European championship.

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:


When Spain manager Vicente del Bosque released his lineup for La Furia Roja's Euro 2012 opener against Italy, the lack of a true striker stood out immediately, with six midfielders taking the field and Cesc Fabregas being played in a makeshift striker role. 

While it did not lead to prolific results against the Azzurri, that won't necessarily stop Del Bosque from trying again. Despite having Fernando Llorente, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Torres available, Del Bosque said that he may very well opt for another 4-6-0 set-up with one of his many attack-minded midfielders playing up top.

"Against Ireland we will play a No. 9, though it depends what you understand by a No. 9," Del Bosque told reporters. "David Silva is a forward; Andres Iniesta plays like one, so does Cesc."


Steve Cherundolo is still very much the "Mayor of Hannover" and the captain of the Bundesliga club is under contract for another season, but that does not mean he will not have any up-and-coming players poised to fight him for playing time.

Hannover signed 22-year-old Japanese right back Hiroki Sakai from FIFA Club World Cup participant Kashiwa Reysol on a deal that lasts through 2016. Sakai, a member of Japan's Olympic team, has also been capped by the full Japan national team.


The Czech Republic could be down two integral starters for its important Euro 2012 Group A finale against Poland after Tomas Rosicky and Petr Cech underwent exams for Achilles and shoulder injuries, respectively.

Both players picked up injuries in Tuesday's win over Greece, with Rosicky needing to be substituted off at halftime. Czech manager Michal Bilek has said that they have a 75 percent chance of playing in Saturday's group finale, a day on which all four Group A sides can advance to the knockout stage with a victory.


Do you think a loss should cost Van Marwijk his job? Do you see the Dutch bouncing back to knock off Germany? Do you think Del Bosque's lineup experimentation will cost Spain? What do you make of Hannover's latest signing, and how do you see it impacting Cherundolo? Do you see the Czech Republic getting out of Group A?

Share your thoughts below.

  • K Bone

    This is exactly the kind of confidence boost Torres was hoping for this tournament. He’ll be rearing to go for Chelsea…


  • RK

    That 4-6-0 could work against a weaker opponent (Ireland) but it won’t get them to the final.


  • Mike

    Italy was/is the toughest defensive team in the World. They play to defend and that’s pretty much it. If it worked well against them it will work much better against other teams that neither have the skill level to nor the luxury to sit back.


  • Alex

    Did you watch the game? Italy have fantastic defenders, yes, and are one of the best teams in the world, yes, meaning they do have a world class defense, but Italy did NOT simply play to defend. They arguably had better chances than the Spanish did. Your view of the Italian soccer team is an aged stereotype.


  • NateinSF

    Yes, Italy tactics have evolved and under the current manager have a much more balanced approach. Watching the Spain match I had two main observations. 1- don’t really like seeing De Rossi play that deep. 2 – I didn’t realize how much pace Cassano has, he was really stretching the Spanish defense. I was impressed w Italy after only really reading about their evolution.


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