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Blind hits back at Spalletti in Strootman row

Netherlands coach Danny Blind has hit back at Luciano Spalletti in the wake of the Roma coach’s accusations that Kevin Strootman was “butchered” on international duty.

Strootman missed Roma’s win over Napoli and their draw with Austria Vienna due to a back injury after featuring for Netherlands in both World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and France.

Spalletti blamed Netherlands’ medical staff for the influential midfielder’s absence, but Blind feels the Roma boss will likely just have been frustrated by his side’s inability to beat Austria Vienna.

“I am offended by these comments,” Blind told De Telegraaf.

“If he was unable to play due to a back injury, then why did Roma even allow him to travel to the national team after we discussed his situation with the staff and Strootman himself?

“I was in touch with him every day during our training camp to see if he was fit after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines. We even took him off against Belarus when the result was save with an eye on the game against France.

“He told me he had some back problems [after missing the game against Napoli], but he told me he would be able to play again on Thursday.

“I don’t know whether Spalletti was just frustrated that Roma gave away a 3-1 lead against Austria Wien or whether there’s something else, but this is a pretty strange story if you ask me. We always look after our players with the national team. These accusations are nonsense.”

Sat 22 Oct, 2016
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