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De Boer endorses Willems, Vlaar selection

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Jun 2012

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Ajax coach Frank de Boer said Bert van Marwijk should give starts to Jetro Willems and Ron Vlaar for Netherlands’ Euro 2012 opener.

The Dutch kick off their European campaign against Denmark on Saturday, but there has been much debate about who should take up the reins in the absence of Erik Pieters at left-back and who should replace Joris Mathijsen in the centre of defence.

Netherlands coach van Marwijk is expected to field both Willems and Vlaar against the Danes, despite their lack of international pedigree, but De Boer thinks his fellow trainer is making the right decision.

“I think Willems should start against Denmark, as in the last friendly against Northern Ireland,” the former Netherlands international told AD Sportwereld.

“That was a great outing with a good result.

“With two defensive midfielders, he (van Marwijk) wants a left-back who can come forward quickly and provide a pass, which Willems can do.”

The ex-Barcelona and Rangers defender went on to point out that both Vlaar and Wilfred Bouma are at similar levels, but the Feyenoord man’s leadership qualities make him the ideal partner for John Heitinga in the heart of the backline.

“Vlaar or Bouma, it doesn’t matter, there isn’t much difference, though Ron Vlaar at Feyenoord is a true leader, he is more of a leader than Wilfred Bouma,” he said.

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