Thursday, June 21, 2018

Meulensteen: Rooney ban not a negative

Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen believes Wayne Rooney’s suspension will benefit England at Euro 2012.

The 48-year-old Dutchman believes Roy Hodgson’s side should not be written off ahead of the tournament, citing the strikers’ return from a two-match ban as a potential catalyst for Roy Hodgson’s side.

I can see England doing well at the Euros. The fact that Rooney isn’t available in the first two games isn’t per se a negative point,” Meulensteen told Voetball International.

“Maybe in the next round he is fresh and he can give the team a bit extra that they will need.”

The former Brondby IF coach was more pessimistic about his home country’s chances, claiming the Netherlands need to play at a fast tempo if they are to succeed in Poland and Ukraine.

“I don’t see Holland playing a good tournament. Van Bommel and De Jong always play, so we got used to that. Those two decrease the pace of the game,” he said.

Much of the debate surrounding the Netherlands has centred around whether they can play on-form strikers Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie in the same side.

But Meulensteen insists the duo, who have plundered 67 goals between them this season for respective club sides Schalke 04 and Arsenal, can be successful in tandem.

“Van Persie and Huntelaar can play together, but you need to show courage,” he said.


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