Coach Danny Blind admitted Netherlands have struggled to produce enough good footballers in recent years as he talked up England’s development.
Netherlands failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and the pressure is now on the likes of Memphis Depay (22), Riechedly Bazoer (19) and Jetro Willems (21) to lead the new generation to the World Cup in two years’ time.
Whether the talented trio will be consistently good enough to get the Dutch to Russia 2018 remains to be seen as a country renowned for their development attempt to rebuild, but Blind is hoping to take a leaf out of England’s book.
The new English generation of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Nathaniel Clyne helped overturn a two-goal deficit in the stunning 3-2 win over Germany last week.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s showdown at Wembley, Blind said: “It’s always difficult to find one special reason for what has happened. There were periods in the 1980s when we did not qualify [1982 and 1986 World Cup finals]. That’s football.
“We had great players with [Arjen] Robben, [Robin] van Persie, [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar, [Nigel] de Jong, [Wesley] Sneijder. The players aged 25-28, they are not around. We have to deal with that. The only thing we can do is bring in young players for games like this one.
“It is currently very difficult because Holland was second at the 2010 World Cup and third in 2014 so people expect a lot from our team and it is very disappointing we did not qualify for the Euro 2016 tournament.
“Especially because the third place in the group would have been good enough to get to France. It’s very disappointing … it’s going to be a tough summer.”
Of England, who will feature at Euro 2016 in France, Blind added: “[They] have big players with big clubs. They used to have a lot of foreign players at the clubs.
“Now it appears they have more home-based English players in their league so they can build a good national team.
“That is in contrast to us, we are now rebuilding our team with extremely young players.
“It’s a good team with young and promising players. It’s more difficult to beat England than it used to be.
“Holland have had good results against England but they appear to play more modern, less predictable football now.
“Maybe a bit more European style [has been] influenced by all the coaches and players in the Premier League.”
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