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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Van Der Sar: Duo shouldn't have been dropped

Captain Edwin van der Sar disagrees with the decision to drop Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mark van Bommel from the Holland squad.

Coach Marco van Basten has ditched the pair for Wednesday's friendly with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

'I would definitely have preferred them to be part of the group,' said Manchester United goalkeeper Van der Sar, who saw striker Van Nistelrooy leave Old Trafford for Real Madrid this summer.

'They are very good players, who could do very well for us. I spoke about that with Marco. I say what I want to say and he gives his arguments.'

Van Nistelrooy and Barcelona midfielder Van Bommel are the highest-profile players axed by Van Basten after Holland's disappointing World Cup, which the Oranje exited at the second-round stage.

The coach encourages a typically Dutch openness in the dressing room.

He said: 'Of course we listen, but we have the ultimate responsibility and need to take the decisions. And that is what we did.'

The main beneficiary of Van Basten's youthful approach is Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who is to fill Van Nistelrooy's central role in attack.

When asked if he has selected the Ajax marksman to start against Ireland, Van Basten replied: 'That is obvious, yes.'

Van Bommel's place in the new pecking order was confirmed when father-to-be Wesley Sneijder withdrew from the squad, with his spot taken by Theo Janssen.