Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Guadalajara
1
0
FT
Game Details
AS Trencin
Hull City
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Mlada Boleslav
Lyon
1
4
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Aberdeen
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Le Havre AC
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Valenciennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arles
AC Ajaccio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Dijon FCO
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Troyes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Angers
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Laval
Niort
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Tours
Créteil
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FK Rubin Kazan
Spartak Moscow
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KV Oostende
Anderlecht
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Silkeborg IF
Sonderjyske
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lillestrom
SK Brann
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
Athlone Town FC
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derry City
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Drogheda Utd
UCD
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Shamrock
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
St Patricks
Sligo
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cork
Dundalk
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kansas City
Philadelphia Union
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Pachuca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U.A.N.L
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
Banfield
Postp
Game Details
Rosario Central
Quilmes
Postp
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Mineros de Zacatecas
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Correcaminos
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Luverdense
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
Goianiense
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Unión La Calera
Antofagasta
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Espana
Parrillas One
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 8, 2008

Van Marwijk calls for midfield improvement

NOORDWIJK, September 8 (World Cup Qualifying) - Holland coach Bert van Marwijk is hoping for an improved performance from his midfield in the World Cup qualifier in Macedonia on Wednesday - his first competitive match in charge.

The Dutchman, who replaced Marco van Basten after Euro 2008, highlighted the central midfield as an area of concern following the 2-1 friendly defeat to Australia on Saturday, a loss he described as "very disappointing''.

"There was no balance on the midfield,'' Van Marwijk said. "(Australia's) Brett Holman had all the time and space to do whatever he wanted. Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel and Rafael van der Vaart had trouble anticipating his movement and need to learn from this match.

"The opener (from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar) was a nice goal, but we missed the chance to extend our lead and our performance dropped to a disappointing level. Altogether, it was a very disappointing match for us and that seriously bothers me.''

Another problem area concerning Van Marwijk is in goal, although he is boosted by the availability of keeper Maarten Stekelenburg, whose red card against the Socceroos will not incur a ban.

"I am really relieved that he isn't suspended for Wednesday in the World Cup qualifier in Macedonia,'' the coach told De Telegraaf.

"It is ironic that in Holland, where the job as goalkeeping coach was first taken seriously, we have such goalkeeping problems.

"Don't misunderstand me, I do respect Henk Timmer a lot. Because of his experience and passion he is a reliable stopper for Feyenoord, but he knows himself that he is not a top keeper. And the same goes for others in Holland.''

Despite the problems, Van Marwijk is reluctant to tinker too much with his line-up, having previously stated the need for stability. However, winger Arjen Robben is likely to come in for Ryan Babel as the Real Madrid man has recovered from an ankle injury.

Van Marwijk picked out forward Robin van Persie for criticism before the Australia defeat, saying: "Players like Van Persie and Van der Vaart are very creative, but they have the tendency to gamble a bit when it comes to defending. I want them to take their responsibility and think about the team, too.''

The coach had several rows with Van Persie when he was coach of Feyenoord, but the Arsenal forward recently insisted there is no longer a problem and is looking forward to the tricky trip to Macedonia.

"It's not difficult to be motivated for this match,'' he said in De Telegraaf. "If you look at the results in Europe at the weekend, you have to be alert. Smaller teams no longer exist. You must be ready always for them.

"I think in this age the mentality of a team is more important than the technical aspect. I also want to bring my best mentality.''

Robben confirmed later on Monday he had taken part in training and would definitely be available for Wednesday's qualifier.

"Things are good, I don't feel any pain,'' said the former Chelsea winger. "I think I could have played on Saturday too but it was wise not to. I have to listen to my body.

"It was not an easy decision. For the first time in three years I had a good pre-season. I didn't miss a single training session at Real Madrid.

"Unfortunately I got a kick last week on my calf in the away match against Deportivo La Coruna, but that can happen to anyone.''

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.