Dutch concerned over van der Vaart and Huntelaar
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk expressed his concern on Friday that two of his main players, Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, were not getting enough first-team action at their club Real Madrid.
"I am not pleased that they hardly play as I prefer my players to play every week," Van Marwijk told a news conference in which he announced his 21-man squad for Wednesday's friendly against Tunisia.
"At the moment it is no problem but it might be in the near future."
Striker Huntelaar made his first league start for Real on Jan. 4 against Villarreal and came on as a substitute in the other four league matches he has been able to play since joining from Ajax Amsterdam. Midfielder Van der Vaart made his last start in December.
Twente Enschede defender Edson Braafheid and Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel received their first call-ups to the Dutch squad.
"We have been following Braafheid for some time now and with Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Tim de Cler injured we do not have so many defenders left," said Van Marwijk.
The Dutch, top of 2010 World Cup qualifying Group 9, will visit Tunisia for a last warm-up match before they host Scotland and Macedonia in qualifiers on March 28 and April 1.
Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam), Henk Timmer (Feyenoord)
Defenders: John Heitinga (Atletico Madrid), Joris Mathijsen (SV Hamburg), Dirk Marcellis (PSV Eindhoven), Andre Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers), Edson Braafheid (Twente Enschede), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax Amsterdam)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), David Mendes da Silva (AZ Alkmaar)
Forwards: Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (Real Madrid)