13 August 2012 10:43
Netherlands assistant Patrick Kluivert says Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have to prove themselves to new coach Louis van Gaal.
Previous incumbent Bert van Marwijk struggled to make a choice between the two for the position as striker, and his decision to bench Schalke star Huntelaar in favour of the Arsenal captain at Euro 2012 led to plenty of unrest in the Dutch camp.
Kluivert has insisted that the Netherlands’ new staff are yet to make a decision over who to play up front, and is urging both players to prove their worth.
“Van Persie and Huntelaar start from scratch again. They are both candidates for the position of striker, and will have to show their worth again,” the former Barcelona striker told Goal.com.
“Van Gaal will make a decision based on their desire to play and their fitness.”
The Netherlands’ all-time top-scorer went on to explain his role at the national team, highlighting communication with the players as one of his main jobs.
“It is my job to bridge the gap between the players and the coach. I am pretty close with a few of the players and have even played with some of them. That is a real plus,” he said.
“It is a bit easier for me to communicate with them. My biggest qualities are talking with the players on the pitch and making sure everybody fulfils his task.”
Kluivert recently joined Danny Blind as Van Gaal’s assistant. The trio will be in charge of Netherlands for the first time in Wednesday’s friendly against Belgium.