Cruyff: Netherlands needs to play higher up the pitch

The 65-year-old believes that Bert van Marwijk's side must improve if it is to be able to break down resilient defenses in the European Championships.
Netherlands icon John Cruyff believes the Dutch national team needs to press opponents higher up the pitch when it competes in Euro 2012.

Having seen his nation beaten 2-1 at home to Bulgaria on Saturday, the former Ajax and Barcelona star believes that it will need some tactical alterations if it is to be a contender in Poland and Ukraine.

"You're asking for problems if your wingers are not playing high enough [up the pitch]," Cruyff wrote in his De Telegraaf column. "Because [Rafael] Van der Vaart and [Robin] Van Persie hardly got to the byeline, they produced very few dangerous crosses, and there were thus no second balls [against Bulgaria].

"That's why we hardly saw any shots on target from long range."

Cruyff went on to point out that the team still has time to shuffle the pack before the tournament gets going.

"Netherlands have two friendly games in which to tinker," he wrote. "In the European Championship, the Portuguese will play like Chelsea played against Bayern [in the Champions League final], and Bulgaria did on Saturday in Amsterdam.

"I hope for a good European Championships for the Dutch team."

Bert van Marwijk's side gets its Euro 2012 campaign underway on June 9 when it faces Denmark at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv.

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