Cruyff: Star players didn't deliver for Netherlands

The Dutch legend feels that Oranje's key men failed to perform at their best at the European Championship, and went on to criticise the displays of the team's midfielders
Johan Cruyff has voiced his opinion that Netherlands' Euro 2012 failure is predominantly due to the disappointing performances of the team's star players.

Bert van Marwijk's side failed to progress from the group stages after losses against Denmark (1-0), Germany (2-1) and Portugal (2-1) in Group B, and the former Dutch star was quick to point his finger at the squad's key men.

 Stefan Coerts
 Netherlands Expert
Despite having a number of world-class players in their squad, Netherlands failed to impress at Euro 2012, and it’s only logical to look at the big names in the search for an explanation. Van Persie, Van Bommel, Robben and Van der Vaart were all far from convincing throughout the tournament, and won’t have fond memories of the past weeks. Sneijder was perhaps the only bright light for the Dutch in what was an otherwise hugely disappointing tournament.
"Oranje's downfall was mainly down to their sloppy build-up play, and the poor execution of the easy passes," Cruyff wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.

"Too many of the players failed to deliver at Euro 2012, and I'm mainly talking about the team's star players,

"If these kinds of things go wrong in midfield, the rest of the team suffer, too. Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel and Wesley Sneijder started in midfield, and they all play for teams that sit deep when they lose possession.

"This hurt the team, because their build-up play was never the way it should be when their opponents started to press."

Netherlands' next competitive game is the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Turkey in September.