Advertising Console

    Robben is hard done by says Dutch coach


    by ODN


    Holland coach Bert van Marwijk insists Arjen Robben is a changed man.

    The former Chelsea star developed a reputation for diving at Stamford Bridge that has never gone away. Even at the World Cup, once he recovered from the hamstring injury that threatened his participation in the tournament, Robben has been criticised for hitting the deck too quickly.

    But, ahead of the semi-final encounter with Uruguay, Van Marwijk insists the 26-year-old does not deserve the criticism.

    "He doesn't do it deliberately," he said. "Arjen is incredibly fast and creative. He faces up to opponents and you do fall, or get pushed. Maybe he has done things in the past that he shouldn't but he has learned and doesn't do it any more."

    Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt and Arsenal's Robin van Persie are also pivotal to Holland's chance of victory. "I read somewhere that when Rafael Benitez picked a team at Liverpool, he wrote Kuyt's name down first. That says everything," said Van Marwijk.

    "Every player has a period where things don't work out and Liverpool had a very tough year, but Kuyt is extremely important for us. The way he plays shows his passion and enthusiasm. And it is catching."