Blind works hard at English lesson
euro-spy; MAN ON THE SPOT Danny Blind (Netherlands)
Saturday 22 June 1996
Off the pitch, the responsibility for sorting it out lies with Guus Hiddink and his coaching staff. But, once the first whistle sounds tonight, there is little they can do. Then, the Dutch captain and senior defender, Danny Blind, will be in charge.
Now 34 years of age, Blind has been with Ajax for a decade, following seven years with Sparta Rotterdam. He has been content to stay out of the limelight at the Amsterdam club while a succession of more eye-catching performers have hogged the headlines, but no one in the Netherlands underestimates Blind's value to club and country. A strong and disciplined central defender, comfortable on the ball and tactically sharp, he remains a key player even in the twilight of his international career.
Blind knows what went wrong against England. "The worst thing you can have is a team in two minds," he said, admitting that some team-mates had ignored instructions. "Normally there's no problem but on Tuesday there was, because some players wanted to go into attack when they should have stayed back."
The off-field problems, with Edgar Davids' expulsion from the squad being followed by further dissent from Clarence Seedorf, have not helped. "They're all rumours," Blind insisted, however. "I've played for many years with all these guys at Ajax and there haven't been any problems at all. Nothing has changed." He remains a positive captain. "We have to learn from the England game. It will be very difficult, but nothing is impossible."
Latest in Sport
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Refugees welcome: More than 250,000 sign Independent petition calling for Britain to 'take its fair share'
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...