Bert van Marwijk will have to mastermind a victory without a number of players however. Besides long-term injuries (Leonardo, De Nooijer, Snoyl), the coach has to do without Kalou (hamstring), Ghaly, Gyan, Lurling and Ono. The Japanese international will be the most sorely missed. ‘The estimate is four weeks without Shinji,’ says Van Marwijk. ‘I hope it won’t be longer. But he is still limping. He has got rid of the crutches but Shinji is still in a lot of pain.’
The probability is that Alfred Schreuder will fill the vacancy created by Ono’s absence. ‘That will change our game a little. Schreuder usually plays more withdrawn. But of course, I haven’t got much choice,’ admitted the coach.
There are lots of whispers about incoming and outgoing coaching and playing staff floating around De Kuip, not least about Robin van Persie. Will he or won’t he? ‘I wouldn’t know,’ said the coach. Reserve keeper Edwin Zoetebier has also been linked with a move. ‘Volendam asked about him, but I want to have two good keepers. So he’s not allowed to leave. Malkowski is doing well, but he doesn’t have the same quality as Edwin and Patrick.’
HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISE, Sunday 25 January 2004
Venue: De Kuip
Lodewijks; Song, Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Van Haaren; Smolarek, Pardo, Schreuder, Van Persie; Buffel, Kuyt
Ponk, Lamey, Zwaanswijk, Touzani, Bosschaart, De Jong, Broerse, Chaiat, Van den Bergh, Tanghe, Van de Haar