RVP's club struggles could spark World Cup run
By Football News
Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal said Robin van Persie's struggles at club level could help him perform at the World Cup in Brazil.
Van Persie, and Manchester United, have endured a tough season, and despite scoring 10 goals in 15 Premier League outings - including seven goals in his past nine - Van Gaal said the striker's lack of influence on his club's fortunes could leave him hungry to ensure the Dutch succeed at Brazil 2014.
"The football he is experiencing now at Manchester United may be difficult for him but that could lead to him wishing to show his capability, his technique and his tactical skills at the World Cup," Van Gaal said.
"I think he'll be great in the World Cup because he loves to play in the Dutch squad.
"He played well in the qualifiers and was more influential than ever so I hope he will continue this."
Van Persie broke a national record as he scored 11 goals in the qualifying phase to help the Netherlands reach Brazil - where they will take on Spain, Chile and Australia in Group B.
But Van Gaal also threw open the door to who would lead his attack, despite Van Persie carrying the captain's armband.
"It could be that I pick Van Persie, (Arjen) Robben, Rafael van der Vaart, (Wesley) Sneijder," the coach said.
"But I could also go for the young guys that I've brought into the team over the last two years.
"We still have two months to see."
Van Persie was named in Van Gaal's squad for a friendly with France on March 5, alongside fellow Premier League players Tim Krul (Newcastle), Michel Vorm (Swansea City), Martin Stekelenburg (Fulham), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) and Leroy Fer (Norwich City).