Stockmann critical of Caldas policy: “He shoots himself in the foot.”
The European hockey championships have started, but without Robbert Kemperman and Valentin Verga in the Dutch selection. Former international Jaap Stockmann, the world’s best goalkeeper in 2014, has been very outspoken with his criticism of his former coach
“I don’t think this is the best EC selection,” said Stockmann. “Deep down, national coach Max Caldas may know that himself, but he will never admit it. He must continue to defend his decision.”
Malaysian pull too strong
Kemperman (206 caps) and Verga (187 caps) played in the lucrative Malaysian competition early this year. As a result, they missed the entire Pro League with the Dutch team, and Caldas believes that they have shown too little since then to be able to return to the Dutch side.
“The time in which they could show themselves was very limited,” says Stockmann. “Actually only in the play-offs of the Hoofdklasse. They all underestimated. But without Kemperman and Verga, Caldas now has a problem in midfield. He shoots himself in the foot.”
Kemperman and Verga are attacking midfielders, just like Jorrit Croon. However, the latter is injured, so the selection consists mainly of defensive midfielders.
Stockmann had a different approach to the case with Kemperman and Verga. “I think it is right that Kemperman and Verga will have consequences if they choose Malaysia over the National side, but they could have participated again in the Pro League final weekend to play in the spotlight for the European Championship,” said Stockmann. “I just think the best players should be in a European Championship.”
The former top goalkeeper of Orange is not concerned about Kemperman and Verga for next year’s Olympic Games. “It’s not done for Tokyo yet, but they have to show what they can do. They are 1-0 behind Caldas.”
“Experience was key against Germany.”
Despite the absence of Kemperman and Verga, the Dutch won the first European Championship game against Ireland, 5-1. According to commentator Philip Kooke, it cannot be concluded from that match (and the result) that the Netherlands did not miss the players.
“The level difference between the two teams was too significant for that. Last night, against Germany, there was no level difference: Experience played a key role against Germany and also as the European Championships progresses. They have Kemperman’s substitutes and Verga less. “
“The match against Germany was a more significant test. It may have seemed like an insignificant duel on paper, because the two best teams from the group go to the final phase, but both sides want to avoid Belgium in the semi-final. A fast attacking end to end game which the Dutch won 3-2, could have been a lot more. With big game payers missing it was the old heads of Bakker, Prusyer and Brinkman that cam to the fore.
Next up for the Dutch on Tuesday is a matchup against newly-promoted Scotland. The only time these two sides have met in a competitive match was at the 2017 World League Semi-final group stage, where the Netherlands won 3-0.