Van der Vaart hopes for Oranje chance
Rafael van der Vaart hopes his form at Tottenham will earn him a place in the Holland side for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Moldova. Van der Vaart, capped 85 times by his country, has failed to complete the full 90 minutes in any of his last 17 appearances and his frustration boiled over when he was hauled off after 64 minutes of the 2-1 win against Finland, putting his hand over his mouth to hide a volley of expletives. The former Real Madrid man has held clear-the-air talks with coach Bert van Marwijk this week and could be rewarded with a new holding midfield role with usual anchor man Nigel de Jong absent after being axed from the squad following his challenge on Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa at the weekend which left the Frenchman with a broken leg. "I can certainly play that position," said Van der Vaart. "But I would just love a permanent position with the Oranje. Although you can't say that the Dutch team at the World Cup did badly without me." Van der Vaart's preferred position is behind the strikers but he claims he is also happy elsewhere. "I can play in other positions as well," he added: "I can play on the left, in central midfield and also on the right." Who will replace De Jong is likely to prove a welcome distraction for Van Marwijk after the furore caused earlier in the week by his decision to drop the Manchester City man. It is not the first time De Jong has been accused of going into a challenge recklessly and his lunge on Ben Arfa proved the final straw for the Oranje boss. "Nigel has really gone too far," said Van Marwijk. "It is unfortunate because this issue only has losers. "Ben Arfa has a double leg fracture and I have lost from two very important matches a player who is in top form." The Dutch are also without Hamburg forward Eljero Elia, FC Twente midfielder Theo Janssen and Ajax left-back Vurnon Anita through injury. They joined Valencia defender Hedwiges Maduro and PSV Eindhoven's Wilfred Bouma on the sidelines along with Arsenal forward Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben. Twente midfielder Wout Brama and Ajax winger Urby Emanuelson have been drafted into Van Marwijk's squad as cover. The Dutch have won their opening two Group E fixtures but trail Sweden on goal difference - the two sides meet in Amsterdam on Tuesday night. Moldova have won one and lost one so far with an opening round victory over Finland followed by a 2-1 defeat in Hungary. Coach Gavril Balint is excited at the prospect of meeting the Dutch in Chisinau. "It's a big honour for us to meet the World Cup runners-up," said Balint. "We have great respect for the Dutch but that doesn't mean we're eager to give them three points." Balint has dropped Victor Comlenoc and Alexandru Dedov, while Serghei Dadu is absent through injury.
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