Van Persie and Depay training bust-up adds to Dutch woes
Published 13/10/2015 | 02:30
Robin van Persie was involved in a training-ground row with Manchester United's Memphis Depay before being dropped for Holland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Kazakhstan last Saturday.
Van Persie, who was sold to Fenerbahce by United manager Louis van Gaal this summer following the £25m signing of Depay from PSV Eindhoven, was named as a substitute for the game in Astana, which Holland won 2-1.
Coach Danny Blind confirmed that Van Persie and Depay clashed in training, but he insisted that the former United and Arsenal striker was omitted from the team due to fitness concerns rather than as a result of his disagreement with Depay.
Blind added:"It (the row with Depay) was a discussion during a training session about a ball that should have been given over. Things like that happen often. There are sometimes situations in training where players think differently. That's what happened and then it was over."
While tensions within Dutch squads have been common since the Seventies, Van Persie's clash with Depay follows the 32-year-old's disastrous start to life in Turkey with Fenerbahce.
He has repeatedly been left out of the starting XI and is understood to be struggling to adjust to his diet of sporadic appearances, having left United with a year to run on his contract.
Van Persie could return to the Premier League, or to Italy, in the January transfer window.
Holland's nightmare Euro 2016 qualifying campaign has left the World Cup semi-finalists needing an unlikely sequence of results simply to overhaul Turkey to claim a play-off place in Group A.
The Dutch will miss out unless they beat the Czech Republic tonight and Iceland, who have already qualified, win in Turkey.
Failure to qualify would probably bring down the curtain on the international career of the likes of Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Nigel de Jong.
Meanwhile, Brazil and Argentina will try to kick-start their World Cup qualifying campaigns tonight after opening defeats .
Argentina face a tough task in Paraguay, with Carlos Tevez likely to start up front in place of the injured Sergio Aguero.
Aguero limped off midway through the first half of Argentina's 2-0 loss at home to Ecuador last week, his injury is a blow to a side already without Lionel Messi, who is out for two months with a knee injury.
Brazil, who lost their opener 2-0 away to Chile, will again be without Neymar when they entertain Venezuela, the only South American nation never to qualify for the World Cup finals. (© Daily Telegraph, London)