Holland coach Danny Blind hopes Walter Mazzarri has more faith in Steven Berghuis than Quique Sanchez Flores did after he handed the winger his international debut last night.
Berghuis, 24, came off the bench just past the hour mark to replace Memphis Depay last night as Holland scored in the 85th minute to rescue a draw with the Republic of Ireland. He “made the difference”, according to Blind, in a “disappointing match”.
“He did not really play much [for Watford],” said Blind, speaking to VI. “But the last three games I saw him play 35 minutes, 30 minutes, and 15 minutes. Twice he did very well. He is fast and has threat. I think he is an interesting player and I would like to see him at work with a view to the period after the summer. And let’s face it, his position is quite thin at the moment. Berghuis is yet another type, with his left leg on the right side. He can always take care of a surprise. I hope he gets more playing football next season, at Watford or elsewhere.”
Berghuis was afforded just ten substitute appearances under Sanchez Flores, so an emergency call up to the Holland squad would therefore have been far from his mind when he was in Fifth Avenue in New York at the weekend when the phone rang to tell him he was being called up to replace the injured Bart Ramseelar.
After winning his first cap and becoming the eighth father-son combination to play for his country – his father Frank played once for the Netherlands in 1989 – Berghuis will now expect to feature against Poland on Wednesday and Sebastian Prodl’s Austria next Saturday.