A massive blow for Georginio Wijnaldum and the rest of Newcastle United’s Dutch contingent on Thursday night, a home defeat by Iceland left the Netherlands’ hopes of going to the Euros next summer hanging by a thread.
The match ended 1-0 to Iceland and now there looks almost no chance of Wijnaldum or Newcastle’s other four Netherlands internationals automatically qualifying for France 2016.
Iceland currently have 18 points, followed by Czech Republic on 16, Holland with 10, whilst Turkey are now only a point behind on 9.
The top two automatically qualify along with the third placed team (overall in the nine groups) who performs the best – results elsewhere mean little/no chance of Holland claiming that place.
So now Wijnaldum and his teammates face a struggle to finish third which would give them a ticket to the lottery of the play-offs.
Turkey are home to Holland today (5pm kick-off) Sunday and if the Dutch lose again, they may face having to beat the Czech Republic away from home in the final qualifier, just to make those play-offs, their other game in between is at home to Kazakhstan.
Nevertheless, Georginio Wijnaldum has been in defiant mood, even though there has been the additional blow of Robben definitely missing today’s match.
“We now have to win three times and I believe we can, it (losing to Iceland) was a huge blow but we’re all professionals and the bonus is the match against Turkey. We must be positive, we can still go to the European Championships.
“It’s very annoying as Robben is an absolute top player.
“Many players have already experienced a European Championship or World Cup and they know what it’s like to play a finals tournament and I don’t want to miss next year.
“We should not go there (Turkey) with the idea to grab a point, the Netherlands should always want to win.
“I know how it is to play a final tournament and I don’t want to miss next year.”
As Newcastle fans, let’s hope that Wijnaldum and his Dutch teammates can pull this back because with Holland potentially making up half of Newcastle’s starting eleven, the carrot of playing in France next summer can only be a positive.
You can watch Holland in action this afternoon if you have access to Sky interactive – kick-off is 5pm.