Arjen Robben is to fly to the Holland training camp in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday. The embattled footballer took some days off, to rest up from a tough week.
Last Saturday, the Bayern Munich winger failed to convert a penalty in extra time during the Champions League match final against Chelsea. Bayern eventually lost after winning the penalty shootout.
Three days later, Robben was booed and whistled at by his own fans while he played for Holland against his own side in a controversial friendly in Munich. Robben needed a break, and that’s what manager Bert van Marwijk gave him.
“After the Bayern match, I told Arjen that I felt badly about the crowd’s behaviour,” the Holland boss told journalists on Tuesday night, “I said ‘If I were you, I would keep mum to the press and leave the stadium straightaway.’”
No lengthy break
Van Marwijk confirmed that Robben will join the squad in Lausanne on Friday. They’ll fly to Amsterdam together on Saturday for another friendly, against Bulgaria.
“I spoke to Robben for a while before the friendly in Munich. I told him not to take too long a break. After all, he’s a very explosive player. Giving him seven, eight of nine days off won’t do him any good at this stage [of Holland's Euro-2012 preparations, ed], particularly because he’s on form. He didn’t perform all that badly during the Champions League final. Of course, I asked him about his view on the matter, but I emphasized that, in my assessment, it would be better if he join the squad on Friday."
The Holland manager went to great lengths to accommodate Robben.
“I moved the Friday morning training session to the afternoon to allow him a full extra day off. Otherwise he would have had to report on Thursday evening and that would have meant travelling during his free day. Now he’ll be able to fly to Lausanne in the morning and join our training session in the afternoon. This means he’ll will have had about five days off. He was in total agreement.”
Van Marwijk said he wouldn’t give the tormented player special attention to get him back on his feet again.
“The squad will do that. You know, the best way to recovery is just to be part of a team. These lads know how to create a good atmosphere, how to make fun, and that’s what often works best.”