Dutch press react to van Persie and Blind's performance vs Italy

The Italians "did not fear" Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, while summer signing Daley Blind showed off his versatility.

The above image is perhaps something that will please Manchester United supporters as summer signing Daley Blind showed his mettle in the challenge with Italy winger Matteo Darmian during an international friendly that the Netherlands lost 2-0 inside the Stadio Comunale San Nicola in Bari on Thursday evening.

There is great debate over where United manager Louis van Gaal will get most use out of the former Ajax utility, with speculation he could start over primary wing back Luke Shaw on the left flank, while also proving useful in his customary holding midfield position. Last night, he played both roles for Oranje,

However, his overall performance was a mixed bag. When the Netherlands had possession, he was a remarkable player both on and off the ball as his general movement and style liberated Wesley Sneijder, however, Darmian exposed him far too frequently - leading to question marks over his positional awareness.

This was picked up by Voetbal International, yet his display was not scrutinised in great detail… perhaps because he was asked to play two positions in the same match after Bruno Martins Indi's red card prompted manager Guus Hiddink to carry out a tactical reshuffle.

Voetbal International also highlighted the lack of support for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

"The Italians did not fear van Persie nor the Dutch attack," one report stated, because the Oranje "captain was isolated against a superior force and Dirk Kuyt did, or could not, support the Manchester United man."

Another report declared: "Oranje created nothing in the first half as the way Kuyt was deployed meant van Persie, the only power forward, became secluded from the rest of play."

The Dutch will hope to find form quickly as they take on Czech Republic in their opening qualifying match for the 2016 European Championships on Tuesday, September 9.

Blind and van Persie return to Manchester United first-team training next week as van Gaal looks to notch his first competitive win with the Old Trafford side who host Queens Park Rangers on September 14.

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