Marco van Basten offers damning verdict on West Ham, criticises two Southampton stars

Dutch legend Marco van Basten is far from impressed with West Ham, Southampton and Sunderland.

Dutch legend Marco van Basten has told newspaper Voetbal International that he is 'really surprised' a team like West Ham is fifth in the Premier League.

Van Basten, who became a hero during the 80's and 90's with Ajax and AC Milan, is currently working as a coach with the Dutch national team, but it seems that he has been watching Premier League games recently.

Van Basten wrote in his Voetbal International column that he isn't impressed with the style of football in England, stating that 'balls are just haphazardly played forward'.

The former striker had specific targets for his criticism. Firstly, he suggested he was 'really surprised' that a team like West Ham is fifth in the Premier League, as he believes their status as one of the top twenty richest clubs isn't mirrored on the pitch.

That's an interesting claim considering the plaudits offered to manager Slaven Bilic this season, who has encouraged passing football as well as direct play when needed, making the Hammers a truly balanced, multi-faceted side.

Van Basten didn't stop there though, as he admitted that he watched Southampton v Sunderland last weekend, a game which finished 1-1 thanks to a late equaliser from Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

Van Basten claimed that nobody attempts to unlock defences or surprise the opposition, and was disappointed with Southampton stars Dusan Tadic and Jordy Clasie, who had enjoyed previous success in the Netherlands with Twente and Feyenoord respectively.

"West Ham United is currently still the number five of the Premier League and is in the top twenty of the richest European clubs. But when I look at their games, I'm really surprised," said Van Basten. "At Southampton v Sunderland last Saturday, it was really no different. Balls are just haphazardly played forward."

"No one comes up with ideas and take the initiative. Players like Dusan Tadic and Jordy Clasie did not succeed too. I think: Where are you going? How are you going to try and force something? You've got to surprise an opponent," he added.

Do you agree with Van Basten's comments?

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