And then there were 23
Keepers: Edwin van der Sar, Henk Timmer, Maarten Stekelenburg
Defenders: André Ooijer, John Heitinga, Kew Jaliens, Khalid Boulahrouz, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Tim de Cler, Jan Kromkamp
Midfielders: Mark van Bommel, Denny Landzaat, Phillip Cocu, Hedwiges Maduro, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder.
Strikers: Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Arjen Robben, Ryan Babel.
So that's a no to Barry Opdam (AZ), Nigel de Jong (HSV), Klaas–Jan Huntelaar (Ajax), George Boateng (Boro), Romeo Castelen (Feyenoord).
Thought Opdam was better than any of the other AZ defenders, but well. Didn't expect De Jong to go either, but I guess Maduro is more consistent. Shame about Huntelaar – I'm a PSV fan but really don't think Vennegoor of Hesselink is going to do amazing things (he's the Dutch equivalent of Peter Crouch) – he would have been a better bet than most of the makeshift wingers. Don't care about Boateng or Castelen.
So who's gonna win us the World Cup? Van der Sar – if only because the defence looks rather inexperienced. Cocu – with a last flash of genius – or Van der Vaart – with a first flash of genius. Van Nistelrooy – to reach the goal quotum for this year that Ferguson denied him. Not expecting too much from the young and talented then. At least the orange looks good.