Georginio Wijnaldum has explained his touchline row with Frank De Boer after the Liverpool midfielder was subbed off during the Netherlands’ win over Latvia.
Goals from Steven Berghuis and Luuk de Jong wrapped up the World Cup qualifying win as the Oranje bounced back from their shock midweek defeat to Turkey to get their first points on the board in Group G.
But Wijnaldum was angry at being hauled off shortly after the second goal, and exchanged heated words with Dutch boss De Boer as he left the pitch in the 79th minute.
Asked afterwards what he said to his manager, the 30-year-old revealed he was frustrated as he felt he could have added a third goal against the minnows.
“My substitution? Yes I was a bit disappointed. But we shouldn’t make it bigger than it is,” Wijnaldum told NOS after the game.
“I wanted to remain on the pitch because I had the feeling that I could score another goal because Latvia were becoming more open in their defence.
“But me and the coach have already talked about it, it’s nothing bad.
“You have fun in the game and you don’t really want to be taken off. But you also have players on the bench, of course, and I also think this is a good time to put them in to keep the feeling across the team as good as possible.
“So on the one hand I was very disappointed, but on the other hand it is also good for the group process when other guys play too.”
Wijnaldum was taken off as part of a triple substitution, with goalscorer De Jong and Memphis Depay also hooked.
Lyon forward Depay also appeared unhappy at being taken off, and De Boer said afterwards: “Memphis wanted to score and he was close a few times, I think he was more concerned with that than the substitution.
“Gini has played so much, I told him to understand that we are a squad of 24 players and they also need to get the feeling that they belong.”
Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek was among the players who came on in their place, as well as Ryan Gravenberch and former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel.
Wijnaldum and Depay have both been linked with moves to Barcelona this summer, with De Boer’s former international team-mate Ronald Koeman looking to revamp the Catalan side’s squad.