Netherlands must emulate Ferguson's Manchester United - Edwin van der Sar

DUBLIN -- Former Netherlands No. 1 Edwin van der Sar believes the Dutch need to rethink their youth policy following their failure to qualify for Euro 2016 and teach developing stars to play at a "Premier League pace" like Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United sides.

Next year's tournament in France was in theory easier to reach for Europe's top sides after being expanded from 16 to 24 teams, but the Oranje finished fourth in their qualifying group behind the Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.

Former Ajax and United goalkeeper Van der Sar played 130 times for his national team, and is heavily invested in Dutch football's future in his role as marketing director at Ajax.

Having watched his country go from 2014 World Cup semifinalists to Euro 2016 also-rans, the 45-year-old told ESPN FC that Dutch clubs must examine whether their famed academies can produce tougher players.

"The talent is still there," he said during an interview at the Web Summit in Dublin. "In our academy, and also at Feyenoord and PSV [Eindhoven], we are producing players.

"We have to look if we're not pampering them too much -- if not [then] everything is laid out for them, so that it's too easy to do all the things.

"Are they mentally strong also? To gain that extra yard, that extra metre that you have to run instead of having possession and just playing the ball around and trying to find the opening.

"I remember that Ferguson always said if you play in Europe, play the Premier League pace. That's something we have to learn, I think, in Holland.

"We need more determination I think -- more power."

In his own illustrious career, the 2002 World Cup was the only tournament Van der Sar missed out on as Netherlands were pipped by Portugal and Republic of Ireland for a trip to Japan and South Korea.

That proved a blip for the Dutch, but Van der Sar is concerned about the lack of experience in the current squad.

With Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben often injured and Robin Van Persie's poor form leading to him being dropped from the most recent squad, Danny Blind's side lost five of their 10 qualifying games for Euro 2016.

Van der Sar says it's a problem that many Dutch club sides are suffering from too as they face a struggle to hold on to their more talented players.

"Most of the teams are quite young," he added. "We always focus on talent and bringing players through. Sometimes it's also nice to have somebody who knows the game, who can pull a string.

"I played with Paolo Montero, for example, at Juventus. A fantastic defender -- tough.

"He was talking all the time -- putting players left and right and putting them in [position]. That's something that a young team would need.

"I think we lacked that maybe a little bit at Ajax sometimes and I think we lacked it also -- an authority -- in the national team in the last two years."