De Dutch!

July 7, 2010 at 3:20 am | Posted in World Cup Memories | Leave a comment

The Dutch are back in the World Cup final.  Hopefully it is a case of third time lucky.  I am throwing my support behind the Dutch.   To go to the World Cup final three times and not win it would be too cruel.

Why support the Dutch?   First of all, the Dutch have played some of the finest football in football history.   Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord have all won the European Cup (Ajax have won it four times).   They have, quite possibly, the best player development system in the world (Ajax recently featured in an excellent New York Times Magazine article).    In international football they reached the final of the World Cup in 1974 and 1978, only to be beaten by West Germany and Argentina.    They won the European Championships in 1988 in a line-up which featured three of the greatest players ever to play football: Frank Rikaard, Ruud Gullit, and Marco Van Basten.

Today they feature a line-up which includes Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder.  When you back up this triple threat with tough guys Van Bommel, Heitinga, and the hardest working player in football Dirk Kuyt, you have a hell of a team.   Gio Van Bronckhorst also showed the wealth of experience the Dutch team have.

My only fear for the Dutch is their keeper Stekelenburg, who looked a bit shaky today.   Flakey goalkeeping was a part of the reason the Dutch lost the two finals it participated in.  I also did not like the way Brazil simply passed the ball down route one for the goal they scored on the Dutch in the Quarter final.   The Dutch could well be vulnerable at the back, especially if they meet Germany in the final.   I think they will fare better against the Spanish, who seem to want to score goals in a very picky way, rather than the Germans, who just bang in goals for fun.  So, for tomorrow, go Spain!!!

Of course, we Canadians are all honorary Dutch citizens ever since our soldiers played a major role in liberating Holland from its Nazi occupiers in the second world war.   Our approach to living is much like the Dutch.

That does it, time to avenge the losses of the great players Cruyff, Krol and Neeskins!  Go Holland!!!


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