July 11, 2010
As the entire Dutch nation prepares for â€˜our World Cup finalâ€™, coach Van Marwijk and his players seem as focused as ever on finally grabbing the Cup for the first time in history. With confidence and a clear tactical plan, the team seems more than prepared to take on the Spaniards. Although the Dutch players speak highly of Spain and their almost Dutch style of play, they see ample opportunity for an upset. Because this final is still Spainâ€™s to lose.
July 6, 2010
The road to the final is wide-open. Thatâ€™s what we modest Dutchman think about tonightâ€™s encounter with Uruguay. After sending home Brazil in a very tight contest, Holland is as confident as it ever will be of finally conquering the much coveted cup. After all, there are only 180 minutes separating the deserving Dutch nation from its ultimate moment of glory.
July 1, 2010
The time has finally come for the Oranje to prove their worth. After cruising through the first and second round without exciting anyone, Holland faces Brazil tomorrow in what should be a momentous clash between two great football nations. Two nations that have given the world total football and samba football and everything in between. Two nations that arguably form the epitome of 'The Beautiful Game', based on their players' individual skill and their teams' wonderful style of play. Two nations that will face-off in a struggle for life and death, akin to that between David and Goliath.
June 20, 2010
The Holland-Japan match probably was the most boring match until now, at this already highly disappointing World Cup. Holland's 1-0 win that made them the first country to qualify, emphasized the unexpected characteristics of this team: hard-working, controlling and highly efficient. If that sounds more like Germany than Holland, you might just be right. With Holland playing like Germany and Germany playing like Holland, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
June 15, 2010
Some thoughts on Holland - Denmark of yesterday. Because it wasn't a match worth writing a lot about. The Dutch disappointed with their display but got the result anyway. The Danes were strong enough to keep the Dutch from scoring for 46 minutes, but too weak to create any major opportunities for themselves.
June 13, 2010
In less than 24 hours Holland will kick off what we all hope is going to be the most successful World Cup in Dutch history. Traditionally, we Dutchies are highly confident that this year will be the year of our ultimate victory and the 2010 World Cup isn't any different. With our Fantastic Four in place, Holland could go all the way, but let's start with Denmark first.
June 9, 2010
On Sunday, Robben-mania officially descended on Holland, and maybe even the rest of the footballing world, after he misplaced a back-heel ball during Holland's trashing of Hungary to pick up what seemed like a serious injury to his left hamstring. Everyone was left wondering; would Robben be able to make it to the World Cup, or would we lose him, just like the Germans lost Ballack, the Ghanians lost Essien, England lost Ferdinand, Portugal lost... oh well, the list is endless. Here is how I survived 24 terrible hours of waiting for The Verdict.
June 2, 2010
In the build-up to Tuesday's match between Holland and Ghana there was one thought that I couldn't shake: please lovely Ghana, spare our vulnerable stars and let them leave the pitch unharmed.
The nightmare unfolding in my mind had something to do with Wesley Sneijder or Robin van Persie leaving the field in heart-breaking agony. Luckily, that didn't happen and Holland went on to win quite easily: 4-1. Since friendly games in which Holland participates usually bore the average football lover to death, or at least unconsciousness, I wasn't planning on paying any attention to this match on the ESPN Netherlands Blog.
But then I read the article on the Ghana blog about the match in which their players are being graded, and more specifically the polite announcement of my Ghanaian colleague that for those readers interested in the grades of the Dutch players, they would have to visit the Dutch World Cup blog, and I thought to myself; someone just forced me to actually write something about a friendly match involving Holland! Thanks, Gary Al-Smith for making me do this!
May 28, 2010
Well ladies and gentleman, the time has finally come. The World Cup kicks-off in less than 2 weeks and the men in Orange are in full prep for what's supposed to be one hell of a ride. After arriving in Seefeld, Austria early this week for a fashionable stay at high-altitude, Van Marwijk used Wednesday's friendly against Mexico, which Holland won 2-1, to settle his final 23-man squad on Thursday. Since we are now finished with all the seamingly ever-lasting foreplay that is the month of May, it makes sense to discuss the actual World Cup squad, its performance this week and the outlook for the coming weeks, all the while mixing in my thoughts on some of your comments on my previous article and finishing up with some ideas of my own on how much Holland actually deserves to win the World Cup.
May 12, 2010
With his provisional thirty-man squad, Holland coach Bert van Marwijk continued the well-balanced and uneventful selection procedure that has marked his two-year tenure in charge.
The one thing that did actually turn some heads in the selected squad, Van Nistelrooy not going to the World Cup, was actually not that big of a surprise to anyone who was paying close attention to Van Marwijk's earlier comments about Van Nistelrooy's actual performance for HSV. Add to that the fact that Van Persie will probably play as a lone striker come June, Van Nistelrooy was effectively deemed surplus to requirement.