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Posted by Paul Klomp on 06/20/2010

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.

Everyone hoping for a more spectacular style of play from the man in orange after their sober play versus Denmark, Holland-Japan was a major letdown. I was one of those people but I abandoned that hope after 10 minutes already, with Holland playing the 'let's see how long we can pass the ball to each other without progressing more than 15 meter up the pitch' game. The fact that the Japanese were more than happy to oblige, and didn't leave their own half for the better part of the entire match obviously didn't help.

It almost seemed as though Holland was slowly strangling the Japanese to footballing death, with their endless passing, positioning game and most importantly; infinite patience. Ball possession usually doesn't say anything about the score, but in this match it told the whole story. Holland had 73% after the first half and ended up with 64% overall, after the Japanese decided that it might be a good idea to actually try and create something seeing as they were 1-0 down. Thankfully, their negative style of play didn't give them anything, because Sneijder was able to whip one in just after half time.

Sneijder's goal was nice but a little lucky as well. It needed the help of the Japanese goalie and so the waiting is still on for the first amazing attack from the Dutch in this World Cup. An attack that will leave everyone speechless and swing worldwide public opinion back in Holland's favor. I am more than content with waiting for this attack to happen until, let's say, the 11th of July?

Because despite all the criticism concerning the Dutch style of play, you cannot blame them for winning and being the first country into the first round. Sure, Holland's group wasn't the most difficult but neither is England's. And the amazing Germans that blew away Australia subsequently lost to Serbia and suddenly find themselves in a real battle for qualification. Spain didn't have luck on its side against Switzerland, Italy was at times overplayed by Paraguay and Brazil seemed like a frozen samba against the sturdy North-Koreans. Oh and don't even get me started on the French, because frankly they are a disgrace for their country. The only team to actually live up to expectation is therefore probably Argentina.

So let's recap on Holland in the light of events during this World Cup. As mentioned, they are the first to qualify, they have 6 points, made 3 goals and conceded 0. They completely controlled both of their matches, looked really solid at the back and showed up at the right time in terms of bagging a goal. All this without Arjen 'the sensation to happen' Robben, an in-form striker (Van Persie has been playing terribly, but will be very decisive in the near future) and against two opponents that are defensive minded, sturdy and generally difficult to play. The second round, and hopefully beyond, will give the Dutch a perfect environment for their new style of play: difficult to beat, lucky, always scoring and with very smart and highly skilled players blending into a team performance. Come to think of it, we really do look like Germany.

Comments

Posted by Casper on 06/20/2010

I've got only one thing to say you: We enjoy the view from the top of Group E and that's all that matters for now.

Posted by Hans B on 06/20/2010

I'm with you on this one. Ive certainly not been dazzled by our country's performances so far....but two wins, no conceeded goals and first country through to the next round is the only thing that matters at the moment. The creative play etc will come when we play another team that offers a bit more space on the pitch and doesnt mind leaving their own half. The game against Cameroon could show us a bit of what should still come as Id expect them to play with pride and go for a result. So far the Cameroon Denmark game has been one of the more entertaining (not high quality) games with a bit of end to end! If the Dutch need to play like the Germans to win then so be it....as you wrote in one of your first blogs....lets just get that first star.

Posted by Tom sebastian on 06/22/2010

Defence was supposed to be holland's weakness.But now they are only european team besides portugal to keep 2 clean sheets

Posted by Dolf on 06/26/2010

I don't care if all matches are horrible to watch as long as the WC is won.

Posted by HELP on 06/30/2010

IF HOLLAND WANTS TO DEFEAT BRAZIL
IT MUST PUT AN INDIVIDUAL BLOCK
TO KAKA.
HOLLAND MUST BLOCK IN THE MIDDLE.
DON´T BE MUCH IN THE FRONT;
DON´T BE MUCH IN THE BACK;
BLOCK IN THE MIDDLE.
HOLLAND MUST HAVE FOUR PLAYERS (DEFENSORS) FIXED
BLOCKING ITS AREA.
DON´T BE AFRAID.
YOU´RE BETTER THAN BRAZIL.
ATTACK IN THE LUCIO´S SIDE.
HE IS A WEAK PLAYER.
HE WON´T WIN YOUR PLAYERS OF ATTACK.

Posted by Iqbal on 07/01/2010

I think this tactic may just work against Brazil! This is the strangest Dutch team I've ever seen. We're probably the most slow and boring of the major teams in this tournament but we're just about winning. People say we'll get better, but are we? The forwards are too isolated and overwhelmed in midfield as our two defensive midfielders don't move up at all, which makes it easy for our opponents to cut our attacks. And I don't feel we are as secure at the back as some suggest and I feel this will be exposed against Brazil.
Strangely though, our desperately slow build-up may just work in our favour against Brazil as they prefer the game to be fast and this may just "bore" them to death and hopefully Robben takes their defence to the cleaners, but he will need support from Sneijder and RVP. I'm more hopeful than expectant but if we're ever going to beat Brazil, the time is now as I've seen far more frightening Brazil sides in the past. But God knows we need to improve...a lot.

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