During the 1970's I loved the Dutch style of foootball and have been over there many times to stadiums in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Alkmaar, Venlo, Waalhijk and elsewhere, but in recent years their footballers have been really tiresome.
It started for me with the round of 16 which I witnessed in Nuremberg at FIFA World Cup 2006. They thankfully lost 1-0 to Portugal, who themselves were far from blameless. A record and shameful 16 cards, including 4 reds produced by Russian referee Valentin Ivanov, after which their colourful fans, spoiled players and media put the blame on him. Deco and Costinha for the Portuguese and Khalid Boulahrouz and Gio van Bronkhorst for the Dutch received marching orders. Maniche scored the only goal after 23 minutes.
At the 2010 World Cup Final against Spain at Soccer City outside Johannesburg we witnessed another afternoon of thuggery, and again they tried to blame English referee Howard Webb for what in fact started ou at an early age as bad parenting from Dutch mums and dads. Without him it would have been carnage.
So, am a sorry to see them struggling to stay in EURO 2012 in Ukraine.??? NOT AT ALL. Go back, be more discplined at home, get your hair cut, make school uniforms mandatory, less tolerance by coaches on the football fields. SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD !! The petulant behaviour of Arjen Robben when he was substituted for the admirable Dirk Kuyt after 83 minutes, summed up the problem.
The Germans, who had done so well in their qualifying tournament put on another clinical performance with well timed passes and a solid and well organized defence. After they did so badly at EURO 2000 they changed for the better and are my favourites to topple champions Spain for the Henry Delauney trophy.
Earlier in the day Portugal had deservedly won a ding-dong, end to end battle with Denmark in Lviv with a late winner, despite a less than average match from Cristiano Ronaldo.Two more great goals from Super Mario Gomez .They live to fight another day against the Dutch in the third of their group matches in Kharkiv on Sunday.
Did you see the TV clip about the Spanking Swedes yesterday? They and their fans are lucky to play all their three matches at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.. Reserve goalkeeper Johan Wiland had footballs fired at his naked bum by team mates as punishment for losing a game of 'pig' players attempting to keep the ball in the air as long as possoble.
With the English 'WAGS', (wives and girlfriends) arriving by private jet into their base city of Krakow, evidently they have to play the same game of 'pig, in Market Square near the England hotel if The Three Lions lose to the The Three Crowns(Tre Kronor) tomorrow. CAN'T WAIT !!! Get a ringside view.