Monday, June 9, 2008

"Go Orange! Down with Fascists"

A great line from wee-MO this afternoon when hearing the resounding score of the Holland-Italy match in Euro 2008. With a 3-0 triumph, the Dutch are in firm control of Group C as Romania and France drew 0-0 earlier in the day. While they entered with very little fanfare and not-especially-high expectations, the Dutch, to me at least, are always a huge threat.

In the World Cup in Germany, I thought for sure that the Dutch had what it would take to advance deep in the tournament, if not bring home the cup. But squabbles between Ruud van Nistelrooy and coach Marco van Basten and poor play sent the Orange crashing out in the round of sixteen.

This year, however, armed with low expectations, an explosive team with a veteran keeper and just the spirit of Dutch football, it wouldn't surprise me to see them go deep in this tournament. The all-out attacking play stunned Italy with two goals in five minutes in the first half and then a barrage of attack late in the second half added a third goal (and almost a fourth and fifth!). The Dutch invented 'total football' in the 1970s and executed it to power the strongest European side in that time. Perhaps not exactly the same now, but the mentality remains the same. Add that to the world's greatest fan base, it's hard not to root for Holland.

No comments: