Thursday, 10 July 2014

Holland barged out - again

by Tom Irving.

Another tournament goes by with Holland continuing their role as International football’s bridesmaid with no luck, having to endure other’s happiness over their own time and again.

Against Argentina, Maxi Rodriguez’ penalty condemned Louis Van Gaal’s men to board the next plane home, as 90 minutes and an extra 30 saw no goals in a tense match that needed the dreaded penalty shootout to decide the winner in Sao Paulo.

Doomed to wait another four years, Holland’s strange relationship with the biggest footballing tournament goes on, a team synonymous with the world cup, giving the tournament some of its greatest moments and players, and rarely putting in a poor performance at any of them, yet still, the trophy cabinet lays bare.

Truly, it is a love-hate relationship.

The assured and confident displays from this year’s Dutch squad counted for nothing as Jasper Cillessen’s feeble attempt to stop the deciding penalty brought all too evident memories of recent and not so recent failures back to the fore.

Set up to stifle the strengths of the Argentinian attack, this new Holland team play in a style different to that of yesteryear, less flair, more fight, less tricks, more tactics, less speed, more strength.

The football may be different, but the results stay the same, another night to forget for the Oranje.

Gone is the chance to take on the old foe, Germany, in the spiritual home of football, for the greatest prize the sport has to offer.

Football, though unpredictable at times, is rarely a romantic sport, Holland continue to know this only too well.

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