Monday, June 9, 2008

Nehtherlands the Shock of Euro 2008?

After watching the Netherlands win convincingly over current World Champions, Italy, in their first group encounter at Euro 2008, I felt compelled to write something.
Everyone knows the Dutch have quality and they are capable of beating anybody, but nobody probably thought they would have thrashed Italy the way they did. I myself was so shocked but I throughly enjoyed the display they put on. Shadows of doubt are often placed on the Dutch because although they possess extreamely gifted players, they too like Spain often disappoint on the big stage. However after defeating current World Champions, Italy, one is left to ponder if they have what it takes to win Euro 2008.
Ajax, Barcelona and Dutch legend Johan Cruyff said in an interview before the match with Italy, that his country has a good team but he questioned head coach, Marco Van Basten's tactics, saying he has doubts about them. I wonder what he thinks of his tactics after Italy's 3-0 thrashing. Tactically what I gathered from the way the Dutch played, is that they counter attacked very well, caught Italy off-guard when they pushed heavily up the pitch, they found their wide players frequently to stretch Italy's defense and they often looked to beat the offside trap with quality balls down the middle. To me they played like an ideal Dutch team and I personally found nothing wrong with Van Basten's tactics, as they played quality attacking football.
I was going to state who I personally thought stood out in this game, however it is very hard to point a finger at any one player because overall this was an excellent team effort. The Netherlands truly played like a cohesive unit.
It is still early days in the competition and we are yet to see if the Dutch will play this well again, but after their first game against Italy, they have definitely tipped themselves as one of the favorites to win Euro 2008.

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