While the focus is, as it should be, on Spain or Brazil as potential winners of the 2010 World Cup Finals, it appears that no one is really touting the Netherlands as possible victors. So, allow me to step in and say: I think the Dutch could win the 2010 World Cup.
Now, like anyone who has watched football for more than about ten minutes, I know that the Dutch regularly shoot themselves in the foot by arguing a lot and acting like a bunch of overpaid prima donnas (oh, wait a minute...). I also know that they tend to lose matches they should win. But, frankly, I don't care. I think they're in with a chance.
Let's face it : they cruised into the finals, scoring 17 goals and conceding only two. And before you point out that their Group was rubbish, so was Spain's and you can't do better than winning all your matches.
Looking at the current Netherlands squad, you will see some highly skilled but fragile talents like Robin Van Persie, Rafael van der Vaart, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneider. You will also see some battlers, like Nigel De Jong, Dirk Kuyt and Johnny Heitinga and, yes, a few mediocre players as well (Andre Oojer, anyone?).
Being honest, I think that the Dutch will need at least 3 of the first four named players to be fit if they are to stand a chance, as these are the players that can turn a game. But if they are fit, Holland are a match for anybody in the world.
Their squad has a good balance between attacking and defensive talent and Marco Van Basten's 4-2-3-1 formation is both flexible and designed to get the best out of the players he has available.
So, I think that Rafael van der Vaart was being more than a little disingenuous when he tipped Spain, Argentina and Brazil as favourites
for the 2010 World Cup.
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Labels: holland, netherlands, winners