Monday, 9 June 2008

The new 'Total Football'.....................

There is a thing called Dutch courage but perhaps that is in vain.

They had serious balls for what they did tonight; defeat the World Champions Italy 3 – 0, in such a stylist matter it was memorizing.

They way they played, how they knocked the ball about, how they worked for each other at every single ball was incredible.

Forget the silly tiffs going on between Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder or Clarence Seedorf's discontent of having a lack of faith in the manager, a master class put this team together.

Macro Van Basten redefined the Netherlands and led a team based on high tempo and energetic movement, possibly a far cry from the 1970’s ‘Total Football’.

Netherlands would without a doubt gain a lot of credibility and plaudits tonight and they deserve so.

Stevie Wonder may have seen that Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s goal was offside but it still stood, laying to bed Italy’s crafty luck at big tournaments.

The next two goals will be talked about each European Championship to come. The goals were textbook counter attacking, straight out of the Arsenal’s invincible era.

Ex-Gunners full back Giovanni van Bronckhorst cleared an Italian attack of the line, then found the craftsmanship and energy to send a cross field ball to Dirk Kuyt who promptly headed the ball down for Sneijder to finish off, all in a mere 17 seconds.

Van Bronckhorst then managed to get his name on the score sheet with a header from a counter attack, just after Edwin Van Deer Sir saved brilliantly from a free kick of Andrea Pirlo.

Van Bronckhorst set up Kuyt and after his shoot was initially saved cleverly by Gianluigi Buffon, he did not give up and re-paid the favour to set up the full back for the simplest of headers.

The amazing thing is that Italy did not perform badly, it was two evenly matched teams and this game will probably go down as one of the finest.

The football was just outstanding, Van Basten showed us that using two holding midfielders could actually work defensively whilst being a good force going forward, playing the utmost of fantastic football. Liquid football if I will.

Luca Toni looked menacing through out and Italy looked so more natural with an age advancing Andre Del Piero entering the fray putting then four four two.

Rafael Van Der Vaart looked a player who believes himself again, complying numerous of world-class touches and keep the heartbeat of the team going.

Fabio Capello needs to take a leaf out of Van Basten’s handbook and play with the best formation and tactics and not the best players.

This was pay back from the Euro 2000 semi final, where Holland missed a host of chance and, then Italian goalkeeper, Francesco Toldo saved, a combined, four penalties (two in normal time) to progress in to the final.

Moments of magic wins games at the highest level, Michael Platini against Spain in 1984 was outstanding and a perfect example.

Holland can list a world ranging number of previous stars Johan Cruijff, Ruud Gullit, Van Basten, Patrick Kluivert, Ruud Krol, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronald Koeman, Edgar Davids, Jaap Stam, the list can go on and any one of them would have been so proud of that fluid, morale collective performance today.

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