Sunday, 25 April 2010

HOLLAND

THEY ARE:
Often regarded as the most liberal and relaxed nation in Europe. With their lax laws on drugs and vice the perception is that the play is one den of sin. Of course this is just Amsterdam.

AS A FOOTBALL NATION:
The Netherlands are arguably the best footballing nation to have never won the World Cup. Described as “Total Football” their team in West Germany 1974 is considered one of the most skillful and exciting lineups in soccer history.

MY OWN EXPERIENCE:
They smashed the shit out of England and the rest of Europe at the 1988 European Championships which was a gesture repeatedly domestically at the time by PSV Eindhoven. These were wounds it took years to heel but with hindsight that was one hell of team. Their rivalry with Germany has always been something special and occasionally very disgusting not least for incident between Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voller at Italia 90 that literally saw a flob of spit hanging from Voller’s being.

IN 2010:
They have been very impressive in the run up to the tournament. On paper their squad is not one of their best ever but there are some sparkling players in the squad including Van Persie and Robben. They are in Group E which was initially my group of death on paper before it dawned on me that these are all nations that have seen better times. Still it is a potentially very exciting and entertaining set of sides although ultimately the Dutch should experience little problem/trouble in getting through the group stage.

FAMOUS PLAYERS:
Johan Cruyff through to Ruud Gullit. The late eighties team was a fantastic team with Marco Van Basten upfront being wickedly serviced by Gullit and Frank Rijkaard as Ronald Koeman (who I have been told I look like) was as solid as it got in defense and angry Hans Van Breukelen kept goal. In recent years Ruud Van Nistelrooy wowed for Manchester United and in Arjen Robben there is a player that certain people (often Chelsea fans) will proclaim as greatness. Lower down the list is Romeo Zondervan of Ipswich Town who infamously got his teammate Ulrech Wilson deported when he asked him to return with a stash of skinflicks and stroke mags. This is why Holland is a nation that can only be embraced.

MOST OBVIOUS REFERENCE:
Edan and Amsterdam.

AWAY FROM FOOTBALL:
The bright orange of their shirts feels representative of the bright orange of their national demeanor. Holland is an X-rated adult nation in the best possible sense with a strong sense of fun attached to proceedings.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE FROM HOLLAND THAT I KNOW:
Sadly none but I need to know one.

QUOTE FROM A DUTCHMAN:
Unfortunately not coming.

DO I LIKE THEM:
Yes I do.

FINAL COMMENT:
A day with a Holland game is generally going to be a good day for football.

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