Sunday, July 11, 2010
1. The Swiss method
The Swiss showed us how to beat Spain in the first group match. A combination of massive defence, time wasting and (forcing) a bit of luck resulted in a 1-0 victory. Days after the defeat AD reported: “Spain still doesn’t know how to deal with this kind of demolition football. Midfielder Andrés Iniesta gave plenty of clever passes, but the front line lacked efficiency, finesse and a bit of luck.'
2. Disrupt the midfield
His name has already fallen: Andrés Iniesta. The boss of La Furiá Roja or the red fury, as the Spanish team is known. He is difficult to get away from the ball and is superior in confined space. In the midfield, he constantly seeks combinations with his compadres Xavi, Busquets and Xabi Alonso: this quartet quickly makes you colour-blind. They storm towards the penalty area and put one of their team mates in a position to score with brilliant passes. If you disrupt the midfield, Spain is lost. A nice job for demolition firm Van Bommel & De Jong.
3. Knock out top scorer Villa
Spain depends heavily on top scorer David Villa. He has scored five of the seven Spanish World Cup goals. So knock him out and Spain is left without a striker. And if you can’t score, you can’t win. You don’t need to be called Johan Cruijff to know that.
4. Wes we can!
One the better tips comes from Cruiff, who pointed Spain out as favourite before the competition. Directly after the match against Germany, he said Spain plays like Barcelona: “lots of ball possession, depth in the game and quick to put the pressure on after losing the ball.” To beat Barcelona you have to play like Inter Milan. That became clear in this year’s Champions League. And who is the driving force behind Inter? That is right: our Wesley Sneijder! After all, he has already said he is not afraid of Spain. “We have to make sure we don’t lose the ball in midfield and show some nerve when we have ball possession.”
Wes we can!!
5. Third time lucky
This is the third time the Orange team has made it to the final. The Dutch lost both the other finals - West Germany in 1974 and Argentina in 1978. Let’s hope it’s third time lucky! By the way, Spain has never been world champion. It has never even made it to the final.
6. Advantage of playing at home
In addition the Netherlands lost both finals against the host country. A huge disadvantage. But this time round that is not the case. And more South Africans have Dutch roots than Spanish roots. So the Dutch have the advantage.
7. The Spanish anthem
As soon as the national anthems have played, the Netherlands will be 1-0 ahead. Because as our boys sing the Wilhelmus (the Dutch national anthem) out loud, the Spanish remain silent. The Spanish anthem does not have any words. La Marca Real (the royal march) comes from the 18th century and is Europe’s oldest anthem. The Wilhelmus became the Dutch anthem in 1932. Much younger. And he who has youth, takes the cup!
8. German encouragement
The Germans are poor losers. We know that and we are prepared to forgive them for it. But to say Spain will win the cup is going too far. Straight after Germany’s defeat on Wednesday, coach Joachim Löw said, “Spain will be World Champion.” He says Spain has been the world’s best team for two to three years now. So here is a German who doesn’t think the Netherlands has got a chance. As if we needed more encouragement?
9. The balance bracelets
They have been talked about a lot and shouldn’t be underestimated. The Orange team’s spiritual weapon. The idea came from Wesley Sneijder, who meanwhile has become better known as the Little General. A bracelet which symbolises the deep bond the Dutch team feels. Everyone is wearing one. Dirk Kuijt typifies the value of the amulet, “Even if it only helps 0.1 percent” . Whereas Spain has only got one player who wears a headband - Sergio Ramos.
10. Revenge of 1983
Remember 1983? When Spain knocked the Netherlands out of the race for a place in the European Cup of 1984. After the Netherlands had won against Malta 5-0 in December, there was just one more match in the pool. Four days later, Spain played Malta in Seville. The Spanish needed an 11-goal victory to go through. They won 12-1. Rumour still has it that the game was “fixed”, although Malta quite often lost badly in those days. Nevertheless, we will have revenge!
11. Our own power
The best argument for a historic victory on Sunday is of course: our own power! The Dutch team has been unbeaten in all six matches of the World Cup so far. We have an experienced team, with a long list of successes; the most praised club footballer of the season, Wesley Sneijder, as well as the most spectacular player, Arjen Robben; and a coach that used to be world champion. (World Champion at klaverjassen, a Dutch card game that is, but all the same...)
12. The Orange Lion
The Lion always win from a lost Don Quichotte...more explanation needed?
The Dutch Ajax School against the Dutch Barcelona school. The originates always win from their copycats.
And we play in Johannesburg, that's named after me..))!