If anyone told you that they saw it coming, feel free to give them a knock on the head from my side. Yes, I agree the desire to win and prove that they were beaten buy only a momentary lapse of concentration would have been high on Holland and they would have been desperate to prove that they are the better side. But a 5 – 1 drubbing was never on anyone’s wildest dreams. In the end, Spain were left looking stunned(literally you could see the shock on the players after the scoreline was 5 -1) NEVER has the defending champions been beaten so badly in their opening game.
I have always been a fan of the South American style football playing Dutch, or as they call it “Total football”. Even in the last final I was on their side and expected them to lift the trophy but it was not so. Everyone who watched the match knows how the match progressed and the Dutch victory would have to be put down into a few key factors. 1. They did not get sucked into taking the ball away from the Spanish when they were playing their possession game. 2. The Spanish defense looked completely incapable of handling 2 world class strikers at once. 3. The Dutch really played an excellent counter attacking game.
SPAIN – Starting with the losing side, I have to admit. With so many players being individual stars in their own right and having played alongside each other for so many years, it was shocking to see that they took so much time to settle down. The solidarity of Puyol in center back and his ability to hold the defense together was instrumental in Spain conceding less goals in the whole of World Cup 2010 than they did in this match. Ramos and Pique are brilliant players but had no clue how to contain both Van Persie and Robben at the same time. I DO NOT want to waste space talking about Casillas. He seemed to be out for a stroll in a park and not until the final minutes of the game did he show glimpses of why he is one of the best in the world. The Spanish mid field is packed with so many starts that it looked like Andromeda. They had enough quality players on the bench that they could have fielded 2 mid fields. Iniesta and Xavi were trying as they always do, but something seemed to be missing. I did not notice a Spanish attacker after Costa claimed a debatable penalty.
HOLLAND – Where do I start? Hmm.. Lets begin with the players that dint impress me much.. Well.. None!!! If I had to give a name it would have to me Sneijder who dint manage to make as much of an impact as his fellow forwards.The Dutch team played well as a unit with each player compensation for everyone. De Jong was solid, Guzman was everywhere and de Vrij was industrious. The team played so well that they dint need Huntelaar or the aging Kuyt to make an appearance. tight defending by Indi and Blind ensured that the Spanish were contained from making the final pass to their strikers. Now the stars of the match. Robben has to be one of the most underrated players in the world. No one puts him on the level of his teammate Van Persie or with the other greats of the generation but this guy is a powerhorse. It seems like he just keeps getting better, stronger and faster with age. The way he managed to hoodwink the Spanish on the right flank again and again was just a delight to watch. His 2 goals were both the result of hard work and an uncanny vision. Next Van Persie. I personally never forgave him for leaving Arsenal but his flying header to score the equaliser reminded me of how highly I placed him in my heart. This man is the most clinical finisher that I have ever seen. his presence of mind, ability to get into position and out think the defense and the goalkeeper will soon become part of football folklore. Hats off my man!!
The Spanish were comprehensively beaten by a better side. they need to rethink their gameplan to stay afloat in the group especially with Chile playing their trademark style of attacking football in the same group. They need to pick up the pieces of their shattered ego and come out strong and show the world why they are the defending champions. Holland, you just keep doing what you did yesterday!!!