Manager: Bert Van Marwijk
Captain: Mark Van Bommel
Star Player: Robin Van Persie
Bio: Thought I would write this one in Orange. Nice huh? So Finally I get a chance to write about one of the favourites to Win EURO 2012. WOOOO!!! The Dutch have a few of the world class players that Group A lacks. Say what you want about the likes of Robben, Van Persie and Sneijder but nobody can argue that these 3 players are in the best players in the world category. Add to that the likes of Van Der Vaart, Hunterlaar and Afellay (no Liverpool fans I wont put Kuyt in this category) who are just below world class you have a pretty good team right??? The problem for the Dutch is they lack world class Defenders. Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Boulahrouz. BOUMA (YES THE FORMER VILLA PLAYER WHO I THOUGHT RETIRED BECAUSE OF INJURY IS PLAYING FOR PSV AND GOT INTO THE SQUAD!!!!) and Vlaar don’t set the world alight and they have Willems who at 18 years old is youngest player at the Euro. If anybody in their right mind thinks that this defence is going to be able to keep out the likes of Ronaldo and Mario Gomez your having a laugh. The only way that this team is going to beat Germany and Portugal (and they have to beat at least one of them) is to out score them and hold on to the ball. The classic “best defence is a decent offence” line is very much in place with Holland.
For my money Germany are the most complete team in the Euro so I would expect them to beat the Dutch to the top spot of Group B. For me the winner of the Portugal v Netherlands game (side note the orange is now hurting my eyes) will in the 2nd place in the group and this may be a classic. The Dutch have no defence and Portugal don’t have much plus all the attacking quality of Ronaldo, RVP (Robin Van Persie), Nani, Robben ect. It will almost certainly be a 0-0 now. The Dutch have enough quality to get out the group and they should be able to see off Russia or Czech Rep or even Possibly Greece or Poland (if they were to get through) so a decent bet for a Semi final or even Final appearance. Nothing to say Holland don’t have enough quality to Win the cup but I think there are 2 more complete teams in the Euro (Spain and Germany) and I would be surprised to not see them in the final.
The one thing I can tell you we will see in this Dutch team is brilliant passing skill and goals. Van Persie is as good a finisher as you are going to get. He Scored agains Bulgaria on Saturday and the link between him and Sneijder is looking set. Robben is going to be looking to expel the demons of missing a Pen in the Champions League final that would have won the blooming thing for Bayern. Sneijder is a puppet master in the centre of midfield. The control he has of a game is unbelievable. And if you work out a way of stopping him then they have Van Der Vaart to step up and do it instead. Crazy good in attacking options but lacking in Defensive players! They sound like Brazil and I guess it never stopped them huh?
In Goal they will play Maarten Stekelenburg who playing in Italy for Roma. He has really stepped up since the retirement of Van Der Saar. He was very impressive at the world cup and dispite the emergence Tim Krul and Swansea’s Vorm, Stekelenburg will start in the Dutch goal. The player you may not know who will start is Kevin Strootman. He is a 22 year old who plays for PSV and he wont score many if any goals. That’s not his game. He ticks the ball over and keeps it moving in midfield. Expect him to pick the ball up from the back and try and make space for the likes of Sneijder and Van Der Vaart. Van Bommel will start in the centre mid as well.
I expect big things from Netherlands but they may stumble at the group stage because of the group they have been dealt. Its kind of strange that for me they will either be a semi finalist/finalist or out at the group stage.