The Netherlands – Can They Go The Distance This Time?

Orange is the new Orange

13 June 2014- Adrenaline was pumped high as two finalists of the last World cup were face to face once more after 4 years. The winners Spain had the same set of players and non-playing staff while the losing side fielded a younger and inexperienced side. Football pundits predicted a comfortable win for the previous winners, but they were hammered 5-1.

Suddenly all the attention moved to a side that was not even in the top 5 positions of the Betting table. The Men in Orange became everyone’s favorite overnight.

So what did the Dutch really do? So far in the tournament they have been a rare team to win all their matches within 90 minutes scoring a staggering 12 goals in just 4 matches. Let us list five solid reasons of the Dutch resurgence in FIFA World Cup 2014:

The Rocket named Robben:

People are left wondering that can Usain Bolt defeat Robben in a 50 meter race with a football on his feet? Such has been the pace of the half-bald winger that he has broken all the records of sprint on a football field. The Dutch have tactfully utilized his surreal pace in the counter attack. If there is a chance of a counter attack: find Robben-pass him the ball-watch. Football was never simpler.

The Wings of Phoenix:

The Dutch have been able to rapidly switch their formation from 3-4-3 to 5-2-3 and 3-5-2 to 5-3-2 due to the presence of mobile and flexible wing backs like Janmaat and Dirk Kuyt (Yes! You heard me right). Daley Blind has been a chameleon; changing his colors from a no-nonsense center back to a raging full back in the same match. The world is witnessing a reincarnation of Johan Cruyff’s Oranje Army (whose magnificent ‘Total Football’ had left the world in awe) by virtue of their forward-moving as well as defensively-alert full backs and of course Daley Blind.

Work Horses:

Veterans Dirk Kuyt and Nigel de Jong have absolutely been the work horses for die Oranje. This must be credited to both the players who have taken the load of something which normally falls on the thighs of younger legs.

The Caped Crusader:

No, we are not talking about Batman here, but we are rather talking about his acrobatic assistant Robin. The stunning header Iker Casillas and the world witnessed could only be from a superhero and this time it was Robin. No tactic in football is complete without a finisher and skipper Robin (took the title Van Persie after he left Gotham City) has been nothing but the ultimate finisher in this World Cup.

The Gurus:

The hard work the Dutch team has done on the training ground is being reflected on the field. The manager Louis van Gaal, who is known for his rigid but disciplined coaching tactics surely deserves respect for the on field performances of his troops. Assistant coach and Ajax legend Danny Blind has been instrumental in not only passing his DNA on to son Daley but also in monitoring and causing the growth of the younger crop of players in the squad.

It can be safely proclaimed that the Netherlands have been the best team in the tournament by far. Still, there is a lot of work remained to be done. Wesley hasn’t really been the Wizard he was in the 2010 edition, although he has been impressive in flashes. The center backs need to be more alert and cover the space the full backs leave behind. Needless to say, tougher opponents await in further rounds with their shrewd tactics. Stern test it will be, but certainly we can hope that on 13th July, 2014, Brazil will be painted Orange for the first time in history.

Written by Guest Author Hritiz Gogoi

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
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