Monday, June 14, 2010

The Dutch Masters and Their Apprentice

My dear Netherlands play Denmark in a wee while. The current Danish side might not follow quite the same Dutch-inspired ethos as Sepp Piontek's wonder team of the mid 1980s (and Richard Moller-Nielsen's 1992 European Champions certainly didn't) but the Danes do have a pleasing honesty about their play and a commitment to good passing. They also invariably contribute to one great match in each tournament they play in (anyone remember their stirring 3-2 defeat to Brazil in the 1998 World Cup?)

The Dutch are unbeaten in 19 games, have two of the best wingers in the world (though how long Arjen Robben lasts is another matter). I think they will edge out the Danes, who are missing Niklas Bendtner. That should open up the way for that quarter-final meeting with Brazil, which would be a likely contender for match of the tournament.

And wouldn't it have been something if this team:

could have played this one?