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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group E - Netherlands

Nickname – Oranje; Holland; The Flying Dutchmen; Clockwork Orange; La Naranja Mecánica

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

What is left to say about La Naranja Mecanica? 24 points out of 24 possible was the flawless run of Holland and that is why they are a expected contender for winning this summer World Cup in South Africa. During qualifying they scored 17 times and concede twice.

H2H

Jun 14 Johannesburg Netherlands v Denmark - Here’s one of the big clashes of the first round. Netherlands won 11 times and lost 7 times and in between they have got 10 draws between them. In top competitions they have won twice against each other. In the last six matches – 4 draws and 1 win to each nation. Who will be the side that will reign this time?

Jun 19 Durban Netherlands v Japan - The only match played between both nations happened last year when Netherlands defeated Japan by a prominent 3-0.

Jun 24 Cape Town Cameroon v Netherlands - Here’s another hard mission for the African team, which is Netherlands one major candidate to win the trophy and if that was not it not add the fact that Cameroon never won nor scored against Holland.

Goalkeepers: Sander Boschker (FC Twente), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht)

Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Edson Braafheid (Celtic), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax)

Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid)

Strikers: Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (Hamburg), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Robin van Persie (Arsenal)

FORMATION

Bert van Marwijk plays a 4-5-1 formation with biased with their abundant talent in the midfield. Maarten Stekelenburg; Heitinga, Mathijsen, Ooijer/van der Wiel, van Bronckhorst; de Jong, Sneijder, Van der Vaart/Van Bommel, Kuyt, Robben; van Persie.

BEST PLAYERS

Sneijder from Internazionale was (released) transferred from Real Madrid just to perform his best season so far. We want numbers – 44 matches, 9 goals, 12 assists, Italian Cup, Italian League, Champions League. This is the record under his name. Currently, he is the player with best break-passing ability like if his feet had eyes and we were just on the Playstation. He not only is the strategist of Inter but is also of the Clockwork Orange. Sneijder plays with right or left foot, strikes a ferocious shot from open play or set pieces placing him into a world class status. Surely to feature in the Team of the tournament.

Robben another dismissed player at Real Madrid this season just to find his peak form at Bayern Munchen and ironically as well as Sneijder to play the Champions League final at the Bernabéu. Best player of the season in Bundesliga. 35 matches, 24 goals, 9 assists. If you want a very quick player you should demand Robben. If you need a player to change strategy through individual performance, that would have to be Robben because his wise approach to tactical actions make him a priceless player anywhere. His incursions coming from the flanks combined with a perfect swerving shot allow him to chance a game at any minute. Last but not least add pace and a first-rate crossing ability and you will have almost the best player, surely to be Robben among those.

Robin Van Persie finally got fit against everyone’s expectations and in the returning match he scored two marvelous goals against Mexico in a warm-up to the World Cup. Halfway the season he got seriously injured having scoring until then 11 goals, assisted 9 times out of a total 24 matches. When you have pace, technique, objectivity, pedigree all-in-one surely you must be a world class footballer and that has a name, Van Persie. His father used to be a sculptor so the Dutch Robin Hood decided to make art with a ball in his foot. He is an intelligent & bold player risking at any opportunity even when the angle might look not suitable there’s always a space to Van Persie to deliver surprises. He is among the shortlisted for top goalscorer of the competition. Once again a left footed player.

SURPRISE

The surprise omission was Nistelrooy that tried to resurrect his career leaving Real Madrid for Hamburg.

STATEMENTS

"We have a mission: that mission is to be champions of the world," Frank de Boer, assistant coach.

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- Bert van Marwijk –

1 UEFA CUP – Feyenoord - 2002;

1 Netherlands CUP – Feyenoord - 2003;

Career made of 437 matches with 48% Win, 23% Draw, 28% Loss, GS 1,7 GA 1,23

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – Do you even remember when was the last time you have seen Netherlands losing a match? They have one of the best midfield and offensive lines if not the best at the moment. From the last 7 matches, 6 were against World Cup seeded teams, still no loss recorded. There are no words to define this squad and other than reaching the final will be regarded as failure.

Weaknesses – The loss of Van der Sar and not having found yet a goalkeeper of such status alongside with a weak and slow defense regardless the few goals they have conceded. The way they quickly find a very positive result favoring them just to let it slip through their “hands”. Meaning they fall asleep too easily after scoring one or more goals allowing opposition to thrive if they capitalize from chances.

Opportunities – In case their triumvirate step up the game as they have done in the warm ups to the World Cup as well in the whole season, they could reach the crown in a fashionable way. Winning the first match against Denmark will deliver them the first place for sure.

Threats – If Netherlands underperform like they always do in top competitions just as it happens in an equally proportion with Spain, England and France. Orange has a lot of pressure on them because of the world class quality of players they possess.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Netherlands closes the top 4 ahead of Italy, Germany and Argentina and behind of Portugal, Spain and Brazil.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1 UEFA European Championship – 1988.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Netherlands 4 0 Macedonia

Iceland 1 2 Netherlands

Netherlands 2 0 Norway

Netherlands 2 2 England

Netherlands 3 0 Japan

Scotland 0 1 Netherlands

Australia 0 0 Netherlands

Italy 0 0 Netherlands

Netherlands 0 0 Paraguay

Netherlands 2 1 United States

Netherlands 2 1 Mexico

Netherlands 4 1 Ghana

Netherlands 6 1 Hungary


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