My highs are higher than my lows

July 4, 2010

1. As I noted in my writeup of Holland-Brazil, I was quite surprised by the statistician’s decision to record the first Dutch goal as an own goal. A day later, it was credited to Wesley Sneijder.

2. Spain coach Vincent del Bosque put Cesc Fabregas into the game in the second half, and Spain started to create chances. How many times have I said that Fabregas has to be on the field for Spain?


Holland v Denmark

June 14, 2010

2-0 win for Holland.  It’s a result, it gets the job done, makes them likely to move on, yadda yadda yadda.

Holland was/is my pick to win the World Cup.  My method was basically: start with the favorites and eliminate them if I didn’t feel they could win.  Somehow I ended up with the Netherlands, and a strange feeling that they could win and that Robin Van Persie could be the leading goalscorer of the tourney.

The Dutch looked rather listless to me?  Their energy at winning 50/50 balls wasn’t great, nor was their movement off the ball.  Total Football it was not, and I didn’t see alot of overlapping runs, or really any good linkup play.  Offensively, it seemed like people stayed in their assigned positions on the field and waited for the ball to come into their area.

*  The yellow cards to De Jong and Van Persie worry me a bit.  Van Persie, De Jong, and Van Bommel are all the types who could accumulate yellow cards and miss matches.   Decent games from the latter two, as well as Wesley Sneijder, whose touch set up the second goal.

* Kinda a typical Kuyt goal: all hustle.

* Stéphane Lannoy had an excellent game in the center.  Kudos to the Frenchman for a solid game as the referee.  Sure, a few mistakes here and there, but he called fouls when necessary, avoided giving out needless cards, and didn’t make himself the star of the game.

*  Still picking the Dutch to win.  This ain’t Euro ’08, where the Dutch came out firing on all cylinders.  Even so, for a Dutch team they seem relatively united.  They have the quality of players, they have the kind of group that essentially assures them of advancing, and aside from Bendtner getting free for an unmarked header, their defense was well organized.

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