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EURO 2012 Preview #1: Holland. Dutch team not ridiculous enough. Here’s my suggestion. November 14, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Dutch soccer, Euro 2012.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

These are some things I don’t really care about in a Holland team: Winning games, tradition, picking the best players in every position, consistency, sanity.

These are some things I like in a Holland team: As many ridiculous players as possible, complete arrogance, losing the run of themselves, Clarence Seedorf, hopefully a complete meltdown or two.

This is how Bert van Maarvijk should line up if he wants my support at Euro 2012.

The formation is based upon Barcelona’s against Villarreal earlier this season  and, in turn, Louis van Gaal’s Ajax team. The current Dutch national team is too functional. It knows its limitations, which is why it commits so many outrageous fouls. That’s not right. The Dutch national team should believe it has no limitations. I picked this formation because this Dutch national team is arrogant enough to believe it is good enough to use the Van Gaal 3-4-3.

Here are some explanations for my selections:

  • Sander Boschker is 41. That is too old to be a starting international goalkeeper.
  • Nigel de Jong, Khalid Boulahrouz and Mark van Bommel are selected because the optimum team should have a healthy element of outrageous violence about it. Boulahrouz also seems like one of the few level-headed Dutch footballers, in other words a foil for the others.
  • De Jong is the lone center-back because this Dutch national team values quick passing out of the back above not conceding goals.
  • I have included Royston Ricky Drenthe because I like the idea of playing a winger in a three-man backline and because he has shown admirable primma donna potential for someone with so little ability.
  • Clarence Seedorf goes without saying.
  • Wesley Sneijder will be dropped for Rafael van der Vaart in the pre-match warmup every time, because Van der Vaart is not fit enough to play 90 minutes and has absolutely no positional discipline, but is otherwise a fine footballer. Sneijder is included in the starting lineup to be tantalized thus because a.) my nominal co-blogger Jacob Welcker, to whom I have dedicated this team, likes him better, and b.) once this happens a couple of times, he will throw the kind of over-the-top, infantile tantrum I’m looking for in this Dutch team.
  • While I admire Dirk Kuyt’s ridiculous energy, I have included him in the position he’s playing here because I find the idea of a footballer as dull and workmanlike as Kuyt playing the role of Dennis Bergkamp in my team. Literally any other player in this team would be better in that role than Kuyt, since it values twinkling flashes of genius and unpredictability, qualities whose sheer absence is probably Kuyt’s biggest strength. The one downside is that he will be very good at closing down the other team’s defensive midfielder.
  • Robin van Persie is included in just the kind of position to frustrate him. All season, I’ve seen him chomp at the bit, just itching to throw a tantrum. With the amount of defensive work he’ll need to do in this formation, he’ll surely find the pressure to do so irresistible.
  • Even among Dutch footballers, Ryan Babel’s complete lack of self-awareness is utterly unparallelled.
  • Really, I just rather like Ruud van Nistelrooy and would have included him even if he was a complete choirboy, although the fact that he is rumored to be the kind of complete asshole who laughs at you because your father is dead did play a part.


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