Half time, and Holland lead by 3-0, making it 3-1 on aggregate. If it stays this way, Holland qualify for Euro 2004!Back to the telly, more later.
Holland started like they had fireworks lodged in some painful places. Foot off pedal, Scotland start looking powerful – Fletcher and Rae look very promising – then Holland take control all over again.
3-0? Scotland’s defending is shocking. How have Wilkie and Pressley conned their way into the squad? The absence of marking for van Nistelrooy’s goal was terrible.
You made me look, you. And I don’t even like to watch football. Now it’s 4-0! 52 minutes into the game.
Um. That would be:
…6-0 now. Scotland are woeful. Wilkie, Pressley and McNamara look like Sunday league players in comparison to the Dutch.
I’m watching the Wales game, but it sounds as though Wilkie and Pressley are playing up to their usual standards :rolleyes:
Where is Jackie Mac playing and how is he doing?
Oops, I see Crusoe’s just answered part of my last question. Still curious about his position though.
Right back it looks like. Was at fault for one of the goals. Not as static as Wilkie and Pressley, but almost anonymous beyond that.
Hmmm, he’s done well in that position for Celtic recently (in Europe as well as in the league). Although I did hear he seemed to be struggling in the first leg against Holland. Well, nobody’s ever mistaken him for a world-class player.
I’m really sorry to hear of this result, I really wanted Scotland to go through. Wales are in trouble too
Or maybe left back. I have my sides mixed up, and he’s vanished.
Well ruadh, I would sympathize with you, if I wasn’t swept up in a flood of nationalistic feeling.
Wilhelmus vahan Nahasaue…
82 minutes now…
I remember when he first joined from Dunfermline. I must be getting old, I still think of him as a “promising youngster”. Scotland just look so brittle; all fire and passion with no real structure, tactics or plans to exploit the more talented players’ abilities.
Ew. It looks like Pressley just lost several teeth. He’s wandering round picking them off the ground. Kluivert’s gone off, probably to have the ones embedded in his elbow (it looked accidental) removed.
Heh. Crusoe, there’s a job opening at several Dutch TV stations for you. You’re far more entertaining than our usual commentators.
ruadh, and all else who are feeling less than steller right now: what can I say, the Scots have a tendency to drag defeat right from the claws of victory. Of course the 1-0 lead after one match was historical, even though Holland were already better last Saturday (but failed to make the goals - and admittely, when Scotland scored after 22 minutes, they deserved to be ahead).
But after this match… the quality difference was just too big. I know Holland take a lot of crap for always qualifying at the last minute, for prima donna behaviour, and for being “great at the individual level but poor as a team”. But the simple fact is that Holland completely overwhelmed Scotland tonight, and in all objectivity (yeah, right ;)), they deserve a slot in Portugal more than Scotland do.
So, WTF happened in Turkey tonight? The #3 of the last world championships stays home next year, and Latvia are going to Portugal!
Oh, MVP: Wesley Sneijder (8), whose talent came through tonight, and who was responsible for goal #1 and assist #2 (free kick). Excellent show.
Can’t argue with that. Scotland’s best was probably Darren Fletcher for me; he looked capable of running with and passing the ball. Gavin Rae looked useful but disappeared in the second half; James McFadden also looked handy, but teetered perpetually on the brink of some serious toys-thrown-out-of-pram action.
Lee Wilkie - well, I’ve seen worse defenders playing for Oldham. And that include Brian Kilcline.
Coldfire: there was an interesting article in the press here about the perennial issue of politics in the Dutch squad. It was hard to disagree with the conclusion that Kluivert is a horrendously overrated prima donna, and that Roy Makaay deserves more of a chance. How has the Dutch football side remained stuck with this old chestnut? Haven’t the managers ever been able to impose any harmony or unity in the squad? Why does it seem to be a uniquely Dutch phenomenon in Europe?
Well, without getting too philosophical, I’d say our individualism is an exponent of what our people as a whole is like. We’re all cocky, stubborn bastards. A boss in the workplace in the Netherlands is not the same as a boss in Germany or in the UK - power distance is an almost unheard of term over here.
It’s difficult to take charge here, whether in sports or in business. We’ve grown so accustomed to being able to have a say, no matter how lowly classified we are (in work situations, or politically). A great asset to a democracy, but if pushed too far, not exactly something you built a world cup winning team on.
So, the national team only really acts like a team when they have to. Like tonight. They’re content with pissing away valuable points before the going gets tough, as long as they can shine individually, and claim innocence when it comes to the team’s loss. We have, as you might imagine, a spectacular national coach turnover rate.
And therein lies the next problem. Dick Advocaat is a nice enough guy, and he’s shown that he’s capable of managing a team with Glasgow Rangers. But he’s not the type of man that the Dutch national squad will walk through fires for. A national coach for the Dutch squad needs to be firm, strict, passionate, and a natural leader that the players are willing to fight for, bearing in mind that Dutch players are a little harder to motivate than others.
In recent memory, only one man has been able to fill those shoes. He was in the stands tonight, watching the game. His name is Rinus Michels, and he lead Holland to the European Championships in 1988. And brought back the cup.
The 2003 team is as good as the 1988 squad, if not better. This is a team that’s a valid contender for the title. Hell, every Dutch squad since 1974 has been a serious contender in any tournament [sub][sup]provided they fucking qualify for it in the first place[/sup][/sub].
Can Advocaat pull the same stunt as Michels?
I doubt it.
I think Johan Cruyff could do it. But he’s got so much to lose by actually taking on that job everybody wants him to take. He’s a brilliant coach, was a brilliant player. But he’s no miracle potion that can bring us the cup. Still, I wish he’d give it a go someday.
A more realistic coach would be Ruud Gullit. Well liked, a definite natural leader, and (not unimportant) he gets along great with white and black alike. Although the racial tensions appear not to be as blatant as in 1996 and thereabouts, there are still some minor things there. Mostly, I think it’s imaginary - players like Seedorf blathering on and on about respect, and such. Respect is earned on the pitch, Clarence, not by bitching in newspapers. If you deliver every corner at hip height for 2 years, and miss all penalties you claim with your self-righteous attitude, don’t be surprised if the phone doesn’t ring before the next match. Racism, my ass.
Anyways. I have to disagree with your description of Kluivert. Anyone with 40 goals (making him the national top scorer of all time) in 77 caps is obviously capable of a lot. He is also able to assume a more defending role when the going gets tough, as he did last Saturday. He may be an asshole in his private life (the horrific traffic accident in 1996 comes to mind, as well as all the rumours of womanising), but he’s definitely an asset to the national team. Makaay is a fantastic striker too, but he doesn’t have the scope and ability Kluivert has, IMHO.
All right, off the soap box now.
I do apologise for my attrocious grammar. Happens when I get on my “Seedorf is an arse and should not be selected for international games” soap box.
Holland if it’s prepared.
Holy shit! You’re joking, right? Latvia are through and Turkey stays home? OMG!
Scotland, 'cause they speak English. And a whole red-headed country is a fun idea.