Inspired by the release of the Karate Kid remake, the Dutch look to new ultra violent approach to the Beautiful Game.
If you read some reports today that accuse Yorkshireman Howard Webb of costing Holland the World Cup, I would advise you ignore them because oddly enough the Premier League referee who is known for having nightmare performances in his own country officiated the 2010 World Cup Final as well as could have been expected considering the rather odd tactics employed by Bert van Marwijk’s side.
If the Dutch were looking to point the finger of blame for their poor showing in last night’s showpiece final then they should just find the nearest mirror after employing an approach similar to one that Jean Claude Van Damme would opt for when battling an enemy.
Webb may have been quick to start showing yellow cards but on almost every occasion he reached for his top pocket he had little option than to do so. Whilst on some occasions the Spanish players were quick to go to ground on others they showed remarkable restraint.
Take for instance Nigel de Jong’s decision to perform a mid air kung fu kick on Xabi Alonso. In any other game that would have to be a straight red card but the English referee decided to give the Manchester City man the benefit of the doubt, which is a fairly odd because this kind of tackling style is by no means unusual for the battling defensive midfielder.
Then you have Mark van Bommel, a player well used to getting ‘stuck in’, the Bayern Munich man had the temerity to lambast the official for not booking an opponent for a tackle that would be small fry in comparison to some the one-time Barcelona man is renowned for. Then we have Arjen Robben who seemed to believe he deserved a free kick when he felt he was tickled by the slightest touch from a defender and decided he would run full pelt 50 yards, Michael Ballack style, to remonstrate with Webb, again he too could have been ordered off the field of play.
Johnny Heitinga could have no complaints about his explusion for two standard yellow card offences, so where’s the issue? Where’s the complaint? If anyone can tell me with a reasonable amount of evidence that most, if not all, of the cautions were not well deserved then I am open to hear them out.
What shocked me most about last night’s final was the attitude with which the Oranje came into the match. With the exception of Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt and perhaps one or two others, the entire team appeared to be running around like headless chickens. Robin Van Persie spent most of the game wondering why Arjen Robben never passes to him and when the flying winger did get his chance he choked, twice.
Spain deserved to win the World Cup and had the Netherlands triumphed it would have been a travesty of epic proportions. The fact that all and sundry in the Holland camp are looking to line up Howard Webb as a fall guy says it all in my opinion. These are the actions of a side that knows it didn’t deserve to clinch their first World Cup crown and is hungry to avert blame from where it truly belongs and that is squarely on their shoulders.
Also as a side issue. Is this Holland team the most one footed side in footballing history? Almost every player in the side can only kick with one and stand on the other!