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Ringing Endorsement

Since I’ve blown my own cover and shown my true colours (orange and orange) I figure I’ll share some of the things that I use to build up my own self belief.

I’m always on the look out for comments and articles that reinforce what I already know: the Dutch will win the World Cup.  This particular endorsement comes from a GERMAN working in England no less.  Surely there could be no better prediction. 

The man’s name is Raphael Honigstein and he believes the Dutch will win.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/video/2009/dec/31/football-weekly-2010-predictions

The prediction is at 3:55.  He says,

“I’m going to make an unusual choice and say they Dutch.  They’re not big favourites because they never win anything.  They’re bottlers, perhaps slightly more aesthetically pleasing bottlers in comparison with England.  I’ve got a feeling that especially after the Euros and maybe the lessons they learned from that and with a slightly more pragmatic manager in charge that it might be their year.”

In all likelinood I’m blowing this way out of proportion but I don’t care.  I’ll take what I can get.

Afterall, the Dutch are famous for winning…squat.  My hope is they remember the four matches they played in Euro 2008.  They had such incredible momentum after the first two matches but decided to change the line up for the dead rubber match to conclude the group.  Once they met Russia they had lost their rhythm and exited without so much as a whimper.

I refuse to learn my lesson.  It’s not the losing but the hope that kills you.  I didn’t make that up I lifted it from somewhere.  Probably the Guardian in all honesty.

Pulling back the curtain

I should be completely honest.  I think its time I took off the overcoat and revealed the shirt beneath.

I’m Dutch.  The shirt underneath is a shimmering orange finished with Robben #11 on the back.  I’m not ashamed by my background or bias it’s just that…well its a little hard to control sometimes.  As we move towards the World Cup a fever will take over.  Let me count down some of the worst moments in memory:

1. Losing to Russia in Euro 2008:  Talk about going out with a whimper.  After dismantling Italy and France earlier they play around with their system and line up and lost all of their momentum.

2.  Losing to Portugal in WC 2006:  One of dirtiest and most ill-tempered games I’ve ever watched.  Sixteen Yellow cards.  Four red cards.  At least two missed straight red cards, a tying goal smashed against the post and out and out cheating by the Portuguese.  Quite simply and ugly match.  Check out this really good article about the “Battle of Nuremberg” and you also have watch ‘highlights’ below to truly appreciate the depravity in its completeness.

3.  Beaten on penalties by Italy, Euro 2000(particularly painful): In the quarter finals against Yugoslavia was one of the best performances I’ve seen by a single player in a top international match.  Patrick Kluivert was sensational.  His every touch was goal bound.  I remember running up the stairs to update my family on the score and returning just in time to see the 4th go in.  Throughout the game the mostly orange crowd sang “Campeones (Champions)”.  They seemed to be able to do no wrong as the 6th goal came from a wicked deflection off the post that fell directly at the feet of the impeccable Overmars. 

     Now cue the Italians in the semi-final.  The Dutch had their chances.  The Italians down to 10 men.  Two penalties missed.  Bergkamp crashing a shot against post.  And then penalties.  I hate penalties.  I truly and deeply hate penalties.  They were always going to lose.  And as the Dutch prince looked on, smiling through the pain, they duly obliged.

I’ve frightened children with my screams and bruised my knuckles on low ceilings ove r the course of my relationship with the Oranje.  I’ve paid $5 just to get into a bar to sit at a table by myself to watch my team alongside a score of … err … unfriendly supporters of the opposition. 

I’m putting all of this down for a reason.  I want you to know that at some point in the future I may make an impassioned statement born solely out of frustration or euphoria.  Please remember that I am a flawed individual.  I open myself up to hurt and pain in the hope that I will be rewarded with happiness and joy.  Together we’ll make it through.  Thankfully this only happens every 4 years.