Individual Dutch Brilliance Dismantles Spain

The further you rise, the harder the fall. A result that felt like the end of a Spanish era owed everything to Dutch brilliance. Daniel Storey's got his breath back...

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ronmanager says...

So many paragraphs and not a single mention of the actual reason Spain lost or indeed why Holland won. LVG basically bypassed the Spanish midfield. Straight from defense to attach either going over the middle of the field or through it with one pass. Of course to do that you need talent like Robbin and RVP. Secondly Tiki Taka relies on constant movement off the ball to get into a position to work those triangles and clearly Xavi, Xabi and Iniesta don't have the legs for it anymore, so they could not dominate the middle of the field and the pace of the game as they have done for the last 5 plus years. Thirdly Spain fell into the trap of complacency at 1 up. A result that has worked for them without fail in the past. Finally they never changed to the dynamic of the game. At 2-1 down they should have stopped trying to go through the middle, brought on Navas and Mata and opened the game out. It is very easy to understand their reluctance to change. After all they have Xavi and Iniesta in the middle and this has worked for years. It is time for Spain to move on. They simply can not dominate midfield and dictate pace of game like they could even 2 years ago. Pace in the counter exposed that. Also as bad as Sergio and Pique were, they had no cover from midfield.

Posted 3:04am 16th June 2014

4-4-2 says...

So no mention of the tactical genius of LVG? I bet if that were Jose Mourinho everybody would have been sh***ing themselves what master he is... The difference between LVG and the portugese turd is that when the former plays 5 defenders he scores 5 goals past the world champions instead of serving a borefest...

Posted 8:51pm 14th June 2014

dover_utd says...

Synergy, you strike me as not only funny but very petty. Spain had a bad game, really? smh. Maybe those bloody Dutch players should have left the scoreline at 3-1, then maybe Spain must have hard a good game. So maybe every team demolished by tiki-taka in the 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 region some time ago all had bad games too. The hands of those Spaniards must be made of gold by now. Nice. Everything else you have said is clich├ęd (an attempt to appear smart and thoughtful?) so I won't even bite.

Posted 4:01pm 14th June 2014

thefuldutch (Fulham) says...

@Synergy Yes, but if Spain don't beat Chile (not unthinkable based on last night's evidence), they'll be three to six points behind them and five or six points behind us, allowing Holland and Chile to bang out a draw and send them home a la the Pact of Gijon in '82. Both of us being former oppressed colonies of Spain with axes to grind, it wouldn't be unimaginable to see that happen either.

Posted 1:13pm 14th June 2014

thefuldutch (Fulham) says...

Have to see, I was incredibly impressed by Oranje. Not just Robben and RVP, who were immense, but also the almost completely Eredivisie-based defense (I wrote them off as no-marks in the mailbox last week, sorry about that lads). Apart from Bruno Martins Indi, who nearly gifted two goals, they were rock solid. Vlaar was like John Terry on his best days, De Vrij was everywhere and Cillesen stopped everything thrown at him in open play and even got close to the (bogus) penalty. And to think that he wasn't even first choice at Ajax at the start of the season, an absolutely meteoric rise. The biggest hero was Daley Blind though, unbelievable work on those two crosses. Man United could do a lot worse than to swoop and potentially fix their problems both in midfield and at left back with one 10m player.

Posted 12:58pm 14th June 2014

sharkster (Liverpool) says...

Drunkenmaster, care to get off that fence and tell us what you really think? Today is not a good day to defend any Spanish player's abilities or reputation but for what it's worth I think that Iniesta is one of the greatest footballers of all time. Well one of the best I've ever seen - and I'm a keen footie follower in his 40s. He never hides, actively seeks the ball regardless of how many defenders are on his toes, he almost never loses possession, he's one of the best dribblers I've ever seen (without any showboating whatsoever) and his technique, passing and vision is unparalleled. But you think he's one of the most over rated players in existence. Wow. Astonishing. I don't doubt your conviction, I'm just astonished that 2 people can watch the same thing and come to such extreme polar opposite conclusions. That's life I guess. Football too.

Posted 12:37pm 14th June 2014

Synergy says...

Spain had a bad game and the everything the Dutch touched turned to gold.

That being said, it really doesn't matter. Spain just need to win their remaining two games and they are probably through and I think they will do that. Also don't Spain always start tournaments badly only to pick up steam in the later stages?

Posted 11:48am 14th June 2014

Drunkenmaster says...

Iniesta is one of the most significantly over rated players in existence, shoots more than Fabregas yet scores 2-3 a season if lucky. His pass to Silva wasn't at all bad, but it was a case of defence opening up a huge gap to Silva, it would take a blind man not to see it. Outside of that he conceded possession frequently trying fancy passes and the wrong options when a simpler pass would have held it. The article isn't wrong, but it completely avoids criticising the Spanish players for being just poor, Alonso was crap and no where to be seen defensively, which has been the usual case for 3 years for Real. People pass him with ease and he makes more cynical "I can't catch him up so I'll try and break him" fouls than anyone else in the league. He does it constantly every game. He offers very little going forward and very little defensively. Xavi, one of my favourite all time players, should almost not be in the squad let alone starting now. 5 years ago or so he had a season playing 70 games, scoring 16 or so and getting 36 assists, he was everywhere and influenced the team in every way. He's been getting worse for 2-3 years and the last 18 months he's just been poor. I can't remember a game he's taken by the scruff of the next and changed completely. Xavi, Alonso, Casillas HAVE to be dropped, probably Iniesta to and Pique should be, just not sure there is a good enough replacement as Martinez is needed in midfield. isildur's line up is pretty much what I'd go with except Martinez in for Alonso and that leaves you having to pick Pique or Albiol at the back. Villa upfront or possibly Fabregas in his false striker role with Mata behind him somewhere. Spain completely ignored how significantly some players have regressed and were far too afraid to make the big decision and drop those players.

Posted 11:41am 14th June 2014

e yorks mariner (Newcastle United) says...

Never been convinced by Pique and Ramos in the middle. Ramos was better as a right back and Pique played much better with, the sorely missed, Puyol. Looks like two seasons of relative inactivity have come home to roost for Casillas, not convinced by Costa either. Still salvageable but definitely an uphill task for Spain now. It will be interesting to see if Del Bosque gives the same team a chance to redeem themselves or makes changes.

Posted 11:10am 14th June 2014

ted maul (Chelsea) says...

I really hope somebody at Chelsea has a rethink on Costa

Posted 10:35am 14th June 2014

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