Daily Archives: September 3, 2015
Iceland 1 – Netherlands nil.
When will this nightmare end?
The shocking struggles of the Oranje, following a third place finish at last year’s World Cup with a strikingly similar squad, leaves fans of this small, yet immensely talented soccer nation in a sustained state of disbelief. With just three games remaining in the qualifying stage of the UEFA Euro 2016, the Dutch are in third place with 10 points, 6 shy of the Czech Republic and 8 short of football’s current Cinderella: Iceland.
Math is increasingly becoming the 12th eligible player against the Netherlands.
In Danny Blind’s first game as the new Dutch manager, he faced an uphill battle with an injury to his new captain Arjen Robben and a red card from defender Bruno Martins Indi in the first half and a penalty for Iceland minutes into the second half. It’s difficult to render a legitimate verdict against Blind at this point. He deserves time and a healthy roster to make a remarkable (and necessary) comeback for his home country in order to plan the coveted business trip to France for UEFA Euro 2016.
However, not substituting in Robin van Persie in the second half when they needed a goal? That’s one question that Mr. Blind needs to answer.
As a loyal Dutch fan for many, many years now, the Netherlands’ second group loss to Iceland was unthinkable. They have the talent, a new coach’s perspective and home filed advantage. Surely, a win was coming.
It was a little more than year ago when the Dutch shocked Spain and the world in the best way imaginable. Spain’s reign at the top of world soccer was officially over and they knew it. Here’s a much-needed throwback this Thursday to the 2014 World Cup’s thrilling opening match.
I still believe: Hup Holland Hup.