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Damn, Daniel’s Almost Done

Sometimes, the messenger rises above the message.

On that note, 60-year-old Daniel Day-Lewis announced a while back that he was going to retire from acting. This news was a little surprising, particularly given his age and that he still appears to be at the top of his game. Nevertheless, the trailer for his last film, Phantom Thread, recently debuted online. As mentioned in the opening, the story of this film may not necessarily excite one’s cinematic senses, but the lead actor will. Regardless, one should be interested in this forthcoming movie for a couple things:

  • Phantom Thread is the final film in the storied career of acting savant Daniel Day-Lewis. This is it.
  • Of all the films Daniel Day-Lewis could have made his swan song, why did he choose Phantom Thread?

Let’s get the first glimpse and try to decipher an early hypothesis to the second question above.

Whatever the reason for why Daniel Day-Lewis chose to leave audiences on Phantom Thread, there’s no ambiguity in the fact that he fashioned together one hell of a great career.

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From 2nd Place to 3rd Place to No Place

Total Football’s total mess is over…but only briefly.

The Dutch blanked Sweden 2-nil in Amsterdam ArenA today in the final game of World Cup qualifying. However, as a consequence of a massive goal differential shortage entering the match, the Oranje finished tied for second in points. But because goal differential is the first tie-breaker, the Dutch technically finished in the non-qualifying position of third place in their group behind Sweden and France. Therefore, the Dutch will miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

As a lifelong fan of the Netherlands, it’s tough to see this team not playing in a World Cup. Without diving too deep into the weeds right now (failure of a youthful, next generation of footballers to develop at a world-class level), what’s even more depressing is what was said after the final whistle blew.

Arjen Robben (33), my favorite soccer player, declared he is retiring from international competitions with the Dutch National Team.

This move was predictable, as it was either going to be announced this year or after the World Cup next summer had the Dutch qualified. Still, to know that Robben won’t put on a national team jersey again is jarring. One of the leaders of a golden generation of players for the men in orange (Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie) was excruciatingly close to winning his country’s first-ever World Cup on multiple occasions. The Dutch finished second in 2010 and finished third in 2014.

Now, as this disastrous World Cup cycle has proven, the Dutch will not be serious contenders for a long, long time. There is a very concerning talent gap for such a historically influential and talent-rich soccer nation.

Returning back to Robben’s breaking news, three pieces of immediate solace are:

  • He will continue to play for Bayern Munich.
  • His two goals today (especially his second) were classic Arjen Robben moments.
  • He retired from the Dutch National Team in front of his home fans.

Speaking of his classic second goal today against Sweden…

Ironically enough, the Netherlands won today’s game with the worst lead in soccer. And 2-nil proved, once again, to be the worst lead because they needed a much higher goal differential to miraculously qualify for next summer’s World Cup. It was a loss disguised as a win.

As opposed to Arjen Robben’s legacy with the Netherlands, which was always a win-win situation.

Thank you for all the memories playing for the Oranje!