Tag Archives: Netherlands

Bert van Marwijk Made Right Decision with de Jong

Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has come under fire after he broke Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa's leg with a scissor-like challenge over the weekend. Courtesy Paul Blank

By Kevin Koczwara

Nigel de Jong’s tackle on Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa made me cringe. As de Jong slid into his challenge my mind shifted to Stuart Holden. The Netherlands and Manchester City midfielder broke Holden’s leg in a friendly between the United States and Holland on March 3.

Holden nearly missed this summer’s World Cup with the U.S. because he sat out six weeks with a broken leg. He landed on Bradley’s final 23-man roster, but he never saw the field for the Yanks in South Africa.

Xabi Alonso felt de Jong’s pain during the World Cup. He and Holden should head a committee on the Dutch midfielder’s lack of passion and reserve in the middle of the field. Alonso received a Lui Kang-like kick to the chest during the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. Alonso continued to play the rest of the match, which Spain won, 1-0, in extra time. de Jong recieved a yellow card from referee Howard Webb for the drop kick. It should have been a red card.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Fabregas Leading Streaking Gunners

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas scored twice and assisted on two other goals in the Gunners 6-0 win over Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday. (Photo Courtesy Gordon Flood)

By Joe Meloni

Come May 2011, Arsenal’s last two victories – a pair of routs over Bolton Wanders in a Premiership match and Braga in a Champions League match – will be forgotten. They were ostensibly Arsenal’s notice to the favorites of each competition that the club from North London has its eye on trophies. In each match, the Gunners took a lead, withstood a rush and eventually ran away with the match – both ending with exclamation points from Carlos Vela. Lost in the barrage of goals was the performance of the Gunners 23-year-old captain.

Yes, Cesc Fabregas is only 23 years old. People forget this often. Blaming them is difficult when watching Fabregas play. Whether he’s patiently leading an Arsenal attack or positioning himself four steps ahead of an opposition rush, he almost never displays angst or nerves associated with young, gifted players.

“He has taken another dimension,” Wenger told ESPN Soccernet after the 6-0 win over Braga. “People forget he is 23, where other players start. Cesc has a fantastic influence. What is important is that he leads the team to winning.” Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — August 31, 2010

Manchester City broke the transfer record fee in England when they signed Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid just two seasons ago. But the little playmaker has been a flop in the Premier League and had to be loaned out last summer to his boyhood club Santos for the season. Could he be on his way out of Manchester for good today?

The Washington Post – Bob Bradley to remain with U.S. National Team – Steven Goff

After leading the United States Men’s National Soccer Team to the Round of 16 in this summer’s World Cup, Bob Bradley has signed a four-year extension that will likely make him the leader of the USMNT for another World Cup. Bradley, who took over following Bruce Arena’s dreadful performance as manager in the 2006 World Cup, had been connected with the job atop England Premier League club Aston Villa, but he agreed to terms with U.S. Soccer on Saturday night. German national Jurgen Klinnsman, who has lived in California for years, was rumored as Bradley’s replacement.

The Guardian – van Persie likely out of a month – David Hynter

Arsenal fans worried that Saturday’s match at Blackburn was going to be more of the same – a loss or a draw instead of what should have been an easy three points. While the Gunners defeated Blackburn, 2-1, Arsenal fans did see a familiar sight, as van Persie left with an ankle injury. It is likely the Dutch international will miss at least one month due to the injury, which rules him out of European Championship qualifiers for the Netherlands and Champions League matches with Arsenal.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mr. Blatter, Something Needs to Change

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing the 2014 World Cup host winner Brazil. Courtesy Ricardo Stuckert

By Joe Meloni

Being a soccer fan in the United States means learning to deal with a few things. We understand a portion of our friends, co-workers and anyone else likely to stumble upon our Facebook pages thinks soccer is boring, un-American game. It is, after all, predicated upon not screwing up more than it’s about trying to strike as frequently as possible.

Unfortunately, the World Cup provided more ammunition for my narrow-minded cohorts as overworked officials continually failed to make proper calls or keep matches — even Sunday’s final — in line. Naturally, the blame falls on their shoulders rather than the FIFA officials consistently placing too heavy a burden upon them.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The FIFA 2010 World Cup final should be an absolute classic.

By Denis Heptonstall of The National Game

The FIFA 2010 World Cup final should be an absolute classic.

Holland and Spain will meet at the Soccer City stadium on today in what promises to be a fascinating match, where Spain are bookies’ favourites at a measly 2-1.

Presumably they have taken a lot of early money on Spain and are seeking to balance the books. Either that or they fear that Paul the psychic octopus, (now on a roll) may be correct again, and his selection might attract a lot of interest from the horoscope brigade. Well you would place a bet on Spain because a mollusk-brained cephalopod appeared to pick them, wouldn’t you?

A female senior manager in the office where I carry out my day job suggested Spain will win the World Cup because “they are better looking than the Dutch.” Do mollusc – brained cephalopods live out of the water also?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Oranje Overcome Their Demons

By Ryan Fleming

When I originally made my pick before the World Cup started, I chose the Netherlands to topple the best teams in the world. I thought the Oranje would overcome the deadly attack of Argentina, to get past the young and enthusiastic Germans and even deal with the fiery Spanish, if it ever came to it.

If I knew then that they would come up against Brazil in the quarter final, I would have picked the Brazilians to repeat history and continue to haunt the Dutch, kicking them out of the month-long tournament for the third time in a little over 10 years.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Grow up Robin, Your Country (and I) Need You

Courtesy Florian K

By Joe Meloni

(Before I get into the body of this piece, I must fully disclose that I am an Arsenal fan. I have a vested interest in Robin van Persie being happy and healthy and productive – even though I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a state worthy of those three adjectives simultaneously.)

The scoreboard said 2-0. His country was celebrating, while he and his teammates finished off an easy win over Slovakia and sealed their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. No, there really wasn’t anything for Robin van Persie to be angry about on that chilly South African evening. So as Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk beckoned to Robin van Persie to exit the game, he probably expected the Arsenal striker to trot off the field with grace as he saluted his Oranje-clad countrymen clamoring in the crowd. Not so surprisingly, van Persie opted, instead, to throw a fit – disrespecting his manager and disgracing himself in the process.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Dutch Need to Seize the Day

Courtesy forum.globaltimes.com

Those who have followed soccer for a some time know about the Netherlands heartbreaking history. Often favored, but almost never the winners. Coming so close, yet leaving with nothing is a common occurrence when talking about the Oranje.

This year, though, the projections are a bit different.

The 2010 version of the World Cup doesn’t have the Flying Dutchmen as a heavy favorite or anywhere near the cream of the top. Actually, they are hardly mentioned. That is, till now.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Who Will Win The World Cup?

Courtesy alexloth.com Picasa

By Kevin Koczwara and Ryan Fleming

Ryan and I talked about a lot of stories we could write about who could and who would win the World Cup over the last few months. I have rattled my brain over and over again trying to make arguments for players and teams I like, but only one team stood out from the rest for me — it was almost the new look Brazil team lead by Dunga. Ryan thought about who could win the World Cup, especially on style points — so not the new look Brazil. He kept coming back to a certain color, a certain team that has had bundles of talent, but only one major trophy. Our picks are similar in this way. We each picked a team that has never won a World Cup, but has certainly had the talent to do so. We both picked teams that are about attacking their opponents, not sitting back and waiting. We picked teams that as Americans turn us on to the beautiful game.

Let’s take a look…

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who Won’t Win the World Cup Part 5: Group E

By Ryan Thies of the Long Beach Post

We are halfway through the field and I hope I’ve done a good job convincing you that no one will win the World Cup. Every one of the contenders has serious flaws, but while previous groups featured whole teams packed with wild-cards, three of Group E are wild-cards because of how reliant they are on one player. You can’t win the World Cup based on one-player. So Group E, and their 28 counterparts throughout the world, will not win it all.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,