dekhte aj kia hota hai
This is rarified atmosphere for Spain, who have always been considered a country with the potential to get this far, yet have never lived up to the expectations. On the other hand the Dutch have been here before. They lost twice in consecutive World Cup Finals, in 1974 to West Germany in West Germany, and in 1978 to Argentina in Argentina.
Much has been made of the freewheeling and creative “total football” that made Holland so successful in the ‘70’s. They play a different kind of football today, however. Characterized by the robust technique of midfielders Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong, the Dutch are a no-nonsense lot, whose purpose is not to display a pleasant style but simply to win the ball and feed the forwards.
In contrast, Spain’s approach is distinguished by a more gracile method, exemplified by midfielders Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, whose objective is to control the match through possession.
Holland and Spain each have a leading goalscorer in their squad. With 5 goals each Holland’s Wesley Sneijder and Spain’s David Villa are co-goal scoring leaders coming into this weekend.
Before the tournament, however, Fernando Torres and Robin van Persie might have been the front men considered most likely to bulge their opponents’ nets. Yet both strikers have underperformed.
Torres has featured in all six of Spain’s World Cup 2010 matches, but has yet to score. Granted, he hasn’t started in all of Spain’s matches. Nevertheless, when he’s been on the pitch he hasn’t looked like the normally formidable striker who leads Liverpool’s attack.
Van Persie has featured in each of Holland’s matches but has scored just once in this World Cup, that being a 36th minute strike against Cameroon in the Group stage.
Significantly both Torres and van Persie came into the World Cup following injuries that had sidelined them. Torres with a knee problem and van Persie with an ankle injury.
Spain’s Pedro started the semi-final match against Germany and proved his worth. His most memorable moment, however, was one he’d rather not be remembered for.
Following a fine weaving run down the right he found himself with only a single German defender to beat while Torres was alone in the penalty box. A pass to Torres would likely have resulted in a goal, yet Pedro held the ball and lost it. He was substituted moments later. Punishment? Maybe and maybe not. But he sure deserved a kick in the pants for his greed at that moment.
Holland’s Arjen Robben is quick and tricky and has a goalscoring left foot. His modus operandi is to get down the right wing then cut inside and shoot with his left. His right, however, is best used for standing upon, and Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will undoubtedly design a defensive strategy primed to receive Robben and force him outside.
Should he manage to get inside, Robben will then have the twin Spanish obstacles of Puyol and Pique to negotiate. But the Spanish will have to be concerned about the left side, too, where the industry of hard-working Dirk Kuyt will be a continual threat.
Holland’s Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong will have to be careful tomorrow. A number of van Bommel’s challenges in the Uruguay match appeared to call for intervention, yet justice was mute—or blind perhaps. De Jong is another character whose ball-winning instincts will likely brook no Spanish “tiki-taka.” As a premier league player he’ll be well-known to referee Howard Webb.
Attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder is the man the Spanish must contain. With five goals in the tournament the little Dutchman is the heartbeat of the squad and he’ll be as quick to take a shot as he is to work the ball to the wings.
Spain’s Xavi and Iniesta are the playmakers Holland will have to contain. Both are clever and they have an understanding of each other borne of their club football. Given room to move they are likely to dictate the pace of the match, and so Holland will be looking to close them down quickly.
At the back
Against Brazil the Dutch showed their defensive dyke could be breached, as Felipe Melo’s pass through the center for Robinho proved. But with Mathijsen and van der Wiel available to join Heitinga and van Bronckhorst the Dutch back line will be at full strength.
Spain’s center back duo of Puyol and Pique are able defenders. Puyol scored the winner in the semi-final against Germany, and Piquet is dangerous coming forward, too.
Both teams have quality goalkeepers. Holland’s Stekelenburg has played well, although he demonstrated some frailty against Uruguay. Spain’s Iker Cassilas is world class and unbeatable on his day.
The Dutch approach tomorrow’s final with the comfort of having won each of their matches in the World Cup 2010. Yet they have shown signs of defensive shortcomings.
Spain lost to Switzerland early on in the tournament and their last three matches have been tight one-goal affairs. Yet they have seldom put a foot wrong in the latter stages of the competition.
Both teams have strikers in contention for the “Golden Boot” award. Yet in Torres and van Persie both squads have talented forwards who have yet to make an impact in the competition. If one of them comes onto a game on Sunday that could make the difference.
Ultimately Holland will look to upset the delicate balance of the Spanish passing game. If they can do so they’ll have the edge. But they are sometimes too physical a squad, and this could impair their efforts. On the other hand, if Spain can maintain their composure against the physicality of Holland’s hard men, they will be very difficult to beat.
Last edited by Worthless; 11-07-2010 at 06:03 AM.
dekhte aj kia hota hai