When I think of a peaceful country like Holland I think of happy things like: those little colorful wooden shoes called clogs, windmills, flowery pastures, bicycles with ringing bells, women in those traditional dresses with the silly white hat, delicous beers, thousands of different types of cheeses, and of course for some folks the decriminalization of ganja and prostitutes. In other words most people think of happy things when they think of the life of a stereotypical Dutchman.
But one thing the Dutch hope to avoid this summer is inner squabbles within the ranks of the Clockwork Oranje squad and this notion has teared them apart in past Cup experiences. After all few teams have accomplished as much as the Flying Dutchmen have without ever hoisting the World Cup. And in past experiences on the world’s biggest stage the Clockwork Oranje have imploded and the negative experience has left several past Holland players with a bitter taste in their mouth.
And manager Bert van Marwijk will do anything he can to avoid any negativity before his side’s battle with Brazil this weekend and of course the Flying Dutchmen will need to play as a unified team if they want to upset the powerhouse. And the Dutch national team manager was recently tested by Arsenal star Robin van Persie. Van Persie, the most recognized player on the Clockwork Oranje, supposedly had a bit of an outburst when he was subbed out of the squad’s knockout match with Slovakia. The Dutch striker reportedly fumed that teammate Wesley Sneijder (the treble winning star of Inter) was more deserving of a substitution and the Arsenal man threw a bit of a fit about the manager’s choice as he stormed off of the pitch.
Well the coach is doing the right thing in avoiding the story and claiming that the incident holds no real significance. Of course this is a wise decision by a man whose job it is to avoid controversy and to insure his side continues their impressive form they have shown over the course of this Cup. But it is a dangerous realm to get involved in when a star player believes his own playing time is as important as the match’s result. I am sure van Persie was just acting in the heat of the moment and wasn’t considering any long term effects of his egocentric behaviour, but in reality any time a player throws such a fit it usually doesn’t result in the team advancing much further in the tournament.
The Flying Dutchmen have looked excellent this World Cup and hopefully they can kick such squabbles to the curb in time for their match against Brazil, but such good form can easily evaporate in one single match this late in the tournament.
Or in some cases in one single, ill conceived moment in time.