Cephalopod Certitude: Spain 1 Holland 0

21:13 Sun 11 Jul 2010
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Paul the octopus made the right pick again, and the Spanish ensured the Dutch stand alone as the best side never to win a World Cup.

It wasn’t a great final. It appears that the Dutch looked at what Spain did to Germany and decided to give up their attacking game, instead concentrating on trying to out-brutalize their opponents. It’s easy to second-guess that decision now—but then, the Dutch lost playing ugly, and if you’re going to lose, why play ugly?

Holland had the better chances in regulation, but were unable to convert—and Casillas was absolutely excellent in goal, as he has been throughout the competition. In extra time, I thought the Spanish looked a little better. Their goal came through Dutch carelessness—or tiredness—and was an excellent strike, but the Dutch absolutely should never have given the ball to them in that position. It was a cruel blow, giving up that goal with just five minutes left to play. I was grateful that we didn’t have another World Cup final decided by penalty kicks, but it hurt to see Holland fall short once again.

The Netherlands is now the only nation to have been in three or more World Cup finals while never having won any, and they share with Sweden another dubious distinction of being the only nations to reach four semifinals without ever having won the title. The Dutch have lost twice in extra time, and all their finals matches have been close.

The Spanish, meanwhile, won their last four games of this World Cup by the score one–nil, which I strongly dislike. They also beat Germany by this score in the Euro 2008 final. I admire the defensive excellence, but their philosophy seems conservative, dedicated to doing just barely enough to win.

2 Responses to “Cephalopod Certitude: Spain 1 Holland 0”

  1. garret Says:

    Yup football was the real loser there.

  2. garret Says:

    Holland played “anti football” which would have more suited to the Colosseum in ancient Rome. Spain are able to keep and pass the ball around and becuase they lacked a big man up front they weren’t able to get the goals, had Torres been match fit this could have been a different prospect. Spain have lifted their template from Barcelona and for me it’s boring to watch, rather like owning a gerble or a hamster that occasionally does something wonderful and then goes back to sleep. The Dutch football team of 2010 are perhaps better suited to banging bones on the ground and waving their arms at a big black monolith.



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