The worst-case scenario happened. The players of the Dutch squad pointed it out in three O’s. ‘Ongelooflijk, Oneerlijk, Onterecht’. Or in English: Unbelievable, unfair and no justice at all. The remarkable thing about those statements is that there’s no self-reflection whatsoever. Holland had 29 (!) shots, but only six of them were on target. No goal. Meanwhile, the Danish took eight shots with four of them on target. One goal.
It immediately became clear that Robin van Persie isn’t the right striker for the Dutch squad. He was eager, but not in the familiar Arsenal way. He wanted to prove, too much. It turned out wrong, and he wasted a lot of opportunities. Again, there were a lot of tv-shots of Huntelaar, who was desperately waiting on the bench. He made his appearance in the 71th minute, but by that time it was already too late. Bert van Marwijk didn’t take any risks, played it safe and had to face the consequences.
Those consequences are bigger than the people think. There are some optimistic supporters saying that Holland lost their first game in 1988 as well (when they eventually won the Euros), but with games against Portugal and Germany in view, the quarterfinal is far, far away.
The goal Holland conceded was typical for the game. Michael Krohn-Dehli played for Ajax, RKC Waalwijk and Sparta Rotterdam, but was never considered as one of the best players in the team. That’s not a big surprise, since he played with a couple of guys who were on the pitch too, yesterday. Here they are: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, John Heitinga, Gregory van der Wiel, Maarten Stekelenburg and Wesley Sneijder played with Krohn-Dehli at Ajax. But the international stars could not make a difference against their old teammate (which also includes Dennis Rommedahl).
So for now, there are two things that can happen. One: it’s only going downhill from here. Remember the friendly against Germany (3-0 defeat). Or the defeat created a certain spirit ,which gives us the style and pugnacity that gives Holland the unbeatable form. We’ll find out on Wednesday, during the physical and emotional game against the Germans.