Holland, World Cup

Robben Mexico’s hopes… Does Robben deserve the Ballon D’or?

The Dutch’s two year pursuit of redemption after a terrible Euro campaign seemed in vain. 86 minutes in, down a De Jong pic for bloggoal, and unable to penetrate Mexico’s taught lines, the Netherlands seemed on the verge of an early trip home. Then came Sneijder’s kick, a bullet to the left side of the net; the yellow card against Marquez, and Huntelaar’s penalty shot.  Ten minutes from desolation, the Dutch reversed course and launched a party in the The Hague that will last throughout the night.

That said, it should be realized that while the Dutch won, they weren’t very convincing… When Nigel De Jong exited
the game, their formidable three center-back defensive scheme became quite shaky, and Giovani Dos Santos took full advantage with a beautiful individual effort (and when he was taken out of the game, I was quite surprised).

For the Netherlands, many lessons can be learned from this game, beginning with the fact that their back three should never play without a player like De Jong in front of them, and… Dirk Kuyt is a terrible right wingback…

Van Persie pic for blogBut anyways, although they performed extremely well in their first three games, the Dutch looked shaky today – after Mexico scored their first goal, their attack dropped back slightly and the Dutch were left with the ability to control more possession from within their opponent’s half – and quite frankly, they didn’t seem to have the ability to take advantage of that situation. Their first goal today was the result of set-pieces blunder on Mexico’s part, and their second goal came from the penalty spot… The Dutch won’t get so lucky when they play better teams, and Robben will no longer get the calls in the box that he expects – that’s why the Dutch must learn to rely on forms of offense other than the counter-attack and set-pieces.

Furthermore, I didn’t understand why Van Persie was substituted for Huntelaar (despite Huntelaar’s header pass to Robben pic for blog
Sneijder for the tying goal): Van Persie is a player that needs to be on the field at all times, especially in a Dutch system that relies so much on the attacking three that he, Sneijder and Robben make up. Huntelaar is a great player, but if world class Van Persie is struggling to get going, I’d find that Huntelaar would also have a lot more trouble finding a rhythm – especially as he hadn’t played in the previous three games.

If the Dutch can continue to win, I’ll shut up, but after today’s performance, and De Jong’s injury, I see them having a hard time advancing much further as the competition gets better. That said, I still look forward most to seeing how teams defend Robben moving forward, and how he responds. The World Cup stage has proven to be a place where players can make their careers, break their careers, and transform from world class stars, to world class legends. If Robben continues his fantastic form, he could win the Ballon D’or, and right now if the World Cup were to end today, he’d deserve it.





2 thoughts on “Robben Mexico’s hopes… Does Robben deserve the Ballon D’or?

  1. Anonymous says:

    agree that the system looked shaky without de jong and the dutch hardly created decent chances before mexico’s goal. Should be noted that blind is one of their main sources of supply to the strikers and he had to switch positions..but kuyt was exceptional towards the end and he was the one who won the corner and put in a decent cross before that for an old striker to be playing full back i think he did well……also RVP was substituted cos he was hardly running before that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Van Persie completely disappeared for that second half, so when LVG threw on Huntelaar, I agreed with the tactical decision, and it clearly paid off. Huntelaar is a clinical finisher like Van Persie, he just lacks the same tactical abilities; but if you need a goal, he’s reliable as anyone. Also wanted to throw in a little about Depay–even if he did not have as impressive of a performance as in previous games, he opened up the game for other players right when he came on. Defenders are becoming wary of his presence, I would start him for the next game, in a 4-3-3 formation

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