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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications

Heitinga: "That can not happen"

8 September 2010

Rarely have Holland allowed so many chances in recent years as they did on Tuesday against Finland. In the last 25 minutes of the first half the visitors had four open chances. Much to Holland's relief they squandered all, yet John Heitinga is ringing the alarm bell.

"That just can not happen," he said afterwards. "In the first 20 minutes there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and we deserved to go 2-0 up. After Finland pulled one back it started going wrong. We weren't positioned right and some guys weren't marking their man. Because of that Finland had a spare man all the time and they could outplay us fairly easily. They overran us at that stage, where it should have been the other way around."

The defender thinks Holland should learn from the mistakes of that first half. "We will certainly have to look back at this game when we get back together in a month's time. We shall have to work on the things that went wrong."

Still Heitinga thinks it's important, in spite of all the chances for Finland, got three points. "We have six points from two games and that is good. We want to qualify as early as possible, that's our goal. Next months it's away to Moldova and at home against Sweden. Especially the game against Sweden will be a real test, as they appear to be the strongest opponents in this group. If we can win both these games we are well on our way."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking

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