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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

Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"

8 September 2010

Holland would have loved to make it a nice show against Finland, Mark van Bommel said after the game against Finland (2-1). But when it turned out that that wasn't possible and the Fins came close to equalizing several times, Holland set the controls to making sure they got three points. "We would have loved to have it any other way, but there wasn't anymore in it."

Holland had a great start and took a 2-0 lead within 15 minutes, but then things started going wrong. "The first 20 minutes or so we played really well. But after Finland scored the organization went down the drain. We didn't put pressure on them as a team, and that made the pitch to large. Maarten Stekelenburg pulled as through in that phase."

A handful of good saves by Stekelenburg kept the Fins from equalizing and so Holland maintained their 100% score on the way to Euro 2012. "And that is most important," Van Bommel emphasized. He the gave an example from the past: "On the way to the World Cup of 2002 we dropped points at an early stage. That put a lot of pressure on the next games and that led to us not qualifying. That is why we are very pleased with the fact we have six points now."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking

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