Absolutely delighted the Dutch injected some swagger into the World Cup last night. Diego Costa continued the pattern this week of Brazilian born players profiting from a tumble inside the box, gifting Spain an early lead from the penalty spot, but the Dutch were irresistible.
Exactly how they managed to improve their performance against Spain, four years after losing the World Cup Final with the imperious Edson Braafheid, is a mystery of the modern game.
Netherlands scored all those goals and created even more chances with a meagre 36% possession. If they were German, we would be reverting to the national stereotype that they were the epitome of ‘efficiency’.
Speaking of the Germans, I’ve always had a lot of time for Franz Beckenbauer, but to find himself banned from football for coming up short in a matter with the words “Fifa” and “ethics” in it, must make him the most notorious German since, erm, well, in quite a long time. With his former Bayern Munich teammate Uli Honess due to be jailed this month for financial maleficence, it’s better to assume no one in the game is above sticking his snout in the trough.
The soul of football depends on the outcome of this Fifa investigation; no one should be above its reach. Beckenbauer’s provisional ban should be verified. Kick him out the game.
Fantastic stuff on the blog yesterday from Bertie Auld; what an honour to have these great guys among us. I’m heading to the Celtic Shop on Argyle St today where Bertie, Tommy Gemmell and John Hughes will be signing books between 13:00 and 16:00. If you’re in town I’ll see you there.
The Big Cup’s going to be there, so bring a camera.[calameo code=0003901719d82038831a9 lang=en page=126 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]