"There are two things I can't stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other peoples football cultures ( Scott Chipperfield) and the Dutch! (Being in the Socceroos World Cup Group)"
The above quote is me paraphrasing the hilarious Movie Austin Powers: Goldmember. It's the only Hollywood movie where the Dutch culture is ridiculed and made fun of. During the film all the lazy stereotypes of the Wogs with Clogs are used as comedy fodder through superfreaky Goldmember (Mike Myers) as he teams up with Dr Evil (Mike Myers) to kidnap Austin Powers Father (Micheal Cain).
Why I bring this up is because the Socceroos are playing Holland and it's probably unlikely the Australians can beat them on the pitch so why not try beating them with humor and mockery.
The Game Plan vs the Wogs with Clogs
Okay lets get serious and less nervous Socceroos. You guys have never lost to the Netherlands in an international game. Yes yes yes they may have only been friendlies but it still something. Yes, yes yes most of you current Aussies in the squad has never faced the Dutch but it's a positive and we need all the positives we can get.
Another positive is that the Australians and the Orange Botherers share a commonality. Both nations go by three different names. Netherlands, Holland and the Dutch. Australia, The Socceroos, and The Aussies. That irrelevant tidbit makes you less nervous right? Tommy Oar and Jason Davidson I'm talking to you send in those crosses boys!
At the moment it seems like the the only game plan on the clipboard that Ante Milicic is holding and furiously writing notes is "Surely the Dutch can't play as well as they did against the Spanish" and "Surely the Socceroos can't start as badly as they did against Chile."
One thing top teams have in their tactical arsenal is their ability to have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Because the Socceroos have a young and inexperienced team the hope is that they execute Plan A to the best of their ability. For some moments against Chile they were able to that. They held the ball for longer and through Mathew Leckie they were able to exploit the space down the flanks. More of this please!
The stereotypes of the Dutch in football has always been one of total football which basically means totally give the ball to Johan Cruyff. But Johan Cruyff and his mates are another country, a faded T-Shirt, a FIFA DVD on sale now.
The modern way of playing football for the Dutch is a mixture of thuggery and arrogance combined with moments of sublime skill. The Netherlands are not proponents of Total Football but a mixture of possession based, counter attacking at speed wrapped in a Dutch waffle of agricultural football.
This is where the Aussies come in. Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan (or whover replaces him after being injured) have to show some of their "Kreas" tendencies and not let the likes of De Guzman and De Jong Deboss them or Dekick them around.
Bullies don't like being stood up to and this is where the Aussies can match the Wogs with Clogs.
Ange Postecoglu talks about being fearless and taking risks but as I banged on about in my last blog Adam Taggart needs to come on the field at some point. Tim Cahill busted a gut for 90 mins. His 34 year old body is going to need a partner. Head Farken misses his Brother Shoot Farken! Power in numbers and all that Jazz man. This morning in a media scrum Ange said he wasn't happy with his subs (he made them) so perhaps some changes are afoot. Perhaps he read my blog and took note. Of course he did(n't).
The Dutch Whisperer
Australia has it's own Goldmember in their ranks in Hann Berger. The Berger is at the World Cup in a special advisory role (double agent?) to the Socceroos.
The Hann Bergler had a controversial tenure as Australia's Technical director. Some say the direction the Australian game took by following the Dutch 4 3 3 system didn't provide the necessary results or rewards that were promised. Particularly in the way our young players were coached and the dismantling of the Australian Institute of Sport system that produced so many quality Socceroos in the past. Going Dutch seemed a failure and it showed in some of the poor results Australia's youth teams accumulated at various Youth World Cups.
"Hey everyone I'm from Holland isn't that weird?"
There was also some controversy about the way Berger mandated small sided games and the no winners or losers approach with games ending result-less. Around the country many local football clubs and associations were reluctant to take on the "trophies for everyone" approach of playing games. Not everyone agreed with The Hot Dog! "Everyone one was a Wiener!" mentality.
I can see Hann Berger in his role as The Dutch whisperer leaning into some of the Socceroos players ears and quietly saying "Watch out for Van Persie, Sneijder and Robben they are very very good"
Beofore the Chile game I thought the Socceroos could get away with at least a point against L Roja and when Timmy scored I started to believe in a win. So for this game against the Dutch i'm lowering my expectations. Unless you are blind with with Brazilian party juice it's hard to expect a positive result out of this game. A positive performance from the Socceroos that includes a betters start would be great. A goal would be fantastic and avoiding a thrashing would be a relief.
It's not that I don't believe it's just that I will feel better and more elated when the Socceroos cause a surprise and knock those Orange Botherers off their Clogs! Even if it's only through some strong "Hi I'm a Socceroo" fouls (Yes I said it!)