Dirty Dutch a disgrace to football

Nigel de Jong

The eyes of the world were on the Netherlands in the showpiece final in South Africa, and they disgraced themselves in what was a disgusting display of anti-football.

I am a big believer in the power of the game to inspire the next generation, and all the likes of Mark van Bommel did was show kids how football should not be played.

The Dutch had a responsibility to play the game in the right manner, and instead Bert van Marwijk’s side just went round kicking people and bullying the Spanish: it was shameful and very saddening.

Johan Cruyff has come out publicly to slam the way his compatriots played and been duly described as a traitor, but he was absolutely right in venting his disgust at what he saw in Johannesburg.

Van Bommel has always been a wretched footballer, and should have been sent off at least twice earlier in the tournament for foul play. The midfielder was found out at Barcelona and has to foul to be effective.

Nigel de Jong was another whose sole intention was to leave his mark on the Spanish players in the vain hope that it would throw Vicente del Bosque’s side off track.

Thank goodness for football’s sake that Spain showed the guts to pull through in spite of the treatment they received.

Van Marwijk should take a long hard look at himself in the mirror before he takes charge of another match of football, and consider why he is in the game.

Not only did the Dutch coach have the audacity to blame the referee for his side’s defeat, but he relinquished responsibility for the way they played, putting it down to nerves.

I can tell you that, as a player, you would lose all respect for your coach if he came out to the media and said that because he set his side out to thwart Spain by any means possible.

There is no justifiable reason why you would pick van Bommel in your side unless you want to kick lumps out of the opposition – the Bayern Munich midfielder only plays one way.

I was also very disappointed, but not overly surprised, by the way Arjen Robben conducted himself: the winger had only one trick, and basically threw himself on the ground at every opportunity.

The tragedy of it all is that the Dutch are such a popular side and, historically, the country have always played magical football with flair and substance.

Of course, any side with Dirk Kuyt in it is not going to have any flair, but it was so far removed from how the Netherlands have played in the past, they brought shame on everything the Oranje stands for.

I hope van Marwijk and his side deeply regret the way they approached the final and, by their much deserved defeat, learned that thuggery and cynicism can only get you so far against a great side.

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