Reality kicks in: Netherlands – Czech Republ., 2-3

It seems that at least one person besides me reads this blog: Dick Advocaat started the match yesterday with a 3-4-3 line-up, with two mid-fielders particularly assigned offensive and supply tasks.

As soon as the coach noticed that this system works, he changed it, of course.

But until then (and even later, thanks to the great players of Oranje!), there were two teams on the attack, which led to what must have been the most beautiful game of football on this planet of the past five years.

Of course, loser-coaches like Advocaat will point to this match and say: “See how dangerous it is to play beautiful, attacking football? The Dutch did and they lost!” And they will gloss over the fact that the Czechs also played beautiful, attacking football, and won.

The thing is, for the cowardly coach it is much easier to explain away a loss in a match in which he played defensively and conservatively, than a loss in a match in which he took enormous risks.

What Advocaat does not understand, what goes against the grain and the core of his being, is that there are people who don’t care! They are not many, but you can find them all over the world: people who would rather lose beautifully than win in a mediocre fashion.

The Brazilians, the Dutch, and perhaps, on a warm day, when the sun and the wine sets their hearts ablaze, also the otherwise stoïc Czechs.

The Dutch know that you cannot keep a good thing down, that beauty will out one day. Until then, we prefer our heros to reap their glory on the field of honour, even if that means defeat.

Yesterday, I saw a beautiful match, with twenty-two artists doing what they do best. The memory of that match will linger far longer than that of the mediocre coach who is Grumpy the Dwarf.

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