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bwin blogger’s league: Dutch Delight

In the final game of the Quarter Final stages, Holland take on the surprise package of the tournament in Costa Rica. Whilst there are no easy games at these stages in major tournaments, Holland must be quietly relieved that they’ve got, at least on paper the easiest route to the semi-final. Mind you, I’ve thought this about every side that Costa Rica have come up against.

Yet, there is a contrasting difference between Holland and all the other sides Costa Rica have faced so far and that is a team in great form, with their best players shining at the tournament. In stark contrast to four years ago, Holland’s side are being praised for their style of football, which has largely been reliant on the brilliance of Arjen Robben. Their tournament didn’t get off to the best of starts going 1-0 down to holders Spain but since then, Holland have rarely looked back with Robben and Van Persie leading their attack, the Dutch have come back from behind in 3 separate games which is a record in a World Cup Finals. Looking beyond the star duo, joint top goalscorer in the last World Cup, Wesley Sneijder has been rather quiet but announced himself with a bang against Mexico as he volleyed in the equaliser, it is in these stages that Sneijder comes into life. Memphis Depay has been electric off the bench and the youngster is a serious handful for any defence, especially when Holland have so many other threats that Depay can often be the forgotten man.

Costa Rica’s success has by and large been down to their brilliant defence, having only conceded 2 goals so far, keepy Kaylor Navas has drawn plenty of plaudits and will need to be at his best if his side are to have any chance of succeeding. Up front, Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz can provide enough of a threat to a inexperienced Holland defence that has blown hot and cold and have been susceptible early on in games.

Holland’s vulnerability at the back means Costa Rica may fancy their chances early on but that will leave them exposed themselves. Back Robin van Persie to be the first goalscorer @ 3.75

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About Ramon Isaac

Ramon writes for By Far The Greatest Team and Mowing Meadows. Follow @MowingMeadows on Twitter.

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90 Comments

  1. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Marq – one thing van gaal certainly instills in his team is a winning desire.. His teams keep going until the very end,.the mexico game portraying that.. United had that drained out with fergie retiring but van gaal will aim to re-install it

  2. Tommy says:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/arsenal-vs-manchester-united-transfer-3816103 – been linked with Valdes, cant see it happening, hes not going to go from Barcas number one to sat on the United bench.

  3. Tommy says:

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/387430/EXCLUSIVE-Manchester-United-told-to-increase-their-offer-for-Dutch-defender-Daryl-Janmaat – must increase our offer from £4million to £7million for Janmaat apprently.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/manchester-uniteds-javier-hernandez-rejected-3817059 – Hernandez turned down the chance to sign for Saints as part of the Shaw deal, hes wanted by Valencia and Inter Milan according to Mirror.

    http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/487018/Man-Utd-pair-Fellaini-and-Zaha-can-go-Ruthless-Van-Gaal-prepares-Old-Trafford-exodus – Fellani and Zaha being shipped out according to the express

  4. John says:

    Argentina Vs Netherlands. Now this will turn out to be quite some game, no doubt about that.

    I still remember Van Der Saar Vs Ortega in 1998 :)

    I supported Argentina to win the World Cup in 1998. The team of Batistuta, Ortega, Veron, Simeone to name few was some team in 1998.

    Due to LVG and RVP, have to remain neutral slightly favouring Dutch tbh.

    Win or Lose, LVG has proven himself already but Di Maria is unavailable for Argentina and if Nigel
    de Jong is fit to harass Messi, I can see Dutch victory.

    LVG will come up with excellent game plan, I am sure. They could have scored 4 or 5 easily against Costa Ricans.

    RVP seems to have lost bit of edge in his finishing in last couple of games. LVG kept his faith on him against CR when he could have easily substituted him for Huntelaar after his impact against Mexicans. LVG being LVG isn’t normal like any genius. He will reap the reward for his on RVP against Argentinians. Hopefully RVP scores.

  5. ashtheking says:

    John

    Argentina v Dutch and. Brazil v. Germany both should be better than the quarter final matches. I still Argentina will prevail over the Dutch. It seems like argies year even though they have been far from excellent. But with angel di Maria gone dutch will fancy their chances. I think rvp does have a problem scoring in knock out games, even in champiosn league big games I have not seen rvp setting the game on fire. But it would be foolish to write him of. He could easily score a hattrick and we could just sit in awe.

  6. John says:

    @Ash

    I remember against Madrid in ferguson last year, RVP couldn’t finish the chances you would normally expect him to. He is the best no. 9 in the world when he is at best but he strangely goes awol in decisive knockout matches. I thought he didn’t look confident while taking penalty against CR either. BUT he might be saving it for Argentina like against Spain.

    Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
    ——-Vince Lombardi.

    It’s not fault of RVP. It is a gift from “specialist in failure” Arsene Wenger. Winning league for us and this World Cup will help change his Wenger cursed mentality hopefully. :) :)

  7. John says:

    In other news, Arsenal seems to have landed Alexis Sanchez, Goal.com understands.

  8. John says:

    (Goal.com)

    Arsenal have agreed a £32 million fee with Barcelona for Alexis Sanchez, Goal understands.

    The Gunners will now try to wrap up the transfer of the in-demand forward with further talks in the next 48 hours aimed at convincing the player to choose a move to Emirates Stadium ahead of his other suitors.

    Sources have told Goal that the financial package offered to Sanchez has been agreed in principle by the player and his representatives.

    Arsenal will attempt to clinch the signing by obtaining an official agreement from the Chile World Cup star, with the possibility growing that a deal could be finalised in the coming week.

    The indications from the Sanchez camp during negotiations are that he wants to move to Arsenal ahead of Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus, who have all tabled offers to the Chilean.

  9. John says:

    http://www.manutd.com/en/news-and-features/football-news/2014/jul/albert-stuivenberg-appointed-as-assistant-coach-for-manchester-united.aspx

    Hopefully this will be the end of Phil Neville as a coach. He can fuck off to the level he belongs.

  10. John says:

    There are reports circulating in Italian media that Juve have given deadline of until next week to sign Vidal so that they can generate fund for their signings esp Alexis Sanchez.

    If United aren’t in for Sanchez this will be good for United as well as it prevents immediate rivals from signing Sanchez and we will get a much needed player.

  11. Tommy says:

    @Ash

    To be honest mate, theirs not been an outstanding team at the tournament, all 4 semi finalists have struggled their ay through, but in the semi they are. I think youve got to fancy the Gerrmans to win it, their a nation who thrives on grinding out results. Harsh on RVP although admittedly hes not looked great so far in knockouts, yesterday he should of scored when the ball was knocked accross and he failed to make contract, the 2nd chance he had I felt was great defending from the Costa Rican, the lad threw himself at the ball and summed up their committment. He was offside a lot yesterday, that was down to a combination of his eagerness and the Costa Ricans being well drilled and keeping a good line.

    @John

    I think he will probably sign for Arsenal but goal.com is not a reliable source although quite a few including Guillem Balague are reporting Arsenal are keen and he does not want to be apart of the suarez deal. Where do you get off insulting people whon have given a great deal to this club, telling Phil Neville to fuck off is very classy indeed but United have confirmed that Albert Stuivenberg has joined the coaching staff as a first team coach or “assistant coach”. He’s spent the last 10 years or so working with a variety of the Dutch national team’s youth sides. Possible implications for Phil Neville?

  12. Tommy says:

    Reports from Spain in Marca claim that Brazilian central defender Joao Miranda will return to training with Atletico Madrid after the Primera Division champions rejected an offer from Manchester United. Atletico are holding out for 30million euros, but the Red Devils are not prepared to match the release clause. – He will be a big risk, a 28 year old who has never played in England for that price, id probably even prefer Vermalen to be honest, at least he knows the premier league.

  13. John says:

    Tommy

    As far are reports go, analysing them, it seems to me that Alexis Sanchez 1st choice is Juve and then Arsenal. Reports also suggest United as well have an offer in place but I don’t think we are in for him.

    The most likely scenario is Juventus wants to sign Sanchez and the player wants to go Italy but Juve lack essential transfer fund to do it. Same situation they are facing with Morata of Madrid. All of which suggest they have to sacrifice Vidal to collect sufficient fund.

    One big naming signing that will rock the football world soon is Vidal to United. You can print this!

  14. John says:

    Tommy,

    Hummels and Varmeleen are the two centre backs we will sign as well as 1 defender from Dutch team after World Cup. I beleive it will be the case.

  15. Tommy says:

    @John

    I think hes Arsenal bound mate, skybet have made Arsenal 1/4 favourites after a flurry of high placed bets, usually means people in the know have had some inside knowledge. Not sure about Hummels, only way I see him coming is if kagawa is used as bait, theirs a good chance of Vermaelen and one of the dutch lads though.

    Just slightly off topic, what a great Wimbledon final today, drama at its finest, looked like Novak had it wrapped up in the 4th then a combination of him choking whilst serving for the match and Fed rolling back the years, then Novak finally got over the line, and Fed behaving with such dignity at the end, great match on the finest Tennis court in the world

  16. John says:

    Also Arsenal in particular are reportedly doing everything they can to lure Sanchez which will help united to negotiate for Vidal transfer to happen soon. Juve haven’t met Barca asking price but Liverpool and Arsenal have. So all this delay suggest player is waiting for Juve imo. Liverpool are out of equation sadly. :)

  17. Tommy says:

    @John

    Haha yea apprently liverpool wanted him as apart of Suarez deal but he quickly said no to thast haha

  18. Gary Mitrovic says:

    While there will be more signings, I’m kind of hoping for just one more big one to really galvanise the team. Hummels or Vidal would be fantastic. If I was given the choice of one of the two I would go for Hummels. It’s probably unlikely though.

    Shocking games yesterday, absolute dire football on show from all involved. The Argentina manager falling over was the best entertainment of the quarter finals. Germany to go all the way now.

  19. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    All I personally want is just one proper centre midfielder and one young but solid defender. We don’t need to go bat shit crazy in the window just because we want to please some people. We should only buy according to need which is exactly what we’ve done so far. Juat buy that second midfielder and one more defender. Anything after that is a bonus.

  20. Sam says:

    I think we need to promote janko or varela for competition for the Rafael. We don’t need janmaat.

    Can’t wait for the transfer window to close and put all the speculation behind. Hopefully after a few more additions. But summer transfer window drives me crazy

  21. Teezed says:

    i honestly think the vidal deal will happen…but it needs to move soon.

    i would want to see di maria too considering that hes available…and he can also play 2 positions which makes it a win win situation. a very good right winger and a very good central mid.

    lets make it happen

  22. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    I still do not think we’re going to sign Vidal and I sincerely hope that the board have at least four other alternative midfielders we’re looking at because I just can’t see someone at the topping of his game being willing to take one year off of European football at the highest level to join us. Just sounds too good to be true. Herrera is different case but Vidal is at Juventus, who have a real chance of actually contending for the trophy itself. If we sign him, I will be absolutely stunned. Just cannot see it right now.

    If I had to choose between signing one central defender or one midfielder, I would choose midfielder 100 times out of 100. That’s how important it is. We’ve started off well with the Herrera purchase, now we have to finish the deal and I am confident that the transfer team will do it.

  23. andrew maina says:

    Every time i see Van Gaal i just get even more dumbfounded about the stupid decision to bring in David Moyes last season.

  24. m09538061 says:

    @Andrew Maina.
    And Me!

  25. Marco Soares says:

    Van Gaal trully is the Anti-Moyes as far as management is concerned, or is Moyes the Anti-Van Gaal? either way, the anticipation and excitement Van Gaal gives is phenomenal, even the players must be rather excited to start working with him

  26. mjcRED says:

    @Marco Soares

    All the players except Rooney and the others who have been on auto-pilot for a while now. There won’t be anywhere to hide with this guy and I can’t wait for him to impose his modern ideas and methods and update the out-dated, tactically naive style football that we’ve been playing for a fair few years now.

    Bring in the dutch school!

  27. Marco Soares says:

    @mjcRED

    Yeah, any player who is on auto-pilot mode will have it coming for them, and as of Rooney, I’m pretty sure Van Gaal will be more than happy to show him his balls, but who knows, Rooney could blossom under Van Gaal’s methods, we’ll have to wait and see

  28. Mark Reid says:

    Hello ROM people exciting times indeed.A quick question for all ya all. We’ve speculated quite a bit so far on incoming players any thoughts on outgoing?

  29. Marco Soares says:

    Selling players isn’t always so straight forward, I hear a lot of people on here mentioning Young and Nani and Fellaini but these players are on massive contracts and earn a shit load, Young will have to take a massive pay cut to leave us as I can’t see any club that would be willing to pay him what we pay him and Nani would also take a huge pay cut if he were to go to Juve for instance, players have a lot of power now days and some will be ok just being part of the squad and earning maximum wage til their contracts run out

  30. Tommy says:

    @Gary

    Missed the Argentina manager falling over, maybe it was when I was sleeping though because all 4 semis sent me to sleep. The Germans will probably win iy by default though because their is not 1 outstanding team left in it, its hardly a vintage German side but they wont care if they win it.

    @Sam

    Ive always liked the summer window for some reason, I love deadline day though, not sure why but in England the way sky sports news goes about it, it gets compared to xmas day, it is like a major event lol.

    @dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT

    Its only 1 year out of European football and I can say for 100% certainty that Juventus have 0% chance of winning the champions league, If Vidal didnt want to join United and prefered to stay in Italy I would 100% not want him because it would prove that hes not got the balls to play in a top league and instead prefers to stay in a low standard league were success is a garentee, simlar to Celtic in Scotland.

    @mjcRED

    That outdated style of play under Fergie still won him 2 out of 3 premier league titles against Manicini and Ancholotti and Wenger, Not bad for an outdated manager.

  31. mjcRED says:

    @Tommy

    It was out-dated and often outmoded when we came up against a canny, technically good european outfit, only proving successful when we came up against the chavs in 08. What i’m looking forward with Van Gaal, not this season obviously, is how we go about creating and imposing an effective style of play that will see us challenge and compete in Europe. The 2 wins under Fergie in this competition were highly fortuitous. I would love to see us develop and overpower teams convincingly. If we manage to achieve this, not only can we go about shutting the scourers up properly with their 5 european cups, we can also credibly begin to measure ourselves against the sides who have achieved far greater success in this competition than ourselves and begin to accurately see ourselves figure amongst the biggest clubs in the world.

    Surely it’s European cups that determine if we’re to honestly and deservedly consider ourselves amongst the top 5 or 6 top clubs and not how many replica shirts we can shift in the far east?

  32. Tommy says:

    @mjcRED

    Total nonsence, easy to shit on a man when hes no longer their to defend himself, United would of pissed the league last season if he was in charge, still winning titles in the era os sugar daddies. 2The 2 wins under Fergie in this competition were highly fortuitous.” Again nonsence, if you think winning it despite the hardest run on route to the final and missing youre 2 best players in the final is fortuitous then that says a lot more about you than the actualn truth, keep in mind that LVG has only won the compeition once despite managing Barca and bayern Munich, in suppose he is just unlucky not to have won it more?

  33. Tommy says:

    @mjcRED

    The best teams win league titles, even Mourinho hs said winning youre league is a must, bet Ancholotti has only won it 3 timews, 1 of them was with a sugar daddy, another in a 1 team league, so surely a manager with great tactics like Ancholotti should have more than 3 league titles to his name

  34. Anthony C Juliet says:

    Vidal is over-priced. And juventus are a greedy bunch.No where is he worth 45 mil plus nani. Maybe, 30mil plus ashley young. Or we can look at other cheaper alternatives.

  35. Marco Soares says:

    Ahhh the good old Fergie bashing starts again

    @ Tommy

    It must b tiresome for you to continually argue the same cause, like I said earlier, the lack of respect towards Fergie here is fucking disgraceful, 90% of the people on this blog would probably not even be United suppoters had it not been for Fergie yet the great man is treated as last nights leftovers at times

  36. mjcRED says:

    @Marco Soares and @Tommy.

    My above comments weren’t so much a dig at Fergie as they were at the majority of fans and the clubs constant claims of being the biggest club in the world, when quite clearly we’re not yet.

    The relative paucity of our achievements in the continents top club competition fails to back up our constant need to claim we’re bigger and better than everyone else. I realise the league is the single biggest barometer of a clubs domestic success, this can never, ever be under estimated. But there is no getting away from the fact that we’ve underachieved and largely underwhelmed in Europe whilst enjoying an unprecedented, sustained spell of domestic domination.

    Hopefully after a full season of rebuiilding the club from the ground up, Van Gaal will return us to the pinnacle of the club game that is the champions league and see us playing with a continental sophistication and guile that our overly english bluster or bust approach has seen us fall short all too frequently against the most tactically and technically shrewd of opposition sides.

    Fergie was awesome but it’s now time for a manager to really impose a plan to make us one of the elite in Europe and really challenge in the manner we’ve done for so long domestically. A manner which really would befit our currently mis-guided and inaccurate claims of being the biggest club in the world. With a year out of Europe, hopefully we will see Van Gaal sow the seeds of a side that can really flourish with a new more subtle and technically better style of play.

    Come on the Dutch school!

  37. Marco Soares says:

    @ mjcRED

    you make some valid points but remember Van Gaal has only won the european cup once and in Fergie’s last few seasons he did pretty well in Europe, we won the competition in 2008 and made the finals in 2009 and 2011 and lost to arguably the best club side of all time in Pep’s Barcelona and in 2010 we could’ve won it really, we were 3-0 up to Van Gaal’s Bayern and should of seen it through, we conceded a goal just before half time and then Rafael stupidly gets sent off (I know a lot here will blame the ref for the sending off) but why the fuck do you tug on someone’s shirt on the half way line when you’re already on a yellow (absolutely daft) and then in 2013 we played against a fantastic Real Madrid side who were craving La Decima and yet we left the Bernabeu disappointed with a 1-1 score and should have left with a win had Van Persie of all people finished off the best chance of the night, then in the return leg we were rather comfortable at 1-0 against Real and the fucking ref decides to send Nani off which really fucked up the whole game (what a cunt). not bad from Fergie who some say was not quite doing it at his old age, yes i’m sure Fergie himself would of liked more than 2 European cups through out his time at United but let’s remember that it is an extremely difficult competition to win, Real Madrid has finally won it again after 12 years and spending over a billion in assembling the best squad possible says it all really

  38. mjcRED says:

    @Marco Soares

    I guess you’re right. There were big key points in a number of those games which could have gone the other and perhaps led to the outcomes being different.

    What do you think about the chances of Vidal coming? Juve seem to be digging their heels in. If he doesn’t come and we’re left with limited options, from what I saw of Hectar Herrera for Mexico in the world cup he looked like he had the skill, energy and tenacity that would compliment Ander Herrera, Carrick etc. Surely would command nowhere near the same transfer fee either?

    I’ve also been keen on Djembele for a number of seasons and thought at the time Fergie missed a trick when offloading Berbs to Fulham, prior of course to the Belgian’s move to spurs. Again, his energy, drive and skill would serve us well and how on earth he was kept out by Fellaini in the world cup beats me!

  39. Marco Soares says:

    I do like Dembele and at the time I also wanted him at United but having watched a lot of him over the years I must say that for a player of his ability he doesn’t really offer much if anything at all in the final third, I think that ship has sailed, Vidal is quality though (let’s see what happens with Juve in regards to those negotiations). Hector Herrera is also a very good player and definitely someone to keep an eye out for but he is with Porto and he won’t be cheap at all, Porto’s president is one shrewd businessman and he doesn’t let their players go on the cheap. I must say I wouldn’t mind De Jong joining us, he is familiar with the league and the city and he was rather impressive at times with the Netherlands during the group stages and has also shown good leadership qualities and we all know about his tenacity and I think he also has very good positional sense (would be a fairly cheap option too) up to Van Gaal really if he wants him or not. Exciting times indeed though :)

  40. Tommy says:

    @Marco Soares

    It seems like I am fighting a losting battle as some times pal.

    @mjcRED

    Youre being extreamly harsh mate, If SAFwas managing United in the 70s and 80s, I can confidently predict he would have 5 or 6 but the champions league is such a difficult competiion with up to 4 teams from 1 nation competing, also no team has successfully defended it since its champions league days, United got the closet to doing that, as Marco pointed out its took Real madrid 12 years to win it again and how many world records have they broken in the process to win just 1? Also when United won the champions league, we didnt finish 3rd like madrid, SAF did it properley, winning the league and european cup (Add the FA cup in 99), youre not the best eam in europe unless you win the league as well, Bayern Munich did it properley 2 years ago!

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