Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mark van Bommel: Is He a Loser?

Football fans always have the fascination to see the creative players like Pele, Diego Maradona, Youhan Cruyff and Zinedine Zidane mainly because they all used to play beautiful football. They always wanted to add artistic touch to the game.

So, naturally football fans would not love to see a player like Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel whose main job on the field is to destroy beautiful football by intercepting in opposition’s passes and crosses, and thus, nullifying the build up of opponent’s attacks.

However, does that mean holding midfielders like Mark van Bommel do not deserve any accolade? Does that mean players like Bommel can not contribute to the success of their teams? Is Mark van Bommel a loser considering his impact on the performance of Netherlands in the World Cup Football 2010?

Answers of all these questions should be ‘no’. The role of holding midfielder or defensive midfielder in today’s football has become very important and that is in evident in the performance of the holding midfielders and their impact on their teams in the recently concluded World Cup.

The role of a holding midfielder is very similar to that of a sweeper in the defense. Like sweepers, holding midfielders are free to roam around and their job is to intercept in opponent’s game and destroy the opponent attacks. Moreover, a holding midfielder also provides necessary back ups for their full backs who have attacking intents.

Mark van Bommel has done all these aforementioned tasks with sheer success in the World Cup and was instrumental behind Netherlands’ progress to the tournament final. Bommel, along with Nigel de Jong, formed a flawless shield for the Dutch defense and allowed the likes of Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt and Robin van Persie to concentrate only on attack without needing to worry about defense.

It is true that sometimes Bommel had to make hard tackles to stop the opposition players, but he picked up only 2 yellow cards in 7 World Cup matches. So, it seems the Bayern München captain may have played the role of destroying opponent’s game, but he has done it artistically, like what Pele, Maradona did in creating beautiful football.

Mark van Bommel is not the only holding midfielder who rocked the World Cup 2010. Players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sergio Busquets, Sami Khedira, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Diego Pérez have done the same role for their respective teams and had sheer contribution to their teams’ success.

Overall, Mark van Bommel is surely not a loser, though his team failed to win the title. Bommel has once again showed that how important a holding midfielder can be to a team and to what extent a holding midfielder can affect the performance of his team.

At last, Mark van Bommel has done the same job for his team that Claude Makelele once used to do for a dominating Real Madrid side that featured the players like Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo, Roberto Carlos and Raul.


  1. I think Mark van Bommel is the biggest loser in football history. The guy is an insult to football looks like he came just out of prison. He blocks the midfielders alright, he blocks them literally! I haven't seen such ugly display of football defence since I can remember. You have made a good point, but you chose a completely wrong example!

  2. Totally nonsense.
    You can quote many other midfielder that didn't have to resort to the anti sport tactics this animal (Mark van Bommel) resorted to.

    All in all they did not win the world cup and they are not being recognized as a second place champions because the brutality of their game was destroyed by the style they choose to play