Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spain vs Netherlands: Mark van Bommel Could be Decisive

Spain and Netherlands are heading into tonight’s much awaited World Cup final in Johannesburg. Both sides have some in-form key players who would like to put on a dominating show and win the match for their teams.

People are now busy discussing about the players like David Villa, Wesley Sneijder, Xavi and Arjen Robben. However, the Dutch holding midfielder Mark van Bommel could be the decisive factor in the match.

Mark van Bommel has been one of the most reliable players for Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk. It is not because he is the son-in-law of the Netherlands coach, rather it is because the way he has been nullifying the opposition attacks so far in the tournament. He has been successfully intercepting the opposition passes in the build up of their attacks. Even if needed, he takes the ugly route too by hard-tackling the opposition players.

To many, Bommel’s style may not go with beautiful football, but his strong physical presence in front of the Dutch backline has acted as a shield for the Dutch defense. His reliability has allowed Sneijder, Robben and Kuyt the complete freedom of concentrating only on attack. Along with Nigel de Jong, Bommel ensured a flawless Dutch defense.

Netherlands fans may not bother about whether Bommel plays ugly or beautiful football. They just want to win the World Cup title for the first time. Netherlands players know it very well that playing beautiful football has no value if they can not win the title.

The kind of dominance Johan Cruyff showed during their 1974 World Cup would be cherished by millions of football fans forever, but the bottom line is that they could not win the title in 1974 and 1978, being the losing finalists on both occasions.

Moreover, this is an age where showing complete dominance is very tough and winning matches single-handedly is almost impossible. Now-a-days, opposition teams always do their home works, taking helps from modern technology, and do everything they can to stop the opponent’s key players.

There are some other teams who also heavily relied on their holding midfielders in the World Cup Football 2010. Maradona made Javier Mascherano captain, while Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger has been one of the best players of the tournament. Gilberto Silva has done his job for Brazil, while Sergio Busquets has been pretty much impressive for Spain so far in the tournament. So, there is nothing wrong if Dutch coach wants another impressive or so-called ‘ugly’ performance from Bommel.

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