- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:33
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
“Germany were a harmonious orchestra, Holland a drunken oompa band without a conductor,” wrote De Volkskrant’s commentator Willem Vissers in the wake of the friendly defeat, which was witnessed by 2.6 million Dutch TV viewers.
Only two months ago Oranje were elevated to the number 1 spot in world governing body FIFA’s rankings, but their performances on the field since then have struggled to live up to that billing.
On Friday they could only draw 0-0 in Switzerland, while a 3-2 defeat in Sweden in their last European Championship qualifying match took the gloss off a previously flawless campaign.
To rub salt into the wounds, the Germans played the kind of fluid, adventurous football that has been a Dutch hallmark for 40 years, while their opponents looked shapeless and uncomfortable on the ball.
“Losing 3-0 to our neighbours is painful,” said coach Bert van Marwijk. “Defensively some of the details didn’t look good at the highest level.”
But he said the absence of key creative players such as Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart had been a factor. “If everybody is fit, we won’t fear Germany, but we will respect them.”
The third German goal, scored by the talismanic Mesut Ozil on 65 minutes, was typical of the evening, as Nigel de Jong gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and the Germans cut through the Dutch defence with a series of razor-sharp passes.
Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose, heading home a pinpoint cross from Ozil, supplied the other two goals in the first half.
Tuesday’s defeat was all the more bitter to swallow because it happened in Hamburg, the scene of a Marco van Basten-inspired victory for Oranje over the Germans in the 1988 European Championship semi-final.
“I thought we were on roughly the same level,” said captain Mark van Bommel. “But in two moments before half-time we threw the match away. That makes it look as if they were much better.”
Despite their recent setbacks, the Dutch will still rank among the favourites for next year’s European crown, and they could have an early chance of revenge for Tuesday if they draw Germany in the group stages. The draw will be made on December 2 in Kiev.