In the run up to the WC1978, most people thought Oranje would never ever be able to reprise their Germany 74 performance. When it became clear that JC wouldn’t go, the odds became even worse.

And why exactly didn’t JC come? Some thought he was injured and didn’t want to fail. Others said Danny didn’t want him to go due to that swimming pool incident in 1974. Who knows?

Much later, the real reason was finally published. For those who don’t know: sometime before the WC, some Dutch idiot traveled to Barcelona and broke into the Cruyff house, with Danny Cruyff at gunpoint. Any Dutch person traveling to Barcelona only had to ask where JC lived and any taxi driver would take him there. This bloke pretended to be a journalist and when Danny answered the door, he drew a gun (not loaded, it appeared later) and gagged her. Johan was told to go to the bank to get some cash. I can’t remember what actually happened… Either the neighbours spotted the arse or Danny freed herself, but someone called the police. When they appeared, the guy broke down and surrendered. He was disturbed and a sad case and all that. I’m not sure if he went to jail or not, but since that moment – close before the WC – Danny was scared to remain at home alone and JC promised her not to go to the WC in Argentina. There you have it.

Happel

Ernst Happel, the maverick mastermind who coached Feyenoord and HSV Hamburg to the EC1 cup, was selected to coach Oranje to the world title.

Willem van Hanegem wasn’t in his best form. Injured and somewhat disenchanted with Feyenoord. Happel couldn’t promise his former protege a starting position and decided with Willem, that De Kromme shouldn’t come. A bit like Seedorf and Oranje: Seedorf is too good (and too dominant) to bench. Same with Willem. If he can’t play, you shouldn’t take him.

So, Johan didn’t come, Willem didn’t come… The Dutch fans were in shock. Without them, what could we achieve…?

On top of that, a number of Dutch media people and entertainers, followed by leftish politicians thought Oranje shouldn’t even go at all. The Argentina junta wasn’t too serious about human rights and stories about the atrocities committed in Argentina found their way to the Dutch media.

A whole media-circus was started, Holland needed to boycott the tournament.

The Dutch fans seemed to lose interest. We wouldn’t be able to get results anyway. It was a long way from home. The political situation… How on Earth could we expect to do as well as in Germany four years before?

 

Ernst Happel took the following players to Argentina (still not a bad group):

Jan Poortvliet * Ruud Krol * Wim Jansen * Jan Jongbloed * Arie Haan * René van de Kerkhof * Willy van de Kerkhof * Rob Rensenbrink * Johan Neeskens * Johnny Rep * Ernie Brandts * Piet Schrijvers * Dick Schoenaker * Adri van Kraaij * Piet Wildschut * Wim Suurbier * Dick Nanninga * Jan Boskamp * Hugo Hovenkamp * Wim Rijsbergen * Pim Doesburg * Harrie Lubse

Lots of PSV players. Youngsters like Poortvliet, Brandts, van Kraaij, Wildschut and Lubse weren’t your regular football heroes, but Happel saw their potential for the WC. Part of the Dutch games had to be played a high altitude and good lungs were essential. Happel had a good eye for these sort of things.

Soccer - World Cup West Germany 1974 - Final - West Germany v Holland

What I remember from the first round is the late time the games were boradcast.

Holland didn’t start well at this WC. We beat Iran 3-0 in the first game, with three goals by Rensenbrink (two penalties). The match against Peru ended in 0-0. Peru would win the group by the way. The last group match was against the Scots, with one Kenny Dalglish and Archie Gemmill. Rensenbrink scored the 1-0 (again a penalty) but the Scots came back into the game thanks to the aforementioned players. John Rep scored the essential goal, allowing Oranje to go through. It was a tight one. And the fans back home really didn’t believe in any good things anymore.

In the second round, Oranje drew Italy, Germany and Austria. Not an easy task. The first game was against Austria. Coach Ernst Happel, from Austria, had mixed the Oranje team up severely. The youngsters were given a chance and Happel picked Piet Wildschut and Ernie Brandts. And Piet Schrijvers replaced goalie Jan Jongbloed. The Austria of 1978 was a tough oppnent, with Prohaska and Hans Krankl in their midst. Ernie Brandts, however, made an end of the Austrian hopes after six minutes. At half time, Oranje led 3-0, with another Rensenbrink penalty goal. We won 5-1 and Oranje fever started again, back in Holland.

Holland – Germany was the next match, and a sort of revenge opportunity for the lost finals in 1974. Sepp Maier was still their goalie and Cruyff’s marker Berti Vogts was still one of the defenders. The inventor of the schwalbe, Bernd Holzenbein, was also present. Beckenbauer was replaced by young Kalle Rummenigge and Gerd Muller was replaced by one Dieter Muller. No relation. Germany took the lead twice, and Holland equalized twice. The rocket of Arie Haan will still be remembered by Sepp whenever he ate fish that’s a bit off. The 2-2 meant Germany could forget the finals. If Holland and Italy would draw, Germany would have a chance, but our Eastern neighbors forgot to win against Austria. Hans Krankl scored two to send the Germans back to the Heimat. The winner of Holland – Italy would move on to the finals, to meet Brazil. Or so it seemed…

In 1978, not conceding goals was as important for the Italians as it is today. Dino Zoff was synonymous to keeping a clean sheet. Roberto Bettega impressed with his hairdo and the young Paolo Rossi was too light and young to make a difference. Rossi’s time would come, although he did score twice in the first round. Italy took the lead, thanks to an Ernie Brandts own goal. A sliding/back pass while Schrijvers had left his goal to block the ball. Not only did Brandts score, he also injured his goalie. Schrijvers wasn’t able to play the finals. On the second half, the same Ernie Brandts took revenge, by copying Haan’s goal against Germany: a thundering shot from outside the box, passed Zoff. Arie Haan couldn’t accept this stealing of thunder and decided to give Brandts, and Zoff, their comeuppance by hitting the ball even harder from 30 meters. The 2-1 was enough to reach the finals, and Haan’s two goals would make him world famous.

Argentina would do the impossible in the other group: beating the strong Peru by 6-0, there with ousting Brazil from the finals. Holland had to face the host nation, again.

I remember the stadium being filled with an enormous amount of paper snippets and the hurricane like sound coming from the stands. It was clear that the organizers and fans wanted Argentina to win. With that support, they already were half a goal up. It was clear in the second round that Argentina got some help. They needed to beat Peru with a lot of goals, which seemed impossible with Peru’s form and quality in those days. The 6-0 win meant Brazil went home (arch-nemesis Brazil was definitely not supposed to play for the title in Argentina) and it also meant someone or some team received a nice Christmas bonus that year… The psychological warfare started at the toss. Rene van der Kerkhof had broken his hand and was playing with a manchette. The ref in the game against Italy was fine with it, but Daniel Passarella, the Argentine skipper, objected to the plaster hand of the quick right winger and the ref was cajoled into forcing the Dutchman to take the plaster off. Ernst Happel had seen worse storms in his life and knew how to play the game. Without help from grandmaster Johan C. (who was with Danny in Spain) the stoic Austrian told all Dutch players to grab their stuff and leave the pitch. Happel knew he was playing with fire, but the ref didn’t have the cojones to allow this happen and decided to allow Rene van der K. to play with his plaster. A psychological win for Ernst “Kein Geloel” Happel.

brandts 1978 italy

Ernie Brandts, scoring twice in this match. Once for Italy, once against them…

But there was more. After every match, the players needed to pee in some cup for doping control. Only the urine of the Argentine players was taken to a remote lab via a helicopter. Some time after the match, it became clear that one of the Argentines was actually pregnant… Yeah right….

Anyway, the game… Argentina scored the first goal – Mario Kempes scoring – in the first half. In the second half, Holland never looked like scoring and Happel did something that most fans couldn’t understand. Golden Goose John Rep, the guy with luck in his shoes and scoring many an important goal for Oranje, was taken off for Dick Nanninga, the 1978 version of Vennegoor of Hesselink.

In the 82nd minute, Happel was proven right.

René van de Kerkhof crossed the ball in to the penalty spot, where Dick Nanninga came gliding in for a typical Nanninga header: 1-1. A couple of minutes later, Oranje deserved a penalty when Johan Neeskens was clearly fouled in the box. A couple of 100 million viewers in the world saw this, except for the referee. But in the dying seconds, Ruud Krol gets to take a free kick. The ball is sent to Rob Rensenbrink who seems out of balance, but is capable of caressing the ball past goalie Fillol. The ball rolls tauntingly slow towards the goal but hits the bar. No goal. No victory for Oranje. No World Cup.

The extra time (2 x 15 minutes) was too much for Oranje. Kempes scored his second and Bertoni even scored the 3-1. Holland lost again to a WC host.

nanninga scoort

 

After the World Cup lots of conspiracy theories came to the fore. With Argentina’s semi finals game against Peru being the one that raised some brows.

Very recently more information came out on that topic but the Dutch internationals felt it was of no use to challenge the end result of the World Cup 1978. If Peru sold the semis to Argentina, Holland would be the rightful title holder for the record, but that’s clearly not how we want to win it (Bert and his merry troupe experienced this Dutch purity when they almost won Gold in South Africa with “shameful un-Dutch football….).

]

Thanks to Lucas Bezembinder

Here are the high lights of the games:

Holland vs Iran

Holland vs Peru

Scotland vs Holland

Holland vs Austria

Holland vs West Germany

Holland vs Italy

FINALS: Argentina vs Holland

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51 responses to “Memories of 1978 – only 78 days to go to Brazil….”

  1. laatdeleeuwnietinzehempiestaan says:

    Great writing Jan, love the “kein geloel” insert, a very 70s dutch expression that was. Thoroughly enjoy your blog.

  2. wilson says:

    great timing jan……I dont know what van gaal has in mind at this point in time….Hopefully not EPL.

  3. Mihran says:

    WOW Engelaar 😀 Goal was definitely better than Rooney’s one

  4. wilson says:

    something else that is very notable in the past was the subs that changed the game when they came on. I think thatis something that has been missing since 2010. no one to spark the team when we we are fading and damn we will need it in Brazil….. if we look at the squad now we still dont have those rage in players to compet toe to toe jus like hunter and RVP had all through out at international level. that is something I feel that is changing or should I say is dying. this is will be a intresting stratedy which Van Gaal needs to give a lot of consideration.

  5. Mohamed says:

    @DRB : Thank you for your reply bro. Let’s hope Kishna stays fit and develops into a new Persie “free of injury”. I agree with you that he looks much more talented than all other dutch players of his age group.

  6. Mohamed says:

    Great reading Jan. Thank you.
    I can imagine how Oranje chances declined after Cruyff and Hanagem were left out of the squad. 74 team was a better team , however. The 78 team could do the same achievement and even better , if it wasn’t for the bar , in more difficult circumstances playing in South America not in Europe.
    I have no great hopes for this WC , but I hope we can reach Quarter finals. It would be good imo with the current group.

  7. Tiju says:

    Arjentine players are always pregnent,i am sure in 2010 SA some spanish players too

  8. Mohamed says:

    http://www.ajaxinside.nl/items/lees/13699

    FdB give some advises to LvG for the game vs Spain.

  9. Huppie says:

    I was too young to remember ’74, although I have watched the games many times.
    I do remember ’78 well though, and some of the players were friends of my father, and yes I did play football with them in our back garden – those are treasured times. It was perhaps a different world back then.

    I also remember at the time that several players said they would have been scared to leave the stadium if they had won the final. This always bothered me very much.

    Thanks Jan for another great article.
    I do not think we can repeat the amazing effort of the last world cup, but, as you wrote, expectations were low in ’78 also. I don’t see that depth of talent this time, and the competition is a different animal, but strange things can happen in the beautiful game.

  10. DRB300 says:

    Oke, so first half ended 0-0. France opened stronger than the Netherlands but more towards the end Netherlands took more initiative. The the break. After the break there was 1 sub, Paal for Slabbekoorn. Right at the start Netherlands took the lead through van de Beek. And right now I see that Bergwijn made it even 2-0! Exciting start of the game.

    Netherlands clearly came out all guns blazing from the dressing room. Let’s wait and see what the collapse capability/liability of this U17 team is….

  11. DRB300 says:

    There is the 2-1 from France. Marcus Thuram smashed the ball in.

  12. DRB300 says:

    Boom! Netherlands answers within a minute. Pass from Avest and another goal from Bergwijn. Why did Ajax ever let him go?

  13. DRB300 says:

    France takes more and more risk, which results in many chances for both teams. Segun Owobowale for Steven Bergwijn. pressure is mounting. Ter Avest gets his seocnd yellow, red card and Netherlands plays with 10 men. Van der Meer for van der Moot.

  14. DRB300 says:

    Yes! Game over for France. Netherlands U17 wins with 3-1 from France. Good result I must say. Coach got his first good result against a big country at when it counted. Moot did not score again, questionable choice, but at least Netherlands qualifies for the Euro again.

    Good stuff.

    • goldstone says:

      thanks, DRB!

      • Gabriel says:

        Cheers for the victory too!!
        But I have a worry, How is possible that Nouri only played like 45 minutes in the three games?? He has lost his magic or something?? DRB300?
        On a side note is good to see that Paal and Slabbekoorn are raising his level game by game!
        Van de Beek seems very interesting also!

        • DRB300 says:

          Keyword here: Balance.

          Obviously the coach was afraid for the turn over situations. Also keep in mind who is sitting next to him, van Bommel who already fires one “winning at all cost” quote after the other and is drenched in van Marwijk coaching philosophy. They did not want to be hit on the counter probably.

          This results in 2 balance cones in midfield in van de Beek and Schuurman. That only leaves 1 creative spot open. That’s why I said earlier that Nouri, Paal and Slab are played out against each other for the 10 position, especially when it suddenly hits you that a simple tap in striker like van der Moot has scored an impressive 0 goals and 0 assist in the 3 full games he played, missing some chances my grandma would make. How is it possible we let technical refined players watch these statues from the bench having arguments with the ball all the time?

          Fact is that Slab can play striker, having the Aguero model in mind and one of Paal or Nouri could play 10 with 2 locks on the door behind them still in place. That option has not been tried, even earlier in the 4 country tournament in Portugal IIRC. Out on the wing yes, but not 3 or even 2 in the center of the team behind each other sacrificing the traditional strikers that were selected.

          I could also make it a tad spicy and say its strange how van der Moot was not even selected before and now all of the sudden gets full minutes game after game when it really matters, keeping his spot without scoring any goals or assisting. Van Bommel also happens to be the coach of PSV B1 if I am not mistaken …. 😉

          Anyway it bothers me we have not a coach who is looking for a formula fit all 3 in or even 2 for that matter. That being a given, why Slab over Paal and him over Nouri? Well Paal and Slab are physically a bit more developed and Paal just returned from a serious bone fracture of his calf IIRC so that is his thing vs Slab. Also both Paal and Slab are players that can really run past a player, while Nouri is more a pass master. In a dynamic team a pass master is splendid to ping through balls all the time and launch the pleyrs that make these runs, but with more static team play that I suspect this coach from playing a guy who can create dynamism on his own by running past his marker is a plus and more than welcome. It think we have to look into that direction.

          Pic from after the whistle: http://i.imgur.com/INYf5F6.jpg

          Cheers

          • Gabriel says:

            Thanks DRB, very interesting insight as always, the thing is that Nouri is certainly a less physically player than Paal and Slab.
            The big red flag is that our U17 coaches seems to go for the physical play instead the technical. I dont know why we should play with 2 locks like Shuurman and Van de Beek in some early stages, Spain doesnt play like that, France does I think.
            The thing is that we have to go back to our 4-3-3 with Nouri in the Iniesta role.
            I liked your lineup with Slab in the Shadow striker role.
            Slab seems to have more goal instinct than Van der Mot. We really shouldnt go for the Huntelaar tipe of player if the NT team play with the RVP type!!
            Maybe the KNVB should notice this, and let the technical players play instead the physical ones.
            Cheers and thanks again, I didnt knew that Paal was so badly injured, It is great to see him in such a good shape!

  15. wilson says:

    Krul situation at Newcastle has deteriorated over the last few weeks and with Arsenal speculation on stekelenberg surfacing…dont know who might be NO 1 GK AT WC …..

  16. steen says:

    Depay and brenet have had a scrap in training and depay sparked brenet!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW92l_i44GI

  17. Srinjoy says:

    Michel Vorm
    Forced into making several saves – though not tested as often as Arsenal would have liked – and largely dealt with the Gunners’ threat with comfort until the home side’s late strikes. Powerless for both goals.

    vs.

    Tim Krul
    Pulled off a cracking stop to prevent Lukaku from giving the visitors the lead but was powerless to stop Barkley from firing home. Did not look too confident when crosses were lofted into his six-yard box, often opting to stay on his line.

    Vurnon Anita
    Caused Everton few problems in the midfield despite his tireless work and produced a contender for miss of the season when he failed to convert Ben Arfa’s cross at the back post.

    vs.

    Arjen Robben
    The Dutchman was a constant threat in the first half, beating Van den Bergh for fun, but couldn’t provide an end product.

    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
    Fired over with his only opportunity early on and struggled to get into the game thereafter. Regularly got too involved with the referee.

    vs.

    Luuk de Jong
    Looked to pose the visitors some problems with his aerial presence but the Everton centre-backs dealt with him pretty easily on the whole. Came off for Ben Arfa as Newcastle looked to inject some much-needed pace into their game.

  18. Van Banger says:

    Great article Jan, it’s funny how when I watch the replay so the final I still think we can win it even though it was in 1978. I guess the pain just won’t go away!

  19. Tiju says:

    My parents were not married at 1978,i came to know abut dutch football in 1993-94..i read news paper stating abt cryuff legacy,then 94 match brazil..the history and astonishing games of orange in 1998 under hiddink,but i am sure if was seeing dutch under bert van marwijk and kuyt like players in dutch team,i would have never been a fan of dutch.
    I am sure duthc has admiration india based on history,but clearly dutch was not favorite team vs Spain at final.

  20. ferenc says:

    with rensenbrink’s last minute golden occasion the 78 final was even more painful than the 74 final…

  21. DRB300 says:

    Some news:

    * The group games of the Netherlands in Brazil are all sold out (vs. Spain, vs Australia, vs Chili).
    * This is how the away shirt looks like and I think the shirt worn against Spain: http://tinyurl.com/plev98g
    * KNVB and Guus made their collaboration final with a signature. Ruud and Blind are the assistants. Guus wants Wouters with the staff if that is possible.

  22. OhYeah says:

    Guus who? Hiddink?

  23. wilson says:

    I think it will a resurgence of NT under Hiddink jus like in 1994 -1998.He will certainly have a no of talents to work with and our U23 also will be matured enough to take the NT to a new dimension. IF you look at the CB department now we are definitely facing crisis going into the WC, but come around 2016-2018….lets see, Bruma, Rekik, Van Dijik, Veltman,BMI,De Vrij, Douglas, Denswil all will be fighting for that two spots. this kind of internal competition is what bring the best out of players. GKs, RBs, LBs, DMs,LWs, RWs…..we will covered in most of the position apart from the forwards and CM which might need some attention but overall it will be good outings for NT under Hiddink and his company. this with eredivise dutch players who will go for bigger european clubs will add for ingredient to Hiddinks soup.

    • Laurent says:

      I don’t agree with people who say we have better defenders now.

      Maybe they forget that Mathijsen-Jaliens-De Cler have reached EL semi finale in 2005 with AZ, the first one going to HSV, Boulahrouz also went to HSV and got a deal with Chelsea, Kromkamp with Villareal and Liverpool, Heitinga with Atletico madrid, Bouma with Aston Villa…

      In the list Veltman-Denswil-De Vrij-BMI-Bruma-Janmaat-Blind-PVA etc. I can bet that half of them will be playing in little russian or turkish teams. The other half will be playing in sub PL or bundesliga teams like Pieters and Verhaegh do. I don’t see any of them becoming an important defender in a good club, even if they get a deal with Milan or Valencia like Emanuelson and Maduro did, they will be sub players there.

      The transfers market is really busy and eredivisie players don’t have a good reputation anymore. Look at players like Biseswar, Lorenzo Ebecilio, , Enoh etc. they were average/good eredivisie players, and now they play in Kayserispor, Ebecilio went to Azerbaijan…

      If they are not good enough for a major league, they will prefer to go to East Europa where they will get good salaries rather than staying in Holland where they earn really bad.

      The future of many dutch players is in East Europe, I’m not against cause those leagues are developping economically and also with the sport aspect. Russian league has a good general level, not less good than France or Italy for me (if you remove PSG and Juventus), Ukraine and Turkey have some good clubs and the little ones are developping, even countries like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will come in the market coming years, a club from Azerbaijan brought Melvin Platje from NEC last year, offering him about 900ko per year, while he was getting about 150ko with NEC…I bet we will see this more and more in the future.

      • wilson says:

        Laurent……I think it will also be ntresting to see where Van Gaal, Koeman and even FDB end up given the Bacelona, Man United,Tottenham are all looking for profilic coaches. I dont think FDB will think twice if the call form Bacelona or even Man United comes knoching on his door and if it does we might see him reciriting his top players from Ajax with him. Van Dijik seems to he the hot property at Celtic….Rekik given his age and the probabilty of him being the starting LB for NT at WC….city might decide to hold on to him unless someone comes with a good package. Veltman is also another hot property at Ajax and could be centre of attraction based on his performance after WC. I also think Chelsea has a the buy out clause for Bruma shall PSV decide to sell him.

        The thing I reckon is important if more teams starting chasing for the eredivise title and hence free ticket to CL. If you look at Ajax has always have good lock on their players coz they are always guranted that CL competition with the elite clubs of the europe and they are technically aware that they wont get that chance with sub teams in other leagues. if you look at Ericksen and Toby Alderwire ….they made the move at the right time to the teams which are now thriving. I think teams like Feyenoord, PSV should start taking steps to dethrow Ajax from the sumit so that more players are exposed to CL competition.

        • wilson says:

          I think it also comes down to some who want to take chance and redeem themselves to next level which necessarily doesnt happen everytime. if you look at Fer you can tell that he went to the wrong team but at the same time his performance often stands out in the team. I think he failed the medical at Everton at the last moment and had no choice but look for another option coz the intrest as already been jeopardized with the apparent club with the possibity of being rejected or being frozen. A good example was senijder situation at Inter before joing Gala.

  24. DRB300 says:

    http://tinyurl.com/pqhlqub

    Interesting that Stekelenburg, the U17 coach, highlights 1 player: van de Beek. He is the only player together with Nouri who got promoted early at Ajax to the A youth IIRC. It’s funny with these kind of things that the eye might be fixated on 1 very skillful looking player (Nouri), while silently another player is making serious steps.

    Stekelenburg equated him to Strootman. He paints a picture of a pretty complete player. With Netherlands he plays more defensive (though he did score the first goal vs the French being up field), while with Ajax he plays in a more advanced midfield position. He emphasizes that the player has a lot of tactical insight in his locker. Those are often the ideal son in laws that can carry out the coaches orders on the field.

    Netherlands produces quite some players that play box to box. I have the idea that this is a player to keep an eye on. His talent is build on a right mentality. He is a fighter, level headed and has tactical insight. This is such a de Boer favorite kind of player.

  25. Tiju says:

    when players where moving to another club(especially younger ones).they must look in to quality of players of the upcoming club and there chance of development(mostly playing time).
    Leory fer was very unlucky that he got in to a club which has bunch of headles chiken players.
    Marco van ginkel moved to a club whre they can buy any player in the world and simply kills the game by buying all the good players for just23 spots,just look at the players from chelsea playing for vitsee alone,that really sucks.
    Another plastic money team is Mancity,and am glad that Reikik has realised what kind of mistake he made,he wants to be with eithodhoven a year or two i heard.
    I just think what if shit moyes buys Strootman and vanginkel for 28 million instaed of paying 28m to fellaini???As a Manu fan i really hate this moyes,who has got know skills to understand who is better player,.Shit coach always looking for physical and headless chikens.HE MUST BE SACKED for bad sigings and not siging 2 gems of dutch.

  26. DRB300 says:

    Some Dutch NT related news:

    * The Dutch FA (KNVB) has voted for the new “Nations League” that UEFA wants to start. I believe a kind of similar setup exists in ice hockey, not sure. Anyway the 54 country’s of UEFA will be divided in 4 divisions. The best country’s get in the groups of the highest division (division A). San Marino, Andorra etc. get into division D. Other kind of country’s somewhere in between. This way Netherlands gets to play only top country’s. Friendly’s will become kind of a thing of the past or will just not happen that much anymore. This is also a bit of a replacement for that, making the games interesting. The winner of Division A gets a wild card for the Euro. Country’s can also promote and relegate between the divisions.

    The only question I have is now that FIFA make their ranking the single measuring stick to get seeded for the WC, if Netherlands is able to ever start managing their ranking position all that well. Playing the best (Germany, Spain, France is rising) can lead to successive losses while going for games against sub top country’s would have lead to wins and much more points. I was also expecting FA’s to hire people who are experts in guiding this process of aiming for the best FIFA ranking (peeking) to the day when FIFA uses it to determine the seeding for the WC. They must have learned from their total **** up playing China and Indonesia in the same year the seeding was determined. Reminder: not playing them had gotten us seeded for the WC.

    Other than that, we will get interesting games in succession this way. Moving from Germany to Spain to Italy etc.. Hope we don’t relegate soon to B division ;). Though in a weird way, it might be beneficial when the timing is right concerning the seeding system for the WC (pull a Switzerland, though they beat Brazil and Germany before that). I am unable to see if this is the case though.

    KNVB says that it benefits the Dutch NT. More money comes in as a result of interesting match ups and harder competition will make players better.

    * Expectations are that Hiddink’s presentation will happen within a week or so. Pretty quick anyway.

    * Porto Alegre, the city that hosts the game Netherlands vs Australia was close of pulling out as an organizing city. The problem was of course money. José Fortunati wanted to solve that by by giving the company’s who invest in the stadium a free of tax card. City’s parliament thought that was not prudent towards the population, but voted for the proposal anyway. So the game should be save.

    Cheers

    • Sol says:

      about Porto Alegre, if the investing companies are getting a tax break, in essence, it’ll be the population that is paying for the stadium and the companies that take all the credit and commercial benefit after the WC as well (while getting their money back from the other taxpayers).

      As always, there will only be a few that wll truly benefit financially from the WC, and it won’t be the population that ends up paying for it (except for the crumbs that drop of the table).

      And of ourse businessmen that wanna make money will say that the WC games there are in jeopardy if they don’t get their money. It’s not surprising that the politicians there also choose the side of the companies involved, their future careers (and thus salaries) depend on it, just look at where Wouter Bos is working now, it works somewhat the same in the Netherlands and many other countries with what was called the ‘economic crisis’. There’s always a crisis when certain people want to hoard more money in their direction, or just after they’ve already hoarded or channelled it in their direction (and those of their ‘friends’/associates) in the case of the economic crisis.

      • Sol says:

        edit: and it won’t be the population, that INSTEAD ends up paying for it (I forgot the comma so now it looked like I said that the population WON’T be paying for it, which is the opposite of what I meant).

  27. wilson says:

    the nations league has been in the pipeline for sonetime now…..It has been earmarked for 2018.

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