By Mark Vincent Lincir
Talk about getting the short end of the stick. The Netherlands, a never-winner of the World Cup, looks very good this tournament. Unfortunately, because of the luck of the draw, they face an unbeatable Brazil side on Friday and will go home, yet again, WITHOUT a World Cup title.
Think about that for a moment and let it sink in…the Netherlands has never won the World Cup. Now, are you ready to put away your copy of the “Q” report (which had the U.S. winning the 2010 World Cup) and finally acknowledge how difficult it is to win this thing?
Photo from fOTOGLIF
Speaking of the “Q” report, which was written by Portugal head coach Carlos Quieroz a number of years ago on US Soccer’s dime (I’ll write something similar for half the cash, and I will predict that the U.S. will not win the World Cup anytime soon…at least I’m being honest) and predicted that the United States would win the 2010 World Cup…it was ironic to see his own side, Portugal, go down in flames in the second round. Too much talent to not get farther in the tourney, he’ll be gone soon, if he isn’t already.
So back to the Netherlands…they haven’t won the World Cup and I don’t think they can get by Brazil tomorrow. Dunga has Brazil playing too smart, too efficiently…and most of all…IT’S BRAZIL SILLY…you don’t beat these guys in World Cups. That will leave only Spain as the only legitimate contender still in it that hasn’t won a World Cup yet and I don’t think they’ll be able to get past their semifinal opponent.
Back to the drawing board, chances are we will have yet another former winner in 2010 and it will still keep the most elite list in sports (seven World Cup winners) intact for another four years.
The Ghana v Uruguay match-up is intriguing for a lot of reasons. Most of all, Uruguay is a two-time winner of the World Cup…sure it was a while ago. BUT THEY STILL WON IT TWICE!
I would love to see them get past Ghana, pull off the miracle win in the semis and get to the Final…and maybe win it for the third time. Don’t count Uruguay out…again two-time winner, that does count for something. Ghana will have the home crowd behind them and I’ll bet most home fans will bring two vuvuzelas with them! Can you imagine that?
I’m still pissed off…oops, I mean frustrated with the way the United States lost the other day. Coach Bob Bradley should have already been fired by making TWO mistakes with his starting lineup…we all know what they were…Findley up front and Clark at center midfielder. Players can’t make these decisions, coaches do…and when a coach messes up so badly that an entire country knows which decisions were WRONG, you have to get rid of him. He has no credibility. He’s another “A” licensed guy guilty of over-coaching of over-thinking…oh, but wait, that’s his M.O….that’s what everybody loves about Coach Bob is how he thinks about everything before he says it. How he is a student of the game and is always studying film…etc, etc…well, maybe all that stuff is incredibly OVERRATED! Because his job, first and foremost is to put the best players on the field in the best spots to put them in the best position to get a positive result. And when he had the chance to do that, with the whole country watching…he FAILED.
Pure and simple…he failed. The United States would have beaten Ghana that day (to take nothing away from Ghana, they are a good team)…if he had started Clint Dempsey up front with Altidore and Benny Feilhaber at outside midfielder and Maurice Edu at center midfielder (is that like 14 starters? So what, just do it!). That lineup was staring him in the face the whole time…but see, what coaches like Bob do, is they over-think it.
And they want to do something you don’t think they’ll do so it looks like they’re coaching…but then they go and play two starters (it’s really three, but I’m not even going the Michael Bradley doesn’t belong there route today) that don’t belong out there and they screw it up for an entire country who could have possibly have gone to the SEMIFINALS of the World Cup…and then he really doesn’t even seem like he’s owning up to much of a mistake afterwards because he knows that he’ll most likely get his job back…and it all just smacks of a scenario that involves a country that wants to move forward with its national team, but a Federation that won’t let it.
Bob needs to be given his walking papers so that the United States can hire Jurgen Klinsmann to be its next national team coach. That will show the country, its fans and most of all…its players that we are serious about competing for the World Cup. To stay with Bob for another four years shows one of two things: either the Federation doesn’t know any better (that’s my vote)…or they don’t care enough to give this country’s players the best coach that they possibly can. I do think that they care…they just don’t know any better…and they’re hell bent on protecting a system that we all know is extremely flawed.
PREDICTIONS: Brazil 1 Netherlands 0…Uruguay 1 Ghana 0…and Coach Bob keeps his job.
Mark Vincent Lincir is the Editor-In-Chief of www.90soccer.com You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter now too!