future is orange
6 reasons Holland will win the World Cup
Holland, Netherlands. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. This is the year The Oranje go all the way.

1. Dark horses, bright future


Perhaps, but aren’t you better off having the know-how of how to get all the way to the final than not having a notion.

Holland have been to the mountain top in 1974, 1978 and last time out in 2010, but they have only silver medals to show for their efforts.

That’s the bad news, but we don’t have to think very long or hard to think of another perennial dark horse who eventually came good. Admittedly, Spain were powered by one of the greatest club sides of all time when they dominated world football, but if you put any store in the adage ‘you have to lose one to win one’, then the Netherlands will have the requisite desire and lessons learned to make that final step.

2. Who’s down with RVP?

The Oranje captain hasn’t exactly run himself into the ground with Manchester United this season, but when the mood really takes him he is a formidable opponent.

Soccer - 2014 World Cup Package Martin Rickett Martin Rickett

International fixtures are played out a slower pace than the top reaches of club football and Van Persie has the ability to drop deep and influence the flow of games as well as produce devastating finishes.

3. Short-term goals

There’s no denying that the Netherlands are in a difficult position. Group B is the group of death with reigning champions of everything, Spain, and Chile looking to oust the 2010 runners-up before the knock-out stage.

South Africa Netherlands WCup Soccer AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Holland, though, have arguably been pitted against Spain at the ideal time – first. Victory on Friday night would give the Oranje momentum an enormous boost and put them in the best possible position to avoid Brazil in the round of 16.

Getting to the easier side of the draw would see them take on Croatia/Mexico/Cameroon in the last 16 before a semi-final against either the best of England’s group D or the runner up from Colombia and Ivory Coast’s group C.

4. The Gaffer

Manchester United fans may be forgiven for having a soft spot for the Netherlands. Not only is their best player leading the line, but momentum for Holland means momentum at Old Trafford.

There must be concern in some quarters of the low lands that Louis Van Gaal will be distracted by looming shadow of his next gig, but our suspicion is that it will have the opposite effect.

Netherlands WCup Soccer AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

LVG will be fully focused, for sure (as they shay in Holland), but he knows that if all that orange hope fades to grey he will still have a job to walk into.

Add in the perception of Dutch football  after their horrible three-defeat-from-three Eur0 2012 and Van Gaal will be under very little pressure at the tournament and his players can use that to their advantage.

5. Holland, now with extra tactical flexibility

Under Van Gaal, the slavish devotion to the 4-3-3 formation has been broken. The 2010 runners-up were unbeaten in qualifying for this tournament with nine wins from 10 outings and they will most likely shape up in a fluid 5-3-2.

Brazil Soccer World Cup Preview AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

While three-at-the-back is the favoured gameplan of very few people, it does show that these players have the nous to switch around through different tactical approaches. And, hey, if they to revert to three attackers, they’ll hardly be about as concerned as ducks approaching water.

6. Youth and experience

Bert Van Marwijk captured the imagination of absolutely nobody by helping Holland into the World Cup final and that ageing team has, for the most part, been disbanded.

Only four of the team that started in Johannesburg are likely to make the starting XI again.

Obviously Arjen Robben can be a major attacking threat and has an experience of scoring in the biggest games while Nigel de Jong and Wesley Sneijder can also add their experience to the pot.

The youthful exuberance can be added by Jordy Clasie, Daley Blind and Bruno Martins-Indi, but the formation means that these names will not be hung out to dry, in defence and midfield they will be well flanked with bigger names to ease the pressure.

 The greatest World Cup tragedies: Holland 1974

The cult World Cup teams we loved: Brazil 1982

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