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Dutch party: Inspired R&R haunts Spanish champs on Friday 13th

Spain football fans might one day log their 2014 World Cup adventure in a file titled: “How to lose a World Cup in five goals.”

Defending World Cup champions have made losing starts before; France lost 1-0 to Senegal 10 years ago and, 12 years earlier, Argentina was stunned 1-0 by Cameroon. But neither result was as emphatic as this 5-1 humiliation.

Spain could hardly have suffered a more crushing defeat if Ashworth Jack was head coach.

Photo: Netherlands forward Robin van Persie (left) celebrates with Netherlands' coach Louis van Gaal during their 5-1 dismantling of Spain. (Copyright AFP 2014/Lluis Gene)
Photo: Netherlands forward Robin van Persie (left) celebrates with Netherlands’ coach Louis van Gaal during their 5-1 dismantling of Spain.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Lluis Gene)

The Netherlands troops hid in the trenches and waited patiently for the chance to spring a forward pass to either of Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben. And each time, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas looked like a damsel surprised in her shower and looking frantically for a towel while a knife-wielding intruder made his mark.

God knows what the Dutchmen are capable of if Robin and Robben actually start passing to each other.

Earlier, Mexico shook off a horrible qualifying campaign to deservedly defeat a Cameroon team that never really showed up. Mexico’s 1-0 win places “El Tricolor” second in Group A although Brazil coach Luis Scolari probably won’t lose much sleep about the host nation’s next two fixtures.

If Spain recovers, though, it will set up an intriguing second round match-up between the hosts and reigning champions.

Spain might fear that contest more than the “Samba Boys” on this evidence.

Brazil is the only South American nation that was never conquered by the Spanish Armada and coach Vicente Del Bosque’s record in Brazil now stands at one goal scored and eight conceded from its last two outings, which includes a 3-0 loss to the host team in last year’s Confederations Cup final.

Photo: Brazil-born Spain forward Diego Costa (left) tries to get his shot past Argentina-born Italy defender Gabriel Paletta. (Copyright AFP 2014/Dani Pozo)
Photo: Brazil-born Spain forward Diego Costa (left) tries to get his shot past Argentina-born Italy defender Gabriel Paletta in an international friendly.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Dani Pozo)

Del Bosque hired a Brazilian guide this time in the form of Chelsea-bound striker Diego Costa. And Costa did show the value of local knowledge with his Fred-esque tumble for Spain’s opening penalty.

But then an alert Van Persie header seconds before the halftime break and a Robben finish, seven minutes before the interval, swung the initiative.

Del Bosque responded by introducing attacker Pedro for midfield workhorse Xabi Alonso rather than decorative playmaker Xavi.

Not since Pink Panther’s “Misprint” did a tiny typo produce such uproarious results.

Xavi was as anonymous as Emmanuel George, the Minister of… Ahmmm, let me get back to you on that one. And Netherlands took full advantage with three goals and umpteen more chances in the following 16 minutes.

Headlines would no doubt claim the demise of “tiki taka.” In truth, tiki taka died a year ago when Barcelona was humiliated by Bayern Munich and Spain was ripped apart by the Selecao in the Confederations Cup final.

Photo: Spain's defender Gerard Pique (right) trips Brazil's forward Neymar during the 2013 Confederations Cup final in Rio de Janeiro. (Copyright AFP 2014/Christophe Simon)
Photo: Spain’s defender Gerard Pique (right) trips Brazil’s forward Neymar during the 2013 Confederations Cup final in Rio de Janeiro.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Christophe Simon)

Del Bosque has been walking around with a stiff for the past 12 months like the two dudes in “Weekend at Bernie’s.” There was no hiding from that fact on this Friday the 13th.

AboutMr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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64 comments

  1. Pep must show his intelligence and adapt. Tiki taka cannot get the most out of Bayern’s most gifted attacking player who is Robben.

  2. The foremost team didn’t do what was required to refresh the squad so aging players who have won everything don’t have the edge anymore.

    The style and the worship of it isn’t dead. it is at a cross road though. Pep’s attempt to install the style in a team built to play counter attacking football was always going to be a big ask.

    Question is: Will Bayern retool for Pep or move him on?

  3. If the players can’t execute it against top opposition, then it is dead as a template for success in my opinion.
    The style isn’t dead but the worship of it is over.

  4. This game has exposed Tiki-Taka’s main weakness – its lack of emphasis on proper defending. Once a team has the speed to exploit the defense, they won’t be as worried any more …

  5. Agreed Lasana Liburd, Del Bosque was out-coached…the wry smile on LVH’s face told me he had it all planned out, play to the team’s strength, absorb pressure and hit on the counter…and as someone else mentioned, when you’re in desperate need of a goal, Torres CANNOT be your go-to man (As a CHELSEA fan I KNOW)…but lets’ see how he approaches the Chile game, which is now a MUST-WIN…Spain could be in trouble based on what I saw in Chile v Australia

  6. Tiki Taka isn’t dead. There is nothing wrong with the style of play itself. The players just cannot execute it in the face of strong opposition anymore as they have lost their edge.

    This has been on the cards since Barcelona were destroyed by Bayern in the CL. This is merely the international version of that loss.

    And don’t count them out just yet. It wouldn’t be the first time a team lost their opening game and still make the finals. Lots of football still to play.

  7. Yes Prince Borde. You know I rate Van Gaal. Silva has a mediocre scoring record so him getting a chance doesn’t say too much.
    Brian Springer I expected Holland to do well and knock out Brazil before crashing at the semifinal stage.
    So I figured they would do pretty well. But I didn’t pick them to win and i didn’t expect them to flatten Spain like that.
    I think it was a tactical triumph, which means del Busque has to really look at himself.

  8. Yes Patricia Smart, they did…BUT I reminded them that they also laughed at me 4 years ago when I predicted the Oranje would knock-out Brazil…the laughter abruptly ended on their side at that point…and STARTED on mine LMAO 🙂

  9. Brian Springer and they laughed at you eh??

  10. Lasana Liburd Xavi said Koke was his replacement I figure is Del Bosque with a poor selection

  11. Lol ok Brian Springer I stand corrected on that note!

  12. When allyuh reach on an actual football field against actual humans try an play tika-taka an tell me how easy it is..