Netherlands, touted as one of the pre-tournament favourites, have crashed out of the Euro 2012 with Denmark in a thrilling climax to the 'Group of Death'. Apart from a fine early strike from Rafael van der Vaart, Holland were poor, ensuring that they finished bottom of Group B without a point to their name. It was the first time in more than a decade that the Dutch failed to reach the second round at either the World Cup or the Euros.
Geared up in black instead of their traditional orange, Netherlands were completely outplayed in this match by Portugal as well as in the last two matches. A team with huge abundance of individual talent had no idea what they were doing on the pitch. Having finished runners-up at the 2010 World Cup, the Oranje entered the Euros as one of the favourites but soon became the laughing stock.
The likes of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntellar, who were coming after fantastic performances for their clubs in respective leagues, were all over the place. The chemistry and bonding was not at all there to be seen. It was a mix of playmakers of different minds, always operating in accordance with their own opinions. Playing nine months with different clubs was the major factor here. Each of them is used to being the main man for their club's team attack but never gelled together. They were relatively confused while attacking.
Van Persie, who is one of the biggest transfer targets this summer for a number of clubs, missed opportunities after opportunities. He lacked decision making and apart from the one goal he scored against Germany, was poor throughout.
Robben, on the other hand, can arguably be seen as the better performers but it was the same old story for the Bayern Munich winger. Robben moaned about the presence of too many big egos in the Dutch squad, yet he himself was too selfish while on the pitch. He forgot that football is a team game and you have to pass around the ball. He also was a problematic personality in the dressing room- storming off the pitch after being substituted against the Germans.
For a team full of immense talent, ego was the biggest enemy for them and their coach – or rather soon to be former coach - Bert van Marwijk cannot deal with so-called 'big name' stars. Holland have not only embarrassed themselves, their fans and their country with three rubbish performances, they have also shown that they need a major overhaul in their team and the style of play they possess.