By 1970’s Gooner
There are many pundits who have already given the World Cup crown to Spain. And they are of course picking the team in form after beating Germany in the semi final so comprehensively.
Yet I can’t help thinking that they will end up being disappointed. There are three strong reasons why this will be so.
Lack of a recognised goal scorer
Yes you might laugh considering that Villa is top scorer in the tournament at the moment. Yet due to Torres’s lack of fitness he is not playing in his natural position which is on the wing.
The goals he has scored have come from the all out pressure and dominant possession that Spain enjoys. If for any reason this rhythm is broken then the chances for goal will be greatly reduced.
Spain reminds me of Arsenal a lot. Too much possession which stifles the opponent. But for this to be effective you have to have a real killer of a forward. Arsenal lacked that last season and finally paid the price.
Things would be different for Spain if Torres was fit but he isn’t.
The Dutch have the players to break Spain’s midfield domination
Mark van Bommel the Dutch midfielder is expected to start alongside Manchester City's Nigel de Jong in the defensive areas of the pitch.
Both will aim to cramp Spanish style and invention. And I believe they have the capability to succeed.
Germany allowed Spain too much time to monopolise possession and construct their attacks. Holland have the players to counter that. Succeed at this and Spain will be reduced to a team running around like headless chickens.
It will then allow the space and time for Robben and Kuyt to hurt them on the counter attack. Sneijder and van Persie will, I feel, have a field day on Sunday. Bet on them to score.
Spain have already reached their peak. The Dutch can get there
Just as when Germany was scoring those four goals against a dismal England and Argentina I could not help but feel that they were reaching their peak too early in the tournament.
It proved very difficult for them to reproduce that form against Spain and that was the main reason I predicted that Spain would beat them.
The same applies now for Spain. Can they reproduce that form they showed against Germany? Will the Dutch lie back and let them walk all over them?
I doubt it.
The team that wins the World Cup is usually one that reaches its peak at the right time. Remember Italy last time out? Nobody gave them a chance during the group stages and they had a difficult time qualifying. They won the World Cup though.
Holland have not played that fantastically so far but they have progressed to the final beating Brazil on the way.
They are peaking at the right time….