Netherlands v Spain: a Dutchman’s World Cup ‘Who Are You?’


Edgar Meyer – Eddie G to pals – is a passionate Feyenoord fan, which will instantly endear him to those Sunderland supporters who established loose links with followers of that club a few years ago (probably a result of Mackems finding work in Rotterdam). There’s also a hint of Spanish in Eddie’s cosmopolitan family background, but he’s paying the price for earlier good fortune by living, for now, in Doncaster. Oh, and he’s approaching Sunday’s final in confident mood …

Salut! Sunderland: Not a classic World Cup, in most people’s eyes, but your country is in the final. Are you surprised to have got through or were you always confident?

I knew we’d reach a far round, definitely the quarters, maybe the semis, when we ended up with Brazil in the Quarters and beat them, I got alot more confident about going all the way.

Spain seemed to raise their game against Germany after some unimpressive earlier displays. Does it bother you that they will probably start as favourites?

I still can’t say Spain really raised their game that much, they seem to just be going through the motions, does it bother me? Not at all, Holland are the underdogs most of the time; we were a far shot 15/1 to win the tournament before the start, now we’re in the final, we like being the underdogs, makes us try harder to prove ourselves and pull it out of the bag.

Give me your assessment of the South Africa tournament, highs and lows

The tournament has been amazing, the African atmosphere truly awesome, apart from the annoying vuvuzelas. Seeing teams like Italy and France get knocked out early was of course a big shock, although a pleasant one. The only real downside was of course the refereeing, so many mistakes and cock-ups or just straight-up cheating, it’s horrendous.

Salut! Sunderland has been full of words about cheating of one kind or another: diving, pretence at injury, shirt-pulling and haranguing referees to get opponents booked or sent off. I’d say the Dutch have played their full part in that. Do you accept that that?

I wouldn’t say a full part, there’s a few players there that are extremely good at it, in the World Cup 2006 we had a skit they kept showing on tv with Robben showing you just how to dive. We have Robben and Van Persie, who both learned their tricks of the game at Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively, what else would you expect?

Explain your slightly complicted Dutch-Spanish family split. Will Sunday divide the household?

My stepdad will be fine, he’ll be a neutral, as an Englishman. Of me, my mum and brother however, me and my mum are 99 per cent behind Holland, and a little one per cent behind Spain due to our living there for eight years, and my six-year-old brother being born there, and being considered Spanish. The problem is, my brother’s six, so if, or should I say when, Spain lose, me and my mum will obviously be cheering loudly, and my brother is the kinda kid who will take that personally. But what the hell, it’s the World Cup!

Who have been the players of the tournament and who has/have disappointed most?

Considering Klose had such a bad season at Munich with six goals, that West Ham were about to get him on a free, and for him to rebound and score four in six so far, he definitely deserves a nod for the player of the tournament, of course along with Villa and Sneijder.

As far as disappointment, I don’t think I have to tell you Rooney and Terry had an atrocious World Cup, along with of course Torres. But looking at the Holland squad, I’ve personally been quite disappointed with Van Der Vaart, he’s not quite reached what he can do, apart from the semi-final, but ITV showed plenty of shots of the Dutch WAGs there, so there might have been some extra incentive.

Some pundits wrote dismissively about the traditionally strong European countries having fallen from grace as one by one – France, Italy, England – they left the World Cup early. Yet we ended up with three three European teams in the semis and an all-European final. Exlain the South American failures.

I think UEFA President Platini described this best, the under-21 teams of the last 10 years have set the world on fire, winning any tournament in sight, and these teams have shone through and proven themselves on the big stage too. We have a young team, such a young team, that I won’t be surprised if this team won’t be in or near the final in Brazil.

Club v country: do you have a Dutch club of choice or an English one for that matter, and do you tend to put club or country first?

I do have a Dutch team, I’m from just outside of Rotterdam, so I’m a huge Feyenoord fan, so it’s the local team so I do tend to put club first, but our team right now is full of Dutch under 21s, we have the future in our team, so the horizon looks bright for both club and country.

How and where will you watch the game and what will be the score?

I’m looking on flight sites a lot, hoping to find a cheap deal to get to Holland for the final, but I will probably just be watching at home, in front of the TV, 2 big Dutch flags hanging out the window. As for the score, I think we’ll keep to the tradition of this World Cup, we’ve won five out of our six games by a one goal difference, and I don’t think this game will be much different, I’m going for another 2-1.

* Eddie G on Eddie G: I was born 22 years ago, the year Holland won the European Championship, and around 12 hours ago from this interview, my girlfriend (who’s halfway across the world) gave birth to our daughter Jolene, so it would be a magical year if we can win the World Cup as well. As for what I do, I work in the hospitality business, which is one of my greatest passions, gladly enough. My interests include watching and playing football, and most sports really. I’ve had my travel experiences, as I’ve lived in four different countries and been to a long list of others.

7 thoughts on “Netherlands v Spain: a Dutchman’s World Cup ‘Who Are You?’”

  1. By the way, thanks to Luke for giving me Colin’s email, had a good time answering these questions. 🙂

  2. Thanks for all the positive feedback, as far as the octopus goes, he hasn’t got a 100% record, he was wrong during the final 2 years ago. 😛

  3. I think the psychic octopus has only excelled when picking the Germans results. Given the rivalry that exists between Holland and Germay I wouldn’t be putting too much faith in the tentacles of anything Teutonic. Not even Paul the octoped.

    I agree with Eddie about Spain. They will need to do a whole lot better. The only thing stranger than an Octopus picking winners is the notion of a Dutch lad finding gainful employ in Doncaster, which earlier this week was reported as currently being one of the worst five places to find work in the UK.

  4. I also believe our psychic octopus friend has gone for the box on the right every single time.

    With his obvious ploy of sticking with a winning formula you’d expect it to fail sooner or later. Despite this, I may just put my faith in the octopus.

    And that’s not a phrase I ever imagined I’d say.

  5. Good, realistic assessment of the team but I think Eddie’s wrong about the score. I agree with Luke — this will be a one-goal game and not a terribly edifying spectacle.
    I said at the start of the tournament that I thought Spain would win it but that the Netherlands would be there at the finish. I think now the Dutch might just pull it off.
    Bert van Marwijk’s team has done exactly what he said they would — played the kind of football they needed to win. It’s never been pretty, it’s sometimes been downright ugly but it’s been effective. Eddie is right in saying that Spain didn’t raise their game that much against Germany. It was the Germans who lowered theirs.
    I see that Paul, the octopus that seems to have correctly predicted the outcome of all Germany’s games, is forecasting a German win over Uruguay and a Spanish win in the final. I think Paul will have a 100-per-cent record through Saturday but will lose it Sunday. Not that I believe anything an octopus tells me, you understand…..

  6. I wouldn’t even say it’s van Persie or Robben who I’ve been disappointed with in terms of antics on the pitch, it’s van Bommel for me.

    A shame as I’m quite taken with Bayern Munich, but some of the stunts he has pulled even make shirt-pulling and diving look acceptable. Kicking out and lashing at players as he goes down, then feigning injury afterwards. Very disappointing to see.

    As for the final, I have no real interest in either side. I’ve said if Spain bring on Bilbao player Llorente then I will support them, but as del Bosque seems to prefer playind a small Villa as a target man rather than an actual target man, then I can’t see him getting on the field.

    I’ll probably watch as a neutral and see which team takes my fancy (or which team come off as the dirtiest and then support the opposite.) Most likely outcome is I’ll sit on the PC and not really show any interest.

    Although I’m going to say the match will finish 1-0. I just don’t know who to.

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