Arjen Robben and when going Dutch means a cheat, not a treat

So, we have a highly talented player renowned and handsomely rewarded for his contributions to club and country.

At a crucial stage of the World Cup in Brazil, he gets frustrated when a bunch of minnows from Mexico lead the elite masters of football from the Netherlands.

And the response from Arjen Robben, presently of Bayern Munich, soon – maybe – of Man Utd? To dive and dive again.

Read moreArjen Robben and when going Dutch means a cheat, not a treat

Dutch rampage cancels another refereeing howler (NB: Shearer and Lawrenson disagreed)


At the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, Spain were dirty, the Netherlands thuggish and Howard Webb struggled to cope with it all though I thought he did as well as any ref could given two sets of players intent on ending the game with as few on the field as laws permit.

Tonight we had niggles rather than the brutality of 2010, a crushing defeat for the cup holders Spain and display of refereeing incompetence to rival that of Yuichi Nishimura in Brazil vs Croatia – yes, I know Jeremy Robson suggested worse – but ultimately, on this occasion, of no assistance to the beneficiaries.

Read moreDutch rampage cancels another refereeing howler (NB: Shearer and Lawrenson disagreed)

Spain 1 Netherlands 0: la cima del mundo

spainImage: gsfc

So SPAIN are top of the world, winners of the 2010 World Cup after at one stage looking more like heading home in disarray. But South Africa confounded so many people with the way it handled the event – think back to all those warnings, and not just from tabloid newspapers, of the likely security headaches – that it deserved to host a better final than the lame, petulant affair mustered by Spain and the Netherlands. Yet Spain generally played the better football, and triumphed with a late, late winner from Iniesta. The Dutch claimed injustice, a missed offside, but deserved nothing better after their cynical, ill-tempered display …

Read moreSpain 1 Netherlands 0: la cima del mundo

Sixer’s Travels: Haarlem globetrotting

Once bitten twice shy. Pete Sixsmith’s eccentricities with spelling know no bounds, as a reader gently observed after his report from the Benfica game. Pete’s poor editor had no idea where to start on this one, a detailed account – littered with proper names Salut! Sunderland wouldn’t recognise if they fell in its soup – of his day off from following Sunderland. It’s a good read all the same and ends on a happy note …

It’s a quiet Sunday morning in Amsterdam. People are walking or cycling to work. There is a peaceful air over our part of the city. It’s the calm before the Steve Bruce Revolution hits the Amsterdam Arena at seven o’clock tonight.

Read moreSixer’s Travels: Haarlem globetrotting