The 0-4 Deutschland Debacle showed how severely lack of preparation is punished at the elite level. I haven’t been in Australia recently, so I don’t know how much green and gold is on display in the streets, but I’m guessing it doesn’t come close to the Dutch efforts.
Here in Holland they’re leaving nothing to chance. Our local baker is doing a roaring trade in doughnuts, cakes and vanilla slices coated with lurid orange icing. Cafes are trying to outdo each other with orange banners, and every one has installed the ‘Grote Scherm’ or ‘Big Screen’ inside.
The Greek restaurant down the street is a little restrained, limiting itself to discreet orange candles. They have to avoid offending Greek fans, at least while the Greeks remain in contention. But it’s good to see that the Egyptian Cafe Nile isn’t holding back.
Football fever should bring the country together.
Last week in the Dutch elections, Geert Wilders’ PVV (Party of Freedom) did frighteningly well. Wilders has promised ‘less immigration and less islam’. There are few details on exactly how this is to be achieved, but no doubt his supporters will be getting behind the Dutch team, which boasts such stars as Ibrahim Afellay and Khalid Boulahrouz, not to mention Robin van Persie (Robin of Iran).
Perhaps the PVV could introduce an entrance exam for future muslim immigrants. They could be required to prove their suitability for Dutch residency by downing a few Heinekens and converting a penalty.
Have to rush; the game against Denmark is about to start…
STOP PRESS: Nederland 2, Denmark 0. Which proves my point – if you decorate your streets correctly, your team is sure to win.