As a neutral football fan I’m quite happy that Netherlands and Spain have made it to the finals. Considering the way the tournament has shaped up I believe these are indeed the two best teams in the tournament.
I wouldn’t say either has been scintillating but both have been well balanced and effective. They’ve the players who’ve come up with the goods when the situation asked for a moment of individual class.
It’s not a surprise that one finalist is by and large the same as the amazing Barcelona team while the other has the best player from both the Champions League finalists and the best striker in the Premier League.
Speaking of Van Persie, it was good to see him finally hit some form in the Semi-Final. The first half of that game was a slow, cautious affair but the Dutch team raised their game in the second half. Van Persie was involved with most of their threatening moments as his movement, touch, vision, and intelligent passing led to some good chances. I was also impressed by his work rate and concentration even in the dying moments as he came up with an important defensive block.
From a statistical point of view RvP just got an assist in that somewhat controversial second goal by Sneijder but I’m sure his team mates, manager, and fans must’ve seen how good he was in the second half. If Robben or Van der Vaart had finished better or if Kuyt had better delivery Van Persie would have had a much bigger contribution even in a statistical sense. Hopefully, he will get some of Sneijder’s luck in the Final.
I’m going to enjoy watching Van Persie against Spain who got past a hard working German side that finally paid the price for its inexperience.
For most parts this match looked like a Barcelona V Inter Milan kind of game with Germany sitting deep and Spain struggling to break them down.
In the end, the Germans didn’t have the quality Striker or Full Back that Inter had and that meant Spain were rarely under threat. Klose has a lot of goals at the World Cup finals but is nowhere near the class of some of the other players on that list. To be honest, I’m hoping Klose doesn’t end up as the top scorer or joint top scorer at the World Cup finals. That will be a real shame.
In defence, the Germans went to sleep on a corner – something Inter would never do – and that allowed the Spaniards to sneak a goal.
Another aspect worth noting was that Ozil struggled to make any sort of an impact on the game. As I’ve said before he is a very talented player but nowhere close to being a finished article. I can’t see him coming to the Premier League and making a difference in the big games or against tight defences, at least not this year.
Del Bosque finally accepted the fact that he had to keep Torres out of the starting eleven and I thought Pedro was a good choice as he provided them some quality on the right. I’m not sure whether Cesc missed out due to a tactical issue or injury. I’m just hoping his injury doesn’t worsen. If he doesn’t play for Spain it’s not a problem, at least for Arsenal fans.
Our best players are both in the Final of the World Cup. It could be seen as something that can give them a massive confidence boost before the next season, it could be seen as something that will leave them tired and overworked, or in many other ways – positive or negative – depending on how you feel about it. I like to think that as long as neither of them picks up an injury it will have a positive effect on our performances next season.
Before all of that though, there is this small matter of the World Cup Final. I think Spain will win it and Germany will finish third.