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Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 22:56 GMT 23:56 UK
Can Holland improve and win Euro 2000?
Many experts tipped Euro 2000 co-hosts Holland to win the tournament - but they turned in a less than convincing performance in scraping a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
The Czechs hit the woodwork twice and were only beaten by a disputed late penalty from Frank De Boer.
And following Sunday's matches, France took over at 3-1 as favourites to win Euro 2000.
So will Frank Rijkaard's side improve as the tournament progresses or are their early jitters indicative of more shaky displays to come?
Remember Holland have only won four of the 16 games they have played under Rijkaard and the coach himself admits there is still a lot of work to do with his squad.
So have Holland's chances been over-hyped, especially with France still to face in their group?
Or do you think that they will go from strength to strength after getting their worst performance out of the way early on?
Email us now to tell us your opinion.
Can Holland improve and win Euro 2000?
Holland has without any doubt the best selection of players in the world right now. As a team they are able to play dream football, football far superior than any other team is capable of playing, be it France, Brazil, England or Argentina ... but not with the current coach. We need Cruyff or Van Gaal.
I think they can but they have to improve their mentality in the field. They are now playing as if they already have the trophy.
Holland have a good chance of winning it. They proved it by thrashing
the Danes 3-0
We can be positive about the performance of the Dutch in the opening match even though there's room for improvement. If I may quote Johan Cruyff, "if you're team scores one goal more than the other team you win the game". The Czechs failed to take the lead in the second half. So you can say they played a poor game offensively. Goals, that's the only thing that counts. Attractive football is nice, but winning is even better.
After seeing the game against the Danes I must conclude: They can improve and win the tournament. Rijkaard has focused the team to one goal and that's to get to the final.
Holland's performance against the Czechs was extremely poor. The stylish and attractive football we saw in France wasn't there. Their defence will always be a little suspect as they play an attacking game. However, if they start passing as opposed to just long ball play, they'll win because no other team has the quality they have. They can only get better now. That's why Germany have been so successful. Holland were great in France but they didn't win.
Holland were very lucky to get the three points against Czech Republic but lady luck has ran out for them so they will have to rely on their football skill and they will be lucky to reach the semi-finals.
Kayleigh Kinney, England
"Lucky" is the best word to describe the win over the Czech Republic, one could say it's "better to be lucky than to be good". We saw a match where the Czechs were hitting the post and the top bar but they were not going in. In the 1978 World Cup Final between Holland and Argentina the ball hit the post in the 90th minute. If that ball had gone in then Holland would be winners but instead after overtime they lost 3-1. In 1978 Holland's squad were talented but unlucky. In order to be champions you need to have luck.
Arjen van der Horst, Holland
Remember that the Dutch played against a very strong team. They had a pressure because of their home crowd, too. Teams like the Dutch and French improve as the championship progresses. They hardly had any team spirit but they do have 3 points with key games still ahead. The ability to add up as the tournament proceeds will be the determining factor as to whether Dutch will achieve anything.
Just as we all suspected, the Dutch were totally over hyped. The media in the UK, particularly on television, have a tendency to "talk up" a lot of European sides. Holland could not break the Czechs down defensively, and were diabolical in trying to contain the marauding Czech side in the second half. On this evidence, they will go out very soon.
I am convinced Holland can make it to the finals, notwithstanding their poor start. Opening matches for host countries are always a problem as the expectations of the home crowd is almost always too high as the team normally plays under intense pressure. They will surely improve their performances as the tournament progresses.
The 'Orange Lions' always seem to run into the same old mistakes.
Each defender seems to make one major error per match. There are always some players easily provoked into seeing a red card. And last but not least, they seem unable to cope with the pressure of shoot outs. I don't think Frank Rijkaard is strong enough to build a strong team that can collectively prevent these mistakes.
Holland are favourites to win the tournament, but their first performance left a lot to be desired. They should be given a chance to prove themselves, but they should play each match as if it was the Final. They have the talent and the skills, but need to lose their laid back attitude, play as a team and ignite some passion and drive into their game.
The Dutch are grossly overrated. They went through the first game sleepwalking and neither they nor their manager seemed to have any idea of what to do. Most of the team are no more than decent players, and they lack that cutting edge. Forget home advantage, the Dutch won't win the whole tournament.
It is obvious that the pressure was on the Dutch side, and they had a good start. Remember that the Czechs had not one chance in the first half, and if Holland had scored in the first half we would have seen a different game. Another point to notice is that this is the first loss for the Czechs in two years. We have to look at the next two games before we can judge the Dutch team.
Remember 1988 ? The Dutch team lost its first match against the USSR and we all know what happened after that. We were very fortunate to get three points and played badly but from now on things can only go better for the Dutch. If Rijkaard recognises that changes have to be made in the team then I think we can make it to the final.
Holland had a very bad preparation for this tournament and it was crucial for them to survive the
Bart Haverkorn, England
Holland appear, not for the first time, to fail to look like a 'team'. The side looks incohesive and the attitude of many superstars is questionable. When the going gets tough the Dutch lack fight and togetherness and a quality team will expose their weak defence.
The Dutch are a very good side and this time we won't mess it up since this time round there is no internal division in the team. We won't stop ourselves this time and it's up to other teams to do it.
Frank Rijkaard is not experienced enough to coach a national team.
Holland lost the opener against Russia in '88 when they won the whole tournament.
It's all about momentum, and the Dutch team has the potential to still catch fire.
Being a Dutchman living in England I think I can take a more objective view of the Dutch side. They have a lot of impressive players, but they lack a good defence. Jaap Stam was injured in the match against the Czech Republic, so it looks even worse for them.
I don't think they will have too many problems getting through their group - Denmark should be an easy win - but after that they will probably have to play Spain, which could prove too much for them.
Steve Buttercase, UK
After their performance in their first match I hugely doubt they will reach the semi-finals. They hardly existed in the second half and won only through pure luck. I do not think this is a way to win the championship. In their style of play I didn't see anything that showed they are able to win title. They are over-hyped, definitely.
After watching the game against the Czech Republic there is no doubt that Holland are beatable. They are without doubt a group of extremely talented individuals, but are they a team? It will be interesting to see how they cope if they go behind.
Nick Dorrel, USA
I do not believe that Holland are good enough as a team to win Euro 2000. They appear to be lacking in spirit and direction. After watching them luckily beat a mentally superior Czech side I fear for them against the likes of France, Spain, Germany and England.
Teams who host or partly host a big tournament have and will always be hyped up to win the tournament, i.e. France, who weren't a strong side before 1998 showed the form to win. Holland may not even have to play well to win but the orange army that follows them will give them the edge they need
Holland certainly have a defensive flaw which was exposed to the max in the 5-5 draw with Belgium. Only Jaap Stam holds them together but he can't be everywhere at once.
Marcus Darnell, UK
Holland are only favourites because they have home advantage and most of their players play at big clubs but underachieve. They don't have players such as Van Basten, Gullit and Cruyff. Also I think including Van Vossen in their squad instead of Hasselbaink is a huge mistake.
Experience from the last three Euro tournaments, 1988 in Germany, 1992 in Sweden and 1996 in England clearly show that hosting the tournament and having so-called home advantage really makes no difference at all.
Home advantage is a huge inspiration. However, although they are far from being a spent force, the obvious favourites surely must be Spain, with in my opinion France a close second. Holland didn't impress too much against Romania, but deserved to win.
As usual, Holland have great offensive power. The problem is their defence, which is quite vulnerable. For example, Frank de Boer and Jaap Stam are world class players, but are also capable of making that one error that proves to be fatal against sides that go for
counter-attacks. If Holland can refrain from such mistakes, then they will be a tough side to beat.
Richard Wieczorek, England
You need a map to go around Jaap Stam and with Edgar 'the pitbull' Davids, Dennis 'God' Bergkamp, the Dutch have the best players, have the home advantage and are a team. They are the biggest favourites.
The Dutch team are definitely looking great, at least on paper. With Davids and Seedorf powering the midfield pistons and Bergkamp and Kluivert spearheading the attack, the Dutch are definitely a team to watch this coming summer. They are hungrier than ever and would love to capture a major title. However, they have a rather ugly reputation for being an underachiever in world soccer. One thing is for sure, Holland will definitely want to go out of the tournament on a high note, especially playing in front of their own fans.
The Dutch have home advantage and that will help them greatly but it can only do so much.
Holland have world class players in Seedorf and Davids but apart from those two they are
lacking ideas. Going into the tournament after drawing with Scotland will have done their
confidence no favours. They will reach the semi-finals if they are lucky.
Playing at home can have its advantages in major tournaments and this will probably be the most telling factor if Holland are to succeed. I don't believe that their results over the past year and a half should be taken too seriously. I feel that there are other teams that are more than capable of winning the tournament; England, Spain, France and never discount the Germans!
The key to winning a tournament of this kind is depth. I expect Davids to pick up at least two yellows and so he will miss at least one match. This is where Holland's talent on the bench comes in. With so many talented players to choose from they have more than enough bullets in their gun. If the Dutch can get past Spain, I think they can win the whole thing.
Holland have always been a tournament team. All too often they only barely qualify for a World or European Championship, only to then succeed well beyond expectation. Having said that and knowing that the expectation is there beforehand this time, I'll be surprised if they get beyond the first round. If they do get through, they will win the Championship.
When in form the Dutch squad will beat anyone, but they rarely are. They have more than enough brilliant players but no commitment, with the exception of Davids. If all Dutch
players had his mentality, the Dutch would have won all tournaments since 1988.
The keyword is 'attitude'. The Dutch team has enough talented and experienced players to do the job but do they have the right fighting spirit?
Beware, Bergkamp is in absolute top form. I've seen him play and train the last couple of weeks and he's as hungry as in his early Arsenal years.
They could win anywhere with their skill but add the home advantage and it's a foregone conclusion.
In France '98, the Dutch squad played some great matches. Key players of the squad were full of talent but lacked experience. Now the Dutch young guns are much more competent than two years ago. Rijkaard will be the first guy who wins tournaments as both a coach and a player.
We all must acknowledge that Holland has the best, most skilled players at Euro 2000. The question is can they do it? Frank's number one problem is how to nurse those very big egos of the Dutch team and make a group of prima donnas believe that winning the European Championship is the best thing for them right now. The Dutch play exceptional soccer but they act like a group of mercenaries who are not concerned with what's good for the team but with what's good for themselves as individuals. If Frank can pull them together for just this period Holland will win comfortably!!
I was recently in Amsterdam and saw the friendly between Holland and Romania. Although the Dutch won this game I did not see anything in their game that would scare others. In fact, after the Romanians got their goal the Dutch were never in the game. The only major advantage is that they are playing at home, but if teams can get at the Dutch there is always the case that they will capitulate. It was clearly demonstrated that the referees are going to take some stick for decisions they make and this is another worry that may favour the Dutch. I would not count them out but if they do not receive any dubious decisions I do not see them as a serious threat.
Simon Cleaver, UK
I think that Holland have the mental strength as well as the depth in quality to go all the way.
The Dutch have too many world class players to be overrated. However, they do not warrant the attention they have been given. True, they are one of the three teams that will win Euro 2000, along with France and Spain, but are no better than either of these.
Ousman Jarjusey, Gambia
On paper Holland are a very strong side and with the advantage of playing at home you would expect them to do very well. Although with that much talent can they play as a team and can they handle the pressure of being the host nation?
Martin D, England
The Dutch have always played a beautiful soccer game. In terms of winning one though, you cannot rely on them. But I'm hoping this time with Rijkaard around they win the tournament.
It is hard not to over-hype a team with so many world-class performers. On paper they are the best team in the tournament, but there is a lot of pressure on them, and they are infamous for not perhaps being the most united group of players. However, home advantage counts for a lot, and I cannot see them getting beaten.
Yes, they have definitely been over hyped. The team hasn't been able to make any impression what so ever for over a year and a half. Rijkaard is a nice guy, but he hasn't got the tactical skills as a coach to perform well at this level. How could you leave Hasselbaink out, the only opportunistic goalscorer Holland currently has? Also the defence is a mess. Stam is grossly over-rated, De Boer is slow and we do not have a left wing back. I don't even think we will qualify for the second round.
I think that Holland are over-rated. Overmars is much slower now, Bergkamp is old and has had a bad season in England. Seedorf and Davids are the only stars in the team. I cannot see them getting past the semi-finals.
Hugh Gough, England
Holland are the true masters of entertaining football. Having players such as Bergkamp, Overmars and Davids, to mention a few, gives the team experience and class. Having supported Holland all my life I am slightly scared that the hype may just be too much. Remember Holland v. Denmark in 1992?
The Dutch are definitely the team to beat. With Davids running the midfield who can stop them? Up front they look a bit suspect, with Bergkamp now playing on the strength of his reputation and not much else. Other than that, they should win Euro 2000
Holland always give a good performance and this time around they are on home turf, it worked well for France in the World Cup, and I think Holland are due a win.
Holland are one of only three nations that appear to be good enough to win Euro 2000, the other two being France and Spain. However, they are obvious favourites because of the sheer versatility and class of their entire squad. The Dutch have no weak links, and after his performance on Sunday, even Van Vossen's inclusion over Hasselbaink would appear to be justified. The only problem they appear to have is just who would make up their first eleven from a top-class squad of 22.
You only have to look at the Dutch team and conclude that all the players come from the top teams in Europe; Manchester United, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter, Arsenal, Rangers and last but not least Feyenoord in Rotterdam. Say no more and come to Holland to celebrate with us on July 2 when we regain the European title.
Aaron Paxford, England
The Dutch team has skilful players and home advantage, but that alone is not a passport to success. I think Spain have all the qualities needed to win the tourney.
It is good to acknowledge that so many people have confidence about the Dutch team, especially when you, just like me, are on the other side of the world. Yet, in every big tournament, I always try to hold my breath, as I know that during these kind of events, the Dutch team is always faced with internal problems. That was the case during the World Cup in '74, '78 and '90, and most of the people should be able to recall the David's affair during Euro 96. This time, it seems that Rijkaard has everything under control. But Dutch players are unpredictable and loud. You just never know.
I think potentially the Dutch have the best team in the championships. However, their lack of competitive matches recently puts them at a real disadvantage in what is by far the toughest of the four groups. If they can emerge from this group and avoid Spain, then they have a real chance of winning. My gut feeling though, is that they will perish at the first hurdle and disappoint yet again. I think that 3 of the best 6 teams are in this group and they could go tumbling very quickly indeed. Czech Republic ranked number 2 in the world, and France, as reigning World champions, will upset the party.
Richard Cavenecia, USA
Holland are going to have a hard time getting into the quarter finals. They have a hard time in the warm up matches and the defence is suspect. If they do qualify form the group stage, they will win it.
Indeed Holland are a good side but there team relies mostly on the individual skills of players like Davids. They will do well but won't win the competition.
I class Davids as slightly overrated following the amazing skills shown in a particular sports advert.
If the Dutch really want to win the tournament, they probably will. Holland is the only team I've seen which is capable of coming back from difficult situations. Their players have great skills and lots of experience at the highest level. Yet the team is vulnerable, as Belgium (amongst others) proved in two friendlies. We scored seven goals against them in two matches. Holland has got the ability, and now they will prove the bookmakers right. They will have more trouble in the first round than afterwards.
Sander Huisman, The Netherlands
Holland always play well under pressure. The last 15 matches were friendlies, so it is difficult to judge on those performances. But if you look at the last six months, they have had some good results, in fact better results than most other teams with wins over Germany, Romania and Poland. I think the expectations are justified.
I think undoubtedly that Holland are the favourites. But if Kevin Keegan chooses his perfect eleven, they will be a tough side to beat
On paper the selected team should reach the final and win the cup, but I am a bit apprehensive of the goal scoring ability of Patrick Kluivert. Also if the coach can use an all out attacking midfield, there should be positive results.
Holland have the skill, without a doubt , yet I'm not sure they have got that killer instinct they need to fend off such strong opposition. However, they are playing at home, so if the crowd get behind them and things start to gel properly then who knows what will happen.
Personally, I think that the Dutch are justified in hyping up their team for tournament success, possibly even over-hyping their chances. A bit of positive attitude never did a team any harm.
You've just got to look at the quality of the players and the clubs they play for to realise that on paper alone, with the exception of maybe the Spanish team, they have the best chance.
Add this to the long standing tradition of technical excellence and home advantage and you can't see another team winning it.
3-1 looks like good odds to me!
If we all get behind England, you never know, we might meet them in the final!
What worries me is the Dutch capacity for over confidence, but I am reminded that they were involved in the two best games at France '98; the breathtakingly executed Bergkamp goal against Argentina and the exciting shoot-out against Brazil, where more composed finishing from Kluivert would have made a Dutch v. French final. The potential is huge. This squad is composed of more world class players than the Cruyff-inspired or Gullit-Rijkaard-Van Basten inspired players, I just hope we see that potential fulfilled.
I am Dutch and I know that the Dutch team cannot win under pressure. Look at their history. They don't have the killer instinct. Only Davids has it, but risks one or two red cards in the tournament. In defence they are weak. Sam is too heavy and Frank de Boer is too slow old. So it all depends on Kluivert, Davids, Overmars and Bergkamp, but Dennis definitely doesn't have the killer instinct. So Spain and France are the favourites. Holland are too arrogant.
Holland will be tough to beat on their home turf. Especially with Edgar Davids running around like a mad pit bull.
I do not think the chances of the Dutch are mere hype.
This team has a bunch of experienced players who are still young and hungry for success.
The only other team that can compare to the Dutch is France which makes me predict a Holland-France final which should see Holland crowned European Champions.
In defence, Frank de Boer and Jaap Stam have a commanding presence. Davids, Seedorf and Overmars constitute a very rich midfield and Kluivert has been knocking in goals game in game out.
And let's not forget that they boast one of the best goalies in the world: Edwin van der Saar.
If such an all-round team does not scare the living daylights out of their opponents at Euro 2000, I wonder what will.
So, it's going to be Dutch all the way.
Holland have skilful and classy players, but that does not always win tournaments. However, look at the past records - both World Cup and Euro Nations Championships: the home teams usually do very well. So with this history and the quality of the squad, people must realise that Holland are the hot favourites to win the Championship!
Quite possible. You see, our problem is always the same. We play the most beautiful football in the world bar the Brazilians, but we have one major flaw: once we're ahead, we become complacent and lean back, waiting for things to happen. Which, inevitably, they do. Mostly, to our great dismay and "flabbergastedness". If anything would, then this is going to do us in once more. But, barring that, I do feel we have the strongest quad we have had in years, and yes, I would cry for joy if we won.
Guy Avance, Holland
They're good enough to win it, but that's not saying they will. They'll certainly get through the first round in first place though, France got lucky in '98 and aren't as formidable as people think.
I think Holland is the best country that ever played football, and they deserved to win the world cup in France and even Euro 96, but Holland will not win this year. The problem this time is the coach, Frank Rijkaard is going to take Holland out of Euro 2000. If someone like Johan Neeskens was the coach, it would have been different story, but as usual Holland, with the best collection of players and quality of soccer, are not going to win and everybody who loves attractive smart football is going to cry again because Holland will have lost t and let another team who doesn't deserve it to win these kind of tournament.
Dirk Postma, Holland
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