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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football

UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications

Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"

6 September 2010

Wesley Sneijder was one of the main players for Holland during the World Cup in South Africa. But he can charge himself up for games against San Marino and Finland as well. Turning the switch, he calls it. "That's how it is in life. We have a new goal now. We can't just replay the World Cup."

It's a big contrast, playing against San Marino and Finland only two months after the World Cup. But Sneijder, Holland's top goal scorer with five goals during the tournament, says it's no effort at all. "That's how it goes. That's the life of a football player. It's just like any regular job. You have a goal in a year, and then you go on holiday with your family. You come back and you set a new goal. We can not replay that tournament in South Africa. We have to look forward. It's always good to be back with this team again."

That looking forward is to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in the summer of 2012. The first qualifying game in a group that with Hungary, Sweden and Moldavia as well, was won on Friday. San Marino was beat 0-5.

On Tuesday it's Finland in Rotterdam. "It's another mission. Just like we did in the previous qualification campaign we will try not to lose a single game. That's our aim. We need total concentration, like we managed against San Marino."

No tinkering
Since the World Cup people have been calling for a more offensive Dutch team, for instance with Van der Vaart instead of De Jong, like in the second half against San Marino and in parts of the World Cup. It's argued that it ads more 'football' to the team. Sneijder doesn't agree on that. "I think what the coach is doing is right, each time. He interfered after 45 minutes by putting on a more offensive midfielder. We have worked towards the World Cup with this formation. Two holding midfielders and one playmaker. You mustn't interrupt that. Don't tinker with it. This is our system and our quality. Of course you can adapt a bit in individual matches, depending on how it develops. But the core structure stands."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking


Robben: "Hard to grasp"
Van Bommel after defeat: "I'm a little speechless"
Van Marwijk: "In no mood to get negative"
Flat Dutch don't know what to do with 20+ chances
Netherlands-Denmark: lineup
Joris Mathijsen recovering well
Cruyff: "Kuyt at right back"
Mathijsen still uncertain - could miss entire tournament
Holland and Denkmark: head-to-head
Van Persie seems worth the confidence
Van Marwijk again opts for Van Persie instead of Huntelaar
Huntelaar: "Upset is not the right the word"
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"
Van Marwijk: "We remained disciplined"
Ibi and Rafa show manager he has options
Ibrahim Afellay Oranje's Zidane?
Van Marwijk looking for certainties
Cruijff: "Not enough depth in your game is asking for trouble"
Bouma: "I've gone through the desert"
Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"
Euro 2012 finals squad
Mathijsen strains muscle
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
Ola Toivonen's goal sees Sweden beat Holland and qualify
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sinks Moldova
Oranje maintain perfection, beat Finland
Netherlands thrash San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifier
Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands
Oranje trash Hungary
Sweden no match for Oranje
Van Marwijk: "We left them without chance"
Dirk Kuyt out for months
"We are prepared for all scenarios"
Minimal but easy win for Holland in Moldavia
Van Marwijk: "We played very well"
Holland want result after tumultuous week
Van der Vaart to replace De Jong
"This case only has losers"
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
Holland & Moldavia: head-to-head
Holland & Sweden: head-to-head
Wisgerhof replaces Maduro
Bouma back on the radar
Netherlands - Finland 2-1
Van Marwijk: "We were late all over the pitch"
Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"
Heitinga: "That can not happen"
Van der Vaart unhappy with role on the side
Kuyt and Boulahrouz out with injury
"It all revolves around Jari Litmanen"
Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"
Alonso: "No hard feelings"
Van Marwijk: "Second half was better"
San Marino-Netherlands 0-5
Oranje: a new mission