Tag: Netherlands

The World Cup Of National Anthems (Part Three)

For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.

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The Most Pointless Match Of The Season?

At the time of writing, the television in this room is playing away to itself. The noise sounds familiar and, at a glance, it kind of looks familiar. Engand and the Netherlands are battling out a friendly match in Amsterdam. This, however, doesn’t matter, and it takes the whole concept of not mattering to a new level. Is this match, the Netherlands against England in Amsterdam on the twelfth of August 2009, the single most pointless football match ever played? For the supporters, there is a reason to be there, though it has little to do with football itself. A few days in Amsterdam at this time of year is quite a nice mini-break before a winter hauling your way the four corners of the country to support your club team. Most – if not quite all – of the players are there. The last twelve months before a World Cup Finals series is the time when the power of the international manager is at its highest. Only the likes of Steven Gerrard can cry of with this sort of match with a dubious “thigh strain”, or some such. For the rest of them, failure to show up for this match might cost them when the chips are down next year. This, though, is football that is of devoid of any context or any meaning. Under any normal circumstances,...

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