Real Big Dutch Mistakes

Celebrating the strike which knocked Man Utd out

Arjen Robben has had a strange sort of career. A prodigious talent at FC Groningen and later at PSV Eindhoven, the little Dutch winger finally fulfilled some of his huge potential at Chelsea where his important goals and assists were crucial to securing back-to-back titles for Mourinho’s men. However, he never really settled in London and his transfer to Real Madrid for £24 million was inevitable after Real followed their pursuit with a concrete offer.

At the full time whistle after Manchester United’s quarter final with Bayern Munich, there was a distinct hush around Old Trafford. There weren’t many boos from the home crowd – just the crushing disappointment at what they had just witnessed, perhaps even shock.

The Utd fans knew that the Bayern goal which delivered the knockout blow to their Champions League hopes was a special one. An outrageous first time volley into the far corner leaving Van Der Sar with no chance. There was nothing the Utd fans could do apart from applaud the strike.

There was no doubt that the player who scored it was ultimately the difference at the end of the two legs. After his displays this season, the big question has been asked around Europe, just why did Real Madrid decide to sell Robben to Bayern Munich?

After crashing out of Europe at the hands of Lyon, there was uproar around the Santiago Bernabeu. It was the sixth year in a row in which they had failed to progress past the quarter final stage of the Champions League. Given their £250 million summer transfer outlay by the President Florentino Perez, the exit at the first knock out stage was not good enough.

Whilst Messrs Ronaldo and Kaka failed to deliver on their astronomical transfer fees in terms of helping Real Madrid progress in the Champions League, it was in Milan and Munich where the two real stars of the Champions League have emerged this season. However, they also happened to be two players who were unceremoniously shipped out by Real Madrid and Perez in the summer.

The two Dutch Masters

Wesley Sneijder has probably been one of Jose Mourinho’s most important signings for Inter Milan since he took over. Playing in the hole behind Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito, he has been phenomenal this season; combining countless assists with important goals.

Chelsea fans will certainly need no reminder. It was a perfectly weighted pass from Sneijder which released Eto’o to score at Stamford Bridge and knock Chelsea out. Sneijder was also undoubtedly one of Holland’s best players during Euro 2008, again excelling in the forward position behind the striker.

Sneijder and Robben have helped carry their respective clubs all the way to the Champions League semi-final, and after the first leg victories for each club- in which Robben and Sneijder both scored, it looks very likely that the two Dutch players will meet again in the final. The Venue? Real Madrid’s very own Bernabeu. Irony in football is a funny thing.



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2 responses to “Real Big Dutch Mistakes

  1. Henry Winter

    Hi Andy, long time reader, first time poster here. First of all congratulations are in order for a once again outstanding piece, you seem to have the natural ability to think up innovative and interesting articles, much better than that tabloid monkey Andy Dunn.

    Anywho, back to my main point, I have to say yes, Robben and Sneijder have been a huge miss to Real however you are forgetting a fatal mistake which happened at the Bernabeu a number of years ago. This was when a certain Michael “fox in the box” Owen was allowed to join the Toon Army for what I can only describe as a ludicrous and dumbfounding decision. I stand by the claim that by keeping such a precious and natural talent Real would have won the Champions League on a number of occasions, his sharpness in the six-yard box is just what has been missing in certain games, remember all them great goals on the big occasions he has scored over the years? Exactly.

    Anyway, off to get some tix for Saturdays big game down at the Boleyn ground. COYI!

  2. David

    I dont think selling Owen was a big mistake at all. His goal scoring record was good at Madrid, but at the time, they had Van Nistelrooy and a younger Raul. Their real problem is selling good players who aren’t ‘galactico’ enough. Robben, Sneijder, Makelele (at the time, when the directors didnt offer him a better contract), were all quality players who were sold. BIG MISTAKE!

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