EURO 2020 review: Netherlands
Monday, 28 June 2021
Netherlands team reporter Derek Brookman reflects on the positives and eyes room for development after their campaign ended.
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After cruising through the group stage in Amsterdam, the Netherlands' UEFA EURO 2020 campaign came to a sudden end against the Czech Republic in Budapest.
What were the positives?
Top scorers in the group stage, the Dutch brought an effervescent twist to the 5-3-2 system. Denzel Dumfries was like a streak of lightning on the right flank, Frenkie de Jong pirouetted his way past countless opponents in midfield, and Donyell Malen emerged as an ideal foil for Memphis Depay up front.
Carrying out post-match flash interviews pitch-side was wonderful, surrounded by supporters making so much racket that the players couldn't hear the questions. Much more exciting than doing them down in the catacombs of the stadium somewhere.
What the future holds
There's plenty of young talent coming through, as Jurriën Timber and Ryan Gravenberch proved. However, if the Oranje want to once again compete with the top dogs in European football, they'll have to add a resilience to their game that was notably absent during the defeat by the Czech Republic.
Predictions for the rest of EURO 2020
After witnessing Denmark sweep Wales aside in Amsterdam during the round of 16, I wouldn't be surprised if they made it to the final. Terms like passion, unity and team spirit are frequently overused in football, but those Danes really have all those qualities in spades.