Pay attention to any European Championship qualifying recently? If so, you know that the Dutch just lost two matches within the span of a week and their chances of qualifying for Euro 2016 took a pretty sizable hit.
A 1-0 defeat by Iceland and a 3-0 hammering by Turkey mean that Danny Blind’s Holland are in deep shit. Iceland and the Czech Republic booked their spots for 2016 and Group A only has one more spot left for grabs. It also happens to be a playoff spot. Now the Netherlands have two matches left to fight for that spot against Turkey, who sit two points above them. Both sides have relatively comfortable matches remaining, but Turkey have the advantage of playing the two teams that already qualified. The Dutch will have to play Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic.
Kazakhstan can’t be considered an easy win solely because they’ve scored against the Czechs and held Iceland to a nil-nil draw. They’re also dead last in the group and have their pride to play for. Onto the Czechs, who can lose the game and not give a toss, so will likely play a reserve team but still have one of the best keepers in the world in Petr Cech. Seeing as how the Dutch can’t find their shooting boots it might be difficult to get more than a point from that one. It’s not over for them by any means simply because of the talent they have on the squad. But Arjen Robben hasn’t looked his usual dangerous self, Robin van Persie is a shadow of his glory days at Arsenal, Jasper Cillessen looks like a nervous teenager in goal and their defending is more porous than Spongebob.
Danny Blind getting the sack is a forgone conclusion, so it remains to be seen what will become of the Netherlands and who will lead them to the glory they so deserve as a footballing nation. Some big changes will be made between now and October and maybe the month of club duty will help the Dutch rediscover their individual form. Even so, winning both games does not solidify qualification, as if Turkey also win out the Dutch will be sent packing with great embarrassment.