• Sunday, 21 November 2010

    Total Football

    The reason people love the Dutch. Invented by Rinus Michels and played by the likes of Johan Cruyff, Jan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Ruud Krol, the van de Kerkhof brothers, Total Football is the sort of liberal, hippy nonsense only 1970s Holland could have produced. 'Position' was merely the place you found yourself in at any given time rather than your exact role in life and players moved freely around the field, confusing the bejaysus out of the opposition. Jeez, they were good and archive footage will still get football purists salivating, but they never translated this revolutionary style of play - with markers utterly clueless as to whom to pick up - into trophies, losing both the 1974 and '78 World Cup finals.

    The memory of those much-loved Dutch sides has now been crapped all over by the antics of Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong.

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