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Van Marwijk: 'Spain was the better team'
July 11th, 2010 7:54PM

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TAGS:  netherlands, spain, world cup

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[REACTION] Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk criticized English referee Howard Webb for his work in the World Cup final that descended into a foulfest but could not find fault with the outcome.

"I don't think the referee controlled the match well," said Van Marwijk. "Both sides committed fouls. That may be regrettable for a final. But the best team won the match."

Webb handed out 14 yellow cards and one red card, but Van Marwijk lamented another yellow card that the Englishman did not hand out on Carles Puyol for a foul on Dutch star Arjen Robben late in the game.

"We made a real game out of it and we had two great chances through Arjen," explained Van Marwijk. "I'm not someone to look back on the what the referee did. I think the best team usually wins the match. But if you look at the second chance of Robben, the referee should give Puyol a second yellow card, which would have meant him being sent off. It was a crucial moment just before the end of the 90 minutes. It is very bitter, but that is sport. It is harsh. And as I said, Spain was the better team."

Van Marwijk said it wasn't his team's style to resort to negative tactics like it employed in Sunday's finals.

"We did a good job tactically on them," he said. "We got into good positions at times. It's not our style, but you play a match to win. It's a World Cup final, and there's a lot of emotion out there. You saw that with both teams. I would have loved to have won that match, even with not so beautiful football."



0 comments
  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 8:57 a.m.
    I would consider the Netherlands very lucky that De Jong wasn't given a red card for the foot to Alonzos chest, and that Van Bommel was issued a second yellow to red for his persistant fouling on the spainish players,in reality the Netherlands got to the finals by bad calls from the referee's, they should have been out in the sweetsixteen round against Uruguay!!!

  1. Theodore Eison
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.
    The truth is that if you consider an alternate universe in which refereeing were perfect, Germany should have won this World Cup with Muller available to play against Spain. And Italy should have been eliminated by Australia in 2006. But that's not the way the world works.

  1. Michael Byrne
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 11:01 a.m.
    Theodore, Theodore, Theodore...it truly would have been an alternate universe for Germany to have beaten Spain even with Muller. As exciting as the German team was, not even they could cope with the Spanish team's brilliance with the ball. At least Germany didn't resort to goon tactics so I definitely give them credit for that. Well done Spain, that's the way to play football!!!

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 11:15 a.m.
    I feel sorry for Webb. If he gave red cards, early in the game, they would say he spoiled the match and didn't let the game flow. When he let the game go on, the players committed some atrocious fouls that deserved cards. I blame the Dutch players for playing a very aggressive soccer that made it impossible for any referee in the world to control. It's similar to Holland vs. Portugal in 2006. When the players decide to streach the rules so aggressively, the referee pay the price no matter what he does, and no body blame the players.

  1. Corey Zimmerman
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 11:32 a.m.
    Amen Mr. Byrne!! Everyone is so fixated on the refereeing and what could have been if this player wasnt red-carded or b/c that player was sent off. We should be celebrating the fact that attractive, appealing soccer won out in the end. And I agree w/you that the German's should be applauded for playing very exciting soccer in the tourney, yet not resorting to the repulsive Dutch tactics when up against a clearly better opponent.

  1. Bill Richter
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.
    Gus, there was no excuse for not sending De Jong off in the 28th minute. I think Webb lost control by not cautioning Van Persie in the 1st (2nd?) minute. The foul count was skewed badly in favor of the Dutch, 28-19, as were the cautions at 9-5 (one of the 5 to Spain was to Iniesta for removing his jersey to honor Dani Jarque). Looked to me like a case of failing to act soon enough convinced the players they could foul recklessly and not be sanctioned...

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.
    The Oranje lowered themselves - all by themselves - to playing the jogo bonito by thugery. Coach Van Marwijk's statements are a bit specious as he implies that he gave the team the green light to resort to such lousy tactics. As for Webb, he'd been touted by the ESPN announcers as one of the best, however, while watching the Spanish language very broad coverage of the post game (analysis) one of the commentators said that during the pre-game warm-up period, while both teams were on the field, the officials walked the pitch and to also warm up(as it is required) and then Webb was seen speaking to Von Bommel (?) for what appeared to be a "four-minute" period. What was said, we'll never know, other than to assume that Webb was laying down the law on VB. As for the studs up De Jong foul, wow!!! Webb whips out only a yellow!!! And yes, Webb should have gotten control of the game from the get go, and as a matter of fact, referees have always been instructed to establish control of the game as soon as the whistle goes, more importantly, the game officials are in control the moment they enter the stadium, field/pich, etc. Webb coulda-shoulda called a tighter game, but that's now history and Spain is now king of the hill for the next four years.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 2:34 p.m.
    Bill, I agree with you 100%. But I am looking from the referee's point of view. I understand that he should took control of the game early. But if he gives a red card, early, The same people who are criticizing him now for not doing so, would have criticized him for making the game imbalanced (10 vs. 11) so early on. I have heard it a lot before. I heard it in this cup when the referee red carded Klose against Serbia. Also, there was a possiblity that we might have had a (9 vs. 11) situation, if the referee was consistant. It's a double edge sword that the referee has to walk. Remember, that all these yellow cards will not stop Holland from continuing fouling. They have done so in the last two world cups. I frankly put the blame solely on the Dutch team which forgot the beautiful game, that they themselves were masters of, once upon a time. It's too sad story ending.

  1. Bill Richter
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 10:16 p.m.
    My point was if he had cautioned Van Persie early, there may not have been the black belt demonstration in the 28th. Set the tone early on a deserving challenge, and both teams are put on notice before they settle into that style of play. There is not a referee, player, coach or spectator in the world that would have faulted Webb for sending off De Jong after that display of cowardice. As far as the Klose twin yellows in GER-SER, he received the first early for a foul challenge from behind. Then, inexplicably, he challenges again from behind, and expected a different outcome? LOL. I agree the referee in Germany-Serbia was fair, even if he was calling very tightly. At the time he sent off Klose, the caution count was 2-2. And the second half was better than the first, the result of reduced fouling which leads to better flow and a more open game... See how great the 3rd place game was: half the number of fouls, less than half the number of cautions, no red, and 5 goals. :-)

  1. Bill Richter
    commented on: July 12, 2010 at 10:21 p.m.
    I'm astounded at Van Marwik's statement that Puyol should have been sent off for a second yellow, but no mention of De Jong. I sincerely hope he's no longer a coach, because NED have the skill to play an open game like Spain and win, but the coach chose the wrong strategy.

  1. Tom Dugan
    commented on: July 13, 2010 at 3:46 p.m.
    The MMA match on Sunday was a let down. On the other hand, the Uruguay / German game was a pleasure to watch. Just wish the Germans played Spain in the manner they played all of their other games - almost looked like they were paid off to lose that one - not like that would ever happen????


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