The decline of Holland: how Dutch are doomed by total obsession with past | Priya Ramesh

Nostalgia, arrogance and an insular group of legends turned coaches have stalled the once potent Oranje Machine and results and style have suffered

In Graham Swift’s novel Waterland his narrator, a history teacher going through a mid-life crisis, says: “And where history does not undermine and set traps for itself in such an openly perverse way, it creates this insidious longing to revert. It begets this bastard but pampered child, Nostalgia. How we yearn to return to that time before history claimed us, before things went wrong.”

At some point analysis of decline becomes an ordeal, particularly when the causative factors seem numerous and varied and not independent of one another. Nostalgia lends itself to convenient explanations of why things are not as good as they were, which may overshadow the fact it is perhaps more important that one looks back to move forward and not vice versa. Dutch football has seen four talented generations of players, right from Cruyff and Van Hanegem’s cohort in the 70s, Gullit, Rijkaard, Van Basten and Koeman in the 80s, Bergkamp’s batch in the 90s and the 1983-84-born class of the 00s led by Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.

Continue reading…

Nostalgia, arrogance and an insular group of legends turned coaches have stalled the once potent Oranje Machine and results and style have sufferedIn Graham Swift’s novel Waterland his narrator, a history teacher going through a mid-life crisis, says: “And where history does not undermine and set traps for itself in such an openly perverse way, it creates this insidious longing to revert. It begets this bastard but pampered child, Nostalgia. How we yearn to return to that time before history claimed us, before things went wrong.”At some point analysis of decline becomes an ordeal, particularly when the causative factors seem numerous and varied and not independent of one another. Nostalgia lends itself to convenient explanations of why things are not as good as they were, which may overshadow the fact it is perhaps more important that one looks back to move forward and not vice versa. Dutch football has seen four talented generations of players, right from Cruyff and Van Hanegem’s cohort in the 70s, Gullit, Rijkaard, Van Basten and Koeman in the 80s, Bergkamp’s batch in the 90s and the 1983-84-born class of the 00s led by Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/oct/15/decline-holland-dutch-total-obsession-past-football

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