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Hans still in shock

Posted on 7 September 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Three days before the start of season, Hans Segers took his place in the away section of White Hart Lane and bobbed, nodded and cheered with the rest of the Dutch orange order as Holland played England off the park — how times change.

England’s fortunes have taken a bigger swing than a one-wood golf club, while the swaggering Dutch are contemplating the Greatest Show on Earth going ahead in Japan and South Korea without them following their single goal defeat to the Irish in Dublin.

So when Hans was in full gloat-mode following the encounter with England at the Lane, did it even cross his mind that the Dutch might miss the World Cup party.

“No doubt whatsoever. I thought the boys have been playing really well and it showed against England. But then they played this game in Ireland and everything fell apart.”

But, man for man, teamsheet for teamsheet, it really should have been no contest, but then football matches are rarely won on paper.

“Correct. But then all the credit to the Irish, they stopped the Dutch from scoring. They had a bit of luck, Holland should have gone one or two up the first half, but it is a golden rule in football — if you don’t score you get punished.”

Understandably, the Dutch public are in something of a state of shock about their team’s demise and the spotlight is glaring in the direction of coach Louis Van Gaal.

“I was there last weekend when the game was played and the people in Holland are devastated, they just can’t believe it. I looked at all the countries who have already qualified, and if you put Holland in there they would be the top team, but they are not going.

“It is obvious that there is a bit of pressure on Van Gaal, people in Holland expect to qualify and have high standards.

“I’ve already heard one or two rumours about one guy who fancies the job — Ruudy Gullit. He was quite keen when I heard him talking on the television as he was putting down Van Gaal quite a bit.

“He would. His record in England was not that good, but as a personality and a player he was one of the best in Holland”