Saturday, June 21, 2008

Quick Euro Chat With Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat.
Few people are more qualified to comment of the eagerly-awaited Euro 2008 quarter-final between Holland and Russia than Dick Advocaat.

John Duerden caught up with the former Dutch boss and current coach of Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg.

You were at the Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup –do you miss not being involved?

Yes, I really miss it. That kind of championship and that kind of preparation for a coach is always really pleasant.

Have you been surprised at how good the Netherlands have been?

Well. If you had asked me that four weeks ago, I would have given a different answer. Everything has worked out for the team is a way that has been unbelievably positive.

What has changed?

They believe in each other at the moment and they believe in themselves as well. They had a meeting with the coach about the system and he changed that. The team likes to play football and it has worked out. He has given them a little bit of responsibility to change the system and they are all very happy with that.

Is the defence a weak point?

No. you know that the attractive players play in midfield and up front, and they are always the ones that grab the headlines. I think that they have a very decent defensive line with a good number of experienced players.

What kind of game do you expect?

I think that as I know Guus (Hiddink) he will say the same thing I said to my Zenit team when they played Bayern Munich ‘you have nothing to lose, just show how good you are, make it difficult for the other team and you can surprise them.’

Have you been impressed with Russia?

They played well even taking into consideration the weakness of Greece and Sweden. Arshavin said in the Russian media ‘we can’t say that everything is perfect’ but if Russia play the same way against Holland as they played against Greece, they can progress.

How do you stop Arshavin?

He is a very opportunistic player, very based on himself. He’s a player that you don’t see for 50 minutes and then suddenly, he’s gone and can score a goal, Not a lot of players have that quality. Sometimes you sit on the bench and think ‘I have to take him out’ but you don’t do that because you know that he can change and decide the game in a second.

If Zenit players play well, that could be a problem as other clubs become interested?

Well, Arshavin is interested in moving to a foreign country. For us it is not so good that this tournament came after the championship because he can show himself and he will definitely do that tomorrow. I hope he will stay.

You think he will go?

If he gets the right opportunity I think he will go.

What about Luca Toni? He played against you this season but can’t find the net for Italy

I saw him with Bayern and he did really well. You have to take his supply lines away and make it difficult for him. You have to really close down the sides and cut the crosses because in the air he is excellent and a very good player.

Can Spain defeat Italy?

That is an exciting match and very interesting but I can’t say which team will win that one.

Other teams that have impressed you?

I have been impressed with the way Russia played against Sweden and Greece. They have been very fresh, attacking and they like to score goals. I was also impressed with Portugal even though they are now out.

Has the competition been good overall?

Average. Some good games and bad games.

You were linked with the Blackburn job?

To be honest, I will finish the Russian season which ends in November and then make a decision. I have heard nothing about it.

You had no contact with Blackburn?

No, otherwise I would tell you.

Who will win tomorrow between Russia and Holland?

The best team! (laughs)

Who do you want to win?

(laughs) I am not going to answer that!

Copyright: John Duerden & Soccerphile.com

1 comment:

Zaki said...

hey you've done an interview with Raddy right? How'd you get his contact details? I'd like to ask him a few questions myself.