Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clearly the excitement was not in the South. Perhaps some of the middle range countries improved? Holland? Well, Ajax won everything possible in 1972 – Dutch champions and cup winners, European Champions Cup winners, Supercup winners, Intercontinental Cup winners… truly, 1972 was the best year Ajax ever had: total football – total domination. May be the whole of the Dutch football leaped forward? Not really… take a look at the Dutch Cup finalists:

The club from the capital, ADO Den Haag, were… well, just a small club. Aad Mansveld occasionally played for the national team. Ton Thie was relatively respected player in Holland. The two Swedish players – Augustsson and Berg – were fairly obscure. Dick Advocaat? The famous coach and the player have nothing in common – same person, but the player nobody ever heard of. ADO Den Haag were far away from Ajax and total football. True, they put a fight at the Cup final, but lost nevertheless. As finalists, they played in the Cup Winners Cup in 1972-73 edition of the tournament – and expired early, without notice. Total football was exceptional and Holland was not going to become superpower on club level.