Watch the Dutch

– In 2008, Spain broke their duck in international competitions. Cesc Fabregas doesn’t get enough credit for their breakthrough. It was Cesc who slotted a penalty past Buffon. It was Cesc’s substitution that finally derailed the Russian attack. In 2010, I believe another Arsenal player will have a huge tournament. That player is Robin van Persie.

– Arsenal’s loss is Holland’s gain. Robin is fresh and ready to prove to the world that he’s one of the best players in the world. I believe he has the talent to match Cristiano Ronaldo and others; his problem is that he’s frequently injured. That may never change, but the World Cup is only 7 matches.

– With an attacking quartet of van Persie, Sneijder, Robben, and van der Vaart, this team has as much attacking talent as anybody. Their success will also depend on the form of their fullbacks. Gregory van der Wiel is a promising talent, while van Bronckhorst may be past his prime. If you look past the last five World Cup winners, you’ll notice they had excellent fullbacks. If the Dutch can stand strong in defense, they can finally claim a World Cup that they deserve.

– Spain and Brazil are strong favorites as well. They cannot be ruled out. I think Spain may be knocked out if they field the wrong personnel, something that may happen because they have so many gifted players. This version of Brazil is what England would like to be. They’re remarkably consistent, but I worry about Robinho and Kaka being frustrated during the World Cup.

– As a supporter of Les Bleus, I think you can safely rule out the French as any sort of threat. They could replicate their horrendous 2002 World Cup run.

– Enjoy the tournament. The World Cup is always special.

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