The Netherlands’ thumping 1-5 victory over Spain last night is just what all football loving England fans could have wished for.
The game had it all, a poor penalty decision, goals, shock and more goals as Holland demolished a very ordinary and pedestrian Spanish team.
Louis Van Gaal’s team went into the game as huge underdogs, and understandably so, as they came up against the reigning world and European champions.
However, even if they were a little scared of their opposition, they certainly did not let it show.
Right from the off, Holland were pressing Spain giving them no time on the ball to relax into their usual swagger and rhythm.
Despite going a goal down to a controversial penalty which was put away by Xabi Alonso, Dutch heads never dropped and they continued to play their game.
They attacked the Spanish on all fronts: long, pinpoint passes, driving direct runs from their pacey players and with some ‘tiki-taka’ the Spanish themselves would have been jealous of.
They forced Spain into their shells and this in turn led to them being nervous and making mistakes and opened them up to all kinds of attacks.
With England opening their World Cup campaign tonight, in a similar situation to the Dutch, as underdogs, it is fair to say that they can really draw some inspiration from last night’s game.
If England play with the belief that boss Roy Hodgson is now urging on from the fans back home, I can honestly see a similar outcome with perhaps just a few less goals.
England’s attacking line should be full of youth, dynamism and pace, provided by Sturridge, Lallana, Sterling and Oxlade-Chamberlain in order to get at the Italians in Manaus.
Combine this with the experience and creativity of captain Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney and I believe there will be something to cheer about come the final whistle tonight.