Football: Sense of relief for Roy
Wednesday 22 June 1994
What, the winger who is shortly to forsake Foggia for Nottingham wanted to know, was Stan Collymore like? Did Forest play a passing game? And how far was the City Ground from London?
In terms of scale, Roy's new home is to Washington's Robert F Kennedy Stadium as a wooden shack is to the White House. Yet, ironically, the way the Dutch hauled themselves back into the match after trailing at half-time was due partly to attributes and attitudes the former Ajax player will encounter in England.
Time after time post-mortems into England defeats have tended to emphasise the disparity in technique between players in the attritional British leagues and their Continental counterparts.
At the RFK, there were several moments when it was the Netherlands who were left looking clumsy and heavy-legged by the sweet-moving Saudis, who might have marked their debut in the finals with a goal in 40 seconds. With more than a hint of Cameroon in their exuberant attacking, they found gaps down the flanks and through the middle - where Ronald Koeman still appeared jaded - that better sides will exploit.
'For a while we just weren't concentrating,' Roy admitted. Had they underestimated their opponents? 'Every time you play a team like them, everyone says 'We won't treat them lightly.' And what happens? You do.'
Wim Jonk equalised with a shot Mohammed Al Deayea should have saved. A far worse mistake by the goalkeeper enabled Feyenoord's Gaston Taument, on as a substitute to help provide badly-needed width, to head the late winner.
With a Group F collision with Belgium next up, Roy was more concerned about the physical toll their efforts had exacted. 'Having to claw the game back took a lot out of us,' he said.
Latest in Sport
Tony Bellew vs Nathan Cleverly: Bellew takes his revenge with points win over Cleverly
Perth midfielder Ruben Zadkovich sent off 17 seconds after coming on against Wellington
England vs Samoa match report: England finally end losing streak as Jonny May stars in win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Manchester United transfer news: Robin van Persie could leave this summer with Edinson Cavani and Thomas Muller on United wish-list
Arsenal vs Manchester United match report: Wayne Rooney and a Keiran Gibbs own goal make Gunners rue missed chances
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...