The mood in Holland is bleak after losing two games in a row for the first time in 17 years.
However, there remains a small amount of belief that their men in Orange can make history and reach the knockout stages despite losing to Germany last night and going down 1-0 in their opening game against Denmark.
Des Telegraaf took the outlook the Dutch have a "12-13 per cent" chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
The press are not overly scathing of the national side. It is almost as though they knew that reaching the final in South Africa was a one-off and a performance of that caliber was unlikely in this tournament.
The headline in the Algemeen Dagblad (The AD) was “Loss makes Dutch modest.” In future tournaments the Dutch may expect a little less from their team.
Psychologist Jaap van Ginneken points out that the rest of Europe was too expectant of the Dutch national side. The Dutch fans were still on a high after reaching the World Cup Final in 2010 and perhaps thought their side was destined for greatness this time round. Ginneken himself was much more “modest” about their hopes before the tournament and “did not expect to reach the finals”.
Ginneken notes that the defeat will be like a “huge hangover” dampening the mood in the nation.
The AD are also hanging on the words of Ruud King, a professor of sports economics at the University of Groningen. King was quoted as saying: “It's unlikely that we will get far. I do not know any case of a team that have lost their first two games at a big tournament and then reached the finals. Let alone won."
The understandable pessimism of his nation was further shown by King’s comment that the Dutch will probably support Spain if Holland are knocked out because they play the most attractive football.
The Dutch Metro criticizes their team’s performance with the headline: “Slaughtered by the Germans but Holland is still alive.” Further adding that the Dutch have a degree of optimism about progressing to the knock-out stages by beating Portugal in their last group game. However they will be relying on Germany to beat the Danish.
The Metro also mentions the huge tension between the two teams, and the Dutch are justifiably annoyed by the German gloating. However there is no evident retaliation, similiar to the fashion in which the Dutch lay down and let Germany dominate them on the pitch last night.
Also akin to last night’s action, the German press are today all over the Dutch.
“Ha, Ha Holland” headlined tabloid BILD, adding: “Herrlich Holland, diese Pleite freut uns” (Great Holland, this fiasco makes us happy).
The Dutch press could not find any way to respond to their biggest rivals. Instead they accepted that their team underperformed and that the Germans gave them a lesson in clinical finishing.
NRC Handelsblad summed up the general atmosphere in Holland, that many of the fans had foreseen a disappointing tournament with the caption: “Our orange team has lacked chemistry and was on a death track for months”.Reuse content