Snippets from the Dutch camp
- 17 Jun 06, 02:54 PM
MUNICH - As we travelled south this morning I pulled up at traffic lights on the outskirts of Stuttgart.
Another camper van stopped alongside me. The driver, resplendent in orange, turned towards me so I said "hello" - what I did not expect was his reply.
"Do you want a beer?," were his opening words.
"Do you want one?," he said, producing a half-drunk bottle as if to reaffirm the point.
"Um, a little bit early for me thanks." It had just gone 10 in the morning.
No question, the Dutch are here to party, behind the wheel or not.
The players seemed pretty relaxed as they walked through the mixed zone between their changing rooms and team coach after the match.
Several commented on the quality of Argentina and how it was undoubtedly a good thing that they do not need annything from their game against them on Wednesday to secure their passage to the second round.
Edwin van der Sar looked extemely perplexed that a journalist's opening question to him after they had just seen off a decent Ivory Coast side was whether he was disappointed that a traditionally attacking Dutch team had managed so few shots on target.
That interview didn't last long.
Mark van Bommel talked about how excited he is at the prospect of playing alongside Eidur Gudjohnsen for Barcelona next season, while Phillip Cocu explained that the players were finding it difficult to cope with the humidity.
The heat in Germany has been a real issue and the Dutch have struggled as much as anyone else.
As per usual, Ruud van Nistelrooy was descended upon by all and sundry the moment he appeared, while Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben were also in great demand.
Alas, both these players spurned my advances for a quick word.
They must discuss their excuses in advance because they both said "I have to go to the team coach".