IT is the nation which wowed the world with Total Football.
The Great Entertainers who left us open-mouthed with the Cruyff turn, THAT Van Basten volley and the jaw-dropping skills of Neeskens, Bergkamp and Gullit.
It is also the country that will be watching the 2018 World Cup from the couches and coffee shops of Amsterdam, rather the thick of the action in Moscow, St Petersburg and beyond.
For that is the dire state of football in Holland right now.
Oranje-boom has turned to Oranje-gloom and Russia next summer will not be hosting any of those fun-loving Netherlands fans.
Not since 1984 has the country been such a sporting shambles. And this one is worse than ever — because there is no prospect of halting the slide any time soon.
It is 33 years since two successive major finals have taken place without the Dutch. And it may not stop here.
So how has it come to this? Seven years after they were in a World Cup final and three years after they were finishing third, they can’t even limp into a play-off to make the draw.
It is a crisis which has been a long time in the making.
The famed Ajax Academy still produces players but they simply are not in the same league as those of old.
Holland’s most famous club may have reached last term’s Europa League final — losing to Manchester United — but that just papered over the cracks.
This time they could not even make the competition itself, losing to Rosenburg in the qualifiers.
Next season, for the first time ever, no Eredivisie team has an automatic ticket to the group stages of a UEFA tournament. It is the qualifying rounds and hope for a decent draw. . . or bust.
There is a lack of talent, a lack of leadership, a lack of top-level, young coaches. A lack of direction and, most depressing of all, a lack of genuine hope.
It is odd to suggest, but technically the Dutch do not actually lag that far behind.
Tactically and physically, though, they are miles away.
The golden generation, the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Rafa van der Vaart and Wes Sneijder have either already gone or are in the last knockings of their careers. And the current generation are nowhere near able to fill their boots.
Just glance around the Dutch players in the Premier League for proof.
Virgil van Dijk at Southampton, Watford’s Daryl Janmaat, Everton’s summer buy Davy Klaassen, Brighton’s Davy Propper . . . hardly a who’s who of European greats.
Daley Blind is not a regular at Manchester United and Vincent Janssen is spending the season on loan at Fenerbahce because he cannot get a game at Spurs.
Only Liverpool’s Gini Wijnaldum is anything like an established Premier League star. And as for filling the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Co? Forget it.
Yes, Robben is still at Bayern Munich but nearing the end. Keeper Jasper Cillesen is back-up and no more at Barcelona.
It’s a similar story in the dugout. A managerial merry-go-round of old boys and no new faces or ideas.
Since 1992, 12 of their 17 bosses — that tells its own tale — have been the same five men: Rinus Michels, Louis van Gaal, Guus Hiddink, Leo Beenhakker and Dick Advocaat.
The last-named has overseen this disastrous World Cup funeral march, the epitaph of which was written against Sweden last night in a game they could not even sell out.
Now Advocaat is advocating Ruud Gullit to replace him.
Legendary player yes, but someone who has not managed in Europe since 2005.
Of course Holland have not helped themselves over the years with tournaments blighted by in-fighting, rows and fall-outs.
In the past they at least had the talent to dig them out.
Not any more. Even the Dutch Football Federation’s long-term ’Winners of Tomorrow’ — a blueprint for future glory — has divided opinion.
Some think it is the way to go. Some see it as just a a flight of fancy that means nothing.
Some insist the nation’s laid-back approach, one where they would sooner play well than play and win, are the reasons.
The causes are many, the solution is nowhere in sight, but one thing is certain. . . what was once Total Football is now Total You-Know-What.
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