Netherlands Robin Van Persie Wesley Sneijder
Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder react after Netherlands concede a goal to Turkey in their European Championships qualifiersReuters

Being a sports-is-all-I-ever-think-of child of the 90s, there were a few things that moulded me into the sports fan that I am today – Mohammad Azharuddin and his ridiculous legside flicks, Sachin Tendulkar and that if-he-gets-out-India-have-lost-the-match feeling, Pete Sampras with that tongue out and darting in those rocket serves and Holland football – be that the Netherlands national team or the club from which most of the players made up that team – Ajax.

As a seven, eight-year old, one of the greatest joys for me was watching Ajax and Holland. Dennis Bergkamp, Frank Rijkaard, the De Boer brothers, Marc Overmars, and then a little later, Patrick Kluivert and Clarence Seedorf.

Such magnificent players all, filled with talent and that attacking verve, it was impossible not to fall in love with them.

Of course, as the Premier League took India by story, and Bergkamp – my all-time favourite player, alongside another Ajax magician Jari Litmanen -- made his move to Arsenal, I was a Gooner for life.

But, while Ajax and their fantastic teams faded into brilliant memory, what has stuck with me until now, and will continue to, is the Holland national team.

In every major tournament – be that the World Cup or the European Championships – I would back the Netherlands, and, even if they inevitably failed to negotiate the final couple of hurdles – like Arsenal always seem to do as well, maybe with a few more hurdles remaining – they have always been my team.

It doesn't matter if Robin Van Persie is not exactly my favourite player anymore (for obvious reasons), if he is wearing that Netherlands shirt, I want him to score goals. I can go back to saying "nice" things about him afterwards, but for those 90 minutes, he is my player, playing for a team I have supported since I was a child.

Sometimes I wish I could just go back in time and relive those Holland moments again, be that the Ajax Champions League win in 1995, when Kluivert struck the winner against AC Milan, or that sumptuous Dennis Bergkamp goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.

You look back at those Ajax and Netherlands team of the 1990s and they are littered with quality – yes, they did not always fulfil their promise, and they were prone to infighting, but watching them as a fan was a thing of beauty.

Edwin Van Der Sar, or Ed De Goeij, as the goalkeeper, with Frank De Boer, Jaap Stam or Danny Blind in the centre of the defence, then there was Arthur Numan as a fullback, along with Michael Reiziger.

The midfield was take-your-pick season wasn't it. Be that Seedorf, Rijkaard, Overmars, Ronald De Boer, Wim Jonk, Edgar Davids, Phillip Cocu, Boudewijn Zenden and plenty more I can't quite recall.

Bergkamp, Kluivert, Jimmy-Floyd Haseelbaink, such a great finisher, and even Pierre Van Hooijdonk were the options up front.

What a team that was. Even if they never won any major title, they at least played some exciting football.

And now you look at the current Netherlands team – instead of Danny Blind, there is Daley Blind, who is the shadow's shadow of his father, who was a rock at the back. Instead of that talent-filled midfield, you have the likes of Giorginio Wijnaldum or a Jordy Claasie or a Davy Klaasen – they are all good players, but Holland has never been about good players, you need that bit of stardust as well.

The Bergkamp No.10 role is taken by Wesley Sneijder, a player well beyond his peak, while Memphis Depay is the one trying to do a Marc Overmars.

Robin Van Persie of three-four years ago would have stood up to that 1990s best, but not now, and I'm pretty sure these same thoughts would have been running in Danny Blind's mind as well – ah if only I could call upon those players from the 1990s.

Blind has begun life as the Netherlands coach with two losses in two matches – 1-0 to Iceland and 3-0 to Turkey – and now Holland are in serious danger of missing out on Euro 2016.

Of course, the Netherlands have failed to qualify for major tournaments a couple of times in the past couple of decades, but while those can be attributed to other reasons, this one, is primarily down to the lack of high-quality talent.

Not one player stood out – not in terms of effectiveness, but sheer quality – in the 3-0 loss to Turkey on Sunday. Defensive mistakes might have cost Holland the goals, but they hardly looked like scoring either.

Memphis Depay huffed and puffed, but apart from a couple of decent deliveries from out wide, there was nothing much, while Sneijder is clearly not the same player he was. The same can be said of Van Persie as well, while Luciano Narsingh failed to impress, playing wide on the right.

There was plenty of possession, but little effect – it was like watching Arsenal on one of their frustrating days, or even a Louis Van Gaal-led Manchester United side of now.

Van Gaal, though, did take this Netherlands side to third place in the 2014 World Cup, even if it was thanks largely to the wonderful talents of Arjen Robben.

Netherlands need an inspiration now in their final two qualifying matches – a Bergkamp moment – to at least stand a chance of taking that flight to France next summer.

However, it does look likely that we will have a major tournament in 2016 without the famous Oranje.

And what a shame that would be.

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