Firstly, the Dutch team had more than one player capable of being a dangerous star striker. And in this respect, they're more Total than the 1974 Total Football team. Obviously, men like Robben down the right flank, Van Persie down the middle and the Dirk Kuyt-Wesley Schneider combination down the left flank were dangerous enough, with strong midfield performance by the likes of Van Bommel and van Bronckhorst that have translated into goal scoring shows in previous matches. Other team members like Van der Vart and Van der Wiel were dark horses that i believe will mature in the future. Others like Khalid Bourlahrouz, Jan Huntelaar, Elia and Ibrahim Affelay i would have liked to see more of, especially in the substitutions Holland had yesterday. Affelay, especially i believe, would have made a tremendous performance if he had come on as the last sub yesterday morning.
Secondly, this team really had fantastic teamwork, a certain camaraderie and powerful esprit de corps that made defence intuitive and strongly challenged Spain for possession of the ball throughout the 120 minutes (44 percent). In contrast, the German team only managed a pitiful 30 odd percent possession of the ball when matched against Spain. The rapid closing down of Spanish players and closing of gaps in the defence was done intuitively and with a flair that was totally different from boring Italian Catenaccio routine. Moreover, this Dutch side really believed in their skill, game, cause and their winning. Unfortunately, their luck ran out, which is always a prerequisite at such knock out stages. (imagine what would have happened if Fernando Torres had pulled his hamstring before, rather than after that winning goal had been scored by Iniesta and had been taken off the pitch to make it 10 men for both sides)
Finally, i believe this side played better than the 1974 Total Football generation in some key aspects. The reality of Total Football (and something many don't realise) is that it is actually a very inefficient system, where everybody has to be able to do everybody else's job just as well as their own. The concentration, energy, skill and teamwork neccessary for this are incredible and thats why its so loved, but Total Football just can't be sustained in the long run, especially in gruelling competitions of the World Cup's stature. Moreover, Total Football was always reliant on a very strong and gifted captain or leader like Johan Cruyff who could see the possiblities and direct the flow of the game. Total Football isn't democratic football, contrary to what some mistakenly believe. Not everyone was a scorer, only one or two, whom the others filled in for and supported. As such, the current Dutch side with multiple danger men is much more Total than Total Football.
They change and adapt, as i believe they will after this tournament. Their next chance might be in 30 years (though i hope not) but they'll keep fine-tuning and attacking. Thats why i love the Dutch.