Who’s the man to make Oranje’s future bright?
Dutch in search of a new manager
Just what has gone wrong at Holland? A super-power of international football, they shocked fans everywhere by missing out on the European Championships last time, and are going the right way about missing the World Cup in Russia 2018 too.
The three-time World Cup silver medallists sit fourth in qualifying Group A, behind France, Sweden and Bulgaria. A record of two wins, two defeats and a draw has left Oranje trailing leaders Les Bleus by six points, three behind Sweden in second. Another summer watching football on TV could be in store, unless they act fast.
Bosses couldn’t see a way back for Blind
Netherlands would’ve been one of the bankers on punters accumulators when playing Bulgaria at the weekend, but they fell heavily, losing 2-0 in a match they were expected to win at a canter. That result was one defeat too many for those in charge, and manager Danny Blind was sacked not too long after the final whistle. It was an embarrassing loss for a side of their capabilities, and failure could no longer be excused.
So, who is the man to take the thankless task? There’s plenty of work to be done for whoever is brought into the fold, but will they go for a big name with big game experience, or do those who pull the strings have the bottle to appoint a long-term replacement, a forward-thinking manager who has what it takes to rudely shake the giants from their slumber?
De Boer deserves a shot
Former player Frank De Boer is currently looking for a way back into football, and would certainly be a name that would allow fans to dream again. He was recently linked with a move to former club Glasgow Rangers, one which didn’t really amount to much, but he did tell reporters that he would give it serious consideration, suggesting he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty again. De Boer wants a project he can build, and managing his country would give him just that.
Frank was assistant at Holland between 2008 and 2010, before carving out a career at Ajax and Inter. He enjoyed real success with the former, winning a number of Eredivisie titles, but didn’t get anywhere near the same fortune at Milan, hired and fired in just 85 days.
Van Gaal a short-term fix
Another well quoted by the press for the vacancy is Louis Van Gaal. The former Manchester United manager certainly boasts the experience, and has managed his country in the past, of course. He has not been seen since leaving Old Trafford however, and at 65-years-old, would be a very short-term appointment indeed, possibly for this tournament only. Would those in the know fancy him to steady the ship, have a go at getting Holland to Russia and then pass the job on in better shape than he found it?
Possibly, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of major teams siding with old heads recently. The game is changing, attitudes are changing, even the knowledge and thinking of a manager has changed. Van Gaal didn’t have the best time at Old Trafford, and didn’t do too well steering Holland first time around either, being replaced by Dick Advocaat in 2002 after failing to qualify for the World Cup. He enjoyed better luck in 2014, leading them to a win over Brazil and third-place finish at the World Cup.
Some of the other names currently believed to be in the frame are Ronald Koeman, Guus Hiddink, Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, and another former employee in Dick Advocaat.