With the Dutch in danger of missing another major championship, Danny Blind is gone with a dream ticket being lined up as replacement
After just 17 games in charge, Danny Blind has been sacked as manager of the Dutch national team. Blind will go down as one of the worst managers in history, having lost five out of eight competitive games in his tenure. The defeat to Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifier in Sofia on Saturday night was what eventually led to his dismissal.
Blind was appointed Holland manager in the summer of 2015 as Guus Hiddink was sacked for bad results in the qualifying campaign for the European Championships in 2016. Blind came into the job after serving as assistant manager for Oranje since 2012. The target was to qualify for the European Championships, a task Blind couldn’t fulfill.
In Blind’s defense, the Netherlands weren’t in an ideal position when he took over and so the failure of not qualifying didn’t result in the sacking of the 55-year-old. He was given another opportunity, which was to lead the Netherlands to Russia for the World Cup in 2018 and make sure the country would not miss consecutive major tournaments.
The journey to Russia began with a draw away to Sweden and was followed by a win over Belarus. Next up was Euro 2016 finalists France. A close game was won by the Les Blues and the first signs of concern could be seen on Dutch faces. These feelings were temporarily washed away when Holland beat Luxembourg but on Saturday all alarm bells were set off.
A lacklustre Dutch side were 2-0 down after just 20 minutes against a below average Bulgaria. No response was seen by Arjen Robben & co as Bulgaria comfortably claimed all three points and relegated Holland to the fourth place in their group. The KNVB acted immediately and sacked Danny Blind.
A decision that was strange, to say the least, from Blind vs. Bulgaria was the inclusion of Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt at the back. The 17-year-old clearly wasn’t ready for it, making a mistake that led to Bulgaria’s first goal. It’s one of the numeral decisions that haven’t paid off for Blind. The case De Ligt was one too many.
Blind departs his role as Holland manager with, statistically, one of the worst spells in history. He averaged 1,41 per game, leaving only three managers with an inferior record.
The Dutch footballing organ will now look for a replacement who can guide the national team out of this mess. With five games left to play and the Dutch in fourth place, there’s still a possibility for Holland to go to the World Cup but they will need to win all remaining games to make any realistic chance.
When we look at the possible candidates for this task, one particular manager stands out; Frank de Boer. The former Ajax manager has experience working for Dutch national team, being the assistant manager of Bert van Marwijk between 2008 and 2010. De Boer is currently unemployed after an unsuccessful period with Inter Milan.
De Boer is by many seen as the dream candidate for the job and a long-standing desire by the KNVB could finally become reality. If De Boer is keen on the job, remains to be seen. One thing is for sure; The KNVB have to get it right this time.