The sackings of Ronaldo Koeman and Frank de Boer were a double blow for two of Holland’s top coaches, but there may be a bright light for one
With their country failing to reach yet another big tournament – just the World Cup this time – Dutch managers Frank de Boer and Ronaldo Koeman are not doing too well either in making a good name for Holland as they became two of the first three managers to be sacked in the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.
Both are widely regarded as two of the best managers the country has to offer, so to see them fail so blatantly all adds up to the declining trend Dutch football is currently experiencing.
Frank de Boer lost his first four games as Crystal Palace manager and his team failed to score in the process. It led to the Crystal Palace board giving him the boot, making De Boer’s stay the shortest managerial reign in the Premier League era.
De Boer’s desire to get his career back on track went completely wrong. It was his second horror stint in the space of 12 months, having been sacked after 85 days at the helm of Italian heavyweights Inter Milan in October 2016. De Boer’s current reputation is a far cry from what it was in the summer of 2016. Back then, the former Barcelona player had guided Dutch giants Ajax to four league titles in six seasons.
He subsequently resigned from his position as Ajax manager with the idea of testing himself in more demanding leagues. The result is clear; De Boer has tarnished his once great reputation with two disastrous spells. His downfall? The stubbornness in hanging on to the Dutch way of playing football. Certainly at Palace, De Boer’s naivety cost him.
If Ronald Koeman has learned one thing from this season, it is that money won’t buy you results. Having spent north of $150M, an attack on the top-six was expected from Koeman’s Everton. However, the side failed spectacularly and are eighteenth in the league after nine match days, leading to Koeman’s sacking.
Did Koeman get his tactics wrong, did the players give up on him or was it a case of bad luck? We will find out when the season progresses. What we do know is that Koeman, like De Boer, has ruined his reputation. Brilliant work at Feyenoord, followed up by more good work at Southampton brought him a lot of praise but after enduring a solid debut season at Goodison Park this campaign has been nothing short of a disaster.
With both managers probably done with club football for the foreseeable future as the big teams will have scratched their names from their wish lists, one vacant job is calling. Manager of the Dutch national team is a role both managers have been linked to in the past and this could be the time that either of the two could take it.
Koeman will probably be more keen on the job as he has been in club management for over fifteen years, while De Boer might be tempted to prove himself again in club management. In any scenario, both managers would be perfect fits and the Dutch FA will be licking their lips with these two available, regardless of the recent poor results.