Netherlands are in danger of missing the 2018 World Cup in Russia after missing the European Championship in France.
Immediately after the 2-0 loss to Bulgaria, the KNVB opted to sack head coach Danny Blind.
While the governing body of the football giants think they have quickly reacted, it does not seem to have come early enough with Russia closeby.
“We have for some time seen an upward trend after the failure of last year. We were pleased. But we always felt that it was paper thin,” KNVB director Jean-Paul Decossaux said after Blind’s sack.
Blind remained in his role despite regularly overseeing a string of poor results. His record: seven wins, three draws and seven losses. Of the seven matches the Dutch side won in his tenure, only three were in competitive scenarios.
The selections he made were mind boggling and they always haunted him. On Saturday, he decided to play 17-year old Matthijs De Ligt despite the shaky defence. Many always questioned his credentials and his strategies were poorly though out. All of this is perplexing considering the impressive performance at the 2014 World Cup.
After the tournament, Louis van Gaal resigned as he accepted Manchester United’s offer. GuusHiddink was called upon ahead of the Euro 2016 where Holland had high hopes but they lost faith in him, firing him during the qualification campaign. The success of Germany with Jurgen Klinsmann and his assistant Joachim Low forced the resolve to give Blind a chance ahead of Russia 2018. However, the coach failed utterly.
Ronald Koeman was the first choice to support Hiddink with the hope of taking over, following his success at Feyenoord. The manager on the rise then rejected such moves and the KNVB stuck with Blind. Blind lacked the necessary basics with his managerial career being a one-year poor run in charge of Ajax in 2005/06. The way he took over a destabilized side after Hiddink’s methods failed forced the fans to be patient with him.
Netherlands have a mountain to climb with France, Sweden and Bulgaria ahead in the qualifying phase. The team lacks direction and confidence is at an all-time low.