After 20 years working at club level (except an early time as the Holland national team’s assistant coach) Ronald Koeman has become Holland National team’s coach.
The Dutch’s fortunes have faded in recent years. The team did reach the final of World Cup 2010 in South Africa – losing to Spain – and was a semi finalist four years later in Brazil. Holland, however, didn’t qualify for Euro 2016 and suffered three losses out of three at Euro 2012 and didn’t survive the group stage. The team has had previous highs in the 1970s with Cruyff and co reaching successive World Cup finals and in the late 1980s and 1990s with Milan’s Dutch trio and Koeman himself helping the team win Euro 1988.
Ronald Koeman has won many club trophies as player and manager. With both Ajax and PSV in his homeland and four La Liga titles with the great Barcelona teams of the early 1990s, among others. As manager he led PSV to one title and Ajax to two. His last coaching job was at Everton where the team disappointed after spending big, he was fired after lasting just over one year.
Now he ventures into his first head coaching role at national team level. He replaces Dick Advocaat who was briefly in charge in 2017 having replaced Danny Blind. Both failed to help the team qualify for World Cup 2018.
The national team’s biggest goalscorers and best players are in their 30s now with Arjen Robben, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder very much of the past. Younger players are either not as good or haven’t convinced or been consistent. The likes of Memphis Depay (Lyon), Vincent Janssen (Fenerbahce on loan from Tottenham), Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke City) were expected to be well above their current value. It remains to be seen if others like Rick Karsdorp (Roma), Marco van Ginkel (PSV on loan from Chelsea) and Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow) can add more to the team going forward. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), currently the most expensive defender ever, has to as well.
UEFA Nations League starts in September. Koeman and Holland’s first game is on September 9 in France (Germany being the other team in the three team group). Before that there are also friendlies to play. Two are currently scheduled, versus England on March 23 and Portugal on March 26.