What Happened to the Netherlands?

South Africa 2010 and a resurgent nation with a 100% qualifying record arrive on the grandest stage in football, The World Cup Final. Albeit a game remembered more for unpunished tackles than skill or quality, you had a feeling that we were about to see one of the sports’ most recognisable nations go on and become a major force once again.

Euro 2012 saw a slump of epic proportions and 3 defeats in the group stage – in their defence it was a group-of-death scenario. Losing to Germany, Portugal and Denmark is no disgrace at this level.

They re-grouped and in Brazil finished a respectable 3rd under the guidance of inbound Man Utd manager LVG. Putting 5 past the reigning champions Spain and 3 past the host nation is no easy feat and it has to be remembered they were only denied a 2nd successive World Cup Final by a couple of spot kicks. In all you would have to agree, a major tournament record that most could only dream of.

Fast-forward to current times and in early 2017 this proud footballing nation are in total disarray!

The recent 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bulgaria was described as “the worst Dutch performance in 50 years.”

The Ornaje are currently 4th in their Russia 2018 qualifying group, only looking down on Belarus and usual “whipping boys” Luxembourg.

Head coach Danny Blind has been removed from his position leaving Fred Grim to take temporary charge, has there ever been a more aptly named caretaker manager?

Blind, father of Man Utd defender Daley, had lost 7 of his 17 matches in charge. The former international’s record was a contributing factor to missing out on an inflated Euro 2016 altogether.

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So what has gone wrong?

Well much-maligned former Man Utd manager Van Gaal got the squad to buy into his “philosophy” and the handover to Guus Hiddink was disastrous, this forced the men in orange to start again.

Take the formation, for example. Normally, the Dutch pride themselves on playing attacking football in a 4-3-3 setup. He implemented a 5-3-2 formation with the preference to play on the counter.

Their most recently named selections were missing the mainstays of Van Persie, Huntelaar, De Jong and Ron Vlaar from recent years. Their defence in particular lacks a leader with real experience, walking yellow card Bruno Martins Indi is their current and most capped centre half.

They are no longer feared on the international stage as the improving nations across the continent catch up to what is a questionable current squad. Unknowns from the Eredivise are only just winning their 1st international recognition’s in their late 20’s, far too late.

Surely we can’t see a nation such as this miss out on a 2nd major tourney in succession?

It is over to The Royal Dutch Football Association to identify a new manager to point Robben & co to Moscow.

Danny Blind image sourced from www.indianexpress.com/sports/football

 

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Celtic Manager – Who’s up for the challenge?

It’s all over for Ronny Delia (and John Collins).

The 2nd league title is in the bag but ultimately he is paying for his failings with his job. Delia will no doubt head back to Scandinavia and we’ll be surprised if he surfaces on these shores again.

His inability to clean up domestically and even muster up a passable performance in Europe has proved that he was never the right appointment in 2014. A club the size and stature of Celtic should NOT be taking a manager from Stromsgodset in the first place.

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Peter Lawwell and the rest of the Parkhead board have decide that he isn’t the man to take the club forward next season and with the expected, slightly delayed reappearance of their nearest rivals Rangers it is the correct call in our opinion.

We are going to take a look at the runners and riders for the dugout on the east side of Glasgow:-

Brendan Rodgers

If he’s the man they want they need to act fast. Swansea City are rumoured to be interested in talks to bring their former manager back to the Liberty.

We feel Rodgers would see himself as too big for the job and would almost certainly turn it down in favour of a top flight club in England. Celtic would no doubt play with “character” under the former Liverpool gaffer but it’s not for him.

Neil Lennon

Not going to say much. It’s Neil Lennon, he’d jump at the chance especially as no-one else wants him. Failed at Bolton regardless of the money issues, not a good manager and brings a certain arrogance that most looking in don’t like.

David Moyes

Tough call for Mr Moyes, his next job is make or break. He needs to rebuild a shattered reputation.

He could come and mange the side he once played for, win a couple of trophies over a 2 or 3 year deal. The only thing he would really need to do would be prove better in Europe than Delia.

Could be the safe and stable option for both parties.

Roy Keane

The interesting candidate. Keano would certainly pull no punches and have the respect of the players from the moment he put a foot through the door.

However you can already see the day 5 months down the line…a defeat to Motherwell and a disagreement with the board and he’ll be back on the ITV sofa with Lee Dixon after a dramatic resignation. Think he’s already in the ideal job as ROI’s number 2.

Paul Lambert

Our chosen one. His last 2 jobs just haven’t been the right fit for Lambert. A former player, a champions league winner and European experience to bring to the table. Lower league success down south and would bring that gritty Scottish element that he had as a player. Would be big enough for the challenge with a 3-5 year stay a comfortable timescale.

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Mentions for another couple of the outsiders but men who aren’t quite ready to make the step up go to Henrik Larsson and Paul Hartley. Both have good jobs at this moment in time but we do think they have a big future ahead of them. Don’t be surprised to see either of these be the choice next time around.

The big job awaits someone soon, It’s going be interesting viewing watching how the chosen man goes about re-shaping an already big squad. Celtic need to add quality to progress in Europe and maintain their superiority within their own city. The SPL title is a must, coming 2nd is nowhere is Scotland!