The Netherlands have sacked manager Danny Blind following a string of poor results that have hindered their chances of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup. Holland’s defeat to Bulgaria in March was the final straw for the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and the search is now on to find the next boss.
With a number of competent options waiting in the wings, the KNVB now have to make the difficult decision of appointing the right man. Holland are fourth in Group A, six points behind France, and qualifying via the playoffs might be their only option. Here are three viable candidates to take over at the helm for the remainder of the qualifying campaign.
Louis Van Gaal
Van Gaal would be a popular choice with supporters, especially as he overachieved during his stint as Netherlands boss. In 2014, he took Holland to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil and many believe that his international experience gives him the edge over his rivals for the position. After all, it is hard to think of many managers who could get the most out of this crop of players.
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The former Manchester United boss won the FA Cup during his time at Old Trafford but he seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t return to management shortly after his departure. If approached, he might be tempted by the challenge – particularly as it gives him the perfect opportunity to write a few wrongs after his disappointing tenure in England.
Frank De Boer
The former Ajax boss has been linked with the position and it wouldn’t be a major surprise if the KNVB approach De Boer with a concrete offer. His agent has suggested that he won’t be the next Netherlands boss, which may cheer up a few Dutch fans. A poll conducted by DeTipsters on Facebook discovered that most fans would prefer Van Gaal back at the helm rather than the younger De Boer.
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De Boer was sacked by Inter Milan after just 85 days in his most recent managerial role and that may hinder his chances of an appointment for the national team. Having said that, his record in Holland itself is very impressive; he led Ajax to the Eredivisie title four years in a row from 2010 to 2014. The Netherlands could do a lot worse than De Boer.
Guus Hiddink is a difficult one. The former Chelsea boss didn’t exactly inspire confidence during his most recent tenure in charge of the national side and the KNVB may look elsewhere. On the whole, Hiddink’s record is sublime but history may affect his standing on the shortlist – especially after the fallout following his departure last time.
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Would Hiddink himself accept an offer if the Netherlands came knocking? It is tough to say either way. Unfortunately, his time may have been and gone; he is now 70 years old and it might be time for Hiddink to call it a day on his managerial career. He was once one of the very best in the world but his tactics are now outdated, and Holland would do well to consider somebody younger.