Right after witnessing the dreadful result of Oranje vs Bulgaria I was livid. Pissed off. Frustrated. Flabbergasted. No Sneijder. De Ligt making mistakes, Martins Indi out of position and in the highlights reel (?!) no decent flowing attack from Oranje.
This was the first time I felt Blind failed miserably.
After the game, Blind was interviewed and he basically said.
“We all failed. I failed too. I had such a good feeling over the last months and I’m as devastated and disappointed as you are. At this stage, I cannot say what exactly went wrong. We didn’t start aggressive, we let them win the second ball and we got ourselves in a pickle in the first minute already. De Ligt made a mistake, yes, but that was early in the game. We could have turned it around. But again, we were too soft in defence and when it was 2-0 in the first 20 minutes, I knew we had a way back into the game. Unfortunately, we did get three chances but failed to take them. We all failed. I will need to do some soul searching and look in the mirror to weigh my own decisions and question where we went wrong. But this is my responsibility and I’ll take it of course.”
Some media and even players felt the coach was here already showing his lack of fight, his lack of belief. I do not agree at all. I think a coach is actually strong when he says “I need to do some self analysis and look in the mirror”. He was criticised badly months ago when he was asked what he did wrong in 2016. He basically said: ” Not much”. Then it was not good. And now he does open up to potential mistakes, its not good either…
Then he was asked whether he’d throw the towel. “I expect to sit on the bench for the Italy game but after that we will need to analyse this debacle. And I know how it works in football, my management might feel enough is enough. That is how it works. But I am still full of belief.”
Again, the media said that he was offering his head on a plate to be axed. And the only reason why he didn’t resign was to be able to collect the exit handshake…
I do believe Blind was responsible for the dreadful game. But not him alone, as I said before.
I also believe he has a lot to learn and some shortcomings. But… I despise the vultures (in the Dutch media mainly) who came out to seek blood and were screaming for the head of Blind.
The cowardly KNVB did what they do – kneejerk reactions – and without proper analysis, they kicked Blind out.
Again, don’t get me wrong: maybe it is the best decision, but it looked like a witch hunt to me and to fire a coach one day after a loss does mean to me that 1) the knives were sharpened already and 2) the decision was made purely on emotion.
Blind has been accused of making rash decisions on player selections.
That was his prerogative, for me. Van Gaal did that. Van Basten did that. Michels did that. That should not be a reason to villify a coach.
Another comment is that he doesn’t inject passion in the players. Huh??? Is that his job? Was Van Marwijk so passionate? Rijkaard? Arsene Wenger? England coach Gareth Southgate? Carlo Ancelotti?
Is it too much to ask for well paid players to come to Oranje and find the passion themselves? Do you think Van Hanegem, Neeskens, Davids, Van Bommel needed their coach to put some venom in their veins?
Some people say Blind was inexperienced. Well, Hiddink was extremely experienced, look how he did… Dick Advocaat in 2004, very experienced…. Louis van Gaal in 2000, pretty experienced… The arguments are all “created” to justify the sacking.
We’re looking for reasons to be able to say: he needs to go, he is not good enough…
All these players after the match, telling the cameras how much they support their coach. Well, you do this on the pitch! In the 90 minutes vs Bulgaria (same level as FC Utrecht, to me). That is where you demonstrate your support.
Kevin Strootman is one of the key midfielders in the Serie A and he was not having a great day. Was that Danny Blind’s fault?
This whole episode is just another step in the Major Debacle executive produced by the KNVB….
One of the comments made by interim commercial director (!) Jean Paul Decossaux is: we should not have agreed to have Blind appointed already beforehand in case Hiddink left. That whole announcement of Hiddink as first coach and Blind as his successor was wrong.
Yes Mr Decossaux that is correct. Its on you (or Bert van Oostveen).
And now it is up to Hans van Breukelen, an ex goal keeper and motivational speaker, with no – and I mean zero!! – experience in managing in football, with dodgy ties to a company of scam artists, and interim (part time!!!!!) commercial director Whatshisname to come up with a name of a new coach. And to have to instruct this new coach in what it is we want…
It is debilitating! Two clowns are in charge of the asylum. And KNVB chairman Michael van Praag (former chair of Ajax and widely recognised as a proper federation executive) has decided to re-structure the whole KNVB, which will take till January 2017. And until that time, no need appointments will be made.
So Hans and Ad Interim will rule.
I think I would have preferred Danny Blind in the role for a bit longer…
Unless Louis van Gaal wants to step in, but I can’t see him doing that. Frank de Boer, still licking his wounds. Ronald Koeman, not interested.
Henk ten Cate might well be the only real candidate. He’s got the discipline of Van Gaal, the Ajax/Barca DNA of beautiful football, experience and he is highly rated at the KNVB. He was consulting them last year on the technical development side of things, so I can imagine he was already informed some time back to keep his KNVB tie ready and drycleaned.
When a – not functioning and not complete – management team of the KNVB wants to make some major decisions, its important to assess and judge the situation properly. I cannot imagine that the KNVB has done so in the last 24 hours.
If I was in a decision making role in that management, I would have called Van Gaal, Hiddink, Van Hanegem, Advocaat and Adriaanse for some insights. And I would have invited Sneijder, Robben and Strootman for a meeting.
Based on their insights and assessment, I would have done a performance evaluation with Blind. And yes, sacking was probably the outcome, but with a clear indication of where the issues lie and how to deal with them.
And if players – certain players – sabotaged this NT manager, I would have “sacked” those players as well….
But… the KNVB felt it had two options: leave the coach for the Italy game and have 40,000 fans yell and boo at him, or relieve him now and have assistant coach Fred Grim take the reigns as interim manager. The KNVB picked the second option.
Fred Grim, a coach with only Jupiler League experience, aided by Frans Hoek, a keeper trainer. And this chapter is just another one in a horrific Stephen King novel, which started in 2014… Van Gaal left, Hiddink was his “logical” replacement. Really? With Blind tagged on as the pre-determined successor. With the instructions to Hiddink to go for 4-3-3. Which Hiddink abandoned very soon in the campaign, prompting Bert van Oostveen (who??) to reprimande Hiddink publically. That was probably where it all went south for Guus. The management and board of the KNVB ended up in chaos. Two assistant coaches ran for the exit. Bert van Oostveen was promoted away from the bridge of the ship and his successor Gijs De Jong had to step down under pressure of the clubs who demanded transparency… What a super mess!
Danny Blind was not a bad choice. But he was the wrong man at the wrong time. With his high falluting Ajax ideals, he was confronted with mediocre quality (Janssen, Dost, Promes, Berghuis) and fading glory (Sneijder, Van Persie, Van der Vaart)..
Blind did not have the experience, the shrewdness and the charisma to withstand all the criticism the nation had on the disappointing results and performances. The start of the WC campaign (Sweden, Belarus) wasn’t that terrible. As Blind said: I was quite positive about our trajectory upwards… But one shit match and a bad decision (De Ligt) later and it’s all over.
And with empty spots in the KNVB management, a technical director whom no one takes seriously it all came down to the part time commercial director Decossaux – who is responsible for sponsoring! – to decide to let Blind go and more importantly: who the new man will be…
Like I said before: meet the new boss, he’s the same as the old boss…
So in the near future, a new coach will be working on the basis of the same visionary principles (KNVB) as Blind and will have to pick from the same player universe and will have a couple of days to get them prepared for another match….
Do we really expect magic from this new coach?
We like to point at Belgium these days. That is how we want it. A modern international coach and buckets full of tremendous talent. Well, they missed 5 major tournaments and it took them 12 years to get back to the top, going from crisis to crisis and from team manager to team manager….