And here we are again. We finished really well at the World Cup, only to totally screw up our Euro campaign. We saw it in 1974, in 1978, in 2010 and God help us we are not really doing too well now.
Iceland 2. Holland 0.
That says it all. When I read the headline, I didn’t even wanna see the highlights. Or lowlights.
Something is not right in Oranje. And it’s easy to say “It’s Hiddink” and obviously it is not Hiddink, but sadly he is end-responsible and will have to come up with solutions.
There are many things wrong. Tactics, line up, approach/management, team dynamics, individual performance….
We are merely fans, looking in from the outside. But people closer to the squad believe Hiddink has an approach which is the total opposite of Van Gaal.
Where Louis realised this team lacked real quality and he had to bring a lot of additional elements to the team, Hiddink seems to be very loose and managing at arms length. Not just towards the lads, also towards the staff. The KNVB seems to be a bit surprised with his loose and unfocused press conferences and analyses and starts to fear that they might have made a big mistake.
This team did so well at the iron hand of Mr Control Freak Van Gaal. And his successor is the most relaxed and laid back cat the KNVB could find. The contrast is too big.
And as Frank de Boer famously quipped “I never learned anything about football from Hiddink”, his tactics leave a lot to be desired…
You play against Kazachstan. Why field 4 defenders and Nigel de Jong? Why add a static Wesley Sneijder to the midfield?
We could have done with 3 defenders and a more footballing central midfielder. Such as Sneijder. Or Blind. Or Clasie. A 3-3-4 with Huntelaar up top and Van Persie circling him.
Now, we can’t blame Hiddink for the mistake Janmaat made vs the Cechs. Or the mistakes Martins Indi makes. Or the penalty De Vrij conceded vs Iceland.
But we can blame Hiddink for not making sure we didn’t score 3 or 4 already in their goal before Janmaat made that error…
This team needs a leader with vision. Someone who keeps the big guns in check (Hunter, Van Persie, Sneijder) and who is capable of letting the youngster reach their potential by being on their case all the time. Van Gaal is not available. Frank de Boer isn’t available either.
But Co Adriaanse is. He works not unlike Van Gaal. Allow him to coach Oranje to the Euros. Let Blind do the World Cup after that and have Frank de Boer enjoy some time as club coach before he takes over. Maybe Ronald Koeman is the right man to follow up from Blind first, with bro Erwin. Who knows.
But it is time for clarity and a firm hand (again):
1. This is how we play (4-3-3 or 3-4-3)
2. This is the standard, these are the roles
3. If you don’t qualify (Van Persie, Sneijder, De Jong, Martins Indi) you are on the bench!
4. Everyone is fully focused and knows what to do. Anyone not in line can pack his bag.
The KNVB is going to assess the situation in the short term. Hiddink has been tight lipped about his future. But the media have already made up their minds: Hiddink is not the right man for the job. He seems to looking at the Oranje stint as a cool last job before he retires, while it is actually a pressure cooker job that needs 120% of the coach’s focus.