Netherlands fire manager Danny Blind after embarrassing WC loss
Netherlands removed Danny Blind as its national team manager, following a deplorable 2-0 loss to Bulgaria in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Blind who took over as the coach in July 2015 also failed to lead the team to qualify for Euro in 2016. Netherlands currently stand fourth in their world cup qualifying group, and are at danger of early World Cup exit.
There are reports that Louis Van Gaal, former Manchester United manager who coached Netherlands during the 2014 world cup, could be brought back to take charge of the team. Bringing in a foreign coach is also another option. Meanwhile Holland's U-21 coach Fred Grim will act as interim coach for the three-time World Cup runners-up, for the upcoming friendly match against Italy.
Dutch football team transitioned from one of the most impressive teams at 2014 World Cup to a team that is struggling at 2018 World Cup qualifiers. At 2014 WC, Netherlands finished third beating powerhouse teams like Brazil and Spain. They have been in a free fall ever since, failing to qualify for the 2016 Euro and now floundering in the WC qualifying stage.
Part of the Dutch team's problems are generational. Their last generation of greats like Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, are past their prime with no new equivalent talent to replace them. The young generation of players are inexperienced. Players with potential like Daley Blind, Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay are not fully developed and the team looks short of being world class.
The veteran Dutch players are no where close to their best. While Robben has been plagued with injuries, Sneijder was never able to bring back his 2010 World Cup abilities. Van Persie playing for the Turkish club Fenerbache is nearing the end of his career.