Following a shocking exit and a lacklustre campaign at the Euros, Netherlands manager Frank de Boer has been replaced by the enigmatic Louis van Gaal. The former Bayern Munich coach will return to the international scene after seven years, since last managing Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil.
Louis van Gaal is officieel benoemd als de nieuwe bondscoach van Oranje. Danny Blind, Henk Fraser en Frans Hoek vormen zijn technische staf. https://t.co/oohV6Hf5U2— KNVB (@KNVB) August 4, 2021
Netherlands were amongst the favourites to go all the way in the Euros. Since the 2018 world cup, the team, under Ronald Koeman was performing well and gained a lot of momentum as a unit. The squad was a mix of promising young players along with the experience and talent of the seniors — some of whom were already international superstars or the on the verge of stardom.
But the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the Euro dates into uncertainty, following which FC Barcelona poached Koeman away during the year of a major tournament. The injury to captain and star defender Virgil Van Dijk didn’t make things any easier for the Dutch. Despite a first place finish in their group, de Boer couldn’t take his boys past the round of 16 against Czech Republic.
LVG is known for his knack with young players, having brought young talents like Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber into the first team at Bayern. He is also credited for moving Bastian Schweinsteiger from the wings to the midfield. His appointment coming at the period of resurgence of the Dutch academies, especially Ajax, pushing out talent after talent, bodes well for the future of the Netherlands team.